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Old 01-20-2014, 02:49 PM   #1
TonyTheTiger
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Sherlock - The Empty Hearse - PBS OAD 1/19/2013 (obviously with added spoilers!)

As requested, at last, a thread where the episode can be discussed!

Have at it...
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:47 PM   #2
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Raises more questions than it answers?
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:53 PM   #3
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Raises more questions than it answers?
Agreed. It was not a satisfying answer to the question of how Sherlock faked his death.

Even if we could accept not being told how he really did it (just getting a list of several possibilities), there is still the question of why he found it so important to go to great lengths to fool Watson (and only Watson), while allowing many other people to know the truth. Note that the most plausible looking method that was shown only worked to fool Watson. If anyone else was looking (one of Moriarty's hired guns, for example), they would have seen what really happened.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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Note that the most plausible looking method that was shown only worked to fool Watson.
True, but if the world (and hence Moriarty's henchmen) was going to be fooled by the hoax, Watson had to publicly appear to be grieving, since he was known to be closest to Sherlock. I assume Sherlock and Mycroft felt that John's acting skills wouldn't be sufficient to the task, so Watson had to be kept in the dark. (And Mrs. Hudson, who was close to Watson, would also need to be convinced, and that would be much harder to do if the Holmes' brothers had to rely on Watson's acting skills.)

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If anyone else was looking (one of Moriarty's hired guns, for example), they would have seen what really happened.
Also true, but it was mentioned that those behind the hoax had cleared the street of those who weren't to be involved in the incident.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:04 PM   #5
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It wasn't "just Watson". Most of the main characters also thought he was dead. The policemen, the forensic guy (not Molly, of course, since her help was needed), the landlady, etc. Other than the parents, the only people who knew were the ones needed for the hoax, and they were all people that Moriarty's cohorts would not have deemed important.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:01 PM   #6
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My 16 year old son, who is completely into all things Sherlock (along with all his friends) showed me a mini-episode on youtube (search Sherlock Many Happy Returns). It is 7 minutes and is post-season 2 and pre-season 3. It was quite good.

He also told me that Sherlock's parents were played by Benedict Cumberbatch's real parents. That scene was hilarious.

We loved this episode.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:03 PM   #7
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Also true, but it was mentioned that those behind the hoax had cleared the street of those who weren't to be involved in the incident.
Which is absurd. How do you "clear" one of Moriarty's killers who is hiding and heavily armed?
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:04 PM   #8
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Other than the parents, the only people who knew were the ones needed for the hoax, and they were all people that Moriarty's cohorts would not have deemed important.
Keep telling yourself that!

There were dozens of people who knew the truth. Besides the fact that Moriarty's people would have seen it for themselves, it is certain that some of Sherlock's dozens of conspirators would have bragged or tried to sell the information and Moriarty's huge criminal network would have certainly found out.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:29 PM   #9
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It's pretty clear the show means for us to question the answer we've been given. Based on this first episode, it also seems to me the show doesn't have a lot of interest in exploring it further, so we'll probably have to live with what we got. And let's face it: it was always going to be something like that. The only way he could have pulled off that kind of deception without a bunch of conspirators is by magic.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:33 PM   #10
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The only way he could have pulled off that kind of deception without a bunch of conspirators is by magic.
Ah, at last an explanation that makes sense!


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Old 01-20-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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It wasn't "just Watson". Most of the main characters also thought he was dead. The policemen, the forensic guy (not Molly, of course, since her help was needed), the landlady, etc. Other than the parents, the only people who knew were the ones needed for the hoax, and they were all people that Moriarty's cohorts would not have deemed important.
What makes you say Molly helped ? That was only one of the possibilities

I found this one uneven. The case was pretty lackluster and the "suicide" possibilities were more annoying than fun. There were some great moments (the "ffffffff cough" being my favorite).

Not a spoiler to say I thought the next 2 were/will be fantastic.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:47 PM   #12
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What makes you say Molly helped ? That was only one of the possibilities I found this one uneven. The case was pretty lackluster and the "suicide" possibilities were more annoying than fun. There were some great moments (the "ffffffff cough" being my favorite). Not a spoiler to say I thought the next 2 were/will be fantastic.
He tells her that she is the person Moriarty did not think mattered and that without her it could not have been done. Or something similar. So whether we buy the story given on tape, is seems definite that Molly was involved.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:40 AM   #13
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Which is absurd. How do you "clear" one of Moriarty's killers who is hiding and heavily armed?
My recollection is that Mycroft took care of the sniper. He definitely would have the resources to do so.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:51 AM   #14
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My recollection is that Mycroft took care of the sniper. He definitely would have the resources to do so.
How's that? We were shown a sniper leaving the scene, not one being "cleared". Besides, what makes you think Moriarty only had one person watching?
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:52 AM   #15
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And let's face it: it was always going to be something like that.
I agree with you 99% of the way.

But I do think the way the episode was written was a slightly self indulgent reference to the many "how did he do it" theories that sprung up after the original episode was aired. Art imitating life.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:59 AM   #16
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How's that? We were shown a sniper leaving the scene, not one being "cleared". Besides, what makes you think Moriarty only had one person watching?
I there was more than one sniper I think Mycroft deallt with all of them. But to the best of my recollection there was an informal headcount of Moriarty's assassins during the episode.

(my recollection is hazy because I watched the episode when it was first shown in the U.K.)
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:06 AM   #17
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I there was more than one sniper I think Mycroft deallt with all of them.
So you are claiming Mycroft was lying to Watson about not knowing about it until sometime after Sherlock faked his death?

And even if Mycroft was lying about that, how could he possibly know about every person in Moriarty's criminal network? Mycroft would have to get every possible person in every window of every building that had a view of the street, as well as any vehicles and pedestrians that might try to approach. How could he possibly do that? And if he did do that, why were we shown one of Moriarty's snipers watching from a window and then calmly packing up and leaving? Oh wait, I know, you will claim that Mycroft put someone there to look like Moriarty's killer just in case Watson happened to look up there with binoculars?

Your explanation is riddled with holes.

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Old 01-21-2014, 01:19 AM   #18
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So you are claiming Mycroft was lying to Watson about not knowing about it until sometime after Sherlock faked his death?
I have long held that characters written by Steven Moffat lie. The Doctor lies, River Song lies, Sherlock lies, Mary Watson lies.

Moffat lies, he is one of the best unreliable narrators in the business.

(to the best of my recollection Mycroft previously lied to Watson about the interrogation of Moriarty)
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:16 AM   #19
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There was a 1/2 hour special after the showing on PBS, and Moffat and Mycroft (can't remember the guy's name) talked about whether what was shown was the real thing or not. They consciously decided to make it nebulous. So we don't really know much yet.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:04 AM   #20
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Your explanation is riddled with holes.
I'm not sure why you are being so antagonistic, with eye-rolls and thumbs-down directed at people here. If you don't like the solution we were given, you needn't take it out on the people discussing it.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:13 AM   #21
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I'm not sure why you are being so antagonistic, with eye-rolls and thumbs-down directed at people here. If you don't like the solution we were given, you needn't take it out on the people discussing it.
Seems to be his normal mode. See the last page of this thread for more examples.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:19 AM   #22
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We watched the episode a couple of weeks ago through other means (strangely, we haven't watched eps 2 and 3 yet). I'd echo what others have said here: the mystery was kind of weak, the decision to not tell us how Sherlock escaped death is somewhat annoying, and the fact that everyone but the core characters on the show seemed to know that Sherlock was alive didn't make a ton of sense.

The episode seemed much more focused on the characters and the interplay between them. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as the characters in the show are excellent--but I don't think I'd want an entire season of that.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:01 AM   #23
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I think the how is supposed to remain a mystery to allow viewers to speculate (as is happening here).

Loved the fact that there was a mention of Derren Brown as a possibility and the guy seen sending Watson into a hypnotic 'sleep' at one point, was, in fact, Derren Brown!

For those that don't know the name, he is a hugely popular hypnotist/mind reader/illusionist who makes specials where he will convince people that they are in various situations (like a crashing 'plane) and they have to be the hero or whatever. I have seen shows where he's convinced the subject to rob a bank or even assassinate a celebrity. Brown is very famous in the UK.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:07 AM   #24
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For those that don't know the name, he is a hugely popular hypnotist/mind reader/illusionist who makes specials where he will convince people that they are in various situations (like a crashing 'plane) and they have to be the hero or whatever. I have seen shows where he's convinced the subject to rob a bank or even assassinate a celebrity. Brown is very famous in the UK.
Thanks for the explanation. I missed it completely because I've never heard of him.

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There was a 1/2 hour special after the showing on PBS, and Moffat and Mycroft (can't remember the guy's name) talked about whether what was shown was the real thing or not. They consciously decided to make it nebulous. So we don't really know much yet.
Mark Gatiss. He's joining the cast of
Spoiler:

Game of Thrones

next season.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:10 AM   #25
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Thanks for the explanation. I missed it completely because I've never heard of him.
Same here. But the wife had either heard of him or read about this, so she clued me in.

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Mark Gatiss.
Yeah, him! Had a senior moment. Unfortunately, most of my moments these days appear to be of that type.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:12 AM   #26
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Same here. But the wife had either heard of him or read about this, so she clued me in.


Yeah, him! Had a senior moment. Unfortunately, most of my moments these days appear to be of that type.
Right there with you on that one.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:28 AM   #27
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I think the how is supposed to remain a mystery to allow viewers to speculate (as is happening here).
If there were a real answer that people could piece together over time, I'd be in favor of that. But the most likely reason that they are leaving it vague is because the writers didn't write the "how". It's lazy writing.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:46 AM   #28
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If there were a real answer that people could piece together over time, I'd be in favor of that. But the most likely reason that they are leaving it vague is because the writers didn't write the "how". It's lazy writing.
Yeah, I find it a little annoying.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:53 AM   #29
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If there were a real answer that people could piece together over time, I'd be in favor of that. But the most likely reason that they are leaving it vague is because the writers didn't write the "how". It's lazy writing.
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Yeah, I find it a little annoying.
I wonder if they just dropped some random clues at the end of last season planning to come up with something later, and then decided to go this route when they saw all the speculation and realized that nothing they could come up with would satisfy; or if they planned it this way all along...

Probably the former!
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:28 AM   #30
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If they did give a definitive explanation, there would be people out there that would find a way to poke holes in anything they came up with, so I'm good with them leaving the question open.

And really, I see no reason why the last explanation couldn't have in fact been the right one. Although, I was quite partial to the first one. I rewound/replayed the scene of him busting through the window and kissing Molly more times that I care to admit. I've become a wee bit of a Benedict Cumberbatch fangirl.

This episode seemed to me to be more about exploring the relationship of John and Sherlock.

I really felt badly for John in this episode. He was so gutted by Sherlock's suicide and then to find out that it was all just a big ruse? It think it was hard for him to reconcile being glad Sherlock was alive and wanting to strangle him all at the same time and he was understandably questioning if Sherlock was really even his friend at all. I think that question was answered when Sherlock risked life and limb to pull him from the bonfire.

Although, I have no idea why he didn't go ahead and strangle him after the "joke" he played on him with letting the bomb run out of time. Not a jury in the world would have convicted him.
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