2013 is gone and so is Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor. How does one satisfy their need for British television helmed by England's Joss Whedon, Steven Moffat? Welcome back, Sherlock Holmes, in the best of the current live action iterations, Sherlock. After faking his death in "The Reichenbach Fall" and letting the world believe it for two years, not everyone is happy to see him. Dr. John Watson, his once-constant companion (and looking more Watson-y than ever, with his old man mustache) is especially disturbed by Holmes's return. Looking to move on with his life, with fiancée Mary, John makes it clear he has no intention of forgiving and re-joining the sleuthing business.
In his absence, Sherlock's name has been cleared and the enigma of James Moriarty revealed. It doesn't take the master detective long to get back into the swing of things, though he is clearly troubled. John goes about his business he is abducted and nearly killed, used as bait for Sherlock. Mary and Holmes arrive in time to save John's life, leaving Watson with no choice but to consider reconciliation, just in time to try to thwart an attack on parliament.
Like all Sherlock episodes, "The Empty Hearse" moves quickly, keeping the audience off-balance just enough. This episode is mostly notable for the sheer goofiness of Sherlock trying to surprise John with his return. It's nice to see star Benedict Cumberbatch show some levity and diversity to his performance. Martin Freeman plays Watson with such a likable indignation. The mystery isn't paramount but it's been two years. While the game is most certainly afoot again, everyone in this world is trying to regain their balance. By the end, all seems to be back to normal and a new arch nemesis hides in the shadows. The one shame is that knowing that with one episode down, there's only two more left.