Sidebar: Molly, like John, is also true blue. The difference is that she's been in on the charade since before Sherlock leapt off the roof. In that sense, it's hard to say she represents a faction of fandom. I like to think of her as an avatar of the unsung crew -- you know, the ones whose names we don't know. She takes an awful lot of guff from Sherlock, and has for longer than any of us have known (this iteration of) him. She continues to have his back. Without her, there is no Sherlock Holmes.
Lestrade enters a dark car park. He doesn't notice the shadowy figure trailing him, rows away. He stops and pats himself down. He's startled by a noise and looks around, but sees nothing out of the ordinary. Finding his cigarette pack, he takes out one and is about to light it when a familiar voice says, "Those things will kill you." With his lighter still lit, Lestrade freezes in place. Finally, he shuts the lighter. "Ooh, you bastard!"
Sherlock emerges from the shadows. "It's time to come back. You've been letting things slide, Graham." Lestrade corrects him. "Greg." Sherlock looks chagrinned. "Greg." Lestrade reaches out, puts his arms around a startled Sherlock and pulls him close. I laugh at Sherlock's discomfort, until I remember how physically wounded he must still be, then I cringe. We jump to a...
Sidebar: Remember, during Anderson and Lestrade's conspiracy theory scene, I said to stick a pin in something. It's time to unpin it. It was after Lestrade told Anderson, "Two years and the theories keep getting more stupid. How many more have you got for me today?" I claimed I didn't think this statement was meta-commentary from the writers about the fans. That may be an overstatement. I would imagine everyone involved in the show feels this way to some extent. The thing is, I also think Lestrade's line about the stupid theories also serves as some fans' commentary on the theories posited by the more imaginative (and sometimes the more rabid) among us. Confession: I am not a John Watson-like fan. Sherlock is not as central to my life (or even my leisure time) as it is to true-blue fans. I like it. I know it's smarter than me. I count on it to get the job done. As soon as I finished watching "The Empty Hearse" the first time, I started watching it for the second time because there's so much to it. When I got to this "Ooh, you bastard," scene, I saw myself. I saw my own reaction to this episode. I knew I'd been had, but was so glad the show was back, and as fun as ever, that it only took me a second to accept what I'd been given and acknowledge it matters less to me how Sherlock lives than it does that he lives, still.