The Empty Hearse

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: A- | 658 USERS: A-
I Don't Shave For Sherlock Holmes

Mary and Sherlock get another message. "Stay of execution. You've got two more minutes."

Back at the fire, Zoe's father has returned with some gasoline. She tells him Guy Fawkes doesn't like this. Her father ignores her concerns, and warns Zoe to stay back as he douses the wood with the fuel.

Another message comes in over Mary's phone. "What a shame Mr. Holmes. John is quite a Guy!" As Sherlock takes it in, he notices the bonfire starting and realizes what it all means. He and Mary hop off the bike and run to the bonfire. Zoe is there, still the only one not oblivious to John's cries for help. When Sherlock and Mary arrive on the scene, Sherlock Holmes walks, crawls and digs through the fire for John Watson, and he always will. Sherlock has earned back John's friendship, without a thought to himself.

The next day at 221B Baker Street, Sherlock closes his eyes as an older couple prattles at him about a missing lottery ticket. They're played by Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton, who are Benedict Cumberbatch's real parents. It's not revealed until John Watson arrives, but they're also the parents of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes. They're also lovely, personable and oh so normal. Sherlock, of course, acts the spoiled, impatient, dismissive brat. When John does arrive, Sherlock hustles his parents out the door, and thinks he's escaped clean, until John asks if they're clients. Sherlock says, "Just my parents." They're in town because Mycroft promised to take them to Les Miz, and now wants to weasel out of it. Like me, John can't get over how ordinary they are. A lot of fans seem upset that the parents are shown at all (they never appear in the books), and that they're so ordinary, but I was charmed by them even before I learned the actors are Benedict's parents. John, of course, asks if the folks also knew Sherlock was alive. I think this question is a bit beneath him. They're Sherlock's parents, after all.

The men catch up on John's clean-shaven face before the talk turns to John's adventure the previous night. When John asks if his abduction could be related to the terrorist plot Sherlock is investigating, the pieces start to come together. He mentions that one of his markers is acting suspiciously. John recognizes the face in the photo. Sherlock tells him it's Lord Moran, a peer of the realm who has been working for North Korea since the mid '90s. "He's the big rat. Rat number one. And he's just done something very suspicious, indeed."

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