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Episode 3.1, "The Empty Hearse"


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What Did You Think Of "The Empty Hearse"?  

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    • 10/10 Excellent
    • 9/10 Not Quite The Best, But Not Far Off
    • 8/10 Certainly Worth Watching Again.
    • 7/10 Slightly Above The Norm.
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The moment I think really gives Sherlock away for me is when John tells him to use his mind palace, and Sherlock eventually says "Maybe". The way he says it, and the fact that John is the one reminding him what to do, is very suspicious :)

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Do we know what really happened, even now?

 

I think a lot of people had it figured out pretty close to what Sherlock told Anderson, but everyone (like Anderson) has their little "wait a minute" quibbles.

 

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I'm coming pretty late to this episode party but wanted to add my thoughts.

 

I was pretty dismayed at all the tonal changes in this episode and so didn't really like it on my first viewing of it. But on subsequent views I really do like the episode a lot. Except for -

 

The pandering to fangirl/boy wishes wasted so much time that could have been spent more on something, anything really, else far more interesting.

 

I, too, had a hard time with the tube scene and Sherlock's seemingly flippant mood about it. But, then I watched it again and remembered that Sherlock is not good with emotion. He's a naive child in many respects when it comes to it. People who don't know how to cope with high levels of emotion sometimes revert to humor or laughter in an attempt to diffuse tension. I think, at least in part, this is what Sherlock did in this scene.

 

And he tried to do the same when he (very nervously and superbly played by BC) revealed himself in the restaurant to John. And that failed pretty miserably (what with John throwing multiple punches...)

 

My most favorite is always the Mycroft and Sherlock scenes. I loved their conversation and still hostile attitudes toward one another. Though for all I've always really believed that Mycroft does really love and care about his brother, how he could watch Sherlock being beaten in the beginning really bothers me. It would have been nice to see his eyes wince as a punch landed so we as the viewers understood that it was taking a lot for Mycroft not to intervene even if he was flippant in his conversation with Sherlock about it.

 

I even really liked the short and sweet Lestrade reunion scene.

 

Sherlock's parents are not at all what I envisioned. Not good. Not bad. Just. How could both boys turn out the way they did with such warm and loving parents. Doesn't jive in my head. Yet.

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:lol: @ "Substitute Sherlock".

 

Well done, and welcome to the forum, shashu10! :wave: Great way to make an entrance!

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Wow! Looks like there's been a bit of heated debate about emotions in this episode. I just thought I would toss my lot in, because I feel like this is a very important episode to establishing Sherlock's character and motivation for the rest of the series.

 

Now, while lots of things happen, for me, the focus of this episode is the relationship between Sherlock and John and the theme of reunion and forgiveness. Now, my focus is going to be mostly on Sherlock because I find his actions more interesting. Everything John does, while maybe not how I would react to everything, seems to be very 'normal' to me.

 

One thing I noticed about this episode was humour as a cover. This starts in the restaurant scene. Sherlock reveals himself to John and John is not pleased. John is very not pleased at all and I think it's pretty obvious both from the earlier conversation with Mycroft and from Sherlock's face he was not expecting this. Sherlock then tries to diffuse the situation with humour, but his eyes clearly read that he is upset and scared. John isn't accepting his apology. John is here in his new life and not eagerly accepting Sherlock back. The look in BC's eyes in this scene... it's just incredible in so many ways.

 

Sherlock shows many times in this series that he uses jokes to diffuse John into laughing at tense and/or emotional situations. Spoilers for TSoT and HLV.

 

The Sign of Three - He jokes about having been like a baby to John and Mary', so who needs practice, while John is in shock at the idea of Mary being pregnant

His Last Vow - Faced with the emotions of saying goodbye, and having said aloud it would likely be his last time seeing John Watson, Sherlock's big reveal is that, well... Sherlock is a girl's name.

 

 

And John does not forgive Sherlock then. There is clearly still tension between them that they are ignoring. This becomes really apparent to me in the scene where John asks if Sherlock's parents knew that he wasn't dead. Yet again, this is a time where Sherlock apologizes. Not once, but twice here, and the second time is clearly very sincere and also very questioning. It's not just "I'm sorry," but also, "Can you forgive me?"

 

So then, we move to the train scene Oh, the train scene. The more I watch this scene the more I just want to curl up and cry with a nice glass of wine. While I do think there is calculation on Sherlock's part in this scene, I don't think either of them are behaving idiotic or cruelly at any point. They go down to the tubes and are presented with a moment of true danger. Sherlock turns to John and tells him to go and John doesn't. I think this was a test on Sherlock's part and in this moment John chose him. He even mentions that John could have been happy with a long life with Mary and John reaffirms this, says he knows, but John has chosen in this moment to put his faith in Sherlock and John has chosen, overall on this night, to pursue that dangerous like -the two of us against the world- instead of a night in the suburbs with his fiance.

 

And now Sherlock knows John wants to forgive him, but John has trouble with this sort of stuff. WIth emotional things. Because there is a difference between between having a row where your friend denies you are friends and the emotion of forgiving someone for completely and utterly destroying your emotions for two years. We all saw the beginning of TRF, John was wrecked. He went back to therapy. I think Sherlock knows John well enough to see his friend's emotions and he even says himself he understand John's inability to express himself well in these situations. Desperation then becomes the easiest way to allow John to say what needs to be said, because John needs to say it and Sherlock needs to hear it. It is my opinion that when Sherlock is saying "I can't do this - I don't know how," he isn't talking about the bomb, but instead the strange tension that has been between them. They hit it off so well with such simplicity and were so close and how do you deal with a wedge shoved between you. Perhaps I'm colouring that with my own person experiences, but that is what I see in that moment clear as day.

 

And yes, the danger of the physical bomb is still there, but there is still the danger of wrong between them. 

 

And yes, Sherlock laughs and makes light of the situation after this, but he is diffusing the situation and making John laugh. Which he achieves. Sherlock laughs, but so does John. And Sherlock acts in such a callous way, the way he's always treated people - and everything is normal again. The wrong is gone. But was Sherlock being cruel? I don't think so. I think he was addressing the situation in the only way he could, since his previous apologies seemed to have never garnered the words he really needed, "I forgive you." And, in my opinion, these were also words John needed to say and I think Sherlock understood that. Because it can be just as hard trying to keep up upset and not knowing how to be normal again.

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Made a sketch of everything that happened in this episode. Thought I'd share it here.

http://shashu10.tumblr.com/image/73399369090

 

That -- was -- amazing!

 

Welcome to Sherlock Forum, shashu10!  :welcome:  (Now if you can just make a diagram for "His Last Vow," maybe I'll understand that episode too!)

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/>/>

 

 

Made a sketch of everything that happened in this episode. Thought I'd share it here.

http://shashu10.tumblr.com/image/73399369090

That -- was -- amazing!

 

Welcome to Sherlock Forum, shashu10! :welcome: (Now if you can just make a diagram for "His Last Vow," maybe I'll understand that episode too!)

Thanks Carol. I'll try. But with so much going on it'll be hard to fit everything on one page
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Umm -- I think I was joking!  Seriously, I wouldn't recommend that you try it, might mess up your brain!  :wacko:

 

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:lol: @ "Substitute Sherlock".

 

Well done, and welcome to the forum, shashu10! :wave: Great way to make an entrance!

 

Haha yeah I forgot his name. And thanks :)

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I just noticed something peculiar in the scene where Sherlock and Moriarty are all buddy-buddy on the roof (well, something else peculiar), and am wondering whether anyone knows what it might be?

 

When Sherlock is saying "This phone call," there's a small oddly-shaped orange object rising slowly in the background to our right.  Then when he's saying "leave a note," there's what appears to be a dark cord (presumably dangling from said object), still rising slowly till it's out of frame.

 

I was watching on my laptop this time, so the object wasn't very big on my screen, but all I can think of is an irregularly-shaped orange helium balloon with a thick dark string.   :huh:   Odd.

 

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Sherlock turns to John and tells him to go and John doesn't. I think this was a test on Sherlock's part and in this moment John chose him. He even mentions that John could have been happy with a long life with Mary and John reaffirms this, says he knows, but John has chosen in this moment to put his faith in Sherlock and John has chosen, overall on this night, to pursue that dangerous like -the two of us against the world- instead of a night in the suburbs with his fiance.

I actually prefer John's explanation for why he doesn't leave: because there won't be time for him to get far enough before the bomb goes off and then he would be killed anyway. He only had a choice of where to die - and still a fleeting hope that they would deactivate the bomb yet ("if we don't do this, other people will die"). I do believe that if he could have done so with a realistic chance of survival, he would have run (and probably knocked Sherlock out and dragged him along, too).

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I actually prefer John's explanation for why he doesn't leave: because there won't be time for him to get far enough before the bomb goes off and then he would be killed anyway. He only had a choice of where to die - and still a fleeting hope that they would deactivate the bomb yet ("if we don't do this, other people will die"). I do believe that if he could have done so with a realistic chance of survival, he would have run (and probably knocked Sherlock out and dragged him along, too).

 

 

Oh, I think John's explanation is perfectly correct for John. I think I mentioned, but I'm not sure how well it came through in my rambling, that I was looking at everything for more of Sherlock's edge. Sort of his reasoning on the situation, not so much John's, as John's seemed to be very in line with what was stated outright.

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I just noticed something peculiar in the scene where Sherlock and Moriarty are all buddy-buddy on the roof (well, something else peculiar), and am wondering whether anyone knows what it might be?

 

When Sherlock is saying "This phone call," there's a small oddly-shaped orange object rising slowly in the background to our right.  Then when he's saying "leave a note," there's what appears to be a dark cord (presumably dangling from said object), still rising slowly till it's out of frame.

 

I was watching on my laptop this time, so the object wasn't very big on my screen, but all I can think of is an irregularly-shaped orange helium balloon with a thick dark string.   :huh:   Odd.

 

There is a construction work behind them and that orange thing is just a part of the crane. I made a screenshot.

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Oooh, yes, great screenshot, Earendil! I thought that was a kite or something before I saw your pic.

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Thanks, Earendil!  That is indeed the object I was talking about.

 

I must be looking at it wrong, though, because I still don't see the crane.  (I assume you added the circle?)  Probably seeing it in motion again would help.  Will watch this scene with that in mind, next time.

 

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Crane hook, Carol. This thing:

 

Kranhaken_Terrier.jpg

 

only more orange.

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Hmm, yeah, could be.  Just watched this episode again tonight on the big TV (before seeing Martina's post), and still didn't see anything connected to the orange object except for the dark line dangling below it -- but those cables in the close-up photo are pretty thin, so they might not show from a distance.

 

Wonder if the DVD commentary will have anything to say about it?

 

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Thanks, Earendil!  That is indeed the object I was talking about.

 

I must be looking at it wrong, though, because I still don't see the crane.  (I assume you added the circle?)  Probably seeing it in motion again would help.  Will watch this scene with that in mind, next time.

 

Yes, I added the red circle. Martina is right, it's a crane hook (I didn't even know how it was called in Hungarian). 

I don't think it's important, it just happened to be there when they shot this scene for TEH. 

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Right, I very much doubt that it's at all important in the story, since that scene never really happened anyhow.  I was just curious, wondering whether they knew it was in frame.

 

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Sure is - and welcome to the forum, Ivegotablanket! :wave:

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