I'm hoping to avoid spoilers for those who haven't seen Season Three, Episode 1 of the BBC's reboot of the Sherlock Holmes franchise, but smart people will figure it out anyway, so read at your own risk.
According to the show mythology, it's been two years since Sherlock plunged from the top of St. Bart's. Has it really been that long?
I've lost track of time. The span between my sociopathic detective's jump and the airing of The Empty Hearse, was, for me, an eternity of slow-burning anxiety that one or both stars (or God-forbid, the writers) would die pursuing other projects, and I'd never know for sure if or how Sherlock survived.
TT: It might be argued that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman exposing themselves on other projects was good sense for their acting careers, but it should not be argued in front of me as it could result in a serious throat injury. I boycotted Firefly because it pulled Joss Whedon away from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and all three died as a result. My loyalty is fierce, but it must be reciprocated. It could also be argued that neither the presence of BC nor the direction of J.J. Abrams could save Star Trek: Into Darkness from a fatal case of the utterly predictable, so BC should have stayed at Baker Street where his snark makes me happy. As I am boycotting The Hobbit for numerous reasons, including the delay in new Sherlock episodes, I won't comment on the wisdom of MF's decision.
Back to Sherlock.
I haven't decided if the writers cheated. This is a huge issue for me. My suspension of disbelief is well-exercised, and I can give a lot of slack to those who have appeased me in the past, but they walked that line pretty close last night. Was the truth revealed? It was plausible, but hardly satisfying. I don't mind the writers not telling me the truth (yet), as long as a truth exists (and I hear it eventually). I find the current solution rather machina ex deus, and not at all as big a role for Molly Hooper as I was led to expect (an expectation that remains possible considering Sherlock's treatment of her on his return). In short, I'm not convinced I've been given all the facts, and I'm really hoping I'm right.
TT: I am thrilled the first explanation was not all it seemed, 'cause I was ready to turn the TV off.
I must also say, as much as I love the self-absorbed Sherlock, the last three episodes have turned John from a friend and confidant to a whipping boy and lab rat. I am an extremely loyal friend, but even I have a limit of how much crap I will take before severing ties (with a complete and utter finality that earned me the name "Queen of Cut Off" in therapy class). Secretly dosing me with a fear-inducing drug to test your hypothesis, treating me like a second-rate citizen when I'm the only person who believes you, and, finally, hiding your actual "not-deadness" for two years because my grief is what makes the whole illusion real is crossing the line of acceptable friend behavior, even for a self-diagnosed sociopath.
Writers, restore some of John's dignity and worth in Sherlock's esteem, or you will lose me. You have two episodes.
Maybe three. I'm pretty loyal.