Sherlock (2010– )
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The Empty Hearse 

Mycroft calls Sherlock back to London to investigate an underground terrorist organization.



, (based on the works of) (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Howard Shilcott
Bonfire Dad
Trixiebell Harrowell ...
Zoe (as Trixiebelle Harrowell)
Lovelace Akpojaro ...
Reporter 1 (as Lace Akpojaro)


Two years after the devastating effects of The Reichenbach Fall, Dr John Watson has got on with his life. New horizons, romance and a comforting domestic future beckon; but, with London under threat of a huge terrorist attack, Sherlock Holmes is about to rise from the grave with all the theatricality that comes so naturally to him. It's what his best friend wanted more than anything, but for John Watson it might well be a case of 'be careful what you wish for'. If Sherlock thinks everything can be just as he left it though, he's in for a very big surprise. Written by BBC

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

19 January 2014 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The title of this episode reflects that of the first story in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, which tells of Holmes' first re-appearance after confronting Moriarty at The Reichenbach falls and apparently dying, and was called "The Adventure of the Empty House" See more »


When Sherlock examines the body in the cellar (41:21) He misses the fact that this "body" is probably a skeleton robbed from a School or University. As can be clearly seen on the hand of the skeleton where individual bones of the fingers are held together with iron wires. See more »


Dr. John Watson: One word, Sherlock, that is *all* I would have needed! One word to let me know that you were alive!
Sherlock Holmes: I've nearly been in contact so many times, but... I worried that, you know, you might say something indiscreet.
Dr. John Watson: What?
Sherlock Holmes: Oh, you know, let the cat out of the bag.
Dr. John Watson: Oh, so this is *my* fault?
Mary Morstan: [Mary starts laughing] Oh, God.
Dr. John Watson: Why am I the only one who thinks that this is wrong? The only one reacting like a human being.
Sherlock Holmes: Overreacting.
Dr. John Watson: [Yelling] Overreacting!
Mary Morstan: John!
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Crazy Credits

During the credits, individual letters are coloured red. Together they spell Weng Chiang. See more »


References V for Vendetta (2005) See more »


¿Dónde Estás, Yolanda?
Written by Pink Martini
Performed by Pink Martini
[Played when John and Mary dine together]
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User Reviews

Way too much style; way too little substance.
27 January 2014 | by (Middleburg, VA) – See all my reviews

I have re-watched Seasons 1 and 2 numerous times. I enjoy them each time. This episode however is wasteful of what has been built to date. I understand they are introducing a new villain, but less than 1/5 of the plot is about that. This episode is about the cult of personality, really, and if this is the new direction, I will be very, very sad because I have no interest in that; I can watch numerous other ...stuff to see celebrities enamored with themselves. The reason Spock/Sherlock Holmes (and yes, maybe even House) has been so successful is that even if/when elements of humanity emerged, it really was in service of something. Understand Spock not Holmes, but the reason people watch these guys is because they represent clarity in the face of adversity; a path to justice and ultimately a path to humanity based on service and loyalty aided by the gift of their respective "eccentricities". They are archetypes because they rise above. This Holmes is NOT Conan Doyle's Holmes. A sadistic Holmes torturing Watson about a bomb - gleefully - does not track, not even for this updated Holmes. It is spiteful, not fun or based on fundamental respect. It is not in service of the plot as are his usual misdirections, disguises, etc. The storyline with Anderson - Huh? I understand about saving face and religious conversions but this smacks of wanting to elevate the character that writers have already gone to lengths to discredit and viewers have come to disrespect. All I see in this episode is the writer and director; the manipulation too egregious for me.

Anyway, friends to whom I had recommended this series watched, then called perplexed when they viewed this episode. I had to back peddle and point them to starting at the beginning. The shortcomings of this episode are the writer's and director's. I have bought the season on iTunes and am downloading The Sign of Three now. Will see how this one goes but I truly hope The Empty Hearse is an aberration in this excellent - as in driven by excellence - series. I have nothing but respect for the creators' and participants' storytelling skills and will hang with them as long as I can, but to me this presentation has represented a cut below what has gone before. Please do not let Holmes sink into just another personality. He has survived for a long time because he is so clearly drawn, so ...elemental.

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