Finally, finally, Sherlock is back. After two years of waiting, and some rather uncomfortable recent fandom controversies, the BBC has decided to tease the upcoming third season with a seven-minute mini-episode titled “Many Happy Returns.”
The minisode takes place during the gap between the two seasons, while Sherlock is still technically “dead.” Judging by Watson’s lack of girlfriend and moustache, it’s relatively early on, perhaps only a few months after Sherlock’s supposedly fatal Reichenbach Fall.
One major development is that the previously loathsome character Anderson has transformed from being a thorn in Sherlock’s side to being his biggest fan. Convinced that Sherlock is still alive and solving cases across the globe, Anderson shares his conspiracy theories with Inspector Lestrade—who is far from convinced. Much like some scenes in the upcoming episode itself, it’s a tacit acknowledgement of the many fan theories that have sprung up since Sherlock “died” back in January 2012.
The good news is, this new minisode is awesome. Even (dare we even say it) better than most of the recent Doctor Who minisodes. Which is just as well, considering the fact that Sherlockians have been waiting almost two years for some new canon to show up. It’s a great teaser for the new series, perfectly capturing the anticipation felt by Sherlock fans the across the globe. Plus, Johnlock shippers are sure to be over the moon. Not only do they get a tear-jerking scene where John watches an old video message from Sherlock while drinking a stereotypical glass of Sad Male Hero whiskey, but there’s also a subtle hint that Sherlock wanted John to like him as soon as they first met.
In the video, Sherlock talks about how he often smiles and winks to seem more “human” and to make people like him, and as some eagle-eyed Sherlock fans have already pointed out… Sherlock smiled and winked at John when they first met. Somewhat tenuous, perhaps, but Sherlock fandom has survived on less in the past.
The new episode doesn’t air until January, but seven minutes of new content is probably enough to keep Sherlock fans going until then.
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