The opening episode - The Six Thatchers - has certainly split the room. Some loathe it and some love it.
I'm in the middle, there were things I liked and disliked. However this is certainly a return to the standard of series 1 and 2 after the sheer weirdness of series 3.
What we have is a blend of The Six Napoleons and The Sign of Four. Mary's back story is finally fleshed out and that is the main purpose of this episode. Her story is fleshed out just in time for her to be taken out - yes she dies.
The breaking of the Thatcher busts is nicely handled and feels suitably menacing but, ultimately, this is all about Mary's exit - everything else is a sideshow.
I confess to being glad that Mary is gone. I found the character a distraction and I think her demise and the return of the series to earlier form are connected.
It was amusing to see the online fandom implode as John started, what I assume was, a text only relationship with a woman on a bus. This could be just one of those things or she could be some part of a plot - I tend to assume the latter.
Ultimately this episode was really one huge wedge. A series of events designed to put a trust issue between Sherlock and John that will no doubt be exploited by the enemy over the next two episodes.
I look forward to seeing how this develops.
Written by Alistair Duncan Buy my books here