The Empty Hearse

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: A- | 659 USERS: A-
I Don't Shave For Sherlock Holmes

John's office. Mary is his nurse, and his first patient has an undescended testicle. These sorts of cases are hardly a challenge for a combat surgeon, never mind the danger-hungry associate of the world's first consulting detective.

We jump back and forth between the surgery and 221B Baker Street. Mrs. Hudson asks Sherlock if he's tried talking to John. Sherlock says John made his position clear. We jump back to the surgery, where John is putting on a glove. Only his middle finger is extended. Ha. Back at 221B, Mrs. Hudson asks what John said. Sherlock says, "F."

"Cough," John tells his patient. Most of the cuts back and forth feature cleverness like that. It plays better on screen than it ever would transcribed. Somewhere in there, Molly arrives at 221B. She assumes he's going to ask her to dinner, but Sherlock has asked her to help on some cases. She knows she's being Sherlock's "John," even though he denies this. The first involves Mr. and Mrs. Harcourt and their mysteriously empty bank account. Sherlock looks at Harcourt for mere seconds before spotting that the man is engaged in an affair, and he's the one who has drained their funds.

Meanwhile, John is treating a patient for piles (hemorrhoids). Oh.

Back at 221B Sherlock deduces that Mr. Windibank posed as his stepdaughter's online lover and broke off their relationship so that she'd remain at home and he'd still have her wages coming in.

At the surgery, John treats a patient so ridiculous that he's sure it is Sherlock in disguise. In fact, he just about assaults the man by tugging at his beard, ripping off his hat and pulling his hair before he realizes this is just a strange old man. I suspect John diagnoses himself with a case of wishful thinking.

Greg Lestrade is now with Sherlock and Molly. He tears down the crime scene tape and leads them into a building, as he says the case has baffled the police. Molly holds her own with Sherlock as they look for clues, but Sherlock keeps hearing John's voice and responds to it, even though John is nowhere to be found. The case is Skeleton Mystery, touted on the front page of the paper Sherlock was reading in Mycroft's office. Lestrade is still keen on Molly and asks if this new partnership is a standing arrangement. He's dismayed to learn that John's no longer in the picture. Of course, Greg can't hear John's voice inside of Sherlock's head.

Toward the end of the investigation, Sherlock finds a book. On its cover is How I Did It, "By Jack the Ripper." Sherlock, with some clever work by Molly, and some insulting barbs from Imaginary John, has figured the whole thing out. "The corpse is six months old. It's dressed in a shoddy Victorian outfit from a museum. It's been displayed on a dummy for many years in a case facing southeast, judging from the fading of the fabric. It was sold off in a fire damage sale, a week ago. Greg says, "So the whole thing was a fake? Sherlock says it was and heads out of the room. When Molly wonders why someone would go to so much trouble to fake a crime, Sherlock answers, "Why indeed, John?" Aw.

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