The Sherlock series 3 premiere episode “The Empty Hearse” was a kitchen sink homage to every corner of that show’s fandom. From Mycroft and Sherlock bickering over a game of Operation to Moriarty and Sherlock sharing a fan fiction-inspired intimate moment on the roof of St. Barts, there was a “squee” moment for everyone.
But extra special attention was paid to fans of the Sherlock Holmes/Molly Hooper pairing — Sherlolly, for short — and boy, do we have feelings about this episode.
The opening sequence showed a resolution to Sherlock’s Reichenbach fake-out that would have made James Bond hang up his tuxedo. After leaping off the building attached to a giant bungee cord, Sherlock snaps back up, crashes through a window, and sweeps Molly off her feet with an epic, tow-curling kiss. Related: that moment where Benedict Cumberbatch shook out his coat, ruffled that glorious hair, and stalked towards Louise Brealey was probably gif-ed faster than Tumblr has ever gif-ed anything before. The sequence is soon revealed to be a product of the now insane Philip Anderson’s imagination. But, when Sherlock visits him to share the “real,” slightly less dramatic story, Anderson writes it off because he knows that he would be the very last person to whom Sherlock would tell the whole truth. So that means we can accept the first scenario as canon, right? Right.
Why else would Molly assume that Sherlock summons her to Baker Street to invite her to dinner, and not to “solve crimes”? (Not very forthcoming with that engagement information there, huh, Molly?) Regardless, they do go out on a few cases together. They share some knowing looks, reach the same deductions at the same times, and, when Molly asks what John would do in a situation, Sherlock replies, “You’re not being John, you’re being yourself.” He tells her the day was to thank her for what she did for him and tells her that Moriarty’s greatest mistake was assuming that Molly meant nothing to Sherlock. “The one person he thought didn’t matter to me was the one person that mattered the most.” He notices her ring and congratulates her (with a hint of melancholy, perhaps?). Of course, Molly’s fiance just happens to be a tall, curly-haired bloke who’s fond of scarves and coats with high collars.
Call us illogical, but if the once friendless Sherlock Holmes has built himself an unconventional family, then couldn’t he maybe feel romantic affection as well? That’s character development, people.