The Empty Hearse



Critic Consensus: Despite being bogged down by too many twists and turns, Sherlock returns with an episode full of captivating moments that will thrill die-hard fans and newcomers alike.

Episode Info

In the third-season opener, Holmes returns two years after his "death" to find that Watson has moved on and is about to become engaged. Meanwhile, a terrorist attack that threatens London is uncovered, and Mycroft asks for Sherlock's help to stop it.


Benedict Cumberbatch
as Sherlock Holmes
Martin Freeman
as Dr. John Watson
Rupert Graves
as Detective Inspector Lestrade
Una Stubbs
as Mrs. Hudson
Vinette Robinson
as Sgt. Sally Donovan
Andrew Scott
as Jim Moriarty
Show More Cast

The Empty Hearse Photos

Critic Reviews for The Empty Hearse

This was the triumphant return of the most charismatic, most fun character on British television, played by Cumberbatch with insouciant verve. Sherlock wasn't flawless but it was brilliant.

Feb 17, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

There's an undeniable playfulness that pervades this premiere. But in the process, has the show become almost too self-aware?

Apr 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Throughout the episode, there's plenty of the kind of moments we've come to love about this series, both with certain visual and stylistic cues, although it still feels surprisingly new and viewer friendly.

Apr 10, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Like any good episode of television, The Empty Hearse added just as many questions as the ones it answered, leaving us wondering heaps heading into episode two.

Apr 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Nowhere is acting this sharp yet effortless, editing so precise yet loose-enough feeling, plotting so gleeful, and dialogue so sparkling. NOWHERE.

Apr 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Even by Sherlockian standards, this is an incredibly funny installment, and it seems harsh to begrudge the more invested fans their moments when there's so much genuine comedy left over for the abject newcomer.

Apr 9, 2019 | Full Review…

Sherlock's return was perfectly satisfying in nearly every way.

Apr 9, 2019 | Full Review…

The question of humanity or a lack thereof has always been central to Benedict Cumberbatch's take on Holmes, and what Sherlock's nimble, thrilling third series premiere makes clear is just how startlingly human its protagonist has become.

Apr 9, 2019 | Full Review…

The greatest satisfaction of this thoroughly satisfying season opener was confirmation that Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss knows us fans better than we know ourselves.

Apr 9, 2019 | Full Review…

Sherlock fans have had two years to concoct theories of Holmes' survival, and to build up the show's return into an even grander event than usual... The Empty Hearse, crumbles under that pressure.

Apr 9, 2019 | Full Review…