The Empty Hearse" (what a dreadful Sherlockian pun!), the long-awaited (two years!) first episode of Season III of the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series Sherlock aired last night and we were both dismayed and angered by it. It was so bad, we thought, that it seemed as if it had been written by some fan-fiction moron. Turns out we weren't far wrong about that. We later learned that the episode's writer, Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss, was in fact, and with a sly and slightly malicious twinkle in his eye, actually paying, um, tribute to the mostly preposterous speculations by the series's more vocally vociferous wanna-be-a-detective fans on how Holmes, although now "officially" declared dead, had actually survived unscathed after his leap from that stories-high rooftop at the end of the last episode of Series II ("The Reichenbach Fall"). We're embarrassed to confess we just didn't get that at all our first time through this episode and actually bought whole the very first preposterous speculation which opened "The Empty Hearse" as being offered by Gatiss in earnest as an explanation of how Holmes survived his death-certain leap unscathed and it so poisoned our perception of this episode that it blinded us to everything that followed. After we were made aware of what was really going on here we re-watched the episode and indeed found it to be truly great fun — as a one-off, that is. We fervently hope Sherlock's writers will not in future make a habit of this sort of episode. Once is quite sufficient, thank you.