Okay, slight general spoilers so perhaps I should put in a
Breathing is not boring. Really. Coming out of that, it's a full time job.
Parts seemed like fan-service. Parts seemed overly kitschy. But Moffat being Moffat, he handled most of that through pure trollery.
And yet, the episode still left me breathless in tears. It should be impossible to be this blown away and overwhelmed by something there's been such a build-up to. Really, it simply shouldn't work.
The episode is definitely different. Sherlock has finally grown up a bit, and he's lost some of that love-to-hate quality, the sheer manipulativeness. And John is a little less long-suffering, a little less of the sidekick and more of a partner. He's getting married, he's moving on, he's not just going to be in Sherlock's shadow which is brilliant... but different. Will take getting used to.
And I'm not blind to the faults. The humor wasn't as authentic. The ending was too convenient. The trolling was obviously trolling and while much better than if the scenes had been authentic (really, that first sequence?), after a while it was just a bit too confusing.
I'll probably have more to say once I've slept and watched it again and become at least somewhat coherent.
ETA #1: And... damn, that chess game that turned out to be "Operator." And the "How would you know?" comment. And Anderson's whole solution to how Sherlock died. And...
We can't giggle, it's a new episode. This is getting increasingly more awesome the longer I try to sit here with it.
ETA #2: I knew Moffat shot fake scenes to mislead people and control spoilers. I didn't know he was going to put them in the actual episode. Yet another thing for the list of stuff that really shouldn't work and yet... *bounces*
#TA #3: One last bit before I try to get some sleep. I'm very pleased I predicted Mycroft's role in his brother's "death," and that his whole interactions with Moriarty from the end of Baskerville on a set-up. As if the episode wasn't enough of a treat, that makes a lot of sense of how I was interpreting series two.
Right. Sleep. Tomorrow, which is today, will soon be here.