4 stars mainly because the humor was amusing and the fact that Sherlock is back. The slo mo and stop and go - don't know the technical word for it - directorial choices is so distracting to the point of annoyance. It seems he was trying out all of these nifty things to do with this fancy camera, completely neglecting the fact that he should be telling a story.
I can't believe how mean and disrespectful the show has become to its fan base via the Anderson character. Also, how the show decides to gut any development Molly could have by making her boyfriend a cheap gag is incredibly frustrating, but I guess the writers decided they should only have one good female character in its main cast and you know, wife takes priority.
Sherlock is back and all is well in the world. Or at least TV world, I dunno. The storyline was all over the place and it was too meta for my taste, sure it's the best thing on TV but by Sherlock standards it's 'just' good. Let's move on and forget about his 'death' and focus on Mary and the new villain.
It's insulting how they just won't stop outdoing themselves. It's insulting how brilliant and thrilling and silly and emotional this episode was. More importantly, it's insulting we had to wait 2 years for this, but, goddamn, was it worth the wait.
My vote for best-written episode yet, with layers of reflexivity both obvious and subtle. Doesn't tip into fan-service somehow - or maybe it did, and I don't care. The writers' struggle between gratifying the "how'd he do its" and the "let's move ons" is made manifest in clever ways. HOWEVER, ep is padded with s1 directorial bullshit: wacky graphics overlaid on Sherlock, shitty map scenes when people travel. Oh well.
It was okay- Not the best nor worst. But did we really need a WHOLE episode to tie up "how he did it?" Also, I am convinced that shot of Anderson losing his mind at the end was filmed specifically to make memes and Tumblr gif sets.
5 - This episode's introduction of Amanda (who was, up until the finale, the albatross around this show's figurative neck) was somewhat offset by a strong finale and a promise of greater things to come. The amount of fanservice was pretty aggravating, though.