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Sherlock Holmes, the consulting detective who gave the public a mystery to solve, is back. It has been two years since he left us with the conundrum of how he faked his own death. Now we finally get a concrete answer (pun intended).

Sherlock: Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock – Courtesy of © Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE

But first, a quick post-fall-from-the-St.-Bart’s-Hospital-roof recap.

Anderson (Jonathan Aris), no longer with the Met, has been insisting that Sherlock is alive and tracking mysterious events that, to him, indicate as much. Lestrade (Rupert Graves) is having none of it and heads off to give Watson, now living in a different flat, a box of Sherlock’s things, including a birthday video in which the sleuth wishes the doctor “Many Happy Returns.” Is the game back on? You betcha!

Sherlock returns to a London threatened with a terrorist attack in “The Empty Hearse.” Unaware of the pending disaster is Watson, who has moved past his mourning with his new flat (and mustache) and lady love, Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington, Mr. Selfridge, Case Histories), who works with him at his medical practice. How will Sherlock reintroduce his still-alive self to Watson? Comically.

Only Watson isn’t laughing. Neither are Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs) when they, too, discover that Sherlock is still among the living. How is he, though? That is what we and Anderson want to know. Instead of one explanation, we get three. Huh? Yes.

Mycroft is also vexed with Sherlock, but for other reasons. Aside from the usual sibling rivalry, the Holmes parents are in town visiting, and the terrorist attack on London is still looming…

Also in the offing is John and Mary’s wedding in “The Sign of Three.” Before the big day, though, is John’s stag night, which includes several rounds of drinks and a new client claiming to have dated an apparently dead man.

Ghost or no ghost, Sherlock is John’s best man, and thus must give a best man’s speech at the wedding. No mystery here, except there is, one that he and Watson must solve quickly in order to save someone’s life.

From wedding vows we move to “His Last Vow,” in which Sherlock meets his new nemesis: Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen, The Killing, Borgen). The man is positively skeevy. And frightening. A media mogul with the power to destroy people, he uses their secrets to blackmail them and to taunt Sherlock and Watson.

Not so new to Sherlock’s life, but much to Watson’s surprise, is Janine (Yasmine Akram, L.O.L., Peep Show), one of Mary’s bridesmaids. But that is not the only surprise in store for the detecting duo, and Magnussen knows what it is. And more.

Will Sherlock be able to stop Magnussen? Will Mycroft be able to stop Sherlock? What OMG cliffhanger do series co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have in store for us this time?

The third season of Sherlock is quite funny, rather unnerving and very clever, full of the humor, twists and turns we have all come to expect and relish. It premieres Sunday, 19 January, at 9:58 PM ET on PBS Masterpiece Mystery.

Available now on the PBS Video Portal are Season One and Season Two of Sherlock, which you can stream for free through the 19th for a series catch-up. Here are the links to each episode:

And for you tweeters, join @masterpiecepbs in the season premiere fun on Twitter with hashtag #SherlockPBS.



Sherlock Is Back with Season 3!