Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Louise Brealey, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Scott, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves

Sherlock’s stellar third season begins with a departure from the show’s satisfying case-by-case form. There is, after all, the issue of Sherlock’s apparent suicide to deal with. The episode opens with John tearfully pleading with Sherlock's grave ("Don't be dead"), while Sherlock’s fan base theorizes on how the detective might have faked his own death, a knowing elbow nudge to what the show’s own fans have been doing on its hiatus. The show continues on with the meta commentary, not-so-subtly winking at Sherlock’s actual fans with the hashtag #Sherlocklives, a Twitter trending topic fictional and real fans alike participate in. While Sherlock contends with his newfound fame, IRL, Cumberbatch does the same (Cumerbitches is a thing now, after all).

The season sees a number of series-altering plot points: Holmes’ marriage to Mary, Mary shooting Sherlock and being revealed as an assassin, and the finale’s shocking reveal that Moriarty might be alive. But none trump the reveal we've all been waiting for: Sherlock loves Watson. Sherlock may tout himself as a "high-functioning sociopath," but over the course of the season his once unyielding facade reveals a tenderness towards his partner in crime.

Sherlock is notably less callous, and it's a bittersweet development, like when the bad boy you've been dating finally lets you in, revealing he's human, which makes him ordinary, boring almost. The revelation is strangely disappointing, but despite his increasingly sappy declarations for Watson, Sherlock's intrigue remains thoroughly in tact. Color us Cumberbitches...for life.Shanté Cosme