This post brought to you by "The Boys are Back" by DKM (much like season three opener of "Spartacus: War of the Damned").
Warning: Spoiler Alert
I'm going to say right off the bat that I do not trust any of the explanations as to how Sherlock survived (up to and including his own). The first two were ones thought up by people who didn't really understand him, and the one he gave had the feeling of being something that he thought that people might think was somewhat logical ... or at least enough so that they would stop asking him questions and let him get on with his life.
Not only that, I don't think that anything that happened in this episode actually happened. I have the feeling that I'm going to headcanon whatever happens in the series from now on (and really starting with the very end of "The Reichenbach Fall") as being inside of John's mind. In my headcanon, he's so torn up by what happened to Sherlock (the one real connection that he's made since coming back from Afghanistan) that he can't handle it. As a result, he's created this fantasy where Sherlock is really alive (the "miracle" that he asked for), and the two of them are out and about solving cases again. Of course, the whole thing with Sherlock letting Anderson videotape his explanation ... I don't see why he would do that. The two of them never really got along (so, I don't see why they would now, despite Anderson now becoming the president of Sherlock's fan club). If he were really going to lay everything out for someone, it would have been John. I would actually have liked to see Anderson rewind the video so that we could see what was really on it (only to find out that there was nothing). And it seemed somewhat significant that after giving the explanation, Sherlock makes a hasty exit as soon as Anderson's back is turned; making me think even more that that scene (at least) didn't happen (since Anderson seemed like he needed to have something that made sense to him, but if too many questions were asked, he might have realized that the story that was told didn't make as much sense as he thought at first).
I'm glad that this episode was spent mostly in getting the boys to make up, and less in the Guy Fawkes mystery that was going on. And even while there's probably only so many ways that they could have taken the story if they were going to use a Guy Fawkes plot to blow up the government, I couldn't help thinking of V for Vendetta and expecting to see V inside of the subway car.
And speaking of the subway car ... the switch on the bomb ... it felt like a rather cheap and anti-climactic way for them to get out of the situation that they were in. If Sherlock had really called the police before they headed out (since we didn't see him do it after they left 221b), why couldn't he have made sure that the bomb squad was also a part of the detail. He was sure that there was going to be a bomb in the subway, and he's supposed to be clever ... so, why not have the people who know how to stop a bomb at hand in case one is found? It isn't as though Lestrade wouldn't have listened to him if he rang and said, "ZOMG! We totes need the bomb squad! Stat!" It just gave me one more reason to headcanon this all as being part of John's "I need a Sherlock shaped miracle."
I kind of loved the fact that Mary liked Sherlock (another thing that makes me want to headcanon the whole thing, seeing as how people don't take to him that quickly ... and it seems like something that John might imagine: giving himself someone to love, who also happened to be keen on the other most important person in his life), and I do have the feeling that he's going to like her as well (if for only that she loves John so much, but also cuz she seems pretty sharp and willing to jump right in with their investigations when it's needed). Normally I don't care for people associate in RL with the actors in the shows I like getting parts on the shows; it feels a bit too much like cheating and not necessarily the best thing for the show itself (like I'm still rather iffy about Seamus Dever's RL wife playing his character's wife on "Castle"), but I rather liked the interactions between Martin Freeman and his RL partner (who played Mary). There was a comfortability there between the two of them that I think was needed for the characters at that moment in time, what with Mark Gatiss (the writer of the episode) trying to show how much of a struggle it still was for John with what had happened to Sherlock, and him having someone who was truly and unconditionally there for him. And then, when I found out that Benedict Cumberbatch's parents played Sherlock's parents, I got a bit more glee out of that scene with them; mostly at the thought of how much fun it must have been for him to do that scene.
Also with the love? The fact that every time that Sherlock got flippant with him in the beginning of the episode, John ended up trying to beat the hell out of him ... and the fact that they ended up scaling down in the eatery that they were in. Oh, boys. Never change.