Back for more? We knew you would be.

Two long years after season one, BBC’s “Sherlock” returned for a second season that was just as gripping as the first. Here are five more reasons to get in on the action.

Sherlock s2 Iren 2
(Sherlock: PBS)

01 Irene Adler

Laura Pulver joins the cast in season two as the ultimate femme fatale and the romantic interest of Sherlock, Irene Adler. In a spellbinding performance, Pulver is introduced as a dominatrix with a mind as dangerous as the whip she cracks. Irene has a talent for getting information out of her powerful clients. When she comes to possess scandalous pictures that could ruin the royal family, Sherlock is tasked with retrieving them. Irene does not make it easy for him.

Sherlock s2
(Sherlock: BBC America)

02 Tribute to the Original Stories

This series does a wonderful job weaving in the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories that make up the world of Sherlock Holmes. In season two, viewers see Sherlock and Watson investigate the “Hounds of Baskerville.” They are joined by Russell Tovey, who played a high-strung werewolf named George in BBC’s “Humans.” Choosing Tovey to play a young man terrified of what he believes to be rabid, man-eating wolves is a delightfully ironic casting choice.

03 Moriarty Is Back

One of the highlights of season two is the scene in which Moriarty creates wonderful mayhem. By using his criminal connections, he orchestrates the opening of a vault at the Bank of England as well as every cell in a London prison.

At the same time, he waltzes his way into the exhibit where the Crown Jewels are held. Then, he proceeds to leave a cryptic message for Sherlock on the glass of the case just before he smashes it. By the time security rushes in, Moriarty is sitting on the throne, clad in the royal robe and crown, looking fabulous.

Sherlock and John fight
(BBC America: Tumblr)

04 Exploring the Characters Further

Season two digs a bit deeper into the characters. Viewers learn more about Sherlock’s relationship with his brother, Mycroft, as well as his relationship with those around him. We see how much Sherlock cares for his and Watson’s plucky landlady, Mrs. Hudson, and we also see John calling Sherlock out on his behavior. The resulting fistfight in episode one is certainly hilarious, but it also gives us a taste of how close Sherlock and Watson have become. Unfortunately, the season ends by effectively shredding that bond.

Sherlock s23
(Sherlock: BBC America)

05 The Finale (Major Spoilers!)

The third episode, “The Reichenbach Fall,” might have been one of the most startling and heartbreaking finales for fans of British television in 2012. Throughout the season, Moriarty strings Sherlock along like a puppet by forcing those around Sherlock to question his accusations against the consulting criminal.

Sherlock finally must finally confront Moriarty in order to save his friends from being killed by henchmen. They meet on the rooftop of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where Sherlock believes that he has won the “game.” But he is wrong. Moriarty, who is the only one capable of calling off the attacks, tells Sherlock that he must commit suicide to save his companions.

Then, Moriarty proceeds to shoot himself in the head, thus ensuring that no one can stop the killers but Sherlock. With no other choice, Sherlock steps onto the ledge. He calls John, who is rushing back to Sherlock, and apologizes for being a fake. Then, just as John arrives across the street, Sherlock jumps to his death as John looks on in horror.

The season closes with John visiting Sherlock’s grave and asking him not to be dead. Little does he know that Sherlock, who is alive and well, hears him. Viewers see Sherlock watching John from out of sight before he walks away.

That is how the season ends. Sherlock walks away. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss deserve and award for packing so much emotional suffering into three episodes.

Want to watch them for yourself? Sherlock season two is currently available on Netflix.

Images courtesy of BBC America, PBS and BBC America’s official Tumblr.

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