One theory with the episodes is that stories like The Lions Mane will be used because it’s just Sherlock, no John. Could work? Opinion?
I take it that theory is from the “oh no what if they don’t have Sherlock come back until the third episode and the first two episodes are Sherlock and John doing things on their own” camp?
Not gonna happen.
We already know that Gatiss is writing the first episode of Series 3, and that it’s based on The Adventure of the Empty House. That’s the story in which Holmes returns. Further, Gatiss has even said a little bit about about how he’s going to write John’s reaction to Sherlock’s return. It’s happening, and it’s happening in the first episode.
That’s not to say they couldn’t throw Lion’s Mane in Series 3 somewhere if they felt like it, but it wouldn’t be because they’re trying to stall.