Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sherlock Series 3 - The Sign of Three

Warning: Mild spoilers.

If I had one even slightly significant complaint for the first episode of the third series of Sherlock "The Empty Hearse" it would be concerning the lack of attention the mystery of the episode received. In that case, this review, for episode two, should be considerably shorter, because it was just as great as the first, but with the addition of a typically and aptly puzzling, involving mystery. Here, as per usual for this fantastic show, we're given enough information to figure it out ourselves, but we don't, and when all the separate elements of mystery fall into a connected pattern at the end we are wowed.

Although, to be fair to myself, I did figure out a couple of little things.

But that's not to say the rest of this episode was exactly like the giddy, fan-serving first episode. Not at all, in fact, this is probably the most unique Sherlock yet. It takes place entirely during John's wedding to Mary, mostly while Sherlock gives a long, and occasionally surprising best man speech, while flash-backs gradually fill in details, and the mystery blends together with equal parts of charming development for our beloved characters.

No so much these guys, but here's a picture of them anyway, so they won't be left out.

Sherlock and John's brotherly relationship is back in order now, and there's not anything else to add -- they're simply as great as ever. But Mary... I love Mary. I could go on and on about her. She's a wonderful and helpful and hopefully permanent addition to the crime-solving group. There is one thing in particular that I adore about her, that makes me wholeheartedly approve of her; she likes Sherlock, and, Sherlock likes her. It doesn't seem like it'd be a big deal, but after the train wreck that Mary was thrown out of in the latest Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes film, the fact that Mary and Sherlock not only tolerate, but actually enjoy each other just makes me giddy with fangirly happiness. This episode had a theme of Sherlock worrying about entering the status of third wheel, but honestly, those three fit together just as perfectly as they did as two, and if he does move out of their life, I might be annoyed because I can't see it making any kind of sense.

"We go together like rama lama lama..."

Snappy and stylish filming is everywhere in this episode. The moving freeze-frame of the bridal party captured the joyful moment splendidly, and the time-lapse of food disappearing was delicious-looking way to show time-progression. I loved the portrayal of Sherlock's mind palace as a courtroom as he converses with several people on the internet -- a brilliant and impressive look into his mind.

The scene where Mary plays John and Sherlock telling them separately that they should encourage the other to begin a case in order to get them out together is another great example of her amazing, playful character, and a very amusing scene. The disastrous stag party sequence is also very amusing as John and Sherlock get stupidly drunk and then attempt to go sleuthing, with much hilarity ensuing.

The new quintessential "Sherlock" hat?

And then things get serious with Sherlock continuing to grow more "human." It is an interesting curve-ball that I never saw coming, and continuing to grow boldly since the first sign of it in "The Empty Hearse" but always, staying within the character, to perfection. For a model example, notice the scene where Sherlock recounts the moment when John asks him to be his best man. And watching the way the character handles the change is almost as awesome as watching the actor supply it. Benedict Cumberbatch is a master at his art, leading this immaculately crafted show to amazing heights. Bravo!

Sherlock Holmes has never been more relatable.


  1. Apparently this episode has been quite divisive and I don't know why. Yes it's far from traditional but I find it so hilarious and such a touching love letter to John Watson that I don't understand how anyone couldn't love it. You've pointed out my favourite moments in this episode: Mary sending Sherlock and John out on a case and the stag party scene :) The Best Man speech is also wonderful. I had my head in my hands at first and I was thinking "Oh no, Oh no, this is going to be awful!" and then it turned around and became something quite beautiful. And I loved that Sherlock wasn't TRYING to give a touching speech to make the guests cry either. He's just stating what he believes to be facts.

    1. Yes, I loved how unique it was! And the mystery was good, and the character development was wonderful! Especially for Sherlock. Haha, I was worried too, he was off to a very rough start with the speech, and of course, it didn't end magnificently either, but at the high point it was awesome. "Did I do it wrong?" Who knew Sherlock could be so sweet? (Even if it wasn't intentional.) :D