Sherlock S03E02 – The Sign of Three

 

Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) returned Sunday eve for the 2nd episode in the always too short 3 episode seasons of BBC’s fantastic series Sherlock.

Steve Thompson, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat penned this week’s episode, which sees John Watson marrying Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington), and puts Sherlock in the uncomfortable position of being best man, something he never saw as a possibility.

While the trio work on putting wedding details together, Watson looks for a case, and Holmes worries over the upcoming ceremony. This leads into something I truly love about this 3rd series so far… Mary gets their relationship, she understands it, and encourages it. It’s really something to watch.

As the wedding draws closer, Holmes worries about his speech, but once he gets going, it’s really something…

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It also serves as a backdrop for Sherlock to tell tales about he and Watson’s adventures, one, the locked-door murder of an elite soldier, Bainbridge (Alfred Enoch), that has left him stumped. There’s a hint of one literally involving an elephant in the room, and anther featuring a case where Holmes and Watson end up drunk trying to solve a case.

Sherlock uses these stories to illustrate what a great person Watson is, and how profoundly he’s affected Holmes’ life. But as the stories progress, Holmes, whose mind never stops working, has begun to put it all together, and realizes that there’s the very high probability that someone at the wedding is going to be murdered.

Tied in with that are some truly fun, and character friendly moments, Holmes writing a waltz for the Watsons’ first dance, the fact that Mary knows whenever Sherlock is lying to her, and the Maid of Honor uses Holmes’ deductive skill to find the right man for her.

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There are lots of fun fan moments this time around, but nowhere near as crowded with them as last week’s episode. This one finds a better balance between the humor we’ve come to expect as fans, but also a story. I got a real kick out of the sequence that featured Holmes’ drunk perception of everything around him, and this time, his usual acuity is eclipsed by his drunkenness to hilarious effect.

There’s also a brilliant bit where Holmes is conducting an interview, and we see it in his mind as he questions each of his subjects. He is aided and interrupted by the image of his brother Mycroft (Gatiss) as well as a quick appearance by Irene Adler (Lara Pulver).

The down side is, we are now on the far side of the season, only one episode left, next Sunday… His Last Vow.

Unlike the last moments of last week’s episode, where we got the hint that someone is watching everything that our duo are up to, there is nothing this time around to set up the final episode of the season. No doubt we’ll be left with a manner of cliffhanger that will leave us salivating for me.

What do you think of the season so far?

Sherlock airs on the BBC Sunday nights.

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