Dang it! I didn’t need another set of unrealistic wedding expectations! I already had Pinterest. I didn’t need “The Sign of Three.”
The whole episode takes place around John and Mary’s wedding, which had me worried for the first fifteen minutes or so. All the wedding plans, John’s asking Sherlock to be best man, Sherlock’s adorably awkward response–it’s all very cute and funny, but I didn’t want the episode to be just about that. I wanted a great mystery, too. I got one. It was slow in the unfolding, but totally worth it in the end.
First of all, let’s talk about some of the laughs. I swear, Sherlock is almost turning into a comedy. Some of the fun parts included Sherlock using his deductions to set up the maid of honour with a date; brief introductions to some, er, interesting-looking cases, like “The Elephant in the Room;” and Molly’s new boyfriend making a hopeless attempt to be Sherlock. The funniest scene, though, was when Sherlock and John get drunk (in a scientific fashion) and then try to solve a case. I was gasping.
But if this episode makes you laugh, it might also make you cry. The first part of Sherlock’s best man speech is so beautiful, and yet so perfectly Sherlockian, that it may have ruined all wedding speeches for me forever. I mentioned in my review of “The Empty Hearse” that the series 3 Sherlock is more human than before. In this episode I almost felt he was in danger of becoming too human.
But then he dropped an eyeball in his tea. And drank it. So I think we’re still okay.
I can’t reveal much about the mystery without giving away spoilers, but I can say that it was indeed a simplified version of “The Sign of Four”–with an important difference. It wasn’t the cleverest mystery Sherlock has produced (as creative as the murder method was, I’m not convinced it would work in real life), but the way all the details came together in the end was one of the more brilliantly-written moments on the show so far. When you watch it, watch carefully, because even the drunk scene is important.
Oh, and another thing to watch for–Dean Thomas! Apparently he’s picked up a Muggle job on the side. At least he still gets to wear a ridiculous uniform.
Though the tone of “The Sign of Three” was once again happy and light-hearted, it marks a rather sad turning point in Sherlock’s life. Now that Watson’s married and Sherlock is alone again at Baker Street, it’s unlikely their friendship will stay the same. As, indeed, it didn’t in the original stories. Knowing Steven Moffat and his minions, I doubt the next episode will be so pleasant. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait quite as long this time for the cliffhanger to be resolved.