Sherlock Series 3 Episode 2 – ‘Sign of Three’

Sherlock

WHY DID THEY ONLY DO THREE EPISODES PER SERIES?! I WANT MORE! Contains spoilers.

Who is the best person to be best man? Sherlock, perhaps!? But when he struggles to write a good speech, he contacts Lestrade and asks for help. Lestrade comes to the flat, armed with backup and helicopters. Well, every little helps. John is marrying his fiancée, Mary (played by Freeman’s real-life partner, Amanda Abbington), and there is excitement all round although Sherlock isn’t so keen and he compares marriage to lethal injection.

Mary and John are married. The whole episode is based mostly around Sherlock’s best man speech and it had the slight feeling of being akin to a TV movie where flashbacks are pinned around it. A minor disappointment, and I hope the final episode (!) in the series makes up for it. However, this episode shows how Sherlock is – most importantly – human. The bridesmaid teases him and he has to get used to flirting with another human being instead of being the usual sociopathic suave Sherlock that we have all come to know and – tolerate.

He also seems to have a way of being able to get along with younger people, such as children. Especially the page-boy, who he wins over by showing him pictures of murders. Beheadings is a village, apparently.He also has to get used to a child hugging him, which must be a new experience. Watching this episode I had hoped that they wouldn’t give Sherlock a ‘romance’ with the bridesmaid. Not all characters suit being clubbed together just for the sake of it.

The soldier mentioned earlier was Major Shalto, John’s former commander. He was getting a lot of blame for leading young recruits on patrol and unintentionally being the only survivor of an attack.

The episode mentions other Sherlock adventures that have been solved. But this episode is mostly known among fans for its constant comedy – a world away from the usual melee of drama and action that usually occupies an episode. Sherlock has to help Mary with the seating plan for the wedding, but his talents don’t stretch as far as being able to fold napkins because he has to go on YouTube to follow tutorials.

The case of The Bloody Guardsman takes up the most part of this episode. A guardsman, Bainbridge, emails Sherlock because he is worried he is being stalked. With the inclusion of several cases in this episode, it feels somewhat cheaty. Anyway, Sherlock is secretly worried that he will be alone when John marries Mary when in fact John assures him that nothing will change and he will still be there for Sherlock. Aaw, not quite Johnlock fandom but rather nice none the less. We also see flashbacks to flesh the episode out further. This sort of episode formula doesn’t suit and I hope this isn’t going to be given for the rest of the series and beyond.

When having to go to speak to the guardsman who was being stalked, John is treated with derision by the commander because he is a former soldier and a former army doctor so isn’t given the deference due to him in his former army position. Bainbridge is found dying in the shower from a stomach wound and John saves his life. Sherlock uses the wedding speech to explain the murder. Because obviously anecdotes about the groom are just so overrated.

A drunk Sherlock is hilarious. And a chair is a ‘sitty thing’ apparently.

Later, we see inside Sherlock’s mind when he is trying to narrow down clues about the woman’s problem with her supposed disappearing date, known as ‘the mayfly man’. John’s former commander was going to be killed – but not by a physical murder. He was going to be killed in the same way that Bainbridge nearly was. There was a spike in his belt which he wouldn’t have felt, wearing all the heavy uniform. In the end, he survives the attempted murder.

The photographer was the Mayfly man because his younger brother had been killed in action under Shalto’s command and the photographer felt bitter. A bit of a foregone conclusion, really, but there you go. Sherlock also manages to make one last deduction. Mary is pregnant, and hopefully this doesn’t mean the end of the Sherlock-Watson adventures.

The strong cast made up for the varying script. I hope this isn’t the final series. They could probably get one more series out of it before it overstays its welcome, or they run out of ideas.

MY RATING: 4 / 5.

 

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