Thursday, January 16, 2014

So The Hearse Was Empty. But How Did He Escape???

As with The Sign of Three, this is NOT a spoiler-free review, so if you have somehow not seen The Empty Hearse, Season Three's first episode, and would like to remain in the dark, do not read on.  You have been warned.

As I've mentioned previously, I have a friend who is very good with computers, and finding TV shows streamed online and such.  I am no such computer whiz, and in fact, accidentally gave my computer a virus while trying to make the link for The Empty Hearse work.  Heh . . .  I wish I was joking about that.  Unfortunately . . .

Anyway, enough about my ineptitude with technology.  He showed me the proper thing to click, and I was able to see the episode.  I loved how it began with a teaser "explanation" of how Sherlock did it.  I didn't completely buy into it, because A) I was watching The Reichenbach Fall as I was starting The Empty Hearse, and B) Sherlock never would have truly kissed Molly like that, so as much as I loved seeing it, I had my suspicions on whether or not it was real.  And of course, soon enough, Lestrade breaks in to Anderson's "explanation" and we find out the entire thing is a fabrication.

Now, I have to interrupt myself here and explain that the same night as my technological snafu, I was only able to watch the first minute or so of the episode, and so only saw Anderson's explanation, but didn't quite get to it being his own creation.  I got sick of the pauses and loading screen right after Sherlock kissed Molly.  So, I went to work the next day and saw my friend who gave me the link.  He had been able to watch the entire episode, and enjoyed tormenting me with bits of information.  I'd decided early in the day that I just wanted to ask three questions about the episode, and that would be it.  My first one was, "Does Sherlock reveal himself to John?"  Yes.  Okay.  "Does Sherlock get punched when he does the reveal?"  (Remembering Scandal, there.  "Punch me in the face."  "What?"  "Didn't you hear me?  I said punch me in the face."  "I always hear punch me in the face when you're speaking, but it's usually subtext.")  Not punched, but John does attack him on three separate occasions.  Lol, okay.  Damn, he's pissed.

And he told me about the random disguise thing Sherlock does at the restaurant, that yes, Mycroft was in the episode, and that he was in on the fake death, and he told me there was one thing they find that I would totally spazz about.  That he was warning me not to, but that I completely would.  (I actually didn't spazz at anything in the episode.  There were "Squee!!!" worthy moments, sure, but nothing I felt was actually spazz-worthy.  He was referring, I found out later, to the Jack the Ripper thing.  He knows that's what the third Holmes novel I will eventually get back to writing is about, and he knows I've learned all the different stuff about the killer and victims and such.)  Oh, and I almost forgot about this little tidbit, I began watching the show after closing at work, because I had my laptop there so he could show me the correct link to click on.  Well, I saw Watson, and I'd forgotten about that awful mustache, and made some kind of comment about how bad it was.  My friend kinda laughed and said yeah, it was a point of contention for pretty much everyone in the episode.

Anyway, when I was finally able, that night, to sit down and watch the episode, I loved John attacking Sherlock.  Headbutting him the third time, and it just cuts to Sherlock with a bloody nose.

The whole terrorist thing, as I believe Charlotte Anne Walters said, was such a throwback to V for Vendetta, I almost expected Hugo Weaving to pop up in the train car, and for that classical music when Parliament blows up in V to begin playing.  I actually stared at my laptop and said, "Really?  This is straight out of V for Vendetta!  Seriously?"  And that, after the beginning of the episode when Sherlock pulls off his waiter disguise, and I felt it was just like the scene in the RDJ movie where RDJ grabs random items and makes a disguise to approach a hansom cab.  Though I felt Sherlock did it much better, but two throwbacks to two movies in the same episode?  Really, guys?

And while I enjoyed the fantasy sequences of 'how he did it,' it still bugs me that they haven't revealed how he really did do it.  Though I have a theory on that.  Let's face it.  Just about anyone who's read the Canon believes that Sherlock lied to John, probably not only about where he was the three years John thought he was dead, but also about how he survived in the first place.  I think Moffat and Gatiss had a lot of fun at our expense, reading the different, and sometimes far-fetched and insane, theories that were out there.  I also think that from the beginning, they had no intention of explaining it to us, because of what they know about the Canon, and how they set up John's character.  That line John says about, "I don't care HOW you did it, I want to know why."  I literally said to my laptop, "But the REST of us do!!!"  But John, he wouldn't.  It would be more important to him why Sherlock did it.  Because John was more of a victim than anyone in that whole scenario because he was the one Sherlock talked to while he was up on the roof.

Honestly, I wish they would explain it, but I don't think we'll ever actually know the truth.  We just have to accept that 'why' is more important than 'how,' and that Sherlock is sorry.

And because he is Sherlock, we will forgive him and keep watching.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Help. Baker St. Now. (BBC's The Sign of Three.)

I watched The Empty Hearse several days ago, and I will come back on here and give a review of it, but just today, I saw The Sign of Three, and I knew I had to write a review of it immediately.  I read another blog by Charlotte Anne Walters before seeing this episode, and she seems rather lukewarm about it.  Not enough mystery, doesn't seem very Holmes-ish, and the way she describes it, I completely see it.  However, when I actually sat down and watched the episode, (I love my friend who gives me links to TV shows streamed online,) I was laughing, becoming emotional, and just all-in-all, greatly enjoying the ride.

As Ms Walters said, the show begins (and please, if you want a spoiler-free review, this is not it, so stop reading now if you don't want to know things that go on in the episode,) with Lestrade about to make a crucial arrest when he gets texts from Sherlock asking for help.  Lestrade drops everything and calls for maximum back up to Baker Street, and when he gets there, finds out Sherlock's crisis was in writing a best man speech. The end of the scene is positively brilliant.  As is the scene where Sherlock is recalling John asking him to be his best man.  Sherlock, just standing there, completely dumbfounded, and John's eventual reaction: "Now it's getting a bit scary," almost had me on the floor laughing.  And the fact that Sherlock actually showed humility, kindness, and love in parts of his speech were terrific to see.  It was . . . it was a way of making Sherlock Holmes, the deductive, analytical machine into someone human.  Someone who recognized his own character and personability flaws, yet knew that to someone else, he held such great value, and not because he was a consulting detective, but because he was that someone's best friend.

To be honest, I can't praise this episode enough.  Some may feel that the mystery was slapdash, or seemed like an afterthought, or that it was too focused on Mary and John, too focused on the wedding, etc, but I don't see it that way.  I feel BBC did it right with this one.  (And come on, who didn't get a grin out of Mycroft on a treadmill, and then seeing his bare stomach?)  This episode, since they decided they were going to show John and Mary's wedding, was more about the characters' interactions than anything else.  How they get along, how the others see them, how even with all of Sherlock's deductive powers to figure out so much about a person from a single glance, someone like Molly can still figure out how Sherlock would react to a best man speech.  And not only the speech.  (I'll only say one word here: telegrams.  Okay, and I'll say that I loved the scene with John walking in on Mrs. Hudson just laughing hysterically.)

Of the eight episodes I've seen, The Sign of Three is my favorite.  Don't get me wrong, I love the other ones.  However, this one just has something for me that the others don't.  And this, I believe, is a rarity for me where these episodes are concerned.  Season one, I wasn't wild about the Blind Banker.  I liked it, yeah, but not as much as the first and third episodes.  Same with Season two.  I felt Hounds of Baskerville was the weakest of the three.  And I admit, part of that may be because it didn't take place in or anywhere near Baker Street.  It was in a foreign place, and therefore may have just felt foreign to me.  I'm not sure.  I'll have to watch the episode again and really go in-depth with myself.  However, this season so far, The Sign of Three is my favorite.  I can't wait to see what the third episode holds, and I look forward to writing a review of the Empty Hearse soon, because I have a ton of thoughts on it.