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.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that there was so much to enjoy about this episode. While watching it, it did feel weird that it didn't follow the expected mystery formula, but eventually I realized that was a good thing.

    In all each of seasons, there's one main thing that sets the tone. In S1 it was the mystery of Moriarty. In S2 it was Sherlock's growing fame. S3 has taken a personal approach rather than focused strictly on the mysteries. Sherlock has evolved into the hero he said he'd never be. He can finally say he has not only a friend, but a best friend, where before he believed he couldn't have friends. His purpose in life is not only about fighting boredom but about protecting the people he loves. The Sign of Three realizes all this, and yet preserves the core of Sherlock's character: the eccentric, socially inept, at times still cold-blooded genius detective. But he continues to become more rounded, more complicated, and that's important for a show that could easily fall into static formula.