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Sherlock S3 Ep1 (Spoilers!!)

I, being the patient part of the fandom, waited to watch Sherlock S3 until it aired here in the States. And then I waited one more day because a 10:00 start time is way too late for me, especially when the next day is a school day and I must have some semblance of a brain in order to teach.

But now! Now I’ve watched it, and I’m exploding with Thoughts.

(Spoilers follow. You’ve been warned.)

(I personally don’t mind spoilers for some things, but I did, very much, want to watch Sherlock without anyone else’s thoughts or reactions influencing mine, so for this one I did avoid spoilers like the plague.)


I loved it. Mostly.

Side note: I have struggled, in the past, with calling myself a fan, because I don’t obsess over things, or have to know every detail, and because I don’t mind admitting when the Thing I Love has flaws. But I’m getting over that, and even though I say yes, Sherlock has flaws, and even though I waited to watch it until a sensible time, I really am a fan. Just not a fanatic.

So yes, it had flaws. I really dislike how the show has gone from Sherlock being aware of social conventions and how people will react to him, and merely choosing to ignore it, to how he is utterly clueless about everyone. Before he was well aware that the things he said were hurtful, and just didn’t care. Now, especially with John, he hasn’t got a clue. “No, of course John won’t mind that I never told him I was dead! Of course he’ll think it a big joke that I surprise him in a restaurant, in public, while he’s on a date, to reveal that I’m alive!”

Um, no. Sherlock Holmes is many things, but he’s not dense.

(I also don’t like how the viewers are invited to wink wink, nudge nudge, snicker snicker along with him whenever he plays John. The raw pain of John’s goodbye last season is not something I care to giggle about now that it’s over. Sorry.)

But! I love Mary (really, really, surprising even myself, love her character). I love how smart she is (she figured out the code within moments!) and her common sense, and her adventurous side, and her warmth, and pretty much everything about her. I hope she sticks around for the rest of the show’s duration, because it would be tragic to lose her.

I like the playing with all the different theories the fandom has concocted explaining Sherlock’s demise, and that we’re never exactly sure how it really did go down. I do hope that the explanation Sherlock gives Anderson is at least partially correct, because that was MY theory – the before part, not the actual jump part.

I was certain, upon my last watch of Reichenbach Fall, that Sherlock and Mycroft were playing Moriarty from the beginning. It seemed impossible to me that he could trick Mycroft the way he claimed to, or that Sherlock could really be two steps behind him all the way. I wasn’t quite sure of their purpose in playing him, but I knew that they were. So when Sherlock told Anderson that he and Mycroft had it all planned, in order to discover the extent of Moriarty’s network, I felt rather pleased with myself. I don’t care if the jump part is right, but I very much want that aspect to be true.

I like the relationship between Molly and Sherlock, and how she humanizes him more than John, even, maybe because he got used to John and didn’t listen to him after a while, but he’s not as familiar with Molly and so still pays attention to her. I  love how she’s not intimidated by him anymore. All in all, it was the women of Sherlock that really won me over this episode (Mrs Hudson, of course, was spot on as always. Her little comments during Sherlock’s exchange with Mycroft in the flat were priceless.).

The mystery itself was fairly uninspiring. I never felt much tension over it, or even cared that much – but that was okay. The focus of the episode was clearly on Sherlock coming back to life, and that’s as it should be. I did hate the scene at the end, where Sherlock tricks John into forgiving him, and John finally breaks down and laughs, ha ha, you’re a jerk Sherlock but that’s okay, everything’s fine. Um, no. Mary, please slap both of them upside the head.

Although I did like how they poked gentle fun at the shows where, with one minute left on the ticking clock, the scene plays out for fifteen or so minutes. I was sitting there snarkily going “well, that’s the longest two minutes ever,” and then you find out Sherlock stopped the clock and it really wasn’t meant to be two minutes at all. Well played that, show.

All in all, it was a great episode, and I do like how they’re trying to show Sherlock becoming more human. It’s a fumbling effort on their part, but that’s okay, because one can only imagine Sherlock is fumbling in it too. He’s very adept at pretending to be human, but he sucks at the real thing. It’s okay if the show drops the ball here and there, too.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts, if so?

10 thoughts on “Sherlock S3 Ep1 (Spoilers!!)”

  1. Side note: I have struggled, in the past, with calling myself a fan…
    Did you see my post on this very subject?

    I don’t know if it’s just that he’s never been my favorite to begin with, but I’m not that bothered by Sherlock being a clueless jerk socially. Maybe because I like when John takes him DOWN. (Can we discuss Martin’s expression in these scenes? Can we discuss how it’s possible to convey THAT MANY COMPLEX EMOTIONS in just facial expressions and body language? IS HE NOT TOTALLY THE MOST UNDERAPPRECIATED BRILLIANT ACTOR EVER?) Actually I CAN see the laughing after the subway bomb, just as a stress-release reflex– I’d probably do that– not that either character is much like ME. And like maybe after they’d calmed down a bit John might get mad at him again. Or at that point maybe he DOES just figure that S will NEVER do anything normal and he’s just going to have to live with it because he missed him so much before… gah, that’s the definition of an unhealthy relationship, isn’t it?

    Which is another reason to thank goodness for Mary! The Sign of Four is my favorite original Holmes story, and I’ve always been annoyed by people who brushed Mary off when they found out she was going to be in this series, because she really is awesome, even in the original story. And Amanda Abbington is so painfully ADORABLE. It is possible she is even more adorable than her hubby is. HE CAN NEVER POSSIBLY LOVE ME WHILE HE HAS HER TO COMPARE ME TO *ahem* excuse me, don’t know where that came from.

    My biggest problem with the episode was from a storytelling standpoint, the jumping to the scene with Anderson right in the middle of the subway scene. Was it a flash back? A flash forward? What storytelling purpose did it have to be RIGHT THERE other than a cheap let’s-draw-out-the-climax thing? If it had ANY OTHER REASON to happen right then, I’d be okay with it, but it really doesn’t make any sense there, it’s just an obnoxious tension-frustration. The scene could easily happen much closer to the end of the episode, perhaps right before the final mini-scene where you see the bad guy.

    1. I did see your post, and haven’t had a chance to respond to it yet, because it requires time to think, and I have none of that right now.

      You’re absolutely right about the Anderson scene, of course. I was so tickled with my theory being [probably] right that I missed the weirdness of the timing, but looking back at it, yeah, totally gratuitous.

      I do think John and Sherlock’s relationship will be healthier with Mary in the picture to provide John with some stability and common sense, and hopefully Sherlock stops messing with John’s head just for kicks once the strain of returning has worn off. HOPEFULLY.

  2. Martin Freeman was AMAZING in this episode. His reaction to Sherlock in the restaurant was incredible, I could barely breath watching him. And the increase of violent reactions… from trying to grab him round the neck, to punching him, to actually head-butting him, I’m only slightly sorry to say I was hugely pleased. Sherlock deserved each one. And Mary, I LOVED. There was such a connection between the actors, I felt like they really were so comfortable with each other, they were convincingly in love… and then I found out that the actress is Martin Freeman’s real life partner. Well. That explains that!!

    1. I came away from the second Hobbit movie raving, yet again, at Martin Freeman’s ability to portray so much without ever opening his mouth. His reaction after attacking the spider-crab-thing to reclaim the ring? Perfect. It’s why I was so disappointed there wasn’t more focus on him being grumpy and practical and secretly heroic – it seemed a tragic waste of Martin’s talent.

      I really do want to see more of Mary in this series – I would love to write a fanfic of Mary and Molly going about quietly solving all the mysteries Sherlock misses out on and Being Awesome, and the boys not even realizing it until one day, they beat Sherlock to solving a case, and John is SUPER proud and Sherlock flabbergasted and Mycroft insulted. Yeah. That’d be awesome. Someone needs to write that.

    2. I’m not at all sorry to say that I was hugely pleased to see Watson bloody Sherlock’s nose. He SO deserved it. I just wish he’d done it again at the end, after Sherlock was being such a jerk. I can believe the laughter, but I still think he should have punched him, as well.

  3. i can’t say anything because spoilers, so i will just say i’m dying to read your reaction to Ep 2 and Ep 3.

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