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Sherlock S3 Ep2 (With Spoilers)

loved this episode. I’ll have to re-watch it to be certain, but it just might be my favorite episode of the entire series thus far. I felt it even cleared up some of my frustrations with The Empty Hearse – because here, finally, we got to see the heart of Sherlock.

We got to see that he does have emotions, he just doesn’t have the ability to understand them, and so he ends up making huge missteps, both to try to stuff the emotions back down and to try to work around/with them. So messing with John’s head about the bomb? Not necessarily being manipulative and sneaky, but more “I have all these weird things that I think are called feelings and I don’t know how to process them or work with them and I don’t know what to do so I’ll just do this stupid thing and hope somehow it helps.” Goodness knows I use humor – occasionally inappropriately – to get me through an awkward situation or a time when my emotions are threatening to overwhelm me.

But here, in The Sign of Three, we get to see Sherlock coming to terms with the fact that he does have emotions, and attempting to communicate them, and it’s beautiful. Despite the fact that the speech is planned and choreographed, it’s still genuine, and he’s never just saying the words because it’s what society expects (well, until he gets to the funny stories).

This was one of the funniest episodes in the series, and I loved that, loved the combination of the solemnity of Sherlock trying to express what John means to him and then getting to see the two of them interacting and being utterly ridiculous. The stag night drinking, and trying to solve the case while completely out of it, and Lestrade’s glee over having to get them out of jail – LOVED IT.

And oh my, Sherlock’s decision, whether conscious or unconscious, to include Mary in his group of “people he protects,” because John loves her and she loves John – beautiful. The scene with the usher, where Sherlock threatens him if he ever tries to weasel his way into Mary’s affections, was both funny and poignant, because for him to do that meant that Mary, now, was one of his. And of course he reiterated that at the end, much more bluntly.

(Side note: the “yeah, okay” to Archie’s request to see corpses was brilliant. I chortled.)

Speaking of Mary … can I just say how much I love her? Playing John and Sherlock off each other so they go solve a case, reassuring them and incidentally getting them out of her hair at the same time? “I’m not John, Sherlock, I can tell when you’re fibbing.” ZING. Teasing Sherlock at the wedding about neither of them being John’s first. She is completely unthreatened by their friendship, completely unintimidated by Sherlock, treats him as a human being, lets them do their mystery-solving thing but joins in when necessary without forcing anything, and in short is pretty much my favorite character on the show. If they kill her off in Episode 3 I am going to be SO MAD.

The mysteries were a side note here to the human stories, and I think that’s why I loved it so well. We got to see – everyone got to see – why John and Sherlock work so well together, that John is not an idiot but chooses to focus on people rather than problems, while Sherlock deals with problems over people, and how well they balance each other, even while sometimes they drive each other mad. I could go on and on, detailing every aspect that I enjoyed, but really, that sums it all up.

7 thoughts on “Sherlock S3 Ep2 (With Spoilers)”

  1. AGREED. Best episode yet. So many feels. And I have to confess… the drunk scene was hilarious. And at the end of his speech when everyone starts crying and he looks at John and asks, “Did I do it wrong?” Gaaaahhhhhh!

    1. Yes! “Could you all please stop doing that, really, stop it.” And John and Mary figuring out that something is wrong, and John leaping over the table to go help, Mary thinking it through and then going after them … SO PERFECT.

      And drunken Sherlock’s mind processes were HILARIOUS.

  2. I have seen an awful lot of “THAT was my FAVORITE EPISODE EVER” going around. I guess there’s a few comments here and there from people who hated it (those being the people who don’t understand why it isn’t a straight-up procedural mystery show I suppose), so maybe it’s a love-it-or-hate-it episode, but for the love-its, it’s now EVERYBODY’S FAVORITE. And it is, it’s just nonstop I-am-enjoying-this-so-muchness. I can see myself watching it over and over, which I honestly haven’t felt like doing for any previous episode (watching them MORE THAN ONCE, yes, but not OVER AND OVER).

    I haven’t sought out spoilers, but I’ve picked up on enough offhand references to be relatively sure Mary will be back next season, and YES FOR THAT. There are a very few obnoxious Johnlock shippers who hate her on principle and keep giving poor Amanda Abbington** a hard time about it and I just want to SLAP THEM UPSIDE THE HEAD, girls, what are you THINKING, why can you not appreciate Awesome?! And somebody’s always like, “Well, she died in the books you know,” and I’m like, “Not IMMEDIATELY! Give them some YEARS here!” I mean, they keep saying they want to do the show sporadically over years, to show how they grow old together, if they give her at least a decade there’ll still be like thirty years or something for the boys* to go back to being carefree bachelors. (*In the “50-80 year old” sense of the word “boys”). Seriously. We need more Marys in shows. Like I said, it’s like that post you wrote about your favorite TV characters, she totally belongs there. (As does Dr. Dana Scully when you finally ever watch the X-Files. ;) )

    **(Whom *I* adore, even though she went and stole the man of my dreams from me before I even knew he existed. If *I* can adore her, them haters need to all get their heads examined).

    1. One of the things that excites me the most about Mary is that she IS a side character, yet she is so well-rounded and fully developed, and that is so rare, that she’s a love interest, side character, and yet a fuller person than even a lot of female leads. I’ve never seen Amanda Abbington in anything else, but she’s BRILLIANT as Mary.

      X-Files was one of those shows I couldn’t watch when I was a teenager, because it would have brought my childhood propensity for nightmares back, which I think is the main reason I’m leery about watching it now, I automatically wince away from the idea of it even though I know, logically, that stuff I couldn’t take back then is no problem for me now. I started watching Warehouse 13 on Netflix recently, though, and I’m thinking that it might be a good stepping stone to X-Files. I’ve heard it described as “X-Files Lite,” so that’s promising.

      1. I *love* Warehouse 13!! Never watched X-Files, so can’t comment on the relationship there, but Warehouse is wonderful. Are you enjoying it?

        1. I am! I like Claudia and Artie the best; their relationship is fantastic. Pete and Myka seem a bit more stock procedural characters (also it gets annoying hearing Myka shout “Pete!” five or six times every episode in lieu of actual dialogue). I like the concept overall, and the dynamics. I’m partway through Season 2 now, and looking forward to Season 3 when Captain Janeway (er … Kate Mulgrew) shows up. I won’t be watching it much during the Olympics, though!

  3. Okay, so now I can finally read and comment on this, as I watched Ep1 and 2 last night. I agree, LOVE this episode. So much fun and funny. Mary is totally awesome on all counts, and – squeee! – I didn’t know she’s Martin’s real-life partner! Maybe that’s one reason why they’re so great together. The drunk scene – so hilarious. I loved how Sherlock was seeing double on his mind-words.
    Now, however – crits. On the one hand I love this new season *as a show* – wonderful characters, so much humour, over-the-top fantastic acting, etc. I like it better than the first two seasons, which often were too gritty for me. But on the other hand, I’m not so sure I like how they’ve changed Sherlock’s character. I mean, I *like* it emotionally, but artistically, in terms of literary criticism, I don’t know that it really works so well. The self-confessed “high-functioning sociopath” (I would have called him Aspergers, which isn’t sociopathy, but, whatever) is all of a sudden far too human. Not only does he recognize he has emotions, and other people do too, he is able to express them, in public, in an extremely moving speech. I’m sorry, that just doesn’t read right. Real-life unemotional people (e.g. Aspies) don’t suddenly change like that.
    And then, the mysteries to solve are all of a sudden shoved to the side in favour of the relationship drama/comedy; in fact, the mysteries are barely mysterious any more. The thrust of the show has changed from “Here is a mystery, how will Sherlock solve it?” to “How will Sherlock, Watson and Mary work out their relationship? oh, and here’s a few small mysteries tossed in to keep them busy on the way.”
    Now, as I said, I love the show as a show – relationship drama/comedy is far more my cup of tea than straight-up mystery. But I’m afraid that I have to say that in literary quality (filmic quality?) I think it’s actually not as high as the first two seasons. It also doesn’t seem to have a whole lot to do with the Arthur Conan Doyle books any more.
    However, none of that is going to stop me from enjoying the show to the hilt. It’s still all kinds of awesome. I still have episode 3 to watch – might do that tonight.

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