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Sherlock S03E02: "The Sign of Three"


Weddings, in general, are considered to be happy affairs. I mean, who doesn't like the idea of cake, dancing, and an open bar? Side note: If a wedding doesn't have an open bar, you should not attend. If your friends invite you to a wedding without an open bar, it means they're jerks and their marriage is going to fail. Anyway, depending on the company you keep, weddings can range in atmosphere from "drunken, college-esque rager" to "romantic, classy soiree." Obviously, John Watson and Mary Morstan are two lovely people and the only questionable acquaintance they have is Sherlock Holmes—a high-functioning sociopath—so their wedding probably should've fallen somewhere toward the chic, elegant end of the spectrum. But since this is Sherlock we're talking about, something was undoubtedly going to go wrong. And with Sherlock Holmes taking on the role of best man, we obviously had to adjust our expectations accordingly.

"The Sign of Three" was told almost entirely through a series of flashbacks as part of Sherlock's best man speech, which is an interesting storytelling device. To structure an entire episode—mystery and all—around flashbacks is pretty unique for Sherlock; honestly, reminded me of How I Met Your Mother in the way it flashed back and forth between previous events and the present time, to show several notable moments leading up to the wedding. And I dare say it worked out well. The only time it felt awkward was during the transitions between what was going on in Sherlock's head as he worked out the clues from the mayfly mystery and their relation to what was happening at the wedding. The way those scenes were edited was a bit jarring, but I believe it was done purposefully, so as to give viewers a glimpse of how Sherlock's brain works. Which, by the way, is not entirely pleasant.


The actual flashbacks were great, though, and they included Sherlock sharing gory crime scene photos with a young child, Sherlock threatening Mary's ex-boyfriend, and a particularly wonderful scene in which Mary played Sherlock and Watson against one another in order to get them back to work and out of the flat. They added to the humor of the episode, which was not only superb, but a little more abundant than it has been in the past. I don't want to say it was too cheeky, because it worked and nothing felt forced, but while Sherlock has always been very funny, "The Sign of Three" seemed to include more humor for the sake of humor, rather than just finding humor in a particular situation. I suppose that makes sense given the wedding setting; it was totally appropriate for the episode to feature less stabby-stab murder and more drinky-drink laughter. And I hope PBS uses that line in promotional materials later.

Anyway, because of the flashback format, "The Sign of Three" was essentially narrated by Sherlock as he attempted to explain, in his very Sherlock way, what being a best friend and best man to John Watson meant to him.  If you've ever had to give one of these speeches at a wedding, you know how difficult they can be. What you and your friend find funny is probably not all that funny—or even that interesting—to the majority of people in attendance. The challenge is to strike the perfect balance between humor and sincerity, and knowing Sherlock as we do, it was obvious from the start that his speech was probably going to be a whole bucket of awkward instead. Before it became clear that the flashbacks would continue throughout the episode and the case would play out through them, I wondered how the series would merge a happy occasion like a wedding with a serious mystery. And although I haven't yet read any reviews or comments from fans regarding this episode, I think it will turn out to be just as divisive as the middle episodes of Sherlock that came before it.


"The Blind Banker" and "The Hounds of Baskerville," to me, were fairly weak, but after a lot of rumination, I think "The Signs of Three" is actually one of my favorite episodes that Sherlock has ever done. It took Sherlock out of his comfort zone, thereby taking the viewers out of theirs. It took a fresh approach to storytelling, which doesn't happen too often in a series that only airs only three episodes per season. By using flashbacks to weave together the wedding with previous cases—which in turn were revealed to be connected to a real case set at the wedding—the episode used plot to continue building the relationship between Sherlock and Watson in a meaningful way. 

It was fun to see what jealousy looked like on Sherlock after he was told over and over again that people change once they're married, and as he realized he wasn't necessarily Watson's only friend. But their relationship is a deep one, and as Sherlock recalled cases that seemingly had no real significance to Watson's nuptials, it eventually became clear that he was attempting to highlight why they're such a good team. Although Sherlock solves the murders and gets the recognition and fame, Watson is the better man because he actually saves lives. It's not easy for someone like Sherlock to compliment others, or to admit that he doesn't know something, but he doesn't know how to save lives, and that's why he needs Watson around. And not just to save people like Watson's former commanding officer, but to save Sherlock himself. 


That was, essentially, the underlying theme of "The Sign of Three," as Sherlock pointed out how many times Watson had kept him alive. It was quite obvious that Sherlock wasn't just talking about the time Watson shot the cabbie in "A Study in Pink"; he was referring to all the little things John's done over the years to save Sherlock from becoming his own worst enemy. It was very touching to see Sherlock recognize this important facet of their relationship, because he's someone who doesn't often understand, or perhaps experience, human emotion the way most of us do (as we saw last week, when Sherlock couldn't comprehend why Watson wasn't immediately overjoyed to see him upon his "return from the dead").

Sherlock's speech itself was equal parts awkward, embarrassing, funny, heartwarming, and sincere, which means it was pretty damn great. And even though there were several moments where I clutched at my face and willed Sherlock to stop talking out of sheer embarrassment for his character, the sentiment was there. By the time we'd learned the truth about the attempted murder of Major Sholto and uncovered the identity of the suspect (the substitute wedding photographer who'd lost a family member in the mission Sholto led), I'd decided the speech was probably simultaneously one of the best and worst wedding speeches ever. I was constantly worried that it was unfolding in real time (meaning it was almost a 90-minute event), but in the end I think "The Sign of Three" was successful in its endeavor to highlight the importance of Sherlock and Watson's relationship while also cementing the fact that even though there will be other important people in Watson's life, Watson will not abandon his best friend.


And even though I was upset by the bomb's on/off switch in the "The Empty Hearse," I have nearly zero complaints about the case in "The Sign of Three," because it felt integrated and integral to the relationship stuff. While last week's premiere sacrificed case complexity in the name of bromance, "The Sign of Three" balanced the two quite well. HOWEVER: I said I have nearly zero complaints, which means there's at least one. And here it is: "The Empty Hearse" set up what appeared to be an overarching storyline, but then that storyline didn't factor at all into "The Sign of Three," and while I think that was wise (it would have made the episode feel overstuffed), it also means that next week's final episode has a lot to do. But let's cross that bridge when we come to it, because this was a very entertaining, funny, and heartfelt episode that shouldn't be marred by nitpicking. 



JOHN WATSON'S BLOG

– I feel like I've never really noticed how small Martin Freeman is compared to  Benedict Cumberbatch... until this scene. While it's partly an optical illusion because Martin is sitting back further on the bench than Benedict, it still feels a bit like Martin forgot he was no longer filming The Hobbit. Also, I loved it when Watson called Sherlock a dickhead after realizing he'd gotten up and walked away.

– Over the course of the episode, Sherlock made many references to how he's a child, and I loved them all because they tied in with his speech, and that means he at least recognizes that Watson's been taking care of him all this time. 

– Mary's pregnant! Fun or not fun?

– My heart broke a bit for Sherlock as he realized at the end that he's alone now. Watson deserves to have his own life, and Mary is pretty great, but I just wanted to hug him as he walked away from the wedding alone.

– Lara Pulver's appearance surprised the hell out of me in the best way possible. I'd love to see Irene Adler return.

– Drunk Sherlock might be one of my favorite moments from the entire series to date, not only for the way he acted, but for what transpired before. Incapable of simply going out with Watson for his bachelor party and seeing where the night would take them, he'd planned everything out down to the smallest detail. 

– Mrs. Hudson has had quite the life, eh? I think I could have listened to her tell stories about her former husband for at least another 15 minutes.

– "If someone could move Mrs. Hudson's glass slightly out of reach..." 

– "I will solve your murder, but John will save your life."

– "What? I heard that silence."

– "I'm not John; I can tell when you're fibbing." 

– "Okay, I learned it on YouTube." Sherlock is the best when you realize he's exactly like the rest of us.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 1/12/2014

Season 3 : Episode 3

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seeing them drunk was hilarious. it was very good drunk acting.

i liked when John touched sherlocks leg and was like whatever, "i don't mind"
some of the stuff they did was spot on

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such a great episode.

Sherlock threatening Mary's ex-boyfriend was hilarious.
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also the scene in which Mary played Sherlock and Watson against one another in order to get them back to work and out of the flat. that was great
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Way too much talk about feelings in this show, even if a wedding was the cause. That is so not Sherlockian. Couldn't buy it.
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Weakest ep of the series. Lame case(s) and editing was poor. Still fun to watch though. So there's that? With a show that only has 3 eps a season (why is this the case again?), there is absolutely zero margin of error. No filler eps etc...

I don't know if Cumberbatch/Freeman took a few swigs of something potent but damn thats some mighty fine drunk acting right there.

"What a couple of lightweights. You couldn't even make it to closing time" - Inspector Lestrade
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i dont agree with it being a weak episode at all, but seeing them drunk was hilarious. it was very good drunk acting.

i liked when John touched sherlocks leg and was like whatever, "i don't mind" some of the stuff they did was spot on
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This is hard for me. I loved it, because of course I love the characters. Of course, the drunks were amazing. Of course, Mary duping them, Lestrade looking silly and Ms. Hudson telling stories were fun. It was just a bit too much of the stuff you yearn for but a great show withholds from you. I wish they'd left me wanting more. As someone commented last week, in a 3 episode season, there isn't room for shennanigans. I liked The Empty Hearse because repairing the relationship seemed like a necessary step, but coupled with this ep, I am bummed that 2/3 of the season is gone and feel we don't have enough to show for it.
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House's Three Stories episode, anyone?
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This was my least favourite Sherlock episode ever but I still would watch this rather than any of the very awful shows around. I think the whole narrative device of the flashbacks did detract from its pacing, at points painfully slow (maybe it was Sherlock's awkward speech) or disjointed.
I do agree Sherlock & Watson completely drunk was brilliant. Acting drunk is a tough thing to do (check it out, not many actors can pull it convincingly)... And there were some other fun moments...
For anyone disappointed, all can I say (no spoilers), you will enjoy more (or a lot more even) the last instalment of this season so there is that to look forward to...
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I was right when I said it'd be divisive. Reading the reactions here is much the same as reading the UK reactions.
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I've attended plenty of dry weddings. Guests usually talk, eat, sing, and tear up the dance floor from night to the break of dawn!

That being said, I think I watched Sherlock and John drunk "clueing for looks" like five times. Fucking hilarious.

I loved this ep. I loved that it didn't focus on the wedding of John and Mary, of which I do not care about one whit in the grand scheme of Sherlock. If anything the reception was an ode to John and Sherlock's bromance. Mary isn't interfering with it, presently, so I don't mind her character or her marriage to John, but as Sherlock kept going on and on in his best man speech as to why he and John are such a good match I was seriously doubting why John was marrying Mary. I don't think that's what I was supposed to come away with!

I loved the cases and the cheesy culmination of those cases at the reception.

The tiresome and the bad:

I know Sherlock is a bit of an obsessive control freak, but Mary had no family or friends of her own to help her with the planning of her wedding? That was some TV trope mess right there.

Nobody wanting to dance with Sherlock was a ridiculous moment for me. I understood the sadness factor, the melancholy was nicely weaved throughout the episode, about Sherlock's impending "singledom". But seriously. The dude is brilliant. He's not hard on the eyes. He composed a waltz, he played the violin. He spoke with open affection about his best bud. A line of dance partners should have been his reward/punishment. His social disorder would not be much of a turn off. Maybe I'm just used to bright, socially inept, hotties. That's my clique.

Mary being pregnant sounds like nothing, but bad news.
1) As Mary is *100+years spoiler alert* a dead woman walking in the books, all I could think was this would be the tragic manpain way to get rid of her in the series through the perils of childbirth.

Eh. At least we know Sherlock is good-ish with children, if John moves back in with baby in tow.

2) John will come off as an inconsiderate jerk going off with Sherlock to solve crimes, while Mary sits at home alone gestating.

3)Sherlock will come off as an inconsiderate jerk as he occupies John away from his family responsibilities, while Mary sits at home with a screaming infant.

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About the tiresome and bad about Mary and the baby: Wait and see. Really. There's a reason. And no, she doesn't have any family. Orphan, only friends. And there are bridesmaids and a maid of honor. Just because they didn't show it doesn't mean they didn't help. Would you honestly have wanted to see complete strangers debate with her about the color of the bridesmaid's dresses?

Yeah, there should have been a line to dance with him...
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Oh, I wasn't hankering for more wedding deets. The scenes presented were fine. It just stuck out for me, from years of TV watching where suddenly a love interest is introduced to an existing cast of characters and said love interest seems to have existed in a void before showing up to fulfill the duties of love interest. You never meet friends or family of theirs and its especially jarring during pivotal moments. I guess the later introduced Maid of Honor works, though she was more prop for Sherlock. Then again, who isn't?
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I love, Love, LOVE Sherlock. But, really did NOT like this episode. I thought I was watching a remake of the US version of The Office for a while, there -- with Sherlock taking the role of Michael Scott.

There were some very fun moments, but not many.

That said, Episode 3 MORE than makes up for it.
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This episode had its moments, as usual. My favorite scene was the little boy at the beginning. "Maggots? Cool!" Also sweet to see Sherlock and John actually saying they love each other (in their own way---and quite obviously asexual for any Mrs. Hudsons who are reading).

But, as usual, there was also altogether too much fluff and filler. Drunk Sherlock: Yeah, I always wanted to see Sherlock Holmes throw up in slow motion! And, as usual, the case was full of holes (no pun intended) and thinly spread.

I realize there are a few moments that are going to link into episode 3 (no spoilers here), but even aside from the fact that I was unimpressed and disappointed by the big reveal in episode 3 anyway, this episode was way less acceptable as 1/3 of an entire season than it would have been as even 1/6 of it.
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But when are the writers ever going to have a plausible reason to do a light-hearted "Drunk Sherlock" outside of the context of Watson's bachelor party? I thought it was kinda awesome how the writers conveyed his intoxication through a messed up version of Sherlock's HUD, with Sherlock becoming essentially as dumb as the rest of us. ~"That's a chair, you can sit in it," etc.

I'm sort of glad the writers / show runner, having laid down the groundwork in previous series (seasons), have been willing to step out on a limb and have fun with the characters this series. The prior Moriarty series would have been very hard to top on a purely dramatic level. And had they'd taken that tack, I think they'd have failed, and we'd now be running around insisting they'd jumped the shark.

Sure, such levity can be a tad off key, or appear so in a vacuum. But other grass is always greener.
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When did the writers ever need to do a light-hearted "Drunk Sherlock?"

Call me a stuffed shirt if you want, but I guess it just struck me as gratuitous. Especially the slow-motion vomiting, that was just gross for no reason. There were a couple similar pointless "ew" moments in Ep. 3 (you'll know them when you see them)---it just seems like a trend.
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"And of course I have to mention the elephant in the room"

Elephant noise
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I want to see more of this case in season 4. Even if it's just another flashback.
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Another great scene from this episode...
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Don't worry, the third episode will deliver! ;-)
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The perfect penultimate episode as John and Sherlock's relationship comes full circle. I agree that both second episodes previously were the weakest, with A Scandal in Bulgravia being the best. Let's go out with a bang, now.
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O don't worry it will
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Drunk Sherlock is probably the best thing ever. The build up of all of this pays off, for those questioning where this is all going. But you have to pay attention to the hints. They are very subtle but they are there. And that is why I love this show. It doesn't insult the intelligence of its viewers by knocking you over the head with things. It commands you to pay attention and if you do you are rewarded with insight and presumptions that pay off in the end.

Very enjoyable season. This like I said previously is a transition season. The first to were to solidify the myth of Sherlock this one is to humanize him and explore the relationship between John, Sherlock and Mary. And it pays off.
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drunk Sherlock one of my favorite scenes of this series as well! I'm going to go back and watch the episode again so I can read all of the descriptions of things in that apartment. The only one I caught was "egg chair...sitty thing..." which means that the rest must be equally funny.
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I saw "sleeeep" when he looked at the sofa.
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I think the "dead skull...deaded" when he looked at the deer head on the wall was the most interesting, but the egg chair one was the funniest.
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I did rewind and pause it so I could catch some of them. I did the same thing when he met Mary the first time. I was glad that they explained the "liar" comment, although I was curious and then dismissed it at the time.
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I loved it. I consider this one of my favorite episodes of any show ever. I mean after watching I was just shocked at how good it was, and given that Sherlock is amazing anyways, that is saying something.

I can't believe the series finale is next week. I hope it doesn't take them long to do another series.
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Me too. The BBC wants another series for Christmas this year, Moffatt says they want another series as fast as possible, they already have 4 & 5 mapped out. But: It all depends on both Benedict's and Martin's availabilty and they're pretty busy. I'll belive it when I see it.
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Does that mean my cousin's cash bar wedding is doomed to fail? It's been going alright for the last 17 years, but I dunno if that's good enough now.

You may be woefully over-sentimental in this review, Kaitlin. This episode was a train-wreck of bad pacing and shallow emotion and cheap coincidences and an entirely broken main character who is apparently less able to survive now than when we met him. If there were more than 1 episode left in this season, I'd have walked away on this episode. The fragmentation of storytelling in this episode was a weight that it could never shrug off, but to have such an incredibly convoluted actual mystery pop its head in at the last minute was beyond clumsy.

It was all cheap sentimentality, as if Sherlock cannot function at all except as a reflection of Watson and now Mary, as if he's totally autistic and incapable of existing without other personalities such as those two or Mycroft, and he's secretly thankful and caring while simultaneously stomping like Godzilla through the Tokyo of the entire reception's feelings simply to portray some sitcom-level story.

And as a mystery, the idea that Holmes would somehow let any of this sneak up on him, all these ridiculous coincidences piled high upon each other as they affected a tertiary new character while those women had clearly one thing in common (a past employer) rather than "a secret", that he wouldn't have immediately identified the most obvious target for a murder, that was entirely inconsistent and sloppy writing meant to serve an underbaked plot.

Overall, I had "fun" with this episode but it felt very hollow and sloppy and definitely a strong contender for a place to walk away from this series as having lost its way. This reminded me a lot of the mistakes found in Moffat's run on Doctor Who in that regard, understanding the basics but losing a handle on both the characters and the storytelling far too soon into the series.

- Martin Freeman's small stature is one of the reasons I didn't buy him as Dr. Watson to begin with, Watson is no stranger to battle both in war and on the case while Freeman is both physically small and plays his parts from a small starting place. It's worked out here mainly due to the presentation found in movies rather than the original stories.
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I agree that the pacing was off, was bit heavy on the sentimental, and that the actual murder mystery was late in coming, but I didn't feel it was a complete departure for the series. It certainly changed its focus, as this season is definitely more interested in the relationships driving the plot. But I don't necessarily think that it's a bad place for Sherlock to go as the characters continue to grow and develop. Sherlock isn't the same man as he was when he first met Watson.
Also this touchy feely middle act will make more sense when we get to the finale.
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Sherlock is worse than he was, he's less functional than when he started.
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Well, the original plan for Sherlock was 6x60 minute episodes. They had to reshoot the whole thing, because the BBC changed their minds after seeing it and now wanted 3x90 minutes episodes. I prefer SiP for it's look and additional scenes and the Unaired Pilot for it's tighter plot.

We certainly have a different view of TEH. I don't think he broke completely. I also don't think he breaks in HLV (yes, I mean the 3rd episode). One could say it's equal measures getting back to form and showing some of his cards. Without spoiling too much, he does something in the beginning that is very far from healthy and not "just for a case", as much as he protests that it is.
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Did you know that for some reason there isn't a reply button in your answer posts?

Apart from that: There's a running difference of half an hour between the Unaired Pilot and the Study in Pink. They're mostly similar, with one major difference: in order to stretch the running time, they not only added extra scenes (like Mycroft), but they also had Sherlock not realizing that it was a cabbie immediately. That's why after his monologue about "who hunts in crowds, invisible car, who do we trust immediately when we're alone, drunk etc." - which makes the answer pretty obvious, weget a "haven't the faintest" - and then we get the chase scene, where they jump over rooftops and run through backalleys after a cab. Which would have been fine, if Sherlock hadn't then focused on the passenger. In the context of his earlier musings it makes no sense - who would ever get into an occupied cab? The unaired pilot has him figuring it out right after spotting the cab across from Angelo's and then being drugged and kidnapped by the cabbie right in the street. So they basically dumbed him down for more screen time.

I see what you mean with the targets in the elimination scene. I'm guessing that was also for the viewers, sigh.

As for being on his own: it's different. He was always alone, apart from Mycroft - in John he finally found a friend with whom he could share his adventures and who he genuinely cares about. Having that taken away and basically going into exile must have left some scars. He seems to be slipping in season three, and I freely admit to attributing this to what he went through in the time inbetween. As much as he likes to pretend otherwise, Sherlock Holmes is also human and not a giant thinking machine. I like that they showed us some of this more human Holmes. And without a care? Um, have you seen His Last Vow? If not, nevermind, you'll see what I mean next week, but it certainly proves that he's not completely alright.
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The comments section only has 5 levels of replying, so this is the game we play afterwards, replying to the 4th-level comments until we wear ourselves out.

I've never seen the unaired pilot, but it's a shame they felt they had to pad it out for the aired version as generally that sort of dialogue is what Holmes says after he's already either caught or set up the trap for the villain. It's like Moffat is trying to make it more solvable for the audience, he's trying to Hollywood it up, which is a shame because Hollywood only does this stuff to pander to mouthbreathers they think the majority of the audience is made up of.

I suppose the idea that Sherlock has suffered without Watson is open to debate for the show, I certainly didn't see it based on the opener, he bounced right back, but it's hardly stated either. This Sherlock is certainly not as complete as his literary original (not that the original was a very complete man, he had huge gaps in knowledge such as astronomy and politics that weren't concerned with his investigations, but he was able to survive with his work and his hobbies and a few friends and cases without Watson), but I find it hard to swallow him utterly breaking at the separation, that doesn't play true for most real humans.

I haven't seen His Last Vow (a reference I assume to "His Last Bow", the final Conan Doyle story where Holmes and Watson play spy on the eve of World War I), but if Sherlock is carrying a lot of damage, that's disappointing yet hardly surprising given the showrunners, as it comes back to that "lowest common denominator" thinking where if the worst of the audience suffers it, then surely the hero must too.
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Sorry, I accidentally hit flag on your comment below. I just wanted to reply. You're right in that they dragged the deduction that Sholto is the one the killer was after out, but then again they also did that in Study in Pink (mainly due to re-writes, but still). Searching for the intended target and not the killer doesn't really seem to come naturally to Sherlock. I'm pretty sure he knew who it was the moment he switched from "Mayfly Man?" to "Target?", but the theatrics served a double purpose - he could alert both John and Sholto more or less discretely and distract the other guests while Sholto made his exit.

And as for being less functional - well, he hasn't really been mostly on his own for 2 years and tortured before, has he?
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No worries about the flag, it's not an auto-kick from a single flagging, they'll review and see no offensive material and not worry about it, I'm sure.

I don't remember A Study in Pink being that oblivious only because the victimology was more diverse and the crime more muddied since they were suicides, but it has been a while.

I think the very next episode, The Blind Banker, had Sherlock hunting for the target. It comes up more in the stories, though. The theatrics in this episode had a LOT of targets in Sherlockvision, if that wasn't the case then the producers need to be more consistent with how they present such things because otherwise it's narratively dishonest.

Sherlock was on his own for a long time before Watson, and running around getting nicked and flogged seems like the kind of thing he wouldn't really take so seriously - he surely comes back without a care.
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I agree that his detective skills were lacking in this ep, but Sherlock is not just a deducing machine, his friends are eliciting his compassion; which will flaw him, yes, but makes him more human.
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First off, I'd buy that if it weren't for the fact that it's pretty out-of-character from the books AND the show (Sherlock faked his death to save his friends at the end of season 2 and deduced he'd need to in advance, otherwise how could he have set it up?).

Secondly, if we are to assume that it's what the writers meant (there were 3 writers on this one IIRC), that only applied to the "now" story and not the flashback to the bloody guardsman.
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As a detective? Or as a human being?
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Both, now that you mention it. I hadn't really considered the former, but the Sherlock Holmes from earlier seasons and from the novels would have picked up on the high-profile, hated guest being a prime target from the outset. And dismissing the idea that the victim in the previous attack was stabbed before the shower should have been part of the "when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains - no matter how improbable - must be the truth" solution he didn't bother to search any further for.
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This was a really enjoyable episode, though it did feel a bit drawn out and the slice-of-life comedy wore out it's welcome around the drunk Sherlock part. I don't think the series could sustain this kind of tone, but thankfully it gets back to mystery in episode 3.
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As much as I enjoyed this episode (and I really did, it's nice to see him acting human and admitting to how he feels), but it seemed out of character a bit for Sherlock. In the last ep he just said "I don't do weddings." Then the next thing ya know he's all up in that wedding; folding napkins, seating arrangements, writing waltzes, making an epic best man speech...etc. I dunno, it seemed incongruous, especially in how he treated John in the first ep where his sociopathic tendencies were in full display. First popping up out of nowhere in a ridiculous fashion and expecting John to be pleased, and I thought the trick of 'Oh I got you, you aren't going to explode into tiny bits by a huge bomb, isn't it hilarious?" to be more than a tad mean.
I have seen ep 3, so I know that there are reasons behind Sherlock's speech and his demeanor in ep 2. It just seems like a wide pendulum swing for Sherlock to be so domestically inclined in this wedding ep, and so cold and distant in others. Maybe it is indicative of being a sociopath?

I dunno, other than that, I enjoyed the episode itself as a whole, the flashbacks and how it tied into the murder of the week was great. Loved the courtroom scene with the women too. I didn't care that the way the victim was stabbed seemed unlikely, it fit the story as a whole and was interesting. Can't wait til next week!
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was thrilled too to see Irene Adler.
I watched the episode last month... i don't have anything to say :P
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This is by far, my favorite Sherlock episode. I all every single thing about it.
I also adore Mary, she just fits perfectly between Sherlock and John.

"He's clueing for looks" it's my favorite phrase.

I loved seeing Irene again! Funny that when he thinks about her she's naked.


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I love that even though they were both totally plastered it didn't stop them from taking on a new client and going to look at a "crime scene" with her. I was surprised the landlord let them in to that apartment in the middle of the night.
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Wait until you see the finale episode. This one is unforgettable.
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I've already watched :P yet this is still my favorite. And yes, I still love Mary.
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More drunk deductions
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thank you for posting this! I only caught the one about the egg chair.
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I like how now Sherlock when he's in is Mind Palace, he uses the people in his life to help solve cases
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One of the best - if not THE best - episodes of Sherlock yet......while a bit jarring and disjointed, it really put relationships front and center in the show, finally humanizing Sherlock. At last theres an episode where Sherlock is obviously nice to Watson (I think it's usually there, it's just more subtle). It was funny and emotional at the same time. That truly was at the same time the best and worst best man speech of all time.
Also, this episode should be enough to shut up the people who only see Watson as a shallow character whose only personality trait is the fact that he's Sherlock's unappreciated sidekick......nothing could be more wrong, and this episode proved it!
Mary is perfect and lovely; she is just the right amount of clever and supporting and sweet to really add to the dynamic of the show without getting in the way. That shot of her giving both of them the thumbs up at the same time was fabulous and expressed her personality perfectly.
As always, I felt terribly bad for Molly.....but yellow really is her color isn't it? I usually don't notice or point out on TV, but I've never seen brown eyes look so lovely.
Poor Sherlock.....who leaves a wedding early? (the depressed best friend, that's who)

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Mrs. Hudson said her best friend had left her wedding early too. I hadn't connected that to Sherlock leaving early until now.
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I'll probably have more to say later, but I just wanted to say right quick that it's been a LOOOOooonngg time since I've laughed at a TV show as much as I did during the drunken Mayfly case flashback. Seriously, that's the funniest stretch of TV that's been around in years. Shows like Modern Family and BBT can make me giggle out loud sometimes, but it's been ages since I laughed so hard that I cried just a little bit, and had a hard time stopping laughing.
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I feel the same, is it us that are hard to entertain or is it the comedies that are bad?
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Well for me, the comedies that I take the time to watch (very few) are pretty good, I think. I think last night was just an example of Sherlock being so unusually and extremely funny. Not so much that my favorite sitcoms are slacking, but more like Sherlock just reached a new level last night.
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The most entertaining episode of Sherlock so far!!!
Sherlock's speech was out of this world!!!
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Of course Cumberbatch is bigger than Freeman. One's a hobbit, the other's a dragon.
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Very cool last night, but long. Can't get around that the men were stabbed without knowing it, belt or no belt. I was glad this and Downton Abby were on since the Grammies were so bad.
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In my opinion, one of the best best-man speech ever made.

As people going to realize next week, "The Sign of Three" is as close to a standalone episode as Sherlock could get - small events that happened there and during "The Empty Hearse" will affect "His Last Vow", but not those you may think off, and not at all in a way you could have expected (hell, who in their right mind could have foresaw what the hell happened there!?) Overall, though, it is its own thing, not following the usual pattern the series used to introduce cases. It was a nice departure, and I loved the usage of flashbacks here - someone should screened it to Eric Kripke and say to him afterwards "See? This is how you use flashbacks - it supposes to HELP THE STORY, dumbass!"

Lovely episode - it showed us how much those three (Sherlock, David, and, yes, Mary) cared about each other. It always fun to laugh at Holmes' anti-social behaviour, but it is truly nice to see him giving a damn about his fellow man. In light of what WILL happen next week, I really doubt an episode such as "The Sign of Three" can be once again possible. So I guess we'll have to enjoy it as the total anomaly it is within this series.
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If you have read the sherlock story that the last episode was based on you could have predicted most of it
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Well, yes, if I'd read it.
Which, obviously...
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Um... Who's David?
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... Yeah, don't know why I wrote it either.

John, of course, I meant John.
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I loved this episode! My only complaint was that he didn't solve "The Bloody Guardsman" story when he was telling it. I mean, Sherlock always gets his man. And he dismissed a solution, until the end which was brilliant!
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Actually, in the original stories, both Watson and Holmes call out a number of cases that were not solved, most are examples of stories that they're not going to bother telling because they went unsolved, but I think there are a couple stories that actually play out and don't get solved as the main plot.
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Haha I loved what Watson said about him not being a puzzle solver but a drama queen....so true! Up until that point he had been too distracted by the fact that Watson was getting married. Plus, it wasn't until he picked out the next victim that he could see the similarity of the belts...
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To me, it was a nice episode, but far the most weak of this season (not spoilers, I´m not that jerk) It was heartwarming, ad fun, maybe too much fun for my taste, but it was ok...drunk Sherlock is the second best Sherlock, the best is the one that shows feelings without noticing it...
For me, pregnant Mary is a very bad idea, it changes the characters balance so much....
Talking about this season so far (I´m going to do like the thrird episode doesn´t exist, explain how I felt when this episode aired) I was very afraid of the W-S dynamics with a watson´s bride, and because usually I don´t like the love interest of main charactersthat are introduced in a series, but I really like Mary, shewas fun, she likes Sherlock ( I don´t know if really or just because Watson love him so much...but it didn´t matter) but a child almost never improves a series.. IMO... a crying baby can bring one ot two funny moments, but not much more... he or she is going to make Watson much less avaible to Sherlock, and this is going to be a no win situation...
And....I´m going to say only one thing about the last episode... WAIT FOR IT! For me is one of the finnest episodes of tv of all the time... I´m so looking forward to discuss it with you!
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The comedy of this one was way too much for my taste.Don't get me wrong i love the funny parts in Sherlock but here they felt forced and sometimes out of place.
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I have to say, this is easily my favorite Sherlock episode yet. Sherlock Holmes drunk is one of the best things I've seen in my life.
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wow, as someone who already watched all three episodes last month i´m quite shocked that the reviews are coming out only now. well, brace yourselves people, third episode has quite a few awesome turns that you would never anticipate!
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tv.com is a U.S. site, and in order to keep their sponsors and such, they have to post reviews in accordance with the U.S. premiere dates. Sherlock is only just now airing in the U.S.
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Mrs Thomas is watching the Third season on BBC America.

I know... it's weird. But she is a company woman, and that's how TV.com wants to roll.

And yeah, Anastja's so right - if you don't know what's gonna happen next week... YOU DON'T KNOW. 'Nuff said.
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AFAIK, it's airing in the US only on PBS. This is a good thing, seeing as how PBS is commercial-free, unlike the sad BBCA. Furthermore, unlike some British imports to PBS, the Sherlock episodes are completely unedited for time constraints. (Rebroadcasts of Lewis, for example and by comparison, typically lose about ten minutes on this side of the pond. Grrr.)

I actually played back my copy of the capture of the original BBC broadcast of this episode on my PC while PBS was airing it in real time and the two copies stayed perfectly synced for the duration. Ergo, no editing. Hurray!
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It's playing on PBS because WGBH, Boston's PBS station, is co-producing this series, which I find refreshing.
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I have noticed that they occasionally mute bad words, but that's pretty insignificant.
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This episode showcases the weaknesses of Sherlock, (how he can have the opposite of tunnel vision, how he was unable to solve some cases, how people close to him like Mary can trick him) and also his hidden strengths.When the situation calls for it, he CAN summon his inner humanity for others to empathize, as demonstrated by how he persuaded Shoto out of committing suicide.What he lacks in emotion, he made up for it with brutal honesty that brought tears to the audience in his speech.All in all, very good episode.
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No, I think the reason he never solved the case of the grenadier was made pretty clear. It was because Watson saved his life, so he no longer cared about solving it.
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I hadn't thought of that but it makes sense....no doubt the wedding had something to do with it too
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The wedding was further in the future when they were working on the case of the bloody guardsman, I thought - that was a few months beforehand plot. Sherlock Holmes is actually always out to save a life and solve a crime before it becomes a murder, this episode was entirely inconsistent with that. Holmes simply didn't seem interested in exploring the idea anymore and walked away from the case during this episode, only to stumble upon its solution later.
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"The Empty Hearse" set up what appeared to be an overarching storyline, but then that storyline didn't factor at all into "The Sign of Three,"

Without spoiling 'His Final Vow', I must just say that oh yes it did factor in to this episode - you just won't realise it til next week! All the little pulled threads from the first two episodes come together in a very unexpected way, yet the clues are all there in front of our faces already. I hope you enjoy! As a side note, isn't it glorious when one of the pleasures of a series is being able to enjoy the delight of others watching it for the first time?
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Ooohhhh. I kind of like that. Can't wait for the final episode!
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If you watch closely next week you'll notice that when they that it ties back to the and of course there's the from season 1 which is completely unexpected and then when they with the donkey.
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"isn't it glorious when one of the pleasures of a series is being able to enjoy the delight of others watching it for the first time?"- SO TRUE!! My loved ones had seen cSherlock before me, and they love to see what I thin in every episode, and now, there is a friend that is seeing it and I can´t wait to talk with here about every detail, knowing what it´s going to happen....the best part of tv, at least for me, is talking about it with your friends
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The deduction he made when drunk made me laugh a lot...but the speech! wow the speech!. i don't even remember if i understood how he faked his death, but i can tell you that speech word for word..
...aah guys, how did Sherlock "not died" in last season finale?
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We don't really know. The last explanation, with the airbag, the corpse of the guy who looked a lot like Sherlock and the squash ball was referred to by Benedict Cumberbatch and some of the crew as the "real" one in the extra to series 3 that deals with "The Fall", but then Gatiss and Moffatt get the word and throw a wrench in it. They basically did a "This is the actual explanation..., or IS IT?" thing.
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thanks!!...was sure i missed something.
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I think this is the best episode of season 3.
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The new season has been SO good, except for the One Stupid Thing ruining each episode.
For The Empty Hearse, it was Gatiss and Moffat trolling us by not really revealing how Sherlock survived his fall (after having structured this entire episode and the season 2 cliffhanger around it).
For The Sign of Three, it was the great mystery completely falling apart by a solution that made no sense (people don't feel getting stabbed? And stab wounds that are so small that they can't be sensed kill people? Ridiculous).
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Eh... I think it's possible. :P Just research other cases. Whether or not it's true... it still made for an interesting plot point. It served its purpose by entertaining us.
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As the article I linked below shows, the case has been debunked.
Interesting? I guess. Entertaining? I think the rest of the episode was responsible for that. Previous episodes of Sherlock have been ingeniously enough constructed that I expect more than just entertainment from the actual cases. This one seemed like it belonged on a lesser procedural.
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Not to nit-pick, but your tumblr article is literally the only one I'm seeing proving or disproving the method in the show.

While I agree the tumblr article is probably correct in its statement, I'd want more than that to know for sure.
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This was a reference back to an original Doyle story and how a murder was committed.
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To add to my post below... as to a small stab wound... it wouldn't take much to reach the liver or kidney. And if you did it on the persons back they couldn't easily apply pressure to the wound themselves and would bleed out fairly quickly.
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From my understanding, it's possible depending on various circumstances... type of instrument, place on the body, if the area is tightly wrapped in the first place, method, if you were experiencing another sensation at the time, etc.

I recently just got a wound on my ankle that's pretty bad and I don't know when it happened. Likewise, some nurses can draw your blood or add an IV without you noticing, while others can cause a great deal of pain.

In this case, they explained it away via the tight belt and method of the stabbing.


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Googling a bit quickly turns up sites that debunk the event: http://wellingtongoose.tumblr.com/post/72482314087/sign-of-three-why-the-murder-doesnt-work
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It's not so ridiculous, there are several cases. One of the famous is Empress Elizabeth of Austria (Sissi). She was stabbed, kept walking and didn't realize something has happened until she collapsed.
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Yes, but she only walked 100 yards before collapsing, and she most certainly felt that something was wrong. On the show, it was suggested that the victims, or at least the second one, felt nothing for several hours.
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Because she has no belt holding the injury. The idea of Sherlock was that they didn't realize there were stabbed (that is why I gave the Sissi example) and secondly they didn't truly began "dying" until the belt was removed. Before that it was like applying pressure to the injury so it hold.
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She had a corset, which was a pretty big part of the explanation. A corset would be just as tight and cover more surface area of the body, so it would work even better than a belt.
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I absolutely love mary. :) I think she knew that both john and sherlock needed the other. I want to get the dubstepped theme song. Honestly, this season's music has been amazing. I cried a little with the the waltz.
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I totally agree with you, this was one of my favourite episodes of Sherlock for sure. I loved the way the episode weaved together the threads of the various cases, and it came together very well.
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This may have been my favourite episode of the show yet. I thought it was a bit too light for its own good at first, but it is given some retroactive gravitas as the season-wide elements in it are revealed in episode 3. On first viewing, it's really funny and charming, and I love how the realization that you've been watching Holmes unravel a mystery all along is mirrored in the season-wide plot. It's all very clever, which can be obnoxious on some other shows, but this being Sherlock, is a ton of fun.

The downside? Well, the finale isn't that great, partially because of how the first two episodes are structured. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
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A really moving performance of the sherlock/john duo. Those two are really funny when drunk.
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I loved everything about this episode. I especially loved that they showed us the fantastic chemistry amongst John, Mary and Sherlock all together. It's hard to take a new character into such a beloved fold (at least for this fan it often is), but I felt all warm and fuzzy because the show took time to show me that Mary really is the best choice for John--in no small part because Mary is good for Sherlock. I could argue that John and Mary being able to establish their relationship sans Sherlock at the beginning (except as a legendary great friend in John's memory) is the very reason they were able to have such a strong relationship anyway, but I don't even care.

This episode is probably my favorite of the entire show thus far. Super excited for the last episode coming up (and surprisingly untrepidatious about the heavy lifting it will have to do to conclude the "big story" of the season; Sherlock rarely lets me down and I've seen spoiler-free blurbs of reviews from over the pond that have been very positive)!

ps: Yay for Drunk Sherlock! Benedict Cumberbatch does some awesome things with the Sherlock character as a rule, but I loved loved loved that he got to play with Sherlock's affect in such fun ways. I need to make the screenshot of him and John asleep on Mrs. Hudson's stairs my new computer wallpaper. :)
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He wrote them a song......
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I'm so glad you pointed that out. It made the entire scene that much better.
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That was my favorite drunkduction, except maybe "cardigan"!
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I know. I laughed a lot at 'sitty thing????' and had to rewind that bit.
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I was trying to catch all the labels, particularly the moment I realized they were drunk perceptions rather than the norm. This one was funny.
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One of the best parts of the episode:
molly stbbing tom with a fork for intrupting sherlock's dectuctions

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I feel so embarrased everytime he speaks, just like Molly, I love her and I love the way she looks at him, so mad because he is telling stupid things... (stupid things compared to Sherlock wit, of course)
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and to think that Tom's theory is actually right though: a weapon with a size as a meat dagger
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"He's clueing for looks."
-- John Hamish Watson

This was my favorite episode of the three, even though next week's conclusion is/will be magnificent. Sherdrunk is hilarious, the wedding speech was perfection itself, and the meshing of various storylines was just fun to watch.

BTW, cheers to Gryffindor's Dean Thomas as the guardsman!

As for the overall storyline of the first episode being dropped, not at all. Just had to put a few more things in place for the finale, and they were dropped in this week while you weren't looking.
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Really? Great bit of HP trivia!
I think you can get 'clueing for looks' on a tshirt.
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And in the next episode we'll find somthing else to print on a t-shirt ;)
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Miss me?
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Actually that was way cooler than what I was thinking about! I thought about something that a certain man in glasses literally told Watson to wear on a t-shirt ;)
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I thought that was him! (Dean Thomas).
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