Review: Sherlock – The Sign of Three

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Sherlock solves his greatest mystery yet… how to deliver a Best Man’s speech on Watson’s Wedding Day.

By far the funniest and warmest episode since the show started. With ‘The Sign of Three’ taking the Sherlock and Watson dynamic into new territory, both for the characters and story telling , it is also one of the strangest.

Unknowingly, this week’s case is told through a series of anecdotes told by Sherlock during his Best Man’s speech. Along with the now familiar flashbacks, once again, as in the previous episode, ‘The Sign of Three’ focuses more on the changing relationship of Sherlock and Watson, than the case itself.

In this episode Sherlock describes himself as a ‘high functioning sociopath’, but even the lamest pseudo psychologists could see he isn’t. Maybe the Sherlock of the first series was, but not now. The emotionally-ridden Sherlock we have now is clearly a different man from the emotionally empty one we first met back in ‘A Study in Pink’.

Whether this is a change for the better is yet to be seen, as other fundamental changes are also taking place. It seems Mary Morstan is going to play a prominent role in the show, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as she clearly doesn’t wish to be a barrier to Sherlock and Watson’s friendship, quite the opposite in fact. But, due to Sherlock’s lake of emotional intelligence, Mary does seem to have the upper hand on him, which for me, undermines not just Sherlock but also his adversaries.

If Mary can read Sherlock like a book, then in theory, it shouldn’t be too difficult for a villain of even average intelligence to outsmart The Great Detective as well. But, these aren’t criticisms of the episode itself, rather concerns for the direction the show seems to be taking.

In the writer’s defence, women have always proved problematic for Sherlock and in all likelihood if the writers had continued with the tried and test formula of the previous two series, critics would probably be complaining about that too. So the writers should be credited for taking the show in new directions, and for all the changes in Sherlock’s personality, the sharp plots and witty scripts remain intact.

Without doubt the funniest and at times most touching episode so far, it could also prove to be the turning point for where the show goes in the future.

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