Sherlock, Series 3, episode 2
John and Mary Watson’s wedding provides the setting for this episode, and more use of the ensemble – particulaly Greg Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, Molly Hooper and of course Mary Watson. In fact the whole episode is centred around Sherlock’s role as best man in the wedding and his best man speech, which turns into a flashback of various stories and then culminates with a potential murder at Watson’s own wedding.
Having had a relatively long time to write and plan for the third series, and with so much more anticipation and increased audience numbers after the second series, Moffat and Gatiss have rather disappointed so far in the first two episodes of three. The mysteries have played second fiddle to the relationship between Watson and Sherlock, and various, extended, ways for John Watson to speak about his deep love for Sherlock Holmes. It’s nice and all, but we’re not seeing much of Sherlock doing his Sherlock thing – instead we’re seeing more of Sherlock being a ‘sociopath’ and lacking social skills instead of a crime-solving genius.
So there are two main mysteries which become entwined into one – which Sherlock relates through his best man’s speech (a far too long speech – why did no one cut him off? Surely Watson knew that Sherlock would be incapable of an ‘ordinary’ speech? And although Molly realised that the speech would be a disaster – I thought there would be something more in that conversation she had with Lestrade and Hudson about it, where they would help him out in some way, but this didn’t happen).
The two stories: ‘The Bloody Guardsman’ and the ‘Mayfly Man’ then. In the first, a royal guardsman has a stalker and is found stabbed in a locked shower. The second entails a man, who takes on the persona of recently dead men, who has one date with five women and then disappears. In the end it all leads to the planned murder of General Sholto, John’s other friend and former commanding officer, who leads a reclused life after having taken a group of young ‘crows’ (new recruits) into some battle where they had all died apart from him.
Both had remained unsolved until Sherlock realised that the Mayfly Man was at the wedding, and got his detective juices flowing to work out that the murder was carried out by a pin through the guards’ belt, and that the murderer was the photographer.
In between these stories though, which only emerged towards the end, the episode was interested in various discussions about how marriage would change Watson’s and Sherlock’s relationship; Sherlock’s meetings with the ushers; his help to the bridesmaid to weed out potential dates and various other ‘hilarities’…. Meanwhile there was a very short appearance of ‘The Woman’ (Irene Adler) and Mary Watson is pregnant (hence the title – the sign of three). Only one episode left to go – this series needs to redeem itself or no one will wait in fevered anticipation for the next series anymore…