“Am I the current king of England?” – Sherlock Holmes
This new instalment of Sherlock was crammed with more emotion than seemed possible for a television show to achieve. The sign of three brought us the wedding of John Watson (Freeman) and Mary Morston, (Abbington) it brought the capture of yet another murderer. Most importantly it brought us John’s stag do and a very intoxicated Sherlock Holmes (Cumberbatch), resulting in the most entertaining piece of television that I have watched in a very long time.
If I was a Sherlock novice The Sign of Three alone would have had me hooked. The whole episode was shot exquisitely, especially the scenes inside the reception venue. The vivid yellow walls and floods of natural light created an astonishingly beautiful visual backdrop for the focal point of the episode, John and Sherlock’s devoted friendship. This also created a wonderful graphic contrast for coming to and from flashbacks.
Great credit must be given to Benedict Cumberbatch, as the entire episode effectively revolved around a humongous monologue. This took the form of Sherlock’s best man speech, where a series of amusing and curious cases were bound together, cleverly intertwined into an extremely elaborate yet happily satisfying outcome.
The Sign of Three was full of love, drama, excitement, mystery and so many laughs that there was barley a moment for composure. The writers have done incredibly well this series in giving their fans something to run, for example Holmes and Watson’s drunken game of ‘who am I?’ A personal favourite was Sherlock’s YouTube originated napkin folding skills “that, just sort of… happened”.
There were even moments that were genuinely tear inducing, although I’m sure audiences weren’t as close to crying as drunk Sherlock was when he heard about Tessa’s date not calling her. This excessive amount of comedy seemed to, like Sherlock himself, be a way of masking the underlying tone of sadness as a lonely man loses his best friend. This was touched on at the close of the episode when Sherlock, finding himself alone, leaves the wedding early.
It seems impossible to imagine an episode of Sherlock better than the Sign of Three, but with the final instalment ever approaching it’s even more impossible to refrain from excitement and expectation. Bring on Sunday.