Advice: watch “The Sign of Three.” Next, watch it again and then, one more time. You are now aware of half the brilliance of this episode, a quarter of the asides and a teenth of the foreshadowing that has been laid out like Cumberbatch on a chaise lounge as I draw him in Villa Nude, where we live. Way to break the pattern, boy-o’s! “Baskerville” holds the title for lamest ‘Lock episode, followed closely by ”The Blind Banker,” making the seconds of the series the slowest to get through. But not this time! Onward!
The vampire Lestat bellows out something about injustice as he swings his cape toward his Transylvanian Gran Turismo. He is joined by the six in the sixty-nine that is Anderson and Donovan, and she speaks in that way that she speaks all the time. They are tailing the cohorts from the opening heist in The Dark Knight and upon finally nabbing them, Lestat receives an S.O.S. From Baker Street. “Gah!” says he, thickly. “I must-uh go!” Donovan mentions that Sherlock is a sociopath because that needs to happen every season and off Lestat flies, at the darkest of hours. He swoops into 221B to find a fully intact Sherlock, sitting miserably at his desk with Best Man-speech-writers-block. Smoke shoots out of Lestat’s ears as his face reddens with the sound of a tea kettle. Exterior shot shows the building quake. “SHER-LOCCCCCKKKKKKK!”
It’s the Freeman wedding that never were! John and Mary are wed and top hats are adorned. A photog snaps a 3D shot that I’d like to order about a hundred of for my own nuptials, thanks. Sherlock wears a slinky brunette on his arm and walks extremely upright. “No sex, buster!” says the brunette, who will later insinuate that she’d like to have sex with him a bunch. A greeting line forms before Watson, his love and also Mary. Sherlock freaks out each and every guest one by one; also big ups to Wardrobe for putting Mary’s bridesmaids in Pantone’s color of the year! There is a scene in which Sherlock talks with the hobbity ring bearer and bonds with the kid over gory photos. Cumberbatch is being cute with a child! I scream, as if it were a touchdown being scored in the footing ball. At the wedding, an old man with kind eyes enters and John is happy to see him! They chat and the man is the hated but respectable Major Sholto and he’s going to do something later, probably.
Thump, thump, thump goes Mycroft on a treadmill; postured like the Pink Panther in a room of fragrant oak. He kicks away his Wii Fit platform and answers Young Sherlock’s phone call. “Things is changing” says Mycroft en re: John getting married. “The fuck did I call you for?” says Sherlock into the phone but more to himself, and he hangs up. Food is gobbled and drunken and it’s time for Sherlock to speak! GULP! Sherlock mumbles through the Telegrams, which is a thing we don’t do at American weddings because it requires a mouth void of food for a minute. Cut back to John proposing that Sherlock be his bestie and this shit is hilarious. Blink, blink, blink go the world’s most turquoise peepers as Sherlock adds up the small man’s request. In real time, Sherlock launches into a speech about how he looks extra intelligent alongside John, much like how Mary looks extra pretty next to her plain bridesmaids today. He says a bunch of honest/mean stuff and heaves the sigh of a bored high schooler. “BASICALLY I’M THE WORST but John’s still my boy and that’s what makes him a bro.” And everyone’s like, “definitely” and “yes” and “total bro.” It is then that Sherlock pulls down a thin white screen and announces that he’s going to show an episode of Sherlock!!!
The episode inside the episode begins with a very handsome member of the National Guard, and Hogwart’s resident black student Dean Thomas, claiming that he’s being followed by the late Colin Creevey and his basilisk-cam. Watslock go to find Dean and find him dead; stabbed and nekkid. It is vital that I note that, in this scene, John is wearing a cardigan sweater vest buttoned all the way up. All the professors and John and Sherlock gather at Dean’s body as John does doctor-poking. Dean is still breathing but John says he needs Sherlock’s scarf to stifle the wound or Dean will die. Holmes turns to the men surrounding. “My condolences on the death of this young man” he says, with his scarf still on.
Back at the wedding Lestat has a theory that involves a dwarf, but immediately flees as garlic shrimp hors d’oeuvres get passed around. “Bye, Gerritt!” says Sherlock to the Lestat-shaped whole in the wall before remembering the name of Molly’s date after only meeting him twice. Mr. Molly coins the term “meat dagger,” and you know there was some white dude in the room who tugged at his girlfriend’s sleeve and then gestured toward his own junk.
Everyone shut the fuck up because here comes the Bachelor Party part and in reality I cannot improve upon the hilarity that already ensues within these twelve minutes. HOW MANY TIMES have we seen Sherlock correctly rattle off the minutia of a case and thought, yeah, but DO IT DRUNKER. The retelling of this eve begins with Sherlock consulting the constantly drunk and ever-shirtless Molly Hooper for pub-crawl advice. Cut to a Williamsburg bar that only serves beer from beakers as, you know, their thing. A Skrillex cover of the Sherlock theme clicks on and the men drink and drink and it’s more than we ever could have asked for. They stay out for two hours before they’re spooning on the floor of 221B. They play Apples to Applesand it’s a real hoot. John leans forward to take his turn and grabs Sherlock’s knee for balance and Sherl’s like “I don’t care, dude,” when John acknowledges it (this happens for real).
A client arrives and the men drunkenly listen to her the way most men soberly listen to me when I talk about my art. Sherlock waltzing around the crime scene is a joy to behold, but nothing is better than John standing tight mouthed and observant as he oversees this scene approvingly. “He’s clueing,” John <i>actually</i>says. Sherl sleeps and barfs and they wake up in jail. The shadowy Lestat bails them out and it’s back to Baker Street for some breakfast with Mrs. Hudson as she explains that her ex was basically Tuco Salamanca. Upstairs Holmes weeds out ladies in his mind’s City Hall the way Benedict Cumberbatch probably decides who he’ll sleep with next. He polls the ladies on their respective Mayfly ghosts. They tell of very different men, sharing no qualities other than that their Mayflies’ occupations were all “for hire”. He stumbles back to the original lady, Tessa, when she casually mentions John’s wedding and before it, his despis-ed “H”. Among the pretty ladies is suddenly Mycroft, right where he belongs. Tessa is both in the group of Mayfly victims and in the know about the Watson nuptials. Bingo-bango, let the Sherlocking begin!!
So somebody’s going to get moida’d! Holmes is up and deducting like it’s that verse in Eminem’s “Rap God”. Sherlock remains as rude as ever in an effort to make all beings hate him. He deduces the party down to Major Sholto— a man hated by many for leading a young fleet into battle, none of which returned but himself. Hated by many = a target for murder! Hooray, we can all go home now! Archie the Hobbit knows what we all don’t, that the Invisible Man could kill anyone, seeing as he’s invisible, duh. Sholto exits the reception and goes to his room, ready to be ambushed. Sherlock and Mary and John run to the Major’s door and Sherlock tells him that, ready as he may be, Sholto’s been killed hours ago by his pretty belt. “Delayed-Action Stabbing,” cites Sherlock, as if it’s a thing. Sholto says that he believes Sherlock and him to be similar, submitting that there a destined moment for each of us to die, to which Sherlock kind of agrees, seeing as he died two years prior but is here anyway. Sholto gets talked into getting medical help and that’s that. Downstairs, the guests play a game where one makes an animal sound and the rest have to guess what it is.
As the wedding resumes, Sherlock and the brunette Janine dance and flirt; each good at only one of those things. Sherlock sews up the rest of the still-open case, cuffing the Mayfly Photographer to a coat rack and summoning Lestat, who had been sleeping upside down in a closet as a bat. The Watsons dance as Sherlock plays his miniature chin guitar and it’s beautiful. He vows to always “be there,” which undoubtedly will mean something specific in “His Last Vow,” aka this season’s finale. Then he tells John that he’s pregnant and it’s his. No clarification is provided.
Misc.: This is the best show. It is. The first ten minutes of “Three” had Mrs. Hudson wondering what kind of friend leaves a wedding early, an hour+ before we see Sherlock sneak an early exit. I had been enjoying this episode to the max and then a naked Lara Pulver showed up and bing! it became the greatest. And Redbeard! Who or where or what or when are you to earn such a human reaction from our favorite high-functioning sociopath? Next week tells all!
all writing by Krista Jensen.
Find “The Empty Hearse“‘s recap, here.