Sunday, February 16, 2014

"The Sign of Three" (2014)

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The truth is, I don't know if I could possibly like a Sherlock ep as well as I love "The Empty Hearse."  So my appreciation of "The Sign of Three" may have suffered from the lingering glow I still feel from the season premiere.

Here, there be spoilers, just FYI.

To me, "The Sign of Three" felt kind of patchy.  I really liked some parts, but others I quite disliked.  I mean, do they really mean to imply that Sherlock makes all his brilliant deductions under imaginary orders from Mycroft?  I liked the idea of seeing inside Sherlock's Mind Court, as it were -- that was quite cool, especially when it flipped back and forth to the reality of him online-chatting with the real people.  But did we need the overly Freudian addition of Mycroft elevated above him on the judge's bench, the older and smarter brother Sherlock both reveres and fears?  No.  Totally could do without that.

Now, that part where Sherlock was interrogating Mary's guy friend and laying down rules for his future interaction with Mary?  Could.  Not.  Stop.  Laughing!


And I went off into giggle fits over him folding like a dozen napkin sculptures in three minutes and saying, "This just happened."

I think mostly, though, this ep felt unfocused.  (You kinda knew that was coming, didn'tcha.)  It popped back and forth between heartfelt (Sherlock staring at John in shocked silence when John asks him to be best man) to silly (drunk people aren't all that funny) to unnecessarily stupid (puking on a crime scene?  Don't do that again!!!).  Things that I think were supposed to be funny, like Lestrade rushing over to Sherlock's flat with guns blazing... I felt so bad for Lestrade that I didn't think it was funny at all.  And I felt Sherlock's worry over being best man much too keenly to laugh at a lot of other scenes.  Unlike my husband, I don't feel embarrassed with characters, but I do feel worried or afraid with them, and find it hard to laugh at characters in distress.

The mystery was quite cool.  As were the allusions to the canon novel The Sign of the Four, like the snippet of Sherlock and John chasing a blowdart-wielding Pygmy and the fact that it's a locked-room murder mystery.

And Mary Morstan Watson -- can she be more wonderful?  I can't imagine so, but we shall see!  I'm hoping to watch "His Last Vow" tonight :-D


12 comments:


  1. I did not like the disjointedness of the episode either, but after everything is brought together, I really liked it. I think I liked this episode just as much as the first one because of the humor and the mystery. *Spoilers* However, I figured John's former commander was the target early on because there was no other reason as to why he was introduced other than being apart of the mystery. *End Spoiler*

    I hope you enjoy "His Last Vow"! :)

    -James

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    1. After further pondering, I've concluded that what I really didn't like is how my emotions kept getting interrupted. I would be empathizing, and then they'd want me to laugh. I'd be laughing, and they'd want me to be serious. Hmm.

      We decided to hold off on "His Last Vow" until Friday so we don't watch it almost back-to-back with this one and then be done with Sherlock eps so soon.

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  2. Ha, I felt so bad for Lestrade I didn't think that scene was funny either. Poor guy, what did he do to deserve all that?? :P I found the random/episodic style of this episode to be rather nice and unique though, I didn't mind it at all, and this is now my favorite of the third series. The "Mind Courtroom" was awesome, best part! Looking forward to your take on His Last Vow!

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    1. A friend pointed out that I'm reacting to the Lestrade thing in very much the way I reacted to the beginning of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when all those blasted dwarves messed up Bilbo's home. I hate being interrupted or having things messed up when I've got them where I want them, a fact that is pretty hard to reconcile with three small children, but there it is -- and so I empathize sooooooooo much with Lestrade and Bilbo in those instances.

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  3. I find Sherlock’s opinion of his brother enlightening, actually – it’s a heavy implication that Sherlock represses his own emotions to be more LIKE Mycroft; they have an ongoing battle of supremacy between them (“I AM the smarter brother!”) that originates in Mycroft’s insistence on battering Sherlock about the head with his past mistakes at every turn. I don’t think Sherlock reveres Mycroft or elevates him in any way – I think he is terrified of him (Mycroft’s presence in Sherlock’s mind palace in the third episode further sheds light on this), defiant of him, and Mycroft sits on the judge’s seat not because Sherlock put him there, but because that’s where Mycroft gravitates toward naturally – a position of higher authority, looking down on his foolish younger brother.

    Quite possibly sharing Sherlock’s type (he wavers, writing-wise, between INTP and ISTP) … I both relate keenly to him much of the time and find him hilarious. This episode cracks me up – even though it’s extremely far-fetched; who doesn’t feel themselves being STABBED? No matter how tight the belt is, that’s completely irrational and absurd… but then, most of this season has been absurd, crime-wise. (A bomb with an off switch? REALLY? Just… no.)

    But I love it anyway.

    I didn’t feel all that bad for Lestrade, because he overreacted. Dude, maybe stop to clarify things, since you KNOW THIS IS FROM SHERLOCK, AND HE’S THE BIGGEST DRAMA QUEEN EVER TO EXIST. So… I laughed. But I’m mean in that way.

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    1. Yeah, I can see that about him vs. Mycroft. I don't like it, but I can see it.

      I share the ISFJ type with John and Lestrade -- I HATE getting interrupted, especially for a non-good reason, but I'm also the protector, so you send me a plea for help and I will run in with guns blazing every time. Which leaves me feeling like Sherlock manipulated Lestrade for his own amusement, which I dislike extremely.

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    2. Mycroft ... I adore him. He's a complete and utter jerk, but I love him -- and ... well, when you see the third episode, you'll get a tiny bit of insight into how he sees his little brother that is quite heart-wrenching.

      Yes, I know. You and Carissa react the same way to everything. ;)

      Considering this isn't the first time Sherlock has been thoughtless in demanding someone come to him at once for an utterly trivial reason, I genuinely don't believe he amuses himself in that fashion -- he doesn't set out to cause people trouble on purpose, he merely is so self-absorbed that his needs are a global event. He didn't manipulate Lestrade for his own amusement -- he genuinely needed him. I think he was actually very surprised to hear the sirens!

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    3. I don't think of Mycroft as a jerk, but I do think he's very... manipulative?

      And you're right, I reviewed that first bit, and he's genuinely surprised that Lestrade was worried and called in the cavalry.

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  4. The empty hearse was my favorite episode but i enjoyed this one a lot. I loved Sherlock's whole speech, the way he was nervous and all that. i think it showed that he doesn't have everything all together like everyone thing he does. Plus the whole murder was intriguing. Overall i really enjoyed the episode

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    1. Yes, I thought this one had some good self-learning for Sherlock, as he discovered he's not practically perfect in every way. And as he found ways to be as helpful as he possibly could, like the napkin-folding. It wasn't my least-favorite ep ever (that's "The Blind Banker"), but I don't love it either.

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  5. Yes... I agree with your opinion on this episode! :) And Mary is so awesome... ever after 'His Last Vow'... ;)

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    1. We plan to watch "His Last Vow" this weekend -- looking forward to it! I've tended to like the first and third eps of each season best, and not the middle as much, so guessing that might hold through with this season too.

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