Sherlock 'The Sign of Three' TV review: Bromance is in the air
The super-sleuth gave an unforgettable best man speech and managed to solve a murder at the same time
Sunday 05 January 2014
Following on from the hysterics of Sherlock’s "resurrection" on New Year's Day, things were decidedly lighter - well, as light as it gets on this show. It was John and Mary’s big day and Sherlock was charged with the role of best man. Sherlock Holmes and weddings. Who would have thought it?
Unlike the usual open and shut case, this week was made up of a compelling series of vignettes told via Sherlock’s unorthodox best man speech. All the strands were delicately woven together by writer Stephen Thompson to create a strong story.
Thompson previously penned both The Blind Banker and The Reichenbach Fall. Just like those two instalments, the murder mystery elements were done well and kept viewers and wedding guests on the edge of their seats until the end.
The Sign of Three melded comedy with drama wonderfully, seguing from murder to matrimony with any disconnect. One moment a toast was raised to the happy couple and the next John, Mary and Sherlock were trying to talk Sholto out of killing himself.
Benedict Cumberbatch played the high-functioning sociopath super-sleuth with aplomb, treating viewers to an inebriated version of the detective – complete with falling asleep on a client’s rug midway through an investigation before vomiting on it. Yes, even world class consulting detectives get a bit squiffy sometimes.
The dubstep remix of the Sherlock theme simply added to the overall skewed, beer goggled effect. It was not his finest hour but if Sherlock ever went to Ibiza, this is probably the state he’d end up in or worse given his history with drugs.
Sherlock the drunk was a welcome change to the usually slick, unshakable detective. But wait, there was more. The bromance hit an all-time high, even if it was John and Mary’s big day. In a Sherlock first, John admitted to loving his best friend albeit in a platonic way – those hoping for the Watson/Holmes hook-up may be waiting a while yet. Plus fans already saw the Moriarty-Sherlock snog.
Despite his revulsion to any sort of sentiment or nostalgia, Sherlock’s speech was at times quite touching and he revealed just how much John means to him. This is the most we have seen the pair express their feelings for one another, usually they are too busy saving the day to let something as trivial as emotion get in the way. Only Mrs Hudson really picks up on their deep friendship and comically misreads it.
While it is not the strongest story of the Sherlock saga, the writing is just as sharp and fresh, with the mind palace element toned down a few notches. The Sign of Three was packed to the rafters with wit and comedy. There was plenty to leave viewers howling with laughter, mainly thanks to Sherlock’s general apathy towards humankind.
With the sunlight hitting his face, Sherlock looked positively corpse-like and out of place among all the festivities and smiles. Sunshine and happiness are not his strong points, unless it’s a piercingly bright winter sun and a wry, knowing sneer with a curled lip.
It was relief to see Sherlock don the coat once more, pull up his collar and return to Baker Street. After this brief, bright-ish interlude, the tone will no doubt darken again for next week’s finale.
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
EastEnders Christmas Day special, TV review: It's all about the Carters this Christmas - and Danny Dyer is brilliant
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Doctor Who: Jenna Coleman to stay on as Peter Capaldi’s assistant Clara Oswald in next series
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader