Sherlock "The Sign of Three" Recap

Lestrade is in hot pursuit of the Waters gang but each attempt proves fruitless. He is determined to catch them in the act so as to ensure justice will be served. Right before the big bust, he receives a text from Sherlock  asking for help and though he is initially conflicted, he ends up racing off to Baker Street while calling for back-up. When he arrives, he learns that Sherlock needs help writing his "Best Man" speech for John's wedding. It's a touching moment as you see just how much Lestrade truly does care about Sherlock's well-being.

On the morning of the wedding, Mrs. Hudson tells Sherlock that this is a significant day, and shares that she never saw her best friend/maid of honour after her marriage to Mr. Hudson. Before the wedding, one of the bridesmaids, Janine, strikes up some banter with Sherlock. She quickly realises that Sherlock is not going to be seduced, but is delighted by his ability to deduce which men at the wedding are less than desirable partners.

As John and Mary greet guests, one of Mary's friends, David, is rather distant with Mary. As it turns out, Sherlock has put tremendous fear into him by saying that he will be monitoring him, having noted his still being in love with her. The ring bearer, a young boy named Archie, greets Sherlock with a tremendous hug. We flashback to Sherlock unintentionally winning him over by showing him photos of decomposing bodies that were part of his cases. Molly is in attendance with her fiancee Tom, Lestrade is drinking perhaps-too-heavily, and Mrs. Hudson has a magnificent hat adorning her head. John is happy that Major James Sholto is also in attendance; Major Sholto was his military commander. It is surprising that he has chosen to attend, because he frequently receives death threats after he lost a unit of soldiers in Afghanistan. Sherlock calls Mycroft right after Mycroft has been running on a treadmill, and Mycroft suggests that they will be seeing more of each other after John and Mary get married (implying that the couple will be spending less time with Sherlock post-wedding).

Sherlock begins his speech and after reading some telegrams, he tells the story of John's asking him to be his best man. (Note: this "Will you be my best man?" snippet is the clip that was shown at the "Sherlock" panel at SDCC 2013). John's first attempts to ask him about "the Best Man" lead to Sherlock listing men whom he considers to be the greatest - in a general sense. John clarifies further by stating that he needs a Best Man for his wedding. Sherlock suggests Gavin Lestrade (this is humorous because Lestrade's first name is Greg, and Sherlock still somehow fails to remember him correctly). Sherlock remains confused when John states that none of his suggestions are his best friend. John wants to be surrounded by the two people that he loves and cares for most: Mary and... *insert a pause that Sherlock fails to understand* Sherlock. Sherlock reacts with rapid blinking. Sherlock tells the guests that he told John that he was flattered and surprised when in actuality, he stood stunned in silence. Each time Sherlock tells the guests that he replied to John, the camera cuts back to Sherlock still standing silently. Sherlock states that he finally realises he had never said any of those things out loud. Flashback-Sherlock questions John about his being his best... when John says "man" in agreement, Sherlock asks, "friend?" (A loud chorus of "Awww"s was uttered at the panel at this moment). Still stunned, Sherlock accidentally drinks from his cup of tea in which he had dropped an eyeball that he was experimenting on at the top of the scene.

Sherlock continues with the speech by at first seemingly belittling the marriage ritual. But the tide eventually turns as he expresses self-deprecation and incredible insight to his own character flaws, and shares great admiration and respect for John. It is a moving speech that causes many of the guests to shed tears. Sherlock is bewildered, asking John if he has done something wrong when seeing the emotional state of the guests.

Sherlock transitions into the rehashing of some previous cases on which the two have worked together. Eventually, he settles on "The Bloody Guardsman." There was a Guardsman named Bainbridge (played by Harry Potter's Alfie Enoch - Dean Thomas) who wrote to Sherlock with concerns that he was being stalked. They try to meet Bainbridge, but are unable to at first as he is on duty. When they finally reach him, he is nearly dead, having been found in a shower with a stab wound. It is a mystery since there is no weapon to be found and nowhere for the attempted-murderer to have escaped to. Due to John's medical training, Bainbridge's life is saved. Sherlock questions the guests on how this could have happened but no one is able to do so. As it turns out, the purpose of the story was not to say how the murder occurred but to celebrate John's saving Bainbridge's life. Sherlock has yet to solve the mystery.

Sherlock shares the happenings of the stag night. Sherlock attempts to calculate the proper means of their consuming alcohol and staying on a schedule but John keeps spiking Sherlock's drinks, leading Sherlock to get far drunker than originally intended. (We are even treated to a dubstep remix of the 'Sherlock' theme in this montage). This transitions into a case, "The Mayfly Man." Back at 221B, Sherlock and John are still drunk when they are visiting by a new client, Tessa. She shares the story of her going on a date and spending the night with a man. When he never gets in touch with her, she visits his apartment, only to find that the man whose name was on the flat had died several weeks prior. This is the reason for her believing that the man she was with was in fact a ghost. Sherlock and John visit the apartment in search of clues, but end up being arrested for their inebriated states. The next morning, Lestrade releases them but not before getting in a good yell to make John's cranium throb. Sherlock researches other womyn in London who have the same story as Tessa. He eventually deduces, with John's help, that the man must have been a married, serial adulterer with an elaborate means of stepping out on his partner.

When he is about to finish his toast, Sherlock freezes and realises that Tessa knew John's middle name (Hamish), a fact he keeps very secret. Since he knows that John had never stated it in her presence, he realises that she must have seen one of the wedding invitations. He also realises that the Mayfly Man must be at the wedding and is there to make an attempt on Sholto's life (Sholto was the common thread between the womyn - they all confidentially worked for him). Sherlock continues to talk, trying to narrow things down, whilst sending a text to Lestrade to lock the place down, and also slipping in the phrase "Vatican Cameos," alerting John to the fact that something is indeed wrong and someone's life is in danger. During Sherlock's erratic rambling, Tom speculates that Sherlock must be pissed (drunk - for those of you who don't understand British English), and Molly stabs his hand with a fork. Let this be a lesson to all - don't insult Molly's man when she is present and expect to get away unscathed.

He slips Sholto a note informing him of his being in danger and Sholto heads back to his room. Sherlock, John, and Mary all chase after him and try to get Sholto to open the door. Sherlock has also realised that the attempt on Bainbridge's life was a practice run. He realises that the tight uniform belts bound the flesh and delayed the effect of a thin blade stabbing them hours before they even realised that they were injured. Sholto refuses to open the door even after Sherlock has solved the mystery and even contemplates committing suicide by removing his belt but Sherlock manages to talk him down by reminding him that ending his life would ruin John's wedding, as well as cause him great personal distress. John tends to his wounds and saves his life.

Later that night, Sherlock reveals to Janine that he loves to dance and even demonstrates a pirouette. Sherlock has Lestrade apprehend the wedding photographer, Jonathan Small, and identifies him as the Mayfly Man. As it turns out, Jonathan's brother was one of the men lost under Sholto's command and the attempted murder was revenge for this loss. He provides Lestrade with a pair of handcuffs, to which Janine asks if he always carries a pair around and he immediately responds by saying, "Down, girl." The chemistry between these two is outstanding.

Sherlock plays the violin for John and Mary's first dance and the piece is an original composition for them. He accidentally states that he will look after the three of them in front of everyone. He comes down to speak with the two of them as dancing commences. He reveals that Mary's increased appetite, change in taste perception, and sickness in the morning are all signs that she is pregnant and should get tested. John and Mary are shocked but overjoyed nonetheless. Sherlock spots Janine and briefly looks as if he'll join her in a dance before noting that she is enjoying the company of one of the male guests. He looks disappointed about not getting to dance and heads back to the front of the room. (It was really a silly thing to do; if he'd pulled a "May I cut in?" of course she wouldn't have hesitated to drop that other fellow). Sherlock folds his composition for John and Mary and places it in an envelope as a wedding present for the couple. He then heads out and Molly watches him leave. (I can't think of any proper reason why she couldn't have gone after him and had a dance with him. Being engaged doesn't mean you're forbidden from dancing with others). Sherlock puts on his coat and has left the wedding early, just as Mrs. Hudson's maid of honour did (you can imagine how upsetting this echo was for Sherlockians).

Sherlock Series 3 is already available for DVD purchase in the UK and a 4th series has been commissioned. The BBC is hoping to have this 4th series out in time for Christmas 2014.


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