Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Sherlock (Third Season)


“The Empty Hearse.” Oh please!!! A bungee cord? Sherlock bouncing down and then up, crashing through a window? Remember, Watson watched him fall, he saw the whole thing before the cyclist knocked him down. And he didn’t see the bungee cord? If this was their explanation for how Sherlock staged his own death … well, I was about to toss the remote through the TV screen.

Luckily, as I was winding up to throw, it was revealed that this was just the 1,001st cockamamie explanation of a long series of cockamamie explanations dreamed up by something called the Empty Hearse Club, a group who refuse to believe Sherlock is dead. (Saving me having to buy a new TV set, or at least a new remote.) No, the writers were up to no good here, but I was okay with it. It was clear that we would be offered several other unlikely scenarios, and that we would be teased until quite far along in the episode before we got to see the real truth.

Which was highly complex, not to say improbable, but as somebody once said (I can’t recall who), when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

So Sherlock shows up again, interrupting Watson’s proposal of marriage, and gets attacked several times by Watson in an increasingly bloody series of assaults. The poor doctor is rightly pissed off that the bastard hid the fact of his survival from his best (and only) friend for two years. Me, I’d have given the rotter more than a bloody nose. Sure, Sherlock had his reasons for staying dead, but it turns out there were about twenty-five people who knew he was alive, as it took at least that many to help him in his improbable scheme. Why not tell Watson?

Oh, well, you know they will make up and be friends again, even though Sherlock pulls another nasty fast one aboard a tube train car that has been converted to a giant bomb set to go off under Parliament on Guy Fawkes Day. Me, I’d have punched the bastard in the nose again.

“The Sign of Three.” A play on the Conan Doyle title “The Sign of Four.” And here, for me, just a little of the sizzle of this series began to wear off. Not anything to get too excited about, but … well, I had the same reaction to Terminator II: Judgement Day. No question, that was a terrific action movie. And it had a great, implacable terminator in it. But I missed Arnold as the great implacable terminator. The new, kinder, gentler Arnold-terminator, and particularly the mushy goodbye scene as he dissolves in the molten steel, never felt good to me.

Here Sherlock is softened up quite a bit. Not totally, you understand, he’s still given to saying wildly inappropriate things at Watson’s wedding, but then he follows it with things that are sure to bring a tear to your eye. And that’s the trouble. I don’t want Sherlock to bring a tear to my eye. I want him to remain the “high-functioning sociopath” we all hold so dear. Oh, well.

The main action here takes place at the wedding of John and Mary, with Sherlock as the best man reminiscing about some of the cases they handled. There were a lot of laughs, as usual.

“His Last Vow.” In which we meet a new villain, the King of Blackmail, a man who has the dirt on everyone in the world worth having dirt on. He seems a little … well, small-time and petty compared to the grand criminal schemes of good old Moriarty. But never fear. After Sherlock has disposed of the man (in an uncharacteristically non-cerebral manner, i.e., putting a few ounces of lead through his cerebrum), Moriarty appears on every telly screen in the UK, saying “Did you miss me?” I, for one, did, and look forward to his return in the fourth season.