A Nice Day For A Watson Wedding
Sherlock doesn't let a little thing like murder mar John and Mary's big day. Well, not much, anyway.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Lestrade vs. a Tire
Lestrade, frustrated by eighteen months of repeatedly trying to collar a gang of clown mask-wearing bank robbers, takes out his intense frustration on a poor innocent tire. And then when he finally does corner members of the Waters family, he is diverted from making the arrest himself by a series of urgent text messages from Sherlock. Still reeling from losing Sherlock once, Lestrade freaks out, drops everything, calls for "backup, maximum backup," and peels off to Baker Street, only to find that Sherlock needs help with his Best Man's speech for John and Mary's wedding more than he needs the helicopter now hovering over his flat.
Winner: The tire, obviously.
Tea And Unwelcome Sympathy
Who called the meeting? Mrs. Hudson.
What's it about? Mrs. Hudson interrupts Sherlock as he composes and perfects his waltz just to bring him a cuppa and drop the bomb that once John is married, his wonderful, loving friendship with Sherlock will be depressingly changed forever and ever and ever.
How'd it go? Good from Mrs. Hudson's standpoint, since she got off some more crazy anecdotes about the time she married a future double murderer, which caused her to drift away from her best friend immediately. But bad for Sherlock, since he is forced to face the reality of looking at John's empty armchair for longer stretches of time.
The Marriage Of True Minds
John and Mary are married! And lots of photos are taken! Including one where Sherlock poses with Janine, the bridesmaid, who first totally terrifies Sherlock by teasing him that they're supposed to have sex, and then decides his profiling abilities will prove useful for her finding a wedding snog/shag!
(Programming note: The rest of the episode will now take place at the wedding, but we'll flash back to events leading up to the big day, including how Sherlock took it upon himself to expand his Best Man duties in some very interesting ways. Come along!)
Fall Of The Heart Of The Usher
On the pretense of explaining his ushering duties to him, Sherlock downgrades David, Mary's too attentive ex-boyfriend, from friend to casual acquaintance and informs him that he's allowed to see Mary no more than three times a year, and only when John is there, too.
Confidential to my Enterprise pals: does Sherlock remind you of someone?They're right about you: you're a bloody psychopath!High-functioning sociopath. With your number.
Here Comes The Bribe
Who called the meeting? Sherlock.
What's it about? Sherlock instructs Archie, the mop-headed moppet, on how to perform his ring-bearing duties, adding that he really does have to wear the "outfit" because "grown-ups like that sort of thing."
How'd it go? Not well at first, since Archie refuses point-blank to agree to Sherlock's demands. But when Archie asks if Sherlock can prove that he's a really solved "loads" of murders, Sherlock excitedly shows him some lurid crime scene photos, which the kid totally digs, and Sherlock totally digs the kid digging it. Later, at the wedding, Archie ecstatically throws his arms around Sherlock's legs; Sherlock awkwardly pats him on the head, and it comes out that Sherlock bribed Archie into his duties by promising some photos of beheadings.
Soldier Of Misfortune
Let's meet John's erstwhile and highly decorated commanding officer, who forces his battle-scarred body to put in a welcome, but still surprising, appearance at the wedding.
Name: Maj. James Sholto. Age: 30-40s. Occupation: Dodging death threats after leading a team of new recruits into battle and being the only one who made it out alive; exciting friend-jealousy in John's current BFF. Goal: To avoid all contact with society except in the case of attending good friend and military subordinate John Watson's wedding. Sample Dialogue: "It's good to see you."
Though she may be dressed as a delicate, retiring Jane Austen-ish bride who wouldn't even let a burp escape her mouth on Her Day, Mary makes the most spectacular grody wine face and glottal noise at her wedding and it makes me love her so damn much.
Mycroft's New Phrase Should Be "I'm Listening"
Obediently toeing tonight's sub-theme by feeling increasingly left out of John's life, Sherlock interrupts Mycroft's spandex-rich workout (which is totally like accidentally seeing your teacher naked) on the pretense of asking if Mycroft is coming to the evening portion of the wedding. (He isn't.) In an impromptu therapy session, Mycroft totally calls Sherlock out on already being lonely now that John is married, and reminds Sherlock that Mycroft always told him "don't get involved" because it just leads to calling him from weddings and interrupting his workout from loneliness. Sherlock insists that he's fine until Mycroft mysteriously drops the name "Redbeard," which we can only surmise by the blink-and-you'll-miss-it tremble in Sherlock's chin is the baby badger Sherlock bottle-fed back to life after he found him abandoned by his badger mother on the Holmes estate when he was a child and which was then later shot after it was discovered to have rabies that Sherlock probably gave him as an experiment.
The Wedding Feast
Thumbs up to the Foley crew for supplementing the eating montage with some highly appropriate and amusing smacking, gulping, sipping, and swallowing noises. (And also later doing the awesome hungover skin scrunching/blinking noise. Because, seriously, that was pretty dope.)
Thumbs down for making me crave cold prime rib when no one's wedding looms in my immediate future.
Flashback! BMF: Best Men Forever
John approaches Sherlock about being his best man, which doesn't go so swimmingly since Sherlock is pretty obtuse about recognizing how much he actually means to John. When it finally sets in what John is asking and that he's asking because he considers Sherlock to be his best friend, Sherlock is shocked into catatonia and recovers only to sip from a cup of tea with a severed eye in it.
Get The Look: Best Man Flubbing Speech Into Awesomeness
Sherlock has been spending a lot of pre-wedding time worrying about giving the Best Man speech, and his friends (especially Molly) have been doing a lot of worrying behind Sherlock's back about Sherlock giving the Best Man speech. Turns out everyone had good reason to worry...but not really.
Morning Coat Of Inappropriateness: Sherlock makes acid comments about wedding traditions, love, and marriage in general, and then remembers that he needs to read the telegrams of those who couldn't come to the wedding, so he reads a few, gets sickened by the sentiments contained therein, and totally blah-blah-blahs the others.
Waistcoat Of About To Lose My Best Friend: Mechanically, Sherlock goes off on his decidedly non-fuzzy feelings about marriage and the doom of society, and then proceeds to insult John, Mary, the bridesmaids, religion, and pretty much everyone at the wedding to make the point that he is fully aware that he's "the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, an all-around obnoxious asshole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet" and he is only redeemed by the "warmth and constancy" of Watson's friendship; he then declares that Watson is one of the best people ever. Not enough "aw" in the world. Not. Enough.
Boutonniere Of Unintentionally Bringing It All Home: Sherlock then goes on to make everyone cry with his sentiments about how awesome John is and how Sherlock and Mary will never let him down.
That Quote"If I try and hug him, stop me."- John Watson -
Flashback! Case Whack-a-Mole
Sherlock is quite disconcerted he made everyone cry with his unintentionally emotional speech, and says he's about to tell some funny stories about John and the cases John's blogged about, but that it would really help if they'd all just cheer up a bit. Sherlock then zips through a few of their cases, including "The Hollow Client," "The Poison Giant," and "The Elephant In The Room," which actually has an elephant in the room, and finally lights on one called "The Bloody Guardsman" as being the best way to illustrate John's character.
Merry, Mary, Marry
Who called the meeting? Mary.
What's it about? On the surface, it's about Sherlock and Mary planning the entire wedding as John sits there and listens. In reality, it's about Mary insisting to John in private that he find Sherlock a new case so that Sherlock won't be so terrified about them getting married and will therefore stop watching YouTube videos about folding napkins into the Sydney Opera House.
How'd it go? Awesome. John does find a case for Sherlock and does a whole scene where he begs Sherlock to take it for them because he can't take any more of the wedding planning and desperately needs Sherlock to rescue him from it.
The Bloody Guardsman
Alert Type: Connected Case Alert.
Issue: Guardsman Bainbridge, a private in Her Majesty's Household, thinks he's being stalked, and asks Sherlock to help him and keep it all on the QT.
Complicating Factors: It turns out that Bainbridge is being stalked; he ends up being stabbed with an incredibly thin weapon on Sherlock's watch. Luckily, Sherlock and John happen to be on scene in the barracks when Bainbridge is found bleeding to death in a shower, and John saves his life.
Resolution: None. Sherlock has yet to solve it.
Spoiler: There will be more to come in this case than its providing Sherlock with a wedding toast anecdote about how incredible an individual John is.
Here's An Idea
Always Have A Moment In The Episode Where Sherlock Fixes His Hair
It was amazingly sexy in the season premiere when Sherlock used both hands to ruffle all that broken glass out of his curls just before he kissed the hell out of Molly, and it just basically works every time, so yeah, more of this, please.
That Quote" I AM JOHN WATSON, FIFTH NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS, THREE YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN, A VETERAN OF KANDAHAR, HELMAND, AND BART'S BLOODY HOSPITAL! LET ME EXAMINE THIS BODY!"- John Watson, M.D.-
Back at the wedding, Sherlock asks the guests if they have any idea what was the single most truly remarkable thing about the Bloody Guardsman case. The guests, assuming that Sherlock is looking for input on how the stabbing was achieved given that no weapon was found in the locked shower, throw out some ideas, but none is so great as the one Molly's fiancé Tom babbles out excitedly.Attempted suicide with a blade made of compacted blood and bone...broke after piercing his abdomen, like a meat...dagger.Sit. Down.
He Drinks A Lager Drink. He Drinks A Cider Drink. He Drinks A Spiked Drink.
Sherlock plans a pub crawl for Watson's stag night that involves having a drink on every street they've found a corpse, and he calls on Molly to chemically calculate how much they can drink without getting sick. Bringing along two 500 mL graduated cylinders to use as their drinking vessels, Sherlock then leads them through the pub crawl and keeps an uncomfortably close eye on John's bladder and both of their blood alcohol levels. John stoppers Sherlock's sobriety attempts by spiking their beers with shots, after which Sherlock gets in a bar fight, calls Mrs. Hudson "Hudders," plays slurring parlor games with John at the flat, thinks they have a king of England, and receives a new client.
The Mayfly Man Case
Alert Type: Connected Case Alert.
Issue: The client, Tessa, goes on one date with a dude and never hears back from him. Because she thought they had something special, she tries contacting him, only to find that he has disappeared! And now? The landlord is telling her that the guy who lived in the flat is dead! SPOOOKY! So Tessa's taken the next logical step in such a situation: she's hanging out in chatrooms for women who think they've dated a ghost. (I wonder if there are separate chatrooms for men who think they've dated a ghost.)
Complicating Factors: Tessa arrives at the flat in the middle of the stag night, so Watson and Sherlock are totally drunk when they start investigating. Both of them proceed to fall asleep at various times during Tessa's explication, and then Sherlock vomits all over a rug at the dead guy's flat and can't think straight. Or at all.
Resolution: None yet. Using a dozen or so laptops, Sherlock Skypes with women from the chatroom and determines that the guy's MO is to get names from the obits, after which he steals the dead guy's home and identity for one night of romance with these ladies. He lives for a day, so Sherlock calls him the "Mayfly Man." (I guess folks on our side of the bug-infested pond might call him the "Fruitfly Man," but that probably has other, unintended connotations.) Although he narrows his search down to a handful of pertinent scammed women, all of whom he determines dated the same "dead" guy, Sherlock can't find the unifying factor, other than they all have a secret they've never told anyone. John finally suggests that the Mayfly Man was married, and Sherlock seems to accept that.
Spoiler: There will be more to come in this case than its providing Sherlock with a wedding toast anecdote about how awesome John is.
On The Menu
A hungover John tolerates food and more stories from Mrs. Hudson about how Marriage Changes Everything.
Beans: Wet baked beans straight from the can are the perfect thing to put in your alcohol-addled stomach after a night out with your bestie landed you in jail and required Lestrade to spring your drunk arses. They also cushion the blow of Mrs. Hudson talking about how "purely physical" her marriage to Mr. Hudson was. You know, before he blew someone's head off.
Bangers: Both a kind of sausage and a nickname for all those women Mr. Hudson was running around with when he was running a "whatdoyoucallem?" DRUG CARTEL in Florida.
Mushrooms And Toms: No full English is complete without a black weeping mound of sautéed mushrooms and some hot unripe tomatoes. Looks gross, tastes amazing, and is actually surprisingly comforting when Mrs. Hudson is depressing the hell out of you by insisting upon reiterating how irrevocably altered your friendship with your best friend will be after you get married.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Is That a Deduction in Your Pocket Or...
Sherlock is physically at the wedding — and still, still giving his best man speech, incredibly — but mentally he's working through the Mayfly Man case, and since he's struggling with John leaving him for Mary, it's only natural that a naked Irene Adler enter Sherlock's subconscious and to start stroking his face and making him wonder where she is these days. However, not one to be too distracted from the case at hand, Sherlock dismisses her: "Out. Of. My. Head. I am busy."
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Sherlock vs. Sherlock
Sherlock suddenly sees the tiniest crack in the case when he realizes that both the murderer and the next victim are at the wedding. With a deluge of babbling, he walks around the reception examining the confused guests trying to determine who is what. Holding his phone behind his back, Sherlock texts Lestrade to lock the place down, while Mycroft keeps popping into his head, telling him to "Narrow. It. Down." Finally, overcome by mania, Sherlock slaps himself around a few times.
That Quote"As a mental exercise, I've often planned the murder of friends and colleagues."- Sherlock Holmes-
Alert Type: Cracked Case Alert.
Issue: Sherlock finally realizes that Gen. Bainbridge of the "Bloody Guardsman" case was just a rehearsal for another murder, and that Maj. Sholto is the next victim. Every one of the women on Sherlock's list worked for Maj. Sholto at some point, and all admitted to telling the dead guy a secret they had never told anyone else. (Presumably the secret was that they worked for this famous recluse who got death threats, but it's not clear.)
Complicating Factors: Sherlock doesn't know when or how the murder attempt will take place, and he definitely doesn't know by whom.
Resolution: Once Sherlock tips him off that he's the next victim, Sholto leaves the wedding festivities to lock himself in his room, take his gun out, and refuse entry to Mary, John, or Sherlock.
Spoiler: Sholto's already received the mortal wound.
As Sholto's life hangs in the balance behind a locked door (he refuses to come out until Sherlock solves the case), Sherlock tries and tries to figure out the identity of the murderer and how he's going to strike, but he experiences a massive brainfart. Mary reminds him that the reason he couldn't solve the Bloody Guardsman case is because it didn't matter as much to him, but now it matters. (I guess it matters now because Sholto means so much to John and John means so much to Sherlock, but that's just a guess because I'm not a world-class private dick.)Get your wife under control!She's right!Oh, you've CHANGED!Shut up! You're not a puzzle-solver, you never have been, you're a drama queen!
Get The Look: Life Belt
Sherlock finally figures out that the thing the two victims have in common is that they are both given to wearing uniforms with tight belts. Like, tourniquet tight. This is important because their belts' tightness allowed them both to get stabbed to death and yet still walk around not dead for a bit.
Lifesaving Belt For Guards On Parade: While Bainbridge was on duty not moving a facial muscle under his big furry hat as tourists take photos with him and try to get him to laugh or breathe, he's stabbed by his stalker through this miraculous belt that is so tight, not only does it keep him from bleeding out on the spot, but...it blocks all pain sensations? Anyway, that explains why he bled out in the shower: the belt was so amazingly tight that he didn't even notice the mortal stab wound to his abdomen from the time he disrobed and locked himself in the barracks shower until the time he collapsed in a bloody puddle.
Lifesaving Belt For Reclusive Military Types Who Get Death Threats: The self-similar belt that did all those crazy things for Bainbridge is what's currently keeping Sholto alive as he sits in his hotel room with his misery and death wish. The killer knew that Sholto would come to John's wedding and knew Sholto would attend in military attire: hence his need to practice his wicked ways on Bainbridge to make sure his murder plan was workable. Seriously, these belts are made of miracle fibers. Someone should make an infomercial for them or something.
Thumbs up to Sherlock for talking Sholto the Suicidal out of his hotel room and death wish. As Sholto compares himself to Sherlock by saying something about how they both know that's there's a proper time to die, Sherlock shoots back all, yeah but we would never kill ourselves at our best friend's wedding, dude. Not cool. Not. Cool. That jerks Sholto from the depths of his self-pity party, and he opens his door, calmly saying, "I believe I'm in need of medical attention."
Sherlock determines that the wedding photographer is the murderer, and that dude is dragged back to the wedding, where he fesses up and says his brother died under Sholto's command. He knew that Sholto would come out of hiding to attend John and Mary's wedding, which would finally give him his chance for revenge. (Though how he managed to finagle himself the photog job is so elementary as to not even be explained or mentioned at all.)
While Lestrade stands there being gobsmacked by Sherlock's resolution of the case, the private detective whips out a pair of handcuffs, totally impressing Janine, with whom he was just waltzing mere moments before. And then the two do a little flirting because apparently weddings bring out the saucy even in Sherlock.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
You Snooze You Lose
Not content with pulling at everyone's heartstrings with his speech, Sherlock pulls at his violin strings as he plays the (neverending) waltz he specifically composed for John and Mary's first dance. (Seriously, I'm a fan of this sweet moment, but it kind of goes on forever.) Janine watches Sherlock all starry-eyed, and Sherlock — in the throes of a romantic fit, it would seem — tosses her his rose boutonniere at the conclusion of the piece. Since for Sherlock, this is practically a proposal of marriage, it's all the more heartbreaking when he goes sniffing around for her later and finds she's already found her wedding snog/shag, who happens to be one of the guys he profiled for her earlier.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Signs Of Three
Sherlock has made yet another deduction, which he sorta, kinda lets slip in his final, FINAL speech as Best Man: Mary is with child. After covering up his mistake, Sherlock privately points out to the happy confused couple all the "signs of three" he's detected: Mary's increased appetite, morning sickness, and change in her taste perception (aka wine hoarff).
(BTW, "Signs Of Three" is a nod to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes case, "The Sign Of Four," which has nothing to do with pregnancy to my immediate but dubious memory, but happens to be story that introduces Mary Morstan, features the Sholto family, and makes Sherlock way more likable as a human being than any other story. By the end, Mary and Watson are in love and engaged because you had to work fast in the disease-ridden Victorian age.)
Name: Undetermined. Likely not Hamish, though. Age: 8-ish weeks. Occupation: Being unborn. Goal: To be born. Sample Dialogue: "...."
Sad, Sad Sherlock
Thumbs down to feeling sad, lonely, and marginalized after pouring heart and soul into a friends' wedding and unable to take comfort from predicting a pregnancy that no one — not even the future mother — knew about. Aw, Sherlock, call me!