Sherlock season 3: The Signs Of Moffat



Yes, just so you know, I’m already not that eloquent in general, but when I enter my fangirl zone, my capacity to use any form of human language drops to pop star level.

I. Love. Sherlock. I have been addicted to this show since the very first minute of the first episode and I will probably love it until the end. Or until I become too mad at Steven Moffat to care, which could honestly happen one day.

I don’t know how good it is that this season had only 3 episodes. Before, the stories were tight enough to allow it, but I think the situation has changed. Let’s dive into this season, shall we? And as usual, watch out for spoilers!

In this season, the plot(s) seemed secondary compared to the character development, which is definitely the biggest good point for this season. Yes, the fact that Sherlock has to stop being a dick is repeated way too many times. But that’s a thing Steven Moffat does a lot. Remember season 6 of Doctor Who 2005 with « The Doctor is dangerous and not to be trusted »? At least in this show, I don’t have to suffer a pregnant Amy Pond that suddenly loses everything that made her a good character in the first place.

Benedict Cumberbatch as drunk Sherlock Holmes in BBC Sherlock Season 3 Episode 2 The Sign of Three

John Watson finally comes to accepting the weirdness of his life, Molly becomes that badass character that I wanted her to be from the beginning, and Mary is just one of the best female characters that Moffat has written to date. She reminds me of Jekyll’s wife in Jekyll. She is all loving and caring but bitch, don’t you mess with her or she will try to kill you. Quite literally in that particular case. And Sherlock? Well, Sherlock has gone from accepting he has feelings to realizing how his ego affects the few people he cares about. It’s a journey he started at the end of season 2 and -kind of- completes here. However, it’s always a joy to see how much of a complete prick he can still be sometimes.


My brain momentarily stopped working at that moment.

Oh, and that fanservice. The fanservice in this season is so damn enjoyable. Seeing it played so openly always hits just the right spot in my little fangirl heart. If they actually did more than joke about it, it would quickly get on my nerves, but this is why I call it good fanservice: it knows what it is and it’s not trying to be anything more.


That’s how the masters do it, Jeff Davis. Watch and learn. 

As to the major weaknesses of this season, I guess the lack of focus plays a big part in them. I’m just not sure where Moffat is going with this show anymore. It’s like  he had a clear idea of what he wanted in the beginning and now he’s just kind of drifting along, giving us a little bit of this and that, but never really doing anything meaningful. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that the season didn’t really have much of an antagonist until episode three.

Moffat also uses less and less stuff from the original canon, although I did enjoy his version of Mary’s character. I’ve heard some complaints about how Moffat’s version of her backstory is way less interesting than in the original canon, but I disagree. I love The Sign Of The Four, it is a marvelous story… but it’s not really about Mary. Mary is the client, but the story in there is her dad’s. Plus, The Sign Of The Four is very much a product of its time, like a lot of the original Sherlock Homes stories. It’s bad enough that Moffat gets constant accusations of sexism, he doesn’t also need to be called a racist, if you know what I mean.

Tonga in an earlier adaptation of The Sign Of The Four. *cough*

Tonga, in an earlier adaptation of The Sign Of The Four. *cough*

One thing though: I would have liked to have a full episode just about Mary, not just some stuff here and there and such a quick resolution in the season finale. But I’ll come back to that.


My favourite episode of season three is… The Sign Of Three. It was a good one. A silly, embarrassing, well-thought out, cleverly written one.

In order, it goes Sign Of Three, Empty Hearse, and His Last Vow. Originally, His Last Vow had the potential to be my favourite episode of the season, mostly because it actually had an antagonist. And what an antagonist! Magnussen is one of the grossest, most fascinating villains I’ve seen. Every shot he was in just made me want to run away from him. Kudos to the actor for playing such a disgusting human being so well.


… *shivers*

The problem with that last episode though, was that it was very, very rushed. All the stuff with Mary and Watson, and Magnussen, and Sherlock having to be exiled but being brought back at the last minute, everything was really engaging, but it went so fast that it barely seemed to matter at all. In the end, it was a bit underwhelming for a finale. Spending two episodes on that would have allowed the story to be more fleshed out, but oh well. Rushed finales seems to be another thing that Moffat does a lot.

All in all, even a not-so-good season for Sherlock is better than a good season for a lot of shows on air, so I won’t complain too much. It was fun, just not very memorable. Another thing that…

Oh dear.

Mr Moffat, could you start caring again, before it’s too late?

Some say she’s French. Some say she’s a voodoo witch. What is certain is that Anais left her awkward print on all things artsy at one point or another in her life, performing as a singer and a pianist, exhibiting photographs and paintings, and leaving an embarrassing amount of visual proofs of those events on the internet. Anais’ dream is to be an animation writer. She thinks everything should be animated and she is more than half convinced that she is herself a cartoon character. She hopes that one day, Pendleton Ward or Jennifer Lee will read her screenplays and say they’re neat.

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