The Solution of the Slain Surreptitious Sleuth

By Brent Glass


It’s time.  I haven’t written in a while (apologies) and there are a few reasons for that.  1.)  I’ve been busy.  2.)  I’ve been waiting for an appropriate time to write about the BBC show Sherlock.  Now that it is December 18, and therefore a month and one day away from the American premiere, I think I can write on the subject.

Followers of Saying Something will know that Sherlock is quite possibly my favorite show of all-time.  I have always enjoyed Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s novels and short stories and this adaptation has proven to be the most masterful display of television I have seen.  To many people’s delight, the return is in sight.

So, what do viewers have to look forward to?  My guess is more stunning television, skillfully weaving the original short stories and novels into a modern, technologically advanced version of the sleuth and his doctor.  As he did before the second season, co-creator Mark Gatiss tweeted three words that hinted toward the stories each episode would be based on.  The words were: “rat, wedding, bow.”  These three words drive people mad attempting to decipher themI do not recall the exact date Gatiss leaked the hint for the third season, but I believe it was as early as August of 2012.  Now it is common knowledge.  Gatiss announced that the first episode would be called “The Empty Hearse.”  A Holmsian would not find this too surprising, considering the short story it is based off of, “The Adventure of the Empty House,” was the first tale of the detective following his death in “The Final Problem.”

Elephant on the screen: Just how did Sherlock survive the seemingly impossible?  It’s almost useless to reference the short story.  While each episode has many ties to a certain short story (or stories), they often vary widely in facts.  However, Moffat and Gatiss have given the people no reason to doubt them; i’m sure it will be splendid.


Another big question regards the relationship status of Dr. Watson.  As depicted in the first two seasons, Watson always manages to have a plethora of girlfriends.  The American films starring Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock) and Jude Law (Watson) show Watson get married.  Doyle’s novel The Sign of the Four introduced Mary Morstan, whom would become the wife of Watson.  It has been revealed that the second episode will be titled “The Sign of Three” and Mary Morstan’s character will come into play this season with Amanda Abbington fulfilling the role.  One can speculate the passion portrayed on the screen should be fairly realistic, considering Martin Freeman (Watson) and Abbington are real-life partners.  This would also make sense if one recalls one of the words tweeted by Gatiss.  Wedding.  That really leaves the third episode to speculate on.  Bow. 

Amanda Abbington


Before I talk about a few possibilities for the third episode, I must remind readers of one thing: Gatiss has described his own three words (rat, wedding, bow) as “misleading.”  But, we all have fun dreaming about what “it” might be and just as much fun watching as we’re proven wrong.  Originally I thought “bow” might be a hint toward Doyle’s short story “His Last Bow” which, as the title alludes, is Sherlock’s last sojourn and, unlike the other mystery stories, is a spy tale.  However, Sherlock has been confirmed for a fourth and fifth season.  In light of that fact, one can ascertain that the last episode will not reflect the last short story.   Or, could it be that Moffat and Gatiss are planning to loosely use the plot of “His Last Bow” but bending the chronology to their liking?  I’m 100% certain that it’s the latter.  No, I can’t see the future. They just announced that the third episode is titled “His Last Vow.”  Viewers should expect the finale of the third season to be different; to be surprising, unlike any other episode, and leave a monster cliff-hanger.

Almost two years since the premier of season 2, the fan base and anticipation has never been greater.  Season three of Sherlock will have different dynamics.  Fans gush over watching Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman solve mysteries together.  They have become an iconic team in the postmodern era.  Since the second season, Sherlock-mania has ensued.  There is no doubt that both of the actors’ popularity has risen considerably, especially in America, since Martin Freeman starred in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as Bilbo Baggins.  Oh, but wait!  Benedict Cumberbatch was in those films too, as the voice of Smaug and Necromancer, as well as just about every movie in the past two years it seems.  Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage CountyNot a bad list.  The two have become household names, not only in their motherland, but in America.

The tide has rolled in.  Everyone knows about Sherlock and loves it.  The inner-hipster in some may cringe at the thought of their favorite show becoming a staple of pop culture.  I admit, I wanted it all to myself for a while.  Since then I have changed my mind.  Now I rejoice!  The masses actually like something good.

Brent Glass is a Michigander who graduated from Eureka College in May of 2013. He spent time at the Sagamore Institute in Indianapolis, IN (a non-partisan think tank) where he worked on political economy pieces for Detroit, MI and Elkhart, IN. Additionally, he spent the summer of 2012 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA, working on social media management. Currently he is working as a freelance writer for Sagamore Institute, creating a social media management business (Connect You Consulting) and working full-time as a Management Assistant to the owner of a car dealership. He plans to further his education in the fall of 2014 in public policy.


Categories: Television

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1 reply


  1. The Sociopath We’ve All Been Waiting For | Saying Something

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