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Ariane DeVere
Sherlock, Season 3, episode 2 transcript: The Sign of Three, part 4 
11th-Jan-2014 03:41 pm
Sherlock - TSOT transcript
Sherlock, Season 3, episode 2 transcript: The Sign of Three, part 4

Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.

Polite request: If you take extracts from this transcript for use elsewhere, and especially if you repost my own words, it would be kind if you would acknowledge the source and/or give a link back to this transcript. Thanks.

Sherlock, Season 3, episode 2 transcript: The Sign of Three, part 4

Return to part 1 / Return to part 2 / Return to part 3

EVENING. An orchestral rendition of the waltz “On The Beautiful Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II can be heard. In the foyer of the wedding venue, Sherlock and Janine are waltzing alone. Sherlock is counting time.
SHERLOCK: One, two, three; der, der, der ... Ahh, pretty good.
(They stop dancing.)
SHERLOCK (releasing her): Just ... hold your nerve on your turning.
JANINE (adjusting the top of her strapless bridesmaid’s dress): Why do we have to rehearse?
SHERLOCK (leaning in and speaking confidentially): Because we are about to dance together in public, and your skills are appalling!
(He smiles at her and she laughs.)
JANINE: Well, you’re a good teacher.
JANINE: And you’re a brilliant dancer.
SHERLOCK (quietly, leaning towards her again): I’ll let you in on something, Janine.
JANINE (in a whisper): Go on, then.
SHERLOCK: I love dancing. I’ve always loved it.
JANINE: Seriously?
SHERLOCK (quietly): Watch out.
(Looking around to make sure that nobody else can see him, he swings both of his arms to the left, takes a sharp breath, rises onto his left foot and does a full-circle pirouette.)
JANINE: Ooh! Woah!
SHERLOCK (clearing his throat): Never really comes up in crime work but, um, you know, I live in hope of the right case.
JANINE (sighing wistfully): I wish you weren’t ...
(He turns and looks at her.)
JANINE: ... whatever it is you are.
(John has just walked into view and has spotted them. He walks over.)
JOHN: Well, glad to see you’ve pulled, Sherlock, what with murderers running riot at my wedding.
(He claps his hand on Sherlock’s back.)
SHERLOCK: One murder... – one nearly murderer. (To Janine) Loves to exaggerate. You should try living with him.
(The entrance door opens and Greg comes in.)
LESTRADE: Sherlock? (He points back out the door.) Got him for you.
SHERLOCK (clapping his hands together as the wedding photographer walks in): Ah, the photographer. Excellent! (To Greg) Thank you.
(He walks over to the photographer and points at the camera he’s holding.)
SHERLOCK: Er, may I have a look at your camera?
PHOTOGRAPHER: Er ... (he pulls his camera back nervously but then holds it out to him) ... what’s this about? I was halfway home!
SHERLOCK (taking the camera): You should have driven faster.
(He looks at the screen on the back of the camera and starts flicking through the pictures.)
SHERLOCK: Ah, yes. Yes, very good. There, you see? (He smiles.) Perfect.
LESTRADE: What is? You gonna tell us?
SHERLOCK (handing the camera to Greg): Try looking yourself.
JOHN (walking to Greg’s side): Um, look for what?
(Janine also walks over. Sherlock strolls closer to the photographer.)
JOHN (pointing at the camera): Is the murderer in these photographs?
SHERLOCK: It’s not what’s in the photographs; it’s what’s not in them – not in any of them.
JOHN: Sherlock? The showing-off thing: we’ve discussed it before.
SHERLOCK: There is always a man at a wedding who is not in any photograph but can go anywhere, and even carry an equipment bag around with him if he likes, and you never even see his face. (He walks closer to the photographer and looks down towards his hand.) You only ever see ...
(Brief montage of the wedding pictures, and then the photographer going round the reception taking photos.)
(Back in the present, Sherlock rapidly slaps one cuff of a pair of handcuffs around the photographer’s wrist and the other cuff around the frame of a nearby birdcage luggage trolley [Arthur Shappey would be so excited].)

SHERLOCK: ... the camera.
PHOTOGRAPHER: What are you doing? What is this?
SHERLOCK (holding up his phone to show the screen to the others): Jonathan Small, today’s substitute wedding photographer – known to us as the Mayfly Man. His brother was one of the raw recruits killed in that incursion. Jonny sought revenge on Sholto, worked his way through Sholto’s staff, found what he needed ...
(Cutaway shot of Small arranging a group of five wedding guests – one of whom is Sholto – for a formal photograph. He is moving the people around so that they can all be seen by the camera which is on a tripod in front of them.)
SHERLOCK: ... an invitation to a wedding – the one time Sholto would have to be out in public. So, he made his plan ...
(Cutaway shot of Small, wearing casual clothes and a cap, outside the gates of the barracks. He moves to stand beside Bainbridge and then holds up a smartphone as if he’s about to take a selfie of himself with the Guardsman.)
SHERLOCK: ... and rehearsed the murder ...
(Cutaway shot of Small with the wedding group, moving to take Sholto by the shoulders to move him into position.)
SHERLOCK: ... making sure of every last detail.
(Standing behind Sholto, Small holds his shoulder with one hand and puts his other hand down to the back of his belt. We can’t see what he’s holding but we hear a sharp noise as the slender blade punches through the belt and into Sholto’s back.
Outside the barracks, still holding his phone up with one hand, Small stands slightly behind Bainbridge and we hear the sharp noise of the blade stabbing through the Guardsman’s belt. Bainbridge jolts slightly and blinks.
At the photoshoot, Sholto sways slightly and looks a little uncomfortable. Small glares murderously at him from behind, withdraws his hand and then puts it into his jacket’s inside breast pocket, tucking the blade out of sight.
At the barracks, Small walks away from Bainbridge.
At the photoshoot, Small gives Sholto one last glare from behind, then walks forward to his camera.)

(Back in the reception foyer, Small looks calmly at Sherlock.)
SHERLOCK: Brilliant, ruthless, almost certainly a monomaniac – though, in fairness, his photographs are actually quite good.
(He tosses his phone to Greg.)
SHERLOCK: Everything you need’s on that. You probably ought to ... arrest him or something.
(Nearby, Mary comes into view, apparently looking for John. She spots him, smiles and hurries towards him. Janine, standing beside Sherlock, leans closer and speaks quietly without looking at him.)
JANINE: Do you always carry handcuffs?
SHERLOCK: Down, girl.
MARY (holding out her hand to John): Come on, quick!
(She reaches his side and John puts his arm around her as she turns and sees Small nearby. He is looking at Sherlock fixedly.)
SMALL: It’s not me you should be arresting, Mr Holmes.
SHERLOCK: Oh, I don’t do the arresting. (He nods towards Greg.) I just farm that out.
SMALL: Sholto – he’s the killer, not me. I should have killed him quicker.
(He grins manically, then his smile fades and he shakes his head.)
SMALL: I shouldn’t have tried to be clever.
SHERLOCK (softly): You should have driven faster.
(He takes his hands from behind his back and crooks one arm to Janine. She takes it and they walk away. John and Mary follow them. Greg looks down at Sherlock’s phone, then looks at Small.)
LESTRADE: Right ...

In the reception room, the tables have been cleared away. Looking into each other’s eyes, Mary and John are dancing a slow waltz in the middle of the room to the sound of a single violin while all the guests stand around the edge of the room and watch them. On a low stage at the end of the room Sherlock is playing his violin. The tune is the same one we heard at the beginning of the episode. He sways gently while he plays, his eyes fixed on the newlyweds. As the tune draws to an end, John shifts one hand to Mary’s back, holds her by the waist with the other and starts to dip her backwards. Mary gasps.
MARY: Really?!
(Chuckling, he bends her backwards as she giggles. He kisses her as the tune ends. The guests break into applause and some of them cheer. Everyone is looking at the happy couple except Janine who directs her applause towards Sherlock. She whoops at him.)
(Sherlock looks at her for a moment, then turns to the music stand in front of him. He had taken off his buttonhole flower and put it on the stand so that it wouldn’t get in the way while he was playing and now he picks it up, shows her what he’s holding and then tosses it across the room towards her. She catches it. John – who has pulled Mary upright again and is laughing happily – waves his thanks to Sherlock, then kisses Mary again as Sherlock steps to the nearby microphone.)

SHERLOCK: Ladies and gentlemen, just, er, one last thing before the evening begins properly. Apologies for earlier. A crisis arose and was dealt with.
(He draws in a breath.)
SHERLOCK: More importantly, however, today we saw two people make vows. I’ve never made a vow in my life, and after tonight I never will again. So, here in front of you all, my first and last vow. Mary and John: whatever it takes, whatever happens, from now on I swear I will always be there, always, for all three of you.
(He hesitates momentarily, then stutters.)
SHERLOCK: Er, I’m sorry, I mean, I mean two of you. All two of you. Both of you, in fact. I’ve just miscounted.
(He takes a sharp breath. John and Mary exchange a slightly worried look.)
SHERLOCK: Anyway, it’s time for dancing. (Over his shoulder to the DJ on the stage) Play the music again, please, thank you.
(Disco lights begin to flash and Sherlock gestures grandly to the guests as Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons’ song “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)” starts to play.)
SHERLOCK: Okay, everybody, just dance. Don’t be shy!
(He walks down off the stage, still gesturing to the crowd.)
SHERLOCK: Dancing, please!
(The guests start to move onto the floor and begin to dance.)
SHERLOCK: Very good!
(He walks over to Mary and John who look quizzically at him.)
SHERLOCK: Sorry, that was one more deduction than I was really expecting.
MARY: “Deduction”?
SHERLOCK (looking intensely at her): Increased appetite ...
(Flashback to Mary taking one of the canapés from the waiter’s tray.)
MARY (in flashback): Starving.
SHERLOCK: ... change of taste perception ...
(Flashback to Mary grimacing at her wine glass.)
MARY (in flashback): Urgh. I chose this wine. It’s bloody awful.
SHERLOCK: ... and you were sick this morning. You assumed it was just wedding nerves. You got angry with me when I mentioned it to you. All the signs are there.
MARY: “The signs”?
(Sherlock glances across to John, then turns his eyes back to her.)
SHERLOCK: The signs of three.
(His gaze drops to her abdomen.)
MARY: What?!
SHERLOCK: Mary, I think you should do a pregnancy test.
(John sighs and drops his head, almost bending over double. Mary grins delightedly at Sherlock.)
SHERLOCK: W... th... the statistics for the first trimester are ...
JOHN (straightening up): Shut up.
(Sherlock freezes in the middle of forming his next word. He looks at John as if waiting for permission to continue.)
JOHN: Just ... shut up.
(John turns to Mary.)
JOHN (looking annoyed with himself): How did he notice before me? I’m a bloody doctor.
SHERLOCK: It’s your day off.
JOHN: It’s your day off!
SHERLOCK: Stop-stop panicking.
JOHN: I’m not panicking.
MARY: I’m pregnant – I’m panicking.
SHERLOCK: Don’t panic. None of you panic.
(The Watsons both look down, their faces full of concern.)
SHERLOCK: Absolutely no reason to panic.
JOHN: Oh, and you’d know, of course?
SHERLOCK: Yes, I would. You’re already the best parents in the world. Look at all the practice you’ve had!
JOHN: What practice?
SHERLOCK: Well, you’re hardly gonna need me around now that you’ve got a real baby on the way.
(John stares, then Sherlock smiles happily at him. John laughs and reaches out to cup the back of his neck. Laughing even more, he turns to his wife and puts his other hand on her shoulder as she begins to smile with delight. Sherlock turns his smile towards Mary, but after a moment the smile begins to fade a little.)
JOHN (to Mary): You all right?
MARY (a little breathlessly): Yeah.
(John turns back to Sherlock, smiling joyfully. They look at each other for a long moment, then John breaks the eye contact and they both look a bit awkward. There’s a slightly embarrassed pause for a couple of seconds.)
SHERLOCK (abruptly): Dance.
SHERLOCK: Both of you, now, go dance. We can’t just stand here. People will wonder what we’re talking about.
JOHN: Right.
(Mary reaches out to touch Sherlock’s arm, her voice tearful.)
MARY: And what about you?
JOHN: Well, we can’t all three dance. There are limits!
SHERLOCK: Yes, there are.
(John clears his throat. Still looking tearful, Mary turns to John.)
MARY: Come on, husband. Let’s go.
JOHN (pointing over his shoulder): This isn’t a waltz, is it?
(She laughs.)
SHERLOCK: Don’t worry, Mary, I have been tutoring him.
JOHN: He did, you know. Baker Street, behind closed curtains.
(Turning to face her, he takes her right hand with his left and puts his other hand on her waist.)
JOHN: Mrs Hudson came in one time. Don’t know how those rumours started!
(He sniggers. Giggling, she puts her left hand on his shoulder and they dance off into the crowd. Looking over John’s shoulder, Mary smiles at Sherlock and mouths what may be a ‘thank you.’ He smiles, then nods to her. As his friends dance away, he lowers his eyes, then slowly turns and looks at everybody dancing all around him, keeping his head lowered as if trying not to meet anyone’s eyes. He looks very lost and alone in the middle of the crowd. After a few moments, however, he seems to have a thought and lifts his head, still looking around but now with more intent. Eventually he sees Janine dancing some distance away. She is wearing his buttonhole flower pinned to the top of her dress. She looks across the room and smiles at him. Returning her smile he starts to walk towards her and she lifts her hand and points to her right with her thumb up, grinning happily. Sherlock stops when he realises that she’s dancing with the ‘comics and sci-fi geek’ he had recommended to her earlier. She turns away and continues to dance with her new friend. Sherlock looks reflective for a few seconds, then turns towards the stage.
On the music stand is the hand-written music he played for the newlyweds. In the top right-hand corner is written:

for Mary & John
Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock picks up the music and folds it into an envelope, which he puts onto the stand. Written on the envelope is:

Dr. and Mrs Watson

Leaving the stage he walks slowly through the guests. Molly, dancing with Tom and Mrs Hudson, looks across the room and watches him for a few seconds, then turns back to the others.)

In the garden outside the reception room, while the revellers dance on, Sherlock puts his coat on and, with the collar turned up to the max, slowly walks away.

A full list of episode transcripts, DVD commentary summaries/transcripts, and transcripts of the DVD special features can be found here.

Direct links to episode transcripts:
A Study in Pink (pilot) / A Study in Pink (broadcast) / The Blind Banker / The Great Game
A Scandal in Belgravia / The Hounds of Baskerville / The Reichenbach Fall
Many Happy Returns / The Empty Hearse / The Sign of Three / His Last Vow
The Abominable Bride
The Six Thatchers / The Lying Detective / The Final Problem

Or, to download the Episode Transcripts in Word or PDF, click here.

11th-Jan-2014 05:19 pm (UTC)
I'm touched by what a labor of love these are for you. You are so dedicated to getting everything right: the lines, the body language, the surrounding details. Gorgeous! Also, I laughed heartily at the Arthur Shappey comment.
11th-Jan-2014 05:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you, honey.

As soon as I saw the birdcage trolley I knew I had to add in a line about Arthur!

And it was only after I'd posted this part and was skim-reading it that I got to the bit about Sherlock tossing his buttonhole flower to Janine and wondered, "Did she have it when she was dancing?" and so went to look - then I wibbled, broke down in tears, and rushed to add a sentence to the transcript!

11th-Jan-2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
Awwww! *all the feels* Poor Sherlock: always a bridesmaid.

Despite the torrent of angst at the end of the episode, my friend ancientreader finds something to smile about in it. She says, "Sherlock taught John to dance, we learn. So, um, John led? And ... did Sherlock teach John how to dip him?"

Oh, to be a cow skull on the wall when that took place!
11th-Jan-2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
Oh my good God. We need to see this!!
11th-Jan-2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
Wonderful as usual! Thank you so very much, I really appreciate it, especially as a non-native speaker.
11th-Jan-2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO much!
11th-Jan-2014 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for going through all the trouble with these transcripts. Now I finally got the full script, including the bits I didn't understand completely.
11th-Jan-2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
Your transcripts are always wondrous but transcribing such a humorous episode must have been a treat (I mean, other than the carpal tunnel syndrome and such...)

One of my favorite lines comes out in this section:

SHERLOCK: Married. Obvious, really. Our Mayfly Man was trying to escape the suffocating chains of domesticity ... and instead of endless nights in, watching the telly, or going to barbecues with awful dreadful boring people he couldn’t stand, he used his wits, cleverness and powers of disguise ... to play the field. He was ... On second thoughts I probably should have told you about the Elephant in the Room.

Now, this is just a general request, but I'm going to put down the quote, and someone PLEASE remind me just who it is that Sherlock looks like/is mimicking/is reminding me of, because that tilt of the head looks REMARKABLY familiar!!

SHERLOCK: Let’s play Murder.
( (...) Sherlock prowls forward, his eyes flickering around the room at the guests.)
(steepling his hands in front of his chin as he progresses forward): Imagine someone’s going to get murdered at a wedding. Who exactly would you pick?

And here we find Sherlock's return to the Victorian Age: SHERLOCK: What are you talking about? (He looks at John.) What’s she talking about? Get your wife under control.

And just one last thought (ignoring all my sorrow at poor Sherlock left alone and lonely at the end of the show...) If Tessa is such a schmuck as to not realize that both Sherlock & John are smashed at the time she came to their apartment, then she deserves exactly the kind of investigation she received. She didn't make an appointment (just dithered about on the sidewalk); arrived at some point late in the evening (b'c it followed Sherlock & John's two hour stag night and whatever amount of time playing that game w' the names on your head that I'm too lazy to go back and find the name of now) and at the time she was speaking with them, they fell asleep a number of times, apart from general unsteadiness, etc. Even if she was not a drinker herself, she should have been able to recognize the signs in other people. IMHO.

Thanks again for this lovely script (thanks to the new crew as well) and very very excited about the last episode in 25 hours (not that I'm obsessing or anything...)
11th-Jan-2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
Ah bless you and many thanks!

I don't know how you find the time to do this - I assume that like Sherlock you don't need any sleep! *grin*

It's delightfully useful for knowing what's going on when they speak quietly; quite invaluable - so grateful thanks

I do enjoy your 'author asides', too - "... and the other cuff around the frame of a nearby birdcage luggage trolley [Arthur Shappey would be so excited].)" really had me giggling!!

Just . . . thank you.
12th-Jan-2014 09:50 am (UTC)
After the experience of two years ago, when it took much longer than I'd thought to do the transcripts, this time I booked two and a half weeks off work the moment the air dates were announced. I've not been back to work since Christmas and won't go back until the 20th.

Last time, doing the transcripts around work, I was surviving on four hours' sleep a night, but I'm two years old and I knew I'd never cope with so little sleep. As it is, I'm still only sleeping for about six or seven hours a night because even in bed my mind is constantly buzzing with ways that I can describe the next scene, so I keep waking up and wanting to get on with the work! But at least now I can type a bit slower and take occasional breaks away from the laptop!

In effect, I shall be going back to work to have a nice rest!!
12th-Jan-2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
What a lovely idea - not just a Christmas break, a Sherlock break!

"...because even in bed my mind is constantly buzzing with ways that I can describe the next scene..."

I know what you mean - even after just watching each Episode, I found my sleep pretty disturbed . . . so once again, huge thanks for giving up your time for us!
11th-Jan-2014 11:34 pm (UTC)
As always, I'm impressed by the precision and clarity of your transcripts, especially with the "stage directions"! Thanks, really. I was looking forward to it, especially because while our dishy Lestrade is dishier than ever, his accent has grown thicker to my ESL ear and I'd missed part of his replies!
11th-Jan-2014 11:38 pm (UTC)
As his friends dance away, he lowers his eyes, then slowly turns and looks at everybody dancing all around him, keeping his head lowered as if not to meet anyone’s eyes. He looks very lost and alone in the middle of the crowd.

My heart broke for him right then and there. My best friend's wedding ended the same exact way for me... well, I'm not sure how it ended, I didn't stay either... this whole episode just makes you wanna hug Sherlock. That's a new reaction. X-)
12th-Jan-2014 09:54 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, I was chief bridesmaid at my best friend's wedding and never got over the fact that she didn't even look for me when she was saying her goodbyes before going off on honeymoon. Mind you, she was even more plastered than Sherlock and John were on their stag, and she has very little memory of any of her wedding!

I too broke down in tears from the moment that he smiled at Mary and John and then his smile started to fade as he realised that they wouldn't be there for him so much in future. *sniffles*

Edited at 2014-01-12 09:54 am (UTC)
13th-Jan-2014 03:03 am (UTC)
No one has seen a tear from me in over 4 years, but the relatability with this episode got a few. There was no alcohol at my best friend's wedding, so when I got ditched, it was for real. This is probably gonna cause this entry to be flagged as spam, but I wrote a few paragraphs about it here on Tumblr (http://chitarra10.tumblr.com/post/72403043957/the-hope-never-dies), and then someone else wrote my heart out about it shortly thereafter (http://chitarra10.tumblr.com/post/73072502770/paradoxofpersonality-deathlydelicious).
12th-Feb-2015 12:09 am (UTC) - There are others out there
While your two links focus on Asperger's and Autism, that isn't the only problem out there. For years I thought I was marginally Asperger then I discovered the truth - I suffer from 'Failure to Thrive' and just had to put the pieces together to discover it (and I'm over 60).

The label is based on the results of an experiment run on newborns - all were fed and their diapers(nappies) changed, but half of them were touched, spoken to, etc. and the other half were not - 90% of the 2nd group died. I wasn't in that experiment but my mother did it herself at home. I never learned to emotionally connect to anyone thanks to her (I'm cutting out a lot of details of how I know) and now I know why. Sherlock was very, very damaged and is doing a great job of compensating, just as so many Asperger, Autism, 'Failure to Thrive' types are - it isn't easy and we never truly will 'fit in' but there aren't a lot of options except to use our talents and abilities as best we can and not think about being the odd man out or never being loved. Yes, it hurts, it hurts a lot. But what choice do we have?
12th-Jan-2014 02:53 am (UTC)
12th-Jan-2014 10:27 am (UTC)
Thank you for doing this. It's helping me to understand what exactly they're saying. It's great (the episode and your transcript) :)
Thank you very much again
12th-Jan-2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
A very decent hardwork... loved it reading.. thankyou so much ..
13th-Jan-2014 01:54 am (UTC) - s3 ep 2
Thank you for such a wonderful gift.
I tried to resist, but as it came more and more apparent I wouldn't see this episode any time soon,reading it was the next best thing.
Your descriptions make such a visual image I can *almost see the show.
19th-Jan-2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
I've watched The Sign of Three yesterday evening at last (DAMN MY WORK) and lolled in your wonderful transcript today. ("Loll" is probably not the right word. What's the word when you savour something leisurely and enjoy it immensely? That's what I did. Think about me as Smaug and you transcript as his piles of gold, that's basically the idea.) Your transcripts are a real treasure and you're a gem. (Please notice the expanded metaphor. :D) I'm going to watch His Last Vow next weekend (because I want my week of speculation and trepidation too) but have you any idea how hard it is to know the transcript is on your LJ and not to take a look at? :D

Bon courage with your return to work tomorrow, you deserve a bit of holiday. Rest well! *hopes your boss doesn't read that*
3rd-Feb-2014 09:36 am (UTC)
thank you so much...
17th-Mar-2014 04:45 am (UTC) - Oh what a night
The song should have warned us in the lyrics.

Oh, what a night
Late December, back in '63
What a very special time for me
As I remember, what a night

Oh, what a night
You know, I didn't even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night

Oh, I
I got a funny feeling when she walked in the room
Hey, my
As I recall, it ended much too soon

Oh, what a night
Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me
She was everything I dreamed she'd be
Sweet surrender, what a night

And I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder
Spinning my head around and taking my body under
Oh, what a night

Oh, I
Got a funny feeling when she walked in the room
Hey, my
As I recall, it ended much too soon

Oh, what a night
Why'd it take so long to see the light?
Seemed so wrong, but now it seems so right
What a lady, what a night

Oh, I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder
Spinning my head around and taking my body under
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)
Oh, what a night (Do do do do do, do do do do)

The writers are always pointing us in right direction. :)
1st-Aug-2014 11:38 am (UTC)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Er ... (he pulls his camera back nervously but then holds it out to him) ... what’s this about? I was halfway home!
SHERLOCK (taking the camera): You should have driven faster.
SMALL: It’s not me you should be arresting, Mr Holmes.
SHERLOCK: Oh, I don’t do the arresting. (He nods towards Greg.) I just farm that out.
SMALL: Sholto – he’s the killer, not me. I should have killed him quicker.
(He grins manically, then his smile fades and he shakes his head.) I shouldn’t have tried to be clever.
SHERLOCK (softly): You should have driven faster.


Seriously, without your transcript, I wouldn’t have realised that Sherlock says that same line (about driving faster) twice. I now keep wondering about what exactly he means by it. When he says it for the first time, it’s probably just a usual dose of smart-ass sarcasm, but then he says it again and in a totally different tone (as you rightly pointed out), almost as if he truly regrets that Small didn’t get away. Now, does he?

I don’t really want to believe it, I really don’t. But how else to explain it? Sherlock is clearly very reserved towards Sholto even before he ever meets him, but on the other hand it’s never made clear that Sholto really is truly and personally guilty (be it legally or morally) of the death of his men. Obviously the press and the families thought so, but he wasn’t dishonourably dismissed from the Army and John clearly doesn’t hold it against him (which he, with his strong sense of right and wrong, would certainly do if there was any reason. I don’t think mere loyalty to his previous - ;-) - commander would make him overlook a case of fatal negligence). And this, too:

SHOLTO: Please, leave me. Despite my reputation, I really don’t approve of collateral damage.
He delivers that line with so much sincerity I can’t help believing him.

So no matter how Sherlock may think that there are things to criticise about Sholto, there is no indication in the story that Sholto really and truly deserved being murdered. And yet Sherlock insists that Jonathan Small should have got away with it? Why?

It doesn’t correspond either with that earlier scene when Sholto is looked in his hotel room.

SHOLTO: Mr Holmes, you and I are similar, I think.
SHERLOCK: Yes, I think we are.
SHOLTO: There’s a proper time to die, isn’t there?
SHERLOCK: Of course there is.
SHOLTO: And one should embrace it when it comes – like a soldier.
SHERLOCK (firmly): Of course one should, but not at John’s wedding. We wouldn’t do that, would we – you and me? We would never do that to John Watson.

Different though they may be as persons, I think Sholto is quite right in pointing out that there are similarities between him and Sherlock. Neither ever says it, but that whole scene is just bristling with all those concepts of justice and loyalty and duty and standing-by-what-you-think-is-right-no-matter-what-people-may-say that Sherlock and Sholto definitely both subscribe to. In fact, Sherlock can despise and ridicule men in uniform as much as he likes, he himself has a remarkable set of qualities that one would want to see in any decent soldier, too. It’s nice to see him acknowledge that in this scene with Sholto.

But all the more reason to wonder why he should have wanted Small to get away with the (atempted) murder!
1st-Aug-2014 01:44 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I think it’s a poor piece of scripting. I never did understand why Sherlock said the line “You should have driven faster” once, let alone twice.

The fact that Small was “halfway home” implies that he thinks he’s got away with the (attempted) murder. I assume that he actually was driving home, otherwise Greg wouldn’t have caught up to him if he was driving in a different direction. But he was still in the reception hall when Sherlock and John (and Mary) ran out, so he ought to have realised that something was afoot and that Sherlock was starting to have his suspicions. I don’t know what the full definition of a “monomaniac” is, nor how such a person behaves, but it seems really odd to me that he was on his way home, confident that he wouldn’t be found out or linked to the crime.

But if he was going home, then Greg/the police would have caught him there later anyway. So what was the point of Sherlock’s “You should have driven faster” line? It makes no sense to me and smacks of careless writing by Steve Thompson.

I personally don’t think there’s any implication that Sherlock wanted Small to get away with it.
4th-Aug-2014 10:06 am (UTC)
I think it's good scripting, and I don't think it means Sherlock wanted him to get away with it. He means "You should have driven faster IF you wanted to get away with it," and the sarcasm and anger in the line are doubled by their being a repeat of the innocent version he'd spoken a few minutes before. (And by the futility; driving faster wouldn't have helped.)

Whatever Sherlock thought of Major Sholto, he would be furious at someone who would defile John's wedding with a murder.

ACD reference check: A Major Sholto is an intended victim in "The Sign of Four," and Jonathan Small is his would-be murderer. The resemblance ends there, though. Unlike other uses of characters from the original stories, such as (Mike) Stamford and Irene Adler, here the writers are just tipping a hat to Conan Doyle via the names, not recreating the characters. IMO.
12th-Feb-2015 12:14 am (UTC) - A lot on Small getting away
Perhaps, as SH in the TV series "Elementary" he know that the person had murdered someone, but that person was not a murderer.
1st-Aug-2014 11:41 am (UTC)
Sorry, me again.

Is it just me, or am I the only person who thinks it’s not at all sad that Sherlock simply walks away from the party at that point?

Sure, Mrs Hudson’s earlier line about not leaving weddings early can be seen as a foreshadowing of tragic events, but I much prefer to see Sherlock’s departure as a strong personal answer to Mrs Hudson’s rather conventional view of the world. Along the lines of, see, it can actually be totally OK to leave a wedding early if that’s what suits both the happy couple and the guest in question best. As I think it does. Mary and John now get some time just having fun with “normal” people without Sherlock’s shadow hanging over them all the time, and Sherlock - once he’s done everything in his power to make the wedding a wonderful success, from the speech to the solved murder case to the lovely waltz - finally gets time off, too. Let’s not forget that he generally finds it difficult to be around people in a purely social way. Considering the social and intellectual pressure he must have been under for hours and hours on that day, it’s no wonder he longs to get away from it all once he’s not longer needed. He‘s a performer and a brilliant performer - be it as best man, as musician or as crime solver - but like anyone on stage facing an audience, he must be relieved once the curtain falls and he’s on his own in the dark, ready to unwind.

I enjoy imagining where he went and what he got up to, that night. John obviously wasn’t available (and I can’t believe I just said that!), so was he just wandering around humming to himself and thinking pleasantly about life as such until the sun rose, and when Mary and John and their guests came down bleary-eyed to breakfast next morning, was he already back home in Baker Street, prowling around and muttering about Mrs Hudson failing to bring him his morning tea and waiting for the next client to save him from insufferable boredom? Or something completely different?
8th-Dec-2015 05:48 pm (UTC)
Totally agree with you
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