This post contains shitloads of Sherlock spoilers. If you haven’t seen “The Sign of the Three” yet, close your browser now.

Hmm. Has it never occured to people, at the time of “The Sign of the Three”, that Mary might be either an agent of Mycroft’s (planted to keep a closer look on Watson during Sherlock’s absence, unfortunately falling in love with her mark), or a former (?) associate or currently (?) under the thumb of Magnussen’s? Why all that Mary Love all over the wobble, the rooting for her, etc.pp.? She’s the most ominous character we’ve had in the show in years, literally.

Don’t get me wrong, Amanda Abbington is great in her role, I love her Mary to bits. But either the script of both episodes was full of rather blunt red herrings or there’s something up aside from possible-victim-to-have-a-dark-finale-with.

To wit, in “The Empty Hearse” …

  • she cracked Waton’s abductor’s code quicker than Sherlock did. Prior knowledge, used to cracking codes, or did Sherlock bluff?
  • at any rate, she received the first text messages after John’s abduction, not Sherlock. So, was Magnussen video-screening Sherlock’s reactions at the bonfire, or Mary’s?
  • considering how Sherlock dealt with John’s former girlfriends, why was he pretty much immediately “okay” with Mary, despite the “Liar” popping up in his initial deduction? Feeling guilty at his best mate’s two-years of mourning, thus turning a blind eye?

in “The Sign of the Three” …

  • she sent off both Sherlock and John to investigate the Bloody Guard case. When she did the double-thumbs-up, the horns of the wall trophy framed her head like a devil’s. Did she really do the skip code thing out of support for the boys’ friendship? Or under a pretense to have time in Baker Street on her own?
  • also, she seems quite a natural with skip codes …
  • the CAM telegram, and her reaction. It was rather … tender, and scathing to a proclaimed orphan at the same time. Family ties?
  • she knows when Sherlock is lying. Just naturally good at reading people (a medical professional, after all), or is she better informed than the audience is supposed to think? If the latter, by who?
  • The Woman pops up in Sherlock’s mind palace court room thingy – is he romantically charged by the wedding, disregarding his speech’s intro on the lines of “marriage encompasses all that’s crap about human relationships”? Or was she his mind’s picture paralleling Mary? As John’s love interest – as arguably Adler was Sherlock’s – or as yet another scheming woman?
  • she’s a medical professional, her husband also – and it takes a Sherlock to realise she’s pregnant? Of all people, Sherlock?
  • Sherlock’s last gaze at Mary when she was looking away was rather peculiar, too. Disgust? Scepticism? Sorrow? Realisation he won’t be able to compete with a toddler? Is there even a baby on its way, see above? Who is bluffing who?

I’m very much looking forward to Sunday. It’s likely this stuff was just included as above mentioned red herrings for people who read too much into details, i.e. people like me. But then, I picked them up after single viewings, so they were pretty obvious. There might be much more. So either they are relevant to the story arc, or have been included rather ham-fistedly. Considering the writing talent involved, a slight chance.

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the finale will establish Mary as the centerpin of the whole third series, and not in any feel-good, bromance, rom-com, whatever way. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Sherlock was well aware of Mary’s … oddness from the very moment he had entered the restaurant, perhaps even earlier. Hence his antics and over-the-top behaviour some objected to in Series 3?

Many read Sherlock’s leaving the party and donning his overcoat as some sort of regret or even remorse. I saw it more as an “okay, enough already with all that pretending to be this loveably socially inept dude for Mary’s sake, and the sake of whoever might have taps on her.”

Long shot: Mary is the butt of the “elephant-in-the-room” joke. That was repeated twice in Sign…. Hrm.

Sunday. Bring it on. Also, I will let this stand as testimony to the levels I can embarass myself over misinterpreting a TV show.

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