Certainly better than I recall. I always criticized that there was too much of the “adorable” socially awkward Sherlock, that this was too much fan service (I didn’t like the idea of everyone going ‘oooooooohh’). Also I didn’t need to see Sherlock wasted after a pub crawl. Some of these criticisms still hold true but I gotta admit it’s a pretty entertaining and also funny episode.
John and Mary are about to marry and asks Sherlock to be his best man. Sherlock becomes nervous, prepares minutely for this occasion, which is very fun to watch, and then the big day comes. He behaves on a fine line between cringeworthy because awkward and sweet (or even adorable, there I said it). Although this is classic Sherlock behavior, this time in a new environment, there was a bit too much of his breaking of social norms for my taste, e.g. when he hangs out next to the couple most of the time, but apart from that the wedding scenes were fun to watch. A highlight of the episode is his speech, which certainly adds another note to his character by his showing more explicitly how “invaluable” John is to him.
However, I found the pub crawl to be pretty annoying. First, I thought it may be a funny idea to see Sherlock drunk for a short time but their drunk investigations with the client in the pub went on for too long and weren’t funny to me.
As this is a Sherlock episode, there is bound to be a case to be solved and it is very aptly interwoven with the wedding and simultaneously not taking too much time from the character moments. As much as the second episodes don’t do that much for the meta plot, of the three seasons, this one feels least like a filler episode. There was a stabbing of a beefeater and even Sherlock couldn’t find out how. A closed room puzzle with the weapon having disappeared. In the middle of the wedding, he realizes the perpetrator is attending the wedding. Although there isn’t as much tension as in the other episodes, Sherlock’s deducing the hell out of this case was entertaining television. He saves the day and the wedding and it will be interesting to see how both Sherlock and John approach this cesura in their relationship.
A well-written and entertaining episode, the best second episode of any season but still inferior to the season premieres and finales.
Some asides: Mycroft warned Sherlock not to “get involved” and reminded him of Redbeard. Is that a painful memory to Sherlock and if yes, why?
Also, having seen the next episode, I totally did not pick up on Mary’s impressive memory for she could remember the major’s room number.
© by BBC, image taken from their website