Aug 24 2012 2:00pm

Sherlock Season 3 Episodes Revealed

Sherlock Season 3 Episodes Revealed

Today at this year's Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Steven Moffat and the Sherlock team revealed three words that will comprise the three episodes of the next series:

Rat. Wedding. Bow

What should we expect to see in the third series of Sherlock? We posit some ideas below.


Sherlock Season 3 Episodes RevealedRat

“Rat” can only be a reference to “The Giant Rat of Sumatra” which is not a complete, canonical story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but instead merely mentioned by Watson in “The Sussex Vampire.” Several pastiches have been written about “The Giant Rat,” the most notable being Richard Boyer's The Giant Rat of Sumatra. What Moffat and company will do with this one is fairly wide open, though we doubt they'll be too influenced by pastiches. The best money on a “Rat” episode would be one that takes place in the sewers and is essentially a subterranean “Hound of the Baskervilles.” (Read more about “The Sussex Vampire” here.)


Sherlock Season 3 Episodes RevealedBow

Our guess is that this is a reference to “His Last Bow,” which comes from the Conan Doyle short story collection of the same name. The weird thing about “His Last Bow” is that it is one of the few stories not told from Watson's perspective, instead employing third person narration. This oddity is compounded by the fact that the story itself is less of a mystery and more of a pre-war time espionage story. While this seems out of place among the Holmes canon, the contemporary incarnation already has an abundance of espionage and government conspiracies. Instead of Mycroft leaving Sherlock out of the loop, perhaps this version of “His Last Bow” will see a more James Bond-style storyline.

The weirdest thing about “His Last Bow” is of course that Sherlock retires to become a beekeeper at the end of the story. Would our Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock really do this? Is this a sign that the show might go on hiatus after season 3?


Sherlock Season 3 Episodes RevealedWedding

This one is a bit more confusing than the other hints and could refer to a few stories in which forced or fictional marriages are on the minds of the primary bad guys. In “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax,” Holy Peter woos and marries women in an attempt to steal their fortunes. In “The Solitary Cyclist,” the odious John Woodley attempts a shotgun wedding at the end of the story to steal Violet Smith's fortune. Of the two, we'd prefer “The Solitary Cyclist” as it's an awesome mystery, and Sherlock Holmes beats up someone in a bar. (Read more about these bad guys here.)

But “wedding” could also refer to the wedding of John Watson to Mary. Steven Moffat has already discussed waffling back and forth on whether or not he wants this version of Watson to have a go at marriage, and this might be the clue that he's made up his mind. In addition, Moffat has also already stated that John will likely not be spending as much time at Baker Street in the coming season, suggesting that Watson might move out following the Reichenbach fallout. Will John find his Mary? Will Sherlock do everything he can to break them up? Is this going to put our dynamic duo on the outs by the end of the season? Only time will tell.


What are your theories? Sound off below!

Stubby the Rocket is the mascot, and happens to keep bees in the cargo hold. For when the crew gets too rowdy.

Brandon Daggerhart
1. TankSpill
My only actual theory is that the season will be filled with awesomesauce. That is all. I love this incarnation of Holmes so much. Awesome teasers, too!
Alex Bledsoe
2. alexbledsoe
Given how Season 2 ended, Season 3 pretty much has to start with their version of "The Empty House," doesn't it? I mean...doesn't it?
Ryan Britt
3. ryancbritt
The big question if they do "The Empty House" who would play Col. Moran? We're voting for Tom Hardy.
Mahesh Banavar
4. maheshkb
Rat could be from "Boscome Valley". Black Jack of Ballarat was the moniker of one of the characters and is heard by one other as an allusion to a rat. Makes a good red herring in the story.

Wedding could be retelling of "Sign of Four", with Dr. Watson meeting his (future) wife at the end (as you have already pointed out...). There are also meny stories of almost weddings, tragic endings to weddings, weddings being stopped, etc (eg: speckled band, case of identity, and more).
5. Fenric25
I have to say, not surprised to see a potential story based off of the whole "Giant Rat of Sumatra" reference, as Moffat and Gatiss are both (obviously) fans of Doctor Who, which has pretty much referenced the incident twice (notably in Fourth Doctor story "The Talons of Weng-Chiang," with the fake-looking giant rat in the London Sewers, and in the Seventh Doctor novel, "All-Consuming Fire," in which Holmes and Watson are real and many, many of their adventures are referenced in one big crossover that has HP Lovecraft stuff thrown in for good measure.) As for the other two, well, I know nothing of those stories, so your guess is as good as mine. I'm just glad to hear that more Sherlock is on the way as well as Doctor Who, about time...:)
Jenny Thrash
6. Sihaya
'Wedding' could also refer to Irene Adler tying the knot with Mister Norton. It's not as likely, but it belongs on the list.
7. Clarentine
When I read "bow," I was thinking of the bow Sherlock uses to play his violin. Ah, those homonyms. >:-)
Igor Toffie
8. toffie
I would rather see the new season instead of the Hobbit movies (although Freeman is probably done with filming by now EDIT: just read that Cumberbatch is actually in Hobbit as well, that'll be one cool dragon) or the new Star trek movie (I don't know when Cumberbatch will be done with that one), so my only comment would be "WHEN?"
Jenny Thrash
9. Sihaya
Well, Cumberbatch already finished filming Trek.
10. thebigoldbug
All this time passes in between Reichenbach and the Empty House. Tons of time for Sherlock's two best friends - John and Molly - to spend time together, mourning him, and eventually, maybe... fall in love? Ooooooohhh... :D
11. Salted Carthage
Sherlock's other best friend is Lestrade, not Molly, or there would have been a different sniper, no?

My vote: E01 is a combination of "The Empty House" and the Giant Rat of Sumatra. In E02, John has found Mary and moved in with her prior to their wedding, but he abandons Mary at the altar (or close to it) to help Sherlock with something, and she breaks it off. E03 will be war-related somehow (something in the Middle East), but will not end with Sherlock retiring to Sussex. It will instead establish that John and Sherlock are back to the status quo they should have enjoyed at the end of "Reichenbach" but was stolen from them -- that is, the world is put right and they've kissed and made up, so to speak, and are back at Baker Street together.
12. Fangirl
John BETTER NOT marry mary. JOHNLOCK JOHNLOCK JOHNLOCK!!! Make it happen Moffat!!!!!
13. Yenala
@Salted: I like your version of what's going to happen very much. :D Don't let John marry and move away! You can't! :(
Johnlock ftw :)
14. Manoj Patankar
"wedding" may also refer to Charles augustus milverton story.
15. Michelle R. Wood
My thoughts:

Rat = Boscombe Valley Affair
Wedding = The Noble Bachelor (how has no one brought this one up yet?)
Bow = His Last Bow

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