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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

And Fansplosions Abound

Three Tantalizing Hints for Sherlock Season Three, and a Possible (Not Quite) Airdate

It’s been eight months since BBC’s Sherlock season two aired, leaving us with an emotional void that we can try to fill all we want, but which can only really be filled with more Sherlock. And now, finally, after all these months, we’re hearing something new. Co-executive producer Steven Moffat took to the stage at Sherlock Masterclass Friday and revealed the three “key words” to the eventual third season of the show. For reference, last season’s three words were “Woman, Hound, Fall,” which dropped some pretty huge clues as to what was to come. Follow the jump to find out what three words Sherlock fans will be hyperventilating over for the foreseeable future.

Are you ready? Here they are:

Rat, wedding, bow.”

Well. Let’s see what we can make of these, shall we? (Spoilers for season two of Sherlock ahead; as of yet we’re just theorizing on season three)

Let’s start with “wedding:”

It’s already being widely assumed that this refers to John Watson’s wedding to Mary Morstan. This makes sense; if the show follows the canon and depicts that Sherlock Holmes has been gone (thought dead) for three years after the events of “The Reichenbach Fall,” what else is John to do but try to heal, try to move on, and get sad-married in the process? This would also be a good opportunity for the show to introduce more ladies to the cast.

There are a few options here: First, The Sign of Four, in which we meet Mary Morstan; The Solitary Cyclist features a wedding scam; and The Noble Bachelor features a missing bride. In terms of significance to our main duo and the further emotional wreckage of fans, though, I’m putting my money on Morstan.

Now onto “rat:”

Chances seem good that this will be in reference to “The Giant Rat of Sumatra,” which was never an actual case within the canon stories, but which was mentioned in “The Sussex Vampire.” Obviously, there doesn’t need to be a physical rat; in this case it might be a ship:

Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson, … It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.

This would also allow the writers of the show (Steven Moffat, Mark “Godtiss” Gatiss, and Steve Thompson) to even further write their own interpretation, or to work with some of the many interpretations of the story as done by past Sherlockians.

In a slightly more unpopular theory, I’m still pulling for it to mean they’ll somehow incorporate The Great Mouse Detective.

So how about “Bow?”:

Well, this is the year of the archer, but chances of Hawkeye or Katniss making an appearance are probably low. The question here is: Which meaning of “bow” are we going for?

“Take a bow?” “Bowties are cool?” “Stop hitting me over the head with the bow of that violin?” “Clench up, Legolas?” The options are many.

There’s always this: The Last Bow, which is a collection of stories, and also one story that just happens to be the last of the canon chronology. The latter is written in the third person (not the usual for the canon, as Watson usually narrates), on the eve of World War I.

Furthermore, Sue Vertue, another producer extraodinaire on the show,  announced that the third season will begin filming in January, to make its premier sometime in the fall of 2013, the earliest being next August. In other words, we still have an entire calendar year to wait, and I’m going to go bury myself ostrich-style in my backyard until then.

Please post your further theories in the comments; we have to do something to pass the time until next fall.

Meanwhile, we will be praying to the television gods that they get Tom Hiddleston to play Moran.

P.S.: Mark Gatiss also tweeted three words that some people are taking as the three words: “Pipe. Slippers. Bed.” We’re pretty sure he was just talking about going to bed, guys.

(via Hypable) (Images via John Gushue, Tumblr)


  • Sarah

    Is it confirmed that Steve Thompson will be writing again? =/

  •!/alannabennett AlannaBennett

     I don’t think we know much of anything about season three yet other than the above, so I’m guessing not. But he did a pretty fantastic job with Reichenbach last time, so I’d assume he’d be returning despite first season blunders.

  • R.O.U.S.

     I love seeing Sherlock updates on here, and from an obvious fan. Hurrah!

    Decidedly anti-hurrah for waiting another year with only three words to tantalize us. At this rate, we’ll have the entire season written a multitude of times in fanfiction before it ever airs.

  • John Wao

    I wonder if Irene Adler will make an appearance? 

  • Lily Yasuda

    she is not allowed to rain on my Johnlock parade anymore… 

  • Lily Yasuda

    alright, so what does everyone think about the “wedding” episode? 
    would they really marry John off to Mary?!even if you are not a shipper (which is fine), i feel like that would seriously jeopardize the beautiful relationship between John and Sherlock. Mark Gatiss (jokingly, true, but still) asked Benedict and Martin how they would feel about a kiss, and although Moffat is not in the Johnlock boat, and I am not saying it is particularly likely that John and Sherlock’s relationship will ever be physicalized, it seems cruel to suddenly take away all potential for romantic/BROmantic relations. Plus I imagine the writers understand how many angry fans there would be… 
    Plus, a better word would have been “Sign”, if they were going to use Sign Of The Four. 
    It also would have made more sense for that to be a season 3 cliffhanger (making it yet another painfully abusive season finale) to have John get married, than an awkward half-way episode right after Sherlock returns from the dead. 
    I am very surprised about “Rat” being the first word, because I was under the impression that the return episode was going to be an empty house canon. (which it could still be.) anyway, if anyone wants to rant some more with me, please do. 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think we should write it off. We already know that these guys aren’t thinking abou continuity or long term planning: they ended the first season with a Final Solution allusion and ended up doing it all over in the second. They also took the three best known stories and spent them in a single season, they faked Sherlock’s death long before his relationship with John had reached the level that years of partnership has and made him fall in love just after forming a real friendship for the first time. In short, Moffat, Gatiss and Co. Are more concerned with cheap thrills and sensation than any real investment in the series, so the wedding would be right up their alley.

  • Anonymous

    I hope the wedding isn’t for John and Mary, partly because it doubtlessly turn into “we are so not gay” – the episode, but also because Moffat couldn’t write a female character to save his life. Look at the track reckord:

    - we have Molly, the pathologist who behaves like a twelve year old, and is constantly taken advantage of, bullied and humiliated by Sherlock. But because she is also a Good Woman, she isn’t allowed to resent this, she adores him and cater to his every whim no matter how he treats her.

    - Mrs. Hudson, repeatedly stated to be the men’s landlady, is also belittled, yelled at, humiliated and treated like a maid by her tenants, who also destroy her walls, bring home criminals and body parts and make a lot of noise during night hours. Instead of evicting them, she cleans cooks and caters to them without complaint, because she is a Good Woman.

    - Donovan doesn’t trust Sherlock fully, so she is a Bad Woman.

    - Sarah not only dates he employee, but does so right after he slept tryough his first day. After being belittled and out in danger during the first date, she accepts another. Also a damsel in distress. Because she’s also a Good Woman, it is made clear that she and John aren’t having sex.

    - Irene is basically eye candy, as her personality is either an enigma or part of her manipulation. She is a lesbian sex worker with mainly male clients, but her feelings about this are never addressed. She also falls for a man, so hard that she’s careless with her only lifeline, and is in the end a distressed damsel, duped by Moriarty because she can’t make plans or even decide what to do with her own assets by herself.

    So, I shudder to think what Mary would be like. Probably a cross between Sarah and Mrs. Hudson, a virtuous and charming beautiful woman who serves John and doesn’t mind being walked all over.

  • Amy M Weir

     I DO want Mary, but I don’t want her to just pop in all of a sudden. I want full-blown Sign of Four, because Mary is awesome, and I don’t want her to be just “the other” in John and Sherlock’s relationship. I don’t mind her BEING “the other”– John needs somebody STABLE in his life, to take care of him when he spends so much energy taking care of other people (like patients and Sherlock’s clients, let alone his high-maintenance best friend)– but I don’t want her to be JUST “the other.” I don’t want her to be like John’s other girlfriends, who pop up for an episode or two and then disappear. I want her to be an integral part of his life.

    I don’t think the writers should pander to fans– just because some fans ship Johnlock doesn’t mean the writers have any responsibility to supporting them. Besides, it would make the relationship between the two men more interesting, more complex, having to figure out where they stand with each other WHEN there’s a serious “other” involved. Instead of ruining the relationship, it might even make the relationship STRONGER. (Unless you REALLY FEEL it should be a physical relationship. I personally WANT to see more relationships on TV that are extremely strong and yet platonic. It reinforces that true love is not about sex. Granted, there do need to be more non-straight relationships on TV, too, but one doesn’t need to hinge all ones hopes for that on one couple).

  • Anonymous

    I agree with most of this except Molly. I personally believe that as much as her behavior and leniency towards Sherlock sucks, it is also extremely realistic. Not every female character can throw little golden birds at the boy who hurt them ala Hermione Granger. 

  • Maiasaura

    Oh goodness, I’d love that!  She was a boatload of fun.  Even if she just popped in to wreak havoc for five minutes and then dashed off for her own adventures, I’d be quite happy to see her. :)

  • Maiasaura

    I’m not going to say that the treatment of the women in Sherlock isn’t problematic, but I love those ladies and would be happy to add Mary to the fold.  

    I’m short on time, and most of my feelings are Molly-shaped, so that’s what I’ll stick to for now.  Molly is very girlish, which a lot of young women, including many of the readers of this blog, are.  I certainly still enjoy kittens and stickers.  She is very shy and meek and not very good at sticking up for herself, and she happens to have an unfortunate crush on man who is rather mean to her.  Those are all things I can relate to, and the moment at the end of Reichenbach when she finally speaks up, and speaks up for paying attention to and taking care of those around you, when Sherlock admits he needs her help–that was really wonderful.  So no, she’s not perfect, and the show steps on her all the time.  But she’s still my favorite.

  • Anonymous

    There is always the alternative of an asexual romantic relationship, which I frankly think fits Sherlock better. Personally I would want to see more companionships – you get the UST and the passionate hookups and the sap, but the symbiotic partnerships seem to always be relegated to either side characters or friendships, with the rapport being destroyed as soon as sex enters the picture. One would think that the appeal of a pairing would be two personalities sharing a life together and playing off each other, or even how their specific take on romance would be, but in the end they are all written as interchangeable.

  • Anonymous

    True, but there is also the possibility of saving herself by breaking contact, or just being disenchanted, resentful or angry when he tries to manipulate her again. All of those things are realistic too, and if she’s still allowed to be a sympathatic character it breaks the pattern where every woman has to lay down flat for Sherlock to be considered a good person.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. I wonder how long they have known each other? I can relate to Molly’s passive behavior. I remember having those inappropriate crushes on inappropriate people and having it be a while before you can tear yourself away. Or recently watching a friend of mine get out of a 3 year long verbally and emotionally abusive relationship. Unfortunately, these things happen and where as I don’t think it is addressed (and should be) in Sherlock, I don’t think that it makes for bad writing -yet. If Molly has no character growth this season, THEN we have a problem. 

  • Anonymous

    I think a lot of people can relate to that, and most of my reservation is really that there isn’t more to her. She’s not shown as being good at anything, even though much attention is brought to her work, she’s not allowed to be happy with another guy or even have friends and family. I think that if she was a more rounded character with a life of her own, if we knew that there were situations where she is comfortable and happy and confident and there are people who don’t take her for granted, she would be a great character.

    A shy, girly, subservient character can be a good character. The problem is when all characters act in the same way and we don’t have any motivation for it, we don’t know what is going through their head or when they aren’t allowed to have lives and goals that don’t revolve around the men around them. Molly not standing up for heself wouldn’t really be a problem if any of the other women were acually allowed to clash with and stand their ground against Sheelock or John without being made villains.

  • Anonymous

    We have happy rainbow scarves and everything!

  • Marc Wilson

    Why does no one think that “Rat” could refer to “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”.  That story would be failry easy to modernize.

  • Anonymous

    I think it would have been easier to digest too if she had a life outside Sherlock. Even she worst cases of wall flower have moments where they are confident or people they can turn to. Having her date Moriarty and be alone on christmas was a bit too much.

  • Nicole Louise Kline

    Let me start by saying, I do not have a problem with gays at all, but I will be pissed if they make Sherlock and John romantically involved with one another. Benedict even seemed to cringe at the thought when an interviewer asked him about the possibility of their relationship becoming less platonic. I don’t think either him or Martin are ready to jump on the bandwagon for that. They are very determinedly straight and I think you can tell that by what they say in some interviews. I personally will be upset if they change the greatest bromance in fiction history into a homosexual relationship, especially if they would be doing it just to be politically correct. I love how good of friends John and Sherlock are and I truly believe thats where it should stay…however, I did see somewhere that Gatiss or Moffat said something about John getting married, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m really anxious to see John’s reaction to Sherlock being alive.

  • Claire Sukhman

    wow!!!! you were right!!! they just released the name of the first episode, “The Empty Hearse.” It is obviously a play on “The Empty House”. How did you know???

  • Joanna Guseva

    ok, john and mary can not get married, because i think then sherlock and john’s relationship would kind of crumble. i mean i’m not saying that they should get together (but that would be an amazing plot twist) but it’s just kind of adorable and i think that it wouldnt work as well if john lived somewhere else and had to attend to a different life and stuff.