Mark Watches ‘Sherlock’: S02E03 – The Reichenbach Fall

In the third and final episode of the second series of Sherlock, Sherlock faces off against Moriarty. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Sherlock.

After starting and stopping so many times, allow me to start off with the easy stuff:

This might possibly be the finest episode of television that I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I just sat with my cursor blinking after that sentence for at least five full minutes before I started typing again. I feel that so wonderfully sums up how I felt about “The Reichenbach Fall” and the emotional journey that Steve Thompson took us on. (How on earth did this same writer create “The Blind Banker”? THIS IS WEIRD TO ME.)

I am at a point with this show where I have simply allowed myself to fall so deeply in love with the characters that I honestly could watch John and Sherlock sit around staring at one another for ninety minutes and I’d demand it get an Oscar, even if that isn’t a thing that’s legal or something. The true brilliance, though, comes from the fact that Thompson relies so heavily on the past five episodes of the show to bring about Moriarty’s destruction of Sherlock. (Fair warning, I’m going to jump around a lot in this review because I cannot be bothered to be coherent at this point.) If you think about it, Moriarty’s entire plan involved two things: knowing Sherlock’s life in minute detail, and knowing that Sherlock was lying about not having friends. In one aspect, it’s terrifying just how much Moriarty was able to pick up so many of the smaller details of Sherlock’s relationship with the people around him. He knew that Sally Donovan and Anderson despised the way they were treated by the private investigator (and for good fucking reason and PS if you hate these two for not tolerating an asshole GO AWAY); he knew that turning the people in his life against him would break the man; he knew that there really was a way to burn the heart out of Sherlock.

It’s why that moment where Moriarty shows up in Kitty Reilly’s apartment, disguised as an actor, is just so gut-wrenching to watch. That’s what makes the last third of “The Reichenbach Fall” so unbearable, too. We are watching one man beat Sherlock over and over again. The writers have spent episode after episode assuring us that Sherlock would have the last laugh, and here, that concept is just so utterly destroyed.

It should go without saying that Andrew Scott gives a life-ruining performance in this episode. He’s a life-ruiner. How am I ever supposed to enjoy another villain after him? His combination of flamboyance, extravagance, and violence is like nothing I have ever seen. He scares us, and then he makes us laugh. His actions are brazen, and without the slightest hint of fear. That is impressive to me. Not once does he give us a sign that he thinks he is losing, and it is a way to strike fear into our hearts. The man orchestrated the destruction of Sherlock’s persona in a calculating, exact manner. It’s why we come to accept that Sherlock simply lost at the end.

There truly are so many nice, emotional moments scattered about the episode. This was Molly’s time to shine in a way we’ve never seen before, and I was so happy that she had a chance to take the way she’s been treated by Sherlock and shove it right back at him. We see how she’s able to read Sherlock in a way that he not only did not expect, but one that’s beautifully accurate. For a character like Molly, who is so socially awkward, it’s a gigantic development for her story to have her tell Sherlock to his face that he’s lying. It’s been clear to me that this version of Sherlock feels that others need to “earn” a spot for him to care about them, and there’s a subtext to Molly’s behavior that feels like a giant middle finger to him. She cares, whether he accepts her or not, and she knows what he is feeling. (Of course, I think is directly tied to the ending. He specifically comes to her to admit that he does need help, a very un-Sherlock thing to do, and I think she helps arrange that รขโ‚ฌโ€œ oh, well, we’ll get there.

Series two has also helped me enjoy DI Lestrade a whole lot more, since he takes a more trusting role to Sherlock than in the past. In his case, though, Rupert Graves is able to portray the frustrated heartbreak at the idea that Sherlock has been lying to him, involving him in some sort of complicated set of murders and crimes just to satisfy Sherlock’s own ego. I’m interested to see if series three (IT HAS TO HAPPEN, RIGHT?) will take into account any possible guilt Lestrade might feel over sending Sherlock to his death.

I’m sure Mycroft is feeling his own sense of guilt, though I wonder if, like in the original stories, he is one of the few people to know that Sherlock is still alive. I adore Mark Gatiss as Mycroft because he’s played the character with such a wide spectrum of emotions. While he may have been mostly distant and frustrated over the course of series one, series two explores the dynamic of his relationship with his brother in a lot more detail. Bless John for figuring out that Mycroft was mostly acting out of guilt in this story. But does that mean he truly cares about Sherlock, then? He and his brother are both reluctant to share their emotions with others, choosing to hide them in words, dense sentences, and furtive glances. He can’t tell his own brother that he’s sorry for inadvertently sticking assassins around his place, so he asks John to do it for him.

ugh my heart

I’ve saved the best for last, and the best is Martin Freeman. This is his episode, and this is his story. This is clearly the reason why Peter Jackson rearranged the production schedule on The Hobbit. This is the reason I watch this show, and this is the reason I just love this man’s face. For me, John Watson’s story in this episode is one of loyalty and love. He demonstrates time and time again that there is no one he trusts more in the world than Sherlock Holmes. Even when Moriarty provides concrete evidence that he was an actor hired by Sherlock, John refuses to believe a second of it. It’s why it’s so especially hard for Sherlock to pull off his final plan in the end: he knows that his friend just believes.

And that leads us to the moment that just fucking broke me. “The Reichenbach Fall” started in media res with John choking up about Sherlock’s death, but it was one of those things I believed was a joke, a trick, or some manipulation of reality. When Sherlock tearfully calls John to tell him goodbye, so he could be the last person he sees before death, I was upset. When Sherlock leapt from the building, I was terrified, but I fully expected some sort of mattress or trick or anything to stop his fall.

But when the blood started pooling and John was stumbling towards the body, I simply could not believe that this was happening. You can’t do this. He’s the titular character. He can’t die. But he was dead. There was too much blood and there was no way to fake it. He hit that sidewalk and John, devastated by what he’s just witnessed, must watch the lifeless body of his best friend be carried away.

I think most of us will look upon that scene in the cemetery with watery eyes and a lump in our threats. It’s heartbreaking on a level that’s hard to describe, and that’s because Martin Freeman makes it feel so very real. What we see before us is a man who refuses to give up, who refuses to accept something he knows to be true, because he loves Sherlock Holmes.

stop it what are you doing to my heart

Of course, when the camera panned to a very-living Sherlock, I think my brain just snapped in half and I don’t even know how I’m writing this. The sheer brilliance of having this story follow “The Final Problem” is so clever it hurts. He faked his death. GOD, OBVIOUSLY HE WOULD DO THAT! That’s how “The Final Problem” was addressed when Doyle had to bring the character back. I definitely want to know the logistics of this, and I’m pretty sure John is going to immediately murder Sherlock upon discovering he is still alive, but GOOD GOD. WHAT AN ENDING.

Seriously, I have seen it twice now. I will probably watch it a few more times before the week ends. YOU CANNOT STOP ME.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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249 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Sherlock’: S02E03 – The Reichenbach Fall

  1. alexamarie0813 says:

    this episode gave me ALL OF THE FEELINGS.

  2. Jade says:

    THERE WERE SO MANY TEARS ON MY FACE. This episode was so intense too, I spent the whole thing curled up in my seat, with my hands over my mouth.

    But good news! The third season is confirmed! It was commissioned at the same time as season 2 because Moffat is such a troll jesuscjherwkjew

    This was posted in the liveblog (I almost wrote loveblog aaaaa) and I figured a repost here would be good! It's the latest video from John's blog, with him saying "He was my best friend and I'll always believe in him."

    [youtube BnMmAkc1LmM youtube]

    They never mention Moriarty/"Richard Brook" being found dead on the roof, which is either an oversight or completely intentional. I wouldn't put it past Moriarty to have a way to fake his own suicide, simply in order to force Sherlock's hand.

    • Christi says:

      What really gets me about this video on John's blog is the single line accompanying it: "He was my best friend and I'll always believe in him." I JUST CAN'T

  3. cutselvage says:



    That's seriously all I've got. THIS EPISODE YOU GUYS

  4. Hanah says:

    I'd love to try for coherency right now but it's too soon and I'm too broken and I'm listening to a fucking AMAZING Reichenbach fanmix I found on tumblr and I just can't do real words.

    This was amazing and horrible and heartbreaking and I am already devastated that it just isn't possible for every single person involved in this programme to win ALL OF THE AWARDS BECAUSE FFS THEY ALL DESERVE THEM SO, SO MUCH WHY ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE ME CRY BAFTA? Because they don't have a 'EVERYONE IN THE SHOW WINS A PRIZE!' award and Martin and Andrew would have to go up against each other for best supporting actor and ugh it is ridiculous but I am so upset about it already FUCK YOU AWARDS SYSTEM.

    But yeah. This episode. God. I just sat on my bed afterwards completely unable to do anything but think about it. It was bedtime but I was just sitting there thinking about it and ugh, it was just perfect in so many ways. I cannot even begin to comprehend how it was written by the same guy who wrote The Blind Banker, but oh god this was so amazing and perfect and if I do not get a fucking amazing and heartrending reunion scene at the start of series three (because YES there is going to be one Moffat and Gatiss tweeted that series three was commissioned AT THE SAME TIME AS SERIES TWO BUT THEY CHOSE NOT TO TELL US UNTIL NOW THE FUCKERS) then I will be rageful. Because characters thinking-someone-they-love-slash-really-really-care-about-is-dead-when-they-aren't is my very, very favourite trope and the scene when they find out they aren't dead is always so emotional and perfect and ugh you had better give it to me Moffat. You just better had.

    Now excuse me I have to go and wail into a pillow some more because I can't stop having feelings.

    • znachki says:

      (because YES there is going to be one Moffat and Gatiss tweeted that series three was commissioned AT THE SAME TIME AS SERIES TWO BUT THEY CHOSE NOT TO TELL US UNTIL NOW THE FUCKERS)

      But here's the thing. This episode would not have been nearly as affecting if there wasn't a chance it would be the last episode. If you'd never read any ACD, you wouldn't know how it goes OMG Sherlock died?

      If you did read ACD, not having a third series confirm means that they could change the story and OMG Sherlock dies!

      I'm glad that question was there until the end.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      Could you possibly link me to this fanmix, please?

  5. <img src="; alt=""/>


    (I take no credit for this gif, having found it on tumblr)

  6. Allison says:

    I'm glad I'm not the only who felt that this was one of the most amazing episodes on television. The tension throughout the episode was nearly unbearable, but you just HAD to see what would happen next. The acting all around was just fantastic.

    I'm not sure I quite believe that Sherlock was being genuine to Molly, or if he was yet again, manipulating her. But I kind of feel like sometimes he doesn't mean to be cruel as he does it. I love their whole exchange, Sherlock really was confused as to how she could help him, but I think he realized that she was being really, really, kind. (Especially since he's been nothing but and asshole to her)

    When you started talking about John's loyalty I teared up. What an amazing person, to have so much faith. The way the writers were able to make the viewers entertain the notion of Sherlock's insincerity displayed the pureness and beauty in John's unyielding friendship.



    • vermillioncity says:

      I'm fairly sure he was manipulating her, because none of those things were in character for him to say – 'you always mattered'? paraphrasing, but it was along those lines – but they were all the things he knew at this point that she wanted to hear. He's shown he CAN give people what they want, he just doesn't usually see the value of it ('I'll just be myself!' 'Are you listening to me?!').

      My favourite moment between Sherlock and Molly was when she first offered to help him, and she called him out on his response – it was either 'thank you' or 'sorry'; I can't remember which as I haven't rewatched the episode yet. She prodded him to say it and he did, but you could just tell by his face that he didn't know WHY she wanted him to say it. He just didn't get why it was required. But I think from this point on, he can recognise her feelings, even if he doesn't understand them, and that's why he goes to her for help.

    • tardis_stowaway says:

      With Sherlock, genuinely caring about someone and manipulating them aren't mutually exclusive possibilities. He manipulates John all the time (including drugging him last episode).

      He needed Molly's help, so he was making a point of being good to her, but I don't think he said anything that wasn't true on some level. We always see him working with Molly rather than anyone else at the morgue because he trusts her competence. She was at the 221B Christmas party, where the only other guests were the people on Moriarty's list of Sherlock's friends plus John's girlfriend (who John doubtless insisted on). When he hurt her at that party, he apologized promptly and sincerely. I think in TGG, when he told her that Jim from IT was gay, he honestly believed that he was helping her. All those actions confirm a level of reality for the words he spoke in this episode. He might not have said it if he didn't need help, but look how rarely he praises even John, who he values deeply.

      • @ohbrietta says:

        I kind of assumed all through the first series that Sherlock was aware of Molly's crush on him, and was deliberately exploiting it when it was useful to him ("Oh, you've changed your hair"), and feigning ignorance otherwise (the coffee request, the lipstick comment."). So it actually surprised me in "Scandal" when he didn't realize that she was still carrying a torch for him, so of course the present was for him.

        But I think this episode, building on the fireside scene in "Hounds", shows Sherlock so completely aware of his vulnerability that he acted in a way that heretofore, he wouldn't even have considered. He's relied so much on his ability to manipulate people and it working (for example, his forceful interrogation of the woman at the boarding school crime scene) that when he loses that, he's forced to relate to people differently. (and even though he lied to John at the end, it still felt like there was this underlying honesty to how he expressed it.)

  7. Marion says:

    Oh my heart.
    This episode was devastating to me. It just ripped me to shreds.
    But the worst moment for me was when John, at Sherlock's graveside, shakes himself out of it with a quick nod and turns and MARCHES away from the grave. He's already reverting back to his soldier mentality, the way he was before he met Sherlock. He's going to try to pretend he's strong and can push his emotions off to the side but deep down he knows exactly what his life is going to be like without him, knowing how great his life was for those 18 months when he was fighting by Sherlock's side.
    That's what hurts the most.

    • ldwy says:

      I noticed the military walk too, it was heartbreaking in this context. And Sherlock saw it too, we know he did. The end of the episode just left me terrified what turn John's life will take without Sherlock in it…because obviously he can't reveal himself.
      I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. And I have huge amounts of respect for the actors involved in this show.

  8. katherinemh says:

    Never has there been a more appropriate time to use the 'I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO MY WHOLE BRAIN IS CRYING' gif than as a reaction to the scene where Moriarty is pretending to be Richard Brook. It was like… wait she's working with Moriarty??? But no, she doesn't… believe he's Moriarty? But wait what? But no, wait, he's lying!!! I know he's lying, of course he's lying because hi we have watched this show from the beginning and we know for a fact that he's lying but there are also other people in my brain yelling and none of it makes any sense and the music and their faces and "I'm the storyteller! It's on DVD!" and they're talking and yelling and what is happening help????

    • vermillioncity says:

      For some reason, 'it's on DVD!' was my favourite part of that, just because YOU KNOW SOMEONE WOULD SAY THAT. Like, MOST PATHETIC DEFENSE omg I love it.

  9. marion says:

    Oh, lord. May the next series bring us happiness and joy and a way for Sherlock to get his reputation back. Because there are so many holes in Moriarty's "Sherlock's a fake" thing. I mean, all of the cases he solved before John, first of all, and all of the people he solved cases for will obviously believe he was the real thing. There's no way that someone isn't going to analyse this stuff in-universe and see the truth. Sherlock needs to be reinstated. Please?

    • Timefire says:

      I was thinking the same thing ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

      The thing about Moriarty is that, despite all the "I am you" talks, there's still one tiny little thing that differentiates him from Sherlock: Moriarty cares about /no one/. To him, people are all the same – "normal", petty, and kind of dumb; ready to be played like a half-rotten fiddle by the next genius in town. He believed everyone will readily swallow whatever they see on TV, because hey!, that's what 'The Mass' is supposed to do, right?

      Moriarty thought nothing of the individuals. Of the people whom Sherlock has touched, the lives he has saved (while acting like a colossial arsehole, but still). In a sense, the bastard got it lucky: he died before seeing how this arrogance becomes his magnum opus's downfall.

  10. ladykjane says:

    I was ok until the little gravestone pat and the "I was alone" comment. Cue floods of endless tears.

    I never believed Sherlock was dead though. Going to Molly for help, and then John getting knocked down so conveniently by the cyclist … although it almost seemed too obviously a set-up by the writers to make us think he'd get out of it (but then he did, so a double bluff?). I have no idea whether I'm making sense, see me ramble incoherently as a result of this show.

    I like this review and I like this show and I also don't understand how this same writer did the Blind Banker.

    • enchantedsleeper says:

      Yes! Me too!! I didn't cry at all up until that point because I knew it was going to happen but then WATSON and THE GRAVESTONE and "Please… don't be dead?" AAAAAAAAAAAH TOO MUCH

      • JustMalyn says:

        Please don't be dead BROKE ME DOWN. I wasn't crying *hard* until then. Because it's such a real thing to say, when dealing with grief, and it speaks to their relationship. ALL OF THE CRIES FOREVER.

    • sudden_eyes says:

      Sherlock's hand reaching out. John's hand reaching up.


      • JustMalyn says:

        It's like, like fucking Lupin and Tonks never getting to hold hands in HP: DHP2. SO MUCH SAD. Also, I LOVE MORIARTY in this rendition. So different than I ever saw him in the books, but SO PERFECT.

    • tardis_stowaway says:

      Rory and Amy Pond speak for us all.

    • ldwy says:

      Hahahahaa, the Dr. Who gifs! Had me cracking up in the midst of my sorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can totally see Amy and Rory cuddling on the couch and watching Sherlock, and being DEVASTATED.

    • msnaddie says:

      LOL the third one those would've been my requests as well! God I want to punch Moffat so bad right now. (I just got around to watching the last ep, oops.)

  11. accioetoile says:

    I know by the time I post my comment, there will be 5287349875 other comments already. So here are just a few of my favorite moments in gif form.
    The moment Moriarty is in the reporter's apartment, and breaks the character of Richard Brooke for just one second, and the look Sherlock gives him.
    <img src=""&gt;
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    The moment at Sherlock's grave, when John steels himself, becomes a soldier again, and does an about face.
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    When John punched that police commissioner guy
    <img src=""&gt;
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    <img src=""&gt;

    The whole running in handcuffs scene
    <img src=""&gt;
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    <img src=""&gt;

    And basically any time Moriarty was on screen.
    <img src=""&gt;
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    Also, this scene from last night
    <img src=""&gt;

    completely reminded me of this scene from Deathly Hallows part 1
    <img src=""&gt;

    (and they can all be found reblogged on my tumblr)

  12. Oh man, my CREYS. ALL OF THEM. This episode was SO GOOD. Holy shit, Martin Freeman needs to win ALL OF THE AWARDS immediately. Like, seriously, right now.

    I don't even know how to talk about this in a coherent manner, it was just one amazing scene after the other. And seriously, Moriarty is creepy as fuck, is he not? He actually frightens me. Like if I was on an elevator (ahaha sorry, my fear of elevators would never allow this) and he got on, I would be REALLY NERVOUS.

    Being a fan of the original series, I never believed that Sherlock was actually dead, but it did not even matter, I cried like a fucking BABY for the rooftop scene and the cemetary scene. I still don't think I've recovered.

    • ldwy says:

      Same here. I didn't believe he was dead, but I'm trying to wrap my mind around how the ruse would be possible and I can't do it.
      Didn't change my emotions though. All the awards to these actors. Especially Martin Freeman.

  13. JLawson3 says:

    Wow. I was lost for words when this finished
    I hardly ever post here, in fact, this may be my first time. I just feel that this episode deserved it.
    I started watching this show on Friday, blazed through the first five episodes then watched this last night. I was left sobbing, shaking, shouting, any reaction you can think of, I had it. I just can't believe I need to wait an entire year to see more, I'm almost crying just thinking of it.
    Finest hour and a half of television I've seen in a /long/ time, and it killed me, I can't even.
    Martin Freeman why must you do this? I have no tears left.

  14. Only 24 hours has passed and I'm STILL very much this:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    I think Molly might know Sherlock isn't really dead. He had to tell someone right? And the body had to get swap out somehow. No one will think she knows anything but she's going to have to live with knowing Sherlock is alive avoiding everyone he was ever associated with.

    Thoughts or am I just crazy?

    • echinodermata says:

      Please don't use "crazy" on this site.

    • tardis_stowaway says:

      I think Molly might know Sherlock isn't really dead. He had to tell someone right? And the body had to get swap out somehow.

      Speculation ahead!!!

      Sherlock asked Molly for a favor. Molly works in a morgue, and thus would have both access to corpses and the ability to control who gets pronounced dead. She would also probably know many of those medical people who rushed out right after Sherlock jumped. I still don't know how the hell it was done, but I'm positive that Molly had a hand in faking Sherlock's death.

      • znachki says:

        That's what I think too. John was woozy and never close enough to see his face. Neither did we, the audience. My thought is that although Sherlock told John to look, I'm sure that there is that instant where a person will look away, and that that is how the switch was accomplished – but we shall see.

      • enchantedsleeper says:

        Definitely. Otherwise, it's a plot thread that goes nowhere, right? He must have asked Molly for SOMETHING, and SOMEHOW he faked his own death => the two have got to be linked.

        But I just want to see when John finds out that he's alive. IT'S GONNA BE SO GREAT.

  15. Marion says:

    Oh and can I also just say:
    When Kitty was saying Moriarty never existed, I began doubting MY OWN existence.


    • lattemama says:

      Kitty brought me out of the mood though when she first appeared.

      "That's Jen from the IT-Crowd!" And I was totally waiting for Moss and Roy to turn up cause this is exactly the kind of thing they would put Jen up to do.

      But then it passed. And then Kitty said Moriarty wasn't real and my whole brain started crying!

  16. irwmo says:

    Great episode. I didn’t understand why people kept saying that the hoax was believable because no one could be that smart, though. The Sherlock who comitted every crime he solved, and faked every Sherlock Scan he did on everyone he ever met through research, is a criminal mastermind scarcely less impressive than Sherlock the great detective. Either way, he’s ridiculous levels of supergenius.

    • Genny_ says:

      People don't necessarily think things through like that, though. They just say, 'he faked it' and consider that concept in itself and don't bother to consider what that would entail. It's a nice, neat tabloid headline and then people move on. And it came about in a period of high tension too, for the police.

      • Timefire says:

        Those who don't know Sherlock wouldn't know what his Sherlock Scan is like. Those 'in the know', besides Watson and Co., would start thinking in Donovan's line and figure that Sherlock is a real genius who solved /most/ of the crimes, only got bored and invented the 'Moriarty Cases' for his own amusement.

  17. BSGfan1 says:

    I can't explain it, but this episode broke my brain. I thought there is no possible way Sherlock is dead. Just no. But John was so devastated it made me believe he was dead. How in living hell did he do it??

    "Stop it". Oh God you stop it, Mr. Writer Man. You killed me with that line. It was freaking beautiful.

  18. MsSméagol says:

    Again, let's just give ALL THE AWARDS to Martin Freeman. When Watson was standing at Sherlock's grave, giving that wonderful speech about how great of a human being Sherlock was and how he had saved him, I literally started wailing. So, yeah, ALL THE AWARDS to Martin Freeman.

    On second thought, maybe not all of the awards. Benedict f'cking Cumberbatch deserves some of them, for portraying a man falling apart so incredibly well, and especially for that tearful phone call from the roof.

  19. Danielle says:

    Please may we have the scene where Holmes reveals himself in typical clever-dick fashion and makes Watson faint? Please, Series 3. Do this for me.

    • Genny_ says:

      Oh, I hope John is PISSED, though. So many adaptations have it be 'omg you didn't die, yaaay!' but after this episode, and what John went through… oh god.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:


        • wahlee says:

          It needs to be a mixture of "Thank God you're alive" and "I'M GOING TO STRANGLE YOU WITH MY BARE HANDS."

          (To paraphrase Lois McMaster Bujold.)

        • BSGfan1 says:

          I don't think John would faint. He's too military and hardened for that.

          • sabra_n says:

            Holding your cool under gunfire or the threat of IEDs is…not the same as your best friend coming back from the dead without warning. Fainting isn't weak; it's a physiological reaction that can happen for lots of reasons. So I wouldn't find it at all OOC if John did black out or faint momentarily.

            And then strangle Sherlock once he got up again. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • BSGfan1 says:

              Never said fainting was weak. But I don't believe there is anything that I've seen in John's behavior post-war that leads me to think he would faint upon seeing Sherlock. I believe he will be mad as hell at him at first and will punch him him out. And we don't know that John hasn't seen his best friends be blown up by IED's either.

              • sabra_n says:

                I guess that your contrast of "hardened" and "military" with fainting made me think you were saying the latter is somehow incompatible with the former. My mistake. ๐Ÿ™‚

                • Max (guest) says:

                  Most importantly Holmes DOES reveal himself in a dickish fashion and makes Watson fant in the original.

        • lattemama says:

          Something like this perhaps?

          River: If the Doctor is dead I'll never forgive myself. And if he's not then I'll never forgive him … and you are standing right behind me aren't you?
          Doctor : Yeah, I am.
          River: I hate you!
          Doctor: No you don't.

          Substitute Doctor/Sherlock and River/John at will.

        • ninjac8 says:

          I think John will probably be furious and punch him and then hug him. (and then have awesome make-up sex)

      • BSGfan1 says:

        I'm thinking John doesn't say a damn thing. And all we hear and see are two hits. He hits Sherlock and Sherlock hits the ground. And then John walks away.

        anddddd scene.

      • psycicflower says:

        I really want John to punch him first and then go through the various stages of 'your alive!'. Because not only did he fake his death (for understandable reasons) but more importantly he didn't trust John enough to let him know. Granted it was to protect him but after the level of trust John showed in this episode, it's going to sting to know he was lied to for so long by his best friend.

      • Proper_Matt says:

        There's a fantastic moment in the 80s ITV series where Holmes is watching Watson at the falls and NEARLY calls to him but the word gets stuck in his throat. Jeremy Brett really sells the pain that Holmes is feeling at that moment as he realises what he's about to put Watson through.

      • ldwy says:

        Yes yes all of these things above. I think we'll see a flash of relief and then fury. But I better eventually get my happy reunion.

  20. MsSméagol says:

    "I’m interested to see if series three (IT HAS TO HAPPEN, RIGHT? "

    Series three is a definite go! Mark Gatiss confirmed it on his twitter last night!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


    • unefeeverte says:

      He didn't say when, though, did he? Because if they make us wait another one and a half years (or longer, now that Hollywood has discovered the leads), I'm not sure how I will cope.

      • tardis_stowaway says:

        In the canon stories, Watson had to wait three years believing Holmes dead. However, Victorian fandom had to wait TEN YEARS between the publication of "The Final Problem" and "The Empty House."

        I suspect that we're in for a long, horrible wait, but it's almost certain that our predecessors had it worse.

        • AulaCicero says:

          Yup People wore black armbands to honor Mr Holm's death and Mr Doyle was put under pressure to bring him back. I heard even his mother sent him hatemail..

          • amyalices says:

            They did.

            It's one of the things I'm considering dissertating about, in fact – the history of fandom rage against the author! (Not in those words.)

        • enchantedsleeper says:

          THEY CANNOT DO THAT TO US. T_____T

  21. robin_comments says:

    I know Sherlock has his reasons but in that final scene I wanted to punch him in the face OVER AND OVER for just watching John look and feel like that.

  22. Genny_ says:

    You know at times I have a lot of issues with Sherlock, I won't lie. But this? This is possibly the single most satisfying conclusion of a narrative I have ever experienced. I just can't deal with how thoroughly it dealt me everything I ever wanted. Even the things I would never even have thought to ask for.

    I just- everything. EVERYTHING. I am never going to be able to look at this episode objectively, it's going to be one of those times my emotions just block me from doing so. Andrew Scott's Moriarty is the Moriarty I always needed but never KNEW I needed, and he genuinely, honest to god freaked me the fuck out. This is definitely Benedict's finest hour as Sherlock Holmes, full of brilliance and arrogance and ambiguity and underneath it all a genuine lack of comprehension about how people work sometimes. Martin Freeman made me want to punch myself in the face from FEELINGS (every break in his voice and aborted attempt to speak killed me, god). Even Mycroft, who I didn't expect to have much of a role, got to me. (Oh, Mycroft, the hell did you do?)

    And Molly. I have been a Molly stan since episode one, and I feel so vindicated. That scene with Sherlock, where she pierces straight through him and has a matter of fact conversation with him, one I don't think anyone else could have had to be honest, and the way she responds to him saying he thinks he's going to die with that matter of fact 'what do you need'? The way she's apparently the lynchpin in the entire plan? Just… perfect. MY QUEEN.

    And also Sally came back which I was waiting for, so basically this episode was perfect.

    And I'm rambling, this is too long, but I just have to say: that scene on the rooftop, where Sherlock seems to have been not quite acting and John was so faithful… and just everything about it, that scene is actual perfection and literally without flaw to be honest. Oh, god, I'm getting all emotional just thinking about it.


    • psycicflower says:


      Molly was just brilliant in this episode. I was so happy she got to be more than someone Sherlock manipulates and walks all over. There were hints of friendship in Scandal but I'm delighted it came to fruition in such an important way. It's always the quiet ones.

  23. Tina says:

    My only complain about this episode is that they could have made us doubt Sherlock more than this. When Moriarty appeared wiht his "I'm an actor!" stuff, it could really had gone farther in the "let's make people doubt!"

    • AulaCicero says:

      Can you please give details. What woulod you have done?

    • @cykotyks says:

      As the audience, we're more in John's shoes than in the general public's, and we've been privy to information that outright refutes that whole claim. I don't think the point was for us to doubt Sherlock, I think the point was for us to watch Sherlock's reputation come under scrutiny when we know that the lies are just that – lies.

      Yes, it would've been rather brilliant to have the audience doubt him, but that would've needed to have been set up from the very first episode. The episode with Adler and that whole conspiracy couldn't have happened at all if they were going to try and make us doubt his actions and intentions.

    • Kirby_T says:

      also it wasn't just 'let's make people doubt' it was let's make people doubt and then drive Sherlock to kill himself so he dies with his name in disgrace.

  24. MsPrufrock says:

    What few words I have regarding this brain-meltingly awesome hour and a half of television have undoubtedly already been said much more coherently and intelligently by other people, so I think I'm going to stick with gifspam for this one.

    Moriarty just shows up out of nowhere– at 221B; in the cab; at the reporter's apartment.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    The jury finds Moriarty not guilty:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Moriarty is successful in making people think Sherlock is a fraud:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">


    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    Overall impression of the episode:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  25. Aslee says:

    Ugh. I still feel like crap over this.

    Okay, I'm just going to say three things, and then go so I don't start blubbering again:

    1. I adore Sally and Anderson. I think that they're hilarious and I only hate them jokingly. Sally I hardly diss on at all. When she started accusing Sherlock, I felt sick, but I didn't hate her.

    The only problem I had was when she looked at John and said 'I told you so', because you know it must have been KILLING him.

    However: DEATH TO THE SUPERINTENDENT. He didn't even KNOW Sherlock, not to mention he made Lestrade sad. ๐Ÿ™

    2. Andrew Scott is a brilliant actor. I swear, when he was doing that Richard Brook thing, it almost made me doubt that anything was true. I mean, damn, it's Moffat! Maybe he had a twin or something, I DIDN'T KNOW. And then he smiled that Moriarty smile, and then me and Sherlock both had the same face.

    And then I went back to panicking.

    3. THE ONLY THINGS THAT ARE LETTING ME SURVIVE UNTIL SEASON THREE IS THIS: The hope that there will be punches, and then hugs.

    And many creys of the fandom.

    • vermillioncity says:

      I do hate Donovan, but not because she doesn't put up with Sherlock's shit; I really hate the attitude/language. It's unprofessional, for one thing – she shouldn't be involved in cases alongside some one she has a personal vendetta against. Secondly, she repeatedly refers to him just as 'the freak', and this to me is 'HIS BRAIN IS NOT LIKE MINE AND THUS HE IS A FREAK'. Bringing my everpresent 'Sherlock has Aspergers' approach to this, it just seems like bullying someone who's neuro atypical. Even if that hasn't occured to her, it's a horrible attitude. I understand why his behaviour pushes her to feel this way, but the way she acts on it, ughhhh. Anderson, less so, but only cause he's more of a buttmonkey for Sherlock XD.

      • Genny_ says:

        I always assumed she called him that because he took such vicious joy in… well, other people's suffering. Because in the first episode, she talks to John about how she thinks one day he'll be the one killing people to stave off boredom, and I don't think that says 'your brain isn't like mine' to me. Her feelings on him seem to come from a place of genuine concern there, and while it's not the best way to put it by any means, given what he does (waltz onto crime scenes without having to work for it, insult everyone there, and then act like *that*) I think it is, at least… understandable?

        Like, calling someone a freak for being excited about serial killers when the corpses are right in front of you is a pretty natural reaction, even if Sherlock's possible circumstances re: maybe being neuroatypical render it a bad choice of words.

    • Genny_ says:

      I've honestly grown to like Sally, just because I'd probably act a lot like her if I had to put up with Sherlock. He is such a wanker. And I laughed so hard at her face when he unwrapped the hat.

      • vermillioncity says:

        Will try to respond here:
        I sort of agree about her seeing Sherlock as a threat/her feelings coming out of concern – though I think this is more personal than she necessarily recognises; see how threatened she was in the first episode where he strolled onto the crime scene and was all, 'stfu, you're clearly sleeping with blahblah whatever'. She's lashing out, but I think rather than GENUINELY thinking he's a threat to society, she'd prefer to think that? She wants to think that, because she feels threatened by him on a personal/intellectual level.

        • vermillioncity says:

          Like, calling someone a freak for being excited about serial killers when the corpses are right in front of you is a pretty natural reaction
          Agree. I think there's a difference between 'a freak' and 'the freak', though – the latter is particularly dehumanising, regardless of who she were speaking about. Could be that I'm just defensive of Sherlock, I recognise, but her language still rubs me WAY up the wrong way. It's very reminiscent of schoolground bullying, and although Sherlock couldn't give two shits about it, it makes me dislike her a lot.

          • Genny_ says:

            …Yeah, but that doesn't prove anything really? The fact that he's absolutely terrible to her and she responds badly to that isn't remotely mutually exclusive with the idea that she thinks he's suspicious. I mean, from her perspective, this man who apparently understands crime with no training, completely and absolutely, who is not held accountable for anything and who has nothing but contempt for the police is being given free reign. I don't think it's fair to call whatever she has purely personal, especially since she seems to genuinely want to warn John in the first episode; if it was just her own personal feelings, would she really bother? (By contrast, Anderson constantly tries to one-up/single out Sherlock, and for him, I think it IS personal.)

            And while I agree it's pretty nasty, it is nowhere near as bad as what Sherlock does to her, tbh. I'm sorry, but if she's like a playground bully, then he's… every playground bully rolled into one. And he's my favourite character.

  26. xpanasonicyouthx says:


  27. unefeeverte says:

    By far my favourite episode of the series. (Possibly of all time.) And he wrote The Blind Banker ARE YOU SHITTING ME?!

    What are your favourite Death Evasion Theories?

    Personally, I'm a believer in the garbage van (or whatever that was bundled up in plastic bags) that stopped in front of the hospital. (And while Sherlock arranged himself on the sidewalk in front of an audience of Homeless Network people, John was run over by the cyclist.) I think it's obvious Molly had something to do with it, quite probably faking an autopsy. And am I the only one who thinks IOU is gonna come back?

    Anyway. We'll know in, like, ONE AND A HALF YEARS, anyway. D:

    • sudden_eyes says:

      Just watched again. It's v. clearly Sherlock his very own self who jumps off the roof (it would have to be, since the snipers would not react well if he costumed a dead body and shoved it off and then ran for the stairs). But on second viewing, I can't believe he could possibly have made it to the truck, and I can't figure it out. At all.

      Yes, I'm sure Molly and the Homeless Network are helping him, including running over poor John and pulling him away from the body. Someone at the Guardian website was theorizing that the squash ball he's bouncing in the lab, a la Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape," is being clamped under his arm to temporarily halt his pulse. Had never heard of this before and can't imagine how the squash ball would have stayed in place during the fall (duct tape?), but am passing it on.

      IOU … John says it at the grave – closure on that one?

      Am verklempt and my ability to stay in the right tense is suffering.

      • tzikeh says:

        I can't believe he could possibly have made it to the truck, and I can't figure it out. At all.

        People who jump from buildings almost never land on the sidewalk in front of them — they have a shallow-arc trajectory. They land in the street a few feet from the sidewalk. The truck was perfectly positioned for him to land in it. And then it, oddly, just slowly drove away after his body was "discovered" on the sidewalk! How odd! Isn't that odd?

        • sudden_eyes says:

          Most definitely odd. Very odd indeed. I'll watch it again, but have taken about as much as I can tonight. Oh, my poor heart. Maybe I'll read some Auden – bracing.

  28. Kat says:

    Omg, how am I supposed to wait for season 3? Poor John. I hope he punches Sherlock when he finally reappears – it may be necessary but what a thing to do to your friend. If Molly knows and has to hide it as well – ouch! That is going to make her even more awkward.

    [youtube tFR_Z30d5nQ youtube] Also I just had to share this – as if we needed more proof that the relationship between Sherlock and Watson is what makes this show, the Korean TV advert for Sherlock just decides to skip the whole detective issue and focus on what the fans *really* care about.

  29. buyn says:

    Andrew Scott and Martin Freeman need all the awards.
    I don't care if they aren't supposed to win them.
    Miss America.
    All to them. Also Benny. But those two. Martin broke me. Like I've never been broken before.

  30. Imo says:

    When John and Mrs Hudson were standing at the grave at the end and John said "I'm angry" – all I could think was "You're gonna be even angrier when you find out he's not really dead …"

    • tehrevel says:

      He's gonna be so angry he'll burst a blood vessel and become the pop culture oaf Watson for an episode.

  31. sudden_eyes says:

    Nearly 24 hours after my first viewing and I'm still shaken.

    It was brilliant. It IS brilliant. It … yeah. Cannot believe the writer is the person formerly known as He Who Was Responsible for The Blind Banker. I've now forgiven him, because it's so very very rare for television to get this intense and good.

    It was Freeman's turn to shine, and did he ever. I can't say more than Mark has said, and other commenters. The scene in the graveyard has made me cry repeatedly. But oh, my God, Cumberbatch as well. He got it across so well in the phone call: trying to fool John, desperately trying to fool him, panicking (snipers!), but also being delighted that John isn't buying it.

    As for Andrew Scott, he scared me so badly that for the time being there are two scenes I cannot bear to re-watch (tea at 221B and the EPIC scene in the journalist's flat). I have told myself several times that I'm an adult, but no.

    And as for Louise Brealey, I am in love, hearts in eyes. I adored those scenes. And didn't feel Sherlock was being – for him – particularly manipulative. Yes, he says she matters, but he may even mean it, and then whatever request he makes, he doesn't appear to be mincing words.

    Watching (most of) it again, my feeling is that for the whole episode Mycroft and Sherlock are trying to play a long game with Moriarty, feeding his obsession with Sherlock in order to bring him down – but at the risk of bringing Sherlock down as well.

  32. redheadedgirl says:

    I wanted to hand Martin Freeman another five BAFTAs just for the first 59 seconds. And then ALL THE BAFTAs FOREVER for the last 2 minutes. "I was so alone." I saw gifs of that speech on tumblr before I saw the episode, and how he delivered it- was not how I was expecting. I was not expecting that he would deliver it like a speech he'd rehearsed over and over and over again- over and over and "if I just say the words, if I just force them out over the lump in my throat, then maybe things will be okay. Maybe I will will be a whole person again. Or as close to one as I am capable of being."

    God, he's brilliant.

    However (i am nitpicking, I know), the set up for the display of the Crown Jewels? THE JEWEL TOWER IS NOT LIKE THAT. NOT AT ALL. There's a CONVEYOR BELT that carried you past the cases for the various crowns and whatnot and the single piece of coronation regalia that predates the Restoration- a spoon. (Fucking Crownwell.) (Okay, the spoon is not the the conveyor belt cases, but still.) (I have feelings) so yeah. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Proper_Matt says:

      I think there's an unspoken agreement or principle that whenever a real-life potential criminal target is shown on screen it's deliberately inaccurate, so as to not give people ideas, or give out potentially sensitive information

      • redheadedgirl says:

        Yeah, I know. And if they did it Properly, then we would not have had the shot of Moriarity in the regalia (I don't even know what that chair was supposed to be. The Coronation Chair lives in Westminster Abbey) whihc was worth the price of admission alone.

        Now, of course, I find myself wondering how one would attempt to pull off a similar crime in the actual set up.

        Seriously, I'm not the only one who recreationally plots out crime, am I? ….am I?


        • sabra_n says:

          Say that you're doing it for the novel/play/screenplay you're writing. It's the all-encompassing excuse. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. BSGfan1 says:

    Anybody else think Andrew Scott might have made a better Jekyll than James Nesbitt?

  34. Dee says:

    It was one of the most emotional things I've ever seen. All the pain. All the beautiful agony. Can't wait until 2013 ugh let it be now.

  35. Kate Monster says:

    I love your musings on Lestrade and whether or not Series 3 will reflect his guilt at sending Sherlock to his death. I honestly thought Rupert Graves was a bit of the unsung hero of this whole series, but especially this episode. His struggle at the prospect of having to bring Sherlock in for questioning, etc.– it was just so flawlessly done. It was painful to the extreme– Lestrade believed in Sherlock wholeheartedly, endorsed him, put his faith in him, and even let himself care about this "high-functioning sociopath". Why else would he always be so willing to drop everything and check on him? (Note: I loved the moment in HOUNDS when Greg insists that he's not there because of Mycroft– he's there because he cares.)

    I saw some meta (on tumblr, of course) in which someone discussed how the Fall is most likely the end of Lestrade's career, and I immediately established it as my personal head-canon. There's no way, after being in Sherlock's corner for so long and giving him free rein, that Lestrade is going to come out of this whole debacle unscathed. With Sherlock denounced and framed as a fraud, think of all the cases that are going to have to be retried without his testimony/evidenciary support etc. The expense of that alone is enough to cut Greg loose, but there's also his reputation at stake. There are so many more repercussions to this– we've barely begun.

    I could go on for hours, honestly. This episode. MY FEELS. I just can't articulate them clearly, because I'm still so FRAZZLED. Oh god. D:

    • sabra_n says:

      I think you're giving the show way too much credit in the "caring about legalities" department. ๐Ÿ˜› Those kinds of practical thoughts do make for great fanfic fodder, though.

      • Kate Monster says:

        Again, I didn't come up with the idea,but I thought it was interesting and it's something that I can see happening. And were it any other show, written by any other two people, I would completely agree with you that the theory was giving the show too much credit. But one thing that Moffat and Gatiss are adamant about is that they believe they have a truly intelligent audience. This is a show about noticing the intricacies of every situation, including the repercussions that Sherlock's "death" will have on people besides John and himself. It's just a theory, of course, and we won't know how it will pan out for WAY TOO LONG, but I honestly would be shocked if S3 began and Lestrade's life/role hadn't changed significantly.

        • sabra_n says:

          I don't think Gatiss and Moffat are trying to insult the audience's intelligence. I just think they don't really care about the police procedure/legal aspects of cases and mostly think they get in the way of the story. But sure, for the sake of story they may decide to string up Lestrade next season. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Shiroikami says:

    Can I just talk about that scene with Molly telling Sherlock that she can read him? Did anyone else feel like that was the first time Sherlock actually SAW her? Like, really saw her as a person rather than just this annoying TALKING thing that could occasionally do good science stuff?

    Also, Watson's last line of the episode. CRYING FOREVER.

    That is all.

  37. BSGfan1 says:

    Sorry, more random thoughts. I could listen to Benedict Cumberbatch read the phone book and it would sound like Shakespeare. My lord that man has a gorgeous voice……..

    • sudden_eyes says:

      I believe it's Caitlin Moran of the London Sunday Times who described the Cumber-voice as "a jaguar inside a cello." It was also she who came up with the hashtag #letsherlockandjohnkissintherain. I'm going to need a LOT more Moran (Caitlin variety) in my life this coming year or two, as the Fandom What Waits settles in for a long bleak eighteen or so months of reruns and fanfics and gifs and YouTube videos. And theorizing well in advance of the facts.

      Can you imagine what Cumberbatch is going to sound like as Smaug? *swoon*

    • lattemama says:

      Good thing he does too – I read an interview where Benedict said he had been likened to an animated character .. and I saw it and I cannot unsee it. *weep*

      Not gonna say which one so as not to cause the same affliction on someone else …

    • Beth says:

      The phone book, or, you know, a picture book. over and over and over again (I have a problem).

      [youtube hmNt31Gwf4c youtube]

  38. Jae says:

    *flails helplessly forever*

    that is all.

  39. bearshorty says:

    Martin Freeman just killed me here. The way his voice broke in saying Sherlock's name in the first scene and everything from when he sees Sherlock on the roof to leaving the grave. He just made me cry – I think this was his best performance yet. He just conveys love so well without having to say it. And beginning for Sherlock to still be alive at that graveside. Oh, John. He so makes this show.

    I knew that Sherlock faked his death but that fall and body were still very troubling to watch.

    The title was an excellent pun on so many levels.

  40. maisontv says:

    I was bursting with feelings 30 seconds into this episode and remained so until the scene where Sherlock calls John while on the roof, at which point I exploded. Such an amazing episode. I have never enjoyed having my heart ripped out of my chest more.

    I totally understand Donovan and Aderson's actions (God knows I would probably feel the same way about Sherlock if I had to work with him), but I still screamed "SHUT UP YOU ARE RUINING EVERYTHING!" at my screen.

    MOLLY FOR ALL THE WINS. I'm glad that she got a moment to shine and it didn't depend on Sherlock acknowledging her. She's like, "Fuck whether or not you like me back, I AM GOING TO CARE ABOUT YOU DAMMIT." Sherlock saying she did count and needing her help was just the icing on the cake. Love her.

    The way Martin Freeman adopted that military way of carrying himself as he walked away from the grave? KILLED ME. It's like all the progress he made by being friends with Sherlock was completely undone by the trauma of witnessing his suicide.

    I am a subscriber of the garbage truck theory as to how Sherlock faked his death.

  41. PheasantPlucker says:

    Martin Freeman is god among men and I will love him for ever and ever and ever and DAMN HIM I AM UGLY CRYING. Gorgeously acted, where most would have gone overboard. AND HE IS IN THE HOBBIT AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS AND CAN'T HE FILM 20 MORE SHERLOCK EPISODES AT THE SAME TIME PLEASE?!?!?!?!?!

    Sherlock was pretty careful about making sure that there was a building between his 'landing spot' and Watson before he got to the bulk of his goodbye call, so I'm on the laundry/garbage-truck-landing train. It's definitely him who jumps off the building, so either A) he hits the ground and is actually superman or B) something breaks his fall, and the truck drives off as soon as Watson rounds the corner. Molly was obviously in on it, so she could take care of the autopsy issues. Whether it was his body on the ground or another cadaver is up for debate, given the timing of the cyclist hitting Watson (did he gas Watson with the H.O.U.N.D drug from the last episode? He certainly would've been EXPECTING to see Sherlocks body)

    Troll Moffat has out-trolled himself (and the writer has utterly redeemed himself for the disaster that was The Blind Bandit). Well done, gentlemen.

    • tzikeh says:

      Whether it was his body on the ground or another cadaver is up for debate

      Nope; it isn't up for debate.

      <img src=""&gt;
      <img src=""&gt;
      <img src=""&gt;

      Sherlock needed the cyclist to clip John so that he couldn't get to the sidewalk before Sherlock had time to get out of the truck.

      and the writer has utterly redeemed himself for the disaster that was The Blind Bandit

      It was "The Blind Banker," but I like your title more. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • PheasantPlucker says:

        That's what I get for not proofreading ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I'm not convinced as to the perspective we see the body from; is it what is actually there, or is it what Watson is seeing? If (big if) he has been drugged and we're seeing it from his perspective, then like the red eyed hound it's not what is actually there but what Watson fears is there. It's be easier to fool one drugged person with a switched out body than an emergency room full of doctors that a living man isdead. That's a long time for Sherlock to lie perfectly still, unblinking and unbreathing if its actually him 'playing dead', even if we just look at the time Watson witnesses. He even looks for a pulse before Sherlock is taken away. Of course, some poisons can mimic death (eg Tetrodotoxin), but the dosing would have to be exact and they often have delayed onset of symptoms.

        That's not to say that Moffat et al won't fudge things to make it a simple case of delaying Watson so Sherlock could climb out of the trucks cage, which is entirely possible. Both options are implausible, but within the realms of Moffat-troll-behaviour.

        • tzikeh says:

          I'm not convinced as to the perspective we see the body from; is it what is actually there, or is it what Watson is seeing?

          It can't be what Watson is seeing–assuming you mean he's seeing something other than what's there–because we're looking at Sherlock as if we're standing on the sidewalk up past his head, and seeing his face upside-down. John is further down towards Sherlock's legs, and would be seeing his face right-side-up. If we were supposed to "see what John sees," we'd be viewing it from the same vantage point.

          He even looks for a pulse before Sherlock is taken away.

          Remember the rubber ball Sherlock was bouncing in the morgue? Seemed to come out of nowhere, and for no reason, didn't it? Why do you think they put that in the episode? Oldest trick in the book (well, one of the oldest).

          • PheasantPlucker says:

            I absolutely agree that the route they'll probably take is that it's Sherlock on the ground playing dead (after all, simple is best), but I don't KNOW it. It's by far the easiest way to fool Watson, but isn't feasible for the room full of doctors he would have also had to trick. Molly would've needed to intercept the body between him being rolled away and the ER docs getting hold of him. The rubber ball trick (which I didn't catch on the first viewing: REWATCH TIME!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) wouldn't fool them. Not to mention that he'd have had a 50% chance of Watson looking for a pulse on the other arm (or in his neck, which is a much stronger pulse than the on in a wrist. Neither option is actually feasible in real-world terms, but this is TV land and something will be fudged somewhere.

            "It can't be what Watson is seeing–assuming you mean he's seeing something other than what's there–because we're looking at Sherlock as if we're standing on the sidewalk up past his head, and seeing his face upside-down. John is further down towards Sherlock's legs, and would be seeing his face right-side-up. If we were supposed to "see what John sees," we'd be viewing it from the same vantage point. "
            Except that that didn't happen with the Hound. We saw the red eyed dog, but not from any characters direct perspective.

        • Max (guest) says:

          Not Tetrodotoxin but I think you are onto something, perhaps. I'm feeling very clever right now, not sure if I'm RIGHT but still: Rhododendrum ponticum. Why should they talk about it and then not using it? (Well, for red herring of course, but it's a bit too obscure fot that)

      • sudden_eyes says:


      • @ohbrietta says:

        Is anyone else curious about how the coat survived? Sherlock's wearing it in the reveal, and I'd be surprised if the coat wasn't damaged in the fall.

        • BethanytheMartian says:

          How did he get clothes at all, after the fall? He can't exactly take clothes from the flat, Mrs. Hudson probably has a good idea of what is and isn't there. He just went and bought a new coat, I'm fairly convinced.

  42. redheadedgirl says:

    I do have something else to say- spoilers for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (in the game of shadows, you win or you bark your toes on things because you can't see where you're going…) below.

    As I was watching the fandom work itself into a pre-emptive tizzy and emotional timebombs over the past week, and Moffat trolling like a trolling thing ("only the emotional damage is real!"), I was thinking "Guys, he's not going to be actually dead. Not for real for real- he'll fake his way out of it, IT IS CANON, and even Moffat isn't a big enough troll to pull that off."

    I didn't consider Watson. I didn't consider that for him it would be realer than real and surreal and terrible and the worst thing that ever happened to him. Ever. And it was Watson who broke me as he shattered into a million pieces, as much as Molly's "I don't count."

    Va Tnzr bs Funqbjf, Jngfba frrf Fureybpx naq Zbevnevgl tb bire vagb gur snyyf. Naq gur ybbx ba uvf snpr- ur'f wfhg jnyxrq bhg gur qbbe gb frr gurz tb. Ohg Ynj!Jngfba unf uvf jvsr gb tb ubzr gb- ur unf fbzrbar jub pna uryc uvz ubyq uvf jbeyq gbtrgure. Znel vf ab fhofgvghgr sbe Ubyzrf naq fur arire jvyy or (naq fur xabjf gung) ohg Jngfba ybirf ure naq fur ybirf uvz naq gurl'yy jrngure guvf fgbez, gbtrgure. Serrzna!Jngfba unf ab bar jub pna ubyq uvz gbtrgure. (Naq bs pbhefr EQW!Ubyzrf pna'g erfvfg yrggvat Jngfba xabj ur'f nyvir- Phzoreongpu!Ubyzrf pnaabg gnxr gung evfx.)

  43. This episode. WOW.
    Sherlock telling Watson to watch and then Watson's face. HIS FACE. Oh my gosh, that killed me.
    Even though I was repeating over and over in my head "He's faking, he has to be faking, this is fake" during that scene, I still almost cried when they were at the cemetery.

    The reunion of Watson and Sherlock is going to be so interesting. Watching your best friend die in front of you and having to bury him and THEN having him come back and say he had to do it like that because he needed it to look real? Oh, I fully expect Sherlock to get punched in the face because he deserves it regardless of his reasoning. And then I want them to kiss and make up and adopt a puppy together and everything will be lovely. (I can dream)

  44. I couldn't even believe how intense this episode was for me. I went in thinking that Sherlock would "die" but really have faked his death, as I knew the mythology of The Final Problem. However, when the time came it was so flawlessly executed that I though he HAD to be dead. So when John was standing over Sherlock's grave I completely believed it and was an absolute wreck. And then he steps into frame and I couldn't even handle it I was so happy.

    (Little thing that has been bothering me about the occasional person on the internet since this premiere (no one on this site, just elsewhere): people who "knew all along" that he wasn't really dead and are all superior about it to other people. Come on, have some feels, guys. Not everything is an opportunity for you to feel superior to everyone else.)

    I'm so so so so glad that they are going to do a series 3. If this was how it ended I would probably have killed everyone involved. (Except Martin Freeman. I couldn't. I just couldn't.)

  45. Binx says:

    Okay, I haven't seen it yet, but I'm reading and commenting anyway (because I just don't care about spoilers lol).

    >> "We are watching one man beat Sherlock over and over again" <<

    UGH. UGH. UGH. Sorry, I just have to express this even if everyone else is totally over it –

    BUT IRENE WASN'T ALLOWED TO BEAT HIM, WAS SHE? Even though that was the ENTIRE point of her character? See, I'm just bringing this up again because everyone (web-wide) who was defending what went down with Irene was doing so on the basis of "but he's Sherlock Holmes. He wins against men and women, always, because that's just who he is. He's unbeatable. So it doesn't have to do with Irene being a woman…" Blah, blah, blah.

    And yet this episode apparently consists of Sherlock getting beat over and over and over by this dude, just TWO episodes later?



    • consmot says:

      Irene did beat him. Several times.

      – Knocked him out, kept her phone, sent him packing.
      – Manipulated Sherlock, tricked him into decoding information for her.

      And then Sherlock beat her, too, proving that they were pretty damned evenly matched. Give and take.

      Same happened with Moriarty. Beat him several times, which I won't go into 'cos you haven't seen it. And then, at the very end, it's revealed that Sherlock beat HIM. So it turned out they were pretty damned evenly matched. Give and take.

      Both characters beat Sherlock repeatedly, and then Sherlock one-upped both characters at the end. This isn't a gender thing.

      • Genny_ says:

        She was beating him for a while but then he overtook her at the end and came out on top. It's really not the same at all; she had a hell of a lot of consequences to deal with (and then needed his help to deal with them). The point of the original story is that she won completely and absolutely, no consequences.

        'She was winning for a while and then she wasn't' doesn't have the same ring as 'she won'. (And while it's true Sherlock one-upped Moriarty, he did so at huge personal cost. Really, has he 'won'? His reputation's in ruins, he's lost all his friends because they think he's dead…)

      • Binx says:

        From my perspective:

        a) Irene jabbed him with a needle while his back was turned. It was no brilliant one-uppance on her part, and thus I refuse to count it as her "win". *Anybody* could do that. She deserved a better "pwn" than that.

        b) It is revealed that everything she did was with the help of Moriarty. Thus…I guess nothing counts as her win anyway.

        So, for me, that brings it down to 'she wasn't much of a real threat or true match at all'. Though she was *supposed* to be.

        Contrarily, per the review and comments, this guy absolutely SHREDS Sherlock. He ruins him.

        And thus the writers say to us – of COURSE Sherlock can be beat. Look, we're going to give you an entire episode showcasing his downfall and him getting completely owned & put through the ringer at the hands of a male mastermind…but certainly we could never allow a woman to so much as pull a scot-free fast one over him, you silly.

        • redsenshi says:

          I think that the comparisons a bit off because Moriatrity is and was marketed as a criminal mastermind and Sherlocks greatest enemy while Irene was jst a clever woman who beat him one time (This is in the Conan Doyle) and therefore it might actually be just that Adler was not Sherlock's greatest enemy while Moriarty was his nemesis and hopefully was more about the characters then their genders.

          (Maybe I'm just being optimistc.)

    • Genny_ says:

      I think the really frustrating thing is… in the original, Irene beats him and Moriarty, well, doesn't. (Once you know about what happens next, anyway.) Here, it's kind of reversed. Moriarty doesn't WIN, per se, but he ruins Sherlock, and he comes as close as you could possibly get. Sherlock *definitely* doesn't win.

    • sabra_n says:

      I dunno. Irene's episode started with her interrupting Sherlock's execution – it ended with Sherlock interrupting hers. She beat him; he beat her. She used his name as a password; he was reduced to moonily playing love music on his violin for her. I do think Moffat is way too prone to "women are from Venus, men are from Mars" sitcom sexism all the damn time, but I was actually pretty okay with how that episode went.

  46. Elethayn says:

    This episode might have been the best thing I will see on TV this year. I can say this with confidence, and it's only January. It was full of flawless acting and stunning cinematography (let me marry the cinematography!). The script was brilliant, the pacing was brilliant. Molly! But most importantly:

    I have never cried over anything fiction as I cried over this episode.

    And it didn't even matter that I know what happens in the canon, or that I knew that Martin Freeman aka KING OF EVERYTHING had gotten two brakes from the Hobbit to film Sherlock and have only used one so far. It didn't matter. When that jump came, I believed it. It was so simple, and therefor so believable. And the blood and the John-is-collapsing-in the-arms-of-strangers-thing and the grave and the cracked speech and John sitting alone, barefoot in the appartement (I don't know why the barefoot thing got to me BUT IT DID OKAY?), staring at the empty chair opposite of him AND EVERYTHING.

    It killed me. I am dead.

  47. Vroom Socko says:

    I find myself wondering…

    Juvpu jnf jevggra svefg, guvf, be Gur Jrqqvat bs Evire Fbat. Obgu unir jbeyq snzbhf svpgvbany cebgntbavfgf jub ner Oevgvfu vafgvghgvbaf jub ner qevira gb gurve qrnguf, lrg znantr gb snxr gurve bja qrzvfr, guhf cebgrpgvat gur crbcyr gurl pner nobhg, fvzcyl ol orvat gur fznegrfg zna va gur ebbz.

    Gubhtu V qbhog gung Jngfba’f tbvat gb yvzvg uvzfrys gb n fdhveg tha bapr Fureybpx fubjf hc ntnva.

    Also, Martin Freeman needs to be cloned, so he can star in everything ever made for film or tv, for all time. This must be done. I command it.

  48. Randomcheeses says:

    Series 3 confirmed by Moffat on twitter o/

    But probably won't air till 2013. =(

    • Binx says:

      What is up with the 3 episodes a year/every few years thing? I mean, I get that the episodes are quite a bit longer than standard television episodes, but why the massive wait and such a short season? I know it's not just a British TV thing since Being Human and Dr. Who both have good full seasons.

      • sabra_n says:

        Offand? The eps are long, to start with – 1.5 hours each, right? In terms of screen time that's in line with a regular British TV series length. Cumberbatch and Freeman are both very, very busy actors, as the whole Hobbit amply demonstrated. And most relevantly, Moffat is kind of busy with the whole running Doctor Who thing.

      • Genny_ says:

        High cost/production values, good casting means the actors have a lot of other stuff on their plates, long episodes, and the fact that they're basically supposed to be a mini-series by UK standards I believe. And it's not THAT unusual- Luther had a four episode series IIRC. Gatiss has said that instead of a TV series we should consider it more like made-for-TV movies before.

  49. quizzabella says:

    Yay – Mr Moffat says "of course there's going to be a third series – it was commisioned at the same time as the second. Gotcha!"
    As Randomcheeses said, it won't air until 2013, but in the meantime there's Benedict as a Star Trek villian and Martin as a Hobbit so we'll still all get a fix of Mrs Cheekbones and PuppyDog Face.

  50. PhilG says:

    "Of all the souls I have met in my travels, his was the most… human."

    Kirk at Spock's funeral. I got a serious Wrath of Khan vibe from the end of this episode. And Spock came back of course…

    One point, why is Sherlock so broken up on the roof, as he knows he's not going to die? Why does he try to get out of it by trying to get the sniper recall off Moriarty? Because he knows the pain he's going to put John through by faking his death. Man with no empathy? Yeah, right.

    What stories do you want to see adapted for Series 3? My preference: 1: The Empty House, 2: The Speckled Band, 3: The Second Stain.

    • Aulacicero says:

      God I was not the only one whoi got that vibe.- I mean he worded it. Dam it had such a similarity to Spocks funeral.

      Live long and Prosper Sherlock

    • Didgy says:

      I don't think it could be The Speckled Band – wasn't that what the 'speckled blonde' thing was referencing in ASiB?

    • @debetesse says:

      He's not going to die, but he is losing his only friend for the indefinite future. Moriarty wasn't entirely wrong on the whole "burn the heart out of you" thing.

    • Elyssa says:

      I want them to do the Three Garridebs so much it hurts… especially the scene where Watson gets shot and Sherlock panics a little!

      “ 'You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!'
      The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking."

      I mean, that would be an amazing moment….

  51. FuTeffla says:

    It was just brilliant, wasn't it? I came downstairs afterwards (having mopped up buckets of tears) and told my dad that we could basically cancel the rest of telly because I have seen perfection. It's almost unfair showing it in January – how is the next 11 months going to satisfy me? Unless we get a new series of Garrow's Law. Mmm.

    I love Moriarty breaking into the Tower of London and seeing him wearing the crown jewels was just the best thing ever. I love that Lestrade (be still, my heart) called John to warn him that the police were coming for Sherlock. I love that Sherlock was banged up for contempt of court. I love that John punched Lestrade's boss. I love that Sherlock and John got handcuffed together. I love that Molly saved the day because Molly is awesome and I want us to be BFFs.
    I love that I'm supposed to be writing my dissertation right now and I'm actually waiting for The Reichenbach Fall to buffer on iPlayer because fuck it, Sherlock is good enough to waste six years of education and oodles of pounds on. And my supervisor is going to be all 'So, how is it coming along?' and I'll be all 'Not great, because Sherlock'. And either he'll have watched the episode and he'll understand, or he won't have, in which case I will judge him FOREVER.

    • FuTeffla says:

      Incidentally, Garrow's Law has featured both Rupert Graves and Andrew Scott. Just in case anyone needs an incentive to watch it beyond the awesome wigs.

    • MzyraJ says:

      Sherlock > university work. This is established fact *subtly throws blanket over stacks of library books*
      And your loves are all highly worthy – I have an increasing and deep appreciation for Lestrade. And my budding fanfic senses are possibly foreseeing conciliatory John/Lestrade while the characters are unaware of Sherlock's continued existence? What am I saying; this is the internet, I'm sure all pairings are happening somewhere, regardless of the story.

      • FuTeffla says:

        I totally haven't been searching for Lestrade fanfiction and I'm sure my internet history will support this. It's not even my PC, I'm borrowing it from my dad. Sorry Dad. It's not my fault Sherlock is slashtastic.

  52. MzyraJ says:

    Recent lurker, first time commenter *tries not to mess this up, double-checks rules*

    I think Molly has to have been in on and helped whatever Sherlock did to fake his death – he asked something of her which was never explained, so that must have been it. And I'm glad that Molly does have a greater purpose given how Sherlock's treated her in the past, but if he hadn't treated her that way (and then changed at the last minute) then Moriarty might have been able to foresee and stop whatever they did, and so I hope she'll be a bigger – or at least more respected – character in future series. And I think John getting hit by the bike, seemingly concussed and then getting to Sherlock a few moments after other people may have been important in the plan too.

    I don't know whether any British (or maybe US, etc?) people here ever watched Jonathan Creek, but they had a double episode which dealt with exactly how a man could appear to jump from a building and hit the ground and then be alive later, so I can't stop thinking about that long enough to come up with any new theories. Knowing Sherlock it'll probably be even more complicated so we can marvel at his greatness ๐Ÿ˜›

    *Sits and waits (im)patiently for series 3*

    Oh, and also, I get that Sherlock does tend to be an asshole to people, so I get why Donovan and that other person don't like him, but I still really hate them because of how much they (she, especially) seemed to /enjoy/ the idea of him being a fraud and everything, when the actual reality of that would be horrible. I can't help but really not like her.

    Being trapped like Sherlock is by Moriarty is terrifying *hopes that she's never notable enough to warrant such things >.>*

    And even though I saw Sherlock not being dead coming, I was still filled with all of the tears for John, and for what Sherlock probably thinks he'll have to be giving up to save his friends (though they'll obviously be reunited later, whatever he thinks/plans)

    And this is not the only thing that has done it, but when I finally lose a close loved one, I'm totally going to have to look around the graveyard properly just to check they're not watching me from behind a tree *suspicious eyes*

    So that was amazing, and now I want MOAR. *Settles for reading Mark Watches BTVS instead* Ahhh, so not prepared…

    • FuTeffla says:

      Jonathan Creek was awesome!

    • enchantedsleeper says:

      I <3 JONATHAN CREEK. But which series was that episode in? I've only seen 1 and 2… (went off it after Maddie Magellan left the show)

      • MzyraJ says:

        *Checks on wikipedia* (Am I the only one who thinks there were way more episodes than there actually were, just because of how much happens in each one?)

        Erm, apparently it's "The Problem at Gallows Gate" – a two-parter in series 2.

        Not sure how credible any of its ideas are for Sherlock's escape since different circumstances and such, but good episodes nonetheless!

  53. psycicflower says:

    Curse you Mark, I only just finished rewatching. I wasn’t expecting a review until tonight so have my rambley feels because asdfgdsfgbff this episode! Can someone just shower this show in awards?
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    ‘Genius detective proved to be a fraud. I read it in the papers so it must be true. I love newspapers … fairytales and pretty grim ones too.’
    Rewatching and seeing how everything comes together is just as good as the first time round, if not better. With all Moriarty’s talk of how every story needs a good villain and without me your nothing, he was really setting Sherlock up from the word go and subtly taunting him with what’s to come, because without a Moriarty pulling the strings, without a villain in a fairy tale, well then what exactly is going on with Sherlock and his stories. I also love how burning the heart out of Sherlock wasn't really just about labelling him a fraud or threatening his friends, but making those few friends Sherlock has and cares for lose their trust and faith in him and, more importantly, losing their friendship. The whole media storm was just part of the build up to that, to a final moment of Sherlock jumping, disgraced and alone. Hence Sherlock trying to convince John what Moriarty said was true and passing it on to everyone, specifically himself, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade and Molly, his friends. And yet those friends never did lose faith; Lestrade sent a warning, Mrs Hudson assumed Sherlock would just clear it all up, Molly (assumable) helped him fake his death, and John never once wavered in his friendship with Sherlock.
    The whole episode was amazing but from the moment Sherlock set foot on that rooftop on, it was just perfection. While seeing Sherlock scared in HoB was bad enough there’s just something about his emotions throughout that rooftop scene that will never stop getting to me. His fear, hope, determination and acceptance throughout the scene are all wonderfully done. I mean the moment Moriarty tells Sherlock the key code is meaningless you can see Sherlock reel back (in his own Sherlockian way) with the fact his whole plan is ruined, his only hope is gone. And Moriarty killing himself was actually a very him way to go. He died in order to take away Sherlock’s last hope and win their little game. Although honestly I don’t know who won in the end. Both and neither I guess.

    ‘You’re a bit like my dad. He’s dead…’ ‘When he was dying he was always cheerful. He was lovely, except when he thought no one could see. I saw him once. He looked sad. You look sad. When you think he can’t see you. Are you okay? Don’t just say you are because I know that means, looking sad when you think no one can see you.’
    I’m so glad Molly is finally starting to be treated right. I think Sherlock is constantly being taken by surprise by her in this episode. He even says thank you when she asks and he’s generally only shown to do things like that when John asks. I love his realisation that Molly counts, that she is his friend.

    And John. Oh John Watson you are the best of all of us. His faith and trust in Sherlock never once wavered from when he was handed folders full of proof by a reporter to Sherlock himself trying to convince him. ‘Nobody could be that clever.’ ‘You could.’ Just … my heart. Sherlock’s little smile/laugh to that, like of course John would say that, would always believe him right from the very first time he told Sherlock his deductions were brilliant.
    ’You told me once that you weren’t a hero. There were times when I didn’t even think you were human but let me tell you this. You were… the best man, the most human .. human being that I’ve ever known and nobody will ever convince me that you told me a lie. So. There … I was so alone and I owe you so much … There’s one more thing. One more miracle, Sherlock, for me. Don’t be… dead. Just for me. Just stop it. Stop this.’
    You heard him Sherlock, stop this and tell John you’re alive!

    (Possible gifspam sometime tomorrow if I get the time and can stand looking at John/Freeman sadface?)

  54. tehrevel says:

    "He knew that Sally Donovan and Anderson despised the way they were treated by the private investigator (and for good fucking reason and PS if you hate these two for not tolerating an asshole GO AWAY); "

    Um no? They were willing on completely spurious evidence to arrest a man for murder and child kidnapping simply because he made them feel a bit stupid. Like the only evidence they have is "you can't prove he wasn't in on it" and then they go to Lestrades boss to get their way when he won't have any of it. I mean Moriarty's plan only works because of people like them?

    • Genny_ says:

      I feel a lot of sympathy for them there because what with him having been granted access and free reign to the crime scene, there's not a lot they can DO. And it wasn't their idea to grant him that access. I mean, how do you find proof when he's been around to mess with the crime scene? They went, relayed their concerns/idea to their boss, and Lestrade is the one who decided to act. And then he was ordered to arrest him from up top.

      • sabra_n says:

        I'd feel more sympathy if they actually had something approaching real evidence. The thing is, the whole argument of "there's no way anyone could be so clever as to find those kids off just a footprint" kind of falls apart when the argument you're making is that he was clever enough to commit dozens of crimes, mock up crime scenes, and fool the police, witnesses, families, and the press for ages.

        But of course, that's how a good conspiracy theory works – the very lack of evidence for it is just taken as more evidence of the conspiracy. Up is down, dogs are cats, and your police consultant is a criminal. ๐Ÿ™‚ That's a shitty way to conduct police work, though.

        • Genny_ says:

          But in that case, it's hardly just their fault. It's also Lestrade's, surely? And I assumed their logic was that it's easier to work backwards; as in, it doesn't require the same kind of smarts to go plant some evidence and then find it as it does to find it blind. It's hard to go mock up/commit dozens of crimes, but I can see someone thinking it's potentially more doable, in a roundabout way. It doesn't really hold up to close inspection, but all it really manifested as was suspicion and 'we should at least check', and then it got out of hand when the higher-ups got involved and panicked at the idea a civilian had gotten involved at crime scenes. I figured the police wanted a scapegoat as much as anything before word got out.

          Maybe it's a shitty way to conduct police work, but then, so is the way Sherlock solves crimes. They were enormously flawed in what they did, but I'd hardly say it made them terrible people so much as people in a shitty, hard to navigate situation. Because Sherlock bending so many rules doesn't leave that many for them to follow re: due process.

          • sabra_n says:

            If I had the slightest clue how due process worked in the UK maybe I could talk about what rules Sherlock was or wasn't breaking, but the bliss of watching British procedurals for me is that the common law system is familiar enough for me to know what's going on, but I don't know any details, so inaccuracies don't bug me like they do with American shows.

            But as far as I can tell, as a procedural, Sherlock makes a very good pineapple upside-down cake, so who knows how much of Sherlock's involvement was aboveboard and how much wasn't in the show's world.

            Now, maybe I'm remembering wrong, but the reason this particular case made Sally and Anderson suspicious is…that the child screamed at the sight of Sherlock, right? Was there something else to distinguish that particular case from all the others Sherlock had worked? Because if not, that's what irked me. WTF kind of evidence is that? Work harder to make Moriarty's plan diabolical, writers. I do get how it worked, but that initial push was kind of eye-rolly for me.

            Basically, I hated the Theory of Sherlock's Evilness as a piece of police work because it was impossible to disprove. The more cases Sherlock solves, the more proof it is that he's evil. The more case evidence he uncovers, the more evidence he must have mocked up because he's evil. Every piece of proof to disprove the theory becomes proof of the theory's rightness instead. It's intellectually bankrupt in the way that all conspiracy theories are. Does that make any sense?

            • Genny_ says:

              I'm pretty sure that letting civilians onto crime scenes with no regulation and letting them tamper is never above board. Because Sherlock is, well, a civilian.

              The concept is that she recognised him because she screamed, as she would if he had, well, kidnapped her. (The implication as I took it was that there was some similarity between him and Moriarty which she recognised.) Which no, it isn't exactly conclusive proof, but it's enough to make the people who know him in a poor light raise an eyebrow of suspicion I suppose. And while it's true that it isn't particularly going to hold up to intellectual scrutiny as a theory, it's the kind of misdirection that I think is very understandable; high stress situation, the revelation of rules being broken all over the place, the need to hold somebody accountable, the fact that Sherlock makes it so difficult for everyone to follow his reasoning and be confident in it. I'm not saying they were *right*, I'm saying they made a bad call in a very tough situation.

              • sabra_n says:

                I think we're having two different conversations – you're going Watsonian and I'm going Doylist. You're sympathizing with the characters – which I do get – and I'm kind of irked at the choices made by the writers. So yes, from a Watsonian perspective you're totally right. ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. Didgy says:

    can I just say – this is an article which was published in a NATIONAL NEWSPAPER this morning

    The Sherlockians have escaped the internet! Sound the alarms! I repeat, the Sherlockians have escaped the internet!

  56. Genny_ says:

    That moment always breaks my heart.

  57. sudden_eyes says:

    No one has gif'd Sherlock hiding his trembling hands behind his back to keep Moriarty from seeing them. Oh, God, that image! PEOPLE THIS IS NEEDED!

  58. sudden_eyes says:


    I'll watch it again tonight.

  59. dcjensen says:

    I've made a Photoshop of the graveyard scene.

    <img src=""&gt;

  60. ldwy says:

    I expected Moriarty in the cab (anyone else would have wondered at/turned off/etc the television screen), but NOT AT ALL in the apartment.

  61. ldwy says:

    Someone up above or pages back made some comment where it almost felt like Sherlock wasn't lying on the roof, he was doing such a good job lying. I think he sort of wasn't. I think he's come to believe that he did create Moriarty. That his very nature brought Moriarty out of the woodworks, and therefore he caused/i> (in some way) the dangers he's so terrified of his friends facing.

  62. @ohbrietta says:

    I feel like this year Steven Moffat has gone from "EVERYBODY LIVES!" to "EVERYBODY DIES EXCEPT WHOOPS NOT REALLY HAHA AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME FUCK WITH YOUR EMOTIONS. Did you know that the BBC pays me more for every tear you shed?"

    Thirty seconds into this episode, the moment John started choking up in the most depressing therapist's office ever (and seriously, what is it with TV and film therapy offices looking so damn dreary? I get that the rain and the darkness set the mood, but my first reaction upon seeing that room is THIS IS NOT A PLACE OF HEALING. /end rant) I started tearing up and I felt like my breath was escaping me the whole ninety minutes. I wanted to jump through my computer screen and hug everyone.

    And even though Sally was framed as kind of a dupe, it was really nice to seem some character development with the show's female characters. Molly wins EVERYTHING, and I feel like in the third series she can really become more than the awkward girl with a crush on Sherlock. I was talking with some friends about how Sherlock's kiss on her cheek in "Scandal" seemed a bit out of character for him, but looking back, it feels like it was really necessary for her and Sherlock to get to this point of trust – he needed to see her as more than someone whose feelings he could exploit for favours and lab access, and she needed to get over her crush on him to relate to him honestly. And maybe some day, this show can finally pass the Bechdel test.

    Also, I found the use of music in this episode spectacular. The classical music during Moriarty's break in, SINNERMAN – seriously, that sequence was just perfect, and Nina Simone is always awesome, and the way the score kicked in during John's slow-mo reaction to Sherlock's apparent death. Even Sherlock playing Bach while waiting for Moriarty, though someone really needs to teach Benedict Cumberbatch how to actually mime playing the violin, though it was much better in this episode than it was in "Scandal".

    But seriously, just… everything. It's been a long time since I wanted to rewatch and rewatch an episode that made me so sad. (Gubhtu v guvax V jngpurq gur ynfg rcvfbqr bs Fvk Srrg Haqre guerr be sbhe gvzrf jura vg svefg nverq, whfg gb pel ng gur raq jura gurl fubj rirelbar'f qrngu naq Pynver Svfure qevirf bss vagb gur qvfgnapr…)

  63. VicarPants says:

    Still not over it.
    There has been something stuck in my throat since Sunday night.
    I've just been drifting around work, doing my job, but kind of not talking to people as much.
    Just thinkin'.

    ETA: Also, Mark, I think you oughta watch Garrow's Law for sure now because there is an episode with Andrew Scott in it and it makes the whole show SO worth it.
    Oh, and Rupert Graves throughout.

  64. Proper_Matt says:

    Is anybody else already imagining the sequence where Sherlock explains to Watson "how it was done," complete with rapid bullet-time flashbacks, intercut with Sherlock's triumphantly cocky narration and John's joyfully bemused expressions…

    …with "I am The Doctor" as the background music?

    JOHN: Bu….But…

    SHERLOCK: "How?" Simple…

    [Da Dah, Da-da-da, Dah Dah, Dah Da-Dah…….]

  65. arnenieberding says:



    I have an idea about how Sherlock survived:

    (in ROT13)
    Fureybpx jnf irel pyrne gung Jngfba unq gb fgnl njnl nf sne nf cbffvoyr sebz uvz. Guvf va beqre gb snxr uvf bja qrngu bs pbhefr. Jura ur fhqqrayl "tbg na nhqvrapr" vg jnf gur ubzryrff argjbex xvpxvat vagb npgvba naq znxvat fher gb xrrc Jngfba njnl sebz uvz. Jngfba rira tbg uvg ol n plpyvfg naq arire fnj Fureybpx uvg gur tebhaq! Pbvapvqrapr? V GUVAX ABG. Zbyyl bsp urycrq jvgu fjvgpuvat obqvrf. Ubjrire, V unir ab vqrn ubj gur shpx ur fheivirq gung snyy.

    BUT UGH THIS EPISODE WAS SO DAMN FINE! All in all I had a very emotional weekend (The Fault in Our Stars + Sherlock).

  66. EmmyScarlet says:

    Everyone seems to have already mentioned (almost) everything I thought through this episode. But there is one thing I realized, which no one seems to have caught on to/noticed/was aware of.

    Though I have to preface this by saying I haven't actually seen most of the movie I'll be referring to, and what I did see was when I had a high fever and kept falling asleep. But to carry on:

    When the whole "Richard Brook" thing happened, it made me think of a Sherlock Holmes movie. Like I said, I don't remember much of it, but I think it involved Watson taking Holmes to see a psychiatrist (possibly Sigmund Freud?) and at one point during these sessions it comes out that Moriarty, who Holmes has obsessed over so long, is in fact not real. Then I really did fall asleep and ended up forgetting most of the movie the next day, but that part stuck with me.

    So half-remembering all this during that scene, I just kept going "Brilliant!" at the TV. I mean, obviously Moriarty was real. But just having that idea there, I loved that so very, very much.

    • Genny_ says:

      Oh, you mean The Seven Percent Solution? Yeah, it is quite similar. Wonder if it was a reference or just coincidence?

      • EmmyScarlet says:

        That was it, yes! I thought it was that one, but I couldn't remember correctly.

        I do keep wondering if it was intentional or not.

        • sudden_eyes says:

          Completely intentional, I should think! There have been quite a few homages to previous adaptations.

  67. RattlingBones says:


    in the interest of stirring up fury like Moffat…

    Apparently CBS has confirmed that they're doing a modern version of Sherlock Holmes! Set in New York City. I wonder where they got that idea from.

    The first episode is called 'Elementary' cos THAT'S WHAT SHERLOCK SAYS. DO YA GET IT? DO YA?? HUH??

    I hate everything.

    • Genny_ says:

      It's no less unoriginal than, say, Sherlock being an adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Moffat and Gatiss hardly have a patent on the idea. I don't like all this 'omg well they would wouldn't they' stuff, I mean… the two concepts are pretty broad and easy to envision. Sherlock Holmes! And modern! I'm fairly sure Sherlock didn't even originate the latter idea.

      • RattlingBones says:

        It's not that. I'm just bothered about why they felt the need to do it in the first place. There's already a series and a couple of films- or is it because of these that they wanted to get in on it?

        • Genny_ says:

          You could say that about any Holmes adaptation. Why make new films- there's been hundreds. Why make a new series- there's been plenty of them. Presumably it's because they wanted to do their own take, and besides, US TV is very different than UK TV; I'm sure it'll distinguish itself by that alone. Sherlock is hardly the only possible way to execute the idea of a modern Holmes adaptation.

          • MzyraJ says:

            That's fine – as long as it is different enough to validate making another. From what I hear, a number of popular (well, cult popular in the US) British TV shows get taken up and then re-made for the US audience and completely flop (or don't do as well as hoped/expected, ie Red Dwarf, Skins, Being Human), while the British ones continue to do quite well amongst the audiences they've acquired. If the American creators have their own good ideas that happen to be set up in the same way then more power to them, but sometimes they seem to effectively take the same show, switch in American actors and change a few references and put it out, when I'm sure they could have just used the original – I'm sure the audience won't switch off the second they hear a different accent or reference they don't quite understand. I mean, I probably don't get a number of references in my favourite US shows, but I still enjoy them. Probably enjoy them more with the American accents than I would with British (Mmmm, accents! :D).
            But this is just what I hear from my American friends; I could be wrong X)

            • Genny_ says:

              This isn't a remake of Sherlock. It's just a US Sherlock Holmes adaptation that's playing on the same idea. There's a pretty big difference. (And apparently, though I don't watch it, the US Being Human is pretty good.)

              • MzyraJ says:

                Oooooh, well if it's good I hope we can watch that over here too then! ๐Ÿ˜€
                *Lightbulb over head* The US could release their episodes in the breaks between ours and it'll be less like waiting FOREVER *.*

    • sabra_n says:

      See also: House, Monk, Psych, Cracker, Due South, Life, and the quadrillion other shows that make use of the Holmes archetype. All stories have been told before. It's execution that matters. ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. 4EyedBlonde says:





    <img src=""&gt;



  69. sabra_n says:

    Sorry, Mark, but I do hate Sally and Anderson. Not because they hate Sherlock, but because after two series as recurrings, they have no characterization at all except "hate Sherlock". Which, considering the level of craft going into other characters on the show, is just crap. Also, I don't care if you hate someone; that doesn't make it okay to greet a colleague as "Freak". If I can be down on Sherlock for acting like a dickhead to others, I can be down on that, too, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You can have your Rude Super Genius opposed by his colleagues without characterizing those colleagues as asshats. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, given how much I grew to hate that show, but look at the first few seasons of House: Cuddy, Wilson, the underlings, and various patients get sympathy and characterization and they're allowed to be right and have cogent points in opposition to House, because the writing on that show had the courage to think that their Super Genius could stand up on his own merits without making anyone who didn't like him a hissable villain. (Compare: Vogler and Tritter, two of the shittiest storylines to ever hit that show before it all became shit.)

    Basically, what I'm saying is that I'd like the ecosystem of people surrounding the leads to be more vigorous in the future. The writing took some steps in that direction this season – especially with the magnificent Molly – but Moriarty's plan would have felt even more diabolical if the first people to fall for it weren't pretty much pre-created for the sole purpose of turning on Sherlock at any opportunity. You know?

    • enchantedsleeper says:

      I absolutely agree. (Although now I'm wondering what made you grow to hate House so much @__@ I've only seen seasons 1-3) I hate Sally and Anderson not because they dare to criticise Sherlock but because they have no depth whatsoever beyond that. I can literally not think of a single redeeming moment for Sally Donovan's character. All I think when I see her face is that she needs a slap. SHE IS SO ANNOYING and yet she is also the only recurring woman of colour on the show, WHO APPROVED THIS ugh. Fuggod's sake, couldn't they have given her one single decent moment where she's not laughing at Sherlock or calling him a freak or acting like a goddamn know-it-all whilst barking up completely the wrong tree?! She's not even a good policewoman. She's so unprofessional all the time it's not even true. My friends whom I watched the very first episode of Sherlock with said that there's no way a woman like her would get to a high position in the police force in reality. I'd like to hope that's true. Ugggggh, DO NOT LIKE THAT WOMAN.

  70. Dani says:

    I found it amazing that one writer could produce the very worst episode and very best episode of the same series.


  71. sabra_n says:

    The police aren't allowed to hire consultants? Is this a UK thing?

    • Genny_ says:

      I may be wrong, but I believe you have to have some kind of license and there's procedure to go through. It's not so much that they used Sherlock as it is the WAY they used Sherlock.

  72. Benedict has a lovely bow hand, but his bowing technique…. it's better with each episode, but it still bothers me

    • wahlee says:

      It's still better than Michael Landon's violin playing on Little House on the Prairie. That show was on the air for 9 years and he obviously couldn't be bothered to learn even the basics. ๐Ÿ˜›

      I'd put Benedict's on par with Brent Spiner as Data. Not bad, but. . . not great, either.

  73. Lumosnox says:

    Not my video but
    [youtube 3K6XAAGWmyw youtube]
    Andrew Scott is fabulous and that is all.

  74. BethanytheMartian says:

    I have SO MANY FEELS. I don't dislike Sally and Anderson as much as I dislike the writers who created them to be one dimensional characters that are against Sherlock. I think that they're the result of bad writing. They have the right to dislike Sherlock, he's mean to them, but I do wish we could see them in another light, since the audience sits so firmly in the "John Watson" role. Also, I have a problem when a person of color is deliberately written to be disliked. It makes me itchy.

    I ascribe to the popular "he landed in the garbage truck" theory that has been espoused. I don't think it was his body on the ground, because that would require too many people to be in the loop- I think the staff are very real. The cyclist was probably paid to run John over, but I'll bet both he and the driver of the garbage truck were paid off by Molly. I'm also about 60% sure that the call to lure John away was arranged by Sherlock.

    While we never again hear about John's assault charges, I'm willing to bet Mycroft exerted influence in the matter and the whole mess was dropped. He couldn't restore Sherlock's good name, but as responsible as Mycroft felt for the whole ordeal I'll bet he did John that one small favor.

    I've always felt that Sherlock actually was fond of Molly in his own way, and Belgravia proved it to me as Sherlock does not apologize to just anybody. Also, he always works with her, even though surely a hospital the size of St. Bartholomew's has more than one Pathologist on staff. He believes her to be competent enough to help do the testing he requires and, quite frankly, I think Sherlock likes most people willing to put up with him. There just aren't many of them. So when he asked her for help I actually paused and did a little tiny victory dance. Don't judge me.

    I think, however the body swap went, that it was Moriarty's body that was buried. It was telling that there are no mentions of Rich Brook in the news reports, or of a murder suicide having occurred, which would be the case had there been a second body found. Speculation would have been all over the place- did Sherlock kill Rich, make it look like a suicide and then jump? Did Rich push Sherlock, and then kill himself? Was it a double suicide pact? But it'd be pretty poetic if Moriarty's body were buried where Sherlock's headstone lay.

    In a speculative sense, I wonder what's going to happen to all of the police cases that Sherlock worked on. Because they've all been compromised by someone who's supposed to be a big fake. I think that in America there would be a lot of movements for retrials, with the evidence Sherlock handled reviewed, or possibly dismissed as evidence. This is based on my, admittedly, very shoddy understanding of criminal law in America. But there must be some similar kind of provision in British law. My hope is that this process reveals that Sherlock is, in fact, not a fake- that the evidence is reviewed and found to be sound. I also believe that many of the people who Sherlock helped privately come forward and tell their tales, and that in the coming months Sherlock's veracity will become a matter of public debate. Especially when the scope of what his criminal operation would have been becomes clear.

    Some canon Sherlock spoilers below:

    Juvyr rirelbar vf qryvtugvat ng gur gubhtug bs Wbua chapuvat Fureybpx hcba uvf erghea, jura Fureybpx erirnyf uvzfrys gb Jngfba va gur fgbevrf, bhe qrne Qbpgbe fgenvtug hc snvagf. V'yy nqzvg, V'z xvaqn ybbxvat sbejneq gb guvf.

    Nyfb, va gur fgbevrf, Jngfba unq erpragyl ybfg uvf jvsr (V guvax vg jnf Znel Zbefgna) jura Fureybpx erirnyf uvzfrys gb or nzbat gur yvivat. Orpnhfr bhe Jngfba unfa'g ernyyl orra sbezvat gubfr obaqf (nygubhtu ur zvtug abj) V fhfcrpg gung, fubhyq gurer or n qrngu, vg jvyy or Jngfba'f fgvyy-yvivat fvfgre. Va gur fgbevrf, Jngfba unq na byqre oebgure anzrq Uneel jub unq nyernql cnffrq njnl jryy orsber. Fb gurer'f ebbz sbe vg gb unccra.

    Sorry for an excessively long post. MANY FEELS.

  75. Brieana says:

    I do think that it's funny that Lestrade was on the list of people Sherlock actually cares about considering how Sherlock just figured out in the last episode that the guy's name is Greg (or Craig was it? It's hard to not watch with captions.) Anyway, the guy was really growing on me and I see that Sherlock was feeling the same way.
    As for the the fake death, well, I really would have been more surprised if Sherlock was actually killed. Somehow, even though we saw Moriarty shoot himself, I do get the feeling that he is also alive somewhere as well.

  76. JJBanks says:

    has anyone heard the cbs is trying to make a modern day shelock too? it will be set in New York apparently and i dont have enough space to say how wrong i think this is but PLEASE PLEASE dont. its just a way of cashing in on the sucess od BBC Sherlock

  77. teaspooncapacity says:

    ALL THE FEELINGS! Martin Freeman, have all the BAFTAs! ALL OF THEM! And of course there's MOLLY HOOPER! MOLLY HOOPER FOR SOME POSITION OF OFFICE BECAUSE SHE'S A BADASS AND A FRIEND AND I LOVE HER! Ugh, Sherlock, why must you be so good but have us wait probably a year or two to give us more?

  78. blackrose says:

    "His combination of flamboyance, extravagance, and violence is like nothing I have ever seen."

    What about John Simm as the Master? I think this version of Moriarty is incredibly similar to Simm's version of the Master.

  79. Jenny says:

    So last Friday my friend convinced me to start watching Sherlock..

    …Just finished Reichenbach and I'm not sure what to do with my life now. SO glad you opened with the point that you did, because that is literally the only way I could possibly describe those 90 minutes. The music, the acting, the story…I had already been spoiled about "the fall", but it was such an intense episode I was completely captivated the entire way through. This and the first are my definite favorites of the series so far. Now when do we get season 3? Next year? Oh lord how are we going to survive DX

    On that note, Martin Freeman deserves all of the awards for making me sob and curl up into the fetal position for the last ten minutes of that episode. I can't wait to see him in The Hobbit this winter, as well as hear Cumberbatch!

  80. anobium says:

    I’m sure Mycroft is feeling his own sense of guilt, though I wonder if, like in the original stories, he is one of the few people to know that Sherlock is still alive.

    I'd bet he is – but I suspect it's not because Sherlock bothered to tell him. I was struck by his body language in that lost shot of him in the club; we're supposed to think he's mourning Sherlock, the way John is in the following shot, but his hands are doing the trademark Holmes "Well, this is an interesting puzzle" thing…

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