The series 2 finale, ‘The Reichenbach Fall’, is very clever indeed. Originally referring to the Swiss waterfall of a similar name where Holmes and Moriarty fell to their (intended) deaths in the original stories, the twisted around title now refers to Sherlock Holmes, the ‘Reichenbach hero’ of Sherlock. Or does it? As Sherlock points out, Moriarty’s alias ‘Richard Brooks’ is a literal translation of Reichenbach. This episode isn’t just the fall of Sherlock Holmes, it’s the fall of Moriarty himself. And he fell hard.
We learnt of Sherlock’s demise right at the start of the episode. What followed was a surprisingly plausible plotline about implausible things — a short computer code that can hack anything, crimes where the inside man seemingly isn’t even suspected of being involved — which all lead to Moriarty being tried and acquitted of crimes he obviously committed. It’s clear he got to the jury and forced his own freedom, but why allow himself to be captured in the first place?
Because it was really nothing more than the beginning of his plan to bring Sherlock Holmes to his knees. I have to admit that I’m surprised Sherlock bought the computer code hoax. By the time Moriarty revealed the hoax on the rooftop of St Bartholomew’s hospital I’d resigned myself to suspending disbelief and believing it could be true. That Sherlock was so blindly concerned with beating Moriarty that he would miss the painfully obvious, well, it made Moriarty’s win all the more surprising. Not as surprising as his suicide however.
And now we come to Sherlock’s death. I’ll admit it – I cried. That phone call was ridiculously sad and for a second there I did wonder whether Sherlock had really been killed off. If it had been the end of Sherlock Holmes, it would have been a great one: the man with a heart of ice and a brain sharp as a knife edge killing himself to save the life of his friends. I’m bloody glad it wasn’t the end of Sherlock Holmes, though. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another 18 months for series 3!
What did you think of ‘The Reichenbach Fall’? What’s your theory on Sherlock’s ‘death’? Let us know your thoughts on this episode and series 2 overall in the comments below!
Here’s my theory:
* Sherlock didn’t name Molly as a friend (despite telling her that she ‘counted’) because he wanted to keep her out of the picture to help with his plan.
* There was a flatbed lorry full of rubbish bags on the street below when Sherlock jumped. (Though I’m not convinced his jump could have propelled him across the pavement, but let’s suspend disbelief here.) He landed in the lorry and tossed out a body from the morgue which was dressed in some of his clothes – or similar clothes – that Molly obtained after their little talk.
* Since Molly knew Sherlock she could do the official identification of his body and claim it was really him.
* Sherlock didn’t want John to move away from where he had carefully placed him in case John saw too much and it ruined the illusion. The guy on the bike knocking John over was intended to disorientate him enough for him to imagine it was Sherlock he was seeing on the ground.
And here’s a couple little things in the background:
* The words ‘make believe’ on the wall in Kitty’s flat.
* A red ‘iou’ surrounded by black angel wings across the street from 221B (visible when John was heading for the taxi to go back to St Bart’s).