Okay Sherlockians. Holmies? Fans of BBC’s brilliant Sherlock, it’s time for the final episode of series 2, ‘The Reichenbach Fall’.
We open with John sitting in a therapy session. His therapist wants to know why he’s there, since she hasn’t seen him basically since the pilot, ‘A Study in Pink’. John says it’s because “My best friend, Sherlock Holmes, is dead.”
Now it’s the past. Sherlock is getting recognition for his work as a consulting detective, including recovering a Turner Painting- ‘Falls of the Reichenbach’. Watson frets Sherlock is getting too much attention, and warns him the press will eventually turn on him. He urges Sherlock to stay out of the news for a bit.
Great plan. Except Moriarty, dressed like a tourist is in the Tower of London. He admires the Crown Jewels, puts some classical music in his iPod, and checks his phone. Except instead of having a normal phone, with normal apps, Moriarty has apps that let him break into the Tower of London, the Bank of England, and Pentonville Prison. Alarms go off in the Tower. Moriarty knocks a guard unconscious, and is alone in the vault.
Moriarty has a grand old time smashing into one of the glass cases. Lestrade and the rest of the police force manage to get in the vault, where Moriarty sits on a throne, wearing a crown, and clutching a scepter. “No rush,” he says.
Sherlock and John arrive. Lestrade shows them the security footage of the glass case before Moriarty smashed it. He wrote ‘Get Sherlock’.
Fast forward a little bit. It’s Moriarty’s trial. Sherlock is on as a witness. While in the bathroom, he meets a girl (oh hey, IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson), claiming to be a huge fan. Sherlock deduces she is actually a journalist. She admits he’s right, and introduces herself as Kitty Riley, and says she wants to do a feature on him. Of course, Sherlock (very rudely)declines.
On the witness stand, Sherlock can’t stop himself from making snarky comments, or showing off his intellectual prowess, and is soon thrown in jail for contempt of the court. Moriarty, meanwhile, offers no defense for himself.
Back at 221B Baker Street, Sherlock awaits the verdict. John calls him, and tells him the jury found Moriarty not guilty. Sherlock puts the kettle on, and it’s not long before Moriarty arrives and they have tea. Moriarty says Sherlock is secretly glad he is free, saying every fairy tale needs a good old fashioned villain. Sherlock guesses Moriarty blackmailed the jury. Moriarty confirms this, and starts to talk about ‘the final problem’. Sherlock doesn’t know what it is. Moriarty taps his fingers impatiently.
Moriarty asks Sherlock if he knows why Moriarty broke into the Tower, the Bank of England, and Pentonville Prison but didn’t take anything. Sherlock says because nothing is as valuable as having the key that can unlock all three. Moriarty takes his leave, but not before promising Sherlock a fall.
While Sherlock and Moriarty were having one of the most tense cups of tea ever, John meets with Mycroft. John notices in the paper that Kitty Riley is going to publish an expose on Sherlock. Mycroft tells John that 4 assassins have recently moved to Baker Street, and to keep an eye on Sherlock.
When John returns home, he finds an envelope, which he pockets. In the flat, Lestrade and Donovan are there, picking up Sherlock. They need his help in the case of two children who went missing from their boarding school. At the school, Sherlock notices a book of Grimm Fairy Tales, and remembers Moriarty’s fairy tale comments from earlier. After a little more poking around, he discovers a trail of oil the kidnappers left behind. He takes some samples of the footprints.
In the lab, Sherlock analyzes the oil. John shows him the envelope from before. Sherlock notes they are crumbs, and references the story of Hansel and Gretel. From the crumbs, Sherlock has an epiphany, and says they are looking for a disused sweet factory. Sherlock and the police arrive at the factory and find the children. All is well? Not quite. When Sherlock goes in to question the children, the little girl starts screaming at Sherlock. This raises Donovan’s suspicions, and she is quick to tell Lestrade.
Sherlock gets in a cab to go home. On the cab TV, a video of Moriarty comes up, telling the tale of Sir Boasts a Lot. Moriarty explains that people started to question Sir Boasts a Lot’s stories, but that isn’t the final problem. Unnerved, Sherlock orders the cabbie to stop. He gets out and sees Moriarty was driving the cab. As Sherlock chases after the cab, he is nearly hit by a car. At the last second, he is saved by one of the assassins who was following him. As soon as Sherlock shakes the assassin’s hand, he is shot from an unseen sniper.
The police superintendent orders Lestrade to bring Sherlock in. Lestrade texts John to warn them. The police come, and both John and Sherlock arrested. Sherlock as a suspect in the kidnapping case, and John for punching the chief superintendent after he insulted Sherlock. Sherlock quickly concocts an escape plan, and now the Baker Street boys are on the run. They realize they’re being followed by another of the assassins. So the next logical step is to jump in front of a bus. The assassin saves them at the last second. Sherlock then interrogates him. The assassin says Moriarty left his computer keycode with Sherlock, which is why all the assassins have been saving his life.
Sherlock and John track Kitty down at her flat, and ask her about her source for her article. It’s Moriarty. Only he claims his name is Richard Brook- an actor Sherlock hired to play Moriarty. Kitty says Sherlock made up all his crimes, then hired an actor to play a super villain. She has proof that Richard Brook is a real person, and to make matters worse has personal information on Sherlock to make the story seem more authentic.
Sherlock finds Molly who works at the hospital morgue, and tells her he needs her help. Meanwhile, John confronts Mycroft about Kitty’s story. John says it had a lot of personal information about Sherlock in it, and John didn’t tell Moriarty anything. Mycroft confesses that when the government had Moriarty under interrogation, the only way to get Moriarty to talk was for Mycroft to tell him things about Sherlock.
John meets with Sherlock at the hospital. Sherlock says he has the computer code, and he can use it to destroy the false records on Richard Brook, bring Moriarty back, and clear his name. Sherlock realizes that when Moriarty was tapping his fingers in Sherlock’s flat, he was tapping out a binary code.
John gets a call. Mrs. Hudson has been shot. He starts to leave, and Sherlock tells him to go ahead. John is disgusted Sherlock won’t go with him, and leaves, furious. Sherlock gets a text. Moriarty is waiting for him on the roof.
Moriarty says his entire life, he has looked for distractions. Sherlock was the best distraction, but now Moriarty’s beaten him. Sherlock says he will use the code to destroy Moriarty’s fake identity. Not so fast. There isn’t a code. Moriarty simply bribed a few willing participants for his Tower of London heist. He knew Sherlock would fall for it, because Sherlock always wants things to be clever. He’s disappointed in Sherlock for being “ordinary”. Now he says it’s time for Sherlock to jump off the roof.
John rushes home, and sees Mrs. Hudson is okay. Realizing Sherlock tricked him, John grabs a cab and starts to head back. At the hospital, Moriarty says he has assassins ready to kill John, Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade. The only way to stop them is if his people see Sherlock jump, because Moriarty certainly won’t call them off.
Sherlock realizes Moriarty has a recall code to call off the assassins. He says he’ll get the information from Moriarty. Moriarty doubts he is capable of it. Sherlock says he can, because they are the same, just playing for different teams. Moriarty sees something in Sherlock, and smiles. “You’re not ordinary. You’re me.” He thanks Sherlock, and shakes his hand. He says as long as he is alive, Sherlock has a way out. He pulls a gun out of his jacket, puts it in his mouth, and pulls the trigger.
As Sherlock prepares to jump, John arrives. Sherlock calls him. He tells John that everything Moriarty said was true- he is a fraud. As John pleads with him to come down, Sherlock says that the phone call is his note, and says goodbye. He tosses his phone aside, and jumps. John races over. He takes Sherlock’s pulse as medics whisk the body away. The assassins pack their up their gear, and head home.
Mrs. Hudson and John go to the cemetery. John says goodbye to the tombstone. He says he was so alone, and he owes Sherlock so much, and that no one will ever convince him Sherlock was a fraud. He turns away, then adds, “One more miracle for me. Don’t be dead.”
John walks away. The camera pans out, and we see Sherlock standing, very much alive, watching John from a safe distance.
No, seriously. What the what? Theories, anyone? My personal theory right now is that Sherlock employed the services of the Teselecta (If you didn’t understand that reference, it’s okay. It was a nerd joke).
Let’s figure out how Moriarty faked his death. Okay, he probably didn’t. I just wish he did. Farewell Moriarty. You will be missed. I just wanted to take that poor little psychopath, put him in a padded cell and straight jacket (and maybe one of those Hannibal Lector mouth things) and give him a hug.
More Molly and Lestrade in Series 3 please! Seriously, both had such good moments in this episode. They should be used more in the future.