I had all these things I wanted to say, ideas I was formulating in my mind while watching "The Reichenbach Fall". However, I was so blown away by the ending that I'm just sitting here in shock and amazement. Actually, I'm still trying to work out how the fuck Sherlock did it? How did he fake his own death when to all appearances he was dead -- and in front of witnesses, no less? I did notice that the staff of Bart's wouldn't let John get too close -- in much the same way Holmes made sure Watson wouldn't get too close to him in "The Adventure of the Dying Detective" because he knew Watson (as a doctor) would figure out that he wasn't really ill. I wonder if this is what Sherlock asked Molly to do? Help him fake his death? I thought Sherlock looked surprised and stunned when Moriarty told him he would have to commit suicide, but, then, "Richard Brook" isn't the only one who's an actor. And, after all, Sherlock and Moriarty are the same person, right?
I feel as if nothing I could write could possibly do justice to this episode, so I'll just record some of my geeky fangirl observations. Okay, the first observation isn't really Sherlockian, but just my glee over the fact that Sherlock retrieved that painting of the Reichenbach Falls from my favourite painter of all time, J.M.W. Turner! Yeah, I know. I'm sorry. However, the next moment of excitement for me was Sherlockian because Moriarty breaking into the Tower of London had to be an allusion to the Tower of London jewel heist Moriarty carried out in my second favourite Basil Rathbone film, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. For that matter, Moriarity was on trial at the beginning of that film, but he got off because Holmes didn't arrive in time with the crucial evidence. Hmm...Of course, the main source material for the episode was "The Final Problem". I loved the way Moriarty kept referring to "the final problem," which was a nice nod to canon Holmes fans. This episode also included what I believe was almost an exact quote from "The Final Problem," that famous comparison Holmes makes to Moriarty being like a spider in a web:
Stephen Thompson also recreates that confrontation scene between Holmes and Moriarty at Baker Street, though it plays out quite differently in "The Reichenbach Fall". Nevertheless, Moriarty's message is the same: I'm going to destroy you. And, speaking of destruction, I thought it was brilliant that Sherlock's downfall didn't involve his death but the total annihilation of his reputation. As a shameless Lestrade fan, I really enjoyed watching our poor DI fight against the seeds of doubt that had been planted in his head. I'm not sure if he entirely believed that Sherlock was involved in the kidnapping. He did try to warn Sherlock and wasn't happy about the arrest. Of course, that was nothing compared to that final conversation between Sherlock and John. It was heartbreaking to see Sherlock tearfully tell John that he was a fraud, sacrificing himself in order to save his three friends. It's fantastic that the note left at Reichenbach Falls in "The Final Problem" became a phone call here. I wonder if it was worse for John to see Sherlock "die" than it was for Watson to imagine what Holmes's "death" was like at Reichenbach Falls. Lastly, it was fabulous to see John give his own version of the "best and wisest man whom I have ever known" canon quote at the cemetary and catch that glimpse of Sherlock watching John, much as Holmes watched Watson at Reichenbach Falls after he faked his death.
I'll be waiting with bated breath until the next new episode is broadcast.