If you saw last night’s Sherlock episode (The Reichenbach Fall – note the singular, by the way, a nice joke), you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, and don’t want spoilers, then stop reading now.
I suppose, in a way, with a title echoing the climax of the original Conan Doyle story The Final Problem, which features the Reichenbach Falls, it was obvious what was going to happen; but the question is: how did he do it? There are lots of theories floating around, and while I’m unsure of the precise mechanics, I’m fairly sure of the following:
- Molly was in on it (and what a wonderful character she has proved to be throughout the two series)
- John Watson was not.
- Mycroft may have been.
- We did see a live human being jump (he was moving his arms to control his balance), and I am sure it was Holmes.
- Watson was knocked over by a bicyclist in the period between seeing the jump and running to Holmes’ body. That is certainly significant.
- Watson feels for Holmes’ pulse, and presumably doesn’t find one. Holmes was shown earlier playing with a squash ball. Could this be the old “squash ball in the armpit to stop the pulse trick”?
Some viewers have complained that we shouldn’t have got obvious confirmation that Holmes faked his own death by seeing Holmes alive in the closing seconds, but I thought it was a good plot device:
- It confirms to the viewer that Holmes is alive and sets the ball rolling on “how did he do it?” Great for the next series…
- It gives extra poignancy to the fact that we now know that Holmes has heard Watson’s eulogy to a friend that he supposes is dead.
The writing and the acting of this series has been outstanding. Hats off to all concerned.