SHERLOCK: Reichenbach Fall — Explained

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Ever since the Sherlock series 2 finale fans have been speculating how the master detective pulled off one of his most impressive feats yet. We think we’ve got the answer.

Spoilers if you’re yet to see the Sherlock Series 2 finale!


We all saw him jump, but there’s little doubt that he’s alive by the end of the episode, watching Watson mourn his passing at his own funeral. So how did he Sherlock survive the Reichenbach Fall?

Before we look at the possible explanation, let’s quickly go over some less likely alternatives:

1. Watson thought he saw Sherlock fall to his death because the clever detective administered him with the fear toxin from the secret research base in “The Hounds Of Baskervilles.”

2. Watson didn’t jump at all and instead threw Moriarty’s ‘dead’ body from the roof, where it was switched with a Sherlock lookalike after hitting the ground. This would involve the help of Molly, Mycroft or the Homeless Network.

Now here’s what we think happened:

  • Before meeting Moriarty on the roof, we see Sherlock ask Molly for her help.
  • Being a medical professional, she would be able to help falsify his death, especially if Mycroft is also in on the ruse.

Sherlock, who seems genuinely shocked by Moriarty’s ‘suicude’, puts his plan into action. We believe it could well consist of the following steps:

  • He gives an emotional goodbye to Watson so that the good doctor believes Sherlock is going to jump to his death — essentially planting an unkillable idea in his mind (a concept foreshadowed earlier in the episode).
  • He ensures that Watson stands a certain distance away from thee building, so that he doesn’t make it to the landing spot in time to see everything.
  • Sherlock jumps from the building onto a pre-arranged truck (above) filled with ‘rubbish bags’ (presumably containing something to break his fall).
  • Molly/Mycroft then apply blood to his face before he lies down on the ground, the truck still obscuring the full extent of the ruse.
  • While this is happening (remember, we’re dealing with seconds here), a biker hired by Sherlock intentionally bumps into Watson, knocking him to the ground where he hits his head and becomes disorientated — his narrative is now unreliable, as he’s missed at least a 5-10 seconds. That’s all Sherlock needs.

  • The truck conveniently drives away with Molly/Mycroft having performed their part of the ruse.
  • Disorientated, Watson makes his way over to Sherlock’s ‘dead body’, where a crowd of Sherlock-arranged passers by (The Homeless Network) have already gathered.
  • The combination of the crowd’s reaction and Watson’s disorientation means he doesn’t perform a proper check for Sherlock’s pulse and succumbs to the unkillable idea that Sherlock is dead.
  • Sherlock is carted away extremely quickly by ‘paramedics’ hired by Sherlock (Molly/Mycroft would be able to falsify his death report).
  • Watson, and crucially, the assassins, believe that Sherlock is dead.

But of course, he isn’t dead — just his legend (for now)..

There’s some wiggle-room in there for Sherlock to have been carried away in the truck after making the jump, with Molly/Mycroft rolling a dead corpse onto the ground where he would have landed. This corpse would presumably be the Sherlock lookalike that Moriarty hired to kidnap the kids, or someone altered to look like Sherlock, of which there’s already a precedent when Irene Adler faked her death by using a body double, so it’s not impossible that Sherlock could have done something similar, with the aid of Molly/Mycroft.

Whether there was any of that fear toxin used within this ruse is up for debate. I’m not sure it’s necessary, but it could have been used on Watson and/or the assassins to further fool/distract them.

I also think it’s important to note that even at the funeral, Watson has a nagging belief (hope) that Sherlock isn’t dead. Perhaps in the subconscious recesses of his mind the actual narrative of events is trying to break through?

Now, all of that could be way off the mark, and we accept that one or two aspects of the explanation might be a bit of a reach. We also recognize that there are one or two other curious moments that might come into play (Sherlock throwing his phone on the roof before jumping, Moriarty’s supposed suicide, etc), so there’s plenty of room for anyone to refute or build on this possible explanation. In the meantime, what a cracking finale it was, eh?

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  1. Page 48 says

    A great finale. There’s something wrong with a season finale that airs 2 weeks after the season debut, but that’s another matter.

    I love Watson’s skepticism about “The Fall”. I would have to do a rewatch to get this clear in my head, but how would Sherlock know that he would have to have a pre-arranged swan dive in place? Is this why he set up a meet with Moriarty on the roof in the first place, because he and Moriarty are “the same” and this is how Sherlock would have played it if roles were reversed? Did he play Moriarty like a Stradivarius?

    What to make of those tears flowing like wine down Sherlock’s face just before the jump. Were those for the pain he was about to inflict on Watson and/or his landlady? Was he mourning the loss of his (almost) intellectual equal, and the matching of the wits with Moriarty that Sherlock no doubt thoroughly enjoyed?

    A tip of the Sherlock Holmes hat to the Beeb for bringing us good stuff to watch.

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    • says

      “I love Watson’s skepticism about “The Fall”. I would have to do a rewatch to get this clear in my head, but how would Sherlock know that he would have to have a pre-arranged swan dive in place? Is this why he set up a meet with Moriarty on the roof in the first place, because he and Moriarty are “the same” and this is how Sherlock would have played it if roles were reversed? Did he play Moriarty like a Stradivarius?”

      Good point, Page. I’d go along with your answer. I think Sherlock had to think like Moriarty in order to ‘defeat’ him. I saw the fall as his failsafe — something he pre-planned just in case he couldn’t find any other loophole in Moriarty’s bind.

      “What to make of those tears flowing like wine down Sherlock’s face just before the jump. Were those for the pain he was about to inflict on Watson and/or his landlady? Was he mourning the loss of his (almost) intellectual equal, and the matching of the wits with Moriarty that Sherlock no doubt thoroughly enjoyed?”

      Such an interesting moment! I think it’s a bit of both, which is to say I think Sherlock would have tried to convince Watson in this way. But, ultimately, I think the tears were geniune. I think the stakes were high at this point (he could have missed the giant “X” on the truck) and he knew that an extended separation from his pal was on the cards. Or perhaps that’s how I’d like to read it.

      That said, I’m intrigued by the possibility that a part of him was also mourning Moriarty.

      “A tip of the Sherlock Holmes hat to the Beeb for bringing us good stuff to watch.”

      Indeed! I thought 2.01 and 2.03, in particular, were exceptional. Fingers crossed for more seriability in S3, perhaps?

      Like: Thumb up 4

      • Kelly says

        I noticed that when Sherlock gets put in jail for contempt of court, he is shown in a cell next to moriarty. Cut to next scene – he’s going home. What did they talk about? What was planned?

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        • waxwing says

          If you examine the blocks of the cell wall behind each of them you can see that it is the same cell, each man occupying it solo. And speaking of walls, on Kitty’s wall are large letters reading Make Believe. I think Kitty is working with, or involved with, Moriarity.
          One more comment, if you will oblige me. The song played that has the reggae feel is the same as in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. Clue?

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    • Shirley v says

      Concerning his tears, I’m pretty sure he was crying for Watson-did anyone else notice how in one of the earlier episodes, Sherlock says he prefers texting… He isn’t much of a caller. The one time he makes a phone call is to tell Watson good-bye? The bromance they have is amazing! He knew how his “death” was going to affect his only (and best) friend.

      How Sherlock thought so far ahead is beyond me… He is insanely brilliant

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    • says

      I’ve been rewatching the series again. I think Moriarty is not dead. Sherlock definitely got Molly and possibly a repentant Mycroft’s help with his jump and “death”. M faked HIS death so as to paint S into a corner and have to jump to save his friends. S then “cried” (we know from past episodes Sherlock only ever cries as a means to an end) in order to convince M and M’s killers that he definitely is jumping. With M still alive thinking S is now dead, it gives S the edge to quietly figure out how to put M and his network out of commission for good! and clear his name of cos.

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  2. Heg says

    I don’t know if anyone else heard it, but as Sherlock asks JM to give him a few moments on the roof top, we hear a very quiet (almost inaudiable) beep and then a female voice (presumably Molly) saying “Hello?!”. It’s as if Sherlock reached into his pocket and called someone as a signal of some sort.

    How this fits in I’m not sure… but it happens before JM’s death so doesn’t quite fit with your version outlined above…

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 15

    • Gabrielle Poor says

      I heard the noise you’re talking about. not the beep but the voice that seemed to be from a phone. he did look slightly down as well.

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  3. Gavin B. says

    HOW did it work then?
    Planning must have started quite early on before the release of Moriarty during “Hound” and also before “Scandal”. Mycroft had a deal with Sherlock that they could catch Moriarty by exposing Sherlock (who annoys Mycroft by literally exposing himself in “Scandal,” wearing only a sheet/shroud which he then leaves with his brother, note that Gandhi, Jesus, Caesar were all wearers of sheets and that in Freud, nudity symbolizes vulnerability and innocence as much as the will to be seen for what one truly is). In return to this favor, Mycroft has to help Sherlock get into Baskerville. The plan revolves around Sherlock’s death. Mycroft is sorry because he knows how hard this vanishing act is for the younger brother, but still order has to be restored (as Sherlock says). So the plan goes: Moriarty, in a mad frenzy, challenges Sherlock, all parties involved seemingly on Moriarty’s side. He is even found not guilty by the frightened jury in “The Fall”. His next step is to go and see Sherlock, who, regardless of John’s advice, has made himself an enemy among the press, one he knows to be thirsting for a career. He would not be so stupid to risk his reputation unless he actually wanted it destroyed. Mycroft must protect Sherlock and has installed several snipers to watch his brother. Some are killed though. Mycroft also asks John to keep an eye on Sherlock. Stupidly, Sally wants Sherlock arrested because the little girl screamed when she saw Sherlock. This might mean that she saw a man in a Sherlock hat (as John has re-named the deerstalker; the relevance of hats is stresses on Connie Prince’s website) and made a connection between the man and a story Moriarty told her. Lestrade who is in on the plan tries to avoid the arrest (he looks sad when Sherlock focuses the little camera on him, possibly Mycroft’s surveillance), but eventually has to go by the book and arrests Sherlock who then runs for it. The police, mind you, don’t follow. At Kitty’s, Sherlock and John meet Moriarty who tells them another fairytale, but Sherlock does not argue. He does not utter a single word in his defense. Moriarty escapes, but Sherlock knows that Moriarty used Kitty (and her deerstalker hat) to scare the children, because he knew her hunger for revenge. She hated Sherlock who would not give her an interview. Moriarty gave her the perfect story, so why not be economical with the truth and construct the abduction to make Sherlock dance? Knowing this, Sherlock decides to outwit Moriarty. He and John go to the lab where Molly notices how sad Sherlock looks. He knows she’s right and is shocked by how observant she can be. So he sends her away to 1) protect her, but also to 2) get her out of his way. He tells her that he is a fake and asks her to tell Kitty which Molly does (we do have immediate press reactions on John’s blog). His reputation irreversibly destroyed, Sherlock gets in touch with Mycroft and mad Jacob to organize his fall. For this, he has all night. In the morning, he only needs to send John away under the pretext of Mrs. Hudson having been shot, before he asks Moriarty round. Sherlock names the place. John, of course, finds no injured old lady, and heads back. He knows Sherlock is on one of his kamikaze missions again and might need his help. While Sherlock talks to Moriarty and lets him know they’re equals (and Moriarty tells him that he has snipers watching Sherlock’s friends), Mycroft’s people prepare the pavement for Sherlock’s fall. There is a sheet on the bus, there are paramedics and there is the rubbish van with some equipment. Sherlock pretends to be less clever than he is, so Moriarty can feel very sure of himself. Moriarty then fakes his own death by shooting himself. Sherlock does not need to verify. He knows the bullet would have caused more damage. He also knows that the little surveillance camera he has brought onto the roof, has recorded the confrontation. Sherlock, afraid for his friends and what the snipers will do to them, panics, but goes back to calm when John’s taxi arrives. He stands on the roof facing the inner court (St Paul’s and St Michael’s would be in that direction) while wigged Jacob Sowersby, a mad fanatic who has posted a video on John’s blog and who has the same clothes as Sherlock stands at the front holding a phone. The real Sherlock talks to John giving instructions as to where his friend shall stay and keep his eyes fixed on him. He surely sees John’s reactions on some sort of monitor. There is nobody in the street at this point, but there are the vehicles. John listens to Sherlock’s long confession (about being a fake) but does not believe him. Sherlock cries at such loyalty. Maybe he’s scared of being alone. Maybe he’s desperate because John has again failed to look or rather hear the obvious (“it’s a trick, a magic trick,” as indeed it is: You tell a person to focus on a coin in the middle of a table. You cover the coin with a glass and the glass with a napkin. You then pull the wrapped up glass over the corner of the table and let the glass fall into your lap. The napkin will keep the shape of the object even after it’s gone, so you keep repeating the to and fro a little to make it more interesting before you reveal that the glass is gone!). So Sherlock holds out his arm to signal the cyclist to go for it before Jacob gives himself up (dropping the phone so that it won’t be found on the body as there had been no outgoing call. At the same time the phone call was for Moriarty to listen in on) and takes the fall. The cyclist runs John over while Jacob falls onto the sheet (the special sheet Sherlock delivered to Buckingham Palace). His face is bloodied, his pulse lowered/stopped by some drug, possibly liquid E or Ketamin AKA Kitty or H.O.U.N.D.. The traumatized John is dazed (and he always jumps to conclusions based on incomplete data) and people try to push him away, but he manages to take Jacob’s non-existent pulse and collapses before the body is rushed off into the hospital. Sherlock hopes for John to look and see that there is no phone on him because that’s what’s impossible: no phone on the body. John will doubt Sherlock is dead and will not lose hope.
    The last scene shows that John has not looked but believes in Sherlock’s death.

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    • Mick says

      FINALLY ! You are the only other person on the net that agrees with me on one simple premise. That – although it was SH talking to JW on the phone, it was not SH standing on the ledge. At no time during the final phone call do you see SH standing on the ledge. You get only 2 camera angles. The closeup of SH talking and the long shot from JW perspective showing somone standing on the ledge. I don’t know precisly who jumped – but I do know that it was NOT Sherlock Holmes.

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    • Cecilia says

      Actually, since Moriarty killed himself by shooting a gun in his mouth with the gunpoint directed at his brain, there would be very little blood. This murder method was used in Agatha Christie’s The Tragedy at Marsdon Manor. The bullet would lodge in the brain, creating internal hemorraghing, some bleeding from the mouth, and an appearance of seemingly natural death. Obviously, Moriarty wasn’t deliberately going for this effect so there may have been more injury to his head, but it is highly possible that Moriarty did kill himself and that there was as little blood as was seen.

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      • Arthur says

        I’m not familiar with the Agatha Christie story, but this is certainly not true in real life except perhaps in certain situations with very specific types of low-powered firearms. Moriarty’s Beretta firing 9mm NATO rounds of any conventional type would most certainly blow a spectacular hole through the top of his head, not merely from the bullet passing through at 1200 fps (over 800 mph) but also from the muzzle blast, which itself would be enough to blow through the soft palate at the top of the mouth and cause severe damage to the brain.

        We’ll have to assume that the relatively pristine condition of Moriarty’s head after being shot is indeed either the result of some kind of elaborate ruse, or more likely the UK TV censors not allowing a realistic depiction of a gunshot wound to the head. Network TV in the US generally cannot be relied upon to realistically portray traumatic wounds (gunshot wounds in particular) and I will assume the same is the case in the UK.

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        • Frank says

          Quite the opposite actually. The gunshot damage you see in TV and movies in America is way over the top. Rarely would a pistol bullet explode out of people’s heads the way you see them with special effects. I guess people get the more spectacular movie version in their heads as the “realistic” one.

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      • Michael says

        Incorrect about the blood. When someone puts a gun in their mouth, there are pints and pints and pints of blood flowing like a garden hose on full-blast. Google: public suicide of Pennsylvania state treasurer R. Budd Dwyer (if you dare watch an actual suicide.)

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    • Mason says

      He eliminated his pulse using the rubber ball that he was playing with when he met Molly at St. Bart’s. Squeezed in his armpit, it would cut off circulation and give the appearance of no pulse

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      • Ben says

        Disagree. Early on in the episode Sherlock manages to locate the two children by identifying five substances one of which is rhododendron ponticom, the same paralytic used by Lord Blackwood in the Robert Downey Jr. movie. When he goes back to the lab he acquires the samples and drugs himself to appear dead to Watson.

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  4. Skyye says

    I was thrilled with the ending, I was waiting for Sherlock to appear, I only thought it would happen on the reflective image of the gravestone after John walked away, showing Sherlock appearing in the reflection and looking after John. I think the way it was done didn’t have as much…’affect’ as it could have, but I loved it none the less.

    So we know Sherlock isn’t dead, and the shock at Moriarty’s suicide did indeed look genuine, but I think the whole situation begs the question, “Is the devious genius Moriarty really dead?”

    If Sherlock was able to plan such an elaborate fake suicide on himself, it leaves us open to believe Moriarty may very well have faked his own death, [and I must point out, his head wouldn’t quite look like that after blowing a bullet through his brain]
    But all in all; it posed the proper question, left us at the edge of our respective seats, gave us a side of Sherlock we loved to see [fake it may have been] and it left us itching for more, so I believe the Sherlock series 2 writers accomplished what they set out to do, they wrote an amazing, elaborate story that has me waiting on the edge of my seat for the next season.

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  5. Skyye says

    I always wish to comment on another aspect of the episode.
    I loved how they wrote in Moriarty’s ‘suicide’, he finally got what he wanted.
    He always said, ‘We’re the same, you and I’
    And to finally hear Sherlock admit [and we know he meant it in a way] that they were indeed the same, was almost like…..the ending to his game. Like everything he set out to do was to make Sherlock realize they were the same.
    And I like that idea, Sherlock is a genius, but he is detached, self-absorbed, arrogant, lonely and believes no one can better him.

    Sherlock may not be a ‘criminal-for-hire’, or kill people, but in the end, Moriarty and Sherlock are indeed ‘the same’.

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    • Cala says

      I agree, Moriarty and Sherlock are “the same.” In fact, there are some choices in the last episode that I believe were to accentuate that they were mirror images. When Sherlock was put into jail- they were positioned so that it looked like they were sitting next to each other, making Sherlock’s cell the mirror of Moriarty’s. Additionally, notice in the tea scene that Moriarty is left handed. Not by chance, Moffat is way too meticulous for that to be mere happenstance. Moriarty is the mirror image of Sherlock.

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  6. artferret says

    On the roof, Sherlock does not enquire of John as to Mrs Hudson’s state of health after John’s dash to her side across half of London. Odd, when he was happy to chuck a thug out of a window for frightening her and roughing her up. In the original story, Holmes says in his note that he suspected the message to Dr Watson about a sick woman at the hotel to be a ruse. Sherlock says;…”I want you to tell Mrs Hudson,”…etc., (that he is a fake). Sherlock must know that she is alive when he says this.
    Also, the fall wasn’t a ‘whee-splat’ type suicide, it was measured and controlled to some extent. That coat of his is nicely voluminous too. Of course it could have been the only way the BBC stuntman could fall in order not to break his neck. Fine work on his part whatever the reason. Worthy of Alf Joint and Marc Boyle.
    Kudos too, to whoever painted the Reichenbach Falls, Turner-style.
    A final couple of points, all this cobblers about throwing dead bodies off the roof etc., Dead bodies are notoriously floppy, heavy and as unco-operative as a sack of spuds. Plus the paramedics whisked the ‘body’ away damn fast. Maybe this is standard practice with a corpse, but it was very quick.
    Well, that’s thrown my two pennyworth into the melange anyway.

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    • SH says

      oh shut up! “Sherlock must know that she is alive when he says this.” of course he knew…he arranged it..for a person to call john and send him away while he..well, dies!!

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  7. M C Ertem says

    He does not need Molly or Mycroft to provide any blood. He a) has lots of blood on the roof provided by Moriarty – or, even more probable b) he brought a couple of bags of blood with him.

    So he does a stunt dive onto the blue and red airbags on the truck, rolls over onto the sidewalk smearing blood all over himself. Uses little blue rubber ball to stop his pulse.

    For those of us not familiar with the topology (and the short brick building is conveniently not shown in the episode) Dr. Watson starts out here
    and runs / gets run over by bicycle here:

    M C Ertem

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    • says

      The only issue I have with Sherlock jumping into the truck is the sniper. The sniper would have a vantage point higher in a building and would probably be able to see into the top of the truck. When they show the sniper he has to run down a staircase. The fall itself would have been a shock to the body on impact even if on padding in the truck. I don’t think Sherlock would have enough wits about him to act quick enough.

      There must have been some kind of switch or setup below the truck where the wheels and bed are.

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  8. Sandra Poole says

    I think we have a real long con going on here, starting, at the latest, with Mycroft feeding hatred and Sherlock’s life story to a detained, demented Moriarty. All the publicity that Sherlock takes part in at the beginning of the episode is designed to taunt and aggravate the Spider. Moriarty rises to the bait, and Sherlock deliberately bates the journo in the Men’s, and then feeds her name to Moriarty when they are in the court jail together. This ensures that a truly damning story – the big lie sold by the lots of little truths – will emerge when Moriarty goes to the journo.

    Moving on, Sherlock now knows that the sword is going to fall soon – and Moriarty will try to ‘burn’ him – but he doesn’t really know the when or precisely how. He does what he can to swing the balance his way: he is the one who makes the rendezvous for the roof, after all, which means he has the opportunity to set things up earlier. He only starts the ball rolling when he realises how Mycroft fed him the false key code information – he needs that information to draw Moriarty out. The squash ball proves that Sherlock is the jumper (it means that Watson won’t be able to find the pulse in the ‘dead’ Sherlock’s obligingly held-out arm).

    Now, since Moriarty is a spider at the middle of an enormous web etc., it is important to have a means of discrediting him with the rogue governments. I have a feeling that the bug Sherlock found in his flat is somewhere on the roof, recording Moriarty’s boasting about the fake key code (which Sherlock could only have found out about from Mycroft, who ‘found it out’ from Mycroft) and the snipers intending to kill Watson, Lestrade and Mrs Hudson. He also leaves his phone on the roof when he jumped, which means that there is possibly more damning evidence on THAT which he needs to protect from the fall. Much of his fear is genuine – the stunt fall could go wrong, which would have enormous repercussions.

    Anyway, back a bit. Sherlock is very inconsistent – deliberately so – in this episode (I’ve already talked about the Private Detective becoming a provocative media whore), but he also tells Lestrade that he has no intention of letting himself be arrested on suspicion of the kidnap as a photo op., and then deliberately GETS himself arrested in a photo op. Ergo the escape was planned, as was his calling on the journo, for gathering more puzzle pieces. She gave him her card, remember, and Moriarty HAS to believe that Sherlock is making terrible mistakes, so that he will be overconfident. It’s the sugar in the icing that John witnesses this.

    This means that a lot of Sherlock’s posturing on the roof is acting for a criminal network/rogue government audience, though I do think that he is figuring the angles to get Moriarty to kill himself. Of course Moriarty’s dead: Sherlock is planning his own fake death, knows about the two fake deaths of Irene Adler, so is hardly going NOT to check whether the brain matter and blood coming from Moriarty is fake or coming from a bloody great hole in Moriarty’s head.

    The Spider’s criminal network needs bringing down, so Mycroft will be able to use the recorded information to work on that. Sherlock needs to stay dead until all the loose ends are cleared up, or Mrs Hudson, John and Greg will die.

    Not sure exactly what Molly’s role in all this is, but she was possibly behind the quick arrival of the medics, may have provided the cackle-bladder blood and/or may fake the autopsy – with Moriarty’s body standing in for Sherlock’s. However, keeping the secret of what really happened is paramount, so the less that fewer people know(does that make sense?), the better.

    So, when John arrives back at Bart’s – having been sent to see a decoy dying Mrs Hudson by Sherlock (maybe that’s what Molly did?), who needs to keep him at arm’s length – his positioning is crucial. A low building blocks his view of the pavement and ensures that any snipers also don’t see the fakery. I don’t know if the cyclist that knocks Sherlock over is Homeless Network or MI5/6/7, but his purpose is two-fold: to delay and to disorientate John, so that Sherlock can get out of the carefully-placed cardboard box- or whatever-filled container he had to leap into so spectacularly, and arrange himself with blood and ball in his armpit; and so that the carefully positioned (see the chalked rectangle on the pavement?) container can be driven away.

    Why is Sherlock such a liar to John, telling him that he IS a fake? An act of love: I think he thinks that if he can get John doubting even a bit, then real anger might displace utter devastation. Mycroft needs to keep up his stony silence until all the loose ends are tied – but remember that in the stories he is referred to as being even cleverer than Sherlock, so I really don’t think he screwed up: I think he was an integral part of Sherlock’s planning.

    In my defence, I am sick in bed, thus giving me too much time to work on this. I haven’t forgotten the hanged man, thumbs in the fridge or girl’s scream (I imagine she could be traumatised by being shown loads of pictures of scary Sherlock. I don’t think there can be a mask – too much room for error, and how could a life-mask be made of Sherlock?). Even in the best detective stories, red herrings are essential.

    When the whole thing is explained in the beginning of the third series, it will probably turn out to be something to do with the hanged man, a jar of thumbs and a Sherlock mask. Such is art…

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    • Cecilia says

      Interesting theory! Now that I think about it, the hanged man could be Sherlock already planning ways to commit suicide. We all know he was annoyed by the media attention (this is before he deliberately played it up – he was annoyed as early as the first episode of season 2) so a faked suicide would have the added incentive of letting him return to being a private detective.

      What mystifies me is who they buried. Unless of course they used a closed casket. Otherwise, wouldn’t the body have been recognized at not being Sherlock at the funeral?

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    • Feydmep says

      I’m glad you mentioned the chalk outline for the truck. Did anyone else notice that there was a painted ‘Ambulance Parking’ notice on the ground in front of the hospital, but the way the cars were parked it obscures the letters to read ‘Am I only’ or ‘I Am Only’ depending on how you want to interpret the shapes and letters. By the writing were the characters ASW1, which could be entirely irrelevant, but if those numbers mean anything to anyone (like a British meme or something) I’d be curious to know. This is maybe a stretch but I had the feeling it was a gallows-humor Holmes in-joke meant to suggest ‘I am only pretending’ or whatever. Maybe not.
      Also, during the sequence when Watson is knocked over by the guy on the bike there’s a quick shot that shows two chalk lines that I’d bet money were drawn in as a track (like the soft-landing-enabling-truck-or-whatever-rectangular-chalking) by Sherlock to position people and things for his ruse. Not that there’s any doubt that he was setting up a fake death- making John watch him from a very-specific place and yelling at him to return when he (Watson) strayed, etc. But they’re cool details.
      And some of the stuff wouldn’t have had to be faked, although there’s a good chance it was. Like the paramedics showing up so quickly- he did jump to his ‘death’ right in front of a hospital. And he needed to sell his ‘I made it all up’ mea-culpa as a final act of self-sacrificing nobility to further convince John (and thereby, pretty much everyone else) that he was distraught enough to fabricate a story to protect his loved ones. What a brilliant show. I love B. Cumberbatch!

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  9. LB says

    I personally believe that there are two Sherlocks.

    One of the Sherlocks is played by Sherlock himself, whilst the other is played by Mycroft.

    Mycroft decides to release Moriaty, he admits to John that he was able to open Moriaty up when he spoke to him and then allows Moriaty access to his younger brothers past. Why on earth would he do that without good reason, especially when you consider how much he cares about Sherlock? On countless occasions he asks John to act as a guardian.

    It would also explain as to why Mycroft and Sherlock avoid contact in the episode, as well as the fact that you don’t see both Sherlock and Mycroft in the same room at the same time.

    There is also a line when Sherlock fears John may see him as a fake, to which Watson replies something like “no, I know you’re real. Who else could fake being such an annoying idiot?”. That, to me, was a big heads up and possible suggestion that Sherlock is not who he seems to be throughout the episode. With the only ther person able to portray him in a slightly similar way being his older brother, because they’re very similar and are family.

    This is why there is reference to something “out of character”, quite possibly because at the time he does it, Mycroft is portraying him. Therefore there is always likely to be an error because it’s not the real Sherlock. We know of a Sherlock mask, because we’re lead to believe that when the two children were taken, because the girl recognises him when he enters the room. Possible hint?

    This also explains the death sequence, in that either the real Sherlock is on the roof with Moriaty and then jumping to his death, or it’s Mycroft. Then, the opposite Sherlock is the one who plays dead.

    There are many references in the episode that hint at this possible theory.

    But, in Sherlocks time of need, for his brother not to be aiding him is unlikely.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  10. Sherly says

    Just a few thoughts of my own, especially as the producers of BBC’s Sherlock say that there is a clue people have missed….
    It could be that Sherlock faked his death by a clever landing as others on the forum have suggested, but also made sure no pulse would be found by John by using some pollen from the Rhododendron Ponticum flowers that we know he may have had access to earlier in the episode (why else would they have picked that species).
    This idea has been used before (see the case of lord Blackwood’s faked death in Ritchie’s 2009 Sherlock Holmes) – and when we see Sherlock on the rooftop pressing his sleeve to his face, one cannot help but wonder if he is inhaling the pollen which is where the toxins are concentrated anyway.

    If I remember well, right after that we notice his breathing start to change, first slowing then becoming erratic later.
    In that case, he had likely planned to take the jump all along, and manipulated Moriarity to commit suicide so that the nutjob would not be a threat to society any longer or Sherlock’s friends, and then just as in the “Final Problem”, the only thing left to do would be to convince Watson of his death – which would in turn convince the rest of the world.
    I’m sure that the biker was staged as a method of delaying John (probably to give the poison time to act) and that Molly’s help would be enlisted to safely revive Sherlock and cover up his survival.
    Finally, I think that Sherlock’s obvious pain and fear at the end was very real, both because of the fact he knew his next actions would cause his friends great grief, but also because – especially if he had taken a poison beforehand- he would have been disoriented and weak enough to make the likelihood of him actually surviving the dive very very slim.

    Like: Thumb up 5

  11. sherlock fan says

    he doesn’t perform a proper check for Sherlock’s pulse >>> sherlock may have been helped by molly for that point, to my mind

    Like: Thumb up 2

  12. Will says

    I feel like too many people misuse the ‘dummy’ or ‘mask’ theory to explain the fall; the explanation of how this is implausible (due to it being an inelegant answer) is much more simple than this–and more importantly, it re-iterates a much more common theme that Moriarty states: “you always want everything to be sooo clever”.

    A dummy/lookalike/mask wasn’t used for the children. Moriarty WAS ‘the Reader’ as he told the reporter and John & Sherlock. The children’s story reader, he really did do this…and with all the Hansel and Gretel talk, I think it is most elegant for Moriarty to have made out Sherlock to be the villain in this (and maybe other) childrens’ stories, which explains their fear, despite never having seen him in real life. This explanation both doesn’t rely on speculation and unlikelihood of that sort of reaction at seeing him–and also shows us the arrogance of Moriarty; he did, in fact, lead a second life for the purposes of a grander scheme–and our skepticism led us to dismiss this point countless times in theories.

    Given this, I follow that the government (who funded the hallucinogen) also had been employing this PREVIOUSLY to The Hounds and it is how Irene Adler faked her death. Sherlock, believing that Irene Adler would be found dead calls Mycroft. Mycroft and Molly, using Sherlock’s suspicion–gas the mortuary–and let Sherlock convince himself she’s dead, which I predict is exactly what the biker did to John to let him be convinced of that dreadful thought (though, admittedly it doesn’t explain why he couldn’t have gassed the whole panicky crew nearby…or maybe just needed to buy time for it to kick in). This is how Sherlock is surely able to be proclaimed dead, since we can reasonably assume John would see his friend’s body a SECOND time, to declare his true death–and as a doctor, legitimize it.

    Given that we can dismiss body doubles (since a body double for the fall doesn’t reuse plot elements now), I actually predict he does jump. My theory gets shaky here, as I also predict that he does hit the ground. I don’t believe he lands on the bus, and I base that on his trajectory from the sidewalk camera angle…it seems apparent his direction is simply DOWN, not down out toward the asphalt. In such a case, he survives a leg-debilitating but not life threatening injury, goes ultimately into the custody of his confederates (Molly and Mycroft), is declared dead, saves his friends, and is seen later-sitting-viewing John at his gravesite.

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • Cecilia says

      I also think Sherlock actually jumped – but my theory was that he grabbed (or was grabbed by) someone in one of the windows on what appears to be the second/third floor of the building.

      (1) there were some birds which flew out of that window after the fall, indicating something had disturbed them
      (2) this is closer to the actual Sir Arthur Conan Doyle series of events – although Sherlock is a modernized, retold version, the main plot twists have largely remained faithful to the original (i.e. even though the Hound of the Baskervilles was heavily retold, the fact that it was an illusion of a hound was maintained, the villain was never captured by the police, but rather was assumed to have died due to his own error)

      Like: Thumb up 2

    • RP says

      I think you throw up a very plausible idea with the fairytale. This event was one of the main catalysts for the sudden distrust of Holmes. Perhaps JM read, not a Grimm’s fairytale, but instead made up his own terrifying story with SH as the protagonist using photographs of him from newspaper articles (there had been plenty of recent photo-ops). He could have conjured up a tale that would have freaked out the girl so much (he had great success putting the frighteners on the jury) that when she saw SH in the flesh all the horror from the story was brought to life, hence the screaming. I doubt a psychologist would want to probe a young child too much more for a while so as not to cause any more emotional scarring.

      Like: Thumb up 1

      • Guy Landau says

        Let’s not forget – There was no “key” to allow Moriarty to alter his past and “Create” Richard Brook – so he must’ve really done those things.

        Like: Thumb up 1

  13. bill says

    Not that it’s the best evidence, but just as Sherlock is placed on the cart, the camera-angle is set from atop St.Barts (Moriarty’s point-of-view if we assume his suicide was a fake), and two pigeons take flight. Pigeons are normally very skittish creatures, and will flee if they detect the motion nearby. Given this, one would be inclined to presume that nobody can have fallen by their perch. Granted, it could be an artistic liberty with more of a symbolic value, but still it seems a mundane error to make for screenwriters this skilled.
    At the same time, I agree cannot but agree with the above-mentioned theories regarding the low brick-building, the bag-filled truck and the bicyclist.
    I consider it unlikely that Sherlock would allow Moriarty to escape to his life given how complex the scheme would have to be to allow Sherlock to survive. On the other hand of course, Moriartys survival could very well be integral to the calling off of the assassins. Since Sherlock could hardly be aware of what was necessary for the contracts to be called off, he might not have been willing to risk finishing Moriarty off. Given that he is a lunatic it is of course also possible that Moriarty did in fact commit suicide. At the very least if one considers the option of body-doubles, this is far more likely for Moriarty than for Sherlock.

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • Samantha says

      I don’t know about London pigeons, but New York City pigeons are about the least skittish birds I’ve ever encountered. They usually get out of the way of cars, but they tend to be fat and lazy and will walk away from people rather than fly. You may be right about the birds in this shot, but the general statement “pigeons are normally very skittish creatures” is questionable. Also, if the pigeons were brought in for the shot, they would have trainers and be specifically non-skittish. ;D

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  14. Jack says

    I am satisfied with your explanation, but I’d just like to make an improvement. A shot of a ball at 1:06:38 (if you dont want to go back to look for it: it’s a simple, black, rubber ball held in Holmes’ hand). It is a commonly known party trick that when you place one of these rubber balls under your armpit, you can prevent your pulse being felt in that arm. ( It is not because Watson’s disorientation that by chance caused him to not feel Sherlock’s pulse- Sherlock would not leave things to chance like this. Instead, Sherlock made sure his pulse would not be felt by hiding the rubber ball under the armpit that would be on the side of Watson when he arrived.

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  15. Beanne says

    I loved this last episode so much I had to watch it twice. My only addition to the wonderful theories already set forth is that I want to believe the tears from Sherlock were for John. Sherlock after all WAS human. As much as he tried to be numb he did have feelings. I believe he loved John; his true friend and cohort. I too wanted his reflection in the tombstone over John’s shoulder. Perhaps it is too soon to reveal himself as the danger hasn’t yet passed. I can’t wait for the next THREE ! issues.

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  16. Sandy says

    It can’t be something mundane and not like the 30 seconds they showed us how Holmes and Watson got out of the explosive ending of last season.
    I think the clues are to be found in the original stories of Arthur Conan Doyle when he has Holmes supposedly go over the falls possibly with Moriarty. I seem to remember Mycroft taking the fall for him. But Doyle was going to make it the finall Holmes story. He wrote the next story to bring Holmes back after the other story was in print and fans had a fit. I think Grimms Fairytales was a red herring. Gromm didn’t write the Gingerbread Man. Also, I believe Doyle made The Hound of the Baskervilles after Holmes return. THe full books are online and I downloaded them for free onto my kindle. The author said that everyone missed the clue in the story but it seems everyone has thought up all the clues. It must be something obscure. Also the author could just read all the comments and speculations and write the ending to this situation before next season and even he doesn’t know what the solution is. I’m going to go read the books of Holmes to see if any clues lie in those. (It’s strange that this show follows the series finale of House (based on Holmes–think about it) where he faked his own death. The patient who was dying at the end said, “Let me take the fall for you.” We thought he meant with the courts and confessing to the flooding of the hospital floor but I think he meant let me die in your place.)

    I love Sherlock but I’ll miss House and Dr. Wilson.

    Like: Thumb up 2

    • KMC says

      Mycroft did not “take the fall” for Sherlock in the original story…Holmes was simply able to defeat Moriarty in their fight at the Falls, and did not fall in. He had to hide from Moriarty’s snipers, and decided to “die”, so he could disappear underground and work on bringing down Moriarty’s organization. Or at least this is the explanation Watson gets at his return Of course..the real reason behind Holmes “death” was that ACD was tired of the character and wanted to kill him off so he could concentrate of his historical novels. But…Holmes was his moneymaker, so he wrote and published “Hound” during the “Great Hiatus” to appease the public…and cash in. He finally brought Holmes back because he simply needed the money.
      Having Sherlock and House take their “falls” within two days was a little overwhelming…at least I knew that Sherlock survives…I wasn’t sure about House…and yes…having the druggie ultimately “taking the fall” for House…great foreshadowing. Yeah, I miss the boys too.

      Like: Thumb up 0

  17. Bluesclues says

    Notice that in the credits for the production staff, a few, seemingly random letters in the names are red. They are presented in this order:
    Production Manager Ben Holt (B)
    Stunt Sean Rogers (e)
    Assistant Grip Owen Charnley (l)
    Production Buyer Blaanid Maddrell (i)
    Makeup and Hair Artists Louise Coles (e)
    Music David Arnold (v)
    Executive Producers Beryl Vertue (e)
    Add ’em all up and what does that spell? BELIEVE
    Did anybody else catch that?

    Well-loved.: Thumb up 19

  18. Sandra says

    I watched the movie three times looking for clues. I heard something more each time I watched. 1) How does Mycroft figure in the story and what did he mean when he said ‘we don’t want a repeat of 1972’? 2) Listen to what Sherlock actually said to John while he was on the roof when he told John to tell them–Mrs. Hudson, Lestrad, Molly–anyone that would listen that he was ‘a fake’. He was telling them all that he was faking his death. 3) Possibly Sherlock realized that Moriarty was the fake and that what caused his laughing on the roof. Moriarty was using Sherlock to fake himself as the villian in the fairytale 5) I just can’t figure out what the heck Moriarty meant by I.O.U. If you noticed John repeats that expression to Sherlock at the cemetary. There are other plays on words throughout the story as well as elements in the movie that must be significant because they seem so insignificant. I’m going to keep watching it to find more clues. I’m also going to real the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle and see what they have to do with the modern version of Sherlock. I’d also like to read the Grimms fairytales that were mentioned in the movie. That’s alll I know for now. Thanks.

    Like: Thumb up 1

    • says

      You will find that the Sherlock episodes that touch on the original stories all take things in a slightly different direction. It’s refreshing and fun to watch the turns the episodes take. A Study in Pink is absolutely classic in that regard, re: the Rache/Rachel discussion. When you read A Study in Scarlet, you’re sure to chuckle at the parallel.

      However, if you want to find a lot of evidence of Moriarty in the complete short stories prior to “The Final Problem,” you will be disappointed. He’s just not there and after “The Empty House,” life at 221B continues on as if he never existed.

      I think this mysterious figure was created for the sole purpose of putting an end to the Sherlock Holmes stories. He was a one-off, created to give readers the feeling that they somehow missed a long, epic battle that culminated in the end of our hero’s life. Naturally after Reichenbach Falls we page back through the Adventures and Memoirs, hoping for a sign of him and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gives us nothing.

      Read the stories, by all means. You should have two editions, in fact. The Complete Sherlock Holmes comes in two volumes. You should have that one in order to get the later “books” of short stories. The Adventures, Memoirs and Hound of the Baskervilles are the most common ones in paper back. To get the “Case Book” and some of the novellas, you need the complete. You also need the Classic Illustrated Sherlock Holmes, which includes all of the stories as they were printed by The Strand Magazine. Do not skip this edition because it includes one story that Sir Arthur felt was too unseemly to include it in book versions later.

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    • Jesse says

      No. It wasn’t a fake. Sherlock jumped off the building. Here’s what I think happened. Sherlock and Molly had worked something out beforehand to fake his death. Mycroft is not involved, and there is no double. When Sherlock asks Moriarty to give him a moment, you can faintly hear an electronic device go off. From that point all, all Sherlock is doing is making time for his crew to prepare something. Sherlock knows Moriarty. He knows there is no way except through him to stop the snipers. The suicide took Sherlock by surprise. When he jumped, and he did, he had to, remember the MOST IMPORTANT THING HE NEEDED TO DO was have Watson recognize him as dead. But why was there a biker to hit him? Because you can’t have a doctor be the first on the scene when you’re faking a death.

      I think he jumped into the truck, or into something that was in the truck. Watch him fall. While he is falling his body is perpendicular to the building, but when Watson sees him on the sidewalk he is parallel to the building. Bodies don’t bounce that way. A live Sherlock jumped off the building.

      Like: Thumb up 2

      • says

        It has been said that viewers have missed a simple clue. What that clue is, is difficult to see. The simple ones always are. You are right about the body position, when Sherlock ‘falls’ he appears to be looking for a certain spot. The final body position is completely incorrect if he just fell and hit the the pavement. Also, the truck was just in the way enough to cover the final impact. It masks what happens from all and then drives off. Why would it do that after people ‘run’ to the scene.
        Its clear that the writers took their time to set this up in a way that would cause so many to have to keep thinking about it. I suspect it will be a very simple ‘airbag’ type device that can be moved with speed. The truck takes the evidence away, Watson is disoriented enough not to see everything and Sherlock becomes what he wishes. Out of sight.
        So many threads given so many ideas, let us hope the answer is one to believe in.

        Like: Thumb up 0

    • Kyrie says

      I think, that I.O.U stands for “I Owe You” because Moriarty said that while in Sherlock’s flat, carving the apple he was eating. =/

      Like: Thumb up 0

  19. Sandra says

    This episode of Sherlock and the House last episode aired the same week and both of the title characters fake their own deaths. A coincidence of course but interesting since House was based on Sherlock Holmes. House/Holmes (home), Dr. James Wilson and Dr. John Watson. Other parallels such as being musically inclined, unrelenting in the pursuit of solving the case. (I like the thing someone pointed out in these comments: randomn letters in the credits spell believe. I’ll have to look for them. Thanks

    Like: Thumb up 2

  20. Doug says

    Am I seeing something that no one else is? Don’t the side panels on the refuse collection truck swing out horizontally to allow loading and unloading? If so, Sherlock doesn’t need to jump into the truck, he just needs to aim for the panel, which is now positioned over the rectangular aiming point and is metal mesh and would act as a giant trampoline, allowing him to bounce off and roll onto the pavement at the point where you see him lying. The whole process would take seconds and he would not have to climb out of the back of of the truck, which means he could even have done it with Moriarty waiting. The truck has to be involved, but the side panel would present a much bigger and safer target than aiming for the back of the truck itself.

    Like: Thumb up 4

  21. Robert says

    If the body that “fell” off the roof wasn’t sherlock, and it was switched. Then how did the Mycroft and Molly switch the body without the crowd noticing?

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  22. shane says

    Everyone seems to be on focusing on Watson but really the plan is to trick the assassins and other people who may give the game away. so they can think Sherlock is dead and leave his friends alone. so the point is how you trick a high powered scope and a trained eye. so think someone else beside Sherlock is out the question. truck is possible but 50/50 as the Sherlock might think that would not be enough to trick on lookers (who could tell reports and give the game away)?. Hallucinating drug unlikely as he needs to drug a few people.
    Drug to relax mussels sound likely after all it’s only a show just needs to be possible.
    my thought is that the truck was obscuring so some sort of cushion for Holmes which was then taken away with the hiding in the truck so when the assassins look all they could see was a body of Sherlock lying on the ground and all the people around him where probably agents of his brother as they seem to rush very quickly to the scene, They putting some fake blood and Sherlock used the ball to mask his heart beat as seems more clever than using drugs. Girl then did the death report.
    (My thought after reading all the different answer and using them to figure one I like :) )

    Like: Thumb up 1

  23. Hanson says

    Sherlock survived based on physics! The way he fell, plus his coat, allowed for it to be a nonfatal landing. Add the rubber ball and a disorented and distraught Watson and viola! Sherlock Holmes is ‘dead’!

    Also, go back and watch the end credits carefully, I think the clue given there (though already pointed out multiple times here) is a big one.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  24. andrew says

    My spoiler alert:
    He fell into the garbage truck truck, rolled out. Sherlock was perpendicular to the building when he jumped and when he landed he was parallel to the building. And to quote Irene Adler, “tests are only as good as the records your keep.” Sherlock could of easily change the records in the hospital while he was there without Watson. And the blood on Sherlock’s face; Moriarty’s blood. My deduction, Moriarty is in the casket.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  25. SG says

    Here’s the flaw I see in this explanation: After the body presumed to be Sherlock’s is taken away by the paramedics, Watson is left standing in the rain where Sherlock hit the ground. A few seconds later, we see him standing in the same place, only through the assassin’s crosshairs. If the assassin could see Watson standing there, then he could see the spot where Sherlock hit the ground – meaning anything that Molly or Mycroft could have done in the time Watson was hit by the bicycle would have been in plain view of the assassin, who would have then known that Sherlock wasn’t really dead.

    Like: Thumb up 3

    • Joe says

      crosshairs were on Watson the whole time. they would not have seen the fall until Watson was near the dead body.

      Like: Thumb up 1

  26. Warrior Prince says

    Some points to consider:
    We have seen in earlier episodes that scenes at the beginning of the episode often has several clues. Like in the episode where they were going to fake a terrorist plane crash, they used dead bodies and we see that SH had been getting several petty cases of dead bodies disappearing. Then there’s that luminous rabbit case too. Anyways, so I was watching those parts again and observed the following:

    For the two cases beforehand, SH gets two tokens of appreciation: Diamond cuff-links buttons and a tie pin. And hen again we see that the Crown Jewels were reached by JM by breaking the glass with a small diamond, small enough to fit in a cuff-link! We also see JM at least once going to the lock up escorted by police with a quite fancy tie pin, fancy enough to be gifted. Now we know SH doesn’t require these items, but’s is it just coincidence that similar items were in possession of JM? I don’t know what to make out of these observations, just some observations.

    Can anybody infer anything?

    Like: Thumb up 3

    • says

      I think there is something in the tie pin and cuff-links.

      I think they are there to show how different Holmes and Moriarty are. I think this is a deliberate mis-direction by the writers. The point being: look at Moriarty’s hair when he arrives back at the journalist’s flat when Holmes and Watson are there. Look at the little, kidnapped girl’s reaction when Homes enters the interview room. At least one person suffering trauma mistakes Moriarty for Holmes … why not Watson: Holmes didn’t jump, he dropped Moriarty’s body from the roof of St Bart’s.

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      • Jesse says

        Impossible. The sniper shooting Watson would see it was not Sherlock. Plus, we can see it’s Sherlock. There’s a reason the truck peals away so fast. If you were a real truck driver, would you just drive away from a potential crime scene like that. Sherlock jumped off, he had Molly’s help, and there was something to do with the truck…and Watson would recognize Holmes because they were best friends. The girl hadn’t seen Sherlock ever.

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  27. JM says

    What if IOU doesn’t mean what we think? Holmes says it in the lab with Molly and it comes up a couple more times. Maybe whats out of character is when Holmes calls Molly to tell her he needs her. She asks what he needs- all he says is “You”, which could be “U”… Maybe a dumb thought, but I don’t think its been asked.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  28. josh says

    If you look on the wall at 1.18.20 there is fresh blood on the wall but jim moriarty shot himself the opposite to the blood stain on the wall where sherlock jumps. i reckon that could enhances the ideal other a body double with fake blood and if you look from john watson point the sherlock has no sentence of movement of sherlock! which enhances it again.or he could of jumped landed in the truck had the got out the truck took some sort of poison to slow your heart rate down and pulse and the blood he put on his head before he jumped to make it look like he was dead and put the rest on the floor ! but i reckon that 1hr 18 mins and 20 secs of the blood you see on the wall is a big possibly has something to do with the cover up of his death

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  29. Michael says

    Did you notice that when Watson tried to take the faked death scene of Sherlock, Molly or someone pushes his hand away so he cannot affirm the death. It happens in slow motion, but it is obvious.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  30. Aline Louize says

    My english is horrible, but whatever…

    I think I saw traces of gunpowder in the hand of the body, on the floor …
    The palm was darkened.
    It could be Moriarty?

    I’m very excited with all ideas…

    Like: Thumb up 3

  31. Wayne says

    Sherlock could have faked his death in several ways, the most likely I think is not that he jumped into the truck… that was for cover. The amount of people below could have held a blanket that Sherlock jumped into. The blanket was then tossed into the truck before it left. Molly was in on it for sure, perhaps Mycroft as well, but more likely just Sherlocks homeless network for the people and the biker to distract Watson.

    I’m pretty sure Moriarty faked his death as well.. it would be simple really. He put the gun into his mouth, so no entry wound would be visible, and a simple Squib pack on the back of his head would produce the rest. Sherlock I have no doubt was not fooled by this, 5he phone call with John was probably for Moriarity’s benefit as much as for John.

    Like: Thumb up 2

  32. PatrickJane says

    One thing as well. John didn’t find a pulse (just) because he was disoriented, if that even had anything to do with it. Earlier, we see Sherlock playing with a black bouncy ball. By putting a ball under one’s arm, the blood flow stops and no pulse can be found, hence lack of a pulse.

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  33. John says

    I have seen the fall several times and noticed that during the fall sherlock has something white on his waist under the coat which could be a shirt by my guess but sherlock wasn’t wearing anything white at all. But J M was in a suit, tie and white shirt. I don’t know how this would add up to fake his death. Just wanted to share this.

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  34. chad says

    Sherlock’s Survival Theory

    I believe when Sherlock Holmes seemingly impossibly survives in the last episode of season 2 is because he made a clone of himself. He did this the same way that “The Woman” survived her first killing, an exact replica of herself. I think that Sherlock and The Woman teamed up after he saved her life when she was supposedly killed by being beheaded, but Sherlock was the executioner and they made there escape. Everyone thought that the woman was dead but I think that Sherlock and her lived peacefully someplace else, and Sherlock just got the clone of himself to do the work for him. He made the clone of himself at the Baskervilles place were there him and Watson were looking around for clues about the hound. But his clone wasn’t an exact replica of him there was one thing that he had changed: the part in his mind that knew the Woman. So when he was up facing Moriarty that clone of himself knew nothing that he could do to save his friends other than killing himself. This is why The Woman wasn’t in the last episode, because the clone didn’t even know of her. So really Sherlock is far more of a genius than Moriarty.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Maddie says

      JOHN: So, come on then. You can trust me – I’m a doctor. What else have you got hidden away up here?
      (Exasperated, Sherlock takes the slide out again. Stapleton sighs.)
      STAPLETON: Listen: if you can imagine it, someone is probably doing it somewhere. Of course they are.
      (Sherlock is staring intently at his latest slide but his eyes drift across towards John and Stapleton briefly.)
      JOHN: And cloning?
      STAPLETON: Yes, of course. Dolly the Sheep, remember?
      JOHN: Human cloning?
      STAPLETON: Why not?
      JOHN: What about animals? Not sheep … big animals.
      STAPLETON: Size isn’t a problem, not at all. The only limits are ethics and the law, and both those things can be … very flexible. But not here – not at Baskerville.
      (Furious, Sherlock snatches the latest slide out from under the ’scope and hurls it against the nearest wall.)

      I just rewatched Hounds and can’t believe I didn’t pick up on this line before.

      Like: Thumb up 2

      • sue says

        Not possible. A human clone would be born into the world as a newborn baby – just as any other human would be. They wouldn’t magically emerge from somewhere as full-grown copies of the original person. Theoretically, someone could have a clone made of themselves and then raise their clone from birth.

        Like: Thumb up 3

  35. Raghav says

    I perfectly love the way you explained the fall. As for the pulse, if you watch the first movie of Sherlock Holmes ( Robert Downey Jr. ) during the hanging of blockwood, he talks about faking the pulse using Rhododendron Ponticum. In this movie too, he talks about the plant for finding the abandoned factory. So maybe this is a good explanation
    for faking his pulse.

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  36. danleis says

    1:14:58 Sherlock’s shoe (right leg) has a stitching crosswise
    1:18:20 The shoe of the jumper (right leg also) doesn’t have the stitching. His sock is blue.

    Sherlock is in black, Moriarty is in blue.

    Like: Thumb up 1

  37. Tiffany says

    This is absolutely brilliant!

    After watching the Fall several times over, I honestly think that something might have happened that is similar to the plan that you managed to work up in that amazing mind of yours. It all seems logical and no doubt something Sherlock would even come up with.

    Your plan is completely outstanding and well thought out. And you sir- you’re a genus.

    Thank you for posting this! I now have a set idea in mind of how Sherlock managed to pull off that realistic-looking suicide.

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  38. TSPOT says

    One popular question was: why would sherlock stay dead if moriarty dies? Sherlock hated the media attention he had garnered, staying dead would keep him out of the limelight. similarly sir arthur conan doyle originally killed off sherlock because he was being held hostage by the fans love of sherlock.

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  39. Jackward97 says

    We are all forgetting one thing if you watch the fall you see Sherlock hit the ground but I really like the cloning theory!!!!

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    • Jesse says

      No…you never see him hit the ground. You never see him hit anything, it’s just offscreen. You hear him hit something.

      Like: Thumb up 1

      • Paola says

        No, you see him hit the ground. (Or someone hits the ground. I should know. Looking at it caused me to almost throw up.)

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  40. Denys Corel says

    I think there’s a lot of great bits of explanation here but I don’t think I’ve seen an explanation for all the fact delivered in the final scene that seems elegant. There is also false claims.

    • We see Sherlock Holmes looking directly at Watson. There is a shot at Watson in the street with a fast camera move that ends on Holmes. So Sherlock is really the guy Watson sees and talk to.

    • The little girl screams when she see Sherlock Holmes. And Moriarty write I O U (I own you ?). What I think is : Moriarty could have in his team a Sherlock lookalike (who may have been a clone indeed, since it was hinted in the previous episode). Cells from Sherlock Holmes could even be the price asked from Adler by Moriarty for his help (she put a needle in him after all). But the clone theory is a bit far fetched : there is no real need for a clone (the dialogue in hound of baskerville could just be a foreshadow) because a lookalike-imitator could do the job : destroying Sherlock’s reputation. Real lookalikes are pretty rare, but the ressemblance doesn’t have to be absolutly perfect (kids sees him in half dark, and Watson or, us the audience – from an angle and after a big fall)… So it may be a clone but I would be disappointed, it would seem a little too much Sci-fi for the show. (Human cloning is indeed possible, but a clone done would not appear having the same age as Sherlock since there is currently no way to obtain a grown up clone from a cell…)

    • Even if there was ways to fake having no pulse, I don’t think Sherlock could take the chance of Watson discovering it. Even with the bike thing, he didn’t have the time to take a (very dangerous) drug that slows the heart or to stop the stream in his arm with a rubber ball. In the later case, his arm would appear rigid and it’s not. So my assumption is that the Sherlock we see on the ground is indeed a dead man. Watson is an army doctor and even in stress, I don’t believe that Sherlock would take the chance to have a plan based on a random medical error.

    • The truck and the bike as explained in the article work really fine. With one exception : I think Molly pushes the corpse of Sherlock lookalike when the real Sherlock is jumping on the truck (the corpse was on the truck and that’s another reason why Sherlock doesn’t want Watson to get close). The corpse of the lookalike is the one we see hitting the ground. The bike is send to delay Watson so he can’t see Sherlock and Molly hiding in the back of the truck…

    • How did Sherlock get the lookalike corpse ? Well, it wasn’t a corpse to begin with. Sherlock just had to find the kidnapper, and we can assume he’s able to do it with the clue he has : he’s Sherlock, after all. He found the guy during the time when he was without Watson (and off screen). And yes : he killed him. This murder is what Moriarty sees in him (even if he doesn’t know who was killed) when Sherlock says “I maybe on the side of the angels, but don’t mistake me for one of them…” Too nasty for Holmes ? I don’t think so. After all, the lookalike kidnapped two kids and tried to kill them…

    • Molly may be Sherlock accomplice with the body switch and the truck but se also helped with the autopsy. So the lookalike’s corpse could pass for Sherlock Holmes’ and the legist report could be consistent with a fall (it’s harder to fake, but maybe the guy really died from a fall).

    • Dumping the phone before the fall make sense because, in this plan, the phone could not be on the corpse…

    Fingers in the fridge or the hanging man are not clues in my opinion (I’m not even sure that they were intended to be red herrings). This kind of morbid experiments are common in the other episodes… I think the purpose of the hanging man is just to foreshadow Sherlock fake suicide…

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    • Denys Corel says

      Actually Molly doesn’t even have to be on the truck. She just had to throw the corpse from a first floor window. Sherlock Holmes could even be the one to drive the truck after the jump, because a driver would be another person in the secret, and in such a case you don’t want to have a lot of people involved (the biker may not even know the purpose of his part in the trick)…

      The paramedics may just hurry because it’s what you do when someone is badly injured. I don’t think there’s even a need for Mycroft to be involved, but you never know…

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      • Jesse says

        Another person’s corpse would be cold. Watson would notice it was cold. He’s a doctor. Sherlock is the one who jumps.

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        • Denys Corel says

          A fresh body kept in a heat blancket (like the one used in hospital… Molly has some) is not cold. You assume the body was dead for more than one hour… I don’t.

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  41. Denys Corel says

    Afterthought : the theory of Sherlock Holmes killing the kidnapper and using to fake its death, also account for the phrase he says to Molly about not being the man everyone and even himself thought he was… He would not says that in reference to Moriarty scheme, since it don’t affect his own perception…

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  42. Jake Wane says

    When JW is calling the taxi to go back to SH, there is graffiti of IOU on the wall and this makes me think of the graffiti artist in season 1. Maybe Sherlock saw this and consulted the man for a clue to his meaning. not sure how this links in but i thought i would mention it

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  43. Jackward97 says

    If you watch it you see a rope in the crosshairs after he pulls up adove Watsons head and so it was sherlock who jumped he used a rope to stop him from falling

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  44. Felix Merran says

    I have spent hours trying to figure it out. And I think that either theory is a good guess. Very clever. How did u figure that out?

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  45. Jackward97 says

    Not sure who you are talking to Felix but I just watched really carefully about 10 times and found it.

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  46. Corocan says

    What about the idea of how the blood marking on his head is inconsistent to where the impact should take place?

    We see Sherlock starting his fall in swan dive, to an awkward falling as he plummets to his death, then he’s sideways on the ground, supposedly dead.

    The gash on his head is on the side that is facing UPWARDS away from the pavement, suggesting that the fall didn’t kill him, but the gash IS consistent to where JM shot himself.

    The dumpster truck, already speculated as a fall point for Sherlock, well suits his escape route.

    This REALLY GETS ME. JMs body is never mentioned in the papers. Only Sherlock’s suicide. What kind of tabloid overlooks a feature like that?! Would they even consider it suicide if a body with a gun is found on the building Sherlock jumped off of?

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  47. Sati says

    Some have suggested that the body on the ground might actually be Holmes pretending to be dead with fake blood.
    There is one reason why I would argue against this. If you look in the movie at the moment Watson tries to check the body’s pulse, his fingers and hand have a blueish tint. That does not actually happen immediately after death but about 30 minutes to 1 hour after.
    The theory that Holmes jumped into the truck, and the body on the pavement is actually that of the man impersonating him while kidnapping the two children is most convincing in my view.

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    • Sati says

      Also to those mentioning body temperature, take note that Algor Mortis (loss of body heat after death) is actually not that fast. It drops by about 2 degrees over the first hour and then 1 degree for every hour that passes until it reaches ambient temperature.
      If the body had been dead for under an hour the temperature could have still been high enough so that a dazed Watson wouldn’t notice the drop in maybe 1 degree.

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  48. Rene Jully says

    I was surprised that how nobody mention this : If you people are the true fans of Sherlock, remember on the session 1 episode 2 the banker on how the spider gang member jump off from an tall building to kill the midnight trader ? , this might be the same logic that Sherlock is try to use.

    In fact I was rather concern of what Sherlock mean when he said as long as Moriarty is still alive, he can still proved his innocence and saved his 3 friends. This is something that I could not apprehend (the press and the police believed Sherlock is the evil guy and invented “Moriarty”, so Moriarty is someone that didn’t existed expect that his “spider” web of criminal network is real maybe ?) and later Moriarty ‘s crap speech that SH = JM before he kill himself. Somebody care to explain more on these flowery language ?

    Finally do you think that Moriarty might have an apprentice who will succeed him if he dead or there is an even bigger mastermind behind Moriarty ? Or BBC just want to stick to Arthur Conan Doyle’s “fairy tale” ?

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    • Munchkin says

      Well so far his modern adaptations have been very faithful to the books (even if he does combine a few book all in one episode). So i’m thinking he’s going to keep up his faithfulness to sir arthur conan doyle and maybe leave Moriarty dead and no new mastermind. But if you want to find out which books are gonna be done next it has been announced.

      cnt wait for s3!

      loving everyones ideas of what happened x

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  49. Raja says

    Well, I’ve read it all n still dont think any of it is true…well, except the body switch from truck theory. But i must say, if it indeed is the explanation, i’ll be disappointed! Moffet sai, ‘Sherlock does something that’s uncharecteristic of him’. Now, what could that be? Crying??? Surely u guys remember the way the hostages cried in ‘The Great Game’? N why, WHY does sherlock say he’s a fake??? He wasnt being heard by anyone but John!( negating the fact that moriarty was alive, couldnt be, u cant betray sherlock holmes’s eyes!). I hav no answer, though, but its refreshing to hear something new! :)

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    • Denys Corel says

      What is uncharacteristic is the fact he had to kill someone (wich is a bad guy but still…

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  50. Alin says

    So… i don’t know if someone camed with this ideea before but here i go:
    1.Remember when that little girl screamed at Sherlock? That meant that Moriatrty had an actor who looks the same as Sherlock and he kidnapped that little girl and her brother.
    2. When Sherlock asked Molly to do something for him he put her to kidnap the actors family so Sherlock coult threaten the actor to do what he wants. Then he gave the actor an wireles headset to hear all he says so he could repeat just like Moriarty was doing to his bomb-strapped victims in the first season that’s why
    SH told M that they where alike.. actually that on the roof was the actor the whole time.
    3.SH told the actor to commit suicide or else his family would die.
    4.At the open window just before the actor jumped was SH the whole time watching Watson and knowing what to say.
    5.The ciclyst was hired by SH to hit Watson so the sniper would be distracted and he could escape from the building unseen.
    6.The truck was there so that the sniper could not see the dead actor and turn his attention to Watson so he could be distracted…

    Sorry for bad english.

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  51. KN says

    There is a bit of substance to the paid-off paramedics theory. When John gets the phone call saying that Mrs. Hudson is dying, he tells Sherlock that the call was from the paramedics. Sherlock could have arranged that to get John to go away for a while so he could meet Moriarty on the rooftop.

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  52. Arntzen says

    SH jumps from PATHOLOGY building which makes all the humbug easier – Molly could have arranged everything – including SH’s lookalike dead body if they used one, but it seems it’s SH playing dead after landing on a rubbish truck..

    I O U = I lOve U – I O U curved on the apple – the shape of ‘O’ doeasn’t look like a letter at all. And symbolism – “the apple as symbol of sexual seduction has sometimes been used to imply sexuality between men”.
    Moriarty is gay – he didn’t have to pretend much when he was introduced as Molly’s boyfriend, his undearwear that gave him away was probably his own casual way of wearing it (while not wearing a suit), so Sherlock’s deduction was based on facts. Plus JM saying “HONEY you should see me in a crown” – he quite enjoyed wearing jewells. :)

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    • EmaNekaf says

      I think IOU simply means I owe you. Why must it have a secret meaning? When Sherlock and Moriarty first met at the pool, Sherlock escapes his doom because Moriarty gets a phone call about something presumably more interesting. Maybe JM simply meant he still wanted to kill him. He owed him a murder.

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  53. Jackward97 says

    Sherlock uses a rope to stop his fall to get away with few or no injuries at all. Also when the sniper pulls up over Johns head you can see a thin tan line and that is the rope!!!!! There was no fake corpse used you see Sherlock jump and then hit the ground!!!

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  54. glpier says

    I think Sherlock really jumped. But landed on a cushion prepared on the sidewalk. Fast forward to the scene where the camera is looking down on the body of Sherlock and you see the rectangle of different material of the sidewalk. Molly took the “body” and let Sherlock out a back door or however, then replaced him with another corpse.

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  55. Joe L says

    I’m almost sure it was a look alike. I’m also pretty sure I figured out the famous “clue everyone missed.” It’s when Sherlock laughs, then clicks his feet together as he jumps down after asking Moriarity for privacy. Pause and look at the stitch on his shoes. Then forward to the scene where he gets on the ledge to jump. Close up of his shoes. Different pair.

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  56. Bjp says

    all this theories are actually pretty good but i don’t think a corpse could be thrown because the body can be clearly seen moving as it falls, my theory is that Sherlock did jump and placed himself in a way that wouldn’t kill him, maybe Molly helped him with that, maybe there was some sort of cushion but it couldn’t have been something notorious because the snippers could see him, the blood seems a bit out of place to me, there is no wound visible so it could be Moriarty’s, Molly could have been with the paramedics to help Sherlock, i think he did use the ball so John could think he is dead, the cyclist was there to disorient John so he could be tricked more easily, i think that when he wa talking to Moriarty he called someone or recorded the conversation to have a prove of Moriarty’s plan thats why he threw the phone, so it could later be retrieved by someone

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  57. Bjp says

    And the clue or thing out of character i think would be the fact Sherlock was surprised when Moriarty said there was no key at all, i think he was just trying to make him confess all for the recording

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  58. Mpb says

    I think there was no hallucinogen involved. Directors constant use of various angles at sun rays during SH and JM’s conversation suggest that probably SH used sun for disorienting watson, thats why he keeps insisting on him standing at certain postion. The cyclist just enhanced the disorientation. Thoughts?

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  59. Aubrey says

    I was lucky to know about this trick before the episode, but there is no doubt in my mind that Sherlock used the rubber ball (seen NUMEROUS times throughout the episode) to stop his pulse.

    The trick is that you place the rubber ball in your armpit and squeeze – this stops the blood flow. When we see Sherlock’s body on the sidewalk, he’s on his side – Squeezing the ball in his armpit, you see. And when John takes his pulse, you can clearly see how blue his hand has become (because squeezing the ball in your armpit cuts off the blood circulation to your wrist).

    It’s brilliant, really.

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  60. Kurt says

    Did anyone else notice that there were two city buses that would completely obscure the area where the body landed when SH and JM looked down (moments earlier), but those buses were not there when JW saw the falling figure?

    – SH asked for the minute of privacy (probably for strategical reasons rather than emotional – something about the timing was crucial)
    – He demanded that JW look up, presumably so he would not see what was going on on the side walk

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  61. Scott says

    The truck theory is correct. As Watson is getting up from his little (likely organized) bike accident you can see a truck with what looks like a blow up rubber cushion in the back. You can also see this truck pull away when they give you the first “Bird’s Eye View” of Sherlock’s fall. As for how the pieces are put together, I will leave that to you and, hopefully, the first episode of season 3.

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  62. john says

    OK! we have some clever boys here. and im not being ironic right now…
    but one question what makes us think Moriarty isnt dead?

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    • Denise says

      If the producers follow the canon at all, Moriarty should be dead? They seem to be doing so my money is he won’t be back.

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • EmaNekaf says

        Moffat, Gatiss, and Cumberbatch all agree he might come back still. The actor for JM (Can’t think of his name right now :p) hints he might come back also. When people ask him if he will or not he says, “Dead, dead, dead. Probably.” Cumberbatch has even said Sherlock is nothing with out his Nemesis. His greatest enemy, Moriarty.

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  63. Joe says

    My thoughts on the fake death. I know Moffat makes reference to a missing clue. I’m not sure if I’ve identified it or not, but a couple of things I’ve noticed:

    -the wide shot from Watson’s perspective of Sherlock standing on the ledge reveals (or better yet reminds us) that he’s on top of the Pathology building. why that’s important is Molly is close by and has access to her environment, which is key because of this next thing I noticed…
    -Sherlock’s body is put quickly on a stretcher and wheeled, not to an ambulance, but around the building’s corner. that brings up three concerns: it all happened so fast that there’s no way an ambulance could have arrived already, which is good because there wasn’t one anyway and also freshly dead bodies don’t go straight to the morgue before resuscitation is attempted, especially without the police showing up first. So that tells me the EMT’s were already waiting to make the pickup and they took his body inside the pathology building out of view of an experienced doctor.

    I think that establishes that Sherlock has indeed hatched a plot to fake his death prior to his meeting with Moriarty and Molly is his accomplice. Some suggest that Mycroft is also involved but I think the scene at the end where Mycroft is reading about Sherlock’s demise is meant to show he is mourning and thereby in the dark. Plus, we see Sherlock do something totally out of character by appealing to Molly emotionally for her help and he never asks Mycroft for help with their childhood rivalry an issue we’re constantly reminded about.

    So we know he had a plan, but he didn’t know Moriarty would kill himself to see his destruction of Sherlock to its end. So…
    -theories that he threw Moriarty’s body off can be discounted because he couldn’t have planned for it and besides we know Holmes was on the ledge and Watson’s eyes never left him (as Holmes insisted he watch).
    -as Holmes stands on the ledge before JM kills himself, we observe that a bus stop is directly below, and buses are sitting there. but as Holmes gives his “note” speech, a rubbish truck takes their place, giving him a place to land safely
    -prior to his jump, Holmes tosses his phone back onto the roof. does that mean something? I’m undecided. tossing the phone would be a key move if the “dead body” on the street is a double and not really Homes. some theorize the body is actually the kidnapper of the children from earlier which is a good twist. the biker who knocks Watson over could delay and disorient Watson just enough in his grief to not properly identify the double. but my issue is we never know what happened to the kidnapper and whether he is dead to be used for this purpose. but it is plausible that Moriarty would tie up loose ends (and a Sherlock double walking around could disrupt his plan to ruin him) and where better to find him than the morgue. but even a dead double would raise red flags. so I’m not sure that happened.

    My ultimate theory is that Sherlock goes there with the intention of faking his suicide, but it dawns on him that he may be able to outsmart Moriarty to call off the assassins until JM kills himself. So realizes he must go thru with it anyway. So he primes Watson with his final words so that it seems real to the person who knows him best so that it will sell to the rest of London. He jumps into the rubbish truck then either rolls out onto the sidewalk and pops a blood packet, or the double is rolled out with help from Molly, the biker knocks Watson down disorienting him, then the EMT’s arrive to put it on a stretcher and roll him back into the pathology lab. Watson is too grief stricken and disoriented to recognize the too quick response of EMT’s, the missing ambulance, missing police and that the body is wheeled into the lab instead of off to the hospital.

    I’m more inclined to the real Sherlock being the body. It’s more simple for Molly to pull off and otherwise it is a tricky move by Moffat since we don’t know that the double is dead. As for the phone toss, it seems more likely to be tossed aside to hide any communications Sherlock may have had in the moments or hours before his death.

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    • EmaNekaf says

      The building he jumped off of was St. Bartholemew’s Hospital where Molly works downstairs in the morgue.

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  64. Thanos says

    In the episode’s beginning, Watson asks something along the lines of “Why did the dummy commit suicide”, to which Sherlock answers that it didn’t. We, of course, assume he means the dummy was “murdered”, but i don’t recall it being explicitly said. So Sherlock’s generic experiments might have been testing/found a safe way to hang from a noose. Flash forward to suicide scene: Sherlock tightens his scarf before jumping. And someone mentioned that in the sniper’s view before he packs up and leaves, we get a glimpse of a rope as his scope moves upwards from Watson. So another way to additionally slow his fall might have been a bungee-noose. Note how the article’s last picture shows the scarf unnaturally tight (as if yanked). Could be a long shot.

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  65. Thanos says

    @john. Here’s what: What did you see Moriarty do? You saw him shoot himself, or did you see him put a gun in his mouth (instead of, for example, his temple), pull the trigger, and blood shoot out from his head’s other side. What makes you thing the gun was indeed a gun rather than, say, a remote control for something inside his clothes?

    On the other hand, one would guess that with Sherlock ready to fake a suicide, a fake suicide would have occurred to him as a possibility.

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  66. Thanos says

    Also, the uncharacteristic thing Sherlock does is sing, while on the roof, “…if I’ve got you.”, a line from a song called Parachute, that basically says “I don’t need a parachute to fall if i’ve got you because you will catch me”. Molly knew about the fake death (” I am going to die, Molly”, guess he wasn’t lying and subsequently explained the plan), so she’s the one that’s going to catch him (by truck, but still). Also note how Sherlock fished Moriarty when he’s talking about his friends. He only stopped asking about it when, after mentioning Lestrand, Moriarty clearly says there were 3 marks, bullets and assassins. So none for Molly. So she is definitely not being watched.

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  67. Candice says

    There is one thing you, and pretty much everyone else too, missed. Before going up to the roof, right before Watson leaves to go be with the landlady, Sherlock is playing with a ball. (this actually is seen several times in the episode) A ball like this can be used to block a pulse. If it’s placed between the arm and the body and squeezed, it can block the pulse in the wrist. Watson, being a doctor, could not have been fooled if there was actually a pulse, but there wasn’t. Sherlock blocks his pulse with this ball, making his death that much more realistic.

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  68. Mike G says

    Hasn’t anyone else noticed that in the previous episode, The Hound of Baskerville, the Stapleton doctor says that human cloning is possible. Immediately after this statement, there is a fleeting shot of Sherlock raising his eyebrows. Coincidence? There have been many theories on blogs, but when we eradicate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth, to quote a certain somebody.

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  69. Kat says

    Wow… before I came on this sight I took a long 15 minutes trying to figure out how he died yet didn’t. To my surprise I was very right. You have missed a couple of points but what ever close enough

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    • Toby says

      What do you mean we know moriaty faked his death, no we dont. Where’s the proof? Infact it’s 99.99% certain that he didnt because he blew his brains out with a hand gun!

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      • Paola says


        It has been shown that Andrew Scott is on set of Sherlock season 3. So we have reason to believe that Moriarty faked his death.

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  70. Dhia says

    Yo guys ican’t believe that none of you noticed that when JW checks if SH is dead he check the heart beats from the right hand and not the left

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  71. Charlotte says

    Moriarty is definitely dead… I’m not saying this because it’s easy to really see how he shoots himself (because it isn’t) but because the writers would NEVER use the same plot twist twice.

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  72. Makowska says

    It was already written. About century ago.

    “I had no serious difficulty in getting out of it, for the very simple reason that I never was in it.”

    And Sherlock is riding a bike.

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  73. david elliot peter says

    Has anyone pointed out that SH’s body is perpendicular to the building when he jumps but parallel to the building when he hits the ground? This also fits the theory that he hit something before he hit the sidewalk. Also, did anyone mention that one of the bystanders pulls JW’s hand from SH’s wrist while he is trying to check the pulse? This seems to be part of the plot to ensure the conclusion that SH is dead.

    We’re ready for season 3!!

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  74. David says

    I have had many theories up until this point but narrowed it down to the most possible given the many clues throughout the series, and before I start I haven’t read everyone’s comments so forgive me if I’m repeating anything ,
    1. The little girl screams when she sees him giving the clue that there is a possibility of a double and with his brothers position wouldn’t be hard to track down and replace with SH
    2. Given the fairytale SH was certain it would have to end with his death
    3. He explains his homeless network in the previous seasons finale
    4. He has Watson stand in a certain position for a reason
    Putting it all together I came up with this conclusion: he some how had his brother track down his look alike and had him killed he jumped of the roof and landed in the back of that truck where either his brother or molly then places the body, everyone around makes sure Watson doesn’t get close enough to see his face after he intentionally gets knocked down giving them enough time to make this switch. Molly pronounced him dead and the great Sherlock Holmes continues to live his life in secret

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  75. Denise says

    Did no one else catch the newspaper Sherlock reads in several frames in the previous episode? The headline clearly points out work being done on the hospital although we can’t see exactly what work. If the producers are as on top of things as I think, this will figure into the explanation of Sherlock’s survival.

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    • waxwing says

      Yes, I saw that newspaper headline: Refit for Historical Hospital , though only,caught after The Fall episode was seen more than once.
      I think it likely the chalked marks on the sidewalk area indicate a prepared landing place, perhaps an airbag above a sub-level lift intended for bulky deliveries to the hospital, pressed into service to provide the safe landing spot and then means to make the gear disappear. The vehicles provided a visual barrier.
      Other tricks such as the ball, blood, Molly’s complicity, and the like contributed to the impression.

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  76. says

    1)Mycroft & Molly are involved with SH’s plan!
    2) Molly’s real job is with Mycroft; she is really SH’s ‘handler’ as SH inaccurately attributes it to Lestrade in Hounds of Baskerville.
    3) Mycroft’s men intercepted the SH look-alike & he was killed on orders from SH. (that’s what is out of character for SH to do; but he is willing to do anything to rid the world of JM & his web of corrupt & evil underlings.
    4) SH’s jump from the roof is choreographed with help from Mycroft & his very capable resources.
    5) SH does indeed jump, but is attached to an inivisable-to-the-naked-eye harness (have you noticed how he doesn’t follow the laws of physics as he is free falling?) Instead, he looks like a, shall we say, package forced down by the said harness in the 4th floor open window.
    5) Molly or others who work for Mycroft and SH then place the dead body of the SH lookalike smearing blood & etc. (the hand JW tries to touch is blue!)
    6) SH is safely out of danger; he has rid the world of JM & will resurface at a time of his own choosing.
    What do you think?

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  77. says

    Sherlock killed Moriarty with the little ball filled with Baskerville drug.

    I explain further in my post “The Art and Logic of Sherlock’s Reichenbach Fall” at Here is some of what I explore:

    ‘But—as Moriarty and Sherlock face off against each other—we can see the little ball in Sherlock’s hand behind his back.
    Sherlock is bidding his time to set up his play. Sherlock lets his hands fall to his sides and the ball is in his right hand at his side hidden from our view and from Moriarty’s view by Sherlock’s coat….
    Sherlock walks away from Moriarty and makes an inside turn towards us (turning into his right shoulder). In Sherlock’s left hand at his side (the outside of the turn away from Moriarty’s view) is the little ball.
    Moriarty. “Go on, for me. Pleeeese.”
    Sherlock’s face is a mask of murderous intent—and he is committing murder…psychological, cold-blooded murderous responsibility for Moriarty’s suicide. This is where Sherlock grabs Moriarty by the lapels and swings him in a vicious circle away from the camera almost towards the far corner of the roof. The sound effect right at this moment is like the sound barrier being broken or like thunder. This was exactly the movement Sherlock made when he hallucinated seeing Moriarty at the end of ‘Hounds of Baskerville’. At that time, Sherlock (under the effects of the Baskerville drug) was grappling with Dr. Frankland. Timpani sounded in the background and Sherlock literally whirled around shaking off Frankland and the effects. Baskerville drug is triggered by fear and stimulation. Thus, in this series, pounding thunderous sound is a storm motif, associated with the drug’s effects. In Sherlock’s left hand gripping a good handful of Moriarty’s lapel is the little ball injected with Baskerville drug. We had to wonder why Sherlock kept playing with the ball in the lab. Those little rubber balls are hollow and squeezable. Liquid is easily injected into one with a hypodermic. As Sherlock held Moriarty over the wall he squeezed and squeezed the drug onto the fabric of Moriarty’s coat and the damp spot shows up moments later as he walks away from Sherlock with the sun on his lapel….to evaporate right under his nose’.

    I also consider how Sherlock used classic Prospect Theory logic to anticipate Moriarty’s moves, to kill him, and to plan and execute his fake suicide. After all, Sherlock lives and breathes logic.

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  78. Kris says

    The only thing I can think of right now is that they were talking about “falling” over the cup of tea at sherlocks place.
    I Owe You a fall if you remember, weird that he then jumps off the building.

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  79. Paola says

    Okay, I would agree with the point of Sherlock having a body double. The only trouble that I do have is if Sherlock was going to use a body double, then why would Moffat direct our attention to a small, rubber ball that Sherlock was playing with moments before he went on the rooftop? It’s said that if you hold a small, rubber ball underneath the arm, you won’t have a pulse. Meaning that when John tried to take his pulse on his arm, he wouldn’t feel anything. I believe that it’s actually Sherlock’s body on the ground. I’m still trying to figure out how he survived.

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  80. Sourish says

    After reading several views and possible deductions I am presenting my own deduction which i have made from both the series of sherlock holmes. While my theory supports some of the deductions; they contradict with many deductions too.

    Starting with the plot I have deduced:
    It is most certain that Sherlock knew that moriarty shall leave no stones unturned to havoc death upon him. If we all have seen the third episode of first season I shall like to remind you all with a particular clip of the serial where sherlock met jim for the first time. Jim at that time said that he can be so changable. Sherlock’s response to the snipers pinpointing on him (all the red laser dots focusing on watson and sherlock’s heads) was the gesture of pointing his handgun to the rigged vest which lied on the floor between moriarty and sherlock. This was an act which clearly coveyed the message “if i’ll go down i’ll take u down with me” which i believe sherlock in his own words would have explained as something which is “obviously dull and predictable”. Sherlock’s reactions completely reflected that sherlock obviously had not predicted the extreme situation which moriarty can bring forth. This basically suggests that in the second season third episode when sherlock knew that he was going to face moriarty and this time it is going to be a one man battle, sherlock devised a plan to defeat moriarty. Judging by sherlock and his so called arrogance it is unlikely of sherlock to content himself with physical absense of moriarty but to kill the fear and art of crime devised by moriarty.

    Hence I presume sherlock started working on defeating moriarty by linking the actor fella “richard brook” with his original name moriarty. I believe that somehow sherlock found some link between richard brook and moriarty and had prepared for contingency of most extreme kind ( I am assuming sherlock predicted how the scene at the hospital’s rooftop is going to go ) and thus being equipped with his arsenal sherlock texted moriarty to “come and PLAY”.

    The whole scene was entirely predicted by sherlock. Sherlock played along with moriarty untill the time when moriarty told him that he is on the side of angel. I believe sherlock quoted “I am not my brother I am you. Prepared to do anything prepared to BURN. Though i am on the side of angels but do not think for 1 second that I am one of them.” These statements and after a blinding light on the camera (on our face) and on moriarty’s face; moriarty’s expressions have changed. Moriarty admits that sherlock indeed is his someone who is equal to his intellect. I am presuming within this fraction of second sherlock somehow hinted moriarty that he has found out the thread which connects moriarty to richard brooks. Moriarty on the other hand kills himself which sherlock though thought of but certainly did not expect.

    After that sherlock makes the call to watson and asks him to stand at a certain point exactly. I am guessing that sherlock somehow knew that moriarty shall have assassins deployed to take shots on Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade and Watson and by making john stand at a certain place sherlock not only kept watson but the eyes of the sniper (who had been aiming constantly on watson’s head) who also was there. The whole point was not to keep watson at bay but to convince the sniper that sherlock is dead for real. Otherwise the sniper would have contacted the other two assailants (the chinese guy with the tool box with mrs hudson) to take the hit and he himself would have taken the hit. Here one can argue that it was moriarty who co ordinated with all the sharpshooters but after moriarty shot himself I am assuming that it was the sniper who was supposed to take out watson was the incharge of execution of the hit which made it a compulsion to ensure that the assailant hired for killing watson have to be convinced.

    Sherlock did jump. And the theory of the building between sherlocks projected spot of landing and the point where watson stood acted as a screen (though for a fraction of second) for both the shooter and watson. These seconds where the building concealed sherlock from the line of sight were utlized by sherlock to break his fall and to throw an identical corpse. The garbage truck theory stating the vehicle which carried original sherlock out of the spot looks pretty justified.

    Now i shall tell which are the stories which my deductions contradict:

    1. Sherlock somehow managed to throw moriarty’s body with his own face mask on the body. I oppose this for two reasons ONE- Sherlock is taller than moriarty. It does not need much of effort to notice the height difference of the corpse. SECOND- The roof of the hospital is not exactly concealed by boundary walls. The highest boudary wall which barricaded the roof was barely 3 ft tall. (the place where jim sat listening to “staying alive” and waiting for sherlock. Now even if sherlock is to perform this action even the swiftest actions carried out with utmost precision shall not go unnoticed by the sniper. (As said by moriarty that snipers are watching him and if they dont see him jump they’ll take the shots which suggests that the sniper had his eyes fixed on sherlock constantly.) And judging by the glance of watson’s face through the scope of the sniper’s gun (john was standing near the walls of hospital with his nose pointed to the left of the scope)suggested that sniper had been sitting in some building right behind or slightly to the left of behind of watson. ( the scene where sherlock stood on edge and faced john. John faced sherlock. Its my deduction that sniper was sitting in some building which faced john’s back during the telephonic chat.) The idea of sniper in positioning himself that way was to get a clear shot at watson and a clear line of sight to observe the fall of sherlock and when john ran towards sherlock then after the body being taken away watson heaved facing his face left. (this is when we see the face of watson pointed to left through the scope.).

    I dont know how much reasonable it sounds but it seemed correct to me logically.

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  81. cumberbabe says

    You’re almost 100% correct! However, you have the pulse factor wrong. The ball Sherlock was playing with before his death is key. By putting a ball under your armpit it can stop the pulse traveling to your hand. Sherlock did so and hid the other hand beneath his body to make sure he didn’t grab the wrong hand. Watson is a doctor and can sense a pulse, even under the worst circumstances. But great deduction!

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  82. says

    I’m amazed at how elaborate most of the theories about Sherlock’s fake suicide are – and unnecessarily so, too. Some folks think it was a dummy that fell (which is impossible in view of the flailing arms and legs), or that Sherlock had a bungee cord tied to his ankle to stop him at the last moment (which is ridiculous, since we see Sherlock step onto the ledge and tell John to watch him every second – and then we clearly see Sherlock falling with nothing tied to him).

    And then there’s the matter of the “body”. Some say it was a dummy – which is possible, but then where’s Sherlock? Others say it was a dead body wearing a Sherlock mask. Okay again, but where’s Sherlock and how did he land safely?

    Actually, none of that is necessary. Sherlock planned the ruse using a method which was brilliantly simple in some ways – and brilliantly complex in others.


    As Sherlock talked to John while standing on the ledge, his ground crew of “by standers” quickly rigged up a clever landing pad for him – which I’ll describe in a moment. (It’s a new idea, and you’re going to love it.) Then Sherlock jumped off the building. No dummy, no cadaver – just Sherlock, alive and flailing like crazy.

    Sherlock hit the magically appearing pad, rolled off, and laid on the sidewalk while the ground crew splashed blood all around him. Then they hid the pad right in plan sight. (Wait for it . . . ) Sherlock just played dead while John was prevented from getting a good grip on Sherlock’s wrist to feel his pulse. Still playing dead, Sherlock was whisked away by paramedics (real or pretend), and John was fooled.

    No need for dummies. No need for cadavers. Just Sherlock, playing dead. If dogs can do it, so can the world’s greatest detective.

    Now, about that magical pad. No, Sherlock did NOT jump twenty feet out from the edge of the building, land inside the laundry truck with the high metal frame sides, and then scramble out to hide while a body or a dummy dressed like him was placed on the sidewalk. The truck was too far from the building for Sherlock to land in it, and the truck bed just had one layer of clothe laundry bags that may-or-may-not have made a suitably soft landing place for Sherlock.

    But the truck actually DID provide the landing pad. Picture this.

    While Sherlock stalled John on the phone, the ground crew folded down the high metal frame on the side of the truck, which was hinged at the truck’s bed. Two free-swinging metal “legs” attached at the upper corners simply lowered down by themselves as the frame dropped into horizontal position. You’ve seen these things dangling from those long railroad barriers to support the wooden arms while the train goes by. The legs held the outer edge of the truck’s frame up so it was level with the other edge, the one still attached to the truck’s bed.

    In seconds flat, they had a sturdy horizontal framework on which a large pad could be placed. And where was this pad hidden? Right in plane site: the ground crew tossed some of the laundry bags onto the horizontally positioned metal frame to provide Sherlock’s landing pad. Or perhaps a false truck bed was pulled sideways, bags and all, until it was on top of the frame.

    Actually, the idea I like best is this: the truck bed (with the laundry bags firmly attached to it) was also hinged at the curbside edge of truck. The rigged truck bed was flipped up and over until it drops down onto the horizontal metal frame that stuck out from the side of the truck. A thick pad was part of the rigged truck bed’s UNDERSIDE, and this pad now faced upward, ready for Sherlock to land on it. The layer of attached laundry bags that was formerly on top was now under the hinged truck bed, sandwiched between the supporting frame and the inverted truck bed, adding a little more cushioning to Sherlock’s padded landing platform.

    Total elapsed time to deploy the padded platform (either way): 30 seconds – less time than Sherlock spends talking to John while standing on the ledge.

    So, Sherlock jumps and lands safely on the pad. Notice that when Sherlock landed, the camera was aimed high enough not to show what Sherlock landed on, be it a pad or a sidewalk. Sherlock then rolled off and laid on the sidewalk just outside of that rectangular chalk outline we saw from the roof – which was probably there to show the ground crew where to set up the landing pad.

    The ground crew quickly splashed Sherlock with blood, tossed the laundry bags back onto the truck bed, and raised the hinged side back into place. Or – if you like the idea of the hinged, reversible truck bed with a big pad on the bottom – they flipped the hinged truck bed back into place and then locked the curbside metal frame into its upright position.

    Total elapsed time to restore the sidewalk to normal (again, either way): 30 seconds – less time than John spent on the ground after the biker hit him (on purpose, of course).

    Viola! Sherlock pulled a David Copperfield and faked his suicide.

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    • says

      Okay, I’ve come to realize that I was dead wrong about my theory above. Here’s what really happened.

      Sherlock asked Molly for help, and I believe he also asked Mycroft for help (both of which are very uncharacteristic actions). This is what Steven Moffat meant when he said everyone had missed a clue which involved something Sherlock did that was out of character.

      The help Sherlock needed involved his plan to fake his suicide. And here’s the plan Sherlock came up with.

      After Sherlock swallowed his pride and placed a desperate call for help to his estranged brother, Mycroft mobilized a group of government operatives to portray the “by standers” in the street below the ledge from which Sherlock jumped. These people arranged for the laundry truck which parked at the curb to bring a Browder life net, the kind used by firemen for decades to catch people who jump from burning buildings.

      After Sherlock’s arranges for John to stand behind the corner of the low, brick building so he can’t see the section of sidewalk on which Sherlock will land, he delivers his verbal “suicide note” to John while the team sent by Mycroft extracted the Browder life net from the launder truck and unfold it, all of which took less than 30 seconds. When Sherlock finished talking to John, he fell face-first into the net. A safe drop of six stories into a Browder life net was very common during the decades they were used by the fire department. I looked it up.

      Then Sherlock rolled off the net and laid on the pavement while the team splashed a blood on him. The net was folded in half again and kept hidden behind the truck (toward the front) until John glimpsed Sherlock on the ground near the rear of it, just before he was knocked down by the cyclist. As soon as that happened, the folded net was tossed back into the laundry truck through the gate in the back (visible in the scene in which John first sees Sherlock’s body). Before John got up and rushed to Sherlock, the laundry truck is shown driving away.

      Sherlock plays dead for 20 seconds with blood splashed all over him, and John is prevented from getting a good grip on Sherlock’s wrist by the fake bystanders who pull him back. The fake medical personnel whisked Sherlock away on a gurney.

      The view through the sniper’s scope shows us that he could only see John from the chest up. The sidewalk itself was not visible to him. Therefore the same would be true for all the people in that area, because of the low brick building between his position and Sherlock’s landing site. So, the sniper never saw the Browder life net being held up by the fake by-standers, even though he could have seen them standing in a circle, looking up at the falling Sherlock. But the sniper would have been looking up, too – and when Sherlock landed in the net, the team members holding it would have lowered it quickly to sidewalk level, ducking out of site from the sniper in the process.

      I propose that this will be the plan we’ll see unfold in January when the new episode of Sherlock finally airs.

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  83. Jimmy says

    Is it possible that Moriarty is still alive? This is just a theory, but what if the person we think is Moriarty is indeed an actor, but instead of working for Sherlock, he represents the face of Moriarty. The actor believes that he is faking his death (as part of Moriarty’s plan to make Sherlock jump), but for some mistake on the actor’s part and to get revenge for some form of double-crossing Moriarty has replaced his blank with a real bullet, killing him. Sherlock thinks that Moriarty is dead, but he still lives elsewhere. What do you all think?

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  84. wotan says

    There is a question about the death scenario:

    If Sherlock faked his death, what was the sniper hired by JM doing the whole time??? It is impossible no to see what was happening with a sniper, isn’t it?

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  85. says

    The sniper was there to kill Watson if Sherlock did not jump. He packed up and left after he saw Sherlock’s apparent suicide. Moriarty explained that if Sherlock didn’t kill himself then Watson, Hudson, and Lestrade would be shot. Sherlock didn’t know this until minutes before he ended up jumping.

    So, what was the whole fake suicide intended to do? Sherlock ended up doing it to save his friends — but that couldn’t have been his original plan because he didn’t even know about the snipers that Moriarty hired to force Sherlock to jump.

    Here’s my theory.

    It occurred to me that what Sherlock really wanted was to clear his tarnished reputation and prove that he was not faking his solutions to the crimes he had solved. The only way to do that would be to have Moriarty confess that he was the real culprit behind all the crimes which Sherlock was suddenly being blamed for.

    Then it hit me. Moriarty actually did provide a full confession, right there on the roof! Naturally we all assume that Sherlock was the only one who heard it. But I have another idea.

    It’s simple. Sherlock was wearing a wire – a microphone and transmitter.

    This picked up everything Moriarty said, and it was recorded by the police and/or Mycroft’s organization, including his confession that there was no computer code, and that Moriarty had committed the crimes with the help of accomplices in the prison, the bank, and the Tower of London. He also confessed that he was the one who rigged the jury in his trial, not Sherlock, as the news articles would soon claim when they branded Sherlock a fraud.
    This is the reason for the suicide hoax and how it was supposed to restore Sherlock’s reputation, as well as discrediting Moriarty and revealing his responsibility for the crimes he supposedly committed with the magic computer code everyone thought he possessed.

    Sherlock expected to lure these confessions out of Moriarty by convincing him that he would commit suicide because of his public disgrace. Moriarty would brag about his victory to Sherlock’s face, expecting him to die shortly and not be able to share what he’d learned with the police. Without any other witnesses, Moriarty didn’t worry about it being used against him anyway, even if Sherlock didn’t die. It would just be Sherlock’s word (an alleged fraud) against Moriarty’s word (a man supposedly hired by Sherlock to play a master villain).
    But on the roof, Sherlock suddenly learned that there was a whole new and compelling reason for him to jump – the assassins who would kill his friends if he didn’t appear to be dead.

    However, why would Sherlock plan a fake suicide if all he wanted was to trick a confession out of Moriarty. We all know that the reason he did jump was because of the assassins – but Sherlock didn’t know about them when he planned the hoax! That question gnawed at my brain all day yesterday – until I finally came up with a solution while taking a shower. (I can’t sing well, so I solve puzzles in the shower.)

    Sherlock’s original plan was to have the police arrest Moriarty after Sherlock supposedly killed himself, based on the evidence provided by the recorded confession Moriarty made on the roof. And if Moriarty thought Sherlock was dead, he’d have no reason to seek retribution against Sherlock or his friends by sending orders to his henchmen while he was in prison.

    Sherlock intend to stay “dead” until Moriarty’s trial, making Moriarty confident that there was no admissible evidence against him. At the trial the prosecution would introduce the recorded confession, and Moriarty would state that it was not valid without the testimony of the person he said it to.

    And then – surprise! Sherlock is called as a witness and shocks the hell out of Moriarty by being alive and well and ready to testify. Ta-daaa! Our hero wins.

    But when Moriarty blew his brains out, Sherlock’s planned suicide became necessary for a new reason: saving his friends from the assassins. The recorded confession would probably clear Sherlock’s name anyway. So, that particular part of his plan worked out fine. We should all remember, however, that Mycroft could clear Sherlock easily enough, because he knows more about the true nature of Moriarty than anybody else.

    So, to recap: Sherlock planned to convince Moriarty that he was going to kill himself rather than live in disgrace because the public believed he had faked his crime-solving career. Mycroft and Lestrade put a “wire” on Sherlock to record the confession that Moriarty made before Sherlock jumped, thereby providing evidence against Moriarty and clearing Sherlock’s name. But Moriarty shocked everybody in the world by blowing his brains out to make sure Sherlock did kill himself. And then Sherlock had to go through with his planned hoax to prevent the assassins from killing his three friends.

    By God, I think that just about takes care of everything! :)

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  86. Callum says

    If anyone has see Sherlock Homes the movie the antagonist, Lord Blackwood, fakes his death by injecting a chemical into his blood. Shelock states that he has used it before. Blackwood is also symbolised with pigeons. We see pigeons at the end of S2 EP3. Could this be foreboding for who we could exspect as the main antagonist in S3?

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  87. says

    After careful thought, I’m firmly convinced that the explanation Sherlock gave Anderson of the suicide hoax is less than 50% accurate. In other words, Sherlock embellished his explanation with a boatload of unnecessary elements which just plane would not work. The real explanation would be much more simple and logical.

    Sherlock did this because he owed Anderson a sizable payback for his personal betrayal and his sizable sole in ruining Sherlock’s public reputation. And since Anderson had spent the last two years spinning ridiculous theories about how the great detective had contrived his brilliant hoax, Sherlock had a bit of fun offering an explanation which smoothly combined the truth with several bloated elements which – upon close examination – were completely unworkable in view of the know facts.

    Let me explain.

    * Anderson asked Sherlock about the part which the homeless network played in the hoax. Sherlock’s answer was, “As I explained, the whole street was closed off. Like a scene from a play. Neat, don’t you think?” Anderson looks off to his left, appearing highly doubtful.

    And so am I. How could a group of homeless people close off a street that led to a hospital? This is not exactly a back street in a London slum!

    My own theory predicts that Mycroft would use his considerable official powers to order policemen to cordon off the area while his government agents conducted the suicide hoax. But according to Sherlock’s questionable explanation to Anderson, this important task was entrusted to a group of people who have no permanent address, no financial resources, and no official status.

    Sorry, but this is pure baloney.

    * Sherlock said he deduced that “Moriarty must have found someone who looked very like me to plant suspicion, and that man – whoever he was – had to be got out of the way as soon as his usefulness ended. That meant there was a corpse in the morgue somewhere who looked just like me. Molly found the body [and] faked the records.”

    Wait a minute. If Molly found the body of Sherlock’s look-alike which Moriarty employed and then killed, wouldn’t the identify of “that man” have been determined long before now? And wouldn’t Sherlock know the identity of this convenient doppelganger by this time – two years later?

    Apparently he doesn’t, because he refers to him as ” – that man, whoever he was – “.

    And wouldn’t it have been much easier for Moriarty to order some henchman to wear a mask of Sherlock’s face and slap the poor little girl cross-eyed a few times? I guarantee the poor little girl would scream like a banshee when she first met our favorite consulting detective.

    And just for the record, I don’t believe there’s anybody in the world who looks “just like me” – or you, or anyone else, for that matter. Even adult twins rarely look exactly alike.

    * At the end of his explanation to Anderson, Sherlock says to his former enemy — “Anyway, that’s not why I came. No, you know why I’m here, Philip.” He then reduces the man to tears by pointing out that Anderson’s “Jack the Ripper” hoax had distracted both Sherlock and the police from there efforts to deal with a terrorist threat on London which could have “destroyed Parliament and caused the deaths of hundreds of people.”

    Anderson breaks down and weeps shamelessly while he begs Sherlock to forgive him.

    Bud then Anderson stops abruptly and says, “Hang on . . . that doesn’t make sense!”

    He hurries over to the wall where he’s pasted notes about Sherlock’s activities, and he says, “How could you be sure that John would stand on that exact spot? I mean, what if he moved? And . . . how did you do it all so quickly? What if the bike hadn’t hit him? And anyway, why are you telling me all this? If you’d pulled that off, I’m the LAST person you would tell the truth – ”

    He stops when he turns around and realizes that Sherlock has left. He chuckles, then he laughs a few times, then he goes a crazy and starts ripping all the notes and newspaper clippings off the wall.

    Face it, folks. Sherlock was pulling Anderson’s leg — and Steven Moffat was pulling ours. This explanation was NOT how the hoax was done. It is too complex, it required too many undependable people, and it takes too much time. Just unfolding and inflating the big air bag would take longer than the time John stood on the other side of brick ambulance station – and they couldn’t even start the job until John arrived by cab and got into position on the other side of the building. Otherwise John would have seen the big blue mattress!

    And don’t forget about the sniper, located across the street from the hospital! The ambulance station blocked his view of the fake suicide, too. But he would have easily seen the air bag being inflated at the end of the building, and he would have seen the crew bring it back around after Sherlock had jumped. Compare this to my theory, in which the laundry truck brought the fireman’s safety net and then took it away, without the sniper (or John) ever glimpsing it because it was employed behind the ambulance station.

    Clearly, folks, my plan is better. Fast, simple, and dependable.

    —- Things that were conspicuously MISSING from the story, for no apparently reason:

    * There was no sign of Kitty Riley (the female reporter) and Sgt. Sally Donovan (the doubting police officer), both of whom were duped by Moriarty. I desperately wanted them to face Sherlock and cry like little girls because they were sorry for how stupid they had been. Maybe we’ll see this happen in the next episode.

    * There was no clear explanation of why Sherlock thought his “death” would help him dismantle Moriarty’s global crime network. Did he really have to be considered dead to do this? Maybe I missed something important. I’ll watch the episode again.

    * There was no clear explanation of why Sherlock allowed so many people to know he was really alive – Mycroft, Molly, twenty-five homeless people, and his own parents – but not John!

    Surely he didn’t commit this cruel act because he didn’t trust John to keep the secret. If he decided he could trust twenty-five homeless people and his own blabber-mouth parents, why not the man who was supposed to be his most valued friend and ally?

    I don’t blame John for kickin’ his ass several times after finding out how badly he’d been treated by his so-called friend. A good knee in the nuts would not have been unwarranted, either.

    —- Well, there you have it, guys – my self-indulgent rant to convince the world that I’m pretty good at figuring out stuff like this. I confess that what I really wanted from this episode was a complete confirmation of all the theories I’d presented in the posts above. However, what I got was a few pats on the back and a few “nice tries” and a couple of “don’t give up yet ’cause you might still be right.”

    But hey – that’s actually better than what I’d hoped for. We’ve got a lot of new stuff to talk about. So, ladies and gents, let’s role up our sleeves and dive into the next round of debates about what all this means. There’s still two more episodes to come, and hopefully they’ll keep us busy for a few more years when they’re over.

    All in favor say Yea.

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  88. Jude says

    All I can say is that I totally enjoyed this show. I cried when he jumped off the building, almost forgetting the original Sherlock Holmes which I read a long time ago.
    I guess I knew he wasn’t really dead.
    I’m glad ther’s another season to watch.

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