So, how did Sherlock fake his own suicide?

One week on and everyone is still asking the same question?  How did Sherlock fake his own suicide?

**Big spoiler alert**

As everyone in the UK knows, unless they have been living under a rock, at the end of BBC’s Sherlock the detective appears to jump to his death from the roof of St Bart’s hospital.  We see him lying on the pavement in a pool of blood as a devastated John feels for a pulse which isn’t there.  Then, in the final frame, we see Sherlock alive and well, watching as his faithful friend talks to his gravestone.

All week theories have been circulating everywhere from the usual chat-rooms, fan sites and twitter to the national press including the broadsheets.  Not since JR got shot in Dallas has a programme had this level of impact on the general public.  It is a testament to the creative genius of the creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, that such a cliff-hanger has inspired the imagination of the nation – and got them all talking about Sherlock Holmes.

And to add fuel to the fire of speculation, Moffat has revealed that fans have ‘missed a vital clue’ – which has made us all turn to BBC iplayer, Sky Plus etc and watch the whole thing again in the hope of being the one to solve the mystery, a mystery worthy of the great detective himself.

This really is television at its best, encouraging us to take what was on the screen and give it life in our real world by talking about it, theorising and sharing.

Moffat revealed that the clue was something Sherlock did which was very out of character.

The Mail on Sunday published a double-page spread detailing the main theories.  Their favourite theory, and indeed one that I think holds much truth, is that pathologist Molly Hooper helped Sherlock  by using her job to fake medical records, post-mortem certificates and even provide a body to be put in Sherlock’s grave.

As he jumps from the pathology unit, she could also have arranged for the medical team to surround him so quickly on the pavement, apply fake blood and even stop his heart.  Sherlock admits to her that he needs help – could this be the uncharacteristic behaviour Moffat was referring too?

A rubbish truck is seen outside the hospital and it is suggested that Sherlock lands in it then uses the delay caused by the cyclist knocking down John to get in position on the pavement.  The fact that Sherlock is very insistent that John remains in a certain position while saying his goodbyes adds weight to the theory because from where he stands, John cannot see the ground immediately below the roof.  But what about the pulse?  Well, my favourite theory on this is that Sherlock applies the squash-ball in the armpit trick to hide it.  We do see him playing with a blue squash-ball earlier on in the episode.  This has to be relevant, surely?

The use of a dummy has also been suggested – especially as Sherlock has a dummy hanging in their rooms towards the start of the episode which he was using to disprove a suicide, coincidently.  And in the original Empty House, Holmes uses a life-like dummy to fool Colonel Moran so this could be a link.  But it’s too obvious and simplistic for my liking.

Also suggested is that a hallucinogenic drug is used, such as the one in the previous episode – Hounds of Baskerville.  Was the whole thing a figment of John’s imagination which he would then convincingly tell to the world via his blog and be believed by all?  But I doubt that the writers would use the same explanation twice in this way, they are far too clever for that.

What about Mycroft?  Well, he tells John that he revealed secrets to Moriarty about his brother which Moriarty then uses when constructing Sherlock’s downfall.  I’m sure there is more to this, it doesn’t ring true to me and I’m sure that Mycroft has used his vast brain, connections and power to help in the fake death.  In the original stories, Mycroft is the only person whom Holmes takes into his confidence, corresponding with him during the great hiatus and leaving him to manage all his affaires and preserve the rooms at Baker Street.  Perhaps, here again, Mycroft is the only one who knows the whole truth.

Could it have been Moriarty who actually fell off the roof?  The Mail puts forward the argument that Moriarty made himself look like Sherlock when he kidnapped the children earlier in the episode, causing the little girl to scream when she sees Sherlock for the first time.  Might he have used a mask to do this?  And if so, could Sherlock have obtained it, put it onto Moriarty’s dead body on the roof and pushed it off?  Personally, I doubt this very much but absolutely think that the reaction of the child will have some relevance.  Did Moriarty employ an actor who looked like Sherlock to do the kidnapping and dispose of him?  Could Sherlock have found the body and used it in his fake suicide?  This theory sounded really good in my head but I’m not so sure now I’ve seen it in black and white.

There may well be some significance in the fact that on the roof Moriarty says something like ‘You are me and I am you’.  This may suggest, and back up the theory, that what we think is the body of Sherlock is actually Moriarty.

And what of the uncharacteristic behaviour?  All I can think of is the obvious stuff which everyone else has already come up with.  On the roof Sherlock drops his iphone, he shakes Moriarty’s hand, and also cries when saying goodbye to John.  All things which strike me as out of character but I can’t see how this helps solve the problem.  The final problem.  Like my little joke there?

Phew, well, I suppose it is time to sum up what I think.  And herein lays the problem.  I just don’t know what to think.  I’ve watched the episode three times now, spent my Sunday afternoon with my finger on the pause button and trawling the internet (yes I am that sad) but still don’t have any fixed ideas about how Sherlock Holmes faked his own suicide.  All I can say is that, in my opinion, the squash ball, Molly and Mycroft all have something to do with it.  Oh and obviously the bike crashing into John was planned.  But what I can’t do is pull all these theories together and come up with a definitive answer.  Just have to wait for series three.

Please do use the comments box below to add any theories of your own; if you can put me out of my misery I will be most grateful.  And I can get on with my life . . .

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168 Responses to So, how did Sherlock fake his own suicide?

  1. NAG says:

    And isn’t it “out of character” that Sherlock is wrong with his binary theory? He doesn’t make mistakes of that kind. Did he play that game to drive Jimmy to suizide? (The world is so boring without Sherlock… ;-)

  2. Who cares? There are so many things in the world that are worth thinking about — why waste time trying to second-guess what the ‘Sherlock’ writers were doing here? No doubt when the explanation is revealed it will be dazzlingly clever and completely implausible, just like the rest of the series. They are just showing off — ‘Look at me, look at me, I’m so clever!’ It’s all silly made-up nonsense that has nothing to do with real life. Sherlock Holmes deserves better than this.

    • Kathy says:

      Scholarly study of Holmes is not on the same level as watching Sherlock, one will admit … but as someone studying pastiche of Holmes at uni … it could be worse. At least he is not spending his Hiatus looking for a cure for vampirism, or teaming up with Freud of all people.

    • Webba says:

      Oh yes, because Conan Doyal was such a serious and grounded writer and his Sherlock Holmes was so rooted in reality that the plots of his stories and his theories were always so plausible and sensible. No silly made-up nonsense in his books, No Sir!
      Seriously, listen to yourself.

    • Kira says:

      No. In the little book which is given with the dvds you can read that the solve of the problem is absolutly logic and real. The biggest part was shown, because it´s easier than do it like last time in season one.
      Excuse my bad english – but I´m german.

    • sure-locked says:

      Obviously you care enough to look on this website for an answer..

  3. Joanne says:

    I love Sherlock whether it be the fantastic Jeremy Brett or the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch. I think they’re all great!!! Hurry up series 3. XxX

    • Jessy says:

      HA! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not the only person on the planet who watches the Jeremy Brett version (or whatever you want to call it) YES YES YES! Thank you so much for that. LOVE that show (but love Sherlock more)! :D

  4. I agree with your summary and your position, but I like to think that this time Mycroft is not involved. Why Sherlock don’t call him when he is about to be arrested, even if he is in a very difficult situation? And why Mycroft cheats his brother speaking with Moriarty? I’ve a lot of questions and few answers.

    • Maggie in america says:

      I agree. I almost am positive that Molly plays the most important part in this, although I do not know what exactly she did. She must have had something to do with the death certificate, but I do not know how she works into the fall.
      ( please excuse the bleakness of this comment…….. I’m only in 8th grade)

  5. In regards to the little girl screaming at Sherlock , she was poisoned with Mercury. So she may have been hallucinating, suggestions ( eg a Photo or the like) in that state may have been all that was necessary for her to believe he was responsible.

    I don’t think Sherlock ever believed the binary code thing. He saw the obvious tapping in his flat first, knew it was a red herring & when John did it later he knew how to explain what the code was to Moriarty. He was ‘acting dumb’ to heighten Moriarty’s euphoric madness. He was playing him like a violin! Moriarty was on the edge , he just needed the ‘push’ to go overboard himself.

    Also, while not solving the big question, I do think that IOU played a part. It was the code to call off 2 of the assassins. IOU was on the wall opposite 221B Baker St & also on the building opposite Lestrade’s office. This told Sherlock that those 2 places were marked for something & he deduced what it was for. So when he ‘selected’ Lestrade & Mrs Hudson as 2 targets of Moriarty’s (along with John who would be at the hospital) it wasn’t by chance.
    I would say he had arranged some ‘irregulars’ erase the other 2 , hence giving the signal to the 2 assassins that couldn’t see the hospital to call off their jobs.
    The only one left to neutralise would have been the one set for John. He knew that John would be his suicide witness, so no need for an IOU there, but there was a need to ‘signal’ the assasin somehow, hence he followed through with the fall.

    • NAG says:

      Really good point.

    • SD says:

      Thank you for the IOU explanation — sounds perfectly reasonable. Another piece to the puzzle!

    • Jessy says:

      Yes, I noticed the IOU graffiti outside 221 B and wondered if anyone else did (someone had to have)

      • I did, but no idea how this helps!

      • SD says:

        My idea is that there are two sets of IOU’s — the IOU with wings is Sherlock’s informing his “helpers” where to be (remember, he’s on the side of the Angels), and Moriarty’s IOU’s, like the one at Scotland Yard that Sherlock sees in the window. I also think we aren’t shown the other IOU’s.

        Which takes us to Sherlock’s helpers — the man with the tatoos helping Mrs. Hudson, we see him toward the end, I think he’s there to protect Mrs. Hudson — the music sounds ominous and we’re made to think he’s bad but he’s not one of the 4 assassin pictures that Mycroft shows John. There is most likely a man in Scotland Yard working with Sherlock, maybe the blond who is with Moriarty in court and later in the office during the kidnapping, probably the one that sent the fax about the kids dying. Probably another helper is near John at the end, ready to shoot the assassin sent by Moriarty. A reason why Sherlock needs John to stand in a specific place. Don’t forget the man who is trying to get in a cab at the same time as John at the end, when John is trying to return to Sherlock.

  6. aharper says:

    Hi. In my opinion a thing out of character was having tea. A when Moriarty says “Falling is just like flying” – his “uuuuuu” down is desynchronised with what he says. I am strongly convinced this is the clue we are missing. Then there are the roofs – I am no Londoner but with Google Earth you can get a lot – the roof at which SH meets M isn’t the roof of the pathology building that John is looking at. The roof SH jumps from isn’t the Path Dept roof – it is the same roof he was at with M. It is the middle of St Bart’s building while the Path dept is the North-most part. It is obvious from the view – look at the building behind John and the building right opposite the middle part of Barts. Anoder clue is a backgroud of Sherlock’s – for most of the conversation we get St Paul’s Cathedral, but when he streches his hand out we get a different view – four pinnacles- although the shot is apparently from the same angle – it’s St Sepulchre’s. Funny thing is – there is a apocrif by Donald Thomas “The Execution of Sherlock Holmes” where SH is put into a Newgate Prison and finds out where he is by listening to the bells – of St Paul’s , St Sepulchre’s and of another church that is nearby. Isn’t it too much for a coincidence? Maybe we see what we are shown, but not what had happened – as it may have been desynchronised. But how exactly? As my are quite new points in the discussion – I will wellcome any comments.
    I just cannot stand Moffat and Gattis outwitting the whole world!

  7. aharper says:

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes. My point is – falling and talking at the same time – but where to go from here?

  8. cannelle says:

    First of all, thank you for this list of more or less all the significant theories. It’s a lovely thing to read if you are among the unfortunate people who don’t get a British newspaper.

    One thing I find curious goes back to the end of the Baskerville episode. We see Sherlock going off to ‘talk to someone about a dog’, but we never hear of that again. Isn’t that quite unusual?

    And the key to the problem is still buried somewhere. Why is it so important for Sherlock to keep John at a safe distance? Because he doesn’t want him to see everything. So the clue must be visible at a spot John would be able to see if he was closer. Is his crying fake, or is it real? Someone has suggested it having to do with the rhododendron drug, but I can’t remember correctly what it has been and I couldn’t find anything about it.

    And then, does he actually fall? If he falls, and if he actually hits the ground, be would probably be dead. I don’t know how high the building is, but his body would hit solid ground. Does anyone know about survival chances from this height, if you land flat on your side? Whatever trick he would have used, he wouldn’t have gone out of it without at least a few bruises, but when we see him again at the end of the episode, he hasn’t so much as a tiny scratch on his face. So I thought it quite safe to say that he hasn’t actually fallen, or, more precisely, hasn’t actually hit the ground. But then again, what else has stopped his fall?

    So, if Sherlock doesn’t fall, how does he manage get down from the roof fast enough to prepare himself on the ground? Has he maybe never been standing there? Whom has John seen falling? Where is this body now? Because it’s definitely Sherlock on the ground. Or are we all deceived there by some clever trick, along with John? Does the biker only hit him to give Sherlock more time, or did he actually drug him? Notice how John’s vision only starts to blur after he got hit – not after he had seen Sherlock fall.

    He would have quite easily managed to deceive John with fake blood or maybe real blood Molly has helped him to get, and the ball in his arm pit or some other tricks – and also the paramedics were careful to not let John get a closer look at the supposedly dead body of his friend. I noticed that who held him back was a woman who probably worked at Bart’s, and I strongly suspect that they were somehow involved in the plan, judging by how amazingly fast they were out there with the stretcher carrying the body away (no waiting for the police) and at the same time keeping John off it.

    After all this probably incoherent rambling, excuse me for it, all of you, please, I’d like to say that I agree with all you have said about Mycroft. I can’t believe, and I refuse to do so, that he would sacrifice his brother for information. He, the man whose intellect surpasses both Sherlock’s and Moriarty’s, can surely think about another way to get whatever he wants from the most dangerous criminal ever – without, at the same time, giving away delicate information about the only person he probably cares about. (Because however much ‘caring is not an advantage’, Mycroft does care about Sherlock). And I also think that Sherlock was playing along with Moriarty all this time, fooling everyone into thinking that he was struggling to keep up. He wouldn’t have had time to set up his fake death, had he only then discovered what the Final Problem was. So Mycroft is in it, and Molly is probably in it, and Sherlock has the skills of a pathologist and the world’s greatest mind by his side, not to mention Mycroft’s wordly power and, last but not least, his money. No wonder that we all can’t see through it :)

    (mybloodyvalentina: The arrest scene is an interesting one, though. I have come to think that Sherlock did it on purpose, and that he has probably done it with Mycroft’s help. Sherlock is clever enough not to get himself in that situation if it would prove a problem, and he can behave in society, if it suits his plans. So this probably wasn’t an accident. Notice how he is put into the cell adjacent to Moriarty’s. A guy who has outraged the judge next to the criminal who just broke into three of London’s safest places? Surely they could have found another cell for him than one in the maximum security prison. I suspected Mycroft’s doing, and some plan of Sherlock’s behind it – whatever he has hoped to gain from the close contact to Moriarty.)

    • I agree with you that Mycroft is too smart to sell Sherlock’s life to Moriarty, but in A Scandal in Belgravia his plan (the plane full of death people) is ruined by Irene Adler and in the end the real winner is Sherlock. Besides in the end of Reichenbach, when Mycroft is reading the newspaper in The Diogenes Club, he seems really sad for his brother’s death. I don’t know what to think. We see Sherlock asking Molly to help him and we see him refusing to call Mycroft. A trick of the autors? Or maybe Mycroft is not involved? I’m confused, but I like to read other people’s theories :-).

      • shlove says:

        Didn’t the writers say we are overlooking something that is ‘unlike sh’ and he doesn’t go to see mrs. Hudson when she’s ‘shot’ but did almost beat the previous attacker to death… So it’s unlike him and he sees it coming, something there, i had other things ‘unlike sh’ but i don’t find the paper, i wrote them down!

  9. PRASANNA VIGHNE says:

    Did anyone think about the inconsistency in names-JIM MORIARTY and JAMES MORIARTY???
    Moffat and Gatiss are not idiots. They wouldn’t let this kind of glitch come in intentionally… In the canon, Professor James M DID have a brother-Col. James Moriarty….
    also, in the commentary for THOBaskerville, while talking of inconsistencies and continuity errors by doyle, they have mentioned Jim and James thing by saying that they “are working on it”…. :)
    so, may be only one of the brother’s got killed, may be Jim M, the one who met sherlock at the swimming pool, is still alive… ?? no need of fake gun/ ketchup theories for moriarty’s death i guess…. and may be one JM posed like Sherlock in front of the little girl… ?? Whatsay??

    • PRASANNA VIGHNE says:

      *They wouldn’t let this kind of glitch come in *UNintentionally*…

    • Kathy says:

      This is a quite interesting theory, with ‘Jim’ and ‘James’ – I also noticed that a lot of the cases that were adapted to date were from AFTER the hiatus. Second case? Dancing Men. Hound of Baskerville? Conan Doyle dated it previous to Reichenbach, but it was published _after_. The hiker and the backfire? Echoes of the solitary cyclist. The five orange pips is part of the adventures, A scandal too, and of course, the Final Problem is in its right place. It’s made me wonder whether there is a massage there.

      My sister has also a theory close to yours: The little girl screamed for a reason. If there was a mask like Holmes’ face involved, it could have been used on the Moriarty corpse.

      • The very bad cabbie says:

        There’s no need for a mask of Sherlock Holmes placed on a corpse when you can clearly see the body falling from the roof is a very lively Sherlock’s and the body on the ground is Sherlock’s.
        The key is in the fall and what stopped it.
        Aka, your sister is stupid.

      • Bekah says:

        I think that the reason that girl screamed is that the John’s sniper is tall with dark hair, cheekbones, an upturned collar… sound familiar? He isn’t Sherlock, but he looks an awful lot like him. Another of the snipers (The one assigned to Lestraude) looks a lot like John. I think that they kidnaapped the children and that when the girl saw John and Sherlock together, the similarities were enough to make her scream.

    • SD says:

      I’ve thought for some time that the brother of Jim Moriarty was part of this — maybe the brother is really the actor at Kitty’s apartment. Or maybe the “heart” of Sherlock is John; Moriarty wants John dead because his brother, Colonel Moriarty, died in Afghanistan. John couldn’t save him (remember John’s an army doctor).

      • SD says:

        Forgot to add that this could explain the IOU — Jim owes one to Sherlock. What better way to “kill” John than having to see his best friend (Sherlock) die and having to live with that?

  10. aharper says:

    It is getting more and more interesting! Love the idea of two Moriarties.

    • PRASANNA VIGHNE says:

      I hope it’s true… because the makers said season 3 was sanctioned at the same time as season 2. they must have a strong villain till the series’ end. Plus its totally canonical, there WERE two moriarty’s in the books….
      as for sherlock-it’s obviously molly and mycroft… but I’m not thinking much. cause i had made up some really interesting theories for season 1 cliffhanger, and it turned out to be an anticlimax.. so i’m trying not to go complex for this one… :)

  11. doubtingsix says:

    I think SH caused JM to kill himself by accident – because he was trying to extract information from him by giving him the hallucinagen – but JM was over whelmed, seeing SH as himself, like a twin – he blew his brains out

  12. Jen says:

    I could be completely off the mark, and I probably am, but for some reason the scene featuring Sherlock and the squash ball really hit home with me. Especially considering that a squash ball can be placed in the armpit, restricting the blood flow to the arm and making it seem like the pulse has stopped…

  13. Kathy says:

    Oh for the love of… Molly! Molly you guys, its so obvious its painful. Anyone who knows the material saw that right away. Out of character? How about the way he speaks to her in their last scene at the laboratory? And then there is the very important fact that Molly does, in her own words, ‘post-mortems’. He would need someone to certify him dead, and in that scene, he told her that he trusted her … that usually leads to asking for a favour. Not to mention – Molly Hooper’s blog on the website; ‘I won’t be writing this anymore, everything he said was a lie’ … yes, of course, it could refer to the end of the series … but with the little ‘out of character’ note, it seems simply to cement that Sherlock went back to being himself with her right after. Ah, and of course, there is the little fact that he made sure to jump off St Bart – were Molly works.

    Either way, I hope I’m wrong. I would be really disappointed to have guessed. The actual method of his survival during the fall itself is almost immaterial (Yes, I do know that ‘the little things are infinitely the more important’) but between special effects and the level of writing\directing that Mr Moffat and Mr Gatiss (which is, lest anyone misinterpret me, very, very good) have gotten up to, they can make almost anything work. Something was used to soften the fall and makeup applied; dumpster, and again makeup and biker-delay; dummy – not quite my cup of tea, as Holmes was turned face-up and clearly seen by Watson (the ‘Oh GOD’ moment); Mycroft (oh, I have my money on him being in on the pie, personally … though I would honestly be tickled if he we were not)… Possibilities are infinate and all work. I’d rather be surprised.

  14. Kathy says:

    Hum. I rewatched the final episode after reading this and … the camera – the hidden one in their rooms. Holmes managed to access it (wirelessly) after only a few moments. Does that suggest hacking skills, and even if not … always thinking that his brother may have helped … could its signal be traced? Holmes could have agreed to play Moriarty’s game, to the full and to the end, while Mycroft’s men unearthed and uncovered Moriarty’s network roots for the police to find.

    • Hi Kathy, thanks for all your comments. You are right to acknowledge that analysing Sherlock is very different to studying the original stories, but as you say, at least Sherlock is intellegently done and respectful to the Holmes canon. Plus, it gets people talking about Holmes and leads new readers to descover the original stories which will help to keep the character of Holmes and his world alive into the future.

      I’ve just re-watched the fall (yet again) and am convinced it is Sherlock lying on the ground – not another body or someone wearing a mask. The fall from roof to ground is not one shot, there is a cut in the editing and then we just see the body hit the pavement. The rubbish truck is clearly in shot beside the body (in a buss lane – not a usual place for a rubish truck to stop) but is gone by the time John reaches the scene. I think that Sherlock falls into the truck then rolls out onto the pavement. He uses the squash ball to stop his pulse and Molly has already taken his blood which he rapidly releases around his head. The ‘body’ is taken to her in the pathology department and she certifies Sherlock as dead. But I still think we are all missing something…

  15. “The Fall”: Early in the morning (or late in the evening) when Sherlock is waiting at the lab with his little bouncy ball, 2 buses are parking in front of the building. Now I am an Aussie but I am assuming from the look of the street in front of the building ( in that and subsequent shots) it’s not a busy area and it’s not a bus depot. So why 2 buses there at the same time?
    Later when Sherlock is with Moriarty, 2 buses are parked below when they look down. Again? Or the same ones? Those buses could hold a fair few ‘street people’ for as long as needed, like as if they were ‘ready when you are’ . Beside the bus shelter , when we look down we can see something; it’s a different colouring on the ground there later after the fall, but we can’t zoom in to see what is there.
    On the pavement we see a large rectangle marked out in white with little notches along the sides. How odd.
    Do you know, if you had something like a ‘jump blanket’ or similar and you had a few people who were just laying around in a bus, I bet they could stretch that jump blanket out and it’d be nearly the size of that rectangle marked on the pavement huh?
    Of course as soon as the people got out of the buses, they’d drive away leaving room for a laundry/rubbish truck to park there which would be handy because you could throw the jump blanket into it!

    Just thinking. :)

    • yellowtree says:

      I don’t know how he did it, but I’m pretty sure about two things:

      When Sherlock is talking with Jonh on the rooftop he is not where John sees him. Watch carefuly the editing. The rooftop where it all happens, the meeting with Moriarty, his suicide and Sherlock’s fall is not where John sees him.
      Evidence:
      1. there are two ledges, one much wider than the other
      2. the building in front of Sherlock is not the same behing John.

      The odd thing that he does is streaching his arm to John. At the same time Sherlock asks John to keep his eyes on him. So I think that Sherlock is doing something on the other part of therooftop that John can’t notice as it would reveal his plan.

      • Sherlock is on the tall building. In front of that is a road, then there’s a small building (like a maintenance type building, one storey) then another road, seems to be like a ring road. John gets out of the taxi on that road. This blocks his view to what is on the road directly in front of the tall building.
        There’s no ledge, remember Moriarty & Sherlock looked straight down to the pavement.
        Stretching his arm out could have been to check John had a limited view, could have been a signal to people below also. Or maybe a dramatic effect to make John stop where he was; I’d freeze too if my friend was making odd movements up there.

      • aharper says:

        YES, you are right about the roofs. I have studied it on google earth – they have a perfect shots of the street. I have mentioned the two roofs before and also on other fora but noone seems to regard it important. Can we go anywhere from here? I again say – look again at the scene Moriarty says “Falling is just like flying…” his voice is desynchronised with what we see. Which makes sense with the fact John might see and hear things that are not happening at the same time. But I somehow cannot go any further with this. And I lack time to study thy films again.

      • yellowtree says:

        Hi aharper,
        So glad that you agree on the “rooftops issue”! :) and yes, I think we can work something out. I totally agree that events are desynchronised, we have John’s point of view of the all thing and then there is Sherlock’s. So we’ve established that Sherlock is on the rooftop, but to John’s right. I’ve watched this scene several times and the editing is really good, we are never allowed to see that point of the rooftop from below, as when they show us John’s perspective he is always blocking the view of that point.
        OK, moving on. Once this aspect is established we can question everything John sees, even the fall, because if Sherlock is not on the rooftop corner he can’t have jumped from there. However something must be there to trick John’s view, something that also falls and that Sherlock put there on purpose before, either when John is asleep in the lab or while he goes to Ms Hudson. In my opinion this rules out the truck theory as well as the homeless network.
        So my question is how does Sherlock get to the ground in time for John to see him laying dead. He can’t have taken the lift and we do see him jump. Did you notice that he leans back a little as to take balance? I have no idea if this is important. However the body that we see on the street is Sherlock’s all along, I believe.
        As to how John misses Sherlock’s pulse, when they were looking for the kidnapped children, Sherlock mentions a plant, rhododendron ponticum, that induces paralysis. I’m guessing Sherlock used that drug to mislead John, maybe that’s what he needed Molly for.
        Finally my theory about Sherlock stretching his arm, I find that odd, it is too sentimental for Sherlock and he does it when asking John to keep his eyes on him, as if this was a crucial moment and John couldn’t by any means notice what was happening to his right.

      • aharper says:

        But WHY DOES HE NEED TO TRICK JOHN? If Molly is into it, why not John? If John is fooled than everybody must be as well. Sherlock cannot trust Molly more than he can trust John. So what is Molly needed for? And who has called John away? Who has called him? Moriarty? Mycroft? Molly?
        I agree the body on the pavement is Sherlock’s, no way John can be fooled about this. And why we are not shown the funeral?
        I exclude any mistakes in editing – M&G must have realised the whole world was going to discuss the matter – no mistakes in editing such an important scene, besides have we seen mistakes in editing before?

      • yellowtree says:

        You do ask good questions! :) I think he had to trick John to protect him, Ms Hudson and Lestrade, and I think Molly participated in Sherlock’s plan somehow, BUT I’m not so sure she knows he isn’t dead. He trusts her, but can he be sure that she won’t give away his secret in any circumstances? I wouldn’t go so far. Sherlock could have asked for her help in a detail, she could have taken his blood, which is latter on the pavement (this explains the rubber ball, by the way), she could have phoned John, or something else that we haven’t thought about yet. In my opinion the only person Sherlock could trust is Mycroft, but only if really necessary and so far I don’t see a reason.
        About the funeral I have no explanation, but I have a question, whose body was buried? Or did they bury an empty coffin? But let’s go back to the continuity vs desynchronised matter, assuming no editing mistakes there, did you notice that when we see “Sherlock’s body” hit the ground the pavement is dry and when John arrives it is completely wet? Can we make something out of this?

      • aharper says:

        Yes, the weather changes – as far as I remember it was not raining when John and Sherlock talk, but than it rains when Sherlock jumps and it rains when John is hit by the bicycle. I am intending to watch the whole series again – just cannot get enough time to do this. I agree rain may indicate what has been desynchronised. As to the funeral- If we assume the person looking at John is real Sherlock – which I think is certain – no third series without the main character, also in line with the canon – the only body left is Moriarty’s. If he is burried and noone knows about his death – ideal situaltion for Sherlock to be Moriarty. I assume.
        Besides I would like to ask You English speaking guys – How exactly does one translate – I Owe You – is it I owe you something?, cannot it be translated You are mine? – I heard this translation in one of other films lately. For me it soulds a bit different in the other interpretation. For me the first sounds more like a promise and obligation the other more like a threat. Could You please enlighten me.

      • yellowtree says:

        Well, I can’t give you much help about the I owe you thing, I’m guessing I know as much as you, I’m not British either lol Portugal here! I did some research on the internet and it says that it means you are in debt with someone, so yes an obligation. At the beginning I thought the apple and the IOU could be some sort of clue, but then I changed my mind, I think it’s probably just a reminder for Sherlock that his end is near. But I can be wrong, the IOU graffiti in Baker Street have wings and their talk about being on the side of the angels is a little cryptic to me.
        I also thought that they could have buried Moriarty’s body in Sherlock’s place, but then it would be necessary to involve Mycroft, not Molly, in my opinion. I think that we need to establish the timeline of the events in the lab an on the rooftops, which is all mixed up. John is asleep in the lab, Sherlock could have gone to the rooftop and prepare things as when John leaves he is ready for Moriarty, but we also don’t know how much time is John away.
        The sun is shining during Sherlock and Moriarty talk and it starts to rain while John and Sherlock are on the phone, as far as I remember, so the pavement being all wet when John arrives to the body is ok. But the body or whatever it is that we see fall hits a dry pavement, which made me think that this can have happened before the phone call. But I don’t understand what’s the use of this, maybe it’s an editing mistake?

      • aharper says:

        Editing mistakes I rekon are very unlikely – this is Moffat and Gattis we are talking about. They must have known this scene was going to be wached over and over again by people from all over the world (Portugal and Poland for example). No mistakes here!
        What puzzles me – they S and M stand on the roof in the middle of the building (Museum) and when there is a shot down – we see what is down from the north-most Pathology building- which they cannot see from the Museum’s roof. The same thing the other way round – we see S at the Patology’s roof and he looks down at M body – which is obviously on the other roof. Then we see S jumps from the roof of the Museum but falls along the Pathology building. Jumps from the Museum roof when it rains but falls onto the dry street at the feet of pathology, then it rains but still not a single raindrop hits the blood on the ground.
        Could it be Sherlock jumped twice?
        It drives me crazy!

      • yellowtree says:

        We totally agree about the two places on the rooftop. When S and M look down, we see the perspective of the pathology roof, but that’s just to mislead us, people really are on the street getting out of the bus and so on, but S and M see the scene from where they stand, on the top of the museum (we are never allowed to see the ground from the museum perspective!!). If they had showed us their real perspective everybody would have understood immediately the two roofs problem and M&G didn’t want that. When S looks at M body when talking to John he is on the Museum rooftop, while talking to John he is always there. We see John on the street from the pathology perspective and Sherlock’s feet on the narrow ledge, but either this never happened or those feet and coat are not Sherlock’s.
        “Jumps from the Museum roof when it rains but falls onto the dry street at the feet of pathology, then it rains but still not a single raindrop hits the blood on the ground.” :) This is the timeline problem! Because I think Sherlock goes at some point to the pathology rooftop, to make sure his plan works, so the images of Sherlock there happened before John arrives. The fall, he definitely jumps from the museum rooftop, not the pathology. I know we see him flapping his arms and the coat moving along the pathology building, but that could not have happened at all, or at least not when we are shown, because S simply can’t be in two places at the same time. If it is Sherlock that falls from the pathology this has to have happened before, BUT I’m not absolutely convinced that he has ever jumped from there. However I’m convinced that something was on the pathology roof and fell (I don’t buy the theory that S gave the Hounds drug to John and that J is just seeing his fears) and from now on I’m completely lost!!! He can indeed have fallen twice, but what for? Did Sherlock recorded a fall from the pathology and projected somehow? Very unlikely, I think. Was it a huge plastic bag with water inside? Also unlikely, but the thing that fell had to be easy to hide.

      • aharper@wp.pl says:

        There was a dummy at the begining of the episode – and a man that did not committed suicide – unlikely a red herring.
        They cannot show us the perspective from the Museum’s roof – as ther is a roof like five feet below. And in fact when S looks down he must see that roof.
        I think it was S jumping from pathology building – at least they fillmed it with Benedict Cumberbatch as cen be seen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esc0F21EJ4E&feature=related
        if it is a true video.

  16. SJF says:

    [Note: Doctor Who Series 6 Spoiler in the second-to-last paragraph. If you haven't seen the finale, please skip the end of my post!]

    I just started to re-watch the episode but stopped at the scene when Moriarty arrives for tea (but only takes the apple). I may post again after watching it but I wanted to make a few points and pose a few questions right now.

    • No one on this page has mentioned the headline from a newspaper “A Scandal in Belgravia”, “Refit for Historical Hospital” that was pushed in front of the camera several times (Sherlock hides behind it at one point) as Sherlock was reading the paper the morning after being drugged by The Woman. A screencap been posted on Tumblr. I read somewhere that this was going to be a clue but they dropped it (I guess meaning that they decided that a modification of the building was *not* part of how Sherlock faked his death). There was no source listed for how this poster knew that it was dropped. Has anyone read or heard anything from Moffat or Gatiss in interviews, twitter, dvd-extras, etc. that addresses this “clue”?

    • I’m still looking for the source (and exact quote) where “Moffat revealed that the clue was something Sherlock did which was very out of character.” Was it on Twitter? A link would be greatly appreciated!

    • One article I did read while looking for the statement mentioned above was in The Guardian http://gu.com/p/34qtf with the headline, “There is a clue everybody’s missed: Sherlock writer Steven Moffat interviewed”. It was an odd “interview” as the author of the piece doesn’t seem to have seen the end of the episode since he writes:

    “How did Sherlock Holmes survive that death plunge? If, indeed, he did. …
    “Steven Moffat eyes me guardedly from his living room sofa at his home near London’s Kew Gardens. Why don’t you just tell me how Sherlock survived, then you can go back to your study to write some more Doctor Who? “Christ, no!” says Moffat, grinning. A-ha! So that implies Sherlock has survived. (Not such a brilliant deduction: it’s hard to imagine a third series without the hero.)”

    Er… no, it was *not* such a brilliant deduction since we see Sherlock *alive* at the end of the episode!

    [I'm digressing by complaining about the article, but I couldn't refer to it without saying *something*! ;>]

    Then comes *the* quote: “‘There is a clue everybody’s missed,’ he says tantalisingly. ‘So many people theorising about Sherlock’s death online – and they missed it! We’ve worked out how Sherlock survives, and actually shot part of what really happened. It all makes sense.’”

    What did strike me, however, was this later part of the interview:

    “Moffat strives to ignore detractors. ‘I try not to go online much. They’re always gunning for me.’ ”

    So… if Moffat doesn’t go online that much (and I can kind of believe that since he is extraordinarily busy and productive) than how can he be really sure that *everyone* has missed the clue? I’m sure he has people around him who do spend time online and would let him know if they had spotted “the clue” but really, how much time was spent reading message boards? This interview was done 1 week after the episode aired so at the very least we can deduce [lol, I found a way to work in that word] that any potential clue that was widely circulating the net after that point are possibly viable (Moffat will never reveal whether we are correct) and that is is quite possible one of the clues found in that first week but not reported on in the mainstream printed press was the one Moffat was referring to.

    • I think it is very important to keep in mind that no one involved in the series has *ever* said (as far as I know) that the mystery of how Sherlock faked his death actually *can* be solved by watching the episodes that have aired [or in the viral marketing materials such as the character blogs]! It would be a cruel thing to let so many people agonize over this (and dangle a possible “clue”) without a head’s up that there is no possible way to figure it out without seeing the scenes in which Sherlock set the whole thing up, but I believe that is most likely the case. I think it is important to understand that we can only speculate as to what was written and shot but that there is no way to know (without breaking into someone’s office or computer – which I don’t advocate doing!). This may be obvious to some, but I’m not at all sure while reading posts from people (on various websites, not just thing one) that it is obvious to all. “Sherlock” is such a wonderful show and so engrossing that it can make one feel that if one were just as clever as Sherlock, the character, that one could solve the “final problem” in this episode. I fully admit to spending too much time re-watching the episodes and freeze-framing to look around (and I’m grateful that there are so many wonderful little details and touches added) but I know I will have to wait a year (or more) to know how they are going explain this.

    [Here is the "Who" spoilery bit, but I've tried to make it vague.] Personally, I was pretty disappointed by the Tesselecta especially after Moffat “teased” before the first episode that “someone” – one of the main characters – was going to die. The Tesselecta wasn’t a “someone”, it was a ship, a machine. Yes, characters *believed* that he had died, but of course he didn’t. Unless one counts the alternate timeline aged redhead (and there was no D.B.), none of the 4 main characters died. I adore Moffat’s work, but his P.R. tends to be really misleading. It may be effective P.R. – it gets people talking about the shows and watching them over and over – but it is disingenuous.

    Sorry for such a long rant with little to add to the discussion (I’ll try to pop back after I watch “Reichenbach” again) but I am starting to get frustrated trying to figure out “the clue”, and while writing this I realized that I doubt there really is one that no one has found. If anyone has sources/answers to my questions, I’d really appreciate it!
    [Oh! One last comment and 2 questions (sorry!) - while I am embarrassed to admit that I watched it, I'm glad to see that someone else here watched "The Mentalist" pull the squash ball in the armpit trick. Karen Jerome, what other recent film used that device? Does anyone remember if it was ever used in the Holmes canon?]

  17. aharper says:

    Great You are still thinking! Moffat and Gattis – with all my appreciation to their brilliant work – cannot laugh at us !!!

  18. off g says:

    Just an interesting thought, didn’t anyone think of House when Sherlock was playing with the squash ball? He was even doing it in a medical laboratory of all the places! Nothing related to any theories, just interesting how things come in full circle and then double back again when it comes to Sherlock Holmes adaptations. :)

    • aharper says:

      Hose was my first thougt. But than isn’t he another spinn off? Any deduction comes to Sherlock at some point and medical differential is very much a deduction.

      • off g says:

        Precisely why I said the entire thing comes full circle! House is inspired by Sherlock Holmes (Holmes-> Home-> House), and while we can’t be absolutely certain, it is possible that the scene with the squash ball could’ve been inspired by House. Thus, Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle inspires House by David Shore which then may have inspired a bit of Sherlock by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss! Interesting, isn’t it?

  19. off g says:

    To add to the discussion, I think it’s interesting to note that the building is only 70 feet tall and one can theoretically survive that kind of fall. Other than that, there are some other things I’d like to point out.. Generally, when one has jumped off a building in an attempt to kill themselves, they don’t wave their arms or move their legs around. And something I think is rather uncharacteristic of Sherlock is the fact that his coat is open as well. These two things lead me to believe that these are his attempts at slowing down the speed at which he hits the pavement.
    Also note that it was also windy that day. Another thing is that while we see him falling face first into the pavement, it’s interesting to note that when Watson does see him, he’s at his side and there are no bruises at the front of his face, nor is his nose broken. It could mean that there was a body switch or something of that kind. It could also mean that there was indeed one of those crashmat (which could’ve been placed at the white notched rectangle on the pavement that some people have pointed out) things there which would cushion the fall significantly and then allow him to roll off that and let Watson find him lying on his side. Fake or real blood would be squirted of course.

    I don’t know if there’s any significance either but when first put in the stretcher, both his arms are dangling but by the time they’re moving him away both are somehow placed on top of his torso.

    Anything I could’ve said in this post may have just been inconsistencies in the editing, just like with the there, then moving, then gone then there again (laundry? rubbish? either way weird because it’s got fences) truck.

    • Precisely. The position of the body lying on the sidewalk parallel to the street is all wrong, considering that he was falling perpendicular to the street. As he’s falling he’s waving his arms and bending his legs, perhaps trying to get into a feet-first position to land in the truck – that, according to experts (see http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/01/09/falling-man.html) would be the best bet for survival. From the truck he could easily slide down or be pushed down to the ground and doused with blood. No pulse in one hand could be the result of taking a drug before jumping.

  20. alex says:

    i dont have any new answers, but I think some questions (i hope fresh ones):

    1) IOU – what exactly Moriarty get from Holmes before so he obviously owes him now? Even if this is smth bad – what exactly? (fall, what fall)
    2) Molly not in counted, why? (btw She was Moriarty girlfriend some series before)
    3) John Watson come back to hospital. But If he decide to came for example to caffe how his personal killer (who 100% follow him to kill in time) with sniper rifle know Sherlock done jump? Moriarty can not be sure Watson came back to hospital and killer see holmes jump. But he shoots himself. For me it meas there was someone else Moriarty count on for observing Holmes jump and informing killers.

    #3 disturbs me most of all. i see no explanations, whole scene became unlogical unless there is somebody else involved, who is possible on Moriarty side…

  21. Mmma says:

    I think the thing you don’t see, that’s “out of character” for Sherlock, is that he’s telling Moriarty that he needs him to tell the snipers off. If he didn’t want him to kill himself, he would’ve tried to trick him to do it and not clumsy asked for it. Thus, I think S wanted M to commit suicide.
    Also, he acctually tells Molly that he think he’ll die so she’s probably a part of the plan.

    • Mmma says:

      Also, the whole thing that Sherlock didn’t know that the code didn’t exist was very out of character for him, I mean he always know everything! Probably he one step before Moriarity all the time.. I bet he knew what the “last problem” was at the first, even if he didn’t tell Moriarty.

      • He didn’t know the Earth revolved around the sun. Although he did know about Teddy bears in the garden. Hmm
        Don’t make him into a hero, heroes don’t exist. And if they did, well … he wouldn’t be one.

  22. alex says:

    I agree out of character is what Holmes whole Episode 3 is looser, he tricked on every step.
    - “Fake” kidnapping just to make him using “fake” clues and became “fake” detective after using this clues
    -US ampassodor wanted “Him” to be on this kidnapping, it means even if Holmes know all this bring him to “fake” detective ending he cant resist.
    - “Fake” super-code which for some reason can be transferred by knocking on table to his mind. This way (as binary code) you need days to pass some small code. This is also total fake.

    Any thoughts on this:
    1. “My people see you jump from the roof” Moriarty said. Who are “my people”? Sniper came together with Watson which may never happen if Watson just go to girlfriend or any opther place after missis Hudson. 2 other killers watch miss Hudson itself (big bald guy with tatoo) and another person in police watching Lestraid.
    2. Moriarty waiting Holmes on the roof keep his phone in hand same way as GPS normally working best (horizontal position, open to sky). Can this be way he showed his place to “watching people” by his GPS in smarphone?

    If we know who and HOW watching Holmes on roof – we know how he fake his death/fly/suicde network/garbage truck/anything death. Any ideas who and how watching?

    I think sniper can not watch roof because having fast moving traget in sniper scope makes target hard to follow. Somebody with binocle or photocamera watching the roof?

  23. alex says:

    In newspaper which Microft reads (end of movie) is a photo of Holmes lying in blood. Who shoot this? Did you see and photographer on moment he fall and paramedics take him off? it was 1 minute and somebody was so fast to make this photo! Journalist lady who fake Richard Brook article?

  24. alex says:

    ups, no there was no such photo. My mistake

  25. Paul says:

    When Sherlock is first going to jump, when he asks Moriarty for a moment alone, we see that St Paul’s Cathedral is behind Sherlock. He get’s off the ledge to inform Moriarty that they are the same and he can convince Moriarty to call off the killers…

    Moriarty agrees and then kills himself to stop Sherlock doing that, we then see Sherlock getting on a different ledge, ‘It’s shorter, and we clearly see when he is talking to John that the dome of St Paul’s is level with him and not behind him…

    Could this be the clue we are missing? The location of St Paul’s in relevance to Sherlock’s position…

    I personally think so… Although it explains nothing else…

  26. IamSherlock says:

    If anyone is still interested in my 2 cents:
    This is not only about a realistic scenario, because the whole story is not all that realistic anyway. This is about screenwriters teasing our imagination and association.There you have to look. The whole episode is about Grimm’s fairy tales. Moriarty even talks about fairy tales and ‘grim’ tales on the roof. But there is one allusion to a faity tale, no one has ever talked about: the apple, into which Moriarty carves the enigmatic letters. This might be a hint to Snow White, who apparently dies, when her stepmother feeds her a poisoned apple. She is mourned and buried by the dwarfs, but comes back to life after a fall, which makes her spit out the poisoned apple. This ties in neatly with the clue of the Rhododendron Ponticum. A few have noticed that, but no one seems to have realized, that poisoned honey can be made from Rhododendron pollen, and that this was the method, Lord Blackwater used to fake his own death in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie. This would be a cheeky hint from the script writers, who like games like that.
    I think, Sherlock really jumped, but had safety devices (wires, bungie string, fire fighter net… It’s not really important) in place, from which he distracted John like a magician, who lures the audience away from going ons behind the scenes. When John is out for a moment, Sherlock’s helpers drug him with something to make him appear dead, as long as one doesn’t look too closely.

  27. IamSherlock says:

    He is then carried off to the morgue, where his living body gets replaced by Moriarty’s dead body, which could have been carried quietly from the roof into the morgue, without attracting unwanted attention. Sherlock after all choose the location. It’s understandable, that Sherlock needs Molly’s help for all this. I also guess, that Moriarty’s body is the one in Sherlock’s grave, because nobody seems to be aware of Moriarty’s death. I think, all this was planned much earlier than most people think. Remember, that Molly realized pretty early on, that Sherlock is unusually subdued. The plan to go undercover somehow might have been already in place, and I fully believe, that Mycroft and Lestrade were in on it. Lestrade is no fool and he has a pretty good understanding of Sherlock’s psyche. He would have never thought him to be a fraud. Mycroft and Lestrade would be pretty keen to work with a Sherlock in deep cover, who could destroy the rest of Moriarty’s world wide web. Holmes working undercover,that’s exactly, what happens in Doyle’s original story after the Reichenbach fall, and Moffat and Gatiss would be very aware of this.
    So the faked death is not such a great mystery to me, though I might be wrong in details. What I don’t understand at all, is, what’s going on between Sherlock and Moriarty on the roof. Sherlock must have wanted him dead to pull his own death off, but how he tricked him into suicide (if at all -he might have been prepared to take him out another way) is not clear to me. He clearly makes Moriarty believe, that he somehow has a hold on him, and is prepared to do unethical things, which might mimic Moriarty’s methods. When Moriarty realizes, what’s up, they seem to shake hands, but Sherlock seems to pass an item into Moriarty’s hand, which is not the gun; it’s to small. That item must be very important and might have triggered Moriarty’s suicide.

  28. Jordan says:

    I think a lot of these ideas don’t really come together with what happened. You see sherlock step off the building, see him falling, and see a body hit the ground. You don’t really see that the body hitting the ground is Sherlock’s, but it’d be inelegant of the writers to have written in that he jumps off, you see him falling, and then somehow another body hits the ground while Sherlock’s actual body….does what? I mean, obviously there’s something we’re not outright shown because he’s alive and well, and falling off a building would warrant more time than just a few months to to recover and be in the condition he is at the episode’s closing. So it’s obvious he falls, but not so obvious that the body we see hit the ground is his, and obvious that he looks completely okay at the end of the show. What we need to figure out is what detail we’re missing that would account for the fact that he was clearly able to jump off the building and survive apparently unharmed, while at the same time appearing to be the body that hit the ground afterward. It’s also worth noting that although Watson was distracted, which i agree most likely has something to do with Sherlock’s illusion, that people surrounding the body were not, nor were the hit man that were stalking Watson and that lady. Therefore i think it’s unlikely that the body was switched. Also consider the fact that SOMEONE had to notify the hit man who was meant to kill that lady (forget her name, the landlady) so he wouldn’t kill her. Who might that have been?

    My own theory is that Sherlock may have somehow slowed/cushioned his fall so that he wouldn’t be harmed much outside of bruises/bleeding, drugging himself to reduce his heartrate and/or getting the paramedics involved.

  29. IamSherlock says:

    If Sherlock’s fall was made safe (cushioned) somehow, there must be a discontinuity of time and location, as many have pointed out, since there couldn’t very well have been safety devices openly in place without somebody not belonging to Team Sherlock witnessing it. Unless there is a safe method to jump from high buildings, nobody would see, which is not very likely. It even opens up speculations about a good old stuntman (nothing as exotic as a clone or a mask man) appearing to do the talking and doing the jump, John witnesses., and then landing safely somewhere. I’m reasonably sure, though, that the body John sees lying on the ground must have been a drugged Sherlock.
    Another thought about the apple: When Sherlock looks at it closely for the first time, one can’t see the carving. Then he turns it around and sees the letters IOU. This could be another Snow White allusion, since the evil stepmother poisoned only on half of the apple, the one she gave to Snow White.

  30. IamSherlock says:

    Re-reading my and other comments: The whole thing can’t be THAT complicated,even if it is just a tv show. Sherlock probably jumped into the truck, which might have been prepared somehow to make it reasonably safe. But Sherlock was clearly afraid on the roof of what he had to do. So there must have been some real danger.So forget about stuntmen and body doubles: he jumped into the truck, bounced from there (like a rubber ball) onto the ground, was prepared to look injured, was drugged or drugged himself to appear lifeless, while John was out on the pavement.This way, all of it could have been quickly done in the open and outside witnesses were of no concern. Then he was carried into the morgue, where his body was replaced by Moriarty’s body.

  31. aharper@wp.pl says:

    Hi. I finally got time to rewatch Series 2. What about the prison M is in in Episode 2? Do we see what was going on after the breaking to the Tower? Or was he imprisoned previously after the Bond Air thing? Any ideas? I am strongly convinced about desynchonisation being the main clue. If only we put events in the right order!
    it is evening Sherlock gets arrested and escapes.
    Later that evening he sees Moriarty as Richard Brook and decides there is one more thing that needs to be done, but on his own (any ideas what it might be?)
    John goes to see Mycroft in the Diogenes Club – so it is not too late into the evening.
    Molly is just leaving her office – again not too late – before midnight I would assume.
    Now, one thing puzzles me – why aren’t they followed by the police? They escaped with a gun – still noone seems to bother.
    Than we see a cab passing along Bart’s – night or twighlight, still dark. And there is a phonecall from “paramedics” – is it Moriarty or is it Mycroft??? John leaves – and gets to Baker St in daylight, late enough for the workmen to come to Mrs Hudson.The most suprising is Mrs Hudson who carries on with some repairs. She must have heard the shots and shi isn’t thick. So why she does not bother?
    When John leaves – instantly Sherlock gets a text from M – and we can assume goes to the rooftop the same moment – and the sun is high!
    Then, there is the rain – it rains in some scenes while it does not through the others – I tried to extract the scenes with the rain but did not get anywhere. And when John is hit by the cyckist there is a phone ring.
    What is the real order of events?
    AND WHY IS JOHN NOT ATTENDING A FUNERAL???

    • That’s a good point – who did Sherlock get to make that Phone call to John pretending to be the paramedics with Mrs Hudson? Clearly at least one character was in on the fake suicide plot, Molly? Mycroft? Both?
      Or someone new?

    • SD says:

      Thank you — you’re the only other person that has mentioned the phone ringing after John is hit by the bike (thought I was hearing things) — it has to be a clue — does that mean John’s been out a while? That might explain the dry/wet pavement, there was a time lapse.

      • aharper@wp.pl says:

        I had cut the roof/pavement scenes and tried to rearrange them (for weeks) according to the view in perspective, according to the weather – and got nowhere. I have given up this line of pursue for a while. I think the main question remains -what was Sherlock’s plan and why the roof? Has any of You got access to Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner by Henry Goddard? What was the story with Henry Fishguard? Such an obvious necessity – and we are missing it!!! Has any of Your libraries got it? GET ME A COPY OF HENRY FISHGUARD STORY!!!! pleeeease….. and note amazon is for multiple reasons a closed option for me.

  32. sir says:

    First, I want to point out to Alex that it doesn’t take days to deliver a message in binary code. I could’ve just misunderstood what you were trying to say, but if that’s what you meant, it’s not true. My ex girlfriend and I (we’re both giant nerds) used to use binary to tell each other things from across the room. Almost like a type of sign language. The only other useful thing I have to add is the mention of Rhodedendron. I really don’t think that they used this, seeing as it would prolly come off as a ripoff of the Downey Jr movie, but it could be the same toxin from that. Also, I don’t think Sherlock was on the gurney at the end. If you google it, there are pictures.

    • alex says:

      I understood. Speaking about binary code I meant some 0011101…. of some “universal” computer programm which can be used for cracking “any” security systems. 1 Megabyte of such code will take 1024 kByte = 1024*1024 byte = 1024*1024*8 bit of information. In other words = 8388608 bits of information = 8388608 knoks (or pauses between knoks) by hand on the table (if 1 knock = bit 1 and pause = bit 0 how Sherlock explained). If 1 knok or 1 pause takes in average 0.5 second it would take about 48 days to pass 1 Megabyte this way. This was my primary idea ;)

  33. Browncoat says:

    My guess as to the “out of character” act? Holmes requests “a moment of privacy” from Moriarty as he stands on the ledge. This is HOLMES we are talking about, a man with neither shame nor sentiment. As he stand upon the precipice, he gazes across the street, then down to see if “the stage has been set,” then laughs to unsettle Moriarty as he prepares to stall for time as the actors take their places.

  34. emilie says:

    I don’t know EXACTLY how he did it, but my sister and I realised some things:

    1. Sherlock used his homeless network to move the body and break his fall (using a mattress, sheet ect) and to keep John from reaching the body before it was ready, did you notice how there was no blood when John looked before, but after he was knocked down there was a pool of it.

    2. Just before he jumps, Sherlock reaches out toward John. That isn’t like Sherlock, he was ACTUALLY signalling to his homeless network to get ready!

    3. This is completely random, but also when Moriarty gives the “signal” he says to Sherlock “you have until I die to save your friends.”. The gunshot that ends Jims life is actually also the signal!

    Anyway, I hope I helped in some way or other, bye love Em! <3

  35. Ed Broughton says:

    You really have ‘missed a clue’.
    Ive only seen it once. You can tell on a overhead camera shot that the pavement has a 5X10 metre patch where Holmes fell, likely cushioned. Homage to original stories when a ‘random’ character keeps Watson from getting too close to the body to see what is fake.

  36. Elise says:

    It’s a super small thing, but something that caught my eye– when the camera looks down on Sherlock’s body from above, a pair of pigeons fly off a window ledge directly above his body. Like maybe somebody closing a window suddenly disturbed them?
    Like I said, super small detail…

  37. Hella says:

    (Put on another post on 8.5.2012)
    Sherlock did not die.
    1) Watson is a man who believes his own eyes. Therefore, he is sure that the corpse must be Sherlock – after all, he “saw” him jump. He is so shocked, that he cannot even try to think that the corpse might be someone else`s.
    2) There is a moment when a man is putting a rifle into his bag and runs away down the stairs. This “killer” is actually Sherlock.
    3) When the people turn over the corpse, it is clearly seen that the corpse has quite long hair, much longer than Sherlock`s. Mycroft mentioned that one of the killers hired by Moriarti is a woman. Maybe that corpse is hers, dressed in Sherlock`s clothes.

    (Added on another post on 15 5 2012)
    I have watched “Reichenbach” for a second time, and became angry. There are so many “holes” in the plot, and many things cannot be explained (at least logically). If Sherlock is really dead, and was brought back to life just for the 3rd season sake, then it is a bad joke, because “Sherlock” is not a science fiction tale. The greatness of Sherlock is that he is a person who solves problems using his intellect, not some super power.
    And now to some annoying issues from the serial:
    1) When Sherlock sent Watson away under false pretense (who was on the phone? not somebody Watson knows, otherwise he could recognize the voice) that something happened to Mrs. Hudson, was it only just to send him away so he can meet Moriarti without disturbance? Or maybe he sent him to Mrs. Hudson because he wanted that her intended killer will see that Watson is still alive, therefore Mrs. Hudson will get some more time to live?
    2) When Sherlock texted the message that he wants a meeting in the hospital, we assume that it was intended to Moriarti, as this is the next scene. But what we do not know is this – did Sherlock text somebody else as well concerning his whereabouts? If so – whom?
    3) When Sherlock talks to Watson on the phone and warns him not to get close to the building – is he speaking to Watson alone or is it a “conference call” and there is somebody else that has to be assured that Sherlock is going to kill himself? If so – is this one person or several? Is it the killer intended for Watson/Lestrade? Is it Lestrade – to make sure that the investigation will end up as “suicide”? Is it Mycroft, who was fooled by Moriarti? Moreover, Sherlock must give an impression that he did his outmost to kill himself and there is no way that Watson somehow managed to save him or call for help. For that matter – where are the security cameras? How come nobody saw what is going to happen or what really happened?
    3) Watson hit the ground – but stands up without a scratch. How is it possible? What happened to the make-up people?
    4) Sherlock`s grave – is it a grave? There is only a name and surname. Where are the dates of birth and death? Why there is no “in the loving memory of our son and brother”, to say the least?
    I hope that the writers of Sherlock are not laughing at us, the audience.

    • Don’t worry, I really don’t think Sherlock is dead – you’re right in that the show isn’t science-fiction. It’s a fake death, that’s the only thing i am sure of! Very good point about the security cameras though, and what about CCTV? This is something Lestrade would have access to, he could easily check the tapes to see what really happened.

      • Hella says:

        Hi, thanks for the reply.
        I do not believe that Sherlock is dead (I have explained that previously). After all, he is Sherlock and the final word has to be his. Alternatively, it is quite reasonable for Sherlock to die. After all, in the 21 century people are easily bored. Everybody admired Sherlock`s intelligence, but, as expected, his abilities seemed too good to be true. Therefore, his fall was only a matter of time; Moriarti just gave it a little push. Moreover, after the newspapers described Sherlock as a fraud, he cannot show his face in public any more. He has to disappear, and fake death is as good way out as any.
        As I cannot know exactly when it has been decided to shoot the 3rd season, I can only guess that it happened during the shooting of “Reichenbach”, or after everything was ready. This 3rd season requested the necessary changes, which can be the explanation as for why “Reichenbach” is such a mess. Furthermore, the writers decided to do in “Reichehbach” the same thing as in 1st season serial 3 (where Sherlock was left pointing the gun towards the bomb against Moriarti, leaving the audience puzzled and receiving the answer only at the 2nd season serial 1) and supply the answer in the 1st serial of the 3rd season, which does not even exist (are they fishing for ideas? All blogs dealing with Sherlock`s “to be or not be” are an excellent source). I suppose they did not learn that no trick should be performed twice.
        “Reichenbach”, although it includes one more conflict between Sherlock and Moriarti, is a completely different story. Everything, beginning from the first season and each and every serial, is pointing toward that conflict, that final clash. All other serials, although standing by their own right, are, generally speaking, a foreplay for the big game. Therefore, by deciding not to tie all loose ends in real time, a thing undone even by the worst thrillers, the writers gave us a promise of something like of a smashing sex, and gave us less than a one night stand (excuse me my French).
        In short, the writers have showed, to say the least, a complete disrespect to us, namely their audience. And what existence do they have without that audience – us?

    • Kira says:

      don´t worry, it´s great for them, to see us thinking ´bout that.

  38. Tom says:

    Haven’t read any other comments here or seen anybody else give the right answer to “the clue that everybody missed”/what Sherlock did that was uncharacteristic of him. The correct answer IS : He didn’t check to make sure Moriarty was dead. 2 reasons why: 1. he knew Moriarty wasn’t dead* 2. if he did chck, Moriarty would get up and make sure Sherlock jumped to the pavement and not onto the padding in the garbage truck.

    Very clever these Sherlock writers. They obviously took advantage of fictional film gunshot wounds, most often, not being realistic to convince viewers Moriarty shot himself, while Sherlock knew it was fake – no smoke from Moriarty’s mouth, no back of the head blown off.

    And what is with people even suggesting it was a dummy, cadaver instead of Sherlock? People suggesting such obviously weren’t paying attention. The director/writers went to some length to make sure you saw Sherlock leap from the roof – showing Sherlock jump (from behind but obviously Sherlock himself (watch again it obviously couldn’t be anybody else)), showing Sherlock flailing – arms & legs outstretched.

    • Hi Tom, see where you are coming from but remember, in the original stories Moriarty does die in The Final Problem. I don’t think the creators of Sherlock would stray that far from the canon and make his death a fake.

  39. Manically Cubed says:

    If I might add my two cents worth–or would that more properly be tuppence? Remember how, in his final phone call, Holmes tells Watson “It was all a magic trick”? I have worked with stage magicians, and the first rule of stage magic is that the magician must set up the conditions under which the trick is performed, and how his audience will view the trick. Holmes had all night and much of the morning to prepare for the final scene. Holmes chose the place–the rooftop–and he had willing and careful accomplices– Molly and the Homeless League. And the items at hand with which to do a lot of trickery.
    The first trick was to make sure Moriarty saw Holmes commit suicide. The new bit of information was Moriarty’s plot to have Watson, LeStrad and Mrs. Hudson killed. This was not something Holmes has foreseen, and he obviously had no time to warn anyone. So it was crucial that he either got Moriarty to call it off, or to finish his trick of faked suicide to prevent their deaths. There was always a certain amount of danger in the task of the fake suicide–I concur with those who say he jumped into the carefully prepared garbage truck–so the better choice was to trick Moriarty into giving up the code. Which Moriarty fouled by killing himself. I think that was total surprise Number Two for Holmes. So he was forced into the fake suicide.
    We do not know how long it took Watson to get to Baker Street, see that Mrs. Hudson was OK, then head back to St. Bart’s. This was in the morning on a typical London day–so it would not have been a quick trip. Since Homes probably concocted the ruse of getting Watson to go to Baker Street, he knew Watson would return and where he would be getting out of the cab. When Watson returned, Holmes kept him away from the building so he would have a good view of the fall, but not of the landing. Holmes also gave Watson clues about magic tricks. And when Watson reminded him of guessing about his sister, Holmes did not correct him–Holmes originally guessed Watson had an alcoholic BROTHER from looking at his cell phone. He was trying to tip Watson off.
    So, all that was left was to jump into the garbage truck, climb out quickly and lie down on the sidewalk with the squash ball under his arm to stop the pulse. The Bicyclist was there to slow Watson down so he had time to lie face down on the sidewalk, and have a blood pack emptied on the back of his head. If you look at Holmes’ face the blood trails go from the back of the head to his face–not very believable if he fell face first. The crowd and the paramedics could have been plants–they would not have scooped someone up and carried them into the hospital if they had severe head trauma.
    I think the only flimsy thing about the episode is Moriarty killing himself–why did he do that? And did it really happen?

  40. 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?

  41. Sue Maden says:

    Lots of great theories and so much to think about. Thank you to the author of this blog, and all those who contributed. I’m jonesing for more Sherlock, and these comments have helped fill the gap.

  42. michael says:

    1 clue everyone missed. Sherlock didn’t need a fake body, he could have just taken moriarty’s right hand causing watson to get no pulse and him covered in blood.

  43. Chris says:

    I have a few disconnected questions about many of the on-screen texts in the series that may or may not connect to SH’s “fall”.
    1). In the very first episode, when the texts are being sent to everyone at the press conference, are they sent by SH or Moriarty? If Moriarty, then Lestrade and Donovan know about Moriarty?
    2) Online – Watson’s blog- Mrs Hudson says she made a new friend named Jim very early on in the series.
    3) Moriarty must know it was W who shot the cab driver in the first episode, right?
    4) Mycroft makes mention of Sherlock’s school chums or something in Hound or Fall – I forget. Sherlock says his first use of deduction was on his classmate who died in the pool. Nobody believed him when he said it was foul play. Moriarty said he killed the boy for laughing at him. So Jim and Sherlock went to school together? Is this how Sherlock “created” Moriarty? Listen carefully to the hidden message in Sherlock’s last words to Watson.
    5) Why didn’t W fire his therapist as instructed by SH? Even Mycroft had her notes. Why is he there with her?
    6) Were the really three snipers or did Sherlock have his own people watching out for Mrs Hudson and Lestrade? The workman with the gun was actually protecting Mrs H? In the ACD canon, Moriarty had only one, very trusted sniper.
    7) Why doesn’t Moriarty list Molly as a friend? She isn’t disloyal, nor is she stupid. She is just portrayed as weaker because she is SH’s opposite – emotional/empathetic.
    8) SH says he has one friend, but he never names Watson as such. This was a very awkward scene.
    9) Did Molly, Moriarty or Mycroft send the “I’m waiting… -M” text when Holmes was at St Barts?

    Im a newcomer to Sherlock, so I hope my questions aren’t ridiculous.

    • Not ridiculous at all, thanks for your questions. You raise some good points, especially why didn’t Moriarty list Molly as a friend and put a sniper on her.

      The texts at the press conference are sent by Sherlock, and he has clearly done it before. It’s his way of pushing Lestrade to include him in the case.

      I don’t think Sherlock was at school with Karl Powers (the swimmer), rather he just heard about it in the press and thought the police got it wrong.

      The ‘I’m waiting’ text came from Moriarty, or so I always thought. But, you could be right – it could be Mycroft or Molly. I hadn’t thought of that!

      • Chris says:

        Another thing I’m wondering about are ring tones. Know how Irene Adler’s ring on Sherlock’s phone was that breathy noise? Well, what if her ring tone on Moriarty’s is Stayin’ Alive? We know he answered that tone once (pool) and it was her – he threatens to make her into shoes. But what if that’s HER tone for him. Could she have called him on the St Barts roof?

  44. Hella says:

    I would like to continue my idea about the killers hired by Moriarti. 1) Mycroft mentioned 4 killers and the nationality of two of them. Therefore we may assume that all of them are foreigners. 2) Moriarti mentioned 3 killers – for Watson, Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade, while we know that 2 killers are dead. Question: are there 4 killers or 5? Who is wrong: Mycroft once again – or Moriarti? Possible answer: Moriarti hired 4 foreign killers – 3 for Sherlock`s friends and 1 for him. But, as he likes drama, he decided that although Sherlock`s assassination will be easily explained (there are enough people who hold grudge against him), he is not worth a bullet. The idea of driving Sherlock to suicide sounded to him much more appealing, more “sexy”. As for the vacant killer – he shall be “on hold” – he shall kill Sherlock in case he decides to live and sacrifice the lives of his friends.
    But meantime two killers were shot. As only two were left against three/four targets and time was running, Moriarti probably hired a local killer – something Mycroft probably did not foresee. That killer could be the bald man with the tattoos, who was doing some work for Mrs. Hudson. Being in the premises, he could also plant the camera which Sherlock found in the flat.
    A paradox: killers are hired to kill, but in this case they act just the opposite – as Sherlock`s bodyguards.
    Mycroft mentioned one killer (a woman with a Russian name, she has even a photo), but she is not seen at all the whole movie. Mycroft also showed a photo of another killer (not mentioning his name or nationality), which is seen in a late stage of the movie, his face obscure (is this a somehow feminine man or a woman with masculine features?). Out of 4 foreign killers, these are the only ones who are left. Moriarti created a problem for Sherlock by placing him twice in a crime scene with 2 deceased killers. As there is no problem to find a witness (with an aid of the CCTV street cameras) to the fact that Sherlock was rescued by them and shook their hand prior to their death, the police will use the “common sense” and conclude that Sherlock had dealings with them and with their competitors.
    Sherlock knows about the killers` existence, and has no problem to obtain all the necessary information about them by using his sources. As his reputation is compromised – a fraud, a fugitive, and who knows what else – then why not use it to his advantage?
    Therefore, Sherlock probably decided to turn both killers one against the other. Maybe he somehow persuaded one killer (probably the one with the obscure face) that the other (probably the Russian woman) wishes to buy the “key” from him. In order to escape death, he shall meet Sherlock without being seen (somewhere in the hospital), make the deal (he has probably received his fee in advance) and leave the premises disguised as Sherlock. Why not kill him beforehand? Because it will be much sweeter to shoot him when he least expects it.
    Sherlock meets Moriarti on the roof. The disguised killer is waiting somewhere in the hospital. The second killer is waiting with his rifle. Sherlock talks to Watson on the phone. The disguised killer knows nothing, the second one hears everything (“conference call”). Next happens simultaneously – the disguised killer was shot and hit the pavement, his blood all over, while Sherlock jumps from the roof – on something soft. As Sherlock has “killed” himself – the mission is accomplished and the remained killers can back off.
    If Moriarti has a sense of humor, the killers he hired are 2 men and 2 women. If Sherlock has the same humor, he probably knows that a woman will easily shoot another woman, while a man might be hesitant.
    Anyhow – as I am not the writer, I can do no more than guess.

  45. Helen Brewis says:

    There is a lot to be seen in the suicide scene that requires attention, however they all may have been put there to give people the wrong idea. I would like to point out that when Sherlock jumps, he jumps so that he is perpendicular to the building. However, when we see the body on the ground, it lies parallel to the building, therefore the body has to have been moved at some point for at least a brief second. Everyone is also familiar with the “rubbish truck” theory but has anyone else noticed the stray, filled black bag that is left hidden under a bench? For the camera shot when John first gets around the corner, the corner that blocked his view so that he couldn’t see Sherlock hit the ground, where Sherlock placed him and insisted he remain there, you can see some people starting to surround the body. Pause your DVD’s at the moment when there are only about six people, excluding Sherlock, on screen. If you look under the bench furthest on the left, the bench closest to the body if you look at the arial view, you can see a black bin bag hidden under the chair. Everyone’s focus is taken away from the bag and chair because this clip is the first time we get to see the body of Sherlock. I’m not even sure if this even is related to how he faked his death, but it just seems like a strange ‘prop’ to be left in the position for that scene.

  46. Kira says:

    So, in my view you have to surge for informations when M is in SH´s room. First: IOU it´s definetively a sign. I owe you or I.O.U. I don´t know. It´s in the apple, opposide the Baker Street 221b and the police department. SH also thought about that sentence. Then the mask or the person who lookes like SH. Yes, first I thought SH would throw down another person and let it look like himselve, but no. You see him moving while he is falling – the person is alife. But of cause it has to had something to do with it, so maybe the death man wears a mask. Molly is also an important person. SH is laying in front of the path she is working in and he asked her to help him. Watson was called by a person, because Mrs. Hudson get shoot, but she wasn´t, so who called him? In the story there are different well known stories talking about. Grimm, Arthus maybe that is something. I will look for something important in that stories. What´s even about the burned ginger bread cake? M said he would burn SH. “I am like you. Be up to burn.” The theorie about Mycroft… great. Mycroft said to him M was talking… what did he say? Maybe there is a singn in the word play. SH and M said (M at the beginning, SH at the ending) let´s play. Of cause the position of Watson is important, too. But why? Also that Watson couldn´t get to SH directly must have something to do with it. The squash ball – in the room of the boy who was kidnapped was a rocket – the kidnapping- “Hänsel und Gretel” – Grimm. There is a open delivery truck next to SH as he is laying on the ground, what sense doese it gives? And finally : You don´t see M anymore… Is he really is dead???
    More I can´t say for today. Have to go into my memory palace.

    • Kira says:

      Not to forget: the thing which isn´t likely to SH.
      Someone said it´s that he was drinking tea. – It isn´t SH ever drank tea, never drank coffee.
      Second theory: got to become a “hero” – never alowed them to say it, but what should he do?
      Third: the kind of talking to molly. – he kissed her in a scandal in belgravia. it´s not the kind he´s talking. it´s WHAT. SH didn´t aske for help til than. but it isn´t that point. too apparent.
      fourth: giving M a handshake. – wasn´t his idea. was M.
      fifth: he cried. – maybe. but WHY did he cry? he knows he wouldn´t die. it was his plan. so why did he cry? a point i´m not shure about.
      sixth: the hand sign to watson. – don´t believe it was this. he wanted watson to stay over there. it´s typical.
      must be something small but very important… but what?? man.guess i need to calm down and wath it again.

  47. Hella says:

    How did Sherlock escaped death?
    As “Sherlock” is a serial which is a mixture of logic and complete nonsense, I hope that the writers will think of a solution that will not be too stupid or too refuted. Until then, some more suggestions for a possible solution:

    Watson
    The whole “Reichenbach” story is told by Watson either in his blog to Sherlock`s fans or to his therapist. If there are things that we, as audience, do not know, this is because Watson himself does not know. Examples – we do not know what exactly Sherlock told Molly, as well as how Sherlock survived after jumping from the roof. But in this case– how can we possibly know what happened between Sherlock and Moriarti on the roof, if Watson was not there? Possible answer – Sherlock`s or Moriarti`s phone recorded the whole conversation (too complicated), or for Sherlock`s fans sake, namely us, Watson could not leave a blank space from the moment he left Sherlock in the hospital until seeing him standing on the roof, therefore invented the whole story. Thus we were manipulated to believe in what Watson himself wanted to believe – that Sherlock was more human and caring than he actually was.

    Irene Adler
    All interviews with the writers and articles were deeply concerned whether Sherlock wanted to sleep with her, but no one (as far as I could see) asked how did Sherlock appear out of the blue in Pakistan, saved her and faked her death, all this under Mycroft`s nose. The serial did not supply an answer to that. This means that everybody accepted for granted that he succeeded in doing so because he is Sherlock. Therefore, the question “how he managed to jump from the roof without getting killed” will also remain unanswered. He is Sherlock, a fiction, not a real person, therefore he can do anything.

    Moriarti
    Moriarti`s plan was to destroy Sherlock as a person and his reputation as a “Reichenbach” hero. He did this by creating the Richard Brook scoop. Sherlock succeeded in turning the suicide weapon against Moriarti himself, but this act forced him to jump from the roof, otherwise his friends will die. In this case, why did Mycroft play into Moriarti`s hands by supplying him all information about Sherlock that only he could know, and Sherlock by not guessing his game in advance? Because sometimes clever people do foolish things? Or maybe both of them did this deliberately, thus exposing all the danger in being famous and returning Sherlock back to his anonymity?
    Moreover, Sherlock always said that he does not care what people think about him. If so, why the Richard Brook business bothers him so much? It is very out of his character, isn`t it?
    Possible answer – Sherlock, being as he is, has found 3 friends in this world, therefore their good opinion is important to him.

    I believe that I could not find satisfying answers to the question “how did Sherlock escaped death”, because I was asking – as well as being asked – the wrong question. The right question should be – how did Sherlock succeed in destroying Richard Brook, thus defeating Moriarti. Is Sherlock`s “suicide” and return to anonymity the answer to that?
    The ball is in the writers` hands.

  48. GF says:

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but I was particularly concerned with the editing. It is such a big disparity that either it’s a massive unintentional screw up or it has something to do with suggesting Watson’s state of mind. We see the body fall and hit the pavement, but cannot see the curb. Then we cut to a scene peering around a corner that clearly shows a body on they sidewalk, with a trash truck filled with trashbags parked in front of it. Then we cut to the biker clipping Watson and knocking him down – but in the background while this is going on the body is laying out in the open (a black blob in the background) while the paramedics rush over from the hospital and what appears to be too more blobs investigating the body, with NO GARBAGE TRUCK. Then what happens? We get another scene overhead of the body with the garbage truck clearly STILL PULLING AWAY – even though in the scene just prior the garbage truck is completely gone.

    To me there are only two things this could mean:
    - someone screwed up the editing – it happens.
    - Watson isn’t experiencing events in the order they actually happened, and is suffering from either a concussion or shock. If this is the case then all of his observations, including the pulse (squash ball or no squash ball) and the face of the body are entirely unreliable as his vision has been compromised.

    This could mean that the corpse was much more badly damaged then Watson saw – he may have expected to see his friend and in his disoriented state saw him. This would fit with what I expect, since I would have thought a body plummeting that far, that fast and that hard would probably have not had much of a face at all left. This could mean that Sherlock dressed up Moriarty in his clothes, threw him off the building, and then quietly left while his friend created the panic necessary for everyone to believe the flattened, splattered remains on the sidewalk were indeed Sherlock Holmes. Nothing like a friend screaming hysterically “He’s MY FRIEND!!!” to convince you of the identity of the ex-person now splattered gore-fest on the sidewalk.

    If it turns out that the editing was merely a screw up, then the best I can come up with is that Sherlock tossed Moriarty into the garbage truck and then hightailed it down that fire escape we saw to the left when we are first introduced to the roof (where the camera pans from where Moriarty is sitting playing “Stayin’ Alive” over to where Sherlock is, you can see a black metal frame that appears to be a fire escape). Then all he had to do was lie down and appear dead on the sidewalk, with the squash ball under his arm and having liberally applied Moriarty’s blood to his face.

    • Erin says:

      I think this is a small, but significant detail: look at the blood on Moriarty and Sherlock closley, see the colors? Moriarty’s blood is much darker, and sherlock’s is lighter. Could be that one cut a vein and the other an artery(I think I spelled that wrong..oops!) but i think the special effects people are trying to make a point, Sherlock is on the side of the angels, lighter, prettier blood, (if the blood of my favorite psychopath can be pretty) and Moriarty’s is Dark and scary. Who knows, i could be looking into this too much.

  49. aharper@wp.pl says:

    Screwing up editing? In the final episode with a cliff-hanger from hell? GF -it is Moffat and Gattis we deal with! These people reshot the whole first episode just to make it better!!!
    I have already written here – when Moriarty says “Falling is just like flying” – his “uuuuuu” down is desynchronised with what he says – I think it is the clue – what we see and what we hear depends on what we are shown and let to hear!!! So IMMPOSSIBLE TO RULE OUT: 1. Mistakes in editing,

    I come back to the question not answered before:
    Moriarty’s imprisonment we see in Episode 2 with the release – when has it taken place?
    And let us remember – it is Mycroft who is the cleverest in Holmses Family. It has been revealed the film is going to follow the Canon on this “How was the lilo? It was the sofa” in Blind Banker. So IMMPOSSIBLE TO RULE OUT 2. Mycroft disclosing information to Moriarty.

    The the more I think about it the more I am convinced it has been all set up to get to Moriarty. If everything is set up from the start – Watson is a warrant the world belives in it (as in the Canon).
    But still more questions than answers.Why the roof? And why two roofs – again I do not belive in “editing” being an issue – I remind you – S and M meet at one roof, the Sherlock is seen to jump from, but speaks with John from another part of the roof and is seen to fall as if from this place (although before we see his back as he jumps from the first roof, the one he met with M at).
    Lets stick to the facts, shall we…
    Do you all agree with the following:
    1. Sherlock is not dead
    2. Watson belives in Sherlock’s death
    3. There are no mistakes in the editing
    ?
    Let’s establish the common ground and advance!

  50. I think that when sherlock was falling, molly pushed a dead body through the top window (it is seen, that it is a bit open). Then Sherlock lands on the rubbish truck. And the truck drives away. Instant paramedics come and dont allow anyone to go near the body, so noone could verify it. The face of sherlock in the body was john’s illusion due to being hit bu a cyclist(also planned by sherlock) and hitting his head on the ground. The paramedics then take away the body. Molly prepares false report of is death and a fake body for burying.

  51. Kim says:

    Has anybody noticed how when he’s falling, he is perpendicular to the building but the body is parallel? That makes me think he did land in the garbage truck and ride away and there was another body waiting at the bottom that somebody put there while John was getting hit by the bike. Also, when Sherlock looks down, there is somebody sitting on the bench with somebody else standing in front of them. Or at least that’s kind of what it looks like though it’s a bit blurry. That could by the body that they were going to use. I’m still curious what the uncharacteristic thing is though. I like the idea that he got the key wrong. Though I bet he really knew and was just messing with Moriarty.

  52. david says:

    The question that bothers me is OK Sherlock sets up this scene to fool Watson, but when he went up on the roof he knew Moriarty was there. He was genuinely shocked with Moriarty’s suicide so he could not have anticipated it. How then did he expect to fool Watson (garbage truck, fake blood. Molly etc, whatever you want!) without expecting Moriarty to peer over the edge straight after the jump and see what was going on? Everything else would be a waste of time?

    • Perhaps he intended to throw Moriarty off the roof but somehow knew that he would have to go too?

      • SD says:

        Remember, Sherlock says, “I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one minute I am one of them.” So, yeah, Sherlock probably was thinking of killing Moriarty up on the roof. Maybe that’s why he freaked after Jim killed himself, running through his plan making sure his own “fake” suicide could still be pulled off.

  53. Rita says:

    I am guessing the “homeless network” could be involved, too.

  54. arrgeekay says:

    All very interesting points here! There were a couple of things I wondered about though, your thoughts?
    1. I did think the “out of character” thing that Sherlock did was actually call JW. He never calls, and the only other time I can think of him talking on the phone is in TGG – when he was called, rather than making the call. Of course, it may just be out of neccesity that he calls JW, but it did strike me as odd.
    2. Sally Donovan. Her antagonism towards Holmes has always puzzled me. Right from the start, she says things like “He does that…he always leaves”. This is never fully explained, so what is her problem? Where does it come from?
    3. In the canon, Sherlock never fell. He appeared to fall, to JW, but did not. The writers have so far played interesting tricks with the original stories, but how far have they deviated from the canon? Are there any examples you can think of where they have been completely opposite of the original? The reason I wondered so much as to whether Sherlock actually fell is because you see him throw his phone away, just before he jumps – but he throws it on to the roof.
    4. Grimms fairy tales – what is the significance of the burnt Gingerbread man? The breadcrumbs and book of tales in the envelopes, I get that – the Hansel & Gretel reference to the two kidnapped children. But the Gingerbread man is not a Grimm fairy tale – so what does it mean? And why burnt? Is that a reference to Moriarty saying he will “burn you, burn the very heart of you” ?

    All very confusing! What do you think?

    • Well that’s a very good point about the phone. Sherlock normally gets John to send texts for him because he can’t be bothered with it. But what this means in terms of how he faked his death is a mystery. Oh it’s all such a mystery!

    • Boldilocks says:

      I thought the gingerbread man being burnt was a reference to Moriarty saying he was going to burn him – but the fact that it was a gingerbread man (“Run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”) was a reference to M turning SH into a fugitive.

    • Erin says:

      I think Sally’s hatred towards SH is because she’s jelous of his outshining her. She has to work and research to find the answers to the most simple cases while it takes SH a few seconds.

  55. MK says:

    all these points make me even more excited about the next series! ahh. have they released a date for the next episode?

    well I just wanted to point out some quick little things. I’m sorry if they have been previously stated. :)
    1) did anybody notice the red letters in the credits? they spell out “believe”.
    2) Everybody seems to have worked out reasonable possibilities for MOST of the little problems here and there but what always bothered me was the girl screaming when she sees Sherlock. To me, the first thing that popped into my head was the mercury she had just recently consumed. I don’t know, it could have made her a wee bit bonkers. All it could have taken was someone who looked even just A LITTLE bit similar to Sherlock to set her off when she sees him for the first time.

    • Erin says:

      Ok, I realize this is probably stupid, but maybe it’s worth something. I think there might be some type of torture with narcotics that M can show the children pictures of SH and have them associate it with death and injury and their kidnapping. Maybe?

  56. Ryan TRDFYGUHJ says:

    I think the OOC is how he called john. He never calls people. He prefers text. WHAT DOES IT MEAN.

  57. Katla says:

    I also thought about the squashball thing as a Dr-Gregory-House related hint. Though you might know Dr House is on Vicodin quite often. The containt drug Hydrocodon may cause breath depression in high doses but has one or two antidots which can be given, by Molly perhaps?

  58. Jessy says:

    I doubt anyone is going to read this since I skipped most of the comments myself, but I’m going to say this anyway. Mycroft had nothing to do with it. I doubt that Molly did but there is a chance. Sherlock wanted John to stand where he was standing because there was a building that would have block his vision of the impact. Also, There wasn’t a dummy or a fake body involved. Even if it was Molly who examined the body, a number of other people would have seen it and I believe they have to do a standard dna test of some kind just to be sure there isn’t any problems like fake bodies, yes Irene Adler did fool the dna test TWICE, but I don’t think either Moffat or Gattiss would ever redo that just because it would make it a teensy bit boring. Yes, I do think that Sherlock used the ball under the armpit trick and (incase anyone’s interested) I did think that before reading this. No, drugs were not used. There is no way they could be. Bicyclist, could be a very convenient accident, but I don’t think so, Sherlock knew he was going to ‘die’ before he ever went up on that roof top, ‘”There’s only one thing he needs to do before he can complete his game and that’s to k-” “Sherlock?” “There’s something I need to do.”‘ also, “I think I’m going to die.” Not quite sure yet how he contacted this bicyclist or how he knew him since not even Sherlock can see the future (I have thought of the homeless network). And yes, I think that Sherlock did not know that Moriarty wanted him to commit suicide though I admit it is probable. I do believe that Sherlock knew the tapping and the computer code and all was faked and that he was merely playing the game. Also, Sherlock looks down at the street and Moriarty comments that they have an audience (a man standing by a bench at the foot of the building I believe) though this ‘audience’ disappears. Probably irrelevant but I don’t know. The fact is, in the end I do not know how Sherlock escaped it but I’m working on it and I will let you know when I have it solved. Bye for now! -Jess

    • Hi Jess, thanks for your well thought out comments (see, someone did read them!). Despite all the theories out there and on this site, the truth is that no one really knows how Sherlock did it. Filming on series three starts January next year so we still have a long time to wait – very frustraiting! Oh well, I guess that gives us plenty of time to keep trying to solve the problem.

    • yellowtree says:

      Hi,
      If they followed the original story, Mycroft is involved. But in the original story Molly didn’t exist, so she or Mycroft can be Sherlock’s partner in the setting up of the suicide. I think, but not sure, that Sherlock had an accomplice.
      I don’t think any DNA test was done, after all there wasn’t any doubt about Sherlock’s identity.
      I also think there is evidence to the fact that Sherlock knew he “was going to die” and I also think that he figured out that the code didn’t exist and was playing along. The bicyclist had nothing to do with the case, it was a coincidence, I think.

  59. 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.

  60. Timo Kärki says:

    Elementary my dear Watson. The fake suicide is not that complicated, really. Molly is definitely in on it, probably Mycroft also.

    1. JW is the key witness to the suicide and therefore the very target of the scam.
    2. SH makes sure JW is in a position where he can see him jump and fall, but not land (building blocking line of sight).
    3. No clones, masks, or dummies are used. It is SH who jumps.
    4. There is a “landing pad”, a lorry loaded with bags, on which SH safely lands. SH asks JM for “one moment of privacy” as he sees there are two buses blocking the spot where the lorry should be. When he does jump, the lorry is there, and can be seen driving away after the jump.
    5. Bicycle man is either homeless network or one of Mycrofts men.
    6. As JW is knocked down by the bicycle man. SH jumps from the lorry to the ground and splashes some blood on his head (this could also have been done by the “bystaders”).
    7. SH uses the quash ball to fake not having a pulse when JW checks for it.
    8. SH is IMMEDIATELY rushed off to the path. dept., where Molly switches bodies (“pathological department” is written on the wall below the spot where SH jumps.

    So there, the fake suicide is quite simple. Plenty of other mysteries in the episode, though. Did JM fake his own suicide, and did SH see it coming? How early on did SH realize JM’s master plan? What’s with the IOU’s? Why did SH choose to remain “dead” for so long?

    • dave says:

      But if SH knew that JM was alive on the roof he could fake his suicide as clarely JM would see the truck, the flase blood, the entire set up. SH aimed to fool JM, unless he palnned to kill him (thwarted by JM’s suicide)

  61. jeff says:

    I think one if the clues was also when he said it was all a magic trick to John when talking about his fake ruse but i think jt was a hint that he was about to preform the real magic trick.

  62. Stuart says:

    The cyclist is probably something to do with the trick but I don’t think it’s about distracting John while Sherlock gets off the rubbish truck we quite clearly see him on the pavement before the cyclist knocks over John.

    The only part where Sherlock does something out of character is the scene with Molly.

    All the things mentioned probably have some little part in how he did it but I just can’t see how the cyclist knocking John over was to distract him while Sherlock moved onto the pavement.

  63. Patti Shaffner says:

    Just a question I have not yet seen addressed, and may not be relevant to the question of clues….but, why would Watson go to Bakker Street to see the allegedly shot and dying Mrs. Hudson? Wouldn’t she have been in hospital at that point? Which begs the question. Did Sherlock arrange for that call to get John out of the building? I can’t imagine that error on the part of the creators….sending John to the flat.

  64. Patti Shaffner says:

    Oh! And too… Molly notices that Sherlock appears sad when John is not looking. So the plan has been in place for some time since he knows he will be betraying his friend. Sherlock? Who cares not one whit about other people? And yet does? Paradox….

  65. chri says:

    my theory :there were two jumps . holmes asked to john to keep his eyes on him , then wrapped moriarty’s body in a cloak and threw it over the building ( he put the body behind him while making the suicide call , quickly ducked and hid himself under the battlements and gravity did the rest ) . what john didn’t see however was holmes abseiling over the side of st. bartholomew’s hospital while he was watching the fall. Rushing to the body , he was delayed by a cyclist and a truck , giving sherlock time to dump moriarty’s body , smear himself with moriarty’s blood and stop his breathing and heart rate using a potion molly had given him. it would have been easy for molly hooper to testify that the blood was his own and then secretly give him the antidote . and bury an empty coffin .

  66. Sal Paradise says:

    The phone call was out of character, and obviously Holmes was providing the “suicide narrative” to Watson. At one point, didnt he stop Watson from taking another step. So he was watching him. Possibly as mentioned, from a different building, or from inside a window, perhaps the one from which the birds flew away. Holmes had to provide a perfect suicide narrative for Watson, thereby making the suicide seem perfect. In reality is just a case of “unrelible narrator” here, Watson confirming Holmes death via Holmes phone call (as well as the showrunners being unreliable narrators here). Also, it had to look like suicide for the sniper on Watson. After the fall, we do see the sniper breaking down his rifle. The combo of the fall and the call succeeds in fooling both, therefore ending M’s plan.

    How has no one mentioned this yet as “out of character”: Holmes is late to meet Moriarty. Moriarty has to text him: “I’m waiting.” That struck me as very unusual and out of character. Holmes has the ability to be in the place he wants to be when he wants to be. Unless being late, of course, is part of the plan. Allowing other threads to come together. Such as Holmes picking the location of the face-off, allowing him to pre-prepare before M. ever got there.

    There is plenty of time for Holmes to set up a variety of plans (rubbish truck, etc.). The fact that he is running late to meet Moriarty on the roof, that he is sitting down bouncing the ball makes me think that Holmes himself was the “bored” one. He had time to kill. The thing that bothered me the most was the editing and how much time off camera Holmes had to set up whatever plan Moffat and the other writers have. It makes the solving of this to be impossible really, just guesswork that will be filled in using flashbacks in Series 3 episode 1.

    I want to mention “the bubble” here. Moffat always says that “no one has guessed it yet, that something was missed” no matter what cliffhangar show he works on. He also says he doesn’t go online, so there is a deceitful paradox here. He has no clue if people have figured it out yet unless he has gone online to look. And while he is a busy man, he is busy being surrounded by people employed by him. Sycophants and yes-men (and yes-women). So I imagine him asking whomever is on staff to check the internet for theories, and that person says to him, “Oh no, they haven’t figured it out yet.” Then when he is finalizing the script for the next episode, he asks his people if fans have figured out what he “wrote” yet. (He says that his writing is mostly via recording conversations and having other people type it up for him into script format, as opposed to writing actual scripts…) So his people say to him eventually, “Yes, some people are on the right trail here, so you may want to use those clever loose ends you planted in the show.” In other words, his people tell him no one figured it out, and then he is helpfully guided by his people to avoid the year’s worth of viewer theories.

    On other words, he’s not lying per se when he says no one has figured it out yet because he is in a “bubble” that keeps him from knowing whether that statement is true or not. And if viewers do figure it out, then the people in his bubble nudge him away from the viewer theories (a job that they were in part surely hired to research). So they guide him within the bubble to MAKE SURE he doesn’t write what people have already guessed. After all, there were so many red herrings, loose ends and gaps in time that any of the dozen theories presented here could be what he initially intended, but his staff will make sure via conversation (remembering that that is how he writes, by having conversations with his staff who then write it down for him) to guide him to something “original.” (“Original” being an idea not guessed, at least not entirely, save some details, by the viewers.) The result is a clever story having to do with the copious details littered (like bread crumbs) throughout the episode, not necessarily using any of the original clues or mixing them with red herrings and loose ends.

    Anyone familiar with politics knows about “the bubble.” Powerful people, whether a presidential candidate or a tv showrunner, are surrounded by people who make sure nothing gets through the bubble to the powerful individual. They are completely displaced from reality. And they therefore can make comments like “no one noticed a big clue yet” or “I always had this planned from the beginning” (because there are enough people buffering them and helping direct them to make sure that these statements appear true).

    Considering all the things Moffat said like this in many interviews over the years about “Doctor Who” and about “Sherlock”, he is clearly in the bubble.

    In other words, you just cannot believe a word Moffat (or anyone in a similar position of power) says. Is it his fault? Not necessarily, but that doesn’t actually matter.

    My point is that the truth has already been sussed out, his original idea has been by now discovered, and so he will have to rewrite it with help from the people who keep him in the bubble, from people who know what theories are out there and what are not.

    So, what’s the point. One: viewers like us enjoy trying to figure it out. Two: Moffat like many other creative types will SAY ANYTHING (and believe it themselves) in order to keep viewers in a frenzy. Why? So that the next season will have droves and droves of curious viewers watching. Basically, this is just a marketing ploy.

    I had hoped that someone with creative skill such as Moffat who possesses high level abilities (I enjoy his programmes) would not stoop to such disingenious ways to keep the viewers coming and also to make himself look so very, very clever himself. It’s just not true. It’s a cheap trick. And whether he knows that or not, whether the bubble keeps him from knowing that or not, just does not matter, not anymore. He has been doing this for too many years now to his fans and viewers. Abusing them with subtle dishonesty, protected by his bubble.

    Am i going to tune in? Of course. Like I said, I enjoy his shows. However, if you think that he wrote down the whole thing in 2011 and placed it in a lockbox for a year or two before shooting the next episode, the trick of it untouched and unchanged, then you are deceiving yourself.

    Moffat’s storytelling does suffer by his taunting his fans and viewers when he says they “haven’t figured it out yet”. He backs himself into a writing corner by saying such things, forcing his bubble employees to help him make sure he shoots something that no one has guessed yet. Even if it is outlandish, and absolutely unguessable from what we as viewers have already seen, he will put it on air. It was this kind of taunting that caused him to write himself into far too many corners on Doctor Who, his constant saying that the viewers haven’t guessed the real truth, forcing him to write several messy plot devices and conclusions to the various mysteries and cliffhangers.

    At this point, people have guessed pretty much everything that was there to see in the finale. So now Moffat will have to use one or more of about a dozen red herrings or near imperceptible details planted throughout the episode to create an unguessed and impossible to guess solution to the apparent suicide. The fact is that he has been writing in this manner and messing with his shows’ fans in this manner for many years now, and this time will be no exception.

    I bring this up for two reasons: viewers will not be able to guess the exact story, so while fun, Moffat’s yes-people will ensure that the theories on the internet do not pan out, or that all of them are in part wrong. So no one should feel bad for guessing. The fact is that any one of us could have figured out the truth, placed it on the web, and therefore have caused Moffat and his staff the usual headache of having to ensure that an unguessed answer is what is finally written and shot.

    The second reason is to point out that the first episode of next season will contain “the reveal” but that it will not be the focus of the episode. They cannot afford to spend 90 minutes on Sherlock recounting those few minutes of time. Rather, having watched enough Moffatt shows, it will be revealed by Sherlock over the period of a few minutes and then dropped for the main story’s plot: whatever mysterious case is cool enough for Sherlock Holmes to choose to “come back from the dead” to solve.

    So to keep his fans guessing about something for so long, and telling them they are wrong, just to come up with something different for the sake of coming up with something different, Moffat does Sherlock’s fans a huge disservice. If someone spent five hours watching the episode repeatedly to figure out the mystery, only for the answer to be revealed in less than five minutes of screen time is just plain poor treatment of the viewers, all for what? So that Moffat can claim to be a unique genius, whose writing is so clever that the mysteries he writes cannot be guessed by anyone? Is it worth it? That is my question to him.

    • Some very interesting ideas here – I especially like the point you make about Sherlock being late for his final meeting with Moriarty – or keeping him waiting at least.

      Gatiss has assured fans that no trickery is involved and that the answers are there to see, but I would be surprised if none of the theories fans have come up with are correct – or at least partly correct. I think Gatiss is fairly up to speed with the fandom, at a recent live event he certainly seemed to be aware of what fans have been talking about (as did the rest of the team present except Rupert Graves who’s probably too busy with all his children to mess around on the internet for hours!). You can read all about the event here – http://www.sherlockology.com/news/2012/11/13/the-game-is-on-report-13112012

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  67. APEGGS says:

    Just one more thing people don’t seem to be noticing… not a theory but an observation. He falls with his head directly away from the building but on the ground he is parallel to the building. I seriously doubt he turned ninety degrees after hitting the ground.

  68. Jason says:

    “Don’t believe for one second….”

    OK. But what should we BELIEVE when that one second is over…?

    • jeff says:

      There are several parts to The magic trick sherlock pulled. first we are never told what he asked his female Doctor friend (forgot her name) prob something to Make him Appear dead or less Likley help Supply A lookalike corpse since She does work in the morgue. Second he tells john to stay Back , More sto stay behind the building so he cant see sherlock, this is So he Doesnt see the Switch, third is the guy on the bike that knocks Watson down, this may have been done to slow Down watson. in the books sherlock faked his Death After richenbach Aswell. Sorry for typos im Writing this on my cell while im walking.

  69. Billy Corman says:

    I know I’m way late to the party here [I'm an American], but I just watched s1 last month or so ago and s2 this week. I’ve read up on the theories folks think may have happened, too. I like that the show writers have been elusive in their comments.

    Moffat, I believe, is the one that said Holmes does something out of character on the roof. I haven’t gone back to watch the episode, but the thing that stood out to me is the story of how John and Sherlock met. Watson says how “you knew everything about my sister.” … except for the fact that Holmes assumed John’s sibling to be male. Its a pretty trivial detail, and Holmes may have let it slip from his memory, but there is a spot where Holmes talks of her falling off the wagon. It seems he keeps up with John’s family affairs and getting the gender wrong seemed to irk him to no end.

    Is the person on the other end of that call not Holmes then; all the talk of “you are me” and such? Throw in the tidbit of the screaming kidnapped girl and is it possible that on the rooftop, the roles are switched? I’ll watch the episode again, but that would seem to nullify most of the drama atop St. Bart’s.

  70. Yu Jing Chang says:

    Someone may have already mentioned this and I’m not quite sure how this helps but Sherlock called John before he jumped. I thought he texted. He even says that when he needed to borrow John’s phone. It could have given him time to prepare things???

  71. IAMSHERLOCKED says:

    Everytime Jon looks up SH is in the same position. About the coat, SH always has his coat open. When M and SH is looking down you can see a person standing outside on of the busses(as if to get on) but the doors wont open… And in the garbage truck you can see something big that SH may have landed on.. But wondering about the arms of the body, wondering if that may be editing. Really hoping for an epic explination in season 3. Excited i SH planned almost everything when on the roof or all was planned long time ago. Like if he told Molly to take his blood and if he was brought in aperently dead she would help him, cause it would be kind of awesome if SH made the plan right there on the roof. But with the busses and the truck it seems well planned…

    • I fear the explaination might not be ‘epic’ but rather simple once revealed. As was the case with many of Holmes’ actions/conclusions in the original stories – once he explained them to Watson they seemed ‘elementary’. Maybe this will be the same, but I can’t wait to find out!

  72. CitizenKain says:

    OK. Read all the thread on this lazy saturday afternoon. Very interesting indeed. I am extremely new to the whole “contemporary” Sherlock media and franchise, just happened upon it this last Christmas Holiday. Therefore I will start by telling what I saw when first watching the episode’s finale.
    1. The geography is correct, as in I don’t think there are more than one rooftop, and if there is, it’s simply for cinematography reasons.
    2. The building is not that high, a slim fit person could easily jump and sustain minimal injuries.
    3. Sherlock obviously landed on his feet, and if my urbanistically trained eye is correct, quite some feet away from where he supposedly landed.
    4. When his pulse was taken, his hand seemed bluish.
    5. The location: it’s obviously a side street with very little traffic of both pedestrians and vehicles.
    6. When the body hit the ground, it didn’t seem as if falling from 4-5 floors, the physics were wrong.

    Now analyzing the episode, my first observation is all the above mentioned observations should be discarded as they might have been pure cinematographic devices. Yet, I think at least 2 of them might be strongly pertinent.
    So back to the narrative of the last episode: I will try applying the rules of classic whodunit.
    1.From my point of view, the most important thing is as follows: Sherlock couldn’t possibly have more than one fully aware and consenting accomplice to his plan. Otherwise, some one some where is prone to make some mistake and jeopardize the whole “I planed my death” hoax. My best bet is Mycroft, as one: that follows the canon, two: he’s the only one who can pull the right strings in order to conveniently hush the whole event.
    2. I think the whole mystery is obvious, there is no clue left unmentioned on screen. Of course, I could be wrong in this “deduction” since the classic Sherlock Holmes stories leave most of the important clues behind scenes then the great detective amazes us with his solutions which are more often than none quite diametrically opposed to “elementary”.
    3. There is no “Chinaman”.
    4. One coincidence allowed. I think the rubber ball.
    5. The death scene is obviously a magic trick. And, as John Dickson Carr so clearly pointed out in his masterpiece The Hollow Man, the magician has an assistant that helps with the setting of the scene. My guess, it’s the truck driver that so conveniently leaves clearing up the view of the suicide scene. Why the truck is important: some of the fans mentioned in the comments that the truck leaving as if nothing happened is quite peculiar, lest they have something to hide. Maybe the identity of the driver? I agree with that observation because it’s very unlike human nature. When a dramatic scene unravels in the street, the normal reaction is to stop and at least gape and glare. I think it’s quite a reflex reaction. And even if, let’s suppose, the truck’s driver didn’t witness the fall, and started of before realizing what had happened, it’s normal to assume that at least he saw the people forming a frantic crowd in the rear mirrors, so the normal reaction would be to pull over and join. That is, assuming that the truck driver is a normal person, not a psychopath, which would be a helluva coincidence. Or, the most plausible solution, he’s the consenting “stage assistant”.
    6. Last thing: the crowd: I think the crowd is quite bona fide, and they certainly react as such. How do I mean: there is a psychological moment in every “magic act” (also, a plot device favored by the Queen of Crime, Dame Agatha Christie). If you consider the fall as being said moment, and the obscuring of the actual ground shock by the truck, the normal reaction of witnesses would be to remain in a state of freeze for several seconds, up to one minute, then react. I find this highly congruent with the reaction of the crowd as seen on screen. There was a lapse before all reacted, first the medical personnel, which I assume might have witnessed the fall from the hospital windows, then the passers by, which closed in with more reluctance. Also, I think the nurses’ reaction in keeping Watson away was correct, as they kept him away in order not to harm himself, or maybe, in his obvious state of shock, negatively interfere with any attempts to resuscitate Sherlock. And I think the doctor is trying to resuscitate Sherlock rather than give him some signal to use the rubber-ball-pulse-stoping contraption, as his eyes are obviously open, therefore he can see clearly what’s going around him.

    And finally: tying up the loose ends:

    First: the pulse. I think it was done in a much easier and more effective way. A rubber band, placed at around the elbow. We’ve all tried in our childhoods blocking the blood from our wrists or fingers with tight rubber band, and after a short while, if you remember, the hand becomes cooler than the rest of the body and of a bluish hue. And guess what? No pulse.
    Second: Molly. I think Molly is way too emphatic a character to be considered as a reliable accomplice. I think her role in the whole scheme was to lure Watson away. My best guess, Sherlock told her that in order to escape his certain death, he might need her help to phone Watson with the false story about Mrs. Hudson. I think that Sherlock deliberately mentioned calling Watson to Baker Street, and Molly followed his instructions blindly without questioning the absurdity of the situation, since if Mrs. Hudson were really shot, she should have been taken to the closest ER, as many of the fans correctly observed in the comments above. I rather think this explanation conforms with Molly’s loyal character and with her infatuation with Sherlock.

    Anything more? I think Moriarty is dead. As for the “out of character” thing, I think it’s Sherlock’s genuine shock at Moriarty’s suicide.

    In conclusion, please pardon my grammar or lack of, as I’m not a native English speaker. Also, everything I’ve written might very well be a truckload of rubbish perfect for a suicide-faking-scene.

    Cheers

  73. Dee says:

    It is called the reichenbach fall. Sh and JM establish that rich brook is English for the German reichenbach. For this reason I think rich brook was the one that fell- possibly with the mask that’s been mentioned as used by the kidnapper.

  74. Erin says:

    This could be COMPLETLY wrong, but maybe this somehow connects: The uncharteristic thing Sherlock did was take the cigerette when he was distressed about Irene Adler? Maybe….. I really dont know

    • Erin says:

      Disregard everything I said! I think I’ve got it!! Tell me if anything here doeant connect. I think Sherlock hired a stunt-man. Anyone who even slightly resembled him, just hair, clothes, ect. The face doesnt have to be the same, no masks. The stunt jumped off the roof a couple minutes before Sherlock snuck away. He went into St.Barts, and was nocked uot with narcotics. Rhe stunt jumped, landed in the garbage truck, and drove away with it. Meanwhile, Sherlock was dragged onto the pavement by someone (possibly employed by him, possibly employed by Molly) and they put blood on Sherlock. The guy you see hitting the ground is the man who dragged him dropping him in position(Where Watson can’t see him.) Fake paramedics surrond him and push watson away. Feel free to tell me if i missed anything!!

      • Erin says:

        Something I forgot to mention, The stunt man didnt need to look exactly the same because, well, when you’re falling off a building, you can’t check for facial features.

      • Erin says:

        Geesh! Im sorry i was so excited i thought i had it i put before onstead of after! Sherlock smuck away, then the stunt jumped. Sorry! I was typing fast! :D

  75. Frank martins says:

    Sherlock had also been collecting body parts as the head or thumbs founding the fridge they could have been used to create a fake body

    • Erin says:

      Maybe, but if he did use a fake body, (I dont think he did but how would I know?) I think he would’ve used the dummy shown in Previous episodes. Also, We can make out that he’s moving, so maybe a robot-type dummy if any.

  76. Samuallo says:

    I accept most of the general theories in some way. However, what I cannot shake is Mycroft. He wasn’t one of the 3 people Moriarty considered worthy enough to hurt Sherlock yet LaStrade was? Also Mycroft has been highlighted as important within the series and as speculated outside. I cannot help but think of Moffat’s comment about Sherlock’s “uncharacteristical behaviour” and see this as Sherlock going to his family – Mycroft. Also what happened to Moriarty’s body, if legitimately found would that not of come up in conversation or be in the paper. This also suggest external involvement. I believe Mycroft has a massive part to play. I also believe Molly is heavily involved but my opinion/theory on that has been suggested.

    • Erin says:

      Thats a good point! I completly forgot to even factor in the people sherlock loved. Maybe mycroft was still sour about sherlock spoiling his jumbo jet plans. Maybe Mycroft has a crush on Irene. Possibly one on molly (probably not but lets think of all the variables) Maybe Mycroft was in on the whole plan because of these reasons. Mycroft is also played to be a bad charater from the start. In the first episode, you are to assume that he is an enemy, someone to be feared. Then you find out he’s sherlocks brother and all speculation of him being bad goes away. Maybe your first impulse was right. Or possibly, someone in a higher place in the government wanted sherlock gone after the jumbo jet incident. Remember the close up of mycroft when he was so “upset” about that? Isnt his motto caring isnt an advantage? Perhaps mycroft was behind it all. Just some intresing points i’d like to share here!

  77. BloggeristaBabe says:

    I think it was out of character for Sherlock not to check Moriarty’s pulse. Is Jim dead, or was that a blank?

  78. alyssa says:

    Although I am completely convinced in the molly-mycroft theory, what I’m more concerned with is how society will receive him (since they all think he’s a fraud) and how he will explain his innocence to the world. Also I wonder if John will be extremely happy with his return or will he feel upset and betrayed? I know this has nothing to do with theories on how Sherlock faked his death I just think the questions are more pivotal to the plot and flow of the story and the friendship between John and Sherlock.

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