Posted By Kathleen David on May 21, 2012
Last night on our PBS station the episode entitled The Reichenbach Fall from the Steven Moffat’s series Sherlock aired. And, as promised many months ago, I said I would give you my solution to the mystery presented.
This will be behind the cut and I am allowing for spoilers and speculation in the comments. So you have been warned.
A few thoughts on the very short season presented to us. They picked the most famous stories out of the Holmes’ cannon to play off of. The Irene Adler episode was, for the most part, pitch perfect both in story and acting. I had a few quibbles but over all it was quite fun and the ending had a lot of fans either happy or sad. The Hounds of the Baskerville did show how you could take an old story and make it fit into the world today with not much change except bringing modern tech into it.
Of the three I did like Reichenbach the best but then there was Moriarty in that one and they found a jewel in Andrew Scott to play Moriarty much differently than cannon lore but really very much in the vein of the original. And then there was the end which was brilliant and heart breaking all at the same time.
Skipping to the end with going back to point out things that they set up.
What does Watson see? He sees Holmes fall and then comes around a building to see his friend laying face down bloody on the pavement. He checks Holmes’ pulse but gets nothing. So he assumes that he has seen the death of his friend. The assassins are given the stand down order because someone else watching (Moran is my guess since he was at the Falls in the original).
The checking of the pulse seems to be a big sticking point for many. Some say that Watson was still recovering from the bicycle hit (more on that later) and that he was not in his full faculties since he had just seen his friend jump off a building. I’ll give you a simpler explanation with was set up earlier in the episode. Remember when Sherlock was sitting in the lab bouncing a rubber ball? There is an old magician’s trick that you need a small rubber ball for. You put it tightly in the armpit and squeeze. It stops the pulse in your arm because you are putting pressure on a major artery. So it looks like you have no pulse. Notice Watson ONLY check the wrist.
How did he survive the fall? Well I can tell you that it is not Moriarty’s body that goes over. It is Holmes. From Watson’s point of view he sees his friend fall off the roof. Now notice that there is a building between Holmes and Watson. Also if you look quick there is a lorry (truck) with a canvas cover that pulls away as Watson gets over to Holmes. You can see it when Holmes and Moriarty look over the end together (more on that later). So he hit the canvas and then got help to the pavement.
Sherlock had to have an accomplice in all this or rather accomplices. First and foremost would be Molly Hooper. Remember the conversation between her and Holmes while he is bouncing the little rubber ball? Who would have access to blood to be poured out on the street? Who could set up the paramedics taking Holmes away by given them uniforms? Sherlock had Molly help him all the way with this charade. Also remember when Moriarty commented “Quite a crowd gathering” when they both looked over the edge? Who was gathering there? Looked like a bunch of Irregulars to me. There is nothing saying that the Baker Street Irregulars have to be children. I think the bicyclist who crashes into Watson slowing him down to getting to Holmes is one. I think that the “paramedics” are as well. It is a coordinated effort to get Holmes out of there pronto.
So there is my theory as to how he did it. I think we have to wait until 2014 to find out what “really” happened.
I am grateful that this Short Season was so much fun.