19 January 2012 @ 11:38 am
List of Sherlock: “The Reichenbach Fall” Speculative Theories  

Or "How on earth did they do that?"

Because it’s driving me nuts. Crossposted here.

So here is the list of speculation on how Sherlock pulled off the fall but is alive and seemingly unhurt at the end. I’ve basically tried to list all the variables I could think of that might be involved. Any of these—or all of them—could be red herrings, and some certainly are. Please let me know if I’ve missed any. EDIT: There is now a bingo card that basically does the same thing as this post, trololol. Of these, the one that is clear is that John will punch Sherlock when he returns. :D

  • Molly. Molly is the perfect accomplice. Molly handles autopsies. Molly is good with science. She offered to help, and Sherlock said he needed her. It’s doubtful if people would suspect her either of any wrongdoing (because, like many viewers, the characters underestimate her) or of her helping Sherlock (considering their row at the Christmas party), though it’s true that Molly has at least two personal reasons to help him: she dated Jim from IT and she likes Sherlock. Once bodies are in her morgue, she can fudge paperwork or perhaps even procure bodies for Sherlock to use in his ruse. “You look sad when you think he can’t see you.” Clearly Sherlock was planning this for a while. I had held out hope that Molly was Moran, and I do think that’s still possible, but more and more unlikely at this point.
    EDIT: The more I watch this series, the more I love Molly. See this article for more on why she’s such a great character.
    EDIT: Also see this fascinating post on tumblr about how odd it is that Jim didn’t threaten to kill Molly even though they went on dates and she had seen his face, etc. This suggests that either he has also massively underestimated her or he actually, at least a little bit, cares about her and has a heart. I fear this may always be in the realm of fan speculation upon Jim’s character.

  • John. Either Jim or Sherlock (but probably Jim) somehow set up the Mrs-Hudson-is-shot-but-not-really phone call to get John out of the way. Sherlock waits until John returns to carry out the rest of his plan. Sherlock is adamant that John stand in a precise place and keep his eyes fixed on Sherlock. Meanwhile Sherlock further distracts and terrifies John with his suicide call.

  • The truck/lorry. At the very least, it’s positioned in such a way as to possibly block the view of many onlookers, perhaps even John or the assassin. But then it drives away from the suicide scene when everyone else is coming towards it. The real Sherlock could have been waiting in the truck, or Mycroft could, or Molly could, or Moriarty, or even Moran (too many M’s). Or Sherlock could have had the truck waiting with inflatables in order to jump into the truck and then have it drive away, which I think is a likely solution. My only issue is that the camera angles are a bit wrong; Sherlock jumped at a rather steep angle. The truck would have to back up to catch him, and surely somebody would have seen that? But maybe the truck was blocking some other kind of cushioning device on the ground. (Like a laundry bin.)
    EDIT: I’ve read theories where it seems to be that the truck is actually full of bags of laundry, suggesting that Sherlock may have just jumped into a big laundry hamper. kampongchicken also found a video of the filming that shows a crane and a big green airbag—something that could easily be folded up after Sherlock landed on it.
    EDIT 2: Or, as Maari in the comments notes, the fall could have literally been a levitation magic trick, which works best when done in broad daylight.

  • The rectangle. Notice those rectangular tiles on the ground near where Sherlock lands. Perhaps he was aiming for that rectangle? Maybe the cushioning device was there? But he misses (apparently), or at least his body wasn’t there--but that is where John goes to take his pulse. So maybe that rectangle is similar to a "Hounds" pressure pad and releases the see-what-you-think-you’ll-see gas.

  • The biker. “Turn around and walk back the way you came. Just do as I ask. Please…No, stay exactly where you are. Don’t move. Keep your eyes fixed on me,” Sherlock says to John. “Please, will you do this for me?” Why? So Sherlock could get the biker—one of the homeless network, probably—to hit John, knocking him out or disorienting him so that he could look over and see, as in Hounds, exactly what he expected to see: Sherlock dead on the ground.

  • Drugs. Also as in Hounds, it is possible that the aerosol hallucinogenic drug is back and the biker blasted John with the stuff or some other drug to slow him and make him woozy.

  • The dummy. There was a hanging dummy in 221B. Other than its admittedly great comedic effect, why would the writers include that? In addition, it seems very much like we see Sherlock falling forward, but we never see him actually hit the ground. The camera switches to a different angle so we see something that is Sherlock-shaped hitting the ground, but it’s not clear what. It could very well be a dummy or a different dead body or something else entirely. (Granted, this might just be a function of not having Benedict Cumberbatch actually kill himself filming it or of the fear that having the fall in one shot would be too distressing for BBC viewers.)

  • The mask. The little girl screams when she sees Sherlock (EDIT: OR WAS IT JOHN?!?! Or both John and Sherlock lookalikes?!) despite, we believe, never having met him before. Moriarty could have achieved this by having his kidnapper wear a kind of mask of Sherlock’s face. And if it were believable enough, perhaps it could even fool John. Or Sherlock himself (but that is speculation on whether or not Moriarty is dead). Or Sherlock could have used this principle to have a mask made himself. That said, perhaps there are no masks whatsoever and everything was just a symptom of mercury poisoning.
    EDIT: See the comments for an interesting theory from Kaitlin where both Sherlock and Moriarty have hired or coerced lookalike actors to play them on the roof, leaving them both free to kill themselves while the real Sherlock and Moriarty remain unharmed. *shiver*

  • Moriarty’s body. We hear in the news that the fraud Sherlock Holmes killed himself. We hear absolutely nothing about Moriarty, despite the fact that Moriarty is the dead one and Sherlock is alive. There are many possible explanations for this: Molly could have got rid of Moriarty’s body (and bloodstains), Sherlock could have dressed Moriarty as Sherlock (perhaps mask and all) and tossed him over the roof, which is poetic because it means that eventually Moriarty is buried in Sherlock’s grave (making the statement “I am you” even more ironic). Or Moriarty is not actually dead at all. (What, you don’t think he could do it? Did you see an exit wound?) Also, as lobelia321 points out, Moriarty’s eyes actually change color on the rooftop scene. He usually has dark brown eyes, but on the roof they are grey/green. It might just be the sun, though. Hmm.

  • The homeless network. Who are the paramedics? Real or part of Sherlock’s homeless network. Whomever they are, they seem remarkably determined not to let John near the body, though he does manage to tell that there is no pulse. EDIT: See caffienekitty’s very plausible explanation (with pictures!) for some very logical analysis of everything, but especially the mystery paramedics and their unprofessional actions (rolling Sherlock onto the arm John takes the pulse of, then rushing away someone they should think is dead, etc.). EDIT: bnmc2005 notes that the guy who rolls Sherlock is looking straight at John, who is about to break through the crowd and touch Sherlock. Perhaps the "paramedic" was giving a signal to Sherlock to get ready to cut off his circulation.
    EDIT: I just noticed that the medic who has his hand on Sherlock's neck shakes Sherlock at the moment when John is about to take his pulse. He's warning Sherlock that he needs to get ready with his ball trick to stop his pulse for John's inspection.

  • The ball. Thanks again to lobelia321 for this interesting tidbit, corroborated by the internets: a fun trick—just a magic trick (heh)—to do is to put a tennis ball under your armpit. If you gently squeeze it, the pressure of the ball will cut off blood flow to your wrist, making your pulse temporarily go away. There had to be some reason we saw Sherlock playing with that little rubber ball before he sent John away. Perhaps this is it. EDIT: See this image for a possible closeup of Sherlock on the roof holding the ball or phone or Kitty Riley’s recorder or something peculiar (thanks, bnmc2005).

  • Rhododendron ponticum. Apparently that plant Sherlock mentions as being in Addlestone and we see a picture of, rhododendron ponticum, can cause temporary paralysis—or at least it does in the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movie! So perhaps that’s what Sherlock uses to make himself seem dead. Or perhaps Molly gives him some other sort of muscle relaxant or other drug. EDIT: bnmc2005 notes that after Moriarty shoots himself, Sherlock puts his hand to his head and his mouth on his sleeve. I thought it was because he was just shocked and upset, but these actions could also be related to some kind of possible drug. Or Sherlock deliberately making himself hyperventilate in order to hold his breath.

  • Blood on the street. Could be Sherlock’s, just taken from him previously. See “The Great Game” where they did that (thanks for the correction, thisprettywren). Could be anyone’s, really, if we consider that Molly helped.

  • The red phone box. See this post for a good explanation, but the theory is that after John takes his pulse, Sherlock goes to the phone box and another person takes his place on the gurney.

  • Sherlock’s OOC moment. Moffatt said that there was something Sherlock did that was out of character, a vital clue fans have missed. I have no idea what that might be, but the first thing that comes to mind (other than the crying) was Sherlock dumping his phone on the roof. His phone, his pride and joy, his lifeline, his connection to his work. I know “you can’t take it with you,” but if he were jumping into something soft, he actually could have. So could there be something on his phone? Could his phone actually be something else? Also note that he actually talks on the phone to John (as opposed to just texting), so that could be OOC. Maybe he was...verbally hypnotizing John from afar? (Of course, phones can be tracked, and he did NOT want to be tracked, giving an explanation for getting rid of it.) Another explanation is that his dumping the phone was the “get ready to catch me” to his accomplices on the ground or someone else (thanks for the idea, Anon in the comments!).
    EDIT: Thanks to shades_shadow for this reminder that Sherlock actually sings to Moriarty "[I don’t have to die] if I’ve got you." That too seems rather out of character to me, or at least unusual since we haven’t seen him do it before, and there’s no obvious explanation as to why he sang that. Could it be a code of some kind? *scratches head* Anon in the comments suggests that Sherlock could be hinting, “I’ve got U” like “IOU.”
    EDIT 2: See this interesting theory about Sherlock’s crying being the out-of-character action because symptoms of that rhododendron ponticum plant are watery eyes. O.o (I seriously hope this is wrong. I want those tears to be genuine.)
    EDIT 3: It occurs to me that Sherlock actually bouncing a rubber ball in boredom could be considered a tad OOC, but again, it’s just because we haven’t seen him do it before. He’s certainly been bored and destructive before, but this harmless playing seems unusual. I might be reading too much into it, but if the ball is involved, perhaps the "OOC moment" is nothing more than this.
    EDIT 4: Anon in the comments suggests that the OOC moment may have been Sherlock making tea for Moriarty. We’ve never seen Sherlock serve someone without an ulterior motive before. Also, note that Moriarty’s cup has a marking on the inside rim. A (really really) slow-acting poison of some kind, perhaps? (By the way, if you’re interested in tea-drinking in England in general or in Sherlock specifically, this article by enigmaticpenguinofdeath is a great one.)
    EDIT 5: What about his OOC moment being...begging Moriarty for a moment of privacy? That allows Sherlock to look down over the edge of the building to make sure his homeless network is in place—or perhaps some kind of laundry bin for Sherlock to jump into. See this post with pictures for an excellent and completely plausible explanation.
    EDIT 6: Or even...Sherlock deliberately hyperventilating as a means of preparing to hold his breath for a long time. This would mean that Sherlock’s emotion during the call to John was not completely genuine, though, which would be sad. Still, the more I think about it...Sherlock really isn’t prone to these kinds of bouts of emotion, is he? Sherlock himself said in Hounds that having an outward physical response to emotion was out of character for him. I was just watching Scandal again and thought of Sherlock coldly taking Irene’s pulse in what is an otherwise ridiculously sexy exchange. And he’s generally very calm during hostage situations (i.e. John in The Great Game, then Mrs. Hudson in Scandal). But then again, he did scream at Richard Brook (unless, you know, he was acting there, as well). If Moriarty can inspire great emotions in him, maybe the thought of having to deceive and leave John can, too.

  • Mycroft. I am 99% certain he must be involved in some way. Because any list would be incomplete without that force of deus ex machina. I was wondering why Mycroft/Sherlock were apparently fighting when they seemed to get along so well in "Hounds." But now I think that Sherlock deduced that Mycroft had given away his history to Moriarty and was angry with him because now Sherlock has to fake his own death, and Mycroft knew that Sherlock knew and was apologetic, even though this was the only eventuality. Maybe Sherlock being on the run will help mend the rift. Probably not. My views on this have changed because, really, Mycroft is not dumb enough to give away precious details about his brother's life to a criminal madman. That's a massive underestimation of Mycroft's character and all the evidence we have seen so far. I am fairly certain now that Sherlock and Mycroft deliberately planned this together.
    EDIT: See linabean’s fascinating post on Mycroft and his role in the series, and how basically the entire Fall was a plot he and Sherlock orchestrated together. I’m really coming to believe this because of how odd it was that they seemed pretty friendly in previous episodes but then suddenly seemed to have an unexplained falling out.
    EDIT: See also this interesting defense of Mycroft, which theorizes that Mycroft was holding Moriarty in the mysterious basement at Baskerville and also agrees that Mycroft and Sherlock planned all the events of Reichenbach together.

  • Kitty Riley. I love this theory where Kitty is actually Moriarty and Richard Brook is real (she hired him to play Moriarty). All those fairy tale references in her apartment...

  • I.O.U. Do we every really figure out what’s going on Moriarty’s I.O.U. carved into an apple? I know the cryptic hints keep following Sherlock around in the forms of spray-paint on the windows and graffiti on the walls and help him to figure out that the kids are eating chocolate, but was there something else? Anon in the comments suggests what I think is at least a cool fairytale parallel between Moriarty (the evil monarch; he even alludes to royalty with “you should see me in a crown”) giving Sherlock an apple—whee, Snow White references! So...perhaps it’s another clue that a poison is involved somehow. And we all know that Sherlock appears dead but really isn’t, just like Snow White. (Clearly head!canon insists that John is Prince Charming.) (EDIT: awesome fic has been written casting Sherlock as Snow White! Check out Snow White by Valeria2067!)
    EDIT: Note that the graffiti I.O.U. is bordered by wings—and Moriarty keeps insisting that Sherlock is on the side of the angels. Interesting...(thanks, Anon in the comments).
    EDIT: Here is a good “rule of three” explanation for the three I.O.Us Moriarty leaves for Sherlock.
    EDIT: smills47 mentioned something I had never before noticed, and it makes me so happy but at the same time so very, very sad—that Moriarty may have started it, but John completes the I.O.U. sequence at the graveside with his painful “I was so alone, and I owe you so much.” *cries*

  • Bach. Thematic musings...Bach was, like Moriarty and Sherlock, a genius with a love for music, and they bonded over being his fanboys. Neither Bach nor Moriarty nor Sherlock can stand for work to be left unfinished; to quote Sherlock, all of his cases are pressing until they’re solved. See this amazing explanation for more. Also, smills47 points out that “the name Brook also translates back to Bach.” Moriarty is so clever.

  • Fairy tales. Just a list of the ones we’ve seen referenced...Hansel and Gretel, obviously; Moriarty references Humpty Dumpty on the roof; Kitty Riley’s apartment has the words “make believe” on the wall; I like the Snow White parallels with apples and such. Also, there are Arthurian legends with Lestrade and Sir Boast-a-lot and biblical references with the talk of angels (and the I.O.U. graffiti having wings). Also see this fantastic theory where Moriarty is Rumplestiltskin, i.e. Richard Brook is the real one; Moriarty is the fake. (Thanks, Anon in the comments!)

  • Stayin’ Alive. This is more Moriarty-related than Sherlock-related, but Anon in the comments points out that we have heard that Bee Gees disco song twice in the series now; perhaps it has some significance other than its title. It does seem to be Moriarty’s theme song, after all. Some interesting lines in the lyrics:
    —“Got the wings of heaven on my shoes, I’m a dancing man and I just can’t lose” (Moriarty’s supreme confidence?)
    —“It’s all right, it’s okay, you may look the other way” (subliminal message to Sherlock to look elsewhere while Moriarty fools him?)
    —“Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’ and we’re stayin’ alive” (a reference to Moriarty and Sherlock’s “final problem”?)
    —“Well, now, I get low and I get high—and if I can’t get either I really try” (maybe a dig about Sherlock’s past drug habit?)
    —“We can try to understand the New York Times’ effect on man” (a reference to Moriarty using the media to ruin Sherlock—thanks for this great idea, Anon!).
    I have a feeling I could do a post entirely on this song.
    EDIT: Anon also discovered that this song has a history of being associated with paramedics because of the title and also because the beat goes perfectly with the ideal rate of chest compression in CPR. *mind boggled* See this absolutely brilliant ad by the British Heart Foundation for more info.

  • Sherlock’s head injuries. See this tumblr post for an interesting analysis of Sherlock’s injuries, blood splatters, and a mysterious man in a black coat...

  • Irene. She has lots of experience faking her own death and could be a good resource (or even accomplice) for helping Sherlock by returning his favor of saving her life.

  • Moran. Not 100% Fall related, but there has been quite a lot of speculation involved. I personally was holding out for Molly, but other theories include the sniper who was after John or even Moriarty’s barrister, who is played by Ian Hallard, who is Mark Gatiss’ real-life partner. (EDIT: This one has been disproved.)

  • The traffic cone. This one is maybe utter crack, but at the same time it's adorable utter crack. As Sherlock is wheeled away on the gurney, there is a traffic cone that has the helpful words "SLOW DOWN" on it. If you pause the video at that point, you can see that it is actually not Sherlock on the gurney. (More details here. More hysterical fan art/manips here by barachiki.)

  • Miscellaneous. I love this Final Problem tumblr: check out the theory index for great and probably correct discussions on what went down. The one about all the freakin’ assassins/gunmen/wireless networks and the one about Lestrade’s assassin being a trusted Scotland Yard policeman and also one of the kidnappers were particularly helpful/mind-blowing. (And check out this one that speculates that the way Jim scratched Sherlock’s name into his holding cell was with the little diamond and that Jim has been planning Sherlock’s fall since The Great Game.) I also found another great tumblr link that also incorporates most of the theories wandering around here. They speculate about some Grimm/Angels theories, too. And here’s another with pictures that points out that everybody Sherlock shook hands with gets killed (or "killed," depending on whether or not Moriarty is alive) and then suggests that Mycroft is actually the one on the gurney (based on what I admit is a very compelling picture). Now this I would love to see. Oh, and here’s an interesting guy with a theory on Youtube with a cute little drawing of the buildings. Here’s another cool and detailed theory where Sherlock had hired his own sniper as a threat to Moriarty that Sherlock could die and have it look like murder (which Moriarty didn’t want; he wanted Sherlock’s suicide). The author’s ideas on fairy tales are particularly compelling, especially the Humpty Dumpty references.


My Theory

Okay, it's time. In short, here is my theory, with great thanks to the finalproblem tumblr's theory index. That site is run by a person who is much cleverer than I am, and she has a great explanation that I believe is probably the correct one, especially with regards to the confused tangle of gunmen (hint: there are two different sets!) and the kidnapped girl screaming when she saw Sherlock (hint: it's because John's sniper rather looks like Sherlock, and Lestrade's sniper rather looks like John). Also check out eva-christine's Reichenbach Explanation about Moriarty's motives. Simply fantastic. Read those first. And then here is my theory on the fall:

  • Sherlock and Mycroft concocted this plan to take Moriarty down from around the time of Baskerville. Therefore, Sherlock knew this was coming well in advance, and Jim foolishly let Sherlock choose the time and place of the final encounter.

  • Sherlock himself fell from the building, landed on something cushy (helped by his homeless network), got off the cushy thing and lay on the ground. It's also possible that in the brief time frame between Sherlock landing on the cushy thing and getting off of it to lie on the ground, he could have used the dummy as a placeholder.

  • This cushy landing was blocked from the sniper's view by the truck.

  • The homeless network poured blood all over him, provided by Molly. Or Sherlock had blood packets that he put into his hair or something.

  • After he recovered from being hit by the biker (arranged by Sherlock to delay John), John saw him (or the dummy) as he turned the corner.

  • John came to take his pulse, but Sherlock blocks his pulse with the rubber ball. Sherlock was warned John was coming by the "medic" with his hand on Sherlock's neck (blocking that pulse point so that John is forced to take his wrist) briefly shaking Sherlock--horrific medical procedure if the medic is not in on it.

  • While John is distracted by the homeless network circling around him, Sherlock gets on the stretcher briefly, but gets off again and waits in the phone box, switching places with another person, who is wheeled into the hospital.

  • Molly takes care of all the paperwork and Moriarty's body on the roof (possibly Moriarty's body is the one that goes into Sherlock's casket because wouldn't that be poetic?).

  • Sherlock goes off and does...something. Takes down the sniper? Takes down Moriarty's spiderweb? Contacts Mycroft for funds/planning?


CRACK EDITS: OMG HAVE SOME AMAZINGLY FUNNY SHERLOCK ART. Or more gorgeous art here. *loves* And have some Jim from IT doing IT work while you’re at it. :DDD And also a vid of pure genius. AND ALSO Misleading Moriarty, the best tag ever. AAAAAND also these hilarious misunderstandings with Irene’s phone. Along with the greatest mind of our generation at work.

And OMG WHAT IS THIS FANTASTIC THING?! (Prestige crossover. Amazing.)

Non-crack edits: Anybody interested in some lovely, in-depth discussion about the acting and writing of Sherlock should definitely check out MK Hey's Sherlock tag, starting with Sherlock: A Study in Technique. Great writing and analysis, and it helped me clear up a few questions I had (like what does Mycroft mean when he asks John about Sherlock's heart?).

About timelines in the series:

This is more to do with Scandal/Baskerville, but this article posits a wonderful explanation for the timelines in Season 2, namely that Baskerville takes place during Scandal (before the Christmas party scene). Note Mrs. Hudson's dress and Sherlock pointing out the Christmas sweater at the inn. Brilliant!

And mad_maudlin has put together a fantastic timeline that has a great explanation for why the end of Scandal and the beginning of Reichenbach must happen at the same time. I love the genius detective work of this fandom!

Please comment with any I’ve missed so I can make a truly definitive list. :)
 
 
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( 160 comments — Leave a comment )
tillytillytillytillytillytilly on January 19th, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
Great list, thank you for doing this, very helpful

Re: Sherlock's OOC moment. Moffat also said that they would lie. So he could be lying when he says that the fans have missed something

Re: Molly. She could be the real Moriarty and Moriarty could be Moran, and when we think Sherlock is getting her help he is really getting rid of her.

Re: Mycroft. The refusal of both Sherlock and Mycroft to reconcile could be a ruse to fool (characters and fans alike) that Mycroft isn't involved

shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 19th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I wrote down my other thoughts about the episode in my first review but then realized it was fast becoming incoherent, so I thought I'd compile everything here to see if I'd missed anything. :)

I love all your theories, too. I read a spoiler before I saw "Reichenbach" that "there's more to Molly than meets the eye" or something and was pleased because I thought it meant she was actually Moran/Moriarty. But regardless of whether she is or not, at least she gets more screentime now! :D

I was wondering why Mycroft/Sherlock were fighting when they seemed to get along so well in "Hounds." But now I think that Sherlock deduced that Mycroft had given away his history to Moriarty and was angry with him.
(no subject) - lobelia321 on January 20th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
we couldn't bring the columns downthisprettywren on January 19th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, very good list. It's sort of nice to have something to speculate about, and I'm assuming they wouldn't have filmed this without knowing how they were going to resolve it, so whatever the answer turns out to be it's certain to be good. :D

(just as a note; in your paragraph on the blood, I think you mean TGG rather than TBB.)
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 20th, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
Ohhh, duh *facepalm*. Thanks very much for the correction; I've edited it, lol.

...so whatever the answer turns out to be it's certain to be good.

I'm sure there will be some ridiculously simple explanation that no one has thought of, just like the non-explosion. But I really want to know...sigh. Too obsessed with this show. :)
(Anonymous) on January 19th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Molly
Sherlock Could of asked molly to drain blood from a body. And then bring a body to the the roof, dress the body like sherlock and then throw the body off the roof and into the waste disposal truck then sherlock could run out from the garage and pour the blood on his forehead and hair and then put some on the pavement and then fake his death. And you have to admit that the people with the stretcher came out awfully quickly don't you think?
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 19th, 2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Molly
Ooh, interesting theory. The people definitely showed up suspiciously quickly.

My only issue is that to me it definitely looked like Sherlock was the one who jumped. He could have jumped and also simultaneously pushed a body or a dummy or whatever off, but we didn't see something like that.

Obviously, that could still have happened, it just that we didn't see it. Perhaps they're expecting viewers to act like they've been Hounds-drugged too, though. :D
shades_shadowshades_shadow on January 19th, 2012 11:32 pm (UTC)
This is probably so not important, but I found it odd that Sherlock actually sings to Moriarty when he says "I've got you". Made me think of the song "I've got you, under my skin." Nice list!
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 19th, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
Whoa, I had totally forgotten the singing, despite the fact that I giggled when he actually did (and found it incredibly sexy). Good point, very good point. Very out of character. I'll add it to the list. :)
(no subject) - lobelia321 on January 20th, 2012 10:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tillytillytilly on January 20th, 2012 07:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shades_shadow on January 20th, 2012 08:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
tillytillytillytillytillytilly on January 20th, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
Another throw away OOC line "I've never liked riddles" to Moriarty when he is leaving Baker Street after taking tea with Sherlock. I suppose on one hand that could be true since riddles are pointless puzzles, and Sherlock solves crimes not riddles, but it seems to me if anyone likes riddles its Sherlock
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 20th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
Haha, I thought that while watching it, too. I was like "...You don't? Seriously?" to my monitor. :D
(no subject) - lobelia321 on January 20th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Lobelia the adverbial: sherlock reichenbachlobelia321 on January 20th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
O my. My head is spinning now.

But that Jim from IT link? Priceless!

Also what that tumblr person you linked said:

Sherlock said he was ” A fake” , not a fraud. He also said, ” It’s a trick, it’s just a magic trick.”Then he said ” Keep your eyes on me. ” Watson had to keep his eyes on Sherlock to make an impression on Watson’s mind, Watson had to watch Sherlock fall so his mind would believe that Sherlock did hit the ground when he fell.


omg this is doing my head in. Sherlock wasn't saying good-bye but transmitting A SEKRIT MESSAGE to John, saying 'don't you worry, it's just a trick, me iz not dead' and confused!John doesn't GET IT? (Or he does get it and is ONLY PRETENDING to be upset???! *brain reeling with Baskerville fumes*)

But: rhododendron ponticum made Sherlock cry? Never in a million years will fandom accept this interpretation of the solitary tear. Because that is EPIC AWESOME ANGSTY ANGST AND FEEEELINGS for JOHN. *stomps foot*
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 22nd, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
<3 <3 <3 all over this comment!!!

Never in a million years will fandom accept this interpretation of the solitary tear.

I completely agree. I would cry if Sherlock's tears were not genuine. Because ANGST. I keep justifying it to myself that watery eyes DOES NOT EQUAL angsty tears streaming down face. (Right, Mofftiss? RIGHT?!) *bites nails*
(no subject) - lobelia321 on January 22nd, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bnmc2005 on January 22nd, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lobelia321 on January 22nd, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shadowfireflame on January 23rd, 2012 01:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
pingback_botpingback_bot on January 20th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
sherlock mini-rec post (look! default icon! just so you don't forget what I really look like)
User lobelia321 referenced to your post from sherlock mini-rec post (look! default icon! just so you don't forget what I really look like) saying: [...] But today is not that time. *brain was eaten* :-) 's list of speculative Reichenbach theories [...]
the silver lady: BBC Sherlock thinks by julie_izumiacciochocolate on January 21st, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)
re: summing up of TRF theories
Good summing up. :) The throwing away of the phone had me rather surprised. I have been wondering about Molly for some time, ever since TGG. The thing that really bothers me is that Jim knew that she knew Sherlock, and yet he didn't have a trained killer on her. Either he thinks she's worthless to Sherlock, or he had long since forgotten about her. Also, the way Sherlock was falling is at a different angle to what we see when we see the body on the pavement/sidewalk. John being knocked down by the solitary cyclist is a dead giveaway that something is going on. So we know Sherlock survived but not how.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 21st, 2012 07:09 am (UTC)
Re: summing up of TRF theories
Re: the angles, I've been wondering about that too. I'm not sure if it's just camera trickery or if there is really something we're supposed to be noticing about the camera angles.

Either he thinks she's worthless to Sherlock, or he had long since forgotten about her.

Poor Molly. She was underestimated by basically everybody this whole series, so it's nice that she's finally getting some recognition. (I had hoped she was actually Moran/Moriarty, but that seems kind of unlikely now. Oh well. At least she's still cool.) :D
(Anonymous) on January 22nd, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
Tea Anyone
Maybe I'm over thinking, but one thing that I found out of character was Sherlock serving tea to Moriarty. Since when has he ever served food/drink to someone without an ulterior motive?
In Hounds, he makes John coffee, which he intentionally puts a possibly drugged sugar into, to see if it does anything to John. John even says "you never make coffee."
In Reichenbach, he brings crisps for Molly, so she can skip lunch and help him.
There are other examples, but it all makes me wonder if he didn't put something in the tea he served to Moriarty. Notice that the cup has a marking on the inside rim, while Sherlock's cup does not. But what really got me was after Sherlock picks up the apple, before the scene cuts away, Sherlock has the slightest smirk, like he's done something clever. I can't puzzle out what he may have put in the tea that will eventually help him with the final problem, but there you have it. My brain over working itself in a frenzy trying to add to all the other theories out there in internet-land.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 22nd, 2012 05:46 am (UTC)
Re: Tea Anyone
Notice that the cup has a marking on the inside rim, while Sherlock's cup does not.

...Oh my God. WHY. Now I have to watch this episode a billion more times. Good on you for catching this. :D

And I have to catch that smirk too. I originally thought that it was because Sherlock was amused by the IOU message, but now I'm thinking that that doesn't make much sense...hmmm...
Re: Tea Anyone - (Anonymous) on January 25th, 2012 08:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Tea Anyone - shadowfireflame on January 25th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Tea Anyone - (Anonymous) on August 12th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
bscorpbnmc2005 on January 22nd, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
"But maybe the truck was blocking some other kind of cushioning device on the ground."

Thanks for listing all your ideas. One think i'd like to add...Notice there is a rectangle outline right NEXT to where Sherlock's body is found. What if Sherlock was aiming for this rectangle area for some reason?
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 22nd, 2012 05:47 am (UTC)
Good idea!!! You know, I noticed that rectangle but then immediately dismissed it. I will add your idea to that section--thank you! :D
bscorpbnmc2005 on January 22nd, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
still thinking...
I do think it was his body that fell and his body that was on the ground.

But one more thing ... right after Moriarty kills himself, Sherlock spins around and in all the jump cuts I noticed he does two things; he puts his hands on his head and then he puts his sleeve to his mouth. These could just be shock but what if this was when he put something on his head to prepare for the blood spatter and something in his mouth to - well slow his heart rate or whatever he needed?

shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 22nd, 2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
Re: still thinking...
I love the way you think. Hope you don't mind if I friend you.

I thought Sherlock was just putting his hand to his sleeve because he was upset, but this is an interesting idea. I'll add it! :D
Re: still thinking... - bnmc2005 on January 22nd, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
bscorpbnmc2005 on January 23rd, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
the mystery paramedics and their unprofessional actions (rolling Sherlock onto the arm John takes the pulse of, then rushing away someone they should think is dead, etc.). Thanks for pointing out caffienekitty's blog on this detail. This is so much fun.

I've been watching this moment again (um, hope you don't mind my spamming your journal) but I noticed the man who rocks Sherlock is looking right at Watson when he does this and he does it right at the moment when John is about to break through the crowd and physically touch Sherlock. It seems apparent to me this man is signaling Sherlock that Watson is about to touch him, a "Ok, here he is, hold your breath now-" kinda thing?
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 23rd, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
It's not spam; this is PRODUCTIVE, yes. :D

It seems apparent to me this man is signaling Sherlock that Watson is about to touch him, a "Ok, here he is, hold your breath now-"

Ooooooh. I have got to see this scene again. Very interesting. Will add detail.
(Anonymous) on January 23rd, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
OOC- Talking on the Phone
Well I could be totally wrong but I sort of feel like the OOC was the call. Sherlock doesn't like to talk on the phone, he prefers texting, and he always seems to make quite a point of it. The call was his final clue to John, I think.

Again, I could be totally wrong. I mean I can't see anyone texting a suicide note, but you know. Just a thought.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 23rd, 2012 04:30 am (UTC)
Re: OOC- Talking on the Phone
Yup, good call (sorry, unintentional pun). I thought that too during the episode, like OMG Sherlock's actually calling him...I'll add it. :D
Re: OOC- Talking on the Phone - bnmc2005 on January 23rd, 2012 03:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Cerulean33cerulean33 on January 23rd, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
Assassins
Mad curiosity: Moriarty says there are three gunmen per victim (Sherlock's three friends: hello, what about Molly? Everyone always underestimates her D:) in the rooftop scene. Two assassins are killed three shots each. Interesting how the first assassin dies with three shots (makes sense because there are three known assassins, so one shot per assassin assuming they are all watching each other) but the second assassin dies with three shots also (did one assassin shoot twice or is there another person?) Mycroft mentions that four international assassins have moved to live near Baker Street but as you know, Sherlock can best even his brother. Also, it looks like all the assassins are men, but what happened to the Russian female assassin? (Is she the special assassin that was going to kill John?)
bscorpbnmc2005 on January 24th, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Re: Assassins
The assassin that was going to kill John was seen in the stairwell I believe, he was the male with the dark hair.

I don't know about the female. That's a good question. But I think Moriarty meant there were three assassins meaning one per target. Lestrade, Hudson and John. Sherlock was expected to off himself so I don't think he would have had one assigned to him?
Re: Assassins - shadowfireflame on January 24th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 25th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Stayin' Alive
"Got the wings of Heaven on my shoes"

"It's alright, it's okay, you may LOOK THE OTHER WAY"

Any clues there? I wouldn't want to speculate on other Bee Gees stuff outside this song, or I'd go crazy. Sherlock was Jive Talkin', etc.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 25th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: Stayin' Alive
"Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin' and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive....Well, now, I get low and I get high--and if I can't get either I really try..."

Yeah, I could go crazy analyzing these lyrics. I do hope that they might mean that Moriarty isn't dead (maybe due to...inflatable shoes...???), since that seems to be his theme song.

Edited at 2012-01-25 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: Stayin' Alive - (Anonymous) on January 26th, 2012 10:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stayin' Alive - shadowfireflame on January 26th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stayin' Alive - (Anonymous) on January 26th, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stayin' Alive - (Anonymous) on January 27th, 2012 01:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stayin' Alive - shadowfireflame on January 27th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stayin' Alive - kampongchicken on January 27th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stayin' Alive - shadowfireflame on January 27th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Stayin' Alive - kampongchicken on January 28th, 2012 12:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 25th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
fooling john
I don't understand why do you think he'd trick John? Because he obviously feigned his death so that the assassins don't kill who they were about to kill. So there's no reason for Sherlock to make John believe he's dead. If any illusion or desorientating trick was used, it would have been aimed at the killers.
But then, how would the killers know that he's dead? The one supposed to shoot John has witnessed the scene, but what about the rest?
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 25th, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
Re: fooling john
Good question. I'm not 100% sure, of course, but my guess would be that John's grieving is part of the ruse. Sherlock wants everyone to think he's dead both at the time of the fall and then also for months (years?) afterwards. And he doesn't trust John to maintain an act for months/years, so just in case anybody is watching, the act has to look genuine. John has to seem like he's really grieving, and the easiest way to do this is for John to actually grieve.

I can only assume that the assassins (who are hired by Moriarty and not the same as the ones who moved to Baker Street) are in communication with each other. So the one on John gives the others the message that Sherlock is dead. That's my take, anyway. :)
Re: fooling john - bnmc2005 on January 26th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: fooling john - julesanthony on December 15th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
bscorpbnmc2005 on January 26th, 2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
Further thoughts after viewing it again: Whatever became of the camera in his flat?
If you were bugging a flat, would you leave just one camera- in one room??
He says there is a "surveillance web" and we see Sherlock take the one camera down - the one that faces his computer. We also see that there is a list of signals in his network area, but he only finds one camera and he didn't seem to destroy it right off. He tinkers on his computer- probably hacking the other signals - but then what?
In the next moment he does 2 more OOC things. He questions John's loyalty and he shows Anger. Is his ego really that fragile or is it all for show because he knows he's being watched?
(Anonymous) on January 26th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
Hi
Yours is the only blog I have read that mentions the whole Snow White connection. I have been wondering if Molly is the prince and Sherlock has asked her to find an antedote to the Ponticom. I don't think he would reveal his cards to anyone and he dupes Molly into thinking he may need her to administer the cure if he "appears" dead. Mycroft is most certainly involved with all the extra people on the scene. It wouldn't suprise me if Mycroft had orchestrated the whole Moriarty information on Sherlock thing, to trick him into trying to bring Sherlock down. Mycroft is even cleverer than Sherlock and may have duped Watson into beliving he was disloyal to help the deception.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 27th, 2012 03:25 am (UTC)
Well, I owe the Snow White connection to another commenter, so I can't completely take credit for it! But I think it's clever, anyway, and would be sweet if it were true. :)

I agree that Mycroft has to be involved in some capacity. I find it hard to believe that Mycroft was deliberately duped by Moriarty into giving away Sherlock's history. Perhaps this was Mycroft conning Sherlock--like Mycroft wanted to get rid of Moriarty once and for all and decided to force the Moriarty/Sherlock confrontation with the confidence that his brother could defeat Moriarty (with Mycroft's help)...ah, I'm rambling again, but I like your ideas. :D
(Anonymous) on January 27th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
Big Green Airbag
It's me again, Anon Overthink. There's a video of part of the actual shooting showing a crane and a big green air bag. For all we know, the in-universe solution might be a big green airbag where the rectangle was, said airbag having been deflated and dumped into the truck (and possibly even being visible in some shots).
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 27th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
Re: Big Green Airbag
Cool! I would love to see that video! *desperate for any more info*

The truck is apparently full of laundry, too, or something. I've heard theories that Sherlock jumps into what seems like a big laundry hamper. But an airbag probably makes more sense. *will add* Thanks!
Re: Big Green Airbag - kampongchicken on January 27th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Big Green Airbag - shadowfireflame on January 27th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
bscorpbnmc2005 on January 27th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
Here's an image found on the tumblr blog,abouttherealawesomestuff,. The author thinks this is Sherlock's phone in his hand, recording the conversation, but to me it looks more like the rubber ball he had back in the lab. (Click the image at the source to see the Close up.)
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on January 30th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
Whoa, that's cool. It definitely looks peculiar, like maybe not a phone or a ball but something else entirely...hmm...odd. Thanks for the link!
drawinginvisibleKaitlin Kemp on January 31st, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
(*Deus ex machina, not Deux. Sorry.)
But anyway, I'd like to mention as an addition to the "Mask" theory that there's a decent possibility that there may be a stunt double of sorts, not just for Sherlock (in order to scare the little girl) but maybe Moriarty as well, which could be the reason his eyes were the wrong color. Like the guy said, the easiest way to hide a lie is wrap it in a truth, and when Moriarty talked about actually being a hired actor, this is what I thought.
As for Molly, perhaps she helped Sherlock track down the fellow that looked like him, who Moriarty had gotten to kidnap the kids, and put an earphone or something on him. Then, it would be a simple task to walk him through the conversation with Moriarty (or his double at least, each thinking the other was real) and then have him jump off the roof. If that's the case, Sherlock probably threatened to shoot him if he didn't cooperate... An interesting little choice of "die right now, or die a bit later." Meanwhile, John has just left to check on Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock and Moriarty (or rather, their lookalikes) have their little chat, and by the time John's back everything's wrapping up. Molly, afterwards, messes with a bit of paperwork and we have a nice tidy ending to the season and lots of very unhappy fans. What do you think?
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on February 1st, 2012 12:19 am (UTC)
Oh God, I can't believe I messed up that phrase. Thank you for the correction. I actually took Latin for a semester in college, if you'll believe it, though I took it entirely to better understand spells in Harry Potter when I should have been paying better attention to Latin phrases. (Ah, real life assisting with fandom.)

Interesting theory. So let me try to understand it: both Sherlock and Moriarty have lookalike actors playing them, and it is they who meet up on the roof, each under duress from the real ones. If neither the real Sherlock nor the real Moriarty were on the roof, it would be easier to fool each other than if just one were wrong (because Moriarty is sharp enough to notice a Sherlock impersonator, and vice versa).

This would require, of course, not just good but superb acting (even with earpieces connecting the actors to the real ones) and for the actor-Sherlock on the roof to speak with John (while perhaps crying because he knows his life is going to end shortly).

Very interesting. I will add it to the list! :D

Edited at 2012-02-01 12:19 am (UTC)
(no subject) - Kaitlin Kemp on February 1st, 2012 12:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on February 11th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
Could there be a chance that it was in fact "I've got U" as in from the IOU and not"you"?
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on February 11th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)
Hmm, yup, that could be Sherlock's code or something. I'll add it! :)
(Anonymous) on February 12th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
One of the assassins looks an awful lot like Sherlock in the right light.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on February 12th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
OMG, seriously?! I have to go hunt some screencaps! :)))
(Anonymous) on February 14th, 2012 07:00 am (UTC)
Sherlock had his own sniper?
Has anyone seen the theory out there that Sherlock had his own sniper?
http://anonymiss221.tumblr.com/post/16968766799/reichenbach-solution-answer-in-the-why-not-the-how
In short, if Sherlock had his own sniper and made Moriarty aware of this fact on the roof, it would prove Sherlock was ready to have himself killed to win the game…it would look like a murder. This would explain why Jim realized he had to shoot himself to force Sherlock to go through with the jump and finish out the planned storyline, where he dies looking like a fraud.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on February 14th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Sherlock had his own sniper?
Sweet! This is a really neat theory, one that I hadn't seen before. I particularly like the fairy tale references (like Humpty Dumpty; I never noticed Moriarty making that reference before!). Cool. Thanks for pointing it out! :)
(Anonymous) on February 14th, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
Sherlock throwing his phone down could have been a visual cue for his accomplices on the ground.
shadowfireflame: Sherlockshadowfireflame on February 14th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
Ooh, good point. I'll add it! :)
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