We’ve survived another episode of this rewatch, and are emotionally scarred after this one. It’s an episode that doesn’t fail to take you on a one-way trip to a place of intense
emotions, via the feels-trip express.
From the start, this episode brings on a wave of feels. John is talking to his therapist, and manages to utter the phrase “My best friend, Sherlock…is dead.” Still hurts. Every time.
Flash back to a few months
previous; Sherlock and John are becoming quite popular through media recognition
as they solve several cases. The fun is only just beginning for these boys
though, because one day, Jim Moriarty—everyone’s favourite criminal mastermind—decides
to break in to the vault holding the crown jewels, open the vault of the bank
of England, and unlock the cells at Pentonville Prison…at the same time. Well, he’s well-orchestrated (literally; his soundtrack of choice is an orchestra) and exceptionally sassy, as usual. Before smashing the glass of the crown jewels case, however, he writes “Get
Sherlock” on the glass, visible to the security cameras. He then allows himself
to be caught by the authorities, and is taken to court for his crimes.
Sherlock is called to testify in court, and, between moments of correcting the judge/critiquing the legal system, he states clearly that Moriarty is indeed a criminal mastermind. Strangely, although Moriarty does not call forward any witnesses or reveal any
proof against his crimes, the jury finds him not guilty and he is freed.
His first stop after being released? 221B Baker Street. Sherlock, of course, is expecting him, and has tea ready; how British can you get? The like-minded individuals discuss the success
of Moriarty’s mass break-in, and Moriarty reveals that he threatened the
members of the jury in order to secure their verdict. He also says that his
recent crimes were accomplished through the use of a computer code that could
shut down all security systems; while discussing this, he is tapping his
fingers in a sort of rhythmic pattern, which Sherlock notices. Moriarty leaves
the flat, but not before saying to Sherlock “I owe you.”
Meanwhile, John is summoned by Mycroft to his lair of sorts. (Is it just me, or does this seem to happen in every single episode?) He reveals that several professional assassins have
moved into the neighbouring flats on Baker Street, and that John should watch
out for Sherlock. Brotherly “history” keeps him from telling Sherlock about
this directly, of course; ah, sibling rivalry…
Sherlock and John called by Lestrade to investigate the kidnapping of a British ambassador’s children. The clues that eventually lead them to the captive children—bread crumbs and candy, for example—are similar to a fairy tale and were clearly meant to be found.
They rescue the children, only to find out that the young girl is terrified of
Sherlock, as if she recognized him. This leads Donovan and Anderson to suspect
Sherlock was the kidnapper, considering the girl’s reaction, and how easily he
solved the case in the first place (not to mention their apparent dislike of
Sherlock…) Unwillingly, Lestrade is forced to arrest Sherlock (also John, since
he, um, violently resisted Sherlock’s arrest.) The two manage to escape
together, still handcuffed. Folks, Sherlock Holmes is now a fugitive.
They break into the apartment of Kitty Riley, a journalist whom Sherlock had met previously, after hearing she claimed to have a story that will reveal everything about Sherlock and destroy his reputation. She is revealing this to them, and who should enter the room but Moriarty himself. Only, he denies he is Moriarty, and claims to be Richard Brook, an actor ‘paid’ by Sherlock to pose as the criminal mastermind. “Richard” also claims to know
all of Sherlock’s history and secrets, which he told Kitty to write in her
story. Yeah, things just took a turn to the crazy side.
Sherlock leaves John to find Molly, who is at the hospital. He reveals to her that he is, in fact, “not okay,” and needs her help. Coming from Sherlock, this is huge.
John, meanwhile, confronts Mycroft, who reveals that Sherlock’s history and information were revealed to Moriarty when he was holding him captive for interrogations. (Trustworthy big brother? Not so much.) John finds Sherlock at the lab, and unknowingly helps
Sherlock by tapping his fingers on the counter; Sherlock realizes that Moriarty’s
finger-tapping earlier was in the pattern of the computer code he used in the
John receives a phone call saying Mrs. Hudson has been shot, and he immediately leaves to help her, angry with Sherlock, who says he won’t come and doesn’t appear to care. As soon as John leaves, Sherlock texts Moriarty to meet him on the hospital roof. (Prepare
for the intensity in three, two, one…)
On the roof, Sherlock reveals to Moriarty that he knows the code, and can, therefore, erase the fake identity of Richard Brook, saving his reputation. Moriarty, however, says that there wasno code; his crimes were committed with the help of bribed security guards. He
then threatens to kill John, Mrs. Hudson, and Lestrade, if Sherlock doesn’t
kill himself; snipers at the ready. Sherlock, being the clever thing that he
is, figures that there must be a fail-safe, something like a code to call off
the snipers. Moriarty then states that as long as he is alive, the three
friends of Sherlock can be saved, then he kills himself. Boom. (Like I said,
intensity right here.)
Meanwhile, John arrives at the Baker Street flat to find Mrs. Hudson completely fine, and he realizes the call was just a distraction. He rushes back to the hospital, and receives a
call from Sherlock as he is about to cross the street. (The real feels trip
starts now.) Sherlock claims that he is, in fact, a fake, and that he invented
Moriarty. John denies this and tries to get closer, but Sherlock tells him to
stay exactly where he is, and that this phone call is his “note.” He says
goodbye to John, and jumps off the building. (And at this moment, we all die
inside with John.) John rushes across the street, but is hit by a cyclist and
is dazed as he makes his way towards Sherlock’s body. He utters “he’s my friend”
as the body is carried away.
Now back to the present time. Obviously heartbroken, John refuses to speak any more about the incident to histherapist.
Mrs. Hudson and John visit Sherlock’s grave. As Mrs. Hudson walks away, John says to the grave that he could never be convinced Sherlock was a fake. He says he just wanted one more miracle from Sherlock: “don’t be dead.” Upset, he walks away; Sherlock, very
much alive, watches him from the shadows.
Group hug, Sherlockians. I know, it’s been years since this episode aired, but it never fails to, well, hurt. And yet we keep coming back for more; thanks Moffat.
Time for a short emotional recovery period, then on to Season 3. See you next week!