Monday, May 21, 2012

The Sherlock Series Two Finale Part 1: Sherlock and Moriarty

The series two finale of Sherlock is definitely my favorite episode thus far. Sherlock is forced into an epic tug of war between Moriarty and Watson, a tug of war in which Sherlock is the rope. The foemance vs. the bromance. I'd like to talk about both mances in equal measure, so I've split the finale in to two posts (also... I had way too many screen caps for one post). Today: The Foemance.

Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty on Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall with crown jewels
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes on Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
Moriarty likes to play. He likes to taunt, and tease, and dress up in the crown jewels. Sherlock likes to play too. He's unsettled and unhappy when he doesn't have a case to be working on. For the two of them, their epic battles of wits are the ultimate rush.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes on Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
The problem is, Sherlock has something to lose while Moriarty does not. Sherlock has friends. There's pretty much no way to threaten Moriarty; no way to make him sweat. So when Sherlock and Moriarty end up on the rooftop of St. Bartholomew's, Moriarty already has the upper hand.

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Holmes Andrew Scott Jim Moriarty Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall 

The title of this episode was The Reichenbach Fall which is a lovely little wink and nod to fans of the original Sherlock Holmes. Also... sort of a big fat spoiler.
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Holmes Andrew Scott Jim Moriarty Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
In the original Sherlock Holmes stories, Moriarty and Sherlock go tumbling to their deaths at The Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. According to ye' ole Wiki, Arthur Conan Doyle (I just call him Art) intended to have Homles die and stay dead but public pressure to write another Holmes story had him resurrect the character with a story about faking death worthy of daytime tv.

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Holmes Andrew Scott Jim Moriarty Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
On BBC's Sherlock, The Reichenbach Fall in question is related to a painting Sherlock helped recover - a case which lead to his becoming sort of big deal. Moriarty goes through a TON of trouble to  flip that fame on its head. He commits three high profile crimes in order to go through a trial, offer zero defense, and come out not guilty.

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Holmes Andrew Scott Jim Moriarty Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
Sherlock: You're insane!
Moriarty: You're just getting that now?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes on Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
Moriarty manages to use his cunning to turn London against Sherlock. Not only does he make Sherlock a fugitive by suggesting he set up all the crimes he's solved, he goes so far as to make it appear that Sherlock created Moriarty himself. He plays the part of a penniless actor, approached by Sherlock to perform the role of Moriarty.

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Holmes Andrew Scott Jim Moriarty Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
Sherlock does his damnedest to outwit Moriarty back in to prison, but at the end of the day, it a comes down to a simple threat. Moriarty will have everyone Sherlock loves shot if Sherlock doesn't take a flying leap off that rooftop, thus destroying his reputation and proving Moriarty right. Given the title of the episode, I suppose we should see it coming that someone is going over that ledge. Sherlock makes the bold declaration that as long as Moriarty is alive, the potential exists to have him call off the gunmen. So what does nutjob Moriarty do? He sticks a pistol in this mouth and pulls the trigger.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes on Sherlock Series Two Finale The Reichenbach Fall
Bye Jim. That's the end of him. That leaves one option for dear Sherlock. But more on that tomorrow.

3 comments:

  1. My god, this show. Its one of those ones you watch with a pillow in front of your face so no one sees your mad grin. It is for me anyway.

    I can't wait to see the official version of how Sherlock did it, since I don't think there's been a theory online I completely agree with.

    Do you think Sherlock knew what he was doing when he essentially talked Moriarty into killing himself? Sherlocks perceived weakness of having people he cared about, which Moriarty doesn't have, is the thing that makes it OK for Moriarty to kill himself - because Moriarty only cares about winning, even if it means shooting himself in the head. Gah. I hope that makes sense. I love shows you can endless theorize about. :D

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  2. I agree - I haven't really heard a theory that makes total sense. I'm hoping the show has an incredibly clever explanation.

    I don't think Sherlock wanted Moriarty to kill himself. I think he was legit shocked in that moment. He seemed genuine in his hope that he could somehow outwit Moriarty into calling off the snipers. But he must have anticipated the possibility that he would fail before he even got to the roof, right? Assuming he had a plan in place to, you know, not die when he jumped off?

    I don't Sherlock necessarily thought he'd lose because Moriarty was dead. But that's definitely one way to have the last say in an argument.

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  3. Moriarty is...damn...sexy. Seriously, never thought that of the character in the books, obviously.
    I really thought Molly adorable in this episode, and i hope this dick of a Sherlock jumps on her soon, she deserves it, poor thing.

    Anywhoo, well-deserved BAFTA for Andrew Scott, Mori is stunning, I want to hook up with him so hard that's almost as insane as asking Mad March not to break a cup.

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