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January 3, 2016 7:35 pm  #61

Re: Moriarty's Death

Bruce Cook wrote:

For Moriarty to get to the moment of his ultimate triumph and then just whip out a pistol and launch his gray matter across the roof is not a good enough “end game” for such a master criminal.

We want him to be defeated by Sherlock’s brain, not by Smith and Wesson’s bullet!


Well, he was defeated by Sherlock's brain if we believe that Sherlock outwitted him and talked him into suicide. 


January 3, 2016 7:46 pm  #62

Re: Moriarty's Death

Yeah but did he?
Sherlock specifically says he didn't see that coming!


January 4, 2016 4:12 am  #63

Re: Moriarty's Death

besleybean wrote:

Yeah but did he?
Sherlock specifically says he didn't see that coming!

And I maintain that he's now having doubts about whether Moriarty is really dead.  In The Abominable Bride we see Sherlock in the morgue, and he starts saying things like " . . .  blew his brains out . . . how did he survive?"

And when he's talking to Microft at the 40 minute mark, Mycroft says, "DO you miss him?"
Sherlock: "Moriarty is dead."
Mycroft:  "And yet . . ."
Sherlock: "His body was never recovered."

In the regular episodes, the news reports have never mentioned the fact that Richard Brook or Jim Moriarty was found dead on the hospital’s roof.  Not a single word about that rather newsworthy event.  What should we make of that sly omission?  Hmmm?

When Sherlock has his macabre conversation with Moriarty in The Abominable Bride, his nemesis says,  "The bride put a gun in her mouth and shot the back of her head off, and then she came back. Impossible . . . and yet she did it . . . and you need to know how. It's tearing your world apart not knowing.  Because doesn't all this remind you of another case?  Hasn't all this happened before?"

At the end of the episode, Sherlock says he did the near-OD to to prove it was impossible to blow your head off and survive. 

And then he says "Moriarty is dead.  But more importantly . . . I know just what he's going to do next!"

How should we interpret this apparent contradiction?  Well, folks, here’s my own interpretation.
The Abominable Bride was about a woman who faked her own suicide and then “returned from the grave”.  In that sense, it just might be construed as a prelude to revealing that Moriarty actually fake his suicide.  That, of course, is what I’m desperately hoping for.

But what about Sherlock’s solid pronouncement at the end, when he states unconditional that Moriarty is dead?  He says, “ . . . of that, there is no question.”
Consider this: the story focuses on the fact that Sherlock was plagued by doubt and fear, and this fear took the form of Jim Moriarty throughout the episode, especially in the climax at the Reichenbach Falls when Moriarty savagely beats Sherlock while screaming at him —
“I am your weakness!   I keep you down! Every time you stumble, every time you fail, whenever you’re weak, I . . . am . . . THERE!”
Suddenly John is shows up, gun in hand, ready to shoot the villain if he doesn’t kneel with his hands behind his head.  John and Sherlock express their bond of friendship and loyalty, and we see Sherlock looking more human and compassionate that ever before!
And what does Moriarty do — the man who was supposedly willing to die to destroy Sherlock?
He kneels, utterly and completely defeated. 
Seconds later, John gleefully kicks him right off the cliff, after which Sherlock expresses joy at his new found freedom from fear and doubt by leaping into the air, and falling back into the real world.
So, what does this all mean?
Moriarty is indeed dead. Of that, there is no doubt.
But not the actual man, Jim Moriarty.  Dead at last is the nightmare demon of Sherlock’s doubt, the face of his fear, the symbol of his own terrible dread that he might fail when it counts the most.
So, Jim Moriarty has apparently escaped from the prison that Mycroft kept him in since he was taken into custody on the hospital roof, and he now threatens the security of England — but Sherlock has defeated the inner devil that drove him to seek escape in the form of lethal drugs and mortal dangers all these year. 
And now Sherlock Holmes is ready to do battle with his greatest enemy.

Yes, Jim.  We all do.

Last edited by Bruce Cook (January 4, 2016 4:27 pm)

A good debate is like a fencing match — you don't have to win to get a good workout.

January 4, 2016 8:03 am  #64

Re: Moriarty's Death

tonnaree wrote:

Once again. I really hope it's a twin or a henchman doing all this. If Moriarty is really alive I will be so Damned disappointed.

As we have come to know by now: It's never a twin. Or... is it...?


"Am I the current King of England?

"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"


January 4, 2016 8:22 pm  #65

Re: Moriarty's Death


After watching The Abominable Bride twice (which is not as often as anybody else around here, I know — but I’ve been working on this little piece for you nice folks to enjoy), I’ve come to an important realization.
We need to approach this question a little more like Sherlock and a little less like fans who hang on every word of dialog written by Mark and Steven. The Abominable Bride is wonderful, I agree, but it isn’t exactly a treasure trove of hard evidence on this subject. It’s mostly a drug-induced dream by a tortured man who has Moriarty chasing him in his nightmares.
Therefore, we should look for concrete proof that Moriarty shot himself on the roof of the hospital — or indications that he did not.
If Moriarty is actually dead, there’s a very important question that’s been plaguing me for years.  Where is Moriarty’s body?  In fact, why is there absolutely no official public acknowledgement that Moriarty is dead . . . or even missing?
The fact that the whole area around the hospital was crawling with Mycroft’s agents means the body of Jim Moriarty might have been spirited away, and neither the public nor the police were ever told that Moriarty died on the roof.
But wait a minute.  That doesn’t work, for several reasons.
First of all, Anderson’s crazy theory (as told to Lestrade) clearly proves that he somehow knew Moriarty was on the roof and had killed himself.
And yet his theory assumed that the body had been removed by Sherlock’s “assistants”, fitted with a mask, thrown down to the street, and then deliberately misidentified as Sherlock Holmes.
So, who actually told Anderson (a member of Scotland Yard at the time) that the body of Jim Moriarty was up there?  If the police had recovered the body from the roof, why did Anderson think it ended up in the street, masquerading as Sherlock Holmes, five minutes after Moriarty died?
And what about Lestrade?  Please note that he did NOT shout, “Anderson, you moron, your theory is bogus!  The coroner removed the body from the roof after Sherlock jumped!” 

If Greg Lestrade knew Moriarty had died on the roof, he should also know who removed the body and what happened to it afterwards.  Did the coroner take it away? Was an autopsy performed?  Was he buried? 
We have no idea — which is pretty odd when you think about it.
Lestrade did not refute Anderson’s theory based on any official knowledge of what happened to the body — and he didn’t deny that Moriarty’s body was on the roof.  So, he too must have known it was there.
The big question here is; what do both men think happened up there, and who provided the info? 
The news media certainly wasn’t getting reliable information, were they?  Immediately after the incident, the media had the story so screwed up their reports were 100% wrong!  They were telling everybody that Sherlock was a fraud, Richard Brook was an actor, Moriarty was a made-up identity, all the crimes had been faked, and Sherlock had hired an actor to make him look brilliant.
What they never even mentioned, however, was that Richard Brook was dead!  Wouldn’t that be considered a fascinating aspect of this sensational news story?  At least two members of Scotland Yard knew Richard Brook was dead (Lestrade and Anderson).
So why didn’t the press know this?
In the promotional short entitled The Blog of Dr. John H. Watson - News Broadcast (the TV news report concerning Sherlock’s disgrace and death) not one blessed word is said about the alleged murder of Richard Brook at the hands of the bogus detective who killed himself.  To me, that’s both amazing and very significant.  The reporters talk at length about how Sherlock created Moriarty with the help of actor Richard Brook — but they never say that Brook was found dead on the roof of the hospital!

Conclusion: The media didn’t know anything about the death Brook/Moriarty on roof.  How is that possible?
And the quick shot of a newspaper headline on the day Sherlock jumped only mentions Sherlock’s suicide, not Richard Brook’s death on the roof.  At the time that headline was printed, the press was claiming that Sherlock was a fraud, so the body of “Richard Brook” would have been deemed a murder by the “fraudulent detective” who had killed himself after shooting the actor.

 Even the small blurb at the bottom of the front page ignores this fact.  Instead of saying “Fraudulent detective takes his own life” — which is redundant in view of the big honkin’ headline — shouldn’t it have said “Fruadulent detective murders actor”?

You know, like this?

 Consider this odd omission in relation to the news montage near the beginning of The Empty Hearse, in which the media fully vindicates Sherlock, as well as acknowledging that Richard Brook was a fictitious character created by Moriarty. These newsmen are enthusiastically reporting this high profile story and criticizing the police for “letting things get so far” — and yet they still don’t say that Moriarty died on the roof of the hospital, or that the authorities are looking for this dangerous criminal!
That’s quite remarkable when you consider that Jim Moriarty was the accused in what the media called “The Trial of the Century” after he broke into the Tower of London.  And this same man threatened jurors to get an acquittal.  If the police thought he was still alive, Moriarty would be the most wanted criminal in England.
On the other hand, if Moriarty died on the roof of the hospital, that would make the story about Sherlock’s suicide even more sensational — especially after the press did a dramatic “about face” and reported that Sherlock had been framed by Moriarty, under the false identity of Richard Brook, the real villain of this amazing drama.
When you tally up all these sly omissions of evidence that Moriarty is dead, a pattern emerges.  The only person who seems to believe from first-hand experience that Moriarty is dead  . . . is Sherlock himself!
And when you start looking for evidence of Moriarty’s death among the other main characters, you find a suspicious lack of confirmation.  None of them seem to have anything but Sherlock’s word that the suicide actually happened.  For example, they never talk about what happened to Moriarty’s body. And as I’ve said, there’s absolutely no mention in the news media that he’s even dead.
At the airfield, when Sherlock said there was “no question” that Moriarty was dead, what evidence did he offer?  Did he say, “I saw his body in the morgue just before Molly started the autopsy,” — or — “I looked at the back of his head, and his brain matter was splatter all over the place!”
Nope, he didn’t say anything like that.  He just said, ““Of course he’s dead.  He blew his own brains out.  No one survives that.”
This is undeniably true — but which of these two ways did Sherlock mean his statement?
(1) If a person blows their brains out, they cannot be alive.
(2) If a person is alive . . . they could not have blown their brains out.
Remember, he’s basing his initial assumption that Moriarty is dead (which he might be starting to doubt) solely on this gruesome scene, viewed from even further back than the camera was for this shot.

And I’ve demonstrated in my other post just how easy it would be for Moriarty to pull off that trick.  So, apparently the only indication we have that Moriarty is dead is the strong conviction of one distraught witness who never actually saw the back of Moriarty’s head, never watched him long enough to see if he blinked, and never took his pulse!
Imagine what Perry Mason could do with someone on the witness stand who claimed there was no possible way they could have been tricked.

Sherlock is certain that Moriarty is dead because he heard a loud bang, and he was convinced that the gun went off in Moriarty’s mouth.  But he had his eyes closed when the loud noise occurred, and he was a dozen feet away when Moriarty fell.

He only looked at the body three times (watch the scene again to confirm this), and he was even further away when he took his second and third horrified glances — the last of which was while standing on the ledge, talking on the phone with John.

In short, the poor hyperventilating detective wasn’t doing a very good job of observing the situation.  Otherwise, our astute master slueth would have wondered how a dead man could fall backwards and still be clutching his pistol so dramatically!

However, we all assume that Mycroft saw the body afterwards, and therefore his reasons for believing Moriarty is dead are irrefutable.  Right?
Well . . . maybe. But has Mycroft ever said anything like this?  “We cremated him, just to make sure, little brother.” — or — “We held the body for his next of kin, but they never claimed it.”
Nope, Mycroft has never said a word about the fate of the body.  And yet we know damn well that Mycroft and many other people would have examined the remains after the rooftop incident.  Even though poor Sherlock might have been fooled by a clever trick Moriarty employed, Mycroft would have absolutely proof. And if that’s true, he couldn’t possibly have the slightest doubt.
Of course . . . and yet . . . if Mycroft was absolutely certain that Moriarty was dead, the nationwide media blitz with the “miss me” message would have been viewed as nothing but a spectacular computer hack that disrupted England’s communications.  Nobody in authority would think for an instant that Moriarty had caused it.  And they wouldn't have scrambled to bring Sherlock back after issuing an immediate pardon!
I mean, how could this be the work of Moriarty?  The man is dead!
But that’s not how they reacted.
Mycroft and the other government officials didn’t act like they were just concerned about an elaborate hoax — they acted like the nation’s most dangerous criminal had return to threaten England, and they desperately needed the help of the world's greatest consulting detective to combat him.
In other words, they all knew Moriarty was not dead.
If Moriarty is alive, what really did happen on the roof of the hospital after Sherlock jumped?  At the risk of sounding just a tad bit repetitive — what happened on the roof was exactly what I’ve been describing on this board for the last few years.
Mycroft’s men rushed out onto the rooftop the moment Sherlock jumped, and they apprehended Moriarty to prevent him from looking over the edge of the building and spotting the “ground crew” as they put the fireman’s safety net back into the laundry truck and splashed blood onto Sherlock so he could portray a convincing corpse.
The danger, of course, was that Moriarty would realize the watching sniper across the street had been tricked by the fake suicide.  And then Moriarty would simply call all three assassins and tell them to murder their targets.

As a matter of fact, preventing that from happening was a big part of the plan by Sherlock and Mycroft from the start.  It would have neutralized Moriarty on the spot.
And what happened to Moriarty after he was taken into custody?  (You know what happened because I’ve been posting versions of this theory here for a long time.  But I’ll say it anyway.

Moriarty has been in custody since he was captured by Mycroft’s people, but somehow the brilliant criminal mastermind has escaped.  And THAT’S why Mycroft and all the government big wigs are in a panic.  They thought they had Moriarty locked away, but now he’s on the loose, and he’s coming back to make their lives hell!
That’s what I predict for season 4.


Last edited by Bruce Cook (January 5, 2016 12:43 am)

A good debate is like a fencing match — you don't have to win to get a good workout.

January 4, 2016 8:30 pm  #66

Re: Moriarty's Death

However much I would like your theories to be right, I have to try and separate what I would like to happen- from what I think might actually happen.
Thing is; I don't quite understand then, why Mycroft and Sherlock are going through the charade of try to deal with the 'miss me thing'.
Plus, how does that fit in with Sherlock in OD?
Also, Sherlock would have to be lying about Mycroft being on the phone, asking if the deed had been done- in dispatching the sniper.

Incidentally, my Mum phoned tonight so I asked her what she thought of the episode and particularly if she thought Moriarty definitely was dead.
Her reply: well, he should be!
Though she confessed to being totally baffled by the whole episode!
There may be more...but that'll do for now, I think.

Though I will add, yes, it is odd that nobody in the show has mentioned Moriarty's body.
I have just always thought that Mycroft's men had dealt with it and it had all been hushed up.

I have just re-read your post.
Yes, that is true: the media and general public apparently didn't know Moriarty was dead, they didn't even know he really existed, as he was supposed to be Richard Brook!

Last edited by besleybean (January 4, 2016 8:38 pm)


January 4, 2016 8:55 pm  #67

Re: Moriarty's Death

besleybean wrote:

Also, Sherlock would have to be lying about Mycroft being on the phone, asking if the deed had been done -- in dispatching the sniper.

Oh my goodness, you're not suggesting that Sherlock's elaborate practical joke on poor Anderson near the end of The Empty Hearse wasn't 90% fantasy are you?

Wow . . . I thought we all knew that Sherlock's Tall Tale was definitely NOT how he faked the suicide.  I suggest you read this rather witty analysis of that whole thing on the wonderful site at this link.  You'll enjoy it, I promise!

Sherlock's version of the hoax, told to Anderson

And here's another item you'll find interesting at the same site.

Miss me? Yes, Moriarty is NOT dead!


Last edited by Bruce Cook (January 4, 2016 9:11 pm)

A good debate is like a fencing match — you don't have to win to get a good workout.

January 4, 2016 8:59 pm  #68

Re: Moriarty's Death

Just read the piece.
Well, I did always think the Anderson version was the right one...
I don't know why Sherlock isn't revealing his methods.

Last edited by besleybean (January 4, 2016 8:59 pm)


January 5, 2016 4:04 pm  #69

Re: Moriarty's Death

Apparently Steven and Mark like to tease us endlessly with things like the method Sherlock used to fall six stories without being harmed, and whether or not Moriarty is dead.  If they don't come clean with both of these mysteries in the next episodes, we're all going to be quite put out with these gentlemen.

A good debate is like a fencing match — you don't have to win to get a good workout.

January 5, 2016 4:13 pm  #70

Re: Moriarty's Death

besleybean wrote:

Yeah but did he?
Sherlock specifically says he didn't see that coming!

Yes, but I always think that he couldn't have carried out the plan with Moriarty still alive, so had to have him die in some way.    Perhaps there as an alternative plan for a sniper to kill Moriarty, and Sherlock inadvertently talked him into it, but that seems a bit coincidental and unnecessary.   I do think Sherlock outwitted Moriarty. 

However .... I know TAB kind of confirms that Moriarty is really dead, but funnily enough it doesn't .... Emelia really did manage to fake her own death (in a similar manner to Sherlock), even if she killed herself later.   I don't know why Sherlock is so sure at the end that it proves Moriarty is dead (although clearly he has access to information we don't - TAB suggests that he saw a more graphic version of Moriarty's corpse before going undercover). 


January 5, 2016 6:55 pm  #71

Re: Moriarty's Death

The jury's still out for me...oh well, less than a year to go!


January 6, 2016 1:55 am  #72

Re: Moriarty's Death

Liberty wrote:

TAB suggests that he saw a more graphic version of Moriarty's corpse before going undercover.

I think I pretty much established in the post above that nobody saw the body other than Sherlock on the roof, and I think that's because Jim just got back up after Sherlock jumped.

But he was promptly arrested by Mycroft's men, who rushed out onto the roof from where they had waited, in the stairway.  Doesn't it make sense that if they had a whole team down in the street, ready to assist Sherlock with this elaborate plan, they'd also have agents waiting close by to grab Moriarty as soon as Sherlock jumped?

They would have done that even if Moriarty hadn't surprised Sherlock by pretending to shot himself, so Sherlock wasn't a bit worried that the only person who might be tricked by the fake suicide was the sniper across the street (and John), because that's who Sherlock did it to fool any way.

Not Moriarty.  He was minutes away from being arrested and didn't even know it.  That's how Sherlock outwitted Moriarty.

And that's why the press were never told about the "suicide" on the roof and the death of "Richard Brook".  He didn't die.  Sherlock thought he did, but Mycroft let him go off for two years to dismantle Moriarty's network thinking Moriarty was dead.  Good old Mycroft, eh?

Sherlock knew Moriarty wouldn't be given time to call the three assassines and tell them the suicide was fake, even if he'd walked over to the ledge and looked down to see Sherlock land in the fireman's safety net.

And the way Sherlock acted after Moriarty shot himself (hyperventilating, covering his mouth with the back of his hand, barely able to look at the body) is certainly not consistent with the notion that he somehow tricked Moriarty into shooting himself.

Why would poor Sherlock do all this if he weren't genuinely shocked?  Who would he be putting on the big act for?

Last edited by Bruce Cook (January 7, 2016 3:06 am)

A good debate is like a fencing match — you don't have to win to get a good workout.

January 6, 2016 7:56 am  #73

Re: Moriarty's Death

It's possible, but Mycroft has taken Moriarty into custody before and it seems that it doesn't work.   And it doesn't even occur to Sherlock that that might have happened.   Why would Mycroft keep it quiet, unless he was in league with Moriarty in some way?  Again, possible, although I hope not. 

I agree with you that TAB is ambiguous - I really couldn't see at the end why Sherlock would be convinced taht Moriarty was dead, when he'd just worked out a death could be faked (and in such a way that from the viewers point of view, Moriarty could have faked it in the same way).  But we don't know if Sherlock could see more than us (he does suggest that he could).  And both them faking suicide doesn't make a terribly good story!


January 6, 2016 8:42 am  #74

Re: Moriarty's Death

And would bring the fake deaths up to a count of 4, so far.


January 7, 2016 2:35 am  #75

Re: Moriarty's Death

Liberty wrote:

It's possible, but Mycroft has taken Moriarty into custody before and it seems that it doesn't work.   And it doesn't even occur to Sherlock that that might have happened.   Why would Mycroft keep it quiet, unless he was in league with Moriarty in some way?  Again, possible, although I hope not.

Wow, great comments!  I may not agree with all your views, but I see the solid reasons behind them.  Allow me to respond with a few comments.   (This is getting more fun by the minute!)

First of all, you're dead right when you say that Mycroft already tried  unsuccessfully to interrogate Jim once before (and he had him for weeks, Mycroft told John) in a desperate effort to get the non-existent "key code" — proof positive that both Mycroft and Sherlock were fooled by that trick.
So, Sherlock's doubt and confusion was real when Moriarty told him he was a doofus for believing the ruse about the key code.  It was not just acting for Moriarty's sake.

But if Moriarty had been arrested on the roof after Sherlock jumped, the situation would have been very different.  After all, Moriarty is now guilty of conspiring to commit murder (the three assassins), and he can be charged with jury tampering in the trial he rigged to get an acquittal.  He's also the head of a dangerous criminal organization, and Mycroft would have no qualms about keeping Moriarty in a cell indefinitely (and secretly) if it "protected the security of the realm".

I think Mycroft might have "stepped up his interrogation efforts" (ouch . . . ) to extract information from Moriarty about his criminal network.  The info he got could be sent to Sherlock and aid him in dismantling Moriarty's “worldwide web of crime”. (Nice phrase, eh?)  The fact that Mycroft would allow Moriarty to believe Sherlock is dead just might make Jim feel smug and a bit more talkative, thereby causing a few useful crumbs of information to be gained.

That's just standard interrogation procedure, right?  Manipulate the subject’s emotions.

Liberty wrote:

I agree with you that TAB is ambiguous - I really couldn't see at the end why Sherlock would be convinced that Moriarty was dead, when he'd just worked out a death could be faked (and in such a way that from the viewers point of view, Moriarty could have faked it in the same way).

Yep, we totally agree on this one.  In my other post, on the TAB original thread, I pointed out that Sherlock seemed to contradict himself when he said things like this:
“I didn’t say he was alive, I said he was back.”
And I think that when he said this —
“Of course he’s dead.  He blew his brains out.  Nobody can survive that” — 
—  I think what he really meant was,  “Of course he’s dead . . . if  he blew his brains out.  Nobody can survive that.”
The unspoken “if” is what’s bothering Sherlock.  He’s spending more and more time pondering that question (and the series itself is spending an awful lot of time making us ponder it.  I think I know why . . . )

Liberty wrote:

But we don't know if Sherlock could see more than us (he does suggest that he could).  And both them faking suicide doesn't make a terribly good story!

Oh, my goodness, we certainly don’t agree on this point.  Let me “pitch” the idea to you and see if I can change your mind.  Picture this . . .
Sherlock goes to the roof knowing only that Moriarty wants to destroy his reputation and cause him to commit suicide so the world will dismiss him as a fraud who couldn’t face the disgrace.  He doesn’t know exactly what horrible consequence Moriarty has planned for him if he refuses to jump, but Sherlock has learned the hard way that he’d better be prepared to do exactly what Moriarty wants, or terrible things will happen.
He arranges an elaborate hoax with the help of his powerful and influential brother, Mycroft.  He’ll fake his suicide and trick Moriarty into revealing his terrible plans.  Part of the plan is for Moriarty to be apprehended the moment Sherlock jumps, preventing him from looking down into the street and seeing this

— instead of this

Once Moriarty is in custody, Mycroft can threaten to charge him with Sherlock’s murder (how could Moriarty prove he didn’t push Sherlock?).  There might be other criminal activities that Sherlock would learn about during the rooftop discussion, and the two brothers could meet in secret after the hoax to discuss what Moriarty said to Sherlock.  They’re both hoping Moriarty will reveal something if he thinks Sherlock is about to die.
We all know that Jimmy just loves to toot his own horn.
Amazingly enough, that’s exactly what happened!  Jim confessed to how he committed all the crimes which were supposedly made possible by the non-existant “key code”, and he told Sherlock that he’d threatened the jury members to get his acquittal.  That’s worth a couple of years in jail, right there!
Sherlock’s fears concerning what Moriarty will do if he refuses to jump are confirmed when Moriarty reveals his arrangement with the three assassins.  He knows he’ll have to make the fake suicide look good for the watching sniper, who is undoubtedly nearby, waiting for John to arrive.  Luckily the sniper is positioned across the street in a second-floor window, and his view of the sidewalk “landing area” is blocked by the ambulance station.
Sherlock seems ready to jump, but then he delays the moment when he steps back down off the ledge and threatens to force Moriarty to call off the assassins — which has never made much sense, because Jim had already said, just a few minutes before, “You can have me arrested, you can torture me, you can do anything you like with me . . . but nothing is going to prevent them from pulling the trigger.”
Therefore, I submit that this was just a ruse on Sherlock’s part, intended to delay his jump until things were all set up down below.  Maybe the laundry truck with the fireman’s safety net in the back had a flat tire or something.

 Then the unexpected happens.  Moriarty smiles and says, “Well, good luck with that.”  He sticks the gun in his mouth and appears to blow his head off.

 Sherlock is both convinced and shocked by this unexpected turn of events.  He hyperventilates, he backs away from the body, he shows an understandable reluctance to look it.

 Face it, fellow Sherlock fans — that one really shook the boy up.  His reaction must have been genuine, because there was no reason for him to put on an act.  Despite his great intellect, he had no idea Moriarty was going to do this.  I mean, come on — our hero can’t be omniscient, otherwise he’d be God.
And where’s the fun in that, eh?
But Sherlock quickly realizes that this new development doesn’t change the fact that he’s got to jump off the roof for the watching sniper.
John arrives, and for reasons I’ve never quiet understood, Sherlock bamboozles poor John into thinking it’s all real.  He even makes that puzzling speech.  “John, it’s all true, everything they said about me.  I invented Moriarty. I’m a fake. The newspapers were right all along.” 
In the next episode, The Empty Hearse, Sherlock tells John he wouldn’t have been able to keep the secret.  But that just doesn’t excuse putting John through two years of hell.
Anyway, let’s get back the story.
Sherlock does his gravity experiment and proves that Newton certainly knew his stuff.  And the moment he goes over the edge, Mycroft's men dash out onto the roof, shout "Freeze!", and prevent Moriarty from looking down at the street so he would not find out he'd been tricked.  Or maybe they do let him look down after about thirty seconds, the time required to stow the fireman's safety net and let the laundry truck drive away, just so Moriarty would labor under the misconception that Sherlock was dead.
As I mentioned earlier, that would be consistent with standard interrogation techniques: control what the subject knows and what he thinks is true.
So, Moriarty sits in a cell at MI-5 for two years and thinks Sherlock is dead because of his brilliant plan, while Sherlock roams the world and takes down Moriarty's organization, all the while thinking Moriarty had killed himself.
Frankly I love that idea.  It’s got all the makin’s for the kind of episode I want to see in season 4. 
Being a criminal mastermind, Moriarty works on various escape plans, and one of them eventually works.  Then he engineers the communications hack which allowed him to do this —

  — and hurls the gauntlet, challenging Myrcroft, Sherlock, and the British Empire to a battle of wits, for higher stakes than ever before!
So . . . still think a double suicide hoax wouldn’t make a very good story?

Last edited by Bruce Cook (January 7, 2016 4:45 am)

A good debate is like a fencing match — you don't have to win to get a good workout.

January 7, 2016 8:09 am  #76

Re: Moriarty's Death

The trouble is that when Moriarty's in custody he uses his network and his influence to control things.  That could still happen even if he believed Sherlock was dead (presumably if he'd set up a fake suicide, he'd have tipped off the network).  I think the trial proves that there's no way to get Moriarty through legitimate means (as with Magnussen). 

Sherlock does seem shocked on the roof, and later says that he didn't expect it.  However ... he does seem to be putting on an act for an observer, assuming they are being watched.   And why that conversation with Moriarty if he's not trying to talk him into suicide?   And I think it's a parallel of the ACD stories, where Holmes kills Moriarty and fakes his own death.

Not that I'm saying your version doesn't work - it does.  I suppose I should say that double fake death doesn't work for me.  It's kind of overdone in the programme (there's Irene's as well).  If it was likely, you'd expect Sherlock to make sure.  After all, he was in the middle of faking his own death - surely he'd spot another faker?   As the death could be faked, surely he would check that Moriarty really did "blow his brains out" and wasn't faking or injured?  The fact that he doesn't suggests that he can see that Moriarty really is dead. 


January 7, 2016 5:25 pm  #77

Re: Moriarty's Death

Though he says he wasn't expecting Moriarty to do this and Sherlock had his own plan to get on with!


January 7, 2016 6:38 pm  #78

Re: Moriarty's Death

To me, at the end of TAB, Sherlock did seem very convinced that Moriarty is truly dead.  I saw no inference of an unspoken "IF" at all.

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January 7, 2016 6:50 pm  #79

Re: Moriarty's Death

So we're thinking the 'what he'll do next' thing(for Moriarty) is just the plans he's left, or what his puppet master will do?!


January 8, 2016 2:53 am  #80

Re: Moriarty's Death


Consider this fascinating thought that just came to me.

Mycroft told John he'd held Moriarty for weeks, but he couldn't beat the info out of him about the (non-existent) "key code", so he let him go.  (We see a scene of him being beaten.)

On the roof, Moriarty told Sherlock, “You can have me arrested, you can torture me, you can do anything you like with me . . . but nothing is going to prevent [the snipers] from pulling the trigger.”

Sherlock told Moriarty,  "I'm prepared to do anything . . . prepared to burn . . . prepared to do what ordinary people won't do.  You want me to shake hands with you in hell, I shall not disappoint you."

Big bold words, but do we really believe Sherlock could torture Moriarty badly enough right there on the roof and get him to call off the snipers before they carried out the "hits" they were paid to do because Sherlock hadn't jumped?  There must have been a time limit for how long they'd wait, right?

So, here's my question;  Why did Moriarty even bother with a suicide
 — either real OR fake?  He didn't have to kill himself to prevent Sherlock from stopping the snipers!  As he told Sherlock, "Nothing is going to prevent them from pulling the trigger.”

Therefore, since there was absolutely no reason to actually kill himself . . . I don't think he really did!  However, faking out Sherlock with a bogus suicide just before the poor guy has to jump to save his friends?  Yep, that sounds exactly like old crazy-smart Jim to me!

It was just one more way to “burn the heart” out of Sherlock, a bit of additional humiliation, completely consistent with everything he’d already done to destroy Sherlock’s own self-image.

Thoughts, anyone?

Last edited by Bruce Cook (January 8, 2016 3:25 am)

A good debate is like a fencing match — you don't have to win to get a good workout.

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