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July 27, 2014 8:11 am  #1


Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

I know Sherlock planned to confront Moriarty and that Sherlock planned his own "suicide".  But I thought he was shocked and surprised when Moriarty killed himself.  I've been thinking about it more though, and have realised that it must have been part of the plan.

If the third "fall" scenario is to be believed, Sherlock couldn't have done it while Moriarty was alive and on the roof.   If Moriarty had looked over the edge (and he would, wouldn't he?) he'd have seen that Sherlock was alive.  He'd have seen the mattress and the people creating the "suicide".   So Sherlock had planned for Moriarty to be out of the way, one way or another, by the time Sherlock jumped.  (The only thing that makes me doubt that is that Sherlock says that he didn't realise how far Moriarty would go.   But then he also says that it was "obvious" that Moriarty was potentially suicidal.  Either way, he needs Moriarty to be dead before he jumps, so must have somehow planned Moriarty's death).

In the books, Sherlock plans to meet Moriarty alone so that he can kill him.  That's the whole point.    I think BBC Sherlock was also planning to rid the world of Moriarty, for good.

In the books, it appears that Sherlock and Moriarty fall to their deaths together when fighting.  (Of course, Sherlock turns out to be alive later).   Our Sherlock couldn't bring Moriarty with him, because then they'd both survive the fall and what was he going to do then?  Assassinate him?   He couldn't have planned to kill him that way.

Moriarty's death at that point and in that manner didn't make any difference to Sherlock's plan.  It was all set up for that eventuality.   Moriarty had to be dead around the time of the phone conversation with John because Sherlock has to jump as soon as it finished.  Moriarty's suicide doesn't mess up the plan, it helps it. 

Sherlock appears shocked that Moriarty is dead and that now there's no way of stopping the snipers.  But of course, he isn't shocked.  The plan has been set up assuming that Moriarty is dead, and it works.  Was there even a Plan B (if Moriarty didn't kill himself?).  I don't know.  Probably not.  They (Mycroft and Sherlock) knew Plan A was going to work.

There is a theme here of talking people into suicide.  It was set up in the very first episode with the cabbie (who was working for Moriarty).  Sherlock knows Moriarty plans to talk him into suicide, and he needs to get rid of Moriarty.   His clever and actually quite sporting plan seems to be to talk Moriarty into suicide instead. 

You know, I was always disappointed with the cabbie in ASIP.  He claimed that he talked people into suicide, but it turned out that he forced them into it with threats (the gun).  Moriarty has shown that he has the same MO: threatening the jury members that he'll destroy people close to them.   And he does the same to Sherlock.   How boring.  Sherlock is too clever for that and actually does just talk Moriarty into suicide.  No threats - threats wouldn't have worked and Sherlock knows it.  As Moriarty says, "that's your weakness - you want everything to be clever".  And it is clever.  Moriarty should have spotted that.  I'm disappointed in him.

Moriarty underestimates Sherlock, and believes what Sherlock says on the roof.  It doesn't occur to him that Sherlock is lying.  I'm not sure why, because the clues are there.   (Sherlock knows his Bach, for instance).    Is it pride?  Wanting to believe something?   Wanting a reason to fulfil a death wish?  He couldn't "read" Sherlock, underestimated him? I'd like your ideas on this bit - why didn't Moriarty suss out Sherlock?  Why did he let himself be manipulated into suicide?  

One of the themes of this episode is Grimm's fairytales.  Fairytales often have a hero outwitting a baddie.  For instance, in Hansel and Gretel (which is referenced earlier in the episode), the children actually manage to trick the witch into killing herself.   In Snow White (referenced by Moriarty's apple), Snow White fakes her suicide, for goodness sake!  (Well, not exactly, but she is believed to be dead, when she isn't).   You'd think Moriarty would have picked up on his own clues http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
.

Anyway, I watched the scene again with all this in mind and it makes sense.  Sherlock is almost as good an actor as Benedict Cumberbatch.  He's acting throughout the scene.   (He's acting through most of the whole episode, in fact).  Everything he says and does (mirorring Moriarty's slow blink, for instance) is designed to lead Moriarty to suicide.

Last edited by Liberty (July 27, 2014 10:49 am)

 

July 27, 2014 9:29 am  #2


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

That was incredible! What you wrote makes perfectly sense. If Moriarty would not have committed suicide then Sherlock wouldn't have jumped, he would somehow made Moriarty stop the snipers and we would have had a terribly boring happy end. Moriarty should have had encountered all this. EXCEPT: he faked his dead too and we'll see him again in season four, what I personally don't think is going to happen. (But I still would love to see Andrew Scott again in BBC Sherlock)

 

July 27, 2014 9:56 am  #3


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

This. is. wrong. on so many levels. In my opinion to make someone takes own life is very despicable. I don't see Sherlock able to design someones suicide.... 

It is strange how two persons can see totally different things on every level of this series. 

 

July 27, 2014 10:18 am  #4


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Of course I See your point but don't forget, he killed Augustus Magnusen or would you say that's less bad??

 

July 27, 2014 10:27 am  #5


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Thank you both for your comments. 

@SebbyM I'm a latecomer and actually first watched the episode after the hints that Moriarty was returning, so I knew there was a possibility that he faked his death.  That would be an interesting countermove.  You're right that Moriarty had to die for Sherlock to jump, and because Lazarus was set up for Sherlock to jump, I think it must also have been set up for Moriarty to die. 

@A Lovely Light  It's wrong, but there's sort of justice to it.  After all, it seemed that Moriarty couldn't be got rid of through the normal means (courts, prison).   Getting rid of Moriarty was personal, but it was also to protect everybody else. 

I actually find it more sporting than just killing him in cold blood.  It was a mind battle, and if Moriarty had been more on the ball, he'd have realised what was happening.  He was given that chance and choice.   And it reflected his own methods.

The main issue I have with it is that Moriarty may have been mentally ill, and Sherlock may have been taking advantage of that.  But I'm not sure what else he (and Mycroft) could have done?

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July 27, 2014 10:54 am  #6


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Killing an unarmed man is just bad as it gets in my cards.  But bringing someone to commit suicide is not only bad, is cruel, is despicable - yes, if is a direct threat and you have to save someone else who is in immediate danger, than better you kill that person directly than bringing him to suicide, torture someones mind is not "sporting" at all-  and persons doing that cannot erase it with making "justice". We have a justice system and law system exactly to don't allow that everybody makes justice like they want. 

I won't excuse something just because the person doing it is Sherlock. He is not beyond the laws and if for something when i put instead Sherlock "person/cop/friend" is despicable than is despicable also when it have the name Sherlock in it. 

But like i said i don't see Sherlock able to be that cruel and insensitive and also not the writers bringing a hero to do that. We see Sherlock cruel with the cabbie, but this is on a new level in my cards. I saw a genuine shocked Sherlock after Moriarty suicide, for whom should Sherlock fake the surprise? He is alone on that roof. 
 

 

July 27, 2014 11:01 am  #7


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

I confess I didn't want to read this; I thought: not another theory.
But in some points you could be right; at least these are interesting thoughts.

E.g. I didn't think about this before: If the third "fall" scenario is to be believed, Sherlock couldn't have done it while Moriarty was alive and on the roof.

All the time I never really understood the conversation on the roof. Now you're saying this: Moriarty underestimates Sherlock, and believes what Sherlock says on the roof.  It doesn't occur to him that Sherlock is lying.[/]
Sounds much better than "Sherlock is wrong."  Which I still don't want to believe, at least not yet in that episode.

Your Grimm's fairytales connections are not exactly right (in the version of Hansel and Gretel[i] I know
they push the witch into the oven), but it's still interesting in one or the other way.

I have to watch the roof scene again now, too, I'm "afraid". 


__________________________________

"After all this time?" "Always."
Good bye, Lord Rickman of the Alan
 

July 27, 2014 11:03 am  #8


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

A lovely light wrote:

....I saw a genuine shocked Sherlock after Moriarty suicide, for whom should Sherlock fake the surprise? He is alone on that roof. 
 

 
That's also quite right. Hmmmmm.......


__________________________________

"After all this time?" "Always."
Good bye, Lord Rickman of the Alan
 

July 27, 2014 11:11 am  #9


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Sherlock had over a dozen possible scenerios to choose from.  I got the impression that the Lazuras plan was only choosen AFTER Moriarty had commited suicide.  I think Sherlock's shock was real.  If Moriarty had not killed himself there were still many other plans to choose from.


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July 27, 2014 11:16 am  #10


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

@A Lovely Light,  in this case, the justice system didn't work.  We saw that.  It wasn't a viable option, so they had to be more creative.  Now absolutely, I'm against execution even for the worst of villains, so even given Moriarty's background I'm not sure I'm "for" killing him or the methods used.   But I can see how it could be seen to be the only option. 

It's not just because it's Sherlock.  It's because it's a fair fight.  Moriarty was trying to talk Sherlock into suicide.   Sherlock did the same to Moriarty and won.  (If Moriarty had pulled a gun on Sherlock, it would have been OK for Sherlock to pull a gun).   If you look at what Sherlock says, it's not as if he's trying to make a depressed person feel worse.  He's not humiliating him or anything like that.  He just manipulates him and plays with his weaknesses, and Jim then makes the choice to kill himself.   There's no real threat or coercion from Sherlock there.  

I wondered about Sherlock's apparent shock too (and that he later says he didn't bargain for it), but I keep coming back to the fact that Sherlock had to know Moriarty was going to die at that point.   He could be genuinely shocked (having somebody shoot themselves right in front of you like that would be shocking to anyone), but could also still be acting.   He could be being watched, and recorded (I get the impression that the phone call to John is overheard). 

Last edited by Liberty (July 27, 2014 11:43 am)

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July 27, 2014 11:35 am  #11


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Mattlocked wrote:

I confess I didn't want to read this; I thought: not another theory.
But in some points you could be right; at least these are interesting thoughts.

E.g. I didn't think about this before: If the third "fall" scenario is to be believed, Sherlock couldn't have done it while Moriarty was alive and on the roof.

All the time I never really understood the conversation on the roof. Now you're saying this: Moriarty underestimates Sherlock, and believes what Sherlock says on the roof. It doesn't occur to him that Sherlock is lying.
Sounds much better than "Sherlock is wrong." Which I still don't want to believe, at least not yet in that episode.

Your Grimm's fairytales connections are not exactly right (in the version of Hansel and Gretel I know they push the witch into the oven), but it's still interesting in one or the other way.

I have to watch the roof scene again now, too, I'm "afraid".

Yes, I don't want to see Sherlock being wrong either and I do much prefer the idea of Sherlock outwitting Moriarty. 

You're right about Hansel and Gretel, and I know I'm taking liberties with the fairytales, but here's the witches death ...

She pushed poor Gretel out to the oven, from which flames of fire were already darting. "Creep in," said the witch, "and see if it properly heated, so that we can put the bread in." And once Gretel was inside, she intended to shut the oven and let her bake in it, and then she would eat her, too.     But Gretel saw what she had in mind, and said, "I do not know how I am to do it. How do I get in?"     "Silly goose," said the old woman, "the door is big enough. Just look, I can get in myself." And she crept up and thrust her head into the oven.     Then Gretel gave her a push that drove her far into it, and shut the iron door, and fastened the bolt. Oh. Then she began to howl quite horribly, but Gretel ran away, and the godless witch was miserably burnt to death.

The witch tries to talk Gretel into killing herself: Gretel manages to turn that around, and use the witch's weapon against her.  It's close to what happens on the roof, and it has the theme of the hero outwitting the villain.

There are a few references to burning as well, including in that last conversation.
 

Last edited by Liberty (July 27, 2014 11:37 am)

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July 27, 2014 11:42 am  #12


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

tonnaree wrote:

Sherlock had over a dozen possible scenerios to choose from.  I got the impression that the Lazuras plan was only choosen AFTER Moriarty had commited suicide.  I think Sherlock's shock was real.  If Moriarty had not killed himself there were still many other plans to choose from.

Quite possibly.  We just don't see the other possible scenarios.   But I think that clearly in the scenario we see, Sherlock had to jump and Moriarty had to be dead or incapacitated first. 

And of course, the point was to rid the world of Moriarty and his network.  If he couldn't be imprisoned, he had to be killed, so I imagine the other scenarios led to his death, or at the very least some sort of illegal incarceration. 

Sherlock clearly knows Moriarty's plan before he goes up on the roof.  Mycroft knew about the snipers, and Sherlock even checks off the names with Moriarty and checks there are only three (when Moriarty claims "everybody").   He was planning for being unable to call off the snipers - he knew that would happen. 
 

Last edited by Liberty (July 27, 2014 1:23 pm)

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August 10, 2014 3:04 pm  #13


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

I like your theory, I posted a similar one some time ago (with zero answers though so I deleted it again ;p)

There is a theme here of talking people into suicide.  It was set up in the very first episode with the cabbie (who was working for Moriarty).  Sherlock knows Moriarty plans to talk him into suicide, and he needs to get rid of Moriarty.   His clever and actually quite sporting plan seems to be to talk Moriarty into suicide instead. 

Another example for this theme is John´s "did you just talk to him for a very long time?" regarding the hanging mannequin in 221b.

I too saw Sherlock playing Moriarty´s weaknesses. He made him disappointed in his wits and thus hurt him by implying he is not the "soulmate" Moriarty wished for. Then he made him believe in him again ("If you want to shake hands with me in hell I shall not disappoint you." - "You are me! Bless you!") By acting like he was just like Morirty he made him believe that the only way to win (and "impress" him, too, by the way) was to kill himself - fake or not.

Well, at least that is how I like to see it. As always in this show there are several things contradicting the theory, but I stopped caring for definite answers since TEH http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/wink.png
​.

 

August 10, 2014 3:55 pm  #14


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Oh yes, the mannequin!  It's setting up Sherlock's "suicide", but fits with Moriarty too.  Sherlock just talked to him. 

What you are describing is what I saw too: Sherlock disappointing Moriarty then making him feel they were the same.   I don't find it 100% convincing that Sherlock would know what he said would drive Moriarty to suicide ... but that's the result, and perhaps there was more that Sherlock could have said if that didn't work.   He seems to have worked out Moriarty's psychology.   I like your thoughts on Moriarty wanting to impress Sherlock.  Of course! 

I mentioned in another thread that angelic light seems to stream out of Sherlock when he says he's not one of the angels.  He's lying.  Moriarty misses it.   He misses that Sherlock is too clever to believe in the code.   He definitely misses out on the Bach clue.  When Moriarty arrives at 221B, Sherlock is playing Bach (Reichenbach!) and during the conversation Sherlock finishes a story Moriarty starts about Bach.  (Sherlock knows Bach so well, that he would have recognised the rhythym and not believed it was a code).  Moriarty says that Sherlock hates an unfinished melody.   Well, Sherlock makes sure it's finished on the roof. 

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August 10, 2014 4:15 pm  #15


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

This is all very interesting reading!  Thank you all!
I have all these similiar theories dancing in my head & this just adds to it! 
I think Sherlock & Moriarty really don't want to lose each other & I think there's a slight possibility that Mycroft intervened on them both & a compromise was reached.  Don't ask me how to be specific in an explanation though!  Sorry!  (Maybe I can later)
Have you heard the theory of Moriarty knocking himself out with the same spray he used on the Tower of London guard?  And why the roof for the showdown?  That might have something to do with it all.
 

 

August 10, 2014 4:49 pm  #16


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Moriarty doesn't use spray on the roof.
It's Sherlock hissing while moving backwards. Listen to it again. 


__________________________________

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August 12, 2014 6:45 am  #17


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

OnlyinWestwood wrote:

This is all very interesting reading!  Thank you all!
I have all these similiar theories dancing in my head & this just adds to it! 
I think Sherlock & Moriarty really don't want to lose each other & I think there's a slight possibility that Mycroft intervened on them both & a compromise was reached.  Don't ask me how to be specific in an explanation though!  Sorry!  (Maybe I can later)
Have you heard the theory of Moriarty knocking himself out with the same spray he used on the Tower of London guard?  And why the roof for the showdown?  That might have something to do with it all.
 

Are you suggesting that they collobarated to fake both their suicides?  It's an interesting idea, but I can't see it, I think Sherlock really did want to get rid of Moriarty, and in the books he more or less says that he's prepared to die to do so.  (Of course, that's what he tells Watson, and you could argue that even in the books, he's deceiving Watson.  And in the books, he comes back from the dead too). 

Why the roof?  In the books, Sherlock went to meet Moriarty alone and they supposedly fell to their deaths, so I think that was the reason a high building and a fall was involved.   It looks as if Sherlock chooses their meeting place, and of course, he's set it up.  That's one weakish point for me, and maybe somebody can explain something I've missed, but the thing relies on Sherlock (rather than Moriarty) being able to choose the location and method for his "suicide".  I suppose Sherlock had come to know Moriarty so well, that he knew he would fall for it. 

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August 12, 2014 7:15 pm  #18


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

I just found this interesting quote from an interview with Steven Moffat that seems to support the theory:

“If you look at what actually happens in The Reichenbach Fall — never mind what seems to happen; pay attention to what did happen — Sherlock Holmes tricks him ruthlessly. 

I mean, he completely outclasses Moriarty actually, because Moriarty is the mad one. '


— Steven Moffat (IGN interview Part 1, February 2014)

source: skulls-and-tea.tumblr.com

Last edited by Zatoichi (August 12, 2014 7:31 pm)

 

August 12, 2014 8:07 pm  #19


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

Thank you for posting that!  Yes, it does seem to say that Sherlock knew what was happening all along and outwitted Moriarty.   I'm never sure exactly how far ahead of Moriarty he is (e.g. does he expect Moriarty in the taxi or not?), but at the beginning (courting publicity to draw Moriarty out) and the end, I think he fully has it in hand. 

 

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August 25, 2014 4:42 pm  #20


Re: Did Sherlock plan and orchestrate Moriarty's suicide?

I don't want to give any spoilers, but really interestingly, the new episode of Doctor Who had some Sherlock references

including a scene where the Doctor and his enemy are up above London in a final confrontation.  The Doctor appears to talk his enemy into suicide ... although in this case it's the enemy who has the "fall".

.  I don't mean it's evidence for my view here, and TRF wasn't a Moffat episode (whereas the Doctor Who one was).   But it was interesting to see such a similar scene. 

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