Last night I watched the final Sherlock episode, The Reichenbach Fall, for the first time since it aired in America (at the beginning of the year, I believe). No, I haven't been putting off seeing the episode because of the emotional trauma of seeing Sherlock dying.... I just haven't been able to find Reichenbach since I watched it on TV a year ago.
My mom surprised me by watching most of it with me (because it was on TV) and the first thing she said when it was over was, "Do you know how he survived? Tell me how he survived! Do you know?" and I had to break the horrible news to her.... No one knows. Because John Watson's three years are becoming the fan's three years.
It was kind of cute. But, there were no tears between the two of us. I don't cry much for things like TV shows and movies. I was, however, kind of making fun of the whole rooftop and fall scene.... That's what I do. I make fun of TV shows, even TV shows I adore. Sorry Sherlock.
Rewatching the episode gave me no insight on how Sherlock faked his death. There are several points which I'm sure have something to do with it... I just don't know how they all fit together.
Some random thoughts and things to do with Sherlock's fake death:
1. Sherlock playing with the bouncy ball.
This seems like the generally accepted survival theory that the ordinary people have chosen. Sherlock is seen playing with a bouncy ball twice in the episode. It is a (well known?) fact that if you put a bouncy ball under your armpit you can mask your heartbeat. People think that's how Sherlock "survived" - he masked his heartbeat.
Personally... I'm not too fond of this theory. It seems too obvious. I think that Moffat is just playing with us with the whole ball theory. But who knows, maybe it is part of plot!
2. The little girl screaming when she sees Sherlock.
I'm positive that this has to do with something. I just don't know what.
3. Moriarty's body.
He shot himself, right?
And then Sherlock fell....
Wouldn't the people from the hospital have checked the roof? Unless, of course, Moriarty paid them off....
But really. Where did Moriarty's body go? Why didn't it show up??!
4. Sherlock crying on the phone when talking to John.
Sherlock wouldn't cry.... UNLESS he was trying to make someone believe something or if he was trying to get information from someone. Mark my words, the whole thing is highly suspect!
5. Sherlock on the phone with John... He tells John to tell everyone - Mrs. Hudson, Molly, anyone who will listen - that he was a fake. In the book Sherlock hides away for three years in the hope that all the people after him (like Sebastian Moran) will kill each other off or get themselves arrested. Well, they all do except for one Sebastian Moran, who Holmes then takes care of in that book.
Anyway, Sherlock telling John to tell everyone that he is a fake could be his way of protecting himself from Moriarty's snipers. Just like the book... Watson publishes his story about Sherlock's death and everyone believes it.
She's in on it. I know it. She's a character that Moffat created - she's probably standing in for Mycroft (because Mycroft is the one in the book who helps Sherlock get away) - and is therefore acceptable to be in on side plots.
7. Sherlock picked the building to meet Moriarty on. He sent Moriarty a text saying "Come and play. St. Bart's rooftop. SH." He also tells Molly.... "I think I'm going to die." Sherlock must have deduced at least some of Moriarty's plans so he could fake his death but still seem like he didn't know anything when he was on the rooftop (the location that HE picked!).
8. Extract from "The Empty House" (AKA, the one where Sherlock comes back) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
Watson - "My dear chap, I am overjoyed to see you. Sit down and tell me how you came alive out of that dreadful chasm."
(A bit of description and Holmes asks Watson to go on an adventure with him before answering his question.)
Sherlock Holmes - "Well, then, about that chasm. I had no serious difficulty in getting out of it, for the very simple reason that I never was in it."
Watson - "You never were in it?"
Sherlock Holmes - "No, Watson, I never was in it."
I can definitely see BBC's Sherlock saying, "For the simple reason that I never was in it."
My own personal theory which probably won't be right (because it is influenced by sci-fi shows like Star Trek and Doctor Who):
Prothstetic makeup can really change a person's appearance.
These two Star Trek characters are played by the same actor, Mr. Ethan Phillips:
I think that Moriarty had a prothstetic mask of Sherlock Holmes. When he kidnapped those two little kids Moriarty was wearing it and that's why the little girl was so afraid of Sherlock when he went in to question her. She thought that he was the kidnapper, because Moriarty essentially "is" Sherlock Holmes (he even says it in the episode. He says "I am you" and later Sherlock, when facing M, says "I am you." He could mean literally).
Up on the rooftop, Moriarty kills himself. Sherlock puts on the mask and maybe his coat and scarf (that would explain the new scarf.... he didn't want M to touch his things. Hee hee) or whatever... and pushes M's body off the roof.
So there's my theory. The second half is kind of far fetched.... But it could work. After all, Moffat is head writer for Doctor Who and they do lots of prothstetics for that.
Live long and prosper.