The Reichenbach Fall: Act 1 (part 6a)

Show Offs

Jim and Sherlock have teaMoriarty has just been acquitted, and before John can even finish warning Sherlock, Sherlock already knows that the first thing Moriarty will do is come for him. How does he know this? Why would this be the first thing Jim does? If Sherlock is a show-off, Jim is, too. They are “just alike” Jim will tell him shortly, and we’ve already had mirror comparisons to clue us in on this. The difference is that, for Sherlock, the only person he ever seems to care about impressing is John. He could give a toss what the rest of the world thinks of him. He barely understands their interest. He enjoys showing off for Lestrade, too, but it doesn’t seem to matter to him nearly as much as John’s opinion.

Who does Moriarty show off to? The world, certainly, but even he says he doesn’t really care. He just likes to watch them all competing for his attention. No, the one person he consistently wants to impress is Sherlock Holmes. He just won his court case, and now he needs to tell someone how clever he is: who else would he go to but Sherlock? Continue reading

The Reichenbach Fall: Act 1 (part 5)

The Trial of James Moriarty

The trial scene is fairly short, all things considered, but there’s a few things I want to note here that seem important.

Prosecutor: A consulting criminal. Your words.
Sherlock: Yes.
Prosecutor: Could you expand on that answer?
Sherlock: James Moriarty is for hire…

Advertising indeed, Sherlock. This reads, retrospectively, almost like a commercial. Continue reading

Sherlock: The Casebook contest

Sleep is for the dead.

Trying to find time this week to work on the next installment, but I’m juggling a couple of work related things that are making it difficult. In the meantime you might want to check this out.

Sherlockology is running a casebook contest from now until Oct. 31 to celebrate the release of Sherlock: The Casebook, the ultimate and official guide to the BBC series. There’s a new “case” to solve each day using your powers of deduction (and code breaking). Solve all six before the deadline to be entered to win a copy of the new book signed by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Contest is open worldwide.

Wait a minute… why am I telling this to you? Oh. Right. Because I never win anything, and besides the cases are a lot of fun (and a great distraction from work) so they’re pretty much a reward in and of themselves.

The Reichenbach Fall: Act 1 (part 4)

Magpie Coda

There’s a small coda at the end of our Thieving Magpie montage. After Sherlock gets Moriarty’s last text we cut back to the Tower where they’re putting Jim into a police car. The ravens are cawing in indignation at all this fuss being made. A tiny smile plays at the corner of Jim’s mouth as he’s put into the car. If you’re paying very close attention, however, you’ll notice DI Lestrade in the back with Donovan at his heels. He’s fiddling with something: a phone. Moriarty’s phone. Perhaps trying to work out how Moriarty did all this with nothing more than his phone?

Lestrade and phoneA moment later we get Lestrade telling us how tough the glass is that surrounds the Crown Jewels. Apparently not all the cameras went down with the security system. From Jim’s side of the glass we watch him stick the diamond into his gum again. Sherlock explains how Jim was able to break it. Lestrade helpfully shows us the reverse angle (in reverse, actually): the camera that was shooting THROUGH the case. The one that Moriarty must have known was there and working. The one he left his message for. Continue reading

Doing My Homework

My husband and I were talking the other night about WHY I’m doing this. He’s interested, mainly because he likes seeing me interested. He’s not such a fan, though.

“To be fair,” he said, “I mostly skim it.”


I realize that for many fans of Sherlock, this is way too academic. I know that this isn’t a blog dedicated to how pretty Benedict Cumberbatch’s cheekbones are, or how adorable Martin Freeman looks in a jumper. We’ll take both of those as a given and move on.

THIS is because I love writing, love acting and directing, love storytelling–and when those things are done so well, with so much cleverness–well, then I’m pretty much in heaven. When I create things, myself, I love it when people notice the details I put into it. But they so rarely do, or if they do, they never say so. Well, this is me, appreciating someone else’s details. A love letter to the creators, writers, and directors, if you will.

Not that I don’t appreciate Mr. Cumberbatch’s cheekbones. (Though, if I’m being totally honest, it’s that brown fleck in his right eye and his toes that I find more fascinating, if we’re going on physical characteristics; his phenomenal acting skills, if we’re going on things that have actual value.)

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The Reichenbach Fall: Act 1 (part 3)

The story of three cups of coffee. (Four, actually.) (Also, a donut.)

I find the next few minutes of this episode fascinating, not just because of the plot that it sets in motion, but because of the way it frames this plot and ties everything together–though coffee. If this is a wake up call to Sherlock, to NSY, to England, to the world, and to us, the audience, it’s nice that it comes with coffee.

Tower of London 11:00

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The Reichenbach Fall: Act 1 (part 2)

I really adore it when Sherlock is in “dressing gown” mode. It reminds me that the writers really do understand the source material very well. It’s also a chance for us to see Sherlock at his most human and exposed. He really tends toward the childish at these moments. He’s not down to his pajamas like we saw him back in The Great Game, but he’s thrown his dressing gown on over his trousers and shirt. Vulnerable, but his guard isn’t completely down.

He tosses a newspaper on the coffeetable, complaining the whole while about the nickname the press has given him. (“Boffin” for my fellow Americans who aren’t familiar with the term, means a highly technical, usually scientific or computer-related person. A geek, really, though it’s not quite as derogatory a term from what I can tell.) John’s been following the tabloids, reading the papers, and he’s getting concerned (and not just about his own “confirmed bachelor” status).

While we’re on the subject: let’s talk about the newspapers. Continue reading

The Reichenbach Fall: Act 1 (part 1)

Opening: Three Closed Cases

Act one officially opens by showing us three different cases that Sherlock has solved, and the media frenzy that surrounds his growing fame. It’s easy to assume that the entire reason these three cases are shown to us is just for humor and establishing Sherlock’s incredible new popularity in the tabloids. But what happens if we look a little closer?

This show often presents us with two kinds of clues. The first are in-universe clues: these are the things that Sherlock usually notices, the hints that will help him solve crimes. They make sense within the universe of the show. The second kind of clues are for the audience alone: sometimes they are specific lines, words, imagery. They are things like a room with a giant chessboard for a ceiling–something that in-universe is completely ordinary and meaningless, but to those of us watching it conveys a whole extra layer of meaning. Sometimes these serve as in-jokes, references, foreshadowing–they are clues for us, the viewer, to find. They make the entire show that much more layered and rewarding.

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The Reichenbach Fall: Prologue (Part 2)

Bookend: John’s Therapy Session

“Why today?” a woman’s voice asks.

It’s raining. Everything is depressed and gray, like the world is grieving. John Watson has eschewed his normally cuddly jumpers for a black shirt and dark jeans, and he looks somehow like he’s aged ten years. He’s back at his therapist’s, something we haven’t seen since A Study in Pink. Ella confirms for us what we might have guessed: John hasn’t made an appointment in eighteen months. Probably not since that last one, where she said he had trust issues and he read her writing upside down. Not, at least, since Mycroft told John he should fire her, because she had his diagnosis backwards.

Eighteen months. John has been living with Sherlock for over a year. Only now he isn’t. Because Sherlock, his best friend, is dead.

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The Reichenbach Fall: Prologue (Part 1)

Backwards Beginnings

To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces. – Sherlock Holmes (ACD)

Where to even begin? Backwards? Forwards? I swear now that I’m neck-deep into this project (at least on the note-taking end) it seems so massively complicated that I can’t even imagine how all my brain-thoughts are going to be coherent, let alone interesting enough for anyone to read. Not that very many people are actually reading this, really, but the possibility exists, so I shouldn’t totally discount it.

Deep breath now. Here we go.

So let’s start with the prologue. Technically the prologue begins at the top of the episode, but I want to rewind a moment, because there’s something important that happens at the end of the previous episode. Continue reading