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15 January 2012 @ 10:07 pm
Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall review  
Aaaand another series completed!

Short, non-spoilery review: holy hell, that was tense. In a good way!


Wow. Talk about a roller coaster of an episode.

I'd written in my review of "The Great Game" that I didn't like Andrew Scott's portrayal of Moriarty. Well, I take that back now. Mostly. He had some creaky acting moments in this episode but they were nicely set off by some brilliant moments. I'm still not entirely pleased that Moriarty was re-imagined as a brilliant crazy person (because he truly is insane down to his very cells) but I liked just how elegant his evil was. From the way he put together how to destroy Sherlock in the way that would make the most impact to him leaning on all his pressure points. Their final rooftop scene had me clutching my pillow into lumpy shapes because I really couldn't guess how it would end. I thought for a moment Sherlock might literally just shove Moriarty off the roof during one of his speeches. But having Moriarty kill himself was actually rather a brilliant stroke. It actually fit very well into his narcissistic mindset that now that he had defeated Sherlock, the idea of going back to playing with the ordinary people was too depressing a thought for him to live with. So he didn't. I guess you can say that at the end of it, Sherlock did beat Moriarty because Sherlock managed in the last moments to be one single step ahead of the Napoleon of crime. But it was only one single step and he cut it seriously close. Unless we learn in the 3rd series that he'd known about Moriarty wanting to discredit him so early on he had Mycroft assist by giving Moriarty information about his life.

I've watched Sherlock's "suicide" scene a few times to try and see how it is that he managed to switch out bodies. It looks like there was about a three second gap from where Sherlock's body disappeared behind a low building while falling and when John saw it on the ground. I'm guessing that somehow during that short interval, Sherlock made a safe landing (somehow) and faked being a body on the ground until he could be taken into the ambulance and switched out with a corpse that Molly got for him? I'm also going to believe that following canon, Mycroft is also lending a hand. Speaking of Mycroft, both Holmes brothers deserve BAFTAs. Bravo on acting emotional!

I'm sure other viewers had strong opinions about Donovan and Anderson planting the idea in Lestrade's head about Sherlock being a fraud. But frankly I sort of liked it and couldn't hate either of them for doing it. Their opinion of Sherlock morally is a perfect example of how the great detective might look from the outside in. They haven't been living with Sherlock nor been at the receiving end of any kind of decency from Sherlock. Of course they'd think he could easily become a criminal. It made complete sense to me and I liked that they were able to make it happen without completely painting Donovan and Anderson as vindictive. Which isn't something I can say for the journalist Moriarty roped in.

All in all, a great ending to another series! It has been confirmed by Moffat and Gatiss on Twitter that series 3 has been commission. In fact, it had been commissioned at the same time as series 2 but they kept it under wraps for obvious reasons. Golf claps to you both for being such magnificent bastards and making us all sweat for an entire season! Now please don't make us wait 18 months for the next set.

And for the final time, quickfire likes and dislikes.

Likes:
1. And Also Featuring the Wonderful Molly Hooper - At freaking last we get a scene with Molly where she isn't humiliated or is seen pining after Sherlock. It's clear she's still halfway in love with him, but I liked how she finally translated onto screen as someone who is fiercely loyal to Sherlock and uses her competence to help him, like John. And finally, finally gets acknowledged for it. I liked that she didn't get all flustered or embarrassed as was the norm for her when Sherlock told her she mattered. She merely took it and asked what he needed.

2. The BAFTA-award winning Martin Freeman, Ladies and Gentleman - I have to say, Freeman's acting this series went several notches up from where it was last series. Not that he was bad last series, but he seriously brought the award winning acting skills this go around and especially in this episode. I loved his portrayal of a grieving John who is obviously devastated by his friend's death but doesn't break down from it. He cries but he pulls it back in to carry on because that's John to his very cells. Someone who carries on despite it all. His last speech to Sherlock's grave and his near salute before he walked away was brilliant.

3. Handcuffed Together: A Comedy Device That Never Fails - Actually, this wasn't as comedic and as silly as it could have been. But it did show us the nice contrast of just how much Sherlock tends to move around with his manic energy versus John who tends to just stand still and wait to make his move. I laughed quite a bit when John told him they had to coordinate. Actually, that entire daring escape sequence was wonderful, right down to the exasperated expression on Lestrade's face when Sherlock first brandished the gun.

4. Moriarty, That Crazy Bastard - As I said, Scott's portrayal of Moriarty really got better for this last episode. Particularly when he ceased to put on special voices randomly throughout his sentences and just spoke in that slightly deadened voice of his which was way more chilling to match his somewhat dead eyes.

5. Suicide Note By Mobile - I know Benedict Cumberbatch didn't win a BAFTA last series but perhaps this year. In either case, can someone give Sherlock a BAFTA? I actually found myself almost buying the lies he was telling to John about being a fraud even though I knew for a fact he wasn't. But man, that conversation was hard to watch. From having Sherlock telling John it had all been a lie to John refusing to buy it and getting more desperate. I both look forward to and actually fear how John's going to react when he finds out Sherlock's still alive.

Dislikes
1. The Mycroft Enigma - I'm sure...at least I hope...that it'll be revealed in series 3 that Mycroft is in on this whole thing and that he didn't actually fall for Moriarty's schemes. Because if he did, that'll really reduce the cleverness of the elder Holmes from the canon.

2. We Can't Get Away Without One Angry Female - Just once I'd like to see a man on this show be the vindictive one. Kitty Reilly's whole thing was so ridiculously sad because you knew she was taking on the Richard Brook story because Sherlock managed to tear her entire self-esteem down in one swoop by saying she repulsed him. I get that she was needed as a plot device but couldn't they have gone about it another way?

3. Why DOESN'T Moriarty Have a Live In One? - I'm going to assume that the gunman set up to take out John should Sherlock not kill himself is Sebastian Moran. But I'm really disappointed that we didn't get an actual Moran in this series and probably never will since it looks pretty certain that Moriarty is dead. I really wanted to meet the John counterpart!

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The Writer They Call Tay: SHERLOCK: Watson's cute noseawanderingbard on January 16th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
I have to believe that Mycroft knew what he was doing. I just can't, no matter what was at stake, picture him throwing Sherlock's secrets away without knowing what was in store, or at least warning Sherlock. It's stupid and Mycroft just doesn't do stupid. He does 'so far ahead of you that I've lapped you twice and now appear to be behind'.

Yeah, Benedict needs a BAFTA. I couldn't tell if Sherlock crying was actually him crying or him crying to help him pull it off, since we know that Sherlock can cry on cue, but either way that was a great performance from both him and Sherlock. I like to believe he was genuinely upset at having to do what he was doing to John.

And Martin needs another BAFTA. Random thought, but I love Martin's 'John' walk. The slightly springy, marchy military sort of walk.

A big Amen on the Molly bit. I was hoping she'd get herself together after the Christmas Party incident and was sort of a little ways into writing a fic in which she did not suck, but not said fic is not neccessary.

You know what I think it is about the evil women? I think it's because the original stories are such a boys club that they try and throw in women where possible and for some reason, the easiest place for them to do it is evil people. I much prefer it when they change the sex of people like Dr. Mortimer in Hound.
formerly lifeinsomniac: WatsonCocktailjoonscribble on January 17th, 2012 04:29 am (UTC)
I love Martin's 'John' walk. The slightly springy, marchy military sort of walk.

I really enjoyed the general military-trained behavior that Freeman worked into John's physical behavior. Even when he was shooting the hound in the 2nd episode, he did it with a steadier hand and eye than Lestrade which I thought was a nice detail.

I much prefer it when they change the sex of people like Dr. Mortimer in Hound.

Agreed.
The Writer They Call Tay: SHERLOCK: Watson's cute noseawanderingbard on January 17th, 2012 01:02 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed the general military-trained behavior that Freeman worked into John's physical behavior. Even when he was shooting the hound in the 2nd episode, he did it with a steadier hand and eye than Lestrade which I thought was a nice detail.

From the Great Game commentary, it seemed to me that both Martin and Benedict were really enthusiastic about coming up with the physicality of their roles. But I always like it when people remember John is both a soldier and a doctor.
X-parrotxparrot on January 17th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Moran is a character in The Empty House of original canon, after Moriarty died, so there's still a chance for him to turn up here? Presuming next season begins with some take-off on The Empty House.

Elsewhere on the flist I heard speculation that the stress ball Sherlock was playing with for much of the ep could've been used to temporarily cut off circulation and thus stop the wrist pulse, supporting the temporary-faking-being-the-corpse theory - am curious how he survived the fall at all, though!

I both look forward to and actually fear how John's going to react when he finds out Sherlock's still alive.

Mmmm, yes...Sherlock's reason for faking his death and continuing to fake it is rather more sympathetic than the original, but still, it's a right cruel thing to do to any friend, and to one such as Watson...I rather hope John does pop him for it. (before or after the hug...)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 30th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm ridiculously late in replying to this. Apologies!

Elsewhere on the flist I heard speculation that the stress ball Sherlock was playing with for much of the ep could've been used to temporarily cut off circulation and thus stop the wrist pulse, supporting the temporary-faking-being-the-corpse theory - am curious how he survived the fall at all, though!

Yeah, that would explain the lack of pulse. But I am curious how he managed to land without breaking his head.

I rather hope John does pop him for it. (before or after the hug...)

I'll accept nothing less.