How Did Sherlock Do It?

Warning: This post contains Sherlock season 2 spoilers

Many of us are waiting impatiently to find out how Sherlock managed to trick everyone into thinking that he was dead at the end of season 2. He very visibly jumped off the roof, hit the ground, his head was bleeding, Watson checked his pulse, he was taken away in an ambulance. He was pronounced dead. And yet, he mysteriously shows up at his own grave site. Assuming the show has not gone off the deep end with the ghost of Sherlock, there must have been some trickery involved. Here are some things to consider.

1. There is a cut before we see him hit the ground. He could have fallen onto something else first (i.e. garbage truck with soft bin bags) and then rolled off onto the sidewalk, bleeding but not mortally.

2. He knew he was going up on that roof (he chose the spot). He knew from Moriarty’s line “I owe you a fall” that his nemesis wanted him to jump. He could have prepared.

3. He asked a favor from Molly. What was it?

4. We never see him on the slab. Could he have bribed someone to say he was dead?

Here is one person’s theory.

And then there’s Moriarty. Did he survive? I find it way more likely that Moriarty faked his death than that Sherlock did. Moriarty seems to know everything that’s going to happen before it happens, know everything that’s going to be said in a conversation before it’s said (as illustrated by his carving of “IOU” in the apple even before the conversation led him to say it. Knowing he’d be blowing his brains out, and with the money he’s got, he could have easily put s squib in the back of his head and had a gun that just went “bang” with no bullet. He knows Sherlock well enough to know he’d be too preoccupied thinking about his friends to check to see if Moriarty was really dead. On the other hand, he was just crazy enough to really shoot himself in the face. Unfortunately for fans of the supervillain, Mark Gatiss has this to say (via Tellyspotting):

Moriarty really is dead says Mark Gatiss. “We couldn’t show the back of his head blowing up because it’s 9.30pm on BBC One” (insert sad sigh here).

However, writers are oft to change their minds.


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