Sherlock – The Reichenbach Fall

Wow. That was, not to put too fine a point on it, bloody brilliant. As the title strongly hints, the final episode in the second series of the Moffatt/Gatiss take on Sherlock Holmes owes more than a little to The Final Problem, the story in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle attempted to finish off his annoyingly popular hero.[1]

As you might expect, this was all about the confrontation between Moriarty, played with gleeful lunacy by Andrew Scott, and Sherlock, played by the quite superb Benedict Cumberbatch, leaving Martin Freeman’s Watson wondering what’s going on.

But Watson’s far from stupid, and realises that Sherlock’s governmental brother Mycroft, played by the disgustingly talented Mark Gatiss, ensconced in a beautifully realised Diogenes Club, knows a lot more than he’s letting on about Moriarty.

The title might have led you to expect a bit of a Swiss diversion, but that would be far too obvious. Writer Steve Thompson weaves a complex tale that ultimately satisfies and frustrates in more or less equal portions. We end with a hint that the story is far from over, which is more than Conan Doyle did for his readers in the original story.

As always, there were some excellent lines, such as this interchange between John and Sherlock:

John: Let’s give smartarse a wide berth

Sherlock: I’ll just be myself

John: Are you even listening to me?

Not to mention the number of times Moriarty managed to say “the final problem”, and John’s tribute to the apparently dead Sherlock which reminded me of Kirk’s tribute to Spock at the end of The Wrath of Khan, and knowing the people responsible for this, I’m pretty sure that was entirely deliberate.

Excellent stuff, I’ll be buying the round shiny thing so I can watch these episodes again, and I’d like some more sooner than possible.

[1] He wanted people to pay more attention to his much better historical stories that are now largely forgotten…