Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sherlock: Season 2 Finale

OK, so the rest of you all watched the season finale of Sherlock a year ago when it first aired. But see, spending all my time writing the Finding Lost books for five solid years took so much time out of my viewing schedule that, three years later, I'm STILL trying to catch up. Sons of Anarchy, The Vampire Diaries, Downton Abbey, all in various states of viewing right now while I try to see everything good that I missed. Which, of course, means my PVR is loading up on all the shows from this season that I have yet to watch (grr) so now I'll have to catch up on those. Le sigh.

But anyway. I just watched the end of season 2 of Sherlock and was devastated. So beautifully acted by Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch, as you watch it happen you think, "This can't be happening. But it is. But it's not real because, well, it's just not really happening. But... it is." And then, of course, there's the cliffhanger where you realize that, as usual with this show, you were right and you were wrong. And that's what's so delicious about it.

So... what happened? The rest of you all have debated this until you have nothing more to say, but having read none of it — I was somehow not spoiled in the least on this ending! — I can walk blissfully into the fray and offer my take, which I'm assuming has been offered so many times it's the most unoriginal thought out there.

So, for anyone who hasn't yet seen this, stop reading now and go get seasons 1 and 2 of Sherlock (they're only three episodes each; 90 minute episodes, but three episodes nonetheless). And for the rest of you, highlight the above empty space below to see my thoughts.

In all of the newspaper headlines, there's no mention of Moriarty, who at the time was in as many of the headlines as Sherlock. Which would suggest they didn't find his dead body on the rooftop. Which means it's his body that Sherlock flung over the side of the building. Sherlock got away while the rest of the paramedics ran in to recover Moriarty's body. 

But... that's not right, because Watson was right there and watched the whole thing, right? And so did we. We saw Sherlock's body, still very alive, flailing all the way down. A dead body can't do that. It would have just sailed through the air like a dead weight and landed, kerflunk, right on the ground. And then Watson ran over to him, the body was turned over, and it was no doubt Sherlock's black hair, not Moriarty's brown hair. And it was Sherlock's piercing blue eyes staring vacantly into space. Watson knows immediately it's his friend. 

Or is it? Because as he ran over to the body, a bicyclist smacked right into him, knocked him over, and Watson hit his head on the pavement. So he's dealing with a concussion and his brain's not working properly. 

In the previous episode, "The Hound of the Baskervilles," there's a scene where John, drugged up on the foggy air of the Baskerville moors, is hiding in a cage in a science lab and he swears to god he sees a giant hound lurking about in the room. Sherlock, turns out, set him up to see how the human brain works, and he tells Watson that his mind constructed the hound, that because it wasn't shooting on all cylinders, due to the fog, it thought it saw a hound, and therefore it constructed a hound. And by doing so, he believed 100% that he'd seen the hound. But there wasn't one. 

So now, Watson's just banged his head, and he's certain he just saw his best friend jump off the side of a building. So when the body is turned over, and Moriarty's brown hair has been turned black due to the blood, then he imagines he sees his friend's blue eyes looking at him. But it's not his eyes, it's just what his brain has constructed, and therefore he believes his eyes. 

The bicyclist is Chekhov's gun: Don't introduce a bicyclist in the first part of the scene if you don't want it to be significant later. It's not just a delay tactic to make Watson slower to get there: it means something. 

How did the body flail in the air? Again, a trick: the wind would have flung the arms and legs around. I don't for a second believe it would have looked quite like that (those limbs were being moved around by a person very much alive, groping at the air in desperation) but I believe that's going to be the explanation for it. 

Or, perhaps, as Watson begs Sherlock to do as he stands by his grave, Sherlock has somehow performed a miracle. But I doubt it. 

Now, I'm assuming that this idea has already been stated a thousand times, and has been discredited. What's your theory? I'd love to hear the discussion I've missed on this one.


Colleen/redeem147 said...

I think it's a fake and he's not dead. There's a body, but it isn't him.

Been a while since I saw it, but I think he jumped into a (was it a truck?) that went by, and there was a body from the morgue.

C.T. said...

Remember how Sherlock enlisted Molly's help at the hospital for reasons we never really found out? She was the one element Moriarty didn't count on because she didn't appear to be one of Sherlock's closest friends. Even Sherlock had to reassure her of this in the episode that he DID care for her. Nevertheless, Moriarty didn't have a sniper for her, whereas he had one for Watson, the police chief, and Mrs. Hudson. One reason for this could be that he needed Molly to falsify the coroner's report so that everyone would THINK it was Sherlock's body (like what was done for Irene Adler earlier in the show).

My guess is that a cadaver was thrown out of the 2nd story window by Molly while Sherlock landed on something like a window-washer balcony ALL WHILE Watson's view was obstructed by the other building that was in the way. His disorientation from being smacked to the ground by the bicyclist is just lagniappe (or extra assurance that Watson would not be able to remember the image of Corpselock clearly). Neither we, nor Watson see Corpselock's face when he eventually arrives at the scene, and even if he does... concussion.

There was no mention of Moriarty on the front page of the paper, but then again, that was "The Sun"... a tabloid, and their front page is always covered with the juiciest story. Maybe Moriarty is mentioned somewhere in the article either by name or by his Richard Brook name. In all likelihood, Moriarty isn't in the article because he was able to fake his own death. Sherlock didn't check Moriarty's corpse before jumping, but he HAD to jump to save his friends.

Finally, the books themselves never reveal if Moriarty actually died, Watson had to deduce it based on the evidence he had, and let's face it, Watson gets fooled a great deal. Also, like in the books, Sherlock merely faked his death to make the remaining Moriarty henchmen reveal themselves (or at least make them not shoot Sherlock's friends on the BBC). I can't wait for Season 3...

Page48 said...

I don't know how they did it, but I knows they did it. It's been a long while since I've seen it as well, but I'm still looking forward to all being revealed to me (in the simplest of terms) when 3.01 finally arrives.

I know there is a "Veronica Mars" category on 'Nik at Nite', so how about some great news on the "Veronica Mars" front, or more specifically, the long awaited VM movie front? Not only do we have a new VM cast video to enjoy (multiple times), but cast and crew are actually taking steps to make this a reality by scrounging for money on Kickstarter.

VM (the series) was several seasons too short, so I'm as keen as Kristen Bell is to get this thing off the ground.

Nikki Stafford said...

CT: RIGHT, Molly!! How could I have forgotten. I kept thinking, "Was it a dead body from the morgue? He was on the roof, so..." but I couldn't put that one together. But of course, Molly.

Page48: I've been yapping about the VM Kickstarter campaign on FB all day: they already surpassed their goal, can you believe it?! AMAZING. I donated money this morning. :)

Page48 said...

Nikki, it is AMAZING, but not surprising. I think VM left the stage much too soon, and definitely left a lot of people wanting more.

And now, Rob Thomas declares it "a go".

Imagine how "Firefly" or BtVS fans would respond to a similar campaign.

Nikki Stafford said...

Also, the Veronica Mars finale was one of the worst I've ever seen, mostly because it got to the end and I thought it was the SECOND last episode, only to realize... that was it. Uh... what? I think every fan who felt like I did -- like they just ended it in the middle of a sentence -- wants some sort of conclusion.