The Reichenbach Fall. "The fall of Rich Brook." The creators of the SHERLOCK universe chose the name. The clue is in the name. Not "Falls," plural, but the fall with the more permanent destination of one man only.
How Sherlock survives his leap is far less interesting than all that led him to the ledge. The series of events leading Sherlock Homes to the edge of death didn't begin in the opening scenes of "The Reichenbach Fall." This journey began before the very first scene of SHERLOCK's premiere episode. It began when Moriarty hatched a plan to eliminate Sherlock Holmes, arranged for a cab driver under a death sentence to execute it,1 and Mycroft brought Dr. Watson into Sherlock's life.2
- You can talk a man into committing suicide, you don't need a gun.
- Sherlock goes off on his own; John tries to find and save him
- Sherlock is willing to torture someone to get information.
- Both men should have died. Only one did.
- Sherlock sacrifices his reputation to protect John.
- The crimes were designed to garner attention in the media
"Are you clever enough to bet your life? ... I bet you get bored, don't you? ... I know you do. A man like you - so clever - what's the point of being clever if you can't prove it? ... Still the addict ... but this, this is what you're really addicted to, isn't it? You'll do anything, anything at all, to stop being bored. You're not bored now, are you?"
Moriarty, whom the cabbie refers to as Sherlock's "fan," told the cabbie all about Sherlock, including how to entice him to destroy himself. That cabbie was Moriarty's disguise. As seen in The Tale of the Killer Cabbie, neither the cabbie nor Sherlock was intended to survive. Both pills were poisoned, both would die, mystery forever unsolved, Moriarty's identity safe.
1 see The Tale of the Killer Cabbie
2 See Professor Moriarty: Out of the Shadows