|Waiting for an invitation.|
It might seem to a casual observer that Sherlock has no case at the moment which is why he's analyzing a 260+ year-old reported suicide.1 But in fact, he is working on the biggest case of his life: finally resolving the James Moriarty issue. As outlined previously, Mycroft and Sherlock baited the hook, now they wait for Moriarty to take it, beginning what Sherlock knows to be the most dangerous adventure of his career.
From the Canon, Watson on Holmes, "The Hound of the Baskervilles:"
"Sherlock Holmes had, in a very remarkable degree, the power of detaching his mind at will. For two hours the strange business in which we had been involved appeared to be forgotten, and he was entirely absorbed in the pictures of the modern Belgian masters."
|Once upon a time...|
Moriarty must believe that his actions are unanticipated by Sherlock. It's John who makes the announcement to a Sherlock who seems too absorbed in his researches to brook trivial distractions.
"He's back," John tells Sherlock, handing him his mobile.
|Working the press.|
Sherlock has never been less himself than in "The Reichenbach Fall." His lack of affect even in private, his careful and constant control, walking into a gaggle of reporters head up on the way to a police car to go to court, alienating a reporter as personally and contemptuously as possible, offending the judge in the most important trial at which he has ever given testimony so egregiously that he is thrown out of court. It seems as if he is bent on giving Moriarty every advantage.
Sherlock predicts there will be no defense and expects Moriarty to be acquitted. The question is: does he want him to be? Sherlock is waiting for the verdict, even repeating the judge's jury instruction, obviously hugely invested in the outcome.
If Moriarty is locked up for some time, life can go back to what passes for normal at 221B Baker Street. The Most Dangerous Game can be scrapped, or so it seems. But criminal bosses run their empires from behind prison walls, have many at their disposal to carry out their instructions. More than one version of the killer cabbie exists in the world and all of them can be set after Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty's criminal enterprises will not abate; his incarceration serves no purpose.
|The Sherlock assault.|
How dumb do we think the Holmes boys are?
It's difficult, what with the writers making John Watson too dumb to be a doctor, to presume they will consistently write the characters as they have created them. But Mycroft and Sherlock are possessed of extraordinary intellectual abilities and, as viewers knowing the end, how much do we think Sherlock believed of Moriarty's fairy tale? How much do we think Mycroft believed of it, having access to classified information?
Is it possible Sherlock Homes didn't recognize Partita No. 1 for violin2 from Moriarty beating out the rhythm. (Incidentally, one has to address the problem that there are not enough rests in the piece to be able to mistake it for binary code. There may be something like two full and one half rest in the entire score.) Be that bit of disturbing reality as it may, the fact is, Sherlock's job here is to figure out not only what James was doing with his fingers, but why he did it. Moriarty is far too dangerous and clever to leave anything unknown or to chance before the ineluctable final showdown.
The Reichenbach Fall 3
1 See Bow Street Runners
2 It's possible James Moriarty was referring to BWV825, Partita No.1 in B-flat Major for keyboard from what's known as the "German Suites." But that wouldn't lend itself to binary code, either, except perhaps on the lower staff in a few sections, but this raises the issue of expressing a half-rest in binary code.