|Seeking some space to think.|
"Time ... Time to think."
Stephen Hawking to Jane Wilde
in Hawking. (BBC 2004)
Sherlock, who needs to think to stay ahead of Moriarty, cannot go to his mind palace, he can't withdraw with a violin in his lap, and cannot sit and stare for a few hours while processing all the data. Now in full attack mode, Moriarty deprives Sherlock of time, driving him relentlessly with an overload of stimulation, unanticipated events and Moriarty's pernicious presence wherever Sherlock turns.
No Real Surprises
It was Mycroft and Sherlock who hatched the plan to have Moriarty burn Sherlock by trashing his reputation. It's Sherlock who's known from the start that he will probably have to disappear, have to convince John he is a fraud for John's safety, and his own. It isn't news to Sherlock Holmes that sometimes people assume he is the culprit. He said that in the very first episode to John when he pulled out the pink case, back when he found the idea amusing.
Yet, he doesn't leave, doesn't fade away into the dark before anyone can consider him a fugitive. Even though John gets a warning call from Lestrade, Sherlock waits until the police come back, calmly puts his scarf and coat on. He told Lestrade he wouldn't play Moriarty's game of seeing him photographed while taken for questioning, but now he seems content to be led away in handcuffs. It's hard to become a fugitive until you've been arrested.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
It's one thing to throw yourself on a grenade, over in a second, lives saved, die as a hero. It's a very different thing to lay down your entire life: reputation, relationships, the only work that gives your life meaning, to be trampled into garbage for the sake of friends or even strangers who will be the very ones to vilify you. It's a different thing to risk sacrificing your future, even if you survive, and also risk a death which deprives you of any chance to redeem yourself.
Outside Kitty Riley's flat, Sherlock finally he understands how he must die. It's textbook Moriarty: murder by apparent suicide. Sherlock escaped death the first time because John intervened and shot the killer cabbie. The difference between that time and this time is, now Sherlock will make sure he is alone with Moriarty and his snipers. The other difference is: Sherlock wants to live.
The Reichenbach Fall 5
1 from the overture to La Gazza Ladra ("The Thieving Magpie.") by Rossini - here on You Tube starting about 4:23