Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Reichenbach Fall 4

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.

Moriarty is a master of timing.  He coordinated his penetration of the defenses of the bank, tower and prison using the music through his headphones,1 and now uses the regularity of police investigative procedure to be sure the rescued girl screams right on cue.   Moriarty tortures Sherlock in the cab, showing him exactly what is happening and just how powerless he is to stop it.  Next, Moriarty  needs the police to come for Sherlock just as the "Rich Brook" story breaks.  He wants Sherlock on the run with no haven, no friends, no time to think.  The only open path leads to Moriarty - whom Sherlock must seek out and face completely unprepared, beaten, alone, impotent.  Or so Moriarty thinks.

No Real Surprises

Sherlock is following his own agenda, however, and has several tasks at this point: setting himself up so  John will believe he is the liar he knows Moriarty will make him out to be.  Figuring out everything Moriarty has done, as well as how to protect everyone and get Moriarty at the same time. And Sherlock has to do it all while no one but Mycroft knows what he is doing. 

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.
Mug-shot worthy.
Now, Sherlock Holmes purposely tries to cast suspicion on himself.  He refuses to go with Lestrade, yet, he carefully points out that once an idea is planted in your brain, it's there permanently.  Then he accuses John of believing it, of suspecting him.  He plants the idea of doubt in John's mind.  There is no reason for Sherlock to not go with Lestrade considering he knows that  "standard procedure" is for the police to decide whether or not to arrest him, anyway, if he refuses.

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. 
 John 15:13

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.

As soon as Sherlock sees the paper with the "Rich Brook" name, he knows his time is almost up. But he still doesn't have all the information. If Moriarty did leave something in his visit to the flat, Sherlock has to know exactly what it is. He also has to know how Moriarty plans to kill him, once the paper comes out. He needs to devise a way to win and survive. So, he keeps playing Moriarty's game, setting himself up to look guilty, making James think he has total control.

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

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