Season finale review: ‘Sherlock’ – ‘The Reichenbach Fall’

Senior Television Writer
05.20.12 85 Comments

Courtesy of ©Hartswood Films for Masterpiece

A few quick thoughts on how “Sherlock” season 2 wrapped up just as soon as I pose as your hostage…

When I reviewed this season a few weeks ago, I promised to come back at the end so everyone could discuss both the season as a whole and the ending, which I gather has been very much analyzed in the months since it first aired in the UK. I’m afraid this week (with upfronts and finales and Dan Harmon firings) has gotten away from me, so I don’t have time to do much more than provide a venue.

When I moderated the Steven Moffat/Sue Vertue panel a few weeks ago (you can download it as an audio podcast here), Moffat hinted at some clues as to how Holmes survived that fall, while also managing to convince the world at large that he didn’t. I’m not going to expend too much mental energy trying to puzzle out that solution, but for those of you who already have, fire away.

What I particularly liked about “The Reichenbach Fall” – beyond continuing to enjoy Andrew Scott’s herky-jerky, buoyant performance as Moriarty – was the way in which it humanized our hero. He may be able to go to his sci-fi “mind palace,” may be able to write your biography within seconds of meeting you, may for the most part be above knowing or caring about other people’s feelings, but he is not a robot. He does genuinely like – and need – the company of Dr. Watson. He can be made to feel bad about hurting the feelings of those closest to him. He would, ultimately, be prepared to sacrifice both his life and the reputation he clings so tightly to if it meant saving the lives of those people. And Benedict Cumberbatch did a terrific job showing the man beneath the legend throughout the closing half of this season finale.

What did everybody think, about both the finale and season 2 as a whole?

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