The Reichenbach Fall - Further thoughts.

I have been asked by a few people to expand on my last post re The Reichenbach Fall. So here we go.

I imagine many of us felt quite nervous about this episode. Not only because we all knew how it was destined to conclude but also because the script was handled by Steve Thompson. Thompson was, as most people know, responsible for the episode in series one called The Blind Banker. This episode was widely seen as the weakest of the series descending as it did into borderline Fu Manchu territory. So badly was it regarded in some quarters that the American Baker Street Journal, in an article discussing series one, covered it in about two sentences whereas the other episodes got several paragraphs each.

Therefore the idea that so important an episode was in these same hands certainly gave me (and others I’m sure) some concern. I/we needn’t have worried.

Thompson gave us an amazing finale. In the original story, The Final Problem, we learn that Holmes has been engaged in an on-going battle of wits with Professor Moriarty. This adaptation gave us that battle with Moriarty pulling off a series of impossible breaches of security at important sites and then, mysteriously, giving himself up.

When he, against all expectations, walks free he sets about destroying Sherlock’s reputation. This is amazingly done and I felt at times that he was going to win and, in many respects, you could argue that he does.

You must stand clear Mr Holmes

The famous scene in Baker Street between the two men was recreated in chilling fashion and we learn later that Mycroft has a lot to answer for as well.

All the actors give amazing performances. Most outstanding is Cumberbatch who goes through a whole spectrum of emotions as some of those closest to him turn against him. Freeman’s loyal Watson is a tour-de-force and really shines in his final scenes which bring a tear dangerously close to the eye even on repeat viewing.

But special mention has to go to Louise Brealey as Molly and Andrew Scott as Moriarty. The former really gets to shine especially in the scene where she and Holmes talk and she proves to have a much greater insight into him than he ever gave her credit for.

I do understand you Sherlock
Scott’s Moriarty was chilling at the end of series one but that performance pales into near insignificance against his performance in this episode. At all times he clearly comes across as a man who could seriously destroy Holmes. With many villains you just know they’re destined to lose. That is most definitely not the case here.

The Fall (or is it?)
The series has gone out on a high.

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