“I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.”
The Reichenbach Fall is the epic conclusion to the second series of Sherlock. This is where the antagonism, the “great game”, between Sherlock and Moriarty moves into the endgame. Moriarty is determined to “burn” Sherlock, to beat him once and for all, and my, you have to admire the sheer genius of the character.
I’ve said this before, but it merits being said again: Andrew Scott as Moriarty is my favourite fictional villain ever. He’s like Steerpike from Gormenghast, Edmund from King Lear and Derren Brown all rolled into one. He’s blackly funny – “You’re insane,” says Sherlock. “Oh, you’re just getting that now?” comes the reply – and full of a terrifyingly manic energy which gives him a hugely disproportionate influence on the series as a whole, given that his total screen time adds up to maybe 45 minutes in 6 hour-and-a-half episodes.
There’s not much else that I can say about this episode without spoilers. The dialogue is brilliantly scripted and deeply dramatic (see the quote above). The plot has that kind of clarity and sense that is only found in the very best murder mysteries, and there’s that final puzzle at the end (trying not to include spoilers!) which, I think, will give rise to many hours of happy consideration (how did he do that?). I can’t wait until the next series. Unfortunately, that may not be shown until Christmas.