A fake paramedic.
But who told the fake paramedic to call John? Was it Sherlock or Jim?
I’ve already expressed my opinion on the subject, but several of you have asked me why I have that opinion. So here is a very long explanation of a very short part of the story.
Sherlock vs. Jim: 6 rounds, winner takes the blame for the phone call.
Round 1: Canon
In The FInal Problem, the Arthur Conan Doyle story on which The Reichenbach Fall was based, Holmes knew Moriarty would be coming after him. Holmes also made it clear that he’d be willing to die if it meant ridding the world of Moriarty. Before it came to that, however, Holmes decided to spend some time on the run/vacationing with his BFF Watson.
While Holmes and Watson were at the Reichenbach Falls, Watson got a message that a woman was in urgent need of a doctor. Watson went off to help, only to find it had all been a lie. Holmes stayed behind, even though he knew the whole thing was a ruse set up by Moriarty so that Holmes would be left alone.
As Holmes explained in the note he left for Watson:
Indeed, if I may make a full confession to you, I was quite convinced that the letter from Meiringen was a hoax, and I allowed you to depart on that errand under the persuasion that some development of this sort would follow.
What would follow the original story most closely?
If Sherlock arranged for the call: It wouldn’t match what happened in canon.
If Jim arranged for the call: It would match canon very closely. Sherlock chose to spend his remaining time “alive” with his BFF, until Jim inevitably lured John away. Sherlock realized it was a trick immediately, but let John go because he was determined to finish things with Jim.
Winner of Round 1: Jim.
Round 2: Motive
Who needed John to go away for a while?
If Sherlock arranged for the call: Sherlock built a lot of his fake death strategy specifically around tricking John. That wouldn’t have worked out well if John had stayed with him the whole time.
If Jim arranged for the call: Jim planned to threaten the lives of Sherlock’s friends, including John, in order to make sure Sherlock went through with the suicide. Past experience indicated John was fairly likely to offer to give up his life if it meant Sherlock didn’t have to die. Plus Jim was trying to ruin Sherlock’s reputation, and that doesn’t work well when there are witnesses. Plus John likes punching people. Really better not to have him around.
Winner of Round 2: Tie.
Round 3: Timing
John received the call about Mrs. Hudson just before Jim texted Sherlock to say he was waiting on the roof.
Who could’ve arranged for the call to come at exactly that moment?
If Sherlock arranged for the call: For Sherlock to have set that up, he would’ve needed to have someone (or multiple people) waiting and watching for Jim to arrive. Impossible? Certainly not. Sherlock had the entire Homeless Network at his disposal.
If Jim arranged for the call: Jim knew when he would arrive at St. Bart’s. All he had to do was tell someone what time to make the call. Even if Sherlock could have had spies watching, this explanation is a lot simpler.
Winner of Round 3: Jim.
Round 4: Cruelty factor
Who would choose to tell John that Mrs. Hudson had been shot?
If Sherlock arranged for the call: Sherlock doesn’t always understand normal human emotions. And Sherlock can be an ass. In fact, he was going to be messing with John’s heart and head in a pretty big way within an hour’s time. However, Sherlock has also had plenty of ways to ditch John for a little while that didn’t involve saying a loved one was dying. Would he say Mrs. Hudson had been shot rather than making up some other urgent but less cruel excuse for John to leave?
If Jim arranged for the call: Jim doesn’t care about John’s feelings. And to him it would be funny to have the lie be that Mrs. Hudson had been shot. Because if Sherlock didn’t go through with the fall, Jim knew Mrs. Hudson actually would be shot.
Winner of Round 4: Jim.
Round 5: The information we were given
The sniper whose job it was to watch Sherlock’s fall or shoot John didn’t show up right away. He arrived at his station across from St. Bart’s after Jim shot himself, but before John had returned to the hospital.
Which scenario would better explain the sniper’s actions?
If Sherlock arranged for the call: Jim and/or his sniper would’ve had to figure out that Sherlock had sent John away but that he would be returning shortly. But it seems unlikely they had caught onto much of anything Sherlock was doing at that level, considering how completely he managed to trick them about everything else.
Alternatively, the sniper would’ve had to track John to Baker Street and back. But unless the sniper had a jetpack the timing doesn’t work for him to have been calmly setting up his gun at St. Bart’s while John was still in the cab making his way back. It also wouldn’t explain who was supposed to be watching Sherlock’s fall if the sniper was following John around and John ended up stuck in traffic.
If Jim arranged for the call: Jim would’ve been able to predict John’s exact pattern of behavior: worry about Mrs. Hudson, return to Baker Street, find out he was lied to, worry about Sherlock, return to St. Bart’s. Therefore Jim would’ve known he only needed one man to watch the fall and to shoot John. He also could’ve told the sniper when he needed to show up relative to the time the fake call from the paramedics had been placed.
Winner of Round 5: Jim.
Round 6: The information we weren’t given
Did you notice there was something missing from Jim’s threat? Jim said Sherlock had to jump, or his friends would die. Then Jim killed himself so the gunmen couldn’t be called off. But Jim never started a countdown timer. He never said Sherlock had to jump within 15 minutes or by 9:00 or in any way communicated at what point the gunmen would give up on the possibility of Sherlock jumping and shoot his friends instead. And this is Jim Moriarty we’re talking about here. Half of his gimmick in The Great Game was making Sherlock do things before the allotted time ran out.
Which scenario would better explain the lack of a countdown timer?
If Sherlock arranged for the call: It doesn’t make a lot of sense. With no established countdown timer, Jim dead, and no contact with the gunmen, it’s not clear how Sherlock was supposed to know how long he had to make a decision.
If Jim arranged for the call: Everything starts to make a lot of sense, actually.
It takes about half an hour to get from St. Bart’s to Baker Street and back again. Sherlock would’ve been very familiar with the travel time involved. When Jim arranged for the call about Mrs. Hudson being shot, both Jim and Sherlock understood that John would end up coming back to St. Bart’s and how long it would take him to return.
Sherlock stepped up on the ledge…
…and looked down the street…
…just before John’s cab arrived at St. Bart’s.
It’s not like Sherlock had any way to recognize John’s completely generic cab from a distance. But Sherlock knew exactly which cab would be John’s because Sherlock had been paying close attention to how long John had been gone.
Because John was the countdown timer, and Sherlock knew it.
The time it took John to return to St. Bart’s was all the time that Sherlock had to decide to jump. The sniper had been told that if Sherlock didn’t jump, John should be shot as soon as he tried to enter the hospital. (And really, when else was the sniper going to shoot him? He couldn’t leave his post before Sherlock jumped, and he couldn’t just hope John passed by a window once inside the hospital.)
That’s why Sherlock had to be standing on the ledge before John’s cab arrived—he needed to make it clear to the sniper that he was preparing to jump. He couldn’t have John get shot simply because it looked like he wasn’t going to go through with it.
And that’s why Sherlock sounded so insistent and even worried when he was convincing John to stop and turn around within a few feet of the hospital entrance.
Yes, he also had to steer John behind the small building for the sake of the magic trick later. But at that moment? John could see right down the street in front of the building Sherlock would fall from.
At that moment what John could see didn’t actually matter, because Sherlock’s final preparations wouldn’t be in place until just before the fall. What mattered was that John was too damn close to the hospital entrance. Too damn close to running out the clock and getting shot before Sherlock could do his trick and save his friends.
Winner of Round 6: Jim.
One round ended in a tie. The remaining 5 rounds went to Jim. Jim takes the blame for the phone call.
- pippenpaddlopsicopolisthethird likes this
- shhharon reblogged this from finalproblem
- sherlycakes reblogged this from pasquala
- pasquala reblogged this from swordwhale
- swordwhale reblogged this from finalproblem
- satan-the-fairy-godmother reblogged this from thefinalproblemofsherlock
- thefinalproblemofsherlock reblogged this from finalproblem
- dawnscarboncopy likes this
- erdbeereis reblogged this from finalproblem
- honigschmetterling likes this
- swirlsofblackandwhite reblogged this from finalproblem
- 2studentsremaining likes this
- adotoveri likes this
- phoenixgryffin likes this
- paragrin likes this
- fifteenthfloorelation likes this
- sherlockcharacteranalysis likes this
- onediedforlostlove likes this
- arinae likes this
- chowders likes this
- goddesskomadori likes this
- kankris9cialjustice reblogged this from sharkodactyl
- sharkodactyl reblogged this from finalproblem
- sleepymarmot reblogged this from finalproblem
- meowriarty likes this
- tortoisesandstrawberries reblogged this from finalproblem
- eclecticlibra reblogged this from bakerstreetskulls
- coolasabowtie reblogged this from akasha-bennett
- toasterfish likes this
- coolasabowtie likes this
- inkbaubles likes this
- fishsticksandpudding likes this
- akasha-bennett reblogged this from anotherlostcompanion
- avadakedavrabitches likes this
- anotherlostcompanion reblogged this from cosmicpisaster
- eclecticlibra likes this
- cosmicpisaster reblogged this from bakerstreetskulls
- throughunchartedwaters reblogged this from bakerstreetskulls
- sbobsessions likes this
- micolours likes this
- bakerstreetskulls reblogged this from finalproblem and added:
- buttergin likes this
- travellers-madness likes this
- loveinalifelifeinalove likes this
- constantlyrambling likes this
- pkrosche likes this
- librelibris likes this
- whenimbiggering likes this