Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock Holmes in “The Reichenbach Fall” (2011) – reviewed by George

This third and final episode of Season 2 has one of the cleverest scripts we’ve encountered in our trip through Holmes movies and TV. It is nothing short of amazing. The intelligence just shines on the screen and rivals Sherlock himself.
In fast order, showing only public congratulations and Sherlock’s reactions, Holmes recovers Turner’s painting “The Reichenbach Falls” and is ceremoniously given cuff links: “All my cuffs have buttons.”, he finds and saves a kidnapped banker, and is ceremoniously given (by the man’s son) a tie tack: “I don’t wear ties.” Never mind that the gifts are heavily bejeweled and valuable, Holmes’s basic boorishness comes through.
In the first incidence Watson (Martin Freeman) hisses, “Say Thank You.” In the second he merely shushes. In the third and last example shown, Holmes has captured a criminal mastermind and in front of the press Lestrade (Rupert Graves) gives him sole credit and extends a gift saying, “We all chipped in.” The gift is a deerstalker and with the press all yelling., “Put it on!”, because they want a picture, Watson resignedly whispers, “Just get it over with.”
Then Moriarty (Andrew Scott) starts a crime spree that ends with his getting through all the security and into the vault where visitors can see the crown jewels in the presence of big guards, but “Jim” is alone. He breaks the unbreakable glass around the throne, wraps himself in royal robes and the crown, sets off the alarm, and sits on the throne. Getting apprehended is part of his plan to disgrace Sherlock, which is highly successful. Along the way reporter Kitty Riley (Katherine Parkinson) follows Sherlock into a Men’s Room to get an interview and then hates him when he insults her while carefully giving her no printable quote, and Sergeant Sally Donavan (Vinette Robinson) hates him for making her and all the other coppers look stupid. So there are lots of people who are ready to believe the worst.
And after Sherlock has been “revealed” as not at all incredibly talented at seeing things others do not, a complete fraud, Moriarty demands that he kill himself or four planted gunmen will shoot Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs), Watson, Lestrade, and one other (was it Molly Hooper (Louise Brealey)? – I just realized I don’t remember). But of course the point is that Sherlock then jumps off the roof of the Reichenbach Building (about seven stories high) and we see him falling, coat flapping, we see him land on the sidewalk face-down, we see blood, we see bystanders gathered around the body, we see Watson arrive, and we see John’s distress. And we see a headline: “Suicide of Fake Genius”. That hurts the most.
Then we see Watson and Mrs. Stubbs at the grave, and she can’t take it and leaves, and Watson says, “I was so alone and I owe you so much. One more miracle – just for me – don’t be dead.”
Well, what can I tell you? There IS a third season.
Based on the Works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Written by Steve Thompson (Hooray for Steve!), Directed by Toby Haynes (Hooray for Toby!).

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