Sherlock: explaining His Last Vow's final moments

Feature Rob Leane 14 Jan 2014 - 09:00

Sherlock's series 3 finale has provided a massive talking point for speculation among fans. Rob looks at the options, with huge spoilers...

This article contains major spoilers for His Last Vow.

"You will not apply my precept," he said, shaking his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

- Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, Arthur Conan Doyle

While we may not be able to eliminate any options from the latest water-tight giving-nothing-away Sherlock TV cliff-hanger, we can look at the realistic options and gain a better understanding. So, in the spirit of The Great Detective, let us look at what we know about the twist at the end of series three:

Some GIF footage of one Jim Moriarty has surfaced all over Sherlock’s world; every screen in London at the least is displaying the replaying footage of his animated face and the maniacally repeated words ‘did you miss me?’

After the credits, in our world, we saw a very much alive Moriarty talking to camera delivering the same words. If this footage is to be considered canon, it can be taken to confirm that Moriarty will be around in the next series. However, we should be open to the idea that this is not canon in the world of the show and that it could just be a tease for the fans. 

So how did Moriarty come to be on those screens? Let’s look at the options…


Option 1: Moriarty actually faked his suicide

“They did not fake suicide at each other. Imagine how stupid you’d feel if you bumped into each other! ‘What, you too?!’ He’s dead.”

- Steven Moffat (Series co-creator and writer of His Last Vow)

Rule one: The Moff lies. We should know this by now after years of his expert batting-away of speculation, as well as the fact it would be pretty weird for any television producer to drop big spoilers to the press.

With that in mind, let’s consider how Andrew Scott’s Moriarty could have faked it. With a convincing fake gun, an accompanying sound effect and a blood pack on the back of his head that would split and spill when he hit the floor, Moriarty could indeed have created the illusion of blowing his brains out.  So this option cannot yet be eliminated.

The only worry being that, while this ruse might be enough to fool an ordinary person, could it really fool Sherlock Holmes?  Isn’t he an expert with guns and spotting fakes? Wouldn’t he know fake blood when he saw it too?

For this option to work, Sherlock would have had to either massively lose his skills of deduction for a few minutes or had reason to go ahead with the jump anyway.

Before the revelations of The Empty Hearse, we were to suppose that the lives of Watson, Mrs Hudson and Lestrade were all at risk if Sherlock didn’t throw himself off that roof regardless of whether he had spotted the first 'fake' suicide. But now?

Something about this option just doesn’t sit right. 

Clue that supports this option: We never see the hole in Moriarty’s head.


Option 2: Beyond the Grave

“If you're good at anticipating the human mind, it leaves nothing to chance.”

- Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) in Saw V (despite being dead)

Don’t forget that the post-credits clip of definitely-alive Moriarty could just be the latest teaser from the BBC Wales team. Remember that epic The Day of the Doctor trailer which featured all the Doctors and ended with Matt Smith sonic screwdrivering the sky? That wasn’t footage from the episode, or even in the same setting as the episode, it was just an entertaining a tease of what was to come. We should be open to the suggestion that this clip of Andrew Scott serves a similar purpose and that Moriarty isn’t actually alive.

With that in mind, anyone who has followed the Saw franchise after the fifth instalment will know that evil masterminds have a history of setting unfathomably intricate plans into motion before their death to entertain viewers and stump their enemies for years to come.

It’s entirely possible that Moriarty filmed and plotted a final challenge for Sherlock in his final days, to be set in motion by his followers in the event of Sherlock somehow escaping the rooftop unscathed.

It could make quite thrilling telly for Sherlock and Watson to face off against a villain who has thought out every eventuality and cannot be confronted or stopped.

Clue that supports this option: Moriarty’s ‘miss me?’ messages comprise entirely GIFs and pre-recorded audio.


Option 3: A trap for Sherlock by someone else

“Dalek: A scenario was devised from the memories of your companion.

Sontaran: A trap the Doctor could not resist.”

- Alliance of villains in The Pandorica Opens (Doctor Who episode written by Steven Moffat)

Much like Moffat and Gattis’ other leading man, Sherlock has made a number of enemies during his televised adventures, and many more in the cases we are only given a tease of.

It’s also publically known in the world of the show that Moriarty is the man who ruined Sherlock’s reputation and led him to spend two years out of the public eye.

Sherlock had also just shot one of the most powerful people in the country, if not the world, which is bound to make him some new enemies. "Coincidence? The universe is rarely so lazy" a mind palace-Mycroft reminded Sherlock in The Sign Of Three, so there must be something in the fact that this new challenge, grounding Sherlock in the UK for the foreseeable future, popped up just before Sherlock disappeared off the radar and out of reach for any pissed-off baddies or henchmen seeking revenge.

If you wanted to stop the government sending Sherlock away so you could seek vengeance on him for shooting your boss in the head/stopping your evil plan/telling your husband you’re a spy/revealing  your pole-dancing past on Youtube/fake proposing  to you, one sure-fire way to get him to stay would be the  threat of Moriarty’s return.

Seeing Sherlock convinced that Moriarty is back, only to have the whole situation revealed as a trap for him, would be a fantastic twist in Series 4 and possibly juicy enough to be the next big cliff-hanger.

Clue that supports this option: Moriarty was on Magnussen’s list of pressure points for Holmes, could he have had henchmen waiting to exact revenge?


Option 4: The Holmes Deception?

“Your loss would break my heart”

- Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) in His Last Vow

It was made fairly clear that Mycroft didn’t want Sherlock endangered on a covert mission again; he expressly said earlier in the episode that he wanted his little brother to turn down the job offer he later forced upon him.

Again, if you wanted your bosses not to send Sherlock away, you would only need to tease Moriarty’s return and the back-tracking among panicked politicians would begin.

Sherlock’s parents have also been established in this series, and the other brother teased as a future plot point – could we be seeing the beginnings of a conspiracy surrounding the Holmes family? Perhaps Moriarty's reappearance was a conspiracy dreamt up by Mycroft and Sherlock together to save the latter's life? It wouldn't be the first time those two have colluded on a secret plan...

Clue that supports this option: Sherlock’s mother established as a genius mathematician – might she have rigged that impossible simulcast?


Option 5: The Hooper Conundrum

“I’ve moved on”

- Molly Hooper in The Empty Hearse

Having heard that her long-time crush was going on a suicide mission, plucky morgue-worker Molly Hooper set in motion her grand plan to bring him back.

…. Yeah, I think we need to stop.


The only thing we know for sure is that Moriarty has somehow appeared on all the screens in the land, and it’ll surely be another cracking series opener when we do eventually find out. With another impossibly long wait to hear the truth, all we have for now is speculation and rumours. To the comments section!

Read our spoiler-filled review of His Last Vow here, and the post-screening Q&A with Steven Moffat, Lars Mikkelsen and more, here.

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

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I am confident (hoping) that Moriarty is dead. I am confident because the images we saw were animated. If Moriarty was alive, it would have been a live action video. If he had pre-recorded something for the event that Sherlock survived then it would have been live action. Therefore I assume that the reason for it being an animated GIF is out of necessity. Therefore he is dead. But, someone is using the name/image/notoriety of Moriarty. Whether that be to save Sherlock (wouldn't that be interesting, the image of the man who Destroyed Sherlock being used to Save Sherlock), or a new baddy who is using the Moriarty name as a mask.

Just as an aside, on the rooftop in S2 Ep3 Moriarty quoted the "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist". So maybe Andrew Scott was a facade/puppet played by the real Moriarty. We assumed the phone call he got at the swimming pool was from the woman.... it could be made out it was from the real Moriarty. Speculation gone wild there.

What about Mary (and Watson)? Remember the image of Mary broadcast on the house and she would surely have the brains / contacts to pull it off with or without Mycrofts help? Just a thought to add to the list.

I am so done with Moffat and co. They're no longer concerned with telling stories as much as they are with messing with the audience at the cost of anything resembling a logical or solid narrative. They know they can pull any stunt and have the audience convinced they're being really clever. They've turned trolling the audience into an art form which has stopped being fun and has started becoming really smug, arrogant and annoying.

Lets say theres two years to the next Sherlock series. Peter Capaldi may last for decades as the next Doctor, or he might do an Eccleston and bail after one series. So basically, this Is-Moriarty-Really-Dead business is all designed to fit around Andrew Scott's next filming commitment on being the next Doctor or not in 2016.


It wasn't animated. If you looked after the credits, there was a live film clip of him too.

in the Sherlock books Moriarty has a right had man, Sebastian Moran. he's kind of Moriarty's John Watson, he's as described as the "second most dangerous man in London". I just wonder if we are going to see a facial reconstructed Moran (or it was Visa-versa) appear next time? he was a pretty major character in the books and we are yet to see him in Sherlock.

Well, in truth Dr Who and Sherlock both suffer from over-use of sight-gags, for want of a better term, which leave audiences gasping for the next episodes. Sometimes these gags get explained, sometimes not, and on other occasions with hindsight they were standalone scenes that utlimately mean nothing. The reality is that it's TV, it's business, and given that the 9 million viewing audience for Sherlock s3 finale made BBC headline news this morning, the clues are more there than in the show itself - that said, the BBC making headline news of a BBC show that pulled a big audience; all part of the PR.

I enjoyed the finale, a lot - sure, I can nitpick it like I can with others, but it entertained and amused, and left me wanting more - job done. I suspect it will be 2016 - I shall be very happy to see a new series kicking off New Year's Day, but I seriously doubt it. But when it does, it'll be full of sight-gags again, the same as Capaldi's tenure will be - it's what Moffat and co do. I don't see the need or want to assault the format - it works, it pulls in the audience, and that's what the BBC want.

Lord Moran in The Empty Hearse?

Well said Sir. Completely agree and have said so in similar terms elsewhere

What about another option, Sherlock will be set up to be a schizoprehnic and moriarty is just someone he employs as a frontman for his evil, then S4 finale he is not mad after all but is sent to an asylum -problem way too much like Hannibal
for it though: Moriarty locked up in his mind

other idea: moriarty is alive but Sherlock was under so much traumatic stress ie emotions than he genuinely missed something

What if and I know this a bit out there what if the Andrew Scott moriarty and was just a decoy for the real moriarty who works in the shadows not revealing himself till now

The fourth option would be the most satisfying. Moriarty faking his death would be a disappointing cop-out - alright, they'd find some way to turn it into a great episode, but I like to think Sherlock (with or without family involvement) knew he wasn't going to get far in that plane. This could all set a very dark tone for season four.

Any chance Andrew Scott was a fake Moriatry to hide the true identity of Moriarty?

I've seen people dismiss Sebastian Moran speculation based on them already using the surname for Lord Moran, but I don't think that rules out the possibility. They could bring Lord Moran back as a villain, or have Sebastian Moran be a follower of Moriarty and an aggrieved relative of Lord Moran out to avenge both. Or just have Sebastian Moran be unrelated to Lord Moran, it's not an uncommon name after all.
I still think the idea that the REAL Moriarty had not yet been unveiled cannot be ruled out either.

I had an e-mail from a friend yesterday with his theory behind it...
"I think you sold your house and all your possessions to bribe Moffat into bringing Andrew Scott back from the dead"
...If I'd thought that would've worked I'd have done it last Summer when they were casting Doctor Who.Roofs are overrated anyway!

I thought it was fun.

I watched on iPlayer and didn't see that (I think, it was very late on Sunday night when I watched). Someone on another DoG post said something about men on horses, and some symbol on the ground??? I didn't see that either. Maybe it was something tagged onto the end to wind people up?

He has to be dead. This has to be pre-prepared medling.
On a side note, Mary said that if Watson saw what was on the hard drive he would never speak to her again... surely she was something to do with Moriaty? His right hand woman?

That's what I was saying about the " maybe Andrew Scott was a facade/puppet played by the real Moriarty". i.e. the real Moriarty was behind the scenes pulling the string. But does that affect what we think of Andrew Scott because his absolutely brilliant portrayal of the consulting criminal becomes the portrayal of an actor playing a consulting criminal. I think Moriarty has to be dead, and this is someone else using his image.

Is that not true of any modern TV series, British or American? It's part and parcel of serialised stories to setup some big cliff hanger, which 9 times out of 10 is quickly resolved in the opening minutes of the next episode. What seems to be the norm now is seeing how much interest can be generated in internet forums and comments, and so these teasers are played out. But how else do producers and program makers generate interest for their shows in a world with hundreds of channels, and TV shows fighting for our eyeballs on a continual basis?

As I'm personally not a Moriarty fan (I know I know!) I'd be happy with any option between 2 & 4. Hell, even 5. ;) I'd also find them much more interesting from a narrative point of view.

I think it is option 4. When Sherlock gave Magnussen the laptop the way in which he says gift it sounded to me a lot like GIF.

So I think it was installed on Mycroft's machine to activate if it was opened therefore to get out of any prison that he was put in.

But... but roofs are cool now.

Mary Watson (nee Morstan)'s true nature as an assassin is a reference to Sebastian Moran, Moriarty's sniper and right-hand man, as well as the main villain in "The Adventure of the Empty House." In "His Last Vow," Mary reveals her true identity in what Sherlock calls "the empty house", an alleyway hidden behind the supposed fronts of two houses in Leinster Gardens. Mary also thinks that Sherlock has tricked her by positioning a dummy of himself at the end of the alley to confuse her as to his actual location. While this turns out to be John, in "The Adventure of the Empty House" a dummy is actually used to fool Sebastian Moran.
They played it beautifully.

Janine is really Moriarty, he had a sex change and is now a preop transexual

Assuming that moriarty's brother exists in this this may be a trap that he has made for sherlock

I guess this mean that they didn't put a Sherlock mask on Moriarty's corpse before throwing it off that roof then?

It was just a 5 second clip of Moriarty asking if you missed him. Then afterwards the BBC launched into a 3 Musketeers trailer full of horses and symbols, confusing for some apparently!

Much like the woefully anticlimactic plot twist attempted in Iron Man 3? Moffat, but especially Gatiss, are better writers than that.

Sherlock spent two years dismantling Moriarty's global criminal network...would he really have been allowed tomdo that unhindered if M was still alive?

Off to William Hill to put a cheeky tenner on Adric popping up in this year's Doctor Who ;)

The Prestige, anybody?

Or Moriarty used the Baskerville drug on him to make him think he saw him get shot.

there is a twisted humor to it all...because just as people might have stopped obsessing over how Sherlock survived THAT fall, now they've got the matter of Moriarty's survival to spend 1.5 to 2 years obsessing over.

How about a situation like 'The Prestige': Identical twin Moriarties! The death of one drove the other even more nuts for a couple of years, but he's back now and ready to rumble?

Exactly what I've been thinking and hoping for since Moriarty shot himself. It would make sense for the real Moriarty to send hide himself away and having someone else be his public face. What if Andrew Scott's character actually was an actor all along and in the thrall of Moriarty!

Option 4 does it for me. Explanation:

Both Sherlock (because he got emotionally involved) and Magnussen (because he was so used to dominate people and saw himself as a "businessman", not a criminal) misread why Mycroft came in the end with snipers.

Mycroft came to kill Magnussen. He had his long-awaited pretext: finding him in possession of top-secret documents.


"Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, stand away from that man."

Usually, when you give that kind of order, it's because you want to avoid collateral damage.

"Target is not armed, I repeat target is not armed." (one of the snipers).

Target, not Targets

So there is a target, and only one: it's Magnussen (impossible to think that Mycroft would target his own brother or John).

So Mycroft comes for Magnussen but Sherlock completely misreads it and kills the baddie himself in order to protect John and Mary. He's forgotten the lesson he gave to Irene Adler: "This is your heart, and you should never let it rule your head".

Now, Mycroft has a big problem ("Oh, Sherlock, what have you done?" in echo of "Don't get involved"). He has to keep his brother out of jail (in England) and out of mortal danger (anywhere else).

So he's "resurrecting" Moriarty in order to keep Sherlock free, and only he has enough power to pull out a thing like that.

He gives himself away when he says: "Well, I certainly hope you've learnt your lesson." to Sherlock, as if he knew from the beginning that the "exile" would last just a few minutes.

The Moriarty teasing that comes after the credits is just that: teasing. Keeping the fans guessing. Anything that comes after the credits is, by definition, not a part of 'Sherlock'.

Moriarty isn't coming back. But Sherlock is.

Hopefully, not in two years :)

JMHO. Cheers.

Andew Scott as the next Doctor? I think he'd be perfect for The Master!

Hi Guys. Here's one that has been bugging me today. The flash drive with the details of Marys real identity on. It didn't have the lid on. Every time we saw it, it had the USB end sticking out, and the lid stuck on the back end. Who carries a flash drive like that? This makes me thing the initials weren't A.R.G.A. The problem is, if you turn 2 of the initials upside down, it doesn't make a whole load of sense. But I think there is something in this, as when we see the flash drive in Watsons hand, he shows us the front, then the back, and then the front again, as if to say "There's only writing on one side". Could Mary have something to do with Moriarty? She could be part of his network. Sherlock spent 2 years trying to get dismantle Moriartys network, but Mary appeared 5 years ago. Also, when she produced the flash drive, Sherlock took a keen interest in the initials. Did he recognise the initials from his exploits dismantling the network?

WOW! Based on my last comment if you put the cap on the flash drive one of the capital A's goes upside down. Upside down A is a mathematical symbol meaning "For All". When John has the flash drive in his hand, Mary is reading the book written by Mummy Holmes, and the dad comments that his wife is a mathematical genius. Mary is very interested in the book. Who is interested in a high level Maths book on Christmas Day??? And who do we know was a Professor of Mathematics??? Coincidence? I think not.

Jolly, bloody, ruddy good explanation. I completely missed the "Target" rather than "Targets" bit.

Sherlock has now turned into Doctor Who, and that is, I'm afraid, by no means a compliment. Plot twists bordering on Fantasy, coming back from the dead and the blatant manipulation by the writers of a fanbase that seems satisfied with speculations and questions over cohesive plot and narrative.

Good god haven't any of you muppets actually read any of the original books it tells you what what happens with Moriarty obviously not with a modern spin but none the less lol

The Book... The Dynamics of Combustion my M.L Holmes.

A reference to

The Dynamics of an Asteroid by Prof. James Moriarty.

It just seems odd to have these Mathematics references when Moriarty comes back.

Are you trying to win friends with that comment? :) What are you referring to my friend? Moriarty is only featured in 2 of the original conan doyle stories because he was created for the sole purpose of killing sherlock. In the final problem it is assumed he died at the reichenbach falls. Is there a story I don't know of which says definitively what happened to him?

Did anyone notice the billboard advertisement in "His Last Vow", seen just as Watson is getting into his car to go to the drug den? There are two combined, but the middle is ripped to reveal another one underneath. All the prominent words with capital letters, apart from the italicized "is" in the middle are: Free Information is The Power To Change. Perhaps it means nothing, or only applies to that particular episode. Care to speculate?

Holmes is always in the news, with Watson alongside. Magnussen, being a news mogul, would have known about both of them, particularly because Sherlock's brother is MI6, and is, apparently "owned" by Magnussen. Why then, would Magnussen's personal assistant (who clearly holds an override key to opening the elevator to Magnussen's office) be allowed to go to a wedding for her friend, Mary (whose identity Magnussen would have figured out before the wedding)? The greatest (consulting) detective in the world (a national celebrity) and his MI6 brother, the army doctor sidekick and his mysterious assassin wife...all tied up neatly to Magnussen by his PA, Janine? "What do we say about coincidence?" I have a feeling Sherlock didn't actually kill Magnussen. Mycroft wanted him in a windowless room. The whole episode began with Sherlock already working on a "case" - which was to be noticed by Magnussen in the papers as having a drug problem (his "pressure point"). This was all planned by Sherlock and Mycroft. I don't know what to make of Moriarty coming back into the picture. Thoughts? Sherlock was very adamant about Watson bringing "the gun" to Appledore, which is suspicious, not only for the obvious reason that Sherlock could have tampered with it, or even replaced it to fire only blanks, but also because Magnussen would have had his security agents check for weapons before allowing them into his home (as they did when Magnussen visited Baker Street). Why let them pass through unchecked this time? The very fact that Sherlock precisely timed when everyone would pass out after drinking the tea and punch tampered with by Wiggins could suggest that Sherlock somehow had the same concoction placed into Magnussen's "rare and expensive" drink. They made reference to his drink and showed him swallowing the very last drop. He could have dropped at exactly the time a fake gun was fired at him by Sherlock to give the impression that Magnussen was dead.

That's just a post-credits teaser - it wasn't part of the show's narrative.

I think it was the real James M. Remember Karl powers? You have to remember Sherlock solved that murder very young so assume JM was very clever very young oo

A lot of people seem confused on that, very few have read the books. Moriarty does only appear in 2 of Doyle's stories (although he's referenced in a few more I believe, usually not in the present tense).
It's TV shows and films that has done more to increase Moriarty's notoriety than I think Doyle would have ever imagined. Providing Sherlock Holmes with an enemy who's equal to him.
But, no Paul, you haven't missed any stories by Doyle that reference what happened to Moriarty. He died at the Waterfall

I don't think all we saw was GIFs and animation. When Greg sees the message in the pub, he sees Moriarty's human head turned to the camera, against the same backdrop used for the GIF and his message in the end. In my mind at least, its entirely likely that Greg and perhaps even the others saw the same 'Miss me?' message we saw at the end of the credits.

I like the idea he is still alive. Perhaps he faked his own death, but could not return until an old problem was taken care of, namely Charles Augustus Magnussen...

My theory - whether you care or not:

It wasn't Moriarty on the roof. Don't you think it would be easier to use an actual actor (Sherlock universe) than it would be to fake an acting past? After all, Moriarty has manipulated people into putting their lives at great risk before - Study In Pink's cab driver...
Moriarty would not have killed all Sherlock's loved one's, after Sherlock's "death", because that would be him ending the game unfairly - Moriarty doesn't want that. Death would be the same.

The most important point surely is that the death of Moriarty absolutely WAS faked. The BBC didn't kill Andrew Scott. So if the BBC could do it, so could Moriarty

A bit like the brilliant twist in Iron Man 3. Moffat and Gatiss could probably write something just as brilliant as that!

Balance restored.

My initial theory (which is probably completely wrong & will make a lot of people angry but I don't think anyone else has mentioned it) was it's the woman. It's pretty safe to say she would have had deals with magnussen (he's a blackmailler, she has a lot of secrets of high ranking men) and may want Sherlocks help after his death. She also knows that moriarty is the best way to get Sherlock attention and wouldn't show her own face initially as she doubts whether Sherlock would help her. (Or this is just what I'm hoping as I adore this version of Irene Adler and can't wait for her reappearence.....)

OK, how about this theory. It was Sherlocks Mother. She was revealed to be a Maths Genius, and the scene in the kitchen showed she would do anything to defend her son, and punish the person responsible. Could she be capable of setting up the "Miss Me" Moriarty hack? Also, the link between Mrs Sherlock being a Maths Genius, and Prof. Moriarty being a Maths Professor is either a big hint, or a massive red herring. Mrs Sherlock even wrote a book which has a similar title to the book written by Prof. Moriarty in the Conan Doyle stories. There's a big link here!

Anyone wonder how sherlock faked his death still and why? We never got a proper answer which makes me feel cheated. The other thing is if sherlock had preplanned all this how did he not preempt morriarty killing himself as how would he have faked his death if morriarty was watching? This makes me think that morriarty didnt infact pull the trigger and sherlock had something to do with it just a thought

Despite the end of series 2 being so unequivocal and graphic in showing Moriarty's death, the writers have proved that a good story doesn't need an explanation, just look at Sherlocks "death" and the lack of explanation.

Maybe they will just bring him back without a reason and we will be treated to 6 more stories then at the end of series 5 (as they have said that they have planned series 4 and 5) there will be a big reveal as to how Moriarty and Sherlock survived the roof top. Maybe it s magical roof top where people come back to like....!

I hadn't seen that ep yet :D but that probably makes way more sense, my schizophrenic idea would be dofficult to set up. But having watched Mycroft in HoB and reflecting on his sloghtly wierd behaviour in the last ep He either knows more than he let on or he has seriously screwed up :)
CaN't wait!!!

Sherlock's explanation WAS the explanation, he had no reason to lie. The fanatics doubts were meant to represent the real world fans would would never be happy with any explanation. "Everyone's a critic". Why would Sherlock lie? If he didn't want to reveal how he did it, he needn't have said anything.

For me it comes down to either puppet Moriarty or a Lieutenant of his. My money would be on it being the 'other brother' being the one behind the broadcast. What better way to get at both your siblings...

What if the real moriarty is actually the woman?

Bit late and probably be missed but how about..... 'Dark Sherlock'!! Sherlocks' 'dark side' has been alluded to throughout the series, his depression, drug addiction, the boredom with everyday people and life he shared with Moriarty (and personified as Moriarty in his Memory Palace) etc. What if the 'Other Brother' is a reference to that side of his personality and the resurrected Moriarty is Sherlocks' dark side, manifesting itself as Mozza just Shezza himself, trying to spice up his life. Not that trying to survive as a spy in Eastern Europe wouldn't of course. Just a thought.

Was Moriarty's dead body ever mentioned in The Empty Hearse?

Its been done before in, The Mentalist!

Perhaps, its Mrs Hudson???

God, no! Another ham as The Master?

Nah that would just be a rip-off of Elementary.

I just think RichieC wished really, really hard and it came true.

What if Sherlock created the Moriarty video himself?
He's more than capable of having it set up in reserve as a get out of jail free card whenever he needed it!

Hhhmmmm and Elementary has ripped of anything has it?

The target was sherlock clearly, considering he performed the act of shooting magnussen whilst everyone was watching. Good explanation otherwise though!!

I really hope so. Scott was terrible.

no it hasn't

Or it could be something Moriarty put into place before he killed himself. I can see Moriarty thinking that Sherlock might riggle out of it somehow and telling his lieutenant "If Sherlock comes back, do this...". The timing, Sherlock about to go to his death on an undercover mission, could be a coincidence...but I really doubt it. So, we do know that however it turns out to be, they are desperate to keep Sherlock in Britain.

Seeing as this show says that the universe is rarely so lazy, is it a coincidence that Moriarty said in the Reichenbach Fall 'Every person has there pressure point?' Could that be linked?

What I'm relating happens BEFORE Sherlock shoots: Magnussen.

Therefore there is no reason he'd be a target at that point. There is a target from the get go, before anything happens, and it's not Sherlock.

Besides, after Sherlock shoots Magnussen, Mycroft says: "Don't shoot Sherlock Holmes !", because, you're right, he has then become a target too (since he just killed a man).

Thanks for answering :).

The answer to the question, from this fan, is: No I effing didn't miss you! Now piss off and don't ruin another series of Sherlock, you over-rated ham!

Oh I like YOU! The guy was outclassed and outacted by everyone who occupied the same frame - even the 'background action'.

There you have it. The writers directly asking the fans, "do you want this arse back for the next series?". It is for Forum-Fandom to decide.

As Andrew Scott's 'Moriarty' presented as an actor doing a bad job of portraying Moritarty, I'd say you were on the money.

Heh, heh. That would explain the Sherlock to Mrs Hudson line, "what exactly is it that you DO?" (or approximation thereof), in 'The Last Vow'.

His character would have to be called, 'The Hamster' then?

Getting back at Mycroft and Sherlock for what they did to their 'other' sibling?

A bullet intended not to kill Sherlock but to 'save his life' actually relies on the occurrence of post-mortem hallucination and visitations from a dead enemy to bring Holmes back from the dead? Sounds like something out of Skyfarce, sorry, Skyfall.

It's not Moriarty. It'll be his brother Col James Moriarty.

Yeah. 10000000% Moriarty is dead. His life ended on the roof. Permenately. But his evil and his legacy live on. I would almost put money on a 'revenge' from beyond the grave scenario. Moriarty had one last grand evil scheme up his sleeve and would only be unleashed on the world if Sherlock bested him on the roof. I think we'll be into the realms of the later Saw movies (as you picked up on), where one last diabloical scheme was set into motion before Jimbo's death - it just needed the trigger of Sherlocks reappearance to start the ball rolling. So I imagine we'll be seeing lots of Andrew Scott tormenting and threatening and sneering poor Sherlock - but from a tv screen / digital after-life, whatever. Jim Moriarty is dead. Long live Moriarty!

The twin thing is so obvious and sooooo boring (in Andrew Scott's voice).'s a possibility. I still think it's a revenge from beyond the grave scenario - ala Saw.

Lovely, logical theory - I like. However the mathematics / Sherlock's Mum theory also works well and, well, it's Moffat - so they're both excellent theories and probably both wrong! (This is not meant as an insult BTW)

Yes they did do a modern reboot but that's about it. It's a very different , still brillant, but drastically different

hahaahha that was funny

thats what i suspect for a long time now. this psycho looking fag could not be an unbeatable genius... lets see whats in store for us... by the way magnussen was disturbing but/(hence actually) was a successful (cool) vilain. its the "only" strong point i give to the 3rd season...

theories get cooler and cooler...

In my opinion Sherlock did not drug Mycroft for long so he could search out for him in Magnussen's place and find the vault. Since there was no vault, Sherlock took the decision to kill him and bury the information he knew with him (Mycroft considered Magnussen an asset and he would never kill him). While watching a thought came to my mind: it was logical to drug Mycroft and in a sense his father and mother to take the laptop. But why drug Mary? What was the reason for that in the whole plan. And it's not like she just drank from the punch. Her tea was drugged and with a particular dosage.

Mary surely has something to do with Moriarty. Her terrible past is being mentioned continuous .

Another point deserving some thoughts is the other brother Mycroft mentions.

As for the future I can't see how the Moriarty thing is a plot from Mycroft or his mother to keep Sherlock. How is that gonna work in season 4? Them making actual crimes to keep Sherlock? My best guess is that Moriarty is dead but he already made a plot to revenge Sherlock and Mary is the last bit in Moriarty's network making it possible.

That Janine woman (Magnussen's PA/Mary's bridesmaid) has an Irish accent like Andrew Scott, she also has dark hair and dark eyes like he has. Their characters' first names have the same initial. If Luke Skywalker can have secret twin sister, why not James Moriarty?

What? Magnussen was the target, they explained that Mycroft wanted the justification to arrest him, which he got by CAM having the laptop. Why would Sherlock and John be targets for Mycroft, that makes no sense.

Yes and then after that Magnussen explained how it would look as though Sherlock and John were selling the secrets to him. Thus Sherlock read Mycroft's arrival incorrectly.

I like the idea of The Woman fixing things for Sherlock to stay myself. I think it's a fitting continuation of them owing each other things.

Well Mycroft and Sherlock are brothers...who knows, maybe Moriarty has a twin brother. But, of course, if Moriarty is behind the initial killings in "Pink", why did the cabbie only give Holmes one pill to take? Not three as shown in the other murders? Moriarty did not want Holmes dead, but sick enough to need care and Molly would come to the rescue. I have posted before that Molly has more to do with this than we think. Think about this...We first saw Moriarty (Scott) in her Morgue lab. Does he have more control over her, or does she have control over Scott. Hmmmmm.

Always believed the Mycroft explanation from first moment I saw this. What better way to prevent his exile

I have been persuading my daughter about the 'Molliarty' idea for a few weeks now. It started out as a laugh, but it doesn't take much digging to make many links!

So...Mary is Sebastian Moran?

Makes for some interesting speculation doesn't it? :) I like the fact that you are getting your daughter to think "outside the box" too. Interesting moniker you have there as well.

Unfortunately (or not!) we seem to think 'only' outside the box! It's kind of a mutual interest of ours...dual headcannons abound :-)

I hope Moriarty is NOT DEAD. He was one of the greatest Sherlock characters ever!!! He was perhaps the only one who could equal Sherlock! I loved him, he was hilarious but also scary and smart... the best villain ever. I admit, I was really devasteted by his death and I wish he'd really be alive again. If Sherlock managed to fake his suicide, Moriarty can do so too!^^

It's Sherlock's mother. Moriarty was originally a mathematician, and they even make a point out of it in His Last Vow. I know it's far-fetched but it's my guess

I think Moriarty is not dead. We don't really got an answer how sherlock faked his death, but the both were shown as equal enemies during all the episodes, so i think when Sherlock was able to fake his death without letting Moriarty or his man recognize ist, Moriarty should be able to do the same to Sherlock. As in original stories there are brothers of Moriarty, and it is said that Mycroft Holmes is the Smart one of the two brothers, I think that the real fight is between the older brothers of both of them. What we see in the series is only the fight of the chessmen, well placed by Mycroft and the real brain of the Moriarty brothers. Both, Sherlock and his direct enemy have equivalent skills, so they both are able to fake their deaths without the other noticing this (they may need the help of their brothers, but we know at least Sherlock had this help). At the end of the last session, Sherlock has reached an advance on Moriarty. He deduces that Morirty faked his death, and will come back soon. With this knowledge he knows his exile won't be for long, which analytically takes him to his last actions in the las episode.

I agree with that "boardwalk vampire" guy. Saying if it's up to the fandom/forum to decide, as you put it, "if we want this arse back or not". If that's the case, I certainly want Andrew Scott back as Moriarty. I personally really love him as an actor and character, and the footage at the end of the episode with him actually saying "miss me?", made me decide: "Yes! Do bring back Andrew "Moriarty" Scott!!" It's saddening that people actually hate him. I think he's perfect :) Let it be heard... #MoriartyLives

2 months late, but there was also the exchange in the swimming pool... "No-one ever gets to me and no-one ever will..." / "I did..." / "You've come the closest..."

If Andrew Scott's character was a puppet, that takes a new meaning.

But dude, Red John is still not dead. Remember that 2 second frame, where Jane ran away from Mc's body, we could see a short, black-haired man, drinking tea in the background.
If it were to be true, that Brett Partridge is the actual RJ, I would dance 'till I faint and collapse.

I was referring to Jane shooting Bradley Whitford!

Although bringing back moriarty will b a foolish thing to do , ive made out some
' theories' .
1) On the rooftop , the hand shake was a clue , for someone to make jim not dead. I think moriarty hired 1 assassin or someone just to injure him and the gun which he was holding was fake. Still qstn arises. Sherlock would have recognized it only by one look.So either he was puzzled at that moment or did that on purpose.

2) If moriarty was really alive, he would kill john, lestrade,mrs hudson before sherlock's official appearance, but he didn't, so that means he is really dead. Because he would knew by then that Sherlock had faked his death.

I am totally in love with Andrew Scott as Moriarty and without Moriarty, don't get me wrong but DON'T BRING BACK MORIARTY. THAT WILL BE STUPID ALTHOUGH THE THEORIES WHICH THEY WILL BRING UP WILL BE VERY CLEVER.


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