Sherlock: Season 2, Episode 3

The Reichenbach Fall (20 May 2012)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 9.6/10 from 14,608 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 18 critic

Moriarty turns the whole city against Sherlock.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tanya Moodie ...
Jaye Griffiths ...
Prosecuting Barrister
Ian Hallard ...
Defence Barrister
Malcolm Rennie ...


Moriarty comes close to stealing the Crown Jewels to prove it might be done but allows himself to be caught. Sherlock gives evidence at the trial where Moriarty has scared the jury into acquitting him and later visits Sherlock, camply taunting him with his superior computer skills, seemingly capable of any crime. Sherlock rescues two children abducted by his enemy, but his brilliantly accurate deductions, leading police to believe he may have been an accomplice in the kidnapping, get him arrested, going on the run with John. After a further encounter with Moriarty, who has persuaded a journalist to publish that he is an innocent actor paid by Sherlock to masquerade as his enemy for Sherlock's own glory, the two meet atop a very high building. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

20 May 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


In the first sequence in which various newspaper headlines are shown, one story begins, "In a twist worthy of a Conan Doyle novella, Mr. Sherlock Holmes was yesterday revealed to be an expert witness at the trial of 'Jim' Moriarty." See more »


When Moriarty is getting ready to steal the Crown Jewels, the position of the gum he places on the glass to hold the diamond changes between takes. Sometimes it is by the bottom of the "E," sometimes it is to the right of the "T." See more »


Jim Moriarty: You think you can make me stop the order? You think you can make me do that?
Sherlock Holmes: Yes. So do you.
Jim Moriarty: Sherlock, your big brother and all the King's horses couldn't make me do a thing I didn't want to.
Sherlock Holmes: Yes, but I'm not my brother, remember? I am you, prepared to do anything, prepared to burn, prepared to do what ordinary people won't do. You want me to shake hands with you in Hell? I shall not disappoint you.
Jim Moriarty: Nah. You talk big. Nah. You're ordinary. You're ordinary. You're on the side of the angels.
Sherlock Holmes: Oh, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Certain letters in the credits of each Sherlock season 2 episode are red in color. In "The Reichenbach Fall" the red letters spell out the word "Believe". See more »


References The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) See more »


Opening Titles
Written by David Arnold and Michael Price
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Season 2: Solid entertaining and engaging mystery that is humorous without being silly, and inventive without being overly elaborate
21 January 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

To say the second season of this show was one of the more anticipated things on the BBC in 2012 is a little bit of an understatement – indeed the BBC seemed so keen to get it out that it started on the very first day of the year; the only downside of course being that it is all over within three weeks. When the first season finished I remember thinking that it was essentially a genre show where we have a quirky lead, a mystery each week and light entertainment at the heart of crime stories. I end the second season sure of the same but yet again sure that it is much better than the vast majority of weekly case-per-week-quirk-per-minute shows out there (although at the same time one of them it does remain).

The second season more or less manages to retain the appeal of the first and yet again walks a very fine line between believable quirkiness and oddity and "Doctor-Who-silliness" but it is a line that it stays on the right side of. Sherlock's quirks are mostly amusing rather than grating and most of the amusement/bemusement associated with them works well. The cases have a lot of pressure on them but all three deliver pretty well, providing drama, mystery, danger and a case that the viewer is engaged in rather than being left on the sidelines watching and waiting for the great Holmes to pull it out of nowhere in the end. In terms of Sunday night television it is pretty much bang on the money as it does provide across several aspects. There is a certain edge of darkness and danger to it that also functions well – in particular the final episode of the three managed to grip me more than i expected, even if personally I would have liked a lot fewer "yeah but hang on" things about the ending (although whether the ending is good or bad kind of relies of how they pick it up in the inevitable third season).

Like the blockbuster film version of the same characters, this show knows that the dialogue and interplay between Watson and Holmes is pretty key to making it work and, unlike the second film, this plays to that strength even more. The relationship is cleverly written and well played so that they are aware of the things the viewer would be jokingly thinking (ie having the tabloids call Watson "bachelor John Watson" wink wink etc). The dialogue is comically strong but has enough about it to not just be for the laughs. Cumberbatch is really good but to be honest Freeman is probably better but is a little overlooked when it comes to the praise because he is less showy and also is dismissed as "doing that thing that Martin Freeman does" as if that in any way makes it less effective or notable. Scott still didn't totally convince me as Moriarty but the third episode gave him the material to help him make it work – in particular he made sense in the rather OTT way he was and how he interacted with Holmes. Stubbs, Graves and others are good in support and I particularly enjoyed the turn from Pulver in the first episode.

Filmed to look expensive and use locations well, the show looks and feels like much more than just another BBC light entertainment show – which is fitting because in most aspects it is what it is while also managing to operate above that level. So it is a Sunday night bit of fluff but yet it is very satisfying and engaging fluff. It is a quirky police procedural but yet it is gripping, sharp, witty and dramatic. It does play on a standard odd-couple theme but yet it makes it seem fresh and unique. So while it is all quite familiar it work so well as a whole that you never think this while watching. I think the praise of it as the second coming is perhaps a bit over the top but it was an excellent three episodes and I will very much be looking forward to more of the same when it comes.

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