elementary rewatch ❖ heroine (10/11)

ok so like some one rings the brownstone doorbell and sherlock answers and theres a client standing there like are you the detective? i heard you were the best pi in the city. and he lets her in and they talk the case and sherlock accepts it and as the client is walking out the door they say “ thank you mr. watson” and sherlocks stunned standing there for like a full minute. and he tells joan later when she gets back from her jog and sherlock makes an offhand remark about joans clients as a PI (she almost ended up working for an insurance corporation honestly) and joan was like well ok if you think its that simple go ahead and try it. and they have a non body swap body swap ep where they are pretending to be each other


So I was talking to perrstein about this as we did an elementary re-watch, and it’s something we were wondering about. Is Moriarty actually aware of how much Joan Watson was responsible for her downfall? Sure, she knows about how it was Joan who figured out if they staged an overdose, she’d come running to the hospital. But does she know the full extent?

In the beginning of the penultimate episode—the episode before the finale—Joan, not Sherlock, is the one to go over the crime scene and find the rare yellow paint—it was called gamboge, and very few stores sell it. It’s how they were able to find Isaac Proctor, the man who pretended to be a tutor but was an assassin for Moriarty and before that worked for the CIA. The man who pretended to be Irene’s tormenter, Mr. Stapleton.

Just look at Moriarty in the photo. Sherlock and Joan think she’s angry because she’s without answers, while really, she’s plotting the murder of this man’s brother. Because of above all else, Moriarty despises incompetency, and in her mind right now her carefully laid plans are unraveling because of the actions of Isaac Proctor. Little does she know that this is all happening because she’s such an art snob, she absolutely had to have the most expensive paints for her projects.

This is the true face of Moriarty. Ruthless, calculating, cold. Absolutely lethal. They show her a picture of Isaac, asking if she knows him and, re-watching the episode, she almost gives herself away with “I just don’t know,” just barely holding back a smirk. God it sounds so mocking watching this again, knowing that there is no Irene, there is only Moriarty.

Once the NYPD tracked Isaac down, he met up with one of Moriarty’s men and he told Isaac “You were sloppy. The police never should have been able to trace that house back to you. Moriarty can’t abide that.” He then let Moriarty’s man go, so he could report back to her “that Sherlock Holmes is a dead man.”

The only reason the police were able to trace that house back to him is because Moriarty was the one who wanted the rare art supplies. He was following her orders. Now, if Isaac Proctor hadn’t been revealed, Moriarty wouldn’t have tried to have him killed. He would never have retaliated by going after Sherlock, and Moriarty would not have tipped her hand and revealed herself as Moriarty. Joan’s defeat of Moriarty goes far further than the fake overdose. Moriarty would have gotten away with it if she had never bought that one jar of paint.

It’s even more of a testament to Joan’s intellect, because if you listen to what she originally said when she picked up the jar of paint “I have these reading assignments, lately about art.” Joan was able to almost instantaneously make the connection of the paint’s importance to the case, from only a few months of deductive training.

In that flashback scene between Irene and Sherlock, Sherlock experienced a similar situation that Joan did with the paint. Except, he himself wasn’t able to pass it—he needed Irene’s help in determining whether or not the painting was a forgery and he wasn’t able to deduce that it had to be a forgery because of the presence of Turmeric, which Irene stated “was being rationed at the time because of your Afghani war.” Yes, eventually he would have gotten to that point, but he wasn’t able to immediately arrive there. He’s been teaching Joan only for a few months, and she was able to absorb the information better than even Sherlock, enough to instantly recognize the expensive paint and deduce from that very few places in NYC would sell it.

Joan Watson brought about Moriarty’s fall from grace long before the hospital. What I’m wondering is if Moriarty even knows how much damage Joan is responsible for. How she was able to account for everything- Sherlock, the police, the hospitals, because Moriarty was sent to a hospital where they marked significant psychological damage, not to mention that for Moriarty to be deemed physically fine a doctor must have examined her first, and I’m guessing there was no physical examination. Like Moriarty would ever let anyone see any possible weaknesses she might have. Not to mention she’d be very aware that some things would show up on a physical examination, like the fact that she had melanoma and at one point had a child. She would have done extensive research on Sherlock’s new companion- just because she dismisses her doesn’t mean Moriarty didn’t find out all she could about one Joan Watson. She would have known Joan Watson used to be a very capable surgeon, who would have known how to read a medical chart.

That chart would have been faked.

Not to mention Moriarty wouldn’t have just had one hospital under her purview, that’s something that too easily could have gone wrong. What if they sent her to another hospital? Maybe there was an emergency and since she would have been deemed as non-essential, they would have taken her to one that’s farther away. Unlikely, but not entirely impossible and this is Moriarty, she accounts for every conceivable possibility. She would have all the hospitals in the area in her pocket. Not to mention, she’s able to just walk into the hospital, despite the fact that police would have been crawling over the hospital. Not that Gregson or any of the group would have thought they’d be effective, but it would have told Moriarty that they were on to her. Appearances had to be kept up, and once in the hospital she would have needed to receive help from both the police and hospital staff to get to Sherlock’s room undetected.

She didn’t crawl through the window, or an air duct. You can hear the door open and she just strolls through uninhibited, without a scratch. The doctors would have known her by sight, because she didn’t talk to any of them. If she had talked to any of them, asked them to examine Sherlock it would have been obvious his drug overdose was false. She didn’t, she just strolled through, so sure of her superiority that in the end Moriarty was the one to get sloppy.

Moriarty accounted for every possible contingency, everything that could go wrong or disrupt her plan. She was so sure of her ascension to godhood that she was untouchable, but she forgot that even gods can be toppled down, as long as one determined hero has the courage and skill to try.