A Study in Pink sets the stage for all of our future expectations. Nothing in this show is done by accident, and the way it is all handled is masterful. Seeds are sewn in this first episode that will never cease to matter throughout the duration of the show.
Take the first meal Sherlock and John share together at Angelo’s, where Angelo insists that the pair must have a candle for their table:
It seems like sort of a “joke” in a way–something that could easily be brushed off if we didn’t all know that TJLC is real. And the candle thing continues to be a theme. Illumination itself is a subtle theme throughout the show, with all the color-coded lights and the fact that Sherlock dubs John his “conductor of light” in “The Hounds of Baskerville.”
I noticed something recently when watching what is surely one of the favorite scenes of all Johnlockers: the reunion of Sherlock and John at The Landmark in the episode “The Empty Hearse.” This is the night Sherlock returns, supposedly from the dead, and interrupts John’s (rather lackluster) attempt to propose to his girlfriend Mary in a rather half-hearted effort to, in his own words, “move on” from Sherlock.
Notice anything missing from John and Mary’s table?
There’s a lamp, sure, but no candle. Maybe that isn’t terribly unusual. But look at the other tables in the restaurant:
Most have candles.
It doesn’t stop there. When Sherlock catches his first (heart-stopping; you can clearly see that in his face, just as it has been pointed out that if you isolate certain audio tracks in this part here you can hear Sherlock’s thudding pulse) glimpse of John after two years away…
how does he see him?
There is a candle placed strategically between them, clearly visible from Sherlock’s vantage point.
This isn’t the only throwback to Angelo’s on this night. If more is needed, I’m including this little bonus below. The writers have done this *so many times,* where certain words and phrases come back again. It isn’t an accident and it isn’t lazy writing. We’re talking about the combined efforts of two very good writers here, and though John’s nerves on this night aren’t exactly hard to pick up on, we get this cherry strategically placed on top:
Okay, can we talk about this really fast since so many people are saying it’s so impossible that Moriarty faked his own death? The main argument is that yes, he shot himself in the mouth on screen so how do you come back from that. BUT he absolutely did not shoot himself “on screen” The first photo of the set is the exact moment we hear the gun go off. Notice how Andrew is entirely blocked out for the frame by Benedict. We can’t see a damn thing. That’s hardly what I would call an on screen shot to the face.
The next two photos are of the gun being in Moriarty’s mouth a second before he pulls the trigger. Notice the angle at which he pointed the gun. He literally would have blown the whole upper back part of his head off with an angle like that. That’s not just me surmising that. I took a criminal investigations class with a homicide detective last year and he showed us different photos of what happens if someone shoots themselves at a distance that close (and at the different angles), as opposed to when they are shot by someone else to help rule whether it’s a suicide or not. Basically if he’s shooting into his mouth the bullet would expand as it exited his skull and would blow a larger section out of the back of his head. This would also definitely lead to blood spatter on the structures behind him you can see in the first photo as the blood splatter would have a somewhat large radius behind him.
Notice how in the fourth photo this is when Sherlock looks back at him after a minute or so of panicking or what not. Notice how in tact his head looks after taking a point blank shot in the mouth. It would never happen. Yes, I know this is a tv show and we can’t go full Texas Chainsaw Massacre here. But it’s not plausible at all to think there would be no damage to his skull at all because the exit wound would be rather big.
The last one is the one someone else has already pointed out in a great post I’ve reblogged a few times. The two main points of this one is that it was after quite some timeafter he had pulled the trigger and been laying there. Sherlock had been pacing and then talking to John for a bit before he looks back and we get this shot. That is an extremely small amount of blood pooling around his head for him supposedly blowing his brains out. It’s almost ridiculous how small of a pool it is considering the actual blood loss would be extreme at this point. Again, I’ve seen some grisly pictures in my class of actual suicides so I have a tiny bit to go on here. I’m no expert to be fair, I’m just using the little I learned to base this around.
The final piece is one that was touched on by the other poster, and it’s that the gun is still gripped pretty firmly in his hand after he fell to the ground. In most suicide cases you’ll find the gun near the body. In some cases it expels rather far away from the body and can seem like a murder because of the guns distance. In others it drops next to the body. And in rare cases, yes, it can still be in their hands. But that is also very very rare. The chances are slim to none that if he had actually shot himself he’d still be holding the gun. The other poster surmised that he potentially held on in case Sherlock saw through it and came closer to inspect that he was really dead.
What we do know is Sherlock did not get close or really inspect the body for more than a few glances while he was panicking (or not panicking necessarily, but immediately after like with the fourth photo) and from afar (like for the last photo). I don’t think he used a fake gun, there’s no way. Sherlock demonstrated his knowledge of guns in the first episode with the serial killer cab driver and his fake gun. Moriarty also displayed his knowledge of guns in The Great Game with the “Is that a British Army L9A1 in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?” line. So it’s extremely possible he’d be able to fake his own death using said knowledge of guns. He could have used blanks, which if he took the proper precautions to make sure there was no debris in the gun, would produce the same noise as a regular gun and the flash a gun makes when it’s fired but it would be essentially completely harmless, hence why even watching it happen Sherlock could be fooled. Blanks look and sound very real.
I just wanted to point that out for all the people who are so positive there is absolutely no way Jim Moriarty could have faked his death, never mind that he is equally as genius as Sherlock and likely planned out just as many ways the meeting on the roof could go with just as many reactionary plans as well. He most certainly could have, and here’s hoping he did. Because I for one am very excited to see my favorite character return.