Let’s talk a little about this scene. Sherlock’s mind referenced certain people as he was dying, but upon review they weren’t random. They were those who had kept him alive for the last two years.
Molly, the inside man.
Mycroft, the confidant.
And, Anderson? Yes, and it’s beautiful…
Anderson, the believer.
He kept Sherlock alive in the way we did. Not by being integral like Molly, or important like Mycroft, but by simply believing in him. By coming up with theories and starting a fan club all on the basis of believing that if anyone could defy death, it was Sherlock Holmes. So when Sherlock thought he was really going to die and that there was a minimal chance of survival - his mind palace also turned to Anderson. To the person who, despite all evidence to the contrary, believed he could survive.
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.
The point I’m trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all around obnoxious asshole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was asked to be best man it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend.Certainly not the best friend of the bravest, and kindest, and the wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship.