A Better Solution to the Final Problem
I enjoyed the first three episodes of BBC’s Sherlock. I was disappointed by how episode 4 (the first of the newest trilogy) resolved episode 3′s hangover, but immediately forgave the writers as A Scandal in Belgravia unfolded. But then came episode 5, The Hounds of Baskerville, which was frankly awful.
So it all came down to episode 6, The Reichenbach Fall. Good opening, great development, tension steadily ratcheting up, and then bam, the final three minutes ruined it all. Completely. It was completely implausible, inconsistent with what we’d seen of the characters up to that point—frankly, it almost had me expecting Moriarty to reveal that he was Sherlock’s long-lost twin brother.
My ending is below the fold. Enjoy.
[Scene: Moriarty and Sherlock are on the roof. Sherlock's standing on the edge; Moriarty is explaining it all to him, and then Sherlock grins and turns around and Moriarty says, "What? What did I miss?" And instead of that utter crap about "you have to kill yourself or your friends will die", the dialog goes something like this:
Moriarty: What? What did I miss?
Sherlock [plucks a camera off the wall, identical to the one he found in his apartment earlier]: I don’t know what you missed, but the police won’t have missed anything. Or the the people watching online—we decided to do a live feed. [throws camera away]
Moriarty [furious]: Your friends are dead! Dead, do you hear? My people are going to—
Sherlock [laughs]: Your people? Did you really think that if you hired a bunch of international assassins, none of them would turn out to be working for my brother? Jim, Jim, Jim—the ones who aren’t Mycroft’s people are dead themselves.
[cut to: an old lady from Sherlock's Homeless Network shuffling along the street past one of the assassins, then whirling around and stabbing him with a knitting needle.]
[cut to: Mrs. Hudson introducing her "nephew" to the large bald assassin who was doing renos for her. As the LBA turns around, the nephew picks up a hammer from the toolbox and hefts it.]
[cut back to: incredulous, furious face of Jim Moriarty]
Sherlock: Oh, poor Jim. Poor, poor Jim. All this time, you thought you were playing a game with me. Well let me tell you something. Mycroft and I solved the final problem years ago. We figured out how to cure boredom. [leans forward] All this time, you’ve been our game.
Moriarty: I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you!
[Sherlock, laughing, turns to go. Moriarty howls with rage, rushes forward, grabs him. The two hurtle over the edge of the building. Freeze frame. Fade out.]