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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reichenbach_fall_3.jpg]]

->''"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."''
-->-- '''Sherlock Holmes'''

John Watson has returned to his therapist's office for the first time in eighteen months. Why? [[WhamLine Because his best friend, Sherlock Holmes, is dead]].

Only three months earlier, Sherlock had been catapulted to even greater heights of fame thanks to his recovery of a famous painting of [[MythologyGag the Reichenbach Falls]], amongst other big-note cases. How did the Reichenbach Hero fall so far? The answer is wrapped up in the simultaneous break-ins at the Tower of London, the Bank of England and Pentonville Prison, along with a budding journalist, a high-profile trial, international assassins, fairy tales, the mysterious Richard Brook, and the "final problem" of Jim Moriarty...

----
!!This episode provides examples of the following tropes:
* ArtisticLicenseChemistry: Sherlock, you are working with oil. ''Of course'' you are going to find glycerol.
* AsYouKnow: Lampshaded and justified during Sherlock's confrontation with Moriarty after the trial, when they both know what Moriarty's up to but somebody needs to explain it for the audience.
-->'''Moriarty:''' ''You'' understand.\\
'''Sherlock:''' Obviously.\\
'''Moriarty:''' Off you go, then.\\
'''Sherlock:''' You want me to tell you what you already know?\\
'''Moriarty:''' No, [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow I want you to prove that you know it]].
* AteHisGun: Moriarty shoots himself in the head to make sure Sherlock can't outgambit him into saving Sherlock's friends.
* BadassBoast: Sherlock tells Moriarty in no uncertain terms that if he harms his friends, Sherlock will burn him right back.
-->''' Moriarty:''' Sherlock, your big brother and all the King's horses couldn't make me do a thing I didn't want to.
-->'''Sherlock:''' 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.
-->''' Moriarty:''' Nah. You talk big. Nah. You're ordinary. You're ordinary. You're on the side of the angels.
-->'''Sherlock:''' [[AntiHero Oh, I may be on the side of the angels. But don't think for one second that I am one of them.]]
* TheBadGuyWins: Moriarty's plan to destroy Sherlock's reputation and then kill him succeeds ...except Jim [[AteHisGun killed himself]] to do it and Sherlock [[FakingTheDead isn't actually dead.]]
* BaitAndSwitchComment: Sherlock makes one on [[ButtMonkey Anderson]]'s expense when they uncover the InvisibleWriting at the boarding school.
-->'''Anderson''': Not much use, it doesn't lead us to the kidnapper.
-->'''Sherlock''': Brilliant, Anderson.
-->'''Anderson''': Really?
-->'''Sherlock''': Yes, brilliant impression of an idiot.
* BatmanGambit: Moriarty's whole plan depended on Sherlock's tendency to always look for the most complicated, interesting solution. Sherlock's plan depended on Moriarty's need to win no matter what.
* BilingualBonus: One of the networks set up by the international assassins for spying on Sherlock is "red-de-cielo," or, literally, Skynet.
* BreakHisHeartToSaveHim:
** Right before jumping off St. Bart's, Sherlock tells John that Moriarty's version of the story is true, so that John, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson won't get offed by snipers.
** Sherlock's earlier attempt to do this was, sadly, a lot more successful. John receives a phone-call telling him that Mrs. Hudson has been shot. Sherlock refuses to go with him to see her and acts as if he doesn't care about her when previous events have clearly shown otherwise. Throughout the episode, people have been slowly turning against Sherlock, all except John who has been fighting his corner all the way until this moment which causes him to snap and call Sherlock a 'machine' before abandoning him as well. It turns out Mrs Hudson was fine all along and the whole thing was a ruse set-up by Sherlock to get John to leave him so he could face Moriarty alone.
* BrickJoke: John is making a comment about Newspaper Nicknames where Sherlock points out that John already has one, "Confirmed Bachelor John Watson" which he is less than pleased with. Later on after Moriarty is arrested and newspapers are flying across the screen, if you [[FreezeFrameBonus pause it to read it]] you will see they once again address John as "Confirmed Bachelor".
** Heck Moriarty's entire fake personality Richard Brook is a BrickJoke. Rich Brook is the English translation of "Reichenbach", the case that launched Sherlock into fame. He comments on the fact he was surprised no one got the joke.
* BriefAccentImitation: In his final confrontation with Sherlock, Moriarty slips into an American accent for a little bit for [[AxCrazy no reason at all]].
* BullyingADragon: All Sherlock's put-downs of Anderson and Donovan finally come back to bite him.
-->'''John:''' They are all coming over here now. Queuing up to slap up on the handcuffs. Every officer you made to feel a tit, which is a lot of people.
* CallBack: Moriarty tells Sherlock he's already told him what "The Final Problem" is if Sherlock was paying attention. It happened in " [[Recap/SherlockS02E01AScandalInBelgravia A Scandal in Belgravia]]" when Moriarty's phone rang: "Stayin' Alive".
* CapturedOnPurpose: Moriarty's "Crime of the Century" -- he breaks into the Tower of London, the Bank of England and Pentonville prison, three of the most secure locations in England, in one day, then is apprehended wearing the crown jewels. He's then acquitted, despite being caught red-handed, offering literally no evidence in his favour, not even bothering to have a ''lawyer'' and actually admitting he ''was'' guilty! This actually has very little to do with his endgame in the episode; it's almost entirely about showing off and making Sherlock look foolish.
* CarnivalOfKillers: A group of international assassins appear around Sherlock, although initially they appear to be keeping him alive. Ultimately, it is revealed they have been hired by Moriarty to kill Sherlock's friends if Sherlock refuses to kill himself.
* ChainedHeat: A reluctant Lestrade is forced to arrest Sherlock, but Sherlock escapes with John handcuffed to him as his 'hostage'.
* ChekhovsGunman: A literal example -- Mrs. Hudson's Repairman is an assassin (with his gun in his toolbox) sent by Moriarty to kill her if Sherlock does not commit suicide.
* ClearMyName: Moriarty makes Sherlock look like a fraud. Sherlock goes into hiding and tries himself to debunk Moriarty and clear his name. But Moriarty has just another ace as up his sleeve.
* CommonNonsenseJury: Moriarty was caught red handed stealing the Crown Jewels. There are plenty of witnesses and good quality security camera footage. At trial he offers no defense and the judge tells the jury that they have no choice but to convict. They return a verdict of "not guilty," because Moriarty has used the ultimate tactic to get away with his crime: jury intimidation.
* ComplexityAddiction: This is how Moriarty knew Sherlock would fall for the "super-code" lie. He's actually disappointed to be right.
-->'''Moriarty''': That's your problem, you always want everything to be so ''clever''.
* ContinuityNod: While handcuffed and and forced to hold hands with Sherlock, John mutters "Now people will definitely talk", referencing his line in "[[Recap/SherlockS01E03TheGreatGame The Great Game]]".
* CutLexLuthorACheck: Neatly exploited by Moriarty. As Sherlock points out, nothing he could steal from any bank in the world is ever going to be worth more than a computer program that will ''let'' him break into any bank in the world.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Holmes is an incredible, unbelievable detective. So Moriarty arranges matters so he's less credible, and to make people stop believing in him. In fact, people start to think he actually set up the crimes he solved.
* DidYouActuallyBelieve: There's no magic formula that can open any door. Moriarty just bribed a few people, and is actually disappointed that even Sherlock bought it.
** Also, at the end when Sherlock is standing on the roof of Bart's and telling John "no one could be that clever" in regards to him faking his genius. Averted by the fact that Sherlock was lying about being a fake in order to save John, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson.
* DiegeticSwitch:
** Jim Moriarty's iPod music became the BGM to his jewel heists in "The Reichenbach Fall". Appropriately enough, [[GeniusBonus the song is Rossiniís "Thieving Magpie"]].
** Later, when Moriarty is waiting on the rooftop, "Stayin' Alive" plays as BGM, then becomes the diegetic music from his iPod as Sherlock arrives.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Sherlock humiliates Kitty Riley (in front of no one). In return, she runs a story in the paper about Sherlock being a fraud, which ruins his life.
* DisturbedDoves: After the jump scene, when we're watching people gathering around the body. Two birds fly off from the hospital building.
* DoubleMeaningTitle:
** A ShoutOut to the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichenbach_Falls Reichenbach Falls]], the location where Holmes and Moriarty supposedly fall to their deaths in the original story.
** [[BilingualBonus In German]], "der Fall" can mean "the case", "the downfall" of a person, or "falling down" from the rooftop of a hospital.
* DramaticDrop: Done as a RuleOfThrees when Moriarty breaks into the cabinet holding the Crown Jewels. First he takes out the CCTV cameras. The security guard monitoring them is holding a couple of coffee cups, which slop visibly as he quickly puts them down so as to call someone. Then Moriarty remotely opens the vault of the Bank of England; as the bank manager gapes at this impossibility, the cup he's holding tilts in his hand until it pours coffee into his lap. Finally someone bursts in on the Governor of Pentonville Prison to tell him that all the cells are unlocking. Cue the Governor knocking the coffee mug off his table as he leaps to his feet.
* DrivenToSuicide: Sherlock. [[FakingTheDead But not really.]]
* EasilyCondemned: It doesn't take much to destroy Sherlock's reputation. A few rumors and suddenly everybody is against him.
* EvilPlan: Moriarty's plan to "burn" Sherlock.
* FakingTheDead: Sherlock himself manages to do it by throwing himself off a building yet turning up alive at the end of the episode.
* FatalFlaw: Sherlock has the fatal flaw of {{Pride}}. He's savagely arrogant (being Sherlock Holmes, his ego is mostly justified), has lots of trouble seeing things from other people's point of view which makes him come off as a callous {{Jerkass}}, and expects the world to bend over backwards to entertain him.
* FlatWhat: John is a master of these. In particular, this is his reaction when Sherlock, to whom he is handcuffed, announces that they are about to jump in front of a bus.
* ForegoneConclusion: Well, if you know the original stories, you knew that Holmes would die in the Reichenbach episode. You also knew that he was never really dead after all.
* ForeShadowing: When Moriarty writes "Get Sherlock" as he tries to steal the Crown Jewels, he paints a smiley on the O. Foreshadows the fact that he has been at the flat and seen the smiley painted on the wall.
* GilliganCut:
** At a trial, the judge threatens to throw Sherlock into a cell for contempt of court, and asks "Do you think you could survive for just a few minutes ''without showing off?!?"'' Sherlock thinks for an instant, and opens his mouth. Cut to Sherlock being thrown in a cell.
** And again when Sherlock is arrested Watson is seen looking like he's going to punch the chief superintendent; cut to outside and the chief superintendent is nursing a bloody nose.
* GoodbyeCruelWorld: When Sherlock calls John for a last time he tell him this would be his suicide note.
* GoshDangItToHeck: Donovan and Lestrade are driving to the Tower of London where a break-in has occurred. They have also heard since leaving the station that the Bank of England has been broken into. When Lestrade finds out Pentonville Prison has ''also'' has a security breach, his response is "Oh ''no!"'' Series 2 may have more swearwords than series 1 but the language is still very mild.
* GrayRainOfDepression: It's pouring down buckets outside the window while John is pouring out his grief to his therapist.
* HeroicSacrifice: Moriarty's endgame isn't killing Sherlock, but railroading him into killing himself.
* HeroismAddict: Kitty Riley makes everyone believe that Sherlock is the true mastermind behind all the crimes he "solves."
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Moriarty uses MaliciousSlander to make the public believe Sherlock is a fake. Sherlock himself goes along with it right at the very end, after having resisted throughout the episode.
* HoldingHands: Sherlock and John, while handcuffed together. To the sound of exploding squees of slash fangirls everywhere.
-->'''John:''' Now people will ''definitely'' talk!
* HollywoodHacking: Subverted. Moriarty appears to have written a small string of computer code (ridiculously small, if he can give it to Sherlock by tapping his fingers) that can hack any system on the planet. He demonstrates this at the beginning of the episode by breaking into the three most secure spots in London simultaneously, using a few smartphone apps. However, it is revealed at the end that Moriarty was making it all up: There was no code, [[MundaneSolution he simply bribed his way in]]. The mobile apps merely alerted his men on the inside. Which is good, because if this had been played straight, it would have been one of the most egregious examples out there. [[note]]The "code" was simple enough that Jim could tap it out in binary on his fingers during a single conversation. For comparison, the text that makes up this very page would take well over 100,000 "taps".[[/note]] It's blatant enough that he's a bit disappointed Sherlock fell for it.
* HomoeroticSubtext: More than ever. It extends beyond the usual Sherlock/John to Sherlock/Moriarty as well.
* HopeSpot: Sherlock's last-minute realisation that Moriarty has a way to call off the assassins targeting John, Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade. His attempt to TakeAThirdOption is brutally cut off by Moriarty's ThanatosGambit.
* HowWeGotHere: Like the original story, this episode opens with John Watson telling us that Sherlock Holmes is dead and then backtracks to show us how it all went down.
* IdiotBall: Some extremely circumstantial evidence leads Donovan and Anderson to believe that Sherlock kidnapped and poisoned two children. Anderson even speculates that Sherlock may have committed ''twenty or thirty crimes'' that he had helped the police investigate in the past, despite the piles of hard evidence that discount such a theory.
** Aided by the fact that Lestrade is the only inspector in London who even tolerates Sherlock, and only because his skills were useful. Once it becomes clear that he is the ''only'' officer on Sherlock's side and can do nothing to help, the force's otherwise-universal hatred of him reduces them to being Moriarty's puppets.
* InspectorJavert: Sally Donovan is very quick to determine that Sherlock is a criminal.
* InstantSedation: Moriarty sprays something on the face of a guard in the Tower of London, and he goes down like a sack of potatoes in one second flat. Possibly justified in that at least some of the guards are in on the scheme, so he might have been faking, in which case a [[MakeItLookLikeAStruggle little more resistance]] would have been in order.
* IntrepidReporter: Kitty Riley is ''trying'' to be this, but Sherlock calls her out for being a HotScoop and StalkerWithACrush trying too hard to impress people. He gets burned for it, badly.
* InvisibleWriting: The kidnapped boy left clues on the wall and floor of his room which could only be seen under black light.
* IronicEcho:
-->'''Sherlock''': This call is my note. It's what people do, right?
** "You repel me."
* IrrevocableOrder: Moriarty says that he's "not going" to call off his hitmen. Sherlock realises that implies he ''could'' if, say, someone as ruthless as Sherlock tortured it out of him. Moriarty agrees, and promptly blows his own brains out to ensure there ''really is'' no turning back.
* {{Jerkass}}: The Chief Superintendent. While his anger at Lestrade is [[JerkassHasAPoint justified]], there's no excuse for instantly getting confrontational with John for just ''looking at him'' in his own apartment.
* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Moriarty {{blackmail}}s several jury members in a court case by hacking into their hotel television systems to [[TheVillainKnowsWhereYouLive threaten their families]].
* KansasCityShuffle: Moriarty makes everyone think that his plan is to sell his computer program to the highest bidder. When everyone is trying to stop him it only furthers his real plan to discredit Sherlock.
* KickTheDog: Moriarty makes this episode an hour and a half of him doing nothing less than this. And then some more.
* KnuckleCracking: Moriarty cracks his neck right before starting his coup at the Tower of London.
* KudzuPlot: Entirely deliberate on Moriarty's part to ensure only Sherlock will be smart enough to figure out what's really going on, and to make sure he figures it out too late.
* LockedRoomMystery: How Moriarty was able to kidnap the two children of the US ambassador from the locked room at the boarding school. Turns out, Moriarty bribed his way into the room and out.
* LonelyFuneral: We don't see anybody at Sherlock's funeral besides John and Mrs Hudson. Either everyone left already or nobody cared to show up because of Sherlock's self-confirmed status as a fraud.
* MaliciousSlander: This episode revolves around Moriarty gradually destroying Sherlock's credibility, eventually leading the police to suspect that he made every case up just so he would look good when he "solved" them, and ending heartbreakingly with Sherlock's apparent suicide. [[WhamEpisode Quite the]] [[TearJerker depressing episode.]]
* ManlyTears: Sherlock is in tears almost the entire time as he makes one final call to John before he fakes his death. John is partially obscured, but can be heard crying at Sherlock's grave.
* MeaningfulName: "Richard Brook". Rich Brook would be an English approximation for "Reichenbach," a play on words that gives the episode its title. Literally, it would translate to "reicher Bach."
* MoodDissonance: "Staying Alive" makes a return appearance during a tense moment.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Sherlock makes the coolest pot of tea in television history.
* MythologyGag:
** Moriarty refers to his conflict with Sherlock as "The Final Problem," referencing the name of the short story on which this episode is based. Likewise, the Reichenbach Falls made a prominent appearance in that story as the location where Holmes (apparently) tumbles over the ledge to his doom.
** Peter Ricoletti, the man at the top of Interpol's most-wanted list, is a reference to one of Holmes's untold early cases ("Ricoletti of the club foot") mentioned in "The Musgrave Ritual."
** Sherlock's deduction about Kitty Riley's wrist is similar to one that Holmes makes in "A Case of Identity."
** Sherlock's courtroom description of Moriarty as a spider at the centre of a criminal web is lifted almost word-for-word from "The Final Problem".
** Moriarty's threatening but very civil discussion with Sherlock in the sitting room at Baker Street recalls his visit to 221b in "The Final Problem."
** During their tea-party Moriarty tells Sherlock, "You need me -- or you're nothing." Holmes himself expresses a similar sentiment in "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder."
** The Diogenes Club is from the original stories, as is its blanket ban on talking.
** The abduction of the diplomat's children recalls "The Adventure of the Priory School," in which Holmes is called in to find the young son of a prominent nobleman, who has also been kidnapped from an upper-class boarding school.
** As in the original "Final Problem," Sherlock is nearly run down by a cab. The twist is that it's not an assassination attempt by Moriarty, and one of Moriarty's assassins actually saves his life.
** Lestrade mentions Inspector Gregson as someone else who has consulted Sherlock. Gregson was another police inspector who often appeared in the stories.
** The phone call that John receives claiming that Mrs. Hudson has been shot is a clear reference to the (literal) [[UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom Swiss messenger]] from "The Final Problem," who draws Watson away from Holmes with a note about a sick Englishwoman who needs a doctor.
** Moriarty's fondness for snipers (they are key components of his plans in this episode as well as "The Great Game") may be a reference to Sebastian Moran, Moriarty's right-hand-man in the stories.
** "This phone call, it's -- it's my note." In the original story, Holmes left an actual note.
** At Sherlock's grave, John calls Sherlock "the best man, and the most human human being, that [he's] ever known." In the closing words of "The Final Problem" Watson writes that he will always regard Holmes as "the best and wisest man [he's] ever known".
** Moriarty's attempt to steal the Crown Jewels, as well as his being acquitted at trial even though everyone knows he's guilty, are both plot points from ''Film/{{The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes|1939}}'' (with Creator/BasilRathbone and Nigel Bruce).
** Likewise, the climax, in which Moriarty tries to talk Sherlock into jumping off a roof, seems to be based on a similar scene from the Creator/BasilRathbone film ''Film/TheWomanInGreen''. Moriarty climbing the stairs while Sherlock plays his violin is also directly from that film, complete with the moment where he steps on a squeaky step, the violin stops for a second and then starts again.
** Moriarty's plan bears a striking resemblance to ''Literature/TheSevenPercentSolution'', Nicholas Meyer's non-canon novel based around the idea that Holmes invented Moriarty.
** All the discussion of Sherlock being "on the side of the angels" is a ShoutOut to the BBC radio plays with John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson (and Orson Welles as Moriarty). In the dramatisation of "The Empty House" Watson exclaims "You're the devil, Holmes!" Holmes replies "The only one, however, who has always been on the side of the angels."
** The warehouse Sherlock uses the homeless network to find has ''Rhododendron ponticum,'' the same plant that Lord Blackwood used to fake his death by hanging in the first [[Film/SherlockHolmes Robert Downey Jr. film]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: John throws one at Mycroft when it is revealed that the latter, while trying to get Moriarty's computer key (which turned out not to exist anyway) ended up telling Moriarty Sherlock's entire life story -- which he proceeds to use as ammunition against him. Mycroft appears to be shaken up by the accusation.
* NobleDemon: Sherlock invokes this, stating that he might be on the side of the angels, but he is ''not'' one of them.
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: Sherlock [[TheAnticipator knows]] Moriarty is coming to find him, so he makes tea for two and settles in with his violin to wait. The confrontation ends peacefully, albeit creepily.
* TheNoseKnows: Sherlock is the only one at the scene of a crime to scent spilt linseed oil.
* NotHelpingYourCase: Once Moriarty's smear campaign reaches a certain point, Sherlock evidently decides "to hell with it" and goes on the run -- [[RecklessGunUsage pointing a loaded gun at his best friend's head]] in the process.
* NotSoDifferent: Moriarty taunts Holmes with this repeatedly.
-->"You need me or you're nothing. Because we're just alike, you and I, except you're boring."
* OccamsRazor: There is no supercode for hacking into all of the world's systems; Moriarty simply used expertly-placed inside men.
* PleaseWakeUp: John to Sherlock's grave. After his goodbye monologue about his undying faith in Sherlock, he turns around and ...
-->'''John:''' Please, there's just one more thing, one more thing, one more miracle, Sherlock, for me. Don't ... be ... dead. Would you do -- just for me, just stop it. Stop this.
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: Moriarty ends up looking perfectly fine apart from blood leaking out onto the floor beneath him, there isn't even a visible exit wound on the back of his head, which should be partially missing.
* PunBasedTitle: Based on "The Reichenbach Falls," the painting Sherlock helps recover at the beginning of the episode.
* PunnyName: "Rich Brook," "Reichen Bach" in German.
* RealityEnsues: The episode is practically a reality check for the series.
** Sherlock assumes Moriarty is going away for good after being arrested but overlooks how a criminal genius would have no trouble intimidating the jury to let him be found not guilty.
** When Moriarty makes it appear as if Sherlock has been setting up all these crimes so he can "solve" them and look like a genius, Sherlock's jerk behavior for a while eventually ends up helping the scheme out. A reporter he ran down as a joke gets revenge by printing the story as fact and Sherlock discovers that when you insult police on a constant basis as being complete idiots, you're not going to get much support from them. Indeed, many of the cops are more than ready to believe Sherlock did this rather than being that smart.
** Sergeant Donovan makes Lestrade take her doubts to the [[DaChief Chief Superintendent]], who's under the impression that Sherlock has only helped on a few minor cases. The reveal that Sherlock (a civilian) has been given unmitigated access to sensitive data and cases leads him to tear Lestrade a new one and order him to bring Sherlock in.
** Sherlock faces off against Moriarty on how the man came up with a super-hacking code and intends to use it in order to prove his innocence. Moriarty just laughs that there is no code, he just bribed people to open up bank vaults at the right moment and is disappointed Sherlock didn't see that.
** When John punches the Chief Superintendent he unsurprisingly finds himself being arrested for assaulting an officer.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Sherlock [[BadassBoast gives one to Moriarty when he mistakes him for not being like him.]]
-->Oh, I might be on the side of angels but don't for ''one second''' think I am one of them!
* RecklessGunUsage: Sherlock firing in the air in a highly populated area would be bad enough, but he then puts the gun (still loaded) to John's head with the safety off. And then he drops it on a cobblestone street. It's a miracle they both made it out alive.
* TheReveal: Moriarty has been living a double life as a television actor named "Richard Brook". His ultimate plan is to discredit Sherlock by convincing the world that he staged the two's rivalry as part of a publicity stunt.
* RooftopConfrontation: Although no actual physical fighting occurs, Sherlock and Jim have a final confrontation on the roof of St. Bart's.
* SayMyName: Before Sherlock jumps from the roof, John screams, "SHERLOCK!"
* ShoutOut:
** A clearly deranged man pops something in his mouth, plays classical music through his headphones and cracks his neck in preparation for committing a crime -- Stansfield in ''Film/TheProfessional'', anyone?
** Moriarty hacks into locked vaults and security systems to the tune of "[[StandardSnippet The Thieving Magpie]]" by Rossini -- Alex in ''Film/AClockworkOrange''. Also, Moriarty refers to Bach as "Johann Sebastian" (as Alex refers to "Ludwig Van").
** Moriarty invokes this in-universe with "Hansel and Gretel," to ''spectacularly'' disturbing effect.
** The song that plays when Moriarty breaks into the Crown Jewels' case, unlocks all the doors in the penitentiary and opens the bank vault is the overture from "The Thieving Magpie." The wax seals on envelopes he leaves have a magpie impression on them.
** John Watson's line at the beginning about how Sherlock Holmes is dead brings to mind [[Series/DoctorWho Rose Tyler's]] "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts This is the story]] [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E13Doomsday of how I died]]" narration.
* SickeningCrunch: It wasn't enough for us to see Sherlock hit the pavement at the end, we had to hear it.
* SilentScapegoat: Sherlock's decision to tarnish his own reputation to save the lives of his friends, who for their own safety cannot know that he saved them.
* SirVerbaLot: "The Storyteller" (actually Moriarty) tells a story about a knight named Sir Boast-a-Lot on his children's storytelling show. Sir Boast-a-Lot brags about going on epic quests and slaying dragons, but the other knights come to wonder if these stories are just lies he tells to make himself look good. This is {{Foreshadowing}} for his plan: to utterly discredit Sherlock as an egomaniacal fraud.
* SmithOfTheYard: Continuing the trend of series 2, Sherlock is becoming an internationally-renowned detective.
* SniffSniffNom: Sherlock apparently knows what mercury tastes like.
* SpinningPaper: The first sequence after the opening credits in which various newspaper headlines about Sherlock's successful detective work are shown.
* SpotOfTea:
** Sherlock and Moriarty might be mortal enemies, but they're still British (well, Sherlock is).
** During the break-ins, ''every single one'' involves ''someone'' who is drinking tea.
* StrawmanNewsMedia: Kitty Riley and, presumably, her editors (at ''[[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers The Sun]]''?) buy into Richard Brook's story hook, line and sinker. Given the outbreak of the News International hacking scandal during production, it feels rather timely.
** Considering that Moriarty is just that good, his story probably just holds up well enough.
*** Alternatively, it's The Sun. They're not known for being great at checking facts before publishing.
* SuddenlyShouting: Sherlock, while under quite a bit of stress:
-->Moriarty is playing with your mind, too. Can't you SEE WHAT'S GOING ON?
* SuicideIsPainless: AxCrazy Moriarty [[AteHisGun eats his gun]] with a laugh as part of his ThanatosGambit to bring down Sherlock.
* TakingYouWithMe: Moriarty hires assassins to kill Sherlock's friends unless he commits suicide, which works well, until Sherlock figures out that Moriarty can still call the assassins off, and threatens Moriarty that he will make him talk, at which point Moriarty pulls out a gun and shoots himself, forcing Sherlock to (ostensibly) kill himself to save his friends.
* TalkingToTheDead: John does this over Sherlock's grave.
* TechnicolorScience: The test tubes at the hospital lab are all colorful.
* TerrifyingRescuer: Moriarty is revealed to have terrified a pair of kidnapped children with a double of Sherlock, in order to cast suspicion on Sherlock when the children begin screaming in his presence.
* ThanatosGambit: The final move in Moriarty's XanatosSpeedChess game.
* ThatCameOutWrong: When Molly offer her help to Sherlock she says "[[FreudianSlip You can have me]]" which she quickly realises could be misunderstood and rephrases it to "If there's anything you need, it's fine".
* ThereAreTwoKindsOfPeopleInTheWorld: Sherlock mentions there are two types of fans when being stalked by a fan in the courthouse toilet.
-->'''Sherlock''': There are two types of fans. Catch me before I kill again, Type A.
-->'''Fan girl''': What's Type B?
-->'''Sherlock''': Your bedroom's just a taxi ride away.
* ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself: Sherlock tricks John to leave for 221B Baker Street so he could meet with Moriarty alone [[RooftopConfrontation on the rooftop]].
* TragicBromance: John is devastated by Sherlock's apparent death.
* TrespassingToTalk: After Moriarty discredits John and Sherlock, they break into a reporter's flat who was going to report the story. Once inside, they just sit on her couch until she comes home, at which point they confront her about her sources.
* TheUnfettered: Taken to its most logical extreme by Moriarty. He won't let ''anything'' stop him from achieving his goal of destroying Sherlock Holmes. [[ThanatosGambit Not even himself]].
* UnwittingPawn:
** Sgt. Donovan.
** Mycroft Holmes.
* VictoryIsBoring: When it looks like he's defeated Sherlock, Moriarty starts whining about how he doesn't have any challenges any more, and has to go back to "playing with the ordinary people." He solves the problem by shooting himself in the head.
-->'''Moriarty''': All my life I've been searching for distractions and you were the best distraction and now I don't even have you because I've beaten you.
* WhamEpisode: The episode ends with Sherlock being totally discredited, Moriarty killing himself, Sherlock [[FakingTheDead faking his own suicide]], and John going back in to therapy. In fact, "Reichenbach" is so much this that all resulting fanfic, and in fact the ''fandom itself'', can be divided into "pre-Reichenbach" and "post-Reichenbach".
* WhamLine: John opens the episode with one.
-->'''John:''' [[ForegoneConclusion My best friend, Sherlock Holmes, is dead]].
* WhamShot: Of Sherlock at the end being a MysteriousWatcher to his own funeral.
* WickedCultured: Moriarty plays [[https://youtu.be/CJiiBq8UnIY?t=275 La Gazza Ladra]] by Music/GioachinoRossini on his MP3 player when breaking into the Tower of London and he can tell anecdotes about Bach.
* WorstAid: Sherlock is flipped over and moved onto a stretcher after he's just fallen from a building, with no precautions taken such as stabilising his head or neck. It's made worse by the fact that it was ''hospital workers'' who were doing this. It's possible they my have pronounced him dead on impact, deeming any further precautions unnecessary.
* XanatosGambit: At every turn, everything Sherlock could have done sends him further and further down Moriarty's rabbit hole.
* XanatosSpeedChess: Sherlock and Moriarty are playing like nobody's business.
* YouCannotKillAnIdea:
** Donovan and Anderson manage to sow the seeds of doubt regarding Sherlock's authenticity as a (relatively) aboveboard detective. When Lestrade comes to warn Sherlock of his impending arrest:
--->'''Sherlock:''' After all, you can't kill an idea, can you? Not once it's made a home... ''(Taps Lestrade's forehead)'' There.
** That's the whole point of the episode, with Moriarty managing to convince ''everybody'' that Sherlock is a fraud and that even "Moriarty" is a paid actor hired by Sherlock. He proves it by killing himself, forcing Sherlock to jump from a rooftop lest all his friends die.
* YoureInsane
-->'''Moriarty:''' [[InsultBackfire You're just getting that]] ''[[InsultBackfire now]]?''
* ZeroApprovalGambit: Sherlock, who, despite being a self-confessed sociopath, fakes his own suicide and allows his entire reputation as a consulting detective to be completely destroyed, along with being framed for murder and kidnapping, in order to call off snipers trained on his only three friends in the world. He even goes so far as to call John and make a fake confession, attempting to convince him of his guilt before forcing him to watch the faked suicide, so that the grief would be genuine enough to call off the snipers.
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