Let's Deconstruct the First Image from 'Sherlock' Season Three And Figure Out How Holmes Survived

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Let's Deconstruct the First Image from 'Sherlock' Season Three And Figure Out How Holmes Survived

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | November 5, 2013 | Comments ()


Last week, we learned that the third season of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s Sherlock will premiere in America on January 19th. In fact, it will air back-to-back with the fourth season of Downton Abbey (which premieres on January 5th). Today, we get the first image from the new season (above).


Well, we have Watson looking sad, while Holmes stands outside of a diner in what looks like an Edward Hopper painting. Watson is having coffee after polishing off what appears to have been a pizza. Why coffee and pizza? MYSTERY. How does this tie into Holmes jumping off a building at the end of season two and smashing into the pavement?

I got nothing. Mirrors? A mirage? A lighting trick? HE CUSHIONED HIS FALL WITH PIZZA?

Come on, Moffat. JUST TELL ME. Don’t make us wait another two months? Will it make sense? Is Doctor Who involved? IS THAT IT? IS HOLMES A TIME LORD?

It’s killing me, people. I MUST KNOW.

FYI: Lars Mikkelsen will play this season’s villain. His character, Charles Augustus Magnussen, is loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan’s “king of the blackmailers,” Charles Augustus Milverton.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Salieri2

    Tea, wouldn't it be?

  • PDamian

    Isn't it obvious? Sherlock fell into a very deep-dish pizza! The header photo is the clue!

  • chanohack


  • Mrs. Julien

    Along with F. Murray Abraham's cameo on Louis, Moriarty's expression of boredom with existence "It's just [hand flat-lining] was one of my two favourite things on TV last year.

  • Art3mis

    Here's the problem I see with whatever solution they end up showing us (which I assume will involve him jumping into the truck of mattresses and using that ball he had earlier in the episode to stop his pulse, because unless I'm missing something that just obviously seems like the solution, no?): when he came up with his plan, he didn't know Moriarty was going to die first. He was shocked at that, which has to be real because there was no one to be acting for when he was crouched down over Moriarty's body. But if he thought Moriarty was going to be alive when he jumped, then none of his plan makes sense--I think we can safely assume he didn't just jump and hit the ground hoping it miraculously wouldn't kill him, and anything else he could have done to make it look like he'd jumped would have been seen by Moriarty from above. What am I missing?

  • IngridToday

    It's Moffat. He had Sherlock jump off the building because it's shocking and he'll end up with some half assed explanation. Sherlock asked the morgue attend for a favor and the landlady made a comment about Sherlock keeping dead bodies. I'm assuming it'll be some "Sherlock magically know Moriarty's plan and magically found an appropriate body".

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    You're missing the assassins watching, I expect. Keep up the act and all that. If Sherlock lets on that something's going his way, they watch more closely.

    I'm not sure dead Moriarty is integral to the plan, so much as gravy. Dead Moriarty solves the problem more neatly, but I rather doubt Moriarty was going to be watching from the edge the instant Sherlock jumped. Most of the plans involving jumping into the truck and then transferring to the pavement would fall apart under Moriarty looking from above a few seconds later, but the well-timed dead doppelganger switch with Molly's help would, I suspect, hold up-- Moriarty wouldn't stand close enough at the moment Sherlock jumps because of the risk Sherlock takes him down, too, and this plan requires only fractions of a second to pull off (the truck is mostly bags or something, so Sherlock should disappear under them basically on impact).

  • Guest

    If this was Elementary's Joan Watson she would turn her head and see Sherlock. Sherlock's John Watson really hasn't lived up to his part as a consulting detective and would just be oblivious even with Sherlock right in front of him.

  • IngridToday

    Elementary's Moriarty/Irene Adler was a 1000x more interesting then Sherlock's over the top cartoon villian Moriarty and standard femme fatale (who naturally needs to be rescued) Irene Adler.

  • Bryan

    Poor Watson, I think he just saw the latest Hobbit poster. You know the one.

  • There's nothing quite like the sad, pensive Watson. His scene at the grave still hurts me.

  • lonolove

    Does anyone else thing PBS blowing their entire load with that schedule? Doesn't really seem advisable...

  • Ian Fay

    I think they're doing the cable thing where they squeeze in a few weeks of new stuff while the networks are all on reruns.

    Scifi used to do it all the time with BSG and USA does it all the time.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Moriarty had some kind of high quality Sherlock double that was used when he took those children. Either Moriarty killed the guy to tie up loose ends, or Sherlock killed the man himself, but the upshot here is that Sherlock went to Molly (the speech about how she'd feel if he wasn't who she thought he was) for help which entailed her being a floor or two lower with the doppelganger body ready to drop it.

    Now, the first out of character thing Sherlock did that episode was that speech to Molly (well, more or less), but the second was asking Moriarty for a few moments to compose himself, which he didn't need-- what he needed was a few moments to pocket text Molly so she'd be prepared to do the drop. Sherlock then makes a last minute attempt to defuse the whole thing some other way, Moriarty blows his brains out, then Sherlock and Molly do the deed.

    The problem with a lot of the theories out there is that they underestimate the kind of scrutiny Sherlock is going to get once he's dead. Nobody's going to just take it for given that he's dead. Watson will want to examine the body, as will Lestrade and kinda bitchy detective lady, among so many others. Molly is totally capable of fudging DNA, fingerprints, all of that, but the body has to look like Holmes, and it has to actually have damage from a fall. Any idiot is going to look for at least that much. Sherlock concussed Watson with the cyclist, so he'll be out of it enough that he'll miss subtle surgical scars on the face or something, but he'd notice if anything big were out of place, as would Lestrade and detective lady, most likely.

    And the thing with this theory is, it satisfies the Moffat claim that Sherlock did things out of character we didn't immediately pick up on. That speech to Molly, where he's really broken up and shaken seeming? It's written so that you can read it as him maybe buying into Moriarty's mind games or something, but it makes much more sense as the lead up to something like, "Molly, I just killed a guy-- admittedly bad, but still-- in cold blood to save my skin." He may claim the "high-functioning sociopath" thing, but it's bullshit and what he just did would've confirmed it to him and fucked him up good. So clearly I tend toward the idea that Sherlock himself did the murder, because it's better for character and seems to fit the evidence more neatly. And then the other thing, aforementioned, with begging time to compose himself on the roof. Not a Sherlock thing to do, but he needed time to set his plan in motion.

    Problem is, Moffat already clearly got annoyed when fans figured out the trick of the Doctor's death in Doctor Who a couple of seasons ago, and changed it to something fucking stupid, so there's every chance he's done something similar again here. Except, in this case there are still a lot of people who think a rubber ball is the end all be all of the solution, so he may not feel a need to self-destructively "outwit" the fans here.

    ETA: Sorry, forgot to mention what actually happens to Sherlock. It's the garbage truck. There's obstructed visibility for the assassins in just the right way that Sherlock can go for the truck while Molly drops the doppelganger without anyone being the wiser. The switch between falling Sherlock and the doppelganger is when that point hits; before then, the camera is actually watching falling Sherlock. That's the simple part of the plan.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    My favorite attempt to get the truth out of a Sherlock cast member about the fall was when Jack Whitehall adorably tried to beg it out of Cumberbatch on television.

    And my feeling is that, considering the long build up, once we learn what happened, we'd all be going "....really?"

  • fluff_fluff

    I really don't care at all how they did it, as long as I get to see or both of them cry again. I think that's a fair deal.

  • Rhyn

    Okay, so this is the first time I comment, but am a longtime observer ;) this one I could'nt resist, just because I had this discussion not long ago with my boyfriend and it's Sherlock, obviously... So here's my take... Sherlock was watched by killers/agents whom thought he had the code, which Moriarty tried to sell and they saved his life earlyer on the episode as well. The morgue girl helped him to fill plastic bags with his blood which she drained from him... So Sherlock was standing for quite a long time on that roof and also quite visible, these agents must've caught on to him and they still thought he had the code, so he still was worth saving... If I remember it right, just befor we see Sherlock hit the ground, a truck turned in to that street and I got the feeling it was filled with something (mattresses) and then all he had to do is get of the truck, brack the bloodbags and inject something to lower his pulse and lay on the pavement. Oh and the cyclist whom hit Watson was a decoy so Watson would'nt arrive to early to the scene.
    But thinking of it, I would love a cross-over with Doctor Who, the Tardis showing up in time and saving him would be beyond spectacular :)
    English isn't my first language so I'm sorry for any mistakes or typos, please be gentle...

  • Guest

    I'm also going with the Tardis theory. Sherlock fell into when it (it was either cloaked or just out of sight) and his body was replaced by a replicate or Dun Dun Duuun! future dead Sherlock.

  • stella

    So theres another Mikkelson? Cool.

  • lonolove

    He's not as cute, but I hadn't really looked into anything Sherlock related (LET'S DO THIS LIVE!) so I was pleasantly surprised and excited to find out he is the villain. EEE!

  • fluff_fluff

    So glad to see the "We are definitely 100% not in love with each other" longing glances are still going strong despite Watson getting a female wife this season.

  • BWeaves

    Beard, cough cough

  • Ian Fay

    Wait, this is some sort of surprise?

    I though it was pretty clear.

    So, uh, spoilers for Sherlock Season 2.

    There's the line with the morgue girl about how he needs a favor.

    He had her get a dead body roughly his size and looks, and hucked that off the roof.

  • Spazholio

    Nope. He was clearly shown to have stepped off the roof and wave his arms and legs as he fell.

  • BWeaves

    He stood behind the corpse and waved its arms like a puppet. Then there was the battery pack to twitch the muscles in the arms and legs, like a frog in biology class, until it hit the ground like a sack of wet cement. Oh, the humanity. As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

  • NateMan

    They can. Your mistake was using a farm-raised one, rather than a wild bird. Also, you forgot the trampoline.

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