I’ve been watching BBC’s Sherlock tv show the last few days. Getting a bit obsessed too. That gif above is going to take a few seconds to fully load. It’s 3.36mb. Spoilers ahead. I’ve got two major questions about the last episode of season 2. No, not how he orchestrated his fake death. About the key code.

Update2: I’ve posted two of these questions at Reddit too. The key code business has been somewhat discussed there. I really suggest reading the Reddit thread.

  • Season 2 Episode 2 (end): Mycroft releases Moriarty after an exchange of information. Season 2 Episode 3: John confronts Mycroft.

    John: How did you meet him?
    Mycroft: People like him, we know about them, we watch them. But James Moriarty… the most dangerous criminal mind the world has ever seen, and, in his pocket, the ultimate weapon. The key code. A few lines of computer code that can unlock any door.
    John: And you abducted him to try and find the key code?
    Mycroft: Interrogated him for weeks.
    John: And?
    Mycroft: He wouldn’t play along. He just sat there staring into the darkness. The only thing that made him open up… I could get him to talk, just a little. But…
    John: In return you had to offer him Sherlock’s life story.

    Why didn’t John ask Mycroft for the key code? In the next scene John arrives at Barts and listens to Sherlock talk about how they need the key code to hack into the records to erase Richard Brook and bring back Moriarty, but John mentions nothing of Mycroft nor the interrogation over the key code. Why? Did his conversation with Mycroft somehow not convince him that Mycroft has the key code? Note that John may not know like the audience does that the Mycroft-Moriarty interrogations happened before the key code heist. Remember that Moriarty disappeared for two months after the heist’s court hearing (reported in an in-universe newspaper), so it’s very possible for John to believe Mycroft brought Moriarty in for questioning about the key code during this time. So why did he not conclude from the conversation that Mycroft has the key code? (Possible answer: their conversation really didn’t convince him of that. Mycroft’s line “I could get him to to talk just a little” was apparently (but not to me) supposed to be taken by John to mean that Moriarty didn’t give enough information for it (the info) to be the key code.)

  • Season 2 Episode 3: Sherlock learns that there was no key code and that Moriarty simply bribed his way. If there is no key code, then what exactly did Mycroft get from Moriarty during the exchange of information? (Possible answer: Moriarty offered information on his past crimes, or something other than the key code. He does have a lot of information other than the key code that any government would want. Also note that unlike John in the above confrontation, where Mycroft is concerned, Mycroft may not have brought Moriarty in for questioning about the key code (since the heist hasn’t even happened yet). It is possible that Mycroft is borrowing the topic of the key code to hide the actual contents of the interrogation.)

Update1: One more question:

  • Season 2 Episode 1: There was a plane crash in Dusseldorf, Germany. One of the passengers was found in the boot of a car in Southwark, England, with his passport stamped in Berlin. We know via a close up shot of the plane ticket that the plane was headed to Berlin. We know via Mycroft that the plane was stuffed with corpses and flown into Germany to be bombed by terrorists. But that doesn’t explain two things: (1) Why were the corpses prepared with passports stamped at the destination airport? The plane was expected to be bombed in mid-flight before reaching its destination. Unless the ticket was wrong to say “Destination: Berlin”?; (2) How did he end up where he is? Was the corpse being transported to the plane before lift off? Why were the corpses separately transported? What happened to the car driver?

Update3: Another question:

  • Season 2 Episode 1: Irene Adler said she gave Sherlock six months with her camera phone to try and hack it. According to John’s blog (tie-in website, considered canon) and the episode itself, here is the time line:

    September: Buckingham Palace meeting, Irene Adler escaping, the start of the text messages.
    December: (Specifically, Christmas) The camera phone sent to Sherlock, Irene Adler’s fake death.
    New Years: Irene meets John, Sherlock discovers, acknowledges, and sends a greeting to Irene Adler.
    January: Sherlock starts working on the phone by x-raying it, etc.
    ???: Irene visits Sherlock and John, email gets decoded, Sherlock invited onto the 007 plane, camera phone unlocked.
    ???: Irene gets herself caught, Sherlock saves her.
    Two months later (March): Mycroft comes to John with her files and a story about a witness protection program. This month, according to John’s blog, is March.

    Well there’s obviously a mistake isn’t there? The first ??? date is between January and the second ??? date, which is likely before mid-February. She can’t have gotten caught any later than mid-February or Mycroft’s “two months ago” statement wouldn’t work. Though in fact, any way you look it, all the dates and statements don’t work. Even if you forget about Mycroft’s statement, Irene’s “six months” statement and John’s blog post in March still contradict each other. The longest period of time Sherlock could have spent with her phone is between Christmas and March. (Possible answer: The main culprit here is John’s blog having no year in the dates. If there was no restriction about March 2012 being the end of Irene Adler (in terms of her character being out of the story), then the 007 plane sequence could have happened in June and her “six months” statement would have held. So a possible answer is that the March blog post was actually a whole 15 months after the first camera-phone Christmas. Then we have the Christmas in 2011, the January in 2012 (because John blogs about the year going into 2012), Irene’s visit/the 007 plane event in June/July 2012, she gets caught and saved in January 2013, and Mycroft turns up with the files in March 2013. That would put Sherlock’s fake death in Episode 3 in June 2013 (see John’s blog post), which sets the time stage just right when season 3 starts in late 2013 or early 2014. Well, fuck, my mind just blew itself.)