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In The Reichenbach Fall, Sherlock is standing on the rooftop after it became clear, that he has to jump and kill himself in order to save his friends. He then starts laughing and turns around to Moriarty, because he figured there must be some code or signal to call off the killers (apart from Sherlock dying).

How does he come to this conclusion?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

It's because of Moriarty's previous line:

Moriarty: Your death is the only thing that's going to call off the killers. I'm certainly not going to do it.

The fact that he said "I'm certainly not going to do it" implies he could do it, which means there's something Moriarty could do to stop them, such as give a code word to the assassins, as Sherlock then points out:

[Sherlock begins laughing]

Moriarty: What?! What is it? What did I miss?

Sherlock: You're not going to do it. So the killers can be called off, then there's a recall code or a word or a number.

That there would be a code rather than just making a phone call is because all the assassins are most likely hired (or at least not close friends with Moriarty) and would need a way to confirm that they were talking to him rather than someone who had got hold of their phone number (such as the police).

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Ah makes sense. Thanks. I thought “I'm certainly not going to do it.” refers to Moriarty won't kill Sherlock himself, which then caused the confusion for me. –  rumpel Jul 31 at 19:57

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