In Reichenbach Fall, during the scene where Moriarty visits 221 B, he and Sherlock are wearing the iconic colors of heros and villains. The interesting spin on this is that Sherlock is wearing a jet black coat and Moriarty is wearing a very light grey jacket over a white shirt. Much like in a western face off scene, these colors oppose each other quite clearly, but one would expect the roles reversed.

Why would Moriarty be dressed in white and Sherlock in Black? Moral ambiguity? Antiheroicism?

Not looking for a forum discussion, I really want to hear an answer.

  • 8
    Doesn't Holmes wear a black coat/jacket in every episode?
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 10:42
  • Yeah, but don't you think the stark contrast must be more than happenstance?
    – Matt
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 19:57
  • I think it's an interesting quesiton, and I wonder if this was intentionally done or not.
    – DForck42
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


Besides @Oliver_C's comment, of Holmes wearing black in every episode, this episode is most about subverting perceptions.

The writers and Moriarty want to emphasize this Western idea of "white good/black evil", remember; Moriarty is claiming innocence throughout this episode, how better to do that than be dressed all in white?

When we first see Jim, he is wearing a white coat over a white tee and for the rest of the episode he is wearing light "innocent" colors; that is, until the Fall scene where Moriarty takes off his false colors and dresses in black once more.

In that same thought, during the episode DI Greg Lestrade (who believes in Sherlock and is punished by his boss for it) is wearing black while Sergeant Sally Donovan (whom is just doing what she thinks is "right", and playing into Moriarty's hands) is wearing light colors.

Shown here:


Simply put, it is all about good and evil here, but as they are perceived by the public.

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