When Holmes, Watson and the Gypsies go to the arms factory, Holmes leaves Watson a note asking him to meet him at the big tower. Holmes gets captured by Moriarty and his henchmen. Watson runs into some trouble with the sniper guy and blows up the tower, dropping it on the structure where Moriarty is holding Holmes captive.

Some of that was planned, we find out in the end. Holmes needed to get very close to Moriarty in order to swipe his little red notebook and replace it with a fake one. But Holmes sounded genuinely surprised and annoyed when, during the aftermath of the altercation, he says to Watson something like "you didn't so much find me as drop a tower on me!". But, if he had meant simply for Watson to rescue him from Moriarty, he wouldn't have directed Watson toward the tower and instead would have summoned him to the torture chamber.

Or did Holmes mean for Watson to run into trouble with the sniper and blow up the building with the mortar the whole time?

What was intentional and what was not part of the plan during the conflict at the arms factory?


1 Answer 1


First of all, remember that it's Sherlock Holmes, so we're supposed to accept on faith that everything Sherlock imagines will go exactly according to plan. Remember the end? He jumps off a cliff just because he imagines himself losing the fight with Moriarty. So in that context, it's reasonable to guess that maybe Holmes knew exactly what would happen and was just messing with Watson, as he often does.

Another explanation may be that he hoped Watson would be able to see him from on top of the tower. Remember, a big part of Holmes' plan revolved around his interpretation of the pictures they found, one of which was the view staring out through the torture chamber ceiling at the lighthouse. The ceiling of the chamber was glass, meaning anyone from the lighthouse would be able to see in as well. He probably hoped that the tower provided the best means for Watson to see where Holmes was without being in danger - after all, the only other way would be to go into Moriarty's lair himself. From the tower, then, there are several things Watson could have done - for instance, he could have sniped Moriarty and friends.

It's also a common trend in Hollywood for movies to make sheer luck look like part of some grand plan - "The Dark Knight" is the best example I can think of. So that's probably actually what happened.

  • 1
    Aha - I had missed that the drawing was of the tower as seen through the glass ceiling. I thought it was the tower as seen from the alley where the mortar thingy was. This makes much more sense now.
    – hairboat
    Jan 2, 2012 at 18:41

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