As always: SPOILER ALERT
I simply love stories that have unreliable narrators because the audience isn’t given a concrete answer and is left to wonder “Was that really true?”. This is one of the reasons I love Sherlock. The story tellers (Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat) are unreliable. Exhibit A:
At the end of S3E1, we see Sherlock explain to Anderson how he faked his death. But, we are not told this through Sherlock; we are told this through Anderson. Let me explain….
At the beginning of the scene, Anderson is setting up a camera to record Sherlock’s explanation. This is symbolic of the fact that this is being told through the lens of Anderson’s mind.
We don’t even need to go over any of the details of the theory to disprove it because, once again, this theory is being given by Anderson.
What does need to be proven is that this theory is what I say it is, the product of Anderson’s imagination.
When I first watched it, I din’t believe it because of the way Anderson acted act the end of the scene.
But, then you start to hear interviews from Gatiss and Moffat that lead you to reconsider it. I kept flip-flopping in my mind whether or not this was the theory to believe. I started to think maybe I was, like Anderson, “disappointed” in the explanation. Finally, however, I realized something that is the ultimate proof why this explanation is nothing more than this:
Let me begin by asking you this question: Do you know Anderson’s first name? Actually think about it. Do you know it? I certainly couldn’t until I re-watched “The Empty Hearse.”
When Sherlock explains how he faked his death to Anderson, he calls him “Phillip” not once, but twice. Sherlock doesn’t even know Lestrade’s first name. Why on earth would he know Anderson’s first name? Lestrade obviously means far much more to him than Anderson does. Why would he not learn Lestrade’s name, but memorize the first name of the little weasel that is Anderson? The answer is simple. Sherlock doesn’t know Anderson’s first name, and this is all in Anderson’s mind.