Seriously. He was fucking amazing throughout. He was not only masterful, but rather Master-ly, if you know what I mean. He reminded me a LOT of John Simm as the Master, right down to the finger tapping which immediately evoked The Sound of Drums. He was smart, funny, scary and played Sherlock so brilliantly.
It was almost impossibly NOT to root for him, probably because Moff, Gattis and BC had done such an awesome job of making Sherlock and unbelievable prick. Mind you, I only love Sherlock when he's being that way. Every attempt at "humanizing" him has rung utterly false. It's only when he's comfortable with his own contempt for the rest of humanity (including John) that I truly love him.
BUT, you can see exactly why it would be so satisfying to have him taken down.
Andrew Scott just brought it all home, especially when he was playing the actor and cowering in fear for the reporter's benefit, while still managing to flash Sherlock his evil grin when she wasn't looking and the rooftop scene was PERFECTION. When he put the gun in his mouth, thereby completely (at least apparently) boxing in Sherlock, all I could think was "Well played sir!"
I do hope he's not dead though. I mean sure he looked dead, but so did Sherlock and we all know better. Sherlock needs Moriarty. He DID create him, in a way.
Loved the use of the reporter for a double smack-down of fangirls and the press.
My other favorite thing was the return of Sally Donovan and more validation for my Sherlock/Donovan hate!sex ship. The way Sherlock said "Give Donovan my regards." OH yeah, they did it, loathing each other (and maybe themselves) for every minute of it.
As usual, not impressed with any of the obvious slash-tease stuff, no matter how much of a tizzy the Tumblr girls were in over the hand-cuffs when the photos were released. It's NOT the obvious stuff you idiots, it's the subtext, which spells out that John might have become enamoured or obsessed, but that Sherlock will always have that distance. Sure, he might fake his own death to protect him, but he won't give him the comfort of letting him in on the plan, will he?
I also don't think Molly counts, and I think that bastard!Sherlock was totally playing her. Because if she counted, she would have been one of Moriarty's targets. In fact, I would have preferred Molly over Mrs. Hudson. Yeah, we all love Una Stubbs, but the sentimentalization of Sherlock's attachment to her has been annoying and not terribly believable. However since she's not in that group, then Moriarty knows Sherlock doesn't care anything about her, so he's playing her. YAY BASTARD!SHERLOCK.
Not sure how Moriarty got the girl to be terrified of Sherlock. Assuming Mission Impossible style mask, which could be part of how Sherlock pulled off the body switch AND somehow get Moriarty off the roof alive too. (I don't want him dead. And I don't want Mycroft to have been that much of a dupe either. Come of Moff and Gatiss, please give him redemption.)
And so...the climax and then the end. PIFFLE! I felt nothing. All I felt was the cleverness (mostly) of the writing and my undying adoration of the Magnificent Bastard. When LJ and Tumblr broke out in torrents of lachrymosity, I was a bit perplexed.
I won't go so far as to use the "manpain" trope, which I did in commenting to some of your reviews immediately after the fact, but whatever pain and anguish Sherlock and John felt in the jumping scene and John felt afterwards, just had no effect on me whatsoever. Why should it. He's not dead. I knew he wasn't going to be dead. I know that eventually John will know he's not dead. And I just don't get that kind of pain over deaths when I'm not actually convinced of the emotional connection, certainly not if it's supposed to based on something deeper than friendship.
Pretty much the only one of those that ever gets me is the end of Captain Jack Harkness on TW. Because I know that CJH is going to be Really Most Sincerely Dead AND because I know how much our Jack really cared. Sherlock faking a death to protect somebody he continually shuts out of all his deepest feelings? Not so much.
I am very glad they didn't do a "partial" reveal a la the end of Game of Shadows. While that worked for the tone of RDJr's Holmes, it would have been dead wrong here, especially because it rubs in the point that Sherlock doesn't/can't trust John enough to let him know. It might be in the name of keeping him safe, BUT if he really had faith in him...why not a little hint? Nothing. Nada. The angst goes on.
So now we get to wait months...years...whatever, just to find out what they will use as the modern-day equivalent of bee-keeping. Enquiring minds want to know.