Several people have pointed out that it was strange for Sherlock to call Watson rather than to text. Personally, I’m willing to accept that, half just because it would’ve been so much less dramatic in texts. Plus, Sherlock needed to be able to stress the importance of John standing in a certain place. What bothers me is most everything that was said in the conversation. So buckle up tight, because I have a feeling this might be a long one..
The first thing that popped out at me was that Sherlock said, “This phone call – it’s, er … it’s my note. It’s what people do, don’t they – leave a note?” I’m aware that some other people have pointed out that Sherlock doesn’t know how people behave and thus this line is strange, but that is not my point for I think Sherlock gets people better than we seem to think (how else could he understand people well enough to solve cases?).
What I find confusing is that he’s intentionally acting like a normal person. Sherlock hates the idea of acting normal! At first, I dismissed this as Sherlock trying to convince John he is normal, a fraud. But then why would he ask for confirmation that this was what normal people did? He would want to appear as though he already knew! So maybe he’s trying to tip John off to the fact that he is not actually a fraud? But then what’s the point of telling him that he is in the first place? I am not certain on why he did it - I am better at observing than coming up with theories (because so many are possible and I still feel like I’m missing so much evidence). But my guess would be that he knows that John is currently too emotional to realize what he’s saying but later, when the sniper isn’t watching him, he could figure it out.
The second thing that hit me was their conversation about when they first met.
JOHN: Okay, shut up, Sherlock, shut up. The first time we met … the first time we met, you knew all about my sister, right?
SHERLOCK: Nobody could be that clever.
JOHN: You could.
(Sherlock laughs and gazes down at his friend, a tear dripping from his chin.)
SHERLOCK: I researched you. Before we met I discovered everything that I could to impress you.
But recall when they first met. Sherlock didn’t know all about John’s sister! He thought that Harry was a boy, John’s brother. If he’d researched him and wanted to impress him, then why would he have made a silly mistake like that? Of course, there was also not a lot that Sherlock could’ve said as an alibi for that, and John seemed to have forgotten. But, again, perhaps Sherlock intentionally didn’t fill in that piece of the puzzle so that John could later figure it out when he wasn’t so emotional.
The next thing that popped out at me was this: “The newspapers were right all along. I want you to tell Lestrade; I want you to tell Mrs Hudson, and Molly … in fact, tell anyone who will listen to you that I created Moriarty for my own purposes.” But (and correct me if I’m wrong) I don’t think that they have actually published the article saying that Sherlock is a fraud yet. And, even if they have, they definitely haven’t been saying it “all along”. In fact, “all along” they have been saying how amazing the super-sleuth Sherlock is until very recently, if at all. Of course, John knows about the story that is meant to come out, so he would interpret the comment as being about that article, because Sherlock then followed up by saying that he “created Moriarty for [his] own purposes.” But maybe Sherlock was hoping that, later, he would realize this wasn’t what they’d been saying all along and Sherlock was actually confirming that he was a ‘super-sleuth’ rather than a fraud.
Don’t worry, I’m almost done, this is the last thing:
JOHN: Why are you saying this?
(Sherlock turns back to look down at him. His voice breaks.)
SHERLOCK: I’m a fake.
Sherlock did not seem like he was actually answering John but rather having an emotional meltdown, as is expected before someone commits suicide. But Sherlock knew he wasn’t actually going to kill himself and I, personally, believe that Sherlock hears everything and says everything for a reason. So what if it actually was an answer to the question? Obviously, he’s not saying he was a fake through out the whole of every case, because he would not tell John that he invented Moriarty because he’s a fake. Plenty of fakes don’t confess, and they certainly don’t confess for no other reason than that they are a fake.
A much more likely meaning of his words, if they are an answer to the question, is that he is saying all of this because he is a fake right then: he is faking the conversation. Everything he says about inventing Moriarty is fake, a lie. Also, the allusions to committing suicide are equally false. Again, something John probably won’t think about in the moment - that it’s more than just being emotional. But Sherlock’s entire personality could not be fake. If it was, John would know seeing as how they spend so much time together - I mean, they even share a flat, so of course they spend all their leisure time together! So, yet again, this is something that John might figure out after the fact, especially if he put together the other clues and knows that Sherlock is not a fake.
Hey, know how I said at the beginning I didn’t actually have a grand theory, just observations? Well, I started to realize the pattern in my own words, and put together an actual theory for you lot :)
I’m sure some of you have put it together before I did, but if not, then here it is: Sherlock wants John to figure it out. Sherlock has, presumably, already told Molly, Mrs. Hudson, and Mycroft that it was a faux-suicide. So why is John, the only other person he’s truly close to (save maybe Lestrade, arguably) the only one he didn’t tell?
Do you remember during The Great Game how Sherlock had John working on the case of the stolen missile plans? He was doing it himself, but he waited for John to put together the evidence himself before coming in to finish it. He wanted John to learn how to observe and deduce, as he did. So maybe it’s the same kind of thing again? Maybe Sherlock wanted John to piece together that he’d faked his death, and so gave him as many clues as possible disguised as a suicide note.
For, if John pieced it together, Sherlock essentially told him everything, save how he did it (and he made clear in The Great Game that he doesn’t see the point in proving things): This is not actually Sherlock’s suicide note, there’s something else John has to find in it. Also, he did not make things up when he first met John - he has never lied to him, well before now (and thus the apology). The press was right, he is actually a super-sleuth, not a fake. And he faked his death, it was just a magic trick.
Or am I just off my rocker?
(Credit to http://arianedevere.livejournal.com/31651.html for the pieces of the script I used)