You have to imagine me holding up my hands and wiggling my fingers for this next part, Anon:
~ * It’s a magic trick! * ~
I’m only slightly kidding when I say that. Sherlock was very much in magician-mode during his fake death, and switching places with your lovely assistant is such a classic magic trick that it borders on stereotype.
Precisely how did Sherlock perform the trick? Can’t tell you. No evidence to go on to establish his exact method.
But one thing you’ll notice about me as you read this blog is that I tend to care a lot more about whether something happened than the how. Because if something didn’t happen, it doesn’t matter if there’s a possible how—it still didn’t happen. And if something did happen but I can’t explain how, that doesn’t mean I get to ignore the fact that it happened.
So I don’t actually worry that much about the specifics of how Sherlock pulled off the switch. They’ll show us when it’s time. For now, the important thing is that it definitely happened.
And I know you weren’t doubting, Anon, but while we’re on the subject… It did happen. It wasn’t a production error. I’m fine with calling things production errors when I think that’s all they are.
With the body swap, though, we had bloodied-up Sherlock on the trolley one minute, and some other guy on the trolley the next.
And they repositioned the other guy completely from how Sherlock was positioned, including folding his arms and turning his face out to the street side.
And they even gave us more than one clear comparison shot of the soles of Sherlock’s shoes earlier, then put fake!Sherlock in a shoe with a heel.
And they went as far as having one of the Homeless Network crew run back and stick his hand in front of fake!Sherlock’s face. Note that he didn’t reach out to help move the trolley as it might appear at first glance. If you do as the friendly traffic cone suggests and slow down, you can see that he’s actually holding his hand in front of fake!Sherlock’s face as they make the turn, and that’s all he’s doing. If the shot had actually been any sort of accident, they wouldn’t have directed the actor to do that.
And then there’s the most damning evidence—the shot exists. Why else did we need those 2 seconds? We really didn’t. It’s not what John’s seeing, so that’s not the point. It doesn’t make us feel like Sherlock’s any more dead than he was a few seconds ago, so that’s not the point. There’s nothing about the movement of the trolley that’s a surprise based on where they were taking it when we saw them last, so that’s not the point. It doesn’t even show enough to prove they really went inside the hospital, so that’s not the point. That shot was only there for us to see that Sherlock wasn’t on the trolley anymore.