Moriarty's hostages are the set of five people who were taken hostage by Jim Moriarty. The hostages, taken from all over the country, were kidnapped by Moriarty's associates and forced into semtex vests surrounded by explosives. Once prepared, the hostages were instructed to contact Sherlock and read him the messages that Moriarty relayed to them. The hostages could do nothing but sit and wait for Sherlock to solve a puzzle in a set time limit or they would not survive the game.
The game between Moriarty and Sherlock began when Moriarty set off a bomb across the street from 221B Baker Street which blew out the entire front wall of the building as well as 221B's windows, knocking Sherlock off his feet.
Sherlock was unharmed and informed John that it was a gas explosion. They were later called New Scotland Yard where Lestrade told them that it was a bomb which was made to look like a gas explosion. Inside the building the police found a strong box containing a replica of Jennifer Wilson's pink phone.
The crying lady was the first hostage of Moriarty's in the episode. She phoned Sherlock on the replica pink phone, whilst he was inside 221C Baker Street. Upon answering, it was made obvious that she was reading a message sent by a third party. She urged Sherlock to solve the puzzle in 12 hours or the explosive vest she was wearing would be detonated. Sherlock believed that the five pips meant that he would be required to solve five challenges.
The case that Sherlock had to work on to save her was the case of Carl Powers. After figuring out how Carl died, Sherlock posted the answer to the case on his website and was given directions to where the woman was.
The scared man is seen standing in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, visibly distressed. He is also wearing an explosive vest jacket, with a sniper primed to detonate it at a moment's notice. He gives Sherlock eight hours to solve the case of Ian Monkford. After solving the case, Sherlock notifies Moriarty via his website, and the scared man is freed by emergency services.
An elderly lady calls Sherlock and gives him twelve hours to solve the new case, which "is a funny one". She is blind, and receives messages from Moriarty through an earplug, rather than reading them. The case is about the murder of Connie Prince, a television makeover artist. Sherlock solves this case before the deadline, and the blind lady calls him back to tell him where she is. However, she is killed by the sniper when she begins to describe Moriarty's voice, saying, "it was so soft". The blast, attributed to a gas leak, kills the blind lady and eleven of her neighbours.
The little boy calls at the end of the case, giving Sherlock a countdown from ten in which to find the fault in the lost Vermeer painting. His young age causes consternation to all those gathered apart from Sherlock. After Sherlock solves the case, he sounds scared and lost, asking for someone to help him.
Dr John Watson
- Main article: John Watson (Freeman)
John is kiddnapped last, on his way to meet Sarah, when Moriarty was asked to "play at the pool at midnight". He wears in a semtex vest, with snipers aiming at him, much like the other hostages. The difference is that he met Sherlock face-to-face, and the dialogue Moriarty feeds him at first makes it seem as if John is Moriarty. He also offers to sacrifice himself for Sherlock by blowing himself and Moriarty up, but backs off when he sees a sniper rifle aimed at Sherlock's head.