‘Sherlock’ Season 4 Episode 2: Sherlock, Watson’s Rift Continues As They Take On New Villain [Spoilers]

Anshu Shrivastava

Sherlock Season 4 opened with Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) deciding to wait for Moriarty’s (Andrew Scott) posthumous lethal move, but the deceased villain never showed up in the premiere episode, titled “The Six Thatchers.” It was Mary’s (Amanda Abbington) show that unfolded on Sherlock Season 4 Episode 1, which aired on New Year’s day.

Amanda Abbington as Mary Watson in Sherlock Season 4.
Sherlock to face consequences of his show off in Sherlock Season 2 Episode 4. [Image by Sherlock/BBC One]

And her show ended on a tragic note. Mary died after taking a bullet, fired by Vivian Norbury, to protect Sherlock. After her death, she assigned Sherlock probably the hardest case of his life. She asked him to save Watson (Martin Freeman) who had blocked his best friend from his life after her death, saying that he would rather have anyone else help but Sherlock.

“Save John Watson. Save him, Sherlock. Save him.”

Sherlock had taken a vow to protect Mary, Watson and their child in the previous season, and he failed to keep his promise. Instead, it was Mary who died while protecting him. According to Sherlock‘s co-creators, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, Mary’s death is going to “reset” Sherlock and Watson’s friendship.

In Episode 2 of Sherlock Season 4, titled “The Lying Detective,” Mary’s “Save John” case would be explored further, Moffat told Entertainment Weekly(EW). And the two best friends are unlikely to be their old selves anytime soon. The co-creator said that the rift between Sherlock and Watson would not end in the second episode of the season.

We take that rift head-on in the remainder of the [season]. We don’t ignore it. We don’t have John come back and say, ‘Well I’ve thought about it and it’s all fine.’ If anything, the rift gets worse. We decided if we were doing this we’re doing grief properly. We were doing the consequences properly.

He also said that it was Sherlock’s lifestyle that got Mary killed as it was his show off that riled up Norbury, making her pull the trigger. He would have to face consequences of that. Episode 2 is set to introduce a new creepy villain, but the focus continues to be on the aftermath of Mary’s death.

“There’s a big villain to fight. But front and center are the consequence of Mary’s death and Sherlock’s culpability. He could have done better, it’s his lifestyle that killed her in the end.”

The rift between Sherlock and Watson, however, is not going to stop them from teaming up to take on the “most despicable” human alive, Culverton Smith (Toby Jones). “The Lying Detective” introduces this season’s bad man, who has been declared, by the creators, the darkest evil man of the series.

Sherlock Season 4's main antagonist Culverton Smith seen in the photo.
In Sherlock Season 4 Episode 2, Sherlock faces the most chilling enemy of his long career. [Image by Sherlock/BBC One]

The promo of Sherlock Season 2 Episode 2 shows Watson standing right behind Sherlock when he comes face to face with the creepily smiling Culverton. The lissome detective calls him the monster who must be ended. And according to the synopsis of “The Lying Detective,” this monster comes with his share of dark secrets. The promo text says that it is not a game anymore, hinting that this adversary is not in the same league as Moriarty but much more dangerous than him.

Sherlock faces perhaps the most chilling enemy of his long career: the powerful and seemingly unassailable Culverton Smith – a man with a very dark secret indeed.

Over the last two years, there has been much talk about Sherlock Season 4 being the darkest season. If one thinks that the creators were talking about Mary’s death and the sun will be shining brighter in Episode 2, they wouldn’t be more wrong about that. Moffat told EW that Episode 2 was the darkest one they had ever done, though the episode would not be devoid of fun moments.

“We showed episode 2 to some people and though it’s the darkest one we’ve ever done there were still people laughing.”

Watch the promo video of Sherlock Season 4 Episode 2:

Sherlock Season 4 Episode 2, titled “The Lying Detective,” airs on PBS (U.S.) and BBC One (U.K.) on January 8.

[Featured Image by Sherlock/BBC One]