Sherlock Season 4 is all set to unfurl the darkest season yet. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) are returning on Sunday, January 1 — both in the U.K. and U.S. — to take on the darkest villain of the series, Culverton Smith (Toby Jones). And James Moriarity (Andrew Scott) — whose ghost continues to overshadow every villain on the series — might also make an appearance on Sherlock Season 4, probably to put an end to all the theories and speculations about him being alive.
Three years ago, in Sherlock Season 3, Sherlock was on a plane, all set to fly off to East Europe to work on a case there. Mycroft (Mark Gatiss) was sending his little brother on a six-month exile after he had murdered Charles Augustus Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen). But Sherlock’s exile lasted just four minutes, as his old nemesis, Moriarty, announced his return.
Moriarty made his appearance in an animated GIF form on the television sets all across the U.K, repeatedly asking “did you miss me.” For Sherlock, the game was once again on. He warned that the East wind was coming.
If he’s back [Moriarty], he’d better wrap up warm, because there is an East Wind coming.
The one-off special episode of Sherlock, titled “The Abominable Bride,” which aired on January 1, 2016, tried to untangle the Moriarty’s return mystery by making a drug-addled Sherlock solve a Victorian-era case in his mind palace. And at the end of the episode, a fully awake lissome detective told Mary and Watson that Moriarty was dead, but he also added that he knew what his arch-enemy was up to, setting off a new round of speculation game.
More importantly, I know exactly what he’s [Moriarty] going to do next.
And Sherlock Season 4 trailer also hints at Moriarty’s continued involvement. It opens with Moriarty’s “miss me” and Sherlock’s ominous warning that something is coming.
Something’s coming. May be it’s Moriarity, may be it’s not. But something’s coming.
Will Moriarty appear in the flesh in Sherlock Season 4? It seems highly unlikely to happen, and there is no twin evil brother in the picture as well. And according to one of the theories floating, he might have set up a posthumous attack on Sherlock and his friends. The premiere episode’s synopsis also talks about Sherlock waiting for Moriarty’s “posthumous” move.
Moreover, Sherlock co-writer Gatiss has confirmed that Moriarty is dead. He told TV Line that they had said several times that Moriarty was dead, but no one ever believed them.
He is dead. We’ve said this many times. No one ever believes us. But he is dead.
He teased that his appearance in Season 3 finale might have something to do with international crime and his followers. And in an interview with Entertainment Weekly (EW), co-writer Steven Moffat said that Moriarity was not the only villain in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, and there were many little-known ones that they had not introduced. He too said that Sherlock’s arch-enemy was dead by Season 2.
Moriarty features in very little of the Sherlock Holmes stories. He’s not the villain very often. He hangs around a bit, but he’s dead by the end of [Season] 2, having had his first-and-only full episode.
He also said that there was no need for a master villain, adding that the introduction of a new villain offered more mysteries to figure out, including their objective, game plan and how Sherlock was going to defeat them.
When you introduce a new villain there’s more mystery about them — what’s their point going to be? What are they up to? How is Sherlock is going to defeat them?
Speaking of the new villain, Moffat said that Sherlock Season 4 bad guy, Culverton, was the “purest evil” character, according to Collider. He said that he was the darkest villain and quite different from the charming and engaging Moriarity, adding that he was not like Magnussen also, who had an amoral and fascinating aura about him.
This guy is the purest evil. Sherlock is actually appalled by him. He’s the most evil villain we’ve had. I don’t think that when you see it, you will disagree. He’s horrific.
Meanwhile, Sherlock Season 4 also introduces Watson and Mary’s (Amanda Abbington) newborn daughter. Gatiss told TV Line that the arrival of the couple’s first child would create a different dynamic, adding that Sherlock would see the newborn as a case.. He, however, added that the show would not revolve around the baby.
Now I must stress, although we have a lot of fun with it, it doesn’t mean that Sherlock has become Two Men, a Woman and a Baby. But we do have fun with it, because there’s fun to be had.
Since the last two years, the creators have been saying that Sherlock Season 4 is the darkest season of the series. They have warned that the famous detective and his sidekick are set to face the consequences of their actions in the new season.
They’re all adrenaline junkies and that’s bound to go wrong. You can’t live your life like that and have it work out forever. There will be consequences for that. You know, it’s not a fairy tale.
Also, Benedict Cumberbatch, as quoted by Collider, has said that Season 4 of Sherlock, which might be his final series, was “myopically” dark.
Myopically dark. You’re talking about the end of the universe darkness. You can’t see in front of you and would walk into everything dark.
The premiere episode of the new season is titled The Six Thatchers, which will show a mysterious perpetrator destroying busts of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The episode may dig up some details about Mary’s past, according to Episode 1 synopsis of Sherlock Season 4.
“In episode one of this new series, written by Mark Gatiss, Sherlock waits to see where Moriarty will make his posthumous move.
“One mysterious case in particular baffles Scotland Yard – but Sherlock is more interested in a seemingly-trivial detail. Why is someone destroying images of the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher? Is there a madman on the loose? Or is there a much darker purpose at work? Something with its roots deep in Mary Watson’s past…”
Watch here the latest official trailer for Sherlock Season 4.
Sherlock Season 4 premieres this Sunday, January 1, on BBC One in the U.K. and on PBS in the U.S.
[Featured Image by Sherlock/BBC One]