‘Sherlock’ Season 4 Spoilers: What’s Up With John, The Redhead, And Those Texts?

Sherlock Season 4 premiered over the weekend, and there’s a lot to digest. This article will be full of references to what happened in that episode, so if you haven’t watched it and don’t want to know what happened, stop reading right now. You’ve been warned. Otherwise, scroll down below the picture, and let’s talk.

Oh my god. Just watched the first episode of season 4, and I'm like.. ????????

A photo posted by Sherlock (@sherlocked_bbc) on

There’s so much to digest from the new season premiere. Among those things, of course, is the death of John’s wife Mary, which is getting mixed reviews from critics and viewers. But also worth discussing is John’s flirtation with the redhead he met on the bus. And then there are all those texts. What’s up with that? Did Watson have an affair? Well, keep in mind that when it comes to Sherlock, things are not always what they seem. So maybe what we think we’re seeing isn’t really what we’re seeing. Maybe we’ve made assumptions we should not have made. When you take a closer look, some of it begins to make more sense, or at least it presents some more plausible possibilities regarding what’s going on.

Let’s talk about those texts first. Here’s the content of one of the text exchanges we saw from Watson’s end, starting with one he received. The ones he sent are in bold.

“It’s been too long.

I know. Sorry.

Miss you.

You’re up late.

Or early.

Night owl?


Flirtatious? Possibly. Or maybe not. Maybe we’re making some assumptions we shouldn’t make. Radio Times reported on a theory by Tumblr user bienedict that suggests something different.

The Sherlock Season 4 premiere began with several scenes that included Holmes doing lots of texting. While heavy use of his phone is not something new, in hindsight, maybe the emphasis on it in the opening scenes was intentional and meant as a hint at what was to come. When Watson decides to save the mystery woman’s name in his phone, he enters “E” as the Contact Name. During the scene that includes the text exchange that is shown above, we never see the Contact Name.

What if John isn’t texting E from bed? What if he is instead texting Sherlock? Think about it. Instead of being flirtatious, it could just be Holmes’ wit in the texts. And we know he doesn’t sleep much. And if it were Sherlock and not E, it would add to the underlying attraction between Holmes and Watson that so many have detected and commented on.

Sherlock. #????

A photo posted by Sherlock (@sherlocked_bbc) on

If this is the case, then John may not be guilty of an extramarital affair. Throughout Sherlock, Watson has always been loyal. Yes, he is a bit of a flirt, but he is loyal. He’s been through thick and thin with Holmes but has remained loyal to him, and he has never done anything that would indicate he is likely to cheat on Mary.

So who is E? We may have gotten a hint about that in the last scene that includes both John and E. Vanity Fair notes that in that scene, E is sitting next to an ad for a reality television series titled “Business Killer.” It features the face of this season’s new villain, business mogul Culverton Smith, who will be played by Toby Jones. Is E connected with Smith? Is she trying to connect with Watson to get to Sherlock? Or could it be worse? Could she have some connection with Moriarty?

The latest episode of Sherlock left us with many questions, and the closer you look at it, the more questions arise. The next episode will air on PBS on January 8 at 9 p.m. ET.

[Featured Image by BBC One]