I guess I should be used to how zip-lipped everyone involved with Sherlock is between seasons, but I always forget, and then find myself desperately scrabbling around for nuggets of information while I wait for the show to come back. And, luckily for me, one of the nuggets recently dropped into my lap — Sherlock Season 4 is currently filming what sounds like a Moriarty plot line. Now, given, I'm pulling this from absolutely nowhere, because as always, the show's co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss want to give me no information ever and leave me stewing in my own anticipation. All they've given me to work with in this case is that the upcoming season is filming, and in their own words:
Sherlock series four — here we go again! Whatever else we do, wherever we all go, all roads lead back to Baker Street — and it always feels like coming home. Ghosts of the past are rising in the lives of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson bringing adventure, romance and terror in their wake. This is the story we’ve been telling from the beginning. A story about to reach its climax.
No hints as to plot, no subtle character name drops, not even a release date or indication as to how many more seasons we have to look forward to? You're killing me. But I accept your challenge, Moffat and Gatiss. I will spin a complete speculation out of this one teaser, cloaked in vagueries, and it will all center around one man: Jim Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott.
I've been warned before about putting all my eggs in one basket, but I feel pretty strongly that if we're talking about reaching a plot line climax, it's bound to involve Moriarty in some way. Sure, he's supposedly dead, but A. don't think that "ghosts of the past" reference slipped by me, and B. the entire special episode that was "The Abominable Bride" was dedicated to showing us how theoretically easy it would be for someone to fake their own death. And while I would have loved the episode either way, I find it hard to believe that Moffat and Gatiss would have just thrown a complete curveball in there for no reason, in the form of a special episode with no connection to the plot of the existing show. That doesn't sound like them to me.
So I suspect that when Sherlock Season 4 premieres — supposedly around January 2017 — we're going to see the physical return of everyone's favorite villain. I don't know if it will be in flashbacks, or if we find out that Sherlock Holmes has been in a drug-induced hallucination this whole time, or if Moriarty was straight faking his own death, or what, but I'm making a bet right now that we're going to see him, and it's going to be in a big way. A way that finally gives us closure on his story arc, while simultaneously opening up a whole new can of worms for us to stress about in these dry spells between new episodes.
Images: BBC; Giphy