The game is on once again! Or at least it will be when Sherlock Season 4 premieres in 2017. However, that extended wait time doesn't mean we won't be getting any spoiler-ific hints in the meantime — in fact, the cast has started filming the show, and series creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are already teasing the new season. In a press release on PBS' website, the duo promised, "Ghosts of the past are rising in the lives of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson and terror and tragedy are looming. This is the story we’ve been telling from the beginning and it’s about to reach its climax."
Now, don't go panicking about that "climax" bit just yet. No one has confirmed that Season 4 will be the last season of Sherlock, so this could simply mean the climax of this chapter of Sherlock's story — especially if Moriarty did escape death somehow. The more worrying part right now is that whole "tragedy" part, actually. "Tragedy" suggests death, and death suggests all the tears. So, I've gotta ask: Is someone going to die in Season 4 of Sherlock?
Sherlock has a small cast, and because of that it is impossible not to get attached to the characters. From Molly to Mrs. Hudson, they are all beloved. If one of them is a goner — for real this time — then Season 4 could be extra intense. Assuming Sherlock and John are safe because unless this is the end proper they can't go anywhere, here are the characters who could be in danger in Sherlock Season 4 from the most likely to the least.
Sweet, brilliant Molly Hooper helped Sherlock fake his death in Season 2 and Sherlock finally began to show her the respect she deserves as a result. Given that Molly is an original character for the show and one whose death Sherlock would take personally, she could be in danger — especially if Moriarty is back. Moriarty dated Molly to get closer to Sherlock, and he is probably a bit miffed that Molly helped Sherlock avoid death.
I would like to say this one is impossible on the grounds that John and Mary have been through enough, but Mary's colorful history and the Sherlock literary canon mean she could very well meet an untimely end. Mary and John were expecting their first child at the end of Series 3, and the pair were finally happy again after John got over the shock of finding out about Mary's past. Unfortunately, Mary dies in the Arthur Conan Doyle books, making her a prime suspect for the season's upcoming tragedy.
On the hand, Mary just joined the show last season and she is a wonderful, fun character. Would Moffat let her go so fast?
Sherlock and his brother don't have the best relationship, but Sherlock would not handle his loss well. In fact, if someone murdered his brother, Sherlock would no doubt enter into scorched earth mode. Those family ties may be fragile, but they are ties none the less.
Oh, dear Mrs. Hudson. Her life has been put in danger more than once over the years, but she is such a kind and funny presence on the show, I can't imagine her dying. If the show did kill off Mrs. Hudson, fans might just go into permanent morning and both Sherlock and John would be a complete mess.
Lestrade's line of work is naturally dangerous and his death could be presented as a one-off mystery. He's just close enough to Sherlock for his death to carry weight, but not so close that his loss would put a complete pall over the season. What makes Lestrade a less likely candidate is that he plays an important role in connecting Sherlock and John to the official police department. Without him they can't really be consulting detectives anymore.
If they bring Irene back just to kill her, that would be a total waste of a legendary character. I'm going to assume she is safe, because otherwise, I will have to flip my desk over.
Here's hoping the Season 4 tragedy doesn't lead to the loss of a beloved character — but just in case it does you have until 2017 to stock up on tissues.
Image: BBC; Giphy (6)