'Sherlock's Steven Moffat Threatens Season 4 Will Be "Devastating," But That's What He Always Says

I think Steven Moffat measures success in tears. That became clear to the masses who've watched Doctor Who and Sherlock years ago, of course, but it's a motif that keeps repeating itself, as it did Monday night after he won his Emmy for writing Sherlock's "His Last Vow," when Moffat told the press room that Sherlock Season 4 will be "devastating." As The Hollywood Reporter relays:

We have a plan to top [Season 3] — and actually I do think our plan is devastating. We practically reduced our cast to tears by telling them the plan. Honestly, Mark [Gatiss] and myself are so excited with what we’ve got coming up, probably more excited than we’ve ever been about Sherlock. Honestly I think we can [top the last season].

This would be alarming — or maybe just exciting — if it weren't for the fact that this is how Moffat's talked about every season of Sherlock except the first one. Hell, it even seems like how he's talked about every season of Doctor Who. This is de rigueur for Moffat: Weave tales of catastrophe early on, promise to trump whatever emotional magic tricks he pulled last season, and then eventually deliver something that will be a bit melodramatic and critically divisive, much like Sherlock Season 3's finale.

As for what devastation could possibly lie in store for the Sherlock audience... well, there are a couple. But given that we've already dealt with the separation (or potential separation) of our Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in two consecutive season finales, I've got one leading theory — and it's not too happy an ending for Amanda Abbington's Mary Morstan/Watson. She doesn't exactly survive the books, and considering the story where she just like casually dies was published over a hundred years ago, I'm not even going to consider that a spoiler.

But you can bet that if Moffat and Gatiss are looking for a means for devastation, finding a more dramatic way to off Mary Morstan — who just had a baby with John last season — is at the top of their list.

Image: BBC