Will 'Sherlock' Season 4 Bring Moriarty Back? Holmes Will Likely Face his Greatest Foe Again

The fourth season of Sherlock is still miles and miles away from returning to our television and (let's be honest) computer screens (tear!), but we are already getting hints from the cast and creators about the new season, as well as scouring for clues from the previous episodes. The show's creator, Steven Moffat, has already threatened that Sherlock Season 4 will be the "most devastating yet," but while he always seems to threaten something along those lines with his shows (this includes Doctor Who), that doesn't mean he's lying. In fact, it just means that Sherlock Season 4 could actually break my heart into many unfixable pieces. And my theory is that the only villain who could actually bring this much destruction to my heart is Jim Moriarty. That's right, the guy who shot himself in the Season 2 finale of Sherlock returned at the end of Season 3 in his own peculiar, clever, obnoxious, and creepy fashion. Computer screens around England flashed with his face and a text and sound that just read and said "Did You Miss Me?" Does that mean Moriarty could return for Sherlock Season 4?

As weird as it sounds, I actually kind of did miss Andrew Scott's insane Moriarty. He brought some fantastic villainy to the series. To be fair, Charles Magnussen was also a brilliant villain in Season 3. But there was just something about Moriarty that felt so… absolutely perfect, as far as villainy goes. Perhaps it's because Moriarty has always been Sherlock Holmes' most famous villain, his perfect foil, consulting criminal to his consulting detective. The show felt slightly incomplete when he died. But I truly hope that he will return, hopefully in his full human form.

Think about it, Sherlock faked his own death, why couldn't his nemesis? And what kind of show is one about Sherlock Holmes without his most famous villain? Even Moffat told Vulture that "obviously Sherlock Holmes must have a Moriarty," and he also revealed that he and his fellow writers have planned out Moriarty's arc since Season 2. That must mean that Jim will be back for real, right?

Another theory is that the person we saw at the end of Season 3 was not Moriarty at all, and is in fact a copycat or whoever Moriarty was working with. Does the name Sebastian Moran ring a bell to anyone? Moran has already appeared on the other Sherlock Holmes show currently on television, Elementary, as the employee of Moriarty. He was described in the Sherlock Holmes book series as the "second most dangerous man in in London," with Moriarty being the first.

Considering how Sherlock has already flipped quite a bit of the Sherlock Holmes literature on its head (as has Elementary for that matter), it's possible that Moran and Moriarty were working in tandem and that he is fulfilling the dead Moriarty's last wishes. Or perhaps Moriarty is still alive and is pulling Moran's strings while everyone, including Sherlock, panics about his alive or dead status. That also seems like a very Moriarty-esque plan.

Whatever happens, I think it's safe to say Moriarty isn't going anywhere, whether that's the physical man himself or a representation of him from another person. No matter what form he's in, there's no doubt in my mind that he will be responsible for Moffat's threatened devastation in the lives of everyone we love on Sherlock.

Images: PBS; hermionemollycharliepond/Tumblr; Rebloggy