Sherlock fans have been waiting years for their beloved BBC series to return from its shocking, mind-bending season 3 finale, with only one Christmas special to keep them going in the years between seasons. Luckily, last Sunday night, fans were finally able to watch the first episode of the highly anticipated fourth season. Creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat didn’t waste much time throwing John (Martin Freeman) and Sherlock’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) lives into complete disarray either, with an unexpected ending that sent viewers into near hysteria in the days after.
Now, fans can look forward to this week’s second episode of the season, titled “The Lying Detective,” which will focus on John and Sherlock being forced to take on the villainous Culverton Smith, played by Toby Jones. Then the season will come to an end with a finale episode that’ll apparently be even more thrilling than its two predecessors.
While speaking with TVLine about the fourth season, Gatiss teased what fans can expect from the remaining two episodes of the season. After continuing to tease Jones’ Smith as well, who has been previously called pure “evil,” Gatiss said that there’s more fighting and straight-up action in the season finale, which is titled “The Final Problem,” than he and Moffat have put into an episode in quite some time:
“There is quite a lot of action. Episode 3 is probably more action-packed than we’ve done for a long time, if ever. Definitely more fighting.”
In its best moments, Sherlock is able to blend intelligent detective investigations with pulse-pounding, visceral action set pieces in ways that make its modern setting feel appropriate for the timeless detective. Episodes like “The Reichenbach Fall” or even “The Great Game” are excellent examples of this, which saw Sherlock facing off against Moriarty (Andrew Scott) in ways that tested not only his physical skills and intelligence, but also his moral compass. The result ended up making them both some of the show’s finest episodes to date.
Whether or not “The Final Problem” is able to replicate that same kind of magic will be up to the fans to decide, but it’s no coincidence that the episode will be focused once again around Moriarty vs Sherlock. The finale episode apparently follows Watson and Holmes as they “travel to Europe to escape Moriarty’s vengeance.” The overall fate of Scott’s beloved villain is still unknown, with some fans speculating that he could, in fact, be alive again; others say it’s out of the realm of possibility, and to their credit, neither Moffat nor Gatiss are going to spill the beans. But whether Moriarty’s alive or not doesn’t seem to matter because if Gatiss’ comments prove to be true, then he’ll still be able to bring viewers the kind of pulse-pounding adventure fans expect from Sherlock.
Sherlock season 4 continues with “The Lying Detective” on January 8th, 2017.