The teasers for Sherlock‘s fourth season have certainly been focusing on the darkest possible elements. Happy Holidays and glad tidings they are most certainly not (despite the delightful tease of seeing Sherlock interacting with the Watsons’ baby). A mysterious teaser a few weeks ago showed Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Holmes and Martin Freeman‘s Watson sitting pensively in a rising tide of water. This installment, which Cumberbatch has described as “myopically dark,” looks like it will test our characters’ mightily.
In this latest trailer, a new villain — Culverton Smith, played by Toby Jones and known as one of Sherlock’s greatest foes — asks Sherlock some very Moriarty-like questions about what the worst thing is he can do to his friends, and alludes to his darkest secret. As I’ve stated in previous write-ups for this season, I tend to love Sherlock the most when it’s a little more jolly and full of witty repartee, not mired in extreme darkness. I genuinely love these characters and don’t like seeing them suffer — so many shows mistake misery for drama, but it can also come from joy. I’m hoping this is a turning point in the show, and not an end point (Season 5 is reportedly happening with everyone on board, so there’s that). Check out the new teaser below:
— Sherlock (@Sherlock221B) December 10, 2016
Probably the most important moment for most fans though is that Sherlock tells someone he loves them. Could it be Watson? Yes he’s standing behind him, but I can absolutely see Sherlock not being comfortable enough to say it to his face. I don’t think it’s a romantic declaration, no — slash fictioners calm down — but I think it’s an acknowledgement of their friendship, and it seems like it’s right before Sherlock is going to try and sacrifice himself or just before some terrible secret is revealed that will shock John to his core.
The problem is I feel like this is ground we’ve trod upon before. I mean, Sherlock once faked his own death after all. John has been sent into many a downward spiral by Sherlock before, and I really hope that the dynamic changes up this time around. In Moffat we trust?
Sherlock Season 4 debuts both in the UK and in the US on January 1st, and its final episode will have a theatrical debut.