Sherlock season 4, Episode 1: Did Mary fake Moriarty’s ‘return’?

Spoilers for Sherlock series 4, episode 1.

Not a full summary, just points and theories!

Theory: Mary is Moriarty:

Not literally of course, but I suspect that Mary faked Moriarty’s return.

Mary knew that, when Sherlock got on the plane at the end of season 3, it was likely a one way trip. She also knew how broken John was the last time Sherlock ‘died.’

Mary must have suspected that her past would catch up with her eventually. If it did, and Mary died, she wanted Sherlock to be around to pick up the pieces. Her solution? Create the return of Moriarty, and give Mycroft a reason to get Sherlock off that plane. That way, if anything happened to her, John would still have one of the most important people in his life.

Mary was certainly smart enough to pull something like this off, given her background. The CD that Sherlock received at the end, with ‘Miss me,’ written on it, could be a hint to what she did, rather than purely being designed to get Sherlock’s attention.


That CD message from Mary:

Mary knows that Sherlock has been paying little attention to their family. He was even on his phone during the Christening.

Mary also knows how much Sherlock hates an unsolved case. Therefore her wording on her video is no coincidence. She knows that, if she says that she is giving him a case, Sherlock will actually work on it.

After the credits, the video continues, and Mary tells Sherlock to go to hell.

She doesn’t sound malicious, more like she is stating a fact. Mary knows that Sherlock’s idea of hell is anything which involves sentiment. The case that she has given him is his own personal version of hell.

John and the red head:

John has always liked the ladies. None of John’s past relationships lasted though, because he was too occupied by hanging out with Sherlock. Casual relationships suited John, and their lifestyle, much better.


John and Mary were a lot closer before Mary shot Sherlock, and her lies were revealed. After this, a distance developed between them, which seems to continue in series 4.

When their daughter cries, John seems fed up. Perhaps family life is harder than he imagined it would be. At this hour, if Sherlock called, John would be out of bed and running around the streets of London with enthusiasm. His family doesn’t seem to inspire the same joy as danger does.

John is feeling unappreciated too. Mary phones John whilst he is on cases, and she can engage with Sherlock on his level. When she shows up at one, Sherlock admits that Mary is more useful sometimes. Sherlock also talked to a balloon for hours, and didn’t notice that John had left the room. No wonder John is feeling left behind and undervalued. Flirting has always come easy to him, so when the opportunity presents itself, he does not away the chance to feel appreciated.

John’s anger at Sherlock:

John did not see Mary throw herself in front of a bullet meant for Sherlock. He also didn’t see Sherlock wind up Norbury with his deductions, so much so that she fired her gun.

If Sherlock left well alone, the police could have diffused the situation without shots being fired. Of course, Sherlock being Sherlock, never knows when to stop.

John arrives after Mary has been shot. Mary says that John was her whole world, and John feels terrible. John only blames Sherlock because he is angry at himself over his affair. He wants someone to blame, and Sherlock is an easy victim because of the vow that he made.

John doesn’t want Sherlock’s help:

If John’s anger is misdirected, why doesn’t he want Sherlock around?

It is because of the redhead. We are only shown text messages, but I think that it may have gone further than that. Just before Sherlock texted them about the aquarium, John looked like he was about to confess his affair to Mary.

John never had a chance to come clean, and Sherlock would deduce what John had been up to the moment that he looked at him.

John knows this, therefore he knows that he needs to keep Sherlock at arms length to keep his affair secret whilst he grieves.

The case:

The clever cases were what drew me to Sherlock in the first place. The intricacy of the ‘Blind Banker,’ the serial killer in ‘A Study in Pink,’ the fun of Baskerville. We had that a little in season 4, episode 1, but even Sherlock seemed like he was getting bored with his cases. Most of them were solved by text! This episode didn’t seem as clever.


Perhaps that was the point though? This episode seemed more about building Mary up to bow out of the show.


Mycroft calls a number, that he appears to have on speed dial, and he asks to be put through to Sherrinford.

The call appears to have been scheduled in advance, if the 13th on the fridge is anything to go by. The reminder is hidden behind a takeaway leaflet, as if Mycroft would rather forget about it. There are rumours that Sherrinford is the other brother that Mycroft mentioned in season 3, episode 3.

I am looking forward to the next episode. Perhaps we will find out the role that Sherrinford will play, and hopefully, we will see Sherlock and Mycroft interact some more. I think those moments are my favourite in the entire show. Hopefully, John will come around again too, although I have a feeling that things will get a lot worse before they get better.

My next blog post will be part of the 52 week writing challenge, and I will cover the next episode of Sherlock towards the end of next week!

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s