Sherlock: bringing back Moriarty is a mistake

Sorry, but the final moments of Sherlock felt like a bit of a cop out to me, says Mark Jefferies

By now, as you read this, the internet and Twitter will be in some kind of Sherlock frenzy.


The fabulous third episode had lots of twists and turns, and ended with the apparent return of James Moriarty.

If he really is back, it means Sherlock and Watson will spend the next series trying to hunt him down. It also means our hero is not being sent off to Eastern Europe on a trip where he could have been killed. He will be back in the old routine.

The cheers at the Bafta screening last week told me fans loved the return from the dead of Moriarty. But for me it felt a bit like deja vu.

Now I fear we may have up to two years of speculation about ‘how Moriarty survived’ just like we did with Sherlock before. 

Moriarty blew his head off with a gun, or at least we thought he did, and I would have preferred it to have stayed that way. Bringing him back feels like a step backwards to me.

I really enjoyed the new evil baddie Charles Augustus Magnussen in His Last Vow, he felt good enough to be in a Hollywood film. Why can’t we have more enemies for Sherlock in that vein?

Don’t get me wrong, Andrew Scott, who plays Jim Moriarty, is brilliant but I just didn’t expect him back and didn’t want him back.

I appreciate everything is not always what it seems in Sherlock but it feels like the goalposts are moving and they have rewritten the rules.

I guess Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis ultimately agreed with Moriarty when he told Sherlock in The Reichenbach Fall: “Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain. You need me, or you’re nothing.”

Only time will tell if it’s a mistake, but why they felt they had to do it remains a mystery to me.

Mark Jefferies is Showbiz Editor of the Daily Mirror

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