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Five Things We Want in Sherlock’s Fourth Season

“Sherlock, Series 2 - On MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! - Sundays, May 6, 13, and 20, 2012 at 9pm ET on PBS Photo: Colin Hutton/Hartwood Films

There will be a fourth season of Sherlock eventually. Though probably not for a few years, given how in-demand its various players are and the two years it took to get this recent third installment. No matter, though. The game is afoot, as they say, which means it’s time to make a wish list for what season four ought to entail. (This story assumes you’re up-to-date on all three episodes of this last season of Sherlock; otherwise, proceed with caution.)

Don’t dick us around with Moriarty
In the closing moments of the season’s last episode, “His Last Vow,” a seemingly alive Moriarty’s face popped up on every conceivable screen in London. “Obviously Sherlock Holmes must have a Moriarty,” Sherlock creator Steven Moffat told us on Monday. I don’t mind if he’s alive, and that won’t feel like a real trick since Holmes himself faked his death at the end of season two. (Though it will be more complicated to explain: We never saw Sherlock hit the ground after leaping off the building, but we did see Moriarty seemingly shoot himself in the mouth and lay face-up in a pool of blood. Harder to fake, one assumes.) But if anyone can pull one over on old Sherlock, it’s his grand enemy Moriarty, right? But I want to know right away what the deal is going to be re: Moriarty’s state of life. Alive, dead, alive and pulling puppet strings, dead and pulling puppet strings, preserved head à la Nixon on Futurama — any of these is fine. But let’s get to the knowing as quickly as possible so the show can deal with whatever that means.

Let us see Sherlock play with Watson’s baby
It’ll be cute! We’ve seen Sherlock interact with munchkins here and there — most recently in “The Sign of Three,” bribing the reluctant ring bearer with gruesome crime scene photos — and it was darling, plus there’s always comedic energy in the clash between Sherlock and another being’s emotional needs. His staunch disavowal of most human emotions can only go so far, and we know he’s incredibly devoted to John and now to Mary; it’s not a stretch to think Baby Watson would join this elite group as a person Sherlock cares about.

Bring back the Sherlock fan club from “The Empty Hearse”
It’s nice to think of Sherlock Holmes as the cleverest cleverer who ever clevered, but one fun aspect of the season-three premiere, “The Empty Hearse,” was the elaborate death-defying plots his acolytes came up with. Perhaps it’s time they turned their attention to Moriarty.

Give Molly more to do
Sherlock can be damn cold to Molly Hooper, who’s pretty obviously in love with him. (Even now that she’s said she’s moved on. Well, sort of.) In season three, she got to sub in for Watson for a little while, and it was a role that really suited her, especially now that she’s more confident, more articulate, and more mature. Maybe Molly and Mary could team up to try to outwit Watson and Sherlock? I just don’t want to see her be Daisy from Downton Abbey, smart and capable and cool, and yet somehow absolutely stalled-out professionally and socially.

Have one of the episodes fully explore Mrs. Hudson’s backstory
We know she’s had a bonkers life, at one point married to a murderer (whom Sherlock Holmes helped incarcerate, hence their close bond), and this season we learned she’s a fan of getting high. What else lurks beneath the surface here?

Five Things We Want in Sherlock’s Fourth Season