Sherlock has been a huge hit of a series on both the British and American sides of the pond ever since it first hit the airwaves. The modern adaptation of classic Sherlock Holmes stories features a killer cast working with masterfully twisty and turn-y scripts from the mind of Steven Moffat. He has written or co-written eight of the thirteen episodes that have been produced so far. When asked if there was one script he considers his greatest, Moffat had this to say:
Normally I answer "A Scandal In Belgravia," which I kind of think is the best thing I've ever written. But "The Final Problem" (co-written with Mark [Gatiss]) might be edging ahead. Let's see what you all think...
"A Scandal in Belgravia" is undoubtedly one of the most memorable episodes of Sherlock that has aired so far, so Steven Moffat's pride in the installment isn't too surprising. He introduced the character of Irene Adler, sent Sherlock and John to Buckingham Palace, and pulled off a fun switcheroo that turned what was seemingly a bummer of an ending into one of Moffat's most successful "Gotcha!" moves. It was only the fourth episode of Sherlock, and so viewers hadn't necessarily learned to expect the unexpected from anything penned by Moffat.
"The Final Problem," on the other hand, is a much more intriguing answer, since it will be the third and final episode of Sherlock Season 4. Not much is known about it at this point, although Benedict Cumberbatch has shared that the end of Season 4 feels like the "end of an era" and that it will be "pretty hard to follow on immediately." That said, Sherlock has pulled off the impossible before. The Season 2 finale seemed to kill off both Sherlock and his nemesis Moriarty; Sherlock was revealed to have somehow survived by the end of the episode, and the series never really confirmed how it is that he pulled it off.
We can bet that whatever happens will be big, but probably not so big that the show can't come back at some point. Given that the title clearly alludes to the Sherlock Holmes short story "The Final Problem" that featured a showdown of Holmes vs. Moriarty, it's likely that the episode will involve Moriarty in some fashion.
Steven Moffat shared his pride in "The Final Problem" in a post on the PBS Tumblr page, and it should be enough to get Sherlock fans excited about what's to come in the new year. Actress Amanda Abbington has revealed that Season 4 will be the darkest Sherlock season to date, so we shouldn't expect three episodes of laughs and levity. Luckily, we don't have too much longer to wait, as the Season 4 premiere will air in the U.S. and the U.K. on January 1, 2017. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can look forward to on the small screen in the near future.