Despite being one of the all-time greatest character dramas, I’d be willing to argue that Mad Men’s real contribution to the arts will be its non-teaser teasers. Do you want to see characters you love saying and doing things that seem to have no ramifications or justification, and are also wildly out of context? Here’s a thing for you. Do you want to watch a video that gives you actual information about the upcoming show/season? Tough shit.
Which is to say, the teaser for the fourth season of Sherlock tells us approximately nothing. How much nothing? Let’s investigate.
1) Moriarty is back.
2) Something is coming.
3) It actually might not be Moriarty. It could be someone else entirely. (Not new information strictly, but nice to keep in mind.)
4) Sherlock has looked better.
5) Mary Watson can pull off a mean Carrie Mathison.
6) Seriously, something’s coming.
7) No one insults like Mrs. Hudson. Do not cross her.
8) Despite his worse than average condition, no one sasses like Sherlock.
But that could also all be taken out of context and not mean anything, right? The crazy nurses are a drug-induced hallucination Sherlock is having, right? So we know the overall tone is intended to be darker than the previous seasons, but we have little idea of how much of that’s a function of the promo or a reflection of the season. We also seem to know that Sherlock is spending a not-insignificant amount of time cracking-up. Which means the most important thing we learned about this season is that it should probably be Sherlock’s last.
Listen, don’t give me that look. I love Sherlock. I’ve watched most of the episodes a hundred times (yeah, “Blind Banker,” we didn’t invite you to the party). I put it on when I’m cleaning and pretend Cumberbatch is narrating my life. But we can only jump between heartbreakingly horrible and upbeat caper fun so many times before it starts to get really old. We can’t take the emotional whiplash, and if everyone comes back from the dead, the emotional weight is gone. Unlike Moffat’s other show, there’s no reset button on this one. No automatic do-over, no replacing characters as needed. They might not be telling us a lot in this trailer, but I think they’re trying to tell us it’s time to say goodbye.