Sherlock Utters the Elusive L-Word in Latest Season 4 Trailer

See if you can crack this case: Who is Sherlock Holmes declaring his love for?

PBS and Masterpiece dropped a new trailer for Sherlock Season 4 (debuting Sunday, Jan. 1), and the promo includes a number of ominous images and voiceovers. However, the most dramatic moment comes at the very end of the 40-second video when Benedict Cumberbatch’s legendarily detached alter ego stares dead into the camera and announces, “I love you.” 

As previously reported, the three new episodes — featuring Moriarty’s return and Wayward Pines‘ Toby Jones as infamous Holmes villain Culverton Smith — may end up being the show’s last. As leading man Benedict Cumberbatch told the UK edition of GQ magazine, “it feels like the end of an era, to be honest.”

Even if Sherlock were to go on, its fourth season “goes to a place where it will be pretty hard to follow on immediately,” the actor added.

Press PLAY above and then hit the comments with your theories about the tantalizing L-word mystery!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. Devin says:

    He’s probably staring into a mirror at the time he says those words.

  2. bluiish says:

    Queer-baiting per usual. Johnlock is never going to happen, I’m more convinced of that now than ever.

  3. Jason says:

    me, reading: “Sherlock Utters the Elusive L-Word in Latest Season 4 Trailer”
    also me, wondering: “Lesbians?”

  4. bigdede says:

    Please let it be Irene Adler. I loved their chemistry.

    • tsevca says:

      I bet it isn´t what it looks like to be. But Irene should come back at least once before the show ends. Otherwise it´s a waste of a great character and people experienced like those behind Sherlock shouldn´t do such a rookie mistake.

  5. Pam says:

    I wasn’t certain how the scene was set up prior to Sherlock speaking, so I had a few theories. 1- He was telling John how much he cares about him (ignoring the on-going discussion re their possible sexual relationship); this would be in relation to CS’s comment re telling friends your deepest, darkest secret [presumably they would have been (or Sherlock was, at least) manipulated into actually going ahead with the ‘worst thing they could do’.] 2- He was being taped, for whatever reason, and fearing for his life, he expressed his regard for Mycroft and/or his family in general, bc he wanted them to know how he truly felt. 3- He was speaking/Skyping and/or (again) making a recording, but this time to either Irene or Molly, one of whom was in danger and (possibly) thinking that it might be best to just end it all. Or, a slightly different scenario, one of the women was in danger and he wanted to say those words just in case he wasn’t able to save them. (OTOH, being Sherlock, the words could actually be a code, a signal that would let whomever he was speaking to know that NOW was the moment they were implementing their plan — or to start the countdown for the plan.) 4- Possibly scenario 3 involved Mrs. Hudson and, while she truly irritated me during season 3, she’s a mother figure to Sherlock and one of the few people to whom he could say those words. (Presumably the only other person he feels comfortable saying that to would be his ACTUAL mother.) 5- He was speaking to Janice who, thru her clear Irish background, was either always in cohoots with Moriarty or became a member of his organization following Sherlock’s betrayal (in order to gain access to Charles’ office that fateful night.) His words would be an attempt to stop her from whatever devious plot she had set up or was party to at that point in time. 6- However Tom Hiddleston fits into the Sherlock world (I believe he would be ‘the other one’ that Mycroft DIDNT attempt to save whenever he got into huge amounts of trouble with the British government.) In any case, if that is true (and I actually have no knowledge whatsoever on the subject) perhaps Sherlock was speaking to his missing brother [or young cousin that the family adopted, formally or not] and who is involved in some weird way to the plotline. Considering that he would have been out of contact for a lengthy period of time, Sherlock would be concerned if he lost him again. That’s about it, as I believe that both John and Greg were standing behind him when he spoke. Other than Wiggins (and I guess various members of his Homeless Network) I’m unaware of any other attachments that Sherlock has to anyone else on the show. [A fanfiction type of thought would place Moriarty in that scenario, and the two of them would be joined by their incredible brilliance and the horror of being bored or without a person who could honestly umderstand their way of thinking, being opposite sides of a coin at the PRESENT time, but that might change down the road…] I mean, John and Sherlock have a really fantastic relationship but (apparently) Mary is still around, she and John now have an infant, and I just don’t see how to change that scenario without bringing pain and loss to both men. Sherlock seems quite attached to Mary, so there’s no easy way to get her out of the picture. And I think it would be great if Sherlock honestly had someone around to whom he could truly express his love — not as a last resort or code, but as a genuine expression of human emotion. To a non-maternal figure. I think, through John’s friendship, Sherlock has a somewhat better understanding of personal interactions with the goldfish, and even, possibly, would be at a loss if that interaction was taken away. That is to say, having experienced true, honest, pure love for another person, Sherlock would no longer feel that ‘being alone protects him’ or that he is better off totally shut out from friends and (possibly) lovers. Unless he’s actually asexual? Pansexual? Bisexual? I have no clue what his sexual orientation is supposed to be bc it’s been left totally up in the air. But as he was ~ 30 during the first season, he’s at least in his mid-30s now, and I don’t wish for him to simply be left with his work and his experiments. (Just my opinion.)

    • TV viewer says:

      Sherlock can barely grasp his affection for Molly, he reacts to it more than act on it and treats the sentiment as an enemy to be fought rather than an organic develpment.

      To say the words to Irene would be a defeat for him and he often acts as if Mrs Hudson should know by now, so I don’t think he saying this words to another character.

  6. Missy says:

    Could be said in the same vain as Twelve’s “I hate it. It’s evil, it’s astonishing. I wanna kiss it to death” from last years ‘Under The Lake’ ;)
    (Doctor Who)

  7. TV viewer says:

    To himself, obviously. The character, as established, is not capable to feel/say these words to anyone else.

  8. Jj says:

    So John and Mycroft are in the background when he says ILY. So bets on whom he’s speaking to. Molly? Irene? Moriarty?!?! :)

  9. John, Mary, Molly, Mycroft, Mrs Hudson… I don’t think it’s said to just one person.

  10. plumcuckoo says:

    It could be about the baby!

  11. canadian ninja says:

    He’s just seen an elaborately designed mousetrap and his emotions got the better of him.