Warning: minor Sherlock Season 4 spoilers ahead! It's been quite the emotional fourth season in the world of Sherlock Holmes. The series has chosen to delve into a deeper level of character development than ever before, while foregoing the usual case-by-case format, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, though my emotions may argue otherwise. But as much as this season differs from past seasons, there was one character from the past who was recently mentioned in Episode 2: Sherlock's former flame, Irene Adler. But does this necessarily mean Irene Adler will return to Sherlock at some point in time? Right now, that appears to be anyone's guess.
Naturally, we've always wanted to see "the Woman" return in some capacity throughout the years, considering the amusing and unique effect she seemed to have on our beloved detective. Despite his usual denial of being attracted to anyone, there was no doubt that Sherlock found Miss Adler highly intriguing and, dare I say, desirable. But aside from briefly seeing her inside his mind palace in Season 3, she hasn't really been brought up much since Season 2... until now, this is. Just as John Watson was getting ready to leave the apartment, Sherlock received a text on his phone that emitted a very recognizable sound — the same moaning noise Irene Adler had set up on Sherlock's phone so that way he would always know when she was the one texting him.
Like us, Watson immediately froze — shocked at the fact that Sherlock had somehow saved her life and was still keeping in touch with her. Sherlock tried to brush it off as no big deal that he occasionally hears from her (like on his birthday), but it still felt like a very big moment. Could this possibly be the writers trying to tell us something? Could Irene Adler suddenly pop up at 221B Baker Street at some point in the near future? I'm hesitant to let myself even hope for the possibility, but as Season 4 has more than proven: nothing is off limits when it comes to this show.
As of now, Lara Pulver, who portrayed the role on the BBC series, doesn't have anything listed on her IMDB page that would indicate she's returning to the show. Her last Sherlock credit was from Season 3's episode "The Sign of Three." Granted, this doesn't necessarily confirm anything since the series would undoubtedly want it a surprise, so I wouldn't give up hope just yet. Plus Pulver and Benedict Cumberbatch have expressed an overall willingness to bring the character back to the show if it fit with the storyline.
With this detective leading the charge, we should always be prepared to expect the unexpected. Don't miss the Sherlock Season 4 two-hour finale at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 15 on PBS to find out how it all goes down.