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Comic Con 2015 Sherlock panel preview: Everything you need to know

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Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films for MASTERPIECE

The Sherlock hiatus is stretching into its 18th month, giving fans plenty of time to compile conspiracy theories almost as crazy as Anderson’s. With a new episode finally approaching, the show hits Comic-Con on Thursday to tease what’s next. To get you ready for the panel, here’s a refresher on where we left the famed detective and his (sneer it all together now) “friends.”

Where we left off: Surprise! John married a trained assassin. Publishing magnate Charles Augustus Magnussen knows about Mary’s secret past and blackmails her for it, so she sets out to kill him — only to get interrupted by Sherlock. Mary shoots Sherlock to buy herself time. When John learns the truth about his wife, she gives him a flash drive containing her full history; John burns the flash drive without reading it and chooses to forgive her.

When Magnussen reveals that he doesn’t actually have any physical blackmail evidence — it’s all in his mind palace — Sherlock shoots him at point-blank range. Mycroft has no choice but to take his brother into custody and sentence him to the kind of undercover assignment that will leave him dead in six months. Sherlock and John say an emotional goodbye, but four minutes after his plane takes off, Sherlock is called back home. Moriarty is alive, which he’s announced by broadcasting a message across the country: “Did you miss me?” You have no idea.

In other news, Molly Hooper is no longer engaged, Greg Lestrade is “a man and good at it,” and Mrs. Hudson is still not your housekeeper.

What we know about season 4: According to showrunner Steven Moffat, the fun times can’t last forever. Moffat tells EW that season 4 will be all about “consequences,” with plenty of “emotional upheaval” to go along with them. He also hints that the show’s famously analytical fans are missing something: “[Co-creator Mark Gatiss] and me are very exultant about a little thing we’ve set up that no one is talking about.” In true Sherlock fashion, we’re going to have to wait a while to find out what that is — season 4 is expected to begin filming in the spring of 2016.

But take heart: Sherlock will air a 90-minute special this December. “The special is its own thing,” Moffat tells EW. “It’s not part of the run of three episodes.” What is it part of? Victorian London. Check out the BBC’s just-released promotional photo for a glimpse at Sherlock and John’s throwback look — featuring the return of a certain mustache.

Comic-Con burning question: Assuming he really is alive, how did Moriarty fake his death?

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