By Denise Warner
January 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM EST
Jeffrey Neira/CBS

If you haven’t seen tonight’s Elementary, stop reading now. Spoilers to follow.

It finally happened. Twelve episodes into CBS’ modern day Sherlock Holmes series Elementary, Moriarty appears. Well, almost.

Elementary doesn’t follow the literary character’s trajectory as closely as another updated version, the BBC’s Sherlock. But it would be hard to imagine a Holmes who doesn’t face Moriarty — his greatest foe from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels. Many recent adaptions of Sherlock Holmes — including the aforementioned BBC show, and the Robert Downey Jr. movies — use Moriarty as the big bad. So it felt like only a matter of time before Elementary went down that path.

In the latest hour, titled “M,” Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) hunts down a serial killer named M, who murdered Sherlock’s beloved Irene Adler during a London killing spree. The detective/consultant was heavily involved in M’s pursuit when he worked with Scotland Yard, and now M, like Sherlock, has made his way across the pond.

At first, I assumed that the killer is Moriarty himself. Then, Sherlock captures and plans to torture and kill M and I knew they wouldn’t wrap up Sherlock’s arch-nemesis quite that quickly.

Here’s the “twist,” the man Holmes held was just a hired assassin named Sebastian Moran. Yes, he committed all the murders — except for Irene’s — but he was being paid to do it by Moriarty. And Moran claims that Moriarty must have murdered Irene because of his obsession with Sherlock.

So even though Moriarty doesn’t actually show up on screen, he has very much arrived on Elementary.

As for the rest of the episode, Watson (Lucy Liu) prepares to leave Sherlock to work with a new client. She worries, however, that after Holmes almost killed Moran, he needs more time with her. So she contacts Sherlock’s father, who denied her request to continue on as a sober coach. Yet she decides to stay with Sherlock anyway. How very interesting …

What do you think of the big “M” reveal?

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