This week for our Villains of Note series, we will play a little game with one of my all time favorite villains, James Moriarty from a little BBC series entitled Sherlock. Moriarty, the arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes and England’s most prized consulting criminal.
You Know Him As:
James Moriarty, The World’s Only Consulting Criminal, Molly’s boyfriend Jim, Richard Brooks, the Storyteller
Honey, You Should See Him In:
The Crown Jewels, impeccable suit, goofy smile
Name of the Game:
James Moriarty is the arch-nemesis to Sherlock Holmes and honey, he is not your average bad guy. Just as Sherlock began solving crimes at a young age, so Moriarty began committing them, starting with the murder of Carl Powers in 1989, a case which the underage Sherlock failed to get the police to investigate. Mori lets his crazy show a bit when we first meet him (turn who into shoes??) but decides to let Sherlock live to play another day, and thus the madman works his way up to Reichenbach and the top of St. Bart’s. Moriarty expertly weaves a web of deceit that instills doubt into those that once believed in Sherlock Holmes, and sets the detective up to either kill himself of watch his only 4 friends in the world (Molly, Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson and John) die. While Sherlock outsmarts Mori by faking his own death, Moriarty may still be a step ahead of us all. This villain seems to get the last word fairly often, but, when his image shows up on all the media outlets as a meme, it isn’t just Sherlock who doesn’t know what to think. Will Moriarty be back to terrorize his favorite target or have we all been duped once again?
Without a doubt, the pool scene, where we first meet Moriarty, is my favorite. He is all kinds of crazy, but smarter than Sherlock has given him credit for. the consulting criminal not only helps other bad guys get away with their crimes, but has Sherlock in his sights as someone to screw around with because he’s bored and because they share an intellect, a vanity and tendency to use people. Moriarty is the man with the plan behind all of the crimes of season 1 and when we finally meet him poolside, he has John Watson laced up with explosives and Sherlock in the sights of numerous snipers. Audiences get a look into the psyche of one James Moriarty, who wants a playmate in Sherlock and participates in criminal activity, not because he believes in any cause or needs the money, but as a lark.
Criminal Mastermind or Vengeful Loose Canon?
As intelligent and frightful as Sherlock, Jim Moriarty is definitely not on the side of the angels. He has killed and encouraged murder in his clients, he masterminded an intricate plot against Sherlock simply because the consulting detective began to get “too big” and, although Moriarty is a loose canon, he is often one step ahead of the Holmes brothers.
The Collectiva Diva
Disclaimer: All images and film clips are the property of the BBC. Edits have been credited to the source.