My apologies to Daniel Davis, the most awesome Moriarty ever. I have to stay within the rules of my own analysis. So, here it is:
In Monk, the killer of Monk’s wife would be the best Moriarty, but that played out in fits and starts as an investigation into one crime. So I’m not going to include it here. Similarly, in Psych, Shawn’s off and on drama with the serial killers Yin and Yang don’t quite rise to the level of Moriarty-ness, nor does Goren’s cat and mouse with Nicole Wallace. House had occasional season-long contests with guest antagonists as well. Altogether, there’s not enough here to even analyze.
Andrew Scott (Sherlock) — This performance is interesting, sort of an emotional man-child in a super-criminal’s body. Personally, I think he’s a little too silly and certainly too young to buy as someone with this kind of power.
Natalie Dormer (Elementary) — Choosing to have Moriarty be a woman and for her to be Irene Adler, too? That’s just fricking brilliant. I loved that twist, and I hope to see more of her as the show progresses. Still, in all, she’s good but she’s not great. You know who’s great?
Jared Harris (Guy Ritchie film series) — With a single appearance in the second film, this is what we want from Moriarty. He’s as still and controlled as this Sherlock is bouncing off the walls. He’s brilliant and ruthless. As a criminal, he’s really reaching for the stars, trying to drop the entire world into a war. Watching Holmes put himself through the wringer to get this guy makes his eventual defeat so very sweet.
Winner: Jared Harris