Sep 27 2013 12:21pm

London Calling: The State of Sherlock/Watson in Elementary’s Season 2 Premiere

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in ElementaryThis post may contain SPOILERS all aired episodes of Elementary, including last night’s Season 2 premiere (2.01), “Step Nine,” and speculate on what will happen with Sherlock and Watson in Season 2.

When the love of your life ends up being the criminal mastermind set on your destruction, it’s a little hard to recover from that. However, recover from it, Sherlock Holmes must in one of the more inspired twists on the re-imagined detective we’ve seen in CBS’s Elementary with Irene Adler recrafted as Holmes’s most famous nemesis, Moriarty.

In the season premiere, we see another face from Sherlock’s past, Inspector Lestrade. Unfortunately he is no longer an inspector and is quite disgraced as he appears at the graveside burial of the person who reportedly disgraced him…with a grenade. Back in New York, Sherlock and Watson finish a case (a carrier pigeon is the key witness) and are called away to London by DCI Hopkins to help Lestrade. Watson, of course, worries about Sherlock going back to the place that centered his addiction, but Sherlock isn’t saying he’s a different man, and London is always a different city. Watson thinks this could be a good opportunity for Sherlock to go through Step Nine (hence the episode title) and make amends.

*Cue travel montage complete with deductive insults thrown at DCI Hopkins and finished with the line: “No, I’m not slipping, I’m just growing more courteous”*

Cue case of the week intro: DCI Hopkins briefs Sherlock and Watson on the case that destroyed Lestrade. Lawrence Pendry’s wife was killed by an intruder in their home 13 months ago. Lestrade never believed that and took “an instant dislike” to Lawrence and for good reason. Hopkins insists he did not bring Holmes to London to find the evidence to convict Pendry, but just to find Lestrade. We all know better than that—or at least that Holmes will interfere in both investigations.

After the briefing, followed by a brief meeting with Pendry himself, Sherlock takes Joan to his London flat—apartment 221B. He tells her he spent years cultivating a creative center filled with experiments, texts in old languages, and walking into it would be like walking into his very brain. However, they open the doors to 221B to find that it has been wiped clean of any remnants of Sherlocks…brain. He’s outraged, saying he’s been betrayed. Joan correctly points out: What do you expect from a guy named Geezer Bob. Good point, Joan. Good point.

Jonny Lee Miller and Rhys Ifans in Elementary 2x01Cue the guest appearance I’ve been waiting for, I don’t know about you guys: Rhys Ifans! The second I see him—looking all dignified—I automatically know him as Mycroft. Although looking more seductive than the Mycroft we know from BBC’s Sherlock and more fit than the Mycroft we know from the books. One more squee for Rhys Ifans. Squeee! Okay, moving on…

Joan is shocked Sherlock never once mentioned his brother. We’ve heard all about his father—although never saw him—but throughout his recovery, we never knew about Mycroft. Sherlock is equally shocked that his father gave 221B to Mycroft. And we get to see some sibling rivalry—especially based around women. Mycroft is treating Joan as a woman, rather than the asexual relationship Sherlock has with her.

Sherlock finds Lestrade in a pub…waiting to sneak into a library and steal the reserve cash Sherlock has hidden there. Lestrade asks Sherlock to work with him on the Pendry case.

Both Sherlock and Watson say he’s changed a lot, but Mycroft (along with us, I think) worry that London will bring out all the addictions from the past.

This episode brings out lots of jealousies. Between Watson and Lestrade for the affection and partnership with Sherlock; on Sherlock’s part over the potential relationship between Mycroft and Joan; and the jealousies between Mycroft and Sherlock over their father.

These tidbits float throughout the episode with each interaction between these characters. And once again, I think it’s very important that Mycroft is forcing Sherlock to see Watson as a woman. Now back to the case…

Joan Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Elementary Season 2, episode 1Sherlock and Watson sneak into Pendry’s house and within two minutes, Sherlock has figured out Pendry used a plastic gun (which he melted in a jar of acetone and disguised as a jug of milk). They know the gun was created using a 3D printer and Sherlock goes to track down the buyers, while Watson has dinner with Mycroft.

Mycroft reveals he didn’t lose weight through exercise, but because he was gravely ill. Through this illness, he realized he wanted to have a relationship with Sherlock. He wants Joan’s help in forging that relationship. Something’s fishy though and I don’t fully believe him—I might be hanging out with Sherlock too much though.

Sherlock is also wanting to make amends, but with Lestrade. Lestrade says that can happen, as long as Sherlock lets him take credit for the case. However, they find Pendry’s accomplice stabbed to death.

Joan drops some deduction and sends Sherlock on the hunt for missing pieces of the gun. Sherlock proves Pendry killed his wife…and Lestrade still takes credit for it. Not because Sherlock let him, but because Sherlock pointed out that Sherlock is Lestrade’s drug of choice (and being in the limelight because of Sherlock, of course).

In the penultimate scene, Mycroft asks Sherlock to meet him. Mycroft tells Sherlock that he lied, and the last of Sherlock’s things are stored in the school behind him. Strange things like shrunken heads…and lots of books on homemade explosives. Mycroft apparently uses that information to blow up the storage unit with the last of Sherlock’s things, saying: Now we’re even.

Mycroft also assures Sherlock that things will be different now. With a small smile, Sherlock tells Joan of the events and they leave London knowing that, yes, things will be different.

What to expect in Season 2:

We’ll continue to see Sherlock mature as a person. In the premiere, Sherlock accused his brother of being “an indolent manchild.” An insult packed with irony as Sherlock himself can be considered an indolent manchild. I think we’ll also continue to see a relationship between Sherlock and Watson grow. Again in this first episode, Sherlock accused Joan of wanting his brother because she could not act on the feelings she obviously has for him. The ego on this guy! But that’s part of his charm. Also, I imagine we’ll continue to see repercussions of Sherlock’s addiction. Will he regress? I don’t think so. Will he be tempted? Of course. Between his own personality traits and his drive to solve every case, no matter the cost.


Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.

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Cheryl Sneed
1. CherylSneed
I love this show and really enjoyed this episode. However, I am not in the Sherlock/Joan shipping club, firstly, because much as I love him, Sherlock is nuts and Joan is smart enough to know better than to get romantically involved with a crazy person, no matter how riveting he is. Secondly, I think there is a lot of territory to be explored in the relationship besides the sexual and it would be a novelty to dive into those areas, rather than default to the sexual. I do think Sherlock was jealous of Mycroft's attention to Joan, but more in a little boy way - she's MY friend, not yours. Go get your own friend. I'm really looking forward to the season.
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
Hi, @CherylSneed, I love this show and really liked this episode too. I love that we got a chance to see another look into Sherlock's past and see the repercussions of his addiction. And so often, we look forward with this show, and it's great to look back.

I have never been a Watson/Sherlock shipper, no matter the iteration. There's a lot in the fandom and among Sherlock scholars that hints there might have been more between the famous detective and his roommate. They've explored it in BBC's Sherlock and now that they "can" explore it with Joan and Sherlock I think they're trying to add more innuendo. I feel like you're spot on with the Mycroft / Sherlock / Joan in this episode. Will they try to change Watson/Sherlock's relationship from pals to lovers? Probably. Do I want that to happen? Not really.
Myretta Robens
3. Myretta
I have one word to say about the possibility of a Sherlock/Watson romantic liaison: "Moonlighting"
Darynda Jones
4. DaryndaJones
I think, when done right, a relatioinship after a long flirtatious relationship can work beautifully. Look at Castle and Beckett. I am all for this!!!!
Jennifer Proffitt
5. JenniferProffitt
@DaryndaJones, That's very true. I was very concerned with Castle and Beckett and thought maybe it would jump the shark. However, they have done it right on the show, and I actually love them even more now that they are official. Hopefully, the same thing happens with Watson and Sherlock if they choose to go down that path.
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
@DaryndaJones -- I'm 100% with Darynda on this. I'm a serial 'shipper, so I'm biased, but I, too, think these romances can work well if done right, and while I wouldn't want to see anything happen between them anytime soon, I'd think that eventually it could be interesting. They certainly have great chemistry.
Jersey Lou
7. Jersey Lou
No! No sexual relationship between Sherlock and Joan. I'm in agreement, all the way, with @cherylsneed.

In general, I don't think it has worked out much with previous series when the two leads get together. (I think Moonlighting is a perfect case in point - ratings and the show quality seriously declined after the two got together!)
Jennifer Proffitt
8. JenniferProffitt
If anyone watched Episode 2, I think they hinted even more about a budding relationship--I'm hoping that relationship stays platonic but they are growing together even more.
Jersey Lou
9. MicheleG
Why is it in society that two people being close must mean it's going to be sexual or romantic?
Friendship is so undervalued and misunderstood.
And NO. Sherlock and Joan should NEVER be romantic. This is Holmes and Watson.
Not some idiotic rom com.
Now *maybe* Mycroft and Watson, far down the road, if the show is still around.
But Sherlock and Joan are not supposed to ever be anything but best friends.
And I don't see "romantic, sexual" chemistry with them, anyway.
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