Can ‘Elementary’ Keep Us Hooked?


The second season of Elementary, featuring Jonny Lee Miller‘s modern-day incarnation of Sherlock Holmes, kicks off this week. Apparently the master detective is going to be going to his homeland of England. In the first season, where Miller was able to take his character from an extremely quirky and annoying recovering drug addict to one of the more complex and entertaining characters on television. Lucy Liu made people forget that Watson was a male in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books this series is rebooting. Can the show continue its upward momentum?

As it is with many shows, there’s always the fear that the writers may lose sight of what made it an exciting show to begin with. Hopefully they will keep Holmes and Watson as platonic co-workers whose sole interest is to act as mentor and mentee for each other. I won’t be happy if there are suddenly sidelong glances and hints of romantic feelings for each other. At that point I might don a leather jacket, put on a pair of water skis and seek out the nearest motorboat to take me to a shark tank.

What makes the show so enjoyable now is that Holmes is completely anti-social and immersed in his work, but he’s also brilliant and he is capable of pulling himself out of his fog to make some very telling observations about the human conditions. In other words, he doesn’t have his head stuck up his rear end all the time. Liu’s Watson can get quite exasperated with his act and has shown the tight line that someone who is both a co-worker (she was his sobriety companion to start the show and is now his protégée) and roommate/friend must travel.

The season ended with Holmes having jailed his nemesis, Moriarty. What can the show do to keep the sharp-minded detective challenged? It won’t be fun if he becomes superhuman, which the show did dance a bit with some of his observations in the first season. “I see that molecule shifted…”

Aidan Quinn’s Captain Gregson is another important cog in keeping the sometimes befuddling Englishman in line and it’s going to be interesting to see what the show does this season to keep it up. If the show’s writers decide to do any ‘shipping with Holmes and Watson, then that ‘ship will likely sink. Otherwise, it can sail on for quite a good amount of time.

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