Jeff Neumann/CBS Broadcasting
Season 2 of Elementary has come to a close and we’re faced with several things all at once: Sherlock Holmes throwing his lot in in with MI6, Joan Watson moving out on her own and Mycroft Holmes vanishing in order to escape the potential wrath of the French terrorist group Le Mileu. It’s going to be quite interesting to see how this all shakes out.
The first character whose future we must consider is Sherlock, specifically in regards to his decision to consult for British Intelligence. That plainly means that the esteemed detective will be setting up shop in London. What this means for Captain Thomas Gregson and detective Marcus Bell is anybody’s guess. Apart from an arc that featured Bell getting shot due to something Sherlock did and Gregson trying to save his marriage at one point, the two were largely reduced to having Gregson yell at Sherlock for breaking protocol and Bell to sitting and scowling next to Sherlock during police interrogations. The writers really need to do something with those two, since Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill are both too talented to just be bit players again during Season 3. A good solution would be for Holmes to realize that New York is too much in his blood and have him return there after an episode or two so they can re-integrate Gregson and Bell as Sherlock realizes his mistake.
What to do about Mycroft? Although Elementary isn’t in any way strictly adherent to the canon of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s material, Rhys Ifans didn’t feel like the right fit as Sherlock’s brother, especially compared to the Mycroft of the BBC’s Sherlock. This isn’t a knock against Ifans’ acting ability, but the show might want to make him undergo plastic surgery and have him coming back looking like an entirely different person. There just didn’t seem to be any genuine chemistry between Ifans and Lucy Liu either — the Mycroft/Watson plot just seemed cobbled together to make Sherlock act like an even bigger ass than he normally does.
Speaking of Watson, she is a bigger issue. There still doesn’t seem to be an avenue for Sherlock to have any romantic feelings for her, since he is still far too vested in his work, since that is probably one of the only things keeping him from slipping back into an abyss of drug use (though the audience is still going to be very interested to find what he did with that baggie of heroin that he stashed in his jacket pocket towards the end of Season 2. There were some who speculated that he might have intended to slip back into drug use to force Watson’s hand into becoming his “sober companion,” the pairing that made them fall into each other’s orbits in the first place. That scenario was seemingly dashed when he decided to accept the MI6 offer, but that baggie will keep lurking like Chekhov’s Gun during the summer hiatus, leaving us wondering what place it had. Will it force a reconciliation of sorts between the two or will it be forgotten?
The show is on a good path, and this upcoming season is going to be an important one in terms of it staying on stable footing. Jonny Lee Miller is a fantastic actor, and he’s made Sherlock a must-watch character full of nuance beyond being an arrogant socially inept buffoon, but it’s going to be up to the writers to make it must-watch TV. They have ths summer to really hammer that down or they will have even more time the following season to spend on the beach.