Thanks to the raging success of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, Elementary was known as the other one before it even premiered. During its first season, it tried desperately to shake that less than reputation, and in many senses, it succeeded, at least with fans. The greatest detective ever created is so rich with quirks, eccentricities and intrigue that there’s more than enough space on television for two versions, especially when one delivers about three episodes every eighteen months. Besides, Jonny Lee Miller is surprisingly wonderful here as the ex-drug addict master sleuth who fights criminals and boredom with equal aggression. Add in pretty sharp writing and rich supporting characters, and Elementary is an absolute joy to watch each week.
During the first season of Elementary, our main character, for the most part, solved mysteries of the week using his powers of observation and keen intellect. More interestingly, he also began training his former drug counselor, Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), to work as his apprentice. With her medical knowledge, she’s actually a very useful tool to have around for Holmes, and with her utter lack of detective experience, she’s often a great source of amusement for the audience as she works on beginner cases involving mysteries like why the dry cleaners are such dicks.
Beyond the bottle episodes, Season 1 of Elementary also offered a look into Holmes’ past, most specifically his relationship with Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer). Prior to Holmes entering rehab and moving to New York, she was supposedly murdered, but upon further review, it’s discovered she’s actually the evil mastermind Moriarty. The nemesis offers Holmes the option of simply ignoring one another and going their separate ways, provided he agrees not to meddle, but as we all know, Sherlock isn’t exactly a guy apt to drop things. So, he attempted to set her up in a complicated scheme at the end of Season 1, and while it seems she’s escaped, she’ll no doubt be back for a handful of episodes next season.
Speaking of which, you can watch a promo trailer for Season 2 below…
It’s hard to get an accurate and in-depth read on an entire season of television based on a brief preview, but for fans, there are a lot of positives to take away from it. Most importantly, the writers seem to understand that Elementary makes its money off of the weird and interesting cases it presents each week. Sure, we all love some hot and sexy Moriarty action now and again, but those episodes need to be few and far between. More often than not, fans should be getting bizarre cases featuring random victims that Holmes and Watson can solve on their own.
With hints of different cases and references to Watson’s continued development as a detective (“adequately done”), the only real things we’re missing from the above twenty-two seconds are references to the supporting characters. Moving forward, it would be nice to see Sherlock’s sober sponsor Alfredo Llamosa worked into a few more cases. He’s a perfect stakeout man, and he possesses real car thief talents that should come in handy. Beyond him, it would also be nice to get more from Captain Gregson and Detective Bell who, during the better episodes, feel more like a capable support staff than obstacles to fight through.
During its first season, Elementary was a good show that offered great acting performances and the occasional great mystery. It consistently got better as the episode count climbed higher, and moving forward, there’s no reason to think that upward trajectory won’t continue.
Elementary Season 2 premieres on CBS on September 26 at 10 PM EST/ PST.