Elementary (CBS): What Will 2013 Bring For Joan And Sherlock?

As 2012 draws to a close, Elementary has more than proven its staying power on CBS, thanks in large part to its distinctive style and strong character work that sets it apart from the network’s stable of procedurals. So far, season one has focused on the slowly growing bond between Sherlock and Joan, doled out tantalizing tidbits of each of the duo’s backstories (including Joan’s sober companion origin story ), dropped the Irene Adler bombshell and still made time for nine fascinating cases of the week.

As exciting as things have been so far, season one is still young. CBS recently expanded Elementary‘s episode order, which means we have a grand total of 15 more episodes still ahead of us. Now the question is, what does 2013 have in store for our favorite sleuths? Only time will tell, but I’ve put together a list of questions we should all keep in mind as we move into the back half of season one.

  • What will make Joan stay when her time as Sherlock’s sober companion comes to an end?
  • Joan’s tenure as Sherlock’s sober companion will be coming to an end very soon, which means the series can finally move past the idea that Joan is obligated to stay by Sherlock’s side. We all know Joan will find a reason to remain in Sherlock’s life; the only question is, what will it be?

    Sherlock staging a relapse doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility, especially given how reluctant he was to find a sponsor in “The Long Fuse,” but I believe Joan’s decision will come from a more organic place. I’d like to see her choose to stay because the work she does with Sherlock gives her a purpose.

    When the season began, Joan was a woman who felt adrift, as evidenced by her need for multiple alarm clocks to wake up every morning, but being a part of Sherlock’s world has changed all of that. Sherlock challenges her, and Joan Watson is a woman that thrives on a good challenge. Likewise, she’s a stabilizing force in Sherlock’s life, and even if he can’t express that to her in words, he is beginning to show Joan how important she is to him in other ways, like when he waited with her at the rehab clinic for her ex to show up. The level of trust they’ve cultivated in nine episodes has been hard won, and I’m looking forward to seeing them realize they can’t walk away from it.

  • Is Irene really dead?
  • The answer to this one has to be no. Irene Adler is too important to the canon and to Sherlock to truly be dead. What we should really be asking ourselves is when will she show up and how will her reemergence affect Sherlock (and his recovery)?

  • What does CBS have in store for the post-Super Bowl episode?
  • In case you haven’t heard the good news, CBS gave Elementary the February 3rd, post-Super Bowl time slot. No specific details about the episode have surfaced yet, but post-Super Bowl episodes tend to offer up exciting fare in the hopes of attracting new viewers. That means the writers will be bringing their A game.

    Perhaps they’ll use the hour to introduce a canon significant character like Irene, or they could experiment with form a bit by capitalizing on the sleek directing and cinematography that have made the series stand out in the sea of crime shows. Whatever they do, you can bank on it being cool.

  • Will we learn more about Detective Bell and Captain Gregson?
  • Elementary has been generous and thorough in its characterization of Joan and Sherlock. We have a clear picture of who both of our leads are, but our two primary supporting players–Bell and Gregson–haven’t been so lucky. Of the two, Gregson has had the most screen time, and as the Lestrade figure in Sherlock’s life, he has proven to be an interesting ally. We know little about his personal life though, beyond the fact that there’s tension between him and his old partner.

    As for Bell, he’s our resident snarky cop, but it would be nice to see more of him, especially after his brief team-up with Sherlock in “You Do It Yourself” illustrated the comic potential in the duo.

  • Will we meet Sherlock’s oft-mentioned, but elusive father before the season ends?
  • The man responsible for uniting Sherlock and Joan has to show up eventually. We know the elder Holmes left his son with a wide array of emotional scars, but he also cared about Sherlock enough to get him into rehab. Even though we haven’t properly met him yet, Sherlock’s father is already shaping up to be a complex figure, and one who is an important piece to the Sherlock puzzle.

    What do you hope the new year brings for Elementary? Do you have theories about Irene, Sherlock’s dad or what will motivate Joan to keep residing at the Brownstone? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    Follow me on Twitter @sljbowman