Elementary Season 2 Chat: London is Always a Different City

And we’re back!

I don’t know about you, but I thought the Elementary hiatus would never end. Oh, but it did end last night, and it began with a romp through Sherlock’s past that was rich, quirky and fun. We met two key figures from Sherlock’s life (and mythos)–Mycroft and Lestrade–and visited the iconic 221 B Baker Street. However, once again, Elementary put its own special twist on the familiar Sherlock tropes by emphasizing Detective Lestrade’s addiction to the spotlight and adding a dark layer to Mycroft and Sherlock’s rift with Mycroft’s illness. That’s not what I want to talk about today though. I want to talk about London.

As Sherlock tells Joan early on, “London is always a different city.” It is vibrant and forever shifting, and more importantly, it’s in Sherlock’s blood. He was downright giddy about showing off his old home to Joan. There were also clues in the cinematography. Notice that while much of last season was darkly and artfully shot, our trip to the stereotypically gloomy London was so bright it was nearly sparkling. The locale gave the series a renewed sense of energy after the emotionally heavy finale. So much so, that I must confess that I didn’t want to leave.

Part of my desire to stay on the other side of the pond came from Rhys Ifans’ droll take on Mycroft and the ease in which Ifans played off of Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Sherlock’s past is such a mystery, I’m itching to dig further into it. Even if he and Mycroft went to separate boarding schools, his brother possesses insight into Sherlock’s roots. Although only Joan truly knows how to become Sherlock’s friend, others have seen the ingredients that formed the man we know today. With any luck we will be seeing Ifans again soon, but I wouldn’t say no to another stint with Sean Pertwee’s Lestrade either. His manic portrayal was a pleasure to watch, and it was fascinating to see Sherlock witness addiction from the outside. Although this was the first time either Mycroft or Lestrade had appeared onscreen, they seemed to fit seamlessly into the Elementary universe which brings me to an admission– I didn’t miss New York.

I know, I know, New York is the show’s hook. The whole point is to remove Sherlock from his familiar element and let him loose on a new city. However, if last season had a flaw it was in the characterization of Gregson and Bell. They never quite clicked; both were perfectly fine characters, but compared to Sherlock and Joan they were just background noise. All of the best episodes involved either the growing partnership between Joan and Sherlock, or the side trips we took into their personal histories.

However, one episode in London and an entire world sprung to life around Joan and Sherlock. A bustling, dense world that didn’t just serve the closed-in plot, but also opened the door for return visits. The only thing I truly missed about New York was the Brownstone, Sherlock’s current sanctum sanctorum. Oh, and Clyde (I do hope they remembered to leave him with Mrs. Hudson). While a permanent move isn’t feasible (or necessary– season one was nearly flawless with or without solid supporting characters), the small taste of London left me craving more.

Plus, there’s still one important Londoner we’ve yet to meet: Sherlock’s father. Return ticket, anyone?

What did you think of the season two premiere? Was it worth the long (long) wait? Would you be content to stay in London or did you miss New York? Hit the comments and let us all revel in the joy of having Elementary in our lives once more.

Follow me on Twitter @sljbowman