Elementary Season 2: Is Sherlock Being Deconstructed?

We have reached the midway point in season two of Elementary and the shape of the season is beginning to emerge. Where season one was about Sherlock learning how to be a non-singular entity: a man with friends, colleagues and structure in his world; season two is about the cost of not living a singular life. A great deal of weight comes from having others depend on you, but also from you depending on others. Sherlock has spent years avoiding that weight only to have Joan come into his life and open all of these doors. Now that those doors are open, Sherlock is truly vulnerable for the first time since he lost Irene. Therein lies the center of this slow burn season.

So far in season two, Sherlock has tentatively allowed his brother back into his life, and displayed his weak spot to Mycroft in the process: he loves his life in New York, but the most important element of that life is Joan as evidenced by his desire for her to move to London with him if they were forced by his father’s hand. However, we know that it is not Sherlock’s father who wants Sherlock to return to England, but rather Mycroft who is working with an unknown person to an unknown, but likely unpleasant end. In the excellent “Blood is Thicker,” we saw Sherlock reveal his feelings in a letter to his father, an act he compared to carving the words into his skin. For a largely non-demonstrative man this act was huge. It also showed the true extent Sherlock has exposed his inner-self.

Then we have the Bell incident. Because of Sherlock’s unconventional methods, a man he counts as part of his support system was injured and is now shutting him out. As a recovering addict, Sherlock thrives on routine. Bell is part of that routine and his frustration at not being able to fix the situation is pushing him toward an edge. Alfredo could see Sherlock teetering and so he introduced Randy into Sherlock’s orbit, giving him someone in need to focus his energies on.

But will this be enough? If we add Moriarty’s letters to the long list of variables in Sherlock’s life, a picture begins to emerge of a Sherlock being deconstructed. The safety net he has worked so hard to construct for himself is being taken away bit by bit, but to what end? Is the greater arc of the season leading us to a moment where Sherlock falls off the wagon or where he is pushed to shed his safety system and once again descend into his own being. To see is progress stripped away would be painful for us as viewers, but for Joan it would be devastating.

The bigger question in play is, if his father is not the one orchestrating Mycroft’s attempts to lure his brother back across the pond, then who is and why? Could it possibly be Lestrade? Is it a new player altogether? Those are the technical questions, but I’m more concerned with the personal ones. Season two is subtly laying the groundwork to destabilize our hero. The last time that happened was in “M,” and the darkness we encountered in Sherlock there was startling.

With a few weeks until the next new episode we have time to ponder what the purpose of pulling Sherlock apart could be. Is it the work of another mastermind, or simply a byproduct of Sherlock allowing himself to have people in his life and a career that he loves? Our hero is being set up for a fall, but whether the demon will come from without or within will be left for the second half of the season to reveal.

What do you think of season two so far? Are you worried that Sherlock’s sobriety could be at risk? Share your thoughts below.

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