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Sherlock has met his match.
In Elementary‘s two-hour season finale (which includes flashbacks), Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) — still reeling from the re-appearance of only love Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer), presumed dead — and sobriety partner Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) find themselves in the thick of another Moriarty battle.
“We’re going to see a Sherlock who’s rocked,” executive producer Robert Doherty recently told reporters. “He’s got a lot to try to wrap his head around.”
THR rounds up six key developments to look for in Thursday’s season closer and beyond:
The casting of Moriarty
Casting Sherlock’s foe, Moriarty, was “no mean feat,” Doherty admits, adding that he “was lucky enough to latch onto a first choice.” (Here’s a hint: Doherty was “very familiar with” the actor’s work.) It was never about the physical attributes. “The plan was always to have to play him as a very shadowy figure, somebody that we would tease and tease and tease until the time was right to reveal him,” said Doherty, who was guarded about revealing much about the character. He’s “the other side of Sherlock’s coin,” the showrunner said. “Somebody who is quite like him but has been drawn in a very different direction.”
As he told it, Moriarty — whose voice (or was it?) viewers heard at the end of “A Landmark Story” — is “a vastly important and iconic character,” and is someone the show has “been building towards all season.” Even Doherty was coy when asked whether the voice Sherlock heard on the phone was indeed the actor behind Moriarty: “It is an actor’s voice.” Referencing rampant speculation that it may not even be the real Moriarty, Doherty offered this: “Even Sherlock and Joan were sort of going back and forth about it.”
When asked if Moriarty may be a likable character, Doherty left it up to the viewers to decide. “I guess [in the finale] you can be the judge,” he said. “I feel like if somebody is outright despicable, if there’s nothing interesting or likable about that person, they’re just not as interesting as a villain.” Moriarty is “still doing bad things,” Doherty added.
The mystery of Irene Adler
With Sherlock discovered that his true love, Irene Adler, was actually alive — and not dead — his world was turned upside down. In the two-hour finale, Doherty assured THR that viewers will learn “very, very early on, within the first five minutes” of the episode what “she’s been through, which is a lot.”
Sherlock’s downward spiral
The shock of Irene’s re-appearance in Sherlock’s life and his battle against Moriarty may jeopardize Sherlock’s sobriety. “At least in the world of our show it’s hard to find a bigger trigger than Irene, dead or alive,” Doherty said. “The fact that she has turned up alive has Sherlock for a loop. He’s been tricked. He’s been deceived. I think in Moriarty’s eyes you could say he bottomed out over nothing. He spiraled out of control because he thought Irene was dead when in fact she was quite alive and being kept by Moriarty. So at least at the moment, the joke’s on Sherlock [and] Joan has to be concerned about that.”
‘Tying things up’
Though Doherty toyed with ending the season with a cliffhanger, he opted not to. “When it looked more likely that we would get to go to London for our premiere, we didn’t want to drag any of this year’s business into a second season,” he explained. “I didn’t want [London] to have to connect back to the first season. … We will be tying things up and starting with something of a clean slate into year two.” Calling the two-hour final episodes “emotional,” Doherty felt the first season ended with “a nice little bow.”
Watson’s medical past
Here’s a little nugget for the finale that Doherty shared: In the Thursday episodes, viewers “will see Joan doing a little impromptu surgical work.”
Meeting Sherlock’s father
Sherlock’s dad will remain on the sidelines — at least for now. “Right now, I don’t think it’s an immediate concern and … I’m not being coy,” Doherty said. “The London episode might be the perfect time to meet Sherlock’s dad and get a better sense of him and his relationship with his son.”
Watch a preview of the two-hour finale below:
Elementary wraps up the season with a two-hour finale at 9 p.m. Thursday on CBS. Check back on The Live Feed following the East Coast airing for a look at season two.
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Michael K. Williams