The first season of Elementary dealt with its fair share of kinks but gradually found its footing. Like every version of Sherlock Holmes, we encountered the inevitable mystery of the sinister Moriarty. The reveal of Irene Adler left Sherlock in shock, and many questions unanswered. Thankfully, our curiosity was quenched in “The Woman.” And while “Heroine” was brilliant for demonstrating Moriarty’s power, the end seemed too well-packaged. It’s as if the makers of Elementary were expecting the show to end after this season. Warning: Major spoilers ahead

The Players:

  • (“The Woman”) Director: Seith Mann
  • (“Heroine”) Director: John Polson
  • (“The Woman”/”Heroine”) Writers: Robert Doherty/Craig Sweeny
  • Cast: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn, Jon Michael Hill, Natalie Dormer

Episode Title: “The Woman”/”Heroine”

Sherlock (Miller) is shaken after finding his love Irene Adler (Dromer) alive on the outskirts of New York City. While he helps her rehabilitate from the kidnapping trauma, Joan (Liu) tries to uncover Moriarty’s identity. Unfortunately for Sherlock and Watson, the proverbial wool was placed over their eyes. It’s later revealed that Irene was Moriarty all along. After all the secrets had been shown, Sherlock and Watson try to thwart her latest plans in New York before she gets more people killed.

The Good:

  • All About Our Cast: One of the constant highlights of Elementary is its cast. In the beginning, it felt like Miller was doing all the heavy lifting in making the show tolerable. But now the other actors have a handle on their characters. Liu’s Watson went from an uninterested sober companion to a compassionate and resourceful ally. Even Captain Gregson (Quinn) and Detective Bell (Hill) had their moments to shine in this first season. Granted, they didn’t get as much screen time, but they’ve still proven to be quite entertaining. Miller’s interpretation of Sherlock is completely detached from any previous incarnation. This was made more evident in the two-part season finale as his character struggled with acceptance, loss, betrayal and a drive for vengeance. Natalie Dormer’s Moriarty plays a soft balance of emotions as she goes from confident to timid to conniving all within the span of two episodes. It’s a lot to handle but they cast the right actress when it came to the complex role.
  • The Story (“The Woman”): One of the main points we loved about “The Woman” was the constant back and forth between Sherlock’s brief relationship with Irene and the present with his rediscovered girlfriend. So when the ultimate surprise was revealed about Irene being Moriarty, you could really connect with Sherlock’s pain. In the end, it seemed as if  the detective was done for, but that wasn’t the case. “The Woman” was thrilling enough to keep us guessing until the very end, and in some ways, may have been a better finale than “Heroine.”
  • Tried and True Directors: We want to tip our hat to the directors. The episodes may have been shot like a regular drama, but there were a number of instances that really conveyed what was going on in Sherlock and Watson’s heads.
  • Music Themes: In this episode, a lot more than previous ones, the score stood out. It was easy to pick up on Irene’s sweet theme and the more ominous one that plays when she’s shown as Moriarty. It was a nice touch.

The Decent:

  • Moriarty: We finally found out who Moriarty is,but the surprise didn’t entirely work. It just posed even more questions like whether or not the writers felt it necessary to pull a stunt like this to keep our attention? Surely the audience is well-aware that Elementary is its own entity. In some ways the combination is clever, but it’s also rather complicated. If she were Moriarty while posing as Irene, you’re dealing with a villain who’s practically in love with her enemy, though she never admits it. Lumping these characters together makes it feel as if the writers thought the show wouldn’t have a second season. This crazy twist feels a bit forced.
  • The Story (“Heroine”): The final trick, Sherlock pretending to O.D. in order to lure Moriarty to a single location and arrest her. It seemed too amateur for our villain to fall for. At one point, the story slowed down as we shifted focus to Moriarty’s latest victim. It was a man being blackmailed into killing a couple to save his daughter. It managed to pick up towards the climatic conclusion but the drag was noticeable.

The Bad:

  • The End?: We understand the need to tie up loose ends in case the show doesn’t return, but putting Moriarty behind bars? That was a bit much. The last scene with Sherlock naming a new bee species for Watson was sweet, but the scene prior to it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.


Despite its flaws, “The Woman” and “Heroine” proved to be a solid season finale to what’s turned out to be a great addition to the Sherlock legend.

Ratings: “The Woman” 9.5/10 and “Heroine” 8/10

Elementary airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. on CBS.

What did you think of the Moriarty twist?