Sherlock vs. Elementary: Waiting For Sherlock


By Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)

Warning: Sherlock and Elementary spoilers.

Days until Elementary: 16

Days until Sherlock: No idea

Yes. No idea. Rumor has it that Sherlock will be released in January 2013. In November, the date was changed to February 2013. It was then changed again to September 2013. And now, to our horror and dismay, it might be released in 2014. Elementary, on the other hand, is on their midseason break and will return in a mere sixteen days. Waiting for Sherlock seems to be the bane of my existence. Let’s recap as to where both series left us.


The only new developments seemed to be that Sherlock had finally been connected to Watson’s family; meeting with her disappointed mother and successful brother. Although we had never met Watson’s family in the BBC version, I wonder if it has added any depth to the characters despite highlighting the obvious fact that Watson loves the obscure. Sherlock dubbed Watson as “unconventional”. Which is something we’ve all already grasped after her decision to stick around an English maniac with a thrill for solving outlandish crimes.

A glimmer of Sherlock’s celebrity had been hinted at in Elementary’s “The Leviathan,” but the hint was so subtle that it might as well have been a figment of my imagination. Remember “A Scandal in Belgravia” when Sherlock’s face and deerstalker because infamous with one picture plastered all over the tabloids? Welcome to Sherlock Holmes’ trademark. The hat… yes. But also, giving a normal citizen with an obscure tale the ability to locate Sherlock and ask for his help. Of course, Watson’s blog did more help than harm in that respect. This Elementary episode the case came to him, and not through the NYPD looking for a consultant.

Another similarity to Sherlock that was so subtle, it probably was a figment of my imagination, was both Sherlocks’ abilities to understand languages or symbols people otherwise would never recognize. This episode Miller deciphered a computer language that I have tried to spell but to no avail. The language looks something like this “£&(!”n&(n!” Where in Sherlock’s “The Blind Banker,” Holmes deciphered an ancient Chinese number system. Both translations led to the inevitable solution of both cases.

One difference that became evident in Elementary this week was Watson reducing Sherlock’s Sherlockness to the mere obsessions of an addict. Although, John Watson became aware of Sherlock’s drug history in the BBC’s “A Study in Pink,” he never used it to validate or belittle Sherlock’s infatuation with solving a mystery. I would love to see Elementary treat Sherlock as a detective first and an addict second, but they seem to do the opposite. In “The Leviathan,” Sherlock spent seventeen hours trying to crack a vault open. Watson reduced it to the acts of an addict. I think it is simply the traditional actions of Sherlock. If it takes seventeen hours, so be it. Unfortunately, this week’s midseason finale left us with an interesting case, but no character or major arc developments. Now let us compare that to where Sherlock left us after three episodes of gut-wrenching action.


To be fair, I’ll use season one’s finale “The Great Game” in comparison to “The Leviathan.” But to be honest, the way season one ended, any comparison with anything Sherlock would be ill advised. If you have seen this episode, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m talking about guns, grenades and a consulting criminal; Moriarty’s grand entrance. I won’t give too much away in case you’re reading this and haven’t seen it. But let me just say there were websites devoted to awaiting the arrival of the next season, with comments underneath that went something like this:

Fan 1: And if we’ve watched, read and listened to everything Sherlock-related, what then?

Fan 2: Solve crimes.

Sherlock has created some diehard fans. I’ve already ranted on enough as to how amazing I think it is. But the wait is quite literally unbearable. It has been 863 days since the season one finale and 338 days since the season two finale. Now you see why Sherlock fans are diehard. If they weren’t, they would’ve long forgotten Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch and wouldn’t wait in eager anticipation for the next season.

Moriarty: I will burn you. I will burn the heart out of you.

Sherlock: I have been reliably informed that I don’t have one.

Congratulations, you have already burnt the hearts out of us. So please, before the world actually does come to an end, set an airdate.

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