Joan: How do you do it? Holmes: Do what? Joan: Guess things. Holmes: I don't "guess", I observe. And once I observe, I deduce.
Elementary is an American television series that premiered on CBS on September 27, 2012. It presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories set in New York City. It stars Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson.Sherlock Holmes was a consultant for Scotland Yard, before "hitting bottom" and ending up in rehabilitation. Joan Watson has been hired by Holmes' father to be his sober companion, to help him adjust from rehab back to everyday life.Holmes has come up with an interesting post-rehab regimen to keep himself busy - he's going to resume his role as a consultant, this time for the New York police. Watson finds herself coming along for the ride.The casting of Lucy Liu as Joan Watson caused quite a stir, as well as the similarities between this adaptation and The BBC's smash hit Sherlock. Since CBS initially approached the Sherlock creators about a remake before deciding to do their own thing, the similarities are not a coincidence — however, Elementary aims to give an entirely original take on the Holmes mythos. The show just finished its first season, with a second season confirmed.Please practice the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement, and only add tropes as the show airs, with the obvious exceptions.
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Actor Allusion: Joan's brother in "Leviathan" is called Oren, named after Lucy Liu's character O-Ren Ishii of Kill Bill.
Vinnie Jones plays a villain who's a soccer fan.
Sherlock's disdain for "M"'s support of Arsenal also counts, as Jonny Lee Miller is a Chelsea fan and the two clubs are bitter rivals.
Sherlock stalking a killer known only as "M" could be a subtle allusion to the fact that Jonny Lee Miller's grandfather, the late actor Bernard Lee, played the original M of the James Bond film series.
Lisa Edelstein (From House, a show where she plays a hospital administrator who shares UST with a Paper-Thin Expy of Sherlock Holmes) shows up in "The Long Fuse" as an executive who flirts with Holmes.
All Asians Know Martial Arts: Used by Holmes, when he and Watson had to get into a locked office in a middle of a blizzard. Holmes threatened the security guard by telling him that Watson has several black belts.
Alone with the Psycho: Holmes sometimes goes out of his way to be alone with someone who he knows is the psycho, such as in "Child Predator" and "The Deductionist". And in "Heroine" Watson goes to a very fancy restaurant for a lunch with Irene / Moriarty.
Always Identical Twins: Averted in "While You Were Sleeping". A suspect drawing matches a woman who just happens to be in a coma. After finding out the woman has a twin, Holmes seizes on the twin sister as the killer—until they go to meet her and find out the two women are fraternal, not identical twins.
Watson: "Do you close yourself off to people, and deny yourself things that might bring you pleasure, not because it makes you a better investigator, but because it's some sort of penance?"..."It just occurred to me it might be something that someone might do, and not even know it."
Holmes: "You always know it, Watson. If you didn't, it wouldn't be penance." (He starts playing the violin again after this conversation.)
From "The Leviathan", Watson tells her mother that after she's done with Holmes, she'll move on to the next client. Her mother asks if the next client will make her happy the way that working with Holmes does.
In "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs" Rhys asks Sherlock if he needs the drugs to operate at peak form. Although Sherlock adamantly insists that he doesn't it's obvious that the fear and temptation of the idea gets to him to some degree. Especially when Rhys scores some cocaine and insists Sherlock take it when the leads dry up. Sherlock resists but the move angers him greatly.
Asshole Victim: In "Dead Man's Switch," a serial blackmailer currently threatening a rape victim's father with releasing a video of the rape on the Internet.
The Atoner: Implied with Watson because of the patient she lost as a surgeon. She observes that Holmes seems to be doing the same in "While You Were Sleeping."
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Holmes and Watson's relationship in the series grows into a close friendship and it's evident that they care for each other. Holmes even panics at one moment when he thinks Watson's been shot.
Be Careful What You Say: In the pilot, Dr. Watson tells Sherlock that he can introduce her however he wants. So he introduces her as his valet. It's become a Running Gag for him to introduce her in various ways.
It's interesting to watch the progression of these as the show goes on. As Holmes starts to trust and respect Watson more, he introduces her as more polite things, like "my associate." Unless he's angry with her, in which case he'll introduce her as something demeaning or embarrassing.
Berserk Button: Anything relating to Irene's death is a huge trigger for Sherlock. Another button was in "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs" when Rhys tempted Sherlock to take cocaine to help with the case, he threw and nearly strangled the latter while shouting for even suggesting such a thing.
Big Applesauce: While Sherlock did originally work with Scotland Yard, he moved across the pond to NYC.
Big Bad: As of "M.", we learn that Moriarty is definitely Holmes' nemesis, though so far we and even Holmes himself know nothing about him apart from the name Moriarty. Nobody knows if that's Moriarty's real name, or even his or her gender.
As of the first season finale, the name may still be up in the air, but the gender certainly is not.She also goes by the name "Irene Adler".
Big Blackout: A severe winter storm takes out the power in New York City in "Snow Angels".
Bilingual Bonus: Viewers not speaking Polish will miss the translation gags in the laundry scenes of Possibility Two.
Bland Name Product: In episode 3, The Investor's Post with its 'distinctive salmon-coloured paper stock' is a stand-in for The Financial Times, another business-oriented newspaper known for being printed on pink paper.
Bluffing the Murderer: In "Snow Angels", Sherlock suspected that the emergency response administrator was in on the robbery but had no solid evidence. So the police staged a fake riot to see if whether the suspect would use this opportunity to help get one of the imprisoned thieves out. They did.
Book Ends: At start of the Pilot, Holmes and Watson are on the Brownstone rooftop at night, and Holmes tells Watson to take a six-week holiday because he doesn't need her and because she obviously hates her job. In the last scene of the season one finale "Heroine", after Joan defeated Moriarty by herself, Sherlock and Joan are witnessing the birth of a new species of bee, which Sherlock names ''Euglassia Watsonia''.
Call Back: The scene where Joan lands in jail and Sherlock comes to bail her out in "Deja Vu All Over Again" is shot-by-shot remake of the scene in the Pilot, where it was the other way round.
Calling Card: The Balloon Man from "Child Predator" leaves behind balloons after abducting a child.
The Caretaker: Sherlock for Irene in "The Woman", leaving Joan to do the main deductioning the episode.
Chekhov's Armory: As with any true Sherlock Holmes tale, you never know what'll be important. In the pilot, the simple fact that the apparent killer had a bag of rice on his kitchen shelf turns out to be a Chekhov's Gun.
In the opening to "The Rat Race" Watson complains to Holmes that she can't read his texts because he uses too many abbreviations. Holmes is exuberant over texting slang, calling it English evolving for greater efficiency. After the Killer of the Week kidnaps Sherlock, she sends a text from his phone so Watson won't worry. Watson realizes it's not from Sherlock because it didn't read "like a teenager on a sugar high."
In "The Deductionist", Holmes gives Watson a brief rundown of the continuity errors in the porno her sub-letter made. Watson later uses one of those errors to prove that her landlord was in on it.
Also from "The Deductionist,", Sherlock's single stick practice.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the Pilot, we're introduced to Ramirez. He's gone in the next episode, never metionend again and we're introduced to Bell.
Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Although it's mostly Joan's job as Sherlock's companion, Gregson and Bell have all taken the role when Joan's not there. They're all too pleased to pass him back, though.
Companion Cube: Sherlock's phrenology bust is apparently named Angus. When Joan and Rhys are held hostage at gunpoint, she smashes Angus against the gunman's head, incapacitating him until the police arrive. At the end of the episode, Holmes is seen carefully putting Angus back together.
Conspiracy Theorist: One of Holmes' hobbies is to troll conspiracy theory websites and submit absurd theories that he makes up on the spot just to see what everyone else on the sites will believe.
Continuity Nod: "The Leviathan" has references to Liam (Watson's old boyfriend, introduced in "You Do It to Yourself") and the events of "The Rat Race".
Convenient Coma: Invoked In-Universe in "While You Were Sleeping". The killer was slipping in and out of a medically-induced coma with the help of her doctor boyfriend, in order to have the perfect alibi.
Cool Pet: Clyde the tortoise, especially after Holmes takes him in after his owner is murdered.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Pretty much everyone at the investment firm in "The Rat Race". Even lampshaded by one of the suits: "There's a sociopath working for us? Let me let you in on a little secret, Mr Holmes. We're all sociopaths".
"The Long Fuse" has a couple of examples. A web designer for a corporate PR firm blackmails his boss when he realized he'd slept with her (and filmed it!) while she was a prostitute. Said boss responds with two attempts to kill the employee; one is successful, one winds up killing two innocent people four years later.
Couldn't Find a Pen: In "Details", Bell's brother uses his own blood to write that Bell didn't shoot him to protect him from the frame-up. He didn't see who had shot him but trusted that Bell wouldn't do such a thing despite their rocky relationship.
Holmes, of course, is not one to be outdone on this front.
Bell and Gregson, when they're not being annoyed by Sherlock's lack of tact, can snark with the best of them.
Death Glare: Watson employs this so often when Holmes says or does something that she thinks is outlandish, that it might as well be her default expression whenever she's talking to him.
Episode 6, "Flight Risk," when Watson asks Holmes about Irene, it was surprising that she didn't drop dead from the death glare she received.
Deep Cover Agent: Sherlock unearths a Russian SVR spy ring in "Dirty Laundry". The victim and her husband have been long time Deep Cover Agents from Russia with their own American-born daughter, and they're not the only ones.
Did You Actually Believe?: In "The Rat Race", Gregson asks Holmes whether he honestly thought Gregson didn't know about Holmes' past as a drug addict. Gregson knew all along; he was waiting for Holmes to open up.
Dirty Cop: In "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs", the DEA agent is the bad guy.
In "Details", Bell had blown the whistle on one such Dirty Cop who had been planting evidence and committed other transgressions while working on a major drug case together.
The Dog Was the Mastermind: In the third episode "Child Predator" while Adam Kemper was abducted, he used his greater intelligence to manipulate his abductor into a submissive relationship and then had him continue abducting children just to see the parents squirm at press conferences.
In "One Way To Get Off", the copycat is the son of the original serial killer and spends most of the episode completely off Sherlock's radar. The only reason Sherlock is able to identify him at all is because he happens to run into him while pursuing a completely different lead.
Ep 3: "Child Predator." Holmes was after a serial killer who targeted on children. The killer is a child who IS a predator.
The title of the episode "M." neatly sums up all the different forces intruding on Holmes and Watson's lives: M. Holmes, Sherlock's father; the serial killer "M", whose real name is Sebastian Moran; and Moran's boss, Moriarty.
Season One finale, "Heroine" At first glance it appears to imply Sherlock's addiction and the chance he will fall back into it. It really refers to Joan, not Sherlock, who comes up with the plot to capture Moriarty. Joan, who was dismissed as the "mascot" by Moriarty, was the reason the criminal mastermind was caught.
In "The Deductionist", an imprisoned serial killer breaks loose to wreak havoc and get revenge against The Profiler, Katherine Drummond, because her book destroyed his family. She falsely alleged that he was a sexually abused by his father, who later hanged himself and his mother died shortly after; his sister helps him break out of jail by deliberately inducing kidney disease.
In "Heroine", Joan realizes that Moriarty / Irene is in love with Holmes and is able to capture her.
Evil-Detecting Dog: The second victim in "M." has a little white one - but then he gets distracted by a hot dog left by M. so he can subdue the woman and prepare to exsanguinate her.
Evil Twin: Subverted in "While You Were Sleeping". There is an evil twin, but she's fraternal, not identical, so there's no impersonation of the good twin. Some aspects of this trope are played with, namely framing/trying to kill the good twin.
Sherlock occasionally does this while trying to obtain certain details, like the locations of persons of interest. Jonny Lee Miller's accent is surprisingly flawless... but then, anyone who saw Eli Stone or watched the fifth season of Dexter would already know this. Or Hackers, showing he's been faking the accent since mid-90s.
Irene put on an American accent so well that she fooled Sherlock.
Fakin' MacGuffin: The episode "M" has a mysterious serial killer, who Holmes has a history and obsession with but who has never been caught, known only by that initial. Any viewer who knows anything about Sherlock Holmes would naturally assume that the "M" stands for "Moriarty". It's actually for Moran, Moriarty's Dragon. And then subverted because Moran's murders were contracted kills on Moriarty's orders, while Moriarty himself is apparently the one who killed Irene Adler, meaning that, in a sense, Moriarty really is M. And then comes The Reveal in the first season finale...
Flipping Helpless: Sherlock brings home the pet turtle which used to be owned by the Victim of the Week, claiming he is going to make turtle soup out of it (after fattening it up first). At one point he uses it as a paperweight by putting it shellsidedown on a stack of papers. Joan is not pleased.
Football Hooligans: Moran's alibi for the murder of Irene Adler is that he was doing six months in prison for a brawl over the relative virtues of Arsenal versus Manchester United at the time the murder was committed.
Friendship Moment: Subverted, at first, in "A Landmark Story". Sherlock brings Joan to a morgue in the middle of the night, gets her to do an autopsy and compliments her skills.
Joan: No. I am dissecting a body in the middle of the night. We are not having a moment.
Played much more straight later in the episode, when Sherlock mentions that this time, he will not go haywire after finding Moriarty.
Sherlock: The thing that's different about me, empirically speaking...is you.
Joan: That is the one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me.
Freeze Frame Bonus: In "Deja Vu All Over Again", Joan looks at Sherlock's rehab report from Hemdale. Sherlock was mainly addicted to heroin, but also took other drugs. He's also clinically depressed and refused medication.
While Joan is talking to her ex "Ty" on the phone, Sherlock places his violin in a metal garbage can, and sets it on fire with a giant whoomp.
Holmes: You were right, Watson, I felt like Jimi Hendrix there for a moment.
Sherlock orders an expensive bottle of wine at a restaurant and has it sent to a couple at another table where the man is about to propose. If you keep watching over his shoulder, you can see the proposal before we refocus on them when she shouts "Yes!"
Funny foreground event in "The Long Fuse": Detective Bell has been questioning the Earth Liberation Militia guy they think planted the four-year-old bomb, when without warning Holmes bursts in and begins lecturing them both about why this guy couldn't be the bomber. Bell sits in the foreground to Holmes' right, staring straight off into space with a look of "oh for @*$#'s sake" on his face, for fifteen whole seconds.
Sherlock bursts into Joan's room and demands that she get changed. Since this is Sherlock however, Joan is forced to change her clothes under her blankets and sheets while Sherlock is ranting in the foreground.
Holmes was asking Bell if he and an officer that he was just talking how many times they had sex. Cue Joan rolling her eyes and moaning in the background.
Subverted in "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs"; Holmes has a little trouble starting a van this way. Then again, he is escaping from an ambush while simultaneously talking on the phone with Watson, who's under attack at the same moment.
Watson learns how to do it in "Deja Vu All Over Again".
Higher Understanding Through Drugs: This trope was discussed and averted in the episode "A Loaded Gun, Filled With Drugs". In this adaptation, Holmes was once hooked on drugs, but is currently sober. A former friend and practicing drug dealer comes for Holmes' help when his daughter is kidnapped and being held for ransom. The drug-dealer spends a good deal of the episode trying to convince Sherlock to use cocaine again, because he believes the detective works better and can close cases quicker when his mind is under the influence. Sherlock refuses and eventually loses his temper and nearly strangles him, then proceeds to solve the case sober. An inversion is also suggested in the series, in that Sherlock uses drugs in hopes of dulling his ever-active deductive senses.
How We Got Here: "The Rat Race" begins with Joan arriving at the police station alone because Holmes has gone missing and she cannot get a hold of him. The episode then tracks back to two days prior and the events that lead to Joan going to the police.
I Choose to Stay: Not we didn't see this coming already, but Joan at the of "M". Her six weeks with Sherlock is over. She decides to stay on anyway, going directly against Sherlock's father's orders.
I Need a Freaking Drink: In "A Landmark Story", after Sherlock has captured this week's murderer and has him tied up in their house to interrogate him about his connection to Moriarty, he asks a frantic Joan if she wants tea. She responds with this. The teetotaling addict in recovery gives her A Face.
If I Can't Have You: In "Possibility Two" a geneticist is murdered by her fiancÚ in a jealous rage after he suspects that she might be leaving him.
Inspector Lestrade: Well, his name is Gregson this time, but still. note For those unaware of the reason for the pothole: Gregson is the name of a colleague of Lestrade in the original stories - he appears in the first Holmes story, "A Study In Scarlet". Lestrade appeared far more often than Gregson in the original works, but both serve identical roles - as is now the case for Elementary and Sherlock.
First, in "While You Were Sleeping": Holmes attempts to test whether a coma patient is really asleep by jabbing a needle into her thigh, proclaiming that there are "lost of nerve endings there." Later, Watson threatens that if he falls asleep during his NA group session, she'll do the same to him.
Watson: "Lots of nerve endings there."
Second, in "Details": Holmes is trying to get Watson to take up self-defense out of concern for her safety. He goes about trying to prove the need for this in his own unique way: He beans her in the back of the head with a tennis ball and points out that it "could have been a knife." At the end of the episode, Watson retaliates by beaning him in the face with a basketball.
Watson: "Could have been a knife."
Third, in "Deja Vu All Over Again": She outlines her theory of the murder and the suspect calls her "a woman with a crazy story." Gregson counters by pointing out they have proof that supports what Watson is saying, prompting this line:
Watson: "But don't take my word for it. I'm just a woman with a crazy story."
In "Risk Management", Sherlock says that the easiest way to track someone is through their phone. At the end of the episode, Sherlock goes to an address Moriarty sent him, while lying to Joan about his intents. He gets out of the taxi and finds her waiting for him.
Watson: In this day and age, the simplest way to track someone is via their cell phone.
Lawman Gone Bad: In "One Way to Get Off", we learn that Gregson's former partner D'Amico planted evidence on Wade Crewes because the police couldn't prove his guilt legitimately. When By-the-Book Cop Gregson calls her out on this, she's more concerned with the potential impact on her career than the miscarriage of justice.
The villain in "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs" is an undercover DEA agent who tries to make some money on the side by kidnapping the daughter of Holmes' old drug dealer.
The culprit of "Details" is an ex-girlfriend of Detective Bell's, who was also a beat cop. She had been trying to get promoted into Vice, but after learning that Bell went to Internal Affairs with evidence that her late superior was a Dirty Cop on a major drug case they were all working on, her chances were next to nothing so she took it out on Bell.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "Details" Joan says "I'd like to be paid on Thursdays" to indicate that she's staying on. It is, of course, on Thursdays that the series airs.
Leave No Witnesses: "The Red Team": During government sponsored war game team discovered an unspecified fatal flaw in USA defense. Later one member of the team started killing his teammates fearing they could sell this information.
Living in a Furniture Store: Generally averted in Sherlock's house. There is usually a mess in the kitchen and things like books and pizza boxes are scattered around the floor and tables.
Loophole Abuse: Holmes is a consultant, not a cop, which means he can do things the NYPD can't - such as search people's homes without a warrant.
While this might be Holmes' self-justification, it would be Hollywood Law if played straight. In reality, persons acting on behalf of police agencies are bound by the same rules of evidence as sworn police, to prevent exactly this kind of loophole.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Sherlock is quite sexually active, such as in the pilot Watson sees a girl (possibly a prostitute) leaving his home. Interestingly, Sherlock never shows romantic interest in Watson but instead prefers random, one-off encounters.
Averted with Detective Bell, as shown in "Details." As Joan describes it, his apartment is immaculate.
Mercy Kill: "Lesser Evils" features a serial killer who was euthanizing terminally ill patients in a hospital. One patient actually wasn't terminally ill, but her surgeon tricked the killer into believing she was in order to cover up a post-operative mistake that could have ended his career.
Bell is put into several tight-fitting shirts in "Details". Fandom was very happy indeed.
Ms. Fanservice: Watson in miniskirts has been well-received by the fans.
Mundane Solution: From the pilot, when Watson asks Holmes how he knew her father had had an affair:
Holmes:Google. (beat) Well, not everything is deducible.
My God, What Have I Done?: Sherlock goes through this when he realized he helped the true mastermind in "Child Predator" walk out of the police station with a full immunity agreement.
Rules Lawyer: Sherlock makes up for this by using the agreement's Exact Words to make sure the killer is punished anyway.
The killer in "Lesser Evils" when he finds out that a woman he killed because he thought she was terminally ill and was facing a slow and agonizing death, had actually just had surgery and was recovering.
Sherlock himself once he realized that the coded message that he showed to Sebastian Moran to decipher is actually a death command.
Holmes as a former addict is a reference to Holmes' cocaine use in the original stories, though the reasons for his drug usage is inverted - the original Holmes took stimulants to keep his brain active between cases, while this Holmes took depressives to shut his brain down.
The multiple references to beekeeping refer to Holmes' career after being a detective. "Possibility Two" alludes to his fascination with bees again with Sherlock being offered a rare bee as a gift.
Holmes' father is referred to as rich, despite being unseen. The books never show Holmes' family beyond Mycroft, but it's implied they come from money.
In "While You Were Sleeping" he tells Watson that his brain is "like an attic, with a finite amount of space" that he must save only for the necessary, which is an exact copy of the analogy Holmes gave to Watson in the original stories—but with more tossing around complete strangers' glasses of water.
Also from "While You Were Sleeping", Watson finds an old violin that Holmes owned and tries to get him back into it, saying that playing an instrument will help him stay sober. The original Sherlock Holmes was notorious for playing the violin while thinking.
Sherlock's assessment of Gregson as being smart for a policeman echoes that of his literary counterpart, who described Gregson as "the smartest of the Scotland Yarders" in a somewhat backhanded fashion. Here, though, it comes off as more sincere.
Holmes owns a phrenology bust. In the original stories, Holmes was said to have studied phrenology.
Chief Detective Gregson is Inspector Gregson, "The finest of the Scotland Yard detectives"
In "Flight Risk", Holmes first came into contact with Alistair when he wrote the actor a letter complimenting his Yorkshireaccent in a radio play. If we assume that only a local would notice (even if he doesn't have the accent himself), this ties in with the Fanon that the literary Holmes comes from the East Riding of Yorkshire.
In "Leviathan", Holmes responds to Watson's objections to his current theory by saying "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true." This is one of the most famous lines from Sherlock Holmes.
In "You Do It To Yourself", Holmes apparently spent a car journey with Bell recording his thoughts about effect the tides have on crime, later saying he was thinking of writing a monograph on the subject. In the books Holmes was always writing monographs on obscure aspects of criminology. (Bell just thinks the flu's made him delirious. The idea of a sick Holmes becoming a Talkative Loon could be a reference to "The Adventure of the Dying Detective".)
In "M", Teddy and the alluded-to network of similar street kids that Sherlock uses for surveillance around New York are an obvious nod to the Baker Street Irregulars.
Also in "M," Sherlock's speech about statisticians and individuals comes from the classic Doyle story "The Sign of Four."
In "The Red Team" Sherlock's wall of crazy for Moriarty includes a picture of Napoleon Bonaparte. Sherlock admits that one is probably a result of a lack of sleep, but it's a reference to Moriarty being called "the Napoleon of crime." In fact, the picture says just that.
Holmes is a single-stick fighter, which Watson listed in his skills in the first novel.
In "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs", Sherlock tells his addiction support group the story of one of his pre-Watson cases, which was clearly derived from "The Adventure of the Crooked Man". While musing what he could relate in the next meeting, Holmes explicitly refers to "The Case of the Blue Carbuncle" by name. And in that same episode, Sherlock mentions his monograph on cigar and cigarette ashes, a bit taken almost word-for-word from Conan Doyle.
Mention is made of a former associate of Holmes named Mr Musgrave. This is clearly a reference to Reginald Musgrave, a college classmate of the original Holmes featured in "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual".
Sebastian Moran refers to being an ex-Royal Marine; the original version was a colonel in Kipling's Finest.
The plot of the thieves in "Snow Angels" is similar to the classic Holmes story the "Red-Headed League."
Ms. Hudson is an autodidact and helped Sherlock with cases involving Ancient Greek. She's....a Greek Interpreter.
"Dead Man's Switch" is basically a rewrite of Charles Augustus Milverton with the blackmailer dying in the first ten minutes and Holmes needing to track down the blackmail material before the blackmailer's partner can release it to the public rather than Holmes being able to destroy it all immediately after the blackmailer's death as in the original novel. They didn't even change the blackmailer's name.
In "A Landmark Story", when Holmes and Watson are discussing whether Holmes has ever needed to break into a funeral home before, Holmes remarks that there was "The Problem of Thor Bridge".
In "Risk Management", Holmes refers to Irene Adler as "The Woman."
The song that plays in "Risk Management" when Holmes finds Irene is from the opera "Don Giovanni." In the novels, Irene Adler was an opera singer who was in that show.
In "Risk Management" as well, Moriarty's entire "spider at the center of his web" speech is, word-by-word, Holmes' description of him in "The Final Problem", only in first person.
In "The Woman", Irene Adler mentions that she was watched over in her captivity by a man named Stapleton, a reference to "The Hound of the Baskervilles."
Bonus Mythology Gag: like the character in the original, this Stapleton was a false identity. For bonus points, Stapleton was the caretaker for a "monster," like Moriarty is for this one.
In "Heroine" after an apparent overdose, Sherlock is in the hospital when Moriarty arrives at Sherlock's bedside. This is nearly identical to "The Dying Detective" up to and including , Sherlock has Watson nearby as Sherlock gets Moriarty to confess, and Sherlock was faking the illness.
In the original stories, Irene Adler was the only woman ever to outsmart Holmes. So, too, here.
As in Valley of Fear, it is observed that Moriarty keeps a stolen painting prominently displayed for anyone to see. Holmes identifies it upon sight. Fans who realized this knew Irene Adler was Moriarty a good 45 minutes before the ultimate reveal.
Never Found the Body: Irene Adler. Sure enough, she turns up alive in the penultimate episode of season one.
New York City Cops: Variation. Holmes works as a consultant with NYPD homicide detectives. He was a consultant for Scotland Yard, but something happened (likely the drugs and forceful move to NYC for rehab) to make him leave.
No, Mister Bond, I Expect You To Dine: Happens to Joan in the season one finale, when Moriarty lures her away from Sherlock in order to... invite her to lunch in a fancy restaurant and talk things over.
Noodle Incident: In "The Deductionist" after some amateur porn actors used Joan's spatula in their production, Sherlock gives her a new one . . . and a toothbrush to replace her old one. Joan notes she didn't see them touch this in the final film. Sherlock notes they didn't. He is quiet on the rest.
From the same episode, Sherlock explaining an earlier case at the rehab group. A Noodle Incident for the casual viewer, Mythology Gag for the keen fans.
The Not-Love Interest: Neither Sherlock nor Watson is attracted to the other at all. Not that people don't keep mistaking them for it. In fact, this is actually a subplot of "Deja Vu All Over Again", when Watson's friends think she's being emotionally manipulated by Sherlock and stage a misinformed intervention.
Now You Tell Me: Done a couple of times in "Details". The first time when Holmes while masked attacked Joan to see if she will fight back but only fought back after she realized who he is. The second time was after Bell was attacked and crashed his car. Holmes told him that he shouldn't have jerked the wheel and he would have gone off without a scratch. Bell muttered, "Now you tell me."
Sherlock will on occasion lie about what he deduces, for instance when he initially claims that Joan left being a surgeon when a friend died, only to later admit that he knew she was forced out because she killed a patient.
Adam Kemper plays the role of a victim with severe PTSD and Stockholm Syndrome, only to be revealed as the real mastermind.
Out-of-Character Alert: In "The Rat Race", Joan figures out Sherlock is in trouble when the text the secretary sends doesn't contain indecipherable abbreviations.
Orgy of Evidence: Left behind to frame Detective Bell in "Details". Holmes refuses to believe the evidence on the grounds that if Bell had done it, he wouldn't have been so stupid as to hide the evidence so sloppily.
Perp Sweating: Averted in "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs". Gregson and Bell don't even raise their voices when they're interrogating the kidnapper; they just calmly point out that things will go a lot better for him if he reveals where he's hiding the victim.
Perspective Reversal: In "Snow Angels", after Sherlock, looking at some tire tracks, announces the thieves have made their escape in an ambulance without explaining how he knows, Watson, who he's supposed to be training as an investigator, irritably lists off other things about them (which she made up on the spot). Sherlock stares at her in confusion.
Watson: Now you know what it feels like. Show me.
Phantom Thief: Played with in "Leviathan". A criminal who Holmes and Watson question about the break-in of a unbeatable safe clue them in of a legendary thief who's pulled impossible heists. Turns out to be a fluke, and the crime in question was done by a Similar Squad of the jury who banded together.
Posthumous Character: Irene Adler is said killed by Sebastian Moran, on orders from Moriarty. Then again, fans have speculated that she might still be alive since the nature of her death led to a case of Never Found the Body. It would be perfectly believable for Moriarty to have faked her death in order to send Holmes into a downward spiral.
"Risk Management" confirms Irene is alive. The next two episodes confirm that she is Moriarty, and she faked her death as a Batman Gambit to get Holmes out of her way without killing him.
The Profiler: One appears in the "The Deductionist", as a former partner (in more ways than one) of Holmes. It's also something of a Discussed Trope, as the episode analyzes whether a profiler can be a legitimate detective or if they're just "snake oil science". It ends on a ambiguous note about their effectiveness.
The Reveal: From the season 1 finale: Irene Adler wasn't murdered by Moriarty, she is Moriarty.
Rich Bitch: Yvette Ellison from "While You Were Sleeping", who not only murdered her newly discovered half-siblings, but also faked a coma and plotted to kill her own twin sister, solely because she did not want to share the family inheritance.
Sherlock goes on one against Irene Adler's killer in "M."
This is also Serial Killer Howard Ennis' motivation in "The Deductionist". Ennis wants revenge on FBI profiler Kathryn Drummond because she falsely accused Ennis' father of sexually abusing him, which led to the death of both Ennis' parents. His sister is in on it too.
Room Full of Crazy: Sherlock's giant wall of Moriarty-related stuff. Joan calls it his 'wall of crazy' at some point.
Sherlock's habit of introducing Joan as various titles. So far we've had: "my personal valet", "bodyguard", "consultant slash housekeep" and, most straightforwardly, "she keeps me from doing heroin".
"The Red Team" had an episode-long one with Sherlock making comments about how Clyde the turtle would make a good soup. (In the end, he says he could never eat Clyde as he thinks turtles are magnificent creatures.)
Holmes waking Watson up to share his thoughts on the latest case.
Sex Slave: Sherlock liberates one in "One Way to Get Off".
Sherlock Scan: It's hard to tell when Holmes is actually analyzing but it's definitely there. It's sporadic at most.
Unique in that the show's Sherlock Scan filter pops up not only when Sherlock's deducing but in a few scenes from Watson's perspective.
Ship Tease: ...Not as much as someinstallments, but this is still Holmes and Watson we're talking about. The first line he says to her is "Do you believe in love at first sight?". He was actually reciting lines from the soap opera on TV.
Shirtless Scene: In "Child Predator" we first see Sherlock sitting with no shirt on and looking through some boxes. The funny part is he remembers having it on when he started his search the previous night and has no idea how or why he took it off.
Word Of God confirms that Angus the phrenology bust is a prop from House, another show that took a twist on the Sherlock Holmes mythos. The bust may also be a shout out to the skull Sherlock keeps on his mantel. In the original novels, Holmes was said to follow phrenology.
In "One Way to Get Off", the perp's name is Crewes, and we spend a good deal of the episode thinking he spent 13 years in prison wrongfully because of planted evidence. Sound familiar, Life fans?
From the same episode, Sherlock attacks a suspect with an orange, like Vimes from The Fifth Elephant.
Marcus Bell is the only main character without a counterpoint from Doyle's original stories. But Dr. Joseph Bell was a mentor for Arthur Conan Doyle and an inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.
In "The Leviathan" Holmes is hired by Casterly Rock Security to solve a robbery of one of their bank vaults.
Watson's brother's name is Oren, a nod to Lucy Liu's character in Kill Bill.
In "The Leviathan" Holmes loudly plays Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ("Ode to Joy") when he figures out the perpetrators of the vault heist. This is the same music played when the criminals succeed in Die Hard, which also featured a multiple-level "impenetrable" vault.
In "The Red Team" Holmes has to find the identities of the people who participated in a classified government operation, one of which is a mathematician named Harold Dresden. One of the suspects has the code name of "Yossarian".
Holmes, an eccentric Brit, considers Watson as his companion.
In "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs", Holmes spends his turn at a support group talking about his previous cases. This could possibly be a reference to Samuel Vimes' lament in Feet of Clay that there are no support groups for being a cop.
In the first season finale, "Heroine", in the house of the husband of a victim, Holmes searches the cupboards for evidence and pulls out a pill bottle for Vicodin.
Also in "Heroine," Holmes makes an offhand reference to "the Dam Busters raid." The episode aired the night before the anniversary of the raid.
Skewed Priorities: In "The Deductionist", Joan finds out that her sub letter directed a porno in her apartment while she was away. Sherlock watches it and is appalled... by the continuity errors.
Sherlock: If I were you, I wouldn't be upset that a dirty film was produced in your home. I would be upset that it was produced so poorly.
Snipe Hunt: In "Leviathan", when questioning a convicted perp of a previous crime leads them to the Phantom Thief, Holmes and Watson quickly conclude that the guy doesn't exist, and that they're being sent on one of these. The trope is even name dropped.
Snowed In: "Snow Angels" plays with this trope. When New York is paralyzed by a massive blizzard, the police are overwhelmed. A murderous gang of thieves takes advantage of the storm to rob a Federal Reserve facility in New Jersey, and Holmes and Watson go after them, bribing a snow plow driver to drive them around.
Sophisticated as Hell: Sherlock is definitely this. See "The Deductionist", where he describes serial killers as "onanists" (which is a really roundabout way to say jerkoffs), and the episode when he tells Watson that "opinions are like ani" (plural of anus, or asshole).
Holmes and Bell have a similar exchange in "You Do It To Yourself", when Bell reveals he knows the secret entry tickets for a Chinese mahjong ring and expects Holmes to ask how he knew that.
Throw It In: The bit in "Snow Angels" where Holmes gives some cash to the homeless vet, advising him to find a hotel to stay in for the blizard was improvised by Jonny Lee Miller.
Title Drop: About five minutes into "A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs". The episode centers Sherlock's old dealer turning up again, and Sherlock referring to him as a trigger. Joan gives us the Title Drop.
Took a Level in Badass: Joan's been growing steadily as a investigator over the course of the season, but it comes to a high point in "The Woman", when she takes over the investigation single-handedly when Sherlock's taking care of Irene. She deduces rare colour of paint to a handful of shop, giving the cops a lead.
And better: She is the one who deduces Moriarty and creates the plan to capture her.
Transsexual: Ms. Hudson, although little has been made of it so far. Which may be the point.
Troll: Sherlock frequents an online forum for conspiracy theorists and has been known to make up conspiracies out of whole cloth.
Tropaholics Anonymous: Probably inevitable given that this iteration of Sherlock Holmes is a recovering drug addict. Watson takes him to meetings in several episodes.
True Companions: Sherlock and Joan are working their way there as Sherlock has admitted Joan has proven very helpful in finding something he might have overlooked.
In "The Deductionist," she makes more important contributions to the case than Sherlock does (realizing that the killer is trying to be chaotic; realizing that the sister is deliberately making her kidney disease worse).
As of "Details" they seem to be there. Sherlock knows that Watson has stayed on past her mandate as a sober companion, that she has done so for her own reasons and accepts the situation so long as she learns to protect herself against the dangers of the profession. He also openly admits that her involvement makes him a better detective and says that he thinks she will make a good partner.
In "Details", Joan and Sherlock definitely seem to regard Bell as this.
Despite the anger expressed in "Red Team", Gregson does trust Sherlock enough in "Dead Man's Switch" to agree to not officially take notice of Milverton's murder, giving Sherlock a chance to find the blackmailer's partner before the news comes out. For his part, Sherlock trusts Gregson enough to tell him about the murder and ask him to do it.
Turtle Power: Clyde the turtle is taken in by Sherlock after his owner is murdered. Sherlock thinks he makes a good paperweight.
Pointed out in-universe in "Snow Angels". Sherlock had a mock-up of the city with Clyde as an ambulance and locks to represent landmarks. When Joan points it out the unintentional pun of using locks as the city, Sherlock is indignant.
The Watson: As an audience surrogate of course, from a female point of view.
We Are Everywhere: Moriarty has "eyes and ears everywhere", including inside prisons and in police stations.
We Used To Be Friends: In "A Giant Gun, Filled With Drugs", this is Holmes' reaction when his former drug dealer Rhys offers him some cocaine, believing that it'll help Holmes find Rhys' kidnapped daughter.
Well Done Daughter Girl: Watson has hints of this in "Leviathan". When going to brunch with her mother, Sherlock mentions that she's dressing for a job interview, not meeting a loved one.
Slightly subverted in that it turns out that her mother isn't criticizing her current career because it's not as respectable as a surgeon but because it doesn't make Joan happy. Joan's mother is actually glad she's working with Holmes because this does make her happy.
Wham Episode: "M.": Sebastian Moran shows up as a serial killer. Sherlock catches him, tortures him and nearly kills him for murdering Irene... only to discover that Moran was in the employ of one Moriarty.
"Risk Management": The ending reveals that Irene Adler is still alive, apparently being kept in a Gilded Cage by Moriarty.
The entirety of the Season 1 Finale: Adler is in fact an identity assumed by Moriarty. Moriarty is revealed to be have become careless, since she has also fallen in love with Holmes, which leads to her arrest.
Wham Line: "Then a few hours ago, she tried to have me killed."
What the Hell, Hero?: After giving Holmes the cold shoulder throughout "The Red Team" for his actions in "M.", Gregson finally sits down with him and rips into him, calling him out on the fact that he acts like a child half the time, is completely self-centered, and doesn't seem to have any regret for trying to murder a suspect on Gregson's watch. Gregson ends the speech by saying he'll let Holmes keep consulting, but that he'll never fully trust him again. And then he punches Holmes in the gut for good measure before leaving.
Joan also doesn't hesitate to call out Sherlock's occasional misogyny.
Working The Same Case: "Deja Vu All Other Again", a man's wife disappearance (Joan's) and a woman getting pushed into the subway (Sherlock's) turns out to be linked.
Working With The Ex: In "The Deductionist", Sherlock has to work with ex-lover FBI profiler Kathryn Drummond when an escaped serial killer is on the loose. He isn't happy with this arrangement due to her profiling him and writing an article about him.
"Details" reveals that Detective Bell and another police officer in the same department were together for some time.
World's Smallest Violin: Holmes mouths off to Watson about the story being told by one of his fellow addicts like this:
Holmes: I'm playing the violin again. The world's smallest.
Worthless Foreign Degree: In "Lesser Evils" Sherlock discovers that a hospital janitor was not only a surgeon back in Ukraine, but that he'd also graduated from one of the top medical schools in the country, which is no small feat anywhere. His accent is also very faint, and he's fluent in English. It's a little strange that he can't get a medical job in the States. On the other hand, it's implied that he was doing the same thing over in the Ukraine and was interrogated by the police there before coming to the States. Perhaps he chose not to pursue a medical career in the States so that they wouldn't see that.
Worthy Opponent: The villains of "Snow Angels." Sherlock is so impressed with their plan to steal millions of dollars with no one ever knowing that he says he would be tempted to let them get away with it, if only they hadn't accidentally killed a man during step one.
Yandere: "Possibility Two" features a geneticist discovering the "warrior gene" in people, causing sociopathy and violence. She is later murdered by her fiancÚ, who possesses this gene and stabs her because she was becoming distant and he suspected she was about to leave him.
Your Cheating Heart: Happens in quite a few cases. It becomes a plot point in "While You Were Sleeping" since the father was revealed to have two illegitimate children that were killed by one of his daughters who didn't want to share his money.
You Haven't Seen the Last of X: Sherlock warns a suspect that "You haven't seen the last of me!" in "While You Were Sleeping". (Note that he was invoking this trope as part of a setup.)
You Need to Get Laid: Sherlock advises Joan in one episode that she should take up her date's invitation to a second meeting because it would help her mood.