YMMV: Elementary


  • Anti-Climax Boss: Moriarty. After being built for half a season, her capture in the Season One Finale was this for some.
  • Ass Pull: In "The Marchioness", the revelation that Joan slept with Mycroft during the events of "Step Nine" makes absolutely no sense within the narrative and pissed off the majority of the fanbase.
  • Badass Decay: Sherlock spends the first season getting excellent character development and humanization thanks to his improving friendships while also speeding through cases. He spends the second season arguing with Joan, getting upset and anxious over the thought of Joan leaving him, getting jealous about Joan's relationship with Mycroft, and possibly turning back to drugs once Joan moves out. Thankfully, he rebounds in the third season after some time apart from Joan.
  • Base Breaker: In the second season, Mycroft. Some fans found him to be a strong character and loyal to the canon, while others found his plotline tedious and overlong and his relationship with Joan a complete Ass Pull.
  • Broken Base:
    • Was the second season finale brilliant or awful? Was the second season in general as good as its predecessor or an uneven, heavily flawed season? Most fans seem to lean towards the latter, especially with the implication that Mycroft pulled a Reichenbach fall and not Sherlock by faking his death to save the day, despite RF being a pivotal point in Sherlock's character. Not to mention that Joan's making plans to move out of the brownstone, stating that she needed to grow away from Sherlock despite essentially one-upping him all season. And then Sherlock is seen with drugs he'd stolen from an earlier episode, contemplating using again! .
    • Season 3. A return to form? A mild improvement after season 2? The show fully Jumping the Shark? Seems everyone has a different opinion.
  • Ear Worm: The opening title theme.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Alfredo and Bell have their fair share of admirers.
    • Clyde the tortoise are also rather popular as well.
    • There's also clamoring for seeing more of another character: the crusty snow-plow driver, Pam.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fights with some factions of the Sherlock fandom have gotten ugly. It's reached national newspapers. The stupidity of the rivalry has reached astronomical bounds, especially since some die-hard fans of Sherlock insult Jonny Lee Miller's performance as if they're paying a service to Benedict Cumberbatch by doing so... seemingly not understanding that the two are good friends and performed in a play together. Tensions have calmed only at the second series, where even antagonistic fans admit that Elementary isn't that bad.
  • Fan Dumb: Some fans were outraged when Joan was kidnapped in the second season, thinking that it was turning her into a Damsel in Distress; these same fans seem to have forgotten that Sherlock was kidnapped in the first season, with Joan saving him (thanks in part to the perp's blunder).
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Sherlock/Joan. Even repeated Ship Sinking by Word of God doesn't seem to help much.
  • Foe Yay: Between Moriarty and Joan, especially during the restaurant scene. Also, the traditional Holmes-Moriarty Foe Yay is given a new dimension by having Moriarty be a woman and having her and Holmes actually having been lovers once.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • After all the drama with Sherlock fans, the fandom has recently gained an Odd Friendship with - of all series - the Hannibal fandom on Tumblr.
    • Seems to be striking up a relationship with Sleepy Hollow, as they both have female characters of colour who take no shit. It also helps that the Twitter pages for both shows' writers have been engaging in a hilarious Twitter "feud", with the CSI writers piping in.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • "Solve For X" revolves around "P versus NP," the most notorious unsolved problem in theoretical computer science.
    • In "An Unnatural Arrangement," we meet a character with the unfortunate name of "James Monroe," and British Sherlock Holmes quips "Loved your doctrine." Britain was one of the only European nations to actually be in favor of the Monroe Doctrine.
  • Growing the Beard: "M."
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Everything about Irene Adler after we find out that she's Moriarty.
    • One of the murder victims in "The Rat Race" was found dead of an overdose of heroin in his apartment in New York- which would recreate itself in 2014 with actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
  • He Really Can Act: As of "Details", the fandom is more or less chanting holy shit, Jon Michael Hill.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Irene is Moriarty. Fandom just about had a collective meltdown.
  • Hypocritical Fandom: No, being angry at those Sherlock fans who bashed Watson for being a woman does not give you the right to bash (and occasionally slut-shame) the women of Sherlock.
  • Narrowed It Down to the Guy I Recognize:
    • The pilot has Dallas Roberts play the role of the psychiatrist who manipulated the killer of the episode into murder. Roberts played recurring characters in The L Word, Rubicon and The Good Wife prior to this role. For many viewers watching the show after the initial airings, Roberts was obvious as part of the conspiracy because his next role after filming the pilot was a very important role as Milton Marnet in The Walking Dead.
    • In "Lesser Evils", the seemingly tiny role of the janitor was played by David Costabile, aka the Big Bad on Suits aka Gale Boetticher, a major role in Breaking Bad. A character who turns out to be an additional killer also falls under this, as he's played by David Harbour, of The Newsroom.
    • In "The Long Fuse", Lisa Edelstein (Dr. Cuddy on House) plays a business executive who turns out to be the bomber.
    • In "Rat Race", the killer secretary is played by Molly Price (Third Watch, the remake of Bionic Woman, etc.).
    • In "A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs", Undercover DEA agent played by Michael Irby, who played Charles Grey on The Unit for 4 years was the kidnapper.
    • "Details": the culprit is portrayed by Paula Garces (the Harold & Kumar series, Guiding Light)
    • "Deja Vu All Over Again": Subverted. The show features Jim True-Frost and Andre Royo, both of whom will be very familiar to viewers of The Wire. Neither one did it.
    • "Snow Angels": We see the female murderer at the beginning, and she is shot by her victim right before he dies, but don't get a very good look at her because of a disguise. Later in the episode, we meet a girl played by Jill Flint of Royal Pains, who claims to be a stab victim, but who Bell takes in as a suspect. And yes, she did it.
    • Natalie Dormer is Moriarty. But then again, is it surprising considering she's known for playing pretty women who shouldn't be trusted?
    • "Blood Is Thicker": The wife of Gale the internet billionaire is the killer. She is played by Margaret Colin who recently finished a 5 year stint as Eleanor Waldorf on Gossip Girl.
    • "No Lack of Void" features Garret Dillahunt(AKA Cromartie and Burt) as the killer of the episode.
  • Periphery Demographic: In addition to Holmes fans and fans of the police procedueral, Elementary has gained an enthusiastic following from progressives, especially feminists, not just for Gender Flipping Watson and Moriarty, but also for subtle signs scattered throughout the series that the show's makers are earnestly trying to make the show progressive and pro-feminist. Judging by the enthusiastic response, they've largely succeeded. It's also praised for being one of the few shows with an Asian lead character.
  • The Producer Thinks of Everything: The show's first season was acclaimed by the fandom due to the several continuity nods (from the "Pilot" to "Heroine", the season finale), consistent Call Backs, details scattered around the episodes, good Foreshadowing, a significant soundtrack, and a solid story arc which developed in a right pace.
  • Sophomore Slump: The second season was as enjoyable the first as far as episodic plots are involved, but was marred by Conflict Ball-induced stupidity, Sherlock and Joan bickering rather than getting closer like fans wanted, and Mycroft's drawn out plotline, and a somewhat unbelievable romantic subplot with Joan. Season three, thanks to Kitty's terrific character arc and a saner dynamic between Joan and Sherlock, was a return to form.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks:
    • By extension, these same fans believed it would be terrible because of this, long before the first episode even aired.
    • And the fact that CBS has done at least two made-for-TV movies that were attempts at pilots for modernized Holmes adaptations, both with female Watson analogues.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some reactions to this interpretation's changes, such as:
    • Watson being a woman.
    • Watson being Asian.
    • Watson not being a soldier with a combat medic specialisation. Of course though she is a Doctor.
    • Setting it in New York City instead of London.
    • Moriarty being Irene Adler
  • The Untwist: "We Are Everyone" might qualify as this for some people.
  • The Woobie:
    • Abigail Spencer takes the cake for having one of the most tragic stories in the entire series. Her backstory with Sherlock also makes you feel bad for the kind of childhood they both had.
    • And then there's Kitty Winter, who was held hostage by a serial rapist/killer, an experience that left her physically and emotionally scarred. Thanks to the friendship of Holmes and (eventually) Watson, she not only starts to heal, but finds the man who victimized her... and decides not to kill him (although she gets her revenge in a rather horrific way).
    • Sherlock is one himself, with his past, and his constant struggle with addiction. He's technically a victim of, at least, emotional abuse from Moriarty. And he's got some pretty potent puppy dog eyes.