Returning to CBS's Elementary for the start of season six was . . . [Prepare for spoilers, of course. this is as much recap as review.]
It began on a coroner's autopsy table. Because where else do you go when your mother's ghost has tried setting your house on fire? It seems like MRI results take a lot longer in New York than Peoria, as tonight's returning Elementary found its hero waiting for them at the coroner's office instead of more medical facilities. But apparently he has been having a lot more tests than that.
A scene change to a sex tape and a kill room, and we're off to the credits.
Joan Watson is setting appointments to see clients in the police station conference room, which seems good enough for discussing client issues, but not her partner's medical condition. That happens back in their NYC brownstone home, where the combination of a concussion with all the boxing, drugs, etc., that this Sherlock has done to his head over the years, are apparently going to cause his mental faculties both to decline and have some other symptoms that aren't quite great for the detective business. Admitting all of this to Joan, though, gets him that sweet long hug that was seen in the preview, followed by this peach of a line:
"My personality hasn't changed, Watson."
It's really nice to see some warmth between this pair, as so much of the series has seemed about setting them on separate paths. But for those of us who might not have seen Jonny Lee Miller's character as a viable Sherlock before, brain damage certainly isn't raising his stock. As always, Gregson and Watson seem to do as much investigating as their Holmes does. And it's looking like they're going to need to, as the medical condition plotline goes on.
Jonny Lee Miller does a fine job portraying a man about to lose his life's calling due to medical issues. The frustration, the fear, the sorrow. But he pulls it together for some more sex tape hijinks that will break the case.
It's plain that Elementary has reached a certain comfort zone for its sixth season. Its Sherlock is hitting his recovery support group and being a lot less of a dick to Joan. At the end of it all, it's all about the main character starting another form of recovery -- this time from brain trauma instead of addiction. It also sets up a new arch-nemesis whom this Sherlock is unknowingly taking on as a friend, which is very reminiscent of the unknowing relationship with Moriarty that set this whole series in motion to begin with.
It's not ACD. It's not Sherlock. But it also looks like Elementary is remaining true to its fans in what may be its final season. Will there be any surprises along the next twenty-some episodes?
We have all summer to find out.