Joss Barratt /CBS
September 26, 2013 at 05:02 PM EDT


TV Show
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Lucy Liu, Jonny Lee Miller, Aidan Quinn

Tonight, Elementary returns with a second season premiere (CBS, 10 p.m. ET) that takes Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) to Holmes’ homeland. The duo travels to London, the city where he fell apart, after Sherlock learns that his old colleague, Inspector Lestrade (Sean Pertwee) has fallen on difficult times.

“He became obsessed with a case, couldn’t quite prove his suspicion, harassed a wealthy and powerful suspect, and ended up doing more harm to himself than anyone else. His reputation’s been ruined, and he’s been suspended from Scotland Yard,” executive producer Robert Doherty tells EW. “In the book, he’s not always described in the most glowing of terms. He was a bit of a gloryhound — he liked working with Holmes because he knew Holmes didn’t care about taking credit, and so Lestrade often leaned on him to make progress and solve cases. The premise of Elementary is, of course, that Sherlock Holmes had to leave London and come to New York. So we were asking ourselves, what happens to a Lestrade when he loses his Holmes? And in this case, bad things. He has struggled for the last couple of years, and he’s been exposed as a good but not great detective, and he’s finally at the end of his rope. Once Sherlock realizes he’s struggling to the degree that he is, he and Joan depart for London to try to help him.”

The trip also gives the show the opportunity to introduce Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans). “Sherlock looks down on Mycroft. He thinks he’s someone loaded with potential who never quite did enough with this life. The truth is, Mycroft is a smart, successful, very interesting guy,” Doherty says. “But a number of years ago, Sherlock crossed some lines, committed some offenses against his brother that he couldn’t really take back. And so we’ll learn that the brothers haven’t talked in many years. Sherlock had no intention of telling Mycroft that he was coming to the UK, but circumstances conspire to have the two of them cross paths. Sherlock has to reveal to Joan that he has a brother, and then explain the state of the relationship. Mycroft finds Joan very interesting in that she has developed what is now  a pretty long-term friendship with Sherlock, and in Mycroft’s experience, that’s a rare thing indeed.” 

Mycroft will make his way to New York later in the first half of the season for an extended arc. Liu couldn’t be happier: “It’s great to see the two brothers together — their energies and their conflicts and their friction. You see Sherlock in a little bit of a different light when a family member’s introduced. And as Watson gets to know Mycroft, she actually starts to like him a lot as a person,” she says. “Just being in the room, the three of us together, it took it to a whole other level.”

Other teases for season 2: Look for Moriarty, who turned out to be Irene Adler (Game of Thrones‘ Natalie Dormer) to return at some point — the actress’ schedule permitting. “We absolutely want to get back to Moriarty,” Doherty says. “We definitely want Moriarty to challenge Holmes in the ways that only she can. But we’d also like to put him up against some other bad guys and maybe some other bad guys from the canon.” And since the question of when Holmes and Watson will get love interests is the  one he’s asked most, Doherty teases that Watson will likely dip her toe into that water first. As we’ve previously reported, Steve Kazee, one of two leads in the original cast of the Tony Award-winning Once musical, will guest star playing a man who Watson meets while making her first foray into online dating. Sherlock’s views on relationships — particularly internet-matchmaking — may mar the courtship before it even has the chance to get off the ground. Liu is in favor of Watson dating: “I was just curious where [Sherlock and Joan’s] relationship was gonna go in season 2, and I think that has a lot to do with relating to other people outside [of it]. I thought, where are her friends and her family? Who are the connections that she’s gonna make? Who is she gonna be in contact with? Because that’s gonna also change Sherlock’s relationship with her. How he’s going to feel if she’s got another life and doing other things?” she says. “It’s very clear that we’ve developed his story a lot — how he relates to women and how he doesn’t relate to them, how the one woman he did relate to turned out to be Moriarty in the end. I think there’s little breadcrumbs that they’ll drop about Joan’s personal life. You’re gonna get to know a little bit about what happened with Watson and why she was kicked out of the medical field. There’ll always be a procedural aspect, but those things are what I think help keep the audience engaged.”

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