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'Elementary' scoop: Is Holmes about to fall off the wagon?

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Jeff Neumann/CBS

As Elementary heads towards its season finale, Sherlock Holmes’ (Jonny Lee Miller) sobriety will once again be tested after one of his allies falls into the wrong hands. Can Watson (Lucy Liu) bring him back from the edge? EW caught up with executive producer Rob Doherty to find out what’s in store for the final episodes of season 3:

EW: What can you tell us about the final episodes of the season?

ROB DOHERTY: [Sherlock’s sponsor] Alfredo (Ato Essandoh) goes missing—and because of Alfredo’s history, it’s difficult at first to say if something’s been done to him or if he’s done something to himself. It’s possible, considering he’s made an enemy or two this year, that someone has come after him. But since he’s a recovering addict, there’s always the possibility of a relapse. So as the story begins, Sherlock and Joan are trying to track him down and make sure he’s OK.

We’ll [later] find out that someone has taken Alfredo and is holding him hostage because he needs Sherlock to do some work for him. As we get deeper into the [finale], Sherlock is forced into a collaboration that isn’t just dangerous in general, it’s also dangerous to him as a person in recovery.

You’re saying “him,” so that dashes my theory that it’s Moriarty (Natalie Dormer).

Golly, I called Moriarty “him” all of first season, so you never know. But no, it’s not Moriarty. I don’t want to be coy about that because I would be setting everyone up for too much. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed with what we’ve got. Natalie I don’t think we’ll be seeing until next season. This is more of an earth-bound villain. Moriarty, like Sherlock, is special—in some respects, fantastical. That’s what makes her so much fun. This episode will be less fun, a little darker, and will present some threats to Sherlock’s sobriety.

What’s the state of Watson and Holmes’ partnership?

Season 2 was about pulling those two apart and the business of season 3 was bringing them back together. For all intents and purposes, I feel like we accomplished that by the middle of the season. As Kitty’s (Ophelia Lovibond) story wrapped up, that was something that very naturally got them to gravitate back towards one another. Coming into these last few episodes, the partnership is in a good place. Sherlock is sympathetic to everything that Joan has gone through this year. He’s being respectful of her space and the time that she needs to deal with how Andrew (Raza Jaffrey) died, but he can be a support system as needed. He has helped Joan get to a better and healthier place.

But what about as Sherlock’s sobriety is threatened? How will Joan feel about that?

It’s hard to comment because her concern about such things will really be on display as we start season 4. You’re not going to see too much of that as we wrap up the season. A lot of what Sherlock is going through in the final episode, Joan isn’t aware of it. She doesn’t really understand the stakes of Sherlock’s journey in the finale.

What can you tease for Gregson (Aidan Quinn) in the final few episodes?

In the next to last episode, Gregson is going to be presented with an opportunity to move on from the precinct. He’ll have to chew on that. Sherlock and Joan will have to consider the possibility that they may, in the future, work with someone who may not be as desirous of their help. We’re going to leave a few threads dangling. One thing I can say is that, by the end, Gregson has to wonder how safe he is in his position at Major Crimes.

What about Bell (Jon Michael Hill)?

As far as Bell goes, we hadn’t done much in a while, not since we did the episode about Bell’s brother. We hadn’t really been exploring his personal life, his family situation, or his romantic life. In the episode before that, we will see that he’s been dating someone very quietly—another detective in the department, not in his precinct. Complications arise, as they so often do, and he finds himself on the verge of withdrawing from that relationship. What I think is fun about that episode, and what really started that story, was this idea that Sherlock will observe that Bell is a lonelier man than Sherlock is. Coming from Sherlock Holmes, that’s saying something. It helps Bell make a decision.

Elementary airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.