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Elementary boss on that surprising sacrifice

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Michael Parmelee/CBS

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season finale of Elementary. Read at your own risk!

Well, that’s one way to make sure Moriarty’s group doesn’t hurt Sherlock.

After Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) discovered a bomb in their apartment, the duo realized someone from Moriarty’s organization was trying to frame Viknor (Tony Curran) for killing them, violating Moriarty’s (Natalie Dormer) wishes. It turns out, members of Moriarty’s cabal actually wanted Morland Holmes (John Noble) to lead them, hence the framejob, and the reason why Vikner tried to kill Sherlock’s father.

Vikner proposes a deal: Morland’s head on a spike in exchange for the safety of his son and company. Shockingly, Morland agrees. But it’s actually a ruse so Morland can kill Vikner and take over the organization himself, securing his son’s future. What does this all mean? EW turned to executive producer Rob Doherty to find out:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Sherlock seemed to think Morland would never want to be part of this group. Did Morland only do this to protect Sherlock, or is there a part of him that likes this power?

ROB DOHERTY: Intellectually, it’s primarily to protect Sherlock, and by extension Joan. But really, he’s surrendering to who he is. He’s cutting off all ties, because he’s come to the conclusion that he’s not supposed to have them. Whether that’s something he’s conscious of remains to be seen. It’s absolutely about protecting the last few people he has in his life that matter to him. He’s also cutting himself off. He’s taking himself off the board so that he can’t be hurt again the way he was hurt when he lost Sabine several years ago.

Morland says he plans to dismantle the organization. How much will that play into next season?

I anticipate ripple effects, but those ripples have yet to be defined. That sounds like the business of early season 6.

Will John Noble be back in the same capacity, or is Morland more in the shadows?

As we begin season 6, Morland remains in the shadows. It was a pleasure getting to know John this year, and we have talked about seeing Morland again next season. We don’t have hard-and-fast plans yet; partially, that’s because John is a busy guy and something of an international. We’ll have to see what windows exist in his schedule. If we’re going to do that, we have to find the right story and the right time. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to have John Noble aboard this past season, but here and there, I think it cost us a little time with Gregson and Bell, so in season 6, we look forward to getting back to our cops and their stories.

How does Sherlock feel about his father doing this?

It’s certainly not the move Sherlock would’ve made. When people don’t make the kind of decision he would have, it’s very frustrating. In spite of everything in the finale, Sherlock remained confident that they could undo Vikner without too much outside assistance. He’s disappointed in the end when Morland sacrifices himself, as it were. Morland’s taking on a Herculean task in trying to take apart the group that Vikner was leading.

How do you think Moriarty would feel about Morland succeeding her?

I bet that she has always had great awareness of Morland Holmes. I bet that there’s a certain level of respect. On the one hand, I don’t think she would appreciate his dismantling of the group. At the same time, I don’t know how much Moriarty would care. She’s a pretty confident animal. If she found herself on the street tomorrow with empty pockets, she would very deliberately rebuild herself and a group that could work with her.

Sherlock started to follow in his father’s footsteps in keeping people at arm’s length. Will that continue into next season?

What we’ve seen over the first four seasons of the show is a Sherlock Holmes who is willing to pull more people in. I don’t know if he’s ever said this explicitly, but he has enjoyed more success in the last four years because he has partners, friends, and confidants. The Sherlock that existed as recently as five years ago failed because he isolated himself to his detriment. As we get into season 5, he knows what works for him. He knows a good thing when he sees it. Lucky for him, he has many good things in his life now. That’s not to say there won’t be hard times. I don’t believe he’s going to make any changes that would echo the decision his father makes at the end of the finale.

In the wake of his relationship with Fiona (Betty Gilpin), how do you think Sherlock is more open to being romantically closer to someone?

That is a story that has yet to resolve itself. That’s assuming there is a resolution or a punctuation mark coming. I don’t know that there is. Dating Fiona was a big step for him this season. As he expressed to her, he’s never had a “girlfriend” outside of Moriarty. Knowing what he knows now, it’s hard to look back and call her a girlfriend. As we get into next season, Fiona is someone that we would like to see again. We’ll see what the state is for that relationship after a few months have passed.

Are Sherlock and Joan still going to be living in the brownstone? You opened up a new possibility with Morland’s safe house, at least for Joan.

I anticipate they’ll be living together in the brownstone. That said, we’ll have to see what kind of mess Morland may have left behind when he departed New York. There may be some loose ends to tie up regarding his holdings, his business. He’s tried to divest himself of certain things. That may or may not impact Sherlock and Joan next year.

Elementary is expected to return this fall.

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