Elementary: Season 1 (2012 - 2013)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

It may not appeal to purists, but Elementary provides a fresh new spin on Sherlock Holmes, and Jonny Lee Miller shines in the title role.



Critic Ratings: 62


Audience Score

User Ratings: 272

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Air date: Sep 27, 2012

Sherlock Holmes investigates crimes in modern-day New York City as a consultant to the NYPD. In the opener, Holmes investigates a home invasion that resulted in murder and is assisted by Joan Watson, a former surgeon, who is hired by Holmes' wealthy father to help keep the eccentric detective sober.

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Air date: Oct 4, 2012

Holmes investigates the murder of a young man who was shot upon entering his apartment. Meanwhile, Watson meets her ex-boyfriend for dinner.

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Air date: Oct 18, 2012

Sherlock consults on the case of a serial killer nicknamed "The Balloon Man", a child abductor who has murdered eight victims since 2005.

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Air date: Oct 25, 2012

Holmes is asked to consult on a case involving a Wall Street banker who appears to have overdosed on heroin.

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Air date: Nov 1, 2012

Holmes conducts research in a hospital morgue and concludes that someone is killing weak and terminally-ill patients. He also learns more about why Joan walked away from her surgical career.

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Air date: Nov 8, 2012

Sherlock tries to prove that one of the people whose body was found in the wreckage of a small plane crash was actually killed before the plane went down.

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Air date: Nov 15, 2012

Sherlock assists with a double homicide that bears a resemblance to a series of murders from 13 years ago.

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Air date: Nov 29, 2012

Holmes investigates a bombing that kills two people. During the probe, he stumbles upon an unsolved crime from the past. Meanwhile, Watson tries to get Holmes to choose a sponsor.

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Air date: Dec 6, 2012

Holmes investigates a college professor's murder. Meanwhile, Watson gets a call from a former lover who asks for her help.

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Air date: Dec 13, 2012

Holmes investigates when a supposedly unbreachable bank vault is broken into by thieves. Later, Sherlock meets Watson's family and defends her choice of becoming a sober companion.

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Elementary: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Jonny Lee Miller stars as Sherlock Holmes in this modern-day US retelling that finds Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous consulting detective living and working in New York City. As the first series begins, the eccentric Holmes has escaped to Manhattan after a fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab to battle drug addiction. His wealthy unseen father pays for a sober companion, Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), to live with his son, much to Sherlock's dismay. He believes his cure lies in using his extraordinary powers of deduction to help the NYPD solve cases. But slowly Joan, a former surgeon, begins to win Holmes' trust and proves to be a valuable assistant in crime solving, due to her extensive medical background. The duo work cases with Capt. Tommy Gregson (Aidan Quinn), who previously witnessed Sherlock's brilliance while on assignment with Scotland Yard. Jon Michael Hill also stars as detective Marcus Bell.

News & Interviews for Elementary: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Elementary Season 1

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (28)

By the mystery's big reveal, a farce of technology that will make anyone who's recently bought a cellphone scoff, I was near screaming with irritation.

Sep 27, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Elementary should fit snugly alongside the other procedurals on CBS.

Sep 27, 2012 | Full Review…

Stylishly directed, Elementary is one loaded show, including its wonderful, well-matched leads.

Sep 27, 2012 | Full Review…

Two things are going for this latest adaptation -- solid production values and a talented lead actor. Make that three things -- a network that knows just what viewers want.

Sep 27, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

Completely preposterous.

Sep 27, 2012 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Reinventing the greatest detective worked recently for PBS, and it works once again for CBS.

Sep 27, 2012 | Full Review…

A clever twist only works if there's a good story backing it up though and Elementary delivered on both counts.

Dec 21, 2018 | Full Review…

It's a competent series which puts an entertaining twist on an overly-familiar genre. But, no, it's not better than Sherlock.

Nov 29, 2018 | Full Review…

You can't take your eyes off the charismatic [Lee Miller], or Liu for that matter, and the series has grown better and better.

Nov 26, 2018 | Full Review…

How's that for a twist?

Nov 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Miller is highly-watchable, the dynamic between Holmes and Watson - she very much by-the-book, he squirming and unscripted - works well and, despite having cheesy moments and a slightly schlocky plot.

Nov 5, 2018 | Full Review…

Miller is pretty good as Holmes. He does the fanatical-sociopath thing with conviction, throwing social graces to the winds once he get a sniff of a clue...

Jul 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Elementary: Season 1

  • Apr 13, 2020
    Great show, very entertaining.
  • Dec 28, 2019
    Where is the story? Sherlock Holmes deciphers clues and solves crimes through his amazing deductive reasoning, and unfathomable knowledge. He doesn't just pull answers out of a hat like a magician, which is what seems to happen in this TV series. The plot is pathetic and trivializes the main character. The acting is fake and plastic because of the pathetic script, like much of what passes as good TV these days. I'm amazed this got such good reviews. I would give it a better review if it was listed as a parody or comedy, but the writers of this series are not even fit to tie the shoe laces of Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • Dec 22, 2019
    this an average show not that great
  • Dec 20, 2019
    Something new and fresh by 2012 standards.
  • Aug 09, 2019
    I absolutely loved this show. It took me a while to start watching though, because I don't like procedurals and I thought the premise of the show was very silly (I still do, to be honest, I mean, Holmes in modern day New York...). And yet, it works really well. The writing and the acting are very good. The show is smart but also often moving and funny. What I like most are the character interactions and the themes evoked (which are often thought provoking). Honestly, to me, this is a completely unexpected but thorough success.
  • Apr 17, 2019
    While the rapid fire wit of Sherlock brings a new take to the character, Joan Watson detracts, adding an unfittingly whiney attitude through most of the series. Though some of the episodes hold interest and a few plot twists spice things up, it has descended into a thoroughly uninteresting hour, in which multitasking while watching becomes a necessity.
  • Dec 21, 2018
    I watched like half of the episodes but I stopped watching because this show just never got me. I found it to mediocre and I think it lacks a certain charm that Sherlock has for example. But it's still fine to watch and it's written very well,
  • Aug 27, 2018
    Who likes a smartarse?
  • Jan 20, 2017
    CBS's Elementary provides a fresh new take on the classic Holmes stories by changing as much from the originals as possible without straying too far from what made those stories so great. In this revamped edition, Sherlock Holmes has moved to New York after a troubling incident in London. Once there, he is paired with a sober companion, Joan Watson, to help combat his recently formed heroin addiction. The season is not the humorless dredge that it sounds like. In fact, Elementary provides big thrills and unwavering amounts of character development in one of the best adaptations of Conan Doyle's consulting detective ever. The season begins with a slow start. This is largely due to the show trying to factor in large amounts of exposition-heavy dialogue to introduce unfamiliar faces and locales. It soon moves past this however, and quickly moves into 'case of the week' territory, which is where Elementary truly shines. Each case is intelligent and feeds into an overall story arc which culminates into a fantastic season finale. All of this is made possible by the outstanding chemistry between the show's two leads, portrayed beautifully by Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Elementary can't be compared to BBC's Sherlock. Elementary is a procedural drama set in New York while Sherlock is a miniseries based in London. Watch the show with an open mind, and hold on for the first few episodes. Soon, you'll be hooked.
  • Dec 18, 2016
    Not much to do with the written works just an occasional name thrown in. The characters are so different from what you expect Mr Holmes to be. the character development seem to be soooo slow though. Seems to be an ok mystery show, if you don't think of it too much as a Sherlock Holmes retelling.

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