Elementary: Season 4 (2015 - 2016)


Season 4

Critics Consensus

Compelling heroes and worthy foes clash in Elementary's excellent fourth season.



Critic Ratings: 15


Audience Score

User Ratings: 184

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Air date: Nov 5, 2015

Season 4 begins with Holmes facing criminal charges in the aftermath of his recent violent behavior and relapse, and his father arriving in New York to fix his estranged son's troubles by any means necessary. Meanwhile, Sherlock and Watson investigate a case in which a woman goes missing and may have been killed by her husband.

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Air date: Nov 12, 2015

Morland offers to use his influence to have Sherlock and Joan reinstated as consultants to the NYPD, but Sherlock questions his father's motive. Meanwhile, Watson helps the FBI investigate a triple homicide at a top secret research lab.

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Air date: Nov 19, 2015

Sherlock offers to help his father resolve a work issue in exchange for his prompt departure from New York City. Meanwhile, Holmes and Watson investigate the murders of two men who looked alike. The probe leads them into the world of facial recognition technology.

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Air date: Nov 26, 2015

A fertility lab technician is murdered and the investigation reveals the victim had a secret personal life. Meanwhile, Watson is investigated by an NYPD detective.

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Air date: Dec 10, 2015

Holmes and Watson investigate the murder of an archaeologist they believe was killed for what he discovered during his last dig in a local landfill. Meanwhile, Sherlock's relationship with his former sobriety sponsor hits a rough patch.

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Air date: Dec 17, 2015

Morland offers to act as one of Sherlock's "Irregular" consultants to help his son and Joan solve a case.

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Air date: Jan 7, 2016

Watson is enraged when her stepfather writes a crime novel based on her work with Holmes without her knowledge. Meanwhile, Sherlock and Joan investigate a retired FBI agent's murder and learn the man's death is linked to an unsolved case from the victim's career.

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Air date: Jan 14, 2016

Holmes and Watson investigate a homicide in which the victim was murdered in a manner reminiscent of crimes committed by an infamous and already incarcerated serial killer. Meanwhile, Bell gets tutored by Sherlock and Joan for a police sergeant's exam that could lead to a promotion and a post at another precinct.

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Air date: Jan 21, 2016

Holmes and Watson hunt for a computer hacker responsible for three murders, including the death of a Russian billionaire who was visiting New York City. Meanwhile, Joan receives a solo dinner invitation from Sherlock's father.

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Air date: Jan 28, 2016

Holmes' relationship with his father suffers a setback when he discovers Morland has been keeping a secret that threatens their safety. Meanwhile, Sherlock and Watson investigate two murders linked to a college and its illegal recruitment practices.

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Elementary: Season 4 Photos

Tv Season Info

Season 4 of the drama series opens with Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) and Joan (Lucy Liu) dealing with losing their jobs at the police department; as they try to figure out a way to continue working together, Sherlock's father shows up and manages to give them back their jobs. As the duo go back working on police investigations, Joan finds out that Sherlock's father has ulterior motives for helping his son, and vows to protect her friend at all cost. As the season progresses, Sherlock has to once again face his addictions and break free from his father's hold.

News & Interviews for Elementary: Season 4

Critic Reviews for Elementary Season 4

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

Transforming John into Joan leaves the core of the stories - two best friends, solving crimes - untouched, while allowing Elementary to deepen its exploration of Holmes and Watson as people.

Oct 25, 2018 | Full Review…

It's a charming end to the season and a statement on the relationship that continues to make this show rewarding after four seasons.

Oct 27, 2017 | Full Review…

Miller and Liu make a picnic out of anything. And given how much of this show is about the delicate, painful, and profound process of recovery, I suspect we're in for some great stuff.

Nov 6, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Pleasant though it was to go back to the Brownstone, "The Past Is Parent" had a great deal more to offer than the comfort of familiarity. It was comfortably the show's best episode since "The One That Got Away."

Jan 9, 2019 | Full Review…

The first two episodes are marvelous, are fantastic, are definitely the best I've seen in a very long time.

Dec 21, 2018 | Full Review…

At its conclusion, Elementary continues to be satisfying in its choice of villain.

Oct 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Elementary may be comfortable right now, here at the end of Season 4. But make no mistake - it's nowhere near settled in.

Oct 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Whatever happens, they're a team. And that's a pretty nice, united way to start the season.

Feb 13, 2017 | Full Review…

A solid enough premiere that was well-worth the wait, not in the least because the show didn't pull any punches, for the most part.

Sep 27, 2016 | Full Review…

The arrival of his father... the terrific John Noble as "The Mr. Holmes," or, simply, one of the best casting decisions of the 2015 TV season.

Nov 9, 2015 | Full Review…

I realized what was making me happy about the episode was also why I missed Elementary: Adult characters act like adults on this show.

Nov 6, 2015 | Full Review…

When Morland turned around on the roof to face his son at the end of "The Past is Parent," it was clear that Noble was perfectly chosen for this part. He and star Jonny Lee Miller could easily be blood.

Nov 6, 2015 | Rating: 7.3/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Elementary: Season 4

  • Jan 19, 2020
    Season four is the best season of Elementary. Joan Watson becomes more confident and assertive in both her developing detective skills, and the addition of Holmes' father to the storyline is inspired. While I have re-watched every season for the second time, there is no doubt that this season is the best. The writing, the banter between characters, the on-going storyline and the individual acting performances are.... simply inspired.
  • Dec 14, 2017
    Of all the countless fictional characters that have been retrofitted to appear in other forms of media, one of the most conducive to such migration and robust in a myriad of potential incarnations, near the top of that illustrious ranking is Sherlock Holmes. Certain comic books may hail a caped crusading vigilante will that title undoubtedly belongs to this quirky master of deductive reasoning and forensic investigation. One of the most recent incarnations the master sleuth has been transplanted from his traditional home at 221B Baker Street to a Brownstone in a gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn. He resides there with his partner and former sober companion, Joan Watson, MD (Lucy Liu). Unlike many variations of these famous archetypes, Dr. Watson was given an involved backstory that is never overpowering yet ready to insert a modernizing twist as necessary. This difficult balance was quickly achieved and judiciously employed over the past five seasons. Ever since the character had been created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and in late 19th century, the persona of Sherlock Holmes has always balanced a preternatural intelligence and deductive reasoning with some very human foibles. Drawing on one of the most common, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) is a recovering heroin addict. The reiteration of this fact is germane in this consideration of the six-season due to the crucial part this plot device plays in underlying motivation. As with any person in recovery, Sherlock is one slip away from losing everything he has worked so hard to achieve. Concurrent with the designated central story arch the writers undertook the arduous task of achieving a balance between Sherlock’s pursuit of his investigated gifts and the dark abyss of his addiction. It is always critical to provide the viewers with the two-fold impact of a season/series long arch with the episodic cases that serve as the basis for the stories heading each week’s activities. This season introduces a new principle character, Shinwell Johnson (Nelsan Ellis), one of her last patients while Joan wails still a practicing surgeon. Upon investigation, she discovers he had been incarcerated in he was in prison for vehicular manslaughter. The presence of Shinwell immediately begins to drive a wedge between the partners. Sherlock is convinced Shinwell is deeply involved in a wider act of conspiracy than previously indicated. Before he encountered Joan in her capacity as a surgeon, Shinwell had an exceptionally nefarious past dominated by criminal activity and violence. Those conditions resulted from his association with the South Bronx Killas (SBK). Although he had the best of intentions, desiring above all else to reconcile with his daughter. He remained a point of contention between Sherlock and Joan particularly over his potential for rehabilitation. They offer to train him to be a confidential informant for the NYPD Gang Unit. When Sherlock becomes restrictively demanding, Shinwell responds by licking the sleuth nearly to the point of death. This is a season of constantly shifting alliances as at one point the gang leader (Jon Huertas) hires Sherlock to uncover a traitor. The most crucial themes in the season continue the exploration of Sherlock with others in his sphere of influence. The unexpected return of Kitty Winter (Ophelia Lovibond), a young woman Sherlock took on as an apprentice during his sojourn back in England. Kitty was a deeply disturbed young woman, a survivor of a prolonged imprisonment, physical and psychological torture and repeated rape and sodomy. This left her back substantially scared and emotionally devastated. After murdering the man responsible, she went into a self-posed exile. External factors are responsible for a significant portion of the dramatic plot points driving the principle storylines. Among the most poignant factors used to propel the character development and underlying narrative is Sherlock’s battle with heroin addiction. Despite no longer in the capacity of Sherlock’s sober companion, Joan remains worried about his recovery. When she discovers, Sherlock has been forgoing his NA meetings she tries to give him an opportunity to work out his issues on his own or, willingly come to her for help as a friend. Most incarnations of the Sherlock Holmes include his infamous predilection for drug abuse but, this is one of the few that address the aftermath of such a laborious personal struggle. His extraordinary powers of observation, detective reasoning, eidetic memory and the ability of correlative prowess, understandably sets this character far beyond those of the regular humans in the audience. Struggling with addiction, the humbling effect of needing others to help him deal with his problems and inner demons places the renowned Holmes closer to the mortal man. Within the context of this series, the larger than life ultimate detective becomes approachable, subject to bonding on an emotional basis with the audience. To reveal more on this would constitute a spoiler but suffice it to say the plot device is infused with nuance and permitted to grow until it creates a season finale that is guaranteed to keep fans wondering until the start of season six. The modern demographic came of age in a time when technological advances have become fully integrated into daily life. The writers responded to this requirement in episodic plot devices dependent on aspects of the digital age. A particularly good example seen in a case involving a kidnapping of an executive of a post production effects company. Incriminating video falls under suspicion as a result of evidence of CGI manipulation. A bizarre twist is inserted with the setting, an optional clothing resort. The core of the Sherlock Holmes mythos has always been his ability to resolve cases that presented esoteric clues successfully affording a platform of Sherlock’s encyclopedic command of minutia. Few detectives could have noticed the nuances necessary to solve a case, the theft of the Imperial Jade Seal of China. The scope of the cases presented I this series run the gamut of local street gangs to global intrigue. In American television of the crime/mystery genre, it is rare to have a male and female lead characters not become romantically involved at some time or some degree. The relationship between Sherlock and Joan is purely platonic with no\chance of escalating Imperial Jade Seal of China.hey to anything emotional or sexual. They are business partners, formerly student and mentor, who have gradually extended to a friendship based on mutual respect. In previous seasons Joan has had her lovers, but this season Sherlock embarks on the emotionally risky endeavor of opening himself to a relationship with another person. He begins to become close to a woman, Fiona 'Mittens' Helbron (Betty Gilpin). Fiona is a brilliant software developer and a White Hat Hacker. She is on the autism spectrum which manifests as a difficulty to perceive or respond to social cues. Sherlock finds this trait appealing as it is consistent with his social awkwardness. The series remains not just one of the most consistently entertaining and engaging treatments of this iconic character, but it is a solid example of how a TV mystery should be crafted.
  • Sep 04, 2017
    Creative and inovative. This season is by far the best one. It excels at what it was trying to do the in past seasons, there's the usual Sherlock science and facts with more empashis on philosophy, intriguing new cases and a awesome spin!
  • Dec 11, 2016
    Intelligent TV. The chemistry between Miller and Liu is awesome. I really enjoy this series.
  • Apr 24, 2016
    Great show, but with the worst audio quality in the small screen universe. Speak up Jonny Lee, we can't bloody hear you !!!!!!!!!
  • Feb 29, 2016
    Elementary season 4 is one of the best. It has finally found its balance between the major stars. Prior seasons with Lucy Liu's role as independent of Sherlock lacked cohesion. We all want Sherlock Holmes and Watson.
  • Feb 03, 2016
    Excellent, intelligent and witty show.
  • Jan 28, 2016
    The addition of John Noble as Sherlock's father is genius.
  • Jan 21, 2016
    Starved for entertainment? This might do...
  • Dec 17, 2015
    I really enjoy this show. It's different from the Cumberbatch version, but still entertaining and I think the leads are very good in their roles.

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