‘Elementary’ Finale Showdown: Sherlock vs. Moriarty

Jonny Lee Miller (left, in mirror reflection) and Natalie Dormer on "Elementary" (Photo: CBS)

It takes a lot to shock Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller), but last week’s reappearance of his former love Irene Adler (Natalie Dormer), whom he presumed to be dead, stunned him to no end on “Elementary.” After all, the great Sherlock Holmes was never wrong — until now!

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“For someone with his ego, it’s a lot. It’s quite a blow,” “Elementary” executive producer and Cceator Rob Doherty told xfinityTV on a conference call for the series finale. “He hates being surprised…. I’ve always said the first and greatest surprise in Sherlock’s life was that he could spiral out of control into a very serious addiction problem. And since then, he’s never quite been able to look at the world the same way.”

It is a tribute to the cunning of Moriarty that he was able to pull the wool over Sherlock’s eyes to such a degree. And in tonight’s two-hour season finale, Sherlock and Watson (Lucy Liu) will continue to be caught in the crosshairs of this nemesis. In addition, there will be flashbacks to Sherlock’s life before rehab, so we see his dark side, drug habit included.

“We’re going to see a Sherlock who’s rocked coming into [the] finale,” Doherty adds. “He’s got a lot to try to wrap his head around.”

As for who is playing Moriarty, Doherty is not revealing the name of the actor. And while he does say it was no mean feat to cast the role, he did manage to get his first choice.

“It’s a vastly important and iconic character and, certainly, someone we’ve been building toward all season. So a lot of thought and time went into it,” he says.

In “Elementary,” Doherty’s version of Moriarty is someone who is the flipside of the coin from Sherlock. Someone who is quite like him, but whose inclinations take him in a very different direction.

“Moriarty was the first to become aware of Sherlock,” he says. “So it’s interesting. If you spend your life thinking you’re the only person on the planet with these gifts, with these abilities, who sees the world this kind of way, it’s fascinating to think maybe there’s one other person out there.”

Watch a Sneak Peek of the “Elementary” Season Finale:

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Even so, it didn’t keep Moriarty from developing an exquisite plan to torture Sherlock by convincing him Irene was dead. Now that she is back, Joan — as Sherlock’s former sober companion — is very concerned. What bigger trigger for Sherlock is there than Irene, dead or alive? Joan now feels it is her responsibility to keep an eye on Sherlock and make sure he stays on the straight and narrow.

“The fact that Irene has turned up alive has thrown Sherlock for a loop,” Doherty reiterates. “He’s been tricked. He’s been deceived. I think, in Moriarty’s eyes, you could say he bottomed out over nothing. He spiraled out of control because he thought Irene was dead when, in fact, she was quite alive and being kept by Moriarty.”

Catch-up on Full Episodes of “Elementary” on xfinityTV

As for whether or not the voice we heard last week as Moriarty was the voice of the actor actually playing the role, Doherty brushes the question aside saying, “I’d love to sit on that little secret. Even Sherlock and Joan were sort of going back and forth about it.”

Of course, it is way too early in “Elementary”‘s run for Sherlock to capture or kill Moriarty, except possibly a fake death. So, while Doherty and the writers initially anticipated a cliffhanger season finale, they decided that, with the upcoming trip to London for the Season 2 premiere, they didn’t want to drag any of this year’s business into next season.

“The two hours are quite emotional, and, I feel like we do end up with — I hate the term — but I would say we have a nice little bow on Season 1,” Doherty says. “It had everything to do with wanting to really go to London and have fun.”

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And speaking of London, when the casting for Irene Adler was announced, it was also revealed that she would appear on three episodes of the series, which means if her 15 seconds on last week’s show were too short to be considered an appearance, she could be going to London. But Doherty puts the kibosh on that, saying, “Last week’s episode does count as the first of three. At the moment, I’m not sure if she will play into the London episode. That story is still in something of an embryonic state.”

One spoiler that Doherty did divulge to xfinityTV is that viewers will see Joan doing a little impromptu surgical work in the two-hour finale.

“It was fun when the [dailies] came in to watch Lucy take the scalpel from Jonny and take over for the autopsy,” Doherty says, referring to a previous episode. “Will she be drawn back [to medicine]? We’ve toyed with the idea of getting a little more into her backstory, what really happened, how did her patient die, how much of it was her fault? It’s all fodder for Season 2.”

The two-hour season finale of “Elementary” airs Thursday at 9/8c on CBS.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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