Warning: The following contains spoilers from Monday’s Elementary premiere.
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Sherlock Holmes is compromised.
During Elementary‘s Season 6 premiere, the P.I. learned that one too many blows to the head have left him with post-concussion syndrome, a condition that can and does impede his investigative work. In addition to causing headaches, dizziness and hallucinations, PCS also left Sherlock vulnerable to a friendship with Michael (Dexter‘s Desmond Harrington), a fellow recovering addict… and a murderer?! At the close of the episode, the new pal was seen burying a dead body while lending Sherlock a sympathetic ear over the phone.
Read on as executive producer Rob Doherty explains Sherlock’s “upsetting” diagnosis and Michael’s intentions in regards to the crime-solver.
TVLINE | How did you land on this particular diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome? Was it about wanting to subvert the expectation that Sherlock has a tumor?
That was part of it, and yet, that’s an equally valid way to go. Part of it is that concussions and the aftereffects of the neurological damage that concussions cause have been in the ether so much the last few years that it’s something we found ourselves talking about a lot at work, not necessarily within the context of the show. It felt very now. It felt like something worth exploring, and it felt like just enough of a problem to really disrupt Sherlock’s life. He’s a very finely tuned machine, and the symptoms of a condition like post-concussion syndrome can really disorient and frustrate him, and they do disorient and frustrate him as he begins to grapple with it.
One of the things that we found interesting about post-concussion syndrome is that he could, in theory, continue to work depending on the severity of the symptoms. He could continue to try to apply himself to cases, and the people around him wouldn’t necessarily understand or appreciate how disruptive that condition can be… It felt like the right thing to layer on top of the problem that’s really defined him over the length of the series: He’s an addict. He works at his recovery every day. He’s devoted to it. He is in as good a place as we’ve ever seen him, and his body fails him, and that’s jarring [and] upsetting.