Media Watch: Sherlock Holmes Living with Intensity on “Elementary”


On last week’s season finale of the CBS series Elementary, a contemporary take on the Sherlock Holmes story, Sherlock learned that the love of his life, Irene Adler (whom he believed had been murdered by his mysterious arch-enemy Moriarty) was alive. Her death so profoundly upset Sherlock that it led him to develop a substance abuse problem which he had only recently managed to overcome.

The return of Irene Adler proved to be another traumatic experience for Sherlock, one that threatened his sobriety. The shock of Irene’s return was compounded by the further revelation that she was, in fact, Moriarty – a betrayal that rocked Sherlock’s world.

In a moment of honesty between the two intellectually-equal adversaries, Moriarty admits to their shared overexcitabilities.

“Do you know why you are so drawn to narcotics? Because you are in near constant pain; your sensitivities make you a great detective but they also hurt you. I know what that’s like, Sherlock – only me.”

It is interesting that this show, which is fundamentally a story about an intellectually gifted man whose intelligence sets him apart from society, directly addresses the issue of intellectual and emotional overexcitabilities. It is these overexcitabilities that are characteristics of his talent as a detective and Sherlock, like other gifted people, struggles with them.

Watch the scene in question below:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *