LA Times: Elementary deduces the painful truth at the heart of sobriety
Very few shows could pull off a homage to the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman without seeming exploitative, sensational or culturally carnivorous. Only one could do it in the middle of an episode dealing with a bunch of missing anthrax and Garret Dillahunt as a dairy farmer.
"Elementary" has its share of pivotal moments, but they are invariably underplayed, woven into crime-solving story lines that allow the larger narrative to emerge with surprising power. It may be the best portrait of recovery on television.
Sobriety is not the point of “Elementary”; the deductive powers and social ineptitude of its famous lead and his relationship with Watson are what drive the show.
But the addiction, at first obvious then oblique in Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, has always been what made Sherlock Holmes a man rather than a machine; it’s what drew “Elementary” creator Rob Doherty to the character in the first place.
Hoffman’s death, Doherty said in an interview, seemed impossible to ignore because it allowed the writers to put Sherlock “in the position to ask some of the questions many people were asking … to make the point that addiction does not discriminate.”
"His relapsing doesn’t change a thing for you, not one single thing. You woke up today, you didn’t use drugs, just like yesterday. You know what you have to do tomorrow? Wake up and not use drugs. That is just how it is. That is how it’s going to be."