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Character Appreciation: Joan Watson from “Elementary”

One of the best new characters to come out of the Fall 2012-2013 season was Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) on CBS’ Elementary. Lucy Liu plays her perfectly, and Liu and Jonny Lee Miller – who plays Sherlock Holmes – have great on-screen chemistry. So naturally I had to include Joan in our “Character Appreciation” series.

joan-watsonW is for Woman

Casting Lucy Liu, an Asian-American woman, as Watson was frankly one of the best decisions the people behind Elementary could have made. Liu has shown that gender-bending a classic literary character for modern adaptation does not deter from the awesomeness of the series.

In fact, if the Elementary writers had gone ahead and wrote Watson as a man instead then the show just wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t have the chemistry that Liu and Jonny Lee Miller have, and their dynamic is a large part why this show has become such a huge success.

A is for Apprentice

The latter half of Elementary saw Joan become Sherlock’s apprentice – of sorts. She quit her job as a sober companion in order to take up investigative work full-time, with Sherlock to teach her the ropes. We enjoyed watching Sherlock use his unusual teaching methods on Joan and then seeing how Joan reacted to said teaching methods.

By the end of the first season, Joan had soaked up so much knowledge from helping Sherlock out on his cases that she was the one who ultimately brought down Moriarty (Natalie Dormer), proving that she’s an excellent investigator and that she’s improved a lot.

T is for Trendy

Joan is always dressed for perfection and the NYC climate allows her to work with all sorts of different layers. We tend to see Joan is a lot of neutral colors – grays and whites – and she pulls them off magnificently.

S is for Surgeon

We learned in the Pilot episode that Joan had been a doctor prior to becoming a sober companion. And then over the course of the season we found out that she quit because she had fatally killed one of her patients on the operating table.

This left Joan disillusioned about her profession, so much so that she quit medicine forever. However, her medical knowledge has proven useful in various cases… like the time she and Sherlock broke into a morgue and cut open a dead body.

O is for Observation

Joan began developing her powers of observations as soon as she met Sherlock. At times, she’ll notice certain things that escape even Sherlock’s notice.

N is for Nice

While Sherlock tends to be very blunt and straightforward – to the point of being unknowingly insensitive – Joan takes a more emotional, sideways approach. Don’t get me wrong, though. Joan isn’t afraid to get confrontational if need be, but she’s more discreet compared to Sherlock.