Elementary Creator Previews Kitty's Backstory, Big Changes For Joan and a Shocking Return

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It's back story time on Elementary!

On Elementary Season 3 Episode 11, we finally get pieces into Kitty's past, including exactly how she and Sherlock met up and began their working relationship during the time we lost between Elementary Season 2 and Elementary Season 3.

As you saw in Elementary Season 3 Episode 10, the person who hurt Kitty is in New York City - and it's time to figure out how to catch them and how to keep Kitty alive.

For a preview of what's on tap, who better to chat with than creator Rob Doherty, who talked of whether Kitty is truly ready to face her attacker and how she has impacted the Sherlock/Joan relationship. Let's dive in...

Kitty pic

TV Fanatic: I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been waiting for these episodes. Can you tell me about getting to this point?

Rob Doherty: We always had a sense of where we were going because Kitty is a character from canon. She has a story that Conan Doyle does not tell in great detail. Some elements of the Kitty Winter story are left to the reader’s imagination but it’s clear she’d been through a terrible trauma, and in the story, she has an opportunity to help Holmes and Watson bring the culprit to justice.

We knew as we were getting into the season we wanted Kitty to be someone who was a survivor, someone who had been traumatized and come out the other side with a little help from Sherlock and ultimately Joan Watson. As anyone who watched last week's episode knows, it would appear that the person who hurt Kitty has made his way to New York.

Something we’ll talk about is how Kitty had plans to eventually look for the person who hurt her. She took advantage of Sherlock’s offer to work with him. Everything we’ve seen has been preparation for the day that she decides to pursue this person, but to her surprise and Sherlock’s, the problem has come to her, and what nobody knows is how ready is Kitty? How much will [Sherlock and Joan’s] tutelage have helped her? So, she’ll be thrust into something that’s very personal and obviously she’ll have a very important part to play over the next couple of episodes.

TVF: How are we going to see Kitty emotionally? Is she in good control or are we going to see her kind of waver and have difficultly with some of what she’s pursuing?

RD: She’s definitely knocked backwards at first. It’s quite a shock. It forces her to look back into some things she’d rather not look at but there’s also a drive. I’d say she very quickly starts to focus in and see this for the opportunity that it is. She feels ready ultimately. It takes a moment for everything to wash over her, but she feels ready to contribute to the case. It’s not just something she wants to do. It’s something she believes that she needs to do. Closure has been a long time coming for her, and it’s always been a part of her agenda. It’s just, again, is now the time? Is she ready for what’s happening now?

TVF: Do you think viewers will see a different side of Kitty and Ophelia in these episodes that maybe we haven’t seen yet?

RD: A difference? I mean, to this point, she’s always been motivated by a desire to be a good student of Sherlock Holmes. She has wanted to succeed, develop a skillset, and do right by him and his offer. This is something else entirely. This is deeply personal. It’s very emotional, and we’ll see that it results in Kitty not always making the best decisions.

TVF: How important do you think Kitty’s presence has been just for Sherlock and Joan? Because the season started out with their relationship a little fractured for what happened last season.

RD: I’ve loved having Kitty around for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the great affinity for the character and a great infinity for the actress. I just think Ophelia is phenomenal, and we were lucky to be able to add her to the cast. As far as what it did for us week in and week out, it was great to find and develop the shared responsibility for Sherlock and Joan. Sherlock makes the analogy early in the season that he and Joan are co-parents to a point when it comes to Kitty and in addition to being fodder for stories, it’s been helpful with respect to the fracturing of the relationship that you described.

They’re able to look over some of their own problems with each other to help this person who needs and deserves a little assistance. They’re able to, in time, get over themselves and recognize what’s special about Kitty and develop it.

TVF: I really loved the flashbacks we see in the second part. Can you tease what we’ll see in those flashbacks and how the flashbacks might impact the present day?

RD: Over the course of the first 10 episodes, we have alluded to Sherlock and Kitty’s first meeting in London but we’ve never really explored it. We’ve never really explained the circumstances. So, in the next episode, as the hunt for the person who hurt Kitty heats up, we take time to go backwards and explore how it all began.

How did Kitty and Sherlock get here from there is the question we asked ourselves as we started to structure that episode. There’s a strong connection between the story we’re telling in the present and the story we’re telling in the past. We will understand why Sherlock was willing to help Kitty to the degree that he was. It seemed to us the best way to tell the story in that episode was to look back and give the audience the starting point so they can see the entire arc of the story.

TVF: Beyond this two-part episode, what else is coming for the fans to look forward to?

RD: There are big changes on the horizon for Joan. We will see Gina Gershon again. She will be back as Elana March. That’s going to create more than a few problems for Joan. And we have Alicia Witt, who will…usually we like to keep our cards face down. I mean, it’s rare that as we get into an episode, we know who the villain is from go, but Alicia will be playing a killer with a very specific MO in an upcoming episode. So the audience will be in on it from the start. They’ll know that she’s the villain, and we’ll watch Sherlock and Joan gradually catch up to her. And in a few weeks, we’ll have Lucy’s episode air that she directed.

Elementary Season 3 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS. 

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Elementary Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

Sherlock: Perhaps we should go to a meeting.
Kitty: Yours or mine?
Sherlock: Yours.

Sherlock: My name is Sherlock and I have allowed empathetic thoughts to clutter my mind and reduce my perception.
Watson: So you called in the bees to crowd out caring.
Sherlock: To no avail.