S06E21-Watson interrogated

Joan Watson Elementary intertitle Consulting Detective

Character Information
Status: Alive
Actor: Lucy Liu
First Appearance: "Pilot"
Nicknames: Joanie
Family: Mary Watson (mother), Henry Watson (step-father), Mr. Yun (father), Oren Watson (brother), Lin Wen (half-sister)
Episode Count: All except "Rip Off"


I am better with you, Watson. I'm sharper, I'm more focused. Difficult to say why, exactly. Perhaps in time, I'll solve that as well.
Sherlock Holmes, "Details".

Joan Watson (born Joan Yun, Chinese name Yun Jingyi on December 3, 1968) is a consulting detective for the 11th Precinct and Scotland Yard along with her partner Sherlock Holmes. She and Sherlock used to be consulting detectives for the NYPD in New York before they moved back to London. She was originally Sherlock's sober companion, but when her contract ran out she became Sherlock's apprentice.

Character History


Joan is the daughter of Mary Watson, and sister of Oren. Her stepfather had an affair, but her mother took him back.[1] Her birth father fell out of the picture and her mother married Henry Watson. Joan was valedictorian of her class in medical school.[2]

When Joan was a surgical resident, she became romantically involved with Liam Danow, whom she had met when he was her patient. When he later started using drugs, Joan hosted an intervention and drove him to rehab. Although he was better when he came out, he started using drugs again after.[3] Later, when she was a surgeon and accidentally killed a patient, she was suspended for two months. As she couldn't trust herself anymore as a surgeon, she let her license expire.[4] After her relationship with Liam, she had learned a lot about how to deal with drug addicts, so when she decided to leave medicine, she decided to become a sober companion.[3] She takes Sherlock Holmes on as a patient after his father hires her.[1]

Season One

When Joan meets Sherlock, he claims he needs no help to stay sober, as he tells her he is done with drugs. He suggests she should take the six weeks she's supposed to be his sober companion, and spend them as a holiday instead. After a fight, Joan says she'll request a new sober companion for him, but she later changes her mind and stays after Sherlock apologizes. According to Sherlock, she hates her job as a sober companion, but loves what he does. She denies this, but he claims that someone who needs two alarm clocks to wake up in the morning, is not enjoying her job.[1] When Sherlock's father invites her and Sherlock out to dinner, Sherlock tells her that his father never shows up. She decides to go anyway, and at the restaurant she meets a man posing as Sherlock's father. Joan believes it is Mr. Holmes at first, but when he starts asking strange questions, she knows something is up. The man turns out to be Sherlock's friend named Alistair, a struggling actor, although he states Sherlock only hired him through his agent and that they've never met before. Joan later shows up at the bookstore Alistair works at, and asks him to tell her about Sherlock's past. She gets to know more about Sherlock's past with drugs, and about a woman named Irene. When she returns home, she asks Sherlock to tell her about the woman.[5]

When Joan's family visits, Sherlock defends Joan's decision to work as a sober companion to her mother who doesn't approve of her current occupation. Joan thinks her mother, Mary, doesn't like Joan's job because of selfish
002 The Leviathan episode still of Mary Watson, Oren Watson, Gabrielle Harper, Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson 250px

Sherlock has dinner with Joan's family, in "The Leviathan."

reasons, but Mary tells her that she thinks being a sober companion doesn't seem to make Joan happy, and notes that when they talked about Sherlock's work, Mary saw a spark in her, which she hasn't seen in a long time. When Joan's time with Sherlock is almost up, he offers to train her as a consulting detective. Joan refuses and says she has already taken on another patient.[6] When a criminal from Sherlock's past brings up the memory of his past love, Joan decides to stay even though their time together is up, lying to Sherlock, telling him that his father had retained her services.[7] When Sherlock's ex-drug dealer Rhys Kinlan comes to him for help on finding his kidnapped daughter, Joan becomes worried that Sherlock will be tempted to start doing drugs again. Rhys offers to give Sherlock drugs, but Sherlock turns down the offer, and tells Rhys he never wants to see him again.[8] Sherlock later reveals he has known that Joan stayed on as his sober companion even though his father told her not to. He tells her he is grateful that she stayed when he needed it, but claims that after some time, she stayed for herself as well, and proposes again that she should stay on as his apprentice. He tells her to take some time to think on it. She later accepts, and Sherlock starts teaching her.[9]

Although she lived with her clients when she was a sober companion, she had her own apartment. She was evicted from her apartment when the man she had let stay there shot a pornographic film in it.[10] When she later became Sherlock's apprentice, and partner, she decided to continue living at The Brownstone until she could find an apartment.[9]

Family tree

Jin May Wen
Mary Watson
Henry Watson
Henry Watson
Lin Wen
Lin Wen
Joan Watson
Oren Watson


  • A running gag on the show, Holmes often wakes Watson in amusing ways. Occasionally, Watson returns the favor. For all instances see Holmes wakes Watson.
  • Watson was hired by Sherlock's father to be his sober companion for six weeks. Is a New York Mets fan. ("Pilot")
  • Lived a few blocks away from Cobble Hill in the mid-2000's. ("Child Predator")
  • Zadie Smith is one of her favorite authors. ("Flight Risk")
  • Watson's biological father is schizophrenic and homeless. She occasionally volunteers at a homeless shelter to help people and to see her father. ("Corpse de Ballet")
  • Owns an iPhone, ("Pilot") and a Blackberry. ("One Way to Get Off")
  • Watson's brother being named Oren is an homage to Lucy Lui's character in Kill Bill, named O-Ren Ishii.[11]
  • Joan's mother Mary Watson is a reference to John Watson's wife, Mary Watson (née Morstan) in Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. Joan also had an ex-boyfriend named Ty Morstan.
  • Lived on Ogden Avenue as a child and had a dog named Grover. ("Miss Taken")
  • Understands and speaks Mandarin Chinese. ("Who Is That Masked Man?") ("Rekt in Real Life")
  • Worked at Corona General Hospital in Queens in the 2000's. ("Pick Your Poison")
  • See also Arthur Conan Doyle's Dr. Watson on Wikipedia, which Elementary's Joan Watson is based on.


"One way or the other, I'm going to be out of your life in a few weeks. Maybe you're dreading that day. Maybe you're counting the seconds. Either way, I'm going to make sure you're ready when the time comes. I promise."
―Watson to Holmes, "The Long Fuse".
"And you even made a friend, something that Kathryn claimed in her article was virtually impossible. Me. I'm talking about me."
―Watson, "The Deductionist".
"Why are you poking me with your single stick?"
―Watson, "The Marchioness".
"I don't care which cock I'm holding, I just want to know how it got there. Okay, congratulations. You got me to say it."
―Watson, "The One Percent Solution".


Joan Watson Season One/Gallery
Joan Watson Season Two/Gallery
Joan Watson Season Three/Gallery
Joan Watson Season Four/Gallery
Joan Watson Season Five/Gallery
Joan Watson Season Six/Gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Pilot," aired September 27, 2012. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 1. CBS. Directed by Michael Cuesta, written by Robert Doherty.
  2. "Child Predator," aired October 18, 2012. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 3. CBS. Directed by Rod Holcomb, written by Peter Blake.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "You Do It to Yourself," aired December 6, 2012. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 9. CBS. Directed by Phil Abraham, written by Peter Blake.
  4. "Lesser Evils," aired November 1, 2012. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 5. CBS. Directed by Colin Bucksey, written by Liz Friedman.
  5. "Flight Risk," aired November 8, 2012. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 6. CBS. Directed by David Platt, written by Corinne Brinkerhoff.
  6. "Dirty Laundry," aired January 3, 2013. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 11. CBS. Directed by John David Coles, written by Liz Friedman & Christopher Silber.
  7. "M.," aired January 10, 2013. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 12. CBS. Directed by John Polson, written by Robert Doherty.
  8. "A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs," aired February 7, 2013. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 15. CBS. Directed by Guy Ferland, story by Christopher Silber and teleplay by Corinne Brinkerhoff & Liz Friedman.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Details," aired February 14, 2013. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 16. CBS. Directed by Sanaa Hamri, story by Robert Doherty and teleplay by Jeffrey Paul King & Jason Tracey.
  10. "The Deductionist," aired February 3, 2013. Elementary, Season 1, Episode 14. CBS. Directed by John Polson, written by Craig Sweeny & Robert Doherty.
  11. Elementary Writers (@ELEMENTARStaff). "Inadvertent homage to Lucy's character in Kill Bill, O-Ren Ishii?!" December 14, 2012.

Elementary intertitle Elementary Characters
Main Characters
Sherlock HolmesJoan WatsonCaptain Thomas GregsonDetective Marcus Bell
Recurring Characters
AlistairAthena and MinervaGeneral AlveroHenry BaskervilleJonathan BloomRoy BookerAgent BurkeDamon ClarkClydeGina CortesFrank Da SilvaDuaneEveryoneAgent GephardtDr. GrannisChristopher GrayDel GrunerDetective GuzmanHalconEmily HankinsDr. Eugene HawesFiona HelbronWilliam HullShinwell JohnsonEmil KurtzGareth LestradeADA Nelson LewisAlfredo LlamosaAgent MallickMarchefElana MarchMargaretAgent McNallyMidnight RangerChantal MilnerAndrew MittalSanthosh MittalSebastian MoranJamie MoriartyAgent MullerDetective NashIsaac ProctorRandyOscar RankinCandace ReedRomulusMichael RowanTim SherringtonTall BoyJoshua ViknerSir James WalterAgent WhitlockTyus WilcoxKitty Winter
The Irregulars
Mr. BriggsC.Harland EmplePetros FrankenGayMs. HudsonJulius KentLucMasonThe NosePhil SimmsAgatha SpurrellTeddy
ArchieAndre BellChivonnePaige CowanKayden FullerCheryl GregsonHannah GregsonMay HolmesMorland HolmesMycroft HolmesEstella LlamosaHenry WatsonMary WatsonOren WatsonLin Wen
Minor Characters
The ActuaryEdwin BorsteinJack BrunelleLucas BundschCassieWade CrewesRyan DeckerViolet de MervilleThe DetectivesKathryn DrummondHoward EnnisMistress FeliciaTrent GarbyZoya HashemiRhys KinlanRuslan KrasnovIris LanzerGwen and Olivia LynchNigella MasonDorian MollTy MorstanPamDana PowellRemusPaula ReyesJennifer SaylesShauna ScottSkylerWilson TragerHeather VanowenCassandra Walker

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