Baker Street Wiki
Baker Street Wiki

"The Woman" is the twenty third episode of season one of Elementary. It first aired on CBS on 16 May, 2013.


Irene Adler is alive, but she appears to have been psychologically damaged by her captor; a man Sherlock Holmes believes is in the employ of Moriarty. Holmes asks Joan to consult on the case without him, devoting his attention solely to Irenes recovery. Joans deductive skills lead the police to a promising suspect, but when he escapes it appears as if the trail has gone cold. When Sherlock finds a sinister message from Moriarty's henchman in the brownstone, however, he realises that as long as he and Irene are together in New York they will both remain in grave danger.


Holmes is reunited with his ex-girlfriend and the love of his life Irene Adler, two years after mourning her death. Irene is then taken to a hospital, where it is revealed that in addition to being abducted and held captive for the past two years by a man she refers to as Mr Stapleton, he also systematically terrorized her for the entirety of her confinement, leaving her psychologically damaged. Committed to Irene's recovery and unwilling to leave her side, Holmes decides against consulting on her case, instead asking Joan Watson to take over in his absence.

At the crime scene, Watson finds a rare type of yellow paint in Irene's makeshift studio, which Captain Thomas Gregson traces back to a purchase made by Duane Proctor, who spent five years in jail for assault with a deadly weapon. Gregson and Detective Marcus Bell head to the home of Isaac Proctor, Duane's older brother with whom he is currently staying. Isaac tells the police that he does not believe his brother had anything to do with Irene's abduction, but is interrupted by Duane's arrival. Gregson and Bell head outside to question Duane, and like his brother, he insists that he is innocent.

Suddenly, gunshots ring out from inside the house. Police proceed inside with caution, discovering that an officer has been shot and that Isaac has fled the scene. Further investigation reveals a large stash of weapons and fake passports hidden in Isaac's garage. Duane is then brought in for interrogation with Holmes, Watson, Irene, and Gregson watching through the two-way mirror. Duane continues to protest his and his brother's innocence in Irene's abduction, stating that his brother was 'one of the good ones' and that he has never heard of Moriarty, a position supported by Irene, as she says that she does not recognise either of the Proctor brothers as one of her assailants.

Meanwhile, Isaac Proctor has holed up in a cheap motel room, cut his hair, and cut his beard down to a moustache to avoid being recognised after his photo is advertised on the news. He receives a call from one of Moriarty's associates, where he exchanges his services in running an 'errand' for Moriarty in return for a safe and untraceable method out of the country.

Holmes and Irene are at the brownstone, where Holmes finally answers Irene's earlier question of what his life has been like in her absence. Ashamed, he admits to his poor reaction to Irene's 'death', telling her of his heroin addiction, his move to New York, and his time in rehab. Instead of being disappointed in him, Irene say that he gives her hope for a successful recovery from her PTSD, because if Holmes can bounce back after sinking so low, than so can she. The scene ends with Irene screaming. Holmes runs to her aid, and she shows him the white flower that has been left one her bed: a message from Mr Stapleton, her former captor. They decide to run away together so that Irene will be safe.

Isaac is betrayed but figures it out and decides to kill Holmes as retaliation due to Moriarty's "obsession" with him.

Holmes notices that a birthmark that Irene had when he knew her in London is gone and must have been removed in a surgical operation. Therefore she can not have been held a prisoner all this time as she had claimed. He suspects her of working with Moriarty. Irene denies this and tells him he is seeing things that are not there and that he is looking for an excuse not to go away with her. She accuses Holmes of being like Moriarty. They part on bad terms and Holmes returns to the Brownstone. Once there he is attacked by Isaac. Holmes and Isaac fight and it is revealed by Isaac that Moriarty is a woman. Isaac is shot from behind and Irene walks in, gun drawn. She now speaks with an English accent and says, "I bet you wish you'd run away with me when you had the chance." Holmes comes to a shocking realisation: Irene is Moriarty.

Behind the scenes[]


  • This was first aired along with the episode "Heroine" as a two-hour season finale special.



Guest stars[]

  • Natalie DormerIrene Adler
  • Erik JensenIsaac Proctor
  • Lucas Caleb Rooney – Duane Proctor
  • John Bedford Lloyd – Lieutenant
  • Christopher McCann – Dr Del Santo
  • Henry Hodges – Student
  • Frank Deal – Detective Muldoon


  • The title of this episode is a reference from Dr Watson, in "A Scandal in Bohemia", that Holmes only refers to Irene Adler under the honourable title of "The Woman", since she is, to him, the paramount example of her sex.
  • Sherlock noticing Isaac Proctor in the reflection of a lamp is a reference to The Hound of the Baskervilles, where Holmes sees Watson trying to deduce a walking stick by catching Watson's reflection in a silver-plated coffee pot.

Season One navigation[]

Season One
#01 Pilot#09 You Do It To Yourself#17 Possibility Two
#02 While You Were Sleeping#10 The Leviathan#18 Déjà Vu All Over Again
#03 Child Predator#11 Dirty Laundry#19 Snow Angels
#04 The Rat Race#12 M.#20 Dead Man's Switch
#05 Lesser Evils#13 The Red Team#21 A Landmark Story
#06 Flight Risk#14 The Deductionist#22 Risk Management
#07 One Way to Get Off#15 A Giant Gun, Filled with Drugs#23 The Woman
#08 The Long Fuse#16 Details#24 Heroine