I Believe in Mycroft Holmes
PagesMycroft and Mycroftian: Character Analyses
AboutI do lots of things here. I fawn over tailoring. I answer questions. I adulate the Holmes Brothers. I ship Mythea and Mystrade. I admire Mycroft Holmes from afar, and sometimes I even write about it.
Hello everyone, and apologies for my long absence!
I have just seen the new trailer and am the happiest little Mycroftian in the world. I may have to suspend all work for this evening so I can gif every Mycroft moment of it!
I am taking this trailer as near-confirmation of what I’ve thought all along - Mycroft was in on it. Sherlock goes to see his brother before he visits John, and Mycroft doesn’t seem at all surprised - but he does seem pleased to his little brother!
And we may get another of those rare moments when the brothers are alone and talking to each other as equals and as family, instead of biting and snarling and out-deducing.
I can hardly wait now. This is just the best Christmas present ever!
Well, the office has had a make-over.
Father Holmes is an interesting one. Because he’s never directly been mentioned in-series he tends to get forgotten about, or at least overshadowed by “Mummy.” This is possibly because, as you say, the absentee father is a familiar and staid trope and the reference to their mother, and resulting argument, in Study in Pink is far more compelling in comparison.
There is a hint of his history in the series though. A cut section from The Great Game apparently revealed that Father Holmes had an affair, which Sherlock deduced and revealed to their mother, somewhat poisoning the family atmosphere. This was discussed on the commentary for the episode:
Mark: We cut down this bit, slightly. There was a reference to their mutual strange childhood and the fact that you had - that Sherlock had - rather spoiled the family atmosphere. It’s gone for time, but in the end I think that might be quite nice. Because we don’t want to give too much away about this: their past.
Benedict: I discovered that my father was having - Oh! Um, can I say?
Mark: You can say.
Benedict: We might not have it later? I don’t know.
Mark: Yeah - maybe.
Benedict: But I can say on this DVD?
Benedict: Okay, well, then I won’t say.
What Benedict was going to say, it can only follow, is that his father had been having an affair. In this context, it seems rather likely that a young Sherlock deduced this - lipstick on his collar, perhaps? - and alerted Mummy to this - probably in his typically blunt, unwitting fashion. Of course, if Sherlock had noticed this about their father, it stands to reason that his cleverer big brother will have reached the same conclusions. Evidently, Mycroft chose to remain silent, siding with family politics, while Sherlock elected to voice the unhappy truth. That sounds rather like them, doesn’t it? Perhaps this was the first fracture in the brothers’ relationship.
This little glimpse of their father does rather add to my impression of Mummy as a highly intellectual woman, from whom our boys inherited their genius. An affair, by Holmesian standards, seems base, vulgar and, above all, boring - that their father would stoop to such an obvious, dull distraction suggests that he was not the source of the Holmesian intellect. The ‘Holmes Mind’ appears to be something of a misnomer. But that’s just my opinion.
I like this theory. It has verisimilitude, and fits quite nicely with the other pieces of the puzzle. It is possibly also a nod to Young Sherlock Holmes. And yet - Mr Gatiss was vague as to if they would insert this bit of history back into the show, so there may well be another explanation for the absenteeism of their parents waiting in the wings.
I gave reign to my personal headcanon regarding Father Holmes in a fanfic a little while ago. I’ve always envisioned him as a loving but inadequate father, unprepared for his sons’ genius. Neither a hero nor a monster, just a flawed man, but nevertheless the centre of his sons’ fury. If you’re interested, it’s called Paternity and can be found on AO3 here and is a giant ball of unwieldy headcanon about the Holmes family.