Anonymous asked you: Hey ! First of all your blog is my ultimate reference on the subject of this dear Mycroft, who is definitely one of my favorite character of all times ! So, I was having a discussion with a friend and she said that John was the only one in the show that was ready to kill in order to save or protect Sherlock, and I completely disagree with her : without even thinking about other characters, I’m positive Mycroft would do it too, if he hasn’t already. What is your opinion ?
Hello Anon. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to answering! I am undoubtedly on your side of your debate.
The depth and steadfastness of John’s loyalty was made clear in the very first episode when he shot and killed Jeff, the cabbie, in order to save Sherlock’s life. There is no debating that - John can and has killed for his friend, and, if his threat to the Golem in The Great Game is anything to go by, he is more than prepared to do so again.
Mycroft, however, is not the man of action that John Watson is, and so hasn’t the same chance to demonstrate where his allegiances lie or what he is capable of on-screen. We know very little about him and his shadowy, government job, that ties him to Whitehall, Westminster, the Palace and MI6. He is dangerous, to be sure, and, going from his indifferent expression when confronted with the “bashed up” body of a woman assumed to be Irene Adler, with facial damage so extensive it even makes Molly, a morgue technician, wince, he is no stranger to death. Whether Mycroft has ever fired a gun, though, or simply ends a traitor’s life with the swish of a fountain pen across an official warrant, is a matter for one’s own headcanon. But there is certainly more to Mycroft than his front of the genteel civil servant.
It is established fanon that Mycroft has, in the past, used his shadowy powers to help his younger brother out of trouble. I agree that this is likely - Sherlock may be a capable and brilliant detective, but he has an unstable personality and a history of drug-use, and Mycroft has demonstrated a consistent, albeit controlling, level of care throughout the series. Who can tell what it may have been necessary for him to do in the past? We will probably never quite know what has happened between them, and how far Mycroft has had to go for the sake of his brother.
What we do know, however, is what Mycroft was prepared to do when confronted by Irene Adler in the dénouement of Scandal. Irene had a phone full of scandalous secrets and a list of demands that elicited a look of alarm from Mycroft - but her real bargaining chip was Sherlock. When she first confronted him in the plane, he was staring her down, fury in his eyes and the machinations of his magnificent mind hard at work. It was when she mentioned that she had tricked Sherlock into implicating himself in the derailment of Bond Air that he wavered, and had to look away:
You have no idea how much havoc I can cause and exactly one way to stop me – unless you want to tell your masters that your biggest security leak is your own little brother.
One may presume that, had Irene not had that leverage over Sherlock, Mycroft would not have so quickly capitulated to her demands. He may have had a go letting his people attempt to extract the information from her - as he did when faced with Moriarty and his computer code. Because Sherlock was involved, he gave in far quicker than he otherwise would have done.
Giving up governmental assets and, in turn, potentially facing the ire of his masters, may not be quite the same as killing someone to save Sherlock, but there is a degree of self-sacrifice to this move that Mycroft was willing to make.
We’ve yet to see Mycroft at his most dangerous, his most deadly. We’ve yet to see him take a life, but I could envision him doing as much for Sherlock. He was prepared to sacrifice so much closer to him than a criminal’s life in order to protect his brother.
I am also of the opinion that Moriarty would have been swiftly disposed of on Mycroft’s orders, were it not for his his web and that Sherlock had other plans. But that’s only a theory. Time and Series Three will tell.
I Believe in Mycroft is One Year Old Today!
A year ago today, in a post-Reichenbach state of shock, I started this blog. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has stuck with me this past year. I’m glad to know you all and you’ve made this year wonderful.
As it’s my anniversary, I thought I’d do a quick (shamelessly self-congratulatory) list of some of my better, or popular, posts from throughout my year here; posts that are, no doubt, the reasons a lot of you found me in the first place. Call it an exercise in indexing.
Can we Talk About Mycroft Holmes: A Reichenbach Theory
Thirteen Instances of Caring: or, Why Mycroft Holmes is an Amazing Big Brother
The Brothers Holmes: A Canon Consideration
Noirlock AU: London, 1959
The Suits of Mycroft Holmes: An Appreciation
The Holmes Ancestral Home
Potterlock: The Aurors
Femlock: Lara Pulver as Sherlock Holmes
Femlock: The Holmes Sisters
Wholock: Mycroft’s Umbrella
It’s To Do With Sex: Mycroft and Relationships
Family is All we Have in the End: Mycroft and Mrs Hudson
I Don’t Even Smoke: Sherlock, Mycroft and Drug Addiction
Once again, a huge thank you to followers both old and new - I’m still in shock that there are so many of you! Here’s to 2013, to series three and to this fandom. Thank you for being my giant Reichenbach Support Group, even if you’re all terrible enablers!
This really is a good question. That little line of Mycroft’s is neat and memorable, but is also one that doesn’t quite make sense in the context of the scene, or of the series as a whole.
We know that Mycroft is the smarter of the two brothers; not only is that canonical, but it has also be confirmed by Mark Gatiss in interviews. Sherlock is incandescently clever, but Mycroft has the edge.
The scene itself is a very odd one to begin with - and I am not alone in reading it as one in which Mycroft and, by extension, Sherlock, test John. Mycroft appears to volunteer all the facts - a ‘lie’ about a witness protection programme in America and the ‘truth’ about a death in Pakistan - and then sends John upstairs to give Sherlock whichever news he thinks Sherlock would find most palatable.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I have a hard time believing that, after trailing Irene as far as Pakistan, full in the knowledge that a terror cell intended to behead her, Mycroft would so easily lose track of her. And how, for that matter, did Sherlock trace her, other than utilising his brother’s intelligence information to his own advantage? If Mycroft really were as thorough in investigating the case as he claims, I doubt even the most minute detail could escape his deductive gaze, let alone that he would fall for Irene’s same body-switch trick again.
So why would Mycroft say that his little brother is the only one who is capable of fooling him? Perhaps the reasoning lies in the context of the conversation.
John questions Mycroft’s statement that Irene has been killed, stating that “she’s done this before”, which is what leads Mycroft to claim to have been “thorough” when examining the case of her beheading in Karachi, and to state that “It would take Sherlock Holmes to fool me.” It’s something said to mollify John, to convince him of the ‘fact’ of Irene’s death, and to ensure that when he went upstairs to the flat, he would be choosing to give Sherlock the kind, white lie rather than the harsh, bleak reality that would lead Sherlock to mourn Irene again, as he had earlier in the episode.
While I’ve no doubt that Mycroft has some modicum of respect for his brother and his deductive skills, in this instance, I’m choosing to read Mycroft’s carefully chosen words as a touch of verbal manipulation, a sleight of hand. Note the use of Sherlock’s full name, when, previously in the conversation, Mycroft had been referring to him as “my brother.” He is encouraging John to think of Sherlock in a certain, elevated way. I am of the opinion that, after both being outsmarted by Moriarty through Irene, the brothers are plotting something, and this is the groundwork.
Submitted by disneydaydreamer
Seconded, thirded, fourthed… infinitied.
“…how are you?”
Pretty Things & Monsters: Reichenbach Explanation – Richard Brook was real – Rumpelstiltskin
The crackpot IOU theory left a lot of questions unanswered: Who is Richard Brook? Why is Sherlock’s behavior so out of character throughout the entire episode? Since when is Mycroft so stupid? What is the final problem? Why does Moriarty thank Sherlock before killing himself? There has to be…
Wonderful piece of analysis, and opinions, as I have long held, that the Holmes Brothers were playing ordinary to Moriarty so as to outsmart him. Well worth a read; this piece is hugely informative.
Mycroft arrived at the Diogenes Club and headed straight for the Stranger’s Room… but then he seemed at least mildly surprised to see John there.
We know Mycroft doesn’t hang out in the Stranger’s Room by default:
So was he expecting to meet someone else that night?
Sherlock was there to roganise his disapearance and had to hide when John came in. When Mycroft says “Tell him, would you?” it’s far too quiet for John to hear - because it’s not directed at him.
Although I think I might like this even better ^^^^
Want to know something crazy? My weird, rambling theory about Mycroft’s involvement in the Fall just hit 200 notes. Which may not be a lot to most, but really is to me. It’s by far the most read thing on my blog.
This is extremely mad.
Thank you to everyone who believes in my nonsense! I am utterly blown away.
Linking my Mycroft Theories page, because I’m shameless that way, and it also now has links on it. Contains links to several people’s theories regarding the elusive eldest Holmes, and my own recent long-winded one.
Got a theory? Drop a link in my ask box. I’m a hoarder of all things Mycroft. It helps with my feelings.