Sometimes I wonder at the vehemence with which Sherlock hates Mycroft. It obviously goes way beyond just him being lazy and what Sherlock (I think) perceives to be a waste of his gifts and privilege.
At this point I’m sure we can all agree that Mycroft must have committed some as-yet-unmentioned crime against Sherlock, to have divided the two brothers so.
I’m thinking that maybe Mycroft stood by and did nothing when Sherlock was bullied at school. While Sherlock may have been powerless against his peers and in convincing his father to move him away (or even more likely, Sherlock refused to ask him for help) Mycroft should have been able to tell, at a glance, whenever Sherlock was home for the holidays, that Sherlock was being mercilessly abused at boarding school. Maybe Sherlock even told him. Mycroft, who was seven years Sherlock’s senior should have stepped up and defended his brother, sought some way to remove him from the toxic environment. But he did not. Maybe this all ties back into his indolence - maybe he knew, and either out of a misdirected belief that Sherlock ought to handle it himself, or in his desire to separate himself from his father and family he decided it was none of his business.
Sherlock, as we’ve seen, is intemperate and maladjusted to the world which his gifts make unbearable, and he was most likely put into psychiatric assessment. Mycroft’s assertion that they (the family) had ‘debated’ the subject and had Sherlock ‘tested’ multiple times for insanity in Paint It Black lends some credence to this idea, though maybe Mycroft was just scaring Herr Yodel (or whatever his name was). But let’s say Sherlock did have professionals poke and prod at him, even had his entire family gossip and speculate about his state of mind, and Mycroft did nothing to protect his younger brother from it. Sherlock must have looked up to Mycroft at some point - he was older, he could adapt and fit in with everyone, he even shared Sherlock’s gifts - he should have been the one person who could truly empathise with him. But Mycroft turned away from him. Mycroft never sought to shield his younger brother from the cruelties of a world that didn’t understand him, a betrayal so profound that Sherlock is still struggling with trust issues to this day.
fic recs: I’m rec-ing Elementary fic at 221b-recs and watson’s woes this month. Both communities have open calls for volunteers to rec in months ahead. Recs can be fanworks (fic, podfic, art, vid) based on any versions of Sherlock Holmes. Minimum commitment for each comm: 3 recs in a month.
What’s different about me, empirically speaking, is you.
Maybe it’s just the hiatus getting to me, and I’m probably (definitely) completely overthinking things, but the more I ponder Mycroft and Joan’s relationship the less sense I can make of it. Their one night stand in London and subsequent relationship came so far out of left field I have no idea what the writers were thinking. We’ve seen that Joan sort of has a ‘type’, and if Mycroft had fit this type, I wouldn’t really have questioned it. But he doesn’t.
And from all the conversations we’ve seen Mycroft and Joan have, it’s nearly always about Sherlock, or where their relationship (with no chemistry between them) is going (nowhere fast).
So the conclusion I’ve come to is just that Mycroft has a huge brother complex and he’s in a way subconsciously using Joan to be closer to Sherlock. Not that she doesn’t have her own amazing qualities and she’s totally a catch, but just… the entire way Sherlock and Mycroft’s relationship has been presented, with Sherlock resenting Mycroft for some as-yet-unknown crime, and Mycroft’s persistent desire to make up with his brother, and Mycroft actually approaching Joan for how to be closer to Sherlock.
I mean, their first real conversation is almost entirely centred around Sherlock, and you can just see how Mycroft is completely captivated by how Joan was able to breach the ten metre high, five metre thick wall of barbed wire and “KEEP OUT” signs Sherlock had built around himself.
It just doesn’t seem a stretch for Mycroft to have become enamoured of Joan because he sees her as not just an incredible person who managed to gain Sherlock’s trust and admiration, but also as a way to become like her, to be closer to Sherlock through the only person Sherlock really cares about.
It makes more sense because then it explains Mycroft’s entire attitude about Joan’s kidnapping which seemed more “shit I fucked up now my little brother is mad at me” instead of “oh god the woman I love is being held by cutthroat criminals” and his subsequent exile more like “I’m really sorry Joan, but this is the way the cookie crumbles. But I love you lil bro, this last year has been a gift” instead of “Oh Joan I know it’s all my fault and I promised us a life together and I’m sorry I made a stupid decision and now I have to leave”. I mean, am I crazy for thinking Mycroft and Joan’s relationship sort of stumbled along, winding around Sherlock, then ended with a sad whimper?
Key observation: somebody moved the bed in [what was] Joan’s room
Okay, first really off the wall guess as to SH’s lapel pin for season 3 based on an incredibly fuzzy image, the memory of something I read last year and some gum…
ACD in “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez” mentions that Holmes received an autographed letter from the President of France and the Legion of Honour for work on a prior case.
So up there is the less fancy version I found of the Legion of Honour medal on a google search (most are enameled). It could be what’s on JLM’s lapel BUT he usually has a good reason for picking lapel pins (Irene’s Soveriegn, the Royal Marine pin for Watson). I don’t see how a passing reference to the reward recieved by SH for an exploit that was never chronicled would have much importance … so ??? … we will have to wait for a better image I guess…
my pin theory is that it’s to do with Mycroft & amends or something going on in s3 we don’t know yet. Diogenes of Sinope was involved with a coin-related scandal, although there’s no way to tell from JMH’s photo if that’s one of those coins.
Sometimes I think about how many little things we probably do every day that would totally mess up the reasoning of a Sherlock-Holmes-style detective.
Like the other day we went to the cinema and I was wearing a shirt with no pockets so I put the ticket in my trouser pocket. The next day I was wearing the same trousers and I put my hand in my pocket and found the ticket there.
Now, I have a certain selection of things I always have in my trouser pockets and I don’t really like having anything else in there because it confuses my hands when I want to get something, so I took the ticket out. And I wasn’t near a rubbish bin, but I was wearing a shirt with a breast pocket. So I put the ticket in the shirt pocket.
And I thought: if I get interestingly murdered, the Sherlock-Holmes-style detective is going to deduce that I’m wearing the same shirt that I wore yesterday. Because it’s got a cinema ticket in the pocket with yesterday’s date on, and why on earth would anyone put a cinema ticket in the pocket of a shirt unless they were wearing the shirt when they went to the cinema?
Which is a bit of reasoning we would all find totally convincing if it came from a Sherlock-Holmes-style detective. But it would be wrong. Because actually there are so many other explanations for things once you take account of the fact that people are often slightly eccentric in completely trivial and unguessable ways.
“Samuel Vimes dreamed about Clues. He had a jaundiced view of Clues. He instinctively distrusted them. They got in the way. And he distrusted the kind of person who’d take one look at another man and say in a lordly voice to his companion, “Ah, my dear sir, I can tell you nothing except that he is a left-handed stonemason who has spent some years in the merchant navy and has recently fallen on hard times,” and then unroll a lot of supercilious commentary about calluses and stance and the state of a man’s boots, when exactly the same comments could apply to a man who was wearing his old clothes because he’d been doing a spot of home bricklaying for a new barbecue pit, and had been tattooed once when he was drunk and seventeen* and in fact got seasick on a wet pavement. What arrogance! What an insult to the rich and chaotic variety of the human experience!”
—Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay
i wish there could be a discussion of how joan never talks to anyone. she goes months without speaking to her brother and that’s just the way they work, none of her friends understand why she became or stayed a detective, after avoiding her mother for god knows how long she was legitimately surprised that the woman knows a thing or two about her, she hasn’t brought up any feelings about the man who raised her and how much it must have hurt when he betrayed her mom, liam used her, joey used her, chloe is still firmly in vulnerable sober client mode, ty saw her as the person he wanted her to be instead of who she was, her biological father is seriously ill, and she didn’t even know who mycroft truly was until five seconds before he peaced out. she’s too professional to cross any boundaries with marcus and gregson, and she willingly confided in sherlock, like, four times, ever? we know andrew isn’t going to be any different, and he’ll be gone in two or three eps. joan’s special brand of failure at connections is so thoroughly supported by the text. it would be my DREAM for the show to acknowledge that she sucks at people, too.
On taking care of each other (this got long … sorry … and there may be more)
I’ve always loved the quiet of the moment shared between Sherlock and Joan at the end of The Long Fuse. The words themselves are simple: Joan tells him she will make sure he’s okay before she leaves him and Sherlock insists that he is self sufficient. The nonverbal interaction between the two is gorgeously intimate and says more than words ever could. The tone of Watson’s voice, quiet and comforting almost maternal, her open stance and softness, her look of care and kindness coupled with the vulnerability Holmes displays in his angled stance, at the door’s threshold with a decision to be made. The look on his face, this wanting to believe in her, wanting her to say she will stay, the soft tone of his voice that contrasts the defiance in his words. And damn! his eyes as they look at her face, her eyes, her lips. This scene is a non-physical hug.
It occurred to me that Holmes is a human being who was not been properly cared for as a child nor as an adult. The attitude with which he wields his intelligence, his lack of patience and general gruff manner has most likely always put people off and discouraged anyone getting close to him. But as much as he’s pushed her away, Watson is still there saying I will take care of you. He realizes she cares for him, is taking care of him, something quite possibly no else has ever done. Even “Irene,” though she professed to love him, did not take care of him. And here stands Watson saying I am going to make sure you are alright, I’m going to take care of you.
That has to be an overwhelming feeling for someone who has spent their life alone. I think this maybe the point where the bond between them begins to solidify.
Reciprocity of sorts is found in the next episode, “You Do it to Yourself’” where we see Sherlock make an effort to be there for Joan. We see Joan, sitting alone, waiting for Liam, at the rehab/shelter, knowing he will not show but still waiting. We see Sherlock through the window at the moment he makes the decision to go in, to break out of his usual pattern of behavior and be there for her. She didn’t ask for his, or anyone else’s for that matter, presence or help. He just shows up and sits with her in what he knows is a waste of time. Liam will not show. But he is willing to quietly sit with her and wait. He is attempting to take care of her as she takes care of him. It’s again a quiet scene where the words are not as important as the actions and reactions of the characters.