Day 17 — A moment that made you cry
Scandal honestly made me more upset than Reichenbach, because Mycroft absolutely kills me in this episode. He’s doing so much behind the scenes, both for Sherlock and the public as a whole, and they make a point of showing he’s got no one to help him keep it together. His own brother basically hates him, Mrs. Hudson can’t stand him, John’s only putting up with him for Sherlock’s sake, and Anthea’s just an employee who clearly doesn’t pay much attention to anyone.
Seeing him look so sad and alone on Christmas basically broke my heart.
sherlockcharacteranalysis asked you: I have a question about the scene in Scandal where Sherlock says “sex doesn’t alarm me” and Mycroft says “how would you know?” Every time I see that scene, my first thought is always, “but you do, Mycroft????” Mycroft seems even more devoid of actual relationships than Sherlock, so what do you think? Has Mycroft had sexual/romantic relations in his past?
Hello dear! I had the exact same thought when Mycroft delivered that line. Oh Mycroft, you devil!
M: Don’t be alarmed. It’s to do with sex.
S: Sex doesn’t alarm me.
M: How would you know?
Fear is the most elegant weapon. Your hands are never messy. Threatening bodily harm is crude. Work instead on minds & beliefs; play insecurities like a piano. Be creative in approach. Force anxiety to excruciating levels or gently undermine the public confidence. Panic drives human herds over cliffs. An alternative is terror-induced immobilization. Fear feeds on fear. Put this efficient process in motion. Manipulation is not limited to people. Economic, social and democratic institutions can be shaken. It will be demonstrated that nothing is safe, sacred or sane. There is no respite from horror. Absolutes are quicksilver. Results are spectacular.
- Jenny Holzer, Inflammatory Essays
It suddenly occurred to us that this is a moment where Sherlock and Mycroft are talking as brothers. There’s nobody else there, they don’t have to impress anybody else or talk through anybody else like they usually do. […] But at the same time what it exposes is that they both know that they’re freakish, that they’re different.
- Mark Gatiss, Scandal in Bohemia Commentary
“The Coventry conundrum. What do you think of my solution? The flight of the dead.”
You think Sherlock is as mad as he is brilliant? May I just draw your attention to the elder brother, who borrowed bodies, kept them in his freezer for months, and then filled a plane with them, so he could blow it up. This is mad brilliance, or brilliant madness, on a much grander scale.
“Neat, don’t you think?”
It even drew a small smile of admiration from Sherlock.
This - this - is Mycroft’s job! Who knows what else this man has up his sleeves…
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?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Casual!Mycroft.
These screencaps are from Scandal in Belgravia.
In the first we see Mycroft at Christmastime, in what Mark Gatiss says in the commentary is the Holmes ancestral home. Please note the colour (olive?), fit and fabric of the suit, not to mention the checked shirt.
The second are from later that same evening, when Mycroft escorts Sherlock to Bart’s morgue. It’s definitely the same evening - John is wearing the same jumper and Jeanette is still at 221b. He’s looking a good deal smarter - sharper tailoring, different tie, green scarf (love that green scarf!).
The first suit Mycroft was wearing is his country attire, and therefore as casual as Mycroft ever gets. When he returned to the city, even though it was just to visit a dead woman with his brother, he changed.
Conclusion: Mycroft isn’t very good at being casual, but looks damn fine in a suit.
The good people at Sherlockology have tracked down some of Mycroft’s wardrobe, the source of which has long been a mystery.
I’m not going to go update my Study in Suits, as that was more of a character study, but I will post about this here, because some of the details are nice to know.
The first suit we see Mycroft in, in A Study in Pink, (which also got another airing in The Hounds of Baskerville) is from Gieves and Hawkes, of Savile Row. How magnificently appropriate. I always suspected Mycroft of being a patron of Savile Row…wouldn’t a scene with Mycroft at his tailor be wonderful?
The suit from The Great Game was from Reiss. They have also identified the mystery tie that, sadly, is not covered in tiny umbrellas.. It is a Gieves and Hawkes one, featuring geese in flight. Dapper gent! Although he should be given an umbrella-print tie for the next series!
The suit from The Reichenbach Fall (and probably also from the morgue scene in Scandal) is from Paul Smith - a brand that surprised me as quite an unusual choice for Mycroft, but does explain that gorgeous pink lining!
Sherlockology have also identified Mycroft’s pocket watch, a vintage number from 1860, and have pointed to a slightly different Crombie overcoat than the one Wear Sherlock identified. By my count, the only suits left unidentified are Mycroft’s tweed number from Scandal and his pinstripe one (that appeared in every episode of Series Two!)
Go to their website to read more details about Mycroft’s suits, and the wardrobes of the other characters too.
I make no secret for my love for this man, or, indeed, for his impressive wardrobe. While conservative and proper, he’s also just that bit flamboyant, with his waistcoats, pocket watches, goose-print ties, sword-shaped tie clips and colourful suit lining. It says a lot about the character; while he can pretend to be the same as everyone else, he remains noticeably different. I can hardly wait to see what he wears in Series Three. I may just have to go hang round Savile Row in anticipation!
In conclusion to this little study, I would like to talk about Mycroft as a modern day dandy for a while. There is a school of thought that canon Mycroft was, at least in part, based on Oscar Wilde. Arthur Conan Doyle met Wilde at a dinner at the Langham Hotel in the summer of 1889, after the publication of the first Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet. Wilde was at the height of his creative powers, and this dinner ended with both writers receiving commissions for novels – Wilde’s for The Picture of Dorian Gray and Doyle’s for the next Holmes adventure, The Sign of Four. Although Mycroft wasn’t to make his first appearance, in The Greek Interpreter, until 1893, it’s likely that the idea of an indolent genius had more than a little bit of Oscar Wilde about it. Wilde was, of course, a famous dandy and aesthete, once declaring “One should either be a work of Art, or wear a work of Art.”
The BBC Sherlock costume department, in reinventing Mycroft as a dandy for the modern age, beautifully turned out at all times, has given a lovely nod to this bit of history.
Allow me to close with a costume wish list for series three: