Mind Palace Without Warning
In the light of the ongoing discussion about what is real and what is not in the show: I looked again at Magnussen’s MP and how whole scenes can only be understood retrospectively. The scene below is highly underrated although it sets the the stage for the whole episode (and more). This is one of the scenes in which we get no indication at all that they are not real. The first time this has been done was the multi-laptop scene in TSoT.
We see Magnussen and Lady Smallwood at the hearing. Then we are made to believe he is driving home, entering his archive, finding the evidence, driving back, presenting it to her in the library. All of which happens shortly after the hearing as she is wearing the same clothes as before.
The difference between the laptop scene and this one is that here we get no evidence at all that it is not real. Magnussen could live nearby and have a real archive for all that we know. This establishes the fact that Moftiss do not shy away from using MP without giving evidence that we are being tricked.
And look at this scene, Mary threatening Sherlock at the hospital, interspersed with shots of Magnussen luxuriating in her notorious past as a bad, bad girl. But what does this mean? Magnussen cannot know what Mary is doing in this very moment and yet we see him enjoying her badness. In the scene framing these moments only two people are present: Sherlock and Mary. Are we looking into the minds of one of them? And again, this is a scene making us believe that a man is sitting in his real study reading actual files.
So if these superficially realistic scenes are retrospectively revealed as Mind Palace, what about things like scenes running backwards, impossible empty houses, mismatched ties, planes that change their interior details during flight, pink baby bunnies? And I could go on and on …