Mycroft Holmes: All he has is being clever - a character analysis
Those are my thoughts on Mycroft Holmes after season 4. It’s long, but i was thinking about him a lot! As always, @mycrofts-kitchen told me to turn this into a post.
- All he has is being clever.
- He’s playing a role: The Ice Man. He pretends there is no heart inside him to cover up that his heart is actually huge and soft. He ignores it, he pushes it back so no one can break it. He saw in his early childhood what caring can do to people, what caring too much did to Sherlock: “Caring is not an advantage.” The only thing he can’t push back is his love for Sherlock: “Your loss would break my heart.” Sherlock’s his pressure point, because he already loved him before he decided to become The Ice Man. Look at his smile when he sees the video of Sherlock hugging him… I’m sure no one hugged him except his little brother. You can read so much from his smile. It’s deeply melancholic.
- He’s an introvert that needs some love. He said Sherlock was the emotional child, so he has always been an introvert. Not showing that he needs love or human contact. But he did and he still does. It just seems like he accepted for himself that there is no one who can give him love. When he talked about his heart that’s “not much of a target”… that’s just how anyone sees him. That’s what he wants others to believe.
- He’s lonely. “I’m not lonely” - of course you’d never admit it, Mycroft. It would destroy your role. He’s so intelligent, everyone else seems like goldfish. But he uses it as an excuse for others, to look like he needs no one. But he does… How he knows the lines for this silly movie, that projector - he’s such a melancholic little idiot.
- He never was number one. And he knows. Not the favourite child. Not the most intelligent child. Even his sister always preferred Sherlock.
- He never found his place, he was always lost. He hasn’t seen himself as one of the Holmes kids. He was 7 years older and when talking about redbeard… “We never found him” “we made our assumptions” - as if he belonged with his parents and not with his brother and sister. As if he wouldn’t be one of the kids; Always the grown up. But his parents haven’t seen him like this, this wasn’t his place, as well. He never felt like he belongs somewhere. Because no one ever showed him that he can be loved or be someone’s favourite.
- He always felt responsible because of his intelligence and understanding of things. It was him who took care of Eurus after Uncle Rudy. It’s him that takes care of Sherlock. He became the British government. He feels like it’s his task to shoulder the weight of all of this. At some point he just took this role. The responsible. The adult. The parent. And that’s how he still sees himself. When looking at Sherlock after he shot Magnussen - he saw a little boy.
- He feels like he deserves getting shot. Because he fucked up. His parents told him he fucked up. Maybe that’s what they do all the time. Because they believe he is The Ice Men and doesn’t care. And he just takes it. He’s Mycroft Holmes and it’s so hard for him to admit he has made mistakes. But he just takes it because he really thinks it’s all his fault. Maybe that’s what he was always taught to think. Parents mostly blame the older ones because they think they should know better.
- He’s weak. When Sherlock said “He’s not as strong as he thinks he is” - he was so right. And sadly Mycroft is not as strong as he wants to be. Because he is a sensitive idiot who smiles when his idiot brother tells him he was good as lady bracknell. He’s so weak in so many ways. Physically, of course. He always was. As a child he was chubby, maybe his parents told him to lose weight - that’s why he’s so worried about it, even if there’s no reason. Now he’s so skinny - and still weak. Remember when Sherlock pushed him against the wall and Mycroft was all in pain? He’s emotionally weak. He never learned to be good with people. He understands them, of course, in an intellectual way, that’s part of his job. But he doesn’t understand them in a way of own feelings.
- All he has is being clever! That’s what I thought so many times in TFP. That’s why he always mentions he’s the smart one. The only thing he has is being clever! The only thing he can claim for himself, he can be proud of, he can identify with.
- He likes to be important. Why did he mention he spoke to the prime minister so many times? Look how he behaves in Buckingham Palace! The thing is - there is a difference between power and importance. You could easily think mycroft likes power - but it’s importance and that’s much deeper and purer. Because he wants to matter for someone, wants to be of value. No one shows him on a personal level. Not his parents, not Sherlock. So he searches it in business life. He became the British Government because - how could he be even more important?
- And because he’s a complete control freak! But that’s nothing new, we know since Episode 1. The most things he’s doing is to be the one in control.
Many people said he was out of character in TFP. He wasn’t. He just revealed a side we haven’t seen before. We always saw him from the point of view of Sherlock and John. And they only see his role. The untouchable Ice Man. And this role can’t be kept up in the situation they’re in - that’s why he behaves so different, just not logical, even emotional.
- He always was in control. In TFP he wasn’t. He knew it was his fault. He’s not like Eurus who has almost no feelings at all. TFP shows what losing control is doing to Mycroft.
- “He didn’t vomit when Mary was shot!” When Mary got shot he was The Ice Men, there were so many people from his professional life around - besides, she got shot in the chest, just a little blood. This guy blew his head up with brain all over the wall and stuff?!
- “He never had a problem with killing people or letting them die?! People die, that’s what people do?!” He never killed someone with his own hands? Maybe there’s a little difference?! He was always sitting behind his desk, not knowing the people, not seeing them.
He never was a field agent.