pennswoods: (221B Baker Street)
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I was watching HLV again yesterday and was inspired to meta. I keep picking at this because I am so taken with how carefully Mycroft and Mary seem to keep their distance from each other this entire series, even though she shot his little brother, and he's supposed to be brilliant at deductions and extremely powerful. Originally posted to Tumblr [HERE].

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A while back I posed the theory that Mary may have actually been working for Mycroft all along and that this might explain a number of peculiarities in series 3. But I’ve been watching HLV again and am even more convinced by a few key moments that point to the Mycroft and Mary connection as a viable possibility:


  1. Sherlock trusts Mary

  2. We first see Mycroft speak to Mary when he learns Moriarty is back

  3. Mycroft really has no good reason for getting out of his car

  4. Mary’s words hint that she has other sources about Moriarty


1. Sherlock Trusts Mary. Following the confrontation scene at 221B, as Sherlock is collapsing, we have the following exchange:

SHERLOCK: John – Magnussen is all that matters now. You can trust Mary. She saved my life.
JOHN (quietly): She shot you.
(Sherlock pulls a face, half-nodding his agreement.)
SHERLOCK: Er, mixed messages, I grant you.

(Excerpt from Ariane DeVere’s Transcript of HLV)

Fans have picked this apart to determine whether Sherlock in fact believed that Mary saved his life either by shooting him in the way she did (surgery) or by calling 999. But I feel this distinction is not as significant as the bolded part. Sherlock believes that Mary is trustworthy (despite the fact that she shot and nearly killed him). What could lead Sherlock to trust Mary?

Mycroft. If Sherlock knew Mary had been screened and hired by Mycroft to look after John in his absence, then he would have good reason to continue to trust her despite the shooting. Furthermore, Sherlock had to know that Mycroft would have figured out that Mary was the one who had shot him and would have no doubt paid her a visit to impress upon her the fact that if anything further happened to Sherlock (and Sherlock’s pressure point, John) that she would not live to regret it. In other words, the fact that Mary was still alive even after having put a bullet in Sherlock meant that Mycroft had the situation under control.

2. We First See Mycroft Speak to Mary When He Learns Moriarty is Back. Upon receiving the phone call informing him that Moriarty is back, Mycroft steps out of his car saying “That’s not possible. That’s simply not possible.” He is facing both John and Mary, and as John steps forward asking “What’s happened” we see Mary standing behind with a rather horrified look on her face even though Mycroft has not mentioned Moriarty. John’s movement and speaking draws our attention, but it’s interesting to notice that the camera does not let Mary’s face go out of focus. We can still see her reaction. This moment is also notable in that this is the first scene (in ALL of series 3) in which Mycroft is seen addressing Mary (either separately or as part of a group).

3. Mycroft Really Has No Good Reason For Getting Out of the Car. In the next moment we see Sherlock receiving Myroft’s call and being informed that England needs him. Mycroft is once again back in his car, leaving me to wonder exactly why he needed to step out of the car in the first place. Perhaps he was overcome with emotion, though that doesn’t seem in keeping with his Ice Man persona. In other words, why would he want to reveal vulnerability in front of John and Mary? However, if Mary had indeed been hired by Mycroft to protect John from threats from Moriarty, then he may have actually been signaling her that she was back on.

4. Mary’s Words Hint That She Has Other Sources. The final scene on the tarmac, just before Sherlock’s plane touches down, Mary and John have the following exchange:

MARY: But he’s dead. I mean, you told me he was dead, Moriarty.
JOHN: Absolutely. He blew his own brains out.
MARY: So how can he be back?

(Excerpt from Ariane DeVere’s Transcript of HLV)

Others have pointed out that Mary sounds a little panicked. Listening to the dialog and seeing it transcribed, what also stands out is Mary’s self-correction. She begins by stating that Moriarty is dead, and then modifies this to indicate that her knowledge is second-hand, she knows this because John told her. It seems like Mary is trying to clarify that the source of her information regarding Moriarty’s death was John and not that she knew about this from other sources.  But why would it be necessary for her, in this moment, to qualify the source of her information? Could it be that she was trying to appear not to already know too much about Moriarty and the threat he posed?



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