Since the last three episodes (“Paint It Black,” “Art in the Blood,” and ” The Grand Experiment”) essentially comprise a three-part finale, I’ll address them all at once. Also, it’s impossible to avoid spoilers, so… spoilers!
I have to be honest — my original perspectives of Mycroft have been completely reversed. He does indeed work for the British government. An intelligence organization like MI6 didn’t exist in Doyle’s time, but how Elementary Mycroft describes his role is similar to how Holmes describes it in “The Bruce-Partington Plans”
“The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. We will suppose that a minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question; he could get his separate advices from various departments upon each, but only Mycroft can focus them all, and say offhand how each factor would affect the other. They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed and can be handed out in an instant.”
Mycroft also directly quotes Holmes again in regards to his failings (although this quote is from “The Greek Interpreter”).
“But he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solutions, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right.”
“If anything happened to you…” While not a direct quote, it seems to be an homage to “The Three Garridebs.”
“If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive.”
“Data, data, data.” However, Holmes’ quote about data is a direct quote from “Copper Beeches.”
“Data! data! data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.”
- It’s obscure, but “Arthur West” is actually “Arthur Cadogan West,” and the victim in “The Bruce-Partington Plans” is Cadogan West.
- Mycroft’s handler, Sherrington, is actually the name of one of the discarded names for Sherlock Holmes: Sherrington Hope. As a side note, another discarded name was “Sherrinford Holmes,” which was postulated by William S. Baring-Gould as a theoretical third (eldest) brother.
- The rules of the club that Holmes meets MI6 in is closer to the original Diogenes Club (loners, unsociable, etc.)
- Watson did move out of 221B, but it was very early in the canon, and it was for marriage — in fact, in the very first short story (“A Scandal in Bohemia,” after the first two novels), he had already moved out.
- As previously mentioned, a number of points comes from “The Bruce-Partington Plans,” which is one of the spy stories in the original canon. Sherlock also works as a spy for the British government himself in “His Last Bow,” which the end of the season finale may be an allusion to.