1. Sherlock does not remember his past, Mycroft does.
  2. Sherlock does not know James Moriarty has met Eurus, Mycroft does.
  3. Sherlock does not know his sister and her condition, Mycroft does.

Mycroft knows what Eurus is capable of. He does not know that Eurus has the control of the island until they were trapped in her game. He seems unable to do/contribute to anything.

Now this is the man who always knows everything, even before Sherlock solves the problem. This is the man who heads a secret organization and has an intelligence equal to or exceeding Sherlock's.

So, why was Mycroft unable to solve the Final Problem?

  • 1
    "I thought Mycroft planned the whole thing." You are wrong about that episode.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 30, 2017 at 10:20
  • @BCdotWEB I am not saying the Mycroft planned the whole thing in Ep 2. I said I thought he planned it, which turned out he didn't. We know he solves cases before Sherlock does, and he gives cases to Sherlock because he hates field work, which is why he sends Sherlock to collect evidence and to do the field work.
    – j4rey
    Jan 31, 2017 at 13:30
  • @Paulie_D My question is what I have written in the Title of this question. Mycroft was supposed to be smarter than Sherlock, but in Ep 3, even with the knowledge of the past, he couldn't do anything and Sherlock was able to solve the problem. Why was Mycroft unable to solve the problem? He should have some contingency planned to handle Eurus? He should have been able to control Eurus.
    – j4rey
    Jan 31, 2017 at 13:30

1 Answer 1


The Final Problem (the truth about Redbeard) was always intended for Sherlock.

Eurus' motivation was to have Sherlock play with and love her. She'd killed 'Redbeard' because they wouldn't let her join in in his games (particularly playing 'pirates').

So the 'clue' was targeted at Sherlock, not Mycroft.

The 'key' to the encrypted poem/song was based on numbers on the gravestones that Sherlock was fascinated by as a child.

MYCROFT: ... and Sherlock played among the funny gravestones. They weren’t real. The dates were all wrong.

Since Mycroft wasn't as interested as the gravestones it wasn't likely that he would be able to figure it out.

Even Sherlock needed one final clue..

EURUS (offscreen, in a whisper): No-one!

This references Nemo Holmes (one of the gravestones)

NEMO: n. [nee-moh] Latin - no one, nobody

So, in conclusion, even if Mycroft is smarter than Sherlock (although one could argue they have different skill-sets) he still needed the knowledge and experiences to which to apply that intelligence.


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