Sherlock, Season 4, episode 2 transcript: The Lying Detective, part 1
With all my thanks to Team Ari – Mirith Griffin, lauramcewan, simpleanddestructivechemistry, and swissmarg – for their invaluable help in checking and correcting this transcript.
My thanks also to stepfordgeek and roquentine19 as well as many other helpful people on Tumblr without whose assistance this transcript wouldn’t have gone on the air so soon.
Episode written by Steven Moffat.
Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan. (Last updated 22 January 2017)
Please note: Although complete, this is and will continue to be very much a work in progress. Amendments and additions will be made whenever I get suggestions from readers or Team Ari, spot new clever stuff in the background or realise the subtlety of the way that a particular line of dialogue was delivered, or learn something new from commentaries, interviews etc.
In the meantime, if you think that I’ve made any errors or have left anything out, let me know either in the Comments section below or by PM. (N.B. if you’re not registered with Livejournal, your Comment will automatically be screened until I unlock it.) If you need to contact me through other means, I’m callie-ariane on Tumblr where my Ask box and the Comments are open.
Polite request: If you take extracts from this transcript for use elsewhere, and especially if you repost my own words, it would be kind if you would acknowledge the source and/or give a link back to this transcript. Thanks.
Sherlock, Season 4 Episode 2 transcript: The Lying Detective, part 1
Jump to Part 2 / Jump to Part 3 / Jump to Part 4
Blurry, out of focus and aimed directly towards the camera, a pistol has fired and smoke drifts from the muzzle. The camera drops slowly downwards, eventually revealing the face of John Watson lying on his back and staring blankly upwards. The angle changes and we now see John’s face upright, then the angle changes yet again and he is actually lying on his back on his bed at home, staring blankly upwards. A woman’s voice speaks with a soft German accent.
WOMAN (offscreen): Tell me about your morning. Start from the beginning.
(The scene shifts again. John is reflected in a window. Outside the window is a wicker fence, and inside the room – very out of focus – is a bunch of what look like pale white roses in a vase.)
JOHN: I woke up.
(He smiles tightly. We now see that he is in what appears to be the back room of a house. He is sitting in a chair a few feet away from a woman facing him as she sits in a low armchair. Dark blue floor-length curtains are tied back either side of French windows at the rear of the room, looking out into the back garden, and similar curtains hang either side of a smaller window beside him. On a table under the smaller window stands the vase of flowers. There is a jagged red rug on the floor between John and the woman. It’s clear as the conversation continues that this woman is a therapist and is not Ella.)
THERAPIST: How did you sleep?
JOHN: I didn’t. I don’t.
THERAPIST: You just said you woke up.
JOHN: I stopped lying down.
(In flashback John sits up in bed and shifts back to lean against the headboard. The duvet on the other side of the bed is rucked up and a hand is poking out from under it, resting on the pillow. Blonde curly hair is also visible.)
THERAPIST (voiceover): Alone?
(In flashback John looks across to the mostly-hidden person lying beside him.)
JOHN (in the therapist’s room): Of course alone.
(We get our first proper sight of the therapist. She has ash blonde shoulder-length hair and is wearing glasses. She has a notebook on her lap.)
THERAPIST: I meant Rosie, your daughter.
JOHN: Uh, she’s with friends.
JOHN: Can’t always cope ... and, uh, last night wasn’t ... good.
(In flashback, John stands in the hallway of his house leaning against the wall. The hall is in darkness. He holds his left shoulder with his right hand and drinks from a glass, ice cubes rattling.)
THERAPIST: That’s understandable.
JOHN: Is it? Why? Why is it understandable? Why does everything have to be understandable?
(He smiles and then laughs bitterly.)
JOHN: Why can’t, um, some things be unacceptable and-and we just say that?
(He gestures briefly at the end of the sentence, then lowers his hand onto the other one and taps his index finger against it.)
THERAPIST: I only mean it’s okay.
JOHN: I’m letting my daughter down. How the hell is that okay?
THERAPIST (softly): You just lost your wife.
JOHN: And Rosie just lost her mother.
(He pulls in a harsh breath, then clears his throat.
In flashback, John sits at his kitchen table with a steaming mug beside him. He lifts his hands, clasps them together and props his chin on them. In the background, someone is moving around in the living room. Whoever it is is very out of focus but their shape suggests that it’s a woman.)
THERAPIST (voiceover): You are holding yourself to an unreasonable standard.
(In flashback, the person walks to John’s side and puts an arm around his shoulder. We still can’t see who it is.)
JOHN (at the therapist’s, voiceover): No, I’m failing to.
THERAPIST: So there is no-one you talk to, confide in?
(In flashback, John has now put on a jacket and walks towards the front door, holding a set of keys in one hand and a briefcase in the other. He turns back towards the other person, whom we can’t see except their arm.)
JOHN: Oh, I’m picking up Rosie this afternoon, after I’ve seen my therapist. Got a new one; seeing her today.
MARY (offscreen): Are you gonna tell her about me?
JOHN (shaking his head): No.
MARY (offscreen): Why not?
JOHN: ’Cause I can’t.
MARY (offscreen): Why not?
JOHN: Because I can’t ... you know I can’t. She thinks you’re dead.
MARY (offscreen): John, you’ve got to remember. It’s important.
(The angle reverses and Mary is standing at the kitchen table with her hand on the back of one of the chairs. She is wearing the same clothes she wore in the Aquarium but there is no blood or bullet hole on her shirt.)
MARY: I am dead.
MARY: Please, for your own sake and for Rosie’s. This isn’t real. I’m dead.
(He looks away.)
MARY: John. Look at me.
JOHN: Hm. (He turns his head to her.)
MARY: I’m not here.
MARY: You know that, don’t you?
(John stares blankly into the corner of the room for several seconds, rubbing his ear with one finger.)
JOHN (his voice breaking slightly): Okay, I’ll see you later.
(He looks into the kitchen again. We can see that there is nobody there. He turns and walks away.)
THERAPIST (voiceover): Is there anything you’re not telling me?
(In her consultation room, John bites his lip and then presses his lips together. After a moment he looks up and over the therapist’s left shoulder. Mary is standing by the wall behind her, looking off into the distance. John huffs out a small laugh.)
(He clears his throat awkwardly. Mary is now looking towards him and tears run down one cheek.)
THERAPIST: What are you looking at?
(She turns in her chair and looks towards where John was looking.)
THERAPIST (facing him again): You keep glancing to my left.
JOHN: Oh, I suppose I was just ... looking away. (He laughs nervously.)
THERAPIST: There is a difference between looking away and looking to. I tend to notice these things.
JOHN (smiling tightly): I’m sure.
(She breathes out a small laugh.)
THERAPIST: Now I am reminding you of your friend, I think.
JOHN (still smiling humourlessly): It’s not necessarily a good thing.
THERAPIST: Do you talk to Sherlock Holmes?
JOHN: I haven’t seen him. No-one’s seen him. He’s locked himself away in his flat. God knows what he’s up to.
THERAPIST: Do you blame him?
(John twiddles his thumbs compulsively.)
JOHN: I don’t blame ... I don’t think about him. (He shakes his head.)
THERAPIST: Has he attempted to make contact with you?
THERAPIST: How can you be sure? He might have tried.
JOHN: No, if Sherlock Holmes wants to get in touch, that’s not something you can fail to notice.
(He sighs out a breath through his nose. Just then the sound of a car accelerating hard can be heard outside. John turns his head towards the front room and a red car comes into view through the window, does a dramatic U-turn with a squeal of tyres and stops outside the house. There’s the sound of shattering glass and a black plastic rubbish bin flies through the air and crashes to the ground. John and the therapist get up from their seats and walk towards the front door as the sound of an approaching police car’s siren can be heard. John opens the front door and walks outside just as a helicopter can be heard overhead. John looks at the expensive-looking red car and then squints upwards towards the helicopter, while the police siren continues to wail. Camera footage from the chopper shows the red car parked at an awkward angle outside the house and rubbish bins lying on their sides near it. Smoke is still rising from the car’s tortured tyres. Police cars are just pulling up from both ends of the road. Back on the ground, we see the badge on the front of the car showing that it’s an Aston Martin. The driver’s door opens and the sound of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Ode to Joy) can be heard from the car’s stereo. The driver gets out but the person is out of focus and we can’t see who it is. John squints up at the helicopter again.)
THERAPIST (standing in the doorway behind John): Well, now ...
(John lowers his head to look at the driver and his face fills with surprise.)
THERAPIST: ... won’t you introduce me?
(John stares at the driver as if he can’t believe what he is seeing.)
LONDON. DUSK. A man in his fifties, wearing a white suit, stands on the balcony of a riverside building in the Southwark area, looking at the view. The balcony is many storeys above ground. We might recognise him from the advertisement on the bus shelter where John last saw his mystery redhead.
Shortly afterwards, the man has come off the balcony into a room which has floor-to-ceiling glass windows on three sides. He shakes hands with a white-haired man and then walks over to one of the windows to look outside. There are several other people in the room chatting with each other around a large white oval table in the middle of the room.
In a cut-away shot, news footage is shown of the man, wearing a black tuxedo and coming down a grand staircase smiling and waving as cameras flash and reporters shout questions. The footage is captioned News 24/7 on the bottom left of the screen and on the right the man is identified as Culverton Smith and underneath his name, Entrepreneur / Philanthropist. He continues downstairs into the throng of reporters who continue to take photos and hold microphones towards him. He raises his hands to them, smiling as he continues onwards.
SMITH (northern English accent): No, thank you, thank you.
(In the glass walled room, Smith smiles to himself. Nearby a woman in her mid-thirties, with mid-blonde shoulder-length hair and wearing a large pair of glasses, walks across the room leaning heavily on a cane. She greets one of the men.)
FAITH (northern English accent): Hello.
(The man she’s talking to turns one of the chairs to make it easier for her to sit down. Behind Smith, a woman approaches him.)
CORNELIA: Mr Smith?
(He turns his head slightly towards her.)
CORNELIA: Whenever you’re ready.
(Smith turns and looks towards the table where everyone is now sitting down, still talking to each other.
There’s another brief cut-away to the news footage. Smith has now stopped to talk to the reporters.)
SMITH: Uh, the charity fun...
(In the riverside room, Smith turns to Cornelia.)
SMITH: Now, please.
(Raising her hand to a headset in her ear, she walks away across the room.)
CORNELIA (into her microphone): Bring them through.
(At the end of a corridor outside the room, the door opens and a woman in a white nurse’s uniform, cap and gloves and with a white mask over her nose and mouth walks through carrying a clipboard. She is followed by several other nurses, mostly female but at least one male, similarly attired. Each of them is wheeling a drug stand beside them. Inside the glass room we see clearly for the first time that there are six people seated around the table, three on each side. Faith sits between two men on the left-hand side, and two men and a woman sit on the other side. Smith stands at the end of the table looking at them.)
SMITH: It’s difficult having such good friends.
(He walks along the right-hand side of the table, putting a hand briefly on the shoulder of the two men as he passes.)
SMITH: Friends are people you want to share with. Friends and ...
(Reaching the other end of the table, he points towards Faith.)
SMITH: ... family.
(Outside the room, the nurses and their stands progress along the corridor.)
SMITH (reaching Faith and putting both hands on her shoulders): What’s the very worst thing you can do to your very best friends?
(He rubs her shoulders and then strokes her neck with one hand. She laughs a little nervously. The man sitting to her right speaks.)
IVAN: Something on your mind?
SMITH: Yes, Ivan. Oh, yes.
(He pats Faith’s shoulder and she tilts her head back and smiles at him.)
IVAN: Whatever you tell us stays in this room. I think I speak for everyone.
(The others chorus their agreement with comments of “Of course,” and “Yeah.” Smith walks back to the head of the table and leans his arms on the back of the chair there.)
FAITH: Well? What is the worst thing you could do?
(Smith draws in a long breath through his nose.)
SMITH: Tell them your darkest secret. (He narrows his eyes.) Because if you tell them and they decide they’d rather not know, you can’t take it back. You can’t unsay it. (He smiles briefly.) Once you’ve opened your heart, you can’t close it again.
(His friends look at him silently. After a moment he laughs raucously. The others laugh too as he flaps a hand at them.)
SMITH: I’m kidding!
(He continues to laugh for a moment, then his smile drops.)
SMITH: Of course you can.
(He nods to Cornelia standing near the door. The door is already open and now the nurses process into the room.)
SMITH: Well, everyone, please, roll up your right sleeves. Roll up your right sleeves. Come on.
(The seated people look anxious as the nurses wheel their drug stands into the room and each one goes to one of Smith’s guests.)
SMITH: Oh, i-it’s, uh, it’s a bit of insurance.
FAITH: I don’t understand. (She points to the drug stand nearest to her.) What is that?
IVAN (chuckling): TD12. One of ours.
FAITH: One of yours?
IVAN: We make it, my company – TD12. Sells mainly to dentists and hospitals for minor surgical procedures. Interferes with ...
(He gestures towards his head. In a brief blurry cut-away, Faith stumbles into another room, leaning heavily on her cane, and slumps against the door.)
IVAN: ... the memory.
SMITH (pointing towards Ivan): The memory, yes!
(In the blurry cut-away, Faith hobbles deeper into the room.)
SMITH: I-I-I want to thank you, Ivan, for allowing me to use it.
IVAN: Well, I didn’t exactly know who you were going to be using it on.
FAITH: You mean you didn’t ask?
SMITH (looking round the table): Is everyone ready?
FAITH (anxiously): No.
SMITH (to everyone): Please, roll up your sleeves. Come on – roll up!
(In the blurry cut-away, Faith drops her cane to the floor and leans heavily on a desk, then straightens up and looks down to run her finger over her right arm just below the elbow.
In the glass room, the nurses are beginning to attach drips to the right arms of other seated guests, although Faith’s nurse hasn’t started yet.)
THE OTHER FEMALE GUEST: This is obscene.
SMITH: All I’m doing, Faith, dear ... (he walks behind her and turns her chair slightly so that she can look at him) ... is getting something off my chest ... (he bends and takes her right wrist) ... without getting it on yours.
(He starts to unbutton the sleeve of her blouse.)
SMITH: What you’re about to hear me say may horrify you, but you will forget it.
(Around the table, the nurses continue their preparations.)
SMITH (rolling up Faith’s sleeve and looking around the table): If you think about it, civilisation has always depended on a measure of elective ignorance.
(Very brief cut-away clip of Smith, wearing a blue suit, laughing raucously. It looks as if he’s in a TV studio.
In the glass room Smith chuckles slightly and passes Faith’s arm to her nurse.
In the blurry cut-away, Faith has sat down at the desk and reaches down to a small round sticking plaster on her right arm just below the elbow.
In the glass room the nurse finishes attaching a drip to Faith’s right arm. Smith is now seated in the chair at the head of the table.)
SMITH: These drip feeds will keep the drug in your bloodstreams at exactly the right levels.
(Cornelia opens the door and the nurses start to leave the room.)
SMITH: Nothing that is happening to you now will stay with you for more than a few minutes. (More quietly) I’m afraid that some of the memories you’ve had up to this point might also be ...
(In the blurry cut-away, Faith struggles to pick up and control a fountain pen.)
SMITH: ... corrupted.
(He smiles, revealing his stained and jagged teeth. The people around the table are starting to look drowsy.)
SMITH: I’m going to share something with you now; something personal and of importance to me.
(He stands up.)
SMITH: I have a need to confess, but you – I think – might have a need to forget. (He chuckles.) By the end of this, you’ll be free to go. And don’t worry – by the time you’re back in the outside world, you will not remember any of what you’ve heard.
FAITH: Ignorance is bliss.
SMITH: Well, what’s wrong with bliss?!
(In the cut-away, Faith has got a notepad on the desk in front of her. She runs her hand over her face.)
SMITH (walking slowly around the table): Some of you know each other and some of you don’t.
(In the cut-away Faith breathes shakily, looking down at the notepad.)
SMITH: Please, be aware that one of you is a high-ranking police officer.
(In the cut-away Faith forces her hand onto the notepad and scribbles, ”Police officer”.)
SMITH: One of you is a member of the judiciary.
(In the cut-away Faith writes ”Judge?” then, staring into the distance, angrily slams her pen hand down three times on the desk.)
SMITH: One of you sits on the board of a prominent broadcaster.
(In the cut-away a drop of blood falls onto the notepad. Faith looks at where the drop has fallen just under where she has written ”BROADCASTER”. She turns her hand over and looks at where she inadvertently cut herself at the base of her little finger, presumably against the nib of the fountain pen.)
SMITH: Two of you work for me and one of you, of course, is my lovely daughter, Faith.
(He reaches out and puts his hand on the back of her head, rubbing it quite hard.
In the cut-away, Faith has written ”ME” next to the bloodstain. Her hand drags across the paper, smearing the blood through the word.)
SMITH: You are the people I need to hear me. I have made millions, for myself, for the people round this table, for millions of people I’ve never even met.
(Brief cut-away of the news footage and Smith talking to reporters.)
SMITH (walking around the table): There are charities that I support who wouldn’t exist without me.
(Brief cut-away of him wearing a tracksuit and breaking the tape at the end of a fun run, raising his arms in triumph. Someone dressed in a large bird costume is also finishing the race just behind him.
Brief cut-away of Smith cutting a ribbon at the opening of The Culverton Smith Wing at a hospital on Thursday 20th July 2014 as shown on a plaque on the wall nearby. Medical staff stand behind him applauding.)
[Transcriber’s note: that date wasn’t on a Thursday in real life.]
SMITH: If life is a balance sheet – and I think it is – well, I believe I’m in credit!
(He chuckles, then his smile fades.)
SMITH: But I have a situation that needs to be ... managed ...
(He turns and walks away from the table.)
SMITH: I have a problem ... and there is only one way that I can solve it.
FAITH (a little drowsily): And what’s that?
(Smith turns back, walks to the table and leans his hands on it.)
SMITH: I’m terribly sorry.
(He pauses for a long moment, then draws his lips back from his teeth.)
SMITH: I need to kill someone.
(In the cut-away Faith writes “NEED TO KILL”. Gritting her teeth in concentration she adds ”SOMEONE”.)
FAITH (in the glass room, leaning forward a little): Who?
In the cut-away, Faith writes ”Who?” She puts her pen down and tears the sheet of paper from the notepad. At the open door of what we presume is her office, Ivan comes to the doorway holding his jacket in one hand and undoing the top button of his shirt. He stops, wobbling slightly.)
IVAN (vaguely): Were we in a meeting? Was there a meeting?
(Faith stares down at the sheet of paper. Ivan looks around, confused, then wanders away. Putting one hand to her head, Faith puts down the piece of paper and in flashback remembers her father in the glass room.)
SMITH: I need to kill someone.
(In her office, Faith looks up at the sound of someone at the doorway.)
(He walks in, tutting as she picks up the paper again.)
SMITH: My dear, dear child.
FAITH (tearfully): I can’t remember. Can’t remember who you’re gonna kill.
SMITH: Dear, in five minutes you won’t even remember why you were crying.
(Reaching her side, he puts his arm around her and pulls her to his chest.)
SMITH: The others are all fine.
FAITH: I know.
SMITH: You know, they’ve gone down the pub. (He strokes her hair.) It’s all on me.
(He chuckles. She sobs and he reaches out to turn the piece of paper so that he can read what’s written on it.)
SMITH: Oh, Faith. Don’t you think I should take that? It’s only going to upset you.
(He kisses the top of her head, then looks grimly towards the door.)
Without segue, a pair of hands is holding the piece of paper which had been folded in half, as shown by the sharp crease in it, but is now open.
FAITH (offscreen): Three years ago ...
(The camera angle changes and we are in the living room of 221B Baker Street. It is night time but the curtains are open. Despite lamps being on all around the room, it looks dark and gloomy in there. Faith, wearing an ankle-length long-sleeved dark red dress, is standing facing the right-hand window. Sherlock is slumped in his chair with a dark blue dressing gown over his clothes and he is holding and looking at the sheet of paper. The room is an even worse mess than usual, with papers and files scattered everywhere. There is a pile of books on the table beside John’s chair, although the ‘me-balloon’ is no longer there.)
FAITH: ... my father told me he wanted to kill someone. One word, Mr Holmes ...
(Sherlock folds the paper over and looks at the back of it, then straightens his fingers and notices that they are trembling slightly. He looks like hell. He hasn’t shaved for a couple of days and his hair is unwashed and flatter to his head than usual.)
FAITH: ... and it changed my world forever.
(Sherlock looks up at her as she clenches her hands over the top of her cane in front of her, still facing the window.)
FAITH: Just one word.
SHERLOCK: What word?
(Lowering the paper, he picks up his mobile phone.)
FAITH (turning to face him as he works on the phone): A name.
SHERLOCK: What name?
(Faith walks across the room to where the client’s chair is facing the fireplace. The fire is lit.)
FAITH (sitting down): I can’t remember.
(Sherlock looks up at her.)
FAITH: I can’t remember who my father wanted to kill ... (she looks down at her hands on top of her cane) ... and I don’t know if he ever did it.
(Sherlock looks back to the phone and sighs.)
SHERLOCK: Well, you’ve changed. You no longer top up your tan and your roots are showing.
(He holds up the phone to look more closely at a photograph of Faith and her father smiling into the camera. He lowers the phone and looks at her.)
SHERLOCK: Letting yourself go?
FAITH: Do you ever look in the mirror and want to see someone else?
SHERLOCK: No. Do you own an American car?
FAITH: I’m sorry?
SHERLOCK (closing his eyes and waving a hand vaguely): No, not American; left-hand drive, that’s what I mean.
FAITH: No. Why-why do you ask?
(Sherlock blinks and looks across to her.)
SHERLOCK: Not sure, actually. (He shrugs.) Probably just noticed something.
(Above and to the left of her head from his perspective, imaginary chalk writing appears in large letters reading “SOMETHING” and a chalk line draws down to form an arrow pointing to the bottom right of her skirt – again from Sherlock’s perspective. He blinks a couple of times and focuses in to where there’s a straight dark line of dirt on the skirt, then he grimaces and gestures angrily in front of him. The imaginary chalk disperses and disappears.
[Transcriber’s note: ‘dmellieon’ on Tumblr suggested that the way that the ‘chalk’ disperses looks more like salt or sugar or could even be cocaine or powdered meth crystals. While I’m thrilled with that deduction, I’ll continue to refer to it as ‘chalk’ simply to save repeating lots of possible alternatives.]
Sherlock looks down at his hand held out in front of him and sees that it’s trembling. He clenches it into a fist with a sharp snap, then stretches the fingers out again. They continue to tremble.)
FAITH: Are you okay?
SHERLOCK (still holding out his shaking hand): Oh, of course you don’t own a car. You don’t need one, do you, living in isolation, no human contact, no visitors.
(While he speaks he unfolds the piece of paper again and looks at it vaguely.)
FAITH (nervously, reaching up to fiddle with her necklace with one hand): Okay, how do you know that?
SHERLOCK (brandishing the paper): It’s all here, isn’t it? Look.
(He stands up and wanders across the room toward her, showing her the paper.)
SHERLOCK: Cost-cutting’s clearly a priority for you. Look at the size of your kitchen: teeny-tiny. (He walks past her towards the right-hand window then turns back to her.) Must be a bit annoying when you’re such a keen cook.
FAITH: I don’t understand.
SHERLOCK: Hang on a minute ... (he turns to the window) ... I was looking out of the window. Why was I doing that?
(He steps closer to the window and looks out of it through the rain pouring down it.)
FAITH: I don’t know!
SHERLOCK: Me either. Must have had a reason. (He shakes his head and turns around.) It’ll come back to me.
(He walks back across the room, folding the paper in half and sniffing it as he goes.)
SHERLOCK: Presumably you downsized when you ... when you left your job ... (he raises the paper to his mouth and bites into the edge of it) ... and maybe when you ended your relationship.
(He slumps heavily down into his chair. On the table beside him, a spoon and a used syringe with the last dregs of brownish fluid in it rattle noisily on the saucer on which they’re lying.)
FAITH: You can’t know that.
SHERLOCK: ’Course I can. There wasn’t anything physical going on, was there? (He holds up the paper and starts to run his fingers along the fold.) Quite some time, in fact.
(He sharply finishes running his fingers along the fold and then waves the paper at her.)
SHERLOCK: There, see? It’s obvious.
FAITH (upset): You can’t tell things like that from a piece of paper.
SHERLOCK: Think I just did, didn’t I? (He nods.) I’m sure that was me. (He sniffs.)
SHERLOCK: Dunno. (He gestures vaguely.) Just sort of ... happens, really. (He leans forward and lowers his head.) It’s ... like a reflex. I can’t stop it.
(Raising his head he looks across to Faith, then does a double-take and homes in on the wet patch on the top of her dress’ right shoulder. Looking away briefly, he returns his gaze to her and three chalk words appear above her, one over each shoulder and one over the top of her hair. Each word reads “DAMP”. Hauling himself to his feet, he waves his hand at her twice and the two words over her shoulders dissipate while she flinches away from him, then he sweeps his hand over the top of her head and the last word also dissipates and the chalk dust floats away. She looks up at him nervously as he reaches out and touches his fingers to her right shoulder.)
(He turns and walks towards the fireplace.)
FAITH: I don’t have a coat.
SHERLOCK (walking round the other side of John’s chair and heading in the direction of the kitchen): Yeah, that’s what I just noticed. I wonder why?
(One of the closed doors of the kitchen slides open and Bill Wiggins looks through the gap.)
WIGGINS: Who you talkin’ to?
SHERLOCK: Piss off.
(He pushes the door closed and turns away.)
FAITH: So what do you think?
SHERLOCK: Of what?
FAITH: My case.
SHERLOCK: Oh, it’s way too weird for me. Go to the police; they’re really excellent at dealing with this complicated sort of stuff. Tell them I sent you; that ought to get a reaction.
(He picks up a large handbag from John’s chair.)
(He tosses the handbag towards her. In slow motion the bag flies across the room and Faith raises her hands to catch it but before it reaches her it goes into ultra-slow motion. Sherlock frowns and heads towards it at normal speed, looking closely at it as it drifts very slowly across the room. He reaches down and puts his hand underneath it and a chalk letter ‘g’ appears. Sherlock lifts his hand and touches the underside of the bag and a variety of chalk numbers scroll up beside the ‘g’, peaking at ‘1619’ [grams] before rolling back to ‘0g’ when he takes his hand away again. Giving the almost-frozen Faith a look, he turns and walks back across the room, wiping out the chalk as he walks across in front of it and he is back in his previous position when the bag goes into normal speed and Faith catches it. She stands up and walks towards him as he slides open the kitchen doors and starts to walk through them.)
(He turns back.)
FAITH: I have no-one else to turn to.
SHERLOCK: Yes, but I’m very busy at the moment. I have to drink a cup of tea.
(He half closes the doors, goes to the kitchen table and picks up a teacup with two syringes in it. Liquid can be heard bubbling nearby. Sitting at the left of the table in front of a complicated contraption of pipes clamped together, a gas tank and what looks like a plastic drugs drip bag clipped to one pipe with a large clothes peg, Bill looks at him.)
WIGGINS: Is “cup of tea” code?
(A clear plastic tent has been hung from the ceiling around the sink. Sherlock reaches through the opening to empty the syringes from the teacup onto the draining board.)
SHERLOCK: It’s a cup of tea.
WIGGINS: Because you might prefer some ... (he makes air-quotes with the fingers of his right hand) ... “coffee.”
(Walking back across the kitchen, Sherlock throws him a dark look. Faith is still standing in the living room.)
FAITH: You’re my last hope.
SHERLOCK (turning to her and taking hold of the handles on both of the sliding doors): Really? That’s bad luck, isn’t it? Goodnight. Go away.
(He slides the doors closed. She shuts her eyes in despair. Sherlock turns back to the work surface nearby.)
WIGGINS: What’s bad luck?
SHERLOCK (exasperated, leaning his hands on the work surface and lowering his head): Stop talking. It makes me aware of your existence.
WIGGINS: I always ’ave bad luck. It’s congenital.
SHERLOCK (raising his head): Handbag.
WIGGINS: That’s not rude. Congenital: it just means ...
(Sherlock turns to the doors and slides them open.)
(Faith has gone.
Downstairs, Faith is just opening the front door. Outside torrential rain is pouring down.)
SHERLOCK (offscreen): Stop. Wait!
(She turns to see Sherlock half-hurrying and half-falling down the stairs, his right hand braced against the wall. He stops at the bottom of the stairs.)
SHERLOCK (urgently): Your life is not your own. Keep your hands off it, do you hear me?
(She stares at him, looking confused. He points at her.)
SHERLOCK: Off it. (Sternly, emphatically) Off it.
FAITH: Sorry? (She limps back towards him.) What? What are you talking about?
SHERLOCK (pointing down towards her feet): Your skirt.
FAITH: My skirt?
SHERLOCK (urgently): Look at the hem of it! That’s what I noticed. I’m ... (he puts his hand to his face briefly) ... still catching up with my brain. It’s terribly fast.
(He points to the bottom of her dress and takes a step closer to her, still bracing himself on the wall with the fingertips of his other hand.)
SHERLOCK: Those markings. Do you see them?
(She looks down.)
SHERLOCK: You only get marks like that by trapping the hem of your skirt in a car door but they’re on the left-hand side, so you weren’t driving; you were in the passenger seat.
FAITH: I came in a taxi.
SHERLOCK (shaking his head against his befuddled mind): There is no taxi waiting in the street outside. That’s what I checked when I went to the window. And you’ve got all the way to the door and not made any move to phone for one, and look at you. You didn’t even bring a coat – in this rain? Now, well, that might mean nothing, except for the angle of the scars on your left forearm; you know, under that sleeve that you keep pulling down.
(Looking down, Faith reaches across and pulls her left sleeve down.)
FAITH (looking up again): Y-you never saw them.
SHERLOCK: No, I didn’t, so thank you for confirming my hypothesis. Don’t really need to check that the angle’s consistent with self-harm, do I?
(He reaches towards her. She flinches back.)
SHERLOCK: Then you can keep your scars. I want to see your handbag.
SHERLOCK: It’s too heavy. You said I was your last hope and now you’re going out into the night with no plan on how you’re getting home ... and a gun.
(She lowers her head. He focuses in on her walking cane, which is black with a white band across the top of the handle and some curly patterning up its length. He nods and sniffs sharply and has a brief flashback of John walking away from the house in Lauriston Gardens in “A Study in Pink,” leaning heavily on his cane. Sherlock shakes the memory away, his face unhappy.)
(Sherlock takes a coat – presumably one of Mrs Hudson’s – from the coat hooks on the wall and sighs as he hands it to her. She takes it.)
SHERLOCK: You’re suicidal. You’re allowed chips, trust me. It’s about the only perk.
(He takes off his dressing gown and hangs it on a hook before taking hold of his greatcoat. Faith turns and walks out of the door. Sherlock closes his eyes and grimaces, bracing both hands against the wall.)
MRS HUDSON (offscreen): Sherlock?
(She comes up the hall from the direction of her flat as he straightens up, takes his coat from the hook and starts to put it on.)
MRS HUDSON (looking at him worriedly): Are you going out?
SHERLOCK: I think I remember the way. (He points to the front door.) It’s through there, isn’t it?
MRS HUDSON (sadly): Oh, you’re in no state. Look at you.
SHERLOCK: Yeah, well, I’ve got a friend with me, so ...
(He turns and heads for the open door.)
MRS HUDSON: What friend?
(He closes the door behind him and looks up into the pouring rain.)
MRS HUDSON (worriedly): Oh!
(Standing on the doorstep, Sherlock wraps his coat around him, then turns left and walks under the awning of Speedy’s where Faith is waiting.)
SHERLOCK: Come on.
(They head off into the rain.)
TV FOOTAGE. Smith, wearing a suit and tie, looks directly into the camera.
SMITH: I’m Culverton Smith, and in this election year I’ll be voting ...
At what appears to be a formal reception of some kind, Mycroft – wearing a suit and bow tie and holding his phone in one hand – walks out of a room and sighs silently at the person waiting for him.
MYCROFT: For God’s sake. I was talking to the prime minister.
MAN (a little nervously): I am sorry, Mr Holmes. It’s your brother.
(Mycroft raises his eyebrows at him.)
MAN: He’s left his flat.
MYCROFT (facetiously): Was it on fire?
TV FOOTAGE. Smith, wearing a denim jacket with a handkerchief in the breast pocket and an open-necked pink shirt, looks on excitedly as an offscreen waiter ignites the contents of a wide flat metal dish beside his table in a restaurant. He grins quirkily into the camera, then laughs silently.
SMITH (voiceover): Even when I’m on the road, I still like quality food.
Someone squirts tomato ketchup onto a cardboard carton of chips. Sherlock and Faith are standing under the awning of a fish and chips stand while the rain pours down. Not long afterwards they are sitting on the bench of a covered bus stop outside a church. Sherlock is holding the piece of paper that Faith gave him. The rain is easing up.
SHERLOCK: You see the fold in the middle? For the first few months you kept this hidden, folded inside a book.
(He looks at it closely. Beside him, Faith is eating from the carton of chips on her lap.)
SHERLOCK: Must have been a tightly packed shelf, going by the severity of the crease.
(Brief flashback to the folded piece of paper being put inside the pages of a book.)
SHERLOCK: So obviously you were keeping it hidden from someone living in the same house at a level of intimacy where privacy could not be assumed.
(As he speaks there’s a flashback of a hand putting the closed book back in its place on a shelf amongst many other books.)
SHERLOCK: Conclusion: relationship.
(Brief flashback to the shadows of two people standing in front of the bookshelf, leaning towards each other, about to kiss.)
SHERLOCK: Not any more, though.
(He points to the top of the opened piece of paper.)
SHERLOCK: There’s a pinprick at the top of the paper.
(Brief flashback to someone pinning the paper to a noticeboard with a drawing pin.)
SHERLOCK: For the past few months it’s been on open display on a wall. Conclusion: relationship is over.
(Brief flashback to the shadows of the two people drawing away from each other.)
SHERLOCK: The paper’s been exposed to steam and a variety of cooking smells ...
(Brief close-up of the piece of paper pinned to the noticeboard. Just in front of it, the contents of a saucepan on the cooker are boiling and steam issues from under the lid.)
SHERLOCK: ... so it must have been on display in the kitchen. (He lifts the paper to his nose and sniffs it.) Lots of different spices. You’re suicidal, alone and strapped for cash, yet you’re still cooking to impress. You’re keen, then. The kitchen is the most public room in any house, but since any visitor could be expected to ask about a note like this, I have to assume you don’t have any. You’ve isolated yourself.
SHERLOCK: I know.
FAITH: I meant the chips.
(Sherlock chuckles and looks at her, then looks away, his smile fading.)
SHERLOCK (quietly): Hm.
(He raises his eyes skywards at the sound of an approaching helicopter. He stands and walks forwards as the helicopter comes into view, its on-board camera looking down at him. He smiles upwards.)
SHERLOCK: Let’s go for a walk.
In a surveillance room, presumably in MI5’s headquarters, a wall is full of screens showing CCTV footage of various areas of the city as well as the live footage from the helicopter. Two screens to the left of the others have street maps of the area east of Hyde Park, one in slightly tighter focus than the other, and a red dot is flashing and bleeping on one of the maps.
A mobile phone shows a close-up of its active screen indicating an incoming call. The caller is identified as Mycroft. John is sitting on the end of his bed and Mary stands at the door leading to Rosie’s bedroom, looking down at the phone.
MARY: You should answer it.
JOHN: It’s Mycroft.
MARY: Might be about Sherlock.
JOHN (as his phone continues to buzz): Of course it’s about Sherlock. Everything’s about Sherlock.
FAITH (voiceover): How did you know my kitchen was tiny?
(She and Sherlock are walking along a street. The rain has stopped.)
SHERLOCK (showing her the paper): Look at the fading pattern on the paper. It’s not much but it’s enough to know your kitchen window faces east. Now, kitchen noticeboards ...
(He walks a few paces into the road, looking up towards the Christmas lights strung across the street, and draws a rectangle in the air. It instantly turns into a noticeboard. He walks towards it.)
SHERLOCK: By instinct we place them at eye level where there’s natural light.
(As he speaks he takes a drawing pin from the board and pins the piece of paper to the board. Smoothing the paper down he turns to Faith who walks into the road to join him.)
SHERLOCK: Now look: the sun’s only struck the bottom two thirds ... (he draws his hand horizontally across the paper one third of the way down it) ... but the line is straight, so that means we know the paper is facing the window.
(He turns and walks a few paces away from the floating imaginary board. Pointing upwards at about forty-five degrees, he draws another rectangle and a window appears in the air. He turns and walks back to the noticeboard, which now has sunlight streaming onto it.)
SHERLOCK: But because the top section is unaffected ... (he gestures to the piece of paper) ... we know the sunlight can only be entering the room at a steep angle.
(He walks towards the window again, from which the sunlight is coming. Behind him, just in case we’d forgotten, there is no magical noticeboard floating in mid-air. Either that, or the special effects budget was running low.)
SHERLOCK: If the sunlight was able to penetrate the room when the sun was lower in the sky ...
(He walks away from the non-existent window towards the non-existent noticeboard. Yep, I reckon the budget was starting to run out.)
SHERLOCK: ... then the paper would be equally faded top to bottom.
(The noticeboard is back with sunlight streaming onto it. [Oh good, they found a few more quid.])
SHERLOCK: But no. It only makes it when the sun is at its zenith, so I’m betting that you live in a narrow street on the ground floor.
(He looks towards the window which is back floating above the street. Through the glass he can see the terraced houses facing Faith’s flat and it’s clear that her window is indeed on the ground floor. There’s either a narrow street between the flat and the houses opposite, or the kitchen is at the back and the houses have short gardens. The sun is a few degrees above the roof of the house opposite.)
SHERLOCK (pointing towards the noticeboard, where the sunlight is now only shining on the bottom couple of inches of the board): Now, if steeply angled sunlight manages to hit eye level on the wall opposite the window, then what do we know about the room?
(He walks to the window, takes one side of it and pulls it towards the noticeboard. The sunlight moves up the noticeboard as the window approaches it. Once the window is about ten feet from the board and the sunlight is hitting the bottom two thirds of the piece of paper, Sherlock stops and lets the window go.)
SHERLOCK: The room’s small.
(Faith smiles at him. Overhead, the helicopter has found them and shines its spotlight down onto them. Faith looks up.)
(Sherlock also looks up at the chopper.)
FAITH: Big Brother is watching you!
At MI5, or wherever it is, Mycroft walks into the surveillance room, a grim look on his face. Lady Smallwood is standing behind the computer desks.
LADY SMALLWOOD: We can keep tabs. You didn’t have to come in.
MYCROFT: I was talking to the prime minister.
LADY SMALLWOOD: Oh, I see.
(Mycroft looks at the screens, and particularly at a camera watching Sherlock walking along a road.)
MYCROFT: What’s he doing? Why’s he just wandering about like a fool?
(Somewhere in the room, a female voice laughs.)
LADY SMALLWOOD: She died, Mycroft. He’s probably still in shock.
MYCROFT: Everybody dies. It’s the one thing human beings can be relied upon to do. How can it still come as a surprise to people?
LADY SMALLWOOD (turning to him): You sound cross. Am I going to be taken away by security again?
MYCROFT: I have, I think, apologised extensively.
LADY SMALLWOOD: You haven’t made it up to me.
MYCROFT: And how am I supposed to do that?
FAITH (offscreen): Sex.
(Walking with her along Regent Street towards Piccadilly Circus, Sherlock looks round to her. They are now each carrying a can of energy drink.)
SHERLOCK: I’m sorry?
FAITH: Sex. How did you know I wasn’t ... getting any?
SHERLOCK: It’s all about the blood.
(Close-up of the bloodstain on the paper, which Sherlock now gestures to.)
SHERLOCK: This one comes from the very first night. You can see the pen marks over it. I think you discovered that pain stimulated your memory, so you tried it again later. I’m no expert, but I assume that since your lover failed to notice an increasing number of scars over a period of months, that the relationship was no longer intimate.
FAITH: How do you know he didn’t notice?
SHERLOCK (shrugging): Oh, well, because he would have done something about it.
FAITH: Would he?
SHERLOCK: Wouldn’t he? Isn’t that what you people do?
FAITH: Well, that’s interesting.
SHERLOCK: What is?
FAITH: The way you think.
SHERLOCK: I’m not sweet; I’m just high.
(By now they’ve reached Piccadilly Circus. He stops and turns around.)
SHERLOCK: This way.
FAITH: What? We just came that way.
SHERLOCK: I know. It’s a plan.
(He wanders back the way they just came.)
FAITH (following him): What plan?
In the MI5 surveillance room, several agents start to laugh. Mycroft, with his phone raised to his ear, looks at the wall screens.
MYCROFT: What is it? What-what now?
AGENT (sitting at one of the desks): Sorry. Um, traced his route on the map.
(Mycroft and Lady S stare at the street map on the agent’s computer screen. It shows in red the route that Sherlock has taken from the Marylebone area in a south-easterly direction down to Piccadilly Circus. On several occasions Sherlock has disappeared from the surveillance and so the red lines are broken and only appear on certain roads and sections of road. The left-hand side of the map is obscured by either Mycroft’s or Lady S’s shoulder but the rest of the red lines spell out
[Obviously the ‘U,’ ‘C’ and ‘O’ are made up of straight lines, not curves.] The tracking signal is currently flashing and beeping at the top right-hand corner of the ‘K,’ so Sherlock is apparently retracing his steps.
Out on the street, Sherlock looks up to a nearby surveillance camera, smiles and raises his can of energy drink to it in salute before taking a swig from it. Mycroft, with his phone raised to his ear again, sighs.)
MYCROFT: Is he with someone?
AGENT: Not sure. We keep losing visual. Mostly we’re tracking his phone.
TV FOOTAGE. As the audience sitting behind him applauds and cheers, Smith sits at a table with three large red buttons on it. A man and woman sit either side of him behind the other two buttons. They too applaud as Smith slams his hand down onto his button. He points towards the camera in front of him.
SMITH: Don’t call us; we’ll call...
JOHN (quietly tetchy, into his phone): I’m trying to sleep. Can you stop ringing my damn phone?
MYCROFT (over phone from the surveillance room): Sherlock has left his flat for the first time in a week, so I’m having him tracked.
JOHN (sitting fully clothed on the end of his bed): Nice. It’s very touching how you can hijack the machinery of the state to look after your own family. Can I go to sleep now?
MYCROFT (sternly): Sherlock gone rogue is a legitimate security concern. The fact that I’m his brother changes absolutely nothing. It didn’t the last time and I assure you it won’t with ...
(He stops himself and pauses for a long moment. At the other end of the phone, John frowns.)
MYCROFT (eventually): ... with Sherlock.
JOHN: Sorry, what?
MYCROFT: Please phone me if he gets in contact. Thank you.
(After a moment, John lowers his phone and terminates the call.
In the surveillance room, Lady Smallwood turns to Mycroft.)
LADY SMALLWOOD: Do you still speak to Sherrinford?
MYCROFT: I get regular updates.
LADY SMALLWOOD: And?
MYCROFT (putting his phone into his trouser pocket): Sherrinford is secure.
(He walks away.)
Sherlock and Faith are walking across the southern Golden Jubilee Bridge beside Hungerford Bridge. He is holding her cane and she has her right arm linked through his left.)
FAITH: Are we gonna walk all night?
SHERLOCK: Possibly. It’s a long word.
FAITH: What is?
(She laughs. He smiles round at her.)
Fast and brief clips show Sherlock’s journey continuing, including the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. One overhead shot shows Sherlock walking on a roundabout just south of Trafalgar Square which has a statue nearby of King Charles I mounted on a horse. Faith stands a few yards away, watching him. The clips move on to another area of Trafalgar Square, then The Mall, then onto the Millennium Bridge looking towards Southwark Bridge and the Shard. [Your transcriber sends fervent thanks to Mirith Griffin, an American who knows far more about locations in London than your transcriber who works a few hundred yards from Trafalgar Square!] The sun is starting to rise. Over the latter part of the footage, the voice of Evan Davis, the main presenter of the week-night BBC show Newsnight can be heard and as he continues speaking we switch to the studio.
EVAN DAVIS: Culverton Smith. All this charity work: what’s in it for you?
SMITH (looking into the camera instead of at Evan): We must be careful not to burn our bridges.
DAWN. Sherlock and Faith are sitting on a bench on the South Bank not far from Hungerford Bridge. Facing the river, they each hold a filled half baguette wrapped in a paper serviette. Many pigeons are pecking at the ground a few feet away.
SHERLOCK: D’you know why I’m going to take your case? Because of the one impossible thing you’ve said.
FAITH: What impossible thing?
SHERLOCK: You said your life turned on one word.
FAITH: Yes: the name of the person my father wanted to kill.
SHERLOCK: That’s the impossible thing. Just that, right there.
FAITH: What’s impossible?
SHERLOCK: Names aren’t one word. They’re always at least two. Sherlock Holmes; Faith Smith; Santa Claus; Winston Churchill; Napoleon Bonaparte. Actually, just ‘Napoleon’ would do.
FAITH: Or Elvis?
SHERLOCK: Well, I think we can rule both of them out as targets.
FAITH: Okay, I got it wrong, then. It wasn’t only one word; it can’t have been.
SHERLOCK: And you remember quite distinctly that your whole life turned on one word, so that happened, I don’t doubt it, but how can that word be a name – a name you instantly recognised that tore your world apart?
FAITH: Okay, well, how?
SHERLOCK: No idea. Yet. (He draws in a breath.) But I don’t work for free.
(He holds out his hand towards her, the palm upwards. She looks down at it for a moment, then looks up at him.)
FAITH: D’you take cash?
SHERLOCK: Not cash, no.
(He looks round at her pointedly. After a moment she reaches down to her handbag sitting on the bench beside her, unzips the top, takes out a pistol and puts it into his hand. He stands up, stumbles forward unsteadily to the riverside railing, pulls his arm back and hurls the pistol as hard as he can towards the river. It splashes into the water and disappears from view. Sherlock half-turns towards Faith.)
SHERLOCK: “Taking your own life.” Interesting expression. Taking it from who? Oh, once it’s over, it’s not you who’ll miss it.
(Resting one hand on the railing, he looks westwards along the river. In a brief cut-away, a pistol fires towards the camera, then there’s a brief shot of the exterior of the London Aquarium as the gunshot echoes and then smoke rises from the end of the pistol. Sherlock now has both hands on the railing as he continues to gaze along the river.)
SHERLOCK: Your own death is something that happens to everybody else.
(Faith has looked in the direction he’s looking but now turns to face him again. He lowers his head, his back to her.)
SHERLOCK: Your life is not your own. (His voice becomes strained.) Keep your hands off it.
(As he looks down, it’s as if he and the railing are suspended in mid-air with no ground or river below them. His feet are not touching anything. He lifts his right hand and looks at how badly it’s shaking. He has a very brief flash of the word “SOMEONE” handwritten in white over a dark blue background. The writing is almost identical to that on the note that Faith wrote to herself. The last two letters of the word “KILL” are in the top left-hand corner of his vision. At the riverside, Sherlock closes his eyes and blows out a breath.)
FAITH: You’re not what I expected. You’re ...
(Again the white, blue-backgrounded “SOMEONE” flashes before Sherlock’s eyes. Groaning, he slumps on top of the railing. He stares down into the blank void beneath his feet. The tip of his right shoe is now wedged into the bottom rail of the railing and he struggles to get his left foot onto the rail as well.)
SHERLOCK (breathlessly, anxiously): What ... what am I?
(The words in front of Sherlock’s mind’s eye now read, in Faith’s handwriting, “NEED TO KILL SOMEONE”. Sherlock screws up his eyes, shaking the vision away and still clinging desperately to the railings.)
SHERLOCK: Than who?
FAITH (shaking her head): Anyone.
(Sherlock closes his eyes and lets out a loud anguished scream. There’s a brief cut-away of a syringe filled with dark fluid. Sherlock slumps down onto the concrete in front of the railing, groaning. As he doubles over, a voice sounds in his head. It’s the voice of the child we heard singing in the previous episode.)
CHILD’s VOICE (singing): ♪ I that am lost
Oh, who will find me ... ♪
(Inside Sherlock’s head, the pirate child and the Irish setter trot through the shallows at a beach, then the youngster with the red wellingtons seems to be running towards them.)
CHILD’s VOICE (singing): ♪ Deep down be... ♪
(Sherlock’s head snaps up and he breathes heavily as he looks towards the bench.)
SHERLOCK: Sorry, I ...
(He trails off. Faith is no longer sitting there.)
SHERLOCK (looking each way along the walkway): Faith? Faith?
(Frowning, he leans his head back against the railings for a moment, then hauls himself to his feet. Straightening his coat, he walks away.)
On to Part 2