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Ariane DeVere
Sherlock, Season 3, episode 2 transcript: The Sign of Three, part 2 
10th-Jan-2014 11:49 am
Sherlock - TSOT transcript
Sherlock, Season 3, episode 2 transcript: The Sign of Three, part 2

This was the last part of the transcript on which verityburns was able to be my faithful companion. Her work on improving my writing and checking everything against the recordings has been so amazing – I can’t even begin to describe just how helpful she has been. Thank you so much, sweetie, and all good wishes for your Real Life things.

I will introduce you all to Team Ari – a group of brilliant people who volunteered to help with the rest of this episode and with His Last Vow – in the next part!
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Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.

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 3, episode 2 transcript: The Sign of Three, part 2


Return to part 1 / Jump to Part 3 / Jump to Part 4


FLASHBACK. John’s blog entry entitled “The Bloody Guardsman” drifts across the screen for a moment, then fades to a view of Sherlock standing in the living room of 221B looking at his information wall behind the sofa. He turns to where Mary is sitting at the dining table and John is sitting in his armchair and looking at his phone.
SHERLOCK: Need to work on your half of the church, Mary. Looking a bit thin.
MARY (smiling): Ah, orphan’s lot. Friends – that’s all I have. Lots of friends.
(We get a glimpse of the paperwork on the wall and realise that Sherlock is organising the hell out of the wedding. There is a list of things which need to be done, all of them ticked off, and the wall is divided into areas which are headed, “Transport,” “Catering,” “Rehearsal,” “Wine,” and probably other items too. On the table beside Mary is a cardboard 3D model of the reception venue.)
SHERLOCK: Schedule the organ music to begin at precisely 11.48.
MARY: But the rehearsal’s not for another two weeks. Just calm down.
SHERLOCK: Calm? I am calm. I’m extremely calm.
MARY: Let’s get back to the reception, come on.
(He walks over to the table.)
MARY (handing him an RSVP card): John’s cousin. Top table?
SHERLOCK (looking at the card): Hmm. Hates you. Can’t even bear to think about you.
MARY (looking up at him): Seriously?
SHERLOCK: Second class post, cheap card ... (he sniffs it and grimaces) ... bought at a petrol station. Look at the stamp: three attempts at licking. She’s obviously unconsciously retaining saliva.
MARY: Ah. (Over her shoulder to John) Let’s stick her by the bogs.
[Transcriber’s note: ‘bogs’ is a slang word for ‘toilets.’]
SHERLOCK: Oh yes.
(He sits down. Mary leans closer to him.)
MARY: Who else hates me?
(Instantly Sherlock hands her a sheet of paper. There’s a long list of names on it.)
MARY: Oh great – thanks(!)
JOHN (looking at his phone): Priceless painting nicked. Looks interesting.
MARY (looking at paperwork on the table): Table four ...
SHERLOCK: Done.
JOHN (chuckling at something on his screen): “My husband is three people.”
MARY: Table five.
SHERLOCK (looking at a list): Major James Sholto. Who he?
MARY: Oh, John’s old commanding officer. I don’t think he’s coming.
JOHN: He’ll be there.
MARY: Well, he needs to RSVP, then.
JOHN (firmly): He’ll be there.
MARY: Mmm ...
JOHN (reading from his phone): “My husband is three people.” It’s interesting. Says he has three distinct patterns of moles on his skin.
SHERLOCK (standing up and speaking quick fire): Identical triplets – one in half a million births. Solved it without leaving the flat. Now, serviettes.
(He squats down beside the coffee table, reaches under it and pulls out a tray with two serviettes folded into different shapes. He gestures to them as he looks up at Mary.)
SHERLOCK: Swan, or Sydney Opera House?
MARY: Where’d you learn to do that?!
SHERLOCK (looking down): Many unexpected skills required in the field of criminal investigation ...
MARY: Fibbing, Sherlock.
SHERLOCK: I once broke an alibi by demonstrating the exact severity of ...
MARY: I’m not John. I can tell when you’re fibbing.
SHERLOCK (exasperated): Okay – I learned it on YouTube.
MARY: Opera House, please.
(She leans to one side and reaches into her trouser pocket.)
MARY: Ooh, hang on. I’m buzzing.
(She takes out her phone and lifts it to her ear.)
MARY: Hello?
(She listens for a second, then stands up.)
MARY: Oh, hi, Beth!
(John’s eyes lift from his phone as Mary heads for the kitchen.)
MARY (into phone): Yeah, yeah, don’t see why not.
JOHN (standing up and looking at Sherlock): Actually, if that’s Beth, it’s probably for me too. Hang on.
(He heads for the kitchen, while Sherlock sits down on the floor cross-legged and facing the coffee table.
In the kitchen, John smiles at Mary as he walks closer to her. They talk quietly.)

JOHN: He knows we don’t have a friend called Beth. He’s gonna figure out that it’s code.
MARY: He’s YouTube-ing serviettes.
JOHN: He’s thorough.
MARY: He’s terrified.
JOHN: ’Course he’s not.
MARY: Right, you know when you’re scared of something, you start wishing it sooner just to get it all going? That’s what he’s doing.
JOHN: Why would he be scared that we’re getting married? It’s not gonna change anything – we’ll still do stuff.
MARY: Well, you need to prove it to him. I told you to find him a new case.
JOHN: I’m trying.
MARY: You need to run him, okay? Show him it’s still the good old days.
(She nods encouragingly to him. He doesn’t immediately respond, and she nods again and gestures towards the living room. He looks around, then turns and slowly starts towards the door between the kitchen and the living room. Mary puts her hands on his back and shoves him forward.
Sherlock is still sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the coffee table, his head propped up on one hand. He briefly looks round at John, then turns back and gestures at what’s in front of him. There are at least seven serviettes folded in Sydney Opera House shapes on the table, and sixteen or so more on the floor.)

SHERLOCK: That just sort of ... happened.
(He looks round at John again, who frowns but then smiles. Glancing back into the kitchen for a moment, he walks towards his friend.)
JOHN: Sherlock, um ...
(Sherlock stands up.)
JOHN: ... mate ...
(Again he frowns briefly, perhaps wondering if he is overdoing it.)
JOHN: I-I’ve ...
(He walks over to the dining table. Sherlock glances towards the kitchen where Mary can be heard talking as if she’s on a phone call, then they both sit down at the table.)
JOHN: I’ve smelled eighteen different perfumes; I’ve sampled ... (he stops to think) ... nine different slices of cake which all tasted identical; I like the bridesmaids in purple ...
SHERLOCK: Lilac.
JOHN: ... lilac. Um, there are no more decisions left to make. I don’t even understand the decisions that we have made. I’m faking opinions and it’s exhausting, so please, before she comes back ...
(He glances towards the kitchen, activates his phone, clears his throat and holds the phone across the table. The screen is showing Sherlock’s “Science of Deduction” website.)
JOHN: ... pick something.
(Sherlock’s eyes flicker down to the screen a couple of times.)
JOHN: Anything. Pick one.
SHERLOCK: Pick what?
(John blinks a few times and then laughs.)
JOHN: A case. Your Inbox is bursting. Just ... get me out of here.
SHERLOCK (leaning closer and speaking quietly): You want to go out on a case? N-now?
JOHN: Please, Sherlock, for me.
(Sherlock takes the phone.)
SHERLOCK (quietly): Don’t you worry about a thing. I’ll get you out of this.
(He starts to flick through messages on his website. After only a few seconds he finds something of interest.)
SHERLOCK: Oh.

[Transcriber’s note for the following scenes: my knowledge of military terminology is extremely limited. I have googled the heck out of certain terms in the hope of getting them right but am not confident that I am using the correct words all the time. I’m happy to take corrections from people with expertise.
Click here for information about Her Majesty’s Foot Guards, which also indicates that Sherlock is incorrect in referring to his new client as a ‘Grenadier.’ While I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to have the knowledge of how to distinguish between the different Guards, I would have expected the writers to do their homework.]

In a military barracks inside a grand building, two members of The Queen’s Foot Guards wearing full dress uniform and carrying their tall fur bearskin caps walk up the stairs. The voice of one of them narrates his message to Sherlock.

BAINBRIDGE (voiceover): “Dear Mr Holmes, My name is Bainbridge. I’m a Private in Her Majesty’s Household Guard. I’m writing to you about a personal matter ...
(Outside Wellington Barracks in London, Bainbridge is one of two men standing on duty outside the gates in the full uniform of the Welsh Guards [not the Grenadier Guards]. A Japanese tourist stands beside him posing with her thumbs up while her male friend takes photographs.)
BAINBRIDGE (voiceover): “... one I don’t care to bring before my superiors – it would sound so trivial – but I think someone’s stalking me.
(Over the other side of the road, three tourists are taking photos of the view. Bainbridge – with his gaze fixed ahead of him as he must do while on duty – has a clear view of them.)
BAINBRIDGE (voiceover): “I’m used to tourists – it’s part of the job – but this is different. Someone’s watching me.
(The tourists over the road walk away. Standing behind them is a man with the hood of his jacket pulled up and obscuring the view of his face. He seems to be looking directly at Bainbridge but as soon as the tourists are no longer blocking him, he turns and walks away.)
BAINBRIDGE (voiceover): “He’s taking pictures of me every day.
(Inside the barracks, Bainbridge walks across what may be his bedroom or dorm room, which overlooks the parade ground. He is bare chested. He idly looks out of the window and sees the usual group of tourists outside the gates but his attention is immediately drawn to a man wearing an overcoat and with a cap on his head. The man is standing close to the fence and is initially aiming his camera in a different direction, but he then swings the camera across and up to point at Bainbridge in the window.)
BAINBRIDGE (voiceover): “Don’t want to mention it to the major, but it’s really preying on my mind.”
(The man snaps a couple of photographs, then hurries away.)

SHERLOCK (still looking at John’s phone in 221B): Uniform fetishist. “All the nice girls like a soldier.”
JOHN: It’s “sailor.”
[Click here for the lyrics of the song to which the boys are referring.]
JOHN: And Bainbridge thinks his stalker is a bloke.
(Sherlock looks at the phone again, perhaps reading more of Bainbridge’s email.)
JOHN: Let’s go and investigate. Please?
SHERLOCK (reading): “Elite Guard.”
JOHN: Forty enlisted men and officers.
SHERLOCK: Why this particular Grenadier? Curious.
JOHN: Now you’re talking.
SHERLOCK (handing his phone back): Okay.
(They stand up and walk towards the doors just as Mary comes back into the room with her phone at her ear.)
MARY (into phone): ’Bye.
JOHN: Er, we’re just going to ... I need, um, Sherlock to help me choose some, er, socks.
SHERLOCK (simultaneously): ... ties.
MARY (looking from one to the other): Why don’t we go with socks?
JOHN: Yeah.
MARY: I mean, you’ve got to get the right ones.
JOHN: Exactly – to go with my ...
SHERLOCK: ... tie.
JOHN (simultaneously): ... outfit.
MARY (looking at John): That’ll take a while, right?
(John points towards the kitchen.)
JOHN: My coat in there?
MARY: Yes!
(He walks into the kitchen and Mary and Sherlock walk closer together.)
SHERLOCK (quietly): Just going to take him out for a bit – run him.
MARY: I know.
(Sherlock smiles at her.)
MARY (gesturing happily towards him): You said you’d find him a case!
SHERLOCK: Mm.
JOHN (from the kitchen doorway): Come on, Sherlock.
SHERLOCK: Coming.
(He turns and goes to the living room door, then turns back to face Mary. Unseen by each other, Sherlock does a double thumbs-up at her and gives her a “only you and I know about what we’re doing here” grin, while from the kitchen John circles his thumb and forefinger at her and winks much the same message. She holds up her thumbs to both of them and grins widely. The boys both turn and head for the stairs. Going out of the front door, Sherlock finishes putting his coat on and calls out to an approaching cab.)
SHERLOCK: Taxi!

There are a few interspersed scenes of a group of Guards marching back to the barracks, and Sherlock and John making their way to the barracks themselves. The Guards arrive back and are in the parade ground marching into position preparing to be dismissed.
PARADE SERGEANT: Company, halt! ... Right turn!
(Our boys are at the entrance to the barracks. John has given his wallet containing his military ID card to the duty sergeant.)
JOHN: We’re here to see Private Stephen Bainbridge.
DUTY SERGEANT: He’s on duty right now, sir ... (he hands the wallet back) ... but I’ll certainly let him know when he’s free.
SHERLOCK: And when will that be?
DUTY SERGEANT: Another hour.

Bainbridge, with another Foot Guard, is on duty outside the gates of the barracks. He stands fixed in position and tourists take photographs. Over the other side of the road and a few yards back from the pavement, Sherlock and John are sitting on a bench in the park looking towards the gates.
SHERLOCK: Do you think they give them classes?
JOHN: Classes?
SHERLOCK: How to resist the temptation to scratch their behinds?
JOHN: Afferent neurons in the peripheral nervous system.
(Sherlock turns his head slightly in John’s direction.)
JOHN: Bum itch.
SHERLOCK: Oh!
(They sit in silence for a few seconds.)
SHERLOCK: So why don’t you see him any more?
JOHN: Who?
SHERLOCK: Your previous commander, Sholto.
JOHN: “Previous commander.”
SHERLOCK (briefly closing his eyes awkwardly): I meant “ex.”
JOHN: “Previous” suggests that I currently have a commander.
SHERLOCK: Which you don’t.
JOHN: Which I don’t.
SHERLOCK (with a small smile): ’Course you don’t. He was decorated, wasn’t he? A war hero.
JOHN: Not to everyone. He led a team of crows into battle.
SHERLOCK: “Crows”?
JOHN: New recruits. It’s standard procedure; break the new boys in – but it went wrong. They all died; he was the only survivor. The press and the families gave him hell. He gets more death threats than you.
SHERLOCK: Oh, I wouldn’t count on that.
JOHN: Why have you suddenly taken an interest in another human being?
SHERLOCK: I’m ... chatting.
(John raises his eyebrows and looks round at him. Sherlock half-turns his head and looks at him out of the corner of his eye.)
SHERLOCK (turning his head back to the front): Won’t be trying that again.
JOHN: Changing the subject completely ... (he pulls in a breath through his nose, then looks at Sherlock again) ... you know it won’t alter anything, right, me and Mary, getting married? We’ll still be doing all this.
SHERLOCK: Oh, good.
JOHN: If you were worrying.
SHERLOCK: Wasn’t worried.
(John looks down and chuckles thoughtfully.)
JOHN: See, the thing about Mary – she has completely turned my life around; changed everything. But, for the record, over the last few years there are two people who have done that ... and the other one is ...
(He looks round. Sherlock is no longer sitting at his side.)
JOHN: ... a complete dickhead.
(He looks all around the park but there is no sign of said dickhead.)

Inside the barracks, the duty sergeant sits at his desk looking through paperwork. Through the window behind him, three pairs of Guards march past, only the upper part of their bodies and their bearskins visible. A seventh bearskin-wearing person marches behind them ... except that this one is wearing a highly non-regulation Belstaff coat.
Outside, Sherlock marches along behind the others, smartly swinging his arms, then he stops, takes off the bearskin and puts it down on a nearby ledge. Using the window above the ledge as a mirror, he ruffles his flattened hair back into position, then heads off across the parade ground.
Inside the barracks, he walks across the entrance hall towards one of two flights of stairs. Two Guards wearing standard khaki army attire walk down the other flight and Sherlock turns his head away from them and apparently instantly becomes invisible, because they take no notice of him. He trots up the stairs, employing the “I’m invisible if I don’t look at you” trick again partway up when two more soldiers walk across the landing, then he goes up onto the landing. Several voices can be heard talking and laughing from a nearby room, and he walks across and opens the door. Inside is a rec room where many soldiers are sitting and chatting. Two are playing table tennis and others are watching them. Sherlock must have gone into invisibility mode again, because nobody looks at him or reacts in any way. He closes the door again and moves on.
Outside the barracks, a new Guard has come to relieve Bainbridge. He marches over, turns to stand at Bainbridge’s side and shuffles sideways until their shoulders touch. Bainbridge marches forward a few paces, then turns and marches into the barracks.
Inside, now holding his bearskin under his arm, he walks up the stairs. His face appears to be rather sweaty. He walks into the shower room, puts the bearskin down and undoes his white webbing belt, grimacing a little. Putting the belt down, he starts to unbutton his jacket.

In an office nearby, an officer called Major Reed is sitting behind his desk and looking at John’s military ID card. He looks up at John who is sitting opposite him.

REED: Can I ask what this is in connection with?
JOHN: Private Bainbridge contacted us about a personal matter, sir.
REED: Nothing’s personal when it concerns my troops. What do you really want?
JOHN: I’m here on a legitimate enquiry.
REED: Press? Digging for some bloody Royal story or something?
JOHN (pointing at his ID card): No, sir, I’m Captain John Watson, Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers.
REED: Retired. You could be a used car salesman now, for all I know.

The duty sergeant walks into the shower room. One of the showers is running and steam billows across the floor.
DUTY SERGEANT: Bainbridge! Gentleman here to see you!
(He walks across towards the cubicle.)
DUTY SERGEANT: Bainbridge!
(He raps on the closed door of the cubicle, then looks down. Through the almost-opaque door, Bainbridge can be seen slumped on the floor with his back against the door, and bloodstained water is pouring out of the cubicle.)

REED’S OFFICE. Major Reed looks closely at John.

REED: I know you, don’t I?
JOHN: Hmm?
(Reed tosses John’s card across the table. John picks it up and puts it back into his wallet.)
REED: I’ve seen you in the papers.
(John clears his throat uncomfortably.)
REED: Hang around with that detective – the one with the silly hat. What the hell does Bainbridge want with a detective?
JOHN: I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to say.
REED: You’re not at liberty to say?! He’s a soldier in my regiment – I’ll be damned if he’s going to get up to cloak and dagger nonsense like this.
(The duty sergeant hurries into the room.)
DUTY SERGEANT: Sir ...
(He stops when he realises that Reed isn’t alone in the room.)
DUTY SERGEANT: Sir.
REED: What’s going on?
DUTY SERGEANT: It’s Bainbridge, sir. He’s dead.
(Looking horrified, Reed gets up and follows the sergeant out of the room. John hurries after them.)

In the shower room, Bainbridge is now lying face down on the floor on top of a great deal of broken glass. There is a lot of blood on his lower back. The duty sergeant leads the others in, and Reed hurries over to the body staring at it in shock.

REED: My God!
(Sighing deeply at the sight, John walks towards Bainbridge but Reed holds up a hand to stop him.)
JOHN: Ah, no, let me take a look, sir. I’m a doctor.
REED: What? Sergeant, arrest this man.
(The duty sergeant instantly takes hold of John’s left arm and twists it behind his back.)
JOHN: What? No-no! I’m a – I’m a doctor.
REED: Oh, you’re a doctor now, too. Sergeant ...
(He jerks his head towards the door.)
JOHN: Let me examine him, please!
(The sergeant starts to pull John away but just then another sergeant comes in, bundling Sherlock into the room. He has Sherlock’s right arm twisted up behind his back.)
SERGEANT: Sir, caught this one snooping around.
(Reed looks at John.)
REED: Is that what this was all about? Distracting me so that this man could get in here and kill Bainbridge?
JOHN: Don’t be ...
(Sherlock has pulled free of his sergeant and is walking forward to look more closely at the body. The sergeant follows him, taking hold of his arms and pulling him away again.)
SHERLOCK (to Reed): Kill him with what? Where’s the weapon?
REED: What?
SHERLOCK: Where’s the weapon? Go on, search me. (He holds his arms wide.) No weapon.
JOHN: Bainbridge was on parade. He came off duty five minutes ago. When’s this supposed to have happened?
REED (to Sherlock): You obviously stabbed him before he got into the shower.
SHERLOCK: No.
REED: No?!
SHERLOCK: He’s soaking wet and there’s still shampoo in his hair. He got into the shower and then someone stabbed him.
DUTY SERGEANT: The cubicle was locked from the inside, sir. I had to break it open.
REED: You must have climbed over the top.
SHERLOCK: Well then I’d be soaking wet too, wouldn’t I?
JOHN (loudly): Major, please. I’m John Watson, Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers. Three years in Afghanistan, a veteran of Kandahar, Helmand, and Bart’s bloody Hospital. (Firmly) Let me examine this body.
(Reed looks down at the body for a long moment, then finally looks at the duty sergeant and nods sharply. The man releases John.)
JOHN (taking his jacket off): Thank you.
(Walking forward, he puts the jacket onto a bench and then goes over to crouch down beside Bainbridge. The duty sergeant talks quietly to Sherlock.)
DUTY SERGEANT: Suicide?
SHERLOCK: No. The weapon again – no knife.
(He walks to the front of the shower cubicle and bends down to look all around it, then squats down at Bainbridge’s head. John is examining Bainbridge’s lower back.)
JOHN: Hmm. There is a wound to the abdomen – incredibly fine.
SHERLOCK: Man stabbed to death. No murder weapon. Door locked from the inside. Only one way in or out of here.
(John has moved to Bainbridge’s head and has peeled one of his eyes open.)
JOHN: Sherlock.
SHERLOCK: Mmm?
JOHN: He’s still breathing.
DUTY SERGEANT: Oh my God.
SHERLOCK (to John): What do we do?
JOHN: Give me your scarf.
SHERLOCK: What?
JOHN: Quickly, now.
(While Sherlock unwraps his scarf from his neck, John looks up at Reed and the others.)

JOHN: Call an ambulance.
SERGEANT: What?
JOHN (loudly): Call an ambulance now.
(He points towards the door. Still the men hesitate.)
JOHN (firmly): Do it!
(Both of the sergeants turn and hurry from the room. John has pressed the scarf against the wound in Bainbridge’s back and now he takes Sherlock’s hand and puts it on top of the scarf, positioning his fingers where he wants them.)

JOHN: Nurse, press here – hard.
SHERLOCK (wrinkling his nose in distaste): “Nurse”?
JOHN: Yeah, I’m making do. Keep pressure on that wound.
(Sherlock leans closer so that he can press harder. John moves to Bainbridge’s head.)
JOHN: Stephen. Stephen, stay with me.

RECEPTION.
SHERLOCK: Private Bainbridge had just come off guard duty. He’d stood there for hours, plenty of people watching, nothing apparently wrong. He came off duty and within minutes was nearly dead from a wound in his stomach, but there was no weapon. Where did it go? Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to consider this: a murderer who can walk through walls, a weapon that can vanish – but in all of this there is only one element which can be said to be truly remarkable. Would anyone like to make a guess?
(The guests fidget and look at each other.)
SHERLOCK: Come on, come on, there is actually an element of Q and A to all of this.
(He clears his throat. Still the guests remain silent.)
SHERLOCK: Scotland Yard.
(Greg lifts his head.)
SHERLOCK: Have you got a theory?
(Greg stares at him blankly.)
SHERLOCK: Yeah, you. You’re a detective – broadly speaking. Got a theory?
LESTRADE: Er, um, if the, uh, if the, if-if-if, if the blade was, er, propelled through the, um ... (he stops to think for a moment) ... grating in the air vent ... maybe a-a ballista or a – or a – or a catapult. Erm, somebody tiny could-could crawl in there. (He sucks in a breath.) So, yeah, we’re loo... we’re looking for a-a-a-a dwarf.
(Sherlock is staring at him blankly.)
SHERLOCK: Brilliant.
LESTRADE: Really?
SHERLOCK (instantly): No.
(Greg sighs and lowers his head.)
SHERLOCK: Next!
TOM (whispering to Molly): He stabbed himself.
SHERLOCK: Hello? Who was that?
(Tom looks round, wide-eyed.)
SHERLOCK: Tom.
(Grimacing, Tom slowly stands up.)
SHERLOCK: Got a theory?
(Tom sways nervously from foot to foot for a moment.)
TOM (slowly, tentatively): Um ... attempted suicide, with a blade made of compacted blood and bone; broke after piercing his abdomen ... like a meat ... dagger.
(A couple of the guests snigger. Sitting beside Tom, Molly’s face is a picture of disbelief. She may be reconsidering her marriage options. At the top table, Sherlock’s expression also speaks volumes.)
SHERLOCK (speaking precisely): A meat dagger.
TOM (awkwardly): Yes.
MOLLY (whispering through gritted teeth): Sit. Down.
SHERLOCK (to Tom, speaking precisely): No.
(Tom sits down.)
SHERLOCK (to the guests): There was one feature, and only one feature, of interest in the whole of this baffling case, and quite frankly it was the usual. John Watson – who, while I was trying to solve the murder, instead saved a life.
(Mary quietly laughs in delight, and John smiles.)
SHERLOCK: There are mysteries worth solving and stories worth telling.
(He looks down at John.)
SHERLOCK: The best and bravest man I know – and on top of that he actually knows how to do stuff.
(John lowers his head and chuckles with embarrassment.)
SHERLOCK: ... except wedding planning and serviettes – he’s rubbish at those.
JOHN: True!
(The guests laugh.)
SHERLOCK: The case itself remains the most ingenious and brilliantly-planned murder – or attempted murder – I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter; the most perfect locked-room mystery of which I am aware. However, I’m not just here to praise John – I’m also here to embarrass him, so let’s move on to some ...
LESTRADE (interrupting): No-no, wait, so how was it ... how was it done?
SHERLOCK: How was what done?
LESTRADE: The stabbing.
(Sherlock looks down awkwardly for a few moments, then raises his head.)
SHERLOCK: I’m afraid I don’t know. I didn’t solve that one. That’s ... (he pauses) ... It can happen sometimes. It’s very ... very disappointing.
(He looks reflective for a second, then takes a breath and looks out to the guests again.)
SHERLOCK: Embarrassment leads me on to the stag night. Of course there’s hours of material here, but I’ve cut it down to the really good bits.

FLASHBACK. An entry from John’s blog entitled “The Mayfly Man” drifts across the screen. It starts, ‘We’d just returned from a quiet, civilised evening in the pub ...’ The entry fades from view and we’re in Molly’s lab at Bart’s.
MOLLY: Murder scenes?
(She turns and looks at Sherlock standing beside her.)
MOLLY: Locations of ... murders?
SHERLOCK: Mmmm, pub crawl – themed.
MOLLY: Yeah, but why-why can’t you just do Underground stations?
SHERLOCK (wrinkling his nose in distaste): Lacks the personal touch. We’re going to go for a drink in every street where we ...
MOLLY (joining in, then finishing his sentence for him): ... every street where you found a corpse! Delightful(!) Where do I come in?
SHERLOCK: Don’t want to get ill. That would ruin it – spoil the mood.
MOLLY: You’re a graduate chemist. Can’t you just work it out?
SHERLOCK: I lack the practical experience.
(He smiles at her. She looks at him straight-faced and her voice drops half an octave.)
MOLLY: Meaning you think I like a drink.
SHERLOCK: Occasionally.
MOLLY: That I’m a drunk.
SHERLOCK (quickly): No. No!
(She sternly holds his gaze. He looks away, blinking for a couple of seconds, then finally finds something to say.)
SHERLOCK: You look ... well.
MOLLY (smiling slightly): I am.
SHERLOCK: How’s ...
(He looks to the side, clearly searching his brain for the name before finally finding one which he doesn’t seem totally confident of, because he offers it very tentatively.)
SHERLOCK: ... Tom?
MOLLY: Not a sociopath.
SHERLOCK: Still? Good.
MOLLY (smiling at him): And we’re having quite a lot of sex.
(Sherlock offlines momentarily, his eyes flickering between her and mid-air before he can move on.)
SHERLOCK: Okay.
(He takes a large folder full of papers from his coat and puts it on the table.)
SHERLOCK: I want you to calculate John’s ideal intake, and mine, to remain in the sweet spot the whole evening.
(The folder appears to be full of his and John’s medical records and other personal documentation. Molly looks at what seems to be a birth certificate.)
SHERLOCK: Light-headed, good ...
(He hands her a picture of Vitruvian Man [click for image] with a photograph of John’s head stuck over the original head.)
MOLLY: Urinating in wardrobes, bad.
SHERLOCK: Hmm.

PUB. Sherlock stands at the bar and looks at the barman.
SHERLOCK: Two, er ... beers, please.
BARMAN: Pints?
(Sherlock takes two tall and slender glass graduated cylinders from his coat pockets and puts them onto the bar. [Thanks to opaljade for the correct terminology.])
SHERLOCK: Four hundred and forty-three point seven millilitres.
(Shortly afterwards he takes the cylinders, now almost full of beer, over to the nearby bench where John is standing and puts them onto the table.)
JOHN: Ah...
(He looks at them in disbelief, then sighs heavily while Sherlock takes out his phone, selects an app and puts it onto the bench. The phone’s stopwatch starts up.)
JOHN (picking up his cylinder): What, are we on a schedule?
SHERLOCK: You’ll thank me.
(Smiling, he clinks his own cylinder against John’s and they drink.)

NEXT PUB. Sitting at a table in a bar, the boys clink their cylinders together and drink.

NEXT PUB. Standing at the bar, Sherlock drains his cylinder, grins widely, then delicately wipes his lip. He seems to be feeling the beer a little. John looks down into his own cylinder with perhaps a disappointed expression.

NEXT PUB. John takes a long pull on his drink and hums appreciatively, while Sherlock looks thoughtfully at the level of beer remaining in his own cylinder. They both turn and look down at Sherlock’s phone on the bar, then John puts down his cylinder and Sherlock bends to look at the level.

NEXT PUB. They clink their cylinders together again.

JOHN: Cheers.
SHERLOCK: Cheers.
(They drink. Sherlock is holding his phone in his other hand, updating their alcohol levels.)

NEXT PUB. Sitting at a table, the boys drain their latest beers, grimace and then put the cylinders onto the table. This bar has loud music playing. John turns and looks all round the room. Sherlock points over John’s shoulder.

SHERLOCK: Over there.
JOHN (leaning closer): What?
SHERLOCK: Toilets. Any second now, you’re going to ...
JOHN (putting a hand on his arm): Hang on. Tell me after – I need the loo. (He gets up.)
SHERLOCK: Mmm, on schedule.
JOHN (turning back): Eh?
SHERLOCK: Nothing – go!
(John stumbles off, while Sherlock looks at his phone and pulls up his charts which will measure urine output against blood alcohol level. He updates the alcohol level chart and finishes it with a fancy flourish.
A little while later John returns to the table.)

SHERLOCK: How long?
JOHN: Sorry?
SHERLOCK: Your visit.
(John sits down and gives him a quizzical look. Sherlock looks down at his chart.)
SHERLOCK: If you could estimate approximate volume discharged ...
JOHN: Stop talking now.
(He half-winks at him.)

NEXT PUB. John is alone at the bar, and he takes a shot glass full of – presumably – whiskey from the barman.

JOHN: Ooh, er ...
(He glances over his shoulder to where Sherlock is standing with his back to him.)
JOHN: Quick, one more. He mustn’t see.
(He drinks the shot in one gulp, humming appreciatively, then takes the second shot which the barman has brought him.)
JOHN: Ta.
(The two cylinders are on the bar in front of him, full of beer, and he pours the whiskey into the left one. He takes both of them across towards Sherlock but then stops and looks at them, apparently unable to remember which one has the shot in it. Sniffing the left one and presumably thinking that that one contains only beer, he puts it onto the table.)
JOHN: There you go.
(Sherlock turns and picks it up.)
JOHN: Cheers.
SHERLOCK: Thank you.
(They drink.)

NEXT PUB. Sherlock is plastered. In the smoking area outside the pub, he is loudly and drunkenly gesticulating and sounding off to a male customer over the very loud music.

SHERLOCK: I know ash!
(John is sitting at a nearby table, looking fairly legless himself. He covers his face with his hand.)
SHERLOCK: Don’t – Tell – Me – I – Don’t!
(On each word he pokes the man in the upper chest with one finger, and on the last word he puts his hand on the man’s shoulder and pushes him. Sighing, John looks up as the man swings a punch at Sherlock’s face. Sherlock sways back – possibly more by luck than judgement – and avoids it.)
JOHN (jumping up): Oh ...
(Thrown off-balance by his swing, the man stumbles forward and almost falls onto a nearby table. One of his mates helps him up. John grabs Sherlock from behind and pulls him away while Sherlock flails wildly towards the man.)
JOHN: All right, enough! That’s ...
(Grunting with the effort and slurring the rest of his words [possibly saying ‘Come on’], he drags Sherlock a few feet away, supporting most of his weight, before propping him onto his feet.)
JOHN: Stand up straight.
(Sherlock turns round towards him. John points towards the exit to Sherlock’s left.)
JOHN: Yeah.
(Sherlock points back towards the customer.)
SHERLOCK (slurring): Ashtray. I know ashtray.
[A million thanks to miss-dramateen for posting this video with the music removed so that the words finally became clear.]

All is silent. The camera pans slowly down a flight of stairs and reveals the boys lying on the steps. John is on his back by the wall with his arms folded; Sherlock is on his side facing the bannisters. Both of them have their eyes closed.

SHERLOCK (slurring): I have an international reputation.
(John briefly opens his eyes, then closes them again and settles his head into a more comfortable position. Sherlock looks over his shoulder.)
SHERLOCK: Do you have an international reputation?
(He settles his head down and closes his eyes again.)
JOHN: No, I don’t have an international reputation.
SHERLOCK: No.
(He pauses for a moment, then turns his head towards John a little but doesn’t open his eyes.)
SHERLOCK: And I can’t even remember what for.
(He thinks for a second.)
SHERLOCK: Sss... Crime ... something or other.
(He settles his head back down on the stair and grunts quietly. The camera pulls back a little and we now realise – if we hadn’t already – that the boys are lying near the bottom of their own staircase in Baker Street. The door to 221A opens and Mrs Hudson comes out with a bag of rubbish. She stops in surprise at the sight of them.)
MRS HUDSON: Ooh! What are you doing back? I thought you were going to be out late.
SHERLOCK (slurring): Ah, Hudders. What time is it?
(Mrs H looks at her watch.)
MRS HUDSON: You’ve only been out two hours.
(The boys sit up, trying to stand but too tightly wedged together. Sherlock falls off the step and thumps on his backside onto the next step down.)

Later, they are upstairs, sitting in their armchairs in the living room, and are playing the Rizla Game. Rizlas are thin white pieces of paper, with glue along one of the long sides, which are used to roll up loose tobacco to form a cigarette. I won’t bother providing a link to explain the game itself because you’ll see how it works here. Sherlock has a Rizla paper stuck to his forehead. Written on it in John’s handwriting are the words
“SHERLOCK HOLMES”. He looks blurrily across to John, who has a Rizla stuck to his own forehead which reads, in somewhat wobbly writing by Sherlock, “MADONNA”. John peers at him, apparently trying to keep his eyes open.
JOHN: Am I a vegetable?
(Sherlock, holding a glass of whiskey in one hand, points at him.)
SHERLOCK: You, or the thing?
(They both snigger.)
JOHN: Funny!
(Sherlock looks down.)
SHERLOCK (bashfully): Thank you.
JOHN: Come on.
(Sherlock raises his head again.)
SHERLOCK (slurred): No, you’re not a vegetable.
JOHN: It’s your go.
(He picks up his own glass and drinks.)
SHERLOCK: Errr ... am I human?
JOHN: Sometimes.
SHERLOCK: Can’t have ‘sometimes.’ Has to be, um ...
(He struggles to pull himself up a little in his chair.)
JOHN: Yes, you’re human. (He puts down his glass and slumps back in his seat.)
SHERLOCK (still finishing his previous sentence): ... ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ ... Okay.
(He leans woozily forward, bracing his upper arms on his legs.)
SHERLOCK: And am I a man?
JOHN: Yep.
SHERLOCK: Tall?
(John holds his hands wide.)
JOHN: Not as tall as people think.
SHERLOCK: Hmm. Nice?
JOHN: Ish.
SHERLOCK: Clever?
JOHN: I’d say so.
SHERLOCK: You would?
(John chuckles.)
SHERLOCK: Mmm, am I important?
JOHN: To s-some people.
SHERLOCK: Do “people” ... (he makes vague air-quotes around the word) ... like me?
JOHN (reaching for his glass but not picking it up): Er, no, they don’t. You tend to rub ’em up the wrong way.
SHERLOCK: Okay.
(John sniggers. Sherlock slumps back in his chair and then leans forward again.)
SHERLOCK: Am I the current King of England?
JOHN: Are you ...? (He cackles with laughter.) You know we don’t have a king?
SHERLOCK: Don’t we?
JOHN: No. (He chuckles again briefly.)
SHERLOCK (sitting back): Your go.
(He drinks from his glass. Unfolding his legs, John shifts forward until he is sitting right on the edge of his seat. He instantly starts to slide off and reaches out to brace himself with one hand on Sherlock’s right knee. He pushes himself back a little, then he and Sherlock look down at his hand. John pulls it away and holds both his hands out, shrugging.)
JOHN: I don’t mind.
(Sherlock raises his fingers around his glass and shrugs to indicate that he’s not bothered either.)
JOHN: Am I a woman?
(Sherlock looks at him for a second, then snorts laughter. He chuckles for a few moments.)
JOHN: What?
SHERLOCK: Yes.
(Again he tries to straighten himself up on the chair.)
JOHN: Am I ... pretty? (He points up to his Rizla.) This.
(He props his head up on one fist.)

SHERLOCK: Err ... Er, beauty is a construct based entirely on childhood impressions, influences and role models.
JOHN: Yeah, but am I a pretty lady?
(He blinks owlishly at Sherlock, who leans forward and screws up his eyes to peer at the Rizla.)
SHERLOCK: I don’t know who you are. I don’t know who you’re supposed to be.
JOHN: You picked the name!
SHERLOCK (flailing a hand towards another part of the room): Ah, but I picked it at random from the papers.
JOHN (slumping back in his seat): You’re not really getting the hang of this game, are you, Sherlock?
SHERLOCK (raising his eyes towards his own Rizla): So I am human, I’m not as tall as people think I am ...
(He sits back in the chair.)
SHERLOCK: I’m-I’m nice-ish ...
(John stretches out his socked feet and props them against the front of Sherlock’s chair next to his friend’s legs.)
SHERLOCK: ... clever, important to some people, but I tend to rub them up the wrong way.
(He laughs with delight.)
SHERLOCK: Got it.
JOHN: Go on, then.
SHERLOCK: I’m you, aren’t I?
(Mrs Hudson knocks on the open door.)
MRS HUDSON: Ooh-ooh!
(The boys look round at her. She is standing in the doorway with a young woman who is wearing a nurse’s outfit with a cardigan over it.)
MRS HUDSON: Client!
JOHN: Hallo.
SHERLOCK (waving at the woman): Hallo!
(Mrs Hudson turns to go back down the stairs.)
JOHN (gesturing the woman into the room): Come on.
TESSA: Which one of you is Sherlock Holmes?
(Smiling broadly at her, John raises his hand and – whistling a single rising note through his teeth in time with his hand movement – slowly points up towards the words on Sherlock’s Rizla. Sherlock grins widely at her.)

Shortly afterwards, the boys have removed the papers from their heads and have relocated to sit side by side on the sofa. Tessa sits on a dining chair facing them.

TESSA (hesitantly): I don’t ... a lot ... I mean, I don’t ... date all that much ...
(Sherlock sinks back on the sofa and props his head up on his left hand.)
TESSA: ... and ... he seemed ... nice, you know?
(John smiles at her, then blinks slowly, trying to keep his eyes open.)
TESSA: We seemed to automatically connect. We had one night – dinner, such interesting conversation. It was ... lovely.
(John smiles again and glances briefly towards Sherlock.)
TESSA: To be honest, I’d love to have gone further ...
(Sherlock’s eyes drift closed. He forces them open and shakes his head, sitting up and withdrawing his right hand from where he had draped it along the back of the sofa behind John. Your transcriber wibbles and realises that that was probably why John smiled towards him a few seconds ago.)
TESSA: ... but I thought, ‘No, this is special. Let’s take it slowly ...
(Sherlock leans forward, braces his elbows on his legs and folds his hands in front of his mouth. John shifts his own position.)
TESSA: ... exchange numbers.’
(Sherlock’s eyes drift closed.)
TESSA: He said he’d get in touch and then ...
(She looks down sadly.)
TESSA: Maybe he wasn’t quite as keen as I was ...
(John is practically asleep with his eyes open but he shrugs vaguely at her.)
TESSA: ... but I – I just thought ... (she becomes tearful) ... at least he’d call to say that we were finished.
(She lifts a hand to wipe a tear from her eye. Sherlock’s face fills with sympathy and sadness for her. She falls silent and Sherlock looks away, his face still full of sympathetic pain ... then he frowns as if wondering where the hell that emotion came from.)
TESSA (pulling herself together): I went round there, to his flat.
(Sherlock has also recovered and props his chin on his clasped hands.)
TESSA: No trace of him. Mr Holmes ...
(Sherlock smiles cheesily at her, his eyes starting to close at the same time.)
TESSA (gazing down at the floor beside the sofa): ... I honestly think I had dinner ... with a ghost.
(She turns her head and looks at Sherlock. The camera is behind him and John and we can’t see their faces. Neither of the boys reacts to what she just said, but a slight grunt comes from Sherlock, followed by a noisy but brief exhale.)
TESSA: Mr Holmes?
(The camera angle changes and we see that both Sherlock and John have their eyes closed. Sherlock snores gently and John’s head drops lower and he grunts quietly.)
TESSA (loudly): With a ghost, Mr Holmes!
(Sherlock’s head falls off his hands and he almost tumbles off the sofa.)
SHERLOCK (forcing himself back upright): Boring, boring, boring – no!
(John draws in a noisy breath and rolls his head on his neck.)
SHERLOCK: Fascinating!
(He turns round to John.)

SHERLOCK: John – John! Wake up!
(He shakes John’s leg. John opens his eyes and flails at him. Sherlock turns to Tessa.)
SHERLOCK (slurred): Apologies about my ... (he points towards John) ... you know ... thing.
(He pulls in a breath, clears his throat, then turns to John and points at him.)
SHERLOCK (sternly): Rude. Rude!
(He turns back to Tessa.)
TESSA: I checked with the landlord, and the man who lived there died. Heart attack. And there we are, having dinner one week on.
(She picks up her handbag from the floor and rummages in it.)
TESSA: And I found this thing online, sort of chatroom thing ...
(She takes out a printout and gives it to Sherlock.)
TESSA: ... for girls who think they’re dating men from the spirit world.
(John has fallen asleep again but Sherlock stands up and then wobbles a little unsteadily.)
SHERLOCK: Don’t worry. I’ll find him in ten minutes.
(Tessa smiles with delight.)
SHERLOCK: What’s your dog’s name?
JOHN (blurrily, talking in his sleep): Yeah, I’m there if you want it.
[People tend to speak the truth in their sleep. This statement is therefore now canon. *nods*]
SHERLOCK: John! Wake up!
(He reaches down and shoves John’s shoulder. John almost falls over sideways.)
SHERLOCK: We’re meant to ... (he clicks his fingers) ... The game’s ... (he waves a hand vaguely) ... something.
(He stumbles away. John’s eyes drift upwards as he applies all his mental skills to the problem and then points at Sherlock.)

JOHN: ... on.
(Tessa gasps excitedly. Sherlock staggers over and points down at him.)
SHERLOCK: Yeah, that, that!
(He turns and wanders off again.)
TESSA (standing up): Okay!
(John slowly pushes himself to his feet.)

LATER. In a living room elsewhere, Sherlock wobbles unsteadily in front of a large clear glass plate on a stand. The boys are in what looks like a warehouse conversion. It’s a large apartment with bare brick walls and a very high ceiling. The room is decorated with several pieces of modern furniture and art. Sherlock grins drunkenly at the glass plate, then straightens up a bit and looks around the room. He is currently kneeling on the sofa with his arms braced on its back. John stands nearby, leaning against a supporting pillar in the middle of the room.

JOHN: Ohhh, it’s nice!
(Sherlock stands up off the sofa, then promptly falls back onto it. John turns a little and braces his hand against the supporting pillar. Tessa is standing nearby, together with the landlord who is holding a set of keys and looking at the boys in confusion.)
JOHN: Nice place.
(The landlord sighs and crosses his arms. Sherlock gets up and totters around the living room.)
TESSA: See anything?
SHERLOCK: Hmm?
TESSA: Any clues, Mr Holmes?
(John has now braced his back against the pillar and has closed his eyes.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, errrrrr ...

(He looks blurrily down at the fancy coffee table and starts deducing:

designer
table
art?

He looks across to an armchair:

chair
seat
leather
sleeeeep

Moving on to a fancy-looking speaker:

thing
speaker
hi tech
thing

His eyes drift on to a painted animal skull on a stand ...

? death ?
skull
? deaded ?

... and then to a tall slender ornament on the window sill ...

wood ?
? pipe/tube/wotsit
thingamebob?
?

... and to a pale green egg chair ...

egg ?
chair??
sitty thing?
???????????

Still umming vaguely, he wanders over to the chair and looks more closely at it, then twirls around and his eyes settle in a rather unfocused way on Tessa and he deduces her:

nurse
?? client ?
victim ??
cardigan

Scratching his head, he suddenly looks inspired. He grins at Tessa.)
SHERLOCK (slurred): I’m just gonna whip this out.
(He puts his hand into his coat pocket, then stumbles in circles across the room while he tugs at whatever he’s trying to pull out. Eventually he manages to extract his pouch of equipment from the pocket, simultaneously shaking off his coat and dropping it to the floor. He blinks at the pouch, then unrolls it and takes out his magnifier. Tossing the pouch over his shoulder, he holds the magnifier up to show the others.)
SHERLOCK: Mm-hmm?
(He clicks it open. The landlord sighs again while Tessa smiles awkwardly. John is still half-asleep leaning against the pillar. Sherlock drops to his knees on a white rug, braces himself with his left hand and slowly wobbles forward onto his right elbow. Tessa turns to John and gently pushes him upright from the pillar.)
TESSA (smiling at him): You all right?
JOHN (vaguely): Hmm? Yeah. He’s clueing.
TESSA: What?
JOHN: He’s ... hmm? He’s clueing for looks.
(They look down at Sherlock, who has brought his face down to within about four inches of the rug. He is holding his magnifier to his eye and looking through it, then his eyes drift closed and he slowly topples forward and face-plants onto the rug.)
TESSA: Mr Holmes?
(Sherlock doesn’t respond, still on his knees with his bum stuck up in the air. He snores noisily. Tessa looks nervously at the landlord and steps forward towards Sherlock.)
TESSA (louder): Mr Holmes?!
LANDLORD: I’m calling the police.
TESSA: Oh, no ...
(The landlord walks across to the rug and hauls Sherlock up onto his knees.)
SHERLOCK (flailing and indignant): Whoa, whoa, whoa!
(The landlord steps back as John holds out a warning hand to him.)
TESSA: This is a famous detective. It’s Sherlock Holmes and his partner, John Hamish Watson.
(John steps towards the landlord, attempting and utterly failing to look threatening.)
SHERLOCK (indignantly): What d’you think you’re doing? Don’t compromise the integrity of the ...
(He turns round, bends over and throws up on the rug. The landlord closes his eyes, and Tessa puts her hand across her mouth. John’s eyes drift upwards as he goes into full thinking mode again. Eventually he finds the words he needs to finish Sherlock’s sentence for him.)
JOHN (loudly): ... crime scene!
(He grins triumphantly at Tessa and holds up his right palm for her to high-five. She doesn’t take up the offer. Eventually he lowers his hand again, shaking his head. Sherlock coughs and straightens up onto his knees again. He gestures towards John with the magnifier.)
SHERLOCK: Yeah, that.
(Looking up at the others, he holds up the magnifier and delicately clicks it closed, then wipes the vomit off his mouth.)

Close-up of John’s face. He is in a bright room somewhere. His heartbeat can be heard, and his gentle exhale sounds very loud. His eyes move behind his closed lids with a rasping sound. He screws up his eyes a couple of times, the movements making squelchy sounds, then he opens his eyes and blinks with a loud click. A door opens nearby and now we see that John is sitting on the floor of a white-tiled room with his back against the wall. He grimaces at the sound of the door.

LESTRADE (cheerfully, offscreen): Wakey-wakey!
JOHN (still grimacing): Oh my God.
(He peers towards the door and now we see that beside him, Sherlock is flat out on his back and fast asleep on the bench of a police holding cell.)
JOHN: Greg. Is that Greg?
LESTRADE: Get up. I’m gonna put you two in a taxi. Managed to square things with the desk sergeant.
(John painfully climbs to his feet. Greg laughs disparagingly.)
LESTRADE: What a couple of lightweights! You couldn’t even make it to closing time!
JOHN (quietly as he slowly walks towards him): Can you whisper?
LESTRADE (yelling in his ear as he walks past): NOT REALLY!
(Sherlock flails upwards on the bench, his eyes wide and his mouth open in shock. He looks round the cell in bewilderment. John gives Greg a look of hurt betrayal, then leaves the cell. Greg beckons to Sherlock.)
LESTRADE: Come on.
(He follows John. Sherlock sits up on the bench, stands, totters, falls back onto the bench, then stands up and puts his fingers to his temples, wobbling on one foot. After a moment he lowers his hands and delicately paddles out of the cell.)

POLICE STATION FRONT DESK. Grunting with the effort, Sherlock puts on his coat. John tucks his wallet into his back pocket.

JOHN: Well, thanks for a ... you know ...
(They turn and walk away from the desk.)
JOHN: ... an evening.
SHERLOCK: It was awful.
JOHN: Yeah.
(Sherlock groans and pinches the bridge of his nose.)
JOHN: I was gonna pretend, but it was, truly.
SHERLOCK (lowering his hand): That woman, Tessa.
JOHN: What?
SHERLOCK: Dated a ghost. The most interesting case for months. What a wasted opportunity.
JOHN: ... Okay.

Close-up of a glass of water. An effervescent antacid pill is dropped into it and starts to fizz as it dissolves. After a few seconds John sighs quietly, picks up the glass and drinks.
MRS HUDSON: How are you feeling?
JOHN: Mmm. (He drinks again.)
MRS HUDSON: It’s just like old times, having you back here.
(John puts down the glass and smiles towards her. She brings a plate across the kitchen to the table where he’s sitting.)
MRS HUDSON: Thought I’d make your favourite, one last time.
(She puts down the plate in front of him. It contains a full English breakfast – a fried egg, two sausages, mushrooms, baked beans, tomato slices and two half-slices of buttered toast.)
JOHN: Mm. Don’t sound so ... final about it. I will be visiting, you know.
MRS HUDSON: Ooh, I’ve heard that one before!
JOHN (picking up his cutlery and cutting into his breakfast): Mm, no, it’s different now, though, isn’t it? It’s different to when we thought we’d lost him.
MRS HUDSON: Well, marriage changes everything, John.
(John lifts the forkful of food towards his mouth, then looks at it and pauses.)
JOHN: Does it?
MRS HUDSON: Yeah.
(She sits down opposite him.)
MRS HUDSON: You might not think it, but it does.
(John moves the fork closer to his mouth, then changes his mind and lowers it back to the plate, groaning quietly.)
MRS HUDSON: It’s a different phase in your life.
(John pushes the plate away from him a little.)
MRS HUDSON: You meet new people ’cause you’re a couple ...
JOHN: Mmm.
MRS HUDSON: ... and then you just ... let your old friends slip away.
JOHN: It won’t be like that.
MRS HUDSON: Well, if you’ve found the right one – the person that you click with – it’s the best thing in the world.
JOHN: Well, I have. I know I have.
MRS HUDSON: Oh, I’m sure. She’s lovely!
JOHN: Yeah. I think so. What about you?
MRS HUDSON: Me?
JOHN: Did you think you’d found the right one when you married Mr Hudson?
MRS HUDSON (smiling): No! It was just a whirlwind thing for us. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I just got sort of swept along.
JOHN: Right.
MRS HUDSON: And then we moved to Florida. We had a fantastic time, but of course I didn’t know what he was up to. (Whispering) The drugs.
JOHN (laughing): Drugs? (He grimaces at the pain in his head.)
MRS HUDSON: He was running ... um, oh God, what d’you call it? Um, a ... cartel.
(John props up his head with his fingers.)
MRS HUDSON: Got in with a really bad crowd.
JOHN: Right.
MRS HUDSON: And then I found out about all the other women. I didn’t have a clue! So, when he was actually arrested for blowing someone’s head off ...
(John’s eyes drift sideways, perhaps a little confused by the matter-of-fact way she just said the phrase.)
MRS HUDSON: ... it was quite a relief, to be honest.
JOHN: ... Right.
MRS HUDSON: It was purely physical between me and Frank. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other.
(John lowers his head, cringing.)
MRS HUDSON: I know: there was one night ...
(John holds up a finger to stop her, then turns the finger to point upwards.)
JOHN: Hang on – was that ... Sherlock?
(There’s no sound coming from above them.)
MRS HUDSON: Is it?
(John continues to point upwards, and raises the finger of his other hand to his lips. After a moment they hear footsteps upstairs.)
JOHN: That’s Sherlock.
(He gets up and painfully walks towards the kitchen door, groaning quietly.)


On to part 3

Comments 
10th-Jan-2014 12:41 pm (UTC) - Correction
Thank you again for all your hard work!

By the way, the transcript says:

SERGEANT: Sir, caught this one snooping around.
(Reed looks at John.)
JOHN: Is that what this was all about? Distracting me so that this man could get in here and kill Bainbridge?
JOHN: Don’t be ...

I think it should be:

SERGEANT: Sir, caught this one snooping around.
(Reed looks at John.)
***REED***: Is that what this was all about? Distracting me so that this man could get in here and kill Bainbridge?
JOHN: Don’t be ...
10th-Jan-2014 01:39 pm (UTC) - Re: Correction
Ooh, well spotted! Thanks - edit made.
10th-Jan-2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
employing the “I’m invisible if I don’t look at you” trick

I don't know why, but that line struck me as incredibly, hysterically funny!!

There's no need to do this, by the by, but I read a review of this episode yesterday & the woman who wrote it had 6 or 7 screen shots of Sherlock's drunken deductions in the Mayfly's man's apartment & perhaps she would let you use them in the transcript. In any case, if you're interested:

Sherlock: The Sign of Three by tj_teejay

LESTRADE: What a couple of lightweights! You couldn’t even make it to closing time!

For some reason, based on Sherlock's drug history & John's family history of alcohol abuse, I just assumed that they could consume alcohol like pros. Apparently not. This just throws off so many of the fanfics I've read...

But, truly, the most important lesson I got from The Sign of Three in toto was not to imply that Sherlock doesn't know ash. Don't tell him he doesn't!! (I'm pretty sure he had ID'd 243 varieties at last count, but other readers feel free to correct me!!)
10th-Jan-2014 05:37 pm (UTC)
Feel free to use the screencaps if you like.
10th-Jan-2014 03:46 pm (UTC)
Oh my Goddddd, thank you so much for this. The drunk scene was the absolute best, but I lost some of what they were saying, so this is a godsend, as always. :)
10th-Jan-2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
SHERLOCK (slurred): I’m just gonna whip this out.

By the by, am I the only person who, when they first heard this line, and every time since, thought Sherlock was making a sexual reference?

(It can't just be me...)
10th-Jan-2014 05:59 pm (UTC)
I immediately thought of the film "Blazing Saddles" when Bart does a similar thing as he reaches towards the front of his trousers and says, "Scuse me while I whip this out." The townsfolk all cringe and cower and then he pulls out a scroll which he had tucked down his trousers!
10th-Jan-2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
Did you noticed, at the beggining of the reception, that Mary kissed twice the old lady in pink? First time, before David approches and the second, for just a tiny little second, before Archie and his mum. It's really the same lady. It must have been a slip in the editing!
10th-Jan-2014 06:55 pm (UTC)
Maybe she really, really likes her?
10th-Jan-2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for doing this! English is not my mother tongue and this transcript was extremely helpful in highlighting the little bits I missed. :D Great job!

10th-Jan-2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
Once again, thank you so very much for your dedication, enthusiasm and the effort you put into helping those who, like me, are not native speakers. You're fantastic!
11th-Jan-2014 02:45 am (UTC)
JOHN (jumping up): Oh ...
(Thrown off-balance by his swing, the man stumbles forward and almost falls onto a nearby table. One of his mates helps him up. John grabs Sherlock from behind and pulls him away while Sherlock flails wildly towards the man.)
JOHN: All right, all right, enough!
(He drags him a few feet away, supporting most of his weight.)
JOHN: Stand up.

For this part, I'm pretty sure Sherlock is making an attempt at a drunk 'z snap of sass' or whatever the technical term is. Failing, of course.
11th-Jan-2014 04:53 am (UTC)
I think there's a typo?

SHERLOCK: I like the practical experience. < should be 'lack'?

Thank you so much for these!
11th-Jan-2014 09:38 am (UTC)
Ooh, yes, that makes more sense.

Thanks - edit made!
11th-Jan-2014 02:08 pm (UTC) - Wondering about a line...
Anonymous
SHERLOCK (slurred): Apologies about my ... (he points towards John) ... you know ... him.

It's hard to tell with the slurring, but I was laughing at this when I first heard it because I thought that last word was "thing" instead of "him," but I dunno.

LOVE your transcripts ... so much work, and so beautifully done :) Thank you!

@lauriestweetie on Twitter (not on LJ)
12th-Jan-2014 05:44 am (UTC) - Re: Wondering about a line...
I forget where I read it, but I remember reading that it being "Apologies about my... you know... him" was a result of Benedict forgetting his line, but they liked the way it came out and they left it in the scene. :-)
20th-Jan-2014 11:10 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how happy I am to have found this and to now know that Molly says 'urinating in wardrobes, bad', because all I could get from it, no matter how many times I watched it was 'you and ATM wardrobes, bad' WHICH WAS SO CONFUSING. It's sort of like those song lyrics you get wrong forever until you find the correct ones and then you can't un-hear the correct version and wonder how you ever got it wrong in the first place!

Thank you for the immense work involved in putting these transcripts together!
19th-Sep-2016 10:52 pm (UTC) - Anon
Anonymous
Well, gee...you could have always turned on the subtitles...then you never would have made that mistake...
21st-Jan-2014 10:24 pm (UTC) - Thank you!
Anonymous
Hello,
I just wanted to thank you very much for all the hard work you've put into this transcript. It's fantastically detailed and your wording has been carefully chosen. Really, a great job, thank you!
31st-Jan-2014 02:35 am (UTC) - Thank you so very, very much
Anonymous
I'm American and lived in England 5 years but I still miss things, especially the slang. So it is really wonderful to have it written out and explained as even though I pick up on a lot of it, there are still bits I would miss without your amazing work.
1st-Feb-2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the hours of love and brilliance and hard, hard work that you put into the transcripts. You bring so much joy to the fandom. And your asides never fail to crack me up.

Just a few questions:

1. JOHN: All right, all right, enough!
(He drags him a few feet away, supporting most of his weight.)
JOHN: Stand up.
(He props him onto his feet and points him towards the exit. Sherlock turns and points back towards the man.)
SHERLOCK: Ash. I know ash.


I thought Sherlock says, "Ashtray!" when he points to the man (as though he meant to say 'arsehole'). Then, during the wipe to the next scene, offscreen we hear him say, "I know ash."

2. (He drinks from his glass. Unfolding his legs, John shifts forward until he is sitting right on the edge of his seat. He instantly starts to slide off and reaches out to brace himself with one hand on Sherlock’s right knee. He pushes himself back a little, then he and Sherlock look down at his hand. John pulls it away and holds both his hands out, shrugging.)
JOHN: I don’t mind.
(Sherlock raises his fingers around his glass and shrugs to indicate that he’s not bothered either.)


I've played that scene a few dozen times and I still can't figure out what Benedict mumbles after Martin says "I don't mind" and Ben looks at the hand on his knee. I think it's, "Okay."

I will say that in my head canon, Martin ad libbed that knee thing to a.) break the internet and b.) break Benedict's focus. One out of two wasn't bad, Martin!

Anyway, I'd love to know what Ben said there.

3. SHERLOCK: What’s your dog’s name?
JOHN (blurrily, talking in his sleep): Yeah, I’m there if you want it.
[People tend to speak the truth in their sleep. This statement is therefore now canon. *nods*]


I thought John mumbled, "Yeah, I'll play if you want to."

Although, I prefer (wiping steam from my slash goggles) your translation. *ahem*

Again, all the prizes to you for doing this for us all!
2nd-Feb-2014 11:57 am (UTC)
Answers!

1. Interestingly, I've just re-activated Team Ari to ask them the same question! I always thought that there was a second syllable after 'ash' when the scene faded to black, but decided that it might just be a drunken mumble.

Somewhat hilariously, I discovered that the DVD subtitles (which are different to those from the BBC) reckon that he's saying, "I know Ash!" and then, "Ashton. I know Ashton." I don't know if the subtitler is a fan of Ashton Kutcher or what. But it did make me think again about whether there was a second syllable, and when I looked very closely at Sherlock's mouth after John stood him up, there looked to be a second syllable there too.

I'm now fairly sure that after John stands him up, he says, "Ashtrays. I know ashtrays." The 's' at the end of the word can't be heard but he's drunk and slurring and so it might be lisped and inaudible under the loud music. I'm going to change it to that, and will wait patiently for Steve Thompson to tell me if I'm wrong!

2. I'm not hearing Sherlock say anything. He does open his mouth after he shrugs but I'm not sure that any sound comes out.

3. I'm not hearing your suggestion, and I've replayed it several times. And I definitely prefer my version!
1st-Mar-2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
Thank you for your wonderful transcriptions. I can't even tell how many times I read these; and it was always just as great as watching the show itself. Thank you again - I don't dare to begin to think about how bloody hard work it must have been for you.
One small nagging question, though. Sherlock, who doesn't know about the current monarch of England being a female, and who freely admits that he picked the name for John at random from a newspaper, apparently knows that Madonna is a woman. How?
2nd-Mar-2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
Maybe he has enough background religious knowledge to know that Madonna is a female term?
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