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Sherlock Special transcript: The Abominable Bride, part 3
Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.
Return to Part 1 / Return to Part 2
Inside the cabin, the male flight attendant [going by the name of Diamond according to the end credits] walks along the aisle, bends down and puts a hand on Sherlock’s shoulder and gently shakes it.
DIAMOND: We’ve landed, sir. We’ve landed.
SHERLOCK (slowly opening his eyes): No, no, no, not now, not now.
(He stares wide-eyed and shocked. Outside, Mycroft, John and Mary are approaching the steps).
SHERLOCK (to himself, still confused and bewildered): No, no, no, not now, not now.
(Diamond steps back and the plane’s captain [who sadly isn’t Martin Crieff] walks along the aisle. She smiles down at Sherlock.)
CAPTAIN: I trust you had a pleasant flight, sir.
(Sherlock stares up at her. She is the spitting image of Lady Carmichael, although obviously wearing a modern airline captain’s uniform. She smiles and nods to him before turning away as the others come on board.)
MYCROFT: Well, a somewhat shorter exile than we’d imagined, brother mine, although adequate given your levels of OCD.
(Breathing heavily, Sherlock stares up at him glassy-eyed.)
SHERLOCK: I have to go back!
SHERLOCK: I was ... I was nearly there! I nearly had it!
MYCROFT: What on earth are you talking about?
JOHN: Go back where? You didn’t get very far.
SHERLOCK: Ricoletti and his abominable wife! Don’t you understand?
MARY: No, of course we don’t. You’re not making any sense, Sherlock.
SHERLOCK: It was a case, a famous one from a hundred years ago, lodged in my hard drive. She seemed to be dead but then she came back.
JOHN: What, like Moriarty?
SHERLOCK: Shot herself in the head, exactly like Moriarty.
MARY (sitting down in the seat facing him): But you’ve only just been told. We’ve only just found out. He’s on every TV screen in the country.
SHERLOCK (unclipping his seat belt): Yes? So? It’s been five minutes since Mycroft called. (He looks up at his brother.) What progress have you made? What have you been doing?
JOHN (laughing briefly): More to the point, what have you been doing?
SHERLOCK: I’ve been in my Mind Palace, of course ...
JOHN: Of course(!)
SHERLOCK: ... running an experiment: how would I have solved the crime if I’d been there in 1895?
MYCROFT: Oh, Sherlock.
(Looking angry and disappointed, he turns away. Mary takes Sherlock’s phone from the shelf beside his seat and starts to look at it.)
SHERLOCK: I had all the details perfect.
(Mycroft sinks into a rear-facing seat on the other side of the aisle. He puts both hands on the handle of his umbrella and lowers his chin to rest it on them.)
SHERLOCK (flailing his hands): I was there, all of it, everything! I was immersed.
MYCROFT (lifting his head slightly, gazing at nothing): Of course you were.
MARY (looking down at Sherlock’s phone): You’ve been reading John’s blog – the story of how you met.
(She lifts her eyes and smiles at him.)
SHERLOCK (nodding): Helps me if I see myself through his eyes sometimes. I’m so much cleverer.
MYCROFT (looking across to him): You really think anyone’s believing you?
JOHN: No, he can do this. I’ve seen it – the Mind Palace. It’s like a whole world in his head.
SHERLOCK (frustrated): Yes, and I need to get back there.
MYCROFT: The Mind Palace is a memory technique. I know what it can do; and I know what it most certainly cannot.
SHERLOCK: Maybe there are one or two things that I know that you don’t.
(He looks across to Mycroft, who returns his gaze.)
MYCROFT (pointedly): Oh, there are. (He pauses for a moment.) Did you make a list?
(Sherlock has looked away again and is chewing on a thumbnail. He turns to look at his brother again.)
SHERLOCK: You’ve put on weight. That waistcoat’s clearly newer than the jacket ...
MYCROFT (angrily): Stop this. Just stop it. Did you make a list?
SHERLOCK: Of what?
MYCROFT: Everything, Sherlock. Everything you’ve taken.
(Sherlock rolls his eyes and turns his head away.)
JOHN: No, it’s not that. He goes into a sort of trance. I’ve seen him do it.
(Sherlock takes a folded piece of paper from his breast pocket, holds it out and drops it onto the floor. Mycroft lifts his eyes to John, who bends down and picks it up. Mycroft looks away as John unfolds the piece of paper and looks at what’s written there, and his face fills with shock. He stares at Sherlock.)
MYCROFT (his face turned away): We have an agreement, my brother and I, ever since that day.
(Sherlock bites his lip. In a cutaway flashback, a much younger Sherlock is lying on a mattress on a floor. Nearby, candles are burning in bottles. Sherlock is writhing and grimacing under the influence of the drugs he’s taken. Mycroft, apparently in his early/mid-twenties, is sitting on the mattress near his brother’s feet and now reaches down to a piece of paper lying next to Sherlock’s legs.)
MYCROFT (voiceover): Wherever I find him ...
(In the present, Sherlock closes his eyes.
In the past, Mycroft picks up the piece of paper and unfolds it to read it while his young brother continues to writhe in agony.)
MYCROFT (voiceover): ... whatever back alley or doss house ...
(In the present, Mycroft sinks back in his seat.)
MYCROFT: ... there will always be a list.
(John has sat down in the seat facing Mycroft, and raises the piece of paper.)
JOHN: He couldn’t have taken all of that in the last five minutes.
(Mycroft huffs out a breath and looks across to Sherlock.)
MYCROFT: He was high before he got on the plane.
(Mary has put Sherlock’s phone back on the shelf and has now got out her own phone.)
MARY (typing rapidly on the phone): He didn’t seem high.
MYCROFT (his eyes fixed on Sherlock): Nobody deceives like an addict.
SHERLOCK: I’m not an addict. I’m a user. I alleviate boredom and occasionally heighten my thought processes.
JOHN: For God’s sake! This could kill you! You could die!
SHERLOCK: Controlled usage is not usually fatal, and abstinence is not immortality.
(Mycroft has noticed that Mary is typing on the phone.)
MYCROFT: What are you doing?
MARY: Emelia Ricoletti – I’m looking her up.
MYCROFT: Ah, I suppose we should.
(Sherlock rolls his eyes in exasperation.)
MYCROFT: I have access to the top level of the MI5 archive ...
MARY: Yep, that’s where I’m looking.
(She smiles without looking up. Mycroft looks slightly awkward.)
MYCROFT: What do you think of MI5’s security?
MARY (raising her eyebrows and looking across to him partway through her next sentence): I think it would be a good idea.
(She smiles at him, then looks back down to the phone.)
MARY: Emelia Ricoletti. Unsolved ...
(Sherlock has bowed his head and now lowers it into his hands. Mary nods towards him.)
MARY: ... like he says.
SHERLOCK (raising his head with his eyes closed): Could you all just shut up for five minutes? (He opens his eyes.) I have to go back. I was nearly there before you stepped on and starting yapping away.
JOHN: ‘Yapping’? (Sarcastically) Sorry – did we interrupt your session?
MYCROFT (leaning forward): Sherlock, listen to me.
SHERLOCK (closing his eyes): No. It only encourages you.
MYCROFT: I’m not angry with you ...
SHERLOCK: Oh, that’s a relief. I was really worried. (He opens his eyes.) No, hold on. (He looks at Mycroft.) I really wasn’t.
(They lock eyes for a moment.)
MYCROFT (softly): I was there for you before. I’ll be there for you again.
(They continue to look at each other.)
MYCROFT (softly): I’ll always be there for you. (He looks down.) This was my fault.
SHERLOCK (shaking his head slightly): It was nothing to do with you.
MYCROFT (gazing downwards reflectively): A week in a prison cell. I should have realised.
SHERLOCK: Realised what?
MYCROFT: That in your case, solitary confinement is locking you up with your worst enemy.
(Sherlock sighs and rolls his head back.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, for God’s sake.
(He buries his head in one hand.)
JOHN (offscreen): Morphine or cocaine?
(Sherlock raises his head and turns to frown at John.)
SHERLOCK: What did you say?
JOHN: I didn’t say anything.
SHERLOCK: No, you did. You said ...
(As he says the next sentence, it’s Sherlock’s lips moving but we hear John’s voice.)
SHERLOCK/JOHN: Which is it today – morphine or cocaine?
(Sherlock stares at John, who looks confused. Mary sits up in her chair, looking alert, and Mycroft frowns across to his brother.)
(And in the sitting room of Victorian 221B, Holmes is lying on his side on the floor.)
WATSON (offscreen): Morphine or cocaine? Which is it today?
(Holmes’ fingers twitch as the sitting room door slams.)
WATSON (offscreen): Answer me, damn it!
(Holmes jolts awake. His head is resting on a cushion, and the syringe and its case are lying near his hand.)
HOLMES: Moriarty was here.
(At the door, Watson is taking off his gloves.)
WATSON: Moriarty’s dead.
(Holmes waves his hand vaguely and rolls a little more onto his back.)
HOLMES: I was on a jet.
WATSON: A what?
HOLMES (raising his head): You were there, and Mycroft.
(He props himself up onto his elbow, while Watson walks across towards the fireplace.)
WATSON: You haven’t left these rooms, Holmes. You ... haven’t ... moved. Now, tell me, morphine or cocaine?
HOLMES (running his hand over his hair): Cocaine.
(He drags himself onto his knees.)
HOLMES: A seven percent solution.
(Picking up the syringe, he puts it into the case, then stands up and offers the case to Watson.)
HOLMES: Would you care to try it?
WATSON (tightly): No, but I would quite like to find every ounce of the stuff in your possession and pour it out of the window.
HOLMES (smirking): I should be inclined to stop you.
WATSON: Then you would be reminded ... quite forcibly ... which of us is a soldier and which of us a drug addict.
HOLMES: You’re not a soldier. You are a doctor.
WATSON (stepping closer to him): No, an Army doctor, which means I could break every bone in your body, while naming them.
HOLMES: My dear Watson, you are allowing emotion to cloud your judgement.
WATSON (pointing to the syringe): Never on a case. (He breathes in harshly.) You promised me. Never on a case.
HOLMES: No, I just said that in one of your stories. (He smiles.)
WATSON: Listen. (He points at Holmes, breathing rapidly.) I’m happy to play the fool for you. I will run along behind you like some halfwit, making you look clever, if that’s what you need, but dear God above ... (his voice rises angrily) ... you will hold yourself to a higher standard.
WATSON: Because people need you to.
HOLMES: What people? Why? Because of your idiot stories?
WATSON: Yes, because of my idiot stories.
BILLY (offscreen): Mr Holmes!
(The sitting room door opens and the houseboy runs in.)
BILLY: Mr Holmes! Telegram, Mr Holmes!
(He hands the telegram to Holmes and runs out again. Holmes opens the telegram and reads it. He looks shocked and raises his eyes to Watson, who reacts as if he’s not interested in the contents but feels obliged to ask the question.)
WATSON: What is it? What’s wrong?
HOLMES: It’s Mary.
(He walks to the open door of the sitting room.)
WATSON: Mary? What about her?
HOLMES: It’s entirely possible she’s in danger.
(He takes off his dressing gown.)
HOLMES: There’s not a moment to lose.
(He hangs up the dressing gown.)
WATSON: Is this the cocaine talking?
(Holmes takes down his dress coat and puts it on.)
WATSON: What danger could Mary be in? I’m sure she’s just visiting with friends.
HOLMES (sternly): Come on!
(He hurries down the stairs, Watson following. Near the bottom, Holmes has to grab onto the bannister rail to support himself as he stumbles. Grimacing, he continues into the hall, buttoning his coat.)
WATSON: What is happening?
(Holmes takes his outer coat from the peg and starts to put it on.)
WATSON: Are you even in a fit state?
HOLMES: For Mary, of course. Never doubt that, Watson. Never that.
(He breathes heavily and doubles over, groaning.)
(He helps him to straighten up.)
HOLMES (shaking him off): I’m fine!
(Still breathing heavily, he reaches out and picks up his top hat.)
WATSON (snatching it away from him): Not that one.
(He tosses it along the hallway and picks up the deerstalker.)
WATSON: This one.
WATSON: You’re Sherlock Holmes. Wear the damn hat.
(He shoves it at Holmes, who glowers at him but puts it on. They hurry out into the street, which is busy with pedestrians, and Watson calls out loudly as Holmes runs to the kerb and looks up and down the road urgently.)
WATSON: Cab? Cab!
Later, the cab is racing through the countryside, the horse going at a fast canter. The sun is very low in the sky; it is almost night time.
WATSON: So, tell me. Where is she?
(Holmes buries his head in one hand.)
WATSON: You must tell me. What’s going on?
HOLMES (raising his head angrily but not looking at him): Oh, good old Watson! How would we fill the time if you didn’t ask questions?
JOHN (the modern-day John, in modern-day clothes, sitting where Watson had been a moment before): Sherlock, tell me where my bloody wife is, you pompous prick, or I’ll punch your lights out!
(Startled, Holmes looks round but it’s Victorian Watson who is sitting there and looking sternly at him.)
WATSON: Holmes! Where is she?
HOLMES: A desanctified church. She thinks she’s found the solution, and for no better reason than that, she’s put herself in the path of considerable danger.
(He looks away.)
HOLMES: What an excellent choice of wife.
(The carriage continues on towards the church, set in the middle of nowhere. On arrival the two men run through the cloisters, where Mary is waiting hidden behind a pillar. She steps out as they reach her. Watson jumps when he sees her.)
WATSON: What the devil?!
MRS WATSON (pointing further into the building): I’ve found them.
(They pause as distant chanting can be heard. Mary leads the others towards the sound. They descend some steps, where two small metal braziers on tripods are burning.)
WATSON (whispering): What is all this, Mary?
(She turns back and whispers to him.)
MRS WATSON: This is the heart of it all, John, the heart of the conspiracy.
(They continue on into the vaults. The chanting, which sounds like Latin, gets louder, the voices sounding female. There are more burning braziers along the route. Mary turns and beckons the men to continue following her. They reach a pair of arched stone windows. Mary and Holmes go to one window and Watson to the other and they watch as, in another corridor across a gap, many figures process past. All of them are wearing dark blue robes and have pointed conical hats, reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan, over their heads obscuring their faces.)
WATSON (quietly): Great God, what is this place? (He turns to look at Mary.) And what the devil are you doing here?
MRS WATSON: I’ve been making enquiries. Mr Holmes asked me.
WATSON: Holmes, how could you?!
MRS WATSON: No, not him. The clever one.
(Holmes seems surprisingly unmoved by that statement.)
MRS WATSON: It seemed obvious to me that this business could not be managed alone. My theory is that Mrs Ricoletti had help – help from her friends.
HOLMES: Bravo, Mary. (He looks at her, finally catching up with what she just said.) ‘The clever one’?
MRS WATSON: Oh.
WATSON (watching the procession): I thought I was losing you.
(Holmes frowns and glances across to him.)
WATSON: I thought perhaps we were neglecting each other.
HOLMES: Well, you’re the one who moved out.
WATSON (closing his eyes): I was talking to Mary.
(He turns to look at his wife.)
WATSON: You’re working for Mycroft?
MRS WATSON: He likes to keep an eye on his mad sibling.
HOLMES: And he had a spy to hand. (Glancing towards Watson) Has it never occurred to you that your wife is excessively skilled for a nurse?
MRS WATSON: Of course it hasn’t. (She smirks.) Because he knows what a nurse is capable of.
(Watson smiles briefly.)
MRS WATSON (to Holmes): When did it occur to you?
HOLMES: Only now, I’m afraid.
MRS WATSON (turning to look at him): Must be difficult being the slow little brother. (She smiles.)
HOLMES: Time I sped up. Enough chatter. Let’s concentrate.
(They turn to watch the procession.)
MRS WATSON: Yes, all right. What’s all this about? What do they want to accomplish?
HOLMES: Why don’t we go and find out?
(He turns and hurries away, the Watsons following. They run through the vaults, passing large fires burning around various columns which support the roof, and eventually reach a small chapel where the robed figures have gathered, still chanting. Holmes enters through the doorway behind them and sees a suspended gong to one side. Picking up its mallet, he strikes the gong loudly. The figures stop chanting and turn to face him.)
HOLMES (hanging up the mallet): Sorry. I could never resist a gong. (He turns to the gathering.) Or a touch of the dramatic.
MRS WATSON: Never have guessed(!)
HOLMES (walking forward): Though it seems you share my enthusiasm in that regard.
(He walks through the middle of the crowd. The figures stand silently in even rows either side of him.)
(Mary throws a nervous glance at her husband, who is staring around the chapel in awe.)
HOLMES: Superlative theatre. I applaud the spectacle.
(He smiles, turns back and walks slowly towards the doorway.)
HOLMES: Emelia Ricoletti shot herself, then apparently returned from the grave and killed her husband. So, how was it done? Let’s take the events in order.
(Flashback to Emelia standing on the balcony, firing into the street below while people run away and duck for cover.)
HOLMES (voiceover): Mrs Ricoletti gets everyone’s attention in very efficient fashion.
BRIDE (in flashback): You!
(She continues to fire.)
BRIDE: You?! (Softly) Or me?
(Lowering the left-hand pistol, she turns the gun in her right hand towards herself and opens her mouth wide.)
HOLMES (voiceover): She places one of the revolvers in her mouth while actually firing the other into the ground.
(Emelia fires the lowered left-hand pistol.)
HOLMES (voiceover): An accomplice sprays the curtains with blood ...
(Inside the room, a figure – out of focus so we can’t see him or her clearly – sprays blood onto the net curtains behind Emelia’s head.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... and thus her apparent suicide is witnessed by the frightened crowd below.
(Emelia falls backwards and crashes to the carpet inside the room. Lying on her back next to her is another woman, her eyes closed. She is dressed in an identical wedding dress to Emelia’s and her face has been given the same make-up. Emelia stands up.)
HOLMES (voiceover): A substitute corpse bearing a strong resemblance to Mrs Ricoletti takes her place and is later transported to the morgue. A grubby little suicide of little interest to Scotland Yard.
(As Emelia walks away, several people pick up the body and carry it a few feet to the right, placing it in the position where Emelia landed.)
HOLMES (voiceover): Meanwhile the real Mrs Ricoletti slips away.
(Emelia, now wearing everyday clothes – though she has not fixed her lurid and smeared lipstick – pulls the net veil on her hat over her face and leaves the house, walking off down the street.)
HOLMES (voiceover for the first sentence): Now comes the really clever part. Mrs Ricoletti persuaded a cab driver – someone who knew her – to intercept her husband outside his favourite opium den. The perfect stage for a perfect drama.
(In flashback, Emelia – back in the wedding dress with the veil over her face – points the shotgun at her husband.)
RICOLETTI: Who are you? What do you want?
(Emelia lifts her veil with one hand and smiles at her husband. He stares in disbelief.)
(She fires, then lowers the veil and turns away.)
MAN (offscreen): Help!
HOLMES (voiceover): A perfect positive identification.
(PC Rance turns and stares at the Bride.)
MAN (offscreen): Murder! Murder!
HOLMES (voiceover): The late Mrs Ricoletti has returned from the grave ...
(The bloodstained back of her head can be clearly seen by the police officer.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... and with a little skilled make-up and you have nothing less than the wrath of a vengeful ghost.
(Emelia walks away into the fog and disappears from view. Further down the street, she stops on top of a manhole cover and stomps the heel of her boot against it twice. In the drain underneath, an accomplice pushes the manhole cover up and across onto the road, where Emelia has taken a step back and is waiting. Shortly afterwards, PC Rance runs towards where he last saw her and stops ... on top of the now-closed cover.)
HOLMES (voiceover): There was only one thing left to do.
(Emelia, still in the wedding dress, is lying on a bed while someone offscreen points a pistol at her mouth.)
EMELIA: Swiftly now. No tears.
(She settles her head on the pillow and opens her mouth. As the scene fades out, the gun is fired.)
HOLMES (pacing along the chapel): All that remained was to substitute the real Mrs Ricoletti for the corpse in the morgue.
(Brief flashback to Emelia’s covered body, chained to the table in the morgue.)
HOLMES (voiceover): This time, should anyone attempt to identify her ...
(The sheet is pulled back from Emelia’s face.)
HOLMES (in the crypt): ... it would be positively, absolutely her.
MRS WATSON: But why would she do that – die to prove a point?
HOLMES: Every great cause has martyrs; every war has suicide missions – and make no mistake, this is war. One half of the human race at war with the other.
(He walks back along the crypt, looking at the robed figures on either side.)
HOLMES: The invisible army hovering at our elbow, attending to our homes, raising our children, ignored, patronised, disregarded, not allowed so much as a vote.
(Almost as one, the robed figures reach up and begin to remove their conical hats. As they pull them off their heads, each one is revealed to be a woman.)
HOLMES: ... but an army nonetheless, ready to rise up in the best of causes, to put right an injustice as old as humanity itself. So, you see, Watson, Mycroft was right. This is a war we must lose.
(He turns away from Watson but turns back again as he speaks.)
WATSON: She was dying.
HOLMES: Who was?
WATSON: Emelia Ricoletti. There were clear signs of consumption. I doubt she was long for this world.
HOLMES: So she decided to make her death count. She was already familiar with the secret societies of America and was able to draw on their methods of fear and intimidation to publicly – very publicly – confront Sir Eustace Carmichael with the sins of his past.
FEMALE VOICE (offscreen): He knew her out in the States.
(The voice is familiar to us. We heard it earlier in the episode, although back then it was deeper. Holmes turns towards the sound.)
FEMALE VOICE (offscreen): Promised her everything ...
(The owner of the voice comes into view. It is, as we expected, Hooper, now with no moustache and with her hair in a more ‘normal’ style for a woman. She is dressed in the same blue robe as the other women and is carrying her hood.)
HOOPER: ... marriage, position – and then he had his way with her and threw her over, left her abandoned and penniless.
(Flashforward to Molly Hooper slapping Sherlock’s face in the lab at Bart’s after she had tested him for drug abuse in “His Last Vow.” She slaps him again, and again.
Flashback to Doctor Hooper – in her male guise – standing at the side of the morgue table on which Emelia lies.)
HOOPER (softly, in the crypt): Holmes.
WATSON: For the record, Holmes, she didn’t have me fooled.
(Holmes turns and stares at him. Watson smiles in a rather satisfied way. Then his gaze shifts and he stares in surprise as one of the women leans into view and waves cheekily at him. It is his maid.
Flashback to his dining room where she last addressed him:
JANE: Why do you never mention me, sir?
(In the crypt, Jane finishes her wave and steps back. Watson looks a little awkward as Holmes smirks. Another woman steps forward. Again she is very recognisable to us, and her Irish accent confirms it.)
JANINE: Emelia thought that she’d found happiness with Ricoletti, but he was a brute too.
(Holmes has turned to look at her as she spoke and his eyes have widened.
Fast flashforward through brief clips of Sherlock’s time with Janine at the wedding, and in 221B later, ending with them kissing and then Sherlock’s smile dropping once she has walked away.)
[Transcriber’s note: in the cast list for this episode, she is credited as ‘Janine Donlevy.’ People with sharp eyes noticed that in “His Last Vow” her newspaper interviews about her relationship with Sherlock named her as ‘Janine Hawkins.’ It may be that this Victorian version is – or was – married.]
JANINE (in the crypt): Emelia Ricoletti was our friend. You have no idea how that bastard treated her.
(Holmes is still staring at her as if confused.)
WATSON: But ... the Bride, Holmes. We saw her.
HOLMES (turning to him): Yes, Watson, we did. But the sound of breaking glass? Not a window.
(Watson frowns enquiringly.)
HOLMES: Just an old theatrical trick.
(Flashback to Holmes and Watson outside the Carmichael house. Watson seizes Holmes’ arm.)
WATSON: It cannot be true, Holmes! It cannot!
HOLMES: No, it can’t.
HOLMES (voiceover): It’s called Pepper’s Ghost.
[Click here for further information, and diagrams similar to the one which is shown on the screen during Holmes’ explanation.]
(As the flashback continues and Holmes and Watson turn at the sound of a man’s scream from inside the house, we see a closer view of the Bride floating backwards, and this time we can see that there’s a large pane of glass between the Bride and the men.)
HOLMES (voiceover): A simple reflection, in glass, of a living breathing person.
(The Bride is actually several feet away, out of sight from the men, and as she now runs off, two women dressed in black hurry forward ready to carry away the pane of glass, propped up on a stand.)
HOLMES (voiceover): Their only mistake was breaking the glass when they removed it.
(The women go to either side of the pane and take hold of its sides. As they lift it, it shatters and they flinch away from the flying shards.)
HOLMES (slowly pacing along the crypt): Look around you. This room is full of Brides. Once she had risen, anyone could be her.
(The various headlines about murders by ‘the Bride’ float across the screen.)
HOLMES: The avenging ghost – a legend to strike terror into the heart of any man with malicious intent; a spectre to stalk those unpunished brutes whose reckoning is long overdue.
(Flashback to the Carmichael maze. Lady Carmichael and Sir Eustace stare in horror as the Bride floats closer to them. Sir Eustace’s eyes roll up into his head and he faints.)
HOLMES (voiceover): A league of furies awakened.
(Elsewhere in the maze after she has made her escape, the Bride lifts her veil to reveal Janine, her face white and her lips red and smeared. She smiles with satisfaction.)
HOLMES (voiceover): The women I ... we have lied to, betrayed ...
(Inside the Carmichael house, Watson turns wide-eyed to see the Bride standing behind him.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... the women we have ignored ...
(The Bride raises her hands like claws and hiss-shrieks, and Watson turns and runs.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... and disparaged.
(Watson runs into the hall. Behind him, Hooper, dressed in the Bride’s outfit, climbs out of the broken window.)
HOLMES (in the crypt): Once the idea exists, it cannot be killed.
(His gaze sharpens a little.)
HOLMES: This is the work of a single-minded person, someone who knew first-hand about Sir Eustace’s mental cruelty. A dark secret, kept from all but her closest friends ...
(Behind him, someone wearing the Bride’s wedding dress and with the veil over their face walks into view.)
HOLMES: ... including Emelia Ricoletti ...
(The Bride slowly walks closer to him, footsteps sounding on the floor.)
HOLMES: ... the woman her husband wronged all those years before. If one disregards the ghost, there is only one suspect.
(He turns towards the person he has heard approaching, unsurprised by the sight of the veiled figure.)
HOLMES: Isn’t that right, Lady Carmichael?
(The Bride stops close to him.)
HOLMES: One small detail doesn’t quite make sense to me, however. Why engage me to prevent a murder you intended to commit?
(The Bride doesn’t respond.)
(The Bride huffs out a laugh but it’s not coming from any woman’s mouth.)
MORIARTY’s VOICE (from underneath the veil, in a deliberately poor impersonation of Holmes): It doesn’t quite make sense; this doesn’t quite make sense. (In his own voice) Of course it doesn’t make sense.
(Holmes blinks a couple of times.)
MORIARTY’s VOICE: It’s not real.
(He snores as if bored.)
MORIARTY’s VOICE: Oh, Sherlock.
(He takes hold of the veil and flips it back onto his head, holding it there so as to reveal his face. There is dried blood in the middle of his upper and lower lips from where he shot himself in the mouth. Holmes gasps.)
(He rolls his jaw as if it hurts. Holmes stares in shock.)
HOLMES: No. No, not you. It can’t be you.
MORIARTY: I mean, come on, be serious. Costumes, the gong. Speaking as a criminal mastermind, we don’t really have gongs, or special outfits.
(Holmes, looking faint, closes his eyes. Behind his closed eyes, it’s as if a faint image of Watson is shining a penlight into his eyes. The voice which speaks in his head, however, sounds a little more like modern John than Victorian Watson.)
JOHN/WATSON: What the hell is going on?
(Holmes opens his eyes again and peers at Moriarty in continuing disbelief.)
MORIARTY: Is this silly enough for you yet? Gothic enough? Mad enough, even for you? It doesn’t make sense, Sherlock, because it’s not real. (In a whisper) None of it.
(Behind his eyes, Holmes can again see Watson looking closely at him, and again he hears the voice.)
JOHN/WATSON: What’s he talking about?
MORIARTY (in a whisper): This is all in your mind.
(Holmes clamps his eyes shut again.)
JOHN’s VOICE: Sherlock.
(The penlight shines into Holmes’ closed eyes.)
WATSON’s VOICE: Holmes!
MORIARTY (in a whisper): You’re dreaming.
(Holmes, his eyes wide again, opens his mouth and gasps out a long breath.)
MARY: Is he dreaming?
(Sherlock’s vision clears. Mary is sitting a short distance away and peering at him, and John is leaning over him and shining a penlight into his right eye. Mycroft is sitting at Sherlock’s bedside. They’re no longer in the plane and Sherlock is lying fully clothed on a bed, presumably in a hospital.)
MYCROFT (somewhat sarcastically): And there he is. Thought we’d lost you for a moment. May I just check: is this what you mean by “controlled usage”?
(In the background, a woman in a white hospital uniform walks past.)
SHERLOCK (a little blearily): Mrs Emelia Ricoletti. I need to know where she was buried.
MYCROFT: What, a hundred and twenty years ago?!
SHERLOCK (struggling to sit up, while John tries to push him back down): Yes.
MYCROFT: That would take weeks to find, if those records even exist. Even with my resources ...
MARY (looking down at her phone): Got it.
Some time later, John and Mary get out of a police car and follow Sherlock, who has just taken a spade from the boot of another police car. Sherlock is now wearing his Coat and scarf and he leads them into a cemetery. Mycroft and Greg Lestrade follow them and there are several uniformed police officers in attendance.
JOHN: I don’t get it. How is this relevant?
SHERLOCK: I need to know I was right, then I’ll be sure.
MARY: You mean how Moriarty did it?
JOHN: But none of that really happened. It was in your head.
SHERLOCK: My investigation was the fantasy. The crime happened exactly as I explained.
MARY: The stone was erected by a group of her friends.
MYCROFT: I don’t know what you think you’ll find here.
SHERLOCK: I need to try!
(They walk past the rear of the gravestone they’re looking for. On the front is carved:
FAITHFUL BEYOND DEATH
DIED DECEMBER 18 1894
Shortly afterwards, Sherlock is standing beside Emelia’s grave holding the spade. The others are standing on the path at the foot of the grave and some of the police officers are nearby, one of them also holding a spade.
SHERLOCK: Mrs Ricoletti was buried here, but what happened to the other one, the corpse they substituted for her after the so-called suicide?
JOHN: They’d move it. Of course they would.
SHERLOCK: But where?
JOHN: Well, not here!
SHERLOCK: But that ... that’s exactly what they must have done. The conspirators had someone on the inside. They found a body, just like Molly Hooper found a body for me when I ...
(John throws him a dark look and Mary raises her eyes to the heavens. Sherlock stops abruptly.)
SHERLOCK (looking down): Yeah, well, we don’t need to go into all that again, do we?
(He shifts his grip on the spade, ready to start digging.)
JOHN: You’re not seriously gonna do this?
SHERLOCK: It’s why we came here! I need to know.
(He bends forward to the grave.)
JOHN (turning away): Spoken like an addict.
SHERLOCK (straightening up to look at him): This is important to me!
JOHN (turning back): No – this is you needing a fix.
SHERLOCK: John ...
JOHN: Moriarty’s back. We have a case! We have a real-life problem right now.
SHERLOCK: Getting to that! It’s next on the list! Just let me do this.
(Again he bends to the grave.)
JOHN (loudly): No, everyone always lets you do whatever you want. That’s how you got in this state.
SHERLOCK (straightening up again): John, please ...
JOHN (angrily): I’m not playing this time, Sherlock, not any more.
(He steps back, flexing his left hand, then speaks more calmly.)
JOHN: When you’re ready to go to work, give me a call.
(He takes Mary’s arm.)
JOHN: I’m taking Mary home.
MARY (instantly): You’re what?
JOHN: Mary’s taking me home.
(They walk away. Mycroft walks over to where they were standing.)
MYCROFT: He’s right, you know.
SHERLOCK (loudly): So what if he’s right? He’s always right. It’s boring.
(He pauses, looking down, for a moment.)
SHERLOCK (more quietly): Will you help me?
(He looks across to Greg and then to Mycroft. The two of them exchange a look[, Mystradians go crazy with delight] and then Mycroft shrugs and gestures down to the grave.)
MYCROFT: Cherchez la femme.
(Sherlock raises the spade and plunges it into the earth.)
HOURS LATER. It’s night time and portable lights have been set up to illuminate the area. Sherlock, down to just shirt and trousers, is almost neck deep in the grave as he shovels out the latest spadeful of earth. Next to him Greg, also in shirtsleeves, is also digging. Both of them are wearing thick gloves. Mycroft stands next to the grave, shining a flashlight down into the hole. Sherlock and Greg shovel out a few more loads and then, when Sherlock plunges the spade down again, it’s met with a hollow thump. He slowly straightens up, realising that they have reached the coffin.
Some time later Greg groans in pain as he and Sherlock, now out of the grave, bend down to lower the coffin to the ground at its foot. Greg uses a crowbar to lever up one end of the coffin lid and then hands it to Sherlock to lever up the other end. They then lift off the lid and set it down beside the coffin, inside which – illuminated by Mycroft’s torch – is a very rotted almost skeletal corpse with worms wriggling in the eye sockets of the skull. Surrounding the corpse are the rotted remains of a wedding dress. Greg stays back and Sherlock, leaning over the coffin, puts the back of his hand to his nose and mouth, presumably appalled by the smell.
(Mycroft directs the light from his torch into the coffin. Kneeling down beside the coffin and breathing heavily, Sherlock starts to rummage around and under the corpse, searching for a second body. There clearly isn’t one.)
MYCROFT: Oh dear. The cupboard is bare.
(Sherlock rises up on his knees and stares into the grave.)
SHERLOCK: They must have buried it underneath. They must have buried it underneath the coffin.
(Standing up and leaping over the coffin, he jumps down into the grave and starts grabbing handfuls of earth, tossing them over the side of the hole. The other two walk to the edge of the grave and look down at him, then straighten up and exchange another look. Greg sighs and they look down into the grave again as Sherlock pants heavily while he continues throwing out handfuls of earth.)
LESTRADE: Bad luck, Sherlock.
(Sherlock continues frantically scrabbling in the grave.)
LESTRADE: Maybe they got rid of the body in another way.
MYCROFT: More than likely. At any rate, it was a very long time ago. We do have slightly more pressing matters to hand, little brother. Moriarty, back from the dead?
(Sherlock is still frenetically pawing handfuls of earth together, but stops when a harsh female voice begins to whisper.)
VOICE (rhythmically, as if reciting lyrics to a song): Do not forget me.
(He raises his head and turns. Up above, both Greg and Mycroft turn and look towards the coffin, clearly hearing the voice as well.)
VOICE (harshly whispering): Do not forget me.
(Mycroft shines his torchlight into the coffin. Greg’s jaw drops and Mycroft stares in disbelief as the corpse’s skeletal right hand begins to lift from where it was resting on the body’s chest. The arm slowly straightens out. As Sherlock frowns at the sound of creaking bones, the coffin seems to shake and the corpse’s head begins to lift up. A woman’s furious scream can be heard, and Sherlock’s eyes widen as the skeleton plunges into the grave on top of him. It flattens him to the floor ...
... and Holmes starts violently and wakes up to find himself lying on his side on a narrow rocky ledge. Water is pouring over him as if it is raining heavily.)
HOLMES (sounding exasperated as he props himself up onto one elbow): Oh, I see. Still not awake, am I?
(He shifts position and turns to look along the ledge. Behind him, beyond the end of the ledge a few feet away, a massive waterfall plunges over the side of the mountain. A few yards in the other direction, Professor Moriarty stands looking at him. In the distance, a full moon lights up the night sky. Holmes grimaces and pulls down the visor of his deerstalker hat, trying to keep the water out of his eyes.)
MORIARTY: Too deep, Sherlock. Way too deep.
(Holmes stumbles to his feet.)
MORIARTY: Congratulations. You’ll be the first man in history to be buried in his own Mind Palace.
(Holmes has been looking towards the waterfall but now turns to face him.)
HOLMES (gesturing behind him): The setting’s a shade melodramatic, don’t you think?
MORIARTY: For you and me? (He looks up at the spray splashing over him.) Not at all.
HOLMES: What are you?
MORIARTY: You know what I am. I’m Moriarty. (In a slightly sarcastic voice) The Napoleon of crime.
HOLMES (firmly): Moriarty’s dead.
MORIARTY: Not in your mind. (He shakes his head.) I’ll never be dead there. You once called your brain a hard drive. (He starts to walk forward.) Well, say hello to the virus. This is how we end, you and I. Always here, always together.
(Holmes starts to walk slowly towards his nemesis, who has now stopped.)
HOLMES: You have a magnificent brain, Moriarty. I admire it.
(Moriarty smiles a little.)
HOLMES: I concede it may be even be the equal of my own.
(Moriarty’s smile widens.)
MORIARTY: I’m touched. I’m honoured.
HOLMES: But when it comes to the matter of unarmed combat on the edge of a precipice ...
(Moriarty’s smile has dropped.)
HOLMES: ... you’re going in the water ...
(He pauses for a moment.)
HOLMES: ... short-arse.
(Moriarty hisses and lashes out, jabbing his fingers into Holmes’ throat, who chokes and stumbles back, his deerstalker falling off as he clutches at his throat. Moriarty surges forward and grabs Holmes’ ears, shoving him against the rock wall. Holmes roughly pushes him away, then as Moriarty straightens up, Holmes punches him in the face. As he breathes heavily, Moriarty turns back to face him.)
MORIARTY (loudly): Oh, you think you’re so big and strong, Sherlock! Not with me!
(He punches Holmes in the face. The impact spins Holmes around and sends him falling to the ground. Getting up again, Holmes turns back and swings another punch but Moriarty blocks it and seizes his arm and shoves him hard, sending him falling to the ground on his front, his head almost over the drop at the end of the ledge. Breathing heavily, Holmes struggles to turn over onto his back. As he finally makes it, Moriarty walks forward to stand over him.)
MORIARTY (yelling): I am your WEAKNESS!
(Crying out with rage, he kicks Holmes in the head, flattening him to the rock floor.)
MORIARTY (yelling): I keep you DOWN!
(He kicks Holmes in the side, making him grunt with pain. Moriarty drops to his knees and leans forward, yelling into his enemy’s face.)
MORIARTY: Every time you STUMBLE, every time you FAIL, when you’re WEAK ...
(Holmes is grimacing under the verbal onslaught. Moriarty punches him in the chest as he stands up.)
MORIARTY: I ... AM ... (he bends and punches his chest again) ... THERE!
(He drops to his knees as Holmes tries to sit up. He seizes Holmes’ coat while the detective flails uselessly at him.)
MORIARTY: No. Don’t try to fight it. LIE BACK AND LOSE!
(He straightens up, hauling Holmes to his feet. They struggle for a moment but Moriarty has the upper hand and shoves Holmes sideways, clinging to his arm with one hand and grasping the side of his head with the other and bending him over the side of the ledge.)
MORIARTY (harshly, loudly): Shall we go over together? It has to be together, doesn’t it? At the end, it’s always just you ... (he screams the next words manically into Holmes’ face) ... AND ME!
(Behind them, a very familiar male voice clears its throat. Moriarty looks round and a few feet away Watson, smiling slightly, lifts his revolver with the muzzle pointed skywards and cocks it before pointing it forward.)
WATSON: Professor, if you wouldn’t mind stepping away from my friend. I do believe he finds your attention a shade annoying.
(Holmes, a slight smile on his face, lifts his hands away from Moriarty, who releases him with a frustrated look.)
MORIARTY: That’s not fair. There’s two of you!
WATSON: There’s always two of us. Don’t you read The Strand?
(He tosses Holmes’ deerstalker towards his friend, who catches it and sniffs nonchalantly as he puts it on. Watson gestures with his revolver.)
WATSON: On your knees, Professor.
(Looking both bewildered and exasperated, Moriarty drops to his knees at the side of the ledge, facing the drop.)
WATSON: Hands behind your head.
(Looking up briefly at Holmes, Moriarty does as instructed.)
HOLMES: Thank you, John.
WATSON: Since when do you call me John?
HOLMES: You’d be surprised. (He smiles.)
WATSON: No I wouldn’t. (He smiles back briefly, then looks down towards Moriarty.) Time you woke up, Sherlock.
(He raises his gaze to Holmes again, who had been looking away but now turns to look at him.)
WATSON: I’m a storyteller. I know when I’m in one.
HOLMES: Of course. Of course you do, John. (He smiles again.)
WATSON: So what’s he like? The other me, in the other place?
HOLMES: Smarter than he looks.
WATSON: Pretty damned smart, then.
HOLMES (smiling): Pretty damned smart.
(As they smile at each other, Moriarty makes a disgusted noise.)
MORIARTY: Urgh. Why don’t you two just elope, for God’s sake?
WATSON: Actually ... (he lowers his revolver) ... would you mind?
HOLMES: Not at all.
(Watson walks forward to stand behind Moriarty, then lifts his right foot and firmly kicks him in the back, sending him forward over the edge. Moriarty screams as he falls. Watson steps forward and he and Holmes look down into the abyss below them. As Moriarty’s scream ends, Watson straightens up and looks at his friend.)
WATSON: It was my turn.
HOLMES: Quite so.
WATSON: So, how do you plan to wake up?
HOLMES (looking around the area for a moment): Ohhh, I should think like this.
(He steps onto the rim of the ledge.)
WATSON: Are you sure?
(Holmes turns to look at him.)
HOLMES: Between you and me, John, I always survive a fall.
WATSON: But how?
HOLMES (facing forward again): Elementary, my dear Watson.
(Taking off his deerstalker, he tosses it into the abyss and then, bending his knees slightly, he leaps forward, spreading his arms wide, and plunges into the void. Falling horizontally and facing downwards with his arms still outspread, he starts to smile. He flies ever downwards, his smile widening and becoming a happy grin as he falls.)
Sitting in the plane parked on the airfield’s tarmac, Sherlock jerks awake and opens his eyes. They are a little glassy and the pupils are rather dilated. Someone’s hand is leaning on the headrest beside his head. He looks around in confusion for a moment, then his eyes settle on something specific. He smiles.
SHERLOCK: Miss me?
(It’s John who is leaning over him and to whom he addressed the question. Mary is in front of Sherlock’s seat, bending forward and looking worriedly at him. Mycroft is in the middle of the aisle a few paces behind her.)
JOHN: Sherlock? You all right?
SHERLOCK: Yes, of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?
MARY: ’Cause you probably just OD’d. You should be in hospital.
SHERLOCK: No time. (He starts to get up.) I have to go to Baker Street now. Moriarty’s back.
(He stumbles as he steps into the aisle and slowly shakes his head, trying to get his balance.)
MYCROFT: I almost hope he is, if it’ll save you from this.
(He holds up the piece of paper containing Sherlock’s ‘list.’ Looking exasperated, Sherlock snatches it from his hand and tears it in half and then half again.)
SHERLOCK: No need for that now. (He drops the pieces to the floor.) Got the real thing. I have work to do.
(He begins to step forward but stops when Mycroft speaks.)
MYCROFT (softly): Sherlock.
(Sherlock raises his eyes to his brother’s.)
MYCROFT (softly): Promise me?
(Sherlock looks around the cabin for a moment, then looks back to Mycroft.)
SHERLOCK: What are you still doing here? Shouldn’t you be off getting me a pardon or something, like a proper big brother?
(He moves forward, shoving Mycroft out of the way with his shoulder, and heads for the door. Mycroft closes his eyes with resignation. Mary and John walk past him towards the door.)
MYCROFT: Doctor Watson?
(John stops and turns back to him.)
MYCROFT: Look after him ...
(He gives him a small but genuine smile.)
MYCROFT: ... please?
(John nods, then turns and leaves the plane. Mycroft turns, goes down on one knee and takes a notebook from his breast pocket. Opening it to a bookmarked page, he picks up the torn pieces of paper and puts them into the notebook where, written at the top of the left-hand page with a rectangular box drawn around it, is the word
Underneath on the left-hand side is:
To the right of those is a diagonal matrix and underneath, double underlined, the words
Scarlet Roll M
(The rest of the last word is off the edge of the screen [but note fandom theory here])
Below that is some mathematical notation, apparently Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism.
[A screenshot of the page, together with other fandom theories about the significance of the various notes, can be seen here and here. The latter in particular suggests that the number below ‘Redbeard’ might actually be 6/1/74 which is the English way of abbreviating 6 January 1974 and could be meant to denote Sherlock’s birth date ... though why Mycroft would need to write down his brother’s birthday is open to conjecture.]
Mycroft closes the notebook.)
Outside, Sherlock is putting on his coat as he walks across the tarmac towards the car parked nearby.
JOHN: Sherlock, hang on. Explain. Moriarty’s alive, then?
SHERLOCK (stopping near the car and taking his gloves from his pocket): I never said he was alive. I said he was back.
MARY: So he’s dead.
SHERLOCK: Of course he’s dead. He blew his own brains out. No-one survives that. I just went to the trouble of an overdose to prove it.
(He throws a quick guilty look at John before looking down.)
SHERLOCK: Moriarty is dead, no question. But more importantly ...
(He raises his head and looks to one side.)
SHERLOCK: ... I know exactly what he’s going to do next.
(Smiling at his friends, he turns and continues on towards the car, leaving John to look in confusion at Mary.)
Shortly afterwards, the car pulls away and drives off along the tarmac. As the scene fades out, the familiar ‘Pursuit’ music starts ... and almost immediately grinds to a halt.
The screen remains dark for a moment and then ...
WATSON (offscreen): Flying machines; these, er, telephone contraptions ...
(The screen fades up to reveal Holmes and Watson sitting in their armchairs in the sitting room of 221B. Each of them is smoking a pipe.)
WATSON: What sort of lunatic fantasy is that?
HOLMES: It was simply my conjecture of what a future world might look like, and how you and I might fit inside it.
HOLMES: From a drop of water, a logician should be able to infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara.
WATSON: Or a Reichenbach.
HOLMES: Have you written up your account of the case?
HOLMES: Hmm. Modified to put it down as one of my rare failures, of course?
WATSON: Of course.
(Holmes looks thoughtful for a moment.)
HOLMES: “The Adventure of ... the Invisible Army.”
(Watson looks upwards, considering it.)
HOLMES: “The League of Furies”? (He leans forward, smiling.) “The Monstrous Regiment.”
WATSON: I rather thought ... “The Abominable Bride.”
HOLMES (sitting back): A trifle lurid.
WATSON: It’ll sell. It’s got proper murders in it, too.
HOLMES (pointing his pipe at him): You’re the expert.
WATSON: As for your own tale, are you sure it’s still just a seven percent solution that you take? I think you may have increased the dosage.
HOLMES: Perhaps I was being a little fanciful ...
(He looks down thoughtfully.)
HOLMES: ... but perhaps such things could come to pass.
(He stands up.)
HOLMES: In any case, I know I would be very much at home in such a world.
(Watson chuckles as Holmes walks across the room towards the right-hand window.)
WATSON: Don’t think I would be.
HOLMES: I beg to differ.
(He looks out of the window.)
HOLMES: But then I’ve always known I was a man out of his time.
(He puts his pipe in his mouth and continues to look out of the window. The ‘Pursuit’ theme starts again, this time with a Victorian twist to it, as the camera slowly pulls back. Down in the street below, customers are going into SPEEDY’S Sandwich Bar & Cafe while more people – all dressed in modern-day clothing – walk past, and the road is busy with cars. A black cab passes a number 11 bus – destination Baker Street – as they drive past 221B ...
... where it is always 1895.)
A full list of episode transcripts, DVD commentary summaries/transcripts, and transcripts of the DVD special features can be found here.
Direct links to episode transcripts:
A Study in Pink (pilot) / A Study in Pink (broadcast) / The Blind Banker / The Great Game
A Scandal in Belgravia / The Hounds of Baskerville / The Reichenbach Fall
Many Happy Returns / The Empty Hearse / The Sign of Three / His Last Vow
The Abominable Bride
The Six Thatchers / The Lying Detective / The Final Problem
Or, to download the Episode Transcripts in Word or PDF, click here.