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Sherlock, Season 4, episode 2 transcript: The Lying Detective, part 3
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Smith is standing in the middle of a play area in a children’s ward. Child patients and their nurses and other support staff are sitting and standing around him. He turns and everyone applauds as Nurse Cornish leads Sherlock and John into the room. Another nurse smiles at them as they walk past.
NURSE: Oh, my God; I love your blog!
(Sherlock points both index fingers at her and smiles.)
SHERLOCK: You’re welcome!
(He puts a friendly hand on her shoulder as he walks past. John looks at them straight-faced.)
SMITH (offscreen): Right, here he comes, the internet ’tec!
(Sherlock continues into the room, mock-gaping at the sight.)
SMITH: You all know Sherlock Holmes!
(The children cheer and applaud harder.)
(Smith walks closer to him as the applause dies down.)
SMITH: Oh, and Doctor Watson, of course.
(The audience clap again, far less enthusiastically this time. John presses his lips together.)
SMITH: Mr Holmes. I was wondering – well ... (he turns to the kids) ... we all were, weren’t we? – maybe you could tell us about some of your cases.
SHERLOCK (instantly): No.
SHERLOCK: Yes! Absolutely, yes.
(He goes into lecture mode as he walks forward into the circle of children.)
SHERLOCK: The main feature of interest in the field of criminal investigation is not the sensational aspects of the crime itself, but rather the iron chain of reasoning, from cause to effect, that reveals – step by step – the solution. That’s the only truly remarkable aspect of the entire affair. Now, I will share with you the facts and evidence as they were available to me, and in this very room you will all attempt to solve the case of Blessington the Poisoner.
(He has wandered back towards John while talking, who now speaks quietly.)
JOHN: I think you slightly gave away the ending.
SHERLOCK (to the audience): There were five main suspects ...
JOHN: One of them called Blessington.
SHERLOCK (briefly throwing him a look): ... but it’s more about how he did it.
(The kids laugh.)
SHERLOCK: Drearcliff House. Remember that one, John?
(He blows out a breath.)
SHERLOCK: One murder, ten suspects. (He excitedly holds up his hands and splays his fingers.)
JOHN: Ten, yeah.
SHERLOCK: All of them guilty.
JOHN: Sherlock ...
(Mary is sitting at one side of the room, smiling fondly at him. She giggles silently. Meanwhile Sherlock is starting to lose concentration.)
SHERLOCK: Uh, wh-wh-wh-what did you call that one, John? Um, something to do with murder at the zoo.
JOHN: Yeah, I called it Murder at the Zoo.
(The audience smile.)
SHERLOCK: Or-or was it The Case of the Killer Orang-Utan?
(The audience fall silent. John looks at him straight-faced.)
MARY: He should be wearing the hat. The kids’d love the hat.
SHERLOCK (turning in a circle to look at his audience): So, any more questions?
SEVERAL OF THE KIDS (simultaneously): No.
ONE OF THE KIDS: I don’t think so.
(Smith has sat down near a couple of the children and now raises a hand.)
SMITH: Mr Holmes?
SHERLOCK: Good, then I’ll ... (He trails off and turns to Smith.)
SMITH: How do you catch a serial killer?
(The little girl to one side of him had previously been holding a Barbie-type doll but at some time after he sat with her, he has taken it from her and is holding it in one hand on his lap. Sherlock looks at him silently for a long moment before speaking.)
SHERLOCK: Same way you catch any other killer.
SMITH: No, but m-most killers kill someone they know.
(Sherlock blinks several times.)
SMITH: You’re looking for a murderer in a tiny social grouping.
NURSE CORNISH: Um, Mr Smith. Um, I’m-I’m just, er, wondering. Maybe this isn’t a suitable subject for the children.
SMITH (quietly, not turning to her): Nurse Cornish. How long have you been with us now?
NURSE CORNISH: Seven years.
(He turns to look at her straight-faced.)
SMITH: Seven years.
(She smiles nervously.)
(After a moment he turns back towards Sherlock and the audience. His tone is serious when he speaks, and the adults in the room are now starting to look a little uncomfortable.)
SMITH: Serial killers choose their victims at random. Surely that must make it more difficult?
SHERLOCK (staring at him wide-eyed): Some of them advertise.
SMITH: Do they really?
SHERLOCK (his voice quiet and intense): Serial killing is an expression of power, ego, a signature in human destruction.
(Smith presses his lips together, fiddling with the doll on his lap with both hands as Sherlock continues. Both men have locked eyes on each other.)
SHERLOCK: Ultimately, for full satisfaction, it requires ... (he speaks the next two words pedantically) ... plain sight. Additionally, serial killers are easily profiled. They tend to be social outcasts, educationally sub-normal.
(Nurse Cornish looks around the room anxiously.)
SMITH: No-no-no-no-no-no. You’re just talking about the ones you know, the ones you’ve caught.
(Sherlock frowns slightly.)
SMITH: But hello, dummy, you only catch the dumb ones. Now, imagine if the Queen wanted to kill some people. What would happen then?
(Sherlock’s gaze lowers downwards towards Smith’s hands.)
SMITH: All that power, all that money. (He squeezes the head of the doll with one thumb, crushing its face.) Sweet little government dancing attendance.
(Nurse Cornish looks round again, now very uncomfortable.)
SMITH: A whole country just to keep her warm and ...
(He pulls the doll’s head off its body.)
SMITH: ... and fat.
(He smiles up at Sherlock, whose eyes are still fixed on the doll. Smith pushes the head back onto its body.)
(He looks round at the kids, smiling.)
SMITH: We all love the Queen, don’t we? And I bet she’d love you lot!
(John steps forward a few paces.)
JOHN: Uh, it-it’s all right, everyone. I can personally assure you that Sherlock Holmes is not about to arrest the Queen. (He grins at the kids.)
SMITH: Well, of course not! Not Her Majesty!
(Sherlock is staring intensely at him. Smith turns back to face him.)
SMITH: Money, power, fame.
(Standing near him, the expression on John’s face suggests that he’s beginning to realise why Sherlock is obsessed with this man.)
SMITH: Some things make you untouchable.
(John’s gaze lowers and he blinks several times. It seems he now also knows that Sherlock is right in his obsession.)
SMITH (louder): God save the Queen! (He looks round at the kids.) She could open a slaughterhouse and we’d all probably pay the entrance fee!
JOHN: No-one’s untouchable.
(Sherlock’s eyes turn towards John and he smiles slightly. Perhaps he’s reading John’s expression and knows that he’s finally on his side. Smith looks round at the children.)
SMITH: Look at you all! So gloomy! Can’t you take a joke?
(Chuckling, he stands up.)
SMITH: The Queen! If the Queen was a serial killer, I’d be the first person she’d tell! (He pulls a funny face.) We have that kind of friendship!
(He chuckles and claps his hands together.)
SMITH: A big round of applause for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson!
(He chuckles again and applauds while the audience clap rather unenthusiastically.)
SMITH: Come on! Wonderful!
(He turns to smile at Sherlock, who gazes back at him intensely.)
SMITH: Thank you so much for coming. Thank you.
(Sherlock’s eyes lift to meet John’s. John returns the look. It’s clear that he’s now fully on board.)
Not long afterwards, Smith leads Sherlock and John along a bright white-painted corridor.
SHERLOCK: Where are we going now?
SMITH: I want to show you my favourite room.
(They walk past a door. Sherlock glances towards it, then does a double-take.)
SHERLOCK: No, let’s go in here.
(The door has a window in it and he pulls the door open and goes inside. A sign on the wall inside shows that this is Suite W34, Directors Boardroom B-2. There’s a white rectangular table in the middle with three chairs on each side and one at each end, and there are drug stands beside each of the side chairs. Sherlock walks around the table, gesturing towards it.)
SHERLOCK: So you’ve had another one of your little meetings.
(He smiles humourlessly at Smith.)
SMITH: Oh, it’s just a monthly top-up. Confession is good for the soul ... providing you can delete it.
(John looks closely at a bag hanging from one of the stands.)
JOHN: What’s TD12?
SHERLOCK: It’s a memory inhibitor.
SMITH: Opt-in ignorance. Makes the world go round.
SHERLOCK (folding his arms): Anyone ever ‘opt’ to remember?
SMITH: Some people take the drip out, yeah. Some people have the same ... urges. Huh ... (he claps his hands together) ... come on. Wasting time.
SHERLOCK: Indeed. (He looks at his watch.) You have – I estimate – twenty minutes left.
(Smiling, he walks towards the door which Smith is about to push open. Smith turns back towards him.)
SHERLOCK: I sent a text from your phone, remember? It was read almost immediately. Factoring in a degree of shock, an emotional decision and a journey time based on the associated address, I’d say that your life as you know it has twenty minutes left to run.
(He checks his watch again.)
SHERLOCK: Well, no, seventeen and a half, to be precise but I rounded up for dramatic effect, so please do show us your favourite room. (He walks closer to Smith, glaring at him intensely.) It’ll give you a chance to say ... goodbye.
(Smith chuckles unpleasantly.)
SMITH: Come along.
(He turns around. Sherlock pulls a brief humourless smile behind him, then heads for the door which Smith is holding open for him. They walk away, Smith letting the door go behind him. John walks towards it.)
MARY’s VOICE (offscreen): The game is on.
(John stops and the door closes in front of him. He raises his head skywards. As he starts to turn around, we are looking over Mary’s shoulder from behind her.)
MARY: Do you still miss me?
(He turns to look back into the room. There’s nobody there. John turns again, looking thoughtful, then starts to move.)
Shortly afterwards, the three men are in an elevator. John has his head lowered and is pinching the bridge of his nose. Sherlock looks uncomfortable and twitchy.
SMITH: Speaking of serial killers, you know who’s my favourite?
(There’s the sound of a ‘bing’ as the lift stops.)
SHERLOCK: Other than yourself?
(Smith chuckles. The doors open and he leads the others out.)
SMITH: H. H. Holmes.
(He leads them along a blue-painted corridor. The ceiling is very high above them and pipework runs along it.)
SMITH: Relative of yours?
SHERLOCK: Not as far as I know.
SMITH: You should check. What an idiot.
(He pushes through a set of double doors and looks around the room as he walks in.)
SMITH: Everyone out.
(Sherlock and John stop just inside the doors. Deeper in the room, a body is lying on a silver chrome examination table, covered by a sheet up to its neck. A male mortician stands at the other side of the table holding a clipboard and pen. He is wearing green scrubs with a blue disposable plastic apron over the top. A woman, similarly dressed, is nearby with her hands on a wheeled trolley with medical equipment on it. Tall silver-coloured cabinet doors are set into the walls. The man looks up at Smith.)
SAHEED: Mr Smith, we’re actually in the middle of something.
SMITH (stopping and looking at him): Saheed, isn’t it?
(Near the doors, Sherlock puts his hands in his coat pocket and leans against the side of a cupboard, watching with interest.)
SAHEED: Saheed, yes.
SMITH: How long have you been working here now?
SAHEED: Four years.
SMITH (softly): Four years. Well, that’s a long time, isn’t it?
(He draws his lips back from his teeth in what can be described as anything but a smile.)
SMITH (intensely, his ‘smile’ dropping): Four years.
(Saheed swallows nervously, then looks round at the woman and two other men in the room.)
SAHEED: Okay, everyone.
(Clicking his pen shut, he pulls the sheet over the face of the person on the examination table. At the door, Sherlock turns his head away and shakes it slightly. John looks towards the other people, frowning.)
SAHEED: Five minutes?
SMITH: Come back in ten.
(Looking at him nervously for a moment, Saheed turns away and his colleagues start towards the door. John steps aside to get out of their way. Saheed follows his co-workers.)
(Saheed stops and turns to look at him.)
SMITH: This time, knock.
(Saheed turns and leaves the room. Your transcriber unintentionally imagines just what Saheed might have interrupted Smith doing in there in the past and sends out an urgent order for industrial-strength brain bleach. Once the staff have left, Sherlock and John walk closer to the examination table and Smith wanders round to the other side of the table.)
JOHN: How can you do that? I mean, how-how are you even allowed in here?
SMITH: Oh, I-I can go anywhere I like.
(He takes a ring of many keys from his trouser pocket, holds them up and shakes them noisily.)
SMITH (smiling): Anywhere at all.
JOHN (staring at him, appalled): They gave you keys?
SMITH: They presented ’em to me. There was a ceremony. You can watch that on YouTube.
(Sherlock has walked over to one of the nearby cabinets and pulls open the door.)
SMITH: Home Secretary was there.
SHERLOCK (looking into the cabinet and the slide-out shelves in there): So, your favourite room: the mortuary.
SMITH: What d’you think?
(The top shelf inside the cabinet is empty. Sherlock bends down to look at the next shelf, on which lies a sheet-covered body.)
SHERLOCK: Tough crowd.
(He closes the door and turns around.)
SMITH: Oh, I don’t know.
(He pulls back the sheet on the table to reveal the head and shoulders of the corpse. There is a Y-shaped cut, sewn up, in the chest.)
SMITH: No, I’ve always found ’em quite pliable.
(As he says the last word, he reaches out to the body – which we can now see is an elderly woman – and pulls her jaw down with his fingers.)
JOHN: Don’t do that.
SMITH (staring at the woman intensely): She’s fine. She’s dead.
(He smirks, still holding her jaw down and staring at her misty eyes and stained, misshapen teeth. He finally releases her jaw.)
SMITH: H. H. Holmes loved the dead. He mass-produced ’em.
SHERLOCK (probably for John’s benefit): Serial killer, active during the Chicago Fair.
(He walks off and starts wandering around the mortuary.)
SMITH (raising his head to look at John): D’you know what he did? He built a hotel, a special hotel, just to kill people. You know, with a hanging room, gas chamber, specially adapted furnace. You know, like Sweeney Todd ...
(He reaches out to the dead woman’s jaw and moves her mouth up and down with his fingers while he speaks through clenched teeth as if manipulating a ventriloquist’s dummy.)
SMITH: ... without the pies!
(He chuckles, releasing her and turning away.)
SMITH: Stupid. So stupid.
(Instantly John grabs the sheet and pulls it over the woman’s face.)
JOHN: Why stupid?
SMITH: Well, all that effort. You don’t build a beach if you want to hide a pebble; you just find a beach!
(Sherlock has stopped at the far end of the room and is leaning back against a sink.)
SMITH: And if you wanna hide a murder, or wanna hide lots and lots of murders, just find a ...
(He pauses for a moment then meets John’s eyes.)
SMITH: ... hospital.
(John lowers his head in disbelief for a moment, then raises it again and takes a step closer.)
JOHN: Can we be clear? Are you confessing?
SMITH: To what?
JOHN: The way you’re talking ... (He stops.)
SMITH (softly): Oh, sorry. (He pauses for a moment.) Yes. (He chuckles briefly.) You mean, am I a serial killer, or am I just trying to mess with your funny little head? Well, it’s true.
(He walks around the head of the table while John looks at him grimly.)
SMITH: I do like to mess with people ...
(John glances towards Sherlock at the far end of the room, who blinks rapidly, trembling slightly.)
SMITH: ... and yes, I am a bit creepy, but that’s just my U.S.P.
[Unique selling proposition.]
SMITH: I use it to sell breakfast cereal. But am I what he says I am? (He points at Sherlock.) Is that what you’re asking?
(He walks past John and continues along the side of the table. John turns to watch him.)
SMITH: Hm. Well, let me ask you this. (He stops and turns to look at John.) Are you really a doctor?
JOHN: Yeah, of course I am.
SMITH: Well, no, a medical doctor, you know. Not just feet, or media studies or something.
JOHN: I’m a doctor.
(Smith snorts quietly.)
SMITH: Are you serious? No, really, are you?
(He turns to walk away, then turns back and takes a couple of steps towards John, looking angrily at him.)
SMITH: Are you ... are you actually serious?
(He walks away again.)
SMITH: I’ve played along with this joke. It’s not funny any more. No ... look at him.
(He gestures towards Sherlock who really does look like he’s badly in need of a hit. He’s blinking frequently in between widening his eyes in an attempt to keep them open, and blowing out silent but heavy breaths.)
SMITH: Go ahead, look at him, Doctor Watson! Hm? Oh, no, I’ll lay it out for you.
(He walks towards John, holding up two fingers on his right hand.)
SMITH (angrily): There are two possible explanations for what’s going on ’ere. (He gestures towards himself.) Either I’m a serial killer ... (he turns and walks towards Sherlock, pointing at him) ... or Sherlock Holmes is off his tits on drugs, hm? Delusional paranoia about a-a public personality? That’s not so special. It’s not even new!
(He walks close to Sherlock, pointing at him.)
SMITH (in a stage whisper): I think you need to, er, tell your faithful little friend how you’re wasting his time because you’re too high to know what’s real any more.
(He turns and walks away, stopping a few paces away with his back to Sherlock. John frowns, apparently wondering what to believe.)
SHERLOCK (quietly): I apologise.
(Smith turns and looks at him.)
SHERLOCK (looking downwards in front of himself): I-I-I’ve miscalculated.
(He lifts his head, his eyes widening.)
SHERLOCK (louder): I forgot to factor in the traffic!
(Stepping forward, he looks at his watch and then at Smith.)
SHERLOCK: Nineteen and a half minutes.
(Clearing his throat he continues onwards a couple of steps, then stops and turns his left side towards the doors, dramatically cupping his left hand to his ear as there’s a clunking sound some distance away.)
SHERLOCK (to Smith): Ah, the footsteps you’re about to hear will be very familiar to you, not least because there’ll be three impacts rather than two. The third, of course, will be the end of a walking cane.
(At the other end of the corridor, the ping of an arriving lift can be heard. The lift doors open and we see a woman’s feet, wearing black shoes and tights, and the bottom of said walking cane. The woman starts to step forward out of the lift.)
SHERLOCK: Your daughter Faith’s walking cane.
SMITH: And why would she be here?
SHERLOCK: You invited her. (He smiles tightly at him.) You sent her a text – or-or-or technically I sent her a text but she’s not to know.
(He turns to look at the doors. Further along the corridor, we see the woman’s legs as she walks along. In the mortuary, Sherlock turns back and looks upwards.)
SHERLOCK: Ah, let’s see if I can recall.
(He narrates the message he sent, the words appearing beside his head as he talks.)
SHERLOCK: “Faith... I can stand it no longer, I’ve confessed... to my crimes. Please forgive me!”
(The text whooshes away as if sent.)
SMITH: Why would that have any effect? (He smiles.) You don’t know her.
SHERLOCK: Oh, but I do. (He smiles.) I spent a whole evening with her. (He grins.) We had chips.
(He looks down reflectively.)
SHERLOCK: I think she liked me.
SMITH: You don’t know Faith. You simply do not. (He smiles.)
SHERLOCK: I know you care about her deeply. I know you invited her to one of your special board meetings. (He steps closer to Smith.) You care what she thinks.
(He smiles smugly at him, then laughs as he speaks, pointing at him.)
SHERLOCK: You maintain an impressive façade.
(Smith continues to smile confidently. Sherlock’s smile drops and he looks at him seriously.)
SHERLOCK: I think it’s about to break.
(Cut-away to a new scene. Greg Lestrade frowns into the camera.)
LESTRADE: Did you know?
(Back in the mortuary, John’s view of Smith has been blocked by Sherlock, so he is slowly moving across the room to get clear sight of him.)
SHERLOCK (to Smith): She came to Baker Street.
SMITH: No she didn’t.
(In the cut-away scene, John seems to be in the same room where we just saw Greg. He shakes his head.)
JOHN: Of course I didn’t.
SHERLOCK (in the mortuary): She came to see me because she was scared of her daddy.
SMITH: Never happened. Is this another one of your drug-fuelled fantasies?
(He looks across to John and pulls a face while noisily sucking in a fake-nervous breath.
In the cut-away scene it’s now clear that Greg and John are in a police interview room. There’s a large mirror on the wall behind where Greg is sitting at a small table, and in the reflection we can see John sitting opposite him. A male police officer is standing beside the closed door behind John.)
LESTRADE: You didn’t see him take the scalpel?
(As the camera angle switches to John, out of focus in the background several lights can be seen on a recording device. One of the lights is flashing, indicating that the device is recording their conversation. This therefore isn’t a private talk; it’s an official police interview.)
JOHN: Nobody saw him.
LESTRADE: So you didn’t know what was about to happen.
JOHN: Of course I didn’t know.
SHERLOCK (in the mortuary): Well, let’s see, shall we?
(He raises his voice and calls over his shoulder towards the doors, keeping his eyes fixed on Smith.)
SHERLOCK: Faith, stop loitering at the door and come in! This is your father’s favourite room.
(The doors open and we see from behind Faith as she walks in.)
SHERLOCK: Come and meet his best friends.
(He turns to face her.)
FAITH (still seen from behind as she walks forward): Dad?
(Although she still has the northern English accent, her voice sounds slightly different. In tight close-up, Sherlock frowns.)
FAITH: What’s happening? What was that text?
(Smiling, she walks deeper into the room, the doors closing behind her.)
FAITH: Are you having one of your jokes?
(She chuckles, then stops walking forward and looks enquiringly at Sherlock.)
FAITH: Who are you?
(It’s not Faith. At least, it’s not the Faith who spent the evening with Sherlock. She looks very similar in height and size; she has the same style and length of hair, although it’s a very slightly different shade of mid-blonde, and she’s wearing similar glasses.
John frowns at her question. Sherlock lowers his chin, flashing back to a close-up rear view of the hair of the woman who stood at his window three weeks ago, before focusing in on the hairline and then the mouth of the woman in front of him. He lowers his gaze to her hand leaning on her walking cane and the gold patterning on the stick which seems very similar, maybe even identical, to those on the stick which the Faith he met then holds in flashback as she sits on the client chair in 221B. In the mortuary, Sherlock raises his gaze to this Faith’s face, then flashes back to the face of the woman he met before. He screws his eyes shut and sees mortuary-room Faith sitting on the client chair at 221B. The camera rolls round behind her and slows down as it slowly pans past her, and various details appear around her:
Dress Size: 10
Posture: Favours Right
As the camera continues around behind her, she transforms into previous-Faith, her hair a slightly darker mid-blonde but all the details around her remain the same. The camera speeds up and rolls round to face her, then she transforms back into mortuary-room Faith sitting on the chair again.
In the mortuary, Sherlock frowns at her.)
SHERLOCK: Who the hell are you?
(Smith walks across the room to the woman.)
SMITH (to her): Sherlock Holmes! Surely you recognise him.
FAITH: Oh my God!
(She gasps and looks at her father, smiling.)
FAITH: Sherlock Holmes! (She looks at Sherlock.) I love your blog.
SHERLOCK: You’re not her. You’re not the woman who came to Baker Street.
FAITH: Um, well, no. Never been there.
(Cut-away to the police interview room.)
LESTRADE: Well, there must have been some build-up. He didn’t just suddenly do it.
JOHN (leaning forward): Look, I didn’t know he had the bloody scalpel.
SHERLOCK (in the mortuary): Sorry, I’m not sure I completely understand.
FAITH: U-understand what?
SMITH (walking to stand between the two of them and gesturing at both): Well, I thought you two were-were old friends!
FAITH (giggling a little): No! We’ve never met.
SMITH (backing towards Faith and raising a hand to his mouth as he chuckles): Oh, dear! Oh!
FAITH (to Sherlock): Have we?
(Smith continues to laugh. John steps towards his colleague.)
(Faith lets out a nervous laugh and Smith is still chuckling. Sherlock stares down towards the floor.)
SHERLOCK: So who came to my flat?
(He raises his eyes to Faith.)
FAITH: Well, it wasn’t me.
(Smith’s laughter becomes louder.)
SMITH: Oh, no!
(He doubles over laughing. Faith lets out a quiet confused laugh.)
SHERLOCK (staring at her): You ... look ... different.
FAITH: I wasn’t there.
(Smith cackles with delight. Sherlock screws his eyes shut.)
SHERLOCK’s VOICE (in a whisper in his head): Who came to my flat?
(He flashes back to sitting in his chair holding up his phone showing a photo of Faith and Smith. It’s mortuary-Faith in the photo – as it was three weeks ago – and as he lowers the phone and looks at the woman sitting on the chair opposite him, she’s the one he met back then, looking so similar that he only noticed slight differences and didn’t realise she wasn’t the same woman.)
FAITH (in the present, offscreen): I’m sorry, Mr Holmes, but ...
(Sherlock opens his eyes and shakes his head.)
FAITH (close-up and fuzzily out of focus): ... I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere near your flat.
(Sherlock’s lower lip trembles and his eyes are wide with shock. Smith continues to laugh uproariously.)
SMITH: Oh, dear!
(He puts the back of one hand to his mouth.)
SMITH (laughing): Oh, no!
(Sherlock stares downwards. In flashback, Bill looks at him through the gap between the kitchen doors.)
WIGGINS: Who you talkin’ to?
(In the mortuary, Sherlock’s eyes start to widen.
In flashback, Mrs Hudson looks at him in the hall of 221.)
MRS HUDSON: What friend?
(In flashback, past-Faith sits on the bench near the river and looks into the camera.)
(In the present, Sherlock raises both hands and covers his nose and mouth, shocked and breathing out a horrified breath as he slowly backs away. Smith continues to cackle delightedly.
SMITH: Oh no!
(Sherlock blows out a couple more sharp breaths and takes his hands away from his face. He briefly flashes back to the empty riverside bench.)
SHERLOCK’s VOICE (offscreen from the direction of the railings): Faith?
(In the present, Sherlock shakes his head and raises his hands again, pressing the sides of his thumbs to his eyes as he screws them shut.)
SHERLOCK (muffled): God.
(Suddenly everything whites out around him and his body spins in the void as he takes his hands from his eyes and flails wildly, groaning and then opening his eyes wide in horror. As Smith’s manic cackling continues, Sherlock’s head jolts and the room starts to come into focus again. Sherlock buries his head in his hands and can see a flashback of him holding his phone with the photograph of Smith and Faith. He lowers the phone and the client chair comes into focus, but it’s empty. In the mortuary, Sherlock opens his eyes and drags his hands down his face, rubbing one across his mouth. Still Smith laughs as Sherlock’s hand trembles. He clenches both hands into fists, pressing them against his mouth and screwing up his eyes again before lowering his hands a little, shaking his head in denial. He flails his hands in front of him as Smith continues to cackle. Putting one hand to his head, Sherlock turns away from him, bumping into a tray on a stand. The tray rattles noisily and he flinches away, focusing briefly on the row of six scalpels lying on it. Nearby John looks at him in concern as he continues to spin.)
(Sherlock stops and faces Smith, who points at him, still laughing.)
JOHN: Sherlock? Are you all right? Sherlock, are you okay?
(Wide-eyed, Sherlock points a shaking hand at Smith.)
SHERLOCK: Watch him. He’s got a knife.
SMITH (laughing incredulously): I’ve got a what?!
SHERLOCK (loudly): You’ve got a scalpel! You picked it up from that table.
(He points to the tray which is now several feet away from him. There’s a gap in the row of scalpels and only five remain.)
SHERLOCK: I saw you take it.
SMITH: I certainly did not!
(Even though Smith is talking and not laughing, his laughter can still be heard echoing distantly.)
SHERLOCK (manically): Look behind his back!
SMITH (smiling): What? (He brings both hands up and waves them in the air.)
SHERLOCK (near-hysterical): I saw you take it! I saw you!
(As he speaks he points his right arm at Smith, brandishing the scalpel he’s holding. Smith’s smile turns to a look of alarm as he keeps his hands in the air and backs away.)
SMITH (loudly, shocked): Whoa, whoa, whoa!
(Faith raises a horrified hand to her mouth.)
JOHN (holding out a stern hand to Sherlock): Whoa-whoa-whoa. Whoa, Sherlock, d’you wanna put that down?
FAITH: Oh my God.
(Sherlock stares wide-eyed at the scalpel in his shaking hand. Smith and Faith continue to make noises of concern while John shakes his head anxiously, his eyes fixed on Sherlock’s hand. The sound of Smith’s laughter continues to echo. Sherlock lowers his head and shakes it, screwing his eyes shut, then stumbles back and raises his head, glaring savagely at Smith and pointing his left hand at him.)
SHERLOCK (in a low hiss): Stop laughing at me.
SMITH (his hands still raised): I’m not laughing!
JOHN: He’s not laughing, Sherlock.
SHERLOCK (furiously, at the top of his voice): STOP LAUGHING AT ME!
(He surges forward towards Smith with his right arm held forward and the scalpel aimed at the other man.)
(Faith lets out a brief scream.)
Before Sherlock reaches Smith, without segue we jump to the police interview room and Greg reaches across to switch off the recording device, then leans back in his chair with a tired sigh and tilts his head back.
LESTRADE: Ohh, Christ!
(He lifts his head again.)
LESTRADE: I keep wondering if we should have seen it coming.
JOHN: Not long ago, he shot Charles Magnussen in the face. We did see it coming.
[Oh, way to go, Watson. Why the hell should a police detective inspector, even if he is Sherlock’s ‘handler,’ ever have been told about that 100-year D-notice top secret only-four-people-know-about-this incident?]
JOHN: We always saw it coming. But it was fun.
(Someone knocks on the door. Greg turns his head.)
LESTRADE: Come in.
(The door opens and a female police officer comes in.)
POLICE OFFICER: Sir. You probably want to see this.
(She puts an open laptop onto the desk. Greg and John lean over to look at the screen which is showing a news bulletin.)
FEMALE NEWSREADER (initially offscreen): Harold Chorley reporting earlier today. Mr Smith stated he had no interest in bringing charges.
(The footage cuts away to Smith, in the mortuary, talking to a reporter. A band at the bottom of the screen shows his name.)
SMITH: I’m a fan of Sherlock Holmes. I’m a big fan.
(John frowns briefly.)
SMITH (offscreen while we see Greg and John watching the screen): I don’t really know what happened today. To be honest, I don’t think I’d be standing here now if it wasn’t for Doctor Watson.
And we’re back in the mortuary at the end of the previous scene.
SHERLOCK (furiously, at the top of his voice): STOP LAUGHING AT ME!
(He surges forward towards Smith with his right arm held forward and the scalpel aimed at the other man.)
(Faith lets out a brief scream. John seizes Sherlock’s lower arm with his left hand and turns his left shoulder into Sherlock’s body, then slams his hand down onto Sherlock’s hand and knocks the scalpel out of it. As it clatters noisily to the floor he turns and seizes Sherlock’s coat with both hands and bundles him backwards across the room and slams him hard into one of the cabinet doors. Sherlock grunts in pain.)
JOHN (loudly, angrily): Stop it!
(He pulls Sherlock forward a little and then slams him back against the cabinet again.)
JOHN (even louder, emphasising each word): Stop It Now!
(Smith, his hands still raised, and Faith stare at them in shock.)
FEMALE REPORTER (offscreen): Is it true he’s being treated in your hospital?
(We’re back in the interview room and John and Greg are still watching the news footage on the laptop.)
SMITH: It’s not actually my hospital ... Well, it is a little bit my hospital ... (he smiles at the reporter) ... Uh, but I can promise you this: he’s going to get the best of care. I might even move him to my favourite room.
(He smiles smarmily. In the interview room, John frowns.)
NEWSREADER (offscreen): Culverton Smith earlier today.
(On the footage, Smith raises a cheery thumb to the camera.)
NEWSREADER (offscreen): In Nottingham ...
(The police officer stops the footage and takes the laptop away, leaving the room. John sits back in his chair, looking down at his right hand and flexing it.)
LESTRADE (standing up and moving away): He’s right, you know. You probably saved his life.
Back in the mortuary, John glares furiously into Sherlock’s face.
JOHN (yelling): What are you doing?!
(He slaps Sherlock hard across the face with his right hand.)
JOHN: Wake up!
In the interview room.
JOHN (still looking down at his right hand and repeatedly flexing it): I really hit him, Greg.
(As he looks up at Greg we see a close up of John’s hand. The knuckles are raw and bloody.)
JOHN: Hit him hard.
In the mortuary, John punches Sherlock right-handed with all his strength. Crying out, Sherlock falls to the floor. Gasping, he props himself up on his right arm, his nose bleeding.
JOHN (yelling furiously): Is this ... (he bends down and punches him in the face again) ... a game?
(Behind them, and unseen by Faith who is watching the other men, Smith’s expression becomes intense as he looks at them.)
JOHN: A bloody game?
(Again Sherlock tries to rise up and again John punches him down. Faith turns her head towards the doors as if seeing something. His face twisted with rage, John kicks Sherlock’s body hard, then again. Sherlock groans and John kicks him again. Two male medical staff come in, see what’s happening and run across the room. John is kicking at Sherlock again and the men run to either side of him, seize his arms and drag him backwards. He struggles against them and Smith walks forward, holding up his hands as he walks over towards where Sherlock is lying.)
SMITH (to John): Please. Please, please, please, no violence.
(The men release John and he takes a couple of steps forward, looking down grimly at Sherlock.)
SMITH: Thank you, Doctor Watson.
(On the floor, Sherlock is bracing himself on his right arm and left hand and looking distantly at the floor. He is trembling and bloodstained saliva is dripping from his mouth. There’s blood on his mouth and nose and a bleeding cut on the inside of his left eyebrow.)
SMITH: But I don’t think he’s a danger any more.
(He bends down to look at Sherlock. John, his shirt half out of his trousers, looks down at them and breathes heavily. Smith looks up to him.)
SMITH: Leave him be.
SHERLOCK (shakily): No, it’s-it’s okay. Let him do what he wants. (He raises his head a little.) He’s entitled. (He lifts his head higher and makes eye contact with John.) I killed his wife.
(John steps forward a little, breathing sharply through his nose. He stares down at Sherlock.)
JOHN (his voice tight against repressed tears): Yes, you did.
(He holds Sherlock’s gaze, breathing shakily through his nose. Sherlock continues to look up at him for a moment and then slowly, oh so slowly, his eyes gradually lower away from John’s face. At this point your weeping transcriber refuses to even attempt to describe the next ten seconds as Benedict, while barely moving a muscle in his face, gives an absolute masterclass of a man’s life slowly but irrevocably falling apart. John stares at him for a little longer and then slowly turns around, wiping his left hand under his nose, and walks away. Sherlock moves his right arm forward a little and slowly sinks his head down onto it.)
HOSPITAL ROOM. A close-up of a drip attached to a drug stand then pans down to show the monitor beside it. A steady beeping can be heard, presumably indicating a heartbeat. Sherlock’s face is reflected in the screen and the camera moves across to show him lying in bed, his eyes closed. The top of the bed is raised to a angle of 45 degrees. We can only see his face from his right side, so we can’t see the extent of his injuries on the other side. John stands at the foot of the bed, his back to the camera. It looks as if he’s bracing his hands on the bed frame in front of him and now he leans forward a little, hunching his shoulders.
Outside the room, Nurse Cornish approaches and nods and smiles to the uniformed male police officer who is clearly guarding the room. He is not wearing a jacket and his cap is on a chair at the other side of the door. She opens the door and walks in, smiling when she sees John.
NURSE CORNISH: Oh, hi.
(She closes the door. John, his eyes fixed on Sherlock, turns his head only briefly and opens his mouth a little but then closes it again.)
NURSE CORNISH (walking to the side of the bed): Just in to say hello?
JOHN: No. I’m just in to say goodbye.
NURSE CORNISH: I’m sure he’ll pull through.
(John briefly smiles tightly, still watching Sherlock.)
NURSE CORNISH: And yeah, he’s made a terrible mess of himself, but he’s awfully strong, so must look on the bright side.
(She walks around him to the other side of the bed. John is a couple of paces back from the end of the bed and we’re looking at him from his left side. There’s something wrong about the way he’s standing; he’s slightly hunched over. He nods.)
JOHN (almost silently): Hm.
(We see all of Sherlock’s face. The cut on his eyebrow has been stitched, and his left eye is bruised and swollen.
After a moment John looks down and – below the screen – brings his hands together and then separates them again.)
JOHN: Well ...
(Clearing his throat, he walks towards a chair near the left side of the bed and we see that his earlier movement had been him transferring his old walking cane – on which he had been leaning with his right hand, thus explaining his earlier hunched stance – into his left. Stopping at the chair, he holds up the cane to show to the nurse.)
JOHN: Parting gift.
(He braces it against the back of the chair.)
NURSE CORNISH: Oh, that’s nice. A walking stick.
JOHN: Yeah, it was mine from ... a long time ago.
(She smiles awkwardly. He turns to walk away and just then the phone on the bedside table rings. The nurse turns to it, clears her throat and picks it up and holds it to her ear as John opens the door.)
NURSE CORNISH: Hello? Ward seventy-three.
(Listening for a moment, she calls out softly.)
NURSE CORNISH: Oh, uh, Doctor Watson?
(John has gone out of the door and is about to close it but now pushes it open again and looks in.)
NURSE CORNISH: It’s for you.
(John frowns, then makes an exasperated sound. Walking back into the room he takes the phone which the nurse is holding across the bed to him. He puts the phone to his ear.)
JOHN: Hello, Mycroft.
MYCROFT (over phone): There’s a car downstairs.
Not long afterwards, a black car drives under Admiralty Arch and heads into The Mall. John is sitting in the back seat.
MARY (sitting beside him, now wearing the same top she had on when she and her boys went off to play with the reluctant bloodhound Toby): You know, he should definitely have worn the hat.
JOHN (quietly): Still thinking about Sherlock?
MARY: No! You are.
JOHN (quietly): Got your disapproving face on.
MARY: Well, seeing as I’m inside your head, I think we can call that self-loathing.
(He looks across to the seat beside him. There’s nobody there. He looks away.)
In Sherlock’s hospital room, Nurse Cornish finishes whatever she’s doing with the equipment beside the bed and walks to the door. We see the entire room for the first time. The wall behind the top of the bed is wood panelling. The side walls have white wallpaper covered with large white circles with pale blue circles around them. The wall opposite the bed has mostly the same wallpaper except opposite the bed itself where there is a large wood panel – about fifteen feet wide – attached a couple of inches in front of the wall. It curves over into the room at the top. Above most of the room, wood panelling is suspended just below the ceiling and lights above it shine around the edges, while similar lights shine around the edges of the panel opposite the bed, giving the room a gentle light. There are also small halogen lights set into the underside of the ceiling, and a light near the bed shines on the drip stand. A lamp covered with a lampshade stands on top of a narrow cupboard in the far corner of the room. In between the two windows at that end of the room is a small wooden table and a chair.
The nurse flicks a switch near the door and the lights above the ceiling panel go out, dimming the overall lighting even more. She goes out the door and closes it behind her. Sherlock’s closed eyes flicker a little.
The wooden panel opposite the bed begins to swing open from the left-hand side as viewed from the bed. After a moment Culverton Smith steps through the gap and into the room. He turns and pushes the panel closed again with a hand covered with a medical glove. He turns and walks over to the chair near the table, picking it up and carrying it nearer to the bed. Putting it down, he sits in it and folds his gloved hands in front of him, looking towards the bed and gently tapping the fingers of one hand against the tips of the other.
BAKER STREET. The black car pulls up at the kerb near 221B and John gets out and walks towards the front door. Inside, he climbs the stairs. As he approaches the first floor landing, two sets of legs can be seen, one walking across the landing into the living room and another set crossing the room just inside. Mycroft’s voice can be heard.
MYCROFT: Where is she?
(Mycroft is sitting in Sherlock’s chair, his obligatory umbrella leaning against the right arm of the chair.)
MYCROFT: Where’s Mrs Hudson?
(The man just entering the room ducks under the string attached to the back of the door, which another man is just taking down. The first man answers Mycroft.)
AGENT: She’ll be up in a moment.
JOHN (coming in and ducking under the string): Uh, uh, what are you doing?
(Mary is standing in front of the fireplace, still in her Toby-day shirt.)
MYCROFT: Have you noticed the kitchen? (He stands up as John looks around the living room before turning towards the kitchen.) It’s practically a meth lab. I’m trying to establish exactly what drove Sherlock off the rails.
(In the kitchen, someone is twirling a small brush covered in black powder over a knife lying on top of photographs and press articles about Smith.)
MYCROFT: Any ideas?
JOHN (looking into the kitchen and referring to the various people in the flat): Are these spooks?
(Another person pulls a book from the small table in the corner of the room behind John’s chair. As he does so, a piece of paper underneath the book falls unnoticed to the floor. It’s Faith’s handwritten note.)
JOHN (looking round the living room): Uh, are you using spooks now to look after your family?
(He turns his head to the kitchen again and sees one of the spooks putting items from the table into a large plastic evidence bag.)
JOHN: Hang on – are they tidying?
MYCROFT: Sherlock is a security concern. The fact that I’m his brother changes nothing.
(Someone in the living room takes a flash photograph, and continues to do so while other agents mill around looking at items and the photographs as the scene continues.)
JOHN (turning and walking further into the living room): Yeah, you said that before.
(Mary, now standing just behind Mycroft’s left shoulder as he stands in front of John’s chair, speaks sternly.)
MARY: Ask him.
MYCROFT (standing near the fireplace, with no sign of Mary near him): Why fixate on Culverton Smith? He’s had his obsessions before, of course, but this goes a bit further than setting a mantrap for Father Christmas.
MARY (now standing by Mycroft’s right shoulder): Do it. (She nods her head towards Mycroft.) Ask him.
MYCROFT: Spending all night talking to a woman who wasn’t even there.
(Mary narrows her eyes at Mycroft.)
MARY: Oh, shut up, you.
JOHN (folding his arms in front of him): Mycroft, last time when we were on the phone ...
(Mycroft, with no sign of Mary near him, screws up his eyes in distaste.)
MYCROFT: No-no-no-no, stop. (He raises a disparaging hand and turns and walks a few steps towards Sherlock’s chair.) I detest conversation in the past tense.
JOHN (stepping closer to him): You said the fact that you were his brother made no difference.
MYCROFT: It doesn’t.
JOHN: You said it didn’t the last time and it wouldn’t with Sherlock, so who was it the last time? Who were you talking about?
(Mary, now sitting in Sherlock’s chair with her hands clasped between her knees, smiles up at her husband proudly.)
MYCROFT: Nobody. I ... misspoke.
MARY (sternly to John): He’s lying.
JOHN (to Mycroft): You’re lying.
MYCROFT: I assure you I’m not.
MARY: He really is lying.
(John looks at Mycroft for a moment, then smiles slightly.)
JOHN: Sherlock’s not your only brother. There’s another one, isn’t there?
MYCROFT (holding his gaze and speaking firmly): No.
JOHN (chuckling): Jesus! A secret brother! What, is he locked up in a tower or something?
(Mycroft raises his head and looks down his nose at John, but then turns his head as Mrs Hudson arrives in the room.)
MRS HUDSON: Mycroft Holmes!
(He sighs silently and lowers his head.)
MRS HUDSON: What are all these dreadful people doing in my house?
MYCROFT (raising a conciliatory hand to her): Mrs Hudson, I apologise for the interruption. As you know, my brother has embarked on a programme of self-destruction remarkable even by his standards, and I am endeavouring to find out what triggered it.
MRS HUDSON: And that’s what you’re all looking for?
MYCROFT: Quite so.
MRS HUDSON: What’s on his mind?
MYCROFT: So to speak.
MRS HUDSON: And you’ve had all this time?
MYCROFT: Time being something of which we don’t have an infinite supply ... (he includes John in his gaze) ... so if we could be about our business?
(He smiles falsely. Mrs Hudson starts to giggle.)
MRS HUDSON: You are ...
(She continues laughing. Mycroft throws a frown at John.)
MRS HUDSON: ... you’re-you’re so funny, you are!
(She covers her mouth with her hand, still laughing. Mycroft pulls a confused face.)
MYCROFT: Mrs Hudson?
MRS HUDSON (gesturing either towards John or out towards the hospital, it’s not clear): He thinks you’re clever. Poor old Sherlock; always going on about you.
(She turns to John and puts both hands on his arm.)
MRS HUDSON: I mean, he knows you’re an idiot, but that’s okay ’cause you’re a lovely doctor ...
(She turns to Mycroft while John’s eyes flicker as he tries to process that remark.)
MRS HUDSON: ... but he has no idea what an idiot you are!
MYCROFT (frowning): Is this merely stream-of-consciousness abuse, or are you attempting to make a point?
MRS HUDSON (brightly): You want to know what’s bothering Sherlock? Easiest thing in the world; anyone can do it.
MYCROFT: I know his thought processes better than any other human being, so please try to understand ...
MRS HUDSON (starting to giggle again): He’s not about thinking, not Sherlock.
MYCROFT: Of course he is.
MRS HUDSON: No, no. He’s more ... emotional, isn’t he?
(She turns to face the wall behind the sofa.)
MRS HUDSON: Unsolved case: shoot the wall.
(She points the fingers of her right hand and mimics firing a gun at it.)
MRS HUDSON: Pew! Pew!
(She turns towards the kitchen.)
MRS HUDSON: Unmade breakfast: karate the fridge!
(She mimics doing a karate chop with her left hand, then turns to the mantelpiece.)
MRS HUDSON: Unanswered question ...
(She turns to John.)
MRS HUDSON: Well, what does he do with anything he can’t answer, John, every time?
(John has looked towards the fireplace as she spoke, and now looks back at her.)
JOHN: He stabs it.
(He unfolds his arms and walks towards the fireplace while she makes a triumphant gesture and turns to Mycroft.)
MRS HUDSON: Anything he can’t find the answer for: ... (she points two fingers towards the mantelpiece) ... bang! ...
(While she was speaking, John has focused in on the knife stabbed into the white padded envelope we saw there earlier. Mary is sprawled sideways in Sherlock’s chair, one leg up on the left arm and with her right hand over the handle of Mycroft’s umbrella while she tilts her head back and watches John. In a close-up of the mantelpiece we see not only the padded envelope but an unpadded one propped up at the back. Upside down and very stained, the typed address reads S. Holmes / 156 Montaguest / London. [It’s typed exactly like that but must surely mean ‘Montague Street’ and was typed that way as an ‘Easter Egg’ for those who know their Conan Doyle canon in which Holmes moved from Montague Street into the flat in Baker Street. Perhaps the envelope implies that Sherlock has a very old unsolved case.] John pulls the knife from the padded envelope and turns around and reaches in for the contents while Mrs Hudson continues.)
MRS HUDSON: ... it’s up there. I keep telling him: if he was any good as a detective, I wouldn’t need a new mantel.
(John pulls out the white DVD with its handwritten MISS ME? message on it. His eyes widen and he looks up, startled, at Mycroft and then looks across to Mrs H.)
The DVD has been loaded in the television in the corner of the room near the kitchen. All the spooks have stopped their work and stand watching the screen. Mycroft stands in the middle of the room with his hand raised to the side of his face, looking intrigued as he watches the TV. Mrs Hudson is sitting on the edge of John’s chair and John himself stands between the two of them, a look of devastation on his face as Mary’s voice comes from the speakers.
MARY’s VOICE (offscreen): If you’re watching this, I’m ... probably dead.
(John straightens up and backs away from the TV, holding out one hand.)
JOHN: Okay, no. S-stop that now, please.
(He turns away, biting his lip, and slowly walks across the room. Mrs Hudson pauses the playback and gets to her feet, her voice stern as she turns to the other people.)
MRS HUDSON: Everybody out, now. All of you.
(Nobody moves. John stops, gulps and swallows, tears forming in his eyes as he gazes towards the window in anguish.)
MRS HUDSON (sternly): This is my house ... (she gestures towards John’s back) ... this is my friend ... (she points back towards the TV) ... and that’s his departed wife. Anyone who stays here a minute longer is admitting to me personally they do not have a single spark of human decency.
(John has turned around as she spoke. After a brief hesitation, and with nobody looking towards Mycroft for confirmation or permission, everybody else turns and quietly starts to leave the room. Mycroft remains where he is, his arms folded in front of him as he faces the TV. Mrs H looks at him, then walks across to stand close to him. She leans even closer.)
MRS HUDSON (savagely, in a low voice): Get out of my house, you reptile.
(He stares at her, startled. Not breaking eye contact, she gestures towards the door with the remote control. After a moment, looking as if he can’t believe that he’s doing what he’s told, he unfolds his arms and turns towards Sherlock’s chair to collect his umbrella.)
On to Part 4