With all my thanks to Team Ari – Verity Burns, Mirith Griffin, lauramcewan, laurtew, and simpleanddestructivechemistry – for their invaluable help in checking and correcting this transcript.
My thanks also to stepfordgeek and roquentine19 on Tumblr and nothing_happens_to_me on AO3 as well as many other helpful people on Tumblr without whose assistance this transcript wouldn’t have gone on the air so soon.
Episode written by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.
Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan. (Last updated 31 March 2017)
Please note: Although complete, this is and will continue to be very much a work in progress. Amendments and additions will be made whenever I get suggestions from readers or Team Ari, spot new clever stuff in the background or realise the subtlety of the way that a particular line of dialogue was delivered, or learn something new from commentaries, interviews etc.
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Sherlock, Season 4 Episode 3 transcript: The Final Problem, part 1
Jump to Part 2 / Jump to Part 3 / Jump to Part 4
In tight close-up, an eye opens revealing its blue iris. We then see the face of the person. It’s a young girl with brown curly hair, who looks no older than ten years old and possibly younger. As she looks up we see that she’s on an aeroplane. The plane is shaking, the lights are flickering on and off and above her the emergency oxygen masks have dropped down and are swaying back and forth. The girl turns to the window and pushes up the blind and looks out. It’s dark outside. She pulls the blind down and turns to the woman sitting beside her with her eyes closed.
(The woman doesn’t wake. Frowning, the girl stands up and looks along the plane. All the passengers have their eyes closed, and above them all the oxygen masks have dropped down. The plane jolts again. The girl turns to her mother and worriedly shakes her.)
GIRL: Mummy! Wake up! Wake up! Mummy!
(When her mother still doesn’t respond the girl unclips her seatbelt, stands up and squeezes past her mum’s knees to get to the aisle. Crockery rattles and she looks to the rear of the plane. A flight attendant is lying in the aisle unconscious, crockery and a coffee pot on the floor in front of her. The girl turns and looks to the front of the plane and gasps at what she sees. The door to the flight deck is open and the pilot can be seen slumped over the controls, his right arm dangling at his side. The co-pilot is lying on the floor behind his seat. The girl anxiously calls towards the flight deck.)
GIRL: Wake up!
(A mobile phone can be heard ringing some distance away. The girl starts to walk towards the flight deck, stopping to shake the arm of the person sitting in the aisle seat in front of her row. When she gets no response she continues forwards, her feet crushing sweets that have rolled into the aisle. Her look of distress increases when she sees another flight attendant unconscious on the floor at the front of the aisle. The ringing phone is closer and she sees it on a small shelf in front of a couple of passengers in the front seats. She reaches over and picks up the phone. She pushes the screen and holds the phone to her ear.)
GIRL (anxiously, tearfully): Help me, please. I’m on a plane and everyone’s asleep. Help me!
(A very familiar male voice speaks over the phone.)
VOICE: Hello. My name’s Jim Moriarty. Welcome ... to the final problem.
Flickering black and white film footage can be seen. It seems to be a bit of film noir made in the 1940s or 1950s and is set in the office of a private investigator. The investigator, Leonard, stands with his back to his desk and in front of him is a typical femme fatale, Velma, holding a cigarette. Both characters speak with American accents.
LEONARD: You know I could arrest you?
VELMA: What for?
LEONARD: Wearing a dress like that.
VELMA: Would you like me to take it off?
LEONARD: Then I’d really have to press charges.
VELMA: Press away.
(We now see that Mycroft is in a small room with a film projector behind him. Sitting in an armchair with his left elbow on the arm and his fingers propping his head up, he smiles and mouths Leonard’s lines every time he speaks.)
VELMA (offscreen): Isn’t that how they got started?
LEONARD (offscreen, with Mycroft mouthing along): Who?
VELMA (offscreen): Adam and Eve.
LEONARD (offscreen, with Mycroft mouthing along): Oh, them.
VELMA (offscreen): And that turned out okay.
LEONARD (offscreen): You think so?
(Mycroft was too busy smiling to mouth that line. Now he turns his head and picks up a glass as he mouths the next line.)
LEONARD (offscreen, with Mycroft mouthing along): I thought it was supposed to be the beginning of all human misery.
(Mycroft drinks from his glass. The film footage can be seen again.)
VELMA: Now, what was all that about arresting me?
(She flicks the ash from her cigarette onto the floor beside her. Mycroft smiles.)
LEONARD (offscreen): Well, maybe not arresting you.
VELMA (offscreen): No?
LEONARD (on the footage): I could just keep you under close watch.
(For a split second the footage glitches, showing a yellowed image of a family of two adults and two children sitting on what looks like a beach, then the footage returns to the film.)
VELMA: Very close?
LEONARD (offscreen): Uh-huh.
(The footage glitches again, for a little longer this time and the yellowed image returns but then zooms in towards one of the children, a young overweight boy, about eleven years old. Clearly this is old cine footage. The screen briefly returns to Velma in the movie, then flicks over to a close-up of the fat boy smiling at the camera, then returns to the movie. Mycroft sits up and turns round to look at the film projector.)
VELMA (offscreen): Shame. I was looking forward to putting myself into the hands of the authorities.
LEONARD: You were?
VELMA: Fingerprinting ...
(Turning back, Mycroft reaches over and stubs out a lit cigarette in an ashtray.)
VELMA (offscreen): ... being searched ...
(Mycroft turns to the screen.)
VELMA: ... thoroughly.
(Again the footage glitches and the boy smiles quirkily into the camera. Now the footage jumps more quickly back and forth between the professional movie and the home movie. In the latter, a beach ball bounces across to a younger boy, about four years old, who has a mop of brown curly hair. The camera pulls up and the mother stands up and waves. Mycroft is obviously puzzled but can’t help smiling at the sight. The father kneels down to the older son who is holding a plate piled high with sandwiches and an apple, and is taking a bite from a sandwich. Whatever the father says to him on the silent footage, the boy pulls the plate protectively closer to him. The footage cuts to the parents sitting in their deckchairs as the father beckons to the younger boy who trots towards them; then it cuts to the younger boy piling on top of the older one who is half-reclined on the sand with a book in his hands. The older boy grins.
Again Mycroft can’t help but smile. The footage cuts to a far shot of the parents and their two boys waving into the camera, then briefly the screen goes white and jagged writing appears reading
before the family continues to wave at the camera. The footage seems to briefly return to the black and white movie and a tight close-up of the top half of Velma’s face, except that those aren’t the eyes of the actress; they’re Eurus’ eyes. Again the family waves to the camera, then the white screen and the “I’M BACK” message reappear before the footage dissolves. Mycroft stares at the screen in shock while, behind him, the last of the film tape spools off the end of the reel. Mycroft stands and stares at the now blank white screen in front of him. After a moment he walks to a nearby door and takes hold of the handle and tries to open the door. It won’t budge. He takes hold of the handle with both hands and struggles to open the door but to no avail. A female voice whispers echoingly in the room behind him.)
(He turns and walks back a few paces, looking up to the ceiling when he hears footsteps running across the room upstairs. The film continues to rattle loudly on the projector. There’s a sound behind him and Mycroft turns to look as the door noisily creaks open. He slowly walks through the doorway and stops on the other side, and behind him the door rapidly and loudly slams shut. He turns to look at it, then turns back at the sound of electric fizzing noises. The lights in the hall in front of him flicker and then go out with a loud pop. He walks slowly forward to where his umbrella is in a stand at the side of the hall. Taking it from the stand he holds it in both hands and sharply pulls it apart, revealing a sword blade attached to the handle. Dropping the fabric to the floor, he switches on a torch on his mobile phone and walks slowly forwards, breathing harshly. As he turns to look into an open door, shining the light into the room, a small figure runs across the hall further along. It appears to be a young girl wearing a dress and long white socks and with her dark hair tied in two long ponytails either side of her head. She disappears into the darkness. A clock starts to chime. Frowning, Mycroft turns towards the other end of the hall and when he turns around again the girl is back, standing facing him in the shadows beside the stairs. He walks slowly towards her and an adult female voice whispers in the darkness.)
(Mycroft gets closer to the child and shines his torch on her. It’s not a child at all – it’s a mannequin with a blank white face, wearing the same dress and socks and a dark wig with ponytails. He turns and calls out along the hall.)
MYCROFT: Why don’t you come out and show yourself? I don’t have time for this.
(A child’s voice comes from the darkness.)
CHILD’s VOICE: We have time, brother dear. All the time in the world.
(Behind him, the ‘real’ little girl bursts out of the darkness and runs up the stairs. The mannequin can still be seen behind Mycroft. He turns and chases up the stairs after the girl. Slowing down on the half-landing, he turns and walks up the next flight. The upper floor is slightly better lit and he tucks his phone into his trouser pocket as the child’s voice is heard again.)
CHILD’s VOICE (sing-song): Mycroft!
(Mycroft walks slowly along the hall.)
MYCROFT: Who are you?
VOICE (now sounding more adult, but still sing-song): You know who!
(He shakes his head.)
VOICE (more child-like and sounding petulant): Nothing’s impossible.
(The lights start to flicker on and off.)
CHILD’s VOICE: You of all people know that.
(On the left-hand wall of the hallway hang a row of paintings. Mycroft has passed a painting of a large country house and now reaches a portrait of a historical male figure. As he looks at it, illuminated by a light above the picture frame, blood starts to pour from the eyes and from one side of the mouth. He walks further along the hallway to the next portrait, this one of a historical woman, which also has blood coming from the eyes and mouth and running down the picture. He continues on and looks at the next picture, another historical man who bears a strong resemblance to Mycroft himself. This too has blood running from the eyes and one side of the mouth.)
CHILD’s VOICE (sing-song): Coming to get you!
(Behind him, the helmet from a suit of armour is tossed across the hall and crashes noisily to the floor. Mycroft turns around.)
CHILD’s VOICE (sing-song): There’s an East Wind coming, Mycroft! Coming to get you!
MYCROFT (backing away, his eyes wide): You can’t have got out! You can’t!
(From a side turning further along the hallway near a standing suit of armour, a clown in full costume and make-up leans out into view. Slowly leaning over sideways to an almost ninety-degree angle, he then straightens up and steps into the hallway. As Mycroft stares in disbelief, the clown reaches across to the suit of armour and pulls its sword from the sheath and holds it up beside himself, pointing the tip towards Mycroft and raising his other hand forward. Trying – and failing – to look determined, Mycroft raises his own sword in front of him, pointing the tip towards the ceiling, then lowers it and whips the blade in front of him a few times. Pointing it towards the clown, he starts to move forwards slowly while the clown makes ‘bring it on’ gestures with his hand and sword. Mycroft takes another step forward, then takes a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and clamps it around the base of his blade, twists it off the handle and aims the small gun attached to the end of the handle at the clown. He pulls the trigger but the gun just clicks.)
CHILD’s VOICE (sing-song): No use, Mycroft.
(Mycroft pulls the trigger again but the gun only clicks again.)
CHILD’s VOICE: There’s no defence ... (the voice becomes more of a whisper) ... and nowhere to hide.
(The clown roars and charges forward. Mycroft cringes back and then turns and pelts down a nearby flight of stairs. Running into the hall downstairs, he hurries to the two nearby doors and tries each one but they’re locked. The clown stops on the upstairs landing and watches him over the bannisters. Mycroft turns and looks as a shadowy figure walks past the nearby upper windows. Upstairs someone pushes through heavy curtains over one of the entrances to the landing. It’s Sherlock, complete with greatcoat and deerstalker. He stops on the landing and looks across to the clown.)
MYCROFT: Sherlock? Help me!
(Sherlock raises his right thumb and forefinger to his mouth and lets out a piercing whistle. All the lights come on. The clown looks down at Mycroft, who stares in shock as a short man walks out of another hall on the ground floor, wearing a dress and a dark wig with long ponytails.)
SHERLOCK: Experiment complete. Conclusion: I have a sister.
MYCROFT (raising his head to him and speaking angrily): This was you? All of this was you?
SHERLOCK: Conclusion two: my sister – Eurus, apparently – has been incarcerated from an early age in a secure institution controlled by my brother.
(Mycroft raises his hands and presses the palms against his eyes. Unseen by him, Sherlock waves cheerfully at him.)
SHERLOCK: Hey, bro!
MYCROFT (tiredly): Why would you do this ... (he lowers his hands and speaks through gritted teeth) ... this pantomime? Why?
SHERLOCK: Conclusion three: you are terrified of her!
MYCROFT (sternly): You have no idea what you’re dealing with. (Angrily) None at all.
JOHN (coming out of a corridor on the ground floor): New information: she’s out.
MYCROFT: That’s not possible.
SHERLOCK: It’s more than possible. She was John’s therapist.
JOHN: Shot me during a session.
SHERLOCK: Only with a tranquilliser.
JOHN: Mm. We still had ten minutes to go.
SHERLOCK: Well, we’ll see about a refund.
(John smiles. Sherlock starts coming down the stairs and addresses his actors.)
SHERLOCK: Right, you two. Wiggins has got your money by the gate.
(The man in the child’s clothes gives him a double thumbs-up and turns and scampers away.)
SHERLOCK: Don’t spend it all in one crack den.
(The clown on the landing reaches up and squeezes his big red nose which makes a squeaking sound, and then walks away. Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Sherlock walks across to Mycroft, smiling.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, I hope we didn’t spoil your enjoyment of the movie.
(He heads for one of the nearby doors.)
MYCROFT: You’re just leaving?
SHERLOCK: Well, we’re not staying here. Eurus is coming and, uh, someone’s disabled all your security.
(He turns and opens the previously locked door and walks away, calling out over his shoulder.)
SHERLOCK: Sleep well!
(John follows Sherlock but turns when Mycroft speaks.)
MYCROFT: Doctor Watson. Why would he do that to me? That was insane!
JOHN: Uh, yes. Well, someone convinced him that you wouldn’t tell the truth unless you were actually wetting yourself.
(John looks away thoughtfully, licking his lips before turning back to him.)
JOHN: Probably me.
MYCROFT: So that’s it, is it? You’re just going?
JOHN (innocently): Well, don’t worry. There’s a place for people like you – the desperate, the terrified, the ones with nowhere else to run.
MYCROFT (grimly): What place?
(John frowns momentarily and then looks at him as if he’s an idiot.)
JOHN: Two two one B Baker Street.
(Mycroft closes his eyes in resignation and sighs silently.)
JOHN (turning and walking towards the door): See you in the morning. If there’s a queue, join it!
MYCROFT (angrily): For God’s sake! This is not one of your idiot cases.
(As he speaks, John lifts a finger as if he’s forgotten something, then turns and walks back into the hall, pointing upstairs.)
JOHN: You might wanna close that window. (He looks at Mycroft.) There is an East Wind coming.
(Quirking a small smile at him, he turns and walks away again. Mycroft turns around and nervously looks upstairs.)
221B BAKER STREET. DAY TIME. The client chair sits in the middle of the room facing the fireplace. A man stands beside it but so far we can only see his legs. Sherlock sits in his armchair with his fingers steepled against his chin, staring downwards. Opposite him, John sits and watches him, twirling a pen in the fingers of his left hand. We now see that it’s Mycroft who is standing beside the client chair, his arms folded and a stubborn look on his face. John glances over to him for a moment before looking away again. Mrs Hudson is standing in the doorway with her arms folded, looking at Mycroft and smiling slightly as he lowers his head and bites his lip.
MRS HUDSON: You have to sit in the chair.
(He turns and looks at her.)
MRS HUDSON: They won’t talk to you unless you sit in the chair. It’s the rules.
MYCROFT (tetchily): I’m not a client.
SHERLOCK (not looking round to him): Then get out.
(Mycroft turns to look at the boys. John looks up towards him, tapping the tip of his pen against the arm of his chair. Unfolding his arms and holding them out in surrender, Mycroft walks around and sits in the chair. As Sherlock lowers his hands, Mycroft gestures towards Mrs H. while looking at his brother.)
MYCROFT: She’s not going to stay there, is she?
(Sherlock looks towards his landlady, then tilts his head to her.)
MRS HUDSON (looking at Mycroft): Would you like a cup of tea?
MYCROFT: Thank you.
MRS HUDSON (pointing towards the kitchen): The kettle’s over there.
(She turns and heads down the stairs. John and Sherlock smile.)
MYCROFT (to Sherlock): So what happens now? Are you going to make deductions?
SHERLOCK: You’re going to tell the truth, Mycroft, pure and simple.
MYCROFT: Who was it said, “Truth is rarely pure, and never simple”?
SHERLOCK (shifting slightly to face his brother): I don’t know and I don’t care. So there were three of us. I know that now. You, me, and ... Eurus.
SHERLOCK: A sister I can’t remember. Interesting name, Eurus. It’s Greek, isn’t it?
JOHN (looking at his notebook, clearly reading notes he has already made): Mm. Yeah, uh, literally ‘the god of the East Wind.’
SHERLOCK (gazing towards the floor): “The East Wind is coming, Sherlock.” (He looks at his brother.) You used that to scare me.
SHERLOCK: You turned my sister into a ghost story.
MYCROFT: Of course I didn’t. I monitored you.
JOHN: You what?
MYCROFT (looking at him): Memories can resurface; wounds can re-open. The roads we walk have demons beneath ... (he turns his gaze to Sherlock) ... and yours have been waiting for a very long time. I never bullied you. I used – at discrete intervals – potential trigger words to update myself as to your mental condition. I was looking after you.
SHERLOCK (softly, intensely): Why can’t I remember her?
(Mycroft pauses for a moment, glancing in John’s direction but not looking at him.)
MYCROFT: This is a private matter.
SHERLOCK: John stays.
(John had been about to get up but now looks across to Sherlock, surprised. Mycroft leans forward in his chair.)
MYCROFT (in a harsh whisper): This is family.
SHERLOCK (loudly, firmly): That’s why he stays.
(The brothers lock eyes for a long moment. John smiles and lowers his head. Eventually Mycroft sits back. John clears his throat.)
JOHN: So there were three Holmes kids.
(He pulls the lid off his pen and re-opens his notebook.)
JOHN: What was the age gap?
MYCROFT: Seven years between myself and Sherlock; one year between Sherlock and Eurus.
(John nods and points his pen in Sherlock’s direction.)
JOHN: Middle child. Explains a lot.
(Sherlock throws him a look. John raises his eyebrows at him and then turns his attention back to his notebook.)
JOHN (to Mycroft): So did she have it too?
MYCROFT: Have what?
JOHN: The deduction thing.
MYCROFT (sarcastically): “The deduction thing”?
JOHN (after a moment): ... Yes.
MYCROFT (looking reflectively towards the fireplace): More than you can know.
(He pauses while the boys look at him.)
JOHN: Enlighten me.
MYCROFT (gesturing between himself and his brother while looking at John): You realise I’m the smart one?
SHERLOCK: As you never cease to announce.
MYCROFT: ... but Eurus, she was incandescent even then. Our abilities were professionally assessed more than once. I was remarkable, but Eurus was described as an era-defining genius, beyond Newton.
SHERLOCK (softly, intensely): Then why don’t I remember her?
MYCROFT: You do remember her, in a way. Every choice you ever made; every path you’ve ever taken – the man you are today ... is your memory of Eurus.
(Sherlock slowly turns his head away. Mycroft looks down as if something has caught his attention.
Without transition his feet are now on a pebble beach. He stands, outdoors somewhere, and straightens up as a dog barks nearby.)
MYCROFT: She was different from the beginning.
(Some distance away a young girl, maybe six years old, wearing a blue and white dress and a knitted oatmeal-coloured cardigan and with her hair tied into bunches either side of her head, stands watching an Irish setter trotting through the shallows of the river.)
MYCROFT: She knew things she should never have known ...
(Nearby, an overweight boy stands on one of a row of stepping stones across a stream. Wearing yellow boots, jeans and an olive-coloured jumper, he tosses a pebble into the water, perhaps attempting and failing to skim it. He looks across towards adult Mycroft, who turns away from him. Beyond him, little Eurus has her back to him and is watching as seven year old Sherlock, wearing red trousers, wellington boots and a dark yellow patterned jumper and with a pirate hat on his head, slashes at the water with his plastic sword. Adult Mycroft bends down and picks up a large pebble from the water’s edge.)
MYCROFT (in 211B): ... as if she was somehow aware of truths beyond the normal scope.
(He opens his hand in front of him. His fingers are wet and a large pebble lies in his palm.
In his mind, young Eurus turns around on the beach and looks directly at him. Mycroft looks startled.)
EURUS: You look funny grown up.
(In 221B, Mycroft straightens up in his chair a little, staring towards the fireplace.)
JOHN: What’s wrong?
(He looks down at his open hand, which is dry and empty. In his head he hears the sound of a pebble splashing into the water. In the flat he closes his hand.)
MYCROFT: The memories are disturbing.
SHERLOCK: What do you mean? Examples.
MYCROFT: They found her with a knife once. She seemed to be cutting herself. Mother and Father were terrified. They thought it was a suicide attempt. But when I asked Eurus what she was doing, she said ...
(It’s as if little Eurus is standing facing Mycroft in front of the fire.)
EURUS: I wanted to see how my muscles worked.
JOHN (looking towards Mycroft): Jesus!
MYCROFT: So I asked her if she felt pain, and she said ...
EURUS: Which one’s pain?
SHERLOCK (to Mycroft): What happened?
(Mycroft puts his hands on his knees and stands up. Suddenly he’s outdoors again, standing a short distance away from a large, very old country house in the middle of nowhere.)
(Sherlock and John stand either side of him a few paces behind him.)
MYCROFT: The ancestral home, where there was always honey for tea.
(The picture cuts to young Sherlock, wearing his yellow jumper and his pirate hat, sitting cross-legged on the grass in front of one of many gravestones not far from the country house. He is reading a book on his lap.)
MYCROFT: ... and Sherlock played among the funny gravestones.
JOHN (in 221B, while Sherlock looks reflective): Funny how?
(In the graveyard, a woman’s voice calls out.)
WOMAN’s VOICE (offscreen): Come on, you lot!
(The dog races past the adult men standing watching as young Sherlock scrambles up and runs towards the house.)
MYCROFT (offscreen): They weren’t real. The dates were all wrong.
(Behind the adults, the camera pans past one of the gravestones. Carved into the stone are the words:
1617 - 1822
Aged 32 Years
MYCROFT (offscreen): An architectural joke which fascinated Sherlock.
(Still in the graveyard, Mycroft and John look towards the house but Sherlock lowers his gaze and looks to the side as a child’s voice starts to sing in his head.)
CHILD’s VOICE: ♪ ... who will find me / Deep down below the old beech tree? ♪
(The image shifts to the kitchen of the house. A table has plates of food, coloured glasses and cups and saucers in front of the three children, as well as a butter dish and other items in the middle. Sitting on one side of the table beside her oldest brother, young Eurus sings the song while looking across to young Sherlock who is still wearing his pirate hat. He looks back at her unhappily.
In 221B, Sherlock stares into the distance and softly recites the next line while Eurus’ voice echoes in his head.)
SHERLOCK (whispering): Help succour me now ...
(Mycroft softly joins in while the girl’s voice continues to sing along.)
SHERLOCK and MYCROFT (simultaneously): ... the East winds blow.
SHERLOCK: Sixteen by six ...
(In flashback, young Eurus sings the same line across the table to young Sherlock, although she adds the word “brother” at the end of the line, a taunting look on her face as he looks back at her.)
MYCROFT (in 221B, his face haunted): ... and under we go.
(Sherlock turns to look at him.)
MYCROFT: You’re starting to remember.
(In the flashback, young Sherlock gets down from the table and runs off. Eurus watches him go.)
YOUNG SHERLOCK: Redbeard!
(Young Mycroft looks round as his brother, holding his plastic sword, runs outside and chases across the graveyard.)
YOUNG SHERLOCK: Redbeard!
(He clambers up some steep steps towards the meadow beyond the graveyard where the adult John, Sherlock and Mycroft are standing.)
ADULT SHERLOCK: He was my dog.
(Young Sherlock runs across the meadow. We see his pirate hat in close detail for the first time: it’s a very deep blue, almost the same colour as the Coat he will wear in the future, and it has dark red bands sewn down it.)
MYCROFT (turning to watch the youngster): Eurus took Redbeard and locked him up somewhere no-one could find him.
YOUNG SHERLOCK (calling out): Redbeard!
MYCROFT: ... and she refused to say where he was.
(Young Sherlock has run into woodland and heads for a wooden bridge across a stream, still calling Redbeard’s name.)
MYCROFT: She’d only repeat that song; her little ritual.
(Young Sherlock leans over the bridge, still calling out.)
YOUNG SHERLOCK: Redbeard!
MYCROFT: We begged and begged her to tell us where he was.
(In 221B’s living room, Sherlock looks away as if he is remembering.
In the woods, young Sherlock trudges back the way he came, still calling out.)
MYCROFT: ... but she said ...
YOUNG EURUS’ VOICE (offscreen, in an intense whisper): The song is the answer.
MYCROFT: But the song made no sense.
(In flashback, young Eurus sits at the kitchen table and sings sarcastically across it to Sherlock.)
EURUS: ♪ ... brother, and under we go. ♪
SHERLOCK (in 221B, turning to Mycroft): What happened to Redbeard?
MYCROFT: We never found him. But she started calling him “Drowned Redbeard,” so we made our assumptions. (To John) Sherlock was traumatised. Natural, I suppose – he was, in the early days, an emotional child; but after that he was different, so changed. Never spoke of it again. In time, he seemed to forget that Eurus had ever even existed.
JOHN: How could he forget? She was living in the same house.
MYCROFT (shaking his head sadly): No. They took her away.
(Sherlock looks round to him.)
JOHN: Why? You don’t lock up a child because a dog goes missing.
MYCROFT: Quite so. It was what happened immediately afterwards.
(Flashback to young Eurus sitting cross-legged on the floor of – presumably – her bedroom with several crayon drawings in front of her. On her far left is a drawing of five people. She has written “family” above the people and underneath, above each head, are the names “daddy”, “mummy”, “mycroft”, “sherlock” and “me”. Across the person labelled “sherlock” she has scrawled a large red cross almost obliterating the figure beneath. Beside that are two separate drawings of her middle brother wearing a yellow and blue striped jumper. The lower one has an arrow pointing to the figure, identifying him as “SHERLOCK” and a burst of blood seems to be coming from his throat and pouring out beside him. The drawing above that one shows a noose around Sherlock’s neck with the rope leading upwards to where it is attached to a wall. The drawing at the top of her collection shows her father on the left beside a beach ball and a sand castle, and water laps at the bottom of the picture. Beside her dad is her mother, then a chubby Mycroft and then herself. A few paces to the right of her is Sherlock. She has drawn grey clouds all around him and has drawn a large red cross across his neck and a larger red cross across his body. There are two more drawings of Sherlock under this picture, one with another large red ‘X’ across his neck while his mouth turns downwards unhappily, and the second with black crosses where his eyes should be and angry red crayon scrawls all around him. Yet another drawing, below an uncorrupted drawing of Mycroft with a very round body – which itself is below a partially obscured drawing of the family home – shows Sherlock lying flat on what looks like a stone table or a slab.
The camera pans across more distressing drawings of Sherlock, and one of a gravestone with “RIP SHERLOCK” [as in R.I.P. – Rest In Peace] written across it. In front of her, Eurus has another drawing of the house with Sherlock looking unhappily out of one window. As she draws a large cross over the entire window with a blue crayon, her parents’ voices can be heard from a nearby room.)
MR HOLMES (offscreen): She knows where he is!
MRS HOLMES (offscreen): We can’t make her tell us. We can’t make her do anything.
(Eurus puts down her crayon and looks up. Then she looks down again to the matchbox she is now holding. It has a dark shadowy house on the cover and its brand name is “Maison de la Peur” (“House of Fear”). She shakes the box, then strikes a match on the side, holding it up to look at the flame. She gazes down at it, the flame reflecting in her eye.
Outside, adult Mycroft stands looking at the house. The entire upper storey is ablaze and parts of the roof have already fallen in. As more of the roof collapses, large flakes of ash float down around him. He stares towards the house with a look of devastation on his face, and closes his eyes.
In 221B Mycroft’s eyes are closed and it’s as if the ash is still falling around him. He eventually opens his eyes and the ash gradually dissipates.)
MYCROFT: After that, our sister had to be taken away.
MYCROFT: Oh, some suitable place – or so everyone thought. Not suitable enough, however. She died there.
MYCROFT: She started another fire, one which she did not survive.
SHERLOCK (firmly): This is a lie.
(John looks towards Mycroft, who hesitates only for a moment.)
MYCROFT: Yes. It is also a kindness. This is the story I told our parents to spare them further pain, and to account for the absence of an identifiable body.
SHERLOCK: And no doubt to prevent their further interference.
MYCROFT: Well, that too, of course. The depth of Eurus’ psychosis and the extent of her abilities couldn’t hope to be contained in any ordinary institution. Uncle Rudy took care of things.
SHERLOCK (softly, intensely): Where is she, Mycroft? Where’s our sister?
MYCROFT: There’s a place called Sherrinford; an island. It’s a secure and very secretive installation whose sole purpose is to contain what we call ‘the uncontainables.’
(On the wall behind him appears an image of an Alcatraz-like castle on top of a cliff. Guards armed with rifles patrol across the roof. The perspective changes to show that the prison is at the top of steep granite cliffs on a small island. As Mycroft continues to speak, a schematic overlays a side view of the island showing that much of the facility is underground.)
MYCROFT: The demons beneath the road – this is where we trap them. Sherrinford is more than a prison or an asylum; it is a fortress built to keep the rest of the world safe from what is inside it.
(An overhead view of the facility wipes out the schematic and pulls back to show the entire tiny island.)
MYCROFT: Heaven may be a fantasy for the credulous and the afraid, but I can give you a map reference for Hell.
(Sherlock looks at him sharply. Mycroft draws in a breath.)
MYCROFT: That’s where our sister has been since early childhood. She hasn’t left – not for a single day.
(Sherlock looks across to John, who returns his gaze.)
MYCROFT: Whoever you both met, it can’t have been her.
(There’s a loud crash of breaking glass from the direction of the kitchen, followed by the thump of something falling to the floor. John turns in his chair to look, then all three of them stand up and look towards the kitchen. Beyond all the equipment on the table and a clothes airer with various bits of paperwork clipped to it, the top part of the window has been smashed in. From the floor behind the table, an adult woman’s voice can be heard softly singing. It’s slightly tinny and so presumably coming from a small speaker.)
VOICE: ♪ I that am lost / Oh, who will find me / Deep down below / The old beech tree? ♪
(As Mycroft’s face fills with horror, a small drone rises up from the floor and hovers sideways across the room.)
VOICE: ♪ Help succour me now / The East Wind’s blowing / Sixteen by six, brother / And under we go. ♪
(The drone begins to fly forward across the kitchen table, the wind from its four rotors blowing papers and other stuff off the table. As it heads towards the living room, Mycroft speaks urgently.)
MYCROFT: Keep back! Keep as still as you can!
JOHN (backing towards the dining table): What is it?
VOICE: ♪ My soul seeks / The shade of my willow’s bloom ... ♪
SHERLOCK: It’s a drone.
JOHN: Yeah, I can see that.
(He glances towards Mycroft as the drone continues into the room, the singing voice still coming from it, though the words can’t be heard over the concerned conversation. There’s a large silver-green grenade-shaped object on top of the drone.)
JOHN: What’s it carrying?
SHERLOCK (standing near the fireplace, seen from a camera on the drone): What’s that silver thing on top of it, Mycroft?
MYCROFT (standing near the living room door): It’s a DX-707.
(The drone hovers in mid-air between the three men.)
MYCROFT: I’ve authorised the purchase of quite a number of these.
(The drone begins to lower towards the floor.)
MYCROFT: Colloquially it is known as “the patience grenade.”
(The drone lands on the floor and its rotors shut down.)
(The grenade buzzes and the top pops up a little, showing a bright red light emanating from inside the device. It repeatedly beeps quietly.)
MYCROFT: The motion sensor has activated. If any of us move, the grenade will detonate.
(From now on, everyone speaks quietly, Sherlock in particular barely moving his lips.)
SHERLOCK: How powerful?
MYCROFT: It will certainly destroy this flat and kill anyone in it. Assuming walls of reasonable strength, your neighbours should be safe, but as it’s landed on the floor, I am moved to wonder if the café below is open.
SHERLOCK: It’s Sunday morning, so it’s closed.
JOHN: What about Mrs Hudson?
(The camera sinks down through the floor to the ground floor kitchen. In the middle of the room, Mrs Hudson has an apron over her clothes. She is rocking around the room to the sound of Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast” blaring from the earbuds she’s wearing while she vacuums the lino.
Back upstairs the sound of the vacuum cleaner can faintly be heard.)
SHERLOCK: Going by her usual routine, I estimate she has another two minutes left.
JOHN: She keeps the vacuum cleaner at the back of the flat.
JOHN: So, safer there when she’s putting it away?
(Mycroft turns his head towards him. It’s a miracle that the bomb doesn’t promptly go off.)
JOHN: Look, we have to move eventually. We should do it when she’s safest.
SHERLOCK: When the vacuum stops, we give her eight seconds to get to the back of the flat. She’s fast when she’s cleaning. Then we move.
(He looks at Mycroft.)
SHERLOCK: What’s the trigger response time?
(Mycroft looks at him blankly.)
SHERLOCK: Once we’re mobile, how long before detonation?
MYCROFT: We have a maximum of three seconds to vacate the blast radius.
(John closes his eyes and sags slightly.)
SHERLOCK: John and I will take the windows; you take the stairs. Help get Mrs Hudson out too.
SHERLOCK: You’re closer.
MYCROFT: You’re faster.
SHERLOCK: Speed differential won’t be as critical as the distance.
MYCROFT (unhappily): Yes, agreed.
JOHN (referring to the humming sound of the vacuum cleaner downstairs): She’s further away. She’s moving to the back.
SHERLOCK: I estimate we have a minute left. Is a phone call possible?
MYCROFT: Phone call?
SHERLOCK: John has a daughter. (He glances towards him without moving his head.) He may wish to say goodbye.
MYCROFT: I’m sorry, Doctor Watson. Any movement will set off the grenade.
(John bares his teeth, sighing silently.)
MYCROFT: I hope you understand.
JOHN: Oscar Wilde.
JOHN: He said, “The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.” It’s from ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’ We did it in school.
(Sherlock quirks a lopsided grin.)
MYCROFT (nodding very slightly): So did we. Now I recall. I was Lady Bracknell.
(John smiles a little.)
SHERLOCK: Yeah. You were great.
MYCROFT: You really think so?
SHERLOCK: Yes, I really do.
MYCROFT: Well, that’s good to know. I’ve always wondered.
(The vacuum cleaner shuts down. Sherlock gives it a few seconds, then glances to John and then to Mycroft.)
SHERLOCK: Good luck, boys.
(He pauses for another moment, then starts to count more loudly.)
SHERLOCK: Three, two, one, go!
(The three men turn and in slow motion they race for their exit points, Mycroft heading out of the door, John running for the right-hand window and Sherlock leaping up onto the back of his chair on his way to the left-hand window. Behind them the device explodes and flames sweep across the room in all directions, enveloping everything in their path. John and Sherlock hurl themselves through the glass and plummet towards the road below and a massive fireball roars out of the windows behind them. Black smoke rises towards the camera high above the road and blanks it out.)
The smoke slowly starts to clear and turns more grey in colour as the camera descends through clouds towards a small fishing boat out on the ocean. A radio broadcast can be heard.
RADIO: And now the shipping forecast, issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime Coastguard Agency at 05:05. Thames, Dover ...
(As the broadcast continues a young man, Ben, wearing a yellow oilskin coat and matching hat, opens the door to the wheelhouse and stumbles inside wiping his mouth and breathing heavily. An older man, Vince, looks round to him.)
VINCE: Go on, son, get it up. (He smiles cheerfully at him.) Better out than in.
BEN: Is it always like this?
(The camera pans around the small wheelhouse, showing that it’s very foggy outside.)
BEN: Thank God.
VINCE: Usually it’s much worse!
BEN (plaintively): Might go and work in a bank!
(Still breathing heavily, he looks up at the sound of rotors.)
BEN: Is that an ’elicopter?
VINCE: Nah, not in this weather.
(The radio broadcast is still continuing.)
RADIO: ... Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon, Malin, Sherrinford. Sherrinford. Sherrinford.
BEN: You hear that?
(Vince glances round to him.)
BEN: I never ’eard that one before.
(The radio continues its normal shipping forecast.)
VINCE (turning to him): Forget you ever ’eard it.
VINCE: Sometimes when we’re out in these waters, we get that message. Just forget about it.
BEN: Yeah, but we’ve never ...
(Vince raises a warning finger to him.)
VINCE: Just ...
(He raises a hand and mimes zipping his lips shut, then points warningly at the young man. He starts to turn back to the wheel when there’s a loud thump on the roof of the wheelhouse, followed by a couple of less loud thumps. The men look up, then Vince goes to the door and heads outside, stepping a few paces away from the wheelhouse and then turning to look up. Ben comes out beside him. Sherlock is standing on the roof holding onto the ship’s antennae with one hand, his coat whipping dramatically around him.)
VINCE: Who the ’ell are you?
SHERLOCK: My name’s Sherlock Holmes.
BEN: The detective!
SHERLOCK: The pirate.
(John steps into view at the other side of the antennae and points a pistol at the men below. Ben raises his hands, his mouth wide in fear, and Sherlock dramatically leaps off the roof towards them.)
SHERRINFORD ISLAND. A distant shot of the island shows a large storm front close by it. Rain is pouring from the clouds and lightning flashes inside them. The rain hasn’t yet reached the island. Above the island the camera rotates over the top of the castle-like structure and shows several guards, all dressed warmly against the weather and with blue beanie hats on their heads, patrolling the rooftops and carrying rifles.
We cut inside to what must be the Control Room of the facility. On the lower level and on the stairs to either side more rifle-carrying guards, without the coats or hats and all wearing white shirts, stand in various places around the area. Yellow-jumpsuited auxiliary staff walk around, going about their daily business. Above the area is a small glass-walled room with many computer screens.
We switch to a view inside the glass room. Across the area outside, a natural-looking opening in the rock looks out towards the ocean. Inside the glass room, a technician speaks into a radio.
TECHNICIAN: Golf Whiskey X-ray, this is a restricted area, repeat, restricted area. You are off course.
(As he speaks, he reaches across to a rotary fan on the desk beside him and switches it off. Perhaps he has had a gut feeling about what’s soon going to hit it.)
TECHNICIAN (into radio): Are you receiving?
(There’s no immediate reply and he activates his radio again.)
TECHNICIAN: Golf Whiskey X-ray, you are off course. Are you receiving?
(The radio from the other end activates.)
JOHN’s VOICE: Yeah, receiving you. This is a distress call, repeat, distress call. We’re in trouble here.
(A radar image on the screen in front of the technician shows a bright red dot close to the centre of the screen.)
TECHNICIAN: Golf Whiskey X-ray, what is your situation?
(There’s no response.)
TECHNICIAN: Golf Whiskey X-ray? Where are you now?
JOHN’s VOICE (over radio): We’re headed for the rocks. We’re going to hit.
(The technician sits back in his chair, then types rapidly on a keypad on his desk. A message comes up on his screen reading
RED 5 PROCESS INITIATED
A stream of numbers and letters scrolls underneath. The technician moves his headset microphone closer to his mouth.)
TECHNICIAN: Governor to the Control Room.
(Red warning lights start to flash around the facility, a siren begins to blare and an automated voice starts making announcements from loudspeakers.)
AUTOMATED VOICE: Lockdown in progress. Lockdown in progress.
(All around the complex the external guards – the ones with the coats and hats – run along the corridors and head outside.)
AUTOMATED VOICE: Please proceed to designated Red stations. Please proceed to designated Red stations.
(Two of the guards run round a headland and see Vince and Ben sitting on the sand back to back. Rope is lashed around them, tying them together, and their wrists are bound. Vince looks towards the approaching men and rolls his eyes, sinking his head back. On a metal bridge above them, more guards run into position and aim their rifles down at the seamen. As more men run onto the sand and aim their rifles at the two of them, Ben raises his bound hands in front of him.)
BEN: No, hold it! Wait, wait, wait, wait!
(One of the guards on the bridge calls out to those below him.)
GUARD: Oi! In the sand!
(One of the guards on the beach looks up at him as he gestures beyond the bound sailors.)
GUARD: In the sand!
(The guards turn to look and we see what the men on the bridge can see. A small inflatable boat has been dragged up and left nearer the water. In between the boat and the men, drawn in the sand in large letters are the words
Inside the facility the governor of the place hurries out of a lift and into the Control Room, a phone raised to his ear. Around him the auxiliary staff are rushing around the room while the siren continues to blare.)
GOVERNOR (into phone): I need to speak to Mycroft.
(In London, Sir Edwin, now sporting a full beard, is in the back seat of a car.)
SIR EDWIN (into his phone): He’s in hospital. There was an explosion.
GOVERNOR (into phone): Put me through to the hospital.
SIR EDWIN: He’s not conscious. He’s severely injured. No-one is even confident he’s going to pull through.
GOVERNOR (into phone as he trots upstairs to the glass room): Where’s his brother? Where’s Sherlock Holmes?
SIR EDWIN: Missing.
GOVERNOR: No, he’s not. He’s here.
(He terminates the call and tucks his phone into the inside breast pocket of his jacket as he walks over to the technician, who points at live footage from the beach on one of the screens.)
TECHNICIAN: Sir, we found two more from the boat.
(The governor looks at the screen. John, who is being filmed by a body camera attached to the jacket of one of the guards, is standing with his hands raised while guards aim their rifles at him. Beside him, also with his hands raised, is an elderly man wearing oilskin overalls. He has a large white bushy beard and matching eyebrows and a woolly hat. The camera-wearing guard moves closer and the man speaks in an indignant south-west England accent.)
FISHERMAN: He stole our boat! Him an’ another fella, with guns!
GOVERNOR: Where’d you find them?
GUARD (northern Irish accent, offscreen): North side of the island, sir.
(The governor peers at the shaky footage, then smiles.)
GOVERNOR: Holding cell, now.
IRISH GUARD: Right, sir.
(John and the fisherman are ushered away as the automated announcement pitches in again.)
AUTOMATED VOICE: Lockdown in progress.
Not long afterwards, the alarms have stopped. John and the fisherman sit side by side at a table in a small room. The governor walks to the mesh door in front of them and stops. Someone offscreen deactivates the lock and the door opens. The governor walks inside. One of the beanie-hatted guards is standing inside the room beside the door, holding his rifle pointed down to the floor in front of him. The fisherman immediately starts talking.
FISHERMAN: This is a mistake. I’m the victim ’ere. (He stands up and jerks a finger down to John.) This man stole my boat. ’e’s a pirate.
JOHN: Yeah, I really am.
GOVERNOR: Please, sit down.
FISHERMAN (angrily): I-I don’t even know who ’e is! (He sits.)
GOVERNOR: He’s Doctor John Watson, formerly of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers. (He looks down at him.) What are you doing here?
JOHN: It’s a hospital. Any work?
GOVERNOR: It’s not a hospital.
(Still looking at the people opposite him, he holds out a pass towards the guard.)
GOVERNOR: I want eyes on Eurus Holmes. Go straight to the Special Unit, deploy Green and Yellow Shift on my authority.
GUARD (northern Irish accent): Sir.
(Turning around, the guard raises the pass to a camera above the door. The door buzzes and unlocks and the guard goes out and walks away. The governor sits down on a chair opposite the other two men.)
GOVERNOR: I’m sparing your blushes because we’re supposed to be on the same side; and frankly, this is embarrassing.
JOHN (nonchalantly): Ooh, doing a cavity search?
GOVERNOR: The true art of disguise, according to your famous friend, is not being looked at.
(He turns to the fisherman.)
GOVERNOR: But I am looking at you, aren’t I, Mr Holmes?
(The fisherman looks across the table to him.)
FISHERMAN (in his south-west accent): Yes, you are.
(The governor smiles.)
JOHN: But that is sort of the point ... (he looks across to the man beside him) ... isn’t it?
(The fisherman stands up while John turns to the governor.)
JOHN: See, you should have been looking at the guy you just gave your pass to.
(Beside him, the ‘fisherman’ pulls off his hat with one hand, pulling off the white hair at the same time. With his other hand he pulls off his false nose and moustache, leaving just the white beard in place. Sighing with relief, he lowers his hands to reveal the face of Mycroft. The governor’s smile drops as Mycroft grins down at him through his grubby false teeth and raises his eyebrows at him.
Elsewhere in the facility, the guard trots down some stairs and swipes the governor’s card through a reader. The nearby doors open and he gets into the lift which they have revealed. Turning to face the front we see that this is indeed Sherlock, his hair hidden under the beanie hat. The doors close.
Back in the holding cell, Mycroft has now removed all traces of his disguise and the outer clothing he was wearing, revealing that he kept on his blue trousers, a white shirt and blue waistcoat. He stands in front of a large mirror on the side wall, smoothing down his hair.)
MYCROFT: That’s the trouble with uniforms and name badges. People stop looking at faces. You’d be better off with clown outfits. (He turns around.) At least they’d be satirically relevant.
JOHN: Oh, you’ll find the real Landers on the north shore, tied up with two others.
GOVERNOR: Two others?
JOHN: Mm. Well, it was trial and error. (He gestures to his own waist as he speaks.) We had to find the right waistband.
GOVERNOR: This is insane! This is unnecessary!
JOHN: No; your security is compromised and we don’t know who to trust.
GOVERNOR: And that justifies dressing up?
MYCROFT (loudly, angrily): Yes it does!
(He turns to face the governor.)
MYCROFT (angrily): It justifies dressing up or any damned thing I say it does. Now, listen to me: for your own physical safety do not speak, do not indulge in any non-verbal signals suggestive of internal thought. If the safety of my sister is compromised; if the security of my sister is compromised; if the incarceration of my sister is compromised – in short, if I find any indication my sister has left this island at any time, I swear to you, you will not.
(He glares at the man, who is standing with his hands behind his back and not moving as instructed. Mycroft tilts his head towards John.)
MYCROFT (more calmly): Say thank you to Doctor Watson.
MYCROFT: He talked me out of Lady Bracknell. This could have been very different.
(He turns away and puts his right hand to his ear.)
MYCROFT: Are you in?
(In the lift, Sherlock puts his own right hand to his ear.)
SHERLOCK: Just arriving at the Secure Unit. Explain.
AUTOMATED VOICE: Door opening.
(Sherlock turns to the doors opening behind him and walks along a long corridor, slouching and rocking his body from side to side as he disguises his normal stride.)
MYCROFT (over earpiece): A prison within a prison. Eurus must be allowed the strict minimum of human interaction.
SHERLOCK (quietly): Why?
MYCROFT: Since you’re determined to meet her, you’re about to find out.
On to Part 2