Polite request: If you take extracts from this transcript for use elsewhere, and especially if you repost my own words, it would be kind if you would acknowledge the source and/or give a link back to this transcript. Thanks.
Sherlock, Season 4, episode 3 transcript: The Final Problem, part 3
Return to Part 1 / Return to Part 2 / Jump to Part 4
Sherlock walks along a narrow grey-walled corridor and turns into a room which is much smaller than the cell. Although also grey in colour, the walls have been messily daubed with red paint so that it looks like they’re heavily covered with blood. He looks around as he walks deeper into the room, John and Mycroft following him.
SHERLOCK: Someone’s been redecorating.
JOHN: Is that allowed?
SHERLOCK: She’s literally taken over the asylum. We have more to worry about than her choice of colour scheme.
(The room is about twenty feet wide. At the far end is a large window, made up of three panes of glass, looking out over the sea. A small glass table is a few feet from the window and there is an envelope on it. Mycroft runs his fingers over the paint on part of the wall.)
MYCROFT: Barely dry. Recent.
SHERLOCK: It’s for our benefit.
(Behind them, the door through which they just came has slid shut. That door is at the left of the back of the room and there is another one at the right-hand side. On the wall between the doors, a large screen now activates and Eurus appears on it.)
EURUS: As a motivator to your continued co-operation, I’m now reconnecting you.
(She lifts the remote control and clicks it. Jim’s voice comes over the speaker and his red-hued image appears on the screen.)
JIM (in his phoney American accent): Fasten your seatbelts! It’s gonna be a bumpy night.
[See here for details of the movie from which Jim is quoting.]
(There’s a brief screech of static and then the little girl’s voice can be heard.)
GIRL’s VOICE: Are-are you still there?
SHERLOCK: Yes, hello?
(She doesn’t respond immediately.)
SHERLOCK: Hello. We’re still here. Can you hear us?
(The girl is sitting on the floor in the aisle of the plane. The plane jolts constantly, either suffering turbulence or fighting against the automatic pilot. She continues to sound scared and tearful whenever she speaks.)
(She has found a carton of juice somewhere and occasionally sips from the straw during the conversation.)
SHERLOCK (over phone): Everything’s gonna be all right. I just need you to tell me where you are. Outside, is it day or night?
(She sits up taller and looks towards the windows.)
MYCROFT (tetchily, folding his arms): That certainly narrows it down to half the planet.
SHERLOCK (glaring towards him while he speaks to the girl): What kind of a plane are you on?
GIRL: Um, I don’t know.
JOHN: Is it big or small?
JOHN: Lots of people on it?
(She looks along the aisle. Since we last saw her she has moved to the rear end of the front section of the plane. In front of her, the majority of the seats contain unconscious adults.)
GIRL: Lots and lots, but they’re all asleep. I can’t wake them up.
SHERLOCK: Where did you take off from?
GIRL: Even the driver’s asleep.
SHERLOCK: No, I understand; but where did you come from? Where did the plane take off?
GIRL: My nan’s.
SHERLOCK: And where are you going?
SHERLOCK: No, I mean what airport are you ...
(There’s a click as he speaks, and Eurus’ image reappears on the screen at the end of the room.)
EURUS (sing-song): Enough for now. (She leans close to the camera, her eyes wide.) Time to play a new game.
(Sherlock turns away in frustration.)
EURUS (sitting back in her chair): Look on the table in front of you.
(Sherlock and John are standing either side of the glass table. Mycroft stands a few feet away with his arms still folded.)
EURUS (more sternly): Open the envelope! If you want to speak to the girl again, earn yourself some phone time!
(Putting the pistol on the table, Sherlock picks up the envelope.)
MYCROFT: This is inhuman; this is insane!
JOHN (firmly, looking at him): Mycroft, we know.
(Mycroft lowers his eyes, looking exasperated. Sherlock has opened the envelope and taken out the contents.)
EURUS: Six months ago, a man called Evans was murdered; unsolved except by me.
(Sherlock starts laying three glossy photographs side by side on the table. As Eurus continues to speak, a bright light comes on at the end of a beam above Sherlock’s head. He looks up and sees a hunting rifle resting in a rack which has been attached to the side of the beam.)
EURUS: He was shot from a distance of three hundred metres with this rifle.
(Sherlock stretches up and takes down the gun.)
EURUS: Now, if the police had any brains they’d realise there are three suspects, all brothers. Nathan Garrideb, Alex Garrideb and Howard Garrideb.
(Sherlock has been looking towards the screen while she spoke but now looks down at the photos spread out on the table. Each one is of a different man. The first, wearing grey trousers, a blue shirt, a brown corduroy jacket and glasses, is in an outdoor car park and the word “NATHAN” has been written on the picture; the second man, wearing a dark blue suit, is standing talking on his phone, perhaps in an office environment, and the photo is labelled “ALEX”; and the third man, wearing a white T-shirt and black jumper with a dark jacket and trousers, is walking near rocky cliffs and his picture is labelled “HOWARD”. Above the three photos the envelope, laid face-up, has the word “EVANS” written on it.)
EURUS: All these photos are up-to-date, but which one pulled the trigger, Sherlock? Which one?
JOHN (looking towards the screen): What’s this? W-we’re supposed to solve this based on what?
SHERLOCK (looking at the photos): This. This is all we get.
EURUS: Please, make use of your friends, Sherlock. I want to see you interact with people that you’re close to. Also, you may have to choose which one to keep.
(John frowns and glances towards Mycroft. Sherlock turns and holds out the rifle in both hands, looking at his brother. We see that it’s not a modern rifle and much of it is made of dark wood. A telescopic sight is attached to the top.)
SHERLOCK: What do you make of it?
MYCROFT: Am I being asked to prove my usefulness?
SHERLOCK: Yes, I should think you are.
MYCROFT: I will not be manipulated like this.
SHERLOCK: Fine. John?
(He turns to him, offering him the rifle. Mycroft bites his lip and turns his head away.)
SHERLOCK (more firmly): John?
(John has been looking at Mycroft but now turns and takes the rifle.)
JOHN: Yeah, I think I’ve seen one of these. It’s a buffalo gun. (He raises the rifle and aims it towards the floor at the other end of the room, looking into the telescopic sight.) I’d say nineteen forties, old-fashioned sight, no crosshairs.
(Sherlock takes back the rifle and looks down at the photos.)
SHERLOCK: Glasses, glasses. (He points to the first photograph.) Nathan wears glasses. Evans was shot from three hundred metres.
(Brief cut-away to Nathan’s hands – as evidenced by the corduroy jacket – raising the rifle in front of him and moving his finger towards the trigger.
In the small room Sherlock raises the rifle and aims it towards the opposite wall as if he’s about to fire it.)
SHERLOCK: Kickback from a gun with this calibre ...
(Cut-away to Nathan holding the rifle to the firing position and pulling the trigger. As it fires, the gun jolts backwards towards his face and the sight smashes into the right lens of his glasses and shatters it.)
SHERLOCK (lowering the gun): ... would be massive.
(He bends down and puts his finger onto the photo of Nathan, tapping it a couple of times.)
SHERLOCK: No cuts, no scarring. Not Nathan, then. (He turns the photo over.) Who’s next?
(He moves his fingers across to the next picture.)
MYCROFT (sarcastically): Well done, Doctor Watson. How useful you are.
(John looks up at him.)
MYCROFT: Do you have a suspicion we’re being made to compete?
JOHN (stepping towards him): No, we’re not competing. There’s a plane in the air that’s gonna crash, so what we’re doing is actually trying to save a little girl. Today we have to be soldiers, Mycroft, soldiers ...
(Sherlock, who had been looking at the remaining photographs, lifts his head to watch John. John’s voice, while still fairly low, becomes more firm.)
JOHN: ... and that means to hell with what happens to us.
(Sherlock lowers his head again while John walks away towards the other end of the table. Mycroft raises his eyebrows briefly.)
MYCROFT (sounding genuine): Your priorities do you credit.
JOHN (angrily, turning back to face him): No, my priorities just got a woman killed.
EURUS (from the screen): Now, as I understand it, Sherlock, you try to repress your emotions to refine your reasoning. I’d like to see how that works, so, if you don’t mind, I’m going to apply some context to your deductions.
(There’s a noise from behind the boys and they turn to look. Outside the window three men drop into view, each suspended from a rope attached to a harness. The ropes tighten and the men are left dangling in mid-air, each behind one of the three panes of glass. Their hands are bound in front of them with rope and white scarves are tied around their mouths. Each man has a large card hung around his neck with string. The cards flutter in the wind as the men struggle against their bonds.)
MYCROFT: Oh, dear God.
EURUS: Two of the Garridebs work here as orderlies, so getting the third along really wasn’t too difficult.
(Our boys walk towards the window, staring out of it.)
EURUS: Once you bring in your verdict, let me know and justice will be done.
(We now see that the signs around the struggling men’s necks have their names on them.)
JOHN: What will you do with them?
EURUS: Early release.
(Sherlock’s eyes lower towards the water below the men. He turns away from the window.)
SHERLOCK: You’ll drop them into the sea.
EURUS: Sink, or swim.
JOHN (angrily, turning to look at the screen): They’re tied up!
EURUS: Exactly! Now there is context.
(Sherlock lays the rifle on the table and bends to the photos, resting his hands on the glass at either side.)
EURUS: Please, continue with your deductions. I’m now focussing on the difference to your mental capacity a specified consequence can make.
[She’s a Holmes, all right, because she loudly clicks the ‘k’ on the last word. Your transcriber, who usually giggles and squees at a k-click, grimaces this time.]
MYCROFT (angrily): Why should we bother?
(John glances back to the men outside the window.)
MYCROFT: What if we’re disinclined to play your games, little sister?
(Eurus chuckles, not very humorously.)
EURUS: I have – if you remember – provided you with some motivation.
(There’s a click on the speaker.)
GIRL’s VOICE (frightened): We’re going through the clouds, like cotton wool.
(Mycroft clasps his hands behind his head, lowering it in frustration. Sherlock, who had been bent over the table looking closely at the photographs, straightens up and closes his eyes as he speaks.)
SHERLOCK: Oh. That’s nice. Try to tell me more about the plane.
GIRL: Why won’t my mummy wake up?
(The speaker clicks again. The image of water has been pouring down the screen at the end of the room but now Eurus reappears. Sherlock lowers his head and moves his fingers across the photographs on the table.)
SHERLOCK (softly, intensely): So it’s got to be one of the other two.
(He turns and looks at the men outside the window.)
SHERLOCK (louder): Now, Howard.
(He walks closer and stares at the man on the left who has that name card around his neck.)
SHERLOCK (quick fire): Howard’s a lifelong drunk. Pallor of his skin, terminal gin blossoms on his red nose ... (he zooms in on the man’s face and then lowers his gaze to his hands) ... and – terror notwithstanding – a bad case of the DTs.
(Cut-away of Howard raising the rifle in front of him and cocking it with his thumb. As he moves his finger towards the trigger, his hand is shaking. The camera closes in on his face which twitches as he tries to squint into the telescopic sight. He fires the rifle and the bullet flies in slow motion towards a man in a white T-shirt – presumably Evans – but misses and goes past his head by quite a distance.)
SHERLOCK: There’s no way he could have taken that shot from three hundred metres away.
(He walks across the window to face the man dangling between the other two.)
SHERLOCK: So that leaves us with Alex.
(He squints at him.)
SHERLOCK (quick fire): Indentations on the temples suggest he habitually wears glasses. Frown lines suggest a lifetime of peering.
MYCROFT: He’s shortsighted, or he was. His recent laser surgery has done the trick.
SHERLOCK (briefly glancing round to him): Laser surgery?
MYCROFT: Look at his clothes. He’s made an effort.
(Sherlock looks at Alex’s suit.)
JOHN (softly): That’s very good.
SHERLOCK (softly, intensely): Excellent. Suddenly he sees himself in quite a different light now that he’s dumped the specs. Even has a spray tan. But he’s clearly not used to his new personal grooming ritual.
(He zooms in on the man’s dirty fingernails.)
SHERLOCK (quick fire): That can be told by the state of his fingernails and the fact that there’s hair growing in his ears. (He has focussed on the left side of the man’s head and the tufts of hair coming from his ear.) So it’s a superficial job, then.
(His tone becomes firmer.)
SHERLOCK: But he got his eyes fixed. His hands were steady. He pulled the trigger.
(He turns to the screen, pointing back towards Alex.)
SHERLOCK: He killed Evans.
EURUS: Are you ready to condemn the prisoner?
MYCROFT: Sherlock, we can’t do this.
SHERLOCK (lowering his hand and turning back towards the window): The plane, remember?
EURUS (more firmly): Sherlock? Are you ready?
(Sherlock turns his head a little. John turns to look at him. Sherlock bites his lip for a moment, then speaks softly.)
EURUS: Say it. Condemn him.
(Looking grim, John turns to look at the man outside the window.)
EURUS: Condemn him in the knowledge of what will happen to the man you name.
(Sherlock turns to face the window, looking into Alex’s face. He pauses for a long moment.)
SHERLOCK (quietly but determinedly): I condemn Alex Garrideb.
(Instantly the ropes holding the other two men release and they plunge downwards out of sight. The men inside the room look shocked.)
JIM’s VOICE (softly, from the speakers): Mind the gap.
(Sherlock closes his eyes briefly, and all three of them turn towards the screen.)
EURUS: You got the right one.
(As Sherlock walks slowly towards the screen, Eurus tilts her head towards the door to the right of the screen, which starts to slide open.)
EURUS: Now, go through the door.
JOHN (walking towards the screen, his voice quiet but angry): You dropped the other two. Why?
EURUS (looking curiously towards the camera): Interesting.
JOHN (furiously, loudly): WHY?
EURUS: Does it really make a difference, killing the innocent instead of the guilty? (She looks down thoughtfully.) Let’s see.
(She stabs a finger down onto the remote control lying on the desk. John turns to look out of the window just as Alex’s rope releases and he plunges downwards. Jim’s voice can be heard and his red-lit face appears on the screen briefly.)
JIM: The train has left the station!
EURUS (thoughtfully): No. That felt pretty much the same.
(Sherlock had been walking towards the open doorway but has turned back and walks to stand behind John who is staring towards the window, his teeth bared, breathing heavily.)
SHERLOCK (softly): John.
(John turns to him, breathing harshly through his nose.)
SHERLOCK: Don’t let her distract you.
JOHN (tightly): Distract me?
SHERLOCK (firmly): Soldiers today.
(John looks at him for a couple of seconds, then straightens to his full height. Captain Watson is back in the room. Sherlock glances across to his brother who still looks disturbed by the whole business, then Sherlock turns and leads the others to the door. Mycroft walks slowly, sighing and rubbing one hand tiredly over his forehead.)
Further along a narrow corridor another door slides open and Sherlock walks through the doorway, holding the pistol in both hands lowered towards the floor while the other two follow him. They’re in a small room with black walls and floor and no window and the room is only dimly lit. Unlike the previous one, there’s no red paint on the walls. A wall screen is currently showing only pouring water. In the middle of the room resting on two trestles is a light brown wooden coffin with brass handles and no lid. Light shines down onto it. Sherlock walks across and looks down into the coffin, then raises his head to look for the light source. There’s a narrow open chimney in the middle of the ceiling from which daylight is coming. As the camera pans around and shows that the lid of the coffin is propped up against the far wall, its underside facing the room, the speakers click and Eurus’ voice is heard.
EURUS: One more minute on the phone.
(The speakers squeal momentarily and then the little girl’s voice comes from them.)
GIRL: Frightened. I’m really frightened.
(Sherlock closes his eyes.)
SHERLOCK: It’s okay, don’t worry.
(On the plane the girl is making her way towards the rear of the section, stepping over the prone flight attendant lying in the aisle.)
SHERLOCK (over phone): I don’t have very long with you, so I just need you to tell me what you can see outside the plane.
(She turns and looks out of the nearest window. It’s still quite dark outside but the view of the ocean suggests that the plane is flying quite low.)
GIRL: Just the sea. I can see the sea.
SHERLOCK: Are there ships on it?
GIRL: No ships. I can see lights in the distance.
SHERLOCK: Is it a city?
GIRL: I think so.
(Sherlock turns and looks at John who is standing beside him at the side of the coffin. Mycroft, standing at the other side, speaks quietly.)
MYCROFT: She’s about to fly over a city in a pilotless plane. We’ll have to talk her through it.
JOHN (quietly): Through what?
GIRL (over speakers): Hello? Are you still there?
SHERLOCK: Still here. Just give us a minute.
MYCROFT (quietly): Getting the plane away from any mainland, any populated areas. It has to crash in the sea.
(John looks at him as if he can’t believe what he’s saying.)
JOHN (quietly): What about the girl?
MYCROFT (firmly, but barely above a whisper): Well, obviously, Doctor Watson, she’s the one who’s going to crash it.
JOHN: No. W-we could help her land it.
MYCROFT: And if we fail, and she crashes into a city? How many will die then?
JOHN: How are we gonna get her to do that?
MYCROFT (looking down towards the coffin for a moment): I’m afraid we’re going to have to give her hope.
SHERLOCK (loudly so that the girl can hear): Is there really no-one there that can help you? Have you really, really checked?
GIRL: Everyone’s asleep. Will you help me?
SHERLOCK: We’re going to do everything that we can.
GIRL: I’m scared. I’m really scared.
SHERLOCK: It’s all right. I ...
(He stops when there’s a click on the speakers. In the governor’s office, Eurus can see the room on the screen in front of her and is presumably now visible on the screen in that room.)
EURUS (over speakers): Now, back to the matter in hand.
(In the office, she leans closer to the camera.)
EURUS: Coffin. Problem: someone is about to die. It will be – as I understand it – a tragedy.
(Sherlock walks around to the head of the coffin, rubbing the thumb of his gun hand over his brow as he turns to look at it.)
EURUS (looking away from the camera with a fake sad expression): So many days not lived, so many words unsaid.
(She looks back to the camera with a more genuine sarcastic look on her face.)
EURUS: Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
SHERLOCK (exasperated): Yes, yes, yes, and this – I presume – will be their coffin.
EURUS: Whose coffin, Sherlock? Please, start your deductions. I will apply some context in a moment.
(Sherlock has been pacing around but now he turns towards the head of the coffin again and blows out a noisy breath.)
SHERLOCK: Well, allowing for the entirely pointless courtesy of headroom, I’d say this coffin is intended for someone of about five foot four. Makes it more likely to be a woman.
JOHN: Not a child?
SHERLOCK: A child’s coffin would be more expensive. This is in the lower price range, although still best available in that bracket.
JOHN (softly): A lonely night on Google(!)
SHERLOCK: This is a practical and informed choice. Balance of probability suggests that this is for an unmarried woman distant from her close relatives. That much is suggested by the economy of choice.
(While he’s speaking, Mycroft has looked across the room, frowned in the direction of the coffin lid propped up against the wall and now walks across to pick it up and turn it to look at the top side.)
SHERLOCK (still concentrating on the coffin itself): Acquainted with the process of death but unsentimental about the necessity of disposal. Also, the lining of the coffin ...
MYCROFT (interrupting): Yes, very good, Sherlock, or we could just look at the name on the lid.
(He turns it towards the others. They walk closer to look at it. When he sees what it says, Sherlock sighs and closes his eyes. His face appears reflected in the brass plate which is attached to the lid.)
MYCROFT: Only it isn’t a name.
(Sherlock turns away. The brass plate comes into focus and it reads
I LOVE YOU
JOHN: So, it’s for somebody who loves somebody.
MYCROFT: It’s for somebody who loves Sherlock. (Looking towards his brother) This is all about you. Everything here.
(Sherlock walks slowly back to the coffin and puts his hands on top of it at the head end.)
MYCROFT: So who loves you? I’m assuming it’s not a long list.
(Sherlock gazes intensely into the coffin. John walks over to his side while Mycroft leans the lid against the wall.)
JOHN: Irene Adler.
SHERLOCK: Don’t be ridiculous. Look at the coffin. Unmarried, practical about death, alone.
(John’s eyes widen a little.)
SHERLOCK: Molly Hooper.
(On the screen, Eurus leans forward.)
EURUS: She’s perfectly safe, for the moment.
(The screen switches to four images from camera footage of the interior of a home. In the top right-hand corner a countdown clock appears, currently fixed at 03:00.)
EURUS (offscreen): Her flat is rigged to explode in approximately three minutes ...
(Sherlock stares at the screen and walks towards it. Mycroft rolls his head back in frustration.)
EURUS: ... unless I hear the release code from her lips. I’m calling her on your phone, Sherlock. Make her say it.
JOHN: Say what?
(Sherlock presses his lips together and closes his eyes, lowering his head. Apparently he already knows.)
EURUS: Obvious, surely?
JOHN (shaking his head): No.
(He turns to look at the coffin lid, now leaning against the wall with the top facing them. The other two turn to follow his gaze and they all focus in on the words on the brass plaque.)
EURUS (as Sherlock turns around again): Oh, one important restriction: you’re not allowed to mention in any way at all that her life is in danger.
(Sherlock has pressed his lips together again.)
EURUS: You may not – at any point – suggest that there is any form of crisis. If you do, I will end this session and her life. Are we clear?
(Sherlock nods and the multiple tones of a speed dial ringing out can be heard. At the same time the clock on the screen begins its countdown. Jim’s voice comes from the speakers.)
JIM’s VOICE (in a loud whisper): Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tick.
(The phone connects and starts ringing out. In Molly’s kitchen, she is standing with her elbows on the front of the sink and her head in her hands. Her phone begins to ring on the worktop behind her and she straightens up to turn and look at it. A close-up of the Caller I.D. on the phone shows that it reads “Sherlock”.
In the coffin room, Sherlock shifts his footing and frowns at the screen. In her flat Molly walks slowly across to the work surface. It’s clear that she has been crying. Glancing towards the phone lying nearby, she picks up an orange from the chopping board in front of her and starts to cut a slice from it. There is a large tea cup beside the board. Sherlock frowns as the phone continues to ring.)
SHERLOCK: What’s she doing?
MYCROFT: She’s making tea.
(Sherlock looks round to him. The countdown reaches 02:39.)
SHERLOCK: Yes, but why isn’t she answering her phone?
JOHN (as Molly turns and opens a nearby cupboard door): You never answer your phone.
SHERLOCK (looking at the screen again): Yes, but it’s me calling.
(Taking a jar from the cupboard and closing the door again, Molly looks across to her ringing phone as she starts to take off the lid. The countdown clock reaches 02:27 as her phone goes to voicemail.)
MOLLY’s VOICE (over speakers): Hi, this is Molly, at the dead centre of town.
(The boys all sigh in frustration and Sherlock turns away from the screen. Molly sounds like she’s trying to laugh but it comes across more like a tearful gasp.)
MOLLY’s VOICE: Leave a message.
(The buzzing from a phone suggests that Eurus has terminated the call. Sherlock runs his hand over his mouth.)
EURUS (over speakers): Okay, okay. Just one more time.
(The speed dial can be heard dialling out. Sherlock draws in a long breath through his nose as Molly’s phone starts to ring again. The countdown is at 02:12. John shuffles on the spot, staring intensely at the screen.)
JOHN (quietly, tightly): Come on, Molly, pick up. Just bloody pick up.
(Now squeezing the juice from the slice of orange into the tea cup, Molly looks across to her phone. After a moment, looking exasperated, she dumps the orange down onto the chopping board, picks up a tea towel and wipes her fingers on it and then, sniffing, walks over to the phone. Seeing that the caller is again identified as Sherlock, her hand hesitates momentarily as she reaches for the phone but then she picks it up. She holds it in front of her, looking at the screen.
In the coffin room, Sherlock is holding the pistol in both hands and has lowered his forehead onto the top of it. He lifts his head when Molly finally answers.)
MOLLY (over speakers): Hello, Sherlock. Is this urgent, ’cause I’m not having a good day.
SHERLOCK (rapidly): Molly, I just want you to do something very easy for me, and not ask why.
MOLLY (sighing in exasperation): Oh, God. Is this one of your stupid games?
SHERLOCK: No, it’s not a game. I ... need you to help me.
MOLLY: Look, I’m not at the lab.
SHERLOCK: It’s not about that.
MOLLY (back at the other end of the worktop and fiddling with the stuff on the counter): Well, quickly, then.
(Sherlock blinks rapidly and bites his lips.)
MOLLY (exasperated): Sherlock? What is it? What do you want?
(In her office, Eurus aims the remote control towards the side screens and presses it. The lights in the coffin room turn red and Jim’s face appears on the screen, moving his mouth over-exaggeratedly as he whispers harshly.)
JIM: Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tick.
SHERLOCK (as the lights turn white again and presumably the footage of the flat reappears on the screen): Molly, please, without asking why, just say these words.
MOLLY (smiling a little, apparently intrigued): What words?
SHERLOCK (clearly): I love you.
(Molly’s smile drops and she takes the phone from her ear. Sniffing, she looks down at the screen and moves her thumb towards it ready to terminate the call.)
MOLLY: Leave me alone.
SHERLOCK (loudly, gesturing frantically towards the screen): Molly, no, please, no, don’t hang up! Do not hang up!
EURUS: Calmly, Sherlock, or I will finish her right now.
(The countdown clock ticks down to 01:08. Molly has raised the phone to her ear again.)
MOLLY: Why are you doing this to me? Why are you making fun of me?
SHERLOCK (quieter): Please, I swear, you just have to listen to me.
EURUS: Softer, Sherlock!
(Sherlock glances towards the speaker, then looks at the screen again. He raises his tone to sound a little more friendly.)
SHERLOCK: Molly, this is for a case. It’s ... it’s a sort of experiment.
MOLLY: I’m not an experiment, Sherlock.
(Sherlock’s eyes widen in panic.)
SHERLOCK: No, I know you’re not an experiment. You’re my friend. We’re friends. But ... please. Just ... say those words for me.
MOLLY (her face full of pain): Please don’t do this. Just ... just ... don’t do it.
SHERLOCK (forcing a smile into his voice): It’s very important. I can’t say why, but I promise you it is.
MOLLY: I can’t say that. I can’t ... I can’t say that to you.
SHERLOCK (still smiling to make his voice sound friendly): Of course you can. Why can’t you?
MOLLY: You know why.
SHERLOCK (his smile dropping in his puzzlement): No, I don’t know why.
(Molly sighs heavily, sniffs and wipes a hand across her nose.)
MOLLY: Of course you do.
(The lights in the coffin room turn red and the red-hued image of Jim appears on the screen. Sherlock screws up his eyes and lowers his head.)
JIM: Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tick-tick-tick ...
(Eurus presses the remote in her office and the lights turn white again. Sherlock raises his head and closes his eyes again for a brief moment.)
SHERLOCK: Please, just say it. (He blinks rapidly.)
MOLLY (with a sigh in her voice): I can’t. Not to you.
MOLLY (her voice breaking): Because ... (she looks down) ... because it’s true.
(Her voice becomes an almost silent whisper.)
MOLLY: Because ... it’s ... (she takes a breath and starts to cry) ... true, Sherlock.
(Behind him, John lowers his head and pinches the bridge of his nose with his fingers. Mycroft’s head also drops. Sherlock stares at the screen wide-eyed.)
MOLLY (weeping, her voice dropping to a whisper by the end): It’s always been true.
(Sherlock’s face straightens and he looks at the screen emotionlessly.)
SHERLOCK: Well, if it’s true, just say it anyway.
(Molly laughs in disbelief and heaves a heavy sigh.)
MOLLY: You bastard.
SHERLOCK (firmly): Say it anyway.
(He stares intensely at the screen but his face turns to shock when she speaks.)
MOLLY: You say it. Go on. You say it first.
(He almost turns to look at John for an explanation, but turns back to the screen, frowning, blinking and squinting in confusion.)
MOLLY (flatly): Say it. (More softly) Say it like you mean it.
(Startled, he looks up towards the nearby camera. Eurus leans forward in the office.)
EURUS: Final thirty seconds.
(The countdown on the screen drops from 00:31 and continues downwards. Mycroft, his head raised again, opens his mouth but can’t find the words. He shakes his head and half steps forward, breathing out loudly. Sherlock faces the screen, his eyes closed. He takes a breath, summoning the strength to say the words.)
SHERLOCK (slowly, hesitantly): I-I ...
(Molly has her eyes closed against her tears. She brings up her free hand to the side of her face where she’s holding the phone. Opening her eyes for a moment, she shuts them again and moves her free hand around to cup the one which is holding the phone to her ear. Sherlock has his head lowered but then raises it.)
SHERLOCK: I love you.
(He opens his eyes and looks towards the screen. Molly sighs softly and smiles a little, bringing the thumb of her top hand round to press it against her mouth. Sherlock stares at the screen.)
SHERLOCK (more softly): I love you.
(Molly closes her eyes again for a moment and then brings the phone round to look at its screen. Sherlock looks at the wallscreen anxiously, perhaps worried that she’s going to hang up.)
(The countdown reaches 00.13. Molly brings her hand round towards the screen. It looks as if she is about to hang up as she lifts the phone closer to her mouth. Sherlock steps closer to the screen, his expression frantic.)
SHERLOCK: Molly, please.
(Gazing into the distance and holding the phone in both hands, Molly rubs a finger across her mouth. John stares towards the screen in dread. He is trembling slightly. Mycroft takes another step towards the screen, his eyes wide and his mouth open as he breathes heavily. Molly takes her finger from her mouth and takes in a breath. With her mouth almost touching the phone, she speaks softly.)
MOLLY: I love you.
(Sherlock gasps and rears back from the screen as the countdown clock beeps several times to signify that it has stopped. Both John and Mycroft heave out noisy sighs of relief. Sherlock also sighs and buries his head in both hands, bending forward. In her kitchen, Molly closes her eyes. In the coffin room the countdown has stopped at 00:02. One of the cameras in the kitchen shows Molly putting the phone down and raising both hands to her mouth.
Sherlock lifts his head and straightens up, sighing out loudly and looking exhausted. Mycroft walks towards him.)
MYCROFT: Sherlock, however hard that was ...
SHERLOCK (tiredly, looking towards the camera on the wall): Eurus, I won. I won.
(She doesn’t say anything.)
SHERLOCK (more strongly): Come on, play fair. The girl on the plane: I need to talk to her.
(In her office, Eurus looks a little emotional for the first time, though whether she’s genuinely feeling any emotion is anyone’s guess at this moment.)
SHERLOCK: I won. I saved Molly Hooper.
(Eurus makes a disparaging sound and reappears on the screen in front of him.)
EURUS: Saved her? From what? Oh, do be sensible. There were no explosives in her little house. Why would I be so clumsy? You didn’t win. You lost.
(Sherlock frowns a little.)
EURUS: Look what you did to her. Look what you did to yourself.
(Sherlock turns away.)
EURUS: All those complicated little emotions. I lost count. Emotional context, Sherlock. It destroys you every time.
(He walks past the coffin, noisily dropping the pistol down beside it and continuing on towards the lid propped up against the wall. Eurus sits back in her chair.)
EURUS: Now, please, pull yourself together. I need you at peak efficiency. The next one isn’t going to be so easy.
( One of the doors slides open. Mycroft turns to look at it.)
EURUS: In your own time.
(The screen turns to the pouring water. Sherlock picks up the lid and turns and walks towards the coffin while Mycroft and John head for the open door. Sherlock puts the lid into place on top of the coffin while the others turn to watch him. He rests his hand on the top and slowly draws his hand across towards him, his eyes lowered as he breathes out what is almost a quiet sob.)
(Pulling his hand across the top of the lid, Sherlock turns towards the coffin, lifting his other hand to unbutton his jacket.)
SHERLOCK: No. No.
(His face starts to twist with rage and he pulls back his right arm and smashes it with all his strength down onto the lid, shattering it. He draws back his hand and then slams both fists down onto the lid again and again, then seizes the side of the coffin and lifts the whole thing before smashing it down repeatedly on top of the trestles, disintegrating the box into pieces while he cries out over and over again in rage, grief and frustration. Eventually he lets out a long anguished scream which echoes upwards into the chimney and up into the air above the prison. The rain has arrived and pours downwards, while lightning flashes and thunder rumbles.)
Later, John walks across the room, avoiding all the splintered wood lying around, and bends down to pick up the pistol from the floor. Straightening up, he clears his throat softly and walks across to where Sherlock is sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. His legs are bent up in front of him and his wrists rest on the tops of his knees. His head is lowered and he is staring at the floor in front of him, breathing heavily with a distressed look on his face. Mycroft is standing and watching them from just outside the open door and the nearby screen is still showing pouring water. John stops a few paces in front of his friend.
JOHN (quietly but firmly): Look, I know this is difficult and I know you’re being tortured, but you have got to keep it together.
SHERLOCK (not lifting his head): This isn’t torture; this is vivisection. We’re experiencing science from the perspective of lab rats.
(He breathes out loudly and raises his head to rest it against the wall behind him and gazes upwards. Mycroft watches nearby, looking concerned. Sherlock glances in his direction without turning his head, then swallows and looks up at John.)
JOHN (nodding): Soldiers.
(He bends down and holds out his right hand to Sherlock, who takes it with his own right hand. John pulls him to his feet. Sherlock buttons his jacket and John blows out a breath as they walk side-by-side to the doorway, John holding out the pistol and Sherlock taking it as they go. Just as they reach the doorway the lights turn red and Jim’s voice comes over the speakers.)
JIM: Tick-tock, tickets please!
(This time there’s no corridor and the doorway leads directly into another grey-walled room. The lights in both rooms turn white again. Sherlock’s eyes flick around the new room. Again there’s no window and each of the four walls has a screen against it – although these are on stands – currently showing pouring water. There is nothing else in the room. The floor is mostly grey apart from a large white panel in the centre.)
SHERLOCK: Hey, sis, don’t mean to complain but this one’s empty. What happened? Did you run out of ideas?
(The screens flicker on and show Eurus still sitting in the governor’s office.)
EURUS: It’s not empty, Sherlock. You’ve still got the gun, haven’t you? I told you you’d need it, because only two can play the next game. Just two of you go on from here; your choice. (She smiles brightly into the camera.) It’s make-your-mind-up time. Whose help do you need the most – John or Mycroft?
(Mycroft frowns round at John, who sighs and turns away.)
EURUS: It’s an elimination round. You choose one and kill the other. You have to choose family or friend. Mycroft or John Watson?
(Sherlock turns round to face the others. The lights turn red and Jim appears on the screens, tilting his head from one side to the other as he whispers loudly through his teeth.)
(He stops and closes his mouth.)
MYCROFT: Eurus, enough!
(The lights turn white and she’s back.)
EURUS (mildly): Not yet, I think. (She smiles.) But nearly. Remember, there’s a plane in the sky, and it’s not going to land.
(Mycroft rubs his hands over his face and then lowers them and steps forward towards Sherlock.)
SHERLOCK: Well, what?
MYCROFT: We’re not actually going to discuss this, are we?
(He turns his head towards John.)
MYCROFT: I’m sorry, Doctor Watson. You’re a fine man in many respects.
(He turns back to Sherlock.)
MYCROFT: Make your goodbyes and shoot him.
(He looks at his brother for a couple of seconds, then points towards John and raises his voice.)
MYCROFT: Shoot him!
JOHN (walking closer to him): What?
(Mycroft glances at him for a brief moment and then turns back to his brother.)
MYCROFT: Shoot Doctor Watson. There’s no question who has to continue from here. It’s us; you and me. Whatever lies ahead requires brainpower, Sherlock, not sentiment. Don’t prolong his agony; shoot him.
JOHN: Do I get a say in this?
MYCROFT (turning to him): Today, we are soldiers. Soldiers die for their country.
(Sherlock watches him closely as he continues.)
MYCROFT: I regret, Doctor Watson, that privilege is now yours.
(John glares towards him, his jaw clenched.)
(He turns his head to Sherlock.)
JOHN: He’s right.
(Sherlock turns to him as John turns his body round to face him.)
JOHN: He is, in fact, right.
MYCROFT (looking at John but speaking to Sherlock): Make it swift. No need to prolong his agony. Get it over with ... (he turns his head to his brother) ... and we can get to work.
(John shifts on the spot and straightens up, bracing himself. Sherlock lowers his head and half-turns away. Mycroft scoffs at the sight, then starts to chuckle sarcastically.)
MYCROFT: God! (He puts his hands in his trouser pockets, grinning.) I should have expected this. (His smile drops.) Pathetic. You always were the slow one ...
(Sherlock tilts one eyebrow, not meeting his brother’s eyes.)
MYCROFT: ... the idiot. That’s why I’ve always despised you. You shame us all. You shame the family name. Now, for once in your life, do the right thing. (He tilts his head towards John.) Put this stupid little man out of all our misery.
(John bites his lips, not looking towards Sherlock.)
MYCROFT: Shoot him.
SHERLOCK (quietly, his head still turned away): Stop it.
MYCROFT: Look at him. What is he?
(John, still facing Sherlock, sighs heavily, his gaze sad and distant.)
MYCROFT: Nothing more than a distraction; a little scrap of ordinariness for you to impress, to dazzle with your cleverness. You’ll find another.
SHERLOCK (not looking at him, his voice low): Please, for God’s sake, just stop it.
SHERLOCK (slowly turning towards him): Because, on balance, even your Lady Bracknell was more convincing.
(Mycroft blinks and lifts his head, looking a little disappointed. Sherlock turns his head towards John but doesn’t look at him.)
SHERLOCK (his voice still low): Ignore everything he just said. He’s being kind. He’s trying to make it easy for me to kill him.
(He looks towards John but John has already turned his head to Mycroft. Offscreen, Mycroft has apparently reached up to smooth his hair a little but now lowers his hand and smiles ruefully at his brother.)
SHERLOCK: Which is why this is going to be so much harder.
(He turns to face Mycroft and raises the gun, pointing it at him. On the screen behind him, Eurus shows a trace of emotion for the first time, her eyes widening and her mouth open a little. Mycroft smiles at him.)
MYCROFT: You said you liked my Lady Bracknell.
JOHN (in a whisper): Sherlock. Don’t.
MYCROFT (turning to look at him): It’s not your decision, Doctor Watson.
(John looks at him. Mycroft turns back to his brother.)
MYCROFT: Not in the face, though, please. I’ve promised my brain to the Royal Society.
(Behind Sherlock, Eurus leans closer to the camera, looking concerned. Sherlock closes his eyes for a moment, then opens them again.)
SHERLOCK: Where would you suggest?
MYCROFT: Well ... (he starts doing up the top button of his shirt) ... I suppose there is a heart somewhere inside me. (He looks down and straightens his tie.) I don’t imagine it’s much of a target but ...
(Sherlock’s face is anguished but he smiles a little, and Eurus briefly raises her eyes away from the camera for the first time.)
MYCROFT (lowering his hands and looking directly at Sherlock): ... why don’t we try for that?
(John walks to his side and holds out a hand towards Sherlock.)
JOHN (almost in a whisper): I won’t allow this.
(He turns his head to Mycroft, who looks at him seriously.)
MYCROFT: This is my fault.
(He turns his eyes to Sherlock.)
MYCROFT: Her Christmas treat: five minutes’ conversation with Jim Moriarty five years ago.
SHERLOCK: What did they discuss?
MYCROFT: Five minutes’ conversation ...
(Sherlock lowers the pistol a little and his expression suggests he already knows what his brother is going to say. Mycroft pauses, then shrugs.)
MYCROFT: ... unsupervised.
(John’s mouth opens and he stumbles back a step. Mycroft looks down ruefully. As John continues to back away, Sherlock sighs softly and raises the pistol again. Mycroft straightens up and looks at him.)
MYCROFT: Goodbye, brother mine. No flowers ... (he puts his hands behind his back) ... by request.
(Sherlock shifts his finger more firmly onto the trigger of the gun and takes aim. On the screen behind him, Eurus speaks breathlessly, her eyes wide.)
EURUS: Jim Moriarty thought you’d make this choice. He was so excited.
(The lights in the room turn red and Jim appears on the screen, speaking more softly than previously.)
JIM: And here we are, at the end of the line. Holmes killing Holmes.
(Mycroft shifts uncomfortably on the spot while Sherlock looks at him with a determined gaze. His eyes narrow slightly.)
JIM: This is where I get off.
(He smiles. The lights go white and Eurus is back on the screen. Sherlock’s gaze is fixed on his brother, his expression grim.)
SHERLOCK (tightly, through almost clenched teeth): Five minutes. It took her just five minutes to do all of this to us.
(He turns his eyes towards John, who looks at him more closely. Sherlock returns his gaze to his brother, then raises his eyebrows and shrugs, pressing his lips together for a moment before lowering the gun and turning away.)
SHERLOCK (quietly): Well, not on my watch.
(Mycroft looks startled. John turns to face Sherlock, licking his lips.)
EURUS: What are you doing?
SHERLOCK (turning to face the others again): A moment ago, a brave man asked to be remembered.
(Mycroft starts to look alarmed.)
SHERLOCK: I’m remembering the governor.
(Holding the pistol in both hands, he lifts the muzzle and presses the end under his chin.)
SHERLOCK (calmly): Ten ...
EURUS: No, no, Sherlock.
(John looks briefly to Mycroft then back to Sherlock.)
SHERLOCK: Nine ...
(Both of the others stare at Sherlock in horror.)
SHERLOCK: Eight ...
EURUS: You can’t!
SHERLOCK: Seven ...
EURUS (urgently): You don’t know about Redbeard yet.
(Sherlock has lowered his left hand, continuing to hold the muzzle under his chin with the other.)
SHERLOCK: Six ...
EURUS (anxiously): Sherlock!
SHERLOCK: Five ...
EURUS (loudly, panicked): Sherlock, stop that at once!
(As she yells at him, a small dart whizzes out of a round hole in the wall and impacts the back of Sherlock’s head. He jolts and reaches his left hand round to it.)
SHERLOCK: Four ...
(Another dart shoots out into the back of John’s neck. He reaches round for it. Sherlock pulls the dart from his own neck.)
SHERLOCK (more quietly): Three ...
(He looks at it, still holding the gun under his chin.)
SHERLOCK (weakly): Two ...
(And he slowly falls backwards, the pistol falling from his hand. His eyes slowly close as he falls, and when he lands it’s as if he has fallen into thick black oil, which rises up around him and envelops him until he disappears from view.)
On to Part 4