L'épisode spécial L'effroyable mariée fut diffusé entre les saisons 3 et 4.
Titre VO : The Abominable Bride
Titre VF : L'effroyable mariée
Première diffusion : 1er janvier 2016
Première diffusion en France : 19 mai 2016 à 20h50 sur France 4 (1,09 m de télespectaeurs et 4,6% de part de marché).
Résumé court : En 1895, Sherlock Holmes et le Dr Watson sont connus de tout Londres par les récits des aventures du détective romancés et publiés par l'ancien médecin militaire. Une affaire irrésolue par le détective, où une femme aurait tué son mari après son suicide, resurgit quand une femme vient demander de l’aide à Sherlock : son mari a reçu une lettre contenant cinq pépins d'orange et sait depuis sa mort prochaine.
Avec des références à trois histoires de Sir Arthur Conan Doyle : Cinq pépins d'orange, Le Rituel des Musgrave et le Dernier Problème
Merci à Ariane Devere et son site pour la publication du script ci-dessous (vous pouvez retrouver son site complet par ici) :
Text on screen:
So far on SHERLOCK
Sherlock unzips the body bag in “A Study in Pink.”
SHERLOCK (at the door to the Bart’s lab : The name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street.
(He click-winks at John.)
SHERLOCK : Afternoon !
(He leaves the lab.)
MIKE STAMFORD (to John) : Yeah. He’s always like that.
Brief shot of Sherlock in his security man’s uniform at the Hickman Gallery in “The Great Game.”
Sherlock flogs the dead body in “ASIP.”
MOLLY : Bad day, was it?
In the warehouse in “ASIP.”
MYCROFT : Since yesterday you’ve moved in with him ...
(There’s a brief shot of the door to 221B closing.)
MYCROFT : ... and now you’re solving crimes together.
In the hallway of 221B in “ASIP,” Sherlock kisses Mrs Hudson’s cheek.
MRS HUDSON : Look at you, all happy. It’s not decent.
SHERLOCK : Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs Hudson, is on!
Brief shot of the Houses of Parliament exploding in “The Empty Hearse” [which is out of context when so far this is meant to be a summary of the Season 1 episodes].
221B’s living room in “TGG.”
SHERLOCK : Don’t make people into heroes, John. Heroes don’t exist and if they did, I wouldn’t be one of them.
At the pool in “TGG,” John opens his jacket to reveal the bomb strapped to him.
JIM (to Sherlock) : I’ll burn the heart out of you.
In Irene Adler’s living room in “A Scandal in Belgravia,” a naked Irene clamps her teeth onto Sherlock’s fake vicar’s dog-collar just as John comes in with a bowl of water and a linen napkin.
JOHN : Right, this should do it.
(He stares in shock at the sight that greets him.)
In the sitting room in Buckingham Palace in “ASIB,” John glances at a besheeted Sherlock.
JOHN : Are you wearing any pants?
SHERLOCK : No.
JOHN : Okay.
(They both crack up laughing.)
In Irene’s bedroom, she flogs a drugged Sherlock, then strokes her riding crop over his face.
IRENE : This is how I want you to remember me: the woman who beat you.
In Dewer’s Hollow in “The Hounds of Baskerville,” Sherlock looks at Henry Knight.
SHERLOCK : But there never was any monster.
(The hound howls and everyone turns their flashlights to the sight at the top of the Hollow.)
JOHN : Sherlock?
On Bart’s rooftop in “The Reichenbach Fall,” Sherlock walks across the roof towards Jim.
JIM: Here we are at last.
(He shoots himself in the mouth. Sherlock cries out in shock and leaps back.)
Later, Sherlock is talking over the phone from the rooftop to John on the ground.)
SHERLOCK: Goodbye, John.
JOHN (crying out): SHERLOCK!
(Sherlock spreads his arms and starts to topple forward.
John runs towards the place where Sherlock landed.)
In the underground car park in “The Empty Hearse.”
SHERLOCK (offscreen) : Those things will kill you.
(Greg Lestrade takes the lighter away from his unlit cigarette.)
LESTRADE : Ooh, you bastard!
In the kebab shop
SHERLOCK (to John) : The thrill of the chase, the blood pumping through your veins ...
(Brief flashback to John outside Angelo’s restaurant in “ASIP,” jumping over the bonnet of the car.)
JOHN (to the driver) : Sorry.
(He chases off after Sherlock.)
SHERLOCK : ... just the two of us against the rest of the world.
(John grabs Sherlock’s jacket and head-butts him.)
In the streets near Baker Street in “TRF” [again, shown in the wrong season flashback], Sherlock, handcuffed to John, jumps over the iron fence. John grabs his coat through the fence and pulls him back.
JOHN : Wait! We’re going to need to co-ordinate.
(Brief shot of Sherlock’s grave.)
At the bottom of the stairs in 221B in “TEH.”
JOHN : I asked you for one more miracle. I asked you to stop being dead.
SHERLOCK : I heard you.
Outside Sholto’s room in “The Sign of Three.”
JOHN: Shut up. You are not a puzzle solver; you never have been. You’re a drama queen. Now there is a man in there about to die ...
(Brief shot of Sherlock putting on the deerstalker at the end of “TEH.”)
JOHN (sarcastically quoting Sherlock): ... “The game is on.” Solve it!
At Appledore in “His Last Vow,” Magnussen opens the doors to his ‘vaults.’
SHERLOCK (voiceover): He is the Napoleon of blackmail.
(Brief shot of Magnussen walking through his Mind Palace library.
Shortly afterwards, Mycroft’s helicopter has arrived and is hovering near the patio.)
MAGNUSSEN : No chance for you to be a hero this time, Mr Holmes.
(Armed police move into position.)
SHERLOCK : I’m a high-functioning sociopath.
(He shoots Magnussen in the head, then kneels on the patio with his hands raised, his face full of despair.)
MYCROFT (speaking to Lady Smallwood and her colleagues ): There is no prison in which we could incarcerate Sherlock without causing a riot on a daily basis. The alternative, however, would require your approval.
On the tarmac at the airfield, Sherlock offers his hand to John.
SHERLOCK : To the very best of times, John.
(His plane takes off while John and Mary watch from the ground.)
JIM’s VOICE (distorted) : Did you miss me? Did you miss me?
LADY SMALLWOOD: How is this possible?
MYCROFT (over the phone to Sherlock in the plane): How’s the exile going?
SHERLOCK: I’ve only been gone four minutes.
MYCROFT: Well, I certainly hope you’ve learned your lesson.
SHERLOCK: Who needs me this time?
(On every TV screen in the country, Jim looks over his shoulder to the camera.)
JIM: Miss me?
MYCROFT (over the phone to Sherlock): England.
(Sherlock’s plane touches down on the tarmac.)
The date “2014” appears on the screen, then the numbers begin rapidly to scroll backwards. When they reach the late 1800s they begin to fade from the screen, reaching round about “1884” before disappearing. [It’s likely that the last visible year should be 1881 for canonical reasons.]
Close-up of a blue eye opening and then widening. Then, in an obvious flashback, Captain John Watson, wearing Victorian military uniform, is standing in a battlefield and flinching as a shell explodes close behind him.
WATSON (voiceover): The second Afghan War brought honours and promotion to many.
(In the flashback/dream, Watson is squatting down to a fallen colleague. In real life, Watson rolls over in bed, trying to get back to sleep.)
WATSON (voiceover): ... but for me it meant nothing but misfortune and disaster.
(In the flashback/dream, still tending to his colleague, Watson cowers as another shell explodes and he is showered with earth. Some distance away, an enemy soldier squints along his rifle and pulls the trigger. The bullet impacts Watson’s left shoulder and he falls to the ground. In his bed, Watson thrashes into a new position, groaning quietly. In the flashback/dream, one of Watson’s colleagues drags him to safety.)
SOLDIER: You all right, Captain?
(Watson wakes up again, his face covered with sweat. Before his open eyes he can still see explosions going off on the battlefield.)
The scene changes to a London street in the 1880s. The road is busy with horse-drawn carriages, and there are many people walking along the pavement.
WATSON (voiceover): I returned to England with my health irretrievably ruined and my future bleak.
(Watson limps along the road leaning on a cane.)
WATSON (voiceover): Under such circumstances, I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are drained.
(As his narration was happening, a voice could be heard calling out, “Watson!” Now the man calls out again.)
(Watson turns to see a man smiling as he approaches him.)
STAMFORD: Stamford. Remember?
(Watson looks blankly at him.)
STAMFORD: We were at Bart’s together.
WATSON: Yes, of course. (He shakes hands with the other man.) Stamford.
STAMFORD: Good Lord! Where have you been? You’re as thin as a rake!
Later, they are standing at a table in the crowded bar of the Criterion.
WATSON: I made it home. Many weren’t so lucky.
STAMFORD: So what now?
WATSON: Hmm? I need a place to live. Somewhere decent, and an affordable price. It’s not easy.
(He drinks from his glass of beer. Stamford chuckles.)
STAMFORD: You know, you’re the second person to say that to me today.
WATSON: Hmm? Who was the first?
In an underground mortuary, a man is repeatedly and violently flogging a corpse with a heavy walking stick. Currently we can only see the back of his head. Watson and Stamford walk into the corridor leading to the mortuary and Watson looks through the window of the room with surprise.
WATSON: Good Lord!
STAMFORD: It’s an experiment, apparently. Beating corpses to establish how long after death bruising is still possible.
(Watson watches the man a little uncomfortably as he continues to flog the corpse. Eventually he turns and limps away.)
WATSON: Is there a medical point to that?
STAMFORD (following him): Not sure.
WATSON: Neither am I. So, where’s this friend of yours, then?
(Stamford stops at the door to the room. Watson stops and turns back to look at him, then realisation begins to dawn.
Inside the room, the man is still thrashing the corpse with his back to Stamford and Watson as they walk in.)
STAMFORD (loudly): Excuse me!
(The man flogs the corpse even faster.)
WATSON (loudly): I do hope we’re not interrupting.
(Giving the corpse one last violent lash, the man blows out a breath and turns, and we see that this is Sherlock Holmes. He quickly looks down the length of Watson’s body.)
HOLMES: You’ve been in Afghanistan, I perceive. (He turns away, reaching into his waistcoat for his pocket watch.)
STAMFORD: Doctor Watson, Mr Sherlock ...
(Looking down at his watch and without turning round, Holmes tosses his walking stick towards Watson, who instinctively reaches out and catches it.)
HOLMES (turning back again): Excellent reflexes. (He smiles falsely at Watson while putting his watch back into his pocket.) You’ll do.
WATSON: I’m sorry?
HOLMES: I have my eye on a suite of rooms near Regent’s Park. Between us we could afford them.
WATSON: Rooms? (He glances briefly at Stamford.) Who said anything about rooms?
HOLMES (quick fire): I did. I mentioned to Stamford this morning I was in need of a fellow lodger. Now he appears after lunch in the company of a man of military aspect with a tan and recent injury, both suggestive of the campaign in Afghanistan and an enforced departure from it. (He finally takes a quick breath.) The conclusion seemed inescapable.
(He flicks a quick glance at Watson and then lowers his eyes with a small self-satisfied smile.)
HOLMES (pulling in a longer breath): We’ll finalise the details tomorrow evening.
(He walks towards the other two, forcing them to step aside as he walks in between them, taking his walking stick from Watson as he passes.)
HOLMES: Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a hanging in Wandsworth and I’d hate them to start without me.
(He takes his coat from a nearby stand and starts to put it on.)
WATSON: A hanging?
HOLMES: I take a professional interest. I also play the violin and smoke a pipe. I presume that’s not a problem?
WATSON: Er, no, well ...
HOLMES (taking his hat from the stand and smiling at Watson): And you’re clearly acclimatised to never getting to the end of a sentence. We’ll get along splendidly. Tomorrow evening, seven o’clock, then.
(He starts to turn away, then turns back.)
HOLMES: Oh, and the name is Sherlock Holmes and the address is two hundred and twenty-one B Baker Street.
(He puts on his hat, then turns and walks away.)
STAMFORD (to Watson): Yes. He’s always been like that.
NEW OPENING (VICTORIAN) TITLES (with a Victorian twist to the theme tune).
Close-up on an issue of The Strand Magazine. Nearby, a news vendor is calling out to the passing pedestrians. He is holding newspapers and another copy of The Strand with a small red sleeve around it on which are the words “SHERLOCK HOLMES” and an in-profile white silhouette of the detective. Offscreen, carollers can be heard singing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”
NEWS VENDOR: Papers! Papers!
(A hansom cab approaches along the street.)
NEWS VENDOR: Papers! Papers!
(The cab slows down as Watson leans out of the window a little and gestures to attract the attention of the vendor.)
(The cab stops.)
WATSON: How’s ‘The Blue Carbuncle’ doing?
NEWS VENDOR: Very popular, Doctor Watson. Is there gonna be a proper murder next time?
WATSON: I’ll have a word with the criminal classes.
NEWS VENDOR: If you wouldn’t mind.
(He points towards the figure sitting next to Watson.)
NEWS VENDOR: Is that ’im? Is ’e in there?
(Holmes, mostly obscured from the vendor’s view, apparently kicks Watson, who grunts.)
WATSON: No. No, no, not at all. (He tips a finger to his hat.) Ah, good day to you.
CABBIE (to his horse, shaking the reins at it): Walk on.
(The cab sets off again. The news vendor calls after it.)
NEWS VENDOR: Merry Christmas, Mr Holmes!
CLOSE-UP OF THE BAKER STREET. W. sign on the wall of a building. As the camera pans down to show the street, the cab pulls up outside the front door of 221B. Next door is a canopy over a shop showing that this is SPEEDWELL’S Restaurant and Tea Rooms. The door to 221B opens and Mrs Hudson comes out as Holmes and Watson get out of the cab, Holmes holding a pipe.
MRS HUDSON: Mr Holmes, I do wish you’d let me know when you’re planning to come home.
(The houseboy, Billy [who bears a striking resemblance to Archie from “The Sign of Three”] hurries out of the house towards Watson, who is unloading bags from the cab.)
HOLMES: I hardly knew myself, Mrs Hudson. That’s the trouble with dismembered country squires – they’re notoriously difficult to schedule.
(He clamps the pipe between his teeth and turns back to pay the cabbie.)
BILLY (to Watson, looking at a bag which he is holding): What’s in there?
WATSON: Never mind.
HOLMES (to the cabbie): Thank you.
(Billy takes some of the other bags and starts to take them inside.)
BILLY (over his shoulder): Did you catch a murderer, Mr Holmes?
HOLMES: Caught the murderer; still looking for the legs. Think we’ll call it a draw.
(He goes inside. Mrs Hudson, on the doorstep, turns to Watson.)
MRS HUDSON: And I notice you’ve published another of your stories, Doctor Watson.
WATSON: Yes. Did you enjoy it?
MRS HUDSON (after only a second’s thought): No.
(She turns and goes inside. Watson follows her.)
MRS HUDSON: I never enjoy them.
WATSON (pushing the door closed behind him): Why not?
(In the hallway Holmes has taken off his coat and hat and hangs them on a hook near the front door, then walks further into the hall.)
MRS HUDSON: Well, I never say anything, do I? According to you, I just show people up the stairs and serve you breakfasts.
WATSON (hanging up his own coat and hat): Well, within the narrative, that is – broadly speaking – your function.
MRS HUDSON: My what?!
HOLMES: Don’t feel singled out, Mrs Hudson. I’m hardly in the dog one.
WATSON (indignantly): “The dog one”?!
MRS HUDSON: I’m your landlady, not a plot device.
WATSON (to Holmes, who is heading up the stairs): Do you mean ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’?!
MRS HUDSON (upset): And you make the room so drab and dingy.
WATSON (tetchily): Oh, blame it on the illustrator. He’s out of control. I’ve had to grow this moustache just so people’ll recognise me.
(He follows his colleague up the stairs.)
WATSON (voiceover): Over the many years it has been my privilege to record the exploits of my remarkable friend, Mr Sherlock Holmes, it has sometimes been difficult to choose which of his many cases to set before my readers.
(While he has been narrating, Holmes has gone up the stairs into the first floor sitting room. Glancing briefly towards the fire, he walks across the room to the right-hand window and pulls back the closed curtains, revealing a stag’s head hung on the wall between the two windows. The mounted head has a full set of antlers, upon which an ear trumpet hangs.)
WATSON (voiceover): Some are still too sensitive to recount ...
(As Holmes walks across the room to the left-hand window, a knife can be seen stabbed into some letters on the mantelpiece.)
WATSON (voiceover): ... whilst others are too recent in the minds of the public.
(On the wall opposite the fireplace is a framed copy of the painting “All is Vanity” by Charles Allen Gilbert, painted in 1892. [Click here to see the picture])
WATSON (voiceover): But in all our many adventures together, no case pushed my friend to such mental and physical extremes as that of The Abominable Bride.
(During his narration, Watson has brought one of the bags upstairs, taken it to the room behind the sitting room and put it on the table. Letting the bag go, he flexes the fingers of his left hand, then turns towards the sitting room where Holmes is pushing open the curtains of the left window. As more light floods into the room, a figure is revealed standing in front of the fire. Dressed in black mourning clothes and with a black veil over the face, the figure, apparently a woman, stands facing the fire with her hands clasped behind her back.)
WATSON (walking into the room): Good Lord!
(The figure turns around to face the room.)
HOLMES (loudly, walking past the figure to the door): Mrs Hudson, there is a woman in my sitting room! Is it intentional?
MRS HUDSON (from downstairs): She’s a client! Said you were out; insisted on waiting.
(Holmes grimaces. Watson picks up a chair near the table and turns to put it down in front of the woman.)
WATSON: Would you, er, care to sit down?
(The woman doesn’t move or respond to him.)
HOLMES (calling down the stairs): Didn’t you ask her what she wanted?
MRS HUDSON (from downstairs): You ask her!
HOLMES: Well, why didn’t you ask her?
MRS HUDSON (tetchily): How could I, what with me not talking and everything?
(Holmes rolls his eyes and sighs. He turns and walks back into the sitting room.)
HOLMES: Oh, for God’s sake. (Quietly, to Watson) Give her some lines. She’s perfectly capable of starving us.
(He walks towards the woman and smiles at her.)
HOLMES: Good afternoon. I’m Sherlock Holmes. This is my friend and colleague, Doctor Watson. You may speak freely in front of him, as he rarely understands a word.
HOLMES (to the woman): However, before you do, allow me to make some trifling observations.
(He walks closer to her and circles around her while she continues to stand there impassively.)
HOLMES: You have an impish sense of humour which currently you’re deploying to ease a degree of personal anguish.
(He moves towards Watson and circles around him, still addressing the silent woman.)
HOLMES: You have recently married a man of a seemingly kindly disposition who has now abandoned you for an unsavoury companion of dubious morals. You have come to this agency as a last resort in the hope that reconciliation may still be possible.
WATSON: Good Lord, Holmes!
HOLMES: All of this is, of course, perfectly evident from your perfume.
WATSON: Her perfume?
HOLMES: Yes, her perfume, which brings insight to me and disaster to you.
WATSON: How so?
HOLMES (stepping towards the woman): Because I recognised it and you did not.
(He undoes the woman’s veil and pulls it clear of her face. As he walks away from her, Watson instantly recognises her.)
MRS WATSON (smiling): John.
WATSON: Why, in God’s name, are you pretending to be a client?
MRS WATSON: Because I could think of no other way to see my husband, Husband.
Not long afterwards, Holmes has taken off his jacket and put on a camel coloured dressing gown over his clothes. Holding his violin and standing facing the right-hand window, he is playing a tune which we recognise as his wedding waltz. Mary still stands near the fireplace and Watson is pacing nearby but now turns back to his wife and speaks angrily to her.
WATSON: It was an affair of international intrigue.
MRS WATSON: It was a murdered country squire.
WATSON: Nevertheless, matters were pressing.
MRS WATSON: I don’t mind you going, my darling. I mind you leaving me behind!
WATSON: But what could you do?!
MRS WATSON: Oh, what do you do except wander round, taking notes, looking surprised ...
(Holmes stops playing and angrily lowers his violin.)
(The others fall silent and look at him. He doesn’t turn round.)
HOLMES (softly): The stage is set, and the curtain rises. We are ready to begin.
MRS WATSON: Begin what?
HOLMES: Sometimes, to solve a case, one must first solve another.
WATSON: Oh, you have a case, then, a new one?
HOLMES (softly): An old one. Very old. I shall have to go deep.
WATSON: Deep? Into what?
HOLMES (softly): Myself.
(He gazes out of the window for a moment longer, then turns and calls over his shoulder.)
HOLMES: Lestrade! Do stop loitering by the door and come in.
(The door to the sitting room opens and Inspector Lestrade comes in, breathing heavily and looking anxious. He glances towards the table in between the windows before looking towards the people near the fireplace.)
LESTRADE: How did you know it was me?
HOLMES (going across to his chair and sitting down): The regulation tread is unmistakeable; lighter than Jones, heavier than Gregson.
LESTRADE (stuttering): I-I-I just came up. Mrs Hudson didn’t seem to be talking.
(Rolling his eyes, Holmes reaches towards a Turkish slipper on the table beside his chair and takes out some tobacco to fill his pipe.)
HOLMES: I fear she’s branched into literary criticism by means of satire. It is a distressing trend in the modern landlady. What brings you here in your off-duty hours?
(Lestrade glances to his right, then looks back at Holmes.)
LESTRADE: How’d you know I’m off-duty?
HOLMES: Well, since your arrival you’ve addressed over forty percent of your remarks to my decanter.
(He points to the table between the windows, on which is a silver tray holding various bottles and glasses, including a whisky decanter.)
HOLMES: Watson, give the inspector what he so clearly wants.
(Watson walks across the room while Lestrade takes off his hat. Watson picks up the decanter and pours a drink.)
WATSON: So, Lestrade, what can we do for you?
LESTRADE: Oh, I’m not here on business. I just thought I’d ... drop by.
WATSON: A social call? (He walks over and hands Lestrade the glass.)
LESTRADE: Yeah, of course, just to wish you the compliments of the season.
(Holmes takes his pipe from his mouth and looks pointedly at the inspector. Lestrade looks at him a little nervously and then raises his glass, looking across to Mary.)
LESTRADE: Merry Christmas?
HOLMES: Merry Christmas.
WATSON: Merry Christmas.
MRS WATSON: Merry Christmas.
HOLMES: Thank God that’s over. Now, Inspector, what strange happening compels you to my door but embarrasses you to relate?
(Lestrade has taken a long drink from his glass and now closes his eyes before shaking his head and opening his eyes again.)
LESTRADE: Who said anything happened?
HOLMES: You did, by every means short of actual speech.
(Lestrade drinks deeply and then sighs with relief.)
WATSON (raising a finger): Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, Holmes? You have misdiagnosed.
HOLMES (smiling): Then correct me, Doctor.
WATSON: He didn’t want a drink ... (he takes the glass from Lestrade and turns it upside down to show that it is empty) ... he needed one. He’s not embarrassed; he’s afraid.
(Lestrade looks down, putting his gloved hand to his mouth and looking anxious. Holmes smirks.)
HOLMES: My Boswell is learning. They do grow up so fast.
(He looks up at Mary, who smiles at him.)
HOLMES: Watson, restore the courage of Scotland Yard.
(Watson takes the glass back over to the table.)
HOLMES: Inspector, do sit down.
(He gestures to the dining chair with his pipe and picks up a match.)
LESTRADE (picking up the chair and moving it near to Watson’s armchair so that he can sit facing Holmes): I’m-I’m not afraid, exactly.
HOLMES: Fear is wisdom in the face of danger. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
(Watson brings over the refilled glass and gives it to Lestrade.)
LESTRADE: Thank you.
HOLMES: From the beginning, then.
(He strikes the match, and the image of the igniting match head morphs into the barrel of a pistol. Standing on the balcony outside an upper storey window of a building elsewhere in London, a woman is holding a long-barrelled pistol in each hand. She is wearing a wedding dress and matching head dress with the veil flipped back on her head, and her face is painted deathly white, except for her lips which are vividly red against the paleness of her face. The lipstick runs slightly over the edges of her lips. She fires into the street below and one of the bullets smashes through the window of a nearby baker’s shop. She fires again and people in the street below cry out in panic and duck or run. As a man runs along the street, the woman turns and aims her pistols at him.)
(The man – named Giles according to the end credits – turns and stares up at her, holding up his hands pleadingly.)
GILES: No! Please!
(She turns away from him and stares wide-eyed at the pandemonium below her. Another man is running for cover. She glares at him but then fires further down the street to her right. He stops at the baker’s shop and struggles to open the door but it appears to be locked. Breathing heavily, the woman cries towards him.)
(The man turns and starts to run down the street as the woman fires in his direction.
In 221B’s sitting room, Holmes raises his hand.)
HOLMES: A moment.
(In the street, as another gunshot rings out, the scene freezes and, a little way down the road, it’s as if the sitting room has appeared in the street but with only the wall with the fireplace there. The other three walls have vanished and Holmes and the others are sitting in their chairs and looking out at the scene. Watson has now sat down in his armchair, and Mary is sitting on the arm of his chair. Holmes points at the frozen scene.)
HOLMES: When was this?
LESTRADE: Yesterday morning.
HOLMES: The bride’s face. How was it described?
(Lestrade opens his notebook and looks at his notes.)
LESTRADE: White as death ...
(Brief shot of the bride firing into the street.)
LESTRADE: ... mouth like a crimson wound.
(Holmes stands up and walks across the room to look at his imagined version of the street scene.)
HOLMES: Poetry or truth?
LESTRADE: Many would say they’re the same thing.
HOLMES (briefly closing his eyes in exasperation): Yes, idiots. Poetry or truth?
LESTRADE: I saw her face myself. Afterwards.
(Holmes turns to look at him.)
HOLMES: After what?
(On the balcony, the bride aims her pistols at another man.)
BRIDE: You! (She pauses for a moment.) Or me?
(Lowering the left-hand pistol, she raises the barrel of the other pistol in her right hand and opens her mouth wide. Aiming the gun up into her mouth, she fires and blood spatters over the white net curtains behind her. As the watching people cry out in alarm, she falls backwards and disappears from view.
In the sitting room, Holmes sighs with exasperation.)
HOLMES: Really, Lestrade. (He walks back across the room to sit in his chair.) A woman blows her own brains out in public and you need help identifying the guilty party. I fear Scotland Yard has reached a new low.
LESTRADE: That’s not why I’m here.
HOLMES: I surmise.
WATSON (now holding an open notebook on his lap): What was her name, the bride?
(Brief shot of the woman lying on the carpet in the room where she shot herself, the pistol still in her hand.)
LESTRADE: Emelia Ricoletti. Yesterday was her wedding anniversary. The police, of course, were called, and her body taken to the morgue. (He drinks from his glass.)
HOLMES: Standard procedure. Why are you telling us what may be presumed?
LESTRADE: Because of what happened next.
(In Limehouse, a pretty Chinese woman smiles at an English man who is sitting in a carriage. A Chinese man stands beside her. Nearby, another Chinese man stands outside what can be presumed to be an opium den.)
LESTRADE (voiceover): Limehouse, just a few hours later.
(An English man in a smart dress suit comes out of the den and starts to walk down the street. The scene freezes with the man facing towards where the sitting room of 221B seems to have appeared in the street. Lestrade looks towards the man.)
LESTRADE: Thomas Ricoletti, Emelia Ricoletti’s husband.
HOLMES: Presumably on his way to the morgue to identify her remains.
(Lestrade takes another drink, then nods.)
LESTRADE: As it turned out, he was saved the trip.
(In the street, a hansom cab approaches and a horse whinnies. Ricoletti turns around to look. The door of the cab opens and a woman starts to get out. At this moment all we can see is her boot and her white wedding dress covering her leg.)
BRIDE (singing): ♪ Do not forget me ...
(Ricoletti stares in horror as the Bride is revealed, her face covered and obscured by the head dress’ veil. She is holding a shotgun which she now aims at him as she continues to sing.)
BRIDE (singing the next line of her song): ♪ Do not forget me ...
(Ricoletti raises his hands in terrified submission. The Bride slowly walks towards him.)
BRIDE: ♪ Remember the maid ...
RICOLETTI: Who are you?
BRIDE: ♪ The maid of the mill. ♪
RICOLETTI (talking over her): Why are you doing this? Just tell me who you are!
BRIDE: You recognise our song, my dear? I sang it at our wedding.
(Ricoletti stares in horror as the Bride lifts her veil with one hand. Her lipstick is even more smeared than before, and there are powder burns around the middle of her lips.)
RICOLETTI: Emelia?! (He stutters.) You’re dead. You can’t be here. You died.
BRIDE (smiling at him): Am I not beautiful, Thomas? As beautiful as the day you married me?
(Behind her, a young police constable runs toward the scene but stops a few paces away.)
PC RANCE (nervously): What the hell’s all this about?
(The Bride turns her head towards him. The back of her head is covered with blood.)
BRIDE: What does it look like, my handsome friend?
(She turns her head towards her husband again.)
BRIDE: It’s a shotgun wedding.
(Cocking the shotgun twice in rapid succession, she fires at him twice. She smiles as he stares sightlessly at her for a moment, his own blood spattered over his face, then drops to the ground. His head seems to lands on the carpet of the sitting room in 221B. Holmes looks impassively at the man’s body.)
HOLMES: ’Til death us do part. Twice, in this case.
(He smiles at Lestrade. In the street, the Bride has pulled her veil back over her face and now turns in the direction of the hansom cab. The back of her head can be seen more clearly and it looks as if the rear of her skull has been blown off. PC Rance gasps as she walks past the cab and continues on into the fog and disappears from view. Rance blows his police whistle and then runs off after her.)
MRS WATSON: Impossible!
HOLMES (standing): Superb! Suicide as street theatre; murder by corpse. Lestrade, you’re spoiling us. Watson, your hat and coat.
(He walks towards the door.)
WATSON (also standing): Where are we going?
HOLMES (standing just outside the sitting room): To the morgue. There’s not a moment to lose ...
(He takes off his dressing gown and puts on his jacket.)
HOLMES: ... which one can so rarely say of a morgue.
MRS WATSON: And am I just to sit here?
WATSON: Not at all, my dear. (He leans down and chucks her under the chin.) We’ll be hungry later!
(He turns to Holmes.)
WATSON: Holmes, just one thing? (He looks down at his own clothes.) Tweeds, in a morgue?
HOLMES: Needs must when the devil drives, Watson.
(They both hurry down the stairs. Lestrade looks at Mary as he starts to follow them.)
MRS WATSON (standing up): I’m part of a campaign, you know.
LESTRADE (turning back to her): Oh yeah? Campaign?
MRS WATSON: Votes for Women.
LESTRADE: And are you – are you for or against?
MRS WATSON (sternly pointing to the stairs): Get out.
(Looking bewildered, Lestrade turns and leaves. Mary sits down in Watson’s chair, props her head on her hand and stares into the fire, sighing in exasperation. Mrs Hudson comes to the open door and knocks on it.)
MRS HUDSON: Ooh-ooh!
(She looks around the room.)
MRS HUDSON: Oh. Have they gone off again, have they? I dunno – what a life those gentlemen lead.
MRS WATSON (bitterly): Yes. Those gentlemen.
MRS HUDSON: Oh, never you mind. Ooh, almost forgot.
(She walks over and hands Mary an envelope.)
MRS HUDSON: That came for you.
MRS WATSON: Oh!
(She takes it and opens it. Mrs Hudson stands nearby, trying to read the card which Mary takes from the envelope. On one side is simply:
On the other side it says:
Mary smiles with delight.)
MRS WATSON: Mrs Hudson, tell my husband I’ll be home late. I have some urgent business.
MRS HUDSON: Is everything all right?
MRS WATSON: Oh, you know, just a ... (she waves her hand vaguely and clears her throat) ... friend in need.
(She stands up and walks toward the door.)
MRS HUDSON: Oh dear. What friend?
(Mary turns and smiles at her excitedly.)
MRS WATSON: England.
(She turns and goes down the stairs. Mrs Hudson looks round, bewildered.)
MRS HUDSON: Well, that’s not very specific!
On the streets, the men are in a hansom cab, Holmes and Watson sitting side by side facing forward and Lestrade sitting facing Holmes. Holmes looks at the inspector.
HOLMES: Who’s on mortuary duty?
LESTRADE: You know who.
HOLMES (exasperated): Always him.
Shortly afterwards, Holmes opens the door to the underground mortuary room and leads in the other two. They walk across to the nearest table on which is a body covered with a sheet.
HOLMES: Please tell me which idiot did this!
(The body has been chained down in several places along its length. Nearby, a man turns and walks towards Holmes.)
ANDERSON: It’s for everyone’s safety.
(Watson pulls back the cover from the corpse’s head, revealing the face of Emelia Ricoletti.)
WATSON: This woman is dead. Half her head is missing! She’s not a threat to anyone!
ANDERSON: Tell that to her husband. (He points across the room.) He’s under a sheet over there.
HOLMES: Whatever happened in Limehouse last night, I think we can safely assume it wasn’t the work of a dead woman.
ANDERSON: Stranger things have happened.
HOLMES: Such as?
ANDERSON (hesitantly): Well ... strange things.
WATSON: You’re speaking like a child.
HOLMES (looking down at the body): This is clearly a man’s work. Where is he?
(Anderson hesitates, but before he can answer the door opens. Holmes turns to look at the new arrival. It’s a man wearing a suit, with brown hair and a moustache. He looks familiar to us, and now speaks with a voice that most of us immediately recognise, though it’s slightly deeper than we’re used to.)
THE NEW ARRIVAL: Holmes.
(Hooper walks closer, looking sternly at Anderson.)
HOOPER: You – back to work.
(Anderson nods nervously and turns away. Hooper walks to one side of the table and looks across it at Holmes.)
HOOPER: So, come to astonish us with your magic tricks, I suppose.
HOLMES: Is there anything to which you would like to draw my attention?
HOOPER: Nothing at all, Mr Holmes. You may leave any time you like.
LESTRADE: Doctor Hooper, I asked Mr Holmes to come here. Co-operate. That’s an order.
(Hooper takes a long breath, then looks down at the body.)
HOOPER: There are two ‘features of interest,’ as you are always saying in Doctor Watson’s stories.
HOLMES: I never say that.
WATSON: You do, actually, quite a lot.
(He nods. Holmes narrows his eyes.)
HOOPER: First of all, this is definitely Emelia Ricoletti. She has been categorically identified. Beyond a doubt it is her.
WATSON: Then who was that in Limehouse last night?
HOOPER: That was also Emelia Ricoletti.
WATSON: It can’t have been. She was dead. She was here.
(Holmes takes out a small magnifying glass and bends down to look more closely at the Bride’s face.)
HOOPER: She was positively identified by her own husband seconds before he died. He had no reason to lie. He could hardly be mistaken.
LESTRADE: The cabbie knew her too. There’s no question it’s her.
WATSON: But she can’t have been in two places at the same time, can she?
HOLMES (straightening up): No, Watson. One place is strictly the limit for the recently deceased.
(Watson clicks his fingers and points to his friend.)
WATSON: Holmes, could it have been twins?
WATSON: Why not?
HOLMES: Because it’s never twins.
LESTRADE: Emelia was not a twin, nor did she have any sisters. She had one older brother who died four years ago.
(Watson isn’t yet prepared to let go of the idea and shakes his head, humming.)
WATSON: Maybe it was a secret twin.
(Holmes looks at him as if staggered by his idiocy.)
HOLMES: A what?
WATSON (precisely): A secret twin?
(Holmes continues to look at him as if he can’t believe what he’s hearing.)
WATSON: Hmm? You know? A twin that nobody knows about? This whole thing could have been planned.
HOLMES: Since the moment of conception? How breathtakingly prescient of her! It is never twins, Watson.
WATSON: Then what’s your theory?
HOLMES (turning to look at Lestrade): More to the point, what’s your problem?
(Lestrade lifts his eyes from the corpse and looks at him.)
LESTRADE: I-I don’t understand. What ...
HOLMES: Why were you so frightened? Nothing so far has justified your assault on my decanter, and why have you allowed a dead woman to be placed under arrest?
HOOPER: Ah. That would be the other feature of interest.
(Hooper lifts the right hand of the corpse, showing her index finger. Holmes and Watson bend down for a closer look.)
WATSON: Ah. A smear of blood on her finger. That could have happened any number of ways.
(Lowering the hand, Hooper looks sternly at Holmes.)
HOOPER: There’s one other thing. It wasn’t there earlier.
(Holmes straightens up. Lestrade points to a nearby wall.)
LESTRADE: And neither was that.
(He walks towards the wall and picks up a lantern to illuminate it more clearly. Watson walks around the table and he and Holmes go over to the wall. In the light from the lantern, a single word can be seen painted on the wall, apparently in blood:
There’s a brief flashback to the Bride standing on the balcony, pointing her pistols into the street and crying out, “You!” or “You?” three times to various men.)
HOLMES (softly, staring at the word on the wall): Gun in the mouth; a bullet through the brain; back of the head blown clean off. How could he survive?
(Confused, Watson looks around the mortuary and then turns back to Holmes.)
WATSON: She, you mean.
HOLMES (his eyes still fixed on the wall): I’m sorry?
WATSON: Not “he,” “she.”
HOLMES (absently): Yes, yes, of course.
(He stares at the wall for another moment, apparently lost in thought, then jumps and comes back to himself.)
HOLMES (more normally, turning to the others): Well, thank you all for a fascinating case. (He looks at Lestrade.) I’ll send you a telegram when I’ve solved it. Watson?
(He walks away and leaves the room. Watson, however, turns back to Hooper and points down at the body.)
WATSON: Er, the gunshot wound was obviously the cause of death, but there are clear indicators of consumption. Might be worth a post mortem. We need all the information we can get.
(He turns and starts to walk away.)
HOOPER: Oh, isn’t he observant now that Daddy’s gone?
(Watson stops. Hooper quietly smirks. After a moment, Watson turns back and walks closer to the table again.)
WATSON (quietly): I am observant in some ways, just as Holmes is quite blind in others.
HOOPER (sarcastically): Really?
WATSON (quietly): Yes. Really. (He looks at Hooper pointedly.) Amazing what one has to do to get ahead in a man’s world.
(Hooper stares at him. Watson doffs his hat to him her, then puts it back on his head. He glances across to Anderson, then turns and walks away. Hooper swallows a little nervously and watches him go.)
ANDERSON: What’s he saying that for?
HOOPER (sternly): Get back to work.
HANSOM CAB. Watson looks across to his friend.
WATSON: Well, Holmes? Surely you must have some theory.
HOLMES: Not yet. These are deep waters, Watson. Deep waters. (He looks out of the window.) And I shall have to go deeper still.
Headlines from various newspaper reports drift across the screen:
STATEMENT FROM CAB DRIVER
“IT WAS MRS RICOLETTI”
IN THE WEST END!
DREADFUL END OF PEER.
ALARMING DISCOVERY IN ISLINGTON
BODY OF SEA CAPTIN FOUND IN CHAPEL
[Oh goodie. The production team’s spelling still hasn’t improved. And don’t tell me they did it deliberately, because I won’t believe you!]
MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL AT EASTHAM
Statement from cab driver claims:
“It was Mrs Ricoletti”.
WHO WILL BE NEXT?
In the notorious ‘Bride’
SCOTLAND YARD BAFFLED
MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF VISCOUNT HUMMERSKNOT
The mysterious death of Viscount Hummersknot on Wednesday last
has led to questions in the House. Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard
refused to say whether the peer’s death was anything to do with the
(The rest of the text disappears offscreen.)
WATSON (voiceover): It was not for several months that we were to pick up the threads of this strange case again; and then under very unexpected circumstances.
(In 221B, Holmes – wearing a dark blue dressing gown over his clothes – is pacing back and forth beside the table of the room behind the sitting room, reading a book. Lestrade is sitting on a chair at the other side of the table.)
LESTRADE: Five of them now, all the same, every one of ’em.
HOLMES (not looking up from his book): Hush, please. This is a matter of supreme importance.
LESTRADE: What is?
HOLMES: The obliquity of the ecliptic. I have to understand it.
LESTRADE: What is it?
HOLMES: I don’t know. I’m still trying to understand it.
LESTRADE: I thought you understood everything.
HOLMES: Of course not. That would be an appalling waste of brain space. I specialise.
LESTRADE: Then what’s so important about this?
HOLMES (loudly, looking angrily at Lestrade): What’s so important about five boring murders?
LESTRADE: They’re not boring! Five men dead! Murdered in their own homes; rice on the floor, like at a wedding; and the word “YOU” written in blood on the wall!
(He points angrily towards the opposite wall. Holmes continues to pace and read his book.)
LESTRADE: Uh, it’s-it’s her! It’s-it’s the Bride. Somehow she’s risen again!
HOLMES (nonchalantly): Solved it.
LESTRADE (angrily): You can’t have solved it!
HOLMES (stopping and turning to look at him): Of course I’ve solved it. It’s perfectly simple. The Incident of the Mysterious Mrs Ricoletti, the Killer from Beyond the Grave, has been widely reported in the popular press. Now people are disguising their own dull little murders as the work of a ghost to confuse the impossibly imbecilic Scotland Yard. There you are: solved.
(He closes his book and puts it on the table.)
HOLMES: Pay Mrs Hudson a visit on your way out. She likes to feel involved.
LESTRADE: You sure?
HOLMES: Certainly. Go away. (He turns and calls into the sitting room.) Watson! I’m ready. Get your hat and boots. We have an important appointment.
(Lestrade stands and picks up his hat, then looks into the sitting room.)
LESTRADE: Didn’t Doctor Watson move out a few months ago?
HOLMES: He did, didn’t he? (He looks thoughtful.) Who have I been talking to all this time?
LESTRADE: Well, speaking on behalf of the impossibly imbecilic Scotland Yard, that chair is definitely empty.
(Holmes looks towards Watson’s armchair.)
HOLMES: It is, isn’t it? Works surprisingly well, though. I actually thought he was improving.
(He looks through some paperwork on the table and then walks off in the direction of his bedroom. Lestrade turns and leaves the room.)
Another empty chair is facing Doctor Watson. This chair is at a dining table and there is cutlery, a teacup and saucer and a tea plate in front of the chair. Sitting at the other end of the table in the dining room of his house while reading a newspaper, Watson looks across at the chair, then sighs and looks down at his newspaper again. After a moment he lifts his head and looks towards the door, then picks up a small bell from the table and rings it for a couple of seconds. He also has cutlery and a teacup and saucer in front of him, and nearby is a glass bowl of marmalade with a spoon in it. Another glass bowl with a glass lid stands beside it. He puts down the bell and looks expectantly towards the door. After a while he puts down the newspaper and takes out his pocket watch from his waistcoat to look at the time. Sighing and shaking his head, he puts the watch away and rings the bell again. The door opens and a maid comes in.
WATSON: Ah. Where have you been?
JANE: Sorry, sir. I’m rather behind my time this morning.
WATSON: Are you incapable of boiling an egg? (He sighs.) The fires are rarely lit; there is dust everywhere; and you almost destroyed my boots scraping the mud off them. If it wasn’t my wife’s business to deal with the staff, I would talk to you myself. Where is my wife?
JANE: Begging your pardon, sir, but the mistress has gone out.
WATSON: Out? At this hour of the morning?
JANE: Yes, sir. Did you not know that, sir?
WATSON: Where did she go? (He looks down at his newspaper.) She’s always out these days.
JANE (laughing softly): Not unlike yourself.
(Watson raises his head to look at her.)
JANE: ... sir.
WATSON: I’m sorry?
JANE: Just observing, sir.
WATSON: Well, that’s quite enough. Nobody asked you to be observant.
JANE: Sorry, sir. I just meant you’re hardly ever home together any more, sir.
WATSON: You are dangerously close to impertinence. (He leans forward.) I shall have a word with my wife to have a word with you.
(He sits back again and looks down at his paper.)
JANE: Very good, sir. And when will you be seeing her?
(Watson’s head snaps up. He leans forward again.)
WATSON: Now listen ...
JANE: Ooh, I nearly forgot, sir.
(She reaches into the pocket of her apron and takes out a telegram which she hands to him.)
JANE: Er, a telegram came for you.
WATSON: You forgot?!
JANE: No, I nearly forgot.
WATSON (snatching the telegram from her): What have you been doing all morning?
JANE: Reading your new one in The Strand, sir.
WATSON: Did you enjoy it?
JANE: Why do you never mention me, sir?
WATSON: Go away.
(She turns and leaves, and Watson opens the telegram. On the outside it reads:
DR. JOHN WATSON
and the message reads:
COME AT ONCE
COME ALL THE SAME.
Watson instantly drops the telegram onto the table, stands up and hurries away.)
A spinning globe can briefly be seen on the screen, then the scene resolves into a hansom cab carrying Holmes and Watson.
WATSON: The what of the what?
HOLMES: The obliquity of the ecliptic.
WATSON: “Come at once,” you said. I assumed it was important.
HOLMES: It is. It’s the inclination of the Earth’s equator to the path of the sun on the celestial plane.
WATSON: Have you been swotting up?
HOLMES: Why would I do that?
WATSON: To sound clever.
HOLMES: I am clever.
WATSON: Oh, I see.
HOLMES: You see what?
WATSON: I deduce we’re on our way to see someone cleverer than you.
HOLMES (after a slight pause): Shut up.
A little later, the pair of them approach a building which we instantly recognise, and the sign at the side of its entrance confirms that this is THE DIOGENES CLUB. Inside, a glass sign hangs above the reception desk stating, “ABSOLUTE SILENCE”. Holmes and Watson walk in and approach the desk, and Holmes smiles at the elderly uniformed gentleman standing behind it, who raises an acknowledging finger to him. Holmes puts his gloves into his coat pocket, then uses sign language to communicate with the receptionist, signing:
Good morning, Wilder.
Is my brother in?
(Wilder nods and signs back:)
It’s breakfast time.
The Stranger’s Room?
(Wilder nods, implying:)
(Holmes gestures towards Watson, then signs:)
This gentleman is my guest.
(Wilder looks at Watson and signs:)
Dr Watson, of course.
Enjoyed ‘The Blue Carbuncle’, sir.
(Holmes looks towards Watson and rolls his eyes, then elbows him and nods. Looking a little nervous, Watson signs to Wilder:)
Thank you. I...am...glad
You are very...ugly.
(Holmes does a double-take in his direction, and Wilder frowns and signs:)
I beg your pardon?
Ugly. What you said about
‘The Blue Fishmonger’.
I am glad you liked
(Wilder looks a little bewildered and throws a nervous glance at Holmes, who smiles ruefully at Watson and signs to him:)
Yes. Needs work, Watson.
Too much time spent on
[The full translation of the (mostly accurate) British Sign Language can be seen here.]
WATSON (aloud): Sorry, what?
(Rolling his eyes, Holmes turns and walks away. Watson looks awkwardly at Wilder.)
(He turns his head and watches Holmes for a moment, then turns back to look at Wilder. Giving him an embarrassed thumbs-up with his left hand, he follows Holmes who opens the door to a room in which, with his back to the door, an extremely corpulent man sits wedged into a chair. On either side of the chair are several tables loaded with all sorts of food, including puddings, cakes, pork pies and a huge roasted ham. The man is rubbing his fingers together as he chews on his latest mouthful. As the camera circles around him, he is revealed to be Mycroft Holmes.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: To anyone who wishes to study mankind, this is the spot.
(Watson closes the door while Holmes walks round to face his brother.)
HOLMES: Handy, really, as your ever-expanding backside is permanently glued to it. Good morning, brother mine.
MYCROFT HOLMES (still chewing his last mouthful): Sherlock. Doctor Watson.
(Watson, now standing at Holmes’ side, is staring in horror at all the food surrounding Mycroft, but then notices that he is holding out his very pudgy hand to him. He takes Mycroft’s hand and shakes it.)
WATSON: You look ... well, sir.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Really? I rather thought I looked enormous.
(He picks up a glass of port and drinks from it.)
WATSON: Well, now you mention it, this level of consumption is incredibly injurious to your health. Your heart ...
HOLMES: No need to worry on that score, Watson.
HOLMES: There’s only a large cavity where that organ should reside.
MYCROFT HOLMES: It’s a family trait.
HOLMES: Oh, I wasn’t being critical.
WATSON: If you continue like this, sir, I give you five years at the most.
(Holmes raises his eyebrows and looks round at him.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Five? We thought three, did we not, Sherlock?
HOLMES: I’m still inclined to four.
MYCROFT HOLMES: As ever, you see but you do not observe. Note the discolouration in the whites of my eyes, the visible rings of fat around the corneas ...
HOLMES: Yes, you’re right. I’m changing my bet to three years, four months and eleven days.
WATSON: A bet?!
HOLMES: I understand your disapproval, Watson, but if he’s feeling competitive it is perfectly within his power to die early.
MYCROFT HOLMES: That’s a risk you’ll have to take.
WATSON: You’re gambling with your own life?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Why not? It’s so much more exciting than gambling with others’.
HOLMES (nodding to an item on one of the nearby tables): Three years flat if you eat that plum pudding.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Done!
(Licking his lips, he reaches over to the table, picks up the large stodgy pudding on a plate, opens his mouth wide and lifts the pudding towards it. The camera follows the pudding into his mouth.)
A little later Holmes and Watson are sitting side by side on chairs facing Mycroft. There is a small table beside Watson on which is a coffee pot, a cream or milk jug and a bowl of sugar, together with a cup and saucer with white coffee in it. Holmes is holding another cup and saucer and has just taken a drink from his black coffee.
MYCROFT HOLMES: I expected to see you a few days ago about the Manor House case. I thought you might be a little out of your depth there.
HOLMES (putting down his cup and saucer on a table beside him): No. I solved it.
MYCROFT HOLMES: It was Adams, of course.
HOLMES: Yes, it was Adams.
MYCROFT HOLMES (to Watson): Murderous jealousy. He’d written a paper for the Royal Astronomical Society on the obliquity of the ecliptic, and then read another that seemed to surpass it.
HOLMES: I know. I read it.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Did you understand it?
HOLMES (looking sideways to Watson): Yes, of course I understood it. It was perfectly simple.
MYCROFT HOLMES: No – did you understand the murderous jealousy? It is no easy thing for a great mind to contemplate a still greater one.
(Holmes sighs but then smiles slightly at his brother.)
HOLMES: Did you summon me here just to humiliate me?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Yes.
(Holmes stands up, his face angry. Mycroft chuckles a little.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Of course not, but it is by far the greater pleasure.
HOLMES: Then would you mind explaining exactly why you did summon ...
MYCROFT HOLMES (talking over him): Our way of life is under threat from an invisible enemy, one that hovers at our elbow on a daily basis. These enemies are everywhere, undetected and unstoppable.
(Watson leans forward.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Not socialists, Doctor, no.
MYCROFT HOLMES: No.
WATSON: The French? The suffragists?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Is there any large body of people you’re not concerned about?
HOLMES: Doctor Watson is endlessly vigilant. (He looks at his brother.) Elaborate.
MYCROFT HOLMES: No. Investigate. This is a conjecture of mine and I need you to confirm it. I’m sending you a case.
(Watson frowns thoughtfully and now has another idea.)
WATSON: The Scots.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Are you aware of recent theories concerning what is known as ‘paranoia’?
WATSON: Ooh, sounds Serbian.
(Holmes rolls his eyes.)
MYCROFT HOLMES (to Holmes): A woman will call on you – Lady Carmichael. I want you to take her case.
WATSON: But these enemies: how are we to defeat them if you won’t tell us about them?
MYCROFT HOLMES: We don’t defeat them. We must certainly lose to them.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Because they are right, and we are wrong.
HOLMES: Lady Carmichael’s case – what is it?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Oh, rest assured, it has features of interest.
HOLMES: I never really say that.
WATSON: You really do.
HOLMES (to Mycroft): And you’ve solved it already, I assume?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Only in my head. I need you for the, er ... (he grimaces) ... legwork.
WATSON: Why not just tell us your solution?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Where would be the sport in that? Will you do it, Sherlock? I can promise you a superior distraction.
HOLMES: On one condition. Have another plum pudding.
MYCROFT HOLMES: There’s one on the way.
HOLMES (buttoning his dress coat and starting to walk away): Two years, eleven months and four days.
MYCROFT HOLMES: It’s getting exciting now!
(Watson realises that Holmes is leaving and stands up to follow him.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
(He waggles his fingers at Watson as he leaves. From another door, Wilder wheels in a trolley with a silver cover over a large plate.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Thank you, Wilder.
WILDER: Also, Mr Melas to see you, Mr Holmes.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Ah. Give me five minutes. I have a wager to win.
(He leans forward as Wilder lifts the silver cover. There are three large plum puddings on the plate. Mycroft looks up at Wilder.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Better make that fifteen.
(He reaches out with an ecstatic expression on his face.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Tick tock.
(He sinks his fingers into one of the puddings and there’s a loud squelch as he lifts it from the plate and takes it in both hands.)
There is a brief shot of the outside of 221B, with Speedwell’s next door, and then we are in the flat’s sitting room. Holmes and Watson are sitting in their armchairs, and an elegantly-dressed woman sits on a dining chair opposite them.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Mr Holmes, I have come here for advice.
HOLMES: That is easily got.
LADY CARMICHAEL: And help.
HOLMES: Not always so easy.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Something has happened, Mr Holmes – something ... unusual and ... terrifying.
HOLMES: Then you are in luck.
LADY CARMICHAEL: ‘Luck’?
HOLMES (smiling at her): Those are my specialisms.
(He smiles across at Watson.)
HOLMES: This is really very promising.
WATSON: Holmes ...
(Holmes drops the smile and turns back to Lady Carmichael.)
HOLMES: Please do tell us what has so distressed you.
LADY CARMICHAEL: I – I thought long and hard as to what to do, but then, er, it occurred to me that my husband was an acquaintance of your brother and that, perhaps through him ...
(She trails off. Holmes tilts his head at her enquiringly.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: The fact is, I’m not sure this comes within your purview, Mr Holmes.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Lord help me, I think it may be a matter for a priest.
(Holmes glances across at Watson, who returns his gaze.)
FLASHBACK. In the huge dining room of their stately home, Sir Eustace Carmichael and his wife are eating breakfast with their two school-aged children, a girl and a boy.
SIR EUSTACE: And what does your morning threaten, my dear? (He takes a drink from his teacup.) A vigorous round of embroidering? An exhausting appointment at the milliner’s?
(His wife cuts herself a bite of food and lifts it to her mouth.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: I hope you are teasing, Eustace.
(He chuckles. A footman brings in a silver plate on which are letters and a letter opener. Sir Eustace slits open the first envelope and looks inside. He freezes, staring at the contents in horror.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: What is it?
(Sir Eustace doesn’t respond, his gaze still locked on what he can see inside the envelope.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?
(When he still doesn’t react to her, she puts down her knife and fork and looks across the table to the children.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Daniel, Sophie, go out and play.
SOPHIE: But Mama ...
LADY CARMICHAEL: Do as I tell you. Quickly, now.
(The children leave the table and go out of the room. Lady Carmichael gets up and walks over to her husband, gently pulling the envelope from his hands. She tips the contents into her hand and then looks at the five orange pips lying on her palm. She laughs.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace! What does this mean?
(She chuckles, then notices Eustace’s appalled expression as he gazes up at her.)
SIR EUSTACE (in a voice full of dread): Death.
LADY CARMICHAEL: What?
SIR EUSTACE: It means death.
(His eyes are full of tears, but then he pulls himself together and tries to laugh.)
SIR EUSTACE: Er, nothing. It’s, er, it’s nothing. I was mistaken.
(He lays the letter opener on the tray. Putting down the envelope and the pips, Lady Carmichael reaches down and takes her husband’s face in her hands.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: My dear, you’ve gone quite pale.
(Eustace surges to his feet and glares down at her.)
SIR EUSTACE: It’s nothing.
(He turns and leaves the room. She follows him.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace ...
221B SITTING ROOM.
HOLMES: Did you keep the envelope?
LADY CARMICHAEL: My husband destroyed it ...
(Watson frowns at her.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: ... but it was blank. No name or address of any kind.
HOLMES: Tell me: has Sir Eustace spent time in America?
LADY CARMICHAEL: No.
HOLMES: Not even before your marriage?
LADY CARMICHAEL: Well, not to my knowledge.
HOLMES: Hmm. Pray continue with your fascinating narrative. (He steeples his hands in front of his mouth.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Well, that incident took place last Monday morning. It was two days later, on the Wednesday, that my husband first saw her.
FLASHBACK. NIGHT TIME. Lady Carmichael wakes up and looks across the bed, realising that her husband is not lying beside her. Lifting her head she sees him standing at the window in his night shirt, staring out into the grounds.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?
(Still staring out of the window, Sir Eustace whimpers. Lady Carmichael approaches and takes hold of his arms and he gasps, spinning around to look at her with a face full of panic. Sobbing, he grabs at her.)
SIR EUSTACE: She’s come for me, Louisa. Oh, God help me, my sins have found me out.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Who’s come for you?
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace, you’re frightening me.
(He tightens his grip and shoves her to the window.)
SIR EUSTACE: Look! Look!
(She looks out into the misty grounds but there’s nobody in sight. Eustace sobs.)
SIR EUSTACE: Don’t you see her?
LADY CARMICHAEL: No, no. I see no-one.
(Out in the grounds, the mist roils over the large hedge maze but wherever it clears, there is still no sign of anybody. Eustace looks again, then turns to his wife, smiling hopefully.)
SIR EUSTACE: Gone.
(He breaks down in tears and crumples to his knees, sobbing. She bends down and cradles him.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You keep so many secrets from me. Is this another? Who have you seen?
(He raises his head to look at her.)
SIR EUSTACE: It was her. It was the Bride.
In 221B, Watson’s eyes widen and he looks across to Holmes, who glances back at him before looking at Lady Carmichael.
HOLMES: And you saw nothing?
LADY CARMICHAEL: Nothing.
HOLMES: Did your husband describe ...
LADY CARMICHAEL: Nothing – until this morning.
FLASHBACK. NIGHT TIME. Once again Lady Carmichael wakes up and looks across to find the bed empty beside her. She sits up and looks around.
Outside, Sir Eustace has a dressing gown over his night shirt and is walking across the front of the house towards the maze in his slippers. Shortly afterwards, Lady Carmichael, also wearing slippers and a dressing gown over her night dress, runs out to try and find him.
LADY CARMICHAEL (calling out): Eustace!
(She runs towards the maze but stops when she sees something lying on the ground. Looking down, she realises that it is one of Eustace’s slippers which must have slipped from his foot unnoticed. She walks forward a little and calls out again.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?!
(She hurries on into the maze.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace?
(She continues on, turning several corners within the maze.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace!
(She trips over something on the ground.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Ah!
(She falls to her hands and knees.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Blast!
(She kneels up, looking down at her grazed hands ... and the Bride walks across the junction behind her. Unaware of this, Lady Carmichael cries out again, her voice desperate.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace! Where are you? It’s me!
(She turns her head to look behind her as a female voice begins to sing.)
BRIDE (offscreen): ♪ Do not forget me, Do not forget me ...
(Lady Carmichael rises to her feet.)
BRIDE (offscreen): ♪ Remember the maid, The maid of the mill. ♪
(Lady Carmichael walks back to the junction and turns right, and sees her husband standing there with his back to her. Facing him, just in front of a dead end, the Bride stands with her veil covering her face and her hands folded in front of her. Lady Carmichael walks slowly forward to stand just behind her husband. He is staring at the Bride in horror, his face deathly pale.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Who are you? I demand you speak! Who are you?
(The Bride tilts her head to the right but doesn’t say anything. Lady Carmichael reaches out and seizes her husband’s right arm to turn him to face her.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: Eustace! Speak to me!
(She takes hold of both his arms and shakes him gently. He gazes at her blankly.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: In the name of God!
(She shakes him again and slaps his cheek. He rouses slightly.)
SIR EUSTACE: She’s ... she’s Emelia Ricoletti.
(He half-laughs, half-cries. They both turn and look at the Bride who, apparently without moving her feet, is slowly drifting forward towards them.)
SIR EUSTACE (despairingly): No. Not you. No!
(The Bride stops a few paces away from him.)
SIR EUSTACE (terrified): Please!
BRIDE: This night, Eustace Carmichael, you ... will ... die.
(She reaches up with both hands and starts to lift her veil. Before her face can be revealed, however, Eustace’s eyes roll up into his head and he faints. Lady Carmichael cries out and catches him, lowering him to the ground and gasping. When she looks up a few seconds later, the Bride has gone. The camera rises up into the air to show the whole maze. There is no sign of the Bride.)
The straight lines of parts of the maze resolve into a close-up of Holmes’ ludicrously long fingers steepled in front of his mouth while he sits in his armchair in 221B. Despite being very behind schedule in the writing of this transcript, your transcriber re-runs those few seconds severalmany many times for science and absolutely no other reason.
WATSON (offscreen): Holmes?
HOLMES: Hush, Watson.
[Yeah, hush, Watson. Your own Boswell is busy drooling.]
WATSON (out of the side of his mouth): But Emelia Ricoletti, the Bride!
LADY CARMICHAEL: You know the name.
HOLMES: You must forgive Watson. He has an enthusiasm for stating the obvious which borders on mania.
(He turns a pointed look towards Watson, who throws a dark look back at him.)
HOLMES (to Lady Carmichael): May I ask: how is your husband this morning?
LADY CARMICHAEL: He refuses to speak about the matter. Obviously I have urged him to leave the house.
HOLMES: No, no! He must stay exactly where he is.
LADY CARMICHAEL: Well, you don’t think he’s in danger?
HOLMES: Oh no, somebody definitely wants to kill him, but that’s good for us. You can’t set a trap without bait.
(He smiles at her. She gasps.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: My husband is not bait, Mr Holmes.
HOLMES: No. But he could be if we play our cards right.
(Watson raises his eyebrows.)
HOLMES: Now, listen: you must go home immediately. Doctor Watson and I will follow on the next train. There’s not a moment to lose. Sir Eustace is to die tonight.
HOLMES: ... and we should ... probably avoid that.
HOLMES: Definitely avoid that.
(Lady Carmichael looks rather confused, but nods.)
THE DIOGENES CLUB. Mycroft Holmes is in The Stranger’s Room.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Little brother has taken the case, of course. I now rely on you to keep an eye on things, but he must never suspect you of working for me. Are you clear on that, Watson?
(Behind him, Mary Watson walks into view and smiles at his back.)
MRS WATSON: You can rely on me, Mr Holmes.
TRAIN CARRIAGE. Holmes and Watson are sitting opposite each other in the window seats of a single compartment. Holmes has his eyes closed, while Watson is looking out of the window. After a while he turns to his companion.
WATSON: You don’t suppose ...
HOLMES: I don’t, and neither should you.
WATSON: You don’t know what I was going to say.
HOLMES (his eyes still closed): You were about to suggest there may be some supernatural agency involved in this matter, and I was about to laugh in your face.
WATSON: But the Bride! Holmes, Emelia Ricoletti, again. A dead woman, walking the Earth!
(Holmes sighs heavily and opens his eyes.)
HOLMES: You amaze me, Watson.
WATSON: I do?
HOLMES: Since when have you had any kind of imagination?
WATSON: Perhaps since I convinced the reading public that an unprincipled drug addict is some kind of gentleman hero.
HOLMES: Yes, now you come to mention it, that was quite impressive. (He looks down thoughtfully for a moment, then raises his eyes again.)You may, however, rest assured there are no ghosts in this world.
(Watson nods slightly and looks out of the window. Holmes lowers his eyes.)
HOLMES (quietly): ... save those we make for ourselves.
(He closes his eyes and leans his head back against the headrest.)
WATSON (looking round to him): Sorry, what did you say?
(Holmes keeps his eyes closed.)
WATSON: Ghosts we make for ourselves? What do you mean?
(Holmes doesn’t respond. Watson sighs.)
At the stately home of the Carmichaels, Sir Eustace is standing near the fireplace of a large drawing room. Watson stands facing him while Holmes is pacing around the room.
SIR EUSTACE: Somnambulism.
WATSON: I beg your pardon?
SIR EUSTACE: I sleepwalk, that’s all. It’s a common enough condition. I thought you were a doctor. The whole thing was a bad dream.
WATSON: Including the contents of the envelope you received?
(Sir Eustace tries to laugh.)
SIR EUSTACE: Well, that’s a grotesque joke.
WATSON: Well, that’s not the impression you gave your wife, sir.
SIR EUSTACE: She’s an hysteric, prone to fancies.
SIR EUSTACE: I’m sorry? What did you say?
HOLMES (finally stopping his pacing): I said no, she’s not an hysteric. She’s a highly intelligent woman of rare perception.
SIR EUSTACE: My wife sees terror in an orange pip.
HOLMES (walking closer): Your wife can see worlds where no-one else can see anything of value whatsoever.
SIR EUSTACE (sarcastically): Can she really? And how do you ‘deduce’ that, Mr Holmes?
HOLMES: She married you.
HOLMES: I assume she was capable of finding a reason.
(Sir Eustace angrily surges towards him. Watson instantly steps closer to Holmes, ready to protect him if necessary, but Sir Eustace stops as Holmes speaks again.)
HOLMES: I’ll do my best to save your life tonight, but first it would help if you would explain your connection to the Ricoletti case.
SIR EUSTACE (hesitating slightly before speaking): Ricoletti?
HOLMES: Yes. In detail, please.
SIR EUSTACE (again pausing momentarily): I’ve never heard of her.
HOLMES: Interesting. I didn’t mention she was a woman. We’ll show ourselves out.
(Sir Eustace swallows nervously.)
HOLMES: I hope to see you again in the morning.
(He and Watson start to leave the room.)
SIR EUSTACE: You will not!
HOLMES: Then sadly I shall be solving your murder. Good day.
(He and Watson walk into the entrance hall. Holmes takes a notebook from his trouser pocket and writes a note onto one of the pages.)
WATSON: Well, you tried.
(A footman walks across the hall towards them. Holmes addresses him.)
HOLMES: Will you see that Lady Carmichael receives this?
(He hands him the note.)
HOLMES: Thank you. Good afternoon.
FOOTMAN: Yes, sir.
(Holmes and Watson walk on.)
WATSON: What was that?
HOLMES: Lady Carmichael will sleep alone tonight, on the pretence of a violent headache. All the doors and windows of the house will be locked.
(They reach the place where their coats and hats have been hung up, and take them down.)
WATSON: Ah, you think the spectre ...
(Holmes throws him a disapproving look.)
WATSON: ... er, the Bride will attempt to lure Sir Eustace outside again?
(He puts on his scarf and then his coat.)
HOLMES (putting on his coat): Certainly. Why else the portentous threat? “This night you will die.”
WATSON: Well, he won’t follow her, surely?
HOLMES: It’s difficult to say quite what he’ll do. Guilt is eating away at his soul.
(He pulls his gloves from the pocket of his coat and puts them on.)
WATSON: Guilt? About what?
HOLMES: Something in his past. The orange pips were a reminder.
WATSON (putting on his gloves): Not a joke.
HOLMES: Not at all. Orange pips are a traditional warning of avenging death, originating in America. Sir Eustace knows this only too well, just as he knows why he is to be punished.
(Taking their hats from the pegs, they start to walk out onto the entrance porch.)
WATSON (putting on his hat): Something to do with Emelia Ricoletti.
HOLMES: I presume. We all have a past, Watson.
(They stop in the porch.)
HOLMES: Ghosts – they are the shadows that define our every sunny day. Sir Eustace knows he’s a marked man.
(Watson glances back behind them into the house.)
HOLMES: There’s something more than murder he fears. He believes he is to be dragged to Hell by the risen corpse of the late Mrs Ricoletti.
(Watson looks around thoughtfully for a moment, then turns back to Holmes.)
WATSON: That’s a lot of nonsense, isn’t it?
HOLMES: God, yes. Did you bring your revolver?
WATSON: What good would that be against a ghost?
HOLMES: Exactly. Did you bring it?
WATSON: Yeah, of course.
HOLMES: Then come, Watson, come.
(He puts on his deerstalker.)
HOLMES: The game is afoot!
(They head off.)
NIGHT TIME. In a greenhouse in the grounds of the Carmichael house, Watson grunts and stands up from some lower position.
[Transcriber's note: At this point, one of my betas made some positively filthy suggestions about what Watson had been doing in that lower position. I’m so proud of her. ;-) ]
HOLMES: Get down, Watson, for heaven’s sake!
WATSON (quickly sitting down): Sorry. Cramp.
(Grimacing, he rubs his leg.)
WATSON: Is the, er, lamp still burning?
HOLMES (looking across to one of the few windows of the house which are still lit): Yes.
(Almost immediately, the lamp in that room goes out.)
HOLMES: There goes Sir Eustace.
(He looks across to another lighted window, which goes dark a moment later.)
HOLMES: And Lady Carmichael. The house sleeps.
(Watson shakes his head, apparently bored, then draws in a deep breath.)
WATSON: Mmm, good God, this is the longest night of my life.
HOLMES: Have patience, Watson.
(Watson takes out his pocket watch and looks at it.)
WATSON: Only midnight.
(He puts the watch away.)
WATSON: You know, it’s rare for us to sit together like this.
HOLMES: I should hope so. It’s murder on the knees.
(He smiles. Watson returns the smile.)
WATSON: Hmm. Two old friends, just talking, chewing the fat ...
(He looks at Holmes.)
WATSON: ... man to man.
(Holmes looks somewhat startled, then looks towards the house whilst fidgeting slightly.)
WATSON: She’s a remarkable woman.
WATSON: Lady Carmichael.
HOLMES: The fair sex is your department, Watson. I’ll take your word for it.
WATSON: No, you liked her. A “woman of rare perception.”
HOLMES: And admirably high arches. I noticed them as soon as she stepped into the room.
WATSON: Huh. She’s far too good for him.
HOLMES: You think so?
WATSON: No, you think so. I could tell.
HOLMES: On the contrary, I have no view on the matter.
WATSON: Yes you have.
HOLMES (after a momentary pause): Marriage is not a subject upon which I dwell.
WATSON: Well, why not?
HOLMES: What’s the matter with you this evening?
WATSON (pointing): That watch that you’re wearing: there’s a photograph inside it. I glimpsed it once ...
(Cutaway shot of the photograph inside the lid of the pocket watch. We all recognise it.)
WATSON: I believe it is of Irene Adler.
HOLMES (a little angrily): You didn’t ‘glimpse’ it. You waited ’til I had fallen asleep and looked at it.
WATSON: Yes, I did.
HOLMES: You seriously thought I wouldn’t notice?
WATSON: Irene Adler.
HOLMES: Formidable opponent; a remarkable adventure.
WATSON: A very nice photograph.
HOLMES: Why are you talking like this?
WATSON: Why are you so determined to be alone?
HOLMES: Are you quite well, Watson?
WATSON: Is it such a curious question?
HOLMES: From a Viennese alienist, no; from a retired Army surgeon, most certainly.
WATSON: Holmes, against absolutely no opposition whatsoever, I am your closest friend.
HOLMES: I concede it.
WATSON: I am currently attempting to have a perfectly normal conversation with you.
HOLMES (precisely): Please don’t.
WATSON (equally precisely): Why do you need to be alone?
HOLMES: If you are referring to romantic entanglement, Watson – which I rather fear you are – as I have often explained before, all emotion is abhorrent to me. It is the grit in a sensitive instrument ...
(Watson joins in with what he says next.)
HOLMES and WATSON (almost simultaneously): ... the crack in the lens.
HOLMES: Well, there you are, you see? I’ve said it all before.
WATSON: No, I wrote all that. You’re quoting yourself from The Strand Magazine.
HOLMES: Well, exactly.
WATSON: No, those are my words, not yours! That is the version of you that I present to the public: the brain without a heart; the calculating machine. I write all of that, Holmes, and the readers lap it up, but I do not believe it.
HOLMES: Well, I’ve a good mind to write to your editor.
WATSON: You are a living, breathing man. You’ve lived a life; you have a past.
HOLMES: A what?!
WATSON: Well, you must have had ...
HOLMES: Had what?
(Watson pauses a little awkwardly, then points at his friend.)
WATSON: You know.
HOLMES (angrily): Pass me your revolver. I have a sudden need to use it.
WATSON: Damn it, Holmes, you are flesh and blood. You have feelings. You have ... you must have ... impulses.
(Holmes closes his eyes in exasperation.)
HOLMES (through his teeth): Dear Lord. I have never been so impatient to be attacked by a murderous ghost.
WATSON: As your friend – as someone who ... worries about you – what made you like this?
(Holmes has opened his eyes and looks at his friend almost sympathetically.)
HOLMES: Oh, Watson. Nothing made me.
(From somewhere to his left, scrabbling claws can be heard together with a sound of a dog whimpering anxiously, or as if it is in pain. Holmes turns his head in the direction of the sound.)
HOLMES: I made me.
(The scrabbling and whimpering continues. Holmes frowns in confusion.)
WATSON: Good God!
(Holmes turns his head to look at him. Watson is staring towards the house. Holmes follows his gaze. Through a dark archway at the house, the illuminated veiled figure of the Bride floats slightly above the ground.)
WATSON: What are we to do?
(The Bride raises her right hand as if encouraging her watchers to approach.)
HOLMES (nonchalantly): Why don’t we have a chat?
(He jumps up. Watson frowns, but then follows and they run across the garden towards the house.)
HOLMES (calling out as he runs along the front of the house): Mrs Ricoletti, I believe.
(He and Watson stop outside the front porch, a few yards away from the ghostly image. The Bride lowers her hand. Still floating above the ground in front of a nearby doorway, her other hand has its fingers splayed threateningly.)
HOLMES: Pleasant night for the time of year, is it not?
(Watson seizes Holmes’ arm as if to hold him back.)
WATSON: It cannot be true, Holmes. It cannot!
(The Bride floats backwards towards the door, holding out her hands towards the men as if in invitation.)
HOLMES: No, it can’t.
(The Bride begins to fade from view. At the same moment, a man screams inside the house. Holmes and Watson turn their heads towards the sound. Somewhere, a large pane of glass can be heard smashing. Holmes and then Watson turn back towards the other doorway but the Bride has vanished. Holmes runs to the front door and tries to open it.)
WATSON: Is it locked?
HOLMES (coming back out of the porch): As per instructions.
WATSON: That was a window breaking, wasn’t it?
HOLMES: There’s only one broken window we need concern ourselves with.
(They run to the nearest window beside the front door and Holmes jabs his elbow through the glass, then breaks out the rest of the glass with his gloved hand. He and then Watson climb inside, and Holmes strikes a match to light a lantern.)
HOLMES: Stay in here, Watson.
WATSON: What? No!
HOLMES: All the doors and windows to the house are locked. This is their only way out. I need you here.
(Picking up the lantern, he hurries away.)
WATSON: But the sound was so close, it had to be from this side of the house.
HOLMES: Stay here!
(He runs into the house. Watson looks anxiously at the window behind him. Holmes runs for the stairs just as a woman cries out in horror upstairs. As she continues to shriek, he reaches the landing and looks around, shining the light from his lantern around the nearby carpet. Two maids run up another set of stairs towards him, and Holmes heads off along the landing. Turning a corner, he finds Lady Carmichael standing there in her night dress. On the carpet in front of her is a pool of blood. Holmes looks up at Lady Carmichael as her maids hurry towards her. She stares savagely at him.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You promised to keep him safe. You promised!
(The maids take hold of her arms.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You ...
(Holmes stares wide-eyed at her as she begins to sob. He turns away.)
LADY CARMICHAEL: You promised!
(Holmes makes his way along the landing, following a trail of fresh drops of blood.
Downstairs, in the entrance hall on the other side of a narrow corridor leading to Watson’s position, the floor creaks. He takes out his revolver, holds it up with the barrel pointing towards the ceiling, and cocks it. In the hall, the floor creaks again. Lowering his gun to his side, Watson slowly walks forward across the broken glass on the floor and enters the corridor. He stops.)
WATSON: You’re human, I know that. You must be.
(It’s dark in the corridor. He puts his revolver onto a table beside him, on which is a candle and a box of matches. He picks up the latter.)
WATSON: Little use, us standing here in the dark.
(He strikes a match and picks up the candle to light it.)
WATSON: After all, this is the nineteenth century.
(On the floors above, Holmes runs up another flight of stairs and into the eaves of the house. He shines his lantern to the left and then to the right, and immediately sees a man lying on the floor on his side. There is something sticking out of the man’s chest. Holmes walks forward and bends down to the man, his face full of dread. He gently rolls him onto his back and reveals Sir Eustace. A large ornately-handled dagger is in his chest, and Eustace’s eyes are fixed and horrified. Behind him, a woman screams as she catches sight of the body.
Downstairs, a breeze blows out the candle which Watson is holding. His eyes widen and he breathes heavily. He looks down to strike another match and he re-lights the candle, blows out the match and then picks up his revolver again and turns towards the hall. As he peers into the darkness, he is unaware that behind him stands the Bride. She slowly drifts towards him.)
BRIDE (whispering harshly in the same rhythm as the song): Do not forget me.
(Watson’s eyes widen. The Bride comes to a halt just a pace or two behind him.)
BRIDE (in the same harsh whisper): Do not forget me.
(His face full of terror, Watson turns around. Instantly the Bride lifts both her arms high and displays her bloodstained fingers, the nails long and pointed as if they are claws, and she lets out a savage half-hiss half-scream. Dropping the candle, Watson turns and runs into the hall, turning around to run backwards as he looks for the Bride, just as Holmes races down the stairs. They bump into each other.)
WATSON (pointing to the corridor): She’s there! She’s down there!
HOLMES: Don’t tell me you abandoned your post.
WATSON: What? Holmes, she’s there! (He points with his revolver.) I saw her!
(Aiming his lantern ahead of him, Holmes runs into the corridor. Watson chases after him. Holmes arrives at the broken window and angrily turns back to Watson.)
HOLMES: Empty, thanks to you! Our bird is flown.
WATSON: No! No, Holmes, it wasn’t what you think. I saw her – the ghost.
HOLMES (furiously): THERE ARE NO GHOSTS!
(He glares at Watson for a moment, then calms down.)
WATSON: What happened? Where is Sir Eustace?
Some time later, a police photographer removes the cap from the lens of his camera and takes a photograph of Sir Eustace’s body, still lying where it was found, with the dagger still stuck in his chest. Holmes, Watson and Lestrade are standing at the top of the nearby stairs.
LESTRADE: You really mustn’t blame yourself, you know.
(Holmes pulls in a long breath through his nose.)
HOLMES: No, you’re quite right.
WATSON: I’m glad you’re seeing sense.
HOLMES: Watson is equally culpable. Between us, we’ve managed to botch this whole case. I gave an undertaking to protect that man; now he’s lying there with a dagger in his breast.
WATSON (walking towards the body and squatting down to it): In fact, you gave an undertaking to investigate his murder.
HOLMES (angrily): In the confident expectation I would not have to.
LESTRADE: Anything you can tell us, Doctor?
WATSON: Well, he’s been stabbed with considerable force.
LESTRADE: It’s a man, then.
LESTRADE: A very keen blade, so it could conceivably have been a woman.
WATSON (angrily standing up and walking back to the other two): In theory, yes, but we know who it was. I saw her.
WATSON (loudly): I saw the ghost with my own eyes.
HOLMES (angrily): You saw nothing. You saw what you were supposed to see.
WATSON: You said yourself: I have no imagination.
HOLMES: Then use your brain, such as it is, to eliminate the impossible – which in this case is the ghost – and observe what remains – which inthis case is a solution so blindingly obvious, even Lestrade could work it out.
LESTRADE: Thank you(!)
HOLMES (angrily, to Watson): Forget spectres from the otherworld. (More calmly) There is only one suspect with motive and opportunity. They might as well have left a note.
LESTRADE: They did leave a note.
HOLMES (to Watson): And then there’s the matter of the other broken window.
LESTRADE: What other broken window?
HOLMES: Precisely. There isn’t one. The only broken window in this establishment is the one that Watson and I entered through, yet prior to that we distinctly heard the sound of What did you just say?
HOLMES: About a note. What did you just say?
LESTRADE: I said the murderer did leave a note.
HOLMES: No they didn’t.
LESTRADE: There’s a message tied to the dagger. You must have seen it!
HOLMES (walking towards the body): There’s no message.
HOLMES: There was no message when I found the body.
(He stops and looks down at Sir Eustace’s corpse. Looped around the hilt of the dagger is a piece of string, to which is attached a luggage label. He squats down, picks up the label and looks at the underside. His eyes widen and he lowers the label back down onto Sir Eustace’s chest. Staring into the distance in disbelief, he slowly stands up.)
(He walks closer as Holmes slowly backs away, then turns and walks slowly towards the stairs.)
WATSON: What is it?
(Not answering, Holmes heads down the stairs. Watson walks over to the body, squats down and lifts the luggage label and looks at the underside. Written in large letters is:
Watson raises his head and frowns. On the stairs, Holmes seems to float down them as he stares ahead of himself in shock and bewilderment.)
[And I’m sorry, but as a fan of “The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar” from ‘Mitchell and Webb,’ that particular footage had me cracking up laughing and loudly singing ‘The Devil’s Galop,’ which completely ruined the mood for me. Apparently nobody involved with ‘Sherlock’ has ever seen that series or they would never have filmed the moment in that way.]
THE STRANGER’S ROOM OF THE DIOGENES CLUB.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Do you?
(Holmes has been facing away from his brother but now turns to look at him.)
HOLMES: Do I what?
(Mycroft holds up the bloodstained luggage label with its MISS ME? message.)
HOLMES (breathing out a long ‘h’ at the beginning of the first word): How did you get that? (He points to the label.) I left it at the crime scene.
MYCROFT HOLMES (putting down the label on the table beside him and then folding his hands over his huge stomach): ‘Crime scene’? Where do you pick up these extraordinary expressions? Do you miss him?
HOLMES: Moriarty is dead.
MYCROFT HOLMES: And yet.
(Holmes has turned away from Mycroft again.)
HOLMES: His body was never recovered.
MYCROFT HOLMES: To be expected when one pushes a maths professor over a waterfall. Pure reason toppled by sheer melodrama: your life in a nutshell.
HOLMES (turning to face him): ‘Where do you pick up these extraordinary expressions?’
(He turns again and stops at the sight of a painting on the side wall. It is Turner’s ‘Falls of the Reichenbach.’ [Click here for image.] For a moment it’s as if he can see the water pouring over the top of the falls and plummeting into the drop. He blows out a breath and then sniffs harshly before turning to his brother.)
HOLMES: Have you put on weight?
MYCROFT HOLMES: You saw me only yesterday. Does that seem possible?
HOLMES (slowly walking past his chair while looking at him): No.
MYCROFT HOLMES (holding out his hands): Yet here I am, increased. What does that tell the foremost criminal investigator in England?
HOLMES (a little indignantly): In England?
MYCROFT HOLMES: You’re in deep, Sherlock, deeper than you ever intended to be. Have you made a list?
HOLMES: Of what?
MYCROFT HOLMES: Everything. We will need a list.
(Taking a breath, Holmes takes a piece of paper from his pocket and holds it up.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Good boy.
(Holmes walks towards his brother, who reaches for the paper, but Holmes lifts it away, screws it up and puts it back into his pocket.)
HOLMES: No. I haven’t finished yet.
MYCROFT HOLMES: Moriarty may beg to differ.
(Holmes sighs sharply.)
HOLMES: He’s trying to distract me, to derail me.
(He places his hands palms together under his chin.)
MYCROFT HOLMES: Yes. He’s the crack in the lens, the fly in the ointment ... the virus in the data.
(Lowering his hands, Holmes turns round and looks sharply at him.)
HOLMES: I have to finish this.
MYCROFT HOLMES: If Moriarty has risen from the Reichenbach cauldron, he will seek you out.
HOLMES: I’ll be waiting.
(He walks away and leaves the room, closing the door behind him. Mycroft’s face becomes sad.)
MYCROFT HOLMES (softly): Yes. (He looks across to the painting.) I’m very much afraid you will.
221B SITTING ROOM. Holmes, wearing a blue dressing gown over his clothes, is sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor facing the fireplace. The backs of his hands rest on his knees and he is touching the index finger of each hand to the thumb as if in a yoga pose for meditation. His eyes are closed. Newspapers lie on the floor all around him. In the corner behind his chair smoke is rising from what I presume is an incense burner.
In the same place but inside his Mind Palace, he opens his eyes and torn-out cuttings from newspaper articles start to float past him in mid-air. He reaches out and grabs random cuttings as they pass, looking at the text on them. Some of them read:
THE DEATH OF EUSTACE CARMICHAEL
STATEMENT FROM CAB DRIVER
”IT WAS MRS RICOLETTI”
ALARMING DISCOVERY IN ISLINGTON
ANOTHER BRIDE OUTRAGE
VISCOUNT HUMMERSKNOT DEAD
SORDID END TO BRILLIANT CAREER
RENOWNED PEER VICTIM OF VITRIOL ATTACK
SCOTLAND YARD BAFFLED
CAUSE OF DEATH
The mysterious death of Viscount Hummersknot on
Wednesday last has led to questions in the House.
Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard refused to say
whether the peer’s death was anything to do with
the now notorious ‘Bride’ murders.
WHO WILL BE NEXT?
A strange discovery awaited Miss Eliza Bar-
ton on Monday last. Entering the Union Chapel, Is-
lington where she is employed as char, Miss Barton
found the corpse of Captain Leo Masterson, late of
Her Majesty’s Navy, shot to death. Captain Master-
son had succumbed to his wounds following a shot-
gun blast to the head. Mysteriously, the body was
covered in a quantity of rice, though a wedding
had lately taken place [words obscured by Holmes’ thumb] wedding had
[unclear] the [obscured] blood upon the floor
was the [obscured]
[Transcriber’s note: thanks to Swissmarg for squinting her way through the above reports. Also click here for a transcript of another of the articles.]
The door to the (real) sitting room opens and Mrs Hudson and Inspector Lestrade peer in. Holmes is sitting in the middle of the floor with his eyes closed and his hands resting on his knees as described above. They speak barely above a whisper throughout the following conversation.
MRS HUDSON: Two days he’s been like that.
LESTRADE: Has he eaten?
MRS HUDSON (shaking her head): Oh, not a morsel.
LESTRADE: Press are having a ruddy field day. There’s still reporters outside.
MRS HUDSON: They’ve been there all the time. I can’t get rid of them. I’ve been rushed off my feet making tea.
LESTRADE: Why d’you make ’em tea?
(She looks round at him.)
MRS HUDSON: I don’t know. I just sort of do.
(They look back towards the unmoving Holmes.)
LESTRADE: He said there’s only one suspect and then he just walks away, and now he won’t explain.
MRS HUDSON: Which is strange, because he likes that bit.
LESTRADE: Said it was so simple, I could solve it.
MRS HUDSON: I’m sure he was exaggerating.
(Lestrade looks at her, then wrinkles his nose and looks towards Holmes again.)
LESTRADE: What’s he doing, do you think?
MRS HUDSON: He says he’s waiting.
LESTRADE: For what?
MRS HUDSON: The devil.
(He stares at her.)
MRS HUDSON: I wouldn’t be surprised. We get all sorts here.
LESTRADE: Well, wire me if there’s any change.
MRS HUDSON: Yeah.
(He turns and goes down the stairs. Mrs Hudson watches her lodger for a moment longer, tuts sadly and then closes the door.
In the sitting room, Holmes lifts up a newspaper from the floor and moves it to reveal a small open case containing a syringe. He reaches down and gently caresses the syringe with one finger, then picks it up. He looks down at it for a while, then lifts his eyes as if he has made his decision.)
Some time passes and night is falling. Holmes still sits in the same place on the floor with his eyes closed. A shadow falls across him and the floor creaks. Holmes frowns slightly and turns his head a little in the direction of the sound, his eyes still closed. The floor creaks again and quiet footsteps can be heard. After a moment, a familiar voice speaks.
MORIARTY (softly): Everything I have to say has already crossed your mind.
HOLMES (quietly, not moving): And possibly my answer has crossed yours.
MORIARTY: Like a bullet.
(Holmes opens his eyes, then carefully gets to his feet, putting his right hand into his pocket. He turns to face Professor Moriarty, who is standing in front of the right-hand window.)
MORIARTY: It’s a dangerous habit, to finger loaded firearms in the pocket of one’s dressing gown. Or are you just pleased to see me?
(He smiles, then rolls his jaw and tilts his head to the right, crunching the bones in his neck.)
HOLMES: You’ll forgive me for taking precautions.
MORIARTY: I’d be offended if you didn’t.
(He pats the pockets of his jacket, then reaches into the breast pocket and takes out a small pistol.)
MORIARTY: Obviously I’ve returned the courtesy.
(He looks down at the gun and cocks it, then spins it round with his finger through the trigger guard for a few seconds. Eventually he stops, holds it properly and wanders vaguely around the room.)
MORIARTY: I like your rooms. They smell so ...
(He gestures with his free hand as if searching for the most appropriate description, then says the next word in a deeper voice than usual.)
MORIARTY: ... manly.
(He wanders closer and stops very close to Holmes.)
HOLMES: I’m sure you’ve acquainted yourself with them before now.
MORIARTY: Well, you are always away on your little adventures for The Strand. Tell me: does the illustrator travel with you? Do you have to pose ...
(Lifting the pistol, he touches the end of the barrel to his chin while he steeples the fingers of the other hand against it.)
MORIARTY: ... during your deductions?
(He lowers his hands and wanders towards the fireplace.)
HOLMES (turning to keep him in sight): I’m aware of all six occasions you have visited these apartments during my absence.
MORIARTY: I know you are.
(He runs his fingers along the top of the mantelpiece. It’s very dusty.)
MORIARTY (looking down at his dusty fingertips): By the way, you have a surprisingly comfortable bed.
(He looks round to Holmes and smiles.)
MORIARTY (looking back at his fingertips): Did you know that dust is largely composed of human skin?
(Moriarty opens his mouth, sticks his fingertips onto his tongue and licks them. Holmes, his hand still in his pocket, looks slightly appalled.)
MORIARTY: Doesn’t taste the same, though. You want your skin fresh ... (he waves the licked hand in the air as if trying to describe the flavour of his favourite recipe) ... just a little crispy.
HOLMES (gesturing to Watson’s chair): Won’t you sit down?
MORIARTY: That’s all people really are, you know: dust waiting to be distributed. And it gets everywhere ... (he sticks out his tongue and waggles it as if trying to shake off the dust he just licked) ... in every breath you take, dancing in every sunbeam, all used-up people.
HOLMES (cocking one eyebrow): Fascinating, I’m sure.
(He gestures to Watson’s chair again.)
HOLMES: Won’t you sit ...
MORIARTY (talking over him and now staring down into the muzzle of his gun): People, people, people. Can’t keep anything shiny.
(He blows into the end three times, then lifts the gun and peers into it.)
MORIARTY: D’you mind if I fire this, just to clean it out?
(He turns the gun and points it at Holmes. Instantly Holmes snatches out his own gun and points it at his enemy. They stand there for several seconds, the ends of their pistols almost touching. Eventually and almost simultaneously – although Holmes makes the first move – they lift their guns to point the muzzles upwards. Moriarty slowly swings his pistol around to lower it to his side, while Holmes drops his own gun onto the nearby table.)
MORIARTY: Exactly. Let’s stop playing. We don’t need toys to kill each other. Where’s the intimacy in that?
(Holmes walks closer to him.)
HOLMES: Sit down.
MORIARTY: Why? What do you want?
HOLMES (still walking closer): You chose to come here.
MORIARTY: Not true. You know that’s not true.
(Holmes has stopped a pace away from him. They stare into each other’s eyes.)
MORIARTY: What do you want, Sherlock?
HOLMES: The truth.
(He starts to walk past him but turns to put his face close to Holmes’.)
MORIARTY: Truth’s boring.
(He walks slowly across the room. Holmes turns to watch him.)
MORIARTY: You didn’t expect me to turn up at the scene of the crime, did you? Poor old Sir Eustace. He got what was coming to him.
HOLMES: But you couldn’t have killed him.
MORIARTY (turning back to face him): Oh, so what? Does it matter? Stop it. Stop this. You don’t care about Sir Eustace, or the Bride or any of it. There’s only one thing in this whole business that you find interesting.
HOLMES (in an intense whisper): I know what you’re doing.
(The room starts to rock as if an earthquake is taking place. The decanters and glasses rattle. Holmes shakes his head and closes his eyes. The disturbance stops.)
MORIARTY (holding up his pistol near his chin, the muzzle pointed upwards): The Bride put a gun in her mouth and shot the back of her head off, and then she came back. (He shrugs and moves the gun further away from his face.) Impossible.
(Holmes’ eyes are open again.)
MORIARTY: But she did it, and you need to know how. How ...?
(The room begins to rock again.)
MORIARTY: ... don’t you? It’s tearing your world apart not knowing.
(The room continues to shake.)
HOLMES (intensely): You’re trying to stop me ...
(He pulls in a deep breath through his nose, closes his eyes and shakes his head before opening his eyes again.)
HOLMES: ... to distract me, derail me.
(The room settles.)
MORIARTY: Because doesn’t this remind you of another case?
(Holmes closes his eyes.)
MORIARTY: Hasn’t this all happened before? There’s nothing new under the sun.
(Holmes grimaces, his eyes still closed.)
MORIARTY: What was it? What was it? What was that case? Huh? D’you remember?
(Holmes raises his hands and runs them over his face.)
MORIARTY (whispering): It’s on the tip of my tongue.
(He points to his mouth. The room starts to shake again.)
MORIARTY (whispering as he points towards Holmes): It’s on the tip of my tongue.
HOLMES (whispering as he lowers his hands): It’s on the tip of my tongue.
(He opens his eyes as the room continues to shake, then settles.)
MORIARTY (whispering): It’s on the tip ...
(He raises the pistol, opens his mouth and sticks out his tongue, and rests the muzzle against his tongue. Slowly, holding that position, he sinks down to sit on the low table in front of the sofa.)
MORIARTY (whispering, his speech blurred): ... of my tongue.
(The room shakes again. Holmes takes another sharp breath through his nose and the room settles.)
HOLMES (in a normal voice): For the sake of Mrs Hudson’s wallpaper, I must remind you that one false move with your finger and you will be dead.
(He whispers the last word. Moriarty, the end of his gun still resting on his stuck-out tongue, speaks incoherently.)
MORIARTY: Ed ith the noo thethy.
HOLMES (closing and then opening his eyes): I’m sorry?
(Moriarty removes the gun and pulls his tongue back into his mouth, holding the gun next to him pointing upwards.)
MORIARTY: Dead ...
(He pauses for a long moment.)
MORIARTY (in a whisper): ... is the new sexy.
(Holmes stares at him in shock. Again the room starts to shake and this time the tremors are much stronger. In a quick movement, Moriarty raises the gun again and opens his mouth, aims the pistol into it and pulls the trigger, firing the gun. He falls backwards and blood flies into the air.
The room settles and Moriarty stands up, shaking himself down. He has some blood spatter on his face.)
MORIARTY: Well, I’ll tell you what: that rather blows the cobwebs away.
(Holmes stares at him wide-eyed.)
HOLMES (softly but intensely): How can you be alive?
MORIARTY: How do I look, huh?
(Slowly he turns around to reveal where the back of his head has been blown out.)
(Still Holmes stares in disbelief. Moriarty turns a full circle to face him again.)
MORIARTY (sounding a little anxious): You can be honest. Is it noticeable?
(He moves his head around as if giving Holmes a good look at him.)
HOLMES (softly, intensely): You blew your own brains out. How could you survive?
MORIARTY (gesturing to his hair): Well, maybe I could back-comb.
HOLMES: I saw you die. (He narrows his eyes.) Why aren’t you dead?
MORIARTY (stepping closer): Because it’s not the fall that kills you, Sherlock. (In a whisper) Of all people, you should know that. It’s not the fall. It’s never the fall.
(Glassware around the room begins to tinkle and smash. Moriarty spreads his arms wide on either side and stares manically at Holmes.)
MORIARTY (intensely): It’s the landing.
(The tremors start again, even stronger than before. On a cabinet in the corner, a small model of an elephant is shaken off the side and falls to the floor. The tremors throw Holmes stumbling back towards the fireplace.
Holmes falls backwards into his chair ...
... and as Sherlock sits in one of the seats with his eyes closed, his executive jet plane is landing at the airfield. Nearby, John and a heavily-pregnant Mary stand in front of the car and watch as the plane rolls to a halt.)
Inside the cabin, the male flight attendant [going by the name of Diamond according to the end credits] walks along the aisle, bends down and puts a hand on Sherlock’s shoulder and gently shakes it.
DIAMOND: We’ve landed, sir. We’ve landed.
SHERLOCK (slowly opening his eyes): No, no, no, not now, not now.
(He stares wide-eyed and shocked. Outside, Mycroft, John and Mary are approaching the steps).
SHERLOCK (to himself, still confused and bewildered): No, no, no, not now, not now.
(Diamond steps back and the plane’s captain [who sadly isn’t Martin Crieff] walks along the aisle. She smiles down at Sherlock.)
CAPTAIN: I trust you had a pleasant flight, sir.
(Sherlock stares up at her. She is the spitting image of Lady Carmichael, although obviously wearing a modern airline captain’s uniform. She smiles and nods to him before turning away as the others come on board.)
MYCROFT: Well, a somewhat shorter exile than we’d imagined, brother mine, although adequate given your levels of OCD.
(Breathing heavily, Sherlock stares up at him glassy-eyed.)
SHERLOCK: I have to go back!
SHERLOCK: I was ... I was nearly there! I nearly had it!
MYCROFT: What on earth are you talking about?
JOHN: Go back where? You didn’t get very far.
SHERLOCK: Ricoletti and his abominable wife! Don’t you understand?
MARY: No, of course we don’t. You’re not making any sense, Sherlock.
SHERLOCK: It was a case, a famous one from a hundred years ago, lodged in my hard drive. She seemed to be dead but then she came back.
JOHN: What, like Moriarty?
SHERLOCK: Shot herself in the head, exactly like Moriarty.
MARY (sitting down in the seat facing him): But you’ve only just been told. We’ve only just found out. He’s on every TV screen in the country.
SHERLOCK (unclipping his seat belt): Yes? So? It’s been five minutes since Mycroft called. (He looks up at his brother.) What progress have you made? What have you been doing?
JOHN (laughing briefly): More to the point, what have you been doing?
SHERLOCK: I’ve been in my Mind Palace, of course ...
JOHN: Of course(!)
SHERLOCK: ... running an experiment: how would I have solved the crime if I’d been there in 1895?
MYCROFT: Oh, Sherlock.
(Looking angry and disappointed, he turns away. Mary takes Sherlock’s phone from the shelf beside his seat and starts to look at it.)
SHERLOCK: I had all the details perfect.
(Mycroft sinks into a rear-facing seat on the other side of the aisle. He puts both hands on the handle of his umbrella and lowers his chin to rest it on them.)
SHERLOCK (flailing his hands): I was there, all of it, everything! I was immersed.
MYCROFT (lifting his head slightly, gazing at nothing): Of course you were.
MARY (looking down at Sherlock’s phone): You’ve been reading John’s blog – the story of how you met.
(She lifts her eyes and smiles at him.)
SHERLOCK (nodding): Helps me if I see myself through his eyes sometimes. I’m so much cleverer.
MYCROFT (looking across to him): You really think anyone’s believing you?
JOHN: No, he can do this. I’ve seen it – the Mind Palace. It’s like a whole world in his head.
SHERLOCK (frustrated): Yes, and I need to get back there.
MYCROFT: The Mind Palace is a memory technique. I know what it can do; and I know what it most certainly cannot.
SHERLOCK: Maybe there are one or two things that I know that you don’t.
(He looks across to Mycroft, who returns his gaze.)
MYCROFT (pointedly): Oh, there are. (He pauses for a moment.) Did you make a list?
(Sherlock has looked away again and is chewing on a thumbnail. He turns to look at his brother again.)
SHERLOCK: You’ve put on weight. That waistcoat’s clearly newer than the jacket ...
MYCROFT (angrily): Stop this. Just stop it. Did you make a list?
SHERLOCK: Of what?
MYCROFT: Everything, Sherlock. Everything you’ve taken.
(Sherlock rolls his eyes and turns his head away.)
JOHN: No, it’s not that. He goes into a sort of trance. I’ve seen him do it.
(Sherlock takes a folded piece of paper from his breast pocket, holds it out and drops it onto the floor. Mycroft lifts his eyes to John, who bends down and picks it up. Mycroft looks away as John unfolds the piece of paper and looks at what’s written there, and his face fills with shock. He stares at Sherlock.)
MYCROFT (his face turned away): We have an agreement, my brother and I, ever since that day.
(Sherlock bites his lip. In a cutaway flashback, a much younger Sherlock is lying on a mattress on a floor. Nearby, candles are burning in bottles. Sherlock is writhing and grimacing under the influence of the drugs he’s taken. Mycroft, apparently in his early/mid-twenties, is sitting on the mattress near his brother’s feet and now reaches down to a piece of paper lying next to Sherlock’s legs.)
MYCROFT (voiceover): Wherever I find him ...
(In the present, Sherlock closes his eyes.
In the past, Mycroft picks up the piece of paper and unfolds it to read it while his young brother continues to writhe in agony.)
MYCROFT (voiceover): ... whatever back alley or doss house ...
(In the present, Mycroft sinks back in his seat.)
MYCROFT: ... there will always be a list.
(John has sat down in the seat facing Mycroft, and raises the piece of paper.)
JOHN: He couldn’t have taken all of that in the last five minutes.
(Mycroft huffs out a breath and looks across to Sherlock.)
MYCROFT: He was high before he got on the plane.
(Mary has put Sherlock’s phone back on the shelf and has now got out her own phone.)
MARY (typing rapidly on the phone): He didn’t seem high.
MYCROFT (his eyes fixed on Sherlock): Nobody deceives like an addict.
SHERLOCK: I’m not an addict. I’m a user. I alleviate boredom and occasionally heighten my thought processes.
JOHN: For God’s sake! This could kill you! You could die!
SHERLOCK: Controlled usage is not usually fatal, and abstinence is not immortality.
(Mycroft has noticed that Mary is typing on the phone.)
MYCROFT: What are you doing?
MARY: Emelia Ricoletti – I’m looking her up.
MYCROFT: Ah, I suppose we should.
(Sherlock rolls his eyes in exasperation.)
MYCROFT: I have access to the top level of the MI5 archive ...
MARY: Yep, that’s where I’m looking.
(She smiles without looking up. Mycroft looks slightly awkward.)
MYCROFT: What do you think of MI5’s security?
MARY (raising her eyebrows and looking across to him partway through her next sentence): I think it would be a good idea.
(She smiles at him, then looks back down to the phone.)
MARY: Emelia Ricoletti. Unsolved ...
(Sherlock has bowed his head and now lowers it into his hands. Mary nods towards him.)
MARY: ... like he says.
SHERLOCK (raising his head with his eyes closed): Could you all just shut up for five minutes? (He opens his eyes.) I have to go back. I was nearly there before you stepped on and starting yapping away.
JOHN: ‘Yapping’? (Sarcastically) Sorry – did we interrupt your session?
MYCROFT (leaning forward): Sherlock, listen to me.
SHERLOCK (closing his eyes): No. It only encourages you.
MYCROFT: I’m not angry with you ...
SHERLOCK: Oh, that’s a relief. I was really worried. (He opens his eyes.) No, hold on. (He looks at Mycroft.) I really wasn’t.
(They lock eyes for a moment.)
MYCROFT (softly): I was there for you before. I’ll be there for you again.
(They continue to look at each other.)
MYCROFT (softly): I’ll always be there for you. (He looks down.) This was my fault.
SHERLOCK (shaking his head slightly): It was nothing to do with you.
MYCROFT (gazing downwards reflectively): A week in a prison cell. I should have realised.
SHERLOCK: Realised what?
MYCROFT: That in your case, solitary confinement is locking you up with your worst enemy.
(Sherlock sighs and rolls his head back.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, for God’s sake.
(He buries his head in one hand.)
JOHN (offscreen): Morphine or cocaine?
(Sherlock raises his head and turns to frown at John.)
SHERLOCK: What did you say?
JOHN: I didn’t say anything.
SHERLOCK: No, you did. You said ...
(As he says the next sentence, it’s Sherlock’s lips moving but we hear John’s voice.)
SHERLOCK/JOHN: Which is it today – morphine or cocaine?
(Sherlock stares at John, who looks confused. Mary sits up in her chair, looking alert, and Mycroft frowns across to his brother.)
(And in the sitting room of Victorian 221B, Holmes is lying on his side on the floor.)
WATSON (offscreen): Morphine or cocaine? Which is it today?
(Holmes’ fingers twitch as the sitting room door slams.)
WATSON (offscreen): Answer me, damn it!
(Holmes jolts awake. His head is resting on a cushion, and the syringe and its case are lying near his hand.)
HOLMES: Moriarty was here.
(At the door, Watson is taking off his gloves.)
WATSON: Moriarty’s dead.
(Holmes waves his hand vaguely and rolls a little more onto his back.)
HOLMES: I was on a jet.
WATSON: A what?
HOLMES (raising his head): You were there, and Mycroft.
(He props himself up onto his elbow, while Watson walks across towards the fireplace.)
WATSON: You haven’t left these rooms, Holmes. You ... haven’t ... moved. Now, tell me, morphine or cocaine?
HOLMES (running his hand over his hair): Cocaine.
(He drags himself onto his knees.)
HOLMES: A seven percent solution.
(Picking up the syringe, he puts it into the case, then stands up and offers the case to Watson.)
HOLMES: Would you care to try it?
WATSON (tightly): No, but I would quite like to find every ounce of the stuff in your possession and pour it out of the window.
HOLMES (smirking): I should be inclined to stop you.
WATSON: Then you would be reminded ... quite forcibly ... which of us is a soldier and which of us a drug addict.
HOLMES: You’re not a soldier. You are a doctor.
WATSON (stepping closer to him): No, an Army doctor, which means I could break every bone in your body, while naming them.
HOLMES: My dear Watson, you are allowing emotion to cloud your judgement.
WATSON (pointing to the syringe): Never on a case. (He breathes in harshly.) You promised me. Never on a case.
HOLMES: No, I just said that in one of your stories. (He smiles.)
WATSON: Listen. (He points at Holmes, breathing rapidly.) I’m happy to play the fool for you. I will run along behind you like some halfwit, making you look clever, if that’s what you need, but dear God above ... (his voice rises angrily) ... you will hold yourself to a higher standard.
WATSON: Because people need you to.
HOLMES: What people? Why? Because of your idiot stories?
WATSON: Yes, because of my idiot stories.
BILLY (offscreen): Mr Holmes!
(The sitting room door opens and the houseboy runs in.)
BILLY: Mr Holmes! Telegram, Mr Holmes!
(He hands the telegram to Holmes and runs out again. Holmes opens the telegram and reads it. He looks shocked and raises his eyes to Watson, who reacts as if he’s not interested in the contents but feels obliged to ask the question.)
WATSON: What is it? What’s wrong?
HOLMES: It’s Mary.
(He walks to the open door of the sitting room.)
WATSON: Mary? What about her?
HOLMES: It’s entirely possible she’s in danger.
(He takes off his dressing gown.)
HOLMES: There’s not a moment to lose.
(He hangs up the dressing gown.)
WATSON: Is this the cocaine talking?
(Holmes takes down his dress coat and puts it on.)
WATSON: What danger could Mary be in? I’m sure she’s just visiting with friends.
HOLMES (sternly): Come on!
(He hurries down the stairs, Watson following. Near the bottom, Holmes has to grab onto the bannister rail to support himself as he stumbles. Grimacing, he continues into the hall, buttoning his coat.)
WATSON: What is happening?
(Holmes takes his outer coat from the peg and starts to put it on.)
WATSON: Are you even in a fit state?
HOLMES: For Mary, of course. Never doubt that, Watson. Never that.
(He breathes heavily and doubles over, groaning.)
(He helps him to straighten up.)
HOLMES (shaking him off): I’m fine!
(Still breathing heavily, he reaches out and picks up his top hat.)
WATSON (snatching it away from him): Not that one.
(He tosses it along the hallway and picks up the deerstalker.)
WATSON: This one.
WATSON: You’re Sherlock Holmes. Wear the damn hat.
(He shoves it at Holmes, who glowers at him but puts it on. They hurry out into the street, which is busy with pedestrians, and Watson calls out loudly as Holmes runs to the kerb and looks up and down the road urgently.)
WATSON: Cab? Cab!
Later, the cab is racing through the countryside, the horse going at a fast canter. The sun is very low in the sky; it is almost night time.
WATSON: So, tell me. Where is she?
(Holmes buries his head in one hand.)
WATSON: You must tell me. What’s going on?
HOLMES (raising his head angrily but not looking at him): Oh, good old Watson! How would we fill the time if you didn’t ask questions?
JOHN (the modern-day John, in modern-day clothes, sitting where Watson had been a moment before): Sherlock, tell me where my bloody wife is, you pompous prick, or I’ll punch your lights out!
(Startled, Holmes looks round but it’s Victorian Watson who is sitting there and looking sternly at him.)
WATSON: Holmes! Where is she?
HOLMES: A desanctified church. She thinks she’s found the solution, and for no better reason than that, she’s put herself in the path of considerable danger.
(He looks away.)
HOLMES: What an excellent choice of wife.
(The carriage continues on towards the church, set in the middle of nowhere. On arrival the two men run through the cloisters, where Mary is waiting hidden behind a pillar. She steps out as they reach her. Watson jumps when he sees her.)
WATSON: What the devil?!
MRS WATSON (pointing further into the building): I’ve found them.
(They pause as distant chanting can be heard. Mary leads the others towards the sound. They descend some steps, where two small metal braziers on tripods are burning.)
WATSON (whispering): What is all this, Mary?
(She turns back and whispers to him.)
MRS WATSON: This is the heart of it all, John, the heart of the conspiracy.
(They continue on into the vaults. The chanting, which sounds like Latin, gets louder, the voices sounding female. There are more burning braziers along the route. Mary turns and beckons the men to continue following her. They reach a pair of arched stone windows. Mary and Holmes go to one window and Watson to the other and they watch as, in another corridor across a gap, many figures process past. All of them are wearing dark blue robes and have pointed conical hats, reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan, over their heads obscuring their faces.)
WATSON (quietly): Great God, what is this place? (He turns to look at Mary.) And what the devil are you doing here?
MRS WATSON: I’ve been making enquiries. Mr Holmes asked me.
WATSON: Holmes, how could you?!
MRS WATSON: No, not him. The clever one.
(Holmes seems surprisingly unmoved by that statement.)
MRS WATSON: It seemed obvious to me that this business could not be managed alone. My theory is that Mrs Ricoletti had help – help from her friends.
HOLMES: Bravo, Mary. (He looks at her, finally catching up with what she just said.) ‘The clever one’?
MRS WATSON: Oh.
WATSON (watching the procession): I thought I was losing you.
(Holmes frowns and glances across to him.)
WATSON: I thought perhaps we were neglecting each other.
HOLMES: Well, you’re the one who moved out.
WATSON (closing his eyes): I was talking to Mary.
(He turns to look at his wife.)
WATSON: You’re working for Mycroft?
MRS WATSON: He likes to keep an eye on his mad sibling.
HOLMES: And he had a spy to hand. (Glancing towards Watson) Has it never occurred to you that your wife is excessively skilled for a nurse?
MRS WATSON: Of course it hasn’t. (She smirks.) Because he knows what a nurse is capable of.
(Watson smiles briefly.)
MRS WATSON (to Holmes): When did it occur to you?
HOLMES: Only now, I’m afraid.
MRS WATSON (turning to look at him): Must be difficult being the slow little brother. (She smiles.)
HOLMES: Time I sped up. Enough chatter. Let’s concentrate.
(They turn to watch the procession.)
MRS WATSON: Yes, all right. What’s all this about? What do they want to accomplish?
HOLMES: Why don’t we go and find out?
(He turns and hurries away, the Watsons following. They run through the vaults, passing large fires burning around various columns which support the roof, and eventually reach a small chapel where the robed figures have gathered, still chanting. Holmes enters through the doorway behind them and sees a suspended gong to one side. Picking up its mallet, he strikes the gong loudly. The figures stop chanting and turn to face him.)
HOLMES (hanging up the mallet): Sorry. I could never resist a gong. (He turns to the gathering.) Or a touch of the dramatic.
MRS WATSON: Never have guessed(!)
HOLMES (walking forward): Though it seems you share my enthusiasm in that regard.
(He walks through the middle of the crowd. The figures stand silently in even rows either side of him.)
(Mary throws a nervous glance at her husband, who is staring around the chapel in awe.)
HOLMES: Superlative theatre. I applaud the spectacle.
(He smiles, turns back and walks slowly towards the doorway.)
HOLMES: Emelia Ricoletti shot herself, then apparently returned from the grave and killed her husband. So, how was it done? Let’s take the events in order.
(Flashback to Emelia standing on the balcony, firing into the street below while people run away and duck for cover.)
HOLMES (voiceover): Mrs Ricoletti gets everyone’s attention in very efficient fashion.
BRIDE (in flashback): You!
(She continues to fire.)
BRIDE: You?! (Softly) Or me?
(Lowering the left-hand pistol, she turns the gun in her right hand towards herself and opens her mouth wide.)
HOLMES (voiceover): She places one of the revolvers in her mouth while actually firing the other into the ground.
(Emelia fires the lowered left-hand pistol.)
HOLMES (voiceover): An accomplice sprays the curtains with blood ...
(Inside the room, a figure – out of focus so we can’t see him or her clearly – sprays blood onto the net curtains behind Emelia’s head.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... and thus her apparent suicide is witnessed by the frightened crowd below.
(Emelia falls backwards and crashes to the carpet inside the room. Lying on her back next to her is another woman, her eyes closed. She is dressed in an identical wedding dress to Emelia’s and her face has been given the same make-up. Emelia stands up.)
HOLMES (voiceover): A substitute corpse bearing a strong resemblance to Mrs Ricoletti takes her place and is later transported to the morgue. A grubby little suicide of little interest to Scotland Yard.
(As Emelia walks away, several people pick up the body and carry it a few feet to the right, placing it in the position where Emelia landed.)
HOLMES (voiceover): Meanwhile the real Mrs Ricoletti slips away.
(Emelia, now wearing everyday clothes – though she has not fixed her lurid and smeared lipstick – pulls the net veil on her hat over her face and leaves the house, walking off down the street.)
HOLMES (voiceover for the first sentence): Now comes the really clever part. Mrs Ricoletti persuaded a cab driver – someone who knew her – to intercept her husband outside his favourite opium den. The perfect stage for a perfect drama.
(In flashback, Emelia – back in the wedding dress with the veil over her face – points the shotgun at her husband.)
RICOLETTI: Who are you? What do you want?
(Emelia lifts her veil with one hand and smiles at her husband. He stares in disbelief.)
(She fires, then lowers the veil and turns away.)
MAN (offscreen): Help!
HOLMES (voiceover): A perfect positive identification.
(PC Rance turns and stares at the Bride.)
MAN (offscreen): Murder! Murder!
HOLMES (voiceover): The late Mrs Ricoletti has returned from the grave ...
(The bloodstained back of her head can be clearly seen by the police officer.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... and with a little skilled make-up and you have nothing less than the wrath of a vengeful ghost.
(Emelia walks away into the fog and disappears from view. Further down the street, she stops on top of a manhole cover and stomps the heel of her boot against it twice. In the drain underneath, an accomplice pushes the manhole cover up and across onto the road, where Emelia has taken a step back and is waiting. Shortly afterwards, PC Rance runs towards where he last saw her and stops ... on top of the now-closed cover.)
HOLMES (voiceover): There was only one thing left to do.
(Emelia, still in the wedding dress, is lying on a bed while someone offscreen points a pistol at her mouth.)
EMELIA: Swiftly now. No tears.
(She settles her head on the pillow and opens her mouth. As the scene fades out, the gun is fired.)
HOLMES (pacing along the chapel): All that remained was to substitute the real Mrs Ricoletti for the corpse in the morgue.
(Brief flashback to Emelia’s covered body, chained to the table in the morgue.)
HOLMES (voiceover): This time, should anyone attempt to identify her ...
(The sheet is pulled back from Emelia’s face.)
HOLMES (in the crypt): ... it would be positively, absolutely her.
MRS WATSON: But why would she do that – die to prove a point?
HOLMES: Every great cause has martyrs; every war has suicide missions – and make no mistake, this is war. One half of the human race at war with the other.
(He walks back along the crypt, looking at the robed figures on either side.)
HOLMES: The invisible army hovering at our elbow, attending to our homes, raising our children, ignored, patronised, disregarded, not allowed so much as a vote.
(Almost as one, the robed figures reach up and begin to remove their conical hats. As they pull them off their heads, each one is revealed to be a woman.)
HOLMES: ... but an army nonetheless, ready to rise up in the best of causes, to put right an injustice as old as humanity itself. So, you see, Watson, Mycroft was right. This is a war we must lose.
(He turns away from Watson but turns back again as he speaks.)
WATSON: She was dying.
HOLMES: Who was?
WATSON: Emelia Ricoletti. There were clear signs of consumption. I doubt she was long for this world.
HOLMES: So she decided to make her death count. She was already familiar with the secret societies of America and was able to draw on their methods of fear and intimidation to publicly – very publicly – confront Sir Eustace Carmichael with the sins of his past.
FEMALE VOICE (offscreen): He knew her out in the States.
(The voice is familiar to us. We heard it earlier in the episode, although back then it was deeper. Holmes turns towards the sound.)
FEMALE VOICE (offscreen): Promised her everything ...
(The owner of the voice comes into view. It is, as we expected, Hooper, now with no moustache and with her hair in a more ‘normal’ style for a woman. She is dressed in the same blue robe as the other women and is carrying her hood.)
HOOPER: ... marriage, position – and then he had his way with her and threw her over, left her abandoned and penniless.
(Flashforward to Molly Hooper slapping Sherlock’s face in the lab at Bart’s after she had tested him for drug abuse in “His Last Vow.” She slaps him again, and again.
Flashback to Doctor Hooper – in her male guise – standing at the side of the morgue table on which Emelia lies.)
HOOPER (softly, in the crypt): Holmes.
WATSON: For the record, Holmes, she didn’t have me fooled.
(Holmes turns and stares at him. Watson smiles in a rather satisfied way. Then his gaze shifts and he stares in surprise as one of the women leans into view and waves cheekily at him. It is his maid.
Flashback to his dining room where she last addressed him:
JANE: Why do you never mention me, sir?
(In the crypt, Jane finishes her wave and steps back. Watson looks a little awkward as Holmes smirks. Another woman steps forward. Again she is very recognisable to us, and her Irish accent confirms it.)
JANINE: Emelia thought that she’d found happiness with Ricoletti, but he was a brute too.
(Holmes has turned to look at her as she spoke and his eyes have widened.
Fast flashforward through brief clips of Sherlock’s time with Janine at the wedding, and in 221B later, ending with them kissing and then Sherlock’s smile dropping once she has walked away.)
[Transcriber’s note: in the cast list for this episode, she is credited as ‘Janine Donlevy.’ People with sharp eyes noticed that in “His Last Vow” her newspaper interviews about her relationship with Sherlock named her as ‘Janine Hawkins.’ It may be that this Victorian version is – or was – married.]
JANINE (in the crypt): Emelia Ricoletti was our friend. You have no idea how that bastard treated her.
(Holmes is still staring at her as if confused.)
WATSON: But ... the Bride, Holmes. We saw her.
HOLMES (turning to him): Yes, Watson, we did. But the sound of breaking glass? Not a window.
(Watson frowns enquiringly.)
HOLMES: Just an old theatrical trick.
(Flashback to Holmes and Watson outside the Carmichael house. Watson seizes Holmes’ arm.)
WATSON: It cannot be true, Holmes! It cannot!
HOLMES: No, it can’t.
HOLMES (voiceover): It’s called Pepper’s Ghost.
[Click here for further information, and diagrams similar to the one which is shown on the screen during Holmes’ explanation.]
(As the flashback continues and Holmes and Watson turn at the sound of a man’s scream from inside the house, we see a closer view of the Bride floating backwards, and this time we can see that there’s a large pane of glass between the Bride and the men.)
HOLMES (voiceover): A simple reflection, in glass, of a living breathing person.
(The Bride is actually several feet away, out of sight from the men, and as she now runs off, two women dressed in black hurry forward ready to carry away the pane of glass, propped up on a stand.)
HOLMES (voiceover): Their only mistake was breaking the glass when they removed it.
(The women go to either side of the pane and take hold of its sides. As they lift it, it shatters and they flinch away from the flying shards.)
HOLMES (slowly pacing along the crypt): Look around you. This room is full of Brides. Once she had risen, anyone could be her.
(The various headlines about murders by ‘the Bride’ float across the screen.)
HOLMES: The avenging ghost – a legend to strike terror into the heart of any man with malicious intent; a spectre to stalk those unpunished brutes whose reckoning is long overdue.
(Flashback to the Carmichael maze. Lady Carmichael and Sir Eustace stare in horror as the Bride floats closer to them. Sir Eustace’s eyes roll up into his head and he faints.)
HOLMES (voiceover): A league of furies awakened.
(Elsewhere in the maze after she has made her escape, the Bride lifts her veil to reveal Janine, her face white and her lips red and smeared. She smiles with satisfaction.)
HOLMES (voiceover): The women I ... we have lied to, betrayed ...
(Inside the Carmichael house, Watson turns wide-eyed to see the Bride standing behind him.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... the women we have ignored ...
(The Bride raises her hands like claws and hiss-shrieks, and Watson turns and runs.)
HOLMES (voiceover): ... and disparaged.
(Watson runs into the hall. Behind him, Hooper, dressed in the Bride’s outfit, climbs out of the broken window.)
HOLMES (in the crypt): Once the idea exists, it cannot be killed.
(His gaze sharpens a little.)
HOLMES: This is the work of a single-minded person, someone who knew first-hand about Sir Eustace’s mental cruelty. A dark secret, kept from all but her closest friends ...
(Behind him, someone wearing the Bride’s wedding dress and with the veil over their face walks into view.)
HOLMES: ... including Emelia Ricoletti ...
(The Bride slowly walks closer to him, footsteps sounding on the floor.)
HOLMES: ... the woman her husband wronged all those years before. If one disregards the ghost, there is only one suspect.
(He turns towards the person he has heard approaching, unsurprised by the sight of the veiled figure.)
HOLMES: Isn’t that right, Lady Carmichael?
(The Bride stops close to him.)
HOLMES: One small detail doesn’t quite make sense to me, however. Why engage me to prevent a murder you intended to commit?
(The Bride doesn’t respond.)
(The Bride huffs out a laugh but it’s not coming from any woman’s mouth.)
MORIARTY’s VOICE (from underneath the veil, in a deliberately poor impersonation of Holmes): It doesn’t quite make sense; this doesn’t quite make sense. (In his own voice) Of course it doesn’t make sense.
(Holmes blinks a couple of times.)
MORIARTY’s VOICE: It’s not real.
(He snores as if bored.)
MORIARTY’s VOICE: Oh, Sherlock.
(He takes hold of the veil and flips it back onto his head, holding it there so as to reveal his face. There is dried blood in the middle of his upper and lower lips from where he shot himself in the mouth. Holmes gasps.)
(He rolls his jaw as if it hurts. Holmes stares in shock.)
HOLMES: No. No, not you. It can’t be you.
MORIARTY: I mean, come on, be serious. Costumes, the gong. Speaking as a criminal mastermind, we don’t really have gongs, or special outfits.
(Holmes, looking faint, closes his eyes. Behind his closed eyes, it’s as if a faint image of Watson is shining a penlight into his eyes. The voice which speaks in his head, however, sounds a little more like modern John than Victorian Watson.)
JOHN/WATSON: What the hell is going on?
(Holmes opens his eyes again and peers at Moriarty in continuing disbelief.)
MORIARTY: Is this silly enough for you yet? Gothic enough? Mad enough, even for you? It doesn’t make sense, Sherlock, because it’s not real.(In a whisper) None of it.
(Behind his eyes, Holmes can again see Watson looking closely at him, and again he hears the voice.)
JOHN/WATSON: What’s he talking about?
MORIARTY (in a whisper): This is all in your mind.
(Holmes clamps his eyes shut again.)
JOHN’s VOICE: Sherlock.
(The penlight shines into Holmes’ closed eyes.)
WATSON’s VOICE: Holmes!
MORIARTY (in a whisper): You’re dreaming.
(Holmes, his eyes wide again, opens his mouth and gasps out a long breath.)
MARY: Is he dreaming?
(Sherlock’s vision clears. Mary is sitting a short distance away and peering at him, and John is leaning over him and shining a penlight into his right eye. Mycroft is sitting at Sherlock’s bedside. They’re no longer in the plane and Sherlock is lying fully clothed on a bed, presumably in a hospital.)
MYCROFT (somewhat sarcastically): And there he is. Thought we’d lost you for a moment. May I just check: is this what you mean by “controlled usage”?
(In the background, a woman in a white hospital uniform walks past.)
SHERLOCK (a little blearily): Mrs Emelia Ricoletti. I need to know where she was buried.
MYCROFT: What, a hundred and twenty years ago?!
SHERLOCK (struggling to sit up, while John tries to push him back down): Yes.
MYCROFT: That would take weeks to find, if those records even exist. Even with my resources ...
MARY (looking down at her phone): Got it.
Some time later, John and Mary get out of a police car and follow Sherlock, who has just taken a spade from the boot of another police car. Sherlock is now wearing his Coat and scarf and he leads them into a cemetery. Mycroft and Greg Lestrade follow them and there are several uniformed police officers in attendance.
JOHN: I don’t get it. How is this relevant?
SHERLOCK: I need to know I was right, then I’ll be sure.
MARY: You mean how Moriarty did it?
JOHN: But none of that really happened. It was in your head.
SHERLOCK: My investigation was the fantasy. The crime happened exactly as I explained.
MARY: The stone was erected by a group of her friends.
MYCROFT: I don’t know what you think you’ll find here.
SHERLOCK: I need to try!
(They walk past the rear of the gravestone they’re looking for. On the front is carved:
FAITHFUL BEYOND DEATH
DIED DECEMBER 18 1894
Shortly afterwards, Sherlock is standing beside Emelia’s grave holding the spade. The others are standing on the path at the foot of the grave and some of the police officers are nearby, one of them also holding a spade.
SHERLOCK: Mrs Ricoletti was buried here, but what happened to the other one, the corpse they substituted for her after the so-called suicide?
JOHN: They’d move it. Of course they would.
SHERLOCK: But where?
JOHN: Well, not here!
SHERLOCK: But that ... that’s exactly what they must have done. The conspirators had someone on the inside. They found a body, just like Molly Hooper found a body for me when I ...
(John throws him a dark look and Mary raises her eyes to the heavens. Sherlock stops abruptly.)
SHERLOCK (looking down): Yeah, well, we don’t need to go into all that again, do we?
(He shifts his grip on the spade, ready to start digging.)
JOHN: You’re not seriously gonna do this?
SHERLOCK: It’s why we came here! I need to know.
(He bends forward to the grave.)
JOHN (turning away): Spoken like an addict.
SHERLOCK (straightening up to look at him): This is important to me!
JOHN (turning back): No – this is you needing a fix.
SHERLOCK: John ...
JOHN: Moriarty’s back. We have a case! We have a real-life problem right now.
SHERLOCK: Getting to that! It’s next on the list! Just let me do this.
(Again he bends to the grave.)
JOHN (loudly): No, everyone always lets you do whatever you want. That’s how you got in this state.
SHERLOCK (straightening up again): John, please ...
JOHN (angrily): I’m not playing this time, Sherlock, not any more.
(He steps back, flexing his left hand, then speaks more calmly.)
JOHN: When you’re ready to go to work, give me a call.
(He takes Mary’s arm.)
JOHN: I’m taking Mary home.
MARY (instantly): You’re what?
JOHN: Mary’s taking me home.
(They walk away. Mycroft walks over to where they were standing.)
MYCROFT: He’s right, you know.
SHERLOCK (loudly): So what if he’s right? He’s always right. It’s boring.
(He pauses, looking down, for a moment.)
SHERLOCK (more quietly): Will you help me?
(He looks across to Greg and then to Mycroft. The two of them exchange a look[, Mystradians go crazy with delight] and then Mycroft shrugs and gestures down to the grave.)
MYCROFT: Cherchez la femme.
(Sherlock raises the spade and plunges it into the earth.)
HOURS LATER. It’s night time and portable lights have been set up to illuminate the area. Sherlock, down to just shirt and trousers, is almost neck deep in the grave as he shovels out the latest spadeful of earth. Next to him Greg, also in shirtsleeves, is also digging. Both of them are wearing thick gloves. Mycroft stands next to the grave, shining a flashlight down into the hole. Sherlock and Greg shovel out a few more loads and then, when Sherlock plunges the spade down again, it’s met with a hollow thump. He slowly straightens up, realising that they have reached the coffin.
Some time later Greg groans in pain as he and Sherlock, now out of the grave, bend down to lower the coffin to the ground at its foot. Greg uses a crowbar to lever up one end of the coffin lid and then hands it to Sherlock to lever up the other end. They then lift off the lid and set it down beside the coffin, inside which – illuminated by Mycroft’s torch – is a very rotted almost skeletal corpse with worms wriggling in the eye sockets of the skull. Surrounding the corpse are the rotted remains of a wedding dress. Greg stays back and Sherlock, leaning over the coffin, puts the back of his hand to his nose and mouth, presumably appalled by the smell.
(Mycroft directs the light from his torch into the coffin. Kneeling down beside the coffin and breathing heavily, Sherlock starts to rummage around and under the corpse, searching for a second body. There clearly isn’t one.)
MYCROFT: Oh dear. The cupboard is bare.
(Sherlock rises up on his knees and stares into the grave.)
SHERLOCK: They must have buried it underneath. They must have buried it underneath the coffin.
(Standing up and leaping over the coffin, he jumps down into the grave and starts grabbing handfuls of earth, tossing them over the side of the hole. The other two walk to the edge of the grave and look down at him, then straighten up and exchange another look. Greg sighs and they look down into the grave again as Sherlock pants heavily while he continues throwing out handfuls of earth.)
LESTRADE: Bad luck, Sherlock.
(Sherlock continues frantically scrabbling in the grave.)
LESTRADE: Maybe they got rid of the body in another way.
MYCROFT: More than likely. At any rate, it was a very long time ago. We do have slightly more pressing matters to hand, little brother. Moriarty, back from the dead?
(Sherlock is still frenetically pawing handfuls of earth together, but stops when a harsh female voice begins to whisper.)
VOICE (rhythmically, as if reciting lyrics to a song): Do not forget me.
(He raises his head and turns. Up above, both Greg and Mycroft turn and look towards the coffin, clearly hearing the voice as well.)
VOICE (harshly whispering): Do not forget me.
(Mycroft shines his torchlight into the coffin. Greg’s jaw drops and Mycroft stares in disbelief as the corpse’s skeletal right hand begins to lift from where it was resting on the body’s chest. The arm slowly straightens out. As Sherlock frowns at the sound of creaking bones, the coffin seems to shake and the corpse’s head begins to lift up. A woman’s furious scream can be heard, and Sherlock’s eyes widen as the skeleton plunges into the grave on top of him. It flattens him to the floor ...
... and Holmes starts violently and wakes up to find himself lying on his side on a narrow rocky ledge. Water is pouring over him as if it is raining heavily.)
HOLMES (sounding exasperated as he props himself up onto one elbow): Oh, I see. Still not awake, am I?
(He shifts position and turns to look along the ledge. Behind him, beyond the end of the ledge a few feet away, a massive waterfall plunges over the side of the mountain. A few yards in the other direction, Professor Moriarty stands looking at him. In the distance, a full moon lights up the night sky. Holmes grimaces and pulls down the visor of his deerstalker hat, trying to keep the water out of his eyes.)
MORIARTY: Too deep, Sherlock. Way too deep.
(Holmes stumbles to his feet.)
MORIARTY: Congratulations. You’ll be the first man in history to be buried in his own Mind Palace.
(Holmes has been looking towards the waterfall but now turns to face him.)
HOLMES (gesturing behind him): The setting’s a shade melodramatic, don’t you think?
MORIARTY: For you and me? (He looks up at the spray splashing over him.) Not at all.
HOLMES: What are you?
MORIARTY: You know what I am. I’m Moriarty. (In a slightly sarcastic voice) The Napoleon of crime.
HOLMES (firmly): Moriarty’s dead.
MORIARTY: Not in your mind. (He shakes his head.) I’ll never be dead there. You once called your brain a hard drive. (He starts to walk forward.) Well, say hello to the virus. This is how we end, you and I. Always here, always together.
(Holmes starts to walk slowly towards his nemesis, who has now stopped.)
HOLMES: You have a magnificent brain, Moriarty. I admire it.
(Moriarty smiles a little.)
HOLMES: I concede it may be even be the equal of my own.
(Moriarty’s smile widens.)
MORIARTY: I’m touched. I’m honoured.
HOLMES: But when it comes to the matter of unarmed combat on the edge of a precipice ...
(Moriarty’s smile has dropped.)
HOLMES: ... you’re going in the water ...
(He pauses for a moment.)
HOLMES: ... short-arse.
(Moriarty hisses and lashes out, jabbing his fingers into Holmes’ throat, who chokes and stumbles back, his deerstalker falling off as he clutches at his throat. Moriarty surges forward and grabs Holmes’ ears, shoving him against the rock wall. Holmes roughly pushes him away, then as Moriarty straightens up, Holmes punches him in the face. As he breathes heavily, Moriarty turns back to face him.)
MORIARTY (loudly): Oh, you think you’re so big and strong, Sherlock! Not with me!
(He punches Holmes in the face. The impact spins Holmes around and sends him falling to the ground. Getting up again, Holmes turns back and swings another punch but Moriarty blocks it and seizes his arm and shoves him hard, sending him falling to the ground on his front, his head almost over the drop at the end of the ledge. Breathing heavily, Holmes struggles to turn over onto his back. As he finally makes it, Moriarty walks forward to stand over him.)
MORIARTY (yelling): I am your WEAKNESS!
(Crying out with rage, he kicks Holmes in the head, flattening him to the rock floor.)
MORIARTY (yelling): I keep you DOWN!
(He kicks Holmes in the side, making him grunt with pain. Moriarty drops to his knees and leans forward, yelling into his enemy’s face.)
MORIARTY: Every time you STUMBLE, every time you FAIL, when you’re WEAK ...
(Holmes is grimacing under the verbal onslaught. Moriarty punches him in the chest as he stands up.)
MORIARTY: I ... AM ... (he bends and punches his chest again) ... THERE!
(He drops to his knees as Holmes tries to sit up. He seizes Holmes’ coat while the detective flails uselessly at him.)
MORIARTY: No. Don’t try to fight it. LIE BACK AND LOSE!
(He straightens up, hauling Holmes to his feet. They struggle for a moment but Moriarty has the upper hand and shoves Holmes sideways, clinging to his arm with one hand and grasping the side of his head with the other and bending him over the side of the ledge.)
MORIARTY (harshly, loudly): Shall we go over together? It has to be together, doesn’t it? At the end, it’s always just you ... (he screams the next words manically into Holmes’ face) ... AND ME!
(Behind them, a very familiar male voice clears its throat. Moriarty looks round and a few feet away Watson, smiling slightly, lifts his revolver with the muzzle pointed skywards and cocks it before pointing it forward.)
WATSON: Professor, if you wouldn’t mind stepping away from my friend. I do believe he finds your attention a shade annoying.
(Holmes, a slight smile on his face, lifts his hands away from Moriarty, who releases him with a frustrated look.)
MORIARTY: That’s not fair. There’s two of you!
WATSON: There’s always two of us. Don’t you read The Strand?
(He tosses Holmes’ deerstalker towards his friend, who catches it and sniffs nonchalantly as he puts it on. Watson gestures with his revolver.)
WATSON: On your knees, Professor.
(Looking both bewildered and exasperated, Moriarty drops to his knees at the side of the ledge, facing the drop.)
WATSON: Hands behind your head.
(Looking up briefly at Holmes, Moriarty does as instructed.)
HOLMES: Thank you, John.
WATSON: Since when do you call me John?
HOLMES: You’d be surprised. (He smiles.)
WATSON: No I wouldn’t. (He smiles back briefly, then looks down towards Moriarty.) Time you woke up, Sherlock.
(He raises his gaze to Holmes again, who had been looking away but now turns to look at him.)
WATSON: I’m a storyteller. I know when I’m in one.
HOLMES: Of course. Of course you do, John. (He smiles again.)
WATSON: So what’s he like? The other me, in the other place?
HOLMES: Smarter than he looks.
WATSON: Pretty damned smart, then.
HOLMES (smiling): Pretty damned smart.
(As they smile at each other, Moriarty makes a disgusted noise.)
MORIARTY: Urgh. Why don’t you two just elope, for God’s sake?
WATSON: Actually ... (he lowers his revolver) ... would you mind?
HOLMES: Not at all.
(Watson walks forward to stand behind Moriarty, then lifts his right foot and firmly kicks him in the back, sending him forward over the edge. Moriarty screams as he falls. Watson steps forward and he and Holmes look down into the abyss below them. As Moriarty’s scream ends, Watson straightens up and looks at his friend.)
WATSON: It was my turn.
HOLMES: Quite so.
WATSON: So, how do you plan to wake up?
HOLMES (looking around the area for a moment): Ohhh, I should think like this.
(He steps onto the rim of the ledge.)
WATSON: Are you sure?
(Holmes turns to look at him.)
HOLMES: Between you and me, John, I always survive a fall.
WATSON: But how?
HOLMES (facing forward again): Elementary, my dear Watson.
(Taking off his deerstalker, he tosses it into the abyss and then, bending his knees slightly, he leaps forward, spreading his arms wide, and plunges into the void. Falling horizontally and facing downwards with his arms still outspread, he starts to smile. He flies ever downwards, his smile widening and becoming a happy grin as he falls.)
Sitting in the plane parked on the airfield’s tarmac, Sherlock jerks awake and opens his eyes. They are a little glassy and the pupils are rather dilated. Someone’s hand is leaning on the headrest beside his head. He looks around in confusion for a moment, then his eyes settle on something specific. He smiles.
SHERLOCK: Miss me?
(It’s John who is leaning over him and to whom he addressed the question. Mary is in front of Sherlock’s seat, bending forward and looking worriedly at him. Mycroft is in the middle of the aisle a few paces behind her.)
JOHN: Sherlock? You all right?
SHERLOCK: Yes, of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?
MARY: ’Cause you probably just OD’d. You should be in hospital.
SHERLOCK: No time. (He starts to get up.) I have to go to Baker Street now. Moriarty’s back.
(He stumbles as he steps into the aisle and slowly shakes his head, trying to get his balance.)
MYCROFT: I almost hope he is, if it’ll save you from this.
(He holds up the piece of paper containing Sherlock’s ‘list.’ Looking exasperated, Sherlock snatches it from his hand and tears it in half and then half again.)
SHERLOCK: No need for that now. (He drops the pieces to the floor.) Got the real thing. I have work to do.
(He begins to step forward but stops when Mycroft speaks.)
MYCROFT (softly): Sherlock.
(Sherlock raises his eyes to his brother’s.)
MYCROFT (softly): Promise me?
(Sherlock looks around the cabin for a moment, then looks back to Mycroft.)
SHERLOCK: What are you still doing here? Shouldn’t you be off getting me a pardon or something, like a proper big brother?
(He moves forward, shoving Mycroft out of the way with his shoulder, and heads for the door. Mycroft closes his eyes with resignation. Mary and John walk past him towards the door.)
MYCROFT: Doctor Watson?
(John stops and turns back to him.)
MYCROFT: Look after him ...
(He gives him a small but genuine smile.)
MYCROFT: ... please?
(John nods, then turns and leaves the plane. Mycroft turns, goes down on one knee and takes a notebook from his breast pocket. Opening it to a bookmarked page, he picks up the torn pieces of paper and puts them into the notebook where, written at the top of the left-hand page with a rectangular box drawn around it, is the word
Underneath on the left-hand side is:
To the right of those is a diagonal matrix and underneath, double underlined, the words
Scarlet Roll M
(The rest of the last word is off the edge of the screen [but note fandom theory here])
Below that is some mathematical notation, apparently Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism.
[A screenshot of the page, together with other fandom theories about the significance of the various notes, can be seen here and here. The latter in particular suggests that the number below ‘Redbeard’ might actually be 6/1/74 which is the English way of abbreviating 6 January 1974 and could be meant to denote Sherlock’s birth date ... though why Mycroft would need to write down his brother’s birthday is open to conjecture.]
Mycroft closes the notebook.)
Outside, Sherlock is putting on his coat as he walks across the tarmac towards the car parked nearby.
JOHN: Sherlock, hang on. Explain. Moriarty’s alive, then?
SHERLOCK (stopping near the car and taking his gloves from his pocket): I never said he was alive. I said he was back.
MARY: So he’s dead.
SHERLOCK: Of course he’s dead. He blew his own brains out. No-one survives that. I just went to the trouble of an overdose to prove it.
(He throws a quick guilty look at John before looking down.)
SHERLOCK: Moriarty is dead, no question. But more importantly ...
(He raises his head and looks to one side.)
SHERLOCK: ... I know exactly what he’s going to do next.
(Smiling at his friends, he turns and continues on towards the car, leaving John to look in confusion at Mary.)
Shortly afterwards, the car pulls away and drives off along the tarmac. As the scene fades out, the familiar ‘Pursuit’ music starts ... and almost immediately grinds to a halt.
The screen remains dark for a moment and then ...
WATSON (offscreen): Flying machines; these, er, telephone contraptions ...
(The screen fades up to reveal Holmes and Watson sitting in their armchairs in the sitting room of 221B. Each of them is smoking a pipe.)
WATSON: What sort of lunatic fantasy is that?
HOLMES: It was simply my conjecture of what a future world might look like, and how you and I might fit inside it.
HOLMES: From a drop of water, a logician should be able to infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara.
WATSON: Or a Reichenbach.
HOLMES: Have you written up your account of the case?
HOLMES: Hmm. Modified to put it down as one of my rare failures, of course?
WATSON: Of course.
(Holmes looks thoughtful for a moment.)
HOLMES: “The Adventure of ... the Invisible Army.”
(Watson looks upwards, considering it.)
HOLMES: “The League of Furies”? (He leans forward, smiling.) “The Monstrous Regiment.”
WATSON: I rather thought ... “The Abominable Bride.”
HOLMES (sitting back): A trifle lurid.
WATSON: It’ll sell. It’s got proper murders in it, too.
HOLMES (pointing his pipe at him): You’re the expert.
WATSON: As for your own tale, are you sure it’s still just a seven percent solution that you take? I think you may have increased the dosage.
HOLMES: Perhaps I was being a little fanciful ...
(He looks down thoughtfully.)
HOLMES: ... but perhaps such things could come to pass.
(He stands up.)
HOLMES: In any case, I know I would be very much at home in such a world.
(Watson chuckles as Holmes walks across the room towards the right-hand window.)
WATSON: Don’t think I would be.
HOLMES: I beg to differ.
(He looks out of the window.)
HOLMES: But then I’ve always known I was a man out of his time.
(He puts his pipe in his mouth and continues to look out of the window. The ‘Pursuit’ theme starts again, this time with a Victorian twist to it, as the camera slowly pulls back. Down in the street below, customers are going into SPEEDY’S Sandwich Bar & Cafe while more people – all dressed in modern-day clothing – walk past, and the road is busy with cars. A black cab passes a number 11 bus – destination Baker Street – as they drive past 221B ...
... where it is always 1895.)