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  2x01 - A Scandal in Belgravia
 Posted: 05/12/13 07:08
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The episode picks up precisely where “The Great Game” left off, with Sherlock aiming the pistol down at the bomb jacket. As he and Jim Moriarty stare at each other, the introduction to The Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive” begins to play tinnily. Sherlock and John look around, confused. Jim briefly closes his eyes and sighs in exasperation.

JIM: D’you mind if I get that?

SHERLOCK (nonchalantly): No, no, please. You’ve got the rest of your life.

(Jim takes his phone from his pocket and answers it.)

JIM: Hello? ... Yes, of course it is. What do you want?

(He mouths ‘Sorry’ at Sherlock, who sarcastically mouths ‘Oh, it’s fine’ back at him. Jim rolls his eyes as he listens to the phone, turning away from Sherlock for a moment, then he spins back around, his face full of fury.)

JIM (into phone): SAY THAT AGAIN!

(Sherlock frowns.)

JIM (venomously, into phone): Say that again, and know that if you’re lying to me, I will find you and I will skin you.

(Sherlock looks round at John.)

JIM (into phone): Wait.

(Lowering the phone, he begins to walks forward. Sherlock looks at the bomb jacket fretfully and adjusts the grip on his pistol as Jim approaches. Jim stops at the jacket and gazes down at the ground thoughtfully before lifting his eyes to Sherlock.)

JIM: Sorry. Wrong day to die.

SHERLOCK (casually): Oh. Did you get a better offer?

(Jim looks down at the phone, then turns and slowly starts to walk away.)

JIM: You’ll be hearing from me, Sherlock.

(He strolls back around the pool towards the door through which he originally came, lifting the phone to his ear again.)

JIM (into phone): So if you have what you say you have, I will make you rich. If you don’t, I’ll make you into shoes.

(Reaching the door, he raises his free hand and clicks his fingers. Instantly all the lasers focused on Sherlock and John disappear. As Jim walks through the door and vanishes from sight, Sherlock looks around the pool but can see no sign of the retreating snipers. John sighs out a relieved breath.)

JOHN: What happened there?

SHERLOCK: Someone changed his mind. The question is: who?

(Elsewhere, a woman’s hand lowers her phone and switches it off. Wearing a pair of black Brazilian knickers under a sheer lace robe, she walks from the landing into a bedroom, lashing a riding crop against the door jamb as she speaks.)

IRENE: Well now. Have you been wicked, Your Highness?

(Inside the bedroom, a pair of naked legs can be seen lying on a bed.)

SULTRY FEMALE VOICE: Yes, Miss Adler.

NEW OPENING CREDITS!

221B BAKER STREET. MAY 30. John is sitting at the table in the living room updating his blog on his laptop. Sherlock, wearing a red dressing gown over his shirt and trousers, is standing at the other side of the table drinking from a mug while leafing through a newspaper.

SHERLOCK: What are you typing?

JOHN: Blog.

SHERLOCK: About?

JOHN: Us.

SHERLOCK: You mean me.

JOHN: Why?

SHERLOCK: Well, you’re typing a lot.

(The doorbell rings.)

SHERLOCK: Right then. (He walks towards the door.) So, what have we got?

Over a period of many weeks, people are coming to 221B to consult with Sherlock.

MAN: My wife seems to be spending a very long time at the office.

SHERLOCK: Boring.

WOMAN: I think my husband might be having an affair.

SHERLOCK: Yes.

CREEPY GUY (holding a funeral urn): She’s not my real aunt. She’s been replaced – I know she has. I know human ash.

SHERLOCK (pointing to the door): Leave.

BUSINESSMAN: We are prepared to offer any sum of money you care to mention for the recovery of these files.

SHERLOCK: Boring.

GEEKY YOUNG MAN: We have this website. It explains the true meaning of comic books, ’cause people miss a lot of the themes.

(Sherlock is already walking away, disinterested.)

GEEKY YOUNG MAN: But then all the comic books started coming true.

(Sherlock comes back.)

SHERLOCK: Oh. Interesting.

Later, John is sitting in his chair and updating his blog again. He has entitled the entry “The Geek Interpreter”. Sherlock leans over his shoulder.

SHERLOCK: Geek interpreter. What’s that?

JOHN: It’s the title.

SHERLOCK: What does it need a title for?

(John just smiles. Sherlock straightens up and walks away.)

Later, they’re at the morgue at Bart’s. Sherlock is using his magnifier to look at a woman’s body lying on the table. John is standing at the other side of the table and Detective Inspector Lestrade is nearby.

SHERLOCK: Do people actually read your blog?

JOHN: Where d’you think our clients come from?

SHERLOCK: I have a website.

JOHN: In which you enumerate two hundred and forty different types of tobacco ash. Nobody’s reading your website.

(Sherlock straightens up and glares at him, then pouts adorably momentarily as John continues to look at the body.)

JOHN: Right then: dyed blonde hair; no obvious cause of death except for these speckles, whatever they are.

(He points at the tiny red marks on the woman’s body but Sherlock has already turned and flounced out of the room.)

Later, back at the flat, John is updating his blog again. Sherlock walks past eating a piece of toast. He stops and looks at the title for the entry.

SHERLOCK (with his mouth full): Oh, for God’s sakes!

JOHN: What?

SHERLOCK: “The Speckled Blonde”?!

(John purses his lips as Sherlock walks away again.)

Two little girls are sitting together on one of the dining chairs in the flat as Sherlock paces.

LITTLE GIRL: They wouldn’t let us see Granddad when he was dead. Is that ’cause he’d gone to heaven?

SHERLOCK: People don’t really go to heaven when they die. They’re taken to a special room and burned.

(The two girls look at each other in distress.)

JOHN (reprovingly): Sherlock ...

Lestrade is leading Sherlock and John across some open ground.

LESTRADE: There was a plane crash in Dusseldorf yesterday. Everyone dead.

SHERLOCK: Suspected terrorist bomb. We do watch the news.

JOHN: You said, “Boring,” and turned over.

[Transcriber’s note: Much as I would love to confirm that “You … turned over” means that Sherlock turned over in bed, where he and John were watching the news, I reluctantly have to confirm that – in this context – it does sadly mean “You … changed the channel”. Sorry.]

(Lestrade leads them to a car which has its boot opened. There’s a body inside the boot. As Lestrade continues to speak, Sherlock looks all around the rear of the car.)

LESTRADE (looking at a bag of evidence): Well, according to the flight details, this man was checked in on board. Inside his coat he’s got a stub from his boarding pass, napkins from the flight, even one of those special biscuits. Here’s his passport stamped in Berlin Airport. So this man should have died in a plane crash in Germany yesterday but instead he’s in a car boot in Southwark.

JOHN: Lucky escape(!)

LESTRADE (to Sherlock): Any ideas?

SHERLOCK (examining the man’s hand with his magnifier): Eight, so far.

(He straightens up and looks at the body again, then frowns momentarily.)

SHERLOCK: Okay, four ideas.

(He turns to Lestrade and looks down at the passport and the ticket stub of the passenger, John Coniston, who was meant to be travelling on Flyaway Airways [oh, good invented name, guys!]. Standing up, he gazes up into the sky.)

SHERLOCK: Maybe two ideas.

(The shadow of a passenger jet passes overhead.)

Back at the flat, Sherlock – wearing heavy protective gloves and safety glasses and carrying a blowtorch in one hand and a glass container of green liquid in the other – has come to the living room table to look at John’s latest blog entry which is entitled “Sherlock Holmes baffled”.

SHERLOCK (indignantly): No, no, no, don’t mention the unsolved ones.

JOHN: People want to know you’re human.

SHERLOCK: Why?

JOHN: ’Cause they’re interested.

SHERLOCK: No they’re not. Why are they?

(John smiles at his laptop.)

JOHN: Look at that.

(He’s looking at the hit counter on the front page of his blog.)

JOHN: One thousand, eight hundred and ninety-five.

SHERLOCK: Sorry, what?

JOHN: I re-set that counter last night. This blog has had nearly two thousand hits in the last eight hours. This is your living, Sherlock – not two hundred and forty different types of tobacco ash.

SHERLOCK (sulkily): Two hundred and forty-three.

(Firing up the blowtorch, he puts his safety glasses back on and heads back towards the kitchen.)

THEATRE. Sherlock and John are walking across the stage of a theatre while police officers mill around nearby.

SHERLOCK: So, what’s this one? “Belly Button Murders”?

JOHN: “The Navel Treatment”?

SHERLOCK: Eurgh!

(They walk backstage and meet up with Lestrade as they head for the exit.)

LESTRADE: There’s a lot of press outside, guys.

SHERLOCK: Well, they won’t be interested in us.

LESTRADE: Yeah, that was before you were an internet phenomenon. A couple of them specifically wanted photographs of you two.

SHERLOCK (exasperated, glaring round at John): For God’s sake!

(John quirks a smile as they walk on, then Sherlock spots some costumes on a rack just inside a nearby dressing room. He walks in and grabs a couple of items off the rack.)

SHERLOCK: John.

(He tosses a cap at him.)

SHERLOCK: Cover your face and walk fast.

LESTRADE: Still, it’s good for the public image, a big case like this.

SHERLOCK: I’m a private detective. The last thing I need is a public image.

(He puts on the other hat that he had picked up – a deerstalker – and heads out the exit door pulling the hat as low as possible over his eyes and tugging the collar of his coat up. Outside, photographers start taking pictures of him and John.)

(Later, some of the pictures have been used in various newspapers, together with headlines such as “Hat-man and Robin: The web detectives”, “Sherlock Net ‘Tec”, “Sherlock & John: Blogger Detectives” and “Sherlock Holmes: net phenomenon”. [N.B. see the Comments of disassembly_rsn (below the transcript) where the text of the newspaper articles has been transcribed.])

(The last of these newspaper reports has caught the attention of Irene Adler, who slowly strokes her hand over the photograph of Sherlock, then runs her hand along her riding crop before laying it down on top of the photograph. She picks up her phone and dials.)

IRENE (into phone): Hello. I think it’s time, don’t you?

221B BAKER STREET. Mrs Hudson picks up a mug and an almost empty bottle of milk from the mantelpiece and walks into the kitchen, tutting in exasperation at the mess in there. Putting the mug onto the table she takes the milk across to the fridge door and opens it, recoiling from the smell emanating from inside. Putting the milk into the fridge door she picks up the offending smelly item and drops it into the bin, then pulls open the salad crisper at the bottom and takes out a clear plastic bag from it. Peering at the contents, she cringes as she realises what’s inside.

MRS HUDSON: Ooh dear! Thumbs!

(She drops the bag back into the salad crisper, then turns as an overweight man stumbles into the kitchen through the side door and stares at her wide-eyed and confused.)

MAN: The door was ... the door was ...

(He breathes heavily, then drops to the floor in a faint. Mrs Hudson stares at him in terror for a moment, then calls out.)

MRS HUDSON: Boys! You’ve got another one!

(She bends down to the unconscious man.)

MRS HUDSON: Ooh!

Later the man – whose name is Phil – has regained consciousness and is sitting on one of the dining table chairs in the middle of the lounge. He is staring rather blankly in front of him. John is sitting on the sofa behind him and Sherlock is out of sight but presumably pacing.

SHERLOCK (sternly): Tell us from the start. Don’t be boring.

(Phil flashes back to fourteen hours earlier. Somewhere out in the country his car has broken down. He tries to start the engine for what is apparently the umpteenth time but it just whines and refuses to start. Phil slams his hands angrily onto the steering wheel and gets out again to stare uselessly down under the open bonnet and tweak a few connections hopefully. He looks around but there is no sign of any other traffic on the country lane. He looks into the field at the side of the road. The field stretches down to a river some distance away and a man wearing a red jacket is standing at the edge of a stream which leads down to the river. He has his back to the road. Phil peers at him for a moment but he’s too far away to have even noticed what’s happening on the road and eventually Phil gets back into the car again and tries once more to start the engine. It whines ferociously and then loudly backfires. Phil sighs, then looks across towards the river and realises that the man is now lying on the ground. He gets out of the car and stares.)

PHIL (calling out): Hey! Are you okay?

(The man doesn’t respond or react.)

PHIL (starting to walk towards him): Excuse me! Are you all right?

(As yet unseen by Phil, the man has fallen onto his back. There is a lot of blood underneath the back of his head.)

Many hours later a crime scene has been set up at the riverside. A young police officer brings a mobile phone over to Detective Inspector Carter.

POLICE OFFICER: Sir. A phone call for you.

CARTER (into phone): Carter.

(Lestrade is at the other end of the line, sitting in his car in Baker Street.)

LESTRADE: Have you heard of Sherlock Holmes?

CARTER: Who?

LESTRADE: Well, you’re about to meet him now. This is your case. It’s entirely up to you. This is just friendly advice, but give Sherlock five minutes on your crime scene and listen to everything that he has to say. And as far as possible, try not to punch him.

(As Lestrade has been speaking, a car has driven up and stopped near the crime scene. Carter looks down in bewilderment at the phone as Lestrade ends the call. The young police officer has been leaning into the car speaking to the person in the back seat.)

POLICE OFFICER: Okay.

(He turns to Carter as he approaches.)

POLICE OFFICER: Sir, this gentleman says he needs to speak to you.

CARTER: Yes, I know. (He walks closer to the car.) Sherlock Holmes.

JOHN (getting out of the car and shaking Carter’s hand): John Watson. Are you set up for Wi-Fi?

221B. Yawning, Sherlock wanders out from the hallway behind the kitchen and strolls into the kitchen wearing only a sheet wrapped around him.

JOHN (offscreen): You realise this is a tiny bit humiliating?

SHERLOCK (still yawning as he picks up a mug of tea from the side table): It’s okay, I’m fine.

(He walks over to an open laptop on the work surface, picks it up and looks into the screen as he carries the laptop into the living room.)

SHERLOCK: Now, show me to the stream.

JOHN (offscreen): I didn’t really mean for you.

SHERLOCK: Look, this is a six.

(He sits down at the table in the living room and puts the laptop onto the table. Just then the doorbell rings but he ignores it.)

SHERLOCK (adjusting the screen so that his face can be seen by the laptop’s camera): There’s no point in my leaving the flat for anything less than a seven. We agreed. Now, go back. Show me the grass.

(John has walked down to the stream and is Skypeing with Sherlock. He points the camera on his laptop towards the grass at the stream’s edge and squats down.)

JOHN: When did we agree that?

SHERLOCK: We agreed it yesterday. Stop!

(He leans closer to the screen and looks at the mud on the ground.)

SHERLOCK: Closer.

(Instead of following his instructions, John swings the laptop around so that he can look into the camera.)

JOHN: I wasn’t even at home yesterday. I was in Dublin.

SHERLOCK: Well, it’s hardly my fault you weren’t listening.

(The doorbell rings more insistently. Sherlock briefly looks round in the direction of the stairs.)

SHERLOCK (angrily): SHUT UP!

JOHN: D’you just carry on talking when I’m away?

SHERLOCK (shrugging): I don’t know. How often are you away? Now, show me the car that backfired.

(Sighing, John stands up and turns the laptop and its camera towards the road to show Phil’s car.)

JOHN: It’s there.

SHERLOCK: That’s the one that made the noise, yes?

JOHN (swinging the camera back around to look into it): Yeah. And if you’re thinking gunshot, there wasn’t one. He wasn’t shot; he was killed by a single blow to the back of the head from a blunt instrument which then magically disappeared along with the killer. That’s gotta be an eight at least.

(Sherlock has leaned back in his chair and is running his finger back and forth over his top lip as he thinks. Your humble transcriber melts into a puddle of goo. As John walks back towards the road, Carter is following along behind him.)

CARTER: You’ve got two more minutes, then I want to know more about the driver.

SHERLOCK (waving his hand dismissively): Oh, forget him. He’s an idiot. Why else would he think himself a suspect?

(Carter catches up to John and leans over to look into the camera.)

CARTER: I think he’s a suspect!

(Sherlock leans forward angrily.)

SHERLOCK: Pass me over.

JOHN: All right, but there’s a Mute button and I will use it.

(He tilts the laptop at an angle that Sherlock’s not happy with.)

SHERLOCK (irritated): Up a bit! I’m not talking from down ’ere!

(John has had enough and offers the laptop to Carter.)

JOHN: Okay, just take it, take it.

(Carter takes the laptop as Sherlock starts talking at double the usual speed.)

SHERLOCK: Having driven to an isolated location and successfully committed a crime without a single witness, why would he then call the police and consult a detective? Fair play?(!)

CARTER: He’s trying to be clever. It’s over-confidence.

SHERLOCK (sighing in exasperation): Did you see him? Morbidly obese, the undisguised halitosis of a single man living on his own, the right sleeve of an internet porn addict and the breathing pattern of an untreated heart condition. Low self-esteem, tiny IQ and a limited life expectancy – and you think he’s an audacious criminal mastermind?!

(He turns around to John’s chair where – unseen by us until now – Phil has been sitting all the time.)

SHERLOCK: Don’t worry – this is just stupid.

PHIL (anxiously): What did you say? Heart what?

(Ignoring him, Sherlock turns back to the camera.)

SHERLOCK: Go to the stream.

CARTER: What’s in the stream?

SHERLOCK: Go and see.

(As Carter hands the laptop back to John, Mrs Hudson comes up the stairs and into the living room followed by two men wearing suits.)

MRS HUDSON: Sherlock! You weren’t answering your doorbell!

(One of the men, Plummer, looks at his colleague while pointing with his thumb in the direction of the kitchen.)

PLUMMER: His room’s through the back. Get him some clothes.

SHERLOCK: Who the hell are you?

PLUMMER: Sorry, Mr. Holmes. You’re coming with us.

(He reaches forward to close down the lid of the laptop as John calls out in alarm.)

JOHN: Sherlock, what’s going on? What’s happening?

(As his screen goes black, he pokes at the keyboard frantically.)

JOHN: I’ve lost him. I don’t know what ...

(The young police officer hurries over to him with a phone pressed to his ear.)

POLICE OFFICER: Doctor Watson?

JOHN: Yeah.

POLICE OFFICER: It’s for you.

JOHN: Okay, thanks.

(Still looking at the screen, he holds out his hand for the phone.)

POLICE OFFICER: Uh, no, sir. The helicopter.

(They both turn and look at the helicopter which is just coming in to land at the edge of the river.)

Back at 221B, Plummer’s colleague has collected a pile of clothes and a pair of shoes and puts them down onto the table in front of Sherlock, who raises his eyebrows and shrugs disinterestedly.

PLUMMER: Please, Mr. Holmes. Where you’re going, you’ll want to be dressed.

(Sherlock turns his head, gazes at the man and begins to deduce the hell out of him.)

Looking at his clothes: Suit £700

Glancing at his breast pocket and the area where a pistol would be if Plummer was carrying one: Unarmed

Thumbnail: Manicured

Forehead: Office worker

The way his hands are folded in front of him: Right handed

Looking down to his shoes: Indoor worker

Seeing some wiry hairs on the cuff of his trouser leg: Small dog

Seeing a mark higher up the same trouser leg: Two small dogs

Seeing more hairs on the other trouser leg: Three small dogs

(Back at the crime scene, the helicopter takes off.)

(At 221B, Sherlock smiles smugly and looks up into Plummer’s face.)

SHERLOCK: Oh, I know exactly where I’m going.

Some time later, sitting beside the pilot, John frowns and looks down as the helicopter flies over London. As it approaches Buckingham Palace the pilot begins to speak into his comms.

Not long afterwards, John has been shown into an enormous ornate hall with massive crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. He looks around for a moment, then follows his escort who gestures him to a nearby room before walking away. On a small round table in the middle of the room is the pile of clothes and shoes which had been put down in front of Sherlock earlier. There is a sofa either side of the table and sitting on the left-hand one is Sherlock, still wrapped in his sheet. He looks across to John calmly. John holds out his hands in a “What the hell?!” gesture. Sherlock shrugs disinterestedly and looks away again. Nodding in a resigned way, John walks slowly into the room, then sits down on the sofa beside his friend. He gazes in front of himself for a moment, chewing back a giggle, looks around the room again and then looks at Sherlock, peering closely at his sheet and particularly the section wrapped around his backside. He turns his head away again.

JOHN: Are you wearing any pants?

SHERLOCK: No.

JOHN: Okay.

(He sighs quietly. A moment later Sherlock turns and looks at him just as John also turns to look. Their eyes meet and they promptly burst out laughing.)

JOHN (gesturing around the building): At Buckingham Palace, fine. (He tries to get himself under control.) Oh, I’m seriously fighting an impulse to steal an ashtray.

(Sherlock chuckles again.)

JOHN: What are we doing here, Sherlock? Seriously, what?

SHERLOCK (still smiling): I don’t know.

JOHN: Here to see the Queen?

(At that moment Mycroft walks in from the next room.)

SHERLOCK: Oh, apparently yes.

(John cracks up again and Sherlock promptly joins in. The two of them continue to giggle as Mycroft looks at them in exasperation.)

MYCROFT: Just once, can you two behave like grown-ups?

JOHN: We solve crimes, I blog about it and he forgets his pants, so I wouldn’t hold out too much hope.

(Sherlock looks up at his brother as he walks into the room, all humour gone from his face.)

SHERLOCK: I was in the middle of a case, Mycroft.

MYCROFT: What, the hiker and the backfire? I glanced at the police report. Bit obvious, surely?

SHERLOCK: Transparent.

(John looks startled.)

MYCROFT: Time to move on, then.

(He bends down and picks up the clothes and shoes from the table, turning to offer them to Sherlock. His brother gazes at them uninterestedly. Mycroft sighs.)

MYCROFT: We are in Buckingham Palace, the very heart of the British nation. (Sternly) Sherlock Holmes, put your trousers on.

SHERLOCK (shrugging): What for?

MYCROFT: Your client.

SHERLOCK (standing up): And my client is?

EQUERRY: Illustrious ...

(Sherlock turns to look at the man who has just walked into the room.)

EQUERRY: ... in the extreme.

(John stands up respectfully.)

EQUERRY: And remaining – I have to inform you – entirely anonymous.

(He looks across to Mycroft.)

EQUERRY: Mycroft!

MYCROFT: Harry.

(Smiling, he walks over and shakes the equerry’s hand.)

MYCROFT: May I just apologise for the state of my little brother?

EQUERRY: Full-time occupation, I imagine.

(Sherlock scowls.)

EQUERRY: And this must be Doctor John Watson, formerly of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers.

JOHN: Hello, yes.

(They shake hands.)

EQUERRY: My employer is a tremendous fan of your blog.

JOHN (looking startled): Your employer?

EQUERRY: Particularly enjoyed the one about the aluminium crutch.

JOHN: Thank you!

(He looks round at Sherlock, clearing his throat smugly.)

EQUERRY (walking closer to Sherlock): And Mr. Holmes the younger. You look taller in your photographs.

SHERLOCK: I take the precaution of a good coat and a short friend.

(Looking round momentarily at John, he walks abruptly past him, forcing him to step back, and approaches his brother.)

SHERLOCK: Mycroft, I don’t do anonymous clients. I’m used to mystery at one end of my cases. Both ends is too much work.

(He looks round to the equerry.)

SHERLOCK: Good morning.

(He starts to walk out of the room but Mycroft steps onto the trailing edge of the sheet behind him. Sherlock’s impetus carries him forward while pulling the sheet off his body. He stops and grabs at it before he’s completely naked and tries to tug it back around himself, looking furious.)

MYCROFT: This is a matter of national importance. Grow up.

(With his back still turned to his brother, Sherlock speaks through gritted teeth.)

SHERLOCK: Get off my sheet!

MYCROFT: Or what?

SHERLOCK: Or I’ll just walk away.

MYCROFT: I’ll let you.

JOHN: Boys, please. Not here.

SHERLOCK (almost incandescent with rage): Who. Is. My. Client?

MYCROFT: Take a look at where you’re standing and make a deduction. You are to be engaged by the highest in the land. Now for God’s sake ...

(He breaks off and glances at the equerry briefly, trying to get his anger under control before he turns back to his brother again.)

MYCROFT (exasperated): ... put your clothes on!

(Sherlock closes his eyes furiously, then pulls in a sharp breath.)

Some time later, Sherlock has dressed and is sitting on the sofa again beside John. Mycroft and the equerry sit on the opposite sofa. Mycroft is pouring tea from a teapot. Following the old-fashioned superstition that only one person in the household should pour the tea, and that person is “being mother”, he looks at the equerry and smiles.

MYCROFT: I’ll be mother.

SHERLOCK (pointedly): And there is a whole childhood in a nutshell.

(Mycroft glowers at him, then puts the teapot down. The equerry looks at Sherlock.)

EQUERRY: My employer has a problem.

MYCROFT: A matter has come to light of an extremely delicate and potentially criminal nature, and in this hour of need, dear brother, your name has arisen.

SHERLOCK: Why? You have a police force of sorts, even a marginally Secret Service. Why come to me?

EQUERRY: People do come to you for help, don’t they, Mr. Holmes?

SHERLOCK: Not, to date, anyone with a Navy.

MYCROFT: This is a matter of the highest security, and therefore of trust.

JOHN: You don’t trust your own Secret Service?

MYCROFT: Naturally not. They all spy on people for money.

(John bites back a smile.)

EQUERRY: I do think we have a timetable.

MYCROFT: Yes, of course. Um ...

(He opens his briefcase, takes out a glossy photograph and hands it to Sherlock who looks at the picture of Irene Adler.)

MYCROFT: What do you know about this woman?

SHERLOCK: Nothing whatsoever.

MYCROFT: Then you should be paying more attention.

(As he continues to speak, we switch between the palace and footage of Irene as she is being driven through London. Her phone trills a text alert and she looks at the message which reads “I’m sending you a treat”.)

MYCROFT: She’s been at the centre of two political scandals in the last year, and recently ended the marriage of a prominent novelist by having an affair with both participants separately.

SHERLOCK: You know I don’t concern myself with trivia. Who is she?

MYCROFT: Irene Adler, professionally known as The Woman.

(Arriving at an elegant house in London, Irene’s female chauffeur opens the car door for her and then precedes her into the house. Irene’s phone shows that it is downloading an image as she walks indoors.)

JOHN: Professionally?

MYCROFT: There are many names for what she does. She prefers ‘dominatrix’.

SHERLOCK (thoughtfully): Dominatrix.

MYCROFT: Don’t be alarmed. It’s to do with sex.

SHERLOCK: Sex doesn’t alarm me.

MYCROFT (smiling snidely at him): How would you know?

(Sherlock raises his head and stares at his brother.)

MYCROFT: She provides – shall we say – recreational scolding for those who enjoy that sort of thing and are prepared to pay for it. (He takes more photographs from his briefcase and hands them to Sherlock.) These are all from her website.

(Sherlock takes the photographs and leafs through them. They are professional-looking publicity shots for her ‘services’ and show Irene at her glamorous and sexy best. At the same time, walking up the stairs at her house, Irene looks down at her phone and flicks through shots which someone has taken of Sherlock wrapped in his sheet as he left 221B and got into Plummer’s car.)

SHERLOCK: And I assume this Adler woman has some compromising photographs.

EQUERRY: You’re very quick, Mr. Holmes.

SHERLOCK: Hardly a difficult deduction. Photographs of whom?

EQUERRY: A person of significance to my employer. We’d prefer not to say any more at this time.

(Glaring at him angrily, Sherlock puts the photographs down on the table.)

JOHN: You can’t tell us anything?

MYCROFT: I can tell you it’s a young person.

(John drinks from his teacup.)

MYCROFT: A young female person.

(John’s eyes widen. Sherlock smirks.)

SHERLOCK: How many photographs?

MYCROFT: A considerable number, apparently.

SHERLOCK: Do Miss Adler and this young female person appear in these photographs together?

MYCROFT: Yes, they do.

SHERLOCK: And I assume in a number of compromising scenarios.

MYCROFT: An imaginative range, we are assured.

(Without looking round at him, Sherlock realises that John is staring blankly at Mycroft with his teacup still half raised.)

SHERLOCK: John, you might want to put that cup back in your saucer now.

(John quickly does as advised.)

EQUERRY: Can you help us, Mr. Holmes?

SHERLOCK: How?

EQUERRY: Will you take the case?

SHERLOCK: What case? Pay her, now and in full. As Miss Adler remarks in her masthead, “Know when you are beaten”.

(He turns and reaches for his overcoat which is draped on the back of the sofa.)

MYCROFT: She doesn’t want anything.

(Sherlock turns back towards him.)

MYCROFT: She got in touch, she informed us that the photographs existed, she indicated that she had no intention to use them to extort either money or favour.

SHERLOCK (finally interested for the first time): Oh, a power play. A power play with the most powerful family in Britain. Now that is a dominatrix. Ooh, this is getting rather fun, isn’t it?

JOHN: Sherlock ...

SHERLOCK: Hmm.

(He turns around and reaches for his coat again.)

SHERLOCK: Where is she?

MYCROFT: Uh, in London currently. She’s staying ...

(Not waiting for him to finish, Sherlock picks up his coat, stands and starts to walk away.)

SHERLOCK: Text me the details. I’ll be in touch by the end of the day.

(The other three men get to their feet.)

EQUERRY: Do you really think you’ll have news by then?

SHERLOCK (turning back to him): No, I think I’ll have the photographs.

EQUERRY: One can only hope you’re as good as you seem to think.

(Sherlock looks at him sharply, indignant that he should doubt him. We see a stream of deductions as Sherlock glances down his body.)

Dog Lover

Public School

Horse Rider

Early Riser

Left Side Of Bed

(Sherlock’s eyes begin to rise up the man’s body again as his deductions continue.)

Non-Smoker

Father Half Welsh

Keen Reader

Tea Drinker

(Sherlock looks across to Mycroft.)

SHERLOCK: I’ll need some equipment, of course.

MYCROFT: Anything you require. I’ll have it sent to ...

SHERLOCK (interrupting): Can I have a box of matches?

(He’s looking at the equerry as he speaks.)

EQUERRY: I’m sorry?

SHERLOCK: Or your cigarette lighter. Either will do.

(He holds out his hand expectantly.)

EQUERRY: I don’t smoke.

SHERLOCK: No, I know you don’t, but your employer does.

(After a pause during which John frowns in puzzlement, the equerry reaches into his pocket and takes out a lighter which he hands to Sherlock.)

EQUERRY: We have kept a lot of people successfully in the dark about this little fact, Mr. Holmes.

SHERLOCK: I’m not the Commonwealth.

(Taking the lighter and putting it into his trouser pocket, he turns away.)

JOHN (to the equerry): And that’s as modest as he gets. Pleasure to meet you.

(He follows after Sherlock as he strolls out of the room.)

SHERLOCK (in an Estuary English accent, not sounding the ‘t’ in the word): Laters!

(John throws an apologetic glance over his shoulder as they leave.)

Not long afterwards, the boys are in a taxi.

JOHN: Okay, the smoking. How did you know?

(Sherlock smiles briefly, then shakes his head.)

SHERLOCK: The evidence was right under your nose, John. As ever, you see but do not observe.

JOHN: Observe what?

(Sherlock reaches into his coat.)

SHERLOCK: The ashtray.

(He pulls out a glass ashtray. John laughs with delight as Sherlock tosses the ashtray into the air, catches it and tucks it back into his coat, chuckling. They are both unaware that someone – presumably in a car driving alongside theirs – is photographing them.)

(Some time later, the photos have been sent to Irene’s phone. Sitting on the side of her bed, she looks through them, smiling, then calls out.)

IRENE: Kate!

(Kate, the woman who drove her earlier, comes into the room.)

IRENE: We’re going to have a visitor. I’ll need a bit of time to get ready.

(She walks over to her dressing table as Kate bends down to pick up a discarded stocking from the floor.)

KATE: A long time?

IRENE: Ages!

Later, wearing a see-through negligee over her knickers and stockings, Irene opens the doors to her enormous walk-in wardrobe and walks inside, running her fingers along her outfits as she decides what to wear.

At 221B, John sits in the living room as – on the other side of the kitchen – Sherlock hurls clothes around his bedroom. With the door open, the noise is distracting and finally John looks up from what he’s reading.

JOHN: What are you doing?

SHERLOCK: Going into battle, John. I need the right armour.

(He walks into view, wearing a large yellow hi-vis jacket.)

SHERLOCK: No.

(He rips it off again.)

At her house, Irene is looking at herself in a full-length mirror, turning side-on to look at the glittery dark purple cocktail dress she’s wearing.

IRENE: Nah.

KATE (leaning against the door jamb): Works for me.

IRENE: Everything works on you.

TAXI. Sherlock and John are on the move. Sherlock is wearing his usual coat and scarf.

JOHN: So, what’s the plan?

SHERLOCK: We know her address.

JOHN: What, just ring her doorbell?

SHERLOCK: Exactly.

(He calls out to the cab driver.)

SHERLOCK: Just here, please.

JOHN: You didn’t even change your clothes.

SHERLOCK: Then it’s time to add a splash of colour.

At her house, Irene is doing the same thing as Kate carefully applies make-up to her eyes.

Nearby, the boys have got out of the taxi and Sherlock leads John down a narrow street, pulling his scarf off as he goes. Eventually he stops and turns around to face John.

JOHN: Are we here?

SHERLOCK: Two streets away, but this’ll do.

JOHN: For what?

SHERLOCK (gesturing to his own left cheek): Punch me in the face.

Kate runs her thumb over Irene’s mouth, wondering what colour to apply.

KATE: Shade?

(Irene smiles.)

IRENE: Blood.

JOHN: Punch you?

SHERLOCK: Yes. Punch me, in the face. (He gestures to his left cheek again.) Didn’t you hear me?

JOHN: I always hear ‘punch me in the face’ when you’re speaking, but it’s usually sub-text.

SHERLOCK (exasperated): Oh, for God’s sakes.

(He punches John in the face. As John grunts in pain and reels from the blow, Sherlock shakes out his hand and then blows out a breath, bracing himself. John straightens up and immediately punches Sherlock. However, despite his anger – and his left-handedness – he does so right-handed and therefore strikes him on the left cheek just as Sherlock had indicated.)

JOHN: Ow!

(Turning away as Sherlock picks himself up, he flexes his hand painfully and examines his knuckles. Sherlock finally straightens up, holding his fingers to the cut on his cheek.)

SHERLOCK: Thank you. That was – that was ...

(Still fighting right-handed, John punches him in the stomach, sending him crashing to the ground.)

Slowly Kate paints blood-red lipstick onto Irene’s mouth.

In the street, Sherlock is doubled over with John on his back half–strangling him. John’s face is contorted with pent-up anger and frustration, and Sherlock is struggling to pull his hands off him.

SHERLOCK (half-choking): Okay! I think we’re done now, John.

JOHN (savagely): You wanna remember, Sherlock: I was a soldier. I killed people.

SHERLOCK: You were a doctor!

JOHN: I had bad days!

Kate finishes painting Irene’s lips.

KATE: What are you gonna wear?

IRENE: My battle dress.

KATE: Ooh! Lucky boy!

(Downstairs, the intercom buzzes. Kate goes downstairs and activates it, looking at the camera footage from the front door.)

KATE (into intercom): Hello?

(Sherlock stares into the camera wide-eyed and flustered. He talks in an anxious, tearful voice and keeps looking around behind him as he speaks.)

SHERLOCK: Ooh! Um, sorry to disturb you. Um, I’ve just been attacked, um, and, um, I think they ... they took my wallet and, um, and my phone. Umm, please could you help me?

(Kate has been holding back her laughter as she has been listening to him.)

KATE: I can phone the police if you want.

SHERLOCK (tearfully): Thank you, thank you! Could you, please?

(He takes a step back and the camera now shows that his shirt is buttoned right up to the top and there is a piece of white plastic under the collar which makes him look like he is wearing the ‘dog collar’ of a vicar.)

SHERLOCK: Oh, would you ... would you mind if I just waited here, just until they come? Thank you. Thank you so much.

(Holding a handkerchief to his cheek, he starts to grizzle pathetically. Grinning, Kate buzzes him in. Sherlock comes in, followed by John.)

SHERLOCK (still in character): Thank you. (He briefly looks around the large entrance hall.) Er, ooh!

JOHN (closing the door): I – I saw it all happen. It’s okay, I’m a doctor.

(Kate nods.)

JOHN: Now, have you got a first aid kit?

KATE: In the kitchen.

(She gestures for Sherlock to go into the front room.)

KATE: Please.

SHERLOCK: Oh! Thank you!

JOHN: Thank you. (He follows Kate as she heads for the kitchen.)

Very shortly afterwards Sherlock has taken off his coat and is sitting on a sofa in the elegant sitting room and looking around. As he hears footsteps approaching, he sits up a little and holds the handkerchief to his cheek.

IRENE (offscreen): Hello. Sorry to hear that you’ve been hurt. I don’t think Kate caught your name.

SHERLOCK: I’m so sorry. I’m ...

(He turns and looks at Irene as she walks into view and stops at the doorway. His voice fails him as he realises that, with the exception of high-heeled shoes, she is stark naked. His jaw drops a little.)

IRENE: Oh, it’s always hard to remember an alias when you’ve had a fright, isn’t it?

(She walks into the room and stands directly in front of him, straddling his legs and half-kneeling on the sofa, then reaches forward and pulls the white plastic dog collar from his shirt collar.)

IRENE: There now – we’re both defrocked ...

(She smiles down at him.)

IRENE: ... Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

SHERLOCK (in his normal voice): Miss Adler, I presume.

IRENE (gazing down at his face): Look at those cheekbones. I could cut myself slapping that face. Would you like me to try?

(Narrowing her eyes, she lifts the white plastic to her mouth and bites down on it. As Sherlock stares up at her in confusion, John walks into the room carrying a bowl of water and a fabric napkin. His eyes are lowered to the bowl to avoid spilling its contents.)

JOHN: Right, this should do it.

(He stops dead in the doorway as he lifts his eyes and sees the scene in front of him. Irene looks round to him, the plastic still in her teeth. John looks at her awkwardly, then down at the bowl before looking up again.)

JOHN: I’ve missed something, haven’t I?

(Irene takes the plastic from her teeth.)

IRENE: Please, sit down.

(She steps back from Sherlock, who fidgets uncomfortably on the sofa as she walks away.)

IRENE: Oh, if you’d like some tea I can call the maid.

SHERLOCK: I had some at the Palace.

IRENE: I know.

(She sits down in a nearby armchair and crosses her legs, folding her arms gracefully to obscure the view of her chest.)

SHERLOCK: Clearly.

(They stare silently at each other for several seconds, weighing each other up. John looks at them awkwardly.)

JOHN: I had a tea, too, at the Palace, if anyone’s interested.

(Sherlock’s eyes are still fixed on Irene as he attempts to make as many deductions as he can about her. His final analysis is as follows:

?

Bewildered, he turns and looks at John and starts to analyse him.)

Looking at his neckline: Two Day Shirt

Looking at his lower face: Electric not blade

Looking at the bottom of his jeans and his shoes: Date tonight

(John frowns as Sherlock continues to gaze at him.)

Looking at John’s right eyebrow: Hasn’t phoned sister

Looking at John’s lower lip: New toothbrush

Looking just underneath his eyes: Night out with Stamford

(Relieved that he hasn’t had a brain embolism, Sherlock slowly turns his head and looks at Irene again. Narrowing his eyes slightly, he applies all his deductive reasoning as she smiles confidently back at him, and he quickly comes to the following conclusion:

?

He frowns.)

IRENE: D’you know the big problem with a disguise, Mr. Holmes?

(He quirks an eyebrow at her.)

IRENE: However hard you try, it’s always a self-portrait.

SHERLOCK: You think I’m a vicar with a bleeding face?

IRENE: No, I think you’re damaged, delusional and believe in a higher power. In your case, it’s yourself.

(Finally fed up with the tightness of his shirt, Sherlock starts unbuttoning the top two buttons. Irene leans forward.)

IRENE: Oh, and somebody loves you. Why, if I had to punch that face, I’d avoid your nose and teeth too.

(She glances across to John momentarily. John forces a laugh.)

JOHN: Could you put something on, please? Er, anything at all. (He looks down at what he’s holding.) A napkin.

IRENE: Why? Are you feeling exposed?

SHERLOCK (standing up): I don’t think John knows where to look.

(He picks up his coat, shakes it out and holds it out to Irene. Ignoring him for the moment, she stands up and walks closer to John, who rolls his head on his neck uncomfortably and forces himself to maintain eye contact with her and not to let his eyes wander lower.)

IRENE: No, I think he knows exactly where.

(She turns to Sherlock who is still holding out the coat while steadfastly keeping his gaze averted.)

IRENE (taking the coat from him): I’m not sure about you.

SHERLOCK: If I wanted to look at naked women I’d borrow John’s laptop.

JOHN: You do borrow my laptop.

SHERLOCK: I confiscate it.

(He walks over to the fireplace opposite the sofa.)

IRENE (putting the coat on and wrapping it around her): Well, never mind. We’ve got better things to talk about. Now tell me – I need to know.

(She walks over to the sofa and sits down.)

IRENE: How was it done?

SHERLOCK: What?

IRENE (taking her shoes off): The hiker with the bashed-in head. How was he killed?

(The boys look confused.)

SHERLOCK: That’s not why I’m here.

IRENE: No, no, no, you’re here for the photographs but that’s never gonna happen, and since we’re here just chatting anyway ...

JOHN: That story’s not been on the news yet. How do you know about it?

IRENE: I know one of the policemen. Well, I know what he likes.

JOHN: Oh. (He sits down beside her.) And you like policemen?

IRENE: I like detective stories – and detectives. Brainy’s the new sexy.

SHERLOCK (incoherently): Positionofthecar ...

(John turns his head and stares at him as he pulls himself together.)

SHERLOCK (starting to pace slowly): Er, the position of the car relative to the hiker at the time of the backfire. That and the fact that the death blow was to the back of the head. That’s all you need to know.

IRENE: Okay, tell me: how was he murdered?

SHERLOCK: He wasn’t.

IRENE: You don’t think it was murder?

SHERLOCK: I know it wasn’t.

IRENE: How?

SHERLOCK: The same way that I know the victim was an excellent sportsman recently returned from foreign travel and that the photographs I’m looking for are in this room.

IRENE: Okay, but how?

SHERLOCK: So they are in this room. Thank you. John, man the door. Let no-one in.

(The two of them exchange a significant look, then John gets up and puts the bowl and napkin on a table before leaving the room and closing the door behind him. In the hallway he looks around, then picks up a magazine from a nearby table and rolls it up. Back in the sitting room, Irene sits up straighter, looking suspiciously at the closed door.)

SHERLOCK (starting to pace again): Two men alone in the countryside several yards apart, and one car.

IRENE: Oh. I – I thought you were looking for the photos now.

SHERLOCK: No, no. Looking takes ages. I’m just going to find them but you’re moderately clever and we’ve got a moment, so let’s pass the time.

(He stops and turns to her.)

SHERLOCK: Two men, a car, and nobody else.

(He squats down and suddenly it’s as if he is at the crime scene, squatting down next to the driver’s door of Phil’s car. Inside, frozen in time, Phil’s face is screwed up with rage as he is about to slam his hands angrily onto the steering wheel.)

SHERLOCK: The driver’s trying to fix his engine. Getting nowhere.

(Straightening up, he turns and looks into the field.)

SHERLOCK: And the hiker’s taking a moment, looking at the sky.

(Now he’s down in the field, walking around the hiker.)

SHERLOCK: Watching the birds?

(He looks doubtful.)

SHERLOCK: Any moment now, something’s gonna happen. What?

(Irene is sitting on her sofa which has mysteriously appeared in the field near the hiker.)

IRENE: The hiker’s going to die.

SHERLOCK: No, that’s the result. What’s going to happen?

IRENE: I don’t understand.

SHERLOCK: Oh, well, try to.

IRENE: Why?

SHERLOCK: Because you cater to the whims of the pathetic and take your clothes off to make an impression. Stop boring me and think. It’s the new sexy.

IRENE: The car’s going to backfire.

SHERLOCK: There’s going to be a loud noise.

IRENE: So, what?

SHERLOCK: Oh, noises are important. Noises can tell you everything. For instance ...

(Back in the sitting room – which they obviously never really left – he pauses dramatically and a moment later a smoke alarm starts to beep insistently from the hall. Out in the hall, John had set light to the end of the rolled-up magazine, blown it mostly out again and allowed the smoke to drift upwards. Now he waves his hand over the magazine and blows on it to try to put it out completely. In the sitting room, Irene turns and looks at the large mirror over the fireplace. Sherlock turns his head and follows her gaze.)

SHERLOCK: Thank you. On hearing a smoke alarm, a mother would look towards her child. Amazing how fire exposes our priorities.

(He walks over to the fireplace and begins running his fingers underneath the mantelpiece. Finding a switch under there, he presses it and the mirror slides upwards, revealing a small wall safe behind it. Sherlock turns and looks at Irene as she stands up.)

SHERLOCK: Really hope you don’t have a baby in here.

(He calls out.)

SHERLOCK: All right, John, you can turn it off now.

(In the hall, John is still trying to put out the smouldering magazine.)

SHERLOCK (loudly): I said you can turn it off now.

JOHN: Give me a minute.

(He starts thwacking the end of the magazine on the table, but then looks round as three men run down the stairs. The first one raises an enormous pistol – the silencer of which is so long that he must be compensating for some other shortcoming – and fires it up at the smoke alarm, shattering it. The beeping stops. One of the other men hurries towards John, aiming his pistol at him and John instantly raises his hands, looking at the first man as he walks over and stops in front of him.)

JOHN: Thank you.

(In the sitting room Sherlock is looking closely at the number pad on the front of the safe.)

SHERLOCK: Hmm. Should always use gloves with these things, you know. Heaviest oil deposit’s always on the first key used – that’s quite clearly the three – but after that the sequence is almost impossible to read. I’d say from the make that it’s a six digit code. Can’t be your birthday – no disrespect but clearly you were born in the eighties; the eight’s barely used, so ...

IRENE: I’d tell you the code right now but you know what? I already have.

(Sherlock frowns at her.)

IRENE: Think.

(The door bursts open and the leader of the group, Neilson, comes in and aims his pistol at Sherlock.)

NEILSON: Hands behind your head. (To Irene) On the floor. Keep it still.

(A second man goes over to Irene and walks her nearer to John who is being bundled in by a third man.)

JOHN: Sorry, Sherlock.

(As Sherlock raises his hands, Neilson looks round at Irene.)

NEILSON: Ms Adler, on the floor.

(His colleague shoves her to her knees beside John who has also been pushed to his knees and is doubled over with his hands behind his head and a pistol pointed to the back of his neck.)

SHERLOCK: Don’t you want me on the floor too?

NEILSON: No, sir, I want you to open the safe.

SHERLOCK (clocking his accent): American. Interesting. Why would you care?

(He glances across at Irene as she puts her hands behind her head.)

NEILSON: Sir, the safe, now, please.

SHERLOCK: I don’t know the code.

NEILSON: We’ve been listening. She said she told you.

SHERLOCK: Well, if you’d been listening, you’d know she didn’t.

NEILSON: I’m assuming I missed something. From your reputation, I’m assuming you didn’t, Mr. Holmes.

JOHN: For God’s sake. She’s the one who knows the code. Ask her.

NEILSON: Yes, sir. She also knows the code that automatically calls the police and sets off the burglar alarm. I’ve learned not to trust this woman.

IRENE: Mr. Holmes doesn’t ...

NEILSON: Shut up. One more word out of you – just one – and I will decorate that wall with the insides of your head. That, for me, will not be a hardship.

(Sherlock glares at him ferociously.)

NEILSON: Mr. Archer. At the count of three, shoot Doctor Watson.

JOHN: What?

SHERLOCK: I don’t have the code.

(John cowers down as Archer presses the muzzle of his pistol into the back of his neck and cocks the gun.)

NEILSON: One.

SHERLOCK (emphatically): I don’t know the code.

NEILSON: Two.

SHERLOCK: She didn’t tell me. (Raising his voice) I don’t know it!

NEILSON: I’m prepared to believe you any second now.

(Sherlock looks across to Irene who lowers her gaze pointedly downwards.)

NEILSON: Three.

SHERLOCK: No, stop!

(Neilson holds up his free hand to stop Archer. John closes his eyes. Sherlock’s gaze becomes distant as his mind works frantically, then he slowly turns towards the safe and lowers his hands. As Neilson watches him closely, he slowly reaches out a finger towards the keypad and punches the ‘3’ and then the ‘2’. Hesitating for a moment, he then punches ‘2’ and ‘4’. Pausing again, he hits ‘3’ and ‘4’. The safe beeps and noisily unlocks. Irene smiles in satisfaction as Sherlock sighs and closes his eyes briefly. John sags lower on his knees and shuts his own eyes.)

NEILSON: Thank you, Mr. Holmes. Open it, please.

(Twisting the button that will open the door, Sherlock looks across to Irene again who lowers her gaze to the floor and makes a tiny jerk with her head. He turns back to the safe.)

SHERLOCK (urgently): Vatican cameos.

(Instantly John throws himself to the floor. At the same moment Sherlock pulls open the door of the safe while ducking down below the fireplace. Inside the safe, a tripwire attached to the door tugs on the trigger of a pistol with an equally long and over-compensatory silencer which is aimed straight out of the safe. The gun fires and Archer – who happened to be standing directly in front of it – is shot in the chest. Sherlock grabs for Neilson’s pistol as Irene spins around on her knees and savagely elbows her guard in the groin. Pulling the pistol from Neilson’s grip, Sherlock holds the silencer end and smashes the butt across his face and Neilson drops to the floor unconscious. As Irene’s guard crumples under her blow, she grapples for his pistol and is on her feet and aiming it down at him while he’s still falling. Sherlock turns to her.)

SHERLOCK: D’you mind?

IRENE: Not at all.

(As her guard tries to get up again, she slams the gun across his face and knocks him unconscious. While she’s distracted, Sherlock reaches into the safe and takes something out of it. Nearby, John has checked Archer over and now stands up.)

JOHN: He’s dead.

IRENE (to Sherlock as she continues aiming her pistol down at her guard): Thank you. You were very observant.

JOHN: Observant?

IRENE: I’m flattered.

SHERLOCK: Don’t be.

JOHN: Flattered?

SHERLOCK: There’ll be more of them. They’ll be keeping a eye on the building.

(Still holding Neilson’s pistol but having removed the silencer [obviously because he doesn’t need to over-compensate ...], he hurries out of the room as John tucks Archer’s gun into the back of his jeans and follows him. Irene goes over to the safe and stares into it wide-eyed. Sherlock trots out onto the street with John behind him.)

JOHN: We should call the police.

SHERLOCK: Yes.

(Pointing the pistol into the air, he fires it five times. Nearby, tyres screech.)

SHERLOCK: On their way.

(He turns and trots back into the house.)

JOHN: For God’s sake!

SHERLOCK: Oh shut up. It’s quick.

(He goes back into the sitting room as Irene turns around from the safe.)

SHERLOCK (to John): Check the rest of the house. See how they got in.

(As John heads off, Sherlock takes the item which he just stole from the safe out of his pocket and tosses it nonchalantly into the air.)

SHERLOCK: Well, that’s the knighthood in the bag.

IRENE: Ah. And that’s mine.

(She holds out her hand. Ignoring her, Sherlock switches on the security lock on the phone he’s holding. It requires four letters or numbers to activate it and it has “I AM” above the four spaces and “LOCKED” below them.)

SHERLOCK: All the photographs are on here, I presume.

IRENE: I have copies, of course.

SHERLOCK: No you don’t. You’ll have permanently disabled any kind of uplink or connection. Unless the contents of this phone are provably unique, you wouldn’t be able to sell them.

IRENE (lowering her hand): Who said I’m selling?

SHERLOCK (looking at the dead and unconscious bodies lying on the floor): Well, why would they be interested? Whatever’s on the phone, it’s clearly not just photographs.

IRENE: That camera phone is my life, Mr. Holmes. I’d die before I let you take it. (She walks closer and holds her hand out again.) It’s my protection.

JOHN (calling out): Sherlock!

SHERLOCK (pulling the phone back and looking at Irene pointedly): It was.

(He turns and leaves the room. She chases after him.)

(Upstairs in the bedroom, John is kneeling over the silent figure of Kate lying on the floor. Putting his ear to her mouth to check her breathing, he straightens up and takes her pulse. Standing up, he goes into the en suite bathroom and looks at the open window in there. Sherlock comes into the bedroom followed by Irene.)

JOHN: Must have come in this way.

SHERLOCK: Clearly.

(He goes into the bathroom to look out of the window as Irene walks anxiously towards Kate.)

JOHN: It’s all right. She’s just out cold.

IRENE: Well, God knows she’s used to that. There’s a back door. Better check it, Doctor Watson.

(Sherlock has come out of the bathroom and nods to him.)

JOHN: Sure.

(He leaves the room as Irene goes over to the dressing table, opens a drawer and covertly takes a syringe out of it. Sherlock is looking at the camera phone and doesn’t notice.)

SHERLOCK: You’re very calm.

(She looks round at him blankly.)

SHERLOCK: Well, your booby trap did just kill a man.

IRENE: He would have killed me. It was self defence in advance.

(Walking across to Sherlock, she strokes her hand down his left arm. As he looks down at her hand she steps around behind him and stabs the syringe into his right arm. He gasps and spins around, trying to grab at it.)

SHERLOCK: What? What is that? What ...?

(As his face turns towards her again, she slaps him hard. He stumbles and falls to the floor. She holds out her hand to him.)

IRENE: Give it to me. Now. Give it to me.

(Sherlock’s vision is going fuzzy. Grunting, he tries to get back to his feet.)

SHERLOCK: No.

IRENE: Give it to me.

(Starting to lose control of his muscles, Sherlock slumps to his hands and knees, still holding onto the phone.)

SHERLOCK: No.

IRENE: Oh, for goodness’ sake.

(She picks up her riding crop from the dressing table and wields it at him.)

IRENE: Drop it.

(Sherlock continues trying to struggle to his feet.)

IRENE: I ... (she thrashes him) ... said ... (she thrashes him again) ... drop it.

(She strikes him a third time and he falls to the floor, unintentionally dropping the phone.)

IRENE: Ah. Thank you, dear.

(As he lies on his back unable to move, she picks up the phone and types on it, standing over Sherlock and looking down at him smugly.)

IRENE: Now tell that sweet little posh thing the pictures are safe with me. They’re not for blackmail, just for insurance.

(She puts the phone into the pocket of Sherlock’s coat which she’s still wearing.)

IRENE: Besides, I might want to see her again.

(Grunting, Sherlock tries to get up. Irene presses him back down to the floor with the end of her crop.)

IRENE: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. It’s been a pleasure. Don’t spoil it.

(She gently strokes the end of the crop against his face.)

IRENE: This is how I want you to remember me. The woman who beat you.

(Sherlock’s vision becomes more fuzzy.)

IRENE: Goodnight, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

(She heads for the bathroom just as John walks back into the bedroom.)

JOHN: Jesus. What are you doing?

IRENE: He’ll sleep for a few hours. Make sure he doesn’t choke on his own vomit. It makes for a very unattractive corpse.

(She sits on the windowsill in the bathroom, puts her feet up on the edge of the bath and takes hold of a cord hanging from the ledge.)

JOHN (picking up the syringe lying on the floor): What’s this? What have you given him? Sherlock!

IRENE: He’ll be fine. I’ve used it on loads of my friends.

JOHN (kneeling and looking down at his flatmate): Sherlock, can you hear me?

IRENE: You know, I was wrong about him. He did know where to look.

JOHN (standing up again and turning to her): For what? What are you talking about?

IRENE: The key code to my safe.

JOHN: What was it?

(She looks down to Sherlock who is gazing at her barely conscious but still trying in vain to get up.)

IRENE: Shall I tell him?

(John looks down at him for a moment then turns back to Irene just as sirens announce the arrival of the police. Irene smiles at him.)

IRENE: My measurements.

(And with that she pushes her feet against the edge of the bath and topples backwards out of the window, still holding what looked like a cord but was apparently more like a thin rope. John hurries over to the window and looks out while Sherlock still tries vainly to lift himself up but continues to fall back helplessly.)

(As he lapses into unconsciousness, he finds himself – inside his own mind anyway – back at the crime scene in the country and sitting in the driver’s seat of Phil’s car. Irene is standing outside clinging onto the ledge of the rolled-down window and looking in at him urgently.)

IRENE: Got it!

(Blinking and trying to clear his head, he turns as if to get out of the car but she holds up a finger.)

IRENE: Oh, shush now. Don’t get up. I’ll do the talking.

(She goes around to the rear of the car and bends down to look more closely at the exhaust pipe.)

IRENE: So the car’s about to backfire ...

(She stands up again and suddenly she and Sherlock are standing near the hiker in the field as he stands frozen and staring upwards at a forty-five degree angle.)

IRENE: ... and the hiker, he’s staring at the sky. Now, you said he could be watching birds but he wasn’t, was he?

(She walks around to the front of the hiker, following his gaze.)

IRENE: He was watching another kind of flying thing. The car backfires and the hiker turns to look ...

(The hiker turns his head to look back towards the car and at the same moment an object flies in so rapidly that we can’t see what it is. It strikes him on the back of the head. The man falls backwards and – for a brief moment – Sherlock is back in Irene’s bedroom and falls backwards to the floor. Then he’s back at the crime scene and he and Irene look down at the ground just in front of the hiker.)

IRENE: ... which was his big mistake.

(She looks towards the road again.)

IRENE: By the time the driver looks up, the hiker’s already dead. What he doesn’t see is what killed him because it’s already being washed downstream.

(Nearby in the stream is the most unlikely item you’d ever expect to see – a boomerang.)

IRENE: An accomplished sportsman recently returned from foreign travel with ... a boomerang. You got that from one look? Definitely the new sexy.

(She turns and smiles at Sherlock.)

SHERLOCK (vaguely): I ...

(He blinks, looking around in confusion.)

SHERLOCK: I ...

(Behind him, a bed rises up to meet him. The angle changes and he sinks down onto the bed and a sheet rises up to wrap around him. His eyes close.)

IRENE: Hush now.

(She leans down over him. She’s no longer in the field but inside a room.)

IRENE: It’s okay. I’m only returning your coat.

(Sherlock jerks back into consciousness and finds himself alone and in bed in his own bedroom, fully clothed and covered with a sheet. He lifts his head.)

SHERLOCK: John?

(He shakes his head, trying to clear it.)

SHERLOCK (louder): John!

(In the living room, John looks round. Sherlock throws the sheet off and kneels up on the bed, then promptly loses his balance, falls forward and rolls over the foot of the bed and onto the floor. John opens the bedroom door and comes in as he sits up.)

JOHN: You okay?

SHERLOCK: How did I get here?

JOHN: Well, I don’t suppose you remember much. You weren’t making a lot of sense. Oh, I should warn you: I think Lestrade filmed you on his phone.

SHERLOCK (getting to his feet): Where is she?

JOHN: Where’s who?

SHERLOCK: The woman. That woman.

JOHN: What woman?

SHERLOCK (stumbling around the room aimlessly): The woman. The woman woman!

JOHN: What, Irene Adler? She got away. No-one saw her.

(Sherlock stumbles over to the open window and looks through it.)

JOHN: She wasn’t here, Sherlock.

(Turning around, Sherlock falls down again and starts to drag himself across the floor.)

JOHN: What are you ...? What ...? No, no, no, no.

(He hauls Sherlock up and drops him face-down onto the bed.)

JOHN: Back to bed. (He covers him over with the sheet again.) You’ll be fine in the morning. Just sleep.

SHERLOCK (blurrily): Of course I’ll be fine. I am fine. I’m absolutely fine.

JOHN: Yes, you’re great. Now I’ll be next door if you need me.

SHERLOCK (fuzzily): Why would I need you?

JOHN: No reason at all.

(He walks out of the room shutting the door behind him. Sherlock’s coat is hanging on the back of the door. A few moments later his pocket lights up as his phone activates and an orgasmic female sigh comes from the speaker. Sherlock opens his eyes and sits up, looking blearily across to his coat. Frowning at it as he realises that it can only have been returned by Irene, he gets out of bed and wobbles across the floor towards it, losing his balance a couple of times en route but managing to stay on his feet. Finally he gets to the door and takes the phone out of his pocket. Bracing himself against the wall he activates the phone. A new text message reads: Till the next time, Mr. Holmes. Sherlock peers at it for a long moment and then looks around suspiciously, totally oblivious to the fact that the most suspicious thing in the room is the red kiss-shaped lipstick mark just to the left of his mouth.)

NEXT MORNING. Sherlock – now fully recovered – and John are sitting at the table in the living room. John is eating breakfast while Sherlock is reading a newspaper. Mycroft stands nearby.

SHERLOCK: The photographs are perfectly safe.

MYCROFT: In the hands of a fugitive sex worker.

SHERLOCK: She’s not interested in blackmail. She wants ... protection for some reason. I take it you’ve stood down the police investigation into the shooting at her house?

MYCROFT: How can we do anything while she has the photographs? Our hands are tied.

SHERLOCK: She’d applaud your choice of words. You see how this works: that camera phone is her “Get out of jail free” card. You have to leave her alone. Treat her like royalty, Mycroft.

JOHN: Though not the way she treats royalty.

(He smiles round at Mycroft sarcastically, who returns the smile humourlessly. Just then an orgasmic female sigh fills the room. John and Mycroft frown.)

JOHN: What was that?

SHERLOCK (trying to look nonchalant): Text.

JOHN: But what was that noise?

(Sherlock gets up and goes over to pick up his phone from nearby. He looks at the message which reads: Good morning, Mr. Holmes)

SHERLOCK: Did you know there were other people after her too, Mycroft, before you sent John and I in there? CIA-trained killers, at an excellent guess.

(He goes back to the table and sits down again as John looks round at Mycroft.)

JOHN: Yeah, thanks for that, Mycroft.

(Mrs Hudson brings in a plate of breakfast from the kitchen and puts it down in front of Sherlock.)

MRS HUDSON (sternly): It’s a disgrace, sending your little brother into danger like that. Family is all we have in the end, Mycroft Holmes.

MYCROFT: Oh, shut up, Mrs Hudson.

SHERLOCK and JOHN (simultaneously and furiously): MYCROFT!

(Mycroft looks at their angry faces glaring at him, then cringes and looks contritely at Mrs Hudson.)

MYCROFT: Apologies.

MRS HUDSON: Thank you.

SHERLOCK: Though do, in fact, shut up.

(His phone sighs orgasmically again. Mrs Hudson, who was going back into the kitchen, turns back.)

MRS HUDSON: Ooh. It’s a bit rude, that noise, isn’t it?

(Sherlock looks at the latest message which reads: Feeling better?)

SHERLOCK: There’s nothing you can do and nothing she will do as far as I can see.

MYCROFT: I can put maximum surveillance on her.

SHERLOCK: Why bother? You can follow her on Twitter. I believe her user name is “TheWhipHand”.

MYCROFT: Yes. Most amusing.

(His phone rings and he takes it from his pocket.)

MYCROFT: ’Scuse me.

(He walks out into the hall.)

MYCROFT (into phone): Hello.

(Sherlock watches him leave, frowning suspiciously. John looks at him.)

JOHN: Why does your phone make that noise?

SHERLOCK: What noise?

JOHN: That noise – the one it just made.

SHERLOCK: It’s a text alert. It means I’ve got a text.

JOHN: Hmm. Your texts don’t usually make that noise.

SHERLOCK: Well, somebody got hold of the phone and apparently, as a joke, personalised their text alert noise.

JOHN: Hmm. So every time they text you ...

(Right on cue, the phone sighs orgasmically again.)

SHERLOCK: It would seem so.

MRS HUDSON: Could you turn that phone down a bit? At my time of life.

(The latest text message reads: I’m fine since you didn’t ask. Sherlock puts down the phone again and goes back to reading the paper which – in what is no doubt a massive piece of foreshadowing – is showing the headline “Refit for Historical Hospital”. Anybody want to take any bets on the name of this hospital being “Reichenbach”?)

JOHN: I’m wondering who could have got hold of your phone, because it would have been in your coat, wouldn’t it?

(Sherlock raises his newspaper so that it’s obscuring his face.)

SHERLOCK: I’ll leave you to your deductions.

(John smiles.)

JOHN: I’m not stupid, you know.

SHERLOCK: Where do you get that idea?

(Mycroft comes back into the room, still talking on his phone.)

MYCROFT: Bond Air is go, that’s decided. Check with the Coventry lot. Talk later.

(He hangs up. Sherlock looks at him.)

SHERLOCK: What else does she have?

(Mycroft looks at him enquiringly.)

SHERLOCK: Irene Adler. The Americans wouldn’t be interested in her for a couple of compromising photographs. There’s more.

(He stands up and faces his brother.)

SHERLOCK: Much more.

(Mycroft looks at him stony-faced. Sherlock walks closer to him.)

SHERLOCK: Something big’s coming, isn’t it?

MYCROFT: Irene Adler is no longer any concern of yours. From now on you will stay out of this.

SHERLOCK (locking eyes with him): Oh, will I?

MYCROFT: Yes, Sherlock, you will.

(Sherlock shrugs and turns away.)

MYCROFT: Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a long and arduous apology to make to a very old friend.

SHERLOCK (picking up his violin): Do give her my love.

(He begins to play “God Save The Queen”. Mycroft rolls his eyes, turns and leaves the room, Sherlock following along behind him as John grins. As Mycroft hurries down the stairs, Sherlock turns back and walks over to the window, still playing.)

Time passes and now it’s Christmas. Fairy lights are strung up around the window frame of the flat and it’s snowing outside. Inside, the living room is festooned with Christmas decorations and cards, and Sherlock is walking around playing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” on his violin. Mrs Hudson is sitting in his chair with a glass in her hand, watching him happily. Lestrade is standing at the entrance to the kitchen holding a wine glass, and John – wearing a very snazzy Christmassy jumper – walks across the room with a cup and saucer in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other. As Sherlock finishes the tune with a fancy flourish, Lestrade whistles in appreciation.

MRS HUDSON: Lovely! Sherlock, that was lovely!

JOHN: Marvellous!

(Mrs Hudson, apparently a little bit squiffy, giggles up at Sherlock.)

MRS HUDSON: I wish you could have worn the antlers!

SHERLOCK: Some things are best left to the imagination, Mrs Hudson.

JOHN (handing her a cup of tea, perhaps an attempt to sober her up): Mrs H.

(A woman in her thirties brings over a tray containing mince pies and slices of cake and offers it to Sherlock.)

SHERLOCK (politely): No thank you, Sarah.

(Her face falls. John hurries over to her and puts his arm around her as she turns away.)

JOHN: Uh, no, no, no, no, no. He’s not good with names.

SHERLOCK: No-no-no, I can get this.

(The woman puts the tray down and straightens up, folding her arms and looking at Sherlock as he starts.)

SHERLOCK: No, Sarah was the doctor; and then there was the one with the spots; and then the one with the nose; and then ... who was after the boring teacher?

JEANETTE: Nobody.

SHERLOCK: Jeanette! (He grins falsely at her.) Ah, process of elimination.

(John awkwardly shepherds Jeanette away. Sherlock looks across to the door as a new arrival comes in.)

SHERLOCK: Oh, dear Lord.

(Molly Hooper walks in, smiling shyly and carrying two bags which appear to be full of presents.)

MOLLY: Hello, everyone. Sorry, hello.

(John walks over to greet her, smiling.)

MOLLY: Er, it said on the door just to come up.

(Everyone greets her cheerfully. Sherlock rolls his eyes.)

SHERLOCK: Oh, everybody’s saying hullo to each other. How wonderful(!)

(Smiling at him nervously, Molly starts to take her coat and scarf off.)

JOHN (standing ready to take her coat): Let me, er ... holy Mary!

(Lestrade gawps in similar appreciation as Molly reveals that she’s wearing a very attractive black dress.)

LESTRADE: Wow!

MOLLY: Having a Christmas drinkies, then?

SHERLOCK (sitting down at the table): No stopping them, apparently.

MRS HUDSON: It’s the one day of the year where the boys have to be nice to me, so it’s almost worth it!

(Molly giggles nervously, her eyes fixed on Sherlock as he starts typing on John’s laptop. John brings a chair over for her.)

JOHN: Have a seat.

SHERLOCK: John?

JOHN: Mmm?

(As he goes over to see what Sherlock is looking at, Lestrade touches Molly’s arm to get her attention.)

LESTRADE: Molly? (She turns to him.) Want a drink?

(As she accepts his offer, John leans over Sherlock’s shoulder to look at the screen.)

SHERLOCK: The counter on your blog: still says one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five.

JOHN (pulling a mock-angry face): Ooh, no! Christmas is cancelled!

(Sherlock points to the side bar which has one of the press pictures of him in his deerstalker.)

SHERLOCK: And you’ve got a photograph of me wearing that hat!

JOHN: People like the hat.

SHERLOCK: No they don’t. What people?

(He continues looking at the laptop as John walks away. Molly turns to Mrs Hudson.)

MOLLY: How’s the hip?

MRS HUDSON: Ooh, it’s atrocious, but thanks for asking.

MOLLY: I’ve seen much worse, but then I do post-mortems.

(An awkward silence falls. Molly looks embarrassed.)

MOLLY: Oh, God. Sorry.

SHERLOCK: Don’t make jokes, Molly.

MOLLY: No. Sorry.

(Lestrade hands her a glass of red wine.)

MOLLY: Thank you. I wasn’t expecting to see you. I thought you were gonna be in Dorset for Christmas.

LESTRADE: That’s first thing in the morning. Me and the wife – we’re back together. It’s all sorted.

(He grins at her.)

SHERLOCK (without looking up from the computer): No, she’s sleeping with a P.E. teacher.

(Lestrade’s smile becomes rather fixed. Molly turns to John who is sitting on the arm of his armchair. Jeanette is sitting in the chair itself.)

MOLLY: And John. I hear you’re off to your sister’s, is that right?

JOHN: Yeah.

MOLLY: Sherlock was complaining.

(Sherlock raises his eyebrows indignantly. Molly corrects herself.)

MOLLY: ... saying.

JOHN: First time ever, she’s cleaned up her act. She’s off the booze.

SHERLOCK: Nope.

JOHN: Shut up, Sherlock.

SHERLOCK: I see you’ve got a new boyfriend, Molly, and you’re serious about him.

MOLLY: Sorry, what?

SHERLOCK: In fact, you’re seeing him this very night and giving him a gift.

JOHN (quietly, exasperated): Take a day off.

LESTRADE (taking a glass across to the table and putting it down near Sherlock): Shut up and have a drink.

SHERLOCK: Oh, come on. Surely you’ve all seen the present at the top of the bag – perfectly wrapped with a bow. All the others are slapdash at best.

(He stands up and walks towards Molly, looking at the other presents which aren’t as carefully wrapped.)

SHERLOCK: It’s for someone special, then.

(He picks up the well-wrapped present.)

SHERLOCK: The shade of red echoes her lipstick – either an unconscious association or one that she’s deliberately trying to encourage. Either way, Miss Hooper has lurrrve on her mind. The fact that she’s serious about him is clear from the fact she’s giving him a gift at all.

(John looks at Molly anxiously as she squirms in front of Sherlock.)

SHERLOCK: That would suggest long-term hopes, however forlorn; and that she’s seeing him tonight is evident from her make-up and what she’s wearing.

(Smiling smugly across to John and Jeanette, he starts to turn over the gift tag attached to the present.)

SHERLOCK: Obviously trying to compensate for the size of her mouth and breasts ...

(He trails off as he looks down at the writing on the tag. Written in red ink, the greeting reads:

Dearest Sherlock

Love Molly xxx

Sherlock gazes at the words in shock as he realises the terrible thing that he has just done. Molly gasps quietly.)

MOLLY: You always say such horrible things. Every time. Always. Always.

(As she fights back tears, Sherlock turns to walk away ... but then stops and turns back to her.)

SHERLOCK: I am sorry. Forgive me.

(John looks up, startled and amazed at such a human reaction from his friend. Sherlock steps closer to Molly.)

SHERLOCK (softly): Merry Christmas, Molly Hooper.

(He leans forward and gently kisses her on the cheek. It’s a sweet and beautiful moment, which is instantly ruined by the sound of an orgasmic sigh. Molly gasps in shock.)

MOLLY: No! That wasn’t ... I – I didn’t ...

SHERLOCK: No, it was me.

LESTRADE: My God, really?!

MOLLY: What?!

SHERLOCK: My phone.

(He reaches into his jacket pocket to get the phone. John narrows his eyes.)

JOHN: Fifty-seven?

SHERLOCK: Sorry, what?

JOHN: Fifty-seven of those texts – the ones I’ve heard.

(Sherlock looks at the message which reads simply: Mantelpiece)

SHERLOCK (walking to the mantelpiece): Thrilling that you’ve been counting.

(He picks up a small box wrapped in blood-red paper and tied with black rope-like string. Instantly he flashes back to the colour of Irene’s lipstick, which was identical to this paper.)

SHERLOCK: ’Scuse me.

(He walks toward the kitchen.)

JOHN: What – what’s up, Sherlock?

SHERLOCK (continuing walking): I said excuse me.

JOHN (calling after him): D’you ever reply?

(Ignoring him, Sherlock walks into his bedroom, sits on the bed and opens the box. Inside is Irene’s camera phone. He takes it out of the box and looks at it closely, then gazes off into the distance thoughtfully.)

(In his own house – or possibly in an official government residence or even just a fancy office – Mycroft is sitting by the fireside. His phone rings and he takes it from his jacket, looks at the Caller I.D. and then, with a look of “Good grief!” on his face, he puts the phone to his ear.)

MYCROFT: Oh dear Lord. We’re not going to have Christmas phone calls now, are we? Have they passed a new law?

SHERLOCK: I think you’re going to find Irene Adler tonight.

(John has come to the door of the bedroom and stands there listening to the conversation.)

MYCROFT: We already know where she is. As you were kind enough to point out, it hardly matters.

SHERLOCK: No, I mean you’re going to find her dead.

(Hanging up the phone, he stands up and walks towards the bedroom door.)

JOHN: You okay?

SHERLOCK: Yes.

(He pushes the door closed, shutting John out. At his place, Mycroft gazes out of the window at the falling snow.)

ST BARTHOLOMEW’S HOSPITAL. Sherlock and Mycroft walk to the morgue and go inside. Molly is waiting inside wearing her lab coat, and a body is lying on the table covered with a sheet.

MYCROFT: The only one that fitted the description. Had her brought here – your home from home.

SHERLOCK: You didn’t need to come in, Molly.

MOLLY: That’s okay. Everyone else was busy with ... Christmas.

(Looking awkward, she gestures to the body.)

MOLLY: The face is a bit, sort of, bashed up, so it might be a bit difficult.

(She pulls the sheet down to reveal the face.)

MYCROFT: That’s her, isn’t it?

SHERLOCK (to Molly): Show me the rest of her.

(Grimacing, Molly walks along the side of the table, pulling the sheet back as she goes. Sherlock looks along the length of the body once, then turns and starts to walk away.)

SHERLOCK: That’s her.

MYCROFT: Thank you, Miss Hooper.

MOLLY: Who is she? How did Sherlock recognise her from ... not her face?

(Mycroft smiles politely at her, then turns and follows his brother. He finds him standing in the corridor outside, looking out of the window. Walking up behind him, he holds a cigarette over his shoulder.)

MYCROFT: Just the one.

SHERLOCK: Why?

MYCROFT: Merry Christmas.

(Sherlock takes the cigarette and Mycroft digs into his coat pocket to find a lighter.)

SHERLOCK: Smoking indoors – isn’t there one of those ... one of those law things?

(Mycroft lights the cigarette for him.)

MYCROFT: We’re in a morgue. There’s only so much damage you can do.

(Sherlock inhales deeply and then blows the smoke out again.)

MYCROFT: How did you know she was dead?

SHERLOCK: She had an item in her possession, one she said her life depended on. She chose to give it up.

(He takes another drag on his cigarette.)

MYCROFT: Where is this item now?

(Sherlock looks round at the sound of sobbing. A family of three people is standing on the other side of the doors at the end of the corridor, cuddled together and clearly grieving the death of someone close to them. Sherlock and his brother turn to look at the family.)

SHERLOCK: Look at them. They all care so much. Do you ever wonder if there’s something wrong with us?

MYCROFT: All lives end. All hearts are broken. (He looks round at his brother.) Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.

(Sherlock blows out another lungful of smoke, then looks down at the cigarette in disgust.)

SHERLOCK: This is low tar.

MYCROFT: Well, you barely knew her.

SHERLOCK: Huh!

(He walks away down the corridor.)

SHERLOCK: Merry Christmas, Mycroft.

MYCROFT: And a happy New Year.

(As his brother walks through the door at the end of the corridor, Mycroft gets out his phone and hits a speed dial.)

MYCROFT: He’s on his way. (He’s talking to John who is still back at the flat.) Have you found anything?

JOHN: No. Did he take the cigarette?

MYCROFT: Yes.

JOHN: Shit. (He looks round to Mrs Hudson.) He’s coming. Ten minutes.

MRS HUDSON: There’s nothing in the bedroom.

JOHN (into phone): Looks like he’s clean. We’ve tried all the usual places. Are you sure tonight’s a danger night?

MYCROFT: No, but then I never am. You have to stay with him, John.

JOHN: I’ve got plans.

MYCROFT: No.

(He hangs up.)

JOHN: Mycroft. M...

(The line goes dead. Chewing the inside of his mouth, he walks across to where Jeanette is sitting on the sofa and sits down beside her.)

JOHN: I am really sorry.

JEANETTE: You know, my friends are so wrong about you.

JOHN: Hmm?

JEANETTE: You’re a great boyfriend.

JOHN: Okay, that’s good. I mean, I always thought I was great.

JEANETTE: And Sherlock Holmes is a very lucky man.

(John groans.)

JOHN: Jeanette, please.

JEANETTE (bitterly, as she puts her shoes on): No, I mean it. It’s heart-warming. You’ll do anything for him – and he can’t even tell your girlfriends apart.

(She gets off the sofa and heads for the door. He jumps up and follows her as she puts her coat on.)

JOHN: No, I’ll do anything for you. Just tell me what it is I’m not doing. Tell me!

JEANETTE: Don’t make me compete with Sherlock Holmes.

JOHN: I’ll walk your dog for you. Hey, I’ve said it now. I’ll even walk your dog ...

JEANETTE: I don’t have a dog!

JOHN: No, because that was ... the last one. Okay.

JEANETTE: Jesus!

(Picking up her bag, she storms out.)

JOHN: I’ll call you.

JEANETTE: No!

JOHN: Okay.

(Exasperated, he turns back into the room as she runs down the stairs. Mrs Hudson looks at him sympathetically.)

MRS HUDSON: That really wasn’t very good, was it?

Shortly afterwards, John is sitting in his chair reading as Sherlock comes up the stairs and stops in the doorway of the living room. John looks round at him.

JOHN: Oh, hi.

(Sherlock stands there, his eyes roaming all around the living room.)

JOHN: You okay?

(Sherlock continues to scan the room for a long moment, then turns and walks back to the kitchen door, heading for his bedroom.)

SHERLOCK: Hope you didn’t mess up my sock index this time.

(His bedroom door slams shut. John puts his book down and sighs heavily.)


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  Re: 2x01 - A Scandal in Belgravia
 Posted: 05/12/13 07:09
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MORNING. 221B. Sherlock is standing at the window in the living room and playing a sad lament on his violin. John walks into the room and sighs as he sees him. Mrs Hudson walks across to the table and picks up the plates, looking at John pointedly as they both realise that Sherlock hasn’t touched his breakfast. John hums resignedly as he takes his jacket from the back of the chair and puts it on. Sherlock stops playing and picks up a pencil to make a notation on his music.

MRS HUDSON: Lovely tune, Sherlock. Haven’t heard that one before.

JOHN: You composing?

SHERLOCK: Helps me to think.

(He turns back to the window, lifts the violin and begins to play the same tune again.)

JOHN: What are you thinking about?

(Sherlock suddenly spins around and puts the violin down. He points at John’s laptop.)

SHERLOCK (rapidly): The counter on your blog is still stuck at one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five.

JOHN: Yeah, it’s faulty. Can’t seem to fix it.

SHERLOCK (taking out Irene’s camera phone): Faulty – or you’ve been hacked and it’s a message.

(He pulls up the security lock with its “I AM ---- LOCKED” screen.)

JOHN: Hmm?

(Sherlock types “1895” into the phone. The phone beeps warningly and a message comes up reading: “WRONG PASSCODE. 3 ATTEMPTS REMAINING”. The enthusiasm in Sherlock’s eyes dies again.)

SHERLOCK: Just faulty.

(He turns away and picks up his violin again.)

JOHN: Right.

(Sherlock begins to play the sad tune once more.)

JOHN: Right. Well, I’m going out for a bit.

(Sherlock doesn’t respond. John turns and walks to the kitchen where Mrs Hudson is tidying up.)

JOHN (quietly): Listen: has he ever had any kind of ... (he sighs) ... girlfriend, boyfriend, a relationship, ever?

MRS HUDSON: I don’t know.

JOHN (sighing in frustration): How can we not know?

MRS HUDSON: He’s Sherlock. How will we ever know what goes on in that funny old head?

(John smiles sadly.)

JOHN: Right. See ya.

(He trots off down the stairs. Mrs Hudson looks at Sherlock playing his violin at the window, and then leaves the room.)

(Downstairs, John goes out of the front door and pulls it closed. As he turns to go to the left, a woman is standing just to the right of the flat. She calls out to him.)

WOMAN: John?

JOHN: Yeah.

(He stops and turns around to her as she looks at him flirtatiously.)

JOHN: Hello.

(It takes him a moment but then he realises that she’s very pretty and her body language appears to be saying, “Take me big boy I’m all yours.”)

JOHN: Hello!

WOMAN (walking closer): So, any plans for New Year tonight?

(John laughs as his eyes continually roam over her body.)

JOHN: Er, nothing fixed. Nothing I couldn’t heartlessly abandon. You have any ideas?

(The woman looks over her shoulder towards the road.)

WOMAN: One.

(John follows her gaze and sighs in exasperation as a black car pulls up and stops beside them.)

JOHN: You know, Mycroft could just phone me, if he didn’t have this bloody stupid power complex.

(They get into the car and it pulls away ... and takes them to the biggest power complex in the neighbourhood – the empty shell of Battersea Power Station. Pulling up inside the building, John and the woman get out and she leads him through the abandoned structure.)

JOHN: Couldn’t we just go to a café? Sherlock doesn’t follow me everywhere.

(Still walking, the woman types onto her phone, then stops and gestures ahead of herself.)

WOMAN: Through there.

(John gives her a dirty look, then walks on. The woman turns and heads back the way she came, lifting her phone to her ear.)

WOMAN: He’s on his way. You were right – he thinks it’s Mycroft.

(John reaches a large room and starts talking straightaway even though he can’t yet see anybody.)

JOHN: He’s writing sad music; doesn’t eat; barely talks – only to correct the television.

(He walks further into the room and finally a figure begins to step out of the shadows at the other end.)

JOHN: I’d say he was heartbroken but, er, well, he’s Sherlock. He does all that anyw...

(He trails off as Irene Adler walks into view.)

IRENE: Hello, Doctor Watson.

(She stops some distance away from him and he simply stares at her for several seconds before he finally finds some words.)

JOHN (quietly, but with a note of pleading in his voice): Tell him you’re alive.

IRENE (shaking her head): He’d come after me.

JOHN: I’ll come after you if you don’t.

IRENE: Mmm, I believe you.

JOHN (louder): You were dead on a slab. It was definitely you.

IRENE: DNA tests are only as good as the records you keep.

JOHN: And I bet you know the record-keeper.

IRENE: I know what he likes, and I needed to disappear.

JOHN: Then how come I can see you, and I don’t even want to?

IRENE: Look, I made a mistake. I sent something to Sherlock for safe-keeping and now I need it back, so I need your help.

JOHN: No.

IRENE: It’s for his own safety.

JOHN: So’s this: tell him you’re alive.

IRENE: I can’t.

JOHN (fighting back his anger): Fine. I’ll tell him, and I still won’t help you.

(He turns and starts to walk away.)

IRENE: What do I say?

JOHN (furiously as he turns back to her): What do you normally say? You’ve texted him a lot.

(Irene has taken her phone out and holds it up as John stops and glares at her.)

IRENE: Just the usual stuff.

JOHN: There is no ‘usual’ in this case.

(Irene looks down at her phone and starts to read back messages she has sent to Sherlock.)

IRENE: “Good morning”; “I like your funny hat”; “I’m sad tonight. Let’s have dinner” ...

(John looks round at her, startled.)

IRENE: ... “You looked sexy on ‘Crimewatch’. Let’s have dinner”; “I’m not hungry, let’s have dinner”.

(John stares at her in disbelief.)

JOHN: You ... flirted with Sherlock Holmes?!

IRENE (still looking at her phone): At him. He never replies.

JOHN: No, Sherlock always replies – to everything. He’s Mr. Punchline. He will outlive God trying to have the last word.

IRENE: Does that make me special?

JOHN: ... I don’t know. Maybe.

IRENE: Are you jealous?

JOHN: We’re not a couple.

IRENE: Yes you are. There ...

(She holds up her phone to show John the screen, although he’s too far away to read it. She tells him what she has typed anyway.)

IRENE: “I’m not dead. Let’s have dinner.”

(She presses the Send button. John turns away momentarily and then turns back to her.)

JOHN (quietly): Who ... who the hell knows about Sherlock Holmes, but – for the record – if anyone out there still cares, I’m not actually gay.

IRENE: Well, I am. Look at us both.

(John laughs ruefully. Just then an orgasmic female sigh can be heard a short distance away. In the corridor outside the room, unseen by either of them, Sherlock switches his phone off and rapidly walks away. John starts to walk in the direction of the sound but Irene holds out her hand to stop him. She looks at him pointedly.)

IRENE: I don’t think so, do you?

Some time later, Sherlock is walking down Baker Street towards his flat, his gaze distant and lost. As he arrives at the front door of 221B and turns to put his key in the door, his expression sharpens as he realises that the door has been jemmied open. Slowly pushing the door open, he goes inside and carefully puts his hand onto the opaque glass window of the interior door before also pushing that one open and stepping through into the hall. Immediately he sees that the door to 221A is ajar, and partway down the hall is a plastic bucket. He takes a quick glance at the various items inside the bucket and sees that they’re cleaning materials: a pair of rubber gloves, a duster, a spray can of what is probably screen and telephone sanitizer, a toilet brush and a bottle of disinfectant, and a couple of other items. Sherlock steps closer to the stairs and sees a couple of scuff marks on the wall just above the risers. He instantly realises that one of the marks was made by someone awkwardly walking backwards up the stairs and having to feel their way with their feet, while the second was made by someone following the first person while facing forwards but being thrown off-balance by something. Looking more closely at the wall he sees a small indentation in the wallpaper. His gaze becomes more intense as he deduces that it was formed by someone dragging their hand along the wall, clawing at it in a desperate attempt to stop themselves being hauled backwards up the stairs. The depth of the nail mark can only have been made by someone with fairly long nails, and now Sherlock knows that the person being dragged was Mrs Hudson. Slowly he raises his head as he visualises her struggling as she is half-pulled and half-carried upstairs by a couple of men as a third man precedes them. In his mind, he hears her panic-stricken protests of, “Stop it!” at her assailants before she cries out Sherlock’s name in terror and anguish.)

(Sherlock stares intensely up the stairs and slowly his expression changes from deductive to outright murderous. Your transcriber sobs at the ferocity in his gaze and challenges anyone to say that Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t one of the finest actors of our time. Sherlock stands there for a few seconds as his rage builds, and then he gets moving.)

(Not long afterwards he slowly pushes open the door to the living room of 221B. In front of the fireplace Mrs Hudson is sitting on a dining chair facing the door, and behind her stands Neilson, the CIA man who led the raid on Irene’s house. He is holding another pistol with an over-compensatory silencer attached and is aiming the gun at the back of Mrs Hudson’s head. One of his men is standing looking out of the window but turns as the door opens; the other stands near the sliding door into the kitchen. As Sherlock slowly strolls into the room with his hands clasped behind his back, Mrs Hudson – already crying quietly – begins to sob a little louder.)

MRS HUDSON: Oh, Sherlock, Sherlock!

SHERLOCK: Don’t snivel, Mrs Hudson. It’ll do nothing to impede the flight of a bullet.

(He looks at Neilson.)

SHERLOCK: What a tender world that would be.

MRS HUDSON (sobbing quietly as she gazes up at him): Oh, please, sorry, Sherlock.

NEILSON: I believe you have something that we want, Mr. Holmes.

SHERLOCK: Then why don’t you ask for it?

(He walks closer and holds out his right hand towards Mrs Hudson. She flails towards it, whimpering, and he gently turns back the sleeve of her right hand and looks at the bruises on her wrist.)

MRS HUDSON (crying): Sher...

NEILSON: I’ve been asking this one. She doesn’t seem to know anything.

(Sherlock’s gaze rises a little and he sees that the right shoulder of Mrs H’s cardigan has been ripped at the seam, exposing her skin underneath.)

NEILSON: But you know what I’m asking for, don’t you, Mr. Holmes?

(Sherlock looks a little higher and sees a cut on her right cheek. His eyes flick across to Neilson’s right hand holding the pistol. He has a silver ring on his third finger and there is blood on it. Sherlock raises his head and looks directly at Neilson – but he isn’t deducing him. In very rapid succession he is picking out target points on his body:

Carotid Artery

Skull

Eyes

His eyes drop to Neilson’s arm and chest:

Artery

Lungs

Ribs

He raises his eyes to Neilson’s again.)

SHERLOCK: I believe I do.

(Mrs Hudson whimpers as he releases her hands and straightens up, putting his hands behind his back again.)

MRS HUDSON: Oh, please, Sherlock.

SHERLOCK (to Neilson): First, get rid of your boys.

NEILSON: Why?

SHERLOCK: I dislike being outnumbered. It makes for too much stupid in the room.

(Neilson hesitates for a moment, then glances at his colleagues.)

NEILSON: You two, go to the car.

SHERLOCK: Then get into the car and drive away. (He looks back to Neilson.) Don’t try to trick me. You know who I am. It doesn’t work.

(He clicks the ‘k’ of ‘work’ loudly. Your transcriber faints. The two men leave the room and head down the stairs.)

SHERLOCK: Next, you can stop pointing that gun at me.

NEILSON: So you can point a gun at me?

SHERLOCK (stepping back and spreading his arms to either side): I’m unarmed.

NEILSON: Mind if I check?

SHERLOCK: Oh, I insist.

(Neilson comes around from behind Mrs Hudson, walks over to Sherlock and pats his breast pocket and flicks the coat open while Sherlock stands meekly with his arms still spread. Walking around behind him, Neilson starts patting for any hidden weapon at his back. Sherlock rolls his eyes dramatically at Mrs Hudson, but he is already covertly starting to bend his right arm towards himself. So fast that your transcriber absolutely can’t tell where it came from, he whips out the sanitizer spray can, twists around and sprays the contents directly into Neilson’s eyes. As Neilson screams, Sherlock rears back and then savagely headbutts him in the face. Neilson falls back over the coffee table, unconscious, as Sherlock flips the can into the air triumphantly.)

SHERLOCK: Moron.

(Slamming the can onto the table, he hurries over to Mrs Hudson and drops to his knees in front of her.)

MRS HUDSON: Oh, thank you.

SHERLOCK (gently stroking her face): You’re all right now, you’re all right.

MRS HUDSON: Yes.

(Sherlock looks over his shoulder towards Neilson’s prone body, his expression still promising murder.)

Not long afterwards, the black car pulls up outside 221 and John gets out. The car drives away and he walks to the door, then stops as he sees a handwritten note attached underneath the knocker. He looks around the street for a moment, then pushes the door open and goes inside. Written on the note is:

CRIME IN PROGRESS

PLEASE DISTURB

(He goes upstairs and hurries into the living room.)

JOHN: What’s going on?

(He stops at the sight of Neilson, bound and gagged with duct tape and sitting on the chair near the fireplace. His nose is broken and blood has run down his face and is dripping from his chin. Mrs Hudson is sitting on the sofa and Sherlock is in a chair nearby, holding Neilson’s pistol aimed at him with one hand, and his phone to his ear with the other.)

JOHN: Jeez. What the hell is happening?

SHERLOCK: Mrs Hudson’s been attacked by an American. I’m restoring balance to the universe.

(John immediately hurries over to sit down next to her.)

JOHN: Oh, Mrs Hudson, my God. Are you all right? (Glaring at Neilson as he puts his arm around her shoulders) Jesus, what have they done to you?

(Mrs Hudson breaks down in tears again.)

MRS HUDSON (covering her face with her hands): Oh, I’m just being so silly.

JOHN (pulling her closer): No, no.

(Sherlock gets to his feet, still holding the phone to his ear while aiming the gun at Neilson.)

SHERLOCK (to John): Downstairs. Take her downstairs and look after her.

(John stands up and helps her to her feet.)

JOHN (gently): All right, it’s all right. I’ll have a look at that.

MRS HUDSON (tearfully): I’m fine, I’m fine.

(As she walks out of the room, John steps over to Sherlock, whose eyes are fixed on Neilson.)

JOHN: Are you gonna tell me what’s going on?

SHERLOCK: I expect so. Now go.

(They look at each other for a moment, then turn their gazes to Neilson and now he’s got two murderous expressions aimed at him. John turns to leave the room but just before his head is completely turned away, a small smile begins to form on his face as if he wants Neilson to understand that he is about to encounter a whole world of hurt.)

SHERLOCK (into phone as John walks away): Lestrade. We’ve had a break-in at Baker Street. Send your least irritating officers and an ambulance. (Finally taking his eyes off Neilson, he walks across to the table and lays the pistol down on it.) Oh, no-no-no-no-no, we’re fine. No, it’s the, uh, it’s the burglar. He’s got himself rather badly injured.

(Neilson looks nervous as Sherlock listens to Lestrade’s question.)

SHERLOCK: Oh, a few broken ribs, fractured skull ... suspected punctured lung.

(He looks over his shoulder at Neilson.)

SHERLOCK (into phone): He fell out of a window.

(Still looking into Neilson’s eyes, he hangs up.)

Downstairs in Mrs Hudson’s kitchen, she and John are standing by the sink as he gently applies some antiseptic to the cut on her cheek. She flinches.

MRS HUDSON: Ooh, it stings.

(John nods as he continues cleaning the cut. A moment later a shape plummets down past the window and lands with a crash. John and Mrs H look at the window.)

MRS HUDSON: Ooh. That was right on my bins.

(There’s an agonised groan from outside.)

Some time later, it’s fully dark outside and an ambulance is only now pulling away from 221. Sherlock is standing outside Speedy’s café with Lestrade.

LESTRADE: And exactly how many times did he fall out the window?

SHERLOCK: It’s all a bit of a blur, Detective Inspector. I lost count.

(Not bothering to comment, Lestrade walks away. A little later Sherlock comes in through the kitchen door of 221A and wipes his feet carefully on the doormat. Mrs Hudson and John are sitting at her small kitchen table and the wall clock shows 9.32 p.m. [although this may not be accurate because when Sherlock phoned Lestrade it was broad daylight outside.] Mrs H still looks very shaken.)

JOHN: She’ll have to sleep upstairs in our flat tonight. We need to look after her.

MRS HUDSON: No.

SHERLOCK: Of course, but she’s fine.

JOHN: No, she’s not. Look at her.

(Sherlock opens the fridge door and peers inside before picking something up.)

JOHN: She’s got to take some time away from Baker Street. She can go and stay with her sister. Doctor’s orders.

(Kicking the fridge door shut, Sherlock frowns at John and bites into a mince pie.)

SHERLOCK: Don’t be absurd.

JOHN: She’s in shock, for God’s sake, and all over some bloody stupid camera phone. Where is it, anyway?

SHERLOCK: Safest place I know.

(Wiping crumbs from his mouth, he looks down at Mrs Hudson who reaches down inside her top and pulls the phone out of her bra before handing it to Sherlock.)

MRS HUDSON: You left it in the pocket of your second-best dressing gown, you clot. (She laughs briefly.) I managed to sneak it out when they thought I was having a cry.

SHERLOCK (tossing it into the air before putting it in his coat pocket): Thank you.

(He looks at John.)

SHERLOCK: Shame on you, John Watson.

JOHN: Shame on me?!

SHERLOCK: Mrs Hudson leave Baker Street?

(He puts a protective arm around her shoulders and pulls her closer to him.)

SHERLOCK (sternly): England would fall.

(She laughs as she strokes his hand. He chuckles gently. John smiles at them both.)

Later, the boys are back upstairs. John fixes himself a drink in the kitchen and then comes into the living room as Sherlock takes his coat off.

JOHN: Where is it now?

SHERLOCK: Where no-one will look.

(Walking across to the window, he picks up his violin and turns his back to the room.)

JOHN: Whatever’s on that phone is more than just pictures.

SHERLOCK: Yes, it is.

(He tinkers with his violin and checks its tuning. John watches him for a moment.)

JOHN: So, she’s alive then. How are we feeling about that?

(In the distance, Big Ben begins to toll the hour. Sherlock pulls in a sharp breath.)

SHERLOCK: Happy New Year, John.

JOHN: Do you think you’ll be seeing her again?

(Turning around but not yet meeting his eyes, Sherlock picks up his bow and flips it in the air before starting to play “Auld Lang Syne” and looking at John pointedly. John gets the message and sits down in his chair as Sherlock turns back to the window and continues to play.)

(Not far away, within sight of St Paul’s Cathedral, Irene is walking along the street when her phone trills a text alert. Taking the phone from her bag and checking the message, she sees that it reads:

Happy New Year

SH

She looks at the message for a long time before continuing onwards.)

DAY TIME. ST BART’S. In the Molly lab, Sherlock is looking at an X-ray on a computer screen which is showing the interior parts of a phone. Molly is nearby. He leans closer to the screen and sees four small round dark areas scattered around the phone. He looks exasperated.

MOLLY: Is that a phone?

SHERLOCK: It’s a camera phone.

MOLLY: And you’re X-raying it?

SHERLOCK: Yes, I am.

MOLLY: Whose phone is it?

SHERLOCK: A woman’s.

MOLLY: Your girlfriend?

SHERLOCK: You think she’s my girlfriend because I’m X-raying her possessions?

MOLLY (laughing nervously): Well, we all do silly things.

SHERLOCK: Yes.

(He lifts his head as he is suddenly inspired and he looks round to Molly.)

SHERLOCK: They do, don’t they? Very silly.

(She looks confused as he gets to his feet and takes the phone out of the X-ray machine and holds it up.)

SHERLOCK: She sent this to my address, and she loves to play games.

MOLLY: She does?

(Sherlock pulls up the “I AM ---- LOCKED” screen and types “221B” into the phone. The phone beeps warningly and a message comes up reading: “WRONG PASSCODE. 2 ATTEMPTS REMAINING”. He looks exasperated and sits down again.)

SOME MONTHS LATER. 221B. Sherlock reaches the top of the stairs and then stops abruptly outside the kitchen door. He sniffs deeply. Taking a couple more deep breaths, he turns and looks into the kitchen, then walks across to the window and checks it as he realises that it is open. Turning and sniffing again, he starts to walk slowly towards his bedroom just as the downstairs door slams and feet start trotting up the stairs. Reaching his room, he pushes the door open as John comes into the kitchen with bags of shopping. Sherlock walks into the bedroom and turns to stand and look down at the bed. John notices him.

JOHN: Sherlock ...

SHERLOCK: We have a client.

JOHN: What, in your bedroom?!

(He walks along the passage and into the bedroom, then his jaw drops as he sees the bed.)

JOHN: Ohhh.

(Irene – fully clothed – is asleep in Sherlock’s bed.)

Some time later Irene has changed into one of Sherlock’s dressing gowns and is sitting in his chair in the living room. The boys are sitting at the table looking at her.

SHERLOCK: So who’s after you?

IRENE: People who want to kill me.

SHERLOCK: Who’s that?

IRENE: Killers.

JOHN: It would help if you were a tiny bit more specific.

SHERLOCK: So you faked your own death in order to get ahead of them.

IRENE: It worked for a while.

SHERLOCK: Except you let John know that you were alive, and therefore me.

IRENE: I knew you’d keep my secret.

SHERLOCK: You couldn’t.

IRENE: But you did, didn’t you? Where’s my camera phone?

JOHN: It’s not here. We’re not stupid.

IRENE: Then what have you done with it? If they’ve guessed you’ve got it, they’ll be watching you.

SHERLOCK: If they’ve been watching me, they’ll know that I took a safety deposit box at a bank on the Strand a few months ago.

IRENE: I need it.

JOHN: Well, we can’t just go and get it, can we?

(He looks round to Sherlock, inspired.)

JOHN: Molly Hooper. She could collect it, take it to Bart’s; then one of your homeless network could bring it here, leave it in the café, and one of the boys downstairs could bring it up the back.

SHERLOCK (smiling): Very good, John. Excellent plan, with intelligent precautions.

JOHN: Thank you. (He picks up his phone.) So, why don’t ... Oh, for ...

(He has just seen Sherlock take the camera phone out of his jacket pocket and hold it up. Sherlock looks at the phone closely as Irene stands up.)

SHERLOCK: So what do you keep on here – in general, I mean?

IRENE: Pictures, information, anything I might find useful.

JOHN: What, for blackmail?

IRENE: For protection. I make my way in the world; I misbehave. I like to know people will be on my side exactly when I need them to be.

SHERLOCK: So how do you acquire this information?

IRENE: I told you – I misbehave.

SHERLOCK: But you’ve acquired something that’s more danger than protection. Do you know what it is?

IRENE: Yes, but I don’t understand it.

SHERLOCK: I assumed. Show me.

(Irene holds out her hand for the phone. Sherlock holds it up out of her reach.)

SHERLOCK: The passcode.

(She continues to hold her hand out, and eventually Sherlock sits forward and hands her the phone. Activating it and holding it so he can’t see the screen or the keypad, she types in four characters. The phone beeps warningly.)

IRENE: It’s not working.

SHERLOCK (standing up and taking the phone from her): No, because it’s a duplicate that I had made, into which you’ve just entered the numbers one oh five eight.

(He walks over to his chair in which she was just sitting and retrieves the real camera phone from under the cushion.)

SHERLOCK: I assumed you’d choose something more specific than that but, um, thanks anyway.

(He pulls up the “I AM ---- LOCKED” screen and types “1058” into the phone. He looks at her smugly but then the phone beeps warningly and a message comes up reading: “WRONG PASSCODE. 1 ATTEMPT REMAINING”. He stares in disbelief.)

IRENE: I told you that camera phone was my life. I know when it’s in my hand.

SHERLOCK: Oh, you’re rather good.

IRENE (smiling at him): You’re not so bad.

(She holds her hand out again and takes the phone from him. John frowns at the pair of them as they have intense eyesex for the next few seconds.)

JOHN (abruptly): Hamish.

(They both turn to look at him.)

JOHN: John Hamish Watson – just if you were looking for baby names.

(Sherlock frowns in confusion.)

IRENE: There was a man – an MOD official. I knew what he liked.

(Walking a short distance away from the boys so they can’t see her screen or keypad, she types in her real passcode and calls up a photo.)

IRENE: One of the things he liked was showing off. He told me this email was going to save the world. He didn’t know it, but I photographed it. (She hands the phone to Sherlock.) He was a bit tied up at the time. It’s a bit small on that screen – can you read it?

(Sherlock sits down on the other side of the table to John and narrows his eyes at the photograph. The top of the email – possibly the subject line – reads: 007 Confirmed allocation

Underneath in smaller print is a string of numbers:

4C12C45F13E13G60A60B61F34G34J60D12H33K34K

SHERLOCK: Yes.

IRENE: A code, obviously. I had one of the best cryptographers in the country take a look at it – though he was mostly upside down, as I recall. Couldn’t figure it out.

(Sherlock leans forward, concentrating on the screen.)

IRENE: What can you do, Mr. Holmes?

(She leans over his shoulder.)

IRENE: Go on. Impress a girl.

(Time slows down as she begins to lean towards him. Oblivious to her approach, the numbers in the code race through Sherlock’s mind and begin to form into shapes for him. By the time she has leant in and kissed his cheek, he has already solved it. His eyes drift momentarily in her direction as she pulls back smiling, but then he concentrates on the screen again.)

SHERLOCK (speaking rapidly): There’s a margin for error but I’m pretty sure there’s a Seven Forty-Seven leaving Heathrow tomorrow at six thirty in the evening for Baltimore. Apparently it’s going to save the world. Not sure how that can be true but give me a moment; I’ve only been on the case for eight seconds.

(He looks at John’s blank face in front of him, then glances round at Irene who hasn’t even fully straightened up yet.)

SHERLOCK: Oh, come on. It’s not code. These are seat allocations on a passenger jet. Look: there’s no letter ‘I’ because it can be mistaken for a ‘1’; no letters past ‘K’ – the width of the plane is the limit. The numbers always appear randomly and not in sequence but the letters have little runs of sequence all over the place – families and couples sitting together. Only a Jumbo is wide enough to need the letter ‘K’ or rows past fifty-five, which is why there’s always an upstairs. There’s a row thirteen, which eliminates the more superstitious airlines. Then there’s the style of the flight number – zero zero seven – that eliminates a few more; and assuming a British point of origin, which would be logical considering the original source of the information and assuming from the increased pressure on you lately that the crisis is imminent, the only flight that matches all the criteria and departs within the week is the six thirty to Baltimore tomorrow evening from Heathrow Airport.

(By now he has stood up, and now he lowers the phone and looks down at Irene, who gazes up at him in admiration.)

SHERLOCK (engaging the full force of his cello jaguar voice and sending your transcriber into a complete meltdown): Please don’t feel obliged to tell me that was remarkable or amazing. John’s expressed the same thought in every possible variant available to the English language.

IRENE (intensely): I would have you right here on this desk until you begged for mercy twice.

(The two of them stare at each other for a long moment before Sherlock speaks again.)

SHERLOCK (with his eyes still locked on Irene’s): John, please can you check those flight schedules; see if I’m right?

JOHN (vaguely, overcome by all the sex in the air): Uh-huh. I’m on it, yeah.

(Clearing his throat, he starts to type on his laptop. Sherlock and Irene continue to stare at each other.)

SHERLOCK: I’ve never begged for mercy in my life.

IRENE (emphatically): Twice.

JOHN (looking at his screen): Uh, yeah, you’re right. Uh, flight double oh seven.

SHERLOCK (looking round at him): What did you say?

JOHN: You’re right.

SHERLOCK: No, no, no, after that. What did you say after that?

JOHN: Double oh seven. Flight double oh seven.

SHERLOCK (quietly to himself): Double oh seven, double oh seven, double oh seven, double oh seven ...

(Pushing Irene out of the way, he begins to pace.)

SHERLOCK: ... something ... something connected to double oh seven ... What?

(As he continues to pace and mutter the numbers to himself, Irene puts the phone behind her back and begins to type blind on it: 747 TOMORROW 6:30PM HEATHROW)

(The message is sent to the phone of Jim Moriarty. Standing in Westminster very near the Houses of Parliament, he takes his phone out and reads the message.)

(Back at 221B, Sherlock has walked to the fireplace and is standing in front of the mirror with his eyes closed.)

SHERLOCK (quietly): Double oh seven, double oh seven, what, what, something, what?

(His eyes snap open as he begins to remember and he turns and looks at the living room door, remembering Mycroft standing on the landing talking into his phone.)

MYCROFT: Bond Air is go.

(Sherlock walks towards the door.)

MYCROFT: Bond Air is go. ... Bond Air is go.

(As the words continue to echo in Sherlock’s mind, at Westminster Jim is typing a message onto his phone:

Jumbo Jet. Dear me Mr Holmes, dear me.

He presses Send and the message wings its way up into the air. As if watching it go, Jim raises his eyes towards Big Ben, the very image of the seat of the British government, and blows a long and loud raspberry at it.)

(At Mycroft’s house/residence/fancy office he picks up his phone from the dining table and looks at a newly arrived message. It reads: Jumbo Jet. Dear me Mr Holmes, dear me.)

(Time passes and Mycroft returns to the chair at the end of the dining table and sinks down into it, running his hand over his face and clearly still shocked by the turn of events.)

(More time passes and Mycroft has removed his jacket and has a glass of brandy in front of him. His hands are folded in front of his mouth and he is lost in wide-eyed and horrified thought.)

(Much later, as night begins to fall, Mycroft’s face is furrowed with anguish and his eyes are still wide at the horror which only he knows about. The glass beside him is empty. Slowly he closes his eyes and sinks his head into his hands in despair.)

NIGHT TIME. 221B. Sherlock sits in his armchair gently plucking the strings of his violin. In his mind he can still hear Mycroft’s phone call.

MYCROFT: Bond Air is go, that’s decided. Check with the Coventry lot.

(Sherlock finally rouses a little and looks up.)

SHERLOCK: Coventry.

(Irene, still wearing Sherlock’s dressing gown, is sitting in John’s chair watching him closely.)

IRENE: I’ve never been. Is it nice?

SHERLOCK: Where’s John?

IRENE: He went out a couple of hours ago.

SHERLOCK: I was just talking to him.

IRENE (smiling): He said you do that. What’s Coventry got to do with anything?

SHERLOCK: It’s a story, probably not true. In the Second World War, the Allies knew that Coventry was going to get bombed because they’d broken the German code but they didn’t want the Germans to know that they’d broken the code, so they let it happen anyway.

IRENE: Have you ever had anyone?

(Sherlock frowns at her blankly.)

SHERLOCK: Sorry?

IRENE: And when I say “had”, I’m being indelicate.

SHERLOCK: I don’t understand.

IRENE: Well, I’ll be delicate then.

(Getting up from the chair she walks over and kneels in front of Sherlock, putting her left hand on top of his right hand and curling her fingers around it.)

IRENE: Let’s have dinner.

SHERLOCK: Why?

IRENE: Might be hungry.

SHERLOCK: I’m not.

IRENE: Good.

(Hesitantly, Sherlock sits forward a little and slowly turns his right hand over, curling his own fingers around her wrist.)

SHERLOCK: Why would I want to have dinner if I wasn’t hungry?

(Slowly Irene begins to lean forward, her gaze fixed on his lips.)

IRENE (softly): Oh, Mr. Holmes ...

(Sherlock’s fingers gently stroke across the underside of her wrist.)

IRENE: ... if it was the end of the world, if this was the very last night, would you have dinner with me?

MRS HUDSON (calling up the stairs): Sherlock!

(Sherlock’s eyes slide towards the door.)

IRENE (ruefully): Too late.

SHERLOCK: That’s not the end of the world; that’s Mrs Hudson.

(Irene pulls her hand free and stands up, walking away from him as Mrs Hudson comes in with none other than Plummer from the Palace.)

MRS HUDSON: Sherlock, this man was at the door. Is the bell still not working?

(She turns around to Plummer and points at Sherlock.)

MRS HUDSON: He shot it.

SHERLOCK (tetchily, to Plummer): Have you come to take me away again?

PLUMMER: Yes, Mr. Holmes.

SHERLOCK: Well, I decline.

PLUMMER (taking an envelope from his jacket and offering it to him): I don’t think you do.

(Sherlock snatches it from him and opens it. Inside is a Business Class boarding pass for Flyaway Airways in the name of Sherlock Holmes for flight number 007 to Baltimore, scheduled to leave at 18.30.)

(Very shortly afterwards, Sherlock has put his coat on and is getting into the back of a car outside the flat. As Plummer gets into the passenger seat and the car drives away, Irene stands at the window of the flat and watches them go.)

*channelling D.I. Lestrade* OK, everybody. Done here.

So finally it’s finished. (Collapses in an exhausted heap, giggling) It took way longer than I ever thought – I’ve been transcribing 42-minute episodes for the past eight years, and each one normally took about ten hours to complete and so I thought that this would take roughly double the time. Yeah, right – I wish!

At this rate, I’m afraid that I cannot promise that a transcript for The Hounds of Baskerville will even be finished by the time The Reichenbach Fall airs. I’ll try, but there’s a lot of stuff happening in Real Life, including the imminent arrival of Verityburns, Atlinmerrick and Anarion at my house, and I need to do some housework!

Anyway, onwards ... Oh, and thank you for all your kind words. It really has made the whole effort worthwhile.

And my thanks once again to the adorable verityburns, without whose patient and meticulous proof-reading (and extensive research into Brazilian knickers ...) this probably wouldn’t have been completed until the middle of next week.

Sherlock, Season 2, episode 1: A Scandal in Belgravia part 4

Transcript by Ariane DeVere aka Callie Sullivan.

Polite request: If you take extracts from this transcript for use elsewhere, and especially if you repost my own words, it would be kind if you would acknowledge the source and/or give a link back to this transcript. Thanks.

(Return to part 1 / Return to part 2 / Return to part 3)

In the car, Sherlock gets out the plane ticket again, then tells Plummer what he has deduced.

SHERLOCK: There’s going to be a bomb on a passenger jet. The British and American governments know about it but rather than expose the source of that information they’re going to let it happen. The plane will blow up. Coventry all over again. The wheel turns. Nothing is ever new.

(Neither Plummer nor the driver respond to him in any way. Some time later the car arrives at Heathrow Airport and is driven past hangars to a 747 Jumbo Jet parked on the tarmac. The car stops near the plane and Sherlock gets out and walks over to the steps which lead up to the entry door. A familiar figure is standing at the bottom of the steps. It’s Neilson.)

SHERLOCK (nonchalantly, in a deliberately fake American accent): Well, you’re lookin’ all better. How ya feelin’?

NEILSON: Like putting a bullet in your brain ... sir.

(Sherlock lets out a quiet snigger and starts to walk up the steps.)

NEILSON: They’d pin a medal on me if I did ...

(Sherlock stops.)

NEILSON (insincerely): ... sir.

(Sherlock half-turns back towards him, then decides he can’t be bothered and continues up the steps. Inside, he pulls back the curtain obscuring the passenger seating and walks into the aisle. The lighting is very low and it’s hard to see. There are people sitting in almost all the seats but none of them is moving or speaking or showing any signs of life at all. Frowning, he walks forward and looks more closely at the nearest passengers. An overhead light shows more clearly the faces of two men sitting beside each other and Sherlock now realises the truth: they are dead. Although they’re not yet showing any signs of decomposition, their skin is very grey and they’ve clearly been dead for some time. He turns and looks to the passengers on the other side of the aisle, turning on another overhead light to get a better view. The man and woman sitting there are also long dead. As he straightens up, realising that everyone on board the plane must be in the same condition, his brother speaks from the other end of the section.)

MYCROFT: The Coventry conundrum.

(Sherlock turns as Mycroft pushes back the curtain and steps through into the cabin. For the first part of the ensuing conversation he talks softly, almost as if out of respect for the dead bodies in front of him.)

MYCROFT: What do you think of my solution?

(Sherlock gazes around the cabin, still taking it all in.)

MYCROFT: The flight of the dead.

SHERLOCK: The plane blows up mid-air. Mission accomplished for the terrorists. Hundreds of casualties, but nobody dies.

MYCROFT: Neat, don’t you think?

(Sherlock smiles humourlessly.)

MYCROFT: You’ve been stumbling round the fringes of this one for ages – or were you too bored to notice the pattern?

(Sherlock flashes back in his mind to the two little girls sitting in his living room.)

LITTLE GIRL: They wouldn’t let us see Granddad when he was dead.

(He lifts his head a little as he remembers the creepy guy sitting in the same chair on a different occasion, holding a funeral urn.)

CREEPY GUY: She’s not my real aunt. I know human ash.

MYCROFT: We ran a similar project with the Germans a while back, though I believe one of our passengers didn’t make the flight.

(Sherlock flashes back to the car with the body in the boot and the passport stamped in Berlin airport.)

MYCROFT: But that’s the deceased for you – late, in every sense of the word.

SHERLOCK: How’s the plane going to fly? (He answers himself immediately.) Of course: unmanned aircraft. Hardly new.

MYCROFT: It doesn’t fly. It will never fly. This entire project is cancelled. The terrorist cells have been informed that we know about the bomb. We can’t fool them now. We’ve lost everything. One fragment of one email, and months and years of planning finished.

SHERLOCK: Your MOD man.

MYCROFT: That’s all it takes: one lonely naïve man desperate to show off, and a woman clever enough to make him feel special.

SHERLOCK (quirking an eyebrow): Hmm. You should screen your defence people more carefully.

MYCROFT (loudly, furiously): I’m not talking about the MOD man, Sherlock; I’m talking about you.

(Sherlock frowns, genuinely confused.)

MYCROFT (more softly): The damsel in distress. (He smiles ironically.) In the end, are you really so obvious? Because this was textbook: the promise of love, the pain of loss, the joy of redemption; then give him a puzzle ... (his voice drops to a whisper) ... and watch him dance.

SHERLOCK: Don’t be absurd.

MYCROFT: Absurd? How quickly did you decipher that email for her? Was it the full minute, or were you really eager to impress?

IRENE (from behind Sherlock): I think it was less than five seconds.

(Sherlock spins around to see her standing at the end of the cabin, dressed beautifully, fully made up and with her hair perfectly coiffured. This is The Woman at her immaculate best.)

MYCROFT (ruefully to Sherlock): I drove you into her path. (He pauses momentarily.) I’m sorry. (He lowers his eyes.) I didn’t know.

(Sherlock is still looking at Irene as she walks towards him.)

IRENE: Mr. Holmes, I think we need to talk.

SHERLOCK: So do I. There are a number of aspects I’m still not quite clear on.

IRENE (walking past him): Not you, Junior. You’re done now.

(She continues down the aisle towards Mycroft. Sherlock turns and watches her go as she activates her phone and holds it up to show his brother.)

IRENE: There’s more ... loads more. On this phone I’ve got secrets, pictures and scandals that could topple your whole world. You have no idea how much havoc I can cause and exactly one way to stop me – unless you want to tell your masters that your biggest security leak is your own little brother.

(Mycroft can no longer hold her gaze and turns his head away, lowering his eyes.)

Some time later Mycroft has brought Irene and Sherlock to his residence/office. The older brother sits at the dining table with Irene seated opposite him. Sherlock is in the armchair near the fireplace a few yards away, half turned away from the pair of them. The fingers on his right hand are repeatedly clenching as he listens to the other two speak. Mycroft points down at the camera phone which is lying on the table in front of him. There is no aggression or threat in his voice as he speaks.

MYCROFT: We have people who can get into this.

IRENE: I tested that theory for you. I let Sherlock Holmes try it for six months.

(Sherlock closes his eyes briefly in pain.)

IRENE: Sherlock, dear, tell him what you found when you X-rayed my camera phone.

SHERLOCK (flatly): There are four additional units wired inside the casing, I suspect containing acid or a small amount of explosive.

(Mycroft lowers his head into his hand in despair.)

SHERLOCK: Any attempt to open the casing will burn the hard drive.

IRENE: Explosive. (She looks at Mycroft.) It’s more me.

MYCROFT (lifting his head and looking at her again): Some data is always recoverable.

IRENE: Take that risk?

MYCROFT: You have a passcode to open this. I deeply regret to say we have people who can extract it from you.

IRENE (calmly): Sherlock?

SHERLOCK: There will be two passcodes: one to open the phone, one to burn the drive. Even under duress you can’t know which one she’s given you and there will be no point in a second attempt.

IRENE: He’s good, isn’t he? I should have him on a leash – in fact, I might.

(She gazes at Sherlock intensely but he remains turned away from her and can’t see her expression.)

MYCROFT: We destroy this, then. No-one has the information.

IRENE: Fine. Good idea ... unless there are lives of British citizens depending on the information you’re about to burn.

MYCROFT: Are there?

IRENE: Telling you would be playing fair. I’m not playing any more.

(She reaches into her handbag on the table in front of her and takes out an envelope which she pushes across the table to him.)

IRENE: A list of my requests; and some ideas about my protection once they’re granted.

(Mycroft takes the sheet of paper from the envelope and starts to unfold it.)

IRENE: I’d say it wouldn’t blow much of a hole in the wealth of the nation – but then I’d be lying.

(He raises his eyebrows in amazement as he reads through the demands she has listed.)

IRENE: I imagine you’d like to sleep on it.

MYCROFT (still reading): Thank you, yes.

IRENE: Too bad.

(He looks up at her. In the armchair, Sherlock snorts in almost silent amusement.)

IRENE (to Mycroft): Off you pop and talk to people.

(Sighing, Mycroft sinks back in his chair.)

MYCROFT: You’ve been very ... thorough. I wish our lot were half as good as you.

IRENE: I can’t take all the credit. Had a bit of help.

(She looks across to Sherlock.)

IRENE: Oh, Jim Moriarty sends his love.

(Sherlock raises his head.)

MYCROFT: Yes, he’s been in touch. Seems desperate for my attention ... (his voice becomes more ominous) ... which I’m sure can be arranged.

(Unseen by the others, Sherlock’s gaze begins to sharpen as Irene stands up and walks round the table to sit on its edge nearer Mycroft.)

IRENE: I had all this stuff, never knew what to do with it. Thank God for the consultant criminal. Gave me a lot of advice about how to play the Holmes boys. D’you know what he calls you? (Softly) The Ice Man ... (she looks across to Sherlock) ... and the Virgin.

(Sherlock’s eyes are on the move, though it’s not yet clear whether in reaction to what Irene is saying or whether he’s working something out.)

IRENE: Didn’t even ask for anything. I think he just likes to cause trouble. Now that’s my kind of man.

(Sherlock closes his eyes, sighing softly.)

MYCROFT: And here you are, the dominatrix who brought a nation to its knees.

(Sherlock’s eyes snap open again. He’s definitely working something out. Mycroft stands and appears to bow slightly to Irene.)

MYCROFT: Nicely played.

(He turns away, about to go and begin meeting her demands. Smiling in satisfaction, she stands up, confident that she has won.)

SHERLOCK: No.

(They both turn to him.)

IRENE: Sorry?

(Sherlock turns his head towards them.)

SHERLOCK: I said no. Very very close, but no.

(He stands and starts to walk towards her.)

SHERLOCK: You got carried away. The game was too elaborate. You were enjoying yourself too much.

IRENE: No such thing as too much.

SHERLOCK (walking closer and looking down at her): Oh, enjoying the thrill of the chase is fine, craving the distraction of the game – I sympathise entirely – but sentiment? Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side.

(He bares his teeth slightly as he finishes the sentence.)

IRENE: Sentiment? What are you talking about?

SHERLOCK: You.

IRENE (smiling calmly): Oh dear God. Look at the poor man. You don’t actually think I was interested in you? Why? Because you’re the great Sherlock Holmes, the clever detective in the funny hat?

(He steps even closer to her, their bodies almost touching.)

SHERLOCK (softly): No.

(He reaches out and slowly wraps the fingers of his right hand around her left wrist, then leans forward and brings his mouth close to her right ear.)

SHERLOCK (in a whisper): Because I took your pulse.

(Flashback to Irene kneeling in front of him at the flat and putting her hand on top of his, then him turning his hand over and resting his fingertips on the underside of her wrist. In the present, Irene frowns in confusion as Sherlock tightens his grip a little around her wrist.)

SHERLOCK (softly into her ear): Elevated; your pupils dilated.

(Flashback to her gazing into his eyes as she knelt in front of him. In the present, he releases her hand and leans past her to pick up the camera phone from the table.)

SHERLOCK (in a more normal voice): I imagine John Watson thinks love’s a mystery to me but the chemistry is incredibly simple, and very destructive.

(He turns and walks a few paces away from her. She follows behind him until he turns and faces her again.)

SHERLOCK: When we first met, you told me that disguise is always a self-portrait. How true of you: the combination to your safe – your measurements; but this ... (he tosses the phone into the air and catches it again) ... this is far more intimate.

(He pulls up the security lock with its “I AM ---- LOCKED” screen.)

SHERLOCK: This is your heart ...

(Without breaking his gaze into her eyes, he punches in the first of the four characters with his thumb.)

SHERLOCK: ... and you should never let it rule your head.

(She stares at him, trying to stay calm but the panic is beginning to show behind her eyes.)

SHERLOCK: You could have chosen any random number and walked out of here today with everything you’ve worked for ...

(He punches in the second character, his eyes still locked on hers.)

SHERLOCK: ... but you just couldn’t resist it, could you?

(Her breathing becomes heavier. Sherlock smiles briefly and triumphantly.)

SHERLOCK: I’ve always assumed that love is a dangerous disadvantage ...

(He hits the third character, still gazing at her.)

SHERLOCK: Thank you for the final proof.

(Before he can type in the fourth character, she seizes his hand and gazes up at him intensely.)

IRENE (softly): Everything I said: it’s not real. (In a whisper) I was just playing the game.

SHERLOCK (in a whisper): I know.

(Gently pulling his hand free, he types in the final character.)

SHERLOCK: And this is just losing.

(Slowly he turns the phone towards her and shows her the screen. She looks down at it, tears spilling from her eyes as she reads the sequence which says:

I AM

SHER

LOCKED

She gazes down at the screen in despair for a few seconds, then Sherlock lifts the phone away and holds it out towards Mycroft even as the phone unlocks and presents its menu.)

SHERLOCK (his eyes still fixed on Irene’s): There you are, brother. I hope the contents make up for any inconvenience I may have caused you tonight.

MYCROFT: I’m certain they will.

(Sherlock turns and begins to walk towards the door.)

SHERLOCK: If you’re feeling kind, lock her up; otherwise let her go. I doubt she’ll survive long without her protection.

(Irene stares after him, her eyes wide with dread.)

IRENE: Are you expecting me to beg?

SHERLOCK (flatly, calmly): Yes.

(He stops near the door, his face in profile to her. She stares at him in anguish for several seconds, then realises that she has no choice.)

IRENE: Please.

(He doesn’t move.)

IRENE: You’re right.

(Now he turns to look at her.)

IRENE (staring at him pleadingly): I won’t even last six months.

SHERLOCK: Sorry about dinner.

(He turns and walks to the door, opening it and walking through. She watches him go, her eyes full of horror as the door closes behind him.)

BAKER STREET. It is pouring with rain. Outside Speedy’s café, Mycroft is standing under the protection of his umbrella, smoking a cigarette. He has a clear plastic wallet tucked under one arm and his briefcase is at his feet. John hurries towards home, hunched over and soaking wet because macho BAMFs like John Watson don’t take umbrellas with them. He sees Mycroft standing there and stops in surprise, then walks over to him.

JOHN: You don’t smoke.

MYCROFT: I also don’t frequent cafés.

(Dropping the cigarette on the ground and treading it out, he closes his umbrella, picks up his briefcase and turns and walks into Speedy’s. John follows him. Not long afterwards they are sitting opposite each other at one of the tables. John picks up his mug and looks at the plastic wallet which Mycroft has put on the table in front of himself. There is a sticker on the wallet saying “RESTRICTED ACCESS – CONFIDENTIAL”. The camera phone is inside the wallet on top of various documents.)

JOHN: This the file on Irene Adler?

MYCROFT: Closed forever. I am about to go and inform my brother – or, if you prefer, you are – that she somehow got herself into a witness protection scheme in America. New name, new identity. She will survive – and thrive – but he will never see her again.

JOHN: Why would he care? He despised her at the end. Won’t even mention her by name – just “The Woman”.

MYCROFT: Is that loathing, or a salute? One of a kind; the one woman who matters.

JOHN: He’s not like that. He doesn’t feel things that way ... I don’t think.

MYCROFT: My brother has the brain of a scientist or a philosopher, yet he elects to be a detective. What might we deduce about his heart?

JOHN: I don’t know.

MYCROFT: Neither do I ... but initially he wanted to be a pirate.

(He smiles briefly at John, then his gaze becomes distant and reflective.)

JOHN: He’ll be okay with this witness protection, never seeing her again. He’ll be fine.

MYCROFT: I agree. (He breathes in sharply.) That’s why I decided to tell him that.

JOHN: Instead of what?

MYCROFT: She’s dead. She was captured by a terrorist cell in Karachi two months ago and beheaded.

(John looks at him silently for several seconds, then quietly clears his throat.)

JOHN: It’s definitely her? She’s done this before.

MYCROFT: I was thorough – this time. It would take Sherlock Holmes to fool me, and I don’t think he was on hand, do you?

(They look at each other for a moment.)

MYCROFT: So ... (he pushes the wallet across the table towards John, then puts his elbows on the table, clasps his hands in front of him and rests his chin on them) ...what should we tell Sherlock?

221B. Sherlock is sitting at the kitchen table looking into his microscope. As footsteps can be heard coming up the stairs, he speaks before John even comes into view.

SHERLOCK: Clearly you’ve got news.

(John stops in the doorway with the wallet in his hand. Sherlock doesn’t lift his head.)

SHERLOCK: If it’s about the Leeds triple murder, it was the gardener. Nobody noticed the earring.

JOHN: Hi. Er, no, it’s, um ... (he takes a couple of steps into the kitchen) ... it’s about Irene Adler.

(Sherlock looks up, his face unreadable.)

SHERLOCK: Oh? Something happened? Has she come back?

JOHN: No, she’s, er ... I just bumped into Mycroft downstairs. He had to take a call.

SHERLOCK (standing up and walking around the table towards John): Is she back in London?

JOHN: No. She’s, er ...

(He gazes at the table for a long moment, then drags in a sharp breath and raises his eyes to Sherlock’s as his flatmate steps closer, frowning.)

JOHN: She’s in America.

SHERLOCK: America?

JOHN: Mmm-hmm. Got herself on a witness protection scheme, apparently. Dunno how she swung it, but, er, well, you know.

SHERLOCK: I know what?

JOHN: Well, you won’t be able to see her again.

SHERLOCK: Why would I want to see her again?

JOHN (smiling ruefully as Sherlock turns away and walks back around the table): Didn’t say you did.

SHERLOCK: Is that her file?

JOHN: Yes. I was just gonna take it back to Mycroft.

(He offers the wallet to Sherlock.)

JOHN: Do you want to ...?

SHERLOCK (sitting down): No.

(He looks into his microscope again.)

JOHN: Hmm.

(He looks at his friend for a long while, considering his options. Eventually he steps forward again.)

JOHN: Listen, actually ...

SHERLOCK: Oh, but I will have the camera phone, though.

(He holds out his hand towards John, not lifting his gaze from his work.)

JOHN: There’s nothing on it any more. It’s been stripped.

SHERLOCK: I know, but I ...

(He pauses for a long moment before continuing.)

SHERLOCK: ... I’ll still have it.

JOHN: I’ve gotta give this back to Mycroft. You can’t keep it.

(Sherlock keeps his hand extended and his eyes fixed on the microscope.)

JOHN: Sherlock, I have to give this to Mycroft. It’s the government’s now. I couldn’t even give ...

SHERLOCK: Please.

(He extends his hand a little further. John looks at him, wondering what to do, then finally reaches into the wallet, takes out the phone and lays it gently into Sherlock’s hand. Sherlock closes his fingers around it, draws his hand back and puts the phone into his trouser pocket before returning his hand to the microscope.)

SHERLOCK: Thank you.

JOHN (raising the wallet): Well, I’d better take this back.

SHERLOCK: Yes.

(John turns and walks out onto the landing, then pauses, wondering whether to ask the question that has now come into his mind. After several seconds he turns round and comes back into the kitchen. Sherlock still doesn’t lift his eyes from his microscope.)

JOHN: Did she ever text you again, after ... all that?

SHERLOCK: Once, a few months ago.

JOHN: What did she say?

SHERLOCK: “Goodbye, Mr. Holmes.”

(John looks at him thoughtfully.)

JOHN (softly): Huh.

(He paces around in front of the kitchen door for a few seconds, wondering if there’s anything more he can say, then eventually turns and heads off down the stairs. As soon as he’s out of sight Sherlock raises his head and gazes across the room for a moment, then he reaches down to his own phone which is on the table and picks it up, calling up his saved messages. Walking into the living room, he scrolls through the messages sent by “The Woman”, all of which he has kept. They go on for a long time:

I’m not hungry, let’s have dinner.

Bored in a hotel. Join me. Let’s have dinner.

John’s blog is HILARIOUS. I think he likes you more than I do. Let’s have dinner.

I can see tower bridge and the moon from my room. Work out where I am and join me.

I saw you in the street today. You didn’t see me.

You do know that hat actually suits you, don’t you?

Oh for God’s sake. Let’s have dinner.

I like your funny hat.

I’m in Egypt talking to an idiot. Get on a plane, let’s have dinner.

You looked sexy on Crimewatch.

Even you have got to eat. Let’s have dinner.

BBC1 right now. You’ll laugh.

I’m thinking of sending you a Christmas present.

Mantelpiece.

I’m not dead. Let’s have dinner.

Then comes the one reply he sent to her:

Happy New Year

And at the bottom of the list is her last message to him:

Goodbye Mr Holmes

Reaching the living room window, he looks down at the final message for a long time before lifting his eyes and gazing out at the pouring rain.)

Flashback to (presumably) two months earlier in Karachi. It is night time and there is background noise of male voices shouting in a foreign language. Shaky camera footage eventually resolves into clearer resolution, revealing Irene kneeling on the ground in front of a military vehicle. She is dressed in black robes, her hair covered by a black headscarf, and is typing one-handed onto her phone. Standing to her right is a man holding a rifle with one hand while he repeatedly gestures for her phone with the other. She ignores him, refusing to hand it over until she has finished her message, which reads:

Goodbye Mr Holmes

(She presses Send and then gives the phone to the man. To her left, a second man walks over and raises a machete above her head, bringing it slowly down towards the back of her neck as he checks that his aim will be correct. Irene stares ahead of herself, fighting her tears, then the screen fades to black as she slowly closes her eyes.)

A couple of seconds later, an orgasmic female sigh fills the air. Irene’s eyes snap open and fill with hope as she turns her head to look at her executioner. His face is completely shrouded apart from his eyes, but a very recognisable blue-grey gaze meets her own.

SHERLOCK (quietly): When I say run, run!

(She turns her head to the front again as Sherlock pulls the machete back as if he’s about to strike the death blow, then he spins and begins to strike out at the nearby militia. Irene stares ahead of herself, her eyes wide with disbelief that she is going to live. Slowly she begins to smile.)

In London in the present, Sherlock smiles at the memory, then chuckles to himself as he takes Irene’s camera phone from his pocket. Tossing it into the air and catching it again, he looks at it for a couple of seconds.

SHERLOCK: The Woman.

(Opening the top drawer of a nearby cabinet, he puts the phone into it and is about to withdraw his hand when he pauses, then puts his fingers onto the phone again and looks at it thoughtfully.)

SHERLOCK: The Woman.

(He lifts his head and gazes out at the rainy city for a while, then turns and walks away.)

************************

************************

Credit: http://arianedevere.livejournal.com


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