Sherlock

In this contemporary version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories, Dr. John Watson is a war vet just home from Afghanistan. He meets the brilliant but eccentric Holmes when the latter, who serves as a consultant to Scotland Yard, advertises for a flatmate. Almost as soon as Watson moves into the Baker Street flat, they are embroiled in mysteries, and Sherlock's nemesis, Moriarty, appears to have a hand in the crimes.

Genre: Crime
Year:
2010
2,269 Views

Sherlock Holmes:
I see you've got a new boyfriend, Molly, and you're serious about him.

Molly Hooper:
What? Sorry, what?

Sherlock Holmes:
In fact, you're seeing him this very night and giving him a gift.

Dr. John Watson:
Take a day off...

Lestrade:
Shut up and have a drink.

Sherlock Holmes:
Oh, come on. Surely you've all seen the present at top of the bag, perfectly wrapped with a bow. All the others are slap-dash at best. It's for someone special, then. Shade of red echoes her lipstick - either an unconscious association or one that she's deliberately trying to encourage. Either way, Miss Hooper has LUV on her mind. In fact, that she's serious about him is clear from the fact that she's giving him a gift at all - that would suggest long-term hopes, however forlorn - and that she's seeing him tonight is evident from her makeup and what she's wearing - obviously trying to compensate for the size of her mouth and breasts...

[voice trails off as he opens the tag:
"Dearest Sherlock Love Molly xxx"]

Molly Hooper:
[brutally embarrassed] You always say such horrible things. Every time. Always. Always...

Sherlock Holmes:
[turns to leave but turns back] I am sorry. Forgive me.

[John looks up, completely surprised at hearing an apology from Sherlock]

Sherlock Holmes:
Merry Christmas, Molly Hooper.

[Sherlock kisses her cheek. Suddenly, Sherlock's text message tone goes off, which Irene Adler earlier changed to the sound of a woman gasping in ecstasy]

Molly Hooper:
Oh! No, that wasn't...! I didn't...!

Sherlock Holmes:
No, it was me.

Lestrade:
What, really?

Molly Hooper:
What?

Sherlock Holmes:
My *phone*!

[Holmes is conferring with Watson from Baker Street, via webcam]

Sherlock Holmes:
Now, show me the car that backfired.

Dr. John Watson:
It's there.

Sherlock Holmes:
That's the one that made the noise, yes?

Dr. John Watson:
Yep. 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. It's got to be an eight, at least.

DI Carter:
[interjecting] You got two more minutes, then I want to know more about the driver.

Sherlock Holmes:
Oh, forget him, he's an idiot. Why else would he think himself a suspect?

DI Carter:
*I* think he's a suspect.

Sherlock Holmes:
Pass me over.

Dr. John Watson:
All right, but there's a mute button and I *will* use it.

Sherlock Holmes:
Okay, up a bit! I'm not talking from down here!

Dr. John Watson:
[to DI Carter] Okay, just take it, take it.

[Carter takes the laptop]

Sherlock Holmes:
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?

DI Carter:
He's trying to be clever. It's overconfidence.

Sherlock Holmes:
[sighs] 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?

Sherlock Holmes:
[looking over his shoulder at the driver, sitting behind him] Don't worry, this is just stupid.

Phil:
What did you say? Heart what?

Sherlock Holmes:
Okay, you've got questions.

Dr John Watson:
Yeah. Where are we going?

Sherlock Holmes:
Crime scene. Next?

Dr John Watson:
Who are you? What do you do?

Sherlock Holmes:
What do you think?

Dr John Watson:
I'd say private detective...

Sherlock Holmes:
But...

Dr John Watson:
But the police don't go to private detectives.

Sherlock Holmes:
I'm a consulting detective. The only one in the world. I invented the job.

Dr John Watson:
What does that mean?

Sherlock Holmes:
It means whenever the police are out of their depth - which is always - they consult me.

Dr John Watson:
[scoffs] The police don't consult amateurs. [Sherlock looks at him askance, then gives a sly smile]

Sherlock Holmes:
When I met you for the first time yesterday, I said "Afghanistan or Iraq?" You looked surprised.

Dr John Watson:
Yes. How did you know?

Sherlock Holmes:
I didn't know, I saw. Your haircut, the way you hold yourself, says military. The conversation as you entered the room - said trained at Bart's, so army doctor. Obvious. Your face is tanned, but no tan above the wrists - you've been abroad but not sunbathing. The limp's really bad when you walk, but you don't ask for a chair when you stand, like you've forgotten about it, so it's at least partly psychosomatic. That suggests the original circumstances of the injury were probably traumatic - wounded in action, then. Wounded in action, suntan - Afghanistan or Iraq.

Dr John Watson:
You said I had a therapist.

Sherlock Holmes:
You've got a psychosomatic limp. Of course you've got a therapist. Then there's your brother. Your phone - it's expensive, email enabled, MP3 player. But you're looking for a flat-share, you wouldn't waste money on this. It's a gift, then. Scratches - not one, many over time. It's been in the same pocket as keys and coins. The man sitting next to me wouldn't treat his one luxury item like this, so it's had a previous owner. The next bit's easy, you know it already. [indicates back of the phone, which has been engraved with the inscription "Harry Watson - from Clara XXX"]

Dr John Watson:
The engraving?

Sherlock Holmes:
Harry Watson - clearly a family member who's given you his old phone. Not your father - this is a young man's gadget. Could be a cousin, but you're a war hero who can't find a place to live. Unlikely you've got an extended family, certainly not one you're close to, so brother it is. Now, Clara - who's Clara? Three kisses says romantic attachment. Expensive phone says wife, not girlfriend. Must've given it to him recently - this model's only six months old. Marriage in trouble, then - six months on, and already he's giving it away? If she'd left him, he would've kept it. People do, sentiment. But no, he wanted rid of it - he left her. He gave the phone to you, that says he wants you to stay in touch. [beat] You're looking for cheap accommodation and you're not going to your brother for help? That says you've got problems with him. Maybe you liked his wife, maybe you don't like his drinking.

Dr John Watson:
How can you possibly know about the drinking? [cuts to a close-up of the phone's charger port, showing obvious scratches around it]

Sherlock Holmes:
Shot in the dark. Good one, though. Power connection - tiny little scuff marks around the edge. Every night he goes to plug it in and charge but his hands are shaky. You never see those marks on a sober man's phone, never see a drunk's without them. There you go, you see? You were right.

Dr John Watson:
I was right? Right about what?

Sherlock Holmes:
The police don't consult amateurs. [long pause]

Dr John Watson:
[slowly, grudgingly] That was amazing.

Sherlock Holmes:
You think so?

Sherlock Holmes:
We're looking for a dog, yes? A great big dog, that's your brilliant theory. Cherchez le chien. Good, excellent, yes. Where shall we start? How about them - the sentimental widow and her son, the unemployed fisherman? The answer's yes.

Dr. John Watson:
Yes?

Sherlock Holmes:
She's got a West Highland terrier called Whisky. Not exactly what we're looking for.

Dr. John Watson:
Sherlock, for God's sake...

Sherlock Holmes:
Look at the jumper he's wearing. Hardly worn. Clearly he's uncomfortable in it. Maybe it's because of the material; more likely the hideous pattern, suggesting it's a present, probably Christmas. So he wants into his mother's good books. Why? Almost certainly money. He's treating her to a meal but his own portion is small. That means he wants to impress her, but he's trying to economise on his own food.

Dr. John Watson:
Well, maybe he's just not hungry.

Sherlock Holmes:
No, small plate. Starter. He's practically licked it clean. She's nearly finished her pavlova. If she'd treated him, he'd have as much as he wanted. He's hungry all right, and not well off - you can tell that by the state of his cuffs and shoes.

[Imitating John:
]

Sherlock Holmes:
"How d'you know she's his mother?" Who else would give him a Christmas present like that? Well, it could be an aunt or an older sister, but mother's more likely. Now, he was a fisherman. Scarring pattern on his hands, very distinctive - fish hooks. They're all quite old now, which suggests he's been unemployed for some time. Not much industry in this part of the world, so he's turned to his widowed mother for help.

[Again, imitating John:
]

Sherlock Holmes:
"Widowed?" Yes, obviously. She's got a man's wedding ring on a chain round her neck - clearly her late husband's and too big for her finger. She's well-dressed but her jewellery's cheap. She could afford better, but she's kept it - sentimental. Now, the dog: tiny little hairs all over the leg from where it gets a little bit too friendly, but no hairs above the knees, suggesting it's a small dog, probably a terrier. In fact, it is a West Highland terrier called Whisky.

[Once again, imitating John:
]

Sherlock Holmes:
"How the hell do you know that, Sherlock?" 'Cause she was on the same train as us and I heard her calling its name and that's not cheating, that's listening, I use my senses, John, unlike some people, so you see, I am fine, in fact I've never been better, so just LEAVE ME ALONE!

Henry Knight:
[bitterly] I'm not sure you can help me, Mr. Holmes, since you find it all so FUNNY.

Sherlock Holmes:
Because of what happened last night.

Dr. John Watson:
Why, what happened last night?

Henry Knight:
How... how do you know?

Sherlock Holmes:
I didn't know. I noticed. Came up from Devon on the first available train this morning. You had a disappointing breakfast and a cup of black coffee. The girl in the seat across the aisle fancied you. Although you were initially keen, you've now changed your mind. You are, however, extremely anxious to have your first cigarette of the day. Sit down Mr. Knight and do please smoke. I'd be delighted.

Henry Knight:
How on earth did you notice all that?

Dr. John Watson:
It's not important.

Sherlock Holmes:
Punched out holes where your ticket's been checked.

Dr. John Watson:
Not now, Sherlock.

Sherlock Holmes:
Oh, please, I've been cooped up in here for ages.

Dr. John Watson:
You're just showing off.

Sherlock Holmes:
Of course. I AM a show-off. That's what we do. Train napkin used to mop up the spilled coffee - strength of the stain shows that you didn't take milk - but traces of ketchup on it and around your lips and on your sleeve - cooked breakfast, or the nearest thing those trains can manage. Probably a sandwich.

Henry Knight:
[chuckles nervously] How did you know it was disappointing?

Sherlock Holmes:
Is there any other type of breakfast on a train? The girl - female handwriting's quite distinctive - wrote her phone number down on the napkin. I can tell from the angle she wrote at that she was sat across from you on the other side of the aisle. Later - after she got off, I imagine - you used the napkin to mop up your spilled coffee, accidentally smudging the numbers. You've been over the last four digits yourself in another pen - so you wanted to keep the number. Just now though, you used the napkin to blow your nose - maybe you're not that into her after all. Then there's the nicotine stains on your fingers, your shaking fingers. I know the signs. No chance to smoke one on the train nor time to roll one before you got a cab here. It's just after 9:15; you're desperate. The first train from Exeter to London leaves at 5:46 AM. You got the first one possible - so something important must have happened last night. Am I wrong?

Henry Knight:
No. You're right. You're completely, exactly right. Bloody hell, I heard you were quick.

Sherlock Holmes:
It's my job. Now shut up and smoke.

Sherlock Holmes:
[continuing with his best man's speech] If I burden myself with a little helpmate during my adventures, this is not out of sentiment or caprice. It is that he has many fine qualities of his own he has overlooked in his obsession with me. Indeed, any reputation I have for mental acuity and sharpness comes, in truth, from the extraordinary contrast John so selflessly provides. It is a fact, I believe, that brides tend to favor exceptionally plain bridesmaids for their big day...

[Janine and the other bridesmaids look offended]

Sherlock Holmes:
there is a certain analogy there, I feel - and contrast is, after all, God's own plan to enhance the beauty of his creation. Or it would be if God were not a ludicrous fantasy, designed to provide a career opportunity for the family idiot.

[the minister looks offended. A mutter runs through the room]

Sherlock Holmes:
Point I'm trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all-round obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous,

[Looks at the Minister]

Sherlock Holmes:
unaware of the beautiful,

[Looks at Janine]

Sherlock Holmes:
and uncomprehending in the face of the happy,

[Looks towards John and Mary]

Sherlock Holmes:
so if I didn't understand I was being asked to be best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody's best friend, and certainly not the best friend of the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing.

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