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Empty House – page 2

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TITLES

7. INT – MEDICAL OFFICE – DAY

John Watson comes out of an office wearing his doctor’s uniform.

JOHN

Got any more for me today?

ALICE

No. that was the last one.

JOHN

Good. Then I guess I’ll be off. I’m hoping to catch a friend of mine while he’s still at work.

(taking off white coat?)

ALICE

Will you be in tomorrow?

JOHN

No, not till next week.

ALICE

Well. Have a good weekend. (She winks)

John nods.

8. EXT – SCOTLAND YARD – DAY

Establishing shot of sign.

9. INT – SCOTLAND YARD – FRONT DESK – DAY

CLERK

May I help you?

JOHN

I’m here to see Detective Inspector Lestrad. Can you tell me how to find his office?

10. INT – SCOTLAND YARD – LOWER LEVELS – LESTRAD’S OFFICE

Down an empty hallway in a basement room sits a grey metal desk covered with files. The room next door is an archive. The adjoining door says cold file storage. Detective Lestrad sits at the desk alone in only his shirt and tie. A half-full tea cup has made a stain on the file next to him. He groans and tries to wipe it up.

John knocks on the open door

Lestrad gets up. He holds out his hand after wiping it on his pants leg.

LESTRADE

Well if it isn’t John Watson. How are you?

JOHN

Fine, fine, and you Greg?

LESTRADE

I’m well, as well as can be expected. Come in, please. Have a seat.

(Lestrade picks files off of a grey metal chair so that John can sit. Then he sits behind the file covered desk turning toward John)

LESTRADE

So John, what brings you down into the bowels of Scotland Yard?

JOHN

I came to see you.

I wanted to invite you out to drinks tomorrow. If you’re not too busy.

LESTRADE

(JOKING)Busy? Well… I’ll have to check my calender, but I think that I should be able to squeeze you in. What’s the occasion?

JOHN

It’s been a year now since… and I wanted to get a few people together. Have a sort of toast, a memorial for Sherlock. Just a few… you know…friends.

LESTRADE

I understand.

JOHN

It’s not a service or anything. Just drinks at a pub.

LESTRADE

Of course I’ll come. I’m not exactly a social butterfly these days. My longest conversation today was with a drinks machine.

JOHN (smiles)

I heard a little about what happened here … how are you getting on? I suppose it was pretty bad for a while.

LESTRADE

Yeah, we had quite a media blow up with all the news about faked cases and Scotland Yard being fooled. That’s why I’m down here. I’ve been assigned to stay here until I find out exactly how Sherlock Holmes faked all of his cases.

JOHN

So …how is that going?

LESTRADE

It’s coming along.

JOHN

(Getting a bit angry)

Really? How do you do that, exactly? How do you “prove” that someone did a crime that they didn’t do?

LESTRADE

It’s not like that.

JOHN

Well what is it like then?

LESTRADE

Well, Let’s take a case you are familiar with, like… A study in pink.

Here’s the case file.

Lestrade pulls out a large folder over-stuffed with papers. He opens the file to reveal a photograph of the woman in pink lying on the floor.

LESTRADE

Serial suicides. Something that should be impossible, and the person who solves the case is Sherlock Holmes. The only other witness, a dead cabbie.

LESTRADE

There is evidence to suggest that Sherlock Holmes could have been the killer. He appeared to know all about the victim. Where she was from. What she was like. The most damning evidence, of course, is the victims’ case which was found in his apartment.

JOHN

But he got that out of a bin after we examined the victim. You said at the time that you knew that he would find it.

LESTRADE

Did you see him do it? Were you with him?

JOHN

No, but…

LESTRADE

Sherlock knew of the existence of the case before anyone else saw it.

JOHN

But the splash marks on her leg.

LESTRADE

Could have been a clever lie to fool us. He could have meant to leave the case behind, but forgot.

JOHN

That’s ridiculous.

LESTRADE

Another thing, when we used the GPS to find the phone it said that the phone was in Sherlock’s apartment.

JOHN

But it was. The cab driver was carrying it, and he was at the door.

LESTRADE

Perhaps, or perhaps Sherlock had the phone all along. There is certainly enough evidence to hold him under suspicion of the murder.

JOHN (getting angry)

But it was Sherlock who suggested we use the GPS in the first place. If he knew the phone was in the apartment, why would he use a method that would identify himself as the killer? It doesn’t make sense.

LESTRADE

Maybe, he wanted to get caught.

JOHN

No, No. If he had gone to the trouble to set up this elaborate crime, he wouldn’t just give himself up. At least not before he had solved the case. He’s too much of an egomaniac for that.

LESTRADE

My point exactly. If he knew that the phone would identify him as the killer, why would he search for it in front of so many witnesses? Besides, how would he have done the murder in the first place? The victim was driven in a car, but Sherlock doesn’t even own a car. Did he borrow a cab? The dispatcher at the cab company says that he never saw anyone that met the description of Sherlock Holmes. He did, however, identify our original suspect as a long-time driver for the company.

Materials for making pills were found in the cab driver’s apartment as well as receipts for the drugs that he used to make the poison.

Also, Sherlock’s location was known at the time of each of the murders. One of the times, he was with me reviewing a case. It could be that the driver was his accomplice. But then that would mean that the driver ‘did’ commit the murders. Just as Sherlock said.

JOHN

Sherlock told us that the cab driver was being paid by Moriarty to do the killings.

LESTRADE

Perhaps Sherlock was paying him.

JOHN

That can’t be. Sherlock was going to take that pill! He wouldn’t have done that if he had thought up the scheme.

LESTRADE

Was he going to take it? We weren’t there. The only other witness is dead. No one else saw what went on in that room.

JOHN (looking away and scratching his cheek)

…I guess so.

LESTRADE

So next I looked into Sherlock Holmes’ finances.

He has enough to live comfortably in a modest way, but not enough to be paying bounties to serial killers. And there were no large transfers that could be mistaken for bribes. Well, there were some small funds marked as bribes for Sherlock’s homeless network.

LESTRADE

Now it’s always possible that Sherlock had a secret Swiss bank account. But then you know what Sherlock was like. Modest to the point of austerity. He didn’t like fancy clothes or food. He didn’t own a car. He shared his rooms. This doesn’t sound like the kind of man with a secret bank account.

JOHN

If he did have any serious money, he never let on. He never got over that 50 quid I won.

LESTRADE

And that’s one of the strongest cases against Sherlock. Most of the cases don’t have …one tenth as much evidence against him.

So you can see how my work goes. I gather supporting evidence, but I don’t get far in trying to prove that Sherlock was the killer.

JOHN

That’s because this whole thing is just a base lie. Sherlock is not a fake and this witch hunt is just…

Lestrade looks toward the hall, then he gets up and closes the door.

LESTRADE

If you ask me in front of the others I may deny it, … but you and I both know that Sherlock Holmes didn’t fake those cases. Not one of them.

I’ve been going back to the original sources and getting supplemental evidence. For most of them there’s no way that Sherlock could have been involved. Not that I can find.

He’s never near the scene of the crime before the fact. And … you know what he’s like. He’s told me things about me and my wife that I didn’t even know.

For him to have caused all these crimes he would have had to be ten times the criminal we ever suspected Moriarty of being. Sherlock may have been arrogant, selfish, and annoying, but he was never a murderer. No one who really knew him could ever believe that he was.

JOHN

Unfortunately, only a handful of us ‘really knew him’.

So Greg, what does this mean for you?…I mean for your job?

LESTRADE

Well, I suppose I’ll be down here in the basement for a while longer.

JOHN

I’m sorry, Greg.

LESTRADE

Don’t be. It’s actually kind of restful. And it can be fun sometimes.

JOHN

Fun?

LESTRADE

I didn’t become an inspector to run a department or to tell people what to do. I just like to solve puzzles. I may not be Sherlock Holmes, but I do solve my share of cases … in my own way.

JOHN

Sherlock always said that you were the smartest detective at Scotland Yard.

LESTRADE

That’s because I always listened to him.

JOHN (Laughing)

True, true. Well, I better be getting on if I’m going to catch Mrs. Hudson before her bridge club starts.

LESTRADE (standing)

Feel free to come visit whenever you want. I’ll be here.

JOHN

See you tomorrow, at the pub Greg. Don’t forget.

LESTRADE

I won’t.

John walks off. Lestrade looks down at the stain and picks up a napkin to awkwardly clean it up.

11. EXT – LONDON TRAFFIC – NIGHT

Establishing shot.

12. INT – JOHN WATSON’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

JOHN WATSON sitting in front of television in the same chair. A container of take-out food sits on the table.

 ANNOUNCER

Still no leads on the mysterious death of Ronald Adair.

 But speaking of mysterious deaths now it’s time for our segment where we talk about news of the past. Catherine Ein joins us with a story about the suicide of the fake genius detective, Sherlock Holmes.

A woman with large blond hair stands outside of Barts hospital, The caption reads CATHERINE EIN.

CATHERINE EIN

It’s been one year since the fake genius Sherlock Holmes jumped to his death here at St. Bartholomew’s hospital. The suicide was thought to have been in response to findings that Holmes had fabricated evidence, and had in fact paid actor Richard Brook to assume the role of Jim Moriarty in the fabulously publicized court case of the theft of the crown jewels.

The death was made even more mysterious by the fact that Richard Brook was found dead on the roof of the hospital in what was also an apparent suicide. Although Mr. Holmes’ motive was clear, no one could understand why Brook would also take his life. But now a close friend of Richard Brook speaks out about Holmes and Brook’s assumed double suicide. And our source is none other than noted columnist Kitty Reilly.

(Kitty’s face appears on the screen. She is obviously much more well-to-do than she was before. )

KITTY

I knew Richard very well, and I know that he would never have taken his own life. The evidence may appear to show suicide, but I have no doubt that it was Sherlock Holmes who pulled the trigger. Rich was terrified of Holmes.

CATHERINE

Kitty, you met Sherlock Holmes. What was he like?

KITTY

He was a calculating, rude, evil man and I’m sure that he is guilty of every …

Watson turns off the television and throws the remote at it for good measure. Then he gets up, turns off the light, and goes to bed.

13. INT – JOHN WATSON’S APARTMENT – MORNING

Evidence of a bad night. Bags under John’s eyes. He puts on his clothes and goes out.

14. INT – COFFEE SHOP – MORNING

John sits at a table alone sipping coffee and looking out at the passing traffic. He rises and goes out into the street almost bumping into MOLLY HOOPER.

15. EXT – COFFEE SHOP – MORNING

JOHN

Molly? Molly Hooper…hello.

MOLLY

Oh … John …Hello.

John touches her shoulder.

JOHN

Molly, I had been hoping to find you. I went by your work, but you were gone.

MOLLY

I was away…visiting relatives, I just got back today.

JOHN

That’s great, great, because I was going to have some drinks tonight with some old friends of Sherlock, and would really like it if you could come.

MOLLY

Tonight? Oh I’m sorry. I can’t make it.

JOHN

Can’t you just stop in for a moment. Even if you couldn’t stay it would mean a lot to me.

MOLLY

I’m sorry. I can’t. I really can’t, not tonight. But see you some other time. I’ve got to go. Goodbye.

(Molly turns to leave)

JOHN (disappointed)

OK.

John looks at the news stand. He sees a newspaper with a headline about the Adair murder. He buys it and rushes off.

16. EXT – 427 PARK LANE – DAY

JOHN looks up at the window mentioned in the new report. It is cordoned off with police tape. He bends down and feels the ground. It is still soft from the rain, but there are no foot prints below the window where it has been roped off.

He looks up at the sheer height of the window, there are no ledges, and the window is small.

Then he looks across the street at the roof of another building. JOHN runs across the street toward the building and crashes into a MAN who drops some books.

JOHN

Oh excuse me, let me help you…

John reaches down and picks up a book labeled The origin of tree worship. The man grabs the book out of his hand, grunts, and rushes away pushing JOHN in his haste.

JOHN

Well!

17. INT – STAIRWELL ACROSS STREET FROM 427 PARK LANE – DAY

John then goes into the building and walks up the stairs to the roof. He finds the door to the roof locked. He sighs and turns around to see a window in the stairwell. He walks forward and looks down realizing that he can see into the window of the Adair home.

He pulls out his phone and takes a photo. Then he reaches out to the window which looks like it can open. He pulls back his hand and puts his glove on before tenderly opening the window. He looks on the window sill and on the floor.

We see WATSON VISION

a view like Sherlock vision but with much fewer words, and some words with question marks next to them. They include:

View of apartment
Window opens
Climber? (scratched out)
scratches
Floor not recently cleaned.
???

John gives up and goes down the stairs.

18. INT – PUB – NIGHT

JOHN sitting alone at a table with 4 or 5 chairs.

He stands as LESTRADE enters and grabs his hand.

JOHN

Greg! Glad you could make it.

LESTRADE

John, Good evening.

JOHN

Mrs Hudson couldn’t make it her hip was acting up again, and Molly couldn’t come either. I guess it’s just the two of us tonight.

LESTRADE

Sorry John, I can’t stay. My wife just got back into town. She’s talking about getting back together. I just wanted to stop by to pay my respects.

JOHN

Of course, consider them paid. Sure you can’t stay for just one drink?

LESTRADE

No. I can’t stay. I’m really sorry John.

JOHN

Okay.

LESTRADE

Next week…let’s get together then.

JOHN

Sure. That would be great. Thanks so much for coming.

John stands for a moment and then sits down dejectedly. The server comes by to take his order.

SERVER

Another beer?

JOHN

Scotch. Make it a double.

He returns and John downs it and orders another.

19. INT – JOHN WATSON’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

Door unlocks. JOHN walks in obviously a bit drunk.

He goes to the kitchen and pours himself a glass of water.

Knock on the door

MAN AT DOOR

Delivery!

JOHN

What? At this time of night?

Another knock more insistent.

MAN AT DOOR

Delivery for Dr. John Watson.

John opens the door.

JOHN

Do you know what time it is?

MAN AT DOOR

Package for Dr John Watson. Sign please?

JOHN

Do you have a pen?

The doorman shakes his head.

John turns and walks back inside to find a pen. The delivery man follows him in. He sees a pen on the table. He tries to pick it up, but knocks it off of the table. He bends over to pick it up. Crawls under the table and looks up to see…

SHERLOCK HOLMES standing there. Sherlock bends over and stares at John who is on all fours under the table.

SHERLOCK

Hello John.

JOHN

SHERLOCK!

John tries to stand. Hits his head on the table, and knocks himself out.

Fade to black.

To page 3

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