Everybody has their little secrets, their little... weaknesses. A skeleton in the closet or a personality flaw. A foible to exploit or a bit of muck swept under the carpet where they think nobody's gonna look. Everybody's got something.
And for most people, it's a simple matter to find it out. Just watch and wait and listen and the dirty laundry just falls out into your lap.
Extra-marital affairs. Petty crimes. Dodgy dealings. Things they don't want anybody to know about. The cabbie knows it all. And then all he has to do is apply a little pressure, just on the right spot, and they crack like eggs.
They willingly swallow that pill to escape the pain. The humiliation. The disgrace. They can't stand the thought of the world seeing what's underneath, of being unmasked, of being show for who and what they really are.
So they take the pill. Because the cabbie listened. Because the cabbie talked. And he walks away alive.
That's the beauty of most people. They're simple, filthy, feral little animals. They don't think. They just don't think.
Not like us, Mr Holmes.
Do you really think I needed a complicated ruse for the likes of them? No. Oh no. A fake gun and the threat of revelation, that I'll spill their guts for them, let every cat out of the bag, and they fold like decks of cards. They don't need a good bottle and a bad bottle. They just need to get out before they're thrown out.
But you, Mr Holmes. You needed something more. A mystery, a puzzle, something for your brilliant mind to digest. I gave you that.
So I pretended that there was some great mystery, a wonderful trick. I did just talk to them, Mr Holmes, but not like I spoke to you. I gave you a choice. Good bottle, bad bottle. Fifty-fifty.
They never had that.
Then again, neither did you. Not really.
You were my last one, Mr Holmes. There weren't gonna be no more after you. And I wanted it all to end here too because even when he's done with you, you're never safe. I wanted to die on my terms, here with you, both of us with poison flowing through our veins.
You may think you won, but I had the last laugh, Mr Holmes. Even while you were treading on my shoulder, I was having that last laugh. You never worked it out. You were wrong. You never figured out the game.
You didn't see how I played you.
And although I bled to death on this floor, I beat you, Mr Holmes. A humble cabbie defeated you, the Great Consulting Detective, the magnificent Sherlock Holmes.
I played you like a fiddle, Mr Holmes.