Interview: George’s rejection on Murdoch Mysteries

Poor George Crabtree. The guy is simply not lucky when it comes to love. That was driven home during Monday’s latest episode, “Election Day,” when Edna’s presumed-dead husband returned from overseas to crush Crabtree’s plans of marrying Edna and sharing a life with she and Simon.

George’s shattered love life was just one topic of our conversation with Michelle Ricci, who co-wrote “Election Day” with Mary Pedersen.

Damn you for making Crabtree cry!
Michelle Ricci: I know. Wasn’t that sad?

I kind of figured Edna’s husband would actually show up before the end of the season. Was that the intention all along or was there a chance George and Edna were going to make it as a couple?
We left it open. We weren’t quite sure in the early going. It had been eight years since Tamara Hope had been on the show and we wanted to see if she and Jonny still had that chemistry. They did and she did a great job of growing that character eight years on and having a life lived in between. It became a nice counterpoint to his previous relationships with Dr. Grace and his flirtation with Ruby. We felt it would be great to show Crabtree in a more dramatic environment, give him some curveballs and let him run with it. He did a great job. Wait until you see the finale. I was really impressed with how he took the dramatic scenes and made them very powerful.

Last night’s episode featured the return of the man some people love and others hate: Terrence Meyers.
He’s one of those polarizing characters. You either love to hate him or you love him. I always get a kick out of him because Peter Keleghan is so much fun to watch. He can really sell the ham. When you have a part like this, sometimes an actor will oversell it and not quite pull it off. But he’s one of those actors who can really pull it off and you don’t mind when he goes over the top. You relish it. Last year we had a dramatic turn for Meyers because he was implicated in a murder and things got a little tense for him. We really wanted to take it back to basics with the playful, ridiculous Meyers.

A lot of bodies. There’s a whole lot of bodies. Dead bodies. More than any other Murdoch episode ever.

It’s always fun to see Yannick play off of that. Yannick is the straight man on the show and over the last couple of seasons we’ve been trying to loosen him and he’ll sometimes ad lib some jokes. It’s always great when he goes up against Meyers because he can give it back to him. It was just the two of them going head-to-head without Clegg, the U.S. agent.

I spoke to Arwen Humphreys last week and noted the interesting remark Mrs. Brackenreid had to the Suffragette’s being a wasted vote.
A little bit of that scene might have gotten trimmed, but when we read it the first time, Arwen was wondering what Mrs. B was thinking. And then she realized that not only was Mrs. B representing women of the time but was being very true to her character in embodying that old adage that behind every strong man is a strong woman. A woman at the time would not have necessarily gone against the grain and put herself at risk the way that Ogden and Grace have. None of that would have occurred to her and by that same token she didn’t care about having to vote because her vote happened through Brackenreid. She’s telling him what to do. She’s telling him how to vote and he’s agreeing with her because that’s the way their marriage works and a successful marriage of the time works.

Will the Suffragette Movement angle continue next season?
We have some things happening next season that will change it up a bit.

Agnes Macphail was interesting to see added to the story. The first woman elected to the Canadian House of Commons.
We like to do that all the time and see where our Canadian celebrities are sitting in history. In this case it was with Women’s Suffrage and there were a ton of women we could have referenced but it’s just impossible to fit them in. We still haven’t been able to fit in Emily Stowe and have been trying forever. Mary Pedersen, who co-wrote the episode with me, suggested introducing Agnes as young girl. Technically, she wasn’t living in Toronto at the time but we had her visiting her grandfather who was going to vote that day. It was just a nice little nod to what these early Suffragette’s did to pave the way for the women who were actually able to make those gains later.

What can you tell me about next week’s season finale? What can fans expect?
A lot of bodies. There’s a whole lot of bodies. Dead bodies. More than any other Murdoch episode ever.

Is it a cliffhanger?
There is a cliffhanger, yes.

The season finale of Murdoch Mysteries airs next Monday at 8 p.m. on CBC.


2 thoughts on “Interview: George’s rejection on Murdoch Mysteries”

  1. Poor, George Crabtree! I was so sad for him. I just love the character & it looked like all was finally falling into place for him. But, alas, it was not to be. At the very end of the episode there appeared to be someone watching when George and Edna met up. Was it her husband? Will he turn up dead? Will George be blamed, will Edna? Have I been watching too many murder mystery shows? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out in Season 9.

    1. What I think will happen is that Edna’s husband will be the murderer himself next week, or (much more likely) one of the victims. George will be under suspicion for his death and the Detective’s position will go to someone else, and even after everything comes out, the relationship with Edna will still be over. So he’ll end up with nobody and will still be at station house #4 at the end of the season.

      As for who the murderer might be? Maybe a crazed Leslie Garland, but I don’t think so. I’d love if it *looks* like it’s him, only to get murdered as well. I’m holding out for a return of Gillies, since I think Murdoch was right about his theory that he could have faked his death. And I think he’d go for Leslie because he wouldn’t like that someone pretended to be him.

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