Spoiler alert! Do not continue reading until you have watched the Season 11 finale, “Free Falling.”
Well Murdoch Mysteries fans, are you feeling a little better? After last week’s episode, “Shadows are Falling,” viewers were left reeling. Not only did Julia lose her baby to a miscarriage, but she and William had a major falling out. Julia had instructed Rebecca on how to perform an abortion, which led to a dramatic conclusion: William left the hotel and was last seen walking down the street.
Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. William, working the case of a missing woman alongside her supposedly distraught husband meant he could reflect on the things he’d said to Julia. And she spent several moments, with help from Inspector Brackenreid, recalling her own remarks. By episode end the pair had tearfully reunited.
But not all is well. Nina and Crabtree broke up and—as many of you suspected—Violet is up to no good. I spoke to showrunner Peter Mitchell, writer-producer Mary Pedersen (who co-wrote the finale with Simon McNabb and Dan Trotta) and actress Hélène Joy about “Free Falling,” and a peek at what’s to come in Season 12.
Peter, was the episode title, “Free Falling,” a reference to the Tom Petty song as well as what our characters were going through?
Peter Mitchell: I think so. The Tom Petty song is a little bit about breaking up with the girl who is perfect for you and feeling kinda good about it. And also about all of the characters because they don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Why was it important to keep Julia and William apart for the entire episode?
Peter Mitchell: To establish some tension in the story. We’re often more willing and more able to talk to strangers about things that we’re thinking about than those who are closest to us.
Of course, it was wonderful to have William and Julia reunite. But, you tore another couple apart: Crabtree and Nina. Why, Mary?
Mary Pedersen: I think that was really natural. We love Erin Agostino. She has been wonderful and has really won over the fans which is really something because the character, on paper, doesn’t look like someone Crabtree should end up with. That’s really a credit to Erin’s work. That was the truth of their situation. Nina doesn’t want the things that he wants. They tried to fit that square peg into the round hole and it’s not going to work. He really would have had to sacrifice so much not only by leaving Toronto, but then what does his life look like in Paris? It was definitely a sad thing because we’ve all grown to love that character and Erin, but there wasn’t really a way to turn that ship around and have her be the person that Crabtree is ultimately the person he’s meant to be with.
Peter Mitchell: George could try to abandon his core principles but I don’t think he has it in him. I think he does want whatever the turn of the century version of the white picket fence is. I didn’t want to compromise the Nina character and have her roll over on her core beliefs to make George happy. Sort of like Ogden and Murdoch, but in a different way.
By the end of the episode, Violet is plotting with Horace McWorthy to take over the morgue? How did you feel about that twist Hélène?
Hélène Joy: I thought it was great. I know the audience loves to hate some characters and this character is on that hit list for sure. That’s what’s fun about Murdoch. We try to keep it surprising. You can’t love everyone all of the time. I think it’s great that it’s happening this way and makes it far more interesting for the character and for the actress playing the character. I’m really intrigued to see where it goes. How evil is she going to get? I feel for Shanice because I know what it’s like to be hated. If you remember back to Julia’s first husband, Darcy, there were whole Facebook pages that were just about hating Darcy.
What excites you about Season 12?
Hélène Joy: I get excited because the writers always blow me away. I hear little rumblings about what Julia these things that Julia will be doing this year and I’m like, ‘Oh! Who would have thought?!’ Of course, I can’t tell you!
Peter, will there be a time jump between Season 11’s finale and Season 12’s debut?
Peter Mitchell: Yup. Normally, we pick it up three or four months later and I think that’s so we can start off on a fresh foot while doing some housekeeping as to what happened last year.
Any storylines you’re working on that you can talk about?
Peter Mitchell: We have an idea that Julia and Murdoch might be writing a book together, which could be fun. We might actually find George’s girl of his dreams this year. There might be some interesting developments in the Brackenreid household and the wedding bells will indeed ring for Henry Higgins. I think we might have Alexander Graham Bell back—he’s a fun character—and introduce the architect Frank Lloyd Wright … a couple historical figures we haven’t seen yet and a couple we’ve seen in the past. We’re just getting started.
What did you think of Murdoch Mysteries‘ Season 11 finale? What do you hope for Season 12? Let me know in the comments below!