Everything about Murdoch Mysteries, eh?

Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “The Final Curtain”

The last time John Brackenreid was on Murdoch Mysteries, it was in the two-part Season 12 finale. John had been shot, recuperated and announced to his parents that he was going to quit being a copper and pursue a career as an actor.

We catch up with John during Monday’s episode, “The Final Curtain,” written by Simon McNabb and directed by Mina Shum. Here’s what the CBC has revealed as the main storyline:

An actor is killed at a play attended by Murdoch, Ogden, Crabtree, and Brackenreid.

And, as always, here are a few tidbits from me after watching a screener.

The Final Curtain
Not only is this the name of the episode, but it’s also the name of the play John Brackenreid stars in. As the episode begins, we join the main characters at the theatre. Watts makes quite the entrance and Murdoch asks a question I always wonder when I attend the theatre. Watching the performance, and how our favourite characters consume and comment on it, is several minutes of fun. And, I think, more than one gentle poke at some critics along the way.

Margaret gets some attention
And Brackenreid isn’t bloody happy about it.

Guests aplenty
Look for Jim Mezon as Grayson Howard, Sara Garcia (X Company) as Ada Cunningham, Jessica Huras as Joan Dalloway, Aidan Moreno as Barney Finch and Ivan Sherry as Herbert Gould (he portrayed Mayor Hopkins back in 2012).

A bottle episode
A traditional bottle episode of television refers to the fact the storyline takes place on just one set. It’s traditionally done to keep production costs down. I have no idea if that’s why Monday’s episode stays in the theatre, but it’s a nice (and literal) change of scenery.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “Toronto the Bad”

I loved last week’s episode for a couple of reasons. The first was some quality emotional roller coasters regarding William and Julia. I know it’s not a very popular opinion among some fans, but I enjoy it when a wrench is thrown into their lives. Relationships aren’t easy in real life and there’s no reason they should be on television either.

The second reason I enjoyed “The Philately Fatality” was the revelation that Watts may be gay. Whether he turns out to be or not—yes, he entered the butcher’s apartment, but that’s all we saw, other than a curious and excited look on Watts’ face—I love the journey this character has gone on and the way Daniel Maslany has played it. The writers and actors have created some truly memorable characters over the last 13 seasons and Watts is one of them.

Now, on to Monday’s new episode, “Toronto the Bad,”  written by Dan Trotta and directed by Sherren Lee. Here’s what the CBC has revealed about it.

While moonlighting as a cab driver, Higgins finds a dead passenger in the backseat.  

And here are more details from me after watching a screener.

Higgins takes on a second job
It’s been hinted at before; now Higgins has jumped into a side career as a cab driver to make economical ends meet. Higgins is known more for comic relief, but you can feel the lack of sleep he’s feeling as he drives around Toronto in the dead of night. It’s also an opportunity for viewers to see the seedier side of the city, something we don’t see on the show often. Kudos to director Sherren Lee and director of photography Yuri Yakubiw for making Toronto look so sleazy.

Brackenreid and Murdoch on the case
I always enjoy it when Thomas puts on a hat and hits the street with William. The old-school versus new-school take on investigating is fun to observe.

Mrs. Huckabee drops by
William and Julia’s neighbour, Goldie Huckabee (Jonelle Gunderson) swings by for a snoop, er, visit. It gives Julia the opportunity to show off some of their home’s decorations. Also, look for Annie Briggs (CLAIREvoyant) as Lucille Anderson, the owner of MacRury’s Billiard Hall; Erik Knudsen (Continuum) as Frank Rizzo; Ethan Burnett as Tim Little, and veteran thespian Jason Blicker (Jann, What Would Sal Do?) as David Dillinger.

A nod to Hill Street Blues?
Something Murdoch says to Higgins has me convinced Dan Trotta is giving a salute to the classic cop drama.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “The Philately Fatality”

Last week’s special Halloween episode, “Murdoch and the Cursed Cave,” was almost resoundingly embraced by Murdoch Mysteries fans. You, like me, loved the storyline, humour (Higgins tackling the monster and Murdoch’s look of surprise at that killed me) and tone of the episode. It’s already taken a spot in my Top 10 favourite episodes of Murdoch Mysteries.

Now, on to Monday’s new instalment. Here’s what the CBC has revealed about”The Philately Fatality,” written by Mary Pedersen and directed by Sherren Lee.

Murdoch investigates the murder of a stamp collector with homosexual tendencies.

And here are more observations from me after watching the episode.

Watts returns
When I posted pictures for this episode on Facebook, many quickly commented simply “WATTS!!” Indeed, Daniel Maslany returns to Station House No. 4 for this storyline and Mary Pedersen’s script hints as to where he has been. Look for Jesse LaVercombe, Wade Bogert-O’Brien and veteran Quebec actor Charles Lafortune in guest roles; Jeremy Legat pops in to reprise Aldous Germaine.

Same-sex story
Homosexuality has been part of storylines since Season 1 in “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” memorably in Season 8’s “What Lies Buried,” and with Dr. Grace‘s character evolution. On Monday, we open with a house party where music is playing, drinks are consumed and dancing is happening. Sherren Lee does a wonderful job making us feel like we’ve been invited to the soirée. Not invited? Crabtree and Parker, who have been summoned to the home because of “noise complaints.”

Parker is bored
Though a murder has been committed, the former Pinkerton agent doesn’t feel as though his skills are being used to their full potential. Why is Murdoch seemingly holding him back?

Julia is flustered
Dr. Dixon arrives, unannounced, to her home while William is away. I will say no more.

Watts vs. Brackenreid
It’s no secret how Brackenreid feels about homosexuality. So his views on handling the case go up against how Watts wants to tackle it. The result is some great back and forth between actors Daniel Maslany and Thomas Craig thanks to Pedersen’s writing.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “Murdoch and the Cursed Caves”

Last year’s Halloween episode, “Sir. Sir? Sir!!!” was the most galvanizing Murdoch Mysteries ever. People either loved it or absolutely hated it. Me? I appreciated showrunner Peter Mitchell’s moxie for changing things up and going in a different direction.

So, will Halloween 2019 mark the return of an off-the-wall, outrageous storyline that will attract the ire of some viewers? Here’s what the CBC says about “Murdoch and the Cursed Caves,” written by Noelle Girard and directed by Mars Horodyski:

While camping Murdoch and Ogden discover two men killed by a fabled feathered beast.

And, as always, a few tidbits from me after watching a screener.

A new theme for a themed episode
Oh man, do I love it when a show changes things up for a special occasion. All I’ll say is I want to use Robert Carli’s theme for my ringtone even more now. I can tell he had fun recording it; I smiled the entire time I listened to it.

Julia is back
Fans have been wondering where she’s been; some have speculated Hélène Joy’s absence because of her film projects. Beats me why, but she’s back next to Murdoch on Monday and has a special trip planned for she and William. Yes, the aforementioned camping.

Ruth and Higgins, side by side
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Ruth; thankfully that is remedied on Monday too.

Margaret returns too
The episode is jam-packed with familiar faces, as well as new ones in Barbara Gordon, and Matt Cooke who actually played Superintendent Sam Steele in “Murdoch of the Klondike.” Back in the city, the Brackenreids are celebrating a special occasion, but the neighbourhood kids are putting a damper on their evening.

Frightfully fun
I haven’t spoken to the episode’s writer, Noelle Girard, but I get the feeling she and the rest of the writing room called upon several spooky projects for inspiration. A certain animated Great Dane, a shaggy young fellow and a Mystery Machine immediately leapt to mind as I watched.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “Prodigal Father,” features Colm Feore

It’s hard to believe that Colm Feore hasn’t appeared on Murdoch Mysteries before. According to the veteran actor of both stage and screen, he’d been ready and willing. Check out Melissa Hank’s great story on how Feore ended up on Murdoch Mysteries, as well as some additional story information.

Here’s what the CBC says about Monday’s episode, “Prodigal Father,” written by Simon McNabb and directed by Yannick Bisson.

A death at an investment event leads Crabtree to the father he never knew.

And here are more tidbits from me after watching the episode.

Colm Feore is fantastic
After wondering what George’s father looked like and what kind of man he was for 13 seasons, we finally find out. He’s dashing, well-spoken, charming and loves a good scotch. He’s also a big thinker, something his son has obviously inherited—and has big plans for Toronto. And how George finds out who his father is, well, it’s classic Simon McNabb fun. As for Feore, the actor? He commands every scene he is in.

Crabtree is puzzled
But is George ready for a relationship with his dad? He seeks Murdoch’s advice, but William has had his own complicated relationship with his father. Of course, Higgins has opinions on what George should do too.

Guest stars galore
In addition to Mr. Feore are appearances by Nabeel El Khafif (Ransom, Private Eyes) and Janine Theriault (Bellevue) in great little roles.

Murdoch’s crime scene mental walkthrough … with a twist
I won’t spoil it; I will say I laughed out loud.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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