This week’s episode of Murdoch Mysteries, “Jagged Little Pill”, reminded me of an old-time era of The Avengers comic books.
Yes, I’m a mega-nerd. Deal with it.
In the era in question, the team consisted solely of three members: Goliath, The Wasp and Hawkeye. The team was tight and so were the stories. Granted, it wasn’t the golden age of the team but it was still worth the money.
That’s how I felt about “Jagged Little Pill”. I love MM and always will. Every episode makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning. That said, this ep was, well, let’s get right to it…
ONE) No Brackenreid, Higgins or George? Again, I loved the episode but the paired-down cast (and Miss James’ boyfriend) left me missing the dynamic we’re used to. Viewers tune in to see the Inspector yell at Higgins. They long for, “What have you, George?”
We’ll accept a leaner, trimmer, Murdoch ep, but only for one episode.
TWO) More Mouna! Mouna Traoré ruled the Murdoch roost last night – and she handled herself exceptionally well. Miss James has become the character on which a vital role rests.
We’re watching the world evolve through Rebecca James. Hear me out, friends.
Rebecca’s clothing was tighter and less conservative, reflecting a change, albeit a slight one, in society’s rules for ladies. Rebecca was immersed in solving the death (murder?) of one of her medical school colleagues, another opportunity to showcase the changing role of women in society; this time we were able to see scores of young ladies studying to break into the male-dominated world of medicine.
Rebecca displayed PDA with her beau. (More on him in a moment.)
Rebecca openly defied authority (and cracked wise while she did it!) and investigated said schoolmate’s death, boldly going where Julia and Emily Grace have gone before.
Rebecca is carrying the weight of womanhood on her shoulders – and she’s wearing it well.
THREE) No relationship with Higgins for Miss James? I must admit, I was impressed by Jordan Johnson-Hinds’ performance but I was really rooting for a Henry Higgins/Miss James romance to push the narrative forward in bold directions.
Oh well, you can’t have everything, right?
Speaking of bold directions…
FOUR) The house that Murdoch built. Not if Julia has anything to say about it! Mrs. Murdoch is going to be pulling her lovely hair out soon, especially if her detecting hubby really does decide to lead the construction of their new home. And n that note: Did anyone else notice William’s many, many home innovations?
The artful detective invented the shower, the dishwasher and central air – and I ‘m sure I missed an invention or two!
This would be a perfect opportunity for a real-life TV contractor to appear. Mike Holmes or Bryan Baeumler in 1904, anyone?
FIVE) The actual mystery. Two distinct cases, seemingly-unconnected (though longtime viewers surely knew better) but each fascinating in their won way. The clues lead us to jaded wives, tearful mistresses, gossipy school chums, out-of-their-depths boyfriends and even to medical conundrums worthy of Quincy. (Get thee to Google, kids!) In the end the lines converged and two mysteries were solved.
SIX) The resolution was anything but neat. I actually liked the fact Rebecca still felt tortured over her friend’s death. Real life is anything but neat. In fact, suicide is torturous for everyone in its orbit and MM didn’t shy away from this fact. Confronting it head-on was bold and nothing less than we’ve come to expect from Peter Mitchell and company.
SEVEN) Rebecca’s bold – and chaste – manner. As they sit together in a church tent (love the character’s devotion to religion) Rebecca and her beau converse. He pops a cigarette into his mouth. She plucks it out.
“When are you going to give that up?” she inquires, her frustration on full display.
“When are you going to give it up?” he inquires, his frustration on full display.
She responds with a sultry, “Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait.”
And they kiss, once at first and then a lingering series of kisses.
Fade to black.
‘The only thing I’m riding is this bike… for now!”
I’d be a fool to try to follow that, right?
Until next week, see you in the lobby and on the CBC, kids…