I have to say, I was apprehensive when I heard this episode of Murdoch Mysteries was going to feature Roger Newsome’s return as a corpse William and Julia are tasked with hiding during a two-day gathering of 1904 Toronto’s most prestigious citizens.
Wait, that’s not what happened? (Or did it?) In that case, we better get to the actual review, shouldn’t we?
ONE) Cyrus Lane’s return. He’s a turn-of-the-century weasel. If weren’t for bad luck he wouldn’t have any at all. He’s Roger Newsome and he’s one of the MM Writers Room’s favorite re-occurring characters.
And it’s safe to say the fans don’t mind him either.
Especially after this episode.
We even got two Newsomes for one with the addition of sister Ruth. It’s just a shame that poor ole Roger (who was already endlessly-fascinating as a living member of Toronto’s upper crust) ended up a corpse early on. But what a corpse! At first I felt bad that we didn’t get to see Roger and his “good buddy” George Crabtree become fast friends, but I howled out loud when Roger got the last laugh by “striking” George down in the last act. Awesome!
TWO) The writing. Jordan Christianson gave us a tight-but-unbelievably-hilarious episode overflowing with tributes to Weekend at Bernie’s and good old fashioned Vaudevillian yucks. All while remaining true to the characters’ core personalities. Sadly, one character took a giant leap backwards but more on that later.
Crabtree, Higgins, Miss James, Julia, William himself, and all the ancillary denizens of MM were given ample opportunity to shine and they did so – brilliantly. Take a raise out of Shaftesbury’s petty cash, Jordan.
THREE) Those wacky Murdochs. Most TV shows have jumped the shark once they answer the “Will They of Won’t They?” romance query. And once those characters tie the TV knot or have a baby? Well then it’s all downhill, Sally.
But Murdoch Mysteries is not most television shows, to say the least. An hour-long murder mystery procedural brimming with humor? Loved every second. William and Julia rarely display any PDA but Hélène Joy has the greatest set of “come hither” (now what you thought I was going to say was it?) eyes in the biz and she uses them to great effect on MM. The Murdochs are a marvelous turn-of-the-century couple who are currently enjoying the fruits of a super long courtship fraught with pitfalls.
To say the least.
FOUR) Prop Monkey’s offerings. The Wheeled Chair. The Inca Tern. The dead guys and even the assassin’s rifle and scope. Monkey and his team went and left it all onscreen. Again. Love this simian and his crew.
FIVE) HIGGINS! Boy, if Inspector Brackenreid had been in Toronto for this case he would’ve tore more than one strip off of Henry. Hell, let’s face it, the Inspector would’ve had Henry’s gut for garters.
Higgins took a huge leap back in this ep – but it was so worth it. Lachlan Murdoch acted his ass off, didn’t he? The poor bugger won’t be able to sit right for a week…
SIX) The Big Bad. Stone cold killer Rex Gray loomed large throughout the ep – without really appearing at all. He escaped Station No. 3 but he met his match in Det. Murdoch… though just barely.
SEVEN) More Mouna Traoré! I’d watch this chick do anything onscreen. Take that any way you like. We only received a small sample of Miss James last night but fortunately for all of us, a little goes a long way when a masterful actress is doing the emoting.
EIGHT) Hélène Joy at her silliest. The outfit says it all…
NINE) Bea Santos returned as Louise Cherry! Once again, I yelled out when Miss Cherry reappeared. (The wife’s pretty sure I’ve finally lost it.) It’s to the MM writers’ credit that they’ve been able to successfully expand the show’s cast so smoothly. Santos is a marvelous actress. And it definitely appears as though Crabtree is enjoying an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the ladies these days.
I’m sure that’s going to end well…
TEN) The end! Of this review, not Murdoch Mysteries, thank God. Personally, after seeing the energy MMX is radiating, I can this show running for… well, forever.
See you in the lobby and on the CBC, friends…