Bear with me on this one; it’s going to take a minute but it’ll be worth it. (I hope.)
Huey Lewis and the News, those crazy 80s rock icons, once recorded a song called Back In Time, from the Back to the Future soundtrack. Last night’s all-new Murdoch Mysteries was entitled, 21 Murdoch Street, an obvious nod to one of the first shows the Fox network ever launched in the 80s. So brand-spanking new MM writer Natalia Guled (a former writer’s assistant on Orphan Black) went back in time for the title of her first Murdoch script.
Whew, that took a lot of effort but it was worth the trip, right? Now on with the show…
ONE) The MM universe is a crowded place these days. But that’s definitely a good thing. George’s ultra-hot peeler honey, Nina, returned to snog him in public while dispensing a pep talk that lifted his spirits. (In more ways than one, I bet.) Detective Watts lingered in the station house while dispensing wisdom to John Brakenreid (sense a theme here, do you?) And Arwen Humphreys returned as Mrs. Brackenreid to scold her husband – and most likely shag him in the back of that carriage.
We even got to witness the further evolution of John Brackenreid as he struggled to establish his own copper identity. Brilliant stuff from a brilliant cast.
TWO) A rare appearance from brown people. And the turn-of-the-century-but-unfortunately-timeless racism that often follows them. The Banerjee brothers, two crafty, conniving preppy sons of diplomats, figured heavily into the mystery and their progenitors launched some interesting conversations involving the Inspector.
THREE) The 21 Jump Street factor. Little Johnny Brackenreid and Little Jonny Harris (Crabtree) went undercover at an elite boys’ school to solve a mystery. Along the way they connected with some students, George played up his novel to his “students”, and they both learned a thing or two about themselves. Incidentally, once again Jonny Harris ad-libbed the lion’s share of his lines and the result was gold, Murdoch, gold!
FOUR) We even saw Detective Murdoch himself! For a minute or two at least. I’ve said this before but here we go again: MM has become a true ensemble and peter Mitchell and Company made that point quite clear this week. William showed up briefly to do what he does but this episode belonged to his co-stars. And speaking of said co-stars…
FIVE) I felt bad for the bunnies, but the infertility storyline is riveting. I can see Hélène Joy’s Julia Murdoch heading for a fall when she realizes her enthusiasm can’t rush science but watching it unfold is fascinating. My daughter was born through IVF so I feel for the Murdochs as they struggle to conceive. I’m also willing to bet that Julia tries this untested fertility treatment on herself soon and suffers some devastating consequences.
But that would make for some must-see TV, right?
SIX) Why have Daniel Maslany join the cast if you’re not going to use him more, Peter Mitchell? I’m not usually critical of the MM team but Detective Watts is being woefully underutilized. Sure, he proved the best laugh of the ep while conducting a gruesome forensic experiment with William, but come on, people, use the man fully!
SEVEN) Early century vices. Students smoking cigars in a dimly-lit basement hideaway? Moonshine? Naughty French pics of forward-thinking ladies? Oh my!
And this concludes our program for today. A scheduling change means we get to see the tear-jerking episode, The Accident, which was originally scheduled for this week, next week.
See you in the lobby and on the CBC, friends…