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Murdoch Mysteries

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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian detective series set in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Toronto, based on a series of novels by Maureen Jennings. The series centers around William Murdoch, a detective in the Toronto constabulary with an interest in using then-unorthodox/unknown forensic techniques for catching criminals. Murdoch is assisted by Constable George Crabtree and Doctor Julia Ogden, The Coroner. His boss Inspector Thomas Brackenreid is usually skeptical of Murdoch's methods but doesn't complain too much, just as long as they catch the criminal in the end.For five seasons, the series was broadcast by Citytv. The fifth season was supposed to be the last, however, rival broadcaster CBC picked up the series in 2011 and has been broadcasting new seasons since; beginning with the sixth in 2012. In the seventh season, The character of Dr. Emily Grace was added to the main cast. A tenth season was announced in 2016. Outside of Canada, the series has aired on Ovation TV in the United States, under the title The Artful Detective.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })The series was preceded by a trilogy of TV movies in 2004, which were more direct adaptations of the Murdoch Mysteries novels. With Peter Outerbridge as Murdoch, Keeley Hawes as Dr. Ogden and Colm Meaney as Inspector Brackenreid. Overall, they were much darker and grittier than the TV series.The series now has a Character sheet and Recaps.
 Murdoch Mysteries
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2020-06-22T06:18:55Z
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2020-06-25T07:53:33Z
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Fair Cop
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Fair Cop: Detective Murdoch is Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Quite a few women in-universe take a liking to him. George Crabtree is cute and has his fair share of admirers. Especially when he publishes his novel and enjoys a moderate success. Henry Higgins is very handsome and has a sweet smile. Pity that he's a minor character.
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Daydream Surprise
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Daydream Surprise: Used frequently from Murdoch's perspective, mostly involving Doctor Ogden and kissing. In one daydream Murdoch saw his older self camping with his wife and son. While Murdoch sees and seems to know the identity of the wife (he smiles when he sees her), the audience doesn't. Doctor Ogden's point of view: When the case involving a "vampire" is solved, she imagines her post-case conversation with Murdoch giving way to a passionate makeout. The Imagine Spot is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Julia's fiancé Dr. Darcy Garland.
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Table Space
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Table Space: Between Julia and Darcy, when he tells her to give up her push for teaching contraceptive methods to women for the sake of his reputation.
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Locard's Theory
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Locard's Theory: Early in "Bad Medicine", Constable Crabtree speaks a bit despairingly of the culprit's escape from a murder scene without a trace. Murdoch reassures him thusly:
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_12e2a068
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Alone Among the Couples
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Alone Among the Couples: In the season five finale, Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree appear to be the only ones without a partner for a New Year's Eve policemen's ball. Constable Higgins gets a date and Inspector Brackenreid spends the evening with his wife. William Murdoch is alone as his star-crossed lover is married, and George Crabtree asked Doctor Grace out, but she had other plans. They consider not going at all, but they decide to mark a new century with a celebration. Subverted as both beautiful doctors Emily Grace and Julia Ogden make an appearance.
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Secret Handshake
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Secret Handshake: In "Victor, Victorian", Freemasons Brackenreid and Crabtree introduce Detective Murdoch to the head of their lodge just after a sudden death has taken place during an initiation ritual. The head of the lodge shakes hands with Murdoch, who doesn't complete the secret handshake. Crabtree explains why the head of the lodge knew Murdoch isn't a Mason, and the man soon quizzes Murdoch on his religious beliefs. For once, being a "papist" isn't quite a liability, since the lodge head says that's better than being a "stupid atheist".
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Annoying Younger Sibling
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Annoying Younger Sibling: Julia's younger sister, Intrepid Reporter Ruby, who irritates her older sister by flirting with Murdoch. It emerges in Season 2 finale that Murdoch has a half-brother, Jasper, who is initially deeply annoying to Murdoch, but only because he's the only one who can't see how similar the two are.
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Ominous Hair Loss
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Ominous Hair Loss: The culprit of "The Ghost of Queen's Park" begins losing her hair in the final scene she appears in, a side effect of the radium dust she painted herself with in order to appear ghost-like.
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Serial Killings, Specific Target
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Serial Killings, Specific Target: Constable Crabtree proposes this as the explanation for the multiple deaths in "Murdoch on the Corner". He posits a long-standing feud between two neighboring shopkeepers is the real motive, and that one of the antagonists killed the other people merely to cover his tracks. Murdoch and Brackenreid suggest this to the man in an interrogation, and the man tells them they are crazy. The true explanation for the serial deaths in "Twisted Sisters". A man is being blackmailed by a woman who works for him, and during their argument she hits her head. The man knows she was involved in another death some years earlier (along with several other women), so he disposes of his blackmailer and the other women to divert suspicion from himself. While he's at it, his actions point to a Persian university professor who had been romantically involved with the young white woman who had died years ago, and his own secret involves his interracial marriage.
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Instantly Proven Wrong
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Instantly Proven Wrong: In "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom", under the threat of a deadly gas attack, the constables are lent some gas masks by the local firefighters. They voice serious doubts that those can protect them at all (they are conceived as safeguard against smoke, not lethal poison gas, and are in poor state to boot). Thus Crabtree tries to reassure his colleagues by putting on one of the masks and telling them they'll be perfectly safe — just as his mask's tank drops from its tube.
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Scenery Censor
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Scenery Censor: Lots of it at the nudist colony in "Murdoch au Naturel". But we get to see several of the nudists clearly from behind.
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Officer O'Hara
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Officer O'Hara: The stationhouse is pretty evenly divided between the Irish and Scots. Most prominent are Constable Worseley (a recurring background character) and Chief Constable Stockton in seasons 1 through 3; both have strong Irish accents.
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Heroic BSoD
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Heroic BSoD: In "Rich Boy, Poor Boy", Inspector Brackenreid's wife comes to the station, distraught at their son's abduction. Brackenreid and Murdoch instantly go to the park, and at one point Brackenreid stops in his tracks, staring blankly into space. Murdoch has to speak to him several times to get his attention on the measures they're taking to find the boy, then Brackenreid snaps back to reality and says, "I said let's get on with it!"
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Does This Remind You of Anything?
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Does This Remind You of Anything?: Murdoch quite frequently solves crimes by using the limited resources of his time to get at a primitive version of a contemporary technology that would be quite familiar to the audience. Other conversations address some of the unforeseen consequences of new technologies. There's even at least one plot that strongly recalls what for the audience is a series of historic events. Some examples include: Murdoch and Nikola Tesla collaborate on a portable audio broadcasting unit to record a criminal conversation (in essence, a wireless wiretap) in "Power". In one of their conversations, Tesla suggests moving images could also be sent over the air, and when Murdoch says such a thing would be a "telekinetiscope", Tesla replies that the word is too long and suggests "television" instead. Murdoch comes up with a number of portable light sources, including one that shines UV light (helpful for detecting blood evidence) and bicycle lamps powered by the cyclist's pedaling. Murdoch explains chemiluminescence to his boss Inspector Brackenreid and concocts an early version of luminol. Early efforts to obtain ballistics evidence involve firing guns into a full rain barrel and comparing bullets. Later in the series, Murdoch seems to have learned that the water could deform a bullet, so he fires weapons into soft materials (suspended sandbags backed by hay bales) to obtain bullets for comparison. After doing some reading on Mongol warriors and silk, Murdoch designs a bulletproof vest. He later sends Crabtree to his tailor to have one made to fit him, which the constable wears in "Big Murderer on Campus" and "Murdoch on the Corner". In one episode, the evidence is underwater in Lake Ontario, so Murdoch essentially invents a rudimentary version of sonar to find it. The episode "Murdoch.com" revolves around women being lured to their deaths by a sexual predator... on the telegraph lines. There is a "digitized" and "faxed" photograph Murdoch and his Surete colleague obtain via telegraph in "Monsieur Murdoch". (Could be considered an aversion, since the first telefax line was inaugurated in France in 1865. Among the inventions mentioned in the episode "Invention Convention" are an analytical engine (a precursor to modern computers), a machine specifically for sending email (they call it "i-mail"), and sound-activated switches. Crabtree even notes the ease of turning off lights by clapping his hands! In "Journey to the Center of Toronto", Murdoch builds and sets up a series of small seismographs to help the men of Station 4 track an underground boring machine used in a series of thefts. After some curious metal filings are found on a corpse and at a crime scene, Murdoch hits the books and fabricates a silencer in "The Black Hand". Crabtree hangs the lampshade by suggesting "muffler" and "silencer" as names for the item. "Back and to the Left" starts with two government officials in an open-air vehicle when there's gunfire and one of them dies from a gunshot wound to the head. The entire event is photographed and filmed. It soon appears at least one shot came from an upstairs window of a nearby warehouse. A man is identified in the papers as the shooter and is shortly thereafter killed. Murdoch and Dr. Ogden go over the evidence and find the evidence of the bullet trajectory doesn't line up, the phrase "magic bullet" is used, and they conclude there was a second shooter. Sounds rather like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, doesn't it?
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Older Hero vs. Younger Villain
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Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Murdoch is approaching early middle age, while James Gillies is a young man who studied at college until Murdoch caught him. He's easily Murdoch's match in smarts, despite his comparative youth.
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Sniff Sniff Nom
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Sniff Sniff Nom: Only the Sniff-sniff part happens with various coroners who examine organs while performing an autopsy. It appears it was a standard thing to do and sometimes the smell helps to crack the case. Sometimes even the Nom-part occurs. Dr. Ogden's sister Ruby is visibly disturbed when she watches her sister do it, who tells her she shouldn't be such a mouse. Dr. Grace hands Constable Crabtree a sample of substance from a dead body. He looks at it, sniffs it and then tastes it. He comments that is looks like soot, smells like soot, and tastes like soot. Dr. Grace is surprised that he's in the habit of tasting soot, and George tells her he used to clean his aunt's chimney and was once destined to do so for a living. Murdoch opens a stick of dynamite used to stage a train robbery, tastes the contents and says, "Flour."
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Boisterous Bruiser
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Boisterous Bruiser: Arthur Conan Doyle gets into punch-ups with several bar patrons in "Belly Speaker", until Murdoch hauls him out of the bar and puts him into a cell to sober up. Brackenreid is another example. He and Arthur Conan Doyle give a demonstration of fisticuffs in a bar (to the applause of the other patrons), and he sometimes uses his fists to get information from suspects.
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Man Bites Man
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Man Bites Man: One patient of Doctor Bates who has been lobotomised is called "a biter". He nearly attacks and bites Dr. Grace and later is seen (in a Gory Discretion Shot) killing Doctor Bates, attacking him like a wild animal.
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Ripped from the Headlines
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Ripped from the Headlines: The plot of the season 2 finale "Anything You Can Do" involves a Toronto mining company that plans to defraud wealthy investors by using fake ore samples to make it seem as though a specific place in British Columbia is rich in gold and ready to be exploited. Chances are that this was inspired by the Bre-X scheme, which involved the Bre-X company swindling using ore samples artificially salted with gold to make it seem as though their site in Indonesia had a massive gold deposit. The exposure of the scam made national news in Canada, and Bre-X collapsed in 1997 after acquiring over $6 billion in capital from investors. Season 7 episode "Unfinished Business" features a pair of prominent Toronto brothers, where one is accused of illegal behaviour, and the other appears to be the smarter, more controlling of the two who always bails his brother out and enables him. Of course they were businessmen and not Mayor and Councillor, but it does seem to be a remarkable coincidence and probably a reference to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford who were in the international news frequent due to their antics in 2013 and 2014. Season 12's "Operation: Murder" features a number of patient deaths at a hospital, including a patient Dr. Ogden had just operated on, all chalked up to heart failure. It turns out to be a series of murders by a nurse, reminiscent of the string of nursing home murders in Canada by nurse Elizabeth Wetlaufer.
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Brainwashed and Crazy
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Brainwashed and Crazy: In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", several men whose brains have been damaged by Dr. Luther Bates's experiments run amuck in the streets of Toronto, causing property damage and threatening innocent bystanders. The Constabulary subdues them all with fishing and dogcatching equipment.
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Misplaced Wildlife
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Misplaced Wildlife: Of the supernatural variety. In "A Merry Murdoch Christmas", Brackenreid claims to have encountered the Krampus, a holiday demon from Bavaria and the Tyrol, as a boy in Yorkshire and that he is now terrorizing the episode's victims. It's one of the culprits in disguise.
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Pro Wrestling Episode
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Pro Wrestling Episode: "Crabtreemania" has Constable Crabtree investigating a murder at a 1900s local wrestling stable, and being shocked to discover that the sport may in fact be faked. He ends up in the ring with a wrestler who is not faking, and only makes it out when his girlfriend hands him a folding chair...
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Internalized Categorism
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Internalized Categorism: The culprit in "Future Imperfect" the fiancé of a judge's daughter believes wholeheartedly in eugenics and the eugenics movement. During the last interrogation, Murdoch confronts the man with the information on how his own family tree is full of criminal types, how the victim discovered this information, and how it might or might not have ended his engagement. The man says he isn't worthy of his fiancée, confesses his guilt and wants to be hanged, saying, "Put an end to my mongrel blood."
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On One Condition
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In "'Til Death Do Us Part", the murder victim has a best friend who is gay and yet got married for social reasons. His wife proves to be aware of his feelings but also says he has treated her well by giving her a secure home and a child. The victim himself was also getting married to satisfy family members and inherit half the family business.
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Tall, Dark, and Handsome
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_1892d512
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Detective Murdoch is Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Quite a few women in-universe take a liking to him.
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Reclining Venus
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Reclining Venus: In "This One Goes to Eleven", Mrs. Sally Pendrick is being portrayed in an "odalisque" pose, lying completely naked on a sofa by the pool in her and her husband's residence. Detective Murdoch is quite embarrassed to run into her being painted like that. The painting is done in a modern, non-representational style with geometric figures in primary colours (very much a proto-Cubist style). Constable Crabtree believes it represents a pyramid, but Dr. Julia Ogden clearly sees it's "a woman in a rather intimate pose".
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Title Drop
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Title Drop: Both for the series and episode's titles in "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch". Crabtree comments that aforementioned title for the movie-whithin-a-show is too much of a mouthful, and suggests "Murdoch Mysteries" instead. A bonus entry occurs in "The Artful Detective", which is the name of the show in the US.
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Victim of the Week
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In "Child's Play", the Victim of the Week is murdered by a blow to the head with a shovel. Horses are then stampeded over the body to make it look like he was trampled to death.
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Say My Name
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Say My Name: Whenever something weird happens in his police station — like when he finds the artists of a whole circus crowding there — Inspector Brackenreid can easily guess who's the culprit.
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Violence Detector
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Violence Detector: Murdoch performs blood trace detection a couple of times with a(n anachronistic) luminol-like compound: In "Dead End Street", he uses it to find blood traces in the culprit's cart months after the cart was used to transport the victim's corpse. Murdoch confidently breaks out the sprayer again in "Murdoch Night in Canada". Only problem, he tests this on hockey sticks, forgetting that hockey players don't go easy on each other. The sticks are covered in blood traces, making it impossible to tell which one was the murder weapon.
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The Alibi
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_1b4ea159
comment
The Alibi: Murdoch and his colleagues frequently have to cope with these. One suspect, a university physics professor, actually uses the word "alibi" to Murdoch and the detective finds the word choice remarkable (as does the Inspector when he hears of it).
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The Beard
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The Beard: This appears a few times in the series due to laws against homosexuality in the period: In "'Til Death Do Us Part", the murder victim has a best friend who is gay and yet got married for social reasons. His wife proves to be aware of his feelings but also says he has treated her well by giving her a secure home and a child. The victim himself was also getting married to satisfy family members and inherit half the family business. In "Monsieur Murdoch", the hotel owner and brother-in-law of the missing woman turns out to have married for this reason. His wife tells Murdoch and his French counterpart that she knew what she was getting into when they married. The husband of the victim in "Murdochophobia" admits that both he and his wife were gay and had a mutually beneficial arrangement in their sexless marriage. He says he was also fond of his wife and had no desire to lose his social cover, so he had no reason to want her dead.
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The Cameo
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The Cameo: By Big Name Fan Stephen Harper, at the time of shooting the Prime Minister of Canada. Another political cameo came in the form of David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Appropriately, he played Oliver Mowat, then Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in "Ghosts of Queen's Park".
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The Dandy
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comment
The Dandy: James Gillies is an impeccably dressed young man of fashion. He's also a stone-cold Manipulative Bastard who enjoys setting up elaborate revenge plots on anyone unlucky enough to get in his way. Mr. Carducci in "This One Goes to Eleven". He has a neatly trimmed beard, twirly-styled hair, and wears several fashionable suits in addition to owning a walking stick. He is impeccably gentlemanly throughout the episode until the reveal. Detective Watts is always wearing suits that are fancier and more colorful than the other men in the Station House, including a green plaid suit introduced in season 12. His hair is always perfectly coiffed. He's also often quoting philosophers and famous authors, and never seems to use any vulgar language or incorrect grammar.
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The Exile
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The Exile: Series 5 begins with Murdoch prospecting for gold in the Yukon, having left Toronto and the police force after his actions in the season 4 finale.
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Wicked Cultured
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Wicked Cultured: James Gillies is impeccably dressed like a fashionable turn-of-the-century dandy. Don't let his youth fool you, though — he's arguably one of the smartest antagonists Murdoch has ever faced.
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Those Two Guys
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Those Two Guys: Crabtree and Higgins often fall into this when they're paired up.
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Self-Parody
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Self-Parody: "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch" — the episode and the story within the story are both this, at least out of the early 20th century context and standards.
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_1d91d828
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Deadly Game
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_1d91d828
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In "The Artful Detective", Brackenreid notices an extra race published in the racing form; he's familiar with the track and draws Murdoch's attention to the discrepancy. The team compares the horse names to the profiles of several recent murder victims and finds several of the "horse" names are each descriptive of their victims. They come up with the hypothesis that the victims and a few other people are actually killing each other in a Deadly Game, and they stake out the racing form's publisher. Sure enough, the "horses" they have matched to their corpses are missing from the next "running" of that non-existent race, but a new entry is added: "Artful Detective". Guess who soon finds himself attacked in the street?
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Reality Ensues
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Season 10 ends with Murdoch arrested for murder, Julia missing, Brackenreid missing and possibly dead, and one of Constables Crabteee, Higgins or Jackson definitely dead. This episode is a cruel example of Reality Ensues, when a handful of people try to take on a Mafia-like organization of the rich and elite that's always two steps ahead of them and expect to win. There's a Hope Spot at the very end, however, with Detective Watts showing up outside Murdoch's cell and promising to help.
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Alice Allusion
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Alice Allusion: The season 4 finale "Murdoch in Wonderland" abounds with references and allusions to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The characters go to a costume party to honour the late Lewis Carroll. Detective Murdoch is dressed as the Mad Hatter and Dr. Julia Ogden is Alice. The party guests play croquet, drink "potion" from flasks and together write a non-sense mirror-flipped poem. Murdoch gets drugged and has disturbing visions of falling down a hole and being too big to enter a door.
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In the Hood
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In the Hood: In "Bad Medicine", the killer conceals their identity in a Grim Reaper costume with a large hood.
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I Surrender, Suckers
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I Surrender, Suckers: When Brackenreid and Crabtree find Gillies' hiding place in "The Murdoch Trap", the latter extends his hands out as if allowing himself to be handcuffed, but it turns out that Gillies has a small gun concealed beneath his right sleeve. Before he can use it, though, Crabtree shoots him in the shoulder with his rifle.
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Heterosexual Life-Partners
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For Crabtree, when his heterosexual life partner Higgins is injured in an explosion. He works the entire case himself and spends his free time reading to Higgins at his bedside.
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Papa Wolf
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Papa Wolf: Inspector Brackenreid is a devoted father and family man... and God help you if you threaten his boys.
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Diabolus ex Machina
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Diabolus ex Machina: The end of "Election Day". Poor, poor Crabtree. While still at awe over his Detective promotion (which he admitted never thought would actually happen), he made an almost spur of the moment proposal to his girlfriend Edna. Which she accepted. Later, while he, she and her step-son Simon (who is fond of Crabtree, and vice-versa) were having dinner together and planning for the future, Edna's husband and Simon's father showed up completely out of nowhere. For the entire season he was missing and presumed dead. The episode ended with them having no choice but to break things off suddenly and completely, with Crabtree going so far as to actually say it's better for her and Simon that way.
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Drowning Pit
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Drowning Pit: In "Murdoch Ahoy", a bomb exploded on a cruise ship and the deck is filling with water. The space can't be sealed because of a broken mechanism. Amy MacFarlane is trapped there.
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Couldn't Find a Pen
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Couldn't Find a Pen: In "Bad Medicine", the Victim of the Week writes the letters "W Y" in his own blood on a rock after he is shot in the back with an arrow. In "Snakes and Ladders", the killer writes the words "TRY TO STOP ME" in his victim's blood at the sites where he dumps their bodies. In "Winston's Lost Night," the killer left a message in blood on the wallpaper of the victim's room. However, the blood darkened as it dried until it blended in with the dark red wallpaper, and the message is missed until late in the episode and only revealed via Murdoch's ultraviolet light. What's written in the blood is "Omdurman," indicating that the murder was committed in revenge for the victim's involvement in the Battle of Omdurman and the desecration of a Muslim priest's tomb. In "The Murdoch Appreciation Society", the ultraviolet light finds the phrase "BLUE SKY" also written in blood.
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I Need a Freaking Drink
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I Need a Freaking Drink: Inspector Brackenreid often pours himself a drink when he's distressed and he often feels he needs a shot to calm himself down. Then again, he thinks he deserves one to celebrate when they're successful nearly just as often. Inspector Brackenreid once suggested a drink to Dr. Ogden. It is when Detective Murdoch and she have a falling out, and he begins a relationship with a young widow. In the final episode of series 4, Murdoch himself suggests he needs one and that the Inspector could use one as well. Brackenreid knows it's a big deal because Murdoch drinks only very, very rarely. After Dr. Ogden cuts ties with Miss Hamilton over the latter's demands for censorship, she visits Dr. Grace at the City Morgue, in part to apologize for allying with Hamilton's Temperance League in the first place. (Dr. Grace had advised against it.) She produces a bottle of whiskey from a hidden compartment in a desk and the doctors quickly down three shots each.
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Mystery Writer Detective
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Mystery Writer Detective: George writes The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs during season 4. By "Evil Eye of Egypt" in series 5 it has been published and he's on the publicity trail for it. Arthur Conan Doyle appears a couple of times in the first season. Both Doyle and someone who "lives" the role of Sherlock Holmes show up in Season 6.
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Unreveal Angle
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Used frequently from Murdoch's perspective, mostly involving Doctor Ogden and kissing. In one daydream Murdoch saw his older self camping with his wife and son. While Murdoch sees and seems to know the identity of the wife (he smiles when he sees her), the audience doesn't.
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Obstructive Bureaucrat
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Obstructive Bureaucrat: A frequent obstacle in Murdoch's investigations. While Brackenreid trusts his record and abilities enough to give him considerable leeway, his superiors are not so generous, and frequently interfere with Murdoch's efforts to thoroughly investigate the case by attempting to force him to drop or pursue lines of investigations. Overlaps with Screw the Rules, I Have Money! once public figures become involved.
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Gentleman Thief
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Gentleman Thief: "The Kissing Bandit". He's polite and gives the money he stole to orphanages.
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This Bear Was Framed
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This Bear Was Framed: In "Child's Play", the Victim of the Week is murdered by a blow to the head with a shovel. Horses are then stampeded over the body to make it look like he was trampled to death. In "Werewolves", the killer wears a glove with a spring-loaded trap studded with wolf teeth to rip out the victims' throats, making it look like a wolf attack.
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Angry Guard Dog
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Angry Guard Dog: Murdoch is attacked by one while investigating the ratting barn in "Let Loose the Dogs".
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The Profiler
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The Profiler: Dr. Roberts is a psychiatrist who runs an insane asylum in Toronto. Murdoch sometimes consults him when he needs to know about the psychology of a killer. Later in the series, Dr. Ogden studies psychiatry and provides Murdoch with psychological perspective on criminals and witnesses.
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The Scottish Trope
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The Scottish Trope: The Trope Namer is a minor plot point "Body Double," and Brackenreid mentions the curse directly.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_216c045b
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Framing the Guilty Party
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Framing the Guilty Party: In "Still Waters," the rowing team's coach attempts to frame Horace Briggs, the club gardener, for the murder of Richard Hartley under the belief that Hartley was killed in a rowing club initiation gone wrong. Murdoch's investigation proves that Hartley actually survived the initiation and Briggs really did kill him, albeit later and for unrelated reasons.
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Themed Party
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Themed Party: In "Murdoch in Wonderland", the characters attend an Alice in Wonderland-themed party, supposedly to honour the recently deceased Lewis Carroll. It's actually a plot to get some characters on the same spot to start a revenge and some costumes are worn to disguise identity. Detective Murdoch is dressed as the Mad Hatter and Dr Julia Ogden is Alice. (They have the most prominent costumes for the party, despite the fact that they are not especially close to the hosts and Murdoch wasn't even supposed to attend.)
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Black Comedy
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_222dc873
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Black Comedy: Several characters employ dark humour to deal with the frequent deaths and other sad circumstances they encounter, including: Dr. Ogden makes jokes on occasion, including holding up a skull she's been boiling and quoting Shakespeare's Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio!" In "Hangman", she addresses the exhumed corpse of a judge, cracking wise that "a month in the ground hasn't done your health any good." Dr. Grace is also very prone to this. On being presented with a headless corpse in "Murdoch in Toyland", she quips about it being a former resident of Sleepy Hollow, "Ichabod Crane, perhaps." When she and Murdoch are investigating a vibrating electrical chair in which a man died, she sits in it as Murdoch is trying the controls; her reaction (and his) are very much Played for Laughs. Constable Crabtree, speaking of a new grave a convent of nuns planned to use for one of their members, jokes about the fact that her place had been already taken by the murder victim of the week. Murdoch flirts with this once in "The Black Hand" when Constable Higgins describes how the tram car murder victim was seen conversing with another man who exited the car before it left the station. Higgins says the second man may have been "just seeing him on his way," and Murdoch remarks on the turn of phrase. Higgins stares at Murdoch blankly.
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Chekhov's Gun
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Chekhov's Gun: Double Subverted in the episode "The Kissing Bandit", wherein Murdoch tries to catch the title character by installing an exploding dye pack in with the money the bank will give the Bandit. It fails to catch the Bandit because the Bandit is actually reporter Paddy Glynn, who saw Murdoch explain the plan, but it does help identify the Costume Copycat who murders an innocent woman. Played straight in another episode, when an apprentice hangman shows Murdoch and Dr. Ogden the physics of hanging. If the rope's not measured and tied correctly, the person being hanged can either end up being slowly strangled, or end up being completely decapitated. Guess which one applies to the murderer of the week when he goes to the gallows. (Note that he was hanged by said apprentice (for the murder of a judge) and he had implicated the hangman's boss in that crime, which strongly suggests the new hangman did it on purpose.)
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Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
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Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: It's very common for members of the upper class to use their money and influence to protect their interests and interfere with Murdoch's investigations, to say nothing of using their position to advantage in their personal and professional lives. Classism is also rampant, with working-class and poor suspects often being looked down and assumed guilty because of their social standing. Even the police are subject to this, and are often insulted for their lower-class roots. For example, in "Murdoch Night in Canada" a wealthy suspect with a past history with Dr. Grace has used his wealth and influence to avoid convictions for several altercations, to say nothing of assaulting her when she rejects his attempts to rekindle their relationship. In "Downstairs Upstairs" the victim is a wealthy head of household who used his position to essentially rape his female servants, creating the circumstances of his murder.
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Baseball Episode
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_235a2706
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Baseball Episode: Station House 4 prepares for a baseball match with another station house in the two-parter "Stroll on the Wild Side". Brackenreid and his counterpart share a long-lasting rivalry (they make a bet on the outcome), and Inspector Brackenreid is so determined to win this year he drafts Crabtree to secretly film the rivals' practice session. Later, Crabtree examines stills from the film trying to fathom the drop of the pitcher's spitball. Murdoch reads a book about the game, and uses science to help Crabtree find out how to hit the spitball. George tries to show Higgins how to throw a pitch and accidentally breaks a window in the office, prompting Brackenreid to reassign George as the pitcher. This episode also marks the first appearance of Constable Jackson, for whom Brackenreid arranges a transfer to Station House 4 entirely because he's a big, burly power hitter. All the officers and constables look dashing in their baseball shirts and caps.
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Ironic Echo
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Ironic Echo: In "High Voltage'', Inspector Brackenreid learns from the mayor (and fellow Freemason) that Dr. Ogden is planning to run for office in the coming provincial election. The mayor warns Brackenreid this will have bad professional consequences for Detective Murdoch (because he is now her husband), and later Brackenreid warns her about such consequences in an effort to convince her not to run. After she objects to his interference in the decision, he takes Murdoch aside to have the detective order his wife not to run. Murdoch supports his wife's plans and tells the inspector so, concluding with the words, "This matter is closed," before turning the topic to the current murder case he's working on. Later, Julia arrives at the morgue where Emily and Lillian are looking over campaign posters and tells them she has decided to withdraw her candidacy. Emily tries to talk her out of it, especially since her husband is an enthusiastic supporter. Julia firmly refuses, closing with the words, "This matter is closed."
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Ironic Fear
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Ironic Fear: Dr Odgen's colleague laughs at her for treating phobia with small exposure, and thinks that her patients' phobias are ridiculous (they're feathers, horses, spiders and playing the violin in public). It's later revealed he's hugely afraid of spiders as well.
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Back for the Dead
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Back for the Dead: James Gillies returns in "The Enemy Within" and is hanged at the episode's end. Sally Pendrick returns in "Staring Blindly into the Future" and dies from a laser beam fired through her head.
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Fowl-Mouthed Parrot
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comment
Fowl-Mouthed Parrot: George once brought back a parrot from a murder scene that keeps spouting insults in French (in the French dub, it's in Italian). As well as giving hints about the murderer.
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Anachronism Stew
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Anachronism Stew: The story seems to be set in a "greatest-hits of Late Victorian/Edwardian Era" world. Season 5 is explicitly set in 1899, with each subsequent season moving the calendar along one year.
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Alliterative Title
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Alliterative Title: Murdoch Mysteries
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Funny Background Event
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Funny Background Event: George has a small freakout in the back of Murdoch's lab when he hears Emily reveal to Murdoch that she was Lillian Moss' lover in "Double Life".
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Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
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Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Violet Hart. While she's shown signs that she's not what she appears to be before, it isn't until "Free Falling" that she's ultimately out to steal Julia's job and also do whatever (or whoever) is necessary to advance her own career. From the same episode, the man that Murdoch helps to find his missing wife. It turns out that he didn't leave her but that she fled from him, going so far to fake her own death when she finds out he's close by. He wanted to find her presumably to kill her, which he nearly does before Murdoch stops him.
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What Did I Do Last Night?
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What Did I Do Last Night?: A young Winston Churchill wakes up in his hotel room after a drunken night on the town... and finds his roommate's bloody corpse on the floor next to him. He's arrested under suspicion of murder, and Murdoch and Crabtree solve the case by accompanying him as he retraces his steps from the night before.
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Promotion to Opening Titles
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Promotion to Opening Titles: Georgina Reilly's name appears in the opening titles in Season 7.
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Parental Abandonment
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Parental Abandonment: Murdoch believed that his drunk father beat his mother, which indirectly led to her death. It wasn't true. He spent most of his childhood being raised by Jesuits in a Catholic school. George's mother left him on a church doorstep. Julia's mother is apparently dead, and Julia has a rather estranged relationship with her father.
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Easter Egg
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Easter Egg: In the episode "Invention Convention", Murdoch realizes they don't need a cipher to read the random string of code — it is actually made of substituted letters. If one actually decodes the message, it reads "It is essential that we are all seen to be watching the speech at the instant the machine fires. We have precisely twenty seconds between when the device is triggered and when the shot is fired. Should the machine be discovered it is imperative that we stick to the plan." In the episode "Glory Days", there's a crate of "Big Bang" brand dynamite visible near a train that was held up, supposedly by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
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Bury Your Gays
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Bury Your Gays: In Season 8, Lillian Moss is added as a female love interest for Dr. Emily Grace. Early in Season 9, Lillian is murdered - days before she and Dr. Grace were supposed to leave for London. It is revealed that she had an earlier relationship with a married woman, and was killed by the woman's husband.
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Liquid Courage
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Liquid Courage: Near the end of "The Murdoch Sting", Inspector Brackenreid advises Crabtree to make an effort to win back Dr. Grace's affections. Murdoch is in the room, and after Crabtree leaves, he declares he too will take the inspector's advice and (in his own case) propose to Dr. Ogden. Murdoch then goes to Brackenreid's decanter, pours two glasses (one for himself and one for his boss), and quickly downs his own drink. It turns out he probably needed that drink, since Julia refuses him before can finish due to threats against their lives.
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It's Always Sunny in Miami
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It's Always Sunny in Miami: Or in Toronto. With a few exceptions, it's almost always bright and sunny on the show. Even overcast days are rare, and winter seems practically non-existent.
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Hidden Depths
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"Twisted Sisters" starts with a couple of cross-country runners finding the body of a dead woman just after a training run. Dr. Grace learns from one of the runners that a club is sending a croquet player to the 1900 Olympics, leading to a subplot in which she contests the spot (she was city-wide croquet champion two years running).
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Hostile Weather
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"Stairway to Heaven" is set at a lodge on an island during a heavy thunderstorm. Detective Murdoch arrives soaking wet and tells everyone there that the ferry to the mainland won't operate again until the storm lets up, so he and Dr. Grace have to work the murder case entirely onsite.
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The Bad Guy Wins
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The Bad Guy Wins: Episode "Belly Speaker", in which the puppet-wielding suspect deceives everyone (including Murdoch) and ultimately escapes justice. There is no indication that he was ever caught afterwards. However, given his reasons for doing so and the truth later coming out about his twin brother, it's hard to not feel even a bit sympathetic. The episode "Werewolves". Although Murdoch and company prevent the killer from killing the last Asshole Victim he targeted in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, the killer's actions also led to the surviving victim being arrested by the Toronto police for his own crimes. Subverted in "Last Train to Kingston". Although James Gillies manages to outsmart Murdoch and company and escape, he apparently gets himself killed by jumping off a railway bridge into a shallow river. Played straight again when it turns out he faked his death and lived on another few years, finally meeting his end in Season 10's "The Devil Inside". In "Sir. Sir? Sir!!!", the entire cast (and presumably, soon to be the whole world) is taken over by aliens, and it's not a dream. But given that everyone is fine in the next episode it's also a clear case of Negative Continuity or a What-If Alternate Universe Halloween Episode.
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That One Case
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That One Case: In the aptly-titled "Unfinished Business", Murdoch plays a recording of a man's deathbed murder confession for Dr. Ogden. He's puzzled because the corpse he and his colleagues found by following the man's directions doesn't match other vivid details in the man's statement. Dr. Ogden recognizes the details of the corpse match an early case she worked on; she finds the case file in her old office and expresses regret that she couldn't solve the woman's murder.
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Yet Another Christmas Carol
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Yet Another Christmas Carol: "A Merry Murdoch Christmas" has elements of this with Inspector Brackenreid acting like the Scrooge or Grinch of the episode; however, he is obsessed with the Alpine holiday demon Krampus rather than Dickensian Christmas ghosts and there is also a "Miracle on 34th Street" plotline.
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Freudian Couch
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Freudian Couch: Detective Murdoch usually lies down when he has a hypnosis session with "his favourite head doctor" Dr. Roberts, who is a pioneer in mental health care in Toronto. Dr. Ogden becomes a psychiatrist between seasons five and six. She even went to Vienna to consult Sigmund Freud himself. In "Murdoch in Ladies' Wear", Murdoch is on her couch to recount a troubling dream he had about suspect Eva Pearce; he is distressed to have found Eva desirable when he's in love with Julia and investigating Eva for murder. The trope is played for laughs when Inspector Brackenreid comes to see Dr. Ogden and he's lying on a couch in her office, talking about some random stuff. She reminds him that he wished to speak about something important. Inspector immediately rises up and asks her to see his son who he's afraid might be a "sissy".
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Kissing Under the Influence
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Kissing Under the Influence: After an evening of consuming absinthe, Murdoch and Julia end up making out on a blanket. Subverted in this case; neither regret their actions on the morning after and consequently pursue a relationship.
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Smithical Marriage
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Smithical Marriage: A hotel clerk in "The Knockdown" tells Murdoch "We get a lot of Mrs. Smith and Mr. Jones here. This is not exactly the Queen's Hotel."
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Witness Protection
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Witness Protection: At the end of the episode "The Black Hand", Murdoch explains to Anna Fulford that she needs to leave Toronto because the Black Hand has a contract on her for the theft of counterfeit money her fiancé committed. He gives her a manila envelope with the details of a new life and background for her, telling her they cannot have further contact. She doesn't stay gone, but returns to work as a librarian in Toronto in the two-parter "Stroll on the Wild Side", and Murdoch is aghast when he recognizes her. Eventually, the Black Hand proves to be back in the person of Mr. Falcone, and she has to disappear more permanently this time. In "From Buffalo With Love", the murder victim turns out to have been relocated to Toronto by the Buffalo police after testifying against Falcone. The Toronto constabulary are rather put out they weren't informed, especially since they have experience with the Black Hand.
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Full-Name Basis
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Full-Name Basis: Whenever a historical figure appears, their full name is used as much as possible just to make sure it's clear who they are.
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Insufferable Genius
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Insufferable Genius: True, James Pendrick is a brilliant inventor, but he's also an eugenicist and acts rather arrogant, bordering rude towards Murdoch until his wife tries to frame him and get him executed.
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It Will Never Catch On
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It Will Never Catch On: Frequently. Including several occasions where Murdoch or Crabtree invent entirely new policing methods or technologies (like sonar or the concept of pixels and digital transmission of images — with a telegraph), only for Inspector Brackenreid to dismiss them. In one episode Crabtree explains how he used tracing paper to follow a telephone line, and find out where the call came from. Nobody's interested. Even Murdoch gets in on the game, when he scoffs at Crabtree's idea of a board game (basically, Clue). The episode "Murdoch Night in Canada" is all about how paying people to play ice hockey will never catch on, and if it does, the game will be ruined. The chief constable also assures the Wellingtons' owner that one thing he doesn't have to worry about is Americans buying his players, because they'll never be interested in hockey. Murdoch is appalled to learn that Brackenreid plans to invest money from the constabulary's new widows and orphans fund in the stock market instead of the reliability and security of good old Canadian government bonds, particularly when he hears some of the companies which Crabtree recommends investing in. The list includes General Electric, Ford, and Coca-Cola. Said word for word by Brackenreid about automatic sprinklers in "Murdoch in Toyland". Even Crabtree of all people get into the game when a bored Higgins hopes for a machine to match finger-prints. To which Crabtree loudly exclaims: "No machine will ever replace the eye of a trained policeman!" When Murdoch is introduced to coffee for the first time, he makes a face and wonders why anyone would drink that stuff while there's tea available. Murdoch scoffs at the idea of a tower in Toronto with a bulged area near the top for viewing in "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom". In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective Murdoch", Charlotte suggests she could play a lady detective in James Pendrick's moving picture. Brackenreid and Pendrick both laugh their heads off and rubbish the notion that a woman could become a police officer. In the same episode, Murdoch is overall rather dismissive of the idea that cinematograph could ever become a widespread mode of entertainment. Dr Grace at one point tells him "You should write all these ideas down!" when he suggests the pizza salesman could use his bicycle to take the product directly to people's homes. In "Tour de Murdoch", Dr Grace discovers a fourth blood type, which has elements of both Type A and Type B, and which she therefore calls Type AB. Murdoch suggests Type D would be simpler (Type O at this point was called Type C), and Crabtree agrees! Murdoch does this to himself in the interactive spin-off A Nightmare on Queen Street. The instructions for the player's L.A.P.T.O.P. (Levered Action Portable Truth Overview Protector) state that it contains "a miniaturized motion picture projector that features my own innovation, synchronized sound. (A novelty to be sure. I don't imagine it will catch on.)" In "From Buffalo With Love", this happens to Brackenreid for once. During the trip to Buffalo, he visits a restaurant and, when told they're out of food, says he's hungry enough to eat the chicken wings they were about to throw out (because nobody would eat chicken wings when they could have the rest of the chicken). He declares they're delicious with a spicy sauce, but everyone else is horrified, even the restaurateur, who murmurs to his wife "The Canadians are eating our garbage!" Three in "Home for the Holidays": Brakenreid and food again: When Mrs Brakenreid is gloating about how much money they have for Christmas, she says they could have a turkey, a duck, and a chicken. Brakenried suggests putting them inside each other and gets told "Don't be disgusting, Thomas!" When Ruth Newsome and Nina are spinning The Tale to Out Gambit Charles Ponzi, they claim to be selling lip-rouge by word of mouth as, since Make-Up Is Evil, there obviously isn't a cosmetics counter at Eaton's. One article about the department store shortly before its bankruptcy in 1999 says "the array of cosmetics and fashion accessories was deliciously tempting". The Newsomes apparently sunk a lot of money into attempting to make cola transparent, because brown drinks look revolting. Everyone else is completely baffled by this. In "Murdoch and the Undetectable Man", Nikola Tesla says that Albert (or possibly Alfred} Einsten has had some good ideas, but all this stuff about matter and energy and the speed of light has no practical purpose. In the same episode, he and Murdoch invent television, but don't bother patenting it as they don't see any commercial applications. In "Manual for Murder", Henry talks Ruth out of investing in Mr Kellog's company, because he just doesn't believe people will want to eat toasted corn for breakfast.
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Hospital Hottie
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Hospital Hottie: Doctor Ogden. The show is set well before doctors were wearing scrubs; she performs her duties in Gorgeous Period Dress. Dr. Emily Grace is a very attractive lady doctor. She works in the morgue and wears beautiful outfits.
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Even Evil Has Standards
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Even Evil Has Standards: In the episode "The Great Wall" the officers of Station 5 are openly racist and contemptuous of the Chinese population, focusing quickly on an elderly Chinese shopkeeper as a convenient prime suspect and becoming openly hostile towards Murdoch when he refuses to charge the man without conclusive evidence against him. When one of their number is revealed as the killer and also to have raped a young girl, it is clearly a bridge too far and the Station 5 inspector and constables openly express their disgust even though the victim was Chinese.
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Shipper on Deck
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Shipper on Deck: Ruby Ogden, for William and Julia. When she returns in series 4, she is clearly disappointed that Julia has chosen to marry Darcy over William. George ships William×Julia and has trouble understanding why they're not together. Even Brackenreid only smiles tolerantly at the end of Season 5 when the morally uptight Murdoch is framed in an open door, highlighted by fireworks, lip-locking with the still-married Julia.
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Alliterative Family
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Alliterative Family: The Upper-Class Twit Newsome siblings are named Roger, Rupert, and Ruth.
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Mugged for Disguise
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Mugged for Disguise: In "Hangman", escapee Cecil Fox surprises Constables Crabtree and Higgins to get a police uniform as a disguise. The two constables report to Station Four, one of them missing his tunic and the other missing his trousers. In his police guise, Fox goes to Dr. Ogden at the morgue to get medical treatment for his tracheotomy wound.
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Writing Indentation Clue
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Writing Indentation Clue: In the episode "Buffalo Shuffle", Murdoch uses graphite shavings from a pencil sharpener to raise some letters from a sheet in a notebook. He only finds some characters, so the meaning of the clue isn't readily apparent. In the episode "High Voltage", Murdoch asks a hotel desk clerk about the occupant of a hotel room, and the clerk finds the relevant page from the hotel register is missing. Murdoch uses this method and a camera to recover a signature from the register's next page. Chief Constable Davis does the same in "Bloody Hell", not realizing Murdoch was setting him up.
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"Take That!" Kiss: Gillies plants a big one on Murdoch's mouth in "Midnight Train to Kingston".
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Kindhearted Cat Lover
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Kindhearted Cat Lover: George Crabtree. He owns at least one dog and one cat and his first priority tends to be animals.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_34e15b76
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Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_354b12fe
comment
Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: In "Victor, Victorian", Brackenreid and Murdoch need someone to infiltrate a women's basketball team. They first glance at Crabtree, who promptly tells them he's not gonna wear a dress (again). Then Dr. Ogden comes in. In "Murdoch au Naturel", Brackenreid and Murdoch are discussing the difficulties they're having with getting information from a group of naturists (whose private nudist colony is where a corpse turned up). They have the bright idea to send in someone undercover, and since the naturists have already met Murdoch, he and Brackenreid turn to Constable Crabtree, who objects. Cut to Crabtree entering the colony without clothing.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_354b12fe
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Lethal Chef
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_35ae6a23
comment
Lethal Chef: Mrs. Kitchen, Murdoch's landlady, definitely cannot cook. In one episode, Mrs. Kitchen's friend's food is even worse — even mice won't touch it. It's actually poisoned, though not lethally, to keep Murdoch feverish while they try to retrieve some stolen things.
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Weird Trade Union
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_35b429f3
comment
Weird Trade Union: Mick and Tim O'Shea are publicly known as a pair of militant Irish dockworkers and labour organizers. Privately, they also extort waterfront merchants, murder anyone who becomes a threat, and indulge in Human Trafficking with women who can't speak English.
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Death Faked for You
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_369a1bf6
comment
At the end of the episode "The Black Hand", Murdoch explains to Anna Fulford that she needs to leave Toronto because the Black Hand has a contract on her for the theft of counterfeit money her fiancé committed. He gives her a manila envelope with the details of a new life and background for her, telling her they cannot have further contact. She doesn't stay gone, but returns to work as a librarian in Toronto in the two-parter "Stroll on the Wild Side", and Murdoch is aghast when he recognizes her. Eventually, the Black Hand proves to be back in the person of Mr. Falcone, and she has to disappear more permanently this time.
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Switch to English
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comment
Switch to English: Early in "Monsieur Murdoch" when Murdoch, Higgins and Crabtree find a man in a missing woman's hotel room, the constables tackle the man, who speaks in French, demanding to be released. Murdoch asks the man to identify himself in French, and the man does so turns out he's a member of the Paris police. Soon he insultingly suggests switching to English so he can butcher that language instead. Murdoch doesn't take the bait, but later on (once the two are working together), he reverts to French without provoking any complaint from the Frenchman.
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Hangover Sensitivity
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_37065c74
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Hangover Sensitivity: In "The Green Fairy", the usually non-drinking Murdoch spends an evening drinking absinthe. The following day is hard. After a night of drinking (with Annie Oakley), Inspector Brackenreid ends up hungover. Murdoch seems to be subtly disapproving, the way he's talking a bit louder than usual or slamming the door, to Brackenreid's pain, but as Murdoch earlier got the blame from Mrs. Brackenreid for Brackenreid's drinking (he left his scotch in Murdoch's drawer because his wife knew his hiding places), it's justified payback.
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Monochrome Apparition
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_3782508d
comment
Monochrome Apparition: In the episode "The Ghost of Queen's Park", there are several mysterious deaths in a building near Queen's Park that look like murders. People report seeing a ghost that is blue and glows. The ghost was a woman who wanted a revenge for her mother's death. She looked exactly like her mother and her adoptive father was a scientist who experimented with radium. She rubbed herself with it, and radium is luminescent, glowing a faint blue.
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William Telling
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_37c6c0f3
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William Telling: In "Mild Mild West", Lightning Wilcox's sharpshooting act has him shooting the hat off his partner's head and then a bottle out of his hand.
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Five-Second Foreshadowing
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_381855db
comment
Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the episode "Murdoch in Toyland", Murdoch and Inspector Brackenreid descend the stairs of a church basement and Brackenreid comments, "It's like a tomb down here." Seconds later, Murdoch turns on a light and they find a headless corpse.
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Batman Gambit
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_38d02d44
comment
Batman Gambit: In the Season 2 finale, while Murdoch goes to British Columbia in pursuit of the Killer of the Week, Brackenreid targets the Corrupt Corporate Executives who hired him. Brackenreid visits one of them on the pretext of updating him on the case, saying that they're closing in on the murderer, who's nicknamed "Accidental Al". The inspector mentions in passing that Al has a nasty habit of turning on his employers when things start heating up, and then leaves. This spooks the executive enough that he calls one of his cronies to discuss the case... not realizing that Crabtree has tapped his phone line and is listening to their conversation.
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Poetic Serial Killer
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The Poetic Serial Killer in "Werewolves" met his end when he tried to attack the investigators. Inspector Brackenreid shot him dead with a rifle, and was quite shaken by it, claiming it was the first time he killed anybody on duty as a police officer. This was the killer's Batman Gambit, not having any more reason to live after he'd gotten his revenge.
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Foregone Conclusion
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Foregone Conclusion: Dr. Ogden and Dr. Grace join a suffragette movement advocating for women's right to vote. They run one of their members as a candidate in the 1902 provincial election, but she has no chance of winning. It's not all bad, though, as they convince several dozen men to vote for their candidate.
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Warts and All
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Warts and All: Early in "Winston's Lost Night", Inspector Brackenreid is unhappy that the great Winston Churchill is locked in one of the station's cells, and he effusively praises Churchill's book as "stirring stuff". As he learns of Churchill's apparent alcohol-induced blackout and aristocratic ways (including traveling with servants and his treatment of Crabtree as another of his servants — asking the constable to fetch his hat and stick) and gets insulted by Churchill for requesting an autograph, Brackenreid begins to write him off as another "toff". Eventually, Brackenreid quotes from Churchill's book (to the author's delight) to talk down a murderer threatening to kill Churchill, and Churchill apologizes for his insulting comment on the autograph book and asks to sign it.
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Take That, Audience!
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Take That, Audience!: A friendly jab the end of "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch". Also the Detective Murdoch fan club in "The Murdoch Appreciation Society".
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Sherlock Scan
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_3ec18c6f
comment
Sherlock Scan: Early in "A Study in Sherlock", Murdoch is responding to an armed robbery and is distracted by a bearded man commenting on a dead robber's cirrhosis of the liver. When the constables bring along a man they found with a mask and a safe deposit box, the bearded man speaks up again, noting the red marks on the bridge of the man's nose and the fact that one hand is markedly cleaner than the other before stating he works a machinist. He goes on to state the nearby machine shop's shift change happened half an hour after the robbery, so he cannot possibly be involved in the crime. Murdoch demands to know how he knows all this, and the man peels off his false beard and introduces himself as Sherlock Holmes. Murdoch is later chagrined to learn the man was right about all the details.
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Make It Look Like an Accident
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_3f0b2f50
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Make It Look Like an Accident: The season 2 finale has a contract killer that specializes in this.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_3f0b2f50
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First-Name Basis
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4023b8c8
comment
In "Murdoch in Ragtime", Leslie Garland uses Dr. Grace's first name the first time they're together in The Blind Pig. She calls him on it ("Awfully forward, Mr. Garland "), yet he does it again after her objection. Later, the courtship progresses, she doesn't mind his brashness so much and he tells her, "Call me Leslie."
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Manipulative Bastard
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James Gillies is an impeccably dressed young man of fashion. He's also a stone-cold Manipulative Bastard who enjoys setting up elaborate revenge plots on anyone unlucky enough to get in his way.
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Malaproper
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comment
Malaproper: Constable Crabtree mispronounces something or messes up a phrase from time to time, especially in the early seasons. Detective Murdoch sometimes corrects him, but once George Crabtree dismisses him and says that they will have agree to disagree as to what the correct expression is, Murdoch stops doing it. The best instance was probably when George repeated after Murdoch that haemo-goblin is the substance causing a chemical reaction.
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Cold-Blooded Torture
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Cold-Blooded Torture: Mr. Pendrick gets tortured in the season 6 première "Murdoch Air" when the American agents want to find out how to control his Pendrick Aero which they have stolen.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_424c9a9b
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Villainous Crush
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comment
Villainous Crush: Sally Pendrick gives Murdoch a nude, abstract painting of herself in "This One Goes to Eleven". See also the character page. Arlene Dennet in "Bloodlust" has one on Detective Murdoch. She tells Murdoch to call her by her first name, clings onto Murdoch several times, stabs herself in the neck to be near him, and tells him a 'secret' that he must vow not to tell because vows are "sacred as say a vow of fidelity between lovers" (cue Murdoch looking around uncomfortably). Made even more squick in that it doubles as a Precocious Crush since Murdoch is investigating the murder of a popular girl at a boarding school. Wonder who did it? It is implied that James Gillies has one on Detective Murdoch, and it is confirmed in "The Devil Inside", when he calls Murdoch "the object of [his] admiration and ardour".
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Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!
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comment
Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: When William decides to unlock Ava Moon's cell and let her escape in the series 4 finale. Brackenreid bends his own convictions to hide Murdoch's actions. After escaping the US agents with Pendrick's prototype plane in Season 6 first episode, Murdoch and Pendrick are arrested by Terrence Meyers and his goons, who want to use the plane for military operations. Pendrick promptly destroys his prototype, though Meyers threatens him with a trial for high treason.
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IJustWantMyBelovedToBeHappy
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_44c59f9f
comment
George begins courting Nina Bloom, a dancer at the local burlesque house, and they begin a budding relationship. However when she mistakenly believes George is growing interested in Louise Cherry, she decides to break things off so he can pursue a relationship with a respectable woman. However in season 10, George comes to realize that it was really Nina he loved, and after breaking things off with Louise in "Hell To Pay," he seeks out Nina.
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Beach Episode
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_44f6517d
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Beach Episode: "Loch Ness Murdoch" starts with Dr. Ogden and Inspector Brackenreid at the beach during a heatwave, with other characters joining them later.
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Long-Lost Relative
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comment
Long-Lost Relative: In the series 2 finale "Anything You Can Do...", Murdoch discovers that the Mountie he is working on a case with is in fact his half-brother, the product of a relationship his father had with another woman after the death of Murdoch's mother. In season 2, George, who was a Doorstop Baby meets his birth mother. Murdoch's long-lost father turns up as a murder suspect in "Let Loose the Dogs". Murdoch has a long-lost sister who turns up as the Reverend Mother of a convent where a fake priest has been killed.
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Human Popsicle
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Human Popsicle: Dr. Roberts is frozen alive with hopes that Huntington's disease could be cured in the future.
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Adult Fear
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Adult Fear: When Bobby Brackenreid gets kidnapped, his parents are scared out of their minds. They have to consider the worst, and investigate a pederast that a witness said she saw near the crime scene.
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Manic Pixie Dream Girl
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_46290b93
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Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Tess Moffatt in "Dial M for Murdoch," whose repeated claims that she has heard crimes being committed in her work as a telephone operator, scorned by Brackenreid, end up drawing the team into a murder investigation, and particularly drawing Crabtree into a zanier-than-usual pursuit of the killer. At the end of the episode, she considers opening a detective agency of her own, which would show independent ambition that belies the trope. However, as this desire is never followed up on in subsequent episodes, the main function of this ambition ends up being to serve George Crabtree's character development. When he tells Tess he cannot join her in her detective agency, he reveals a sense of duty to Det. Murdoch and Insp. Brackenreid, highlighting a professional, serious side of his character that contrasts his generally goofy attitude.
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Not the Nessie
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Not the Nessie: The monster resembling a prehistoric serpent is just a fabricated machine created to scare off people from the beach.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_46344656
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In-Universe
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_469e3e2f
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In-Universe, Sherlock Holmes is one for Murdoch. And in Real Life Murdoch is one for Sherlock Holmes.
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Working the Same Case
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Working the Same Case: In the episode "Buffalo Shuffle", Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are investigating the death of a child patient at Julia's hospital in Buffalo, NY. They go to the home of a nurse who may know something about the boy's death, where they are surprised by a local Buffalo police detective investigating the death of the same nurse (her body having washed ashore). In the episode "Murdoch on the Corner", Inspector Brackenreid is investigating the death of a pastor who was beaten to death with a blunt instrument, while Murdoch is trying to find a "sequential killer" who dispatches their victims with a single gunshot. It eventually becomes clear the same killer is responsible, and the deviation from the pattern in the pastor's case is a clue as to the motive. One season 6 episode has Inspector Brackenreid investigating the apparent suicide of a prisoner who seems to have hung himself in his cell and who was one of the Inspector's old Army friends. Meanwhile, Murdoch and Crabtree are investigating a robbery in which the shop owner was brutally murdered. They eventually find that both cases are related. "The Murdoch Appreciation Society" starts with Murdoch investigating a murder victim found in a park, while Crabtree is on another case, the theft of a cadaver at a medical institute. The victim and the corpse end up being one and the same.
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Latex Perfection
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_47325888
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Latex Perfection: In "The Murdoch Trap", it's revealed that Gillies had used a latex mask of Dr. Ogden's face to impersonate her.
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Saying Too Much
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Saying Too Much: When a boy asks which criminal they are transporting in "Midnight Train to Kingston", Constable Higgins replies, "Just a man who needs to be hanged." The boy then says, "Is it James Gillies?", and all the passengers in the car begin to panic. Brackenreid later berates Higgins for his stupidity.
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Swan Boats
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4756bfdd
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Swan Boats: In "Painted Ladies", the first murder victim is found dead in a huge swan boat floating on the lake. There is lipstick smudged all over his lips and they also find a flirtation card on the body. All subsequent murder scenes also feature swans.
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Stock Footage
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4856ac40
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Stock Footage: Many establishing shots in the early seasons made use of photos in the Toronto Archives, often with carriages or pedestrians animated. A particularly noteworthy example is the second part of "Great Balls of Fire", the two-episode opener to season 10, which briefly faded from color to black and white in order to use film footage of the 1904 Great Fire of Toronto.
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Written-In Absence
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Written-In Absence: Dr. Ogden leaves Toronto for a job at a children's hospital in Buffalo at the end of series 3. She's still in Buffalo at the beginning of series 4, but returns to Toronto and her old job halfway through the series. Early in season 10, Brackenreid goes on a scientific trip to Panama with James Pendrick for several episodes.
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Combat Pragmatist
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_49fb5ccb
comment
Combat Pragmatist: Dr. Julia Ogden is a prime example of one. She will attack you from behind or use her skill with scapels to mortally injure you (see "Snakes and Ladders") if you attack her or someone she cares about. Dr. Emily Grace takes after her mentor. In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", when she was grabbed by one of the "zombies", she stabbed him in the hand with her hatpin, and in "Friday the 13th 1901" she hit Julia's ax-wielding attacker from behind with a bottle. Anna Fulford in "The Murdoch Identity" is quite handy with a frying pan, and later in the same episode she shoots one of Murdoch's captors and pistol whips one in the back of the head. In "Victoria Cross", Murdoch himself comes upon a killer approaching Julia and her patient (an eyewitness to his earlier robbery and murder), and grabs the guy's arm from behind without further ado — no flashing the badge or issuing a verbal order to stop.
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I Never Said It Was Poison
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I Never Said It Was Poison: In "The Murdoch Appreciation Society", the real murderer is a bit too eager to point toward the man he's trying to frame (his ex-professor who fired him from university), and tells Murdoch they have to stop him before he can strangle another person. Murdoch is prompt to note that he never revealed the victim was strangled.
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Fish out of Temporal Water
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4acee1ed
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A second web series was made to coincide with Season 5, The Murdoch Effect, which features William in a Fish out of Temporal Water situation, winding up in present-day Toronto with modern-day versions of his colleagues. The episodes are currently available on the official Ovation YouTube channel. Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6
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Taking the Heat
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4b39c18
comment
Taking the Heat: At the start of season 9, Crabtree has gone to jail for the murder of Edna Brooks's husband, putting in a plea of "uncontested" because he doesn't want to perjure himself by pleading guilty. He refuses to discuss the case, even with Murdoch, until evidence starts appearing that she didn't commit it either.
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Lobotomy
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4bfe435c
comment
Lobotomy: In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", psychiatrist Dr. Bates is revealed to have been performing lobotomies through the nose on criminals and violent/ill-tempered men. Though a couple of his patients became docile through the procedure, more of his "patients/victims" ended up even more violent than before.
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Temporary Love Interest
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comment
Temporary Love Interest: Anna Fulford. Murdoch first meets her in "The Murdoch Identity" while suffering amnesia in Bristol, but remembers Julia before their relationship can go anywhere. She returns briefly in season 4, but has to go into witness protection when her dead fiancé's criminal gang target her. The Bus Came Back again briefly in series 5, but Murdoch was forced to fake Anna's death to help her escape this time. Enid Jones for Murdoch. She is a capable woman who used to work as a telegraphist. She's a widow and has an eager ten-year-old son who is fascinated by science stuff and by Detective Murdoch. Murdoch was impressed that she was able to build a telescope. Telephone operator-cum-lady detective for George. Even though it lasted only one episode. She was very spirited and spunky. Edna Garrison/Brooks for George again. A character who he had a brief date with in Season 1, and who then returned in Season 8. At the start of Season 9, she goes on the run with her stepson once she realizes he's the one who killed his abusive father.
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The Dentist Episode
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4ca056e4
comment
The Dentist Episode: The B-plot of "Invention Convention" revolves around Inspector Brackenreid's aching tooth and his avoidance of the dreaded dentist's drill. His wife books him an appointment and accompanies him, but he has Constable Higgins interrupt with a vague work excuse to summon him away. Meanwhile, he's been using cocaine and heroin to dull the pain, with mood swings and drowsiness ensuing. Constable Crabtree comes upon Higgins outside the dentist's office and sends his colleague away on the errand Murdoch had just assigned him. Then he enters the dentist's office, tells the inspector that he isn't needed right away, and picks up a nearby apple, taking a bite as he leaves. Brackenreid is heard hollering in agony in the background as Crabtree pauses outside the dental office. Later in the episode (once the pain has subsided), Brackenreid grudgingly praises Crabtree for his guts in acting as he did.
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Trapped by Gambling Debts
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Trapped by Gambling Debts: The killer in "Murdoch Night In Canada" murders the captain of his team so that its star player will be able to play in a championship game and the killer can use his wagers on the game to wipe out his gambling debts.
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Wedding Ring Removal
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4d30004d
comment
Wedding Ring Removal: In the episode "The Tesla Effect", as Murdoch and inventor/businessman James Pendrick are discussing how and why his wife Sally Pendrick framed Pendrick for murder and masterminded an art theft, Pendrick removes and looks at his wedding ring before placing it on a table.
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I Can't Dance
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I Can't Dance: This is a Running Gag for a time in the series. Inspector Brackenereid gives Murdoch two tickets to a dance and when Murdoch is initially reluctant to take them, his boss makes a crack about dancing not being against Murdoch's religion. Murdoch takes lessons so he can escort Dr. Ogden, and she attends the same school to improve her own skills. Both of them need the help: Murdoch steps on her feet and has to remind her not to lead. In a later episode, when Higgins says Murdoch will waltz in and have the information for which the constables are wearily searching fingerprint cards, Crabtree retorts that Murdoch doesn't waltz: "Believe me, I've seen him try."
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Swivel-Chair Antics
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_4ddd4d1a
comment
Swivel-Chair Antics: Early in "The Murdoch Identity", Detective Slorach is joining Station 4 to help find the missing Murdoch when he's distractedly playing with Murdoch's desk chair while the others are trying to bring him up to speed on the case.
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Improvised Weapon
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comment
Improvised Weapon: These crop up from time to time, including: In "'Til Death Do Us Part", the murder weapon turns out to be a processional cross that was in the room where the victim and his killer were arguing. In "The Murdoch Identity", when Anna Fulford and Murdoch are confronted by his two armed pursuers in her pub, she tells Murdoch to duck before using a frying pan to hit one of the gunmen in the head. In "Downstairs, Upstairs", the household objects used to kill include a fireplace poker and a chair cushion. A geologist's pick has twice been used to kill, in "Dinosaur Fever" and "Murdoch of the Klondike". In "Murdoch Ahoy", a man proved to have been stabbed to death with a specialized screwdriver. In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", Dr. Grace uses her hatpin to stab a "zombie" that grabbed her arm. In the B-plot of "The Death of Dr. Ogden", the victim is found with the murder weapon, a red snooker ball, jammed in his mouth. Played for Laughs by Constable Crabtree in "Crabtreemania" when he finds himself suddenly in a professional wrestling match. After he fails to get the better of his opponent (including using a martial arts move he learned the previous season), his sweetheart Edna gives him a folded chair, which he uses to hit his opponent on the head and knock him out. George then hoists Edna onto his shoulder in victory to receive the cheers of the crowd.
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Downer Ending
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Downer Ending: Season 3 concludes with Julia ending her relationship with William and leaving Toronto for Buffalo. To add insult to injury, William — having decided to propose to Julia — rushes to the train station just in time to see her train pulling away. It's more Narm than anything else, since the train is still moving so slowly that he could have easily ran and climbed aboard, and even if it wasn't he could have just taken the next train. Season 4's conclusion, where it looks like William's future in the Toronto constabulary is under threat and Julia goes through with her wedding to Darcy despite still being in love with William. Season 7 ends with Inspector Brackenreid brutally beaten, possibly to death. This happened immediately after Murdoch and Dr. Ogden were finally engaged and happy, in a severe case of Mood Whiplash. Episode 8x07, which ends with Chief Constable Giles and Constable Hodge both in jail. The end of season 8. Crabtree is arrested and charged with the murder of Edna's husband, and both she and Simon are missing. Season 10 ends with Murdoch arrested for murder, Julia missing, Brackenreid missing and possibly dead, and one of Constables Crabteee, Higgins or Jackson definitely dead. This episode is a cruel example of Reality Ensues, when a handful of people try to take on a Mafia-like organization of the rich and elite that's always two steps ahead of them and expect to win. There's a Hope Spot at the very end, however, with Detective Watts showing up outside Murdoch's cell and promising to help. Season 12's "Brother's Keeper" is a brutal one: Detective Watts, believing his foster brother had murdered the killer of their other brother, tried to take the fall by claiming to have shot the man himself in self-defense. However Watts' story slowly begins to fall apart as his connections to the victim are discovered. Eventually, Crabtee and John Brackenreid discover the second brother's body. Murdoch confronts Watts with an accusation that he discovered his brother's death, and in turn gunned down the victim in cold blood...Only to realize when Watts breaks down at the sight of the crime scene photographs that Watts never knew about his brother's death until that moment. It's eventually revealed the victim's father, who until then did not believe the monster his son had become, discovered the killing, and shot his own son to stop him from killing again. Watts arrived on the scene responding to a phone call from his brother, (intending to stop him from murdering their brother's killer) believed his brother had indeed pulled the trigger, and staged his self-defense shooting. Afterwards, a heartbroken Watts tries to turn in his badge to Brackenreid, only to be rebuffed to live with his actions, his loss, and the cruel justice to be faced by the victim's father.
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Screw the Money, I Have Rules!
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Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Inspector Brackenreid is recruited by a group of businessmen to run for a position on Toronto's City Council, with the intent that he'll back their efforts to build a subway system in Toronto in exchange for their getting him elected. Brackenreid starts out strong, but when his opponent gains ground with an anti-immigrant platform, Brackenreid's backers try to respond. They get the inspector to blame a rash of break-ins in the area on a caravan of gypsies, and Brackenreid arrests several of their men. However, his conscience nags at him, and when he investigates the thefts further he finds that the people responsible for the break-ins are the son of his chief backer and the son's friends. When Brackenreid tries to turn the gypsies loose and arrest the son, his backers try to talk him out of it. They try to entice him by reminding him of the perks of office when he gets elected, which prompts Brackenreid to remind them that they're skirting dangerously close to trying to bribe a police officer. He arrests the backer's son and drops out of the race.
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Magician Detective
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Magician Detective: In "Houdini Whodunnit", Harry Houdini fills this role, helping Murdoch to work out how a bank vault was robbed without any tampering with the lock.
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Early Installment Weirdness
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Early Installment Weirdness: In the Season 1 episode "Body Double", Brackenreid refers to the "Toronto Police Department". The expression "Toronto Constabulary" is used almost every other time in the series. Another Season 1 episode portrays Brackenreid in uniform, when meeting with superiors; he has never been shown in uniform since. Early seasons used photographs of late-19th century Toronto with extras superimposed over them for establishing shots of the city. As the series wore these were dropped, and shots of the exterior location sets were used instead.
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SmugSnake
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Smug Snake: Doctor Luther Bates. He's convinced his unethical experiments are for the betterment of the human species, and that he'll gain recognition for them one day. Under accusation, he denies everything while sporting the smuggest smirk you can imagine. When Murdoch finally corners him, he tries to kill the detective, still as proud of himself as ever. His demise is suitably karmic.
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Gorgeous Period Dress
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Doctor Ogden. The show is set well before doctors were wearing scrubs; she performs her duties in Gorgeous Period Dress.
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Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me
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Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Sally Pendrick has used technology stolen from Nikola Tesla to develop a microwave death ray. When he goes to try and stop her from selling the weapon, Murdoch asks Dr. Tesla to develop some sort of protection. Tesla comes up with a shield made of polished silver and aluminum that Murdoch places in front of him on the coach he rides. The shield more than proves its worth when Sally Pendrick fires the death ray at Murdoch. Not only does the shield protect him, but it actually reflects the microwaves back at the gun, instantly destroying it.
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I Was Having Such a Nice Dream
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I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: Murdoch is dreaming of finally marrying Julia in the opening of "Murodch Air" when Constable Crabtree pounds on his door to summon him.
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Unresolved Sexual Tension
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Unresolved Sexual Tension: UST is an apt description of the relationship between Detective William Murdoch and Dr. Julia Ogden, particularly in the first several seasons. Each of them in their own ways contributes to the difficulties; William seems somewhat lacking in social skills (such as dancing) and has trouble telling Julia how he feels, while Julia is torn by her professional ambitions and ambivalence over motherhood in the face of his desire for a family. This is made worse by the Victorian/Edwardian setting and the necessary restraint needed by social standards of the time, as the UST is just as strong (if not stronger) whenever their on/off relationship is actually on. It is at its highest possible level during season five when Julia is married to another man, but the UST is eventually resolved when her husband pulls an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy and tells her to be with William. Julia and William rekindling their romance closes the season. In season 6, the tension is back as they are together but unwilling to commit adultery when Julia goes through the unavoidable scandal of her divorce, capped by the murder of her husband, for which Julia is initially convicted! Eventually in season 8, They Do, but boy howdy have they earned it.
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Donut Mess with a Cop
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Donut Mess with a Cop: Crabtree and Higgins do enjoy donuts during hideouts.
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Always Murder
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Always Murder: The crime in most episodes is murder, often predictably at the beginning.
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SpinningPaper
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Spinning Paper: "Kissing Bandit Strikes Again!"
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Abandon Ship
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Abandon Ship: This order is given in "Murdoch Ahoy" when the cruise ship starts sinking.
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Picture-Perfect Presentation
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Picture-Perfect Presentation: The episode "Dead End Street" features a dissolve from a painstakingly detailed diorama of the street to Murdoch and Crabtree walking up the real one.
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Drowning My Sorrows
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Drowning My Sorrows: In Season 3 episode "Rich Boy, Poor Boy", Brackenreid thinks his kidnapped son Bobby has been killed and gets totally wasted. In "High Voltage", Julia tells Emily and Lillian of her decision not to stand as a candidate in the provincial election, to her hearers' intense disappointment. After Julia leaves, Lillian says she knows of a bar that serves women, and Emily immediately expresses a desire to go there.
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Book-Ends
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Book-Ends: "Hangman" opens with an execution scene in a prison, with Murdoch, another detective and the crown prosecutor among the witnesses. Near the end, the scene returns to the same room, with the crown prosecutor being hanged. At the start of the season 5 premiere "Murdoch of the Klondike", Murdoch tosses his police badge into a creek to symbolize how alienated he is from his old life. However, after saving his landlady from the noose and catching a murderer, Murdoch decides to return to Toronto. His decision is symbolized by Jack London giving him back his badge, which Jack had fished out of the creek. Early in "The Murdoch Sting", Brackenreid is refilling his office scotch decanter and waves the bottle under Murdoch's nose, praising the aroma and asking if Murdoch finds it appealing. Murdoch replies that he hasn't had a drink in years and doesn't intend to start now. Near the end of the episode, Murdoch goes to the same decanter, pours two glasses and actually drinks his fairly quickly, having decided to propose to Dr. Ogden.
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Girls' Night Out Episode
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Season 7 has two: the Girls' Night Out Episode "Friday the 13 1901", in which a Closed Circle meant Dr Odgen had to play detective, and "Kung Fu Crabtree" in which, as the title suggests Crabtree took the lead, because Murdoch was caught up in a Story Arc related B-plot.
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Flashback
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In the two-parter "On the Waterfront", Brackenreid recalls in Flashback a day when his wife Margaret gave directions to two men driving a wagon. The inspector called sharply to his wife from his wheelchair on the front porch, and Margaret didn't seem to understand what he was fussing about. The men were the O'Shea brothers, who had beaten Brackenreid nearly to death (hence his presence at home in the wheelchair). They don't speak to Brackenreid directly, but one of them does tip his hat to the inspector.
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Clear Their Name
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Clear Their Name: A couple of examples: Murdoch's landlady is accused of murder in "Murdoch of the Klondike", and Murdoch has to prove her innocence. "The Murdoch Trap" centers around Murdoch, Brackenreid and Crabtree trying to prove Dr. Ogden's innocence when she's framed for Darcy Garland's murder. Season 10 ends with Murdoch in jail for murder and having to clear his own name amid corrupt police officials.
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Revisiting the Cold Case
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_54c6b2b6
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Revisiting the Cold Case: The victims in "Love and Human Remains" have been preserved by the peat they were buried in, and each new clue Murdoch and company use to identify them ends up dating them further and further back. Murdoch ultimately concludes that they were killed in approximately 1836, a good sixty years prior to the series. "Confederate Treasure" dates back to the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. Skeletal human remains in an old suit, with an old pistol in one pocket and a document bearing the signature of Canada's first prime minister suggest the date. The newspaper archives indicate a Canadian minister went missing in the 1860s, but, well, there was a war on in the neighboring country... "Unfinished Business" has Murdoch share a recorded deathbed confession of murder with Dr. Ogden. He's puzzled that the confession details don't match the data Dr. Grace gathered from the corpse he and his colleagues found using the dead man's directions. Dr. Ogden recognizes the details of the confession as matching a case she and Murdoch worked on eight years earlier, one in which Murdoch investigated the husband of the murder victim but had to drop the matter for lack of evidence. "What Lies Buried" involves a corpse that dates back over twenty years before the current timeline (1881, when the episode is set circa 1902). Workmen digging in the station house basement turn up the remains, and the investigation leads to a constable who disappeared and the unsolved murder of a rent boy. "Concocting a Killer" opens with a man being freed from prison for a murder that he claims to have been wrongfully convicted of thanks to Murdoch and Ogden. Watts is sent to investigate since Murdoch can't be relied on as an impartial investigator.
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_55473bc9
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CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_55473bc9
comment
CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: In "Murdoch Ahoy", a drowning Detective Murdoch is saved by Dr. Ogden using CPR. Lampshaded by Inspector Brackereid who didn't understand what she was doing and later joked that while his best man was drowning, she was only using it as an opportunity to kiss Murdoch.
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_55473bc9
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_55f92df9
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Wire Dilemma
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_55f92df9
comment
Wire Dilemma: Subverted in the episode "Murdoch Ahoy", when Inspector Brakenreid asks Murdoch how he knows what wire to cut, and Murdoch says it doesn't matter. Early 1900s bomb design didn't extend to having wires that would activate it if cut.
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Animal Assassin
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_56352cc6
comment
Animal Assassin: In "Evil Eye of Egypt", a cobra placed in a sarcophagus bites the first person opening it.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_56352cc6
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Recurring Character
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_56635771
comment
Recurring Character: Canadian government spymaster Terrence Meyers seems to show up at least once per season. Mr. Pendrick, a genius inventor, who appeared first in season 3.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_56635771
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_569a95e9
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The Teetotaler
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_569a95e9
comment
The Teetotaler: Detective Murdoch doesn't normally drink any alcohol at all as he wants to keep his head clear. Moreover, he avoids alcohol because his father is an alcoholic. Notably averted in "The Green Muse" when Murdoch spends an evening getting drunk on absinthe in order to figure out how it would affect the mind (he really does do it For Science!). Murdoch also knocks back a whiskey with Branckenreid after releasing Ava Moon, slams one before making one of his marriage proposals to Julia, and sips a glass at his bachelor party.
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Near-Death Clairvoyance
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_57bb7b55
comment
Near-Death Clairvoyance: The aim of the society in "Staircase to Heaven". Murdoch experiences it for himself.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_57bb7b55
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Beta Couple
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Beta Couple: Generally, George and whoever his latest sweetheart happens to be: He and Dr. Grace were be heading in this direction in season 5. George kisses Emily passionately and quite thoroughly in "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom". Unfortunately, Leslie Garland came in and stole Grace from under him. Later was Edna Brooks, until she was forced to leave Toronto after her son murdered her abusive husband in self-defense. He started this with Nina Bloom, before she left him because she (mistakenly) believe he was courting Louise Cherry. And then he started seeing Louise after all only to begin returning to Nina once he realized Louise was a much less savory person than he thought.
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Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_598513bb
comment
Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Dr. Julia Ogden's sister Ruby is introduced when she is revealed to be a magician's assistant to Harry Houdini, much to Julia's chagrin. While Julia has become a doctor and a coroner in Toronto, Ruby has gotten into popular journalism and travels the world, becoming romantically involved with the married H.G. Wells at one point. The two sisters sometimes bicker over their differences, with Julia making remarks about her sister's tendency to spend time with sultans and such. Ruby retaliates at one point by calling her sister "Jules" (an old childhood nickname Julia no longer likes) and lamenting her sister being a stick-in-the-mud, particularly critiquing the slow-motion courtship between her and William.
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_5a40d6a
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Adaptation Distillation
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comment
Adaptation Distillation: The series differs markedly in several respects from the original Maureen Jennings novels. In the novels, Murdoch tends to solve his cases more through legwork and talking to suspects and witnesses, rarely if ever acting as the Science Hero he is on the show. On the show, Crabtree is usually the one who does most of the legwork, whereas in the novels he usually only appeared to gather up a jury. On the show, Brackenreid is a good-natured Boisterous Bruiser, but in the novels he's a pompous, arrogant Jerkass who views Murdoch with disdain and is even implied to be somewhat bigoted against the Catholic Murdoch. Oh, and in the novels, Murdoch's father was abusive, no two ways about it.
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Instant Sedation
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comment
Instant Sedation: In "Murdoch Air", both James Pendrick and William Murdoch are hit by Tranquillizer Darts and fall unconscious about two seconds later. Afterward, Murdoch is puzzled while analyzing the anesthetic and being unable to identify it.
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Older Than They Think
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_5be7bcfa
comment
There is a "digitized" and "faxed" photograph Murdoch and his Surete colleague obtain via telegraph in "Monsieur Murdoch". (Could be considered an aversion, since the first telefax line was inaugurated in France in 1865.
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Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario
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comment
Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: William and Julia go through one or two before they finally get together for good. George begins courting Nina Bloom, a dancer at the local burlesque house, and they begin a budding relationship. However when she mistakenly believes George is growing interested in Louise Cherry, she decides to break things off so he can pursue a relationship with a respectable woman. However in season 10, George comes to realize that it was really Nina he loved, and after breaking things off with Louise in "Hell To Pay," he seeks out Nina.
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Public Exposure
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comment
Public Exposure: In "This One Goes to Eleven", Mrs. Sally Pendrick is being portrayed in an "odalisque" pose, lying completely naked on a sofa by the pool in her and her husband's residence. Detective Murdoch is quite embarrassed to run into her being painted like that. The painting is done in a modern, non-representational style with geometric figures in primary colors (very much a proto-Cubist style). Constable Crabtree believes it represents a pyramid, but Dr. Julia Ogden clearly sees it's "a woman in a rather intimate pose".
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Doorstop Baby
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_5cd8680b
comment
George's mother left him on a church doorstep.
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The Joy of X
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_5e126c79
comment
The template for a title troped as The Joy of X is also used quite often: "I, Murdoch" (I, Noun), "Me, Myself and Murdoch" (Me, Myself and X), "Dial M for Murdoch" (Dial X for Y), and "Murdoch in Wonderland" (X in Wonderland).
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Intrepid Reporter
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comment
Intrepid Reporter: Paddy Glynn frequently pops up at the Toronto Constabulary during the fourth season looking for a Big Scoop and usually irritating Inspector Brackenreid in the process. Late in the season, he's unmasked as the Kissing Bandit, a thief who has been robbing banks and giving the money to an orphanage and kissing women during the robberies. He tells Murdoch and Brackenreid that he did it to make the news instead of just reporting on it.
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Fake Crossover
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comment
Fake Crossover: "Republic of Murdoch" features Murdoch and Crabtree pursuing a murder suspect to Newfoundland and, as the title would suggest, said suspect appears to be an identical ancestor of Jake Doyle. Obviously, due to the time difference, the two shows don't technically crossover themselves. This episode is followed by the Republic of Doyle episode "If the Shoe Fits", where Yannick Bisson guest stars as the Identical Grandson of Murdoch.
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I Want My Beloved to Be Happy
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_60547993
comment
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: At the end of Season 3, Dr. Ogden moves to Buffalo because she can't have children and knows Murdoch wants a family. She even marries another man, Dr. Darcy Garland, at the end of Season 4. At the end of Season 5, Darcy says he's not going to stand in the way of Julia getting back together with Murdoch. Then he changes his mind in season 6, because drama. Late in season 8, Edna's supposedly deceased husband returns just as she and George and her stepson are talking over their new life together as a family. (George proposed marriage after spending much of the season courting her, and she accepted.) Shortly afterwards, she and George meet, and he tells her to return to her husband and "be happy" rather than worry about his feelings.
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Beastly Bloodsports
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_607a8bd2
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Beastly Bloodsports: In "Let Loose the Dogs", Murdoch investigates a murder that centres around a ratting contest. The victim turns out to have been doping the dogs.
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You Wake Up in a Room
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comment
You Wake Up in a Room: "The Murdoch Trap" opens with Murdoch unconscious in what proves to be a cage. He comes to hearing the voice of Julia repeatedly saying, "I forgive you, William," and he sees a mannequin that looks like Julia in a black dress hanging by the neck outside his cage. There's also a phone with a placard that threatens death if used and a film projector with a similar placard that says, "Turn Me On".
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BigDamnKiss
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comment
Big Damn Kiss: Julia and William kiss passionately in "Twentieth Century Murdoch", the season 5 finale. George dares to kiss Emily in "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom" when there is a possibility they will all die due to a terrorist's gas attack. Emily violently kisses Lillian Moss in "Toronto's Girl Problem".
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High Class Gloves
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comment
High Class Gloves: As a standard accessory to late Victorian and Edwardian women's formalwear, long gloves are seen frequently in episodes where such dress is worn. Julia, who has just been called to a crime scene from an evening at the theater, wears black opera gloves — which she immediately takes off to examine a body — in the first season's "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch". She also wears such gloves in the first scene of the same season's "Child's Play".
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Boot Camp Episode
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Boot Camp Episode: The B-plot of the episode "Murdoch Air" involves the veteran Inspector Brackenreid re-enlisting to fight against the Boers in South Africa. After a rather rocky start, his experience and leadership skills (mentoring a younger fellow recruit on how to use a bayonet) prompt the drill instructor to offer to falsify his age on his enlistment papers. Brackenreid negotiates for a full decade deduction on the records, but later changes his mind after his wife insists he be the one to explain his decision to their two young sons.
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Thriller on the Express
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Thriller on the Express: The tense "Midnight Train to Kingston" episode.
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Creepy Souvenir
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Creepy Souvenir: Subverted. A suspect was seen talking with a victim on a train and he admitted he liked her a lot. They found he has home-made jewellery made of human hair of multiple people, and the victim's hair is among them. However, she gave it to him voluntarily while she was alive. Jewellery from human hair was still seen as very weird, but he was not her murderer.
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Manly Tears
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Manly Tears: Detective Murdoch's eyes fill with tears when Julia tells him that her abortion left her barren. She also strongly implies that she wants to end their relationship because she knows how much William wants to have a family. Murdoch cries when his sister tells him she has to return from Toronto to Montreal, and that she's terminally ill, so that they are not going to see each other any more. Inspector Brackenreid is on the brink of tears when his son got kidnapped and his kidnappers apparently killed him. He holds them because he doesn't want to cry in front of other people, but his eyes are full of tears and he's very, very shaken. At the end of "The Murdoch Trap" when Murdoch brings Gillies's filmed confession and the judge orders the noose removed from Julia's neck, Murdoch embraces Julia and tears are visibly streaming down his face. Watts tears up when he sees his sister after fifteen years of believing she was missing, and again when she tells him that the reason she left is because she didn't want to be stuck raising him, and never wanted him.
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Other Me Annoys Me
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Other Me Annoys Me: Several characters feel this way about "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch", altough most are pleased with the final result of the work.
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Cannot Spit It Out
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Cannot Spit It Out: It's pretty clear to anyone that Murdoch likes Dr. Ogden, but he cannot get himself to say it. When he tries to propose to her late in "The Murdoch Sting", he still has this problem (despite having had a fortifying drink of Brackenreid's scotch beforehand); he stops himself and starts again when he tries to ask the question before Julia stops him and flees into her house.
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Four-Temperament Ensemble
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Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine — George Crabtree Choleric — Thomas Brackenreid Melancholic — William Murdoch Phlegmatic — Julia Ogden
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The Villain Knows Where You Live
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The Villain Knows Where You Live: Late in "Unfinished Business" (Season 7, Episode 12), Julia gets a photo of her and Murdoch kissing in an alley (which she and viewers recognize happened after they attended a recent opera performance) together with a letter apparently from James Gillies. The letter threatens that if she marries Murdoch, he'll die, and if she tells him about the letter (and the threat), they'll both die. This starts a subplot over the next several episodes in which she tries to resolve the problem herself to keep Murdoch safe. At one point, she applies Murdoch's methods and finds the room where the photo was taken. In that room, she also finds a second photo of Murdoch taken inside his office with a second note threatening death if she continues her investigation. In the two-parter "On the Waterfront", Brackenreid recalls in Flashback a day when his wife Margaret gave directions to two men driving a wagon. The inspector called sharply to his wife from his wheelchair on the front porch, and Margaret didn't seem to understand what he was fussing about. The men were the O'Shea brothers, who had beaten Brackenreid nearly to death (hence his presence at home in the wheelchair). They don't speak to Brackenreid directly, but one of them does tip his hat to the inspector.
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Maligned Mixed Marriage
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Amy MacFarlane pretends she committed suicide. She loves a Native American man and her wealthy parents would never agree to the match. The plan goes awry because it coincides with her dad's insurance fraud.
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Race for Your Love
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Race for Your Love: At the end of series 3, Murdoch rushes to the train station to propose to Julia before she leaves Toronto; he arrives in time to see her train pulling away.
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Produce Pelting
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Produce Pelting: The vaudeville episode "The Keystone Constables" features this. Crabtree, Higgins and a young W.C. Fields are among the targets.
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Gilligan Cut
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_680f950
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In "Murdoch au Naturel", Brackenreid and Murdoch are discussing the difficulties they're having with getting information from a group of naturists (whose private nudist colony is where a corpse turned up). They have the bright idea to send in someone undercover, and since the naturists have already met Murdoch, he and Brackenreid turn to Constable Crabtree, who objects. Cut to Crabtree entering the colony without clothing.
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Romantic Spoonfeeding
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Romantic Spoonfeeding: In "Convalescence", Mrs. Jones takes an opportunity to feed sick and injured Murdoch.
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A Death in the Limelight
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A Death in the Limelight: Constable Worsley gets his first lines of the show in the season 9 finale, and gets shot minutes later.
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Legally Dead
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Legally Dead: The titular scam in "The Murodch Sting" turns on this point of law. A wealthy bank official goes missing and does turn up dead, but there's no evidence to charge the suspect Eva Pearce with his murder. Murdoch and company persuade the suspect that she's due to inherit half the banker's substantial estate, then close the investigation with the man still officially missing, forcing the banker's heirs to wait seven years to collect. The idea is to catch her in the place the body was found, since if she killed the guy and hid his body there, this demonstration of the guilty knowledge would clinch the case against her. Despite her best efforts, it works and Murdoch catches her in the act of searching the pond for the body.
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Lost Wedding Ring
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_6a669b5b
comment
Lost Wedding Ring: Happens in the hundredth episode "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!" Best man George Crabtree discovers he's lost the bride's ring just before leaving for the church on the big day. An exasperated Brackenreid goes in search of the tardy George (who has been searching for it), and when told of the reason for Crabtree's absence the Inspector says they'll borrow his wife's ring if need be just to finally get the job done. Constable Higgins comes to the rescue, having retraced his friend's steps and finding it had fallen into George's typewriter.
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Death by Falling Over
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_6af8ebb5
comment
Death by Falling Over: The murderer in "Murdoch Ahoy" loses his balance and falls down a flight of stairs to his death. Unfortunately, this happens before he can tell what he did with the young woman who witnessed the murder, who is trapped somewhere on a sinking steamship.
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Disconnected by Death
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Disconnected by Death: The Victim of the Week in "Big Murderer on Campus" is shot while on the phone to one of his colleagues.
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Paranormal Episode
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Paranormal Episode: These come up from time to time in the series: In "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch", Arthur Conan Doyle is in Toronto to give a talk on spiritualism and invites Murdoch to meet a psychic Doyle finds compelling. Some of the psychic's information has a mundane explanation, but Murdoch is troubled to think she knows intimate personal details about his dead fiancée. The psychic returns in "Bad Medicine" and goes undercover at a hospital-cum-institute that studies people with unusual brain conditions. There's another seance to attempt contact with a young woman patient who died some years previously, and the psychic is troubled by a vision of Murdoch's impending death. "The Curse of Beaton Manor" revolves around a wealthy family with a history of early deaths. Some of the servants report hearing ghostly sounds and seeing an apparition of a deceased illegitimate half-brother. In "The Ghost of Queen's Park", a local politician falls to his death at the provincial parliament building, and the night watchman swears a ghost is responsible. Other workers in the building also report seeing a ghost, and Crabtree is keen to follow the ghostly line of inquiry.
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Diplomatic Impunity
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comment
Diplomatic Impunity: Subverted in "24 Hours Til Doomsday", when Allan Clegg is seemingly protected from being charged with murder because he's become the U.S.'s ambassador to Canada. His diplomatic immunity is revoked after the Prime Minister of Canada informs the U.S. President of Clegg's plan to start a war between their countries by firing a rocket at Manhattan.
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Meaningful Look
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Meaningful Look: Dr. Emily Grace and Constable George Crabtree are walking at the beach, and a new-playboy-in-town Leslie Garland catches Emily's eyes. They share a long look. There seems to be an interest on both sides and a clear attraction on Leslie's side. George doesn't notice because he's busy describing Emily how he invented a new beach game (basically a flying disc). In "Murdoch in Ragtime", Emily Grace and George come to spend an evening in a bar and they meet Leslie Garland. Leslie and Emily attempt playing ragtime together on the piano. This time George notices them and he keeps looking at them, somewhat worried.
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Meaningful Name
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Meaningful Name: In the episode "Bloodlust", students of a girl boarding school have gone to meet a mysterious man in a nearby cemetery and have woken up in a crypt with puncture wounds on their necks and having lost blood. When Murdoch visits the crypt the markers on the walls bear the family name Tepes. Vlad Tepes was also known as Vlad Dracula and inspired Bram Stoker.
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That Poor Plant
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That Poor Plant: In "The Tesla Effect", Crabtree sees a dead fern at the crime scene and makes a joke about its "death by bachelor", then he touches it and comments on its unusual warmth. A trail of similar dead plant life outdoors leads Murdoch and Tesla to the place where a microwave ray cannon was stored and tested. In "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom", Murdoch is ordered to investigate a film of a man killing a dog with a lethal gas. Investigation of the site where the film was shot turns up a large area with dead plants; Murdoch and his consulting expert discuss how powerful the gas appears to be based on the size of the affected area.
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Everyone Looks Sexier If French
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Everyone Looks Sexier If French: The very pretty doctor Emily Grace gets even sexier when she's asked to play a suspect in episode "The Murdoch Sting". She plays a "gold-digging trollop" with a thick French accent called Désirée Deneuve. Mademoiselle Deneuve unexpectedly meets Leslie Garland (who knows and recognizes Emily). So Emily Grace decides she must kiss him in order to keep the scheme going. Everyone thinks Mademoiselle Deneuve is ravishing.
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Shaky P.O.V. Cam
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Shaky P.O.V. Cam: Used at the end of "The Curse of Beaton Manor", ending with a zoom on a woman piercing a Voodoo Doll.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_6c39a2ad
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Driven to Suicide
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Driven to Suicide: Mr. MacFarlane, whose business is about to be bankrupt and his insurance fraud gets exposed. He refuses to be saved from his sinking cruise ship and goes down with her.
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Dead Person Impersonation
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Dead Person Impersonation: Done in two episodes: In "The Return Of Sherlock Holmes", the ersatz Holmes' young client was raised for several years by criminals impersonating his dead parents. Subverted in "The Missing" with a young boy who was kidnapped from his wealthy family. The boy's grandmother has published ads trying to find him, and multiple con artists have pretended to be her now grown-up grandson to try and swindle her out of her fortune. The subversion is that the boy is actually alive and Murdoch's investigation leads him to be reunited with his grandma.
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Christmas Episode
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Christmas Episode: "A Merry Murdoch Christmas", featuring appearances by The Krampus as the villain and Santa Claus himself (played by Ed Asner).
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Sleeping Dummy
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Sleeping Dummy: Murdoch does this to fool a killer after he realises his substitute landlady is trying to kill him in "Convalescence".
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Turn in Your Badge
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Turn in Your Badge: Chief Constable Giles suspends both Murdoch and Brackenreid for their efforts to clear Julia of her estranged husband's murder. They set up shop in Brackenreid's dining room and are joined by Crabtree to continue their investigation. Again for Brackenreid in "Bloody Hell".
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Coffin Contraband
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Coffin Contraband: In the aptly-named "Confederate Treasure", a large amount of gold was stolen from the Canadian government during the American Civil War. However, the conspirators all had their own agendas and in the resulting Gambit Pileup the gold was presumed lost when the ship carrying it sunk. More than three decades later, the police discover that the mastermind behind the theft was Genre Savvy enough to switch out the gold before the sea voyage and hid it in a coffin. The coffin was then buried in a cemetery but the mastermind died before he could dig it up.
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Henpecked Husband
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Roger's brother Rupert somehow manages to be even worse than Roger. Rupert is trained as a cardiac surgeon, but he doesn't do anything so common as actually practice medicine. As a "gentleman of titles", Rupert became a doctor simply for the accolades and lets lesser men do the actual work. When the Newsome family fortune is gone, Rupert becomes the Henpecked Husband to a domineering wealthy woman...and it's implied he almost enjoys his wife pushing him around.
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Doomed Moral Victor
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Doomed Moral Victor: Dr. Ogden, Dr. Grace and the rest of the "Fearsome Four" advocating for women's suffrage run one of their members in the 1902 provincial election. They don't have a prayer of winning, but they surprisingly get several dozen men to vote for their candidate anyway as a show of support.
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Serial Killer
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In the episode "Murdoch on the Corner", Inspector Brackenreid is investigating the death of a pastor who was beaten to death with a blunt instrument, while Murdoch is trying to find a "sequential killer" who dispatches their victims with a single gunshot. It eventually becomes clear the same killer is responsible, and the deviation from the pattern in the pastor's case is a clue as to the motive.
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Suicide by Cop
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Suicide by Cop: An older Jewish doctor commits the Suicide by State variation in "Let Us Ask the Maiden" when he makes sure he will be arrested and executed. He shoots his fiancée's father in front of Detective Murdoch, Inspector Brackenreid and a couple of constables, which means he gets the noose. He did it because his future father-in-law murdered his employee who was also his daughter's lover. He loved the girl more than anything and he wanted her to be free from both of them — her evil father and himself. The Poetic Serial Killer in "Werewolves" met his end when he tried to attack the investigators. Inspector Brackenreid shot him dead with a rifle, and was quite shaken by it, claiming it was the first time he killed anybody on duty as a police officer. This was the killer's Batman Gambit, not having any more reason to live after he'd gotten his revenge.
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Suicide by Sea
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Suicide by Sea: In episode "Loch Ness Murdoch", a woman walks into Lake Ontario with weights in her dress, because her fiance has left her for another woman.
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The Watson
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The Watson: Murdoch and Brackenreid often rely on Constable Crabtree to do much of the legwork in interviewing witnesses, looking into interesting leads, and so forth. Constable Jackson plays this for Detective Watts starting in the season 10 episode "A Murdog Mystery", as he begins a search for missing women. Later episodes have Constable Higgins, especially when Higgins is trying to understand why Murdoch wants something done.
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Agree to Disagree
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Agree to Disagree: Constable George Crabtree frequently responds to Murdoch's attempts to correct his malapropisms this way, such as when he says they have searched the crime scene "stem to sternum." Detective Murdoch corrects him that the expression is "stem to stern", but George insists on his wording and that they will have to agree to disagree.
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Put on a Bus
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Anna Fulford. Murdoch first meets her in "The Murdoch Identity" while suffering amnesia in Bristol, but remembers Julia before their relationship can go anywhere. She returns briefly in season 4, but has to go into witness protection when her dead fiancé's criminal gang target her. The Bus Came Back again briefly in series 5, but Murdoch was forced to fake Anna's death to help her escape this time.
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Unpleasant Parent Reveal
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Unpleasant Parent Reveal: The title character first mentions his father Henry during an interview for a promotion, but only to say the man worked as a fisherman and that they've lost touch. In a later episode, Murdoch and Constable Crabtree discover the man unconscious at a murder scene, and viewers learn that Henry has been an alcoholic for years and that William thinks his father is responsible for his mother's premature death. In a subsequent encounter, William investigates a shady land deal that's tangled with mining and murder only to have his father's name come up, and learns he has a half-brother that Henry fathered with a woman to whom he was not officially married.
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Rogues Gallery Showcase
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Rogues Gallery Showcase: In "Murdoch in Toyland", Murdoch and Crabtree are trying to determine if one of the criminals Murdoch has brought to justice, or one of their friends or relatives, is the one playing the Criminal Mind Games. They use Murdoch's blackboard to list just about all of the criminals he's confronted in many of the show's first several seasons, along with notations if they were hanged, imprisoned or escaped justice.
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Played for Laughs
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Played for Laughs by Constable Crabtree in "Crabtreemania" when he finds himself suddenly in a professional wrestling match. After he fails to get the better of his opponent (including using a martial arts move he learned the previous season), his sweetheart Edna gives him a folded chair, which he uses to hit his opponent on the head and knock him out. George then hoists Edna onto his shoulder in victory to receive the cheers of the crowd.
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The Comically Serious
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The Comically Serious: Murdoch can easily fall here, always staying quite serious even in the most bizarre situations. Inspector Brackenreid once asks Crabtree if he'd ever seen him laugh. Terence Myers, who is utterly straight-faced while being comical at the same time.
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High-Voltage Death
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High-Voltage Death: In "Power", Toronto City Council are entertaining the idea of abandoning direct current electricity for the city in favour of the new alternating current. Two murders are committed connected to the current wars, and both of them involve electrocution. In the aptly-titled "High Voltage", the Victim of the Week is a salesman found dead in his product: a chair with electrodes designed to send a small amount of current through the body of the person sitting in it. The man was in fact electrocuted, and once Murdoch determines the device was tampered with, he sets out to find out who did the tampering and why.
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Hooker with a Heart of Gold
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Hooker with a Heart of Gold: It's eventually revealed that the "aunts" who raised George are actually prostitutes who were allowed to use a parish house by the local pastor on the condition that they run a respectable establishment. Although Murdoch initially expresses unease at this revelation, he can see that they provided a loving environment for George and that George loves them in return. Later, George elaborates on the hard lives they led as "dock girls" before the arrangement was made and contrasts it with the way they have looked out for one another since it began. In reply, Murdoch observes the now-deceased reverend was a wise man.
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Political Correctness Gone Mad
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Political Correctness Gone Mad: "We don't call people 'retarded' anymore, it's insensitive. The polite term is 'moronic'." Julia tells William not to use the word "sodomite", because the correct term is "homosexual".
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BrotherSisterIncest
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Brother–Sister Incest: The wealthy Asshole Victim in "Downstairs, Upstairs" raped many of his maids and fired them when they became pregnant. The daughter of one of these rapes was determined to get revenge on her father. She gained access to his household by romancing his son, her unwitting half-brother, and becoming his fiancee. The son is devastated when Murdoch uncovers the truth. The daughter tells Murdoch she doesn't have any remorse for killing her father...but she does regret hurting her half-brother, since he was a good man and she actually grew to like him.
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Whoopee Cushion
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Whoopee Cushion: In the episode "The Keystone Constables", Murdoch is introduced to one of these by one of the vaudeville performers he's investigating. At the time, Murdoch doesn't seem to get the joke (or many of the other jokes, for that matter), but he later makes his own whoopee cushion and tricks Julia into sitting on it. Murdoch not only laughs heartily at Julia's reaction, he's also very pleased that his version worked so well.
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Last Resort Takeout
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Last Resort Takeout: Unable to find a suitably sized fowl at the butcher's on Christmas Eve for his Christmas Dinner For One, Crabtree is forced to settle for a few sausages.
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Face Your Fears
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Face Your Fears: Dr. Ogden's treatment of people who suffer from various phobias, though she exposes them gradually.
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Pocket Protector
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Pocket Protector: In episode "Anything You Can Do", a bullet hitting Murdoch is stopped by an English poetry analysis book that he borrowed from Dr. Ogden. In "Glory Days", Bat Masterson receives a bullet in the chest from a derringer, but it is stopped by his sport columnist notepad. Murdoch comments that he was lucky to have changed profession.
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Lecture as Exposition
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Lecture as Exposition: Late in "Big Murderer on Campus", Murdoch is in a university classroom giving a lecture on the "applied physics" of execution by hanging. The lecture turns into a means of pressuring one of the accomplices to a murder into confessing against the other — the soon-to-be-infamous James Gillies.
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Impoverished Patrician
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Impoverished Patrician: The Newsomes become this as of Season 12's "My Big Fat Mimico Wedding". The uncle who looks after the family finances loses a large amount of money in a bad business deal, and starts embezzling the rest of the family fortune to try and recoup his losses. He fails, and soon the Newsomes are penniless. While Rupert seems to take it in stride and resigns himself to a life of poverty, Henry Higgins suddenly finds himself needing to support himself and his new wife Ruth and begs Brackenreid for his old job back.
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They Call Me Mister Tibbs
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They Call Me Mister Tibbs: In "Murdoch in Ragtime", Leslie Garland uses Dr. Grace's first name the first time they're together in The Blind Pig. She calls him on it ("Awfully forward, Mr. Garland "), yet he does it again after her objection. Later, the courtship progresses, she doesn't mind his brashness so much and he tells her, "Call me Leslie." In "The Murdoch Sting", Eva Pearce calls Detective Murdoch "William", then asks if he minds the familiarity. He does mind and addresses her as "Miss Pearce". Eva deliberately oversteps the boundary again to defy him.
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Eagleland
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comment
Eagleland: Varies between Mixed and Type 2, the latter particularly where the American government is concerned. Brackenreid has a very low opinion of Americans, and the still rather recent American Civil War is often spoken of quite disparagingly just for having happened. Not only that, while Clegg and Meyers are Not So Different in their methods, the former is usually the Designated Villain whenever both appear, while Meyers is at worst an Anti-Hero.
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ShoutOutToShakespeare
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Shout-Out to Shakespeare: In "Body Double", a partially decomposed body falls onto the stage of the Grand Theatre during a performance of Macbeth. Dr. Ogden quotes "I knew him, Horatio." from Hamlet when she examines a skull. She laughs heartily at her little joke. Detective Murdoch and Constable Crabtree are rather disturbed by her morbid sense of humour.
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White Sheep
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White Sheep: Effie Newsome, though certainly still eccentric judging by her interactions with George, is the only recurring Newsome who isn't an Upper-Class Twit. Being a distant cousin may play a part.
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Armor-Piercing Question
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Armor-Piercing Question: In the third episode of the series, Murdoch gets the killer to confess by gently noting, as the victim was a trained boxer and capable fighter, if things got heated, self-defense would be permitted. The killer understands and writes out a full confession, intent on claiming self-defense as his justification. Inspector Brackenreid is frustrated by this, but then Murdoch reminds the inspector of the light-loaded bullets used in the gun, which have to be specially tampered with to make a more muffled sound but still deadly up close. Having these clearly shows premeditation and not a necessity to kill on the spot. Murdoch is sure to make this clear to the prosecutor, so he could use it against the killer's defense.
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The Infiltration
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Murdoch goes undercover with anarchists and needs to talk to Inspector Brackenreid. When they are both on the street after a second bombing, Murdoch tells the inspector, "Shove me!" Brackenreid takes the hint and shoves Murdoch against a nearby wall a few times to cover their quick chat, then Brackenreid sends Murdoch on his way with a threat to arrest him.
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Agent Mulder
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Agent Mulder: George is the first one to suggest that vampires, ghosts, werewolves, Martians, Venusians, or an Egyptian curse might be responsible for the crimes they're investigating. Dr. Grace firmly believes in ghosts and the after-life, and that it's possible to prove it with science.
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Politically Correct History
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Politically Correct History: While the racial and sexual biases of the era are prominent in the background, and often inform the cases being investigated, the central characters seldom espouse them, and if so only during subplots that require introspection and are resolved by learning the corresponding 21st-century value: Murdoch, a Catholic, initially receives some stick from Brackenreid for being a "Papist", but this is dropped relatively early. It remains a barrier to further promotion, however. Murdoch also must come to terms with Dr. Ogden's abortion, both as a moral dilemma and because she's his One True Love. In one episode, Brackenreid worries that his son might be gay because he wants to play a female part in a play. This leads to the boy getting hurt badly in rugby trying to impress his dad. While the boy's ultimate reasoning for wanting the female role (she had more lines) is later revealed and accepted, it doesn't come before Dr. Ogden has to talk Brackenreid into accepting his son's possible sexuality. In an episode set nearly seventy years before the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. While initially not thrilled to discover that Dr. Grace is engaging in lesbianism, Brackenreid rather quickly ends up showing understanding for her. Brackenreid is also unusually open to the thought of his son bringing home a Jewish girl in season 11's "Murdoch Schmurdoch". Although Brackenreid might have simply been relieved to find out John was interested in women, given his previous fear in "Republic of Murdoch" that John was a homosexual. It is pretty safe to assume that Toronto did not have two female coroners around that time, and that the men of the time would not have accepted the idea of women working in a morgue nearly as well as they do throughout this series. However, there was at least one skilled female Canadian pathologist, Maude Abbott. There's also little comment on Dr. Ogden choosing a black woman to serve as her assistant, aside from one politician who was blackmailed into submission. In "A Merry Murdoch Christmas", Brackenreid feels guilty for having harshly told off his father as a child for having made him a Christmas present instead of buying him a toy soldier he wanted (which his father was too poor to afford). A child of English working-class parents at the time would have been well aware that his family's income was literally subsistence-level and would likely have understood why he or she was not receiving any store-bought presents, if any. In "The Big Chill", the term "Inuit" is used throughout the episode. The name "Eskimo" (which is considered obsolete and inappropriate in Canada today but is correct for the period) appears only once. In "Murdoch at the Opera", a black opera singer is portrayed as an international star (said to have even performed with Caruso at one point), and the highest-paid member of a troupe consisting solely of white performers (except her), which is highly unlikely given the time period. There's also interracial romance going on between her and some members of the company, and noone bats an eye.
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Quest for Identity
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Quest for Identity: The series 3 opener finds Murdoch in England with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He spends the episode recovering his memory while on the run from criminals out to kill him.
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How We Got Here
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How We Got Here: "Anything You Can Do..." opens with Murdoch, his father and a Mountie in an abandoned building being shot at by several people (the exact number is the subject of some debate among the characters). Then the action shifts to some days earlier when Murdoch is called to a suspicious death on his home turf and meets the Mountie, Sgt. Jasper Linney. From there, the story goes back and forth between events in Toronto and the situation in that abandoned town, which proves to be in Linney's jurisdiction. "The Murdoch Trap" opens with Murdoch lying unconscious on the floor of what proves to be a cage. After he comes to, he finds a hanging mannequin that looks like Julia with a recording of her voice playing and is greeted by his captor James Gillies. The story goes back to events a week earlier and then alternates between that backstory and Murdoch's present predicament.
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Continuity Cavalcade
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Continuity Cavalcade: The series aired its 200th episode on January 13, 2020. To celebrate, it brought back many of the Historical Domain Characters who've appeared over the years, and even brought back the long-missing Sally Pendrick!
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Body of the Week
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In "I, Murdoch", Dr Ogden identifies that the Body of the Week has been killed with prussic acid because of the scent of bitter almonds.
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Sympathetic Murderer
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Sympathetic Murderer: On more than a few occasions, which often leads to Murdoch or Brackenreid pledging to sue for clemency. Among others: A wealthy philanthropist is found beaten to death in his stable yard with a shovel. The killer turns out to be his wife, who killed her husband after she found out that he was molesting their adopted daughter. The victim in "Belly Speaker" was a horrible human being, who may have even murdered one of his own sons and hidden his corpse in an armoire. The killer was the surviving son, exacting vengeance for his actions. Notable as one of the only episodes in which the killer manages to outwit Murdoch. Perhaps the most notable case was that of aspiring actress Ava Moon, who was seeking revenge both against Murdoch, and the man who raped and disfigured her: When Murdoch was constable, he inadvertently got the charges against Moon's rapist dropped when he admitted on the stand that the assailant's confession was beaten out of him. The man later attacked and disfigured Moon, destroying her looks and making it impossible for her to have children, in retaliation. Twelve years later, she murders her assailant and frames Murdoch for the crime. In "Drowning in Money", the killer of a Social Climbing couple was their eldest daughter. She and her sister were trained to be "perfect" wives for noblemen through methods that even by the standards of the day would be cruel and abusive. She murdered them to protect her sister, and prevent her from being used as a pawn in their ambitions in the same way.
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He's Back
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He's Back: In the Season 4 finale, Murdoch lets a Sympathetic Murderer go free and is suspended from the Toronto Constabulary. Murdoch takes a leave of absence and goes to pan for gold in the Yukon. His alienation from his old life is symbolized by his throwing his badge away, his Perma-Stubble and the rough mining clothes he wears. When his landlady is framed for murder, however, Murdoch tries to clear her name. We then see him clean-shaven and wearing his old detective's suit and his cherished Homburg hat. In one of the final scenes, he decides to return to the Constabulary, which is symbolized by him getting his badge back.
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Demonic Dummy
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Demonic Dummy: The ventriloquist's dummy, Mycroft, in "Belly Speaker". Subverted at the end. The dolls in "Murdoch in Toyland" also probably qualify.
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Sherlock Homage
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Sherlock Homage: Detective William Murdoch has the stellar record of solving cases (which he himself cites in his promotion interview in "The Glass Ceiling"), as well as being an autodidact (self-educated) whose studies are largely scientific. He keeps a selection of reference books in his office, but is also known to send out for research materials — or even conduct experiments — when needed. In an episode revolving around a talented "idiot savant", Julia speaks of him as also being disconnected from his emotions to no one in particular as she stands by her office phonograph, while William himself is standing in the background. On occasion, he can be a first-class Deadpan Snarker: a particularly good example (from "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!") is his epic takedown of a judge who's convinced a woman killed her husband — the same judge mistakenly thought the same thing about Julia, and Murdoch points this out to his face. He generally avoids alcohol due to his father's alcoholism. As noted under Expy, other characters echo those of Doyle's stories: Crabtree is the mundane assistant who also pens fiction (like Watson); medical services and expertise come from Drs Ogden, Francis, Grace and Roberts; various people (including Constables Crabtree and Higgins and Inspector Brackenreid) act as The Watson in having things explained to them; and James Gillies and Sally Pendrick bear striking resemblances to two of Holmes' most famous adversaries (Professor Moriarty and Irene Adler Norton).
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Shared Unusual Trait
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Shared Unusual Trait: In "Belly Speaker", the victim and his son who's a ventriloquist both have mismatched eyes, one blue and one brown. The son's Demonic Dummy, modeled after him, has mismatched eyes as well. It's later revealed that he had a twin brother who also had such eyes, but with the colors inverted.
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Good Girls Avoid Abortion
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Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Julia Ogden went through an abortion while she was a medical student. She didn't want to get married and give up her dream to have a career. She nearly died from complications and it left her barren.
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Straight Man
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Murdoch flirts with this once in "The Black Hand" when Constable Higgins describes how the tram car murder victim was seen conversing with another man who exited the car before it left the station. Higgins says the second man may have been "just seeing him on his way," and Murdoch remarks on the turn of phrase. Higgins stares at Murdoch blankly.
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Dramatic Thunder
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The Holy Grail in "Murdoch and the Temple of Death" is also strongly implied to be the real thing. The killer jumps off a 60-foot cliff thinking it will save him, despite Murdoch telling the man to stop, and as Murdoch looks down on the man's corpse, a thunderclap sounds (seemingly in daylight) and Murdoch reacts to it. Later, Dr. Iris Bajali steals it from the station house and flees with Murodoch in pursuit; he tells her it belongs to God, and when she shouts back, "There is no God," she is struck by lightning and dies. Later still, a museum staffer accidentally knocks it over and disposes of the clay outer layer, leaving a metal chalice standing on the shelf that appears bathed in a (heavenly?) shaft of light.
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Squirrels in My Pants
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Squirrels in My Pants: During an investigation, Crabtree brings a ferret to follow a blood trail (he couldn't find a bloodhound). It works, but not before the critter shortly slips inside the leg of Murdoch's pants.
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Incredibly Obvious Bug
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Incredibly Obvious Bug: In "Murdoch Air", James Pendricks finds a microphone hidden in his lab, that's about the size of an alarm clock. Of course this is justified by the time period, since even for spy tools miniaturization had yet a long way to go.
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All Gays Love Theater
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All Gays Love Theater: The B-plot of "Republic of Murdoch" revolves around this. Theatre buff Inspector Brackenreid proudly anticipates seeing his elder son perform in an amateur theatrical production (bragging to Murdoch about family talent), but afterward he is disturbed that his son portrayed a female character (Lady Bracknell from Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, as it happens) and "seemed to embrace the role." He consults Dr. Ogden and asks her to talk to the boy and find out if he is, in Brackenreid's words, "a nancy boy". Young John does meet with her and says he knows what his father is thinking and insists he isn't gay. He soon visits his father at the station, sporting a black eye and a split lip. Brackenreid learns from John's teacher that he picked the fight with a much-larger boy, and Dr. Ogden suggests John is desperate for the inspector's approval. In the end, Brackenreid has a fatherly chat with his son, reassuring the boy that he can pursue his true interests and still have his parents' love and approval.
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What Happened to the Mouse?
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What Happened to the Mouse?: James Pendrick is abducted by his ex-wife Sally Pendrick and forced to film a speech as part of a kidnapping plot. James never appears in person and we're left wondering what's happened to him, although he appears in a second film in The Stinger which heavily implies that he's alright.
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Agent Scully
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Agent Scully: Brackenreid is typically the one to shoot down Crabtree's ridiculous suggestions whenever he thinks the supernatural is involved. He also does this to Murdoch when Murdoch is dealing with a case that has two suspects each confessing to a murder and each convinced they're the reincarnations of two people who died several decades ago. Brackenreid reminds Murdoch that he should ignore all that nonsense, and "follow the money" instead. That turns out to be the key to cracking the case.
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Broken Pedestal
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Broken Pedestal: Often for poor Inspector Brackenreid. High-talent has a knack for making a monster out of the divas that the inspector so admires, first in "Body Double" with Stella then in "Murdoch at the Opera" with Rosa, both of whom have committed murder.
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The Big Board
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The Big Board: So many chalkboards: Detective Murdoch has a big blackboard in his office in Station House Four. He uses it for collecting leads, visualizing crime scenes, or explaining his ideas of new forensic methods. He sometimes sticks there photos of victims, reports of related older crimes, newspaper articles and so on. In some cases when he's away from his office (Anna Fulford's pub in Bristol in "The Murdoch Identity", the train bar car in "Midnight Train to Kingston", the local inn in "All That Glitters"), he borrows a chalkboard for this purpose. A chalkboard also makes an occasional appearance at the city morgue. Sometimes it has drawings and notes from an unrelated case, but Dr. Grace uses it to show her work with blood typing in "Tour de Murdoch". Crabtree uses the backside of Murdoch's board in "Loch Ness Murdoch" to lay out his investigation of the "Miss Purity" pageant. He turns it around to reveal his work, but Brackenreid tells him to turn it back to the notes on the "monster" inquiry. In the B-plot of "The death of Dr. Ogden", Brackenreid and Crabtree are investigating a murder at a private club of "puzzlers" and Crabtree suggests making a chart and using Murdoch's chalkboard. Brackenreid tells Crabtree to get a chalkboard for him. Later, Brackenreid gets frustrated and pushes over the board, which in turn breaks his bottle of scotch. Even so, Brackenreid's Imagine Spot that breaks the case shows him back at that board erasing one line of the chart that so frustrated him earlier. George Crabtree's ultimate wedding present to Murdoch is a small chalkboard for his home, seen in William and Julia's suite at the Windsor Hotel.
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Gonna Need More X
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Gonna Need More X:
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Blinded by the Light
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Blinded by the Light: In "Convalescence", a weakened Murdoch turns the tables on his attacker by slipping his experimental night-vision goggles on her head. Designed to work in near darkness, they amplify the normal light in the room to the point where she is blinded.
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"Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: "Unfinished Business" has this as a cold case, reopened when one of the conspirators makes a Deathbed Confession, but leaves Murdoch with the impression he killed his own wife, which he can't have done. When Murdoch realises what happened, he even suggests they may have met on some form of public transport.
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New Year Has Come
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_89897126
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New Year Has Come: Season 5 concludes with the characters celebrating the beginning of the 20th century.
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Shovel Strike
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Shovel Strike: The Victim of the Week in "Child's Play" is struck down with a shovel.
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Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil
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comment
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In the episode "The Great Wall", even the bigoted cops of Station 5 turn on one of their colleagues when he is shown to have raped a young Chinese girl. The brothers Mick and Tim O'Shea are violent union leaders, but what really marks them as vile is the sex-trafficking ring they operate under the cover of smuggling.
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Camping Episode
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comment
Camping Episode: "Murdoch of the Klondike" begins this way. Murdoch has left Toronto after releasing murder Ava Moon from jail having given up his urban police career to pan for gold. His appearance and even speech patterns are more those of a scruffy cowboy than an articulate urban man. He camps near his claim and goes to town with the other miners, where he learns of the arrest of a hotel owner for murder. The investigation in "All That Glitters" leads to one of these, with Murdoch easily returning to his lumberjack and miner garb (to Crabtree's astonishment), while Crabtree is the urban Fish out of Water, bringing his own pillow from home and overreacting to the sounds of wildlife in the night. Murdoch and Meyers go on a hunting trip with Teddy Roosevelt in Season 11's "The Great White Moose".
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Reed Richards Is Useless
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Reed Richards Is Useless: In the course of capturing criminals, Murdock invents very nearly every technology of the 20th century. Many of which (e.g. sonar or the fax machine) he could have patented and gotten rich, but they're invariably forgotten by next week's episode. Lampshaded in "Invention Convention": Crabtree brings Murdoch's version of a polygraph to an inventor's fair and spruiks it as the "Truthizer". His attempt to sell it to a potential buyer backfires when the buyer sees Murdoch use it on several murder suspects, all inventors themselves and all of whom quickly figure out how it works (and are all innocent anyway). Though the polygraph does what it's supposed to, the buyer is unimpressed and changes her mind, much to Crabtree's disappointment.
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The Producer Thinks of Everything
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In the episode "Invention Convention", Murdoch realizes they don't need a cipher to read the random string of code — it is actually made of substituted letters. If one actually decodes the message, it reads "It is essential that we are all seen to be watching the speech at the instant the machine fires. We have precisely twenty seconds between when the device is triggered and when the shot is fired. Should the machine be discovered it is imperative that we stick to the plan."
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Creepy Doll
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Creepy Doll: "Belly Speaker": The belly speaker's puppet was very disturbing. The fact that it was manufactured to look like its owner, complete with different colored eyes, added to the creepiness factor. In "Me, Myself and Murdoch", the constables found a rag doll without an eye found in a Creepy Basement. It was buried there with a chopped up skeleton. "Murdoch in Toyland": Detective Murdoch was taunted by a series of dolls with recorded messages as a part of Criminal Mind Games scheme. Lampshaded by Inspector Brackenried: "I know it's supposed to be adorable, but to me it just looks bloody creepy." In "Friday the 13th 1901", Julia gets locked in a cold storage cellar and finds a childish drawing and a doll, which triggers her memories of James Gillies who kidnapped her and buried her alive. She is later reminded of this again when going over the Gillies case file and looking at a photo of one of the dolls.
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High Hopes, Zero Talent
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High Hopes, Zero Talent: Crabtree tries to make some extra money by teaching a writing class. Unfortunately, only about four students show up. One of them has an incredibly boring and drab writing style, and the other can only come up with Cliche Storms.
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By-the-Book Cop
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Brackenreid's superior, Chief Constable Stockton. Since Murdoch is very much a By-the-Book Cop, Stockton tends to exert pressure on him and on Brackenreid to make a quick arrest or back off of VIPs, never mind the evidence.
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Who Murdered the Asshole?
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Who Murdered the Asshole?: Rather frequent. The victim in Season 1's "Child's Play" was murdered by his wife after discovering he was molesting the daughter they adopted — and had done so with their own biological daughter, who he murdered when she grew old enough to fight back. While questioning the girl's brother, who was the prime suspect at the time, Inspector Brackenreid (an orphan himself) reassured him by saying that he would have done it too. Over the course of the investigation, it was also revealed that the victim employed orphans (including their adopted daughter's brother) to steal horses to supply his glue factory. The victim in "Me, Myself, and Murdoch". The prime suspect for his murder is his daughter, who has multiple personalities that resulted from her seeing her father hack up her mother with an axe, when she was a child. The man got another woman to marry him and pose as his original wife, and throughout the years he's been abusing his daughter and locking her up in the basement where he dismembered her mom. The murderer is his stepson from his first wife, who ran away as a kid and came back years later disguised as a farmhand, who was suspicious of why another woman was posing as his mother, and axed his stepfather to death. Inspector Brackenreid even said he would do his best to avert the death penalty for the stepson, saying about his stepfather, "Bastard bloody deserved it." The victim in "Downstairs, Upstairs" was the master of a wealthy household who used his position to rape the maids in his employ without consequences, dismissing them without a thought if they became pregnant. When interviewed, the murderer says he did not regret it in the slightest. In season 4, the victims of "All Tattered and Torn" are three men that were guilty or accomplice of raping a young woman and escaped justice years ago. The murderer is a former cop who was obsessed by the case and executed them. In season 6, three young women are beaten and murdered by drowning. You feel less sympathetic when it is discovered that they accidentally killed another girl by repeatedly submerging her in cold water to "cleanse" her of her love for her Persian teacher, and that one of them was also blackmailing her employer with threats of publishing news of his marriage to a Native woman in the newspaper.
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Swapped Roles
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Swapped Roles: Constable George and Inspector Brackenreid in "Loch Ness Murdoch". Ordinarily, George is very willing to believe in all kinds of outlandish things, like Martians and zombies, and ordinarily, the Inspector is rather impatient about this. In this episode, Inspector Brackenreid is the one who believes in a gigantic predatory "lake monster", and George is the one who dismisses the possibility of such a creature.
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The Olympics
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The Olympics: Though no episode has yet followed characters to the actual Olympic Games, training for the Olympics gets an occasional mention in the series, and an Olympic tryout forms one subplot: "Still Waters" focuses on a rowing team at a country club and rivalry for a place in the men's eights team: a wealthy club member demands the talented gardener give up his seat in the boat, but the coach and the other team members know they need the gardener (who holds every rowing record at the club) to have a shot at qualifying for the Olympics. Guess who dies? "Twisted Sisters" starts with a couple of cross-country runners finding the body of a dead woman just after a training run. Dr. Grace learns from one of the runners that a club is sending a croquet player to the 1900 Olympics, leading to a subplot in which she contests the spot (she was city-wide croquet champion two years running). After the curling match between his team and some members of Station 4, Leslie Garland praises Murdoch's innovative sliding shoe and asks if his club can use them in the upcoming nordic games. Murdoch is pleased to consent. Garland goes on to express the hope that those games will grow and become a "winter Olympics". Brackenreid is Put on a Bus temporarily in season 10 when he goes to St Louis to coach the Canadian men's soccer team at the 1904 Olympics, returning with a gold medal.
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Wham Episode
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Wham Episode: "The Devil Within" certainly counts. It features the return of Murdoch's Arch-Enemy James Gillies who was presumed dead... his nearly committing Suicide by Cop until Murdoch subdues him, and finally his being killed off as he is hanged. Fans were thrilled with the results.
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Asshole Victim
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The episode "Werewolves". Although Murdoch and company prevent the killer from killing the last Asshole Victim he targeted in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, the killer's actions also led to the surviving victim being arrested by the Toronto police for his own crimes.
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Karmic Death
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Karmic Death: Dr. Luther Bates has an innocent woman strangled to death by one of the men who his experiments had turned Brainwashed and Crazy, and tries to do the same to Murdoch. Murdoch flashing his shiny badge at the man distracts him due to his fascination for shiny things (he had previously appropriated his victim's shiny crucifix) and he lets Murdoch go. All of the other men end up running amuck in the streets of Toronto, but the one Murdoch showed his badge to tracks down Dr. Bates and subjects him to the same gruesome fate he intended for Murdoch. Given all the shit he pulled during the episode and A Nightmare on Queen Street, he more than deserves his fate.
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The Suffragette
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The Suffragette: Margaret Haile, a Historical Domain Character, is a Canadian socialist, teacher and journalist who was active in the socialist movement. She appears in the arch where Julia and Emily join the movement of women's suffrage. She is chosen as the ladies' candidate to run in the 1902 Ontario Provincial Election. When some men see their opposition and how much they must struggle, she gets quite a few votes. 79 actually. Dr. Julia Ogden is a successful and respected medical doctor in late Victorian Canada, so she's used to fighting for her own and women's rights. She's active politically, she's always happy to speak for women's right to contraception (illegal at the time). She's willing to be arrested and wants to argue her case in front of a judge. (Murdoch lets her go and persuades her not to, as she would be convicted). She considers running in the Provincial Elections, but declines because of her husband's career who nevertheless would support her if she chose to run. Dr. Emily Grace, Dr. Ogden's protegee, gladly joins the women's movement. She's one of the most spirited and eager to fight or throw stones. Lilian Moss, Dr. Emily Grace's friend and eventual Love Interest. They bond over their interest in women's suffrage and both are politically active in the campaign. She persuades her lover Emily to leave Toronto for London and join Mrs. Pankhurst's group. Miss Clara Brett Martin (a Historical Domain Character) is the first female lawyer in all of the British Empire. She argues at court when Margaret Haile was unfairly taken off the list of candidate. She is organizing the suffragette rally in "Troublemakers" and gets injured in the explosion. Effie Newsome is a bright young woman studying law. She's seen at a suffrage event in "Troublemakers" wearing a sash with reads Votes for Women. "Troublemakers": Dr Katherine Talbot is a medical doctor and a suffragist who has worked with Emily Pankhurst in London. It turns out they had a falling out because Dr Talbot wants to use more aggressive methods in their fight. Dr Talbot is connected to the Orsini bomb attack. She wanted to use it to make men feel guilty and gain sympathy for women.
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The Bus Came Back
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The Bus Came Back: Put on a Bus after the events of Season 8's "What Lies Buried", former Chief Constable Giles returns in the Season 9 premiere "Nolo Contendre" in prison for covering up a death and being homosexual and again in Season 13's "Rigid Silence" still in prison, but now in Kingston and a frequent target of homophobic attacks. Constable Hodge returns in the Season 11 premiere "Up from the Ashes" as the owner of a bar.
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Bitter Almonds
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Bitter Almonds: In "I, Murdoch", Dr Ogden identifies that the Body of the Week has been killed with prussic acid because of the scent of bitter almonds. In "Murodch at the Opera", Dr. Grace describes smelling the aroma of bitter almonds coming from the corpse of the young opera singer. Later, after the culprit prima donna takes poison and dies onstage, Crabtree brings out a wine glass he found and Murdoch himself sniffs it and says, "Cyanide." "Painted Ladies": The first murder victim is found in a swan boat. Dr. Ogden detects the smell of bitter almonds, and suggests it was possibly death by cyanide.
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Absurdly High-Stakes Game
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Absurdly High-Stakes Game: In "Stairway to Heaven", a small society meets annually and plays faro for the chance to die in controlled circumstances and be revived in an effort to learn about the afterlife. One of the players extols the pure chance of the game allowing everyone to have the same chance of winning, but it turns out one of the players cheated with marked cards.
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Busman's Holiday
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Busman's Holiday: Detective William Murdoch and his wife Julia apparently cannot have their honeymoon in New York without unveiling a conspiracy ("Murdoch Takes Manhattan") or go camping in the countryside without stumbling onto a murdered corpse right next to their tent ("Brakenreid Boudoir"). And Inspector Brackenreid going fishing with his sons just ends up with pulling a cadaver from the river ("Murdoch and the Temple of Death").
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Take a Third Option
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Take a Third Option: The episode "Werewolves" features a young First Nations man who wants to become a police officer, but is stuck working in the stables at Stationhouse #4. He uses his tracking skills to help Murdoch and company track down a killer, and Crabtree says to Brackenreid that he should make the man an officer. Brackenreid agrees that he'd make an excellent cop, but the racism of turn-of-the-century Toronto would never allow it to happen. Undeterred, Crabtree gives the man the card of one of his friends who works for Pinkerton's, the American private detective agency.
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Villainous Breakdown
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The Crown Prosecutor of Toronto is outraged when Murdoch and Brackenreid accuse him of murder, and threatens to use his influence to ruin their careers. When Murdoch presents him with proof of his guilt, he immediately turns to this trope and then suffers a Villainous Breakdown.
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Creepy Basement
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In "Me, Myself and Murdoch", the constables found a rag doll without an eye found in a Creepy Basement. It was buried there with a chopped up skeleton.
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Area 51
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Area 51: After Murdoch and Company stumble into a US/UK secret airship research facility in the middle of Ontario (on "Concession 51", no less!), the station house four team end the episode discussing where they would choose to hide such a facility. Murdoch suggests the deserts of the territory of New Mexico, to Julia's approval; Brackenreid, meanwhile, scoffs and suggests Wales instead.
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Naughty Birdwatching
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Naughty Birdwatching: In "Child's Play", Murdoch is demonstrating his new invention 'the circumscope' (a periscope) to Crabtree and commenting on how usual it will be for surveillance. Crabtree agrees as he uses it to ogle a woman in corset who is leaning out of a window to beat a rug. The Victim of the Week in "Big Murderer on Campus" is shot while using a telescope to spy on a coed undressing.
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In Vino Veritas
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In Vino Veritas: Murdoch asks Brackenreid for a drink before confessing his compromised principles in "Murdoch in Wonderland". In the B-plot of "Staircase to Heaven", Brackenreid and Crabtree are in the station house guarding a prisoner due to flooding at another station when they share some whiskey. Their conversation turns to the subject of Murdoch (who is on an island investigating a murder), and they confide to each other things about their colleague that they find annoying, including the fact that he never seems to have a hair out of place. Crabtree mentions the detective's repeated advice to "look for the small details" as a particular irritant, and Crabtree later notices such a detail that tips him off to the presence of an infamous criminal trying to kidnap their prisoner to prevent him from testifying in court.
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Moral Guardians
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Moral Guardians: Miss Hamilton in "Murdoch au Naturel", who browbeats George into painting over French Revue posters that shows women's ankles and wants him to raid a nightclub playing "vulgar music called ragtime". Then when George returns from his undercover work at the nudist colony, she walks in on a conversation between him and one of the nudists about how restrictive clothes are.
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Big Bad
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Big Bad: Sally Pendrick in season 3. It becomes clear in the season's finale who was responsible for several high-profile crimes. James Gillies in Seasons 5 & 6. A creepy sociopath who escaped the noose several times. He committed his first murder just because he could and For the Evulz, and it has become a challenge for him to measure his abilities with Detective Murdoch. He actually says to Murdoch, "I don't like to be bested."
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Floral Theme Naming
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Crabtree's aunts, all named after different flowers and plants. Fifteen identified: Aunt Amaryllis, Aunt Aster, Aunt Azalea, Aunt Begonia, Aunt Briony, Aunt Clematis, Aunt Dahlia (though George managed to pronounce just "Dahl—"), Aunt Hyacinth, Aunt Iris, Aunt Ivy, Aunt Lily, Aunt Marigold, Aunt Nettle, Aunt Petunia, Aunt Primrose. We finally meet them in season 7. As it turns out, they're all prostitutes who George's preacher adoptive father gave a safe place to live at the rectory. They're delighted when George visits them while he and Murdoch are in Newfoundland on a case.
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The Knights Who Say
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The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Detective Murdoch is always delighted or thrilled to meet famous inventors and scientists, but he absolutely fan-boys over meeting Marconi who is setting up wireless telegraph in Newfoundland. Cute.
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Oop North
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Oop North: Inspector Brackenreid, like his actor, is from Yorkshire.
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Hit Me, Dammit!
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_99f2522e
comment
Hit Me, Dammit!: At the end of "Murdoch.com", Inspector Brackenreid attempts to get Crabtree to punch him to make up for his manhandling of Crabtree while he was unwittingly suffering from cocaine withdrawal. Crabtree, understandably reluctant to strike his commanding officer, eventually just lightly taps Brackenreid on the shoulder and says that they can call it even. Murdoch goes undercover with anarchists and needs to talk to Inspector Brackenreid. When they are both on the street after a second bombing, Murdoch tells the inspector, "Shove me!" Brackenreid takes the hint and shoves Murdoch against a nearby wall a few times to cover their quick chat, then Brackenreid sends Murdoch on his way with a threat to arrest him.
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Skinny Dipping
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9a6990
comment
Skinny Dipping: In "Houdini Whodunnit", we learn that Julia was arrested for skinny dipping as a student. This has an interesting effect on William.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9a6990
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Stock Ness Monster
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9a7d4472
comment
In "Loch Ness Murdoch", Inspector Brackenreid has a very unusual moment and insists he saw a Stock Ness Monster. Detective Murdoch suspects that Inspector's love of whisky might be responsible and hints at it "with all due respect". But Inspector knows bloody well what he saw. Besides, it was ale — who'd drink whiskey at the beach?
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_9a7d4472
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9ae85487
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Dr. Jerk
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9ae85487
comment
Dr. Jerk: Murdoch regards Dr. Francis this way. Others more or less agree, but see that both men have their point.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9ae85487
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Crocodile Tears
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9b5a308c
comment
Crocodile Tears: A young Charles Ponzi is caught red-handed by Brackenreid after he cons the people of Toronto. Brackenreid is ready to arrest him, but Ponzi resorts to this trope to pretend that he'll never do it again. Unfortunately, Brackenreid believes him.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9b5a308c
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One True Love
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9c4003a1
comment
Murdoch also must come to terms with Dr. Ogden's abortion, both as a moral dilemma and because she's his One True Love.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9c4003a1
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_9c4003a1
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Girl in a Box
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9c4dedd0
comment
Girl in a Box: Amy MacFarlane is tapped on her head and put into a large trunk on a ship.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9c4dedd0
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9c8701b5
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A Day in the Limelight
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9c8701b5
comment
A Day in the Limelight: Season 7 has two: the Girls' Night Out Episode "Friday the 13 1901", in which a Closed Circle meant Dr Odgen had to play detective, and "Kung Fu Crabtree" in which, as the title suggests Crabtree took the lead, because Murdoch was caught up in a Story Arc related B-plot. Season 8 has "Crabtreemania", which keeps the focus on Crabtree even though Murdoch is involved in the investigation as well, and ends with him being offered a detective position.
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Upper-Class Twit
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9cc1a329
comment
Upper-Class Twit: Roger Newsome (of the Mimico Newsomes, as he never hesitates to remind people) is a particularly grating example. He brags about his many accomplishments at everything from puzzles to birdwatching, even though he either rigs his successes or steals the credit from others. He's also thoroughly snide and condescending, such that none of his colleagues in his puzzle, golf or auto clubs can stand him. It's so bad that one of his friends outright tries to kill him. Roger also convinces himself that he's Crabtree's best friend. Even Crabtree, one of the friendliest and most easygoing characters on the entire show, utterly loathes him. As Henry Higgins's romance with Roger's sister Ruth (who is a female example herself) grows, he turns into one too. He brags about his knowledge of fancy colognes, gets a personal valet despite being a police constable, and basically begins acting like he's too good for everyone else at Stationhouse 4. It comes to a head in the Season 12 premiere, where he outright ignores Murdoch's and Brackenreid's orders in favour of planning his wedding to Ruth, gets into a confrontation with Brackenreid and quits before he's fired. Roger's brother Rupert somehow manages to be even worse than Roger. Rupert is trained as a cardiac surgeon, but he doesn't do anything so common as actually practice medicine. As a "gentleman of titles", Rupert became a doctor simply for the accolades and lets lesser men do the actual work. When the Newsome family fortune is gone, Rupert becomes the Henpecked Husband to a domineering wealthy woman...and it's implied he almost enjoys his wife pushing him around.
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Summation Gathering
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9ccb5f39
comment
Summation Gathering: Murdoch has Crabtree summon the family and staff of the Jenkins household for one of these at the end of "Downstairs, Upstairs".
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_9ccb5f39
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9cede50e
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Toplessness from the Back
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9cede50e
comment
Toplessness from the Back: When Murdoch learns that Julia was once arrested for Skinny Dipping, he imagines this. Vividly.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9cede50e
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_9cede50e
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d0f2549
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Public Secret Message
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d0f2549
comment
Public Secret Message: In the episode "A Study in Sherlock", David Kingsley (a.k.a. Sherlock Holmes) insists Moriarty communicates with his gang via coded obituaries in the local paper. Murdoch and Brackenreid are dubious, but as which much else in the case, the young Sherlock proves to be correct. In "The Artful Detective", Brackenreid notices an extra race published in the racing form; he's familiar with the track and draws Murdoch's attention to the discrepancy. The team compares the horse names to the profiles of several recent murder victims and finds several of the "horse" names are each descriptive of their victims. They come up with the hypothesis that the victims and a few other people are actually killing each other in a Deadly Game, and they stake out the racing form's publisher. Sure enough, the "horses" they have matched to their corpses are missing from the next "running" of that non-existent race, but a new entry is added: "Artful Detective". Guess who soon finds himself attacked in the street?
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d0f2549
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d12bbc1
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Foreshadowing
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d12bbc1
comment
In the B-plot of "Staircase to Heaven", Brackenreid and Crabtree are in the station house guarding a prisoner due to flooding at another station when they share some whiskey. Their conversation turns to the subject of Murdoch (who is on an island investigating a murder), and they confide to each other things about their colleague that they find annoying, including the fact that he never seems to have a hair out of place. Crabtree mentions the detective's repeated advice to "look for the small details" as a particular irritant, and Crabtree later notices such a detail that tips him off to the presence of an infamous criminal trying to kidnap their prisoner to prevent him from testifying in court.
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d1aaafc
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Lost Love Montage
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d1aaafc
comment
Lost Love Montage: Used very briefly in series 1 when Murdoch is thinking of Liza, his dead fiancée.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d1aaafc
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d6427ec
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Time Travel
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d6427ec
comment
Time Travel: Part of the plot in "Twentieth Century Murdoch" revolves around a time machine. A man gets involved in a couple of incidents (a suicide attempt and a shooting) and claims he went to the future, saw the events and went back to intervene. He also wants to save a boy from being trampled by horses, and Constables Crabtree and Higgins later go to the street intersection and witness events unfold just as the man said they would. Soon word gets around, and people are lining up and paying for trips to the future. Murdoch is initially skeptical despite the testimony of other paying travelers, but when the scientist suggests he try the device, Murdoch takes him up on the offer. What Murdoch sees (including himself married to Julia in 1912 and an eight year old boy who introduces himself as "William Murdoch Junior") changes his mind, and he's soon closeted in his office with the scientist, with his blackboard covered in equations. It turns out to be a hoax using a form of shock therapy to show the user the future they want to see and the scientist is using the money to finance a cryogenic chamber for his half-brother Dr. Roberts, who has Huntington's disease.
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_9d6427ec
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Continuity Nod
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9dab0a6e
comment
Continuity Nod: The online CBC mystery game A Nightmare on Queen Street involves a Psycho Psychologist who is a murder suspect but is in fact innocent. When he appears in the TV series in "Murdoch of the Living Dead", he alludes to the events of A Nightmare on Queen Street and how Dr. Ogden got him fired from the hospital he worked at because of that case.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9dab0a6e
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_9dab0a6e
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9fbf8969
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Cut Lex Luthor a Check
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_9fbf8969
comment
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Murdoch develops several innovations for crime-fighting that could make him a wealthy man if he patented them. It's subverted in one episode when Murdoch develops a polygraph lie detector device, and Crabtree tries to persuade a wealthy businesswoman to invest in it. The device works exactly the way it's supposed to, but it doesn't register anything since all the people Murdoch is testing it on are telling the truth and are all innocent. Thinking the device is worthless, the businesswoman (played by Canadian Dragon's Den regular Arlene Dickenson) loses interest and walks off.
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Sibling Triangle
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a09f3a65
comment
Sibling Triangle: For one episode, there was a Love Triangle involving Detective Murdoch and sisters Julia and Ruby Ogden. When Ruby realized how deeply Julia feels for him, she became Shipper on Deck and started to support their relationship.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a09f3a65
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It's Personal
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a0db7803
comment
It's Personal: For Inspector Brackenreid, when his son is kidnapped and held for ransom. Murdoch experiences this when he discovers Julia has been kidnapped and the perpetrator he's got in custody won't tell him where she is. Murdoch also experiences this to a certain degree when it looks as if his estranged father might be the killer in "Let Loose the Dogs". For Crabtree, when his heterosexual life partner Higgins is injured in an explosion. He works the entire case himself and spends his free time reading to Higgins at his bedside.
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Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a0fc97d7
comment
Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode: "Friday the 13th 1901" has two plots: Julia and Emily go to an island with several women friends for a weekend "hen party" (a bachelorette party) for one of the friends, while the guys of Station 4 play in a curling match on a bet. Brackenreid urges Murdoch to get involved in a effort to remedy the detective's depression over Julia's rejection of his marriage proposal, and true to form, Murdoch studies the game and invents a sliding shoe for the team. Meanwhile, the doctors' enjoyment of food, alcohol, tobacco and camaraderie are rudely interrupted by an axe murderer.
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Hand-or-Object Underwear
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a18a7c01
comment
Hand-or-Object Underwear: George in "Murdoch au Naturel".
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Homage
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a1a1491e
comment
Homage: The episode "Anything You Can Do" pays tribute to the Due South episode "Hunting Season". In addition to being Mounties, Sargeant Jasper Linney's personality and physical build are quite similar to Constable Benton Fraser's. Linney discovers that Murdoch — with whom he shares many traits in common — is his half-brother. This is very much like Fraser's situation when he learns that Constable Maggie Mackenzie — who is essentially a female version of himself — is actually his half-sister. Both pairs of half-siblings share a scene with their respective biological father.
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The Butler Did It
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a431b0e6
comment
The Butler Did It: Played with in the episode "Downstairs, Upstairs". The butler proves to have an alibi for the murder of his employer, but he knows who did it and suffocated his late employer's mother to keep her from revealing that information.
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Election Day Episode
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a46eb25d
comment
In the Election Day Episode, a young girl who is inspired by the suffragist movement's female candidate note  who was able to run because her lawyer, another Historical Domain Character, was able to argue there was no law against a woman standing, just voting turns out at the very end to be Agnes Macphail, who did in fact become one of Ontario's first two female MPPs and later Canada's first female MP.
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Da Chief
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comment
Da Chief: Inspector Brackenreid to Murdoch and the rest of Station House 4. Brackenreid's superior, Chief Constable Stockton. Since Murdoch is very much a By-the-Book Cop, Stockton tends to exert pressure on him and on Brackenreid to make a quick arrest or back off of VIPs, never mind the evidence. Stockton's successor, Chief Constable Giles. Like his predecessor Stockton, he tends to show up when Murdoch is investigating important cases, usually warning Brackenreid and Murdoch to be discreet and not stir up too much trouble. And he hasn't forgotten Murdoch's role in Ava Moon's escape from jail and implies that any further slip-ups will cost him his badge.
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Mood Whiplash
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comment
Mood Whiplash: Possibly the worst case in the series so far happened at the end of "24 Hours Til Doomsday". Murdoch had another adventure with James Pendrick (via the "flying suits") and foiled the plan with the rocket. Pendrick's own rocket was forced to be dismantled by the Canadian government due to pressure from the USA, and while Pendrick was lamenting this fact, Terrance Meyers was snooping around. He trapped himself inside and set it to launch, ensuring his death since one of Pendrick's suits was needed to later jump out and survive. His last moments shown onscreen were futilely screaming for help with Murdoch and Pendrick far away on the ground below, too late to do anything. Subverted later on in the series when Meyers turns up very much alive, having survived the crash.
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Circus Episode
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Circus Episode: "Blood and Circuses", in which a traveling circus has a tiger get loose in the town and is found to have partially eaten the trainer. Of course, things aren't as straightforward as that...
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Dream Intro
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comment
Dream Intro: "Murdoch Air" opens with Murdoch in bed dreaming of his and Julia's wedding. She balks at the word "obey" on her vows, he turns and jokes to the guests about negotiating that part, then there's a pounding sound and Julia thinks it's her first husband Darcy. In fact, Constable Crabtree is pounding on Murdoch's bedroom door. Murdoch wakes up and Crabtree urges him to hurry up and come see the flying machine in the sky over Toronto.
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Bolt of Divine Retribution
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comment
Bolt of Divine Retribution: Late in "Murdoch and the Temple of Doom", Dr. Iris Bajjali steals the Holy Grail from Station 4 and runs into the driving thunderstorm, pursued by Murdoch. He calls out to her to stop her, and she explains how she can fund her research with the sale of the much sought-after Grail. He tells her it belongs to God, she shouts back, "There is no God," and is struck and killed by a lightning bolt.
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Naked People Are Funny
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a58e5ad7
comment
Naked People Are Funny: Used in "Murdoch au Naturel", with George going "undercover" in a naturist colony and unwittingly running into Julia there, much to their mutual embarrassment. George quickly covers the plumbing with a hand towel, but then lamely says he's been wimming in the cold river. "Ohhh?" Julia responds. Later, a still-naked Julia saves George's life, only to have Murdoch and Brackenreid rush in to catch her in the altogether, and Hilarity Ensues.
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Rule of Drama
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a5f0752f
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At the end of Season 5, Darcy says he's not going to stand in the way of Julia getting back together with Murdoch. Then he changes his mind in season 6, because drama.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a5f0752f
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Enfant Terrible
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a6123b72
comment
Enfant Terrible: Dorrie in "Dial M for Murdoch" who is responsible for murdering a boy, attempting to takeover a jewelry-theft ring, and is only a child himself. Murdoch speculates as to whether Dorrie simply lacks a conscience.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a6123b72
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Stick 'em Up
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a64e99ce
comment
Stick 'em Up: In "The Murdoch Identity", Murdoch returns to a house in Bristol, England, in order to find out why two men there have been pursuing him (and shot him in the arm). As he's looking over photos and maps on a wall, he hears someone coming, hides behind the door, and seizes a smoking pipe. When one of his pursuers enters the room, he jams the pipe stem into the back of the guy's neck and acts as if it's a real gun.
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Fingertip Drug Analysis
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a66b0789
comment
Fingertip Drug Analysis: Shockingly, Murdoch — who is the smart one — tastes a mysterious white substance found on the crime scene. It's plaster.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a66b0789
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Due to the Dead
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a679184b
comment
Due to the Dead: Devout Roman Catholic Murdoch always crosses himself when he first comes upon a corpse, whether it's at a reported crime scene, or when someone dies in his presence (such as "Back and to the Left", "Stroll on the Wild Side" and "Tour de Murdoch"). Additionally, he does this at funerals such as the cop's memorial-cum-wake at the bar in "The Great Wall" and the graveside service for the long-dead Canadian government official in "Confderate Treasure". The gesture outs him as a minority Catholic in a Protestant-controlled city, so it is more of a big deal than it seems on the surface. On occasion, other characters do this: the hotel manager in "Return of Sherlock Holmes" performs it when a guest is found dead, and Crabtree tries to imitate his boss at that graveside in "Confederate Treasure".
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Rule of Three
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_a6cda066
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Crabtree again: His tendency to run off on tangents about minor trivia when relaying his findings to Murdoch or Brackenreid. Dr. Grace often does this, as well.
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Status Quo Is God
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Status Quo Is God: In Season 2 Crabtree meets his birth mother. She hasn't been seen since. Season 9 has done this in spades. Crabtree is freed and back at Station 4 but reprimanded and most likely will stay a constable permanently, Edna and Simon are gone and on the run, Dr. Grace moves away to England and Dr. Ogden is back working at the morgue. Aside from Murdoch and Ogden's marriage, the show has mostly reverted back to the format of the early seasons.
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Imagine Spot
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comment
At a crucial point during the episode, Murdoch will have an Imagine Spot that shows him "witnessing" the crime as it's taking place. In "The Murdoch Identity", he dreams one of these while having a nap on Anna Fulford's sofa as well as having small ones rather like fragments of memory in part since he's suffering the after-effects of a brain injury. Jasper Linney, Brackenreid and Dr. Ogden have each shared the Imagine Spot with him once, Brackenreid and Murdoch each have their own (solving the same case by different routes) in "Murdoch at the Opera", and in the Season 7 finale Brackenreid takes Murdoch's place in the Imagine Spot while solving the B-plot case.
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Sweet Polly Oliver
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Sweet Polly Oliver: A woman basketball team's worth. And back then, cross-dressing was considered quite scandalous. Julia in drag even initially fools Murdoch and Crabtree. When George realizes who he's talking to, he exclaims, "You look like a man...! A very pretty man!"
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RealLife
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Inspector Marcel Guillaume of the Sureté (the Real Life inspiration for Georges Simenon's Maigret)
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The Friend Nobody Likes
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The Friend Nobody Likes: Rich airhead and Upper-Class Twit Roger Newsome (of the Mimico Newsomes, as he constantly reminds everyone) is such a pompous, insufferable Jerkass that none of the other members of his puzzle, golf or auto clubs can stand him, even though he thinks they're all his friends. It gets so bad that one of them actually tries to kill him. Even Crabtree, who Roger convinces himself is his friend, and is probably the friendliest person on the entire show, utterly despises him.
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Eccentric Millionaire
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Eccentric Millionaire: The Newsome family are shown to be a bunch of Upper Class Twits, but several of them are also more than a little eccentric. Rupert enjoys wandering the halls of the family manor at night swinging a sword, one of the cousins is a narcoleptic who repeatedly yells at herself, and Ruth unexpectedly shows Hidden Depths when she helps Brackenreid, Crabtree, Higgins and Nina Bloom set a trap for Charles Ponzi after the latter swindles a large group of Torontonians.
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Worst. Whatever. Ever!
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comment
Worst. Whatever. Ever!: In one episode, Henry is assigned to figure out a sentence from a piece of destroyed paper. The equipment to help him provided by Detective Murdoch looks like proto-Scrabble. However, Henry is not impressed and declares it "the worst job ever".
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Determined Widow
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Determined Widow: Elizabeth Bryant from the episode "Murdoch of the Klondike" runs one of the two hotels in a formerly booming mining town in the Yukon. Murdoch returns to the town from his claim site to find she's been arrested for killing a rival hotel owner. She asserts her innocence, and when she learns he was once a police detective, she wants his help to clear her name — so much that when he initially refuses, she berates him from her cell, shouting "You're NOTHING!" at him as he leaves. Later, after he's bailed her out of jail and started to investigate, she learns he suspects a friend of the deceased who's buying up mining claims and she goes to physically confront the man in a local hotel barroom. Murdoch finally has her return to jail so he can investigate without her "help". In a quieter conversation, Murdoch asks her why she stays, and she cites the fact that her husband is buried there and insists the hotel provides enough of a living for her. She even flirts openly with Murdoch, hoping he'll stay with her, but he demurs.
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Roguish Romani
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comment
Roguish Romani: An episode has a Romani camp implicated in a robbery and Inspector Brackenreid pressured into arresting them by the backers of his mayoral campaign. It turns out to be the son of his main contributor, and Brackenreid quits the mayoral race in disgust when he threatens to withdraw his support if his son is arrested.
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Obfuscating Disability
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_aa07ca54
comment
Obfuscating Disability: In one episode "Bad Medicine", the killer turns out to be someone who pretended to be a stroke victim so he would avoid suspicion.
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Deliberate Values Dissonance
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comment
Deliberate Values Dissonance: While Detective Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are quite ahead of their time, and so are other sympathetic characters like Inspector Brackenreid or George Crabtree, the setting is definitely not; classism, racism, sexism and homophobia are rampant, and Murdoch & Co. even run into the odd anarchist, eugenicist, and virulent anti-papist (Real Life turn-of-the-century Toronto was under the complete control of the Orange Order, every mayor up to 1955 was a card-carrying member). Inspector Brackenreid isn't above beating up a suspect during interrogation to try and get answers. Going in the other direction, abortionists were treated as complete pariahs, even by Murdoch until Ogden shook him out of it. The attitude that birth control interferes with a man's right to control his wife is accurate to the time, too.
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Red Scare
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Red Scare: Subverted in an episode where Murdoch investigates the bombing of a clothing store. A Marxist activist tries to claim credit for the bombing, but he's really just trying to get attention for himself and his cause.
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Idiosyncratic Episode Naming
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Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The writers are quite fond of using anachronistically modern expressions for episode names, at times with dropping the name of the eponymous hero. The episode about a serial killer who seduced women on line — telegraph lines, that is — is titled "Murdoch.com". The one about a man who was murdered on an elevator is called aptly "This One Goes to Eleven". The episode where Murdoch wakes up to find himself in the wrong country, with no memory of how he got there and everyone trying to kill him is of course, named "The Murdoch Identity" (the episode even included a character called Treadstone). Added Alliterative Appeal is employed from time to time: "Victor, Victorian", "Me, Myself and Murdoch", "Monsieur Murdoch", and "Evil Eye of Egypt". The template for a title troped as The Joy of X is also used quite often: "I, Murdoch" (I, Noun), "Me, Myself and Murdoch" (Me, Myself and X), "Dial M for Murdoch" (Dial X for Y), and "Murdoch in Wonderland" (X in Wonderland). Many of the titles are also references to films, including "Dial M for Murdoch" (Dial M for Murder), "On the Waterfront" (an exact quotation of a film title), "Friday the 13th, 1901" (from the horror film franchise), "Victor, Victorian" (Victor/Victoria) and even "Who Killed the Electric Carriage?" (from the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?). Books don't get left out either. Aside from "A Study in Sherlock" (which introduces David Kingsley and alludes to the first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet), there's "Crime and Punishment" (referring to the novel of the same name) and "The Devil Wears Whalebone" (referring to The Devil Wears Prada). Some titles touch on rock and pop music bands and songs: "Twisted Sisters" (Twisted Sister), "Barenaked Ladies" (from the Canadian alternative band of the same name), "Glory Days" (see the song by Bruce Springsteen), "Summer of '75" (alluding to the song "Summer of '69" by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams) and "Lovers In A Murderous Time" (alluding to the song "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" by Bruce Cockburn and covered by the Barenaked Ladies).
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Myth Arc
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Myth Arc: For the first two seasons the episodes were mostly self-contained. Season 3 has one dealing with the Pendricks.
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Chekhov's Skill
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Chekhov's Skill: At the start of "Mild Mild West", Murdoch demonstrates that he knows how to use a lasso at a carnival game. Later he uses a lasso to capture a fleeing suspect.
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Oh, Crap!
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Oh, Crap!: The Crown Prosecutor of Toronto is outraged when Murdoch and Brackenreid accuse him of murder, and threatens to use his influence to ruin their careers. When Murdoch presents him with proof of his guilt, he immediately turns to this trope and then suffers a Villainous Breakdown. Subverted by Timothy Beaton when Murdoch confronts him. His grandfather and his lover both have this reaction when they see Murdoch, but Timothy merely curses Murdoch for his cleverness.
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Human Traffickers
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Human Traffickers: In addition to extorting dockside merchants, the O'Shea brothers also do this. They "import" Russian women who can't speak English. Fortunately, when Murdoch and Crabtree find one of their victims, Detective Hamish Slorak enlists his Russian mother to act as translator.
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For the Evulz
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For the Evulz: James Gillies orchestrated the murder of one of his college professors simply to see if he could. Murdoch caught him for it, and it all went downhill from there.
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Deadpan Snarker
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Deadpan Snarker: As noted below under Sherlock Homage, Murdoch is one of these from time to time. Late in "The Murdoch Sting", he comes upon Eva Pearce standing in a pond desperately searching for the corpse she hid there. He addresses her and says, "What are you doing? You'll catch your death." Bear in mind, this is in a time and place where there is a death penalty for murder, and his listener has just been caught red-handed.
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Fish out of Water
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comment
The investigation in "All That Glitters" leads to one of these, with Murdoch easily returning to his lumberjack and miner garb (to Crabtree's astonishment), while Crabtree is the urban Fish out of Water, bringing his own pillow from home and overreacting to the sounds of wildlife in the night.
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Catchphrase
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Crabtree is showing a wealthy investor one of Murdoch's inventions with the hope that she'll buy into it. When the device appears to fail (although it actually works correctly — it just didn't detect anything Murdoch was looking for), the investor walks off with the words "I'm out." This is the collective Catchphrase used by the investors on Dragon's Den when they show they're not interested in a business pitch, and the investor is played by Canadian businesswoman Arlene Dickenson, who is a regular on the CBC's version of the show.
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Abusive Parents
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comment
Abusive Parents: Murdoch's father is an abusive alcoholic (or so Murdoch recalls, his father says that he was never abusive); after his mother's death, Murdoch spent the rest of his childhood in the custody of a Jesuit order.
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Santa Ambiguity
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Santa Ambiguity: In "A Very Murdoch Christmas", an old man is insistent that he be released from police custody because he claims that he's Kris Kringle and needs to finish delivering the presents. Dr. Ogen thinks he's delusional but consents to releasing him when it's made apparent that he is not dangerous to himself or anyone else. At the end of the episode, the policemen hand out gifts to the local children and notice that there seem to be extra presents. They then notice "Kris" in the crowd wearing a Santa suit and smiling. He then disappears into the streets.
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My Greatest Second Chance
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My Greatest Second Chance: In "Unfinished Business", Murdoch plays a recording of a man's deathbed confession of murder, and Dr. Ogden recognizes the details of an unsolved case the two of them worked on early in their careers. As she retrieves the case file, Dr. Ogden expresses regret that she couldn't find enough evidence to solve the woman's murder. Later, Murdoch re-investigates the woman's husband, who objects to the scrutiny along with his equally indignant brother. It turns out the brother made a murder pact with the confessed killer to kill his sister-in-law and Murdoch sincerely apologizes to the widower for suspecting him.
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Molotov Cocktail
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Molotov Cocktail: The killer uses one to start a fire in the brothel as a distraction while he commits a murder in "The Green Muse".
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Added Alliterative Appeal
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Added Alliterative Appeal is employed from time to time: "Victor, Victorian", "Me, Myself and Murdoch", "Monsieur Murdoch", and "Evil Eye of Egypt".
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Take That!
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Take That!: Thomas Edison very rarely comes off looking good in his appearances. He's inevitably presented as a belligerent and egotistical Jerkass who's not nearly as intelligent as he purports to be. It's elevated to Butt-Monkey status in "Staring Blindly into the Future", where not only is he the only inventor not kidnapped by Sally Pendrick, but an attempt to fake his own kidnapping out of jealousy is brutally dismantled by Murdoch.
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Science Hero
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_b55e8979
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Science Hero: Murdoch uses science to solve crime, either by adapting new scientific discoveries for police work, or by coming up with his own unique inventions.
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Gave Up Too Soon
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Gave Up Too Soon: The episode "Murdoch and the Temple of Death" includes a hunt for the Holy Grail. After much effort, including defeating several traps in the titular building and pursuing a man who killed for it, Murdoch and Dr. Iris Bajali retrieve a ceramic cup. Murdoch and Brackenreid consult a local museum expert about the find, and there's a bit of disappointment when it is shown to have a hidden Christian symbol, making it too new to be the actual Grail. Constable Crabtree suggests the apparent first-century pottery exterior conceals the real Holy Grail, and Murdoch dismisses the idea of breaking so ancient an artifact just to test Crabtree's theory. The cup is donated to the museum, and later a staffer is shown accidentally knocking it to the floor, breaking the clay exterior to reveal a metal cup inside. The episode closes with the metal cup back on a shelf suggestively bathed in a shaft of light.
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Too Dumb to Live
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Too Dumb to Live: The late Roger Newsome who comes from a family of Upper Class Twits and insists on going outside to get a haircut when he's meant to be kept under guard until he can testify at a murder trial. You can guess how he became the late Roger.
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Amoral Attorney
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Amoral Attorney: The Crown Prosecutor in "Hangman", who does everything to make sure the defendant gets hanged, even the obviously innocent ones. Once a judge suspects his methods, he confronts the judge, kills him, and frames a known criminal for it. Leslie Garland in the two-part "On the Waterfront" has passed his bar exam and is working for one of the Crown Prosecutors — specifically the one handling the charges against Drs. Ogden and Grace and the other suffragettes arrested at the protest march. Garland offers to have a word with his new boss in the doctors' favor, but both of them refuse his help. He later ensures Dr. Grace's charges aren't dropped immediately no doubt because she threw him over after she learned he'd posed as the infamous James Gillies and threatened the lives of Julia and William, and he gloats over her incarceration. Julia and her attorney present the Prosecutor with evidence of his terror campaign, and Garland is fired. He drops by Julia's office and gets a surprise of his own: a fearsome William Murdoch who promises to take off his badge and settle their differences if Garland bothers Julia again.
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They Do
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They Do: Detective William Murdoch and Dr. Julia Ogden finally marry in the 100th episode of the series (in season 8), after years of Unresolved Sexual Tension, his difficulties in declaring his feelings, some distance over Julia's past abortion, career opportunities in other places, her decision to marry another man, the implosion of that marriage, the murder of her husband (for which she was convicted and eventually exonerated)...this couple really did earn it.
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Suffrage and Political Liberation
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Suffrage and Political Liberation: Established characters like Julia and Emily join the movement of women's suffrage and they try to get a woman to run for an office. It's Miss Margaret Haile who runs for the provincial legislature of Ontario. With a brilliant legal argument from a British lawyer Clara Brett Martin, they succeed. In episode "Election Day", Miss Haile's name doesn't appear on the ballot. The lawyer petitions the court for an injunction and the women protest, blocking the doors of the polling station so that people can't vote unless there is Margaret's name on the ballot. Clara Brett Martin soon has her injunction and the name must be corrected/added on the ballot. Margaret Haile receives 79 votes. And their fight continues... Lilian tries to convince Emily to leave for London and join Mrs Pankhurst's group.
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Briar Patching
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Briar Patching: In "Marked Twain", Higgins pulls rank on a recently demoted Crabtree by instructing him to interview a suspect who lives ten miles out of town. Crabtree consoles himself by suggesting he can get a look at an attractive woman who lives nearby, which inspires Higgins to pull rank again and conduct the interview himself. Visiting Historical Domain Character Mark Twain registers his approval.
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My Country, Right or Wrong
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My Country, Right or Wrong: Terrence Myers is a lying, scheming Manipulative Bastard, but he is a loyal Canadian. He gets noticeably hot under the collar when an American secret agent starts trying to throw his weight around during an undercover mission in Toronto.
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Blood from Every Orifice
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comment
Blood from Every Orifice: One young woman's body is found ditched in a river and it appears that her blood has been drained. The team finds out that she was pregnant and tried to induce a miscarriage by drinking pennyroyal oil, an insecticide. She suffered bleeding severely from her eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and other parts... She died an agonizing death.
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Slow-Loading Internet Image
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Slow-Loading Internet Image: Played with, for one case, Murdoch needed a photograph of a kidnapped woman, but the closest photo is in Paris, France. So Murdoch had the Paris police overlay a grid on the photo, assign a number to the scale of grey in each grid square, then telegraph the number to Toronto (i.e. a jury-rigged fax). The final "paint-by-number" job took two days to do, slowing yielding more clues until the case was solved, when the entire painting was done.
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The Film of the Book
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The Film of the Book: The first-season episode "Let Loose the Dogs" is a direct adaptation of one of series creator Maureen Jennings' original novels (and the only one to be adapted for this series).
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Market-Based Title
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A bonus entry occurs in "The Artful Detective", which is the name of the show in the US.
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When Elders Attack
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When Elders Attack: In "Convalescence", Murdoch's elderly landlady Mrs Kitchen has been imprisoned for several days while criminals search her house. When a weakened Murdoch passes out while fighting one of the criminals, Mrs Kitchen picks up Murdoch's crutch and whacks the crook over the head with it, knocking her out.
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First Girl Wins
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First Girl Wins: This one is played with involving Constable George Crabtree and Edna Garrison. They meet in the very first episode of the series ("Power") when she's an animal rights activist protesting the planned electrocution of a dog to demonstrate the dangers of alternating current. The demonstration is sabotaged and a woman dies. George has to investigate Edna, who is found to have incriminating device plans, and the suspicion comes between them — at one point George says, "That ship has sailed." Several seasons pass, during which George has a budding romance with Dr. Grace that also fizzles out, partly over George's class insecurities. Edna reappears in the eighth season having married a soldier with a young son; she's recently received an official letter telling her she's a widow, and over the course of the season she and George rekindle their romance. Late in the season, after learning of his impending promotion to detective, he proposes marriage to her and she accepts. Just when the trio is discussing their new family life over dinner, Edna's first husband suddenly reappears and things go downhill fast.
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Throwing the Fight
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Throwing the Fight: The Victim of the Week in "The Knockdown" was supposed to throw a prize fight in the 31st round. He decided to change the script (having placed a large bet on himself) and won in the 30th. He was murdered later that evening.
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Knight Templar
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Knight Templar: Becoming frustrated at how many guilty people were getting acquitted, the Crown Prosecutor of Toronto starts using false witnesses, planted evidence and murder to send innocent men to the gallows. He more than gets what he deserves at the end of the episode. When he's about to be hanged, he raves about how God will forgive him, since he was doing the Lord's work.
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Costume Copycat
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Costume Copycat: The Kissing Bandit is a Lovable Rogue and Gentleman Thief who becomes something of a folk hero in Toronto. Later, the Kissing Bandit seemingly turns cold-blooded when he shoots a woman he'd kissed during one of his previous robberies. Murdoch has caught the real Bandit and has him in custody when the shooting takes place, and so Murdoch realizes that the Bandit who supposedly killed the woman is in fact an impostor disguised as the real one.
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Improbable Aiming Skills
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Improbable Aiming Skills: Discussed in "Mild Mild West", where Murdoch notes a shot taken from 50 yards away from the victim would have required the shooter to have remarkable aim. Which is also a bit of artistic license/Reality Is Unrealistic: while this is certainly the case for a pistol of the era (which were generally accurate out to 25 yards), rifles of the day had an accurate range of 150 yards or more. And by the time they ascertain the shooter's position, Murdoch and Julia have already determined that the fatal shot was fired by a rifle.
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Desecrating the Dead
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Desecrating the Dead: In "Winston's Lost Night", Winston Churchill speaks out against the desecration of the tomb of Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi in response to someone in a gentlemen's club who praised the action. The story was that Kitchener had ordered the act in revenge for what the Mahdi's troops had done to General Gordon, and the Mahdi's skull was taken from his tomb so Kitchener could "use it as an ink pot." It turns out that this act, carried out by Churchill's friend Reginald Mayfair, was the motive for Mayfair's murder by one of the Mahdi's former soldiers, who happened to be working in a bar where Churchill and Mayfair were drinking.
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Negative Continuity
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In "Sir. Sir? Sir!!!", the entire cast (and presumably, soon to be the whole world) is taken over by aliens, and it's not a dream. But given that everyone is fine in the next episode it's also a clear case of Negative Continuity or a What-If Alternate Universe Halloween Episode.
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Clueless Detective
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Clueless Detective: Murdoch is very good at his job, but his counterpart at Stationhouse #3, Chester Macdonald, is aptly described by Brackenreid as an "obvious dunce". His shoddy investigation of a murder leads an innocent man to be nearly hanged, and Murdoch ends up having to clean up his mess.
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Alliterative Name
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Alliterative Name: Henry Higgins
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Binge Montage
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Binge Montage: George's role in one investigation is to get drunk with locals so that they can steal from him a part of a treasure map and reveal themselves. George drinks, dances, sings and is forced to kiss a fish. Good times.
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Cool and Unusual Punishment
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Cool and Unusual Punishment: Annie Edison Taylor, the first person to take a trip down Niagara Falls, is touring with the barrel she rode down the falls in. When her barrel is stolen during an appearance in Toronto, she enlists Crabtree's help. Crabtree discovers that the thieves are a group of university students who stole the barrel as a prank. The boys plead with Crabtree not to arrest them, since the scandal would lead to their being disowned by their families. In lieu of arresting them, Crabtree punishes the boys by forcing them to clean the entire stationhouse from top to bottom, and he insists they write a letter of apology to Ms. Taylor.
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With Due Respect
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With Due Respect: In "The Glass Ceiling", Inspector Brackenreid gets desperate to find a killer who's threatening him and orders the constables to strong-arm every known criminal they can find to get information on the man. Detective Murdoch uses the phrase "with all due respect" to point out that such heavy-handed tactics are unlikely to work and urges they follow the evidence instead of going after every criminal in the city. In "Loch Ness Murdoch", Inspector Brackenreid has a very unusual moment and insists he saw a Stock Ness Monster. Detective Murdoch suspects that Inspector's love of whisky might be responsible and hints at it "with all due respect". But Inspector knows bloody well what he saw. Besides, it was ale — who'd drink whiskey at the beach?
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Speak in Unison
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Speak in Unison: Most often Played for Laughs, though a notable serious example comes in "Crime and Punishment" when Dr. Grace raises the possibility that Dr. Ogden may have actually shot her estranged husband. Murdoch, Brackenreid and Crabtree all reject the idea in unison and quite loudly.
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Subverted Trope
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"We don't call people 'retarded' anymore, it's insensitive. The polite term is 'moronic'."
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Fun with Acronyms
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The third web series, A Nightmare on Queen Street features a dark murder mystery with an interactive component where the viewer can help investigate the murder with the use of Murdoch's Levered Action Portable Truth Overview Protector (a.k.a. LAPTOP).
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Science Marches On
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Science Marches On: Intentionally invoked in the episode set at University of Toronto, where currently outdated scientific concepts (luminiferous aether) and laughably basic ideas (single/double molecular bonds) are presented as revolutionary and cutting-edge... because they were at the time. Inspector Brackenreid is not a scientist, but he is remarkably ahead of his time in considering the idea of eugenics to be nonsense while it was still a popular theory. An out-of-universe example leads to a couple mistakes in "Dinosaur Fever": A prominent location in the episode features an Albertasaurus on display in the gallery of a museum, where the victim's body is discovered in its jaws. However the animal is displayed in the modern horizontal walking position. In the late-19th/early-20th centuries, the skeleton would have been mounted upright in a kangaroo-like posture. Additionally, sketches of a Triceratops and Stegosaurus are visible in the background of one scene, and their forelegs are clearly drawn directly underneath their bodies, which is based on current (post-1980s) research. At the time the episode is set, these animals were believed to have splayed stance, much like a lizard.
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True Companions
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True Companions: Murdoch, Julia, Crabtree, and Brackenreid. They stand by and trust one another almost without question, and are willing to go to the limits for one another. They're joined throughout the other series by characters such as Dr. Grace and Rebecca James. Notably, when Julia was framed for murder and Murdoch was suspended for pursuing his investigation in defiance of Chief Constable Giles, Brackenreid willingly gets himself suspended by standing up for Murdoch and telling Giles off. He and Crabtree then join Murdoch's clandestine efforts to clear her name, with Dr. Grace also providing assistance in dismantling the evidence against her (which is instrumental in getting Giles to quietly support their investigation). It's lampshaded in "Up From Ashes" by Murdoch himself. After Graham is arrested for his machinations, he smugly warns Murdoch that he has friends in the government that will help him. Murdoch immediately throws it back in his face by telling Graham that those friends are not nearly as good as Murdoch's friends, all of whom risked death and incarceration to help him clear his name. All of Station House No. 4 are this for one another. They're a tight-knit crew for whom they will risk anything to help one another. Higgins and Jackson have both gone out of their way for George and Murdoch, and the entire crew is steadfastly loyal to Brackenreid. When Murdoch is framed for murder in "Hell to Pay" and "Up From Ashes," the conspirators have to shut the station down entirely in an effort to stop them from helping reveal the truth. And several help anyway.
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Uptown Girl
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Uptown Girl: George experiences this with Emily Grace. Though he wants to invite her to the policemen's New Year's Eve ball, he observes that she's probably used to far finer parties and feels justified in his opinion when she later turns down his invitation. Happily, this is later averted when she does join him at the ball and announces that she finds him more interesting than the people at the party she was planning on attending. George views Emily as higher on the social chain than he is, even though Emily's former fiancé, the cad, told her she was a mere working-class girl.
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Ponzi
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Ponzi: The B-plot of the "Home For The Holidays" Christmas special involves the Brackenreids and several other Torontonians being conned into one of these by none other than Charles Ponzi himself. Brackenreid, Higgins, Crabtree, Nina Bloom and Ruth Newsome hatch a scheme of their own to con Ponzi into returning it.
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You Just Ruined the Shot
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You Just Ruined the Shot: In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch", Murdoch and Crabtree see a young woman aggressed by two men on the street, and immediately intervene. Turns out it's part of the movie shot by James Pendrick. One has to wonder how they missed the filming crew, which was only hiding Behind the Black.
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Offscreen Moment of Awesome
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Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At the beginning of "Blood and Circuses", Crabtree and Higgins breathlessly describe an encounter with a Bengal tiger escaped from a visiting circus. Higgins physically tackled the tiger to keep it from mauling an old man — getting his arm clawed in the process — and George hit it with his truncheon.
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Establishing Shot
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Establishing Shot: In the form of tinted stereoscopy photos (a type of 3D photography popular in the 1900s). Later in the series establishing shots of the city of Toronto, reconstitued in CGI, are common.
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Failures on Ice
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Failures on Ice: A practice session for a curling match in "Friday the 13th 1901" features this trope as George assesses his colleagues' skills. Higgins and Jackson have particular trouble on the ice.
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Campfire Character Exploration
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Campfire Character Exploration: In "Murdoch of the Klondike", Murdoch has left behind his job as a Toronto police detective having released a murderess who was wronged by the justice system years earlier, in part due to his scrupulous honesty and is prospecting in the Klondike. During the long summer night, he's sitting at a campfire with another prospector who comments on the hour (it's about one o'clock in the morning), and they have this exchange:
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Massive Multiplayer Scam
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Massive Multiplayer Scam: In "The Murdoch Sting", Murdoch and company pull one of these to get the culprit Eva Pearce to incriminate herself in a murder, and it really is a case of all hands on deck. Brackenreid solicits the help of one Cassie Chadwick, who claims the culprit has impersonated her to get engaged to the murder victim. Constable Higgins impersonates an attorney, Dr. Grace portrays the murder victim's floozy girlfriend, and she even drags in Leslie Garland at one point when his unexpected entrance threatens to blow the whole set-up.
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Shout-Out
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"Friday the 13th, 1901" is a Shout-Out to Friday the 13th and has Julia and Emily visit a purportedly haunted island.
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Mentor Archetype
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Dr. Emily Grace takes after her mentor. In "Murdoch of the Living Dead", when she was grabbed by one of the "zombies", she stabbed him in the hand with her hatpin, and in "Friday the 13th 1901" she hit Julia's ax-wielding attacker from behind with a bottle.
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Especially Zoidberg
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Especially Zoidberg: In the episode "Who Killed the Electric Carriage?", Inspector Brackenreid finds out that his wife (who's been giving him a hard time about his drinking) and other ladies from Temperance League participate in bloody gambling, so he orders Constable Crabtree to arrest everybody in the bloody den.
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Voodoo Doll
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_c8490cbe
comment
In "The Curse Of Beaton Manor" Murdoch scolds George that voodoo is not real. It is revealed that Timothy Beaton used pufferfish poison (from Haitian voodoo) to induce a near-death state and thus 'come back' from the dead. At the end of the episode the final Beaton suffers a fatal heart-attack from being pierced by a Voodoo Doll.
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Criminal Mind Games
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_c895f927
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Criminal Mind Games: In "Murdoch in Toyland", Detective Murdoch is left a series of talking dolls designed to give him just enough clues to reach the next one, and also to make him overthink things and miss more blatant clues.
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Even the Rats Won't Touch It
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_c8d69cac
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Even the Rats Won't Touch It: In "Convalescence", Murdoch complains about his food. His landlady can't cook, but her stand-in seems to be even worse. Even a mouse will not eat it. He later finds a dead mouse (this one was probably very hungry), and realizes that his meals are being poisoned.
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Self-Deprecation
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Self-Deprecation: In "Republic of Murdoch", after Jacob Doyle escapes from Constable Crabtree by hitting the constable in the head with a length of board, Crabtree sheepishly reports to Murdoch how the man got away. Murdoch is concerned for his colleague, but Crabtree dismisses this worry by saying, "He got me in my least vulnerable spot."
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Never Lend to a Friend
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Never Lend to a Friend: Played for Laughs in "The Spy Who Came Up to the Cold", when Higgins hides Crabtree's fancy new pen because George bought it rather than repay a small loan to him. Crabtree argues that Higgins borrowed from him a year earlier to get a uniform item and hadn't repaid that loan. The two trade insults while working the case.
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Two Lines, No Waiting
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_ca7ec334
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Two Lines, No Waiting: Some episodes involve two cases. Crabtree and/or Brackenreid are usually the ones to handle the B-plot while Murdoch investigates the main case.
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Taking You with Me
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_caf89e54
comment
Taking You with Me: While Timothy Beaton is going to hang for murdering two of his half-brothers, he manages to kill the third surviving half-brother by getting his cousin to use voodoo to induce a fatal heart attack in the man.
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Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_cb70651c
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Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: When Inspector Brackenreid arrests a bunch of gypsies for theft for political gain despite there being no evidence of the gypsies' guilt, the leader of their caravan puts a curse on Brackenreid for him to never achieve what he most desires. Later in the episode, Brackenreid finds that the one of the actual thieves is the son of the man bankrolling his run for Toronto City Council. Despite his backer's efforts, Brackenreid decides Screw the Money, I Have Rules! and has the son and the rest of the thieves arrested, dropping out of the election in the process. Once the gypsies are released, their leader offers to lift her curse, but Brackenreid says that there was no curse to begin with... despite the fact that once the gypsy leader cursed him, his political ambitions fell apart.
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Low-Speed Chase
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Low-Speed Chase: The B-plot of "Murdoch Takes Manhattan" culminates in one of these. Constable Crabtree tries to make an arrest and finds himself ordered at gunpoint to drive a kidnapper and his victim. Dr. Grace, Inspector Brackenreid and Constable Jackson take another car to pursue them, and at one point Brackenreid orders Jackson to bail out so they can go faster and catch up.
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Prima Donna Director
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Prima Donna Director: James Pendrick in "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch". He keeps changing the script at the last moment against the wishes of the writers, give a meager pay to his staff while insisting the movie is done in time, fires the main actor because he was wounded by a bullet and cannot recover in time, etc. Of course he's the one financing the movie, so it isn't like he has any higher-up to rein him in.
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Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_cd3a1755
comment
Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: In "Belly Speaker", a drunken Arthur Conan Doyle attempts to start a Bar Brawl. After punching out two drinkers, he is confronted by a huge black man. He delivers several punches to the face with no effect.
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DoubleSubverted
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Double Subverted in the episode "The Kissing Bandit", wherein Murdoch tries to catch the title character by installing an exploding dye pack in with the money the bank will give the Bandit. It fails to catch the Bandit because the Bandit is actually reporter Paddy Glynn, who saw Murdoch explain the plan, but it does help identify the Costume Copycat who murders an innocent woman.
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All Part of the Show
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All Part of the Show: The production of La Bohème in "Murdoch at the Opera". Knowing that she will be arrested for murder after the performance, Rosa Hamilton takes a fatal dose of poison and plays out Mimi's death scene, expiring after singing Mimi's last words. The audience isn't any wiser for it and applaud wildly; the other singers only realise she has died after the curtains have fallen. Inspector Brackenreid also notes that most of the audience thought this was the case when a corpse fell down on the stage during a production of Macbeth in "Body Double".
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Steampunk
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_cf6d4bad
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Steampunk: A couple of episodes toy with this concept and era-appropriate feel. Season 3 finale goes full-tilt into it with Tesla's microwave death ray. In season 5, "Who Killed the Electric Carriage?" and its rocket-shaped car nicely fit as well and continues to do so with James Pendrick's inventions. They definitely that Steam Punk aesthetics with lots of gold, brass and metallic surfaces embellished with clocks, gauges and measuring instruments. The inventions also include a proto-aeroplane, a gliding suit, a rocket intended to reach outside the atmosphere (carrying a man no less) or a hyper-train called the Pendrick FLASH (FLASH being an acronym for Frictionless Levitated Accelerated Subsurface Hyper-train).
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Hemo Erotic
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_d04d13d0
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Doctor Ogden's point of view: When the case involving a "vampire" is solved, she imagines her post-case conversation with Murdoch giving way to a passionate makeout. The Imagine Spot is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Julia's fiancé Dr. Darcy Garland.
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Eureka Moment
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Eureka Moment: A common occurrence. Lampshaded in "Convalescence" when Crabtree is standing for Murdoch as acting detective. Having reached a seeming dead end in the case, Crabtree starts staring The Big Board. When Higgins asks he what he is doing, Crabtree says that whenever this happens to Murdoch, he stares at the board and everything suddenly falls into place. He then adds that it is not as easy as Murdoch makes it look and all he is getting is a headache.
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Everybody Did It
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_d143edf2
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Everybody Did It: In "Body Double", the first murder was committed by only one person the leading lady of a theatrical company, but the coverup (which involves a second murder) is arranged by all of the acting company.
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Old-Timey Bathing Suit
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Old-Timey Bathing Suit: Lots of lovely beach wear was seen in "Loch Ness Murdoch", worn by both gentlemen and ladies.
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Gypsy Curse
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Gypsy Curse: Cleverly subverted when Brackenreid is running for Toronto City Council, his opponent starts gaining ground on an anti-immigrant platform. A rash of high-class thefts breaks out, and Brackenreid's backers urge him to arrest a caravan of gypsies to brandish his own anti-immigrant credentials, despite the fact that there's no evidence. The gypsies' leader curses Brackenreid to never realize his ambitions, and the curse seems to come true when Brackenreid realizes the real thieves are the son and friends of his lead backer. Brackenreid immediately arrests the son and his friends, and voluntarily drops out of the race, releasing the innocent gypsies in the process. In one of the episode's final scenes, the gypsy leader offers to lift her curse, and Brackenreid tells her not to, saying it wasn't a curse in the first place. The gypsy leader only wryly smiles, saying that she must be losing her touch, before thanking Brackenreid and telling him that he's "one of the good ones".
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After-Action Patch-Up
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After Action Patchup: Late in "The Prince and The Rebel", Julia is shown tending to Murdoch's wrists after he had been tied up by the kidnappers and likely burned escaping the fire. In "The Murdoch Identity", Murdoch, suffering from Identity Amnesia, gets shot in his arm. Anna Fulford hides him in her pub and takes over when he's cleaning his wound. Later, she helps him to find a sanctuary in her church, and she then re-bandages his wound. They end up kissing, but the kiss brings out memories of a certain Julia, so Anna is only his might-have-been love. At the end of "Midnight Train to Kingston", Murdoch is seen to have survived his jump from the bridge in pursuit of James Gillies and Julia treats his injuries (including reducing a dislocated shoulder). Murdoch, Julia and Brackenreid discuss whether or not Gillies survived his fall (clearly possible since Murdoch did), and Crabtree joins them to tell them they can't find Gillies or his body. In "Kung Fu Crabtree", after they fight off a trio of black-clad ninjas, Crabtree notices Wu Chang (the man he was supposed to be arresting) has a deep cut on his arm and takes him to see Dr. Grace for treatment. While there, Crabtree and Dr. Grace get to know Mr. Wu a bit better, including that fact that he isn't one of the Boxers (of the recently ended Boxer Rebellion) as a Chinese detective claimed. In "The Devil Wears Whalebone", Julia struggles to get out of a suffocating corset, falling and breaking her arm. Dr. Emily Grace later gives Julia a once over, including a stethoscope check and putting Julia's arm in a support and sling.
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Hoist by His Own Petard
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Hoist by His Own Petard: James Gillies uses a device to conceal a small gun in his pocket which he can immediately drop into his hand. Later, Murdoch uses the same weapon in "The Devil Within" to subdue Gillies by shooting him with a rubber bullet.
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What the Hell, Hero?
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What the Hell, Hero?: Murdoch receives one from James Pendrick after mistakenly arresting him for murder. Again. A historical version occurs when Winston Churchill becomes a suspect in the murder of his friend. While retracing his steps with Murdoch and Crabtree, Churchill remembers talking about how he criticized Lord Kitchener for wanting to dig up the Mahdi's corpse and use his skull as a penholder. This is a reference to The River War in the late 1800s, and also ties into the real murderer and his motive for killing Churchill's friend. When Murdoch's landlady is arrested for murder in "Murdoch of the Klondike", she reacts this way when she learns that Murdoch used to be a policeman but isn't trying to help her. He later rouses himself to do it.
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Precocious Crush
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Arlene Dennet in "Bloodlust" has one on Detective Murdoch. She tells Murdoch to call her by her first name, clings onto Murdoch several times, stabs herself in the neck to be near him, and tells him a 'secret' that he must vow not to tell because vows are "sacred as say a vow of fidelity between lovers" (cue Murdoch looking around uncomfortably). Made even more squick in that it doubles as a Precocious Crush since Murdoch is investigating the murder of a popular girl at a boarding school. Wonder who did it?
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The Doll Episode
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The Doll Episode: "Murdoch in Toyland" has Murdoch come across a series of creepy dolls with recorded messages that give him just enough clues to find the next one, all planted by a killer to torment him, and also to make him overanalyse things and miss more blatant clues.
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Tarot Troubles
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Tarot Troubles: In the episode "Blood and Circuses", Murdoch is investigating the death of a circus lion tamer and is particularly frustrated by the fortuneteller's refusal to answer questions directly. The woman prefers to communicate using her cards and refers to their predictive power, despite Murdoch's objections that he doesn't believe in such things. Crabtree insists her prognostications are valuable, and eventually Murdoch goes along with her conversational style to get information out of her. Interestingly, her cards sometimes need to be taken literally: as the deaths continue among the circus performers, she produces first the magician card and later the Queen of Swords, which refer to people involved in the murders. Murdoch also gets two contradictory predictions about his love-life, which the fortuneteller explains away by saying the future isn't fixed.
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I Have Many Names
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I Have Many Names: It's hinted that Terrence Myers isn't his actual real name, just one of the aliases he uses when doing government work. However, it's what he uses when dealing with Murdoch and company.
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Spin-Off
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_d9ee7048
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Spin-Off: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, a 13-part web series based on the mystery novel Crabtree's written. A second web series was made to coincide with Season 5, The Murdoch Effect, which features William in a Fish out of Temporal Water situation, winding up in present-day Toronto with modern-day versions of his colleagues. The episodes are currently available on the official Ovation YouTube channel. Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4 Episode 5 Episode 6 The third web series, A Nightmare on Queen Street features a dark murder mystery with an interactive component where the viewer can help investigate the murder with the use of Murdoch's Levered Action Portable Truth Overview Protector (a.k.a. LAPTOP).
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One of Our Own
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One of Our Own: The show can handle this plot gracefully. In "The Great Wall", a constable from Station Five is murdered, but the case is assigned to Detective Murdoch from Station Four. The whole constabulary still consider themselves to be a family and things get pretty ugly when the evidence leads to someone from the police force. "Murdoch in Wonderland": A man is found murdered at a Lewis Carroll costume party. All clues point to the Hatter, which was Murdoch... He himself demands a detective from a different station house as none of his colleagues could be objective. But the constables of Station Four stay involved, as well as Murdoch's superior Inspector Brackenreid. In "Let Loose the Dogs", Murdoch's father is a murder suspect. Murdoch doesn't want the case, but his boss refuses to reassign it. Interestingly, Murdoch is prejudiced against his father because they have serious issues. In the penultimate episode and the finale of season 6, Julia Ogden is under investigation when Darcy Garland is murdered. Their partiality gets questioned, but the team can work the case. In season 8's "What Lies Buried", a body found in the cellar of Station House 4 dates back to the 1880s, when Brackenreid, Chief Constable Giles, and a couple other senior constables were just getting started in the constabulary. Giles mandates that the station is off-limits to anyone who was with the police at the time. In the season finale of season 10, it's Murdoch's turn again, but he is being set up by crooked city police officials; the fate of Murdoch and several other cast members is left ambiguous at episode's end.
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Spoiler
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Spoiler: Dr. Emily Grace doesn't appreciate when her boyfriend George Crabtree tells her the whole plot of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. She bought tickets to see an initial public reading, and he has read the book and enthusiastically tells her what happens, never realizing that she wouldn't want to hear it all just then. She even asks him to "alert me the next time you're going to spoil something."
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Newspaper-Thin Disguise
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Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Murdoch employs a newspaper in this fashion while staking out the intersection of Carlton and Parliament in "Murdoch on the Corner". Constable Crabtree has been flamboyantly spending new-found money per Murdoch's instructions, and Murdoch drops his paper to urge Crabtree to go home so they can wait for the killer to follow him there. Brackenreid hastily grabs a newspaper from the station's front desk in one of his efforts to hide from temperance crusader Miss Hamilton in "Murdoch au Naturel".
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Thanatos Gambit
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Thanatos Gambit: Used by Karl Schreier in "Invention Convention". Dying of cancer, he develops a device featuring components from the creations of his rival inventors at the convention that shoots him in the head as he's making his speech after winning the Eaton prize for best invention. In killing himself, he prevented himself from suffering further and almost successfully managed to frame all his rivals for his death.
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Locked Room Mystery
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Locked Room Mystery: These occasionally turn up in the series: In "Houdini Whodunnit", a bank guard is found dead inside a vault secured by a time lock. Oh, and the vault has been robbed of a large amount of money too. In "The Annoying Red Planet", Detective Murdoch asks Constable Crabtree why he was summoned to a scene where a man's body is hanging high in a tree. Crabtree draws Murdoch's attention to the lack of any footprints on the plowed earth for some twenty feet or so from the tree. In "Big Murderer on Campus", a university professor is shot to death through a window, but the quadrangle where the shot came from was full of milling students at the time and no one saw a shooter. In "Blood and Circuses", Station 4 has the entire surviving troupe of circus performers staying in the locked cells while the murder of the lion tamer is being investigated. One member of the troupe has a cell to himself and is stabbed to death in the night, and the weapon is nowhere to be found. In "The Tesla Effect", a man is found dead inside a room with the door jammed shut with a chair. There's no obvious weapon, and aside from some curious blistering, no clearly fatal wounds. His body is later found to have been, as Dr. Ogden incredulously describes it, "cooked from the inside". In "The Black Hand", a man is shot to death on a streetcar. The severity of the wound and the lack of a blood trail mean he couldn't have been shot anywhere else, but no one heard the shot. In "Invention Convention", an inventor is shot in the head while accepting an award. The shot came from an impossibly high angle, and there were a dozen or more witnesses who saw no shooter.
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Ship Tease
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Ship Tease: Ruby Ogden frequently flirts with George Crabtree and some scenes have alluded to their chemistry. Murdoch's vision of the future in "Twentieth Century Murdoch" includes his eight year old son casually referring to "Uncle George", which could suggest marriage between Ruby and the constable. Dr. Grace and Crabtree are teased in season 5.
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Chekhov's Gunman
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Chekhov's Gunman: A few times, since in at least two episodes there have been brief mentions of escaped convicts that usually don't have anything to do with the case, only for the criminals to show up near the end. More often than not, the inconspicuous witness is the murderer (unless it's Ze Americans). Murdoch tends to arrive on the scene of the crime to find nothing but a body and a dozen people with something to hide. Naturally, he points the finger at the closest Angry Guy with a Grudge only to find that the real murderer is the whimsical old lady, the guy in the wheelchair, or the uppity university snob with an extreme interest in applied physics. Militant Irish dockworker Mick O'Shea is suspected of murder and viciously beaten by Brackenreid in the interrogation room. When he and several of his mates are arrested for causing a riot several episodes later, they ambush Brackenreid and beat him to within an inch of his life. They are also shown to be running a sex-trafficking ring in addition to extorting merchants in the harbour.
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Hands-On Approach
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comment
Hands-On Approach: Inspector Brackenreid gets a suggestive hands-on shooting lesson from none other than Annie Oakley in "Mild Mild West."
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Drugs Are Bad
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comment
Drugs Are Bad: Played for laughs and Deliberate Values Dissonance. Brackenreid has a tendency to fall for the latest in patent medicine and has taken Laudanum, morphine, cocaine, and Heroin, all for innocent pain management problems. Murdoch delivers the contemporary anti-drug Aesops, which sounds hilariously weak and nonsensical as the negative properties of addictive drugs was not well-known at the time.
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_de80e030
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Social Climber
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_de80e030
comment
In "Drowning in Money", the killer of a Social Climbing couple was their eldest daughter. She and her sister were trained to be "perfect" wives for noblemen through methods that even by the standards of the day would be cruel and abusive. She murdered them to protect her sister, and prevent her from being used as a pawn in their ambitions in the same way.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_de80e030
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Dashingly Dapper Derby
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_dfc36a26
comment
Dashingly Dapper Derby: Murdoch wears a Homburg, but Brackenreid often wears a Derby. The mistake in Brackenreid's costume is that men did not regularly wear a derby with a morning coat until after World War I. While Crabtree is temporarily promoted to acting detective, he gets a derby, too.
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Historical In-Joke
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_dfe57573
comment
Historical In-Joke: Murdoch mentions the phrase "The Call of the Wild" to Jack London. Brackenreid keeps trying to tell Arthur Conan Doyle a story about "the hellhound of the Highlands". In a later appearance, Doyle is called in to meet a man who believes himself to be Sherlock Holmes. Questioning him about how he's alive following the events of the last published story ("The Final Problem," Doyle's attempt at freeing himself of the character by killing him off) fails to break the young man's delusion, but he does provide Doyle with the explanation that he would go on to use to explain Holmes's return in "The Empty House." H.G. Wells is inspired by a eugenicist engaged in horrible animal experiments to write "something on an island". Played with in "Unlucky in Love", where Crabtree's ideas for "improving" Anne of Green Gables (starting with making Anne a boy!) are mostly ignored.
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RomancingTheWidow
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comment
Romancing the Widow: In series 2, Murdoch pursues a relationship with Enid Jones, a widowed single mother he meets while investigating a case. And in series 8, George follows suit with the similarly-named Edna.
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Mama Bear
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comment
Mama Bear: A wealthy philanthropist is beaten to death with a shovel. The killer is his wife, who turned into this trope after she found out he was molesting their adopted daughter. Enid Jones is a sweet, young and innocently-looking lady. But do not, ever, try to endanger her son.
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Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e154ff08
comment
Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: On occasion, Brackenreid physically assaults suspects for information.
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_e154ff08
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e19e68
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Cruel Mercy
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e19e68
comment
Cruel Mercy: In "Midnight Train to Kingston", Murdoch and Dr. Ogden are among those on the train taking James Gillies to be hanged. At one point, they're discussing the situation, and Julia speculates that it might be better for Gillies to rot in prison instead, suggesting that a life sentence would be "crueler".
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Dead Person Conversation
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e1fa8421
comment
Dead Person Conversation: Dr. Julia Ogden has a heated discussion with the ghost/memory of her deceased father — just as she is autopsying him. She has two other discussions with him later as she's investigating his death.
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Who Would Want to Watch Us?
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comment
Who Would Want to Watch Us?: In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective Murdoch", Murdoch is baffled by the idea of a moving picture based on his cases. In "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch", Arthur Conan Doyle suggests that forensics may one day be the future of entertainment. Murdoch says the public would find it "too dull and too bloody".
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Closed Circle
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e2a6ebc1
comment
Closed Circle: "Stairway to Heaven" is set at a lodge on an island during a heavy thunderstorm. Detective Murdoch arrives soaking wet and tells everyone there that the ferry to the mainland won't operate again until the storm lets up, so he and Dr. Grace have to work the murder case entirely onsite. "Friday the 13th 1901" starts as a "hen party" (a batchelorette party) on an island over a weekend. The boatman isn't scheduled to return for several days, the only boat on the island is found to have a gaping hole in it, and the period setting means there's no communications technology. Thus Drs Ogden and Grace have to take the lead in solving the problem of the ax-wielding killer.
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e2cd1428
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Widow's Weeds
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e2cd1428
comment
Widow's Weeds: The series is set in Victorian-Edwardian era (late 19th and early 20th century) Toronto, Canada, so many characters who have deaths in their families observe this, and many widows keep their mourning black for years after the deaths that prompted the clothing change. Just after her husband Dr. Garland is murdered in "Crime and Punishment", Dr. Ogden doesn't immediately adopt black clothing, and during his interrogation of her, Giles calls her out on it: "How very modern." Julia does wear widow's weeds after this, particularly when she's planning to meet Darcy's parents at the train station and in court during her murder trial.
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Whole Plot Reference
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e303d198
comment
Whole Plot Reference: "The Accident" is essentially a period-adapted version of Homicide: Life on the Street's Peabody-winning episode "The Subway".
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Ambiguously Gay
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e34400ab
comment
Ambiguously Gay: As James Gillies and his best friend Robert Perry depart from the police station for the first time in "Big Murderer on Campus", James touches Robert's back in a manner which may suggest that there is a greater intimacy between the two of them. Brackenreid wonders out loud, "Just good pals, or something more?" Even less ambiguous by Season 7, where Gillies kisses a struggling Murdoch straight on the lips. However, it could have been just his strategy to shock him as it was his last shot at escaping. Mr. Carducci in "This One Goes to Eleven" is a dandy and has many flamboyant mannerisms, of note, James Pendrick comments that Carducci "...takes an interest in young, male painters". Katie in Sweet Polly Oliver episode "Victor, Victorian" seems highly interested in the fact that Julia is "an unwed doctor living alone", mentions that marriage leaves her "bored and unhappy" and has no qualms about inviting Julia into the secret club. The inevitable betrayal by Julia gets the doctor a disapproving glare from Katie and called "you rat" (not unlike the reaction by Jeffrey when his gay tennis club is busted by Murdoch, in whom he had taken an interest in "Till Death Do Us Part"). After the bombing at the start of "War on Terror", Constable Crabtree and Dr. Grace are canvassing the neighbourhood shops when the doctor tries on a hat at a milliner's establishment. The fastidious milliner scolds her sharply for even touching the merchandise, then immediately turns to fawn over the constable, encouraging him to try on a hat and urging the reluctant Crabtree to come to his new shop's opening gala moving sale. As they're walking away, Emily observes that George's forceful manner was more successful at getting the man to give them information than anything she could do. Later, Emily slyly says the shopkeeper would be disappointed to know George is attracted to women.
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Make-Up Is Evil
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e44da6cc
comment
Make-Up Is Evil: A subtle one occurs in "Till Death Do Us Part". When Eunice is first seen, she is complaining that she remains pale no matter how much she pinches her cheeks. Later, after she is revealed as a con artist and a murderer, she is applying bright red lipstick. The trope is played straight in "Painted Ladies". Julia takes Murdoch to a purveyor of cosmetics who is frequented by his female customers discretely so that it will not be discovered that they wear makeup. Even Murdoch was apparently unaware until this day that Julia used it.
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Hollywood Costuming
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e46f71c3
comment
Hollywood Costuming: Look for 21st-century-style makeup on female characters.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e46f71c3
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To the Pain
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comment
To the Pain: Before Mr. Pendrick gets tortured, his tormentor gleefully talks about how he knows that Mr. Pendrick dislocated his shoulder and how that type of injury never recovers fully.
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Down to the Last Play
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e4d98039
comment
Down to the Last Play: This comes up a couple of times: The police games in the episode "The Great Wall" is said to be a tie between Station 4 and Station 5 going into the final event (a tug-of-war between both teams). One of the men on the Station House 5 team loses his footing, giving Station House 4 a brief shot at winning, but Murdoch is distracted by seeing a clue that solves the murder case he's been investigating and Station House 5 wins the event. The baseball game at the end of "Stroll on the Wild Side" is tied 8-8 when Murdoch comes to bat with Inspector Brackenreid on base. Despite the distracting presence of a member of the Black Hand, Murdoch hits the home run that brings both of them home to win the game.
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Expy
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e5421161
comment
Expy: In-Universe, Sherlock Holmes is one for Murdoch. And in Real Life Murdoch is one for Sherlock Holmes. Michael Seater has stated in this featurette that James Gillies is the Moriarty to Murdoch's Holmes. Sally Pendrick can be read as one for Irene Adler Norton, the only woman to defeat Sherlock Holmes. Both women were singers, both had scandalous pasts that involved photographic evidence, and both initially defeated their sleuths (before the sleuths ultimately figured things out).
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Star-Crossed Lovers
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comment
Star-Crossed Lovers: Murdoch and Dr. Ogden, with a brace of Romantic False Leads each, and various other impediments. At the end of season 3, Dr. Ogden leaves Toronto because she can't give William children; as of season 4 she's returned, but become engaged to another man while in Buffalo. Though she marries Darcy at the end of season 4, by the end of season 5 the marriage is over and she and William rekindle their relationship. The Victim of the Week in "Let Us Ask The Maiden" was in love with his employer's daughter and the two wanted to marry, but her domineering father would not allow them to be together and instead pushed his daughter into an engagement with a wealthy doctor who would help him further his business interests.
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The Reliable One
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comment
The Reliable One: Station House No. 4 is collectively this for the entire constabulary. The other stations are notorious for their shoddy police work, and House No. 4 frequently gets called in to clean up their messes. Especially House No. 5.
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 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e796ce97
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Blackface
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e796ce97
comment
Blackface: "Murdoch Schmurdoch" plays with this courtesy of a young Al Jolson getting into makeup for his first try at the routine (discreetly cut short before he finished).
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Murdoch Mysteries / int_e796ce97
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e7b93a46
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Interrupted Declaration of Love
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comment
Interrupted Declaration of Love: Late in "The Murdoch Sting", Murdoch literally goes down on one knee and tries to propose to Dr. Ogden. At first, he interrupts himself while trying to pop the question, but then she interrupts him to say, "I can't!" before fleeing into her house. He doesn't know this at the time — indeed, he knocks on her door and calls out to her — but she's gotten a letter purportedly from arch-nemesis James Gillies threatening death if she marries Murdoch or tells him of the threat.
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Brain Bleach
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Brain Bleach: The episode "In the Altogether" has Brackenreid wishing for this upon seeing photos of Toronto's political figures in a number of compromising positions, taken in secret.
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O.O.C. Is Serious Business
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comment
O.O.C. Is Serious Business: At the end of "Murdoch in Wonderland", before confessing to releasing Ava Moon, teetotaler Murdoch asks Brackenreid for a drink. This builds up in "Murdoch in Toyland" as the culprit's actions begin to get under Murdoch's skin, a fact Brackenreid lampshades. When Brackenreid says he can't hear anything on a recording, Murdoch testily insists he can. When the inspector is slow on the uptake after Murdoch explains the cancellation of sound waves, the normally-deferential detective snaps the goal at his boss: "A clean recording!" When he finally confronts the culprit James Gillies, Murdoch has to be restrained from punching him in the face not once but twice: once by Constable Crabtree in the hotel room and once by Inspector Brackenreid in the station house interview room. In "The Murdoch Trap", when the suspended Murdoch and (also suspended) Brackenreid are joined by Crabtree at the Inspector's dining table to plan their re-investigation of the case against Dr. Ogden, the regular tippler Brackenreid is drinking tea, and he promises to drink nothing stronger until the case is solved. Murdoch thanks him for the gesture, and Brackenreid urges Murdoch to hurry up and solve the case because he's sick of drinking "bloody tea." In "Republic of Murdoch", Inspector Brackenreid's son John suddenly visits his father at Station House 4 sporting a black eye and an split lip. The boy has learned that his father thinks he's gay, and he picked a fight with a much-larger boy to prove his masculinity to the anxious inspector. In the B-plot of "Kung Fu Crabtree", Brackenreid goes to a hotel room and is greeted by an anxious Dr. Ogden and an equally tense Murdoch holding a gun. Brackenreid reacts to the sight of the gun and realizes things are serious, since Murdoch rarely uses or even carries a firearm. He then learns that Julia has been getting death threats against herself and Murdoch purporting to be from their nemesis James Gillies. In season 12's "Sins of the Father", Murdoch finds his dead father's body...and doesn't do a Sign of the Cross.
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Lie Detector
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comment
Lie Detector: In the episodes "Still Waters" and "Invention Convention", Murdoch has a device of his own invention called a pneumograph which, as the name suggests, measures the suspect's breathing. Instead of the lights, his machine has blue liquid that rises in a spiral-shaped tube. Despite not having any of the other measurements of a polygraph, it appears to be nearly infallible ... providing Murdoch is asking the right questions. Murdoch himself is the subject when he first demonstrates it for his colleagues, a demonstration very much Played for Laughs. Of course Dr. Ogden walks in, and the questions get very personal, and Murdoch is embarrassed by the accuracy of his own invention.
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Ambiguous Disorder
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comment
Ambiguous Disorder: Murdoch displays some social anxiety and a number of characteristics of Asperger Syndrome. His interests tend toward a specific type of scientific bookishness, coupled with a mechanical aptitude, as opposed to literature or sport (though he has recognized quotations from Shakespeare and played sports well enough on occasion). At times, he is an adult version of the "little professor" explaining things to his boss Brackenreid and the various constables, among others. He often fails to understand the popularity of things like fads, fictional movies and spectator sports, and certain forms of humour leave him cold (making him an excellent straight man). Later in the series, he speaks positively of the anonymity of living in a hotel, since it allows him to avoid "useless" conversations with his neighbours. Some of his personal conversations (even those with his beloved Julia) end abruptly when he sees something that brings his mind back to his current case, and he hastily takes his leave to follow up an idea, with the others reacting to his sudden departure. All that said, his colleagues and friends seem to regard him as merely a bit unusual. Even Julia tells him, "You're not the only one who lives inside your head." It must also be said that Murdoch's continual studies (and the deep concentration to pursue them) have provided him with a highly useful expertise, though when asked about this in court, he merely replied, "I am an expert, yes."
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Lovely Assistant
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comment
Lovely Assistant: Ruby Ogden to Harry Houdini in "Houdini Whodunit".
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It Was Here, I Swear!
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comment
It Was Here, I Swear!: Murdoch and Crabtree essentially say this when they bring the others to the yard where the dirigible had been based in "The Annoying Red Planet".
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The Tale
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_e9fb32
comment
When Ruth Newsome and Nina are spinning The Tale to Out Gambit Charles Ponzi, they claim to be selling lip-rouge by word of mouth as, since Make-Up Is Evil, there obviously isn't a cosmetics counter at Eaton's. One article about the department store shortly before its bankruptcy in 1999 says "the array of cosmetics and fashion accessories was deliciously tempting".
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Carpet-Rolled Corpse
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_ea30a388
comment
Carpet-Rolled Corpse: The Victim of the Week in "Elementary, My Dear Murdoch" is carried out of the Toronto Paranormal Society rolled up in a rug.
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Bound and Gagged
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comment
Bound and Gagged: In "Convalescence", Mrs. Kitchen is kept bound and gagged while the criminals search her house for the missing loot.
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Cramming the Coffin
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comment
Cramming the Coffin: In "The Black Hand", Murdoch is investigating the shooting death of a businessman from New York City when he learns of a sudden change in the funeral arrangements for the dead man. He and Constable Crabtree visit the mortician, and Crabtree notices the body seems to be rather high in his coffin. The cops find the coffin has a false bottom concealing another dead man the fiancé of Anna Fulford, who stole counterfeit money from an organized crime outfit.
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Jerkass
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comment
Jerkass: Randall Townsend from "Great Wall". First off, he's a racist. Secondly, he's a pedophile (having raped a small girl and trying to justify it when exposed). Finally, he is willing to let his victim's elderly grandfather take the fall for killing his partner (the partner, himself a racist, was disgusted by Randall's actions and tried to confront him). He's a complete monster in almost every way, but he did genuinely try to save his partner.
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Bomb-Throwing Anarchists
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Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Double Subverted when Murdoch investigates the bombing of a clothing store that seriously injures Crabtree and Higgins. At first it seems like a group of anarchists that are hosting firebrand Emma Goldman are responsible, and then a Marxist activist tries to take credit for the bombing. However, Crabtree eventually finds that the owner of the building the clothing store was in bombed his own building to try and drive out his tenant, the owner of the clothing store, so he could sell the property to a large company. Later in the episode, a second bombing occurs, and this time one of the anarchists is responsible.
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Vomit Discretion Shot
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_edaedf90
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Vomit Discretion Shot: In the episode "Republic of Murdoch", Constable Crabtree gets friendly with some Newfoundland locals while bragging about an old treasure map he wants to sell in a scam to trap a killer. After an extended drinking session featuring the potent local rum, he awakes the next morning embracing a fish wrapped in his jacket, then vomits behind a bush while Murdoch and local man Jake Doyle are watching for the culprit to arrive at the location marked on the map. Murdoch seems concerned for his colleague, but Doyle comments that Crabtree can't hold his liquor, and George replies that he's merely out of practice.
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Autopsy Snack Time
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_ee296d19
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Autopsy Snack Time: In "Murdoch Air", Crabtree is devouring a hot hamburger in a morgue, and Dr. Grace is horrified that he is eating hot meat with bread. Later in the episode, she's enjoying a hamburger, too, while presenting a body and post-mortem results to Murdoch — who curls his nose at the idea of a hamburger. In "Victoria Cross", Crabtree is eating a hard boiled egg while watching Dr. Grace working on a corpse when she removes a prosthetic glass eye from the corpse's stomach. It makes for a striking visual. In "Loch Ness Murdoch", there is a heat wave in Toronto, and George Crabtree eats a piece of ice in the morgue. He stops for a moment and has Dr. Grace assure him that it was fresh. He then continues and crunches it. Later in the same episode, George and Emily enjoy a new summer treat in the morgue: delicious flavored ice balls in cups.
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Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts
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Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: In "Invention Convention", an inventor accepting an award is shot in the head by a complicated device using parts that implicate several other inventors. Turns out the victim stole ideas and tech from the inventors and built the device to euthanize himself and prove himself superior to his rivals.
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Mal Mariée
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_efad3bde
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Mal Mariée: Mal Mariée is a young woman unhappily married to an older, jealous husband. A solution to the murder case of the week in "Marked Twain" lies in this trope. A rich old guy has a pretty young wife who cheats on him with a bartender from his club. The bartender is about her age and the husband kills him out of jealousy.
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Your Other Left
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f03aae7f
comment
Your Other Left: Murdoch calls this out to Constable Crabtree while plotting the bullet trajectory in "Big Murder on Campus". Murdoch says this to Crabtree when he is directing him as they attempt to reconstruct the position of the rifleman in "Dead End Street". In "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch", the right-handed version of this gag appears at a movie theatre as Murdoch has Crabtree sit in the seat of the murder victim and turn his head as if reacting to the film. Crabtree even speaks abashedly of confusing his right and the detective's.
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Once per Episode
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f05444a4
comment
Once per Episode: Murdoch nearly always pulls aside his jacket to reveal his badge pinned to his vest when identifying himself as a member of the Toronto Constabulary. Sometimes, he'll ask someone a question and when they want to know why he's asking (no doubt because they think he's just a nosy parker civilian), cue the badge flash. At other times, flashing the badge while announcing himself is his opening move when meeting someone. In "All That Glitters", he starts to do this when asking questions of a hotel clerk in a small frontier town, seeming to have forgotten he's not wearing the badge (or his city suit, for that matter). In "This One Goes to Eleven" and "Stairway to Heaven", the badge peeps out from under his jacket while he's doing something else that requires he move or raise his arms; this may be because in those stories, no authority-invoking introduction is really needed (he was on a security detail for a Rembrandt painting in one case, and he was recognized by his colleague Dr. Grace when he entered the scene in the other). At a crucial point during the episode, Murdoch will have an Imagine Spot that shows him "witnessing" the crime as it's taking place. In "The Murdoch Identity", he dreams one of these while having a nap on Anna Fulford's sofa as well as having small ones rather like fragments of memory in part since he's suffering the after-effects of a brain injury. Jasper Linney, Brackenreid and Dr. Ogden have each shared the Imagine Spot with him once, Brackenreid and Murdoch each have their own (solving the same case by different routes) in "Murdoch at the Opera", and in the Season 7 finale Brackenreid takes Murdoch's place in the Imagine Spot while solving the B-plot case.
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Distracted by the Sexy
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f10d3363
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Distracted by the Sexy: In the episode "Murdoch in Ladies Wear", Eva Pearce has this effect on Murdoch, particularly when he interviews her at the station. Dr. Ogden later describes to him and Inspector Brackenreid how Eva took control of the interview, and Brackenreid himself mentions feeling a similar effect when he spoke with her. Later still Murdoch is on Dr. Ogden's couch describing a vivid dream he had about himself and Miss Pearce. Murdoch isn't pleased to find himself thus affected.
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Promotion to Parent
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Promotion to Parent: Only hinted at in one episode, but a conversation between Murdoch and Brackenreid suggests that the latter lost his parents at a young age, and had to take care of his four younger siblings.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f12d9d83
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The Coroner
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f19b8b46
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The Coroner: Drs. Julia Ogden; Llewellyn Francis; Emily Grace
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Intoxication Ensues
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f247d841
comment
Intoxication Ensues: The victim's absinthe in "The Green Fairy" was drugged. She and her lover were intoxicated by it, and when she was too sedated to defend herself, she was murdered. Detective Murdoch's potion drink at the Alice in Wonderland party was drugged, and he became a little belligerent and didn't feel good, as he normally doesn't even drink. The experience ended in full Mushroom Samba mode. In "Murdoch.com", Brackenreid attempts to quit drinking through the use of the Gold Cure. However, it is eventually revealed that the main ingredient of the cure is not gold, but cocaine.
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AintNoRule
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Ain't No Rule: A recurring storyline in the eighth season is the fight for women's suffrage. When the movement appears to be falling apart, Julia observes that the best way to garner attention to the cause is by running for office herself after confirming that there's no law on the books that would bar her from doing so.
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Tears of Blood
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Tears of Blood: The Victim of the Week in "Shades of Grey" starts bleeding from her eyes after taking an overdose of pennyroyal oil to induce an abortion.
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f3e87937
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Pungeon Master
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f46fb603
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Pungeon Master: Constable Crabtree is apt to do this on occasion, with his superior Detective Murdoch supplying a raised eyebrow or an admonitory "George!" For example, in "Love and Human Remains", when he and Murdoch are discussing the glass eye of one of the victims, George talks about getting "insight" into the case, and on getting his orders from his boss, he responds, "I will look into it."
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Never Found the Body
 Murdoch Mysteries / int_f516f938
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Never Found the Body: In the Season 3 finale, after a chase and explosion, the accomplice's body is found, but not Sally Pendrick. As of yet this has had no effect on the story, as Season 4 returned to the self-contained episodes format. In "Murdoch in Toyland", after managing to escape his own hanging, attempting a psychologically disturbing plan of revenge and getting caught by Murdoch again, the police wagon carrying James Gillies back to prison plunges over a bridge into a river. While the bodies of the driver and the guard are found, Gillies' is not. The same character dives into another river at the end of "Midnight Train to Kingston". Murdoch is particularly (and understandably) anxious about the lack of a corpse. They find the body seven episodes later.
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EarnYourHappyEnding
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Earn Your Happy Ending: Crabtree. After years of being unlucky in love, the butt of jokes, an often-unwilling guinea pig in Murdoch's experiments, being fired and jailed, and being nearly shot to death, finally finds a regular (if casual) girlfriend in burlesque dancer Nina Bloom. It's turned Up to Eleven in a cameo in a first-season episode of Frankie Drake Mysteries, which reveals that by 1921 Crabtree's investments, first mentioned in "Who Killed the Electric Carriage?", have made him wealthy enough to retire while relatively young from the police force and own his own airplane.
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