Father Brown (2013–…): Season 3, Episode 15 - The Owl of Minerva - full transcript

Sullivan falls out with rival inspector Trueman when journalist Norman Finlay is found dead after threatening an expose and Sullivan is the only person to suspect foul play. Sullivan believes arrogant magistrate Geoffrey Greensleeves is involved as Finlay's corpse was found in his grounds but when there is another murder Sullivan is framed and goes on the run. For once he has reason to be grateful to Father Brown for his intervention as thy uncover an international conspiracy in which nobody is who they appear to be.

'This is the BBC Home Service.
Here is the news.

'A major manhunt has been launched
in Kembleford, Gloucestershire.

'Police are on the hunt
for an escaped prisoner,

'absconded from custody

'whilst being transported from court
to Her Majesty's Prison Gloucester.

'Described as a male in his 30s,

'six feet tall, slim build,
black hair and clean shaven.

'He is wanted for murder and
believed to be dangerous.

'Members of the public are urged to
keep their doors and windows locked

'and anyone seeing him is advised not
to approach but to call the police.'

Father, I need your help.

I was called out to Gallows
Cross in Wenlock woods.

It's the site of the old gibbet

and known suicide spot.

Chaffing to the wrists.
Suggests restraint.

These look like hypodermic
needle marks.

Foul play, sir?

Let's not jump to conclusions until
after the postmortem, DC Albert.

Rather exotic plumage
for Wenlock woods.

Budgerigar. A sky-blue
Opaline is my guess.

Don't tell me I can
now add ornithologist

to your list of expertise.

My grandmother kept parakeets, sir.

Are you familiar with Dr Locard's
principle of exchange?

Violent action constituting
a crime cannot occur...

Without leaving a trace.

I'm well acquainted with the
latest forensic theories,

thank you, Constable.

Bag it up and we'll...

~ Inspector Sullivan.
~ Inspector Trueman.

There's been an error
in communication.

This case was assigned to me.

We were in the area so
the call was diverted.

Like you say, communications error.

I'm here now and can take over.

No need, we've just finished.
Haven't we, DC Albert?

Yes, sir.

'Inspector Clive Trueman.'

Six months secondment from the
British South Africa Police

on the personal recommendation
of the Chief Constable.

No love lost between you two, then.

The dead man was Norman Finlay.

A reporter for the Gloucester News.

According to colleagues,

he'd been boasting about a
big expose he was working on.

He planned on selling it
to a national newspaper.

Fame and fortune beckoned.

Unlikely candidate for a suicide.
What do you think, Albert?

I think I'm up to the challenge
of my first murder investigation.

Norman Finlay's diary has
one entry the day he died.

An appointment at 8pm. With whom?

We need to check all
houses in the vicinity.

I've already taken the liberty, sir.

There are seven properties in a
two mile radius. Two abandoned.

One vacant and for sale,
which leaves four.

Good work. I'll need a list of...

Thank you, Constable.

Anything else I can do, sir?

I'm here to observe and to learn

but if there's any doing to
be done then say the word.

Some tea wouldn't go amiss.

White, no sugar, one
rich tea biscuit, sir.

~ How's the new boy shaping up?
~ Yes...

Still, you can't fault
him for enthusiasm.

Did you want something, Sergeant?

Norman Finlay's postmortem report.

I'm not used to having
my findings questioned.

Just clearing up a few anomalies.

These here look like
hypodermic needle marks,

but there are no sign of any drugs.

Perhaps he went to his doctor
for some blood tests.

And you didn't notice the
chafing to the wrists?

I noticed contact dermatitis,

most likely caused by over starched
shirt cuffs, cheap carbolic.

I hope you're not implying
I'm past it, laddie?

Jock Hamilton's a decent man.

He's a drunk, past his prime,
should've been retired years ago.

I began house-to-house enquiries,
starting with Wenlock Dip,

home of Sir Jeffrey Greensleeves.

Our Justice of the Peace.

~ You know him?
~ Yes.

Not as well as Sid does.

Inspector Sullivan,
Kembleford Police.

Is Sir Jeffrey at home?

He's changing for lunch.

Can I help you? I'm
Harriet Greensleeves.


We're trying to retrace the
steps of Mr Norman Finlay,

whose body was found on
Monday at Gallows Cross.

How horrible.

That's the third suicide
there in four years.

~ We're treating it as a murder investigation.
~ What DC Albert means

is that we're following up
more than one line of inquiry.

You didn't happen to see Mr
Finlay on the day in question?

Gallows Cross is a mile from here.

Grisly place.

It's where they used
to hang the highwaymen.

Even the dogs won't go near it.

Opaline blue.

~ Mmm.
~ My grandmother had one.

He's called Houdini,

after his skill for escaping the cage

~ and taunting us from the
top of curtain poles. ~ Hmm.

~ Was your husband here on Monday?
~ Yes.

Yes, we dined at eight and
then we played bezique,

so I can say for certain
he didn't see your Mr...


Thank you for your time,
Lady Greensleeves.

Do you mind me asking how
you got that black eye?

Not at all.

Wretched juniper.

~ I was pruning when a branch snapped
back and hit me in the face. ~ Nasty.

And so thorny, you're lucky it
didn't scratch you to ribbons.

May I ask what the blazes
you think you're doing?

~ Sir, I was merely enquiring how...
~ I know what you were enquiring.

And I will thank you not
to interrogate my wife

like some common criminal.
Do you know who I am?

Sir Jeffrey, I do apologise
for DC Albert.

~ He's new to the job.
~ Apologise?

Be informed,

I'm acquainted with
the Chief Constable

and will be letting him know
my feelings in person.

Good day.

I've heard you're a man to watch.

I think you'll find
I can be trusted, sir.

Inspector Sullivan.

Someone's been a naughty boy.

Sir Jeffrey Greensleeves
has lodged a complaint.

~ It was a misunderstanding, sir.
~ Mmm. You bet your boots.

What goes on between a man and his
wife is no business of the police.

Especially when the man is a
very big cheese in this county.

DC Albert was a touch
over zealous, sir.

This is highly embarrassing.

I think it better all round

if you're temporarily
suspended from duty.

~ Suspended? Sir, I... ~ It's a few days.
Slap on the wrist to save face.

I'm sure Trueman here can
step up in your absence.

Sir, I...

.. sir. Pardon the interruption, sir.

At ease, Constable.

~ I'm finished here.

I hope we can expect you tonight.

There's some people
I'd like you to meet.

The feathers are a match,

which means we can place Norman Finlay
at Greensleeves House the day he died.

I'm off the case...

DC Albert.

Tell it to Inspector Trueman.

Er, we're working on
Locard's principle.

The violent action of a crime
will leave traces of evidence...

That isn't evidence.

It's a feather. And
there was no crime.

The postmortem found suicide.

~ But, sir...
~ The case is closed, Constable.

So if you'd like to redirect your
zeal to the statement filing.



Kembleford, 731.

'Sir, it's about the Finlay case.'

Inspector Trueman was
hasty in closing it.

I think Greensleeves had you removed
because we were on to something.

'I re-examined Finlay's clothes
for further trace evidence'

and found something
far more interesting.

'Then I suggest you put it
back where you found it,'

before Inspector Trueman catches
you flouting his orders.

'It's important.'

~ Remember Finlay's missing expose...

'Good night, sir.

'Enjoy your party.'

Can you meet me in the evidence room?

Please, sir. I think
you'll want to see this.

Albert was right.

Greensleeves had Busby
remove me from the case

because I was on to something.

Trueman wilfully ignored
evidence under his nose.

Jock Hamilton's postmortem
was at best incompetent

~ and at worst, fabrication.
~ Conspiracy.

That was the night of the police
benevolent fundraiser.

The Greensleeves are here.

Please excuse us, I need Father
Brown for moral support.


~ Oh. Oh, goodness, what happened to your eye?
~ Silly...

Oh... And Jeffrey. Just the man, um,

could I have a word

about my chauffeur's court
appearance next week?

Time has barely flown
by since the last one.

If I can borrow our chairlady
to meet our new inspector.

Clive Trueman, on secondment
from Rhodesia.


Inspector Sullivan was
being quite over zealous

in pressing for a custodial sentence.

I have Sid's word

he was only looking after
the items for a friend.

Isn't that right, Father?

Mr Carter has assured Lady Felicia
that that was the case.

There you are, you see?

The word of a priest.

And you know how difficult
it is to get the staff.

I may even be forced to drive myself.




Help! I need help in here!





Don't! You'll bleed to death.


I hid.

I hid...

Trust no-one.




Mrs McCarthy?

The police just telephoned.

A fugitive was seen skulking around the
back of the church not a while back and...

and the place is full of nuns.

Thank you, Mrs M.

He's in there with
you, isn't he, Father?

I'll explain later. For the moment,

could you to hold them off
for as long as you can?


may I borrow your scarf?

Father Brown is hearing confessions.

You can't go stampeding
into the church

in the middle of a holy sacrament.

I trust my men and I can behave
ourselves with suitable decorum.

Please stand aside, madam,

or I'll be forced to conclude
you're hiding something.

Search it, boys, with a tooth comb.

Inspector Trueman, I presume?

I'd like to see in here.

In here

is a penitent under the
seal of the confession.

I beg your pardon, madam.

Nothing here, sir.

Well, as you haven't
found what you wanted,

perhaps I can get on with MY work.

Your reputation precedes you, Father.

All good, I presume.

None of it. According
to Inspector Sullivan,

you're a loose canon with
delusions of grandeur.


recklessly foolhardy,
morally dubious,

yet possessed of a certain
tiresome intelligence,

which I won't insult.

So if you were contemplating
interference, be warned.

I will be watching you.

Thank you.

Looks like he hasn't had
a square meal in days.

We came as soon as we could.

Well, here's a moment
I thought I'd never see.

I'm innocent.

That's what they all say.

Thank you, Sid.

Thank you.

The inspector

~ was about to finish his story.
~ Oh...


You blamed Detective Constable
Albert for your suspension.

Did you come back to
have it out with him?


What about the medallion?


In Albert's hand.

He must have torn it from
the neck of the killer.

We found no medallion.

You allege DC Albert was
alive when you found him.

Did he give any clues as to
his killer before he died?


'What did
the medallion look like?'

A bird of some sort.

And letters PM...

~ something V.
~ Per Me Caeci Vident.

"Through me the blind
become sighted."

The Owl of Minerva.

~ That's not good news.
~ No.

It's the seal of The Illuminati.


The Enlightened, it's a sort
of offshoot of the Freemasons.

A web of secret societies,
they comprise a social elite.

~ Here In Kembleford?
~ Well, they say they're everywhere,

lurking in the shadows, pulling
the strings and levers of power.

Rumour has it Monty's Great Uncle
Roly was something of the sort.

Not that he ever admitted it.

They guard their identities closely.

Which is why they're so dangerous.

Norman Finlay's expose.

If he planned to unmask
such a group...

Then I believe they would
be prepared to kill

to protect their secrets.

And are powerful enough
to cover their tracks.


.. strangely agitated by the
results of a routine postmortem.

In my professional opinion, he was
showing signs of mental stress.

Inspector Sullivan blamed DC
Albert for his suspension...

Sullivan was kneeling over him,

reeking of whisky,

with his hands around the knife.

It's true there was no
love lost between...

Inspector Sullivan and DC Albert.

Because of the particularly
odious nature of this crime,

the prisoner is remanded in custody
for committal to the Court of Assize

to stand trial...

.. for murder.

~ Name? ~ Rhys Jones.
~ Rhys Jones.



Officer Tindle.


'Was it wise to return to Kembleford?

'How else will I prove my innocence?'

How will you?

Albert's last words.

Helmet two, B34709.

The murderer was German.

Helmut. Hel-mut.

The numbers meant something.
An evidence bag.

I think Albert hid something in
one of them before he was killed.

So your master plan was to break out
of jail only to break back in again.

Father, should you
tell him or shall I?

I suggest a good night's sleep.

We will think of something
in the morning.

"We" will do nothing of the sort.

I'll be on my way in the morning,
as soon as it's safe to leave.

You won't last five minutes.

While I appreciate your sanctuary,
Father, I do not intend to

throw in my lot with you and your

dubious associates.

Him and his dubious associates is all
you've got from where I'm standing.

Which is why I'll take
my chances alone.

Come in, come in. Her
Ladyship has news.

The Governor of Southern Rhodesia
is an old chum, so I rang him

for a lowdown on Inspector Trueman.

Never heard of him.

Nor is there any record of him
in the South Africa Police.

A cuckoo in the nest.


Yes, I think that will do at a pinch.

I'll just move the buttons.

Our police escort has just left.

They have spotted a
fugitive in Hambleston

and they have chased down
there to collar him.

Bravo, Sid.


Yeah, that's right.

I took your hat and coat
and put it on a riverbank.

I mean, it won't fool Trueman but
he will be forced to dredge it.

Which will give us breathing
space to find out what

Detective Constable Albert
hid in your evidence room.

And I've done a recce.
One outside window.

Deadbolt lock but no bars.

You might want to do a
review of your security.

It's designed to stop criminals
breaking out, not in.

Ten-minute job.

Unless, of course, you still
think you're "better off alone"?

~ I'm going with him.
~ I think that's it's too risky.

You think I'd let a known felon
with a court case pending

loose in my own evidence room.

Besides the fact you don't
know what you're looking for.

Do you mind?

Trade secrets.



Join me?

A wee bit early.

Even for you.

So, to what do I owe the honour?

Inspector Sullivan. You testified
that he was of unsound mind.

~ What's it to you?
~ I should have noticed.

Then perhaps I could have prevented
this terrible tragedy.

Don't beat yourself up.

Wouldn't be the first Copper
that tipped over on the job.



Aye, right, I'll be there.

I have to sign a body in.

Five minutes.

Help yourself if you
change your mind.

A, B...




Frankie the Fence. I made the arrest.

Well, well. What do we make of these?

Frankie the Fence has size ten feet?

Frankie the Fence is a woman.

Come on. We have not
got time for this.

Put that back.

This evidence will get me six months in
the poke. The way I see it, you owe me.

The debt doesn't extend to
the theft of your evidence.

Says the man holding stolen
evidence in his hands.

The distinction being, I'm innocent
and you were caught fair and square.

~ Put it back!
~ Or what, you'll raise the alarm?

'Open the door, please, Sergeant.
I thought I heard voices.'

No-one signed the key out.
I'll take a look around, sir.

All clear, sir.

'Frank Albert's memorial cards.'

His mother sent them
for the Requiem Mass.

Francois Albert.

Francois "Al-bere."

He was French?

His father is.

They moved to England
at the start of the war

because they thought it would
be safer for the child.


Any success?

That depends on your viewpoint.

These are what Albert hid
before he was killed.

A pair of shoes?

Norman Finlay's shoes. With
something wedged inside.

A left luggage ticket
for a briefcase.

A journalist always keeps copies.

The missing expose?

We'll soon find out.

We will do nothing of the sort.

The contents of that briefcase
have already caused two deaths.

Whatever's in that case
may prove my innocence.

I just need time to think.

Have you forgotten which one
of us is the police officer?

I'll find Albert's killer,
with or without your help.

Sit down, Sid!

Hello? Yes.

Inspector Trueman, please.



Can I have a word, officer?

Of course, sir, come with me to the
station, please. How can I help?

Good of you to come alone.

It's all a bit cloak and dagger.
What's wrong with the pub?

You have dangerous friends

and I hoped for old times' sake we
could be honest with each other.

Go on.

Norman Finlay left it in
the left luggage office.

And I want to trade.


Did you come alone?

I was about to ask
you the same question.

Please don't scream.
I won't harm you.

Inspector Sullivan.

I'm not... I'm innocent.

You can't stay here.

Follow me, I'll take
you somewhere safe.

It's probably a deer,
the speed it ran off at.

Good. Neither of us would want
this conversation to be overheard.

What do you know about
sodium pentothal?

It's an anaesthetic.

A curious area of interest
for a pathologist.

You read my files.


It was on your desk.

The Russian Secret
Police used to call it

"the remedy that loosens tongues."

Truth serum.

Norman Finlay had
something you wanted.

But he wouldn't give it to you.

I calculated the doses exactly.

Enough to make him talk,

not enough to kill.

That's what happens when you
let a drunk loose on the living.

I didn't hurt the boy.

I know.

I know.

His last words were
in his mother tongue.

He was French.

Elle m'a tue.

"Elle m'a tue."

She killed me.

Frank Albert's killer was a woman.

Where are we going?

An old poachers' cottage.
You'll be safe there.

Safe from whom?

You know who killed Albert
and Norman Finlay?

It's better you don't ask.

I've been framed for a
murder I didn't commit.

You got embroiled with
the wrong people.

For your own sake, the
less you know, the better.

Wait a minute, we're heading
back to Gallows Cross.

These woods are like warrens.
They're deceptive.

We're heading directly northwest,
we've circled back on ourselves.

You were warned off.

You were quite exasperating
in your persistence.

Where is this?

The end of the road, Inspector.

Albert had the makings
of a good detective.

It's important, remember
Finlay's missing expose.

Night, Constable. Don't burn
the candle at both ends.

Good night, sir. Enjoy your party.

We have a problem.

'Can you meet me in
the evidence room?

'Please, sir, I think you'll
want to see this.'




You're cleverer than
you look, Father.

Look what I found.

I take it he wasn't part of the plan?

You gave me your word.

He doesn't answer to you.

If it's any consolation,
I admired the boy.

He had tenacity and
he went down fighting.

Just like Norman Finlay.

You lured him to your house.

He had something that
didn't belong to him.

And now I have it.


How did you get here?

You double crossing...

I was protecting you.

Take it and let us go.

Then you'll have no more
lives on your conscience.

Your lives are insignificant. There
are matters of more import at stake.

Oh, yes.

Your new world order.

~ Father. ~ It's more omnipotent
than your church will ever be.

I'm going to get rope.

I'm not going to do anything.

You are going to shoot the priest
and then, tortured with remorse,

you will take your own life.

If they move, kill them.

On my count...

.. let's make a run for the bikes.

Are you insane? He'll shoot us.

I'm staking my life on
the fact that he won't.

You're staking both our lives.

Have you got a better idea?




Stop! Stop, I'll shoot!

I'm counting the ways this
can go wrong, Father!

I said I'll shoot!

Shoot them!

Idiot... I said shoot them!


You never fail to disappoint, Jock.
They're headed for the road.

We'll get the car and cut them off.

What are you waiting for?

Gone too far.


Very well.

If you say so.


~ How did you know he wouldn't shoot?
~ Because Jock Hamilton's not a killer.

You just said he killed
Norman Finlay.

Correction, he's not a murderer.

Harriet Greensleeves,
on the other hand...

You worked all this out
and kept it to yourself?

It wasn't just your safety
I had to consider.

We need to get off the road, Father.

~ Not much further now.
~ Further? To what?

Just keep calm and
let me do the talking.

Did the Chief Constable send you?

Yes Ma'am.

There were some complications.

Don't be a fool.

He hasn't got the..

The next word you say
will be your last.

If you're such an expert
in human behaviour, Father,

then you know I will do this.

No, you won't.

One, just one reason why not?

Because you're innocent.

If you pull that trigger, you
will be as guilty as she is.

The Chief Constable says
you're trustworthy.

I am, Ma'am.

So, you know what needs to be done.


Cover me if she tries anything.

Harriet Greensleeves, I'm arresting
you for the murder of DC Frank Albert.

You are not obliged to say
anything unless you wish to do

so but what you say may
be given in evidence.

You have no evidence.

Yes, we have.


Is someone going to tell
me what's going on?


'I'm not going to do anything. You
are going to shoot the priest...'

We've had our eye on
Chief Constable Busby

and his cronies for some time but
we didn't have a shred of proof.

"We" being?

A division of Special Branch,

specialising in the activities
of groups such as these.

You let them frame me for murder.

My orders were to infiltrate.

Norman Finlay's murder threatened
to throw the whole mission

and I couldn't risk blowing my cover.

On the subject of which...

.. you still haven't told
me how you managed it?

I beg your pardon, ma'am.

Nothing here, sir.

So, I was intrigued as to
why you found your quarry

and then let him go.

And your alias. "True man."

Why label yourself so...

.. if it wasn't the truth?

I see I'll have to choose
more carefully in future.

And you didn't see fit
to share this with me?

I thought you might
do something reckless.

You did do something reckless.

And I couldn't risk you seeing
the contents of the briefcase.

Which was?

Diaries, passed to Norman Finlay
by a defector from the group who

became disenchanted
with their methods.

Naming names. Records of conspiracy,
bribery and corruption.

You switched the briefcases.

My only hope was to get a confession.

Father Brown thought
Hamilton might oblige.

Poor Jock.

Requiescat in pace.

The plan was to intercept him

with the evidence on his
way back to Kembleford.

And the real case?

Is in the proper hands.

You saw nothing so need
fear no repercussion.

The same can't be said for you.

Don't worry about me.

I don't even exist.


We're in a meeting, Sergeant.

But, Sergeant...

If you could see your
way to three teas.

Yes, sir. It's good
to have you back, sir.

It's good to be back, Sergeant.

DC Frank Albert was intelligent...

.. tenacious,

dogged in the pursuit
of truth and justice.

That he was cut down before
his prime will forever be

a loss to the forces
of law and order.

He was an officer...

.. man...

.. and son to be proud of.

I thought you'd like to know.

Sir Jeffrey Greensleeves has been
charged with accessory to murder

and Chief Constable Busby with
perverting the cause of justice.

And Inspector Trueman?

~ Gone. ~ And that's an end to
this horrible business, I hope.

There is something I would
like to say, Father.

Grateful as I am for your assistance,

nothing that's happened will
change my opinion of you

as a somewhat dangerous
and subversive influence.

By rights, I could
have you all arrested.

Go on, then.

If you imagine that this will
in any way colour our future

dealings, or that your meddling
in police matters is any more

welcome, you're sorely mistaken.

I see.

Well, that's gratitude for you.

Thanks for nothing, Inspector.
Guess I'll see you in court.

I've been informed that due to an...

administrative error, the evidence
in question has been mislaid.

Isn't that right, Sergeant?


Oh, right. Yes, sir.

Which means we will be forced to
drop all charges on this occasion.

But rest assured, Mr Carter, we will
not be nearly so careless in future.

I want a full investigation as to how
this was allowed to happen, Sergeant.

Heads will roll, mark my words.

Yes, sir.