Father Brown (2013–…): Season 4, Episode 6 - The Rod of Asclepius - full transcript

Lady Felicia's reckless driving lands her in the next hospital bed to Mrs McCarthy.



Do you want a lift?

- Where are you headed?
- Hambleston.

Glenda Pikes had triplets,
so I'm taking her a shepherd's pie.

What do you think, Mrs M?
Isn't she divine?

I think SHE should slow down.

She arrived this morning.

A present from Monty.
He's so wonderfully generous.

Didn't think to give you
driving lessons at the same time?

Sidney says I'm a very good driver.


The words of a rogue and thief,
whose wages you pay.


Would you keep your eyes
on the road?

- Perhaps you'd prefer to walk.
- There's no maybe about it.

In fact, I'd like you
to stop this car at once.

Suit yourself.


What a mess.



What a fine mess you've got us into.

Well, that's rich.
It wasn't my fault!

Oh, so the wall just ran out into
the road in front of us, did it?

If I recall, it was you
who asked me to stop the car.

The Countess of Montague.
Fetch Sir Malcolm immediately.

...you'd have known I didn't mean you
to stop there and then!

Her ladyship's nose will need to be
reset under general anaesthetic.

Same goes for your arm.

You've got a displaced fracture,

which will need operating on
when the swelling goes down.

And how long is that going to take?

Around three days.

Until then,
I suppose I'm stuck here with you.

Don't worry, Mrs McCarthy. I intend
to be out of here as soon as...

Ah, Malcolm! At last.

Apologies for the delay.
I was in theatre.

How's Emma and the children?

Oh, in finer fettle than you
at this present moment.

Although, what an honour it is

to have the chair of the hospital
board entrusted to our care.


Do you think you could put in a call
to Dickie Frobisher?

I'm sure he'll want to do
my operation in Harley Street.

Yes. Of course.

If you aren't concerned that it will
send out mixed messages,

given your unstinting support
for the National Health Service.

Well, yes, but...

Indeed, if you don't have faith
in our new vision...

how can the people of Britain?

How indeed?

But at least you have your friend
to keep you company.


You will never guess
who the new anaesthetist is.

- What are you doing?
- Have you seen
the state of this cupboard?

It's an accident waiting to happen.

Has no-one ever said
you sound like Matron.

- It's Tony Fairfax!
- Who?

He was a registrar
when I did my training at Tommies.

Also known as Dr Dish.

Although, I warn you, he's the
love-them-and-leave-them variety.

Strictly not husband material.

In which case,

I'm sure Nurse Honeywell
isn't the least bit interested.

There's a tower of bedpans awaiting
your attention in the sluice room.

TOGETHER: Yes, Matron.

So how was Mr and Mrs Beaks'

A good turnout.

After 60 years together,

it was a blessing
they went within days of each other.


Do you find my facial injuries

- No, my lady.
- Perish the thought.

Because so much as a smile
out of you

will result in instant dismissal.

And you, Father, can kiss goodbye
to your substantial annual donation

to the roof fund.

Well, you've only yourself to blame.

Careering around the countryside
at that speed!

Anyone would think you were trying
to kill the pair of us.

I'm beginning to wish I had!

Now you see
what I have to put up with?

Father, how exactly are you going
to cope with me being in here?

Well, we'll just have to manage.



Give it here!

See how high you can get.


What you doing?!

Sorry, Mrs Beale. No smoking
during Sir Malcolm's ward round.

Good evening, Sir Malcolm
Dr Fairfax.

Good evening, Matron. Lead on.

We have one new arrival this
evening, transferred from casualty.

Mrs Garrity, 65.

Fell off a ladder picking apples.

She's suffered a concussion
and a humeral fracture.

The orthopaedic registrar thinks
it should be reduced in theatre.

Did you think to tell
the orthopaedic reg

that I've better things
to do with my time

than reduce
a minimally-displaced fracture?

I believe the patient
reported numbness.

Dr Irvine was concerned
about neurovascular compromise.

I never thought I'd see you again.

Well, I never!

Mr and Mrs Weston.

Fair enough.

Put her first on my list
in the morning.

Mrs Crabbe. Suspected appendicitis.

We're just waiting for her
haemoglobin test to come back.



I knocked, but nobody heard.

Mrs Steele.

- To what do I owe the pleasure?
- I'm your locum parish secretary,

appointed by the parish council
during Mrs McCarthy's absence.

- Sidney Carter.
- I know who you are.

And I can see... I have my work
cut out.

Right, belt-and-braces job

and out of here
in double-quick time.

Ready to go?

I don't like her colour.

I'm going to cut the gas
and increase her oxygen.

She's not responding.

OK. Nothing but pure O2 now.

- Still not responding.
- Is there an obstruction?

There's no obstruction.
Look at the bag.

Are you unwell?

I think the patient is the one
in need of your attention.

She's stopped breathing.

Adrenaline. One in 10,000.

Quickly, Nurse.

There's no pulse.

Watch where you're going, Sergeant!

Oh... the Royal and Ancient.

Very swanky.

What's your handicap, sir?

A wife and two kids and club rules
state no women or children.

All I need is a referee
and I'm on the fairway,

along with the rest
of the local luminaries.

Coroner's office called, sir.
Death at the hospital.

And that's of interest because...?

Unknown causes. The police
are obliged to investigate.

Er, Sir Malcolm Braithwaite's
been informed

that we'll be paying him a visit.

You can tell the coroner

to stick his red tape
where the sun don't shine!

As if Her Majesty's Constabulary
have got nothing better to do

than investigate non-suspicious...

Sir Malcolm Braithwaite?

Mm. He's the chief surgeon
at St Luke's, sir.

He's the secretary
for the membership committee.

I spy a silver lining, Sergeant.

Well, chop chop!
What are you waiting for?

Nurse, what's going on?

Everyone seems to be
at sixes and sevens.

I'm afraid Mrs Garrity passed away
on the operating table this morning.

- Nurse...
- Ah-ah-ah!

- What happened?
- No-one knows.

The operation hadn't even started
and it was only a fractured humerus.

Not that there's anything for you
to worry about.

Although, there will be
a full investigation, of course.

When you've finished alarming
the pre-operative patients,

Mrs Dolan's hernia needs dressing.

Yes, nurse.

And for goodness' sake,
change that apron

before Matron catches you
and blows a gasket.

They're painting the railings.
I must have brushed past them.

Damn and blast! That's me fined five
shillings if it doesn't come out.

Paint is the very devil.

Try turpentine and ammonia,
mixed with a cup of salt.

Thanks, Mrs McCarthy.
You're a life-saver.

The patient's respiration
started to fail,

so I cut the nitrous oxide
and put her onto pure O2.

She failed to respond,

so I administered adrenaline.

Sadly, to no avail.

And has the equipment been checked?

Fully checked,
before and after the operation.

The procedure was textbook.

I'm afraid these things happen,

Anaesthetics is still very much
in the unchartered waters

of the medical profession.

Sir Malcolm alludes to the fact
that, six months ago,

a patient died whilst under
anaesthetic in my care,

leading to
a General Medical Council enquiry,

at which I was fully exonerated.

I can provide you with a full copy
of the report,

if you'd care to read it.
- God, no!

Here's the rub, Inspector.

We are in the vanguard

of the greatest social experiment
in history.

The National Health Service.

Providing free medical care
to all at the point of delivery.

The last thing we need right now
is anyone doubting us.

Oh, do you play?

I'm up for membership
at the R and A, as it happens.

Oh, well...

we're always keen to welcome

like-minded pillars
of the establishment.

I'm sure you'll find us
all a mutually supportive lot.

Anything else, Sergeant?

Then I think were finished here.

See you in the clubhouse.



Balaclava... Nice touch.

Element of surprise.

Your reaction times
are getting faster, Father.

Father Brown?

Mrs Steele.

Erm, Sid was just teaching me
the noble art of self-defence.

I see.

Mother Augustine is here.
I put her in the study.

Right. Yes.

I'm on my way.

If you could restrain yourself
from attacking her.


I'll be off.

I find myself wondering
why would a man of the cloth

have a need to defend himself?

You never know
when you might get in trouble.

Trouble begets trouble.

And from what I hear, you, young
man, are trouble with a capital T.

You reckon, do you?

Father Brown
should be doing God's work,

instead of brawling in public
in the churchyard.

Well, Father Brown
is not your average priest.

I don't know what
Bridget McCarthy was thinking,

but I think he'll find
I run a tighter ship.

Good luck with that!

At last,
a nurse next to a frying pan

and my stomach's turning

Be a good girl
and rustle up some bacon and eggs.

Yes, Doctor.

Just as soon as
I've changed the dressing

on Mrs Dolan's infected hernia.

I'd heard you were a feisty one.

Only that Mrs Dolan's stomach
is in rather worse shape than yours

at this precise moment.

Look at the state of you!

What do you expect, after running
all the way across the quad?

And you'll never guess...
I think I know how Mrs Garrity died.

And I don't think
it was of natural causes.

Which means, she was murdered.

There's enough unfounded gossip
flying around

without you adding to it.

Take no notice.
She's prone to exaggeration.

I can prove it and then we'll see
what the police say, shall we?

Why are there patients out of bed
when Sir Malcolm is here

to do his post-operative checks?


Who's there?



Good morning, Father.

Good morning, Mrs Steele.

I usually see to my own breakfast.

You're an elusive man
to get hold of,

so I thought we could start as we
mean to go on with morning meetings.

I've moved the first
holy communicants to this afternoon,

in between Reverend Frobisher
and the African orphans' fundraiser,

so you can spend the morning
working on your homily...


Good morning, Lady Felicia.

I'm Dr Fairfax, your anaesthetist.

- Is this the equipment
that was used for Mrs Garrity?
- Certainly not.

The theatre was cleared out

and all the equipment put in storage.

There's nothing to it.

This black tank is the anaesthetic
- nitrous oxide.

- Green is carbon dioxide...
- Isn't that poisonous?

Not when mixed with oxygen.

That's this black and white chap

Now, I'm going to give you
a little injection

with something to make you sleepy.

If you could count back from ten
for me?









Father! Are you in there, Father?

This door's always left open.

Doubtless why Father Brown
is so prone to distraction.


He's writing his homily

and under strict instructions
not to be disturbed.

Yeah, well, her ladyship's
been trying to get hold of him.

Last night,
a nurse at St Luke's was murdered

and she needs to see him urgently.

Whatever for? He's not a policeman.

Trust me, he'll want to know.

No doubt he would.

I'm well aware of his little
crime-fighting hobby,

but uncertain how kindly
his parishioners

take to these deviations
to his duties.

Do we understand each other,
Mr Carter?

We most certainly do, Mrs Steele.

See you around.

Not if I have my way.

Six weeks ago, we were asked
to investigate some missing drugs.

Specifically, pethidine.

I fail to see
what this has to do with it.

You were the last people
to see Nurse Fletcher

before she left the ward
at the end of her shift.

- Which would have been at...?
- Ten.

When everybody headed to their beds,
except Nurse Fletcher,

who inexplicably decided
to take a detour to theatre...

...where I believe
the drugs are kept.

Securely, under lock and key.

Ah, yes...


Nurse Fletcher dropped this
when she was killed.

Does anyone know which lock it fits?

It's the key to the nurses'
common room. We've all got one.

Not that it's ever locked. No doubt,
there was a doctor involved.

Young nurses tend to have
one-track minds, Inspector.

- A lovers' tiff gone wrong?
- Peggy wasn't the type!

Something to add, Nurse Honeywell?

It's probably nothing.

Humour me.

Peggy said Mrs Garrity
had been murdered

and was threatening
to go to the police.

- Said this to...?
- Oh, all of us, I suppose.

At least, we were all there.

This is ridiculous.

The postmortem revealed
no anomalies.

We've put it down as a rare reaction
to the anaesthetic.

Were any of you acquainted with
Mrs Garrity

before her admission to hospital?

Something else?

Poor Peggy.

I wish there was something
I could do.

You could light a candle
for her soul.

The church is always open.

I think she'd like that.


You're like a bad penny.

I am the hospital chaplain.

Course you are.

A patient dies
on the operating table.

Nurse Fletcher announces
there's something fishy

and a few hours later
she's murdered.

Doris Garrity
was a harmless old lady.

To whom no-one claims acquaintance.

I believe Nurse Honeywell knows more
than she's letting on.

In the meantime,
let's keep out noses to the ground.


I was sure I had tuppence

and stealing from God
is a frightful sin.

Have this one on me.

Thank you.

I'm sorry about your friend.

We were hardly that.

I thought she was
a rather silly girl

and a terrible attention seeker.

Which must make me
a very wicked person.

Or a refreshingly honest one.

So when Nurse Fletcher announced
that Mrs Garrity was murdered...

I thought she was showing off
to Dr Dish.

So... you paid no attention
to her theory?

After all,

it's not as if any of you
knew Mrs Garrity?



It was only when she was murdered

I remembered something about the
evening Mrs Garrity was brought in.

Well, I never!

Mr and Mrs Weston.

I assumed it was the concussion,
as none of us is called Weston.

I expect it's nothing.

You must think me very silly.

On the contrary.

I think you are
a highly intelligent young woman.


And there was I thinking
you were in your study...

writing your homily.

Crikey. I'd better hop it or Matron
will have my guts for garters.

You must be from St Luke's.

Although, I don't think
I've seen you at mass.


I'm not a Catholic.

Nor anything else, for that matter.

Then, please, don't let me keep you.

Cast your mind back
to last night... and dig deeper.


And deeper...


What do you call this again?

Transmemory meditation.
It's all the rage in London.

Apparently, our brains process
only a fraction of what we perceive.

Yours might. I have told you
everything I remember.

One more time. The slightest detail
may be important.


She was breathless
because she'd run across the quad.

Look at the state of you!

Well, what do you expect after
running all the way across the quad?

She gave Nurse Honeywell a file.

Nurse Honeywell put the file
in the desk.


Doris Garrity...

dies on the table under
the anaesthetic care of Dr Fairfax.

A recent arrival from St Thomas',

where he was the subject

of a GMC enquiry

for topping a patient.

Allegedly, sir. He was exoner...

Whoa! Train of thought, Sergeant.

And, coincidentally,

the same hospital
where Nurse Fletcher

did her preliminary training.

Who, having deduced that
Doris' death was dodgy,

was dumb enough to announce it
to all and sundry

before being bumped off.

The single common denominator

Unless it's raffle tickets for
the church roof, I'm not interested.

If it is raffle tickets
for the church roof,

I'm still not interested!

I think the key is Mrs Garrity.

Everyone claims her to have been
a stranger,

but Nurse Honeywell said
she recognised someone

the night she was admitted.

- Who?
- She mentioned the name Weston.

I think, if you find the connection,
you will also find the murderer.


If only one of them
was called Weston.

You think you've found your man?

I'm sure you've got your own work
to do.

Souls to save, sinners to punish,

children to indoctrinate...

Adios, Padre!

Check to see if any of them
have ever gone by the name Weston.

Nurse Honeywell.
Could you step in here, please?

Yes, Matron.

You're seven minutes late.

I was at church,
lighting a candle for Peggy.

I take that to mean
you disbelieve me?

Dallying with a doctor, more like.

I know your type.

You don't know me at all.

I've seen you sneaking out
of the doctors' common room

in the middle of the night.
- Which begs the question,

why you were out of bed wandering
the hospital at that time.

What on earth are you are doing?

Ah! There you are, Mrs M.

It's not time to play
hide and seek now.

She's been having these
little episodes recently.

She's going a bit gaga.

Come along, Mrs McCarthy.

Let's get you back to bed.

We put it down to advancing age.



One minute, she were picking apples.

The next morning, she'd gone.

It were only a broken shoulder.

Not that I blame the hospital.

Quality care...

and didn't charge her a penny.

Mr Garrity, may I ask you,

do you recognise the names
Mr and Mrs Weston?

She mentioned them?

I wonder what brought that back?

Wasn't their real names.

Just what Doris called them.

On account of the bank holiday.

The bank holiday?



Wettest May Day for 25 years.

The wind blew us off the beach and
into the town to look for our tea.

Doris wanted kippers
from Lyons' Corner House,

which meant walking up
by the town hall.

Then this taxi drew up...

...and a young couple jumped out.

Asked us to witness their wedding.

Oh, Doris were chuffed to bits.

She thought it was so romantic.

The Westons...

Don't suppose you remember
their real name?

No, it's such a long time ago.

They were a handsome couple.

I've got a photo somewhere.

- Would you like me to fetch the album?
- Yes, please.

And I'll put the kettle on.

There we are.

I'll fetch you a nice cup of tea

and there'll be no need
for any more wandering around.


I'm very sorry. But it was the best
I could think of on the spot.

That was the best
you could think of?

Well, it got you out of a sticky

A situation I would not be in
were it not for you!

So... did you find out
what was in that file?

Yes. I did.

It was the linen count.

Linen count?

It means she was in
the laundry room.

Counting the linen.

Oh, I see.

So... if she ran across the quad,

that means that the laundry
is that building there.

Weston-super-Mare, May, 1931.

That's us and the Westons
outside the town hall.


I see.


St Mary's Presbytery.

Alas, Mrs McCarthy, he's gone AWOL.

Well, he usually turns up
in the end.

And when he does, could you
please give him an urgent message?

Fire away.

Just tell him, I have important
information for him about the murder

and I would like him to call
into the hospital

at his earliest convenience.

I'll make sure he gets it.

Thank you. Goodbye, Mrs Steele.

Goodbye, Mrs McCarthy.

Drink this, Mrs McCarthy.

- What time is it, Nurse?
- Just after three.

Well, that's very early
for my medication.

This is to make you sleepy
before your operation.

But this morning, you said the
swelling hadn't gone down enough.

It was decided that your operation
would be brought forward a day.


Father, thank goodness!

I think I know how
Mrs Garrity was killed.

I think I know who and why.

Where is Mrs McCarthy?

She's been taken to theatre.

That's impossible.

She was told only this morning
that her arm was still too swollen.


Ready to go?

She's looking a little flat.
I'm going to increase her oxygen.

She's not responding.

Not again?
OK, nothing but oxygen this time.

- She's still not responding.
- Adrenaline.

There's no pulse.

- Turn off the oxygen!
- Are you insane?
This woman's in respiratory arrest!

- I said, turn it off!
- All right, all right, have it your way.

Nobody move.

- She's breathing.
- Can someone tell me
what the hell is happening here?

Nurse Fletcher found this gown

when she was doing the linen count.
Black paint.

How could a sterile gown
get smeared with paint

when it came from
a sterile operating theatre?

She had a key.
I think she was about to do this...

Carbon dioxide.

Poisoned air.

I think, with all this paint
lying around,

that's how they got the idea.

- Are you saying that someone painted
the carbon dioxide tank?
- Yes, I am.

And they put it
where the oxygen should be.

Their only mistake
was underestimating

how long the paint would take to dry.
- Let me see that.

Now, hang on!
This wasn't down to me.

No, it wasn't.

Doris Garrity was murdered

because she recognised somebody
from her past.

Is that not the case, Sir Malcolm?

I don't know why
you're looking at me?

A kind woman, who did a good deed.

Little did she know
that witnessing a marriage

would also mean she was signing
her future death sentence.

Well, I'd hardly call it
a... proper marriage.

More a moment of
adolescent rashness.

It was my first year
in medical school

and Rita was a... Tiller Girl.

Six weeks later, it was all over.

But you didn't divorce her, did you?

When I married you and Lady Emma,

your entry in the register
declares you to be a bachelor.

Emma's Catholic.

She couldn't marry a divorcee.

It was a harmless white lie.

Until Doris Garrity came back
into your world.

She could have exposed you
as a bigamist.

I did it to protect them.

I had no choice.

But you did have a choice,
didn't you, Sir Malcolm?

You could have confessed your crime
and asked for forgiveness.

And it is not too late
to throw yourself on God's mercy.

No, no.

I'd rather take my own chances.

Now, this...

...is Pentothal.

It will stop your heart
in 15 seconds.

Now, be a good girl

and come quietly.

Dr Fairfax is in theatre.

Then, we'll wait.

A discreet and speedy resolution

and Sir Malcolm's undying gratitude
will nail the application.

Keep walking.


Arrest this man!

He murdered Mrs Garrity
and Nurse Fletcher!



Malcolm Braithwaite, I'm arresting
you on suspicion of the murders

of Doris Garrity and Peggy Fletcher.

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

but anything you say may be taken
down and will be given in evidence.



You wanted to see me, Matron?

It seems you've found me out.

I noticed the side effects.

Mood swings, dizziness,
blurred vision.

You seem very knowledgeable
about the side effects of pethidine.

- I'm going to be a doctor.
- Don't be absurd!

I've applied to medical school.

And the reason I was in
the doctors' common room

in the middle of the night

was I needed the textbook
to swot for my entrance exam.

- I thought...
- My only interest
in doctors is becoming one.

This is my letter of resignation.

I hope you'll spare me
the indignity of giving a reason.

And I hope you'll reconsider.

But I'm a thief and a drug addict.

And I happen to believe
that drug addiction is an illness,

which should be treated,
not punished.

Dr Brittain
is a consultant psychiatrist

running a drugs
rehabilitation programme.

You can be assured
of the utmost discretion.

It seems I've misjudged you, Nurse.

You're not the first.

And I doubt you'll be the last.

Father, can I say something?

On the record.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

It's been five days
since my last confession.


...it was all my fault.

Go on.

That ruddy car!

It was a surprise present
from Monty, you see?

- I see.
- I was in such a rage,

I think part of me wanted to wrap
his wretched guilt present

round a tree.

Mrs M was right.
I was... driving recklessly fast.

God will forgive you.

It's not God's forgiveness
I'm worried about.

She was taking a shepherd's pie
to Glenda Pike.

Three miles on foot, because
the bus doesn't go to Hambleston.

And that's Mrs M all over.

Always helping,
never asking for thanks.

And it's my fault she's lying here!

I just want her to know
how very sorry I am.


I think she does.

Welcome back, Mrs M.

Come in, come in.


Oh, there was no need for this fuss.

Please, Mrs M, take a load off..

Sidney, thank you.

Oh, it's a cake.

- I made it myself.
- Yes, I can see that.

I think I may need
to do some baking.

Only if you feel up to it.


Are you still here?

For as long as I'm needed.

Well, now that my right-hand man
has been returned to me...

that won't be necessary.

With respect, what good is a
right-hand man lacking a right hand?

Ha-ha! She'll manage.

Or a parish secretary
who cannot type.

So until Mrs McCarthy
is fully recovered,

a matter of some weeks,
so I believe,

it's been agreed by the parish
council that I will fill the breach.

Now, I have the newsletter
to take to the printer,

so I'll see you bright and early
tomorrow morning, Father.

Not so fast, Mrs Steele.

If all that's required
is a right hand,

then mine
is at Mrs McCarthy's disposal.

Naturally, my left is included,
as well.

I hardly think her ladyship
is qualified for the role.

Au contraire, Mrs Steele.

I spent two years behind
an MOD desk during the war

and have 60 words a minute.

Not to mention shorthand.
Isn't that right, milady?

Absolutely, shorthand.

So... Father Brown will no longer
be requiring your assistance.

I shall let the parish council know
in person.

I doubt there'll be any dissent.

Can I show you the door?


60 words per minute and shorthand?


I spent most of the time answering
phones and organising soirees.

clouds of war notwithstanding,

it was all rather a wheeze.

A pair of hands that can neither
type nor do shorthand.

That's just marvellous!

I'm sure I can pick it up.

Only you could make
such a ridiculous utterance.

I was trying to get you
out of a hole.

Yes, a hole I am in because of you!

From now on, I suppose we'll be
joined at the hip

for the foreseeable future.

Well, there's gratitude for you.
Mrs McCarthy...

Lady Felicia...

Welcome back!