Father Brown (2013–…): Season 7, Episode 4 - The Demise of the Debutante - full transcript

Three murders occur at a finishing school and Father Brown sends in Bunty to investigate.

Are you all right, dear?

Just a little nervous.

Now, you're sure you still want to
go through with it?


..it's what I want.

Open up, it's the police!

"Were there brought unto him
little children,

"that he should put his hands
on them and pray.

"And the disciples rebuked them.

"But Jesus said, 'Suffer little
children and forbid them not to

" 'come unto me, for of such is the
kingdom of heaven.'

"The Lord has made clear his love
for all of us..." Maude!

Don't worry, they haven't got any

On the contrary. I've persuaded a
couple of your victims to confess.

They're not victims.
It's a woman's right

what she does with her own body!

Well, it appears the thought of
eternal damnation is stronger

than your left-wing propaganda.

You mean you've put the fear
of God into them!

She could go down for years!

Back off! Back off!

Or I'll arrest you, as well.

Get off.

You're a dead man! Do you hear me?!


Morning, Father. Mrs M.

Morning, Bunty.

I'll be driving to the finishing
school for the fundraiser later.

Would you like a lift?

Finishing school? Yes!

I have some errands to attend to,
I'll make my own way.

Oh, well, I'll see you
there. Apparently there's going

to be lots of top totty from the
gentlemen's college attending.

Well, isn't that typical?

No wonder you didn't last long
at your finishing school.

Well, those places just teach you to
be a subservient

little debutante anyway.
Isn't that right, Father?

Well, I think you could learn
a thing or two

from those nice, young ladies.
Isn't that so, Father?

Well, from what I hear,
one of "those nice young ladies"

has had a baby to a married man.

A married man?!

The school's handyman Jimbo.


# What shall we have
That killed the deer?

# His leather skin
And horns to wear

# Then sing him home
The rest shall bear

# The rest shall bear his burden

# Take thou no scorn
To wear the horn

# It was a crest ere
Thou wast born...

Louder! And pronounce those vowels.

# And thy father
He did bore it

# The horn, the horn
The lusty horn

# Is not a thing to
Laugh to scorn

# The horn, the horn
The lusty horn

♪ Is not a thing to... ♪

Cecelia. That is not how a young
lady conducts herself.

But, Miss Rosewood, you said that to
stand out from other debutantes

we need to have
a competitive spirit.

Yes, but when one is being

one must do it with decorum.

Always with decorum.

Cecelia, I need to speak to you.

There's a surprise.

I'm very disappointed in you.

You've been reading those
disgusting, ungodly novels again.

I found this in your room.

So you've been rummaging through
my drawers again?

Enough of your wise-cracks,
young lady.

I'm trying to help you be
a better person.

Perhaps I need to be disciplined.

At boarding school, I was forever
being put over someone's knee.

Well, sometimes physical pain

is the only language
sinful behaviour understands.

You do know that Daddy
is a High Court judge?

# And thy father
He did bore it

# The horn, the horn
The lusty horn

# Is not a thing to laugh
to scorn

# The horn, the horn
The lusty horn

# Is not a thing to laugh to scorn

# What shall he have
That killed the deer?

♪ His leather skin
And horns to wear... ♪

All right?

I should get banged up
more often.

Never seen you so passionate.

I can't believe they've let you out.

Let me look at you.

Take me home.

Thank you for coming, Father.

This is Mrs McCarthy.

Parish Secretary.

So, how is the little chap?

He's just perfect, Father.

You should see him.

It's a wonder the poor mite
was born at all.

Well, that's all in the past.

I'm sure Nell hasn't asked us here
to be lectured to.

I know you don't approve of
what I tried to do,

but, at the time,
I didn't feel I had a choice.

No matter what,

the taking of a child's life can
never be the answer.

Have you thought about dates
for baptism?

That's not actually the reason
I asked you here, Father.

I've been disowned by my family.

And Rosewood's won't take me back.

So you have nowhere to live?


And if I don't find somewhere before
I'm discharged,

they'll take my baby away.

Well, there is always
the mother and baby home.

No. No, I've heard what happens
in those places.

Children always end up
being adopted.

And would that be such a bad thing?

You need to think about what is
best for your child.

Father, please, help me.

I will talk to the bishop...

..and contact some
charitable institutions.

Thank you.

And what about the father?
Can he not be called on to help?

Exactly ten to a row.

Miss Rosewood, may I have a word
about the girls?

How many more times? They are young
ladies. Indeed.

As their religious instructor,
my concerns have been growing.

Please don't rake up
Nell's pregnancy again.

That "pregnancy"
has recently become a baby!

Fathered by one of our ex-employees.

An isolated incident.

But is it only a matter of time
before it happens again?

Some of our girls... Ladies.

..seem a little obsessed by...


..sexual matters.

And I think that is partly down to
what is being taught?

How dare you!

For example, that maypole song,
The Lusty Horn.

Sounds rather obscene to me.

Reverend Willard,

are you questioning the
morality of the Bard?

Who the hell is the Bard?

It is a song from As You Like It
by William Shakespeare.

Nevertheless... Now, as an American,
I don't expect you

to know such things.

But what I do expect is for you to
trust in my judgment.

Please don't take that tone.

As business partners,

I hoped we'd have some kind of
special relationship by now.

If you'll excuse me, the guests
will be arriving shortly.

I suggest you pray for some
better weather.

Miss Rosewood! For the welfare of
the students,

can't we at least try to be friends?

Reverend Willard, I am very
grateful to you for your financial

contribution to my school.

Our school.

But if it's friendship you want,
I suggest you buy a dog.

"The lusty horn...

"..it is not a thing
to laugh to scorn."

Filthy, little strumpet.

Forgive me.

Smite the offending hand, Lord.

Smite the offending hand!

Which is true, really.


Now you're free, I hope it's
going to be a new start.

What do you mean?

Well, you know what I'm talking

Jimbo, I can't just abandon
everything I believe in.

Women in this country are
treated like cattle.

But they'll put you away again.
Then so be it.

So many have their lives ruined by
unwanted pregnancies. Oh.

I'm not going to stop.

Maude. I thought you understood?

I do, but... Then don't ask me to

I'm sorry.

Wait here. What are you doing?

Bluebells. Your favourite.




TANNOY: Here at the Rosewood
Finishing School

we focus on teaching social graces
and cultural rites,

as preparation for entry into

with Englishness and patriotism at
the heart of everything we do.

Here, our young ladies

Oh, I'm so glad Father Brown can
make it.

I was hoping he would give some
spiritual guidance to my students.

What about the Reverend?

Well, he does his best but he's no
substitute for an English clergyman.

Well, I must say,

your young ladies have done
themselves, and you, proud.

That was a wonderful demonstration.

That's most kind of you.

Would you excuse me a moment,
Mrs McCarthy?

You're not seriously impressed?

Why wouldn't I be?

All that posing and prancing,
it's so demeaning!

They're like pampered pooches.

Binty! Bunty.

How divine to see you!
After so long.

We went to the same boarding school
together for a term.

Before you were expelled, no doubt.

Yes, thanks to you!

Oh, you're not still sore about
that? It was just high jinks.

Oh, like when you put
a spider down my dress.

I'm sorry, I was a little wild
back then.

Would you like a drink? Stiff one.

Oh, there's no alcohol, I'm afraid.

Oh, I'm terribly sorry.

You did that on purpose!

Now, why would I do that?
Because you're a spoilt little brat.

Oh, Penelope.

You wouldn't dare.

Oh, wouldn't I?


There was nothing you could do.

We've got all we need from you,

so don't overstay your welcome.

So you were in the woods?

Yeah, I was getting flowers
for Maude.

Do you think it's an accident?

More than likely.

Just spoken to the owner
of the van, sir, a Mrs Kempton.

She owns the farm shop at the top of
the hill.

Forgot to put the handbrake on,
did she? Apparently not.

She insists she checked
and she left it in gear.

So it wasn't an accidental death?

And neither will yours be
if you don't sling your cassock!

And until we know all the facts,

don't go blabbing to anyone
about what's happened.

# And did those feet in ancient time

♪ Walk upon
England's mountains green. ♪

Father, you will not believe what
Penelope just did.

I was provoked!

I've just seen Maude Riley die.

Suspected murder.

Murder! But who on earth would
do such a thing?

What time did you get here?

Around quarter past 11.

Who was here when you arrived?

Father Brown.

Say nothing about Maude yet.

I'm so glad you could make it.

Well, I'm sorry I missed the start

but I've been visiting
an ex-student of yours.

Nell Winford.


A most unfortunate business.

I wish I could do more to help.

Well, she's about to be
made homeless.

I don't suppose you would
consider taking her back?

With a baby? Father, it would
destroy the school's reputation.

I am, after all, preparing young
ladies to become debutantes

to be presented at court.

So outdated.

Well, perhaps she could stay with
you for a few days?

Oh, no chance! My parents are coming
to stay and I'm on final warning.

Surely you don't think Maude's
killer is someone from here?

Well, since she used to be the
school nurse,

I need to speak to certain people.

Starting with you.

Well, it was no secret
that I couldn't stand the woman.

Maude was immoral. Evil.

Misguided, yes, but not evil.

I rather liked her.

How did you get here so quickly?

Short cut through the woods.

Well, stay out of my way.

We'll continue this inside,

Sergeant, how long did it take to
drive here

from the scene of the crime?

About 20 minutes.

About the same time
as my short cut.

I witnessed Maude's death at
11 o'clock.

What are you blathering on about,

Then Mrs McCarthy saw the Reverend
here when she arrived at 11.15.

And I saw Miss Rosewood and Cecelia
at about the same time.

So the killer can't be one
of them, Sir.

Carry on like that, Sergeant,
and I'll promote you to the DBO.


Department for the Bleedin' Obvious!

So you're absolutely sure
when you arrived?


Reverend Willard!

You killed my wife.


She meant everything to me.

That's not what I'd heard...
Shut up! Shut your mouth!

You better start praying.

Jimbo, stop.

I'll radio for assistance, Sir.

You stay where you are.

Please, put the rifle down.

I can't, Father.

You pull that trigger, lad,
and you'll end up dangling

from the end of a rope.

Then maybe I should shoot you
as well,

seeing as you helped
put her away, didn't you?

I'd leave it to Father Brown.

Jimbo, listen.


The Reverend was here when Maude
was killed.

There are witnesses.

I know he's killed her.

Why? Has to be him. He hated her.

Ever since she rejected
his advances.

That's a damned lie!

But what if you're wrong?


..I'll do a deal with you.

Put the rifle down, and I'll find
out what happened.

How? I don't know...

..but I'll get to the truth...

..and I will bring Maude's
killer to justice.

You have my word.

I promise.


Mrs McCarthy!

Get after him, Sergeant!


There it is, on the left.
Pull over by the woods.

I can't believe you let
him get away!

There's no sign of him, Sir.

Obviously! But he can't have
got far.

Oi, can I go now?

Yes! Thank you.

Now, will you stop fussing?
I fainted, that's all.

Mrs M, you were hit by a bullet.

Oh, for goodness' sake, it grazed my
shoulder. Nothing more.

Graze or not, Mrs McCarthy,
you are in hospital

being treated for a gunshot wound.

I'm very thankful
you're still with us.

Me too.

Give me my baby!

I want my baby!

You can't take him, he's mine.

Is there something wrong?

They're discharging me tomorrow
morning, so I ran away before

they could take him.

Did you manage to speak
to the Bishop?

He won't let an unmarried mother
stay at the presbytery...

Come along.
..but I will find somewhere

for you and the baby to stay.

Er, please, there is no need
to leave.

We still have a full
afternoon of events.

In a short while, the students from
Trundell's Gentleman's College will

perform a Morris dance,
and of course,

we have plenty of refreshments.

Jimbo! Sorry. I'm sorry, I didn't
mean to scare you. I'm sorry.

What are you doing back here?
The police will find you?

Listen. Listen to me. I never meant
to hurt Mrs McCarthy.

I know.

I'm in the old boathouse. I'm going
to need some food and water.

What makes you think I'll help?

Because you've always liked me...

..or, at least, I thought you have.

You've scratched yourself.

Wait here.

I won't be long.

Thank you.

Mrs McCarthy, while you're here...

..would you mind having
a word with Nell?

What could I possibly have to
say to that girl?

She has the morals of an alley cat.

Well, she knew Maude quite well.

She might have some new information.

I'll see what I can do.

And while we're at it,

we should find out if anyone bore a
grudge against Maude at the school.

You mean apart from the Reverend.


I am not going back to
finishing school.



..how's Mrs McCarthy?

She's doing very well, thank you.

After what's happened, do you think
I should cancel the rest of the day?

Not at all.

I have always admired your steadfast
comportment, Miss Rosewood.

Well, I suppose my upper lip has
always been

somewhat stiffer than most.


Despite what people think,

my intention is not just to teach
etiquette and social graces...

..but to give young ladies a sense
of purpose...

..of pride.

And you feel you've failed
in that respect?

After what happened with Nell,
I don't know any more.

Mrs McCarthy said you'd like me to
be a moral mentor to the students?

Nothing official. Just a little help
from time to time.

I'd be honoured to.

Thank you.

I'm a little worried about Bunty.

I can see why.

I'm trying to persuade her to go
back to finishing school.

I don't suppose you'd...?

Accept her as a student?

Just for the weekend,
to show her what she's missing.

Leave it with me, Father.


No point struggling.

Thanks for the tip-off.

"The evil finally delivered to
the righteous!"

Inspector, escort this man from
the premises, pronto!


..would you show Miss Windermere
the dormitories,

she needs a school uniform.

Ladies and gentleman,

our very own Reverend Willard
will now lead the Morris dance.

You can sleep in
Figgy Urquhart's bed.

She's away skiing in the Alps.

Don't try and be nice,
I know it's an act.

Bunty, a woman's been murdered.

So our rivalry seems rather silly
now, don't you think?


I'll find you a uniform.

One of England's most
underrated traditions.

Dating back to the 15th century.

Originally, it was performed
at court...

Get the Inspector!

Inspector, it's the Reverend.

Watch him.

Stay back from the body.

And nobody leave the premises.

Ladies and gentlemen... Father?

..if you could all kindly retire
to the house and I will serve you

some refreshments.

The Reverend's jacket?

He hung it here before he did
the Morris dance.

What are you up to, Padre?

Reverend Willard's snuff has
a slight odour of garlic.

Stop tampering with evidence.

I remember the smell
from the trenches.

They used it to get rid of vermin.

Rat poison?

Don't touch anything else.

Any suspects, Inspector?

You don't need suspects when the
killer has already been arrested.


He'd already threatened
the Reverend twice.

And you think he killed
his wife as well?

Enough with the questions, Padre!

Who do you think you are?
A ruddy quiz master?

Has she got fleas or something?

They're letting me go home
later today.

So I thought I'd pop in and see
how you are doing?

I'm not that much of a fool,
Mrs McCarthy.


It was Father Brown's idea,
wasn't it? To look out for me.

Well... I know what you think
of me.

Please, I'd rather you were honest.

Very well.

I think you have been
rather selfish.

With all the opportunities
in life that you have been given,

to throw them all away like that.

I never meant to.

Whatever were you thinking of?

Well, that's just it. I wasn't.

And what's that supposed to mean?


I didn't even know what was
going on...

..until it was over.

Are you telling me that you...

..that you really were that naive?

I, um...

I was...

..taken advantage of
by an older man from the school.

And a married man.
Jimbo was a married man.

It wasn't him.

But there are no other men
in the school...



What on earth are these
uniform's made of?

Judging by her reaction, I'd say
Cecelia's rather fond of Jimbo.


I have to take this off!

I can't...can't stand it. Arrgh!

That girl is beyond hope. Father!
I've changed my mind.

Please, take her away.

Miss Windermere!

Not again!

What I don't understand is why
everyone thought Jimbo

was the father?

It was Reverend Willard who started
the rumours...

..so no-one would suspect him.

And you never thought to tell
anyone the truth?

The Reverend can be quite

And anyway, he's a man of God.

No-one would believe it.

Will Miss Rosewood die?

Well, she has the same symptoms
as the Reverend,

so I doubt she'll last long.

Ruta graveolens. Common rue plant.

You put this in my uniform.

Miss Windermere, didn't recognise
you with your clothes on.

It's her fault.

Spare me the catfight.

If you'll excuse me, I have
more pressing matters. Goodfellow...

You scheming, little harpy!


Cecelia, where did you find
the plant?

I don't know what you're
talking about.

Liar! Does the Inspector know that
you are fond of Jimbo?

Cos if he did, he might think
that you've been helping him.

Ah, I'll go and tell
the Inspector, shall I?

It grows by the lake.

Thank you.

This isn't over.

Mind your legs.

Ruta graveolens.

Nice boat.


I know that look.

I still don't understand why
the rue plant is important?

Do you think it might have been used
to poison Miss Rosewood?

No, it's merely a skin irritant.

She was probably poisoned
by the same substance that killed

Reverend Willard.

Oh, Father. They're letting me go
home, at last.

Excellent. Now, there's something
I have to tell you about...

..about Nell.

It seems it wasn't Jimbo that got
her pregnant, it was the Reverend.


I know, she must really hate him,

You don't think that she killed him?

I wonder if you'd both
wait here for me, for a moment.

I won't be long.

Father Brown.

Miss Rosewood.

They have diluted the
poison in your system...


..but somehow a small amount
got into your bloodstream.

May I? Please.

The itchy rash on your legs...

What of it?

Bunty had the same rash.

Rue leaves.


You must have broken the skin...


But you had a small residue
of rat poison on your fingers...

..from filling Reverend Willard's
snuff box.

How dare you!

You killed him.

And Maude.

Father, this is absurd.

You yourself said that Maude was
killed at 11 o'clock.

Yet, Bunty and Mrs McCarthy saw me
at the school at a quarter past.

That's true.

I could not have driven back
so soon.

No, but you could have rowed.

The distance across the lake
is much shorter...

..and I saw the rowing boat
you used...

..by a patch of rue leaves.

Why did you hate her so much?

You didn't hear what she said,

It was pure evil.

I was on my way to the farm shop.

And there she was.


I couldn't believe my ears.

"So many have their lives ruined by
unwanted pregnancies.

"I'm not going to stop," she said.

No. I had no choice.

I released the handbrake,
knocked it out of gear...

..and left it in God's hands.



Those poor, little children.

How many more would have died?

Murdering innocents
like they meant nothing.

I had to stop her.

But you are a Christian.

You must have known what
you did was wrong?

It was God's will. Working through
me to save the souls of the unborn.

Do you really believe that?

Father, is it wrong to take a life
if it saves many more?

You yourself went to war.

I did...

..but that was different. No.

Like our brave boys fighting
the Nazis...

..and the Christians during
the crusades,

God was on my side.

The God I know would never
sanction murder.

Standing up against evil
isn't murder!

"Fight the good fight."

And the Reverend Willard?
Was he evil too?

He was ungodly and lecherous.
He destroyed Nell's life.

You knew.

I read the letter she sent him
begging for help.

So you poisoned him.

He would have gone on to corrupt
others. Forcing himself on them!

Miss Rosewood... I had to protect
my students.

Jesus understands.

Miss Rosewood, you have become
deeply misguided, deranged.

You must repent, you must confess...

..you must clear your mind.


All I need is God's healing hand.

Miss Rosewood, you are still
very ill.

Miss Rosewood, please come
back to the ward.

Find me a doctor.

Miss Rosewood, you need medical

God works through me.

He will take away the poison.

Miss Rosewood...

..you are ill...

..and you need to confess.

I am not a sinner.

Miss Rosewood...

And when the time comes,

I will be admitted into
the garden of paradise.

Father Brown.

I always knew Jesus was
an Englishman.

I'm afraid this place is
not for you.

What do you mean?

God has forsaken you.

He has forsaken you.

BOTH: Forsaken you! Forsaken you!

God has forsaken me, Father!

I'm going to hell.

No, you are not going to hell.

Help me, please!

God is merciful.

He will not turn his back on you
in your hour of need.

He is here...

..by your side.

I'm ready...

..to confess.




Thanks for everything, Father.

I'm glad you've been released.

If you could tell Mrs McCarthy
how sorry I am.

Of course.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Must be hard to bear.

Thanks, Father.

Shall we see how the patient's
getting on?

Just checking how you are, Mrs M?

Oh! Fit as a fiddle.

Father, any news on Miss Rosewood?

She's expected to make
a full recovery.

And she's still under arrest.

And Nell?

A charitable home in Evesham
has agreed to take her,

but there isn't a place
for six weeks.

But if she's homeless until then,
won't she have to give up the baby?


Well, I...

Mrs M, you haven't?

She has.

Well, only until the move.

She had nowhere else to go.

You said you didn't like her.

Hate the sin...

..love the sinner.

You said she was selfish.

No. And that she had the
"morals of an alley cat".

I'm sure I never said any
such thing!

You did. Nell is a delightful girl

..I've always said so.

Oh, you'll have to excuse me,
the baby needs feeding.

Unbelievable! She is just so...

Generous? Kind-hearted to a fault?

Not the words I was thinking of,