Midsomer Murders (1997–…): Season 20, Episode 3 - Drawing Dead - full transcript

Carver Valley's comic festival is in full swing when the village is shocked by the murder of a former supermodel.

Isaac brought an armful of flyers home.

I know exactly what you'd
have thought about that.

But he loves being sheriff

and he has been good for the village.

What's happening?

Dr. Starling, is this it?

I need to call Barrett.

It's all right.

Everything's fine.

It's a good thing you're here.

She's been a wonderful
sister-in-law and friend.

Where else would I be?

You're running late.

Someone call an Uber?

Look, Isaac.

Timothy proved everyone wrong.

Welcome, ladies and
gentlemen, to Francon,

the biggest and best yet.

Let the three-day fun begin.

Don't forget tickets are now available

for Darwin Chipping's
appearance later on in the day

from Murray's Marquee.

On angel wings.

Thanks, Stella.

Aequitas rang me from the cemetery.

Do you want to come along?

You asking me on a date?

It is allowed between
step-brother and step-sister.

Right, you're teasing.

Am I?


Sorry, I haven't set
foot in here in ages.

Okay, you can do the honors, Stella.

I want you to.

Your dad's home.

With your mom.

I can't believe the amount
of people out there.

Come on you two, let's get changed.

We're celebrating Tim's success.

I am so, so proud of you.

Excuse me.

Thank you.

Come on, Dad!

This way.


I'm covering for Benedict.

Been down with chicken pox.

As have half the station,
hence my being here.

Rather grand house.

Lord Conrad Argo,

captain of industry and
famed philanthropist.

Here... someone's not a fan of comics.

Which is anyone over the
age of five, I'd imagine.

Finally manage to drag
yourself over here?

Thank you so much for coming.

I'm Dr. Juno Starling.

- This is my.
- County Sheriff Isaac Starling.

I'm the law around here.

I may beg to differ, Mr. Starling.


It's sheriff.

Assuming you get re-elected.

You only noticed the
break-in this morning?

Yes, I was getting ready for work

and I saw the hole in
the kitchen window.

Was anything else stolen or burned?

Not a thing.

And as any lawman worth
their salt will tell you,

that's abnormal behavior.

I need to go.

- Will you be all right?
- Oh, I'll be fine.

The police have arrived.

Lord Argo, is it?

It should be, but that
was more my dad's thing.

Everyone called him Lord
Argo, but Tim's fine for me.

And I assume you didn't
hear anything either?

No, sorry.

Though I was the one who
brought the comics here,

so I feel like it's all my fault.

Who else knew they were here?

I mean, I couldn't honestly tell you.

Stella and I collected
them from the cemetery.

The cemetery?

It's a long story.

And who is Stella?

My daughter lives here as well.

She'll be working at the Lounds Cafe.

Am I free to go?

I run the festival and it's
all a bit hectic right now.

You'll be all right, yeah?

Are you all right, Dr. Starling?

I know that burglaries
can be very distressful.

Have no fear, my dear.

I'm getting a taser.

The next person who
tries to break in here,

they're getting a thousand volts.


Sir, I'm on leave, remember?

I've got the day off.

I can't really do that, sir.

It wouldn't be...

It wouldn't be appropriate.

Do I have to wear this, Murray?

Is that one of Darwin
Chipping's gargoyles?

Sorry, my friend. You're short.

But I washed 20 cars to buy this ticket.

I'm sure Chipping didn't
make his first million

by giving things away.

Hang on a minute, sir.

I've got the right money.

Are you kidding?

And I've got one left.

- 50 quid.
- 50?

Darwin's the main reason
this festival exists.

His comeback tour comes at a price.



Sold out, unfortunately.

No, no, no.

Lift, not drag.

Please, some respect.

Problems, Mr. Chipping?

Anything I can help with, just say.

I prayed you'd come out of retirement.

I can't wait to see what
your new creation is

and I'm not the only one.

I'll get cracking on my report.

All right, I give up.

Why did you cross the road?

Like I said, this is my day off.

It's from an Aequitas, sir.

I'm afraid I'm not up to speed.

The cult comic book
artist and writer, sir.

Publishes 50 copies a year.

Only 50?

Not exactly a publishing powerhouse.

Well, actually, sir.

Fewer copies is better.

It makes them more sought after.

And therefore more valuable?

Not like a first issue Superman,

but they do go for a decent sum.

Especially if one's signed.

Tell me more about this Aequitas.

Uhh, he, or she, probably lives locally,

but that's about all anyone knows.

Aequitas publishes the
comics anonymously.

Oh, here.

Your arthritis is getting worse.

You need to see a specialist.


It's been two years, Zennia.

How long can we keep this up?

You said we'd wait no matter what.

But there hasn't been one sign
that she's gonna wake up.

Take a moment.

Think about what you're saying.

That's not my mother anymore.

And if she could see
herself lying there,

I know what she'd tell me to do.

She's not coming back... is she?

Stella Starling?

That's my favorite Darwin
Chipping character.

Oh, mine, too.


Sorry it's so hot in here.

The aircon's been broken for years.

Grace in winter, not so good in summer.

We want to talk to you
about the burglary.

I'm afraid my bedroom's
at the back of the house.

I didn't hear a thing.

Do you know why someone would
do something like this?

It's Festival Week.

You've seen the people out there.

They turn into heroes
and villains overnight.

Hopefully, there are more
heroes than villains.

I wouldn't count on it.

I never knew you had a hobby.

Hey, he's got my ticket!

All right, son.


- Gotcha.
- Mr. Starling?

Why were you moving in slow motion?

And it's sheriff.

Let the lad go.

This is my collar, Barnaby.

Two things, Mr. Starling.

One, being appointed
sheriff doesn't grant you

any judicial power whatsoever.

And two, it's DCI Barnaby.

Barnaby? That's my teacher's name.


I want you back,

but I've stopped believing
that's gonna happen.


Mate, where you off to?

She's awake.

- Where's Juno?
- She's out on a call.

Would you like to make an appointment?

Tell her to come to the cottage.

Two weeks there starts looking good.

Not funny, Ruth. I'll find her myself.


Mrs. B.

You were quick.

I hope you haven't broken

- any speed limits.
- Hardly.

There's people in costumes everywhere.

I had to get out and walk.

Tell miss what you told me.

I wanted a ticket to
Darwin Chipping's lecture.

The man's a ledge, I had to be there.

And stealing a ticket seemed
perfectly reasonable?

Well, they jacked the prices up.

The thing is, we can't always
get what we want, Jerome.

John, I'll handle this.

The thing is, Jerome,

we can't always get what we want.

He's rolling out a new character.

It's the first one in years.

I can't miss that.

Jerome writes and draws
comics all day long.

He's got real talent.

Well, I'll turn him loose then.

He can carry on stealing
with my blessing.

Look, it's the first time he's

ever done anything like that.

Come on.

We could get him a ticket, couldn't we?

He's a great kid.


You keep a spare suit at the station?

Always be prepared.

Fleur, anything on the
Starling burglary?

No unexpected fingerprints.

No one saw, or heard,
anyone coming, or going.

I think the term is sweet f.

All right, I get the picture.

I did some research.

It turns out that two years
ago Lord Conrad Argo

was murdered trying to
prevent a burglary.

Which explains why Dr. Starling
looked shaken earlier.

Was the intruder caught?

Still an open case.

You said two years ago.

Would that mean it happened
during the festival?

Actually, sir, it was on the
eve of the festival starting.

It looks like it was a
bad night all around.

Lord Argo's sister Francesca

was also attacked that night.

She was outside his house when
someone put her in a coma.

I'll get Archives to have all
the case files sent over.

Causton CID.

Okay, we'll be right there.

Sorry, but I don't think
that's very appropriate.

First rule of creativity,

never turn your back on inspiration.


This is... was, Francesca Lounds.

69 years young.

Choked to death while in a coma.

It's definitely murder?

Her airway was blocked by the comic

until she was suffocated.

Well, this is turned off.

It was like that when SOCO arrived.

Yet the killer still felt the need

to choke the victim as well.

Do we have an exact time of death?

Give me strength.

We've only just got here.

Maybe an hour, maybe more.

We were in the village then.

Ought to put yourselves
on the incident report.

These probably belong to the
family, but best to make sure.

Sir, this is the latest Aequitas issue.

Looks like the thief didn't
burn every copy after all.

I was in Mom's room and.

And what, Mr. Lounds?

I was talking to her, and
then... it was a miracle.

She moved.

I was out taking in the sights.

Since it has changed its name,

the festival seemed to be
getting bigger every year.

So, you didn't see anything
out of the ordinary?

Anyone lurking about or something?

Just silly people in silly costumes.

I presume if you returned here alone

that you didn't find Dr. Starling?

She was in the next
village on a house call,

so I rang her and left a message.


I know this is very difficult, Mr.

Then I came home

and I couldn't hear the
life support machine.

I saw Mom.

How was your relationship
with your mother-in-law?

It wasn't ideal.

Not after the great Francesca's son

married her brother's cleaning lady.

You worked for Conrad Argo?

The good man himself.

He gave me a golf membership
as a wedding gift.

He was very kind like that.

And Francesca wasn't as
generous as her brother?

I learned to live with her,

though it was a lot easier
after she ended up in a coma.

Do you recognize these?

They were found under your mother's bed.

Uh, yeah.

They're ours.

I noticed the old Aequitas issues.

I read them to Mom.

And how did you come to be

in possession of the latest issue?

I didn't.

One was used to murder your mother.

I just grabbed the phone
and called the police.

Mrs. Lounds, your husband said

that Francesca was waking
up, that she moved.

She was always moving.

Well, in the first few
months she came here.

Barrett was convinced
she'd sit up one day

and demand a dry martini.

And how about more recently?


It was getting to Barrett.

He really hasn't been himself

for about six months now.

In fact, he was talking
about letting Francesca go

only this morning.

Stella, did you see anyone going

into the Lounds' cottage
in the last hour or so?

Uh, no.

Or not that I noticed.

What about customers?

Anyone look suspicious?

There were people from the festival.

Most of them in costume.

What did you think of Francesca?

She was one of the original supermodels.

Though I'm not sure she ever quite

stepped down off the catwalk,

if you know what I mean.

And you didn't like that about her?

That came out wrong.

Tim renamed the festival after her,

- so she was all right, I guess.
- Francon.

Fran for his Aunt Francesca

and con for Conrad, his father.

He wanted to honor them both.

The thing I don't get
is how the killer knew

that Francesca was
coming out of her coma.

Barrett had to cross to the
other side of the green

to get to Dr. Starling's surgery.

Someone might have guessed
why he was so excited.

One murder weapon marinated in saliva.


When Fleur's finished processing
it, have a read, Winter.

It may not be a coincidence
that the killer

used this particular issue.

True Identity by Aequitas.

It's Latin.

- It means.
- Justice.

Barrett, the police
were asking questions.

It's a strange world, Stella.

We must be careful what we wish for.

She was definitely choked to death.

Airway was blocked and she
suffocated within two minutes.

Two minutes?

That would've felt like a
lifetime to the killer.

Quite a risk...

considering the son could've burst

back in at any moment.

Assuming it wasn't Barrett himself.

Any fingerprints on the plug
of the life support machine?

Wiped clean.

Which implies the killer came in

with the intention of turning it off.

But then realized that Francesca

was coming out of her coma.

So he grabbed the nearest comic and...

bumps your dead auntie.

I just can't take it in.

Anything you need, just say.


There are fans and there
are fanatics, Winter.

It's a thin line.

Actually, sir...

in past Aequitas issues there...

are usually ironic
slices of village life.

Now, they highlight local characters,

but usually in regards
to neighborly disputes,

council politics, the color
of someone's front door.

But this latest comic,
the murder weapon,

Aequitas has clearly changed tact.

Show me.

Six prominent villagers have been

totally named and shamed.

One certain Ruth Crane...

has been drawn as a witch

casting dark magic over the village.

Darwin Chipping, the
legendary comic book writer.

And according to Aequitas, a plagiarist.

A thief of someone else's talents.

We keep encountering thieves.

Is that Timothy Argo?

Something's got him spooked.

Murray Eccbeer, he runs
a bric-a-brac store

dressed as a superhero.

It takes all sorts.

But this sort, according to Aequitas,

is one humiliated and pitiable man.

Ah, Sheriff Isaac Starling.

A vampire draining the
life out of his victims.

And wait until you see
this next page, sir.

Well, well.

It would appear that
Aequitas knows exactly

who put Francesca into a coma.

Fleur, talk me through Francesca Lounds'

original head injury.

We'd like to talk to
you about the robbery.

I've said all I can say.

Where were you when this happened?

I told you.

You claimed you were
out seeing the sights.


What do you mean by that?

Can anyone corroborate it?

I-I don't know.

The village is packed.

There must be someone who saw you.

Did you go into your
mother-in-law's room?

No, I didn't touch Fran. I swear.

This is a murder inquiry, Mrs. Lounds.

I was at the printer's.

I was wondering why they hadn't
delivered my flyers yet.

You're running for sheriff?

Why did you not just tell us this?

You do realize the stakes here?

I wanted to surprise Barrett.

I told you, he barely notices me.

But if you're sheriff.

I'm going to make everyone notice me.

I'm not the cleaning lady anymore

and people need to stop
treating me as if I am.

Are these your drawings?

I hired Stella.

She's very talented,
not to mention cheap.

How long have you had your
current set of golf clubs?

Three years.


Mrs. Lounds, did you attack
Francesca two years ago?


What is this?

Then where did Aequitas
get this idea from?

It's fiction, it's made up.

It means nothing.

This is unfair.

But you said yourself,

Francesca was becoming a burden.

That's a lot of pressure on any couple,

no matter how well-meaning they are.

Okay, okay.

I... I called my sister once.

I was in here closing up

and I told her that sometimes
I wish I could kill Fran.

I know how it sounds,

but you have no idea how bad things were

between Barrett and me.

Mrs. Lounds, we're gonna
need to take your golf clubs

for forensic testing.

Check with the printer's.

See if Zennia did indeed go there.

I'm going to talk to Dr. Starling.

We need to know more about Francesca.

But Zennia's got motive and temperament.

I don't see how Francesca could've made

any new enemies while she was
lying in a coma for two years.

Exactly my thought, Winter.

I can always strengthen the medication.

I thought I wanted this.

Convinced myself it would
be better for everyone

if Mom just... slipped away.

But not like this.

I know hoe terrible it is.

I've been there.

But there is a way
through this, Barrett.

I promise.

I'm afraid we don't
take walk-in patients.

Good because I'm right as rain.


Take a seat.

I'll buzz Dr. Starling.

Were you in reception
when Barrett Lounds

came in this morning?

I was indeed.

How did he seem?

Extremely excited.

Did he mention why?

Maybe he'd finally caught a fish.

It's his big passion.

Wasting the day staring at water.

I must've driven past her cottage when.

I know this is very difficult,

but I'm afraid I have a few questions.

You and your sister-in-law Francesca,

I take it you were close.

Yes... Yes, very.

So you would know if
she had any enemies.

She was in a coma, Chief Inspector.

How could she have upset anyone?

Which leads me to my next question.

I read the police report
on your husband's murder

and I know that you were
the one who found him.

But I was wondering how
Francesca came to be involved.

Do I have to do this?


Come on.

Come on.


Yes, police, please.

Um, and ambulance.

Yes, um.

Argo Court, Carver Valley.

As quick as you can.





Oh, God.

All right, just hold on.

Knowing Francesca,

she was probably trying
to stop the burglar.

I couldn't believe it when I saw

her jewelry had been stolen.

The burglar robbed her?

She was coming for dinner,

so she would've been
glittering with gold.

Never leave home looking ordinary,

my sister-in-law used to say.

Can you tell me about the
blow to Francesca's head?

It fractured her skull.

Was it to the back or front?

The front, the forehead.

It'll be in the police report.

So she would've been
facing her attacker.

Which means there's every chance

she saw who killed your husband.

- How's Barrett?
- He's just sitting there.

Won't say a word.

Can we talk to him?

Mate, I...

Listen, it's just a stupid fishing fly.

I saw it the other day and.


I thought of Francesca.

Look at the colors.

They dazzle.


Zen, can you give us a moment?

You'll talk to them, but not to me?

It's a nice thought, Murray.

When I saw you, I was imagining a...

coming out of a coma party.

You are seriously not helping.

It's fine, Blue.

It's good to talk.

At least you and Zennia, you're...

Well, you're free now.

You can find each other again.

Paddy, stay.

Any luck getting a ticket
for Darwin's lecture?

Good boy. Stay.

I asked around, but it
appears to be sold out.

Jerome drew this.

It's fantastic.

I don't really get comics.


Maybe I can track down a ticket online.

What about dinner?

Yeah, lovely.

Give us a shout when you've made it.

Paddy, good boy.

This is the new issue.

The burned one.

We need to speak to Aequitas.

This is amusing you because?

No one has a clue who Aequitas is.

You must have your suspicions.

You've been promoting his comics

since the start of the festival.

It must be six years now.


Let's start with how Aequitas
delivers the comics to you.

You said something about a cemetery.

Mr. Chipping.

Sorry, no photos.

That's the last thing I'd want.

You know, I've got all these
thoughts swirling around

and I keep coming back
to this one thing.

My Mom was never keen on you.

That's a little brisk.

You came to see her a
couple of years ago.

It ended in shouting.

I really don't recall.

It was about a week before
someone put her into a coma.

Barrett, I do hope you find some peace,

but it won't be from me.

I'm telling the police.

They'll want to talk to you!

How did Aequitas contact you?

By phone.

He, or she, uses a voice changer.

But before you ask, the
number was withheld.

So Aequitas was in this cemetery.

We need to get SOCO down here.

Let's see if they can find any trace

of our mystery comic creator.


Remind me who else was
singled out in that comic.

It was Sheriff Starling, Murray
Eccbeer, Darwin Chipping.

Start with them.

See how they react to the comic.

And check Francesca's past.

Maybe there's someone she upset.

And the killer got in and
out without being seen.

- How?
- Yes, yes. Of course, sir.

This'll take me days.

You have somewhere else to be?

It's just I had hoped
that I could nip out

for a few hours tomorrow
to go to the lecture.

Well, this is a murder inquiry, Winter.

Might as well bin this then.

Well, let's not be too hasty.

I hate to see things going to waste.

Well, it cost me 50 quid, sir.

I need to ask you a few questions.

It was me, guv.

You got me bang to rights.

Why would Aequitas draw you like that?

Well, that's not me.

No way.

Well, tell him, Blue.

Is it true Francesca was waking up?

We believe she was, yes.

How long have you had this store?

Ever since the festival started.

Mind you, it almost died two years back.

Why was that?

No idea...

but there were strong rumors
that it might not go ahead.

And this was around the time
that Lord Argo was murdered.

Thing is, Francesca was also
robbed of all her jewelry.

I knew this was coming.

The cops asked me all this back then

with me being in the
buy-and-sell business.

That jewelry never came our way.

- Did it, love?
- We'd have said if it had.

I know what you did.



SOCO found a SIM card
from a prepaid phone.

It was registered to one Barrett Lounds.

Barrett is Aequitas.

Barrett's gone fishing.

- Where?
- The river, of course.

Sir, Barrett's solicitor just told me

that the account his mother's
will is to be paid into

isn't the one that he
shares with his wife.

He's got a secret bank account.

Mrs. Lounds, have you and your husband

discussed his inheritance?

She's not even in the ground yet.

Interestingly enough,

he has discussed it with his solicitor.

And any monies due, may
not be coming your way.


I don't understand.

What are you talking about?

He has arranged to have them deposited

into another account.

Was this caught by Barrett?


Where exactly does he fish?

Ehh, there's a weir.

He's always there or close by.

- Pollock.
- Sir?

They're a saltwater
fish, not freshwater.

Your husband hasn't been fishing, Mrs.

Are we looking at the
same killer, Fleur?

First the mother, now the son.

Both surrounded by comics.

As a betting woman,

I always raise the
stakes with a high pair.

From what I can tell,

the killer grabbed the
victim from behind.

Hold him back by the head
exposing the jugular.

And then it all got a
bit Marie Antoinette.

And again we were close by.

Maybe you should arrest each other.

Looks like he was printing a fresh copy.

Barrett's arthritis must've
made it incredibly painful

to write and draw a comic.

I've dabbled.

Gave up.

I got RSI in my hand for an hour.

Go over every square inch
of the Lounds' cottage.

If he could lie about a secret
identity and a bank account,

who knows what else he was hiding.


Aren't you forgetting someone?

Come on, bird boy.

We can take my car.

I don't know how you can do that.

Horses terrify me.

I'm pretty sure you terrify
them in that getup.

I'm after a favor, Isaac.

Want the name of a good tailor?

I want you to help me
become the new sheriff.

You do know I'm running
for a second term?

- Yes, but.
- Didn't you learn your lesson

after your last effort?

No one wants you as sheriff.

I had a winning strategy last time.

It's just that I had to back out.

Don't waste your time, Murray.

Stick to selling second-hand tat.

- Isaac.
- You are hilarious.


Just listen.

There's things I know, Isaac.

Things that could ruin
everything for you.

You need to start taking me seriously.

So, how long have you
been a pathologist?

I mean, it must get to you
cutting up body after body.

On the contrary.

I can't get enough of it.

It's the company more than anything.

They're great listeners.

I mean, there must be a shelf life.

When you've seen too much.

Don't worry about me, Winter.

I drink embalming fluid.

I'm going to be around
for a long, long time.

How's your Arabic?

I'm a woman of many
surprising skills, Winter,

but being fluent in
Arabic isn't one of them.

That's Barrett's name and signature.

And I can see dates.

Could be some sort of rental agreement.

If it is, it's for a three-year lease.

Looks like he was planning
on leaving the country.

I can't find a ticket anywhere.

Phoned, texted, emailed.

Nothing to be.

Why this lad?

Why him especially?

Put it down to the mom in me, I guess.

Couldn't pass the butter, could you?

You got a ticket!


I'm a man of great import.

When I ask, I get.

Thank you.

Anything found at the scene?

Not a sausage.


What is that?


I've been there.

My very own hero.

One does one's best.

You look to be in a hurry, Winter.

- Where are we going?
- Egypt, sir.

All roads lead to Egypt.

Barrett's paid a deposit
for a three-year lease

on a flat in Cairo.

It must be nice, the
rent's pretty steep.

The inheritance would've
come in handy for that.

Although Barrett didn't know

that his mother was gonna get murdered.

So he must've had some other
way to make the money.

Or he had help.

I went to Egypt once on a
school trip and guess what?

I saw someone with the same currency

right here in this village.

It's not what you think.

I'm sure it's exactly what we think.

Barrett and I found each
other at the wrong time.

We should've met when we
were both single, it just...

It didn't fall that way.

Your pillow talk must've
been interesting.

- What does that mean?
- With Barrett being Aequitas

and knowing so much about
everyone in this village.

How did he come by this
information, Mrs. Eccbeer?

There are some things
that we didn't share.

He was particularly remorseless
in the latest issue.

Any idea what triggered that?

Look... all I know, and I
promise this is all I know,

is that Barrett drew the latest comic
to help

buy a new life for us.

So he kept one comic back

while he stole and burned
all of the others.

The one remaining issue
would make the comic

worth a small fortune.

He was gonna auction it privately...

and then we would leave.

Which wouldn't have worked now
that we have the only copy.

So he had to go back
and print another one.

Murray doesn't need to know, does he?

That's assuming he doesn't already.

So now we've got Bluebell in the mix.

Shunned lover.

They would no longer have
been running away to Egypt

because Barrett would
never leave his mother

if she'd just woken up.

But then again, I keep coming
back to Barrett's comic.

The murderer could be any one of them.

But why use it as a murder weapon?

It draws attention to
exactly that thought.

Maybe they didn't
realize what was in it.

Ruth, the receptionist.

Apparently a witch, but I
can't see a connection.

Same with Darwin.

Though he drawn as a thief.

Maybe he stole the jewelry
to fund his comeback?

You think he was behind
the attack two years ago?

What's Timothy scared of?

Everything seems to be ideal.

The festival is thriving.

Though it did nearly fold two years ago.

Where did he get the
money to turn it around?

And there's our old friend the sheriff.

A vampire.

Look, here he is sinking his teeth

into this character's neck.

A character who appears twice.

You see, here he is again
humiliating Murray Eccbeer.

We should find out who
this mystery character is.

I'm still leaning towards Zennia,

the put-upon daughter-in-law
and now wronged wife.

What if she lied and did know about

Barrett's secret bank account?

She'd inherit every penny now.

How did Barret know
so much about people?

Where did he get his information from?

Causton CID.

Mr. Starling, what can we do for you?

Stella, darling.

Have you got a moment?

It's just...

people are talking
about you and Timothy.

- What do you mean?
- Making comments.

How? Nothing's going on between us.

It's for your dad more than anything.

You know how desperate he
is to be sheriff again

and the last thing he needs are,

whisperings about his family.

I know how fond Timothy is of you, so...

maybe keep him at arm's length for now.

This is mad.

Mr. Starling.

How many more times?

It's Sheriff Starling!

At least it will be for
the next few weeks.

Then I'll be Mr. Star.

It's so unedifying.



Sorry about that.

I got a little emotional there.

It's just that I'll be
stepping down next month

and letting someone else take over.

I was under the impression

that being sheriff meant
a great deal to you.

It does.


This village is really going to miss me.

Only ask me what I've been doing

while you've been stumbling around

making very little progress.

I made extensive inquiries

and eventually... I found
someone who filmed this

at the time of Francesca's murder.

That's your wife's receptionist.

I think I should be in
on the bust, don't you?

Care to explain?

I may have called around.

The door was wide open.

And that was after Barrett came in

looking for Dr. Starling.

A delivery of election
leaflets had been packaged

with my name on them by mistake.

Thought I'd take them over to Zennia.

And when you got there, was anyone in?

Not that I noticed.

Did you go into Francesca's room?

No, I did not.

What do you make of this?

Is this supposed to be me?

I'll sue.

Defamation of character.

You said the election leaflets

were put into the wrong package.

That would imply that you had
ordered something of your own.

Yes, my leaflets.

I'm running for sheriff as well.

Sounds like quite a few
people are keen on the post.

Forgive me, but it is just
a title and little else.

Have you met the other candidates?

Lord Argo will be spinning in his grave.

He was the best sheriff
this village ever had.

It is my mission to
reinstate his values.

Do you leave flowers for
Conrad Argo every week?

Ms. Crane?

Well, I'm the only one who does.

Juno moved on far too
quickly if you ask me.

Lord Argo was barely cold before Isaac

came trotting into her life.

He took over his wife,
moved into his house.

He even took over Lord
Argo's position as sheriff.

Lord Argo was sheriff at
the time of his murder?

We lost one heck of a
good man that night.

This sheriff business
has got several people

hot under the collar.

Thought you said it was
little more than a title.

Someone really kill for it?

Look at everyone walking around
in their costumes, Winter.

They all want to be someone else.

You know yourself how that feels.

I suppose it does make
you feel different.

Better in some ways.

Well, the thing that surprises me though

is Isaac suddenly stepping down.

He had flyers, printouts.

He'd rather die than give it up.

Or kill.

Yes, Fleur?

I took another look at Francesca's
original head injury.

Two years ago we didn't
have the technology

to scan as deeply as we can now.

So tell me,

have you ever heard of Stockholm Tar?

Can't say I have.

Then luckily I know a man who has.

I'll also text you the
dimensions of the injury.

Easy, boy. Easy, boy.

Come on. Come on, fella.

Come on, that's it.

If he kicks me, sir.

Come on. Come on, big fella.

Come on, that's it.

Yep, yep.

Go on, that's it.

That's really very good.


I gave you Ruth.

Why aren't you locking her up?

Where were you the night that Francesca

was knocked unconscious and mugged?

What on earth does that got
to do with Ruth Crane?

Our pathologist re-examined
Francesca's head injury.

What does Stockholm Tar mean to you, Mr.

It's for...

It's for applying to horses' hooves.

It covers the sole,
protecting it from bacteria.

Microscopic traces of the tar
were found on Francesca.

And just to make sure, we
measured your horse's hooves.

They match the outline
of her skull fracture.

Mr. Staling, talk us through the night

Conrad Argo was murdered.



I'm so very, very sorry.

It was an accident.

I swear on my life.

I'd had feelings for Juno for months.

It got to the point where I
sometimes trotted by her house

hoping I might just bump into her.

You are ridiculous.

I'll tell my brother

and he'll take great
delight in ruining you.

I panicked.

I had to get out of there.

But you still stopped to
remove Francesca's jewelry.


Yes, I did.

But you just told us you panicked

and bolted from the scene.

Well, I was hardly going
to admit to thieving.

But you're admitting to it now?


I, uh...

Yes, I wanted to make
it look like a robbery.

You left Fran to die.

And you still went ahead and married me.

I love you.

That hasn't changed.

It never will.

We need to know where you were

when Francesca and
Barrett were murdered.

I can provide alibis.

I swear.

You will be charged regardless

for the injuries to Francesca.

And for the theft.

Take Mr. Starling away.


I told you it was good.

All I can tell is it's a story

about a boy who wants to fly.

I haven't heard that one
a thousand times before.


Have you seen Stella?

- Huh?
- She's not answering her phone.

No, darling. Sorry, I haven't.

Just give her some time, hmm?

It's a lot to take in.

Barrett's arthritis.

Long story short,

he couldn't possibly have drawn

the last Aequitas comic.

He wouldn't have had full motor control.

Not to the extent of drawing
what we saw in the comics.

All things considered,

could Barrett have broken
into the Argo house?

The burglar used a
sophisticated glass cutter.

Chances are Barrett would've
had great difficulty

wielding it with any precision.

So he would've needed an accomplice.

Stan Lee had Jack Kirby.

You've got me.


Thank you.

Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo!

- Where to begin?
- Darwin, Darwin!

Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo!

It's been a while.

I have been locked away.

Not criminally,

but working.


Darwin, Darwin!

A new chapter.

A chapter... I often worried
I would never draw.


Woo, woo!

Supermodel by day,

the bravest of sinners by night.

Woo, woo, woo, woo!


Get off me.

Just get off me.

All right, all right, all right.

Take it easy.

Jerome, you were in there,
what, five minutes?

I couldn't help it.

- She was beautiful.
- Who was beautiful?

Forbidden. Darwin's new character.

I had to get a photo.

That's Francesca Lounds.

Mrs. Lounds, did Barrett ever
invite Darwin Chipping around,

or talk to him, or even meet with him?

Not that I know of.

How about two years ago
before Francesca's coma?

Oh, wait.

He came to the cafe,

but he met with Francesca, not Barrett.

Do you know what they talked about?

From what I heard, he
wanted to make a comic book

out of Francesca's life.

- And she said no?
- I am not

a comic book, that's what she said.

Not when I'm still
glorious flesh and blood.

The sheriff dream is over I take it.

I only wanted to make
Barrett notice me again.

Excuse me.

Sounds like Darwin didn't
listen to Francesca.

And now here he is putting himself back

on the comic book map,

and all thanks to a murdered woman.

I don't believe you
were given permission

to use Francesca's likeness.

It's not her.

Where did you get that idea from?

It clearly is, Mr. Chipping.

I doubt there's a soul

in this village who would dispute that.

And half of whom were at your lecture.

Oh, and by the way, I'm a big fan.

Just thought I'd get
that out of the way.

Five years in the creative wilderness.

You must've been at your wit's end.

Inspiration is its own master.

What was it about Francesca's
past that drew you to her?

The partying with rock and film stars?

The countless arrests?

There must be enough material
there for a hundred issues.

Francesca was... different.

She was larger than life.

Imposing, dynamic.

She oozed stardust.

How could I not be inspired?

But she had said no to you.

And yet here you are

revealing a new character based on her.

You have to understand.

I have worked for two
solid years on this.

I gave it my all.

Besides, now she'll live on.

I'm not convinced that will
be much comfort to her.

I fell in love with my new creation.

That is not a crime.

If we can place you at
Francesca's bedside,

or in Barrett's studio, then
that definitely is a crime.

Well, I admit I saw him
leave his cottage,

but... I saw him return
30 minutes later.

But that was all I did.

You and I have one thing in
common, Chief Inspector.

We observe the world while keeping it

a good arm's length away.

It's the only way to fully
understand any of it.

30 minutes.

Why did it take Barrett that long?

Even Ruth the receptionist
got there before him.

He stopped to call Dr. Starling.

Who didn't answer.

If he leaves the
surgery, he has to walk.

Yeah, across the green.

And past Murray's stall where
Bluebell would've been.

What if he stopped to tell her

that his mother was waking up?

Meaning their Egyptian dream was over.

But she goes straight to Lounds'
cottage to kill Francesca

because Barrett's
mother is the one thing

standing in their way.

Bluebell had motive and opportunity.

And then she murdered Barrett

because he still refused
to run away with her.

Hell hath no fury, Winter.


Mrs. Eccbeer.

Going somewhere?

Don't know what's worse.

Blue's affair with my best friend

or her selling me out to you lot.

Your wife has an alibi
for Francesca's death.

She was working on the stall.

And she also states that it was you

who bought Francesca's jewelry.

I paid big bucks.

I still kick myself.

Murray, we will be charging you

with receiving stolen goods.

We've also arrested Isaac
who will corroborate this.


You're gonna do me for
blackmail as well?


I couldn't think of any other way

to get him to help me become sheriff.

You used the stolen jewelry as leverage

to get Isaac to back
out of the election.

Look, it was a mistake to
buy the jewelry from her,

but then I realized I had
something over Isaac.

When you say her.


She took Fran's jewelry.


If it's any consolation,

your father died his best
to hide what you did.

The cafe's closed, ma'am.

Oh, sorry.

- Stella.
- Please, don't say it.

Not out loud.

I spent two years hating myself.

All the same, I need to know exactly

how you ended up with
Francesca's jewelry.


Oh, no.

I don't think she's dead.

Help me, Stella.

I told Dad to disappear.

I'd do what I could.

I was praying she'd be concussed.

Maybe not even remember
what really happened.

I heard glass smashing
so I had to be quick.

I swear that's all I did.

It was a lot more than that, Stella.

You robbed a woman and left her to die.

But why sell the jewelry in the village?

That was asking for trouble, surely.

I was gonna throw it in
the river, but then.


Tim needed money for the festival.

It was dying on its feet.

Surely Conrad Argo had plenty of money.

He was never keen on the comic thing.

He said it was for freaks.

Sir... I could hear
everything you're saying.

It was a bit muffled, but.

I bet it's not muffled now.

So this is how Barrett got all
of his ideas for his comics.

No wonder he never got the aircon fixed

when he could come down
here and eavesdrop.

When did he ask you to help
him finish his latest comic?

Barret was going to run
away with Bluebell,

but he just couldn't
finish his last issue.

Which he needed because
he was going to sell it.

Only after I burned all but one of them.

So you even burgled your
own house for Barrett.

I'm intrigued, Stella.

What do you get out of this?

Barrett was leaving for Cairo.

I would become the new Aequitas.

Can you imagine what that means?

I think I can, considering
you drew your own father

as a life-sucking vampire.

I wasn't proud of that.

I even made Tim look awful.

But there was only ever
going to be one copy

sold to a private collector.

It would hardly be seen by anyone.

Why did he settle so many
scores with this comic?

He was drawing what he truly
believed people were.

He was finally unmasking them.

One last question.

There's one character in the
comic that we don't recognize.

The one that appears twice.

It wasn't my best effort,

but that's Lord Conrad Argo.

Careful, sir.

They're addictive.

Murray told us that he
wanted to make up for what

Lord Argo did to him the previous
time he ran for sheriff.

Argo's a village hero.

- He's adored.
- Not according to this comic.

Perhaps, two years ago,
Murray took his revenge.



I have so wanted to do that.

Wait, there's things I need to tell you.

No, me first.

You don't really know,
you've just guessed.

How could you do that to me?

It's not fair.

I never get what I deserve.

Murray, stop!

It's not right!

Murray, stop it!

Stop it, please.

- It's not right!
- Murray!

It's not right!

It's not right.


I'm just not anyone's hero, am I?

Murray, you have motives for murdering

both Lord Argo and Barrett.

Your best friend who stole your wife.

But what did Lord Argo
actually do to you?

Do you know who I was once?

Better than this, that's for sure.

Had a beautiful wife,

a great business plan,

but then I went and ran
for sheriff and he...

He destroyed me.

He got all my investors to back out.

I lost my future

and I probably lost Bluebell as well.

He must've thought you
were a credible rival.

Not really.

He did it because he could.

But this doesn't tally

with the man that we've heard about.

I mean, Timothy partially
renamed the festival

in his father's honor.

You say honor,

I say he was mocking Conrad.

That man hated the festival.

Mr. Barnaby, your wife
said you read my comic.

Yes, I did, but not right now, Jerome.

- But you like it, right?
- Very much.

Who wouldn't want to be able to fly?

You think that's all it was about?

That would totally suck if it was.

I'm actually working now, Jerome.

This boy wants to be a superhero

to make his father proud of him

and that's why he tries to fly.

See, he's just about to
land in a broken heap

when his dad swoops through
the air and catches him.

It was his dad who was
trying to protect him.

And that's why he hid his superpowers,

because he was scared that
it might make his son

feel even more worthless.

Mrs. Barnaby's right.

You do have a lot of talent.

Excuse me.

Winter, meet me at the Marquee.

There are two things
I need you to bring.

The answer is in the comic.

Timothy, we've heard three versions

of what happened on the
night Lord Argo died,

but you've never been
mentioned in any of them.

And yet you were living
at home at the time.

I just wasn't there that night.

So where were you?

I was away.

On the eve of the festival starting?

Especially as it was struggling.

My goodness.

Is this what Murray did?

Dr. Starling, I was just
asking your son where he was

when Lord Argo was killed.

Only... things don't quite make sense.

Francesca was in the wrong place

at the wrong time.

While you, inside, had just
discovered her murdered brother.

Isaac's horse, startled at
the screams, he panics,

but Stella tells him
to go, she'll fix it.

And then Stella heard glass breaking.

I really don't follow.

The window was broken
after the burglary.

I told you.

I found Conrad.

I raced outside, I phoned 999.

But you're a doctor.

And surely you would
stay with your husband

doing everything you
could to keep him alive

until help arrived.

So why abandon him and go outside?

You could just as easily have
made the call from inside.

There's something missing
from your story.

Or should I say... someone?


This is absolute rubbish.

Timothy was not there.

You would've seen Stella
outside the house,

but you were still inside
dealing with Timothy.

Your only thought was how
to get him as far away

from the scene of the
murder as possible.


Run, before your aunt
knows you were here!

And then, you had to make
it look like a burglary.

Yes, police, please.

Um, and ambulance.


Just let it go, Mom.

I can't carry this around any longer.

I originally thought that
renaming the festival

was in honor of Conrad's memory.

He hated it with a passion.

I worked so hard to get
the festival going.

He just laughed at me.

He was always mocking me.

The poker was in my hand
before I even realized.

But I didn't hurt anyone else.

I swear.

Not my aunt, not Barrett.

I know you didn't, Timothy.

Dr. Starling...

Barrett called you
when his mother woke.

But I didn't take the call.

But you saw him crossing
the green excited,

- pushing through the crowds.
- No.

And your only thought was,

if Francesca had seen Timothy

on the night he killed his father,

would she remember now?

You couldn't let your secret come out.

Barrett said that this
handkerchief was his,

but he was shaken.

He wasn't really looking.

In fact, it was your late husband's.

Mom was always going around there.

She could've dropped it at any time.

Mom, tell them.

You had a small window of opportunity.

You had to go to the cottage.

Mom was on a house call.

Your mother said she drove
to her appointment.

Obviously, it was in the next village.

During the comic festival

it's impossible to drive
anywhere, in or out.

We checked with your patient.

You didn't turn up.


The plug of the life support
machine had been wiped.

Did you drop the handkerchief

when you heard Francesca
suddenly waking up?

You've gotta say something.

You can't let them do this to you.

You have to understand what it was like.

Everyone thought Conrad was a hero.

But he wasn't, he was a...

He was a bully.

It could just as easily have
been me holding that poker.

Wish it had been.

I could never be sure
what Francesca had seen.


I wasn't sure if she'd seen
Timothy fleeing from the house.

But then she was in a coma and...

and I thought his secret was safe.

When I heard she was waking up,

it was my worst nightmare come true.

I hated myself,

but I thought it would end there.

- Mom.
- And then.

And then Barrett called
and he said he knew.

He said that he did remember

the handkerchief you'd showed him,

and he said he didn't
want to believe it,

but he knew it was me.

Mom, I don't understand.

Why would you do that?

Because it's what all
parents do, Timothy.

They protect their
children at all costs.

I had to keep you safe,

even if it meant
silencing everyone else.

Mom, where's Stella?


Dr. Starling?



Stella, come on.

I've got you.

I've got you.

It's okay, it's okay.

It's okay. Go on, breathe.


Just breathe.

It's okay.

I've taken a leaf from your
book, Chief Inspector.

To not give up, to
carry on till you win.

You know, I feel rather inspired.

I'd like to talk to you
further, if I may.

- I'm not sure that a man.
- I can picture it so well.

Put-upon, badgered sidekick by day,

avenging superhero by night.

Fiction, Winter.

It's becoming harder to tell
what's real and what isn't.

Which, I guess, is
where we come in, sir.