Murdoch Mysteries (2008–…): Season 10, Episode 2 - Great Balls of Fire: Part 2 - full transcript

Murdoch's investigation of the murder of two debutantes is complicated by the destruction resulting from the Great Fire of Toronto.


Terribly exciting, isn't it, sir?

Why is that, George?

One of these young ladies, sir,

is slated to become Mrs. Rodney Strong.

I must say this eligible bachelor

could do a lot worse than my Elizabeth.


- My God!
- Surely your husband

doesn't think any of these
young women capable of murder?

Anyone is capable of murder.

(woman humming)

Who would have the most to gain

from Miss Embree's death?

Any one of them.

The Strong's family fortune is...


Mrs. Rodney Strong. You
will be the toast of Toronto.

It hasn't happened yet.

(screaming) I'm hardly decent!




You're here.

Don't despair.


It's easier.

It's what you want, isn't it?

It's what we all want.


- Surrender and you can have it.
- No.

No, you're not real.

I'm not real,

but I'm with you every day, aren't I?

So why don't you join me in death

- so I can leave you forever?
- No!

No, no! Help!

- Ah!
- Oh,

that must hurt.

Join me, Julia.

Say goodbye to fear.

Or guilt.

Because that's what you
really feel, isn't it?

Killing me because you were jealous.

That makes you a murderer.

And there's no way out of that.

- Detective Murdoch!
- Where's my wife?

- Inside.
- We were all hurrying out,

- I'm sure she was right behind me.
- Inside?

Where's the bloody fire
department? Murdoch, wait here!

Bloody hell.

We need as much water as we can get!

Off your bloody arses!


I'm just trying to
look out for you, Nina.

I've survived 25 years on this Earth

without your help.

I wager I'll survive 25 more.

Are you sure he's not
taking advantage of you?

He's my brother. That's what
family does for each other.

- There's a fire!
- Here?

No, down on Melinda Street.

Oh Lord, that's where Sam's shop is!

My God. Higgins! Round everybody up!

Give me your blanket.


(screaming, glass breaking)

Help! Help!

Help! Help!

Give her to me.

I got ya. I got ya.

You all, get some
water on this building!

Let's go! Pick it up!

Shake a leg, ladies!


- Samuel! You can't go back in there.
- I have to.

- It's everything I've got.
- No!

- Let me go!
- You can't, it's too dangerous.

George, stop!

Are you all right?

It's alright, Julia.


And it will all be better.



- Elizabeth!
- Rodney!

Are you alright?

- Yes.
- Doctor Ogden is still inside.

- Good Lord.
- Hey, you!

- Sir?
- Lend a hand.

- Oh, of course.
- Grab the empties and refill them.

Excuse me ladies, if you
don't mind pitching in

- and grabbing a bucket.
- Of course.


Join me.




You have any idea how it started?

Were you burning anything in there?

How dare you. I didn't do this.

Take it easy. I'm just asking.


We'll take her from here, Detective.

And there's others we need to tend to.

Right. If there's any
change in her condition,

you let me know. For
better or for worse.

- Of course, sir.
- Thank you.

How bad is it?

As far as I know, it's most of the city.

I've heard reports that it
is raging from the Esplanade

in the south to Melinda in the North.

All of Wellington Street
is ablaze, as is Bay.

Over 100 buildings are burning.

It's going to change the
face of the city forever.

Detective Murdoch.

Miss James.

How is she?

Her lungs were thick with smoke

and there are minor burns to her hands,

but she's breathing well.

Thank God.

Were there many killed?

I don't know.

I've heard no reports
of fatalities as of yet.


Dr. Ogden said that there
was someone else in there.

There was no one else in the building.

I was in there.

She was convinced she saw Eva Pearce.

Good Lord, is that Canada Mills?

- It was.
- Almost all of Bay Street gone, I heard.

But there's only been one casualty.

A man by the name of John Croft.

Three pumper trucks up from Buffalo.

We should get down there
and lend the lads a hand.

Maybe the Inspector will make
some of his spicy chicken wings.

I think that will remain a treat

only the Inspector will enjoy.

- Ah, sir.
- Morning, lads.

- Stick the kettle on, Higgins.
- Sir.

It seems we're the lucky ones.

All got roofs over our heads.

Evans' parents lost
their entire business.

Bloody shame.

Right. It's gonna get
a little bit crowded

around here the next few days.

The Mayor has deemed
all public buildings

places of temporary refuge.

So we'll be taking in boarders.

He's also allocated money for
the purchase of cots and supplies.

You need a promissory
note for any merchant

who is still in operation.

Right, let's get to it.

Let's try and make our guests' stay

- as comfortable as possible.
- (both): Sir.

- Crack on, Higgins.
- Sir,

I was just curious as to
whether there'd been word of

how the blaze started?

They're still investigating.

What do you mean no telegrams?

Check again.

I should have a reply by now.

What is it?

Sir, I wired Scotland Yard days ago,

and I still haven't received word back.

The telegraph lines have been destroyed.

It will be a few days before
normal service is resumed.

Not that they're out number
one priority at the moment.

- Of course.
- How's Doctor Ogden?

- Recovering.
- Still, a close bloody call.

Your telegram likely
doesn't matter much anyway.

Given that Lady Atherly and her daughter

were the intended firebomb target,

I'll wager that they're
clear for the first murders.

I would have to agree
with your assessment there.

Do you think that was
the cause of the fire?

Not according to the fire department.

The firebomb was a secondary blaze.

A coincidence or a clever cover?

We'll have to catch the
bugger before we find that out.


Would you like to see the debutantes?

Thought you'd never ask.

Ridiculous. I was at
my parents' summer home.

You can talk to the staff.

You weren't sticking around to see

if you'd become the blushing bride?

I wasn't going to become that.

It was clear Rodney Strong

was going to pick that English tart.


Where were you during the fire?

I was trapped in the lobby

of the Belvedere Arms
when the blaze broke out.

- Can anyone confirm this?
- I was with my parents.

They've hardly let me out of their sight

since the other girls
started getting murdered.

The doctor insisted I accompany her.

Miss Fairhurst?

Miss Fairhurst,

- were you...
- What's wrong with her?

She's been this way since the fire.

She was in Brown Brothers
Stationary when it started.

Miss Fairhurst, were you on
Melinda Street at all yesterday?

Is it over?

- Excuse me?
- The fire. Is it over? Can I go home?

You may have to face the fact

that we're looking
at this the wrong way.

The killer may not be one
of the debutantes after all.

Rodney Strong's fortune
is a compelling motive.

It is, but none of
them could have done it.

I've been thinking, Murdoch,

there may be a reason
more twisted than that.

A sequential killer?

It might be best to consult your wife.

I'd rather not.

- Fair enough.
- I'm concerned about her, sir.

She's been having...


- Delusions?
- Yes, sir.

Visions of Eva Pearce.

That's why she went into the fire.

Either to save her or to kill herself.

- The doctor wouldn't do that.
- Sir, she very nearly did.

Murdoch, perhaps the
doctor can't heal herself.

Are you suggesting a psychiatrist?

It's just that I thought you considered

that field of study to be bunk.

Maybe I'm evolving, Murdoch.

But if it is a sequential killer,

we need the doctor's help.

One good thing about this.

I can give my sister
her precious money back.

Might save me from being
threatened by policemen.

I apologize for that.

My tools and my supplies are all gone.

And soon enough, I will be as well.


Are you sure?

I mean,

I think you've got a
really good idea here.

More and more people are
buying autos every day

and nobody knows how to fix them.

That's what I thought, too.

Maybe you need a partner?

I've got some savings.

You trust me with your money?

We'll see.

You doing this to get
in good with my sister?

I'm already in good with your sister.

I'm doing this because I honestly think

you have a solid idea.

You be wanting your name on the sign?

I hadn't thought of that.

But I like the idea, sure.

Crabtree and Bloom.



You saved us.

Both my daughter and me.

Why did you go back into the blaze?

I thought that there
was someone in there.

We were alone.

I heard someone.

Detective Murdoch.

- Lady Atherly.
- Oh please,

after everything we've been through,


I was hoping to have
a word with my wife.

Of course.

We owe her a great
deal, Elizabeth and I.

- Goodbye, Julia.
- Goodbye.

I'll see myself out.

Thank you.

(Julia coughing)

How are you?

I can breathe.




When Miss James was attending to you,

you told her that you saw
Eva Pearce in the fire.

Julia, please answer me.

I didn't have to kill her that day.

The truth is, I think
that I wanted to kill her.

I'm no better than the people you catch.

The people you hunt down.

- Don't be ridiculous.
- I'm not being ridiculous.

I wanted her dead.

And I murdered her.

It wasn't murder.

I was there.


The truth is if you hadn't killed her,

she surely would have killed you.

You were free.

You would have stopped her.

I may have.

But I can't say that I would have

in time to save you. Not for certain.


Julia, you did what any
normal person would have done.

You were fighting for your own life.

It wasn't murder.

It was instinct.

I should rest.

I hope you don't turn out to
be like every other man in here.

How's that?

Just another one trying to buy me.


I think getting involved
in your brother's business

is just a smart idea.

I thought he was a criminal?

In my experience, criminals often
have good ideas, it's just the

execution that's lacking.

So you trust him?

I think he deserves a second chance.


I don't need to buy your affections.

Is that so?

I reckon, most nights, you can
hardly wait to give them to me.


- Oh. You should stay in bed.
- No.

- I'm feeling a little better.
- Good.

Very good.

Simon Reynolds?

Yes, he did jail time

for viciously assaulting
women in the Rosedale Valley.

Joseph Tilton?

Three counts of violating.

Why are you investigating these men?

I now have to be open to the idea

that the person responsible
for these murders

could be a sequential killer.

The methods of murder
are quite different...

a knife, a gun,

and a bomb.


But the characteristics of
the victims are identical.

All young women, rich,
traveled in the same circles.

So you think the killer hates
them because of their privilege.


So it could be either a man or a woman.

A young girl angry she's been denied

the life her victims enjoyed,

or a man who hates them because

he thinks they don't
deserve what they have.

Your theory is reasonable.

Thank you, but it was suggested
to me by the Inspector.

He doesn't seem to think that

this has anything to do with Mr. Strong.

And you agree with him?

Oh, I don't know, Julia.

Every step I take leads to a dead end.

But I can't help thinking
that the murders are

because of him.


- (all): Ta-da!
- Detective Murdoch!

Julia! Greetings! I have news!

Wondrous news!

- Oh. Would you like a seat?
- No, no, no, no, no.

No. I am here to present

the City of Toronto's newest couple,

Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Strong!

Let us all toast the blessed union.


Well, this is certainly a whirlwind.

I was operating under
a tight time frame.


It wouldn't have mattered.

From the moment I laid
eyes on her, I knew.

Who knew that true
love could strike twice?

Detective, Ruth was a mere trifle,

a first love.

Dear, sad girl. This...

- this is different.
- Don't let the Detective upset you.

I know first-hand
he's a suspicious sort.

Isn't that right? Besides,

his wife is the reason
you two are married.

- If she hadn't saved Elizabeth's life...
- Yes. Thank you, Doctor Ogden.

- I hardly...
- Oh, look at the time.

We're expected elsewhere.

Let's hurry along.

Would you like to come with us?

Some of Rodney's friends are
throwing a fabulous party.

You go on. And congratulations.

Thank you.

What is it?

- It's likely nothing.
- Go on.

Lady Atherly seems overly grateful.

- You did save her life.
- So she says.

But the two of them were scant feet

from the door when the blaze started.

I hardly think they needed me to escape.

(man shouting)

Be very careful.

Do you recall where
everyone was standing?

I was standing over there.

And the two of them were
standing right there.

So they could have seen the person
with the firebomb approaching.

If they were looking in that direction.

Well, say they were.

If they'd known that they were coming,

they could easily
have escaped from here.

Why would they willingly
put themselves in danger?

It's better to appear as a potential
victim than a potential murderer.

So you think Suzanne
Atherly and her daughter

are murdering all the
debutantes in Toronto?

Julia, all I know is
that Elizabeth Atherly

is now married to one of
the city's wealthiest men.

A family that was facing
penury is now set for life.

Something that wasn't entirely possible

when those other girls were still alive.

I know it's not ideal,
but I'm sure the Mayor is

working quickly to secure
more suitable lodgings.

Where will the children sleep?

In here as well, I'm afraid.

Next to the people they don't know?

Well, I'm sure they'll
get to know them in time.

Become one big happy family.

Higgins, get off your backside

- and look useful for once in your life!
- Sir.

Ah. Sir. This is arrived for you.

Apparently they've
restored telegraph service.


Thank you.

All of this is already known to you.

Not all.

You never mentioned a
man named Trevor Cross.

And why would I?

He caused your family
considerable embarrassment.

All the more reason
for not mentioning him.

He was in a relationship
with your daughter.

A gardener with a member
of the aristocracy...

An affair I had swiftly terminated.

You must see how this looks to me.

Your daughter is in a scandalous affair,

your family a laughingstock,

and you were destitute.

You light out to Canada.

To start a new life.

Many people do.

And two murders later, she
has a wealthy new husband.


she is now a respectable married woman.

Do you plan on arresting her for that?


but I do plan on fully
exploring how that came to be.

I know all of this.

Elizabeth told me.

Told you what?

Told me she was involved
with a disreputable character

while she was in England. It
was a youthful indiscretion.

And her financial situation?

She made clear to me her
family's diminished fortune.


- I see.
- No, I'm not sure you do, Detective.

And I will make it plain.

Her frankness in these matters

is one of the reasons why I married her.

More than her family name, her honesty

bespeaks her character.


is that all?

I wish you all the
happiness in the world.

Thank you.

I feel that I've had more than
my fair share of the other.

(lively music, wolf whistles)

(man): Help me!

(wolf whistles)

So does this mean you'll be spending

all of your free time with my brother?

I shouldn't say.

He's nowhere near as
good looking as you.

(men laughing)

So, Constable, this is your lucky day.

I've decided to give
you a chance at my heart.

- Among other things.
- I'm sorry. I can't.


I just can't.

I thought you said your
friend was interested in me.

I thought he was.

(woman panting) Help!

Somebody please!


(muffled screams, slashing sound)

Thank you.

She would have died quickly.

You think it could've been the
same knife as the other victim?

- It's too early to tell.
- Of course.

Did you know her?

I interviewed her.

She was one of the debutantes.

Hasn't Mr. Strong already married?

He has.

Then why kill her?

Isn't it too late?

Perhaps someone was jealous
of their good fortune.

It doesn't make any sense.

Sir, I have somebody
you should speak with.

This is Colin Dunn.

Detective William
Murdoch, Toronto Constab...

I've been around Toronto long
enough to know who you are.

- Ah.
- Mr. Dunn saw the victim, sir.

Erma Fairhurst.

If that's her name, I saw her.

- When?
- Last night.

Saw her leaving the Biltmore
Hotel in quite a hurry.

She was upset, you see, and...

- Let the man speak, George.
- Well, she was crying.

At least that's what
it looked like to me.

Whether she was upset, who could tell?

Most women cry at the drop of a hat.

Many men, also.

Did you happen to see
anyone following her?

I did not,

but I did not lag, I had work to do.

And like I said,

- a crying woman...
- Yes,

of course.

Thank you, sir.

- Very interesting.
- What's that?

This gentleman saw the victim

leaving the Biltmore Hotel.

That's where the bachelor and
his new bride are staying, sir.

According to Madge Merton,

they're occupying the entire top floor.

You think it's the bloody bachelor.

- Go on.
- Well, sir,

he knows all of the victims,

he was on site for all of the murders,

and he was at the fire.

Still, nothing concrete.

This man says he saw the
latest victim leaving his hotel.

With all of these "circumstances"...

I'd have a word.

She was here, what of it?


She asked me to annul my marriage.

But it's a little late
for that now, I'm afraid.

She wanted you to end your marriage?

For what reason?

She said she was in love with me.

I said I was sorry;

she told me these shocking
lies about Elizabeth.

- Would you care to share those?
- I would not.

And I very much doubt
you can compel me to.

As far as I'm concerned,

she is a spoiled brat spreading scandal

because she didn't get what she wanted.

I'm done with her.
You can tell her that.

She's dead, Mr. Strong.

She's... she's dead?

We found her body in
an alley last night.

- Her throat had been slit.
- Oh, that's horrible.

Does her family know?

They've been notified.

Well, I apologize for what
I said about her, but she...

- she upset me terribly.
- Where were you last night, Mr. Strong?


I was with my wife.

- Can she confirm this?
- I would certainly say so.

- I'd like to speak with her.
- She's not in.

Well then,

- would you mind if I examined your hotel suite?
- You may not.

- Mr. Strong, what are you hiding?
- Nothing.

But I will not have you
examining my marriage bed.

Very well. I'll be back.

If you wish to enter I'll
need to see a judge's warrant.

Of course.




(door closing)

Rodney Strong has just left.

Follow him.


You're leaving?

My daughter is now a
respectable married woman.

My work here is done, don't you think?

And Elizabeth?

We're all going home.

Her, Rodney and me.

Thank you for your
generosity and hospitality.

Allow me to accompany
you to the train station.

- I'll just be a moment.
- Julia, that certainly isn't necessary.

Nonsense. What sort
of hostess would I be

if I didn't see you off?

(door opening and closing)

(woman laughing) Patience.

The train will be here shortly.

- There's no need to stay.
- Nonsense.

- Look, there he is.
- Rodney!

Lady Atherly.

Please. It's Mother now.

Doctor Ogden,

I must apologize for our rather

obnoxious behavior the other evening.

One never need apologize
for high spirits. And again,

- congratulations, Mr. Strong.
- Thank you.

Where's Elizabeth?

She said she would meet me here shortly.

This is all quite exciting.

I have never been overseas before.

We'll be together soon enough.

I kissed a man's wife.

I don't think you can
arrest me for that.

From the looks of things
you've done far more

than that, Mr. Bishop.

Goodbye, Doctor Ogden.

- Safe travels.
- No one's going anywhere.

I'd like a word with you two.

I think we've spoken enough.

This time we'll be
discussing the truth. George,

- arrest them.
- Take your hands off me.

My God!

Trevor Cross!

- What the hell are you doing here!
- Ma'am! Ma'am!

Let him go!

(man): Everybody down!

Let go of him.

- Let him go.
- Elizabeth...

You would kill your own mother?

- Elizabeth?
- I said let go of him!

(Murdoch): Let him go.

Elizabeth, she's your mother.

- Who tried to ruin my life.
- We need a carriage. Now.

All I wanted was to be with
him, and she wouldn't let me.

- Get us the carriage!
- Ah!

Yes, yes, you'll have it.

- Let her go.
- We'll let her go

when we're good and ready.

He doesn't love you.

What man would allow
you to marry another

if he truly loved you?

He is using you more
than your mother ever did.

That's not true.

He killed them, didn't he?


you're not a murderer.
You're just desperate.

And all that money,

he'll likely kill you next.

- Don't listen to her.
- Why, Mr. Bishop?

- Because it's true?
- Let me go,



I love you,

no matter what he did.

Don't listen to them. Listen to me.

If you kill her,

you'll never be the
person you once were.

You'll be changed forever, believe me.

You're not a murderer, Elizabeth.

You know that.



All right, get up.

- It was easy.
- The poor man fell for me.

Why did he agree to
go to England with you?

He still felt he could win my heart.

Even after he found out
about you and Trevor?

He didn't find out.

I told him about Trevor.

After the marriage was
consummated, of course.

And he still wanted to be with you?

It's amazing what men
will believe possible.

And why did you let him come?

Well, there was no reason to kill him.

And there was the matter

of changing his will, of course.

There was that.

I'll be charging you with murder.


No, I was duplicitous.

But I didn't murder any of them.

That would contradict
Mr. Cross's statements.

He's agreed to sign my report.

This is a lie.

This is a lie. He killed them, not me.

No, he killed Ruth as she was
the only one standing in my way.

- And Faye Sloane?
- She was too nosy.

He said it was only a matter of time

before she found out about us.

And what of poor Erma?

She was killed long after you'd
already gotten what you wanted.

She saw Trevor and I together.

You knew of all of these murders?

Yes, I did.

And yet you did nothing.


Hardly the actions of
a desperate woman, hmm?


Detective Murdoch?

My mother knew nothing of this.

Mr. Cross returned to Canada

after the dissolution of his
relationship with your daughter.

He befriended Mr. Strong

and knew of the necessity that he marry.

When he learned that you and your
daughter were immigrating to...

He killed them all so
that Elizabeth could marry.

Did Elizabeth know of this?

I'm afraid so.

Will she be executed?

That's not for me to say.

But she'll most certainly be imprisoned.

This is all my fault.

You tried to give her a better life.

I should have let her choose her own.

Ladies and gentlemen,

the Mayor wanted to pass on the news

that as of tomorrow,

you'll be rehoused in the Armoury.

Enjoy your final evening here
at Station House 4. Thank you.

- Sir.
- What is it, Higgins?

Sir, I'm placing myself in your custody.

Bloody hell.

You'd better have a seat
and I'd better have a drink.

So why am I arresting you?

Because I am a scoundrel,
sir, and a coward.

And you have been for years.

So what brings you here now?

I started it.

Started what?

The fire, sir.

The fire that has caused

all these good people such
distress, sir. It was me.

And how in God's name
did you do that, Higgins?

My cigar started it, sir.

(Brackenreid laughs.)

I hardly think it's funny, sir.

You didn't start the fire, Higgins.

The fire department
have released a report.

They believe it was a faulty stove.

- So it wasn't me?
- I'm afraid you won't be able to add

"starting the Great Fire of Toronto"

to the list of your accomplishments.

(laughing) Thank you, sir!

- Higgins.
- Sir.

Good lad, coming forward like that.

Thank you, sir.

Now if you don't mind,

there's a woman I need to apologize to.

Apologies to both a woman

and for doing something you didn't do.

Just another day in the
life of Henry Higgins.

Yes, sir.

Sorry, sir.

(Brackenreid laughs.)

I think this could prove
an even better location.

Well, I can't think of a better
place to get one's auto fixed.

Although I still think

Crabtree and Bloom would have rolled
off the tongue a little easier.

Thank you for all your help, George.

- I'm sure you'll do a roaring business.
- So do I.

You there.

Would you like to come
take a look inside?

You realize what you've
done, don't you, George?

What's that?

You've inserted yourself
directly into our family.

Yes, I suppose I have.

I wonder how that will work out for you.

What do you mean by that?

Well, he hasn't really
been successful at much.

I do hope you have deep pockets.


William. How much longer?

Just a moment.

You can open them now.

Oh, it's beautiful, William.

Yes it is.


where are you?

I'd say I'm looking
east over the Don River.


You are in the master bedroom.

I'm in the dining room.

To my left is the sitting room.

What do you think?

In the middle of nature
in the middle of the city.

It's wonderful, William!


- But what?
- Well,

don't you think it would
be better on the other side?

I mean, I'd much
prefer to watch a sunset

than a sunrise.

Well, I...

I'm not quite sure...

(laughing) William,

I'm only teasing.

- It's perfect.
- Oh, good.

I'll place the offer in the morning.

Now, what you didn't
see on the way in...


I know now that I did what I had to do.

Yes, you did.

And Eva Pearce?

She's gone, William.

Gone for good.



Now since this will be
a thoroughly modern home,

I have an idea of how
we could recruit energy

from the planet itself.