Murdoch Mysteries (2008–…): Season 12, Episode 9 - Secrets and Lies - full transcript

Whiskey please, bartender.


Hear you're looking for Nomi.

Straight to the point.

- How'd you hear that?
- Doesn't matter.

What matters is...

do you want to know where she is or not?

Yes, I do.

- Where are you going?
- Outside.

So how much do you want?

- Go home.
- No. Not until I find her.

Well... That's the wrong answer.

That's enough.

Thomas! Good Lord!

Are you all right?

Come in, come in.

Come on. Come on!

I need a drink.

- I found out something.
- What?

I think our daughter is still alive.


Thomas Brackenreid.

Sarah Johnston. It is you.

- How many years has it been?
- Almost twenty.

You look well.

You were never much of a liar.

- Shall we?
- Sure.

- Um... Some tea?
- Why not?

Friendly crowd.

No better than a lot of places.

So... How is your life in Toronto?

Until now, uncomplicated.

- I'm sorry for this.
- For what?

For this.

Her name is Nomi Johnston.

She's my little girl.

And she's missing.

I'm sorry, Sarah.

And she is your daughter.

It's the truth.

I would not lie to you about this.

You have to help me find her.

No, I don't.

I've no one else to turn to.

Neither does she.

We're not talking about this here.

Come on.

Come on.

You say she's been missing a month?

- You told the local police?
- Of course.

What did they do?

They looked around for a couple
of days, asked a few questions.

- Then they stopped.
- Did they find anything?

If they did, they
never told me about it.

Well, if they can't find
her, why do you think I can?

I have to hope.

I don't know this town.

I don't even know you. Or her.

- I don't even know if any of this is true.
- It is.

Even if it is true, why
should it matter to me?

Once upon a time we meant
something to each other.

Once upon a time is a long time ago.

Are you not coming?

I can't help you.


I'm going home.

Sod it.

And his bag is gone.

It's not like him at all
to just get up and leave.

- Well, he did go off to the Amazon that time.
- Panama.

This is different. He took
off in the middle of the night.

He left me a note saying that
he was working on something.

- Then he is.
- And what is it?

Mother! I told you not to come in here.

I don't care what you told
me. And I am your mother.

Look, if he left, he did for a reason.

- And he will come back.
- Your son is right.

Mrs. Brackenreid, you can go home.

I am sure the Inspector
will call in presently

and the moment he does,
we will notify you.

Go home, mother, it
will be fine. Please.

Would you like your son to escort you?

I can make my own way home, thank you.

John, don't worry about your father.

I'm sure everything will be all right.

Thank you, sirs.

Scotch, please.

Could I have another?

- This is the last one.
- Well, you're right about that.

Until the next one.

Young lady, can I have a word?

You can meet me at
Camille's if you'd like.

- I've finished working for today.
- I have a question for you.

Have you ever seen
this young girl before?


- Tell me the truth.
- I said no.

You think we all know
each other? Is that it?

No, I think you're lying.

- Leave me alone.
- I will, when you tell me the truth.

You will leave her alone now.

You and your friends, get out.
You've had enough for the night.

- But he was...
- Hey!

We just got here!

Wait for me.

- You too.
- When I'm ready.

I'm looking for this young girl.

Has she ever been in here?

If you're looking for a
floozy, you won't find one here.

I'm not.

Her name is Nomi Johnston,

she's been missing about a month.
Now please, take another look.

She might have been in here
once or twice. I don't know.


If you want me to help,

I need to know everything
there is to know about Nomi.

Thank you.

I haven't done anything yet.

She would never be in a
bar. Or any public house.

Her mother was no stranger
to bars and public houses.

I did not raise her to be me.

Perhaps she turned into that anyway.

She did not. She is a good girl.

- Good girls don't run away.
- She was taken. She did not run away.

How would you know?
You ran away from me.

- That was different.
- I had to.

Without a bloody word.

I was carrying your child.

What would that have done
to you if I had stayed?

A young man with a black child?

Your life would have been
over before it started.

I left you because I loved you.

You should have told me.

I did what I thought
was best for all of us.

You moved on. So did I.

Does she know about me?

- No.
- And who is that fair to?

It's fair to a ginger haired policeman

who didn't need a bastard
child showing up at his door.

That's who.

- Any news, sir?
- Not as of yet.

Do you think anything
has happened to him?

George, gather as many
Constables as you can.

Check all the train
stations and livery yards.

Someone has to have seen him.

I'm sure there's a
simple explanation, John.

- I'm going as well.
- Of course.

Who is she? Tell me about her.

She was going to be
something. Not like her mother.

You raised a child. On
your own. That's something.

- And now I've lost her.
- Not yet.

Where can I start looking?

She was enrolled in
a secretarial school.

She dreamed about wearing fancy
clothes and working in an office.

It was ridiculous. But she didn't care.

She was going to do it.

Tell me what happened
the day she went missing.

She was on her way to the school.
At least that's what I thought.

When I woke up she wasn't here.

I went to the school and
Mr. Jenkins, her teacher,

said she never showed up.

I told the police right away.

- And they found nothing?
- I already told you that.

They said they looked
everywhere they could.

Then they didn't do anything more.

I talked to everybody she knew,
Tom, but no one knew anything.

It was like she fell off
the face of the earth.

She was an exceptional student.

Miles ahead of all the others.

I liked her dearly.

She had hopes and I had hopes for her.

What does that mean?

I wanted Nomi to make
something of herself.

I had been trying to get her a position.

I made inquiries on her behalf,

people of the right
mind to consider her.

I don't usually do that for my students.

Why did you do it for her?

Because she was black.

Most businesses, they won't...

hire a girl like Nomi, but...

she deserved a chance.

I knew that if the right employer
would just meet with her, they...

they'd take her on.

Did anything unusual happen
on the night she went missing?

Not other than the fact that...

she didn't show up for class.

She never missed one.

I joined the police
to look for her, sir.

I looked every day and night until I...

had to admit to myself
that it was... pointless.

Which of these were her friends?

She didn't have many.

- She must have had some?
- Yes.

That was her desk there.
No one has taken it.

They pray for her
return as much as I do.

She sat next to me for almost a
year. Never missed a day. Until...

Did she say anything to you in
the days before she disappeared

- that struck you as odd?
- No. Not a thing. I've thought about it too.

But she's not dead.

How do you know that?

Because she can't be.

She was going to take on the world.

A person like that just doesn't die.

I'm afraid they do, son.

Every single day.

I looked high and low for her.

I talked to everyone she
knows. There is no one like her.

She was going to be
the next Madame Walker.

- Who?
- The first black lady to make a million dollars.

And Nomi was going to do the same.

Carry a torch for her, did you?

- No, sir.
- Are you sure about that?

- Maybe she rejected you. You got angry.
- No!

I had none of those
kinds of feelings for her.

She... She and I were too much alike.

What's that supposed to mean?

We're both outsiders, sir.

Please don't make me say any more.

I saw you in the bar.

I saw you as well.

Getting fresh with Florence.
I wasn't getting fre...

What were you doing there?

The three of us you
saw, we're taxi dancers.

Colette's Dance Hall across the street.

We sometimes go there for a
drink after we finish work.

If only to get off our feet for a while.

Do you ever get involved
in any funny business?

I keep my nose clean, sir.

I dance only to pay for my schooling.

- Did Nomi ever accompany you there?
- Where?

To the bar. To the dance hall.

- To wherever there's funny business.
- Nomi? No.

Then how did she pay for this place?

She worked at a laundry.

I tried to tell her dancing
was easier money, but

she told me her mother would box
her ears if she ever found out.

Were she and her mother close?

Nomi confessed to me she
found her mother overbearing.

I think that's what happens when
ladies have to raise one on their own.

What do you think
happened to your friend?

A good girl like her? Nothing good.

You drop your guard and the
whole world will swallow you up.

Or it gets too much for
you and you say goodbye.

Would she do that?

To everyone she kept a brave face...

... but she despaired she would
never get anywhere in this world.

She was a good worker.

- Many customers like her.
- Not all?

- Some of the wives didn't.
- They have good reason?

She was a pretty girl.

And... old wives don't
like pretty girls.

I know that only too well, Mr. Lee.

Which of the husbands had a
particular interest in her?

There was a man fond of her.

What was his name?

Doctor Stanfield.

And how did he show this fondness?

He brought his laundry here every
week so he could talk to her.

Did Miss Johnston like him?

He promised her a new life.

What is not to like about that?

Thank you, Mr. Lee.

Yes, I know who she was.

Worked at the laundry
that cleans my shirts.

- So you know she went missing.
- Ran off is more like it.

Why would you say that?

Why should I answer you, sir?

Because I'm a police officer.

Now why do you think she ran off?

- She was that type of girl.
- What type of girl?

Big for her britches.

- And no angel. Ha! Ha! Ha!
- I've heard the same said about you.

You watch your words, sir.

We're only having this
conversation because I choose to.

Do you have any idea where
she may have run off too?

Certainly not. I am not the
type of man who associates

with people of low character.

And she is of low character?

Yes. As is most of her race.

I don't care for that kind of talk.

I'm not concerned about what
you care or care not for.

So you won't help me.

I can't help you.

But you might want to visit an
establishment called the Raven's Ledge.

It opens when the
decent are safely in bed.

Shall we?

Whiskey please, bartender.


Hear you're looking for Nomi.

- I found out something.
- What?

I think our daughter is still alive.

Why do you think that?

Someone sure as hell
doesn't want me to find her.

Or find out who took her.

Or killed her!

I need be honest with you, Sarah.

She may not be the kind
of girl you think she is.

You don't say that.

Have you heard of the Raven's Ledge?

I've heard.

It was people from
there who did this to me.

They knew her.

Maybe they were just
trying to scare me off or...

or get me to stop looking for her.

I don't know.

You are not leaving!


I'm gonna clean you up.

I didn't mean to wake you.

It's all right.

How are you feeling?


I wish I could say you
should see the other fellow.

Still strong as brass.

A little tarnished.

Thank you for coming.

I really didn't know where else to turn.

If she's alive, I'll find her.

She gets a lot from you I think.

- Like what?
- She's stubborn.

Some would call her pigheaded.

But she knows right
from wrong. I know that.

How do you know that's me?

Because that's who you were

all those years ago and still are.


I think I made a bad decision.

I should have been selfish.

You never really gave me a chance.

No, I didn't.

And in all these years I've
never met another like you.


Sarah, don't. Come on.

No. No.

I have a different life now.

I have a wife. Two good
sons. I'm happy in it.

I know. I just...

I feel so alone.

And if Nomi's gone...

If she's alive,

I'll find her.

- Closed.
- I don't care.

- I was in here last night.
- Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.

I was standing right there. A man
came and spoke to me. Who was he?

How would I know?

Who was he?

If I had any idea I'd tell you.

- Don't lie to me.
- I have no reason to lie.

I'd never seen that man before.

Just like I'd never seen you before.

And so you know, what you two do
to each other matters nothing to me.

Take your hands off my shirt.

Constable Crabtree!

- John, I'm afraid I haven't heard anything yet.
- I have.

Someone spotted a man
who looked like my father

- boarding a train a few days ago.
- "Looked like"?

I know, I know. But the train
was heading to St. Mary's.

- And?
- My father was stationed there

for a short time, back
before he met my mother.

I'll wager that's where he is.

- There's a lot "ifs" here.
- I know, but...

I have to go.

You're sure your mother
doesn't need you here?

She might, but what if
my father needs me more?

- John...
- Don't try and stop me.

John! Don't do anything stupid!

What happened?

Look at this.

"I'm well.

I'm leaving town so
please stop looking for me.

It will only end badly
if you do. Love, Nomi."

When did this arrive?

When I came home from
work, it was in my door.

There's no postmark.
Probably hand delivered.

Did the neighbours see anyone?

- If they did, they're not saying.
- Would they lie?

I don't think so.

- They know what she means to me.
- "I am leaving town."

That's good news. That
means she's still here.

It doesn't mean anything.
That is not her handwriting.

- Are you sure?
- I taught her myself! I'm sure.


Uh... Jenkin's Secretarial School?

I'll be back.

Why didn't you tell me?

Because you would have
told him not to go.

- Am I wrong?
- He's a boy.

He's a decent copper,
sir. And sir, his...

His father is missing.

I mean, I don't know if I could
have stopped him even if I wanted to.

Why does John think his
father's gone to St. Marys?

He said something about the
Inspector spending time there

- as a younger man. Should we go?
- No.

- No?
- No.

If the Inspector had wanted
us to know about this,

he would have told us.

He has his right to privacy.

- Sir, I've just let his son go.
- You did.

I wouldn't have.

- Do we tell Mrs. Brackenreid?
- We shall tell nobody.

I'll telegraph the police there

to ensure nothing has happened
to him, but we stay here.

- Sir?
- You heard me, George.

Sir, I... I disagree with this.

And I have heard you.

This letter came from this school.

I... I didn't write it.

I never said you did.

I want handwritten samples
from every one of your students.

This paper could have
come from anywhere.

- From their houses, the suppli...
- Everyone.

This is good news, isn't it?

This could mean that Nomi is alive.

Or it may just be an
attempt to call me off.

Are you that type?

I find out you're hiding anything,

you'll find out everything

you need to know about me.

Oh, excuse me. Can you help me?


it seems clear the girl
does not want to be found.

- And that's that?
- Well...

I mean, the girl is of legal
age. She can do as she pleases.

And what if she didn't write the letter?

Do you have reason to believe that?

- Her mother thinks she didn't.
- What mother would?

If I were you,

- I would stay out of family business.
- Bloody hell.

It never ends well.

And if the girl is being
held against her will?

Then she couldn't very well have
delivered that letter, could she?

Youngsters all reach to an age

when they never need
their parents anymore.

Both parties seldom
agree on when that is.

What do you know about the
chap who runs the school?

- I know he is a good man.
- And that's it?

I questioned him after
the girl's disappearance.

I'm confident he had no involvement.

What if you're wrong?

I failed her.

Perhaps if I can find out
who wrote that letter...

That's the closest thing
to a clue that we have.

Are you expecting anybody?

No. No one comes here.


Sarah, pour the boy a drink.

I think he is going to need one.

Come in.

So I have... a sister or something?

Your father knew nothing
about her or any of this.

- On my word!
- That's the truth, John.

So, is she dead?

I don't think so.

Then why not leave her alone?
Isn't that what she said she wanted?

She's my girl. I can't...

Just go home, John.

- Tell your mother...
- Tell her what?

Tell her that I have a sister
that I never knew about?

Is that what you want me to say?

- I know this is a lot to take...
- What? That you are a liar?

- I never knew!
- So you say.

John, Sarah! Get out, now! Go!

They said you could go back inside.

Go with her.


Let's get inside.

You should just go home.

No. Nomi is alive.

If she wasn't, no one
would have done this.

You're just hoping.

No. What my father says makes sense.

They are trying to scare
us into not looking.

There's something else.

One of the men who beat me up,

I think he was a copper.

What would the police want with my girl?

Maybe she knew something the
police don't want to get out.

Then we're done.

It's one thing to look for my daughter,

another altogether if the
police don't want her found.



It's never done.

Perhaps she was witness to
something the police did?

It might not be the whole force, John.

Maybe someone close to the
police bought himself an officer.

Nomi didn't know anyone like that.

She went to school,

worked in a laundry. She
doesn't know anyone important.

You might be wrong.

John, first thing tomorrow morning,

go to the secretarial school
I was telling you about.

There's some handwriting
samples I need you to collect.

What about tonight?

That's the man I was talking about.

I've seen him.

- No!
- Why not?

You confront him, we get nothing.

- He hurt Nomi.
- We don't know that.

All we know is that
he might be involved.

If he did anything to her, he'll pay.

Any luck?

No one in this class wrote that letter.

- It was that doctor.
- I don't think so. A woman wrote this. Left handed.

If I was to guess, I would say that
English is not their mother tongue.

How do you know this?

I don't know it. It is a theory.

Didn't you say one of
your daughter's friends

- had an odd sounding name?
- Lydia Jodoworski.

Perhaps she wrote this.

- But she was in the class.
- No, she wasn't.

There is not a single
letter signed with that name.

She never provided a sample.

You taught him well.

It had very little to do with me.

This Lydia may have had something
to do with Nomi's disappearance.

- You said those two were friends.
- She was a dance hall girl.

She hung about with all sorts
of disreputable characters.

This doctor was a
disreputable character?

They come in all guises, John.

Say that Stanfield wanted
to get his hands on Nomi,

maybe Lydia helped that happen.

Steered her to a place
where he could take her.

That's horrible.

You carry on doing this job, you're
going to see a lot more horrible.

No, wait here.

I don't believe it!
They are best friends.

Here's something Lydia wrote.

It's her hand. She wrote the letter.

Every day she was out looking for her.

- Every day!
- Where does she live?

- I should tell the police.
- No, you shouldn't.

You should tell me. And if you don't,

I'll have to assume that
you're mixed up in this somehow.

Should be around this corner.
You're gonna wait outside.

- What if you need help?
- I can handle a young girl.

- And what if someone else is there?
- I'll handle them as well.

That must be it.

Keep an eye out. Be careful.

- Get out of here!
- I will

when I get some answers.

- Where's Nomi Johnston?
- I don't know. Why would I?

Don't play stupid with me.

You sent her mother a note
telling her to back off.

- I didn't...
- Don't lie.

Or you'll be on the first boat

back to whichever hellhole you
came from. Now where is she?

- I don't know!
- Don't lie to me, girl.

Where is she? Where
did she go? Anything.

- I don't know! Leave me alone!
- Don't you turn your back on me!

- This is over when I say it is.
- Let go of her!

Please just let go of her!

He never stopped talking to me.

He'd bring in his laundry and
say terribly wrong things to me.

I smiled.

I needed the work.

He even offered me money
once, but I said no.

What happened?

I was on my way to class,

almost at the door when he appeared.

He grabbed me and tried to pull me away.

I tried to fight with
him but he was too strong.

But then Lydia showed up.

I hit him from behind.

He fell to the ground. He never saw me.

Why didn't you say anything?

- We went to the police.
- Yes, we did.

And you know who was already there?

Archibald Stanfield.

He was telling them he
was attacked. By Nomi.

Didn't you dispute this?

I could tell they were friends.

- I knew who the police would believe.
- You didn't know that.

- Oh, I knew.
- I told her not to say anything more.


Two months ago,

people from the government sent
two of her friends back home.

For no reason at all.

Besides, between Mr.
Stanfield and myself,

I knew who's side the
police would be on.

You did, did you?

I'm not stupid.

And why are you here anyway?

I'm the police.

And I'm listening.

So why the letter?

I didn't know she sent it.

- Why did you send it?
- Because she was worried.

And she wouldn't stop looking.

You could never leave
if she kept looking.

- You shouldn't have done that.
- Well, I did.

She needed to stop.

Is that why you tried
to burn her house down?

- What? No.
- Burn her... What are you talking about?

- Oh, Lord! Is Mother all right?
- Yes. She's fine.

- Take me to her.
- The police will arrest you.

I don't care. I'm going.

And who are you anyway?

I think that's a question
that your mother should answer.




I'm sorry, Mother.

You're safe. You're safe!

Get these two to a hotel.

- Where are you going?
- Less you know the better, son.

- You again.
- The way I see it,

you got some of your boys to beat me up,

now you get the same back.

- I don't know what you're talking about.
- You sent me to that bar.

You sent some men to warn me off.

- Try proving that.
- I can't,

especially considering
one of them's a copper.

- Then perhaps you just best go home.
- Oh, you think so?

- You lay one hand on Nomi Johnston again...
- Again?

I know what you bloody well
did. You tried to violate her.

- So she says.
- Well, I found her and I believe her.

And the way I see it is
you know that's the truth,

that's why you've been looking so
hard for her. Because you're scared.

- Scared?
- Then why didn't you want me looking for her?

You wanted that so much

you even tried to burn
her mother's house down.

- Prove it!
- I can't.

And that's the stupid
thing about all this.

You didn't have to do any of it.

No one's gonna take the word
of a coloured girl before yours.

No one except me.

What do you want?

I want you to leave her
and her mother alone.

They say nothing. You say nothing.

If I do that,

is it done?

Not quite.

- You're the law!
- Not here. Not in this town.

Right now, I'm just a father.

If I knew I had a child, I
never would've abandoned her.

And if you did, would you
have married Miss Johnston?

I suppose I would have.

- What?
- Then there never would have been me.

So what do you say to Mother?

Before I knew about the girl,
I would have said nothing.

But now,

I don't know.

How do you think she'll take it?

Just give me a minute, John.

You will be getting on the train?

Of course I will.

My mother said you didn't know about me.

I believe her.

Thank you.

Everyone I've talked to about you
says you are a fine young woman.

Ambitious. Clever.

I'm all of those things.

It's a little hard to believe, isn't it?

Will I ever see you again?

Depends on what you want.

But if you ever do need any help,

I'll be there.

Mother never said anything about you

except that you were a fine man.

- You're mother's a liar.
- Let me make my own judgments.



Why didn't you tell me any of this?

You didn't need to know.

I didn't need to know
that you had a daughter?

I only found out myself
a couple of days ago.

And this other woman, what about her?

She's from my past.

I'm entitled to one.

She whistles and you run to her.

Her child was missing, Margaret.

You didn't know that
when you went to her.

You just left me without a word.

Maybe I didn't want a scene like this.

A scene?

That's what you think this is? A scene?

You lied to me.

I just didn't tell you everything.

That's the same thing
as a bloody lie, Thomas.

What do you want, Margaret?


I want you to leave.

Why'd you let my son go down there?

George didn't tell me that
John knew where you were

until it was too late to stop the boy.

He's got some brass in
him, I'll give his that.

Helped sort out the whole mess as well.

It's a good thing he's learning
from you and not his old man.

Thank you for keeping my confidence.

I would expect the same from you.

And the child? She's yours?

Oh, yes.

Bright lass. And no,

I never knew a thing about her.

If I had...

Oh! My life would have been different.

How did Mrs. Brackenreid
take to the news?

She threw me out.

- Sir...
- She'll get over it.


I'm sure she will.

Stay for a moment, will you Murdoch?

It's been a hard couple of days.