Murdoch Mysteries (2008–…): Season 13, Episode 8 - The Final Curtain - full transcript

An actor is killed during a play featuring John Brackenreid and attended by Murdoch, Ogden, Crabtree, and John's parents.

- It's about to start.
- Fantastic.

Watts. Over here.

Oh, I do hope people like it.

Of course they'll like
it. They'll eat it up.

How long do you suppose this will be?

Oh William, at least try to enjoy it.

I will. I just want to know how
long I will be trying to enjoy it.

Where have you been?

I stopped for snacks.

- Watts.
- For Pete's sake!

What's going on?

I don't know. It's
probably part of the play.

- Oh.
- Damn!

- My dear. I have terrible news.
- No.

Darling daughter.

I entered the drawing
room not moments ago

and found your mama.

She is dead.


Someone's killed her. It's murder.

That is for the police to say.

I have awoken.

Oh, grandmama. No.

Resume your rest on the chesterfield.

That must be the Detective.

Good evening.

Detective Roderick Justice.

She's dead.

It's murder.

This must be the murder weapon.

What is he doing?

It could have fingermarks or...

Then one of you is the murderer.

Instrument of death.

And now I shall harness
your destructive powers

to take the life of another.

But no. I cannot.

For I am not a killer.

Or am I?

Sorry, sorry,

- could you please move, sorry.
- Yes. You seem upset.

- Are you okay?
- Oh, it's nothing.

It is just that my mother is dead,

dead and oh, it's nothing...

So it is you.

The one who took my Lillian.

I am the one who has grown
old. My life matters not.

Why take her and not I?

Why not take us both?


Death is not the answer.

- I thought she was going to shoot herself.
- What is she saying?

It's a melange of philosophical drivel.

Goodbye, forever.

No, no...

Dammit Lilian, I can't leave you.

Not without solving the
crime of your mother's murder.

Not without...


What is the point of this character?

She's just a love interest, she
has no personality of her own.

Oh, I don't know...

The killer cut the electricity,

plunging the house into total darkness.

He arranged for the victim
to be in this exact position.

He entered the room.

And he committed murder
in the first degree.

No. No...

But it wasn't you of course.

- Oh, no.
- It was... you.

- Was it him?
- That's right. I killed her.

But my thirst for death is not abated.


What happened?

They're all bloody dead.

What kind of ending is that?

It's a tragedy. Shakespearean.

And John's bloody Macbeth!

I was not expecting that.



No! NO! There's blood! She's been shot!

She's dead.

She's really dead...

That's our cue.

Nobody move!

- Keep distance, please, from the deceased.
- Mom!

I'm sure we'll all have
a chance to say something

to respectable afterwards.
Is anyone related...


I don't understand...

They were supposed to be blanks...

Did you load this weapon yourself?

No, but we did it over
and over in rehearsal...

What happened? How is this possible?

We'll find out.

- How well did you know the victim?
- Know her?

We'd just been married.

She was shot.

Thank you, Doctor.

I found this tucked into her dress.

Sixty dollars.

Sixty dollars.

And she's missing an
earring, for all it's worth.

I can't imagine it means much,

we all saw what happened.

- Are you sure you're all right?
- Yes, Mother, I'm fine.

Don't use that tone with me.

You were standing beside
a woman who was shot.

And I'm more concerned
about her than myself.

- Look, I am your mother...
- Leave him alone, Margaret, the boy's fine.

You were bloody good, you know.

- In the play.
- Thomas!

Did you really think so?

Five spent shells.

The sixth chamber is empty.

This is the shot that killed her.

The casing is clearly
a different colour.

It had a real bullet in it.

It's hard to imagine it was an accident.

Were the shots always
fired in the same order?

Of course they were.
Joan Dalloway, director.

The sequence had been
rehearsed repeatedly.

And Franklin would never err.

He is a fine and precise actor.

Theatre is his only vocation.

So everyone involved

would have known which shot
would be aimed at the victim.


- Who loaded the gun?
- I did.

I have a box of blank
rounds in the green room.

I loaded the five rounds
and proceeded directly

to place the gun on the stage.

It sat here in full view of the audience

until the lights went down.

Is it possible you accidentally
loaded a real bullet?

Of course not.

Thank you, Miss Dalloway.

I'm sorry Miss Dalloway,

do I recognize you from somewhere?

Oh, likely from one of
the many newspaper features

written about my storied career.

I don't usually read
the theatre section.

The papers here are rather
enamoured with my life's story,

well, who knows why.

Oh. How nice.

I'm from New York, you see.

Grew up on Broadway.

I was born into the theatre.

And yet you moved to Toronto?

I've helmed many Broadway productions.

It is a greater challenge
to bring drama to less

cultured corners of the world.

The director could be lying.

She could have changed the
bullet in the gun herself.

But if we are to believe
her version of events...

The question becomes who had opportunity

to swap the blank for a bullet?

Well, I arrived early.

I saw her set the gun out on the stage.

It was visible the entire time.

So it had to be done during the play.

Right. George, you can release
all of the audience members.

The killer is clearly
part of the company.

Ladies and gentlemen,
please make sure that

I or one of the other
constables has your name

and address before you leave.

We'll contact you if we
have any further questioning.

Other than that, you're free to go.

Excuse me.

The audience was released.

Herbert Gould, Rosedale Ledger.

I am in their employ as resident
exegete of the dramatic arts.

Aha. You're the critic.


The role of the critic
has always fascinated me.

Whether the work is good or bad,

your purpose is to find fault.

To arraign that which
is created by others.

You are the enemy of human expression.


I do not destroy expression.

I demand it be of the utmost quality,

challenging humanity
to be greater still.

But you yourself create nothing.

Neither, my good man, do
most self-described "artists".

Excuse me. You sir.

Were you in the audience?

In a way, sure.

Barney Finch,

I wrote the damn thing.

Oh, yes, of course.

Where were you watching from?

The wings. You see,

I'm the one who goes out and
shoots the gun at the start.

That way, I'm the gun.

And the gun is the most
important character.

Is that right?

You know, I find that
quite fascinating. You know,

I'm a bit of a writer myself.

How nice. You know, I was
thinking of trying my hand

- at being a policeman.
- Really?


The play began, the lights went down.

The writer then fired the revolver.

If you could retrace your
steps please, Mr. Finch.

I started there. The lights went down.

I walked to the table.

The gun was there, of course.

I raised it up and I fired one off.

I then put the gun back
and went to the wings.

I was with Joan for
the rest of the play.

The actors then took
their places on the stage.

Where were you waiting while
the lights were still down?

We were on the other side of the
stage. Then we took our places.

But you weren't all
there at the very start.

It seemed to me as if the lights came on

and you all came scrambling out.

I held us all back a moment.

I thought Mr. Finch was still out there.

- I heard something.
- Ah.

I wondered if it was a choice.

So there was approximately
20 seconds of darkness.

And then another delay.

Mr. Finch, you had two opportunities

- to swap in a real bullet.
- It wasn't me.

I walked off right after firing the gun,

and I don't know what Ada heard.

Whoever did swap in the real bullet

would have had to remove a blank casing.

I'm going to need to
search your pockets.

You really think I did this?

Murdered someone during my own play?

You watched it, it is
clear I abhor violence.

Search him, George.

Mr. Finch, if you'd
come with me, please.

You know, Mr. Finch.

I have an idea for a
murder mystery of my own.

One where you'd never be
able to guess the killer.

Or killers.

How novel.

Sirs. No blank cartridge.

But Mr. Finch did have a
hole in his pants pocket.

I'm not prepared to exonerate him.

Although I doubt he would have motive

to kill his leading lady during
the course of his own play.

Sirs, what if,

what if

the bullet in the gun

was swapped out after the play began.

While it was going on.

Maybe the one who shot her put the
bullet in right before he fired.


He very clearly opened
the drawer with one hand

and took out the gun with the other.

Sir, that's true.

But through the duration of the play

many of the actors handled the weapon.

I mean, the elder
gentleman, Mr. Grayson...

he had it at the beginning of the play.


Will you join us for dinner, Detective?

Yes. Are you all right?

It's just that my mother is dead.

That and...

it's nothing.

So he had time to put
in the real bullet.

I believe he did.

Not to mention there was
a moment with Miss Potter...

I love you.

Why would she want to put in
a bullet meant for herself?

Perhaps, Inspector, she was,

like her character, lovelorn.

That's what spurred her to
such a visceral performance.

George, who are you speaking to?

Forgive me, sir.

She was a newlywed.

Although I suppose we can't
discount the possibility entirely.

She didn't kill herself, Murdoch.
And John didn't do it either.

Dammit, Lillian, I can't leave you.

Not without solving the
crime of your mother's murder.

Technically, he had opportunity.

But I would tend to agree
John could not have done it.

Course he didn't.

Too busy teaching the rest of
them how to act for one thing.

- What about the old lady?
- Ada Cunningham.

Why, yes. She put the gun in the drawer.

Good lord.

It could have been any of our actors.

Along with the director and the writer.

Well that narrows it down.

- It obscures your face.
- Mother.

You're handsome.

People want to see you.

I hope they're paying you
well to wear this awful thing.

- Pretty well. Twenty dollars.
- Really?

For just three hours of work?

- Oh, no. For the whole run.
- Oh.

I'm going to find something to eat.

Madame, how are you faring?

Oh, I'm all right, thank you.

Grayson Howard. Actor.

Oh. Margaret Brackenreid, wife.

That is such a lovely dress.

Thank you.

Such a lovely dress.

It brings out your... eyes.

Thank you.

I beg your pardon.

What has happened to my voice?

- Grayson? What happened?
- I don't know.

It must be that blasted perfume...

it's ruined my voice.

- Go darling.
- Detective!

- No, no, no...
- This one, here.

That's Annabeth's perfume.

She would perfume herself
every night before the show.

Is it something she kept here
or did she bring it with her?

I saw her taking it out of
her bag right before the show.

Along with her other make-up.

Why would it affect
Mr. Howard and not her?

Clear the area, gentlemen.


I suspect someone has adulterated
the rosewater with an acid,

any number of which could
affect the vocal cords.

- You suspect...
- Nitric acid.

But Annabeth didn't smell like that.

Perhaps she used her present instead.

To my dearest Bethie,
break a leg, love, Felix.

Her husband.

Someone attempted to
sabotage Mrs. Potter

by putting nitric acid in her perfume

and yet she somehow inadvertently

sidestepped the attempt
with this present.

Do you think it's
possible the same person

sabotaged the gun in order to kill her?

It's possible.

Who would want to ruin her performance?

There was an incident some weeks ago.

Someone gave her a fake script

and she learned all the wrong
lines before our first rehearsal.

They wanted her to lose the part.

Who gave her the script?

It was her understudy.

Ada Cunningham.

I played one little joke on the woman.

You attempted to sabotage
Mrs. Potter in rehearsals.

It wasn't sabotage.

And the perfume?

What perfume?

You've changed.

Is this what you were wearing
during the performance?

Yes. So?

An unspent blank round.

Someone must have put
that blank in my pocket.

And I had nothing to do with
putting acid in Annabeth's perfume.

- I couldn't have.
- Why is that?

I have to arrive and get
dressed before everyone else.

I have the smallest role, so I'm the one

who has to wait by the
door and take the tickets.

I was never in the dressing
room after she arrived.

And Annabeth brought
the perfume with her.

So Miss Cunningham admits
to replacing the script

but claims she didn't
tamper with the perfume.

Right. Whoever brought the
acid, brought it in something.

Perhaps we could find the bottle.

Now, nitric acid is corrosive.

It would have to be a glass bottle.


Mr. Finch.

I did have a couple
questions about your play.

For instance, the leading
lady confused me somewhat.

You mean because she is
all wrong for the part.

Well, she kept saying she
was innocent and virginal,

but what she was
conveying was anything but.

I spoke to her and spoke
to her and spoke to her.

But would she listen?


So, who did you imagine in the role?

A quiet, subtle beauty.

Dark hair, dark countenance...

someone fierce...

and someone real.

You know, the boy really
is a natural, Margaret.

Shh shh shh.

You must rest your voice.

Do you really think he's good?

When I see him on the
stage I feel as though

I am looking at a
younger version of myself.

- Margaret?
- Shh. He's resting.

What will your review
say of the performance?

I have a spot of
difficulty there, Detective.

You see, I intended
to be rather caustic.

With regards to one
performance in particular.

The leading lady.

She was, if I may speak ill of the dead,

an abomination.

How could I write such a thing?

The poor woman is gone, forever.

It would be cruel to thusly savage her.

- But anything else would be a lie.
- Indeed.

And honesty is my guiding light.

Truth is the soul of the critic.

Excuse me.

I need to find the other Detective.

The victim's missing earring.

Meaning Annabeth Potter
was down here sometime

before the show began.

But why?

And did happened down here to
cause her to lose an earring?

Ah. Detectives. I have something.

- The acid container?
- No information.

It seems to me that our
writer, Barney Finch,

was very put out that his
leading lady was miscast.

He didn't want Annabeth
Potter in the role?

I fairly believe he wrote it
with Ada Cunningham in mind.

Mr. Finch...

Follow me, gentlemen.

Could you recount the opening
sequence once again, please?

I turned the lights down.

Mr. Finch emerged from here,

walked to the table with the gun.


Right at that moment.

There was a sound.

There was a sound and
someone muttered something...

Yes, sir. I heard it too.

I think it was a chap and
I think he said, "Damn."

A sound? What kind of sound?

It was a little, 'dink' or...

No, it was a sort of a
'clink, clink, clink'.

- Something falling to the stage.
- Yes.

Oh, yes, I think I noticed.

I assumed Finch had just knocked
into something on the set.

Or there could be another explanation.

The nitric acid that harmed
Grayson Howard's voice

also has destructive properties.

It can eat through cloth.


Mr. Finch's trouser pocket.

As you can see, Mr. Finch,
the stopper on this vial

of nitric acid is loosely set.

Some of the liquid seeped out...

enough to eat a hole
in a piece of fabric.

- A pocket, for instance.
- Nonsense,


The vial fell through the hole in
you pocket onto the stage floor.

You paused to pick it
up - causing the delay -

but then had to carry
on and begin the play

lest anyone suspect you.

Prove it.

Take off your trousers.

- We can test the pocket for residue.
- You can do that?

Most certainly.

That's quite good...

I'll have to use that in my next play.

- Mr. Finch...
- Yes, fine, I, I did it.

I brought the acid and
put it in the perfume.

It was only going to soften her voice

and then Ada could step in and
the play would be vastly improved.

But when your plan failed,
you set out to kill her

so that she couldn't
perform the role ever again.

I brought the acid,
and a bullet as well?

I expected my plan to fail, then.

And when it did, I resorted
to something far more drastic?

Something that wouldn't
even solve the problem.

The reviews are in after
opening night, Detective.

There's no benefit in replacing
the star for the second performance.

- Well, I suppose...
- But no!

Even though I had lost a piece
of incriminating evidence,

I went ahead and murdered
Annabeth in the most

complicated way imaginable!

If I were to write such a thing,

no audience would believe it.

And yet you expected
the audience to believe

that a police detective
would allow every suspect

to handle the murder weapon
until one of them finally

killed him with it.

Well... it's a...

it's a metaphor.

I'm feeling a little better,

but I really should retire to my bed.

Yes. I think that would be best.

- Thomas.
- What?

Don't you think Mr.
Howard should go home?

The poor man has been
through a great deal.

I live just round the corner,
you can always summon me

if you need anything.

Fine. Write down your
address and you can go.

Do you think you could escort me?

- Yes, I would be honoured.
- No she bloody well can't!


Get out before I change my mind.


- What has gotten into you?
- The man was trying his luck with you.

- He was?
- Yes.


Mr. Finch makes a convincing argument.

The version of events in which he
is the killer is not quite right.

So who then?

Well, prior to her
death, both the understudy

and the writer tried
to get rid of Annabeth.

Perhaps the murder had nothing
to do with the play at all.

That's possible. Perhaps there's
another reason altogether.

Hey! You can't just leave.

I'm ailing, dear girl.

So what? If we have to stay, so do you.

I am merely a witness.

You, my dear, are a suspect.

Of course you're a suspect.
You were here, weren't you?

I was poisoned.

You think I did this to myself?

I was the one who did
the perfume business,

- it had nothing to do with the murder.
- You?

- I'll give you what for...
- This is ridiculous.

- Why does no one suspect you?
- Me?

You're the one who fired the gun.

You think I did this on purpose?

Annabeth is my wife... I could never...

I didn't... Someone made
me shoot my own wife!

We can fight all we want, but
why isn't anyone pointing out

the most suspicious
thing about all of this?

What is he doing here?

Yes, what are you doing here?

- You weren't made to stay.
- Moi?

But I wasn't anywhere near the stage.

Nor did he have any reason
to kill poor Annabeth.

Unlike someone we all know.

What exactly are you implying?

Do you really want me to say?

There's nothing you could say
that would make a whit of sense.


Do you know what Annabeth told me?

She told me that you weren't
"born on Broadway" at all.

You're little Joanie
Dell from Huntsville.

The only reason you
get to be the director

is because your daddy
pays for the whole thing!


All of you could have
killed Annabeth Potter.

All of you had motive to kill her.

And all of you are staying
here until her murder is solved.

During the flurry of accusations,

two compelling motives emerged.

One for Mr. Howard.

He lost the lead role
thanks to Mrs. Potter.

And one for the director, Miss Dalloway.

Who didn't want anyone knowing
about her real background.

I knew I recognized her from somewhere.

My sister Ruby used to summer
with her in the Muskokas.

So you were raised rich.

Well, not rich-rich...

With me, Doctor. Perhaps
you can open her up

with discussion of gems or somesuch.

I was letting you leave

because you were getting
cozy with my wife.

No, never. I? No.

The entire cast has confirmed your
previous conflict with the victim.

Yes, it happened.

And you bloody well killed her for it.

I did not, I swear it.

You had opportunity to exchange
the bullet during the dinner scene.

Did I? I suppose. But I didn't.

And why should we believe
that when you just lied

about putting your hands on my wife?

Those are fighting words, young man.

- What?
- You want fisticuffs?

- I'll give you a thrashing.
- Is he joking? Are you jo...

All right, Mr. Howard,

that's enough questions for now.

Yes. How is Ruby?

I haven't heard from her in some time.

Off on another dramatic
adventure, I'd imagine.

All right. That's enough chit-chat.

So Annabeth Potter knew about your past.

Knew you were lying to the
papers, to your audience.

Pretending to be something you were not.

Yes. She knew.

And yet you cast her in the lead.

- Was she blackmailing you?
- Of course I cast her.

- She had the best notices in the city.
- Really?

I don't know what that
Gould man was thinking.

Herbert Gould? He's
given her good reviews?

Glowing. For every performance.

Glowing reviews. Until tonight.

Suddenly, your opinion changed.

Your notes, Mr. Gould,
are not merely critical.

They're downright cruel.

They betray an anger toward the victim.

Why did you suddenly
hate Annabeth Potter?

I simply write what I see.

But you had seen her in
half a dozen other plays.

What exactly are you accusing me of?

I had no opportunity to touch that gun.

I didn't even arrive
until after the play began

and the gun was on stage the whole time.

- That is not true.
- Oh?

I saw you by the door to the basement

- ten minutes before the show started.
- No.


I don't recall...

In spite of the fact
that you took your seat

five minutes after the show began,

you were not late to the
theatre tonight. You were early.

But you were waiting by the
basement door to receive payment.

- Payment?
- The $60 found on Annabeth Potter.

She was paying him for positive notices.

Selling out his profession,

betraying his personal integrity.

- Well...
- But you never received that payment.


Had Annabeth Potter reconsidered?

Did you demand more money?

I don't know. But whatever
happened, an altercation ensued,

causing Mrs. Potter to lose her earring.

Her earring.

You were angry. And so
you concocted a plan.

You knew the details of the
play from the dress rehearsal.

You knew there would be at
least ten seconds of darkness

during which you could
replace the bullet in the gun.

You just had to get on stage.

- That's very good, Watts.
- Thank you.

But he wasn't on stage.

No, no, no.

No, he wasn't.

Or was he?

The altercation downstairs
happened right beside the trap.

Mr. Gould awaited the precise moment,

emerged under cover of darkness,

replaced the bullet in the
gun, and vanished once again.

Aided by the delay caused by
Mr. Finch dropping the acid vial.

Then he demanded to stay afterwards

so he could plant the blank
cartridge on someone else.

On the most unlikely of suspects.

- The understudy.
- Look. Bullets.

In Mr. Gould's satchel.

The same colour and calibre as
the bullet that killed Mrs. Potter.

- No... it can't be...
- Detective, Inspector.

- I'm afraid Mr. Gould is innocent.
- What?

We've just proved he did it.

Certain aspects of my theory
have proved false in fact.

What aspects?

Mr. Gould was not under the stage

and he was not the reason
Mrs. Potter lost her earring.

What about the other things?
Was he taking money for reviews?

I believe so, yes. But if
he wasn't under the stage,

he cannot be the killer. Right then,

what next? Detective, just a moment.

How can you be so sure of these things?

I am sure because the sounds

and the lost earring were
caused by something else.

- What?
- A tryst.

With whom was she having a tryst?

- Her husband?
- No.

Then it could be relevant
to the investigation.

It's not. I wonder...

I'll judge that for myself, Detective.

Oh. Right, let's consider new theories.

- What the bloody hell's going on?
- It's not important, sir.

Mr. Gould could not have
been under the stage.

- Well then, who was?
- There's really no reason to say.

Somebody bloody well
tell me what's going on!

John, you were having a bit of
how's your father with the victim?

She was married!

- Margaret?
- Look what you've done.

- Margaret?
- Mrs. Brackenreid.

Margaret. Are you all right?

I think so...

- what happened?
- You fainted.

It must have been because
I've been so nervous

- I haven't eaten anything.
- Oh.

Yes, it could be that.

It's so strange.

I think I had a dream...

A dream that John was carrying
on with a married woman.

Thank the Lord it was just a dream.

Now, where's my purse?

Really, son?

- A married woman?
- I know, father.

But it wasn't a real marriage.

- How's that?
- At least not yet.

She was frustrated.

You mean...

Apparently Felix had...

- Trouble.
- Couldn't rise to the occasion.

Why didn't you tell
us this before, John?

I didn't want Felix to find out.
The poor man's wife just died.

Maybe he already knows.

In which case he becomes
a compelling suspect.

- He doesn't know.
- How can you be sure?

Because it was the first
time it ever happened.

He was in the green room at
the time, putting on his makeup.

The first time was just
before the show started?

- Under the bloody stage?
- I saw Annabeth by the basement door.

And we exchanged some looks
during rehearsals and, well...

She grabbed me. And then she kissed me.

Then she dragged me under the
stage, where she kissed me again

- and then she grabbed hold of my belt...
- All right, enough.

We get the picture.

Just exactly when did the
two of you exit the basement?

Annabeth left right
away and got in position

before the lights went down.

I couldn't find my badge so I
was delayed a couple of minutes.

That must be why Ada heard
that noise in the dark.

You believe the husband didn't know?

He could have sensed
that something was up

during rehearsals.

No sir, he never touched
the weapon until the finale.

There was no way he could
have put in the real bullet.

What we haven't considered
amongst these revelations

is the bullets found
in Mr. Gould's satchel.

Since it's apparently
impossible for him to be guilty,

we have to assume they
were placed there...

by the killer presumably.

And the same killer put the
blank in Miss Cunningham's pocket.

- Unless she's the killer.
- Precisely.

There are two possibilities.

Miss Cunningham is the
killer, and the blank round

found in her pocket is evidence of that.

Yes, but would she really
think to put evidence

in Gould's satchel and not think

to get rid of evidence
in her own pocket?

Exactly, George.

That's why I believe the second
possibility to be the case.

The same killer attempted
to lay blame on both

Mr. Gould and Miss Cunningham.

I had my hands in my pockets
during the final scene.

They were empty, so the
blank must have been put in

after the play had ended.

When did you get changed?

After that horrible
incident with Annabeth

I wanted to get out of my
costume as quickly as possible.

I came straight back
here as soon as I could.

Could someone have slipped it in
your pocket before you changed?

I don't think so.

It must have been
after I hung it up here.

Did you see anyone else back here

before or after you changed?

Grayson took Felix back here.

He was consoling him.

Which pocket did you find them in?

This one here.

That's where I keep my Waterman.

I'd opened that pocket
only twenty minutes

before you found the bullets.

Who could have been near your bag?

I put it down in the green
room for a few minutes.

Who was there at the time?

John Brackenreid. His mother.

And Felix Potter.

Their marriage was never consummated.

If she had asked him for a divorce,

the result would have been an annulment.

What would he care about that?

Unless she had more money than him.

Did he marry up?

Well, Mr. Potter was a dedicated actor.

And from what I understand
their wages are ridiculously low.

Right. Meanwhile she has
enough money lying around

- to pay for good reviews.
- Hold on.

- I thought he couldn't have done it.
- That's right.

We all saw him take the
revolver out of the drawer.

Not even a sleight of hand
artist could have replaced

the bullet in the split
second it took for him

to remove it from the drawer and fire.

I know how it was done.

With me.

What happened on this stage
is precisely the premise

of my forthcoming murder mystery.

Which I based on an old case
Detective Murdoch and I solved.

And I shall call, "The
Convention of Inventors".

I don't see the similarities, George.

Really, sir? Yep.

Well in any case, you are
standing in for Mr. Grayson.

Mr. Grayson held a grudge
against Mrs. Potter,

and he was he who,
during the dinner scene,

replaced the bullet.

And as he walked
toward the dining table,

he passed Ada Cunningham,

and gave her the blank cartridge.

So she took the bullet and
put it in her own pocket?

Precisely. Felix Potter fired
upon his own wife, knowingly,

but he could not have done so
without the help of the others.

All of the others.

Each of the cast members
played their own part.

What a twist! Terrific!

An ending like that would
have earned a rave from me,

I can tell you that much.

- You didn't care for my ending?
- "Ending"?

You just arbitrarily killed everyone.

And I suppose you saw it coming did you?

Surprise is not the paramount
element of drama, my good man.

So George, you believe the
killer was in fact a group.

Yes, sir.

You remember that case, at the, the...

- The Invention Convention.
- Oh. That's a better title.

Even though it turned
out none of them did it?

Well, sir, that's true,
but it would have been

a much better story had they.

What about the bullets in the satchel?

Well, I suppose that
could have been John.

It wasn't bloody John.

All right, then it
was one of the others.

Sir, you don't like my solution?

I will admit, it does seem impossible

for one person to have
committed this murder.


Unless the answer's been lying
in front of us the entire time.

The killer led us to believe the trick

was the exchange of the bullet.

What if the trick was
the exchange of the gun?

What if the killer put in a second gun

into the same drawer,

and when the time was right,

he could have simply reached for it.

- No gun then?
- No.

Well, perhaps I'm right after all.


Unless the killer knew that
the drawer would be examined

so he secreted the gun
in a hidden compartment.

- No.
- No compartment.

No compartment.

But there is a hole in
the back of the drawer.

So the prop gun could have
fallen down to the drawer below.

This is the prop gun,

identical to the murder
weapon in every way...

save for the unspent blanks.

The killer placed the gun in the drawer

before the play ever started.

When the time was right, he reached in,

took out the murder weapon,
allowing the prop gun

to fall into the drawer below.

Felix Potter shot his own wife,

murdered her in cold blood.

Yes. I did it.

She was going to leave me.

Leave me and take everything. Why?

Because she didn't think I was a man.

I showed her, didn't I?

I showed you all.

You murdered her in cold blood.

I did much, much more than that.

I prepared. I rehearsed.

And tonight, I was a man.

And not only one man, but three.

The doting husband.

The grieving widower.

And the vengeful killer.

And I had you all fooled,

every step of the way.

Yes, Mr. Potter.

It certainly was the
performance of a lifetime.

You were the best thing in it, son.

Of course we're going to recast...

That was very clever discovering
the second gun, William.

All this has me rather
intrigued about the theatre.

Perhaps I'll take after Joan
and try my hand at drama.

You'd like to direct.

Why not?

How hard could it be?

Well, if it will make
you happy, I encourage it.

Perhaps we should start right now.

Start what?

We have a whole theatre at our disposal.

- And I have a scene in mind.
- Oh?

But I may not know the lines.

This time maybe we'll improvise.