Murdoch Mysteries (2008–…): Season 15, Episode 11 - The Night Before Christmas - full transcript

Season 15 Episode 11

Episode Title:
"The Night Before Christmas"

Aired on:
November 29, 2021.

She didn't even know him.

Yet he bequeathed
her his entire estate.

It's worth millions.

Three and a half million.

My understanding is that
Dr. Ogden saved his life

on the operating table.

Yes, but he died,
didn't he?

No heirs
and a ten-room mansion.

Julia suggested turning
it into an orphanage

and using the remaining
estate to maintain it.

So, he left it
to you instead?

Yes, he left it in
my capable hands

to see that his
wishes be fulfilled.


You ever been to
the maitland estate?


I'd never even heard
of the man in fact.

Some sort of toymaker,
I understand?

He was the toy king!

When I was a lad, he'd throw
a Christmas party every year.

Invite all
the kids from town.

Toys everywhere.
The whole house is a toy.

At least it was
before little Annie died.

Little Annie?

His daughter.

Sweetest little thing.

Died Christmas day;
Scarlet fever.

The following year,
on Christmas, his wife left him,

went back to New York
with her kids.

No one's seen
him since them.

Spent the 20 last years being
a hermit in this big old house.

- Effie, look at this.
- Beautiful house.

Oh, George, look,
it's beautiful.


Was it in Mr. Maitland's will
that we spend Christmas here?

Actually, it was the
servants who invited us.


I believe it's their
way of saying thank you

For being kept on.

They may regret
that decision.

Dr. Ogden, I presume?

Mr. Burnside!

It's a pleasure
to finally meet you.


May I introduce
our maid and cook?

Ah, Mary Farn?

And Gwen Luff.

Very good, ma'am.

Over here!
Should be fine for now.

Bloody hell, Higgins.
We're only here for two nights.

These are all for
Ruth's tableau, sir.

A what?

I don't fully
understand myself, sir.

There are no
Christmas decorations.

Well, that's not
surprising, I suppose,

Given the history
of the place.


Look at this place!


It's a shame to be wasting
it on those orphans.

Of course.

Oh, no, no.
That's to be put with

the others, right there.

We've never had
servants before.

Well, don't let it
go to your head.

It really is magnificent.

You could always keep
it for yourself.

It may be Christmas,

But I have no intention
of being ebenezer scrooge.

How lovely.

Ah, here we are!


Dr. Julia Ogden
and husband.

And you're here.

Oh! Yes, I can see that.
Thank you.

Is there anything
else you need?

Oh, yes. Yes!

Oh, where do
I even begin?

Come in! Come in,
come in, come in.

- Here we are.
- Thank you.

Oh, look at this room!

I wonder which one
our room is then?

Well, it must be
this one here.

Good gracious!

Could you imagine growing up
in a room like this?

My parents didn't go in
for this kind of thing.

You didn't play with toys?

I had an abacus.

I'm sorry, sir.
This room is not for occupation.

Yours is across the hall.

Yes, of course.

Was this Annie's room?

It was, sir.

Mr. Maitland wanted it
left as she had it.

Miss Newsome,
I will escort you to your room.

Oh, that won't
be necessary.

Constable Crabtree
and I have recently wed.

I see.

Very good, then.


It is Christmas,

Henry and I have a project
that demands our attention,

so if you could
avail yourself as a nanny

that would be wonderful.

Oh, I'm not much
good with babies.

Oh, well, Jordan will
be no problem for you.

She loves everybody.

Oh, look!
She's waking up.

Hello, my darling,


Oh, well, uh...

This is an orphanage now,
so best get used to it.

Shh, shh, shh...


What would
baby Jesus wear, hm?

Uh, this is just for
the tableau, right?

Well, I don't plan
on dressing her

as Jesus on
a regular basis.


Hello, my little one.

William, are these
Christmas tree lights?

I know what
you're thinking!

Last time you
took out the power

in the entire building.

Yes, but I've solved
that problem.

You better have.

Now, this is for you.

But we open gifts
Christmas morning.

Yes, but this is your
Christmas gift from last year.


I gave you a card that said
your present was coming.

Well, this is it.

A whole year later.

364 days later.

I had to get it
specially made

and it took a little
longer than anticipated.

It's a pair of glasses

with two different
magnifying lenses,

just like the one
that you saw in...

In New York! Yes!


Thank you.



This must be for me.


But you don't get to
open it until tomorrow.


Christmas decorations?

We're happy to
make our own,

but if there are
any here already?

Well, I don't know.

Mr. Maitland didn't
celebrate Christmas.

It was a rather hard
time of year for him.

Are you looking
for decorations?

Ah, we are. Yes.

There's a box
in the basement.


Very good!
Have at it, then.

It will be nice to have a bit
of Christmas around the house.

All right, then.

You're from
the old country.

I am, sir, although
I have been here a while.

I can't quite
place your accent.

Would you like me
to tell you, sir,

or would you
prefer to guess?


Sorry, sir.


- Sir?
- Dear God!

Shall we procure
a Christmas tree?

Why not?

A tree!
Yes, of course.

I'll get it.

Very good, sir.

Where is everyone?

By everyone I assume you mean
those that are not me.

I can see
where you are.

They've all decamped to
a small town north of here.

Ah, yes.
The maitland estate.

You didn't go?

Oh, someone has to man
the station over Christmas,

- might as well be me.
- Hm.

You hate Christmas?

I'm Jewish by birth,
a doubter by nature

and a cynic
by experience.

But, more than all that,
I find myself incapable

of... forced cheer.

Amen to that.

As you may know, Mr. Maitland
used to be a toymaker.

Oh, George, look.

I've always wanted
one of these.

The decorations
are right here.

They're a tad dusty.

Oh, that's fine!
We'll dust them off.

It'll be lovely to see
them up after so much time.

Would it be possible to bring
the Dollhouse upstairs?

Of course.

- Ma'am.
- Thank you so much.


Oh, I can make another bowl,
if you'd like.

No. No-no.
It's all right.

I'm a chef.

I'm not used to being called
on to make popped corn.

No, this will
do splendidly.

I just. I feel I have to be
a little bit more reclined.

Like this.

I've... just given birth
to the son of God.

I'm exhausted.


Must need her
nappy changed.

Yoo-hoo! Luff!

So, this is
the kitchen.

- Yes, ma'am.
- It's so big.

And look at your stove!

Is that a Hoffman?

I have always
wanted a Hoffman.

Oh! Sugarplums!

Very christmasy.

And I see we're
having duck for dinner.

Not quite plucked!

Can I help you,


Uh, I just thought
that perhaps...

- I'm sorry.
- I need to concentrate.

If you need anything,
please use the bell.

Of course.

I... Yes.
All right.

All right.

Ah, sirs?

I know.

We're going to need
a bigger bucket.

Oh, my.

That must be Mr. Maitland.

Oh. Well, there's Mrs. Maitland.

Oh, George, look!

These must be
his stepchildren.

that must be little Annie.

Someone's in
Annie's room.

I don't have
anything for you.

It's for
the both of us.

Kentucky's finest!

Aged 24 years.

This is worth
a month's salary.

For some, I suppose.

But not you?

I work for personal

I accept
your largesse.

All right.


What brings you three here?

Are you a policeman?

I am.

Ah, well.
Thank you.

It's not for you!

We found it lying
on the street.


Let's see.


Oh, my goodness!

We need to find the owner.

Have you been peeking?

Of course not!

Although it has
been driving me mad.

opened the box.

Maybe one
of the servants?

Perhaps Margaret.

She is a bit nosy.

Can't you give me
just a clue?


It's a night
in the galapagos

without leaving
your bed.

It rattles.
How curious.

Don't shake it too much

and leave it right
here on the table

Until tomorrow morning.

Well, morning
starts at midnight.

Not if I can help it.

I never saw you
as the puppy type.

I love puppies.

It's people
I'm lukewarm on.

To PJ,
love mother and father.

Look, we're not going
to be able to find

the owner on
Christmas Eve.

But it's
a Christmas present!

Pj is going to be
very disappointed.

Well, put up posters
on boxing day.

Take the puppy
home for now.

We don't have a home.

We're orphans.

Never mind.
We'll just go door-to-door.

Let's go.


So, you're going
to help us?

Well, he is
a detective.

Let's see if
he's any good.


I know you don't
believe in ghosts,

But then how do you explain
the noises we heard

from Annie's room?

I'm a lawyer, George.

I don't require
an explanation.

I just need
reasonable doubt.

Well, here's
your ghost.

I think that's Annie.

William, all I know
is that it rattles

when I shake it.

Would you like
another clue?

Yes! I'd like another clue.

And make it a riddle,
a little rattle riddle.

I make a sound
if I am round,

but not if I've been
in the ground.

For goodness' sake!

Thank you, Mr. Burnside.

Ah, just burnside
will suffice, sir.


Sorry, sir.


I've got nothing to do.

Good. Just relax.
Enjoy it.

I can't.

I think, perhaps,

I'm not cut out for
the high life after all.

All right!

Everyone, it's time to get
ready for the tableau.

What is this bloody
tableau thing she's on about?

Oh, she wants to photograph
us all in a manger scene.

Where's the manger?

Just go along.

I will be seated
here on the chaise

with the baby Jesus.

Joseph will be standing
next to me here.

Gentlemen of the constabulary,
you'll be the three wise men.

Ah! I'm good with that.

Ah, the rest of you will
be a Shepherd, sheep.

I believe
we have an ox.

- Oh, servants, too!
- Oh, there's no way!

- Julia, I...
- Come, come. Come, come, come!



And we need someone
to take the photo.

I'll do that.


Oh, Henry! The gifts.
The gifts, the gifts.

Yes. Uh...
Sir, the gold.

And, uh, frankincense
and myrrh.

I don't know
which is which.

Detective Murdoch!

Yes, yes. I just need
to connect the lights.

All right.


William! Not again!

Oh, dear.

Looking for clues, detective?

Mrs. Hart,
I detect mockery.

And I will take it
as a challenge.


You found this
package where exactly?

- Queen street.
- Very good.

And on which side
of the street?


There's no east side
of queen street, silly.

It was the south side.

Well, if it was
the south side,

we can suppose it fell
from a vehicle heading east.

So, let's assume
somewhere east

of this point

Is a child by
the name of PJ.

Now, what do P
and j stand for?

Christian first
and middle name.

Like Paul James

I once knew a PJ.

I also knew
an RJ and an AJ.

Can you guess what
the j stood for?

- John.
- Jacob.

Jingleheimer schmidt!

All good guesses.

But in each case
the j stood for junior.

Now, if that's the case,
the father's name

likely starts with a P.

This is our station's
local directory.

Your job is to circle
each first name

that starts with A P.

Your job is to note

which of those names

Have addresses
east of parliament.

You will put pins
where those addresses

are on the map.

And I will enjoy some
of your fine bourbon.

It has nothing to do

with the Christmas
tree lights, George.

The power went out!

If you say so, sir.

They're connected
to a battery!

Can we please
take the picture?

Assume your positions!

On the count of three. Ready?

One. Two...

that was so odd.

I had the strangest feeling

that there was someone
right behind me.

Gave me a chill.

Listen, I know you
two don't believe

in the spirit world, but...

well, sir, I suppose you
believe in a disembodied soul.

George, we are not
being haunted by your ghost.

No, but I do think
there's something

very odd about this house.


I would like four copies
of those, please.

They're to be your
Christmas presents.


You do develop photographs,
do you not?

Well, yes, of course,

But I haven't brought
the supplies with me.

Oh! That's all right.
I've brought them with me.

Thank you.

Is everything all right?

I've never cooked
for so many people.

Well, are the ducks
in the oven?

They went
in at, uh, six?

Did you baste them?

No. No, no.

It's all right.
Ah, dear.

Um... Oh!

Let me tell you: I have
cooked for twelve people

and it is all
in the timing.

Oh! Thank goodness.

Now, just do
everything I tell you.


Oh, my.
Look at this. What a spread!

They even have
Christmas crackers.

Does that mean we have to wear
those silly, bloody paper hats?

I'm afraid so,

Ooh! Roast duck!

I'll wear a paper
hat for that.

You have me
to thank for that.

- You?
- I helped out.

It's a good thing, too.
She's a terrible cook.

Shall we say grace?

No, no, no, no, no!
Crackers first.


- Here you go, Ruthie.
- All right, then, Margaret.

You grab that.

Thomas, one, two, three.

Shall we?



A bit too much
powder in that one.

I don't even know
where the prize went.

Likely in the next room,
by the sound of it.

It rattles
after I shake it.



The temptation
is too great!

Oh, go ahead
and open it.

It doesn't
really matter.

No! I'm not going to.

I'm not going to think about it
until tomorrow morning.

And look,
it's for you.

Ooh! Sugar plums.


I couldn't possibly
after that meal.



'twas the night before Christmas
and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring
except for a mouse.

I'm going to give
my sugar plum to him.

Oh, Julia. We shouldn't.

It's Christmas for mice, too.

I see. Thank you.

Merry Christmas to you.

That was the last of those
that have telephones.

For the rest we'll
have to go knocking.

Well, don't just
stand there.

Coats on.

Oh! Julia!

What's happening?

William, smoke!

Did you close
the damper?

It should be open.


Someone put this inside
to block the flue.

That has to be

Is someone trying
to kill us?

I assumed you were
from the same family.

Charlie is
Tammy's brother.

I met them at
sacred heart.

Oh. Is that
where you are now?

He doesn't
have to know.

Charlie and Tammy
were going to be split up

so they ran away.

I went with them.

So, you're living
on the streets?

Where do you sleep?

Sheds or porches,

This time of year, they'll
sometimes let you sleep inside.

All right.
Last door.

Cross fingers.

Merry Christmas.

Are you Peter Smith?

I am.

Do you have a son
named Peter junior?

- I do.
- Oh.

Is this your puppy?

No, it isn't. I wish it was.
Such a cute fellow.

Oh! I'll buy him from you.

How much?

Ah, I'll give
you five dollars.

That's a lot
of money.

But it's not his.

We've checked all
the addresses west of the river.

What about east
of the river?

We don't even
have a list for that.

Then we'd better
get started.


- What's going on?
- Get Mrs. Brackenreid.

Sir? It's after midnight.

- Is everyone all right?
- Yes. Why?

- Is that smoke I smell?
- Yes.

We believe someone's
trying to kill us.

All of us?

No. Just the two of us,
it would seem.

Oh, well,
that's a relief.


I stepped on it!

Is that what killed it?

I believe it was
dead already.

Well, perhaps
we are all targets.

I don't think so.

Unless you gave me
a rattlesnake for Christmas.


It's dry.

Well, did you think
it would be wet?

A bit slimy, anyways.

What happened to
the gift I made for you?

I think it must have been
swapped out for a rattlesnake.

Bloody hell.

Does this mean
you're the target?

Well, sir, we're the only two
who knew who that box was for.

Well, then it's more likely
it's you, me ol' mucker.

It's got to be
one of the servants.

Sir, what if one of them is a
criminal you've helped convict?

My money's on the Butler.

He's got a very
strange accent.

Oh, Thomas,
you just can't place it.

I think it's the cook.

Why do you say that?

She can't cook.

Well, surely she's
not alone in that.


I think it's the maid.

Every time Jordan
sees her, she cries.


Well, that's
very suspicious.

How did the snake die?

That's a good question.
I intend to find out.

Let's get the servants up.

Sir, we need to learn more

Before we begin
leveling accusations.

We won't get answers until
we've asked questions, Murdoch.

But, sir, if the killer
is still intent,

we could be placing
ourselves in danger.

Right, then.

Let's go!

What's this all about, sir?

Don't 'sir' me.
Where are you from?

The accent?


- Hampshire.
- Bollocks.

But I spent my
childhood in cornwall.


I suppose that does explain
the west country twang

every now and again.

What time is it?
What's going on?

What's going on is
that one of you three

is trying to kill
detective Murdoch.

Yes, I know that
it is Christmas.

Yes, I know what
time it is

and that's why I'm
offering you 50 dollars.

Thank you.

I've got a list
of 64 names.

If we start calling now
it shouldn't take too long.

Merry Christmas,

You too, detective.

Merry Christmas, operator.

Could you please call...

FP 347?

When I cut open the snake,

I found the mouse,
partially digested.

When I dissected the mouse,
I found this.

Sugar plum.

I found traces of it

in the snake's digestive
system, as well.


I suspect cyanide.

That was
your sugar plum.


I believe I'm the target.

That makes no sense.

It does if you consider
the laws of survivorship.

Which are?

They pertain to situations
where the beneficiary of a will

dies shortly
after the testator.

How long after?

Within a month, usually.

Mr. Maitland died
a month ago tomorrow.

What happens
in that case?

The will would
be nullified.

Then who would
be the beneficiary?

His immediate family.

But there are none.

There's always
family somewhere.

If not immediate,
then cousins.

Second cousins.

Is it possible one
of the servants

is a second cousin?

No! The tableau is ruined!

I hardly think
that's important.


The reflection
in the mirror!

Oh! You can see
me sneezing, I think.

Oh, yes, you can.

And that's not all, Julia.

Take a look behind you.

I knew there was
someone behind me!

That's the axe that we used

to cut down the Christmas tree.

Oh my god.

Someone was trying
to cut off my head!

All the servants are
accounted for in the photograph.

It can't be any of them.


The photograph
was taken from here.

That means the hooded
figure was standing...

Somewhere here.

Sir, there's no way.

There's no way he
could have come in and left

without us noticing him.

Good lord.

George, with me.




My goodness.

One thing I'll say
for irwin maitland:

He certainly
understood children.

Well, he did that,

Sir, what's this?

Sir, look.

I suppose that
explains my ghost.

Off you go, George.

Sir, what's this?

It's my gift for Julia.


Who is he?

I have no idea.

He's been shot

but he clearly hasn't
been here that long.

I don't remember
hearing a gunshot.

Neither do I.


I'm very sorry.

Yes. Merry Christmas.

I thought
you'd abandoned me.

Of course you did.
I went to get gifts!

Where did you buy
gifts at five o'clock

on Christmas morning?

Everything can be
solved with money.

Ah. Ah, hello? Operator?


Yes, me again.
Please call FT 3827.

It would be my pleasure.

I appreciate that.

I promise this
is the last one.

Well, all right, then.


Merry Christmas.

I apologize
for waking you.

You didn't wake us.

My husband just got home.

Spent the whole night
looking for a lost puppy.

Well, I predict you are going to
have a very good Christmas.

Is he the one
behind all this?

He had unseen access to nearly
every room in the house.

There are secret
passageways everywhere.

How would he have
known about them?

He was shot, but he's only
been dead for a few hours.

Who would have shot him?

You did.


Your Christmas
cracker was loaded

with a secret
bullet of some sort.

You're saying he was
just in the wrong place

At the wrong time?

So, who is he?

And why did he
want to kill Julia?

Have any of you
ever seen this man before?

Never seen him
before in my life.

I may have an

I've looked through all
Mr. Maitland's files

and his former wife
divorced him and remarried,

But her new husband never
formally adopted his children.

What does that mean?

If Dr. Ogden dies
in the next few hours,

the stepchildren inherit
his entire estate.

And if I live
beyond Christmas day?

They get nothing.
Everything goes to the orphans.

What, so is this chap
one of the stepchildren?

Oh, my god. It's John.

Who's John?

He was the eldest,
I believe.

Shortly after I started,
he showed up for a visit.

It turned out he
was trolling for money.

He ended up
stealing the silver.

Mr. Maitland had him
banished from the house.

He learned that his
stepfather had died

and cooked up a plan
to get part of the estate.

It appears

that I need to
make some apologies.

Not at all, sir.

I would have been
suspicious myself.

Is it Christmas yet?

Yes, it is.
And I have a present.

A Teddy bear!

And for you.

Oh, boy! Mine's a gun!

Wake up, mo.
There's presents!

Stick 'em up,

What's going on?

I've got
a present for you.

A book! Black beauty!

It was my favourite
when I was a little girl.

Coats on, everyone.

We've got one more
job ahead of us.

I never noticed before.

The secret passageway
is built into the Dollhouse.



Shame we didn't know
about that earlier.

You know, I have to
admit I always wished

I'd had something like
this when I was a boy.

A Dollhouse?

Well, you know, a-a...

A miniature version
of our own world.

The taller one
must be John.

You know, I wonder if
the other three had any idea

that they were within
a whisker of claiming

a three and a half million
dollar inheritance?


Good lord!

Smells delicious!

Coffee, ma'am?

Certainly. Thank you.

Do you have any sugar?

Just a moment, sir.

One lump or two?

It's Christmas day.
I think I'll have two, please.

Thank you.

I'll have three.

Has she gone deaf?

She's gone to
get more, calm down.

Wait! Stop! Nobody move!

Doctor, don't drink that.


They're not servants.

They're the stepchildren.

What's going on?

I'm not sure, honey pie.

I knew there was
something off about that accent!

She's not a cook
at all! Ugh!

George, arrest them!

Sir, they're in the walls.

Merry Christmas.

Are you Paul?

I'm Paul junior.
You want to speak to my dad?

No, it's all right, PJ.
I think this is for you.


It's a puppy!
You remembered!

Come on in. It's Christmas.

Daddy, I got a puppy!

You heard him.
Come inside!

- We shouldn't.
- Nonsense.

I've just made us all
a big Christmas breakfast.

You must be starving.

Thank you.


Aye aye.
Come here. Come here!

You've never even been
to britain, have you?

No, I have not.

Good work, Crabtree.

But I've got her all dressed
for a ride in the sled!

I can't leave until we've
caught the last one, Ruthie.

Well, if you haven't
caught her yet,

She's probably gone.

Henry, she's going
to hurt our baby!


Was that the police again?

No, a telegram
from detective Watts.

Apparently, he's got three
orphans at the ready.

Oh! How wonderful.

They're going to
love it here.

Thank you.

Dare I?

What is it?

It's spring-activated.

Wind it up.

It sounds like rain
on a tin roof.

Like the galapagos!

You slept
so well there.

I've made another that
sounds just like waves

crashing on the shore.

Thank you, William.

Now, I have a very
special gift for you.

In the bedroom.

A sleeping baby.

Now that's
a Christmas miracle.

What are you


Just that it's
a wonderful time of life.


It truly is.

A special
present, eh?

It's not that,

Oh. What is it, then?

We're going to
have a child.


We're going to
have a child.

Oh, oh.

Oh. Oh.

Julia, I am so happy.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas,


Sync corrections by srjanapala