Murdoch Mysteries (2008–…): Season 2, Episode 7 - Big Murder on Campus - full transcript

Detective Murdoch investigates the murder of university professor Samuel Bennett who was shot through the head while looking through his telescope at his university residence. He becomes aware that another member of the faculty, physics professor Albert Godfrey, frequently argued with Bennett. Throughout the investigation, Murdoch is shadowed by two inquisitive students. Constable Crabtree puts an ad in the paper in an effort to locate his biological mother. As a baby, he was left on the church steps and was raised by the Minister and his family. His newspaper ad produces two women who claim to be his mother. When he is shot during the investigation, Murdoch takes the opportunity to identify which of the two is his mother. Murdoch's relationship with Dr. Julia Ogden is at a low ebb. With her recent revelations, a chill has descended on their budding romance and they have returned to being very formal with one another.

♪ You are my honey,
honeysuckle ♪

♪ I am the bee ♪

♪ I'd like to sip
the honey sweet ♪

♪ From those red lips, you see ♪

She's already started.

Like bloody clockwork.

♪ ...dearly, dearly ♪

♪ And I want you to love me ♪

♪ You are my... ♪

- Murdoch.
- Stand back, sir.

What are you doing shooting
bloody arrows in your office?

I thought it less disruptive
than gunfire.

Don't be a smartass.

Actually, sir, I'm following up
on some reading I've done

about Mongol warriors
and the effects of ballistic impact.

Your first answer was better.

Now get over to the university
and get over there quick.

Ly. Quickly.

His name was Samuel Bennett.

Professor of physics.

He just arrived from England
a few months ago

to head up the department.

Quite the interesting telescope, hmm?


It would appear the professor

was standing near it
when he was shot.

The bullet was fired
from somewhere in the quad.

Well, sir, this was my thinking.

However, I interviewed several... pe--

Good morning, Detective.

Good morning, Doctor.

I'll just examine the body, shall I?

Of course.

- You were saying, George?
- Uh, yes.

I spoke with several people
who were in the quad

at the time of the shooting.

A dozen set of eyes,
yet all swore there was no shooter.

Then it would appear

that there is a phantom killer
on the loose.

I'll begin the postmortem
right away.

I'll let you know the results
when I have them.

Thank you, Doctor.


It would appear
Professor Bennett

was talking on the telephone
when he was rudely interrupted.

Let's find out
who he was talking to.

Newton believed light
to be made of particles.

And while it's obvious to us now

that light is the propagation
of waves of energy,

can anyone think
why Newton believed as he did?

Well, a wave

needs something to push against,
does it not?

That's what makes it a wave.

But what is there
to push against in a vacuum?

Therefore the vacuum

must contain
a massless, invisible substance.

An ether, if you will.

Mr. Gillies and Mr. Perry.

You've been reading ahead, haven't you?

It's only logical.

Common sense dictates it.

However they came to it,

Mr. Perry and Mr. Gillies
are correct.

Maxwell's equations

presuppose a universal ether
that permeates space.

And we'll be talking about that
next week.

Good day, gentlemen.

Professor Godfrey.

Detective William Murdoch.

I'm investigating
Professor Bennett's murder.

Uh, I have another class.

Might we continue
this conversation while we walk?

Of course.

I understand you were talking
to Professor Bennett

on the telephone last evening.

How did you know that?

My constable was able to trace the call

through the university switchboard.

Only logical, I suppose.

Can you tell me
what the two of you were discussing?

Comets, if you must know.

He and I were
in somewhat of a competition

to see who would be the first
to spot the return of a comet

Tycho Brahe recorded in 1589.

The switchboard also told me
you were speaking to him at 9:00,

precisely when Professor Bennett
was murdered.

Tell me, how did
your conversation end?


Look, Detective,
Samuel simply stopped talking.

I didn't know
he'd been murdered, obviously.

I only found that out later.

When was that?

Uh, midnight.
The dean telephoned.

Did you not find it strange
that Professor Bennett

ended the conversation
so abruptly?

Samuel and I
often had heated discussions.

It was nothing for him
to simply hang up or quit talking.

He was a petulant sort.

I take it last night
was one of those conversations.

It was.

I'll need a full account
of your whereabouts last night.

Uh, are you implying that I had
something to do with this?

You admit to having
a stormy relationship with the deceased.

Good God, man.

I was on the phone in my rooms,
talking to the victim!

Isn't that the perfect alibi?

A strange choice of words,
Mr. Godfrey.

I have a few other choice words
to offer, but I'm late.

Now, good day, sir.

James Gillies.

Robert Perry.

We were students
of Professor Bennett's.

We couldn't help but overhear
your conversation.

Professor Godfrey
is a prickly one.

However, like all of us,

he is terribly upset
by Professor Bennett's death.

No doubt.

Nevertheless, you were
just doing your job,

and Godfrey
should have understood that.

Justice requires cooperation.

Please tell me you're not gonna start
quoting Locke again.

Gentlemen, I appreciate
your vote of confidence,

and I will do my best

to apprehend
Professor Bennett's killer.

Well, we appreciate that.

But there's something else
that you should know.

Um, they weren't
exactly friends.

No, I know.
They clashed on occasion.

It was worse than that.

Professor Godfrey
was still bitter.

What about?

He was passed over
for department head.

In favor of Bennett.

He was recruited from England, you know.

Godfrey was still upset.

the board of governors wasn't ready

to appoint a Canadian to head up
such a complex science.


Thank you, gentlemen.
You've been most helpful.

Good luck
with your investigation.

Uh, sir, might I have a word?

Yes, George.
What is it?

Actually, it's a --
it's a personal matter, sir.

I wonder if your office
would be more...

In my office, sharpish.

I'll be with you in a minute, George.

What happened at the university?

I've had a complaint
from a Professor Godfrey.

Of course.

He seems to think
that you're not up to handling

an important case
like Bennett's murder.

He wants a more senior officer
in charge.

Someone like myself.

Well, sir, I'm sure
you're more than capable --

Relax, Murdoch.

I'm not going
anywhere near the place.

Those intellectual university types
get on my nerves.

Yes. Well, Godfrey
was somewhat belligerent.

Perhaps he's protesting
too much.

What do you mean?

Apparently, he had a grudge
against Professor Bennett.

Something about being passed over
as head of department.

Well, it's my understanding

he was on the phone
at the time of the murder.

A fact he made very clear.

He referred to it
as the perfect alibi.

It's an interesting choice
of words.

My thoughts exactly.

Listen, don't take any nonsense

of those bloody eggheads,
me old mucker.

Show them what Toronto coppers
are made of.



Oh, sir,
Dr. Ogden has the results...

- ...of the Bennett postmortem.
- Thank you.

And, sir,
that personal matter.

Ah, yes, George. Of course.
What is it?

Well, perhaps
it's because I'm a bachelor

or maybe it's some other reason,

but lately I've found myself
thinking about family.

You're not considering marriage,
are you, George?

Because you haven't mentioned
a sweetheart, and to rush into --

No, no, sir,
not family like that.


Ah. Yes.

Well, as you know,
I haven't much family, so...

But do you ever wish
you had them around?

Yes, sometimes.

But, George, why don't you
simply visit your family?

Well, sir, it's not that simple.

I've written this advertisement

I plan to put in
the Toronto Telegram.

- Will you read it?
- Of course.

"Did you leave your baby
at St. James Church

in the care of Reverend Lovell
on or about March 14, 1867?

Police constable wishes
to reunite with his mother."

George, are you a foundling?

I'm afraid so.

But you've often spoken
of your family.

Your auntie, your grandmother...

Sir, I was left on the doorstep
of a church.

The minister's family
took me in.

And, really,
they could not have been kinder,

but I do have a yearning
to find my real mother.

Well, I can understand that.

It's an excellent letter.

Very succinct and to the point.

Oh, thank you, sir.

The bullet entered here.

Then it lodged
near the rear of his skull.

Does the bullet's path
indicate an angle of entry?

From below.

Ah. Consistent with a gunshot
from the quad.

Death was instantaneous.

Have you a bullet?

I have it here.

- Ah. It's from a ri--
- It's from a ri--

- I'm sorry.
- Sorry.

Please, you continue.

It's from a rifle.

Yes, I believe so.


I have a suspect.

A fellow professor
of the deceased.

He was also a candidate
for chair of the department

but wasn't chosen.

Oh. University politics
can be quite vicious.

Yes, well, I suspect you've had
your share of dealings

with the university's intelligentsia.

None whatsoever, actually.

Their school of medicine
doesn't accept women.

So I'm afraid you'll have to take on
the male bastion alone.

Well, I have Constable Crabtree.

Who I'm sure will bring
his unwavering enthusiasm

to the task.

Yes. Yes.
I'm sure he will.

Perhaps the killer
had some sort of disguise on.

Several of the students
crossing the quad here

were actors in a play.

"Antigone," I believe.

Not that I've seen it.

But they still had
their costumes on.

- Roman robes.
- Togas.

Yes, that's it.
And billowy things they are.

You could hide a rifle
under one.

It still doesn't explain why
no one saw the actual shooting.

Ah, Mr. Perry, Mr. Gillies.

- Detective Murdoch.
- How goes your investigation?

Proceeds apace.

Can we help you with something?

One small question.

You mentioned
that Professor Godfrey

did not like Professor Bennett,

but how did your fellow classmates feel
about him?

Oh, everyone loved
the professor.

His mind was second to none,
and he was witty.

And he was everything
that blowhard Godfrey couldn't be.

I see.
I see.

Well, thank you very much.


May we be allowed to observe
your investigation?

Quite dull, I should think.

Actually, it might prove
an interesting exercise

in applied physics.

What do you think, sir?

Show these young toffs

how things are done
outside the schoolyard?

Something we never see.
The classroom's so theoretical.

Can't see the harm.

Why not?

Right, Professor Bennett
was here at his telescope,

looking up at the night sky.

Ready when you are, sir.

Right, then, George.

Come forward several paces.

A little further.

Now right.

- No, your right.
- Oh.

Sorry, sir.
I assumed you meant your right.

I see. So you're determining
the trajectory of the bullet.

And by defining two points
on the line,

you determine all others.

Very Euclidean.


In fact, this is the very method
the Romans first used

to build straight roads
back in 43 A.D.



That's the spot.

So the top of the stake
represents the rifle's barrel.

That's right.

But if he was kneeling...

Or if he was a dwarf...

If you took it back a bit further,
to about here...

We have one, you know.
A dwarf.

He's in the arts program.

I have a thought.

What if we took the line
farther back to the cobblestone?


Theoretically, yes.

But the killer would never be
all the way down on the ground.

Unless the professor was killed
by a reflected bullet.

You're a genius, Robert Perry.

Again, in theory.

Surely the killer
would simply face him

and shoot him square on.

Good point.
You're an idiot, Robert Perry.

Oh, hardly. We're simply applying
practical physics.

And it got us nowhere.

On the contrary.

What have you there?

Either our phantom shooter
has transformed himself into sand

or left us a valuable clue.


Silica, more specifically.

And you found it at the spot
where the bullet was fired from?


Seems more than a coincidence.
But how does it fit in?

I'm not quite sure yet.

And Godfrey -- Was he involved?

Whoever committed this murder
devised a brilliant plan,

and Professor Godfrey has
a more than capable mind.

Yes. Well, he didn't figure
on your brain, did he?

Thank you, sir.

That was meant as a vote
of confidence, was it not?

Yes, Murdoch.
It was.


Carry on.

Yes, yes.

Now, if you want two roads
to meet at a right angle,

then you need a groma.

Well, of course.

What's that?

Uh, it's very technical.

There's someone to see me?

Can I help you, ma'am?

Constable Crabtree?

- Constable George Crabtree?
- Yes.

E-Excuse me.
How very rude.

I-It's just... you're
the spitting image of my brother

when he was a young man.


Are you my mother?

I believe that I am.

You saw my advertisement?

Oh, it was so well written.

I can tell
that you were raised well

and -- and looked after properly.

Much more
than I could have done.

I was...

Well, I was just a serving girl,
and I--

Well, my innocence
was taken advantage of.

I didn't have a choice.

But I left you at the church,
where they would care for you.

They were
a good Christian family.

And look at you now.

All grown like you are.

You're a fine, upstanding
young man.

There you are, George.

Uh, sir.

I would like you to meet
my mother.

Emily Richardson.

Sir, I'm pleased to meet you.

Detective William Murdoch.
The same.

George and I
were just getting reacquainted.


Well, I'm sorry to disrupt,

but, George, we do need to get back
to the university.

Yes, sir.


Well, I have to go,
but we'll meet later...

Of course.

- ...Mother.
- Of course.

Mother seems like a grand woman.


I thought perhaps
I would ask her to attend

the policemen's games
next month.

That would be nice.

And then maybe even take a trip.

Take the boat to Rochester
or something of the sort.

George, this isn't really
my place,

but perhaps you should approach
your reunion with caution.

Why, sir?

The woman did abandon you
once before.

Well, I believe
she had little choice, sir.

I don't think
she would do that again.

Just be careful.

Now, to the matter at hand.

We know that the killer fired his shot
from that spot.

There were people milling about,
yet no one saw anything.

How is that possible?

I'd say
he must have been hidden.


But there's nowhere to hide.

Well, sir, perhaps the killer
hid in something

that was later removed.

A tent or such.

Although I suppose somebody
would have noticed that.

Nevertheless, it was something
no one found suspicious.

How could they not?

Because... it was something
that arrived and stopped

on that exact spot
on a regular basis,

but then left shortly
after the killing

but before our men arrived.

8:45, George.

And if I'm not mistaken,
our answer is arriving now.

We're here every night,
all right, 'round about now.

And how long is your cart
parked here for?

Well, we unload
for about half an hour, and...

well, before we leave, I sneak in
for a pint or two at the pub.

I need 'em to face that harridan
of a wife of mine.

Always looking at me
like I was some kind of --

What time do you depart?

Uh, I'm gone from here
no later than quarter past 9:00.

Any later, and that harpy...

Uh, may I?

Ah. Yeah.

Thank you.
Thank you very much for your time.

So if the killer hid
under the cart,

how come nobody saw him
arrive or leave?

Because the shooter
was never here, George.

He wasn't hiding
in his hiding place?


The rifle was somehow mounted
to the cart's undercarriage.

I'm certain of that.

But then the device's design would
require the killer

to be someone with an advanced
understanding of physics,

which all points to someone
with a grudge against the victim,

Professor Godfrey.

However, that leaves a number
of unanswered questions as well.

How did he trigger the device?

How did the killer slip away unnoticed?

I-I really don't know
how I can help you.

After all, applied physics
is hardly my area of expertise.

Yes, well, nevertheless,
it's always been quite useful

to have a sounding board.


Unfortunately, I'm in the middle
of a rather sensitive --

Just one moment.

Excuse me.

I'm sure if you came back later,
I'd be able to...

A devious device, Professor.

Oh, this is absurd.

Prior to your telephone call
to Professor Bennett,

you attached a firing mechanism,
similar to this one,

underneath the coal cart.

Then you attached
a timing device.

An adaptation of an hourglass.

This is absolutely ridiculous!

On the night of the murder,
you set the device in motion.

That gave you time
to get back to your rooms,

telephone Professor Bennett,
and lure him to his telescope,

placing him
in the exact firing line

that you had
carefully calibrated.

The rifle went off
at exactly 9:00.

The work of a brilliant mind.

It is the product
of a deluded imagination.

Who but a physicist could have dreamt up
such a scheme,

let alone set it into motion
with such precision?

I would commend you, sir,

if your intent
weren't so murderous.

Your commendations
would be unfounded.

Your clever little theory
is posited on a faulty premise.

That being?

That my phone call was intended
to lure Professor Bennett

to his telescope.

You said yourself
you were discussing comets.

Discussing comets,
not looking for them.


The sky was cloudy that night.

You couldn't see the moon,
let alone a comet.

And you call yourself
a detective.

You have another visitor.

Who is it?

Well, it's your mother.

Oh, good.

Ooh, he's a good boy, this one.

Oh, I can't believe how much
you look like dear ol' Da.


Oh, I'm so sorry I couldn't have raised
you proper,

but I was just so young!

Constable Crabtree,

I'm afraid I'll be needing
your assistance on the Bennett case.

Uh, yes.
Of course, sir.

I'm sorry, Mother.
Uh, important police work.

Y-You get on, dearie.

What's a few more hours
after all these years?

U-Uh, son?

Um, might you be able to, uh, spare
a dollar?

Just until the end of the week?

Yes. Of course.
Of course.


Thank you.

- There you go.
- Thank you, son.




Sir, why would two women
come forth

claiming to be my mother?

One of them must be mistaken.

Perhaps, George.

But remember, you do earn a decent wage
and have a pension.

I see what you mean, sir.

As I said earlier,
proceed with caution.

In the meantime,
we have a murder to solve, yes?


I'll need all of the Bennett
crime-scene photos immediately.

- Sir.
- Thank you.

Right, then.
Higher, George.

Could the professor
have been lying?

I checked the weather.
It was completely overcast.

But that by no means
exonerates him.

Now more to the right.

Your right.

So, what was he looking at
at the time he was killed?


More, more.

Take a look now.

Sir, it appears the professor

was studying a heavenly body
after all.

It has to do
with Professor Bennett's murder.

We believe
he may have been spying on you

the night that he was killed.

- Yes, I know.
- You know?

All the girls knew
he was a Peeping Tom,

so when I received his note,
I thought, "Why not?"


He sent it to me.

Said he would pay me
to undress every night at 9:00.

I thought
"Well, he's ogling me anyways.

Why not let him help pay my way
through school?"

So he was soliciting
young ladies,

was he, the saucy old bugger?

That he was full
of the joys of spring

seems to be beyond question,
but he didn't write the note.

He didn't?

I've been going over
Professor Bennett's lecture journals,

and it's not his handwriting.


So someone pays Miss Burchill
to undress at precisely 9 p.m.,

knowing that Bennett will be watching
through a telescope,

ensuring he'll be
in the right place to be shot.

Seems like
we're back to Godfrey.

He calls Bennett to chat
about comets,

ensuring he's got the perfect alibi
should anything go wrong.

It's possible.

But I won't know until I have a look
at his handwriting as well.

Of course he's my son!

You're lying through your teeth, missus!

A fine young man
like George would never have

a flea-bitten floozy like you
for a mother!

Anyone looking at him would know
he couldn't belong to you!

Your face is so ugly,

it would make a mule
back away from an oat bin!

- You strumpet!
- Hag!

Mothers, please!

Ladies! Ladies!

Although I am profoundly moved

by your display
of motherly love,

please take your dispute
outside my station.

Sort this out!

Those are Wislicenus' stereoformulae...

- ...for single and double bonds.
- I see.

Rather advanced concepts
to be teaching your students.

I don't believe
in coddling minds.

Now, what might I do for you, Detective?

Why did you pay a young woman
to undress for Professor Bennett?

What sort of ridiculous accusation
is that?!

It was to ensure that he would be
standing at his telescope

at precisely 9:00, wasn't it?

Then again, based on everything
you've uttered

up until this point, should I have
expected otherwise?

Do you deny writing this note?


Your script
is quite distinctive,

particularly the H's.

Another faulty assumption
on your part

has led you astray, Detective.

That's not my handwriting.

It isn't?

No. It was written by one
of my teaching assistants.

You are becoming quite tiresome,

Your superiors
will hear from me again.

Yes, I'm sure they will.

But if it's all the same,
whose handwriting is it, then?

Why don't you ask him yourself?

So you don't deny writing
this note, Mr. Perry?

It was just a prank.

A prank?

We all knew the professor
liked to watch the girls,

so we thought we'd have some fun
with him.


And do you think it was fun

that you specified Miss Burchill
remove her clothing

at precisely the moment
that Professor Bennett was shot?

That -- That's a coincidence.

A coincidence?

That's a rather spectacular one,
you'd have to agree.

Well, the meaning of coincidence
is utterly subjective

and can be evaluated
only by the person experiencing it.

And where were you the night
of Professor Bennett's murder?

At the pub.

You're quite sure?

That's right.

Can anyone substantiate this?

He was with me.

There were others there, too.

And what was your relationship like
with the deceased?

You can't think I had something to do
with his death?

Answer the question, Mr. Perry.

I admired him.

It was a privilege
to study under him.

And where were you
the night before the murder?

Uh, studying.


With Gillies.

Of course.

I believe
if there's nothing more,

I-I should be allowed to go now.

Yes. For now, Mr. Perry.
For now.

Just good pals
or something more?

I'd say they're hiding something.


And Godfrey?

The letter all but rules him out
as a suspect.

But if it is them,
what's their motive?

I thought they liked the victim.

That was my understanding
as well.

How did Mr. Perry strike you?


Like he was trying to remember
his story.

And Mr. Gillies?

Like a bloody iceberg.

Then I suggest one way
to solve this case

is by focusing our efforts
on Mr. Perry.

And break him with what?

We've got no hard evidence,

and his daddy's barristers are
probably en route as we speak.

Applied physics.

Even a planet can be moved
with the proper leverage.

I just have to find it.

I'm sorry to interrupt.

Yes, George.
What is it?

I'm at my wits' end, sir.

I-I don't know how to determine

which of my two mothers
is my mother.

It's like the dilemma
Samson faced.


Yes, sir.
Samson from the Bible.

You mean Solomon, George.

No, sir. Samson.

Two mothers --
They had this little baby,

and they asked him to choose
which was the rightful mother.

And he suggested
cutting the baby in half.

Yes, that's the correct story,

but it was Solomon
who was the wise king.

Samson had the long hair
and Delilah.

I don't see how having long hair

would affect his ability
to render sound judgment.

You're conflating
two different characters, George.

Well, we'll have to agree
to disagree on this one, sir.

Indeed we will.

But it is very much
like the biblical dilemma, yes.

Which gives me an idea.

Sir, if you're suggesting
cutting me in half,

we'll have to agree to disagree
on that point, also.

No, no, George.
There'll be no cutting.

However, I will need you
to pay a visit to my tailor.

I'm sure you're quite busy.

I wonder if I could have
your assistance.

Of course, Detective.

I'm always available to discuss
matters of pathology.

That's my job.

Julia, I know that things

have become somewhat awkward
between us.

But you should know that
I have always thought of you

as much more than a pathologist.

And I hope that
that can continue.

Well, I suppose
there's no harm in trying.

How can I help you?

I have a question.

Is this concerning
Professor Bennett?

Yes and no.

Why am I here, Detective?

Because I told you I had nothing

to do with
the professor's murder.

And I believe you, Mr. Perry,

but what I need from you
is help.


I'm just a police officer.

And the physics involved in
this murder are far beyond me.

Very well.
How might I assist you?

We must hurry.
It's nearing 9:00.

If you would oblige me, please,
and look through the telescope.

Very good. Now you'll need
the telephone in your hand.

If you would, George, please.

Sir, right away.

Eye on the eyepiece, please,
Mr. Perry.

How does it feel?

Knowing your head is in the same spot
Professor Bennett's was

when he was shot?

Telephone, sir.



Don't just stand there, man!
Telephone an ambulance!


I want answers, Mr. Perry,
and I want them now.

I had nothing to do
with your constable being shot.

I was in the room with you, remember?

Right now, Constable Crabtree
is fighting for his life.

He is a colleague of mine.

Do you think I'm going to rest
until his assailant is found?

Do you think any police officer
in this city will?

Do you have any idea
what we do to someone

who dares harm one of our own?

This is ridiculous.

I don't know anything about it.

Gillies, right?


Inspector Thomas Brackenreid.

- You wanted to see me?
- Uh, yes.

I was wondering...

what was happening
with my friend Mr. Perry.

I would think right about now

he's probably getting
the biggest bollocking of his life.

What I can't understand --
and perhaps you can enlighten me --

is why you chose Constable Crabtree
as your target.

How many times
do I have to tell you?

Unless you didn't.

Unless the shot wasn't intended for him.

I-I don't understand.

Constable Crabtree stepped
between the window and you.

You mean...

I've been looking at this
all wrong.

The killer was targeting you.

I wouldn't be too concerned
about your pal.

He seems like a sensible sort.

Yes, he is that.

Then he's got nothing
to worry about.

If he's not guilty,
then no matter what

he's threatened with,
he's got nothing to fear, right?


Would you like a spot of tea?

That would be lovely.

Who would want to shoot me?

Someone who was worried
you might incriminate him.

In what?

You know very well what.

You and Mr. Gillies
murdered Professor Bennett.

I have no idea why,
but you did it.

We've been through this.

I had nothing to do
with his death.

And I'd like to see
my barrister now.

Mr. Perry...

someone tried to shoot you
last night.

And we both know who that was.

I can't help you
if you don't let me.

If that's all...

Suit yourself.

I have more important matters
to tend to.

But don't say I didn't warn you.

How are you holding up, Robert?

Wait, Robert!

Despite his injuries,

Constable Crabtree remains
resolute and courageous.

My poor Georgie.

It was a terrible,
terrible accident.

What a brave man.
Injured in the course of duty.


Good afternoon, ladies.

What's the latest news?

I'm afraid it's not good,
Detective Murdoch.

The bullet is lodged
in George's spine.


He'll not walk again?

He's paralyzed.

Oh, poor George.
Such a good soul.

He deserves better than this.

Indeed he does.

Ladies, put away the hankies.

One of you is a fake,
and it's time to end this charade now.

I would think it's obvious
who the impostor is.

Well, I'm not the one
putting on airs and graces.

Enough from both of you.

A fine, upstanding young man
has been severely injured.

Constable Crabtree
needs his mother --

his real mother --
to be by his side.

Whatever you hoped to gain
from this deception --

Constable Crabtree's pension,

his status
as an officer of the law --

it all ends now.

A good man needs care
for the rest of his life.

Which one of you will go to him?


I'm here, son.

I'm here.

Good morning, gentlemen.

This morning, we have
a somewhat unorthodox guest.

Detective William Murdoch
of the Toronto Constabulary.



Professor Godfrey
has asked me to address you

on matters
of applied physics today.

No doubt you are all familiar...

...with one of these.

You are probably all wondering

what this has to do
with the study of physics,

but I can assure you
the act of hanging a man

requires a rigorous application
of Newtonian principles.

Now, a successful hanging

results in the breaking
of the neck at the first vertebra.

Can anyone tell me
the variables required

to determine the amount of force
needed to break a neck?


Mr. Gillies?

Force is simply the product
of mass times acceleration.


Or in this case,

rapid deceleration
as the rope snaps taut.

And mass, of course,

is represented
by the weight of the body.

Um, Mr. Perry.

How much do you weigh,
Mr. Perry?

Mr. Perry?

155 pounds.

155 pounds.

Now, using the hangman's calculation,

the amount of rope needed
to break the neck

of a 155-pound man is 9 feet.

Now, can anyone tell me
what speed Mr. Perry's body

would be traveling
as the rope snaps taut at 9 feet?

I-I think this is all
in utterly poor taste.

Let's see.

24 feet per second.

Applied physics.

Now, for the second lesson.

In the real world,

just as there is no perfect vacuum
and no perfect circle,

there is no perfect murder.

Isn't that right, Mr. Gillies?

If you say so, sir.

Yet here I am,
investigating one.

Now, how does a simple man
such as myself

go about investigating
this perfect murder?

He leaves textbooks behind
and uses hard work.

I have a list here.

Anyone care to hazard a guess
as to its contents?

Mr. Perry?

I couldn't.

Of course not.

Earlier, I determined
the components necessary

to commit this perfect murder --

things such as screws,
wood, metal,

rifle shells,
et cetera, et cetera.

My men checked every supplier
in the city that sold these items,

and they compiled a list
of everyone

who had purchased these items
in the past three months.

One name
was of particular interest.

Care to guess
what that name was, Mr. Perry?

I think this has gone
quite far enough.

I wasn't speaking to you,
Mr. Gillies.

It's your name, Mr. Perry.

I wonder, how is it possible

that a smart young man
such as yourself

would have bought
all of the supplies?

Because as a result,
you are now the only person

that can be connected
to Professor Bennett's murder.

That's just some list.

It means nothing.

I suspect
that you were outsmarted...

by none other than Mr. Gillies.

Don't listen to him, Robert.

There are only two ways for you

to avoid this 9-foot drop,
Mr. Perry.

One is to confess your crime
and to name your accomplice.

- And the other?
- Robert, don't.

Shut up, James.

The other is to let your partner
silence you,

so you can never talk,

which he has
already tried before.

I did nothing of the sort!

It's up to you, Mr. Perry.

Robert, don't listen to him.
You see what he's trying to do.

It wasn't my idea.

Shut up, you fool.

The timing device --
That was his invention.

You bloody coward.

You tried to kill me.

No, I didn't.

Whatever they said,
it was a trick.

Unfortunately, he's right,
Mr. Perry.


Constable Crabtree,
good to see you on your feet again.

Thank you, sir.

But how...

The final lesson
in applied physics.

This is a bulletproof vest
based on the principles

discovered by Mongol warriors
in the 13th century.

It's made of silk.

Layer over layer
over layer of silk.

And just for good measure,
there is a...

...metal plate

that renders the bullet harmless.

All right, you two,
on your feet.


Come on, move it.


Professor Godfrey, thank you very much
for your cooperation.

I believe I may have underestimated you.

And I you.


Yes. I'd give you an A-minus,
I think.


as you've so clearly proven,

in the real world,
nothing is perfect.

No, it isn't.

So the bullet didn't actually bounce off
the jacket.

It was stopped
by the silk and steel.

Well, I never.

It left a nasty bruise, though.

Well, it was a terrible trick
to play on your mother.

Well, you did leave me
on a doorstep,

even if it was a church.

I hope that in time

we can come to truly care
for each other, Georgie.

Do you think we can?

I think we could take our time,
see how we get on.

That sounds very sensible.

Just what I'd expect from my son,
the brave policeman.


How can I help you?

I came by to thank you
for your help.

You played an excellent part
in the charade.

Well, it was my pleasure
to assist Constable Crabtree.

Am I to assume that Mr. Gillies
and Mr. Perry will hang?

Well, I'm not so sure.

Their families will hire
the best lawyers in the land.

But at the very least,
they can look forward to life in prison.

Where they will have

plenty of time
for their studies.

But what was their motive?

I believe that Mr. Gillies
simply had a theory

and wanted to test it.

Applied physics.

And Mr. Perry,
for whatever reason,

went along with him.

How monstrous.


Doctor, there is an exhibit tonight
that sounds fascinating.

It's a display of batteries.
If you're available.

But I'm sure you're quite busy.

I'm -- I'm afraid so.

Yes, well, I should be getting back
to the station myself.

Good day.

Good day.