Murdoch Mysteries (2008–…): Season 9, Episode 6 - The Local Option - full transcript

When the lone holdout on the city council against a contentious fight to enact prohibition dies after a night in the cells of Station House 4, Murdoch and company investigate, even as the Brackenreid home hosts the prohibition movement's principal protagonist, Carrie Nation.

Evening, gentlemen. Evening.

How are you tonight? Into
the whiskey already, I see.

- What did you call me?
- I called you an oaf.

Only a moron would say
something so idiotic.

Evening, Councilman.

My drink is being poured
before I even take my seat.

This is what makes you the best
barkeep in Toronto Junction.

- Shut your mouth, you rat.
- Or what?

- Shall I open another bottle, sir?
- You haven't already?

Watch yourself, man!

The entire Junction is just one
unseemly hotel after the next.

Make no wonder they need

- extra constables on this beat.
- It's just some drunks, George.

- Better than prohibition.
- I don't know.

I think the local option would
clean this place up nicely.

George, prohibition is no fun.

What would people do after work?

Jackson, Toronto is one of the
greatest cities in the world.

Go visit a museum, go for
a swim in Lake Ontario...

Anything you could dream
of is at your fingertips.

Well I dream of having a drink.

Hey! See what I mean?

Toronto Constabulary!

Hey, hey, break it up!

Back off. Stay down.

That's enough! You're all
spending a night in the cells.

Thomas, we're to have
a house guest this week.

She'll be staying in
Bobby's room while he's away.

It's not your sister again, is it?

No. I told you, she's too
ill to travel this year.

- Oh, right. That's terrible.
- In fact,

we are to receive a
woman of some celebrity.

- Oh?
- A celebrity of the temperance movement.

- Oh.
- The Reverend Shore is bringing her

all the way to Ontario to give a
speech in favour of the local option.

Over 100 towns in this
province are already dry

and our campaign in the
Junction is nearing success.


Why in God's green earth do you
care whether the Junction goes dry?

As the Junction goes, so goes Toronto.

- Hide this.
- Oh, that's going too far.

And do not tell your father where it is

- until our houseguest is gone.
- Yes, Mother.

I tell you what. If the city
of Toronto ever does go dry,

we're moving straight back to England.

Oh, sir, it's a terrible place.

I hope I never have to work
another beat in the Junction again.

Not so long ago, Crabtree,
you were in prison.

Consider yourself lucky
to have any beat at all.

Point well taken, sir.

Right then gentlemen, rise and shine.

Off ya go, lads.

Oy, you there, let's go.

Hey. Wake up.

Sir, I think we have a
problem with this one.

What is it?

He's dead.

His name is Arthur Slauson.

He's a lawyer and *** in the Junction.

He was involved in the
bar brawl there last night.

Why were our Constables
patrolling up there?

Too many drunks and not enough coppers.

We were asked to send
a few men to help out.

We can assume he was injured in the brawl

- and succumbed sometime later.
- The body has bruising

and a few small gashes,
but nothing obviously fatal.

I'll need to check for cerebral
edema and other internal injuries.

He was healthy enough to be
throwing punches last night.

His cell mates say he never
woke up, never even made a sound.

Any idea how long he's been dead?

I'd estimate no more than two hours.

- So it could be natural causes?
- I really can't say.

I'll have him delivered to the morgue
and get you an answer straightaway.

Thank you, Doctor.

You're quite welcome, Detective.


where are the men that he fought with?

- Did you know Mr. Slauson?
- Who?

Councilman Arthur Slauson.

The man you were fighting with last night.

I was fighting with a
lot of men last night.

Was he that fancy fellow?

I'll take that to mean
that you did not know him.

I knew Slauson. We were
friendly. He was my neighbour.

And yet you were fighting.

I wouldn't say that.

I got tangled with a few men, but the one

I was really fighting
with was Charlie Cutter.

What caused the fight?

I don't know what caused
it. We were just fighting.

There must have been a reason.

At some point, Liam hit that fancy fellow

- and then all hell broke loose.
- So Mr. Bertrand hit Mr. Slauson.

If I hit Slauson, it was an accident.

I was really trying to hit Charlie Cutter.

Did you see anyone else strike Mr. Slauson?

Sure, I hit him. More than once.

If you struck Mr. Slauson
in the head, Mr. Cutter,

you may be responsible for his death.

The fight had nothing to
do with this man's death.

Natural causes?

- Far from it. He was poisoned.
- Poisoned?

Doctor, Mr. Slauson wasn't
given anything to eat or drink

from the time we arrested
him until we found him dead.

He had acidosis of the
blood leading to a depression

of the nervous system.
Though it can result from

chronic illness, it's most unlikely.

How was he poisoned?

I have yet to identify
the specific substance,

but if he ingested
nothing since last night,

then we're looking for
something slow-acting.

Poison would suggest premeditation.

If he was a city councilman,

the motive could be political.

If you'll pardon my
interruption, Detective...

I have seen this man speak before.

- Gentlemen, this is Miss James.
- She's been assisting me in the morgue.

A pleasure to make your
acquaintance, Miss James.

Dr. Ogden speaks very highly of you.

When did you hear him speak, Miss James?

Some weeks ago. He was
an advocate for the Trade.

- The liquor trade.
- That's right.

Well, in that case, I would
have a bone to pick with him.

If there ever was a place
in need of the local option,

it's the Junction. The place is
teeming with drunks at all hours...

- a filthy, awful place.
- And one Miss James calls home.

Of course no place is all bad.

I'm sure there's plenty to
recommend in the Junction.

Trains, for instance. It's easy to leave.

- Not that you'd want to leave...
- Um...

Miss James, why do you suppose alcohol

has become such a problem in the Junction?

It's the first stop on the rail lines,

so there's a hotel on every corner.

Those places offer all
manner of temptation.

And are the people of the Junction
in favour of the local option?

Overwhelmingly, sir.

As am I.

A pro-liquor councilman dead in
the midst of a temperance campaign.

Sounds to me like the man's
politics got him killed.

We should establish a
timeline of everything

Mr. Slauson consumed
leading up to his death.

Perhaps his wife can help us
account for his final hours.

I'll call Chief Royce in the Junction

and tell him that we'll
handle the investigation.

Right then, is this one mine?

Oh, sir. I thought you'd
be taking the carriage.

I can handle a little bike ride, Murdoch.

Do try to keep up.


I believe the Slauson
place is right over here.


Piece of cake, Murdoch.

I was just as quick as you.

Well, sir, I wasn't...

Oh, yes. Quite swift. Quite swift, sir.

All this local option business
is ridiculous, if you ask me.

Sir, if it's what the
people of the Junction want,

I see no reason to prevent it.

Liquor is a good thing for
a good man. A few drunks

having too much is hardly
cause to get rid of it.

I've never understood the
appeal of alcohol, sir.

It impedes the brain's ability to function,

making it impossible to think clearly.

- Well that's just it, Murdoch.
- Don't you ever want to relax

and stop thinking for a couple of hours?


I'm very sorry, Mrs. Slauson, but
we believe your husband was murdered.

- Poisoned, in fact.
- My God.

How? Why?

We were hoping you'd be
able to help us with that,

Mrs. Slauson. Where was your husband

prior to 10 P.M. last evening?

The last I saw him he was
on his way out after supper.

It was about half past 8.

What was prepared for supper?

Beef and carrots.

Did you make the meal yourself?

I did. And shared in it... it was fine.

- Anything to drink?
- Only water.

I don't allow liquor in the house.

And where did Mr.
Slauson go at half past 8?

The Peacock Hotel, as he's done every night

since I stopped allowing
liquor in the house.

Witnesses state that your
husband didn't arrive there

until nearly 10 P.M.

Oh, that's right.

I'm sorry, this is all terribly...

He had a meeting to attend
with the Reverend Shore.

- What was it about?
- The Reverend and his fellow temperancers want town council

to call a plebiscite
vote on the local option.

But to do so, they need
every councillor on board.

Your husband was one who opposed it.

My husband was the only
one who opposed them.

He was the last man standing
between the Junction and prohibition.

The scourge of liquor is a terrible thing.

It turns homes into hovels.

We must stand up to this scourge,

for temperance is the
will of the Lord himself.

Amen! Amen!

- Hallelujah!
- It pleases me very much

to introduce to you a special guest.

A woman of great standing who has
dedicated her life to our cause.

Mrs. Carrie A. Nation.

- Sir?
- Bloody Margaret.

Liquor is not merely a scourge.

Liquor is a pestilential highway

leading to ruin and wretchedness.

Liquor is ruining the
lives of our children,

both born and unborn.

It is the embodiment of pure evil!


I think that's the woman
who's staying at my house.

Well, she certainly knows
how to stir up a crowd.

They scarcely need it. These
temperancers live and die for their cause.

Those who stand in our
way must be destroyed!

Hear, hear!

The question is, is one of
them willing to kill for it?

Poisoned? How awful.

Reverend, we understand you
hosted a meeting last night.

Yes, at my home. We met with
Councilman Slauson at 9 P.M.

for, oh, about half an hour.

And you attempted to sway
him in favour of temperance?

We wanted him to agree to
put it to a plebiscite vote.

To put the decision of temperance

into the hands of the Junction's citizens.

- So you leaned on him.
- We merely wanted to converse with him on the matter.

A conversation that ended in his death.

Just what are you suggesting?

Your guest speaker was
wielding an axe, Reverend.

Your followers are,
shall we say, passionate.

Nothing will stand in the
way of temperance and, yes,

I may have let Mr. Slauson know
that, in no uncertain terms.

- But I did not kill him.
- Maybe you know who did.

I do not. But in all honesty,
it could have been anyone.

The man was a belligerent drunk

who offended, insulted, and became violent

with all he met. Even his
wife complained about him.

One more thing, Reverend.

Was anything served at
the meeting last night?

Yes. Tea.

I made it and I poured it myself.

- The poison was methanol.
- Better known as wood alcohol.

- Killed by alcohol.
- A form of it, yes.

Well, that's ironic. A
supporter of the liquor trade

- dying from alcohol consumption.
- You could say he drank himself

six feet under the table.

You'll get used to Dr.
Ogden's morbid sense of humour,

- Miss James.
- In any event,

wood alcohol is very different from
the type of alcohol used in liquor.

The two taste similar,

but wood alcohol is quite deadly.
As little as an ounce can kill a man.

Could he have ingested it accidentally?

- Without realizing?
- It's possible.

The initial effects are not much
different from regular alcohol.

Mild drunkenness, headaches...

I had Miss James read up on it.

Wood alcohol is converted
to formic acid in the liver,

causing metabolic acidosis.
The victim goes blind,

sinks into unconsciousness and
dies. But none of those symptoms

take their effect until
hours after ingestion.

Which would explain why he died

so long after being taken into custody.

But here's the odd
thing about wood alcohol.

- It has a common antidote.
- Oh?

Liquor. Regular alcohol
inhibits the poison's

effect on the body. It's
administered by doctors

in case of accidental
wood alcohol consumption.

So if Mr. Slauson had had even
one drink at the Peacock Hotel...

It would have saved his life.

- Of course he had a drink.
- Why else would he come to a bar?

- You're absolutely certain?
- Yes.

- You served him yourself then.
- As I always do.

I saw Mr. Slauson as he entered,

so I reached for his bottle straightaway.

- His bottle?
- You buy a bottle of the good stuff; keep it behind the bar.

- Stakeholders, we called them back home.
- That's right.

Dempsey's gin.

Double, straight, no ice.

- He never drank anything else.
- So,

no one else ever drank from his bottle.

- Certainly not.
- You poured him the drink last night.

- But did you actually see him drink it?
- Yes.

I recall distinctly; he
drank it down in one go.

Was his reaction to the
drink at all unusual?

In fact it was. He pulled quite the face.

I figured something must be wrong,

but before I could inquire,
the fight broke out.

Mr. Buck, something was indeed wrong.

That drink contained the
poison that killed Mr. Slauson.

No... that's impossible.

I served him a drink from the
same bottle the night before

- and he had no complaints.
- Did anyone have a chance

to get behind your bar and
tamper with Slauson's bottle?

- No, not last night.
- Before that?

Earlier in the day, the evening previous?

I suppose someone could have
tampered with it during the day.

I work the hotel desk.

The bar is closed, but someone
could walk in if my back were turned.

And where is the bottle in question?

Well, the drink I poured him
was the last of the bottle.

It's in with the other empties.

Any idea which one was Mr. Slauson's?

- They're all Mr. Slauson's.
- No one else drinks his brand;

I only order it for him.

As for which bottle is from
last night, I'm not sure.

We'll take all of them.

Did anyone touch these since last night?

No, certainly not. The
only person who's been in

since your lot cleared the
place out was poor Mrs. Slauson,

looking for her husband.

- Miss James.
- Good evening, Constable.

You have the gin bottles I am to test?

I do indeed. I'm told one of these bottles

contains our murder weapon.

- I was never one for gin myself.
- Nor I.

Well, of course not. You're
on the side of temperance.

I'm on the side of the local option.

- What's the difference?
- I only want temperance for the Junction.

If they want to drink somewhere
else, they can go right ahead.

I simply don't want them in my front yard.

So you have nothing against liquor.

I have a glass of brandy
every night before bed.

But now, if the Junction
opts for the local option...

I can assure you, Constable,

no law will keep me from my brandy.

Honestly, would a prohibition
really stop a man from drinking?

If one bar closes, he
moves down the street.

Yes, I suppose he does...

I, for one, am looking
forward to the rally tomorrow,

- Mrs. Nation.
- As am I, Mrs. Brackenreid.

I wish there were more good people like you

south of the border. If there were,

Mr. McKinley could have been
saved. He drank in secret, you know.

Did you know that, Mrs. Brackenreid?

Uh, no, I don't believe I did.

He was possessed by the devil.

The Lord had no choice but to
put that bullet right through

- President McKinley's heart.
- Ah, the Wednesday won again,

one-nil against Stoke.


Excuse me, ladies.

Now I'm not saying I'm glad he did...

Where's my scotch?

- I'm not supposed to tell.
- Come on, son. You can't

- keep a man from his drink.
- Mother made me promise.

I'll tell you what. I promise not to tell
her that you told me. It'll be our secret,

- one man to another.
- I hid it in my room,

- behind the dresser.
- Good lad.

Our little secret.

Mr. Slauson arrived at
the Peacock Hotel at 9:55

and promptly consumed a drink

from his usual bottle of Dempsey's gin.

- But it wasn't gin, it was poison.
- It had to be.

We also know that Mr.
Slauson was a heavy drinker,

hardly in the habit of having just
one drink and calling it a night.

If he had stayed at the hotel,
he would surely have took

- another drink. Who wouldn't?
- The first drink polished off

the bottle... pure poison.

Had he had time to have a second drink,

it likely would have come
from a brand new bottle...

- Pure gin.
- And the real stuff

- would have counteracted the poison.
- Indeed.

For the poison to take
effect, he had to be prevented

from taking that second drink.

The bar fight. You think it was staged

to stop Slauson from taking another drink?

Well sir, he likely wouldn't have
died if the bar fight hadn't happened.

It played a crucial part in his murder.

Then the two drunks who fought with Slauson

could be our killers after all.

Sir? No bicycles?

I think it's time to get back to a more
civilized mode of transport, Murdoch.

Very sensible.

When we get there, we'll split up.

- I'll take Cutter's place, you go after Bertrand.
- Yes, sir.

Sir! Sir.

I have a business proposition.

- Make it quick, Crabtree.
- Sir.

If the Junction were to go dry,
where would people go for a drink?

I believe the idea is for
them not to drink, George.

Prohibit drinking?

No law can get between a
man and his drink, Murdoch.

- Precisely, sir.
- They would just go down the road

to the next bar. So what if
someone were to open a bar

just down the road from the Junction?

That someone would make a killing.

Every drunkard in that part of
town would start drinking there.

Sir, I've found the perfect
plot of land for sale,

just across the town line.

I have to admit, that's
a clever enterprise.

Thank you, sir. Your investment
would be welcome also.

- Oh. Well, I...
- Now hang on, I thought this

was my deal. I'll tell you what, Crabtree.

You keep my name out of it
and I'll match your investment.

Just make sure the wife
doesn't hear about it.


- Good afternoon, Detective.
- Mrs. Slauson.

I'm afraid Mr. Bertrand left early
this morning and hasn't returned.

Oh, I see. Thank you.

- Fine day, isn't it?
- Indeed it is.

Cutter wasn't home, Murdoch.

Apparently Mr. Bertrand isn't either.

Ah, well, not a problem.

I know where to find a couple
of drunks on a sunny afternoon.

In the name of the Lord,
we shall destroy these

dens of immorality!

We shall deliver them

to the same defilement and devastation

to which they have delivered

so many souls!


I knew the one man, yes. Liam Bertrand.

And what of the man he was
fighting with? Charles Cutter.

I can't say I'd ever seen him before.

Have they been in today for a drink?

No, neither man's been in since the brawl.






- Clear the way!

Vice! Sin!

- Despicable iniquity!
- What is this?

What are you doing? Stop!

- No! Are you out of your mind?
- That's enough!

You've made... you've made your point!

How dare you!

- Shut it.
- Ladies!

- Let go of me!
- Ladies, ladies.

- Long live temperance!
- Margaret! Dammit, woman!

Get your hands off me!

Sir! Look,

- it's them.
- The drunks we're looking for?

- Cutter and Bertrand.
- What are they doing with this lot?

Perhaps they aren't drunks after all.

Excuse me, gentlemen,

but you're going to be coming with us.

Right then. Margaret. Ladies.

Home time.

- Thank you, Thomas.
- Ah, ah.

- Not you.
- You let me out of here this instant.

You destroyed a man's place of business.

- That is a crime, Mrs. Nation.
- The purveyors of vice and sin

are the ones guilty of crimes.

- Do you know what's funny?
- What?

I'm the police inspector.

I get to choose what
crimes we arrest people for.

Come on, Margaret.

Let's go and have a drink.

You can't just leave her here.

Are you defending her?

Things may have gotten out
of hand, but we meant well.

She took an axe to a man's bar.

She is our houseguest, Thomas.

Oh, Lord, give me strength.

It would appear that you are a supporter

of the temperance movement. Mr. Cutter.

Did I ever claim otherwise?

You and Mr. Bertrand were just in a bar.

- How do you explain that?
- I wasn't drinking.

- Then why were you there?
- To start a fight.

You explicitly intended to start the fight?

It was part of a plan to further our cause.

And that plan involved the
death of Councilman Slauson.

No, of course not.

If the fight wasn't
intended to cause his death,

- then why start it?
- Public opinion is everything

in the campaign for temperance, Detective.

If fights break out in
bars, people blame liquor.

Thus engendering support for your cause.

It is a victimless crime.
We're helping people.

Was this the first time
you've staged a brawl?

No. We've been asked to
do it a number of times.

- Asked by whom?
- Reverend Shore.

It was his idea.


what do we know of Reverend
Shore's whereabouts that day?

Well, prior to meeting Mr. Slauson,

the Reverend was on a train from Cleveland,

- accompanying Mrs. Nation.
- Oh.

So he wouldn't have had opportunity
to poison the gin bottle, then.

No, sir, his train didn't
arrive until 7 o'clock.

By then, the bar was open and
under Mr. Buck's watchful eye.

Still, he could have

organized the entire thing.

If he employed Bertrand
and Cutter to start a fight,

he could have paid them to
poison the bottle as well.

It's possible.

But if he did organize
it, we have no proof.

It's up to you to do
something about him, Margaret.

It's a wife's duty to keep
her husband from drink,

lest his drunkenness infect the family.

Thomas is capable of
making his own choices.

John! Supper!

Make his own choices?
He's choosing damnation!

Care to explain this, Margaret?

How did you find that?
I'm sorry, Mrs. Nation,

I attempted to keep it from him.

And you did quite the job of
it. It's been watered down.

I did not touch the
contents of your bottle.

No? Then maybe it was Mrs. Nation.

Dumped as much as you thought
you could get away with, eh?

Or... did you fancy a wee nip yourself?

How dare you, sir!

Those who preach the loudest
are always the biggest

hypocrites, aren't they?


What are you laughing at?

The boy is drunk! You've
corrupted your own offspring.

I am terribly sorry, Mrs. Nation.

Take care of this, Thomas.

- We should take a hatchet to the both of them.
- That's rather harsh!


You, upstairs. Sleep it off.

I'll deal with you in the morning.

You should have seen him,
Murdoch. The boy couldn't even

stand up straight. There's nothing
quite like your first time being drunk.

As I recall it was one of
the worst moments in my life.

You're not a Brackenreid.

This is true. At any rate,

I recommend that we canvass the entire area

around the Peacock for any witnesses...

Pardon me, gentlemen.

I have the test results
from the gin bottles.

Were you able to identify
which bottle was poisoned?

In a sense. Out of 11 bottles,

10 had trace amounts of
gin. But the one exception

had no trace of wood
alcohol in it... just water.

- Indicating it had been rinsed.
- It would seem so.

So, Mr. Slauson drank the wood alcohol,

the bottle was set aside.

The fight broke out at that
very moment, and then the killer

must have returned to rinse
away the evidence afterward.

But our suspects were arrested.

They spent the evening in the cells.

Right. So Mr. Cutter and Mr.
Bertrand can't be our killers.

What about the man who poured
the drink? Surely he had access

to the bottle both to poison
it and to clean it afterward.

But Mr. Buck is completely without motive.

In fact, by staving off temperance,

Mr. Slauson was the only
person keeping him in business.

- The wife.
- Sir?

The barman said that Mrs.
Slauson stopped by that night.

She could have rinsed the
bottle when he wasn't looking.

I saw her yesterday leaving her home.

She seemed in awfully high spirits

for someone whose husband
had just been killed.

But still, it doesn't quite fit.

Why not? She knew his
routine, she knew his bottle,

and the Reverend said that they
were hardly locked in, uh...

marital bliss.

But sir, she didn't orchestrate the fight.

And how could she have known
that we'd arrest her husband

just before he took that second drink,

before he drank the antidote?

She may have had no idea that
liquor is an antidote to methanol.

It's hardly common knowledge.

She may have just got lucky.

Do you recognize this, Mrs. Slauson?

It's wood alcohol.

It was found in your home.

I use it to keep my pipes from freezing.

- Who doesn't?
- It's also the substance that killed your husband.

I see. And you think I did it.

You are considerably
younger than Mr. Slauson was.

How did you two come to be married?

We were in love.

Reverend Shore said you often
complained about your husband.

- Are you married, Detective?
- I am.

Then rest assured your wife has
found occasion to complain about you.

Perhaps. But she's yet to
find cause to murder me.

Arthur was a different
man when he was drinking.

Always screaming insults, at me,

my mother, anyone in his path.

And he was a menace in his motorcar.

Killed a man's dog in that thing.

And one night, he crashed it
right into our front porch.

And the next day,

he always refused to admit what he'd done.

But I did love my husband, Detective.

I will mourn him.

And I certainly did not kill him.

Mr. Slauson died Tuesday evening.

Where were you that afternoon?

What does that matter?

Am I to assume you have no alibi?

For Tuesday?

I was considering joining
the temperance league.

I spent all day with Margaret Brackenreid.

Margaret's confirmed it. She even walked

Mrs. Slauson to her door at half past 6.

So she didn't have time
to poison the gin bottle.

That leaves us with only one
person who could have rinsed it.

The barman. Leopold Buck.

The one person who had no motive.

Sirs, pardon the interruption.

Inspector, it seems our plan to
open a public house near the Junction

- will have to be put on hold.
- George,

could we discuss this another time? We
are in the middle of an investigation.

Actually, sir, I think you'll
find this of interest as well.

As you'll recall, I found the perfect lot
of land for our venture. Well, I've just

been informed that land
has already been sold.

What, did someone else have the same idea?

It would appear so, sir. And the man
who bought the property was Leopold Buck.

The barman.

Looking to profit from prohibition.

Looks like the man who poured

the deadly drink now has a motive.

The facts are irrefutable, Mr. Buck.

You knew of Councilman
Slauson's drinking habits.

You had access to the gin bottle

both before and after the poisoning.

You are the only person
who could have killed him.

That's ridiculous. Why would I
kill one of my best customers?

You were banking on the Junction going dry

so that you could open a new
bar just across the town line.

The Reverend and I set up some bar
fights to gain favour for temperance.

What does that have to do
with Councilman Slauson?

He stood in the way of prohibition.

We were working to convince
him, not to kill him.

You had just purchased the property.

You needed Councilman Slauson out
of the way as soon as possible.

No... I didn't kill him. I didn't...

You can deny it all you want, Mr. Buck.

But you were the only person who could have

poisoned that gin bottle and rinsed it out.

I didn't kill him.

Murder to clear the way
for a business venture...

- Men have killed for much less.
- Leopold Buck

is the only person who could
have possibly committed the crime.

Right. I'd best get on.

Got to give John a slap on the wrist.

- He stole my whiskey.
- I'd imagine Margaret

would be calling for more
than a slap on the wrist.

She is. But you can't keep a
Brackenreid from his whiskey.


forgive me if this is not
my place to say, but...

I've met John. If he's
drinking whiskey, it could be

that he's just trying to
be more like his father.

What's wrong with that?

I've been drinking for over
30 years with no ill effect.

Drinking may work for you,

- but it doesn't agree with everyone.
- My father, for example.

He looks up to you, Inspector.

You can either condone his behaviour
or you can put a stop to it.

I'll speak to him. Mind you,

if he's gonna keep on drinking,
he's got a lot to learn.

When I was his age, I knew
how to nip my father's scotch.

By the time John had finished with
it, the bottle was virtually all water.

Poured myself a drink and
nearly spat it across the room.



What if Mr. Slauson's drink
was neither gin nor poison?

- What are you thinking?
- Mr. Slauson was disgusted

by his drink. But it
could easily have been...


An unpleasant surprise when
you're expecting a stiff drink.

The killer replaced Mr. Slauson's gin

with water to prevent him
from drinking the antidote.

But the poison itself could
have been administered earlier.

Bloody clever.

That means the bartender is
no longer our prime suspect.

If the bottle already contained water,

- it didn't need to be rinsed after the brawl.
- Exactly.

One of the two men who started the bar
brawl could be the killer. Either of them

could have substituted the gin for water

earlier that afternoon.
But the real question is,

did either of them have opportunity

to poison Mr. Slauson before
his arrival at the hotel?

They were both at the
meeting with Reverend Shore

and at the Peacock thereafter. They
could have walked him door to door.

Mr. Cutter.

Please tell me again

what happened the night
of Mr. Slauson's death.

I went to the meeting at the Reverend's.

And then after, Liam Bertrand and I
went to the Peacock and started a fight.

After you left Reverend Shore's,

did you and Mr. Bertrand proceed
directly to the Peacock Hotel?

Yes. But, not together.

I went straight away.

Liam followed a few minutes after.

I stayed behind to speak to the Reverend.

- What about?
- To inform him the plan

was set and the fight
would happen as expected.


Why did Mr. Cutter not wait for you?

You were both headed to the same place.

We wanted to enter the hotel
separately, as strangers,

so as to make the fight more convincing.

Did you see Councilman Slauson

at any point after the conclusion

- of the meeting?
- Briefly, yes.

The Reverend asked to have
one last word with him.

How long after you arrived
at the Peacock Hotel

did Councilman Slauson get there?

15 minutes, maybe?

I arrived first

and then Liam arrived
about 10 minutes after.

He just had time to down one drink

- and then Slauson came in.
- A drink?

I thought you only pretended to drink.

I was pretending. Liam was drinking.

But he is a temperancer.

Oh, I am most certainly

a temperancer. I only drank that night

because we had to make the fight look real.

I knew Charlie Cutter wouldn't
have more than a sip of lager,

so it was left to me to make sure
no one suspected it was a put-on.

Ah. So you only drink

when you're putting on a show, as it were.


I may have struggled
with the vice on occasion.

How often would that be?

Every day that I've known
him. The man's a damn drunk.

- He carries a flask.
- A flask?

Was he carrying the
flask with him that night?

Yes. Well, no,

he was sober at the Reverend's,
but he arrived at the Peacock

already three sheets to
the wind. I mean, honestly,

why do you have to have a
drink on the way to the bar?

If we are to believe

Charlie Cutter's version of the events,

we can deduce that Liam Bertrand's flask

contained the poison. Now,
Mr. Bertrand himself admitted

to seeing Councilman Slauson
after the temperance event...

Which gives him opportunity.

Wouldn't Slauson be suspicious being
offered a drink by a temperancer?

Mr. Bertrand is known to
"struggle" with his vice.

Still, it seems unusual
to offer somebody a drink

- and not have any yourself.
- Unless he did share in it.

Mr. Bertrand had been drinking
before arriving to the bar.

Perhaps he was drunk on the wood alcohol...

- Drunk on the poison itself.
- But sir,

if the killer himself drank the poison,

wouldn't he be as equally...
wouldn't he be dead?

You're forgetting about the
antidote, Crabtree. All Bertrand

had to do was down a shot
of whiskey at the hotel bar.

Which he did. But the
victim had only water,

which allowed the wood alcohol to kill him.

I've always said whiskey saves lives.

- We are sorely lacking in evidence.
- We've been through

Bertrand's house. No sign of a flask.

Why am I still here?

'Cause quite simply, Mr. Bertrand,

I believe you to be a murderer.

I told you, I had nothing to do with that.

You own a flask, do you not?

Of course you do,

your friend Mr. Cutter can attest to it.

Yet our Constables were unable
to find a flask in your effects.

- Meaning what?
- Meaning you disposed of it.

Sensible, given that you
used it to poison a man.

I did no such thing.

Then why dispose of it?

It's rather suspicious
behaviour, don't you think?

No, I do not. Your constables
didn't find my flask, Detective,

because... my flask is right here.

- Whiskey?
- Bourbon, in fact.

Quite fine. Have a sip if you like.

Are you often in the habit
of sharing your flask,

- Mr. Bertrand?
- No. You should feel honoured, Detective.

Did Mr. Slauson ever
receive such an honour?

- I can't recall.
- So it's possible, then,

that we would find Mr. Slauson's
fingermarks on your flask.

It is possible. He was my neighbour,

we likely shared in a
drink together on occasion.

Hmm... was Tuesday
evening such an occasion?

- I don't recall.
- Allow me to refresh your memory.

It would have been immediately after

the temperance meeting at Reverend Shore's.

Do you deny it?

Even if I gave him a
drink, it proves nothing.

- So you did.
- Yes. So what?

So you poisoned him, Mr. Bertrand.

- That's your contention.
- Actually,

it's your contention.

You see, if Mr. Slauson had a drink

out of this flask that evening,
it could only have been poison.

Because anything else would
have been the antidote.

I'll admit to nothing. And I'll
say nothing more on the matter.

It was a rather clever
scheme, Mr. Bertrand.

But you've been found out.

You murdered for temperance.

And now you will hang for it.

I did not murder for temperance.

I did it because that
bastard killed my dog.

Ran him over, drunk,

and meant to do it. And worst of all,

he wouldn't even admit to
it once he'd sobered up.

He's never taken responsibility

for a single thing he's
done in his entire life.

He's not a man. He's a devil. And he got

exactly what he deserved.

Goodbye, Mrs. Nation,
have a pleasant journey.

I'll do no such thing. Nor
did I have a pleasant stay.

May God have mercy on your damnable souls.

Thank you.

What a horrid woman.

I guarantee that woman drives more men
to drink than she keeps away from it.


Come and have a seat, son.

You know, the first time that my
father caught me getting drunk,

he took his belt to me. I was your age.

I've never forgotten it.

But if his intention was
to stop me from drinking,

it didn't work.

You kept drinking behind his back?

Me and my pals knew the best way to swipe
a bottle from every merchant in Yorkshire.

Carefree, raising hell, best days...

The point is, I may
have turned out alright,

but plenty of my pals
from those days didn't.

Now my job is to make sure that

you and Bobby don't
end up like one of them.

Then again, you don't
have to be like me either.

- Of course I want to be like you.
- You're a smart boy, John.

And I do believe you'll become a good man.

You may end up being like me

or you may end up being some
teetotaling bookworm like bloody Murdoch.

Just don't waste your youth getting drunk.

Then you can be whatever
kind of man you want.

- Yes, Father.
- Listen.

You're going to make mistakes. We all do.

But maybe you should
put off making this one

until you're a little bit
older. And when you do,

for the love of God,

- don't let your mother find out.
- Yes, sir.

Go on.

The Junction is quite
a nice town, actually.

We could live here, if it
wasn't so far from the city.

Imagine 30 minutes just to get to work.

Plus, it's about to go
dry. What fun is that?

Well, temperance has its virtues.

A dry Canada could be quite remarkable.

- How so?
- With no more time wasted

to the bottle, imagine the
great heights of industry

and ingenuity our nation could reach.

Well, if temperance truly is in our future,

we should take advantage
of it while we can.

- Julia...
- Just one little drink, William.

Oh, why not?

Do you suppose they have spruce beer?

On an all-new Murdoch,

the connection to two murders...

You know this man?

Yes, and so do you, Detective.

Opens the door to the past.

I see his body lying there
like it was yesterday.

Let's retrace our steps.

Murdoch becomes history.