Murdoch Mysteries

Murdoch Mysteries Review – Brother’s Keeper

Brother's Keeper
Exceptional Performance: Daniel Maslany shines in this episode, which focuses on Watts’ backstory. CBC.

Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and Crabtree (Jonny Harris) are investigating a call of a body near the Hogshead Tavern.  They find the dead body in an alleyway and follow the trail of blood to Detective Watts, who is sitting on a fire escape, nursing a wound on his arm. So begins Murdoch Mysteries season 12, episode 7 – Brother’s Keeper.

Back at Station House No. 4, Watts (Daniel Maslany) says he came upon the man in the alleyway unexpectedly.  He tells Murdoch and Brackenreid the man was drunk, took a shot at him and when they struggled for the gun, he shot and killed him.  A distraught Watts admits it was the first time he’d ever killed someone.

Since a policeman has killed the man, identified as Nigel Baker, Murdoch tells Miss Hart (Shanice Banton) she shouldn’t be the one doing the autopsy. Julia (Hélène Joy) will oversee the medical investigation and Miss Hart is not pleased.

Keeping Up With Ruth’s Lavish Lifestyle

In the meantime, Higgins (Lachlan Murdoch) has taken a second job as a night watchman and is falling asleep at his desk. George is incredulous when he hears this. “You?” George says. “You barely have enough energy for one.”

It seems Higgins can’t keep up with the payments on his wife Ruth’s hair cuts and chocolate deliveries, among other luxuries.

Then George comes up with yet another one of his futuristic schemes – Higgins should start his own car service, very much like an early 20th century Uber driver!

The next day, Higgins walks into the station wearing a driver’s cap. He tells George he’s going with his idea and is running HMS Cabbies – Higgins Newsome Motorized Service. And he’s doing quite well at it too – he seems to be constantly disappearing from Station House No. 4. George eventually takes a close look at the HMS Cabbies ad in the newspaper, with the station’s phone number on it. It dawns on him that Higgins is running his car service from the station house!

Brother's Keeper
Awkward Victory: Higgins celebrates. CBC.

As Murdoch and Crabtree further investigate the altercation between Watts and Baker, Murdoch asks Higgins to help him recreate how it happened. Henry ends up kneeing Murdoch and throwing his hands in the air in victory. Murdoch doubles over in pain. “Henry, we’re trying to demonstrate how the weapon discharged, not get into an actual fight,” Murdoch says, gritting his teeth. It’s unexpected laugh out loud moments like this that make this show exceptional and so much fun to watch.

Crabtree discovers Baker was released from prison just before his death. A murder charge against him was dropped due to tampered evidence.  He says he believes Baker was “one of those chaps who is cruel just for the fun of it.”

Brother’s Keeper?

It turns out Watts was much more intimately acquainted with Baker and his murder victim, Danny Marks, than he was letting on. When Murdoch and Crabtree look for Danny’s brother Hubert at a boarding house, they find a framed photo on a dresser. In the photo are twins with Down Syndrome and another young man in between the pair. Crabtree recognizes the man. “It’s Watts.”

It turns out Watts grew up with Danny and Hubert Marks in the same house and considered them brothers. He swears to Murdoch that he didn’t recognize Baker when they were struggling. But when Hubert turns up dead, all signs point to Watts killing Baker for revenge. Did he do it?

Viewers were treated to an outstanding and poignant performance from Maslany on Brother’s Keeper, an episode that heavily featured Watts backstory.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on CBC. You can watch the latest episode here.

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