This week’s Murdoch Mysteries begins with a crazy series of events. Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) is at a meeting where he is introduced as a candidate, but a candidate for what? Someone walks into the meeting and whispers in Murdoch’s ear and he takes off for Station House No. 4 on his bike. He races into the station to see Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) punching Detective Watts (Daniel Maslany) in the face in Darkness Before The Dawn Part One.
Julia (Hélène Joy) is at the University of Toronto’s School of Medicine running down a hallway to see John Brackenreid (Charles Vandervaart), who is lying on a gurney, bleeding profusely from his side.
We then learn the background to this series of unfortunate events. Watts tells Brackenreid he wants to look into a case that Station House No. 1 is investigating. A woman he knew named Lucille Palmer was shot and killed in an opium den and he wants to do a little digging. Brackenreid tells him to go for it but to tread lightly.
Shortly afterwards, the Inspector is having a drink at a hotel and Detective Horace McWorthy (Sean Bell) shows up.
“Whatever Detective Watts thinks he knows about Lucille Palmer, she wasn’t what she seemed,” McWorthy says.
Margaret Brackenreid Wants A Divorce
Brackenreid has recommended Murdoch for the job of Inspector at Station House No. 5 and McWorthy says he can dissuade another worthy candidate from applying, but only if Brackenreid tells Watts to “back off” the Lucinda Palmer case.
Margaret (Arwen Humphreys) appears at the hotel and tells him she wants a divorce.
“If you think I’m going to agree to it, then you’ve forgotten who you’re married to, Mrs. Brackenreid,” he tells her angrily.
Meanwhile, at the morgue, Julia tells Violet Hart (Shanice Banton) she is resigning as City Coroner and says she will put in a good word for her with her replacement. Miss Hart says she wants to be the new coroner and Julia tells her she doesn’t have enough experience for the job. But it is obvious that Miss Hart will do whatever it takes to get the position.
Viewers already know Miss Hart is well acquainted with Detective McWorthy and this week, she asks him if he will help her get the coroner’s job and he agrees to it.
The well connected Alan Templeton tells William he has suggested him for the Inspector position at the Board of Control. William confides to Julia that he is worried anti-Catholic sentiment will deprive him of any chance at the job.
Watts Does Not Heed Brackenreid’s Order
Brackenreid tells Watts to back off the Lucille Palmer case but instead, he asks John to help him investigate. John is dating Isabella Carmichael, a friend of Lucille’s, and Watts asks him to find out what he can from her.
Then John and Watts then head into the opium den to find Grant Sutton, a man who had been seen with Lucille Palmer. John searches the main floor while Watts heads upstairs.
John hears a noise and heads into a room. Shots ring out and Watts rushes downstairs. He finds Grant Sutton dead and John lying on the floor, bleeding.
The inspector rushes to the hospital, followed closely by Margaret.
Watts fills in Crabtree (Jonny Harris) and Murdoch on what has happened. He says he was told to stay away from the case but didn’t.
“This is all my fault,” Watts says, despondently.
Julia and Dr. Dixon (Sebastian Pigott) work frantically to save John’s life. The operation is successful but she’s not sure if John will suffer spinal damage. Julia begins to feel incredibly guilty that she hadn’t waited for a spinal specialist to perform the operation. Watts is feeling his own guilt, having involved John in the investigation in the first place.
Who Killed Lucinda Palmer?
Murdoch finds a letter Lucinda Palmer had written to someone, telling the person she was pregnant. He presents the evidence to McWorthy, who says he had spoken with Lucille’s sister, who told him she met frequently with Isabella’s brother, Arthur. He has also found a broken bullet in the mattress where Lucinda had been found dead.
Murdoch and McWorthy team up to solve the case.
Meanwhile, Miss Hart meets with a mysterious stranger and is told she must plant evidence on Lucinda’s body, if she wants to become the next city coroner. She says she wouldn’t do such a thing but, low and behold, she miraculously finds part of a broken bullet during a second autopsy on Lucinda. The bullet is a match to the one found in the mattress.
Arthur Carmichael tells Murdoch and McWorthy that Lucinda was involved with John. Murdoch finds out the planted bullet came from John’s gun.
The evidence is mounting against John and he admits he used to date Lucinda before he started seeing Isabella. He is then arrested for the murder of Lucinda Palmer.
Will Murdoch get the Inspector position? Is John Brackenreid really a murderer? Will Miss Hart finally get her comeuppance? Find out next week in the season 12 finale of Murdoch Mysteries. In the meantime, you can watch Darkness Before The Dawn Part One here.
Murdoch Mysteries airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on CBC.