Doctor Julia Ogden’s (Hélène Joy) first operation at the University of Toronto’s School of Medicine is deemed a great success, until the patient dies minutes later. The head surgeon assures Julia she is not responsible, but of course she is devastated in Operation Murder.
Meanwhile, back at Station House No. 4, William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) encounters George Crabtree (Jonny Harris): “It’s a beautiful day outside, George, why don’t you go for a walk along the boardwalk?” George, looking miserable, replies: “The boardwalk is always teaming with happy young couples.” Poor George.
But he does meet a new love interest a few hours later, on the hospital steps, a nurse named Florence Nightingale Graham (Kathryn Alexandre). They connect over a line in a poem and he asks her out.
William gets a special delivery to the “crazy house on Lambert Avenue,” as the courier calls it. He looks at the large wooden box with glee as he prepares to open it. And so begins season 12, episode 2 of Murdoch Mysteries, entitled Operation Murder.
When Julia arrives home later, she tells William. “I completed my final supervised surgery today.”
“Oh that’s wonderful, Julia, congratulations!” he replies.
“And the patient died.”
Julia decides to investigate the sudden death of her patient and has the body sent to the city morgue so she and her assistant Violet Hart (Shanice Banton) can perform a post-mortem. And when Miss Hart does the procedure, she determines the sutures Julia used failed, causing internal bleeding and the patient’s heart to stop. But Julia is still not convinced she was responsible for her patient’s untimely death. When she discovers a similar death occurred at the hospital only a week earlier, she decides to play detective and begins questioning hospital staff. This raises a lot of eyebrows and annoys many employees, including her instructor, Doctor Forbes (James McGowan).
Back at Lambert Avenue, a very humorous scene takes place as William works on his new invention. Julia tries to tell him about the other death at the hospital and has to shout to be heard over William’s contraption. Boys and their toys.
A short time later, Murdoch is still obsessively tinkering with his new toy and hears the doorbell ring several times before he finally gets up to answer it. “Sir, I think your doorbell is broken,” George says. “If only it were,” William replies. I’m with William on this one – I literally cringe every time my doorbell rings at home.
As George recounts his meeting with Nurse Graham, Murdoch is much more interested in whatever it is he happens to be inventing this week.
Julia eventually enlists William in her investigation at the hospital and the pair begin to suspect there is a serial killer on the loose who is murdering people with chronic alcoholism. But who could it be? The list of suspects includes Nurse Sullivan (Stephanie Belding), Dr. Forbes and Dr. Dixon (Sebastian Pigott), a fellow student who is green with envy when it comes to Julia.
Speaking of green, George turns into something close to The Creature From The Black Lagoon when Nurse Graham applies her a skin cream creation on his face. He asks what it is and she tells him they use some of the ingredients to treat burn victims, but it can also help repair the ravages of age. “Every woman has the right to feel beautiful.” I suppose every man does too, even George.
The next day George tells her: “My face is positively aglow.” He offers to take some of her face creams to a merchant he knows in town and, oh no George, you just doomed your new romance right there and then.
Unlucky In Love
When her face creams sell well, Nurse Graham tells George she has resigned from the hospital and is heading to New York to pursue her dreams. Like many historical figures who have appeared on Murdoch Mysteries throughout the years, George’s latest ex-paramour is of historical significance – she will create a successful cosmetics company one day.
“Can you see me off on the train George?” He looks at her, resigned: “Union Station, I know it well.” Poor George.
“Every woman I love leaves town,” he tells William a few hours later. He then ponders whether he should pursue less ambitious women, so he can finally settle down.
“Although ambitious women aren’t always easy, they are always interesting,” William replies, and he should know!
At the end of the episode, we finally get to see what William was working on so diligently. Without giving it away, I’ll just say it’s a very fitting Murdoch versus machine moment.
This was another entertaining and suspense-filled episode, with a great performance from everyone’s favourite leading lady Hélène Joy. The only missing elements in last night’s show were Inspector Brackenreid, Detective Watts and Henry Higgins. I believe we’ll see Henry soon enough though, in episode 3, entitled My Big Fat Mimico Wedding. See you next week!
New episodes of Murdoch Mysteries air Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC. If you missed this week’s episode, Operation Murder can be viewed here.