Last night’s Murdoch Mysteries episode, Sir. Sir? Sir!! could have been entitled Invasion of the Murdoch Body Snatchers. In an offbeat but comical Halloween episode, Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and Crabtree (Jonny Harris) investigate a strange astrophysical occurrence that has a peculiar influence on some of their fellow officers’ personalities.
The episode begins with Higgins (Lachlan Murdoch) looking up and seeing a meteor falling from the sky. He walks down an alleyway and comes across what looks like a lumpy green piece of an asteroid. He taps on it with his nightstick and a gaseous substance comes out of it, which sprays into his face.
The next day, Higgins returns to Station House No. 4. He is smiling like a lunatic, holding a plant and acting like a Stepford Wife. He begins to eat the leaves of said plant.
George Crabtree and Detective Watts (Daniel Maslany) are dispatched to a farm to investigate an occurrence related to the celestial goings-on. As they’re riding in a carriage together, George imagines what creatures from other planets would look like and is of course, ripe with theories: “maybe they have no heads, like squid, or maybe they’re elf-like and friendly.”
Murdoch and Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) find the odd-shaped, lumpy piece of green stalagmite that fell from the sky and sprayed Higgins. Julia (Hélène Joy) and Miss Hart (Shanice Banton) investigate. Julia determines it’s organic, but has no idea what it actually is.
Whatever landed on the farmer’s property has created a large, circular hole in the front of the barn and a huge crater in the ground. George stays with the farmer and Watts wanders around the property, only to discover what looks like a new species of frog. Watts returns as a changed man, with a Stepford personality similar to Higgins.
In the meantime, Higgins heads to the morgue, grabs Miss Hart and says “what is going to happen is for the best.” Miss Hart screams.
Later, Murdoch travels to the farm with Crabtree, where they discover one of the strange frog-like creatures and take it back to the station house.
Something Is Definitely Off
Crabtree tells Julia that Higgins “is off his nut,” and that Watts’ personality is also off.
On a stroll through Toronto with his wife Margaret (Arwen Humphreys), Brackenreid also starts to notice something is off. “We haven’t gotten a single call today,” he says, as people tip their hats to him and say hello. “Everyone’s being so damn pleasant.”
Margaret tells him to enjoy it. “The world is not often this way,”
“I know, I just don’t much care for it, ” Brackenreid responds.
George Is Right!
Murdoch had recorded the sounds of the creature in the crater and George finds him listening to it in his office.
“George, do you know what this means? You were right, we are being contacted by other creatures.”
He goes down to the morgue to find Julia but is instead confronted by Miss Hart, Detective Watts and Constable Higgins.
When Murdoch returns to his office, George tells him the aliens are “taking us over one by one – you or I could be next.” He realizes it’s already too late for Murdoch when he says: “There is no alien invasion, George, the creature I found was just a moth.” George mentions that, just moments earlier, Murdoch had agreed with him.
“That was a joke, George, I was pulling your arm,” Murdoch replies, with a disturbing laugh.
George backs away. When he finds Julia, he informs her that William has become one of “them”.
Julia returns home to find William in a bathrobe and he is acting as bizarrely as George said he would.
You Don’t Want Romance?
“Would you like to have romance?” he asks her. As he opens his mouth, one of the bizarre frogs comes out of it. Julia screams and shoots William three times. “You don’t want romance?” he says and falls to the floor.
Director Craig David Wallace then uses a classic split screen phone conversation between George and Julia, which ramps up the tension even more.
“I listened to George Crabtree and I killed my husband,” a distraught Julia tells George.
“He wasn’t your husband anymore, he was some sort of bug,” George replies.
In the end, it is up to Crabtree to save Toronto, and perhaps the entire planet. He does discover what he believes will kill the creatures, but is he too late?
Murdoch Mysteries went all out for Halloween this year, even the theme song for season 12, episode 6, Sir. Sir? Sir!! began with some ghoulishly chilling music.
This episode was obviously an homage to movies like Invasion of The Body Snatchers. What it most reminded me of, however, was the Star Trek episode This Side Of Paradise, where spores from plants turn everyone into happy, mindless drones, even Spock, who is well known for being devoid of emotion.
New episodes of Murdoch Mysteries air Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC. If you missed last night’s episode, you can watch Sir. Sir? Sir!! here.