Government agent Terrance Myers (Peter Keleghan) returns to Murdoch Mysteries and enlists the detective to help solve the case of a murdered French diplomat. In order to investigate, Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) must go undercover in The Spy Who Loved Murdoch.
Meyers explains to Murdoch that diplomats from Britain, Russia and France have been dispatched to Canada to sign a treaty between the three countries. The death of the French diplomat, Gaétan Vidal, could have dire consequences.
In typical over-dramatic style, Meyers delivers a most chilling line: “If we don’t find out who killed this man, the result will be the greatest war this world has ever known.”
Arwen Humphreys also returns this week, as Inspector Thomas Brackenreid’s wife, Margaret. She is in her husband’s office when Meyers and Murdoch arrive at Station House No. 4, but the Inspector (Thomas Craig) is excluded from their top secret mission.
Meyers makes Murdoch uncomfortable as he tells him of his failed love affair with the French diplomat’s attaché, Mademoiselle Régine Rivière (Louis Monot).
The Mademoiselle shows up shortly afterwards with some bad news – the Russian diplomats have arrived early. So there is no time to wait for another French diplomat to arrive in Toronto to negotiate the treaty.
Meyers and Rivière look Murdoch up and down and come up with a plan. Since Murdoch can speak French and looks somewhat similar to Vidal, perhaps he can get away with impersonating the diplomat, at least temporarily.
“The fate of the world lies in your hands,” Meyers says in melodramatic fashion, when Murdoch agrees to the scheme.
At the hotel, Rivière shows Murdoch some tools of the spying trade, including a stop watch that acts as a dart gun and a knife that pops out of a cigarette case. She informs Murdoch she wasn’t just the diplomat’s attaché, she was also his lover, so he must act the part. Donning a fake mustache and goatee, an awkward Murdoch is uneasy as Rivière teaches him how to become a French man.
“You Canadians are as cold as your weather,” she says, when Murdoch puts his hand just below her shoulder. “Is this how you hold your lover?”
“It’s how I hold my wife,” Murdoch replies.
“Move your arm lower.”
When the pair enter the hotel room to meet the Russian diplomat, Evgeny Dorokhov (Nick Stojanovic), he is bizarrely holding his pet ferret, which is on a leash. He tells Vidal he will not sign the treaty unless the French give the Russians Shanghai.
For a moment, Murdoch is nonplussed and Rivière whispers to him to give in to the Russian. Then he makes a decision.
“No,” Murdoch says. “If you want concessions with Shanghai, you speak with the British. France will not bow down to threats.”
Dorokhov laughs. “For a moment I thought I was dealing with child. But this is man. This is man I like.”
Murdoch is enjoying his new identity. Encountering Julia (Hélène Joy) later at the morgue, he brags: “Her cigarette case became a knife and I saved Shanghai!” Julia remarks that’s he’s relishing his new role and asks, a little jealously, why he hasn’t taken off the mustache and goatee.
On the flip side, Meyers is jealous of his former girlfriend’s relationship with Murdoch.
Murdoch Runs Into An Old Friend
When Mr. Ainsworth, the British diplomat, arrives in Toronto, he is introduced to Vidal and immediately takes him to meet his old friend at a hotel bar. Ainsworth describes the man as: “one of the finest Britons in the new world.” The friend is, of course, Inspector Brackenreid. The look of surprise on both Murdoch and Brackenreid’s faces is priceless. They muddle through it somehow, but they’re both in for an even bigger surprise when Margaret shows up at the bar.
Unfortunately, Murdoch’s impersonation of Vidal is so spot on that someone shoots at him from a third story window in the hotel. Meyers, Murdoch and Rivière find a bellboy in a supply closet eating a sandwich. He says he didn’t hear anything but the trio soon discover he is actually a German spy.
Back at the station house, Murdoch comes clean to Brackenreid about what’s been going on. When he hears about the treaty, he has his own stoic opinion. “If Britain is going to be teaming up with anyone, it should be Germany, we’re related to their bloody king,” says Brackenreid.
Stoking The Fires of Suspicion
Meanwhile, Margaret visits Julia, to tell her she saw her husband with another woman who had her hands all over him. Julia says she trusts William but Margaret stokes the fire by telling her men aren’t like women. Females can have a thought about someone but don’t act on it but males are different, she says.
When it is revealed that Rivière didn’t send a telegram to France to inform them of Vidal’s death, Meyers claims Rivière is a traitor. And, in turn, Rivière accuses Meyers of being a turncoat. But who is really the traitor?
When Murdoch and Brackenreid lock up Meyers and Rivière in a jail cell, Julia fills in at the spur-of-the-moment. She becomes Vidal’s new Australian attaché, with amusing results.
The Spy Who Loved Murdoch was an interesting, humorous episode filled with a great deal of intrigue. It was also an awesome opportunity for Montreal-born Yannick Bisson to show off his French-speaking mother tongue. Ooh la la!
Murdoch Mysteries airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC. In case you missed season 12, episode 5, you can watch it here.