Murdoch Mysteries turns 100

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Murder! Fake identities! A wedding! Did we really expect anything less than a jam-packed episode of goodness from Murdoch Mysteries as it turned 100? I think not. And between the clever case-of-the-week, the wedding that almost looked like it wouldn’t happen and the signature humour that pushes that narrative along, it was a memorable, keepsake affair for fans.

Can we just read this again? Murdoch Mysteries turns 100. It’s a feat few Canadian shows have ever accomplished, let alone one that was cancelled once upon a time, only to be brought back by a public broadcaster where its audience swelled. Our heartfelt congrats to the entire cast and crew this morning: you’ve gone where few of your peers have ever had the opportunity to go.

“Holy Matrimony Murdoch” was one for the books. The episode opened with Mary Thompson, a woman who stood accused of murdering her husband after having feverish dreams about stabbing him to death. Ogden and her expertise were used on the stand, where she was questioned by the always gruff but loveable Crown Attorney Gordon, a.k.a. Little Mosque on the Prairie‘s Neil Crone, who reprised the role. Although it seemed like a simple case, it never is in the Murdoch world, and Julia and William (with a little help from an anonymous post card) quickly tasked themselves with figuring out who really killed Percy Thomspon. Forget the little old fact that they were supposed to be preparing for their wedding.

For a couple that audiences have wanted to see together for so long, both William and Julia certainly seemed nonchalant about their big day. But as we all know that’s just who they are: they get as much of a rush out of solving a case as they do out of being with each other–a fact that Crabtree was originally planning to allude to in his “best man” speech. The way they fit together like that is why they’ve been shipped by mass audiences for so long, but it was also brilliant because it gave so much fantastic material to Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid, the self-appointed wedding planner. We all know Julia would never turn bridezilla, but having Margaret fill that role added so much to the episode. Between her quips towards her husband and Crabtree’s utter delight and sense of self-importance at being named Best Man, it was easy to settle in and get into the wedding spirit too.

Not so for William and Julia. Even as they finally cleared Mary’s name and pinned the murder on Percy’s partner, Wainwright, they were still so wrapped up in the case that it looked as though they might never actually say their vows. That poor priest (The Listener and 19-2‘s Anthony Lemke, for those keeping track), I’m sure he had some beautiful words of love to share and all. To be fair, it was a very Murdoch twist that Percy was actually Wainwright. These were pre-Facebook days, so questioning an accused wife about her dead husband’s identity definitely wouldn’t have been top-of-mind for anybody.

The nit-picky side of me thought it was a little too convenient that Julia was being sent those notes, so the false identity storyline put those criticisms to bed. Although if I were Mary Thompson I would have high-tailed it out of town without telling anyone where I was going — even if it was just to give the wrong information. But those are and were small asides to an episode that did a great job of delivering everything fans really wanted, including rushed vows (let’s be honest: even back then people were just waiting for the open bar), romance, a great case, some bareback horse-riding and of some good old fashioned lip-locking. I know I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed when Murdoch didn’t just go-ahead and “kiss the bride” at the alter, especially when Percy and Mary showed way more affection towards each other than the newly married couple. But then #Murden (#Ogdoch? We need a good shipping name people) more than made up for that by episode’s end.

Do not disturb, guys. This is a family show.

Stray thoughts:

  • Of course Murdoch hadn’t thought to pick a best man before the rehearsal. For a second it looked as though he might go with Brackenreid, but I think we were all happy with his Crabtree choice, yes? Plus Brackenreid being asked to walk Julia down the aisle was just adorable.
  • Speaking of the big boss, how cute was he, giving Margaret the wedding waltz she never had?
  • Were detectives allowed to randomly question witnesses on the stand back in the day? I don’t know enough history to comment on this in full, but that part of the story seemed odd to me. Would love to hear your thoughts.
  • We’re starting a petition to have Neil Crone guest star in every other episode of the show and are currently soliciting hashtags. #CroneTreeForMurdoch and #CroneAttorneyGordon are currently in the lead.
  • Brackenreid giving Murdoch “the talk” was one of those amazing awkward scenes that could have lasted even longer. Who doesn’t love those moments?
  • I completely agree with Crabtree: “sounds fishy” is a completely dumb expression. Now “smells fishy” I can get behind.
  • That Station House 5. Always up to lazy shenanigans, huh?

 

What did you think of of Murdoch’s 100th episode? Sound off below.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CBC.

 

Have a TV question? Check out the latest installment of Ask Amber or email amber@thetvjunkies.com.

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