Season 3, Episode 9 (Save Henry)
All right, so we’re all back from Neverland…all being the operative word on the matter. Sneaky Peter Pan (in a bizarre but realistic case of “I’m my own great-grandpa”) has not only managed to stow away on Hook’s ship back to Storybrooke, but he has managed to do so by switching bodies with Henry, resulting in poor Henry being trapped in a box while Peter Pan is free to wreak havoc in the following episodes. This should make for some refreshing viewing, as the young actors portraying the characters get to stretch their acting skills. Henry has not been a very dynamic character so far, likely due to age and to the writers, so it will be a good change of pace to see Peter Pan-as-Henry.
Luckily, the Peter Pan arc has not yet ended, as I still have not received an answer to my question about Rumpelstiltskin’s mother. Who was she and what happened to her? Did Peter Pan (who, at the time, was only Malcolm) manipulate her into loving him? If so, was there a motive? I hope this issue will be addressed, even if the creators decide that her name was Jane, she developed a mad crush on Peter Pan, he took advantage of her resulting in Rumpelstiltskin, and she died. While not a very interesting story, it is still important.
The rest of this episode centred around Regina adopting Henry, treating the viewer to lots of shots of a cute baby. Regina falls in love with the little guy, freaking out because she has to take real responsibility for someone for the first time in her life. She thinks that he hates her because he won’t stop crying for her, but she perseveres instead of getting angry – she even softens her attitude toward Mary-Margaret where baby Henry is concerned. This episode cemented that yes, Regina really does love her son and she is his mother. She made him into her little prince. Emma wanted what would be best for him – and she got it.
Season 7, Episode 9 (Midnight Train to Kingston)
While this show can be comedic, lighthearted, and occasionally action-oriented, Murdoch Mysteries is fundamentally a cerebral show. It requires the viewers to take a journey every week into the past, then acquaint itself with historical knowledge, outdated technology, outdated science, modern science from a different perspective, and an actual murder mystery on top of it all. While the episodes are generally self-contained and the show is usually amusing and intriguing enough to sit down and watch casually, the show can be difficult to properly get into. There is a good reason why there is a dizzying title sequence that feels a bit like falling down a rabbit hole.
This episode was entirely dark and cerebral. It was a refreshing twist on the “trapped on a train” plotline. There is murder, but the main action involves nearly the entire main cast (quite like an Act One Finale) transporting a convicted killer to his hanging on an overnight train.
The convicted killer in question, however, is James Gillies – a recurring criminal mastermind who plans elaborate traps and escapes. He has an obsession with Murdoch and sees the detective as his intellectual equal whom he can taunt into solving his crimes. He likes moral dilemmas, as he is sociopathic himself and is remorseless – this life is nothing but a game to him.
Since the episode is set on a train, there is a claustrophobic feel to it in the grand tradition of mystery genres set on trains or boats (and airplanes in modern settings). There are limited means of escape, a small number of characters, and still there are plenty of ways for the police to be outsmarted.
Unsurprisingly, neither Murdoch nor Gillies makes it to Kingston. The former is horribly rattled to the point of paranoia, while the latter has disappeared again and while Crabtree, Brackenreid, and Dr. Ogden convince themselves that he is dead, Murdoch is not convinced without Gillies’s corpse in front of him.
Neither is the audience.
Season 5, Episode 9 (Major Crimes)
One could be forgiven for thinking that Republic of Doyle was a police procedural from this episode, seeing as it opens with a murder and the rest of the episode follows the investigation into who committed it. Leslie takes centre stage, with Tinny as her constable partner as they interview suspects and examine the evidence. Jake also works his own case in conjunction with it – namely tracking Callum and trying to figure out his new role with Sloan. For her part, Sloan seems to be acting differently; she is much less manipulative and bratty. It seems that finding her biological father has made her re-evaluate her life. Thank God – I think her character has lots of potential.
Not surprisingly, the crime is solved and the good guys win. Leslie also realises that her husband is a lying jerk who not only convinced her that he was dead for eight years, but who also is deeply involved in crime. Meanwhile, she thinks that Jake is now with someone else, leaving her heartbroken and alone. How she will react to finding out that the “someone else” is Jake’s long-lost daughter remains to be seen.
Hopefully Callum really is gone for good.