Season 7, Episode 13 (The Murdoch Sting)
For the most part, a joyfully fun episode consisting of conning a con artist impersonating a con artist with the help of a con artist, complete with fancy costumes, phony accents, and overdone special effects. The A plot, in other words, is a delightful Monday night romp and the right perpetrator gets her deserved reward of being caught for two murders, while another expert at crime (albeit less violent) gets off scot free, much to the bemusement of Inspector Brackenreid, Detective Murdoch, and Mr. Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie, as it turn out, is not the only historical person in the story – the con artist Cassie Chadwick is also a real woman, who in the early 1900s turned infamous by pretending to be Carnegie’s presumably illegitimate daughter. I’ll give the woman credit – she fooled many people, including respectable American banks.
The B and C plots this week are much darker than the above: Crabtree and Dr. Grace break up and Dr. Ogden tries to investigate her mysterious letter from one (certainly not dead) James Gillies. Dr. Ogden is so terrified that she can barely function, and since the letter explicitly forbids her from telling Murdoch about it (and insists that if she marries Murdoch, he will be killed), she refuses the detective’s advances outright.
Honestly, the letter does not say that she can’t inform anyone, only Murdoch. Certainly, she could show the letter to Brackenreid and Crabtree and forbid them to show it to Murdoch – all of which would still not violate the letter. Gillies is a psychopath who sees this all as a big game, but games have rules, and he still follows them. He is counting on her fear paralyzing her. Furthermore, she can still get engaged to Murdoch, as the letter said “if you marry him” – her behaviour is ridiculous albeit understandable. Gillies must be having a grand old time.
Just as the icing on the disappointing cake, Crabtree attempts to make amends with Dr. Grace, only to watch her leave with Leslie Garland. He doesn’t follow them – he still has an inferiority complex regarding Garland. Again, his behaviour is understandable if not frustrating. Surely investigating the letters that Dr. Ogden is getting might be something to take his mind off of his romantic woes.
However, it is now second intermission – Olympic break.
Season 5, Episode 14 (If the Shoe Fits)
To follow Murdoch’s romantic woes in the above episode, this Republic of Doyle episode has him guest star as his descendant, Bill Murdoch, who has followed both a suspect and a love interest to Newfoundland. Fan are thus reassured that our Murdoch eventually does have at least one child after all (and not adopted, since his descendant has his mannerisms and looks, albeit in a hardened, modern sense). Bill teams up with Jake, Malachy, and Des to solve a crime, although he seems to act more like the Doyles’ number one suspect than their assistant.
The end of this episode matches Republic of Murdoch almost shot for shot, albeit with an altered plotline, and Bill and Jake are left wondering if they have “done this all before”. Clearly, Jacob Doyle was embarrassed about losing his treasure map and never bothered to pass on the story of the cops from Toronto to his family, as the name “Murdoch” doesn’t ring any bells. Surprisingly, it doesn’t ring any bells with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary either, although any mention of Murdoch and Crabtree might not have made it into the online records database that Mal, Des, and Rose searched for information on Bill.
On the actual homefront of the Doyles, case aside, Sloan is in financial trouble and tries to get her dear dad to give her money. She ends up stealing from him, but we are left suspicious that Jake is not as naïve as she thinks he is. While he is new at fatherhood, Sloan likely reminds him of all his bad habits and he never knew her as a cute little girl. She likely can’t pull the Daddy’s Little Princess act that many teenage girls can, as much as she wants to try. Meanwhile, Jake has accepted that Des and Tinny are a couple, even if he really doesn’t want to hear about it.
Finally, despite dating a model-like medical examiner, Jake clearly wants to get back together with Leslie Bennett, who has been promoted to Inspector – meaning she can’t help him as much and has a lot more paperwork. However, we are left hopeful that they might reunite – except that next week is the season finale, and with the exception of Season 2, someone is always in mortal peril as the last episode fades to the credits. First Mal, then Des, then Jake…so will it be Leslie’s turn this time?