Father Brown (2013) s06e04 Episode Script

The Angel Of Mercy

And all from our own garden at St Mary's.
Oh! And I bought you a Battenberg, which I know is one of your favourites.
Thank you, Bridget.
It's very kind.
Should I call the nurse? There's no point.
Now, I think you're going to enjoy next month's fundraising lunch.
- We're having a talk from a glass blower.
- Hm.
- At - Hm.
Hm.
I'm going to get Matron.
She'll give you something to stop the pain.
She already has.
Oh! Freda, I'm so sorry.
I just I just wish there was something I could do.
There is.
Well, tell me! Surely Surely you can't mean you want me to Please, Bridget! Help me end this! Lovely Alfred.
We'll miss him at Montague.
The best handyman in Kembleford.
- He knew his time was coming, you know.
- Oh? He asked for Confession, and then he told his beloved Nancy that an angel would come in the night and take him to Heaven.
About as peaceful a passing as you could hope for.
A beautiful soul.
And so helpful around the Convent.
I never saw such a demon with a spanner.
Thank you, Caitlin.
- Hard to believe Caitlin's only been with us for a fortnight.
- Hm.
She's like a younger version of Mrs M.
Only more fun and even more saintly.
You're not lining her up as a replacement for Mrs M, are you? No! And do not tell that to Mrs McCarthy! Too late.
Caitlin, I have to admire the way you've thrown yourself into life at St Mary's.
You've given me a second chance here, Father.
Mrs McCarthy! Have you seen Freda? What is it? You had better come at once, Father.
But why does God ask me to endure this, Father? I believe He gives us strength not through freedom from pain but through pain itself.
"Rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so "that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
" Mr Coulter is here.
Waiting outside.
Matron.
Freda needs some morphine.
Her next dose is due in two hours.
Well, that's not good enough.
Forgive me.
Are you medically trained? No, but I can read, and the sign outside says this is a nursing home! Please! Perhaps we should let Freda alone to her visitor.
Indeed, yes.
Father, I wonder if Caitlin's time at St Mary's has served its purpose? Ah.
I promised Sister Harriet she could stay with us for at least two months.
Yes, well, Sister Harriet herself threw that girl out of the convent! Why don't you start using Caitlin around St Mary's more? What would I do that for? To take the strain.
What strain? Ah, Charlie! Father.
Mrs McCarthy.
Charlie Coulter.
Freda's friend.
Bunty? Thank goodness! Promise you'll shoot me if I ever end up in a place like this, Father.
I will do no such thing.
Right.
Who's for charades? I'll go first.
I warn you, this one's rather rude.
Ellen? Bunty Windermere? It can't be.
I don't believe it! What on Earth are you doing in this madhouse? Oh, I'm here with my friends.
Everyone, this is Ellen Jennings.
Hello! Ellen was my old nanny.
Well, one of them.
You got through quite a few young, lady.
Oh, you were easily my favourite.
You do seem like fun! Well, love and laughter.
What more is there to life? So, Ms Jennings, what brings you to Kembleford? Well, erm, my doctor's new prescription.
Country air.
Wasting disease.
Going to see me off, I'm afraid.
Bit annoying.
But no gloomy faces, please.
Inside my head I'm still dancing like Ginger Rogers.
Well, since you're all here, I'll give you a tour.
Pity about the litter.
Now, that's my room there.
Why have they put you all the way up there? Probably to stop me escaping, dear.
Seth Knight! Freda's son? He left Kembleford over a year ago, just after his father died.
Hasn't been back to see his mother since.
It would seem his conscience has returned him.
Hurry up.
I don't know how much time I've got left.
Got to go.
Bye! Who was that? It's just a friend.
How are you this morning, Mrs McCarthy? Er What is this? Well, now, I noticed that your accounts ledger was nearly full so I bought you a new one.
And I've some nice sharp pencils for you in my bedroom.
I'll go get them.
Why are you doing this? Um to help? Oh.
To "take the strain," you mean? Well, yes.
Father Brown suggested it, didn't he? Father Brown? No.
It was my idea.
St Mary's Presbytery.
Oh.
Matron! Oh, no.
Yes.
Yes.
We'll be there right away.
She was in terrible pain.
God has shown his compassion.
She looks so peaceful.
Indeed.
Beatific, almost.
What is it, Father? It's like odour.
Rubber.
And disinfectant.
Strangely familiar.
How much more time will you need? Well.
Only I don't want the body around any longer than is strictly necessary.
I'm sure we won't be too much longer.
Matron? Do you have any idea what time Freda died? I gave her morphine at 11 o'clock.
She was gone when the nurse brought breakfast at 7.
30.
Has the body been moved? Moved? Whatever for? No reason.
Why on Earth is that woman in this profession? Isn't it beautiful? May I? Wing feather.
Dove, possibly.
You'd like to think an angel left it when they came to take poor Freda away.
Well, Padre, nothing to suggest it was anything other than a natural death.
Thank you for completely wasting my time.
As I said, Inspector The bird feather floated through the open window yesterday, and neither me nor Goodfellow could smell a thing.
- Oh! 'Scuse me.
- Bless you.
Well, perhaps the postmortem will shed some light.
Why would anyone murder a woman who was already at death's door? What on Earth is that girl doing? My condolences, Mr Knight.
Why were the police here? They're looking into how your mother died.
Well, she went in her sleep.
I have my reservations.
That - Pushing my dad into the grave was not enough for you, was it? - Seth If you laid a finger on her, too, I'll snap your neck.
Seth! For There's not much love lost between those two, is there? Bunty, I needed this.
Death's waiting room is rather dull.
The other residents, they all seem so different to you, sort of frightened.
You think I'm not frightened? Not my old nanny.
You're quite wrong.
I'm hopeless with pain, and I've got an awful lot of it to come.
Sometimes I'm completely and utterly terrified .
.
and then I remember life is this extraordinary gift and I tell the others back there to stop looking so miserable! Right.
Your turn.
Don't be daft.
I'm deadly serious.
I can't move my legs.
Who needs legs when we've got these? You're crazy! I couldn't possibly Fine.
Move over, Miss Windermere.
It's a nice piece.
It was for Freda.
I want to finish it.
Don't worry, Father.
Inside, I'm a millionaire.
So what can I do for you? I couldn't help noticing the tension between you and Seth Knight earlier.
None from me.
I've nothing against the man.
He was upset by Freda and my getting together.
He reckoned it was a betrayal of his father.
But Freda did nothing wrong.
And neither did I.
True love cannot be denied.
You appear to be holding yourself together very well.
My beloved is finally free from pain.
How could I not show some sense of relief? Oh, Bunty, can we do this again? Whenever you like! Oh, Mrs McCarthy, that was spectacular.
Delicious.
But it won't save me from the scrapheap, will it? Cheer up, Mrs M.
It might not happen.
Thank you, Father.
Just the ticket.
May I? So how was your quiet drive in the country? Oh, it was a hoot.
Ellen is quite extraordinary.
She took the wheel for five miles or more.
Penelope, are you out of your mind? Oh.
At one point, I'd swear she was driving without the umbrella! Hm! An unquenchable human spirit is one of God's greatest gifts.
I find your friend really inspiring, Bunty.
Well, Matron Sophia doesn't.
You should have seen the look on her face when we got back just now.
And she's clearly only in it for the money.
Why do you say that? Well, she's filled Freda's room already.
Oh, if there's anyone with a harder heart than that woman, it's Seth Knight.
Did you know that after he left Kembleford, he wrote letters to his mother saying he wished she were dead? Oh, it nearly killed Freda's heart.
I think I'll pay Seth a visit in the morning.
Well, I will not be joining you.
Caitlin? - Sorry, Father.
I've early morning Mass in Hambleston.
- Ah.
Hm.
- Mum would have a heart attack if she saw this mess.
- Hm.
I came to say that I'll be glad to help with any funeral arrangements.
Seth, why do you blame Charlie for your father's death? That man made his move on Mum when Dad was still alive.
Dad died from a broken heart, I'm sure of it.
Still, that's no excuse for what I did to Mum.
Leaving her like that.
So where have you been for the past few months? Swindon.
I got a job at Vickers.
Tried to forget about everything, to be honest.
Understandable.
You still kept in touch with your mother? Wrote her letters? Yeah.
- Forgetting my manners, aren't I? I'll put the kettle on.
- Ah.
Oh, Father! Mrs McCarthy.
I just bumped into Father Morris.
Caitlin wasn't at Mass this morning.
Oh, dear.
Which means she lied to you! I see.
What is it? It turns out Freda changed her will, three months ago.
And? She left her house and most of her worldly goods to Charlie Coulter.
Heavens above! And did Seth find out? Almost certainly.
Well, he'd have been furious! I would imagine so.
But I'm more interested in Charlie given how poor he clearly is.
Not any more he isn't.
Precisely.
Charlie! Charlie? This obviously alters the picture slightly, in relation to the death of Freda Knight.
No marks on either body.
My money's on suffocation with the pillow.
No obvious blood or saliva, but we'll take a closer look.
Smothering someone with a pillow takes some time.
But there's no sign of resistance from either victim.
Mr Coulter was asleep.
And Mrs Knight, bless her, was hardly going to put up much of a fight, was she? But no skin or blood under the finger nails? No scratches? Come on, then.
Out with it.
Inspector, I believe Freda and Charlie were gassed to death.
You what? The slight odour of rubber and disinfectant It's a gas mask.
A distant memory I have tried to suppress, not surprisingly.
You're saying the killer fitted a gas mask to his victims while they were sleeping? No.
They were awake.
It sounds like you've been inhaling something, Padre.
I think we both know the postmortem will show asphyxia.
I don't think the postmortem will show anything.
I've spoken to the neighbours, sir.
And? Yesterday evening, around 4pm, they heard an altercation between the victim and Seth Knight.
Sounds like it got quite heated.
Did it now? So no alibi for last night? Or the night before? And you don't deny you threatened Charlie Coulter yesterday? "Dear Mother I sometimes wish you were already dead.
" How touching.
Recognise this? Her will.
You'll admit you've read it, then? Oh, I've read it all right.
First Mummy betrays Daddy, then her bit on the side gets the loot in your place? No wonder you did them both in.
It's looking very bleak, Mr Knight, and that's before the postmortem.
But if you come clean now, you might yet dodge the noose.
I would never have harmed Mum.
But I was sure Charlie had .
.
to stop her changing that will back into my favour.
So I went to his house to get him to confess.
I shook him up.
Proper.
Looked him right in the eye.
But he didn't do it.
I could tell.
I'm not sad Charlie's gone, but I didn't kill him.
Where's Caitlin? Out for a walk, or so she claims.
That girl is trouble, I'm telling you.
Let's just hope Father Brown sees through her, Mrs M, for your sake.
Father, I'm confused.
Even if you're right and gas was used, then why didn't Charlie or Freda put up a fight? I believe they were both willing participants in their own deaths.
What? I spoke to a nurse at the cottage hospital about Charlie's pills.
It turns out he had cancer.
Heavens above.
I had no idea.
Both Charlie and Freda were in great pain and they both knew they were living on borrowed time.
Sadly, the will to carry on seems to have deserted them, but they wished to avoid the stigma of suicide, so they used a poisonous gas that left no trace.
Wait, so if Charlie gave this gas to Freda and then took the mask away Well, that fits.
But then, who helped Charlie die? That, Bunty, is the question.
And there was I trying to comfort myself that an angel had carried Freda away.
Thank you, Nancy.
She hasn't slept in this bed since Alfred died.
Excuse me! Ah! Alfred told Nancy an angel was coming for him.
I believe the same person administered the gas to Freda, Charlie and Alfred.
And used the feathers to conjure up an image of an angel of mercy.
What's he doing here? He's trying to find a link between Seth and Alfred, I expect.
There is a chance that the Angel may act again.
But where? Well, the only link between Freda, Charlie and Alfred is that they were all terminally ill.
I'm just going to check on Ellen!! Oh, Father, about Caitlin Oh, that reminds me.
- I took the liberty of asking her to organise your next fundraising lunch.
- What? Well, I thought you deserved some time off.
And she has proved very capable! But I don't want any time off.
I insist.
You're alive! Oh, Bunty, darling, I'm not quite at death's door yet.
Hello, Bunty! Oh! Caitlin! I came to ask your inspiring friend for some advice.
I hope you don't mind? - Not at all.
- We've been having a lovely chat.
I should be getting back to St Mary's.
Come again soon, won't you? I promise.
A terribly sweet girl.
Now what on Earth are you so het up about? Well, someone in Kembleford is pretending to be an Angel Of Mercy and persuading people to kill themselves, including Freda Knight in this very building.
Gosh.
And you think I'm susceptible? Well, it's just that in the car yesterday I was just worried about you, that's all.
Bunty, darling, if someone tried to sweet talk me into kicking the bucket, quite frankly I'd knock their block off.
What was I thinking? How's your friend today? I thought it was your job to know that.
He's always so thrilled when you're right, Father.
Are you all right, Inspector? No, I am not.
There was no gas mask in that storehouse.
It must have been moved right after I left.
By Matron Sophia.
This is what Matron Sophia was doing in there.
Keeping half a dozen of these in a refrigerator.
Off ration, courtesy of the black market.
Claims her residents need the extra iron.
I've decided she was acting illegally but honourably.
As for you, Miss Windermere, stealing keys, breaking and entering That bag is a vital piece of evidence.
You need to find it! Given that Seth Knight suffocated his three victims, whatever you think you saw in that shed can hardly be termed "evidence.
" So the postmortems have confirmed asphyxiation? - Not yet.
- Have you found the link between Seth and Alfred May? We're working on it.
Sorry to interrupt, sir.
- Yes? - Just arrived.
What is it, Inspector? There's no signs of asphyxia.
Or poison.
Hm.
Any sign of a struggle? No.
So, these three people could be willing victims of a gas that leaves no trace? That is one possible explanation now.
Yes.
So you'll be releasing Seth, then? Why? Seth Knight works for an aircraft manufacturer.
They, as I'm sure you know Use poisonous gases.
Hang on, Seth can hardly move evidence if he's locked up.
His accomplice must have moved it.
His accomplice?! You're not safe in Kembleford.
Not until this person is behind bars.
You really think I'm at risk, don't you? Let me find a new home for you.
Oh, for heaven's sakes, Bunty! I need to get you out of danger.
All right.
Super! Pack your things while I'm gone, and be ready for a quick getaway.
Bunty? Thank you.
You all right, Mrs M? Oh! You put the heart across me! And what are you doing here, anyway? Calling every private nursing home in the Cotswolds.
Why? Oh, they're all full.
God knows why.
So I'm going to invite Ellen back to stay at Montague for a while.
- It should be rather fun.
Too-de-loo.
- Oh.
Where is Ellen? I was going to ask you the same thing.
I assumed you'd taken her.
She owes a month's rent, you know.
And you owe my residents a fortnight of meat.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep this place going? She must have forgotten them.
Where is she?! You tell me.
"Is freedom anything else than the right to live and die as we wish?" What do you make of that, Father? It's intriguing.
And she wrote that today.
Ellen's gone! And there was a white feather in her room! Sweet Jesus! And all of her things were still in her drawer.
I see.
And, Father, Caitlin has been out most of the afternoon! Caitlin? I found her alone with Ellen earlier.
The thing about this Epictetus quote is it's wrong.
Who? Epictetus, Greek stoic philosopher.
We need to find Ellen at once.
You think she's still alive? Yes.
Mrs McCarthy, would you mind telephoning both taxi firms in Kembleford and asking if either of them has taken a fare from Powderham House in the last couple of hours? Yes, Father.
Thank you.
Bunty, start the car.
Father! A taxi picked up someone from Powderham House only half an hour ago.
No name was given but they were going to Copley Manor Nursing Home near Bath.
Bath it is, then, Bunty.
Will you please slow down, young lady? The reason I'm driving at this speed, Mrs McCarthy, is because Ellen may be about to die.
Yes, and we may be joining her at this rate! Caitlin! Ellen! Bunty! This time I really did think you were dead.
I'm absolutely fine! Hello, Bunty.
Why didn't you wait for me? Well, you scared me so much.
I didn't want to stay in Powderham a minute longer.
Caitlin arranged my place here.
She swore me to secrecy.
I'm sorry.
Whatever Caitlin may have said to you, Ellen, I suggest you forget every word.
- Mrs McCarthy, I - I'd save your breath to cool your porridge, Miss.
Isn't that right, Father? Why don't we all give Ellen a hand? Oh, how clumsy of me.
Ellen, could I have a quick word? Of course, Father.
Why don't you all go inside? We'll only be a moment.
How can I help you, Father? I wonder, Ms Jennings, if the real reason you ran away from Bunty was that she was starting to get in your way.
I'm sorry? When Bunty thought you'd driven unaided, I was intrigued, but I soon dismissed it.
Why would a woman with your appetite for life lie about her mobility? Now, of course, I know the truth -- you were trying to avoid the finger of suspicion.
I don't know what on Earth you're talking about.
You are indeed dying, but you are still perfectly capable of getting yourself downstairs to Freda's room in the middle of the night and out of Powderham to visit Charlie.
From your window at Powderham, you saw Bunty going into the storehouse.
That's when you knew you had to act quickly.
To retrieve this.
And in your rush to clear your room, you left behind one of these.
Why, Ellen? Life is heaven.
But a lingering death is pure and utter hell.
I watched it drain every ounce of beauty from both my parents' existence.
That is when I lost God.
And when you decided to help people die? It became my mission.
Only God has the right to decide when our time on Earth is up.
God? He allows cats to be put to sleep to escape pain and yet he denies their owners the same compassion! Human life is sacred.
Only when that life remains bearable.
Medicine has given us the means to control pain, to make it bearable.
And I give people the means to be free.
Then why do you feed them false arguments? Epictetus.
"Is freedom anything else than the right to live and die as we wish?" Epictetus understood the truth.
Epictetus said nothing about dying as we wish.
Only living.
You changed the quote.
You have, I fear, been misleading your victims in the same way that you used the white dove feather to mislead those they left behind.
That feather allows believers to imagine that their loved one has enjoyed a celestial departure.
You need to come clean to the police.
I have committed no crime.
I merely provide the means.
But Freda, Alfred, Charlie and everyone else, they do the rest themselves.
You helped people to die and legally that is murder.
You want me to hang, Father? No, I want to save you from that.
But first you will need to confess your crimes.
Oh! Bunty! I'll explain later.
- Oi! - Your reward for this will be in Heaven.
Ms Jennings! Ms Jennings, please get down.
Why should I be punished when I've done nothing wrong? This isn't the answer.
This isn't the answer to anything.
One day, Father, I hope you understand the true meaning of compassion.
Ellen, look up.
Look at the trees.
The birds.
We both agree that life is a gift.
This is my choice! Get off me! Let go! How could you think this was right? Bunty, please! I'm ordering you to let me go.
No.
You must let me decide! No.
I gather she is showing no remorse.
In that case I fear for her.
She really believed she was helping people.
Ellen Jennings has confessed.
However, I need to take statements from you all.
Of course.
What about Seth Knight? Released.
I gather he wants to speak to you about funeral arrangements.
Inspector, may I suggest that you make enquiries at all the homes Ellen stayed in before Powderham? Who knows what you may find? Explain one thing to me -- what was that quotation doing in Caitlin's notebook? It was helping her make a difficult decision.
You have invited her to take over from me at St Mary's.
Mrs McCarthy, I don't know where this sudden paranoia comes from, but Oh, Bunty! A bit of harmless fun, Father.
I can't believe you took it so seriously, Mrs M.
You mean you aren't about to give me the sack? Of course not.
You are completely irreplaceable! Oh! Ah.
Oh! So this was your difficult decision.
You're leaving us? Ellen was wrong about a lot things, but she's also inspired me.
To live to the full while I can.
Which is why I've decided to spend the rest of my life with my true love.
Our Lord.
No, Alex.
Alex? The person I've been speaking to on the telephone, Mrs McCarthy.
And missing Mass for And getting kicked out of convents for.
I believe I owe you an apology, Caitlin.
You really don't, Mrs McCarthy.
I will be for ever grateful to you, Father.
You will be sorely missed.
You'll have all the support you'll ever need right here.
Goodbye, Mrs McCarthy.
Bunty.
Ah.
That's Alex.
I gather Sister Harriet's going to send another errant nun to St Mary's next week.
Penelope!