Midsomer Murders (1997) s20e03 Episode Script

Drawing Dead

[SUBDUED MUSIC] [MACHINE WHIRRING] Isaac brought an armful of flyers home.
I know exactly what you'd have thought about that.
But he loves being sheriff and he has been good for the village.
[MACHINE BEEPING] [TENSE MUSIC] What's happening? Dr.
Starling, is this it? I need to call Barrett.
It's all right.
Everything's fine.
It's a good thing you're here.
She's been a wonderful sister-in-law and friend.
Where else would I be? [DRAMATIC MUSIC] [BREATHING HEAVILY] You're running late.
[HORSE APPROACHING] Someone call an Uber? [DR.
STARLING LAUGHS] Look, Isaac.
Timothy proved everyone wrong.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Francon, the biggest and best yet.
Let the three-day fun begin.
Don't forget tickets are now available for Darwin Chipping's appearance later on in the day from Murray's Marquee.
On angel wings.
[GRINDER WHIRRING] [PEOPLE CHATTERING] Thanks, Stella.
Aequitas rang me from the cemetery.
Do you want to come along? You asking me on a date? It is allowed between step-brother and step-sister.
Right, you're teasing.
Am I? [TENSE MUSIC] [BREATHING HEAVILY] Tim.
Sorry, I haven't set foot in here in ages.
Okay, you can do the honors, Stella.
I want you to.
[MAN LAUGHING] Your dad's home.
With your mom.
I can't believe the amount of people out there.
Come on you two, let's get changed.
We're celebrating Tim's success.
I am so, so proud of you.
[TENSE MUSIC] [GROWLING] [MYSTERIOUS THEME MUSIC] [PEOPLE CHATTERING] Excuse me.
Thank you.
[MAN YELLS] Come on, Dad! This way.
Fleur? I'm covering for Benedict.
Been down with chicken pox.
As have half the station, hence my being here.
Rather grand house.
Lord Conrad Argo, captain of industry and famed philanthropist.
Here someone's not a fan of comics.
Which is anyone over the age of five, I'd imagine.
Finally manage to drag yourself over here? Thank you so much for coming.
I'm Dr.
Juno Starling.
- This is my.
- County Sheriff Isaac Starling.
I'm the law around here.
I may beg to differ, Mr.
Starling.
Sheriff.
It's sheriff.
Assuming you get re-elected.
[PLAYFUL MUSIC] You only noticed the break-in this morning? Yes, I was getting ready for work and I saw the hole in the kitchen window.
Was anything else stolen or burned? Not a thing.
And as any lawman worth their salt will tell you, that's abnormal behavior.
I need to go.
- Will you be all right? - Oh, I'll be fine.
The police have arrived.
Lord Argo, is it? It should be, but that was more my dad's thing.
Everyone called him Lord Argo, but Tim's fine for me.
And I assume you didn't hear anything either? No, sorry.
Though I was the one who brought the comics here, so I feel like it's all my fault.
Who else knew they were here? I mean, I couldn't honestly tell you.
Stella and I collected them from the cemetery.
The cemetery? It's a long story.
And who is Stella? My daughter lives here as well.
She'll be working at the Lounds Cafe.
Am I free to go? I run the festival and it's all a bit hectic right now.
You'll be all right, yeah? Are you all right, Dr.
Starling? I know that burglaries can be very distressful.
Have no fear, my dear.
I'm getting a taser.
The next person who tries to break in here, they're getting a thousand volts.
Winter.
Sir, I'm on leave, remember? I've got the day off.
I can't really do that, sir.
It wouldn't be It wouldn't be appropriate.
Do I have to wear this, Murray? Is that one of Darwin Chipping's gargoyles? Sorry, my friend.
You're short.
But I washed 20 cars to buy this ticket.
I'm sure Chipping didn't make his first million by giving things away.
Hang on a minute, sir.
I've got the right money.
Are you kidding? And I've got one left.
- 50 quid.
- 50? Darwin's the main reason this festival exists.
His comeback tour comes at a price.
[SCOFFS] Enjoy.
Sir.
Sold out, unfortunately.
[HAMMER BANGING] [CARDBOARD SCRAPING] No, no, no.
Lift, not drag.
Please, some respect.
Problems, Mr.
Chipping? Anything I can help with, just say.
I prayed you'd come out of retirement.
I can't wait to see what your new creation is and I'm not the only one.
I'll get cracking on my report.
[JAMIE CLEARS THROAT] All right, I give up.
Why did you cross the road? Like I said, this is my day off.
It's from an Aequitas, sir.
I'm afraid I'm not up to speed.
The cult comic book artist and writer, sir.
Publishes 50 copies a year.
Only 50? Not exactly a publishing powerhouse.
Well, actually, sir.
Fewer copies is better.
It makes them more sought after.
And therefore more valuable? Not like a first issue Superman, but they do go for a decent sum.
Especially if one's signed.
[HORN HONKS] [ENGINE REVVING] Tell me more about this Aequitas.
Uhh, he, or she, probably lives locally, but that's about all anyone knows.
Aequitas publishes the comics anonymously.
[MACHINE BEEPING] [SOFT PIANO MUSIC] Oh, here.
Your arthritis is getting worse.
You need to see a specialist.
Barrett? It's been two years, Zennia.
How long can we keep this up? You said we'd wait no matter what.
But there hasn't been one sign that she's gonna wake up.
Take a moment.
Think about what you're saying.
That's not my mother anymore.
And if she could see herself lying there, I know what she'd tell me to do.
She's not coming back is she? [SUBDUED MUSIC] Stella Starling? That's my favorite Darwin Chipping character.
Oh, mine, too.
Obviously.
Sorry it's so hot in here.
The aircon's been broken for years.
Grace in winter, not so good in summer.
We want to talk to you about the burglary.
I'm afraid my bedroom's at the back of the house.
I didn't hear a thing.
Do you know why someone would do something like this? It's Festival Week.
You've seen the people out there.
They turn into heroes and villains overnight.
Hopefully, there are more heroes than villains.
I wouldn't count on it.
I never knew you had a hobby.
Hey, he's got my ticket! All right, son.
Let's.
[GRUNTING] - Gotcha.
- Mr.
Starling? Why were you moving in slow motion? And it's sheriff.
Let the lad go.
This is my collar, Barnaby.
Two things, Mr.
Starling.
One, being appointed sheriff doesn't grant you any judicial power whatsoever.
And two, it's DCI Barnaby.
Barnaby? That's my teacher's name.
[MACHINE BEEPING] [SLOW PIANO MUSIC] Mom.
I want you back, but I've stopped believing that's gonna happen.
Mom? [DRAMATIC MUSIC] Mate, where you off to? She's awake.
- Where's Juno? - She's out on a call.
Would you like to make an appointment? Tell her to come to the cottage.
Two weeks there starts looking good.
Not funny, Ruth.
I'll find her myself.
[PEOPLE CHATTERING] [PHONE RINGING] [HORN HONKS] Jerome? Mrs.
B.
You were quick.
I hope you haven't broken - any speed limits.
- Hardly.
There's people in costumes everywhere.
I had to get out and walk.
Tell miss what you told me.
I wanted a ticket to Darwin Chipping's lecture.
The man's a ledge, I had to be there.
And stealing a ticket seemed perfectly reasonable? Well, they jacked the prices up.
The thing is, we can't always get what we want, Jerome.
John, I'll handle this.
The thing is, Jerome, we can't always get what we want.
He's rolling out a new character.
It's the first one in years.
I can't miss that.
Jerome writes and draws comics all day long.
He's got real talent.
Well, I'll turn him loose then.
He can carry on stealing with my blessing.
Look, it's the first time he's ever done anything like that.
Come on.
We could get him a ticket, couldn't we? He's a great kid.
[MACHINE BEEPING] [TENSE MUSIC] [BREATHING HEAVILY] Bar [GASPING] [SUBDUED MUSIC] You keep a spare suit at the station? Always be prepared.
Fleur, anything on the Starling burglary? No unexpected fingerprints.
No one saw, or heard, anyone coming, or going.
I think the term is sweet f.
All right, I get the picture.
I did some research.
It turns out that two years ago Lord Conrad Argo was murdered trying to prevent a burglary.
Which explains why Dr.
Starling looked shaken earlier.
Was the intruder caught? Still an open case.
You said two years ago.
Would that mean it happened during the festival? Actually, sir, it was on the eve of the festival starting.
It looks like it was a bad night all around.
Lord Argo's sister Francesca was also attacked that night.
She was outside his house when someone put her in a coma.
I'll get Archives to have all the case files sent over.
[PHONE RINGS] Causton CID.
Okay, we'll be right there.
[TENSE MUSIC] Sorry, but I don't think that's very appropriate.
First rule of creativity, never turn your back on inspiration.
[SUBDUED MUSIC] Fleur.
This is was, Francesca Lounds.
69 years young.
Choked to death while in a coma.
It's definitely murder? Her airway was blocked by the comic until she was suffocated.
Well, this is turned off.
It was like that when SOCO arrived.
Yet the killer still felt the need to choke the victim as well.
Do we have an exact time of death? Give me strength.
We've only just got here.
Maybe an hour, maybe more.
We were in the village then.
Ought to put yourselves on the incident report.
These probably belong to the family, but best to make sure.
Sir, this is the latest Aequitas issue.
Looks like the thief didn't burn every copy after all.
I was in Mom's room and.
And what, Mr.
Lounds? I was talking to her, and then it was a miracle.
She moved.
I was out taking in the sights.
Since it has changed its name, the festival seemed to be getting bigger every year.
So, you didn't see anything out of the ordinary? Anyone lurking about or something? Just silly people in silly costumes.
I presume if you returned here alone that you didn't find Dr.
Starling? She was in the next village on a house call, so I rang her and left a message.
Then.
I know this is very difficult, Mr.
Lounds.
Then I came home and I couldn't hear the life support machine.
I saw Mom.
How was your relationship with your mother-in-law? It wasn't ideal.
Not after the great Francesca's son married her brother's cleaning lady.
You worked for Conrad Argo? The good man himself.
He gave me a golf membership as a wedding gift.
He was very kind like that.
And Francesca wasn't as generous as her brother? I learned to live with her, though it was a lot easier after she ended up in a coma.
Do you recognize these? They were found under your mother's bed.
Uh, yeah.
They're ours.
I noticed the old Aequitas issues.
I read them to Mom.
And how did you come to be in possession of the latest issue? I didn't.
One was used to murder your mother.
I just grabbed the phone and called the police.
[TENSE MUSIC] Mrs.
Lounds, your husband said that Francesca was waking up, that she moved.
[CHUCKLES] She was always moving.
Well, in the first few months she came here.
Barrett was convinced she'd sit up one day and demand a dry martini.
And how about more recently? Honestly? It was getting to Barrett.
He really hasn't been himself for about six months now.
In fact, he was talking about letting Francesca go only this morning.
[SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] Stella, did you see anyone going into the Lounds' cottage in the last hour or so? Uh, no.
Or not that I noticed.
What about customers? Anyone look suspicious? There were people from the festival.
Most of them in costume.
What did you think of Francesca? She was one of the original supermodels.
Though I'm not sure she ever quite stepped down off the catwalk, if you know what I mean.
And you didn't like that about her? That came out wrong.
Tim renamed the festival after her, - so she was all right, I guess.
- Francon.
Fran for his Aunt Francesca and con for Conrad, his father.
He wanted to honor them both.
The thing I don't get is how the killer knew that Francesca was coming out of her coma.
Barrett had to cross to the other side of the green to get to Dr.
Starling's surgery.
Someone might have guessed why he was so excited.
One murder weapon marinated in saliva.
Lovely.
When Fleur's finished processing it, have a read, Winter.
It may not be a coincidence that the killer used this particular issue.
True Identity by Aequitas.
It's Latin.
- It means.
- Justice.
[TENSE MUSIC] [WOOD CREAKS] Barrett, the police were asking questions.
It's a strange world, Stella.
We must be careful what we wish for.
She was definitely choked to death.
Airway was blocked and she suffocated within two minutes.
Two minutes? That would've felt like a lifetime to the killer.
Quite a risk considering the son could've burst back in at any moment.
Assuming it wasn't Barrett himself.
Any fingerprints on the plug of the life support machine? Wiped clean.
Which implies the killer came in with the intention of turning it off.
But then realized that Francesca was coming out of her coma.
So he grabbed the nearest comic and bumps your dead auntie.
[TENSE MUSIC] I just can't take it in.
Anything you need, just say.
Anything.
There are fans and there are fanatics, Winter.
It's a thin line.
Actually, sir in past Aequitas issues there are usually ironic slices of village life.
Now, they highlight local characters, but usually in regards to neighborly disputes, council politics, the color of someone's front door.
But this latest comic, the murder weapon, Aequitas has clearly changed tact.
Show me.
Six prominent villagers have been totally named and shamed.
One certain Ruth Crane has been drawn as a witch casting dark magic over the village.
Darwin Chipping, the legendary comic book writer.
And according to Aequitas, a plagiarist.
A thief of someone else's talents.
We keep encountering thieves.
Is that Timothy Argo? Something's got him spooked.
Murray Eccbeer, he runs a bric-a-brac store dressed as a superhero.
It takes all sorts.
But this sort, according to Aequitas, is one humiliated and pitiable man.
Ah, Sheriff Isaac Starling.
A vampire draining the life out of his victims.
And wait until you see this next page, sir.
Well, well.
It would appear that Aequitas knows exactly who put Francesca into a coma.
Fleur, talk me through Francesca Lounds' original head injury.
[TENSE MUSIC] [GRUNTS] [BELL RINGING] We'd like to talk to you about the robbery.
I've said all I can say.
Where were you when this happened? I told you.
You claimed you were out seeing the sights.
Claimed? What do you mean by that? Can anyone corroborate it? I-I don't know.
The village is packed.
There must be someone who saw you.
Did you go into your mother-in-law's room? No, I didn't touch Fran.
I swear.
This is a murder inquiry, Mrs.
Lounds.
[SCOFFS] I was at the printer's.
I was wondering why they hadn't delivered my flyers yet.
You're running for sheriff? Why did you not just tell us this? You do realize the stakes here? I wanted to surprise Barrett.
I told you, he barely notices me.
But if you're sheriff.
I'm going to make everyone notice me.
I'm not the cleaning lady anymore and people need to stop treating me as if I am.
Are these your drawings? I hired Stella.
She's very talented, not to mention cheap.
How long have you had your current set of golf clubs? Three years.
Why? Mrs.
Lounds, did you attack Francesca two years ago? No.
What is this? Then where did Aequitas get this idea from? It's fiction, it's made up.
It means nothing.
This is unfair.
But you said yourself, Francesca was becoming a burden.
That's a lot of pressure on any couple, no matter how well-meaning they are.
Okay, okay.
I I called my sister once.
I was in here closing up and I told her that sometimes I wish I could kill Fran.
I know how it sounds, but you have no idea how bad things were between Barrett and me.
Mrs.
Lounds, we're gonna need to take your golf clubs for forensic testing.
Check with the printer's.
See if Zennia did indeed go there.
I'm going to talk to Dr.
Starling.
We need to know more about Francesca.
But Zennia's got motive and temperament.
I don't see how Francesca could've made any new enemies while she was lying in a coma for two years.
Exactly my thought, Winter.
I can always strengthen the medication.
I thought I wanted this.
Convinced myself it would be better for everyone if Mom just slipped away.
But not like this.
[SOFT PIANO MUSIC] I know hoe terrible it is.
I've been there.
But there is a way through this, Barrett.
I promise.
I'm afraid we don't take walk-in patients.
Good because I'm right as rain.
Oh.
Take a seat.
I'll buzz Dr.
Starling.
[COUGHING] Were you in reception when Barrett Lounds came in this morning? I was indeed.
How did he seem? Extremely excited.
Did he mention why? Maybe he'd finally caught a fish.
It's his big passion.
Wasting the day staring at water.
[DOOR OPENS] [TENSE MUSIC] I must've driven past her cottage when.
I know this is very difficult, but I'm afraid I have a few questions.
You and your sister-in-law Francesca, I take it you were close.
Yes Yes, very.
So you would know if she had any enemies.
She was in a coma, Chief Inspector.
How could she have upset anyone? Which leads me to my next question.
I read the police report on your husband's murder and I know that you were the one who found him.
But I was wondering how Francesca came to be involved.
Do I have to do this? [SCREAMING] No.
Come on.
Come on.
No.
[SOFT PIANO MUSIC] Yes, police, please.
Um, and ambulance.
Yes, um.
Argo Court, Carver Valley.
As quick as you can.
Yes.
Fran? Fran? Fran.
Oh, God.
All right, just hold on.
Knowing Francesca, she was probably trying to stop the burglar.
I couldn't believe it when I saw her jewelry had been stolen.
The burglar robbed her? She was coming for dinner, so she would've been glittering with gold.
Never leave home looking ordinary, my sister-in-law used to say.
Can you tell me about the blow to Francesca's head? It fractured her skull.
Was it to the back or front? The front, the forehead.
It'll be in the police report.
So she would've been facing her attacker.
Which means there's every chance she saw who killed your husband.
- How's Barrett? - He's just sitting there.
Won't say a word.
Can we talk to him? Mate, I Listen, it's just a stupid fishing fly.
I saw it the other day and.
Murray.
I thought of Francesca.
Look at the colors.
They dazzle.
[METAL CLANGING] Careful! Zen, can you give us a moment? You'll talk to them, but not to me? It's a nice thought, Murray.
When I saw you, I was imagining a coming out of a coma party.
You are seriously not helping.
It's fine, Blue.
It's good to talk.
At least you and Zennia, you're Well, you're free now.
You can find each other again.
Paddy, stay.
Any luck getting a ticket for Darwin's lecture? Good boy.
Stay.
I asked around, but it appears to be sold out.
Jerome drew this.
It's fantastic.
I don't really get comics.
Sorry.
Maybe I can track down a ticket online.
What about dinner? Yeah, lovely.
Give us a shout when you've made it.
[PLAYFUL MUSIC] Paddy, good boy.
This is the new issue.
The burned one.
We need to speak to Aequitas.
[CHUCKLES] This is amusing you because? No one has a clue who Aequitas is.
You must have your suspicions.
You've been promoting his comics since the start of the festival.
It must be six years now.
Seven.
Let's start with how Aequitas delivers the comics to you.
You said something about a cemetery.
[SUBDUED MUSIC] Mr.
Chipping.
Sorry, no photos.
That's the last thing I'd want.
You know, I've got all these thoughts swirling around and I keep coming back to this one thing.
My Mom was never keen on you.
That's a little brisk.
You came to see her a couple of years ago.
It ended in shouting.
I really don't recall.
It was about a week before someone put her into a coma.
Barrett, I do hope you find some peace, but it won't be from me.
I'm telling the police.
They'll want to talk to you! How did Aequitas contact you? By phone.
He, or she, uses a voice changer.
But before you ask, the number was withheld.
So Aequitas was in this cemetery.
We need to get SOCO down here.
Let's see if they can find any trace of our mystery comic creator.
Sir.
Remind me who else was singled out in that comic.
It was Sheriff Starling, Murray Eccbeer, Darwin Chipping.
Start with them.
See how they react to the comic.
And check Francesca's past.
Maybe there's someone she upset.
And the killer got in and out without being seen.
- How? - Yes, yes.
Of course, sir.
This'll take me days.
You have somewhere else to be? It's just I had hoped that I could nip out for a few hours tomorrow to go to the lecture.
Well, this is a murder inquiry, Winter.
[SIGHS] Might as well bin this then.
Well, let's not be too hasty.
I hate to see things going to waste.
Well, it cost me 50 quid, sir.
[SCOFFS] [PEOPLE CHATTERING] I need to ask you a few questions.
It was me, guv.
You got me bang to rights.
Why would Aequitas draw you like that? Well, that's not me.
No way.
Well, tell him, Blue.
Is it true Francesca was waking up? We believe she was, yes.
How long have you had this store? Ever since the festival started.
Mind you, it almost died two years back.
Why was that? No idea but there were strong rumors that it might not go ahead.
And this was around the time that Lord Argo was murdered.
Thing is, Francesca was also robbed of all her jewelry.
I knew this was coming.
The cops asked me all this back then with me being in the buy-and-sell business.
That jewelry never came our way.
- Did it, love? - We'd have said if it had.
[TENSE MUSIC] I know what you did.
Sir? [DOOR CREAKING] [MACHINE WHIRRING] Winter SOCO found a SIM card from a prepaid phone.
It was registered to one Barrett Lounds.
Barrett is Aequitas.
[DOOR CLOSES] [ELECTRICITY ZAPPING] [DRAMATIC MUSIC] [BARRETT GASPING] Barrett's gone fishing.
- Where? - The river, of course.
Sir, Barrett's solicitor just told me that the account his mother's will is to be paid into isn't the one that he shares with his wife.
He's got a secret bank account.
Mrs.
Lounds, have you and your husband discussed his inheritance? She's not even in the ground yet.
Interestingly enough, he has discussed it with his solicitor.
And any monies due, may not be coming your way.
What? I don't understand.
What are you talking about? He has arranged to have them deposited into another account.
[GASPS] Was this caught by Barrett? Yes.
Where exactly does he fish? Ehh, there's a weir.
He's always there or close by.
- Pollock.
- Sir? They're a saltwater fish, not freshwater.
Your husband hasn't been fishing, Mrs.
Lounds.
[CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS] Are we looking at the same killer, Fleur? First the mother, now the son.
Both surrounded by comics.
As a betting woman, I always raise the stakes with a high pair.
From what I can tell, the killer grabbed the victim from behind.
Hold him back by the head exposing the jugular.
And then it all got a bit Marie Antoinette.
And again we were close by.
Maybe you should arrest each other.
Looks like he was printing a fresh copy.
Barrett's arthritis must've made it incredibly painful to write and draw a comic.
I've dabbled.
Gave up.
I got RSI in my hand for an hour.
Go over every square inch of the Lounds' cottage.
If he could lie about a secret identity and a bank account, who knows what else he was hiding.
Sir.
Aren't you forgetting someone? Come on, bird boy.
We can take my car.
I don't know how you can do that.
Horses terrify me.
I'm pretty sure you terrify them in that getup.
I'm after a favor, Isaac.
Want the name of a good tailor? I want you to help me become the new sheriff.
You do know I'm running for a second term? - Yes, but.
- Didn't you learn your lesson after your last effort? No one wants you as sheriff.
I had a winning strategy last time.
It's just that I had to back out.
[LAUGHING] Don't waste your time, Murray.
Stick to selling second-hand tat.
- Isaac.
- You are hilarious.
Just Just listen.
There's things I know, Isaac.
Things that could ruin everything for you.
You need to start taking me seriously.
So, how long have you been a pathologist? I mean, it must get to you cutting up body after body.
On the contrary.
I can't get enough of it.
It's the company more than anything.
They're great listeners.
I mean, there must be a shelf life.
When you've seen too much.
Don't worry about me, Winter.
I drink embalming fluid.
I'm going to be around for a long, long time.
How's your Arabic? I'm a woman of many surprising skills, Winter, but being fluent in Arabic isn't one of them.
That's Barrett's name and signature.
And I can see dates.
Could be some sort of rental agreement.
If it is, it's for a three-year lease.
Looks like he was planning on leaving the country.
[PADDY BARKING] I can't find a ticket anywhere.
[TOY PIANO PLAYING] Phoned, texted, emailed.
Nothing to be.
Why this lad? Why him especially? Put it down to the mom in me, I guess.
Couldn't pass the butter, could you? You got a ticket! How? I'm a man of great import.
When I ask, I get.
Thank you.
[CHUCKLES] Anything found at the scene? Not a sausage.
Wait.
What is that? Screensaver.
I've been there.
[PADDY BARKING] My very own hero.
One does one's best.
You look to be in a hurry, Winter.
- Where are we going? - Egypt, sir.
All roads lead to Egypt.
Barrett's paid a deposit for a three-year lease on a flat in Cairo.
It must be nice, the rent's pretty steep.
The inheritance would've come in handy for that.
Although Barrett didn't know that his mother was gonna get murdered.
So he must've had some other way to make the money.
Or he had help.
I went to Egypt once on a school trip and guess what? I saw someone with the same currency right here in this village.
It's not what you think.
I'm sure it's exactly what we think.
Barrett and I found each other at the wrong time.
We should've met when we were both single, it just It didn't fall that way.
Your pillow talk must've been interesting.
- What does that mean? - With Barrett being Aequitas and knowing so much about everyone in this village.
How did he come by this information, Mrs.
Eccbeer? There are some things that we didn't share.
He was particularly remorseless in the latest issue.
Any idea what triggered that? Look all I know, and I promise this is all I know, is that Barrett drew the latest comic to help buy a new life for us.
So he kept one comic back while he stole and burned all of the others.
The one remaining issue would make the comic worth a small fortune.
He was gonna auction it privately and then we would leave.
Which wouldn't have worked now that we have the only copy.
So he had to go back and print another one.
Murray doesn't need to know, does he? That's assuming he doesn't already.
So now we've got Bluebell in the mix.
Shunned lover.
They would no longer have been running away to Egypt because Barrett would never leave his mother if she'd just woken up.
But then again, I keep coming back to Barrett's comic.
The murderer could be any one of them.
But why use it as a murder weapon? It draws attention to exactly that thought.
Maybe they didn't realize what was in it.
Ruth, the receptionist.
Apparently a witch, but I can't see a connection.
Same with Darwin.
Though he drawn as a thief.
Maybe he stole the jewelry to fund his comeback? You think he was behind the attack two years ago? What's Timothy scared of? Everything seems to be ideal.
The festival is thriving.
Though it did nearly fold two years ago.
Where did he get the money to turn it around? And there's our old friend the sheriff.
A vampire.
Look, here he is sinking his teeth into this character's neck.
A character who appears twice.
You see, here he is again humiliating Murray Eccbeer.
We should find out who this mystery character is.
I'm still leaning towards Zennia, the put-upon daughter-in-law and now wronged wife.
What if she lied and did know about Barrett's secret bank account? She'd inherit every penny now.
How did Barret know so much about people? Where did he get his information from? [PHONE RINGING] Causton CID.
Mr.
Starling, what can we do for you? Stella, darling.
Have you got a moment? It's just people are talking about you and Timothy.
- What do you mean? - Making comments.
How? Nothing's going on between us.
It's for your dad more than anything.
You know how desperate he is to be sheriff again and the last thing he needs are, whisperings about his family.
I know how fond Timothy is of you, so maybe keep him at arm's length for now.
This is mad.
[GLASS BREAKS] Mr.
Starling.
How many more times? It's Sheriff Starling! At least it will be for the next few weeks.
Then I'll be Mr.
Star.
It's so unedifying.
Mister.
Mister.
Sorry about that.
I got a little emotional there.
It's just that I'll be stepping down next month and letting someone else take over.
I was under the impression that being sheriff meant a great deal to you.
It does.
Did.
This village is really going to miss me.
Only ask me what I've been doing while you've been stumbling around making very little progress.
I made extensive inquiries and eventually I found someone who filmed this at the time of Francesca's murder.
That's your wife's receptionist.
I think I should be in on the bust, don't you? Care to explain? I may have called around.
The door was wide open.
And that was after Barrett came in looking for Dr.
Starling.
A delivery of election leaflets had been packaged with my name on them by mistake.
Thought I'd take them over to Zennia.
And when you got there, was anyone in? Not that I noticed.
Did you go into Francesca's room? No, I did not.
What do you make of this? Is this supposed to be me? I'll sue.
Defamation of character.
You said the election leaflets were put into the wrong package.
That would imply that you had ordered something of your own.
Yes, my leaflets.
I'm running for sheriff as well.
Sounds like quite a few people are keen on the post.
Forgive me, but it is just a title and little else.
Have you met the other candidates? Lord Argo will be spinning in his grave.
He was the best sheriff this village ever had.
It is my mission to reinstate his values.
Do you leave flowers for Conrad Argo every week? Ms.
Crane? Well, I'm the only one who does.
Juno moved on far too quickly if you ask me.
Lord Argo was barely cold before Isaac came trotting into her life.
He took over his wife, moved into his house.
He even took over Lord Argo's position as sheriff.
Lord Argo was sheriff at the time of his murder? We lost one heck of a good man that night.
This sheriff business has got several people hot under the collar.
Thought you said it was little more than a title.
Someone really kill for it? Look at everyone walking around in their costumes, Winter.
They all want to be someone else.
You know yourself how that feels.
I suppose it does make you feel different.
Better in some ways.
Well, the thing that surprises me though is Isaac suddenly stepping down.
He had flyers, printouts.
He'd rather die than give it up.
Or kill.
[PHONE RINGING] Yes, Fleur? I took another look at Francesca's original head injury.
Two years ago we didn't have the technology to scan as deeply as we can now.
So tell me, have you ever heard of Stockholm Tar? Can't say I have.
Then luckily I know a man who has.
I'll also text you the dimensions of the injury.
Easy, boy.
Easy, boy.
Come on.
Come on, fella.
Come on, that's it.
If he kicks me, sir.
Come on.
Come on, big fella.
Come on, that's it.
Yep, yep.
Go on, that's it.
That's really very good.
Okay.
I gave you Ruth.
Why aren't you locking her up? Where were you the night that Francesca was knocked unconscious and mugged? What on earth does that got to do with Ruth Crane? Our pathologist re-examined Francesca's head injury.
What does Stockholm Tar mean to you, Mr.
Starling? It's for It's for applying to horses' hooves.
It covers the sole, protecting it from bacteria.
Microscopic traces of the tar were found on Francesca.
And just to make sure, we measured your horse's hooves.
They match the outline of her skull fracture.
Mr.
Staling, talk us through the night Conrad Argo was murdered.
[TENSE MUSIC] Isaac? Juno.
I'm so very, very sorry.
It was an accident.
I swear on my life.
I'd had feelings for Juno for months.
It got to the point where I sometimes trotted by her house hoping I might just bump into her.
You are ridiculous.
I'll tell my brother and he'll take great delight in ruining you.
[SCREAMING] [HORSE NEIGHS] [FRANCESCA YELLING] I panicked.
I had to get out of there.
But you still stopped to remove Francesca's jewelry.
Yes.
Yes, I did.
But you just told us you panicked and bolted from the scene.
Well, I was hardly going to admit to thieving.
But you're admitting to it now? Absolutely.
I, uh Yes, I wanted to make it look like a robbery.
You left Fran to die.
And you still went ahead and married me.
I love you.
That hasn't changed.
It never will.
We need to know where you were when Francesca and Barrett were murdered.
I can provide alibis.
I swear.
You will be charged regardless for the injuries to Francesca.
And for the theft.
Take Mr.
Starling away.
Dad.
[SUBDUED MUSIC] [CAT MEOWS] [PADDY BARKING] I told you it was good.
All I can tell is it's a story about a boy who wants to fly.
I haven't heard that one a thousand times before.
Philistine.
Have you seen Stella? - Huh? - She's not answering her phone.
No, darling.
Sorry, I haven't.
Just give her some time, hmm? It's a lot to take in.
Barrett's arthritis.
Long story short, he couldn't possibly have drawn the last Aequitas comic.
He wouldn't have had full motor control.
Not to the extent of drawing what we saw in the comics.
All things considered, could Barrett have broken into the Argo house? The burglar used a sophisticated glass cutter.
Chances are Barrett would've had great difficulty wielding it with any precision.
So he would've needed an accomplice.
Stan Lee had Jack Kirby.
You've got me.
Sir.
[CROWD CHEERING] [UPTEMPO ROCK MUSIC] Thank you.
[CROWD CHEERING] Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo! - Where to begin? - Darwin, Darwin! Woo, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo! It's been a while.
I have been locked away.
Not criminally, - [CROWD LAUGHS] - but working.
[CROWD CHEERING] Darwin! Darwin, Darwin! A new chapter.
A chapter I often worried I would never draw.
Forbidden.
[CROWD CHEERING] Woo, woo! Supermodel by day, the bravest of sinners by night.
Woo, woo, woo, woo! Darwin! Get off me.
Just get off me.
All right, all right, all right.
Take it easy.
Jerome, you were in there, what, five minutes? I couldn't help it.
- She was beautiful.
- Who was beautiful? Forbidden.
Darwin's new character.
I had to get a photo.
That's Francesca Lounds.
Mrs.
Lounds, did Barrett ever invite Darwin Chipping around, or talk to him, or even meet with him? Not that I know of.
How about two years ago before Francesca's coma? Oh, wait.
He came to the cafe, but he met with Francesca, not Barrett.
Do you know what they talked about? From what I heard, he wanted to make a comic book out of Francesca's life.
- And she said no? - I am not a comic book, that's what she said.
Not when I'm still glorious flesh and blood.
The sheriff dream is over I take it.
I only wanted to make Barrett notice me again.
Excuse me.
Sounds like Darwin didn't listen to Francesca.
And now here he is putting himself back on the comic book map, and all thanks to a murdered woman.
I don't believe you were given permission to use Francesca's likeness.
It's not her.
Where did you get that idea from? It clearly is, Mr.
Chipping.
I doubt there's a soul in this village who would dispute that.
And half of whom were at your lecture.
Oh, and by the way, I'm a big fan.
Just thought I'd get that out of the way.
Five years in the creative wilderness.
You must've been at your wit's end.
Inspiration is its own master.
What was it about Francesca's past that drew you to her? The partying with rock and film stars? The countless arrests? There must be enough material there for a hundred issues.
Francesca was different.
She was larger than life.
Imposing, dynamic.
She oozed stardust.
How could I not be inspired? But she had said no to you.
And yet here you are revealing a new character based on her.
You have to understand.
I have worked for two solid years on this.
I gave it my all.
Besides, now she'll live on.
I'm not convinced that will be much comfort to her.
I fell in love with my new creation.
That is not a crime.
If we can place you at Francesca's bedside, or in Barrett's studio, then that definitely is a crime.
Well, I admit I saw him leave his cottage, but I saw him return 30 minutes later.
But that was all I did.
You and I have one thing in common, Chief Inspector.
We observe the world while keeping it a good arm's length away.
It's the only way to fully understand any of it.
30 minutes.
Why did it take Barrett that long? Even Ruth the receptionist got there before him.
He stopped to call Dr.
Starling.
Who didn't answer.
If he leaves the surgery, he has to walk.
Yeah, across the green.
And past Murray's stall where Bluebell would've been.
What if he stopped to tell her that his mother was waking up? Meaning their Egyptian dream was over.
But she goes straight to Lounds' cottage to kill Francesca because Barrett's mother is the one thing standing in their way.
Bluebell had motive and opportunity.
And then she murdered Barrett because he still refused to run away with her.
Hell hath no fury, Winter.
[TENSE MUSIC] [CLATTERING] [BREATHING HEAVILY] Okay.
[SIREN CHIRPS] Mrs.
Eccbeer.
Going somewhere? Don't know what's worse.
Blue's affair with my best friend or her selling me out to you lot.
Your wife has an alibi for Francesca's death.
She was working on the stall.
And she also states that it was you who bought Francesca's jewelry.
I paid big bucks.
I still kick myself.
Murray, we will be charging you with receiving stolen goods.
We've also arrested Isaac who will corroborate this.
Isaac? You're gonna do me for blackmail as well? Blackmail? I couldn't think of any other way to get him to help me become sheriff.
You used the stolen jewelry as leverage to get Isaac to back out of the election.
Look, it was a mistake to buy the jewelry from her, but then I realized I had something over Isaac.
When you say her.
Stella.
She took Fran's jewelry.
Hello? [STELLA SOBBING] [TENSE MUSIC] If it's any consolation, your father died his best to hide what you did.
The cafe's closed, ma'am.
Oh, sorry.
- Stella.
- Please, don't say it.
Not out loud.
I spent two years hating myself.
All the same, I need to know exactly how you ended up with Francesca's jewelry.
[SUBDUED MUSIC] Dad.
Oh, no.
I don't think she's dead.
Help me, Stella.
I told Dad to disappear.
I'd do what I could.
I was praying she'd be concussed.
Maybe not even remember what really happened.
[GLASS BREAKS] I heard glass smashing so I had to be quick.
I swear that's all I did.
It was a lot more than that, Stella.
You robbed a woman and left her to die.
But why sell the jewelry in the village? That was asking for trouble, surely.
I was gonna throw it in the river, but then.
Yes? Tim needed money for the festival.
It was dying on its feet.
Surely Conrad Argo had plenty of money.
He was never keen on the comic thing.
He said it was for freaks.
Sir I could hear everything you're saying.
It was a bit muffled, but.
I bet it's not muffled now.
So this is how Barrett got all of his ideas for his comics.
No wonder he never got the aircon fixed when he could come down here and eavesdrop.
When did he ask you to help him finish his latest comic? Barret was going to run away with Bluebell, but he just couldn't finish his last issue.
Which he needed because he was going to sell it.
Only after I burned all but one of them.
So you even burgled your own house for Barrett.
I'm intrigued, Stella.
What do you get out of this? Barrett was leaving for Cairo.
I would become the new Aequitas.
Can you imagine what that means? I think I can, considering you drew your own father as a life-sucking vampire.
I wasn't proud of that.
I even made Tim look awful.
But there was only ever going to be one copy sold to a private collector.
It would hardly be seen by anyone.
Why did he settle so many scores with this comic? He was drawing what he truly believed people were.
He was finally unmasking them.
One last question.
There's one character in the comic that we don't recognize.
The one that appears twice.
It wasn't my best effort, but that's Lord Conrad Argo.
Careful, sir.
They're addictive.
Murray told us that he wanted to make up for what Lord Argo did to him the previous time he ran for sheriff.
Argo's a village hero.
- He's adored.
- Not according to this comic.
Perhaps, two years ago, Murray took his revenge.
[TENSE MUSIC] [PEOPLE CHATTERING] [YELLING] Hi.
Hey.
[BREATHING HEAVILY] I have so wanted to do that.
Wait, there's things I need to tell you.
No, me first.
You don't really know, you've just guessed.
[YELLS] How could you do that to me? It's not fair.
I never get what I deserve.
Murray, stop! It's not right! Murray, stop it! Stop it, please.
- It's not right! - Murray! It's not right! It's not right.
[SOBBING] Murray.
I'm just not anyone's hero, am I? [SOBBING] Murray, you have motives for murdering both Lord Argo and Barrett.
Your best friend who stole your wife.
But what did Lord Argo actually do to you? Do you know who I was once? [SOFT PIANO MUSIC] Better than this, that's for sure.
Had a beautiful wife, a great business plan, but then I went and ran for sheriff and he He destroyed me.
He got all my investors to back out.
I lost my future and I probably lost Bluebell as well.
He must've thought you were a credible rival.
Not really.
He did it because he could.
But this doesn't tally with the man that we've heard about.
I mean, Timothy partially renamed the festival in his father's honor.
You say honor, I say he was mocking Conrad.
That man hated the festival.
[DRAMATIC MUSIC] [GASPS] [ELECTRICITY ZAPPING] [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] [PEOPLE CHATTERING] [GLASS CLINKING] Mr.
Barnaby, your wife said you read my comic.
Yes, I did, but not right now, Jerome.
- But you like it, right? - Very much.
Who wouldn't want to be able to fly? You think that's all it was about? That would totally suck if it was.
I'm actually working now, Jerome.
This boy wants to be a superhero to make his father proud of him and that's why he tries to fly.
See, he's just about to land in a broken heap when his dad swoops through the air and catches him.
It was his dad who was trying to protect him.
And that's why he hid his superpowers, because he was scared that it might make his son feel even more worthless.
Mrs.
Barnaby's right.
You do have a lot of talent.
Excuse me.
Winter, meet me at the Marquee.
There are two things I need you to bring.
The answer is in the comic.
[PEOPLE LAUGHING] Timothy, we've heard three versions of what happened on the night Lord Argo died, but you've never been mentioned in any of them.
And yet you were living at home at the time.
I just wasn't there that night.
So where were you? I was away.
On the eve of the festival starting? Especially as it was struggling.
My goodness.
Is this what Murray did? Dr.
Starling, I was just asking your son where he was when Lord Argo was killed.
Only things don't quite make sense.
Francesca was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
While you, inside, had just discovered her murdered brother.
[SCREAMING] [HORSE NEIGHING] Isaac's horse, startled at the screams, he panics, but Stella tells him to go, she'll fix it.
[GLASS BREAKS] And then Stella heard glass breaking.
I really don't follow.
The window was broken after the burglary.
I told you.
I found Conrad.
I raced outside, I phoned 999.
But you're a doctor.
And surely you would stay with your husband doing everything you could to keep him alive until help arrived.
So why abandon him and go outside? You could just as easily have made the call from inside.
There's something missing from your story.
Or should I say someone? [SOBBING] [SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] Sorry.
This is absolute rubbish.
Timothy was not there.
You would've seen Stella outside the house, but you were still inside dealing with Timothy.
Your only thought was how to get him as far away from the scene of the murder as possible.
Run.
Run, before your aunt knows you were here! And then, you had to make it look like a burglary.
[GLASS BREAKS] Yes, police, please.
Um, and ambulance.
Yes.
Just let it go, Mom.
I can't carry this around any longer.
I originally thought that renaming the festival was in honor of Conrad's memory.
He hated it with a passion.
I worked so hard to get the festival going.
He just laughed at me.
He was always mocking me.
The poker was in my hand before I even realized.
But I didn't hurt anyone else.
I swear.
Not my aunt, not Barrett.
I know you didn't, Timothy.
Dr.
Starling Barrett called you when his mother woke.
But I didn't take the call.
But you saw him crossing the green excited, - pushing through the crowds.
- No.
And your only thought was, if Francesca had seen Timothy on the night he killed his father, would she remember now? You couldn't let your secret come out.
Barrett said that this handkerchief was his, but he was shaken.
He wasn't really looking.
In fact, it was your late husband's.
Mom was always going around there.
She could've dropped it at any time.
Mom, tell them.
You had a small window of opportunity.
You had to go to the cottage.
Mom was on a house call.
Your mother said she drove to her appointment.
Obviously, it was in the next village.
During the comic festival it's impossible to drive anywhere, in or out.
We checked with your patient.
You didn't turn up.
Mom? The plug of the life support machine had been wiped.
Did you drop the handkerchief when you heard Francesca suddenly waking up? You've gotta say something.
You can't let them do this to you.
You have to understand what it was like.
Everyone thought Conrad was a hero.
But he wasn't, he was a He was a bully.
It could just as easily have been me holding that poker.
Wish it had been.
I could never be sure what Francesca had seen.
I I wasn't sure if she'd seen Timothy fleeing from the house.
But then she was in a coma and and I thought his secret was safe.
When I heard she was waking up, it was my worst nightmare come true.
I hated myself, but I thought it would end there.
- Mom.
- And then.
And then Barrett called and he said he knew.
He said that he did remember the handkerchief you'd showed him, and he said he didn't want to believe it, but he knew it was me.
Mom, I don't understand.
Why would you do that? Because it's what all parents do, Timothy.
They protect their children at all costs.
I had to keep you safe, even if it meant silencing everyone else.
Mom, where's Stella? Mom.
Dr.
Starling? Stella? Stella! Stella, come on.
I've got you.
I've got you.
- It's okay, it's okay.
- [STELLA GASPING] It's okay.
Go on, breathe.
Breathe.
Just breathe.
[SLOW PIANO MUSIC] It's okay.
[STELLA GASPING] I've taken a leaf from your book, Chief Inspector.
To not give up, to carry on till you win.
You know, I feel rather inspired.
I'd like to talk to you further, if I may.
- I'm not sure that a man.
- I can picture it so well.
Put-upon, badgered sidekick by day, avenging superhero by night.
[DRAMATIC MUSIC] Fiction, Winter.
It's becoming harder to tell what's real and what isn't.
Which, I guess, is where we come in, sir.
[MYSTERIOUS THEME MUSIC]