The Murdoch Mysteries (2004) s13e08 Episode Script

The Final Curtain

- It's about to start.
- Fantastic.
Watts.
Over here.
Oh, I do hope people like it.
Of course they'll like it.
They'll eat it up.
How long do you suppose this will be? Oh William, at least try to enjoy it.
I will.
I just want to know how long I will be trying to enjoy it.
Where have you been? I stopped for snacks.
- Watts.
- For Pete's sake! What's going on? I don't know.
It's probably part of the play.
- Oh.
- Damn! - My dear.
I have terrible news.
- No.
Darling daughter.
I entered the drawing room not moments ago and found your mama.
She is dead.
No.
Someone's killed her.
It's murder.
That is for the police to say.
I have awoken.
Oh, grandmama.
No.
Resume your rest on the chesterfield.
That must be the Detective.
Good evening.
Detective Roderick Justice.
She's dead.
It's murder.
This must be the murder weapon.
What is he doing? It could have fingermarks or Then one of you is the murderer.
Instrument of death.
And now I shall harness your destructive powers to take the life of another.
But no.
I cannot.
For I am not a killer.
Or am I? Sorry, sorry, - could you please move, sorry.
- Yes.
You seem upset.
- Are you okay? - Oh, it's nothing.
It is just that my mother is dead, dead and oh, it's nothing So it is you.
The one who took my Lillian.
I am the one who has grown old.
My life matters not.
Why take her and not I? Why not take us both? No.
Death is not the answer.
- I thought she was going to shoot herself.
- What is she saying? It's a melange of philosophical drivel.
Goodbye, forever.
No, no Dammit Lilian, I can't leave you.
Not without solving the crime of your mother's murder.
Not without you.
What is the point of this character? She's just a love interest, she has no personality of her own.
Oh, I don't know The killer cut the electricity, plunging the house into total darkness.
He arranged for the victim to be in this exact position.
He entered the room.
And he committed murder in the first degree.
No.
No But it wasn't you of course.
- Oh, no.
- It was you.
- Was it him? - That's right.
I killed her.
But my thirst for death is not abated.
No! What happened? They're all bloody dead.
What kind of ending is that? It's a tragedy.
Shakespearean.
And John's bloody Macbeth! I was not expecting that.
Annabeth? Annabeth! No! NO! There's blood! She's been shot! She's dead.
She's really dead That's our cue.
Nobody move! - Keep distance, please, from the deceased.
- Mom! I'm sure we'll all have a chance to say something to respectable afterwards.
Is anyone related I I don't understand They were supposed to be blanks Did you load this weapon yourself? No, but we did it over and over in rehearsal What happened? How is this possible? We'll find out.
- How well did you know the victim? - Know her? We'd just been married.
She was shot.
Thank you, Doctor.
I found this tucked into her dress.
Sixty dollars.
Sixty dollars.
And she's missing an earring, for all it's worth.
I can't imagine it means much, we all saw what happened.
- Are you sure you're all right? - Yes, Mother, I'm fine.
Don't use that tone with me.
You were standing beside a woman who was shot.
And I'm more concerned about her than myself.
- Look, I am your mother - Leave him alone, Margaret, the boy's fine.
You were bloody good, you know.
- In the play.
- Thomas! Did you really think so? Five spent shells.
The sixth chamber is empty.
This is the shot that killed her.
The casing is clearly a different colour.
It had a real bullet in it.
It's hard to imagine it was an accident.
Were the shots always fired in the same order? Of course they were.
Joan Dalloway, director.
The sequence had been rehearsed repeatedly.
And Franklin would never err.
He is a fine and precise actor.
Theatre is his only vocation.
So everyone involved would have known which shot would be aimed at the victim.
Yes.
- Who loaded the gun? - I did.
I have a box of blank rounds in the green room.
I loaded the five rounds and proceeded directly to place the gun on the stage.
It sat here in full view of the audience until the lights went down.
Is it possible you accidentally loaded a real bullet? Of course not.
Thank you, Miss Dalloway.
I'm sorry Miss Dalloway, do I recognize you from somewhere? Oh, likely from one of the many newspaper features written about my storied career.
I don't usually read the theatre section.
The papers here are rather enamoured with my life's story, well, who knows why.
Oh.
How nice.
I'm from New York, you see.
Grew up on Broadway.
I was born into the theatre.
And yet you moved to Toronto? I've helmed many Broadway productions.
It is a greater challenge to bring drama to less cultured corners of the world.
The director could be lying.
She could have changed the bullet in the gun herself.
But if we are to believe her version of events The question becomes who had opportunity to swap the blank for a bullet? Well, I arrived early.
I saw her set the gun out on the stage.
It was visible the entire time.
So it had to be done during the play.
Right.
George, you can release all of the audience members.
The killer is clearly part of the company.
Ladies and gentlemen, please make sure that I or one of the other constables has your name and address before you leave.
We'll contact you if we have any further questioning.
Other than that, you're free to go.
Excuse me.
The audience was released.
Herbert Gould, Rosedale Ledger.
I am in their employ as resident exegete of the dramatic arts.
Aha.
You're the critic.
Indeed.
The role of the critic has always fascinated me.
Whether the work is good or bad, your purpose is to find fault.
To arraign that which is created by others.
You are the enemy of human expression.
Ignorance.
I do not destroy expression.
I demand it be of the utmost quality, challenging humanity to be greater still.
But you yourself create nothing.
Neither, my good man, do most self-described "artists".
Excuse me.
You sir.
Were you in the audience? In a way, sure.
Barney Finch, I wrote the damn thing.
Oh, yes, of course.
Where were you watching from? The wings.
You see, I'm the one who goes out and shoots the gun at the start.
That way, I'm the gun.
And the gun is the most important character.
Is that right? You know, I find that quite fascinating.
You know, I'm a bit of a writer myself.
How nice.
You know, I was thinking of trying my hand - at being a policeman.
- Really? No.
The play began, the lights went down.
The writer then fired the revolver.
If you could retrace your steps please, Mr.
Finch.
I started there.
The lights went down.
I walked to the table.
The gun was there, of course.
I raised it up and I fired one off.
I then put the gun back and went to the wings.
I was with Joan for the rest of the play.
The actors then took their places on the stage.
Where were you waiting while the lights were still down? We were on the other side of the stage.
Then we took our places.
But you weren't all there at the very start.
It seemed to me as if the lights came on and you all came scrambling out.
I held us all back a moment.
I thought Mr.
Finch was still out there.
- I heard something.
- Ah.
I wondered if it was a choice.
So there was approximately 20 seconds of darkness.
And then another delay.
Mr.
Finch, you had two opportunities - to swap in a real bullet.
- It wasn't me.
I walked off right after firing the gun, and I don't know what Ada heard.
Whoever did swap in the real bullet would have had to remove a blank casing.
I'm going to need to search your pockets.
You really think I did this? Murdered someone during my own play? You watched it, it is clear I abhor violence.
Search him, George.
Mr.
Finch, if you'd come with me, please.
You know, Mr.
Finch.
I have an idea for a murder mystery of my own.
One where you'd never be able to guess the killer.
Or killers.
How novel.
Sirs.
No blank cartridge.
But Mr.
Finch did have a hole in his pants pocket.
I'm not prepared to exonerate him.
Although I doubt he would have motive to kill his leading lady during the course of his own play.
Sirs, what if, what if the bullet in the gun was swapped out after the play began.
While it was going on.
Maybe the one who shot her put the bullet in right before he fired.
Impossible.
He very clearly opened the drawer with one hand and took out the gun with the other.
Sir, that's true.
But through the duration of the play many of the actors handled the weapon.
I mean, the elder gentleman, Mr.
Grayson he had it at the beginning of the play.
Dinner! Will you join us for dinner, Detective? Yes.
Are you all right? It's just that my mother is dead.
That and it's nothing.
So he had time to put in the real bullet.
I believe he did.
Not to mention there was a moment with Miss Potter I love you.
Why would she want to put in a bullet meant for herself? Perhaps, Inspector, she was, like her character, lovelorn.
That's what spurred her to such a visceral performance.
George, who are you speaking to? Forgive me, sir.
She was a newlywed.
Although I suppose we can't discount the possibility entirely.
She didn't kill herself, Murdoch.
And John didn't do it either.
Dammit, Lillian, I can't leave you.
Not without solving the crime of your mother's murder.
Technically, he had opportunity.
But I would tend to agree John could not have done it.
Course he didn't.
Too busy teaching the rest of them how to act for one thing.
- What about the old lady? - Ada Cunningham.
Why, yes.
She put the gun in the drawer.
Good lord.
It could have been any of our actors.
Along with the director and the writer.
Well that narrows it down.
- It obscures your face.
- Mother.
You're handsome.
People want to see you.
I hope they're paying you well to wear this awful thing.
- Pretty well.
Twenty dollars.
- Really? For just three hours of work? - Oh, no.
For the whole run.
- Oh.
I'm going to find something to eat.
Madame, how are you faring? Oh, I'm all right, thank you.
Grayson Howard.
Actor.
Oh.
Margaret Brackenreid, wife.
That is such a lovely dress.
Thank you.
Such a lovely dress.
It brings out your eyes.
Thank you.
I beg your pardon.
What has happened to my voice? - Grayson? What happened? - I don't know.
It must be that blasted perfume it's ruined my voice.
- Go darling.
- Detective! - No, no, no - This one, here.
That's Annabeth's perfume.
She would perfume herself every night before the show.
Is it something she kept here or did she bring it with her? I saw her taking it out of her bag right before the show.
Along with her other make-up.
Why would it affect Mr.
Howard and not her? Clear the area, gentlemen.
Pungent.
I suspect someone has adulterated the rosewater with an acid, any number of which could affect the vocal cords.
- You suspect - Nitric acid.
But Annabeth didn't smell like that.
Perhaps she used her present instead.
To my dearest Bethie, break a leg, love, Felix.
Her husband.
Someone attempted to sabotage Mrs.
Potter by putting nitric acid in her perfume and yet she somehow inadvertently sidestepped the attempt with this present.
Do you think it's possible the same person sabotaged the gun in order to kill her? It's possible.
Who would want to ruin her performance? There was an incident some weeks ago.
Someone gave her a fake script and she learned all the wrong lines before our first rehearsal.
They wanted her to lose the part.
Who gave her the script? It was her understudy.
Ada Cunningham.
I played one little joke on the woman.
You attempted to sabotage Mrs.
Potter in rehearsals.
It wasn't sabotage.
And the perfume? What perfume? You've changed.
Is this what you were wearing during the performance? Yes.
So? An unspent blank round.
Someone must have put that blank in my pocket.
And I had nothing to do with putting acid in Annabeth's perfume.
- I couldn't have.
- Why is that? I have to arrive and get dressed before everyone else.
I have the smallest role, so I'm the one who has to wait by the door and take the tickets.
I was never in the dressing room after she arrived.
And Annabeth brought the perfume with her.
So Miss Cunningham admits to replacing the script but claims she didn't tamper with the perfume.
Right.
Whoever brought the acid, brought it in something.
Perhaps we could find the bottle.
Now, nitric acid is corrosive.
It would have to be a glass bottle.
Right.
Mr.
Finch.
I did have a couple questions about your play.
For instance, the leading lady confused me somewhat.
You mean because she is all wrong for the part.
Well, she kept saying she was innocent and virginal, but what she was conveying was anything but.
I spoke to her and spoke to her and spoke to her.
But would she listen? No! So, who did you imagine in the role? A quiet, subtle beauty.
Dark hair, dark countenance someone fierce and someone real.
You know, the boy really is a natural, Margaret.
Shh shh shh.
You must rest your voice.
Do you really think he's good? When I see him on the stage I feel as though I am looking at a younger version of myself.
- Margaret? - Shh.
He's resting.
What will your review say of the performance? I have a spot of difficulty there, Detective.
You see, I intended to be rather caustic.
With regards to one performance in particular.
The leading lady.
She was, if I may speak ill of the dead, an abomination.
How could I write such a thing? The poor woman is gone, forever.
It would be cruel to thusly savage her.
- But anything else would be a lie.
- Indeed.
And honesty is my guiding light.
Truth is the soul of the critic.
Excuse me.
I need to find the other Detective.
The victim's missing earring.
Meaning Annabeth Potter was down here sometime before the show began.
But why? And did happened down here to cause her to lose an earring? Ah.
Detectives.
I have something.
- The acid container? - No information.
It seems to me that our writer, Barney Finch, was very put out that his leading lady was miscast.
He didn't want Annabeth Potter in the role? I fairly believe he wrote it with Ada Cunningham in mind.
Mr.
Finch Follow me, gentlemen.
Could you recount the opening sequence once again, please? I turned the lights down.
Mr.
Finch emerged from here, walked to the table with the gun.
Wait.
Right at that moment.
There was a sound.
There was a sound and someone muttered something Yes, sir.
I heard it too.
I think it was a chap and I think he said, "Damn.
" A sound? What kind of sound? It was a little, 'dink' or No, it was a sort of a 'clink, clink, clink'.
- Something falling to the stage.
- Yes.
Oh, yes, I think I noticed.
I assumed Finch had just knocked into something on the set.
Or there could be another explanation.
The nitric acid that harmed Grayson Howard's voice also has destructive properties.
It can eat through cloth.
Oh.
Mr.
Finch's trouser pocket.
As you can see, Mr.
Finch, the stopper on this vial of nitric acid is loosely set.
Some of the liquid seeped out enough to eat a hole in a piece of fabric.
- A pocket, for instance.
- Nonsense, nonsense.
The vial fell through the hole in you pocket onto the stage floor.
You paused to pick it up - causing the delay - but then had to carry on and begin the play lest anyone suspect you.
Prove it.
Take off your trousers.
- We can test the pocket for residue.
- You can do that? Most certainly.
That's quite good I'll have to use that in my next play.
- Mr.
Finch - Yes, fine, I, I did it.
I brought the acid and put it in the perfume.
It was only going to soften her voice and then Ada could step in and the play would be vastly improved.
But when your plan failed, you set out to kill her so that she couldn't perform the role ever again.
I brought the acid, and a bullet as well? I expected my plan to fail, then.
And when it did, I resorted to something far more drastic? Something that wouldn't even solve the problem.
The reviews are in after opening night, Detective.
There's no benefit in replacing the star for the second performance.
- Well, I suppose - But no! Even though I had lost a piece of incriminating evidence, I went ahead and murdered Annabeth in the most complicated way imaginable! If I were to write such a thing, no audience would believe it.
And yet you expected the audience to believe that a police detective would allow every suspect to handle the murder weapon until one of them finally killed him with it.
Well it's a it's a metaphor.
I'm feeling a little better, but I really should retire to my bed.
Yes.
I think that would be best.
- Thomas.
- What? Don't you think Mr.
Howard should go home? The poor man has been through a great deal.
I live just round the corner, you can always summon me if you need anything.
Fine.
Write down your address and you can go.
Do you think you could escort me? - Yes, I would be honoured.
- No she bloody well can't! Thomas! Get out before I change my mind.
Thomas! - What has gotten into you? - The man was trying his luck with you.
- He was? - Yes.
Oh.
Mr.
Finch makes a convincing argument.
The version of events in which he is the killer is not quite right.
So who then? Well, prior to her death, both the understudy and the writer tried to get rid of Annabeth.
Perhaps the murder had nothing to do with the play at all.
That's possible.
Perhaps there's another reason altogether.
Hey! You can't just leave.
I'm ailing, dear girl.
So what? If we have to stay, so do you.
I am merely a witness.
You, my dear, are a suspect.
Of course you're a suspect.
You were here, weren't you? I was poisoned.
You think I did this to myself? I was the one who did the perfume business, - it had nothing to do with the murder.
- You? - I'll give you what for - This is ridiculous.
- Why does no one suspect you? - Me? You're the one who fired the gun.
You think I did this on purpose? Annabeth is my wife I could never I didn't Someone made me shoot my own wife! We can fight all we want, but why isn't anyone pointing out the most suspicious thing about all of this? What is he doing here? Yes, what are you doing here? - You weren't made to stay.
- Moi? But I wasn't anywhere near the stage.
Nor did he have any reason to kill poor Annabeth.
Unlike someone we all know.
What exactly are you implying? Do you really want me to say? There's nothing you could say that would make a whit of sense.
No? Do you know what Annabeth told me? She told me that you weren't "born on Broadway" at all.
You're little Joanie Dell from Huntsville.
The only reason you get to be the director is because your daddy pays for the whole thing! Enough.
All of you could have killed Annabeth Potter.
All of you had motive to kill her.
And all of you are staying here until her murder is solved.
During the flurry of accusations, two compelling motives emerged.
One for Mr.
Howard.
He lost the lead role thanks to Mrs.
Potter.
And one for the director, Miss Dalloway.
Who didn't want anyone knowing about her real background.
I knew I recognized her from somewhere.
My sister Ruby used to summer with her in the Muskokas.
So you were raised rich.
Well, not rich-rich With me, Doctor.
Perhaps you can open her up with discussion of gems or somesuch.
I was letting you leave because you were getting cozy with my wife.
No, never.
I? No.
The entire cast has confirmed your previous conflict with the victim.
Yes, it happened.
And you bloody well killed her for it.
I did not, I swear it.
You had opportunity to exchange the bullet during the dinner scene.
Did I? I suppose.
But I didn't.
And why should we believe that when you just lied about putting your hands on my wife? Those are fighting words, young man.
- What? - You want fisticuffs? - I'll give you a thrashing.
- Is he joking? Are you jo All right, Mr.
Howard, that's enough questions for now.
Yes.
How is Ruby? I haven't heard from her in some time.
Off on another dramatic adventure, I'd imagine.
All right.
That's enough chit-chat.
So Annabeth Potter knew about your past.
Knew you were lying to the papers, to your audience.
Pretending to be something you were not.
Yes.
She knew.
And yet you cast her in the lead.
- Was she blackmailing you? - Of course I cast her.
- She had the best notices in the city.
- Really? I don't know what that Gould man was thinking.
Herbert Gould? He's given her good reviews? Glowing.
For every performance.
Glowing reviews.
Until tonight.
Suddenly, your opinion changed.
Your notes, Mr.
Gould, are not merely critical.
They're downright cruel.
They betray an anger toward the victim.
Why did you suddenly hate Annabeth Potter? I simply write what I see.
But you had seen her in half a dozen other plays.
What exactly are you accusing me of? I had no opportunity to touch that gun.
I didn't even arrive until after the play began and the gun was on stage the whole time.
- That is not true.
- Oh? I saw you by the door to the basement - ten minutes before the show started.
- No.
Well I don't recall In spite of the fact that you took your seat five minutes after the show began, you were not late to the theatre tonight.
You were early.
But you were waiting by the basement door to receive payment.
- Payment? - The $60 found on Annabeth Potter.
She was paying him for positive notices.
Selling out his profession, betraying his personal integrity.
- Well - But you never received that payment.
Why? Had Annabeth Potter reconsidered? Did you demand more money? I don't know.
But whatever happened, an altercation ensued, causing Mrs.
Potter to lose her earring.
Her earring.
You were angry.
And so you concocted a plan.
You knew the details of the play from the dress rehearsal.
You knew there would be at least ten seconds of darkness during which you could replace the bullet in the gun.
You just had to get on stage.
- That's very good, Watts.
- Thank you.
But he wasn't on stage.
No, no, no.
No, he wasn't.
Or was he? The altercation downstairs happened right beside the trap.
Mr.
Gould awaited the precise moment, emerged under cover of darkness, replaced the bullet in the gun, and vanished once again.
Aided by the delay caused by Mr.
Finch dropping the acid vial.
Then he demanded to stay afterwards so he could plant the blank cartridge on someone else.
On the most unlikely of suspects.
- The understudy.
- Look.
Bullets.
In Mr.
Gould's satchel.
The same colour and calibre as the bullet that killed Mrs.
Potter.
- No it can't be - Detective, Inspector.
- I'm afraid Mr.
Gould is innocent.
- What? We've just proved he did it.
Certain aspects of my theory have proved false in fact.
What aspects? Mr.
Gould was not under the stage and he was not the reason Mrs.
Potter lost her earring.
What about the other things? Was he taking money for reviews? I believe so, yes.
But if he wasn't under the stage, he cannot be the killer.
Right then, what next? Detective, just a moment.
How can you be so sure of these things? I am sure because the sounds and the lost earring were caused by something else.
- What? - A tryst.
With whom was she having a tryst? - Her husband? - No.
Then it could be relevant to the investigation.
It's not.
I wonder I'll judge that for myself, Detective.
Oh.
Right, let's consider new theories.
- What the bloody hell's going on? - It's not important, sir.
Mr.
Gould could not have been under the stage.
- Well then, who was? - There's really no reason to say.
Somebody bloody well tell me what's going on! John, you were having a bit of how's your father with the victim? She was married! - Margaret? - Look what you've done.
- Margaret? - Mrs.
Brackenreid.
Margaret.
Are you all right? I think so - what happened? - You fainted.
It must have been because I've been so nervous - I haven't eaten anything.
- Oh.
Yes, it could be that.
It's so strange.
I think I had a dream A dream that John was carrying on with a married woman.
Thank the Lord it was just a dream.
Now, where's my purse? Really, son? - A married woman? - I know, father.
But it wasn't a real marriage.
- How's that? - At least not yet.
She was frustrated.
You mean Apparently Felix had - Trouble.
- Couldn't rise to the occasion.
Why didn't you tell us this before, John? I didn't want Felix to find out.
The poor man's wife just died.
Maybe he already knows.
In which case he becomes a compelling suspect.
- He doesn't know.
- How can you be sure? Because it was the first time it ever happened.
He was in the green room at the time, putting on his makeup.
The first time was just before the show started? - Under the bloody stage? - I saw Annabeth by the basement door.
And we exchanged some looks during rehearsals and, well She grabbed me.
And then she kissed me.
Then she dragged me under the stage, where she kissed me again - and then she grabbed hold of my belt - All right, enough.
We get the picture.
Just exactly when did the two of you exit the basement? Annabeth left right away and got in position before the lights went down.
I couldn't find my badge so I was delayed a couple of minutes.
That must be why Ada heard that noise in the dark.
You believe the husband didn't know? He could have sensed that something was up during rehearsals.
No sir, he never touched the weapon until the finale.
There was no way he could have put in the real bullet.
What we haven't considered amongst these revelations is the bullets found in Mr.
Gould's satchel.
Since it's apparently impossible for him to be guilty, we have to assume they were placed there by the killer presumably.
And the same killer put the blank in Miss Cunningham's pocket.
- Unless she's the killer.
- Precisely.
There are two possibilities.
Miss Cunningham is the killer, and the blank round found in her pocket is evidence of that.
Yes, but would she really think to put evidence in Gould's satchel and not think to get rid of evidence in her own pocket? Exactly, George.
That's why I believe the second possibility to be the case.
The same killer attempted to lay blame on both Mr.
Gould and Miss Cunningham.
I had my hands in my pockets during the final scene.
They were empty, so the blank must have been put in after the play had ended.
When did you get changed? After that horrible incident with Annabeth I wanted to get out of my costume as quickly as possible.
I came straight back here as soon as I could.
Could someone have slipped it in your pocket before you changed? I don't think so.
It must have been after I hung it up here.
Did you see anyone else back here before or after you changed? Grayson took Felix back here.
He was consoling him.
Which pocket did you find them in? This one here.
That's where I keep my Waterman.
I'd opened that pocket only twenty minutes before you found the bullets.
Who could have been near your bag? I put it down in the green room for a few minutes.
Who was there at the time? John Brackenreid.
His mother.
And Felix Potter.
Their marriage was never consummated.
If she had asked him for a divorce, the result would have been an annulment.
What would he care about that? Unless she had more money than him.
Did he marry up? Well, Mr.
Potter was a dedicated actor.
And from what I understand their wages are ridiculously low.
Right.
Meanwhile she has enough money lying around - to pay for good reviews.
- Hold on.
- I thought he couldn't have done it.
- That's right.
We all saw him take the revolver out of the drawer.
Not even a sleight of hand artist could have replaced the bullet in the split second it took for him to remove it from the drawer and fire.
I know how it was done.
With me.
What happened on this stage is precisely the premise of my forthcoming murder mystery.
Which I based on an old case Detective Murdoch and I solved.
And I shall call, "The Convention of Inventors".
I don't see the similarities, George.
Really, sir? Yep.
Well in any case, you are standing in for Mr.
Grayson.
Mr.
Grayson held a grudge against Mrs.
Potter, and he was he who, during the dinner scene, replaced the bullet.
And as he walked toward the dining table, he passed Ada Cunningham, and gave her the blank cartridge.
So she took the bullet and put it in her own pocket? Precisely.
Felix Potter fired upon his own wife, knowingly, but he could not have done so without the help of the others.
All of the others.
Each of the cast members played their own part.
What a twist! Terrific! An ending like that would have earned a rave from me, I can tell you that much.
- You didn't care for my ending? - "Ending"? You just arbitrarily killed everyone.
And I suppose you saw it coming did you? Surprise is not the paramount element of drama, my good man.
So George, you believe the killer was in fact a group.
Yes, sir.
You remember that case, at the, the - The Invention Convention.
- Oh.
That's a better title.
Even though it turned out none of them did it? Well, sir, that's true, but it would have been a much better story had they.
What about the bullets in the satchel? Well, I suppose that could have been John.
It wasn't bloody John.
All right, then it was one of the others.
Sir, you don't like my solution? I will admit, it does seem impossible for one person to have committed this murder.
Unless Unless the answer's been lying in front of us the entire time.
The killer led us to believe the trick was the exchange of the bullet.
What if the trick was the exchange of the gun? What if the killer put in a second gun into the same drawer, and when the time was right, he could have simply reached for it.
- No gun then? - No.
Well, perhaps I'm right after all.
Unless Unless the killer knew that the drawer would be examined so he secreted the gun in a hidden compartment.
- No.
- No compartment.
No compartment.
But there is a hole in the back of the drawer.
So the prop gun could have fallen down to the drawer below.
This is the prop gun, identical to the murder weapon in every way save for the unspent blanks.
The killer placed the gun in the drawer before the play ever started.
When the time was right, he reached in, took out the murder weapon, allowing the prop gun to fall into the drawer below.
Felix Potter shot his own wife, murdered her in cold blood.
Yes.
I did it.
She was going to leave me.
Leave me and take everything.
Why? Because she didn't think I was a man.
I showed her, didn't I? I showed you all.
You murdered her in cold blood.
I did much, much more than that.
I prepared.
I rehearsed.
And tonight, I was a man.
And not only one man, but three.
The doting husband.
The grieving widower.
And the vengeful killer.
And I had you all fooled, every step of the way.
Yes, Mr.
Potter.
It certainly was the performance of a lifetime.
You were the best thing in it, son.
Of course we're going to recast That was very clever discovering the second gun, William.
All this has me rather intrigued about the theatre.
Perhaps I'll take after Joan and try my hand at drama.
You'd like to direct.
Why not? How hard could it be? Well, if it will make you happy, I encourage it.
Perhaps we should start right now.
Start what? We have a whole theatre at our disposal.
- And I have a scene in mind.
- Oh? But I may not know the lines.
This time maybe we'll improvise.