The Murdoch Mysteries (2004) s17e12 Episode Script

Wheel of Bad Fortune

You're attending a psychic fair, Julia?
You disapprove.
Margaret invited me
to go this afternoon.
I think it sounds like a bit of fun.
An art gallery, a
museum, can also be fun.
It's an opportunity to experience
something different, William.
Different than what?
The same things we do
day after day after day.
There's no harm in seeing the
world from a new perspective.
Even if that perspective is fraudulent?
The placement of the stars cannot
foretell one's future, Julia.
Well, it's a good thing
you're not invited. (CHUCKLES)
I don't know why we haven't
rented out the salon before.
We're selling so many tickets.
Are you sure this is
something we should be doing?
Are you afraid of the occult?
Not necessarily comfortable with it,
but that's not the reason.
Oh. Then what is it?
The police.
They can very easily
shut us down, Violet.
I doubt that's going to happen.
They've done it before.
You may have more than one
job, Violet, but I do not.
Cassie, they won't.
And, besides, in three days,
we'll be making so much money,
trouble will be the
last thing on your mind.
This is the devil's playground!
- You don't belong here!
- Excuse me.
This is my establishment. It
is you who does not belong.
- And these are the devil's instruments.
You will leave right now, sir,
or I will call the Constabulary
to come and throw you out!
You'll both burn for this.
Be gone with you.
What were you saying about trouble
being the last thing on my mind?
He must have fallen from here, sir.
Hm. So it would seem.
Is there any reason
to suspect foul play?
Appears this is a death by misadventure.
Ordinarily I would agree
with you, Miss Hart,
but I found this upon arrival.
A tarot card?
Not just any tarot card,
the death card, more specifically,
and it was placed right on the body.
A psychic fair has rented
out my salon for three days.
Oh, so you're the reason they're here.
Just running a business, Detective.
I'm sure the death and
the fair aren't connected;
simply a coincidence.
I don't believe in coincidences.
Someone was definitely sending a message
by placing this on the body.
I eagerly await your postmortem.
The landlord has identified the deceased
as one Erasmus Scribbs.
He was almost finished his dinner, sir.
No sign of anyone joining him.
Mr. Scribbs wasn't short on money.
No witnesses to what happened?
According to the landlord,
Mr. Scribbs kept to himself
and paid his rent on time each month.
Is it possible he just jumped, sir?
It is.
But would he have jumped
in the middle of his dinner?
Perhaps it wasn't to his liking.
What do you mean you have a job?
It's still a long way off,
but once I'm released,
I'll be a handyman at a
church on Trinity Street.
Well, that's something to
look forward to. How wonderful.
It is! And, um, it comes
with lodgings on site.
I'll still come over,
every Sunday, to have
supper with you and father.
That would be nice.
And in a few years,
maybe you'll see me as a lay
brother, serving the community.
Why a lay brother?
It allows me to help the church
while continuing my path
as God's humble servant on this plane.
Whatever makes you happy, Bobby.
Now, I must go and meet Julia.
We're going to the psychic fair.
Mother, the occult?
Places like that are filled
with charlatans and con men.
So is this place, dear,
and you seem to be doing just fine.
Bobby is well?
Very much so.
He has plans for a future.
He's anticipating a
second chance at life.
- That's so good.
- Mm.
He's none too pleased about me
coming to this event, though.
Oh. He shares William's sentiment.
Ah. Ah! It would seem
they're not the only ones.
- God knows the path!
Only God knows the path!
Ye should turn from these
devilish vanities unto God.
We're more than capable of making
our own decisions, Reverend.
- Reverend.
Repent! Only God knows the path!
God does not live in this building!
Oh! So lovely to see you here, ladies.
- And you as well.
- Thank you.
Such an exotic event!
- That it is.
Enjoy your visit.
Where should we start? Astrology?
- Tea leaves.
- I'm not sure.
How marvellous!
It's basic science, actually,
achieved using potassium.
You, madam, are the marvel.
- Me?
- Yes.
Your blue-violet aura is arresting.
My what?
The luminous body that
surrounds your physical form.
Take this.
Throw it into the flames
If you wish to see the future.
Thank you, no.
Are you sure, madam?
You have the gift.
When you want the
answer to your question,
throw this
Into a hungry fire
and all will be revealed.
I have no questions.
Shall we?
- He looks to be between 45 and 55,
relatively healthy, devoid
of any surgical scars.
So, nothing out of the ordinary, then.
Oh, he possesses all the
signs of a fatal fall:
Head trauma, broken pelvis.
Could he have been involved in
an altercation prior to the fall?
Well, it's possible. But I believe
it was the fall that killed him.
So, no defensive wounds, then?
He wore a oh.
This ring has a rather
distinct stone in it.
Ah, yes. It's called a tiger eye.
Some people carry the
stone for protection
and to keep them safe from evil.
Doesn't seem to have worked here.
Ah. Very good, Detective.
The ring looks very expensive,
and it wasn't taken.
Neither was any of Mr. Scribbs' money,
so I suppose we can rule out robbery.
I did find something curious
on his right shoulder.
Well, that's an interesting tattoo.
I-I've seen this before.
This. Look.
See here on the flag?
It's the same as the tattoo.
Still think this has
nothing to do with your fair?
Correlation isn't causation, Detective.
You taught me that.
Touché, Miss Hart.
I'll have more to tell you
about Mr. Scribbs' death
- after the internal postmortem.
- As will I.
After a visit to your fair.
Is that man deceased?
Very much so, I'm afraid.
He was found this morning,
not too far from here.
I'm sorry to hear that.
Uh, but what does that
have to do with me?
Just to be clear: You don't recognize
the man in this photograph?
Uh, no.
Um, this card was found
at the scene of the crime.
The death card does
not mean actual death.
It's symbolic of a change, an ending.
- This man very much met his end.
- Mm.
And this card appears
to match your deck.
I don't believe so. (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY)
Then you won't mind checking to see
if your death card is there?
Well, that's that's not possible.
It's not there?
When did you last see it?
During a reading last
night before dinner.
Who else has had access to
this booth in the past 24 hours?
Anyone else who works here. We don't
feel the need to lock things up.
Can you account for your
whereabouts last night?
I was at the hotel.
I had a late dinner with
friends and then I went to bed.
Right. I'll need the name of
the hotel and the restaurant.
Would I really leave
something at a crime scene
that would lead police back to me?
I'm being framed.
That's a good point.
But why would someone want to frame you
for a murder of someone you don't know?
I'm a psychic, Detective,
but I don't have an answer for that.
Hotel and restaurant, please.
She just got a little
bad news. (CHUCKLES)
- I need to speak with you about a murder.
- Oh, please, sit down.
This won't take long.
Your wife would want
you to have a break.
How did you know I had a wife?
Well, I can see your
love line on your palm
all the way over here. Oh!
And such beautiful children.
We only have one.
Not for long.
All right. Just for a minute.
My word! I've never
seen anything like this.
- What? What's wrong?
- Wrong? (CHUCKLES)
Your life line is nothing
short of remarkable.
My life line?
Well, this here.
You are going to live a very
long and successful life.
Will I be rich?
Or famous?
Both! And (GASPS)
No harm will ever come to you.
Tell me more. (CHUCKLES)
I didn't expect to see
you here, of all places.
I didn't expect to be
investigating a murder. Thank you.
- This crowd is very riled up.
- Indeed.
Jiminy Christmas! Someone's
looking to cop a mouse today.
- Who did that?!
- Stop! Stop!
We are defending the faithful
and rejecting the evil.
We don't want you here!
You have every right
to express your concern,
but violence of any sort
will not be tolerated
by the Toronto Constabulary.
Is that understood?
I apologize. Won't happen again.
Is that a handcrafted apothecary?
Want to take a peek inside?
Very much so.
We've got some willow bark,
whole cloves, rosehips,
valerian and as a thank
you for your interest.
I-I really couldn't.
It's just a little dried lavender.
How lovely.
And we could put it in Susannah's crib.
Might help her sleep.
It will surely do that.
While I have you here,
do you recognize this man or his tattoo?
I do know someone who can help you.
- Who?
- Charmion Glass.
She's covered in tattoos
and she's right inside.
Thank you.
I'm Detective Murdoch of
the Toronto Constabulary.
(GASPS) Welcome.
What would you like to
see, know, or discover?
Nice tattoo.
(SCOFFS) Which one?
You're going to need to
be a little more specific.
Perhaps we can get into more
specifics down at the station house.
Do you know this man,
Erasmus Scribbs?
Back in our salad days.
Dear Mussy.
No longer on this mortal plane?
No. He was found dead not
too far from your fair.
I knew him as Erasmus
Galt many moons ago,
but he had many lives and many names.
He was a con man?
Oh, he was much more than that.
What was your relationship to him?
We were followers of Aleister Crowley,
members of the the Pneumatic Order,
or something like that.
Hm. And did being part of this
order require you to have the tattoo
that I've observed on both
his shoulder and yours?
To show our fealty, our loyalty. Yes.
I see.
Clearly, you are no longer
part of the organization.
Um, did you and Erasmus leave together?
No. Mussy found God.
He worried that being part of the order
would hurt his chances
of getting into heaven.
I see.
And where were you last night
between midnight and six am?
Keeping company with Horatio,
a gentleman who sports the most
glorious imperial moustache and goatee.
Do you know of anyone who
may have wished Erasmus harm?
He had a wild life when I met him.
It's possible he made
enemies that found him here.
I really couldn't say.
Right. I'll be looking into your alibi,
but, uh, in the meantime,
you are free to go.
Bit of a peacock, that one, eh?
She knew the victim.
Do you think she killed him?
I don't know, but I
found her suspicious.
Has an answer for everything.
Well, she's a fortune teller, Murdoch.
She probably knew what you were
going to ask before you did.
What have you, Miss Hart?
I've completed the internal
examination of the victim.
The results are consistent with
death from a fall from a great height.
Hm. Anything else?
I did find chicken pot pie
and tea in his small intestine.
That's the meal we
found in his apartment.
- There was one curious thing.
- Go on.
His tea was made with
hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Which could have caused
disorientation, vertigo.
Again, this could be a
death by misadventure.
But there was a long horizontal
bruise across his back,
even though there were
no defensive wounds.
What if he was facing
a killer on the balcony?
His back pressed against the handrail,
he's been drugged, unsteady on his feet.
One good push could have
sent him off the balcony.
Falling backwards and landing
prostrate when he hit the ground.
The killer then walked
downstairs, into the alley
and placed the tarot card on the body.
But why the card?
That's what I intend to find out.
Oh! Excellent work, Miss Hart.
A little bit more, please.
And, uh, a little bit
more lemon, as well.
Of course.
The earthiness of the tea can
take a little getting used to.
I just want my family to be together.
And for my son to
make the right choices.
You think he won't?
I don't know.
Can you tell me?
Of course.
Let's take a look.
That could've killed me!
It's a good thing you
stopped when you did.
Looks like you got God on your side.
God has nothing to do with it, Tucker.
Nothing at all.
No harm will ever come to me.
(GASPS) Oh. Hello.
(GIGGLING) Thomas! Oh!
(VOICE ECHOING): Excuse me.
Have you seen my husband,
Inspector Thomas
Char-Charles Brackenreid?
Yorkshire accent. About this tall.
And, oh! Wait!
This tall.
Oh, Julia!
- Oh!
- Julia, Julia!
- Hello, Margaret.
- Hello, hello, hello!
Have I ever told you
Have I ever told you
how wonderful I think it
is that you are a doctor?
A doctor!
- Margaret.
- Wha ?
Your pupils are dilated.
I think she's been drugged.
- Drugged? How?
- No! I simply had the
(VOICE ECHOING): Most wonderful
conversation with a tattooed lady
and everything is going to be fine!
- Charmion Glass at the psychic fair?
- Yes! And
We had the most delicious tea.
- It just
- Margaret?
What's going on? What're you doing here?
Well, what are we all doing
here is the question, isn't it?
- My office.
- Wha ?! Why?!
The tea is made from mushrooms
with hallucinogenic compounds.
We also found it in the victim's system.
But nobody's trying to
harm Margaret, surely.
She didn't drink enough to cause harm.
She said Charmion Glass gave it to her.
The peacock you interviewed earlier.
On our final sweep of the crime scene,
- we found this.
- Thank you.
A coin or money of some sort.
Seems familiar.
The tiny hole on top would suggest
it's a piece of costume jewelry.
Fay Radler's headdress.
It was adorned with
several of these flat discs.
The tarot card reader.
She's looking quite guilty.
Between that and the death card on
the victim's body, I'd say so, yes.
But the tea in the victim's
stomach came from Charmion Glass.
Do you think the two women from the fair
- worked together to kill your victim?
- That's possible.
What's their motive?
Let's bring them in and find out.
Charmion Glass,
you are under arrest for the
murder of Erasmus Scribbs.
Detective Murdoch,
this is beginning to
feel like a déjà vu.
What's going on out here?
Apparently, I killed someone.
Very good.
Fay Radler, you are also under arrest.
What? For what charge?
For conspiring to commit
murder with Miss Glass.
Let's go.
This is a witch hunt!
We don't need this evil in our city!
Constable Higgins,
shut down this event
until further notice.
- What are you doing?
You can't close the fair.
That's exactly what I'm doing.
Our Lord's work is done.
The devil's playground is no more.
Thank you! The devil is rebuked!
Praise the Lord!
Why did you serve drugged tea
to the police inspector's wife?
I serve it to all my clients.
I didn't know who that
church-bell was when she sat down.
Why do you drug your customers?
The tea helps them relax and open up.
It's harmless.
Well, it wasn't harmless
to your friend Mr. Scribbs.
He had a large dose of it in his system
when he was pushed off the balcony.
(SIGHS) Detective,
how could a tiny woman like me
hoist a grown man over a balcony?
Obviously, you had help.
Martha, grey as a mare.
Missing husband, wants him back.
Well, she shouldn't. He's a cad.
Sarah, mole on right cheek.
Lost her job, wants to
move back to country.
Some people should never leave the farm.
Petey: Gouty leg, dead wife.
Everyone wants to hear from
their departed loved ones.
So is this how you and Charmion
deceived your customers?
You learned personal
information about them in town,
shared it with one another
and then used it in
your fortune-telling act?
It's harder to do in cities this big.
Better to stick to the small towns.
So why did the two of
you decide to kill a man?
Did she serve him the tea
and you pushed him off
the balcony, or vice versa?
Char and me working
together to kill someone?
You've read too many
Penny Dreadfuls, Detective.
You and Mr. Scribbs
both had the same ring.
(CHUCKLES) Oh, Erasmus,
you sentimental old fool.
How long were the two of you together?
Married over seven years.
- And then what happened?
You had a falling out?
We didn't always agree on
how to, uh, run the business.
You know, um, solve certain problems.
You lied to me about not knowing him.
I swear I had nothing
to do with his death.
We found this piece of your costume
at the scene of the crime.
How do you explain that?
I, uh I can't.
Your alibi has been unsubstantiated,
and all of the evidence
is pointing towards you.
I'm innocent.
I swear it.
Forgive me for being blunt, Miss Radler,
but your word means nothing.
What did I tell you?
(SIGHS) Perhaps you were right.
The fair did invite trouble.
I don't believe those
women killed anyone.
Oh, neither do I.
That reverend seems more
capable of murder than those two.
I agree.
Didn't he knock over one
of the vendor's displays?
He did.
What are you thinking?
What if it was an act?
A diversion to distract us from
what he was really doing at the fair?
What was he really doing?
Stealing a card to
frame someone for murder.
I know what church he presides over.
It's on Wellington.
Well, let's go have a chat with him.
You think these two women
have been working together
for years just waiting for the
right time to kill this fellow?
If they knew Toronto was
to be one of their stops
and that this Erasmus
fella resided here,
then it's not beyond reason.
Did they appear to be chummy to you?
To be honest with you, no.
And I've yet to find a reason why
they would commit a crime together.
- Honour among thieves, I suppose.
- Sirs.
I managed to track down
the mustachioed gentleman
that Charmion kept
company with last night.
He confirms her alibi.
Well, then, that only leaves Fay Radler.
I knew there was
something off about you.
- Off?
- A judgmental hypocrite
who's secretly a soaker.
(SCOFFS) I am not.
You have me all wrong.
It's no wonder you burst
into our place of business
making yourself a nuisance.
You were drunk on what? Moonshine?
Violet, what is it?
Cassie, call the station
house and tell them
I'm making a citizen's arrest.
Arrest? For what?
It's just tea.
It's a fair bit more
than that, Reverend.
Now, where did you purchase this?
At an apothecary on Birchgate Avenue.
It's completely legal and
Less potent than opium.
Why do you drink it?
It's the only thing
that alleviates my grief
since my wife was murdered.
Your wife was murdered?
Yes. By a charlatan posing as a psychic.
By chance, is this the man
that you're referring to?
That's him!
I wanted him dead,
and the Lord delivered.
You say your wife was
murdered by a charlatan.
What do you mean by that?
Our son died after a brief illness
and my wife never recovered.
She met this man
at a travelling fair
who told her that she could
speak to our child in the afterlife.
And she believed him?
She claimed to have heard his voice
telling her that he was all right.
And begging her to keep
coming back to talk to him.
And she did.
'Til the money ran out, yes.
And then they just tossed her aside.
And when she could no
longer talk to our son
She took her own life.
They may as well have
put the gun to her head.
Crooks, thieves, scoundrels!
Just one big Flim-Flam family
profiting from people's grief.
And this is guaranteed to put
a little extra pep in my step?
It will indeed, sir.
So, we're free to go?
We've decided to release you, for now.
For now? Jiminy Christmas!
What more do we have to
do to prove our innocence?
It's standard procedure.
Just don't leave town.
Thank you, Detective.
Miss Hart, these people,
they prey on the weak.
Does that not give you pause?
Well, I have a lot of customers
waiting to have their fortunes told.
Excuse me.
Detective Murdoch!
How's that lavender
working for your child?
Oh! Well, she's sleeping like a
Well, like a baby.
Glad to hear.
How are you feeling now?
(SIGHS) Thomas was right.
It's all stuff and nonsense.
Well, you couldn't have known the tea
would have that effect on you.
Why did you go back to the fair?
I went to speak to the pyromancer.
He said I had the gift.
Then the fortune teller
called out to me and
(SIGHS) I should really get home.
You sure you don't want to
talk about it a little more?
(SCOFFS) You're very kind, but
I need to get home and
forget this day ever happened.
I feel silly for having
believed those people.
Tucker, call the
station and let them know
there's a robbery in progress at
the corner of Nassau and Spadina.
Wh-what about you? He's got a gun.
No harm will come to me.
Wha Higgins!
Stop! Police!
- Get away from me.
- What are you doing?
- My job.
Get away. Get away.
See? Nothing to it.
You're being charged with
the murder of Erasmus Scribbs.
- Do you understand?
- I didn't kill him,
but I'm happy he's dead.
And for that, I should be punished.
Sin is sin.
But I look forward to being
reunited with my family in death.
Aren't you finished with me yet?
I told you I was ready
to accept my fate.
- Tell me in detail
the events leading up
to the death of your wife.
It was over ten years ago, but I
remember it like it was yesterday.
Posed as a psychic who could
channel the dead, correct?
And the woman would find
vulnerable and grieving people,
listen to their sad stories
and pass them on to him,
and he would use them in his readings.
The woman would hide under a table
or behind a curtain,
pretending to be the dead relative.
Do you know this for certain?
I don't.
My wife described the voice of a child
echoing out through the ethers
reaching out to her
from beyond the grave.
She believed she was hearing your son,
but you think it was this woman.
My wife would've done anything
to speak to her child again.
That's why she trusted those charlatans.
Oh, you made the papers. Nice work.
Sir, I believe the reverend is innocent.
But it all adds up.
Con man, dead wife,
reverend gets revenge.
- Case closed.
- Respectfully, sir, I have to disagree.
- How so?
- The reverend stated that his wife
was conned by a husband and wife duo.
And one of them is dead.
And if the wife was
the tarot card reader,
we know that she didn't kill
him. That leaves the reverend.
What if a third person
was involved in the scheme?
Like who?
The reverend said that his wife heard
a child's voice, her son,
speaking to her from beyond the grave.
A dead child did it?
I need to have another
word with Fay Radler.
- You're back.
- I guess your curiosity got the better of you.
Has Miss Radler returned?
- No, haven't seen her.
- Sir, I need a word with Mr. Salazar.
Henry, does this have
to do with the case?
No, I just want to
tell him he was right.
This will only take but a moment
and it would really mean a lot to me.
- Very well.
- Thank you.
(FAY): Please, sit down.
(WOMAN): Is there something
I can help you with today?
- (MAN): Yes, I
- Hope you get good news, fella.
- I already have.
- Me too!
I have a remarkable life line
and no harm will ever come to me.
Can you believe it?
I'm gonna live forever!
Mr. Salazar! A word.
The five of wands.
You're healing from a conflict.
You've been through a battle.
I certainly have.
You'll come through triumphant.
You really don't remember me, do you?
Should I?
Jiminy Christmas, Mama,
how could you forget your own son?
My sweet boy.
So, you do remember me.
How could I forget?
Tell me one thing you remember about me.
You used to like saltwater taffy.
And you couldn't get enough
strawberry phosphates.
One time, you drank so
much, you had red stains
around your mouth for days.
And you always gave
me some of your supper
because I was still hungry
after cleaning my plate.
You were a growing boy.
Of course.
So, why did you leave me?
It was Erasmus' decision.
But I was just a child
- and you were my mother!
- I wasn't your mother.
You were a foundling, we took you in.
You were still my mother!
No, I wasn't.
You were a means to an
end. We owe you nothing.
I lied for you.
I deceived people for you.
And Erasmus?
He paid for that.
You killed him?
You two gave me a childhood
and you took it away from me!
- Help!
Can I go?
I've done nothing wrong.
Nothing I can arrest you for.
But you've done plenty wrong.
You've conned people,
- abandoned a child.
The act we came up with couldn't
have lasted indefinitely.
When Derby no longer
sounded like a child
because he grew,
you dropped him.
We changed our act to two
magnificent mentalists.
But after a couple months, Erasmus
didn't have the stomach for it.
The incident with the reverend's wife
and her suicide gave him a conscience?
Something that is not
Really an asset in this line of work.
Thank you for saving my life.
I'll be on my way.
I'd best not ever see you in
Toronto again, Miss Radler.
So, what will happen to the young man?
The circumstances of his life
will likely spare him the noose.
But he deceived me.
He drove my wife to madness.
He will spend considerable
time behind bars.
He was a child, Reverend,
simply doing the bidding of
people who showed him a kindness.
(SIGHS) I understand.
My wife couldn't get
past our son's death.
I couldn't get past my wife's suicide.
And young Derby couldn't forgive
what those two people did to him.
- None of them are easy tasks.
- No.
No, they are not.
I would like to speak to
the young man, if I may?
If he's willing.
I would like him to
know that I forgive him.
So, what you're telling me
is you're not invulnerable?
I walked straight towards a
man who was shooting at me.
So your fate isn't in your hands?
Good one, Tucker.
- Thank you.
- The thing is, he knew things.
My marriage to Ruthie, the
fact that I have a child.
- How could he know all that?
- Lucky guess.
Just like it was luck that
saved you from getting shot.
Well, you won't see me
risking my life anymore.
Tucker! Are you all right?
Never better.
Well, I guess some people
were just born lucky.
It's Madame O to you, Detective.
Where is Susannah?
I tucked a sachet of that lavender
under her pillow and she's
been sound asleep for hours.
Hm. Perhaps it's not all
smoke and mirrors after all.
Well, knowing that,
pick a card.
See your future.
(CHUCKLES) Pick another.
It must be written in the stars.
That's the spirit.
- What's with the get-up?
- Ah. Going out for a run.
A run? Where?
Just a run, Margaret.
Around and around.
Ever since I got the pep
tonic from that young lad,
I've been full of beans!
- Be ready for me when I get back.
- Oh!
You have the gift.
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