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Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom

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"Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom"
Cloud of doom 01
Season 6
Episode 6
Air date February 11, 2013
Written by Maureen Jennings
Derek Schreyer
Directed by Yannick Bisson
Guest Stars Raoul Bhanja as Dr Sanjay Prasad
David Huband as Mayor Clarkson
Recurring Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Kristian Bruun as Slugger Jackson
Nigel Bennett as Chief Constable Giles
Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Jayden Greig as Bobby Brackenreid
Charles Vandervaart as Johnny Brackenreid
Previous "Murdoch Au Naturel"
Next "The Ghost of Queen's Park"

"Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom" is the sixth episode of the sixth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the seventy-first episode of the series. It first aired on February 11, 2013.

Summary Edit

Murdoch is summoned to the Mayor's office, where he meets Mayor Clarkson and Chief Constable Giles. They play before him a film of a masked man gassing a dog. With the film came a poetic ransom demand for a 100,000 pounds, threatening to release the "Cloud of Doom" on man. Murdoch takes this seriously, to Clarkson's dismay, having only summoned him in hopes that he could convince Giles that this is a prank. Giles reminds the mayor that as chief constable, he can't afford to take any threat to the citizenry lightly. Ignoring means endangering an innocent person, as mentioned in the note. Murdoch corrects that the message is intended for the general public.

Station Four is quickly assigned to track down the masked madman and stop his Cloud of Doom. While Crabtree and Higgins go over the film, Murdoch questions the blind urchin, named Riley Flynn, who delivered the film, over what he remembers about the masked man. Brackenreid, unaware of the boy's condition, barges into the interview room before embarrassing himself.

Murdoch later discusses the Cloud of Doom with Julia before going to see Dr. Sanjay Prasad, a skilled chemist, to seek his assistance in identifying the compounds of the Cloud of Doom. Crabtree and Higgins managed to isolate a strange shaped shadow in the background, which Murdoch deduces to be a hot air balloon. With information from the proprietor, Murdoch deduces the location of where the film was taken. Upon arriving, he and Prasad find bleached plants and dead rats as far as they could see. Drawing on their knowledge of chemistry, they guess that the Cloud of Doom still retains its destructive properties even as the gas' volume diminishes after being released from its container. But as a few dead weeds and animals cannot give clues about the gas' components, they bring one of the rats back to the morgue, to the discomfort of Dr. Grace. Dissecting it, she determines that the gas made their lungs explode violently.

Another poetic letter is sent, threatening Cabbagetown. Giles suggests an evacuation, to which Brackenreid protests, as it is also where Station Four is. Clarkson is against it, as it'd cause a city-wide panic. Station Five, the fire department, provides Station Four with gas masks in hopes that they would survive the Cloud of Doom. To their chagrin, there's a limited number and some are broken.

Meanwhile, Murdoch and Prasad meet with Riley to help identify the smell of the gas from the masked man. Riley explains that he smelled rotten fruit off of perpetrator. The two men then head for the Junction District, as the doctor theorizes that chlorine, internationally banned in warfare because it killed inhumanely, is used in the gas, and the mysterious man has amplified with a mystery compound. Arriving at the chemical plant, a worker, Russell Boyes, claims that an American man bought large quantity of chemicals and gives them an address. Upon arriving at the warehouse, they find they are too late. Locating components of a time bomb, empty bottles of bleach and a tank, Prasad theorizes that the tank contained the mystery compound, which may be a gas.

As word of the Cloud of Doom spreads to the general public, Brackenreid sends his family to Niagara Falls under the pretense that his boys would want to see the falls. When his sons come over to the Station House for a visit and ask about the Cloud of Doom, he denies that anything will happen to him and shows them the gas mask. After his sons leave, Murdoch informs Brackenreid a mask that filters out smoke will be ineffective against the Cloud of Doom. Brackenreid admits that he knows and advises that he not enlighten the constables.

Murdoch is summoned again to the Mayor's office, where he is told that they are giving into the ransom demand and he assigned Murdoch to handle it. At a meeting with the entire constabulary, Murdoch instructs the constables to go in plainclothes and watch the dead drop incognito should anyone approach and restrict use of the police phones. Unfortunately, though they wait all day, no one picks up the bag. Murdoch then receives a call from the masked man, who claims to have seen the constables and demands a million pounds in 24 hours.

Telling this to the Mayor, Clarkson panics, as the city can't come up with that much money in time. Giles demands to know how the masked man was able to identify their constables. Clarkson voices his suspicion that someone at Station Four is in cahoots with the madman, to which Brackenreid firmly denies. Murdoch then suspects that the masked man intends to carry out his threat, to ensure that he could ransom the entire world. At that moment, one of the mayor's aide tells him that they've located the Cloud of Doom, the canister sitting out in the open. As it would be dangerous to try and disarm it, they instead move the container to the bottom of Lake Ontario.

Clarkson pops champagne at Station House No. 4 and commends everyone for their bravery. When he notices that Murdoch is absent, he and Brackenreid find him in his office, calculating. Murdoch explains that from the amount of chemicals used in the Cloud of Doom, he concludes that there are nine more bombs.

With little choice, the constabulary moves to evacuate Cabbagetown. As Brackenreid assigns their districts, Higgins questions why evacuate the women's prison, especially with Mary Knowles due to hang for shooting her father in cold blood. Brackenreid doesn't answer, only telling him to follow his orders, then go to Dr. Grace. She and the Crabtree exchange words before Crabtree kisses her on the lips.

As Cabbagetown is evacuated in a panic, Murdoch and Julia stay behind at the station house to insulate his office. Higgins enters to inform him that the phone trace has led to a public phone in the Junction District. This makes Murdoch suspicious, as it's near the chemical plant. He examines the ransom notes and the plant documents, noticing that the lowercase "t" has a distinct flaw on both. As it's impossible for two typewriters to have the same flaw, he suspects that Russell Boyes is the masked man. He and Julia go to confront him at his apartment, finding it empty except for the dog from the film, clearly alive, and trained to play dead on command. Murdoch then spots a photograph and realizes that Mary Knowles is Russell's fiancee.

At the women's prison, as Mary is brought out, a disguised Russell comes in sporting one of his gas canisters. Everyone runs away in a panic as he attempts to help Mary escape, only for Murdoch and Crabtree to turn up, and reveal the truth. The so-called "Cloud of Doom" is just harmless mist and it was all a ploy to spare Russell's fiancee the noose. Constables arrest Russell after he shares one last embrace with Mary.

Meeting with Russell at Station Four's jail, he notes the brilliance of his plan. He used pineapple extract to fool Dr. Prasad, bleached those plants and suffocated rats in a sack and scattered them about. Russell explains that he couldn't let his love die. Murdoch calls on him for turning Toronto upside-down to free a woman who murdered her own father. Russell says there's more to the story, explaining that Mary's father molested her in her youth. That kind of trauma is what kept her from defending herself in court and contrary to what the press say, she does regret her actions. Murdoch sternly states that while Mary may have suffered unjustly, it doesn't absolve his actions. Russell retorts that regardless, it was all worth it to prove his love for Mary. He proclaims that he would do anything for the woman he loves and asks Murdoch if he would do the same.

Murdoch later discuss with Julia about Mary. Together, they decide to go to the courts to convince them to grant Mary a stay of execution so she could be convinced to explain the circumstances surrounding her crime.

Character Revelations Edit

  • Julia refuses to leave William's side stating "We may not be husband and wife, William, but I refuse to abandon you," and this will her usual stand when they are faced with danger.
  • George's Aunt Primrose goes to St. Alban's Anglican Church and George once sat in a rhubarb pie his Aunt Hyacinth had baked.

Continuity Edit

  • When Russell states that he would do anything for the woman he loves and asks Murdoch if he would do the same, it not only reminds the detective of his love, it foreshadows the challenges yet to come in the last two episodes of Season 6.
  • George kisses Emily for the first time.

Historical References Edit

  • Cabbagetown's name derives from the Irish immigrants who moved to Toronto beginning in the late 1840s and said to have been so poor that they grew vegetables in their front yards instead of roses.
  • Baskerville is a serif typeface designed in 1757 by John Baskerville. Baskerville was a printer, typographer and type founder, which means he designed, cast and sold type. Baskerville was supposedly the namesake for the titular character in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles.
  • The visual design of Russell Bowes' costume may be a nod to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. Popular depictions of this non-lethal attacker-turned-myth from the 1930s-1940s most frequently include a long black trench coat, black rubber boots and gloves, a goggled mask, and often a hood.
  • Brief Mention of the Hague Convention of 1899, similar to the more well-known Geneva Conventions regarding international rules of warfare.
  • Mention of New York school teacher John Doughty who proposed the use of Chlorine Gas to expedite the American Civil War and was subsequently denied.
  • The image of the shadow, provided to Murdoch by Crabtree and Higgins, distinctly resembles the CN Tower, and leads to them to speculate:
    • Crabtree: "A tower, perhaps?"
    • Murdoch: "I highly doubt that, George. What kind of tower would have a cantilevered bulge at the top?"
    • Crabtree: "Well, I don't know, sir, but I think it has some aesthetic appeal. Perhaps the orb at the top is some sort of viewing area!"
    • Murdoch: (sighs) "George, if such a tower existed in Toronto, I'm sure we would know about it."

Trivia Edit

Errors Edit

Cast Edit

Main Cast Edit

Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as George Crabtree
Georgina Reilly as Emily Grace

Recurring Cast Edit

Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Kristian Bruun as Slugger Jackson
Nigel Bennett as Chief Constable Giles
David Huband as Mayor Clarkson
Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Jayden Greig as Bobby Brackenreid
Charles Vandervaart as Johnny Brackenreid

Guest Cast Edit

Raoul Bhanja as Dr. Sanjay Prasad
Kyle Labine as Russell Bowes
Tess Degenstein as Mary Knowles
Clark Devins as Riley Flynn
Gregory Dunham as Gilbert O'Malley
Vince Carlin as Elderly Man
Sascha Cole as Young Mother
Daniel Ruth as Artie

Uncredited Cast Edit

Brian Kaulback as Constable Hodge
Sean Harraher as Constable Worseley

Gallery Edit

Murdoch Mysteries Season 6
"Murdoch Air" • "Winston's Lost Night" • "Murdoch On The Corner" • "A Study in Sherlock" • "Murdoch Au Naturel" • "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom" • "The Ghost of Queen's Park" • "Murdoch in Ladies Wear" • "Victoria Cross" • "Twisted Sisters" • "Lovers in a Murderous Time" • "Crime and Punishment" • "The Murdoch Trap"
Web Series: Nightmare on Queen Street
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10

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