Synopsis: In this weeks ‘Houdini and Doyle’ a minister wakes to find everyone in his town dead, without any sign of violence. Was this retribution for past acts of evil, as local natives believe. of evil, as local natives believe.
Review: Still in Canada Houdini, Doyle and Stratton are drawn into an investigation concerning mass deaths in a town. Doyle true as ever is looking for a supernatural angle while Houdini continues to embrace the logical approach, but Stratton seems to be siding with Doyle on this and is also pre – occupied with finding out what her husband is up to after having encountered him in last weeks story.
Their investigation leads them to talking to a Canadian Native who believes the deaths are retribution for the deaths of his people when a white prospector came and subsequently killed many of his people when settling the town.
Of course this theory doesn’t really wash with Houdini who is still grief stricken from the loss of his mother, but Doyle is a little open to it.
The mystery winds up having a logical solution though and it is stratton that figures it when she awakes from a fitful dream involving her husband.
Turns out that the deaths were caused by the mining operation in the town. The heavy gases that were in the mind had somehow carried and wiped pretty much everyone out with the exception of a handful of people who had some kind of immunity to it due to a medical condition that gave them some resistance to it.
Before leaving the town having solved the mystery Houdini visits the native for some counselling. The native soothes Houdini’s mind by telling him that our respective families and peoples all live on in our hearts and there for are always with us. As Houdini is about to leave. The native tells him that the president is visiting a hotel in Buffalo New York.
Houdini rushes back to Doyle and Stratton and tells them about the President and the Hotel, which has King in its title and they race across the the border to New York to stop the assassination attempt.
Stratton is under the belief that her Husband is there to save the president. Houdini and Doyle are understandably neutral not knowing much about Stratton’s husband and lend her aid anyway. When they get to the hotel they are met with some resistance from the presidents security staff, but Houdini manages to push his way through and tells the security chief that he will look foolish if he ignores their warnings.
They wind up saving the President, but Stratton is forced to shoot her husband when he turns out to be the would be assassin. Doyle winds up getting shot in the struggle.
Although I have this listed as episode 8 of the series. It is down on IMDB as episode 10. ITVEncore who show the series in the UK have pretty much botched the order and have actually wound up repeating one episode twice. So whether they intend to show the remaining two episodes that they botched the order of remains to be seen.
I mention this because this particular episode feels like a season finale given how it is bookended.
Houdini sees his dead mother and while drifting out of consciousness Doyle has a vision of Sherlock Holmes and is persuaded to write what will become ‘The Empty Room’ in which Holmes is returned to life. Stratton meanwhile is grief stricken and betrayed and tosses the one last reminder of her late husband over the side of the boat, which is taking them back to London.
I’ve really enjoyed this series. While this particular mystery was relatively simple. It was worth the sacrifice of a more complex mystery for the character beats we got instead. I particularly enjoyed the final scene that Houdini shared with the Native Canadian character. The spiritual guidance Houdini received was a nice touch and brought some doubt to his staunch belief in logic over the supernatural.
- Incidental Music9.5