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"Darkness Before the Dawn Part 1" is the seventeenth episode of the twelfth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred eighty-fifth of the series. It first aired February 25, 2019.


Detective Watts’ rogue investigation into the murder of Lucille Palmer reveals troubling evidence with dire consequences, not only for the severely injured Constable Brackenreid but for everyone connected to the shooting that resulted in the death of Grant Sutton, a potential witness in the case of Lucille Palmer's death.

A cascade of choices, secrets and deceptions clouded by ambition and corruption has devastating consequences leaving few unscathed...

Character Revelations

  • Detective Watts has taken up the sport of running as it helps clear the mind.
  • Inspector Brackenreid has recommended William Murdoch for the Inspector position at Station House 5. and the Inspector is not the only one.
  • Dr. Ogden has handed in her resignation as Chief Coroner to focus on being a full-time surgeon.
  • Margaret mentions Bobby Brackenreid is attending a boarding school.
  • George is writing a new book which Effie took from his desk and read without his consent.
  • Amibitous Violet Hart will do whatever it takes to get what she wants – even if it means "finding" incriminating evidence during the second autopsy of Lucille Palmer.


  • Since Slorach has retired, his position as Inspector is now vacant – an opportunity that Murdoch had believed was never open to him as he is a Catholic.
  • Thomas and Margaret have been separated for two months as of this episode; Margaret asks Thomas to grant her a divorce which he refuses to do.
  • Upon being informed of Dr. Ogden's resignation, Miss Hart tells the good Doctor that she doesn't want to work for the new coroner, "I want the job for myself." 
  • Constable John Brackenreid is shot in the line of (unofficial) duty and is in critical condition at Toronto Mercy Hospital. With assistance from Dr. Dixon and Nurse Sullivan, Dr. Ogden operates on John...

Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1906 – Edward VII (Albert Edward;1841-1910) is King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas.
  • Tom Longboat, whose Iroquois name was Cogwagee, was a distance from the Six Nations Reserve near Ontario Brantford and for much of his career the dominant long-distance runner of the time.
  • On the 20 April 1897, Ottawa’s City Council voted to impose a $10 per year tax on Chinese laundries; Local Chinese residents were rightly appalled. Many gathered at Hong You’s laundry on Bank Street where they agreed to find a lawyer and take the City to court on the grounds that Council could not impose a tax on any particular class or nationality. Though they had a good case, it was defeated on a twelve to eight vote, thus leaving the discriminatory tax in place. Due to anti-Chinese pressure from British Columbia, the poll tax was increased to $100 in 1900 and then to $500 in 1903 despite there being only 17,312 Chinese settlers in all of Canada at the turn of the 20th century. 


  • The fourth official pairing of episodes with Part 1 and 2 in Murdoch Mysteries' titles, but the first time for the season's finale.
  • Filmed, once again, at the Auchmar - historic Hamilton home of James Buchanan circa 1854. 


Main Cast

Yannick Bisson as Detective William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Dr. Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as Inspector Thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as Constable George Crabtree

Recurring Cast

Daniel Maslany as Detective Watts
Shanice Banton as Violet Hart
Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins
Charles Vandervaart as John Brackenreid
Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Clare McConnell as Effie Newsome
Stephanie Belding as Nurse Sullivan
 Sebastian Pigott as Dr. Dixon
Sean Bell as Horace McWorthy

Guest Cast

Romy Weltman as Isabel Carmichael
Sebastian Spence as Allen Templeton
Ben Carlson as Shadowy Man
James Graham as Arthur Carmichael
D'Pharaoh McKay Woon-A-Tai as Tom Longboat
Ian Busher as Board Member

Uncredited Cast

Nathan Hoppe as Constable McNabb


Murdoch Mysteries Season 12
Murdoch Mystery MansionOperation: MurderMy Big Fat Mimico WeddingMurdoch Without Borders
The Spy Who Loved MurdochSir. Sir? Sir!!!Brother's KeeperDrowning in MoneySecrets and Lies
Pirates of the Great LakesAnnabella CinderellaSix of the BestMurdoch and the Undetectable Man
Sins of the FatherOne Minute to MurderManual for MurderDarkness Before the Dawn Part 1
Darkness Before the Dawn Part 2
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11Season 12
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