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"Murdoch Schmurdoch"
Mm1115 Murdoch Schmurdoch
Season 11
Episode 15
Air date February 26, 2018
Written by Robert Rotenberg and Lori Spring
Directed by Sherren Lee
Guest Stars Sayer Roberts as Al Jolson
Previous The Great White Moose
Next Game of Kings

"Murdoch Schmurdoch" is the fifteenth episode of the eleventh season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred sixty-fifth of the series. It first aired on February 26, 2018.

Summary

Murdoch investigates a murder with connections to vaudeville entertainers Harry and Al Jolson and Watts unravels a mystery about his own family.

After the perpetrators of an anti-Semitic riot are taken to Station House No. 4, the owner of Toronto's first Yiddish Theatre dies onstage from a stab wound. While Constable Brackenreid has become enamored with a vaudeville singer,  Murdoch interviews the performers.

Character Revelations

  • Detective Watts and Al Jolson make a connection, rounding out Watts' family history in a fascinating way: Watts inadvertently discovers that he's Jewish.

Continuity

Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1906 – the Edwardian Era (1901-1910) is the time when King Edward VII rules the British Empire.
  • The Russian Revolution of 1905 created mass political and social unrest that spread through the vast Russian Empire, including Latvia. After centuries of Swedish, Polish and Russian rule, the Republic of Latvia will establish its independence from Russia in November of 1918.
  • 19th century Toronto had Eastern European Jews arriving in the city and by 1906 there were a number of Yiddish theatres.
  • Shtick, meaning a gimmick or comic routine, is from the Yiddish German word Stück meaning ‘piece’. Shtick can also mean "bits of business" or mannerisms of a person. 
  • American vaudeville entertainers Harry and Al Jolson, sons of Russian (Lithuania) emigrants. Al Jolson tells Watts that he has found his new shtick, before applying black makeup to his face. Al Jolson is best known his starring role in The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length "talky", and Jolson appears in blackface.
  • Published in 1902 and originally titled "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home?" words and music written by American songwriter and pianist Hughie Cannon (1877–1912), "(Won't You Come Home) Bill Bailey" is still a standard with Dixieland and traditional jazz bands.
  • The term "skyscraper" was first applied to buildings of steel framed construction of at least 10 stories in the late 19th century. The history of skyscrapers in Toronto began in 1894 with the construction of the Beard Building, which is often regarded as the first skyscraper in the city.
  • Watts quotes Lord Nelson, "The boldest measures are the safest" and the Danish fleet that threatened Britain’s strategic position in the Baltic (1801).

Trivia

Errors

  • Hebrew (like Arabic) is written from right to left while European languages write figures/letters from left to right: The Jolson poster text in Hebrew reads left to right - a literal translation of English letters.

Cast

Main Cast

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

Recurring Cast

Daniel Maslany as Detective Watts
Charles Vandervaart as John Brackenreid
Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins
Sophie Goulet as Marilyn Clark

Guest Cast

Sayer Roberts as Al Jolson
Camille Stopps as Charlotte Hanson
Jesse Nerenberg as Saul Levine
Josh Peace as Horace Barney
Aris Athanasopoulos as Harry Jolson
Tomaso Sanelli as Yitzhak
Elana Dunkelman as Rivka Michaelson
Michael Goldlist as Abraham Michaelson
Jessica Rose as Sarah
Scott Williams as Mason
Yank Azman as Peddler
Ryan Rogerson as Burly Man

Non-Credited Cast

Gallery

Murdoch Mysteries Season 11
Up From AshesMerlot Mysteries8 FootstepsThe Canadian PatientDr. Osler Regrets21 Murdoch StreetThe AccidentBrackenreid BoudoirThe Talking DeadF.L.A.S.H.!Biffers and BlockersMary WeptCrabtree à la CarteThe Great White MooseMurdoch SchmurdochGame of KingsShadows Are FallingFree Falling
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11Season 12
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