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"On the Waterfront Part 1" is the first episode of the eighth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the ninety-seventh episode of the series. It first aired on October 6, 2014.


Several months have passed since the Season 7 finale when Murdoch and Ogden announced their engagement, but that happy moment was tempered by the discovery of Brackenreid’s beaten body on a Toronto street not far from the Station House.

Detective Murdoch investigates the murder of Richard Dawkins who was shockingly beaten to death in a hotel dining room by two masked men just as he was about to make an important announcement to his business associates, Lionel Jeffries, Arthur Blake and Mrs. McKinnon. Since nothing was stolen Murdoch's new boss, Inspector Hamish Slorach, calls the killing an assassination. A murder in a fine Toronto establishment does not reflect well on the Constabulary.

Dawkins was rumored to be selling his chandlery business. According to Toronto Harbourmaster Mrs. McKinnon, Dawkins was anything but a saint and the police should look to the seedier side for a solution to his death. On dock patrol, Const. Jackson is badly beaten by two thugs which seems to confirm Murdoch's suspicion that the men who beat Inspector Brackenreid are the same ones who killed Dawkins. When they find a dead woman on the shore, Dr. Grace determines she was clubbed to death in a similar fashion the night before the attack on Dawkins and was manacled before she died.

After his own brutal attack and three months in the hospital, Thomas Brackenreid takes up painting while recuperating at home; his behavior and lack of spunk has Margaret worried. After both Murdoch and Dr. Ogden fail to persuade Thomas to return to work, it is Margaret who finally convinces Thomas that enforcing the law is his life, adding "Besides, you're not some poncy painter." 

Meanwhile, Margaret Haile recruits Julia to her Suffragette Society and they are soon joined by Emily Grace. Receiving little support politically from their petition to grant women the right to franchise (the right to vote), they agree to a public protest in front of Provincial Legislature.

Constable Crabtree spots and arrests a saucy back-talking dock kid for stealing a man's pocket watch at the docks, who finally bargains for his freedom to avoid Don Jail with information on "who attacked the copper", it was Mick and Tim O'Shea.

A showdown at Toronto’s waterfront erupts when dock workers–led by the dastardly O’Shea brothers– faces off against Detective William Murdoch and the Constabulary seeking justice for the vicious attack on Inspector Thomas Brackenreid and Constable Jackson. Meanwhile in front of the Provincial Legislature, Dr. Julia Ogden and Dr. Emily Grace are caught up in their own protest between members of the Suffragette Movement and those in political power, men who don’t take kindly to women wanting to vote– calling in the police to arrest the protestors. From city hall to the wharf, the ramp up in tension reaches a boiling point. In a nick of time, Brackenreid saves Murdoch from a brutal gang beating then disappears into the pandemonium seeking out the O'Sheas on his own.

Character Revelations

  • Dr. Grace and Dr. Ogden join the Suffragette Movement.
  • Murdoch and Ogden have not set a date for their wedding. Slorach tells Murdoch, "Oh, Murdoch, you gotta make an event out of these things. As my wayward wife used to say, there's more to life than murder".
  • Inspector Brackenreid takes up gardening and painting in his self-imposed "retirement".
  • Brackenreid tells Dr. Ogden that Murdoch would have his job if he weren't a papist (Roman Catholic).
  • Acting Inspector Slorach visits Constable Jackson at the hospital, bringing a jar of Kaposzta made with his mother's loving hand: "You get a couple of those in your belly, you're right as rain in no time."


Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1902 -  Edwardian Era (1901-1910) when King Edward VII rules of the British Empire.
  • Margaret Haile became the first woman to run for legislative office in Canada when she was nominated on the platform of the Canadian Socialist League as a candidate for Toronto North in the 1902 Ontario provincial election.
  • The dish Kaposzta is considered the 'coat of arms of Hungary'; toltott kaposzta is the ultimate Hungarian comfort food of cabbage wraps stuffed with a meat filling.


  • The second official pairing of episodes with Part 1 and 2 in the Murdoch Mysteries' titles.
  • This episode is said to be the most violent episode in the series, that it has a violence warning at the beginning of the episode.
  • Hélène Joy reveals that “For years, I’ve been saying we need to do suffragette episodes...I was in a play years ago about the suffragettes in England. It’s just really central. It was a huge thing happening all over the world at this very time.” [* ]
  • Shares its title with the 1954 American film with Marlon Brando.


Main Cast

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

Lachlan Murdoch as Henry Higgins
Kristian Bruun as Constable Slugger Jackson
Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Patrick McKenna as Hamish Slorach
Jonathan Llyr as Mick O'Shea
Nick Nolan as Tim O'Shea

Guest Cast

Nicole Underhay as Margaret Haile
Trenna Keating as Kathleen King
Jo Joyner as Cecily McKinnon
Percy Hynes-White as Simon Brooks
Chadwick Allen as Lead Dock Worker
Jarrod MacLean as Richard Dawkins
Tracey Ferencz Mrs Dawkins
Murray Furrow as Lionel Jeffries
Caleb Cosman as Arthur Blake
Danielle Benton as Brenda Blake
Annie Briggs as Eileen
Peter Deiwick as Eileen's husband
Paul Miller as MPP Eldon Joseph Foster
Patrick Creery as Crown Prosecutor
Glen MacDonald as Defense Attorney


Murdoch Mysteries Season 8
"On the Waterfront Part 1" • "On the Waterfront Part 2" • "Glory Days" • "Holy Matrimony, Murdoch!" • "Murdoch Takes Manhattan" • "The Murdoch Appreciation Society (episode)" • "What Lies Buried" • "High Voltage" • "The Keystone Constables" • "Murdoch and the Temple of Death" • "All That Glitters" • "The Devil Wears Whalebone" • "The Incurables" • "Shipwreck" • "Crabtree Mania" • "Toronto's Girl Problem" • "Election Day" • "Artful Detective" •
Season 1Season 2Season 3eason 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10