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"Prodigal Father"
1304 Prodigal Father
Season 13
Episode 1304
Air date October 14, 2019
Written by Simon McNabb
Directed by Yannick Bisson
Guest Stars Colm Feore as George Crabtree senior
Previous Forever Young
Next Murdoch and the Cursed Caves

"Prodigal Father" is the fourth episode of the thirteenth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred ninetieth of the series. It first aired October 14, 2019.


A death at an investment event leads Crabtree to the father he never knew and Murdoch to suspect he may be culpable.

Character Revelations

  • At the crime scene, George Crabtree meets his birth father for the first time but shares with the Detective that he's not sure he is ready for a relationship with George Crabtree senior – as Murdoch knows, "Fathers can be complicated."
  • George has "had lunch once a month" with his mother Gracie Brooks for the past few years before she moved to Sudbury, Ontario.
  • Henry Higgins thinks his life got a lot better when he started ignoring his own parents because "Parents just make you worry about all the stuff they worry about".


  • Inspector Brackenreid shares with George Crabtree Sr. the "Learning you have a child, sort of puts you on the back foot, somewhat,"(ep.1209) and twice mentions that he once planned to build a subway (ep.405).
  • Thomas makes an investment (again), without telling Margaret, in the 'The Toronto of Tomorrow' project, and this time he includes the Constabulary's Widows and Orphans Fund.
  • Murdoch uses his usual mental walk-through of the crime scene.
  • Lawyer Effie Newsome pulls off an impressive gambit, saving both Crabtree men a large sum of money.

Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1907 – 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.
  • The original Ferris Wheel, a landmark for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, was rebuilt on Chicago's North Side and operated there until 1904, when it was dismantled and transported by rail to the 1904 World's Fair. This is the second reference to it, the first was in Excitable Chap.
  • Cleveland is renown for their music halls and is the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
  • The historic roots of cyclothymic disorders – part of the sub-affective spectrum – are essentially Greek. In 1877, German psychiatrist Ewald Hecker introduced the term 'cyclothymia' (sy-kloe-THIE-me-uh). Cyclothymia appears to be a likely precursor or ingredient of the construct of bipolar I and II disorders.
  • Maisonneuve is a neighbourhood in Montreal, Canada, situated on the eastern half of the island, generally to the south and southwest of the city's Olympic Stadium, built in the mid-1970s.


  • Neither  Dr. Julia Ogden nor Detective Watts appear in this episode.
  • George Crabtree senior has a stand-out catch phrase, "terribly terrific".
  • Orginally set to film in London, Ont., until schedules changed to have Colm Feore on board to play Crabtree Sr. – parts of this episode were filmed at The Scottish Rite in Hamilton instead.



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

Shanice Banton as Violet Hart
Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins
Clare McConnell as Effie Newsome

Guest Cast

Colm Feore as George Crabtree senior
Janine Theriault as Faith Shields
Nabeel El Khafif as Ferguson
Justin Mader as Dr. Prescott
Brett Reason as Stephen Shields
Michael Caruana as Publisher

Non-credited Cast


Murdoch Mysteries Season 13
Troublemakers Bad PenniesForever YoungProdigal Father
Murdoch and the Cursed Caves The Philately Fatality Toronto the BadThe Final CurtainThe Killing Dose
Parker in the RyeStaring Blindly into the FutureFox HuntKill Thy NeighbourRigid Silence
The Trial of Terrence MeyersIn the Company of WomenThings Left BehindThe Future is Unwritten

Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11Season 12Season 13

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