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"Sins of the Father" is the fourteenth episode of the twelfth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred eighty-second of the series. It first aired February 4, 2019.


When a man dies in a deliberately set fire, Murdoch's investigation reveals some shocking personal history.

Meanwhile, a young woman presses Julia for a procedure that the good doctor advises against; Against Dr. Ogden's advice, the woman goes through with the operation.

Character Revelations

  • William Murdoch discovers that the accidental death victim is his own father, Harry Murdoch
  • Harry Murdoch is a murder victim, strangled to death, then the fire was set to cover it up.
  • William discovers an even darker secret in his father's past.
  • Murdoch uses "damn" as an expletive for the first time.


  • The principled Dr. Ogden is at odds with Dr. Forbes again, while Nurse Sullivan reminds the good Doctor of the hospital's realities and responsibilities.
  • First time Inspector Brackenreid gets in the Detective's face,  "I think you'd best get out of my office before you say any more," when Murdoch criticizes him for turning his back on his own family.

Historical References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.
  • The female form, idealized as far back as ancient history, a woman's "ideal" body changes with the times. The 1900s explored the “Gibson Girl,” created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, a woman that epitomized the ideal of beauty (promoting the unhealthy corset) to the no cleavage 1920s Flapper. Thus, body image struggles for women have been prevalent for many centuries.
  • Reconstructive surgery had first appeared in Europe as far back as the 1400s. The procedure was not performed regularly until the 1800s. Reconstructive breast surgery was first done by 1895. Later in 1903, Charles Miller introduced the breast augmentation surgery in the USA, however the results were not satisfying.
  • Septicemia, also known as blood poisoning, can quickly become life-threatening, causing sepsis and is a greatly feared complication of surgery.


  • The most simple cinematic scenes with no dialogue are employed by new MM Director Mina Shum to reveal introspective moments in this episode, along with shadows and dark corners reflecting William's point of view.
  • The weather at the time of filming cooperated, from gloomy to the sky parting with some clarity, according to Yannick Bisson, adding Murdoch "...would seek out justice for other people, but with his own father for some reason, he was judge, jury and executioner and so I wanted to physically show that". The director and editor captured it.
  • Sins of the Father, written by Simon McNabb, receives a nomination for the 24th WGC Screenwriting Awards in TV Drama (March 2020).


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
James McGowan as Dr. Forbes
Stephanie Belding as Nurse Sullivan

Guest Cast

Sara Botsford as Susan Kelly
Peter MacNeill as Leonard Vasser
Victor Ertmanis as Daniel Nelson
Matthew Willson as Mr. Darling
Shannon McNally as Mirelle Darling
Shane Marriott as Mr. Wormwood
Nadine Roden as Homeowner
Brian Graham asLandlord


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