Murdoch Mysteries Wiki

"The Local Option" is the sixth episode of ninth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred twentieth episode of the series. It first aired on November 16, 2015.


As Toronto debates a new temperance measure to curb liquor sales in the Junction neighborhood, a councilman opposed to the legislation dies in the cells following a bar brawl. Margaret prepares for a celebrity house guest: radical temperance advocate Carrie Nation.

With drunk and disorderly behavior running rampant in Toronto Junction neighbourhood, the temperance movement advocates The Local Option, a prohibition measure that will curb liquor sales in the area. Inspector Brackenreid learns he must endure prohibition measures at home when Margaret invites radical anti-alcohol activist Carrie Nation to stay with them. 

The Toronto Constabulary’s Station House No. 4 is asked to send a few men to help out patrolling The Junction due to the town having too many drunks and not enough coppers. Crabtree and Jackson break up a bar brawl at the Peacock Hotel and Tavern, leading to an overnight jail stay for all those involved.

Upon releasing them the next morning, Councilman Arthur Slauson, an advocate for the liquor trade, is found dead. It is assumed he was injured in the brawl and succumbed sometime later until Dr. Ogden finds the body to have bruising and a few small gashes, but nothing obviously fatal. She needs to check for cerebral edema and other internal injuries in the morgue. In the meantime, Detective Murdoch with Inspector Brackenreid search for motives and suspects which leads their investigation to cross paths with the Temperance Movement’s campaign to make the town dry: as The Junction goes, so goes Toronto.

A pro-liquor councilman dead in the midst of a temperance campaign sounds to Brackenreid like the man's politics got him killed.

Character Revelations


Historical References

  • Carrie Amelia Moore Nation (first name also spelled Carry;1846 -1911) was an American woman who was a radical member of the Temperance Movement which opposed alcohol before the advent of Prohibition. She is particularly noteworthy for attacking alcohol-serving establishments (most often taverns) with a hatchet. On the other hand, Nation refused to wear a corset and urged women not to wear them because of their harmful effects on females' vital organs. She travelled for years on the lecture circuit and spoke at Massey Hall, Toronto, in 1901. [1]
  • Methanol acquired the name "wood alcohol" because it was once produced chiefly as a byproduct of the destructive distillation of wood. It was a household item in the gas-age, used to prevent pipes from freezing in winter.
  • Spruce beer can be either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic. When exploring the St. Lawrence River in 1535, French explorer Jacques Cartier used the local natives' knowledge to save his men who were dying of scurvy by boiling needles from the Aneda tree (probably Thuja occidentalis) to make a tea. Decades later, this method of treating scurvy, using evergreen-needle beverages, was picked up by the British Royal Navy, and spruce was regularly added to ship-brewed beer during eighteenth century explorations of the West Coast of North America and the South Pacific, including New Zealand. Jane Austen, who had two brothers in the Royal Navy, refers to spruce beer in 1815 novel Emma.


  • Filmed in the village of Ayr, located south of Kitchener and west of Cambridge, Ontario. Scenes were filmed at the site of the former Gooderham & Worts Distillery.
  • The Derby, a pub in Toronto had a special screening of The Local Option to correspond with the premiere of this episode.


  • The fire hydrant seen 11 minutes into this episode, as Brackenreid and Murdoch walk past, is a model B50B designed in 1950 and patented in 1954. Fire hydrants were first installed in Toronto in 1842, however this one is not historically accurate to 1903.


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

Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Mouna Traoré as Rebecca James
Kristian Bruun as Constable Slugger Jackson
Charles Vandervaart as John Brackenreid

Guest Cast

Valerie Buhagiar as Carrie A. Nation
Max McCabe-Lokos as Liam Bertrand
Roark Gilchrist as Leopold Buck
Jason Bryden as Rev. Shore
Tara Koehler as Mrs. Slauston
Clyde Whitman as Councilman Arthur Slauston


Murdoch Mysteries Season 9
"Nolo Contendere" • "Marked Twain" • "Double Life" • "Barenaked Ladies" • "24 Hours Til Doomsday" • "The Local Option" • "Summer of '75" • "Pipe Dreamzzz" • "Raised On Robbery" • "The Big Chill" • "A Case of The Yips" • "Unlucky In Love" • "Colour Blinded" • "Wild Child" • "House of Industry" • "Bloody Hell" • "From Buffalo With Love" • "Cometh the Archer"
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10