Murdoch Mysteries Wiki

"The Murdoch Trap" is the thirteenth episode of the sixth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the seventy-eighth episode of the series. It first aired April 15, 2013.


Murdoch wakes up in a cage somewhere with a telephone on his right (with a note warning not to touch it or he's dead) and a projector on his left with a sign stating "Turn me on." The film rolls, with the image of James Gillies gloating over having outsmarted him.

A week ago, with having spotted Gillies, Murdoch works with Brackenreid and Crabtree to prove Julia's innocence before she is hanged. He deduces that Gillies had tapped Julia's phone at the asylum to record her voice and modified it to fool Darcy's maid, used latex to make a convincing mask to pose as her and placed her thumbmark on the bullet in the gun that killed Darcy. During this discussion with his colleague, they take note that Brackenreid is drinking tea. He states that he won't drink a drop of whiskey until Julia is exonerated. Ultimately, when Chief Constable Giles finds out, he reinstates them for the case after having doubts when he re-examined the bloodied dress they used as evidence after Dr. Grace and Crabtree brought some inconsistencies to his attention.

With the constabulary, Murdoch and friends try to find the two people who could correlate Julia's alibi, Penelope Erwin, whom Julia claimed to have been helping escape from the husband who once shoved her face in horse manure and the coach driver who brought Julia back to town. Murdoch deduces that Penelope was working with Gillies, suspecting that her story was actually true, as it's easier to lie about something that's true. With accurate descriptions from Julia, they chase down leads. They first find the woman's ex-husband, Donald Long, a repentant Christian, who explains that his ex-wife's real name is Dolly, who moved in with her sister after he went to prison, who explains that she moved to Hamilton after her ex-husband was released from prison, working as a prostitute. They go to the brothel in Hamilton in their civilian clothes and find Dolly's corpse in a tub of salt with a decayed left hand sticking out, placed this way so that no one would discover her until Julia was convicted. Murdoch then finds a conveniently placed gun hidden under a bed. He and Brackenreid get the body back to Toronto, in spite of the body and evidence being out of their jurisdiction. Giles has them promise to write letters of apology to Hamilton's chief of police and coroner. Dr. Grace determines that she was killed by a bullet from the hidden gun a month ago, based on the rate of the decay of her exposed hand, near the same time Darcy was killed. Crabtree also examines the gun, finding Julia's fingermark on it. Giles says that they can't bring this evidence to the judge as he will think that Julia had committed the murder, regardless of any little details.

With all their leads gone but the carriage driver, they go looking for him. A man at the Hamilton brothel claims to have seen him two months ago but he had shorter hair. Murdoch later realizes that Gillies was the driver and returns to Darcy's house. There, he finds a box with an Edison recording of Julia's voice and a hidden compartment for a gun to fire when Darcy opened a box. Then suddenly, Murdoch falls through a trapdoor.

In the present, Gillies reveals that he did all this to see how far Murdoch would go to save the one he loves. The film contains all the evidence he needs to exonerate Julia. But the phone to call out for help is rigged to release carbon monoxide. In a minute, Murdoch would be unconscious and dead minutes later. Murdoch has to make a decision, as he has twelve hours before Julia is hanged. Either she hangs and Gillies lets Murdoch go or vice versa.

Meanwhile, everyone has noticed Murdoch's disappearance. Giles believes that he's dead, for the sake of practicality, but Brackenreid would have none of it. He then finds the pictures of Gillies and the coach driver and noticed that they are one and the same person. He and Crabtree search Darcy's house but fail to find the trapdoor.

With time running out, Murdoch ingeniously starts wrapping the roll of film with rubber bands before using a light projector to briefly blind Gillies. He then pulls off a wire from the telephone and attaches it to the projector and plays it, causing the clicks of the pattern of bands to repeat a Morse code message directly to the operator in hopes that the constabulary would find him. Eventually, the phone trace determines that he is trapped in the house next to Darcy's and the constabulary storms the place, just as Murdoch is pressured by Gilles into to picking up the phone. Brackenreid and Crabtree corner Gillies, who gloats that Murdoch is dead. Brackenreid orders Crabtree to cuff him but he shoots Gillies in the right shoulder when he draws a hidden gun. They then free Murdoch before he suffocates. He then grabs the film and races to the women's prison, managing to stop the hanging and proving Julia's innocence. As the film is played before Giles and Judge Matthews, Brackenreid resumes to drinking again.

Afterwards, Murdoch asks Julia if they should go out to celebrate. She declines, reminding him that Darcy is still dead because of them. They then both part ways.

When Gillies is being transferred to the prison, he is last seen with a devious smile on his face.

Character Revelations

  • James Gillies is proven to have framed Julia.
  • At the end after being recued from the noose and feeling guilty that Darcy was killed because of her, Julia declines dinner with William to go home to rest. They part on the busy street and both pause, but when she looks back he is gone.


Historical References



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 Constable Henry Higgins
Kristian Bruun as Slugger Jackson
Nigel Bennett as Chief Constable Giles
Michael Seater as James Gillies
Sarah Wilson as Tess Moffatt

Guest Cast

David Schurmann as Judge Matthews
Sten Eirik as Dr. Daniel Clark
Justin Skye Conley as Harold Long
Charlotte Gowdy as Dolly's Sister
Garfield Andrews as Bartender
Kevin Jollimore as Patron
Laura De Carteret as Mrs. Smythe
Karen Ivany as Supervisor

Non-Credited Cast

Darren Baker as James Conway
Karen Ivany as Telephone Exchange Operator


Murdoch Mysteries Season 6
"Murdoch Air" • "Winston's Lost Night" • "Murdoch On The Corner" • "A Study in Sherlock" • "Murdoch Au Naturel" • "Murdoch and the Cloud of Doom" • "The Ghost of Queen's Park" • "Murdoch in Ladies Wear" • "Victoria Cross" • "Twisted Sisters" • "Lovers in a Murderous Time" • "Crime and Punishment" • "The Murdoch Trap"
Web Series: Nightmare on Queen Street
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