The William-Julia relationship, often referred to by MM fans as Jilliam or Willia and more recently Julliam, (while the cast and crew call them Julia and Murdoch more often than not), is the 'will they or won't they' relationship between the main characters William Murdoch and Julia Ogden.
Hélène Joy, who portrays Julia, has referred to their nickname in interviews. When Keerthi Mohan of IBT asked Hélène Joy, "One question most Murdoch (Jilliam) fans have is why the kissing scenes of Julia and William are always abruptly interrupted?" Joy replied, "We love to keep the audience wanting more. It's working is it not?"
A Love for the Ages: "There are many great love stories throughout history, and more in literature, film and television. The saga of William Murdoch and Julia Ogden may just rank up there with the longest, most frustrating, most beautiful, most tormented and most anticipated of all." – Investigating Murdoch Mysteries
The Detective and the good Doctor finally tie the knot and are husband and wife early in Season 8, becoming a mystery-solving modern married couple at the turn-of-20th century in Toronto, Canada – which is their current storyline in progress. They first reside at the Windsor House Hotel until Season 12, when they move into their first house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
After the loss of their adopted baby boy in Season 9 and nearly losing each other after the end of Season 10, William and Julia become first-time expectant parents in Season 11, "After all that we've been through, it's like a dream," Julia tells William. After some friction caused by the unpredictable emotional responses from the new mother-to-be, William and Julia embrace their naming of the child, Mary (after William’s mother) if a girl and if a boy, Daniel (ep.1114), but their happiness and future as parents are suddenly cut short once again (ep.1117).
Destined for one another from the start, here is Jilliam's star-crossed romance from the beginning of the Murdoch Mysteries (2008) through to the current season:
During Season 1, William and Julia are clearly interested in each other and in Still Waters they have their (mutually?) fantasized first kiss. Though their relationship steadily strengthens though Season 1, they do not begin courting until Season 2.
In Season 2, they begin courting, and in The Green Muse their relationship heads to the next level as they engage in a steamy, late night make-out in the park, under the influence of absinthe, and perhaps they might have gone even further if Julia had not asked William a pertinent question about protection.
However, in the next episode Shades of Grey, the devout Catholic Murdoch learns that Julia accidentally became pregnant while at university and had an abortion. A stunned and conflicted Murdoch allows Julia to walk out of the relationship, because she fully understands her choice in the past goes against his religious principles and beliefs. During the rest of the season, Murdoch courts Enid Jones; yet, both William and Julia have difficulty not remembering or fantasizing about one another while working together in Convalescence, Murdoch.com, Let Us Ask the Maiden, and Werewolves though they remain apart until the end of the season finale Anything You Can Do... – "No, nothing is wrong, but nothing is right, either," confesses William, "It hasn't been since our falling out," and asks Julia if they could to start again.
Season 3 is a happier one for Julia and William, and they have lots of great moments during the season, such as when Murdoch returns from England in The Murdoch Identity and their kiss in Victor, Victorian. Knowing William and Julia, things can't stay perfect forever and in the Season 3 finale The Tesla Effect, Julia decides to move to Buffalo, New York to work at a children's hospital. It is revealed that her abortion left her sterile, and William wants a family, and she can't give him the family he wants. The season finale gets sadder when Murdoch shows up to the train station with a ring in his hand, intending to propose, but by then Julia's train has already left.
Season 4 is dark and dreary for William and Julia. Julia is not present for the first two episodes, but does appear when William travels to Buffalo in episode 3, Buffalo Shuffle. He intends to propose to her again, but Julia shocks and saddens him when she announces she is engaged to Darcy Garland, who works at the children's hospital. Julia and Darcy decide to move back to Toronto. Throughout Season 4, William and Julia do have occasional fantasies, such as the one in the end of Bloodlust and it is clear they are still very much in love, which only makes the situation sadder. In the season 4 finale, Murdoch in Wonderland, Julia marries Darcy. William does not attend the wedding, though Julia does learn of the marriage proposal he intended to make.
The relationship between William and Julia does not develop during Season 5 because Julia is married to Darcy, even though their marriage is not going well. Julia appears in six episodes in this season, one of them being Murdoch in Toyland where William saves her from being buried alive by their (unknown at the time) nemesis James Gillies. Scattered through Season 5 are clues that Julia's marriage to Darcy is crumbling. That finally leads, in Twentieth Century Murdoch, to Julia's suprise appearance at the New Year's Eve Policeman's Ball where she tells William that she has left Darcy. They share passionate kisses, illuminated by fireworks in the sky as the new century is celebrated.
In the premiere episode of Season 6 , Murdoch Air, Julia and William are once again a committed couple after two difficult years. At the end of the episode, Julia happily acknowledges to William that "We can marry!" and they share an emotional kiss in his office.
As Julia and William begin courting again, Julia continues to try to win her divorce from Darcy, who had initially agreed to an amicable one, but then, in The Ghost of Queen's Park Darcy changes his mind after a social night out with Julia but she makes it clear that she is no longer interested in him.
Darcy rips up the divorce papers in Murdoch in Ladies Wear and says, "If I can't have you for a wife, neither can he." In Lovers in a Murderous Time, Darcy turns nasty, William is provoked, and punches him in public. But then, in Crime and Punishment, Darcy is unexpectedly found dead in his home. Unfortunately, Julia is seen there, and immediately becomes suspected of shooting him, even though the killing was actually done by Murdoch's nemesis James Gillies. In the last two episodes of Season 6, William and the rest of his Station Four team work frantically to save Julia from being hanged. Despite Mudoch admitting his love for her in court ("Yes, I love her") and after being rescued from the gallows, Julia is compelled to decline a celebratory dinner with William (for reasons to be revealed later) - thus, they walk away from each other in the season finale, The Murdoch Trap.
William and Julia kiss several times in the first part of the season, and even go to a club together in Murdoch in Ragtime. In that episode they kiss passionately three times, so it again seems like they have again become an active couple, particularly when William suddenly kisses her in a back alley.
But then, due to the threats Julia has received from the (maybe) still alive James Gillies, she is forced to say No to a marriage proposal from Murdoch in The Murdoch Sting. In desperation, she leaves Murdoch—stunned—and runs into her house.
The threat was that Gillies would kill her if she told Murdoch about the threatening letter or accepted his marriage proposal, so Murdoch is left heartbroken with no idea about what's going on.
That resolved, William and Julia are finally—and legally—allowed to marry.
At the top of Season 9, when Julia spots the difference in the evidence photos of Edna's apartment in Nolo Contendere, William says– he knew there was a reason why he married her but, all kidding aside, the truer reason why he married her is revealed at the end of 24 Hours Til Doomsday when Julia says to him, " William Henry Murdoch, if you ever do something like that, ever again, you had better take me with you."
At the top of Summer of '75, William is making something he is keeping a secret. After solving two cases, he surprises Julia with the model of their future house that he plans to build for her. At the end of Pipe Dreamzzz despite the darker side of opium, Julia admits, she enjoyed their little experiment. While William prefers not to alter his reality, because..."nothing could make my reality any better than it already is."
Has Baby Day really arrived for William and Julia? At the end of Raised On Robbery, they plan to adopt the baby boy (who took a shine to Julia, "How could he not," says William); his parents were killed in a bank robbery shoot out. Perhaps, the most impulsive decision William has made thus far.
In The Big Chill, William and Julia are determined to live their lives as they otherwise would, "modern parents in a modern age." Solving the case at hand and keeping an eye on baby Roland is a big challenge for the clueless new parents. At the end of the case and the day, William tells Julia that he has been asked to join Captain Bernier's expedition but turned it down on account of being a father. Julia asks, "But if not for being a father, you would go? Leaving me here for four years?" William tells her he knows she would wait for him. "Oh...don't be so sure," ( Remember "where he goes I go" ). William surprises her with his invention of the "Gleeful Bouncer" (a.k.a. Jolly Jumper): one for the morgue, one for his office, and one for home—so they "will never miss a moment."
In the Wild Child, Miss James performs her first autopsy – on Roland’s mother, Joanne Braxton (née Perly), whereupon the autopsy reveals that she could not have born a child. Rebecca informs Dr. Ogden. William and Julia’s great joy turns to great sorrow when it is discovered that Roland has a living biological father. A broken-hearted William and Julia return Roland to his birth father because it is the right thing to do, no matter the enormous loss it is for them to bear.
Both grieving and missing baby Roland, they dive into their work: while Julia goes to a psychiatry conference, William goes undercover in House of Industry. Eventually, Roland's empty crib at the foot of their bed is replaced by William's model of their dream house. They share a cozy Sunday morning in bed planning for their home and family – but their future is stopped dead in its tracks when Julia is shot; both William and Julia fight for each others lives and their future in Cometh the Archer.
After the case is solved (ep.1108) at home in their bedroom, William asks Julia if there is something else on her mind and its all right not to like the painting she’s hung above their bed. It’s not that, Julia wants to try and have a child. “We have been,” replies William to which Julia adds, “and enjoying the attempts,” then confesses, “ but I think I’ve found a way that we may succeed.” She reveals to him that she has been working with an extraordinary woman who’s found a fertility drug that may enable Julia to become pregnant. William is concerned, “I don’t want you putting yourself at risk.” She softly insists, “William, I am not going to,” then taking his hand, “I know that you would dearly love a child and it is my wifely duty to try and provide you with one.” “No, no it isn’t,” William explains, “I accepted the possibility that we may remain childless when I asked you to marry.” Julia knows this, "But I would like to try, not just for you but for me.” William half asking, “As long as it’s what you want.” It is, Julia adding, "But I do have to warn you it may not be easy for you.” “Me?” William is taken by surprise. Julia explains that, “It does require an increase in the frequency of your husbandry duties.” He corrects her, “You mean husbandly…” Julia quizzical asks, “Do I?” William moves closer to her, “For your information, I believe I am up to the task.” Julia is glad to hear it and William asks if there is a schedule. “A very full one, I’m afraid.” Now even closer to each other, “Well, then we best get to it,” they kiss, falling back into their bed.
Julia begins to experience a side effect of the hormone treatment - a unpredictable 'urgency' (ep.1110). While examining the murder victim, they find their code word for when her 'urgency' arises so as "to strike while the iron is hot”: Lemniscate or phonetically written as ‘Lemon Skate’. Ironically, a closet in the City Morgue is used to bring a new life into being. On a picnic at a cricket match (ep.1111), William notes that there is an abundance of food. Holding a large pickle jar, he asks, “Are we expecting someone?” With a secretive smile, “Yes, we are, William.” It actually worked! After exchanging “I love you”, they agree to keep this news between themselves, at least for a little while. How long can they keep it a secret when Dr. Ogden suddenly develops a queasy stomach and is unusually emotional, even irritable? (ep.1112) Julia asks, "William, are you going to spend the next seven months - too afraid to speak?" Trying to figure out how best to help each other, both admit to feeling "useless" as expectant parents (ep.1113).
After applying four stitches to the back of William's head, Julia tells him, "It always surprises me how you find newer and newer ways to die", to which William replies, "Well, at least I haven't found one that's successful yet." (ep.1116) As a "reminder as to why you need to be more careful," Julia brings her stethoscope to his office so he can listen to their baby's heartbeat, "Its little heart beating inside the womb of the woman I love. I couldn't be happier." William forgets the microphone to the radio transmitter device which has George listening in from just outside the Station House with the Inspector – thus their secret becomes known to Station House No.4.
William and Julia’s happiness is short lived when suddenly Julia suffers a miscarriage (ep.1117). Unlike their previous grieving for a child lost (ep.915), their mourning together for this profound death in their family is interrupted by Nate Desmond being arrested for murder. William and Julia must save Nate from the gallows - and solving the case will cost them dearly. Along with their own inconsolable loss and the revelations from the case, so much of Julia and Murdoch’s unresolved personal issues resurface, rupturing into a chasm, whereupon Julia asks William, “Do you think that he's [God’s] punishing us for the abortion I had years ago? Get out. If that's what you really believe, then you should just get out!” Without a word, William leaves.
Inspector Brackenreid tells Julia “…it's the worst pain that you and Murdoch have had in your lives together. But you'll get through it, both of you,” and that Murdoch will be back when he gets his head right. Julia had a life before William Murdoch, “…I can have one again”. He counsels the good doctor to take some time off but “…don’t make any decisions that you can’t undo”. After visiting the travel agency, Julia is packed and ready to leave when William returns (after George finds him at Hodge’s). It is possible that they will never find common ground – they’ve been different every day of their marriage but William counts every single one of those days as the happiest of his life. William assures Julia that if they never have a child, it doesn’t matter because, “Your love means more to me than everything,” and asks her not to leave. Julia gladly offers to tear it up to which William suggests they get another one instead.
Season 13 reveals the challenges and complexities of being a modern-day working couple, even for this marriage of longtime lovers who are each other's equals and opposites — perhaps even more so. While exploring and evolving in their committed professions, they each forget what has always been true of them in peculiar from the start: they are the happiest and the best when working together — their north star.