The addition of Roland—the pair adopted him last week—made an immediate impact on our favourite couple: he threw their lives into complete disarray. Adding an infant to a television series is always a challenge, and it will be interesting to see how Murdoch Mysteries handles the little fellow from week to week. Will he be handed off to a nanny? I don’t think so, as Julia and William seem intent on having him there all the time. Perhaps he’ll be shown cooing in a corner, leaping about in William’s latest contraption, the Gleeful Bouncer—a.k.a. Jolly Jumper. One of the great strengths of the series continues to be the not-so-subtle nods to things we use in everyday life that were on the cusp of being realized in Murdoch’s world. Having a Gleeful Bouncer made me laugh out loud and be inspired by the creativity in the writers’ room.
Monday’s “The Big Chill” also paid homage to the 1922 documentary Nanook of the North. The murder of a man on-board the CGS Arctic introduced viewers to Nuniq, an Inuit man who struck me as a nod to Nanook. The thought was proven true when Crabtree befriended Nuniq and proposed he document him in the city’s hot spots and call it “Nuniq of Toronto.” Crabtree has had some pretty serious storylines so far this season, so it was fun to not only see him create play-by-play and colour commentating last week but serve as a drunken wingman for Nuniq this week.
Real Canadian history was covered as well. Captain Joseph Bernier—played with aplomb by InSecurity‘s Rémy Girard—really did explore the islands of the north and claimed the area for Canada and was given the Royal Geographical Society’s Back Award for his work.
“The Big Chill” had all the hallmarks of a classic Murdoch Mysteries episode, the perfect tonic for a cold January night.