Period drama series. Past and present collide when Father Brown investigates the macabre world of dollhouse crime scenes.
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MUSIC BOX PLAYS
I do hope I get to see her workshop.
Anyone would think you're about to have an audience with the Pope.
Well, I'll admit to being a little...
What are you doing here?
Nobody's died, have they?
This is an official constabulary event, Father.
I doubt you'll get in without a...
-Signed by Agnes Lesser.
The woman you're here to honour.
To be honest, I'm just here for the food and booze.
And why does that not surprise me?
Still a disgrace to the service.
At least you can't do much harm, out here in the sticks.
Oh, I'll be forever grateful for the transfer, sir.
You do know it's a formal event?
I've seen vagabonds look more sharp.
My old boss from Durham.
-He's a complete...
Pardon my French.
I still don't understand what all this fuss is about.
What do you mean?
That woman getting a commendation from the constabulary. And for what?
For building doll's houses?
How is that supposed to help the police catch criminals?
Holy Mother of God!
Doll's houses are supposed to be, well, lovely little pictures
of domestic bliss.
Not these bloodbaths.
What kind of a sick mind could come up with something like this, hmm?
Oh, well, of course, they are, er, well put together.
Don't worry, most civilians react the same way -
my wife included.
But, I can personally attest that, as a teaching tool in the art of
crime detection, they're remarkable.
Still, darling, don't you worry?
Hardly a normal hobby, is it?
I think they're beautiful.
And so sad.
Each tableaux, a story of human suffering...
..in such detail!
Ah! The guest of honour.
Thank you very much.
I'm not going to make any long-winded speeches
and I don't expect any of you to, either.
I mean it.
But, I do appreciate my father awarding me...
Not me, my dear. The constabulary.
I assure everyone, there's not a whiff of nepotism about this.
..the constabulary awarding me with a...
Sorry, what was it called again?
A Chief Constable Certification of Commendation.
Oh, you have one of those!
A true honour and one that I share wholeheartedly with my carpenter,
Daniel Abeson, without whose expert craftsmanship none of
my dioramas would be possible.
Now don't stand on ceremony. Please enjoy yourselves
-and thank you again.
Father Brown, thank you for coming.
No, on the contrary, I was honoured and, erm...
..slightly bewildered at your invitation.
May I speak to you for a moment?
We should probably get one thing out of the way first.
-I'm an atheist.
Well, I won't hold that against you.
Erm, so you haven't invited me here for religious instruction.
I suppose you know you have something of a reputation.
For good works, I hope.
Well, I'd say catching murderers is good works.
Well, I prefer to think of it as saving souls.
And the thrill of the chase?
The intellectual challenge?
The exhilaration of connecting the clues?
have you invited me here to help you solve a murder?
I want to show you something.
Oh, I'm so sorry darling.
Margaret, can you do your job properly, please?
Bring up some extra crates of Champagne from the pantry.
Quite the little madam!
I heard that she used to pose for a certain type of magazine.
You know what they say about idle tongues, don't you?
That they ought to be cut off.
I don't believe they say anything of the sort.
It's what I say.
It's like looking behind the magician's curtain.
If the magician's a grisly-minded ghoul.
Is that how you see yourself?
Well, death's always had its shadow over this family.
My little sister, Violet.
She drowned a year after this photograph was taken.
And then my mother, ten years ago. fell down the stairs.
It wasn't long after that I started working on the dioramas.
A kind of therapy, I suppose.
Speaking for the dead.
Giving the victims a voice.
MUSIC BOX STARTS PLAYING
Belonged to my mother.
She used to let me and Violet play with it.
It sounds like it needs a spot of oil.
I've gotten used to its little creaks and cranks.
It's almost like they've become part of its personality.
Is that what you wanted to show me?
"The Woman On The Stairs".
So, this is where you've all been hiding.
What have you done?
I want to know what really happened.
You know what happened.
It was an accident.
Well, we'll soon find out what a roomful of professionals
have to say, won't we?
This is a disgrace to your mother's memory.
I'm not disgracing her. I'm honouring her.
Did you know about this?
She had no help from me.
This is all her own work.
Agnes, I assure you, I thoroughly investigated your mother's
tragic death at the time of the incident.
Maybe you made a mistake, sir.
What did you say?
Maybe you've had a bit too much to drink, sir.
I said maybe you made a mistake.
Let's listen to what Agnes has to say.
Victim, Florence Lesser, 48.
Witness, Wilbur Lesser, husband.
Mr Lesser reported that at 1.20AM,
his wife rose from bed to fetch a glass of water
and tripped down the stairs,
cutting her head on the banister,
simultaneously cracking her skull and breaking her neck.
This is sick.
So, please, your observations?
What are these lines?
Height lines. Me and my sister.
Our mother used to draw them in every year, until...
Well, don't just stand there like lemmings.
Look at the diorama.
Study it. Tell me what you see.
Well, if you don't think she fell, then what?
She was pushed.
Look at the blood spatter.
It suggests force, speed. A fall wouldn't do that.
And who pushed her? Me?
You had reason.
Nothing happened between me and Wilbur until after your mother...
I'd like to ask our guests to kindly return to the buffet.
Not until they've had a chance to fully study...
You're deluded and obsessed.
-What's the matter?
Only you seem...
I'm quite fine, Father.
What do you think?
Am I deluded?
So blinded by grief that I can't face the truth?
My mother's death was nothing more than a stupid accident.
An almost trivial thing.
No drama or intrigue.
Worst of all, no-one to blame.
I think you should talk to Chief Inspector Webb.
But I've tried countless times.
I think he's seen something in your diorama.
I want to be kept abreast of all of your findings.
I'll need statements from all the guests.
You can't take charge of this investigation.
You're a witness.
And a suspect.
With all due respect, sir, she's right.
We'll have to call someone in from Scotland Yard.
Given your antagonism towards the victim just before he was killed,
I'm not surprised you'd rather delay the investigation.
I hated the bloke, but I didn't want him dead.
That's a carpenter's awl.
I left it here this morning, when I was making alterations
to the dioramas.
Anyone could've picked it up.
What's that in his hand?
I can barely make it out.
"Starbright Washing Powder".
I use that detergent.
Don't worry, I don't think that makes you a suspect.
It's from the newspaper.
The fragment from the miniature newspaper from the diorama.
He must've taken it.
I'll go and check, sir.
What was in this paper?
It was a mock-up of the Kembleford Gazette,
the one my mother was reading the night she died.
I had the printing press reproduce the exact copy
on the front and back pages.
Detail is everything.
HE CLEARS HIS THROAT
I think that we can deduce that the chief inspector
was gripping the paper when he died.
Which strongly suggests his murder is somehow connected
to your wife's death, and therefore nothing to do with me.
That's a blood stain.
Whose coat is this?
This is a set-up!
I'm so sorry, sir.
I take it you don't think for an instant that Inspector Mallory is...
Of course not.
Then the next thing we need to do...
..is find the original newspaper that the miniature was based upon.
-Do you still have it?
Well, you're going to need my help.
We don't mind doing a bit of snooping around.
Oh, erm, don't worry.
You two both go home, have a nice cup of tea.
So, what do you see?
Then, why steal the miniature?
Because, presumably, there's something in it
that's not in its life-size counterpart.
Well, I made that miniature.
If there was a clue, I would've seen it.
I don't doubt your acuity, but we all have our blind spots.
What do you two think you're doing?
A waste of time.
And why's that?
Because there's nothing to find.
It was an accident,
just like everyone says.
Yes, well, that may be true of Florence,
but not of the chief inspector.
Which means it might be connected to my mother's murder.
It wasn't murder.
I should know.
I was there.
-And did you see Agnes's mother's fall?
Found her at the foot of the stairs,
ran and got Wilbur, he got an ambulance,
but she was already...
And yet, strangely, you didn't wake me up, did you?
Why was that?
I told you at the time, I wanted...
I didn't want to upset you.
An excuse that sounds as weak now as it did then.
There's nothing weak about wanting to protect you.
I was outside smoking a cigarette.
I heard a scream, I came running, like everyone else.
And yet, no-one saw you.
There was no-one else there.
That's unfortunate, isn't it?
It's also beside the point.
You have no right to be investigating this murder.
It's like your daughter said,
you're just as much a suspect as...
There's blood on your coat.
And you have no alibi.
As far as I'm concerned, that's more than enough to charge you.
What do you mean, protect me?
Protect me from what?
Why didn't you ask me to help build your mother's diorama?
Because you thought I might have done it?
And I had reason, didn't I?
That's why you ended things.
It had nothing to do with you respecting her final wishes.
It was because you thought I might have killed her.
You had the strongest motive.
You know what I mean.
I want to hear you say it.
That hasn't changed.
Father, your surveillance skills leave a lot to be desired.
It's the hat.
Sometimes I forget to take it off.
I suppose you have some questions.
One or two, yes.
My mother forbade it.
An immigrant carpenter?
Jesus was a carpenter.
Let's just say she wasn't progressively minded.
I was still going to marry him, though.
I didn't care.
I loved him.
And then, your mother was killed.
After that, how could I go through with it?
Did she know Daniel was in your room that night?
We were careful.
She could have discovered him while you were asleep.
He got up to use the water closet
and there was an altercation.
A plausible theory.
One that I've had myself.
And yet, you continue to work with him.
Keep your enemies close.
I don't believe that's the truth.
You still love him.
It's a purely professional relationship now.
That's not what I saw.
Father, I didn't invite you to investigate my personal life.
Agnes, that's exactly what you did.
Murder does not exist in a vacuum,
and the stories in your dioramas testify to that.
CAR DOOR CLOSING
I've charged him.
Let me talk to your father.
Fresh pair of eyes, new perspective. That's what you want, isn't it?
What can I do for you, Father?
I just wanted to congratulate you on the apprehension of the killer.
I imagine that the evidence against Inspector Mallory must be
quite overwhelming, for you to have charged him so quickly.
I've heard about you.
The sleuthing priest.
Quite endearing, really.
Well, murder's not endearing.
You don't have to tell me that.
My job isn't exactly a walk through a rose-garden.
I see human wickedness,
and whatever my disagreements with Inspector Mallory...
..I have not seen that wickedness within him.
A pure soul?
But not murderous.
Father, I don't know how many officers have told you to
keep your nose out in your time...
Words to that effect have been spoken before.
..but I mean it, when I say it.
I won't tolerate obstruction of justice and any such behaviour
will be met with the full force of the law.
Thank you, sir.
And, er, once again...
Are you sure you want me to pursue this?
Perhaps it's better left to someone else.
I want to follow the truth,
no matter where it leads.
What is it?
Someone has filled in your little sister's height lines.
She's even wearing the summer dress she had on the day she drowned.
Who would do something like this?
What are you looking at me for?
The craftsmanship of the doll.
Why would I do this?
I think it's obvious what's going on.
I don't understand why none of you are saying it.
It's Violet's ghost.
Don't look at me like I'm stupid. I mean, look at it!
Drawing in her own height lines, like she thinks she's still alive.
A lost soul.
If we rule out the supernatural connection -
just for a moment - then that inevitably draws us to
the conclusion that somebody set the scene as some sort of message.
A connection is being made between Florence's fall down the stairs
and Violet's death.
That's ridiculous. The only killer in this case is Inspector Mallory
and I've no doubt he'll hang for what he's done.
In the meantime,
I believe the time for house guests is well and truly over.
May I join you?
I thought my husband ordered you out.
Which means, I need to get straight to the point.
You know that Inspector Mallory's innocent, don't you?
What makes you say that?
I'm not accusing you of killing Detective Chief Inspector Webb.
I'm accusing you of concealing Inspector Mallory's innocence.
I suspect it's something personal.
Do all priests read minds, Father?
I was so pretty,
Do you know, the camera adored me?
I feel like I'm becoming invisible.
Tell me what happened.
I was in the bathroom, fixing my hair,
and I could see Inspector Mallory through the window, smoking.
He noticed me.
I acted like I hadn't seen him.
And then, I...
I don't know why I did it, exactly.
What was I thinking?
What does that say about me?
It says you want what everyone wants.
To be loved.
To be wanted.
To be seen.
Thank you, Father.
..that leaves you with a difficult, ethical obligation.
What are you talking about?
You are Inspector Mallory's only alibi.
The only person who can exonerate him.
You want me to tell my husband that I practically did
a striptease in front of one of his colleagues?
I'm not saying the conversation won't be awkward,
but if you don't have it,
he will hang.
There's no need for that.
-I thought I'd told you to leave.
-And what about you?
Leching after everything in sight.
Getting too old for you, am I?
It's like Father Brown said.
I'm invisible to you.
Well, no, I didn't quite...
You told her what?
All I did was advise her to tell the truth.
Sometimes, it has a way of setting you free.
I'm leaving you.
Good to have you back, sir.
Just because you're off the hook for murder doesn't mean I won't
see you charged as a Peeping Tom.
In my defence,
she made it very difficult not to look.
Erm, Scotland Yard, sir.
An officer's on his way to take over the case.
What are you doing here?
Erm, I convinced Mrs Lesser to come forward.
Then, I suppose I owe you...
A debt...of gratitude?
It's uncanny how accurate Agnes Lesser's diorama is.
As if she's got a photographic memory.
But there's nothing here that suggests Florence Lesser
The miniature newspaper.
Whatever's in there is the key.
And I think I know where it is.
What do you hope to find?
The miniature newspaper, sir.
Where is it?
How should I know?
I've obliged you far enough.
Until you can obtain a search warrant, I'm ordering you
off the premises.
You killed her, didn't you?
I won't dignify that with an answer.
What do we do now then, sir?
We put our feet up.
Scotland Yard can take it from here.
It wasn't in his desk.
As I suspected.
But don't worry,
I've organised a search party.
We got your SOS.
Now that we're deemed worthy to be here.
Mrs McCarthy, Bunty,
thank you for coming to our aid.
Wouldn't miss it for the world.
I don't understand why you still think it's in the house.
Surely, he would've burnt it by now?
It was the way he looked at it.
It meant something to him.
He couldn't have destroyed it, even if he wanted to.
And how are we supposed to find something so tiny in a house so big?
We'll split up.
Where is your father?
He's in the garden, having another drink.
And where is his wife?
She's packed her things and gone.
Good for her.
I want to show you something.
In the photograph,
your mother's hand is parallel with her face,
and is touching the bloodstain,
but in the diorama, her hand is pointing towards the table.
But I got everything else right.
Maybe somebody moved her arm before or after the photograph was taken?
Either way, all I can tell you is this - that's how I remember it.
Father, it's Mrs McCarthy!
She's trapped, hiding from Wilbur.
In plain sight.
What does it mean?
My God, you're like a bad penny.
You killed Chief Inspector Webb,
and then planted blood on Inspector Mallory's coat, didn't you?
Not to protect yourself, but to protect the real culprit
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.
It's Agnes's writing, isn't it?
But she has no memory of writing in the miniature.
And I suspect she has no memory of several other things, too.
You don't know what you're talking about.
You can't keep running away from this.
MUSIC BOX PLAYING
I managed to escape.
I can see that.
It's all right. We found it.
Thank God for that.
What's that sound?
Is it someone singing?
-IN A CHILD'S VOICE:
-Do you want to play with me?
We could go swimming.
I like swimming.
Agnes, what is going on?
I'm not Agnes, silly.
Be careful of Agnes.
She killed me.
-What just happened?
You were acting like...
Like you were a little girl.
You said your name was Violet.
This may seem indelicate, but I think you should see a psychiatrist.
You killed an innocent man.
You have to face up to that, if nothing else.
You have no evidence.
I know why you couldn't destroy the newspaper.
Because what she wrote was part of herself, a part that knew
what she'd done, that wanted to confess and say sorry.
How could I destroy that?
What's the matter with her?
It's a fugue state she goes into.
It's some form of multiple-personality disorder.
The first time it happened was when she was ten years old.
Florence and I discovered them in the river.
..holding Violet's head underwater.
We pulled Agnes away.
She seemed almost catatonic.
And then, moments later, she came round,
started screaming when she saw what had happened.
No memory that she'd done it herself.
Why didn't you get her help?
What kind of help, hmm?
Locked up in an institution? Lobotomised?
Besides, we hoped it was a one-off,
some, sort of, strange, psychological anomaly, until...
..ten years ago.
Your wife's death.
Florence got out of bed, just as I said,
but when she got to the stairwell, Agnes was there.
.. it wasn't Agnes.
We hoped to get her to the safety of her room.
Mummy, why didn't you save me?
Why did you let her drown me?
Why didn't you save me?!
We put her to bed.
She woke up when the ambulance arrived, distraught.
No memory of what she'd done.
I convinced Daniel it was an accident,
for Agnes's sake.
It's all been for Agnes's sake.
And what about the people she killed?
And the innocent man you killed to protect her?
It's time to face the truth.
She is a danger to herself and other people.
I don't think she's herself.
What's going on?
She's been leaving herself clues from the very start
and this is the biggest one.
If she's realised.
I remember it.
I remember it all.
What am I?
You're someone who needs help.
This is not the way out,
no matter how dark things may seem
at the moment.
..evil inside me.
You're not evil.
And beneath the illness, there is good.
-Why else would you make a confession?
You positioned your mother's arm in the diorama to point at
the newspaper, because you knew that the chief inspector would notice
the discrepancy, find the newspaper...
..and see this.
Because of what you've done...
..you desperately seek redemption.
There's no redemption for me, Father.
There's only what I've done. The acts I've committed.
I told you I wanted to follow the truth,
no matter where it leads. And this is where it's led.
I have to accept that.
And for the protection of others,
I have to do the only thing that's right.
Just let me go, Father!
If you let go,
you will pull me over.
You're being selfish!
-No, I'm not.
MUSIC BOX PLAYS
Good news about your father.
He was given a custodial sentence.
The judge took into account his advancing years
and his decades of public service.
He escaped the noose.
I thought you were an atheist?
It was a figure of speech.
I hear the music box is sounding better.
I gave it some oil.
I thought it was about time.
An apple tart from Mrs McCarthy, by way of celebration.
-And the diorama is coming on famously.
I'm not sure who I'm going to have killed yet, though.
I thought that you...
Oh, relax, it was a joke.
This is just for, erm... I suppose you might call it "fun".
-Which reminds me.
I thought I'd leave it up to you.
Where do you want him?
I think he should be taking a stroll.
Well, I'll go and get some plates...
SHE HUMS ALONG WITH MUSIC BOX
..for the apple tart.
SHE CONTINUES HUMMING
SHE SINGS MUSIC BOX TUNE