“The Rebel and the Prince” opens in Station House 4; Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig) sits in his office with David Jennings (Chris Gascoyne). Toronto is preparing for a visit from Queen Victoria’s favorite grandson, Prince Alfred (Chad Connell). While the British government is concerned about the upcoming visit, Branckenreid is dismissive. This is Canada after all. Plus, he’s assigning his two best men to the case.
However, across town a woman (Robyn Thaler Hickey) sprints through the night. A mysterious man follows right behind her. Leaping, he pins her to the ground. She struggles, but it is in vain. He strangles her, before ripping a cross from her neck.
Meanwhile, Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris) and Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) arrive to meet the Prince. While the royal initially seems dismissive, he passes George a note. Once the conversation comes to an end, Murdoch and Crabtree step outside to read the note:
There was a Prince who liked to succumb,
To vulgar young girls with big bums,
But he knew he was trapped, and would have to adapt,
So he begs you instead for some rum.
Murdoch thinks for a moment before he continues, “A poet. Excellent”. However, as they start to leave, Constable Higgins (Lachlan Murdoch) meets them, a body has been found. While Murdoch follows Constable Higgins, Crabtree remains to watch the Prince. Once they are alone, the young Prince reemerges into the hallway. A coy grin crosses his face, as he asks Crabtree to get him some girls.
Across town, Murdoch and Higgins come upon the body. As Murdoch looks over the corpse, he comes across an interesting ring on her finger. Looking at it, he explains the symbolism to Higgins. In fact, the ring signifies the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Higgins looks startled. “Sir, the Prince!”. They push themselves to their feet. It turns out, the Prince may be in grave danger.
Later, Dr. Ogden (Helene Joy) works over the girl’s body. At the same time, Detective Murdoch supervises the investigation. He looks up as Constable Higgins sprints out from the bushes. It seems he found the victims’ purse. While Murdoch talks Constable Higgins through the correct evidence collection procedure, he looks through the handbag. Their victim is Maggie Gilpatrick. He’s going to need Higgins to find the victim’s next of kin.
Meanwhile, George must guard the Prince. In fact, Alfred has taken quite a shine to Constable Crabtree. George stands outside the door, trying to ignore the sounds of the raucous party going on inside. In fact, there have already been several noise complaints. It seems the Prince is quite the partier. While Prince Alfred briefly steps into the hallway, George begs him to keep the volume down. However, as a token of his royal appreciation, Alfred flashes a smile and leaves two of the girls with George.
At the same time, Detective Murdoch and Julia stand over the body. They have tracked down the victim’s father (Michael Hanrahan), and they anxiously wait for the man to make an identification. However, as they talk, he’s not sure it is his daughter.
The next morning, Murdoch and Higgins visit Ann (Amber Cull), one of Maggie’s friends. The woman tearfully tells them how Maggie had been sullen as of late. In fact, she assumed that the girl was in some kind of trouble. Producing a picture, she informs them that Maggie’s cross had been a gift from her mother. She never took it off. She also tells them that Maggie had a lover, a man who she met at bible study (at least it was what she told her father).
Later, Higgins and Murdoch go to a local tavern where they meet Eddie (Vincent Walsh), an old friend of Detective Murdoch’s from his seminary days. It turns out, he knew Maggie. However, when they ask him about her steady boyfriend, the name John Tucker doesn’t ring a bell. He promises to let them know.
It seems like Constable Crabtree’s luck has not been much better. He stands in the hallway being reprimanded by the Jennings. While George eventually managed to end the party, it wasn’t before the Prince’s underwear ended up in a nearby tree. George snaps his finger, “I meant to get those”.
However, Murdoch’s luck seems to have shifted. As he and Higgins stand in the station, John Tucker (Kenneth Delaney) wanders in. He’d heard they were looking for him. While the men talk, it comes out that Maggie’s father has been loosing grip on his sanity. The man found himself convinced that Maggie had become a “changeling”.
Later, Julia and Murdoch stand over the body once again as she discovers a rolled up piece of paper inside the girl’s stomach. As they stare at it, they learn it’s a cypher. Julia also finds a second tattoo on Maggie’s body, it’s a rising phoenix. In fact, the bird is another symbol of the Brotherhood. Was she a member of the group?
Searching for any answers he can find, Murdoch returns to the bar, hoping to speak with Eddie. While the two men talk, it quickly turns to Eddie’s family life; unfortunately, he still has not seen John Tucker. However, while he’s at the tavern, Constable Higgins enters. John Tucker was spotted.
They hurry to Ann Ryan’s house. Walking through the halls, she tells the police that she discovered Tucker going through Maggie’s things. However, once she spotted him, he ran. As they look through Maggie’s belongings, they discover a Holy Bible with the spine broken. According to Ann, Maggie had wanted to burn the book. Could this be the source of the cypher?
Once they return to the station house, Murdoch and Brackenreid discover a pencil imprint inside the book: Sic Semper Tyrannis. The latin phrase translates to “Thus I always bring death to tyrants”. Murdoch speculates that the Irish are planning to assassinate the Prince.
With few further clues available, Murdoch continues working the cypher. It’s unfortunately all they have. Eventually, he has an epiphany. It turns out it was written in ancient Irish. Deciphering the code, he discovers a number of locations in the cypher. However, the only detail not specified is when.
The team calls the Prince to the Station House, hoping to convince him to leave Toronto. However, the man refuses. He intends to represent his Grandmother faithfully, and during her reign, the long-time Queen of the British Empire had five attempts on her life. The Prince eventually leaves to continue with his schedule.
It does not take long to crack the code, but as the team hurries to the spot where the Prince is currently dedicating a library, they are racing against time. Reaching the library, the royal carriage explodes into a ball of flame. A charred body sits in the carriage. However, the Prince is unharmed.
Later, they hover around Julia once again as she conducts the post-mortem. As she works, she finds a necklace fused to the body. It turns out, it is Maggie’s missing necklace. They have to wonder, is this John Tucker?
Not convinced everything is solved, they stage an elaborate plan. Constable Higgins will pretend to be the Prince. However, as the team exits, leaving the Prince, Murdoch and David alone, Jennings draws his gun. He kidnaps the two men. It turns out, he’s also a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Eddie enters the room, he’s been in on the plan as well. However, as Murdoch talks to him, there’s dissent in the ranks. Eddie didn’t think Maggie had to die, and it made him angry.
Luckily, the police discover land grants which point to the kidnappers location. As the police close in, Jennings panics. While the leader tries to torch the building, Eddie stands up to him. Murdoch watches anxiously as Eddie takes a gun. The man points it at the Prince’s head, but quickly spins to shoot Jennings. With the building in flames, Eddie quickly frees the Prince and Detective Murdoch, before leading the men to safety. However, Murdoch can only watch terrified as Eddie runs back into the burning building. He’s convinced he’ll be branded a traitor, and instead chooses to sacrifice himself.
As things come to a conclusion, Dr. Ogden helps Murdoch clean his wounds. She dissolves in tears, relieved that he’s back.
Murdoch Mysteries airs on television in the United States as The Artful Detective. New episodes will begin to air on Ovation, starting January 9th. Previous seasons are available on Netflix and on DVD.