Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: The Green Mill Murder
December 16, 2014 10:38 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Miss Fisher enjoys a night out at a fashionable club, but the good times are rudely interrupted by a less-than-discreet murder. Her dance partner and another of her friends are clearly mixed up in the incident somehow, so Phryne follows a trail of blackmail victims to discover the killer.

The episode opens on a brief scene of a mysterious man following a pair of lovers in a darkened street. Elsewhere, Phryne enters a discreet club (the titular Green Mill) to dance and discuss a friend's plane, which she is considering buying. Her fun, however, is cut short when a man is stabbed to death, and Jack and Constable Collins arrive. Phryne decides to investigate the case, and follows a string of blackmails to their source: the murder victim. She discovers her friend's brother, thought to have died in the war, is still alive; and that jealousy and professional rivalries are afoot at the Green Mill. Burt and Cess's darts playing finally gives Miss Fisher the clue she needs to crack the case, and a murderous cornet player is arrested after his wife's false confession. Meanwhile, Dot has to decide whether or not she can bring herself to go on a date with Hugh, a Catholic.
posted by WidgetAlley (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Coronet! Apparently I have to put in a least one typo every time I post an episode description. Now you guys know how much I use edit on my comments....

A few observations:

First, Phryne's dress in the club scene looks exactly like a bathing suit to me, and her goggle-shaped crystal headpiece isn't helping, and I spent like 90% of those scenes laughing because of it (and she has crystals on her eyelashes, what even is that and can I do it too?) Speaking of fashion, it's really interesting that women's formal fashion has changed so much in terms of cut, fabric, sewing technique, patterns-- but many of the men's suits in this show are pretty dang close to what men would wear today, if you took in the trouser legs a bit.

I nominate this episode for Least Realistic Death. Instant death from a dart? That is... unlikely at best. Also, for theoretically having the ability to dust for fingerprints, they sure... don't. Like, ever. Apart from occasionally announcing that they can't dust for fingerprints.

I had to look up the actress who plays the singer from Virginia, as I found her Southern accent really unconvincing-- and yep, she's definitely Australian. This must be how British people feel when American actors try to do accents!

They do a fantastic job with interior decorating on this show. Phryne's house has so many touches that are just completely gorgeous-- the Art Nouveau fireplace in the parlor, the patterned wallpaper (seriously you guys I would murder someone with a dart for that wallpaper), but then they add in just slightly too much clutter for it to seem totally appealing to modern eyes (fringed lampshades, lots of... stuff sitting around.) I would think there'd be two temptations while creating the sets, considering what 1920s interiors actually looked like: either add so much stuff it doesn't work well on screen, or pare it down to show off all the Art Noveau and have it look way too sparse and modern. Whoever does the set decorating splits the difference perfectly.

The scene where Phryne is getting her mugshot taken and persuading Jack not to charge her is one of my favorites so far. The first in a long series of charming the pants off Hugh by being a bit cheeky, and giving Jack Uncomfortable Feelings That He's Totally Into. Also, the line, "I haven't taken anything seriously since 1918" is pretty much waved off, but it's so much more meaningful on the second viewing, since now I know Phryne was an ambulance nurse.

Also this episode cements Bert and Cec as two of my favorite characters. I mean, obviously I was destined to love two beer-swilling Socialists, but I also like that they seem to work for Miss Fisher mostly because they enjoy watching her go through bourgeois society with all the tact of a woodchipper.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:42 AM on December 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


Regarding the Virginian singer: we have entered the land of dubious accents and stereotypes. Part of what Phryne's all about is, essentially, disagreeing with stereotype-based prejudice, but she sure does live in a setting full of them. (I think that's par for the course in this kind of murder mystery series, though.)

Is this the first episode where Phryne doesn't pick up a regularly appearing companion? (Mr. Butler was introduced in the previous episode, right?)
posted by ocherdraco at 11:55 AM on December 16, 2014


Also, the line, "I haven't taken anything seriously since 1918" is pretty much waved off, but it's so much more meaningful on the second viewing, since now I know Phryne was an ambulance nurse.

That's one of my favorite moments of the episode, and in retrospect, I think it's a real turning point in Phryne and Jack's relationship. Phryne is revealing to him that the war casts a long shadow over her life, just as it does over his.
posted by yasaman at 2:38 PM on December 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


The scene where Phryne is getting her mugshot taken and persuading Jack not to charge her is one of my favorites so far.

The fact that he was looking over the photos again later really added bonus points to the scene.
posted by drezdn at 4:44 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


This episode is where I gave up on the series. How did they get those nice, clear blackmail photos? It's sometime in the 1920s - it's not like someone can run into the room with their little camera phones and take a few quick shots before anyone reacts. I know it's TV, and reality gets stretched, but that was a little too far for me.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:49 AM on December 17, 2014


So I have a historical question: would the Catholic/Protestant thing actually have been relevant in Australia in the 1920s? I didn't realize that there was ever that strong a split in places that weren't either full of Roman Catholic immigrants or Ireland.
posted by WidgetAlley at 5:20 PM on December 17, 2014


WidgetAlley- even more recently than the 1920s. Hindsight (an Australian history podcast) had two part episode on it a few years back.
Marrying Out (part 1) & (part 2)
posted by insufficient data at 5:34 PM on December 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


mean, obviously I was destined to love two beer-swilling Socialists

well I kinda kept expecting them to kiss but that's the Emma Goldman "The Unjust Treatment Of Homosexuals" socialist in me.
posted by The Whelk at 10:50 PM on December 18, 2014 [7 favorites]


I mean, Burt is supposed to have a fiance but we never see her again soooo...... I'm for it. I'm 200% for it.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:02 PM on December 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I assumed that Burt and Cess are a couple - are they not? They seemed coded as a careful 1920s couple, with Phyrene aware and respecting their privacy, while Jack hasn't a clue.
posted by viggorlijah at 8:18 PM on December 20, 2014


Isn't it Cec who has the fiancee?
posted by ocherdraco at 6:26 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


He had a fiance that he was going to start a farm with, but I'm twenty episodes in and she's never mentioned again.
posted by drezdn at 12:06 PM on December 21, 2014


Yeah and that episode was very uuuuhhhhh.." So that's it! You're just going to leave me and become a ..farmer." "You know how I feel about our ...cab company." "Go then! I'll form a cab company with someone new then!"

I did say to the SO, this is either weirdly unintentional or the clumsiest subtext ever.
posted by The Whelk at 12:08 PM on December 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


I mentioned in an earlier episode thread how much I envy Miss Fisher's clothing. This episode has her wearing a geometric-patterned blouse that I want sooo badly.

It also has Phryne coming downstairs in a silk robe and adorable bed-head.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:51 PM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I did say to the SO, this is either weirdly unintentional or the clumsiest subtext ever.

It is weird, because it would totally make sense if they were going for, like, an obviously coded telegraphing of a same sex relationship (which would be of a piece with 1920s feel), but [MINOR SPOILERS] Mac is a lesbian and at least one of her relationships is explicitly addressed later, as is some of the social pressure surrounding her [SPOILERS OVER Y'ALL], as is Phryne's friend in Ben in the last episode (and someone else in season two casually mentions being a "confirmed bachelor" in a way that's very obviously written as, 'this character is gay and being polite about it.') So I have no idea what the writers are trying to do there.

I'm adding it to the wishlist for Season 3, though. Preferably with Dot finding out and Bert and Cess being like, "Well duh," and Phryne being like, "Well duh," and Jack being like, "What? Oh, who cares," and Dot doing the whole "I don't know what my priest would say" routine but of course coming 'round in the end.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:28 PM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ooops, here's the silk robe and bedhead.
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:23 PM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Isn't it Dot who's the Catholic, not Hugh?
posted by gaspode at 8:11 PM on December 23, 2014


Yep.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:40 PM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Argh, I always confuse those two until Dot actually walks into a church or something (my actual real life friend/colleague Dorothy is super Minnesota-Lutheran and blonde so I think I have wires crossed somewhere.)
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:54 AM on December 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is this the first episode where Phryne doesn't pick up a regularly appearing companion?

I was hoping she'd end up with the blackmailer's greyhound. WHO'S GONNA FEED THAT SWEET NEEDLE-NOSE HOUNDIE?!?!?

(Just started watching this series, on rec from one of the post-election ask threads, either the one looking for female-forward or competence-porn series)
posted by mon-ma-tron at 9:14 PM on January 1, 2017


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