Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Death at Victoria Dock
December 18, 2014 10:35 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Miss Fisher meets with a shipping magnate to discuss his missing daughter during a dockworkers' strike. During the meeting, a man on the picket line outside is shot and bleeds to death-- but not before he gives Phryne a ring and a name. Phryne and Jack are drawn into a world of anarchists and smuggled arms as they track down the murderer.

Phryne's attempts to save the dying man bring back memories of her time as a war nurse, as Jack and Hugh Collins find a crate-load of illicit ammunition stored in a warehouse on the docks. Phryne tries to track down Mr. Waddington's wayward daughter, while Hugh, at Phryne's prompting, follows up on the dead man's sweetheart. Phryne's investigations take her to an anarchist drinking hole, after which she gets to know one of the patrons a bit better. Meanwhile, Phryne's ward, Jane, learns to navigate the bureaucratic world of her school's leadership, with some help from Phryne and Aunt Prudence. An assassination attempt leads to Jack's first plea for Phryne to "lay low", which Phryne interprets in her usual style as she uncovers a plot to gaslight the missing girl. As the episode comes to a head, Dot is kidnapped by anarchists and Phryne foils a bank heist gone wrong.
posted by WidgetAlley (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm rewatching this one as something of an antidote to The Babadook, which is a fantastic movie, but quite depressing. (Essie Davis is unrecognizable in it if you're used to the scintillating Miss Fisher.) This episode probably wasn't a great choice, though, since it's about as serious as MFMM gets. I love love love the war flashbacks, you can practically see Phryne trying to brush it off by being extra aggressively charming/annoying when Jack and Hugh turn up on her doorstep the next morning.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:40 PM on December 18, 2014

Poor Dot!
posted by drezdn at 3:13 PM on December 19, 2014

I was so impressed with Phryne's confidence in that anarchist bar. Phryne can get it. And I was struck too by how very much it flips the script to see Phryne indulging in a night of passion that is not without feeling: she makes a genuine connection with that guy, talks to him as a person and not just a sex object, but still doesn't let that cloud her work or her judgment. Phryne is kind to her hookups, but that doesn't mean she's gets overemotional about them, or that she wants to commit to any of them. It's just really great to see.

And it's great to see that Phryne doesn't devalue more traditional relationships even as she avoids them herself. She's such an enthusiastic supporter of Hugh courting Dot, and of Dot getting what she wants in a relationship.
posted by yasaman at 4:07 PM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]

Hullo all, since it's a pretty busy holiday week for me (and I bet for everyone else), how do we all feel about taking this week off, letting folks catch up if they need to, and resuming on a normal schedule next Monday?
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:17 AM on December 23, 2014

Quite enjoyable episode, despite being somewhat heavier in spots than the previous ones. I hadn't even realized that Phryne is played by the same actress as the lead in Babadook! I watched that recently, and loved it, and yes, I'd agree that she's pretty much completely unrecognizable if it's not pointed out.
posted by sparkletone at 11:56 AM on December 25, 2014

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