Morse finds himself the subject of a murder investigation when his friend, Beryl Newsome, is murdered at a rehearsal of the Magic Flute and he foolishly touches the murder weapon. Morse is suspended and DCI Bottomley, with DS Lewis assisting him, is put in charge of the case. Morse feels that he was set-up and looks to his past to see who, among the many criminals he arrested, might now be setting about seeking revenge. When someone scratches masonic symbols all over his car and he is reported for erratic driving, Morse wonders if Masons may somehow be involved. When a large number of his personal items are found in Beryl's apartment, Morse is placed under arrest. Written by
Although at no point is it suggested that Lewis is a Mason, the term "Lewis" has special significance in Freemasonry. A "lewis" is the son of a Freemason, who is to be initiated at the age of eighteen, rather than the usual twenty one. In operative masonry, it signifies an iron cramp, which is inserted in a cavity prepared for the purpose in a large stone, so as to give attachment to a pulley and hook, whereby the stone may be conveniently raised to any height, and deposited in its proper position. See more »
Piers Ibbotson is billed in the credits as "Piers Gidden" (the same surname as the cast member below him). See more »
This episode is just brilliant, well constructed, complex and resolutely creepy. Here Morse is framed for murder, and has to find who is trying to get at him so badly. John Thaw once again is phenomenal as Morse, and Kevin Whately matches him perfectly. The main reason why this episode is so special to me, is because of the music featured, excerpts from Mozart's Magic Flute, an opera I took part in recently. The music was perfect, as Mozart himself was considered a mason, and it actually gave some weight to some tense scenes, like the fire in Morse's house with the Water and Fire duet (you also find out that Morse hates the Toscanini recording of the Magic Flute, causing him to say "I wouldn't allow it in the house"). The supporting actors were also fine, especially Diane Fletcher as Marian Brooke. My favourite though has to be Iain McDairmund as DeVries, a cool and calculating villain who does give you goosebumps. The scene when Beryl gets stabbed while on the telephone is quite terrifying, mainly because of the scream, it's enough to make your blood run cold. Anyway, DeVries is one of my favourite Morse villains, not quite as good as Keith Allen's John Peter Barrie, but convincing enough to remember him. The dialogue and the camera-work is as expected nothing short of excellent. All in all, wonderful! 10/10 Bethany Cox.
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