Cully is finally getting married and Tom Barnaby is anxious to keep costs down as Joyce brings in a camp wedding planner. More dramatic is the union between aristocrat Ned Fitzroy and Beth Porteous when maid of honour Marina is found skewered to a wardrobe in one of the bedrooms. The Fitzroy family's lordly attitude does not help the investigation and then estate manager Robin Lawson and old family servant Peggy are both murdered. Barnaby discovers that both were aware of a sinister Fitzroy family secret, culminating in the events of the blood wedding. Written by
don @ minifie-1
It was a Sunday night, 8:30PM. Having been uncomfortably ill over the weekend, I had accumulated quite a substantial pile of untouched homework, including a biology assignment that was due Wednesday morning. Still aching with a sore throat, I decided to precede my study vigil with a brief visit to the family room, where I could stand before the woodfire and absorb some much-needed warmth. Then, disaster! Some careless family member had left the television on, it was tuned to the ABC, and I arrived just in time to witness the opening seconds of 'Midsomer Murders.' From that moment onwards, there was absolutely no question of me doing any study that night: "I'll leave after the first murder"; "I'll leave after the second murder"; "I'll leave after they reveal the killer"; "I'll leave hell, I'll just stay for the whole thing." I had no alternative in the matter.
Though I wouldn't call myself a regular viewer, I've always admired 'Midsomer Murders' for its professionalism and class. The episode "Blood Wedding" (Season 11, Episode 2) is no exception. Whereas slick, kinetically-edited video games like 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' and its offspring take shallow detectives through shallow crimes and even shallower criminals, this British series allows twice the time for events to unfold, allowing a more thorough and complete exploration of the thoughts and motives, not only of the murderer, but also of the non-guilty suspects, who typically aren't very innocent, either. "Blood Wedding" confronts the issue of the upper-class a notion altogether rather foreign to this Australian and the potentially-deadly snobbery and perceived superiority that typifies belonging to a revered British "name." As the upper-class bicker dangerously amongst themselves, Detective Barnaby (John Nettles) finds himself amid the chaos of planning his daughter's wedding.
The mystery itself, penned by David Harsent and directed by Peter Smith, is very well-written, with plenty of red herrings cast out into the open to throw you off the scent. Once the murders get going, and the killer's motives remain ambiguous, almost anybody could conceivably be the next victim, and so you're always prompted to continue watching. The episode's hilarious climax, when both experienced detectives find themselves simultaneously arresting two different people for the same crime (only one of them's right!) really highlights how well the story was able to bamboozle and mislead viewers. For the final minutes, the episode slows down for some local character development, as Barnaby's grown daughter (Laura Howard) finally gets married to her somewhat-neglectful fiancé. Even former partner Sergeant Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) dramatically drops in to say a quick "cheerio" to long-time fans of the show. "Blood Wedding" is an enjoyable way to spend two hours.
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