Detective Murdoch must tread carefully when he pursues a Catholic suspect in the murder of an Alderman, killed during the attempted assassination of the city's Protestant Mayor.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Julia Ogden (as Hélène Joy)
Mayor Hopkins
Kelvin Wheeler ...
Alderman Alek Hidell
Don Allison ...
Alderman John Ketchem
Craig Eldridge ...
Clay Miller
Richard Harte ...
Sean Gallagher
Shoeless Jack Leary
Leonard Bowers
Sarah Wilson ...
Marianne Cuddy


On parade day, the local members of the Orange are out in strength but an assassin's bullet, which may have been intended for Mayor Hopkins, kills an Alderman. The police have conflicting reports of where the gun shot came from but Murdoch quickly locates the room from where the gun was fired. Brackenreid orders Murdoch to round up the usual trouble makers - mostly Irish Catholics - but he makes little headway. Murdoch sees Dr. Ogden for the first time since his return and her protégé Dr. Emily Grace conducts the autopsy and is impressed with her interpretation what happened. The police have confiscated all of the cameras from parade watchers and one of them seems to point them to their man. It's not that simple however as Murdoch uncovers that more than one shot was fired. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

14 June 2012 (Canada)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(DTS 2.0)


Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


There are many references to the assassination of President John F Kennedy. Among them, the victim in this episode is Mayor Alec Hidell. Alek Hidell was an alias used by Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of JFK. Also, the plot of this episode (a marksman using a sniper from a window to assassinate a political figure in an open-top vehicle) is also a reference to the Kennedy assassination. See more »


Inspector Thomas Brackenreid: Well, let's round up the usual troublemakers.
Detective William Murdoch: Who would they be, sir?
Inspector Thomas Brackenreid: The Irish Catholics, of course.
Detective William Murdoch: Sir, I'm Catholic.
Inspector Thomas Brackenreid: Are you a troublemaker? Start with the known agitators, and let's see where we are...
See more »


References JFK (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Conspiracy Theory Canadian-style
16 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Murdoch and Crabtree, now demoted back to constable with Murdoch's return, investigate the murder of a Toronto alderman, who seems to have taken a bullet in the temple from an enigmatic sniper intent on assassinating the mayor. Both politicians are Irish Protestants riding in an open carriage during the city's annual Orange Parade, a spectacle designed to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne, fought in 1690 which established Protestant supremacy over the Catholics in Ireland.

According to the storyline, Toronto Protestants traditionally like to rub salt in the wounds of resentful Catholics by routing the parade to go through Catholic neighborhoods, a deliberate provocation. Apparently an irate Catholic tries to assassinate the mayor with a rifle shot when the procession passes a nearby building, but the errant shot misses the mayor, passes through his hat, and apparently by chance strikes the alderman in the temple, killing him instantly.

If the open carriage assassination scenario congers up memories of the assassination of America's only Irish Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, it is no accident. The entire episode is meant to echo the November 22, 1963 tragedy and maintains a subtext designed to satirize the various conspiracy theories attached to that event.

The episode title, "Back and to the Left" is meant to reference the movement of the President Kennedy's body after the fatal shot hit him, movement Warren Commission critics claim is consistent with a shot from the right front (i.e. "the grassy knoll"). Even though this murder occurs in 1899, Murdoch finds some movie film of the event, which he is able to supplement with a still photograph in a stereoscope to ascertain that the victim is forced "back and to the right" as the Zapruder Film apparently showed JFK's body to move.

The aldeman of the episode is named Alek Hidell, not coincidently an alias used by Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Nov. 22. When Dr. Ogden and her protégé Dr. Grace are able to prove that the bullet holes in the mayor's hat and the alderman's skull don't align and couldn't have followed such a torturous path, they refer to the slug as "the magic bullet," a clear reference to the stretcher bullet found at Parkland Hospital which allegedly created multiple wounds on Governor Connelly after passing through JFK's throat.

Initially the police believe the assassin to be an Irish Catholic firebrand who denies any accusation and refers to himself, as Oswald did, as a "patsy," who was tricked into transporting a rifle in a rug the same way Oswald transported his weapon into the Texas Schoolbook Depository in a long paper bag. Also like Oswald. he is assassinated himself before he can prove his innocence. Hidell's real killer is a second gunman who used boxes to hide in his "sniper's nest," which echoes the term used to describe the area of the depository utilized by Oswald.

Allusions to modern cultural references as self-parody and dramatic irony has always been part of "Murdoch Mysteries" great appeal. I understand that the JFK Assassination subtext was likely utilized to give some added interest to what would otherwise be at best a mediocre entry in this usually excellent series, but it also signifies that after 52 years, the America has sufficiently healed enough that it can tastefully satirize what was one of the most traumatic tragedies in our nation's history.

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