Many of my childhood nightmares were incorporated into Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 8, so it’s a bit odd that this turned out to be my favorite installment of the series thus far.
First off, I always get nervous when a show starts off in a butcher shop because it’s a rare thing that someone in a crime procedural actually just drops in to buy a steak. There’s generally something nefarious going on, and this time it was author, Bram Stoker, buying a pint of blood.
I was expecting the purchase to be for some sort of story research, but the reason turned out to be far more gruesome, and sad.
Despite the gorgeous turn of the century costumes, sometimes I have to remind myself that this story takes place at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Stoker couldn’t just see his doctor for a shot of antibiotics to cure his syphilis. He knew that eventually it would kill him, and he’d lose his mind before he’d lose his life.
It was a twist that left me with sympathy for a man who wrote a character who has scared the heck out of me since I was about 8 years old!
It also reminded me how much I enjoy the fact that this show tries to anchor itself in reality, even as it ventures farther into the supernatural.
But most of my favorite scenes involved Houdini.
He and Doyle have formed a fun bromance with banter that keeps me smiling, as in this Houdini & Doyle quote where Houdini laments his crazy fans…
Houdini: The number of times I've come back to my hotel and found a woman in my room.
Doyle: They're called housekeepers.
Then there’s Harry’s relationship with Adelaide.
Adelaide: Who's there?
Houdini: Your best pals in the whole, wide world.
For as much as he has a crush on her, Harry seems content, for the time being, to pursue their growing friendship. He even listens intently to her stories about her late husband and their courtship.
Where other men might feel threatened, Harry hangs on every word, partly to help solve the mystery involving Benjamin’s death and partly because he’s learning more about Adelaide along the way.
As much as I saw it coming, my heart still broke for Harry when he found his mother had died in her sleep. For all of his confidence and bluster, he’ll always be her little boy, and losing her will inevitably change him. It will be interesting to see how he moves forward without her.
The climax of this episode, with Doyle trying to save Bram while Adelaide desperately searched for Houdini who was buried alive, had my heart racing. The way these scenes were intercut kept the suspense at its peak until the end.
Are Harry and Adelaide off to New York soon? Will Doyle accompany them?
Check back next week for my review of Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 9 and if you need more, you can watch Houdini & Doyle online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.