Houdini and Doyle Season 1 Episode 3 “In Manus Dei”

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Houdini and Doyle are at it again, inexplicably investigating official police cases, trying to prove and disprove outlandish supernatural forces, and generally bromancing it up around Victorian London. This time, a man dies after loudly disparaging a local faith healer who tells him that God will punish him for his doubt.


Of course, Doyle is immediately intrigued by this healer, seeking again a way to heal his wife of her tuberculosis and wake her from her coma. Of course, Houdini is there with a laundry list of reasons that faith healers are quacks, illusionists themselves who prey on the sick and desperate. And of course, Constable Stratton is ready to take on any weird case that will get her out of the office and able to actually do her job. The trio check out the faith healer’s event tent to get a read on his validity and scope for foul play.


Houdini falls right into his doubting ways and illustrates to his companions exactly how valid the claims of miraculous healing tend to be–he performs a “healing” of an audience member by using sleight of hand, and the power of suggestion has the man feeling better right away. Later, they visit the dead man’s funeral and Houdini loudly complains about the fallacy of the faith healer’s powers to provide a distraction for Doyle and Stratton to check the dead man’s body for signs of murder. The faith healer tells Houdini that his doubt will be rewarded by God, and not in a good way. There were indeed signs of foul play on the man’s body, so they illegally exhume him and Doyle cuts him open to reveal that he’s been poisoned by cyanide.


Despite this revelation, Doyle still invites the faith healer to pray over his comatose wife. After a bit of his own prayer, Doyle admits to being disenchanted with the church but not with God himself. He also begs for his wife to be returned to him, and a miracle actually does occur. Doyle’s wife awakens! So does this mean the faith healer is legit? Houdini doesn’t think so (no surprise there), and reminds Doyle that his wife had undergone a new treatment weeks before– couldn’t it all just be a coincidence? So, I get where Houdini’s coming from, but that is one freakish coincidence.


Speaking of coincidence, poor ol’ Harry gets a taste of the faith healer’s “coincidental” miracles when he falls ill after spouting his disbelief at another tent meeting. And I mean like, throwing up on Stratton’s shoes, nasty-ass boils on his skin, too sick to perform his death defying stunts, ill. It’s kind of cute, though, because every time Houdini passes out, he wakes up to Doyle’s face– and sometimes his hand slapping him awake. Not cute are the way too long shots of a doctor lancing Houdini’s boils. Seriously, why. Why. He won’t admit that the healer’s power caused his illness though, because he’s nothing if not consistent.


HOUDINI_AND_DOYLE_EP3_22_FULLMeanwhile, Doyle brings his children to visit his recovering wife and they spend some heartwarming time together. He admits to her though, that before this, he had given up on her and started to put her things away in boxes. He comes back in the evening with some romantic dinner plans only to find that she’d slipped back into a coma. Seriously, this poor guy.


Turns out that the faith healer wasn’t all he was cracked up to be. He actually believed in his own power, but his sister was the one pulling the strings. She made sure her brother seemed legit by killing those who spoke out against him, so that he could continue to bring hope to those who believed. Sort of noble motive, but still murder.



Doyle’s and Houdini’s friendship has definitely been established now, and they not only rib each other like good friends do, but they care about each other’s lives. Houdini shows up to congratulate Doyle when his wife awakens, and Doyle is there to help the sick Houdini when he needs him. Stratton is also coming into her own more, taking more risks with her job because she is more confident in her abilities. The three are a nice unit that play off of each other well.

Tune in next Monday on FOX for another episode!

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