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The Curse of Korzha Recap

A group walks through the streets of London. Gudgett tells the constable with him that the orders to carry out the ritual come from the top. Leading the group are a psychic, Madame Korzha, and her assistant Henri. Korzha clutches at a photo and directs the group. They finally come to a street corner and Mitchell hands Korzha a knife. She raises it and mutters an incantation, and Henri explains that she’s making a sacrifice to the spirits. Korzha cuts her arm and lets the blood spill on the cobblestones. She then points to a manhole cover. The men remove the cover and the group goes below. They proceed through the tunnels and Gudgett figures that if the girl, Julia Hargreaves, is there, she’s probably dead. They reach a spot and blood drips down from where the words” No Innocence” are written. Korzha says that she feels Julia near and continues on. Julia is tied up and blindfolded, and her parents Paul and Betina run to her and hug their daughter in relief.

The next day at the Metropole, Cecilia tells Harry that she has luncheon plans with a gentleman. Harry makes it clear he’s less than enthused, and his mother reminds him that his father has been dead for a long time. Cecilia says that she wants company, and Harry demands to know who he is. She refuses to answer, and Harry tells Cecilia to make sure she has a good time. Once she leaves, Harry notices a newspaper article about Korzha finding Julia

At home, Arthur is trying to work but can’t come up with anything. Mary comes in and asks if Arthur can read what he’s written. He finally admits that he has written anything, and Mary suggests that he reads from one of his books. Harry calls and points out the newspaper article, and immediately hang sup when Arthur says that he hasn’t read it. Intrigued, Arthur reads it.

Later at Scotland Yard, Harry and Arthur arrive and Harry wonders when Adelaide was going to tell them that she was married. Arthur doesn’t think that it’s any of their business. Adelaide greets them and admits that she’s surprised that Merring agreed to let Korzha help. Harry figures that Korzha is a fraud, just as Merring and Gudgett come out with Korzha. Merring thanks Korzha for her help, and Harry accuses her of hiding Julia herself. Adelaide agrees with Harry, and Korzha takes her hand and says that it’s interesting. Arthur thanks Korzha for her help, and she quotes from Arthur’s works.

A man, a docker named Mitchell Pearce, comes in and asks if they’ve found the man who killed his daughter Emily. Merring offers his condolences and says that Julia didn’t suffer the way that Emily did. Mitchell leaves, sobbing, and Merring tells the others that Emily was abducted and killed a year ago. The words weren’t written nearby but the MO is otherwise the same. Merring asks Korzha to help and she agrees. And the Chief Inspector tells Harry and Arthur that they’re also on the case.

As the trio takes the train, Harry insists that Julia was never going to die. If she had, then Korzha would never have been paid. Arthur suggests that the Hargreaves have accidents. Harry says that it’s time to get off. When Arthur points out that it isn’t their stop, Harry says that he’s investigating a second matter and needs their help. They go to Lizabella’s Restaurant and Harry looks in through the window at Cecilia. She’s eating with a man, and Harry figures that he’s a gold digger. Adelaide points out the man is well dressed, and Cecilia waves to Harry. Harry asks Adelaide to go in and question the man, and Arthur points out that Harry is being selfish by monopolizing her love. Harry points out that Cecilia married at the same age that Adelaide is now, and asks if she’s ever been married. Adelaide refuses to discuss her personal life and leaves.

Later at the hospital, Dr. Henry Whitaker tells the trio that Julia still recovering from shock and may not wake up for a while. Whitaker notes that there isn’t a single cut on Julia, and the blood message wasn’t written in her blood. Betina is thankful for Korzha’s help, and explains that the police told her that the psychic came to them. The Hargreaves insist that they have no enemies, but confirm that the doll Julia was holding when she was rescued wasn’t her own. Whitaker passes on a call saying that Korzha needs to see the trio immediately.

Korzha takes the trio down the street and insists that the killer walked along the same path. As they walk, she explains that as a girl she felt something beckoning to her. Once she opened herself up to the spirits, they showed her things. Korzha takes a dagger from Henri and cuts herself, and then leads them on. They enter a doll shop and Korzha says that Julia was there. There are masks and gloves that smell like sewage, and Adelaide finds a doll identical to the one that Julia had.

Back at Scotland Yard, the trio discusses the case. Harry points out that Korzha couldn’t let them to the kidnapper, and Arthur suggests that psychics are sensitive to certain frequencies. Harry still figures that Korzha is responsible and a con artist. Merring tells them that another girl, Helena Wood, has been taken. The trio returns to the hospital to see if Julia can tell them anything. Whitaker explains that Julia won’t talk to any man. Adelaide questions Julia, who says that a man in a mask kidnapped her and gave her a doll to play with. She says that the man had a beard and claims that he took off the mask at one point, and she scratched him.

Back at the Yard, Adelaide tells Merring what they’ve learned. Harry points out that Henri has a beard, and Arthur suggests that Paul may have taken his own daughter and also has a beard. Merring says that he’ll look into Paul’s alibi personally and have a guard posted at the hospital. He also agrees to put Korzha under surveillance.

At her home, Korzha is meeting with her clients when the trio arrives. Harry and Arthur both deduce the same information from the client’s appearance that Korzha says. Korzha then says that Louie is there and wishes to speak through her. Henry announces that they must hold a séance to summon the spirits directly and calls Arthur forward. Harry says that they need to set conditions, and Arthur ties Henri to a post. The trio take their seats and Korzha tells them to open their minds. Touie then “speaks” through her, telling Arthur that her time is not up. The medium knows that Touie hasn’t passed on.

Afterward, Harry declares the whole thing a fraud. The window shade bursts open and a voice says belief, and Korzha and Henry suddenly switch places in the blink of an eye. When the clients leave, Arthur points out that Harry tied Henry himself. Harry has no explanation for how Korzha did it, and Adelaide points out that they have nothing to lose by asking for her help. Korzha agrees to try, and says that at the stroke of midnight, Adelaide Strattton will be no more.

As the trio takes the train back, Arthur points out that Korzha hasn’t been wrong yet. Harry figures that the medium is trying to distract them so that they don’t’ arrest her and insists on protecting Adelaide. Adelaide says that she doesn’t need saving and tells the two men to let her save herself. She storms off the train at the next stop, Arthur points out to Harry that Korzha is the only one who knew her pet name for Touie and the fact she wasn’t dead. He insists that Toue was communicating with her and he felt something. Harry says he knew a wife who lost her husband and was told by a psychic that her husband would never let her go. She neglected her family and finally killed herself. Harry admits that he was the psychic who convinced her, and it was all part of his act. Arthur insists that he’s not running away from anything, and suggests that Harry is the one who is afraid of losing his mother. Angry, Harry tells Arthur that he’s putting an end to Korzha’s con and gets off.

Harry returns to Korzha’s home and he congratulates her on her show. She insists that she didn’t abduct the girls, and figures that Harry isn’t sure. Harry asks where Helena is, and Korzha says that she doesn’t know. She figures that Harry is afraid of losing someone, and asks what the spirits are telling her now. Korzha grabs Harry and kisses him, and he kisses her back.

Arthur is at the Yard waiting for Adelaide when she comes in. She insists that she doesn’t need protect Korzha from either man, and then wonders what happens at midnight. Arthur admits that he wants to believe in Korzha because that means he can watch over his children when he’s dead. However, he doesn’t think that Korzha is right about her death prediction. They talk about the agony of losing a child, and Arthur asks the nearby Merring if he’s right. Merring says that he lost his son Will a year ago, and tells them that Paul’s alibi has been confirmed. The Chief Inspector says that sometimes he’s blinded with rage, but knows that it won’t bring Will back. Will died in the Boer War that Arthur defends. Merring tells him to find Helena.

After sex, Korzha says that Harry seems peaceful. He assures her that he didn’t take advantage of him, and is amused at the thought. Harry returns to the station and Arthur immediately deduces that he had sex. Adelaide points out that Harry can spend time sex with members of the opposite sex but he believes Cecelia can’t, and Harry refuses to discuss it. He shows them Korzha’s passport that he stole. It shows that she arrived in England two days before the first girl was taken. Adelaide points out that the passport is fake, and leads the men to a man named Flip. He’s a forger, and suggests that Harry pay him ten pounds. Harry realizes that Korzha stole his wallet and Arthur offers him five.

Flip confirms that Korzha’s real name is Edith Pilkie, and she comes from Croydon. However, Arthur notes that changing one’s name doesn’t mean she’s guilty of kidnapping. As they walk by a girl skipping rope, Harry gets an idea and runs back to the Yard. He shows the others the ropes that the kidnapper used. The first victim was tied with simple knots, but Julia was tied with more complicated notes. Harry figures that the kidnappings were not committed by the same person. He points out that Henri used a trick rope tie to escape at the séance, and only a few rope experts would know. However, Arthur figures that Korzha isn’t the kidnapper.

The trio goes to Mitchell’s home, and Harry notices scars on his forearm. When Mitchell tries to slam the door on them, the men barge in and Arthur says that they’ve figured out that Mitchell abducted Julia. He came to the Yard to make sure that he wasn’t a suspect. One of the photographs of Mitchell with his daughter showed him with a beard, and points out a supposed shaving cut on his face. Arthur figures that it’s where Julia scratched him. He says that the Mitchell recreated the circumstances of his daughter’s tragedy but wrote the message in his old blood. The blood came from the cuts on his arm. Mitchell tied up Julia with knots that a docker would have known.

Harry hears a woman crying and opens a closet door. Korzha is inside, tied up, and she says that the spirits sent her. Mitchell draws his gun and says that there’s no innocence in the world now that Julia is dead. The docker says that they all deserve what they get, and the police never found his daughter’s killer. When Mitchell abducted Julia, he got people thinking about his daughter again. Adelaide tells him to tell them where Helena is, and says that she understands because she lost her husband. She tells Mitchell not to lose the battle for his soul, but he says that it’s too late for him and clubs Adelaide down. Harry and Arthur tackle him, and they realize that he’s accidentally shot himself when the gun went off.

As the trio tries to work out where Helena might be, Adelaide asks Korzha if she can help .Korzha agrees and concentrates, and says that the water is rising. The constable points out that Emily died when the water rose in the tank, and Julia would have died in the sewer the same way. She figures that the tides would do the same thing, and remember that Mitchell worked for Jennings Shipping.

The trio arrives at the company with the police as the tides rise. They find the words “No innocence” written on a wall and a trail of blood. They follow it to the river’s edge and find Helena tied to a pillar. Harry dives in and works at the knots. As the water rises above Helena’s head, Harry tells her to hold her breath, and then frees her and gets her to the surface. The magician administers mouth-to-mouth and revives Helena. As they get the girl to the ambulance, Merring admits that they let Mitchell down, and he went mad when they didn’t capture Emily’s killer. Adelaide suggests that Merring meet Helena, and he agrees.

Korzha comes over and says that they owe the spirits gratitude. Arthur figures that she’s a fraud, and admits that she has deductive powers. Korzha is not only a fan of his stories, but a student of his deductive methods. She saw the same photographs they did and worked out that Mitchell was the killer. He surprised her when she broke into his home to search for Helena. As for his proof, Arthur says that Korzha’s fingerprints are on the Yard photographs. Korzha concedes the point and says that she found two sets of bootprints at Julia’s school. They led her to the doll factory, and the smell of sewage on the gloves led her to the nearest manhole. She went to the police because she couldn’t open the manhole cover on her own. Korzha is surprised that Arthur matched her fingerprints, and Arthur admits that he was bluffing. He tells Korzha that he wanted to believe, and Korzha insists that the spirits are out there and maybe they haven’t figured out how to answer them yet. She tells Arthur that what he felt was real, and Arthur asks why she said Adelaide wouldn’t exist by midnight. Korzha gives him a piece of paper. She kisses Harry and gives him his wallet back, and Arthur asks how she knew his wife’s nickname. She says that it just came to her and walks away.

Later at the Metropole, Harry comes in. Cecelia says that she saw him at the restaurant, and Harry admits that she’s all that he has. However, he gives her his blessing to see who she wants. Harry just asks her not to forget him, and she says that she told the man no more. Cecelia figures that they have each other and don’t need anyone else.

Arthur looks in on Emily, who has dozed off over a copy of one of his Sherlock Holmes books. She wakes up, and Arthur takes it and reads to her. Once Emily dozes off, Arthur takes out the paper and realizes that it’s five minutes until midnight.

Adelaide is at the Yard waiting for midnight.

Arthur gets Harry and they go the Public Records Office. Korzha wrote PRO on the paper, and Arthur figures that she was trying to tell them something about Adelaide. Korzha quotes a line from one of his Holmes stories about a man with a false identity. The two men find a marriage record for Adelaide... whose real name is Penelope Graves. As they read the article, the clock chimes midnight.

Written by Gadfly on Apr 24, 2016

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