Death and Hysteria
Season 3, Episode 5
Vital statistics
Air date 5 June 2015
Written by Ysabelle Dean; Kerry Greenwood (novel)
Directed by Mat King
Episode guide
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Aunt Prudence's latest protégé, a psychiatrist and natural healer who specializes in "hysterical" women, causes big headaches for Phryne.[1]

Case NotesEdit

Victim: Betsy Cohen
Client: Aunt Prudence asked Phryne to help when hosting the sanatorium became overwhelming.
Case: Phryne chose to investigate what had been assumed to be an accidental death.
Murderer: Eric Edwards
Outcome: Eric Edwards was arrested


Cold OpenEdit

As music plays on a gramaphone outdoors, young women are led in a dance exercise. Aunt Prudence looks on, as this is happening in her yard.

Dr Samuels approaches Aunt Prudence and asks about her sleep habits. She praises his medicine. He suggests that it's time to discuss her late son, Arthur. She declines.

One of the young women, Betsy, leaves the dance circle. She clearly has something else on her mind. Another young woman, Jemima, asks where she's going. Betsy orders Jemima to stop following her. Betsy walks purposefully to her room and removes an electrical appliance from its case.

Aunt Prudence enters an office where two lovebirds are chirping in a cage. She sees a framed picture of Arthur and turns it facedown.

Betsy caresses the appliance's wooden case, steps out of her footwear, takes the cushions from her bed, plugs in the appliance, removes her underpants, lies on the bed, and reaches for the appliance.

In the hallway, Aunt Prudence is putting another framed picture of Arthur facedown when she notices the lights flicker. She hears a screech and a thump, then enters Betsy's room. Betsy is on the floor, convulsing. We hear electrical crackling. Aunt Prudence runs out of the room and calls for help.


Aunt Prudence: Oh, Phryne!
Phryne: Aunt P! You're a generous woman, Aunt P, but what on Earth possessed you to hand over your home to a women's sanatorium?
Aunt Prudence: It was a favour to Dr Samuels. He was such a help with... with Arthur. He needed temporary consulting rooms. And then Dr Perkins joined him, and the secretary, and I wasn't able to turn them away! I... I didn't realize it would... would be like this.
Phryne: You should have called me!
Aunt Prudence: I've called you now!

Neville: whistles Hey! Hey! Don't touch anything! This hallway's a crime scene, lady.
Dot: I'm quite aware of that, Constable. And the name is Miss Dorothy Williams.
Neville: Well, Constable Neville Martin. I'm assistant to Senior Detective Inspector Robinson, and, uh, this area? It's been thoroughly searched.
Dot: holding up a clue You haven't done a very good job, then.

Aunt Prudence: There was the Ming vase incident. Some tiff about Betsy retiring early, then Jemima tried to push her down the stairs, narrowly avoiding my Ming vase. It was all most unladylike.
Phryne: Unladylike!? Aunt P, your staircase is lethal!
Aunt Prudence: sighs Your mind always jumps to murder. Have you noticed? It's a very bad habit.



  1. Netflix episode blurb
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