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Harrow is an Australian television drama series that stars Ioan Gruffudd as Dr. Daniel Harrow.

Harrow tells the story of Dr. Daniel Harrow, a forensic pathologist with a total disregard for authority. He has an unfailing empathy for the dead which helps him solve even the most bizarre of cases. Willing to bend every rule, he is determined to give victims a voice and reveal the truth behind what happened to them. Meanwhile, a terrible secret from his past threatens him, his family, and his career.

Harrow is set in Brisbane, which is unusual for an Australian crime drama, as Sydney and Melbourne are used more often. The show premiered in March 2018; the third series began airing February 2021.


Tropes used in Harrow include:

  • Absence of Evidence: In "Ab Initio" ("From the Beginning"), Harrow is struggling to prove that Simon's death was murder and not an accident; especially as the data from Simon's Fitbit shows the exact time his heart stopped. Only after a dream encounter with Simon's ghost does Harrow realise that what the Fitbit isn't showing is also significant. There was no spike in his heart rate before he died, which you would expect if he had fallen off the ferry accidentally, and Harrow realises that he must have been sedated before he entered the water.
  • Accidental Misnaming: In first season Harrow calls Simon's partner "Vivian" at one point early on. He gets it right the rest of the season, though.
  • Actor Allusion: Both of the catchphrases from Ioan Gruffudd's previous starring role have been used in Harrow. "It's a long story" in "Assuming Protests Es" ("Gold is Power"), and "It's complicated" when asked to explain in "Audere Est Facere" ("To Dare Is to Do"). He's also playing a medical examiner hiding a major secret who often goes off the rails, with a scar on his upper left chest, who gets stalked by a mysterious voice on the phone who tries to kill him and then tries to strip away his life piece by piece, who forces him to kill someone to protect his child.
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  • Actually Not a Vampire: the Victim of the Week in "Damnant Quod Non Intellegunt" ("They condemn what they do not understand"). Suffering from the rare blood disease porphyria, Simon Wells decided to embrace his condition by following the vampire lifestyle, including getting fangs implanted by a dentist and drinking animal blood to ease his symptoms. Unfortunately, his elderly neighbour was an immigrant from the countryside of Romania, who was raised on vampire folklore. When his wife was certified dead (she wasn't) after a snakebite to the throat, he avenged the murder of his wife by killing the vampire. When his wife regains consciousness and is returned home, Harrow is just in time to stop her weeping husband from killing his (he thinks) newly-turned wife.
  • All for Nothing: The killer of season three's "Alea Iacta Est" ("The Die has been Cast"). They orchestrated a double murder in order to claim a time capsule containing a valuable rare stamp. When the capsule is opened after the killer is arrested, it turns out the time capsule wasn't laid correctly and moisture seeped in, rotting the stamp away.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Dr. Grace Molyneux is quite a clothes horse. In "Malum In Se" ("Evil in Itself"), she correctly estimates how long a female corpse has been walled up from the style of shoes she is wearing.
  • And This Is for...: Harrow hisses "This is for Simon" before injecting Francis Chester with a fatal overdose.
  • Animal Assassin: In "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations"), the Victim of the Week is murdered by being force fed Irukandji jellyfish: the most venomous jellyfish in the world.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Rather arty credits which transform from scenery to pathology. For instance the Brisbane River becomes a blood vessel on a human heart and the grooves on a record change into a fingerprint.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Harrow drives over Brisbane's iconic Story Bridge while talking on his mobile phone. The call is about four times as long as driving over the bridge should take.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: After Chester injects Callan with a large dose of succinylcholine in "Facilis Descensus" ("The Descent is Easy"), Harrow first does CPR, then gets a crash cart and shocks him with a defibrillator. Trouble is, the EKG is shown as a flat line at the time. A shock is used when disorganized electrical signals, fibrillations, are messing up the normal electrical impulses that make the heart beat properly. Such disorganized signals show up as an erratically wiggling line. If there's a flatline, then shocking the heart won't help; it's only if there are still fibrillations happening that shocking the heart can return them to normal patterns.
  • Asshole Victim: Quinn, the mysterious body fished out of the Brisbane River in season one, was not a pleasant man: a Dirty Cop with a gambling addiction who was sexually abusing his stepdaughter.
  • Bait-and-Switch: "Hic Sunt Dracones" ("Here be dragons") starts with an older gentleman backing his car out of his garage while a young lad skateboards along the street. There is a thump. The old man gets out of his car to see... the kid with a skateboard, fine, but staring at the dead crocodile under the car's wheels.
  • Blade Enthusiast: In "Finis Vitae Sed Non Amoris" ("The End of Life, but not of Love"), a former soldier suffering from PTSD has a huge collection of knives, which makes him the primary suspect when a body is discovered in his backyard.
  • Berserk Button: Homophobia is a big one for Simon.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: In "Audere Est Facere" ("To Dare Is to Do"), a driver who has stopped for a cup of coffee returns to his car to find a bird has crapped on the windscreen. He curses and starts to clean it off. As he is doing so, a body plummets from the sky and impacts on the roof of his car. Startled he takes a few steps back, and narrowly misses being hit by a second body that impacts the ground a few feet away.
  • Black-Tie Infiltration: In "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations"), Harrow wants to get a water sample from an aquarium that is holding a formal reception for potential investors. Deciding that it will take the local police too long to obtain a warrant, he learns that two investors are laid up in hospital with food poisoning. Harrow steals their invitations and he and Grace infiltrate the reception using their identities.
  • Bookends: The titles of the first and last episodes of season one, "Actus Reus" ("Guilty Act") and "Mens Rea" ("Guilty Mind").
  • Brand X: A public phone is seen with symbols for the fictitious 'QLD Connect' covering the real Telstra logo.
  • British Brevity: though it's an Australian show; the first two seasons are 10 episodes each.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Everyone agrees that Harrow is a brilliant forensic pathologist. However, his methods are unorthodox, his personal life is a disaster, and he is constantly on the verge of being fired.
  • Buried Alive: In "Sub Silentio" ("In Silence"), Harrow attempts to dig up Francis Chester's grave in order to prove Chester is still alive. Chester overpowers Harrow and injects him with a fast acting sedative. When Harrow wakes up, he is inside the coffin. Chester taunts Daniel via a one-way phone. Francis transmits images of Fern as he closes in on her.
  • Car Cushion: At the opening of "Audere Est Facere" ("To Dare Is to Do"), a car owner is wiping bird droppings off the windscreen when a BASE jumper crashes fatally on to the roof. A second later, the jumper's partner hits the ground next to the car.
  • Cement Shoes:
    • The first episode opens with a hooded figure in a dinghy wrapping a dead body in a sleeping bag. He then fills the sleeping bag with cement, ties the entire bundle tightly with rope, and dumps it into the river. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that the figure was Harrow.
    • "Tarde Venientibus Ossa" ("For Those Who Come Late, Only the Bones") opens with the Victim of the Week drowning in the river, her feet tied to a cinder block. At the end of the episode, the murderer attempts to dispose of Harrow in the same fashion.
  • Character Name Alias: In "Ut Biberent Quoniam Esse Nollent" ("Let Them Drink, Since They Won't Eat"), James is pulling a scam involving ordering mobile phones. The name he orders them under is "Christian Grey".
  • Chiaroscuro: When Harrow is Buried Alive with a locked cell phone the only light source, this effect results.
  • Chute Sabotage: In "Audere Est Facere" ("To Dare Is to Do"), the Victim of the Week is a BASE jumper killed when the murderer switches the line for his pilot chute from the left to the right side of his pack, so he cannot find it after he jumps off the building.
  • Constructive Body Disposal: In "Malum In Se" ("Evil in Itself") a body is bricked up behind a new wall being constructed in a suburban home undergoing renovation. It stays undisturbed for a decade until the new owners of the house start ripping out the old renovations.
  • Continuity Nod: in Season 3's "Damnant Quod Non Intellegunt" ("They condemn what they do not understand"), a corpse from the day before that Harrow hasn't gotten around to examining yet, sits up on the slab and starts screaming just before the first cut. The new head of the department asks if this happens often: Harrow admits 'Once'. (He's referring to the episode, "Mes Rea")
  • Convenient Terminal Illness: The mother in "Pia mater" ("Gentle Mother") is dying of terminal cancer when she deliberately crashes her car; killing herself and her adult son. Harrow's investigation reveals her son was a burgeoning Serial Killer when she attempted to kill him in his teens. Her bullet lodged in his frontal lobe, causing a drastic personality change. Years later, an accident caused the bullet to shift and his original personality started to return. The mother, dying of cancer, decided to finish the job she started years earlier by killing them both.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: "Parce Sepulto" ("Forgive the Dead") opens with a courier arriving at a house and discovering a man hovering over the Body of the Week. After a moment's hesitation, the man bolts out the back door. He is later identified as someone who had sent several threatening emails to the victim. When arrested, he makes a False Confession, but Harrow soon figures the truth. He had arrived to pick up his fiancee (who was the real killer and had already fled) and found the body. Not sure if his fiancee had murdered her, he was checking the body to see if it was murder or an accident when the courier walked in.
  • Covert Emergency Call: In "Ab Initio" ("From the Beginning"), Harrow and Jack are being held prisoner by Mila and her thugs. While pretending to attempt to transfer the money from Jack's phone, Harrow manages to secretly text Nichols. Although he actually sends 'M-I-K-A'—due to not being able to look at the keypad when he types it—Nichols works out what he means and is able to send The Cavalry.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: In "Facilis Descensus" ("The Descent is Easy") Harrow does CPR on Callan after Chester injects him with a heavy dose of succinylcholine. Despite a flatline on the EKG, at which point electrical shocks won't do anything in real life, Harrow successfully revives him using a crash cart defibrillator. Callan appears to be fine after recovering.
  • Curse Cut Short: Twice in "Sub Silentio" ("In Silence") Harrow says "What the f—", the first being when he first wakes up inside the coffin, the second when a video call opens with a shot of Nichols before reversing to show Fern walking behind a grinning Francis Chester.
  • Darker and Edgier: The season-long mystery in season 2 compared to the one in the first season.
  • Date Rape: In "Malum In Se" ("Evil in Itself"), Harrow and Grace uncover a case of date rape at Wild Teen Party while investigating a decades old death. Although not directly connected to the death, it does result in the capture of a sexual predator.
  • Deadly Gas: In "Ne Puero Gladium" ("Don't Give a Sword to a Boy"), Harrow investigates when two separate cases of death from chlorine gas poisoning happen in the same suburb on the same day.
  • Death by Falling Over: Combined Out with a Bang in "Peccata Patris" ("Sins of the Father"). The Victim of the Week is suffering from a fatal allergic reaction to his boyfriend's sperm. However, while he is choking to death, his boyfriend's father shoves him over and he hits his head on a fountain, caving in the back of his skull.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Harrow is buried alive in "Sub Silentio" ("In Silence"), he finds the hollowest-sounding panel in the lid, then begins scratching through the wood using the protrusion where his watch band attaches to the watch. After hours of scraping and pushing on the area trying to get through it, as Harrow starts losing consciousness from oxygen starvation, we hear wood cracking, and the panel drops into the coffin, earth rapidly spilling through the hole. Harrow gets a cloth over his mouth and nose, but the dirt quickly covers his head, as well as the dying cell phone, leaving darkness and silence except for the muffled battery-low beep.
  • Electrified Bathtub: In "Ab Initio" ("From the Beginning"), the Victim of the Week is found electrocuted in his bath. It looks like the radio fell off a shelf into the tub, but Harrow notices the dust marks on the shelf indicate it had sat for for months, possibly years, and wonders why it should suddenly have fallen now.
  • Erotic Asphyxiation: In "Aurum Potestas Est" ("Gold is Power"), one Victim of the Week dies during an erotic asphyxiation session gone wrong. The other party's need to cover this up leads to murder.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations")", Harrow is discussing Francis Chester's death with Dr. Laurie Badcoe, when Badcoe says that Chester was a dangerous beast who "died in captivity". Harrow repeats "in captivity" and experiences a "Eureka!" Moment regarding the Body of the Week.
  • Evil Poacher: In "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations"), the Body of the Week is a local ranger, murdered when he uncovered a poaching ring run by his boss that is poaching rare aquatic species from the local waters and selling them to overseas collectors.
  • Exact Words: In the final episode of the first season: "Do you know what happened to Robert?" "I wish I could tell you."
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: In "Quam Innocentum Damnari" ("An Innocent Man Is Punished"), James gets Fern impersonate an aged care patient's granddaughter to collect his phone from the police. As she leaves the police station, she is ambushed by Mila's men who force her to hand over the phone. Back in her office, Mila's tech expert breaks into the phone only to discover that Fern had swapped her phone for James'.
  • False Confession: In "Parce Sepulto" ("Forgive the Dead"), Nichols is grilling Connor, a suspect in the murder of the week, who is protesting his innocence. Nichols then says that Connor can prove his innocence by taking a blood test. Connnor agrees, but then asks how a blood test will prove his innocence. Nichols tells that the killer left cannabinoid residue on the skin of the victim, and if Connor's system is free of cannabioids, he cannot be the killer. Connor then changes his tune and immediately confesses. Nichols has him arrested, but Harrow thinks this was bit too sudden, and Nichols agrees. It turns out, the killer is actually Connor's terminally ill fiancee Rebecca, and Connor is confessing to save her from going to prison.
  • Fingore: The figure who dumps Quinn's body into the river uses a bone cutter to cut off the finger bearing his wedding ring before throwing the body overboard.
  • Foreign Language Title: All of the episode titles consist of a Latin phrase followed by an English translation in brackets.
  • Frame-Up: In season two, a mysterious figure sets out to make Harrow's life a living hell. As part of this, he plants stolen drugs in Fern's apartment and then calls the police, getting her arrested. She's later framed for the murder of the man who planted the drugs
  • The Gambling Addict: One of Quinn's many nasty habits was gambling, and he owed money all over town. Nichols remarks that there are plenty of loan sharks and ex-friends he owed money to who would make for potential murder suspects, but also that Quinn never borrowed more than a couple of thousand from any one source, and that kind of sum is scarcely worth killing over.
  • Grave Robbing: After his request to exhume Chester's body is refused in "Parce Sepulto" ("Forgive the Dead"), Harrow buys a shovel and goes to the graveyard to dig it up himself.
  • Hand Stomp: A variation in "Audere Est Facere" ("To Dare Is to Do"). When Harrow is Hanging by the Fingers from the roof of Brisbane's tallest building, the killer repeatedly hits his hands with a selfie stick in an effort to make him let go.
  • Hanging by the Fingers: In "Audere Est Facere" ("To Dare Is to Do"), Harrow confronts the killer on the roof of a skyscraper. Lured over the safety rail, the killer gives Harrow a shove that leaves him hanging by his fingertips from the lip of the ledge.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Harrow falls hard for the redheaded Sgt. Dass. However, his secrets and her innate curiosity drive a wedge between them.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: In "Non Sum Qualis Eram" ("I'm not what I used to be"), Harrow's car has been taken by Fern, so he helps himself to Fairley's car keys and nicks Fairley's car.
  • Hidden Depths: In "Damnant quod non Intellegunt" ("They condemn what they do not understand") the Victim of the Week is an online antiquities dealer, and Harrow goes into modest raptures over the gorgeous and valuable antique furniture in the house. Nichols then accurately identifies a nearby antique table, and reveals how much a similar table cost him to purchase. Followed by an exchange which is very funny in a Deadpan Snarker sort of way:
    Nichols: What, you thought I got all my furniture at IKEA?
    Harrow: I did think you were somewhere on the flat-pack spectrum, yes.
    • In another example for Detective Nichols, the episode "Alea Iacta Est" ("The Die has been Cast") reveals that he's the precinct poker champion.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: The key to Harrow's locked case of antique surgical instruments is sitting in the key slot of a windup toy that is sitting on his desk.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: The main plot of season 3's "Per Stirpes" ("By Roots") is Fairly asking Harrow and Nichols to join him on a camping trip, and the many, many things that go wrong on it.
  • Houseboat Hero: Harrow lives on his sailboat anchored on the Brisbane River.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In "Ex Animo" ("From The Heart"), Harrow unravels a confusing set of clues to determine that this is what had happened to the Victim of the Week.
  • I Call It "Vera": Harrow's old and battered, but beloved, Fiat is nicknamed 'Gregory'. In season 3's "Damnant Quod Non Intellegunt" ("They condemn what they do not understand"), Harrow gets Gregory back after it was set on fire. His reaction to Gregory's restoration borders on Robo Ship; his mechanic tells Harrow to cool it before he gets embarrassed!
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episodes are named with a Latin phrase with a translation in brackets after it.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Harrow steps over the railing of a skyscraper in order to stop someone committing suicide. This is commendable, but it would be dangerous enough if the person was simply depressed. The fact that Harrow knew this person had just willingly killed her husband made it stupid in the extreme.
    • Pavich and Nichols both grab it tight and run with it in the second season, choosing to doubt Harrow's word, and later Fern's too, for absolutely no good reason. Fern does a much better job investigating than the police do, and no one bothers to note the torn cloth and scratches Harrow put into the inside of the coffin lid, or check his arm for an injection site, or even consider the possibility that the prison's dental records had been tampered with, or any of several other simple ways they could have at least attempted to confirm Harrow's eyewitness accounts.
    • When Callan's boss identifies Francis Chester's picture as their kitchen hand Frank, Fern tries to call her dad to tell him, but she never even tries to tell Nichols, who could have confirmed this and then had actual evidence independent of Harrow that Chester was still alive.
  • In the Hood: "Actus Reus" ("Guilty Act") opens with a figure in a boat Disposing of a Body; the figure's identity concealed by the hoodie he is wearing.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: In "Aurum Potestas Est" ("Gold is Power"), Simon is telling Dass about a bet between him and Harrow about who could stand in the new freezer the longest naked:
    Harrow: And I would have won if I hadn't had to take that phone call.
    Dass: Is that what the kids are calling it now?
  • I Shall Return: After he's finally caught, Francis Chester sneers that he escaped jail once and will again. Ultimately subverted, as Harrow poisons Chester to ensure he dies in custody.
  • Jailbait Wait: Daniel Harrow and Grace Molyneux face the professional equivalent in season two, since Grace has six more months of training, with Daniel as one of her supervisors, before she's fully qualified as a pathologist, so it would be highly inappropriate for them to have a relationship. Once she is fully qualified and he's no longer her supervisor, that may change.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Harrow bucks authority, abuses co-workers, lies, steals, bends or breaks laws and worse. All for good reasons but it costs him dearly. But, listen to him talk to the families of the dead and you know what is deep inside him is good.
  • Joggers Find Death: "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations") opens with a woman jogging along the beach in North Queensland. She finds a damaged Parks and Conservation boat washed up on the sand and, when she looks behind it, the Body of the Week, which has been gnawed on by sharks.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: In the flashback to the fatal fight in "Mens Rea" ("Guilty Mind"). Quinn kicks Harrow in the ribs while he is down on the floor.
  • Killed Off for Real: Simon is killed by Francis Chester at the end of "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations").
  • The Killer in Me: Season one's Story Arc was about the murder of Robert Quinn; in the season one finale "Mes Rea" ("Guilty Mind"), we discover it was Harrow who killed him, in self defense.
  • Kitchen Chase: In "Sub Silentio" ("In Silence"), Fern sends Callan a photo of Serial Killer Francis Chester. Callan looks at it and realises that Francis is his fellow kitchen hand. Francis then chases Callan through the restaurant kitchen; a chase that ends when Callan runs into the street and gets hit by a scooter.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Harrow kills Francis Chester by surreptitiously injecting him with a lethal dose of the same paralytic he used to immobilise his victims, with the added bonus of his death being written off as a heart attack.
  • Lockdown: In "Ab Initio" ("From the Beginning"), the lab goes into lockdown when Lyle and Grace perform an autopsy on the body of a smuggler discovered inside a shipping container and discover the smuggler's body is infected with Ebola-like virus.
  • Locked in a Freezer: In "Locus Poenitentiae" ("Place of Penitance") a woman who had been held as a sex slave for three years is locked in a large freezer to try to kill her; she suffers severe frostbite but is able to escape before dying. Later Harrow is locked in the same freezer; he figures out another way to escape, but is almost killed by his captor before Fairly comes to the rescue.
  • Look Both Ways: In "Sub Silentio" ("In Silence"), Callan is attempting to escape from Francis and runs out of the kitchen of the restaurant and into the street, where he gets hit by a delivery scooter.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident:
    • In "Peccata Patris" ("Sins of the Father"), the Body of the Week is arranged to make it look like he slipped on a wet boat dock and hit his head on the step. However, there was no algae in the head wound which there should have been, as the step was covered in it.
    • In "Parce Sepulto" ("Forgive the Dead") we learn that Francis Chester arranged things so that it looks like Tim fell asleep while smoking, leading to the police releasing Fern from custody where he can try to kill her a lot more easily than he could have with her in jail.
  • Man on Fire: At the end of "Locus Poenitentiae" ("Place of Penitance"), Francis immobilises Tim and burns him alive.
  • Mistaken for Dying: In "Parce Sepulto" ("Forgive the Dead"), the Victim of the Week is a health blogger who believes she was cured of cancer by a miracle mineral supplement. However, she had never actually had cancer. She had self-diagnosed as having the cancer after she experienced similar symptoms to her mother and brother, who had both died of a rare form of cancer. When she actually went to get a formal diagnosis, her manager intercepted the letter informing her that she did not have cancer, as they were making too much money promoting the supplement.
  • Murder-Suicide: In "Mens Rea" ("Guilty Mind"), Harrow is on duty when a murder/suicide pair is dropped off at the morgue. Harrow is surprised when the murdered half turns out to be a colleague of his. He is then shocked when the 'suicide' half wakes up and proceeds to hold him hostage.
  • My Greatest Failure: Grace reveals in Season 2 why she quit neurosurgery for pathology: she convinced a boy's parents that she could remove a brain tumour all other doctors they'd seen deemed inoperable. As it turned out, the tumor had spread so deep into the boy's brain she had to remove a significant amount of healthy brain tissue to excise it. Though he survived the operation and the cancer was indeed cured, it was at the cost of reducing him to an Empty Shell who couldn't talk or recognize his parents, and Grace believes she should have kept her mouth shut and let the boy have what little time he had left with his family.
  • Nazi Grandpa: In "Lex Talionis" ("The Law of Retaliation"), the Victim of the Week, who was supposedly a Czech and a champion of the migrant community, is revealed to have been an officer at Auschwitz. He was murdered by one of his victims who recognised him and had herself admitted to the same nursing home specifically to kill him.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: In "Hic Sunt Dracones" ("Here be Dragons"), Harrow is called in after a human arm is found inside a dead crocodile. He is less than pleased when he has to go fossicking around inside a croc's nest in an attempt to find the rest of the body: especially as he is afraid of lizards.
  • Never Suicide: In "Audere Est Facere" ("To Dare Is to Do"), what at first appears to be a tragic accident starts to look like suicide. However, as Harrow continues to dig deeper, he discovers that the 'suicide' is actually a carefully planned murder.
  • Noodle Incident: When Harrow comes into the morgue barefoot in "Hic Sunt Dracones" ("Here be Dragons"), Dass and Simon start guessing what happened to his shoes. When Simon guesses "Threw them at a Council worker?" Harrow replies, "That only happened once."
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite the show being set in Brisbane, Ioan Gruffudd is clearly making no attempt at an Aussie accent. A throwaway line explains it: in fact, conveniently, Dr. Harrow is from Wales. The backstory of what brought a Welsh doctor to Australia is unexplained until Season 3 when Harrow mentions coming to work in Australia as a newly qualified doctor.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: In "Aurum Potestas Est" ("Gold is Power"), an official from the Department of Energy does everything in her power to stymie Harrow's investigation when it threatens to derail a multi-billion dollar mining deal.
  • Offing the Offspring: In "Pia mater" ("Gentle Mother"), a mother deliberately crashes her car, killing both herself and her adult son. Harrow's job is to find out why.
  • Oh, Crap!: Chester's reaction to realising Harrow has fatally poisoned him.
  • One-Word Title
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Dass realises this about Harrow's actions during the series, specifically that he had made apparent mistakes in forensic science despite being the best pathologist in the state, fueling her suspicions about his connection to Quinn's death.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: In "Locus Poenitentiae" ("Place of Penitance"), Harrow and Fairley—who are pathologists—are forced to deliver a baby for a woman undergoing a Screaming Birth on the side of the road. Harrow notes that Fairley at least did an obstetrics rotation during his residency, which makes him the slightly more qualified of the two.
  • Out with a Bang: In "Peccata Patris" ("Sins of the Father"), the Victim of the Week is a gay schoolboy who suffers a severe, potentially fatal (if not treated) allergic reaction to semen while giving his boyfriend oral sex for the first time. This leads to Death by Falling Over when he is given a shove while choking and his head hits the edge of a fountain, killing him..
  • Papa Wolf: While he and his daughter Fern have their issues, Harrow will do just about anything to protect her including committing murder. In season 3 it remains to be seen how far he'll go for his previously unknown son, James.
  • Parking Problems: In "Non Sum Qualis Eram" ("I'm not what I used to be"), Harrow "borrows" Fairley's car without asking. When he returns it, he leaves it in a No Standing zone, so that when Fairley comes out to find his car, he is immediately handed a parking ticket.
  • Percussive Pickpocket: While trying to find out who framed her in "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations"), Fern deliberately bumps into a pharmacist and lifts his car keys.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The discovery of Quinn's body in the river is the triggering event that starts Daniel Harrow's life unravelling.
  • Pop the Tires: In "Peccata Patris" ("Sins of the Father"), Nichols discovers that someone slashed Quinn's tyres two weeks before he was murdered. At the end of the episode, CCTV footage reveals that the person responsible was Fern Harrow.
  • Posthumous Character: Quinn, the mysterious body pulled up from the river in the first episode and not identified for several episodes thereafter. He only ever appears in photos and in flashbacks.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In "Aurum Potestas Est" ("Gold is Power"), Detective Senior Sergeant note  Nichols asks the Obstructive Bureaucrat if she can pass a written message to her government Minister. The message says 'Fuck Off'.
    • When Harrow wakes up in "Sub Silentio" ("In Silence") and hits his head on the coffin lid, his reaction is, "What the fu--". He says it again when Chester video-calls him and he sees first Nichols, then his daughter walking right behind Chester.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Ransacked Room: At the end of "Quam Innocentum Damnari" ("An Innocent Man Is Punished"), Fern arrives back at James' house after being hassled by Mila's men to warn him that Mila is coming for him. However, when she gets there, she finds the front door open, the lounge room trashed, blood on the floor and James gone.
  • Rape as Drama: Fern Harrow was sexually abused by her stepfather; it's why Harrow killed him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Detective Senior Sergeant Bryan Nichols is a grumpy old cuss who doesn't seem to like Harrow (or anyone else) very much. He still stops everyone and everything from interfering with Harrow's investigations. At least until he determines that Harrow and his family may be connected to Quinn's death. He loses this status for much of the second series, though.
  • Scenery Porn: The series has some lovely shots of Brisbane (city and river) and gives viewers a good look at several Queenslanders (a style of house typical of the city's older suburbs). Other scenes show off smarter homes, very personalised workplaces and lush bush landscapes.
  • Shark Pool: During a confrontation with the murderer and her mook in "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations"), Harrow and the thug fall into the aquarium's shark tank during the struggle.
  • Slashed Throat: This is how the Victim of the Week is murdered in "Aurum Potestas Est" ("Gold is Power"). Her body is then dumped on the railroad tracks in an attempt to mask the cause of death.
  • Spanner in the Works: In "Quam Innocentum Damnari" ("An Innocent Man Is Punished"), after killing the Victim of the Week, the murderer comes up with a brilliant scheme to frame the victim's lover for the crime. What they did not realise is that the lover was already dead at the time the murder took place.
  • Spice Rack Panacea: The Victim of the Week in "Parce Sepulto" ("Forgive the Dead") is a health blogger promoting a mineral supplement she claims cured her of cancer. Unbeknownst to her, she never actually had cancer and the mineral supplement is loaded with heavy metals that have been slowly poisoning her.
  • Surgeons Can Do Autopsies If They Want: Handled realistically with Dr. Grace Molyneux. Grace is a neurosurgeon making a career change to being a pathologist. She is retraining under Dr. Harrow's supervision and is not permitted to perform postmortems on her own.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In "Peccata Patris" ("Sins of the Father"), Fairley is arguing with Harrow about who should get Maxine's position if she leaves as he walks out of his office:
    Fairley: If anyone should get that head job, it's me!
    (turns around and finds he is face-to-face with Simon)
    Fairley: That's not what it sounded like!
  • This Bear Was Framed: In "Aegri Somnia" ("Hallucinations"), Harrow and Grace conduct an autopsy of a ranger who appears to have died as a result of shark attack. However, the true cause of death is Irukandji jellyfish stings. Harrow eventually determines that he was not stung after falling out of his boat, but by being force fed the jellyfish.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: In "Pia mater" ("Gentle Mother"), what appears to be a straightforward car accident takes a turn for the weird when the autopsy reveals one of the victims had a bullet lodged in his brain. A bullet that had been there for years before the accident. The bullet remained lodged in his frontal lobe for decades and changed his personality from burgeoning serial killer to gentle animal lover. A minor bingle in his sister's car resulted in his head hitting the dashboard; the impact slightly dislodged the bullet and caused his original personality to resurface. His mum, already terminal from cancer, decided to crash her ute with him in it to stop him from hurting anyone else.
  • Turn in Your Badge: At the end of "Parce Sepulto" ("Forgive the Dead"), Maxine suspends Harrow and demands his ID and building pass after she catches him forging her signature on an exhumation order. Harrow's suspension remains in place for the remainder of the season.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Simon, both Asian and gay. This caused accusation of Bury Your Gays to the show after he is killed off midway through season 2.
  • Vorpal Pillow: Used to murder the Victim of the Week in "Lex Talionis" ("The Law of Retaliation"): an elderly patient in a nursing home. The murderer first straps the victim to the bed to reduce the struggling.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: In "Mens Rea" ("Guilty Mind"), Harrow is shocked when one half of a Murder-Suicide rises up off the slab and proceeds to pull the knife out of the other half and take him hostage.
    • in "Damnant Quod Non Intellegunt" ("They condemn what they do not understand"), a corpse that Harrow hasn't gotten around to examing yet sits up on the slab and starts screaming. This turns out to be from a snake bite, which lowered the woman's heartbeat until her family physician couldn't detect it, and he was the one who certified her as dead - at least as best he could with the woman's husband having hysterics. This becomes important when you realise that Mrs Kovacs' wound was on her throat, her husband grew up in an isolated area of Romania, and a young man in the neighbourhood had the rare blood disease porphyria and decided to embrace the vampire lifestyle.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In "Sub Silentio" ("In Silence") a billionaire is put into a casket that's supposed to contain an ancient Egyptian mummy. The Egyptian antiquities expert who was supposed to escort the mummy back to Egypt seems to be the only one asking what happened to the casket's original contents, and we never do learn what happened to the mummy.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Harrow is afraid of lizards. This becomes especially relevant in "Hic Sunt Dracones" ("Here be Dragons") where the case starts with a human arm found inside a crocodile, and later involves a wildlife smuggler with a boat full of exotic lizards.
  • Wild Teen Party: In "Malum In Se" ("Evil in Itself"), the death turns out to be the result of a wild university party being held by a student while his parents are out of the country.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: In "Alea Iacta Est" ("The Die has been Cast"). The killer orchestrates a double murder in order to claim a time capsule containing a valuable rare stamp. When the capsule is opened after the killer is arrested, it turns out the time capsule wasn't laid correctly and moisture seeped in, rotting the stamp away.