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S04E22 – Body Politic

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Down in Ohio this week Fletcherfans, where JB is visiting her friend Kathleen Laine who is running for state senate. Unfortunately for Kathleen, all anyone (particularly TV host Edmund Hall) wants to talk about is her love life and rumours that she’s been cheating on her husband and resident wealthy dude Jackson with her campaign manager Bud Johnson.

Oh the 80s. Isn’t it great that in 2014 politicians don’t resort to cheap tactics and focus on issues?

*Tumbleweed blows past, crickets chirp*

Indeed.

Unfortunately that is the least of Kathleen’s problems though, as her speechwriter has also resigned. So when JB arrives to help drum up support for her friend’s campaign, Kathleen has a favour to ask – would JB stay and be speech writer?

“Look, Kathleen, if you give me a good juicy murder and a few suspects my imagination will swing into high gear but speechifying? I’m not sure I could write on a soapbox!” says JB.

YOU GUYS JB SAID SPEECHIFYING! The only person I hear say ‘speechifying’ is me when I”m pretending to be a a country lawyer in a 1950s courtroom drama (and you’d be surprised how often this happens, I do get bored doing the dishes).

Anyway, JB is ultimately persuaded by her friend’s campaign slogan and agrees to stay for a week.

I didn't work it out until I IMDB'd. Side note that top is amazing.

I didn’t work it out until I IMDB’d. Side note that top is amazing.

The next day Edmund Hall gets an anonymous tip to go to the train station, where he gets a call on a payphone with instructions to open the phone book. Someone has very conveniently left him a key to a locker and inside the locker – an envelope containing something so shocking Ed Hall’s face begins to twitch with delight.

Meanwhile, JB is hard at work on Kathleen’s next campaign speech and getting tips from Bud. Another member of staff, Nan Wynn, arrives back from a campaign stop and tells them that the Party Chairman invited Kathleen around to his house for dinner after her speech at the old folks home.

Later that night while Jess is getting ready for bed, the eleven o’clock news comes on and it is soon revealed just what had Ed Hall palpitating with delight – pictures of Bud and Kathleen. IN THEIR BATHING SUITS! SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

Jess tries to call Kathleen’s room but there’s no answer. On her way over she bumps into Nan who has also seen the news. She can’t find Kathleen or Bud. The mystery is soon resolved when Kathleen pulls up in the campaign car downstairs to find police and onlookers surrounding the body of Bud the campaign manager – an apparent suicide.

While being questioned by local cop Lieutenant Gowans it is revealed that Bud fell from Kathleen’s hotel room balcony, while wearing her robe. Kathleen has no explanation for this, but insists she wasn’t having an affair with Bud. She gets a phone call from her husband who tells her he’s an hour away. Meanwhile, Gowan’s minions have found something in Bud’s room – specifically his pants. JB takes note of this while pointing out to Gowans that his fingerprint dude didn’t find one print on the balcony door, and that it would be weird for someone committing suicide to wipe their own prints off the handle.

Gowan confronts Kathleen with the photos but she still insists that they weren’t having an affair.  Gowans tells her that they have established time of death to be just after the news bulletin aired, and could she confirm where she was? JB tells him she was at the party chairman’s house but Kathleen tells them that when she got there noone answered the door so she sat in her car for half an hour and drove back to the hotel. With that she goes to her new room to wait for Jackson. In her old room, Gowans finds a note with polling numbers scribbled on it showing Kathleen trailing her opponent Arthur Drelinger by only 7 points. Nan tells them that she wrote the note but pushed it under the door when she realised Kathleen wasn’t back in her room (or didn’t want to be disturbed). She hadn’t told anyone else about the new poll. Upstairs, Kathleen assures Jackson that she wasn’t having an affair and he believes her. Yay!

The next morning Kathleen and Jackson call a press conference to present a united front and smack down the unbelievers including Edmund Hall. Jackson tells reporters he believes his wife, and that since she’s only 7 points down in the polls he believes she’ll win on primary day. Everything is awesome until Edmund Hall starts insinuating that Kathleen killed Bud and so Jackson goes ballistic. FFS SOMEONE CALL OLIVIA POPE.

Down at the police station Gowans is convinced that Kathleen killed Bud but hasn’t worked out how to prove it yet. He admits to JB that due to insufficient evidence the case might not ever get to trial if Kathleen was even arrested. JB is furious, as her friend is already facing a trial by media, and asks Gowans if he’d considered the possibility that someone was setting Kathleen up. He tells her that yes, the thought had crossed his mind.

“Well next time it starts crossing, Lieutenant, please stop it half way and give it some attention. I have known this woman for seventeen years and believe me, she is incapable of deceit or subterfuge. And also she is incapable of committing murder.” JB declares.

The crowd goes wild (I call myself the crowd now).

“I get it, she’s your friend I understand.” Gowans says in a tone that can only be described as Horrifyingly Patronising,

*pew pew* (I wish I could do this though)

*pew pew* (I wish I could do this though)

 

Back at the hotel Jess is waylaid by Edmund Hall who would like to offer her an open invitation to appear on his show. She tells him she will consider it if he tells her the source of the photos. Eddie is forced to admit he has no idea, he got an anonymous phone call that paid off, but he doesn’t want that info getting out.

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JB goes to see Kathleen who is flummoxed by the thought that someone killed Bud to win an election. JB asks her about the failed dinner with the party chairman and Kathleen tells her that he never called – someone pretending to be him called Nan to set the meeting up/lure her away from the hotel. Jess decides it’s time to visit the source of Kathleen’s troubles.

Great minds think alike. Gowans pays a visit to Arthur Drelinger and his campaign manager (and shady character) CW Butterfield and discovers that their alibi is a little on the hazy side. On his way out Gowans bumps into JB and tells her that her speech got to him so he’s trying to tie off loose ends, and getting nowhere. JB has a different line of questioning, specifically about the photos. CW and Arthur both condemn the photos but get a little flustered when JB mentions the dirt file she’s heard about from an ‘unnamed source’ (Edmund Hall). They are interrupted by someone coming in with new polling info – it’s Nan. She swears to JB she wasn’t a spy for Arthur, she just followed the money and escaped the bad polls. She shows JB the polling history – Kathleen started 20 points behind, got as close as 5 points on the day of the murder but then the scandal made her drop 12.

Well that can’t be right, says JB. The polling data Nan shoved under the door had shown Kathleen down by 7.  Turns out Nan got the info wrong, but luckily the only people she told were Gowans and JB.

Wait a minute…

When JB arrives at Kathleen’s house the media pack have gathered. Kathleen is pulling out of the race. As she speaks to the media JB (and later Lieutenant Gowans) have a quiet word with the killer. They know who took the photos and sent them to Edmund Hall. They know who set up the fake meeting with the party chief. And they know who killed Bud.

This got sad rather quickly :\

This got sad rather quickly

Alas for Kathleen, her husband’s questionable business practices were not going to stand under scrutiny. And when Bud worked out Jackson wasn’t in the Bahamas at the time the photos were taken like he claimed…well you get the picture.

And so concludes season 4 of Murder She Blogged. Stay tuned for season 5 next week. But first, I have a favour to ask you all.

On October 5 I’m taking part in the 7 Parks Walk to raise money for the Cancer Council Victoria (I figured it was more of a challenge that dumping a bucket of ice water on my head). I’m almost half way to my target of $500, so if you have a few coins around that you want to give to a good cause, my supporter page is here.

Thanks gang!

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S04E21 – Deadpan

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Back in NYC this week gang where a little play is preparing for opening night and town critic Eliot Easterbrook is interviewing the show’s producer, playwright and the author of the book the show is based on.

Frankly, I think she could have done all three jobs but whatever

Frankly, I think she could have done all three jobs but whatever

As you can probably guess, Eliot is instantly dismissive of the play but is curious to know whether JB is in town to help rewrite the show before it opens the following evening. The producer, Shayne Grant, assures him that there will be no rewrites and JB says she’s only in town to see the show and to bask in her former student Walter’s  success.

“So is that a prediction, or is that hype?” Frowns Eliott.

“Isn’t it true that the only thing you can predict about the theatre is that it will be unpredictable?” Smiles JB.

“Oh bravo Mrs Fletcher! You must have stayed up all night thinking that one up!” says Eliott.

“No, actually Moliere did it for me about 200 years ago.” Says JB.

I love the sound of a Fletcher burn in the morning. (Or evening)

I love the sound of a Fletcher burn in the morning. (Or evening)

Across town, Elliott’s competition, a critic called Danny O’Mara watches the show and has a good old cackle to himself (and his film crew if you look closely in the above photo). The next day, while JB tries to get out of more interviews and Walter wonders how they can get Danny O’Mera to review the show when he appears before them, introducing himself to JB and saying he likes her style in taking down Eliott. He asks her if she’s seen the show yet and she tells him they are going to watch a dress rehearsal right after lunch. Danny tells her that from what he’s heard she’d better make it a light lunch.

As they get ready to depart Walter tells JB that there have been some changes between the first script he sent to her and the script being used for the show. JB says he doesn’t need to fish for compliments but that he wanted to let her know about the witch.

“Which witch?” Asks JB.

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Walter says that JB must hate and despise it, which Jess says isn’t true (because she’s a diplomat and has had years of dealing with the hot mess that is Grady Fletcher). She asks him what happened to the original script but he says it got buried in “improvements”.

Not to worry, says Jess. Bad dress rehearsal, good opening night!

This is the EXACT FACE I had watching Richmond "play" football today. #stillnotninththough

This is the EXACT FACE I had watching Richmond “play” football today. #stillnotninththough

Oh God. You guys, look what the play is called!

Aw yeah

Aw yeah

It’s opening night time, and while Walter stresses out in the audience after spotting the arrival of Danny O’Mara and his associate Denise, an announcement goes out that one of the roles will be performed by an understudy due to illness. Just as the curtain goes up, Eliott Easterbrook appears to take his pompous place. During the intermission Walter takes his stress to the bar, and after watching Eliot and Danny have an argument in the middle of the foyer Walter decides the best move is to go and get really drunk, leaving Jess to take in the second act on her own.

Later at the afterparty, Walter is nowhere to be seen and JB is working hard to avoid talking to the witch – Barbara Blair. Shayne calls for attention and they tune in to Elliot’s segment on the 11 o’clock news. The review of the show is…well, terrible. To celebrate, Shayne throws her glass at the television.

But wait! All is not lost! Walter reappears looking much like I did on Saturday night drunk and waving the early editions of the papers around. Specifically, Danny O’Mara’s review in the Chronicle. It’s a smash hit! Walter particularly enjoys reading out the bit where Danny points out that it’s the sort of play a low-calibre high-ego critic is sure to hate.

He wishes he thought of it firs though

He wishes he thought of it firs though

Eliott can take a hint where he hears one and announces it was time to shut the windbag (paraphrasing a lot) up permanently.

Cut to shots fired and the NYPD rocking up to finding Danny O’Mara dead on the floor and Eliot standing over him, gun in hand.

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Denise Quinlan, O’Mara’s assistant, is summoned to the crime scene with JB in tow. When they arrive they hear Lieutenant Jarvis interrogating Eliot and Denise tells the lieutenant of Eliot’s threat to end O’Mara permanently. Eliot claims he meant get him fired.

JB tries to explain to the lieutenant that it was impossible for Eliot to have gotten to O’Mara’s with enough time to kill him but Jarvis has been awake for 3 days and has bigger problems. He arrests Eliot who informs him that the facts will clear him and when they do Jarvis will find himself in a spot of trouble. He also asks JB he would sincerely appreciate it if she would direct her attention to murder at the quilting bee or whatever her next pot boiler is going to be called.

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Don’t sass The Sass

Down at the theatre the next morning everyone is surprised to hear JB’s news that Eliot didn’t kill Danny. They have bigger fish to fry – namely capitalizing on Danny’s review. JB is about to make her final escape back to Maine when Walter finds her and begs for her help trying to save the play. As they talk, JB realises she can’t let Eliot’s arrest slide and goes to see Danny’s boss at the paper. He explains that Danny didn’t write the review at the office, he wrote it at home and emailed it in.

 

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Life Lesson #56 - They have the internet on computers now

She does manage to establish that Danny sent his review in at 11:15pm, meaning he died right after. JB’s next stop is to see Denise, newly appointed temporary critic, to ask her about Danny’s review. During Denise’s demonstration of Why Computers Are Better she accidentally uncovers a second review draft, one that matches Danny’s notes to a T.

JB’s suspicion that someone faked the printed review doesn’t go over well with Jarvis, or the fact that no bullet casings were retrieved from the crime scene despite the 911 call claiming to hear shots. He does concede that Danny could have been killed earlier and asks JB to think of all the people who came late or left early.

JB goes to see newly released Eliot, who is just as delightful as ever, saying that he got out of jail because the facts spoke for themselves, and that to please not bother him with her little show.

“Mr Easterbrook doesn’t it get tiring being the voice of disdain?” asks JB

“I never tire of putting people in their place.” Says Eliot.

Me, at least once a day.

Me, at least once a day.

An eagle-eyed Jess notices that Eliot has a copy of the script on his desk, one that belonged to the witch Barbara Blair. JB asks him who he thought wrote the fake review (since it made him apocalyptic ally angry) and while he bitches about O’Mara for a while, he gives her some names. Apparently the director, Jason Richards had a vested interest in the show’s success, having been on a downward streak with previous shows.

Cue taken, JB pays a visit to Jason who is drowning his sorrows after hearing that the Chronicle is pulling the “fake” O’Mara review and publishing the real (terrible) one. He reminds her that he was at the party with her when they found out about O’Mara’s death. The only person who wasn’t there was Walter.

Uh oh.

JB yells at his front door for a bit then returns to the theatre, where publicist Barney tells her he’s backstage working on rewrites. Walter is delighted that his original script is starting to come back, but has nothing for JB on where he was the night of the murder. This is news to Lt Jarvis’s ears and he promptly drags Walter down to the police station where Mrs Rizzo the eyewitness declares she saw Walter in the building the night O’Mara died.

Oh dear.

Lieutenant Jarvis needs no convincing and prompty arrests Walter. JB tells him not to worry, she’s got an idea. She goes down to see Barbara Blair, who confirms that she and Eliot were a thing on precisely one occasion, under orders from Shayne. Shayne confirms this but is in the middle of trying to find the good bits of the televised reviews. Rewatching Eliot’s episode causes JB to exclaim, and run out of the room.

LOL, j/k, it was Eliot the whole time!

LOL, j/k, it was Eliot the whole time!

This, my friends, is what happens when a young playwright gets burned by a critic. And he would have gotten away with it apart from the whole using the wrong name in his reviews because he got to the play late situation.

But for now

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

S04E20 – Showdown in Saskatchewan

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Greetings and salutations Fletcherfans! I have returned from my American adventure, where many a crime was solved (not true), and many a rollercoaster was ridden (absolutely true and my word I cackled a lot doing it). However, it is time to put such business aside.

JB is at home, solving the case of the dirty oven when she gets a phone call from her cousin Louise. Her daughter Jill has run off to the magical kingdom of Canada to follow a rodeo around and has taken up with one of the cowboys and would Jess go and bring her home?

There are no words in the English language to accurately describe how much this outfit pleases me

There are no words in the English language to accurately describe how much this outfit pleases me

Needless to say, JB is up to the challenge. Especially once she meets said cowboy.

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Challenge accepted.

Challenge accepted.

That afternoon they all meet for beers and dancing at the bar but the entertainment is cut short by the arrival of the rodeo doctor, Doc Shaeffer, who is drunk out of his gourd and wanting to make the rodeo interesting – $500 bucks to either Jill’s man Marty or his rival Boone if they can stay on the Doc’s bull. A closer inspection of the bull reveals his disposition to be sunny (by which I mean bull sent from Hell), at which point Marty’s strapper Luke fractures his leg trying to get away from it. Luke is kept in the Doc’s trailer overnight for observation, while the Doc also informs Marty that he will be set down for the next day’s showdown due to concussion.

Later that night, Boone is trying to hypnotize the bull (probably not true) when he spots smoke coming out of the Doc’s trailer. Being a good cowboy he kicks the door down and retrieves Luke and the Doc. Alas for the Doc it was too late. The show must go on though, and while the rodeo gets under way the next morning Boone gets a visit from Inspector Roger McCabe, also known as Canadian Tom Selleck.

(Sorry Canada)

(Sorry Canada)

Jess finds Jill, who informs her of the Doc’s demise and the arrival of the Saskatchewan 5-0 who think it was murder. Jill is worried, she can’t find Marty and she’s worried he’s going to get accused of something. Like being foxy.

On the case, JB goes to the Doc’s trailer to investigate and finds Inspector McCabe, who is delighted to meet her. Well that never happens. See how nice Canadians are? He tells her that the fire marshal has confirmed that the fire was deliberately lit, and considering that everyone knew how much the doc suffered with emphysema, it was definitely murder.

Down at the rodeo the bull riding is about to commence and it’s all getting real.

Just chill.

Just chill.

Boone Talbot is up first and doesn’t deliver his usual blistering…ride? Attempt? I’m not going to lie I am a bit out of my area here. He and his wife Carla both look stressed.

JB goes to the hospital to see Luke and bumps into the Doc’s wife Consuela, who admits to being relieved that the Doc is dead. He was a mean man, and Consuela thought that when he worked his previous job as a prison doctor he was on the wrong side of the bars. Meanwhile Luke has recovered from his ordeal and is refusing to get his leg x-rayed again, saying he had better things to do, like help Marty win the title. Inspector McCabe arrives and offers to drive him to the rodeo. On the way, he and JB ask Luke if he remembered anything and he tells them he thinks he heard footsteps and the sound of fancy spurs.  At the rodeo Jill is giving Marty a rubdown (not a metaphor) and begging him to let her go home with him after the season when Luke arrives. He orders her to go and make him a coffee to which she says “Make it yourself” and flounces off. You tell him sister.

JB has a chat to Carla and learns that the rodeo clown, Wally Bryce, had once been a rider under Luke’s management until a rowdy bull and a broken leg set by a drunk Doc Shaeffer put an end to his career. Jess informs the Inspector of this before Jill comes over looking for a friendly ear. Jess tells her to talk to Marty and not to accept an answer she doesn’t like, but it all becomes somewhat irrelevant with the arrival of Marty’s wife and son.

THAT BASTARD.

Sensing tension, Marty takes his wife and son to prepare for the bull riding, which is up next and a tutorial in how to splice together footage of rodeo riding with footage of Hollywood actors riding mechanical bulls. *cough* It all goes pear-shaped when Marty’s bull goes crazy, throws Marty and then attacks Boone when he tries to step in. Jill and JB are called and arrive to see Luke losing it at Marty for pulling out of the competition so that Boone would remain in front and win the prize money.

Still a bastard.

Someone hollers that a long distance phone call for the Doc is on the line, so JB decides to take it. It’s the warden from the prison that the Doc used to work at, returning the call the Doc made to him the previous evening. This gives JB an idea, which is a relief because I’m still coming to terms with the mechanical bull montage.

HOLY CRAP IT'S BARRY GIBB

HOLY CRAP IT’S BARRY GIBB

Apparently when he wasn’t in a Bee Gees tribute band Luke was an escaped prisoner from the jail the Doc used to work at, and in order to prevent the Doc from blabbing, he set the fire. You know, like a normal person.

And with that, Jess and Jill leave Scumbag Marty to it and jet off into the wild blue yonder.

Until next time.

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And now, a word from our sponsor

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Murder She Blogged is going on a little hiatus while I go on an epic voyage to USA to solve mysteries, attend a wedding and eat a cronut. Definitely not in that order though.

But never fear! The blog will return in September to find more proof that JB Fletcher is the greatest person ever. In the mean time, I leave you with this video, which is everything.

See you soon Fletcherfans!

S04E19 – Just Another Fish Story

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Oh look who’s back.

Why. Just, why.

Look at him. No clue.

JB is in New York to visit the World’s Worst Human Being, who has just gotten engaged. Now if that doesn’t prove there’s someone in this world for everyone then I don’t know what does. Grady, Donna and JB are set to have dinner at Alice’s Farm, a restaurant that Grady does the books for and convinced JB to invest in (so presumably it’s about to go under then). Donna is late, leaving Grady and JB to fight with the maitre’d  Chaz Gautier (aka Hymie from Get Smart) about the mysterious case of the disappearing reservation. It is left to the brother of the chef, Doug Brook, to sort it out and scold Chaz about taking bribes for tables (I should point out that it seems like the restaurant is a steakhouse that serves flaming ribs on pitchforks and charging $22.50 for fried chicken. Blessed are the 80s).

While they wait for a table JB gets stuck into the wine list and listens to the bar tender tell stories about pouring wine for Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway. They are joined at the bar by ‘trends’ columnist Mimi Harcourt who calls JB Jennifer and says that her readers don’t read fiction, they prefer to make their own scene. What a top human being. As she swans off to go be fabulous somewhere else, Donna finally arrives with some news – her parents are going away to Europe but want to throw a party for the happy couple, specifically tomorrow night at their house upstate. Grady doesn’t take the news well but JB loves a party and says it will be delightful. She begs them to tell her all about their plans for the wedding and it is soon revealed that neither of them have any idea about life/wedding planning.

JB has a similar view of weddings to me, as it turns out.

Amen.

Amen.

They finally get a table and Grady and Donna are amazed to discover that they want the same things. JB is on to her third glass of wine and is delighted for them/everyone who has ever lived and tries to order caviar to celebrate but alas the kitchen is out. Instead the waiter offers oeuf de poulet  -hard boiled eggs. Same same, right?

By the end of the night JB is well and truly boozed, and offers a sneak preview of the speech she’ll give at the wedding.

MY HERO.

MY HERO.

Chef Alice comes out to thank JB for investing in the restaurant and JB congratulates her on her success and the fish. Later, they drop Donna home and Grady celebrates life by jamming his fingers in the door of the taxi. Not even making that up.

The next morning, JB gets a call from Donna. The police are at her apartment to take her down to the restaurant. Chaz has turned up dead in the freezer room. At the restaurant NYPD’s finest, led by Lieutenant Rupp, show the ledgers to Donna and ask her why some of the entries have been whited out. Donna has no idea, she only brought the books up to date the previous day. Rupp is delighted, and says it shouldn’t be too hard for them to work out what was removed. Jess tries to explain that they have to go upstate to attend an engagement party but he is unmoved, even when JB helpfully spots a pocket knife wedged in between some boxes in the freezer room. Alice and Doug Brooke arrive and Alice discovers that six cases of lobster tails have disappeared. Rupp asks Doug about the receipt found in Chaz’s pocket and Doug explains its from the register, showing the final days take.

Back at his apartment Grady tells JB that he’s off to help Donna with the books and might be some time. JB asks him why he’s so terrified of meeting Donna’s family and the truth comes out – Grady has met Donna’s father before. About five years ago. When he fired Grady after a couple of days.

UNSURPRISED JESS IS UNSURPRISED

UNSURPRISED JESS IS UNSURPRISED

While JB comforts Grady as best she can, the phone rings. Mimi Harcourt is doing a piece about the restaurant and would like to have a late breakfast with JB. Grady accepts immediately on JB’s behalf and begs her to go, saying that she might find out all sorts of gossip that might help them get away quicker so he can face his doom.

Over breakfast, Mimi tells JB that the proprietor of the establishment, Valentino (aka Sonny Bono), was furious when Alice left to start her own business, taking Doug and Harry the bartender with her. Business has been quiet ever since, to the point where he now plays a tape of people talking to make the restaurant have more ambience. JB asks Mimi about the article she’s writing but it isn’t about the murder, it’s about people investing. Or something. I kind of zoned out for a second. Mimi is then called away on urgent business – her nail designer has just been arrested and Mimi has a party to get to.  She hands JB money for her share of the bill and sashays away.

JB goes to have a chat with the owner, Valentino

#sorrynotsorry

#sorrynotsorry

JB tells him that’s very kind, but he says not at all. Besides, it’s easier than starting a new register tape.

Cue ‘clue discovery’ music.

JB heads to the police station with Grady and Donna to report to Lieutenant Rupp her theory that Chaz was closing the till early and pocketing the money that came in later. Donna and Grady also discovered that the restaurant was paying for goods that were never received. Rupp is disappointed they haven’t found more, and ask them to continue examining the books. JB tells him that he can’t keep them there against their will, but he says they can do it the easy way or the hard way. He has bigger fish to fry – the murder weapon was a knife with a sickle shaped blade but they haven’t had any luck finding it yet.

While Donna and Grady go back to the books, JB eats with Alice and Doug. JB compliments them again on the fish, and Alice says it was the same as the previous night, the frozen yellow-tail. Doug had pulled it out of the freezer the previous night to defrost. Doug denies it.

The point, apparently, is this:

I TOLD YOU HE HAD BIGGER FISH TO FRY *drops mic*

I TOLD YOU HE HAD BIGGER FISH TO FRY *drops mic*

This danger fish business does have a precedent, as you might remember:

Oh dear. I’m about to fall down a youtube rabbit hole. Focus!

Back at the police station, Rupp is suspicious of Alice’s assurances that she didn’t see blood on the fish before she cooked it, and that she and Doug were both home all night. JB points out that the cunning use of fish indicates the murder wasn’t premeditated and that it was most likely that the killer caught Chaz in the middle of stealing the lobster tails. Rupp decides he needs to read one of JB’s books.

Down at the restaurant Grady and Donna are poring over the books but not getting anywhere. It takes a visit from JB to point out that the initials on the list of investors are probably silent partners, and that it seems likely that M.H stands for Mimi Harcourt, whom JB decides to pay a visit on. Donna says she needs something from the office and share the cab. While they drive. Donna tells JB she’s starting to have doubts about everything, including the wedding. Apparently, Grady is starting to remind Donna of her perfectionist father.

Donna seems to have gotten Grady confused with someone else

Donna seems to have gotten Grady confused with someone else

JB assures her that she’s never met two people more suited to each other, and in this I agree. (They got married in real life, so aww to that). JB tells her that if she doesn’t want to be an accountant she shouldn’t, and Donna confesses all she wants to be is a stay-at-home Mum.

Mimi is alarmed with JB outs her as an investor and tells her that noone was meant to know, except Chaz had been blabbing all over town. Jess says that must have made Mimi angry but Mimi’s having none of that, besides she has an alibi for the whole night Chaz died. She was in her apartment, with Doug Brooke. Jess then confronts Alice with this news and Alice admits she made up the alibi because she wasn’t sure where her brother was.

Jess has a theory about who was buying the stolen food, and goes to see her buddy Valentino. He denies stealing the food but doesn’t deny buying food from less than reputable sources. The phone rings, and it’s Grady looking for JB. “It’s happened again.” He tells her.

“Another murder?” JB asks, horrified.

“I’ve been dumped.” Says Grady.

Her work is never done.

Her work is never done.

At the restaurant, JB tries to console Grady who is miserable. All he wants is a wife who will stay home and raise the kids, but he doesn’t want to get in Donna’s way for her career. Yada yada you see where I’m going with this right?

Rupp turns up and tells JB he’s arrested Valentino for the murder, which makes no sense to JB since he had no motive. She wonders how the stolen supplies got delivered, since the merchandise was gone after Chaz’s murder. She remembers where she last saw the pocket knife she found in the freezer room and confronts Harry, who confesses to being Chaz’s accomplice but not his killer.

Meanwhile, Grady is still sitting at the bar mumbling about whether it was his fault when he said that Donna shouldn’t have been calculating the value of the stolen lobster tails and caviar. This sets off alarm bells in Jess’s head, which is funny because this whole damn episode has been a giant alarm bell.

Nevertheless, the killer has been busted. And yes it’s who you think it is.

This episode is so weird.

This episode is so weird.

But the good news is, it was self defence. Donna worked out Chaz’s scam, and went to confront him about it. He tried to cut her in on the deal but she refused, so he came at her, so she came at him with a dead fish, causing him to slip and whack his head.

Who cares though, right? Grady and Donna are back on (and even though they are equally derpy it’s nice to know they’ve found each other) and JB has saved the day. Again.

So until next time.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

S04E18 – Benedict Arnold Slipped Here

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Back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans, where Our Heroine is doing a Good Deed and checking in on town shut-in Tilly Adams, who has unfortunately passed away. Crikey, this went dark quickly.

Meanwhile, across town, Mr Tribbles (who is not a cat) is serving Emily Goshen at his antique shop/pawnbrokers and explaining to her why she now has to pay $50 to get her brooch back (and by her brooch he means the one she stole from Tilly while cleaning her house) when his son Kevin Tribbles (also not a cat) comes barrelling in with the news that Tilly has passed away. Seeing dollar signs, Mr Tribbles orders Kevin to get his suit cleaned, they have a funeral to go to.

Wow, what a delightful bunch.

I'm not entirely sure who I think is thinking this, to be honest.

I’m not entirely sure who I think is thinking this, to be honest.

Back at JB’s for a post-funeral cup of coffee, Seth and JB puzzle over why Benny Tribble (seriously though, how is he not a cat) was crying his crocodile tears at the funeral. They’re soon joined by Amos, who notes they look like they were at a funeral.

“Pity you weren’t there Amos,” says Seth. “It wasn’t nearly as much fun without you.”

You call that a burn? THIS IS A BURN.

You call that a burn? THIS IS A BURN.

Amos isn’t just there for the coffee and the insults – he has news about Tilly’s will. Turns out, she’s left the house to a grand niece noone knew about, some flower child who wandered off after Woodstock (jealous). The contents of the house, meanwhile, have been left to Benny Tribbles for all his kindness, a though which sets Seth off on a laughing fit for about 45 minutes.

That’s not all though. Turns out, JB has been named executor of the will. Jess is surprised, but decides it’s an honour. Seth points out that her two main tasks will be getting an appraisal of the house and taking an inventory of the contents – a task she should complete by Christmas if she’s lucky.

THESE TWO.

THESE TWO.

Meanwhile, Benny has put a call in to his little brother Wilton Tibbles, who also deals in antiques but is a bit better at it than Benny. Benny offers to cut him in on the treasures inside Tilly’s house, but Wilton doesn’t want a bar of it – until his assistant shows him the cheque they just got for $12,000 for a settee Wilton scored off Benny for 70 bucks. Then his mind is changed.

JB gets to work, and asks Eve Simpson (who you might remember from this classic episode) to appraise the house while Jess starts going through Tilly’s Epic Collection of Things. Eve hasn’t got a good report for JB – basically the house is falling down around them. JB, ever looking for the bright side of things, asks Eve if it’s true that the house had something to do with the Revolutionary war – didn’t George Washington sleep there or something?

Close, says Eve. It was Benedict Cumberbatch Arnold.

True story.

True story.

Rumour has it that Sir Ben of Edict was having a grand old time with the lady of the house, which JB thinks wouldn’t impress the D.A.R. (I had to google that. And I had to google Benedict Arnold. And then I googled when the next season of Sherlock was happening (and am still none the wiser), and then I watched the trailer for Birdman for the eleventy billionth time and then it was now. )

Anyway, Eve thinks that the only part of the house that is original is part of the den. Seeing Emily come down the stairs she also remarks loudly that the house was cleaner then too.

Emily Goshen, you seem slightly unhinged, but you're okay.

Emily Goshen, you seem slightly unhinged, but you’re okay.

Eve can’t stay and chat, a David Niven sound-a-like has expressed an interest in looking at the house. JB certainly won’t keep her from that. (I had to Google David Niven too, and now I want to read his autobiography. He sounds like my kinda guy). JB checks on Emily, who has her feet up in the den. She tells JB that the business with Benedict Cumberbatch Arnold is completely true, and what’s more there’s treasure in the house, and she’s sure Tilly probably told Benny about it.

Later that night, JB gets an unexpected visitor in the form of Tilly’s grandniece Liza who would like her inheritance in cash thank you very much. (Clearly life after Woodstock hasn’t panned out). The next morning, she discovers that Liza has taken her advice to stay close literally and set up camp on JB’s back lawn, much to Seth’s amusement. Eve Simpson is less amused, as she has someone (the David Niven sound-a-like) set to buy the house, but JB is taking her job as executor very seriously. Down at Tilly’s, while Seth lazes around and is no help at all, JB comments on a cross-stitch sampler that “is not like any I’ve seen before.” It can be seen below, completely not fiddled with by me at all.

EVERYTHING IS FORESHADOWING. #crossstitchbitch

EVERYTHING IS FORESHADOWING. #crossstitchbitch

Apparently it should show the alphabet, and a homily showing off the needleworker’s skills.

Remember when I hadn't seen Breaking Bad? No, me neither.

Remember when I hadn’t seen Breaking Bad? No, me neither.

Seth, unsurprisingly, has stopped listening and has instead found a fancy chess set in a box but is devastated when JB tells him he can’t sneak it out of the house before Benny gets his paws on it. Benny chooses that moment to turn up, his brother Wilton in tow along with Wilton’s assistant Lauren Hastings. Seth and JB leave them to it, but overhear Wilton’s plans to cut his brother out of the deal. They are soon joined by Liza, who informs Benny that if he screws her over she will peel him til all that’s left is a bad smell.

I should probably point out at this point that no one has been murdered yet.

Later that night, JB gets a visit from the David Niven sound-a-like who is looking for a tour around Tilly’s house and for the record, the guy who sounds like David Niven IS THE GUY WHO DID THE VOICE OF ROBIN HOOD WHEN HE WAS A FOX YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

It turns out Alistair Andrews is a Cumberbitch Benedict Arnold fan, to the point that he’s writing a book, so when he heard the rumours about General Arnold and his lady friend he had to come see for himself. JB hates to turn down a budding author but she just can’t spare the time. She promises him that she will tell Eve to show him around the next day. Back at the antique store, Benny has had about enough of Wilton trying to screw him over and tells him to go back to Boston.

The next morning, JB and Seth arrive at Tilly’s for another morning of hardcore cataloguing to discover the house open and Benny lying dead on the floor of the den. 24:40, and finally there’s a murder.

Amos arrives to oversee things, and immediately decides that Benny was looking up the chimney and someone hit him on the head with the poker. JB points out that it could have been the other way around, that Benny surprised an intruder.

“Yeah!” Says Amos. “And then hit him on the head with the poker!”

Eve Simpson and Alistair Andrews arrive just in time to see the body be wheeled out. JB explains to Amos that Alistair has an interest in Benedict Arnold.

“What, that traitor?” Exclaims Amos.

Not only that, it turns out, but Alistair intends to buy the house and ship it back to England where it will be a shrine to Benedict Cumberbatch Arnold.

Amos is incorrect. Tumblr was invented so that I could blog stills of The Returned and pictures of cats jumping in boxes.

Amos is incorrect. Tumblr was invented so that I could blog screenshots of The Returned and pictures of cats jumping in boxes.

JB sends Amos to get his police tape and Eve to deal with Alistair. Seth thinks they should quit taking inventory for the day, and JB agrees. When she goes to retrieve her clipboard, however, she notices that the sampler is missing from the wall. She tells Seth she wishes she had looked at it more closely (since someone deemed it important enough to steal) and Seth remembers seeing a picture of it in the town paper, and that he’ll get her a copy.

Back at home, JB finds Liza charcoaling mung beans and rice in her kitchen. She tells her about Benny’s death but Liza heard it in the radio. JB then points out that she went to check on her the previous night, and again in the morning but there was no sign of Liza. JB is interrupted by a phone call from Eve Simpson begging her to show Alistair around Tilly’s house, as there’s been a second bid for the property (from Benny’s brother Wilton). JB agrees and takes Alistair to the house, where he wants to investigate the den. Seeing lights on, Amos turns up to investigate, but when he and Jess check on Alistair, he’s standing rapturously in the den mentally composing sonnets to the Glory of Cumberbatch Arnold. Probably. He leaves, as do Amos and JB. JB asks Amos how he’s progressing with the case, but he’s got bupkiss. They weren’t able to find any evidence of a breakin, which leads him to think they should be looking at anyone with a key, namely Emily Goshen. JB dismisses this thought, saying that Emily might pilfer things here and there but she’s not a murderer.

Cut to Emily breaking into the Tibble residence to steal the brooch back, and promptly getting arrested. Amos decides to make Emily JB’s problem and releases her into JB’s care, but not before Emily rants about not knowing the sampler was important. The next morning JB reminds Seth, who shows her the picture of the sampler from the paper. She manages to work out it’s a clue to the hiding place of the treasure (in the fireplace) and calls Eve to tell her to tell any and all interested persons that the house will need to be closed until the fireplace can be fixed.

And so the cunning trap was set, and subsequently filled.

Benadryl Cummerbund. OK I think I need to go to sleep now.

Benadryl Cummerbund. OK I think I need to go to sleep now.

What can I say? He really wanted that treasure, which turned out to be angry letters Benedict Arnold’s mistress wrote about how the big B A was a traitor to everyone especially her since he got caught with the maid. If you know what I mean. Apparently there were clues to his guilt but I’ve watched this episode twice now and I haven’t noticed them. Either they were hidden or I’m so tired I can see through time.

But never mind, because guys! I have bad news! This is Amos Tupper’s last episode! He’s going off to the wild blue yonder to go fishing (probably). Let us all take a moment to remember Sheriff Tupper: the gift that kept on giving.

Naw. I'm going to miss you Amos!

Naw. I’m going to miss you Amos!

Until next time.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

 

 

 

S04E17 – A Very Good Year For Murder

1 Comment

Before everything else, I just want to point out JB’s outfit at the start of this episode.

You can't ride a horse without a neckerchief, that's just common sense

You can’t ride a horse without a neckerchief, that’s just common sense

That man giving JB side-eye is Marco Gambini, son of Salvatore Gambini and heir to the Gambini wine empire that he and Jess have been surveying. Jess is in town to celebrate Sal’s 75th birthday, who she appears to know after tutoring his grandson Paul in English so he could pass and get a football scholarship but never mind that because someone’s just pulled up in a fancy car…

Listen to your friend Billy Zane

Listen to your friend Billy Zane

Jess is unmoved.

JB and I made exactly the same face. I'm so happy!

JB and I made exactly the same face. I’m so happy!

Billy Zane is the younger brother of Paul Gambini, and a compulsive gambler (and heartbreaker). His aunt informs him that he’s had a phone call from Johnny in Tahoe and he excuses himself while JB goes in to see Salvatore.

The day I watched this episode was the day he passed away. What an amazing career he had though!

The day I watched this episode was the day he passed away. What an amazing career he had though!

Salvatore has been selecting wine for dinner, and asks JB her opinion.

This is also my reaction to most wines.

This is also my reaction to most wines.

Sal is feeling a bit maudlin in the face of his 75th birthday. He tells JB that soon Marco and his kids will inherit the vineyards but he worries that they won’t appreciate them the same way Sal and his late wife did. JB asks Stella, Sal’s daughter, what’s going on and she tells JB he’s stressed out because a company from back east is trying to buy the vineyard but Sal doesn’t want to sell, and while Marco loves the vineyards, his wife would prefer to live the fancy life in San Francisco. At that moment, Marco’s daughter Michele turns up with her latest man candy, a bloke from work called Ben Skylar who is as dumb as he looks.

After a night of feasting and toasting, Sal is a little bit weary the next morning when Your Friend Billy Zane Tony wakes him up to tell him that he has to go to Tahoe on business but will try to get back for the party. Sal agrees and asks Tony to go down to the wine cellar and decant the 68 Bordeaux. Unfortunately, on the way down one of the stairs snaps and Tony goes tumbling.

It’s okay though, he’s fine. While his aunt tries to dress the cut on his head and he fights with his father about going to Tahoe, Jess goes to investigate the Step of Death, which Paul is replacing. Jess thinks it’s been sawn through. Before JB  can elaborate Tony and Marco argue their way to the front of the house, where Tony is getting in his car and heading to the airport on his way to Tahoe.

That night Sal’s party is in full swing, despite the absence of Tony. While his girlfriend dances up a storm, Ben Skylar tells JB all about his childhood on a farm in Illinois, and how he used to write stories to escape the boredom. He’s been in California writing a thing about lost gold mines, and asks JB for advice on writing a novel and she tells him to “Read, read and read some more.” (Life Lesson #55). Jess mentions that she’s reading a great new novel from PD James and Ben says that he loves his work. JB explains that PD is a woman, P is for Phyllis. Ben shamfacedly goes to find his girlfriend.

While loading up at the buffet table, JB bumps into Thaddeus Kyle, Police Chief and friend of the family (an awesome name if ever I heard one). He’s heard about JB’s theory about the step being tampered with, and asks her if she has any suspects. JB’s got nothing, but is given food for thought when Thaddeus asks her to consider the possibility that someone in the family got annoyed at Sal’s rejection of the sale offer from back East. He excuses himself and goes on his way, leaving JB to watch Michele argue with Ben and flounce out.

The next morning Sal takes JB down to the wine cellar but finds the body of Ben Skylar on the floor. Literally the last person I expected to die in this episode to be honest.

While Thaddeus orders his men to stay on the property, at least for the time being, JB gives Michele her condolences, but Michele says she’d only known Ben for a couple of months. Thaddeus draws JB aside for a quick word and tells her the theory is Ben was poisoned. JB suggests going through Ben’s belongings and finds a receipt for a petrol station in Long Island City, New York which kind of contradicts the whole being in California for the last few months thing although Thaddeus points out that it’s not proof of anything. I hate to say it, but I kind of agree with the Thad to be honest. Thad is sticking to his theory that someone inside the house had something to do with it all, and despite JB’s attempts to prove otherwise, she has to agree.

While she’s investigating outside, Jess runs into Sal and tells him her suspicions about Ben – he wants to be a writer but has never heard of PD James? Inconceivable!

“Sure,” says Sal. “But there are even some people who’ve never heard of you.”

Precisely.

Precisely.

JB is also suspicious of the fact that Ben said he had no money, and yet drove a high-falutin sports car and wore expensive clothes. Sal thinks maybe he had a wealthy family, but JB remembers him saying he grew up on a farm in Illinois, so no. All further theorising is cut short by the arrival of Tony back from Tahoe. While father and son resume their argument, JB gets a call from Thaddeus (seriously, I love that name) to let her know that it was definitely poison, but that Ben Skylar wasn’t Ben Skylar – he was actually Benito Soriano a mob hitman.

Well this has taken a unexpected turn.

Thaddeus invites Michele down to the precinct and she tells him how she only met Ben at work 8 weeks ago when he came in looking for a job and one thing led to another. JB asks her if Ben quizzed her about any of her family but she claims no more so than usual. Marco, fed up with the questioning takes his daughter home and leaves JB and Thad to mull over the situation. Thad is convinced it’s one of the family and has started looking into Your Friend Billy Zane Tony’s interests in Tahoe but JB is starting to think that Ben(ito) was sent by the company trying to buy the Gambini vineyard.

Back at Casa Gambini Paul has received a visit from “investment advisor” Stephen Ridgely and has whisked him off for a chat while inside Sal and Marco are giving Your Friend Billy Zane Tony the third degree – seems someone has been writing cheques his bank account can’t cash. Marco is furious but Sal shoos him out and writes Tony a cheque, telling him he’s the one who should be running the vineyard. As Tony leaves Sal calls Jess in for a chat and yells at her for meddling in Gambini business, and to get the next plane home. Rude.

Upstairs, Jess spots Stephen Ridgely pawing through things and Paul tells her the truth – Stephen Ridgely is a special investigator hired by the football commissioner to investigate match fixing in Paul’s team. When news got out about the mob hitman’s death they panicked that it was related, although it made no sense to target Paul at his grandfather’s house. He was a sitting duck.

Exactly, Jess exclaims. And so is Tony. So they can’t be the target.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

Salvatore found out his granddaughter was bringing a hitman to his birthday and was going to let Ben kill him, but when Tony was injured instead Sal decides the only way is out. Before Jess can stop him he drinks more of the poisoned wine that he gave Ben(ito) and collapses.  He’s rushed to hospital where the doctor says he’ll pull through, the family commits to keeping the winery and JB informs Thaddeus that if Salvatore confessed to killing anyone she certainly can’t remember it.

The bad guys lose, the good guys win. I think that seems fair enough. Listen to your friend JB Fletcher, she knows what’s up.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

 

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