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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

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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!

 

 

 

S04E16 – Murder Through the Looking Glass

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I’m just going to come right out and say it. This wasn’t the Alice in Wonderland Murder She Wrote episode I thought it was going to be, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Once upon a time, there were two men. One night, they both got out of a car on a bridge. One man said to the other man, “Turn around and face me,” and pulled a gun on him.

“To satisfy my curiosity,” says the other man, “Who ordered the hit?”

“What good will that do you?” Says the first man, and fires.

And so concludes this week’s episode of Murder She Wrote. Thank you and good night!

I kid. But in all seriousness the assassin looks like Dick Smith and it’s freaking me out a bit.

Meanwhile, in the city of Hartford Connecticut, Our Heroine is being made a Jedi Commander of the New England Booksellers Association, probably. Job done, one of her new friends offers to whisk her away from all the crazy fans to a late night diner just down the road. Jess is delighted but unfortunately the coffee is delayed by the arrival of a car carrying Dick Smith crashing onto the sidewalk outside the Hartford hotel. The dying man tells JB and her new friend that he can’t breathe, and asks for a priest. Fortunately one happens to drive past so Jess signals for him to come over. Dick Smith can’t wait though, and tells JB that he killed a man tonight – Carl Cosgrove of Farmington.

a2

The good news is, JB now has her next novel in the bag

By the time the priest gets through the traffic the man is dead. 2 dead bodies in under 5 minutes, that’s got to be a new record!

The next day JB goes to  see the detective in charge of the investigation, Sergeant Cooper, who is busy trying to work out why his wife left him. Cooper is greatly amused by JB’s surprisingly in depth analysis of the John Doe’s career as a hit man, but grudgingly agrees to call Farmington to see if a Carl Cosgrove is missing presumed shot off a bridge.  JB listens in on the extension as Mrs Cosgrove answers the phone and informs them that her husband is asleep upstairs, and not floating around in a river.

JB smells a rat, and takes a taxi up to Farmington to see for herself. While she speaks to the security guard at the gate, a group of men watch her through the security camera and debate letting her in. When the guard calls in, they decide a woman that persistent could be trouble and so let her in to save time.

God damn right.

Jess is met at the front door by Mrs Cosgrove, who tells JB she’s unsurprised to see her. Considering her husband is in bed upstairs recovering from an asthma attack, she seems very upset to hear about the death of Carl Cosgrove. She takes Jess up to see for herself that Mr Cosgrove is lying in bed, an oxygen mask over his face. JB tells him she’s sorry to hear about his asthma attack, and gives the giant mirror a significant look. Behind the mirror, the three men from earlier discuss whether she is buying the situation. The oldest, Jackson (who you might remember from such episodes as Footnote to Murder and that time he was Mike Brady) thinks it’s fine but the other two, Pierce and Van Buren don’t think she’s buying it for a minute.

After JB and Mrs Cosgrove leave, Mr Cosgrove stands up and shouts at the mirror that he doesn’t like role playing. Jackson tells Mr Delgado (apparently that’s his real name) it’s for security purposes. Delgado demands to speak to a superior and Van Buren mutters take a number. Jaclson tells him that Adams has gone to Washington to prepare security before Delgado’s appearance before the Committtee.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel JB has a message from Father Patrick Francis, the priest who was too late to the car accident. She goes to see what he wants and he asks her what the dying man said in his confession. JB is a little surprised to hear this but tells him anyway. Father Francis asks her if the dead man said who hired him but JB is getting suspicious, more so when he calls the other priest in the church by the wrong name when he comes to tell JB she has a phone call. On the line is Sergeant Cooper, who tells her they just found the body of (a) Carl Cosgrove floating in the Connecticut river.

All this talk of Connecticut makes me think of the Babysitters Club. Man, that would have been a great crossover. Claudia could have made earrings for JB and JB could have told Kristy to calm down. Missed opportunity.

Down at the precinct Cooper is still trying to get hold of his wife, with no success. He tells JB that Carl Cosgrove is in the morgue, and she informs him that he’s also in a bed in Farmington taking the news of his death rather well considering he’d been killed by a hitman.

Word

When will they learn?

Cooper wants to know how JB knows the dead man in the car was a professional killer and JB tells him she learned in church. Something very strange is going on here, she tells him. Cooper shows her a photo of the body that they pulled from the river and JB confirms it’s not the same man she saw in the bed. Cooper decides it’s time for a housecall and they zoom up to Farmington.

Inside, Van Buren tries to stall them but Delgado’s assistant pulls a gun and it all goes a bit wrong until Jackson steps in. He informs them that they are in a DSS safehouse which has now been compromised thanks to their arrival. Van Buren and Jackson are both cagey about their activities at the safe house but Mrs Cosgrove breaks after seeing a photo of the dead Cosgrove. He turns out to be their colleague Adams, who according to Van Buren went out to meet a guy in a deserted parking lot on his own and never came back. Jackson says he had no idea about that. Jackson confirms that the dead man is the unit boss.

Back at her hotel JB has had about enough of spies, which is unfortunate as one has broken into her hotel room and gotten stuck into her mini bar.

I'd be pulling that face too. NEVER TOUCH ANOTHER PERSON'S MINI BAR.

I’d be pulling that face too. NEVER TOUCH ANOTHER PERSON’S MINI BAR.

Father Patrick Francis (seen lurking in the background above) not only is a mini-bar raider, but isn’t a priest. He’s in the DSS Internal Affairs, and now that JB has penetrated his cover she’s going to have to trust him.

“Why should I trust you?” Asks JB.

“Because I work for the government.” Says Francis.

Sidenote: I have been rewatching The X-Files and I forgot how amazing it was. You know why? BECAUSE VINCE GILLIGAN WORKED ON IT #conspiraciesbitch

Sidenote: I have been rewatching The X-Files and I forgot how amazing it was. You know why? BECAUSE VINCE GILLIGAN WORKED ON IT #conspiraciesbitch

JB agrees to listen to the Tale of Francis, but only where there are people around, i.e the dog park. They sit down, and Francis tells Jess that the previous week Adams called Internal Affairs to tell them he thought there was a traitor at the safe house but it could be anyone – Jackson, Van Buren, Pearce, Mrs Cosgrove, the “houseguest” and rebel leader Delgado or his bodyguard Sanchez. The previous day, Adams called Francis and told him he’d been contacted by an informant who had information revealing the identity of the traitor. Adams arranged to meet him at Trinity College that night, and told Francis that he hadn’t told anyone at the safe house about it. Francis was suspicious, so followed Adams to the meeting and told Adams to put a tracker on the car. Francis followed them using the tracker but lost them at the bridge. He lost the signal but then saw the informants car so followed it back to town, only to see him crash into JB’s hotel.

That’s all well and good, but what does he want from JB? To spy on the safe house of course! She can use her mystery writer acumen to pick up on things.

“Ah, so you’ve read up on me too.” says JB

“Does that bother you? Well, when this is over tell me what you  want and I’ll pluck it out of your file.” Says Francis

That's the second time her "file" has come up this episode and both times she's been anxious. My theory: she's in S.H.I.E.L.D

That’s the second time her “file” has come up this episode and both times she’s been anxious. My theory: she’s in S.H.I.E.L.D

Unfortunately for Francis JB ain’t nobody’s snitch and says no. That night back at the hotel JB gets a call from a Mr Secretary and her no becomes a yes.

In the car the next day Francis tells Jessica to be herself, and gives her a present – a lipstick. But it’s no ordinary lipstick. It’s a bazooka flame thrower nuclear warhead tracking beacon – just twist and Francis will come running with the cavalry. On that note, he gets out of the car and leaves JB to be dropped at the safehouse. Van Buren and Mrs Cosgrove are less than enthusiastic to see her on the security camera but Jackson left word for her to be allowed in.

Jessica tells Jackson she wants to write a book about the safehouse but before she can get too much further (and before Jackson can chuck a tantrum) Sergeant Cooper arrives full with the news that he’d just discovered Adams had a criminal history longer than his arm. Meanwhile upstairs Pearce has just woken up to discover Sanchez shaking the lifeless body of Delgado. Pearce runs down to inform Jackson and they all go to see for themselves, leaving Jess to turn the beeper on (after accidentally picking up the wrong lipstick first trolololol).

Francis and Cooper are satisfied that Pearce woke just in time to see Sanchez murder Delgado but JB isn’t sure. There was no way for Sanchez to know that Pearce was asleep behind the two-way mirror, and in any case how does it link back to the death of Adams? It’s not until JB is talking to Mrs Cosgrove that she suddenly works it out. Because Adams didn’t tell anyone about his secret meeting the night he died.

But someone knew.

I must admit I picked this one early on, although Mike Brady was drinking tea like an evil-doer so I wasn't sure

I must admit I picked this one early on, although Mike Brady was drinking tea like an evil-doer so I wasn’t sure

Ah yes, the old “assassinate a guy for money but get my boss out of the way in order to do it” routine. Classic Van Buren.

Let us end this week on one of the better freeze-frame endings the show has had for awhile – the face JB pulls after having to explain to Sergeant Cooper that he’s just hung up on his wife.

So until next time

Later gang!

Later gang!

S04E15 – Mourning Among the Wisterias

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Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who tweeted along with South By Southwest on Monday. It was so close to being the Breaking Bad/Murder She Wrote crossover I always dreamed of! (But seriously, what was Jess transporting on the train? And who were that crazy couple of death? SO MANY QUESTIONS) I might hit pause on the Tweetathons just for a while, because there’s only 2 more movies and there’s *gulp* eight more seasons of Murder She Wrote to improve destroy edit watch.

Speaking of which.

Our Heroine has gone down to steamy Savannah Georgia to catch up with her old friend, playwright Eugene McClenden who has invited her down to to sit in the heat and hear him read his new play.

Have I mentioned the temperature?

Have I mentioned the temperature? 

Also listening from an upstairs window is Crystal Wendle (who has just married Eugene’s nephew Todd who is in bed and doesn’t really care about anything apart from getting laid right now) and behind a pillar is Broadway actress Deirdre French who asks which role is meant for her. Eugene asks her how she can be so sure there’s even a role for her, since she doesn’t know what it’s about. She tells him she’s sure it’s about one of Eugene’s sex-starved Southern women, although in her experience Southern women are rarely starved for sex.

b2

“I wouldn’t know, I’m from Maine.” – JB Fletcher

Eugene and JB adjourn inside, where Eugene orders Todd to get him another boubon and yells at him when he and Crystal dares to mention what the doctor said. They are soon joined by Broadway producer Arnold Goldman and Eugene’s lawyer (and Todd’s boss) Jonathan Keeler who are there to talk about staging Eugene’s new play.

Later, JB is upstairs unpacking when Eugene pops in to her room to ask if she’d packed anything to wear to a small family nuptial ceremony. JB is delighted to think that Eugene’s ladyfriend Grace Banfield is about to make an honest man out of Eugene but Eugene tells her that Grace is fine until she spots some pants (presumably, another man. Or, she really likes pants). The bride he was thinking of was Jessica Fletcher.

They do things differently in Georgia I guess.

Surprise! You’re getting married!

There’s method to his madness. Eugene is dying, and he’s worried about his play. If JB is his wife, she can oversee the production after he dies and can make sure Arnold doesn’t rewrite it and Deirdre doesn’t wriggle her way in to the lead role. He doesn’t trust anyone else – Todd’s an idiot, Crystal just wants his money and Jonathan has been cooking the books for 20 years. JB tells him not to be so dramatic.

After dinner, Deirdre takes Arnold out to the verandah to “discuss” her role in the production, while Crystal takes it upon herself to try and make some food Eugene will eat, while Eugene, Todd, Jonathan and JB hang out in the lounge. Eugene orders another drink, and Jonathan goes to the kitchen to fix it when Todd points out his drink is just fine. Apparently he takes too long and Eugene doubles up in pain, and sends JB to find some bicarb soda for his “indigestion.” In the kitchen, Jess finds a smashed glass and Jonathan and Crystal arguing. She offers to help clean up the mess but Crystal tells her it’s fine, she’ll do it, and she just wants to be left alone. Later, when Eugene is getting ready for bed, Crystal comes to offer to make him something to eat and Jonathan arrives wanting to speak to Eugene in private. He shoos them both out.

Later that night, JB is curled up on the lounge reading a book when she hears gunshots. Everyone comes running to find Eugene standing over the body of Jonathan, gun in hand. Well that escalated. Naturally, the presence of a dead body is going to require the presence of the police, and let’s face it this one is more dapper than most.

Rene Auberjonois. Or as he is known in my head, Rene Aubergine.

Rene Auberjonois. Or as he is known in my head, Rene Aubergine.

It turns out Homicide Captain Walker Aubergine Thom’s family used to own Eugene’s house until Jonathan screwed Thom’s father in a business deal and they lost it. I’m guessing he’s not particularly fussed Jonathan is dead then. In any case, he thinks it’s open and shut – they found the gun that was used to kill Jonathan, even though Eugene swears that’s not the gun he had when they found him. There’s also that small matter of Jonathan skimming off the top of Eugene’s income. So, y’know, there’s that.

Later JB quizzes Eugene but is interrupted by the arrival of his ladyfriend Grace who has returned from Atlanta horrified to see JB cooking poached eggs for Eugene and mildly disturbed to hear about Jonathan’s death. She orders JB to go tell Orla Mae (the maid) to cook bacon and grits and have her baggage brought up to Eugene’s room which Eugene amends to have her baggage moved to the Magnolia room. Awkward.

Downstairs Deirdre is making sure her name is still at the top of the (potential) cast list, while Crystal apologises to JB about the scene with Jonathan the previous night. Apparently her interest in furthering her husband’s career at the law firm was misconstrued. Meanwhile, Todd and Arnold discuss how best to circumvent Eugene’s displeasure. Captain Aubergine Thom turns up to inform Eugene that the gun taken matched the gun used to kill Jonathan and that his presence was required down the station, at which point Eugene collapses again. The doctor is called but Eugene has no interest in going to hospital and throws everyone out of his room. The doctor tells JB that he’ll run tests on the blood he managed to get out of Eugene and see if he can find the problem.

JB catches up with Captain Thorne to tell him some of her theories about the shooting, namely that to her it sounded like the gun was fired from outside, which made no sense since the window in Jonathan’s room was closed, which itself made no sense because ERMAGHERD THE HEAT. Captain Thom is interested to hear this and tells her he has work to do. Just after he leaves, Orla Mae comes in looking for him to get a receipt for the missing comforter from the room where Jonathan died. JB tells her that the captain didn’t mention anything about a comforter and Orla tells her that maybe he thought it was none of her business.

It's a sass off.

It’s a sass off.

Later, JB finds Orla Mae pouring bug spray to kill the ants and has an idea. She gets the doctor to test for arsenic poisoning and he confirms it – someone has been slipping poison to Eugene for quite some time. Captain Thom is informed and they debate how they’re going to catch the poisoner in the act. JB has a cunning plan to draw out the assassin. They go downstairs and Eugene tells everyone that Jessica has agreed to marry him. Everyone is aghast (except Deirdre, who is too concerned with getting the role to care). Eugene tells them that the wedding will take place the next day, before an extended trip abroad, and now that he thinks about it he has some legal issues to take care of and would Todd dig out a copy of the will?

Exit, Eugene and Jessica. Naturally the plan works a treat and later that night a shadowy figure is captured before they can shoot Eugene in his sleep.

O is for Obvious

O is for Obvious

So when she said Jonathan was misconstruing how far she’d go to advance her husband, what she actually meant was “You construe correctly and so I’m going to kill you too”. Or something.

And with that, it’s case closed, job well done and Long Island Iced Teas for everyone. So until next time…

Cheers!

Cheers!

And now, a word from our sponsor…

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No episode today. I played Dungeons and Dragons for seven hours yesterday and as a result have misplaced my brain, but also EPIC TWEETATHON PART THE SECOND is tomorrow!

South by Southwest will kick off at 12pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (adjust your sundials accordingly). To play along, use the hashtag #SouthMSB or search for it on Twitter if you are content to sit back and watch my descent into madness.

 

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