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S10E15 – Murder on the Thirtieth Floor

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Back to NYC this week Fletcherfans, where JB is meeting with her editor Edward Graham to discuss final changes on her new book. Edward, it turns out, has a bit going on at home – he’s being haunted by his dead wife. That old story. Also, he has a niece he didn’t know about, the daughter of a half-brother who died of a long lingering illness, but only just discovered after she wrote him a letter when his wife died.

Jess is nervous when his assistant tells her Edward made all of his notes the previous day but Edward announces he loves everything she did with the first round of changes and that he wouldn’t change another thing. To prove his point he throws a softball at Jessica’s head.

Sidenote, that colour is amazing

And with that, the meeting is over almost before it even begins and JB heads off to the library for a bit before meeting Carrie Benton that afternoon.

Carrie Benton, the newly promoted head of children’s books is chowing down on doughnuts with Steve DiNapoli when Edward storms in. Steve tells him it’s not what it looks like, he’s not trying to fatten up Edward’s girlfriend. Carrie thinks it’s hilarious but Edward informs them he’s seen funnier losers on Starsearch.

It’s raining zingers

Steve politely excuses himself and heads to the park to practice before the company softball game. Carrie wants to know why Edward is behaving this way and he freaks out and says he’d better go speak to his therapist about it then obviously.

Edward goes to visit his psychiatrist on the set of The Mask and doesn’t really get very far.

The psychiatrist is being played by Dennis Boutsikaris, a guy who has been in every TV show in the last ever.

Back at the office Jessica is grateful and horrified at the fact-checking Carrie did for her new book, but all Carrie wants to do is talk about Edwards late wife.  Jess explains that she introduced the two and wonders why Carrie is interested. Carrie explains to Jess that she and Edward are dating but that Edward has never taken her to the house in Connecticut. Jess explains that Edward stayed with his wife in the house until she died and never took any time off afterwards.

They are soon joined by company controller Leonard Ambler, who is looking for Edward. Carrie explains that he moved his regular late afternoon doctor’s appointment to be earlier because of the softball game and speaking of which she needs to get ready for that and would Jessica like to come down and watch.

Me when people ask if I watch the Bachelor

As Jess is getting ready to leave she runs into Edward’s niece Laurie, who asks Jess if she’s noticed anything different about Edward. Jess decides maybe today is a good day to die watch softball and joins them in LA’s approximate equivalent of Central Park.

While the game happens, Laurie explains to Jess that her uncle has been hearing the voice of his late wife Beth. Then some more softball happens.

This is me when my Mum informed me that I played softball for a year in high school. I have no memory of this (presumably because of my years of competitive drinking) but can only assume I was terrible because I can’t throw, catch, run or hit a ball. How this even came to happen I have no idea.

Steve Napoli gets caught at third base or something, Edward screams abuse at the ref and then fires  Steve for agreeing with the ref.

Things go from bad to worse. JB is summoned to Edwards office the next day where he informs her the new book is terrible and he is suspending publication until she can make it better.

I know this feeling well too.

Jess calmly leaves the office, while Edward hurls her manuscript at the wall.

Meanwhile in Carrie’s office Steve has dropped by before collecting his things and complain, which is probably valid. Leonard wanders in to say that termination papers haven’t been filed, but if Edward doesn’t want him around there’s not much to be done. Edward has more clout with the CEO Ted Hartley than anyone he knows.

Obviously Leonard has no idea what he’s talking about because Ted Hartley has heard about Jess and Edward’s exchange and has gone straight to her apartment to beg her not to leave. Not for nothing but Jess has a bit of a time with her publishers either dying or being arrested for murder. He is horrified when he hears the reason for Jess leaving and can’t understand it, he loves Jessica’s new book. Jess tells him she thinks Edward might be manic depressive, and Ted tells her Edward is seeing a shrink he’s never heard of.

Everything about this is screaming 1993, I like it.

Later than night Edward is at his desk writing an apology letter to JB. He was right the first time. (Damn straight). Exhausted, he falls asleep at his desk only to be woken by a phone call from his dead wife begging him to commit suicide. He gets up from his desk and walks to the elevator, ignoring the security guard who tells him that Ted and everyone else on the top floor has gone home for the day.

Edward goes up to the roof and stands on the edge, looking confused. A shadowy figure emerges and shoves him over the edge.

Everyone is summoned to the office the next day where Lieutenant Nick Acosta (previously seen here as Acosta, here as someone else and as headless Kawalsky in Stargate) informs them of the sad news and to see what they know of the sorry tale. Jess explains her run-in with him the previous day, and Carrie tells them that Edward had called her to make dinner plans, but when she arrived at the restaurant the maitre’d told her that Edward called to say he’d be late. He’d arranged to have her favourite flowers and wine waiting for her. Jess thinks that this doesn’t seem like the behaviour of a man about to end his life but Lieutenant Acosta says the security guard saw him go up to the roof alone. He lets everyone leave but asks JB to stay – they found Edward’s note addressed to her. Jess tells him it’s just a memo but Acosta warns her to stay out of the case anyway.

Back at home JB meets with Edward’s lawyer Henry Filbert, who comes round to discuss JB’s duties as executor. The insurance company will take care of the life insurance policy, JB just has to notify the beneficiaries. Apart from a sister in Pittsburgh everyone else is in NYC and JB decides to tell them in person what they were left in the will.

First up is the long lost niece Laurie, who is sad. It happened so quick, it was like losing her father all over again, she tells Jess. Edward left her his stereo and CD collection, and she seems pleased.

Next is Dr Santana, the psychiatrist who is delighted when JB hands him his bequest – a pocket watch. Jessica is interested in what Edward was seeing Santana for, but the doc ain’t talking, suffice to say he wasn’t concerned about Edward telling him he was hearing the voice of his late wife. Jess notices the piles of herbs and the blender, and Santana offers a sample but she declines. She asks him how Edward came to be a patient of his and he says he was referred by someone else at the publishing office, Stephen DiNapoli.

Jess is intrigued and goes to tell Stephen of his inheritance – all of Edwards books. He’s amazed, and has no idea where he’s going to put them all (amen to that my friend). Jess asks him about the referral and he tells her that he was seeing Dr Santana to quit smoking – it was all weird herbs and post hypnotic suggestion and he quit smoking just so he could stop going. Carrie walks in to show off her newest project and JB tells her what she’s inherited from Edward – the house in Connecticut.

And you get a house! And you get a house! And you get a house!

Up at the fancy house Jess is on the hunt for clues. She finds Laurie’s letter to Edward and declares it to be sweet. The power goes out, but they continue on to the kitchen where Jessica finds the herbs she was looking for. She starts to gather samples to give to Lieutenant Acosta when they hear footsteps upstairs. Jess tells Carrie to call 911 but the phone is dead. A shadowy figure comes down the stairs, hears Carrie and Jessica and takes off back up them. He goes out onto the balcony, climbs down and then gets into a car. Jess and Carrie hear the tyres spin and relax. Carrie is done and wants to see her new house on a sunny afternoon but JB wants to know what was so interesting upstairs. They go into Edwards bedroom, follow a wood putty trail of breadcrumbs to a hole drilled in the bedhead and a piece of copper wire down the back of the mattress.

The phone rings – it’s Lieutenant Acosta looking for JB. She tells him what they’ve found and that she’s almost certain they have Dr Santana dead to rights. Acosta tells her that’s an interesting choice of words – Santana has just turned up dead, bludgeoned to death in his apartment.

#phrasing

A suspicious JB heads over to Santana’s office where she meets Mel the super/janitor/whoever he is. A bit of fast talking about paint colours and her ten cup coffee pot gets her into Santana’s office, where she calls Nick Acosta. Lucky for her he’s already there and has come to the same conclusion she has – the Doc was drugging Edward and causing his mania. They have no idea who killed Santana though, so JB takes a look at Santana’s computer files and sees a familiar name. Acosta, flicking through a book, says at least they both went quick and Jessica informs him that they now have everything they need to catch the killer and his sidekicks.

Knew it. Always be suspicious of sweet people. (Just kidding, that’s terrible advice)

Laurie, it turns out was not Edward’s niece but an actress hired to pretend to be Edward’s dead wife. She tells them she had nothing to do with any murders, which JB kind of agrees with, her partner saw to that side.

Plot twist! Did not see this coming, I’ll be honest.

The three of them came together when Leonard saw how much Edward’s insurance policy was worth, and so a plan was born.

Speaking of inheritances though, during the two months of shenanigans and no blog my grandfather passed away (he would have been 96 this week), and my inheritance from him…well…

Everyone’s a critic…

 

Later gang!

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S10E14 – Deadly Assets

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Happy Eurovision Fletcherfans. I was going to do my usual post-Eurovision analysis but Twitter has left such a bad taste in my mouth that honestly I’m just not going to bother.

In the non-EU country of Cabot Cove, someone is breaking into a safe down at the Lomax sheet metal factory oh God I’m already bored. The thief nicks off with a suitcase full of sweet cash dollar before Deputy Andy arrives.

Yeah, he is.

Meanwhile, JB and Mort are plotting a surprise birthday dinner party for Seth and are trying to coordinate gift-buying plans so that they don’t double up, bless them. It would appear that Seth has a similar attitude towards his birthday that I do to mine (except I completely forgot mine was even happening). The birthday boy himself wanders in to see what’s going on, but Jess informs him she’s chatting to Mort about storm windows and finalising dinner party plans. Mort gets a call from Andy and heads down to the crime scene, while Seth tells Jess he thinks it’s ridiculous for Jess to be throwing a dinner party with all that she has on – there’s no reason for it, it’s not like there’s an anniversary coming up. Or a birthday.

Jess is not buying into Seth’s nonsense.

Down at the crime scene the owner of Lomax Sheet Metal, Sanford Lomax, is telling Mort that only about $300 dollars were taken which is about $50,000 short of being true. He also says the knife that was used was his. Mort gives the knife to Andy to dust for prints and tells Sanford he’s sorry this happened. Andy feels terrible, if he’d been able to get there sooner he could have caught the guy.

“Maybe next time.” Says Sanford in a ringing endorsement for Cabot Cove crime levels.

As Mort and Andy depart, Sanford gets a call from the mafia wanting to know where their money is. He tells them there’s been a tiny hiccup, but not to worry the kid who took the money will be terrified and he’ll sort it out. The mafia will have their money in the morning. Mafia guy gets off the phone and tells his goon they have a problem.

He’s no Harry McGraw but he’s okay.

That is, of course, Charlie Garratt, last seen here and currently just chillin’ between cases. His phone rings and it’s Sanford wanting him to come up and investigate a case of industrial espionage. Charlie’s not interested until he gets promised his usual fee plus 50%.

Back in the Cove Jess is shopping for Seth’s birthday present down at Celia’s Antique Store where Celia’s daughter Libby sells paintings as well as works for the Cabot Cove Hall of Records, and her brother Harvey works for Sanford Lomax. Celia meanwhile is PISSED AS HELL with Jessica for sending a late thank you note four years ago.

My face during this whole scene.

Down at the docks Sanford goes to confront the thief, Walter Perry, who it turns out just so happens to be engaged to Libby Terhune I mean what were the odds. Sanford demands his money back but Walter tells him he knows nothing about it and besides there was only $300 missing, what’s the big deal?

Down at the soon to be relocated Hall of Records office, Libby is packing things into boxes when Walter drops in to tell her what he did. She tells him to go to the cops but he says he can’t – clearly whatever Sanford is into is illegal and Walter is now a witness of sorts to that so basically, they’re in big trouble. Before Libby can continue Jess pops up to ask for her trust deed. Libby walks with her to the front desk where she’s stashed it for her. Harvey turns up to grab more office supplies to take back to Celia and offers to give Libby a lift. Walter stashes the backpack (with 900K in it) in one of the filing cabinets and leaves the office.

Charlie Garrett watches Walter get into his car and drive away, and also watches the mafia goon Oscar Gandile follow him. He goes to follow too, but crashes into Seth who needless to say has some strong opinions.

Seth’s about to go nuclear.

It’s only when Jessica recognises Charlie that he’s off the hook. He pops round to House Fletcher for a cup of tea and to get the goss from JB about Walter. Jess tells him he had a rough start (orphaned, raised by his grandmother who died recently). Charlie thinks JB isn’t telling him everything and Jess isn’t saying anything until Charlie tells her who he is working for.

Should have put a few more As in there, but Eurovision has really soured my mood.

Starting to smell a rat, Charlie pays Sanford a visit who swears it’s 100% not about mafia work, he nabbed classified documents from some friends at the defence department and that’s what Walter stole and he needs them back. Charlie stashes a bug under Sanford’s desk and tells him he saw the Mafia guy also following Walter.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Jess is begging Mort to have a chat with Walter, she’s concerned for him. Seth is starting to get suspicious about Mort and JB’s scheming and plotting and suspects birthday involvement.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media at the best of times but today is firmly on the negative side

Andy tells Mort that Walter’s place has been broken into and trashed as has his boat (it turns out). Mort visits him on the boat but Walter swears he has no idea why and he swears he had nothing to do with the break-in at Sanford’s. Mort tells him to think hard about it and leaves him on the boat, casually being surveilled by Oscar and Charlie.

Mort’s next visit is to Libby Trehune but she gives him nothing. Celia wants to know what’s going on and reminds Libby about some other dude she could marry but she storms out, leaving Harvey to calm Celia down.

Sidebar: this outfit.

I mean a tie matching a waistcoat…you do you, Celia.

Meanwhile, Mort fills JB in on what he’s discovered. Jess says she’ll swear in court that Walter’s fish knife was missing and that she’s sure it’s the one that was used in the break-in. Mort wonders why Sanford said it was his, and Jessica tells him she’s starting to wonder about this Sanford Lomax, and that possibly Mort’s mate in the Chicago PD that told him all about Charlie and his misdemeanours could fill him in.

Later that night Charlie observes Walter breaking into the Cabot Cove Hall of Records before being clocked on the head by Oscar Gandile. Inside, Walter has just discovered his backpack full of money is missing when he hears someone come into the outer office. There are noises and Oscar Gandile falls to the floor, quite dead.

The next morning Seth is grumping around at JB’s while she’s trying to get hold of Charlie Garrett when the man himself wanders in with jelly doughnuts. Before he can explain himself Mort calls looking for Seth – they’ve just found a dead body down at the hall of records but they can’t identify him. Charlie takes that as his cue to leave.

After examining the body Seth tells Mort the mystery man died between 1 and 5pm. Mort is rather keen to speak to Charlie Garrett and gets Andy to put out an APB on him. Libby tells JB that she knows nothing about anything and flees before Jessica can question her further.

Jess decides to pop round to see Sanford Lomax who tells her he knows nothing about nothing, and if Walter knows something he’d better come forward or else some people that Sanford knows nothing about will do something drastic

All JB wants to do is have some quiet time in the Cove and throw a goddamn dinner party, is that so much to ask?

Sanford tells Jess if she tells the Sheriff anything he’ll deny the conversation ever happened. Jess has already spotted Charlie’s bug under the desk and so couldn’t really care less about that. Charlie is, of course, listening to the whole conversation and thinks JB is a gutsy lady.

Jess goes to see Celia but Libby’s not there either. Mort also drops by looking for her – it turns out Walter’s prints are the only ones on the murder weapon.

Walter and Celia are going to make a break for it, but Walter doesn’t want to leave without the money and he figures the only person who could have it is Sanford Lomax. He busts in on Sanford and the mafia guys duking it out about the money but before it can kick off Mort and Andy burst in and arrest everyone just to be on the safe side. Charlie, still listening, wonders where the hell the money is.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort is pissed he has to let Sanford and the mobsters go, but Walter is giving him nothing. Jess gently suggests the Witness Protection Program, and Walter finally explains everything – he didn’t kill Oscar, he was in the next room. And the money is still missing.

Jess returns home to discover Charlie chilling in her lounge room. He swears he doesn’t know who the killer is or where the money is. It’s only when Charlie starts slicing an apple that Jess works it out.

Apple cutting is a lot like paper cutting, it turns out.

Because of course

These are the things that happen when you steal mob money. I’m still trying to get my head around Celia being pissed about a late thank you note. WHY WAS THAT EVEN IN THE SHOW I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Later gang!

 

S10E13 – Portrait of Death

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It’s a cold and dreary day in New York, probably and Jess has just popped into an art gallery to do a spot of shopping when she bumps into former Cabot Cove resident and current lottery winner Kim Mitchell aka Loretta Swit.

The *other* Queen of Cabot Cove

Kim immediately invites Jessica to lunch with herself and her stepbrother Mark but JB has to pop by the copy place first, her printer is on the fritz.

Over lunch, JB chats to Kim, Mark, and Mark’s gold-digging girlfriend Teddy Grace (who the hell calls their child Teddy?). Mark has been living off Kim’s money for a while but wants to try and go to college, but Teddy is in it for the cash dollar. When Mark tells Kim he’s thinking of getting his own place, Teddy chimes in with how they found a delightful little place that only wanted $50K up front. Mark gives her a look and says he was planning to rent.

It’s fruit salad, it’s fine.

Kim reveals that she’s found it difficult to trust anyone of the romantic male variety since she got cashed up, but that she’s met a delightful stockbroker named Bert Lown who refuses to take her on as a client. She’s very much in love.

Doomed. #Cynic

Kim goes home to get back to work on her newest sculpture which Bert calls a triumph. He’s had no luck finding Mark a job but he’ll keep looking. Meanwhile, Kim is also heavily involved in a charity art auction to benefit a school and has roped Jess into donating. Jess calls the gallery to let the owner, Philip Jovet know what she will be donating but he doesn’t seem terribly excited.

JB has no time for ingratitude.

Back at Kim’s fancy digs, Kim, Mark, Teddy and Bert are all toasting to the success of the auction with the school principal, Dr Swope. Philip Jovet pops around with a painting for Kim (a gift, after she accused him of ripping her off on another deal), and suggests they speak the following week about Kim exhibiting at his gallery. Mark thinks Philip is a scam artist and Bert has his own reservations. Teddy is just gobbling canapes like it’s a wedding.

Except I will be installed near the entrance so I can swoop on the canapes as they arrive.

The next day JB drops the painting off at the gallery to a frankly tepid response from Philip. Another art collector, Sondra Arthur, donates a painting she bought from Philip 5 years earlier and jokes to JB that this way she can call it a tax write-off.

Kim’s…I don’t know, maid? Frances brings a sculpture to donate to the auction. Side note, she looks so much like Catherine O’Hara that I no longer know what is real.

Wait, is it even Catherine O’Hara I’m thinking of?

That night, the auction to benefit the kids of the Willow Gardens School gets underway with a presentation from Doctor Swoop and a thank you to Kim Mitchell for her already generous donation. JB’s lobster still life is up first, and despite Philip’s snobbery sells for $1000.

And in my case, everything means canape acquisition

Dr Swoop busts a move on Sondra while the next piece, Kim Mitchell’s sculpture, is snapped up by Bert for $500. Confusion reigns when the next piece is not the painting Sondra Arthur donated. Philip says they’ll sort it out later and smoothly moves on to the next piece, which Teddy drunkenly bids $2500 on, saying Kim can pay for it. Philip spots her in the crowd and quickly declares the painting sold.

Champagne in one hand, canape in the other…the only difference is she’s at an auction and I’m on eBay randomly buying shoe racks (this is a true story)

After the auction concludes, Mark tries to get Teddy to leave but Philip spots him and insists on payment. Mark insists Philip get his hands off Mark, and to stay away from his sister.

A scuffle ensues.

But I have no interest in other peoples money. I barely have an interest in my own, which is partially the problem.

Mark is escorted out by security, followed by Teddy (but not before she loads up on more canapes. Teddy’s got canape game and I respect it). Bert, Jess and Dr Swoop reassure Kim, and Bert says he’ll pay for Teddy’s gaffe.

After the gallery closes, Philip tells Dr Swoop that they raised $220K. Dr Swoop calculates the gallery commission to be 10% but Philip informs him it’s now 50% – he’s made some phone calls, but he hasn’t made one to the police. Yet.

Back at House Mitchell, Teddy is set to watch the basketball but Mark decides to go out and get the late papers to get a jump on the job applications. Teddy chucks a tantrum and tells Mark not to expect her there when he gets back.  Frances arrives home just as the pair of them storm out. Meanwhile. Philip reassures Sondra over the phone about the loss of her painting and says the police will be in touch. He’s about to call it a night when he gets another call, and while he’s expecting it to be someone called Reynolds, this time it’s JB. She left a manuscript in his cloakroom.

Philip tells her they found it and just asking when JB can come and pick it up when someone comes up behind him and stabs him to death with Kim Mitchell’s sculpture. Something something deadly art….nope, I’ve got nothing.

The next day, JB is summoned to the gallery by Artie Gelber who declares JB to be his leading ear-witness.

Nice one Stan.

Artie is convinced the murder was a robbery gone wrong, but Jess doesn’t think so – there’s plenty of expensive portable art kicking around and none of that was taken. Lieutenant Henderson pops up to tell them that there were no signs of forced entry, but that there was a painting taken earlier in the day. Artie can make head nor tail of it, and to make matters worse he was pickpocketed coming in. To make them even worse, Henderson thinks they won the lottery but of course the ticket is in Artie’s wallet.

Across town, Dr Swoop continues his moves on Sondra Arthur, while Kim Mitchell struggles to make sense of it all. Artie arrives to ask Jess why she never told him about Mark tussling with Philip. She apologises but didn’t think it was relevant. Bert tells Artie there must have been a long list of people wanting to whack Philip, he had the reputation of a pickpocket.

Poor Artie

Mark has an excuse for why his fingerprints are on the murder weapon but no alibi for the time of the murder. When he’s caught out in a lie about having dinner with Teddy, he tells them he went to see Philip to get Bert’s cheque back but that Philip wasn’t having it. Mark got angry and left. Artie asks him if he killed Philip and Mark just walks away.

Down at the precinct Teddy apologises for fouling up Mark’s alibi but gets annoyed when Kim wants to know where she was at the time of the murder. “Did you just fall out of a tree?” Squawks Teddy.

My favourite type

JB notices Bert’s name in a copy of the Wall Street Journal that Teddy had. Kim figures Bert was giving her stock tips, which he later confirms. Over at the precinct, Artie is copping a bollocking from his wife who was just dragged by store security at Bloomingdales for using a credit card Artie thought was in his wallet and cancelled.

Over at Kim’s JB is about to say goodbye when Artie and Mark turn up. The good news is Mark’s off the hook, they found witnesses to him leaving the gallery. The bad news is that they’ve just discovered Philip spent a holiday in Bar Harbour with someone with the initials KM.

Busted.

Bert frowns and says it changes nothing, they were together all evening eating dinner at Grand Central Station. Kim admits to going to the gallery to try and sort things out but the gallery was locked. Artie shrugs and says he knows she was given a key by Philip after their holiday.

Back down at the precinct, Henderson wants an update on his lottery ticket but JB wants an update on the missing painting. Artie has nothing on both. JB wonders if the Reynolds that was noted on Philips planner and mentioned on the phone wasn’t an artist agent but a law agent. Artie thinks it’s worth investigating and calls the FBI who confirm Reynolds is in their fugitive division (side note, there’s only one Reynolds in the FBI?)

Unfortunately, he doesn’t know why Philip called him, he just received a message that Philip wanted to talk.  Artis is now officially more confused than ever. JB still thinks there’s something up with the missing painting and goes to see Sondra who tells her she bought it on Philip’s recommendation for $50K but that it was only worth five grand now. She would get her money back through insurance, so she’s not upset to lose the painting but she is upset not to have contributed to the auction so she’s mailing a cheque to the school. She shows JB the newsletter they gave out at the auction and JB realises Dr Swoop might not be all he says he is. A quick call to Willow Gardens School confirms it – Dr Swoop is a goddamn liar.

Jess wanders over to the offices of Bert Lown and Associates and is surprised to see the name being taken off the door. The super tells her the offices are just short-term rentals, and the office is so small the associates must have been working on margins. Get it? Because stockbrokers?

One does not simply Horatio Kane.

JB calls Artie and fills him in and he says he’s on it – but first, he just needs to go deal with the pickpocket who just waltzed into the lottery office to claim his millions. He arrives at the hotel Lown and the fake Doctor are staying at just as they are walking out the door with their money. But JB doesn’t think they killed Philip, and a stray comment from Artie jogs her memory…

I don’t know what I mean anymore. I need coffee.

Frances, it turns out, is the subject of the missing painting, and is also a convicted felon on the run for murder, and bumped off Philip because he recognised her.

And in the end, Kim’s got a one-woman show in San Francisco to put together, Mark has dumped Teddy for a college degree, and – after discovering Artie’s wallet down the back of his chair –  Artie and Henderson are not millionaires after all.

All is right with the world again.

Later gang!

S10E12 – The Proof is in the Pudding

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Hi guys!

In the immortal words of Samwise Gamgee, Well I’m Back. And to be honest, I feel like I’ve just gotten back from Mordor. The last two and a half months have been a bit of a time, but it passed and I’m back and it’s like two weeks until Eurovision. It will be okay guys.

To business!

JB is in New York, where she’s appearing on Chef Bernardo Bonelli’s cooking show. Would it surprise you to know that Bernardo is a bit temperamental? (Side note, Gordon Ramsay had a cooking show a while back where he explained how to do basic things and he was so calm and now I can make crispy skinned salmon like nobody’s business).

To be fair, Bernardo has a bit on his plate, boom tish. His soon-to-be-opened restaurant has just been vandalised again, but despite his nephew Philip’s pleas to go to the police and ask for protection, Bernardo won’t have a bar of it. This is what happens when you borrow money from a loan shark, he’ll find another way to deal with Paul Avoncino.

Meanwhile, a nervous JB is getting a tour of the set from station manager Alex Weaver. He promises her that if her screen presence is half as good as her writing, they are in for a great show. His wife, TV food critic Diane pops in to reassure Jess that Bernardo is a total softy really and that she should be flattered: in her experience station managers don’t have time to read or do anything that isn’t related to work.

Ouch.

JB Fletcher: deftly avoiding getting involved in marital problems since 1982.

On set, Bernardo scolds his assistant Manuel Ramirez for putting dried cilantro in the dish. Why is coriander cilantro in America? Answer by shouting out the nearest window, I’ll hear it eventually.

Manuel stomps backstage and runs into Lorna Thompson, who I think might be a producer on the show but honestly who knows. She tells him not to let Bernardo get to him, and he kisses her hand. Naww. Coriander brings people together you guys. I’ll defend it to the death.

The taping gets underway, with today’s special dish Sole with Pine Nuts and Raisins. Hard pass, I hate raisins. As the taping concludes, Bernardo announces his next day’s guest will be JB Fletcher, who will prove that cooking does not have to be murder.

As someone who almost certainly just ate some expired feta, that is fundamentally not true.

After the show, Lorna introduces JB to Bernardo who asks her what she thought of the dish. JB tells him she thought it looked tasty and was particularly interested to see he didn’t plump up the raisins in boiling water first, she assumes that is his personal preference.

Bernardo summons Manuel and berates him for the lack of raisin plumpness.

*puts on sunglasses, bellows yeahhhhh, scares the cat*

Bernardo then tells JB to take care when she’s on the show tomorrow, just as he would on a show she was hosting, and storms off. He runs into his niece-in-law Jeannine who tells him the insurance aren’t going to cover the most recent damage to his restaurant unless they go to the police. He tells her they will find the money some how. Jeannine leaves and Diane wanders in to bust some moves on Bernardo. He’s not having a bar of it, not even when Diane threatens to give his restaurant a bad review on her TV show.

Later, Bernardo is standing around in the street contemplating the marvels of coriander when one of Paul Avoncino’s goons appears, telling Bernardo that Paul wants a word. The word is that Paul is happy to make all of Bernardo’s worries disappear, as long as Bernardo signs over half the restaurant to him. Bernardo tells him nothing doing and storms off.

Paul isn’t done, however, and manages to bump into Lorna and JB on the street. Lorna, it turns out, has invested the inheritance she received from her grandmother into Bernardo’s restaurant, and Bernardo would like her help making Bernardo see sense. Lorna tells him she’d rather go bankrupt. Jessica, who was on the fence about doing Bernardo’s show after his tantrum, tells Lorna she won’t let her down.

Bernardo meets Lora, Philip and Jeannine at the restaurant to come up with a plan of attack. The bank won’t give them more money, so Philip decides Jeannine can be assistant, he’ll do front of house and they will borrow what they need to from the studio. Bernardo chucks another tantrum because of course he does.

The next day, JB rolls into the studio to tape her episode of the show. Bernardo is on best behaviour as he talks her through what they will do. Meanwhile, Manual is backstage preparing the dish that will be shown to the viewers and carefully sprinkles something into the pot.

Technically Buono Appertito but I forgot what language to google.

Naturally the show is a success, full of jokes about cyanide like all good cooking shows. While Bernardo closes the show out, Jess ponders the mouthful of risotto. Something doesn’t taste right.

Dramatic cut to adbreak, after which the mystery is solved – Manuel put turmeric in the risotto, it’s much cheaper than saffron and tastes basically the same. (Life Lesson #73) Jess thinks it’s a good idea (but not a great one – she’s fine with Manual messing with other recipes but not hers, because YOU DO NOT MESS WITH PERFECTION). Bernardo grumpily agrees.

Backstage, Jess and Alex watch a taping of Dining With Dianne in which Dianne destroys a cafe. Oh blessed where the times when restaurant reviews were on TV and not every second instagram post. Alex is delighted to hear Jess enjoyed herself and is in the middle of pitching a book talk show when Dianne appears demanding that he speak to the crew about her terrible lighting. Alex excuses himself and Dianne congratulates JB on her episode, saying that Lorna has earned her payrise, Bernardo is a pushover for a pretty face.

Back away not today

Back on set, Bernardo berates Manuel for the Great Spice Swap and fires him. Lorna pops up to tell Bernardo that she’s tried everything, including asking for a raise, but she can’t find any more money for the restaurant. Bernardo tells her not to worry about it.

JB returns home to her apartment to find 14 messages on her answering machine and the phone ringing. Everyone in Cabot Cove wants to hear about Chef Bernardo. And by everyone I mean the ladies.

Bernardo goes to see Alex to ask for more money. Alex is surprised Bernardo didn’t get Dianne to ask him for it, and Bernardo tells him there is nothing going on with him and Dianne except in Dianne’s head, and apparently Alex’s. Bernardo thinks Alex is looking for an excuse to say no to the money but Alex tells him he doesn’t need an excuse. Fresh out of options, Bernardo has no choice but to sign over half the restaurant to Paul Avoncino, who tells him his name is still on the door but to keep his eyes and ears shut. Bernardo declares that until he is carried out of the restaurant in a body bag, he will be the one giving the orders. As he storms off, Paul tells one of his minions that they won’t be needing Bernardo’s services much longer.

Subtle.

That night Bornelli’s Ristorante has its grand opening and Manual pops in to wish Lorna luck and to say goodbye. Without a job he has to return to El Salvador. Lorna says she’ll try and talk to Bernardo but he says it’s too late and not to worry. The man himself is wreaking havoc in the kitchen, yelling at anyone who crosses his path, including Philip who ordered the 1988 champagne instead of the 1986. JESUS PHILIP YOU HAD ONE JOB TO DO.  Lorna explains to JB who the last minute financial backer is. Dianne walks up to Bernardo and plants a giant wet one on him while Alex watches on. Those two need therapy.

After the launch winds down, Bernardo kicks back in the kitchen with some paperwork when he is stabbed to death. WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN SUCH A DEEPLY UPSETTING EVENT oh wait.

Jessica rolls in to the precinct to give a statement and bumps into Philip and Jeanine, who tell her that the restaurant will reopen as soon as the police have finished, and that they have recommended Manuel to Paul Avoncino as the new head chef. JB is called up to the detective’s office, but Paul Avoncino and his lawyer appear and try to jump the queue. The sergeant is inclined to let them until a speech from JB moves Paul to insist she go first. Inside, Jess tells Detective McKenzie what she knows, and McKenzie tells her that Lorna is in custody under suspicion of killing Bernardo – her fingerprints were on the knife.

Jess asks to speak to Lorna, who tells her she found Bernardo and pulled the knife out. The police weren’t interested in her reasons, especially after they learned she had an insurance policy that meant if Bernardo’s business failed she’d get her money back twice over.

JB fills Philip and Jeanine in, but is interrupted by the arrival of Paul Avoncino. Philip and Jeanine want to buy him out, which is hilarious because he was just coming over to offer to buy them out. And also to tell them a chef from one of this other restaurants is flying out from Miami. Jess decides to do some sleuthing of her own and talks her way into the crime scene. She manages to deduce that Bornelli was killed with a boning knife before Detective McKenzie arrives and orders her out.

Later that night, Avoncino pulls up to the restaurant and orders his minion to check to make sure it’s clear. While he’s gone, someone walks up to the car window and shoots Avoncino dead. Millions wept.

A few days later, JB is in the studio picking up her fan mail after her appearance on Bernardo’s show when she runs into Detective McKenzie, who is looking for Manuel. A gun has been found in his locker, recently fired. Alex says Manuel was also recently fired (boom tish), and he has no idea where he is.

But it doesn’t matter, because later that afternoon JB sees a commercial and solves the case. Look this episode wasn’t great you guys.

I have absolutely no opinion about this.

Apparently, Jeanine had an allergy to coriander something something killed her uncle, but if you’re watching this episode JB drops a Horatio Kane level pun so enjoy that.

I mean this episode wasn’t great but it’s so good to be back. Thank you for all your messages and emails, it really meant a lot. You guys are the best.

Later Fletcherfans!

Breaking News

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Thank you for all the kind messages.The good news: my computer is okay!

The other news: my apartment still looks like a construction worker lives in it. Justice moves slowly and apparently so do tradies and insurance claims.

Cross your fingers. I want my apartment back!🙄

 

And now a word from our sponsor

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Hey guys.

In another case of CAN’T EVERYTHING BE OKAY FOR FIVE MINUTES my next door neighbours apartment has flooded and as a result has flooded my apartment too.

While the good news is that there doesn’t appear to be too much damage, the one big casualty is of course my computer. Cue uncontrollable weeping.

So yes. Unfortunately the blog is going on a little bit of a holiday until I get insurance money and Dr Rob can build me a new Murder She Blogged typewriter.

The blog will return! I promise!

Bx

S10E11 – Northern Explosion

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Welcome to Canada, where JB is currently on the most inexplicable cross-country quest to get to a wedding in Vancouver.

Now I might just be a small-time country lawyer (I’m not), but it seems to me that getting from Cabot Cove to Vancouver would be a small matter of flying from Boston. Even if it’s just to Toronto to change planes. Or Chicago.

Apparently not though.

This is what happens when you let Phyllis Grant book your travel. #DeepCut

Inside Fletcher Force One JB is hard at work on her novel, while a random dude insists on talking to her. At length. About how he never did work out computers, but he’s a very smart man.

Spoiler alert: it isn’t Donald Trump

It turns out they are on their way to Dominion, which Google says is a real place in Nova Scotia, and is, in fact, the complete opposite direction to Vancouver. This flight better have been cheap.

When the pilot announces they will be hitting turbulence all the way to Dominion, Mr Chatterbox tells JB that Dominion has been having trouble with some local Indians who are trying to stop a mine from going ahead. This interests the other passenger on the plane, who is a member of the local tribe and wonders whether Mr Chatterbox might benefit from reading what’s underneath the headlines.

JB enjoys that little truth bomb immensely and says so via the magic of her laptop.

Remember when computers were a novelty and weren’t trying to take over our lives?

Down on ground level, things are getting heated between the miners and the local First Nation people. (Also someone nicked some dynamite at the start of this episode, this comes up later). Mine boss Rick Shipley and his sidekick Brian Wade aren’t having a bar of it, while the First Nation people are being led by local hot head George Quill. It’s only when George’s grandfather Joe steps in that the First Nation people back down and let the mine convoy through. The local constabulary rolls in in the form of Sgt Hilda Dupont, but the situation has calmed down. She can’t wait for George’s lawyer to get to town to sort it all out once and for all, and George says maybe, maybe not.

Jess rolls into town with her pilot promising to get her airborne first thing the next morning to make her connection at Dawson Forks. As she walks into the hotel Rick Shipley pulls up to ask the pilot (whose name is, of course, Buzz Berkeley) if there is anything for him. Buzz scowls and hands him a parcel before storming off. Apparently, Rick has started using Buzz’s competition after years of using Buzz or some such situation.

While the lawyer (whose name I should point out is Peter Henderson) is on the phone with his office, Mr Chatterbox is checking in and chatting with the receptionist Marie Comouche while some helpful clues just hang out on the counter.

Won’t lie, the first time I watched this episode I paid 0 attention to any of this, I was probably googling flights from Maine to Vancouver.

Before he departs, Mr Chatterbox, who it turns out is actually called Mr Macpherson and I’ve just realised is Deep Throat from The X Files and now my mind is blown, orders Jess to accept his dinner invitation but heroically Peter steps in to tell him that Jess already has dinner plans with him.

“Just trying to be friendly is all,” grumbles Mr Macpherson. UGH.

I think we’ve all been there though.

Peter asks Jess to dinner for real, but first drops by the mine to slap an injunction on Rick Shipley, preventing any activity on the mine for 7 days until the case gets heard in court. Rick asks him about the missing dynamite but it’s the first Peter has heard about it, and if Peter finds out Rick has been spreading gossip without proof there will be a lawsuit heading his way. Rick asks Peter if he really is helping the local community, after all, he had to move away to get a good job.

Jess takes herself down to the general store for some film and runs into Joe Quill for some of that Native Person Mysticism that this show freaking loves. George is also there hanging out and drawing. Martin storms in wanting to know more about the dynamite, and to beg Joe to keep everyone in line until after the hearing. Joe says welcome back, and George pops up to tell Peter the whole thing is pointless, the law doesn’t care about them and that he should just go back to Toronto. He storms outside and gets into a punchup with Rick and Brian which only ends when JB wanders out to see if there are any murders that need solving.

Later that afternoon Peter goes out for a stroll and runs into Hilda Dupont, who can’t believe Peter is back or how good he looks. They adjourn inside for a cup of coffee to reminisce and flirt outrageously. Down at the general store, Shipley and Joe Quill yell at each other a bit about the future of the town before Shipley returns to the mine. Oddly enough he has a meeting with Hamish Macpherson, who has a tale to tell of a bank robber who went missing after a heist in Ottawa in which a cop was killed and half a million bucks got pinched. There’s a reward out for the missing robber but Macpherson thinks there’s more money in blackmailing the missing thief, as he wasn’t able to spend the money he stole and the bank robber would probably be very interest in keeping his identity quiet.

Surprise! Hamish Macpherson is a newly retired cop and Shipley is a bank robber.

Shipley arranges to meet Macpherson at his place at 10pm that night, Shipley even gives his car to McPherson when he starts muttering about needing transportation for a meeting that late. Macpherson also tells Shipley that if something should happen to him, his wife has all the information too and if something should happen to her, then provisions have been made.

At dinner that night, Peter and Jess chat about the case, and how Peter is struggling in the city. Apparently, Joe Quill raised him after his mother died on account of his real father is an alcoholic. Being back has kicked up all sorts of things for him. (Meanwhile JB’s plane still hasn’t been fixed and the wedding is at 4pm the next day)

Later that night, Macpherson comes to see Shipley and is blown up after a shadowy figure carelessly on purpose leaves some dynamite under a bridge.

Gilda arrives on the scene and takes charge. Shipley tells her that Macpherson was a mining tool salesman that he had arranged to meet, but he’d gone to check on the equipment at the mine first. He is adamant the explosion was meant for him on account of he leant his truck out of the kindness of his heart, and more than that it was defs George Quill behind it all.

The next day Jess gets the bad news that the plane still isn’t ready, which gives her plenty of time to answer Hilda’s questions about Macpherson, not that JB knows much. She does mention the briefcase, but that has yet to be found. Hilda tells her that it turns out Macpherson was a retired cop, so lord knows what he was doing in Dominion.

Hilda goes to see Peter and Joe, who are wrapping up a tribal council meeting, and asks them where George is, she has questions. Back at the hotel Jess gets the good news that the plane is fixed when a phone call comes in from Hilda requesting her attendance at the police station.

Imagine a TV show where a psychic travel agent purposefully redirects her cop client to solve murders instead of go on holidays. Yeah. Get to work television.

Jess tells Hilda what she knows about the fight between George Quill and Shipley and Brian Wade, which Hilda says matches what they told her. She has no choice but to hold George on suspicion of murdering Hamish Macpherson, killed because George thought it was Shipley. Jess thinks that none of it makes sense, and also where is Hamish’s briefcase? Hilda tells her not to worry about it, she’ll drive Jess to the plane. Jess wonders if they could just pop round the crime scene on the way…

A trip to the crime scene yields nothing more than a fleck of yellow enamel, but a call comes in from one of Hilda’s colleagues to inform her that they have found the missing dynamite stolen from the start of the episode, buried under George’s cabin. And there are three sticks missing.

George tells them that they must have been missing to begin with, he didn’t count the dynamite when he stole it, he just stole it to stop the mine from going ahead. When Hilda tries to get in touch with Shipley to confirm, Brian tells her he can’t return her call on account of he’s just turned up dead.

On a completely unrelated topic, I once had a conversation with my friend Owen about which Hogwarts House Jessica Fletcher would be in, and guys she is 100% Slytherin. She is missing a wedding to make sure everyone knows that a murder doesn’t get solved unless she solves it. BOSS MODE.

(Also I’m 100% Ravenclaw, just in case any of you were wondering).

Hilda, Peter and JB head to Shipley’s office where it appears he has packed a bag before killing himself. Buzz phones in to see if Shipley is still catching the plane to Dawson Forks, making them all suspect that Shipley did not in fact kill himself. Jess thinks they need to find out more about Hamish Macpherson, and quickly.

While Jessica and Peter chat to Joe in the general store, Hilda goes to work and soon finds out that Shipley was the bank robber and that’s why Hamish Macpherson was in town. She tells them she’s stumped, which makes Jess realise who the killer is and I’m sorry guys I’ve watched this twice and I still don’t get it.

If you worked this out then get to work building a warp drive because you are clearly a genius.

So that is Marie the hotel receptionist, who was married to the cop who was killed in the bank robbery. Presumably she killed Macpherson because she thought he was Shipley, and then she killed Shipley because he was Shipley. Jess worked it all out because of a conversation she overheard Marie having about blowing up tree stumps.

I don’t even know. Anyway, I just discovered there’s a teaser trailer for the Han Solo movie, guys I gotta go.

Later gang!

 

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