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S08E21 – Badge of Honour

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Welcome back to the Cove, Fletcherfans, where JB is busy minding her own business and baking cupcakes when Seth barrels into her house. Seth’s just discovered that his old army buddy Ben Oliver, who Seth thought was missing/dead in World War II, is very much alive and coming to Cabot Cove.

Erhmahgherd!

It isn’t possible for Seth to be more excited about this news, as evidenced by the way he greets Ben when he arrives in off the bus.

You know Seth is overcome with emotion when he goes the double hand shake

Alas for Seth, the excitement is short-lived. Ben interrupts Seth spruiking the features of his house and guest bedroom to inform him he won’t be staying with Seth.

After three days they start to stink (presumably also dead bodies)

Seth agrees and offers to drive him to a hotel but Ben just wants to have a seat first and clear his lungs after the long bus ride. He tells Seth he’s found a lovely town and Seth agrees, saying he’s been practicing medicine there for 37 years. Seth asks Ben what happened to him that day in the war (December 16 1944) and he says he woke up in a German field hospital then spent the rest of the war in a POW camp. After the war he was still in hospital for 2 years then spent the rest of his life wandering.

Seth asks Ben why he never got in touch.

“I wasn’t quite right. For a long long time. And after that it seemed like it was too late.” Says Ben. This episode has the feels already.

Jess has Ben, Seth and Mort over for dinner, and I think we should all just take a moment to bask in the glory of Mort’s manly man-ness.

Hey girl indeed.

Ben tells Mort he’s lived everywhere and done everything, and tells Jess he was married twice to the same woman but that it didn’t work out either time. Jess thinks Cabot Cove could use a man of many talents and Seth declares he can find Ben a job in 24 hours. Ben offers a toast – here’s to a lot of good men who died, and the best one of all who didn’t.

Seth hasn’t called Jessica WOMAN yet, he is not coping with all this.

Plot twist you guys! Ben isn’t the only newcomer to Cabot Cove. A bloke called Lawrence Jarvis is checking in to Ben’s hotel but tells the hotel owner not to tell his friend Ben he has arrived, he wants it to be a surprise.

That is an ominous grin you guys.

If there was any doubt as to his shiftiness, Jarvis then proceeds to break into Ben’s hotel room, (info he conveniently got from the front desk guy) and finds a gun under Ben’s mattress.

The next day is a beautiful morning in the Cove, and Seth’s wandered down to the country club to have a chat to Mason Porter about a) having his annual medical checkup and b) maybe getting Ben a job at his boat yard. Mason tells Seth it must be his lucky day, his mechanic just quit and he needs a guy. Everything’s working out great! Well, except for the fact that Mrs Porter and Mrs Dishman are glaring at each other a lot but never mind that because Mr Dishman is where it’s at yo.

FOR REAL THOUGH WHY DID NILES AND CC END UP TOGETHER I JUST DON’T KNOW

Time passes. And probably some more time, we’ll never know. Seth, Mort and JB are sitting down to presumably lunch and JB asks how Ben is going down at the boatyard. Seth says it’s all working out swimmingly and then tells them the story of how Ben saved his life during the war. Deputy Andy pops in to tell the Sheriff that the guy with the Detroit plates they’d seen lurking around is now down at the docks and he doesn’t know what it is but something seems off.

Mort heads down the docks and finds Jarvis sitting in his car watching someone. At first Jarvis tells Mort he’s just trying to work out the best road north but Mort doesn’t buy it and orders him out of the car. Jarvis tells Mort he has ID in his pocket and slowly pulls it out – turns out Jarvis is a private investigator tailing a criminal from Detroit.

“What criminal?” Mort asks.

“That one.” Says Jarvis and points – at Ben Oliver.

Mort’s day just got a whole lot more complicated

Later that evening…

(Not pictured – the bottle of wine and the roaring fire)

JB’s reading is interrupted by a knock at the door – it’s a devastated Seth with the news that Jarvis tailed Ben to Cabot Cove because Ben was a suspect in a jewellery story robbery. Ben worked for Jarvis’s company and was working security the day of the robbery, and despite being cleared by Detroit police, Jarvis is convinced Ben is guilty. Seth is shattered, he doesn’t know what to do – tell Ben and he might leave town forever, don’t tell Ben and betray the man who saved his life.

The next day Ben is hard at work on a boat when Niles Neal Dishman pops round the boatyard to buy a boat from Mason Porter. Neal has one condition though – it must be a cash transaction. Mason isn’t wild on the idea but he wants the sale more and so agrees to magic up some paperwork and have the boat ready by Saturday. They both see Ben on the boat listening and quickly end the conversation. Neal leaves, and Mason asks Ben to meet him in the office for a chat.

In the office, Mason has nothing but praise for Ben but think’s he’s overqualified for the job. Ben thinks this is the nicest firing he’s ever had, but Mason says Ben isn’t fired, he’s promoted to sales rep. Ben is delighted and can’t thank Mason enough. Mason calls his nephew Dave in to the office to tell him to find a new mechanic and once they have to start training Ben on sales. Dave would like a word with Mason on that topic so Ben excuses himself and goes back to work.

Dave tells Mason there’s no way he’s training Ben, unless Mason fumigates him and teaches him how to count to ten. UGH SHUT UP DAVE. Mason tells Dave that Ben has more brains in his kneecaps than Dave has in his whole body (accurate) and that if Dave ever questions his authority again, Mason will forget that Dave is his sister’s son (the word is nephew buddy) and will hack Dave’s little umbilical with a meat-axe.

I mean points for threatening but minus points for making sense.

Jess, troubled by Seth’s news, decides to to some preemptive sleuthing and heads down to the microfiche machine in the Cabot Cove library to read up on the jewellery store robbery. (MICROFICHE! Honestly, you young kids with your Wikipedias and your broadband internets, you have no idea how we struggled through the 90s). Jarvis pops out of a dark corner, and tells JB he’s concerned that Seth is too close to a wanted felon. Jess says she’s been reading up on the case and a) Ben is neither wanted or a felon and b) she’s just read about how Jarvis’s clients all dropped off after the robbery and that he had to file for bankruptcy. “Knowing human nature as I do,” says JB, “I wonder whether you’re blaming the wrong person for your failures”.

Jarvis suggests she add Ben’s medical records to her reading list, Jarvis will steal anything that isn’t nailed down and can’t hold a job. Jess suggests he doesn’t poison the waters in Cabot Cove, Cabot Covians ain’t got time for that.

Seth decides to tell Ben about Jarvis’s presence in Cabot Cove and Ben is furious – Jarvis hasn’t left him alone for a minute since the robbery. Seth tells him that the Detroit police have only said that the case is still open and that they haven’t got evidence either way of Ben’s involvement, but Ben is too steamed to do much.

That night, Mason is kicking back in his office with Mrs Dishman when he sees a shadowy figure lurking outside the window. When he rushes out to investigate he sees Ben walking down to the boat and demands to know what Ben’s doing there. Ben says he thought he left his jacket but it wasn’t there. Mason asks why he was looking in the window and Ben says he wasn’t – someone else was lurking around but took off when Ben showed up.

The next day, Dave Sanders rolls into the boatyard office and finds his uncle lying dead on the floor. Mort, Seth and JB are soon on the case. The cash Neale Dishman paid for the boat is missing from the safe, as is Mason’s wallet. JB finds it odd that someone bought a boat in cash but Dave says his uncle didn’t care about ethics, only about selling boats. And anyway it was obvious that Ben was the guilty party, he was in the office when Mason was counting the money – Mason was about to fire him so it stands to reason he’d take the money. JB spots an empty champagne glass and files it away for later.

Seth says BALONEY, Mason had just promoted Ben, but Dave tells Seth he’s dreaming and for the record Ben was nearly two hours late to work that morning. Dave swipes his security pass to let them into the boatyard, and goes back to work, as does Seth who doesn’t want to be any part of what’s about to happen.  Ben tells Mort and JB that he was at his hotel all night, except when he came to look for his jacket, he saw both Mason and the mysterious figure, and he didn’t kill anyone but it’s clear to him that they think he did.

Mason’s funeral comes and goes, the highlight of which is Mrs Dishman and Mrs Porter having a hissed conversation in the bushes – Mrs Porter can’t believe the nerve of Mrs Dishman that she’s even at the funeral but Mrs Dishman points out that they have one thing in common. Mrs Porter wonders just how soon she should tell Neil Dishman about what they have in common and Mrs Dishman storms off.

Neil asks his wife what the conversation was about and she tells him Mrs Porter asked her how soon she could date again.

“You don’t look good babe, how about a ride home?” Asks Neil. I AM SO NOT OKAY WITH NILES USING THE WORD BABE DEAR GOD I AM COPING WITH THIS EPISODE AS WELL AS SETH IS IE NOT REALLY.

Robin Dishman reminds her husband they took separate cars to the funeral and she would not be leaving her car there. She peels out of the car park past Mort, Seth and JB who are discussing Ben’s state of mind. Mort is looking forward to taking Robin’s license off her one day, but before they can go any further Deputy Andy pops up to report that they found Mason’s wallet and that nothing was missing but there were no helpful fingerprints either.

Seth finds Ben down at the docks saying goodbye to the water – Dave came back from Mason’s funeral and fired him. Seth says they’ll find him a new job but Ben says there’s no point, the town has made up it’s mind, and that he hadn’t heard Seth shouting his innocence in the town square. He asks Seth if Jarvis told him about his medical history and Seth says yes, but he’s only asking Ben about this now as a friend.

Says Ben:

OK then, I’ll give it to you in one quick swallow. You see, Corporal, when a mortar round hits close enough it not only explodes, it implodes at the very same time. This causes a vacuum, a force that sucks part of your being out through the top of your skull. For lack of a better word, let’s call it your soul. But what most people don’t know is souls are a hell of a lot more fragile than human flesh. Sometimes they just never seem to heal.

Meanwhile, in Jarvis’s hotel room:

#JerryOrbachForever

To be fair, this is not that dissimilar to how I binged The OA on my week off last week. But I was totes more elegant.

This is the scene when Ben barges in to accuse Jarvis of a) ruining Ben’s life and b) killing Mason and framing Ben. Jarvis says he might have done it for the money but he wouldn’t do it to frame Ben, Ben’s a ticking time bomb.

No kidding.

You can always tell when I’m starting to get hungry writing these, can’t you?

Mort arrives in the nick of time to break it up. A deputy walks in a short time later with some news – they’ve found a gun and wad of cash in Ben’s room.

JB is hanging out with Deputy Andy at the sheriff’s office examining Mason’s wallet when Robin Dishman storms in. She’s got a speeding ticket for doing 70 in a 25 zone and she’s pissed. She demands the officer who booked her be suspended immediately, she was leaving a funeral she was too upset to know how fast she was going. Andy shrugs and she furiously coughs up the 80 dollar fine, informing him that her husband will be furious about this. She barges out of the office just as Mort arrives with Ben.

Mort tells Andy to test the gun and counts the money found – it’s ten thousand dollars. Ben swears the money was planted, and the gun is his old army gun that hasn’t been fired in years. Jess asks Mort what they were even doing at the hotel and Mort tells them that they got a hot tip, Andy adding it was a man’s voice not a woman’s. Jess then asks Ben whether Jarvis followed him to the boat yard but Ben can’t be sure. Jess asks him if there’s anything else about that night he hasn’t told them, and he tells them about seeing Mason drinking champagne with his wife, the woman who just went barging out of the station. Jess thinks this is now much clearer.

Mort and JB head down to the boatyard. Jess has worked out why the wallet was missing – someone needed the security card to escape through the boatyard. They find a fisherman, Mr Wiggins, and Jess asks him if he saw anyone come by the night of the murder. He says he certainly did, but he couldn’t say who. He did hear glass breaking right after, and he’s convinced it was a man.

JB thinks this seals the deal and thanks him for his help leaving Mort more confused than ever.

10/10 beard work.

Ben arrives back at the hotel to discover Jarvis’s room is on fire. He breaks in and find Jarvis unconscious on the bed, so he hoists him down and drags him out of the room. Later, when Jarvis is recovering in hospital he tries to claim that he must have dropped a match in the bin but Jessica says no. He was knocked unconscious by the same man who killed Mason Cox.

And whaddya know here he comes now.

I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS

Apparently Niles objected to Mason banging his wife, and concocted this whole scheme to exact his revenge. And wouldn’t you know it, Jarvis saw the whole thing go down and decided to blackmail Niles about it, and frame Ben for it.

But luckily for Ben, JB was on the case. And lucky for Seth, as they watch Ben take the bus back to Detroit, he has some top-notch Fletcher cooking in his future.

OK I need to eat. Season 8 finale next week – only four seasons left!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S08E20 – Angel of Death

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It’s Ghost time!

My singing brings all the boys to the yard

The good news is, there is an actual ghost loose in this episode and it’s haunting an old friend of JB’s by the name of Martin Tremaine, and is also a ghostly beekeeper probably.

BEES?

Faced with the ghostly beekeeper, Martin calls JB in New York and asks her to come down to California to save him from the bees read his newest play. JB is neck deep in proofs for her next novel but Martin tells her to come anyway.

Martin is not short on opinions about his newest play. His friend and long-time director Barney Gunderson thinks it’s just a teeny bit too depressing to succeed, and actress Carol Kendall really thinks her character shouldn’t die in the second act.

Completely unbiased opinion, naturally.

Martin tells them this is the last play he will ever write, and so he doesn’t want it fixed just to sell more tickets. Barney tells him audiences need happy or they need hope. He goes over to a painting of Martin’s dead wife Vivian and says if she were here she’d say the same thing.

GHOST BEES!

Martin rushes out of the room and bumps into his step-daughter Courtney, who demands to know why he hadn’t told her Jessica Fletcher was coming to stay, her uncle Alex is also coming and it’s a bit hard managing a house without all the facts (also bees). Martin tells her not to change her plans with Alex, he’s feeling tired and he’s just going to go to bed.

In his room, he discovers his late wife’s music box playing away in the darkness. He slams it shut and heads to the bathroom.

WHEN BEES WORK TOGETHER THEY ARE AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE

Jessica arrives at Carmel the next day, just in time for lunch and Martin’s favourite story about the time Richard Burton went to a dive bar dressed as a centurion because he’d run out of booze in his dressing room.

To be fair, I don’t think there’s a story about Richard Burton that isn’t true.

Lunch over, everyone adjourns into the next room for port. JB has a chat to Alex (that guy in that screencap), and tells him she’s sorry she couldn’t make it to Vivian’s funeral. He thanks her and says they were close, the only children. Jess says it’s nice he can be around for Courtney, and asks if he’s staying long but he tells her he has to get back to San Francisco the next day. Martin shuffles over and hands her his play to read.

Later that afternoon, JB has finished the script and has some very definite opinions about it. She is soon joined by Lisa Ryder (the chick who was ghosting way back at the start of this episode) and her friend (and local cop, sure this won’t come up at all) Joe Connors. He quickly excuses himself to get back to work, but Lisa sits down for a chat with JB, who is frankly impressed at how well Lisa copes with being blind. Lisa says she struggled for a long time after the car accident that cost her her sight, but Martin was kind enough to let her stay on the property and she spends most of her time sculpting now and tells Jess to stop by the cottage any time to see her work.

Jess sits down with Martin to discuss the play – Jess is worried about Martin, even more so since she can quite clearly tell that the character of Mallory in the play is clearly based on him. Martin tells her he has struggled to cope since Vivian died, but that he knows that that it’s the last play he will ever write – he is going insane. Jess tells him people who are insane are usually the last to know about it, but he says it’s true. Vivian has come back to haunt him, because he killed her. Jess tells him Vivian committed suicide but Martin won’t be moved. He is responsible for her death and now he’s paying the price.

Uncle Alex bids Courtney and JB farewell, he’s heading back up to San Francisco. As he drives away, Jess tells Courtney she’s worried about Martin but Courtney says he’s been normal – older, since her mother died but it’s understandable. JB says Vivian’s death must have been hard on her too and Courtney says more than you could imagine. Jess nods then excuses herself – she has proofs to read.

JB’s quest to find the perfect proof-reading spot is interrupted by the arrival of a Big Dog.

(This is also my reaction when I see someone on my Facebook posting support for Pauline Hanson)

The dog’s owner, General Shark, appears to inform JB that she is trespassing on his property, Martin’s property ends at the tree and to tell Martin not to bother sending infiltrating troops, his property is well defended.

Hashtag crackpot.

That night, Courtney is in her room with her husband Philip, who is telling her to be nicer to her step-father, he’s leaving them everything in his will. Courtney tells him she’s seen the will and his name isn’t in it. Undeterred, Philip offers to help her relax (ew) and Courtney tells him she has things to do downstairs, and leaves. Meanwhile, JB and Martin are kicking back with a cup of tea and a brandy, and JB tells Martin she really thinks he should see a doctor. Martin tells her he’ll think about it and she bids him good night.

Martin finishes his brandy and adjourns to his room, only to discover the music box playing again. He smashes it against the wall, but then notices the bathroom door handle turning. The door opens and a figure emerges.

THE WORST KIND OF BEES

The figure crosses the room, points at Martin and then departs, closing the door behind her. That’s one polite beekeeping ghost.

Jess hears Martin yelling and rushes to his aid. Martin starts babbling about seeing Vivian again but Jess tells him she saw noone on the stairs. Courtney comes in and asks if he’s having another bad dream and he tells her yes, it must have been. Jess asks her if she saw anyone on the stairs but she says no. Courtney gives Martin a sleeping pill and says they all just need a good nights sleep.

Of course that was never going to happen. JB hasn’t even gotten her pjs on when there’s more screaming, this time outside. She races downstairs and bumps into Barney before opening the front door to find Lisa standing there, beside herself. She’s too traumatised to give them much so Barney and JB go to investigate her cottage and find Philip, Courtney’s husband, dead on the floor with a knife wound in his back.

Carmel’s finest roll in to start investigating, but Lisa doesn’t have much to tell them. She woke to hear a noise in her cottage, then heard a thud and a gasp, before she managed to get out of the cottage (not before tripping over something on the way). She also thinks her clay cutting knife is missing, but JB didn’t see it when she came in later and Joe Connor was unable to find it either. Joe’s boss, Sheriff McAlister wants to know why Philip was in the cottage to begin with but Lisa has no idea – he had come a couple of times during the day to say hi but that was it. Courtney also has no idea what her husband was doing there – she only realised when she woke up when the screaming started that he hadn’t come to bed. Martin staggers into the room bellowing that Vivian is trying to kill Lisa and collapses into a chair.

Later, JB pops in to the Sheriff’s office to get the latest and to find out more about Vivian’s suicide. The Sheriff tells her they don’t really know why she did it, but they did know Martin had a wandering eye, and the suicide itself was nasty – Vivian slit her own throat with a razor blade in Martin’s bathroom. JB mentions that Martin had been taking sleeping pills and asks the Sheriff if he could analyse them and he says sure thing. Joe Connors drives her back to the house and tells her he thinks Courtney did it – from what he’d seen Philip had his eyes on Lisa, but Lisa told Joe she wasn’t interested in dating anyone. Joe thinks she’s still getting over losing her sight.

As Joe drops Jess back at the house Uncle Alex rolls up. He asks if it’s true and Jess says she’s afraid so. Alex asks her if they know who killed Martin and she asks him just what he’s been told. He tells her that he had a message that there was a murder, but that’s it. Jess tells him Philip was murdered, not Martin and Alex rushes into the house. JB follows him in to ask some more questions. It turns out Alex isn’t Martin’s biggest fan on account of Vivian caught him in bed with Lisa on the day she committed suicide. Oh d-d-d-dear.

That night was both dark and stormy…

What happens if a bee gets struck by lightening? OMG TURBO ELECTRIC BEES

…so Jess goes to check on Lisa at the cottage to check out her sculpture/interrogate her. Jess’s theory is confirmed when Lisa tells her that Martin was driving the car in the crash that cost her her sight. They had been having an affair but it ended when Vivian committed suicide. In a suspicious move, JB moves the kettle to a different burner to see if Lisa notices and she does – she tells JB it’s because she could feel the heat. Awkward.  The rain starts bucketing down and JB decides to close the window, noticing a footprint and traces of terracotta on the window sill. She asks Lisa if her sculpture was damaged and she says it was cracked but is easily repaired. She keeps it wet to stop it from drying out.

The lights go out and then Jessica notices someone trying to get in the front door. They smash the panes of glass and JB activates her battle plan.

Guys I don’t think this is bees.

Jess and Lisa are saved by the arrival of Joe Connors, who came to check on Lisa when the power went out and saw someone running away as he pulled up. Good old Joe.

The next day Jess pops in for a chat with Sheriff McAlister and learns that a) Joe was on night shift the night of Philips murder, b) the pills that Courtney said were to help Martin sleep were in fact a powerful anti-depressant and c) Courtney is in line to score it all if Martin dies. JB thinks they should search Martin’s property to see what’s up. JB has a theory that Philip wasn’t the intended victim, and that the killer came back to the cottage the previous night to retrieve something he had left behind. At the cottage they find nothing until JB asks Lisa if her sculpture is hollow – it is, Lisa says, to allow the terracotta to dry evenly.

Back at the main house they’ve made a discovery in Courtney’s wardrobe – a ghostly beekeeping outfit. Courtney says it’s just a keepsake, but when they also mention they found her sedatives in Martin’s medicine container she comes clean. She wanted Martin to suffer for what he did to her mother, but when they accuse her of killing Philip by mistake she just shakes her head and says she won’t speak without legal advice from Uncle Alex.

Unfortunately for Courtney, Uncle Alex is just a little busy at the moment.

Busy going to jail, that is.

They bust him trying to extract the knife from the sculpture, but they’d beaten him to it.

The important thing is, the bees were innocent. And I for one welcome our bee overlords, may they be eternally benevolent and not the kind that shoot electricity at people after being hit by lightening which is totally a thing.

Happy Easter Fletcherfans!

 

S08E19 – Day of the Dead

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Hola Fletcherfans! Bienvenidos a Ciudad de México, where a mysterious masked figure is breaking into a museum and pinching a gold mask, and JB is in town to “do research” for her next book.

Me, after arriving in Mexico City.

JB’s next book is about an archaeologist, so lucky for her she is good friends with one – Cyrus Ramsey, who also happens to be the curator of the museum that got broken into just the night before, I mean what were the odds. Cyrus is happy to have JB follow him around to see how an archaeologist goes about his business, but his assistant Scott Bakter pops up to announce that the police have questions and paperwork for Cyrus to sign, so Cyrus pledges to meet Jess later.

Cyrus is being played by James Coburn. I mention this only because as soon as he appeared I said “That’s James Coburn” but I couldn’t tell you a single James Coburn movie. (I can now, I googled).

Before JB heads out looking for tequila to explore the zoccalo, Cyrus introduces Jess to Police Chief Quezada, who explains that all they know is that the thief abseiled in through the roof, which leads them to think that it was professionals. Cyrus warns Quezada that Jessica will have it solved before she leaves the building.

Back at her hotel, Jess is thanking Juan the hotel manager, who always looks after her when she’s in Mexico. He tells her he has already reserved her favourite table and she thanks him again before heading out tequila hunting. Juan has no time to rest though, a colleague wanders past to tell him that Enrico Montejano would like a word.

Enrico Montejano, it turns out, has a mutual interest with Juan – Juan’s daughter Rosa. Apart from being the owner of the hotel, Montejano is on the board of the ballet where Rosa dances, and has taken quite a shine to her. Juan says that anyone who disrespects his daughter will have their heart cut out, which doesn’t please Montejano who asks if Juan is threatening him but Juan says it’s fine. Montejano is only interested as a a patron of the arts, obviously he’s not going to threaten him. Montejano tells him to get out, just in time for Rosa to walk in from the next room.

Downstairs Jess and Cyrus discuss her plans for the next book, and Cyrus promises to take her to all his favourite places when Montejano pops up to invite Cyrus and Jess to his hacienda that evening for a small shindig. Jess can see Cyrus isn’t keen so promises Montejano that she will get back to him.

Persuasive Jess is Persuasive.

Cyrus later concedes he is not Montejano’s biggest fan, but the man does have an excellent art collection – including a hidden stolen art collection – and more to the point it will be excellent research for JB’s book.

Cyrus takes Jess to the town of San Ignacio, where the dig site is located. Preparations for Day of the Dead are well underway, and Cyrus explains the festival to JB – people write songs or poems, called calaveras, that mock the dead. In San Ignacion the townspeople put on a play mocking the rich and powerful (because everyone is same-same when it comes to Death), and Cyrus introduces JB to the person behind the calaveras, Ramon – former circus clown and current heartthrob.

Mexican Ryan Gosling there I said it.

Despite his own troubles – his wife is in hospital and as a result they are behind on the rent, a fact that that has not escaped Montejano’s notice – Ramon tells Jess that Cyrus is playing the lead in the production, a fact Cyrus neglected to mention. Ramon asks if JB will come and she says she’d be delighted.

No one likes a hold-out, Cyrus.

That night, Montejano’s party is in full swing, but Montejano can’t help but notice his beloved wife Consuela is yet to make an appearance. He goes up to check on her and she says they’ll just have to wait, maybe his new mistress can entertain the guests instead. Montejano tells her they can just get divorced, but Consuela says no, she made a promise – til death. She also tells him that she will celebrate Day of the Dead like never before, once he has shuffled off into the afterlife.

To sum up: everyone wants Montejano dead.

Jess and Cyrus roll in to the party and Jess tells Montejano how admiring she is of his art collection. Montejano commiserates about the lapse in security that caused the loss of the Montezuma death mask that was stolen from the museum. Cyrus excuses himself, leaving Jess with his assistant Scott, and Montejano. Consuela appears and tells JB how much she enjoys her books and mumbles something about broken vows before moving on to work the room.

(Me at most parties)

The next day, Juan confronts Rosa about her relationship with Montejano, but she says they didn’t do anything. Juan is furious, and asks her what Jason would think. Rosa orders him to never talk to her about Jason again. Juan forbids her from seeing Montejano but she just apologises and leaves. Drama-rama. Meanwhile Cyrus and Scott have taken JB to the dig site, giving Cyrus a chance to show off his local knowledge and his muscles, stepping in to help some people lift a stone tablet out of the pit. Scott tells JB he has trouble keeping up with Cyrus sometimes.

Back at the hotel, Juan has the bright idea to go into Montejano’s office with a gun, but he can’t go through with shooting him and Rosa begs him to leave. Montejano says for Rosa’s sake Juan will leave with his life, but he is fired from the hotel. Jess bumps into him in the hotel lobby, and asks if there is something wrong. He tells her he is leaving, he won’t be managing the hotel any more, and walks away. Jess follows him into his office to demand an explanation, and he tells her he tried to kill Montejano but that he couldn’t go through with it. Jess asks if it is to do with Rosa and he says yes – she was engaged to an American named Jason, but that he had died, and now she’s taken up with Montejano and he is evil but Rosa won’t listen. Jess asks him if there’s anything she can do and he says no, he knows what he must do. He packs up his suitcase, and leaves. Upstairs, Montejano gets a phone call from a mysterious voice telling him that if he wants his merchandise, meet him in the stables during the calaveras and to come alone. Montejano hangs up, as does Rosa in the next room.

That night, the Day of the Dead festival begins in San Ignacio and JB’s outfit is amazing, as usual.

There is no occasion JB can’t nail, wardrobe-wise. (And if you’re not already, you should definitely follow Murder, She Wore on Instagram for more Fletcher Fashion Domination.

Cyrus gets all suited up to play Death, and the calavesas is ready to begin. JB notices Montejano in the audience and Ramon tells her he comes every year, and every year doesn’t realise that the play is about him.

The play kicks off and JB is loving it.

I accidentally found myself in Mexico City during Easter, and there is a place you can go where they reenact the crucifiction. I went, it was crazy, I had no idea what was going on but I enjoyed myself immensely. No beer though.

As the show continues, JB sees Montejano leave his sidekick at the table and go outside. She returns her attention to the stage, where Death has just appeared to take down the fake Montejano.

Guys, for real, if that’s James Coburn in that suit I am the reincarnation of Mae West.

As the play comes to a close, a woman comes in yelling. The audience follow her out to the stables where they find Montejano dead on the floor, wearing the missing Montezuma death mask. Quezada and his men arrive on the scene and quickly take charge. JB tells him Montejano leave the show alone, despite his bodyguards protests, and Quezada thinks that the whole thing has gone down as a business deal gone wrong. Jess excuses herself, saying she doesn’t want to interfere with his investigation (LOL) but Quezada says on the contrary and gives her his business card in case she has any more insights.

Jess pays a visit on Consuela, who tells her she can only assume her husband was killed by a business rival. She tells Jessica that she didn’t know much about Montejano’s business dealings, her husband preferred it that way. She hadn’t gone with him to the fiesta as she’d made other plans – her husband often went without her for business, and for other things.

Consuela is next-level intense.

As JB leaves, she has a quiet word with Montejano’s bodyguard, Oso. He tells her he owes everything to Montejano and that he should have been there. He also tells her that Consuela was horrible to her husband and that Ramon was trying to take advantage of Montejano’s good nature. JB does not pass comment on this, but gets into the car. Montejano’s chauffeur drives her away, under the watchful eye of a guy wearing binoculars and a Hawaiian shirt.

Back at the hotel, JB is delighted to see Juan back at work, thanks to Consuela. Rosa is also delighted but suspicious – her father did not come home until late, but he tells her if she won’t tell him what she’s up to, he won’t tell her. Over at the museum, Scott is setting the alarm on the newly returned Mask of Montezuma. JB still can’t believe how the thief got out, but Scott tells her all it would have taken is some specialised climbing equipment. He started climbing at the recommendation of his friend Jason, the one who died the year before. Jess asks if it was a climbing accident and he says no, it was a car crash. He couldn’t believe it, Jason wasn’t into drugs…Cyrus appears and tells Jason to go meet his friends, he’s taking Jessica to Teotihuacan to see the pyramids.

That night, Jessica returns to her hotel room to find Hawaiian shirt guy in her hotel room. It turns out he’s DEA Agent Ramirez, and has come to politely request order JB to stay out of his investigation. He still has an informant inside Montejano’s operation and that despite Montejano’s death, the investigation can go ahead. Jess asks him about Jason Powell, the dead boyfriend of Rosa, and he tells her that Jason got mixed up with Montejano and ended up doing a drug run into the states. The DEA caught on, Jason panicked and crashed his car. Fun fact, he went to the same university as Scott the assistant, and Cyrus’s grandson, seen only in a photograph up until now.

Jess finds Rosa at the hotel and casually mentions she knows how Jason died. Rosa admits to being the informant, but says that she didn’t kill Montejano. When she’d heard Montejano’s phone call about the meeting she called Ramirez to set up a sting because she thought it was a drug bust and that they finally had him.

Jess and  Quezada go to visit Ramon’s shop, where they meet Ramon’s wife, newly out of hospital and relieved to announce they have come up with a solution to the rent problem. Jess wants to look at the costumes, and she explains that she always used to make them for Ramon when he was in the circus and does them now for the day of the dead. Jess pulls out two identical Death costumes and Ramon’s wife tells her she only made one. Quezada notices stains on the second costume that look like blood. At that moment Ramon appears and realises what’s happened. “Ah, so you know.” He says.

Know indeed.

Confused? I was.

I was ADAM-ANT that Scott was the killer, but I was in fact, wrong. This is a story all about how a grandfather wanted revenge for the death of his grandson, and so asked his good friend Ramon to stand in for him as Death while he went round the back and busted a cap in Montejano’s head.

Seriously though, go and look at that screen cap of Death. It’s not James Coburn abut it’s not Ramon either. TRUST ME IT LOOKS LIKE SCOTT, WHAT IS HAPPENING I NEED A LIE DOWN AND ALSO PROBABLY A TEQUILA.

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S08E18 – Programmed For Murder

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We are back in the murder-iest Cove that ever Coved Fletcher fans, and the culprit is right up front this week.

The struggle is real.

Unrelated, but I rewatched Copycat last night (the one with Sigorney Weaver and Holly Hunter) and if you want some quality mid-90s technology you should definitely watch it. But I forgot how damn creepy it is, so also maybe don’t.

Anyway, JB is having a crisis, her computer ate 40 pages of her manuscript. Fortunately, Cabot Cove is the Silicon Valley of Maine (it turns out) and local programming tycoon Harriet Wooster is here to save the day. She’s feeling a little under the weather, and a little preoccupied with the fact that her marriage is in trouble and she’s in the process of selling her programming empire, but she’ll do her best to rescue JB’s missing pages.

SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER

Meanwhile at the head offices of Computanic in Boston, company President John Halsey is trying to boost confidence in his chief investor Rudy Ortega, who is having none of it. He tells Halsey to get it done or the people he represents will not be happy. He hands over a suitcase filled with presumably counterfeit Pokemon games or cash, we’ll never know, and departs. Halsey whips out a gun and ponders. (Fun fact, Halsey is being played by the guy who played Angie Lans’s son in the stage show of Driving Miss Daisy, remember that time I was in the same room as Angie Lans holy crap that was a time).

Back in the Cove and the state of the Boss’s manuscript isn’t the only crisis hitting the cove. A new doctor has moved in to the hospital and is solving cases all over the place, including The Case of Eve Simpsons Mysterious Allergy which turns out to be a reaction to the newspaper ink. Seth is unimpressed.

For those playing at home, the role of the new Doctor Beckwith will be played by everyone’s favourite double verb, Hunt Block.

Seth tries to bluff his way out of his mood when he runs into JB by going on a rant about her computer, but Jess tells him her computer has increased her output by 40% (clearly because Tumblr wasn’t a thing yet), and in any case is it possible that Seth’s bad mood isn’t about her computer?

Seth grudglingly admits he doesn’t like losing patients to this new upstart with his lab tests and fancy medicines which Seth thinks are nothing to his intuition and his ability to treat the whole patient.

“Happy now?” Seth asks JB.

Good grief if I’m chucking Limp Bizkit lyrics in this blog has gone terribly terribly wrong

Seth and Jess cruise on over to Harriet’s house – Jess to deliver a thankyou basket, Seth to do a housecall. Harriet’s husband Alan snags Seth as they arrive to talk about his wife’s health. Seth thinks she will be fine once the business has been sold and things calm down a bit, but after getting inside and checking her pulse, Seth asks Harriet to come in the following day for some tests. Harriet tells him she’s fine, she’s just stressed out about the business deal, she’ll come in next week. She starts to get worked up about being late for the meeting but Alan points out that her brother Doug hasn’t arrived – which he conveniently chooses that moment to, bringing his girlfriend Gretchen along with him. Harriet begs Alan to keep Gretchen occupied at the house while the business deal happens and he promises he will. Jess and Seth, sensing it’s all about to kick off, sneak out quietly.

Doug and Harriet meet Halsey at the Hill House and Doug lays it out – they aren’t selling for less than ten million. Halsey is horrified, the computer market just isn’t up to it, and software is struggling (lol) but Doug isn’t buying it. Harriet on the other hand looks like she’s about to pass out and collapses in agony. Doug calls an ambulance and they race over to the hospital but Doctor Beckwith emerges with some terrible news – Harriet has shuffled off her mortal coil and not only that, it would appear Seth was treating her for the wrong illness. Harriet had a bleeding ulcer.

While Gretchen brings everyone cups of water, Seth and Jonas Beckwith bicker about the cause of death until JB tells them all to shush. Seth is devastated and leaves, JB following. Doug Simmons is convinced Seth is a public menace and shouldn’t be practicing medicine.

Later that night, Allan is sitting in his darkened florists shop when Rudy pops by to tell him that he shared certain interests with Allan’s late wife, and that now he shared them with Allan. Long story short, take the deal or Rudy’s friends are going to be pissed.

The next day, Mort pops round to Doctor Beckwith’s office to get more information for his report, and ends up leaving with a prescription for his cough. Meanwhile, over at the Woosters residence Allan, Doug and Gretchen are talking about Harriet when Doug announces he has issued Halsey an ultimatum – 10 million or the deal is off. Allan is horrified Doug is thinking about money at a time like this but Doug is just trying to get things done. Allan just wants the deal done now, and they start to argue but Gretchen steps in and tells Allan Doug is just looking out for his best interests.

Over at the hospital, Doctor Beckwith finds Seth and says how very sorry he is, he knows Seth was a close friend of the deceased. Seth is disgusted – her name wasn’t The Deceased it was Harriet Wooster, she had a mole on her shoulder, she had an appendectomy when she was 14 and every year she drove to Boston to see the Celtics play the Lakers. Beckwith apologises, but wishes Seth would cut him some slack – they have different approaches to medicine but there’s no reason why the two can’t work together. Seth shouts OH HELL NO and storms out. (Paraphrasing).

Meanwhile, JB’s cardigan game is strong this episode.

Seriously though I want that cardigan.

JB has suspicions and is hoping to get the autopsy results from Mort, but he hasn’t got them yet and besides they know what happened. He knows how Jess feels about Seth, and he doesn’t think Seth did anything wrong either.

Deputy Andy Broom pops up to deliver Mort’s prescription from Doctor Beckwith.

DEPUTY ANDY IS ALWAYS ON DUTY.

Later, JB runs into Jonas Beckwith who tells her he’s very sorry about the deceased her friend. Jess thanks him and says she’s glad he’s decided to practice medicine in Cabot Cove, and not to mind Seth.

Speaking of, Seth pops by JB’s house later that afternoon with his brand new fishing reel. JB can’t help but notice it’s the one he showed her in the catalog that cost $375.

Seth is doing what I do in times of great emotional stress (except I buy books and not fishing equipment).

Seth’s decided to take a step back and be kind to himself, and maybe even retire. Jess calls him out and tells him there’s no evidence that he had anything to do with Harriet’s death. Seth says his new fishing reel has nothing to do with Harriet’s death but Jess says it does, she knows how his mind works.

The coroner calls, looking for Seth and delivers his verdict – Harriet died from a transfusion of the wrong blood type. Jess tells Seth that proves he wasn’t to blame but Seth begs to differ – if he’d been treating Harriet for stomach ulcers in the first place she wouldn’t have needed a transfusion and she’d still be alive.

Poor Seth.

Jess heads over to the hospital to speak to the nurse responsible for the transfusion, Laura Garrison, but she’s reticent to talk to JB – she knows how tight she is with Seth. Jess just tells her she wants the truth and Laura tells her all she knows is that she took Harriet’s blood a few weeks before, and got the blood ready for transfusion when she came in sick.

(The coffee, not the blood. Just so we’re clear). 

Over in downtown Cabot Cove, Halsey runs into Rudy who tells him without Harriet the company is less juicy (his words not mine), so he won’t offer a cent over 4 million dollars. Halsey is furious but Rudy tells him that’s all there is, and if there’s a problem he needs to deal with it efficiently.

The next day, Jess is formulating a theory and gets on the phone to Laura Garrison to ask if she ever saw Harriet’s face the day she came in sick. Harriet says no, she wasn’t in the emergency room that day and when she dropped the blood off Harriet’s face was obscured. JB asks Laura to describe Harriet from when she came in to donate, but Laura says she was so busy she can’t remember. She’d remember if she saw the face again somewhere but not otherwise.

Over at the Hill House Doug Simmons has been doing his own formulating, and asks Gretchen to seduce Halsey for information. Gretchen is horrified but Doug tells her to think of the money.

Jess heads down to the Sheriff’s office and faxes a photo of Harriet Wooster over to Laura, who calls back a short time later. JB has a quick word, gets off the phone and announces that Harriet’s death had nothing to do with negligence, she was murdered.

The best kind of jam.

Jess has correctly deduced that someone pretending to be Harriet Wooster donated blood that would prove to be fatal if she ever needed a transfusion. All she needs now is a doctor to think of a way that someone could bring on an illness that would require a transfusion – and two doctors could do it even faster.

SETH YOU ARE SUCH A CURMUDGEON.

Cabot Cove’s greatest medical gurus stop butting heads and put their minds together, and decide that certain poisons could induce the symptoms Harriet displayed. That’s all Jess needs to hear and she gets back on the phone to Laura Garrison.

Over at the Hill House, Gretchen is launching Operation Halsey, but it doesn’t go well. JB arrives just as the operation sinks without a trace, to ask Gretchen to give Doug a message – JB thinks Halsey murdered Harriet, they are just waiting on more tests.

Gretchen rushes straight out to deliver the message – but not to Doug.

Well alright then?

Allan, inexplicably, has been having an affair with Gretchen this whole time. JB noticed that Gretchen knew where to find the blood bank coffee cups when she handed out drinks when Harriet died, therefore proving she’d been the one to donate blood pretending to be Harriet.

WHAT? I mean this seems like a long-ass bow guys. I would never doubt the genius that is Our Heroine, but MSW writers, I’m giving you some hard side-eye right now.

Let us leave this episode with the knowledge that Jess has brokered peace between the warring doctors and remains the Queen of Cabot Cove.

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E17 – To The Last Will I Grapple With Thee

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Fun fact – the title of this episode is basically what I shouted at Richmond’s first game last Thursday night.***

***Demonstrably not true.

Back to school in the NYC Fletcherfans, and while JB is in the middle of schoolin’ some kids on the crime things (I don’t know), a cake is being snuck into the classroom by a fellow teacher, the extremely Irish Sean Culhane.

You guys! It’s Our Heroine’s birthday!

Sidebar: I can’t tell what time of year this is. Judging by the primo 90s fashions on display in this episode I want to say autumn but it could be spring. If you know the answer to this burning question, let me know in the comments.

After class Sean pops by JB’s office to say thank you for all the kindness shown to him in his first few months of teaching – in the beginning he thought he’d rather be chasing crooks in the streets of Dublin rather than facing a classroom full of students but he’s all over it now thanks to JB. As a thank you, he decides to take JB out to dinner that night to a little Irish place he knows.

As they leave the building, they run into a zombie.

I mean he’s a happy zombie, but he’s still a zombie

Sean guides JB past the zombie, who is rather talkative for someone who is undead, and gets into the lift. The zombie promises he’ll see Sean later.

That night, Sean and Jess pitch up to the Finians Chase pub to indulge in every Irish tradition known to Californian TV producers.

I’ll be honest – this was basically my experience when I was in Ireland. Except I had about six guinesses and was wearing a traffic cone on my head because that is how I rolled in 2006.

Jess can’t believe she didn’t know about this place – Sean tells her he comes here all the time, jokingly backed up by the owner Patrick MacNair (Lacey from Cagney and Lacey for those playing along at home) who says they’ve had more than a few complaints. Sean jokes that they were complaining about the watered down beer.

It’s her party and she’ll drink if she wants to.

Sean explains that the banter goes way back – he and Patrick were friends in Ireland, Patrick lost his pub over there so Sean helped him come to America to start again. Jess asks him how he came to be in New York, and he tells her he came out on a police exchange to learn American police-y things, but he liked it so much he retired and stayed in America.

Jess and Sean are soon joined by Sean’s daughter Kathleen, who tells JB her father talks about her all the time.

Naturally.

Kathleen has just popped in to let her father know that she’s off to dinner with some friends and she’ll see him at home. She’d tried to call but couldn’t get hold of him.

“Did you know where to find me?” Says Sean.

“Yes.” Says Kathleen.

“Then what would be the point of calling?” Says Sean.

Touche. Kathleen leaves, the food arrives and JB tucks in.

Later in the evening, Patrick is not pleased to see the arrival of the zombie (whose name is apparently Michael O’Connor) with his zombie nephew Ian. Michael tells him he had nothing to do with the business in Dublin, he’s just here for a pint with his nephew and he’s not leaving until he gets one.

Except he’s not just here for a pint, he’s here to conduct some business with a bloke named Finn Dawley.

That is a mullet that means business.

As Sean and JB are leaving, Michael the Zombie spots them and stops them at the door, mostly to talk about how he sold everything he owned, put it in a joint account with his nephew etc etc. Sean tells him to get the first boat back to Ireland, Michael tells JB to be careful, women have a tendency to get hurt around Sean. And probably Michael too, since he is CLEARLY a zombie why are we pretending he isn’t?

In the car on the way home, Sean explains the origin story of Michael – they hated each other as kids, they hate each other as adults, Sean arrested Michael for scamming pensioners, Sean married the woman Michael was in love with, Michael blamed Sean for her death, same old story. He warns Jess Michael is trouble and if he ever bothers her to let him know immediately.

At school the next day, Sean is teaching away when Michael Zombie appears at the back of the class. He releases his students early and demands to know what Michael wants. He says he just wants Sean to know he’s thinking of him, and will be every day for the rest of his life. Sean threatens to call security but Michael produces a visitors pass which Sean promptly swats to the floor before storming out.

Later that evening, Sean goes on the hunt for scones at the pub but Patrick suggests it might be better if he come back later, what with the zombie infestation he’s currently dealing with. Michael calls Sean over to have a chat about Kathleen and Sean warns Michael to stay away from his daughter or he’ll kill him. Michael seems positively delighted by this news.

The next morning, Sean is at work when he gets a visit from one of New York’s finest wanting to have a chat about Michael O’Connor. Sean assumes his arch nemesis has finally stuffed up but no such luck – it turns out Michael popped in that morning to make a complaint against Sean, for threatening to kill him. Sean is furious but there’s nothing to be done. Jess finds him in his classroom a short time later and orders him to come around for dinner that night. Meanwhile, Zombie Michael is across town at the house they are renovating, beating up his nephew – it turns out that Finn bloke they met with is a loan shark Ian owes money to, and despite Michael’s insistence that he will handle it, Ian had taken money out of their account to pay Finn. Michael declares he will handle things from here on out.

At the pub that night, Kathleen is kicking back with a beer and listening to some old country tunes when Ian decides to try and rekindle a romance they apparently once had. Kathleen tells him to jog on but Ian perseveres, until Patrick appears with a baseball bat and suggests Ian go and take in the night air.

I assume this is a standard baseball term, I know precisely nothing about baseball (and I’m alright with that to be honest)

Ian decides to go for a walk, but runs into Finn and his minions bellowing for their money. Ian says he thought his uncle talked to Finn about this and Finn says he talked to Michael and now he’s talking to Ian – whoever stands between Finn and things Finn wants is going to get in trouble.

Across town, Sean and JB are finishing up their dinner and Sean is feeling much better about life. Jess thinks he sounds like a man who has made up his mind about things and Sean says he is – but he has to dash, things to do even at this late hour.

Cut to something completely unrelated…

Can’t be dead though, his heads not off. I know how this works.

Lieutenant Jacoby is called to the scene and quickly rules it a murder. Ian O’Connor, inexplicably at the scene, has a very definitive answer to Jacoby’s question about who might want to kill Michael O’Zombie.

At the precinct, Sean swears he had nothing to do with the murder, even if he’d threatened to kill Michael the day before and went to run errands at several closed stores at the time of the murder and he had the exact same weapon as the one used to kill Michael and his fingerprints were found at the scene.

Awkward.

At the pub, Patrick, JB and Kathleen are having an emergency drinking session to discuss the situation. They agree Sean can’t be guilty, but aren’t sure who else could be. Patrick thinks maybe Finn Dawley is involved (awkward, since Finn is behind a pole eavesdropping) while Kathleen thinks Ian has something to do with it but Patrick thinks Ian is too much of a dumbarse. JB suggests she and Kathleen get to the precinct, and asks Patrick to phone home to find out what he can about why Michael left Ireland.

Later, Jess heads back to her apartment building to find Ahmed not at his post but Finn waiting for her. He suggests she butt out of things she doesn’t understand. He had nothing to do with the murder, but did she happen to know Kathleen and Ian used to date back in Ireland until Kathleen found out who Ian was? But to conclude, stay out of it.

Down at the precinct, JB and Jacoby argue about Sean’s involvement, and Jacoby caves and shares the results of the autopsy – he was shot (duh) and there was traces of gun shot residue on his hands from where he obviously put his hands up to shield himself from his attacker. JB thinks there is another explanation but they are interrupted by the arrival of a video tape – from Michael O’Connor. He has filmed himself saying he fears for his life, and if anything should happen to him, it was because of Sean Culhane.

Sean is arrested and brought down to the precinct. JB tries to tell him about the gun shot residue but Jacoby shuts it down. Later, they go back to his office to argue some more and review the tape. Jess notices some smudges on the wall at the crime scene that weren’t there when the video was taped. Combined with Michael’s occasional struggle to get words out gives her an idea. She tells Jacoby to meet her at the crime scene that night. He refuses but she knows he’ll be there.

doodahhhhh doodahhhhh

JB heads over to the pub, to ask Patrick what he learned from the peeps back home about Michael. He tells her Michael sold everything and put it in the joint account (which they knew) and that he’d done it quickly – he would have got more money if he’d waited but he’d been in a hurry. Also, everyone had been asking about his health, his doctor had been trying to get a hold of him. Jess asks him to get the doctor on the phone.

Later that night, Jess and Jacoby meet at the house. Jess has a theory. And of course, it’s the correct one. Ian arrives just in time to hear about it.

This is very heavily borrowed from a Sherlock Holmes story I do believe.

When is a murder not a murder? When you’re dying of brain tumours and all you want to do is revenge yourself on the man who married the woman you love so you stage your suicide to look like a murder.

Wrong choice really. Should have taken a leaf out of this lady’s book.

Case closed, JB is back to work and with a new student in her class – Lieutenant Jacoby. Apparently his boss thinks he could use the extra credit.

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E16 – Ever After

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Once upon a time there was a soap opera called Happily Ever After, in which all the usual soap opera-y things happened, but mainly a dude waking up from a coma after a billion years (or three. I mean, whatever.)

Captain Janeway really pulls out the big hair this episode, just FYI.

Captain Janeway really pulls out the big hair this episode, just FYI.

Unfortunately for the man in the coma, former child actor Devon ‘Don’t Call me Sonny’ Lane, his newly conscious role doesn’t come with more screen time – his character is going back to Philadelphia to his wife and kids and it’s all happening off screen – in short, he’s fired.

Amazingly enough though, Joanna Rollins – star of Ever After – happens to live in the same apartment building as our heroine.   Seriously though, what were the odds of that?

Our Heroine, it turns out, has just returned from Washington DC (no doubt solving some sort of international crisis because that’s how she rolls), and is collecting her mail from everyone’s favourite doorman Ahmed, when Joanna discovers she has accidentally picked up some of JB’s mail. Jess recognises her from the show, she doesn’t get to watch it often and she’s dying to know what happens next. Joanna invites Jess in for some tea, but Jess declines, saying she needs to get inside to check her messages. At that moment Devon Lane appears, baying about how he needs to talk to Joanna. Jess is excited to meet the former child star, but Devon doesn’t quite feel the same way.

b1

I mean, really.

I mean, really.

Jessica quickly excuses herself, leaving Joanna and Sonny the Douche to duke it out in the hallway – it would appear Sonny and Joanna have had an on-again off-again thing that a) Sonny blames for his getting fired and b) Joanna thinks is very much over. JB listens to the blue while she puts the kettle on, but a banging on the door gets her back into the action – Joanna is freaked out, and tells Jess to lock the door before Sonny can get in. Jess puts the chain on and Sonny starts bashing the door but stops after a patented Jessica Fletcher scolding. He promises he’ll be back, but leaves.

Job done, thinks JB, as she turns to Joanna, but Joanna is busy watching herself on TV.

c1

c2

This might be my autobiography, now that I think about it.

This might be my autobiography, now that I think about it.

Out on Long Island, a man named Walter Bowman is on an exercise bike also watching Joanna’s performance with some interest – apparently he is planning to marry her. His personal trainer Bo agrees she is a stunning looking woman. They are soon joined by Walter’s daughter Marci and her boyfriend Teddy.

Yes that is Marcia Cross. That is also Barry, the guy who stands Rachel up in the first episode of Friends. (Bad Barry is also a newspaper headline I will tell you about another time)

Yes that is Marcia Cross. That is also Barry, the guy who stands Rachel up in the first episode of Friends. (Bad Barry is also a newspaper headline I will tell you about another time)

Teddy has a business proposal for Walter – ROLLERCOASTERS! ROLLERCOASTERS EVERYWHERE! MOAR ROLLERCOASTERS – but makes the mistake of switching the television off so Walter has his undivided attention.

The number 1 old white guy rule.

The number 1 old white guy rule.

Marci(a) is furious that her father would rather watch dreadful television than listen to her boyfriend’s (dreadful) business plan, and doubly so when her father informs her that he is marrying Joanna. Apparently he kept it quiet until his divorce from Marci(a)’s mother went through, but now that’s over and done with the bells can ring.

(Cut to the soon to be ex Mrs Bowman finding out about the wedding in the newspaper and blowing a gasket)

But you can’t stop true love Fletcherfans, and especially not true love at the registery office surrounded by paparazzi and film cameras.

Such romance, I am overcome.

Such romance, I am overcome.

The ceremony begins, but is interrupted by the arrival of everyone’s least favourite former child star Sonny Lane, who demands that Joanna not go through with it.

Across town, JB is watching it all go down from her desk.

 

Clearly needs popcorn.

Clearly needs popcorn.

(Sidebar: My desk is clearly not living up to the standard thrown down by our Heroine:)

This might be the neatest my desk has ever been tbh

This might be the neatest my desk has ever been tbh

I would however point out that while JB has flowers on her desk, I have a TARDIS and a Lego Ghostmobile, so I think I am following her teachings mostly kind of, whatever I have a TARDIS.

Sonny rages on, but Joanna declares that she loves Walter. Sonny goes nuts and security escort him out.

I thnk JB and I are having similar weeks *screams silently into the void*

I thnk JB and I are having similar weeks *screams silently into the void*

The next day, Our Favourite Doorman is reading all about the chaos at the wedding ceremony when Sonny Lane walks through the lobby. Ahmed, bless him, tells Sonny he’s under strict orders not to let him into the apartment and anyway Joanna is out. Sonny tells him he’s not here to see Joanna he’s here to get something that belongs to him – a painting. Ahmed says sorry but there’s nothing he can do, but is distracted by a painter trying to use the guest elevator instead of the service elevator. By the time he sorts that crisis out Sonny has disappeared.

Upstairs, JB is hard at work on her next book when she gets a knock at the door – an art appraiser by the name of Irwin Fisk has arrived to appraise a painting of Joanna’s and was told Jess had a key to let him in. Jess finds the key and goes to let Fisk into the apartment – apparently Joanna is selling a Von Hockhauser, and he is a fan of the artist’s work, especially the large nudes with the plump bottoms.

I don't even know where to begin with this.

I don’t even know where to begin with this.

Joanna and Walter arrive just in the nick of time, and they all go into the apartment together to discover the aforementioned big butt-ed nude slashed to hell. Joanna is convinced it’s Devon, he gave her the painting, and Walter is inclined to agree. (Irwin Fisk takes himself home to mourn not getting his hands on a plump nude).

Walter calls the police, and a friendly local sergeant comes down to take statements. He clearly finds the whole thing baffling, from Ahmed’s tales of spurned lovers and painters sneaking into lifts, and men with keys slashing up paintings that they own anyway. He tells Joanna that there’s not a lot he can do, despite the threats he made on TV. If he makes good on a threat, then he can do something.

But we’ll be dead, says Joanna.

I hope it don’t happen. Says the friendly local sergeant.

Feeling less than impressed, Joanna and Walter head out to Long Island, where Joanna is about to meet the ex for the first time. While she freshens up, Marci(a) and Miriam greet Walter. Marci(a) departs in tears when Walter claims Teddy has been stealing the silverware, and Walter orders Miriam out when she informs him she wasn’t sleeping with his chauffeur, she was too busy sleeping with his personal trainer, Bo.

SAH DRAMA ERMAHGHERD

SAH DRAMA ERMAHGHERD

Which reminds me

Joanna is amazed to think that her precious little Walty-Walty ever shared a bed with such a heinous creature and proceeds to make out with him, until Bo arrives, having been summoned by Walter, who is unimpressed that his beloved personal trainer was nailing his wife. Bo is booted, with pay.

The next evening, JB and Joanna are hanging out drinking tea. Joanna is bemoaning her thoroughly un-glamourous lifestyle but JB says if she’s learned anything it’s that success comes from within, not out there in the world (Life Lesson #66).

Joanna realises she’s late to call Walter and uses the phone in JB’s room. He tells her it’s the chef’s night off and he’s going to have some low sodium soup after his workout so Joanna invites JB out for some “divinely authentic” Chinese food which JB can’t resist. Unfortunately for Walter (but fortunately for the premise of this TV show), when he goes to the closet after his workout he is met with a shotgun blast to the chest.

Long Island Police roll in, in the form of Sheriff Beals and Deputy Ginger Billis. Ginger is quite pleased with herself when she finds the murder weapon stashed under the bed, and announces that she followed the rules of discovery and it totes doesn’t have fingerprints on it. You go Ginger. You do you.

We all need more Ginger in our lives.

We all need more Ginger in our lives.

Joanna and JB arrive, storming the press throng and making it into the house. While Joanna delicately wipes a tear from her eye Jessica quickly takes control of the investigation, noting dents in the butt of the shotgun which Ginger (and therefore the sheriff) think happened when the gun got tossed under the bed. JB is not so sure, and asks to take a look at the crime scene.

How could you say no to that face though

How could you say no to that face though

Ginger takes JB through the crime scene, and tells her that Walter wasn’t shot in the back, he copped both barrels to the chest. The best they can figure out is that the killer hid in the closet and waited for Walter, except it was a closet full of women’s clothes so it doesn’t make sense.

“Unless the killer was waiting for a woman.” Says JB.

To be fair I read a fan theory that said that Sean Connery's character in The Rock was really James Bond and this was my exact face.

To be fair I read a fan theory that said that Sean Connery’s character in The Rock was really James Bond and this was my exact face.

*saving for R U OK Day later this year*

*saving for R U OK Day later this year*

Downstairs, the Sheriff is getting a precise explanation of just why Joanna thinks Sonny is the killer when the ME calls in a time of death – some time between 6 and 8 o’clock. JB arrives just in time to remember that Joanna called her husband about 6:45, and so most likely Walter was killed about 7:05pm.

Joanna spots Sonny lurking on the balcony and starts shrieking. Ginger goes out and drags him in for questioning – but he has a rock solid alibi. He was in the casting office reading for a part at the time of the murder, verified by the casting director who begs Ginger to arrest Sonny for being a psycho.

What a charmer

What a charmer

I really don't.

I really don’t.

The next morning Jess comes down to breakfast where Marci(a) is eating and Teddy is trying to pitch his rollercoaster idea. He tries it on JB but she’d rather talk about where they were the night before. They were off eating oysters in the Hamptons, which might be code for something I have no idea. Joanna appears, to declare she can’t take it any more she’s going to the studio to film more Happily Ever After and tells Marci(a) she’ll be staying in the town house and not to take anything out of the house until the will gets read. As Joanna and JB are getting ready to leave, a car screeches up the driveway, only just missing them thanks to JB’s quick thinking. It’s Sonny, wondering if there’s a chance for him and Joanna now that Walter has shuffled off.

Timing, bro.

JB returns to her apartment where Ahmed tells her Miriam Bowman has been waiting for Joanna for a while. Miriam tells JB she feels awful about what happened, if she hadn’t told Walter about Bo then he wouldn’t have been alone in the house and she just wants to apologise to Joanna. JB wants to talk to Bo though, and Miriam points her in the direction of his gym. It’s soon apparent that Bo knows nothing, about the murder or life.

(I'm just here to amuse myself guys)

(I’m just here to amuse myself guys)

JB’s last stop is to the previously mentioned casting agent, Dorothy Fremont, who is in the middle of casting prostitutes for a TV show that is almost definitely Law and Order. She tells JB that Sonny turned up a day late claiming he hadn’t been told the audition had been changed and raged all over the place until security got called. Jessica stares at a lamp and has an epiphany.

I can't begin to tell you how much I wanted it to be Marci(a) of Death

I can’t begin to tell you how much I wanted it to be Marci(a) of Death

Everyone’s favourite over-actor, along with everyone’s least favourite former child star, combined to kill Walter. Except it was mostly Joanna. Because I still don’t really know.

Before I go, three things – I just discovered that my email forwarding thing wasn’t working so if you’ve sent an email to twister.in.the.sun@gmail.com I’ve only just found it (and sent a very late reply) so my bad but thank you guys so much for telling me how much you’re enjoying the blog!

Thing the second – You may have noticed a donate button pop up on the side of the blog. Think of it as a tip jar – the posts will still be coming and make less sense than ever, but if one particularly tickles your fancy I’d love it if you could hit the donate button. It would mean a lot.

Thing part 3 – I’m going offline for a couple of weeks to attend to some things, least of which is a wedding (huzzah) but never fear I shall return.

So until next time, dear reader.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S08E15 – Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief

4 Comments

This week Fletcherfans Our Heroine has gone to London (Home of Dangermouse) to have meetings with her publishers, get some shopping done at Harrods (naturally) and have lunch with her old friend John Thurston, who works at the embassy. Never mind all that though because he is just about to introduce her to someone called Nigel Atkins but the actor’s name. You guys.

He has been in many things (including Robin Hood Men In Tights, a movie I adore) but he's about to play Doctor Frankenstein according to IMDB so let's just rejoice at that.

He has been in many things (including Robin Hood Men In Tights!) but he’s about to play Doctor Frankenstein according to IMDB and I couldn’t be more pleased about it.

Nigel Atkins, who works at the Home Office, is delighted to meet JB but is clearly running late for something and excuses himself. This suits John just fine – he has two tickets to the new Stephen Sondheim musical, would Jessica be interested?

I mean what sort of question is that really.

I mean what sort of question is that really.

While John and  JB have lunch, across town a man and woman are saying goodbye to each other. He seems annoyed at her constant shopping, she seems annoyed at his constant working. As she leaves him, a man in a bowler hat emerges from an alleyway and begins following the woman, while the man looks on smugly.

I only mention this guys because a short time later, back at the hotel, JB collects her shopping and her room key from the front desk and heads to the elevator and WHAT WERE THE ODDS THE MYSTERY LADY AND THE BOWLER HAT GET IN TOO AND GET OFF AT THE SAME FLOOR I MEAN REALLY WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING.

JB and the mystery woman go into their separate rooms (next door to each other, really the coincidences are just astonishing) but before Jessica can even put her shopping down there is a scream from next door. She rushes to the hallway and sees the mystery woman, who then turns tail and flees. Jess goes to investigate, obviously, and to her surprise finds Clement von Franckenstein  dead on the couch. She looks up to see the bathroom door gently closing.

(Sidenote: John Oliver's hashtag #JessicaFletcherIsASerialKiller made my Monday night.

(Sidenote: John Oliver’s hashtag #JessicaFletcherIsASerialKiller made my Monday night.

Jess dashes back to her room to phone the police, forgetting all about her shopping in the process. The police arrive and take Jess back to the hotel room – but the body is gone.

The case of the invisible corpse.

The case of the invisible corpse.

Inspector Stillwell and his sidekick are not impressed by Jessica’s insistence that there was a dead body, and less impressed by Jess’s ability to describe him, and not at all by the fact that she met him in the hotel lobby. “Should be careful of strange men in lobbies, even in the best hotels.” Stillwell’s sidekick says.

FLETCHER HULK HAS NO TIME FOR THIS.

FLETCHER HULK HAS NO TIME FOR THIS.

 

Thanks to the police and their lack of assistance, Jess decides to take care of business herself. She calls John but he’s not back in the office, so she goes downstairs to ask Albert at the front desk for the name of the “publishing agent” she met who was staying in the room next to hers. Albert remembers the man but is puzzled when he checks the book and discovers there’s no-one meant to be staying in that room.

Jess has already moved on though, she’s just spotted the Bowler Hat going through the lobby and so she follows him out through the kitchens to the back of the hotel. She walks past the service elevator and spots one of her shopping bags and a familiar looking shoe poking out of the garbage. Jess calls for help but there is no answer. She grabs the dead man’s wallet and goes to call Stillwell again. Stillwell’s posse arrive and find Jess’s other shopping bag but wouldn’t you know it the body’s gone again.

Stillwell politely asks Jessica if she’s taking medication.

Jess is about five seconds from beating him with her handbag.

Jess is about five seconds from beating him with her handbag.

Stillwell promises to return the wallet to the owner, and before Jess can go nuclear Albert appears to tell the police there’s been a nasty incident out the front of the hotel. Everyone heads out to the front where a small crowd has gathered – a man has just jumped from one of the windows according to these two witnesses.

g2

 

 

 

 

...

#helping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jess’s reaction is amazing.

Noone has ever been more delighted to see a dead body.

Noone has ever been more delighted to see a dead body.

John Thurston meets JB at Scotland Yard to try and make Stillwell see sense but Stillwell has become rather agreeable. Apparently it’s all been straightened out – Nigel Atkins lost his wallet in a bathroom at Heathrow and is delighted to get it back as he was due to board a flight to Australia. The man who committed suicide was a Mr Brown from Birmingham, and it was definitely suicide move along nothing to see here.

In the taxi later, JB laments how frustrating it is not to be believed, and John says he believes her…

j2

…”but the police seem so sure!”

I think JB has had about enough of this

I think JB has had about enough of this

Jess gets back to the hotel to find the Bowler Hat at the front desk asking about Nigel Atkins. Albert gives him nothing but JB tells him she’d like a word and he says likewise. Over tea in the dining room the Bowler Hat reveals himself as Archie Potter P.I – he’s looking for Nigel, if JB has any knowledge of where he is, could she get in touch?

#awkward

#awkward

Jess is called away by a telephone call – it’s John with a curious invitation to a Home Office shindig, but he has only been invited if JB comes too… Outside the hotel, Archie is off going about his PI business when he runs into local toughguy Mickey Dawks demanding to know what Archie knows about Nigel Atkins, and who Archie was talking to at the hotel.

At the party that night JB is introduced to Julian Fontaine, Home Office who is delighted to meet JB, but not as delighted as I was when I realised who it was.

Trevor Eve, the guy from Waking The Dead. Remember when long hair was a thing? #classic90s

Trevor Eve, the guy from Waking The Dead. Remember when long hair was a thing? #classic90s

Fontaine is surprised to learn that JB had met a colleague of his that very morning, and quickly excuses himself. He returns after a moment with two people – Edward and Penelope Caldwell, aka the couple who were really awkward at the beginning of this episode, and the woman who went rushing out of the hotel room. JB says to Penelope she’s sure they’ve met before – just that day in fact, at her hotel – but Penelope says she must be mistaken and rushes her husband over to meet someone else.

Fontaine asks John to excuse himself and JB, he wants to show Jess some first editions, but JB doesn’t want first editions she wants answers – why was she invited to the party, was it to see if she’d recognise Penelope Caldwell? Fontaine did work with Nigel Atkins didn’t he?

Fontaine suddenly remembers how he knew JB was in town – Nigel told him that morning on the way to the airport before his flight to Australia. JB isn’t barely paying attention, she’s just spotted something…

Look familiar? Scroll up a bit....I KNOW! Well played MSW.

Look familiar? Scroll up a bit….I KNOW! Well played MSW.

Also that bow is A++++

Also that bow is A++++

Fontaine is still giving her nothing about Atkins, so she tells him the police might like to know that the people who witnessed Atkins’  ‘suicide’ are also working at his party, to which Fontaine scowls and says that would be a very bad idea. Nigel Atkins is dead.

She's not giving up on this.

She’s not giving up on this.

Back at her hotel room that night, JB is kicking off her shoes when she gets a knock on the door – it’s local tough guy Mickey Daws, wanting to know what Jessica knows about the location of Nigel Atkins. It turns out Mickey is a moneylender, and Nigel owes him ten thousand dollars.

JB tells him that the police told her that Nigel had gone to Australia.

*backpedals aggressively*

*backpedals aggressively*

Mickey suddenly decides he didn’t need the ten grand back anyway and departs.

The next day, Jess goes back to see Inspector Stillwell and lays it all out for him – she knows about the affair and the money. He promises there is no coverup and he will look into all of her allegations most carefully. Jess says she hopes so, otherwise she’s going to visit her friend on Fleet Street and this little yarn will be on the cover of every paper in town.

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

After she leaves, Stillwell gets on the phone to Fontaine, who himself gets on the phone to another man in a suit. He tells the man Jessica is threatening to go to the public, does the man authorise the radical solution?

The man says he’ll get back to him on that.

DRAMA.

JB, clearly the only person doing anything about this murder, decides to visit Nigel Atkin’s apartment to see what she can find. The door is locked, but she overhears a delightful exchange between the landlord and his neighbour Daisy Collins about Daisy’s back-rent, which she has just decided to pay with a bonus, she’s moving to Mayfair.

...

THAT FACE THOUGH

The landlord disappears in a huff, and Daisy comes round to find JB loitering in the corridor. Daisy doesn’t seem to surprised, and says Nigel’s not usually back until six. She opens his door and goes in to feed his cat.

 

100% would wear this now.

100% would wear this now.

On the pretense of looking for a letter she’d sent Nigel, JB gets chatting to Daisy and learns that she feeds Nigel’s cat sometimes but the poor thing is going to the pound the next day, as she’s moving out. JB comments on the dress and Daisy tells her it’s new from Selfridges.

As JB leaves she bumps into Fontaine, who offers to give her a lift back to her hotel. JB soon realises that’s not where they are driving to but Fontaine only smiles and starts blaring Ride of the Valkyries. Her constant demands for a explanation/telephone go ignored, and it’s only when JB is shown into a room of an old manor house that answers are forthcoming. Jess is introduced to the man Fontaine had spoken to on the telephone, who tells her that after extensive enquiries about Jessica, they have decided to tell her the problem with Nigel Atkins.

“He was some sort of agent – a spy?” Asks JB.

“I see your deductive abilities live up to your reputation.” Says the man.

DUH.

DUH.

Anyway, long story short Nigel Atkins was a double spy for England and China and there’s a dicey diplomatic situation involving the handover of Hong Kong back to China (remember when that was a thing) but guys. HOW DID THEY NOT KNOW WHO JESSICA WAS, MICHAEL HEGARTY HAS BEEN GETTING HER INTO TROUBLE FOR AGES I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

It is revealed that Fontaine arrived at Atkins’ hotel room after the murder and before Penelope Caldwell, but was unable to do anything of about it on account of JB turning up. They staged the suicide and it almost worked apart from JB’s constant questioning.

On the way back to London Jess tells Fontaine about the loan shark and how Nigel had promised to repay him the next day. No money was found on him, so they interview Mickey again. He swears he didn’t kill Nigel, and that Nigel had told him the night before he died that he would have the money for him that day. They tell him he’s off the hook for the time being. Jess wonders if Penelope Caldwell’s husband knew about her affair with Nigel and Fontaine tells her he didn’t even know until he saw her in the hotel room after the murder. Jess tells them about the private investigator, and they look uncomfortably like they knew nothing about that. Fontaine handles it by going to see Archie and giving him a bit of an incentive to go on holiday.

Cut to Penelope Caldwell stress drinking vodka while her husband tells her all about how Nigel Atkins went to Australia on short notice.

JB and Fontaine are sitting in the park watching pigeons going about their business…

This screencap is for my brother, he knows why. (You're welcome)

This screencap is for my brother, he knows why. (You’re welcome)

Jess suddenly remembers Nigel’s attache case (go on, scroll right up – I KNOW! I nailed it today!) but Fontaine says it wasn’t in Nigel’s apartment when they searched it. Except when JB went to see it, it was there (seriously, go and scroll up again I AM A GOD OF SCREENCAPPING HELLFIRE).

Now how can that be?

The same reason a certain cat was about to be impounded.

Yeah, called it.

Yeah, called it.

What happens when a girl hears about ten thousand dollars and knows just what to do with it. Naturally JB worked it all out and convinced Inspector Stillwell to let Mickey Dawks go in wearing a tape recorder to record Daisy’s confession. But they don’t arrest her just yet – apparently the world needs to think that Nigel Atkins is still alive for a little while yet.

Case closed!

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

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