S08E03 – Unauthorized Obituary

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At a fancy shindig in New York this week, Fletcherfans, where Our Heroine is being begged by some bloke named Griswold to become JB’s agent.

Ain't got time for this, there's drinking to be done.

Ain’t got time for this, there’s drinking to be done.

Attention is diverted when Jane Dawson, author of the scandalous tell-all biography of Senator Edward Crawford, wanders into the room and is swamped by fans.

Now I know why I spent this episode thinking God that looks like Jessica Walter. I'm on the ball. *coughs*

Now I know why I spent this episode thinking God that looks like Jessica Walter. I’m on the ball. *coughs*

Griswold rushes over to greet Jane but she sashays past him to meet JB. She’d heard Jessica had moved to New York, it was a smart move, that’s where the action happens. New Hampshire’s loss is NYC’s gain!

“I’m just here temporarily.” Says JB. “And it’s Maine.”

Like that was even possible.

Like that was even possible.

Jane barrells on. She wants to have lunch with JB, she hasn’t got time to talk now but she hears JB is friends with Arthur Brent. With that she departs, leaving JB’s companion to ask “Who’s Arthur Brent?”

The next day (probably), Jane is hard at work on her next target/arguing with her lawyers on the phone when her assistant comes in with good news – they bribed someone at a sanitarium and managed to get the target’s medical records. Jane sends her off to try and find someone who hated the target and get more dirt but then Jane’s sister Beth comes in. She’s worried because she heard Jane fighting with her husband the previous evening, but Jane tells her not to worry about Steve – unless he lays a finger on Beth in which case she should tell Jane and she will rip his liver out. Beth says that’s unlikely, she doesn’t even like Steve and she doesn’t know why Beth married him. Beth tells her it’s simple enough – he’s tall, looks good in a tuxedo and is great in bed.

I do love Jessica Walter, I’m not going to lie.

Jane tells Beth she had a little fight with Steve, he went off to the Hamptons to cool off, but no big deal. She sends her off with some money to go buy something nice and then demands to know from her assistant why JB hasn’t returned her call yet.

Later, JB is waiting for her publisher to arrive for their lunch date when Jane sits herself down, saying she moved her publisher back an hour so they could talk. She cuts to the chase – Jessica is friends with Arthur Dent and his wife Ellen Lombard, and Jane wants to know why Ellen doesn’t make movies any more, what happened with her nervous breakdown/suicide attempt and whether it’s true that Ellen is now addicted to booze, tranquilizers and whatever else is kicking around.

JB tells Jane that she doesn’t gossip about her friends, especially not to people who will twist the facts to titillate her readers, and if she proceeds with the book Jess hopes Jane is ready for a lawsuit.

(Sweetheart is the name of the tape recorder, obviously)

(Sweetheart is the name of the tape recorder, obviously)

Jane informs her she’s never lost a lawsuit but decides to appeal to Jessica’s practical side – JB being linked to the book will sell more copies, which will generate publicity for her. If she doesn’t, well some of the dirt thrown at Ellen could stick to Jessica.

Jessica requests that Jane leaves while Jess is still in control of her temper.

She's going to Hulk out in 3...2...1...

Fletcher smash in 3…2…1…

Jess calls Arthur to tell him about the impending shit-storm that is rumbling. Arthur is devastated, Ellen is still in a fragile state after her suicide attempt and he will not let her come to harm. Jess feels awful that she hasn’t seen them that much in the last couple of years but Arthur tells her that Ellen won’t see anyone, not even Jess. She had a stroke a year ago and she doesn’t want anyone to see her in her current state.

Later that night, Jane’s husband Steve picks Beth up from class so she can help him convince Jane they should stay together. As they sit in the car out the front of the house, they notice someone go inside. Steve shrugs it off but Beth is worried and they go in after him. They go inside but there’s no sign of Jane. Suddenly the lights go out and a figure rushes past them on the way out – it’s Arthur Brent. They go upstairs and find Jane dead in the bathtub with the television.

You never see that any more. There’s never the toaster in the bath, or the hair dryer in the bath. Ah, the olden days.

The next morning, JB goes down to pick up her newspaper from Ahmed the doorman, who is all of us in this picture.



JB tells him she’s not happy with the local supermarket and wonders if he can suggest another one, but then gets distracted by the headline about Jane Dawson’s murder. She goes upstairs and calls Ellen but Ellen tells her Arthur has gone out and he was up late all night the previous night reading to Ellen. She tells JB that they will catch up again soon, when Ellen is feeling a bit better.

Jessica heads over to Jane’s house where she meets Lieutenant Gerard, who is also delighted to see her – so much so that he invites her to come up to view the crime scene. JB notices a phone message left by Jane’s assistant Kristy at 9:45, as she goes up the stairs. Presumably relevant. Upstairs, Gerard explains that all the clocks stopped when the place shorted at 11:03pm, when the television went into the tub. He resumes his interview of Jane’s sister Beth, who explains that the man (Arthur Brent, and you guys have no idea how much I keep wanting to write Arthur Dent) rushed down the stairs. She describes him and JB says it could be almost anyone oh is that time I must dash. Gerard asks her to pop by the precinct later, he still has something he wants to talk to her about.

JB goes to see Arthur, who fills her in on his side of the story. He was at the house at Jane’s request, but when he arrived at 11pm there was no answer. The door was unlocked so he went in – he heard the hot tub going so he figured she hadn’t heard him knock but when he went upstairs to check she was already dead. He was about to call the police when he heard Steve and Beth downstairs so he fled. Jessica tells him he needs to talk to the police, and that the lead detective seems very friendly but she isn’t sure why.

Jessica finds Gerard interviewing Jane’s assistant Kristy, who says she left Jane’s house at about 8 o’clock, which sounds fishy to JB on account of that phone message from earlier. Apparently Jane was in the habit of watching the news and returning phone calls from the hot tub which is a level of multi-tasking I frankly do not want. She excuses herself, and after she’s gone Jessica tells Gerard about the phone message. He’s not bothered though, because there’s something he wants to show Jessica….his manuscript.

I feel like this has happened before...

I feel like this has happened before…

Gerard’s offer to split the profits 50-50 is thankfully interrupted by Arthur’s arrival to admit to being the mysterious person in the house. Gerard is delighted – JB lives up to her reputation and gets the killer to surrender!

While Kristy goes to the publisher to try and get a book deal for the Ellen Lombard book now that Jane isn’t around to finish it, Jess and Gerard are chowing down on hotdogs and debating the murder. Gerard is convinced that it’s all over now that Arthur has come in, and is going back to Jane’s hosue to try and find more clues to prove it. He invites JB to tag along, that way they can discuss his book.

At the house, Gerard launches into a long explanation of how televisions can kill, until Jessica interrupts to say she’s seen it before. (Damn right she has). Kristy appears with a folder full of papers under her arm and a half-arsed excuse about clearing out her desk but Jessica has no time for these shenanigans and suggests to the lieutenant that nothing should be taken from the crime scene until it’s been checked. Kristy sighs and hands it over before leaving. Jessica shamelessly volunteers to read them for the lieutenant and he’s grateful – hopefully Arthur Brent’s motive might be in there somewhere.

Jane’s husband Steve pipes up and says Arthur has a hell of a motive considering his wife was the target of Jane’s next book. Gerard asks JB if she knew about this and she stalls him long enough for the phone to ring. She flees before she has to answer the question.

That suit is pretty amazing just by the way.

That suit is pretty amazing just by the way.

Jess goes home to investigate the papers and finds the birth certificate of Elizabeth Prewett, along with a baby photo and a lock of hair. She’s interrupted by a phone call from Gerard saying that he’s tracked down the mysterious phone message – it was Jane’s lawyer who had called and he’s coming in for a chat.

At first Jane’s lawyer is reluctant to disclose what the call was about, but eventually reveals that Jane was planning to divorce her husband Steve and wanted to confirm the details of their pre-nuptial agreement. He says she called him back at about 10 o’clock but that she had another call coming in and said she would get back to him the next day.

Jess excuses herself and goes to see Beth at the funeral home, who confirms what JB suspected – Jane wasn’t Beth’s sister, she was her mother. Beth tells her the whole story of how Jane had her at fifteen, danced in a club in New Orleans, fought her way to the top etc etc etc. She thought it possible that Kristy was blackmailing Jane about Beth’s identity, but didn’t know anything about Jane’s plans for divorce. She just regrets that she sat talking to Steve in the car for so long, and then going in and the lights going out. JB asks her if all the lights went out, and she says they did.

JB convinces Ellen and Arthur to pop round for tea and a chat and to confirm with Arthur a couple of things. He tells her the lights were definitely on when he got there, and the TV wasn’t plugged in. This is all JB needs and she goes to call Gerrard to meet her at Jane’s house.  Steve lets them in and leaves them to it. Gerard launches into a detailed explanation of how circuit breakers work.

JB don't need no man explaining ANYTHING

JB don’t need no man explaining ANYTHING

JB tells him that there’s no way the TV going into the tub would have shorted the whole house, and she believes Arthur when he says the lights were on and the TV unplugged when he got there. She thinks Jane had been dead for an hour before she was found, and what’s more she thinks she knows who killed her.

Tale as old as time....*coughs*

Tale as old as time….*coughs*

Steve arrived back early from the Hamptons, just in time to eavesdrop on Jane’s conversations, and had an adverse reaction to the news he was on his way out as number 1 toyboy.

Job done, Jessica neatly ties up loose ends by setting fire to Jane’s file on Ellen Lombard and telling Lieutenant Gerard to give Kristy the assistant a call – she’s looking for a project.

Shout out to the electrical workers who came and fixed the power to my building when the transformer blew, and to Melbourne weather for refusing to believe it’s nearly summer by hailing, snowing, blowing up transformer boxes with wind and generally making a general fool of itself. Classic Melbourne.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S08E02 – Night Fears

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JB is back to school Fletcherfans! It’s her first day teaching Criminology at Manhattan University, which seems entirely legitimate and the sort of thing that doesn’t sound farfetched at all.

Arriving early on her first day, Our Heroine gets a tour from the department head Dr Auerbach, and meets her fellow colleagues including this guy who you might remember from season 2:

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Wallace Evans offers most insincerely to be of all the assistance he can give to the new fascinating experiment. Turns out he used to teach the class that JB is going to be teaching and isn’t too thrilled with the new arrangement. As Auerbach escorts JB to her classroom he explains that Wallace was hoping to be made department head but that didn’t work out either. Also there’s been lots of muggings on campus so don’t stay late but I’m sure you’ll do great oh I’d better run.

(I think JB doesn't know what she's in for tbh)

(I think JB doesn’t know what she’s in for tbh)

Her first class begins and all seems to be going well. She even drops in a Hamlet quote to demonstrate a point (I love it. I had an anthropology lecturer who used to do the same thing with Monty Python clips it was awesome). This doesn’t sit well will all of the class though, NYPD Officer Morelli in particular who starts muttering away to his neighbour.

Morelli is going to regret this.

Morelli is going to regret this.

When JB asks if she can do anything for him, he says well that’s the point isn’t it? You’re a writer, I’m an NYPD detective, what can I hope to learn from you?

JB pauses, goes back to her lectern. “Well…perhaps as much as I’ve already learned from you. That for instance you had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning. Then stopped by the precinct’s target range to get in some practice.  You’ve recently given up smoking, you were born in the midwest and you’ve been married only a few months.”


*mic drop*

*mic drop*

After class, JB heads to the cafeteria where she is accosted by one of her students, Luke Phillips.

I think we know where this is going

I think we know where this is going

It turns out Luke is actually a mechanic who just wanted to meet his idol JB, and when JB points out he should consider dropping the class and taking another he loses his mind. He’s read all her books twice, she owes him. If it wasn’t for people like him she’d still be in Cabot Cove baking brownies.

Sitting down to lunch Jess is soon joined by another student, Kevin Bryce. He’s another NYPD cop, but he was happy to see JB take Morelli down a peg or two. As they chat, Kevin reveals that he’s studying for the sergeants test again, but that he’s already failed it three times. Because Our Heroine is benevolent and wise, she offers to coach him through the test and he’s delighted. Damn right he is.

That afternoon, JB is wandering around campus when she hears sirens. She (along with half the school) go running and finds one of her students, Roslyn, being loaded into an ambulance – the latest victim of the campus mugger. JB goes to see her in hospital but Roslyn doesn’t remember much. She just knows she’s too scared to go back to school. JB tells her there are counsellors who can help her get past this, and of course if there’s anything she can do…

There is, says Roslyn. Could she catch this guy?


The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

JB tells her that she’s only new to the university, and that the police might not appreciate her involvement in the case but she’s sure the police will have it all sorted soon. She tells Roslyn to concentrate on getting well, and that the class will still be there when she gets back  – but Roslyn says she doesn’t think she can come back, what with this monster still on campus and all.

Time passes (presumably). JB is back in class teaching away when Wings Wallace pops in to listen to her class, bemoan the fact that JB won’t let him help, and suggest that the muggings on campus could be used as a workshop for the class to track down the guilty party.

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings Wallace tells JB that he too has read all of her books and finds them interesting – 5 people in a house, 2 get murdered, and then the killer is caught. Much like Cabot Cove – home to 3 suspects, 2 dogs and a duck.

(No seriously, who wouldn't?)

(No seriously, who wouldn’t?)

Wallace thinks he can solve the case, what about JB? Jess is horrified at the suggestion of a wager but Wallace says its an academic exercise that will benefit the students. JB suggests they take it outside, where she informs Wallace (again) that the idea of a bet to see who can solve the case the fastest is inapprorbut Wallace figured JB would jump at the chance to prove herself.

“Well I’ve found that people who think they have something to prove never succeed in doing so. ” Says JB.  (Life Lesson #63. Ooh that’s a good one).

Down at the precinct Wallace hits up Kevin for all the files on the muggings so that he can “build a profile of the suspect”. (I should point out that earlier in the episode Doctor Auerbach tells JB that Wallace was sacked off the NYPD after two years for being heavy-handed so this whole building a profile thing sounds like something he saw on an episode of LA Law or something). Kevin tells him he won’t help him take down JB, not even when Wallace threatens to fail him out of his forensics class. YOU GO KEVIN.

Wallace pops by JB’s classroom with an advanced copy of the student newspaper proclaiming the race between Wallace and JB to solve the campus muggings. JB is horrified, but Wallace thinks she should be happy – it’s publicity and that’s why she was hired – enrolments were down, money was drying up so Doctor Auerbach had a crazy idea to boost enrollments by bringing in a celebrity.

Devastated, JB goes to see Auerbach who, like every middle aged white dude, begs her to see it from his perspective. The school was desperate.  He asks her if she would have taken the job if he was upfront with her and she says absolutely not. She informs Auerbach that she will stay until a suitable replacement can be found and then she’s out. Auerbach asks her if they could just discuss it and JB says “I believe we just did.”


Later that night, JB is leaving the university when sirens start blaring and people start running towards the sound. JB follows and runs into Kevin, in work mode. He says the mugger has struck again, but this time it went too far and the victim died. JB asks him for everything he’s got on the case. She’s in.

Cut to JB’s New York bunker, where Jess is taking a break from helping Kevin study for his test by going over the murder. He tells her that the knife was found but also two blood types so they’re thinking the victim managed to defend himself and cause some damage to his attacker. JB wonders if the attacker ended up in hospital and Kevin says they’re checking, but that the only weird thing is that another student was hospitalised across town for a gunshot would but he can’t see how the two events might be connected.

Down at the precinct Kevin gets pulled up by his boss for providing information to JB (which frankly is a valid point as much as I love Our Heroine) and orders him to back off. Meanwhile over on campus JB has stumbled onto a message left by the killer – I am the sword of justice, death sings to me, alpha and omega.

Get a better slogan, murderous mugger guy

Points for effort, 0 points for originality.

JB recognises the reference and goes hunting in the library for the source material but before she can find the book, Luke the crazy fan pops up to tell her he’s no longer her #1 fan.

Down at the precinct, Wallace and the captain are contemplating how to proceed.

The eternal question.

The eternal question.

The captain is worried, but Wallace is all over it. It’s definitely either disgruntled former student or employee, or it’s a crazed psychopath drifter. Wallace is convinced it’s the latter, and thinks if no murder occurs in the next 72 hours then he will be proven right. The captain hopes so, but Kevin overhears and approaches Wallace. He thinks it’s too early to have a definite idea on who it is, but Wallace is unstoppable. Plus he got a letter from the killer so he’s totes a threat.

Wallace isn’t the only penpal of the mugger, JB’s got a letter too. She goes to show it to Kevin after class but he tells her he’s under strict orders to stay out of it and stop helping JB. Undeterred, JB heads to the library to try and track down the book she thinks the mugger is quoting from. The librarian conveniently wanders away from her desk so JB can see the screen – the book was borrowed by Wallace Evans.  As JB leaves the campus for the night, someone takes a potshot at her and drives away. As the hordes come running, JB spots the Greek characters for alpha and omega on the ground.

The next day JB takes a cab out to Kevin’s place. Kevin’s not home but his mum is – they get to chatting and it’s revealed that Kevin’s father (who was a cop) got done for corruption just because everyone else in his squad was. Mrs Kevin’s Mum doesn’t want him to be a cop. Kevin arrives home and asks Jessica to a) leave and b) drop the investigation. JB says she’ll leave but she won’t drop it – someone took a potshot at her, this time it’s personal.

Kevin goes to work and tells his boss he can’t stand by any more, he’s going to help JB. The captain tells him he’s on his own, and department policy means he can’t take any documents out of the precinct. Fortunately Kevin has a way around that, as he explains to JB later. He just ordered copies from the coroner’s office and picked them up before they entered the precinct. YOU GO KEVIN.

As they go through the reports, JB notices that no skin tissue was found on the serrated knife belonging to the mugger, only blood. Furthermore, there were no fingerprints on the knife, which makes no sense if the murdered guy used it to fight his attacker. JB sees it all now. They go to find the student who was shot across town, and after some grilling get him to admit he was the mugger.

Which basically leaves only one suspect. Which I thought was obvious about 10 minutes ago, but what do I know.

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Determined to restore his fragile ego,  Wallace sets out to catch the mugger. Except when he does he decides the easiest option is to shoot him, except when he shoots the bullet goes straight through the mugger and kills the mugging victim. You stuffed that up Wallace old man. And so, to cover up his boo-boo, Wallace created the idea of a crazy hobo transient as the killer. Except JB knew better.


Later gang!

Later gang!


S08E01 – Bite The Big Apple


Welcome to Season 8 Fletcherfans! And new opening credits! Because there’s change in the air in Cabot Cove! So many exclamation marks!

JB arrives home from a trip to the supermarket to find half of Cabot Cove in her lounge room singing “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow”

And don't you forget it

And don’t you forget it

The reason for the fiesta is that JB is moving part-time to New York City, to teach a criminology course at Manhattan University and wander around the schools in the area. Sounds legit to me.  Seth (who is back, hooray) is not pleased with the idea that Jess is renting an apartment but Jess says that she’s sick of living in hotels and she can’t just keep landing in on Grady all the time.

“Why not?” Says Seth. “He lands on you whenever it suits him!”

It's been awhile since Grady's even made an appearance. I'm suspicious.

It’s been awhile since Grady’s even made an appearance. I’m suspicious.

While Eve Simpson ponders the amount of attractive men JB will find in New York, one of Jessica’s neighbours, who I have never seen before this episode, asks about her new apartment. Jess tells him it’s small but cosy, and in an area where she feels completely safe.

Cut to police sirens, because duh.

At JB’s new bunker in NYC the former tenants – Mike Freeloaderlander and his secretary/thing on the side Sharon are in the process of moving out. Well, Mike is. Sharon has just found out she’s moving out and she’s not too happy about it either. Before she can complain the painters arrive ready to touch the place up for Our Heroine’s arrival the next day. Mike and Sharon leave, with a promise from Mike that the movers will be along to pick up the stuff and to just paint around it.

Downstairs, Mike offers Sharon twenty bucks for a cab but she tells him he’ll need it more than she will. Mike spots a car parked across the street from the building and runs back inside. Sharon decides to go hang out in a bookstore for awhile which is the first sensible thing she’s said or done all episode. Mike rushes back upstairs, orders the painters to take a coffee break (after being there roughly five minutes), pinches a screwdriver and then disappears into a back room.

Back in the Cove, Seth is registering his many objections to JB moving to New York, to which JB asks him the last time he went to NYC. Seth reminds her of the time he got kidnapped by the mob to save their dying father. “That was Boston.” Says JB.

“What’s the difference?” Says Seth.

JB promises to behave, but Seth has been reading statistics on women who are attacked and it’s horrifying. Bless you Seth. There are a lot of people on Twitter who apparently haven’t managed to work that out yet.

Meanwhile, in JB’s new building’s car park…

He is no more. He has ceased to be. Etc etc. There's really no bad time to quote Monty Python.

He is no more. He has ceased to be. Etc etc. There’s really no bad time to quote Monty Python.

When JB arrives in NYC the next day, her new doorman has some news about the former tenant of her apartment.

***Actual quote,

***Actual quote.

Undeterred by the seriousness of this murderous update, JB heads upstairs to unpack, and gets a visit from the two detectives investigating the case, Jack Boyle (previously seen as cop in about 100 episodes of MSW, by which I mean three) and Kawalsky from Stargate SG1 (insert not a time to lose your head joke here). They have arrived to collect what’s left of Mike Freelander’s personal effects/fanboy over JB’s arrival in the city. Boyle tells her that the kitchen drawers are sticking, and to get onto it right away.

Such service.

Later that day JB gets a visit from Mike Freelander’s wife, who has come to collect Mike’s things, but JB explains that the police already took them and that she should probably go home – it’s clear Mrs Freelander isn’t playing with a full deck of cards. She departs, but not before mentioning how ironic it is that the person who gave Mike so much pleasure is the same person who fired the shots that killed him. JB returns to the task at hand and turns the shower on, but when the shower rod comes crashing down she finds some rolled up invoices for Freelander and Freelander Import/Export inside the rod.

Because she is a top citizen, she goes to report her find to Boyle and Acosta/Kawalsky, and finds them at the aforementioned import/export company having a chat with Mike’s brother Harry and his son Scott. Scott appears to be not that upset over the death of his uncle, as apparently he stole Scott’s promotion but they are all interested to see the invoices that JB found in her shower rod (“You looked there?” Boyle says, aghast and impressed). Each invoice has a piece of jewellery listed that isn’t on the original invoices that Sharon is ordered to retrieve and bring out from the office. Scott tees off on Sharon and Mike being in it together, so JB and the detectives discretely withdraw. While Boyle tries to hail JB a cab he warns her about the perils of being a private detective in New York, but she assures him she has no interest in getting involved.





Inside F&F Importers, Harry scolds his son for airing the family dirty laundry in public, and that Scott didn’t get the promotion because he was a “pygmy”, at which point Scott informs his father Sharon has resigned, and where’s the gun Harry has for protection, it isn’t in his drawer.

Meanwhile, at the New York House Fletcher, JB arrives home to find the door open and the apartment torn apart.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Seems a safe bet.

Seems a safe bet.

Speak of the devil…

Naw Seth!

Naw Seth!

Sidenote: Here now are the three stages of being friends with Seth Hazlitt/dealing with problems, according to me.



Here endeth the lesson.

Here endeth the lesson.

Boyle and Acosta arrive on the scene to take a statement regarding the robbery. JB tells them nothing is missing and that she thinks it was related to the other matter.

“What other matter?” Says Seth.

“The murder. The last tenant was shot down in the carpark.” Says Boyle.

I have missed Seth's tantrums.

I have missed Seth’s tantrums.

Later that night, after Seth has helped JB clean up, she asks him whether he’s made reservations at any hotel. He tells her nope, he’s staying right there on the couch and he won’t take no for an answer. The next morning, Seth catches JB trying to sneak out to go sleuthing, but she refuses to have him hold her prisoner and takes off before he can get dressed.

He's a lumberjack and he's okay, he sleeps all night and he works all day.

He’s a lumberjack and he’s okay, he sleeps all night and he works all day.

Seth spots JB’s glasses on the mantle and goes to give them to her but the elevator doors are already closed. While he stands in the hallway in his pyjamas , JB’s neighbour across the hall peers out (who I’ve just realised is Seinfeld’s Mum argh that was killing me I knew I recognised her), sees Seth the lumberjack and slams her door shut with such a ferocity that the door to JB’s apartment slams shut in agreement, locking Seth out.

Pfft. This exact thing happened to me. Except the door slammed shut because the petrol station down the street exploded and I had to sit on the porch in my pyjamas waiting for my housemate while every news crew in Melbourne came to have a look. Not even kidding. There were helicopters. Seth, you got off lightly.

Downstairs, JB gets the good word from Ahmed the doorman and finds out about Mike’s sudden reentry into the building after seeing the car across the street, while Sharon went into the bookstore and either is still there or went out the back way.

Jess returns to the apartment, and Seth sneaks in behind her using his mad skillz.

Classic Seth.

Classic Seth.

But JB has no time to chat – she gets a phone call from Sharon requesting they meet. At the restaurant, Sharon tells JB a vaguely confusing story about how Harry Freelander’s wife went missing, and then he started after Sharon but she hooked up with Mike, and something something go ask Harry whose is the last signature on the invoices.

Back at the apartment Seth decides to make himself useful and fix the miscellaneous broken things around the apartment when he sees Seinfeld’s Mum’s door open again. He pops his head in and asks her if she knows anything about the murder but she informs him that she doesn’t talk to strangers and slams the door in his face (good thing he has keys this time). He shouts out he’ll be across the hall if she changes her mind – his name is Dr Seth Hazlitt.

This reminds me of the time Jon Stewart was on The Nanny.

This for whatever reason reminds me of the time Jon Stewart was on The Nanny.

Back across town, JB decides to take Sharon’s advice and goes to see Harry Freelander. She sees him disappear into the back of the shop and goes round to the delivery entrance to get in. Once inside, she hears shots before a dark figure slams into her as they leg it out of the store. Jess goes in for a closer look and finds the body of Harry on the floor.

Boyle and Acosta are called to the scene and Boyle is pissed that JB has been disobeying his suggestion to stay out of the case. She tells him that since she got broken into she didn’t have a choice and decides she’s going back to her apartment, where she discovers she’s lost her key. Fortunately Seth is in a good mood and so lets her in without comment. He tells her about his interrogation of Seinfeld’s Mum, and that Mike Freelander came upstairs during General Hospital and threw the painters out, and the police arrived during Marcus Welby MD. Please don’t ask me what any of those words mean.

Seth returns to his task of declogging the drain and finds the offending blockage – a 25 carat diamond. JB calls Acosta to alert him to the find, and apparently learns something very interesting, so interesting in fact that she can’t be bothered mentioning it right now.

And because I’ve just decided I’m going to make quesadillas for lunch, and that this has taken me ages to write because I a)can’t get off Twitter and b)have had to rescue pants blown off the clothes line three times now, I’m going to fast forward a little bit.

I did not see this coming.

I did not see this coming.

JB sets up the sting with Acosta to trap Boyle. It would appear that Boyle was sick of having no money and wanted in on the Freelander scam, but when Mike Freelander tried to keep the diamond for himself Boyle shot him.

So there you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think my underpants just got blown into the neighbours tree.

On reflection, maybe hanging my washing out when there's 100km winds outside wasn't the best idea.

On reflection, maybe hanging my washing out when there’s 100km winds outside wasn’t the best idea.

S07E22 – The Skinny According to Nick Cullhane


Fletcherfans, meet Nick Cullhane.

So much plaid.

So much plaid.

Nick Cullhane, it turns out, is not a used car salesman but is in fact a detective writer/beer spokesman. Or at least he was. He just got the boot from his boss Ogden Schmesser and his two henchmen Phil Mannix and Gordon Forbes. Fun fact, Ogden’s grandfather is Drew Carey according to this painting.

Trust me on this okay? It's 100% definitely him

Trust me on this okay? It’s 100% definitely him

Oggie, seen in this picture playing some sort of golf game on his Gameboy, is concerned that Nick is preparing to write some sort of expose about him, and Gordon informs Nick that they aren’t renewing his contract. Nick – who owes his bookmaker at least 100K – doesn’t take the news well and departs, just as Phil Mannix turns up. Phil waits for Nick to depart before revealing that he couldn’t find the manuscript in Nick’s place. Oggie assumes that’s the end of that and he can concentrate on living large but Gordon points out that life will not be so large if Oggie’s grandfather Drew Carey gets hold of the manuscript.

Out in the carpark Nick is about to head off when a local toughguy/boxer shuffles him into another car and escorts him to see his bookmaker and boxer manager, Vikki Palumbo, who isn’t not too pleased with him. Nick owes her 150K and she wants it today. Nick tells her he’s going to get a whopping big advance for his next book and he’ll give her the money then, he swears. Vikki gives him 24 hours, then after he leaves calls a friend in New York to find out just how good this new Nick Cullhane book is. The next day, Vikki and her boxer pal Richard arrive at Nick’s cabin just as Our Heroine is leaving a voicemail telling Nick how wonderful she found his new manuscript, and she’d like to know his secret. Inside the cabin is a mess and Nick is nowhere to be found.

Vikki has a solution. She has another client, a private detective, who owes her some money. She gives him two options, pay up or find the manuscript. She plays him the recording of the phone message on Nick’s machine and tells him to find the mysterious woman who has the manuscript.

I mean what were the odds?

I mean what were the odds?

Harry reluctantly agrees to take the job. Vikki tells him all he needs to do is track down the mystery woman, and go and get the manuscript. Vikki will tag along too, which Richard doesn’t approve of – he tells Harry if he likes his hands he should keep them to himself.

“Everything I do should be so easy!” Says Harry.

Sidenote, the dress is amazing and I'm pretty sure I had a skirt in that material.

Sidenote, the dress is amazing and I’m pretty sure I had a skirt in that material.

Up in the Cove, Sheriff Metzger and Deputy Floyd see Nick arrive on the bus, but Mort can’t work out where he knows the guy from.

“Boston!” Says Floyd.

“How do you know he’s from Boston?” Says Mort.

“Bus came from there.” Says Floyd.

Mort ain't got time for that

Mort ain’t got time for that

Meanwhile, Nick has just arrived at House Fletcher looking a little worried, but never mind that because BEHOLD THE SHINY BELT OF JUSTICE.



Nick has arrived to ask for the copy of the manuscript he sent her – whomever trashed his place trashed his computer and destroyed his copy of the manuscript. Jess tells him she doesn’t have it and he flips out until she explains that she gave it to Ben Devlin, the local newspaper man, for a second opinion. He’s away fishing in Canada though.


Unauthorised touching of the Queen will not stand.

Unauthorised touching of the Queen will not stand.

Before JB can explain any further, there is a knock at the front door which sends a spooked Nick out the back door. A very confused JB opens the door to find Nick with Vikki.

Time for JB to put the kettle on, by which I mean get the whisky out.

Time for JB to put the kettle on, by which I mean get the whisky out.

Vikki is revealed to be Nick and Harry’s bookmaker, prompting Jessica to say “women are breaking new ground in new professions Miss Palumbo.”

I'll take it at this point.

I’ll take it at this point.

Back in Boston Oggie’s minions have learned that Vikki and Harry have gone to Cabot Cove, courtesy of Phil’s snooping around Richard’s desk. Gordon reminds them that whoever has read the manuscript and can walk and talk afterwards could pose a problem to them.

Later that night Jess gets a call from Nick, wanting to know if the people who were at her place that afternoon were guys by the names of Forbes or Mannix. Jess explains that it was Vikki, and Nick’s mood doesn’t improve. He tells JB if Gordon or Phil turn up at her house she should pretend she doesn’t know him.

Over at Ben Devlin’s house Harry and Vikki are casing the joint when they spot a figure coming out of a window. Harry goes to investigate and finds Nick, who punches him in the face and runs away before the approaching Sheriff can intervene. Vikki heads back to the hotel and apparently hooks up with Phil Mannix, who alerts his bosses that at least 2 people have read the very-much-in-existence manuscript, and tells Vikki to keep her mouth shut. As he leaves he spots Richard in the foyer of the hotel asking for Vikki’s room number.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort and Harry are firing potshots off at each other, and Jess has had about enough.

Preach it sister

Preach it sister

Jess tells Mort that the whole business is to do with Nick Cullhane, and that’s all she’s willing to say.  At the diner later, she feels bad that she didn’t tell Mort everything but Harry says they’re just doing their jobs. Jess tells Harry that the missing manuscript is the story of a wealthy playboy and his dodgy lawyer friend who fake a kidnapping attempt in order to get money out of a rich relative – a story that sounds eerily close to the story of Oggie’s kidnapping five years earlier. An expose on how Oggie and Gordon planned the whole thing would explain why Nick was so worried. Harry wonders if the manuscript might be in Ben’s office at the newspaper and Jess shrugs.

At home that night, Jess is getting ready for bed when she hears a knock at the door. She leaves the chain on and opens the door – it’s Gordon the dodgy lawyer looking for the manuscript. Jess tells him she doesn’t have it and tries to close the door but he sticks his hand in the way. Jess tells Gordon that if she calls out her neighbours will hear, and she knows that many of them have guns. (Obviously. It’s America. Even the guns have guns). Gordon tells her he’ll come back in the morning.

Harry decides to break into the newspaper office to see if he can find the manuscript but no sooner had he picked the lock on the front door someone punched him in the stomach and fled, leaving him doubled over, fumbling for what turns out to be a gun, with the body of Nick Culhane on the floor. Mort takes this opportunity to turn up, beaming. Back at the sheriff’s office JB and Harry are exchanging theories while an increasingly annoyed Mort demands more information. Finally he loses it completely and demands they tell him who Oggie is, what the manuscript is, and who got kidnapped.

The next day Oggie arrives in Cabot Cove demanding answers. Phil, who has had it up to here with Oggie’s mouthing off promptly quits his job as henchman, until Gordon gets Oggie to apologise. Over at the hotel, Vikki is mourning the loss of her 150K that Nick owes her, while Richard the boxer is demanding information on her relationship with Harry McGraw, Phil Mannix and every other man that she’s ever met, so she throws him out – straight into the arms of Mannix and Gordon, who demand to know where the manuscript is. Richard swears he can produce it for cash, but Mannix decides to beat the crap out of him instead.

Meanwhile, Mort goes to the aide of Jess with a punctured Fletchermobile, and on the way home discuss the case. The lack of gunshot residue proves that Harry didn’t kill Nick, and more than that, Mort found out that Vikki and Nick used to be a thing, so he’s picked her up and arranged for state troopers to arrest Richard when he turns up. Jess thinks this case is more complicated than that but Mort is convinced – and hasn’t ruled out Harry being involved at least a little bit.

Back at home, Jess received a package from the postman – Ben Devlin has sent down the manuscript. Before Jess can even look at it, Gordon the shady lawyer appears from a back room, demanding the manuscript. He moves towards her slowly.

Fortunately JB’s hero steps in.

The names McGraw. Harry McGraw.

The names McGraw. Harry McGraw.

Harry thinks they have their man, but JB isn’t sure and asks Gordon if he was the one who searched Nick’s place. He says it wasn’t him, it was Phil.

This gives Jess an idea. She sends Gordon to the hotel, where Oggie and Phil are getting ready to go back to Boston. Gordon is furious. He knows who blabbed all their secrets to Nick Culhane and it wasn’t the secretaries.

To be fair, he looks shady as.

To be fair, he looks shady as.

When Phil realises the game is up, and Oggie and Gordon know he told Nick everything, he pulls a gun. Fortunately, the Justice Bros step in.



And that, dear Fletcherfans, concludes season 7 of Murder She Blogged. This is the last time we see both Deputy Floyd and Harry McGraw.

Naw. We'll miss you Floyd!

Naw. We’ll miss you Floyd!

But it’s not all bad news. There’s still 4 more seasons of shenanigans to go. And this episode has what can only be the best freeze frame ending of all time.



S07E21 – Tainted Lady

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Welcome to Dry Wells California Fletcherfans, where people are having heart attacks and Patrick Swayze’s brother is riding around town like he’s Patrick Swaze’s brother.

And he's blaming it on youuuuuuuuu

And he’s blaming it on youuuuuuuuu

Swayze Jr (who’s name in this is Edge Potter, what even is that?) is about to be escorted out of the cafe by owner Ellen Wicker, to try and put a stop to the bickering between Edge and regular patron Ross Corman. Once the Edge has been taken off (heh heh he), talk turns to the death of Jake Gerringer, who died the previous evening of a heart attack. Over at the doctor’s office, however, Ross’s wife Laura is copping a lashing from her boss Dr Logan for ordering tests on Jake Gerringer’s body, but is proven right when the lab calls to tell Dr Logan Gerringer died of arsenic poisoning. Logan puts a call through to the Sheriff, Deloy Hayes, to let him know.

Let the record show that the role of Deloy Hayes is being played by Eric Cartman, who is being played by Gary Lockwood from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Also seen in Murder She Wrote.

Bahaha you can see the lighting rig in his sunglasses I don’t know why that’s so funny.

On hearing news of the arsenic poisoning, Deloy takes it upon himself to head over to Ellen’s cafe to look around. If you’re thinking that’s a bit of a leap, you’d be right, but it turns out that Ellen was once put on trial for murdering her husband but was found not guilty thanks to some detective work by Ellen’s writer friend (whomever could he be referring to?). Deloy tells Ellen she got lucky once, but this ain’t no Boston and it ain’t no country club either.

Seeing the Fletch-signal in the sky, JB hurries down to California, where she is met by Ellen’s lawyer Herb Apple (what is with the character names in this episode?). Their arrival in Dry Wells just happens to coincide with Ross asking his wife out to lunch only to cop the response “the Health Authority have closed Ellen’s restaurant, and the Sheriff has Ellen, so is that why you’re out patrolling main street? ” Or words to that effect.

JB’s first stop in Dry Wells is to see Ellen in the lock-up, who is overjoyed to see Our Heroine. She tells JB that she should never have come back to Dry Wells, it’s not the same as when she grew up there – the tannery closed after the earthquake, everyone lost their jobs and it’s becoming a ghost town. Also, she didn’t poison Jake Gerringer. She tells Jess not to expect any help from the sheriff just as he appears to inform JB visiting hours are over, Ellen has to go over to the courthouse to be arraigned. Excellent, says JB. I’ll come too and post Ellen’s bail.

Bail posted, Jess, Ellen and Herb try to leave but run into the local angry mob.



They make it to the car, which the angry mob starts shaking because THEY ARE ANGRY THEY ARE MOB. Across the street one of the sheriff’s deputies suggests they should go and do something before someone gets hurt but Deloy The Douchebag thinks they are just letting their feelings be known, it’s the American way.

Deloy the Douchebag would later have his own reality TV show, start wearing an albino squirrel on his head and  try to become president of the United States. #metaphorical

Deloy the Douchebag would later have his own reality TV show, start wearing a dead albino squirrel on his head and try to become president of the United States. I mean, what?

JB and Ellen arrive home, where the abuse starts up again, this time via phone. Fortunately for Ellen, JB knows how to take care of business.

“Look if you’re trying to shock us, you’re only betraying your ignorance. We’ve all heard words like this and usually with a good deal more originality.”

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

Alright time out. Have I ever told you guys about the three greatest things I’ve done in my life so far? They are

3) Kicked a netball to score a goal from the centre of the court at the end of a PE lesson in year 10 (noone saw this, remain devastated about it)

2)  Won 3o grand on Deal or No Deal in 2005 despite having a hangover that could only be described as biblical.

1). The year was 2007. I was home alone one afternoon. The landline rings. I assume it’s my mother, so I pick up the phone and say “Hello?” without really listening. Then I realised it was a man’s voice I didn’t recognise and say “I’m sorry, what?”

The man on the end of the phone says “Hi, I was wondering if you’d like to come round and play with my 12 inch cock.”

WITHOUT EVEN TAKING A BREATH I say “Well surely if it’s 12 inches then you can go fuck yourself.”

I hang up the phone. I do several laps of my house singing We Are The Champions while declaring myself to be the greatest human being that ever lived. 

The end.

JB gives Ellen a pep talk and tells her that she will stick around to straighten the whole thing out, and Ellen has nothing to be scared or sorry about. She asks Ellen about Jake Gerringer’s daughter Doris. Ellen tells her she doesn’t really know Doris all that well, but that she’s kind of mousy and plain although apparently she’s been dressing kind of oddly lately.

Nah though.

Sweetie sweetie sweetie sweetie

Sweetie sweetie sweetie sweetie

Mmkay mmkay.

Mmkay mmkay.

Apparently Doris is practicing for the life she’s going to live in Hollywood once she gets her father’s insurance money by having champagne and caviar at 10am. Doris tells JB that Ellen was her best friend in high school and they both worked for Jake until Ellen was fired for stealing money from the til, and she shouldn’t have killed her father, but she already got away with it once in Boston, and Doris will have to buy something good to wear for the trial she’d make an excellent witness.

(That was the look on my face after I kicked the netball through the hoop in PE.)

(That was the look on my face after I kicked the netball through the hoop in PE.)

Sheriff Douchebag, who had apparently tailed JB to the Gerringer house and is sitting in his car surveilling the place, gets a call over the radio to say that Katie Emhardt has come in to say she thinks her husband was also poisoned. He heads back to the station to get the whole story – apparently the original cause of death was declared to be a heart condition, but Katie says there were no heart tablets in the bathroom and that before he died he was clutching his stomach in agony.

Deloy the Douchebag heads over to the doctor’s office to suss it out and gets Laura to look at Walter Emhardt’s medical file. It turns out there was no mention of a heart condition, and when Deloy notices how much the time of death on Walter’s certificate cuts into Doc Logan’s gambling in Laughlin time, he suspects the Doc might not have been super thorough. He gets on the radio to arrange to get the body dug up.

Back at Ellen’s house JB asks about Ellen getting fired and she says she was never caught, someone told Jake that she was taking money and he reported it to the police. (Someone like Doris maybe, says JB). While she was in holding, then-deputy Deloy the Douchebag offered to make it all go away, how much of it would go away would depend on how friendly Ellen was. It was only when Herb Apple arrived to say Jake was dropping the charges that Deloy backed off. The next day Ellen left town, but Deloy the Douchebag hasn’t changed a single solitary jot.

The body of Walter Emhardt is dug up and sent over to the pathology lab. Deloy tells Herb Apple to pass on a message to JB – get out of his way or get out of his town. Edge Potter takes it upon himself to deliver the message by menacing JB while she’s out and about and suggesting JB might get hurt. Just as he declares he will take JB to the bus station himself sirens start blaring – Deputy Ray Gomez had been sent by Deloy to checkup on Jessica but is in time to stop the Edge from going too far.

That night, Ross Corman invites himself over to Ellen’s, allegedly for a glass of wine and to tell her about Walter Emhardt, but when he starts forcing himself on her Ellen starts to scream. Fortunately JB is there to save the day and Ross scurries away into the night. A rock flies through the window, and when Jess goes to investigate she finds the words KILLER spray-painted across the house.

Herb Apple arrives soon after to help clean up and to warn them that Walter Emhardt did die from arsenic poisoning. He also puts himself in charge of fielding prank calls, to questionable effect.

Although I'm seeing the method in his madness.

Although I’m seeing the method in his madness.

Later that night, Ross Corman dies in a method of acting that could only be described as over.

(Full disclosure: I love William Shatner)

(Full disclosure: I love William Shatner)

Ross calls for his wife, who calls the sheriff’s office hysterical. The police and the doc both arrive but Ross is 100% dead. Laura tells them that Ross had been out at a business meeting, came home sloshed, and then started howling in agony. The Sheriff gets a call about a hot tip they received at the sheriff’s office – Ross Corman had been at Ellen’s house. He heads on over to arrest Ellen and confiscate the wine bottle and orders JB to stay out of his business.

Someone is about to get Fletchered.

Someone is about to get Fletchered.

Jess goes to tell Herb about the latest developments, and stares longingly at the coffee machine.




While she stares at the coffee pot, she has an idea about what’s behind all the death in Dry Wells, and it’s not a psychopath.

Life Lesson #62: Coffee will answer your questions.

Jess goes to see Katie Emhardt for a peek into her husbands files – Walter worked at the tannery before it closed down after the earthquake flattened it. Katie tells her she looked in the files when JB called her and there’s no mention of Ellen in there – just a whole bunch of records and memos about closing the plant.

“Including what to do with the toxic waste?” Asks JB.


Over at the sheriff’s office Deloy the Douchebag comes into the cells. His staff have orders not to disturb them. He and Ellen need to come to an understanding.



Fortunately for Ellen and my television, one of Douchebag’s deputies comes in – there’s something on the TV the sheriff needs to see – Captain Planet and the Planeteers JB and some Save the Planet volunteers are digging up at the old tannery. The sheriff slams his hat on his head and goes over there to arrest them all…



It doesn’t go well…


JB explains that they’re there to find toxic waste that might have leaked into the water after the earthquake. He doesn’t believe it, but the planeteers are on the case and voila!



Case closed? Hell no! JB says there’s no doubt that one of the victims was murdered, and she wants to know just what Deloy is willing to do to prove it.

Herb and JB head over to the doctor’s office – Doc Logan tells them that Walter and Jake had preexisting conditions that would have made them much more susceptible to the poison while people like Doris were fine. Ross Corman on the other hand wasn’t even drinking contaminated water.

Or was he?

(He was).

Whomp there it is.

Whomp there it is.

That would explain why she called the sheriff and not the doctor. She was sick of being treated like a ATM.

Stay tuned for the season 7 finale next week! Only *gulp* 5 more seasons to go! Remind me why I thought this was a good idea again?

Later gang!

Later gang!



S07E20 – Murder, Plain and Simple


In Pennsylvania this week Fletcherfans, where JB is on the hunt for a proper handmade Amish quilt for Grady and Donna’s anniversary. JB is being chauffered by her publisher’s assistant Reuben Stoltz, who is not at all bothered to spend his Sunday shuttling JB out to Amish country, especially if she take a cheeky look at the contracts he has for her.

All further communication is cut short when a rampaging buggy of destruction sends their car off the road, causing complete devastation in that a couple of letterboxes got knocked over. The buggy driver, the lead singer of Amish Hanson, shoots off before Reuben can lose his mind at him.

We have reached the start of that period of time where this hairstyle was okay.

We have reached the start of that part of the 90s where this hairstyle was okay.

When Reuben bends down to assess the damage to the car’s axle he collapses in agony – a muscle spasm in his back. And I have 0 smartarse comments about that because there is literally nothing worse than a dodgy back, so JB – lacking in prescription phamaceuticals – goes to seek help at the Amish town, where they clearly will have a large stash.

Holy crap. Imagine an Amish Breaking Bad. And they were smuggling meth out in the quilts. Someone needs to get onto that immediately. I’ve seen Amish Mafia, it doesn’t seem like that much of a leap.

Jess interrupts morning prayers and explains the situation. The Amish Avengers quickly assemble, although they pointedly exclude one woman who remains seated while they get wagons hitched and head over to the crash site. Reuben is writhing in agony, but still recognises the young woman with the doctor’s bag, and her husband. “Hello Jacob.” He says.

Jess begs their help getting him into the buggy so they can go and call a doctor, but Jacob tells her the phone is miles away. His wife Rebecca says she can gather some herbs, and to take Reuben back to their house but Jacob says no. Reuben has been SHUNNNNNEND. The boss guy orders Jacob to take Reuben back to his house.

JB is surprised to find out Reuben is Amish. (I am surprised to find out Rebecca is the female student in the beginning of Ghostbusters). Rebecca tells her they grew up together before Jacob interrupts to point out that Reuben was SHUNNNNED.  JB suspects it might be time to leave, but with the car positively munted and the garage closed until Monday there’s nothing for it but to stay the night. Jacob is less than excited by the idea, but Christian charity etc etc.

Over dinner that night, JB demolishes some apple dumplings while Rebecca and Reuben reminisce about the time Reuben replaced a softball with a whitewashed apple during a softball game back in the day.

To be fair, that's a reasonable reaction to the old "whitewashed apple instead of a baseball" bit

To be fair, that’s a reasonable reaction to the old “whitewashed apple instead of a softball” bit

Reuben offers to take it outside, but Rebecca calms them down. A knock on the door signals the arrival of Franz Kauffman and Amish Hanson, come to apologise for the whole running-them-off-the-road situation, and to offer to pay for the damage to the car. Both JB and Reuben think this is fair enough, but Jacob decides a further punishment of a two month curfew is in order.

Geez. Where’s the love? (You’re welcome, Hanson fans. Fun fact, I bloody hated Hanson when they were a thing, and then I saw them on The Project a few years ago and accidentally found Taylor Hanson attractive it was a confusing time).

Outside Amish Hanson tells his father he doesn’t want to be a part of a community that has Jacob Beiler as a member (fair) and runs off into the night. The King of the Amish, Bishop Burkhardt pulls up in his Amishmobile to ask what’s going on and Franz tells him Jacob is out of control. The Bishop says he will talk to Jacob, but as Jacob is an elder there’s not much he can do. Franz ominously says he might not be one for long and disappears in a cloud of gravel and dust. By which I mean he said HIYA and drove away.

Later that night Jess is getting ready for bed when she realises she’s left her handbag downstairs. When she goes to retrieve it she finds Jacob pondering a note that he quickly hides in the collection box. She quickly grabs her bag and goes back upstairs. As she closes the blind, she spots Rebecca running sneakily over to the barn. Reuben, it has been said, is off walking.

Bit grim.

Bit grim.

*puts on sunglasses, starts singing Won't Get Fooled Again*

*puts on sunglasses, starts singing Won’t Get Fooled Again*

The police arrive. The Sheriff finds the whole thing pretty dark – Jacob was killed with a pitchfork before he was strung up like a scarecrow, and since the Amis abhor violence of any kind it was totes an outsider.

“Murder is against everyones religion.” Declares JB.

The sheriff agrees and begs JB not to mention to anyone about the pitchfork, at least until after the corner has finished his report. A surprisingly jovial Bishop Burkhardt arrives to check on Rebecca and to listen in while the Sheriff asks her some questions. Rebecca tells the sheriff that she went straight to bed, while Jacob was up counting the collection. JB points out that she saw Rebecca going into the barn but Rebecca says she was going to check on her pregnant cat. Reuben says he was out walking until 10, and went straight to bed when he came back as noone else was awake. He informs the Sheriff that as soon as his car is fixed he will be taking JB back to Philadelphia, but the sheriff informs him that while JB is free to go, Reuben’s going nowhere.

Reuben and JB get a lift into town, Reuben to check on his car and JB to finally buy that quilt for Grady. She recognises the shop assistant as the woman who was being excluded at the prayer meeting. When she asks the woman when her baby is due, she bursts into tears. It’s not the baby, she explains, but something terrible that happened. JB guesses it’s about Jacob, and the girl, Sarah Lapp says that the Sheriff can find a needle in a haystack so it won’t take him long to search the barn. They are interrupted by the arrival of two more Amish women who take one look at Sarah and walk over to the other side of the store.


Holy Crap. Amish Mean Girls. Get to work, Internet.

Over at the crash site Reuben is supervising the retrieval of his car, with the mechanic and a group of Amish Avengers to assist. The Sheriff arrives looking for a cigarette and a lighter, and when Reuben can’t produce his lighter he pounces. It’s because the sheriff found the lighter in the barn. Along with a whole lotta blood. Reuben is arrested. Jess goes to see him at the sheriff’s office and Reuben explains that Jacob had Reuben shunned back in the day after a fight about somethings that shall remain nameless. He tells Jess that he had a cigarette in the barn and must have forgotten his lighter, but he thinks he threw the butt away outside the barn so there’s no way it will be found and no he’s not holding out on her, and he didn’t kill Jacob.

Suspicious, JB fills Rebecca in on what’s happened, and asks her for the truth. Rebecca comes clean – she met Reuben in the barn, not for some sort of romantic assignation, but to tell him she knew Jacob had goaded him into the fight that got him shunned. She begged him to tell the elders and repent so he can come home, but he told her no. The thing he fought to stop from happening has happened anyway and anyway he’s not sorry he fought Jacob but he won’t lie to God. Rebecca says that was the point Jacob turned up. He and Reuben nearly came to blows but instead Reuben left the barn and Jacob ordered Rebecca to go back inside. She says it was 9:30 when she came inside and went to bed.  Jess wonders what Jacob was doing in the barn to begin with and Rebecca assumes he came looking for her when she wasn’t in bed. Rebecca also mentions hearing someone moving around outside the barn when she went back inside but she didn’t see anyone and assumed it was Reuben. Jess doesn’t think so – she remembers the note Jacob hid in the collection box and suggests they check it, but Rebecca says Franz Kauffman took the collection box that morning.

Jess heads over to house Kauffman, where she finds Amish Hanson loading up his buggy to hightail it out of town – he’s had enough, he’s off to start a boyband (probably). Jess hopes his departure has nothing to do with Jacob’s death, which he seems surprised about, but then his father arrives pitchfork in hand. He found it down by the river where Amish Hanson liked to hang out and it’s clear to him that Amish Hanson killed Jacob.


A hysterical Amish Hanson is put in the cells, leaving Reuben free to leave. He doesn’t seem particularly thrilled about it though, and in the car on the way to drop JB off at the bus station he tells her he was the one who put the pitchfork in the cave. He doesn’t want to say why, but Jess tells him she’s already spoken to Rebecca, and she knows everything – at least up until Rebecca went inside after hearing movement outside the barn. Reuben swears it wasn’t him – when he went back to the barn, on account of seeing the lantern, Reuben was already dead. He tried to help but knowing how it would look he decided to hide the body until after he could leave. He strung Jacob up and wiped the pitchfork clean of prints. Jess suggests that the whole thing was done to make the Sheriff think the killer was a man, and that Reuben was protecting Rebecca. Reuben says JB can’t possibly think Rebecca was involved and she says she doesn’t but obviously Reuben did.

They go back to Rebecca’s house – she’s delighted to see Reuben, surprised to hear Amish Hanson is in jail and horrified to hear her husband had been killed by a pitchfork. JB suddenly remembers noone knew that Jacob had been killed in the barn with a pitchfork.

Well, nearly noone.

Jessica returns to the quilt shop, where Sarah has the quilt she bought all wrapped and ready to go. Jess quietly points out that noone knew that Jacob was killed in the barn, so why would Sarah say that the Sheriff would be searching the barn?

Sarah tells her Jacob was her baby daddy, and he was going to have her shunned, so she threatened to expose him. They met in the barn, he came at her, she grabbed the pitchfork and Jacob tripped.

Hear me out on this okay?

Good riddance.

And there you have it gang. Amishtery solved. Man, I really thought I’d come up with more Amish puns.

Until next time.

Later gang!

Later gang!





S07E19 – Thursday’s Child


We’re off to Georgia this week Fletcherfans, where JB is hitting the publicity circuit for her latest book, and someone called Steve Landon is having a blue with someone called Ben Olston because the architectural plans for the school Steve designed are not being followed by Olston’s construction company. Etcetera etcetera.

While Steve, outraged at Olston’s shady practices, tries to get the whole situation down on paper, Olston decides to alert his lady-friend and wheel-greaser Dawn Bickford that Steve refuses to be bribed. Dawn is worried, as the money saved from the corner-cutting on this project isn’t enough to justify the expense that might pop up if someone were to look into Olston’s other projects. Plus she’d probably get fired. Olston tells her he has a solution, but quickly changes his tone when his wife appears, but it turns out she’s dropping by to remind him she’s heading out of town to spend time with her mother.

Later that night, a gloved hand breaks into the construction site with a briefcase full of dynamite, the consequences of which interrupt JB’s phone call to Seth (still M.I.A on the show). JB says it’s not thunder but it might be a sonic boom. Shake shake shake the room.


No I don't know why I do these things either, look it made sense at the time.

No I don’t know why I do these things either, look it made sense at the time.

The next morning, JB gets a phone call from Steve Landon’s mother Nancy, who is a big fan and was hoping they could meet. Jess explains that she’s fully booked, but Nancy mentions she was stationed in Korea with Frank during the war and Jess discovers that suddenly she’s free for lunch if Nancy can meet her at the hotel.

Downtown, Dawn wanders in to her boss’s office and announces that Steve Landon has been arrested for the bombing at the construction site, he threatened to do it in front of Olston and he has a history of mental illness and really it’s an open and shut case. Meanwhile, JB and Nancy are chatting about Frank and Korea over lunch when Nancy begs JB for her help – Steve has been arrested and she needs help trying to prove the shady goings on. JB sympathises but she doesn’t know the first thing about the situation or Steve or anything. Nancy tells her she’d do anything, to which JB says of course, any mother would.

Or father, says Nancy. And then she drops a bomb – she and Frank were more than just friends in Korea. Steve is Frank’s son.



Bomb dropped, Jess goes to see her lawyer friend Andrew Dixon who immediately calls bullshit on the whole situation and advises JB to continue on her boss-like way.

Accurate representation about 98% of politics

Accurate representation of about 98% of politics

Jess isn’t sure though – she feels for Nancy. She decides to call up her old friend Clint Phelps (whom you may remember from here) to ask about Nancy. He vaguely remembers her as a nurse they used to bump into in the Officers Club from time to time but is hazy on details.

JB decides to meet Steven, against Andrew’s advice, just to suss him out. She’s an excellent judge of character after all. They head down to the police station to meet the investigating officer, Barney Claymore, but he’s in a meeting with Ben Olston and Dawn Bickford so they sit down to wait. JB pesters him for information about Nancy but so far all he has been able to do is confirm her discharge date.

Olston and Bickford sashay away, leaving Claymore free to discuss the case against Steven. He tells them that Steven had made threats to blow the site up in front of Olston and his foreman Ron Crockett, and that Crockett saw Steve near the site at the time of the explosion, but they had only come forward now as they hadn’t taken the threats seriously. Andrew is not pleased to hear about the mental health issues but JB insists on seeing Steve anyway. Steve tells them about the shoddy construction job, and how Olston tried to buy him off, but of course he can’t prove any of it. He tells Andrew that even if it takes him the rest of his life he will pay Andrew the lawyers fees. Jess asks him if his father can help, and he tells her his father was shot down over Pusan in Korea.

Jess decides she believes him and sets to finding out more about Olston. She wanders into his office just as he has finished paying off the actual bomber, and declares herself to be a fundraiser for Councilman Axelrod. Olston informs her he already directly contributes directly to the councilman’s campaign through Dawn Bickford, to which JB says she must have the wrong fundraiser list, apologises and leaves. Olston calls Dawn to tell her he’s paid the bomber off and would she like to come round tonight for some more explosions nudge nudge wink wink urgh. He also promises to tell his wife that their marriage is over when she returns the next day.

Later that night, Olston’s wife Cynthia arrives home to find the door open and her husband dead on the floor. I was wondering when we were getting to the murder part.

The next day Jessica goes round to Nancy’s house to ask her about the mental illness the police are going on about. Nancy tells her he struggled when his wife died, but there was no mental illness. Although she did find a gun in the glove compartment of the car that morning. Jess tells Nancy she doesn’t believe Steve is Frank’s son, to which Nancy goes to her desk and retrieves a letter postmarked Maine. From Frank. Offering to do all that he can for Nancy and Steve.



Claymore chooses that moment to show up. He spots the gun on the table and asks Nancy if she has a permit for it, she explains she found it in the car. He tells her he needs to take her in for questioning – an appointment slip was found at the murder scene that said Nancy had an 8pm appointment with Olston. Nancy says she never had an appointment, she just went around there with the report that Steve had compiled to try and talk sense into Olston but it didn’t work so she left the report there and went home. Claymore tells her she should hire a lawyer, fortunately Jess knows a very good one.

Andrew agrees to take on the case, but doesn’t understand why. Jess says she doesn’t think Nancy did it, but Andrew asks her if that’s the only reason. JB says of course it is, anyone could have planted the gun. She asks Andrew to dig into Nancy’s military service more while she goes over to city hall to have a chat with Councilman Axelrod, who refuses to believe shady shenanigans are happening in his office, or that a report from Steve was ever received. He asks Dawn if she remembers seeing such a report and she swears no such report came in.

Axelrod assures JB that she’s mistaken about the whole thing, and she says perhaps but that a report is also missing from the crime scene. On that note she leaves, and Axelrod orders Dawn to find out what’s going on with the investigation.

Meanwhile, JB hops on a plane to Seattle to talk to Clint about Frank’s relationship with Nancy. They meet at a restaurant…

Lunch plans confirmed.

Lunch plans confirmed.

…and JB comes straight to the point. Clint was Frank’s best friend, and she wanted to know the truth.

Clint tells her the truth was they were all terrified they’d be dead in a week, and that some people took comfort where they could. He wasn’t Frank’s confessor.  The truth was that Frank loved Jessica.

This episode is murdering my tearducts

This episode is murdering my tearducts

Back in…wherever the hell she is…Andrew calls Jess to let her know that Nancy received a compassionate discharge because she was unmarried and pregnant. The next day she goes to see Steve to ask him about the report he supposedly gave Councilman Axelrod but he tells her he gave it to Dawn Bickford. JB finds the whole thing suspicious but still doesn’t know how it ties into Olston’s murder. Steve begs her to stay and help release his mother and she promises to do what she can. He hugs her and tells her she’s terrific.

I may never stop crying. Ever. This episode is killing me.

I may never stop crying. Ever. This episode is killing me.

Jessica confides her suspicions to Lieutenant Claymore, who says he’s already under enough pressure from the councilman’s office. Jess wonders if the pressure is coming from Dawn Bickford, and Claymore wonders how she knew? She tells him she saw Dawn in his office the morning after the explosion, and coupled with the fact that Steve says he gave her the report makes her think Dawn’s relationship with Olston was a little more than business.

At least everyone is agreeing on JB's mad skillz this episode.

At least everyone is agreeing on JB’s mad skillz this episode.

Claymore confirms that Dawn and Olston were an item. JB is convinced that the gun and the appointment slip were planted to throw suspicion on Nancy, possibly by someone else in the house at the time Nancy came by. JB also mentions the man she saw in Olston’s trailer when she was pretending to fundraise for Axelrod. Claymore wonders if she could identify him in a mug book.

Please. Of course she can.

Claymore and JB go to City Hall to confront Dawn about Steve’s report and the real bomber and she caves, saying she knew about the bombing but she didn’t kill him, she was supposed to go around to his house but she had to work so she called him at about 8pm, and Nancy was already there.

This triggers something in JB’s brain (and my stomach – refer you to the earlier picture of the dessert tray) and she and Claymore go over to the Olston residence.

Tale as old as time....

Tale as old as time….

Sick of her husband’s cheating, Mrs Olston came back from her mother’s early to try and catch him cheating, and was about to give up until she heard Dawn’s phone call saying she couldn’t come over. Then she snapped, killed Ben and planted the evidence on Nancy.

This is the most depressing episode ever.

Case closed, JB catches up with Nancy one last time and Nancy comes clean. She was so desperate about her son that she lied. Frank wasn’t Steve’s father. Steve’s father was a flier in Frank’s squad, a married man, who was shot down and killed. Frank knew about the whole thing and offered to do what he could.


I'm just going to weep quietly in the corner for awhile okay?

I’m just going to weep quietly in the corner for awhile okay?

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