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S07E07 – The Return of Preston Giles

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Fletcherfans! Sorry about the break in transmission, the internet around here is a little patchy sometimes but it’s back and I’m back and hooray.

 

To business! But first, turn it up to 11.

The patron saint of quality footwear

The patron saint of quality footwear

Ross McKay is the new boss of Sutton Place Publishing(along with another bloke, Kendall Stafford), and has a grand plan to make the company great again. And it involves getting convicted double-murderer and former company owner Preston Giles released from prison, because that’s sound business practice.

I KNOW RIGHT? Remember that time, about a billion years ago when JB first became famous and her publisher killed someone because reasons? (and don’t bother going back to read my thoughts on the subject because I have genuinely no idea what I was talking about – the story of my life)

Well, he’s back. My god this is a throwback. Imagine if the writers of Supernatural actually resolved what happened to Dean and Sam’s half-brother Adam who has been in hell for maybe 7 seasons. Or Game of Thrones finally explaining where the bloody hell Gendry is.

Anyway.

Ross takes Preston out for a release-day lunch, and Preston finds the whole biz a little overwhelming. Ross assures him he is a man with a plan, and that plan is to get the band back together, starting with JB Fletcher.

Because there was that one time he killed a couple of guys and she busted him.  #awkward

Because there was that one time he killed a couple of guys and she busted him. #awkward

Ross is convinced that if Prseton nails JB, the rest will come a-runnin. I seem to remember Preston spending most of the first episode trying to nail JB and he got nowhere. Cough cough. Preston isn’t sure, but Ross is. JB was Preston’s discovery and JB owes him, and she knows it.

I don’t think Ross understands things guys.

Back at the office Ross gets a phone call from his wife Linette, who tells him she’s going to be away working for the weekend. And by working it is obvious what she means, as about 10 seconds later she’s making out with Kendall Stafford who tells her that the weekend is off. His wife has signed him up for some volunteer work that she forgot to tell him about. Linette understands, Ross needs her help preparing for an audit. Kendall hopes that’s all the help she’s giving him, and she tells him she’s sure it’s no more help than he’s giving his wife.

I think that’s code.

Back at the Sutton Place office Preston is moving into his office and listening to a list of things his secretary Gloria is afraid of when his arch nemesis Martin Bergman appears to deliver his thoughts on Preston’s reappearance around the office. Preston tells him the financial mess the company is in is entirely his fault. Ross McKay appears to see Martin about something, but is dismissive of Preston’s complaint that he hasn’t been able to reach Ross all week. Ross says he’ll see him soon, and Martin gives Preston a royalty cheque for JB, since Preston is going to try and see her.

Speaking of, our heroine has rewarded herself with a bit of shopping after doing a round of interviews and is heading back to her hotel room for a rest when Preston pops up, much to her opposite of delight.

The queen is not amused.

The queen is not amused.

After some hesitation, Jess agrees to lunch with Preston. He confesses that he was sent to invite JB to a dinner party being thrown by Ross and Linette, where he would ply her with flattery and promises at which point Ross would produce a cheque to seal the deal. Instead, he hands over the royalty cheque and tells JB he’s going to quit the whole thing, it’s too distasteful.

Jess returns to her hotel room to find it ransacked. A hand covers her mouth and she is shoved to the floor, but not before she gets off some scratches because JB IS BADASS. She recovers, but the burglar has taken her bag and legged it. He stops at the door and we see it’s Martin Bergman. The convicted double murderer was right about him.

The next day Preston goes to Ross’s office to resign. Ross reminds him that his parole is conditional on his employment at the publishing house but Preston says he’ll take his chances. At last Ross convinces him to stay for a month and see if he can change Preston’s mind.

Preston’s secretary Gloria tells him JB has called. He rushes over to see if she’s alright but she says she only called him to put a stop on the cheque. Preston offers to deliver a replacement cheque at breakfast tomorrow but Jess gently tells him that she doesn’t think they should see each other any more on account of he killed two people.

Over at Kendall Stafford’s office, Kendall’s wife Millie is begging him to come to dinner and the opera with her that night but he tells her he has to work late. She tells him she’s tired of being his piggy bank and he apologises, he’s just tired. Linette wanders in as Millie is leaving and Millie asks her pointedly if she’ll be working late too. Linette is pissed, Kendall is messing with the Sutton Place Publishing deal, but Kendall is too turned on by her anger to care. EW EW EW EW AND URGH.

At Sutton Place Preston is working late into the night on a presentation for Ross. Martin wanders past to tell him that a new cheque will be sent to JB in Cabot Cove as per his instructions, and isn’t it terrible about the mugging, violent times etc etc. Gloria the secretary, finshed with her photocopying is returning to Preston’s office when she starts screaming hysterically. Preston finds her running down the hallway, and Martin slumped over his desk with a letter opener in his back and a bandage on his hand where it had clearly been scratched.

Preston is naturally arrested on account of he’s already killed two people, and JB goes to see him in holding. He swears he didn’t do it but concedes that he has no alibi and tells JB to go back to Cabot Cove. She tells him not to read her mind, she doesn’t even know what she’s thinking about it all.

Jess goes to see the lead detective, Jack Slocum on the case to thank him for letting her see Preston and he wants to know what Preston told her. She tells him it’s confidential and she’ll be happy to tell him all about that and her lunch with Preston after he gets a subpoena. She spots a crime scene photo of Martin with the bandage on his hand and tells the detective about the mugger but Jack doesn’t care – he has 62 murders to solve and with Gloria willing to testify that Preston and Martin were ready to come to blows the previous day (something Preston neglected to mention to JB) Slocum is happy to have one less case to deal with.

Jess decides to go to the cocktail party after all and is wooed by Ross, while Millie Stafford seems more keen on making passive aggressive suggestions about her husband and Linette. Kendall and Linette appear from the next room looking a little shady and greet JB,

JUDGEMENT JESSICA JUDGES THE PEASANTRY

JUDGEMENT JESSICA JUDGES THE PEASANTRY

Ross finds JB later admiring the view from his window and asks her if she’s decided to take him up on his offer. She tells him it’s very generous but she will have to talk it over with her attorneys and could he keep it quiet for a couple of days. Ross feels responsible for everything that’s happened with Preston and Martin, but Jess has a funny feeling there’s more to this story than meets the eye (about 10 minutes more I should think).

On her way home after the party JB has a brainwave and heads to the police station, where Slocum’s allergies have not improved. Slocum assumes Jess received his message and returns her handbag, missing her cheque and cash. He’s in a bad mood, having just learned that someone broke into Martin’s apartment and trashed the place.

JB is onto something. It’s blackmail! Martin was blackmailing someone and that someone killed him but then someone couldn’t find what Martin was blackmailing them with and so they broke into Martin’s apartment! Partially convinced, Slocum and JB go to Martin’s office to look for evidence of blackmail and find Ross going through the drawers.

The next day Preston is released, much to his relief. JB is unconvinced, as Ross swears he didn’t kill anyone, he wasn’t being blackmailed, and he had found evidence of Martin embezzling money, which was why he was searching the office. Jess goes to see Linette, who is trying to get her husband out of prison, but has nothing to say on the subject of what Martin might be blackmailing him with. But when JB tells him she won’t enjoy the financial repercussions of Ross’s imprisonment, and she comes clean. Ross and Kendall were involved in a fraud many years ago that Martin found out about and blackmailed them with. Linette swears though that Ross was home with her at the time of the murder. That moves suspicion onto Kendall, but Preston stops JB from calling the police. He has a thought on that but he needs to be sure first. He tells her he’ll call her later and goes back to work.

Later that night he’s still working in his office. Unable to get hold of him, a worried JB gets Slocum to drive over there to make sure everything is okay but unfortunately the killer got there first.

Not so passive aggressive then.

Not so passive aggressive then.

Sick of footing the bill for the blackmail of her husband, Millie decided to take matters into her own hands and bumped off Martin. When she saw the note from Preston to her husband saying he had the papers she took matters into her hands again and demands the papers from Preston. When he tells her they are in a safe place where noone will find them. she says she believes him and shoots him in the chest.

Jess and Slocum arrive just as Millie leaves the building. Slocum holds her while JB rushes upstairs to find Preston dying. He tells her they caught her and manages to say “tape” before he dies. Jess finds the tape recorder and begins to listen to Millie’s confession.

And that’s the end? This might be the darkest episode to date :S

On that miserable thought…

SERIOUSLY THOUGH WHERE THE HELL IS GENDRY FOR GODS SAKE

SERIOUSLY THOUGH WHERE THE HELL IS GENDRY FOR GODS SAKE

 

S07E06 – A Body To Die For

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Bahahaha.

Elliptical bikes? What fresh hell is this???

Active resentment

This torturous scene is taking place in Wayne’s Workout Gym, the hottest (and I assume only) gym in Cabot Cove and the new place to be for All Da Single Ladies, because this guy:

So 80s.

So 80s.

While the rest of the girls go for an orange juice Eve is back to work meeting with a prospective buyer for the old Sulivan farm, the recently widowed sports car driving Fred Keppard. As they drive out to the farm Eve can’t help honking the horn and waving to all  the passers-by, including Our Heroine out for a bike ride with Wayne devotee Nancy (aka Sally Struthers) and Ben Devlin. Ben wonders about the car, Nancy wonders about the man with Eve in the car and JB is sure they will hear all about it soon enough.

Obviously, JB is right and the next time she sees Eve she gets the full lowdown on Fred Keppard’s many great qualities. That all flies out the window when they reach the drug store and JB drops off her film to be developed. Wayne is strolling the aisles and flexing his muscles and Eve can’t wait until she introduces him to JB.

Wayne is delighted, naturally, but says they aren’t strangers – JB was in his bedroom just last night.

c2 d2 e2

Eve tries to lure JB into coming down to the gym for a workout, apparently Wayne has developed the perfect stress reduction program. Jess declines, saying her stress reduction program involves taking it out on her rose bushes.

Eve then asks Wayne when she can book a private – Wayne says he can do her about 9pm at her place.

JB is not sold.

JB is not sold.

Wayne departs, leaving Eve breathing heavily. JB points out that not that long ago (literally, minutes) Eve was gushing about Fred Keppard. Eve agrees that Fred is more her intellectual equal etc etc, but Wayne is pure hormones.

 

I know the feeling.

I know the feeling.

Eve and JB depart, leaving Wayne to conclude his business at the chemist. Nancy offers to sell him some discounted aftershave, but her husband Clarence orders her to go open the new box of dental floss. Wayne isn’t in the market for buying, he’s selling – his new line of health cocktails. Locals Joe Hardin and his wife Lily arrive at the counter, and Lily has nothing but praise for the cocktails – she has three a day. Joe (aka Blake Lively’s Dad) has a bone or two to pick with Wayne, in particular about Wayne selling Lily a $99 custom made shower head guaranteed to spray her with vitality. “Well I’m the only one going to spray my wife with vitality,” says Joe.

I MEAN COME ON NOW

I MEAN COME ON NOW

Joe and Wayne start punching on, but Wayne ends up victorious. Presumably because of all those workouts.

Meanwhile, Eve and JB decide to grab a bite to eat when Eve gets wind that one of her sales is about to fall through and she will have to drive over to Rockport that night. She was very upset to cancel her massage with Wayne but apparently not as upset as he was.

 

I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO"S GONNA SPRAY MY WIFE WITH VITALITY I MEAN WHAT

I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO”S GONNA SPRAY MY WIFE WITH VITALITY I MEAN WHAT

They are soon joined by Fred Keppard who has something he wants to discuss with Eve, so JB excuses herself. Fred has a confession to make – he can’t buy the farm, all his money is tied up in a Candian oil venture, and he’s devastated because just quietly a shopping centre is being built next to the Sullivan farm and that land is going to be worth millions.

Eve’s pupils turn into dollar signs. She has money! And what’s more she has clients who have money! She tells Fred that on her return from Rockport later that night they can go through her client files and see who might invest in such a golden opportunity.

The day passes. Wayne is closing up the gym for the night when Fred appears. He’s impressed with his protege’s latest scam, it almost seems legit. Wayne tells him it is legit, but Fred has his eyes on a bigger prize and wants to use Wayne’s status with the Cabot Cove ladies as an in. Wayne doesn’t want a bar of it, but Fred assures him they will talk again. Later that night, Mort is doing a driveby of the gym when he sees what looks like torchlight coming from the gym. He goes to investigate and find Joe Hardin looking suspicious (and holding a shower head #vitality)

Even returns from Rockport in a buoyant mood and calls Fred but there’s no answer at the hotel. While she gets the receptionist to try his room again, she suddenly notices her papers have been gone through on her desk. And Fred Keppard is dead on her floor.

While Mort and Deputy Floyd investigate, JB arrives to console her friend. Eve swears up and down that she and Fred were nothing more than business partners but Mort (and I’m guessing JB) are suspicious, since the door was locked. The CSI team tell Mort that Fred was most likely killed with a shotgun, from 10-15 feet away, which explains why people heard a car backfire around 9:15. Jess tells Eve to pack a bag and come and stay at House Fletcher for a few days.

The next morning, Eve and JB are discussing the case, and the fact that Fred knew Eve wouldn’t be home the night he was killed, when Mort appears. They found Fred’s car 3 blocks away from Eve’s which makes Mort think Fred didn’t want anyone to know what he was up to at Eve’s.

Eve declares Fred wouldn’t have been up to anything her bedroom without her.

TOO MUCH VITALITY

TOO MUCH VITALITY

Side note. I unironically want JB’s cardigan and I am not kidding.

Seriously though I love it I want it.

Seriously though I love it I want it.

Mort tells them they are having trouble locating Fred’s next of kin. Eve remembers him saying that he had a daughter at college but that he didn’t tell her the name of his daughter or the college. Mort finds the whole thing suspicious, until a phone call from his deputy reveals the truth – Fred was a conman with a long record.

Eve is devastated – it’s clear to her now that Fred was in her bedroom looking for clients to swindle. Jess asks her who else knew Eve wouldn’t be home that night but she can’t think of anyone. JB can – Wayne Bennett knew after Eve cancelled her massage.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Joe Hardin is awaiting the arrival of his lawyer and having breakfast in his cell with his wife. Talk turns to Fred’s death but neither of them knew Fred – although Lily is quick to mention that Nancy saw Eve with Fred in his sports car the other day. Hearing talk of the sports car makes Fred stop. He tells Mort he was nearly run down by a red sports car the previous night and thinks Mort should go talk to Wayne Bennett, since Joe saw the dead guy leaving the gym.

Mort takes himself down to the gym and is horrified by the estrogen levels in the gym. It turns out Mrs Mort is also a member, and Wayne comments on her progress. Mort knows, he just paid the bill. He notices the juices behind the counter and Wayne gives him one on the house. Mort picks it up between two fingers and says he’ll save it for the car. Outside, he beams to himself. FINGERPRINTS!

That night, Ben is at House Fletcher trying to get the scoop on the situation from Eve who isn’t saying a word about it. Getting nowhere, Ben storms off leaving JB to chase after him since he’s supposed to be giving her a lift to the drug store. When they arrive the store is silent, but Clarence pops out and apologises – he’s been short staffed, Nancy had to go up to Augusta to take care of her sister.

The next day, Eve is back at Wayne’s World Workout Gym facing the gossips who are full of theories as to why Fred was in Eve’s house. Wayne himself is more concerned with the absence of Nancy La Rue, apparently still in Augusta. Mort appears and declares class dismissed. Wayne Bennett aka Wayne Freeman is under arrest for Fred’s murder, much to the shock of Betty, someone who I’m almost positive hasn’t been in this episode up til now.

Hysterical, Eve calls JB to sort it out so she heads on over to the sheriff’s office where Mort is holding court. Wayne confesses to being in prison but says he wanted to go legit when he came out. Confronted with the news that Joe Hardin saw Fred leaving Wayne’s World Gym the night he was killed he tells them that Fred wanted Wayne in on the scam he was working with Eve Simpson but that Wayne said no. Asked for his whereabouts Friday night, he says he was home alone watching TV. Mort asks Deputy Floyd to take him back to his cell, and JB offers to have a quiet word with him, to see if he might open up to her. It’s to no avail – clearly lying about where he was the night of the murder, Wayne tells her that all he can say is that he didn’t kill Fred.

JB is at the supermarket, going about her JB business when Betty approaches her. She needs Jessica’s advice.

It's Cabot Cove sunshine, who doesn't need her advice?

THAT FACE

Betty tells Jess that she doesn’t know why Wayne won’t tell the truth about where he was the night of the murder. He was with her until the sun came up.

 

*mumbles something about vitality*

*mumbles something about vitality*

JB says she understands, Betty wants to help Wayne. But Betty doesn’t think Jess does understand. Wayne has been Betty’s husband for the last 9 months.

I wondered what Betty's point was.

I wondered what Betty’s point was.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort has had just about enough of this. Word is out that Wayne is off the market and there’s a run on the gym to cancel their memberships. Eve and Jessica wait outside Eve’s house for Mort to finish up at the crime scene and through the darkened window they mistake Floyd for Mort.

This gives JB an idea. Maybe that’s what happened the night of the murder. A case of mistaken identity, if you will. Someone who didn’t know that Eve had to cancel her “massage” with “Wayne”.

Mort is not impressed with this new theory. Half the men in town wanted to kill Wayne Bennett.

“Except you Sheriff!” Says Deputy Floyd.

“Thanks Floyd.” Says Mort, exasperated.

Oh Floyd

Oh Floyd

Mort begins to develop a theory that Joe Hardin is the killer until Floyd nails it again by pointing out he was already in police custody. But that’s enough to get Eve and JB thinking. Nancy knew about the appointment and she’s been missing for the last two days.

COULD IT BE…

p2

Sorry guys. Not actually true.

When Mort, JB and Floyd go to see the La Rues at home and drill Nancy for her whereabouts the night of the murder, and she swears up and down she wasn’t even in town. She gives them the name of the hotel she stayed at and Floyd goes to give them a call and check it out. JB thinks its weird that Nancy stopped at a hotel an hour away from her destination but she says she was tired and waited til morning. When Jess comments on a bruise under Nancy’s eye the truth comes out. Clarence had been drinking and hit her so she took off before he could kill her.

Floyd returns with the news that Nancy had only checked out of the hotel that day and Mort decides she’s off the hook. He was clearly barking up the wrong tree.

“Not the wrong tree,” Says JB, “The wrong branch. We both were.”

To be fair I didn't see this coming either

To be fair I didn’t see this coming either

Not satisfied with his wife’s pleas that she wasn’t sleeping with Wayne, Clarence took matters into his own hands. Also a shotgun.

And on that note,

If you'll excuse me I'm just going to get sprayed with vitality.

If you’ll excuse me I’m just going to get sprayed with vitality.

S07E05 – The Family Jewels

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Salutations and Happy Easter Fletcherfans! I hope the Easter Bunny was kind and left you eggs, unlike the sore throat (s)he left me. Although to be fair I think I acquired this throat screaming at my football team on Friday night. So yeah, don’t feel too bad for me, I brought this on myself.

But never mind all that, because we are back in New York again Fletcherfans, where JB is in town to attend a political fundraiser for BJ Hunnicutt Drew Borden, and making a pit stop at Beaumont Jewellers to get her watch repaired. While she’s there, she sees a wealthy woman, accompanied by her chauffeur, look at a bunch of necklaces and then pinches a diamond and ruby necklace when the shop assistant’s back is turned.  She doesn’t escape Our Heroine’s notice though, but when JB reports the theft to the shop assistant, Charles Lockner, he tells her that there was no diamond and ruby necklace, and that there is no other stock missing either. Seems definitive, since he hasn’t actually checked.

The jewel thief, Sheila Finley, is driven home by her chauffeur, who she then drags into the back seat for some quality time, if you know what I mean. Her delayed departure from the car does not go unnoticed by her husband, Porter Finley, or one of the maids.

But never mind all that, because BEHOLD YOUR HEROINE IN ALL HER GLORY

Lamé for everybody!

Lamé for everybody!

As they leave the hotel and head to the fundraise, JB tells Drew the story of the stolen necklace that wasn’t.

That look is a liitle Crazy Nicholas Cage, if I'm honest.

That look is a liitle Crazy Nicholas Cage, if I’m honest.

A reaction only topped by Jessica on hearing the names of their hosts for the evening – Mr & Mrs Finley Porter The Third.

For real, I got nothing

For real, I got nothing

At the party, while JB is glad-handed by Porter Finley The Third, the family chauffeur – Rocco Pastolino – is out in the garage smoothing things over with the previously mentioned maid, Margaret Gable. It would appear they are blowing this cake stand in a few days and heading off to somewhere with palm trees, so Rocco begs Margaret to be patient until then.

Inside, JB is staggered when she’s introduced to Sheila, aka Mrs Porter Finley, aka the chick what stole that necklace that time. She tells Drew, but he’s believing her even less now – Sheila is worth about 40 million dollars on her own.

After introductions all round, Sheila leaves her husband and Drew with D.L Beaumont (proprietor of Beaumont’s Jewellers) and escorts JB on a tour of the room, complimenting people on earrings that are apparently one of a kind before excusing herself to disappear with Rocco.

Time out. JB’s earrings are insane.

I mean look at them!!!

You can’t really tell from this picture but they are HUGE 

Sheila reappears to give a short “Give Drew All Your Money So He Can be DA” speech, but is concerned when her husband quietly gets Drew and Jessica out of the room. She finds them again in the garage, looking at the body of Rocco. While they wait for the police, JB takes Sheila upstairs to compose herself, and spots a pin just like one her mother used to have that JB lost a while ago. Sheila tries to give it to her, but JB refuses. She also tells Sheila that if the police ask, she will have to say that she saw Sheila go off with Rocco just before he was murdered.

Downstairs, the lieutenant in charge, Lieutenant Stuyvesant, is fangirling over Drew. He stops long enough to ask Sheila about her disappearing act with Rocco and she tells him they were in the pantry, there was a problem with party supplies (almost definitely code). Stuyvesant is happy with this and defers all questions until such time as he’s thought of them. He wrangles a lunch date with Drew to discuss a possible transfer to the city, away from the boredom and to be where the action is. JB tells him Mort Metzger moved to Cabot Cove for precisely that reason. Ha.

The next day, Jess returns to Beaumont Jewellers to get her watch and to follow up about the stolen necklace. Charles Lockner passes her over to DL Beaumont himself, who assures JB that the necklace wasn’t stolen and he should know, he designed it.

Jess reports back to Drew with DL’s weird statement about the necklace not being stolen, and he tells her some news of his own – he’s found an old police report detailing how Sheila Kowalski (her maiden name) was booked for grand theft in Palm Beach for stealing a necklace. JB worries that the Finley’s might be in trouble but has a plane to catch. As she’s set to leave her hotel room, she finds the clip she admired in her handbag, just as breaking news comes on the TV – Sheila has been arrested for murder.

Jessica goes to the Finley estate to return the pin, and is begged to stay by Porter until Sheila returns. Jessica tells him what she knows about the necklace and Porter produces a receipt – the necklace was bought and paid for the previous day. Jess suspects there is more to the story and Porter comes clean. Porter has an arrangement with Beaumont’s Jewellers wherein they send the bill each time Sheila pinches something from the store, but he doesn’t think it has anything to do with the murder. Jess isn’t sure, but wonders why Sheila was arrested in the first place. Porter tells her the police think she was jealous that Rocco was planning to skip town with Margaret Gable, but Porter refuses to believe Sheila did it.

Sheila appears at that moment, temporarily released. She confesses all to JB on a stroll around the grounds – how she and Rocco dated at school, but then her father struck it rich and packed her off to finishing school in Switzerland and it was just impossible to stay in touch, the money just got in the way. So Sheila married Porter whom she loves and would never leave, but was lacking in the drive department, sex and otherwise. The otherwise part didn’t bother her so much but…

*starts singing Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves*

*starts singing Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves*

Sheila swears she didn’t know about Rocco planning to skip out with Margaret until the police told her, but even then she would have taken a tyre iron to Margaret, not Rocco. Jessica tells Sheila she needs to come clean about her stealing and Sheila shrugs. It’s a left over from when she was a kid filching candy bars, and that no one gets hurt.

Except Mr Pastalino, says JB. Ouch.

Jess checks in with Stuyverson, who is checking out the car and wondering whether he should follow up on his request for a transfer. He finds a bow that had fallen behind the wheel of the car, and Jess recognises it as coming off Sheila’s. shoe.

While Stuyverson drums up the courage to ask about it, Jessica does ask about it. Sheila tells her she went to confront Rocco in the garage about why he’d been so cold towards her the last few days, and he got angry and shoved her against the car. But he was still alive when she left. She begs Jessica to stay the night, and JB agrees.

JB takes it on herself to have a chat with Margaret the maid, who tells her she and Rocco were running away to Rio Di Janeiro, and were going to buy a little house. JB asks where the money was coming from and Margaret tells her Rocco had some saved and was expecting more – some sort of investment plan he had, with regular payments.

SUSPICIOUS.

Later that night, a masked figure breaks into the house and chloroforms Sheila. Job done, he accidentally steps on the cat’s tail, knocking over a lamp and waking up Porter and JB. While they knock on the door the thief breaks into Sheila’s jewellery box but leaves empty handed when Porter manages to unlock the bedroom door. Stuyverson is called but is of no help. Fortunately for everyone, JB spots an earring on the ground similar to the one Sheila had been admiring at the party the other night (and honestly, I didn’t pay attention the first time. Who knew the earring would be important??)

JB takes the jewellery to another jeweller who identifies all the pieces as fakes, except the diamond and ruby necklace she pinched in front of JB. Jess has a funny feeling she knows what’s going on now and hatches a plot using Margaret Gable as bait.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

It would appear that Charlie-boy had a scam going with Rocco where he would steal Sheila’s jewellery and give it to Charlie, who would give it to his uncle in Boston. His uncle would make an exact replica, which would find its way back to Sheila’s jewellery box while the real one was sold. When  Rocco got greedy and asked for money, he received a tyre iron to the head from Charles instead.

Boom. Case closed. Now I’m going back to bed to drink more whisky tea.

Until next time, Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

Later gang!

S07E04 – Hannigan’s Wake

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First of all, thank you to everyone who played along watching ‘A Story To Die For’ last Monday. If you haven’t seen it, I completely recommend it for some boss level sass from JB, and the chick from Cold Case with Meg Ryan’s hair among other things. I will storify it and put the link on Facebook soon.

But now, to business. Our heroine has just returned from her morning constitutional when her phone rings. It’s a lady by the name of Phyllis Thurlow, who has some bad news – her husband, Daniel Hannigan has passed away. Jess is saddened by the news and asks if there is anything she can do. Phyllis says just being there will help and promises to call back with the arrangements. Before she hangs up she asks JB if she’s read any of Daniel’s research – most of it, JB tells her. Phyllis says they will talk about it when JB arrives.

Phyllis hangs up and JB looks at the folder on her desk.

BOOM FLASHBACK.

JB travels back in time to when she first met Daniel Hannigan, not long before he died. He tells her he’s writing a murder mystery “not one of those frothy confections you whip up…”

Sometimes there is no need for silly captions.

Sometimes there is no need for silly captions.

It’s a true crime, in fact, with a true miscarriage of justice. Phyllis’s brother Martin is in prison for a crime he did not commit – the murder of his wife.

BOOM FLASHBACK FLASHBACK (FLASHCEPTION)

They all travel back in time to watch Martin go into his house, well drunkard. He fights with his wife (as observed by a nosy neighbour) then a short time later we see a light flicker, then glass break. 10 minutes later, the police arrive to find Lydia the wife lying dead on the floor next to a shattered breakfront. (Yeah I had to google it too, mostly because I thought they kept saying breadfront but it’s some type of cabinet #themoreyouknow).

BOOM UNFLASHBACK

Daniel tells JB that there were no other suspects investigated in the murder, mostly because all the doors were locked. But, Martin passed a polygraph test, hangover and all (fair effort) but the results were ‘conveniently’ lost and a second test was never done. Daniel asks JB to take his notes and see if she comes to the same conclusion he did – that Lydia was killed by her brother Eric, and the whole thing was covered up by their father, Richard Thompson Grant.

And now the kicker – Daniel tells JB that he won’t live long enough to write the book and asks JB to write it for him.

BOOM UNFLASHBACK

We all confused now? Good.

We all confused now? Good.

Jess travels down to Philidelphia and meets Phyllis at the funeral home but is soon joined by Bradley Folkes, Deputy Police Commissioner, who just so happened to be in the area and in a miraculous coincidence was one of the investigating officers of Lydia’s murder back in the day. He offers to take JB to lunch, which Phyllis does not seem pleased with but Jess assures Phyllis that a chat with one of the detectives in charge of the case would be most helpful.

Over lunch, JB drills Folkes for information, and in particular wants to hear his thoughts on Daniel’s theory that Lydia caught her brother Eric breaking into her house to steal money and he killed her. He tells her that he heard the theory, and if there was any truth to the rumor he would have arrested Eric on the spot – he has no time for drug addicts, he says with a scowl on his face. To conclude, Daniel Hannigan was a brilliant writer but he was ill and as far as Folkes is concerned, the illness clouded his judgement in regards to the case.

“Or, he didn’t bow down to those who wanted the case forgotten”, says JB.

“Like Richard Thompson Grant? Ask him yourself, here he comes now.” Says Folkes.

Seriously though, what were the odds???

Seriously though, what were the odds???

Richard Thompson Grant sits himself down for a chat, and tells JB that if Daniel had published his book, Grant would have sued the pants off him. Jess thinks that sounds like a threat, Folkes assures her that it wasn’t but Grant says damn straight it was. He wants the little lady to know what she’s getting herself into if she decides to go ahead with the book.

THAT FACE THOUGH

THAT FACE THOUGH

Folkes apologises, and JB understands. She suspects that when Richard Thompson Grant makes a request, he is very hard to refuse.

Meanwhile, the man himself has gone to meet his son who has just flown in on the private jet from Atlantic City with his thing on the side, whose name is apparently Madeline. Madeline is quickly shoved back on the plane despite her protests that she wants to see the Liberty Bell, and RTG fills his son (who is being played by Not Quite Will Arnett, or in more factual terms, Luke Spencer from General Hospital according to IMDB) on the news –  Hannigan’s death has not killed off the book. Eric swears that he didn’t kill his sister, and his father tells him he believes him. He’s had to.

Sounds conclusive.

Over at the funeral home the wake has kicked off and the whisky is flowing, which it should be at all good wakes. Jess finds Phyllis talking to her nephew Stephen (played by Jiminy Cricket from Once Upon A Time, which I haven’t seen) who is furious that his aunt is still trying to dig this all up, and storms off. JB needs to talk to Phyllis urgently – an article has appeared in the paper that day all about how JB is going to finish Daniel’s book, and she knows Phyllis is responsible for it. As a rousing rendition of Danny Boy strikes up amongst the whisky crowd, JB and Phyllis go into the next room to talk. JB has a problem – she’s read all the notes and while she agrees that the case against Martin is circumstantial, there’s no real proof that Eric did it either. She just doesn’t think she can continue. Phyllis begs her to look at the evidence again, she’s sure JB missed something.

The next day JB is going over old newspaper reports when Stephen Thurlow comes to see her to beg her to leave the case alone.  She curiously asks him what he remembers of the night but since he was 3, obviously the answer is not much. She asks him if his uncle could have killed his mother in a drug induced haze and he says “I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m a college student.”

Jeez, JB. I love you, but cool your jets.

Armed with more questions than answers, JB goes to see Folkes at the police station. Her main question is who is this mysterious drug pusher known as JR that rumour had it was the person Eric Grant owed money to. Folkes tells her that since he took over the case a couple of weeks in, that line might have been dismissed by the previous detective, Detective Kravitz, who was transferred to South Philidelphia and left the force 8 years ago.

Folkes gets a phone call from the front desk, saying that a note arrived about Daniel Hannigan’s death. It’s brought up to his office, and he reads it to JB – apparently, Daniel Hannigan was poisoned to shut him up.

Word filters through to RTG about the note and he is less than impressed. Even less impressed is Stephen, who has recently come to the conclusion that people are keeping things from him. He demands to know if his grandfather knows who JR is, and RTG tells him that he doesn’t. He checked it out, after he put Eric in an overseas rehab place, but JR disappeared. The fact that Eric went to Lydia on the day she died begging for money was a complete coincidence.

Later that night JB goes to see Detective Kravitz, hard at work at his new job at a pub. Now, are you all imagining Lenny Kravitz as a cop? Because yes.

For a tiny second I thought it might have been Brian Blessed based solely on epic beardness but alas no.

For a tiny second I thought it might have been Brian Blessed based solely on epic beardness but alas no.

Over a cup of coffee, Kravitz tells JB that he got transferred after a couple of days on the case, at which time Folkes volunteered to take over. JB wonders if the transfer was a coincidence, but Kravitz tells her he had the same theory Folkes did. If Eric had been involved, Folkes would have been all over it. It turns out Folkes’s son Eddie was an undercover drug cop, straight out of the academy (seems unlikely but alright) and was killed in a raid.

As they go to leave, shots are fired at the bar. Word gets back to Commissioner Folkes who rushes to the scene, but everyone is fine, (Kravitz) and suspicious (JB). Considering how badly the shooter missed JB, if the shooter was in fact aiming at JB, has made her wonder and she asks Folkes if the report has come back on the digitalis levels in Hannigan’s blood. He tells her it hasn’t come back, but she says it doesn’t matter. Hannigan wasn’t poisoned, and whats more she thinks she knows who is responsible for the note and and the gunshots.

It doesn’t take long for Phyllis to cave in. She was so desperate to keep JB on the case that she sent the note and shot out the window. She apologises but swears that her brother is still innocent.

The next day the memorial service is held for Daniel, but JB phones ahead and leaves a message for Phyllis that something has come up and to proceed without her. Jess is in fact over at the home of RTG, where Eric is telling JB that he is innocent. Jess is about at the end of her tether and starts concocting a scene where Stephen comes downstairs to see his mother, trips over the lamp and then when Lydia tries to stop him falling over she slips into the breakfront. RTG tells her that’s ridiculous, and more ridiculous the idea that he would a)interfere with a police investigation and b)allow an innocent man to rot in prison.

JB asks Eric about the mysterious JR but Eric has nothing for her. That was all he knew him as, he bought drugs off him and he owed him money. He drove a blue Porsche and wore a bullet around his neck on a chain, a souvenir of a time when a cop shot at him in Chicago in 1967. JB pounces on this tidbit and goes to see Folkes, but gets his wife instead. While she tries to get Folkes on the phone, JB looks at some family photos on the mantle, including one of his son Eddie. Or as he’s formally known, Edward Bradley Folkes Jr. Who likes to wear a bullet on a chain around his neck.

That noise you hear is a penny hitting the floor.

That noise you hear is a penny hitting the floor.

At the cemetary, JB finds Folkes and confronts him. No wonder he volunteered to take the case.

Well this is unexpected.

Well this is unexpected.

It would appear that Eddie Folkes had gone bad while being undercover, had gone to the house to get money, and accidentally killed Lydia. He went to his father the next day who got himself onto the case and threw Martin Thurlow under the bus.

To conclude, DEPRESSING. So to end on a lighter note, please enjoy this video of a baby wombat named Derrick running along a beach on Flinders Island in Tasmania.

Later gang

Later gang

S07E03 – See You In Court, Baby

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It’s a dark dark night in San Francisco (probably) and a man is breaking into a large expensive house to steal a very expensive car from his (presumably) soon to be ex-wife.

Why does this matter, I hear you ask? Because Our Heroine would like to take some time out of her busy day to talk to you about the sanctity of marriage, to wit: young people just don’t take it seriously any more.

*coughs* Elizabeth Taylor but *coughs*

This whole pep talk, is Jess’s way of saying STORYTIME KIDS, I’M TAKING A WEEK OFF. It’s time to talk about Truman Calloway, aka this guy:

IMDB says this is Roebt Reed, aka Mike Brady. I say it's lying.

IMDB says this is Robert Reed, aka Mike Brady. I say it’s lying.

As it so happens Truman is on the phone to the woman I mentioned earlier whose ex-husband made off with her car and (as it turns out) pushed it off a cliff. Oh, rich people problems. Truman advises her not to go to the police, instead contact her insurance company directly. He’s actually in the middle of a very important meeting with a new client, a man who wants to divorce his wife (a Greenleaf of the Wisconsin Greenleafs for those playing along) but only wants a lump sum of about 3-5 million, of which he’d give Truman about 10%. Truman tells him he mispronouncing a third, and says he’s not sure he wants to take the case. It’s a lot easier to put neglected wives on the stand than fortune-hunting beach bums.

Meanwhile, the woman, Amy Sue, has taken Truman’s advice and gone straight to her insurance company, where she sits in the office of the claims investigator and bawls her eyes out, much to the claims investigator’s confusion.

Oh Dennis.

Oh Dennis.

Dennis promises to take a look at the case, mainly to get the crying woman (who has confessed to only taking the car in the divorce settlement to try and make her ex husband Ed not want the divorce any more) out of his office. He goes to have a chat with Ed the car thief, who has a lot to say on the subject of divorce lawyers but agrees to write a cheque covering the cost of the car for his ex-wife. Job done.

Back at Truman’s office, Truman is just ducking out for a lunch meeting when he bumps into his newest fiancee, Joyce, back from an acting audition and demanding to talk. He tells her he is late for his lunch meeting so she hops into his limo while from up in the office, Truman’s secretary Karen watches it all unfold. In the car, Joyce is unhappy about signing a pre-nup, but Truman tells her it’s the same pre-nup all his ex-wives get – 10 grand a month and a million dollar insurance policy. All his ex-wives except his first one, Charmaine, who only got 250 grand but Truman was poor then. Joyce thinks Truman doesn’t love anything except his money, but Truman tells her he was in love, once, though he didn’t know it at the time.

Cold.

At lunch, Truman goes over the divorce settlement of a couple of actors with the lawyer for the husband, former cop Joe Briscoe. It’s Joe’s first big settlement and he’s concerned that Truman is trying to screw him out of a big payday. He tells Truman that if the settlement doesn’t go through, he’s coming for Truman. Truman is unconcerned, he’s heard it all before.

“Not from me,” says Joe, who storms off.

Before Truman can call for the cheque, a woman sits down in Joe’s seat. It’s his first ex-wife, Charmaine.

Still refuse to believe that's Mike Brady though

Still refuse to believe that’s Mike Brady though

Charmaine tells him she’s been going to phone for some time, but it was too important. She needs to talk to Truman about Jason.

Later that night, a security guard patrolling Truman’s law office sees an open door, goes to investigate and finds Truman on the floor stabbed to death.

There’s a shock.

The next morning, Dennis the menace is on his way to work when he hears news of the murder on the radio. At his office, his secretary Rhoda tells him Amy Sue is waiting for him in his office. Amy Sue is worried – Ed turned up drunk at the house the previous night, telling her he still loved her and that they only weren’t together because of Truman Calloway and declares he is going to find Truman Calloway and kill him. Amy Sue called Ed at work that morning but the police had already been and arrested him and Dennis did say if there was anything he could do…

“Yes I did say that.” Says Dennis, thoughtfully. “In an offhand sort of way.”

Down at the police station, Lieutenant Catalano (previously seen here) is outlining the case to a claims investigator from New York, Marcia McPhee (aka Kira from Star Trek Deep Space Nine). As Marcia leaves, Dennis’ presence is announced to Catalano, who informs the desk sergeant that he doesn’t have time for insurance investigators and to tell Dennis to write him a letter.

Downstairs, Marcia bumps into Dennis who is delighted to see her – Marcia assumes Dennis is there to hand himself in for a theft and is flabbergasted when he informs her that he’s a claims investigator now (as part of his probation). He’s keen to drill Marcia for information but she’s not having a bar of it – though she does tell him that she doesn’t think Ed killed Truman, her money is on the first ex-wife Charmaine.

Dennis sees Ed, who tells him he did go and see Truman to punch his lights out but when he got there Truman was already dead, face down on the floor. He turned him over, which must have been when he got blood on his hand but he didn’t kill him. He offers to sign the release form for the car, but Dennis tells him that can wait, and that Dennis is there at the request of Amy Sue who firmly believes in Ed’s innocence and that it’s a pity the way their marriage worked out.

Naww.

Dennis’s next stop is Truman’s law office, where he runs into Joe Briscoe coming out. Inside, Truman’s secretary Karen is confused by Dennis’s questions as she’s just given all the information to Marcia McPhee. Dennis concocts a story about Marcia’s purse being stolen and requiring a duplicate copy, and Karen sighs and starts compiling.

The old Stanton charm.

The old Stanton charm.

Dennis puts Rhoda to work on trying to find out who Truman had seen in the 48 hours prior to his death and returns to the restaurant where Truman had lunch with Joe Briscoe. For the price of 2 Andrew Jacksons, Dennis finds out from a waiter that Joe threatened Truman and that Charmaine had sat down to talk to Truman after Joe left. In an amazing coincidence, Charmaine is just leaving the restaurant at that second, so Dennis turns the charm on again helped by a pair of ladies gloves that he borrows from a passing table. The subterfuge doesn’t work but Charmaine does agree to have a coffee with Dennis, much to the annoyance of Marcia who is scoping them out from a phone box nearby.

Later that night, Dennis arrives home to find flashlights moving around in his office. He sneaks inside and catches the culprit.

e1 e2

CRYING. BEST LINE EVER.

CRYING. BEST LINE EVER.

In the true spirit of generosity, Dennis tells Marcia what Charmaine’s conversation with Truman was about – her son, Jason, who needs money to go to medical school. Predictably, Truman shot that down, and Charmaine claims that was the last time she ever saw him. In the spirit of team work Dennis offers to team up with Marcia, since they both have the same goal of proving Ed innocent but Marcia want’s no part of that.

The next morning Dennis is sitting down to breakfast when he gets a visit from Joe Briscoe, who is less than pleased that Dennis has been asking questions about him. He tries to stand up to Dennis who promptly takes his gun off him and wants to know why Joe went to see Truman’s secretary Karen. It would seem that it was to try and poach clients, but as it turns out that Karen was Truman’s between-wives girlfriend.

At work, Rhoda fills Dennis in on her investigations from the list. She’s managed to track everyone down except a ‘Johnny Trixler’ from Wisconsin, who met Truman to divorce his wife, the Greenleaf. Except there is no such person as Johnny Trixler or a family called Greenleaf.

I think we all know where this is going. Cut to Charmaine’s hotel room, where she gets an unexpected visit from her son Jason, aka Johnny Trixler who tells her they didn’t need Truman then and they don’t need him now. He just flew in from O’Hara an hour ago.

Armed with a copy of Jason’s photo, Dennis pays Jason and Charmaine a visit at the hotel and confirms that Karen identified Jason as Johnny Trixler. Jason confesses to going to see Truman but swears he didn’t kill him. The police turn up and take both mother and son away for questioning, thanks to a tip-off from Marcia who considers the case closed.

A chance spotting of a newspaper article at work sends Dennis on the right track. He goes to see Karen the secretary, and tells her he can prove she was at work at the time of the murder. In response, she reaches for her bag but Dennis steps in.

There's nothing that umbrella can't do

There’s nothing that umbrella can’t do

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

The classic tale. Karen got sick of being Truman’s thing on the side, and when he chose Joyce over her she took matters into her own hands.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Murder She Blogged Epic Tweetathon Part The Third: A Story To Die For. Follow the hashtag #MSBStory on Twitter and see what fresh nonsense I can come up with!

But I'll see you tomorrow first!

But I’ll see you tomorrow first!

 

S07E02 – Deadly Misunderstanding

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Back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans where Our Heroine is banged up after coming off her Fletchermobile and breaking her arm. A looming deadline means that she’s had to enlist some help to type up her manuscript in the form of local Melissa Maddox (last seen in bed with Bryan Cranston in Goodbye Charlie).

I’m not sure how well it’s going though. JB appears to be sneaking into the kitchen to get a refill on her whiskey tea when Melissa says she’s ready for a break – her mother says she has to be careful not to overwork as she thinks she has a weak constitution but Melissa thinks it just comes from being sensitive and creative.

My life motto.

My life motto.

Melissa asks our heroine if she’s told her that she is doing a creative writing class. JB says yes,she’s mentioned it several times. Melissa, it turns out, has written a short story and since she and JB are practically collaborators now, would she cast an eye over it and see what she thinks? She can’t show it to her husband, he has no time for creative things.

JB would love to but it will have to wait until after her manuscript is shipped on Friday.

Yes, says Melissa. Have you any idea what it’s like being married to a guy whose lips move when he reads traffic signs?

We've all been there.

We’ve all been there.

Melissa suddenly realises the time and goes home to make dinner for her husband. She promises to be back early the next day to continue typing.

At home, Melissa’s husband Ralph comes home demanding dinner, and can’t see anything in the fridge. Melissa informs him that there’s a quiche florentine on the top shelf. “Oh, is that what that is?” Says Ralph. They fight and Ralph storms off.

Later that night, Melissa attends her aforementioned creative writing course, as taught by a Drew Garrison.

Sidenote: NCIS has been going for 298 episodes??

Sidenote: NCIS has been going for 298 episodes??

Ducky Drew is reading a story written by Jeff Ogden, a man who for whatever reason has a massive crush on Melissa. Drew likes the story but some of the class are confused by it. After class, Melissa tries to find out when Drew will read her story but he tells her he hasn’t had time yet and shoots off in his convertible because that’s how Ducky rolls. Jeff catches up to Melissa, seemingly to ask about Our Heroine but actually to tell her the story read out in class was his. She is impressed, and he works up the courage to ask her for a cup of coffee.

The next day, JB is out on a mission, but still takes the time to greet Drew (whose sinuses hurt, which means rain) and his wife Rita on the way. She’s on her way to the newspaper office (where it just so happens that Jeff Ogden also works) to register a complaint with the new editor, Ben Devlin, about why there is a big writeup of her bike accident in the paper, complete with the fact that she ripped her favourite slacks. She demands she has a right to privacy, and Ben tells her the public have a right to know about such a prominent local citizen, and this debate could only be settled over dinner say tonight? JB tells him no, but it’s a soft no – she’s not making any plans until after her book is done.

Over at the diner, Ralph Maddox is sweet talking Trudy the waitress much to the chagrin of the Hank the cook, who has recently had his house foreclosed thanks to Ralph. The situation gets heated and is only calmed down by Sheriff Metzger bellowing “Now why don’t you two chill out before I have to book you for disturbing my piece of pie?”

Oh man I want pie...

Oh man I want pie…

Later that night (because apparently this creative writing class is nightly?) the predicted rain has arrived. Jeff is the first person to arrive to class, and sees a note on the board saying class is cancelled. Melissa arrives next, and is bummed that she will have to waste her night while her husband is working late at the lumberyard. Seizing the opportunity, Jeff suggests they study together – at his house. He reads her the latest of his story, which makes her sad because it reminds her of how miserable and trapped she feels. Jeff kisses her, she jumps up and says she has to go.

Poor Jeff.

Across town, JB is hard at work on her novel when she gets a phone call from Ben Devlin – he’s bored, he wants conversation. Jess relents and promises to have breakfast with him the next day.

Excellent, says Ben. And if they get into an argument, he promises to let Jessica win.

You wish, Ben.

You wish, Ben.

Meanwhile, Jeff is hard at work composing a poem to Melissa, when she calls him and asks him to come over. There’s been an accident, The sort that ends up with your husband dead on the floor with a pair of sewing scisssors sticking out of him.

By the time Jeff arrives Melissa has it all worked out – Ralph can’t be found at home, or else everyone will think she did it, and they can’t tell the truth or everyone will think they were in it together, but if they move the body to the lumberyard it should all be golden.

Someone has put a lot of thought into this.

Jeff puts the body in the trunk of Ralph’s car, while Melissa dumps the dirty towels she used to clean up in Jeff’s. She tells Jeff they shouldn’t be seen together, so she stays home while Jeff takes Ralph’s body to the lumberyard – where funnily enough Hank-the-cook- is in the process of burning the lumberyard down. Jeff dumps the body and drives off. HONESTLY WHAT WERE THE ODDS?

The next morning, while Ben and JB have a lovely breakfast at the diner, Mort and Deputy Floyd are at the crime scene.  Floyd has a theory that Ralph was cleaning his hands with gasoline, but Mort explains since the gas was splashed everywhere it was more likely that Ralph caught someone trying to torch the yard. He goes to break the news to Melissa, who is hard at work typing up JB’s next masterpiece/telling JB all about how her husband didn’t come home the previous night. She does a pretty stellar job of over-acting her grief, while managing to get out that yes, her husband did have enemies and yes, Hank Cranshaw did threaten to burn down the lumberyard.

Over Drew and Rita’s Drew is still trying to get over his cold when Rita delivers the news that Ralph Maddox has been stabbed to death. Drew doesn’t think he knows him but Rita helpfully points out that Melissa is in Drew’s writing class. Drew seems quite taken with the notion that Ralph was stabbed, and when Rita goes back into the house, Drew sets fire to a manuscript – Dagger of Love, by Melissa Maddox.

I bet it’s got sparkly vampires in it.

Mort, hot on Hank’s trail, goes to see him at the diner. He swears he was home watching TV but when it starts to become clear that Mort is going to charge him with the murder he tells him that he saw Ralph’s car pull up and someone dump Ralph’s body out. And he got a good look at him – Jeff Ogden from down the newspaper.

JB is on the phone explaining to her publisher that unfortunately her manuscript won’t be done on time, someone has been murdered (I think they are probably used to this by now to be honest) when Ben Devlin arrives looking for the inside word on Melissa Maddox. He tells her about Ralph’s murder but she tells him that Eve Simpson already called – the local grapevine beats the local newspaper every time.

Ben has managed to find out that Melissa’s was a marriage made in hell, but Jess tells him Loretta’s Beauty Parlour has had that info for quite some time. Ben asks JB for more details on Melissa, to see if she was close to breaking point, but Jess refuses to divulge gossip to newspapers. The phone rings but it’s for Ben – Jeff Ogden is under arrest at the Sheriff’s office.

Ben barges in demanding to see his client, whom he is representing in loco parentis.

“Ben, that means in the place of a parent.” Jessica helpfully points out.

“Same thing.” Says Ben.

Ben had JB on the hook and then he broke his rod. In a manner of speaking. #fishing

Ben had JB on the hook and then he broke his rod. In a manner of speaking. #fishing

 

The evidence against Jeff is pretty conclusive. Fingerprints all over Ralph’s car, an eyewitness who saw Jeff dump the body, and a plastic bag full of bloody towels and a pair of scissors found in the trunk of Jeff’s car.

Ben confers with his client to tell him that if the Cabot Cove gazette gets exclusive rights to his story then Ben will hire the best lawyer in the county but Jeff has nothing to say. Ben leaves, but not before issuing instructions to not speak to Ralph unless he is present, and there is to be no reporters.

“I know it’s none of my business-” Says JB.

“Oh yeah? When did that start?” Says Mort.

-but Jess thinks Mort should question Melissa again. Mort says he’s not questioning hysterical widows without backup.

Melissa is up to her usual high drama when Mort asks about her marriage, but is surprised to learn that Jeff has been arrested for the murder and asks if he has confessed. Mort says no. Jess chooses that moment to ask for some herbal tea. Mort is confused, until Melissa leaves the room and Jessica points out that the pattern on the desk set looks like it matches the murder weapon. They take Melissa down to the sheriff’s office and under relentless grilling from Mort about pie Melissa finally comes clean and tells them that she found Ralph dead when she got home, panicked and called Ben.

After Ben is taken back to the cells the story comes out about how class was cancelled so she went to Ben’s place and read the story and then she left and drove around for a bit before going home because she knew Ralph worked late on her class nights, but then she found Ralph and possibly Ben could have done it. Jess reminds her that she said she called Ben as soon as she found the body but Mort steamrolls on to his point that Jeff and Melissa were sneaking around behind Ralph’s back.

“No! Okay, Jeff is in love with me and I never encouraged him at all but he begged me to leave Ralph and said that he was desperate to have me.”  Says Melissa.

MY QUEEN.

MY QUEEN.

Jess goes to see Ben, who has written a front page article that crucifies Jeff and Melissa. While she’s there Ben gets an anonymous tip that Ralph was seen leaving a bar with Trudy-the-waitress the night of the murder, and that they had a screaming argument in the car park.

Mort, Ben and JB pay Trudy a visit. She confirms that she had been on a date with Ralph, who had been full of a sob story about his last girlfriend dumping him, but says that she hadn’t slept with him and demanded that he take her home. They got a flat tyre on the way, he tried it on again when he dropped her off so she slapped him and he slapped her. End of story.

Later that night, JB has given up on finding a typist and is typing up her manuscript one handed when she finds Melissa’s story. She begins to read and the next day takes it to show Mort. It’s the story of a sensitive woman, in love with her English teacher but married to a goon. They bring Melissa in for questioning and she tells them that Drew Garrison is madly in love with her and that she found Drew’s umbrella next to the body and his car pulling out when she got home and she never said that Jeff killed Ralph.

Ugh. She is the worst.

Over at the Garrison’s Drew denies the whole thing as the fantasies of an immature child (agreed) and says he was in bed laid up with a cold – fortunately Rita was kind enough to go out in the rain in his car and get some asprin.

Ah.

WE WERE SO CLOSE TO DUCKY OF DEATH AW MAN

WE WERE SO CLOSE TO DUCKY OF DEATH AW MAN

After Ralph dropped Trudy off he called Rita to try and get back together and it escalated and yada yada, You know the drill. Honestly, all I can think about right now is pie. Damnit Mort.

In case you’d forgotten (or like me panicked that it was tomorrow because you don’t really understand time), Murder She Blogged Epic Tweetathon Part The Third – A Story To Die For, will take place on Monday, 14 March at 12pm Melbourne time. If you’re on twitter use the hashtag #MSWStory to follow along while I decipher another JB telemovie.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S07E01 – Trials and Tribulations

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Alright Fletchefans. Onward and upward! And what better way to kick off a new season with a jailbreak! With car chases! And helicopters! And slow motion car flips! Unfortunately for Eddie Stone, the escapee in this dramatic little situation, the jailbreak goes sideways and he ends up dead when the car crashes evading police.

Meanwhile, down in New York City JB is chowing down on her breakfast when a waiter asks for a favour – there’s this older lady who reminds him of his Grandma who is carrying one of JB’s books and she would love an autograph. Naturally, Jessica doesn’t want to disappoint her fans and so the woman comes over. She’s delighted, and asks if JB still lives in Cabot Cove, Maine.

“And I wouldn’t dream of leaving.” Says JB.

“696 Candlewood Lane?” The fan asks.

“How did you know?” JB is astonished.

“It’s typed right here on your summons.” The woman says. “Thanks JB, I knew you’d be as nice as your picture.”

As she departs, the waiter returns. “What did I tell you – isn’t she just the sweetest thing?”

Unimpressed.

Unimpressed.

JB goes straight to her insurance company attorney, Ray Dandridge (aka Julian Crane from Passions) who lays it out for her. Five years ago she assisted the police in catching Eddie Stone – he who failed in the great jail break of five minutes ago – in connection with a murder. (Seems legit). Now, Eddie’s daughter Geraldine has filed a 50 million dollar law suit against JB for wrongful death, saying that JB’s “help” led to her father’s death.

Imminent Fletcher hulk-out in 5-4-3...

Imminent Fletcher hulk-out in 5-4-3…

“Wait a minute, are you saying that anyone can file a lawsuit against anyone at any time whenever they please?” JB says.

Welcome to America JB.

Ray thinks Geraldine’s lawyer, Charlie Cosmo, is only after a settlemetn and promises JB to find out how much it will cost but JB refuses. She will not settle! In the meantime she’s going to have a chat with Geraldine Stone, an idea Ray thinks is unwise and JB thinks is Best Idea Ever.

Jessica finds Geraldine hard at work at a newspaper and demands to know why she is doing this. Geraldine is clearly uncomfortable with Jessica’s sudden arrival but says her father is dead due to trumped up evidence that JB provided. She will not enter into it though and tells JB if she doesn’t leave she will call security. Jess wisely departs just as Geraldine gets a phone call from her boyfriend Justin Fields, taking a break from his job as a pastry chef. She tells him she didn’t know what to say to JB and that she felt kind of sleazy but Justin tells her that’s what lawyers are for and as soon as Justin opens his restaurant they can forget all about it. He gets off the phone just in time to be berated by his boss Elliott Von Stuben, who is less than impressed with Justin’s continued attempts to find the money to open his own restaurant. He tells Justin he’s a great chef but a terrible businessman, as his many bankruptcies prove.

Guys, I think I see where this is going.

Over at the courthouse Ray Dandridge finds Charlie Cosmo prepping a “injured” client for their hearing. Charlie tells Ray that for 50 million dollars he’s got all the time in the world and isn’t too fussed when the case gets heard. Ray informs him they won’t settle and is off to talk about the case with the lead detective, but Charlie informs him the detective died the previous year. Instead, Charlie tells him about the star witness, Angelo Vitello – Charlie spoke to him just last weekend and took his deposition. He cheerfully gives Ray a copy and bids him a fond farewell.

Down at the police station JB is meeting with the other police officer who worked the case, Sergeant Paulsen. She tells him that she was hoping to review the case and explains that she’s being sued by Eddie Stone’s daughter who is claiming that Jessica was the reason her father went to prison.

“She’s got that right, we couldn’t have done it without you!” Paulsen says cheerfully.

She's just too damn good.

She’s just too damn good.

Ray Dandridge catches up with her to deliver the bad news – Angelo Vitello, whom Jessica remembers as the taxi driver that picked up Eddie Stone a block from the murder scene, has now changed his mind about the whole thing and claims that JB paid him 5 thousand dollars to say he remembered picking up Eddie Stone.

JB will not stand for this, and goes straight to see Angelo Vitello, ignoring Ray’s reservations. She knocks on the door and is greeted by his wife Beatrice, who refuses to let them in but agrees to let Angelo know they are there. While she goes to tell her husband, JB sneaks a peek around the door and sees Angelo hooked up to a gas tank and  looking very agitated at the news of her arrival. Beatrice returns and says her husband is asleep, he’s not been well and next time call first?

Undeterred, JB returns to the police station to review the files and is soon joined by the prosecuting attorney on the case Anne Stephenson, aka Jim’s mum from American Pie. She doesn’t believe the accusation being levelled at JB but she’s in an awkward position – without Vitello’s testimony the whole case is pretty flimsy and she’s running for DA next year and yada yada yada. She wishes JB good luck and hopes she won’t settle the case.

Files presumably reviewed, Jessica hails a cab outside the police station. Who should pull up in one at that precise moment, but Charlie Cosmo who has some thoughts he’d like to share with Jess about how she’s handling the case all wrong, it could be settled so quickly and quietly.

The cab driver asks JB if she wants the cab, which she does, but Charlie’s not done.  The cab driver gives up and leaves.

I'd duck if I were you Charlie.

I’d duck if I were you Charlie.

As Jessica successfully hails another cab, Charlie tries to make it clear – it’s going to be a lawyer and media circus. Does she really want to put herself through that?

Cue Jessica.

“Mr Cosmo I’m still naive enough to think that in a court of law, truth will prevail. Go through it? I look forward to it!”

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

MY HERO.

Jessica decides to recharge her batteries the next day by taking Ray out for afternoon tea and chooses Elliott Von Stuben’s restaurant. Ray is both mystified and horrified at the thought of a snobby expensive lunch but after Elliott himself seats them at the table and promises any request can be met, Jessica fills Ray in. She’s done some research on Geraldine and found out that she is involved with a pastry chef at the restaurant called Justin Fields, who is looking to open his new restaurant and has been struggling to find the financing. JB thinks the timing is suspicious but Ray doesn’t see it. Jess tells him that Geraldine might get 50 million dollars in 3 or 4 years, but how much might the lawyers negotiate for her now?

“That makes a lot of sense.” Says Ray.

Get with it dude.

Get with it dude.

Just then, Geraldine goes running out to the kitchen looking rather worried, and a waiter wanders past with a telephone call for JB. It’s Paulsen – Angelo Vitello has just been taken to hospital and is not looking in good shape. JB and Ray rush to the hospital, and while Ray talks to the doctors Jess finds Mrs Vitello sitting in the waiting room. Mrs Vitello apologises for the way she treated JB the other day – she is very protective of her husband, who has always suffered from diabetes and recently got diagnosed with lung cancer. She’s devasated – her husband has been slowly dying since he got laid off from his job but she’s always been there to watch him except that night when she went down to babysit her neighbours kids for a couple of hours.

Ray reappears and calls Jessica over. Angelo Vitello didn’t make it. Sergeant Paulsen appears with more news – the lab results have come in (extremely quickly I would have thought) and have found Vitello’s blood stream was high in sugar. Add to that a broken back window and a syringe found in the backyard and it all adds up to murder.

The next day Ray goes to see Charlie, who has just finished a meeting with Geraldine. Charlie thinks Vitello’s death changes nothing, and that if Ray had any sense he would settle the case. The price – a little less than a million dollars. Ray tells him no deal, a man has been murdered and he wouldn’t settle for a dollar. Charlie says if anyone had a motive for murdering Vitello it was Jessica – and funnily enough a woman was seen leaving the Vitello house at 7:30 the night of the murder.

JB goes to the Vitello house where Sergeant Paulsen is having a poke around. Paulsen is surprised to learn that Jessica has learned of the witness seeing the mysterious woman leaving the house but she tells him Ray told her – and for the record she was in her hotel room changing for dinner. It turns out this mysterious woman was seen leaving via the front door which makes no sense to Jessica, since if she was the killer why would the deadly syringe have been thrown out the back door?

Paulsen stops. He thinks JB is a terrific lady…

Flattered Queen is Flattered.

Flattered Queen is Flattered.

…but his boss has a theory and she doesn’t have a terrific alibi for the night of the murder and so…

This is an alternate Usual Suspects cast I can get behind.

This is an alternate Usual Suspects cast I can get behind.

Paulsen and Anne Stephenson oversee the lineup and start to panic when the witness identifies JB but are relieved when the witness decides she just can’t be sure. After the lineup Anne tells JB she’s free to go for now, and JB nearly explodes. She volunteers to do the lineup again, as long as Anne was also a participant. Jess requires food, and invites Anne to lunch. She thinks they have a bit to talk about.

At lunch, at the Von Stuben restaurant, Anne comes clean – she did go and see Angelo Vitello, but despite hearing the TV on the background, no-one answered her knock, and she didn’t hear him moving around. Elliott swings by to check on their meals and to answer questions about Justin Fields, who it turns out got fired after leaving his shift early the night of the murder. When called to be informed of his termination, Justin apparently laughed and said he’d worked his last shift as a pastry chef.

Jess goes to see the two lovebirds at Justin’s new restaurant to get some answers. After some badgering, and a suggestion that the police examine Geraldine’s bank records, Justin flees but Geraldine comes clean – they were trying to get money for the restaurant. At the police station later, she tells them that Charlie Cosmo went to the Vitello house and paid Angelo Vitello 25 grand in cash to change his story, a tidbit that Paulsen is delighted to hear. Charlie is not a popular bloke. Apparently Angelo was too sick to leave the house, which gives Jess an idea.

But that doesn’t solve the murder.

Because apparently there wasn’t a murder.

Angelo, filled with guilt after what Charlie had paid him to do, coupled with his deteriorating health, took matters into his own hands. So to speak. His wife, determined to have her husband buried appropriately, took matters into her own hansd.

Eesh. That took a dark turn. Let’s not dwell on that.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

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