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S12E22 – What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

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And so we head back to the Cove one last time, Fletcherfans and it’s to see a dude called Johnny hanging out with a girl called Sherri (being played by Andrea from Walking Dead) and a baby called Baby probably while Anthony Michael Hall stabs a tree in rage. As Johnny leaves he and Anthony Michael Hall Les Franklin have a fight which only ends when Sherri’s father Tom Sampson comes home.

Speaking of coming home, the next morning JB returns to House Fletcher after some time away restoring world peace or some such thing when she discovers a random woman watering her houseplants. Instead of freaking out and calling the cops which I frankly would have done, JB wants to know who and why she’s in her house. As it happens, it’s Amy Hazlitt, Seth’s niece who is back in town and apparently engaged to Johnny from the first scene, who is also apparently JB’s landscape gardener and has just arrived to take Amy for a ride on his motorbike.

This is the last thing anyone wants to deal with when they’ve just gotten back from averting World War 3 which I assume is what’s happening.

Cut to one of the seventy cafes in Cabot Cove, where we find Les Franklin with his sidekicks Stu Yates and someone named Roger Yates’s Junior Son (?) and his sidepiece Mickie kicking back and harassing the waitress who it turns out is the chick from Cold Case, mind blown.

To be fair I saw precisely 0 episodes of Cold Case, but I did not recognise her at all

Les decides to pick up where he left off and wants Johnny to tell Amy about Sherri. Johnny suggests Les tell everyone in the cafe and then the fighting starts again. This fight is broken up by Mort and Deputy Andy who order the gang out and for Johnny to stay away from Les, which I’m pretty sure he’s all about.  Later Johnny tells Amy not to worry about it, Sherri is history from before Amy moved back to Cabot Cove.

This might be the flu tablets talking but all this drama is exhausting.

Seth and Jess stroll down the promenade talking about young love when Jess gets dragged into another conflict,  this time about plants. Stu Yates’s father Roger is outraged that Johnny stole his garden, and he thinks it’s only fair that Jessica is warned as it could happen to her. Rogers lawyer, Jeremy Woods, explains that Roger hired Johnny to landscape his garden but baulked at the price at the end so Johnny repossessed some plants.

My face, every time I log onto Twitter.

Later that night, Seth and Amy sample some of Jessica’s finest cuisine including her homemade horseradish.

The relationship between Seth and Jess has been one of my favourite things in the last seven years.

Johnny, Seth points out, is 47 minutes late for the finest meal Seth’s had since the last time Jessica came home from New York. Amy says it’s not like Johnny to be late. A short time later the phone rings and it’s Mort with bad news – Johnny was killed when he lost control of his motorbike.

The next day Sherri’s father Tom Sampson pulls the wreckage of Johnny’s bike up while Deputy Andy warns the new Deputy Olsen to get the paperwork done quickly, the Sheriff can be a bit of a bear about these things.

“I know.” Says Deputy Olsen. “He reminds me of my father.”

It’s like the last day of school but on TV.

It seems like a clear cut accident, the gang just aren’t sure where Johnny lost control of his bike. Tom says Sherri was up all night crying and Seth says Amy isn’t taking it at all well, she’s being irrational. I mean…her fiance just died?

Amy is in fact down at the Sheriff’s office berating Mort for not giving her the full story. She thinks Les killed Johnny but Mort explains that Les was in town playing cards at the time of Johnny’s crash. Amy doesn’t care – Les killed Johnny and she’s going to prove it.

Down at the cafe Stu and Roger Yates’s Junior Son are chilling over some tasty treats when Amy storms in demanding to know who Sherri is and if she’s the reason Johnny and Les fought the day before. Stu decides to respond by being a creep, Doreen tries to call the Sheriff but Roger Yates’s Junior Son steps in and tells her to mind her own business. It’s only when Les and Mickie arrive that Amy manages to get out of Stu’s grip and rushes out of the cafe. Mickie follows her and admits she’s not a fan of the bros either but what can you do. Amy wants to know who Sherri is and Mickie lets slip her surname before rushing off in tears.

Down by the docks, Roger and Stu Yates confront Jeremy Woods about how Roger’s plants that he didn’t pay for are now in Jessica’s garden. Jeremy tries to explain that Roger has no grounds but Roger is determined to get justice. Jeremy warns Stu that his father is unwell but Stu says he’s fine, and he’s right.

Back at home, Tom asks Sherri where she and the baby were the previous night, and Sherri tells him she took the baby for a walk after Johnny left. Meanwhile, Jess and Amy examine the crime scene. Amy is convinced it wasn’t an accident and JB can’t help but agree, but apart from some weird marks on a telegraph pole, there’s nothing to see. She borrows Amy’s cellphone to call Jeremy to get him to ask his friend at the phone company how recently the pole had been installed and how it was transported.  Jeremy’s on the case and will see JB at the cafe in an hour – except as he hangs up his phone the car craps out so presumably, he’s going to be a while.

JB shows Seth her new garden but it’s been completely destroyed, presumably by Roger Yates. Down at the cafe a while later Jeremy wanders in and orders a coffee from Doreen, who’s in the middle of making a new pot. When she comes back from the kitchen JB is just walking in – and points out that Jeremy is now dead, with a knife sticking out of his back.

Mort has no time for any of this. He has no time for Doreen’s excuse that she didn’t see Jeremy was dead because JB walked, he has no time for Amy insisting that Jeremy’s death and Johnny’s death were linked and he has no time for Deputy Olsen’s news that Roger Yates has gone off the deep end down at the waterfront.  Meanwhile, Amy goes to see Sherri and then freaks out when she decides that Johnny was the baby daddy.

Down at the waterfront, Roger is demonstrably having a mental breakdown while everyone stands around and watches because it was the 90s and we didn’t do mental illness back then. Les watches on and peels and orange while Stu tries to convince Andy not to arrest his father and tells Les he’s getting no help from Stu now on.

Such drama.

Amy reports back to JB on discovering that Johnny was previously with Sherri, but JB thinks it’s odd that Sherri was jealous Johnny was marrying Amy. Not angry, jealous. Mort calls JB to report that Johnny’s motorbike was working correctly at the time of the crash, leading him to suspect it was an accident, and that Jeremy called Tom Sampson and his friend at the phone company on the day of his death. JB gets the phone company man’s number, she’d like a word.

Down at the sheriff’s office, Stu makes a plea to bust his Dad out of jail, but Seth says he’s in the hospital for observation for another week. Andy pops in with the knife that killed Jeremy, and Stu recognises it as Les’s. He also tells the Sheriff that Les is obsessed with Sherri and is about to do something stupid.

Cut to Les breaking into Sherri’s house and demanding to see the baby.

Cut to JB getting a phone call from Jeremy’s friend at the phone company, while Amy points out the cable for her lamp is broken.

Cut back to Les begging to see the baby BECAUSE YOU GUYS HE’S THE FATHER SERIOUSLY WHAT DRAMA. Les bars the door so JB does some hostage negotiation while Amy calls the Sheriff. There’s noise and commotion and Sherri’s father arrives home in the middle of it all fbut it all comes it well in the end.

Except not really. There’s that double murder to resolve. And Amy isn’t the only one surprised to learn that Les is the baby daddy.

Well that was a grim twist

It would appear that Tom Sampson thought Johnny was the baby daddy and was furious he was marrying Amy so he killed him, and then Jeremy when he found out about it.

But let’s not dwell on that unexpected grimness. Let us instead remember that If It’s Thursday in Cabot Cove, It Must Be Beverley. And that time someone put barbitals in Mrs Fletcher’s Chowder. And Deputy Floyd. And the ladies down at the beauty parlour. And Amos Tupper. And Harry Pierce. And Mort thinking Cabot Cove would be a quiet change after the NYPD. And Seth when Jess bought him his train for Christmas.

So long, Cabot Cove. It’s been a pleasure.

Onward!

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S12E21 – Race to Death

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Back in the Cove for the second last time Fletcherfans, where JB has been elected Commodore of the fleet of the local sailing competition which apparently is a qualifier for the World Cup because of course it is.

It’s not smooth sailing, however. Boom tish. Captain of the Free Spirit, Ned Larkins, finds someone snooping around his boat and is injured in the exchange. Seth orders him into the hospital, and Mort and Andy investigate but don’t find many clues apart from a rivet in a dinghy the culprit used to get away. Larkins already knows who is behind it though – captain of the Buccaneer Kyle Kimball. Larkins’s first mate Steve Gantry explains that people are after the secret to the Free Spirit’s success but Ned is convinced it’s Kimball.

Jess finds Kimball kicking back in the bar watching highlights of that day’s sailing. He’s disappointed not to have the chance to beat Ned, but Gantry tells him he’ll still lose. Jess and her friend Admiral Les Spaulding ask Gantry if he’ll captain the boat and he says he’s not sure, but he’s been chief tactician for the last few years so maybe. Later, Jess apologises to the Admiral because she doesn’t know anything about sailing and the Admiral says the World Cup wanted someone with stature and cachet to be commodore of the race.

I recognised all of those words individually.

Jess spots Ned’s daughter Anne Larkin across the bar and goes to see her.

Now I’ve been thinking about this since the first time I watched this episode – WHAT THE HELL WAS THE PRETENDER ABOUT?

She and her son Tommy have been estranged from Ned since before Tommy was born, and she’s a bit anxious about going to see her father. She is however happy to see Steve Gantry, who assures her they will win the race for her father on Saturday. Jessica correctly guesses Anne doesn’t think he can do it.  JB thinks Anne should just take over instead but she’s not sure.

I swear to God the cat has fallen asleep with her head on my left hand so I’m typing this one-handed.

Steve Gentry has a covert meeting with Kyle Kimball, and it turns out he was the one taking photos of the Free Spirit. He hands the film over to Kimball, who hands him a wad of notes. Gentry wants a bonus for beaching Ned, but Kimball says he got lucky. He is interested to hear that Anne is in town, and wants to be kept posted.

Down at the dock, Anne goes looking for her father but runs into Kyle Kimball instead. Turns out a) Kyle is Tommy’s father, b)Kyle didn’t mention he was married when he started having a fling with Anne and c) Kyle has worked hard to ruin Anne’s life because Anne had the audacity to leave him, and NOONE LEAVES KYLE KIMBALL.

Spoiler alert I hate Kyle Kimball

Seriously though, what was The Pretender about? Like, Jarod was a kid who ran simulations which helped The Centre achieve…what? I mean I enjoyed the hell out of that show but…

ANYWAY.

Anne is saved by another of her father’s crew, Bill Richards who apparently played Kevin Costner’s father in Field of Dreams a movie I clearly don’t remember properly because I thought Ray Liotta played his father.

Kimball returns back to his lair, where there is more talk about sailing that I completely tuned out for. What I can gather is that a) Kyle doesn’t like his wife and won’t give her money to start a business and b) there’s a Dutch guy called Jon Vandervelt who is building his own yacht while consulting on Kimball’s tilt at the World Cup because apparently there are rules about who gets involved in building yachts oh god sailing isn’t this boring, I’ve seen Sydney to Hobart.

Anne finally finds her father at home having a grouch-off with Seth. Ned and Anne both skirt around their estrangement and instead focus on how to beat Kimball. Anne wants to skipper the yacht and wants to put the idea to the crew, so Ned tells her to go ahead. She gives a rousing speech to the crew, who want to know if she’s captained an all-male crew before (do they steer with their penises? I’m confused). Turns out she’s skippered both.  Kimball pops up to announce that a lady has never skippered a World Cup contender before.

I really hate this guy.

Determined to prove a point, Kimball announces that he’s going to go for sole custody of Tommy with his wife because Anne is always off sailing and leaving Tommy behind. I bet that’s news to Mrs Kimball. Kyle issues an ultimatum – Anne has to drop out of the race, return home and repair her lifestyle or she’ll lose Tommy.

OH MY GOD, WILL SOMEONE KILL THIS GUY ALREADY?

Cut to JB working on an outline for a new book, while Seth enquires after Adele’s health. Turns out she’s got a cold and has worked her way through all the musical comedies so now she’s on to Follow the Fleet featuring Fred Astaire and Ruby Keeler. Seth tells him he’s wrong, Fred Astaire never worked with Ruby Keeler, he’s thinking of Ginger Rogers.

At least they aren’t talking about sailing rules

Andy swings by with some evidence for Mort to look at, and Jessica spots the source of the random piece of metal Andy found – it’s a grommet out of Steve Gentry’s watch. Gentry gets locked up and Mort gives Ann the bad news that her tactician is under arrest. The good news is that Mort knows a very handy replacement – Andy used to sail with Anne back in the day and Anne is delighted to hear that Mort thinks Andy is very unwell and needs a lot of sea air to recover.

Jess pops round Kimball’s lair to inform him officially that Anne is taking over her father’s yacht for the race and Kimball swears he had no idea Gentry was crooked. Jon pops in to announce some change to the Buccaneer, just in time to see the fax Kimball receives from the US Patent office – patenting Jon’s design for his own yacht. Because Kyle Kimball is a ballbag.

Jess departs and Kimball watches footage of the Free Spirit’s sail that day. Jon doesn’t think he has anything to worry about but Kimball isn’t going to risk it so he calls someone on the phone to request the heavy artillery.

That night a cocktail party is thrown to kick off the sailing. Mort and Seth argue about whether Cyd Charisse or Debbie Reynolds was in Singin’ in the Rain (spoiler alert they both were but only Cyd Charisse was in an episode of Murder, She Wrote). A court clerk rolls in to serve Anne with papers for a custody hearing and Kimball wanders past to announce he’s heading to his office if she’d like a chat. As he leaves he runs into Steve Gentry, released due to lack of evidence, who wants fifty grand to not tell the World Cup committee about Kimballs interfering. Kimball tells him if he does, Kimball will have him arrested for assault.

At the Kimball lair, Anne tells Kyle he won’t get away with his dirty tactics. Cut to some time later, when Jon Vandervelt returns to the office for some reason, and he and a security guard find Kimball dead on the floor.

And not a tear was shed, thanks for reading!

Oh alright.

The sheriff and his men descend on the scene. Seth declares death by blunt force trauma and estimates Kyle’s only been dead about half an hour. The video playing on the TV cuts out. Robbery is ruled out, though Mort asks for a specialist to come open the safe, to be sure. The security guard produces the visitor log and they discover Anne was in the building at around the time of the murder. Mort goes to see Anne but she seems shocked to hear Kimball is dead – she’s not sad about it, but she didn’t kill him.

The next morning the Admiral is being ordered to postpone the race, but Jess talks him out of it. Over at the Kimball lair, the newly widowed Mrs Kimball arrives to ask Jon if he’d skipper the Buccaneer now that her husband has shuffled off involuntarily while Mort interviews Steve Gentry at the sheriff’s office but gets nowhere. Andy reveals the trophy they found in Kimball’s office wasn’t the murder weapon after all so Mort announces it’s time to get some search warrants.

PS I SOLVED THE WHERE IS ADELE METZGER MYSTERY

I’m pretty sure that’s Ron Masak’s actual wife?

I really do hit pause at some convenient times.

JB pops round Ned Larkin’s house to find Ned teaching his grandson how to put a ship in a bottle. Anne is about to head to the dock when Mort arrives to arrest her – they found Kimball’s file on Anne in Anne’s room, with Kimball’s blood on it. Ned claims he killed Kyle with the trophy, but they know he didn’t and so Anne is arrested.

Jessica follows Anne to the Sheriff’s office and has a quick chat. Anne swears the papers were left on the desk where Kyle threw them after taking them out of his safe. JB asks if Kyle closed the safe afterwards and Anne says no, it was still open when she left.

JB returns to the office, where Mort gets a phone call from Adele announcing she forgot to rewind the videotapes she borrowed from Cabot Cove video. Honestly, nothing makes me more nostalgic than the idea of a video rental store.

The concept of rewinding videos gives Jess an idea and she rushes over to the Kimball lair just in time to meet the safecracker. She gets the videotape out of the VCR and announces to Mrs Kimball that Anne will definitely be skippering Free Spirit.

While everyone tearfully reunites with each other at the sheriff’s office, Jessica returns to the Kimball lair to catch the killer.

Meh. I see his point.

Of all the douchebag things Kimball got up to, it was stealing Jon’s yacht design that got his head slammed in the safe door. But never mind that. Free Spirit won the race and now it’s San Diego, and then New Zealand.

Only three episodes to go…!

Later gang!

 

S12E20 – Southern Double-Cross

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Once upon a time, there was a mythical faraway land called Australia.

I know, I didn’t believe it either, but then I remembered I live here with ALL THE DEADLY ANIMALS.

FACTS

MOAR FACTS

(But it’s funny when they do it to someone else)

Kookaburras will also apparently laugh when a man runs away from a 4WD drops his briefcase and gets shot. Inside the briefcase is an envelope with the name JESSICA FLETCHER ON IT. Can’t imagine that’s going to come up again.

Not only are all the animals plotting against us, but some foreign bigwigs have also decided to build a bauxite mine in Magill Valley, which will apparently put the town of Kookaburra Downs on the map. Worked out well for Mount Seldom Seen and the town of Nowhere Else in Tasmania. Oh yes. You go have fun googling that.

On the subject of Google, I’ve done a little bit of research and I’m here to answer some apparently burning questions the internet has about this made-up country.

  1.  No idea
  2. Currently, it’s because white people turned up and discovered New South Wales, which frankly isn’t a reason to do anything
  3. We have Hemsworths
  4. We have Hemsworths
  5. We are so bloody far away from anything
  6. Because of the global thirst for Hemsworths
  7.  GOOD BLOODY QUESTION
  8. Because we are a top country that invented wifi, black box recorders and Goon of Fortune and we should celebrate that but not on January 26
  9. Because we’re awesome but we can do so much better.
  10. Please see above (I had to google what this meant tbh).

Anyway, there’s a meeting at the Kookaburra Downs hotel to discuss the imminent arrival of the Bauxite mine. The town is about to take over ownership of the Magill Valley unless someone arrives to claim ownership. And thanks to an inexplicably cockney kid who has just run into the room, we all know that a Magill descendant has just arrived off the Brisbane bus.

Angie Lans is third cousin to one of our former prime ministers (I say one of, we have a rotating roster. I’m scheduled to be PM in six months for a week)

JB is checking in to Kookaburra Downs to find out if she is related to the aforementioned Magill Valley founder Eamon Magill. She asks if her lawyer Simon Cathcart has checked in yet, and hotel owner and mayor Tim Jarvis tells her he has, and also there’s a message from local librarian/historian John Molen for Jess to come see him when she is ready.

Fun fact about this episode – precisely zero filming was done in Australia. You know how I know this?

That’s right kids. We exported the bad beer and keep the good stuff. We’re not dumb.

That guy reluctantly drinking the bathwater is Mayor Tim Jarvis’s son Donald and he’s about to get accosted by Boyd Hendricks who would like the forty grand Donald owes him to be repaid. By Friday. Plus ten per cent.

Jess visits John Molen who has a stockpile of Facts about Eamon Magill. Local police sergeant Colin Baxter pops round to introduce himself to the famous author, and ordinarily, I’d be all WHY HE GOTTA BE BRITISH but Ioan Grufford is currently playing a forensic examiner in a TV show set in Queensland and as we all know normal rules do not apply to Queensland.

Oh yes, I do.

It also turns out that someone broke into the library and rearranged some financial paperwork but apparently nothing is missing. Unlike JB’s lawyer, but Baxter is sure Cathcart decided to stay in Woomera at the other end of Magill valley. (Technically speaking Woomera is at the other end of the country, but clearly the Encarta ’95 CD wasn’t working to fact check this)

JB tells John that Eamon Magill was her grandmother’s brother who left Ireland in 1893 and was never seen again. John tells her that he rolled into Australia about 1896 and bought up the whole valley – when he died, he left it to JB’s grandmother and then her relatives which until now they didn’t know existed. The trust that manages the valley is due to expire 100 years after Eamon’s death which EXTRAORDINARILY is in two days time. JB is keen to know more about her great-uncle, and John tells her he has a full transcript of the trial – Eamon was hung for bank robbery.

I myself have a multi-great Grandmother who was transported to Australia for theft and then got her sentence extended for being drunk in court. #notallheroeswearcapes

Meanwhile, Tim Jarvis has to let the mining bigwigs know that there’s about to be a claim made on the Magill valley. They aren’t pleased about it and inform Tim that if the mine doesn’t go ahead they want the money they gave him back.

Back at the hotel, JB’s having a quiet cup of tea when she’s joined by Melba Drummond and her son Roo. They are delighted to hear that a claim is being made on the Magill valley, and Melba offers JB a cigar.

Aren’t we all though.

They’re very excited about celebrating Eamon Magill Day in two days time – I mean yes he held up a bank but he was only trying to get back the money swindled by the government. Tale as old as time.  Melba tells JB that the town council will offer to buy the land off her so they can lease it to the mining company, but the sheep graziers would like to lease it from her. Tim Jarvis bobs up to tell her no sales talk in his establishment, and John Molen pops in to collect Jess for the drive out to Magill Valley.

Roo Drummond goes to visit the love of his life Linda Molen, who is training to be a vet while also avoiding Donald Jarvis who has invented their engagement.

Sidenote to talk about Roo Dummonds’ look:

On second thoughts lets not talk about this.

Out in Magill Valley, John shows JB the Sacred Rocks, an old meeting place for the indigenous people of the area now only used for the occasional barbecue.

“A shame,” says JB. “A culture that lasted 40,000 years nearly wiped out in two hundred.”

Just sayin’.

Anyway, they find the body of Simon Cathcart under a bush. Baxter rolls in to investigate and JB explains she was already going to be in Australia when Cathcart called her urgently. Baxter is inclined to think it was the sheep graziers, but JB says that doesn’t seem right – if the land became hers she would most likely lease it to them anyway, there’d be no reason for them to interfere. Baxter agrees and decides to investigate the mining side.

Back at the pub, JB runs into the mining bigwigs Rhonda Brock and Nicholas Derby who are keen to tell her how much money she could make by leasing the valley to them.

Jessica has no need for currency.

Rhonda and Nicholas aren’t impressed by JB’s greenie motivations, but it’s okay because apparently, Nicholas has some dirt on Tim Jarvis.

JB finds Roo and Melba outside and gets Roo to admit he’d been out at the sacred rocks to meet Simon Cathcart, but Roo swears he never showed. It also turns out Roo used his inheritance from his grandfather to pay to find a legitimate heir to the Magill valley, and Melba is furious as that money was meant to send Roo through college (lol, we say university but whatever guys it’s fine.)

At least Roo’s inheritance is helpful. My inheritance from my grandfather just marched across the keyboard again.

Rhonda Brock informs Tim Jarvis that she and Nicholas know he’s been skimming from the town treasury and that if he doesn’t deliver the valley for the mine everyone will find out. Tim confronts Donald, who admits he took the money to pay back his bookie Boyd Hendricks. Meanwhile, JB convinces Roo to tell Baxter what he knows. Baxter thinks it would be best for JB to leave town but she’s going nowhere until this is settled.

That night John Molen celebrates the news that Linda has gotten into vet school. A drunk Donald Jarvis starts a fight with Roo and is called off only when his father threatens him with a cricket bat.

I’m frankly impressed they found a cricket bat kicking around the set tbh

Outside Donald overhears Nicholas and Boyd and realises they’re using him to get to his Dad. He calls JB and asks her to meet him in the stables – he’s got Simon Cathcart’s briefcase and he wants to hand it over. Jess heads out to the stables where a shadowy figure hides with a gun. Baxter appears, turns on the light – and reveals the body of Donald Jarvis hanging from the ceiling.

Down at the police station, a tearful Tim Jarvis explains about Donald’s gambling problem and how they’d fought. That combined with Linda telling Donald to bugger off seems to make this a clear case of suicide. Tim Jarvis wonders what JB must think of Australia – Cathcart being shot in the back and now this. Baxter is ready to call case closed on the whole business but Jessica says Donald didn’t sound like a man about to kill himself on the phone the previous night.

Nicholas confronts Boyd, who says he still needs to get paid. Linda feels bad. JB and Melba have a quiet drink and JB asks town treasurer Melba about the town accounting. Melba finds the skimming and tells Baxter about it – he confronts Tim who explains that Donald had skimmed the money to pay back Boyd Hendricks. Baxter confirms that Donald was murdered. Tim resigns as mayor.

JB investigates the stables and finds a button from Roo’s jacket. Roo Drummond reappears after going bush for the night and Baxter arrests him for Donald’s murder. Tim Jarvis decides to go after Boyd Hendricks, drags him out of his car and hauls him back to Kookaburra Downs for some sweet sweet justice.

But JB has her own justice to serve, and Boyd Hendricks don’t enter into it.

SURPRISE wait no no it isn’t

Tim killed Simon and his son for all the reasons you’re probably thinking of. But for now, let us leave Kookaburra Downs as they celebrate a day everyone can get behind

Later gang!

 

 

S12E19 – Evidence of Malice

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Back to the Cove again Fletcher fans where JB is suffering from her yearly bout of writer’s block, Deputy Andy is buying a house and local shady businessman Fred Berrigan insists he wasn’t drink driving, he was trying to dial his carphone. NOT BETTER BRO.

Despite the obvious bad blood between Deputy Andy and Fred, Andy tells Mort he’ll just drive Fred home so he doesn’t lose his license, because Andy is a Good Bloke, and is also buying a house off Fred. As they drive away, Mort hears a banging from a shed nearby, opens the door to investigate, and steps back as the corpse of Leverett Boggs slumps out.

The next daty Mort, Seth and JB stroll and chat about just how upsetting it is that Leverett has died, given that he was due to go to JB’s for dinner and a chess game that night. Mort tells them that the motive was obvious – his wallet and keys were missing.

“A mugging? In Cabot Cove?” Says JB.

OUTRAGEOUS

JB spots a piece of cord that might be a potential clue in the murder. Andy bobs up to announce he’s officially a homeowner (the very idea). They all congratulate him but Seth privately tells JB he wouldn’t buy a used house from Fred Berrigan.

Cut to Fred at work at the Down East Footwear Company, where he has to contend with the murder of his employee Leverett Boggs as well as some dodgy leather a salesman named Craig Haber is trying to sell him. Fred’s wife Meg is keen to get Craig on board but Fred’s not having a bar of it. Meanwhile, new hire Wendy Arnold has been promoted to Leverett’s job and is learning the ropes from colleague George Parkins. She has learned quickly, already scoring a dinner date with Craig and getting longtime employee Isaac Meecham fired.

Business Wendy is All Business.

Andy’s buzz as a Legitimate Home Owner wears right off when his builder friend informs him that the house is in dire need of some repair. Andy doesn’t understand how Fred didn’t know about it when he sold it but the builder tells Andy that the last renovation was largely cosmetic. But if Fred did know about it, and failed to disclose it, Fred would be liable for the repairs, which are going to cost.

“How much?” Asks Andy.

I’m here for my own amusement.

Over at House Fletcher JB is in a tizz with her writer’s block and the recent demise of her friend Leverett. Seth is in a tizz because JB is out of cream for his coffee and when she suggests milk as a healthier option Seth gets on his high horse about how Hannah Parkins down at the cafe has started making healthier versions of all his favourite foods and what was the point of living longer if you’re just going to die of boredom?

Seth distracts himself by finding a piece of paper with Leverett’s name on it, and JB remembers he wanted the contact information of her New York lawyer and accountant. And now she wonders why.

Back at the factory, Wendy lurks in the background as Isaac is fired by Fred for some dodgy paperwork. Seeing her opportunity, she makes a move on Fred to show off her savings she just made – George was nowhere and Fred and Meg were both busy. Fred is clearly liking the financial moves Wendy is throwing down but declines her suggestion of a drink. She wanders off and Meg pops over to see what that was about. “Nothing.” Says Fred.

Mmmkay.

Down at the aforementioned cafe owned by Hannah Parkins, mother of George, breaker of chains etc etc Deputy Andy’s fiance Patty is doing the bookings for Hannah. Andy is worried about how they’ll afford the repairs on the house and Patty feels bad that she convinced him to buy it. Andy shakes it off, says not to worry, he’ll have a chat to Fred and maybe he’ll do the honourable thing….and maybe Andy is an astronaut.

We all need to find someone who looks at us like Patty looks at Andy. Or how I look at banoffee pie.

George and Wendy wander in for lunch. George is peeved because he just copped a bollocking from Meg about not being around to sign some purchase orders when he was in his office the whole time. Wendy tells Hannah she knows she hasn’t been at the company long, but that some people are very demanding.

Hannah of the House Parkins, the First of Her Name, The Unfoolable, Queen of the Potpies, the Hotcakes and the First Mousse, Queen of Mournay, Khaleesi of the Great Apple Pie, Protector of the George, Lady Regent of the Seven Coves of Cabot, Breaker of Feuds, and Mother of Men Who Aren’t Good At Talking To Women.

Over at the Sheriff’s Office Mort tries to calm down Fred who is demanding the return of his car after the drink driving situation of the previous night. Andy rolls in after retrieving Fred’s car and produces a roll of cord that matches the cord they think killed Leverett Boggs. Mort decides to lock Fred up for the time being.

Meg comes down to the sheriff’s office to defend her husband. Mort appears and informs Mort that the rope burns on Fred’s hands could be from the cord used to kill Leverett. Meg calls shenanigans and says the rope burn is from the rigging on their sailboat. Andy surfaces with some more evidence – a letter from Leverett to Fred about how Leverett has uncovered some shady dealings within the company, and how they need to meet and discuss it before Meg finds out. Sounds like blackmail to Mort.

At Down Easter HQ that night Business Wendy is going over the company accounts when she notices a file missing from Leverett’s computer. Craig arrives to pick her up for dinner, and Business Wendy suggests she might be able to help solve his current difficulties with Fred Berrigan – for the right price. Craig thinks she’s talking about proof he killed Leverett, but Wendy says no, the sheriff’s deputy is clearly setting him up for that. She’s talking strictly business.

Andy and Patty take a walk by the water, and Andy tells Patty that Fred isn’t interested in paying for the damages in the house. Andy is worried Patty believes the things people are saying about him but Patty does not believe. Not for one second. I know a few people who could learn a lesson from Patty.

The next day Seth asks after JB’s writer’s block, but JB is too busy trying to work out a world in which Leverett Boggs is a blackmailer. Seth says if Everett isn’t blackmailer and the letter is fake, then Fred had no reason to kill him and plant self-incriminating evidence, and so someone must be setting Fred up.

“IT WASN’T ANDY.” Says Jessica.

“DID I SAY IT WAS?” Says Seth.

Mort appears to inform Seth that his professional opinion has been refuted by doctors in Boston and New York who say the rope burns on Fred’s hands are not from the cord used to kill Leverett.

Actual response though: “Really? Tscheeee.”

Back at the factory Business Wendy decides to kick things up a notch and tries to ingratiate herself with Meg Berrigan before asking George if he knows anything about a NORCOM file. George knows nothing. Wendy gets a phone call from Craig who wants an update on the NORCOM file. Wendy tells him through gritted teeth that she’s working on it.  Andy and Patty stop by Hannah’s cafe and run into Isaac who essentially congratulates Andy for doing something about it. Andy takes offence at the implication, and Isaac says cool it, he’s one of the few people in town who is on Andy’s side.

Over at the Sheriff’s office, Mort takes call number 100 demanding he does something about Andy. Andy returns from lunch and doesn’t want to hear about it. JB conducts an investigation of Leverett’s possessions and finds a post-it with the word NORCOM written on it. Andy delivers lunch to Fred in jail and they bicker again. Apparently, Andy’s had a grudge since grade school because Fred is richer, better looking and a better athlete.

Just no.

Mort later tells Andy that a)Freds’ been bailed, b) the prosecutor is probably going to drop the case and c) he needs to suspend Andy until this is all straightened out.

I mean he’s not Lucas from Haven, but he’s this show’s Lucas from Haven and that’s enough.

At Hannah’s cafe that night, Jess tells Seth she’s delighted with the new look low-fat menu.

My thoughts on Game of Thrones are <<redacted>>

Seth finds out the apple pie is low fat and so orders a second round (a man after my own heart) and Jess notices Craig talking to Business Wendy at the next table while George sits there looking sour. Craig is after that file, but Business Wendy says she’s still looking into it. Later as they leave, JB mentions that her cousin Teddy is from the same home town as Business Wendy but Business Wendy says she’s only met him once at a function.

After they leave Seth asks Jess what’s wrong – Jess says her cousin is a woman.

Business Wendy is in trou-ble…

That night Fred wanders back to the factory for unknown reasons. He gets clocked on the head and goes down dead. Next, Andy appears, checks his pulse, and calls it in.

Mort, JB and the cavalry arrive. Andy tells them that he followed Fred in the hopes of gaining more intel on his involvement in Leverett’s murder. He was maybe twenty feet behind him outside the office when he heard the noises and rushed inside to find Fred dead. Meg arrives to identify the body and Andy tells her how horrible he feels. Meg looks furious and bites back her words. Mort asks where she was at the time of the murder, and she says she was on the phone for about 45 minutes, right up until the deputy showed up at her house. JB snags her sleeve on a hinge.

George sees Business Wendy talking with Craig and clearly doesn’t listen to the part of the conversation where she was snooping on Craig’s behalf. He does, however, step in when Craig gets a bit handsy and warns him to stay away. Craig suggests he find out where his new lady love Business Wendy was at the time of the murder.

The next day George consults his mother for her advice and she freely tells him she thinks Business Wendy is dodgy as and George needs to return JB’s call. Patty drops off Hannah’s tax returns and a few of the locals start talking about how sad it is about Andy. Hannah suggests it would be nice if they all knew when to shut up. WORD.

George calls JB who tells him that Business Wendy is a lie, and she needs his help finding out what her background is as well as where the NORCOM file is. Later, Andy drops by JB’s for some counselling and tells her Fred not paying for the house repairs seemed very out of character for him as a Berrigan Always Pays His Debts. JB wonders why Wendy was so interested, and Seth suggests she ask her but JB doesn’t think she’ll get a straight answer.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Mort tells JB and Seth that Meg Berrigan was on the phone at the time of the murder. JB reveals her research has discovered that Business Wendy Arnold is actually Wendy Arnette, someone who flunked out of Harvard Business School for cheating. A deputy pops in to show Mort some evidence they found – receipts for the purchase of rope and gloves that were used to kill Leverett. They were found in the dumpster behind Andy’s apartment.

A short time later Mort finds Andy down the street trying to get information out of Business Wendy. He informs Andy they found the murder weapon – in the boot of his car. Andy is under arrest for murder.

JUSTICE FOR ANDY

Down at the sheriff’s office Patty, Andy, Mort and JB debate the situation and it’s only when Patty mentions the case hinges on lousy evidence that JB gets an idea. She and Mort pay a visit on Business Wendy who crumbles under the suggestion she snagged her scarf on the hinge in Fred’s office. She was there the night of the murder, trying the only computer she hadn’t checked for the NORCOM file. She only got as far as turning the computer on when she heard the door and bolted. She didn’t see Fred or Andy or anyone. She begs them not to tell Meg Berrigan about her lies and JB says that’s for Business Wendy to decide.

Back at House Fletcher Seth bangs on about how much he hates modern technology and that gives JB an idea about how the killer thought they’d get away with it.

Goddamn answer phones.

AHAHAHAHA this makes me laugh for reasons I cannot articulate at this time.

Meg was the mastermind all along – she set up an embezzling scheme and made it look like her husband was the one doing it, and then killed off all threats to it.

But most importantly, Andy has been vindicated and has received enough money to do up his house with Patty. And most importantly JB has solved her writer’s block so we can all rest easy.

Stay tuned for a very special episode next week. I haven’t watched it yet, but I already have Opinions.

Later gang!

S12E17 – Track of a Soldier

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JB is off to Wyoming for a bit of R&R this week. Fortunately, her friend Ellen Levering operates a lodge with her husband the ex-soldier Howard, and his son Pete. And a dog called Solider, presumably the leaver of the aforementioned tracks.

Jessica is not the only one staying at the lodge – she arrives with Marla Hastings (who is pretending to having a fling with Arthur Wainwright), Lloyd Nichols (who is having a fling with Marla Hastings),  Greta Bayer (who used to have a fling with Lloyd Nicholls), and Harley Foote, who hasn’t and isn’t having a fling with anyone but is Arthur Wainwright’s assistant.

You got that love rhombus sorted? OK.

As Jessica settles into her room, Ellen tells her that Howard is planning to run for Senate, but she’s less excited about it as she wanted to go travelling. Downstairs Harley Foote gets a phone call from his doctor telling him he is terminally ill. Greta, fresh from registering her displeasure at the lack of a safe at the hotel, finds him sitting stunned in a chair and suggests they go for a walk.

While Greta solves the lack of safe problem by hiding a big fat diamond in her minibar icecube tray, Marla calls Lloyd and tells him everything is under control. She tells Arthur she’s on the phone to her mother. Meanwhile, the Sheriff comes up to tell Pete that there’s been another complaint made about Soldier the dog, who is so far the only person in this episode I care about. Lloyd arrives and asks Juan the assistant about Howard. It seems he knows who Howard is, but he’s not telling Juan (who served with Howard) anything about it. When Howard arrives home from declaring his Senate candidacy Juan warns him about Lloyd.

Lloyd knocks on Greta’s door and forces himself into her room. A passing JB hears the commotion behind the door and knocks on the door. Greta answers and Jessica reminds her about happy hour. Lloyd informs her Greta’s had a change of plans, and JB tells him if he doesn’t let Greta go that instant he’ll be in more trouble than he knows how to deal with.

Very much current mood.

Down in the bar, Harley celebrates winning ten grand on a college basketball game and celebrates by taking Greta for a walk. Arthur wants to know if Harley called Arthur’s wife like he was supposed to, or skimmed the retirement accounts to bankroll a share trade like he was supposed to? Harley just walks off, because Harley’s getting his groove back.

Howard has only just arrived in time to see Jessica when Lloyd offers a drive-by sneak attack. Instead of explaining what that was about to Ellen, JB and Pete, Howard goes outside to confront Lloyd and get him away from the hotel. It transpires that Lloyd holds Howard responsible for the death of his brother. Juan comes upon them and breaks up the discussion. Howard tries to explain to Juan what happened but Juan doesn’t care, all he knows is that Lloyd is a troublemaker.

The next morning, while Greta goes shopping and JB hangs with Ellen, Lloyd sneaks into Greta’s room for a rummage, presumably for Greta’s big fat diamond. He’s forced into the closet when Juan’s daughter Luisa comes in to do housekeeping. She spots the diamond in the ice tray and quickly leaves the room, which is lucky as Lloyd had his gun out.

JB meets Soldier but is soon joined by Howard who tells Pete that the Sheriff’s called him about Soldier’s roaming ways and that he’ll be put down if he’s not brought under control. Later down in the bar Jess spots Lloyd and Marla having a cosy chat. Lloyd has just worked out where Greta hid the diamond but he can’t get back into her room now, and tells Marla to keep Greta away from her room that night.  They arrange to meet after the theft but Lloyd won’t give Marla her air tickets just yet.

Arthur confronts Harley about his lack of action on his instruction from the previous day. Harley tells him he saved the retirement funds 123 million dollars, but he bought the shares with Arthur’s money as requested. Also he should call his wife. Also Harley quits.

Harley’s going rogue

Jessica heads back to her room and finds Lloyd there looking to apologise for his behaviour but mostly asking Jessica to butt out. Jess wants to know what Lloyd has on Howard and Lloyd gives her just enough information to tell Ellen, who finds a newspaper clipping about the death of Lloyd’s brother. Howard decides to withdraw from the Senate election, much to the sadness of Pete and Ellen.

I’ll be happy if I ever hear the word election or vote again after this weekend if I’m honest.

That night Harley, Marla and Greta make plans to see a movie but Harley withdraws at the last minute after a Mysterious Phonecall. When Greta and Marla return with JB and Juan, they all agree the movie was terrible. Ellen tells JB she’s off to bed but JB decides she’s going to read for a while. Juan finds a drunk Howard and tries to cheer him up.

As the clock strikes one, JB wraps up her reading and hears someone go outside. Soldier goes out on patrol. Lloyd packs his car for his getaway but hears something in the bushes and thinking that it’s Marla he goes to investigate. Cut to JB listening to a dog howling. Cut to Pete standing over Lloyd’s dead body on the ground.

The next morning Sheriff Bullock is on the case, and it is quickly discovered that Greta’s diamond is missing. The sheriff is horrified to learn that Greta was keeping the diamond in an ice tray, and tells her to come down the station to file a report for her insurance. Jessica suddenly realises that she knows what the murder weapon is – an old knife that belonged to Howard, that temporarily went missing from a display.

Harley resurfaces with the news that his terminal diagnosis isn’t so terminal after all – in fact, he’s going to be completely fine. He thinks this will put Greta off, but far from it. Naw. Alas for the happy couple I’m too bitter about how Australia did at Eurovision to summon up anything other than that #spoilsport.

That night Sheriff Bullock arrests Pete for Lloyd’s murder – his prints are on the knife, there was blood on the knife and he refuses to tell them anything. The next morning Jessica checks on Soldier, who delivers her a clue in the form of a broken watchband, and then goes to sort out Pete who she correctly guesses thinks he is covering for his dad. Pete reluctantly tells her the truth – that he went looking for Soldier, found the body, found the knife and then panicked when he heard someone in the bushes.

Jess floats a theory by Sheriff Bullock that someone might have found the body earlier than the people who “discovered it”, and might have stolen the diamond.

THERE I SAID IT DON’T @ ME ALSO WTF WAS MADONNA ON/DOING THERE/ABOUT?

Anyway, Jess knows all the answers because of course she does, and orders Bullock to drive her to the hotel.

This is a late contender for best-timed pause for Uber Eats I’ve ever done.

Back at the hotel, JB makes a pitch to the thief to buy their jacket for two million dollars but she refuses…

A shock to literally no one.

Marla confesses to finding Lloyd’s dead body and stealing the diamond from it, but 100% didn’t kill him.

Oh dear.

GRIM GRIM GRIM.

Juan took matters into his own hands to protect his army buddy.

Eesh. In light of the tyre fire that is 2019, please accept the below image as your own personal liferaft.

Later gang

S12E16 – Something Foul In Flappieville

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Welcome to Flappieville Fletcherfans, where the newly arrived Inspector Lachère, who I think is a possum is charging a racoon with theft.

If only.

JB is watching the Flappieville puppet show with a keen eye, as Inspector Lachère is her creation, something she came up with for her grand nieces and nephews, and now Flappieville Toys want to take Inspector Lachère on the road. Think Hercule Poirot, with a tail.

Unfortunately, the delivery is a bit more Gerard Depardieu than Poirot, and JB is not here for it.

Someone’s gonna die for this.

JB is not the only person with notes.  Stevie, one of the kids in the audience (being played Angela Lansbury’s grandson), thinks Inspector Lachère sounds like Pound Dog, the main character in the Flappieville TV show. (Spoiler alert, he doesn’t). Robbie Dorrow, the designer of Flappieville toys, agrees with Stevie when his wife Mary brings Stevie over for like three seconds in a completely weird move. Also, Robbie thinks Mary is cheating on him, but you know, whatever.

Head puppeteer David Crossley locks Inspector Lachère up in a filing cabinet and hands the key to security chief Alvin Bucknell for safekeeping. David is delighted to be bringing Inspector Lachère to the world but is offended when Robbie suggests that it’s time to retire Pound Dog. They nearly come to blows before Mary steps in. Mary later explains to JB that she used to date David before she fell in love with Robbie, and it tore the friendship between the two apart. Also, they can’t have children.

Back at Flappieville HQ, puppeteer Kim Swofford is complaining loudly about the costume for her puppet Happy Bunny so that the costume designer can hear her. She also asks puppet designer Jason Cardino to take a look at the puppet controls before cheerfully rejecting his request for a date and walking off.  Costume designer Helena McKenna (aka Veronica Mars’s mother) warns him off her, but Jason would rather listen to his hormones. Another puppeteer, Gus Hayward offers to go over Jason’s contract so that he can sign it, but Jason tells him it’s all good. Later, Jason catches Alvin with Inspector Lachère and loses it.

Meanwhile, David has a meeting with the TV network about the Pound Dog Show.

I’m glad we fit in one last round of Breaking Bad She Wrote.

Parker Foreman has some bad news for David – Pound Dog is not getting renewed, it’s old and tired. David says amazing timing, he’s just come up with a new character, Inspector Lachère – he was going to fold him into the Pound Dog show gradually before spinning him off into his own show. Did he mention it was based on a JB Fletcher character, and JB happens to be in town?

START KNEELING (BITCH)

Parker sees dollar signs and agrees to the idea, but he wants to see samples. He also wants someone different to voice the Inspector and tells David to get Natty Holt. David agrees that someone like Natty would be great but Parker says no, he wants Natty.

Back at Flappieville Jason and Helena show JB the new sketches for Inspector Lachère’s new look and she is delighted. Helena goes to get the material for the costume to show JB and leaves JB flipping through sketches. Meanwhile, Darren is hard at work designing when Kim pops in for a flirt and to complain she’s not having any input into her character’s costume. Gus needs a word so Darren leaves her in his office and goes off with Gus – it turns out Natty Holt is Gus’s ex-wife and Darren needs his help convincing her to come on the show. He also has a separate job for Alvin – he needs him to follow someone.

That night, Jason conducts a secret trial and sentences Darren to one hundred years in the electric chair. Using puppets.

Really though, enough said.

Also, it turns out Darren bought Pound Dog off Gus and presumably for a very low price.

The next morning Jason and Darren unveil the new look Inspector Lachère and JB is delighted. Darren sends Jason off with the sketches to be delivered to Parker Foreman at the network, then makes a last minute change swapping the magnifying glass from his right hand to his left. He also decides to bump Jason’s profit share up to five per cent, and JB’s to thirty per cent.

Kim delivers the sketches over to Parker Foreman.

Not the only one who knocks, it turns out

Later that afternoon, Mary Dorow has lunch with her mystery man while Robbie watches them from behind a tree. Parker appears out of nowhere to congratulate Robbie on the imminent success of Inspector Lachère and laughs at the fact Robbie seems unaware the Inspector will be released in four weeks time.

Gus goes to see Natty and talks her into joining the show. Darren later confirms she’s on board in a walk-and-talk with Parker, who informs him it’s all going ahead – on the condition that he gets 50% of the merch profits wired to his private Cayman account. As he walks off, Darren produces a tape recorder from his pocket. Later, Mary Gus and JB discuss Darren’s latest batch of wheeling and dealing to get the Inspector Lachère show on the air. JB asks Gus for a favour.

Robbie calls Darren and tears him a new one – it turns out Robbie actually owns all the merchandising rights that Darren has been dishing out all over the place. Darren assures Natty that everything is fine, but she has her own demands – 30% merchandising for Jason and Gus, 10% for her and Gus must executive produce the Inspector Lachère show. Darren agrees because he’s not smart.

Robbie tells JB about Mary’s affair. Later, JB meets with Gus who has fetched her the merchandising percentages for Inspector Lachère.

Helpful camera shot is helpful.

Me in work meetings.

That night JB goes to Flappieville and finds Darren over the body of Alvin the security guard. Lieutenant Spevak is summoned to the scene and quickly discovers the filing cabinet has been jimmied open. Jessica suggests it was a rookie move and Spevak identifies her as the Mystery Maven, while he’s just a hick cop.

If the shoe fits sweetheart…

They quickly find the murder weapon (an iron) and also discover that there appears to be nothing missing from the filing cabinet. Darren and JB adjourn to the nearest bar for an emergency meeting, and JB tells him about his merch snafu. Darren didn’t realise how much he’d messed it up, and panics until JB suggests he goes to the other parties and explains what he’s done. JB thinks he should be fine – as long as that’s all he’s done. Darren doesn’t mention his deal with Parker.

Later that day the team meet in Darren’s office for a good luck phone call from Parker, who is too busy working on his putt in his office to attend the new focus group session for Inspector Lachère. But he’s very happy with all the changes, swapping the magnifying glass to the other hand etc etc. Parker hangs up as his assistant comes in with a special delivery – it turns out to be the tape of the conversation Parker had with Darren.

The focus group is a resounding success. Mary reintroduces Stevie to Robbie, and Stevie says Inspector Lachère is much better than that Pound Dog. Lieutenant Spevak arrives to arrest Darren for Alvin’s murder. Later, Kim meets Parker and outs herself as the sender of the tape.

Down at the police station, Darren tries to understand what’s happening to him while Helena and JB offer support. JB is convinced there must have been something else in the filing cabinet that was worth breaking in and killing for. Across town, Robbie confronts the man he’s seen with his wife, and it turns out he’s a social worker – Mary is hatching a plan to adopt Stevie but hadn’t discussed with Robbie yet. And so ends the stupidest plot thread we’ve seen for a while.

Back at Flappieville JB suddenly works out the whole deal, thanks to something she remembers seeing on a clipboard. She sets a trap for later that night and gets Kim to confess that she was the one who broke into the filing cabinet and stole the tape. But she’s not the one who killed Alvin.

He is, was, and will always be The Danger.

Apparently, Kim wasn’t the first person to try and blackmail Parker – Alvin got it into his head first and copped a flatiron to the head for the trouble.

And so it goes.

Later gang!

S12E16 – Murder Among Friends

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Welcome back to sunny Los Angeles Fletcherfans, where JB is working on a documentary series about mysteries. The producer of her show, Leo Vardian, has been dropping the ball a bit thanks to the runaway success of the show he co-produces with his wife Ricki. It’s a show about six friends who sit around all day in a coffee shop, entitled BUDS.

Coincidentally my face when the music faded in at the start of the episode.

Tensions are high on the set of BUDS. Despite the roaring success of the show, there’s a rumour going around that the network wants some people cut. JB’s mate in the above pic is staff writer Gene Gains, who took JB’s writing course and got such bad marks he immediately swapped to comedy instead.

Speaking of comedy…

WHAT EVEN IS THIS EPISODE

Leo (on the left) is being chased for a limo payment for one of the BUDS (Timothy) by his father Roy Flint, who also happens to be a cop. After bickering, Leo agrees to foot half the bill to make the conversation end.

Next on Leo’s agenda is his wife Ricky, who is on the phone to the network about cutting two of the BUDS. Ricky doesn’t want to do it, but the network is under new management and they’re looking to cut costs. Leo wants to know why Ricky is nicer to everyone else, and Ricky tells him what he’s dying to know – she was working late the previous night. Leo says it might not be hard to cut anyone, not all of the BUDS are funny, take Vince for instance. Ricky says Vince gets 27,000 fan letters a week and takes off to the set to explain some of her jokes to the director.

As she leaves, Leo’s associate Alex walks in. Leo tells him Ricky says she was working late the previous night and Alex says that’s a coincidence because so was he – and shows him the photos of Ricky and Vince making out in her office the night before. Meanwhile, Timothy tells Roy to back off, he’ll handle things his own way. Roy smiles and then after his son walks away does a dirt check on Leo.

After roaming the set for days hours minutes, Jess finally bumps into Leo who tells her everything will be taken care of for her show. His next target is BUD cast member Diane Emery, who has been offered a starring role in a Rob Reiner film – the bad news is it’s two months shooting in New Delhi straight away. Leo tells her no, she’s under contract for another four more years. But look on the bright side, the show has made her into a star, girls all over America are copying her hairstyle…

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

BUDS co-stars Carly and Vince have a quiet moment on set, and Carly warns Vince to get out of Ricky’s clutches. Ricky wanders past just as they are about to kiss and declares she has new lines for Vince to go over. She links arms with him and escorts him away.

JB has lunch with Timothy Flint, who of course she taught at Manhattan University. She congratulates him on the show’s success, saying “Who’d have thought a group of twenty-something young people sitting around all day long discussing their sexuality would turn out to be a top TV show?”

Actual line of dialogue.

Timothy says there’s more to the show than that, but can’t think of anything off the top of his head.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Timothy is convinced he’s about to be dumped from the show but Jess reassures him that he’s very talented. Carly wanders past to tell him they have a 6am call time thanks to Ricky deciding to dump the whole script and start from the beginning.

That night Ricky gets off the phone with the network, and has agreed to cut one of the BUDS. Leo wants to know if he gets a vote and she says nope, she decides who lives and dies around here. She will rewrite the script that night, and keep the last scene in her safe for now. She refuses to tell Leo who the bumped character will be, so he flings the photos Alex took of Ricky with Vince on the desk.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Ricky gives precisely no bothers about the whole thing, and Leo storms out in a rage. He runs into his pal Alex outside, and he orders Alex to make it go away.

The next day JB has a breakfast meeting with Ricky, in which Ricky scoffs some toast and demands her minions to deliver her new laptop by 5pm. She also would like to pitch a TV show starring Jess’s TV characters.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Jess tries to say no, but it doesn’t appear to be a word Ricky understands.

Over at the precinct, Leo’s pal Alex pops by to ask Roy Flint if he could pull Vince’s arrest record from when he was a kid, but Roy points out it’s sealed, and also he doesn’t want internal affairs on his case. Alex, it turns out, used to be a vice cop and Roy thinks he kept better company then. Alex leaves and Roy calls Ricky to find out who is being bumped off but Ricky’s not talking to him either.

Back on set, Ricky watches the readthrough of the latest version of the episode and isn’t happy with the performance. The director, Joy, tells Ricky they’re all worried they are about to lose their jobs but all Ricky says is that Joy might join them. Later in the morning, she tells Vince they need to can their extra-curricular activities for now.

Timothy finds JB on her set discussing female mystery writers and wants her advice – Roy is digging for dirt on Leo and Ricky to use in case Tim gets bumped off the show. Jessica thinks Tim knows exactly what to do and he agrees – he’ll go and see Ricky and warn her.

Gene confronts Leo on behalf of Carly about who is leaving the show but Leo tells Gene to get back to work. Diane calls her agent with the good news that someone is about to be bumped off, but is told that there’s a lawsuit pending if she tries to leave. She confronts Ricky with this but Ricky tells her that’s Leo’s department, not hers. Diane goes in search of Leo, who overheard her conversation with Ricky and wants to know what he’s supposed to say to her. Ricky just tells him to take the heat so she hates him instead of her for a change.

Carly confronts Ricky about potentially firing Vince, but Ricky sees her off. Carly thrusts Ricky’s Emmy at her and tells her that it doesn’t give her a license to be mean and storms off, just in time for Tim to wander in. Ricky is having trouble with her new laptop and he offers to assist.

Later that night, Jessica finds Leo slouched on the set mumbling about how much his marriage sucks. Jess suggests he talk to Ricky.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Later that night, once she’s wrapped for the day, Jessica decides to return the treatment Ricky gave her to read for the potential new show. When she gets to Ricky’s office she finds Ricky dead on the floor, and her safe open.

The police arrive to investigate, in the shape of Lieutenant Roy Flint which seems terribly inappropriate. Jess asks if they’re assuming the Emmy was the murder weapon and Roy agrees. Jess then wonders if the murder wasn’t a robbery in the usual sense – if the safe was open, perhaps someone was in there looking for the scene detailing who gets bumped from the show.

One of Roy’s minions surfaces to let him know that they’ve gotten alibis for everyone except Tim, and Roy shouts that he was with Tim at the time of the murder. Jessica suggests it might be inappropriate for him to investigate but he ignores her. Leo arrives and Tim asks him why a copy of their prenup was on the desk at the time Ricky was killed. JB and the lab tech discover the missing script in the safe.

The next day the script is shared with the BUDS – Diane was the unlucky one about to be bumped off the show, but Leo says Gene will rewrite the script, and that no one is getting bumped. Diane is relieved – her part ended up being given to Meg Ryan anyway. Jess finds her later having a coffee outside, and goes to see how she’s doing. Diane is happy the show is continuing but sad about Ricky, who did a lot for her career. It turns out her character on the show is based on Ricky, including the glasses. Diane has perfect vision though, so her prop glasses don’t have a prescription in them.

Something Diane says triggers a memory and JB rushes off to see Gene, busily working on the new script. He admits he came into Ricky’s office the previous night to talk to her but found her dead and the safe open. He saw the real ending to the show and swapped it out to save Carly from being booted, but he swears he didn’t kill Ricky.

Roy Flint is not impressed…

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

…but lets Gene go. He tells JB that Leo and Ricky just got life insurance policies that paid double for death by murder. While he seems fairly convinced Leo is the killer, Roy takes time to go find Tim and get his alibi. Tim tells him he went for a run but Roy says wrong, Tim was at Roy’s place the entire time.  Meanwhile, Alex finds Leo and says a) you’re welcome and b) I want a producing credit on the show.

That night JB is hanging out with Carly and Tim. Carly is freaking out that her prints are on the Emmy but she didn’t kill Ricky but it turns out she didn’t need to worry. Roy arrives with the news that it’s been discovered that one of the cast was being paid less than the others (Tim) and that there were only three sets of prints on the laptop – Ricky’s, the delivery guys and Tims.

With his son the prime suspect in the murder, Roy decides to take himself off the case. JB tells him she doesn’t think Tim did it but Roy says he has to look at the facts. JB asks him what he did when he went back to see Ricky the night of the murder – turns out Roy boy was trying to get an alibi for himself just as much as Tim. He says he tried to talk sense into Ricky but she wasn’t having a bar of it and so he left her office, but she was alive.

Filming the last day of her Mystery show, JB suddenly realises who the actual killer is and rushes off to trap them.

Her mother warned her there’d be days like these

This is what happens when someone tries to stop you from being in a Rob Reiner movie. That’s just science. Clap clap clap clap.

Later gang

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