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S07E21 – Tainted Lady

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

And he's blaming it on youuuuuuuuu

And he’s blaming it on youuuuuuuuu

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

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

Also seen in Murder She Wrote.

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

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

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

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

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

CRAZY SWAYZE EYES

CRAZY SWAYZE EYES

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

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

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

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

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

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The end.

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

Nah though.

Sweetie sweetie sweetie sweetie

Sweetie sweetie sweetie sweetie

Mmkay mmkay.

Mmkay mmkay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although I'm seeing the method in his madness.

Although I’m seeing the method in his madness.

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

(Full disclosure: I love William Shatner)

(Full disclosure: I love William Shatner)

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

Someone is about to get Fletchered.

Someone is about to get Fletchered.

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

 

JB LOOKS AT COFFEE THE SAME WAY I DO

JB LOOKS AT COFFEE THE SAME WAY I DO

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

Life Lesson #62: Coffee will answer your questions.

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

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

BOOM.

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

ARGH HE IS CREEPY I JUST WANT TO PUNCH MY TELEVISION.

ARGH HE IS CREEPY I JUST WANT TO PUNCH MY TELEVISION.

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

q2

 

It doesn’t go well…

r2

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

t2

s2

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

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

Or was he?

(He was).

Whomp there it is.

Whomp there it is.

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

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

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

S07E20 – Murder, Plain and Simple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bit grim.

Bit grim.

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

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

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

“Murder is against everyones religion.” Declares JB.

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

I WISH.

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

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

Well, nearly noone.

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

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

Hear me out on this okay?

Good riddance.

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

Until next time.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

 

 

S07E19 – Thursday’s Child

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

NOPE. NOPE NOPE.

NOPE. NOPE NOPE.

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

Accurate representation about 98% of politics

Accurate representation of about 98% of politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

GODDAMNIT I CAN'T BE DEALING WITH THIS

GODDAMNIT I CAN’T BE DEALING WITH THIS

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

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

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

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

Lunch plans confirmed.

Lunch plans confirmed.

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

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

This episode is murdering my tearducts

This episode is murdering my tearducts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please. Of course she can.

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

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

Tale as old as time....

Tale as old as time….

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

This is the most depressing episode ever.

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

NEVER A DOUBT IN MY MIND.

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

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

S07E18 – Where Have You Gone, Billy Boy?

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YOU GUYS THIS IS THE LAST EVER BOOKEND EPISODE CAN WE ALL JUST TAKE MOMENT TO GIVE PRAISE TO THE TELEVISION GODS THAT THE MADNESS IS OVER.

But also:

Not for nothing, but the tide's a bit out in those teacups Stanton.

Not for nothing, but the tide’s a bit out in those teacups Stanton.

Dennis has taken umbrage at Jessica’s newest character Duncan Sinclair, a reformed jewel thief that now works for an insurance company that Jessica swears bears no relation to Dennis Stanton, except maybe Dennis inspired certain aspects of the character.  Dennis is sad he didn’t inspire more of the narration…

I MEAN THE NERVE

I MEAN THE NERVE

…but never mind that because he has a story he’d like to tell JB all about. Has she ever heard of Billy Boy?

And so, back to San Francisco we go, to a comedy club called Kate Kelley’s Comedy Club (nice name), where Elwood “Woody” Perkins is doing his ventriloquist bit with his sidekick Billy Boy. Because nothing says early 90s like a ventriloquist act.

The first show over, Woody and Billy Boy adjourn backstage where his manager Tom Benzinger appears to congratulate him and the titular Kate Kelley appears to tell him that he has to do another show at midnight, and she doesn’t care that he’s done eight shows this week already. CON-TRACT.

In the dressing-room, the act’s third wheel and token blonde Brenda McCoy demands more time on stage, but they are soon interrupted by the arrival of Vic De Marco, a performer of some sort who is about to do a run in Vegas and would like Woody and Billy Boy as his opening act. Woody is hesitant but Tom assures Vic that they will make it happen and goes off with him to have a celebratory drink. Brenda tells Woody not to screw up her their big break in Vegas. After the late show Tom tells Kate about the offer but she’s not interested – Woody is contracted to her club for the next seven months, an attitude even her partner in the club Joe Gelardi thinks is harsh.

The next morning, we find Dennis Stantion in his boss’s office explaining why he had to hire twin midgets to assist in the investigation into the Turkish Consul’s missing wife and jewels.

Clearly a rhetorical question.

Clearly a rhetorical question. (I would watch that show)

Robert informs Dennis that one more stunt like that and he’s out of a job, which means back in prison in case anyone had forgotten, and gives him his new assignment – a ventriloquist dummy has gone missing.

Dennis heads over to the club to get the good word on the whole dummy situation, and arrives in time to see former headline act Sally Templeton having a row with Kate over Sally’s requests to get her job back despite being a bit of a boozehound. Kate orders Joe to throw her out, and doesn’t want to hear his objections. She’s less than thrilled to see Dennis until he explains he’s not a lawyer he’s an insurance investigator looking for Billy Boy at which point she sends him down to Woody’s dressing room. Woody is bereft, but is quick to inform Dennis that Billy Boy wasn’t stolen, he was kidnapped.

d2

Dennis assures Woody that the insurance company would be delighted to assist should a ransom be demanded, but the alternative is Dennis gives Woody a cheque for 10 grand. Woody refuses, saying he will not work with a fake Billy Boy – he doesn’t want the money he wants Billy Boy back.

Sidenote I watched all of Stranger Things yesterday and it's amazing and I AM BARB.

Sidenote I watched all of Stranger Things yesterday and it’s amazing and I AM BARB.

Dennis takes a look around and has a chat to Tom Benzinger who explains that he and Brenda dropped Woody at the club on the way to see Vic di Marco, but that as soon as they got to his hotel there was a panicked call from Woody to say that Billy Boy was missing. The police did a bit of a search, and Tom, Brenda and Woody searched the place from top to bottom but there was no sign of Billy Boy. Dennis assures Tom that they will receive the cheque in a few days. Back at Woody’s house Brenda assures Woody that the doll they are picking up on Friday will look exactly the same as Billy Boy and Vegas won’t be any different to San Francisco so not to be scared and just do what she and Tom tell him to do mmkay.

At the office that night Dennis cheers up a heartbroken Rhoda, and offers to take her to dinner (now that his current squeeze has moved into the ex column on account of she wanted a ring on it), but a phone call puts a spanner in the works. It’s Billy Boy, asking Dennis to rescue him from a wardrobe trunk in the basement of the club. Dennis tells Rhoda dinner is cancelled and they head over to Kate’s. Joe is surprised to hear Billy Boy is in the basement, doubly so when he tries the basement door and it’s looked. The only person with a key is Kate, who is conspicuously absent. Joe thinks they are bang out of luck but Dennis has The Umbrella of Justice.

To be fair I have that reaction to Stanton's umbrella even now. And now I have Umbrella by Rhianna stuck in my head.

To be fair I have that reaction to Stanton’s umbrella even now. And now I have Umbrella by Rhianna stuck in my head.

Thanks to Billy’s phone call, they find him rather quickly. Joe finds it odd that it was so easy, considering the basement had already been searched but Dennis suspects Woody might have been the basement searcher.

And so ends the case of the missing dummy, just in time to start the Case of The Dead Comedy Club Owner when Rhoda finds Kate’s body on the floor. San Francisco’s finest are called in, and Lieutenant Catalano is delighted furious to discover Dennis is at the scene. Dennis explains about the missing dummy, but Catalano just warns him off the case. Taking it as a suggestion more than a command, Dennis leaves Rhoda to watch Catalano’s work and heads over to Woody’s house in time to see Brenda preparing to make a hasty exit. Apparently Vic DiMarco had decided to go with another opening act and Woody had neglected to mention it to either Tom or Brenda. Stanton tells Brenda it might not be wise to leave just yet, on account of an unexplained dead body and all when Rhoda calls in to let him know that the police found Woody and that he’s under arrest.

Down at the police station Catalano tells Dennis that Sally Templeton saw Woody leaving the bar an hour or two before Dennis arrived (and Catalano would also like to have a discussion about the toolkit Dennis has stashed in his umbrella). As far as the lieutenant goes, the case is closed – Kate stole the doll to stop Woody from leaving, so he killed her.

“And left the doll?” Dennis says.

Noone likes a know it all Dennis.

Noone likes a know it all Dennis.

As Woody has thus far refused to speak to anyone, including his lawyer, Dennis offers to help – with some assistance.

Dennis does not nail ventriloquism

Dennis does not nail ventriloquism

Woody, through Billy, comes clean. He didn’t want to go to Vegas so he hid the doll until he heard DiMarco went with another act, but when he went to retrieve the doll the basement door was locked so he called Dennis to get Billy because he knew he couldn’t do it himself. When Dennis reports back to Catalano however, the lieutenant is not bothered. It’s only when Dennis points out that whomever has the key to the basement is the killer that Catalano reacts – presumably because they didn’t find a key on Woody.

The next day, Dennis’s boss is on the warpath, not that Dennis is worried.

0 are the bothers given, and the number of the bothers shall be 0.

0 are the bothers given, and the number of the bothers shall be 0.

Robert is on the warpath having just discovered that Dennis has requested background checks on Kate Kelly, Joe Gelardi, Brenda McCoy and Tom Benzinger, but Dennis assures him he’s only doing to make sure Woody gets off – after all, they don’t want to pay out the life insurance claim Woody’s mother has on him if he gets sentenced to death? (I have questions regarding the logic of this, but I’m hungry so let’s accept that and move on!)

Rhoda appears with a handful of phone records and the news that Sally Templeton got a phone call from the comedy club at 5:42pm, which was a) after Kate was murdered and b)impossible if Sally saw Woody in the alley behind the club when she says she did. Dennis thinks that wants further investigation and so heads over to the club, where Joe and Sally are auditioning new casually racist comedy acts for the club. Coincidentally Tom Benzinger also appears wanting to talk to Joe – there’s a chance Woody could be getting released, since Dennis has a theory about everything, and so Tom is there to pick up Woody’s trunk. Which is in the basement. Joe tells him the basement is sealed off thanks to the police but Tom tells him Stanton is sure the trunk is down there, he saw it there the previous day. Joe gets Tom thrown out and excuses himself from the auditions for awhile. He doesn’t have any issues getting into the basement, on account of he has the key.

Kind of clunky but I'll allow it.

Kind of clunky but I’ll allow it.

He whacked Kate over the head after her lousy treatment of his girlfriend,  Sally Templeton. And so on and so forth.

But there it is guys. The last bookend episode of Murder She Wrote. There is an end in sight.

In the meantime, let’s all take a moment to contemplate the news that Angela Lansbury is in talks to be in the next season of Game of Thrones which even if not true is still a doorway to a whole world of memes that I can’t wait to see.

See you next week Fletcherfans

See you next week Fletcherfans

 

 

S07E17 – The Prodigal Father

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Back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans, where JB has some new neighbours on Candlewood Lane – Bonnie and Dave Hastings and their daughter Sally. JB is having a tea party with Sally and a doll that is apparently the queen, and answering questions about grandfathers she might have that Sally doesn’t. Apparently Sally’s grandfather died before she was even born…

…cut to a grizzled old dude rolling into the carpark at the Lighthouse Motel. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE WRITERS.

The dude checks in to the hotel, paying cash upfront as demanded by the hotel clerk, who quickly snatches the guest register to check the name once the old dude has gone into his room. A short time later the dude calls the front desk, asking to be connected to a phone number, and I mean actually connected.

I don't understand what this is. This came out in 1991, even Tasmania had actual phones at this point and Tasmania didn't get a Hungry Jacks until 2001.

I don’t understand what this is. This came out in 1991, even Tasmania had actual phones at this point and Tasmania didn’t get a Hungry Jacks until 2001.

Unfortunately for the Dude, the phone rings out. Presumably because the mouse fell off the generator or some such.

The next day The Dude is having breakfast at the diner and sussing out some info from the waitress, like what happened to the old steakhouse, or if she knows a woman called Bonnie Jenks. The waitress tells him she married Dave Hastings, and he departs – not before getting the attention of Gil the short order cook who watches him go into the bank up the road. He puts a call in to bank president Elton Summers to let him know that a man who looked a lot like Ned Jenks just walked into his bank. Elton dismisses it out of hand, but goes to have a cheeky look anyway. The signature on the bank cheque the man cashed confirms it, The Dude is Ned Jenks.

Later on that morning, while Bonnie gets her husband Dave off to work (played by Larry Wilcox who has been in this show about eleven billion times) she sees The Dude, I mean Ned loitering in his car across the street. Later, she tells JB what happened – that the man came up to her and said he was her father, that he didn’t drown after crashing his car after robbing the bank and, you know, surprise!

That afternoon, Jess bumps into Mayor Sam Booth, and fills him in on the latest drama in Cabot Cove, to which Sam says “She might have some barnacles on her bottom but overall I’d say she’s sound.”

Classic Sam Booth.

Classic Sam Booth.

Turns out Sam is actually talking about a boat he’s thinking of buying. But ermahgherd, Sam adds, Ned Jinks was trouble from way back and remember how he used to hoon about on his blue motorbike, (red, says JB) and ran off with the homecoming queen (that was his daughter, Julie Jenks was Miss Cabot Cove 1962, says JB), and then the girl’s mother cut them off. JB wonders if that’s what lead Ned into robbing the bank. Sam thinks it’s good riddance Ned died, proving once and for all he wasn’t paying attention to Jess, and is horrified when JB tells him Ned is back.

While Sam considers the looming zombie apocalypse, across town Ned emerges from a store with a giant teddy bear. A man and a woman watch his progress – the woman isn’t at all sure if it’s Ned but the man is certain and accosts Ned as he gets into his car. “Remember me? I was in the bank that day. I’m the one you shot.” The man yells at Ned, who quickly drives off.

JB heads over to the Sheriff’s office to read through the old case file on the bank robbery – they never found Ned’s body or the missing 200 grand from the heist. The man Ned shot bursts into the sheriff’s office demanding Mort do something about Ned Jenks, but a warrant wasn’t issued because they thought Ned was dead and alas the statute of limitations has run out etcetera etcetera. Mort agrees that it stinks but there’s nothing he can do.

Back at the hotel that night Ned gets a phone call. Ned demands that the caller meet him, and he knows why. Noone connected them 20 years ago and they aren’t going to now, he adds.

Back at the diner the next morning, JB and the Sheriff are debating the case over breakfast. Mort’s wife Adele has decided that Ned didn’t even commit the robbery but JB thinks that’s a stretch – a lot of people recognised the man’s voice, including Gil the diner cook, who reminds them he was there that day working security. Gil himself has his own theory, that Ned took the money, hid it at his mother-in-law’s and has come back to town to claim it now that the woman’s dead. The fact that Ned and his mother-in-law hated each other was irrelevant.

Mort is done.

Mort is done.

Jess goes off to meet the Mayor, while Mort gets accosted by another local unhappy with Ned Jenks’s existence, Maxine Malloy, who informs the sheriff they will all remember how he handled this on election day.

Down at the docks Jess finds Sam hard at work scrubbing barnacles off bottoms (heh heh) and asks him what he remembers about the bank heist but it turns out he was out of town on a fishing trip. Helpfully Ned wanders past at that moment so Jess decides to confront him directly. He’s not entirely polite to her but apologises, asking for her help in putting in a good word with his daughter. He’d been in jail in Arizona which is why he hadn’t come forward sooner, and as for the money a thousand bucks a year for 20 years doesn’t really make it seem worth it.

Jess agrees to pass the message along to Bonnie, but her husband is less than thrilled with the idea, even less so when Ned is a dinner guest. While Bonnie and Ned look at old photos Dave sits in the corner and work/sulks before taking Sally upstairs for her nap. When he returns he is not happy to see his wife reconnecting with her father and demands a meeting in the kitchen to demand Ned be gone by the time Dave gets home from work. UGH I HATE WHEN THIS BLOG IS FACTUAL I’M SORRY GUYS.

Sidenote: my neighbour’s kid is learning the recorder. So far it’s been Mary Had A Little Lamb in the key of screaming. Why do schools do this? Give them a triangle! Or a stick with bottle caps on it! Or maracas. LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE.

/rant

Anyway, Dave goes back to work and is promptly fired by Herb for being related to the guy who shot him. I’m not kidding. Clearly the union rep wasn’t at work that day, so instead of going to his lawyer/the press/JB Dave goes to a bar, gets drunk, sees Ned chowing down on some pancakes at the diner, goes over and tries to punch him. Ned retaliates but before the fight can really kick off Gil pulls a gun and orders Ned out. Ned comes over and says “What are you going to do, shoot me?” He stares Gil down, until Gil drops the gun. “Couldn’t do it last time, can’t do it now,” says Ned, and leaves.

The next morning, while Dave recovers from the hangover/beating double, he orders his wife to tell her father to leave town, he’s tearing them apart. “But he’s my father!” Says Bonnie.

“But I’m your husband!” Says Dave.

Hello to my lovely friend Jess, who I hope appreciates this one.

Hello to my lovely friend and poppet Jess, who I hope appreciates this one.

Bonnie agrees to at least go and talk to her father, but when she arrives at the Lighthouse Motel she finds him dead on the floor, because this is Murder She Wrote not Statute of Limitations, She Wrote.

The sheriff, the coroner and JB are all summoned to the scene (Seth is apparently MIA/working on another TV show). Mort is convinced that it’s all connected to the bank robbery, but JB points out the “evidence” he found was printed a long time after the bank robbery. She asks George the manager if Ned had any visitors or calls and George tells her that he couldn’t be sure if he had visitors, he had one call but George didn’t recognise the face, but he did know that Ned made a whole heap of calls to the same number. Mort tries the number and is stunned when Adele answers – turns out it’s the laundromat in town. Mort convinces himself Herb is the guilty one and goes off to see how he can prove it. Unfortunately for Mort, Herb was playing bingo with Adele the night of the murder, so he’s back to square one.

Jessica on the other hand heads to the bank to transact some Fletcher business. There she runs into the bank president, Elton Summers, who is fishing for information regarding Bonnie and the murder. In his office Jess asks him about the day of the robbery and he tells her he was there, as was Gil, but the bank president a guy named Hankin was not and would later be fired as a result. Gil froze up during the robbery and became the town drunk but he sorted himself out. Elton was promoted after the robbery, so in a way it was in fact the luckiest thing that could have happened to him.

Sincere Jess is Sincere.

Sincere Jess is Sincere.

Jess pops over to the diner to refuel on coffee and has a chat to Gil about the night before, when he pulled the gun on Ned. He tells her it was exactly the same thing that happened in the bank 20 years earlier – he froze up and panicked, even though there weren’t any bullets in the gun. Jess is very interested in this fact and asks Gil who else knew the gun wasn’t loaded and Gil explains in infinite detail how Maxine Molloy knew because he was sweet on her but she loved Elton and she was devo when he dumped her after he got promoted to bank president and

I know that look so well, I wear it often.

I know that look so well, I wear it often.

Meanwhile, Mort has decided Dave is the guilty party and manages to track him down at his new job. Deputy Floyd (naw) notices a coil of wire in the back of Dave’s truck, the end of which matches a piece they found behind the hotel where Ned was murdered.

Back at the Sheriff’s office JB pops in to explain to the Sheriff exactly why he’s wrong but the Sheriff won’t be moved, even when Jess points out it’s impossible for Ned to have planned to talk to someone at the laundromat when it closes at 6pm and he wasn’t calling til 8pm. Mort shows Jessica the piece of paper with the number on it, the back of a 1971 receipt from a pharmacy and Jess quickly excuses herself. She heads over to see Bonnie to look at some old photos her father had given her and finds a folded up piece of paper that says “Hankin off Wednesdays, 10am best time.”

Jess takes the note and the photo over to see Maxine Malloy, former bank teller and current seller of old things to rich city people and asks her who she told about the empty gun. Maxine admits she probably told Elton since they were going out at the time. Jess mentions that Ned told her he only got 20 grand for the robbery and Maxine tells her that can’t possibly be right, there was over 200 grand that got taken.

After a quick trip to study some old phone books at the library, Jess calls the Sheriff. She knows who killed Ned but she needs a little help to prove it.

A short time later Dave is released from prison and goes straight to the killer to blackmail it out of him. When he pulls a gun, Mort bursts in.

Not the first time that sentence has been said I bet.

Not the first time that sentence has been said I bet.

Case closed, thanks to something about a pharmacy being closed and a wrong phone number. I couldn’t quite catch it over the recorder concerto going on out my window.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S07E16 – From the Horse’s Mouth

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Fletcherfans, I think we all learned a valuable lesson last week about multi-tasking. I shouldn’t try and write while Richmond are playing, and Richmond shouldn’t throw away 35 point leads in the last quarter.

Let’s not dwell on that.

JB is in Kentucky putting bets on for our old friend Harry McGraw when she bumps into her friend, veterinarian Dr Christy Morgan and her fiancee Todd Sterling. It seems they are destined to remain engaged for awhile, until their fathers can stop feuding. That old chestnut. BOOM HORSE PUN.

But now I’d like to discuss possibly my favourite one-time character in this whole series:

Next Derby Day I'm wearing that outfit.

Next Derby Day I’m wearing that outfit.

Emmaline Bristow can talk to horses, so naturally she’s at the stables wishing all the horses good luck in their race and getting the latest equine gossip. One horse, Big Palooka, tells her he has a terrible headache, which is bad news for Harry since he got JB to put 200 down on him. Emmeline bumps into Christie’s father, Lamar, who wonders if any of the horses mentioned who would win the race.

“Oh Lamar. Horses can’t predict the future.” Says Emmaline. GEEZ LAMAR GET WITH IT.

A token blonde wanders past, excited to meet Lamar Morgan, but more excited to serve him papers. Todd’s father, Randolph Sterling, is suing.

Trackside, Randolph is taking a constitutional with his lady-friend Althea Mayberry (played by someone credited as Woman in Titanic). Althea is trying to talk Randolph into a cruise but Randolph has big things to worry about, like getting his stallion King Paragon laid. They are soon joined by Randolph’s daughter Diana with news on that score – some Japanese businessmen have expressed an interest in King Paragon and so Diana orders Althea to make sure sake is on tap when they come by the farm. Althea is delighted to be promoted to caterer. And by delighted I mean not happy.

Althea spots Christy, Todd and JB walking towards them and remarks how good Christy and Todd look together – Todd’s so handsome and Christy’s so full of life and virginal purity.

“What would you know about virginal purity?” Says Diana.

SICK BURN

SICK BURN

JB is reintroduced to everyone, and she tells Diana the last time she saw her she was home from university in England. Turns out Diana was at Cambridge, until she got thrown out but then she married Lord Snowcroft, until she got tired of him and threw him out.

JB's a little impressed.

JB’s a little impressed.

Lamar interrupts this trip down memory lane brandishing the court notice and demanding an explanation. It turns out King Paragon went a-wanderin’ some enchanted evening and knocked up two of Lamar’s mares and Randolph wants compensation for – well something. Lamar says he doesn’t owe Randoph a cent, he had nothing to do with King Paragon getting loose and knocking up his mares, but Randolph doesn’t care. He’ll see Lamar in court. And with that he walks off, Althea and Diana on each arm.

The next day, JB visits Christy at the farm, to hear more about the nocturnal wanderings of King Paragon.

ARGH SO CUTE I CAN'T EVEN

ARGH SO CUTE I CAN’T EVEN

Christy says there are no witnesses and if they lose the court case they would lose the farm. The police haven’t been any help, so JB suggests a private detective she knows…

It's Harry's second last MSB episode! Things are WINDING DOWN.

It’s Harry’s second last MSB episode! Things are WINDING DOWN.

Harry tells JB he’s not taking any new cases just at the moment, but is forced to reassess the situation when the radio informs him his horse lost again.

Now we need to talk about this guy.

THIS GUY.

This is Melvin Belli.

Here are some things I’ve just learned about Melvin Belli. He defended Jack Ruby for killing Lee Harvey Oswald, he got a letter from the Zodiac Killer (it really annoys me they never caught that guy), he defended people like Errol Flynn, The Rolling Stones and Mae West, he once played a character on the original Star Trek, and whenever he won a court case he would raise the Jolly Roger flag on his office and fire a cannon off the roof.

For real. I never knew how much I wanted to fire a cannon off a roof until just now.

For now though, he is Judge Charlie Harley, and Randolph is on the phone to him trying to demand that his suit against Lamar Morgan is tried immediately if not sooner. Things don’t get better for Charlie when he asks for scotch and gets a soda water from his secretary instead.

Back at the Morgan’s farm, Christy and JB are relieved and surprised respectively when Harry turns up.

g2

heh heh heh

THEY CALLED EACH OTHER RHETT AND SCARLETT 

Harry reveals the owner of the sharp threads doesn’t actually know Harry borrowed them so if they could move this along so Harry can return the suit by Friday that would be grand.

JB and Harry head over to the Sterling house where a shindig is in full swing to drum up interest in King Paragon and his lovelife. While Randolph puts the squeeze on Charlie re: the court case, Harry investigates the bar situation and gets hit on by Althea. Althea’s moves are squashed by a drive-by from Diana reminding Althea that champagne ages the skin (nonsense, I drink it by the bucketload and I look fabulous) and that her hair could do with a colour job.

“Thank you Lady Chatterly.” Althea mutters. Zing!

Harry finds JB in conversation with Todd and Randolph and she introduces him to the group. “Randolph Sterling? The guy who owned Randolphs’ Rebel?”

“The same.” Says Randolph.

“Whatever happened to that nag?” Asks Harry.

Spoke like someone who watched Richmond play last week wait what nevermind

Spoke like someone who watched Richmond play last week wait what nevermind

Jess tells Randolph Harry is considering investing in a racehorse. “I hear you got the best around. Can I get a peek at King Paragon eh Randy?” Harry adds.

They all go out to the stables to see the stud’s finest in action. And I’m not talking about the horse.

LOOK AT HIS FACE SUCH SMOULDER BAHAHAHA

LOOK AT HIS FACE SUCH SMOULDER BAHAHAHA

Randolph announces that the minimum return for buying in on King Paragon’s…services…is 100 grand in the first year.

Harry is flabbergasted.

m2

n2

*Actual quote

Emmaline, also in attendance, is more concerned about King Paragon’s state of mind. Apparently he’s thoroughly depressed. “Wouldn’t you be?” She says to Harry. “Your body being used in that dreadful fashion?”

Steady on Harry.

Steady on Harry.

The King Paragon party is soon crashed by Lamar Morgan, drunk as a lord and informing Randolph he’d kill him before he paid him a cent. Todd escorts him outside to get some fresh air, while Diana mumbles something about family loyalties.

Back at the Morgan farm Christy is worried when Todd is still at the track and her father has disappeared, but Harry is on the case and calls in to let them know that Lamar is propping up a bar in town. As soon as she gets off the phone from Harry there is call from Todd – there’s been an accident at the track, one of the horses needs medical attention. They drive down to the track to find Randolph dead on the floor of his office.

The police arrive and quickly take charge. Sheriff Tyrone McKenna tells JB not to touch anything and she informs him she wasn’t touching she was reading – a note from Althea Mayberry saying how hurt she was by Randolph and that he’d be hearing from her attorney. Diana Sterling arrives, devastated but quick to remind them that Lamar had threatened to kill Randolph earlier that day. Lamar had called Diana, wanting to talk to Randolph and Diana was the one who told him her father was at the track. She breaks down and Todd takes her back to the house. Christy remembers that she was called about an injured horse and rushes out to the stables.

JB decides to walk Sheriff McKenna through the crime scene and points out the odd stain on Randolph’s jacket, hanging up on a hook. McKenna tells her that poking around crime scenes might be alright in the city, but he’s got a water moccassin by the tail and something something tread lightly.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Jess decides to go find Christy/poke around in the stables, and finds Rex Manning attending to King Paragon, who had spooked, broke down his stable door and hightailed it across the paddock before Rex could catch him. (For those interested in fact based reporting, his character’s name is Derek Padley). Rex suspects the noise of the argument in the office might have spooked him, but when pressed he couldn’t say he recognised the voices. Christy reappears after attending to another injured horse and offers to x-ray King Paragon’s leg but Rex Manning tells her he knows best. Because he’s Rex Manning.

Back at the farm, Harry is pulling into the drive way with a well sloshed Lamar Morgan when the police pull him over. Harry is his belligerent self until Sheriff McKenna mentions murder.

Down at the police station, Lamar confesses he was at the track that night. He’d had an offer for one of his foals, and was hoping Randolph would agree to the sale provided the money was held in trust until after the court case but that clearly didn’t go well. Jess asks him if the fight was so loud that they didn’t hear King Paragon destroying his stall but he swears that noise would have stopped them cold.

Sheriff McKenna appears to tell JB that the stains on Randolph’s hands weren’t blood but hair dye. The stains on the jacket were blood, but not Randolph’s. Shout-out to Kentucky CSI for upping their game on that one. He bids them goodbye and departs. Harry has a speck of an idea floating in his brain about hair dye, and goes to see Althea Mayberry, who promptly busts a move on him but aborts when Harry casually wonders whether she was dying her hair when Randolph came to see her. She throws Harry out, Harry offers to take a raincheck on the tour of her bedroom.

The next day Harry asks JB about Lady Chatterley, and Jess explains that Lady Chatterley fell in love with her husband’s gamekeeper. Harry thinks it’s screwy, Diana isn’t married and there’s no gamekeeper in sight.  Not so screwy, says JB. Diana was married to Lord Snowcroft, and he had a large estate in England.

“Hunting game?” Says Harry.

“Racing horses.” JB says.

But he's trying and that's good.

But he’s trying and that’s good.

JB pops around to see Todd but instead finds Edie the housekeeper. She tells JB she heard a fight between Diana and Randolph earlier that week – Randolph was pissed at his daughter, saying she never did have good taste in men, while she told her father that Todd hated them.

Down at the police station Lamar is pestering Harry for more info about his investigation into King Paragon’s adventures with the mares, but Harry is more concerned about why Lamar is still being held, since Randolph wasn’t killed by a punch. Lamar tells him the blood on the jacket is his, a consequence of a busted up nose, but that his prints are also on the walking stick murder weapon, after he threw the stick away during the fight.

Later that night Harry, JB, Todd and Christy have a war meeting at the Morgan farm to decide what to do next. Jessica is sure that Lamar is innocent, but they need to prove someone else was at the stable that night – either by invitation or by knowing the security code. Todd and Christy head down to the track and Jess asks Harry if he knows anyone in the British racing industry – turns out Harry is friends with the Prince of Wales’s bookmaker (pfft) and he puts a call in to get more information on…

…cut to Judge Charlie Harley having a meeting in chambers where Christy, Todd and the defence attorney all requesting that the trial be held at King Paragon’s stables. Because that’s normal. Diana and her attorney bust in shouting I OBJECT (not true, whatever) and the judge decides a trip to the stable is in order. Apparently JB has located a surprise witness. King Paragon himself.

Emmaline steps up to conduct the interro-neigh-tion (nailed it)

Just amazing.

Just amazing.

After Emmaline asks a bunch of questions about King Paragon’s nightly wanderings, JB breaks in to request that she ask whether King Paragon’s name even is King Paragon, or if in fact it is Night Sword. Because apparently Night Sword was struck by lightening and killed. But what if it was King Paragon that was killed? And what if someone decided to dye the white sock on Night Sword’s leg brown to cover it up? And what if that someone got busted in the act of touching up the dye job by Randolph Sterling and so killed him to cover it up?

Say no more, mon amor.

Say no more, mon amor.

YASSSSS THIS MAKES ME HAPPY AND I DON’T KNOW WHY 

I feel like I’ve made insufficient horse puns in this episode, so if you think of some let me know. I think I’m still miserable from Richmond’s “effort” last week.

Until next week, then.

THESE TWO.

THESE TWO.

S07E15 – The Taxman Cometh

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Disclaimer: I am writing this post while watching my football team (Richmond FC) play another football team on TV. I feel that this is not going to end well for anyone.

Strap yourselves in Fletcherfans! Nothing says comedy like taxes. Except maybe death and taxes.

Sigh.

JB is in Missouri on a book tour and pops in on her friend Edna Hayes, who is stressed out. The taxman is out for her blood, GO JAAAAAAAAAAAACK OH GODDAMNIT IT IT HIT THE POST to the tune of 2 million dollars. For whatever reason we need to go back and have an indepth analysis of how this 2 million dollar problem happened GO DUSTY and I will spare you the details mostly because I stopped paying attention and started googling what other movies the guy who plays Richard Wellstood  was in (he was in Scandal. And other things, but mainly that one).

MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT DAMN IT.

Long story short, the taxman is after Edna and her company Aunt Edna’s Baked Goods, and they’re willing to go after her ex-husband, Nolan Hayes to get to her. YO RICHMOND YOUR GOALS ARE THE OTHER END IN CASE YOU FORGOT.

I should also point out at this point that Alf’s Dad is the tax man. Whatever happened to Alf?

YESSS WE GOT A GOAL LETS END THE GAME NOW BEFORE WE GET THRASHED.

OH DAMN THEY GOT ONE AGAIN.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, so Nolan, Edna’s ex husband, calls her up to tell her the taxman is after him for taxes on his income as a “consultant” for the business MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT THANK YOU, but the “income” they think he’s getting is way more than he is actually getting and some auditor named THAT WAS A FREE KICK Spencer Prince SOMEONE KICK THE GODDAMN BALL but that Nolan is still unable to get hold of him. Edna promises she’ll take care of it, but a week later she has a meeting with Alf’s Dad the tax auditor, ARGH WE MISSED THAT ONE ARGH who puts in the hard word and tells her YESSS GOOD TACKLE that if she doesn’t pay she will lose the business. And then it was now.

I said the same thing this morning after my nephew power-vommed over the couch, my brother and half of Launceston. Because I am #topaunty

I said the same thing this morning after my nephew power-vommed over the couch, my brother and half of Launceston. Because I am #topaunty

50 METRES! YASSSSSS….WHY THE HELL DID YOU KICK IT TO THE OPPOSITION FOR CRYING OUT LOUD RICHMOND.

While Jessica and Edna look at Edna’s pictures of her friend the senator, company vice-president Richard Wellstood appears to let Edna know that he and the other VP JK Davern had a meeting with the auditor Spencer Prince, which was very successful THREE GEELONG PLAYERS ON THEIR OWN COME ON RICHMOND.

O GOOD IT’S QUARTER TIME.

What was I saying? Right. So Richard leaves just as Nolan arrives to beg Edna to cooperate with the IRS, and if there’s anything he can do day or night, she should call him. He makes sure she has his car phone number (naww car phones) but she says her secretary already has it.

Jess goes on a tour of the factory with sales director George Harris YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT THAT WAS A HIGH TACKLE and they bump into Richard again who is looking for Spencer Prince. He spies him walking off in the distance and races to catch up. Meanwhile, the head of accounting Gail Manning is looking for Edna, after finding a message left for Edna on Gail’s desk. It’s from Nolan.

Edna decides she is too stressed out and busy to accompany JB to the concert they had planned to attend that evening, but JK agrees to escort JB instead so crisis averted ALEX RANCE FOR PM. He tells her that a couple of the bakers at the factory are in the woodwind section, and can even read music.

My thoughts exactly.

My thoughts exactly.

YASSSS ANOTHER GOAL TY VICKERY I’M SORRY I SAID I’D TRADE YOU FOR A SACK OF MAGIC BEANS AND A CAN OF SPAM.

AND ANOTHER GOAL WHAT THE HELL I DON’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING.

JIMMY BARTEL’S BEARD JUST GAVE AWAY A FREE KICK.

Oops, got distracted. ARGH ANOTHER GOAL WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON I CAN’T BELIEVE WE ARE WINNING IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?

Alright. Focus. Later that night, police find Nolan’s body next to his car. Oh dear. The police haven’t id’d him yet, but find the car is WE ARE WINNING BY 25 POINTS STOP THE GAME NOW DEAR GOD RICHMOND WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS NOW THAT WE CAN’T POSSIBLY MAKE THE FINALS THIS IS THE MOST RICHMOND THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE registered to Edna, so they go to her house to ask her to come down to the police station HAHA SUCK IT JOEL SELWOOD.

BAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL AS IF THAT WASN’T HOLDING THE BALL.

Edna is devastated to learn her ex-husband’s death, and asks what happened. According to the 5-0, (aka Fred Willard) Nolan broke down in a sketchy area and MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT DAMN IT thugs clocked him over the head with his tyre jack when he tried to change the car tyre himself. YASSSSS TACKLE!

JB thinks the police theory is suspicious – according to Edna Nolan couldn’t open a can, so why would he be trying to change a car tyre in a sketchy neighbourhood when we have helpfully established he has a car phone? I LOVE YOU TRENT COTCHIN EVEN IF YOUR HAIR FREAKS ME OUT.

The next day Fred Willard Lieutenant Phillips is getting word that the tyre was slashed and not punctured when IRS Director Yelverton (Alf’s Dad) arrives in the office to tell him he’s out for Edna’s money, and that Nolan was a key witness in the tax evasion or something. SOUND THE SIREN WE ARE ABOUT TO FALL APART OH THANK GOD HALF TIME.

Yelverton demands to be the first call when any new developments occur, at which point Lieutenant Phillips tells Yelverton that the IRS has no jurisdiction in a murder investigation. Yelverton casually mentions the lieutenant’s car repayment problems and Phillips promises to be in touch.

Later that afternoon, Jess is hanging out at the factory when Phillips appears to sample some goods and find out about Edna’s side of the tax case. JB points out that it’s only an IRS claim, and that nothing is proven yet, to which Philips says “Clearly you’ve never owned a car.”

This episode is well weird. And I'm not just saying that because I'm football commentating all the way through it.

This episode is well weird. And I’m not just saying that because I’m football commentating all the way through it.

Philips reveals that Nolan was killed elsewhere and then moved to the train tracks, so the police were now checking where everyone who knew Nolan was. JB was at the concert with JK (nice abbreviating guys), while Gail, George and Richard were all at home. Edna reveals that she was home from 7:30 waiting for Nolan, who had left word that he was coming by to talk to her, but he obviously didn’t make it.

Philips is not entirely pleased with this lack of alibi so JB asks Edna if there is anyone who could possibly verify it. Edna remembers a delivery guy who came to her house by mistake because of blah blah address, to deliver a pizza, but she didn’t know the company or the name of the delivery guy. Philips is even less pleased but Jessica Fletcher doesn’t bow down from a challenge, and now that the third quarter is about to start I hope Richmond don’t either.

Jess tracks down the correct pizza orderer and confirms the pizza restaurant she got it from. She then rings the pizza place but finds out that Benny got fired that morning for getting lost. YASSSS COME ON RICHMOND.

The doorbell rings – it’s Lieutenant Phillips with bad news. The ballistic report has come in, Nolan was shot by a .38 – cooincidentally the same COME ON LLOYDY YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS HOLY CRAP I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING gun that is registered in the name of Edna Hayes. Edna tells him Hayes is a common name and he should check his records again at which point JB takes her aside for a quiet word. Edna tells Jess that she cooperated with the IRS and look where that got her OUR BACKLINE HAVEN’T PLAYED THIS WELL ALL YEAR but Jess tells her to come clean and she tells Lieutenant Philips that she bought a gun for protection after the divorce. WHY WOULD YOU GIVE AWAY 50 NOW FOR GOD’S SAKE RICHMOND I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS.

MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT DAMN IT.

Philips informs them that the gun had clearly been fired recently, and that Edna is going to have to be arrested. COME ON JACK WE LOVE YOU JACK…..YESSSS JACKKKKKKKKKKKKK HOLY CRAP WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Down at the police station Yelverton pops in to gloat about how getting his hands on Edna’s money will be a lot easier if Edna is behind bars. SUCK IT DANGERFIELD YOU AIN’T WON NO BROWNLOW YET. As he is leaving, he sees Jessica filling out the paperwork for a visit with Edna and tells JB if his opinion accounts, JB has quite a talent.

“Oh?” Says JB. “Which one of my books have you read?”

“Books? I’m talking about your tax returns.” Says Yelverton.

HOLY CRAP WE JUST GOT ANOTHER GOAL WHAT IS LIFE

HOLY CRAP WE JUST GOT ANOTHER GOAL WHAT IS LIFE

GO BACHAR!

OH HOLY CRAP HOW DID WE GET AWAY WITH THAT?

After Jess’s visit she pops in to Philips’s office for a chat and when she finds Philips unwilling to see sense re: Edna’s innocence, she decides to take the bull by the horns (and some quality dubbing) and calls every pizza place in Jonesboro to track down this mysterious pizza delivery guy. YES THAT WAS FIFTY METRES THANKS FOR PAYING ATTENTION UMPIRES.

Naturally Jess finds him, and confirms Enda’s alibi. COME ON JACK YOU BEA-OH DAMN HE MISSED.

With Edna released from prison JB decides to  get this case sorted once and for all so she can get back to her book tour. She asks Gail about the source of the mysterious phone message that Nolan left but Gail tells her she didn’t speak to Nolan, she found the message on her desk. Edna’s secretary was on lunch so her guess it was the auditor, Spencer Prince, who took the call. JK and George appear and agree that it must have been Spencer. JK adds that Spencer had just left the building, otherwise JB could have asked him himself.

ALRIGHT RICHMOND YOU ONLY HAVE A QUARTER TO GET THROUGH DO NOT PULL A RICHMOND.

Jess is starting to get suspicious of this elusive Spencer Prince character, who NO NO NO NO NO NO NO DAMMIT who has always just left when she arrives. JK points out the window and says “There he is!” just as he drives away. COME ON RICHMOND DON’T DO THIS TO ME.

Jess has a bright idea about who might be able to shed a little light Spencer Prince and goes to see Yelverton AS IF THAT WAS A FREE KICK GO BACK TO SPECSAVERS.

Jess has the same opinion of tax people that I do.

WHY DO I EVEN WATCH FOOTBALL I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS CRAP

WHY DO I EVEN WATCH FOOTBALL I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS CRAP

Jess asks Yelverton to look up Prince in the system, and MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS DAMN IT Yelverton is delighted to be of service. He tells JB that he met Prince once, he wore glasses and a hat and a bowtie AND ARGH GOD RICHMOND JUST KICK ONE DAMN GOAL ALREADY. Yelverton is horrified to think that Prince was the architect of this fraud and jumps on the computer to find out more about him. JESUS CHRIST RICHMOND WHAT ARE YOU DOING STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT I CAN’T GO ON.

Um, wait what was I on about? Right, so Yelverton is aghast to discover that Spencer Prince has only been paying tax for the last six or so years and so now Yelverton is on the case and ANOTHER GOAL? RICHMOND ARE YOU EVEN PAYING ATTENTION I SAID DON’T DO A RICHMOND FOR ONCE IN THIS MISERABLE GODDAMN SEASON DON’T SNATCH DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY.

While Edna shares JB’s theory about the ficticious Spencer Prince with JK, Jessica is with Lieutenant Philips in St Louis I CAN’T WATCH THIS ANY MORE at the apartment of Spencer Prince. They find the housekeeper who, it turns out, hasn’t actually met Spencer Prince either HOW MANY FREE KICKS DO YOU WANT TO NOT GIVE. Lieutenant Philips finds Nolan’s wallet and is convinced that Spencer Prince is the guilty party, and puts out an APB.

Later that night JB and Edna are poring over the books trying to find the missing money when the lights go out and a shadowy figure appears with a gun. It’s the man everyone’s been looking for, Spencer Prince. He orders them to hand over the books and forces them into the closet while he legs it. Jessica quickly calls the police before they hear a shot. OH GOOD YOU REMEMBER WHAT THE GOALS LOOK LIKE IT’S A BIT BLOODY LATE NOW ISN’T IT.

AND THERE GOES THE SIREN RICHMOND YOU ARE THE GRADY FLETCHER OF FOOTBALL TEAMS I SWEAR TO GOD I AM DONE WITH YOU.

JB and Edna rush outside and find Richard standing over Spencer’s body. He says he was there to help go over the books, but Spencer came towards him with a gun and something something. JB looks at the body and notices the weird hairline is actually a wig – it’s JK Davern. Richard says it kind of makes sense when you think about it, at which point JB tells Edna to pull the gun on him. Because the gun Richard has isn’t the gun JK pulled on them.

Not to be confused with Richmond of Death. Because supporting Richmond will be the death of me.

Not to be confused with Richmond of Death. Because supporting Richmond will be the death of me.

Because Richard and JK were in cahoots and took it in turns to be Spencer Prince while they extorted all the monies and then Nolan saw them impersonating and so they shot him and oh who cares my football team are hopeless is it acceptable to eat a block of salted caramel kitkats for dinner?

I HATE YOU SO MUCH RICHMOND I AM GOING TO RAGE EAT

I HATE YOU SO MUCH RICHMOND I AM GOING TO RAGE EAT

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