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S05E12 – Smooth Operators

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Wait just one sec…

ABC, Always be Cumberbatchin.

ABC, Always be Cumberbatchin.

Right, where are we? Oh yes. New York this week Fletcherfans where Our Heroine is attempting to take her buddy Lieutenant Timothy Hanratty, aka Morty Seinfeld, out for brunch.

That hat though.

That hat though.

After a brief visit to Timothy’s boss/nemesis Captain Everett Larson’s office, they are off to brunch but get somewhat distracted by a dead body they spot along the way. The policeman at the scene tells them it’s just another dead hobo, but Jessica and Harry aren’t so sure. The dead guy is only wearing one shoe, and judging by the state of his socks it was removed after he died. Timothy decides he might just take a casual look into the case, receiving the wrath of Everett in the process, who refers to hobos as disposable. What a charmer. He reluctantly lets Timothy look into the matter, but unofficially. No paperwork unless there is an ID and an autopsy done that night.

Jess meets him for breakfast the next morning. Naturally he got it done and they now know who the dead guy is – Elliot Winston. Timothy is off to check out his apartment and begs Jess to come with him, because “you once said that every good writer needs a good editor, and I need a good editor”.

 

Current mood.

Current mood.

JB and Timothy roll up to Elliot’s address and meet his neighbour Grace Fenton. She is devastated to learn of Elliott’s death but refuses to believe that he drank himself to death. They were in the same AA meeting and she is vehement that he would not have relapsed. JB admits that they think Elliott’s death wasn’t accidental, and Grace is relieved. She is stunned when Timothy opens Elliot’s locked drawer to reveal it had been broken into and Elliot’s secret stash of papers are missing. JB calls Timothy over to the potplant – she’s just found an open bottle of wine. Grace still won’t believe it. (Side note, the actress playing Grace has been nominated for an Academy award twice and is also in Paul Blart Mall Cop. What a world we live in).

Timothy’s boss is furious. Despite overwhelming evidence that Elliott was a drunk who died, Timothy is still investigating the case as a murder. Larsen tells Timothy he’s over old cops ruining his life, just take an early retirement and, on seeing Jessica walk in, tells Timothy to conduct his personal life after work.

Larsen will end up Prime Minister of Australia with that attitude.

Larsen will end up Prime Minister of Australia with that attitude.

While Timothy investigates the bars and bottle shops around where Elliot was found, JB goes back to chat with Grace, who is naturally distraught about the death of her friend, as she was a bit in love with him.

 

I WANT A HUG FROM JESSICA FLETCHER MAKE THIS HAPPEN INTERNET.

I WANT A HUG FROM JESSICA FLETCHER MAKE THIS HAPPEN INTERNET.

Jessica tells her the lieutenant is determined to find out why Eliot was murdered. She asks Grace about the missing papers and Grace tells her she doesn’t know what they were, but she assumed they had something to do with Eliot’s job at the Old York hospital, a fancy private hospital for rich people where Eliot was an accountant.

Timothy and Jess compare notes – the autopsy confirms cause of death was acute alcohol poisoning. Jess is still sure it was murder and decides to go undercover to the Old York hospital to suss it out. And you know what that means, Fletcherfans – cunning use of disguise time.

Number of Zoolander references in the history of this blog - 2.

Number of Zoolander references in the history of this blog is now 2.

Jess goes in to meet her doctors, including Dr Latimer (also known as Templeton Peck from the A Team) and Dr Markle. Fun fact about Dr Markle, he was the first ever victim on Murder, She Wrote. Dr Markle says that he thinks there’s probably nothing to worry about, but Dr Lantz is concerned about some shadows on “Christine Chesterton”s gall bladder.

No time to care about that though.

That outfit is amaze.

That outfit is amaze.

Jess and Timothy go to quiz the coroner about his findings and he tells them that he thinks Elliot had been on the wagon for a lot of years before he died. He also tells them he found a cut on one of Eliot’s vocal chords, but what that means he has no idea. Back at the precinct they arrive to the news that Captain Larsen has just solved the case all by himself. He tells them it was all down to policework – a pawnbroker reported that a wino tried to hock a watch, enscribed to Eliott from Grace, and when he was picked up he had Eliot’s wallet on him too. Larsen tells him the wino even confessed but when they talk to him in the cells he tells them he admitted to stealing the watch and wallet, but that’s it. On the night of the murder, he says, he was just falling asleep when a car screams off. He notices a pair of shoes across the alley. He tries to take them but can only manage one. He realises Eliott’s dead and only has time to take the wallet and watch before he hears a noise and runs off.

Jess returns incognito to the Old York Hospital for the results of her tests and is informed by Doctors Markle and Zachary that she needs her gall bladder removed. Before she can say anything, Markle gets a phone call from Doctor Latimer, who has just spotted a book with JB’s picture on the jacket. Oh dear. Markle quickly tells JB that there was a problem with the xray film and they will need to reshoot the xrays. On her way out, after being given the all clear, JB and Dr Markle run into Dr Latimer, holding a copy of one of JB’s books.

Can't believe someone saw through her disguise.

Can’t believe someone saw through her disguise.

JB comes clean (ish) and tells them she went undercover to research a book she’s thinking of writing about Eliott’s ‘double life’ – by day a mild mannered accountant, by night a rampaging drunk! Or some such. Markle and Latimer are bemused, but let her go. JB asks if she could talk to some of Eliot’s co-workers and Markle sees no objection. Latimer tells her he always suspected Eliot would end up under a pile of newspapers somewhere. He won’t be around to help her with her book, he informs her, because he’s off on a Carribean holiday in the morning.

Jess gets a call later that afternoon inviting her to come back down to the hospital to find out more about Eliott. The receiptionist, Stephanie, gives her a tour of the hospital but Jess remains unenlightened. She asks if she can see Eliot’s office, but Stephanie tells her that all Eliot’s belongings have been packed away in the basement, and she can’t let JB down there without authorisation. Once Stephanie is called away though, JB sneaks down to the basement. Just as she finds Eliot’s file, a hand grabs her. It’s Leon the orderly, who demands to know what she’s doing down there sneaking around in the dark. Before JB can think of an answer, Stephanie reappears and tells Leon to go and get a coffee. “You don’t take no for answer do you?” Says Stephanie.

“Not when it’s the wrong answer.” Says JB.

Calls it like she sees it

Calls it like she sees it

Stephanie is mostly unhelpful but JB does manage to learn that Eliot had stumbled on to the little insurance scam Drs Latimer, Markle and Zachary had concocted. Jess tells her that if she knows something she should call the police.

The next day Timothy tells Jess that the computer dug up the histories of the Doctors of Old York and discovered that Dr Zachary was in fact a phoney. Timothy tries to get a court order out of Larsen but Larsen won’t budge. Meanwhile, JB is strolling along in the park when a man with a newspaper on his face gives Jess the epiphany she needed. She returns to the hospital to confront the killer, who tries to make a break for it but is slammed to the ground by Leon. Good job Leon.

If I'd seen an episode of the A-Team, I feel like this whole thing could have gone very differently #pitythefool

If I’d seen an episode of the A-Team, I feel like this whole thing could have gone very differently #pitythefool

Alas Eliot confided his suspicions about the insurance fraud to Doctor Latimer, who killed him and was preparing to run off to the Caribbean to avoid prosecution.

Meanwhile, while Jess has been busy solving cases, this happened:

Grace and Timothy <333333 #nawwwww

Grace and Timothy nawwww!

You know what? This is the first feel-good ending there’s been for awhile. So keep that warm and fuzzy feeling going Fletcherfans.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

 

S05E11 – The Search for Peter Kerry

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Six months after the funeral of her friend Evelyn Kerry, Jessica is contacted by Danny Schubert, the college room mate of Evelyn’s son Peter, who has been missing the past 20 years. Danny has a plan to raise money for the St Clemen’s childrens home which Jess clearly approves of.

Oh the 80s, when smoking inside was okay. I do not miss that.

Oh the 80s, when smoking inside was okay. I do not miss that.

Jess nixes the plan straight away – she ain’t ghostwriting for no fool – and Danny is soon distracted by the piano player, who it would seem has learned a song written by the long missing Peter Kerry twenty years earlier. They follow her to find out just where she found the song, and she leads them to her fiancée Rick Barton who gave her the song the previous week. Rick is not entirely sure what to think of these two newcomers turning up at his work and calling him Peter.

Run away!

Run away!

Danny is sure it’s Pete Kerry but Jess can’t be certain, it’s been too long. Even Danny pulling Rick’s shirt sleeve up to reveal a scar doesn’t seal it. Rick orders them to leave but Danny promises to be back. The next morning Rick calls Jess to apologise for his behaviour, and to ask to see her. He comes to the hotel to confess that he has no idea who he is really – he woke up in a hospital outside of Lincoln, Nebraska in September 1968 with no memory of what came before. He’d been in a car accident, they told him, in a car with another man who was an army deserter. He tells Jess he was so worried that he was a deserter too that he hightailed it out first chance he got. Jess contacts Peter’s grandfather’s lawyer, Roger Philby, and tells him about the conversation. He promises to fly up the next day to investigate.

Meanwhile, Danny Schubert goes home. And this happens:

WHAT THE HELL

cb

cc

WTF even is this?

 

Danny informs his money-hunting soon-to-be-ex-wife Leona that he’s about to be raking in the sweet money cash, re: the reward for finding Peter Kerry.

The next day Jess meets Roger in his office, where he tells her that he hasn’t been able to get any confirmation about Rick Barton’s story except that there was a car accident outside Lincoln where the army deserter was killed and his passenger was unidentified. Roger confesses he doesn’t know what to think.

Cut to the home of Peter’s grandfather Andrew Kerry, where Danny and Leona are outside plotting and JB is inside catching up with Andrew who has also invited his son’s former housekeeper Alma to lunch to help them decide whether Rick is indeed Peter Kerry. Rick arrives, along with his girlfriend Edie (who played the song that started the whole world laughing way back in the start of this episode). Rick is clearly uncomfortable and wants to leave, but is talked into staying by Danny. Rick asks him what’s in it for Danny, and Roger tells him about the $250,000 finders fee.

Ugh. This episode is making me factual. I HATE BEING FACTUAL.

Roger drills Rick for more information which Rick doesn’t have. Danny accuses Roger of stalling to avoid being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, which Roger flatly ignores. Andrew appears, but Rick doesn’t recognise him. Alma, noticing the way Rick fiddles with his watch squeezes Andrew’s shoulder and the interview is over, for now. Jess asks them why, and Andrew tells her that Peter used to do the same thing with his watch back in the day. Honestly, this case had better have some unexpected penguins or something. Oooh. I’m gonna start a band and call it the Unexpected Penguins.

That night, no one is sleeping. Jess finds Rick in the library trying to read a book to make him sleepy. Jess asks him what he thinks about it all and he says he has no idea, only that it feels like he’s almost remembering something but he can’t. Edie joins them from watching a movie in the bar, and she and Rick head for bed. Jess selects a book and is about to go to bed too when she finds Leona in a panic – she can’t find Danny anywhere. Jess tells her he’s probably at the outside bar, but when they go to investigate they find him stabbed in the garage. Stabbed in the Garage is what I’m going to call my death metal band.

The 5-0 roll in to investigate, and come to the quick conclusion that Danny had had a snootful of whiskey before he died. Snootful of whiskey can be my country and western band! The police find burns on Danny’s hand, a flask smelling of whiskey and an unopened pack of cigarettes. Inside, police chief Underwood is conducting my kind of investigation.

And so ends the case of the missing scotch.

And so ends the case of the missing scotch.

Oh Lane Smith. You’ll always be Perry White to me. Except when you were Coach Reilly in Mighty Ducks. #memories. Maybe I should turn this post into The Many Faces of Lane Smith, which I’ve just decided can also be my hipster band name.

I am so easily distracted/amused

I am so easily distracted/amused

Ahahahahahaha

Ahahahahahaha

Chief Underwood asks JB and Leona what time they found the body and if they heard a scream. Jess says that Danny couldn’t have been dead long, the lividity and all that.

g2

SAY MY NAME

SAY MY NAME

i2Last one, I swear.

k2

Alright, I’m done. Nope wait –

Ahahaha I made myself laugh, that's all that matters

Ahahaha I made myself laugh, that’s all that matters

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, that guy was murdered. Anyway, Underwood finds Jess in the garage, looking for clue. “A clue? Oh like in one of your books!”

JESS SMASH

JESS SMASH

Jess tells him her theory of how the murder went down and concludes that Danny was killed while he lit the cigarette of the killer, making it someone he knew, and that if they found the butt they would find the killer. Find the butt, find the killer. This has all gone wrong.

One of Underwood’s minions appears with a note from Danny asking someone to meet him in the garage at 11:30pm. The minion says he found it in Rick Barton’s room but when they question him about it he denies all knowledge. Edie confesses that Danny sent it to her, he’d been unsuccessfully hitting on her since they first met and she went to the garage to try and get him to leave her alone, but she didn’t kill him. In fact, when she told him to leave her alone or she’d tell Rick Danny had laughed and said Rick wasn’t in a position to do much.

“No,” says JB. “The scheme wouldn’t have gone through.”

Rick tries to deny it but eventually comes clean. Danny recruited Rick for the scam about a year earlier, when they met at Rick’s work. He gave the song to Edie after Danny had given it to him, and he played with his watch on Danny’s orders. Later, Edie confesses to JB that she heard someone outside when she was with Danny in the garage but she doesn’t know who, she just assumed it was Rick.

JB decides to set a trap, involving missing cigarette butts, and it pays off.

She heard he was going to end it with her, so she ended him.

She heard he was going to end it with her, so she ended him.

Now, I think it’s time we all put this episode behind us. Oh, also it turns out Rick Barton was Peter Kerry the whole time. But, if you’ll excuse me, I have bands to form.

Later Fletcherfans

Later Fletcherfans

 

And now, a word from our sponsor.

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I just woke up to the news that Terry Pratchett has passed away after battling Alzheimer’s, and I’m immeasurably sad about it. While this blog is a list of life lessons I’m learning from Jessica Fletcher, in the beginning was the word and the word was written by Terry Pratchett.

So, here’s a list of life lessons I’ve learned from reading Terry Pratchett’s books.

1. The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues. (Moving Pictures)

2. Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.

3. The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

4. Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life. (Jingo)

5. Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry. (Thief of Time)

6. Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (Men at Arms: the play)

7. It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done. (A Hat Full of Sky)

8. His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools — the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans — and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, ‘You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink. (Small Gods)

9. Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual. (Jingo)

10. …inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

11. Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken? (Going Postal)

 

And last, but possibly most importantly:

It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.

Rest in Peace Terry. And thanks.

S05E10 – Weave a Tangled Web

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It seems like ages since JB has been in the Cove, but she’s back at home this week although she’s got a children’s charity benefit to attend in New York. Nevertheless she makes plans to have dinner with her friends Vivian and Ralph Proctor when she gets back and Vivian returns from her business trip. Little does JB know that there’s something shifty going on in House Proctor. Vivian is receiving phone calls from shady character Eric Bowman who insists that she skip her stepson’s little league game to meet him at the Starlight Motel later that evening. The same Eric Bowman who has racked up a big gambling debt to another shady character Augie Specter and who is later caught by his ex-wife rifling through her desk. Judging by the gun she has pulled on him I’d say the divorce isn’t going well.

Later that evening, Ralph takes the kids to the Little League game, but Vivian begs off claiming a headache. As soon as they leave, however, she retrieves an envelope from her briefcase and drives over to the Starlight Motel, where Eric is waiting.

Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew

Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew

The next morning a screaming maid finds Eric’s body in his hotel room, and the Murder She Wrote writers would like you to know that the keys on the ground next to the body are Vivian’s, as established by an earlier key dropping scene. (This episode is incredibly key heavy, just FYI).

Cabot Cove’s finest arrive in the form of Sheriff Mort Metzger and Seth Hazlitt and a know-it-all competition begins. Metzger clearly knows everything because he was a cop from New York, but Seth knows everything because he’s Seth Hazlitt dammit. Mort shows Seth a note from Eric’s pocket, written on fancy notepaper, demanding to know what Eric wanted from them. Mort then postulates that Eric had something going with a lady, at which Seth snorts and says to the sheriff that because he’s new to the territory he might not be down on all the local gossip but old Amos kept his ear to the ground and his nose to the wind.

Mort is a little bit tired of hearing about Amos and demonstrates this by bursting into ‘Let It Go’ from the Frozen soundtrack.

*something something frozen fractals on the ground*

*something something frozen fractals on the ground*

Seth tells him that Eric played fast and loose with the ladies, before Deputy Floyd comes in to tell them that the keys they found next to the body don’t fit any car in the car park. Meanwhile, Vivian is saying goodbye to Ralph – apparently “something came up at work” and she has to go to Dallas for a few days.

Down at the Sheriff’s office JB finally gets hold of Seth to remind him that he’s supposed to be driving her to the airport. They are almost out the door when Floyd tells Mort that the licence plate number on the keys they found is for a car belonging to Vivian Proctor (side note why would you have your license plate number on your keys that just seems like Christmas for car thieves). Jess decides to get a later flight so she can stay and keep an eye on Mort.

At House Proctor Ralph tells Mort that a) Vivian left for Dallas an hour earlier and b) he had the keys the previous night and that he must have dropped them because he had to use the spare keys in the glovebox to get home from the game. Mort asks to have a look around and despite Jessica’s insistence that Ralph and Vivian are devoted to each other says that “maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be up here in Norman Rockwell land, but in the real world under every rock there’s a happily married woman with itchy feet and a roving eye.”

Don't know entirely what that means though

Don’t know entirely what that means though

Jess would love to stay and debate this with Mort but she’s got a plane to catch. On the drive over Jess tells Seth he must agree that Ralph and Vivian have a special relationship and Seth calls it unnatural – the man staying home doing the cooking and cleaning while the wife brings home the majority of the money.

Oh Seth. Show Jess where the feminism hurt you.

Oh Seth. Show me where the feminism hurt you.

In New York the Children’s benefit is a raging success (naturally due to Jess), and at the afterparty the event’s chairman, Miles introduces Jess to his wife, who’d been unable to attend the benefit due to her crazy schedule.

DUN DUN.

g1

ga gb gcgd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Kyi0WNg40

In the interests of full disclosure, I was expecting this to be a “my job is a call girl” kind of deal, but it turns out nope. This turned into an episode of the Jerry Springer show very quickly.

Vivian rushes into the next room to compose herself, closely followed by JB and Miles the chairman. She assures Miles that she’s fine, and to go and check on the guests. She’s sure she and Mrs Fletcher have a lot to talk about.

Sidenote: I haven't started watching Better Call Saul yet, but I will report back when I do #VinceGilliganRulez

Sidenote: I haven’t started watching Better Call Saul yet, but I will report back when I do #VinceGilligan4PM

The truth, dear reader, is that Vivian married Miles fifteen years earlier, discovered she couldn’t have kids, threw herself into her work, met Ralph on a business trip and fell in love. Apparently the whole divorce one man to marry another never entered into her head. Vivian tells Jessica five lives will be ruined if Jessica doesn’t keep her secret. Miles reappears to say he has sent all the guests home and told the servants to prepare a room for Jessica to stay the night. Vivian thinks it’s a marvellous idea, that way she and JB can have a good long talk over breakfast.

Oh the good old days of about 20 minutes ago

Oh the good old days of about 20 minutes ago

The next morning Jess vaguely agrees to keep her mouth closed about Vivian’s double life in exchange for information about Eric Bowman’s murder. Vivian had no idea about the murder, saying she only met Bowman one time on a plane when he hit on her and she rebuffed him. She has no answer for her keys being at the crime scene other than she has a tendency to lose them a lot, which is why she keeps her second set in the glovebox. Oh my god I just realised why the glovebox is called the glovebox – from the old days when you needed something to keep your driving gloves in! Amazing. Meanwhile, back in Cabot Cove Sheriff Metzger is having a little bit of difficulty locating Vivian in Dallas, and decides that any man who lets a woman be the breadwinner deserves to have her step out on him. URGH.

Jess and Vivian return to Cabot Cove and go straight to the Sheriff’s office, where he drills her about the night Eric died. She swears she didn’t see him, but caves when Mort informs her the bartender remembered her sitting next to Bowman. She tells them she went there to beg him to leave her alone. Jess gently suggests to Mort that he doesn’t have much of a case and that she’d hate to see him embarrassed. Mort decides to hold off on pressing charges but orders everyone not to leave town – except Jessica who I think he would like to see leave town more often.

Seth and Jess adjourn to Jess’s kitchen, and while Seth think’s she’s in a mood because it’s been revealed Vivian and Eric had something happening, Jess tells him it’s something else but she can’t tell him. She should but she mustn’t. Seth informs her he’s seen half of Cabot Cove naked and heard a great deal worse and to be out with it.

m2 l2

Jess goes to see the recently widowed soon to be ex Mrs Boorman, who tells Jess that she had had enough between the womanising and the gambling, that he was in debt and terrified to a bookie named Augie, and that the Starlight Motel was a gambling den. In the car Seth tells her noone at the hotel is going to give her the time of day.

Challenge accepted, Hazlitt.

There are no words for how awesome this was.

There are no words for how awesome this was.

In disguise JB hits up the Starlight Hotel, chats to the bartender Frankie about her elaborate gambling setup and weasels in on Augie, who gives her nothing and walks out. She is about to follow when Frankie calls her back to give her her glasses. Meanwhile at House Proctor Vivian assures her husband that everything is fine, but that she has to go out. Ralph is set to follow her but is stopped by the arrival of Mort and Deputy Floyd following a hot tip from an anonymous caller. They search his car and find the murder weapon.

Vivian, it turns out, had been on her way to see Jess to confess the truth – she was being blackmailed by Bowman who had found out about her double life. She had met him to give him the fifty grand cash and that was all she knew. Jess wonders at this, since there was no cash found later but is interrupted by a call from Seth to tell her that Ralph had been arrested. Mort is crowing over his victory and orders Deputy Floyd to lock him up while he goes home for lunch. Seeing Vivian rummage for her car keys gives Jess an idea and she returns incognito to the Starlight Motel. After a drink and a chat with Frankie to get Augie’s phone number the bartender she leaves a generous tip – and some car keys. She stops before leaving but Frankie doesn’t call after her. I assume this proves something?

Jess lures Augie over with the promise of information about Eric’s murder. He is surprised to learn that Eric had come up with the money, but says he didn’t kill him – he was at a card game watching the town water commissioner lose big time.

But it’s okay, because now Augie is wondering where the money went too. Except he knows just where to find it.

He does have the crazy eyes, 'tis true.

He does have the crazy eyes, ’tis true.

Case closed, Jess leaves Vivian to tell Ralph about the whole double life business, and pedals off into the sunset.

Happy International Women’s Day Fletcherfans!

j2

S05E09 – Something Borrowed, Someone Blue

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You guys! WE’RE INVITED TO A WEDDING!

Weddings! I love weddings! Drinks all around! (Captain Jack Sparrow is my spirit guide)

Nothing says romance like Fishkill.

Oh wait a minute. Here’s the bride and groom:

I take it back I'm not coming I'm washing my hair

I take it back I’m not coming I’m washing my hair

Preparations are in full swing for the wedding of the millenium, and Jess has arrived to be the voice of sanity in all the chaos, and also to insist that Donna and Grady open her present right away.

All the better for taking a good hard look at yourself Grady

All the better for taking a good hard look at yourself Grady

JB’s gift to them is the mirror she got from her  mother on her wedding day. She tells them she thought they’d need something old, and it also brought great luck to Frank and her.

Dammit Grady!

Dammit Grady!

Donna is whisked away by her mother Maisie to prepare for the rehearsal. Grady reminds her that he might need to attend that too and Maisie agrees, but says she wishes she would stop seeing Wilfred down the end of the aisle. Wilfred, it turns out, is Donna’s childhood sweetheart and the man Donna’s parents still wish she would marry. Gotta admit, I kind of feel bad for Grady a bit.

A BIT.

Jess is joined by the housekeeper, Harriet, and it was bugging me for ages that I recognised her voice but IMDB solved the case.

Berta from Two and a Half Men, a show once loved by my Grandma #weird

Berta from Two and a Half Men, a show once loved by my Grandma #weird

Harriet scolds Jess for attempting to put her suitcase on the bed, and tells her there will be hell to pay if she doesn’t sharpen her pencils over the bin.

Later that night the family sits down to  the dinner table, joined by Donna’s Uncle Ben who is precisely the type of uncle you are imagining right now. He spends a good amount of time winking salaciously at Jessica, who asks him what he does for a living but the answer is quickly cut off by Donna’s father quizzing Grady on accounting practices. Thug life.

Ben excuses himself, saying he needs ice to cool down his hot blood, “you know what I mean Jessica?”

She is so badass.

She is so badass.

In the kitchen, Ben has a fondle of Harriet’s backside. Harriet reacts appropriately.

*insert Charlie Sheen joke here*

*insert Charlie Sheen joke here*

The doorbell rings and they are soon joined by Maisie’s brother Ziggy Stardust and his new wife Valerie. Some dramatic tension gets thrown about when it seems like Harriet and Valerie recognise each other but the moment passes and Jess shows them to their rooms on account of Harriet going off to abuse a soup tureen probably. Later that night, Jess is chillaxing with a book when she is interrupted first by Uncle Ben on the prowl (after her or Valerie, I think the phrase is ‘any port in a storm’), and then by Grady and Donna who aren’t coping with anything but specifically Donna’s parents.

The next morning, chaos sets in early. Harriet picks a fight with the wedding caterer, and Ben decides it would be a good idea to slap Jessica’s bum as she walks past to see Donna’s father in his office.

Isn't it great that now women aren't treated as objects oh wait...

Isn’t it great that nowadays women aren’t treated as objects oh wait…

Jess goes in to try and spruik her nephew’s fine qualities to Donna’s father, (may the force be with her on that) but Maisie interrupts them to announce that the caterer is threatening to walk out as Harriet won’t let him in the kitchen and now Harriet has disappeared. Jess volunteers to help Maisie look for her, but is unaware of the situation in the bushes just next to her.

Just so we're clear, Harriet is facedown in the  petunias.

Just so we’re clear, Harriet is facedown in the petunias.

While the Hunt for Red October Harriet continues, Ben attempts to coach Ziggy in marital harmony but is distracted by the arrival of the waitresses. Jess meets Cousin Clara, who is very keen to get hold of some food. Grady sneaks into Donna’s bedroom to tell her he’s not taking the job at her father’s firm, and that they definitely shouldn’t move in next door in the house the Mayberry’s bought them as a wedding present. Grady goes to confront Donna’s father, gets nowhere, and whinges to Jess that maybe Donna should be with Wilfred, since their wedding appears to be cursed. “Nonsense” says Jess. “What could possibly go wrong?”

Now I can’t really explain what happens next, but if you’ve seen it y0u know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t, there are sound effects involved that left me looking like this:

k2

In any case, the Chief of Police is called and makes the following discovery, not edited by me in any way.

l1 l2

Nailed it

Nailed it

I don’t even.

Slocum decides in 30 seconds that the culprit is a professional burglar, but his mind is blown when Jess gently explains to him that it would appear the wrapping paper from the present was placed in Harriet’s hand as an afterthought to cover up the motive of the crime. More importantly, the killer has to still be in the house as the guard told Jess earlier when she was looking for Harriet that no one had left the premises.

While the wedding guests are redirected to the open bar, Jess and Slocum begin the investigation. Jess shows Slocum where the meat thermometer was kept, and tells him that the killer can’t have been acquainted with the house since they didn’t know where the knives were kept and went for the handiest weapon. This probably means that the body was moved to buy time.

Slocum is on board so far.

Nailing it

Nailing it

Meanwhile, Donna and Grady’s attempts to talk to her father about their future are overshadowed by the arrival of Wilfred, the ex-boyfriend and shining light to the Mayberry parents.

Not so much any more.

*starts humming Born in the USA*

*starts humming Born in the USA*

Outside, Ben and Ziggy suddenly realise that neither of them have a cousin Clara. Jess goes in to investigate and discovers that Clara is in fact a wedding crasher.

Ugh you guys, lets cut to the chase because this episode is weird.

Mmmmkay

Mmmmkay

Turns out Valerie accidentally on purpose killed her ex husband, and Harriet was her maid, And honestly, whatever.

As Grady and Donna finally tie the knot, I think Jessica sums it up best.

I need to lie down.

I need to lie down.

S05E08 – Prediction Murder

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Fletcherfans, remember that time last week Lee Goddard took Jess back to his ranch to hear the sales pitch of a life time? Well, it’s happening, and as you can see it’s going well.

Yep. Nope.

Yep. Nope.

Although,his house is working in his favour as far as I’m concerned.

*starts shouting the theme from Game of Thrones*

*starts shouting the theme from Game of Thrones*

Inside House Goddard JB meets ranch worker Greta Olsen, who is about to return to Sweden to renew her work visa, Lee’s son Dell, who is delighted to see JB, and Dell’s wife Jill, who floats across the room, impressed with Jess’s aura that says Jess must be at peace with the universe.

 

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

“I don’t know about the universe, but Cabot Cove has been very quiet lately.” Says JB. (read: noone’s been murdered).

Lee introduces JB but Jill already knows, saying Jess is just as Lee described her – strong, but delicate, intelligent and emotional.

Nawwwwwww

Nawwwwwww

Seeing Lee’s face Jill says “Did I say something I shouldn’t have?”

Damn hippie

Damn hippie

The clock chimes and Jillian decides that if she doesn’t rush to meditate on her ectoplasmic spirit, she’ll be out of sorts for the rest of the day.

And by ectoplasmic spirit I can only assume she means

The only ectoplasmic spirit worth meditating on (source)

That night, a party is held at the ranch to celebrate Slimer transit of Venus things, and Jess meets Del’s friend Katherine Aaron who explains star signs to her.

This might be my new favourite thing.

This might be my new favourite thing.

Katherine’s husband Ben has no time for such business either (apparently he he lost some major clients and is a tad stressed) so he adjourns to the bar. JB is then accosted by Jill, who wants to tell her more about her alpha level of consciousness, but luckily for all concerned they are interrupted by the arrival of a helicopter, delivering the night’s special guest – Francesco the Psychic.

Enter standard creepy dude.

Enter standard creepy dude.

Francesco moves about the room, throwing down predictions like it ain’t no thang, until he gets to Jill. Then, a change. Jill will be happy, then her throat will constrict, but she will be saved by a friend. There’s a carousel, but it will be okay.

We are unamused.

We are unamused.

Then, Francesco gets all worked up. FLAMES! FLAMES AND FIRE!

Don't milk it love.

Don’t milk it love.

Francesco runs outside, closely followed by Del who demands to know what the hell that was about. Francesco tells him he felt fire and death.  Oh whatever.

The next morning, while Jill defends Francesco to Jessica, there is a Dramatic Incident.

You call that over-acting? THIS is over-acting.

You call that over-acting? THIS is over-acting.

Fortunately JB is there to save Jill from the Great Toast Choking Incident (incidentally, pfft, I once choked on a dumpling and had to save myself #badass) which unexpectedly freaks Jill out more – if Francesco was right about this what else was he right about?

After breakfast Jill demands the ranch foreman saddle her horse for a ride, and tells Dell she wants to be alone. Meanwhile, Lee takes Jess on a tour of the ranch, which happens to include a bid for Jess’s affections. Jess is thankfully interrupted by Jill’s horse galloping along the ravine floor – without Jill. Lee and Jess go to investigate and find Jill unconscious on the ground.

When she wakes up, back at the ranch, she immediately says Francesco predicted this too – he saw carousels but he clearly meant horses. Naturally. She demands that Del find Francesco and bring him back to the ranch so she can find out more about the fire but Francesco can’t be found. While Del hunts for him Jill decides to visit  Katherine, and tells Lee she will be back later that evening. Lee  tries to bring up his ‘sales pitch’ with Jess but she gently shoots him down.

Later that night Francesco arrives back at the ranch, having been ‘summoned’ by the voice of Jill insisting she was in danger. They are soon joined by Katherine, who arrives wanting to see how Jill is doing. She’s surprised and alarmed to learn that Jill was supposed to have been at her house all afternoon.

Del, Lee and Roy the foreman go hunting for Jill but there’s no sign of her. Meanwhile, Francesco tells Jess she gives off bad vibrations.

Jess is giving 0 bothers this episode and I love it

Jess is giving zero bothers this episode and I love it

Francesco ducks JB questions, and Del’s punches when he returns demanding answers. Suddenly the phone rings, and Lee puts it on speaker. It’s a disembodied voice with a ransom demand and a clear lack of experience in ransom calls since it says “I repeat, I will say this once and only once.”

It conveniently turns out that the amount the Voice demands – one million dollars – is precisely the amount Lee keeps in his safe in his office. WHO THE HELL DOES THAT? He arranges to collect the money so that Del can take it to the ransom site the next morning. Jess suggests they call the police but they all refuse.

The next morning, the ransom drop appears to go off without a hitch, Jill calls home and says the kidnappers left a car for her and she’ll drive back. Cut to the car driving over a cliff and the local constabulary investigating a smouldering wreck. Lee and Del go to identify the body and return with the news the only things that weren’t burned were the ring and the bracelet Del had given her.

Inside, JB finds Francesco going through Jill’s drawers. The hell? Francesco tells her he was hoping to find something that contained Jill’s aura so that he might communicate with her. Ugh, whatever bro. He tell’s JB he can’t stay for much longer anyway, his wife has them booked on a flight to Hong Kong in a few days. After he leaves Jess looks at the book he was examining (for aura traces) and finds that it’s Jill’s day planner, containing entries like ‘PSYCHIC SEMINAR” and ‘GO TO DENTIST”.

A short time later, Lieutenant Turner has arrived with an update on the situation. Dental records have confirmed the body was Jill’s but he also tells them that it would appear someone tampered with the brakes. He’s heard about the business with the death predictions and and asks to speak to Francesco, but is informed Francesco has already left, and when he asks to speak to Del is told he’s down at the funeral parlour making arrangements.

Jess and Lee take a walk and Jess outlines her suspicions – she thinks the ransom call was actually a recording, which means Francesco could have been involved – or Dell. Meanwhile Turner has caught up with Francesco – or Leonard Steigler as he’s also known – and tells him he’s going down. Francesco tells him he was hired by Del to make those predictions about Jill’s imminent demise

Turner confronts Del who admits that he hired Francesco to convince Jill that her marriage was evil and then she would leave, because Del didn’t have the balls to do it himself. Ugh Del you are such a Grady. Jess asks him about the night of the party, when Del confronted Francesco after his little performance to demand an explanation it was actually because Francesco went off-script and Del confirms it. He runs off, followed by his father, leaving JB to puzzle it out. Turner asks her what’ s up and she says it’s still bothering her that the kidnapper knew about the money in Lee’s safe, or that the ransom site was somewhere well known to Del. She takes him upstairs and shows him Jill’s dayplanner, with the  GO TO DENTIST entry. She tells him she thinks it actually says G.O to dentist, as in Greta Olsen, the maid who allegedly went back to Sweden the day after the party. She tells Turner to release Francesco, she thinks it will clear everything up.

Once released, Francesco is at the airport with his wife when they accost him again. He tells his wife to go on without him but JB asks her to come too. Since it isn’t actually his wife…

Damn hippie!

Damn hippie!

Jess nailed them early on – Jill choking on a piece of toast just after Francesco predicted it was either a coincidence of gargantuan proportions, or they were in on it together. BITCH YOU JUST GOT FLETCHERED.

And on that bombshell…

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

PS – Thank you to everyone who’s been commenting on things while I was away. I haven’t had a chance to reply to them yet but I’m always happy to hear you guys are enjoying my regular descents to my alpha level of consciousness, as it will be known henceforth.

S05E07 – The Last Flight Of The Dixie Damsel

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Salutations Fletcherfans!

Apologies for the unexpected hiatus but I have returned! (And as a side note to the update I posted on Facebook during the week, Mum found a bamboo purse like Sofia’s in a second hand store but it was $250 dollars I mean what is that.)

But never mind all that now, because we need to talk about this guy:

Phowar

Fun fact: This is the character Tom Cruise is based on in Top Gun (probably not true)

THAT, Fletcherfans, is Flight Navigator Frank Fletcher (also known as Mr JB Fletcher), recently rescued along with two of his crew after his cargo plane went down in the Alaskan wilderness. Unfortunately the plane and one of the crew, Gagliano, were not found.

Cut to the present, where JB gets a phone call from her friend Bonnie Phelps, wife of Clint Phelps, one of the other crew members, with some astonishing news. The Dixie Damsel has been found and Clint has been asked to go to the Air Force base. JB is stunned, but thinks there’s something Bonnie isn’t telling her. Bonnie confesses that Clint thinks something is up.

Jess heads straight to California, to Crawford Air Base, just to see what’s up and is struck down with a terrible case of nostalgia. Inside, Clint and Bonnie are delighted to see her and they reminisce about the girls living in San Diego while Clint and Frank flew between Korea and Japan during the war. Clint tells JB that Frank would be furious that the plane has turned up, as it would mean that General Havermeyer would finally get the Cadillac he made them transport back to America from Japan all those years ago. They are joined by Major Kevin Cooper who tells JB her presence isn’t required and that he will be back to interrogate Clint once the other crew members have arrived. JB demands answers.

Major Cooper asks JB what Frank told her about the events surrounding the downing of the Dixie Damsel and she tells him what she knows – that  there was a terrible storm, they tried to fly over it and couldn’t and that they bailed when the pilot set the controls to automatic. She also says that she knows Galiano got seperated from the rest of the crew but she wasn’t sure what happened. Cooper thanks her and tells her she’s free to return to Maine and that he will have Frank’s duffel bag sent up to her once it has been retrieved from the plane. Jess is set to argue the point when a rumble of engines signals the arrival of the Dixie Damsel, which despite being stuck in a snow drift for 35 years was still flyable. Convenient.

Jess, Clint and Bonnie go out to watch the plane pull in and are amazed to see Lee Goddard emerge from the plane. Clint asks him what’s going on but before he can reply they see an American flag draped coffin being put into the back of the coroner’s car. It’s Sergeant Gagliano. Clint refuses to believe it, saying Gagliano bailed with the rest of the crew but Lee tells them it was impossible – he’d been shot in the chest and never left the plane.

Clint is furious when Cooper suggests that one of the crew members was responsible for the death of Sergeant Gagliano but Cooper is unmoved.

Not gonna lie, all I know is that this is John Shaft and Bart sang the theme in a karaoke bar in an episode of the Simpsons

Not gonna lie, all I know is that this is John Shaft and Bart sang the theme in a karaoke bar in an episode of the Simpsons

Outside, Jess and Bonnie are talking when Gagliano’s niece Sylvia arrives with her father’s cousin Nicholas Rossi to see Cooper. Jess offers her condolences but Sylvia wants no part of it, in light of the fact that one of them killed her father. Awkward.

Clint and Lee emerge with the news they have to return to the base at 0830 the next morning. Clint is inclined to get the hell out but Jess warns against it. Lee thinks a better idea is to go get some Italian food instead. Meanwhile, Cooper receives Frank Fletcher’s personnel file and asks if the other crewman – Ray Dressler – is coming but his current whereabouts are unknown. He then receives a phone call from General Havermeyer who proclaims he will be arriving at 1000 the next morning to collect his car.

Back at the hotel JB bumps into Sylvia again and tries to mend fences, saying how much she much she loved her father.

“Nope,” says Sylvia, “I hated him for 35 years”

Oh dear

Oh dear

They are joined by Nicholas Rossi, who tells Sylvia it’s cold, and to go back inside. He tells Jess Sylvia is full of grief and doesn’t know what she’s saying.

That night at dinner Jess and Lee are exchanging stories about their late partners when Lee asks Jess if she has anybody

e2

It’s not ANY body it’s THE body and you ain’t touching it #burns #definitelyimpliedifnotactuallysaid

 

Any moves buddy boy Lee were planning to make are unfortunately stymied with the untimely arrival of Ray Dressler, the other crewman from the Dixie Damsel.

They see me combin', they hatin'...

They see me combin’, they hatin’…

Ray is feeling particularly verbose on this fine evening but unfortunately he loses his audience when he refers to Cooper as the ‘uptight gentleman of the coloured persuasion’.

I dare you to say it to Shaft's face bro.

I dare you to say it to Shaft’s face bro.

Lee tries to warn him off but Ray is drunk and gives zero bothers about life, Gagliano (who was a lazy so-and-so), officers (arrogant) and lie detector tests – they all have to take one in the morning but he’s got nothing to hide.

Back at base the next next morning Clint is first up on the detector test. While he’s in there Bonnie tells JB that Clint said two nights before the doomed flight took off Ray Dressler went AWOL, and was almost replaced but turned up in the nick of time. Nicholas and Sylvia arrive to view the body and get the cold shoulder from Ray Dressler, despite Dressler’s belief he recognises Nicholas.

Finished with Clint, Cooper calls JB into his office, accompanied by Lee Goddard. Inside, he tells her in his mind there is an inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the polygraphs – Frank Fletcher killed Gagliano.

What the hell Shaft!

What the hell Shaft!

Before Jess can Hulk out completely, Cooper is informed that General Havermeyer has arrived and departs. Jess is cool and measured, by which I mean she shouts something about Cooper appointing himself Judge Judy Jury and Executioner.

JESS SMASH

JESS SMASH

Jess is convinced that there was another person on the plane, but she doesn’t know how to prove it yet. On rifling through Cooper’s desk, however, (attagirl) she finds a picture of Gagliano’s body and goes straight to Cooper with it. Gagliano isn’t wearing a parachute. Cooper doesn’t want her any where near the hangar but General Havermeyer tells her to go right ahead and look. Inside, she notices that there are airholes drilled into the unlocked trunk of the Chevy, something that is news to Havermeyer. He tells her to investigate away, but later Cooper tells her that she has until Havermeyer departs the next day. If she hasn’t got proof, the case is closed.

After a hard day’s digging around in the archives trying to find out more information about Pete Gagliano JB meets Clint, Bonnie and Lee for dinner. Ray is also at the restaurant so JB decides on a little friendly interrogation which yields nothing more than some racial epithets, a suggestion that Clint was involved and a lot of slurring. Nice. The situation improves slightly when Ray goes outside, gets stabbed and then comes crashing down on a table back in the restaurant. Sucked in.

In the hospital he comes clean about what happened between Clint and Gagliano. Gagliano caught Clint in an afterhours geisha house and was blackmailing him to stay on the crew of the Dixie Damsel, which made no sense to Jess since everyone said Gagliano was lazy and didn’t want to work. She has a sudden idea and goes down to the base to test it out.

Clint and Bonnie arrive to request permission to leave. Cooper tells Clint he is free to take his duffel bag but Clint has no need of it and goes off into the sunset. Nicholas then arrives looking for Gagliano’s duffel bag for Sylvia, who he says wants the bag as a memory of her father.

Jess points out to Cooper that it’s weird someone who doesn’t want to claim the body wants to claim an old bag, and a quick investigation reveals THE BAG IS NOW DIAMONDS.

And that’s not all.

Ah yes. The old diamonds in the soles of the duffels  trick.

Ah yes. The old diamonds in the soles of the duffels trick.

Cousin Nicholas was actually Gagliano’s partner in smuggle-crime, and when the heat got to be too much in Seoul, he got fake papers to get him to Japan, where he hid in the trunk of the car. What happened after that, noone knows. All we do know is that Lee Goddard has just told Jess he’s taking her to Tucson for the weekend to hear the sales pitch of a life time. So for now…

See you next week!

See you next week!

 

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