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S12E14 – Murder in Tempo

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Welcome back to Cabot Cove Fletcherfans, where Seth is putting on a Benefit Concert Extravaganza to save Maine Woods. Not Cabot Cove woods. He’s going statewide and has enlisted the help of band In Tempo led by Tommy Vaughan – a band so beige Richie Benaud once tried to wear them as a jacket. (You’re welcome, people who are laughing at that).

Of course, there’s trouble in paradise. Seth is struggling to get everything done, Tommy Vaughan is losing his voice, band manager Wylie Trey is creeping and local businessman Jim Maddox is hoping the whole thing will flop so he can build a global hyper mega mart or whatever. Coincidentally his son is in Tommy Vaughan’s band. Life is a circle.

Anyway, Jim rolls in to ask Seth for payment for something.

Seth has no time for anyone.

Seth storms off and Jim tries to defend himself, saying some people prefer jobs to trees. Jess tells him he can build a factory anywhere, these trees have been here since the last ice age and will hopefully be here till the next one.

2019 IN ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION

Seth goes to deliver some paperwork to band manager Wylie Trey by getting his attention via the old jacket tug.

I mean really though, why?

The band gets shut down by an electrical short circuit, that Dan the local electrician apologises for. On top of all of this, some bozo with a shotgun decides to take potshots at Tommy Vaughan but misses. Chaos breaks out and Seth gets knocked off the stage.

Jess escorts Seth to the hospital and then back to her house where she gets a call from Rachel Weldon at Palmer’s Music Store, sponsors of the Extravaganza. JB gets caught in the middle of Seth rumbling about unpaid bills and Rachel fangirling over Tommy Vaughan.

In other news, there is a Bryan Cranston/Cher mutual appreciation thing going on on Twitter that is making me VERY HAPPY.

Jessica suggests Seth postpone the concert until he’s recovered from his injuries but Seth will not surrender. He thinks he should definitely not worry about the rain insurance for the concert though, Mrs Carter’s lumbago hasn’t played up yet and Mrs Carter’s lumbago is as dependable as the Rock of  Gibraltar. Mort pops in to check on Seth before heading out to investigate if the shooting was a hunting accident. Jess suggests he check with Tommy Vaughan, as she seems to remember he had trouble with a stalker the previous year.

Over at Hill House, Tommy and Udella are both threatening to leave In Tempo and Wylie has to do some slick talking to get them both to calm down. It turns out In Tempo have made the transition from being a good heavy rock band to be a great modern pop band (agree to disagree there sunshine) but their label is sick of the fighting and if they don’t get assurances that In Tempo is a band about a married couple being in love then they will revoke the contract. Tommy tells Wylie to leave the music to him and gazes at a bottle of gin. Wylie warns him not to or he’ll end up in rehab again.

I choose to believe this is an alternate ending to A Star is Born.

Tommy is summoned to the Sheriff’s office to spill the beans on his stalker in Denver but Tommy just says it was some weirdo with a badge of his guitar. Mort thinks differently, and Tommy cracks it. Mort tells him that his number one job is to keep him alive until after the concert.

After skulking out of the Sheriff’s office Tommy wanders down to Palmer’s music store to see his local fling Rachel. Jim Maddox’s son (and fellow In Tempo member) Blue Maddox is there too. Blue Maddox sounds like the name of a celebrity child. Maybe one of Brangelina’s army or a Gwenyth/Chris Martin production.  In any case, Blue went to school with Rachel and is clearly still in love with her and wants Tommy to stay away from her but she’s mad because he nicked off after school finished because old mate Jim wanted Blue to study engineering and not be in a band. You know. The classic tale.

Downstairs, Wylie runs into Jim Maddox who offers a thought – what if Tommy got an offer that would send the band out of town before the concert. Meanwhile, Seth wanders out of the bank after taking out a mortgage on his house to pay for the concert bless him.

That night, JB kicks off the festivities with a little speechifying as Cabot Coves Celebrity Resident who only lives there like ten per cent of the time, while Seth takes his medicine.

Seth’s self-care is amazing and I’m here for it. (But seriously, probably don’t do this. I am a cautionary tale you guys. Take tequila responsibly).

And because I can…

I mean…

While the crowd rise to their feet and the revolution begins, the shooter from the woods sets up outside but can’t get a clear shot and is forced to run when Deputy Andy does a security check. Jean the librarian (and possibly genuinely my favourite resident of Cabot Cove just because of the backstory) invites Tommy to come to check out her exhibition about the woods at the library.

Later, Tommy and Rachel go for a romantic stroll around the carpark, and Wylie and Jim Maddox go for a romantic sit in the car to talk business. Wylie tells Jim Tommy could be persuaded to go and have the surgery he needs on his vocal cords – all for the low low price of a million bucks for Tommy and a hundred grand for Wylie. In cash. That would leave Seth unable to pay, and Jim free to take the woods for himself.

Back at House Fletcher Seth is flabberghasted when he learns JB is staying until after the concert, and JB tells him she’s flabberghasted he remortgaged his house. Seth says he’s got a plan, and Jess says that’s fine, she’s here to help him get it done.

The next day, while I rejoice

Everything about this makes me so happy.

…In Tempo get back to rehearsing.

Told you.

Also side note, the drummer is my favourite person in this episode.

THIS GUY MAKES ME VERY HAPPY FOR REASONS I CANNOT EXPLAIN.

Over at the House of Fletcher, Hal Palmer has fixed JB’s stereo for her and orders Seth not to experiment with it which of course he promptly does as soon as Hal leaves, and a blast of metal crashes out of the stereo.

“Sounds like Ted Nugent.” Says Mort.

“Nah, more Metallica,” Says JB.

“Whatever happened to Guy Lombardo?” Asks Seth.

JB loves Metallica, this is canon.

That night, Wylie lays out the offer for Tommy – six hundred grand from Jim Maddox will pay for his surgery and get him back on his feet with his creditors. Tommy calls Palmer’s – Hal answers, but puts Rachel on. Tommy wants to talk, and they agree to meet at the concert site. As a tasty storm moves in to provide an appropriate atmosphere, Tommy explains to Rachel why he needs to pull out, and she’s devastated. JB and Seth work the books – Jess asks after Mrs Carter’s lumbago and Seth says she felt not a twinge…and he might get that rain insurance for Saturday. Tommy goes back to Hill House and tells Wylie he’s not quitting.

A new day dawns and the rain passes. Deputy Andy tells Mort they found a badge in the shape of Tommy’s guitar up in the woods. They rush down to the concert site to tell Tommy…but get there just as he is electrocuted and drops dead. Grim.

While Mort assists Jessica with her investigation and gets Dan the Electrician to open up the back of the amp Tommy was connected to, one of the band members tells Tommy’s wife Udella that she’ll be better off without him.

That is cold dude.

Dan the Electrical guy confirms that the amp was tampered with and Mort orders it off for testing. Seth bemoans the murder and violence – he never thought anything like this would happen when he started arranging the concert. Nothing like this ever happens in Cabot Cove except for the fifty other times its happened. Meanwhile Dan the Electrical Guy goes off for a quiet word at Hill House with Jim Maddox – he wants his payment now that the concert isn’t going ahead.

Jess goes looking for Rachel at Palmer’s. Hal tells her he hasn’t seen Rachel but he’s worried about her and has been since she met with Tommy at the square the previous night. JB ends up finding Rachel at the Sheriff’s office, where she tells them about her meeting with Tommy the night before, and how Tommy had been going to take Wylie’s offer but changed his mind. Jess tells Rachel they’re going ahead with the concert, but Mort says this is going to be difficult now the band are packing up and leaving.

While Jim confronts Wylie and demands his money for bribing Tommy out of the show back, JB goes to see the rest of In Tempo to talk them out of leaving. She manages to do so just as Mort arrives to arrest Blue, after finding solder in his room that looks like the solder that was used to tamper with the amp. Fortunately, Udella cutting the thread on a friendship bracelet she was making has given JB an idea and she takes off.

While Mort has Blue and Wylie in the cells for safe keeping, JB pops around Palmer’s music store and has a quiet word to Hal Palmer.

Because –

This is a depressing development. (Also, Ern Lively!)

Hal fell in love with Rachel after his wife died (which is SUPREMELY AWKWARD because I thought they were father and daughter for most of the episode) and killed Tommy because he was going to take Rachel away from him.

Grim.

Speaking of which, I have one last Murder She Wrote movie to live-tweet. So I’m going to do that, this Friday at 10am. Follow the hashtag #thelastfreeman on Twitter for that – so far all I know about the movie is that it’s heavily to do with slavery and the guy who plays one of the main characters is now in jail for life for murdering his wife.

I promise if it all gets a bit grim I’ll start some Game of Thrones theories. Like imagine if Angela Lansbury had played Lady Olenna.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

(And on Friday!)

 

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S12E13 – Death Goes Double Platinum

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, where JB is branching out her entrepreneurial skills to include music producing and can we all just take a moment to celebrate the fact that I know how to spell entrepreneurial first crack?

Jess wanders into the rehearsals of Ortega, the band led by blind pianist Desi Ortega who knows Jessica’s arrived by the smell of her exotic perfume.

You know how she rolls

Ortega is a band on the rise – their first single Philomena just cracked the top 100 of something, and JB has managed to get them access to the school’s sound lab to mix their album, which engineer Sam Desoto is very excited about.

Desi’s hugely pregnant wife Amy drops by to pick him up and take him home, but they are stopped by a Hired Goon by the name of Culligan who informs Desi that Max Daniels would like a word. Amy tries to usher them away but Desi says it’s alright and goes with Culligan.

It would seem Max Daniels has gone from whatever shady shenanigans he got up to back in the day to owning carparks and now he wants to get back into the music business by signing Desi Ortega. Desi tells him nope, he’s signed with Alex Lebron, who is launching his own label Moontide. Record stores are begging for copies of his single and Max says that can change. Max hands him a contract, Desi scrunches it up and hurls it with incredible accuracy into the face of Max’s minion Tomas Aguilar. Desi demands to be taken home and Culligan complies after a nod from Max. As they depart, Max asks Tomas if he’s still friends with Ortega’s bass player (and current student of JB) Luiz Decalde but apparently, that ship has sailed – as has the relationship Tomas had with Luiz’s sister Patricia.

The next time Luiz sees JB he tells her that record stores have backed right off their single, and they’re going to have to pay to have it placed in the store. Jess thinks she knows someone who can help because of course she does, and says she’ll be in touch. Meanwhile, Tomas confronts Patricia on her way to work and tells her he can help Alex’s career all she has to do is leave him, and so on and so forth.

Later Jess invites her friend Wilson Sloane to come to listen to the band rehearse at the bar of Luiz and Patricia’s mother Iza and convinces him that Ortega is the hot new sound he’s been looking for. He signed Luiz’s father back in the day, so he knows what he’s talking about. Wilson wanders off just as Max and Tomas arrive to see if Desi’s changed his mind about his offer (or if Patricia has changed hers). Amy arrives to take Desi home and they’re nearly flattened by a car speeding out of the car park. DO YOU KNOW WHO IT COULD BE I CERTAINLY DON’T.

The next day Amy begs JB to talk sense into Desi but he’s not giving in to Max now that people have finally started listening to his music. Meanwhile, Max thinks the only way to get Desi onside is to whack Alex, which wouldn’t hurt Tomas’s chances with Patricia either. Did I mention Patricia and Alex are together? I’ve taken about a kilogram of cold and flu tablets, so anything’s possible today.

Over at Manhattan University Jessica has asked her old pal Lieutenant Abbe Esposito to come present to her crime writing class about how you shouldn’t get bogged down in forensics when writing your novel, but also to give JB the good word about Max Daniels and Tomas Aguilar. What makes her the authority about what makes a good detective novel we’ll never know, but she does know that Max Daniels is under investigation for racketeering and so on. While the good news is Tomas Aguilar has no criminal record, the bad news is that word on the street suggests Daniels is bringing in a hitman for a special job.

Alex finds Desi at Izas’ bar playing darts (this episode is very strong on the LOOK AT WHAT THIS PERSON WITH NO SIGHT CAN ACCOMPLISH except it is kind of making me feel like Desi has mystical powers and it’s a bit weird) and offers to withdraw to keep Max happy but Desi wants nothing to do with Max. Amy and Alex were the two people who stood with him through his years of lounge bar gigs, and he’s not about to give up on that.

Alex gets a phone call from a mystery man wanting to talk business – it turns out to be Max’s hitman setting up the hit. After he gets off the phone he tells Max if he calls it off it will still cost him but Max says there’s no way it’s being called off.  Alex explains he has a meeting to Desi but he’ll be back for the show.

This episode is 50% Time to Die and 50% Sound of Murder which equals 100% I’ve seen this before.

Three hours til showtime Patricia gets a call at the bar from Tomas – it’s clearly a warning about the hit and she takes off to meet him. Wilson Sloane drops in early to have a chat to Iza about how deeply Max has his claws into Ortega, but she tells him there’s no way, Luiz is his father’s son.

Patricia arrives at Tomas’s house and begs him to call it off, which he does – slowly and poutingly.

He’s so broody he might lay an egg. Wait, is that what I mean? Do I know what I mean? Of course not.

As Tomas and Patricia start making out, cut to a woman stabbing a block of ice with an icepick which is absolutely not foreshadowing at all.

Back at the bar, Max and Culligan roll in and despite Yza trying to block their entrance they take their seat in the front to watch Ortega. Patricia arrives a short time after and tells Alex she had to do something, that was why she was late. Tomas arrives just after her and joins Max at the table, but not before squaring off with Alex.

(Jessica apologises to Wilson for all the drama. “Don’t worry,” says Wilson. “You should have seen the party for the last Aerosmith album”)

Do I wish I’d thought of this while JB was actually holding a gun? Yes.  Am I still amused? Yes.

Tomas sits down with Max and Culligan but Max is pissed that he called off the hit on Alex and tells Tomas he’s a dead man. The lights go out for some kick ass quality smoke machine work and by the time Sam Desoto brings the lights back up Tomas is dead on a table with an icepick sticking out of his back.

Lieutenant Esposito is on the case and is flabbergasted to learn that the killer managed to find his way to Tomas in the dark, stabbed him, and then bolted all within ten seconds. Jess tells her there’s an icepick missing that she should be on the lookout for and bids her good luck.

After everyone leaves Ysa confronts Luiz and Patricia to find out what was going on between Alex and Tomas but they don’t know anything and to be honest neither do I because now I’ve got Janie’s Got A Gun stuck in my head. Whatever happens, Patricia confesses to Tomas’s Indent Proposalling and tells her brother that she was in his apartment that night. He goes over to hide the evidence but is busted by Lieutenant Esposito and arrested for conspiracy.

Sidebar – David Fincher directed the video clip for Janie’s Got A Gun. And Miss Scarlet from Clue played Janie’s mother. And Stephen Tyler opened a shelter for abused women called Janie’s House after meeting so many victims of abuse while he was in rehab.

Never underestimate my ability to get distracted.

Alex meets with Max and rejects his overtures of a job. but not before learning of how there was a hit on him and how Patricia called it off. Lieutenant Esposito drops JB’s statement around for her to sign, where she conveniently finds Patricia and arrests her since Luiz has been released.  Patricia asks JB to go console her mother, and she of course does. Patricia hits the roof but there’s nothing can be done right now. Desi is insulted that no one thinks he killed Tomas Aguilar, so JB asks him if he heard/smelled/touched/tasted anything suspicious that night. He takes himself back and remembers a noise like velcro being pulled apart. Amy bobs up to announce that JB’s doorman is on the phone, Alex is at JB’s apartment looking for her.

Jess returns to her apartment, tells Alex to go see Patricia, and calls Lieutenant Esposito to arrange it. In the middle of all that, she rips a post-it note off her wall and has an epiphany.

With Esposito’s help, JB wanders down to Yza’s bar and confronts the killer.

Because duh

Velcro ripping = phosphorescent tape being ripped. Sam Desoto was in love with Patricia and hated what he said about Patricia so he killed him. You know. The usual.

But the show must go on. And so Amy goes into labour, and JB pulls the below face, and Briony starts falling down a rock and roll hall of fame rabbit hole on youtube.

Later gang!

S12E12 – Kendo Killing

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It’s halfway through the final season and welcome to Japan Fletcherfans, a place that I will, in fact, be visiting next March. This episode has provided exactly zero help with planning for that, but never mind.

In unrelated news, I was today years old when I found out that Donny Osmond was the singing voice of Shang in Mulan. None of this is entirely relevant, but daylight savings ended last night and I’m confused and hungry.

Anyway.

In Osaka, motorbike racing team director Koji Hitaki watches highlights of the most recent race with his star driver Rick Walsh and his girlfriend Miko Ishida. Koji gets a phone call with the news that the engineering team have scheduled testing of the new fuel injection system for the day after tomorrow, which doesn’t work for Rick because he’s working on something else for the bike which is still glitchy but apparently, there’s a cutoff date or something.

Motorbikes. I have even less interest in them than cars. Make a motorbike version of Fast and the Furious and then maybe we’ll talk.

Miko has to go meet her friend (and ours) Jessica so Rick walks her to her car. She takes off, and Rick is about to head off too when a gang of thugs try to jump him for his motorbike (later JB refers to them as bōsōzoku) He fights them off long enough for Koji to come downstairs and scare them away.

I seriously thought BD Wong was the singing voice as well all this time. I mean…huh.

Anyway, cut to Our Heroine in her hotel room, a victim of a burglary and devastated over the loss of a necklace that was an anniversary present from Frank. Miko arrives just as Inspector Ota departs, and Jessica explains that her plane was late and she didn’t want to keep her students at the university waiting so she just dumped her bags and headed on out. Jessica is pleased to report that the thieves weren’t interested in the advanced copy of Miko’s new book of dirty limericks haiku poetry.

I myself am trying to compose a haiku devoted to the ‘It’s gonna be May” Justin Timberlake meme, but it’s hard because It’s Gonna Be May doesn’t have five syllables. This is what happens when you take a social media holiday, it gives you time to devote to the important things.

Over at Hitaki HQ, Koji’s sister Nobu meets with bike engineer Bill Dawson who she is helping with a proposal that he will be putting to her father the next day. Cue talk of family tradition, shoguns etc.

Back at Jessica’s hotel, Miko tells JB about her brother’s political campaign and how it’s struggling, though she thinks he still could win. Even if it came out that his sister was dating a foreigner, or gaijin as apparently it is known.  Meanwhile, Miko’s brother meets with his henchman Tommy Crane who reports back on Miko’s movements.

Back at Rick Walsh’s apartment, JB delivers a floppy disk that Rick’s mother found while cleaning out his late father’s clothes. It contains designs for some sort of motorbike thingamajig and he’s very excited about it. Miko is annoyed he won’t go to the police about his attack by the bōsōzoku but he’s not worried, they didn’t get his bike. JB thinks if they wanted his bike they could have just taken it, they were clearly after him. Something is definitely going on – they were followed on the way over to Rick’s apartment.

People really need to do this more often.

Sidebar.

I spent a lot of this episode going “Oh come on that’s not a thing” to a lot of the cultural stuff that happens in this show. There’s a scene that happens now with Miko and her brother and how Miko is to be married to Koji as arranged by their parents way back when, and I called shenanigans on this but you guys arranged marriage (miai) is still a thing in Japan even now…according to a Google rabbit hole I just fell down.

You know what, I get it. If your choices are miai or go another tinder date, miai might appeal tbh.

Geez,  I’m getting distracted a lot in this episode. I blame daylight saving ending.

ANYWAY. Long story short Miko loves Rick but her brother is ordering her to marry Koji but Miko says over her dead body which is a risky move on this show.

Down at the track Rick tries out the motorbike and it seems to work in a motobikish way. Rick wants to bail on the rest of practice and get back to work on his father’s design but the Team Hitaki…coach? Ikuma Nakata wants him on the bike for another three hours and suspends Rick for his defiance. Koji won’t stand for that and orders them to work it out, which apparently leads to Nakata’s resignation.

Koji’s father, Akira Hitaki, is furious.

If you read this in the voice of Terrence Stamp in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, you aren’t alone.

He insists that Koji assume his rightful position as the heir to the Hitaki empire, news that doesn’t thrill Koji or Nobu. Bill Dawson arrives to diffuse the tension and present his proposal for an American headquarters for Hitaki in Dallas, along with ideas for an engine modification. Akira asks for time to consider these proposals, then after Bill and Nobu depart, resumes harassing Koji. He orders Koji to put together a thorough assessment of Dallas’s tax laws, collective bargaining agreements etc etc…and now he wants to talk about his marriage to Miko.

Meanwhile, JB has tea with Miko’s brother Yosuke who asks for JB’s help in convincing Miko to chuck Rick Walsh and seal the deal with Koji. Yosuke’s chauffeur arrives to take her back to her hotel and gives Yosuke a look. Yosuke nods, and the chauffeur nods in return.

In other news, I just woke up from a nap and have suddenly remembered last week’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race where Ru and Nina West were geeking out over Murder She Wrote and you guys if Nina West/someone FINALLY does Jessica Fletcher in the Snatch Game it will be the end of me.

Over at the Kendo club, Rick and Koji are beating each other with sticks, kendo style. Rick wants to know what’s bugging Koji and he tells him to forget it. Later Koji goes to visit Miko and it’s pretty clear he’s in love with her but doesn’t want to admit it.

Later that night at Hitaki HQ Rick runs into Bill and they reminisce about Rick’s father. Rick excuses himself when Nobu appears, and Nobu tells Bill that Rick is designing a fuel injector that might be better than Bills. Bill doubts it.

The next day at the track the testing goes well until it doesn’t and the bike explodes. Noone is seriously hurt, however.

You better believe it.

The incident at the racetrack is enough for Akira to force an ultimatum on Koji – either step up and assume the CEO duties or he’s out of the family. Koji accepts this, and to marrying Miko. Nobu tells him not to ruin Miko’s life too but Koji tells her to get used to it – he’s in, she’s out.

Jess has done a bit of sleuthing and discovered the identity of the man who followed her and Miko – Tommy Crane, Yosuke’s henchman. Rick thinks he might have seen Tommy around at the Waterfall Cafe maybe, but he can’t have tampered with the bike – there’s no evidence of that.

Over at the racetrack, Nobu and Bill find Koji filling his bike up. Nobu apologises for walking out, and to also tell him that Rick called to reconfirm their Kendo appointment and Koji says thanks. He’s off to clear out his locker. Bill tells him to cheer up, business is just as exciting as motorbike racing.

I mean he’s not wrong. They’re both equally exciting to me.

Yasuke tells Miko that the wedding is happening, Koji has made it official. Koji, meanwhile, has just run out of gas and gets a lift to the kendo hall with Nobu. Miko calls Rick to tell him the news and he offers to back off but she won’t let him and says she’d even flee the country to be with him. He says he’ll call her later, and heads off to the kendo hall, leaving his computer on. Meanwhile, Jess follows Tommy Crane to the Waterfall Cafe where she eavesdrops on his conversation with the chauffeur while entertainingly eating some fermented soybeans.

The two men leave the cafe, with the chauffeur telling Tommy that “it doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure the American doesn’t bother Miko again.” Jess rushes to warn Rick, and leaves a message on his answering machine before remembering his kendo appointment and rushes over to the kendo club…

…where a dead body lies on the ground. Inspector Ota is already on the scene but hasn’t removed the helmet on the body yet. When he does, it’s not Rick, it’s Koji. Jess explains why she’s there but Inspector thinks this is a clearcut case – they were both in love with the same woman, so Rick killed Koji.

Rick arrives just to cop a barrage of questions from Ota. Ota orders him down to the police station and requests his passport. Jess offers to collect it from his apartment and heads over – interrupting an intruder hard at work on Rick’s computer.

And to cut a long story short, because today has been quite a day and I need to lie quietly in the dark for a while…

Look it wasn’t a shock let’s be honest.

This wasn’t a great episode. It was all about Bill stealing Rick’s dad’s designs.

Let’s just leave it there. Tomorrow is another day. And if you feel like the wind has been knocked out of you, just remember to keep breathing.

Onwards, Fletcherfans. Onwards.

S12E11 – Unwilling Witness

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, and there are crisis talks in the boardroom of Logan Investments. Guys, you’re not going to believe this, but apparently, they’ve been actively doing some shady stuff in finance land.

A dodgy trader? How very quaint. Such things would never happen now.

#nailedit

The CEO of the company is Paige Corbin (aka Frank Burns from MASH) and he is trying to stay calm but the chairman of the board Mason Logan cheerfully informs them they’re on the deck of the Titanic and there’s a large iceberg coming. Mason’s son Nick pops in to inform them that they’re going to be raided in five minutes and Mason suggests they start shredding and take the rest of the day off.

The elevator doors open and the office is swamped by agents led by federal prosecutor Annette Rayburn. She hands the warrant to vice-president Tiffany Beckman and demands to see Mason Logan. Tiffany informs her that Mason is not in today, perhaps she can come back tomorrow. Undeterred, Annette wants Tiffany to tell Paige Corbin that the axe is falling on his head.

Word of the raid hits the TV, and specifically the TV of Our Heroine who is Very Concerned by the news, especially that the president of Logan Investments, Doug Freemont has avoided testifying in front of a grand jury and has nicked off to Argentina. She calls Logan Investments wanting answers but instead gets a cigar stroking (not code) SEC agent who tells her to call her lawyer and get ready to sue the pants off this bunch of crooks.

But thanks for the advice Rando,

Back at the raid news photographer Ted Duffy has finagled his way inside and is snapping away when Annette busts him and orders a passing cop to throw him out. Ted leaves, but not before snapping photos of vice president Reed Harding sneaking into an office and removing a floppy disk labelled Hong Kong. He emerges from the office, and Tiffany asks him if he’s got the disk. He tells her it’s going to make them rich, “-are you in babe?”

“All the way. And don’t call me babe.” Says Tiffany.

Annette finds Paige Corbin and hands him a subpoena to appear before the grand jury. Paige is shocked to hear that president Doug Fremont has taken off to South America, according to Mason Logan’s advice according to his wife. Paige says he’s been friends with Mason for 30 years and Annette tells him he’s banking on their friendship keeping him silent.

JB summons her lawyer Lou to get a damage report and the news is grim. Fortunately, she wasn’t that invested, it was just a few shares she’d bought for her grandniece’s birthday after she gave a pep talk about how investing drives the economy (remembering of course that this was the 90s before we switched to an economy based on memes). Lou the lawyer tells her he’ll try and recover the money she lost, but JB wants to know what she will tell that little girl.

(I’m sure that girl grew up fine, she’s probably an Instagram influencer or a Mommy Blogger or something)

That night Paige gets cracking on a whiskey-based solution to his problems, and has a fight with his daughter Maria who is only back at his house to collect some more of her clothes but never mind that because ARGH

All this episode needs now is an Alison Janney cameo and I’ll probably explode.

Paige and Maria fight, and he tells her to give her the key to his apartment. She leaves, furious and Paige commends himself for making sure she’s not involved in what’s about to happen. Later, he drunkenly visits Mason to demand answers but Mason tells him Annette is trying to convince him to testify against Mason as a way to build up to arresting Mason.

After Paige leaves, Mason calls his son Nick and tells him that job he needed has now become a necessity, he’ll be at the townhouse. Nick says he’ll take care of it and hangs up. He apologises to his date, he has an errand to run. His date tells him to come by later, she’ll be awake. Guys his date is Maria.

Nick heads to Paige’s apartment and starts banging on the door for a chat. Paige starts panicking and loads his suitcase with files before finding a phone number in his Rolodex.  It rings and rings before someone finally picks up – it’s JB, returned from a grocery store run. Apparently, that’s not who Paige wanted to talk to so he hangs up just as Nick bursts through the front door.

The next day, Annette’s boss John Wicks informs her that Paige has gone missing and that the powers that be want to shut her investigation down, but Annette’s not bothered.  Meanwhile, JB is down at a precinct signing books for local police when she runs into her old friend Lieutenant Shawn Riley, who is delighted to see her but has to run, he’s investigating the disappearance of Paige Corbin. JB signs another book for a man named Bill Morgan who is looking for forgiveness – for the subpoena he’s about to serve her to appear in front of Annette’s grand jury.

Jess is mystified and so is Lou the Lawyer – who wouldn’t you know it, used to date Annette in law school and was about to propose when she dumped him. He says he’ll try and get more information out of her.  Meanwhile, Maria confronts Nick about the errand he had to run the night before, and all he will tell her is that it’s better she doesn’t know.

Lou finds Annette on her way to work and while she seems happy to see him, she’s giving him nothing about JB’s subpoena. Apparently, she’s being summoned for the same reason Lou got dumped – because Annette wanted it to happen.

Time passes, and…

The day shouting doink doink at courtroom scenes stops being funny is not a day I want to experience.

Annette demands to know why Paige Corbin called JB that night but JB says she has never met Paige Corbin, there’s no reason for him to call her. Annette pulls out a phone log and gets Jessica to confirm that the number is hers.

“Let the record show that the phone number is area code 212-124-7199.” Announces Annette.

JB is getting a lot of Christmas party invites this year.

Annette ploughs on, producing a partial list of Logan Investment customers. Jessica says she has government bonds too, but she’s never met the president of the United States.

MOVING ON.

Jessica scores points by telling everyone the phone was ringing when she got home from the grocery store, but the caller hung up the minute she answered, and this is reflected in the phone log. Annette, however, is undeterred and suggests that the short call was a signal between Paige and JB to signal something was about to happen. She orders JB to tell her one more time why Paige called her, and Jessica tells her that she doesn’t know how many other ways to tell her that she doesn’t know why. Annette finds her in contempt of court and sends her off for a hearing.

If you’ve ever worked in a call centre, you will have found that entire exchange relatable.

Tiffany and Reed read about the disappearance of Paige in the paper and wonder how it will affect their success with the grand jury but Reed decides that it’s going to push the value of the Hong Kong disk right up. Ted Duffy the photographer appears and shows them the photo he took of Reed nabbing the disk. He tells them the photos are a souvenir, the negatives are on sale for ten grand. Reed says he’ll give Duffy fifty grand if he finds Paige Corbin before everyone else. Duffy decides fifty is better than ten and starts tailing Nick Logan.

Lou springs Jessica from her contempt hearing on a technicality, and Jess decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands – she’ll dodge the next subpoena while trying to figure out why Paige called her. She enlists the help of Lieutenant Riley and heads over to Paige’s house to look for clues. While JB starts examining Paige’s Rolodex, there’s a knock at the door. Riley goes to answer it and finds Annette Reyburn, who’d been advised by Riley’s office that he’d had a call from JB. He says yes, they met for coffee but that’s it, he doesn’t know where she is right now and he’s in the middle of trying to find Paige Corbin. Annette asks for a phone call if JB gets in touch and departs.

JB appreciates Riley fudging the facts and more to the point has worked out why Paige called her – an incredibly convoluted 90s situation involving a Rolodex flipping over without someone dialling a landline noticing. They dial the number Paige meant to dial, but it turns out to be an answering service. Another flip through the Rolodex gives them the address of a storage facility in Queens – Jess thinks it’s odd that Soho Storage is filed under L – unless Soho Storage was filed under L for Logan.

Riley and JB head on up to the storage unit, and find Paige Corbin murdered. Nick Mason appears just after they find the body but swears he had nothing to do with any of it – he went and collected Paige from his townhouse, yes, but nothing more than that. Annette wants to know if JB’s been in touch, but Riley says no (JB is long gone at this point).

Maria, devastated at her father’s murder, confronts Mason who tells her he had nothing to do with any of it and is as devastated as she is. JB barges in demanding answers and she’s not leaving until she gets them.

“I went into some old newspaper files on Internet this afternoon,” says JB. (On internet! I’m dying). Anyway, she read about another time Mason was under investigation by the SEC but it was dropped when the lead investigator died in a mysterious car crash twenty years earlier. Mason doesn’t know anything about that, and the interview is cut short when Mason’s secretary buzzes to let them know the SEC are here with warrants. JB hides behind the door while Bill Morgan serves Mason with a bench warrant, but Mason tells him he’s terribly sorry he’s about to go into hospital for spine surgery. Bill asks Maria and Mason if they’d happened to see JB but they tell him no.

Ted is summoned to a meeting with Reed and Tiffany. When he gets there though it’s just Tiffany and she wants to deal – 100 grand if Ted steals the Hong Kong disk from Reed. Ted is tempted but with the death of Paige Corbin, he’s not feeling disposed to getting involved in her scam. Reed joins them soon after and they toast to having a better week.

John Wicks tells Annette that her investigation has been terminated, but she begs him to give her 24 hours to tie it all up. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Riley has done a bit of digging into the death of the SEC agent back in the day and learned there was a witness to the hit and run – the agent’s ten-year-old daughter, who later provided a sketch of the driver to authorities. Fun fact, it looks a lot like Paige Corbin.

Riley doesn’t see how any of this relates to the murder of Annette Rayburn’s star witness and just saying those words leads JB to promptly solve the case. A phone call, a trip to the crime scene and JB  is done. She sidles up to Bill Morgan and accepts her subpoena, for as her mother used to say:

Word from JB’s mother.

The grand jury resumes with Annette going after JB again. JB offers to prove the phone call from Paige was an accident and asks to address the jury directly but Annette hits the roof. Her boss wanders in with Lieutenant Riley and tells her it’s a hearing, she should hear what JB has to say.

But she kind of doesn’t need to really.

Not surprised, if I’m honest.

Annette Reyburn’s real name is Carla Holland – the daughter of the dead SEC agent. She recognised Paige Corbin as the driver of the hit and run that killed her father, and the rest is murder. (She left her earring at the crime scene, it turns out)

Culprit arrested, Riley is escorting her out of the courthouse when Reed Harding appears with the Hong Kong disk, wanting to cut a deal. Annette asks Riley to arrest him too.

Case closed. I’m off next week but I’ll be back the week after!

Later gang!

 

 

 

S12E10 – Frozen Stiff

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Guys, the 90s were a dark time for men’s hair and computer operating systems.

You kids with your Fortnites and your Ariana Grandes, you have no idea how we suffered.

The 90s hair dude examining the 90s operating system is all set to leave for the night but someone comes into the room next door so he ducks down and hides. The man makes a call and leaves a message before someone else enters the room. The man tells the mystery person he doesn’t work for them any more, and then the other person shoots him. 90s hair dude comes into the room and hits redial on the phone but doesn’t leave a message. The clock goes off and he legs it.

The recipient of the missed calls is Larry Armstrong, one half of the aforementioned Garry and Larry’s Frozen Stuff and friend of Our Heroine. JB is in town for talks about the literacy foundation she’s a part of but is mostly there to work out the secret recipe for Garry and Larry’s Tropical Secret, which so far consists of lemon and mango. Larry bets JB won’t work it out before the time she leaves, and she tells him he’s on. Larry wonders why his accountant Kyle Macgregor didn’t explain why he was calling, and Jess says she’ll need to meet with him for some foundation business. Larry gets another phone call – Kyle has been found dead in his office.

Down at G&LFSHQ (no bloody way am I typing that out every time), the doctor rules the case to be a suicide. Larry’s business partner Garry (and I’ll be honest I’m only guessing I have those names right at this point). Garry wants a word with Larry about their upcoming advertising campaign but Larry tells Garry that now isn’t the time and he’s already called the advertisers to put a hold on everything until they can review it together. Kyle’s wife Susan arrives just as Kyle’s body is being wheeled out. The sheriff asks her how Kyle’s mood has been recently and she doesn’t understand why he needs to know.

We are five minutes into this episode and I feel like my brain is trying to leave my body through my ears with this whole Galarry business.

The next morning Larry is out chatting to his cows when Kyle’s assistant Peggy Evans drops by to give him some paperwork and let him know that Garry is meeting with some consumer group. Jess misses a call and finds an old photo of Larry from Woodstock. Down at the factory, Larry tells press guy Jim Kenton to send out a press release about Kyle’s death before getting into a spat with Garry about his decision not to give Kyle a place on the board. They are interrupted by admin assistant Vicky Nolastname, who tells them they have a problem.

I mean yeah they have a problem, this episode is complicated as hell. Ice cream should not be complicated, it should be frozen and in plentiful supply. But it turns out their problem is that 750K – the money earmarked for JB’s charity – has disappeared. This is obviously Very Bad News, but no one has time for this right now, someone called Ken Brewer from Verity is in the lobby and Jess has to take Larry’s answering machine tape to the sheriff.

Ken Brewer, it turns out, is from a consumer affairs group who have been tipped off that G&LFS products aren’t as natural as the cows it comes from, as the cows are full of hormones. Larry is horrified, Garry demands to know where this information came from but Ken isn’t saying. They have 48 hours before he goes public.

They aren’t having a great day.

Jess gets a lift to the sheriff’s office from 90s-hair from the start of the episode, who has a lot of questions about Larry’s past. Meanwhile, Larry’s present isn’t too flash either now that he’s just learned that Garry has been using hormone milk behind his back. Larry is furious and says the ad campaign won’t go ahead until the situation is fixed.

Down at the sheriff’s office, the sheriff tells JB that the coroner is confirming suicide due to the gun powder residue. Jess hands over the tape and tells the sheriff she thinks the second call came from Larry’s office due to the mooing clock you can hear on the tape. There are also squeaking noises she can’t identify. The sheriff thinks it’s odd Kyle killed himself over the missing money before #GaLarry even knew it was missing but JB thinks he must have been racked with guilt.

Garry runs into his wife Carol with her new Cadillac out in the carpark – he’s not thrilled she’s burning through his money but Carol tells him tough, she’s bored and also there are overdue bills from their bedroom renovation that need paying. Garry tells her to give them to Peggy and tell her they’re office expenses. Jim Kenton reappears and Carol takes off. Jim tells Garry he thinks he has some dirt they can use on Ken Brewer but it will cost. Garry doesn’t care, he wants that info now.

Later that night, JB gets down to the serious business of Just What’s In Tropical Secret but before she can an intruder interrupts her scheme. It’s 90s hair, whose name is actually Woody Seabrook. Larry comes down the stairs and wants to know why he shouldn’t call the police on Woody right now, but JB suspects he has a very good reason for being there since Woody is Larry’s son. It comes out that Woody is named after the place he was conceived (so thank goodness he wasn’t conceived at CBGB’s or something) and that his mother never knew who his Dad was, except after his mother died he found his birth certificate and discovered that Larry’s real name is Leonard Atkins. Larry tells him he only knew Woody’s mother for three days, and that he changed his name after he was arrested for an anti-war demonstration. After he got out of jail he came back as Larry who’d been in France for three years.

Woody walks away, his sneakers squeaking on the tiles. Jessica realises that’s the noise from the tape and that Woody was in the G&LFS office when Kyle died. Woody explains what happened, and how he thought Larry was the killer since his was the last number dialled. Jessica thinks they need to tell the sheriff so the next day Woody and Larry head down to tell him. The sheriff is very interested in this development and wonders who Kyle was planning to meet. Before Larry leaves, the sheriff quietly warns him that there are a lot of financial reasons why Woody would want to be Larry’s son but Larry tells him the blood test is only going to prove what he already thinks.

Down by the water, Carol is having a lovely afternoon making out with Ken Brewer, who still loves her and wishes the feeling was mutual. He’s not dropping the tainted milk situation though and she says there’s a chance the company might be bought out by a bigger corporation so if he waits he could go after a company with deep pockets.

Back at G&LFSHQ Jessica is investigating the missing money. Peggy explains how Kyle was the computer expert in the office and set up all kinds of systems including measuring temperature in the storage rooms. They find a receipt for a steakhouse in Milwaukee from the day before Kyle died, which was odd since he was meant to be in St Louis. They look up Kyle’s Milwaukee file, but someone had deleted it. Jess gets on the phone to the sheriff, but not before asking if the recipe for Tropical Secret is in the computer (it isn’t).

Garry decides to have a quiet meeting with Ken Brewer but Ken says he’s already had the international company speech. Garry asks him where he thinks the donations his organisation gets come from. Meanwhile, Larry asks Kyle’s wife Margaret if she knew why Kyle was in Milwaukee instead of St Louis but she knows nothing. That night, Garry makes a phone call to talk about the missing 750k while Jessica stages another assault on the Tropical Secret only to be thwarted by a pensive Larry struggling to come to terms with fatherhood.

Kyle Macgregor’s funeral takes place the next day. Larry arrives late, Garry not at all. JB remains vigilant.

EYES ON THE PRIZE

While Woody hits on Peggy, Victoria the secretary who presumably has been in this episode before and I’ve been calling her Peggy,  finds Garry’s body in one of the cold storage rooms.

Wait. Peggy is the secretary, Victoria is the admin assistant? I AM SO CONFUSED.

The sheriff rolls in and tells JB they caught a break working out the time of death, Garry’s watch stopped at 9:30. JB notices a broken watch face on the factory floor. Larry offers his condolences to Carol, who announces she’s going to oust him as CEO at a specially called shareholders meeting the following week. That night Jim Kenton demands Peggy tell him where Kyle’s secret Milwaukee hideout was, and only backs off when Woody gets involved.

Down at the sheriff’s office, the sheriff and JB break it to Margaret that  Kyle had embezzled the money from the company and withdrew it from his secret account right before he died. Also, he’d done the same thing twenty years earlier but had avoided conviction by testifying against his co-conspirators, his wife and her boyfriend. Also, he never divorced his wife so he was a bigamist.

Carol and Ken are hanging out when a news bulletin comes on the radio announcing the discovery of tainted milk at G&LFS, but confirming it hadn’t left the factory. Carol is pissed and goes to confront Larry who informs her he’s found proof she was writing off personal expenses through the company. Unfortunately, Larry’s victory is shortlived – the sheriff arrives to inform him they found the murder weapon in Larry’s truck and he’s under arrest.

Jessica isn’t buying it though, and through a Sudden and Emphatic Epiphany works out who Kyle’s partner in the embezzling was – Jim Kenton. Apparently, Jim worked out that Kyle was a shady character early on and decided to blackmail him for it, which resulted in the embezzling. Kyle was meant to give Jim the money that night but instead, he shot himself. He insists he didn’t kill Garry though, and since at this point I have no idea who anyone is, I believe him.

And to draw this not terrible but terribly complicated episode to a close…

Mrs Macgregor did it after all

And for those playing along at home, the Tropical secret was mango, lemon, passionfruit, persimmon, cumin and nutmeg. We know this because Jessica got the sheriff to send a sample off to be tested at the lab.

Using police resources to win a one dollar bet – guys JB is a Slytherin Queen and I frankly love her for it.

Kia kaha Aotearoa. I’m thinking of you. 

S12E09 – Deadly Bidding

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Once upon a time in New York two years ago, Kenneth Rundle (played uncredited by Edd Byrnes aka Vince Fontaine from Grease) stole a Degas painting from a museum and took it round to struggling painter Angus Neville’s house.

I apologise in advance for this week’s post.

Angus assured Kenneth that he can disguise the Degas without damaging it, and showed him the painting that will go over the top of the Degas – an original work entitled Arrangement in Grey And Red.

Once upon a time in New York one month ago, Kenneth Rundle gets roughed up by a couple of toughs in a car park, looking for the Degas. Rundle has a heart attack and dies.

FACT! BASED! REPORTING! NOTHING BUT FACTS!

Once upon a time in New York right now (but more specifically 1995), JB has her Museum Board hat on and is on the phone to gallery owner Felix Wesker about an Arthur Conan Doyle manuscript he is selling. JB wants another look at the manuscript as Felix has screwed them before (unintentionally according to Felix) but Felix has already sent it to the auction house so if JB wants to look at it she’ll have to go there.

Do not mess with JB in murder mode or museum mode.

The museum’s assistant curator, Reggie Evers, is hoping that Felix has had a look at her boyfriend’s photography portfolio but he tells her he’ll get to it in a couple of days.

Felix gets off the phone and is confronted by Angus Neville, who wants to know why his painting is lit so badly and also can he borrow fifty thousand dollars so he can buy his painting back. Felix tells him absolutely not happening.

Angus isn’t the only one interested in buying Arrangement in Grey and Red. A dude by the name of Milt Solomon represents a private collector who doesn’t want it known he is interested in Angus’s painting so he is engaging the services of a representative to bid on their behalf.

This is Charlie’s last episode, you guys.

Charlie doesn’t know art or auctions, but he knows an inside scoop and he wants to know why Milt’s client is so interested. Milt tells him he wants to buy it, hang it on the wall and look at it, and all Charlie needs to do is not bid one cent over 100K.

Over at the auction house, auction chief Giles Havelock oversees final arrangements for the auction, while his assistant Diana Barrow tells Pete Dunning (Reggie’s boyfriend and assistant at the auction house) to tell the caterers that if she sees one more canape with cheese sauce or mayonnaise they are fired. Reggie tells Giles that JB is just finishing up her examination of the Conan Doyle manuscript and she has questions.

Diana goes to meet her boyfriend for a quick walk and guys wouldn’t you know it, it’s Milt Solomon. Somehow they know what’s really going on underneath Arrangement in Grey and Red and they want it for themselves. Diana’s furious that Milt only gave 100K to Charlie to bid, but she decides any other serious bidder will be someone who knows the true value of the painting and the only person she can think of is Angus, who can’t afford it.

Jess can’t find fault with the manuscript, but she just can’t shake the feeling that it’s a fake. Giles understands, he doesn’t trust anything either especially anything Felix sells. But it doesn’t sell for much, it’s had a couple of owners so it doesn’t seem worth faking. Meanwhile, Reggie and Pete have a fight about Reggie showing Pete’s photographs to Felix.

Speaking of which, Felix decides to take another look at Arrangement in Grey and Red but doesn’t explain why to Diana. He is interested in what she knows about the seller, Serena Rundle, and Diana tells him not much, just that she seems to be liquidating her late husband’s estate.

Back at home, Angus is having no luck trying to find someone to bankroll his efforts to buy back his painting when he gets a visit from the two goons who scared Kenneth Rundle to death. Angus thinks they are looking to buy one of his paintings but Mr Mezznou tells him if Angus bids on Arrangement in Grey and Red, or gets anyone to do so for him, Mezznou and his associate will kill everyone involved.

Auction night rolls around and while Charlie tries to make sense of such a circus, Felix tells Angus he’s worked out why Angus is so interested in buying his painting back. Angus persuades him to buy it and they’ll split the profits – Angus suggests 60/40 but Felix only agrees when he drops it to 90/10.

JB loiters in the corner throwing back bubbles and chatting to Peter. She confirms to Felix that despite her misgivings the museum will bid on the manuscript. Felix wanders off and Peter tells her he has to get some artworks out for the auction, but he’ll definitely look into the previous owners of the manuscript for her. He produces the code for the door on a piece of paper and gets inside while across the room Angus watches on. The newly widowed Mrs Rundle is cornered by Mezznou and his associate who are keen to find out more about where her late husband acquired the painting but Giles steps in and shoos them away. Reggie and Peter chat in his office, and Angus steals the code for the door out of Peter’s pocket.

The auction kicks off, while JB reviews the information Peter got for her in regards to the previous owners. The last three times the manuscript came up for auction it was through Felix Wesker, and the buyer had a T next to their name. This can only be valuable intel. Just as the manuscript comes up for auction, JB bumps into Charlie.

Guys if I could explain this I would.

JB has no time for Charlie just now though, she has a manuscript to bid on. That shady cat Felix decides to throw a spanner in the works by bidding to jack the price up (just like buying a house in Melbourne, probably) but taps out when Jessica reaches the limit the museum gave her.

Jess sits back to celebrate as the next item is brought up for auction – Arrangement in Grey and Red. Bidding kicks off at thirty grand and eventually turns into a bidding war between Charlie, Felix and Mezznou.  Charlie taps out at a hundred grand as instructed, but then accidentally bids four hundred grand on it waving at Jessica and wins it anyway.

Ah the classic accidental bid at auction scenario.

After the dust settles, Diana puts a panicked call into Milt who tells her he can’t get more money and she tells him she can’t either. Giles walks in so she hangs up the phone. Giles is happy with the evening’s result, though apparently a couple of Angus Neville fans aren’t too happy – they were on the phone bidding when Diana put them on hold and then they were disconnected. They were less mad when they heard how much the painting went for.

Over dinner, JB explains to Charlie just how screwed he is when a waiter appears to tell Charlie there’s a call on the house phone. Charlie’s surprised, as no one could know where he was but the waiter assures him the caller asked for Charlie by name. Charlie wanders off to see who’s on the phone – but it’s Mezznou and his pal, and they’re not happy that Charlie didn’t listen to the warning Angus received. Charlie tells them to back off, and they start laying into him. It’s only when Jessica appears and threatens to call the police that Mezznou and pal depart.

Jessica and Charlie adjourn to JB’s apartment for a nightcap but Charlie’s got a big day trying to find some cash and so takes off. Back at the auction house Angus breaks in and steals the painting. He takes it home, but no sooner does he get home there’s a knock on the door. Angus recognises whomever it is and opens it. He says “Look, if this is about my painting,” and is stabbed to death by the guy at the door.

The next day the police are all over it, led by Sergeant Unger who is stoked that JB was at the auction as it means one less person he needs to track down. (As we all know, JB is friends with every cop in New York. Clues are thin on the ground – there’s a piece of paper with what they think is a phone number on it (which JB recognizes as the security code for the auction house), a frame that has had the painting cut out of it, and the news that there was a theft from the auction house the previous night – Arrangement in Red and Grey has gone AWOL. Jessica mentions that that is the painting Charlie bought, and Unger is surprised to learn JB is acquainted with such a loser as Charlie Garrett.

Down at the auction house, Reggie tells Peter about the security code being found but he’s as puzzled as she is. He couldn’t track down any of the former owners of the Conan Doyle manuscript, but he did manage to find out that all the winners were phone bids. Upstairs, Giles is on the phone reassuring patrons about their security. He’s printed out a list of recent art thefts for JB as requested.

Milt and Diana’s relationship appears to not be surviving the disappointment of not acquiring Arrangement in Grey and Red, while Felix is sorry that Charlie’s painting has gone missing but he is too busy to care. Charlie tells him he thinks he knows where the painting is but Felix doesn’t care – he has a gallery full of Angus’s painting and now that he’s dead the value has quadrupled. Lieutenant Unger arrives and would like a word with Charlie immediately.

JB and Peter manage to discover that all the previous owners of the Doyle manuscript were dead when they bought them (awkward) and they stumble onto Kenneth Rundle’s obituary which happens to mention that he was a life-long bachelor, something that would be a surprise presumably to his widow.

Back down at the auction house, Unger has a word with Peter who has no idea how the security code ended up with Angus. It is very clear that Unger thinks that Peter is involved but simply tells Peter not to leave town.

Over lunch, JB explains to Charlie exactly what he’s gotten himself into – she has worked out what Arrangement in Red and Grey really was, and that Kenneth’s wife is a lie. Charlie is more interested in what the painting is worth.

I mean I could explain this, but honestly, some things are better left unexplained tbh

Jessica thinks it’s time they went to the police but she wants to know for certain Charlie knew nothing of any of it – and just as she asks this Mezznou and his friend wander over to their table, as Felix told them that Charlie knows where the painting is and it would be terrible if they all ended up dead from not sharing that information. Taking matters into her own hands, Jess spills a bowl of soup and they make a dash for it – only to run into Rundle’s widow, who is actually an FBI agent with questions, and Sergeant Unger, who has questions of his own.

It turns out the FBI was onto Kenneth Rundle for a long time, and they suspected there was more to Arrangement in Red and Grey than met the eye, so they decided to keep the painting on offer to see who else knew. The agent has plenty of questions for Charlie but Unger gets in first so she sashays away. Unfortunately for Unger Charlie’s alibi checks out – the waitress at the diner Charlie loitered at that night said it was like time stood still, six cups of coffee for a twenty cent tip.

I don’t know what that means either, but Jess does and she sets a trap to prove it.

And of course…

Let’s be honest, this wasn’t a complete surprise.

Giles was late to the ‘Oh that’s a Degas’ party, but he got there, and was going to bail out the auction house with it. Also the Conan Doyle manuscript was totally fake, which they worked out from a passing news bulletin on the television. Nice work MSW writers.

And so we say good-bye to another regular. Peace out Charlie Garrett, the not-quite Harry Macgraw.

Onwards and upwards, Fletcherfans.

 

 

 

S12E08 – Shooting in Rome

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Welcome to Rome Fletcherfans, where a movie set in the deserts of Texas is being shot for tax reasons probably. The director, Monte Hayes, is a slave driver, his ex-wife is the lead star and his son is a stuntman in training, but the person sent in to clean up the script is pretty rad.

Jessica saves the day again.

While Monte rages around the place, the producer Boyce Brown convinces Jessica it’s all going to be fine, except he has money problems and someone keeps stealing things. He ducks off to have a quiet word to the leading man Rex Toland about his garlic breath in the love scene.

Monte’s son and wannabe stuntman Gary Hayes gets his flirt on with one of the production assistants Adriana Bonelli before Rex steps in, confidence doubled now that he’s got breath spray. In her trailer, Gary’s mother Kate Danbury chats with her agent Jake Farber about getting Monte off the movie, before she is summoned to the set.  Boyce meets with a familiar face about the recent spate of thefts on set.

Last seen here, still as dashing as ever.

Inspector Amati is investigating the thefts but is also very confused that the movie is based on a JB Fletcher book set in Chicago, but is being filmed in Italy to look like Texas. Tax reasons m’dude. Boyce gets a call from script editor Lucy Hendrix to let him know that the movie backer has just arrived – pasta tycoon (and Adriana’s father) Raimondo Bonelli. He assures Boyce that their financial troubles will be over by Thursday,

The rehearsal with Kate Danbury, Rex and Monte descends into a shouting match and Gary feels bad about it but Jessica assures him none of it is his fault. Later, Monte tells his son that basically he wanted a wife and got an actress, and Kate wanted a husband and got a director and that’s why it all went wrong. He also asks if Gary knows anything about the thefts, on account of that trouble he got into at school but Gary is outraged even at the thought.

Raimondo gets a phone call from a shady character by the name of Tomaso Cirullio, who is very unhappy that he was unable to get on set after-hours the previous night. Raimondo assures him it was an accident, the security was meant to be turned off. Tomaso tells him he will try again tonight but Raimondo says no, there’s a construction crew, it will have to be tomorrow. He hangs up and drives away. Jessica watches all this go down and notices a business card fall from Raimondo’s pocket. Tomaso Cirullio seems to be a loan shark.

Monte, Gary and stunt gaffer Webb Prentiss go over a stunt for the next day’s shoot, involving a car chase. Webb says it will look flashy but it will be safe, so Monte suggests Gary does it. Webb is surprised but agrees as long as it’s alright with Monte. Gary takes off to celebrate and Webb offers to film it with the second unit so Monte can focus on other things, but Monte informs him there is no second unit, he will direct every foot of this film. Webb tells him that isn’t what Boyce promised him and Monte tells him to take it up with Boyce then.

That night, someone takes to something with a blowtorch. MYSTERIOUS.

In the morning, Jess meets with Boyce who is stressed out of his gourd and wants JB to talk to Kate about stopping her crusade to get Monte fired. JB tells him Kate said she would if he apologised. Boyce throws his hands up and moves on to stressing about the thefts, which makes Jess think of a certain loan shark she’s just become aware of.

Over on a sound stage Gary lures his parents into a room and begs them just to talk for 30 seconds, and it nearly works. JB bumps into Tomaso Cirullio skulking around the set and pretends to be Raimond’s secretary Dominique, complete with Outrageous Italian Accent.

I did think at one point she was South African, but I’ve got heat insanity again so who knows.

Jake Farber wanders into Kate’s dressing room to tell her the good news – Monte’s leaving the film. Kate fires him immediately, which seems a bit weird but it turns out Jake has been pitching Boyce replacements for Monte – and for Kate – already. Lucy comes in to tell her that Gary is doing the car stunt and Kate flips and heads straight to the set to tear Monte a new one. Gary is adamant he’s going to do it, despite Webb’s discovery that someone did a shoddy weld job on part of the stunt. Raimondo takes off. Jessica notices a container of breath spray on the ground.

Five star rating all day.

Raimondo gets on his car phone and tells Tomaso he’s received his message via the damaged stunt rig. He’s just relieved no one got hurt but Tomaso says someone still might. Raimondo promises the security system will be turned off that night.

Jess confronts Rex with the breath spray, and he tells her he was just wandering past the rig the previous night. He did see someone, but it didn’t and doesn’t make any sense since the person messing with the rig was Webb Prentiss himself.

JB rushes over to stop the stunt but it’s too late – the cars come round the corner, one goes up off the ramp but crashes into the car it was meant to clear. Everyone rushes over to check, but Gary wasn’t in the car – it was Webb.

The set shuts down. Monte tells anyone who’ll listen that this is a first for him, and Lucy Hendricks tells him to stop talking. Monte cracks the sads until JB reminds him that Lucy and Webb were a thing. Gary wanders past but isn’t interested in talking to his father either. Inspector Amati would like to know why JB thought it necessary to try and stop the stunt and she explains how she learned that Webb was the one who sabotaged the rig. Later, Amati chats to Boyce and Kate and they tell him it was Boyce’s decision to swap Gary for Webb. Amati thinks they still need to consider the possibility of murder, and given the late driver swap, they need to consider that Gary was the target. Gary himself is outside having a crisis while Adriana tells him he needs to come forward with what he saw.

JB and Amati have a chat down at the garage where the car is being examined. JB says Webb claimed all the driver needed to do was maintain a speed of 60 miles an hour and the stunt would work perfectly – but what if he only thought he was going at 60? Amati tells his men to check the speedo, and then gets a message from another colleague. Jessica’s hunch about Raimondo Bonelli has paid off.

Raimondo refuses to admit his financial situation, but Amati has the good word straight from his bank. Raimondo folds, and says he only wanted to make a movie, but he ran out of money and fell into Tomaso’s clutches. He tells it all to Amati, who manages to catch Tomaso in the act of stealing stuff off the set later that night.

The next morning, JB finds Boyce chucking it all in. He was going to beg Jake Farber to get him a deal back in America but Jake would only do it if Boyce convinced Kate not to fire Jake. JB calls BS on the whole thing and tells him he’s a bigshot he can make this work with no favours from anybody. She then finds Gary moping around the set and gets him to unload – apparently he saw Monte tinkering with the car before the stunt, and he thinks Monte tried to kill him. Monte swears it’s not true but Amati appears with the news that Monte’s fingerprints are all over the car and could he have a word?

Monte swears he had nothing to do with anything, he just lifted the hood to make sure that everything was okay because it was his son in the driver’s seat. Amati thinks it was all about revenge on his ex-wife but Monte says not possible, he’s still in love with his ex-wife. Kate overhears this and begs JB for help.

Jess watches the tape of the crash with Boyce, crunches some numbers and realises that Webb was going 50 miles an hour, not 60. Back at the police station, Amati regales JB and Kate with the story of when he was an extra in Cleopatra with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and something about the word diamonds explains the whole thing to JB.

Back at the lot, Jake tries to get his new client Rex Toland off the film, but after Boyce tells him he’s solved his money problems he changes tack and tries to offer a new director. Boyce says the only problem he has is getting Kate back to work, but Jake tells him just to threaten to take her money away, she’s broke and she needs it. Meanwhile, Gary tells Adriana that JB has solved the case and the police will be coming to take the car away the following day. Rex lurks in the background eavesdropping until Lucy shoos him away.

With the trap set, JB waits for the killer to take the bait, and sure enough –

Not my first choice. Not my second choice. This is why JB Fletcher solves crimes and I eat cheese.

Something something car talk, Lucy killed Webb because Webb killed her father four years ago to take over as the head stuntman.

Bring on the cool change you guys. There are fires that need putting out.

Later gang!

 

 

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