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S09E20 – Ship of Thieves

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Yo Fletcherfans! I know, I said I would be back last week, but a surprise road trip came up and so yes, but YOU GUYS RICHMOND WON THE PREMIERSHIP FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1980 which is the dark ages before I was born and here is a picture of me after I’d stopped crying about how freaking great everything is.

But I’m back, the blog is back, no one has dropped any nukes or started any wars which apparently is something we should celebrate these days, so let’s get back to business.

Down by the docks one dark night, a woman called Amber shoots another woman called Agnes Lowry and steals her cruise ticket. And guys, wouldn’t you know it, as a reward for finishing hew new manuscript early, JB’s editor has decided to reward with a bit of a cruise around the Carribean which frankly sounds wonderful right about now. This can only be coincidental.

Even more coincidentally over breakfast and the newspaper the next morning (full of news of a drug kingpin’s murder and the escape of their accomplice), Jess bumps into an old friend from school by the name of Leslie Hunter (aka Lee Merriweather, the original Catwoman. Or was Eartha Kitt?) Leslie just so happens to be dating the captain of the cruise ship, Rory O’Neill and invites JB to an exclusive soiree he’s hosting that night.

Side note: THE BIKINIS ARE CUT SO HIGH JESUS CHRIST HOW WAS THIS EVER A THING.

While a woman and a man conspire to fleece an old guy out of his money playing cards inside, Jess watches a ship steward break the land speed record for falling in love with a random woman while spilling champagne over her boyfriend.

JUDGEMENT JESSICA IS ON DECK.

That night, the shady dude that was helping to fleece the old guy spots Fake Agnes and says “Janet! Remember me? Roland Deveraux! Buffalo three years ago?”

Fake Agnes/Janet tells him to shove off and wanders off. Over at the Captain’s shindig Jess and Leslie blame each other for the hot water running out at school, while Captain Rory tells them all about the ship’s hi-tech features like a mainframe, and a fax machine, and a modem. Bless.

Leslie and Rory wander off, leaving JB alone for a minute before a familiar voice says that JB is represented in the ship’s library by two books, both of which he’s already read.

It can only be one person…

YOU KNOW I DID.

Dennis the Menace is back, for one last hurrah. Recently retired from the insurance game, he has decided to take himself on a cruise to enjoy his new-found freedom but is having some trouble adjusting to civilian life, what with all the potential criminals on the boat. He thinks Jess should think about putting the mother and son duo the Sobel’s into her next book

Jess wanders off to powder her nose, and is interrupted first by a couple of old ducks looking for the captain’s reception, and then by Leslie who wants Jess’s opinion on Rory (which seems odd since they haven’t seen each other since school but what would I know?) Leslie is worried that Rory’s retirement plans – a B&B, roses and breeding Weimaraner dogs- don’t seem to include her.

The steward takes everyone’s guesses for what time they will cross the 25th parallel. Alma Sobel entertains everyone with a story about a guy who died on her cruise after guessing the correct time, pinches Jessica’s pen, denies it, and leaves.

God, this is a new low for me. I’m sorry.

Jess heads back to her room for some shut-eye and is slammed into the wall by a shadowy figure running out of her cabin. Back in the bar, Fake Agnes/Janet is hit on by the guy the steward spilt champagne on who is a) weirded out that Fake Agnes/Janet knows his name and b) delighted when she gives him her room number. The whole thing is overheard by Dennis the Menace who frankly has bigger issues.

Ah the whiskey sponsored existential crisis. I know it well.

JB is less than excited to see the steward turn up at her cabin to take down information about the break-in, especially when he calls her missing earrings (given to her by Frank) ‘not the crown jewels’. He tells her the ship’s detective is in the infirmary so the captain gave him the special assignment and he really is on the case.  As he departs Alma Sobel’s son Marvin arrives to return JB’s pen, apologising for his mother’s kleptomania.

In another part of the ship Roland’s sidekick is showing off her newly pinched earrings, but Roland is furious. He’s on to something big, and now she’s gone and got JB Fletcher on their case. Fortunately, Roland’s gig on the boat is as a magician, so he conveniently psychometrically reads JB  and plonks her earrings in a glass of champagne to great effect.

JB declines Dennis’s offer of a dance and instead goes for a promenade around the decks. She gets him to confess that he is the head of security for the Duchess Cruise Line, and he’s on board this particular ship to catch a cat burglar, specifically Fake Agnes/Janet’s new friend whose name it turns out is Lance Brinegar. Dennis suspects Fake Agnes won’t be wearing her splendid diamond pendant for too much longer.

Speaking of Fake Agnes/Janet, she is surprised to find Roland stretched out on her bed when she returns from a morning swim.  Roland apologises for the intrusion, but as she wasn’t answering his calls or texts he had to take matters into his own hands. Whatever scam Fake Agnes is running, he wants in or else he’ll tell the captain all about how Fake Agnes/Janet scammed an old guy in Buffalo three years earlier. Fake Agnes/Janet notes that he will neglect to mention that he was running the same scam on the old duck, but as she’s in a good mood she will let him in on her action.

A new day dawns on the ship and they arrive at their first port, Oldtown. Leslie tells Jess she’s just going to check on Rory but she’ll meet her later and they can head in together. Jess spots Lance fighting with his actual girlfriend, whose name is Molly, and asks her if she’s okay. Molly asks her if she believes in kismet and JB says no, “for my money relationships don’t just happen.” (Life Lesson #72).

Molly explains that she was paying for this cruise and Lance was going to pay for their honeymoon cruise, but he’s changed and yada yada, fortunately, the cruise was cheap, it’s an old boat etc etc.

Everyone’s favourite steward pops up to apologise for the state of the boat and promptly pours coffee everywhere.

The shade JB has thrown at that steward this episode has been a delight.

Jess runs into Rory finalising his last shipment of antiques and Leslie soon joins them with the suggestion that Rory takes them both to lunch in Old Town. Molly runs into the steward again (whose name is Philip) and accepts his invitation to go to Old Town too.

That night everyone settles in for some frankly appalling comedy in the bar. Marvin Sobel excuses himself to take his medication and promises his mother to return with an eclair for her. Fake Agnes/Janet gets a phone call and promises the caller she will meet them. Lance also excuses himself.

Fake Agnes/Janet is prowling around the sup when she cops a whack on the head. A gunshot is heard, and then Roland runs out of the darkness.

Frankly, none of this is surprising.

Dennis appears and sits down next to JB while the world’s worst comedian announces the winners of the parallel time guessing competition or whatever it was. Back in the captain’s cabin, Leslie decides she’s not hungry, a fact I’m sure will be relevant at some point.

Fake Agnes/Janet’s body doesn’t turn up until the next morning, but a few people saw Roland at the scene so he’s hauled in front of the captain and Dennis for questioning. He tells them they were doing business, he followed her to see what the business was but left when he heard the gunshot. Dennis tells him to get out, and the captain mentions that JB was sitting near the victim the night before so she might have seen something.

JB isn’t sure how she can help, but she tells Dennis about the phone call. Dennis tells her that Fake Agnes’s diamond pendant is now missing and they can only guess who had that, Lance Brinegar. After a report comes in showing his fingerprints were all over Fake Agnes’s room and the murder weapon, Dennis thinks it’s open and shut.

Jess and Molly go to talk to Lance, now in the brig, and he swears he didn’t kill Fake Agnes, he stole the pendant because he needed the money to pay for his and Molly’s honeymoon cruise so really it was her fault.

A guy shifting blame onto a woman, I mean really.

Wandering the halls Jess bumps into Marvin Sobel, who has been looking for her. One of his mother’s new treasures is a cigarette lighter with J F on it, but Jessica tells him it’s not hers. He continues on his quest and Dennis appears with news – the body of an undercover agent by the name of Agnes Lowry has just turned up in Miami and wouldn’t you know it, the same gun was used to kill her.

Dennis wonders whether Fake Agnes/Janet/Amber are the same person, but Jessica thinks its unlikely for reasons I can’t quite remember. The only thing Dennis knows for certain is that Fake Agnes’s real name actually was Janet. Janet Fiske.

This sets off the old mindbox and Jess goes to see Agnes Sopol but she can’t find her. Instead, she finds Marvin, who is also looking for his mother. He tells JB that Agnes pinched the lighter from the captain’s cabin before they went to Old Town. This seals it for JB and so she leaves a message for Dennis and goes investigating below decks, while Philp stands guard.

 

Ah yes.

So I’m a little hazy on this still, but I think Captain Rory was smuggling drugs and skimming money or something, and then Fake Agnes found out about it so Leslie killed her because she really wanted those Weimaramas, you guys.

So she was Amber? Wait Rory was Amber? What just happened?

While I sit here and try to work this out, please rest assured that Molly and Philip are now totes in love and Agnes is still pinching things wherever she can. More to the point, it’s bon voyage to Dennis Stanton, who is off to cruise the world as a ships detective, never to grace another episode of Murder, She Wrote. I’m a little bit bummed you guys.

Until next week.

Oh Dennis. You were the gift that kept on giving.

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Sorry guys. Football has taken over my life. (Also, my Mum is visiting).

I’ll be back on October 8th. In the meantime, I highly recommend you click here.

S09E19 – Lone Witness

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So I know everything in the world is pretty much going to hell right now (and I hope that if you’re in the path of those hurricanes in America that you stay safe!) but here’s the thing.

Remember that time I tried to write about an episode but Richmond was playing and it all went terribly wrong?  Well, Friday night it all went terribly right and now Richmond is one game away from the Grand Final which is like the Superbowl but is less glamorous but very drunker. There is also a theory around town that Richmond winning the grand final will signal the final apocalypse, which I know would be bad but technically a Richmond grand final is the only thing left on my bucket list so I mean really…

(I kid. I don’t want the world to end. There are far too many tasty foods to be eaten).

What I mean is, the blog may or may not be sporadic the next couple of weeks while I have a complete emotional breakdown re: football. As it is I have no voice and not much hearing. But for now, onwards!

This week is kicking off in AmesterDAYUM (shout out to all the fans of Belinda Blinked), where a flight attendant is delivering diamonds to a cheerful old guy, before cutting to the Big Apple where JB has somewhat optimistically given her kitchen over to her old friend from Cabot Cove, Susan Wells, who is planning to pitch a cookbook to Jessica’s publisher through a festive dinner party.  Ingredients are in fact currently being delivered by the world’s greatest delivery boy.

I MEAN JUST LOOK AT HIM.

I adore Neil Patrick Harris. I’m just going to come right out and say it. His Halloween family photos are amazing, I’m still devastated I missed out on tickets for Hedwig when I was in NYC, and this whole thing remains one of my favourite uses of Internet ever. Also, Dr Horrible.

Anyway, Tommy Patrick Harris Remsen drops off some more groceries for Susan and a new story for JB to read before charming both of them and heading off. Back at the grocery store he runs into the flight attendant, whose name is apparently Monica, and gets to work charming her before his boss Ben pops in to tell him he forgot the bay leaves for Jessica’s order, but now there are other things and to stop flirting with the customers.  Tommy rushes off, leaving Ben to explain to Monica that she needs to pay her grocery tab or he’s going to have to cut her off.

Monica heads home to her apartment, where her landlord/bookie Vic is delighted to see her, mainly because it would appear he owes him money too. She tries to get him to take a bet for her but he refuses until she pays what she owes. Inside her apartment, she finds her neighbour Sandy watering her plants and babbling about how crazy Monica’s social life is. Monica begs for some quiet and Sandy cracks it and storms off, leaving Monica to call her boss and let them know about the money diamonds situation.

While Tommy is getting chewed out by his swim-coach Dad for spending too much time writing stories and chasing girls and not enough time doing laps, Monica gives the money she got from Amerstdam to her boss Fred Turner, and tells him she wants out, but he’s not having a bar of it. He tells her she can quit when he tells her she can quit and leaves. He puts a call in to his boss and confirms that Monica has been skimming money.

Back at House Fletcher the banquet preparation is going…well it’s going.  Susan loses her mind at the idea of no chanterelle mushrooms (blerch, mushrooms are the tool of Satan), and so to placate her JB calls old mate Joe at the grocery. He tells Tommy to take some around to JB’s AFTER he gets a cheque from Monica, who managed to skip out of the store with a six pack and a smile, nice one Tommy.

Tommy cruises on over to Monica’s building inexplicably goes into the laundry room and finds Monica dead with Fred standing over her. A shot is fired and Tommy wisely legs it out of there and goes to tell Jessica what happened, losing his hat in the process. She calls the police and they meet them at Monica’s building where it turns out, there is no body to be found. And by no body, I..you know what I mean. Lieutenant Warren is inclined to think that the only crime that’s happened is lying to a police officer, but JB isn’t so sure, so they cruise on up to Monica’s apartment to see if she’s there. Instead, they find Vic fixing a tap and swearing Monica only stepped out about ten minutes earlier.

Just because.

The lieutenant and his sidekick Detective Flowers scold Tommy for wasting their time and Tommy rushes off. Warren admits to Flowers that Tommy might have seen something, and to keep trying to call Monica. Also, that other precinct was totally right about Jessica Fletcher.

Tommy heads home, not seeing Fred Turner standing on the corner. Fred sees him though and starts to follow. Back at Monica’s apartment, Vic is on the hunt for Monica but Sandy tells him she hasn’t seen her, also she’s making brisket, Vic’s favourite, is he still coming around? Vic says he’ll let her know. Over at House Fletcher, Susan thinks Tommy made the whole thing up to cover up dropping the box of groceries, but Jess is more interested in inviting more people to dinner.

Tommy’s Dad decides to issue a 50 lap penalty for lying to the police and seems surprised when Tommy runs off. Tommy sees Fred again and hightails it out of there, leaving a very confused Tommy’s Dad looking at Fred and wondering just what the hell is going on.

That night, Susan is having a meltdown about the sugar for the creme brulee when Jessica discovers an important clue in the sugar bag.

Guys, Susan is a hot mess right now. She needs a valium and a lie down.

Jess alerts the authorities immediately, but they remain unconcerned, despite Flowers not being able to get hold of Monica. Warren also tells JB that Tommy has gone AWOL.

Jessica goes to see Tommy’s father, who initially doesn’t want to to talk to the lady who is messing with his son’s swimming career, but is worried when he hears about the bullet and tells her about Tommy running away from Fred. Jess heads back over to Monica’s apartment where Sandy is in no way appearing to be a creepy neighbour, she’s totally fine. She just loves to talk about what an exciting life Monica leads.

Now imagine Sandy and Susan just kicking back with a cup of tea. Imagine that conversation. Now relish the fact that you aren’t a part of it.

Inside Monica’s apartment is a mess. Sandy is starting to worry that all is not well with her shiny neighbour. Jess finds an over watered plant and a betting slip from Vic, so she goes to chat with him about it.

Also Vic admits that he hadn’t seen Monica when he said he had, he was looking for money in her apartment. Vic takes her down to the storage room where they find Monica’s bag and a one way ticket to Geneva.  Vic is furious but Jess is worried that there might be someone else who is furious.

Down at the precinct Warren accepts JB’s news about the bag and reports that Monica’s body has turned up in the Hudson, strangled to death. He was two theories about the murder – either Tommy did it when Monica rebuffed his advances (*coughs* Gone Girl *coughs*) or there was a second person in the room when Tommy walked in and they were the person who shot at Tommy. Jess thinks the second option is far more likely, and Warren is inclined to agree. Noone wants to think of an All American kid, peering out from under his baseball cap with those big blue eyes as being capable of murder.

Alright calm down Warren.

Back at home, Jess decides to read Tommy’s new short story, which Susan helpfully spoils by revealing the ending.

#NotAllSusans

Susan’s given JB an idea about where Tommy might be hiding, so she calls Lieutenant Warren and Tommy’s Dad and they head over to the school. Tommy’s Dad lets JB in to the school, where they find the pool room door clearly broken into. A chivalrous Tommy’s Dad (I could look it up but I don’t want to) insists he go in first, JB following close behind. There’s a body in the pool but it’s not Tommy, it’s Fred. Lieutenant Warren orders Flowers to get forensics on the case, and then follows Tommy’s Dad and JB up into the storage room.

And of course, guess who?

Barney Stinson. I barely got to see much of HIMYM but I loved what I did see.

While Tommy reunites with his father, Warren wanders off and returns balancing a gun on a pen. Tommy swears he’s never seen it before, but according to Warren it’s been recently fired so for now Tommy is going into protective custody because either Fred’s killer/accomplice is still out there, or…

Accurate.

Down at the precinct through, Warren changes his mind. All the forensics and ballistics and callisthenics all point towards Tommy as being the killer of both Fred and Monica. Tommy’s dad is shattered, but JB isn’t having a bar of it. Warren assures him this is all hard on him too.

Back at House Fletcher JB is helping with the final preparations for the dinner party, to whit helping put some salmon mousse on a plate.

Whatever Susan, my Mum’s is better (we have it every Christmas)

Suddenly the overflowing sink gives her an idea, and she arranges to meet Lieutenant Warren over at Monica’s house. She explains she worked out why Monica’s place had been broken into, and what they were looking for. She pulls out a bag of diamonds from the pot plant. And by they she means Fred Turner and his partner.

#notallcops

Not only did JB figure it out, but she had a little help from Detective Flowers too. Turns out, it was all about the money.

But never mind that because

SUSAN! STOP!

I have no voice and I can barely hear. It’s going to be a fun September!

S09E18 – Dead to Rights

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JB’s back in the Cove Fletcherfans, but only long enough to finish the edits on her next book, with the occasional help of a personal assistant by the name of Dana Ballard. It turns out Dana is a fairly terrible research assistant, and only a marginally better liar but the good news is that she’s off to make her fortune in the stock market and is no longer JB’s problem.

A question I ask myself frequently.

While Jessica prepares for her book tour, Dana scoots on down to Portland to interview to be a stock market person. Her potential boss, Ethan Stevens, hasn’t yet checked her references but will get right on it. He’s been a bit busy with the Train of Destiny.

Why is it there? Where does it go? These are the mysteries of our time.

Dana mentions she has another one to add – she has just finished up working as a personal assistant to a mystery novelist up in Cabot Cove and Ethan Stevens freaks out and says he’ll get right onto it. Dana quickly tells him that Jessica only takes calls after three, and he completely understands. Such self-discipline!  Dana tells him he has no idea – Jessica gets up at five every morning, walks three miles along the same route and then has four cups of coffee before sitting down to her computer.

Ethan Stevens is already in love with JB and he hasn’t even met her yet

Fun fact – the name Ethan Stevens gets mentioned so much in this episode that if you were so inclined you could have a shot for every time someone said it. From here on out, every time I say Ethan Stevens will be every time someone says it in the show. Shots of tequila are totally optional.

Back in Cabot Cove, Jessica is about to head out the door when her editor pops round to drop off revisions for JB’s next book – she’s worried about how many simple research mistakes are in it and wonders if Jess is feeling alright. An exasperated Jess tells her she’ll fix them all on the road and rushes out the door. Meanwhile, Dana Ballard returns to her hotel room in Portland, rings JB’s answering machine and replaces the message with one of her own. A short time later Ethan Stevens calls to leave a message asking Jessica to call him regarding a reference for Dana.

(Fun fact, the message Dana records and the message Ethan hears are different. Hashtag continuity).

Ethan gets off the phone to cop a scolding from his wife Missy, who is concerned that they are about to get busted for something, but who has also made reservations for Portland’s hottest new restaurant Atlantis.

The following afternoon, Dana plays back the recording from Ethan Stevens and calls Ethan Stevens’ office pretending to be JB, while simultaneously throwing back some Chardonnay because why the hell not. She gives herself a sterling reference to Ethan, who is delighted, and more so when “JB” asks him to look her up if he is ever in Cabot Cove.  His good mood evaporates when he gets off the phone and his associate Baker Lawrence tells him the jig is up, he’s going down for insider trading, and if he makes a full confession he will only have to serve less than a year, and then Baker will conveniently buy him out. Ethan refuses, but Baker tells him he has 48 hours to come clean or else he’ll go to the SEC on his own and tell them he’s literally just discovered what Ethan has been up to.

Jess arrives in Portland and has her first stop on her book tour – a dinner with local critic Thomas Gideon at Atlantis restaurant. And you guys, you’d never believe who else is there!

Ethan Stevens goes up to JB and introduces himself with excitement.

Another question I ask myself frequently.

Ethan thanks her for the reference for Dana, introduces her to his wife and Baker, and then decamps for his table leaving Jessica feeling a bit lost. Thomas cheerfully explains that Ethan Stevens is one of the foremost stockbrokers in the city (as evidenced by the whispered argument he is currently having at the table with Baker and another man).

Dana starts her first day on the job and gets a lot of assistance from one of Ethan’s brokers, Todd Merlin. Ethan meanwhile is on the phone to someone saying he has sixteen million problems, which is more problems than Jay Z. See, I know what’s going on.

Dana goes into her office to find JB waiting for her, demanding an explanation. Dana swears she has no idea about any of it ever, but JB isn’t having it. Before she can press the issue Dana gets called into a meeting so Jessica departs, with Dana’s promise that she’ll have Ethan get back to Jessica as soon as possible. After Jessica leaves Dana gets on the phone and tells someone that they too have a problem, but only one, which is less than Jay Z. #Maths

That night, as Dana is getting ready to leave, Missy Stevens pops by to warn her to stay away from Ethan. It would appear that Missy isn’t buying Dana’s game for a minute. She seems to be on the money because later that night Dana is snooping around Ethan Steven’s office when the man himself walks in, greets her, and is promptly shot.

Let’s just get this out of the way now. Dana didn’t kill him.

Jess arrives at the office the next morning to talk to Ethan but finds Portland 5-0 all over the scene led by Lieutenant Rodrino, who is mostly concerned with how fancy the desk is. Baker Lawrence pops by to tell them that it appears nothing was stolen, and that the desk is made from jasmine wood. Jess heads back to her hotel to get the hell out of town when she gets a knock on the door from local attorney Vincent Polaski, who has been assigned to represent Dana Ballard, who has been arrested for the murder of Ethan Stevens. The police found a gun in a storm drain not far from the building, and hair and blood they found on the desk is a match to Dana. Despite Dana’s casual relationship to the truth, Vincent believes she didn’t do it and is here to beg JB for her help. She’s in no mood to offer any assistance until Vincent asks her how she would feel if Dana was innocent and went to prison for a crime she didn’t commit all because JB was too eager to get her train to Boston.

JB swears it’s because there are some loose ends, but you know…

Down at the courthouse, Dana denies everything from re-recording JB’s answering machine to being in the office the night of the murder, and so Vincent and JB leave her to it. Outside, Rodino tells them that Dana also lied about college and so there’s probably no limit to the number of lies she told. They are summoned to Deputy Prosecutor Bruce Hastings’s office where he is willing to offer a deal for Dana to avoid trial but Vincent isn’t having a bar of it. JB wants to know why Dana was under the desk and Hastings tells her it was to search for Ethan Stevens’s security pass. That leads to JB’s next question, which is how Dana could have known to search for the pass, but Hastings says whatever, she’s a liar, who cares.

After they leave Hastings’s office, Jessica correctly deduces that Vincent is in love with Dana, and cops a soliloquy about Vincent’s love life in response.

I bet she regrets that particular deduction right about now.

JB shuts him up by wondering if Dana had taken that particular job as requested by someone else, i.e she had a partner in crime. Vincent runs with this, and thinks that maybe said partner got Ethan Stevens’s last assistant fired so that Dana could step in. Jess asks him if there might be a way to look at the employment records for Stevens & Lawrence on the down low, and he says yes – if she doesn’t mind bending the rules. While he gets on the phone to organise it, Jess spots the guy who had the fight at Atlantis with Ethan wandering the halls.

Vincent’s plan is solid gold you guys. When you need help, ask your hacker grandmother.

For real, why isn’t there a TV show about a group of geriatric hackers who are trying to stop the creeping invasion of privacy by mega global corpogovernments. Maggie Smith is their leader or I’m not signing off. Call me, Hollywood.

Guys have I told you my idea for a reboot of Charlies Angels where Angela Lansbury is Charlie and Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are the angels and Patrick Stewart is Bosley and when they aren’t solving crimes they are passing judgement on how crap everyone else is?

I KNOW. IT’S GENIUS.

Wanda the hacker informs JB that Ethan’s former assistant left voluntarily without a forwarding address but that there is another employee at the company who came from the same town as Dana – Todd Merlin. Jess heads down to the office to confront him, and he finally admits to setting the last assistant up to get fired so that Dana could get the job. When Jess and Vincent ask Dana about it, she tells them that Todd had found out about her pathological lying situation and told her to do what he said or he’d tell her father. All she knew about the murder is that they went there to steal some bonds, Ethan Stevens found her in his office, she got a whack on the head and when she woke up Todd was gone and Ethan Stevens was dead.

Now that they are at something resembling the truth, it now falls to Vincent and JB to find out who the real killer is. Jess thinks someone else was in the room with Dana but she doesn’t remember seeing anything. Out in the hall, Jess and Vincent run into Hastings and Lieutenant Rodino, the former still determined to charge Dana with murder. Jess announces she thinks she can prove that there was someone else in the room – the real killer of Ethan Stevens.

Back at the House of Hacking, Wanda announces she received a fax from an old friend in Washington, who had seen the name Ethan Stevens and Portland and sent it through to Wanda. JB reads it and declares that the SEC were investigating Ethan Stevens for insider trading. She thinks it’s time they took another look at Ethan’s office.

A close inspection of the desk in Ethan’s office reveals no bumps from Dana’s head, and then Jessica realises something and long story short

To be fair I really thought the wife did it.

Surprise! The murder weapon was from a case Bruce tried! The missing millions have turned up in his accounts! Jess worked it all out because of a man bag that was there, but then it wasn’t, and Ethan Stevens didn’t carry one.

Bruce Hastings admits that the mystery man from the dinner/courthouse hallway was the inside man who helped arrange the insider trading for Bruce and Ethan Stevens.

Final Ethan Stevens count: 27. Approximately. To be honest I kind of lost count. If you did have a shot for every Ethan Stevens, then I salute you, also please go and have a big glass of water.

Later gang!

S09E17 – The Big Kill

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Welcome back to the Cove Fletcherfans, where a giant storm has parked itself. Despite this, local fisherman Henry Riddett is heading out anyway. Mort warns him as he helps load Henry’s boat, but Henry says the fish like to shelter in his nets, it will all be okay. Meanwhile, some dude named Phil Shannon stands in a truck with a loaded gun in his pants (not a metaphor). As Mort drives off, some other dude named Brian Bentall appears, warning against violence. Phil tells him Henry is going to get them all arrested, and Brian tells Phil that Henry isn’t the person who worries him.

Guys, I’ll be honest, the first time I watched this episode I started alphabetizing my books so I don’t entirely know what’s happening. We’ll discover it all together.

The next morning, with the storm still in residence, JB is contending with a whole lot of leaks and has Seth and local handyman Russell on the case. (The story of my childhood, minus having Seth on the roof. Nothing worse than a leaky roof!) Russell is grateful for the work, having lost his job when the factory closed down and is about to launch into some gratitude poetry but JB ain’t got time for that.

Life Lesson #71 – When delivering gratitude poetry it is important to read the room.

The person under that umbrella is Eve Simpson, who has blown in to invite Jessica and Seth to a party being hosted by Martin Fraser – Eve’s new boyfriend and He Who Laid Off The Staff At The Factory. Russell and Eve greet each other frostily, but Eve is far too excited about the party to dwell on such trivia.

Seth appears from the roof, after doing his back, but wants no part of Martin’s get together. JB notices his discomfort and offers to make him an appointment for her chiropractor over at Bar Harbour but Seth wants no part of that either. He’s going home to take two aspirin and he’ll call himself in the morning.

I mean he SAYS he was fixing the roof…

Meanwhile, over at Pantechnics HQ, Martin Fraser (aka Chad Everett) is having a crisis meeting with Carl Ward (aka Gregg Henry) and Brian Bentall (aka that guy from before). I don’t entirely know what they’re talking about but long story short the company is in trouble and Brian and Martin have been smuggling weapons out of Cabot Cove to make ends meet. Seems legit.

Down at the docks, Henry the fisherman gets a visit from his daughter Sarah, who is furious he went out in the storm. In response, Henry gives her an envelope with a thousand dollars in it, money collected from poker games and fishing (but actually from gun running). After Sarah leaves, Henry puts a call in to Mort, asking to meet. Mort offers to drive over now but Henry sees Phil watching him and arranges to meet him later that night, on his boat.

Jess and Seth are out for a casual stroll when they come across a traffic jam – a Pantechnics boat is being hauled in by a truck and no one appears to be terribly happy about it. Seth and JB run into Eve and Martin, who receives a frosty greeting from Seth.

At Eve and Martin’s house, Martin’s secretary Helen pops in to ask for a cheque for the caterers. While Martin is off writing it, Eve and Helen glower at each other for reasons I can only guess at. Presumably, Helen and Martin had a thing? I have no idea. I think they cut a bit too much back story out of this episode.

Later that night, as a shadowy figure leaves the dock, Mort goes to meet Henry on his boat but finds the boat filled with carbon monoxide and Henry dead from a whack to the head. Over breakfast at House Fletcher the next morning, Seth declares Henry must have passed out from the fumes and whacked his head, which killed him. Mort thinks its still a little weird that all the drawers were open and that the log book was missing, and that there are elephant footprints on the dock, but JB is far too busy correcting student papers and going over revisions for her next book to care. Mort and Seth leave, bickering.

Me getting home from anywhere with more than two people in it #introvertlyfe

Carl Ward, who it turns out is some sort of financial investigator either working for or investigating Pantechnics, visits Phil Shannon at his garage to find out why Pantechnics have been paying him, but Phil is giving him nothing. After Ward leaves, Phil puts a call in to someone to complain about Ward, the drums full of weapons he has stashed in his garage now that Henry’s shuffled off, and life in general.

That night Eve’s party takes place, and in between people waffling about undersea exploration (which apparently is what Pantechnics is into now? Literally no idea what they are talking about), and Mort inviting Brian Bentall to his weekly poker game the next night, and Eve and Helen throwing side-eye at each other (still unexplained), Martin has a clandestine meeting with someone called Walter Kurtz who may or may not be the shadowy person on Henry’s boat. Kurtz and Martin have a whispered fight about Henry’s death and the need to stick to their arrangement when Eve drags Martin away to meet some people. Carl Ward, watches the whole thing.

I honestly have no idea who anyone is or what anyone is doing.

The next day, probably, Ward confronts Martin with the news that he knows what Martin has been up to. The good news is that Ward won’t dob Martin in – if Martin gives Ward 1% of all the money he gets from the sale of the weapons. If Martin says no, the long awaited loan will not come through, and the feds will be called.

That night, Ward goes snooping around the Pantechnics boat and gets a whack on the head for his efforts. Meanwhile, the poker night at Mort’s house is well underway and Mort is cleaning up, much to the disgust of Seth and Deputy Andy. Brian, on the other hand, is more concerned with checking his messages than worrying about Mort’s antics. Over at Martin’s house Martin is throwing himself a massive pity party while Eve tries to find out what’s wrong.

Down at the docks the next morning Brian is wandering around, trying to see if anyone has seen Ward, when he finds him for himself, dead in the bottom of the Pantechnics boat which is full of carbon monoxide. JB pops by a short time later to discuss how similar it is to Henry’s death with Seth and Mort, who are surprised she remembers anything they said.

It’s always good to be reminded.

Brian overhears them talking and asks Mort if Ward was murdered, and Mort says maybe. Jessica thinks it’s an odd way to kill someone, there are much easier ways to do it. Seth thinks it’s one for the record books, which gives Jess an idea and she scurries off.

Back at the sheriff’s office Martin and Helen tell Mort their alibis for the previous evening – Helen was at her mother’s and Martin was working til one in the morning which will probably surprise Eve when she finds out. They waffle on about the loan and Ward’s report back to his office that they should reject it which comes as a surprise to Martin, but I’m so confused I don’t even care.

Seth drops around the coroner’s reports for Jess to read while he sneakily grabs the business card for the chiropractor. Henry’s daughter Sarah pops round with the news that her father had apparently sent her his log books in the post. A quick scan of the log books and a call to the coastguard reveals that a big ship sat waiting for three hours the night of the storm, but that Henry’s boat couldn’t get out due to the storm. Jess asks Mort what he saw the night of the storm, and he tells her they were loading drums, he assumed of oil.

They track the truck number to Phil Shannon’s garage, who tells them he was often asked to pick up oil drums from Pantechnics to take them to Henry’s boat, but that he hasn’t seen them since the night of the storm. Mort gets him to open his truck but it’s empty. Jess notices some rope which matches some rope she saw on the Pantechnics boat, which makes no sense because she never went on the boat, but whatevs, of course she’s right. Martin appears on the dock and tries to deny it but Mort arrests him for All The Murders anyway.

At the Sheriff’s office, Martin tells Mort that it wasn’t him it was an international gun runner and all around bad guy. “What’s his name, Goldfinger?” Asks Mort.

Martin tells him about Kurtz, and Jessica rattles off a description, from when she saw him at Martin’s party. Mort says he’s got no alibi for the murders, but then Eve pops in to tell them that Martin was with her both nights. Apparently, he was lying to protect Eve’s reputation? I don’t think he understands who this works.

Over lunch, Mort, Seth and JB discuss the case. Jess can’t work out why the killer whacked Ward but then waited two hours to turn on the carbon monoxide. Seth loudly exclaims (for the benefit of some nearby gossipers) that Eve and Martin have a secret lovechild in Paris and moans that gossip gets around Cabot Cove faster than a phone call.

This gives Jess an idea and she drags Mort away from his lunch to prove it.

Seth’s back is all better FYI

A quick stop at Pantechnics for a word with Brian and Helen et voila:

Brian of death. Whatever.

Jessica has apparently worked out that Brian called a circuit board that he’d placed in the boat engine so he could remotely turn on the boat engine. Except since JB wasn’t at the poker game I have no bloody idea how she worked this out.

Seriously, I don’t know if it was the writing or the editing but I’m still confused. I need a nap.

Later gang

 

S09E16 – Threshold of Fear

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In the Big Apple again Fletcherfans, where the good residents have issued the Fletcher-signal.

I mean they might possibly get murdered less, but the world would be far less interesting.

This time it’s the doorman Richie who is in need. He’s worried about one of the other residents, Alice Morgan, who hasn’t left her apartment in five years and now refuses to open her door.

Never one to let a Fletchsignal go unanswered, Jess accompanies Richie upstairs, where she eventually gets Alice to let her into her apartment.

I’ll think of something for this, leave it with me.

Alice is having a bit of a time – she’s started having dreams about the night her mother was murdered, and it’s all gone a bit wrong now that the person she dreamt killed her mother has turned up on TV spruiking his architectural amazingness.

Turns out he was in the Death on the Nile episode of Poirot I watched the other week too. Adjust your social medias accordingly.

Alice flips out, saying that in her dream Jordan Barnett (see above) kills her mother and then someone turns into an owl or something. Fortunately for everyone Alice’s doctor, Ellen Holden (aka Margot Kidder, aka Lois Lane) arrives and quickly boots JB out of the apartment.

Over at Jordan Barnett’s Emporium of Wonderment, Jordan is congratulating himself on another job well done when his assistant Laura shows him the list of enquiries the TV station got after his appearance on their show. He sees Alice’s name and rushes out. While he waits for his valet to collect his car, a dude named Ben harasses him about how Jordan stole his ideas for something but Jordan just puts his foot down and leaves in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile, at Dr Holden’s clinic, Ellen is stopped at the door by Alice’s brother Peter (aka the boss lady’s nephew), who demands she convince Alice to agree to sell the family brownstone.

Jessica, who can’t let a situation go unsnooped for the better of mankind, goes to see her friend Lieutenant Artie Gelber (aka Stan Szbornak from the Golden Girls). Artie is happy to let her go through his files, but she doesn’t find much – Alice’s mother was murdered five years ago, three months after her husband left her, and Jordan Barnett hadn’t been in New York for five years.

That night, Alice gets a knock at the door.

Well, that’s not half terrifying.

Alice calls down to Richie who summons the Avengers Jessica and Alice’s neighbour Henry. As the elevator doors open Jordan legs it. Richie chases him while Jessica tells Alice it’s all alright now, she can open the door. Dr Holden is summoned, and she pumps a whole lot of drugs into Alice before throwing Henry and JB out, insisting that Alice needs to be left alone, she’s just too fragile.

Jess and Artie pop round Jordan’s office the next day to see what’s up. Jordan insists he went there because the name matched someone he used to date, but it wasn’t the person he thought it was and so he legged it when she freaked out and a horde of angry neighbours descended upon him. Fair enough, says Artie, and leaves him to a pissed off Laura, who has been fielding messages from Dr Holden.

Jess invites Alice’s brother Peter (actually her stepbrother, but whatever) around to find out why his father bailed, but more specifically whether Jordan Barnett had anything to do with Alice or Peter or Alice’s mother. Peter isn’t giving out info for free though – he wants JB to convince Alice to sell the house, and Dr Holden hasn’t come through. Jessica says she’ll see what she can do, and Peter tells her that he thinks his father was going to hire Jordan to renovate the house.

Speaking of, Jordan is busy working late with Dr Holden, who is insisting that Laura gets her marching orders, or Alice might start to believe that her dreams are real. Later, when he’s waiting for a cab, someone helpfully comes up and stabs in the chest, leading to one of the most energetic death scenes of this whole show. Trust me, it’s pretty great.

Artie Gelber rolls down to investigate and spots a necklace on the ground. He orders his sidekick Detective Grady (if ever there was an oxymoron) to pick it up and take it to forensics, Gelber’s back is killing him. Later, they interview Ben the guy who yelled at Jordan, who swears he didn’t kill him he was just pissed that Jordan screwed him when he left town suddenly five years ago.

Over brunch, Artie and JB discuss the situation. Jess has a theory – Jordan found Alice’s mothers body back in the day, and that he was killed because he worked out who the actual killer was. Meanwhile, Peter bashes on Alice’s door, demanding she sign the papers to sell the house so they can get back to being the brother and sister they always were. Alice tells them they were never really brother and sister and begs him to go away. Henry pops his head out as Peter leaves and goes to check on Alice. They have a lovely awkward cup of tea and listen to Chopin before Henry shuffles out backwards. (Watch this episode, there’s some awesome weird stuff going on and I like it).

Down at the precinct, Artie gets a call that his daughter is going into labour and tells Grady the case is his, and not to screw it up.

 

 

I think we’ve all heard that before.

Jess stops by Alice and Peter’s old house to summon a ghost or do a seance or some such business. She finds a paperweight with an owl on it, thereby solving the mysterious case of the owl. (#TheOwlsAreNotWhatTheySeem #TwinPeaks #TeachMeHowToDougie). Peter appears and asks her what she’s doing there, she tells him she just wanted to see the place, Alice gave her a key. She says Alice told her Peter was away at school the night her mother died and he says he was. He also says he has no idea where his father is or why he left, but thanks JB for going in to bat for him with Alice.

#LadyOlennaForever

Jessica arrives home at her apartment building to discover that Detective Grady has taken it upon himself to arrest Alice for the murder of Jordan Barnett, because agoraphobia shmagoraphobia.

Grady by name, Grady by nature.

Grady apologises for bollocksing up the investigation but does point out that the locket they found at the murder scene belonged to Alice. Both Jessica and Artie wonder who had access to Alice’s apartment who might have taken the locket. Henry excuses himself and goes back to his apartment.

Later that night, Alice knocks on JB’s door. Ironically, getting arrested has shown her she has nothing to fear in the big bad world, and she’d like Jessica to accompany her to the old brownstone to confront her memories. When they arrive, Alice talks JB through her mother’s murder but freaks out at the thought of the hawk that I thought was owl, whatever I’m not a doctor.

Jessica thinks she knows who killed Alice’s mother, and it wasn’t Jordan Barnett, but a squeaky floorboard upstairs tells JB they need to get back to Alice’s apartment.

Because, you guys…

It was only a matter of time…

He killed them! He killed them all! Because Barnett had an affair with Alice’s mother, and there was no one left to defend his father’s honour except Peter. Oh, it wasn’t a paperweight, it was a bike helmet and that’s what Alice saw. Ohhhhhh I’m really not good at this.

But it’s okay you guys. Peter got arrested, Dr Holden got suspended for being a crap psychiatrist and Henry and Alice are taking JB to the philharmonic or a Metallica gig I forget which. Whatever, the sun’s out.

Later gang!

S09E15 – The Petrified Florist

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Guys, this episode sucked. And for the main reason why just scroll down to the end. Otherwise, you could just watch this video of a puffin going about its puffin business. Puffins are my favourite animal. Seriously, go google puffins doing things, it will be much more entertaining and probably relevant to this episode, to be honest.

Welcome back to La La Land Fletcherfans, where JB is visiting her old pal Frances Hunt, editor in chief of A-List, a gossip magazine that seems to think Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone once had a thing lets not dwell on that. All is not well on the A-List on account of a rival magazine keeps out-scooping them and Frances’s business partner Junie Cobb is livid.

As Frances and JB head out into the smoggy LA afternoon, JB bumps into Lieutenant Gabriel Caceras, who JB apparently helped out on a case a while ago (strictly speaking that is true). He tells JB to call him but she’s far too busy this trip, she promises she’ll see him next time.

The next day, one of Frances’s writers, George Erwin, drops off some pages for Frances to look at, and the maid confuses him with the wine delivery guy. Frances invites him to the dinner she’s hosting for Jessica that night. That is literally what happens. So, y’know, there’s that.

That night the party kicks off. Junie is keen to meet celebrity plastic surgeon Dr Johnny Windhurst, not that her husband minds. They sit down to dinner and complain about the competition. Florist Billy Kyle delivers a table bouquet late. JB falls asleep at the table and wakes when Betty the maid drops a glass. She takes herself off to bed, because jetlag.

The next morning, JB is out and about when she wanders past Billy Kyle’s store and bumps into the lieutenant.

This episode sucks you guys.

Billy Kyle, who was stabbed to death not petrified, has been dead for some time. The Lieutenant finds some thousand dollar bills in the till which rules out robbery. What even is this?

JB and the lieutenant wander down to A List to interview the other party guests who all alibi up because why not. Over dinner that night, Frances grills JB for more information, but JB says the Lieutenant is still looking for the killer – the clerk who quit on Billy the day he died was on a flight to Seattle at the time of the murder. Frances excuses herself to take a phone call and Jess finds Billy’s organizer on the floor. Frances gets off the phone and Jessica tells her she needs to stop dealing in gossip and start writing her novels again.

THIS EPISODE IS GIVING ME NOTHING. NOTHING. I JUST…NO.

Here’s JB walking down a street hunting clues.

I like that jacket. The jacket is so far the only thing I’ve cared about in this whole episode.

A clue comes in via flip-phone – George the writer’s prints were on the envelope with the definitely fake thousand dollar bills in it. George confesses that he delivers payments on behalf of Frances. And then I continued not really caring because this episode is just pointless.

Caceras heads over to Frances’s house to interrupt her canoodling with Doctor Windhurst to ask that she explain herself down at the precinct. Frances admits to visiting Billy at the store the night he died. At this point I started calculating Richmond’s chances in the finals and then thought about cheese.

WHY? WHY IS THINGS?

This is a picture of JB talking to Mrs Dubcek from 3rd Rock From The Sun because she is apparently a nurse at a clinic where some sort of famous footballer is hiding out from the media for reasons I genuinely don’t care about. Apparently, JB suspects him of murdering Billy Kyle because Billy found out the footballer was faking an injury to get his contract paid out. Fortunately for the football player, he was nailing a nurse at the time of the murder.

And then I googled puffins again. Seriously, guys, puffins are the best.

This is pretty much me watching this episode, to be honest.

Although I quite like flamboyant cuttlefish because they are appropriately named. And I like cassowaries because they are basically dinosaurs and could kill you if they felt like it and I think that’s appropriate for Australia because basically everything in this country is out to get you.

Oy. I just googled the actress that plays Junie in this episode – she was the original Hot Lips in the MASH movie and has had a considerable amount of work done.

Anyway, some more stuff happens and JB has an epiphany and long story short

Yeah. Alright.

So Junie killed the florist guy because she was having an affair with Dr Whatsisface and he found out about it and was blackmailing her so she killed him but you guys.

IT.

WAS.

A.

DREAM.

This whole episode was JB dreaming at the dinner table. And I’m mad. I HATE EPISODES WHEN IT WAS A DREAM THE WHOLE TIME. This is exactly like the time Macgyver got knocked out and woke up in King Arthur’s court and I’m not even making that up, that actually happened. Dream episodes are nonsense and I hate them with a fiery passion.

So yeah, this episode put me in a bad mood. This episode, and the Nazis wandering about Virginia, and the Australian government refusing to do its job about legalizing same sex marriage, and the bajillion other things going wrong at the moment.

So I’m going to google more puffins doing things because frankly, puffins have their shit together way more than humans do right now.

Later gang.

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