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S06E06 – Dead Letter

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I am pleased to report we are back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans, just in time for the annual Fire Station Fundraising Rummage Sale, where children climb on old fire engines. Jess thinks it’s funny that all kids want to be a fireman, but Seth tells her he never played fireman, he was too busy playing doctor.

I bet you were

As they wander the rummage sale, and bemoan the lack of attendance (and the quality of the sale items) they run into local antique dealer Lois Fricksey, who asks them what they think of the rummage sale this year.

Seth's response is my response whenever someone makes me be tactful.

Seth’s response is my response whenever someone makes me be tactful.

Lois’s husband Bud is in charge of the second hand furniture stall and JB is on the hunt for a new bureau/chest of drawers so while JB drags Seth off to go drawers shopping (heh heh), Lois receives a welcome lemonade from one of the volunteer firefighters, Ron Stiller.

JB and Seth find the thing they’re looking for, and bump into local accountant Stanley Holmes in the process. He tells JB the drawers are a steal for $50, but when Jessica goes to find Bud to give him a cheque she instead finds him about to start a brawl with fire chief Carl Wilson. Lois tries to step in, but he yells at her for taking everyone else’s side and storms off. Before JB can follow him, Mayor Sam Booth launches into his welcome speech.

Side note:

ARGH THESE TWO I CAN'T EVEN

ARGH THESE TWO I CAN’T EVEN

Later on, Jess visits the furniture store of Fred Owens, who also happens to be the treasurer of the fire engine fundraising fund for fundraisers. He’s busy trying to make a sale though, so he sends her in to Stanley to get a receipt for the cheque. As she does so, she notices a photo of Stanley’s fiancee on the desk, but what I’d really like to talk about is the number of times the words SMALL BUREAU get uttered in this episode and I swear to god they need to stop because as it turns out I really freaking hate the word bureau #TheMoreYouKnow.

But anyway.

When Jess gets to painting her drawers (ahahaha oh I am tired) she discovers that one of the drawers is stuck. Always quick to help Jess with her drawers (AHAHAHAHAHA) Seth had a bit of a fiddle and manages to prise it open – an unopened envelope, written in a woman’s hand and addressed to Bud Fricksey, Lois’s husband, was wedged in the back. Doing her civic duty as a citizen of Cabot Cove, and absolutely not sticky-beaking, Jess takes it around to Bud who is less than impressed with the contents, whatever they are.

One can only assume bad news, since the next day we find Bud in his car with binoculars trained on his wife, who is having trouble with her gas tank. Fortunately her pal Ron is there to help her out – until Bud comes up, orders his wife home and punches Ron in the face. Well that escalated.

Later that night, Jess, Seth, Mort and Mayor Sam Booth are in a meeting at the Mayor’s office to appoint a new fire chief. Now I have some follow-up questions about this, namely is this the town council? Or are these four people running the show behind the scenes ARE THEY IN FACT ILLUMINATI OMG I’M RIGHT AREN’T I?

Anyway, the old fire chief is resigning to spend more time with his family, to which Sam says at least he knew some people who weren’t that selfish.

Seth has no time for this.

Seth has no time for this.

Sam has a few thoughts about who should replace Carl as fire chief, namely himself. Mort suggests his wife Adele, since she had fire warden training in the marines but Seth and Sam pooh-pooh that idea, to which Jess demands to know why shouldn’t the fire chief be a woman DAMN STRAIGHT JB I’M SORRY I ACCIDENTALLY IMPLIED YOU WERE IN THE ILLUMINATI.

All this talk of fires, and wouldn’t you know it a building has just caught fire, specifically Fred Owen’s furniture store. They rush to the scene but Cabot Cove’s finest have already got the situation under control. While Sam whinges about another missed opportunity, JB passes the comment that Fred Owens is conspicuously absent from the crowd.

Inside, the fire fighters have made a discovery – Bud Fricksey’s body has been found in the back office. They summon Seth who confirms Bud died from smoke inhalation, presumably from fighting the fire. Mayor Sam starts a soliloquy about the virtues of Bud Fricksey, which lead to several new ideas including a statue in his honour and naming the fire engine fund after him.

Mort is not impressed with this news as he catches deputy Floyd up to speed. He’s even less impressed when he gets a visit from insurance investigator Connie Kowalski, who informs him that it was definitely arson and that she will sort it out for him because she’s an expert and he’s not.

Mort mad.

Mort mad.

Down at the crime scene they find Fred surveying the damage. Connie is quick to start interrogating him, much to Mort’s disgust but unfortunately for Fred he doesn’t have a good alibi for the night before. He tells her that he had no reason to burn the business, since it was doing so well, and the only reason that he upped his insurance coverage was to stop all the harassing phone calls and letters from the insurance company.

Meanwhile, JB is bothered by something completely different. She’s convinced that it’s not a coincidence that on the same day she gives Bud a dead letter, Bud is found dead. WITCHCRAFT! Seth tells her to calm down, but she’s curious about the origins of the bureau. She visits newly retired postal worker Agnes, who donated the b-word to the sale, and asks her about the letter. Agnes tells her that she was ordered not to deliver the letter by Lois, who’d written it while at her sisters in Boston, but had second thoughts and asked Agnes to destroy it. She couldn’t do that, postal regulations and all, so she stuck it in a drawer.

JB pays a visit to Lois who confirms what we’ve all figured out – she wrote that letter saying she was leaving Bud but changed her mind, it was a horrible and she’s glad he never saw it.

Oh d-d-d-dear

Oh d-d-d-dear

Lois had no idea that the letter had resurfaced, which leads Jessica to wonder where it is. Unfortunately for Lois, Mort found it on Bud’s body and has no intention of keeping its contents secret as the letter clear provides motive for the murder of Bud – because, as we and Jess are finding out, Bud wasn’t killed by the fire he was killed by a severe blow to the head.

JB and Mort return to Lois to ask for the name of her lover, but she won’t give him up and anyway he’s too kind and sensitive and dedicated to peace and non-violence.

Lois’s lover is Ghandi? Wait, Lois’s lover is Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise?

Mort only succeeds in making Lois cry so they return to the sheriff’s office where Connie the insurance investigator has just confirmed that the fire was deliberately lit using benzene. She has no interest in the dead body, she’s too busy nailing Fred Owens for the arson. Everything else isn’t her problem.

What a delight and a treasure.

What a delight and a treasure.

Connie declares she will do her thing, and the Sheriff will do his, and whomever solves the case first wins.

Sheriff Snake Eyes agrees.

Nicholas Cage would be proud of that crazy eye action.

Nicholas Cage would be proud of that crazy eye action.

Despite the crazy eyes, Mort hasn’t actually got a case. Fortunately he does have Jessica who points out they now know the source of the fire, now they need to find out where the benzene came from. Jess remembers Lois telling her about Bud’s jealous rage at the petrol station. Petrol stations have benzene!

They head straight to Ron’s petrol station but he’s not there – he’s at the firehouse attending to important business in the form of a high stakes poker game. Mort drags him away for questioning but he doesn’t fit the perfect lover profile Lois was describing. They are interrupted by Connie dragging Stanley in and celebrating her victory – it turns out Fred’s business was failing and he owed money all over town. Jess still thinks that’s not a motive for murder, and even when Connie says that probably it was a case of Bud catching Fred in action and Fred hitting him with whatever was handy Jess remains unmoved.

At Lois’s JB manages to wrangle the truth out of her – there was no lover, she’d just said that in the letter to make Bud think he had competition, but when he finally read the letter it made him jealous, not a better husband. She shows JB a picture of them looking happy and JB has brainwave.

It was there all along. But it wasn’t.

And yes I was pretending I was in A Streetcar Named Desire when I wrote that.

And yes I was pretending I was in A Streetcar Named Desire when I wrote that.

Poor old Stanley. He has a champagne girlfriend but a passion pop budget and so to pay for his fancy new girlfriend he got crazy with the embezzling and tried to destroy the evidence and clonked Bud on the head. That old chestnut.

So that’s depressing. But the good news is that Cabot Cove has a brand spanking new fire engine! And on that note, I bid you farewell. Let us all enjoy this week’s freeze frame together.

Until next time.

Herp-a-derp, Fletcherfans. Herp-a-derp.

Herp-a-derp, Fletcherfans. Herp-a-derp.

 

S06E05 – Jack and Bill

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Disclaimer: This episode was ridiculous.  Believe me when I say any similarity between this recap and the actual episode is coincidental. 

It’s storytime again Fletcherfans!

Oy. I can't believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

Oy. I can’t believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

JB has just seen a dog run past, and that reminds her that she has to send her pal Bill Boyle a letter. Bill Boyle, for those of you playing along at home, was an NFL star until his knees gave out and then he became a private detective. An incredibly unsuccessful detective.

Apparently, that all changes when he meets Jack. But before he meets Jack, he gets a visit from a man named Johnny Wheeler, who is faking blind and beating up shady characters in mens bathrooms with a poodle.

Even I couldn't make this up. And I invented  Octopus Noir.

Even I couldn’t make this up. And I invented Octopus Noir.

While Johnny is doing whatever the hell that is, Bill Boyle is in his office getting the bad news from his accountant. He’s broke, a fact he is trying to keep secret from his real estate broker girlfriend Celia. He’s pretty despondent when he gets a knock at the door – it’s Johnny Wheeler, and his friend Jack.

Just what?

Just what?

I should also point out something about Johnny Wheeler:

Fun fact: Max Baer Jr couldn't get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying 'Never go full hillbilly.'

Truth based reporting: Max Baer Jr couldn’t get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying ‘Never go full hillbilly.’

Also for those playing along at home Bill Boyle was previously seen as Hank Shipton that time.

Johnny departs in a rush, thanking Bill for dog-sitting for a couple of hours while he runs an errand, a turn of events Bill did not really agree to. Time passes, and when Johnny doesn’t resurface Bill takes Jack on a stakeout where some “comedy hijinks” ensue, by which I mean there’s another dog and a pretty girl and some barking and what even is this episode.

Back at the office, Johnny still hasn’t turned up but the place has been ransacked. A woman claiming to be Johnny’s wife walks in to pick up the dog, who she calls Marmalade, and pulls a gun when Bill suggests calling his ex-brother-in-law cop. This makes Jack mad! JACK SMASH!

Also this happens:

I just don't even.

I just don’t even.

The lady sneaks into the elevator and makes her escape. Bill and Jack are set to follow when the other elevator opens to reveal Lou Brickman, the aforementioned brother-in-law, with the news that Johnny Wheeler is in the hospital with two bullets in his chest. Unfortunately by the time they get to the hospital he’s dead with three IV bags in his hand.

Later that night, Bill has dinner at Lou’s place. While Lou’s dog goes mental in the laundry room, Lou wants to know more about Johnny Wheeler. Bill tells him what he knows, and is surprised to learn that while Johnny did travel up from Puerto Rico, it was under an assumed name.

Returning home to the set of Melrose Place, Bill takes time out to chat up a hot tub full of stewardesses before going up to his apartment where he is attacked by a horde of ninjas/the Hitcher’s sidekicks from Mighty Boosh. They demand ‘it’ which they still haven’t found despite searching both of Johnny’s bags. They try and pooch-nap Jack, who objects and goes at them. Two end up off the balcony in the swimming pool, the other runs.

Wondering just what the deal is with Jack, Bill puts a call in to his brother-in-law and takes Jack to the police kennels to be x-rayed, but nothing turns up. Back at the office Bill is delighted to see his former secretary Mona is back, after getting fired from her ad agency job for telling a client what she thought of him. As she goes into a long story about her mother packing her bags and coming for a visit Bill has a brainwave: the ninjas said they searched both of Johnny’s bags, but Johnny was holding three IV bags in his had which clearly means there’s another bag at the checked bag counter!

DUH YOU GUYS.

Bill and Jack head down to the baggage claim, and skillfully evade the baggage clerk to retrieve the third bag. Inside, Bill finds a film roll (bless) and takes it in to Lou and Agent Browder, who summon a lip reading expert to decipher what the two men in the footage are saying. It turns out Johnny Wheeler was a super-spy, and he was killed for discovering that the man in the footage, a hitman, was being hired to go to the US to kill someone on the 25th at 7:30pm. Conveniently, the 25th is today.

While the gang are across town making their final plans and pushing ahead, despite not finding the film, Bill is home getting grief from the building manager about his lack of rent paying and sudden increase in dog. While he gets dinner ready for Jack, and gets himself ready for his date with Celia, Celia herself calls to say dinner with the client she’s buttering up is cancelled. Bill offers to bring Chinese food round instead, but hits a snag when he tries to leave – Jack begins barking like mad. Bill gives up and takes Jack to his buddy Cricket at the bar to dogsit for a couple of hours. At the bar he catches a news story about the president of a mysterious South American country attending a football game that night and recognises one of the reporters in the press pack as the woman who masqueraded as Johnny’s wife. He calls the police station looking for Lou Brickman but finds out he’s already at the stadium.

Bill barges through the security, tells Lou that the Prez is the target and the woman is disguised as a reporter. They crash into the room where the press conference is being held and arrest them all, but not before A GUY WITH A MASSIVE MULLET PULLS OUT A VIDEO CAMERA WITH A BAZOOKA IN IT.

Talk about burying the lead.

Talk about burying the lead.

Bad guys nailed, Agent Browder takes Bill and Jack to meet President Ruiz. Turns out President Ruiz is a massive football fan and fangirls out over meeting Bad Bill Boyle but Bill is distracted by Jack’s constant barking. At the last second, he looks at the clock, looks at the waiter, realises the waiter is desperately trying to UNCORK A CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE FULL OF EXPLOSIVES and spear tackles him across the bar, saving the day yet again.

Case closed, Bill is set to depart off into the night and tries to hand the dog back to the CIA, but Agent Browder has bad news – Jack is going to have to be put down if he doesn’t go to the correct home. Bill is outraged, so Agent Browder “reluctantly” lets Bill keep the dog.

So while we mull over the fact that this episode was basically the sequel of Turner and Hooch, and that THERE WAS A VIDEO CAMERA BAZOOKA AND I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP, let us also consider this very important point:

Like a boss.

Like a boss.

And on that note,

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E04 – The Error Of Her Ways

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Welcome to sunny Palm Springs Fletcherfans, where JB has travelled to meet with her accountant and solve the murder of Clark Randall – his wife Marian bumped him off and has just been arrested by Lieutenant JT Hanna, aka Elliot Gould who when he was young looked like Eric Bogosian and I am still confused about who is who and when is when but anyway the point is Marian’s sister Linda Dixon declares it’s ridiculous to arrest Marian based on the farfetched hypothesis of some meddling mystery writer.

Shots fired.

Shots fired.

Clark Randall, so it was thought, had been killed by an intruder after speaking to his wife on the phone earlier to invite everyone around for steaks. His watch had been stolen, but JB noticed the blinking light on the answering machine, indicating a message. By the time JB goes to the kitchen and brings a glass of water back for Marian the light has stopped blinking.

Marian denies everything, but has no explanation for how Clark could have answered her call when JB’s accountant called almost immediately after and got no answer on the phone. To top it all off, JT tells her the bullet in her husband matches a bullet retrieved from a man who’d been shot after trying to break into Clark and Marian’s about a year earlier – both bullets were fired from the same gun.

Case closed, JT tells JB that he’s impressed with her call about the blinking answering machine light and tells her to stop by his office the next day to take a deposition about the case. JB tells him she and her accountant were not planning to fly out for several days.

The next day over at the town bank a meeting of the minds is taking place – it’s just been discovered that all the money about to be invested in a new housing development being overseen by Clark Randall has disappeared, and they now have a little over 300 dollars with which to build a golf course and houses.

Awkward.

Over in the police station Marian is freaking the hell out, a situation not helped when Linda informs Marian that there’s no money in the account to bail her out. Linda tries to get Marian to think about what assets she can use as bond, but Marian says Clark was her only asset (ew). Linda tells her they need to find the money or else she’ll remain in jail until the trial but Marian says she’ll die first.

The following day, JB is in an investors meeting finding out what has happened to the money. Home-buyer Pauline Byrne is disgusted to learn that the suppliers get their money back before the home-owners do, while one of the older ladies who’d invested her late husband’s life insurance is convinced that dear old Clarksey couldn’t have stolen the money, prompting JT to inform her that she wasn’t the only one of Randall’s female clients who called him Clarksey.

JB’s mind is somewhere else. In fact, I couldn’t decide where it was, so at this point you may choose.

Oh captain my captain.

Oh captain my captain.

Haha I can't believe I got this into an episode, you're welcome Krystle.

Haha I can’t believe I got this into an episode, you’re welcome Krystle.

With JB’s accountant Ward Silloway apologising profusely for the omnishambles, JT offers JB a lift home. On the way he informs her that Marian made bail, courtesy of her sister who put up her house as collateral. The DA offered Marian murder 2 but she refused it.

Can you think of a single reason why not? Damn straight you can't.

Can you think of a single reason why not? Damn straight you can’t.

It must have been a big week for you, JT says to JB. “I bet you’ve never seen a corpse before.”

e1

JT gets a call on his car phone – Marian Clarke locked herself in her garage, turned her car on and committed suicide. The J’s head on over to Marian’s house, where Linda is hysterical with rage saying that Marian was determined to fight the charge, and had hired a private detective to try and find Clark’s missing watch but that Marian wasn’t brave and was terrified she would go to jail for a crime she didn’t commit. The Palm Springs version of Seth Hazlitt declares Marian’s death a suicide, and finds anabarbitol in the house which seems to seal the deal.

Later, Linda gets a phonecall from the private detective hired by Marian. He’s found the watch in a pawnshop – the guy who hocked it was some random generic hobo. Fired up, Linda goes down to the police station and informs JT and JB that she’s suing them all for wrongful death. JT freaks out, but Our Heroine is convinced that it changes nothing.

JT heads over to see bank manager Kay Weber to reconfirm the events leading up to Clark’s death and finds the investor Pauline just leaving, after having requested help from Kay tracking down the money only to discover Kay had just been fired. Kay confirms everything he already knows – that they were at a function for the investors, Marian called Clark and then told everyone to come round for steaks and 20 minutes later when they got to the Randall house Clark was dead. She couldn’t remember if Marian went near the answering machine,

JB on the other hand is already at the Randall house, looking at some flowers when she suddenly wonders where the steaks are. JT finds her going through the contents of the fridge but there are no steaks to be found. Deputy Kruger appears to tell JT that the doc needs to speak to him – it turns out that Marian was full of Nardane, a powerful tranquilizer, confirming what the doc had said earlier when he found the bottle.

But, as JB points out, it wasn’t Nardane they found it was anabarbitol. They go to see the doc in person, who has just discovered via Marian’s GP that Marian was allergic to Nardane and so wouldn’t have had any in the house. JT orders Jessica off the case and goes to see the realtor in charge of the new development, Sterling Bose (previously seen as the boss cop in Die Hard) who it turns out has just lost his job too. He gives JT the list of homeowners and investors and tells him about his new job selling an estate up the road. As JT departs, Sterling gets a phone call from Pauline Byrne, seemingly asking him out to dinner but actually at the request of Linda Dixon who is still determined to clear her sister’s name. Conveniently their dinner takes place in the same restaurant Jessica is dining with her accountant and worrying that she was wrong about Marian. Sterling tells Gill and Jess that he thinks Pauline is hunting for information about the money. Jess points out that he was the last person to see Clark alive, to which Sterling agrees, saying that he drove Clark home – Clark’s car was being repaired and Marian had the other one.

Back at Sterling’s house, Sterling is keen to bust some funky moves on Pauline but she’s more conscious of the fact that Linda is in Sterling’s house looking for clues to the location of the money. Pauline sounds the horn as she pulls up with Sterling, the signal for Linda to get out of the house, and then takes off leaving Sterling in the driveway looking very forlorn.

In JT’s office the next morning, Jessica disguises herself as a newspaper.

MAD SKILLZ YO

MAD SKILLZ YO

While JT tries to throw her out (and yells at Deputy Kruger for coffee) JB explains why she’s there. She couldn’t sleep, and she suddenly remembered JT taking something out of Clark’s pockets after he searched the body.

“You mean his passport?” Asks JT.

Deputy Kruger appears with the news that the coffee machine is broken. JB, naturally, shares her coffee with JT.

Well, I say coffee.

Shoutout to all the bartenders who don't measure their shots #heroes

Shoutout to all the bartenders who don’t measure their shots #heroes

Booze dispensed, JB goes on. She didn’t think anything of Clark Randall having his passport on him at the time, but at the time they didn’t know that 3 million dollars had wandered off. JT sees where she’s going with this, and tells her to get on the phone they have airlines to call.

Finally, a breakthrough – tickets were purchased for the night of the murder for a flight from LAX to Buenos Aires… in the names of Mr and Mrs Randall.

Jess looks confused. Marian Randall had no idea her husband was leaving the country. Mrs Randall wasn’t the droid they were looking for. The airline calls JT back and asks if it’s okay to reverse the transaction back to the credit card used to make payment on the booking. JB thinks that’s hardly a priority for Clark Randall, but JT tells he didn’t book the tickets – former bank vice-president Kaye Webber did.

The Js find Kay at the tennis club, and it doesn’t take long for her to break down. She was having an affair with Clark and was going to go to Buenos Aires with him but they were going to come back as far as she knew, despite the one way plane tickets. She had no idea where the money was, but does admit to being at Clark and Marian’s house on the day of the murder. She tells the Js that she always thought Marian knew about the affair but didn’t do anything about it. She casually mentions the hire car Clark had out the front of his house, which makes no sense to Jess as Sterling had told her he’d given Clark a lift because his car was in the shop. And why leave the car out on the street when the garage was empty.

Now here’s when it gets tricky Fletcherfans.

JT discovers the name on the car rental is Pauline Byrne. They pick her up for questioning and before long Deputy Kruger appears with a briefcase with 3 million dollars in it.

Pauline comes clean. She had gone round to the Randall house to meet Clark but was surprised to find Marian home, arguing with Clark. Clark told her he was leaving her, she made a grab for the bag to see if the identity of the other woman was in it, he grabs it back, she shoots him, he falls down, money falls out of the bag and Marian faints.

Seizing the opportunity, Pauline goes in to grab the money but finds Clark still alive. He tells her to call a doctor, but instead she smothers him with a pillow, takes the money and runs.

“But not the watch and the money in his wallet?” Asks JT. “Then who did that?”

JB’s theory: Marian, in order to cover up the fact that she thought she killed her husband. She left it out for a hobo to find, and then make a point to hire the detective to find it again later.

As for Marian, when the news of the embezzlement was about to break, Pauline killed Marian to stop her telling everyone who took the money.

So, to sum up:

My head hurts.

My head hurts.

But I think we’ve learned a valuable lesson here. Not exactly a Life Lesson, but a lesson nonetheless:

Jessica Fletcher is Never Wrong
(Even when she is technically wrong.)

And on that note,

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E03 – The Grand Old Lady

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a2

Jessica is very sad today girls and boys. One of her idols, Lady Abigail Austin, has just passed away aged 101. Or possibly older. She’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma and she is no more.

Reading the obituary, Jessica was reminded of something she’d forgotten – that Lady Abigail was once caught up in a real life mystery, “and as you know, that’s something I’m familiar with.” It was not quite the same for Lady Abigail.

It was two years after World War 2 had ended and Lady Abigail was sailing on the Queen Mary, one night away from docking in New York City.

*CUE TRAVELLING BACKWARDS IN TIME MUSIC*

On the Queen Mary, we find a man looking distinctly concerned/beaten over the head, rushing about the corridors until he staggers into the pursers office. He asks to see the captain but the purser has no idea where he is, instead suggesting a trip to the ship’s hospital to fix the cut on Mr Danikan’s head. Mr Danikan hands him a note, orders him to have it telegraphed immediately and rushes off.

Up in the ship’s bar, Lady Abigail herself is kicking back with a champagne while Edwin Chancellor (played by Robert Vaughn whom as we all know in my head was in BASEketball,  this episode of Murder, She Wrote and some things that weren’t BASEketball) sucks up and begs her to come and write for his detective radio show, a thing she seems disinclined to do.

You know I hate to bring facts into this, but Abigail is being played by June Havoc, aka the real life Baby June from Gypsy, which was turned into a musical starring Angela Lansbury #Lansception

You know I hate to bring facts into this, but Abigail is being played by June Havoc, aka the real life Baby June from Gypsy, which starred Angela Lansbury as Rose #Lansception

They are soon joined by Captain Oliver, who is cruising about the bar making sure everyone is nice and boozed, probably. Before he can partake, there is a crash through the doors – it’s Danikan and he’s been stabbed. He shouts “Kapitan” a few times then collapses, dead.

Back in New York word about the murder has reached a certain newspaper office where Christy McGinn is trying to convince his boss to let him write more than just the crossword puzzles. Krumholtz wants nothing to do with him – until he finds out that the detective in charge is Christy’s father Martin McGinn, and that the ship is currently sitting in quarantine at the docks in New York.

On board, people are somewhat displeased at not being allowed off the ship. One such passenger, Arthur Bishop, begs the officer standing guard but the officer is unmoved. Orders are orders and all that jazz. Down below, Lieuteneant McGinn is getting the pursers statement (inexplicably with Edwin Chancellor) when words trickles down that Christy is trying to get on board the ship. Martin tells the captain to let him on. Christy is excited to tell his father about his new assignment covering the case but Martin is less enthusiastic, until Edwin offers to escort Christy to the gangway at which time Martin declares Christy stays. Edwin tells them all about how he’s a material witness due to seeing Danikan collapse in the bar with Lady Abigail, and on hearing about Lady Abigail’s presence on the ship Christy takes off to the A deck to meet her.

Up on deck Paul Viscard wheels his father Henri around, while Eleanor Cantrell and Daniel Maguire pretend like they don’t know each other while dealing with the fact that their affair is continuing a little longer. Christy finds Lady Abigail sunning herself, and confesses himself a huge fan of her books. Upon learning his name Lady Abigail declares herself to be a massive fan of his crossword puzzles and is delighted that they will be working together to solve the case. She tells him what the purser told Martin McGinn, with the added bonus of knowing what the message was that Danikan wanted sent – it was a note to his wife saying he was under the weather but that Sikorsky says hello and that they met him in Vienna in 1937.

Christy doesn’t see the significance until Lady Abigail tells him that CLEARLY Sikorsky is Andrei Sikorsky, legendary chess player presumed killed during the war. She shows him a book containing details of the match between Sikorsky and another player Von Richter, in which Sikorsky won after pulling a stunt that became known as Sikorsky’s Ploy. CLEARLY, Abigail explains, Danikan is Sikorsky! Or Von Richter! Or someone else being pursued by Sikorsky or Von Richter!

KEEP UP CHRISTY (or as I am calling him, 80s Alan Tudyk)

KEEP UP CHRISTY (or as I am calling him, 80s Alan Tudyk)

Christy is summoned by his father so he escorts Lady Austin inside, while unbeknownst to either of them Edwin Chancellor lurks on the gangway above them, eavesdropping on their entire conversation. Martin McGinn has already made progress on the motive and introduces them to US Treasury Agent Lennihan, who is less than enthused about sharing state secrets but informs them that Danikan was not Danish, but German.

“By the name of Von Richter I believe?” Says Lady Abigail.

“His name was Otto Krietzmann and he was an ex Gestapo officer.” Says Lennihan.

But points for trying,

But points for trying,

According to Lennihan, Danikan/Kreitzmann was part of a Nazi operation during the war to print millions of counterfeit US dollars to debase the currency and plunge the country into chaos. Before they could enact their Evil Plan of Evil, the war ended. The plates were presumed lost until word got out two months earlier that the plates were going to be smuggled into America by a gang of ex-Gestapo officers including Danikan and his wife. Scotland Yard were on the case and had trailed him as far as Heathrow but lost him. They only learned of his presence on the Queen Mary a day after it had sailed. Christy asks the captain if there were many people who booked to sail at the last minute. The captain says he believes so, and will check the books.

Meanwhile, Edwin Chancellor has taken it upon himself to start investigating passenger rooms below decks before being busted by passenger Nicholas Crane. Martin McGinn and the captain are called, and Chancellor informs them that despite knowing noone on board Danikan had been seen playing chess with Crane. Crane tells them he doesn’t know anything and they let him go, much to Chancellor’s horror. He tells them they are making a big mistake, that Crane is CLEARLY an alias for Von Richter and Danikan is really Sikorsky but the captain informs him that Danikan’s real name is Otto Kreitzmann and is about to start telling him about the counterfeit plate when McGinn shushes him and orders Chancellor to bugger off (or something to that affect).

The purser appears with the list of people who booked after Danikan/Kreitzmann, and they note that Nicholas Crane was one of them. Another was Arthur Bishop, the man trying desperately to get off the boat earlier. They interview him and he reveals he is a fashion designer and in his portfolio are designs for the New Look and he has to get off the ship.

“The New Look? What happened to the old one?” Asks Martin.

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

Christy asks the not altogether ridiculous question, if he was in such a rush to get to America why didn’t he fly?

“Because I’m not convinced the Wright Brothers got it right. Call me a skeptical coward.” Says Arthur.

They let Arthur return to his cabin, amid his protests that if his clothing line was affected he would be suing (much to the interest of the man working behind the bar). Martin McGinn calls for the next late booker to be brought forward, but Paul Viscard and his father are currently arguing with Agent Lennihan. The captain, Marty and Christy go to investigate, but Lady Abigail declines, saying she would speak to another late booker, Eleanor Cantrell,

You heard the Lady.

You heard the Lady.

Henri and Paul Viscard are strongly objecting to having their things searched, although since Paul Viscard did not come aboard with luggage it’s not really affecting him all that much. He tells the McGinns that he came on board at the last minute to ensure his father’s safe passage to Baltimore, where he would stay with his daughter. Henri tells them he was in his cabin with his son at the time of the murder, and that he was in fourth class due to first class being sold out.

Out on deck Lady Abigail’s cunning interrogation of Eleanor Cantrell manages to establish she is a nurse in the army, travelling alone on a week’s furlough and is returning on the next crossing back to Lancaster. She spots Daniel McGuire at the rail and excuses herself to go and talk to him – there’s a small matter of the steward delivering her six hundred bucks (the fare for the journey), which Daniel has given her since she can’t afford the trip.

Edwin Chancellor pops up just in time to critique Lady Abigail’s interrogation techniques when Arthur Bishop throws himself, and his suitcase, over the side. Daniel shouts man overboard and dives in after him. They manage to retrieve Daniel, who they expect will make a full recovery, but the fate of Arthur Bishop and his suitcase remain unknown. Eleanor stops in to see how Daniel is, but declines Edwin Chancellor’s invitation of a visit, and rushes away when he starts questioning her. Edwin excuses himself, saying he has something to check on. Christy reappears and confirms Abigail’s suspicion that Eleanor and Daniel were having an affair. The murderer, she was convinced, was someone else.

Christy goes to talk to Henri and Paul again and Henri confesses that he didn’t get a first class cabin because he is completely broke, and that he is emigrating to America, not seeing his daughter. His daughter, along with one of his sons, were killed in the war, leaving nothing for him in Europe.

Abigail reappears with the startling revelation that she’s solved the murder. She leads him out on deck with Nicholas Crane and tells him Crane knows all about the chess game referred to in Danikan’s note – Sikorsky sacrificed his bishop to lure Von Richter into a false sense of security and the game was mate in seven. A scream from the other end of the ship reveals that body of Arthur Bishop has been found. Christy tells his father that Abigail has solved the case, and gets him to gather everyone in the forward drawing room. Christy himself goes to get Edwin Chancellor from Stateroom 7, where he finds Chancellor on the phone, the door unlocked. Christy asks him if he always keeps the door unlocked and he says he has nothing worth stealing.

In the forward drawing room, Edwin Chancellor takes the floor. He’s convinced that the reason Danikan was shouting kapitan at the time of his murder was because he was murdered by a captain – Daniel Maguire. He might not be a captain now, but he was at the time he would have come across Otto Kreitzmann during the war when Maguire was part of an advanced company that took Gestapo headquarters, and he wasn’t in his cabin at the time of the murder like he says he was.

Eleanor comes clean with the truth – he was in her cabin. They were in love after she nursed him back to health during the war. Couple that with the fact that Kreitzmann wasn’t in Berlin when Daniel’s company took the Gestapo HQ.

But points for trying.

But points for trying.

Abigail takes over – CLEARLY Chancellor was wrong. OBVIOUSLY Bishop killed Kreitzmann, it was all in the note Kreitzmann sent, about BISHOPS and IAN BISHOP WORKED FOR MAJESTY FASHIONS. SO MANY CHESS CLUES GUYS IT WAS OBVIOUS.

Case seemingly closed, and with the missing plate at the bottom of the river, the passengers are free to go. Christy asks his father and Lennihan to accompany him down to Chancellor’s staterooms, where he lifts the carpet to reveal the missing plate. Because MATE IN 7 and FEELING UNDER THE WEATHER clearly means THE MATE OF THE COUNTERFEIT PLATE IS IN STATEROOM 7 UNDER THE CARPET BENEATH THE BAROMETER.

Whatever guys. That does leave the small matter of who killed Kreitzmann, since clearly Arthur Bishop had nothing to do with it. Fortunately the killer has just come forward to confess.

Right. Well, that's a thing.

Right. Well, that’s that then.

Paul recognised Otto Kreitzmann as the man who killed his brother, so bought a ticket and killed Kreitzmann. Game over. Captain Olliver vows to take him back to England, where he will stand trial for killing a Nazi scumbag and presumably get a slap on the back rather than a slap on the wrists.

Case closed. Daniel Macguire discovers that his wife has left him for a lumberjack and so is free to be with Eleanor, and more importantly, Christy never writes the story for the newspaper, so Lady Abigail Austin never finds out that her solution to the mystery was wrong. Because presumably noone reports on the fact that Paul Viscard gets tried for the murder of Otto Kreitzmann?

Oh never mind. Here’s a picture of Our Heroine being amazing as always.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S06E02 – The Seal of the Confessional

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Not for nothing, but this actor’s name is Hunt Block.

I bring you facts!

I bring you facts!

Today he is Donald Barnes, and he has just made friends with JB after helping local boy Eddie Frayne audition for Leo DiCaprio’s role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape crash a kite into JB’s head. Delighted to meet a fellow English teacher, especially one as awesome as Jessica Fletcher, he invites her to breakfast the morning.

Later that same evening, a time travelling extra from the set of Eyes Wide Shut rushes into the church to ask the priest to hear her confession. Luckily, the priest is in da house, but it’s not Father Malloy – he’s off visiting his family for a few weeks.

A mild mannered English teacher by day, a mild mannered priest fighting crime by night

A mild mannered English teacher by day, a mild mannered priest fighting crime by night. Side note, and this is not strictly relevant, but I’ve watched the Batman vs Superman trailer a lot this week and can someone please explain to me why Batman has suddenly become Iron Bat? WHY ARE HIS EYES GLOWING I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

 

Noticing the blood on her hands (literally), Father Barnes goes into the confessional to hear her story – it’s been 4 weeks since her last confession and she’s just killed a man.

Somewhere Amos Tupper is laughing for no reason.

Somewhere Amos Tupper is laughing for no reason.

Father Barnes tries to reassure her and urges her to go to the police, but she says that while she didn’t mean to kill him, she’s not sorry she did and runs off again into the night.

The next morning Mort is in buying himself some breakfast when he runs into JB reading a book in the corner. She tells him she’s rereading Walter Scott and asks him if he’s read The Lady of the Lake. He tells her no, but he saw the movie.

I don't know why this face is happening but it's hilarious

I don’t know why this face is happening but it’s hilarious

Jessica is saved by the arrival of Donald Barnes, although she is surprised to hear Mort call him Father Barnes. She asks him why the secrecy and he tells her that people act weirdly when they find out when they’re talking to a priest, and half the time he thinks they want to kiss his ring.

I’m letting that one go.

Father Barnes asks JB if she is familiar with the seal of the confessional and tells her the vague story of a parishioner coming to him the previous evening with a troubling tale. Jessica manages to deduce that a murder has been committed but gets no further. Father Barnes tells her she has a reputation for being an amateur detective…

No Emmys? THE SYSTEM STINKS

No Emmys? THE SYSTEM STINKS

…but Jessica says without clues, or a body, there’s nothing to go on. Possibly it’s just a case of an overactive imagination.

Some imagination though.

Cut to two teenagers finding a dead body on the beach and Seth Hazlitt doing his thing. The body turns out to belong to local businessman Evan West. Jess asks Seth how he died, and Seth says he thinks it has something to do with the massive stab wound in his chest. UNDER STATEMENT. They’re joined by Mort who has a bee in his bonnet.

“I don’t know how you do it ma’am…I get a call on my radio and within five minutes I’m down here. Doc gets a call and ten minutes later he’s here checking out the corpse. What I don’t get Mrs F, is who calls you?”

 

This might be the factiest fact I'v ever facted.

This might be the factiest fact I’v ever facted.

Mort thinks it’s an open and shut case – the dead man was clearly cheating on his wife, confined to a wheelchair, and so dead happened.

Plot twist: Father Barnes’s buddy Eddie Trayne has just been found with Evan’s knife. Mort gets a phone call at the home of Evan’s newly widowed wife Doris to inform him and he takes off – but not before telling Doris and her daughter Kelly that they have someone in custody. This is astounding news for Kelly – since she’s the one who went to Father Barnes to confess in the first place.

ERMAHGHERD PLOT TWISTS.

While Kelly consoles her mother about the death of her stepfather, and Mort goes about his Mort business, Jessica rushes to the church to inform Father Barnes of Eddie’s arrest. Father Barnes is stunned, so Jess asks him if Eddie had been in for confession recently. Father Barnes says no, so Jess goes to see Eddie in the cells to see what he has to say. Eddie tells her he found the knife, it was yucky so he cleaned it off, and that it was Evan’s fault that Kelly went away and that he was a bad man, and he’s glad he’s dead and can he go home now. Jess goes to find Mort and tell him what a mistake he’s making, but Mort is having none of it. He asks what proof JB has of Eddie’s innocence but she tells him she can’t say.

Jess’s next stop is to Doris West’s house to pay her respects. She’s greeted by her carer, Marilyn North, who is cleaning off a wheelchair. She tells JB Doris has been doing well but took the death hard. Doris’s daughter Kelly appears, and while she’s surprised Marilyn is cleaning a chair not often used by her mother, she understands when Marilyn says it helps to keep busy. Jess asks Kelly if Doris is up for more visitors – having seen the car of former colleague Jack Hutchings take off from the house just as she arrived – but Kelly says its find and takes JB in to see Doris, who is heartbroken by the death of her husband. Marilyn reappears a short time later to announce the arrival of Father Barnes. Kelly tries to avoid meeting him, but is thwarted by some stuck doors. Father Barnes and Kelly try to hide the fact that they know each other, and unsurprisingly do a terrible job of it.

Ninja skills are not a requirement of the priesthood, it turns out.

Ninja skills are not a requirement of the priesthood, it turns out.

Jessica excuses herself and goes after Kelly to see if she’s okay/wants to confess. Jess tells her that Eddie has been arrested and unless the real killer comes forward will likely be institutionalized if not worse.  Leaving Kelly to dwell on that little snippet of info, Jess goes to see Jack, the long-time friend of Doris and former English teacher at the high school to reminisce about old times. Jess remembers teaching Kelly freshman English but Jack says he never taught Kelly – she went off to boarding school in Vermont before senior year. Jess says she was always puzzled by that, since Doris and Kelly were so close, but Jack tells her he knows nothing about it. Back at the house Father Barnes asks Kelly if she’d like to talk more at the church but she shuts him down. What was said will remain secret. The night is dark and full of terrors.

At JB’s the next morning Seth is desperately trying to eat his breakfast while Jess drills him about the autopsy report. Evan West, it turns out, died from drowning after being stabbed and whacked on the head. It would seem like Kelly really wanted her stepfather dead. Seth tells Jess to spit out what’s bothering her and she tells him about Father Barnes and the murderer who won’t come forward. He tells her not to worry about Eddie, he’s got ace attorney George Woodward on the case.

Down at the Sheriff’s station George and Mort are discussing the case when JB drops by with some comic books for Eddie. While Mort delivers them, Jess tells George it’s generous that he’s donating his time to help Eddie’s defence, but George tells her that he’s been retained by Doris West to represent Eddie. Mort returns and delivers some bad news – an eyewitness has come forward saying she saw Evan in an argument and Eddie prowling around the docks – Doris’s nurse, Marilyn.

Jess asks George what he knew of his former client’s relationship with his step-daughter and he says not much – but remembers a trip to Boston where Evan got drunk and declared he’d married the wrong Barrett. At the time, Kelly was 16.

EW. EW EW.

Jess asks if  Evan left anything for Kelly in his will but George tells her Evan had been living off Doris for the last 8 years, and there was nothing else. Jess goes back to House West to see Marilyn and sees Jack saying goodbye to Kelly. Jess tells them she’s there to see Marilyn to ask about what she saw the night of the murder. Kelly can’t believe it, but when pressed says she can’t confirm anything since the night of the murder she was at Jack’s looking at old yearbook photos.

Jess spots Marilyn’s telescope trained on Evan’s boat and takes a look. Marilyn emerges from the house to ask her what she’s doing and Jess asks her if there was any chance Evan could have had another visitor to the boat – say for instance Kelly. Marilyn tells her she doubts it, and returns to her packing – she’s leaving town now that Kelly has taken over her mother’s care.

Unsatisfied, JB goes to search the boat and finds some dried blood before she’s busted by Jack and Kelly. She makes one last appeal to Kelly to come clean, and Kelly finally relents and tells Jess about how she’d come down to the boat to think about her father, when Evan came down and tried to force himself on her. She stabbed him and he went into the water.

JB has a thought. Kelly says she scratched Evan in the struggle on his arms, but when his body was found later he was wearing a windbreaker. Down at the sheriff’s office, after telling Mort the story, Jessica tells him her theory – Evan was only injured, went back onto the boat to fix himself up, and was killed by someone else.

Someone, it turns out, who is about to make a getaway.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

Nurse Marilyn, it turns out, was having a thing with Evan and was so horrified when he told her about how he was after Kelly again that she bumped him off.

Good riddance.

Until next time.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans! I gotta go eat!

 

 

 

 

S06E01 – Appointment in Athens

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Salutations Fletcherfans! Sorry for that unexpected break in transmission, but unfortunately not even JB Fletcher herself can stop Gastropocalypse 2015, which has ended just in time for Wintergeddon to begin (if you’re in the northern hemisphere I AM SO JEALOUS RIGHT NOW I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU WINTER IS STUPID).

In any case, welcome to season 6! At the end of this season we will reach the halfway mark *gulp* so to celebrate I will livetweet another one of the movies. But more on that later, because GUESS WHO’S BACK?

Yes Michael, it's called a telephone

Yes Michael, it’s called a telephone

Everyone’s favourite Not Quite James Bond, Michael Hegarty is in Paris having a crisis. One of his best agents has been taken hostage in Athens, his pal back in England still hasn’t turned up any info about it, and Michael’s fake wife Pamela has backed out of the mission to rescue, citing appendicitis. His Athens cover blown – unless he can find a fake wife in time.

Funny story though, you’ll never believe who’s checking out downstairs.

I think she's on to you Hegarty.

I think she’s on to you Hegarty.

Whatever Hegarty is working on, JB doesn’t want to know about it – she’s in the middle of a world-wide book tour and is off to Cairo. No time for your shenanigans Hegarty.

The man at reception gets a phone call and tells Jess her flight has been delayed for at least 8 hours. Never mind! Says Michael. You’re coming with me to Athens! Just get a connecting flight etc etc. Jess is not at all keen on the idea – on account of the last time she spent any time with Michael she ended up in jail on a murder charge – but ends up on a flight to Athens anyway.

At Athens Airport, Michael escorts her to the check-in counter, where YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS there is no reservation in her name and the flight is fully booked. WHAT WERE THE ODDS OF THAT HAPPENING? When JB turns around, Michael has legged it and in his place is another English man who “recognises” JB from her book covers. Bane Harold Baines, JB’s white knight, offers to let her stay in his “company’s” 2 bedroom suite at the Hotel Grand Bretagne until she is able to get a flight to Cairo, on account of there being no other accommodation in Athens due to a trade convention. This is just a series of amazing conicidences you guys.

Down at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, the arrival of JB with her new buddy Harold has not gone unnoticed.

NOONE SAW NOTHING

NOONE SAW NOTHING

While The Mysterious Hat Man lurks in a potplant Bane Harold Baines escorts Jessica to reception and wanders off with her passport, because that’s absolutely not weird. He returns a short time later, while Jess is unpacking (WHY IS SHE UNPACKING IF SHE’S ONLY THERE ONE NIGHT THIS WHOLE UNPACKING IN HOTEL ROOMS IS DOING MY HEAD IN), and gives her her passport back. They are soon surprised by a special delivery for a Mrs Reardon. Jess tries to tell them there’s a mistake but Bane tips the bellhop and closes the door.

Something something penny dropping something.

Something something penny dropping something.

Bane comes clean and admits he’s MI6, that there was never a reservation made in her name to Cairo but that he didn’t lie about the lack of hotel rooms in Athens. He also has no idea where Michael is – some people were closing in on him at the airport when Bane went up to Jess and he hasn’t heard from him since. He begs Jess to go along with the charade and she agrees, mostly so she can kill Michael afterwards.

Meanwhile The Mystery Hat that is also known as Henryk Stuvesant has extricated himself from the shrubbery long enough to visit Mr Papadopolous to sell information regarding the current whereabouts of Mr and Mrs Reardon. Papadopoulous pays him half, and promises more money once Henryk learns more about their movements. Henryk then puts in a call to station chief Alec Scofield, to sell more information – that Mr and Mrs Reardon will be attending the home of Mr Papadopoulous that evening. Trafford agrees to payment in exchange for an invitation. He’s not best happy that Hegarty has gone rogue, and orders Bane to keep a close eye on Mr and Mrs Reardon.

Henryk is not done yet though – he pays a visit to “Mrs Reardon”, chilling out with a “cup of tea” in the hotel lobby. He tries to ascertain the time and location of the “transaction” but Mrs Reardon gives him nothing. When she turns the tables and starts asking for information about the other party involved in the transaction Henryk bails, unhappy Mrs Reardon does not trust him.

Stirred, not shaken.

Stirred, not shaken.

Jess returns to the suite to find a big bouquet of roses from Michael, and the man himself fussing with a bowtie and ordering her to hurry up and frock up, they have a party to get to. Jess is about to put her foot down when there’s a knock at the door.

It’s Pamela Reardon.

Michael Reardon’s wife.

Damn straight.

Damn straight.

After miraculously recovering from her appendicitis, which turned out to be gastritis/a failed audition, Pamela decides to sack out on the couch and rest. JB tells Michael he clearly doesn’t need her any more but he points out that Henryk and the hotel staff know her as Mrs Reardon, and it was too late now.

In the car on the way to the party, Michael explains how his colleague Laddie Fairchild (REALLY? THAT’S YOUR NAME? YOU ARE ALL TERRIBLE SPIES) was running a travel agency as a front for collecting intelligence on some gun runners or some such business and was kidnapped for ransom by some garden variety kidnappers who don’t know they’ve kidnapped a MI6 agent. He met then in Paris and managed to stall them by saying his wife was the sister of Laddie Fairchild (UGH WHAT IS THAT NAME) and has the money to pay. The kidnappers gave him til 1pm the next day to find the money.

Once at the party, Michael and JB run into Alec Scofield, who has come to take an interest in Michael’s harebrained scheme. His wife, however, is mainly there to judge Alec on his poor life choices, although I think she and Laddie had a little something something going on the side. Hegarty gets him to agree to play along just as Mr Papadopolous comes up to them and says “Mr Reardon I doubt I shall ever forgive you…for not telling me how lovely your wife was.”

That is my default expression when I'm at a party

That is my default expression when I’m at a party

Papadopolous drags JB off to quiz her about her life/make out with her hands but she is eventually saved by Michael who asks if the exchange will take place tomorrow. Papadopolous tells him he has not been in contact with the kidnappers, but now that he has satisfied himself in regards to Mr and Mrs Reardon, he will tell the kidnappers that Mr and Mrs Reardon will be at a certain telephone box at 12pm tomorrow.

On their way out they spot Bane and Hegarty has a go at him for revealing the plan to Scofield. He apologises but says he didn’t reveal JB and Michael would be at the party, but if he didn’t keep Scofield at least partially informed he might be suspected of being involved. He’s got a tap on Papadopolous’s phone but hasn’t heard anything from the kidnappers yet.

Meanwhile back at the hotel Pamela Drake is dead. The police suspect robbery gone bad but JB points out that since her jewellery was fake a jewel thief would have no reason to take it. Jess also tries to point out that she’s not Mrs Reardon but is surprised to see that her passport says otherwise. Down at the MI6 office, Henryk Stuyvesant is filling Alec Scofield in on the mysterious second Mrs Reardon (for a price, obviously).

In their new suite across the hall, (hotel can’t be that booked out then) Michael has returned from a supply run and is set to call the whole thing off but JB assures him she’ll be fine. He asks her about the cablegram that reception said was given to Mrs Reardon earlier than afternoon but Jess tells him she doesn’t know anything about it. Just when they work out Pamela must have taken it (come on guys!) they get a knock on the door. It’s Bane with news – the kidnappers have set the location point for the exchange at 1pm tomorrow.

The next morning they go to the bank to withdraw the million dollar ransom, and Michael comes clean – there is no money. He whips out a newspaper and tells Jess to start crumpling.

Next stop is the phone box, where they are to receive word of the location (which they already learned thanks to Bane’s wire taps). Hegarty gets on  the phone and freaks out – the kidnappers moved the exchange up half an hour and swapped it to the Roman Market. They floor it over there but the kidnappers or Laddie Fairchild are nowhere to be found. Instead, they find Dimiti Papadopoulos who has presumably heard about the other Mrs Reardon and now wants to see the contents of the briefcase. Just when Michael is trying to find out who killed Pamela, the Greek police arrive. Sergeant Petrakas, the investigator in charge of Pamela’s murder, has a friend who’d just been to a book shop…

Petrakas takes everyone down to the police station but noone is talking, and with insufficient evidence he is forced to let Michael and JB go. Hegarty is set to roll on Laddie Fairchild’s kidnappers, but has no proof in relation to Pamela’s killer. JB has a theory about that, and so while “Mr Reardon” pays a visit to Henryk Stuvysant asking for help in getting in contact with the kidnappers, and then follows Stuvysant (with the surprising help of Sergeant Petrakas) to the kidnappers, JB sets a trap of her own. A cablegram gets sent to Michael Reardon at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, which happens to be spotted by Bane.

And the thing about that is

Let the games begin. (This episode would have been greatly improved if Bane was actually in it).

Let the games begin. (This episode would have been greatly improved if Bane was actually in it).

It turns out Bane was in league with the kidnappers because Laddie was about to get promorted, and thanks to a wildly convenient lipstick smudge on Bane’s jacket at the party Bane’s fate is sealed. Apparently Hegarty was on Bane’s tail the whole time? I find this whole episode rather suspicious to be honest.

And on that note:

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

 

S05E22 – Mirror Mirror On the Wall (Part Two)

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You guys! Remember that time Eudora ‘Chuckles’ McVeigh went all cray cray and blamed Our Heroine for her crap writing and her failed marriage and went up to Cabot Cove and drugged JB and gave her apples and stole her manuscript and then decided to solve the case of the dead PI while her husband had an affair with her agent and then Seth ate an apple and collapsed? Well now it’s time for some closure, and who doesn’t love a bit of closure.

While an anxious JB keeps vigil at Cabot Cove Hospital, Eudora lapping up the press attention after announcing she was going to help the Sheriff solve the case of the dead PI. She finds Lewis Bracken, her publisher, among the media scrum and he escorts her to a waiting taxi. Eudora is delighted with the attention that she’s generating for her new book.

Eudora's got a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock, if you know what I mean.

Eudora’s got a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock, if you know what I mean.

When Lewis reminds her that he’s still not going to publish her book, Eudora orders the taxi driver to pull over, and she storms out, saying that Lewis only came up to see Jessica. He denies it, and tells her that it’s only business anyway. That’s when Eudora drops the bombshell – she’s got a new book ready, it’s the best work she’s ever done.

Oh really.

Lewis asks her what it’s about but she’d rather not say just yet. Lewis is surprised by this, as Liza hadn’t said anything to him. Eudora tells him she hadn’t confided in anyone, but as soon as she checks into Hill House she will call Liza in New York and they can get to working on contract details. Lewis is confused – there’s no point calling Liza in the city, she’s at Hill House too – she was the one who called him about Eudora’s antics and so he flew up. Eudora is rather surprised by this news, but won’t elaborate.

Speaking of Hill House, Hank has just found his son Bobby who’d just come back from an adventure with a barmaid (ew), and tells him they’re leaving first thing in the morning. Bobby asks him if he’d sorted it out with Eudora and Hank says there’s nothing to sort – the marriage is over. Bobby doesn’t like the sound of that – what’s are they going to do, Eudora has all the money, but Hank says he survived for 20 years on his own before he met Eudora and there’s no “we”: Eudora doesn’t owe Hank anything and she sure as hell doesn’t owe Bobby anything. Cheer up Bobby, he says, you might actually like working.

While Eudora unpacks her things (side note, I’ve never unpacked my clothes in a hotel room in my life, is that weird?). she tells Liza there was no need for her to follow her to Cabot Cove – she doesn’t need a minder or a babysitter. Liza reminds her that the last time she saw Eudora she was making all kinds of crazy threats against JB.

Eudora is scandalized. She can’t believe Liza would think that. Liza says she was wrong, but asks Eudora to put herself in Liza’s place.

“Well that seems only fair, since for the last few months you’ve been putting yourself in mine.” Says Eudora.

Oh snap.

Oh snap.

Liza is flustered, but Eudora has more pressing concerns. She tells Liza if she wasn’t the best literary agent in New York Eudora would have clawed her eyes out weeks ago, and now she’s decided who she needs more – a literary agent or a husband.

Mmmmkay.

Back at the hospital JB gets a visit from Seth’s doctor – he’s going to be just fine. Yay! Jess asks him what it was, and the doctor tells her Seth was poisoned – they are soon interrupted by a nurse who comes in to tell them that Seth is asking for JB. JB walks in with tears in her eyes, and Seth tells her it’s nothing, just a touch of indigestion and blames his new diet. (People pass out from indigestion? Really Seth?). He’s horrified when JB informs him it was poison, but he guesses straight away what the culprit was – the apples on JB’s kitchen counter. JB and Mort retrieve the deadly apple from JB’s kitchen floor along with the rest and send them off to be analysed.

Crisis now seemingly averted, JB goes to see Eudora to have a little chat about the case of the stolen manuscript, which it just so happens Eudora is recording to tape and destroying her copy. She refuses to let Jessica open her suitcase where she’d hidden away the manuscript but before JB can get serious, Sheriff Metzger knocks on the door. The results are back, the apples were all poisoned.

Escorted to the cells, Eudora tells Jessica that she didn’t poison the apples, and that’s the truth. Jessica asks her if it’s the whole truth and Eudora finally admits to stealing the manuscript, desperate after Lewis told her to come up with something new and fresh. But she swears she had never seen the PI before and she had no idea why he was following her.

Out in the office Liza is begging to see Eudora, or at least a copy of Eudora’s new book but Mort informs her that a) Eudora wants to see JB but she doesn’t want to see Liza and b) Eudora stole the book from JB. She departs through the media pack outside the sheriff’s office just as Jessica emerges from the cells. Mort has a headache that he thinks will go away just as soon as he gets Eudora booked for the murder, then he can send her (and the media pack) off to Portland. The case is all wrapped up.

“Wrapped up? You mean you think she’s guilty?”

“Does Superman wear blue tights?” Says Mort.

Spoiler alert: he does. Henry Cavill wears Superman tights rather well, I have to say.

Spoiler alert: he does. I saw Man of Steel, and Henry Cavill wears Superman tights rather well, I have to say.

The Sheriff has a pretty good theory, it must be said. The syringe and rat poison used on the apples was found in JB’s trash, the motive was clear – cover up the theft of the manuscript, which is also why she killed the PI since he followed her when she went to copy the manuscript.

JB concedes this but then points out it doesn’t explain why Eudora was being followed by a PI to begin with. Mort will tell her exactly why Eudora was being followed…just as soon as he speaks to the PI’s partner in New York.  In the mean time, he begs her not to tell anyone about the apples, as it’s the sort of media hysteria that he’s just not in the mood for.

Meanwhile, over at the Hill House restaurant Liza is filling Hank in on the most recent developments when they get a surprise visit from Liza’s husband Victor, who turns up to get the room key. After he departs, Liza assures Hank that Victor doesn’t suspect anything. “Suspects? Liza, he knows.” Says Hank.

I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for Hank to be honest.

The next morning, Seth is feeling much better.

Seth mad! SETH SMASH!

Seth mad! SETH SMASH!

JB arrives just in time to hear Seth issue his demands for scrambled eggs and hot buttered toast and is delighted to see he’s feeling better.

NAWWWWWW

NAWWWWWW

Jess tells Seth it makes her feel so much better to hear him complain so much. Yesterday he was frail, frightened, humble, and she was terrified but today Seth his is grouchy irascible self and Jess feels much better.

**Actual quote.

**Actual quote.

To business. Seth wants to know if the apples test positive and Jess confirms it but tells him that only she, Eudora, Seth and Mort know that. Seth is convinced of Eudora’s guilt but Jess just isn’t sure. She promises to keep Seth in the loop and departs, just as the nurse returns with some scrambled eggs. Apparently the cook found some powdered eggs on the top shelf of the cupboard.

WHAT THE HELL ARE POWDERED EGGS??

JB’s next stop is the Sheriff’s office, where Mort has just got off the phone. JB asks to see the coroner’s report and his own report as something just doesn’t seem right. For one thing, they don’t know if the PI was following Eudora, he could have been following Hank Shipton.

Mort is furious, JB has stolen his thunder. The phone call he had was to the PI’s partner who said that a) Capeletti always carried heaps of money on him, which had clearly been stolen after he was killed and b) he’d been following Hank. He’s about to go talk to the person who hired him, Victor Casper. Liza’s husband.

DUN DUN DUN.

They find Victor having lunch down on the waterfront and plonk themselves down at his table. After some initial resistance, Victor tells them he hired the detective to prove his theory that Liza was having an affair with Hank, but when she proved a slippery suspect he told Capeletti to tail Hank instead. He didn’t know Capeletti had followed Hank to Cabot Cove until he heard the description of the dead man on the news at which time he consulted his attorney and came up to the Cove to find out what was happening. He had no intention of divorcing his wife, he tells them. Not until she’d sufficiently begged first.

What a knob.

What a knob.

After that charming encounter, Mort and JB take stock. Victor was in Atlantic City, probably being a dick. Liza was in the city, working late. And Hank and Bobby were at the Hill House. JB has a brainwave – if Capeletti went where Hank went, then Capeletti almost certainly went to the Hill House, meaning that his murder must have taken place there or somewhere near. Mort tells her he’ll get on it. They stop, noticing a brawl. When Mort steps in they discover it’s Bobby Shipton getting his butt kicked after refusing to pay up after a pool game. Mort and JB take him to the hospital, where he tells JB that he feels sorry for Eudora but that she’s clearly crazy. His father told him the night before that Eudora had tried to kill JB. Hank arrives to check on his son, and apologizes to Jess for Eudora’s behaviour. He’d tried to go in and see Eudora but she refused to see him.

Mort gets a phone call from Deputy Floyd, who has good news. They’ve found the murder site. Mort arrives to check it out, finds Capeletti’s glasses and tells Floyd to get on the horn to the forensics team, he wants them all over the site like graffiti on the Battery Park local.

j1

k2

Classic Floyd.

Classic Floyd.

Jess arrives at the Hill House and finds Hank and Liza walking back. They’d been at the murder site. Liza excuses herself and reminds Hank to take his insulin shot. Hank tells JB that they were determined to be together, even if it was not quite such a lavish lifestyle. JB figures Hank would get a decent settlement from Eudora but he tells her he signed a pre-nup: if he leaves Eudora he gets nothing, and might even owe Eudora money. He asks JB to tell Eudora he’s sorry for the way things turned out. He hadn’t seen her since she’d been arrested.

“Then you don’t know about the apples?” Jessica asks. She explains, but Hank is horrified. Jess thinks that she wasn’t the target, and it was more a case of someone wanting Eudora out of the way in prison. A sudden thought occurs to Jess. “Hank, where’s Bobby?”

A quick search of his room finds the gun holster belonging to Capeletti. Hank has an idea Bobby might have gone to get revenge on the dudes that beat him up, and when they arrive at the bar they find Bobby pointing Capeletti’s gun at anyone who moves.

Well that seems definitive.

Turns out Eudora wasn't the cray cray one they had to worry about.

Turns out Eudora wasn’t the cray cray one they had to worry about.

Yeah. Bobby was terrified at the thought of not having money and so went nuts. Well, more nuts probably.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Eudora is free to go, and Hank offers to drive her back to the inn. Jessica offers a handshake as she departs but Eudora just looks at her and leaves. Seth, newly released from hospital thinks she’s ungrateful, considering JB had just proved she wasn’t responsible. JB tells them it was a fluke – all she knew was that Bobby had poisoned the apples after he’d told her Hank had told him about the attempt on her life, which Hank couldn’t have known about because the only person who could have told him was Eudora. Or something. I got a bit distracted in this part.

Job done, Seth gives JB a lift home and tells her he’s going fishing the next morning if she’d care to join. Jess declines, saying she’s just worked out her new book and she needs to crack on. He tells her they will be leaving at 9ish if she changes her mind.

The next morning JB is fighting with her novel when she gets a knock on the door. It’s Eudora, with an apology. JB accepts, goes back to her book but has a change of heart. She hops on the Fletch-mobile and heads down to the docks, where Seth and Caleb are waiting. Seth tells her it was mechanical trouble, but Caleb tells her they waited, and the doc was mighty testy.

Jess unhooks the bowline, and off they sail. Shoutout to Zachary Brooks on Facebook who said this was originally intended to be the last episode of the series but they talked Angela around. It makes sense, this really felt like the end. But, there are still *gulp* seven more seasons of Murder She Wrote, which means seven more seasons of Murder, She Blogged.  Prepare yourselves.

And on that note,

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

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