I’m pretty excited guys. This week’s episode contains two of my favourite things in the whole wide world: ballet and Communist plots. Naturally, JB is in the middle of it.

Jess has been invited to a touring Russian ballet production in Boston by fellow Cabot Covian and former Russian, Leo Peterson, but all is not as it seems. (Ethan can’t understand why she’s going to see a Russian ballet. Ethan is more concerned with the application of pie to his belly). While Ethan moans about his lack of pie, Jess flicks on the news to see a large protest going on outside the theatre where the ballet is to be held. Apparently not everyone is excited that the ballet has come to town.

Undeterred, Jess and Leo head to Boston. When they pick up their programs, Jess’s eagle eye notices that the man distributing the programs, Art Director Palmer Eddington (whose real name is Paul Rudd – I nearly had a heart attack in the opening credits) pointedly gives Leo one from the bottom of the pile. MYSTERIOUS.

Backstage, Kerry Armstrong is a Russian ballerina named Irina being hit on by a capitalist pig-dog (American). Yes, THAT Kerry Armstrong. I KNOW!

And the winner of most unexpected actress to appear in an episode of Murder She Wrote goes to….

Before the Americanski can get any ideas, KGB guard and all-around Bond Villan Serge Berensky steps in and sends him on his way. Can’t have that sort of business happening backstage! Irina goes to visit her friends Natalia and Alexander, who have big plans for the curtain call of tonight’s show – they’re defecting the hell out of Russia and coming to live in the West.

In the audience, Jess notices a number scribbled in Leo’s program but before she can ask him about it the ballet montage starts. And you must never interrupt a ballet montage.

While the audience enjoys the montage, there are a-doin’s a-transpirin backstage. Berensky and the capitalist pig-dog, whose name is Skip Fleming, are circling each other spoiling for a fight. Outside, the leader of the protesters, Velma Rodecker, is banging to be let in. She’s about to give up when someone helpfully leaves a window open. Palmer Eddington disappears backstage and spots Berensky looking the worse for wear.

All this mysteriousness is too much for Leo, who wanders off himself, leaving Jess to enjoy the ballet montage on her own. When it finally ends Jess is still on her own, wondering just what it is she’s signed up for. WORST DATE EVER. The dancers come out for the curtain call, but the stars of the show are nowhere to be found. Happy to take their place, Velma Rodecker runs onstage, bellows something about Reds under her bed, and is escorted off by police.

Seriously, you don’t get this in Cabot Cove.

Before Jess has time to think, Leo reappears to drag her out of the theatre, and in the nick of time too. KGB kingpin Anatole Karzof (who bears a little resemblance to the Fatman from Jake and the Fatman), is on the hunt. His two star ballet dancers have disappeared, and his right-hand-man has just turned up dead.

Eventually the penny drops for Jess, when she realises her chauffeur looks just a bit like a certain missing ballet dancer. That, and she’s sitting next to his wife. Leo apologises for involving her in such a dangerous scheme, but JB doesn’t care. They turn the radio on and learn about Berensky’s death. Talk about a spanner in the works. Jess takes charge and sends them back to Cabot Cove to be looked after by Ethan while she pokes about in Boston.

Back in the theatre Jess asks for the man in charge. The FBI man wants her out, but in a conveniently happy twist of fate, Colonel Karzof is a massive JB Fletcher fan and insists she be allowed to help.

FANBOI.

Together they visit the scene of the crime, and while Anatole is convinced Alexander is guilty, JB is quick to point out there were other people with motives. Like Anatole.

Anatole is delighted to be accused of murder! Honestly, the sexual tension between these two is insane.

Jess rents a hotel room for a couple of hours. See! Oh, it’s just so she can call Ethan, who is less than excited about having some Soviet houseguests.

A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…

She finally gets Ethan to do what he’s damn well told, before an incessant knock at the door. It’s the friendly neighbourhood KGB. Anatole asks JB if she’d like to check out his lab report, if you know what I mean.

LOOK AT THAT FACE.

Down at the local copshop, Jess is hot on the scent and manages to cast doubt over Mr FBI and Mr KGB’s theory that Alexander and Natalia killed Berensky. She does such a good job, that they all agree that it must have been the crazy protestor lady, and go off to prove it. Anatole offers JB a nightcap (and by nightcap, I think you know what I mean), but our gal takes a raincheck, and heads out on the town. She’s got questions for Cornelius Snodgrass III Palmer Eddington. P-Ed admits his involvement in the defection, and tells Jess about how he saw Berensky looking a bit beaten up. Eureka! says Jess (not really, but you know what I mean).

Back in the Cove, the sheriff is of course making trouble. Poor Ethan is stressed out trying to keep Amos from sticking his nose in and flirting with Natalia.  Amos asks him if he’d seen any Russians lurking around in the shadows, Ethan helpfully points out that he’s not sure he knows what a Russian looks like.

After having breakfast with Anatole (ooer), Our Heroine is on the road back to the Cove. Her spidey senses were telling her that Ethan was in over his head. Everyone wants to hear about the murder in Boston (and by everyone, I mean Amos), but Jess tells him it was Velma-the-protestor. Privately, she tells Ethan that ‘s not entirely true.

That night, she cooks up dinner for everyone to celebrate Defection ’84, but is rudely interrupted by a man at the door looking to buy a part for his boat from Ethan. Ethan tells him to ring someone else, and Jess shows him to the phone. She asks him if he’s from down east, and he replies no, he’s from Maine. Jess and Ethan have a good chuckle over this after he leaves – apparently it’s the same thing. Crazy Maine wit right there.

The next morning, there is a familiar banging on Jess’s door. And by Jess’s door….well, I’m sure you can guess. Anatole, along with Sheriff Amos, were there to see if Jess had any reds under her beds. Well, Anatole was. Amos was more concerned with muffins under the towel, and fair enough too really.

Anatole informs Jess that the missing dancers are back on his radar, and Leo swoops in to take the blame.

And the winner of worst Eastwood impression goes to…

Anatole tells Jess the arrest of Leo was a shot across her bow…and by that I think you know what I mean. The sexual tension has somewhat cooled.

Jess lets them all out, then gets on the blower to Boston – specifically to Irina. JB tells her that all is well with the two runaways, and that maybe she could come up to Cabot Cove and visit them. Seed planted in Irina’s mind (and the mind of the man eavesdropping on the call), Jess goes off on her run, followed by another mystery man.

Anatole is unhappy. Not only can he not find his missing ballerinas, but now Irina has gone missing too. Amos meanwhile is loving life.

Amos, not being browbeaten by Our Heroine.

Irina is closer than he thinks – she’s on her way to the cove with the American pig-dog who was flirting with her at the start of the show. The gang’s all here – someone must be guilty.

Well, whaddya know…

I’ll be honest. I called this one about ten minutes in. Still, WTF!

The things we do for love, kids.

All is well with the world. Alexander and Natalia are safely defecting to America (fuck yeah). Irina does not have to go back to Russia to face trial. Ethan and Amos have both been fed. Alas, JB must say goodbye to Anatole, and like all relationships I invent in my head, this one ends with a freeze frame.

It’s just like James Bond.

Until next time, dear reader.

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