Exciting news Fletcherfans! This week’s episode is a tribute to film noir, which is one of my favourite things in the world, so as fitting tribute I solemnly swear not to use the colloquial term for a detective anywhere in this post. Promise.
I am pleased to report that this week JB is back in the Cove at last, finally. She’s at home doing research on an old murder that she’s thinking of using as the plot for her new book. She engages the help of a private
dick detective – Miles of Miles and McGrath Dick Detective Agency, who calls her to let her know he might have found something, but before he can act on it, someone turns up at his office and shoots him in the chest.
This represents a major bummer in JB’s plot outline, but it’s good news for a few people who have found themselves under investigation by Mr Miles, including a construction chief named Santini, and a fashion magazine editor named Priscilla.
JB is unaware of all of this of course. She’s at home, looking out of her window at a mystery man parked outside her house. She decides to spring a trap and rides off on the Fletchermobile (bike, to you and me). The mystery man makes his move and breaks into her house, but naturally Our Heroine has snuck back in to see what he’s up to.
But it’s not a mystery man.
It turns Lenny is actually the McGrath in the aforementioned
dick detective agency, and he is out to avenge his partner’s death. Wait on, isn’t this the plot of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Anyway, Lenny tells JB that his partner has been blown apart by a 44, and that he was bird-dogging three cases, including Jess’s. No, I don’t know what bird-dogging means either but it sounds rude.
Horrified to think that her case might have been responsible for Miles’s death, but mainly to get more info on this mystery clue he’d found, JB goes to see his widow. Meanwhile, Lenny takes over the surveillance on Santini from his associate
dick detective Ray Kravitz. Now THERE’S a shady dude if ever there was one. No wonder his wife thinks he’s “dipping in someone elses tub” (Lennie’s words). Santini eventually makes his move, and while the saxophone blares in the background Lennie plugs his bumper tails him through the mean streets and down a dark alley way, until some of Santini’s minions auditioning for the Village People object and beat the crap out of him.
The next morning Lennie is in an understandably cranky mood, which is not helped by the arrival of his new partner, one JB Fletcher. So excited is he, that he humbly suggests that JB use her boundless energy to take up needlepoint or bridge. She explains to him that needlepoint and bridge are precisely the reasons whe she started writing – she was bored out of her mind.
“Well I’ve read your book,” says Lennie, “and I was bored out of my mind.”
Shrugging off Lennie’s slanderous insult against her honour, JB goes to the police station to see if she can lend her talents to solving the case. Instead she discovers that the police are quite content to let Lennie take care of this one.
Speaking of which, Lennie’s doing some
dick detective work of his own – the kind that involves hats.
He pays a visit to Priscilla, Editor of the Magazine, but has to wait – she’s already seeing someone else. Someone Jessica shaped… After agreeing to write something for the magazine, Priscilla invites JB to a party the next night to celebrate the magazine’s anniversary. JB is delighted, but not as delighted as she is to see Lennie’s cunning use of hats…
Later that night, Lennie breaks into JB’s hotel.
Despite his gruff exterior, Lennie is slowly warming to Our Heroine. He gruffly offers to let her see his files in the morning. AND BY FILES I THINK YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
Disappointingly, they go through the files the next day. It turns out noone knows who hired them to investigate Priscilla, or to what end. Jess suggests that Lennie gets the tape that records his partner’s murder analysed – it could be that he isn’t just gasping his last breath, he could be outing his killer. Lennie declares he’s not up for this scientific shineola (???) and says he’ll solve it his way. I think we both know who’s going to come out on top in this one guys. And by come out on top, I think you know what I mean.
Jess goes to party like it’s 1999 with her new bud Priscilla and in an AMAZING COINCIDENCE meets the judge involved in the trial she was researching for her book. He’s not as enthralled with Our Heroine as he should be and gives her the cold shoulder. Jess tries to suss out what Priscilla knows about the
dick detective investigating her past, but Priscilla claims ignorance. Clearly, she’s lying.
The next morning she shares her
dick detective work with Lennie. Priscilla hired Miles to look into her past, to see if he could find anything that could hurt her in a political campaign. They decide to split up and look for clues, a move straight out of the Scooby Doo Big Book of Detecting.
JB visits Miles’s widow again, who has helpfully found the clue he had mentioned before he died. JB jumps on a bus and heads to Sheffield, Vermont (population 879 for those playing along at home) to see if the murder twenty years ago is the reason why Miles has ended up an
ex-dick ex detective. Turns out, no. Crossing that mystery off her list, JB heads back to tell Lennie what she’s discovered.
Before too long they’re on the road again – Lennie’s associate
dick detective has just been shot at while staking out Santini the supposed wife cheater. The bullets match those they fished out of Miles and Lennie Loses It.
While Lennie pounds the streets in search of justice, JB goes back to the office to try and see what she’s been missing. Literally – she finds a page has been ripped out of Priscilla’s file, and instead of having a nice cup of coffee with Lennie’s secretary, she goes running off into the night. Priscilla reluctantly admits that she is being blackmailed – someone has found out that she had an abortion in her youth.
Armed with this new information JB goes to see her policeman friend, but they are rudely interrupted by Santini depositing a groggy Lennie on the steps.
It turns out Lennie got a bit overeager in his pursuit of Santini, but in the end it was to no avail – he wasn’t cheating on his wife, he was building a boat for his wife. Not code. That rules out their only other suspect, and despite Lennie’s superior
dick detective skills, he’s stumped. Not Our Girl though. She’s on the case and she knows who the killer is…
Dazzled by JB’s
dick detective work, Lennie offers to drive Our Heroine back to Cabot Cove. And by drive her back, I think you know what I mean…