It’s the season finale this week Fletcherfans! JB is in Wyoming for a friends funeral. A minor scandal is caused when a man liked by noone – Carl Mestin – turns up with his Barbie doll wife, but noone thinks any more of it.
Back at the ranch there’s a storm a-brewin’ and tumbleweed a-tumblin. It’s okay though, because Our Heroine is getting stuck into the dandelion wine.
The local sheriff who prefers to be called marshall comes over for a chat, and informs Jess that he read one of her books…it was “not up there with Mickey Spillane, but darn good for a woman”.
Jess accepts this compliment with good grace.
She notices that the marshall wears his holster tied down for a quick draw – he offers to demonstrate but she politely declines. (I am assuming that this is all code for penis). She asks him if he’s had to draw his gun on anyone before, and he says no, but when the time comes, he’ll be ready for ’em to “make my day!”
Meanwhile Mary Carver (daughter of the late lamented Jack), her uncle Tim and her father’s friend Sam are having a chat about the ranch. Tim announces that his brother was going to leave the ranch to him, which is news to Mary, but Sam points out that there is no will anyway so there isn’t anything anyone can do for the time being.
Incidentally, remember this guy. We’ll see him again in a season or two.
They are rudely interrupted by the arrival of Cowboy Ken and Barbie, who are waving a piece of paper around and announcing that Jack left the ranch to them. Needless to say this causes a bit of a ruckus, and Mary’s fiancee Art Merrick steps in to defend her honour. Peace restored, Mestin goes to get a drink and JB wanders over for a chat. Mestin tells her he thinks Jack left him everything because he saved Jack’s life in Korea.
Oh, says Jess. Then you must have known my husband, Tom Fletcher?
Sure, says Mestin. Good guy.
LIAR! LIAR! JB’s husband’s name was Frank, as we all know. I call shenanigans on the Cowboy Ken and Barbie show.
As the storm from the set of Dracula moves closer, the manly men of the ranch batten down the hatches, including Cowboy Ken who has just lost an arm wrestle to Cowboy Barbie. (Not code).
The storm clears and Art gets a lift back to the house from one of the ranchhands Jesus (who is listed in IMDB as Hay-Soos. Really?), after he got his truck bogged in the storm. Before he can sit down and have some soup though, Jesus comes running from the barn. Cowboy Ken is hanging from the rafters.
The sheriff is called, and he’s less than thrilled that they left the body hanging like that. Jess apologizes, saying she did that because she figured he’d want to see everything undisturbed. While the marshall stares at the body and ponders, Jess asks the Doc how many murders the marshall has investigated. Naturally, it’s none. Armed with this knowledge Jess manages to guide the sheriff into realising that it was no suicide, and that he had a blow to the head as well as being strung up.
That night, the sheriff sits everyone down for a little chat. Subtly prompted by JB, he demans to know where everyone was at the time of the murder. Tim Carver, Sam the lawyer, Bill the friend from the army, and the Doc all alibi each other. Mary was sleeping, Emma the maid was cleaning, Cowboy Barbie was having a nap in the RV and JB was in her room “getting rid of jetlag,” aka downing bottles of dandelion wine.
JB mulls on the fact that none of the women have an alibi, but the sheriff has moved on. He’s decided there can only be one answer – Art is the killer.
The sheriff goes to find Art trying to unbog his car, and arrests him. The next day, Sam goes in to try and get him released but the sheriff is drunk with power and says no. Not even the combined badgering by Sam and JB is enough to make him change his mind, and he storms off in a huff.
Art tells Jess and Mary that he overheard a conversation between the sheriff and the coroner – apparently Cowboy Ken did die from hanging, and the blow on the head came after which is the opposite of what the Doc said happened. Jess decides to pay him a visit at his surgery but he’s out. She does manage to find out from his receptionist that the Doc threw Cowboy Ken out of his office for snooping around in his files. MYSTERIOUS.
Later that afternoon the sheriff finally sees sense and releases Art. JB congratulates him on a rare moment of intelligence. He asks her who she think did it if not Art, and she enigmatically suggests that the sheriff challenge Cowgirl Barbie to an armwrestle. He does so, and gets his arse kicked, but he agrees with Jess that she was certainly strong enough to hang her husband. Cowgirl Barbie takes umbrage to this and declares that the sheriff and JB can “suck eggs”. Oooo-kay?
That night, Our Heroine wakes up to find a hangman’s noose outside her window. She’s positively delighted! She’s making someone nervous!
The next morning, the sheriff arrives at the ranch to arrest Cowgirl Barbie, much to Mary Carver’s delight. Unfortunately JB steps in again – it turns out Cowboy Ken and Cowgirl Barbie were never actually married, so she gets nothing out of the will. The sheriff agrees, and Cowgirl Barbie rides off into the sunset in her RV.
While Mary and Art go and retrieve his pickup from where he left it, JB goes for a little walk in the barn. She has a feeling she’s solved this case.
Of course she has.
It turns out that Cowboy Ken was an absolute creep who used to work on the ranch until he raped Mary’s mother…and so was Mary’s real father. Charming. Totes got what he had coming to him.
The men admit what they did, and tell Jess that they will go to the sheriff and come clean, as long as she doesn’t tell Mary the truth. She agrees, and they leave the barn.
There you have it, Fletcherfans! One season down, eleven more to go. Season 2 is on its way, so stay tuned for more Murder, She Blogged mayhem, hijinks and double entendres.