After last week’s shenanigans and mayhem you’d think Our Heroine had earned a nice little vacation. Alas, it’s not to be, as Great Aunt Mildred is concerned about Cal Fletcher, JB’s husbands second cousin twice removed on his left side (or something) and would Jess please go down to New Orleans and check on him?
Never one to turn down family (otherwise we’d never see Grady) JB jumps on a plane and heads down to Nawlins. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) someone forgot to mention a little old party called Mardi Gras. And after a cock-up with her hotel reservation sees JB homeless for the night, she decides to pay an earlier than planned visit to Cal.
After knocking at the front door, Cal’s house looks promising.
Inside, the house is a-rockin, but with everyone in costume it’s going to make it awfully difficult to spot Cal Fletcher, on account of noone knowing what he looks like. Is he Napoleon? No. Is he a pirate? Very much no, says the pirate, escorts the Genie of the Lamp into another room and closes the door. Is he Cardinal Richelieu? Apparently not, since the cardinal just smiles and wanders off,
A man without a costume called Gilbert informs Jess that her cousin is dressed as Cyrano de Bergerac but is hastened away by the Genie of the Lamp (I should point out that she’s more I Dream of Jeannie than Aladdin’s Genie, unfortunately). JB smacks into Lady Macbeth coming out of the room the pirate went into but she doesn’t know anything either. A little later she spots Cardinal Richelieu doing the same thing. She finally spots Cyrano in the crowd and rushes up to introduce herself but he completely blanks her, goes to the Pirate’s office and declares he’s going to kill him. The door closes and a swordfight breaks out.
I’m not gonna lie, the doorman has been the highlight of this episode so far. Anyway, a crowd gathers outside the office trying to get in to see the entertainment, but after hearing a thud JB is concerned. Gilbert appears, breaks down the door and finds the pirate (aka Johnny Blaze) dead on the floor, the world CAL written on the floor in blood. IS THIS JB’S MOST AWESOME RELATIVE EVER???
The police arrive and it’s obvious from the beginning that Lieutenant Cavette would loves JB to help him with his case, if you know what I mean. He asks her what she was doing at the party and she tells him that her cousin Cal Fletcher is the owner of the house. Except apparently it’s not a house, it’s a gambling den. While she watches the lieutenant search for clues, Gilbert sidles up to her and says that she needs to tell her cousin to get the hell out of town. Apparently his house is just across the alley. CONVENIENT.
JB goes to pay this mysterious cousin of hers a visit and finds him curled up asleep in bed. When she informs him of what’s happened he seems completely surprised.
He swears on his word as a gentleman that he didn’t know about the gamblinh and he didn’t kill Johnny Blaze.
The police show up and quickly find a Cyrano de Bergerac costume in Cal’s wardrobe, complete with key in pocket. Cavette orders Cal be arrested immediately. Clearly he is immune to Honest Face.
Down at the police station Cavette tells JB that Johnny Blaze was running an illegal gambling operation out of Cal’s house, and that his death was no great loss. JB thinks that this must surely mean that there are more people than just Cal who would want Johnny Blaze dead. Cavette agrees, but points out that all the evidence implicates Cal. Plus there was that time Cal stood up in a card game and threatened to kill Johnny Blaze.
JB confronts Cal about this, and he kind of agrees that he threatened to kill Johnny Blaze, since he was cheating at cards, but that’s it. He tells JB that he’s a naturalist…
…he collects butterflies for museums.
Cal’s attorney Mitch Payne arrives to calm everyone down, and tells them that self defence is a perfectly legitimate plea. JB is outraged! But Cal wasn’t even there!
Later that night JB goes out to dinner with Lieutenant Cavette, He tries to bust some patented Cavette moves on Our Heroine but JB wants nothing to do with it. She wants more information on this shady lawyer dude. Cavette tells her that he was once in the employ of Johnny Blaze, and helped him beat a murder rap – supposedly he killed a young man over a card game but some witnesses were found to swear that Johnny Blaze wasn’t even there,
The next morning JB pays Mr Payne a visit, and finds him consulting with Lady Macbeth from the party, also known as Rosaline Gardner, the wife of local congressman Brad Gardner. When asked, she tells JB that she must have her mistaken for somebody else. Down at the club, JB asks Gilbert and Jeannie (aka Kitty Manette) about Cal’s presence at the club the night of the murder. Kitty says he had been pretty drunk, so they got him out before Johnny Blaze could see him, but that he must have sneaked back in, JB asks about the congressman, and Kitty swears he wasn’t at the party but Gilbert thinks he saw his limo parked down the street. JB asks him if he mentioned this to Lieutenant Cavette and Gilbert tells her that he wouldn’t give him the right time of day. Turns out the guy Johnny Blaze was accused of murdering was Cavette’s son.
JB confronts Cal about his presence at the club on the night of the murder and he comes clean, but says that he left after Kitty came running up sobbing and saying “He knows!” JB asks him who else was playing cards the night Cal threatened to kill Blaze – Mitch the shady lawyer, Gilbert, Kitty and the Congressman were all there too, according to Cal. On a roll, JB confronts Cavette about the murder of his son. He tells her the story, but swears he wasn’t at the party that night.
“Bullshit!” Says Jess (I’m paraphrasing slightly). “I saw you…Cardinal Richelieu”
(I’m starting to think everyone in the world wanted Johnny Blaze dead, including me. (For the record, I was a month off my third birthday when he was murdered, cop that for an alibi!)
Never mind all that though. Cavette tells JB to accept the fact that her cousin is guilty and JB mutters “I don’t know why you all keep saying that, he’s not my cousin, he’s Frank’s!” and then solves the case. BAM.
Remember that time Jeannie/Kitty said “HE KNOWS.” Turns out that wasn’t about Cal Fletcher at all, her boyfriend Johnny Blaze had discovered who she was cheating on him with.
And they all lived happily ever after. Well Gilbert went to jail, presumably, and Kitty was probably left broken hearted. But JB went home to Cabot Cove and Cal found a new tenant to take over the big house and turn it into a brothel. So mainly Cal wins, really.
Season 2 finale next week Fletcherfans, can you believe it? Only 10 more seasons to go! *whimpers*