S03E03 – Unfinished Business


A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

Serial retiree Lieutenant Barney Kale (who looks so much like Andy Dalziel from Dalziel and Pascoe that it’s worrying me a bit) has been awarded a trip around the world in one final effort to make him leave. In his acceptance speech, he tells the room (and therefore the world) that he will happily accept – just as soon as he proves that his friend Lowell Dixon didn’t drown ten years ago, but was murdered.

After making a couple of calls to certain potentially interested parties, Barney says goodbye to his wife and heads to Juniper Creek, the site of the supposed murder. He’s not the only one either. There’s also this couple:



Another guest is Doctor Mayhew, who cancels a trip to Japan and a day shooting clay things with a big gun to go and attend to this little problem. Then there is Cynthia (who is being played by Hayley Mills, who was in the original Parent Trap, which opens the door to a whole lot of Lindsay Lohan jokes if you are so inclined but frankly the whole thing is depressing so let’s not okay?)  She shows Jake, the owner of the hotel, the article about Barney’s last gasp effort at closing the old case. Jake asks Cynthia if she knows what Seth is doing about it. “Seth Hazzlitt?” says Cynthia. “I think he dropped off the end of the world.”

Meanwhile, at the end of the world, Jess goes to collect Seth for the Founders Day Planning Committee Meeting and finds him down in the dumps. After some gentle interrogation he comes clean and shows JB the article. He tells her the story of how he was broke when his wife died and ended up roped into an investment project at Juniper Lake – Jake Sandford (as previously mentioned), Terry Mayhew, Cynthia and Seth. Lowell Dixon went up to expose the scheme as a fraud and ended up face down in the lake.

Jess tells Seth it’s obvious why Barney Kale sent him the article, and pleads with him to stay out of it. Seth agrees, and they head off to the planning committee meeting. JB tells Seth to keep that smile on his face where it belongs and Seth says “On my honour, unless we run into Amos in which case all bets are off.”


Meanwhile, the Kaleatron arrives at Juniper Lake and orders Jake to move Joanie Maggie and Not Scott Baio out of his preferred cabin.  Later that night JB gets a call from Amos who can’t find Seth. JB has a bad feeling about this and orders Amos to drive her up to the lake to see if they can find him. Instead they find Maggie screaming and running out of the Kaleatron’s cabin. JB and Amos investigate and discover it’s not Lieutenant Kale lying dead on the floor.



The next morning, there’s still no sign of Seth or the Kaleatron. Despite being out of his jurisdiction Amos has a theory about the murder and shares it with JB – it’s clear to him that the number one suspect is Joanie Maggie – who else would want to kill him

JB makes her view of this theory quite clear:



Amos decides to go and help the search party look for the Kaleatron. They hear shots down by the lake and go to investigate – turns out it’s the Kaleatron: he’s fallen and he can’t get up.

Job done, Amos heads back to Cabot Cove but JB decides to stay to look after Maggie. Amos promises to call if Seth turns up, and to see what he can find out about the people staying at the hotel. Just in case. JB goes to check on Maggie who is with the Kaleatron – she tells them that Not Scott Baio had just gotten out of prison. Jess asks her if that was why he was in the Kaleatron’s room, to steal his camera equipment, but she says no, he was looking for his sneakers that he’d left behind when they changed cabins.

Jess decides that it appears to be a case of mistaken identity, and that someone was aiming for the Kaleatron. As they talk, Sheriff McCoy (being played by the love-child of Daniel Day Lewis and Pete Postlethwaite) arrives with a prisoner. It’s Seth! In handcuffs! Insert inappropriate joke here!

Inside, Seth tells JB what happened – he couldn’t stay away so he drove up, missed the turn, went 20 miles in the wrong direction and crashed his car into a ditch. After wandering around in the woods all night Sheriff McCoy found him, picked him up and put him in handcuffs in case he was the killer of Not Scott Baio.

Sheriff McCoy, while seemingly accepting that Seth didn’t kill anyone, decides to keep everyone in the hotel dining room until he can think of a better plan. It’s obvious to him that whomever killed Not Scott Baio also killed Lowell Dixon ten years ago, and he quite likes the idea of one-upping the Kaleatron. McCoy’s minions locate the murder weapon – Terry Mayhew’s shotgun, According to the Kaleatron there’s no way to prove who fired it, so actually the discovery is kind of pointless.

JB has another chat with Maggie and asks her if Not Scott Baio was intending to go fishing, where was his gear? Maggie says she doesn’t know, that she just went along with him and was going to break up with him anyway but she never got the chance. A sneaky phone call from Amos fills JB in on the backgrounds of Terry Mayhew and Cynthia Tait but JB has a new theory and asks him to find out all that he can about Not Scott Baio. Her new theory is that Not Scott Baio was up to shenanigans, but said shenanigans are unknown. The Kaleatron suggests searching the room but McCoy squashes that, saying that they will wait for the technicians. (CSI Cabot Cove, presumably). JB flips her lid and says that if he doesn’t let them in she’ll call the governor, “Well, since you asked so nicely…” says McCoy.

How dare he challenge the Queen of the Universe?

How dare he challenge the Queen of the Universe?

The Sheriff, Seth, Jess, the Kaleatron and the Kaleatron’s whiskey all troop over to the cabin to investigate. One short nifty science demonstration later JB proves that the intended victim was not the Kaleatron, but Not Scot Baio. The Kaleatron collapses. Seth quickly deduces arsenic in the whiskey as the likely suspect. Another search of the room turns up a mysterious unlisted phone number that turns out to belong to Cynthia Tait. Cynthia swears she has no idea how Not Scott Baio got her number. JB tells her Jake said she wasn’t in her cabin last night and she tells them that she went to see Terry Mayhew. And by see Terry Mayhew you know what I mean.

JB and McCoy wonder how Not Scot Baio was connected to Lowell Dixon’s death ten years earlier. McCoy confirms he wasn’t local, and JB concludes it must a friend of a friend type deal. They talk to Jake who remembers Joe Cabrini who worked at the resort until he was sacked for pinching whiskey then ended up imprisoned, A call to Amos confirms that Cabrini was Not Scot Baio’s cell mate until he was shived in the laundry room a couple of months ago.

It’s all coming together now kids. Cabrini had clearly told his cellmate something about the murder of Lowell Dixon and Not Scott Baio decided to capitalise on this new information by blackmail, until his target turned the tables and shot him. The question is, who was he blackmailing?

File this one under Things I DIdn’t See Coming.


Seriously though, did you guess this?

Turns out Lowell Dixon found out the Kaleatron had been doing special favours in exchange for special favours, and so he killed him. And Not Scott Baio.

And that is the end of that.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E02 – Death Stalks The Big Top (Part 2)


So, to recap: Our Heroine went hunting leprechauns in Arkansas, found her dead brother-in-law working in a circus in Kansas and stays to clear him of the murder of Douchbag Hank Sutter. The rest of the circus gang have their own crap to deal with. Got it? Good!

JB goes to confront Neil about his so-called confession but he tells her to back off. He accidentally reveals a cut on his leg, which JB decides is where the blood on the alleged murder weapon (a juggling club) came from. She’s convinced that he’s covering up for someone and taking the fall.

Mayor Adam West Powers doesn’t care. He’s convinced he’s got the right man, his father in law the judge thinks he’s got the right man, and the people in town think he’s got the right man. He’s getting himself re-elected, and thinks JB should just go back to where she came from.

This mayor bloke is going to get a Cabot Cove smackdown before this episode is done, I can tell.

This mayor bloke is going to get a Cabot Cove smackdown before this episode is done, I can tell.

The Sheriff (who I’ve just learned was in the Train Job episode of Firefly as the Sheriff and now I have the theme from Inception stuck in my head) is more apologetic.  Jess goes back to the big top, where she finds the ringmaster Preston Bartholomew watching Hank Sutter’s widow Maylene rehearsing her horse vaulting routine.

And by watching…

Sweet dreams, Internet...

Sweet dreams, Internet…

Maylene tells Preston that she’s leaving the circus at the end of the season, to start a horse breeding farm. Preston tells her he’s thinking of doing the same thing – the Mysterious Accidents of Mystery have jinxed the circus, and he’s due a large wad of cash that he’s going to collect and ride off into the sunset on his moustache, probably.

JB “bumps” into Maylene outside the big top to offer her condolences and ask her if she thinks her husband could have been the one who caused all the ‘accidents’ that have cursed the big top. Maylene thinks anything is possible, but doesn’t think so. JB tells her her theory that Neil/Carl is taking the fall for someone, and asks if Maylene knows who that might be. Maylene’s got nothing.

Inside the big top Brad and Charlie are watching Katie rehearse. JB wanders in just in time to see Katie fall from the high wire into the safety net. She’s convinced someone is trying to kill her, and turns out she’s not wrong – someone had put a ball bearing inside her balance pole and had glued it just enough to keep it from moving until it was used in her act.

Katie is (understandably) raging, but both Brad and Edgar Carmody don’t want to get the police involved. Carmody seems to have a good idea about who’s behind the shenanigans and storms off. JB lingers to ask Brad about the cuts and grazes on his hands, but he tells her they were caused by working without gloves and storms off too.

After searching Neil/Carl’s trailer, JB finds a strip of photo-booth photos with Neil/Carl, Charlie and Charlie’s baseball bat. She finds Katie and Charlie to ask about the bat and Charlie tells her that Hank the Douchebag took it off him the night he died. JB goes straight to the jail to tell Neil/Carl that he’s protecting someone who doesn’t need protecting – Charlie couldn’t have killed Hank with the baseball bat. Neil/Carl finally comes clean and tells them what happened – he was out strolling the grounds and saw Hank lying on the ground, next to Charlie’s bat. He put two and two together, and decided to do A Good Deed.

Mayor Powers is having none of it, and orders Neil/Carl back to his cell.



JB spots a report on Brad Keneally on the sheriff’s desk. He’d spotted the same cuts and grazes that Jess had, and had checked into his past. Turns out all of his work history and references on his application to the circus were completely faked. As if he had something to hide. BAM.

JB goes back to her hotel to have a ponder and spots Mr Carmody leaving. JB asks the clerk if Mr Kingman is in his room, and if she can pay him a visit.

Now, disclaimer: Mr Kingman is in the first episode, for about three seconds. He owns another circus, and wants to buy Carmody out. How the hell JB knows about him is in fact beyond me. Seriously though, if you know what I’m talking about please let me know I’m confused.


Before JB can go pay a visit to Mr Kingman she’s accosted by Carol Brady Maria Morgana, who offers her assistance. JB calls her out on it, pointing out tbat she stood to benefit from the circus shutting down. They are soon interrupted by her daughter who has just found out that her mother paid Carmody a million dollars to fire his son. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.

But ain’t nobody got time for that, because it turns out Mr Kingman is lying dead on the floor of his hotel room. (Seriously though, what the hell?)  The coroner (who is the nephew of the mayor and also a vet) tells him that he’s been dead less than an hour. Both the Sheriff and JB try to tell the mayor about Carmody leaving the scene just before the body was found but he’s got a care factor of zero and tells JB that if she impedes his investigation one more second he’ll have her thrown in jail with her brother-in-law.

Actual quote: "I'm sorry Mayor but you have as much right to conduct a police investigation as Jack the Ripper". BAM

Actual quote: “I’m sorry Mayor but you have as much right to conduct a police investigation as Jack the Ripper”. BAM

After getting no support from the sheriff (who calls him a boob-brained pompous ass), the mayor storms off.

Heh heh

Heh heh

Back at the circus Edgar Carmody is celebrating his good fortune, until he is confronted by his son. After Ray convinces him that he wants to stay at the circus and so does his wife, Ray promises to send the cheque back to Maria. He tells Ray that he’s sure the accidents will stop, saving them money. “I’m sure they will,” says JB, bobbing up from god knows where. “Since Kingman is now dead.”Edgar proclaims his innocence. JB thinks he’s covering for someone (there seems to be a bit of that going around) and asks him about Brad Keneally.

Armed with more information JB goes to question Brad. Preston and Maylene stop her on the way to ask her if it was true that Kingman was strangled and that that was the end of the Accidents, and JB tells them Yes and Maybe not. Brad is packing up his gear and ignoring Katie’s protests when JB arrives to tell him that Hank Sutter wasn’t murdered by elephants or by fists.

Brad comes clean. He used to be a boxer and a drunk who had a nasty habit of combining the two. After a couple of run ins with the law Brad hit the road and ended up at Carmodys. After three years of lying low  he got into a fight with Sutter the night he died, but ran off when he heard someone coming. JB thinks whomever this mysterious person was is the killer/

Calling it a night, JB goes back to her hotel room and finds Maylene passed out on the floor. JB quickly joins her after being attacked with a chloroform soaked handkerchief. The mysterious intruder sets fire to the bed and takes off. Fortunately for everyone Neil/Carl chooses that exact moment to turn up, having been released from jail.

This brush with death has given JB an idea about the killer, but she has no way to prove it. She arranges to meet him at the big top to see if she can coerce it out of him, and only when the circus folk threaten to feed him to the lions that he admits to everything.

(Also Ringmaster of Death)

(Also Ringmaster of Death)

The Moustached one was in the employ of Kingman and tried to ruin the circus by causing all those Mysterious Accidents. Hank Sutter busted him mid-accident and so he killed him. Kingman refused to pay him for his work and so he killed him. Maylene and JB unwittingly caught him in a lie and so he tried to kill them, but failed.

Job done, JB goes back to Washington to report in to Monica and tell her the story. Grandfather and granddaughter are briefly reunited and they all live happily ever after. Except Constance, because anyone who is that much of a raging bitch will never be happy.

The. End.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E01 – Death Stalks The Big Top (Part 1)


Season 3 gang! Who’d have thought I’d actually stick with this? How exciting.

JB is in Washington DC  for the wedding of her grandniece to Chandler Bing:

(How young does she look in this!?)

(How young does she look in this!?)

JB is delighted to see her grandniece Carol (on Frank’s side), but less so to see Carol’s mother Audrey, who is a bimbo, and grandmother Constance, who is a raging bitch. So when Carol tells JB she’s received a leprechaun statue from her dead grandfather JB is quite eager to get out of the house and roadtrip to Arkansas to see just where this leprechaun came from. And who wouldn’t?

Turns out, Neil Fletcher is now Carl Schumann and is alive and well and working as a clown in a travelling circus, which is a definite improvement to being married to Constance. He seems to be living the sweet life, hanging out with the high-wire act Katie McCallum and her son Charlie, and generally being awesome.  Alas, all is not well in the circus, however. Mysterious events of mystery keep happening, and the owner Edgar Carmody is trying to keep the show afloat, while his son Raymond is trying to stop his wife Daniella from talking him into moving to New York and working for her mother (who you may also recognise):

Meanwhile in the big top, Katie the High-wire Girl is feeling a bit romantically inclined towards the roustabout Brad, but chief teamster Hank Sutter is trying to get in on the action, with force if necessary. (His wife is not impressed). When I tell you that he is a Monsterous Douchebag I am understating this quite a lot. Also, you might recognise him too:

You're the Good Old Boys?

You’re the Good Old Boys? (We’re on a mission from God, etc)

Apart from Katie, Hank Sutter The Tossbag has also been getting his claws into the boss’s wife. So naturally, when JB pitches up in to town she has her hands full. Each person she shows Neil’s photo to recognises him but then clams up. Ain’t nobody seen nothin, and so on. Edgar Carmody finally tells her that there’s no one at the circus who looks like that and has Brad escort her off the lot.

(Is anyone else exhausted yet?)

The next morning, JB decides to continue her investigations with the cunning use of monkeys.

This is perfect

This is perfect

Unfortunately the jig is up once she loses the jacket and glasses (and the monkey), but before Edgar can throw her out again, news comes in via Katie McCullum that Hank Sutter has been injured. And by injured I mean trampled to death by elephants.

Aw, we’ll sure miss him, said no one ever.

The 5-0 roll in closely followed by Mayor Adam West Powers, who is quickly discovered to be a) a douchebag and b) an idiot. He quickly puts himself in charge of the investigation and declares he is shutting the circus down. When Edgar tells him that that’s illegal he says “You learn quickly – nothing I do in this town is illegal.”

He is unhappy to learn that Sutter’s death was not in fact an accident, when JB points out the elephants have no blood on their feet. It was murder. (Duh).

The Mayor decides to kick off his interrogations with Our Heroine, since she’s already shown him up once. He asks her what she was doing at the circus and she explains the Mystery of the Leprechaun. Fine, says the mayor, but how do I know you weren’t looking for Hank Sutter?

Because I just told you, says Our Heroine.

Of all the crazy fools Our Heroine has had to deal with, this one is the worst.

Of all the crazy fools Our Heroine has had to deal with, this one is the worst.

The Mayor lets loose but is cut short by a deputy bringing news that Carl Schumann has disappeared. JB tells them that Carl left the night before, before the murder, but this is actually a cunning ruse on the part of Edgar Carmody to get her to back off. The police go hunting and find Neil/Carl about to get the bus out of town.

(This is Jackie Cooper. He was Perry White in the Superman movies, but was also the youngest Best Actor Oscar nominee until Keisha Castle-Hughes. You're welcome, people going to a trivia night)

(This is Jackie Cooper. He was Perry White in the Superman movies, but was also the youngest ever Best Actor Oscar nominee until Keisha Castle-Hughes. You’re welcome, people going to a trivia night)

Once JB learns of Carl/Neil’s arrest she goes to see him in the jail. He comes clean about how he faked his death and is desperate to keep his new life a secret from his wife and daughter (fair enough too I might add). JB is more concerned with the whole murder business, but before they can talk further Mayor Moron arrives and throws her out.

Undeterred by Mayor Moron’s warning to stay out of police business, JB goes to check the circus for more clues and finds the chain securing one of the elephants has been partially cut through. She asks Katie about it but she doesn’t know anything about it. Jessica decides to search Neil/Carl’s trailer to see what the police missed, but instead find the police unearthing the murder weapon. Apparently Neil/Carl told them where it was and confessed to the whole thing.

And there it ends, Fletcherfans. Will the circus survive? Will JB clear her brother in law? Will Monica and Chandler ever have a baby?

Stay tuned!

See you next week!

See you next week!

S02E22 – If The Frame Fits


This week JB is paying a visit to her friend Lloyd Marcus, a retired advertising executive who is desperate for Jess to read a murder mystery manuscript written by “a friend” who conveniently lives in Tibet. A LIKELY STORY. Fortunately, Jess is saved by the bell, and by bell I mean discovering that the town cat burglar has come and stolen a painting.  Jess is stumped, as the painting was in its frame when she went to retrieve her copy of The Mystery Novel Of Mystery, but a minute later it was gone and the window open.  Police Chief Wiggum Cooper is on the case though, and tells Jess that she wasn’t in any danger as the Cat Burglar never hurts anyone. Lloyd’s house man Forbes arrives home from his night off and is quickly under suspicion (presumably for having the job title house man) but JB is inclined to this he is innocent (presumably because she wouldn’t mind a house man, if you know what I mean)

(Side note: there is only one true Cat Burglar and it’s this guy)


The next day Lloyd takes JB down to the Club to show her off to his fancy rich friends, including Frank Tiller, the Mayor/insurer of the stolen paintings, and his wife Mildred. He introduces JB as the mystery writer, but Frank is busy worrying about the stolen paintings and Mildred just says “…You’re the mystery writer!”

I think it's going to be one of those days for Our Heroine

I think it’s going to be one of those days for Our Heroine

They are soon joined by Lloyd’s daughter Julia (who also happens to be the Mum from Alf, and seriously why isn’t Alf on TV no wonder society is doomed) who Lloyd refers to as a snob. In this instance, snob is code for Massive Bitch. Apparently the Lloydster doesn’t approve of Julia’s taste in husbands.

Julia takes Our Heroine on a tour “to see how the leisure class live”, whatever that means, and is soon introduced to Ellen Davis (who works at the club)  and Binky Holborn.

You may recognise him. I did, the minute he opened his mouth.



When I tell you that Binky Holborn is possibly the greatest thing to ever happen to television, you’d better believe it. It turns out he was the first victim of the Cedar Heights Cat Burglar, and is keen to thrown a dinner party to discuss his theories with JB. Lloyd isn’t keen, he wants to work on his ‘friends’ manuscript, Ellen has paperwork to do and Julia is being a bitch spending time with her husband.

This makes Binky a sad panda.

Poor Binky. Seriously though, the hell name is Binky?

Poor Binky. Seriously though, the hell name is Binky?

Later that night JB and Lloyd go  to dinner with Binky, leaving Julia at home with her husband, and Lloyd’s other daughter Sabrina home with a headache. After some excited prodding from Binky Lloyd returns home to get Jess’s forgotten copy of The Mystery Book of Mystery and returns for a night of Amateur Workshopping.

On the way home, Lloyd notices Julia’s front door has been left wide open. Inside, Julia is completely dead. (Unsurprised)

Chief Wiggum Cooper is on the case, under the subtle gaze and gentle encouragement of JB, who is the first to point out the broken clock on the mantlepiece,the cuts on Julia’s neck and a button with the letters DG on it clenched in Julia’s hand.

Case closed – it’s clear that Julia’s husband Donald Granger is the killer. HUSBAND OF DEATH!

Since there's still half an hour left in this episode I'm assuming a lengthy explanation will be forthcoming

Since there’s still half an hour left in this episode I’m assuming a lengthy explanation will be forthcoming

A quick inspection of his wardrobe reveals a blazer with a button missing. Ho-hum. He is charged the next morning, despite his insistence that he was at the Seafood Shanty with a female friend at the time of the murder. Julia’s sister Sabrina is convinced he didn’t do it. More ho-hum.

JB decides to do some sleuthing down at the club and runs into Mildred. She tells Our Heroine that Donald had a thing with Sabrina before he met Julia – they met at a ski resort “and you know what that means!”

Mildred fails at the concept of the double entendre.

Mildred fails at the concept of the double entendre.

Jess returns to the scene of the crime with Chief Wiggum Cooper who has bad news – Donald Granger’s alibi checks out. The staff at the Seafood Shanty remember seeing him there with a woman, but a brunette so it couldn’t have been Sabrina. JB is starting to think that the crime scene was staged. In the middle of explaining her theory JB has a brainwave and scurries off to see Lloyd who confesses to setting up Donald Granger for the murder. But he swears he didn’t kill her. Oh well, then it’s fine.

As Lloyd explains how he tried to set up Donald as the killer it soon becomes clear that the Cat Burglar had paid Julia’s house a visit. JB decides that unmasking the Cat Burglar will probably help catch the killer, and starts nosing around the Club looking for clues. She tells Ellen that Donald is no longer under suspicion, guessing (correctly) that she must have been his late night dinner companion. Jess finds  Binky outside failing at putting and asks him about the Cat Burglar’s other victims. Binky tells her that after his painting was taken the Tilley’s had a “perfectly maudlin” little thing taken off their hands. Oh Binky.  JB catches up with the Tilley’s again and discovers that it was widely known when the two victims were away from home, so really anyone could have stolen the paintings. HELPFUL.

JB goes to visit Ellen again and finds her hard at work.

(Definitely better than my old computer!)

(Definitely better than my old computer!)

Ellen finally admits to having an affair with Donald, and says her relationship with Binky is just a ruse. Lady, I don’t think your relationship with Binky is fooling anyone. JB asks if any of the Club members are having financial problems and Ellen says there are few but Binky isn’t one of them – since he still somehow has the money to jet off to the UK every three months or so.

Apparently, this is a clue. JB knows who the cat burglar is, but is he the killer too?

This brings the total number of awesome cat burglars to 2.

This brings the total number of awesome cat burglars to 2.

Binky is quite delighted to reveal himself as the cat burglar, but he couldn’t possibly have killed Julia, since he was having dinner with Jessica. It would appear they are back to square one again. But no! Because Jess has had another brainwave.



So, if I’ve got this right, Donald killed Julia and made it look like the Cat Burglar had done it, then Lloyd came in and made it look like Donald had done it, which then made it look like Lloyd had done it even though Donald had done it to begin with.

Ow my brain.

And so ends another season. But not to fear, Fletcherfans, because Season 3 is starting next week! And Season 3 contains lots of amazing things. LIKE A MAGNUM PI MURDER SHE WROTE CROSSOVER SPECIAL O YES YES O YAY.

Just think about that one, for a minute.

Later gang!

Later gang!