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S03E20 – The Cemetery Vote

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JB is off to Comstock Idaho (which is what I would imagine the middle of nowhere is called) to visit her newly widowed friend Linda Stephens, wife of the late Mayor Jimmy Stephens who died in a car crash. Only Jimmy’s father Harry is convinced otherwise, and is determined to keep digging, against the wishes of Creepy Sheriff Orville Yates and Creepy Deputy Wayne Beeler.

Jess has also arrived in town just in time for the special election to elect a new mayor, on account of the last one dropping off the perch (so to speak). Jimmy’s friend David Carroll (previously seen in X-Men as Senator Kelly, that evil so-and-so) is running to replace Jimmy but is up against Creepy Yates, who has the support of the local illegal casino owner Gil Stokes and dodgy bar owner Kate Gunnerson.

This is all quite exciting! I’m liking this episode already. Possibly because of its Glorious Lack Of Grady (GLOG).

Anyway, JB is with Linda at City Hall to collect posters to stick up around town when Harry comes barrelling in to demand a court order ordering Sheriff Yates to turn over Jimmy’s car to Linda. Harry’s convinced there’s evidence proving the car was tampered with, but initial efforts to liberate the car from the pound resulted in Creepy Deputy Beeler putting Harry in a chokehold. David gets the order from the judge, but when they arrive at the pound the car has conveniently gone missing. SHENANIGANS!

Creepy Sheriff does not take kindly to JB suggesting that he doesn’t want to disobey a court order just before an election.

(Actual line: "You must be from out of town."

(Actual line: “You must be from out of town.”

(Actual line: "Well what's that got to do with anything?"

(Actual line: “Well what’s that got to do with anything?”

(Actual line: "Folks around here know better than to make threats against the Sheriff)

(Actual line: “Folks around here know better than to make threats against the Sheriff)”

Yeah. There’s never a bad time to quote Eddie Izzard. That’s science. Anyway, JB won’t stand for Creepy Sheriff trying to get all up in her business.

Actual line: "Where I come from, no one has to. The Sheriff upholds the law."

Actual line: “Where I come from, no one has to. The Sheriff upholds the law.”

Creepy Sheriff’s response: “I don’t believe I caught your name, m’aam.” GOD IT’S JUST LIKE SHOOTOUT AT OK CORRAL EXCEPT WITH WORDS AND NOT GUNS AND TO BE HONEST I’M NOT SURE IT’S ANYTHING LIKE IT BUT NO MATTER.

That night Linda and JB are getting ready for bed when they hear glass breaking downstairs. They go to investigate, shotgun at the ready, but it’s only Harry looking for proof of Creepy Orville & Co.’s shady dealings. Linda gets upset at Harry’s conspiracy theory and goes to make coffee but Jess is convinced that Harry’s on to something. Harry finds the ring his father made, that he gave to Jimmy, and takes it back. JB finds a piece of paper with a long string of numbers and letters in Jimmy’s wallet. Harry’s eyes light up, and without any explanation he copies out the note and tells JB to tell Linda he’s off to get evidence to give to Captain Ernest Lenko at the State Police. Jess warns him to be careful and Harry tells her not to worry, he’s not getting into any “car accidents”.

Cut to Harry’s dead body being thrown out of a moving car. Sigh.

Linda is asked by Creepy Sheriff Orville to identify Harry’s body, making JB furious. She asks him why someone else can’t do it but he says it’s procedure. JB harangues until he finally tells her how Harry died – a whack on the head before being thrown out of a car. Jess asks him if he thinks it’s a coincidence that Jimmy and Harry both died on lonely roads but Creepy Orville won’t have a bar of it. Dave Carroll comes barrelling into the office demanding to know why Linda is identifying the body when surely Creepy Orville could have just confirmed the ID with Harry’s license. He also demands Orville hand over Harry’s effects – his wallet, his keys and his ring but Orville tells them that not only did he not have those things on him, but that he didn’t have boots either.

Outraged at the lack of action, JB goes to see Captain Lenko to see if more can be done. In this scene (and to be fair, the rest of them too) Captain Lenko is played by Greg’s Dad from Dharma and Greg.

Doesn't look any different.

Doesn’t look any different.

JB rages at him about the crime wave in Comstock (which is saying something when someone from Cabot Cove is calling you out on it) but Blenko knows all about it. He tells her that they’ve attempted to raid the illegal casino many times but every time they get there the crooks have been tipped off, as Blenko is legally obliged to inform Orville of an intent to raid. It even happened two nights before Jimmy died, when Orville was out of town at a convention (I’m assuming it was Comicon.) Jess tells him Harry thought he’d found proof and shows him the piece of paper with the cipher on it but Blenko doesn’t recognise it.

Jess goes to see Linda, who is packing up Jimmy’s office and tries to convince her that Jimmy was murdered but she refuses to listen. David comes in and offers JB a lift to the library, but as they walk out JB tells him she’d like to see where Jimmy died first. Jimmy’s secretary, Cindy, takes special note of the news. Dave tells JB he’ll just go and tell his secretary to hold his calls and he’ll take her out. As they are driving down the road a truck comes up behind them and starts shunting into their car. David tries to shake them off but instead veers off the road and crashes into a ditch. The ambulance arrives, followed by Creepy Orville, who is sceptical about this tale of a Runaway Truck of Doom that was so mud splattered that neither JB nor David could get a glimpse of the driver or the license plate.

That night, recovering from her bruises, JB calls Blenko and asks him about the possibility that a passing hobo could have spotted Harry’s body and taken his shoes. Blenko agrees to look into it. She also tells him about her suspicions that someone in the mayor’s office is a mole – only David, Linda, JB and Cindy the secretary knew about her and David driving out to where Jimmy died. Blenko tells her to be careful.

The next morning, George McDaniels – another friend of Jimmy and Linda’s at City Hall – calls JB in to David’s office. David’s secretary tells them that Cindy, Jimmy’s secretary, is having an affair with Creepy Deputy Beeler. The mole has been caught!

JB confronts Cindy when she arrives at the office. She swears she never told Creepy Beeler about JB and David’s trip out to the crash site, but admits that she was telling him other things but she was only doing it because he was really mean when he was angry but she couldn’t leave him because she loved him and that he was going to ask his wife for a divorce as soon as she had the baby and…

Word.

Word.

JB asks her if she told Creepy Beeler about the raid on the casino when Creepy Orville was out of town but she tells Jess that she didn’t know anything about it. JB believes her, and so asks her about the slip of paper that Harry had been so excited about. Cindy tells her they are two legal references, and offers to find them for her. When she opens to the right page, a slip of paper falls out. Jess reads it and immediately goes to show Blenko. Wedged into the notes about a case of an elected official taking bribes for political support is a sworn statement from an electrician who was called to make emergency repairs at the casino – while Creepy Orville stood around in full view of all the gambling and shenanigans. The other legal reference referred to a case of election fraud where the official used the ‘cemetery vote’ – getting voter names from gravestones a la Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons to get him over the line. That case didn’t contain any bonus proof, however.

Blenko tells JB he has news for her too – they were right about a hobo stealing Harry’s shoes. They picked him up in the next town trying to buy booze with Harry’s credit card. He had Harry’s wallet, keys and ring. JB wonders at the fact that he only had one set of keys, when Harry left Linda’s with two sets, but it’s the word ‘key’ that sets JB to thinking. She tells Blenko to set up a raid, saying that this time she thinks he’ll find more than lawn furniture.

Trap set, JB goes back to City Hall and starts talking loudly about an imminent raid on the casino. The killer, like a sucker, goes straight to a phone to call ahead and warn them but the police are already there.

The game is up, Bucko.

Never trusted him. It's those thin lips.

Never trusted him. It’s those thin lips.

Turns out the law reference to electoral malfeasance originally contained proof that David dodged up the election. David killed him when Harry was at City Hall looking for proof, and swapped the papers in the law texts over, removing the one incriminating him. Unfortunately for David he accidentally incriminated himself when he asked for Harry’s ring back at the sheriff’s office after he died. Only Jess knew he was wearing the ring again.

Phew. I don’t know about you but that was a little exhausting. Two episodes left to go this season! Stay tuned Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E19 – No Accounting For Murder

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UGH.

The derp is strong in this one.

The derp is strong in this one.

Once again, Grady is failing at everything. He works as an accountant for a company called Paul Carlisle and Associates in a building which is supposedly haunted, and someone just stole his sandwich. In fact, when JB arrives to see her nephew, the security guard has him in a head lock after he mistakes Grady for the ghost the secretary claims is chasing her.

(Or the security guard just wanted to arrest Grady for being SO LAME)

(Or the security guard just wanted to arrest Grady for being SO LAME)

While the security guard goes to sort the actual ghost out, Grady’s boss Ralph Whitman takes JB to meet the big boss Paul Carlisle, who tells her that he can see where Grady gets his sharp intellect from…

WTF is right

WTF is right

…and that he’s been a big fan of JB’s for twenty years…

JB keeps her composure well

JB keeps her composure well

…and that he always says there’s nothing better than a good romance novel.

Man, this guy makes Grady look intelligent. I don't like it.

Man, this guy makes Grady look intelligent. I don’t like it.

Having been overwhelmed by Paul Carlisle’s stupidity graciousness, JB takes her leave, saying she and Grady have reservations for an early dinner. As Whitman shows them out he tells Carlisle that the Hammond account files are in his office, but Carlisle is going home and is all “Yolo, bro.” (Paraphrasing).

Whitman is waylaid in the foyer by Lester Grimshaw, IRS agent, so Whitman returns to his office leaving Grady and JB to go off to dinner. Grady whinges about how the ghost stole his lunch, which Jessica completely empathises with.

Classic Grady.

Classic Grady.

After dinner Grady goes back to the office. As he gets out of the cab a woman tries to get in but JB is unmoved.

This might actually be my favourite screenshot yet,

This might actually be my favourite screenshot yet

When Grady goes up to his office he sees his boss Ralph Whitman’s office light on and goes to investigate. El Whitman is in fact dead and on the wall someone has helpfully scrawled LEAVE ME ALONE OR I WILL KILL AGAIN in big red letters.

Needless to say, Grady isn’t coping with this new development. JB comes to check up on him and meets the investigating detective Lieutenant Hanratty, played by Jerry’s Dad in Seinfeld with an inexplicable Irish accent. JB takes charge straight away and tells him that the message on the wall is obviously a red herring, that the fact that Whitman was killed in his chair suggests that Whitman knew the killer. Handratty points out Whitman wasn’t alone in the office, that Grady was also in the building, to which Jess replies with “Yes, he told me he’d reported the crime…so obviously he didn’t kill him.”

“Well, it’s unlikely.” Says Hanratty.

“UNLIKELY!” Jess exclaims.

“Now now. Mrs Fletcher. Let’s not be giving ourselves a bellyache until after we’ve tasted the stew.” Says Hanratty.

Mmmkay.

Despite the death of his “close personal friend”, Carlisle and Associates is open for business the next day. Apparently off the hook, Grady is telling the secretary how he nearly lost his lunch seeing Whitman like that when Grimshaw calls Grady into his office to talk about a dodgy tax deal with Grady’s name on it. Grady asks Carlisle about it and Carlisle is surprised to learn that Grady doesn’t know anything about it.

Grady is in the middle of moaning to Jess about it all when there are raised voices outside his office. Mrs Whitman, the newly widowed wife of Ralph, is trying to get into her husband’s sealed office. JB comes out to investigate the hubbub and recognises Mrs Whitman as the woman who tried to commandeer her taxi the previous night. She tries to deny it but relents and agrees to go talk to Lieutenant Hanratty with JB. As they leave the office, Carlisle tells Grady the Hammond file he needs for the meeting is in his office. UGH FILES AND GRADY AND EW.

Mrs Whitman tells the Lieutenant and JB that she went to see her husband but he didn’t answer her knock. Hanratty asks her why it was so difficult to get in touch with her to tell her about her husbands death and she admits she spent the night *cough* in someone else’s apartment *cough*. The interview is interrupted when another policeman comes in to tell them that there’s been an incident at the office. The ghost has left another message and frightened the janitor.

This is turning into an episode of Scooby Doo. WAIT. Obviously in this scenario JB is Velma…is Grady a combination of Shaggy and Scooby? Or is he Scrappy Doo because he’s so damn annoying? This wants thinking about.

ANYWAY.

The janitor tells Lieutenant Hanratty that she can hear the ghosts in the walls. He tells her there’s no such thing as ghosts – banshees maybe and of course The Little People, but no ghosts. JB asks the janitor where she hears the spirits the most and the janitor directs her to the janitor’s closet. Upon closer inspection JB finds a secret door in the wall, leading into a passage. SERIOUSLY THIS IS SCOOBY DOO, SOMEONE GIVE GRADY A SCOOBY SNACK. JB goes in to investigate, and is followed by an Ominous Shadow that turns into Thing from Addams Family.

*clicks fingers*

*clicks fingers*

The disembodied hand is attached to a random hobo who has taken up residence in the walls of the building. He tells her that he had nothing to do with the killing and to please leave him alone while he plays the organ in the basement.

On a stroll through the park JB fills Henretty in and he decides that if the killer isn’t the ghost it must be Scrappy Doo Grady. JB won’t have a bar of it, and reminds him that Lana Whitman stood to gain a bit by her husband ceasing to be. Meanwhile, Whitman’s office is unsealed and Grady sets to finding the files about this mysterious Neptune Ventures he’s said to be involved with. He can’t find anything in the office (SO MUCH FAIL) but JB notices an appointment with a Marty Giles in Whitman’s planner with the notation NV next to it. NV = NEPTUNE VENTURES! I GET IT! (For some reason this reminds me of when I was a kid and my Mum was reading me a story about Barbie solving a mystery of the case of the missing wedding dress or something and Mum raged because the clues were ridiculous. Heh heh. My Mum is awesome).

JB decides to pay a visit to said Marty Giles, whom you may remember from this episode (or from the future).

k2

He will. Promise.

Marty isn’t inclined to be of assistance to JB, and even less so when he hears the name Neptune Ventures. JB then escorts Grady to see Grimshaw at the IRS office, where Grimshaw declares that Grady is the mastermind behind a scheme to defraud the government out of millions of tax dollars.

Seriously though...

Seriously though…

Despite Grimshaw’s exhaustive interrogative techniques, Scrappy Doo Grady insists he knows nothing about Neptune Ventures.

Meanwhile, back at the office Lana Whitman informs Paul Carlisle that she wants to sell off her late husbands share in the business so she can move to Spain with her lover ZOLTAN. Carlisle tries to give her the brush off but she tells him that if he doesn’t agree to her terms she’ll take him to court and force him to open his books.

JB and Grady return to the office just in time to catch Lieutenant Henretty, who promptly takes Grady in for questioning. He asks Grady about his trips to the Cayman Islands and his nefarious deeds for the company (LOL) but Grady continues to swear that he knows nothing. (I think we can all agree that this is true). JB asks Henretty if they can go through the files one more time to try and find more information about Neptune Ventures.

Before that though, JB goes to see Marty Giles and comes down on him with a world of pain. He cracks, and tells her that he was being blackmailed into investing in Neptune Ventures or else he would be ratted out to the IRS for some of his more shady business dealings.

That night, Grady and JB are going through the files and getting nowhere. Grady, being the interminable failure we all know gives up halfway through, goes to splash water on his face and gets distracted walking the secretary to her subway station, leaving JB to stumble on to the file on her own. The Hammond File. Remember that time everyone in the episode was talking about the Hammond file?

As she’s realised what she’s discovered, the killer helpfully walks in to explain how he cocked up.

Surprised? Nah, me neither.

Surprised? Nah, me neither.

Ah yes. That shifty Carlisle stuffed up when he admitted to Grady the day after the killing that the Hammond file was in his office, when the previous day it had been in Whitman’s office and should have remained there since he was at the office alone. EXCEPT FOR WHEN CARLISLE CAME BACK AND KILLED HIM AND STOLE THE FILE.

Just as Whitman is about to strangle JB with the lamp cord, the friendly neighbourhood hobo ghost bursts out of the wall, hogties Whitman and then disappears. I’m not gonna lie, I like his style.

And there you have it. Grady remains the most useless human being on Earth and JB lives to write another day courtesy of a hobo ghost with a heart of gold.

On that note…

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E18 – No Laughing Murder

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Make yourself comfortable, Fletcherfans. I have a story to tell.

Once upon a time there was a comedy duo by the name of Mack Howard and Murray Gruen. It’s the same old story, they took the world by storm, parted in anger and have hated each other ever since.

Fast forward 30 years and Mack Howard is a late night talk show host while Murray Gruen is struggling after buying an old lodge in the mountains. Someone is making boatloads of money from videos of their old routines, though each swears it isn’t him. Worse than that, their children Kip and Corrie have fallen in love, gotten engaged, and are throwing a party at Murray’s lodge to celebrate. Father of the groom Mack Howard doesn’t want a bar of it, but his wife Edie tells him that if he doesn’t go to the party he shouldn’t bother going back to the apartment either.

Fun fact: Steve Lawrence was in other things besides Blues Brothers.

Fun fact: Steve Lawrence was in other things besides Blues Brothers.

Meanwhile, father of the bride Murray Gruen is already at the lodge, self- diagnosing his medical issues with the 1980s version of WebMD, while his friend Norma wonders exactly why she’s there since he doesn’t seem to understand she’s in love with him.

Fun fact: 30 seconds after I realised Buddy Hackett voiced Scuttle in The Little Mermaid I was in the kitchen singing Part of Your World while the kettle boiled.

Buddy Hackett voiced Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. Commence loud rendition of Part Of Your World in 3-2-1…

Fortunately, JB drives up at that moment with the bride and groom to be. And honestly, I don’t know why Murray is relying on books to self- diagnose. His daughter is marrying a doctor.

DAT HAIR

DAT HAIR

OH MY.

Murray is delighted to see his late wife’s dear friend Jess.

Nawwwww

Nawwwww

Clooney is unmoved.

Nice sideeye from Corrie there. Top marks.

Nice side-eye from Corrie there. Top marks.

Dinner that night is a raging success, everyone forgives everyone for everything.

Though to be fair, who can concentrate when George Clooney's hair is RIGHT THERE.

Though to be fair, who can concentrate when George Clooney’s hair is RIGHT THERE.

As the insults between Mack and Murry escalate, Jess has a quiet word in the ear of Phil Rinker, former manager to both Mack and Murray, now manager to Mack, and he interrupts the bickering to give a toast. Mack is touched, and gives his own toast. In response, Murray stands up and smashes a glass in the fireplace.

Gotta admit, the guy has style.

The bickering starts again, with Mack and Murray accusing each other of cutting the other one out of the video sales, while their former business manager Farley Pressman tries to tell them that there is no money in the video sales, which sets Phil Rinker off as he’s convinced there is.  Buddy storms out, Mack storms out, and Farley offers JB a brandy.

The brandy break is cut short when they hear Murray screaming in his room. Everyone comes running to find Murray slumped over in the hall, howling in pain. Someone has stabbed him in the back.

YO, CLOONEY, PREP THE O.R OR WHATEVER.

In the bathroom retrieving medical supplies, JB notices the knife on the floor. Farley goes to pick it up but she tells him it’s best not to. Clooney returns to tell them that all the doors and windows are locked from the inside. While they wait for the doctor to arrive (since Clooney isn’t stepping up), JB asks Murray if he saw his attacker. He tells her not really, he just saw a shadow and then a flash of colour. JB asks him what colour the flash was, and after careful deliberation he says a deep red.

I'm not entirely sure what that means, but damn straight.

I’m not entirely sure what that means, but damn straight.

Mack is unhappy with being called a backstabber and flounces off to pack. JB talks him down, pointing out that Murray didn’t actually accuse him of stabbing him, and Mack relents. He tells JB that if Murray so much as hints that Mack shived him, he’ s outta there.

Corrie and Kip go for a walk to calm down, but Kip has other things on his mind.

Did I mention, Batman?

Did I mention, Batman?

Meanwhile, JB is inside dealing with the local constabulary in the form of Acting Chief Wylie B Ledbetter. Well, trying to.

o2n2

She gently explains to him that it seems very unlikely that a stranger would break into a house full of people to kill one of them, so the only conclusion to be made is that the culprit was someone on the inside. She also suggests he take statements to establish where everyone was at the time of the stabbing. He eventually gets there and establishes that Farley was in the den with JB, Edie was in the kitchen while Norma, Corie Kip and Mack were all in their rooms when Murray was stabbed.

p2

They realise that Phil is missing, and JB reports that his coat and overshoes are missing from his room. JB suggests that Wylie get someone to the train station to see if Phil is there, but Wylie tells her that he and the chief are the only two cops in town – but he’ll get his mother to take a look.

The next morning, JB goes hunting for sugar in the cabinet in the storeroom and finds Phil hanging from the ceiling instead. The note apologising to Murray for stabbing him convinces everyone that it’s suicide but Jess is unconvinced. The group gathers to watch Phil’s body get loaded into the ambulance, and are soon joined by Farley, who announces that he’s been all over the grounds and hasn’t seen Phil anywhere. He’s very surprised to learn that Phil was in a storeroom the whole time.

JB does some basic geometry and comes up with a startling fact – there was no way Phil could have killed himself. She goes to the police station to inform Wylie who doesn’t want to know about it but shows her the lab report of the knife used to stab Murray. It contains traces of white paint, which Wylie assumed happened when someone used the handle of the knife to scrape paint.

Idiots, idiots everywhere.

Idiots, idiots everywhere.

Armed with this new information, JB conducts an investigation of the bathroom

Game over.

No contest.

She also spots some chunks taken out of the bathroom door, and a a pile of white dust on the floor of Murray’s bedroom. Upon closer inspection JB finds a peephole carved into the wall, allowing Murray to see into Mack’s bedroom.

JB confronts Murray who breaks down and reveals the truth – he stabbed himself and set Mack up. He couldn’t bear the thought of Corrie spending time with his arch-enemy Mack. Seems legit.

That still leaves the small matter of who bumped off Phil, and for now Jessica is stumped. That night, while they are preparing dinner she asks Wylie if he learned anything from the lodge’s phone records. He tells her that the only call out on the night Phil died was to a video distribution company in New York. Edie and Norma worry that they have to spend another night with a killer in their midst, but Wylie tells them not to worry, he expects to solve the case before the end of the day.

...

Someone’s getting ahead of themselves

Fortunately for Wylie, JB has already solved the case. The killer has fallen neatly into her trap.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t Batman.

Yeah. Surprised I am not.

Yeah. Surprised I am not.

Farley, you see, had been the mysterious person getting all the money for the video sales. Farley had been embezzling money from Mack and Murray for thirty years. And when Phil cottoned on to him, he had to go.

But it’s not all bad news. Mack and Murray buried the hatchet, Corrie and Batman were more in love than ever, and Murray finally asks Norma to marry him.

And they all lived happily ever after. Probably.

The End.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S03E17 – Simon Says Colour Me Dead

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Happy New Year Fletcherfans! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and ate all the things!

We’re back in the Cove again this week, where Jess is a teeny bit miffed that her friends Simon and Eleanor Thane have been staying in Cabot Cove all summer and she’s barely heard a peep out of them. Eleanor is quick to correct this, and invites JB to a dinner party that same night.

JB’s next stop is the Sheriff’s Office, where Amos is sorting out a dispute between a local stuck-up cow called Martha and Irene and Tommy Rutlidge. The Cow has accused Tommy of stealing her son’s bike, which he didn’t, but never mind all that because look!

I don't even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD,

I don’t even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD.

JB decides to do a Good Deed and give Tommy Frank’s old bike. She takes it round and interrupts local handman and part were-wolf Cash Logan asking Irene if she needs any odd jobs doing around the house. He leaves, and JB offers the bike to Tommy. Irene tells her they can’t afford it, and they don’t accept charity but JB cleverly circumvents this by saying it’s payment if Tommy will come round and help her dig out the weeds in her garden.

Later that night, JB is having dinner with Simon, Eleanor, gallery owner Felix Casslaw, and fellow Cabot Cove summer residents Carol (previously bumped off here) and George Selby. Speaking of George…

Is there anyone who doesn't like Bewitched though, really?

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Bewitched though, really?

Despite pleas from everyone, Simon refuses to show them his newest painting. Irene appears with the roast, and Simon quickly changes the subject. Meanwhile Cash Logan is outside, watching the house and menacing some rope with a knife.

Midnight rolls around and the guests depart, including Irene a short time later. Tommy wakes to find her at the kitchen, scrubbing at a blood stain on her dress. She screams at him to go back to bed.

The next morning, Amos and his minions are called to the Thane residence. Eleanor is inconsolable and Simon is on the floor with a knife sticking out of his chest.

(Truly, you take your life into your own hands when you take your summer vacation in Cabot Cove)

It’s not long before they realise that Simon’s pulse isn’t the only thing that’s missing. Whatever top secret painting he was working on was gone too. Amos asks JB who else was at the dinner party and she tells him that George and Carol left before she did, and she got a lift home with Felix. Eleanor remembers that Irene was still cleaning in the kitchen when she went up to bed. One of Amos’s minion’s remembers seeing Irene on the street about one in the morning, but when they go to ask her about it she denies it, saying she left the Thane’s just after Eleanor went to bed. Amos spots some drawings of Irene and Tommy signed by Simon and demands to know where they came from. Irene tells them that he was going to throw them away, but when he saw her looking at them he signed them and gave them to her. It all seems legit until Amos’s minion finds Irene’s dress in the bin. Amos announces that it needs to go in for lab analysis (which for some reason is the funniest thing I’ve heard today) and orders Irene not to leave town.

Down at the station Amos’s minion has brought in Cash Logan, after he ran a stop sign and a search of his truck turned up the missing painting, slashed to ribbons. It’s enough to see it’s a picture of a naked lady, but the face is ripped up. JB asks Cash where he found it, and he claims he just saw it lying around, and figured if it was a Simon Thane painting it might still be valuable. How he came to know it was a Thane, since it wasn’t signed, remains a mystery as Amos interrupts to announce that the blood on Irene’s dress matches Simon’s and that he’s going to have to arrest her.

Better call Saul.

Irene swears she didn’t do it, but Amos is convinced that it’s a crime of passion. Observe:

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #)

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #52)

He is basing this theory on the fact that the painting was of a lady “in the all-together” (apparently that means naked?) and that there was likely some hanky-panky going on between Simon and the model.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

JB goes to see Carol and George to ask if George will take on Irene’s case. Carol is more convinced than ever that Cabot Cove needs to host a Simon Thane Exhibition but JB gently points out that it’s a stupid idea. George gives her a lift to her next stop, to see Eleanor who is doing better, and Felix, who is in Simon’s studio forging Simon’s signature on his finished paintings to ensure that Eleanor’s interests are looked after. Both are surprised when JB tells them she doesn’t think Irene is the killer. JB spots a lighter on the shelf and after Felix announces that it’s not his, pockets it to give to Eleanor.

That siren you can hear is the LOOK AT THIS THIS IS A CLUE alarm.

In the cells, Irene finally comes clean(ish) with her story – after Eleanor went to bed she went to see Simon to get paid, but she found him on the floor dead. The painting was already gone. The only other thing she remembers hearing is a car door slam. At home, Amos is showing Tommy the best way to dig up weeds, and pointing out JB has paint stains on her jacket, when a special delivery comes in for him. He’s done some *puts on sunglasses* digging of his own *yeahhhhhhh* and discovered that according to his birth certificate, Tommy’s mother died in childbirth. They confront Irene who tells them the truth – she was a friend of Tommy’s mother who told hospital staff she was her sister, and took the baby after she died.

JB tests out a theory with Cash Logan that he is Tommy’s father. He denies it, but in a not-denying sort of a way, if you know what I mean. Jess spots some paint on his jacket and he tells her he must have got it on him when he found the slashed painting. This gives Jess an idea about her own paint stains, and she pedalls on over to the Selby’s house. She checks out George’s car and finds wet paint. The suspect pool has been narrowed down to two.

While having tea with George and Carol, JB accidentally spills some on the couch. As she wipes it up, she “finds” a lighter between the cushions. George claims it as his, but when JB confronts him with the truth – that she found it in Simon’s studio, not the sofa – he tells her that he hadn’t seen the lighter in months. They used to have heaps lying around, back when Carol used to smoke too.

That’s when JB realises she got it wrong. (I did too, but in my defence I’ve had the theme from Bewitched stuck in my head for the last two hours)

....

(I don’t know why her facial expression is making me laugh. Lack of coffee probably)

OH MY GOD AMOS WAS ALMOST RIGHT. It was a crime of passion, but only because Carol was in love with Simon but Simon wasn’t in love with Carol, he just liked to paint her.

And on that worrying note

Later gang!

Later gang!