Fletcherfans, remember that time I discovered Benjamin Horne and Tony from West Side Story were the same person? Well he’s back but this time as Morgan McCormack, the heir apparent to the throne of business tycoon Duncan Barnett. His wife Virginia has enlisted the help of
three witches a psychic to try to predict when said ascension is going to take place. Luckily for Lord and Lady Macbeth, the psychic has good news – he will take over sooner rather than later. But beware! There is a determined woman with a will far greater than even his.
And then the psychic tries to steal Morgan’s watch. But it’s all good news really. Lady Macbeth is beside herself, and even more so when a call from Duncan Barnett comes in inviting them to a weekend at his estate. (Side note, whenever the I hear the name Duncan this happens inside my brain.)
The only thing puzzling Lady Macbeth is who is this mysterious determined woman with a great will?
JB has also been invited to Duncan’s little shindig as she
loves to have a beer with him is on the board of directors. She’s not just there to make up the numbers though. Duncan wants to close down a paper mill in Cabot Cove, and JB is having none of it.
Unrelated: Duncan Barnett looks like an older version of Steven Moffat. *mumbles something about Duncan Barnett being better at writing female characters than Steven Moffat*
Next to arrive is Spruce Osborne (not kidding) with his girlfriend Serena “Just one name, like Ann-Margaret”. Duncan’s wife Lydia introduces them to Jess but Jess is already acquainted with the Sprucester – he’s after her shares in the company. JB wonders at Spruce’s presence at what appears to be a special gathering of the board but Lydia has no idea what her husband is up to.
That night, as they gather for drinks and desserts on the terrace, Lord and Lady Macbeth mutter to themselves that Duncan isn’t going to announce his retirement, while Lydia gives her husband side-eye as he cosies up to the only other female on the board, the conveniently named Anne Hathaway. Lydia reminds her husband to take his heart medication, and the Sprucester is horrified when he takes it with seltzer instead of brandy. Duncan informs him that his doctor only permits one brandy a day, which he takes right before bed. He sticks to it, because he plans to be around for a long long time, much to the general dismay of almost everyone gathered.
Well, that’s the nail in the coffin right there.
As he goes up to bed, Lord and Lady Macbeth and Tom and Kate Dutton scurry after him to try to allay any suspicion that they wanted him dead/retired. He just laughs at them and goes to bed. Lady Macbeth doesn’t take kindly to being mocked and decides it would be a better idea to kill him.
That night, JB is reading
Macbeth a book when the lights flicker. She notes the time, 12:15am, because JESSICA FLETCHER MISSES NOTHING. The next morning she is woken by a screaming Lydia.
Will it surprise you to know that
King Duncan is dead from a television in the bathtub? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Doctor Grayson is called, and he decides that Duncan had a massive heart attack either before or after the TV went in the tub. JB goes to get Lydia the glass of brandy she’d spotted earlier but it’s disappeared. Macbeth comes in to offer his condolences to Lydia and to tell JB he’s called an emergency board meeting for that night. He tells her she doesn’t have to be there, but JB tells him she thinks she should be there if they are electing a new chairman.
That night, as they all meet in the boardroom at Barnett Industries Macbeth and Tom Dutton compete over who can fawn over JB the most. While the new arrival, Q.L Frubson arrives and tries to work out which board meeting he’s at, JB sneaks into the kitchen and calls Doctor Grayson – she suspects Duncan might have been murdered but has no proof.
Macbeth calls a vote to elect a new chairman, He gets two votes, Tom Dutton gets two votes, Anne Hathaway abstains but gets a vote from Q L, leaving the deciding vote to Jess who is unwilling to cast a vote without knowing the candidate’s positions on things. This is not good news for Q L who announces it’s gonna be a long night. He goes in to change his plane reservation, but actually calls the Sprucester, and tells him he has things under control. The meeting drags on until morning, when a compromise is finally reached between Macbeth and Tom Dutton – Macbeth is to be temporary chairman for ninety days.
That crisis temporarily averted, JB returns to her suspicion that Duncan was murdered. While she waits for the results of the drug test to come back she tells Macbeth of her concern for the company if there is a murder investigation and asks him if he heard anything suspicious, since he and Lady Macbeth were in the suite next to him. Macbeth is very quick to inform JB that both he and Lady Macbeth were asleep by 11:30pm. JB then goes to see the Sprucester, who tells her that he sold his shares in Barnett Industries that morning, and is no longer terribly interested in the company.
The next day, JB attends the wake for Duncan and confides her suspicions to Doctor Grayson, that Duncan was killed by an overdose of heart medication. She suspects that it was in the brandy but that it can’t have been as she saw the full brandy glass the morning after Duncan died. The good doctor does some checking and discovers that four of Duncan’s digitalis pills are unaccounted for. Tom Dalton’s wife Kate overhears their conversation and drops a vase in shock – Duncan murdered? Inconceivable!
Kate Dutton manages to get over her shock enough to tell JB and Doctor Grayson that she heard the Sprucester’s girlfriend Serena in the hot tub with Duncan the night he died. Jess confirms this when she finds one of Selena’s charms on the floor near the hot tub.
Later, when Jessica is leaving the graveyard after Duncan’s service, she runs into Doctor Grayson and the lieutenant. There was no trace of digitalis found in Duncan’s system. He was electrocuted when the TV went in the tub, either accidentally or on purpose.
Back at the Barnet house, JB spots Serena sneaking upstairs, presumably looking for her charm. Jess confronts her and she admits to knowing Duncan before she arrived at the house that weekend. She had in fact ended up with the Sprucester on Duncan’s orders, to keep track of him so to speak. She swears he was alive when she left him in the hot tub at 12:15 though and has the Sprucester as an alibi. Nudge nudge wink wink say no more.
JB finally confronts Lord and Lady Macbeth, who try to bluff it out but eventually Lady Macbeth comes clean. Her husband got chicken when he heard the woman’s voice in the hot tub, leaving Lady Macbeth to put the digitalis in the brandy. She doesn’t know if it was Serena or not, as the water was running and the door was closed.
And therein lies the final clue, apparently.
So we weren’t entirely wrong. She wanted her husband to get a better deal, Duncan laughed at her, she got mad and threw the television in the hot tub.
In other words…
And on that note…