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S04E13 – Harbinger of Death

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First of all, Happy Towel Day to all my hoopy froods. I hope you all know where your towel is, and more importantly aren’t panicking.

This week JB is off to visit her niece Carrie Palmer and her husband Leonard to celebrate their three year wedding anniversary, only Carrie has wandered off to take care of her aunt Edna in Ithaca and Leonard has been so busy hunting comets at the Observatory that he completely messed up the date of his anniversary. Oh dear. To make matters worse, Leonard has been forced into attending a shindig hosted by his boss Russell Armstrong, who is trying to suck up to all the political bigwigs in order to land some new defence contracts.

Before the party Leonard takes Jess on a tour of the observatory and Jess is delighted to see a computer. Leonard’s assistant Fay Hewitt is delighted to meet JB but wants to talk to Leonard about some new calculations for the telescope. Leonard asks her if she’s heard from Carrie but there’s been no call.

JB smells something fishy.

Note to self: time to watch Independence Day again.

Note to self: time to watch Independence Day again.

Later, when JB and Leonard arrive at the party Leonard’s boss Russell Armstrong pounces on them and orders Leonard to go sweet-talk some NASA guy. In this episode, Leonard’s boss will be played by Dr Phil, who will be played by George Bluth.

Disclaimer: I've only seen the first episode of Arrested Development. I know, I know.

Disclaimer: I’ve only seen the first episode of Arrested Development. I know, I know.

Left to her own devices, JB makes a beeline to the greatest place known to mankind – the free bar.

PRAISE BE TO TEQUILA, NECTAR OF THE GODS

PRAISE BE TO WHISKEY, NECTAR OF THE GODS

At the bar she meets Drake Eaton, administrative assistant to Madeline DeHaven, a political bigwig and part-time stuck up cow who is one of the people Russell is trying to court. As they wander off, Fay comes over to Jess to ask how she’s enjoying the carnival.

JB’s response is appropriate.

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After Leonard and Russell have another run-in, Leonard bails on the whole party and takes Jess back to the observatory, followed closely by Fay, who makes Leonard a cup of coffee which he promptly spills over some paperwork. He sends her off to soothe Russell, and JB excuses herself for the evening. Back at the hotel she gets a phone call from her niece Carrie who is running errands for Aunt Edna. JB tells Carrie that she saw Edna the day before, and Edna was on her way out to go bowling. She knows Carrie isn’t at Edna’s. Carrie apologises that she wasn’t there to meet Jess and tells her to tell Leonard that she loves him, before hanging up the phone.

Melodramatic much? Meanwhile back at the observatory the night guard has just seen Leonard run down the stairs and out the door. DRAMA DRAMA. The next morning Fay summons Russell to the observatory when she discovers Leonard is missing. Russell finds the telescope pointing at his house, and a dead body on the floor. Awkward.

The 5-0 appear, in the form of Sergeant Kettler who asks Russell why he’s not living in his house at the moment. Russell tells him he’s been letting a friend stay there. When Kettler pulls the blanket back to reveal the body Russell is relieved. Whomever his friend was it clearly wasn’t Drake Eaton. JB’s questions about the body are cut short firstly by Kettler, who tells her that his wife is also a writer, and secondly by the phone when Fay calls Russell to see what’s happened. Russell tells her the victim was Drake Eaton and she’s audibly relieved. This Drake bloke has NO friends. Russell tells Faye that he was murdered and to let Madeline DeHaven know. Meanwhile Kettler wants to know what kind of books JB writes – gardening tips? Cook book?

She has more patience than me.

She has more patience than me.

They are interrupted with the unexpected arrival of Carrie, JB’s niece who as it turns out is the person Russell had been lending his house to. Huh.

Down at the police station Carrie tells them she knows nothing. She went for a drive up into the mountains and fell asleep in her car. Kettler is suspicious but lets Carrie go. As they arrive at the hotel they run into Leonard who is surprised to see Carrie. She confesses that she wasn’t staying with Aunt Edna and Leonard tells her that everything will be fine. Ever the pragmatist, JB points out the small matter of Drake Eaton’s demise which comes as a surprise to Leonard. JB tells him that the police are at the observatory looking for him but they are interrupted by Madeline DeHaven who informs them that whomever shot Drake will be sorry. JB tells Carrie to rest in JB’s room while Leonard and JB go and have a talk with Kettler at the observatory.

JB explains to Kettler that Leonard was on the hunt for a comet, to which Kettler replies he didn’t know a comet was missing. BOOM. He manages to wangle out of Leonard that he owns a gun, even if the gun has been locked away somewhere in his house for months. JB points out that Leonard didn’t even know that Carrie was staying at Russell’s house and Faye tells the sergeant that there was no way Leonard could have been looking at the house, the computer had locked the telescope in the opposite direction, and she has the printout to prove it.

Back at the hotel Carrie and Leonard are tearfully getting over things, when JB demands answers. Carrie confesses that she and Drake used to be a thing back in the day, and that she invited Drake over because she’d been so lonely, what with Leonard comet-hunting. It all went south when Drake turned up drunk and tried to have his way with her, so she fought him off and drove up into the mountains to get away. Leonard accepts this and tells them that they will never speak of it again to anyone, despite JB’s protests. Ugh, these two.

JB goes back to see Kettler but he has other things on his mind. Specifically a business opportunity. He and his wife thought it would be a good idea to give their writeups of Kettler’s cases to JB to finish up and give to her publisher. They’d split the profits 50-50. JB smiles widely and agrees that the Drake Eaton murder would make a great pot-boiler, but that she’d need access to all the notes. Kettler nods. It’s a deal.

Back at the hotel Jess runs into Madeline, who is late for a meeting but not late enough that she can’t inform Jess that even though they had adjoining rooms Drake was only an employee, that Madeline wasn’t the only person in town who knew Jake, and that it was obvious that Leonard did it. They found his scarf with his blood on it at the scene and all.  And with that, she flounces off, just as Faye arrives to inform JB that Russell has just fired Leonard. JB goes to see him but Russell is unapologetic. JB wants to know whom else might have known Carrie was staying at his house and he tells her noone, at least not from him, and that his phone number is unlisted so it’s unlikely that anyone could have found her by calling the house. He throws her out of his office but then calls her back. Kettler is on the phone looking for her.

Kettler, Leonard and Carrie are waiting for her at Russell’s house. Kettler has a plan to demonstrate an expert interrogator at work. First he shows Leonard the gun, which Leonard has no opinion about. Then he produces Leonard’s scarf with Drake’s blood on it, and Leonard tells him that it isn’t Drake’s blood, it’s his.

Aha! Kettler says. Bloodied from a fight, no doubt!

Carrie pipes up to tell him that she took the gun from the house and she pulled it on Drake when he attacked her. Kettler then accuses her of being the killer, at which point Leonard loses it and tells him he killed Drake.

Not buying it. Neither is JB, and neither, as it turns out, is Kettler, who tells JB down at the station that he knows Leonard is covering for his wife.  Back at the hotel Carrie swears she didn’t kill Drake, and she has no idea why the telescope swung around to zoom in on Russell’s house and revealing her and Drake to Leonard. But Jessica knows. It was a plot devised by someone who was a bit in love with Leonard.

But Faye isn’t the killer. Huh. She set it all up, so that Leonard would know what his wife was up to.   JB tells her that Leonard heard a female voice before he entered Russell’s place but Faye was in bed. She feels terrible, she didn’t think Leonard would shoot Drake.

Well, if it wasn’t Carrie and it wasn’t Faye, there’s only one other female character in the episode. Cunning deduction by me!

SURPRISE! Not really,

SURPRISE! Not really.

Well that was kind of predictable. Madeline couldn’t handle Drake looking at another woman, followed him, and shot him.

Case closed, JB decides to get the hell out of town before Kettler decides to followup on his idea about ‘collaborating’, leaving The Case of the Missing Comet unsolved.

And on that note

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

 

 

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We Interrupt This Program to Bring You A Very Important Announcement

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By the power vested in me, by me, I declare Murder She Blogged Epic Tweetathon Part the Second shall take place on Monday, June 9 at 12pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. Adjust your timezones accordingly. The film shall be South by Southwest. The Breaking Bad references will be plentiful (probably).

Spread the word!

 

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S04E12 – Who Put the Barbituals In Mrs Fletcher’s Chowder?

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You guys, Amos isn’t having a good day.

Don't mind if I do!!!

Don’t mind if I do!!!

Poor guy. His deputy up and quit, he’s got people trying to get him to come rescue their cats, Seth wants him to come and have lunch and now his sister Winnie has just turned up out of the blue announcing she’s left her husband and can she stay at his house? Amos is delighted to see her, but tells her that he’s too short-staffed to spend any time with her today.

“That’s okay.” Winnie sighs. “I’ll just go walk along the seacliffs, thinking about the bleakness of my life.”

Naturally, there’s only one person Amos can turn to in this time of crisis. And despite having a deadline to meet and being four chapters behind, Jessica is delighted to meet Winnie.

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While Winnie investigates the photos in JB’s living room, Amos begs Jess to keep Winnie company for the day. JB tries to explain about her deadline (again) but Winnie comes back talking about the photo of JB with Frank, and how Elmo hadn’t looked at her that way in years…

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Reasons why I love JB #7725 – She’s as uncomfortable with oversharing as I am.

JB offers to make tea, and Amos scarpers back to the Sheriff’s office for a moment’s piece that doesn’t arrive. Instead, there’s Marigold.

Quite possibly my new favourite not-JB character. You'll see...

Quite possibly my new favourite not-JB character. You’ll see… (She also played Dody in this episode)

Amos isn’t really interested – he’s looking for someone with law enforcement experience….but Marigold was a meter maid in Augusta and has her own uniform. Amos plays the danger card, but danger is no problem for Marigold. Amos understands, but what he’s really looking for is…

“A man?” Asks Marigold. “I’d be very disappointed Sheriff if you were biased.”

“Me? Biased?” The Sheriff is horrified. “Why, nothing could be further from the truth. I had a woman deputy until last year, good worker too. Broke my heart when she got in the family way. Of course, her husband was glad she was finally staying home where she belonged…”

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Marigold Feeney also played Kowalski in Die Hard 3. WHAT A BOSS!

“Could you start tomorrow?” Amos asks meekly.

“I can start today.” Marigold declares. MY HERO.

Meanwhile at Castle Fletcher, Winnie is telling JB all about her problems over a pot of tea, about how Elmo changed and became crazy, alternating between shoving people around and sitting in the corner weeping. She left so quickly that she forgot her ulcer medication. Now that’s a problem Jess can fix straight away – she knows just the person who can help…

Apparently I just decided Seth is Animal from the Muppets #youknowitmakessense

Apparently I just decided Seth is Animal from the Muppets #youknowitmakessense

JB smoothly deposits Winnie in Seth’s office for the afternoon and rushes off to finish her book. Winnie tells Seth she’s much obliged for his help, and that this is her first trip to Maine and so far she hasn’t seen anything.

“Well then you have a treat in store for you,” says Seth, sorting out her prescription for Calmitol, “You may not be aware of it, but Cabot Cove leads the nation in murder per capita sales of live bait!”

Seth you old charmer you.

Seth you old charmer you.

Later, Seth takes Winnie to a local restaurant, while a shady man in a car watches on. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.

Back at the Sheriff’s office Amos is showing Marigold the cells when he gets a phone call from Winnie saying not to worry, that she’s seeing all the sights and will have dinner out. Amos tells her to say hello to Mrs Fletcher (heh heh heh, silly Amos) and has just hung up the phone with Elmo, Winnie’s husband, comes storming into the Sheriff’s Office, brothers and sister in tow.  A scuffle breaks out, and only ends when Marigold walks out of the cells, calmly assesses the situation and pulls a gun on all of them.

SHE'S AMAZING

SHE’S AMAZING

Back at Amos’s house later that night. Amos’s in-laws have made themselves at home while waiting for Winnie to return and banished Amos to sleep on the sofa.  When Winnie and Amos pitch up later, giggling like schoolgirls, Amos is relieved and then horrified when he discovers that Winnie was with Seth, not JB.

“Relax!” Says Winnie. “We’ve had the best time at the hotel!”

Amos and the Terrible No Good Very Bad Day, a children's book by JB Fletcher.

Amos and the Terrible No Good Very Bad Day, a children’s book by JB Fletcher. (It was dinner, Amos!)

Elmo hears Winnie’s voice and starts a-hollerin, leaving Amos to slam the door in Seth’s face although a door isn’t enough to block the sound of Elmo and Winnie hurling abuse at each other. Winnie announces she’s getting a divorce and takes off, leaving Amos to try and stop Elmo and his brethren following after her. With nowhere else to go, she goes back to  Seth’s house and asks if she could stay there, and that she thinks Elmo was following her in the car. Seth checks it out but doesn’t see anything. Including, apparently, the shady dude in the car who has now migrated to the porch and is listening in on Seth and Winnie until he trips over a potplant and legs it before anyone can see him. While Winnie goes to make coffee, Seth runs to the phone in a panic to call Jessica, who pretends to be an answering machine with no success. Seth is in a flap about the gossip but JB has a deadline and not sleet nor snow nor a woman wanting to sleep at Seth’s house is going to keep her from it.

The next morning, while Marigold goes off on her motorcycle to nab some traffic violators LIKE A BOSS, Amos calls JB to check up on Winnie and is surprised to learn that he and Winnie are invited for breakfast.

As you can see, Amos takes the news well.

 

I might have editorialised a tad.

I might have editorialised a tad.

JB decides that as an apology for neglecting Winnie so shamefully (SHE’S ALL CLASS) she would like to put on a dinner party for everyone. Winnie tells her not to go to too much trouble, and Amos starts listing off all the dishes he’d like to see at said dinner party. JB thinks its the best way to relax everyone so that Winnie and Elmo can talk it all out.

As you can imagine, the dinner party is a raging success in that Elmo goes outside to fight with the shady bloke, Elmo’s sister Flo turns up her nose at everything while her husband Kenny orders his brother-in-law Harold to fix him a bourbone without letting Flo see.  By the time the chowder is served, Elmo is harassing Flo for another bourbon, Flo is harassing Kenny (who is drinking ginger ale according to Kenny) while Harold is examining the chowder with suspicion. By the time JB comes out of the kitchen with the lobsters they’re all passed out in their bowls except Flo, who is just screaming. Seth snaps to attention and orders Jess and Flo to help him get the others awake and outside, but when he gets to Elmo he tells JB to call an ambulance.

At the hospital Seth regretfully announces that there was nothing they could do. Flo is quick to point the finger at Winnie, and is backed up by Harold. Amos tells them all to shut up and about the mysterious shady character he saw Elmo fighting with right before he died. He’s gotten Marigold to put out an APB on the mystery person.

I don’t think Amos knows who he’s dealing with:

Yeah. I was talking about Breaking Bad yesterday and it all came flooding back, Also I've been playing the Breaking Bad quiz on Quizup and it's really not helping me move on with my life

Yeah. I was talking about Breaking Bad yesterday and it all came flooding back. Also I’ve been playing the Breaking Bad quiz on Quizup and it’s really not helping me move on with my life.

With the shady man behind bars (thanks to Marigold’s boss-like judo moves) Amos can finally get some answers, like who are you and what are you doing here?  It turns out that the shady dude is actually Ed Bellamy private eye, hired by Elmo to tail his wife who he was convinced was cheating on him. He hasn’t got any ID though, as he lost his wallet in his scuffle with Elmo in JB’s backyard, which is where Marigold found him. Amos tells him he’s staying put until Amos can verify his story.

The next morning, Seth is around at Jess’s to break the bad news – there were barbituates in the chowder. (Side note, if you’ve seen the episode of The Simpsons where Mayor Quimby’s nephew has a fight with the French cook about the proper pronunciation of chowder, please take note that the spell check in WordPress thinks I’m spelling chowder wrong…)

Seth asks JB how the barbituates might have gotten into the chowderrrrrr and as it so happens JB has an idea about that. She goes up to ask Winnie if she knows how it might have gotten into the chowder and Winnie tells her that it’s the same type of barbituate that Elmo took when he couldn’t sleep.  JB tells Amos about this when he pops round a short time later but Amos didn’t find any pills when he packed up Elmo’s things. While they all dry dishes and watch Marigold look for Bellamy’s wallet in JB’s flowerbeds, JB gets a phone call from the coroner for Amos – Elmo’s death was indeed death by barbituates. Seth thinks it doesn’t make sense,  as the killer chowder only killed Elmo, and put everyone else to sleep. Seth suddenly remembers the main ingredient in Winnie’s ulcer medication is the same barbituate that was used to kill Elmo, which sets Amos off in a rage until Winnie wanders in and asks for a new ulcer med prescription, as she dropped the old one on the floor and smashed it to pieces.

Marigold bobs up to inform them all that she’s found Bellamy’s wallet, and so confirms his story. Amos regretfully releases him, but not before they question him about Elmo. He tells them that Elmo was out of his gourd on pills most of the time, and that if he knew, Elmo’s family knew.

On that note, JB goes to see Elmo’s family and finds Harold packing up the car. He tells her that they knew that Elmo was addicted, but that they figured he’d kill himself on his own before too long. He’d always been addicted to something. He makes JB a cocktail which triggers a thought in JB’s brain. Must be a hell of a cocktail. Oh it’s not the cocktail, it’s the glass. Harold has no idea what she’s talking about, but Kenny does.

Not gonna lie, didn't see this one coming.

Not gonna lie, didn’t see this one coming.

Remember that time Kenny had a bourbon but then it was ginger ale? THAT’S BECAUSE THE BOURBON HAD BARBITUATES IN IT AND HE GAVE IT TO ELMO. So when they all ate the chowder, Elmo ate a double dose and snuffed it. Apparently he really wanted to get his hands on the family pharmacy business.

Kenny doesn’t take too kindly to being discovered, and is about to do away with JB and his brother when a knight in shining Marigold bursts in, gun drawn to save the day. With the case closed, Amos puts his sister on the bus back to Kentucky, fortuitously the same bus that PI Ed Bellamy happens to be travelling on. Amos is rather confused as to why she’s looking forward to the trip.

But never mind all that because I regret to announce that this episode was Marigold’s only episode of Murder, She Wrote. So, let us never forget that time Hurricane Marigold blew through Cabot Cove and made everything even more awesome, if only for a short while.

LONG LIVE MARIGOLD.

LONG LIVE MARIGOLD.

S04E11 – Doom With a View

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Oh look who’s showed up to play the role of DOOM.

Ugh.

Ugh.

Jess is in New York to stay with her nephew, but alas his apartment building is full of cockroaches like Grady and so instead he takes her off to the Montaigne Plaza, the five star hotel owned by Cornelia Montaigne and her new husband (and Grady’s old fraternity buddy) Garrett Harper who has invited them to stay for free.

Speaking of Cornelia Montaigne, she’s pissed off. (And also Janet Leigh, from Pyscho)

Psycho is one of the few movies that genuinely creeps me out. Damn you Hitchcock.

Psycho is one of the few movies that genuinely creeps me out. Damn you Hitchcock.

While she is berating her husband and her right-hand man Mark Havelin for being crap at their job, Grady arrives with JB to check in. Garrett greets them and tells them that he’s arranged dinner at 7pm for them, his mother and an old school friend Sandra Clemens at which news Grady quietly loses his mind. Apparently he was completely in love with her in high school, third cheerleader from the left at homecoming, he informs Jess.

“I must have been watching the game.” Says JB.

Upstairs they run into Sandra who is weirdly happy to see Grady again. She is delighted to meet JB, whom she’s heard so much about. “I remember you!” JB says. “Third cheerleader from the left, right?”

“Homecoming!” Says Sandra. “You have some memory!”

“Oh no.” Says JB. “Grady has a photo on his coffee table.”

Ahahahahaha

Ahahahahaha

After dropping that little truth bomb JB leaves them to it, and Sandra makes Grady promise to come get her for dinner. Leaving Grady gawking like an idiot, she goes down to the lobby and runs into Garrett, who asks her if she saw Grady. She says yes, and that this is really dumb. Garrett tells her he needs to keep Cornelia off his back or it’s over for both of them.

Guys I think Garrett might be a bit of a dick.

Later that night Grady goes to pick up Sandra with a bunch of flowers. Her hunt for a vase is interrupted by a phone call, so while she’s jotting down a phone number on the back of an envelope, Grady helpfully deposits the bunch of flowers into a pitcher of martinis. Good work Grady.

Classic Grady.

Classic Grady.

At dinner, Garrett’s mother and Sandra are not entirely pleased to see each other while Cornelia paces the restaurant looking not pleased about anything. Later that night she and Garrett argue, and he tells her she’s being paranoid, he was just setting up a reunion between two old friends. Meanwhile, Jess gets sick of Grady pacing around the hotel room and tells him she’s going to bed and that he should go out. Grady delightedly agrees and leaves JB to go over her manuscript in peace.

Grady goes straight to Sandra’s room, and is surprised to find the door open. Inside, he finds Sandra dead on the floor. As he goes to call the police he notices Garrett’s refection in the mirror, running out of the room. SHADY DUDE.

(I just looked up the actor who plays Garrett on IMDB. He will be appearing in Sharkansas Prison Massacre later this year. Do with this information what you will.)

Anyway, Grady calls the police much to the irritation of the hotel house detective Fritz Rice, who would much prefer not to alarm the hotel guests with sordid tales of people accidentally hitting their heads on hotel furniture and dying. JB is staggered that he thinks it’s an accident. Meanwhile, Garrett wants a private word with Grady to assure him that he stepped in to Sandra’s hotel room just as Grady saw him and he was running to get help and not not tell the police about it because Cornelia was upset enough already.

Inpsector Donald Matheney drops in during the intermission of the ballet to make his presence felt. JB insists on showing him the crime scene, and points out that there was absolutely no way Sandra tripped over nothing and hit her head on the dresser. Also, why was there lipstick and makeup on the pillow but the rest of the bed was completely undisturbed? The Inspector tells her that if there was foul play he’d be most likely to talk to Grady, and then departs for the theatre.

Unhappy with how the investigation isn’t running, JB wakes up hotel manager Mark Havlin, who had taken his phone off the hook to get a couple of hours sleep before a sheik arrives at midnight with all 37 wives, causing him more headaches. As he replaces the flower in his buttonhole with a fresh one he notices the time and says “Night shift came on at eight, at least the beds have been turned down.

PRIORITIES.

Upstairs, JB tries to console a miserable Grady who is convinced that the Inspector thinks he’s guilty, and that Grady and Sandra were romantically involved, when the most exciting thing that happened was when Grady put the flowers in the martini jug. He tells JB about Sandra’s phone call, and how she wrote the number down on an envelope in her bag and Jess tells him he needs to tell the Inspector immediately. Grady says he did, but there was no envelope found. Jess asks Grady if Sandra still worked as a computer operator (ahaha) and he says yes, back in Fort Wayne. Jess wonders in that case how she can afford to stay at the Montaigne, but Grady just figures Garrett is paying for her too.

The next morning, JB goes to see Mark Havlin on a fishing expedition and offers to cover Sandra’s hotel bill but Mark sees through it, and informs Jess that Sandra has stayed at the hotel nine times in the last year or so, and that he has absolutely no idea how she’s paying for it.

JB’s next visit is to Garrett’s mother Nettie, who has very carelessly left the door open while she’s on the phone to Garrett talking about what a stroke of good luck it is that Sandra’s dead. JB offers her condolences but Nettie shrugs. She hadn’t seen the girl in years. JB mentions that she understood Sandra had stayed at the Montaigne on a regular basis but Nettie just offers JB more hotel chocolates and tells her how badly she feels for Grady.

Meanwhile, Grady is having lunch with Garrett who is in a dilly of a pickle as Ned Flanders would say. He admits to Grady that he and Sandra had a thing after graduation, and that he gave her an engraved bracelet. Sandra brought it to New York “for old times sake” and it’s still in the pocket of her bathrobe. Now, obviously Garrett can’t go and retrieve it, Cornelia would have a fit. But what about Garrett’s old pal Grady?

Grady accepts the challenge, successfully retrieves the bracelet and they all live happily ever after. LOL, J/K, when does Grady successfully do anything?

Well shucks.

Well shucks.

JB is on a rampage through the hotel lobby on her way to see Inspector Matheney to bail Grady out when she bumps into Cornelia. Cornelia wants to offer her condolences but JB wants none of it. It’s obvious that Grady got the passkey to break into Sandra’s hotel room from Garrett, and it’s obvious he did it to retrieve the bracelet for Garrett. Cornelia reluctantly agrees, and tells JB if she’s looking for the inspector, not to try police headquarters.

Jess finds Inspector Matheney holding court at a Van Gogh exhibit and demands to know what Grady has been charged with, why Matheney is so quick to assume the G on the engraved necklace stands for Grady when it could easily stand for Garrett and why he hasn’t followed up on the lead about the envelope with the phone number written on it. Matheney tries to respond, but has got nothing, naturally.

With Grady safely out of custody, they return back to the hotel. Grady thanks his aunt for all the trouble she went to (again) and Jess demands answers. Grady tries to explain that he was only helping a friend, after he’d been so supportive when they found the body.

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Where would you begin though, really…

Grady explains what happened when Sandra died, but that it wasn’t what it seemed. Jess tries to convince him that Garrett might be the killer but Grady doesn’t want to know about it,

“It must have entered your mind!” Says Jess. “I mean, you’re much too smart to accept that man at face value!”

I hate to argue with you boss, but…

Really though....

Really though….

Grady spits the dummy and goes for a walk, while JB gets a phone call from the Inspector who has just gotten hold of Sandra’s bank account statements. Jess goes down to police headquarters to take a look – there are a bunch of deposits for around 25 grand each. I think we all know what that spells!

Jess asks to see the dates when Sandra stayed at the Montaigne, and naturally, her hunch pays off. The deposits and the checkin dates match exactly.

You're goddamn right.

You’re goddamn right.

JB has a fairly good idea of who has been blackmailed and goes to see Nettie who tries to bluff her way out but admits that Sandra and Garrett used to be married, and that the divorce was never finalised, making Garrett’s marriage to Cornelia invalid. Sandra used to come up and to stay in the hotel and wave the marriage certificate around. And so, blackmail! Also motive.

Jess meets Grady at a jazz bar and fills him in on what she’s learned. Grady still thinks that it might not be Garrett, and that maybe Nettie killed Sandra, but JB gently points out that they’ve been waiting an hour to meet Garrett and he still hasn’t showed.

Grady is heading back to his hotel room when he overhears Garrett talking to the house detective Fritz Rice. Garrett offers Rice five grand to “remember” something that might tie Grady to the murder.  Fritz accepts and wanders off to “jog his memory” while Grady steps forward and confronts Garrett, who tells Grady he was just pushing Rice to see how far he would go, and that he would never dream of –

“You’re good. Real good.” Says Grady. “Ten, maybe eleven years and I never saw it. I guess maybe I’m not too bright.”

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Jess decides to cheer Grady up with some dinner, but is distracted when the turn down service arrives. Something about flowers and turn down services has solved the case!

What can this mean?

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When Mark Havelin discovered the blackmail going on he decided he wanted in, killed Sandra and took the marriage certificate for himself, before taking his phone off the hook and telling Jess he’d been asleep for three hours. But as Jess points out, if he’d been asleep for three hours at 10:30pm, the night maid wouldn’t have been able to get in to leave the flower and chocolate.

So there you have it. Grady escapes a murder rap again, and stands up for himself against shady Garrett. Unfortunately, his stand includes refusing to be Garrett’s best man in the upcoming sequel to their wedding, and refusing to be comped for staying in the hotel, and is left with a 2500 dollar hotel bill. But good for him. Ugh, that hurt to admit.

And on that horrifying note.

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PS – A few people have asked me when I’ll be live-tweeting another Murder She Wrote movie, so I’ve decided that when Murder She Blogged hits 100 likes on Facebook, I’ll do another one. So if you know someone who would enjoy the incoherent ramblings of a madwoman disguised as reviews of Murder She Wrote episodes, send them this way!

S04E10 – Indian Giver

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Fun fact, Fletcherfans – if you look up the word ‘cringe’ in the dictionary, you will find a picture of me watching this episode. There’s a lot of casual racism flying about in this episode, so you have been warned. Also, a disclaimer: as I am Australian, I feel like I should point out that everything I know about Native American history is from the movie Dances With Wolves.

JB is at home in the Cove this week, celebrating Founders Day by belting out a rousing rendition of America the Beautiful. As always, Seth helps out in his own special way.

Not even making it up. I swear.

Not even making it up. I swear.

Mayor Sam Booth is just getting started on his Long Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane Speech when a man wearing Native American gear rides up on a horse and hurls a spear into the podium, before riding off into the sunset. Oh lord.

The mayor, not knowing what else to do, immediately forms a barbershop quartet and begins another iconic anthem.

(With Seth providing some tasty beats, obviously)

And I need you now tonight! And I need you more than ever! (With Seth providing some tasty beats, obviously) (Those beards though)

It’s up to JB to spot the note attached to the spear. The Mayor reads it, then distracts the crowd with some opera while he, Seth and Amos leg it out into the countryside. Turns out the note is a photocopy of an old document, granting Algonquin Chief Manitoka and his heirs in perpituity all lands ending at the see that can be seen from the hill of the god that grants rain. Including Cabot Cove.  Oh Good!

The Mayor freaks out and appoints Seth and JB (whom I note WASN’T INVITED on the boys trip to the hill) as committee of two to sort out whether the document is real. Seth and Jess visit the city college to ask the opinion of Professor Crenshaw and his daughter Donna who tell them that without the original it’s impossible to tell whether the land grant is genuine or not. JB tells them that she suspects the possessor of the document might show himself again, given the right amount of attention.

Cut to Cabot Cove town hall, where the Mayor is telling the boys of the press (and the girls, but he seems to have missed them) that they aren’t allowed in. On the steps of the hall local banker Norman Edmonds (previously seen as a Dentist of Death) is chatting with potential investor Harris Atwater on the effect of the land claim on the planned resort development, while local drunk Addison Langley tries to set up a meeting with Harris Atwater, fails and is yelled at by his brother-in-law Tom Carpenter (who is being played by Gary Lockwood who I saw a couple of weeks ago introducing 2001: A Space Odyssey and I LOVE THAT MOVIE).

Erm. Anyway. Inside, the Mayor is opening the meeting the only way he knows how:

*whispers* Turn aroundddddd

*whispers* Turn aroundddddd

Inside, the audience is restless and has no time for the mayor’s singing. They demand to hear from the “half-naked savage” (Not kidding. The 80s, ladies and gentlemen) himself, and he happily obliges.

Fun fact: this actor was born in Sri Lanka. (No Native American actors around guys? Really?)

Fun fact: this actor was born in Sri Lanka.

The “half naked savage” goes by the name of George Longbow, and he informs the people gathered what the Mayor, Seth, Amos and Jess already knew – that the document granted the land to the descendants of Chief Manitoka (i,e George) as a reward for helping to defeat the French. In short, that the meeting was taking place on his property.

As the audience begins to upgrade itself to angry mob, JB steps in and asks George if the document is real – emphasis on the if – then what does he plan to do about it? Evict them all from the Cove?

Au contraire, George basically says. But there is the small matter of rent.

At this, Addison Langley erupts, informs George that he’ll get his land over his dead body, the filthy redskin. At this George explodes and a brawl erupts. Once it dies down, and the angry mob disperses, George, JB, Seth, Amos, the Mayor and Professor Crenshaw gather to examine the real document. George tells the professor he’s a great admirer of his work, and of his daughter.

This is news to Professor Crenshaw.

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They are joined by Norman Edmonds, who demands that George prove his claim, which George does, happily. He shows them the original document, along with validation reports from some colleagues of Professor Crenshaw. The Prof can’t argue, and tells the others that if it all checks out, George owns Cabot Cove. This is not what Norman wants to hear, and a fight nearly breaks out again until JB steps in to ask George what he plans to do. He tells them that he will assess all the land in town and charge the land 0.5% of the worth – no more than $200 a year for most people. The Mayor shrugs and thinks that seems reasonable. “Yes.” Says Seth. “It’s like being mugged, but it’s okay because the mugger only took five dollars.”

Thanks Seth.

George departs, informing them that he will be in contact with them again. As Seth and JB leave the meeting they find George confronted by the remains of the angry mob, led by Tom Carpenter asking George to demonstrate his dance. A couple of swift briefcases swings to the face and the fortunate arrival of Donna Crenshaw in her car and George hightails it out of there before the angry mob becomes a lynch mob.

After Donna drops George off at his truck (as George doesn’t want anyone to know where he’s staying and lets face it fair enough), she returns to the hotel where she’s staying with her father. Her father wants to know why he never knew about George and she says she told him twice but he wasn’t listening. After an argument she tells him that she and George are just friends, and that she didn’t help him with the land grant research. Her father accepts this, and leaves her hotel room. Instead of going to his room though he wanders off into the night.

The next morning JB is walking the streets of Cabot Cove (and rocking the double denim) when she sees Addison’s wife Helen Langley talking to Harris Atwater outside her house. As he departs, she trips over walking back inside. JB swoops, noticing the bruises on her arms, and helps her inside for a cup of tea.  She compliments Helen on the renovations (by which she means the newly painted chair) which Helen says was her handiwork. JB asks her about Harris Atwater and Helen tells her he was there looking for Addison, but that she hadn’t seen him since after the meeting.

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Later, JB heads down to the Sheriff’s office for a meeting with the brains trust, who is in a flap after the sudden departure of Professor Crenshaw after a phone call from Norman Edmonds. The Mayor is on it, saying he is expected to do something and by gum he’s gonna do it, just as soon as he works out what it is he’s supposed to do, but his train of thought is interrupted by a phone call. There’s trouble at the town hall. Something about Addison Langley.

That something turns out to be a complete lack of pulse, on account of being stabbed with the spear George threw at the Founders Day celebrations. Oh good. That won’t stir up more racism.

Seth informs JB that Addison definitely wasn’t killed at the town hall, there wasn’t enough blood. JB wonders at the location of the body, saying that most killers hide their bodies, not display them.  She wonders whether Addison’s body being dumped at the hall was symbolic. Seth points out that it makes you wonder about George Longbow, but JB says he mightn’t be a lot of things, but George Longbow isn’t stupid.  Amos asks Seth if there’s anything else about the body and Seth says apart from some varnish on his hand, there’s nothing more. Addison Langley died around midnight.

Suspicious about the timing of Professor Crenshaw’s sudden departure, and the knowledge that a lot of people stood to gain from Addison Langley’s demise, JB goes to see Harris Atwater, who admits that he went to see Helen Langley to try and get her to use her influence over her husband, and that he certainly is better off now that Addison is dead, but that he didn’t kill him. With that, he flounces into his limo and drives away.

Meanwhile, outside of town, George has fallen foul of the angry mob, which has very much now upgraded to a lynch mob once again led by Tom Carpenter. They finally capture him trying to leg it, and tell him that he’s in a world of trouble now.

JB’s next stop is to see Norman Edmonds, who is also convinced of George’s guilt. Jess asks him about his phone call to Professor Crenshaw, and he finally tells her that he offered the professor fifty big ones to find proof that George Longbow isn’t who he says he is.  As they talk, a ute full of lynch mob drives past hooting and hollering, a battered George Longbow restrained in the back of the truck.  JB jumps on her Fletchmobile (bike) and hightails it to the Sheriff’s office, where the lynch mob are gleefully showing off their catch. Amos ushers them all inside past the press pack and orders George be taken to the cells. While JB scolds the mob for the condition George is in, Tom Carpenter arrives driving George’s truck. He dumps George’s personal effects on the desk – a wallet and a hotel key – and goes back outside to have his picture taken.

THIS EPISODE. UGH.

JB goes to see George in his cell and tells him that she’s the only person in the whole town who knows he is innocent, but that she can’t help him until he starts telling the truth starting with why he really came to town. Tom tells her that he wanted to get the money so he could start a scholarship program for Native American kids who wouldn’t otherwise have had the means to go to college. Next JB asks him for his alibi, and George admits that he didn’t get back to his hotel until after 11:30pm but that no one saw him arrive. Amos wanders in to tell JB that the Mayor wants to see them, that Professor Crenshaw has turned up again, and she tells George she’ll do what she can to help. Outside, Amos tells JB that they found sand in George’s pickup truck, sand that matched the sand they found on Addison Langley’s body.

At the Mayor’s office, Professor Crenshaw tells them that George Longbow can’t possibly be the direct (and proveable) descendant of Chief Manitoka, as almost all of his descendants were wiped out in the flu epidemic of 1918.  Oh, well, that’s a relief then.  JB asks him if, in his haste to collect on Norman Edmonds’s offer, he may have overlooked something and both the professor and the mayor are equally offended. “Just whose side are you on?” Demands the Mayor.

“The side of right.” Announces JB.

BOOM.

The Mayor and Professor Crenshaw decide to go and have a talk with George. Amos decides to go with them but JB says it might be more productive to go and search George’s hotel room.

Turrrrn arounddddddd

Turrrrn arounddddddd

Amos spots George’s shoes on the floor, covered in sand. Case closed! But wait. JB points out that there’s no sand on the soles of the shoes, which are gumsoles, and therefore get everything stuck to them. What’s clear to her is that someone is framing George for murder, and she has a fairly good idea of where to get answers.

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It had nothing to do with Native American land rights, and everything to do with an abused wife fighting back and getting her redneck brother to cover it up. The good news is, Donna and George are back on, JB is going to find the money to set up George’s scholarship, and Seth rents his house so the whole business didn’t affect him in the slightest.

And with that, I bid this terrible episode goodbye.

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you all.

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you all.