You guys, Amos isn’t having a good day.
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.
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…
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.
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…”
“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…
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!”
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.
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!”
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.
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:
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.
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.