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S04E17 – A Very Good Year For Murder

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Before everything else, I just want to point out JB’s outfit at the start of this episode.

You can't ride a horse without a neckerchief, that's just common sense

You can’t ride a horse without a neckerchief, that’s just common sense

That man giving JB side-eye is Marco Gambini, son of Salvatore Gambini and heir to the Gambini wine empire that he and Jess have been surveying. Jess is in town to celebrate Sal’s 75th birthday, who she appears to know after tutoring his grandson Paul in English so he could pass and get a football scholarship but never mind that because someone’s just pulled up in a fancy car…

Listen to your friend Billy Zane

Listen to your friend Billy Zane

Jess is unmoved.

JB and I made exactly the same face. I'm so happy!

JB and I made exactly the same face. I’m so happy!

Billy Zane is the younger brother of Paul Gambini, and a compulsive gambler (and heartbreaker). His aunt informs him that he’s had a phone call from Johnny in Tahoe and he excuses himself while JB goes in to see Salvatore.

The day I watched this episode was the day he passed away. What an amazing career he had though!

The day I watched this episode was the day he passed away. What an amazing career he had though!

Salvatore has been selecting wine for dinner, and asks JB her opinion.

This is also my reaction to most wines.

This is also my reaction to most wines.

Sal is feeling a bit maudlin in the face of his 75th birthday. He tells JB that soon Marco and his kids will inherit the vineyards but he worries that they won’t appreciate them the same way Sal and his late wife did. JB asks Stella, Sal’s daughter, what’s going on and she tells JB he’s stressed out because a company from back east is trying to buy the vineyard but Sal doesn’t want to sell, and while Marco loves the vineyards, his wife would prefer to live the fancy life in San Francisco. At that moment, Marco’s daughter Michele turns up with her latest man candy, a bloke from work called Ben Skylar who is as dumb as he looks.

After a night of feasting and toasting, Sal is a little bit weary the next morning when Your Friend Billy Zane Tony wakes him up to tell him that he has to go to Tahoe on business but will try to get back for the party. Sal agrees and asks Tony to go down to the wine cellar and decant the 68 Bordeaux. Unfortunately, on the way down one of the stairs snaps and Tony goes tumbling.

It’s okay though, he’s fine. While his aunt tries to dress the cut on his head and he fights with his father about going to Tahoe, Jess goes to investigate the Step of Death, which Paul is replacing. Jess thinks it’s been sawn through. Before JB  can elaborate Tony and Marco argue their way to the front of the house, where Tony is getting in his car and heading to the airport on his way to Tahoe.

That night Sal’s party is in full swing, despite the absence of Tony. While his girlfriend dances up a storm, Ben Skylar tells JB all about his childhood on a farm in Illinois, and how he used to write stories to escape the boredom. He’s been in California writing a thing about lost gold mines, and asks JB for advice on writing a novel and she tells him to “Read, read and read some more.” (Life Lesson #55). Jess mentions that she’s reading a great new novel from PD James and Ben says that he loves his work. JB explains that PD is a woman, P is for Phyllis. Ben shamfacedly goes to find his girlfriend.

While loading up at the buffet table, JB bumps into Thaddeus Kyle, Police Chief and friend of the family (an awesome name if ever I heard one). He’s heard about JB’s theory about the step being tampered with, and asks her if she has any suspects. JB’s got nothing, but is given food for thought when Thaddeus asks her to consider the possibility that someone in the family got annoyed at Sal’s rejection of the sale offer from back East. He excuses himself and goes on his way, leaving JB to watch Michele argue with Ben and flounce out.

The next morning Sal takes JB down to the wine cellar but finds the body of Ben Skylar on the floor. Literally the last person I expected to die in this episode to be honest.

While Thaddeus orders his men to stay on the property, at least for the time being, JB gives Michele her condolences, but Michele says she’d only known Ben for a couple of months. Thaddeus draws JB aside for a quick word and tells her the theory is Ben was poisoned. JB suggests going through Ben’s belongings and finds a receipt for a petrol station in Long Island City, New York which kind of contradicts the whole being in California for the last few months thing although Thaddeus points out that it’s not proof of anything. I hate to say it, but I kind of agree with the Thad to be honest. Thad is sticking to his theory that someone inside the house had something to do with it all, and despite JB’s attempts to prove otherwise, she has to agree.

While she’s investigating outside, Jess runs into Sal and tells him her suspicions about Ben – he wants to be a writer but has never heard of PD James? Inconceivable!

“Sure,” says Sal. “But there are even some people who’ve never heard of you.”

Precisely.

Precisely.

JB is also suspicious of the fact that Ben said he had no money, and yet drove a high-falutin sports car and wore expensive clothes. Sal thinks maybe he had a wealthy family, but JB remembers him saying he grew up on a farm in Illinois, so no. All further theorising is cut short by the arrival of Tony back from Tahoe. While father and son resume their argument, JB gets a call from Thaddeus (seriously, I love that name) to let her know that it was definitely poison, but that Ben Skylar wasn’t Ben Skylar – he was actually Benito Soriano a mob hitman.

Well this has taken a unexpected turn.

Thaddeus invites Michele down to the precinct and she tells him how she only met Ben at work 8 weeks ago when he came in looking for a job and one thing led to another. JB asks her if Ben quizzed her about any of her family but she claims no more so than usual. Marco, fed up with the questioning takes his daughter home and leaves JB and Thad to mull over the situation. Thad is convinced it’s one of the family and has started looking into Your Friend Billy Zane Tony’s interests in Tahoe but JB is starting to think that Ben(ito) was sent by the company trying to buy the Gambini vineyard.

Back at Casa Gambini Paul has received a visit from “investment advisor” Stephen Ridgely and has whisked him off for a chat while inside Sal and Marco are giving Your Friend Billy Zane Tony the third degree – seems someone has been writing cheques his bank account can’t cash. Marco is furious but Sal shoos him out and writes Tony a cheque, telling him he’s the one who should be running the vineyard. As Tony leaves Sal calls Jess in for a chat and yells at her for meddling in Gambini business, and to get the next plane home. Rude.

Upstairs, Jess spots Stephen Ridgely pawing through things and Paul tells her the truth – Stephen Ridgely is a special investigator hired by the football commissioner to investigate match fixing in Paul’s team. When news got out about the mob hitman’s death they panicked that it was related, although it made no sense to target Paul at his grandfather’s house. He was a sitting duck.

Exactly, Jess exclaims. And so is Tony. So they can’t be the target.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

Salvatore found out his granddaughter was bringing a hitman to his birthday and was going to let Ben kill him, but when Tony was injured instead Sal decides the only way is out. Before Jess can stop him he drinks more of the poisoned wine that he gave Ben(ito) and collapses.  He’s rushed to hospital where the doctor says he’ll pull through, the family commits to keeping the winery and JB informs Thaddeus that if Salvatore confessed to killing anyone she certainly can’t remember it.

The bad guys lose, the good guys win. I think that seems fair enough. Listen to your friend JB Fletcher, she knows what’s up.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

 

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S04E16 – Murder Through the Looking Glass

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I’m just going to come right out and say it. This wasn’t the Alice in Wonderland Murder She Wrote episode I thought it was going to be, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Once upon a time, there were two men. One night, they both got out of a car on a bridge. One man said to the other man, “Turn around and face me,” and pulled a gun on him.

“To satisfy my curiosity,” says the other man, “Who ordered the hit?”

“What good will that do you?” Says the first man, and fires.

And so concludes this week’s episode of Murder She Wrote. Thank you and good night!

I kid. But in all seriousness the assassin looks like Dick Smith and it’s freaking me out a bit.

Meanwhile, in the city of Hartford Connecticut, Our Heroine is being made a Jedi Commander of the New England Booksellers Association, probably. Job done, one of her new friends offers to whisk her away from all the crazy fans to a late night diner just down the road. Jess is delighted but unfortunately the coffee is delayed by the arrival of a car carrying Dick Smith crashing onto the sidewalk outside the Hartford hotel. The dying man tells JB and her new friend that he can’t breathe, and asks for a priest. Fortunately one happens to drive past so Jess signals for him to come over. Dick Smith can’t wait though, and tells JB that he killed a man tonight – Carl Cosgrove of Farmington.

a2

The good news is, JB now has her next novel in the bag

By the time the priest gets through the traffic the man is dead. 2 dead bodies in under 5 minutes, that’s got to be a new record!

The next day JB goes to  see the detective in charge of the investigation, Sergeant Cooper, who is busy trying to work out why his wife left him. Cooper is greatly amused by JB’s surprisingly in depth analysis of the John Doe’s career as a hit man, but grudgingly agrees to call Farmington to see if a Carl Cosgrove is missing presumed shot off a bridge.  JB listens in on the extension as Mrs Cosgrove answers the phone and informs them that her husband is asleep upstairs, and not floating around in a river.

JB smells a rat, and takes a taxi up to Farmington to see for herself. While she speaks to the security guard at the gate, a group of men watch her through the security camera and debate letting her in. When the guard calls in, they decide a woman that persistent could be trouble and so let her in to save time.

God damn right.

Jess is met at the front door by Mrs Cosgrove, who tells JB she’s unsurprised to see her. Considering her husband is in bed upstairs recovering from an asthma attack, she seems very upset to hear about the death of Carl Cosgrove. She takes Jess up to see for herself that Mr Cosgrove is lying in bed, an oxygen mask over his face. JB tells him she’s sorry to hear about his asthma attack, and gives the giant mirror a significant look. Behind the mirror, the three men from earlier discuss whether she is buying the situation. The oldest, Jackson (who you might remember from such episodes as Footnote to Murder and that time he was Mike Brady) thinks it’s fine but the other two, Pierce and Van Buren don’t think she’s buying it for a minute.

After JB and Mrs Cosgrove leave, Mr Cosgrove stands up and shouts at the mirror that he doesn’t like role playing. Jackson tells Mr Delgado (apparently that’s his real name) it’s for security purposes. Delgado demands to speak to a superior and Van Buren mutters take a number. Jaclson tells him that Adams has gone to Washington to prepare security before Delgado’s appearance before the Committtee.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel JB has a message from Father Patrick Francis, the priest who was too late to the car accident. She goes to see what he wants and he asks her what the dying man said in his confession. JB is a little surprised to hear this but tells him anyway. Father Francis asks her if the dead man said who hired him but JB is getting suspicious, more so when he calls the other priest in the church by the wrong name when he comes to tell JB she has a phone call. On the line is Sergeant Cooper, who tells her they just found the body of (a) Carl Cosgrove floating in the Connecticut river.

All this talk of Connecticut makes me think of the Babysitters Club. Man, that would have been a great crossover. Claudia could have made earrings for JB and JB could have told Kristy to calm down. Missed opportunity.

Down at the precinct Cooper is still trying to get hold of his wife, with no success. He tells JB that Carl Cosgrove is in the morgue, and she informs him that he’s also in a bed in Farmington taking the news of his death rather well considering he’d been killed by a hitman.

Word

When will they learn?

Cooper wants to know how JB knows the dead man in the car was a professional killer and JB tells him she learned in church. Something very strange is going on here, she tells him. Cooper shows her a photo of the body that they pulled from the river and JB confirms it’s not the same man she saw in the bed. Cooper decides it’s time for a housecall and they zoom up to Farmington.

Inside, Van Buren tries to stall them but Delgado’s assistant pulls a gun and it all goes a bit wrong until Jackson steps in. He informs them that they are in a DSS safehouse which has now been compromised thanks to their arrival. Van Buren and Jackson are both cagey about their activities at the safe house but Mrs Cosgrove breaks after seeing a photo of the dead Cosgrove. He turns out to be their colleague Adams, who according to Van Buren went out to meet a guy in a deserted parking lot on his own and never came back. Jackson says he had no idea about that. Jackson confirms that the dead man is the unit boss.

Back at her hotel JB has had about enough of spies, which is unfortunate as one has broken into her hotel room and gotten stuck into her mini bar.

I'd be pulling that face too. NEVER TOUCH ANOTHER PERSON'S MINI BAR.

I’d be pulling that face too. NEVER TOUCH ANOTHER PERSON’S MINI BAR.

Father Patrick Francis (seen lurking in the background above) not only is a mini-bar raider, but isn’t a priest. He’s in the DSS Internal Affairs, and now that JB has penetrated his cover she’s going to have to trust him.

“Why should I trust you?” Asks JB.

“Because I work for the government.” Says Francis.

Sidenote: I have been rewatching The X-Files and I forgot how amazing it was. You know why? BECAUSE VINCE GILLIGAN WORKED ON IT #conspiraciesbitch

Sidenote: I have been rewatching The X-Files and I forgot how amazing it was. You know why? BECAUSE VINCE GILLIGAN WORKED ON IT #conspiraciesbitch

JB agrees to listen to the Tale of Francis, but only where there are people around, i.e the dog park. They sit down, and Francis tells Jess that the previous week Adams called Internal Affairs to tell them he thought there was a traitor at the safe house but it could be anyone – Jackson, Van Buren, Pearce, Mrs Cosgrove, the “houseguest” and rebel leader Delgado or his bodyguard Sanchez. The previous day, Adams called Francis and told him he’d been contacted by an informant who had information revealing the identity of the traitor. Adams arranged to meet him at Trinity College that night, and told Francis that he hadn’t told anyone at the safe house about it. Francis was suspicious, so followed Adams to the meeting and told Adams to put a tracker on the car. Francis followed them using the tracker but lost them at the bridge. He lost the signal but then saw the informants car so followed it back to town, only to see him crash into JB’s hotel.

That’s all well and good, but what does he want from JB? To spy on the safe house of course! She can use her mystery writer acumen to pick up on things.

“Ah, so you’ve read up on me too.” says JB

“Does that bother you? Well, when this is over tell me what you  want and I’ll pluck it out of your file.” Says Francis

That's the second time her "file" has come up this episode and both times she's been anxious. My theory: she's in S.H.I.E.L.D

That’s the second time her “file” has come up this episode and both times she’s been anxious. My theory: she’s in S.H.I.E.L.D

Unfortunately for Francis JB ain’t nobody’s snitch and says no. That night back at the hotel JB gets a call from a Mr Secretary and her no becomes a yes.

In the car the next day Francis tells Jessica to be herself, and gives her a present – a lipstick. But it’s no ordinary lipstick. It’s a bazooka flame thrower nuclear warhead tracking beacon – just twist and Francis will come running with the cavalry. On that note, he gets out of the car and leaves JB to be dropped at the safehouse. Van Buren and Mrs Cosgrove are less than enthusiastic to see her on the security camera but Jackson left word for her to be allowed in.

Jessica tells Jackson she wants to write a book about the safehouse but before she can get too much further (and before Jackson can chuck a tantrum) Sergeant Cooper arrives full with the news that he’d just discovered Adams had a criminal history longer than his arm. Meanwhile upstairs Pearce has just woken up to discover Sanchez shaking the lifeless body of Delgado. Pearce runs down to inform Jackson and they all go to see for themselves, leaving Jess to turn the beeper on (after accidentally picking up the wrong lipstick first trolololol).

Francis and Cooper are satisfied that Pearce woke just in time to see Sanchez murder Delgado but JB isn’t sure. There was no way for Sanchez to know that Pearce was asleep behind the two-way mirror, and in any case how does it link back to the death of Adams? It’s not until JB is talking to Mrs Cosgrove that she suddenly works it out. Because Adams didn’t tell anyone about his secret meeting the night he died.

But someone knew.

I must admit I picked this one early on, although Mike Brady was drinking tea like an evil-doer so I wasn't sure

I must admit I picked this one early on, although Mike Brady was drinking tea like an evil-doer so I wasn’t sure

Ah yes, the old “assassinate a guy for money but get my boss out of the way in order to do it” routine. Classic Van Buren.

Let us end this week on one of the better freeze-frame endings the show has had for awhile – the face JB pulls after having to explain to Sergeant Cooper that he’s just hung up on his wife.

So until next time

Later gang!

Later gang!

S04E15 – Mourning Among the Wisterias

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Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who tweeted along with South By Southwest on Monday. It was so close to being the Breaking Bad/Murder She Wrote crossover I always dreamed of! (But seriously, what was Jess transporting on the train? And who were that crazy couple of death? SO MANY QUESTIONS) I might hit pause on the Tweetathons just for a while, because there’s only 2 more movies and there’s *gulp* eight more seasons of Murder She Wrote to improve destroy edit watch.

Speaking of which.

Our Heroine has gone down to steamy Savannah Georgia to catch up with her old friend, playwright Eugene McClenden who has invited her down to to sit in the heat and hear him read his new play.

Have I mentioned the temperature?

Have I mentioned the temperature? 

Also listening from an upstairs window is Crystal Wendle (who has just married Eugene’s nephew Todd who is in bed and doesn’t really care about anything apart from getting laid right now) and behind a pillar is Broadway actress Deirdre French who asks which role is meant for her. Eugene asks her how she can be so sure there’s even a role for her, since she doesn’t know what it’s about. She tells him she’s sure it’s about one of Eugene’s sex-starved Southern women, although in her experience Southern women are rarely starved for sex.

b2

“I wouldn’t know, I’m from Maine.” – JB Fletcher

Eugene and JB adjourn inside, where Eugene orders Todd to get him another boubon and yells at him when he and Crystal dares to mention what the doctor said. They are soon joined by Broadway producer Arnold Goldman and Eugene’s lawyer (and Todd’s boss) Jonathan Keeler who are there to talk about staging Eugene’s new play.

Later, JB is upstairs unpacking when Eugene pops in to her room to ask if she’d packed anything to wear to a small family nuptial ceremony. JB is delighted to think that Eugene’s ladyfriend Grace Banfield is about to make an honest man out of Eugene but Eugene tells her that Grace is fine until she spots some pants (presumably, another man. Or, she really likes pants). The bride he was thinking of was Jessica Fletcher.

They do things differently in Georgia I guess.

Surprise! You’re getting married!

There’s method to his madness. Eugene is dying, and he’s worried about his play. If JB is his wife, she can oversee the production after he dies and can make sure Arnold doesn’t rewrite it and Deirdre doesn’t wriggle her way in to the lead role. He doesn’t trust anyone else – Todd’s an idiot, Crystal just wants his money and Jonathan has been cooking the books for 20 years. JB tells him not to be so dramatic.

After dinner, Deirdre takes Arnold out to the verandah to “discuss” her role in the production, while Crystal takes it upon herself to try and make some food Eugene will eat, while Eugene, Todd, Jonathan and JB hang out in the lounge. Eugene orders another drink, and Jonathan goes to the kitchen to fix it when Todd points out his drink is just fine. Apparently he takes too long and Eugene doubles up in pain, and sends JB to find some bicarb soda for his “indigestion.” In the kitchen, Jess finds a smashed glass and Jonathan and Crystal arguing. She offers to help clean up the mess but Crystal tells her it’s fine, she’ll do it, and she just wants to be left alone. Later, when Eugene is getting ready for bed, Crystal comes to offer to make him something to eat and Jonathan arrives wanting to speak to Eugene in private. He shoos them both out.

Later that night, JB is curled up on the lounge reading a book when she hears gunshots. Everyone comes running to find Eugene standing over the body of Jonathan, gun in hand. Well that escalated. Naturally, the presence of a dead body is going to require the presence of the police, and let’s face it this one is more dapper than most.

Rene Auberjonois. Or as he is known in my head, Rene Aubergine.

Rene Auberjonois. Or as he is known in my head, Rene Aubergine.

It turns out Homicide Captain Walker Aubergine Thom’s family used to own Eugene’s house until Jonathan screwed Thom’s father in a business deal and they lost it. I’m guessing he’s not particularly fussed Jonathan is dead then. In any case, he thinks it’s open and shut – they found the gun that was used to kill Jonathan, even though Eugene swears that’s not the gun he had when they found him. There’s also that small matter of Jonathan skimming off the top of Eugene’s income. So, y’know, there’s that.

Later JB quizzes Eugene but is interrupted by the arrival of his ladyfriend Grace who has returned from Atlanta horrified to see JB cooking poached eggs for Eugene and mildly disturbed to hear about Jonathan’s death. She orders JB to go tell Orla Mae (the maid) to cook bacon and grits and have her baggage brought up to Eugene’s room which Eugene amends to have her baggage moved to the Magnolia room. Awkward.

Downstairs Deirdre is making sure her name is still at the top of the (potential) cast list, while Crystal apologises to JB about the scene with Jonathan the previous night. Apparently her interest in furthering her husband’s career at the law firm was misconstrued. Meanwhile, Todd and Arnold discuss how best to circumvent Eugene’s displeasure. Captain Aubergine Thom turns up to inform Eugene that the gun taken matched the gun used to kill Jonathan and that his presence was required down the station, at which point Eugene collapses again. The doctor is called but Eugene has no interest in going to hospital and throws everyone out of his room. The doctor tells JB that he’ll run tests on the blood he managed to get out of Eugene and see if he can find the problem.

JB catches up with Captain Thorne to tell him some of her theories about the shooting, namely that to her it sounded like the gun was fired from outside, which made no sense since the window in Jonathan’s room was closed, which itself made no sense because ERMAGHERD THE HEAT. Captain Thom is interested to hear this and tells her he has work to do. Just after he leaves, Orla Mae comes in looking for him to get a receipt for the missing comforter from the room where Jonathan died. JB tells her that the captain didn’t mention anything about a comforter and Orla tells her that maybe he thought it was none of her business.

It's a sass off.

It’s a sass off.

Later, JB finds Orla Mae pouring bug spray to kill the ants and has an idea. She gets the doctor to test for arsenic poisoning and he confirms it – someone has been slipping poison to Eugene for quite some time. Captain Thom is informed and they debate how they’re going to catch the poisoner in the act. JB has a cunning plan to draw out the assassin. They go downstairs and Eugene tells everyone that Jessica has agreed to marry him. Everyone is aghast (except Deirdre, who is too concerned with getting the role to care). Eugene tells them that the wedding will take place the next day, before an extended trip abroad, and now that he thinks about it he has some legal issues to take care of and would Todd dig out a copy of the will?

Exit, Eugene and Jessica. Naturally the plan works a treat and later that night a shadowy figure is captured before they can shoot Eugene in his sleep.

O is for Obvious

O is for Obvious

So when she said Jonathan was misconstruing how far she’d go to advance her husband, what she actually meant was “You construe correctly and so I’m going to kill you too”. Or something.

And with that, it’s case closed, job well done and Long Island Iced Teas for everyone. So until next time…

Cheers!

Cheers!

And now, a word from our sponsor…

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No episode today. I played Dungeons and Dragons for seven hours yesterday and as a result have misplaced my brain, but also EPIC TWEETATHON PART THE SECOND is tomorrow!

South by Southwest will kick off at 12pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (adjust your sundials accordingly). To play along, use the hashtag #SouthMSB or search for it on Twitter if you are content to sit back and watch my descent into madness.

 

S04E14 – Curse of the Daanav

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Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away (but in geographical terms, India) there was an explorer. Let’s call him Not Quite Indiana Jones. NQ was hunting a valuable ruby, alongside his local guide Not Jonathan Rhys-Davies. One day, the explorer found the ruby, prised it from it’s position on the head of a snake statue, and promptly dropped dead while Not Jonathan did a lot of this.

Fangirl.

Fangirl.

 

Fast forward a bit, and with no explanation as to how it happened, but the ruby now resides around the neck of Mrs Alice Hazlitt, the new sister-in-law of Doctor Seth Hazlitt, although he doesn’t know it yet.

Meanwhile, JB is on the tail end of roadtrip to Washington with Seth to Washington to have a bit of a chinwag with their local Congressman, but with the job done JB isn’t quite ready to return back to the Cove just yet. In fact, she’s had a great idea – Seth should go and visit his brother in Maryland that he hasn’t seen for 30 years. Seth wants no part of the plan, but caves in the end as all must do when ordered to do something by The Queen.

ALL HAIL

ALL HAIL

Except Seth has decided that he won’t go unless Jess goes with him.

That plan backfired.

That plan backfired.

Alas, by the time they get to Maryland the polo game Seth was apparently invited to has finished. They are about to leave again when Alice spots Seth and introduces herself.

Seth’s reaction to the realization that  he’s now got a hot sister-in-law is priceless.

Poor Seth.

Poor Seth.

Richard Hazlitt has a similar reaction to seeing his brother for the first time in thirty years, and is surprised to learn that Seth was there at his invitation. Alice admits that it was her doing, and begs them to come to the party at the house later that evening and to stay the night. Seth and Richard reluctantly accept, but never mind that because LOOK WHO ELSE IS AT THE POLO GAME.

YOUR HORSES ARE NOW RUBIES. Oh God I'm tired. Insomnia is the worst.

YOUR HORSES ARE NOW RUBIES. Oh God I’m tired. Insomnia is the worst.

Later that night, the party kicks off with Not Hugh Laurie on the drums.

I've had 12 hours sleep in three days, so to be fair my cup of tea looks like Hugh Laurie

I’ve had 12 hours sleep in three days though, so to be fair my cup of tea looks like Hugh Laurie

While Seth and Alice’s father duke it out over the last spinach puff JB introduces them to Vikram Singh, the real name of Not Jonathan Rhys-Davies, who works as a cultural attache at the Indian Embassy. Alice’s father remembers him, and tells him how much he enjoyed the film Gunga Din.

I'll be honest, I had to google Gunga Din, but yes. Telling an Indian man about how much you enjoyed a film about British Colonialism probably deserves that look.

I’ll be honest, I had to google Gunga Din, but yes. Telling an Indian man about how much you enjoyed a film about British Colonialism probably deserves that look.

They are soon joined by Seth’s niece Carolyn and nephew Mark who are positively delighted to be there. No really. They all light up some of Vikram’s Turkish cigarettes and when Richard comes over to scold his children for smoking and for not giving them up like Alice Vikram spots the Ruby of Daanav around Alice’s neck. He compliments her on not being affected by the curse, and Richard tells him curse, shmurse, he’s not selling the ruby.

Guys I think I know where this is going.

Alice excuses herself to go and retrieve Richard’s present from the garage. When she gets there she finds the car has been left running and the garage filling with exhaust fumes. She tries to turn the car off but it’s locked from the inside. The garage roller door is broken and the other door has magically locked her in. Overcome by the fumes, she collapses. Luckily for Alice, her father comes down looking for his pipe and saves the day. Alice is okay, but not sure what happened. Her father insists on calling the police, and a familiar face comes to check it all out.

Major Franklin Marion Burns reporting for duty.

Major Franklin Marion Burns reporting for duty.

After learning of JB’s meeting with the Congressman in Washington Lietenant Ames decides that she must be a secret agent. He’s still convinced that Alice  tried to kill herself even though it makes no sense to turn a car on, leave it for 15 minutes and then go back to it. Richard is convinced it was just an accident, and Ames tells JB that if there are any more accidents just give him a call.

JB puts Alice to bed, and asks her if anyone else knew where she’d hidden the present. She says Carolyn had suggested it to her, and her Dad reminds her that Mark had driven up just as they were hiding it. Alice thinks it’s more likely that the Curse of the Daanav is more likely behind the prank than either of them Richard appears to tell them that he’d kicked everyone out of the house, and Alice tells Richard to put the necklace away in the safe.

Downstairs, JB and Richard run into Vikram who somehow missed the memo that the party is over. He hopes that Richard will take the curse more seriously now, but  Richard tells him he’s not selling not now not ever. He goes into the study to put the ruby away and is startled by Seth sitting in the dark. Over a whiskey or two they mend their metaphorical (I accidentally wrote METHaphorical and now I’m dying) fences and all is right with the world. Until Alice comes down and finds her husband lying dead on the floor in a locked room with the necklace around his neck but without the ruby. Oh dear.

The next morning Ames finds Special Agent JB Fletcher outside and begs her to tell him what she’s found out but it’s not much. Whomever killed Richard wanted to make it look like the work of the curse. Inside Mark is on the phone trying to get a copy of his father’s will sent out. Ames asks him why he’s in such a rush for it but Mark tells Ames his father was a cold vindictive so and so which Seth takes offence to. Mark tells Seth he’s in no position to judge since he hadn’t spoken to his brother in over 30 years until the previous day. Ames asks Seth about it and Seth storms off. Classic Seth. JB finds him packing, and he tells her there’s no way he’s sticking around to be accused of murder. Ames wanders in to tell him that they’re running some prints found on some whiskey glasses and Seth tells him that one set belongs to him. Ames isn’t buying the reconciliation story Seth is putting out, but JB informs him he has it on the Highest Authority, making Ames think that Seth is a colleague of JB’s at the FBI/CIA/NSC/CWA etc etc. JB tells Ames she’s figured out how the door was locked – with the cunning use of a cigarette to stop latch from closing all the way.

Vikram Singh appears out of nowhere, but he says he has nothing to do with the death of Richard Hazlitt. In fact, he tried to stop his death by buying the ruby from him to stop the curse. As he is leaving, JB notices him feel his glove and asks him why he doesn’t put it on. Ames grabs it off him and tips it, revealing the ruby.

Down at the police station JB tells Ames she just doesn’t think Singh is guilty of anything more than trying to get the ruby out of the house. Assuming that Alice’s accident and Richard’s death are related there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why Singh would be involved.

That’s because he wasn’t. And neither was Richard’s daughter. Or, as it turns out, his wife.

Yeah. This episode got away from me a bit.

Yeah. This episode got away from me a bit.

So yes. The ruby was a red herring. It was more a matter of a father hating his son-in-law. But the important thing is, my housemate just knocked on my door and offered me homemade hummus so until next time

 

Later gang!

Later gang!