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S05E13 – Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble

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It is a dark and stormy night in Cabot Cove Fletcherfans, and Seth is out on a house-call to see Agnes Finney. When no one answers the door, however, Seth is set to pack it in for the night when he hears a voice across the yard. He turns and sees a girl dressed as a pilgrim kneeling at a stump (which is apparently called a witches stump) muttering a spell to curse her enemies. Seth attempts to sneak up on the girl but a careless branch snap gives him away and the girl runs off into the night, leaving behind a pentagram and some herbs in a jar.

Naturally there is only one person who can make sense of such events.

Where were they again?

Where were they again?

JB’s friend Harriet knows exactly what’s going on – it’s the ghost of Patience Tarhune, and goes off to inform the garden club immediately. It turns out that the day after tomorrow marks 300 years since Patience was executed for being a witch, and apparently the ghost of Patience has been seen out and about for weeks. Seth wants to argue the point but realises that would delay his dinner, and so shuts up.

The next day Jess comes across Sheriff Metzger, in a crochetty mood. The press have caught wind of Patience Tarhune and are looking for information. He shows Jess what he collected from the witches stump but Jess cannot detect any clues. She continues on to the Cabot Cove library to return some books and runs into librarian Mildred Tarhune, convenient descendant of Patience Tarhune. She’s been fielding calls all morning from people concerned her dead relative was staging a comeback. She tells Jess her fiance Adam has had enough, and thinks that they should go away travelling after the wedding, thanks to her late uncle leaving her an apple farm. The proceeds from that should pay for a nice honeymoon.

Suddenly they are joined by two men, Gordon Fairchild and Rick Rivers. And Fletcherfans, I was unprepared.

THAT. HAIR. IS. WHAT.

THAT. HAIR. IS. WHAT. (Also insert Planet of the Apes joke here)

Fun fact: I once had a boss who was mad obsessed with Bill Maher. She was terrifying beyond all reason. And so concludes everything I know about Bill Maher. Except that one time he pissed off Batfleck, and everyone knows you don’t piss off Batfleck.

Gordon Fairchild, it turns out has written a book on Patience Tarhune, with the assistance of Mildred, which is coming out on the anniversary of her death. As soon as he heard about the ghost of Patience Tarhune putting in an appearance he hotfooted it over to Cabot Cove with his media advisor Rick Rivers. He says all of this while completely blanking JB, who it seems is not on Fairchild’s radar.

Bad move, Fairchild.

Bad move, Fairchild.

While Fairchild blows his own trumpet, Rick apologises to JB for his behaviour, saying he’s crazed about the book’s release. Fairchild decides he wants to talk to Seth about what he saw at the witches stump and flounces out. Later, Rick is back at his hotel room trying to drum up media interest in the book when Gordon flounces in again, demanding to know when the media will be arriving. Rick promises Gordon he will be up to his neck in media by the next day, the anniversary itself. I think that’s what he said. I couldn’t hear him over his hair.

That night as a mysterious woman arrives in town, Jess,Seth, Mildred and Adam are preparing to go to the Garden Club dinner at the hall and are discussing the story of Patience Tarhune and complimenting the new blue hallway. Oh crap, I just realised Mildred is the mum from ET. Anyway, they are just about to leave when there is a knock at the door. Mildred answers – it’s a woman. Apparently it’s her sister Irene. She can hardly believe it and neither can Seth – Irene is also the ghost of Patience Tarhune.

*DUN DUN DUN*

They all sit down to talk. Apparently Irene was given to her mother’s sister to take care off, as Mildred and Irene’s mother was dying when she had the baby. She asks about a story she heard when she was a kid, about having a witch in the family, and Seth says “funny you should bring that up.” JB asks her what brought her back to Cabot Cove now at this particular time and she says she doesn’t really know how to explain it, she just felt she had to. MYSTERIOUS.

Despite the sudden arrival of a long lost sister, no one can miss the call of the Garden Club casserole dinner, and Seth and JB discuss the news with Reverend Fordyce, who is stunned that Patience Tarhune is possessing Irene. Seth tells him that’s not what he’s saying. A guy wandering past overhears their discussion and tells them she couldn’t have been the witch – he picked her up earlier that evening, and she told him she’d flown up from Arizona that morning. At home that night, Mildred catches Irene sleepwalking, a candle and a fistful of herbs in her hand. She tells Jess about it the next morning, but Jess her not to worry about it, people sleepwalk for lots of reasons.

“With a lighted candle and bunch of herbs used in satanic rites?” Mildred is sceptical.

Once when I was in Thailand on holiday my friend swears I was counting down in a foreign language in my sleep and when I stopped someone knocked on the door. MAYBE I'M A WITCH I AM GOING TO SMITE SOMEONE AND SEE

Once when I was in Thailand on holiday my friend swears I was counting down in a foreign language in my sleep and when I stopped someone knocked on the door. MAYBE I’M A WITCH I AM GOING TO SMITE SOMEONE AND SEE

Wait do witches even smite? They curse things…but I’m more of a smiter , so we’ll go with that.

Anyway.

The next day JB pops in to see the Sheriff, who is dealing with Gordon Fairchild. He reluctantly agrees to let Gordon look at the things recovered from the witches stump, and while he finds them Gordon apologises to JB for his rudeness the day before. He simply didn’t know she was Somebody.

“In Cabot Cove it’s quite permissible to be polite to nobodies.” Says JB and goes to wait for the Sheriff.

I must confess my knowledge of Planet of the Apes is minimal. My knowledge of Planet of the Apes: The Musical however is profound #youllnevermakeamonkeyoutofmeeee

I must confess my knowledge of Planet of the Apes is minimal. My knowledge of Planet of the Apes: The Musical however is profound #youllnevermakeamonkeyoutofme

Mort tells JB that he contacted the airlines like she suggested, and that Irene’s story checks out – Irene flew from Tucson to Boston.

“Or someone pretending to be Irene did.” JB said. Her suspicious radar is going off the charts.

Gordon reappears to thank Mort for letting him look at the evidence. He points out that one of the figures etched on the clay is Inebrius, the most evil of the demon spirits, usually summoned to bring death to relatives, especially siblings. Jess asks him if he really believes Mildred is in danger, and he says what he believes doesn’t matter.

I think I once had an inebrius cocktail in Thailand. I felt like death the next day :O

I think I once had an Inebrius cocktail in Thailand. I felt like death the next day :O

Deputy Floyd gets a phone call and tells the sheriff and JB there’s some sort of ceremony happening at the witch’s stump outside Agnes Finney’s house. When they arrive an exorcism is underway, being conducted by Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately for all concerned the exorcism is put off due to incessant talking, a woman taking a photo, and the fact that the reverend did not inform Everett Overman of the amount of spirits brought forth by Irene. JB steps in before she can be lynched. Jonas the taxi driver tells her that Irene has been having dreams about the town for years. Jess tells Irene privately she’d hate to see Mildred get hurt or disappointed.

Back at the hotel Gordon is  raging at Rick about the lack of book sales and the level of media coverage compared to the exorcism that wasn’t, but Rick tells him to calm down. He’s got a plan that will knock everyone’s socks off, including Gordon’s. He then gets a phone call from a mysterious caller, which he flips out about, saying “She’s backing out on us.”

Later that night, Jess’s sleuthing has turned up a clue – Agnes Finney has been in Pittsburgh for a week, and couldn’t have called Seth for a housecall. Jess thinks it was a lure to get him to see what he saw, but she’s not sure why. She gets a phone call herself, and learns that Patience’s ghost has been seen near the barn belonging to Simon Greeley. Seth and JB head over there just in time to see the “ghost” of Patience Tarhune run into the barn. Seconds later, it catches fire, but not before the ghost has time to belt out an appropriate musical number.

The thought of Bill Maher in pilgrim drag singing a Bangles song is going to get me through the winter months.

The thought of Bill Maher in witch drag singing a Bangles song is going to get me through the winter months.

After the fire is extinguished they set to looking for clues but don’t have any success. JB asks Mort if he’s checked the root cellar and he says “Check it? I don’t know what it is.”

“It’s a cellar where they keep roots.” Says Seth.

ha

Seth you are such a smart arse.

Seth you are such a smart arse.

They quickly locate the trapdoor, open it, and discover the body of Irene. Oh yeah, MURDER she wrote.

The coroner’s findings reveal that Irene was murdered between 11am and 3pm, meaning she couldn’t have been Patience’s ghost. JB thinks Irene was definitely the first ghost, but not the second. Seth tells them that blue paint was found on the body.

Over at the hotel Rick is preparing to leave town, not wanting to be found an accomplice to murder, but Gordon tells him if he leaves he won’t get a cent of the book’s profits. Rick tells Gordon that he’d better hope that no one finds out who Irene really is.

While Doctor Overman conducts an interview saying that the Tahune girls were either victims of a curse or practitioners of the dark arts themselves, JB goes to see Mildred, who says she called Irene at around 1:30 to tell her she was adding Irene’s name to the deed on the house. Irene was so moved by this that she cried.  Adam walks in, with the Sheriff wanting to know where Mildred was at the time of the murder. She says she was at the library from open to close, and Adam agrees, saying he was there most of the day doing rewiring.

JB finds Jonas the taxi driver down by the water, looking sad. He tells her that they’d planned to spend the whole day together, but that Irene had decided she was jetlagged from the flight and wanted to sleep. This seals it for JB who goes straight to Mort but he’s just found out Dr Overman is a fraudster from way back and is off to arrest him for the murder. JB tells him that there’s no way Irene is Mildred’s sister, because you can’t get jetlag travelling from Arizona to Boston to Portland like she did. (I dunno about this, I get sleepy flying 45 minutes from Melbourne to Launceston but that might just be me). She’s convinced Irene was in the employ of Rick Rivers and Gordon Fairchild, sent to drum up publicity for the book. They are interrupted by the arrival of R L Pearson, a lawyer representing the estate of Mildred’s uncle who has come to deliver Mildred’s inheritance.

“Oh yes, the apple farm.” Says JB.

“Correction, the former apple farm.” Says RL. It’s now an industrial park and a shopping mall with an estimated value of 5,227,000. Now THAT’s a honeymoon.

They all troop down to the library to deliver the news to Mildred. It turns out that her real sister and aunt died in a flu epidemic many years earlier. RL assumed she knew, he’d sent her a letter outlining what he’d found out. Back at the station Mort is trying to goodcop/badcop Rick Rivers with Deputy Floyd, but is getting nowhere until JB arrives with the news that Rick had purchased the barn from Simon Greerley the day of the fire. Worried he was being made the fall guy Rick tells them that Irene was really Annie Gorman, an out-of-work actress employed to help promote the book. When she backed out, after feeling guilty at what she was doing to Mildred, Rick took over the role but didn’t kill her. Mort is set to arrest Gordon, but JB has suddenly remembered something and goes back to the barn to check it out. Theory confirmed, she lures the killer into her trap and catches him that night, looking for the evidence she claims he left before the police find it.

You guys, I wanted so badly for it to be RIVERS OF DEATH or BILL MAHER OF DEATH but alas it was not to be

You guys, I wanted so badly for it to be RIVERS OF DEATH or BILL MAHER OF DEATH but alas it was not to be

In a depressing twist, Adam found out about Mildred’s upcoming inheritance and decided to marry her so he could get his hands on it. Not cool dude.

But lets not dwell. Let’s instead go forth from this place thinking about Bill Maher in drag singing the back catalogue of 80s girl bands.

Until next time.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

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S05E12 – Smooth Operators

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Wait just one sec…

ABC, Always be Cumberbatchin.

ABC, Always be Cumberbatchin.

Right, where are we? Oh yes. New York this week Fletcherfans where Our Heroine is attempting to take her buddy Lieutenant Timothy Hanratty, aka Morty Seinfeld, out for brunch.

That hat though.

That hat though.

After a brief visit to Timothy’s boss/nemesis Captain Everett Larson’s office, they are off to brunch but get somewhat distracted by a dead body they spot along the way. The policeman at the scene tells them it’s just another dead hobo, but Jessica and Harry aren’t so sure. The dead guy is only wearing one shoe, and judging by the state of his socks it was removed after he died. Timothy decides he might just take a casual look into the case, receiving the wrath of Everett in the process, who refers to hobos as disposable. What a charmer. He reluctantly lets Timothy look into the matter, but unofficially. No paperwork unless there is an ID and an autopsy done that night.

Jess meets him for breakfast the next morning. Naturally he got it done and they now know who the dead guy is – Elliot Winston. Timothy is off to check out his apartment and begs Jess to come with him, because “you once said that every good writer needs a good editor, and I need a good editor”.

 

Current mood.

Current mood.

JB and Timothy roll up to Elliot’s address and meet his neighbour Grace Fenton. She is devastated to learn of Elliott’s death but refuses to believe that he drank himself to death. They were in the same AA meeting and she is vehement that he would not have relapsed. JB admits that they think Elliott’s death wasn’t accidental, and Grace is relieved. She is stunned when Timothy opens Elliot’s locked drawer to reveal it had been broken into and Elliot’s secret stash of papers are missing. JB calls Timothy over to the potplant – she’s just found an open bottle of wine. Grace still won’t believe it. (Side note, the actress playing Grace has been nominated for an Academy award twice and is also in Paul Blart Mall Cop. What a world we live in).

Timothy’s boss is furious. Despite overwhelming evidence that Elliott was a drunk who died, Timothy is still investigating the case as a murder. Larsen tells Timothy he’s over old cops ruining his life, just take an early retirement and, on seeing Jessica walk in, tells Timothy to conduct his personal life after work.

Larsen will end up Prime Minister of Australia with that attitude.

Larsen will end up Prime Minister of Australia with that attitude.

While Timothy investigates the bars and bottle shops around where Elliot was found, JB goes back to chat with Grace, who is naturally distraught about the death of her friend, as she was a bit in love with him.

 

I WANT A HUG FROM JESSICA FLETCHER MAKE THIS HAPPEN INTERNET.

I WANT A HUG FROM JESSICA FLETCHER MAKE THIS HAPPEN INTERNET.

Jessica tells her the lieutenant is determined to find out why Eliot was murdered. She asks Grace about the missing papers and Grace tells her she doesn’t know what they were, but she assumed they had something to do with Eliot’s job at the Old York hospital, a fancy private hospital for rich people where Eliot was an accountant.

Timothy and Jess compare notes – the autopsy confirms cause of death was acute alcohol poisoning. Jess is still sure it was murder and decides to go undercover to the Old York hospital to suss it out. And you know what that means, Fletcherfans – cunning use of disguise time.

Number of Zoolander references in the history of this blog - 2.

Number of Zoolander references in the history of this blog is now 2.

Jess goes in to meet her doctors, including Dr Latimer (also known as Templeton Peck from the A Team) and Dr Markle. Fun fact about Dr Markle, he was the first ever victim on Murder, She Wrote. Dr Markle says that he thinks there’s probably nothing to worry about, but Dr Lantz is concerned about some shadows on “Christine Chesterton”s gall bladder.

No time to care about that though.

That outfit is amaze.

That outfit is amaze.

Jess and Timothy go to quiz the coroner about his findings and he tells them that he thinks Elliot had been on the wagon for a lot of years before he died. He also tells them he found a cut on one of Eliot’s vocal chords, but what that means he has no idea. Back at the precinct they arrive to the news that Captain Larsen has just solved the case all by himself. He tells them it was all down to policework – a pawnbroker reported that a wino tried to hock a watch, enscribed to Eliott from Grace, and when he was picked up he had Eliot’s wallet on him too. Larsen tells him the wino even confessed but when they talk to him in the cells he tells them he admitted to stealing the watch and wallet, but that’s it. On the night of the murder, he says, he was just falling asleep when a car screams off. He notices a pair of shoes across the alley. He tries to take them but can only manage one. He realises Eliott’s dead and only has time to take the wallet and watch before he hears a noise and runs off.

Jess returns incognito to the Old York Hospital for the results of her tests and is informed by Doctors Markle and Zachary that she needs her gall bladder removed. Before she can say anything, Markle gets a phone call from Doctor Latimer, who has just spotted a book with JB’s picture on the jacket. Oh dear. Markle quickly tells JB that there was a problem with the xray film and they will need to reshoot the xrays. On her way out, after being given the all clear, JB and Dr Markle run into Dr Latimer, holding a copy of one of JB’s books.

Can't believe someone saw through her disguise.

Can’t believe someone saw through her disguise.

JB comes clean (ish) and tells them she went undercover to research a book she’s thinking of writing about Eliott’s ‘double life’ – by day a mild mannered accountant, by night a rampaging drunk! Or some such. Markle and Latimer are bemused, but let her go. JB asks if she could talk to some of Eliot’s co-workers and Markle sees no objection. Latimer tells her he always suspected Eliot would end up under a pile of newspapers somewhere. He won’t be around to help her with her book, he informs her, because he’s off on a Carribean holiday in the morning.

Jess gets a call later that afternoon inviting her to come back down to the hospital to find out more about Eliott. The receiptionist, Stephanie, gives her a tour of the hospital but Jess remains unenlightened. She asks if she can see Eliot’s office, but Stephanie tells her that all Eliot’s belongings have been packed away in the basement, and she can’t let JB down there without authorisation. Once Stephanie is called away though, JB sneaks down to the basement. Just as she finds Eliot’s file, a hand grabs her. It’s Leon the orderly, who demands to know what she’s doing down there sneaking around in the dark. Before JB can think of an answer, Stephanie reappears and tells Leon to go and get a coffee. “You don’t take no for answer do you?” Says Stephanie.

“Not when it’s the wrong answer.” Says JB.

Calls it like she sees it

Calls it like she sees it

Stephanie is mostly unhelpful but JB does manage to learn that Eliot had stumbled on to the little insurance scam Drs Latimer, Markle and Zachary had concocted. Jess tells her that if she knows something she should call the police.

The next day Timothy tells Jess that the computer dug up the histories of the Doctors of Old York and discovered that Dr Zachary was in fact a phoney. Timothy tries to get a court order out of Larsen but Larsen won’t budge. Meanwhile, JB is strolling along in the park when a man with a newspaper on his face gives Jess the epiphany she needed. She returns to the hospital to confront the killer, who tries to make a break for it but is slammed to the ground by Leon. Good job Leon.

If I'd seen an episode of the A-Team, I feel like this whole thing could have gone very differently #pitythefool

If I’d seen an episode of the A-Team, I feel like this whole thing could have gone very differently #pitythefool

Alas Eliot confided his suspicions about the insurance fraud to Doctor Latimer, who killed him and was preparing to run off to the Caribbean to avoid prosecution.

Meanwhile, while Jess has been busy solving cases, this happened:

Grace and Timothy <333333 #nawwwww

Grace and Timothy nawwww!

You know what? This is the first feel-good ending there’s been for awhile. So keep that warm and fuzzy feeling going Fletcherfans.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

 

S05E11 – The Search for Peter Kerry

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Six months after the funeral of her friend Evelyn Kerry, Jessica is contacted by Danny Schubert, the college room mate of Evelyn’s son Peter, who has been missing the past 20 years. Danny has a plan to raise money for the St Clemen’s childrens home which Jess clearly approves of.

Oh the 80s, when smoking inside was okay. I do not miss that.

Oh the 80s, when smoking inside was okay. I do not miss that.

Jess nixes the plan straight away – she ain’t ghostwriting for no fool – and Danny is soon distracted by the piano player, who it would seem has learned a song written by the long missing Peter Kerry twenty years earlier. They follow her to find out just where she found the song, and she leads them to her fiancée Rick Barton who gave her the song the previous week. Rick is not entirely sure what to think of these two newcomers turning up at his work and calling him Peter.

Run away!

Run away!

Danny is sure it’s Pete Kerry but Jess can’t be certain, it’s been too long. Even Danny pulling Rick’s shirt sleeve up to reveal a scar doesn’t seal it. Rick orders them to leave but Danny promises to be back. The next morning Rick calls Jess to apologise for his behaviour, and to ask to see her. He comes to the hotel to confess that he has no idea who he is really – he woke up in a hospital outside of Lincoln, Nebraska in September 1968 with no memory of what came before. He’d been in a car accident, they told him, in a car with another man who was an army deserter. He tells Jess he was so worried that he was a deserter too that he hightailed it out first chance he got. Jess contacts Peter’s grandfather’s lawyer, Roger Philby, and tells him about the conversation. He promises to fly up the next day to investigate.

Meanwhile, Danny Schubert goes home. And this happens:

WHAT THE HELL

cb

cc

WTF even is this?

 

Danny informs his money-hunting soon-to-be-ex-wife Leona that he’s about to be raking in the sweet money cash, re: the reward for finding Peter Kerry.

The next day Jess meets Roger in his office, where he tells her that he hasn’t been able to get any confirmation about Rick Barton’s story except that there was a car accident outside Lincoln where the army deserter was killed and his passenger was unidentified. Roger confesses he doesn’t know what to think.

Cut to the home of Peter’s grandfather Andrew Kerry, where Danny and Leona are outside plotting and JB is inside catching up with Andrew who has also invited his son’s former housekeeper Alma to lunch to help them decide whether Rick is indeed Peter Kerry. Rick arrives, along with his girlfriend Edie (who played the song that started the whole world laughing way back in the start of this episode). Rick is clearly uncomfortable and wants to leave, but is talked into staying by Danny. Rick asks him what’s in it for Danny, and Roger tells him about the $250,000 finders fee.

Ugh. This episode is making me factual. I HATE BEING FACTUAL.

Roger drills Rick for more information which Rick doesn’t have. Danny accuses Roger of stalling to avoid being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, which Roger flatly ignores. Andrew appears, but Rick doesn’t recognise him. Alma, noticing the way Rick fiddles with his watch squeezes Andrew’s shoulder and the interview is over, for now. Jess asks them why, and Andrew tells her that Peter used to do the same thing with his watch back in the day. Honestly, this case had better have some unexpected penguins or something. Oooh. I’m gonna start a band and call it the Unexpected Penguins.

That night, no one is sleeping. Jess finds Rick in the library trying to read a book to make him sleepy. Jess asks him what he thinks about it all and he says he has no idea, only that it feels like he’s almost remembering something but he can’t. Edie joins them from watching a movie in the bar, and she and Rick head for bed. Jess selects a book and is about to go to bed too when she finds Leona in a panic – she can’t find Danny anywhere. Jess tells her he’s probably at the outside bar, but when they go to investigate they find him stabbed in the garage. Stabbed in the Garage is what I’m going to call my death metal band.

The 5-0 roll in to investigate, and come to the quick conclusion that Danny had had a snootful of whiskey before he died. Snootful of whiskey can be my country and western band! The police find burns on Danny’s hand, a flask smelling of whiskey and an unopened pack of cigarettes. Inside, police chief Underwood is conducting my kind of investigation.

And so ends the case of the missing scotch.

And so ends the case of the missing scotch.

Oh Lane Smith. You’ll always be Perry White to me. Except when you were Coach Reilly in Mighty Ducks. #memories. Maybe I should turn this post into The Many Faces of Lane Smith, which I’ve just decided can also be my hipster band name.

I am so easily distracted/amused

I am so easily distracted/amused

Ahahahahahaha

Ahahahahahaha

Chief Underwood asks JB and Leona what time they found the body and if they heard a scream. Jess says that Danny couldn’t have been dead long, the lividity and all that.

g2

SAY MY NAME

SAY MY NAME

i2Last one, I swear.

k2

Alright, I’m done. Nope wait –

Ahahaha I made myself laugh, that's all that matters

Ahahaha I made myself laugh, that’s all that matters

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, that guy was murdered. Anyway, Underwood finds Jess in the garage, looking for clue. “A clue? Oh like in one of your books!”

JESS SMASH

JESS SMASH

Jess tells him her theory of how the murder went down and concludes that Danny was killed while he lit the cigarette of the killer, making it someone he knew, and that if they found the butt they would find the killer. Find the butt, find the killer. This has all gone wrong.

One of Underwood’s minions appears with a note from Danny asking someone to meet him in the garage at 11:30pm. The minion says he found it in Rick Barton’s room but when they question him about it he denies all knowledge. Edie confesses that Danny sent it to her, he’d been unsuccessfully hitting on her since they first met and she went to the garage to try and get him to leave her alone, but she didn’t kill him. In fact, when she told him to leave her alone or she’d tell Rick Danny had laughed and said Rick wasn’t in a position to do much.

“No,” says JB. “The scheme wouldn’t have gone through.”

Rick tries to deny it but eventually comes clean. Danny recruited Rick for the scam about a year earlier, when they met at Rick’s work. He gave the song to Edie after Danny had given it to him, and he played with his watch on Danny’s orders. Later, Edie confesses to JB that she heard someone outside when she was with Danny in the garage but she doesn’t know who, she just assumed it was Rick.

JB decides to set a trap, involving missing cigarette butts, and it pays off.

She heard he was going to end it with her, so she ended him.

She heard he was going to end it with her, so she ended him.

Now, I think it’s time we all put this episode behind us. Oh, also it turns out Rick Barton was Peter Kerry the whole time. But, if you’ll excuse me, I have bands to form.

Later Fletcherfans

Later Fletcherfans

 

And now, a word from our sponsor.

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I just woke up to the news that Terry Pratchett has passed away after battling Alzheimer’s, and I’m immeasurably sad about it. While this blog is a list of life lessons I’m learning from Jessica Fletcher, in the beginning was the word and the word was written by Terry Pratchett.

So, here’s a list of life lessons I’ve learned from reading Terry Pratchett’s books.

1. The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues. (Moving Pictures)

2. Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.

3. The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

4. Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life. (Jingo)

5. Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry. (Thief of Time)

6. Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (Men at Arms: the play)

7. It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done. (A Hat Full of Sky)

8. His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools — the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans — and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, ‘You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink. (Small Gods)

9. Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual. (Jingo)

10. …inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

11. Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken? (Going Postal)

 

And last, but possibly most importantly:

It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.

Rest in Peace Terry. And thanks.

S05E10 – Weave a Tangled Web

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It seems like ages since JB has been in the Cove, but she’s back at home this week although she’s got a children’s charity benefit to attend in New York. Nevertheless she makes plans to have dinner with her friends Vivian and Ralph Proctor when she gets back and Vivian returns from her business trip. Little does JB know that there’s something shifty going on in House Proctor. Vivian is receiving phone calls from shady character Eric Bowman who insists that she skip her stepson’s little league game to meet him at the Starlight Motel later that evening. The same Eric Bowman who has racked up a big gambling debt to another shady character Augie Specter and who is later caught by his ex-wife rifling through her desk. Judging by the gun she has pulled on him I’d say the divorce isn’t going well.

Later that evening, Ralph takes the kids to the Little League game, but Vivian begs off claiming a headache. As soon as they leave, however, she retrieves an envelope from her briefcase and drives over to the Starlight Motel, where Eric is waiting.

Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew

Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew

The next morning a screaming maid finds Eric’s body in his hotel room, and the Murder She Wrote writers would like you to know that the keys on the ground next to the body are Vivian’s, as established by an earlier key dropping scene. (This episode is incredibly key heavy, just FYI).

Cabot Cove’s finest arrive in the form of Sheriff Mort Metzger and Seth Hazlitt and a know-it-all competition begins. Metzger clearly knows everything because he was a cop from New York, but Seth knows everything because he’s Seth Hazlitt dammit. Mort shows Seth a note from Eric’s pocket, written on fancy notepaper, demanding to know what Eric wanted from them. Mort then postulates that Eric had something going with a lady, at which Seth snorts and says to the sheriff that because he’s new to the territory he might not be down on all the local gossip but old Amos kept his ear to the ground and his nose to the wind.

Mort is a little bit tired of hearing about Amos and demonstrates this by bursting into ‘Let It Go’ from the Frozen soundtrack.

*something something frozen fractals on the ground*

*something something frozen fractals on the ground*

Seth tells him that Eric played fast and loose with the ladies, before Deputy Floyd comes in to tell them that the keys they found next to the body don’t fit any car in the car park. Meanwhile, Vivian is saying goodbye to Ralph – apparently “something came up at work” and she has to go to Dallas for a few days.

Down at the Sheriff’s office JB finally gets hold of Seth to remind him that he’s supposed to be driving her to the airport. They are almost out the door when Floyd tells Mort that the licence plate number on the keys they found is for a car belonging to Vivian Proctor (side note why would you have your license plate number on your keys that just seems like Christmas for car thieves). Jess decides to get a later flight so she can stay and keep an eye on Mort.

At House Proctor Ralph tells Mort that a) Vivian left for Dallas an hour earlier and b) he had the keys the previous night and that he must have dropped them because he had to use the spare keys in the glovebox to get home from the game. Mort asks to have a look around and despite Jessica’s insistence that Ralph and Vivian are devoted to each other says that “maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be up here in Norman Rockwell land, but in the real world under every rock there’s a happily married woman with itchy feet and a roving eye.”

Don't know entirely what that means though

Don’t know entirely what that means though

Jess would love to stay and debate this with Mort but she’s got a plane to catch. On the drive over Jess tells Seth he must agree that Ralph and Vivian have a special relationship and Seth calls it unnatural – the man staying home doing the cooking and cleaning while the wife brings home the majority of the money.

Oh Seth. Show Jess where the feminism hurt you.

Oh Seth. Show me where the feminism hurt you.

In New York the Children’s benefit is a raging success (naturally due to Jess), and at the afterparty the event’s chairman, Miles introduces Jess to his wife, who’d been unable to attend the benefit due to her crazy schedule.

DUN DUN.

g1

ga gb gcgd

In the interests of full disclosure, I was expecting this to be a “my job is a call girl” kind of deal, but it turns out nope. This turned into an episode of the Jerry Springer show very quickly.

Vivian rushes into the next room to compose herself, closely followed by JB and Miles the chairman. She assures Miles that she’s fine, and to go and check on the guests. She’s sure she and Mrs Fletcher have a lot to talk about.

Sidenote: I haven't started watching Better Call Saul yet, but I will report back when I do #VinceGilliganRulez

Sidenote: I haven’t started watching Better Call Saul yet, but I will report back when I do #VinceGilligan4PM

The truth, dear reader, is that Vivian married Miles fifteen years earlier, discovered she couldn’t have kids, threw herself into her work, met Ralph on a business trip and fell in love. Apparently the whole divorce one man to marry another never entered into her head. Vivian tells Jessica five lives will be ruined if Jessica doesn’t keep her secret. Miles reappears to say he has sent all the guests home and told the servants to prepare a room for Jessica to stay the night. Vivian thinks it’s a marvellous idea, that way she and JB can have a good long talk over breakfast.

Oh the good old days of about 20 minutes ago

Oh the good old days of about 20 minutes ago

The next morning Jess vaguely agrees to keep her mouth closed about Vivian’s double life in exchange for information about Eric Bowman’s murder. Vivian had no idea about the murder, saying she only met Bowman one time on a plane when he hit on her and she rebuffed him. She has no answer for her keys being at the crime scene other than she has a tendency to lose them a lot, which is why she keeps her second set in the glovebox. Oh my god I just realised why the glovebox is called the glovebox – from the old days when you needed something to keep your driving gloves in! Amazing. Meanwhile, back in Cabot Cove Sheriff Metzger is having a little bit of difficulty locating Vivian in Dallas, and decides that any man who lets a woman be the breadwinner deserves to have her step out on him. URGH.

Jess and Vivian return to Cabot Cove and go straight to the Sheriff’s office, where he drills her about the night Eric died. She swears she didn’t see him, but caves when Mort informs her the bartender remembered her sitting next to Bowman. She tells them she went there to beg him to leave her alone. Jess gently suggests to Mort that he doesn’t have much of a case and that she’d hate to see him embarrassed. Mort decides to hold off on pressing charges but orders everyone not to leave town – except Jessica who I think he would like to see leave town more often.

Seth and Jess adjourn to Jess’s kitchen, and while Seth think’s she’s in a mood because it’s been revealed Vivian and Eric had something happening, Jess tells him it’s something else but she can’t tell him. She should but she mustn’t. Seth informs her he’s seen half of Cabot Cove naked and heard a great deal worse and to be out with it.

m2 l2

Jess goes to see the recently widowed soon to be ex Mrs Boorman, who tells Jess that she had had enough between the womanising and the gambling, that he was in debt and terrified to a bookie named Augie, and that the Starlight Motel was a gambling den. In the car Seth tells her noone at the hotel is going to give her the time of day.

Challenge accepted, Hazlitt.

There are no words for how awesome this was.

There are no words for how awesome this was.

In disguise JB hits up the Starlight Hotel, chats to the bartender Frankie about her elaborate gambling setup and weasels in on Augie, who gives her nothing and walks out. She is about to follow when Frankie calls her back to give her her glasses. Meanwhile at House Proctor Vivian assures her husband that everything is fine, but that she has to go out. Ralph is set to follow her but is stopped by the arrival of Mort and Deputy Floyd following a hot tip from an anonymous caller. They search his car and find the murder weapon.

Vivian, it turns out, had been on her way to see Jess to confess the truth – she was being blackmailed by Bowman who had found out about her double life. She had met him to give him the fifty grand cash and that was all she knew. Jess wonders at this, since there was no cash found later but is interrupted by a call from Seth to tell her that Ralph had been arrested. Mort is crowing over his victory and orders Deputy Floyd to lock him up while he goes home for lunch. Seeing Vivian rummage for her car keys gives Jess an idea and she returns incognito to the Starlight Motel. After a drink and a chat with Frankie to get Augie’s phone number the bartender she leaves a generous tip – and some car keys. She stops before leaving but Frankie doesn’t call after her. I assume this proves something?

Jess lures Augie over with the promise of information about Eric’s murder. He is surprised to learn that Eric had come up with the money, but says he didn’t kill him – he was at a card game watching the town water commissioner lose big time.

But it’s okay, because now Augie is wondering where the money went too. Except he knows just where to find it.

He does have the crazy eyes, 'tis true.

He does have the crazy eyes, ’tis true.

Case closed, Jess leaves Vivian to tell Ralph about the whole double life business, and pedals off into the sunset.

Happy International Women’s Day Fletcherfans!

j2

S05E09 – Something Borrowed, Someone Blue

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You guys! WE’RE INVITED TO A WEDDING!

Weddings! I love weddings! Drinks all around! (Captain Jack Sparrow is my spirit guide)

Nothing says romance like Fishkill.

Oh wait a minute. Here’s the bride and groom:

I take it back I'm not coming I'm washing my hair

I take it back I’m not coming I’m washing my hair

Preparations are in full swing for the wedding of the millenium, and Jess has arrived to be the voice of sanity in all the chaos, and also to insist that Donna and Grady open her present right away.

All the better for taking a good hard look at yourself Grady

All the better for taking a good hard look at yourself Grady

JB’s gift to them is the mirror she got from her  mother on her wedding day. She tells them she thought they’d need something old, and it also brought great luck to Frank and her.

Dammit Grady!

Dammit Grady!

Donna is whisked away by her mother Maisie to prepare for the rehearsal. Grady reminds her that he might need to attend that too and Maisie agrees, but says she wishes she would stop seeing Wilfred down the end of the aisle. Wilfred, it turns out, is Donna’s childhood sweetheart and the man Donna’s parents still wish she would marry. Gotta admit, I kind of feel bad for Grady a bit.

A BIT.

Jess is joined by the housekeeper, Harriet, and it was bugging me for ages that I recognised her voice but IMDB solved the case.

Berta from Two and a Half Men, a show once loved by my Grandma #weird

Berta from Two and a Half Men, a show once loved by my Grandma #weird

Harriet scolds Jess for attempting to put her suitcase on the bed, and tells her there will be hell to pay if she doesn’t sharpen her pencils over the bin.

Later that night the family sits down to  the dinner table, joined by Donna’s Uncle Ben who is precisely the type of uncle you are imagining right now. He spends a good amount of time winking salaciously at Jessica, who asks him what he does for a living but the answer is quickly cut off by Donna’s father quizzing Grady on accounting practices. Thug life.

Ben excuses himself, saying he needs ice to cool down his hot blood, “you know what I mean Jessica?”

She is so badass.

She is so badass.

In the kitchen, Ben has a fondle of Harriet’s backside. Harriet reacts appropriately.

*insert Charlie Sheen joke here*

*insert Charlie Sheen joke here*

The doorbell rings and they are soon joined by Maisie’s brother Ziggy Stardust and his new wife Valerie. Some dramatic tension gets thrown about when it seems like Harriet and Valerie recognise each other but the moment passes and Jess shows them to their rooms on account of Harriet going off to abuse a soup tureen probably. Later that night, Jess is chillaxing with a book when she is interrupted first by Uncle Ben on the prowl (after her or Valerie, I think the phrase is ‘any port in a storm’), and then by Grady and Donna who aren’t coping with anything but specifically Donna’s parents.

The next morning, chaos sets in early. Harriet picks a fight with the wedding caterer, and Ben decides it would be a good idea to slap Jessica’s bum as she walks past to see Donna’s father in his office.

Isn't it great that now women aren't treated as objects oh wait...

Isn’t it great that nowadays women aren’t treated as objects oh wait…

Jess goes in to try and spruik her nephew’s fine qualities to Donna’s father, (may the force be with her on that) but Maisie interrupts them to announce that the caterer is threatening to walk out as Harriet won’t let him in the kitchen and now Harriet has disappeared. Jess volunteers to help Maisie look for her, but is unaware of the situation in the bushes just next to her.

Just so we're clear, Harriet is facedown in the  petunias.

Just so we’re clear, Harriet is facedown in the petunias.

While the Hunt for Red October Harriet continues, Ben attempts to coach Ziggy in marital harmony but is distracted by the arrival of the waitresses. Jess meets Cousin Clara, who is very keen to get hold of some food. Grady sneaks into Donna’s bedroom to tell her he’s not taking the job at her father’s firm, and that they definitely shouldn’t move in next door in the house the Mayberry’s bought them as a wedding present. Grady goes to confront Donna’s father, gets nowhere, and whinges to Jess that maybe Donna should be with Wilfred, since their wedding appears to be cursed. “Nonsense” says Jess. “What could possibly go wrong?”

Now I can’t really explain what happens next, but if you’ve seen it y0u know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t, there are sound effects involved that left me looking like this:

k2

In any case, the Chief of Police is called and makes the following discovery, not edited by me in any way.

l1 l2

Nailed it

Nailed it

I don’t even.

Slocum decides in 30 seconds that the culprit is a professional burglar, but his mind is blown when Jess gently explains to him that it would appear the wrapping paper from the present was placed in Harriet’s hand as an afterthought to cover up the motive of the crime. More importantly, the killer has to still be in the house as the guard told Jess earlier when she was looking for Harriet that no one had left the premises.

While the wedding guests are redirected to the open bar, Jess and Slocum begin the investigation. Jess shows Slocum where the meat thermometer was kept, and tells him that the killer can’t have been acquainted with the house since they didn’t know where the knives were kept and went for the handiest weapon. This probably means that the body was moved to buy time.

Slocum is on board so far.

Nailing it

Nailing it

Meanwhile, Donna and Grady’s attempts to talk to her father about their future are overshadowed by the arrival of Wilfred, the ex-boyfriend and shining light to the Mayberry parents.

Not so much any more.

*starts humming Born in the USA*

*starts humming Born in the USA*

Outside, Ben and Ziggy suddenly realise that neither of them have a cousin Clara. Jess goes in to investigate and discovers that Clara is in fact a wedding crasher.

Ugh you guys, lets cut to the chase because this episode is weird.

Mmmmkay

Mmmmkay

Turns out Valerie accidentally on purpose killed her ex husband, and Harriet was her maid, And honestly, whatever.

As Grady and Donna finally tie the knot, I think Jessica sums it up best.

I need to lie down.

I need to lie down.