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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Alright, I’m done. Nope wait –
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 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.
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.