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S06E07 – Night of the Tarantula

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First of all, I’m just going to put this out there:

Wouldn't have thought it was that great to be honest.

Wouldn’t have thought it was that great to be honest.

There’s mysterious things happening in this land of Grand Bushes. Specifically, the Kali scene from Temple of Doom but replacing worshipping Kali with voodoo and setting spiders loose on voodoo dolls.

Wherever could we be Fletcherfans? Helpfully the team at Murder She Wrote are here to set us straight.

Just in case the preceeding 3 minute voodoo sequence wasn't clear enough.

Mystery solved, case closed, goodnight everybody!

JB is in town to visit her old friend Olivia Waverly, whose son Adam is about to turn 30. Everyone’s favourite cousin, Emma Macgill, was supposed to attend but alas she’s busy with other things. It’s a bit of a touchy subject though, the 30th. Adam turning 30 means he is to take over the family plantation currently being run by his uncle Harry. Harry doesn’t think he is ready for the responsibility of the family business, especially since Adam has been away in Kingston for 3 weeks ‘on business’ and has been uncontactable.

They are interupted by a loud bellowing and Harry appears, informing Olivia she has a phone call from someone named Reggie.

“Oh, you mean Reggae!” Olivia says. “The music!”

“Reggae, Reggie. You would have thought after all these years of being ruled by the British that they would have learned to speak the Queens English.” Says Harry.

“Well to tell you the truth I’ve heard the same complaint about us Americans.” Says Jess.

Hooray!

Today’s casual racist will be played by everyone’s favourite dwarf, Jonathan Rhys Davies.

While Olivia gets on with her mysterious reggae plans, Harry escorts JB out into the garden, where something is a little off.

Still not quite my favourite though.

Still not quite my favourite though.

They are soon joined by Harry’s other nephew Mark, who has Very Definite views about how things should go in the family business, like how to poison rats and how to stop people stealing their horses, much to the irritation of Harry.

Alright time out. This is basically an episode of Supernatural. And I’m not just saying that because I spent today at a wine festival and the only thing better about wandering around and eating things on toothpicks is waving a wineglass at people and saying MOAR PLEASE.

But I digress.

The crew are also joined by Jean-Pierre Dusant, a neighbouring plantation owner, and his daughter Michelle. While Michelle delivers a punch bowl to Olivia, followed by a panting Mark, Jean-Pierre reminisces about the parties his family used to throw at the plantation. Jessica is surprised by this, until Harry explains that his father won the plantation in a card game against Jean-Pierre’s father back in 1946.

I don't think JB approves of Texas Hold'em as a sound business practice. (Neither do I, because I'm rubbish at poker)

I don’t think JB approves of Texas Hold’em as a sound business practice. (Neither do I, because I’m rubbish at poker)

Luckily for Jean-Pierre, the two hundred acres his father was left were the richest in all of Jamaica, meaning that they didn’t do too badly out of the deal. He’s had plenty of offers since but he still hopes to reunite his fathers lands – through marriage.

JB thinks it’s surprise Mark hasn’t already proposed, but Jean-Pierre says no. His daughter Michelle is to marry Adam. That’s an even bigger surprise to JB, since she had no idea that the two were engaged.

Well, nothing is official yet, says Harry, but Jean Pierre and he have always had an understanding.

Ugh. Gimili you are being a dick.

Ugh. Gimili you are being a dick.

Later that night, Adam’s party is in full swing awaiting the guest of honour to arrive. JB meets the local reporter George Gordon (who is the ACTUAL Grand Bush, and turns out was one of the Johnsons in Die Hard). He’s not Harry’s biggest fan and the feeling is mutual – Harry seems to think Jamaicans should be grateful that England stepped in and took control of the rabble and skulks off before George can reply. While Jean-Pierre refills JB’s glass, George and JB chat about George’s visit to America, where he worked in Hollywood as a props man and makeup artist on horror movies among other things.

The conversation is shut down by the announcement that Adam is on his way in the cab, and the party guests all scurry to hide. Harry gives it a shot.

He gives it a shot and that's good.

He gives it a shot and that’s good.

As you can see, it was a genius hideout.

Good job bro.

Good job bro.

Topped only by Jean-Pierre:

Worst game of hide and seek EVER.

Worst game of hide and seek EVER.

Captain Oblivious, by which I mean Adam, remains so until the lights come back on and the guests all sing For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow. Captain Oblivious is delighted, and even more so to see Jessica (much to the irritation of Michelle, who wasn’t getting the attention she felt she deserved) but it turns out that Adam has a surprise of his own. He goes back outside and returns with a woman whom he introduces as Selena – his wife.

j2 k2 l2

The next day, Jean-Pierre, Michelle and Harry are having a war meeting in Harry’s study. Jean-Pierre and Michelle are devastated, but Harry is all “meh, I have another nephew, he gets two-thirds when he turns 30, you win some you lose some, oh by the way Adam might die.”

Jesus Harry!

Outside, Olivia and Jess are getting to know Selena, who as it turns out married Captain Oblivious after knowing him three weeks. Seems legit. They are interrupted by Mark, who has caught a tramp in the woods but as it turns out it’s Selena’s father who is not best pleased his daughter has thrown her lot in with a white dude, which is hilarious to Harry because he’s not pleased about it either which he demonstrates by shouting about how he’s not wasting Waverly money on Selena and waving his axe around.

Let's face it, you knew that was coming,

Let’s face it, you knew that was coming.

Side note:

YOU SUCK MICHELLE

YOU SUCK MICHELLE

It’s not til Harry orders Calder Williams to let Selena go or he’ll “put a bullet in your black heart,” (JESUS HARRY) that Calder retreats, but not before cursing the house and leaving a wedding gift.

I mean yes the curse sucks but a snake performing Hamlet is a pretty sweet present.

I mean yes the curse sucks but a snake performing Hamlet is a pretty sweet present.

Harry is all set to shoot it but Mark volunteers to take it outside.

Later that night, the entire house is woken by the sound of drums – except for Harry. They try his door but it’s locked, with the key in the keyhole on the inside. Adam and Mark are set to smash it down but Jess stops them, sticks a doily under the door, and carefully pokes a hairpin through the keyhole until it drops down on to the doily, where she gently pulls it back under the door.

“Where on Earth did you learn that?” Asks Olivia.

FACT.

FACT. 

Inside, it’s bad news Fletcherfans. Harry is dead, and has a snake in the bed to prove it.

SHAKESPEARE SNAKE CARRIES ON REGARDLESS.

SHAKESPEARE SNAKE CARRIES ON REGARDLESS.

The police arrive to escort Harry’s body away (and presumably take Shakespeare Snake to London to audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company) and to inform everyone that until the police arrive to take charge of the investigation, Harry’s room is to be sealed off. Olivia thinks it’s obvious that the snake killed Harry to eat, but Jessica wonders why the snake would kill something it clearly couldn’t eat. She thinks perhaps Harry was murdered.

The next morning Jessica is staring at the front of the house wondering how someone could get in and out of Harry’s room without being seen when George Gordon arrives to see if she’s lifted the curse yet. She tells him her theory of a secret passage way and he says it’s possible – many of the old houses had secret passage ways built in to escape during slave revolts. He asks her if she’s checked the room and she explains that they are all barred until the police arrive from Kingston. George wonders if a nudge from the press might help things move along and Jessica says “By all means, press on!”

I’m not making that up, she actually said that. MY HERO.

Inside, Jess finds Captain Oblivious, aka Adam, getting a massage from his new wife to try and relieve a migraine. While she goes to brew up more of her special tea, Jess asks him if there’s a chance there’s a secret passageway stashed in the walls. He doesn’t know, but conveniently Mark had the house blueprints the previous day and left them in this here cupboard. Before a closer examination can take place, Mark himself come storming in, furious that Adam has given the workers a day off during harvest season. It’s not til Olivia comes in to tell them to shut up and that Jean-Pierre and Michelle have arrived to pay their respects and have lunch.

As they sit down to lunch, Jean-Pierre whips out a bottle of something fancy that he’d been saving to drink with Harry. Olivia gets teary and he hands her his handkerchief, looking a little worse for wear, covered in something that may or may not be paint. Adam feels a little uncomfortable sitting in Harry’s place at the head of the table but has a drink anyway.

A servant appears with a box found on the verandah, addressed to Adam. It’s a voodoo doll, which Michelle is quick to blame on Selena’s father. Adam tells her to shut up before collapsing in agony, probably from the over-dubbed chanting.

Adam is rushed to hospital, where it’s quickly established that he had been poisoned with rat poison. The only reason he’s still alive, the doctor says, is because he somehow already had some of the antidote in his system. Selena says that’s her, it was one of the herbs she was putting in the tea. CONVENIENT. Adam offers to drive Jess back to the plantation but runs into George Gordon outside, who takes her instead.

Back at the plantation, Jess and George find the clue to the missing secret passage in the old house blueprints, and George inadvertently discovers who the killer might be when he picks up the voodoo doll and gets red and black paint on his handkerchief.

Oh yes. Jess knows who the killer is. But why just get him in a room and make him confess when she can get Adam (now fine thanks to the antidote) to dress up like a zombie and chase the killer through the house.

You guys, there's a possibility I may have time-travelled back to 1989 and wrote an episode of Murder She Wrote.

You guys, there’s a possibility I may have time-travelled back to 1989 and wrote an episode of Murder She Wrote.

The arrival of Zombie Captain Oblivious causes the killer to shoot some blanks and reveal his knowledge of the secret passageway, where he flees – only to run into Jess, George, some policemen and Selena.

Just so’s we’re clear.

 

BRING BACK SHAKESPEARE SNAKE

BRING BACK SHAKESPEARE SNAKE

You guys, it really pays to know someone who has worked in make-up in Hollywood. I suggest we all get to that immediately.

So until next time Fletcherfans,

SHAKESPEARE SNAKE FOREVERRRRRRR

SHAKESPEARE SNAKE FOREVERRRRRRR

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S06E06 – Dead Letter

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I am pleased to report we are back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans, just in time for the annual Fire Station Fundraising Rummage Sale, where children climb on old fire engines. Jess thinks it’s funny that all kids want to be a fireman, but Seth tells her he never played fireman, he was too busy playing doctor.

I bet you were

As they wander the rummage sale, and bemoan the lack of attendance (and the quality of the sale items) they run into local antique dealer Lois Fricksey, who asks them what they think of the rummage sale this year.

Seth's response is my response whenever someone makes me be tactful.

Seth’s response is my response whenever someone makes me be tactful.

Lois’s husband Bud is in charge of the second hand furniture stall and JB is on the hunt for a new bureau/chest of drawers so while JB drags Seth off to go drawers shopping (heh heh), Lois receives a welcome lemonade from one of the volunteer firefighters, Ron Stiller.

JB and Seth find the thing they’re looking for, and bump into local accountant Stanley Holmes in the process. He tells JB the drawers are a steal for $50, but when Jessica goes to find Bud to give him a cheque she instead finds him about to start a brawl with fire chief Carl Wilson. Lois tries to step in, but he yells at her for taking everyone else’s side and storms off. Before JB can follow him, Mayor Sam Booth launches into his welcome speech.

Side note:

ARGH THESE TWO I CAN'T EVEN

ARGH THESE TWO I CAN’T EVEN

Later on, Jess visits the furniture store of Fred Owens, who also happens to be the treasurer of the fire engine fundraising fund for fundraisers. He’s busy trying to make a sale though, so he sends her in to Stanley to get a receipt for the cheque. As she does so, she notices a photo of Stanley’s fiancee on the desk, but what I’d really like to talk about is the number of times the words SMALL BUREAU get uttered in this episode and I swear to god they need to stop because as it turns out I really freaking hate the word bureau #TheMoreYouKnow.

But anyway.

When Jess gets to painting her drawers (ahahaha oh I am tired) she discovers that one of the drawers is stuck. Always quick to help Jess with her drawers (AHAHAHAHAHA) Seth had a bit of a fiddle and manages to prise it open – an unopened envelope, written in a woman’s hand and addressed to Bud Fricksey, Lois’s husband, was wedged in the back. Doing her civic duty as a citizen of Cabot Cove, and absolutely not sticky-beaking, Jess takes it around to Bud who is less than impressed with the contents, whatever they are.

One can only assume bad news, since the next day we find Bud in his car with binoculars trained on his wife, who is having trouble with her gas tank. Fortunately her pal Ron is there to help her out – until Bud comes up, orders his wife home and punches Ron in the face. Well that escalated.

Later that night, Jess, Seth, Mort and Mayor Sam Booth are in a meeting at the Mayor’s office to appoint a new fire chief. Now I have some follow-up questions about this, namely is this the town council? Or are these four people running the show behind the scenes ARE THEY IN FACT ILLUMINATI OMG I’M RIGHT AREN’T I?

Anyway, the old fire chief is resigning to spend more time with his family, to which Sam says at least he knew some people who weren’t that selfish.

Seth has no time for this.

Seth has no time for this.

Sam has a few thoughts about who should replace Carl as fire chief, namely himself. Mort suggests his wife Adele, since she had fire warden training in the marines but Seth and Sam pooh-pooh that idea, to which Jess demands to know why shouldn’t the fire chief be a woman DAMN STRAIGHT JB I’M SORRY I ACCIDENTALLY IMPLIED YOU WERE IN THE ILLUMINATI.

All this talk of fires, and wouldn’t you know it a building has just caught fire, specifically Fred Owen’s furniture store. They rush to the scene but Cabot Cove’s finest have already got the situation under control. While Sam whinges about another missed opportunity, JB passes the comment that Fred Owens is conspicuously absent from the crowd.

Inside, the fire fighters have made a discovery – Bud Fricksey’s body has been found in the back office. They summon Seth who confirms Bud died from smoke inhalation, presumably from fighting the fire. Mayor Sam starts a soliloquy about the virtues of Bud Fricksey, which lead to several new ideas including a statue in his honour and naming the fire engine fund after him.

Mort is not impressed with this news as he catches deputy Floyd up to speed. He’s even less impressed when he gets a visit from insurance investigator Connie Kowalski, who informs him that it was definitely arson and that she will sort it out for him because she’s an expert and he’s not.

Mort mad.

Mort mad.

Down at the crime scene they find Fred surveying the damage. Connie is quick to start interrogating him, much to Mort’s disgust but unfortunately for Fred he doesn’t have a good alibi for the night before. He tells her that he had no reason to burn the business, since it was doing so well, and the only reason that he upped his insurance coverage was to stop all the harassing phone calls and letters from the insurance company.

Meanwhile, JB is bothered by something completely different. She’s convinced that it’s not a coincidence that on the same day she gives Bud a dead letter, Bud is found dead. WITCHCRAFT! Seth tells her to calm down, but she’s curious about the origins of the bureau. She visits newly retired postal worker Agnes, who donated the b-word to the sale, and asks her about the letter. Agnes tells her that she was ordered not to deliver the letter by Lois, who’d written it while at her sisters in Boston, but had second thoughts and asked Agnes to destroy it. She couldn’t do that, postal regulations and all, so she stuck it in a drawer.

JB pays a visit to Lois who confirms what we’ve all figured out – she wrote that letter saying she was leaving Bud but changed her mind, it was a horrible and she’s glad he never saw it.

Oh d-d-d-dear

Oh d-d-d-dear

Lois had no idea that the letter had resurfaced, which leads Jessica to wonder where it is. Unfortunately for Lois, Mort found it on Bud’s body and has no intention of keeping its contents secret as the letter clear provides motive for the murder of Bud – because, as we and Jess are finding out, Bud wasn’t killed by the fire he was killed by a severe blow to the head.

JB and Mort return to Lois to ask for the name of her lover, but she won’t give him up and anyway he’s too kind and sensitive and dedicated to peace and non-violence.

Lois’s lover is Ghandi? Wait, Lois’s lover is Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise?

Mort only succeeds in making Lois cry so they return to the sheriff’s office where Connie the insurance investigator has just confirmed that the fire was deliberately lit using benzene. She has no interest in the dead body, she’s too busy nailing Fred Owens for the arson. Everything else isn’t her problem.

What a delight and a treasure.

What a delight and a treasure.

Connie declares she will do her thing, and the Sheriff will do his, and whomever solves the case first wins.

Sheriff Snake Eyes agrees.

Nicholas Cage would be proud of that crazy eye action.

Nicholas Cage would be proud of that crazy eye action.

Despite the crazy eyes, Mort hasn’t actually got a case. Fortunately he does have Jessica who points out they now know the source of the fire, now they need to find out where the benzene came from. Jess remembers Lois telling her about Bud’s jealous rage at the petrol station. Petrol stations have benzene!

They head straight to Ron’s petrol station but he’s not there – he’s at the firehouse attending to important business in the form of a high stakes poker game. Mort drags him away for questioning but he doesn’t fit the perfect lover profile Lois was describing. They are interrupted by Connie dragging Stanley in and celebrating her victory – it turns out Fred’s business was failing and he owed money all over town. Jess still thinks that’s not a motive for murder, and even when Connie says that probably it was a case of Bud catching Fred in action and Fred hitting him with whatever was handy Jess remains unmoved.

At Lois’s JB manages to wrangle the truth out of her – there was no lover, she’d just said that in the letter to make Bud think he had competition, but when he finally read the letter it made him jealous, not a better husband. She shows JB a picture of them looking happy and JB has brainwave.

It was there all along. But it wasn’t.

And yes I was pretending I was in A Streetcar Named Desire when I wrote that.

And yes I was pretending I was in A Streetcar Named Desire when I wrote that.

Poor old Stanley. He has a champagne girlfriend but a passion pop budget and so to pay for his fancy new girlfriend he got crazy with the embezzling and tried to destroy the evidence and clonked Bud on the head. That old chestnut.

So that’s depressing. But the good news is that Cabot Cove has a brand spanking new fire engine! And on that note, I bid you farewell. Let us all enjoy this week’s freeze frame together.

Until next time.

Herp-a-derp, Fletcherfans. Herp-a-derp.

Herp-a-derp, Fletcherfans. Herp-a-derp.

 

S06E05 – Jack and Bill

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Disclaimer: This episode was ridiculous.  Believe me when I say any similarity between this recap and the actual episode is coincidental. 

It’s storytime again Fletcherfans!

Oy. I can't believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

Oy. I can’t believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

JB has just seen a dog run past, and that reminds her that she has to send her pal Bill Boyle a letter. Bill Boyle, for those of you playing along at home, was an NFL star until his knees gave out and then he became a private detective. An incredibly unsuccessful detective.

Apparently, that all changes when he meets Jack. But before he meets Jack, he gets a visit from a man named Johnny Wheeler, who is faking blind and beating up shady characters in mens bathrooms with a poodle.

Even I couldn't make this up. And I invented  Octopus Noir.

Even I couldn’t make this up. And I invented Octopus Noir.

While Johnny is doing whatever the hell that is, Bill Boyle is in his office getting the bad news from his accountant. He’s broke, a fact he is trying to keep secret from his real estate broker girlfriend Celia. He’s pretty despondent when he gets a knock at the door – it’s Johnny Wheeler, and his friend Jack.

Just what?

Just what?

I should also point out something about Johnny Wheeler:

Fun fact: Max Baer Jr couldn't get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying 'Never go full hillbilly.'

Truth based reporting: Max Baer Jr couldn’t get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying ‘Never go full hillbilly.’

Also for those playing along at home Bill Boyle was previously seen as Hank Shipton that time.

Johnny departs in a rush, thanking Bill for dog-sitting for a couple of hours while he runs an errand, a turn of events Bill did not really agree to. Time passes, and when Johnny doesn’t resurface Bill takes Jack on a stakeout where some “comedy hijinks” ensue, by which I mean there’s another dog and a pretty girl and some barking and what even is this episode.

Back at the office, Johnny still hasn’t turned up but the place has been ransacked. A woman claiming to be Johnny’s wife walks in to pick up the dog, who she calls Marmalade, and pulls a gun when Bill suggests calling his ex-brother-in-law cop. This makes Jack mad! JACK SMASH!

Also this happens:

I just don't even.

I just don’t even.

The lady sneaks into the elevator and makes her escape. Bill and Jack are set to follow when the other elevator opens to reveal Lou Brickman, the aforementioned brother-in-law, with the news that Johnny Wheeler is in the hospital with two bullets in his chest. Unfortunately by the time they get to the hospital he’s dead with three IV bags in his hand.

Later that night, Bill has dinner at Lou’s place. While Lou’s dog goes mental in the laundry room, Lou wants to know more about Johnny Wheeler. Bill tells him what he knows, and is surprised to learn that while Johnny did travel up from Puerto Rico, it was under an assumed name.

Returning home to the set of Melrose Place, Bill takes time out to chat up a hot tub full of stewardesses before going up to his apartment where he is attacked by a horde of ninjas/the Hitcher’s sidekicks from Mighty Boosh. They demand ‘it’ which they still haven’t found despite searching both of Johnny’s bags. They try and pooch-nap Jack, who objects and goes at them. Two end up off the balcony in the swimming pool, the other runs.

Wondering just what the deal is with Jack, Bill puts a call in to his brother-in-law and takes Jack to the police kennels to be x-rayed, but nothing turns up. Back at the office Bill is delighted to see his former secretary Mona is back, after getting fired from her ad agency job for telling a client what she thought of him. As she goes into a long story about her mother packing her bags and coming for a visit Bill has a brainwave: the ninjas said they searched both of Johnny’s bags, but Johnny was holding three IV bags in his had which clearly means there’s another bag at the checked bag counter!

DUH YOU GUYS.

Bill and Jack head down to the baggage claim, and skillfully evade the baggage clerk to retrieve the third bag. Inside, Bill finds a film roll (bless) and takes it in to Lou and Agent Browder, who summon a lip reading expert to decipher what the two men in the footage are saying. It turns out Johnny Wheeler was a super-spy, and he was killed for discovering that the man in the footage, a hitman, was being hired to go to the US to kill someone on the 25th at 7:30pm. Conveniently, the 25th is today.

While the gang are across town making their final plans and pushing ahead, despite not finding the film, Bill is home getting grief from the building manager about his lack of rent paying and sudden increase in dog. While he gets dinner ready for Jack, and gets himself ready for his date with Celia, Celia herself calls to say dinner with the client she’s buttering up is cancelled. Bill offers to bring Chinese food round instead, but hits a snag when he tries to leave – Jack begins barking like mad. Bill gives up and takes Jack to his buddy Cricket at the bar to dogsit for a couple of hours. At the bar he catches a news story about the president of a mysterious South American country attending a football game that night and recognises one of the reporters in the press pack as the woman who masqueraded as Johnny’s wife. He calls the police station looking for Lou Brickman but finds out he’s already at the stadium.

Bill barges through the security, tells Lou that the Prez is the target and the woman is disguised as a reporter. They crash into the room where the press conference is being held and arrest them all, but not before A GUY WITH A MASSIVE MULLET PULLS OUT A VIDEO CAMERA WITH A BAZOOKA IN IT.

Talk about burying the lead.

Talk about burying the lead.

Bad guys nailed, Agent Browder takes Bill and Jack to meet President Ruiz. Turns out President Ruiz is a massive football fan and fangirls out over meeting Bad Bill Boyle but Bill is distracted by Jack’s constant barking. At the last second, he looks at the clock, looks at the waiter, realises the waiter is desperately trying to UNCORK A CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE FULL OF EXPLOSIVES and spear tackles him across the bar, saving the day yet again.

Case closed, Bill is set to depart off into the night and tries to hand the dog back to the CIA, but Agent Browder has bad news – Jack is going to have to be put down if he doesn’t go to the correct home. Bill is outraged, so Agent Browder “reluctantly” lets Bill keep the dog.

So while we mull over the fact that this episode was basically the sequel of Turner and Hooch, and that THERE WAS A VIDEO CAMERA BAZOOKA AND I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP, let us also consider this very important point:

Like a boss.

Like a boss.

And on that note,

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E04 – The Error Of Her Ways

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Welcome to sunny Palm Springs Fletcherfans, where JB has travelled to meet with her accountant and solve the murder of Clark Randall – his wife Marian bumped him off and has just been arrested by Lieutenant JT Hanna, aka Elliot Gould who when he was young looked like Eric Bogosian and I am still confused about who is who and when is when but anyway the point is Marian’s sister Linda Dixon declares it’s ridiculous to arrest Marian based on the farfetched hypothesis of some meddling mystery writer.

Shots fired.

Shots fired.

Clark Randall, so it was thought, had been killed by an intruder after speaking to his wife on the phone earlier to invite everyone around for steaks. His watch had been stolen, but JB noticed the blinking light on the answering machine, indicating a message. By the time JB goes to the kitchen and brings a glass of water back for Marian the light has stopped blinking.

Marian denies everything, but has no explanation for how Clark could have answered her call when JB’s accountant called almost immediately after and got no answer on the phone. To top it all off, JT tells her the bullet in her husband matches a bullet retrieved from a man who’d been shot after trying to break into Clark and Marian’s about a year earlier – both bullets were fired from the same gun.

Case closed, JT tells JB that he’s impressed with her call about the blinking answering machine light and tells her to stop by his office the next day to take a deposition about the case. JB tells him she and her accountant were not planning to fly out for several days.

The next day over at the town bank a meeting of the minds is taking place – it’s just been discovered that all the money about to be invested in a new housing development being overseen by Clark Randall has disappeared, and they now have a little over 300 dollars with which to build a golf course and houses.

Awkward.

Over in the police station Marian is freaking the hell out, a situation not helped when Linda informs Marian that there’s no money in the account to bail her out. Linda tries to get Marian to think about what assets she can use as bond, but Marian says Clark was her only asset (ew). Linda tells her they need to find the money or else she’ll remain in jail until the trial but Marian says she’ll die first.

The following day, JB is in an investors meeting finding out what has happened to the money. Home-buyer Pauline Byrne is disgusted to learn that the suppliers get their money back before the home-owners do, while one of the older ladies who’d invested her late husband’s life insurance is convinced that dear old Clarksey couldn’t have stolen the money, prompting JT to inform her that she wasn’t the only one of Randall’s female clients who called him Clarksey.

JB’s mind is somewhere else. In fact, I couldn’t decide where it was, so at this point you may choose.

Oh captain my captain.

Oh captain my captain.

Haha I can't believe I got this into an episode, you're welcome Krystle.

Haha I can’t believe I got this into an episode, you’re welcome Krystle.

With JB’s accountant Ward Silloway apologising profusely for the omnishambles, JT offers JB a lift home. On the way he informs her that Marian made bail, courtesy of her sister who put up her house as collateral. The DA offered Marian murder 2 but she refused it.

Can you think of a single reason why not? Damn straight you can't.

Can you think of a single reason why not? Damn straight you can’t.

It must have been a big week for you, JT says to JB. “I bet you’ve never seen a corpse before.”

e1

JT gets a call on his car phone – Marian Clarke locked herself in her garage, turned her car on and committed suicide. The J’s head on over to Marian’s house, where Linda is hysterical with rage saying that Marian was determined to fight the charge, and had hired a private detective to try and find Clark’s missing watch but that Marian wasn’t brave and was terrified she would go to jail for a crime she didn’t commit. The Palm Springs version of Seth Hazlitt declares Marian’s death a suicide, and finds anabarbitol in the house which seems to seal the deal.

Later, Linda gets a phonecall from the private detective hired by Marian. He’s found the watch in a pawnshop – the guy who hocked it was some random generic hobo. Fired up, Linda goes down to the police station and informs JT and JB that she’s suing them all for wrongful death. JT freaks out, but Our Heroine is convinced that it changes nothing.

JT heads over to see bank manager Kay Weber to reconfirm the events leading up to Clark’s death and finds the investor Pauline just leaving, after having requested help from Kay tracking down the money only to discover Kay had just been fired. Kay confirms everything he already knows – that they were at a function for the investors, Marian called Clark and then told everyone to come round for steaks and 20 minutes later when they got to the Randall house Clark was dead. She couldn’t remember if Marian went near the answering machine,

JB on the other hand is already at the Randall house, looking at some flowers when she suddenly wonders where the steaks are. JT finds her going through the contents of the fridge but there are no steaks to be found. Deputy Kruger appears to tell JT that the doc needs to speak to him – it turns out that Marian was full of Nardane, a powerful tranquilizer, confirming what the doc had said earlier when he found the bottle.

But, as JB points out, it wasn’t Nardane they found it was anabarbitol. They go to see the doc in person, who has just discovered via Marian’s GP that Marian was allergic to Nardane and so wouldn’t have had any in the house. JT orders Jessica off the case and goes to see the realtor in charge of the new development, Sterling Bose (previously seen as the boss cop in Die Hard) who it turns out has just lost his job too. He gives JT the list of homeowners and investors and tells him about his new job selling an estate up the road. As JT departs, Sterling gets a phone call from Pauline Byrne, seemingly asking him out to dinner but actually at the request of Linda Dixon who is still determined to clear her sister’s name. Conveniently their dinner takes place in the same restaurant Jessica is dining with her accountant and worrying that she was wrong about Marian. Sterling tells Gill and Jess that he thinks Pauline is hunting for information about the money. Jess points out that he was the last person to see Clark alive, to which Sterling agrees, saying that he drove Clark home – Clark’s car was being repaired and Marian had the other one.

Back at Sterling’s house, Sterling is keen to bust some funky moves on Pauline but she’s more conscious of the fact that Linda is in Sterling’s house looking for clues to the location of the money. Pauline sounds the horn as she pulls up with Sterling, the signal for Linda to get out of the house, and then takes off leaving Sterling in the driveway looking very forlorn.

In JT’s office the next morning, Jessica disguises herself as a newspaper.

MAD SKILLZ YO

MAD SKILLZ YO

While JT tries to throw her out (and yells at Deputy Kruger for coffee) JB explains why she’s there. She couldn’t sleep, and she suddenly remembered JT taking something out of Clark’s pockets after he searched the body.

“You mean his passport?” Asks JT.

Deputy Kruger appears with the news that the coffee machine is broken. JB, naturally, shares her coffee with JT.

Well, I say coffee.

Shoutout to all the bartenders who don't measure their shots #heroes

Shoutout to all the bartenders who don’t measure their shots #heroes

Booze dispensed, JB goes on. She didn’t think anything of Clark Randall having his passport on him at the time, but at the time they didn’t know that 3 million dollars had wandered off. JT sees where she’s going with this, and tells her to get on the phone they have airlines to call.

Finally, a breakthrough – tickets were purchased for the night of the murder for a flight from LAX to Buenos Aires… in the names of Mr and Mrs Randall.

Jess looks confused. Marian Randall had no idea her husband was leaving the country. Mrs Randall wasn’t the droid they were looking for. The airline calls JT back and asks if it’s okay to reverse the transaction back to the credit card used to make payment on the booking. JB thinks that’s hardly a priority for Clark Randall, but JT tells he didn’t book the tickets – former bank vice-president Kaye Webber did.

The Js find Kay at the tennis club, and it doesn’t take long for her to break down. She was having an affair with Clark and was going to go to Buenos Aires with him but they were going to come back as far as she knew, despite the one way plane tickets. She had no idea where the money was, but does admit to being at Clark and Marian’s house on the day of the murder. She tells the Js that she always thought Marian knew about the affair but didn’t do anything about it. She casually mentions the hire car Clark had out the front of his house, which makes no sense to Jess as Sterling had told her he’d given Clark a lift because his car was in the shop. And why leave the car out on the street when the garage was empty.

Now here’s when it gets tricky Fletcherfans.

JT discovers the name on the car rental is Pauline Byrne. They pick her up for questioning and before long Deputy Kruger appears with a briefcase with 3 million dollars in it.

Pauline comes clean. She had gone round to the Randall house to meet Clark but was surprised to find Marian home, arguing with Clark. Clark told her he was leaving her, she made a grab for the bag to see if the identity of the other woman was in it, he grabs it back, she shoots him, he falls down, money falls out of the bag and Marian faints.

Seizing the opportunity, Pauline goes in to grab the money but finds Clark still alive. He tells her to call a doctor, but instead she smothers him with a pillow, takes the money and runs.

“But not the watch and the money in his wallet?” Asks JT. “Then who did that?”

JB’s theory: Marian, in order to cover up the fact that she thought she killed her husband. She left it out for a hobo to find, and then make a point to hire the detective to find it again later.

As for Marian, when the news of the embezzlement was about to break, Pauline killed Marian to stop her telling everyone who took the money.

So, to sum up:

My head hurts.

My head hurts.

But I think we’ve learned a valuable lesson here. Not exactly a Life Lesson, but a lesson nonetheless:

Jessica Fletcher is Never Wrong
(Even when she is technically wrong.)

And on that note,

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E03 – The Grand Old Lady

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Jessica is very sad today girls and boys. One of her idols, Lady Abigail Austin, has just passed away aged 101. Or possibly older. She’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma and she is no more.

Reading the obituary, Jessica was reminded of something she’d forgotten – that Lady Abigail was once caught up in a real life mystery, “and as you know, that’s something I’m familiar with.” It was not quite the same for Lady Abigail.

It was two years after World War 2 had ended and Lady Abigail was sailing on the Queen Mary, one night away from docking in New York City.

*CUE TRAVELLING BACKWARDS IN TIME MUSIC*

On the Queen Mary, we find a man looking distinctly concerned/beaten over the head, rushing about the corridors until he staggers into the pursers office. He asks to see the captain but the purser has no idea where he is, instead suggesting a trip to the ship’s hospital to fix the cut on Mr Danikan’s head. Mr Danikan hands him a note, orders him to have it telegraphed immediately and rushes off.

Up in the ship’s bar, Lady Abigail herself is kicking back with a champagne while Edwin Chancellor (played by Robert Vaughn whom as we all know in my head was in BASEketball,  this episode of Murder, She Wrote and some things that weren’t BASEketball) sucks up and begs her to come and write for his detective radio show, a thing she seems disinclined to do.

You know I hate to bring facts into this, but Abigail is being played by June Havoc, aka the real life Baby June from Gypsy, which was turned into a musical starring Angela Lansbury #Lansception

You know I hate to bring facts into this, but Abigail is being played by June Havoc, aka the real life Baby June from Gypsy, which starred Angela Lansbury as Rose #Lansception

They are soon joined by Captain Oliver, who is cruising about the bar making sure everyone is nice and boozed, probably. Before he can partake, there is a crash through the doors – it’s Danikan and he’s been stabbed. He shouts “Kapitan” a few times then collapses, dead.

Back in New York word about the murder has reached a certain newspaper office where Christy McGinn is trying to convince his boss to let him write more than just the crossword puzzles. Krumholtz wants nothing to do with him – until he finds out that the detective in charge is Christy’s father Martin McGinn, and that the ship is currently sitting in quarantine at the docks in New York.

On board, people are somewhat displeased at not being allowed off the ship. One such passenger, Arthur Bishop, begs the officer standing guard but the officer is unmoved. Orders are orders and all that jazz. Down below, Lieuteneant McGinn is getting the pursers statement (inexplicably with Edwin Chancellor) when words trickles down that Christy is trying to get on board the ship. Martin tells the captain to let him on. Christy is excited to tell his father about his new assignment covering the case but Martin is less enthusiastic, until Edwin offers to escort Christy to the gangway at which time Martin declares Christy stays. Edwin tells them all about how he’s a material witness due to seeing Danikan collapse in the bar with Lady Abigail, and on hearing about Lady Abigail’s presence on the ship Christy takes off to the A deck to meet her.

Up on deck Paul Viscard wheels his father Henri around, while Eleanor Cantrell and Daniel Maguire pretend like they don’t know each other while dealing with the fact that their affair is continuing a little longer. Christy finds Lady Abigail sunning herself, and confesses himself a huge fan of her books. Upon learning his name Lady Abigail declares herself to be a massive fan of his crossword puzzles and is delighted that they will be working together to solve the case. She tells him what the purser told Martin McGinn, with the added bonus of knowing what the message was that Danikan wanted sent – it was a note to his wife saying he was under the weather but that Sikorsky says hello and that they met him in Vienna in 1937.

Christy doesn’t see the significance until Lady Abigail tells him that CLEARLY Sikorsky is Andrei Sikorsky, legendary chess player presumed killed during the war. She shows him a book containing details of the match between Sikorsky and another player Von Richter, in which Sikorsky won after pulling a stunt that became known as Sikorsky’s Ploy. CLEARLY, Abigail explains, Danikan is Sikorsky! Or Von Richter! Or someone else being pursued by Sikorsky or Von Richter!

KEEP UP CHRISTY (or as I am calling him, 80s Alan Tudyk)

KEEP UP CHRISTY (or as I am calling him, 80s Alan Tudyk)

Christy is summoned by his father so he escorts Lady Austin inside, while unbeknownst to either of them Edwin Chancellor lurks on the gangway above them, eavesdropping on their entire conversation. Martin McGinn has already made progress on the motive and introduces them to US Treasury Agent Lennihan, who is less than enthused about sharing state secrets but informs them that Danikan was not Danish, but German.

“By the name of Von Richter I believe?” Says Lady Abigail.

“His name was Otto Krietzmann and he was an ex Gestapo officer.” Says Lennihan.

But points for trying,

But points for trying,

According to Lennihan, Danikan/Kreitzmann was part of a Nazi operation during the war to print millions of counterfeit US dollars to debase the currency and plunge the country into chaos. Before they could enact their Evil Plan of Evil, the war ended. The plates were presumed lost until word got out two months earlier that the plates were going to be smuggled into America by a gang of ex-Gestapo officers including Danikan and his wife. Scotland Yard were on the case and had trailed him as far as Heathrow but lost him. They only learned of his presence on the Queen Mary a day after it had sailed. Christy asks the captain if there were many people who booked to sail at the last minute. The captain says he believes so, and will check the books.

Meanwhile, Edwin Chancellor has taken it upon himself to start investigating passenger rooms below decks before being busted by passenger Nicholas Crane. Martin McGinn and the captain are called, and Chancellor informs them that despite knowing noone on board Danikan had been seen playing chess with Crane. Crane tells them he doesn’t know anything and they let him go, much to Chancellor’s horror. He tells them they are making a big mistake, that Crane is CLEARLY an alias for Von Richter and Danikan is really Sikorsky but the captain informs him that Danikan’s real name is Otto Kreitzmann and is about to start telling him about the counterfeit plate when McGinn shushes him and orders Chancellor to bugger off (or something to that affect).

The purser appears with the list of people who booked after Danikan/Kreitzmann, and they note that Nicholas Crane was one of them. Another was Arthur Bishop, the man trying desperately to get off the boat earlier. They interview him and he reveals he is a fashion designer and in his portfolio are designs for the New Look and he has to get off the ship.

“The New Look? What happened to the old one?” Asks Martin.

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

Christy asks the not altogether ridiculous question, if he was in such a rush to get to America why didn’t he fly?

“Because I’m not convinced the Wright Brothers got it right. Call me a skeptical coward.” Says Arthur.

They let Arthur return to his cabin, amid his protests that if his clothing line was affected he would be suing (much to the interest of the man working behind the bar). Martin McGinn calls for the next late booker to be brought forward, but Paul Viscard and his father are currently arguing with Agent Lennihan. The captain, Marty and Christy go to investigate, but Lady Abigail declines, saying she would speak to another late booker, Eleanor Cantrell,

You heard the Lady.

You heard the Lady.

Henri and Paul Viscard are strongly objecting to having their things searched, although since Paul Viscard did not come aboard with luggage it’s not really affecting him all that much. He tells the McGinns that he came on board at the last minute to ensure his father’s safe passage to Baltimore, where he would stay with his daughter. Henri tells them he was in his cabin with his son at the time of the murder, and that he was in fourth class due to first class being sold out.

Out on deck Lady Abigail’s cunning interrogation of Eleanor Cantrell manages to establish she is a nurse in the army, travelling alone on a week’s furlough and is returning on the next crossing back to Lancaster. She spots Daniel McGuire at the rail and excuses herself to go and talk to him – there’s a small matter of the steward delivering her six hundred bucks (the fare for the journey), which Daniel has given her since she can’t afford the trip.

Edwin Chancellor pops up just in time to critique Lady Abigail’s interrogation techniques when Arthur Bishop throws himself, and his suitcase, over the side. Daniel shouts man overboard and dives in after him. They manage to retrieve Daniel, who they expect will make a full recovery, but the fate of Arthur Bishop and his suitcase remain unknown. Eleanor stops in to see how Daniel is, but declines Edwin Chancellor’s invitation of a visit, and rushes away when he starts questioning her. Edwin excuses himself, saying he has something to check on. Christy reappears and confirms Abigail’s suspicion that Eleanor and Daniel were having an affair. The murderer, she was convinced, was someone else.

Christy goes to talk to Henri and Paul again and Henri confesses that he didn’t get a first class cabin because he is completely broke, and that he is emigrating to America, not seeing his daughter. His daughter, along with one of his sons, were killed in the war, leaving nothing for him in Europe.

Abigail reappears with the startling revelation that she’s solved the murder. She leads him out on deck with Nicholas Crane and tells him Crane knows all about the chess game referred to in Danikan’s note – Sikorsky sacrificed his bishop to lure Von Richter into a false sense of security and the game was mate in seven. A scream from the other end of the ship reveals that body of Arthur Bishop has been found. Christy tells his father that Abigail has solved the case, and gets him to gather everyone in the forward drawing room. Christy himself goes to get Edwin Chancellor from Stateroom 7, where he finds Chancellor on the phone, the door unlocked. Christy asks him if he always keeps the door unlocked and he says he has nothing worth stealing.

In the forward drawing room, Edwin Chancellor takes the floor. He’s convinced that the reason Danikan was shouting kapitan at the time of his murder was because he was murdered by a captain – Daniel Maguire. He might not be a captain now, but he was at the time he would have come across Otto Kreitzmann during the war when Maguire was part of an advanced company that took Gestapo headquarters, and he wasn’t in his cabin at the time of the murder like he says he was.

Eleanor comes clean with the truth – he was in her cabin. They were in love after she nursed him back to health during the war. Couple that with the fact that Kreitzmann wasn’t in Berlin when Daniel’s company took the Gestapo HQ.

But points for trying.

But points for trying.

Abigail takes over – CLEARLY Chancellor was wrong. OBVIOUSLY Bishop killed Kreitzmann, it was all in the note Kreitzmann sent, about BISHOPS and IAN BISHOP WORKED FOR MAJESTY FASHIONS. SO MANY CHESS CLUES GUYS IT WAS OBVIOUS.

Case seemingly closed, and with the missing plate at the bottom of the river, the passengers are free to go. Christy asks his father and Lennihan to accompany him down to Chancellor’s staterooms, where he lifts the carpet to reveal the missing plate. Because MATE IN 7 and FEELING UNDER THE WEATHER clearly means THE MATE OF THE COUNTERFEIT PLATE IS IN STATEROOM 7 UNDER THE CARPET BENEATH THE BAROMETER.

Whatever guys. That does leave the small matter of who killed Kreitzmann, since clearly Arthur Bishop had nothing to do with it. Fortunately the killer has just come forward to confess.

Right. Well, that's a thing.

Right. Well, that’s that then.

Paul recognised Otto Kreitzmann as the man who killed his brother, so bought a ticket and killed Kreitzmann. Game over. Captain Olliver vows to take him back to England, where he will stand trial for killing a Nazi scumbag and presumably get a slap on the back rather than a slap on the wrists.

Case closed. Daniel Macguire discovers that his wife has left him for a lumberjack and so is free to be with Eleanor, and more importantly, Christy never writes the story for the newspaper, so Lady Abigail Austin never finds out that her solution to the mystery was wrong. Because presumably noone reports on the fact that Paul Viscard gets tried for the murder of Otto Kreitzmann?

Oh never mind. Here’s a picture of Our Heroine being amazing as always.

Later gang!

Later gang!