First of all, I’m just going to put this out there:
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.
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.
While Olivia gets on with her mysterious reggae plans, Harry escorts JB out into the garden, where something is a little off.
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.
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.
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.
As you can see, it was a genius hideout.
Topped only by Jean-Pierre:
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Inside, it’s bad news Fletcherfans. Harry is dead, and has a snake in the bed to prove it.
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.
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.
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,