Once upon a time, in a magical faraway land called Los Angeles, there was a hobo named Leo Gunderson. Leo was wandering along a beach late one night, looking for somewhere to sleep when he heard a scream on the other side of the sand dunes. When he rushed to see what the matter was, a dark figure slammed into him and pushed him down. After he dusts himself off he goes to investigate and finds the body of a woman lying in the dunes just as the police arrive.
That’s right Fletcherfans. It’s story time with JB again.
A few months after Leo’s arrest the detective in charge of the case, JB’s pal Jake Ballinger is staggered to learn that Leo confessed, when it was obvious that he didn’t do it. His boss tells him the case is closed and when Jake threatens to go over his head the lieutenant says it wouldn’t make a difference – the case is done and Jake’s been reassigned to the teaching position at Freemont University. It would appear someone wants Jake out of the police department rather badly.
On Jake’s first day of class it’s already apparent that the course he’s to be teaching is widely recognised as the bludge class, and there are people throwing paper airplanes around to prove it. Paper airplanes? At a university? I mean, turning up to class after just getting home from the pub, sure. Getting to class late because you thought something was about to happen in Passions, absolutely. But paper planes? Honestly, fictional students. Lift your game.
In a move that will be filed under “Things That Would Never Happen On TV today”, Jake quiets the rabble by firing his gun into the air before informing them that there’s a new sheriff in town. He gives them 24 hours to decide whether they want to continue with the course and lets them go. That night when Jake is chillaxing at home with his daughter Janie, he declares with absolute certainty that there will be no-one at the class tomorrow but his mood darkens when he gets a phone call from the hospital – the mother of Leo Gundarson was just hit by a car and is asking for him. He goes to see her and she tells him Leo only confessed because they told him he would get the death penalty if he didn’t. She begs Jake to keep investigating.
The next morning Jake visits an old friend in the forensics lab to suss out the evidence gathered after the murder, specifically a tyre tread cast, but his friend tells him the case is closed and sealed and there’s nothing he can do about it. Upstairs, his boss reminds him that he’s a teacher now, and that while it’s a crappy deal, Jake is six years away from his pension and to ride it out.
At the university, Jake’s gunshow has had the expected affect:
Bernie Berndlestein is nothing compared to Elizabeth Mills sitting behind him though, especially when Jake feels the need to comment on the presence of someone of Elizabeth’s…maturity.
Elizabeth, taking the course to get a promotion at the insurance company where she works as a claims investigator, enquires as to what textbook they will be using, but Jake’s decided it’s going to be more of a practical course.
Cut to the beach where the murder took place. While Elizabeth deals with sand in her heels, Bernie explains to Jake that he’s actually taking the course in order to become a PI.
Jake tells them the story of Leo’s arrest for the murder of Janet Carr, and says there’s nothing against a current case being turned into a class project. Is this basically the first season of How to Get Away With Murder? (I only just started watching the first season, Viola Davis is fierce as hell).
While Jake goes back to the university to demand such things as An Office and A Secretary, Elizabeth jumps into the case and begins calling around to find out if the dead woman had an insurance policy. She strikes gold and heads out to the home of the beneficiary of the policy, Jeremy Summerfield. Mrs Summerfield is friendly until Elizabeth asks for Jeremy – Jeremy, it turns out, is the new son of Mr and Mrs Summerfield. Mrs Summerfield takes her son back into the house, but Elizabeth is able to dig up some dirt from the neighbours and calls Jake. Janet Carr is actually Jeanette Cardini, and was the birth mother of Jeremy Summerfield. The nuns at the home for wayward girls where Janet stayed for a time is not willing to divulge any information, but does tell them that Janet made a call to Sacramento the night before she gave birth. Elizabeth, hot on the scent, calls the number pretending to be a wrong number and finds out that the phone belongs to State Senator Andrew Grainger.
Wait, this is more Scandal than How to Get Away With Murder. DRAHMAH.
After stopping in to meet his new secretary and move a bookcase (Why?) Jake heads right on over to the offices of Andrew Grainger. Grainger is more than delighted to meet Jake until the name Janet Carr comes up, at which point he hits the panic button in his desk, summoning his aide Colin Hale. They clam up about any knowledge of the girl, but Jake spots a photo of Grainger’s son on the desk and puts two and two together. Grainger and Hale warn him off the case but Jake’s not having a bar of that. He bids them good day and leaves. Grainger tells Hale to make sure that the record is sealed, neither he nor his son had anything to do with it and he won’t have his son’s future marred by this.
What a lovely bloke. Urgh.
Jake summons Elizabeth to his favourite diner and fills her in on what he’s learned and tells her to try and suss out this Son of Grainger. That night however, while Jake deals with the concept of his daughter moving in with a guy, Elizabeth drops by to report on what she’s learned. Douglas Grainger was definitely having a thing with Janet Carr, there was a hint of blackmail but then the bad news – both Graingers were in Hawaii at a golf tournament the night Janet died.
Apparently, this nails it for Jake who decides to perform the solution as Richard the Third.
While Moira the secretary doesn’t care for Shakespeare’s language, Jake is proving a point – whether he was implicitly told to or not, he thinks Colin Hale killed Janet Carr to make his boss happy. He has a theory of how to prove it, by getting hold of the car Hale hired the night of the murder.
And the cast is a match. The theory is confirmed, Fletcherfans.
Murder She Blogged is actually taking a week off, but shall return for more wildly inaccurate recaps in two weeks.
But for now, Fletcherfans