DISCLAIMER: You may notice that the captions bear less relevance to Murder She Wrote than usual. In fact, this post is about 25% Murder She Wrote and 739% about me watching all of Jessica Jones in 4 days. If you haven’t watched Jessica Jones yet, come back later because spoilers sweetie.
Oh for God’s sake.
You guessed it guys, another bookend episode. This time, Jess has just received a (late) birthday card from her friend Lieutenant O’Malley who has a tale to tell her. Convenient.
This particular tale centres around a real estate magnate, Roland Trent, who is currently far too busy wheeling and dealing to worry about his upcoming tenth wedding anniversary, much to the annoyance of his wife Gretchen. At the same time O’Malley is dealing with his late partner’s daughters demotion from working at city hall to being a beat cop after she rather neatly rejected the advances of one of the deputy mayor’s aides, Paul Abbott.
While we’re on the subject of creepy dudes being creepy, Roland Trent is going ‘out to dinner’ with his ‘lawyer’ to discuss business, but Gretchen sees right through it. He tells her not to wait up. Ugh. Gretchen’s secretary, Alice, sees how distressed her boss is and suggests they go back to the office to finish the letters they were working on. It turns out dinner wasn’t entirely code, as in the beginning that’s all it is – Trent asking his lawyer David Kingston for a way out of his marriage and Kingston telling him that there isn’t one unless he’s prepared to give up half of everything he owns. They are soon joined by Trent’s new bit of fluff, Cindy and David departs, reminding his client that he has a meeting at 9:30 the next morning, making Trent realise he’d left his briefcase at the office.
Down at the precinct O’Malley is not pleased to hear about the snake Abbott’s advances towards his partner’s daughter, Frances Rawley, and decides to give her a promotion to being his partner. She is stoked, and wants to know what they will be working on. O’Malley tells her that things had been slow but he had a feeling that something was about to happen.
Like Roland Trent typing a fake suicide note and then throwing his dead wife off the balcony?
O’Malley and Frances are called to the scene, where they find Detective Grillo already chalking it up as as suicide, and takes the opportunity to hit on Frances while O’Malley notices that one bookend is cleaner than another. (Honestly though. Killed by a bookend in a bookend episode. JUST CALM DOWN MURDER SHE WROTE WRITERS ALRIGHT?)
Roland Trent appears from the private elevator (because you’re only really a success if you have more than one lift into your office) and wants to know why the police are investigating since it’s clear his wife committed suicide. O’Malley tells him his cleaning crew is no good – they only cleaned one bookend and left it wet on the wooden cupboard. O’Malley also can’t help but notice that Trent hasn’t asked to see the suicide note yet, and Trent tells him that it’s because he’s worried about what it might contain. O’Malley assures him there’s nothing to worry about and Trent takes a look AT THE NOTE HE WROTE. He asks for it to be returned to him once the investigation is over and goes downstairs to meet his lawyer who apparently just heard the news. In the car, Trent asks Kingston what he knows about O’Malley – Kingston tells him that O’Malley’s service record is the best in the department but that he does get into trouble occasionally. Trent hopes that this is one such occassion.
Sidenote, I’ve just realised that O’Malley is the original Commissioner Gordon. I thought I recognised his face.
Back at the precinct, O’Malley and Rawley discuss the case with O’Malley’s boss Captain Cohen, who orders O’Malley to shut the investigation down, until he learns that the suicide was almost certainly murder.
The next day, Trent sees the DO NOT CROSS tape across his private elevator and shouts YOLO (part of this isn’t true). Unfortunately for him, O’Malley is upstairs and is rather surprised to see Trent at work, what with the likely homicide of his wife and all, since the hobo that lives in the alley downstairs never heard Gretchen scream. O’Malley escorts Trent from the office, saying he doesn’t want to make him late for his lunch appointment.
While O’Malley deals with the ‘grieving’ widow, Rawley goes to see Gretchen’s assistant Alice who actually is grieving. She tells Frances that Trent found them working the night Gretchen died (Alice typing Gretchen’s dictated letters due to her terrible writing) and lost his mind at the thought his wife was trying to force him out. It was only when Alice assured him they would be gone within the hour that he calmed down enough to leave, although forgetting his briefcase again. Frances asks her if she thought Gretchen committed suicide and she says absolutely not, though she wouldn’t know anything about Trent’s extra-curricular activities. Frances reports back to O’Malley who doesn’t quite know what to make of it either. They are interrupted by Sergeant Grillo, who informs O’Malley that he’s wanted back at the precinct to confirm that Gretchen’s death was a suicide. This doesn’t quite go the way the captain plans, as O’Malley informs the gathered press that there is no evidence at this time that Gretchen Trent was murdered. The press pounce on that and O’Malley admits that Roland Trent is a suspect, causing the watching Trent to lose his mind at his television. After the press conference, the captain tells O’Malley his days as a cop are numbered.
After Trent gives a very cold and deliberate comment to a media pack loitering outside his office, in which he declares he has an alibi who will come forward and clear his name, Kingston accompanies Cindy the secretary/mistress to the police station the next day. Frances is surprised to see Kingston, as she recognises him from his frequent visits to Paul Abbott’s office. O’Malley excuses himself, saying he has a meeting he needs to barge into.
Cindy swears that Trent was with her from when he left his office after fighting with his wife, until learning of the suicide on the news later that night. O’Malley confirms that Cindy knowing Trent for several months means what he thinks it means, and remarks on the fact that noone else knew about her. Cindy tells him they kept it very quiet, and that she’d never even been to Trent’s office. After she and Kingston leave, O’Malley swears to the captain that he will do whatever it takes to save the department from embarrassment, which doesn’t delight the captain.
A court order procured, O’Malley and Frances head down to Paul Abbott’s office to get the tape conversations his secretary so helpfully told Frances about at the beginning of the episode. Roland Trent’s shady business practices revealed it becomes clear that Trent couldn’t leave his wife or let his wife leave him. Which was bad news for Cindy.
I think though, that the below picture sums up this episode quite nicely:
I think we all learned a valuable lesson about me bingeing on TV shows. IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT ON ME AT ALL.