It’s a beautiful day in Cabot Cove Fletcherfans and Mayor Sam Booth is in election mode, making sure people are registering to vote.
“Why vote?” says townsperson Janet. “It only encourages them.”
Meanwhile, Sherriff Mort Metzger is out on patrol chatting on the two-way with Floyd and contemplating hitting the golf range when a fancy sports car goes hooning by. He leaps into action and pulls the car over a little way down the road. The car is being driven by Brad Hellman, who in real life is the Boss’s nephew or in other words
Anyway, Brad the N.O.B has no time for Mort – he claims he forgot his license and when Mort spots a bottle of whisky and a wad of cash in the backseat Brad decides to offer Mort some ID in the form of some sweet cash dollars. Mort arrests him. Back at the Sheriff’s office JB is perusing some old case files for research for her new book when Mort arrives with the N.OB, who is spouting off about false arrest and yada yada yada and do you know who my father is?
The N.O.B’s father, it turns out, is Ambassador Chandler Hellman, and when JB calls up her old friend Haskell Drake (previously seen here and never seen again, bit odd really) he gives her the dirt – Hellman senior is a power hungry bloke whose wife is the newest model off the assembly line and the pair of them are trying to buy their way in, while the son narrowly avoided jail time a few years earlier when the N.O.B totalled his father’s car drink driving and killed a cop and his family, and severely injured a woman. Jess thinks she knows now why Mort is being particularly savage about this one.
Back in the Cove, the N.O.B’s lawyer, Jason Farrell, has arrived and is threatening Mort with All The Things. The N.O.B claims Mort didn’t advise him of his right to refuse a breathalyser test or at least that’s what they’ll say in court and to conclude they are going to destroy Mort.
Jess is summoned to Mayor Booth’s office. Sam is in a dilly of a pickle – he has been getting phone calls all over the place about the N.O.B and is about to fly off the handle. Jess hopes he will be standing by the Sheriff but they are soon interrupted by the N.O.B’s father and step-mother, Chandler and Meredith Hellman, who are horrified at the way their son has been treated.
Sam introduces JB to the Hellman’s and Mrs Hellman is quite excited to meet the famous JB Fletcher. Sam asks what he can do to help, and Chandler demands the removal of the corrupt sheriff. Jessica won’t stand for this but Mrs Hellman defuses the situation by pointing out they should go and talk to the Sheriff and Brad first.
Side note, Mrs Hellman’s outfit is impressive but I forgot/didn’t bother to get a proper screenshot.
At the sheriff’s office Chandler Hellman privately berates his son, who tells him it won’t look good in the Washington Post if the Ambassador’s son is in prison, while in the office Meredith Hellman tries to charm everyone by saying she hopes a youthful indiscretion won’t mean the end of N.O.B’s life.
“What about Frank Casey’s life?” Growls Mort.
Meredith pleads ignorance, and then Chandler reappears crying police brutality. They rush into the cells to find a (little bit) bloodied N.O.B. JB asks who did this to him and he points at Mort (after an excellent panning shot that you will have to trust me on because I still can’t work out how to make gifs from VLC)
Sam returns to his office and immediately falls apart.
Unlike Sam, JB isn’t going to take this lying down. Floyd told her that he saw Brad and there wasn’t a mark on him, and she suspects Chandler of being the punchy culprit. She goes off hunting information.
Back at the Sheriff’s office a bloke named Len has just arrived with N.O.B’s lunch and offers to take it in to the prisoner since Mort is so busy. N.O.B is less than delighted with the meatloaf and vegies, and less with the audience – he asks Len if he plans to stand there and watch him eat. Len departs without a word. Weird.
That night, JB is chilling out at House Fletcher when she gets a visit from Mrs Hellman, who is hoping to persuade Jessica to use her influence in the town to persuade the Sheriff to drop all charges. Because guys, her husband is a powerful man, have I mentioned this?
Man I shouldn’t write this when I’m hungry.
That night, JB goes for a wander and finds Mort down by the water, tossing stones and looking glum. Jess tells him that she’s feeling depressed about how rich people get away with things (preach it sister) and Mort tells her he’s giving up, he’s going to resign in the morning. She asks him about Fred Casey and he tells her they worked together back in the day. He wasn’t there the night Casey and his family died but he saw how it got covered up. Jess begs Mort not to give up but he tells her N.O.B made bail an hour ago.
The next morning…
The aforementioned body, unsurprisingly, is N.O.B. Mort feels the pressure immediately, getting calls from Sam to sort it out, but before he can call Hellman’s Chandler and his attorney appear in the office, after getting a phone call from the coroner’s office. Chandler Hellman is now on a mission to see Mort done for the murder of his son.
Mort gets called into Sam’s office, where he gets more bad news. Lieutenant Avery Powell has been sent down from the capital to investigate charges of misconduct against Mort, as well as the potential murder charge. Mort is suspended until further notice, but Mort tells them to go to hell and quits. YOU GO MORT.
Mort goes to see JB for a little sympathy and finds her doing dishes and wearing that cardigan that I want.
JB doesn’t have time for Mort’s misery, they need to solve the mystery. One – why was N.O.B in Cabot Cove? Mort was under the impression N.O.B was just passing through but Mrs Hellman told JB she picked up some fresh clothes for Brad at the hotel so he can’t have been. Two – who owns the car, since it isn’t Brad’s? Mort has a name, Morgan Phillips, but will get his friends in New York to run it down. Meanwhile Jess tries to get more info out of Haskell, but the only thing he can think of is that a 911 call was made by a hysterical woman demanding an ambulance, but he doesn’t know more than that. Jess suspects that the woman might be Morgan, the owner of the car, but can’t be sure.
Jess next goes to see Avery Powell at the sheriff’s office but he doesn’t want a bar of her help. She does manage to see the gun and 3 spent cartridges they found near where the body was, and memorises the serial number. She tells Mort, who asks his friend in New York and sure enough the gun belongs to the same Morgan Phillips that owns the car. THE PLOT IS THICK WITH PLOT.
Jess heads to the Navarro Hotel, where she finds the Hellmans sitting down to lunch with a young woman – Morgan Phillips, N.O.B’s fiancee. Mrs Hellman is just heartbroken to think of Mort shooting N.O.B three times…JB is much more interested in Morgan though, and asks if she’s been in Cabot Cove long, but Meredith informs her that Morgan arrived that morning on the family jet. Jess wonders if she could have a word with Morgan but Chandler and Meredith declare they are late for a meeting and shoot off, Morgan giving JB a worried look as they go. DUN DUN.
Hot on the scent, Jess stops by reception to ask the desk manager how long Morgan had been staying in town and manages to wangle out of him that Morgan was with N.O.B before he was arrested. JB heads straight to the lieutenant to tell Lieutenant Avery and faced with the fact that JB is better at his job than he is, they summon Morgan to the sheriff’s office. Long story short, they came to Cabot Cove because the girl who was involved in N.O.B’s accident was blackmailing him and N.O.B had had enough, so he came to Cabot Cove to kill her. Morgan freaked out and hid her gun in N.O.B’s suitcase where he apparently didn’t find it.
Jess suspects that N.O.B wasn’t the only person who knew the identity of the blackmailer and so plants a note from the blackmailer in the Hellman family lawyer’s pigeonhole at the hotel. JB and Mort follow him to the home of Len Costner, aka he who delivered lunch way back. Mort says it fits, Len and his wife moved to Cabot Cove with their daughter Janet about four years ago. OH SNAP. I’ve watched this twice and I didn’t put it together that Janet at the start of this episode and Janet now are the same person good grief I’m hungry.
JB finds Janet in the park, and gets her theory confirmed. Janet only met N.O.B that night, he gave her a lift home but crashed the car, killing the Casey family. She got to a pay phone to call an ambulance and then her family who later decided to get money out of the Hellman’s when Janet’s injuries were greater than they first thought. At home, Mr and Mrs Costner (heh heh) admit to blackmail but tell Jess that they never even knew N.O.B was in town until he got arrested.
When Jess takes the information to Avery, he is unmoved. Jess manages to read the medical examiner’s report upside down and discovers that while there were 3 shots fired, only 2 hit N.O.B.
That solves it for JB and she lays a trap for the killer to wander into.
Fed up with her step-son’s antics, Meredith put an end to it, and him. And now I’m going to put an end to these hunger pains.