S07E13 – Moving Violation

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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.”

Silly Janet. Everyone knows the reason to vote is to go to the sausage sizzle and cake stall afterwards #democracysausages #freedombrownies #myelectionswagwasgoodthisyear

Silly Janet. Everyone knows the reason to vote is to go to the sausage sizzle and cake stall afterwards #democracysausages #freedombrownies #myelectionswagwasgoodthisyear

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

Nephew of Boss-lady. Just so we're clear.

Nephew of Boss-lady. Just so we’re clear.

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.

Mort gives 0 bothers.

Mort gives 0 bothers.

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.

Jess also gives 0 bothers

Jess also gives 0 bothers

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.

You may recognise Mrs Hellman as the mum from Webster. Thanks IMDB!

You may recognise Mrs Hellman as the mum from Webster. Thanks IMDB!

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.

Poor Sam. He's still cut about Janet's bitchy remark at the beginning of the episode.

Poor Sam. He’s still cut about Janet’s bitchy remark at the beginning of the episode.

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?


JB has had enough of your crap Meredith.

JB has had enough of your crap Meredith.

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…

*starts making bass line noises*

Da dun dun dun, da da dun dun, da da dun dun dun, SO DARLIN DARLIN STAND

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.

For real though. I want that cardigan.

For real though. I want that cardigan.

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.

She loves that hat though.

She loves that hat though.

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.





S07E12 – Suspicion of Murder

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So this happened.

I can't help but feel responsible for this.

I can’t help but feel responsible for this.

JB is taking time out from her meth lab gardening to tell us a story about everyone’s favourite reformed cat burglar, who is out at a divorce party for his friend, former pro tennis player and Warwick Capper impersonator Ryan Donavan. Dennis is distracted when he sees his friend Christina Hellinger, flying solo without her husband Ben, and they begin to dance.

At the end of the night, Dennis drives Christina home like the chivalrous gentleman that he is, and Christina confesses that she has split up with her husband. She tells Dennis he couldn’t understand how it felt to try and make a marriage work and he informs her that he made his work for 24 years – until the cancer claimed his wife.

Dennis thinks it’s time he should be hitting the road but Christina has other plans for him. Nudge nudge wink wink.

The next day, Rhoda arrives back from her lunch break to find Dennis surprisingly hard at work. He announces he has to go interview an antique dealer but makes a quick call to Christina before he goes. There’s no answer at her house so he goes over there and convinces the doorman to check on her. The apartment is empty but Dennis spots a blinking light on the answering machine – a message from Ben’s son telling him that he fobbed them off but the tax people are coming back tomorrow.

Dennis calls into the office

Basically a shoe phone

Basically a shoe phone

…and Rhoda informs him that Christina has been looking for him. He finds her at a hotel outside town, looking the worse for wear. Christina says after their little something something the night before she went to tell Ben it was over and he mistook her for a punching bag.

Dennis offers to escort her to the police station, but as they leave the hotel he spots a car following a short distance behind.  Dennis gets on his batphone to call the closest police station, but the car behind comes up and runs them off the road, wrecking the Dennis-mobile.



Dennis and Christina go to see Dennis’s old pal Lieutenant Catalano who promises Christina he will look into it – then berates Dennis for mistaking him for a social worker once Christina leaves his office. Ever the gentleman, Dennis gets Christina settled in a hotel under an assumed name, and gives her strict instructions not to call anyone or leave the room for anything. That done, he heads home for a chat with his late wife’s photo before switching off the light and sitting in the dark, gun in hand.

The next morning Dennis gets a phone call from Catalano, who ended up being awake all night worrying that he’d be done for dereliction of duty should Dennis happen to be bumped off. He tells Dennis no trace of Ben was found at his home or at work. Dennis decided to take a gander for himself and heads out to the house where Ben has been staying. He finds the car responsible for smashing up the Dennismobile in the garage. With a little help from the umbrella of justice, Dennis picks the lock on the door and goes inside to take a look around. Apart from an abandoned glass of whisky, and the discovery that Ben has some sort of steamroom set up in his bathroom, Dennis comes away empty handed. He calls Christina to see how she’s getting on, and tells her his next move is to check Ben’s office.

Dennis finds Ben’s sons Joe and Danny in the office in a heated argument over Joe’s life failures. When they realise Dennis was the man who reported their father missing, Joe gets uppity but Danny throws him out of the office before informing Dennis that he saw his father the previous Sunday, he wasn’t missing and that he should basically just jog on.

Dennis’s next visit is to his friend Ryan, the host of the party that set off this whole business. He tells Dennis that Ben was a bit rough around the edges and was never really welcomed into the San Francisco social scene, which upset Christina who was desperate for the love. He and Christina had a fling the previous year but he ended it when she got too serious.

Listening to Ride of the Valkyries on the way home, a police car pulls Dennis over to inform him he is wanted for questioning for the murder of Ben Dellinger.

Really Dennis, how did you not see this coming?

Really Dennis, how did you not see this coming?

Naturally Catalano has no opinion about this at all.

Clearly no response to this development

No. Opinion.

While they await the San Rafael police who are taking Dennis in to be processed, Catalano outlines his triumphant victory – that a phone tip said Dennis had been seen hanging around Ben Dellinger’s house, and that when police went to investigate Ben’s body was found in the shower at 4pm that afternoon with an icepick through the heart and a whole lot of unidentified fingerprints around the house. Dennis agrees that the fingerprints are his, but swears he wouldn’t commit such a stupid and obvious murder.

Catalano disagrees.

Nor, Dennis adds, is he brave enough to stab someone front on with an icepick.

Catalano couldn’t make sense of that either, but he’ll live with it.

The San Rafael police arrive to escort Dennis back to their jurisdiction, but Dennis is already 10 steps ahead – he busts out of the handcuffs and escapes. He goes to see Christina, but AMAZINGLY she’s checked out of the hotel. The desk clerk informs him that she checked out earlier that evening, and why yes she did make a phone cal to San Rafael. Dennis tests out a theory and confirms the number Christina dialed was the San Rafael Police Department. Meanwhile, Christina is back at home and telling Catalano just how terrified she is now that her husband is dead and Dennis is on the run.

Dennis decides to pay an afterhours visit to Ben’s lawyers to see just what tax trouble he might be into, and is nearly busted by a silent alarm and two cops.

The next day Rhoda is in the office reading all about her boss’s escapades in the paper while listening to Robert lose his mind when Dennis calls in asking for a favour – he needs Rhoda to track down the other call that Christina must have made from the hotel. Dennis’s next call is to Catalano, who demands he turn himself in at once. Dennis suggests that instead Catalano find out whether the freezer in the garage was padlocked, and whether Ben’s organs showed signs of frozen tissue.

Rhoda picks Dennis up later that afternoon and delivers the news that Christina did make another phone call – to Joey Dellinger. Dennis decides it’s time to fill Catalano in and goes to the police station. Catalano concedes that it does appear that Ben Dellinger was kept in the freezer and then moved to the steam to thaw out and that he no longer considers Dennis a suspect.

He's so delighted!

He’s so delighted!

Dennis has it all figured out. Joey Dellinger got cut out of the will and so offered to help Christina in exchange for a chunk of inheritance, and Christina did it because she wanted to get back with Ryan – and was a bit put out when she discovered Ryan wasn’t so wild about the idea.

So, to conclude:

What a surprise. Wait, that's not the right word.

What a surprise. Wait, that’s not the right word.

But I think we really need to focus on the really important part of this episode:


Later gang

Later Fletcherfans!


S07E11 – Family Doctor


Spoiler alert: my thoughts on this episode can be summed up by this picture:


Fairly warned be thee says I.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Boston, a mafioso by the name of Carmine Abruzzi is having the hard word put on him by a couple of Feds. If he tells them all about his friends, they’ll put him in witness protection so his “friends” can’t find him but Carmine won’t talk to no foot soldiers. He’ll talk to the boss or no deal, so they take him down to the parking garage to transport him to the FBI office. Before they get to the car, a couple of goons jump them, knock the FBI guys unconcious and hustle Carmine into a waiting limo that speeds away.

Life Lesson #61 – Nothing good ever happens in a parking garage. Except perhaps gaining valuable information about exposing a dirty President, or proving the existence of aliens. But mostly nothing good.

But never mind all that because an old friend wants lobster.



Seth demands dinner at his favourite restaurant, the Clam and Claw, a restaurant that hasn’t changed in 75 years – much like Seth. He manages to wrangle a reservation by dropping the word “Doctor” into the conversation but on their arrival at the restaurant later that night Seth is devastated to discover that the restaurant is under new management, his maître’d friend no longer works there and in short, the place has gone trendy.

Poor Seth.

Poor Seth.

While they are shown to their table, a young man and his pregnant wife arrive. The new maître’d instantly welcomes them as Mr and Mrs Abruzzi and escorts them to the private dining room. A short time later, he returns to the dining room and waits for a knock on the door. A Mr Gant checks to see if everyone has arrived and then asks the maître’d to start serving in five minutes. Inside the dining room is Michael Abruzzi and his pregnant wife Denise, his mother Rosa, his brother Salvatore and his girlfriend Maid Marion Connie.

Dat hair. Such envy.

Dat hair. Such envy.

They are soon joined by (surprise surprise) Carmine Abruzzi, who tells them to stop talking and start eating.

In the main restaurant, Seth takes time out from feeding his face to lecture Jess about how her new book shouldn’t take priority over feeding a friend, to which she sighs and offers him the rest of her lobster dinner, saying she’s too full. There’s a scene at the front door – Andrew Gant’s daughter Phyllis arrives demanding entrance to the private dining room and orders the maître’d to inform her father that she’s arrived. She also demands a bottle of champagne and threatens to pour it down the dress of the waitress if she makes that face again.

What a treasure.

Back in the dining room, Carmine announces that he and Rosa are fleeing the country for Italy via Canada, and that he’s leaving control of the empire to Michael. Michael’s wife Denise shouts “No!” and runs from the room while Salvatore says Michael can’t run the family he can’t even control his wife. Carmine orders him to shut up, but now Andrew Gant chimes in, saying that Michael wants to make expensive changes that the other families won’t like. Carmine tells him to talk it over with Michael.

The maître’d arrives to inform Mr Gant about the arrival of his daughter, who in the intervening time has gotten herself well soused. As Jess and Seth debate the possibility of dessert, Andrew asks his driver to take Phyllis home,  and tells her that Sal has better things to do tonight than come to her.

Carmine and a tearful Rosa decide it’s time to go. Michael and Salvatore go with them out to the car, and as Carmine dishes out some last minute advice, a shadowy figure with a gun crawls along a rooftop. Carmine opens the car door and collapses, but he’s not dead. Salvatore and Michael carry him inside.

Sidenote: If I was playing racial stereotype bingo on this episode I think I would have won about ten minutes ago.

Jess settles on berries for dessert and Seth goes for the pie, but before he can take a mouthful the maître’d arrives at their table – there’s an urgent phone call for Seth. He sighs and follows the maître’d out of the room – and doesn’t return.  Forty minutes later Jess pays and asks the maître’d where Seth went but he doesn’t know. Jess takes her coat and goes straight to the police station but the sergeant on duty is not feeling particularly helpful. A passing detective hears the name “Clams and Claws” and his ears prick up. He offers to take JB back to the restaurant to find out what happened to Seth.

On the way the detective, Lieutenant Marino, asks JB whether Seth considered the restaurant a hangout, or if he was “connected”, or if he made frequent trips to New York. Jess wants to know what this is about, but Marino tells her hopefully nothing.

At the restaurant, the maître’d takes them to his office and shows them where Seth “took the call”, but begins to look uncomfortable when Marino points out that Seth’s car is still outside. Marino suggests they go and look around, and leave the office. After the door closes the maître’d puts a call in to Sal but hangs up when Marino reappears, requesting a tour guide. Jess is already five steps ahead, and notices a bleached spot on the carpet in the hallway, along with some red spots where they missed. Marino cuts out a sample and tells maître’d, whose name is Freddie, that if it turns out those red spots are blood then he’ll be ruining a lot more than the carpet.

Across town, a patrol car spots a figure walking down a deserted street. He flags them down – and of course it’s Seth. Back at the police station Seth fills them in – after being taken to see Carmine, Seth and the whole Abruzzi clan went to a country mansion where Seth was ordered to save Carmine’s life, which he naturally did because he’s Seth.

Marino fills in the blanks and explains who the shot guy was – Seth is glad he didn’t know it at the time or his hand might have slipped. Jess and Seth prepare to leave, but Marino tells them they can’t go back to the Cove yet. Two feds are on their way up from New York and they want to talk to Jess and Seth. The worst case scenario – they have to go into witness protection in Provo Utah.

Although I would watch the hell out of that show.

Although I would watch the hell out of that show.

The next day, Michael Abruzzi’s wife Denise apologises for running out but says that she can’t be married to a mobster. Michael tells her his father was shot, a doctor treated him and he got better, but then Carmine took a turn for the worse and died an hour ago. Salvatore is convinced that the doctor who treated Carmine is responsible.

At the hotel Jess and Seth are on the footpath waiting for the FBI agents to pick them up when Seth realises he left his medical bag in the coffee shop and goes to retrieve it. A car pulls up and Jess starts to get in before Seth calls out “Jess! That’s the wrong car!”

One of the people in the car pulls out a gun and orders the pair of them inside.

At the country mansion, Michael is slowly taking charge. Andrew informs him that he’s made all the arrangements for burial and the funeral home will come to collect the body in the morning to prepare Carmine to be buried back in Italy. Denise is concerned that her husband is being sucked into the business but he swears that he’s out to make the family legit. He asks Connie to find a guest bedroom for himself and Denise before going to answer the door. It’s one of Carmine’s goons with Seth and JB, and JB is OUTRAGED at the fact she’s been kidnapped. The goon tells Michael he took Seth on Salvatore’s orders, but he didn’t know JB would be there. Which is fair, because let’s be honest JB has had precisely no involvement in any of it so far.

Seth asks about Carmine and Michael informs him that Carmine died – an apparent heart attack after his heart started racing. Seth doesn’t understand, the drugs he gave Carmine would have slowed his heart rate down. A scream rings out from upstairs and Michael is called away to investigate.  Connie has just walked in on her boyfriend in bed with Phyllis Gant, the drunken cow from the restaurant and is losing her mind.

Back at the police station, the feds are demanding Marino sort himself out. They listen to the tape again and take note of Seth’s observation that they passed over a covered bridge right before arriving at the mansion. Surely there can’t be that many of Carmine’s associates that this applies to.

After putting pants back on, Salvatore begins interrogating Seth, which soon turns into a shouting match with his brother. Salvatore wants Seth and JB dead even though JB is not involved and Salvatore accuses Michael of  wanting to get them a guest spot on Donahue which is a sentence I’d never thought I’d hear again.

I really think JB is unimpressed that she's not being included more.

I really think JB is unimpressed that she’s not being included more.

After a passionate speech from JB about Seth’s role as a doctor that I wasn’t entirely listening to because Pokemon Go happened, they are joined by Rosa Abruzzo who has just been informed that Connie and Salvatore’s wedding is off. “I JUST HAD MY LAST FITTING FOR THE DRESS YESTERDAY!” she says loudly, in a way that in no way denotes important plot point.

Salvatore goes off after his mother and Connie, leaving Michael with JB and Seth. Seth offers to look at the body to establish cause of death, and although Michael is resistant he agrees. Back in town, Marino and the Feds discover the body of the man who shot Carmine in the first place.

Seth discovers that Carmine was definitely murdered by a clumsy injection. Michael is called away when Andrew Gant arrives back, leaving Seth to tell Jess the bad news – Carmine was killed by an injection of digitoxin, which had been stolen out of Seth’s medical bag along with one of his syringes.

In the next room Andrew Gant tells them that the other mafia families had nothing to do with the hitman, but he doesn’t believe them. He and Salvatore think it’s time for a show of strength.

Seth spots a picture of Phyllis Gent on the table and they realise they are at the home of Andrew Gant. Jess suddenly realises they had it all wrong after all. Seth distracts the guard with a visit to the bathroom while JB phones it in. Unfortunately for JB Salvatore appears at that moment and pulls his gun on her. Michael comes in hot on his heels and orders Salvatore to put the gun down. Then they hear sirens.

Marino and his men appear and arrest Salvatore and Andrew for kidnapping. Marino tells JB about finding the hitman but says he still doesn’t know who hired him.

JB can help him out with that one.

I feel like I've written wife of death at least once before.

I feel like I’ve written wife of death at least once before.

JB picked up on the fact that Rosa kept a dress fitting appointment even though she knew she would be leaving the country. Rosa, devastated at the thought of losing her family to go on the run with Carmine, hired the hitman but the hitman botched it so she took matters into her own hands.

And now confession: this episode was dreadful, and so the minute I saw Amy Yasbeck my brain wandered and ended up here:

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!


S07E10 – Murder in F Sharp


That awkward moment when your nephew puts the wrong LP in the wrong cover.

That's right kids. In the 80s Spotify was called records.

That’s right kids. In the 80s Spotify was called records.

So I just googled the album that Ben accidentally played and it’s called Head On Collision, which is a New Found Glory song so can we just take a minute to ponder the fact that New Found Glory have apparently discovered how to time travel? Yeah, I know right!

While Ben is delighted to think that his nephew is now listening to Mozart courtesy of his Vaacclav Maryska album, he’s sad his nephew won’t get to hear the maestro play live. “You did hear what happened?” He asks JB.

Hear! JB got a blow by blow account. Apparently a certain friend of hers was tied up in the whole thing and just couldn’t wait to tell her about it.

I'm not going to lie. I love Dennis and his umbrella of justic a little bit, by which I mean a lot.

I’m not going to lie. I love Dennis and his umbrella of justice a little bit, by which I mean a lot.

Cut to San Francisco, where Vaacclav Maryska is preparing for a concert.



Vaacclav gets a visit backstage from his star pupil Nicole Geary, in from New York to see her teacher play. He’s delighted to see her, and less delighted when his wife Milena turns up. Nicole excuses herself and Milena asks Vaacclav why he didn’t mention Nicole was in town. Vaacclav shrugs, he thought he had. He tells Milena to take her seat, but she tells him she’s going home – this is one concert she’d rather miss.


The concert begins, but it’s clear that something is wrong. Vaacclav slams his hands down on the piano and declares he can’t play a piano that’s out of tune, before storming off the stage. After detouring through every bar in San Francisco he arrives home well sloshed. Milena tells him she heard about the show and she’s sorry. Vaacclav tells her at least it was short, and excuses himself to go into the study to continue his pity party.

The important thing is I make myself laugh.

The important thing is I make myself laugh.

Milena takes herself back to bed, but is woken later that night when the fire alarm goes off. She hears Vaacclav yelling. After some hand-wringing and some door knocking by the building’s security, they managed to break down the study door to find Vraacclav in a pretty bad shape.

Serves you right you Spock-killing bastard. You think I'd forgotten about that?

Serves you right you Spock-killing bastard. You think I’d forgotten about that? 

Now it just so happens that Vaaclav has insured his hands and of course there’s only one man with the mad skillz required to investigate this insurance claim.

Classic Dennis.

Classic Dennis.

Dennis heads straight to the hospital to let Vaacclav and Milena know that the insurance claim will be processed expeditiously. Milena thanks him, but says they aren’t worried about the fire damage, Vaacclav’s recuperation is more important. Dennis apologises for not being clear, he was referring to the policy on Vaacclav’s hands. It’s obvious Milena knew nothing about this, but Vaacclav declares that he won’t be claiming, his hands will recover. There’s a knock on the door – it’s Milena’s son (and Vaacclav’s stepson) Alex. Milena ignores her son, and bids farewell to Dennis before leaving the room.

Dennis goes home with Milena to see the damage. Milena asks him how long Vaacclav has had the policy on his hands, and Dennis says at least 10 years. She tells Dennis Vaacclav was very drunk the night of the accident, and gets so emotional she has to leave the room. Dennis tells her he’ll only be a minute. He does a quick search and finds a challenge but resists the urge.



Back at the hospital, Milena tells Vaacclav about Dennis’s investigation and begs him to tell her if he set the fire on purpose to damage his hands. Vaacclav tells her to leave so he can rest. DUN DUN.

Dennis adjourns to his office to study the footage of Vaacclav’s last show, while his boss Robert demands to know how Dennis can justify a $120 lunch expense. Dennis says he was getting information out of a forensic specialist.

“Oh yeah what was her name?” Says Robert.

Dennis has no time for your crap Robert.

Dennis has no time for your crap Robert.

Dennis, eyes on the prize, stops the recording. He can hear it, Vaacclav  is way out. Robert says doi, the piano wasn’t tuned correctly. Dennis goes to the concert hall and tries the piano out for himself – it’s in tune.

Meanwhile, Nicole goes to see Vaacclav in hospital, who is in fine spirits despite the condition of his hands. He tells Nicole he will start teaching, and has a pupil in mind…they could go to Majorca where Chopin wrote some of his finest…

Nicole laughs and says if she thought he was serious… “But I am!” Insists Vaacclav.

Milena appears to tell Vaacclav  the good news, he’s being discharged. Nicole excuses herself and leaves. Vaacclav  sees Milena’s face and tells her it’s not what she thinks.

Back at home, the doorman announces the arrival of Milena’s son Alex. Milena takes herself off to the bedroom while Vaaclav chats to Alex. Vaaclav tells Alex about a letter he’d like to reply to but you know, hands, so Alex offers to write it for him and gets the stationary out of the desk. Vaacclav  changes his mind and says he’ll go and get Milena – it’s high time their rift was solved. It’s obvious Alex has turned his life around, Milena needs to accept this. He goes into the bedroom and tells her he’s going out for awhile, and that Alex is ready to forgive her. Milena is disgusted. Her! Forgiven!

Vaacclav, after checking the time with the doorman (3:05pm) goes to meet Nicole for coffee, while a neighbour of Milena and Vaacclav hears a fight between Milena and Alex and sees Alex leave. Nicole arrives at 4:15, apologising for being late. Vaacclav  isn’t bothered, he wants to talk more about his Majorca plans. Nicole feels terrible, she thought he was joking – she can’t go to Majorca, she has classes and concerts in New York. Pish tosh, says Vaacclav. Cancel the concerts, he’s a better teacher than anyone etc etc.

After coffee they head back to Vaacclav’s apartment, where he discovers he forgot his key. The doorman lets them in – to discover Milena’s body on the floor. Everyone’s favourite San Francisco detective Lieutenant Catalano is called in, much to Dennis’s delight when he arrives a short time later. Catalano demands to know what Dennis is doing there, and he says he’s there to see an old friend. He gives his condolences to Vaacclav who tells Catalano (and Dennis) what happened. Dennis is interested to hear more about Nicole Geary but Catalano throws him out.

At the office, Dennis gets Rhoda to dig out everything she can find on Vaacclav Maryska. On top of all the houses he owns, and the overheads he has accrued, Rhoda also discovers a life insurance policy on Milena – but before Dennis can get excited she tells him Milena’s son Alex was the beneficiary, not Vaacclav. Dennis goes to see Alex who had no idea about the insurance policy. Dennis tells him he should speak to a lawyer quickly, before Catalano turns up. Later than night Vaacclav  goes to see Alex at his office at the rehab clinic and tells him there’s nothing to worry about. He asks Alex to retrieve his reading glasses from the car, and after Alex goes to get them, stares at the typewriter thoughtfully.

Dennis goes to see Catalano at the police station. Catalano is on the phone, barking orders at someone to search the apartment and the office until they find the gun. Dennis has heard about this mysterious letter, supposedly from Alex to Milena, that has only just conveniently turned up. Catalano doesn’t care, the paper has Alex’s fingerprints on it and the typewriting matches the typewriter in Alex’s office, he’s clearly guilty.

Unconvinced, Dennis goes back to his office to see what else Rhoda has managed to dig up on Vaacclav. She tells him that apart from some trips to New York, Vaaclav’s only other recent trip was to Rochester Minnesota – home of the Mayo Clinic. This only adds to Dennis’s theory that Vaaclav is behind the whole thing, and further demonstrates this by setting fire to some plum brandy.

For science! Is the best reason to do anything. Fact.

For science! Is the best reason to do anything. Fact.

Dennis decides there is only one possible course of action, especially since Vaacclav is out to dinner that night.

Safes are to Dennis what bookshops are to me.

Safes are to Dennis what bookshops are to me.

Unfortunately for Dennis, he is soon interrupted by a visit from the doorman and the aforementioned neighbour who swears she heard noises in the apartment.

Once a cat burglar...

Once a cat burglar…

Back at the office the next day…



Dennis is trying to prove that Vaacclav was able to write the extortion note. It turns out thatduring his nocturnal sojourn in Vaaclaav Maryska’s apartment Dennis managed to find two tickets to Majorca, booked months earlier departing in a couple of days, in the names of Vaacclav Maryska and Nicole Geary.  Considering Vaacclav was meant to be in Tokyo on his world tour, this would indicate that he knew he wasn’t going to make it. SUSPICIOUS. Rhoda also confirms that Vaacclav went to the Mayo Clinic but couldn’t get any info on his diagnosis – a situation remedied by a call from Doctor Dennis Stanton who discovers Vaacclav was suffering from degenerative arthritis and wouldn’t have been able to play within a year. Dennis is convinced Vaacclav is behind the whole thing but cannot see how to prove it.

That night, Nicole is at Vaacclav’s house where he  bestows the Majorca tickets on her. She tells him she just can’t up and leave to Majorca tomorrow but Vaaclaav won’t have a bar of it. The phone rings – it’s the doorman. Dennis is there with a cheque for Vaaclav. Nicole tells Vaaclaav she’ll call him from New York, and the truth comes out – she’s getting married. To a composer. A talented young composer.

Pun partially intended.

Pun partially intended.

As Nicole departs Dennis arrives with a 10 million dollar cheque and a theory. A correct one, naturally.

Damn right he is. #livelongandprosper

Damn right he is. #livelongandprosper

It happened exactly how you imagine it did. Vaacclav did it all for the girl, not stopping to check whether the girl wanted it done for her. You know, the usual.

Case closed. And only two more Dennis the menace episodes left in the series! Does that mean the bookends are coming to an end?

Stay tuned!

Later gang!

Later gang!


S07E09 – Ballad for a Blue Lady


So…Who has two thumbs and didn’t realise the last post didn’t work properly?

Sorry about that gang! The reason for the delay was on account of I moved house into my very own hobbit hole, which required much packing and unpacking and waiting for internet, but I also went on holiday up to Cairns where this not insignificant thing happened and I found Nemo and saw two Cassowaries it was a big week.

However, all is back to as normal as it gets here on MSB. (I’m full of painkillers and lack of sleep due to two ear infections and a late night watching election coverage so it may be loopier than usual).

To business!

Our Heroine is off to Nashville this week where JB is visiting her friend Mrs Brady who is giving a concert and clearly having some sort of mid-life crisis:

Seriously though, wat.

Seriously though, wat.

Patti Sue and her friend Billy Ray escort Jess back to the farm, where unfortunately all is not well. Patti Sue’s husband Bobby is fighting with his manager Mark Berenger. Mark storms out just as they arrive leaving Patti Sue to calm her husband down, but it’s a phone call from his daughter Alice that cheers him up more. Alice is eager to hear how the meeting with Mark went and promises to handle it when he tells her it didn’t go well. She asks for confirmation from their lawyer, Preston Wardell that the contract with Mark is unbreakable.

No further questions.

No further questions.

Back at the farm, JB and Patti Sue are strolling around admiring the garden. Jess asks her what her secret is for getting such beautiful flowers. “Milk.” Says Patti Sue. “Plain old cows milk once a week. Don’t know what I’d get if I used buttermilk.”

“Buttercups?” Says JB.


Alice appears to tell Patti Sue and JB that Bobby is making cocktails, and Pattie Sue declares they will mosey on in by-and-by. Alice asks her to refrain from using those hokey southern expressions that she uses while company is around just for a night, and Patti Sue says sure – if Alice will refrain from fawning over her father like someone looking for a pocket to pick.

Jessica’s reaction is less about the conversation as it is about Patti Sue’s outfit.



Inside, Bobby pours everyone a bourbon, which in my world isn’t so much a cocktail.

Besides everyone knows JB is a scotch lady

Besides everyone knows JB is a scotch lady

Patti Sue reveals that Bobby has started writing music again, but Billy Ray reveals that technically he’s the one that writes the songs – Bobby can’t write music so he records everything to tape and then Billy Ray transcribes it for him. I feel like this might become relevant later gang. Alice pops her head in to say that she has to go, something has come up at work, which makes her father sad. After she leaves, he says “isn’t she the loveliest little thing you ever saw?”

(Also my interpretation of Dory's advice in Finding Nemo. Which reminds me I need to go see Finding Dory)

(Also my interpretation of Dory’s advice in Finding Nemo. Which reminds me I need to go see Finding Dory)

Later that night Bobby is hard at work on his guitar when he gets a visit from PYT Brittany Brown, who Bobby is writing a song for. (Fun fact, I changed my name to Brittany when I was in the States last because the people at Starbucks could not grasp the combination of vowels and constanants that is my name. It didn’t work.)

While Bobby serenades Brittany, (and a mysterious figure watches through the window) JB and Patti Sue chow down on some icecream while reliving school days. Patti Sue is nervous about the concert but also nervous about Billy Ray – she’s concerned about his mental health and worried he might do something stupid. Jess tells her she should get professional help for him but Patti Sue shrugs it off, saying it’s probably nothing.

Back at Bobby’s studio Brittany is just leaving when she gets a fright – the window watcher is in the back of her car. They promptly start kissing, which wouldn’t have been my first response. It turns out that the man is Garth, Brittany’s boyfriend. It would appear that Brittany is taking advantage of Bobby’s crush on her to further her career. The outrage!

As JB is heading to bed with a good book, she hears an argument outside. It’s Bobby and his former writing partner Conrad Booker. Conrad is pissed that Bobby screwed him out of the rights to his songs and is demanding them back. Within 24 hours. Or he’ll kill him. That’s helpfully specific.

The next night:

Mrs Brady's outfits are freaking amazing this episode, I can't even

Mrs Brady’s outfits are freaking amazing this episode, I can’t even

Then again, she has some stiff competition.



After Patti Sue brings on Brittany, Bobby is dismayed when she starts singing one of her own songs instead of one of his.

Poor Bobby.

Poor Bobby.

Bobby tells Alice that he’s going to head home and skip the afterparty at the hotel, which is a shame because it’s a pretty bangin party. While Patti Sue is feted amongst her fans, Alice confides in JB that she’s also worried about her father – a couple of weeks earlier he wrote Patti Sue a letter to tell her how miserable he was. JB says again that Bobby might need professional help but Alice says her father would never admit he was struggling.

At 10:30, Patti Sue calls home but Bobby Ray doesn’t answer. This may also come up again later gang. Sidenote, Pattie Sue’s outfit for the party is something else.

This party is too lamé for JB. #nailedit #Imightbedelirious

This party is too lamé for JB. #nailedit #Imightbedelirious

Patti Sue decides to call it a night, and despite JB’s desperate attempts to leave with her demands that JB stay and enjoy the party, saying Alice will drive Jess home. Later, when Jess goes hunting she finds Alice having a fight with Preston and them screeches off in her car, leaving JB stranded. This will not stand.

After sitting at the party and losing the will to live (been there, done that), JB is set to make her own way home when Alice reappears, apologetic. She went for a drive to clear her head but is ready to go home now – music to JB’s ears. Outside they find Billy Ray, who is also stuck without a car after Patti Sue’s early exit.

On the way home Alice decides to check on her father. When they arrive, they find the glass in the door smashed and Bobby dead on the floor. A devestated Alice stays with her father while Billy Ray calls the ambulance and then takes Jess over to the main house, where they find Patti Sue being loaded into an ambulance.

At the hospital, the doctor tells JB that Patti Sue was lucky – the big bowl of icecream she ate lined her stomach and probably saved her life.

Alright time out. I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure that eating icecream 24 hours before being poisoned isn’t going to do smeg all to your chances of survival. I call shenanigans. Lift your game, Murder She Wrote writers.

Nashville PD arrive in the form of Lieutenant Jackson, who introduces himself and launches into a classic Bobby and Patti Sue song.

Jess is going to be on the next flight to Cabot Cove at this point.

Jess is going to be on the next flight to Cabot Cove at this point.

The doctor and Billy Ray quickly excuse themselves, and JB introduces herself as a family friend. Jackson is devastated he missed the chance to get Billy Ray’s autograph but Jess is sure he can get one – at a more appropriate time. Jackson is pleased and takes his leave by launching into another song.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

As he leaves, JB drills him for information. Jackson tells her the bourbon bottle was tested for poison, and JB says yes, strychnine. Jackson is surprised, but Jess explains the blue tinge under the nails and the way Bobby’s back was arched and his hands up near his face indicated as such. Jackson also tells her they’ve worked out a probable time of death and Jess interrupts to say around 10:30 based on Bobby’s temperature when they found him. Jackson is doubly impressed and invites her to come to the crime scene. At Bobby’s, Jess notices straight away that the tape is missing from the tape deck – and it didn’t make sense to her that Bobby would set up to record and not have a tape in the deck.

“This is beginning to look nasty.” Says Jackson.

At the HQ of Bobby’s studios, Mark casually points out that if Patti Sue dies, Alice inherits everything, and Alice is outraged. JB arrives as Mark departs to see how Alice is doing. Her next stop is back to police headquarters where Jackson is working on a song about the crime.

JB is going to blow her stack in a minute

JB is going to blow her stack in a minute

JB wants an update on the case, and Jackson tells her that Patti definitely took strychnine at around midnight – he figures it was guilt after poisoning her husband. Jess won’t have a bar of that, her friend is too much of a survivor to commit suicide and in any case there was no way she could have killed Bobby at 10:30, she was at the party til after 11. Jackson is not pleased but concedes she is right.

Back at the hospital a mysterious masked figure injects something into Patti’s drip. Unfortunately, they don’t get away.

Well there's a shock.

Well there’s a shock.

Alice swears up and down that she didn’t kill her father, but admits she poisoned Patti Sue. After her fight with Preston she went to see her father but he was already dead. She found his suicide note and decided to cover up the suicide by making it look like someone else killed him – specifically Patti Sue. She can prove that she didn’t kill her father though, and takes them to where she hid the suicide note. JB looks at it and alarm bells go off.

It’s the gold lamé that should have set the alarm bells off, to be honest.

That hair though.

That hair though.

Jess correctly deduces that the suicide note was actually the second page of the letter that Bobby sent Patti Sue. Pattie Sue tells her Bobby wrote the letter to tell her that their marriage was over, that he’d met someone who made him feel young again. Patti Sue didn’t take it lying down, and so left a bottle laced with strychnine at the studio, knowing that Bobby would get stuck into it that night. She hadn’t anticipated Alice, and the make a murder look like a suicide look like a murder situation.

And now, let us ponder the fact that Jackson the singing detective got it right before JB did. On second thoughts, let’s not.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!