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S08E04 – Thicker Than Water

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Good news Fletcherfans! JB is heading back to Cabot Cove to make sure no one has been bumped off while she’s been in New York teaching/slaying/dominating, and has taken a little light reading with her.

Avoiding excess baggage fees like a boss

Avoiding excess baggage fees like a boss

While JB’s plowing through her book, a man with a bag comes to sit next to her. He’s a big fan and has a copy of one of her books he’d love for her to sign – the book that had been dedicated to Mort. Naturally JB is happy to oblige,  and asks the man, whose name is Wayne, what brings him to Maine. He tells her he is hoping to catch up with someone who used to be an old friend and with any luck will be again. As he goes back to his seat JB wishes him luck.

Back in the Cove, Mort and Seth are bickering because Seth has eight unpaid parking fines, and his excuse that a medical emergency trumps parking rules falls apart when Mort points out the fines are outside the bakery and the pool hall etcetera etcetera.  Seth makes out a cheque to Mort who then points out the cheque should be for $120, not $80. Seth tells him he’s giving himself a discount for paying them all at once.

Man. I wish I could pay 8 parking fines for $120, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't cover one fine now. It was a simpler time.

I wish I could pay 8 parking fines for $120, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t cover one fine now. It was a simpler time.

Seth departs in a haze of smug victory, but Mort soon gets a new visitor – the guy from the plane. Mort is less than excited to see him, and doesn’t seem on board with Wayne’s hopes to get a job and settle down in Cabot Cove. Wayne tells Mort he’s staying at the Lighthouse Inn, if he doesn’t see Mort before he has to checkout of the room he will go and never come back. He leaves and Jessica pops in just as Mort punches his desk.

I think Jess needs a holiday.

I think Jess needs a holiday.

Jess is just there to drop off a book for Adele. Mort tells her he’s fine but he’s super busy and not at all steamed about the guy who just left the office because he was 100% some guy just passing through town that’s all. Jess smiles and says they will talk later.

Later that night, while Adele’s voice orders Mort to bed, Mort gets nostalgic with some easy listening and some photo albums. Because Wayne is Mort’s brother you guys. I know, I didn’t see that coming either. *cough*

The next day, Wayne is anxiously waiting in his room at the hotel when at last there is a knock on the door. Mort comes in and tells Wayne he will give him one chance, but if he does anything to mess it up he’s out of the Cove on the first bus. Also if anyone asks Wayne is a friend of a friend of Mort’s. Mort takes him down to the docks where Commissioner Gordon Zach Franklin is having an argument with another bloke named Terry Montaigne who assures Mort that there’s nothing to see here and wanders away. Zach is looking for a deckhand and takes Wayne on, assuring Mort that he’ll be the first to hear if there is any trouble…which happens in about 30 seconds when Wayne meets Zach’s daughter Elaine. But Zach orders Wayne back to work and Elaine back to the office.

Meanwhile, Seth is helping JB pick out a lobster for dinner when he sees Mort coming towards them. He tells JB to get the biggest one, invites himself round for dinner and dashes away yelling something about being illegally parked. Mort comes over to apologise for his abruptness the previous day and Jess tells him not to worry about it. She also asks how his brother is enjoying Cabot Cove, which freaks Mort out but Jessica explains she put two and two together when she remembered Adele telling her about Mort’s wayward brother that he never talks about. Mort begs her not to tell anyone else who Wayne really is, because reasons.

Three weeks later, Wayne and Elaine are chatting on the docks. Things are going well, and Wayne is loving life. All of a sudden, another captain comes up to start a fight with Zach. Wayne steps in with his fists and his knife and sees the other captain off. Unfortunately for Wayne Zach notices his tattoo and disappears without a word. Wayne goes to see Mort but he still won’t give Wayne the time of day so instead he ends up having lunch with Jessica, and explaining that he was a trouble-maker when he was a kid, especially after their Dad died and Mort stepped up to take care of Wayne.

Mort, who just happens to be outside the cafe watching JB and his brother eating, is distracted when Seth wanders by to point out that the Sheriff is parked illegally and since Seth pointed out the infraction he will deduct it from his outstanding fines. Mort tells Seth he has 24 hours to pay the rest of the money or Seth’s going to jail.

Seth you're a doctor, stop being a tightarse.

Picture irrelevant.

Down at the docks, Elaine asks Wayne over for dinner that weekend, when her father is going to be out of town but before Wayne can say HELL YES Zach appears and orders Elaine back to work and Wayne to stay away from his daughter. He saw Wayne’s prison tattoo, and while he has no problems hiring an ex -con, there’s no way he’ll let one date his daughter. And if he has to, he’ll call Mort and tell him there’s money missing from the cashbox.

The next morning, Seth is around at Jessica’s having breakfast (nothing suss…or is there?) when Jess spies Mort coming up the driveway. Seth hightails it before Mort can bring up the fines again, but Mort has bigger issues on his mind – specifically warning Jessica to not get too attached to his trouble-making brother. Before JB can offer her opinion, the phone rings. Something has happened at the docks.

Wayne comes off the boat to tell Elaine, Mort and JB that Zach had disappeared off the boat overnight. Zach had told Wayne he’d take first watch and to go get some sleep at the front of the boat, and when Wayne woke up the galley was a mess and Zach had disappeared. Mort goes down below to confirm the story, and when he comes back up JB has found a trail of blood leading to a pile of rope, underneath which is Wayne’s knife covered in blood.

That’s enough for Mort, who takes Wayne down to the Sheriff’s office for questioning. Wayne thinks they were boarded in the night, but Mort ain’t buying it. Deputy Andy Broom appears with lab results (my word they get things done in Cabot Cove)

Sidenote: Andy is Abernathy in Westworld.

I have two favourite things about Westworld. One is the piano covers of songs. The other is Rodrigo Santoro. (I also support employment of All The Hemsworths but that's my top 2 things)

I have two favourite things about Westworld. One is the piano covers of songs. The other is Rodrigo Santoro. (I also support employment of All The Hemsworths but that’s my top 2 things)

Although the blood and tissue on the knife matches Zach, there are no fingerprints and as Wayne points out, no body and no motive. He storms out, and Mort tells Andy to follow him.

Back at House Fletcher JB is getting back to her light reading when Elaine pops by. She’s worried about Wayne, but also tells her about the fight between Wayne and her father. Also also, there’s two grand missing from the boat. Jess goes down to the sheriff’s office to alert Mort who is furious. Doubly so when he gets a phone call from Andy to let him know that Wayne has done a runner from his hotel room.

Down on the docks, Elaine is putting up a for sale sign on the boat when Terry Montaigne pops by to tell her that she can’t sell the boat, 90% of it is already his. Zach never made his payments and Terry let that slide, but now he’s getting his money one way or another. This all escalated very quickly.

JB finds a rather pensive Mort down on the docks. He finally tells her the reason for his soured relationship with Wayne – there was a night in New York where Mort was part of a sting operation, and one of the targets had escaped so Mort yelled out freeze. “Do you know what it’s like to look at your brother down the barrel of a 38?” Says Mort.

“How long can we look at each other, down the barrel of a gun?” Wayne probably didn’t say to his brother but who cares because I’ve already started singing.

You can’t just say ‘down the barrel’ and not expect me to drop a Farnham. (For those not down under and have never heard this song before, congratulations on missing the 2004 Australian election where it NEVER STOPPED BEING PLAYED (also at my friend Lauren’s 21st), but also the woman arguing in the video is Jackie Weaver. The dude is Derryn Hinch who is now a senator. I forgot they were in this video. I have amused myself. The end.)

In any case, Mort told Wayne to run. 3 weeks later he got busted being the getaway driver in a jewellery store robbery and as a result Mort quit his job in the NYPD.  Jessica tells him he can’t think of Wayne as his brother right now, he has to think of him as innocent until proven guilty. They go back to the boat to look for clues and JB is convinced that at the very least Wayne wasn’t a part of the fight, since he had no cuts or bruises on him. She wonders if someone else had been on the boat and Mort remembers Wayne telling him about the fight between Zach and the other sea captain. They decide to go and pay him a visit but redirect to Terry Montaigne’s house when a call comes in saying that Terry called in to tell them he knows who killed Zach. When they arrive, they see Wayne peeling out of the driveway in his car. Inside, Terry Montaigne is dead on the floor. Mort gets on the radio and puts out an APB on his brother, saying the charge is murder.

DRAMATIC AD BREAK PAUSE.

Wayne goes to see Elaine at the office to beg for her help. JB decides to go back to the boat to look for more clues and gets startled when Mort comes looking for her. He’s just learned that Elaine is about to come into a whole lot of money, but Jess has a theory that there might be a hiding place on the boat, and thanks to some blueprints left lying around, she finds it behind some bookshelves. Inside are some packages with serial numbers and a whole heap of bloody cloths.

Back at the office Elaine tells Wayne to get some sleep, but then hears noises. It’s JB and Mort, looking for the killer. Elaine tells them Wayne isn’t there but they tell her they’re looking for the real killer.

Now that I didn't expect. Mostly because I've been too busy singing to pay proper attention.

Now that I didn’t expect. Mostly because I’ve been too busy singing to pay proper attention.

Turns out, Zach was paying off his debt to Terry Montaigne by smuggling drugs for him, but when the debt was cleared and Terry demanded he continue, Zach came up with this cunning plan to end it all by faking his own death. And Zach’s not entirely pleased to have his plans rumbled. Wayne wakes up just in time and tries to take the gun off Zach, and it goes off.

But it’s all good! Wayne’s fine, there’s enough time for the pair of them to have a touching reunion in the hospital before Seth comes in to ruin the moment by declaring he will deduct Wayne’s medical bills from the fines he owes Mort. SETH YOU’RE A DOCTOR YOU ARE NOT BROKE JUST PAY THE DAMN FINES MY GOD.

 

Later gang!

Later gang!

S08E03 – Unauthorized Obituary

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At a fancy shindig in New York this week, Fletcherfans, where Our Heroine is being begged by some bloke named Griswold to become JB’s agent.

Ain't got time for this, there's drinking to be done.

Ain’t got time for this, there’s drinking to be done.

Attention is diverted when Jane Dawson, author of the scandalous tell-all biography of Senator Edward Crawford, wanders into the room and is swamped by fans.

Now I know why I spent this episode thinking God that looks like Jessica Walter. I'm on the ball. *coughs*

Now I know why I spent this episode thinking God that looks like Jessica Walter. I’m on the ball. *coughs*

Griswold rushes over to greet Jane but she sashays past him to meet JB. She’d heard Jessica had moved to New York, it was a smart move, that’s where the action happens. New Hampshire’s loss is NYC’s gain!

“I’m just here temporarily.” Says JB. “And it’s Maine.”

Like that was even possible.

Like that was even possible.

Jane barrells on. She wants to have lunch with JB, she hasn’t got time to talk now but she hears JB is friends with Arthur Brent. With that she departs, leaving JB’s companion to ask “Who’s Arthur Brent?”

The next day (probably), Jane is hard at work on her next target/arguing with her lawyers on the phone when her assistant comes in with good news – they bribed someone at a sanitarium and managed to get the target’s medical records. Jane sends her off to try and find someone who hated the target and get more dirt but then Jane’s sister Beth comes in. She’s worried because she heard Jane fighting with her husband the previous evening, but Jane tells her not to worry about Steve – unless he lays a finger on Beth in which case she should tell Jane and she will rip his liver out. Beth says that’s unlikely, she doesn’t even like Steve and she doesn’t know why Beth married him. Beth tells her it’s simple enough – he’s tall, looks good in a tuxedo and is great in bed.

I do love Jessica Walter, I’m not going to lie.

Jane tells Beth she had a little fight with Steve, he went off to the Hamptons to cool off, but no big deal. She sends her off with some money to go buy something nice and then demands to know from her assistant why JB hasn’t returned her call yet.

Later, JB is waiting for her publisher to arrive for their lunch date when Jane sits herself down, saying she moved her publisher back an hour so they could talk. She cuts to the chase – Jessica is friends with Arthur Dent and his wife Ellen Lombard, and Jane wants to know why Ellen doesn’t make movies any more, what happened with her nervous breakdown/suicide attempt and whether it’s true that Ellen is now addicted to booze, tranquilizers and whatever else is kicking around.

JB tells Jane that she doesn’t gossip about her friends, especially not to people who will twist the facts to titillate her readers, and if she proceeds with the book Jess hopes Jane is ready for a lawsuit.

(Sweetheart is the name of the tape recorder, obviously)

(Sweetheart is the name of the tape recorder, obviously)

Jane informs her she’s never lost a lawsuit but decides to appeal to Jessica’s practical side – JB being linked to the book will sell more copies, which will generate publicity for her. If she doesn’t, well some of the dirt thrown at Ellen could stick to Jessica.

Jessica requests that Jane leaves while Jess is still in control of her temper.

She's going to Hulk out in 3...2...1...

Fletcher smash in 3…2…1…

Jess calls Arthur to tell him about the impending shit-storm that is rumbling. Arthur is devastated, Ellen is still in a fragile state after her suicide attempt and he will not let her come to harm. Jess feels awful that she hasn’t seen them that much in the last couple of years but Arthur tells her that Ellen won’t see anyone, not even Jess. She had a stroke a year ago and she doesn’t want anyone to see her in her current state.

Later that night, Jane’s husband Steve picks Beth up from class so she can help him convince Jane they should stay together. As they sit in the car out the front of the house, they notice someone go inside. Steve shrugs it off but Beth is worried and they go in after him. They go inside but there’s no sign of Jane. Suddenly the lights go out and a figure rushes past them on the way out – it’s Arthur Brent. They go upstairs and find Jane dead in the bathtub with the television.

You never see that any more. There’s never the toaster in the bath, or the hair dryer in the bath. Ah, the olden days.

The next morning, JB goes down to pick up her newspaper from Ahmed the doorman, who is all of us in this picture.

HE IS SO HAPPY TO SEE HER AHMED YOU ARE THE BEST.

HE IS SO HAPPY TO SEE HER AHMED YOU ARE THE BEST.

JB tells him she’s not happy with the local supermarket and wonders if he can suggest another one, but then gets distracted by the headline about Jane Dawson’s murder. She goes upstairs and calls Ellen but Ellen tells her Arthur has gone out and he was up late all night the previous night reading to Ellen. She tells JB that they will catch up again soon, when Ellen is feeling a bit better.

Jessica heads over to Jane’s house where she meets Lieutenant Gerard, who is also delighted to see her – so much so that he invites her to come up to view the crime scene. JB notices a phone message left by Jane’s assistant Kristy at 9:45, as she goes up the stairs. Presumably relevant. Upstairs, Gerard explains that all the clocks stopped when the place shorted at 11:03pm, when the television went into the tub. He resumes his interview of Jane’s sister Beth, who explains that the man (Arthur Brent, and you guys have no idea how much I keep wanting to write Arthur Dent) rushed down the stairs. She describes him and JB says it could be almost anyone oh is that time I must dash. Gerard asks her to pop by the precinct later, he still has something he wants to talk to her about.

JB goes to see Arthur, who fills her in on his side of the story. He was at the house at Jane’s request, but when he arrived at 11pm there was no answer. The door was unlocked so he went in – he heard the hot tub going so he figured she hadn’t heard him knock but when he went upstairs to check she was already dead. He was about to call the police when he heard Steve and Beth downstairs so he fled. Jessica tells him he needs to talk to the police, and that the lead detective seems very friendly but she isn’t sure why.

Jessica finds Gerard interviewing Jane’s assistant Kristy, who says she left Jane’s house at about 8 o’clock, which sounds fishy to JB on account of that phone message from earlier. Apparently Jane was in the habit of watching the news and returning phone calls from the hot tub which is a level of multi-tasking I frankly do not want. She excuses herself, and after she’s gone Jessica tells Gerard about the phone message. He’s not bothered though, because there’s something he wants to show Jessica….his manuscript.

I feel like this has happened before...

I feel like this has happened before…

Gerard’s offer to split the profits 50-50 is thankfully interrupted by Arthur’s arrival to admit to being the mysterious person in the house. Gerard is delighted – JB lives up to her reputation and gets the killer to surrender!

While Kristy goes to the publisher to try and get a book deal for the Ellen Lombard book now that Jane isn’t around to finish it, Jess and Gerard are chowing down on hotdogs and debating the murder. Gerard is convinced that it’s all over now that Arthur has come in, and is going back to Jane’s hosue to try and find more clues to prove it. He invites JB to tag along, that way they can discuss his book.

At the house, Gerard launches into a long explanation of how televisions can kill, until Jessica interrupts to say she’s seen it before. (Damn right she has). Kristy appears with a folder full of papers under her arm and a half-arsed excuse about clearing out her desk but Jessica has no time for these shenanigans and suggests to the lieutenant that nothing should be taken from the crime scene until it’s been checked. Kristy sighs and hands it over before leaving. Jessica shamelessly volunteers to read them for the lieutenant and he’s grateful – hopefully Arthur Brent’s motive might be in there somewhere.

Jane’s husband Steve pipes up and says Arthur has a hell of a motive considering his wife was the target of Jane’s next book. Gerard asks JB if she knew about this and she stalls him long enough for the phone to ring. She flees before she has to answer the question.

That suit is pretty amazing just by the way.

That suit is pretty amazing just by the way.

Jess goes home to investigate the papers and finds the birth certificate of Elizabeth Prewett, along with a baby photo and a lock of hair. She’s interrupted by a phone call from Gerard saying that he’s tracked down the mysterious phone message – it was Jane’s lawyer who had called and he’s coming in for a chat.

At first Jane’s lawyer is reluctant to disclose what the call was about, but eventually reveals that Jane was planning to divorce her husband Steve and wanted to confirm the details of their pre-nuptial agreement. He says she called him back at about 10 o’clock but that she had another call coming in and said she would get back to him the next day.

Jess excuses herself and goes to see Beth at the funeral home, who confirms what JB suspected – Jane wasn’t Beth’s sister, she was her mother. Beth tells her the whole story of how Jane had her at fifteen, danced in a club in New Orleans, fought her way to the top etc etc etc. She thought it possible that Kristy was blackmailing Jane about Beth’s identity, but didn’t know anything about Jane’s plans for divorce. She just regrets that she sat talking to Steve in the car for so long, and then going in and the lights going out. JB asks her if all the lights went out, and she says they did.

JB convinces Ellen and Arthur to pop round for tea and a chat and to confirm with Arthur a couple of things. He tells her the lights were definitely on when he got there, and the TV wasn’t plugged in. This is all JB needs and she goes to call Gerrard to meet her at Jane’s house.  Steve lets them in and leaves them to it. Gerard launches into a detailed explanation of how circuit breakers work.

JB don't need no man explaining ANYTHING

JB don’t need no man explaining ANYTHING

JB tells him that there’s no way the TV going into the tub would have shorted the whole house, and she believes Arthur when he says the lights were on and the TV unplugged when he got there. She thinks Jane had been dead for an hour before she was found, and what’s more she thinks she knows who killed her.

Tale as old as time....*coughs*

Tale as old as time….*coughs*

Steve arrived back early from the Hamptons, just in time to eavesdrop on Jane’s conversations, and had an adverse reaction to the news he was on his way out as number 1 toyboy.

Job done, Jessica neatly ties up loose ends by setting fire to Jane’s file on Ellen Lombard and telling Lieutenant Gerard to give Kristy the assistant a call – she’s looking for a project.

Shout out to the electrical workers who came and fixed the power to my building when the transformer blew, and to Melbourne weather for refusing to believe it’s nearly summer by hailing, snowing, blowing up transformer boxes with wind and generally making a general fool of itself. Classic Melbourne.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S08E02 – Night Fears

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JB is back to school Fletcherfans! It’s her first day teaching Criminology at Manhattan University, which seems entirely legitimate and the sort of thing that doesn’t sound farfetched at all.

Arriving early on her first day, Our Heroine gets a tour from the department head Dr Auerbach, and meets her fellow colleagues including this guy who you might remember from season 2:

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Wallace Evans offers most insincerely to be of all the assistance he can give to the new fascinating experiment. Turns out he used to teach the class that JB is going to be teaching and isn’t too thrilled with the new arrangement. As Auerbach escorts JB to her classroom he explains that Wallace was hoping to be made department head but that didn’t work out either. Also there’s been lots of muggings on campus so don’t stay late but I’m sure you’ll do great oh I’d better run.

(I think JB doesn't know what she's in for tbh)

(I think JB doesn’t know what she’s in for tbh)

Her first class begins and all seems to be going well. She even drops in a Hamlet quote to demonstrate a point (I love it. I had an anthropology lecturer who used to do the same thing with Monty Python clips it was awesome). This doesn’t sit well will all of the class though, NYPD Officer Morelli in particular who starts muttering away to his neighbour.

Morelli is going to regret this.

Morelli is going to regret this.

When JB asks if she can do anything for him, he says well that’s the point isn’t it? You’re a writer, I’m an NYPD detective, what can I hope to learn from you?

JB pauses, goes back to her lectern. “Well…perhaps as much as I’ve already learned from you. That for instance you had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning. Then stopped by the precinct’s target range to get in some practice.  You’ve recently given up smoking, you were born in the midwest and you’ve been married only a few months.”

e2

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

After class, JB heads to the cafeteria where she is accosted by one of her students, Luke Phillips.

I think we know where this is going

I think we know where this is going

It turns out Luke is actually a mechanic who just wanted to meet his idol JB, and when JB points out he should consider dropping the class and taking another he loses his mind. He’s read all her books twice, she owes him. If it wasn’t for people like him she’d still be in Cabot Cove baking brownies.

Sitting down to lunch Jess is soon joined by another student, Kevin Bryce. He’s another NYPD cop, but he was happy to see JB take Morelli down a peg or two. As they chat, Kevin reveals that he’s studying for the sergeants test again, but that he’s already failed it three times. Because Our Heroine is benevolent and wise, she offers to coach him through the test and he’s delighted. Damn right he is.

That afternoon, JB is wandering around campus when she hears sirens. She (along with half the school) go running and finds one of her students, Roslyn, being loaded into an ambulance – the latest victim of the campus mugger. JB goes to see her in hospital but Roslyn doesn’t remember much. She just knows she’s too scared to go back to school. JB tells her there are counsellors who can help her get past this, and of course if there’s anything she can do…

There is, says Roslyn. Could she catch this guy?

 

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

JB tells her that she’s only new to the university, and that the police might not appreciate her involvement in the case but she’s sure the police will have it all sorted soon. She tells Roslyn to concentrate on getting well, and that the class will still be there when she gets back  – but Roslyn says she doesn’t think she can come back, what with this monster still on campus and all.

Time passes (presumably). JB is back in class teaching away when Wings Wallace pops in to listen to her class, bemoan the fact that JB won’t let him help, and suggest that the muggings on campus could be used as a workshop for the class to track down the guilty party.

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings Wallace tells JB that he too has read all of her books and finds them interesting – 5 people in a house, 2 get murdered, and then the killer is caught. Much like Cabot Cove – home to 3 suspects, 2 dogs and a duck.

(No seriously, who wouldn't?)

(No seriously, who wouldn’t?)

Wallace thinks he can solve the case, what about JB? Jess is horrified at the suggestion of a wager but Wallace says its an academic exercise that will benefit the students. JB suggests they take it outside, where she informs Wallace (again) that the idea of a bet to see who can solve the case the fastest is inapprorbut Wallace figured JB would jump at the chance to prove herself.

“Well I’ve found that people who think they have something to prove never succeed in doing so. ” Says JB.  (Life Lesson #63. Ooh that’s a good one).

Down at the precinct Wallace hits up Kevin for all the files on the muggings so that he can “build a profile of the suspect”. (I should point out that earlier in the episode Doctor Auerbach tells JB that Wallace was sacked off the NYPD after two years for being heavy-handed so this whole building a profile thing sounds like something he saw on an episode of LA Law or something). Kevin tells him he won’t help him take down JB, not even when Wallace threatens to fail him out of his forensics class. YOU GO KEVIN.

Wallace pops by JB’s classroom with an advanced copy of the student newspaper proclaiming the race between Wallace and JB to solve the campus muggings. JB is horrified, but Wallace thinks she should be happy – it’s publicity and that’s why she was hired – enrolments were down, money was drying up so Doctor Auerbach had a crazy idea to boost enrollments by bringing in a celebrity.

Devastated, JB goes to see Auerbach who, like every middle aged white dude, begs her to see it from his perspective. The school was desperate.  He asks her if she would have taken the job if he was upfront with her and she says absolutely not. She informs Auerbach that she will stay until a suitable replacement can be found and then she’s out. Auerbach asks her if they could just discuss it and JB says “I believe we just did.”

BOOM.

Later that night, JB is leaving the university when sirens start blaring and people start running towards the sound. JB follows and runs into Kevin, in work mode. He says the mugger has struck again, but this time it went too far and the victim died. JB asks him for everything he’s got on the case. She’s in.

Cut to JB’s New York bunker, where Jess is taking a break from helping Kevin study for his test by going over the murder. He tells her that the knife was found but also two blood types so they’re thinking the victim managed to defend himself and cause some damage to his attacker. JB wonders if the attacker ended up in hospital and Kevin says they’re checking, but that the only weird thing is that another student was hospitalised across town for a gunshot would but he can’t see how the two events might be connected.

Down at the precinct Kevin gets pulled up by his boss for providing information to JB (which frankly is a valid point as much as I love Our Heroine) and orders him to back off. Meanwhile over on campus JB has stumbled onto a message left by the killer – I am the sword of justice, death sings to me, alpha and omega.

Get a better slogan, murderous mugger guy

Points for effort, 0 points for originality.

JB recognises the reference and goes hunting in the library for the source material but before she can find the book, Luke the crazy fan pops up to tell her he’s no longer her #1 fan.

Down at the precinct, Wallace and the captain are contemplating how to proceed.

The eternal question.

The eternal question.

The captain is worried, but Wallace is all over it. It’s definitely either disgruntled former student or employee, or it’s a crazed psychopath drifter. Wallace is convinced it’s the latter, and thinks if no murder occurs in the next 72 hours then he will be proven right. The captain hopes so, but Kevin overhears and approaches Wallace. He thinks it’s too early to have a definite idea on who it is, but Wallace is unstoppable. Plus he got a letter from the killer so he’s totes a threat.

Wallace isn’t the only penpal of the mugger, JB’s got a letter too. She goes to show it to Kevin after class but he tells her he’s under strict orders to stay out of it and stop helping JB. Undeterred, JB heads to the library to try and track down the book she thinks the mugger is quoting from. The librarian conveniently wanders away from her desk so JB can see the screen – the book was borrowed by Wallace Evans.  As JB leaves the campus for the night, someone takes a potshot at her and drives away. As the hordes come running, JB spots the Greek characters for alpha and omega on the ground.

The next day JB takes a cab out to Kevin’s place. Kevin’s not home but his mum is – they get to chatting and it’s revealed that Kevin’s father (who was a cop) got done for corruption just because everyone else in his squad was. Mrs Kevin’s Mum doesn’t want him to be a cop. Kevin arrives home and asks Jessica to a) leave and b) drop the investigation. JB says she’ll leave but she won’t drop it – someone took a potshot at her, this time it’s personal.

Kevin goes to work and tells his boss he can’t stand by any more, he’s going to help JB. The captain tells him he’s on his own, and department policy means he can’t take any documents out of the precinct. Fortunately Kevin has a way around that, as he explains to JB later. He just ordered copies from the coroner’s office and picked them up before they entered the precinct. YOU GO KEVIN.

As they go through the reports, JB notices that no skin tissue was found on the serrated knife belonging to the mugger, only blood. Furthermore, there were no fingerprints on the knife, which makes no sense if the murdered guy used it to fight his attacker. JB sees it all now. They go to find the student who was shot across town, and after some grilling get him to admit he was the mugger.

Which basically leaves only one suspect. Which I thought was obvious about 10 minutes ago, but what do I know.

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Determined to restore his fragile ego,  Wallace sets out to catch the mugger. Except when he does he decides the easiest option is to shoot him, except when he shoots the bullet goes straight through the mugger and kills the mugging victim. You stuffed that up Wallace old man. And so, to cover up his boo-boo, Wallace created the idea of a crazy hobo transient as the killer. Except JB knew better.

JB ALWAYS KNOWS BETTER.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S08E01 – Bite The Big Apple

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Welcome to Season 8 Fletcherfans! And new opening credits! Because there’s change in the air in Cabot Cove! So many exclamation marks!

JB arrives home from a trip to the supermarket to find half of Cabot Cove in her lounge room singing “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow”

And don't you forget it

And don’t you forget it

The reason for the fiesta is that JB is moving part-time to New York City, to teach a criminology course at Manhattan University and wander around the schools in the area. Sounds legit to me.  Seth (who is back, hooray) is not pleased with the idea that Jess is renting an apartment but Jess says that she’s sick of living in hotels and she can’t just keep landing in on Grady all the time.

“Why not?” Says Seth. “He lands on you whenever it suits him!”

It's been awhile since Grady's even made an appearance. I'm suspicious.

It’s been awhile since Grady’s even made an appearance. I’m suspicious.

While Eve Simpson ponders the amount of attractive men JB will find in New York, one of Jessica’s neighbours, who I have never seen before this episode, asks about her new apartment. Jess tells him it’s small but cosy, and in an area where she feels completely safe.

Cut to police sirens, because duh.

At JB’s new bunker in NYC the former tenants – Mike Freeloaderlander and his secretary/thing on the side Sharon are in the process of moving out. Well, Mike is. Sharon has just found out she’s moving out and she’s not too happy about it either. Before she can complain the painters arrive ready to touch the place up for Our Heroine’s arrival the next day. Mike and Sharon leave, with a promise from Mike that the movers will be along to pick up the stuff and to just paint around it.

Downstairs, Mike offers Sharon twenty bucks for a cab but she tells him he’ll need it more than she will. Mike spots a car parked across the street from the building and runs back inside. Sharon decides to go hang out in a bookstore for awhile which is the first sensible thing she’s said or done all episode. Mike rushes back upstairs, orders the painters to take a coffee break (after being there roughly five minutes), pinches a screwdriver and then disappears into a back room.

Back in the Cove, Seth is registering his many objections to JB moving to New York, to which JB asks him the last time he went to NYC. Seth reminds her of the time he got kidnapped by the mob to save their dying father. “That was Boston.” Says JB.

“What’s the difference?” Says Seth.

JB promises to behave, but Seth has been reading statistics on women who are attacked and it’s horrifying. Bless you Seth. There are a lot of people on Twitter who apparently haven’t managed to work that out yet.

Meanwhile, in JB’s new building’s car park…

He is no more. He has ceased to be. Etc etc. There's really no bad time to quote Monty Python.

He is no more. He has ceased to be. Etc etc. There’s really no bad time to quote Monty Python.

When JB arrives in NYC the next day, her new doorman has some news about the former tenant of her apartment.

***Actual quote,

***Actual quote.

Undeterred by the seriousness of this murderous update, JB heads upstairs to unpack, and gets a visit from the two detectives investigating the case, Jack Boyle (previously seen as cop in about 100 episodes of MSW, by which I mean three) and Kawalsky from Stargate SG1 (insert not a time to lose your head joke here). They have arrived to collect what’s left of Mike Freelander’s personal effects/fanboy over JB’s arrival in the city. Boyle tells her that the kitchen drawers are sticking, and to get onto it right away.

Such service.

Later that day JB gets a visit from Mike Freelander’s wife, who has come to collect Mike’s things, but JB explains that the police already took them and that she should probably go home – it’s clear Mrs Freelander isn’t playing with a full deck of cards. She departs, but not before mentioning how ironic it is that the person who gave Mike so much pleasure is the same person who fired the shots that killed him. JB returns to the task at hand and turns the shower on, but when the shower rod comes crashing down she finds some rolled up invoices for Freelander and Freelander Import/Export inside the rod.

Because she is a top citizen, she goes to report her find to Boyle and Acosta/Kawalsky, and finds them at the aforementioned import/export company having a chat with Mike’s brother Harry and his son Scott. Scott appears to be not that upset over the death of his uncle, as apparently he stole Scott’s promotion but they are all interested to see the invoices that JB found in her shower rod (“You looked there?” Boyle says, aghast and impressed). Each invoice has a piece of jewellery listed that isn’t on the original invoices that Sharon is ordered to retrieve and bring out from the office. Scott tees off on Sharon and Mike being in it together, so JB and the detectives discretely withdraw. While Boyle tries to hail JB a cab he warns her about the perils of being a private detective in New York, but she assures him she has no interest in getting involved.

e2

f2

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.

Inside F&F Importers, Harry scolds his son for airing the family dirty laundry in public, and that Scott didn’t get the promotion because he was a “pygmy”, at which point Scott informs his father Sharon has resigned, and where’s the gun Harry has for protection, it isn’t in his drawer.

Meanwhile, at the New York House Fletcher, JB arrives home to find the door open and the apartment torn apart.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Seems a safe bet.

Seems a safe bet.

Speak of the devil…

Naw Seth!

Naw Seth!

Sidenote: Here now are the three stages of being friends with Seth Hazlitt/dealing with problems, according to me.

k1

k2

Here endeth the lesson.

Here endeth the lesson.

Boyle and Acosta arrive on the scene to take a statement regarding the robbery. JB tells them nothing is missing and that she thinks it was related to the other matter.

“What other matter?” Says Seth.

“The murder. The last tenant was shot down in the carpark.” Says Boyle.

I have missed Seth's tantrums.

I have missed Seth’s tantrums.

Later that night, after Seth has helped JB clean up, she asks him whether he’s made reservations at any hotel. He tells her nope, he’s staying right there on the couch and he won’t take no for an answer. The next morning, Seth catches JB trying to sneak out to go sleuthing, but she refuses to have him hold her prisoner and takes off before he can get dressed.

He's a lumberjack and he's okay, he sleeps all night and he works all day.

He’s a lumberjack and he’s okay, he sleeps all night and he works all day.

Seth spots JB’s glasses on the mantle and goes to give them to her but the elevator doors are already closed. While he stands in the hallway in his pyjamas , JB’s neighbour across the hall peers out (who I’ve just realised is Seinfeld’s Mum argh that was killing me I knew I recognised her), sees Seth the lumberjack and slams her door shut with such a ferocity that the door to JB’s apartment slams shut in agreement, locking Seth out.

Pfft. This exact thing happened to me. Except the door slammed shut because the petrol station down the street exploded and I had to sit on the porch in my pyjamas waiting for my housemate while every news crew in Melbourne came to have a look. Not even kidding. There were helicopters. Seth, you got off lightly.

Downstairs, JB gets the good word from Ahmed the doorman and finds out about Mike’s sudden reentry into the building after seeing the car across the street, while Sharon went into the bookstore and either is still there or went out the back way.

Jess returns to the apartment, and Seth sneaks in behind her using his mad skillz.

Classic Seth.

Classic Seth.

But JB has no time to chat – she gets a phone call from Sharon requesting they meet. At the restaurant, Sharon tells JB a vaguely confusing story about how Harry Freelander’s wife went missing, and then he started after Sharon but she hooked up with Mike, and something something go ask Harry whose is the last signature on the invoices.

Back at the apartment Seth decides to make himself useful and fix the miscellaneous broken things around the apartment when he sees Seinfeld’s Mum’s door open again. He pops his head in and asks her if she knows anything about the murder but she informs him that she doesn’t talk to strangers and slams the door in his face (good thing he has keys this time). He shouts out he’ll be across the hall if she changes her mind – his name is Dr Seth Hazlitt.

This reminds me of the time Jon Stewart was on The Nanny.

This for whatever reason reminds me of the time Jon Stewart was on The Nanny.

Back across town, JB decides to take Sharon’s advice and goes to see Harry Freelander. She sees him disappear into the back of the shop and goes round to the delivery entrance to get in. Once inside, she hears shots before a dark figure slams into her as they leg it out of the store. Jess goes in for a closer look and finds the body of Harry on the floor.

Boyle and Acosta are called to the scene and Boyle is pissed that JB has been disobeying his suggestion to stay out of the case. She tells him that since she got broken into she didn’t have a choice and decides she’s going back to her apartment, where she discovers she’s lost her key. Fortunately Seth is in a good mood and so lets her in without comment. He tells her about his interrogation of Seinfeld’s Mum, and that Mike Freelander came upstairs during General Hospital and threw the painters out, and the police arrived during Marcus Welby MD. Please don’t ask me what any of those words mean.

Seth returns to his task of declogging the drain and finds the offending blockage – a 25 carat diamond. JB calls Acosta to alert him to the find, and apparently learns something very interesting, so interesting in fact that she can’t be bothered mentioning it right now.

And because I’ve just decided I’m going to make quesadillas for lunch, and that this has taken me ages to write because I a)can’t get off Twitter and b)have had to rescue pants blown off the clothes line three times now, I’m going to fast forward a little bit.

I did not see this coming.

I did not see this coming.

JB sets up the sting with Acosta to trap Boyle. It would appear that Boyle was sick of having no money and wanted in on the Freelander scam, but when Mike Freelander tried to keep the diamond for himself Boyle shot him.

So there you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think my underpants just got blown into the neighbours tree.

On reflection, maybe hanging my washing out when there's 100km winds outside wasn't the best idea.

On reflection, maybe hanging my washing out when there’s 100km winds outside wasn’t the best idea.

S07E22 – The Skinny According to Nick Cullhane

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Fletcherfans, meet Nick Cullhane.

So much plaid.

So much plaid.

Nick Cullhane, it turns out, is not a used car salesman but is in fact a detective writer/beer spokesman. Or at least he was. He just got the boot from his boss Ogden Schmesser and his two henchmen Phil Mannix and Gordon Forbes. Fun fact, Ogden’s grandfather is Drew Carey according to this painting.

Trust me on this okay? It's 100% definitely him

Trust me on this okay? It’s 100% definitely him

Oggie, seen in this picture playing some sort of golf game on his Gameboy, is concerned that Nick is preparing to write some sort of expose about him, and Gordon informs Nick that they aren’t renewing his contract. Nick – who owes his bookmaker at least 100K – doesn’t take the news well and departs, just as Phil Mannix turns up. Phil waits for Nick to depart before revealing that he couldn’t find the manuscript in Nick’s place. Oggie assumes that’s the end of that and he can concentrate on living large but Gordon points out that life will not be so large if Oggie’s grandfather Drew Carey gets hold of the manuscript.

Out in the carpark Nick is about to head off when a local toughguy/boxer shuffles him into another car and escorts him to see his bookmaker and boxer manager, Vikki Palumbo, who isn’t not too pleased with him. Nick owes her 150K and she wants it today. Nick tells her he’s going to get a whopping big advance for his next book and he’ll give her the money then, he swears. Vikki gives him 24 hours, then after he leaves calls a friend in New York to find out just how good this new Nick Cullhane book is. The next day, Vikki and her boxer pal Richard arrive at Nick’s cabin just as Our Heroine is leaving a voicemail telling Nick how wonderful she found his new manuscript, and she’d like to know his secret. Inside the cabin is a mess and Nick is nowhere to be found.

Vikki has a solution. She has another client, a private detective, who owes her some money. She gives him two options, pay up or find the manuscript. She plays him the recording of the phone message on Nick’s machine and tells him to find the mysterious woman who has the manuscript.

I mean what were the odds?

I mean what were the odds?

Harry reluctantly agrees to take the job. Vikki tells him all he needs to do is track down the mystery woman, and go and get the manuscript. Vikki will tag along too, which Richard doesn’t approve of – he tells Harry if he likes his hands he should keep them to himself.

“Everything I do should be so easy!” Says Harry.

Sidenote, the dress is amazing and I'm pretty sure I had a skirt in that material.

Sidenote, the dress is amazing and I’m pretty sure I had a skirt in that material.

Up in the Cove, Sheriff Metzger and Deputy Floyd see Nick arrive on the bus, but Mort can’t work out where he knows the guy from.

“Boston!” Says Floyd.

“How do you know he’s from Boston?” Says Mort.

“Bus came from there.” Says Floyd.

Mort ain't got time for that

Mort ain’t got time for that

Meanwhile, Nick has just arrived at House Fletcher looking a little worried, but never mind that because BEHOLD THE SHINY BELT OF JUSTICE.

IF I COULD DRAW MY APPROVAL OF THIS BELT I WOULD

IF I COULD DRAW MY APPROVAL OF THIS BELT I WOULD

Nick has arrived to ask for the copy of the manuscript he sent her – whomever trashed his place trashed his computer and destroyed his copy of the manuscript. Jess tells him she doesn’t have it and he flips out until she explains that she gave it to Ben Devlin, the local newspaper man, for a second opinion. He’s away fishing in Canada though.

h2

Unauthorised touching of the Queen will not stand.

Unauthorised touching of the Queen will not stand.

Before JB can explain any further, there is a knock at the front door which sends a spooked Nick out the back door. A very confused JB opens the door to find Nick with Vikki.

Time for JB to put the kettle on, by which I mean get the whisky out.

Time for JB to put the kettle on, by which I mean get the whisky out.

Vikki is revealed to be Nick and Harry’s bookmaker, prompting Jessica to say “women are breaking new ground in new professions Miss Palumbo.”

I'll take it at this point.

I’ll take it at this point.

Back in Boston Oggie’s minions have learned that Vikki and Harry have gone to Cabot Cove, courtesy of Phil’s snooping around Richard’s desk. Gordon reminds them that whoever has read the manuscript and can walk and talk afterwards could pose a problem to them.

Later that night Jess gets a call from Nick, wanting to know if the people who were at her place that afternoon were guys by the names of Forbes or Mannix. Jess explains that it was Vikki, and Nick’s mood doesn’t improve. He tells JB if Gordon or Phil turn up at her house she should pretend she doesn’t know him.

Over at Ben Devlin’s house Harry and Vikki are casing the joint when they spot a figure coming out of a window. Harry goes to investigate and finds Nick, who punches him in the face and runs away before the approaching Sheriff can intervene. Vikki heads back to the hotel and apparently hooks up with Phil Mannix, who alerts his bosses that at least 2 people have read the very-much-in-existence manuscript, and tells Vikki to keep her mouth shut. As he leaves he spots Richard in the foyer of the hotel asking for Vikki’s room number.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort and Harry are firing potshots off at each other, and Jess has had about enough.

Preach it sister

Preach it sister

Jess tells Mort that the whole business is to do with Nick Cullhane, and that’s all she’s willing to say.  At the diner later, she feels bad that she didn’t tell Mort everything but Harry says they’re just doing their jobs. Jess tells Harry that the missing manuscript is the story of a wealthy playboy and his dodgy lawyer friend who fake a kidnapping attempt in order to get money out of a rich relative – a story that sounds eerily close to the story of Oggie’s kidnapping five years earlier. An expose on how Oggie and Gordon planned the whole thing would explain why Nick was so worried. Harry wonders if the manuscript might be in Ben’s office at the newspaper and Jess shrugs.

At home that night, Jess is getting ready for bed when she hears a knock at the door. She leaves the chain on and opens the door – it’s Gordon the dodgy lawyer looking for the manuscript. Jess tells him she doesn’t have it and tries to close the door but he sticks his hand in the way. Jess tells Gordon that if she calls out her neighbours will hear, and she knows that many of them have guns. (Obviously. It’s America. Even the guns have guns). Gordon tells her he’ll come back in the morning.

Harry decides to break into the newspaper office to see if he can find the manuscript but no sooner had he picked the lock on the front door someone punched him in the stomach and fled, leaving him doubled over, fumbling for what turns out to be a gun, with the body of Nick Culhane on the floor. Mort takes this opportunity to turn up, beaming. Back at the sheriff’s office JB and Harry are exchanging theories while an increasingly annoyed Mort demands more information. Finally he loses it completely and demands they tell him who Oggie is, what the manuscript is, and who got kidnapped.

The next day Oggie arrives in Cabot Cove demanding answers. Phil, who has had it up to here with Oggie’s mouthing off promptly quits his job as henchman, until Gordon gets Oggie to apologise. Over at the hotel, Vikki is mourning the loss of her 150K that Nick owes her, while Richard the boxer is demanding information on her relationship with Harry McGraw, Phil Mannix and every other man that she’s ever met, so she throws him out – straight into the arms of Mannix and Gordon, who demand to know where the manuscript is. Richard swears he can produce it for cash, but Mannix decides to beat the crap out of him instead.

Meanwhile, Mort goes to the aide of Jess with a punctured Fletchermobile, and on the way home discuss the case. The lack of gunshot residue proves that Harry didn’t kill Nick, and more than that, Mort found out that Vikki and Nick used to be a thing, so he’s picked her up and arranged for state troopers to arrest Richard when he turns up. Jess thinks this case is more complicated than that but Mort is convinced – and hasn’t ruled out Harry being involved at least a little bit.

Back at home, Jess received a package from the postman – Ben Devlin has sent down the manuscript. Before Jess can even look at it, Gordon the shady lawyer appears from a back room, demanding the manuscript. He moves towards her slowly.

Fortunately JB’s hero steps in.

The names McGraw. Harry McGraw.

The names McGraw. Harry McGraw.

Harry thinks they have their man, but JB isn’t sure and asks Gordon if he was the one who searched Nick’s place. He says it wasn’t him, it was Phil.

This gives Jess an idea. She sends Gordon to the hotel, where Oggie and Phil are getting ready to go back to Boston. Gordon is furious. He knows who blabbed all their secrets to Nick Culhane and it wasn’t the secretaries.

To be fair, he looks shady as.

To be fair, he looks shady as.

When Phil realises the game is up, and Oggie and Gordon know he told Nick everything, he pulls a gun. Fortunately, the Justice Bros step in.

JUSTICE BROS, DOING JUSTICE THINGS SOMETHING SOMETHING I'm not a jingle writer.

JUSTICE BROS, DOING JUSTICE THINGS SOMETHING SOMETHING I’m not a jingle writer.

And that, dear Fletcherfans, concludes season 7 of Murder She Blogged. This is the last time we see both Deputy Floyd and Harry McGraw.

Naw. We'll miss you Floyd!

Naw. We’ll miss you Floyd!

But it’s not all bad news. There’s still 4 more seasons of shenanigans to go. And this episode has what can only be the best freeze frame ending of all time.

WE KNOW ALL YOUR SECRETS AND WE ARE JUDGING YOU ACCORDINGLY.

WE KNOW ALL YOUR SECRETS AND WE ARE JUDGING YOU ACCORDINGLY.