Welcome to season nine, (welcome to a new version of the theme song I think) and welcome to Milan Fletcherfans!

The Milan Film Festival is on, and anyone who is anyone and some people who aren’t are in town to congratulate themselves on a marvellous bit of film-making. One film in particular, All the Murderers, is garnering a bit of attention, as it’s based on a book by a certain mystery author we all know and worship.

Also, Caesar Romero is in town working it with the ladies under the name of Marcello Abruzzi.

“Whoever voted for Nick Nolte as sexiest man alive clearly hasn’t seen Marcello Abruzzi” says the Countess. 

Nick Nolte was hot #ThingsNotSaidSinceThe90s. I’ve conducted a thorough analysis of Nick Nolte, for science, and have concluded however that the Countess is in fact correct. Myth confirmed.

Anyway, the director of All The Murderers, Jim Randall, is drifting through the festival with his girlfriend/leading actress Louise Thayer, before excusing himself to go and meet his rival for the top gong, Steve Morrison, who produced competing film Day of Heroes. Steve wants Jim to direct his next picture, but Jim is under contract for two more years to Catherine Wayne productions and from the sound of things she’s not likely to loan him out. Jim says he is on his way to speak to her and Steve tells him to do what he has to – throw her off the roof if necessary.

Hashtag foreshadowing.

Our Heroine rolls up at that moment, much to the delight of the gathered paparazzi. Wouldn’t you know it, Jim’s father lives in Cabot Cove and Jim used to make short films up there during the summer so Jessica was delighted that he ended up directing the film of her book. WHAT WERE THE ODDS.

Tired of the surging pack of reporters and paparazzi, Jessica squints across the foyer of the hotel and says “Is that Mel Gibson?”

The pack disperses.

#ThingsNotSaidSinceThe90s

Jim takes Jess to meet Paul Crenshaw, a man who wanted to produce All The Murderers but was beaten out by Catherine Wayne. Paul has just got off the phone with some bad news and so they leave him to it. I think. To be honest at this point I was watching the background extras – specifically a group of photographers taking photos of what I thought was each other, while a Sikh family looked on.

Both times I have watched this episode and I can’t not watch these guys.

Jess flees to the safety of her non-smoking suite, while Jim goes to see Catherine Wayne. She’s heard the rumours about Arc of Steel, the film Steve Morrison is putting together, and there’s no way she’s letting Jim out of her contract with him. They argue and Jim storms out.

Turns out Catherine has a bit on just at the moment – she’s just found out that All The Murderers is a million dollars over budget, and there are payments to accounts she doesn’t recognise. She tells her accountant, Tom Hillier, and he promises to look into it.

At lunch, Jim introduces Jess to Steve Morrison, and JB is delighted to see her old friend Andrew Thayer, who it turns out is Louise’s father. They sit down to lunch and Tom Hillier passes by. He stops to say hello but gets a phone call on his fancy cellular phone from Katherine and has to rush off. Word has got out about the dodgy accounting but Tom tells them he is going to get to the bottom of it. After he leaves Jim tells JB that Tom was and probably is still in love with Katherine.

That night is the black tie gala screening of All the Murderers and it’s a resounding success, naturally. Jess congratulates Katherine on the film and then hides behind a program while Katherine and Paul Crenshaw get into an argument.

THIS IS THE FACE OF INFORMATION ACQUISITION

After the screening everyone heads to the Countess’s palazzo for the party. Steve confronts Katherine but she says noone steals from Katherine Wayne. The Countess demands only smiles at her party.

Meanwhile…

Cesar is tearing up Milan.

Jess takes a break from Marcello’s wily charms and has a chat to Andrew Thayer, who is delighted to see Louise and Jim so happy. He tells Jess Jim has been a great support to them both, especially since Andrew hasn’t really worked in a while, and has offered Andrew to collaborate on the script for Arc of Steel. Across the room Tom tells Jim about the dodgy accounting and asks him to stop by his office in the morning to talk about it.

The next morning, Louise runs into Katherine at the cafe in the hotel. Katherine has a business proposition for Louise – a starring role in Katherine’s next picture and a screenwriting job for Andrew if Louise convinces Jim to abandon Arc of Steel. Louise tells Katherine to go to hell. YOU GO GIRL.

Jess pops by Katherine’s office later on. Katherine is in the middle of something but tells JB that Jim is in with Tom Hillier and would like a word. She sticks her head in and Jim asks her to lunch with himself and Louise. Tom waves but is busy on the phone and waving for Jim to bring him the giant marble ashtray sitting on the desk.

In her office, Katherine explains about the stand-off between herself and Jim but Jessica isn’t getting involved. Katherine also has a list of undecided prize jurors who she thinks Jess might be able to glad-handle into giving the top gong to All the Murderers but Jess says that’s not her style. If All The Murderers is the best film it will win, if not some other fine film will. Katherine hands over Jess’s itinerary for while she’s in Milan.

If you throw that much shade at JB you’d better accept the consequences. Which is presumably being murdered.

Down by the pool later that afternoon Jim and Louise announce their engagement. While the champagne flows and the toasts are declared, a phone on the table rings – it’s Katherine. She wants to meet Jim in her suite in an hour. When Jim arrives there he’s steeled for a fight but Katherine wants to talk about the dodgy accounting. Before she can explain there’s a call from Tom Hillier looking for Jim. When Jim gets off the phone he tells Katherine he has to make a personal call and goes into the next room.

Later, JB leaves a press conference and heads back to her room, while Louise goes in search of Jim at Katherine’s suite. As JB arrives on the floor, there’s screams from a maid. JB rushes in and finds Louise standing in Katherine’s room while Jim hovers over Katherine’s dead body. He’d been in the next room, he tells JB, and when he came out she was dead on the floor, an ashtray next to her head.

(Now if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, you know who the killer is at this point. But let’s all play along because the writers had 15 more minutes so let’s pretend we have no idea who could have possibly killed Katherine Wayne).

Inspector Lombardo is called to the scene, and quickly succumbs to JB’s charms. He allows her to stick around and watch him work. He asks Jim about the phone call with Tom Hillier and he says that Tom told him to call back from the phone in the bedroom on Tom’s private line so Katherine couldn’t hear their conversation, but that when he tried the line there was no answer. He tried two or three times, but couldn’t get through so went back into the main room and found Katherine’s body. Louise tells Lombardo she’d come to give Jim his notebook that he’d left on the terrace, he never went anywhere without it. Lombardo tells Jim to go down to the precinct for more questions. They are interrupted by paparazzo and long-time JB fan Giorgio on the balcony taking photos. The police escort him out and JB goes to take a look outside, inadvertently locking herself out in the process. Lombardo comes to her aid, and delightedly tells her that she’s just proven that the only way into the room is through the hallway.

Jess sees Steve Morrison down by the pool, already working hard to get the ball rolling on Arc of Steel. He tells Jess he was in a screening at the time of the murder, so he’s off the hook. JB’s next visit is to Tom Hillier, who says that he sat waiting for Jim to call back but that the phone never rang. Inspector Lombardo calls up to tell JB that they found Jim’s fingerprints all over the murder weapon – the ashtray.

Jessica goes to see Jim in the cells and he tells her he never touched the ashtray. Jess is suspicious of this business with the dodgy accounting, and Jim tells her that’s what Katherine wanted to see him about – there were account numbers she didn’t recognise but that she never got to tell him more than that.

Hot on the trail, JB sneaks into Katherine’s office to get some more info.

Pretty sure this is what Julian Assange looked like creating Wikileaks.

Jess tracks the accounts to company names and then calls her lawyer Jonathan in London to get him to find out more information. After, as she’s leaving the hotel, she notices a conveniently disguised ladder leading up to the balcony of Katherine’s room.

That night, Jessica is about to go to dinner with Marcello Abruzzi when a) he lights up and b) a lightbulb goes off.

Alright, enough of these shenanigans, you know what the deal is.

THE SHOCK!

IT’S ALWAYS THE ACCOUNTANT.

But for real though – tracking phone accounts, getting cellular phone records, calling them cellular phones, being thankful for Mel Gibson – this ticked all the 90s boxes. All that was missing was a Rachel haircut.

Later gang!

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