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S09E13 – Dead Eye

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We’re in Florida this week Fletcherfans, but not for the Murder She Wrote Golden Girls Crossover Special that I demand someone travel back in time to make. JB is in town to go about her Fletcher-y business and is intrigued by a newspaper headline about the recently discovered skeleton of a private detective that went missing just after the Kennedy assassination in 1963.

JB isn’t the only one interested in this sudden skeletal arrival. In Chicago, private investigator and all-around wise guy Charlie Garrett (aka Trapper John from MASH) is delighted to hear the news – it turns out the dead guy, Bernie Callan, owed him some money and apparently now that Bernie’s corpse has turned up, Charlie can collect. Solid logic. Meanwhile, somewhere else in Florida, Santo Angelini is concerned that photographs the dead guy had might also resurface, while up in Colorado Bernie’s daughter Laura is packing her bags for Florida after hearing the news that her father has shown up.

Charlie heads on down to Florida to see police chief Herman Gillis to claim his money – it turns out that the body was found with 10 grand on it. Herman tells him they also found Charlie’s business card on the body so thanks for making his job easier, and that Charlie should start thinking about where he was at the end of 1963.

That moustache needs to be arrested immediately.

Meanwhile, JB is heading out of her hotel when she hears a woman shouting on the phone. It’s Laura Callan, a bit peeved that someone has broken into her hotel room and ransacked it. She sees JB sticky beaking and slams the door.

Over at Charlie’s less salubrious hotel, the same deal – Charlie wanders into his room to find an old guy in a cowboy hat going through his stuff. Instead of answering Charlie’s questions the man punches him in the face and legs it, leaving the hotel manager to call the police.

Later that day, Laura finds out who JB is and wants to apologise for slamming the door in her face. (Damn straight). JB tells her there’s nothing to apologise for, and asks her if anything was stolen. Laura says no, which surprises JB as she figured it had something to do with Laura’s father’s murder. Laura tells her that if her father was murdered it was just a random killing, there’s no way it could be anything more than that.

Laura and JB head down to see Herman to find out more about Bernie’s case, but Herman just wants to talk about how much he doesn’t like Jessica’s books.

Honestly, why do people do this? Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean I have to care about it!

Although he does go on to point out that hers are too real-t0-life, and he hates that. I can relate. As we all know I fully reject reality when it doesn’t suit my interests, which is most of the time, to be honest. Charlie Garrett wanders in under police escort, and Herman introduces him to Laura as one of her father’s associates, although not one she’s likely to get any truth out of.

Charlie, Laura and JB adjourn to a diner, where Laura asks Charlie about some photos that she has that belonged to her father – the only real thing she has left that was his, as his office/house burned down not long after he died. Charlie recognises the woman as the wife of some tycoon or another, and figures that Bernie had been hired to catch her out in an affair, but JB thinks it’s about something else. She shows Charlie another photo and they freak out. The photo is of Lee Harvey Oswald and another man.

Well this has taken a turn.

The gang stash the photos in the safe at Charlie’s hotel and go to call the FBI. Agent James Whitman meets them at the hotel and agrees to take a look at the photos but he’s dubious as to their authenticity (despite JB’s insistence) and has no comment on Charlie’s claims that the man with Oswald is renowned mobster Santo Angelini. He has even less comment when they walk into the hotel’s reception to find the poor manager lying on the floor with a whack to the head and the safe empty.

Down at Herman’s office, they explain the situation to Herman. Whitman is called away and tells Laura he hopes the police find out what happened to her father. JB insists that they all saw the photographs and Whitman says he’s sure they believe they did. JB is going all in on this conspiracy business. As Whitman leaves Dr Abner Farrow, professor of modern history, arrives at the request of Herman. Jess lays out her theory – Bernie was in Dallas taking photos of the cheating wife a couple of days before the assassination, and then after Kennedy is shot and Oswald’s face is everywhere he realises what he has.

Back at the hotel, Laura doesn’t understand why her father would have hung on to the photos and not turned them in, and Charlie tells her the ten grand they found on his body makes it pretty clear – he was going to blackmail someone with them. Laura refuses to believe it, but JB says it makes a lot of sense. Although, there’s always the chance that she’s wrong! (There isn’t). Charlie thinks that now the photos have gone, that’s the end of it.

Over at house Angelini, Santo is simultaneously burning photos and berating his minion for not finishing the job he didn’t finish in 1963. The minion assures Angelini that the negatives don’t exist or else someone would have tried to blackmail him by now, but Angelini isn’t afraid of blackmailers, he’s afraid of the FBI. He wants proof the negatives no longer exist.

Jess and Laura go to Agent Whitman’s office to demand answers and also the current whereabouts of Santo Angelini. He tells them the Warren Commission resolved the assassination ages ago, and if they want to dig it up then they can do it on their own time. JB yells at him about burglaries and responsibility and he caves, telling JB he’ll get back to her.

I call shenanigans. No way would Jessica Fletcher be a conspiracy nut. This just doesn’t make sense to me.

Back at the hotel JB spots a familiar looking man in a Stetson side-eying them – she thinks he’s been tailing them all day. She goes over to confront him (like a boss!) and demands to know who he is or she’ll call hotel security. He turns around and walks away, leaving Laura to wonder what that was all about. JB thinks the person who had the photos stolen isn’t satisfied and wants the negatives. They go upstairs, as Dr Farrow peers over a newspaper.

Upstairs Jess gets on the phone with Whitman, who tells her he’s tracked down Angelini. JB says never mind that, if those photos weren’t real why was her room broken into and ransacked? Also where is Santo Angelini? Meanwhile, Charlie pops in to say goodbye to Laura and to tell her he doesn’t need the money her father owed him anymore – he’s picked up a fancy new client and his financial woes are solved, so he’s heading back to Chicago.

That night, the Stetson wearing bloke meets his new friend in the car to talk about how much money they can get out of Angelini when his friend pulls a gun and shoots him.

Jess and Laura are having breakfast the next morning when news of Stetson’s death comes on. Jess finds the whole thing rather suspicious and calls Agent Whitman to get him to do a background check on this mysterious Frank Hemet.

Jess and Laura head down to Hermans office, where Charlie has already wandered in to confirm that Hemet was the guy who tossed his room but Herman’s not having a bar of it.

A fax comes in for JB:

Helpful labelling is helpful.

Frank Hemet, it turns out, moved to Florida from Dallas a couple of months prior to Kennedy being assassinated, after being booted off the police force for suspected ties to organised crime. Dr Farrow (inexplicably also there) thinks everyone is reading too much into it, but JB thinks they should find out if Hemet owned a .45 – they might solve Bernie’s murder after all.

At House Angelini, Santo is on the phone assuring someone that he is about to get his hands on the negatives and that if anything should happen to him, a trail of breadcrumbs is going to lead to whoever is on the other end of the phone. Whoever it was hangs up, just in time for Jessica to make her entrance. She tells him she just wanted to make sure that what she’d heard was true, that Santo was the person in the photo with Lee Harvey Oswald. Santo tells her that such a claim is dangerous and baseless on account of the photos being stolen, and Jessica agrees, telling him she also doesn’t have the negatives so he can stop tearing her hotel room apart. She’s not giving up though, and he tells her that if such a conspiracy exists, the people involved would not look kindly on her meddling.

Back at the hotel, JB gets an envelope left for her at the front desk, before running into Dr Farrow, who warns her to leave the Kennedy assassination alone – her reputation will be destroyed if she continues down this path. JB is touched by his concern, except doesn’t he have a book coming out that supports the Warren Commission findings, even though after the assassination a reporter by the name of D. A. Farrow had said he’d heard four shots, and isn’t Abner’s first name Desmond?

*doo doo doo doo DOO Dooooooo* #XFiles

Inside her room, she finds Charlie, who wants the envelope she’s just received. They’re the negatives, that Charlie had the whole time. He tells her he’d never looked at them until after Bernie died, and when he printed them he didn’t recognise anyone in them and so filed them away again until Bernie’s body turned up.

The phone rings – it’s Laura. She’s being held at gunpoint and begs Jessica to come alone to the docks and to bring the negatives. Charlie wonders how they knew Jess even had them and Jess quickly finds a bug hidden in the lamp.

Down at the docks, Santo’s minion has Laura tied up at gunpoint. Santo himself emerges from the shadows demanding the negatives but Jessica tells him she doesn’t have them. Santo gives the word to shoot Laura and Charlie appears, gun fixed on Santo. Laura elbows the minion in the chest and he throws her into the water. Charlie dives in to save her, and Jessica sighs as the negatives float away into the murky depths.

Back at Herman’s office, he tells them that the divers and Coast Guard couldn’t find a trace of the negatives, but the good news is Frank Hemet definitely killed Bernie Callan, and he’s sure that they’ll find some trace evidence that Angelini killed Hemet.

No, they won’t, says JB. Laura did it.

Well that escalated quickly.

Turns out that retransmitted plot point I mentioned earlier was retransmitted because Laura received the original, realised that Frank killed her father and so she killed him.

Herman is delighted – two murders neatly wrapped up. Charlie thinks that as soon as Angelini gets arrested they will be able to find out what really happened in Dallas.

Just then, Herman gets a phone call – you guys! Angelini was killed in a car accident not three minutes earlier, and they’re a bit worried that the brake lines were cut. Do you think that maybe it was deliberate…?

Ugh, whatever. Forget the Kennedy assassination, I want to find out who the hell DB Cooper was. Do you really think that many people could keep their mouth shut about a conspiracy to assassinate a president? Half the politicians in Australia don’t even know what country they are a citizen of.  Of course, I could also be a government plant, set about maintaining the status quo as set down by the Illuminati, the Lizard People and the space hamsters.

We’ll never know.

Later gang!

 

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S09E12 – Double Jeopardy

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, where JB is issuing homework to her crime-writing class, while a basketball game goes on in the gym next door being led by Father Michael, aka Chakotay from Star Trek Voyager.

Pointing man represents me every time there’s a celebrity within 1o paces (if he’s pointing at food).

He is *puts on sunglasses* A LITTLE PRIEST. #nailedit

Father Michael thinks Jessica should have a priest in her next book, but Jess thinks the holy father might have more divine mysteries to solve. Then they start listing priest detective mysteries, and I wandered off to see what was happening at Comic-Con (I am only watching Justice League for sassy Jeremy Irons, there I said it). Father Michael thinks people need to see priests as down for solving secular mysteries, and not the dusty old stereotypes of the clergy.

(Not for nothing but I started watching The Keepers yesterday and just between you and me dusty old stereotypes are the least of the clergy’s problems).

Jess tells Father Michael that no one would believe that a doctor of philosophy that built up a successful business would become a parish priest. Father Michael tells her the story doesn’t have to be about him.  He notices the Galvan brothers talking in a corner and asks them what’s up – they tell him that the jury has reached a verdict. He promises he will be there.

Turns out the jury was reaching a verdict as to whether Frank Fernandez (previously seen here) was guilty of the murder of Roberto Galvan, Jose and Tony’s father. Turns out, due to a lack of body and some circumstantial evidence, he is found not guilty. His son Raymond declares that there was no body because there was no murder, and Tony swears he will rip Frank’s face off. His mother Maria scolds him and he takes off, followed by Jose. Frank tells Maria that it’s all over, he doesn’t have to deal with her fantasies anymore. Maria says they both know the truth and storms off. Father Michael and Frank glare at each other for a moment before he too storms off.

A couple of weeks later JB is returning homework to her class, who happens to include Jose Galvan. He’s unhappy to get a C on his most recent assignment, but JB says she knows how hard it is to write when your mind is on something else. She asks him if the story is based on his brother, and he says it is – since the verdict Tony has been getting angrier and angrier every day.  Class begins and today it’s about research. The class ask JB how she does it and she shows them her murder research book, filled with articles and reference notes. She tells them they can check it out at the library.

After class JB chats with Jose and his wife Ruth. Jose has decided to apply for the police academy, much to Ruth and Maria’s worry. A car pulls up at the kerb and Raymond Fernandez picks up one of the girls from the class while issuing a warning to Jose to stay out of his family’s business.

Sidenote: THIS JACKET.

IT LOOKS SO WARM I AM SO JEALOUS MY SHAMPOO SOLIDIFIED MY APARTMENT IS THAT COLD I HATE YOU WINTER.

As Raymond drives off, Lieutenant Davis pulls up to issue a similar warning to Jose and his brother, but Jose tells him that if the police did their jobs there’d be nothing to worry about. He and Ruth leave, and Davis admits to JB that Jose has a point. The case should have never gone to trial, there just wasn’t enough evidence but now Frank Fernandez has gotten away with murder.

At church, Father Michael congratulate the Galvan’s on not going after Fernandez and announces he is going to run for Roberto’s seat on the council. Maria is delighted, but Tony tells Father Michael he’d better get used to looking over his shoulder.

Meanwhile, OH GOD THE NEW KINGSMAN TRAILER LOOKS AMAZING SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

That night, Frank and Raymond Fernandez are celebrating the end of their legal troubles with a game of pool and debating the consequences of Father Michael’s election tilt. Raymond thinks Father Michael should have known better what with what happened to Roberto, and that Father Michael is going to need more than a crucifix to help him in the real world. Frank tells his son to watch his tone.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Father Michael goes to visit JB for a pep talk but they are soon interrupted by Frank Fernandez, who wants to encourage Father Michael not to run for council.

100% didn’t hear a thing.

After Fernandez leaves, Jessica asks Father Michael just what their beef is, and he tells her it’s nothing. Oh, except Fernandez is his father.

DUN DUN.

Father Michael explains that he found out when he was 10 – when his mother was dying – and that she told him to stay away from Frank, he’s bad news. Which turned out not to be a problem as Frank never acknowledged Michael or tried to contact him. Jess thinks he came with more than threats on his mind, she thought he seemed concerned and regretful, but Father Michael’s like nah whatevs.

JB pops around to Maria Galvan’s plant store to pick up some bromeliads and have a cup of tea. Ruth and Jose are both working there – apparently Ruth went on a trip to the Carribean and came back with all sorts of new plants for the store which seems like questionable quarantine laws to me. (Australia’s laws are intense, and the laws between Tasmania and everywhere else doubly so).

Over at House Fernandez Frank discovers that Raymond is dealing crack and confronts him. Raymond tells him to calm down, he’s in the crack house business whether he likes it or not. Frank threatens to call the police but Raymond tells him he won’t, and he’s right.

That night JB gets a phone call from Lieutenant Davis – Roberto Galvan’s body has surfaced, literally.

“Are there any signs he was murdered?” Asks JB.

Seems definitive

Ponderous JB is ponderous.

The next morning Davis drops the news off to the Galvans and the boys are predictably pissed that Frank has seemingly gotten away with it. Davis warns them that he will come after them if they try anything on with Frank. Maria is quietly devastated, she thinks it’s all her fault that she pushed the DA into trying the case too early, but JB tells her that even if they’d waited there’s no guarantee Frank would have been convicted.

While Ruth confronts Jose about his lack of emoting re: his father, Raymond sidles up to an underworld pal of his and asks him if he’d mind coming to pay a visit on the Galvan brothers. They announce their arrival by smashing the glass on the front door of Maria’s shop, but the boys have already legged it. They stop on the fire escape so that Jose can give Tony his jacket, he decides to go back to check on his mother. Raymond and his henchdude, not finding the boys, tell Maria to tell them to stay gone, to which she replies if Raymond hurts her boys she will kill him herself.

Guys this episode is so longgggggggg.

Father Michael hears of what went down and goes to confront his father, to the point where Raymond pulls a gun on him. Frank assures Michael that there will be no more violence, and after Michael leaves gives Raymond a bollocking. Raymond starts whingeing about family honour and blah blah blah and Frank correctly wonders where a drug dealer gets off talking about honour. He orders Raymond to call off his henchdudes and later rings Father Michael to request a meeting at the church. Raymond overhears this and Frank tells him he wants Raymond out of the house and out of his life.

Frank arrives at the empty church, goes into the confessional and is sprayed by a shadowy figure wearing a St Julian’s jacket not dissimilar to Jose’s. The killer runs out of the church, spotted by Ruth, while Frank collapses in Father Michael’s arms which would have been totes poignant except they killed the music just to hear Michael say “Amen” before a big musical flourish and frankly the whole thing made me snort. (If you’ve seen the episode you’ll probably know what I mean. Very soap operaish)

Wow JB’s got 15 minutes to find the killer, she’d better get to work.

Seeing the Fletch Signal in the sky, Jess heads down to the church to console Father Michael, while Lieutenant Davis gets his detecting on. He spots a stain in the confessional which Father Michael says wasn’t there when he last used it, leading Davis (and JB) to suspect Frank might have been murdered. (Father Michael got called away at the last minute which is why he wasn’t there apparently, I was watching the Ready Player One trailer tbh).

Jess runs into Tony in the hallway getting a gun out of his locker but he won’t give it to her. He looks alarmed when she tells him that Frank is dead, and then jogs away, still wearing his brother’s jacket. The St Julian’s one. I feel like this is important.

The next day Davis tells JB that they’ve got a lock on the stain in the confessional – it contains a couple of poisons made from plants found in Jamaica. He asks JB if this ever came up in her class, and she tells him yes, and mentions the reference book she talked about. Davis tells her that the plants can both be found in the Galvan’s store, but Jess thinks that’s not proof of anything. Davis thanks her for the info and tootles off. Later that night, Jess overhears a confrontation between Father Michael and Raymond, when Raymond tries to donate 25K to the church ‘in memory of his father’ but Father Michael refuses to accept it.

Oh my god this episode just keeps going. 10 minutes Fletcher, get on to it.

Maria Galvan goes to see Davis at the precinct, only to be told that the only person to check JB’s recommended book on poisons out of the library was Jose. Maria quickly admits to the murder, but when she can’t correctly identify the poisons that were used he sends her home again. She fills JB in on what’s happened, but something doesn’t seem right and she heads down to the library. She asks the librarian who shows her the borrow sheet, for when the student doesn’t have their library card. The book in question has just been returned, and so Jess asks if she can borrow it.

DAMN STRAIGHT

Jessica is summoned to the church, where Father Michael has convinced Ruth to tell Jessica what she saw the night of the murder. She tells them about seeing Jose running away, she knew it was him because of his jacket. Later, Tony resurfaces and swears he never took the jacket off.

Long, LONG story short…

THIS IS THE LONGEST EPISODE IN HISTORY OR AT LEAST SINCE THE LAST TIME I SAID THAT.

Oh thank god. Obvious suspect is obvious, everyone goes on with their lives and I google pictures of Bat-fleck looking bored at Comic-Con because it might give me special powers, you can’t prove that it won’t.

Get ye to the nearest library Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

 

 

 

S09E11 – Final Curtain

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Fletcherfans if you’d just acquired the rights to a play and you wanted to stage a short run before taking it off-Broadway, where would you go?

Darn tootin’ you take it to Cabot Cove. Then Eve Simpson will get you a good deal on the local theatre that hasn’t been used for years and would you believe legendary actor David North used to tread the boards there before he moved to England?

Would you believe it guys, David North is back!

Also the brother of Richard Donat who was in Haven which was a great show.

And frankly, Eve isn’t coping.

Eve’s done. So very done.

Meanwhile, JB is hard at work trying to work out how a businessman will be killed foiling an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister. In this scene, the role of the businessman will be played by Mort Metzger, and the role of the Prime Minister will be played by Gatesy from Tripod*** a dummy.

This episode is in my top ten, you guys.

JB’s plans are interrupted by a phone call from Eve Simpson

“She’s making noises only a squirrel could understand.”

Eve finally manages to get out that David North is back in town. “NO!” Exclaims JB, excited. “Does Seth know?”

You tell me.

Guys Seth emoting is one of the weirdest things about this show and has happened exactly once before.

Seth is frankly losing his mind that his old pal David is back in town. David is delighted to see Seth too and invites him to come to dinner the next night after the auditions for the play. Seth says he can’t, he’s having dinner with Jessica. David says to bring her along, what actor doesn’t love a good mystery?

Indeed.

The next day auditions are underway for the supporting roles for the play. Under the watchful eye of director Kathryn Evans, producer Jerome Mueller, and David North, the hopefuls take the stage. First up is (surprise!) Eve Simpson and Lyman Taggart, a ring-in from Bangor. Eve nails it but Lyman is terrible, and when Kathryn gently tells him to leave the stage he loses it and starts abusing everyone. Jessica and Seth wander in to watch but Lyman eventually wears himself out and storms off the stage. David decides to take this as a sign and wanders over to be introduced to JB, who is delighted to meet him but not as much as he is to meet her.

Fun fact, Lyman is being played by the guy who played Jack in Profiler.

Over dinner, the cast and crew chat about the production – one man’s descent into madness, as portrayed by David North and some fancy new paint that only shows up under UV light (hashtag plot point). While everyone else gets up to dance, JB asks how it feels to be back on stage, and David says it’s wonderful. Seth can’t understand why he ever retired, and David tells him it wasn’t as much fun anymore. Also, he could never come back to Cabot Cove because he lost a dear friend, something Seth knows about clearly. David gets a shock when his old manager Eric Benderson appears – he heard David was back and just wanted to be sure that David had everything he needed.

Later in the night, dinner is winding down. Kathryn makes her departure, running into Lyman as she leaves. He storms in to tell David he drove 100 miles to see him, and that he used to think David was something special. All he wanted was a chance, but now he thinks someone should take David down a peg.

The next morning Seth pops around to JB’s for breakfast. He’s dying.

Oh, how I wish I didn’t know how he felt.

Seth is regretting all of his life choices, but specifically the ones that happened after he and David dropped Jess off the night before. According to Seth, David is coping with the day better than he is, but Seth is still concerned – he got the impression David was out for a good time even if it killed him. He is also concerned that his mouth feels like outdoor carpeting.

Guys, I don’t think Jessica has had a hangover in her life.

Far from hungover, David is at the theatre, examining with a little bit of horror the UV artwork that is meant to represent his descent into madness, while someone lurks in the shadows. Seth is also restored to life, thanks to JB’s cooking, and so offers to drive Jessica into town. Before they set off, Jess finds the scrapbook Seth made dedicated to his life-long friend (#bromantical). Jess notices a newspaper clipping not pasted in and Seth tells her it’s from a sadder time – this was the friend that David had lost, Vincent Chansing, who died in a car accident. (Fun fact, apart from the headline, the rest of the newspaper article is about the LA riots. Thanks, pause button!)

The phone rings – it’s Jerome Mueller, looking for Seth. There’s a problem at the theatre. Seth hurries down, dropping JB off in town in the process, and goes off to the theatre. Jess runs into Lyman again, who is super apologetic about his behaviour but really wants to work with David so if Jess could put in a good word maybe..? Jess tells him she can’t do it, and Lyman starts screaming got a light “CAN’T OR WON’T?”

Seth arrives at the theatre to find his friend barricaded in the dressing room. David is not in a good way, and he confesses to Seth that he’s scared. Of course, says Seth. Who wouldn’t be? But David is the best, he can nail his return to acting even with the time away. David thinks Seth is a very good friend, and he wishes they were talking about the same thing.

Job done, Seth leaves the theatre chatting to Eric Benderson, who tells him he appreciates Seth – there are people out there who wish David harm. JB arrives with Mort, who is desperate to meet his idol David North. Jess tells him to shush and they sneak in, followed by the parents of one of the other supporting cast members who commentate everything their son does.

Me when people talk/use their phones in the cinema. Don’t get me started on this.

Mort eventually loses his shit at the people behind him (to which I say well done sir) and bellows “DO YOU MIND?”

Up on stage, the actors fall silent. David comes down and asks him to repeat the line a couple of times, and announces that they have found the constable they need for the show.

BOOM! FORCED HAMILTON REFERENCE AT LAST! BOOM BOOM!

Later that night, David arrives at House Fletcher to take her to the cast party, as Seth got held up on Seth business. He apologises for being late, he had to go all the way across town to find a manual car, such is his hatred of automatic cars. While Jess shuts her computer down, she asks David if he’s feeling good about the play. He is – especially about the young actor from New York – he doesn’t get a lot of work so if this turns out to be his big break David will take a certain amount of pride. Jess knows the feeling, she has it whenever one of her students does well. “We repay the good things in our own lives by investing in someone elses.” She says. (Life Lesson #70)

Down at the theatre, Kathryn wants a word with Jerome. She’s pissed – she’s just found out that Eric Benderson has started demanding a 15% cut of the gross when the original plan was a three-way split between Kathryn, Jerome and David. Jerome tells her the play is nothing without David but not to worry, a lot can happen before the ink dries.

The party in full swing, Jess takes up residence next to the punch bowl. Mort is anxious not to make a fool of himself in the play, but Eve assures him he will be fine, he gets bumped off at the end of the first act. Jess spies Eric and Jerome arguing, but Eric later comes over to assure her that everything is fine, and to ask where David was. Jess points him out, but before Eric can go to him Lyman appears. Eric and another dude escort him out, Lyman shrieking.

Later, the party done, Seth is driving JB home when he realises he left his glasses at the theatre. Classic Seth. He tries to take JB home first but she says nonsense, they only just left the theatre, it will be quicker to turn around and go back now.

So they do, and wouldn’t you know it Eric Benderson is lying unconscious on the floor, covered in the UV paint. Hashtag plot point.

Eric is taken to hospital where Seth works on him but it’s no good. Mort tells JB that he did a bit of digging into Lyman’s life and learned he was in and out of institutions with a long line of crazy fan boy behaviour. The next day, despite Jessica’s theory that he’s staying at the Hill House (for reasons, don’t worry about it), they find him coming out of the Lighthouse Motel. Mort chases after him and Jess suddenly notices the room where Eric Benderson was staying is now on fire. JB reports it to the manager who goes at it with a fire extinguisher but the fire is too great. Also, gas.

Mort returns with Lyman in custody.

It sure did Mort.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Lyman swears he didn’t start the fire. At first, he says he was staying there but admits he only went there because he saw David North go in there and he wanted to apologise. Mort wonders if David saw who started the fire – JB wonders if it was David who started it. Or if someone started it because David was in Eric’s room.

They drive over to his house, but there’s no answer at the front door. Jess asks Mort if he can smell what she smells – gas. Mort breaks in and finds David unconscious on the bed, and carries him out, ordering Jessica to call for backup. They take him to Seth, who begrudgingly clears him to go home and rest. JB can tell something is wrong though, and after Mort leaves with David asks Seth what it is.

“Who says something is wrong?” Asks Seth.

ACTUAL QUOTE THIS EPISODE IS GLORIOUS

Seth can’t deny it. David told them that he’d been knocked unconscious but Seth examined him, there wasn’t a mark on him. Jess sadly thought that might be the case – all the doors and windows were locked from the inside at the house. Seth refuses to believe it but Jess has a point – David tried to commit suicide.

Deputy Andy pops in looking for Mort, but he’s just missed him – he’s taken David to the theatre, despite Mort being worried that Seth will kill him for taking David anywhere but home. Andy found a locked box under the bed – Jess takes a look and finds a fragment of a photo of a car. Seth can’t place it but Jess can. It’s the car that killed Vincent whatshisface, David’s friend. Jess compares it to the photo from the paper and it’s identical, except it was taken at night, not during the day. Jess asks Seth about the night of the accident, and Seth tells her that he got the call from Eric Benderson, who arrived at the accident after Seth and the sheriff. Vincent had been going to the airport to head home after breaking his arm.

“Which arm Seth?” Jessica asks.

“Right one,” Seth says. “Why?”

Jess knows why. And after recruiting Kathryn the director, she proves why.

Ah yes. The old covered in UV paint giveaway. Many have been brought undone by such….god I’m hungry.

This is what happens when your manager blackmails you after you leave the scene of an accident because you’re blind drunk and accidentally kill your best friend.

So, while Seth goes with David to the prison to make sure he’s okay, and Mort catches up on paperwork, let’s leave Our Heroine back at work on her book, and frankly doing an excellent impression of me writing this blog.

Later gang!

***If you get this reference take the rest of the month off.

S09E10 – The Sound of Murder

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Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB has branched out into writing classes, and is already dishing out some life lessons (Life Lesson #69 – “Believe me the most difficult part of writing is actually getting started!”)

As the class wraps up, one of the students, Holly Chase, informs JB that she has convinced her bosses at Rojam Records to let Jessica record her next audiobook there for free – she just needs to come in the evenings, and pop in the next day for a photoshoot with the Big Boss, Freddie Major (aka Vince Fontaine from Grease, and this episode)

The man himself, it just so happens, is across town ironing out the final terms of Rojam’s purchase by another company, led by a dude called Mitch Randall – mainly that band Mirabilis stays part of Rojam, but the A&R director goes on account of being mob connected. Freddy isn’t pleased about this but Mitch reminds him of the money. Outside a man in a van listens in, while on a completely unrelated note, Mitch Randall’s piece on the side Michelle has agreed to sign with Rojam, her voice is amazing, you’re gonna love her. And one more thing – Michelle says there’s some guy called Willie Piper who sounds amazing and Rojam should sign him immediately if not sooner.

So you know. There’s stakes.

Jessica arrives for her photo shoot the next day, but Freddie’s still in taking photos with Mirabilis.

There’s a lot going on there and I’m just talking about the hair.

Job done, the hair goes on its merry way and JB sits down at the piano with Freddie. She thanks him for the use of his studio and his sound engineer and he says “Sure! Hey you know anything about music Mrs Fletcher?”

HER FACE.

Freddie goes on to explain that Mirabilis have a new song coming out called Bulletproof but they’ve stuffed up the bass line and despite his pleas they won’t change it. Life is nothing but pain for Freddie.

Photo shoot over, it’s time for Jessica to go on with her day. Freddie invites her to the filming of the Bulletproof music video that Saturday, and they are joined by Richard Lefko (the Mob guy) and Charles George Drexler, the manager of Mirabilis. Coincidentally, both are in the new season of Twin Peaks.

I mean I want to talk about that last episode of Twin Peaks but it was…I mean I can….do you….it just….WHAT EVEN IS WORDS.

This is the water and this is the well you guys.

Freddie has a meeting with Richard and Charles, so Jess heads off for a tour of the building with Freddie’s right hand woman Julie. As they leave Jess bumps into a random executive and apologises, and Holly reminds Jessica that they have tickets to a Magnetech concert the next night. Julie is surprised to hear this, she doesn’t peg Jessica as a heavy metal fan.

I beg to differ.

Charles lays down the conditions for Mirabilis staying with Rojam, and reminds Freddie that he can’t afford to say no. Freddie vents his rage on Richard, who tells him to calm down and takes him to lunch. As they leave they hear Willie Piper playing – Freddie tells Richard they don’t have him signed, but that his producer is hanging out (hint hint) with Julie.

That night Jessica arrives at the studio to begin recording The Corpse Danced At Midnight, and hopes that it goes better than last time. The in-demand Willie Parker happens to be jamming out while his producer Paul gets ready to record JB, and is delighted to meet her, he loves her books. Jessica starts laying down some sick beats reading her story but the booth soon gets a visit from Freddie and Richard, and so when Jess wants to redo a scene, no one is paying attention. She presses the magic button and eavesdrops on Freddie’s frankly sinister pitch to Paul that Willie sign with Rojam Records. He says no, and Willie says where Paul goes he goes. Freddie tells him Julie’s job is on the line (which is news to Julie in the recording studio) but Paul won’t budge. The next day Freddie tries to weave his magic on Julie but she’s not going to help him get Willie and Paul to sign either, no matter what the threat.

Jessica and Holly go to the heavy metal concert, and it’s neither of their cups of tea.

I think this is more JB’s jam. Or possibly this.

Some more stuff happens while I googled heavy metal bands Jessica Fletcher would like, and then Richard and Charles meet in a car park to tell him that Freddie is selling the company, but that he’s also heard that Charles sold all his shares in Rojam, betting that the deal is going to go wrong.

Sidenote, if there was a Which Twin Peaks Character Are You Quiz I would totally be Dianne. Or the Log Lady. And I TOTALLY CALLED MICHAEL CERA PLAYING ANDY AND LUCY’S SON.

Fast forward to the film shoot and while Jessica Fletchsplains squibs to Holly Freddy makes one last pitch for Willie Piper. Willie turns him down and Freddy tells him that if he doesn’t play ball, Freddy will make it known that Willie did time for robbery. Because people gave a toss about that? Pfft. Freddy thinks it’s still 1962.

Holly gets a message for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. The random executive Jess bumped into is handing out business cards to all the blonde backup dancers, and Paul goes to investigate an amp. The shoot gets underway, and if I could work out how to gif this business to show in its full early 90s glory Fletcherfans I would. It’s a hell of a thing.

As the shoot continues, JB boogies in her seat but is concerned when a suspiciously real sounding gunshot goes off. Holly assures her it’s the gun beat and to just go with it. It’s just like watching Nine Inch Nails at the roadhouse, except I would rather watch Trent Reznor than whatever the hell this is any day of the week.

Charles Drexer pops up to see how JB is enjoying it all, another gunshot is heard, and the body of Freddy Major drops off a conveyor belt.

I’m so annoyed by this episode that I’m not even going to do a bit about Freddy not being bulletproof. TAKE THAT EPISODE FROM TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.

NYPD Lieutenant Bob Alan Terwilliger arrives and quickly rules that the killer lured Freddy backstage, shot him and dumped his body on the conveyor belt. Jess is sure she heard a gunshot come from the VIP lounge, but Terwilliger reminds her she also heard the gunshot come from behind the conveyor belt and to not get that look like he’s talking out his hat.

Hat is presumably code for arse.

Charles pops up again, to ask whether he can come by the next day to pick up the keyboard from the VIP lounge, Mirabilis need it for a thing in a couple of days. Richard also bobs up to ask Terwilliger whether he knows that Charles is the only person who benefits from Freddy being fired from life, after betting on the business deal going south. Terwilliger will look into it just as soon as he gets his bet with Jessica finalised – that his squashes will be bigger and tastier than her squashes by August.

Shit just got real.

Jess takes herself off to the VIP lounge, where she finds an upset Julie furious that the police are hounding Paul about leaving the set at the time of the murder. Jess starts fiddling around with the keyboard for reasons that I’m sure will be come important later.

Back at House Fletcher Jess feeds Holly and asks her who called for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. Holly says she can’t be sure, it was too loud. Jess is wondering about the sleazy blonde guy she keeps bumping into and Holly tells her the police told her it was a private detective lurking around. (I’ve watched this episode twice and not noticed him). Jess wonders what he might have been doing there, and Holly explains about the business deal Freddy was negotiating. Julie appears, looking devastated – Paul’s been arrested for murder, the murder weapon was found in his car. Jess asks her where Paul went at the time of the murder – apparently he went looking for Willie but couldn’t find him.

Jess decides to pay a visit to the private investigator, but he’s cleared out. His landlord Giorgi Pappavasilopoulos appears to tell her that he was evicted for lack of rent. Jess goes hunting in the basement and finds the file on Rojam Records in the trash. I can’t even explain how ridiculous this scene was.

JB learns that Richard Lefko was the one who hired the PI to bug Freddy, but she doesn’t believe he killed him. Terwilliger calls to find out what’s going on and offers to shout JB brunch at Tavern on the Green. On her way out Holly starts waffling on about piano music and Jess works out who the killer is.

Whatever makes this episode end faster.

So yeah! That’s T-Bag from Prison Break. #TheMoreYouKnow

So presumably Charles bumped off Freddy to ensure the deal went south and Charles made a lot of money? Meh, whatever.

Let’s just all picture JB at a metal concert, and continue on with our lives shall we?

Later gang!

 

 

S09E09 – A Christmas Secret

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A Christmas special! It’s Christmas in the Cove!

Even the cars are on point.

This particular establishment is the home of Mary and Alan Forsythe, who are throwing a little pre-Christmas shindig to welcome their daughter Elizabeth’s fiancee, Charlie McCumber to the Cove. And you know that when there’s a party…

Their entire relationship in a nutshell.

Jess says Charlie and Elizabeth make an attractive couple, and Seth says sure – they both have their health and they’re under thirty.

While Alan Forsythe pontificates on about his plans for Charlie coming in to the accounting company Alan has with Irving Lazarus, Seth fills JB in on the gossip – Irving’s son Bert is pissed that Charlie is being made vice-president when Bert is still the office manager. JB seems to remember Bert flunked math at school, which seems like a vital component of working at an accounting firm.

Alan continues on to talk about Amy Wainwright, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of.

Now there’s a show/person I haven’t thought about in quite some time

Apparently Amy works for Floyd Bigelow Male Gigolo, who runs the local hardware store. Alan wants to thank him too, but Floyds out back making out with Wanda Andrews (being played by Veronica Mars’s mother). Bert finds them and is told off for not knocking. They rejoin the party in time to see Charlie give Elizabeth a fancy emerald ring. Wanda wonders why she never gets a ring like that, Floyd tells her she doesn’t deserve one. Bert is put out that an army guy can afford such a ring, and Elizabeth used to wear his ring but Floyd points out that was high school and he should get over it.

While Seth and Mort investigate the lunch options, JB and Elizabeth have a quiet chat. Elizabeth thinks it’s all so sudden, but JB says maybe Charlie saw some things in the Gulf War that made him not want to wait. Charlie chats to his in-laws about his upbringing with his sister in foster homes. Mort interrupts to recruit Charlie for the Cabot Cove pistol club, and also to check if Charlie might want to join the Cabot Cove Carolers – Charlie says he’s a fair shot but no singer. (Side note look how Mort has gone all in on Cabot Cove since he moved there).

Charlie and Elizabeth finally get some alone time and Charlie gives Elizabeth his key at the hotel so they can see each other properly later. Nudge nudge. The party over, the guests all head outside, and Jess declares there’s going to be a white Christmas. Seth says bah humbug, snow is only good for traffic accidents and frozen extremities. (Couldn’t agree more, I have seen snow twice in my life and both times suspiciously).

Seth and JB leave Floyd and Charlie to compare their cars (as seen in the first pic) and walk down the street. Jess asks Seth why he has been so grinchy, and he tells her he’s been reminded of the Christmas when he was ten, and he was certain that his Pop had bought him a train set but it turned out to be socks and underwear for little Seth. With the way the world is these days, Seth says, Christmas seems like a hollow promise – we should not be looking for toys any more.

In the interests of full disclosure I must admit I am a little bit Seth-ish in my views on Christmas. I’m taking notes from JB in this episode.

Charlie and Floyd get into their respective cars, with Floyd promising to find Charlie a good deal on a car like the hire one he’s got right now. Charlie finds a present on the drivers seat, and unwraps it to discover a cassette of Willie Nelson – except when he plays it, a woman is threatening to expose his dirty secret unless he meets her at Sally’s Landing at ten o’clock that night. He stops the tape when Elizabeth gets into the car, but when she sees it and goes to play it he freaks out and distracts her by kissing her – solid misdirection. They agree to meet for dinner at 6:30 that night.

Later, JB wanders in to Floyd’s Hardware and finds both Amy and Floyd on the phone. When they both get off, Floyd tells Jessica he’s off to Portland but Amy will look after her. He leaves before Amy can finish saying that she will have the inventory report for him. Nothing says Christmas like an inventory report.

After an evening of canoodling, Charlie tells Elizabeth he has to go, but that he’ll pick her up in time for the Cabot Cove Toy Run the next evening. Elizabeth tells him she’ll be decorating all day, but Charlie says that’s fine, he’ll be studying for his CPA exam. He leaves Elizabeth and heads over to Sally’s Landing, where he discovers that Wanda was the mysterious voice on the tape. Instead of confronting her, he drives off.

It’s still not snowing, just FYI.

The next day everyone is hard at work decorating the community centre. Amy excuses herself, saying she has to go and watch the store until Floyd gets back from Portland. She passes Wanda, who wonders why she’s leaving so soon. Wanda gets her instructions from Elizabeth’s mother re: her assignment (balloons – she should in fact blow them up). Elizabeth explains to JB that Wanda has a reputation for going after any loose men left lying around, single married or other. As for Amy, she’s been in love with Floyd since forever but Floyd has no respect for women. (Well, he is Floyd Bigalow Male Gigolo. Called it.)

Elizabeth asks JB if she should be worried about Charlie with Wanda free-ranging around. Jess suggests she go and take Charlie to lunch and get it all out in the open and Elizabeth says she will, at about noon.

Over at the hardware store, Floyd has returned from Portland and gets a phone call. He tells Amy he’ll take it in the back, but Amy stays on the line to listen in.

I’m in Cabot Cove dreaming about who we used to be #2015reference

Back at the Community Centre, Jess sends Elizabeth off to have lunch with Charlie, and goes to get more red balloons.

TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE. #WhateverIMadeMyselfLaugh

Wanda says she’ll swap balloons for the lunch she left out in the main hall, but Jessica points in the locker and says “isn’t that your lunch there?”

Wanda slams the locker shut and says it’s business papers in there. She hands Jess some green balloons, and Jess points out she needs red ones, not green. Wanda says oops, she’s colourblind. Jess says no matter, and wanders off with some red balloons leaving Wander to ponder just who will bring her lunch.

Over at Hill House, Elizabeth goes into Charlie’s hotel room but finds it empty. She finds the blackmail tape and plays it. She also snoops in his diary and finds the name of the Lighthouse Motel and a time circled so she cruises on over there and sees Charlie go into one of the rooms with a woman. She drives off crying, and later that night refuses to go to the Christmas party, claiming illness. Her parents refuse to let Charlie off the hook though and so force him to tag along.

At the party, Seth moans about the lack of snow while Jess tells him to shush and look at all the toys, while Mort gets down with his bad self.

Remember that time Seth beatboxed? It’s not as good as that time but it’s pretty good.

I refer you to my previous point about beatboxing.

Cut to Elizabeth going back to the Lighthouse Motel, peering in the window and then running away again.

Back at the party, Seth is explaining to JB that they were dancing the samba, not the rhumba, when Mort pops up to say that the toy drive doubled what it did the previous year. Seth asks where Mrs Mort is, and Mort says she’s off delivering gift baskets to a church up the coast. Mort excuses himself followed by Seth – he has to get his Santa suit on. Jess explains to Charlie that if Seth calls out the number on his ticket then he will win a prize.

Bah humbug, says Seth. The previous year he won some sequined slippers and they weren’t even his colour.

As Elizabeth slinks into the back of the party, Charlie spots Wanda heading towards the back and follows her into the women’s locker room, narrowly missing Seth strutting his stuff.

For real, this is the highlight of Seth’s year.

As Seth heads out into the party there is a gunshot. In the women’s locker room Charlie bumps into who he assumes is Seth in his Santa suit and asks what the shot was, but Fake Seth just leaves quickly. Charlie finds Wanda slumped on the floor, just as Jessica arrives. Miraculously she’s still alive, and so Seth escorts her to the hospital in the ambulance. Deputy Andy finds the discarded Santa suit outside, and Jess points out the open locker to Mort, saying that Wanda had been very protective of whatever had been in the locker that morning, and it might mean something that it’s empty now.

The party now officially over, people start to make their way home. Charlie runs into Elizabeth, who tells him she went to the Lighthouse Motel and saw the woman, and he freaks out, saying that he’d wanted to tell her for ages. He’s interrupted by Bert Lazarus, who appears with a gun he found in the bushes outside. It’s army issue, and Charlie confirms that it’s his but that he has no idea how or why it isn’t in his hotel room. Mort asks him not to leave town and Charlie says he’s not leaving until this is straightened out.

The next morning, Seth pops by JB’s on the way home from the hospital for breakfast and information. Wanda survived the gunshot wound, but it’s still touch and go. A thumping at the door signals the arrival of Elizabeth, freaked out that Mort has arrested Charlie for Wanda’s murder, but is a relieved to hear it’s not murder yet. She tells Seth and JB about Wanda blackmailing Charlie, and how he went to see her at Sally’s Landing but couldn’t even face her to find out what she had on him. Seth wonders how then he found the courage to shoot her, but JB too is wondering what Wanda thinks she has on Charlie.

With a pointed look Jess gets Seth to leave, and Elizabeth tells her she’s worried about the ring Charlie bought her, she has no idea how he paid for it. She also tells Jess about the woman at the Lighthouse Motel, but Jess refuses to believe Charlie was going to marry Elizabeth and keep the woman on the side.

Jess pops down to the Sheriff’s Office for a chat with Mort, to ask if Wanda left the Cove at all the previous year, specifically to go California where Charlie was living. Mort says no, she was too busy especially when the mayor and the local businessmen went to Tokyo on a business trip. Floyd wanders into the office to continue the story – in fact, it was on his return from that trip that Floyd discovered that the pension fund was missing 400K, and since Wanda had been in charge of the books while they were away…

JB brings Seth up to speed over a cup of coffee, and they both agree that it seems unlikely Charlie could have done it. Jess wonders why Wanda was targeted – if it was the blackmail or something else. She also wonders who the intended blackmail victim really was, as the tape was pretty generic.

Taking matters into her own hands, Jess goes to the Lighthouse Motel to talk to the mysterious woman. She turns out to be Charlie’s sister Monica, but Monica isn’t staying at the hotel alone – she’s got Belinda with her. Charlie’s daughter.

I really didn’t. (But duh that it was Charlie’s sister though, I mean come on)

Over tea, Monica explains that Belinda (mother of Belinda the daughter) died in childbirth while Charlie was in the Gulf on active duty. When he came back he was destroyed so Monica looked after Belinda. Charlie couldn’t tell Elizabeth, he was too worried that Elizabeth would leave him.

Jess understands, but wonders why Wanda would blackmail him over something so trivial. It’s not until she sees Belinda playing with some red and green blocks that she figures it out and puts a call in to Floyd Bigalow, asking him to meet her at the community centre. And to bring Amy.

It turns out, Floyd was the one Wanda was trying to blackmail, because Floyd was the one who skimmed the money from the pension fund, but Wanda was colourblind and put her tape in the wrong car. It’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone.

But Floyd wasn’t the one who killed Wanda.

I guess soon someone’s going to be
*puts on sunglasses*
JUDGING AMY
#yeahhhhhhhhhh

With 2 bad guys behind bars and Wanda expected to make a full recovery, there’s absolutely no reason for Christmas to continue unabated. So Jess buys Seth a toy train for Christmas, Seth admits that helping to save Wanda’s life has given him a new perspective and Jess says “So Frank was right – Christmas should remind us about what could be, not what is.” (Life lesson #68)

And so the Carolers arrive and the snow falls. Merry Christmas in July Fletcherfans! You have six months to get your Christmas shopping done, get to work.

Later Fletcherfans!