Welcome to Easton, a part of that mysterious part of America that seems to be generically called The Midwest, where JB has inexplicably decided to pop in on her book tour. It’s a long drive with Ronna Samuels, the PR lady who clearly has a Thing for the head of the radio station KGAB, Colin Crowe, judging by her face when she explains that Colin’s wife Louise actually runs the station.

JB has bigger issues.

**Me the first time I heard Despacito, which to be fair was only yesterday. What can I say, I’m not cool.

One of Colin’s (who it turns out is Ferris Bueller’s Dad) biggest triumphs turns out to be importing a shock jock radio announcer down from Minnesota. Marcus Rule spends his radio show abusing the locals, focussing particularly on local councillor David Ostermann, which Ronna claims is great for Killer Radio, and will only get better once their new transmitter goes live the next day. Colin’s soon to be ex-wife Louise, however, thinks the whole thing stinks and confronts Colin about his constant character assassination of David Osterman. Colin tells Louise that she can deliver a message to David from him – get out of the race, or he’ll never be able to show his face in town again.

Sidenote: BEHOLD THE RULE MAN.

There’s a lot to unpack here.

The Rule-Man, it turns out, will be interviewing JB the next day. He can’t wait and tells station engineer Danny Cochran that writers are easier to intimidate than almost anybody. I sense a Fletcher-Smash coming.

Ronna drops JB off at the Easton Arms and offers to pick her up later for dinner, but JB already has plans in the form of Jonathan Baker, who just so happens to be the son of JB’s publisher’s lawyer. And so the mystery of why JB is in the middle of nowhere is resolved. As JB goes upstairs to get changed she notices Ronna and Jonathan arguing. Over dinner, it becomes obvious that JB’s presence in Easton is not a coincidence – Jonathan hasn’t spoken to his father in over a year, after bailing on his law degree and going full Kerouac around America (ugh, Kerouac).

The next day, the Ruleman announces to Colin that he’s being headhunted by a Chicago radio station to take his shock jock shtick nation-wide. Colin reminds him he has a contract but the Ruleman seems to think it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on, on account of Colin being the source of all the rumours the Ruleman has been putting about on the air.

Classic Ruleman.

Colin tells the Ruleman that once word gets out he’s a two-bit sportscaster with a penchant for 14-year-old girls, no one will let him within five miles of a microphone.

Jesus this got dark.

JB arrives at the station for her interview and meets Danny, who tells her that he won five hundred bucks on a horse thanks to a tip he got from one of JB’s books – unfortunately, he blew his winnings on the next race, and the horse is still running.

Everyone knows you pick a horse based on whether its name could be a euphemism for a fart. And by everyone I mean people I’m related to.

Jessica meets Colin briefly, but he excuses himself almost immediately, he has to go and check on the transmitter tower (much to Ronna’s sadness, she clearly had plans for a little nudge nudge wink wink). Louise just shakes her head and tells JB later that she has long stopped caring what or who her husband did. She invites JB out to lunch at her farm the next day, before Ronna reappears to take JB into the studio. ย Afterwards, she follows Colin outside where she sees him aggressively making out with a woman next to a convertible.

The Ruleman kicks off the interview with JB. “So, JB Fletcher, tell me, why don’t you tell me why women like yourself, when your husbands all die and you suddenly haven’t got anybody you can make crazy, what turns you to writing about the act of murder?”

#SheIsTheDanger

“The vicarious thrill, as you call it Mr Rule, isn’t mine. Ideally, it’s the readers, and it’s hopefully derived from a well-told murder mystery that challenges one to figure out whodunit before the fictional detective can find the answer.”

“Yeah right,” Says the Ruleman. “Alright, well maybe you can tell me why mayhem mongers like yourself get such a thrill by killing off men in your books?”

“Oh, Mr Rule that’s a bit of an overstatement to put it kindly.” Says JB.

“Yeah, well I’m sure it is. Come on Jessica! What are we talking, we’re talking failed relationships here, you know, some deep seated problems with our fathers?”

“Mr Rule that is such a -”

“You can’t deny that women, lacking the right stuff to pull that trigger themselves, live out their murderous fantasies through men!”

“Mr Rule, if that is your understanding of mayhem mongers and women in general, I must say, and please excuse the obvious metaphor, you are dead wrong.”

“What really astonishes me, however, is the many guests who must have put up with the same tacky pretentious intellectually impoverished pop psycho-babble that I have endured over the past hour, is that that none of them have had the ‘right stuff’ to do you in long ago.”

“Well, you’ve got spirit Jessica,” The Ruleman says. “I like that in a woman.”

“Well thank you, Mr Rule, I do my best.” Says JB. “And to show there are no hard feelings, although you did mention you don’t find it necessary to read books, there’s one I’m going to send you anyway.”

“Yeah well thanks, but I educate myself through electronic media osmosis.” Says the Ruleman.

“Ah, extraordinary. But surely you’ve heard of Dostoyevsky?”

“Hey, who hasn’t?”

“Well, he wrote about a man who reminds me a great deal of yourself, a man who sees clearly through the hypocrisy of his society.”

“Really? Well, maybe we’ll all have to touch base with his publisher and tell him to swing by on his next book tour.”

“Ooh that would be quite a coup Mr Rule, you see he happens to have been dead for over 100 years.”

“So we won’t do it live! Anyway, what’s the name of the book?”

I swear to god I’m getting this entire episode tattooed on my face.

JB takes a victory lap of the studio, and Danny asks her to put her patented Fletcher betting system to the test on that day’s races.

I’ve already stopped caring what happens in this episode tbh

Danny offers to drive JB back to her hotel, and on the way congratulates her for her takedown. He’s sad about how the station is falling apart, thanks to Colin and the Ruleman. He tells her that when she dropped the boom on the Ruleman it was a double whammy because she went right through Colin too.

THERE GOES MY HERO, WATCH HER AS SHE GOES.

Back at her hotel, JB gets a message that Jonathan called for her, but when she calls back she’s told he’s gone and didn’t leave a forwarding number. Meanwhile back at the radio station, the Ruleman gets a phone call from Chicago – they’re concerned about contract problems getting him out of Easton but the Ruleman assures them Colin can’t do a thing.

Later that afternoon JB is waiting for Ronna to give her a lift to the transmitter switching on ceremony, but she doesn’t show. Jonathan does instead, although he’s looking for Ronna, not JB – that’s what the phone message was about. JB knows nothing, so they head on down to the transmitter.

Jonathan abandons JB to try and find Ronna, but JB soon bumps into Louise, who is accosted by David Osterman who wants her to tell Colin that once Osterman is elected senator he will be demanding an FCC investigation into the station. As he leaves he runs into the Ruleman and threatens him too for good measure. Both Colin and Ronna are MIA, so Louise goes on the hunt for them. The Ruleman tells JB he’s leaving for Chicago in two weeks, and that the next time she wants to hustle one of her books, not to call him.

She is quite simply the best.

The transmitting ceremony gets underway and with a flourish, Louise drops the banner on the top of the transmitter – revealing Colin’s dead body.

Oh right, yeah. Murder.

Sheriff Waterman arrives on the scene and announces to his tape recorder that Colin had been shot twice (and missed being shot five times), and must have died between the inspectors leaving and the caterers arriving, leaving a thirty-minute window. Ronna is still missing. The Sheriff is delighted to meet JB and wonders if she’s got any ideas about who the killer is but she’s got none. The Sheriff has a county full of motives, so he’s not too worried, and by the end of the day he realises he only needs to find one motive – they found the murder weapon in a ditch, and it just so happens to be Jonathan’s gun.

Jessica assures Jonathan that his father’s lawyer is on the way, and she knows he didn’t do it, but she wants to know more about the phone call from Ronna but Jonathan tells her there’s nothing more to know. He’s content to let the whole thing play out, but JB isn’t having a bar of it. The Sheriff tells her outside his office that he’d want her on his side too, and lets her know that Louise Crowe called to confirm their lunch date was still on. JB finds it odd but goes anyway.

Up at the farm, Louise shows off photos and her marksmanship trophies and admits that since Colin hadn’t updated his will, the radio station is still hers. Having said that, she tells JB to ask Ronna how she felt when she discovered that she wasn’t the only woman in Colin’s life. She also tells Jessica that the private investigators who Colin hired to dig up dirt on David Osterman prove that he didn’t kill Colin – David was in bed with a ‘wealthy widow’ at the time of the murder. JB correctly guesses that the wealthy widow is Louise, and Louise admits it was but swears she or David didn’t kill Colin.

For real. Who even cares at this point.

When it’s revealed that the only other prints on the murder weapon belong to Ronna, the Sheriff manages to track her down to a highway hotel and bring her in for questioning. And then some more things happened and I tuned waaaaaaay out and then Jessica found a pen.

Case closed, or whatever.

But really who cares because that’s not what this episode is about.

Later Fletcherfans.

 

 

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