And now, a word from our sponsor


Sorry guys. Football has taken over my life. (Also, my Mum is visiting).

I’ll be back on October 8th. In the meantime, I highly recommend you click here.

S09E19 – Lone Witness


So I know everything in the world is pretty much going to hell right now (and I hope that if you’re in the path of those hurricanes in America that you stay safe!) but here’s the thing.

Remember that time I tried to write about an episode but Richmond was playing and it all went terribly wrong?  Well, Friday night it all went terribly right and now Richmond is one game away from the Grand Final which is like the Superbowl but is less glamorous but very drunker. There is also a theory around town that Richmond winning the grand final will signal the final apocalypse, which I know would be bad but technically a Richmond grand final is the only thing left on my bucket list so I mean really…

(I kid. I don’t want the world to end. There are far too many tasty foods to be eaten).

What I mean is, the blog may or may not be sporadic the next couple of weeks while I have a complete emotional breakdown re: football. As it is I have no voice and not much hearing. But for now, onwards!

This week is kicking off in AmesterDAYUM (shout out to all the fans of Belinda Blinked), where a flight attendant is delivering diamonds to a cheerful old guy, before cutting to the Big Apple where JB has somewhat optimistically given her kitchen over to her old friend from Cabot Cove, Susan Wells, who is planning to pitch a cookbook to Jessica’s publisher through a festive dinner party.  Ingredients are in fact currently being delivered by the world’s greatest delivery boy.


I adore Neil Patrick Harris. I’m just going to come right out and say it. His Halloween family photos are amazing, I’m still devastated I missed out on tickets for Hedwig when I was in NYC, and this whole thing remains one of my favourite uses of Internet ever. Also, Dr Horrible.

Anyway, Tommy Patrick Harris Remsen drops off some more groceries for Susan and a new story for JB to read before charming both of them and heading off. Back at the grocery store he runs into the flight attendant, whose name is apparently Monica, and gets to work charming her before his boss Ben pops in to tell him he forgot the bay leaves for Jessica’s order, but now there are other things and to stop flirting with the customers.  Tommy rushes off, leaving Ben to explain to Monica that she needs to pay her grocery tab or he’s going to have to cut her off.

Monica heads home to her apartment, where her landlord/bookie Vic is delighted to see her, mainly because it would appear he owes him money too. She tries to get him to take a bet for her but he refuses until she pays what she owes. Inside her apartment, she finds her neighbour Sandy watering her plants and babbling about how crazy Monica’s social life is. Monica begs for some quiet and Sandy cracks it and storms off, leaving Monica to call her boss and let them know about the money diamonds situation.

While Tommy is getting chewed out by his swim-coach Dad for spending too much time writing stories and chasing girls and not enough time doing laps, Monica gives the money she got from Amerstdam to her boss Fred Turner, and tells him she wants out, but he’s not having a bar of it. He tells her she can quit when he tells her she can quit and leaves. He puts a call in to his boss and confirms that Monica has been skimming money.

Back at House Fletcher the banquet preparation is going…well it’s going.  Susan loses her mind at the idea of no chanterelle mushrooms (blerch, mushrooms are the tool of Satan), and so to placate her JB calls old mate Joe at the grocery. He tells Tommy to take some around to JB’s AFTER he gets a cheque from Monica, who managed to skip out of the store with a six pack and a smile, nice one Tommy.

Tommy cruises on over to Monica’s building inexplicably goes into the laundry room and finds Monica dead with Fred standing over her. A shot is fired and Tommy wisely legs it out of there and goes to tell Jessica what happened, losing his hat in the process. She calls the police and they meet them at Monica’s building where it turns out, there is no body to be found. And by no body, I..you know what I mean. Lieutenant Warren is inclined to think that the only crime that’s happened is lying to a police officer, but JB isn’t so sure, so they cruise on up to Monica’s apartment to see if she’s there. Instead, they find Vic fixing a tap and swearing Monica only stepped out about ten minutes earlier.

Just because.

The lieutenant and his sidekick Detective Flowers scold Tommy for wasting their time and Tommy rushes off. Warren admits to Flowers that Tommy might have seen something, and to keep trying to call Monica. Also, that other precinct was totally right about Jessica Fletcher.

Tommy heads home, not seeing Fred Turner standing on the corner. Fred sees him though and starts to follow. Back at Monica’s apartment, Vic is on the hunt for Monica but Sandy tells him she hasn’t seen her, also she’s making brisket, Vic’s favourite, is he still coming around? Vic says he’ll let her know. Over at House Fletcher, Susan thinks Tommy made the whole thing up to cover up dropping the box of groceries, but Jess is more interested in inviting more people to dinner.

Tommy’s Dad decides to issue a 50 lap penalty for lying to the police and seems surprised when Tommy runs off. Tommy sees Fred again and hightails it out of there, leaving a very confused Tommy’s Dad looking at Fred and wondering just what the hell is going on.

That night, Susan is having a meltdown about the sugar for the creme brulee when Jessica discovers an important clue in the sugar bag.

Guys, Susan is a hot mess right now. She needs a valium and a lie down.

Jess alerts the authorities immediately, but they remain unconcerned, despite Flowers not being able to get hold of Monica. Warren also tells JB that Tommy has gone AWOL.

Jessica goes to see Tommy’s father, who initially doesn’t want to to talk to the lady who is messing with his son’s swimming career, but is worried when he hears about the bullet and tells her about Tommy running away from Fred. Jess heads back over to Monica’s apartment where Sandy is in no way appearing to be a creepy neighbour, she’s totally fine. She just loves to talk about what an exciting life Monica leads.

Now imagine Sandy and Susan just kicking back with a cup of tea. Imagine that conversation. Now relish the fact that you aren’t a part of it.

Inside Monica’s apartment is a mess. Sandy is starting to worry that all is not well with her shiny neighbour. Jess finds an over watered plant and a betting slip from Vic, so she goes to chat with him about it.

Also Vic admits that he hadn’t seen Monica when he said he had, he was looking for money in her apartment. Vic takes her down to the storage room where they find Monica’s bag and a one way ticket to Geneva.  Vic is furious but Jess is worried that there might be someone else who is furious.

Down at the precinct Warren accepts JB’s news about the bag and reports that Monica’s body has turned up in the Hudson, strangled to death. He was two theories about the murder – either Tommy did it when Monica rebuffed his advances (*coughs* Gone Girl *coughs*) or there was a second person in the room when Tommy walked in and they were the person who shot at Tommy. Jess thinks the second option is far more likely, and Warren is inclined to agree. Noone wants to think of an All American kid, peering out from under his baseball cap with those big blue eyes as being capable of murder.

Alright calm down Warren.

Back at home, Jess decides to read Tommy’s new short story, which Susan helpfully spoils by revealing the ending.


Susan’s given JB an idea about where Tommy might be hiding, so she calls Lieutenant Warren and Tommy’s Dad and they head over to the school. Tommy’s Dad lets JB in to the school, where they find the pool room door clearly broken into. A chivalrous Tommy’s Dad (I could look it up but I don’t want to) insists he go in first, JB following close behind. There’s a body in the pool but it’s not Tommy, it’s Fred. Lieutenant Warren orders Flowers to get forensics on the case, and then follows Tommy’s Dad and JB up into the storage room.

And of course, guess who?

Barney Stinson. I barely got to see much of HIMYM but I loved what I did see.

While Tommy reunites with his father, Warren wanders off and returns balancing a gun on a pen. Tommy swears he’s never seen it before, but according to Warren it’s been recently fired so for now Tommy is going into protective custody because either Fred’s killer/accomplice is still out there, or…


Down at the precinct through, Warren changes his mind. All the forensics and ballistics and callisthenics all point towards Tommy as being the killer of both Fred and Monica. Tommy’s dad is shattered, but JB isn’t having a bar of it. Warren assures him this is all hard on him too.

Back at House Fletcher JB is helping with the final preparations for the dinner party, to whit helping put some salmon mousse on a plate.

Whatever Susan, my Mum’s is better (we have it every Christmas)

Suddenly the overflowing sink gives her an idea, and she arranges to meet Lieutenant Warren over at Monica’s house. She explains she worked out why Monica’s place had been broken into, and what they were looking for. She pulls out a bag of diamonds from the pot plant. And by they she means Fred Turner and his partner.


Not only did JB figure it out, but she had a little help from Detective Flowers too. Turns out, it was all about the money.

But never mind that because


I have no voice and I can barely hear. It’s going to be a fun September!

S09E18 – Dead to Rights


JB’s back in the Cove Fletcherfans, but only long enough to finish the edits on her next book, with the occasional help of a personal assistant by the name of Dana Ballard. It turns out Dana is a fairly terrible research assistant, and only a marginally better liar but the good news is that she’s off to make her fortune in the stock market and is no longer JB’s problem.

A question I ask myself frequently.

While Jessica prepares for her book tour, Dana scoots on down to Portland to interview to be a stock market person. Her potential boss, Ethan Stevens, hasn’t yet checked her references but will get right on it. He’s been a bit busy with the Train of Destiny.

Why is it there? Where does it go? These are the mysteries of our time.

Dana mentions she has another one to add – she has just finished up working as a personal assistant to a mystery novelist up in Cabot Cove and Ethan Stevens freaks out and says he’ll get right onto it. Dana quickly tells him that Jessica only takes calls after three, and he completely understands. Such self-discipline!  Dana tells him he has no idea – Jessica gets up at five every morning, walks three miles along the same route and then has four cups of coffee before sitting down to her computer.

Ethan Stevens is already in love with JB and he hasn’t even met her yet

Fun fact – the name Ethan Stevens gets mentioned so much in this episode that if you were so inclined you could have a shot for every time someone said it. From here on out, every time I say Ethan Stevens will be every time someone says it in the show. Shots of tequila are totally optional.

Back in Cabot Cove, Jessica is about to head out the door when her editor pops round to drop off revisions for JB’s next book – she’s worried about how many simple research mistakes are in it and wonders if Jess is feeling alright. An exasperated Jess tells her she’ll fix them all on the road and rushes out the door. Meanwhile, Dana Ballard returns to her hotel room in Portland, rings JB’s answering machine and replaces the message with one of her own. A short time later Ethan Stevens calls to leave a message asking Jessica to call him regarding a reference for Dana.

(Fun fact, the message Dana records and the message Ethan hears are different. Hashtag continuity).

Ethan gets off the phone to cop a scolding from his wife Missy, who is concerned that they are about to get busted for something, but who has also made reservations for Portland’s hottest new restaurant Atlantis.

The following afternoon, Dana plays back the recording from Ethan Stevens and calls Ethan Stevens’ office pretending to be JB, while simultaneously throwing back some Chardonnay because why the hell not. She gives herself a sterling reference to Ethan, who is delighted, and more so when “JB” asks him to look her up if he is ever in Cabot Cove.  His good mood evaporates when he gets off the phone and his associate Baker Lawrence tells him the jig is up, he’s going down for insider trading, and if he makes a full confession he will only have to serve less than a year, and then Baker will conveniently buy him out. Ethan refuses, but Baker tells him he has 48 hours to come clean or else he’ll go to the SEC on his own and tell them he’s literally just discovered what Ethan has been up to.

Jess arrives in Portland and has her first stop on her book tour – a dinner with local critic Thomas Gideon at Atlantis restaurant. And you guys, you’d never believe who else is there!

Ethan Stevens goes up to JB and introduces himself with excitement.

Another question I ask myself frequently.

Ethan thanks her for the reference for Dana, introduces her to his wife and Baker, and then decamps for his table leaving Jessica feeling a bit lost. Thomas cheerfully explains that Ethan Stevens is one of the foremost stockbrokers in the city (as evidenced by the whispered argument he is currently having at the table with Baker and another man).

Dana starts her first day on the job and gets a lot of assistance from one of Ethan’s brokers, Todd Merlin. Ethan meanwhile is on the phone to someone saying he has sixteen million problems, which is more problems than Jay Z. See, I know what’s going on.

Dana goes into her office to find JB waiting for her, demanding an explanation. Dana swears she has no idea about any of it ever, but JB isn’t having it. Before she can press the issue Dana gets called into a meeting so Jessica departs, with Dana’s promise that she’ll have Ethan get back to Jessica as soon as possible. After Jessica leaves Dana gets on the phone and tells someone that they too have a problem, but only one, which is less than Jay Z. #Maths

That night, as Dana is getting ready to leave, Missy Stevens pops by to warn her to stay away from Ethan. It would appear that Missy isn’t buying Dana’s game for a minute. She seems to be on the money because later that night Dana is snooping around Ethan Steven’s office when the man himself walks in, greets her, and is promptly shot.

Let’s just get this out of the way now. Dana didn’t kill him.

Jess arrives at the office the next morning to talk to Ethan but finds Portland 5-0 all over the scene led by Lieutenant Rodrino, who is mostly concerned with how fancy the desk is. Baker Lawrence pops by to tell them that it appears nothing was stolen, and that the desk is made from jasmine wood. Jess heads back to her hotel to get the hell out of town when she gets a knock on the door from local attorney Vincent Polaski, who has been assigned to represent Dana Ballard, who has been arrested for the murder of Ethan Stevens. The police found a gun in a storm drain not far from the building, and hair and blood they found on the desk is a match to Dana. Despite Dana’s casual relationship to the truth, Vincent believes she didn’t do it and is here to beg JB for her help. She’s in no mood to offer any assistance until Vincent asks her how she would feel if Dana was innocent and went to prison for a crime she didn’t commit all because JB was too eager to get her train to Boston.

JB swears it’s because there are some loose ends, but you know…

Down at the courthouse, Dana denies everything from re-recording JB’s answering machine to being in the office the night of the murder, and so Vincent and JB leave her to it. Outside, Rodino tells them that Dana also lied about college and so there’s probably no limit to the number of lies she told. They are summoned to Deputy Prosecutor Bruce Hastings’s office where he is willing to offer a deal for Dana to avoid trial but Vincent isn’t having a bar of it. JB wants to know why Dana was under the desk and Hastings tells her it was to search for Ethan Stevens’s security pass. That leads to JB’s next question, which is how Dana could have known to search for the pass, but Hastings says whatever, she’s a liar, who cares.

After they leave Hastings’s office, Jessica correctly deduces that Vincent is in love with Dana, and cops a soliloquy about Vincent’s love life in response.

I bet she regrets that particular deduction right about now.

JB shuts him up by wondering if Dana had taken that particular job as requested by someone else, i.e she had a partner in crime. Vincent runs with this, and thinks that maybe said partner got Ethan Stevens’s last assistant fired so that Dana could step in. Jess asks him if there might be a way to look at the employment records for Stevens & Lawrence on the down low, and he says yes – if she doesn’t mind bending the rules. While he gets on the phone to organise it, Jess spots the guy who had the fight at Atlantis with Ethan wandering the halls.

Vincent’s plan is solid gold you guys. When you need help, ask your hacker grandmother.

For real, why isn’t there a TV show about a group of geriatric hackers who are trying to stop the creeping invasion of privacy by mega global corpogovernments. Maggie Smith is their leader or I’m not signing off. Call me, Hollywood.

Guys have I told you my idea for a reboot of Charlies Angels where Angela Lansbury is Charlie and Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are the angels and Patrick Stewart is Bosley and when they aren’t solving crimes they are passing judgement on how crap everyone else is?


Wanda the hacker informs JB that Ethan’s former assistant left voluntarily without a forwarding address but that there is another employee at the company who came from the same town as Dana – Todd Merlin. Jess heads down to the office to confront him, and he finally admits to setting the last assistant up to get fired so that Dana could get the job. When Jess and Vincent ask Dana about it, she tells them that Todd had found out about her pathological lying situation and told her to do what he said or he’d tell her father. All she knew about the murder is that they went there to steal some bonds, Ethan Stevens found her in his office, she got a whack on the head and when she woke up Todd was gone and Ethan Stevens was dead.

Now that they are at something resembling the truth, it now falls to Vincent and JB to find out who the real killer is. Jess thinks someone else was in the room with Dana but she doesn’t remember seeing anything. Out in the hall, Jess and Vincent run into Hastings and Lieutenant Rodino, the former still determined to charge Dana with murder. Jess announces she thinks she can prove that there was someone else in the room – the real killer of Ethan Stevens.

Back at the House of Hacking, Wanda announces she received a fax from an old friend in Washington, who had seen the name Ethan Stevens and Portland and sent it through to Wanda. JB reads it and declares that the SEC were investigating Ethan Stevens for insider trading. She thinks it’s time they took another look at Ethan’s office.

A close inspection of the desk in Ethan’s office reveals no bumps from Dana’s head, and then Jessica realises something and long story short

To be fair I really thought the wife did it.

Surprise! The murder weapon was from a case Bruce tried! The missing millions have turned up in his accounts! Jess worked it all out because of a man bag that was there, but then it wasn’t, and Ethan Stevens didn’t carry one.

Bruce Hastings admits that the mystery man from the dinner/courthouse hallway was the inside man who helped arrange the insider trading for Bruce and Ethan Stevens.

Final Ethan Stevens count: 27. Approximately. To be honest I kind of lost count. If you did have a shot for every Ethan Stevens, then I salute you, also please go and have a big glass of water.

Later gang!