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I was going to post this on Sunday but it’s been a bad day in Melbourne today so I’m posting this and sending all of my love.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Fletcherfans. Thank you for being so awesome.

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S10E07 – A Killing In Cork

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Our Heroine is back in leprechaun country and is receiving a concise history of everything that’s going on with her friend Fiona Griffith from local gossip Siobhan Kennedy – Fiona’s husband is dead, her son Sean is running the woollen mill (as seen by a frankly Wonka style opening montage except wool is not delicious and chocolate is), her other son Patrick buggered off to America a long time ago and her husband’s cousin Ambrose is trying to take over the business and move the factory to Sligo, a town I once passed through on a bus. Hashtag fun fact.

I think she might be rethinking this whole trip

Over at said factory, (in a part of Ireland where the accents range from Swedish to Indian), Sean is preparing for battle with factory manager type person Dennis Moylan. The evil Ambrose Griffith is on his way and is currently tailgating Siobhan and JB until they get out of his way.

Preach.

Said car arrives at the woollen mills, and Ambrose orders his wife to wait in the car with the driver.

(And also a person in her own right obviously, but hey fun fact!)

Back on the road, Siobhan stops to pick up local drunk poet Billy Mahaffy who informs JB that Robert Griffith was actually murdered. Siobhan dismisses this as total nonsense and drops Billy at the pub. Later, Fiona explains to JB that Billy drunkenly walked in front of a bus one night and spent a year in the hospital, and hasn’t been the same since.

Over tea, Fiona and JB catch up on all the gossip, such as how Robert got interested in stonemasoning before he died, and how he had finally started to let go of the business. It was a terrible Alannis Morrisette level irony that his interest in stone masonry led to his death when a piece of the church fell off and landed on him.

Down at the pub Ambrose, Mrs Griffith and the driver arrive to check in to their rooms. Ambrose exchanges LOOKS with a guy sitting a the bar with a pint and a book on birdwatching but quickly reveals himself to be a Fake Twitcher when Billy Mahaffy asks him about birds he’s seen.

JB gets a tour of the woollen mill from Sean who leaves her in Dennis’s company to pick out a blanket. Dennis is furious that Sean didn’t show Ambrose financial reports – he seems to be all for moving the factory for some reason. JB’s next stop is the church, where Father Timothy offers up the parish computer records if she can’t find any trace of her Macgill relatives in the graveyard.

I would have laughed SO hard if it was Grady.

The girl leaps up, announces the leprechaun is coming (she calls it something else but I’m tired and editorialising) and runs away. Later that night, after Jess and Father Timothy discuss what poisons are the best for murder, Fiona shows Jess a picture of the leprechaun in question, known for never taking his pipe out of his mouth, and explains that the girl is Una O’Reilly. The conversation is interrupted first by Sean and Ambrose blueing over the business, then by the sudden arrival of Patrick Griffith who pops in to announce he has a thought or two about Ambrose taking over the business. Ambrose tells him he has no say, his father disowned him, he has no shares in the business.

The next day Patrick gives Jessica a lift into town and explains that he left after getting sick of the way his father treated him. He went off to university, received mysterious money orders into his bank account every month from an unknown benefactor, and then once he heard Robert had died decided to come home. He apologises for his behaviour the previous night, saying he could have waited an hour before teeing off on Ambrose.

ALWAYS.

Down by the lake, Ambrose/Pete Sampras’s wife Emily starts making out with the chauffeur while Fake Twitcher Guy takes photos. Gee, I wonder how that’s going to end up. Over at the mills Ambrose, Patrick and Sean yell at each other for awhile, which ends with Ambrose announcing Robert Griffith agreed to the move and producing paperwork showing the board appointing him emperor of the woollen mills. Patrick and Sean storm out. Ambrose tells Dennis if he keeps his mouth shut and does his job he might have a future with the company.

Ambrose is on fire. After properly enraging his entire family, he next drops a stack of incriminating photos on Emily and tells her she’s done and there’s no alimony in her future. He skulks off and she goes straight to the phone – she needs to see whoever is on the other end of the line immediately.

There’s only one way to resolve all of this dramatic tension.

FIRST RULE OF RIVERDANCE FIGHT CLUB IS THAT YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT RIVERDANCE FIGHT CLUB UNLESS IT’S IN A BAD IRISH ACCENT.

While the Riverdancers fight to the death, Fiona wonders where Patrick has disappeared to and Emily arrives with Dennis Moylan. Ambrose gets a message from the friendly bartender and leaves under the eagle eye of his now-sacked chauffeur, and Siobhan waits in a dark wood, for Patrick as it turns out. Patrick ain’t got time to chat though and is off to do a thing. The chauffeur guy turns up there and watches Patrick and Siobhan wander off in different directions.

Father Timothy offers jetlagged JB a lift home while down at the church Ambrose is waiting for his mysterious note-writer to turn up. He gets freaked out when he sees Una O’Reilly singing at him through a window, then she runs away. He turns around and finds the bell rope swinging. He calls out, cops a garrotte around the neck and starts frantically pulling on the bell rope.

Back at the pub JB hears the church bells and asks if they always ring at ten o’clock. Father Timothy panics, as the church should be locked tight and there’s money in the safe so he grabs Jess and they jet over to the church to find Ambrose dead on the ground, the bell rope still swaying.

The next day the 5-0 roll in.

It’s the token Irish guy who isn’t Irish!

Sergeant Boyle, much to Jessica’s apparent irritation, seems to have the matter in hand. He is not terribly moved by Jessica’s knowledge that the death occurred at 10:04pm, or that she saw Ambrose receive a message from the bartender, or that the fact that the window was smashed suggests that the killer broke into the church and let Ambrose in. After he leaves, Jessica spots a shard of glass outside on the ground and some black ash that someone tried to sweep up. She asks Father Timothy if someone had swept in there that day but he thinks not. He gives her a list of people who have keys to the church and it’s basically everyone.

Speaking of everyone, they all gather at Fiona’s house to pay their respects to the newly widowed Mrs Griffith. Dennis is extra polite, and Billy Mahaffy wonders if that means the woollen mills are going to move to some land Dennis owns, and Dennis tells him to lay off the booze.

Down at the mill, Patrick is delighted to inform Sean that the directors have voted to keep Sean in charge and to move in whatever direction he sees fit. Sean is delighted but worried about Sergeant Boyle. He wants to know if Patrick killed Ambrose so Sean can help cover it up. Patrick is furious and storms out.

Jess is off picking flowers, seemingly not needed in this investigation.

If there was a murder, yo she’ll solve it…check out the hook while Doc Hazlitt revolves it (guys it’s five thirty in the morning I might have broken myself)

Dennis Moylan drops past to tell her that her brand new rug will be ready in the morning and departs. Siobhan rushes up to tell Jessica that Sergeant Boyle is convinced Patrick murdered Ambrose. She admits to JB she’d known Patrick for a while, he had come back to town for a day to meet someone and she had met him in the pub that night and they were casually hooking up. The night of the murder he was supposed to meet her but didn’t and he was always asking questions about the mill, but he totes didn’t kill Ambrose.

After some digging around in the parish records, Jess wanders the graveyard and finds Una communing with the fairies. Jess tries to find out more about the leprechaun but Una runs away. Jess heads back to Fiona’s just in time to see Patrick being hauled off in cuffs by Sergeant Boyle.

Jess takes Fiona for a walk to get the truth out of her. It turns out Patrick isn’t Robert’s son, he’s Billy Mahaffey’s. He went to Belfast and disappeared/got hit by a bus and so Fiona married Robert. He knew Patrick wasn’t his so he treated him badly. Fiona’s terrified Sergeant Boyle will find out and think Patrick killed both of them but JB thinks she’s on to something.

(Spoiler alert: I only just now realised this is basically the cast of the Celtic Riddle telemovie).

JB goes to see Patrick in jail, and he admits he came back to town to find out who’d been sending money orders. Billy told him he was his real father the day Robert died. He thought Billy had killed Ambrose Griffith and tried to make it look like a robbery. Sergeant Boyle pops in to call time on visiting hours and starts fiddling with a button. This seals the deal for Jessica and that night she lays a trap for the killer.

*May not actually be a leprechaun

Won’t lie, nailed this one about ten minutes in. Dennis wanted the factory moved to his land and killed anyone who said no, basically. There was a lost button, Jess had it all worked out, it was fine.

And that’s all she wrote, for a couple of weeks. Santa Claus is coming to town, you guys! But I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.

Merry Festivus Fletcherfans!

S10E06 – Bloodlines

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If anyone tells you Horses by Daryl Braithwaite isn’t Australia’s national anthem they’re a filthy liar

JB is in Virginia hanging out at her pal Matt Cleveland’s place, where she is writing a new book set in horse racing land. Matt is a horse trainer currently training celebri-horse Swift Prince, and so knows a thing or two about such things. His daughter Jill just happens to be the jockey on board so you know there’s that too. Also he’s Mickey Rooney.

Naww. 

Matt is so excited with the Prince’s hot lap that he puts a call in to two of the owners, Catherine Noble and Wally Hampton. They are stoked with the Prince’s time and assure Matt that they will convince the third owner Lloyd Mentone that the hose must race that weekend.

Spoiler alert: this entire episode is basically this:

I don’t understand how Mickey Rooney isn’t playing an old retired jockey actually.

Anyway.

Jess, Matt and Jill head back to Matt’s cottage, while up at the big house Catherine Noble (aka Tippi Hendren) informs her daughter Tracey that Swift Prince will be racing on the weekend. Tracey is delighted, she needs the prize money to fund another 100 guests for her upcoming wedding to Wally’s son Paul. UGH. Catherine tells her the money isn’t going to cover her debts, they are inches away from losing the farm completely, and are counting on Paul approving a bank loan.

That afternoon, Lloyd Mentone is furious to discover that his co-owners have entered the horse in a race when he was focussed on stud fees. Apparently, the horse was recovering from a serious injury and Lloyd thinks it’s a big risk, but he’s overridden. It also turns out that Paul Hampton and Jill once had a thing before he got talked into falling in love with Tracey. Paul looks miserable and later refuses to stay for a drink with his father, who wonders what’s wrong. Paul asks him what he wants, and Wally says for Paul to quit the bank and return to managing the stud, but he’d settle for his audit.

Meanwhile, JB is back at work on her book when she gets a visit from Lloyd, who tells her he grew up watching races from the tower at Saratoga (righto mate) and that he’s concerned about Swift Prince’s race. JB tells him she’s sure Matt and the others know what they’re doing, also the tower at Saratoga wasn’t built when Lloyd was growing up.

Ouch. Burn!

Getting nowhere with JB, Lloyd’s next stop is to see assistant trainer Gus Tardio aka Don Swayze as if you couldn’t tell.

Like Hungry Eyes, except not at all.

Gus is moping because Matt got made head trainer over him. Lloyd orders Gus back to work, and sober since that’s what he’s paying him for. Gus returns back to the stable to find life has pretty much gone on without him and Matt sacks him for being a douche.

Tracey visits Paul at work, where he’s trying to secure her mother’s loan and says she can’t wait until the wedding so he can quit his silly banking job and run the stables. Paul tells her he happens to like his banking job but she says that’s only because his father doesn’t.

Later that night JB is slaving away over her laptop when she hears bangs and crashes from the stable. She rushes to see and finds Matt staggering around after copping a whack on the head. Jill helps him to stand while JB carefully extracts a syringe from a pile of hay. OH YOU GUYS IT’S A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK.

While the vet has Swift Prince tested for performance-enhancing drugs, Sheriff Clyde Benson wants to know who might have been behind it. The consensus is Gus, but JB can’t see what his motive is and Wally Hampton agrees. Clyde thinks it’s more likely that one of the horse’s connections might have done it, but he’ll swing by Gus’s and see. Wally begs him to keep it quiet until they know if the horse was actually injected and Clyde says he’s happy to do them a favour as long as it’s within the law.

Alright Clyde, calm down.

The next day Catherine gets a call to say that Swift Prince is all clear, and there was much rejoicing by Tracey and by JB for wildly different reasons. Down at the bank, Paul gets a visit from Lloyd who wants Paul to convince Catherine to scratch the horse from the race, or else some finance peeps are going to find out that Catherine lied on her loan application and Paul approved it. Paul throws him out.

Over at the farm, Catherine confronts Matt (who turns out used to work for her before he worked for Wally) and says she wants a more experienced jockey on the horse because SHE NEEDS THE MONEY OMG WEDDINGS DON’T PAY FOR THEMSELVES AND TRACEY IS A PRINCESS etc etc. Matt tells her it’s in his contract – he trains, he picks the jockey. Later that afternoon he tells JB he has a plan for shaving 3 seconds off Swift Prince’s time and waves a videotape around.

That night, Jill runs into Paul and they go get dinner together. JB finds Matt rushing out the door, telling her he’ll explain later. Jess hears some car doors slam, and gets back to work. As a car drives way, Gus appears out of the bushes, like this but in reverse.

Tracey turns up a while later looking for Paul, but Jess says he’s been gone about an hour so they decide to have dinner together instead. On their way into town, they find Matt’s truck parked on the side of the road, and Matt dead on the ground.

BASTARDS KILLED MICKEY ROONEY THIS WILL NOT STAND.

Clyde comes to the house to take statements, but he’s fairly convinced Matt was killed by a hobo in a robbery gone wrong. Jess thinks this is highly unlikely, and doubly so when Clyde tells her there was no sign of the videotape Matt had been waving around.

After checking in with Catherine, who it turns out was supposed to meet Matt with Wally but he never showed, Jess goes to search Matt’s office for the tape, but it’s gone. She does, however, find the envelope and puts a call in to the offices of Sportrack to find out what Matt had requested. She also finds a notepad, and with the classic pencil rub finds VICTOR WY etched onto the pad. Fun fact, WY apparently means Wyoming. Victor means Victor I guess.

Sportstrack is a surprisingly efficient company, and they deliver another copy of the tape to Jess the next day. She watches it with Jill, but they don’t know why Matt was so interested in it. Catherine and Wally come over and tell Jill they’re getting another jockey for the race.  Down at the bank, Lloyd pops in for a chat with Paul, but Paul tears up Catherine’s loan contract and tells him to do his worst. Paul quits.

Paul is getting his groove back completely, his next stop is to see Catherine but instead, he finds Tracey who accuses him of ignoring her to spend time with Jill, so he calls off the wedding. YOU GO BOYFRIEND.

Drunk on his own power, Paul heads down to the racetrack to wish Catherine and Wally well for the race the following day, but Catherine tells him to go to hell. Paul and Jill watch the substitute jockey fail completely with Swift Prince. Paul tells Jill to let Catherine come to her and to say maybe at least once. Paul, you’re alright.

Meanwhile, Jess is still trying to catch a murderer. She has a chat with Clyde who is convinced Gus is guilty, but when he shows her the wrong piece of paper she suddenly realises why Matt had been so excited the night he died. They rush over to the racetrack just in time to catch Lloyd about to inject Swift Prince, who isn’t Swift Prince at all but a horse called Victor Way that Lloyd swapped so that he could make more money or some such business. Victor Way was going to make money as a stud horse, the real Swift Prince was off making money in South America.

But he didn’t kill Matt.

UNSURPRISED

Trust me on this, it’s got to do with car doors and Tracey running into Matt as he was about to tell her mother and worrying that the scandal would put an end to her wedding.

Whatevs. The important thing is, Jill wins the race on Victory Way and there’s champagne for everyone.

Later gang!

 

S10E06 – A Virtual Murder

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Our Heroine is hitting the road this week Fletcherfans, as she is eagerly explaining to a disbelieving Seth. She’s written a script for a game using this hot new technology called VIRTUAL REALITY and she’s jetting off to Silicon Valley to see it all come together.

THE FUTURE IS NOW.

As you can see in that top pic, the future is being overseen by Kevin Sorbo, which is a future I can get behind. The guy at the computer is the head programmer and MRA in training James Lindstrom, the blonde is programmer Kate O’Neill and the brunette is programmer Julia Campbell. Spoiler alert, they are both in love with Kevin Sorbo, except Kate is dating him and Julia only wishes. Obviously, he’s Kevin Sorbo.

Jess is having a jolly old time playing in the VR world she wrote, but a glitchy servant girl leads to a shutdown, much to the frustration of all especially money man David Salt. Alex Porter, the kid of one of Jessica’s friends back in the Cove, is also frustrated as he lets Jessica out of the booth. The bug shouldn’t have happened, he explains, before being cut off by a loudspeaker reminding him to take his pager and to call his mother.

Back in the control room, everyone is in a panic and mostly blaming Julia Campbell. James wants to cancel the launch, but Kate says it’s impossible. Alex mumbles they should just change the script, which everyone dismisses until JB offers to just write the servant girl out of the script entirely. Kevin Sorbo agrees and tells Alex to take JB back to her hotel to get started. James tells JB not to take long, they aren’t after writing awards, and JB tells him she will do her best to fix his game.

Burnnnnnnn

That evening, James leaves the office and heads off, tailed by a private investigator. Meanwhile, Jess tells Alex to stop pacing around her hotel room, she’s trying to save everyone’s arse. Alex tells her that none of it should have happened, he designed a program to test the game at high speeds but James canned it because he didn’t want to give Alex access to the source codes for the game. Back at the office Kevin Sorbo and Julia are about to start making out when Kate walks in to announce that Jessica has finished her rewrite. All that’s missing is James Lindstrom.

The PI tails James to the offices of Redwood Concepts (presumably a rival), as does money man David Salt. It transpires that David Salt is trying to convince James to jump ship from Kevin Sorbo and Marathon Images and go work for convicted felon John Crowley aka Charles Kroll. James demands more money and walks out when he doesn’t get it. Charles tells David he’s in trouble if they can’t announce James’s defection to the company the next day, but David tells him he’ll just grab the source codes and then they won’t even need him.

Back at the office Kevin Sorbo has grown weary of waiting for James and announces testing will begin momentarily. He goes hunting for the source codes in James’s office but finds a gun instead. James chooses that moment to turn up and points out the source codes are in his pocket where they always are, and to get out of his office.

The gang spend the whole night reprogramming the game, and by dawn are ready to test it again. Presumably, it all goes well, apart from Jess finding a locked door in the game that James says will take hours of programming to remove. They celebrate with champagne but there’s still more work to be done. Kevin Sorbo gets a phone call from the PI, who tells him he’s got more issues than just James Lindstrom but that it’s going to cost him.

Later that day, after everyone’s had a nap (presumably, I could go a nap right about now), the launch of the game kicks off. While Kate gladhands investors and JB dodges questions about virtual reality, Kevin Sorbo confronts James about the night before. James refuses to answer any questions but points out Charles Kroll getting stuck into the champagne. Kevin Sorbo goes over and orders him out before he calls security.

The time comes for the guests to have a crack at the game, but one of the booths is mysteriously occupied. Alex forces it open to find the body of James Lindstrom slumped against the door. The police are called and seem a bit bemused when informed that not only is Lindstrom dead but that the source codes are missing. Sergeant Ignacio Delcanto asks Kevin Sorbo just who might have wanted the codes and without hesitating Kevin Sorbo says, Charles Kroll. Noone was around at the time of the murder, but Julia says she heard James being paged at 4:45.

Sergeant Delcanto pops round to Charles Kroll’s office, but Charlie boy knows nothing, saw nothing, and has no opinion about anything. Delcanto’s minion drops in to inform him that they found the murder weapon – it’s the gun belonging to James Lindstrom that Kevin Sorbo found earlier.

Speaking of Kevin Sorbo:

BEHOLD HERCULES IN ALL HIS MANLY GLORY.

Kevin Sorbo is bemoaning the fact that James’s death means the game can’t go on when Delcanto and his associates wander in and arrest Kevin Sorbo for James’s murder on account of his fingerprints were on the gun.

Jess calls shenanigans and remembering Kevin Sorbo’s phone call early that morning heads down to the office to try and work out who it was that was calling. She enlists Kate’s help and traces the call to Dan Porter at Porter Investigations. She pays him a visit and suggests he has been collecting information to sell to the highest bidder, which he denies but not for long and blabs about seeing David Salt as well as James at Redwood Concepts.

JB finds David Salt clearing out of town when she runs into him at the office. He’s convinced that a hitman killed James, and it was probably Charles Kroll that did it, and that he’s probably next. Either that or James Lindstrom organised the whole thing, and that if you were to open a door into James’s mind you’d learn just how bonkers he is.

HOLD THE DOOR! JB doesn’t shout because this isn’t Game of Thrones.

While Kate is off firing Julia for making eyes at her boyfriend, JB enlists the help of Alex to try and get into the locked room inside the VR game. Alex says it will be a piece of cake, but several cokes later none of his programs are able to crack the code.

“Try OPEN DOOR.” Says JB.

ALL HAIL.

Jess straps on the suit and dives into the game to open the door – and discovers James Lindstrom’s manifesto for a cybernetic honestly I don’t know I was laughing at the graphics.

Ugh no.

Jess’s response is on point.

THAT SMILE THOUGH.

Feeling even more unenlightened about James Lindstrom’s death, and annoyed at the riddle James poses in the video game,  Jess is at a loss but a voice over the loudspeaker reminding Alex to call his mother gives JB an idea. She starts thinking about computer viruses and gets Alex to construct a riddle of his own. She leaves a message for someone with the riddle and sits back to wait for the killer to show themselves.

Later that night David Salt goes into the lab and starts clicking around in the mainframe probably. A shadowy figure emerges from the darkness – it’s Julia. She was the one JB called, and she’s there to stop David from destroying Kevin Sorbo’s dream because she has the source codes.

Oh yes.

Not that surprised tbh

I’m a little hazy on how JB worked this out, it’s got something to do with the voiceover pager messages only happening in the room where the pager is or something. Anyway, case closed etc etc.

Later gang!