Welcome to the second last season of Murder She Wrote oh god.

Welcome to Season 11 Fletcherfans and more specifically welcome to the jungle.

Richmond are doing very well, thank you for asking. #YellowAndBackToBack #Hopefully

And by jungle I mean the Los Angeles Animal Park, home of the greatest game of all – shadowy figures ratting out their employers to reporters.

Is this the first time I’ve made this joke? No. Will it be the last? No.

The shadowy figure is keen to take down park director Norman Gilford and wants to enlist the moustachioed Jimmy Russell into the fight. Apparently, Gilford is corrupt up the wazoo and there is a petition to have him removed. Russell returns a key to the figure and says this better be real.

More importantly than all that, Our Heroine is in town researching for her new book in which someone gets bumped off and the killer tries to make it look like an animal did it. She’s getting a lift from Kelly Michaels, golf cart driver and park operations assistant manager according to IMDB (there are like eleven million people in this episode and I’m s-to-the-leepy so bear with me on this one guys ok?) Kelly is pulled over by another angry moustache, this time it’s City Councilman Joe Gandolph who isn’t happy about something in the paper that apparently Norman  said. Kelly shrugs and floors it – she promised Norman she’d take JB straight to see him.

They arrive at the park HQ as Norman’s assistant Bea Huffington eavesdrops on Norman’s interview/argument with Jimmy Russell about corruption in the park and Joe Gandolph’s investigation of it. Norman throws him out of his office and immediately apologises to JB for all this unsightly yelling. JB tries to explain she’s on a tight deadline but he won’t have a bar of it, he orders Bea to get coffee and he wants to hear all about Jessica’s book.

Down at the vet clinic, Jessica bumps into veterinarian Dr Ray Stinson and animal caretaker Ted Fraley gossiping about Norman and his latest attempts to not pay for things (this is set after the 1994 earthquake and there’s a whole thing about trying to rebuild). Bea tells Ray that he’s wanted in the boss’s office but Ray has an elephant situation happening (don’t we all) and promises Jess he’ll see her later. Ted has some ideas for Jess’s book but also some ideas about asking Bea out, but she tells him she has to cancel on their date, something came up.

All living creatures adore her.

Meanwhile, Ray meets Norman and Kelly and is told in no uncertain terms (by Norman) have nothing to do with the petition or anything involving Norman’s departure. Ray tells him he has no interest in Norman’s job but that he should be more concerned about Mark Attwater and the Earthspeak mob who want the park to close. Kelly thinks that’s not true but Norman thinks she’s biased on account of she’s having a thing with Mark.

Jess continues her tour of the animal kingdom.

It’s a fierce-off

Ted then introduces her to a black mamba who might feature in JB’s book as a murder suspect.

SHAKESPEARE SNAKE IS BACK YOU GUYS OR AS HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED ALL ALONG, SNAKESPEARE

Someone calls out to Ted, who leaves JB reciting sonnets with Snakespeare. It’s Mark Attwater, who wants his money in 24 hours or else past transgressions will become public knowledge.

That night Norman watches a news story with Gandolph calling for his departure and makes plans to meet someone the next day. Kelly gets met at the office by Mark who escorts her out for the night but not before making snide remarks at Dr Ray who seems to have a thing for Kelly maybe? I don’t really know, this episode has a love octagon in it.

If I had to choose between people talking about their love lives and a snake quoting Shakespeare, I mean…

Later that night JB is invited to a party at TV reporter Joyce Hacker’s house. Joyce explains she’s passionate about zoology, doubly so as her late husband liked to thinking hunting endangered species was doing the world a favour. Ugh. Mark declares he’d like to offer an unpopular opinion (a white man offering an unpopular opinion? I don’t believe it) but Joyce shoots that down and asks Ray for a quiet word. She wants him to take over the park management and she will take over the park board. Ray tells her he doesn’t want it but he’s flattered and disappears. Joyce is soon joined by Mark and in the 3 seconds before they start making out it is established that she has arranged for Mark to be working for the Earthspeak crew. Downstairs Kelly spots them making out and runs out of the house crying past JB.

(Things I think at weddings)

The next day Bea is showing JB the leopards when Ted pops up looking to impart more Black Mamba wisdom. Jess says she’ll come see him later and he leaves, but not before sulking at Bea about her not going to the movies with him the night before. (Bea went to the party thing with Ray. As friends. Just FYI)

I think I have it straight now. Ted loves Bea. Bea loves Ray. Ray loves Kelly. Kelly is engaged to Mark Atwater. Mark Atwater is making out with Joyce.

Mortals. What can you do?

Kelly runs into Mark who tells her it’s not what she thinks it is. Gee Gaslight was a good movie. Across the park, Norman begs Gandolph into finding someone else to take the fall for the park’s demise and offers 150K to sweeten the pot. Gandolph tells him he’ll think about it and wanders off, past Bea who heard the whole thing. Later, Norman meets mark and offers him money to throw Joyce under the bus and disavow the whole campaign.

I WANT TO HEAR MORE FROM SNAKESPEARE.

That night…

#Bossmode

Mark Atwater comes in looking for Kelly but JB hasn’t seen her all day. Mark assumes Kelly told Jessica about what happened the previous night and Jessica tells him she didn’t need to be told, she was there. Mark gets a phone call and departs but not before telling JB she doesn’t have all the facts.

Cut to Jimmy Russell slinking around in the vet room and bumping into Snakespeare…

Snakespeare’s got nothing but love

Also Mark Atwater is slowing dying and clutching his neck but whatever.

The next day Lieutenant Gabriel Caceras wanders in to take charge of the investigation while a bear cub gets ready for the Grammys.

There are literally too many bear puns for me to make right now.

Caceras takes down JB’s and Jimmy’s statements but it’s case closed, the black mamba did it. Jess finds it a curious set of circumstances that led to Mark being in the same place as a loose black mamba but Carceras won’t buy into it. Ray wanders past and asks where the esteemed Norman Gilford is while this crisis is happening.

Jess and Ray go for a drive and run into Joyce and Gandolph. Gandolph wants to shut the park down but they beg him for more time. Joyce thinks the whole situation with the snake and the shady lady would make wonderful fodder for a book and Jess quite agrees. She shoots off in the golf cart with Ray while Gandolph tells Joyce about Norman’s big fat bribe.

Jessica continues her research into deadly snakes and proves that Snakespeare was not the murderer, obviously. Joyce confronts Norman about the bribe and gives him the option to fess up or flee.

Back at the animal hospital…

I don’t actually know what that animal is

Jess discovers that there is black mamba poison missing from the fridge. Caceras and Bea wander in and announce Ted’s been arrested for the murder after his prints were found at Atwaters’ ransacked house. It turns out Ted was being blackmailed by Mark and after he heard Mark was dead he tried to get the proof back. Jess believes him, and after a eureka moment gets Caceras to find out who owns the vacant land next to the park. Caceras calls her later that night and tells her that it’s owned by the CH foundantion but he doesn’t know more than that.

A sign on the wall gives Jessica another eureka moment and she goes to confront Bea Huffington who confesses to being the source of Jimmy Russell’s info. Russell wasn’t the only recipient of Bea’s info, and JB gets her to call the other person and set up a meeting.

To conclude…

I mean why not.

Joyce’s husband owned the land, Joyce wanted the park’s land, Gandolph was in on it and Atwater tried to blackmail her.

But never mind all that. My chronic fatigue might have come back, but a bunch of lions killed some rhino poachers in South Africa and in the omnishambles that is life on Earth in 2018 let’s just take the wins where we find them.

#SnakespeareLives

 

 

 

Advertisements