Fletcherfans! Welcome to 2019 and welcome to the last season of Murder She Wrote. Who’dve thunk it? Certainly not me, I can barely commit to a hairdresser, but here we are.

SPEAKING OF HAIRDRESSERS! We are back in the Newest of Yorks, where there are cops driving and people abseiling off buildings and running around with bloody knives. You know, the usual. JB is getting her hair and her nails did simultaneously at Antoinette’s on Fifth Avenue, and being treated like the Queen she is. Her hairdresser Jimmy has to rush off to a TV demonstration on Nancy Rayburn’s TV show, leaving the manicurist Diane to deliver the news to JB – Diane and Jimmy are engaged which is all terribly exciting.

My celebratory drink of choice for weddings, engagements, births, making it to the weekend…

Lieutenant Sam Kriley inexplicably wanders into the salon to get a guest list from JB – apparently, all the abseiling and knives and cops was a result of JB’s friend Agnes returning home early from a museum board meeting and surprising a burglar. Kriley is convinced that it’s the work of the same burglar targeting high-end apartments all over Manhattan and that Agnes was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she will recover.

Jessica bumps into fellow board member Kathy Stafford is also at the salon (clearly they get a group discount) and is a) relieved that Agnes will recover and b) will have the meeting minutes faxed over tomorrow. Jess then runs into fellow mystery writer Steve Burke, who is working in the salon as research for his novel, which JB is loving apparently.

Over at Nancy Rayburn’s TV show, Jimmy runs into Ralph Stafford, who I assume is Kathy’s husband. Jimmy and Ralph are planning to go into business but Jimmy’s getting cold feet and Ralph’s not having a bar of it. Also, Nancy is totally having a fling with Ralph and is ignoring her producer Madelyn Sweetzer’s warnings about how shady he is, even while he’s on the phone being yelled at by business partners.

Back at the salon…

BEHOLD ITS INFINITE MAJESTY

…JB still hasn’t left yet but is giving a big bag of books to the salon owner, the aforementioned Antoinette. Side note, I binged that Marie Kondo show on Netflix and I learned that a) compared to most people I don’t own any clothes at all, and b) KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY BOOKS MARIE. In my defence, I drunkenly counted how many books I owned last year and guys it wasn’t great. But I got rid of like twenty! And bought about forty, look it’s the circle of life whatever it’s fine don’t worry about it.

Anyway, the bag of books is a donation for a school raffle and Antoinette is stoked about it. She’s less stoked about the persistent rumours that Jimmy is leaving her salon, and JB says there’s no proof it’s happening. Antoinette’s still worried though, Jimmy has VIP clients all over the place and if he goes so do they.

Phoebe the receptionist goes on break, leaving Steve to cover the phones and fetch nail polish colours for nail technicians. Nancy swans in for her appointment with Jimmy. She bumps into Kathy Stafford, who tells her that she’s had several discussions with her husband and she’s made it clear that she won’t put up with his fooling around. Nancy says “That’s the hellraiser I knew in college!”

#awkward.

Kathy meets Ralph for lunch at the Cafe Metropole, and he helpfully doesn’t notice her new hairdo. The head waiter at the cafe sends his best wishes to Agnes for a speedy recovery – then gets a phone call from someone in which he says it wasn’t his fault Agnes came home early, they’re just lucky she didn’t see his face. Meanwhile, Ralph gets a prized silver dollar off Kathy to use as collateral to get Jimmy’s hair salon off the ground.

Jess wanders down to the precinct to give Kriley a helpful tip – at least three of the burglary victims were clients at Antoinette’s, there was a good chance that someone there was in on the whole thing. Kriley says thanks, he’s off to chat to Agnes and will drop JB off on the way. Meanwhile, Ralph meets a shady guy off a bus who has made a counterfeit of the silver dollar. He tells Ralph a true collector will spot the fake immediately, and to forget his name.

That night at closing time, Phoebe the receptionist puts Steve in charge of straightening everything up. He checks on Antoinette, who tells him she’ll close up, but needs him to drop a pair of glasses belonging to Nancy Rayburn around to her apartment. Diane warns Jimmy about leaving Antoinette to get involved in Ralph’s shady shenanigans and says he hits on her every time he’s in the salon, to which Jimmy says “Can I blame him?”

ZZZZT. WRONG ANSWER, TRY AGAIN DUMBASS. Antoinette overhears everything and watches them go, gulping what I assume is bourbon. In the car park, Phoebe runs into Ralph who wants her help finding out who is talking Jimmy out of signing the contract. He offers Phoebe (who used to date Jimmy back in the day) the manager role at Jimmy’s salon, and she says she doesn’t know much but she knows someone who might.

Across town, Ralph drops in on Nancy and gives her the silver dollar (code, but also not code) as collateral for a cheque for 400K that she’s giving him. They make out in the doorway for a while before he leaves, not noticing his wife hiding in the corridor crying. Brutal.

Even later that night, Steve drops around Nancy’s place to deliver the glasses and interrupts the burglar stealing the silver dollar. He gets whacked on the head, and the burglar legs it.

The next morning Jessica rolls into the precinct office, the recipient of Steve’s one phone call – the NYPD found him on the floor next to an empty silver dollar box and arrested him for burglary. Old mate is not having a good day. Jess vouches for him and tells Kriley that half of Manhattan new Nancy wasn’t going to be home the previous night. Curiously, there is no mention of the silver dollar in the list of stolen things. Funny that.

Ralph the Creep is at Antoinette’s getting his nails done when he finds out about the burglary and calls Nancy. She tells him she didn’t report the silver dollar being stolen so that Kathy wouldn’t find out about it, but since it’s insured no problem right? Also, she needs new collateral or her 400K back.

Ralph decides to change course and has a little word with Diane about how he thinks she will convince Jimmy to sign the contract. Across town, old mate head waiter has just discovered the coin is a fake, while Jimmy delivers the bad news to Antoinette. He’s off to start his own salon with Ralph.

Ralphy boy is summoned to a meeting with the head waiter, whose name is apparently Billy, who wants 50K or he will tell Kathy and Nancy all about Ralph’s double cross. Ralph laughs and says now that he knows who the Uptown Burglar is he’ll be off to the police thank you very much. Unbeknownst to the pair of them, Nancy’s producer Madelyn Sweetzer is sitting at the next table and hears the whole thing. Good lord this episode is exhausting.

Down at the TV station, Madelyn delivers the news to Nancy, who is stunned – even more so when Madelyn informs her that the show has been cancelled and will finish at the end of the month. Kathy appears to confront her but Madelyn says she’ll meet her at a bar around the corner.

Later that night there’s a party to farewell Jimmy from Antoinette’s salon, but no one really seems that celebratory apart from Wreck-it Ralph. Jimmy and Diane seem nervous, JB is sad, and Kathy Stafford is morose. Antoinette makes an appearance, but storms off after Ralph tells her they could have been partners but these days he likes to have younger, prettier faces around him.

Ralph later went on to become president. I mean, wait, what?

Antoinette bumps into Jess and they commiserate – she misplaces her bag but it turns up on the bar. Steve arrives late, after borrowing a suit from his brother. Ralph gets a note from Jimmy asking to meet him at Antoinette’s after the party. Phoebe arrives just as JB is leaving, and wants to hear about Steve’s book progress.

Cut to Antoinette’s salon, where Jimmy walks into a room and Ralph is dead in a chair, a pair of scissors sticking out of his back. Good riddance.

The next day, Kriley is all over the crime scene – Jimmy doesn’t appear to admit to being in the salon the night before but does admit the scissors are his. Apparently, it was Steve who found the body when he came in to open up. The silver dollar was left on the bench, ruling out a burglary. Steve is getting into the detecting business with Jess and swears there’s something missing from the station where Ralph died.

Outside, Diane confesses to Jimmy that Ralph had the dirt on her – specifically how she made a living when she was kicked out of home aged 16. Jimmy tells her he doesn’t care about that, he likes her now. Better answer Jimmy. Down at the Cafe Metropole Billy gets a call from his partner saying that Ralph’s death meant they were off the hook, but Billy is worried about the silver dollar boxes. Turns out he should be more worried about police taps, Kriley has heard the whole thing. He can’t place the voice on the other end of the call, but Jessica can.

They head down to Antoinette’s and despite her protests of innocence, Phoebe is arrested. Antoinette is also taken downtown when it’s discovered her prints are on the scissors. Jessica thinks this is a weak case, but Kriley is convinced.

Preach it sister.

Kriley is convinced he’s got it all sorted but Jess has other ideas. She recruits Steve to help her set the trap et voila!

This I did not see coming.

Instead of being mad that Ralph treated them both terribly, they teamed up and murdered him. Fair play really. Something to do with non-matching nail polish that I missed because I started googling my family tree.

Anyway. Onwards!

Later gang!

 

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