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S12E11 – Unwilling Witness

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, and there are crisis talks in the boardroom of Logan Investments. Guys, you’re not going to believe this, but apparently, they’ve been actively doing some shady stuff in finance land.

A dodgy trader? How very quaint. Such things would never happen now.

#nailedit

The CEO of the company is Paige Corbin (aka Frank Burns from MASH) and he is trying to stay calm but the chairman of the board Mason Logan cheerfully informs them they’re on the deck of the Titanic and there’s a large iceberg coming. Mason’s son Nick pops in to inform them that they’re going to be raided in five minutes and Mason suggests they start shredding and take the rest of the day off.

The elevator doors open and the office is swamped by agents led by federal prosecutor Annette Rayburn. She hands the warrant to vice-president Tiffany Beckman and demands to see Mason Logan. Tiffany informs her that Mason is not in today, perhaps she can come back tomorrow. Undeterred, Annette wants Tiffany to tell Paige Corbin that the axe is falling on his head.

Word of the raid hits the TV, and specifically the TV of Our Heroine who is Very Concerned by the news, especially that the president of Logan Investments, Doug Freemont has avoided testifying in front of a grand jury and has nicked off to Argentina. She calls Logan Investments wanting answers but instead gets a cigar stroking (not code) SEC agent who tells her to call her lawyer and get ready to sue the pants off this bunch of crooks.

But thanks for the advice Rando,

Back at the raid news photographer Ted Duffy has finagled his way inside and is snapping away when Annette busts him and orders a passing cop to throw him out. Ted leaves, but not before snapping photos of vice president Reed Harding sneaking into an office and removing a floppy disk labelled Hong Kong. He emerges from the office, and Tiffany asks him if he’s got the disk. He tells her it’s going to make them rich, “-are you in babe?”

“All the way. And don’t call me babe.” Says Tiffany.

Annette finds Paige Corbin and hands him a subpoena to appear before the grand jury. Paige is shocked to hear that president Doug Fremont has taken off to South America, according to Mason Logan’s advice according to his wife. Paige says he’s been friends with Mason for 30 years and Annette tells him he’s banking on their friendship keeping him silent.

JB summons her lawyer Lou to get a damage report and the news is grim. Fortunately, she wasn’t that invested, it was just a few shares she’d bought for her grandniece’s birthday after she gave a pep talk about how investing drives the economy (remembering of course that this was the 90s before we switched to an economy based on memes). Lou the lawyer tells her he’ll try and recover the money she lost, but JB wants to know what she will tell that little girl.

(I’m sure that girl grew up fine, she’s probably an Instagram influencer or a Mommy Blogger or something)

That night Paige gets cracking on a whiskey-based solution to his problems, and has a fight with his daughter Maria who is only back at his house to collect some more of her clothes but never mind that because ARGH

All this episode needs now is an Alison Janney cameo and I’ll probably explode.

Paige and Maria fight, and he tells her to give her the key to his apartment. She leaves, furious and Paige commends himself for making sure she’s not involved in what’s about to happen. Later, he drunkenly visits Mason to demand answers but Mason tells him Annette is trying to convince him to testify against Mason as a way to build up to arresting Mason.

After Paige leaves, Mason calls his son Nick and tells him that job he needed has now become a necessity, he’ll be at the townhouse. Nick says he’ll take care of it and hangs up. He apologises to his date, he has an errand to run. His date tells him to come by later, she’ll be awake. Guys his date is Maria.

Nick heads to Paige’s apartment and starts banging on the door for a chat. Paige starts panicking and loads his suitcase with files before finding a phone number in his Rolodex.  It rings and rings before someone finally picks up – it’s JB, returned from a grocery store run. Apparently, that’s not who Paige wanted to talk to so he hangs up just as Nick bursts through the front door.

The next day, Annette’s boss John Wicks informs her that Paige has gone missing and that the powers that be want to shut her investigation down, but Annette’s not bothered.  Meanwhile, JB is down at a precinct signing books for local police when she runs into her old friend Lieutenant Shawn Riley, who is delighted to see her but has to run, he’s investigating the disappearance of Paige Corbin. JB signs another book for a man named Bill Morgan who is looking for forgiveness – for the subpoena he’s about to serve her to appear in front of Annette’s grand jury.

Jess is mystified and so is Lou the Lawyer – who wouldn’t you know it, used to date Annette in law school and was about to propose when she dumped him. He says he’ll try and get more information out of her.  Meanwhile, Maria confronts Nick about the errand he had to run the night before, and all he will tell her is that it’s better she doesn’t know.

Lou finds Annette on her way to work and while she seems happy to see him, she’s giving him nothing about JB’s subpoena. Apparently, she’s being summoned for the same reason Lou got dumped – because Annette wanted it to happen.

Time passes, and…

The day shouting doink doink at courtroom scenes stops being funny is not a day I want to experience.

Annette demands to know why Paige Corbin called JB that night but JB says she has never met Paige Corbin, there’s no reason for him to call her. Annette pulls out a phone log and gets Jessica to confirm that the number is hers.

“Let the record show that the phone number is area code 212-124-7199.” Announces Annette.

JB is getting a lot of Christmas party invites this year.

Annette ploughs on, producing a partial list of Logan Investment customers. Jessica says she has government bonds too, but she’s never met the president of the United States.

MOVING ON.

Jessica scores points by telling everyone the phone was ringing when she got home from the grocery store, but the caller hung up the minute she answered, and this is reflected in the phone log. Annette, however, is undeterred and suggests that the short call was a signal between Paige and JB to signal something was about to happen. She orders JB to tell her one more time why Paige called her, and Jessica tells her that she doesn’t know how many other ways to tell her that she doesn’t know why. Annette finds her in contempt of court and sends her off for a hearing.

If you’ve ever worked in a call centre, you will have found that entire exchange relatable.

Tiffany and Reed read about the disappearance of Paige in the paper and wonder how it will affect their success with the grand jury but Reed decides that it’s going to push the value of the Hong Kong disk right up. Ted Duffy the photographer appears and shows them the photo he took of Reed nabbing the disk. He tells them the photos are a souvenir, the negatives are on sale for ten grand. Reed says he’ll give Duffy fifty grand if he finds Paige Corbin before everyone else. Duffy decides fifty is better than ten and starts tailing Nick Logan.

Lou springs Jessica from her contempt hearing on a technicality, and Jess decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands – she’ll dodge the next subpoena while trying to figure out why Paige called her. She enlists the help of Lieutenant Riley and heads over to Paige’s house to look for clues. While JB starts examining Paige’s Rolodex, there’s a knock at the door. Riley goes to answer it and finds Annette Reyburn, who’d been advised by Riley’s office that he’d had a call from JB. He says yes, they met for coffee but that’s it, he doesn’t know where she is right now and he’s in the middle of trying to find Paige Corbin. Annette asks for a phone call if JB gets in touch and departs.

JB appreciates Riley fudging the facts and more to the point has worked out why Paige called her – an incredibly convoluted 90s situation involving a Rolodex flipping over without someone dialling a landline noticing. They dial the number Paige meant to dial, but it turns out to be an answering service. Another flip through the Rolodex gives them the address of a storage facility in Queens – Jess thinks it’s odd that Soho Storage is filed under L – unless Soho Storage was filed under L for Logan.

Riley and JB head on up to the storage unit, and find Paige Corbin murdered. Nick Mason appears just after they find the body but swears he had nothing to do with any of it – he went and collected Paige from his townhouse, yes, but nothing more than that. Annette wants to know if JB’s been in touch, but Riley says no (JB is long gone at this point).

Maria, devastated at her father’s murder, confronts Mason who tells her he had nothing to do with any of it and is as devastated as she is. JB barges in demanding answers and she’s not leaving until she gets them.

“I went into some old newspaper files on Internet this afternoon,” says JB. (On internet! I’m dying). Anyway, she read about another time Mason was under investigation by the SEC but it was dropped when the lead investigator died in a mysterious car crash twenty years earlier. Mason doesn’t know anything about that, and the interview is cut short when Mason’s secretary buzzes to let them know the SEC are here with warrants. JB hides behind the door while Bill Morgan serves Mason with a bench warrant, but Mason tells him he’s terribly sorry he’s about to go into hospital for spine surgery. Bill asks Maria and Mason if they’d happened to see JB but they tell him no.

Ted is summoned to a meeting with Reed and Tiffany. When he gets there though it’s just Tiffany and she wants to deal – 100 grand if Ted steals the Hong Kong disk from Reed. Ted is tempted but with the death of Paige Corbin, he’s not feeling disposed to getting involved in her scam. Reed joins them soon after and they toast to having a better week.

John Wicks tells Annette that her investigation has been terminated, but she begs him to give her 24 hours to tie it all up. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Riley has done a bit of digging into the death of the SEC agent back in the day and learned there was a witness to the hit and run – the agent’s ten-year-old daughter, who later provided a sketch of the driver to authorities. Fun fact, it looks a lot like Paige Corbin.

Riley doesn’t see how any of this relates to the murder of Annette Rayburn’s star witness and just saying those words leads JB to promptly solve the case. A phone call, a trip to the crime scene and JB  is done. She sidles up to Bill Morgan and accepts her subpoena, for as her mother used to say:

Word from JB’s mother.

The grand jury resumes with Annette going after JB again. JB offers to prove the phone call from Paige was an accident and asks to address the jury directly but Annette hits the roof. Her boss wanders in with Lieutenant Riley and tells her it’s a hearing, she should hear what JB has to say.

But she kind of doesn’t need to really.

Not surprised, if I’m honest.

Annette Reyburn’s real name is Carla Holland – the daughter of the dead SEC agent. She recognised Paige Corbin as the driver of the hit and run that killed her father, and the rest is murder. (She left her earring at the crime scene, it turns out)

Culprit arrested, Riley is escorting her out of the courthouse when Reed Harding appears with the Hong Kong disk, wanting to cut a deal. Annette asks Riley to arrest him too.

Case closed. I’m off next week but I’ll be back the week after!

Later gang!

 

 

 

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S12E10 – Frozen Stiff

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Guys, the 90s were a dark time for men’s hair and computer operating systems.

You kids with your Fortnites and your Ariana Grandes, you have no idea how we suffered.

The 90s hair dude examining the 90s operating system is all set to leave for the night but someone comes into the room next door so he ducks down and hides. The man makes a call and leaves a message before someone else enters the room. The man tells the mystery person he doesn’t work for them any more, and then the other person shoots him. 90s hair dude comes into the room and hits redial on the phone but doesn’t leave a message. The clock goes off and he legs it.

The recipient of the missed calls is Larry Armstrong, one half of the aforementioned Garry and Larry’s Frozen Stuff and friend of Our Heroine. JB is in town for talks about the literacy foundation she’s a part of but is mostly there to work out the secret recipe for Garry and Larry’s Tropical Secret, which so far consists of lemon and mango. Larry bets JB won’t work it out before the time she leaves, and she tells him he’s on. Larry wonders why his accountant Kyle Macgregor didn’t explain why he was calling, and Jess says she’ll need to meet with him for some foundation business. Larry gets another phone call – Kyle has been found dead in his office.

Down at G&LFSHQ (no bloody way am I typing that out every time), the doctor rules the case to be a suicide. Larry’s business partner Garry (and I’ll be honest I’m only guessing I have those names right at this point). Garry wants a word with Larry about their upcoming advertising campaign but Larry tells Garry that now isn’t the time and he’s already called the advertisers to put a hold on everything until they can review it together. Kyle’s wife Susan arrives just as Kyle’s body is being wheeled out. The sheriff asks her how Kyle’s mood has been recently and she doesn’t understand why he needs to know.

We are five minutes into this episode and I feel like my brain is trying to leave my body through my ears with this whole Galarry business.

The next morning Larry is out chatting to his cows when Kyle’s assistant Peggy Evans drops by to give him some paperwork and let him know that Garry is meeting with some consumer group. Jess misses a call and finds an old photo of Larry from Woodstock. Down at the factory, Larry tells press guy Jim Kenton to send out a press release about Kyle’s death before getting into a spat with Garry about his decision not to give Kyle a place on the board. They are interrupted by admin assistant Vicky Nolastname, who tells them they have a problem.

I mean yeah they have a problem, this episode is complicated as hell. Ice cream should not be complicated, it should be frozen and in plentiful supply. But it turns out their problem is that 750K – the money earmarked for JB’s charity – has disappeared. This is obviously Very Bad News, but no one has time for this right now, someone called Ken Brewer from Verity is in the lobby and Jess has to take Larry’s answering machine tape to the sheriff.

Ken Brewer, it turns out, is from a consumer affairs group who have been tipped off that G&LFS products aren’t as natural as the cows it comes from, as the cows are full of hormones. Larry is horrified, Garry demands to know where this information came from but Ken isn’t saying. They have 48 hours before he goes public.

They aren’t having a great day.

Jess gets a lift to the sheriff’s office from 90s-hair from the start of the episode, who has a lot of questions about Larry’s past. Meanwhile, Larry’s present isn’t too flash either now that he’s just learned that Garry has been using hormone milk behind his back. Larry is furious and says the ad campaign won’t go ahead until the situation is fixed.

Down at the sheriff’s office, the sheriff tells JB that the coroner is confirming suicide due to the gun powder residue. Jess hands over the tape and tells the sheriff she thinks the second call came from Larry’s office due to the mooing clock you can hear on the tape. There are also squeaking noises she can’t identify. The sheriff thinks it’s odd Kyle killed himself over the missing money before #GaLarry even knew it was missing but JB thinks he must have been racked with guilt.

Garry runs into his wife Carol with her new Cadillac out in the carpark – he’s not thrilled she’s burning through his money but Carol tells him tough, she’s bored and also there are overdue bills from their bedroom renovation that need paying. Garry tells her to give them to Peggy and tell her they’re office expenses. Jim Kenton reappears and Carol takes off. Jim tells Garry he thinks he has some dirt they can use on Ken Brewer but it will cost. Garry doesn’t care, he wants that info now.

Later that night, JB gets down to the serious business of Just What’s In Tropical Secret but before she can an intruder interrupts her scheme. It’s 90s hair, whose name is actually Woody Seabrook. Larry comes down the stairs and wants to know why he shouldn’t call the police on Woody right now, but JB suspects he has a very good reason for being there since Woody is Larry’s son. It comes out that Woody is named after the place he was conceived (so thank goodness he wasn’t conceived at CBGB’s or something) and that his mother never knew who his Dad was, except after his mother died he found his birth certificate and discovered that Larry’s real name is Leonard Atkins. Larry tells him he only knew Woody’s mother for three days, and that he changed his name after he was arrested for an anti-war demonstration. After he got out of jail he came back as Larry who’d been in France for three years.

Woody walks away, his sneakers squeaking on the tiles. Jessica realises that’s the noise from the tape and that Woody was in the G&LFS office when Kyle died. Woody explains what happened, and how he thought Larry was the killer since his was the last number dialled. Jessica thinks they need to tell the sheriff so the next day Woody and Larry head down to tell him. The sheriff is very interested in this development and wonders who Kyle was planning to meet. Before Larry leaves, the sheriff quietly warns him that there are a lot of financial reasons why Woody would want to be Larry’s son but Larry tells him the blood test is only going to prove what he already thinks.

Down by the water, Carol is having a lovely afternoon making out with Ken Brewer, who still loves her and wishes the feeling was mutual. He’s not dropping the tainted milk situation though and she says there’s a chance the company might be bought out by a bigger corporation so if he waits he could go after a company with deep pockets.

Back at G&LFSHQ Jessica is investigating the missing money. Peggy explains how Kyle was the computer expert in the office and set up all kinds of systems including measuring temperature in the storage rooms. They find a receipt for a steakhouse in Milwaukee from the day before Kyle died, which was odd since he was meant to be in St Louis. They look up Kyle’s Milwaukee file, but someone had deleted it. Jess gets on the phone to the sheriff, but not before asking if the recipe for Tropical Secret is in the computer (it isn’t).

Garry decides to have a quiet meeting with Ken Brewer but Ken says he’s already had the international company speech. Garry asks him where he thinks the donations his organisation gets come from. Meanwhile, Larry asks Kyle’s wife Margaret if she knew why Kyle was in Milwaukee instead of St Louis but she knows nothing. That night, Garry makes a phone call to talk about the missing 750k while Jessica stages another assault on the Tropical Secret only to be thwarted by a pensive Larry struggling to come to terms with fatherhood.

Kyle Macgregor’s funeral takes place the next day. Larry arrives late, Garry not at all. JB remains vigilant.

EYES ON THE PRIZE

While Woody hits on Peggy, Victoria the secretary who presumably has been in this episode before and I’ve been calling her Peggy,  finds Garry’s body in one of the cold storage rooms.

Wait. Peggy is the secretary, Victoria is the admin assistant? I AM SO CONFUSED.

The sheriff rolls in and tells JB they caught a break working out the time of death, Garry’s watch stopped at 9:30. JB notices a broken watch face on the factory floor. Larry offers his condolences to Carol, who announces she’s going to oust him as CEO at a specially called shareholders meeting the following week. That night Jim Kenton demands Peggy tell him where Kyle’s secret Milwaukee hideout was, and only backs off when Woody gets involved.

Down at the sheriff’s office, the sheriff and JB break it to Margaret that  Kyle had embezzled the money from the company and withdrew it from his secret account right before he died. Also, he’d done the same thing twenty years earlier but had avoided conviction by testifying against his co-conspirators, his wife and her boyfriend. Also, he never divorced his wife so he was a bigamist.

Carol and Ken are hanging out when a news bulletin comes on the radio announcing the discovery of tainted milk at G&LFS, but confirming it hadn’t left the factory. Carol is pissed and goes to confront Larry who informs her he’s found proof she was writing off personal expenses through the company. Unfortunately, Larry’s victory is shortlived – the sheriff arrives to inform him they found the murder weapon in Larry’s truck and he’s under arrest.

Jessica isn’t buying it though, and through a Sudden and Emphatic Epiphany works out who Kyle’s partner in the embezzling was – Jim Kenton. Apparently, Jim worked out that Kyle was a shady character early on and decided to blackmail him for it, which resulted in the embezzling. Kyle was meant to give Jim the money that night but instead, he shot himself. He insists he didn’t kill Garry though, and since at this point I have no idea who anyone is, I believe him.

And to draw this not terrible but terribly complicated episode to a close…

Mrs Macgregor did it after all

And for those playing along at home, the Tropical secret was mango, lemon, passionfruit, persimmon, cumin and nutmeg. We know this because Jessica got the sheriff to send a sample off to be tested at the lab.

Using police resources to win a one dollar bet – guys JB is a Slytherin Queen and I frankly love her for it.

Kia kaha Aotearoa. I’m thinking of you. 

S12E09 – Deadly Bidding

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Once upon a time in New York two years ago, Kenneth Rundle (played uncredited by Edd Byrnes aka Vince Fontaine from Grease) stole a Degas painting from a museum and took it round to struggling painter Angus Neville’s house.

I apologise in advance for this week’s post.

Angus assured Kenneth that he can disguise the Degas without damaging it, and showed him the painting that will go over the top of the Degas – an original work entitled Arrangement in Grey And Red.

Once upon a time in New York one month ago, Kenneth Rundle gets roughed up by a couple of toughs in a car park, looking for the Degas. Rundle has a heart attack and dies.

FACT! BASED! REPORTING! NOTHING BUT FACTS!

Once upon a time in New York right now (but more specifically 1995), JB has her Museum Board hat on and is on the phone to gallery owner Felix Wesker about an Arthur Conan Doyle manuscript he is selling. JB wants another look at the manuscript as Felix has screwed them before (unintentionally according to Felix) but Felix has already sent it to the auction house so if JB wants to look at it she’ll have to go there.

Do not mess with JB in murder mode or museum mode.

The museum’s assistant curator, Reggie Evers, is hoping that Felix has had a look at her boyfriend’s photography portfolio but he tells her he’ll get to it in a couple of days.

Felix gets off the phone and is confronted by Angus Neville, who wants to know why his painting is lit so badly and also can he borrow fifty thousand dollars so he can buy his painting back. Felix tells him absolutely not happening.

Angus isn’t the only one interested in buying Arrangement in Grey and Red. A dude by the name of Milt Solomon represents a private collector who doesn’t want it known he is interested in Angus’s painting so he is engaging the services of a representative to bid on their behalf.

This is Charlie’s last episode, you guys.

Charlie doesn’t know art or auctions, but he knows an inside scoop and he wants to know why Milt’s client is so interested. Milt tells him he wants to buy it, hang it on the wall and look at it, and all Charlie needs to do is not bid one cent over 100K.

Over at the auction house, auction chief Giles Havelock oversees final arrangements for the auction, while his assistant Diana Barrow tells Pete Dunning (Reggie’s boyfriend and assistant at the auction house) to tell the caterers that if she sees one more canape with cheese sauce or mayonnaise they are fired. Reggie tells Giles that JB is just finishing up her examination of the Conan Doyle manuscript and she has questions.

Diana goes to meet her boyfriend for a quick walk and guys wouldn’t you know it, it’s Milt Solomon. Somehow they know what’s really going on underneath Arrangement in Grey and Red and they want it for themselves. Diana’s furious that Milt only gave 100K to Charlie to bid, but she decides any other serious bidder will be someone who knows the true value of the painting and the only person she can think of is Angus, who can’t afford it.

Jess can’t find fault with the manuscript, but she just can’t shake the feeling that it’s a fake. Giles understands, he doesn’t trust anything either especially anything Felix sells. But it doesn’t sell for much, it’s had a couple of owners so it doesn’t seem worth faking. Meanwhile, Reggie and Pete have a fight about Reggie showing Pete’s photographs to Felix.

Speaking of which, Felix decides to take another look at Arrangement in Grey and Red but doesn’t explain why to Diana. He is interested in what she knows about the seller, Serena Rundle, and Diana tells him not much, just that she seems to be liquidating her late husband’s estate.

Back at home, Angus is having no luck trying to find someone to bankroll his efforts to buy back his painting when he gets a visit from the two goons who scared Kenneth Rundle to death. Angus thinks they are looking to buy one of his paintings but Mr Mezznou tells him if Angus bids on Arrangement in Grey and Red, or gets anyone to do so for him, Mezznou and his associate will kill everyone involved.

Auction night rolls around and while Charlie tries to make sense of such a circus, Felix tells Angus he’s worked out why Angus is so interested in buying his painting back. Angus persuades him to buy it and they’ll split the profits – Angus suggests 60/40 but Felix only agrees when he drops it to 90/10.

JB loiters in the corner throwing back bubbles and chatting to Peter. She confirms to Felix that despite her misgivings the museum will bid on the manuscript. Felix wanders off and Peter tells her he has to get some artworks out for the auction, but he’ll definitely look into the previous owners of the manuscript for her. He produces the code for the door on a piece of paper and gets inside while across the room Angus watches on. The newly widowed Mrs Rundle is cornered by Mezznou and his associate who are keen to find out more about where her late husband acquired the painting but Giles steps in and shoos them away. Reggie and Peter chat in his office, and Angus steals the code for the door out of Peter’s pocket.

The auction kicks off, while JB reviews the information Peter got for her in regards to the previous owners. The last three times the manuscript came up for auction it was through Felix Wesker, and the buyer had a T next to their name. This can only be valuable intel. Just as the manuscript comes up for auction, JB bumps into Charlie.

Guys if I could explain this I would.

JB has no time for Charlie just now though, she has a manuscript to bid on. That shady cat Felix decides to throw a spanner in the works by bidding to jack the price up (just like buying a house in Melbourne, probably) but taps out when Jessica reaches the limit the museum gave her.

Jess sits back to celebrate as the next item is brought up for auction – Arrangement in Grey and Red. Bidding kicks off at thirty grand and eventually turns into a bidding war between Charlie, Felix and Mezznou.  Charlie taps out at a hundred grand as instructed, but then accidentally bids four hundred grand on it waving at Jessica and wins it anyway.

Ah the classic accidental bid at auction scenario.

After the dust settles, Diana puts a panicked call into Milt who tells her he can’t get more money and she tells him she can’t either. Giles walks in so she hangs up the phone. Giles is happy with the evening’s result, though apparently a couple of Angus Neville fans aren’t too happy – they were on the phone bidding when Diana put them on hold and then they were disconnected. They were less mad when they heard how much the painting went for.

Over dinner, JB explains to Charlie just how screwed he is when a waiter appears to tell Charlie there’s a call on the house phone. Charlie’s surprised, as no one could know where he was but the waiter assures him the caller asked for Charlie by name. Charlie wanders off to see who’s on the phone – but it’s Mezznou and his pal, and they’re not happy that Charlie didn’t listen to the warning Angus received. Charlie tells them to back off, and they start laying into him. It’s only when Jessica appears and threatens to call the police that Mezznou and pal depart.

Jessica and Charlie adjourn to JB’s apartment for a nightcap but Charlie’s got a big day trying to find some cash and so takes off. Back at the auction house Angus breaks in and steals the painting. He takes it home, but no sooner does he get home there’s a knock on the door. Angus recognises whomever it is and opens it. He says “Look, if this is about my painting,” and is stabbed to death by the guy at the door.

The next day the police are all over it, led by Sergeant Unger who is stoked that JB was at the auction as it means one less person he needs to track down. (As we all know, JB is friends with every cop in New York. Clues are thin on the ground – there’s a piece of paper with what they think is a phone number on it (which JB recognizes as the security code for the auction house), a frame that has had the painting cut out of it, and the news that there was a theft from the auction house the previous night – Arrangement in Red and Grey has gone AWOL. Jessica mentions that that is the painting Charlie bought, and Unger is surprised to learn JB is acquainted with such a loser as Charlie Garrett.

Down at the auction house, Reggie tells Peter about the security code being found but he’s as puzzled as she is. He couldn’t track down any of the former owners of the Conan Doyle manuscript, but he did manage to find out that all the winners were phone bids. Upstairs, Giles is on the phone reassuring patrons about their security. He’s printed out a list of recent art thefts for JB as requested.

Milt and Diana’s relationship appears to not be surviving the disappointment of not acquiring Arrangement in Grey and Red, while Felix is sorry that Charlie’s painting has gone missing but he is too busy to care. Charlie tells him he thinks he knows where the painting is but Felix doesn’t care – he has a gallery full of Angus’s painting and now that he’s dead the value has quadrupled. Lieutenant Unger arrives and would like a word with Charlie immediately.

JB and Peter manage to discover that all the previous owners of the Doyle manuscript were dead when they bought them (awkward) and they stumble onto Kenneth Rundle’s obituary which happens to mention that he was a life-long bachelor, something that would be a surprise presumably to his widow.

Back down at the auction house, Unger has a word with Peter who has no idea how the security code ended up with Angus. It is very clear that Unger thinks that Peter is involved but simply tells Peter not to leave town.

Over lunch, JB explains to Charlie exactly what he’s gotten himself into – she has worked out what Arrangement in Red and Grey really was, and that Kenneth’s wife is a lie. Charlie is more interested in what the painting is worth.

I mean I could explain this, but honestly, some things are better left unexplained tbh

Jessica thinks it’s time they went to the police but she wants to know for certain Charlie knew nothing of any of it – and just as she asks this Mezznou and his friend wander over to their table, as Felix told them that Charlie knows where the painting is and it would be terrible if they all ended up dead from not sharing that information. Taking matters into her own hands, Jess spills a bowl of soup and they make a dash for it – only to run into Rundle’s widow, who is actually an FBI agent with questions, and Sergeant Unger, who has questions of his own.

It turns out the FBI was onto Kenneth Rundle for a long time, and they suspected there was more to Arrangement in Red and Grey than met the eye, so they decided to keep the painting on offer to see who else knew. The agent has plenty of questions for Charlie but Unger gets in first so she sashays away. Unfortunately for Unger Charlie’s alibi checks out – the waitress at the diner Charlie loitered at that night said it was like time stood still, six cups of coffee for a twenty cent tip.

I don’t know what that means either, but Jess does and she sets a trap to prove it.

And of course…

Let’s be honest, this wasn’t a complete surprise.

Giles was late to the ‘Oh that’s a Degas’ party, but he got there, and was going to bail out the auction house with it. Also the Conan Doyle manuscript was totally fake, which they worked out from a passing news bulletin on the television. Nice work MSW writers.

And so we say good-bye to another regular. Peace out Charlie Garrett, the not-quite Harry Macgraw.

Onwards and upwards, Fletcherfans.

 

 

 

S12E08 – Shooting in Rome

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Welcome to Rome Fletcherfans, where a movie set in the deserts of Texas is being shot for tax reasons probably. The director, Monte Hayes, is a slave driver, his ex-wife is the lead star and his son is a stuntman in training, but the person sent in to clean up the script is pretty rad.

Jessica saves the day again.

While Monte rages around the place, the producer Boyce Brown convinces Jessica it’s all going to be fine, except he has money problems and someone keeps stealing things. He ducks off to have a quiet word to the leading man Rex Toland about his garlic breath in the love scene.

Monte’s son and wannabe stuntman Gary Hayes gets his flirt on with one of the production assistants Adriana Bonelli before Rex steps in, confidence doubled now that he’s got breath spray. In her trailer, Gary’s mother Kate Danbury chats with her agent Jake Farber about getting Monte off the movie, before she is summoned to the set.  Boyce meets with a familiar face about the recent spate of thefts on set.

Last seen here, still as dashing as ever.

Inspector Amati is investigating the thefts but is also very confused that the movie is based on a JB Fletcher book set in Chicago, but is being filmed in Italy to look like Texas. Tax reasons m’dude. Boyce gets a call from script editor Lucy Hendrix to let him know that the movie backer has just arrived – pasta tycoon (and Adriana’s father) Raimondo Bonelli. He assures Boyce that their financial troubles will be over by Thursday,

The rehearsal with Kate Danbury, Rex and Monte descends into a shouting match and Gary feels bad about it but Jessica assures him none of it is his fault. Later, Monte tells his son that basically he wanted a wife and got an actress, and Kate wanted a husband and got a director and that’s why it all went wrong. He also asks if Gary knows anything about the thefts, on account of that trouble he got into at school but Gary is outraged even at the thought.

Raimondo gets a phone call from a shady character by the name of Tomaso Cirullio, who is very unhappy that he was unable to get on set after-hours the previous night. Raimondo assures him it was an accident, the security was meant to be turned off. Tomaso tells him he will try again tonight but Raimondo says no, there’s a construction crew, it will have to be tomorrow. He hangs up and drives away. Jessica watches all this go down and notices a business card fall from Raimondo’s pocket. Tomaso Cirullio seems to be a loan shark.

Monte, Gary and stunt gaffer Webb Prentiss go over a stunt for the next day’s shoot, involving a car chase. Webb says it will look flashy but it will be safe, so Monte suggests Gary does it. Webb is surprised but agrees as long as it’s alright with Monte. Gary takes off to celebrate and Webb offers to film it with the second unit so Monte can focus on other things, but Monte informs him there is no second unit, he will direct every foot of this film. Webb tells him that isn’t what Boyce promised him and Monte tells him to take it up with Boyce then.

That night, someone takes to something with a blowtorch. MYSTERIOUS.

In the morning, Jess meets with Boyce who is stressed out of his gourd and wants JB to talk to Kate about stopping her crusade to get Monte fired. JB tells him Kate said she would if he apologised. Boyce throws his hands up and moves on to stressing about the thefts, which makes Jess think of a certain loan shark she’s just become aware of.

Over on a sound stage Gary lures his parents into a room and begs them just to talk for 30 seconds, and it nearly works. JB bumps into Tomaso Cirullio skulking around the set and pretends to be Raimond’s secretary Dominique, complete with Outrageous Italian Accent.

I did think at one point she was South African, but I’ve got heat insanity again so who knows.

Jake Farber wanders into Kate’s dressing room to tell her the good news – Monte’s leaving the film. Kate fires him immediately, which seems a bit weird but it turns out Jake has been pitching Boyce replacements for Monte – and for Kate – already. Lucy comes in to tell her that Gary is doing the car stunt and Kate flips and heads straight to the set to tear Monte a new one. Gary is adamant he’s going to do it, despite Webb’s discovery that someone did a shoddy weld job on part of the stunt. Raimondo takes off. Jessica notices a container of breath spray on the ground.

Five star rating all day.

Raimondo gets on his car phone and tells Tomaso he’s received his message via the damaged stunt rig. He’s just relieved no one got hurt but Tomaso says someone still might. Raimondo promises the security system will be turned off that night.

Jess confronts Rex with the breath spray, and he tells her he was just wandering past the rig the previous night. He did see someone, but it didn’t and doesn’t make any sense since the person messing with the rig was Webb Prentiss himself.

JB rushes over to stop the stunt but it’s too late – the cars come round the corner, one goes up off the ramp but crashes into the car it was meant to clear. Everyone rushes over to check, but Gary wasn’t in the car – it was Webb.

The set shuts down. Monte tells anyone who’ll listen that this is a first for him, and Lucy Hendricks tells him to stop talking. Monte cracks the sads until JB reminds him that Lucy and Webb were a thing. Gary wanders past but isn’t interested in talking to his father either. Inspector Amati would like to know why JB thought it necessary to try and stop the stunt and she explains how she learned that Webb was the one who sabotaged the rig. Later, Amati chats to Boyce and Kate and they tell him it was Boyce’s decision to swap Gary for Webb. Amati thinks they still need to consider the possibility of murder, and given the late driver swap, they need to consider that Gary was the target. Gary himself is outside having a crisis while Adriana tells him he needs to come forward with what he saw.

JB and Amati have a chat down at the garage where the car is being examined. JB says Webb claimed all the driver needed to do was maintain a speed of 60 miles an hour and the stunt would work perfectly – but what if he only thought he was going at 60? Amati tells his men to check the speedo, and then gets a message from another colleague. Jessica’s hunch about Raimondo Bonelli has paid off.

Raimondo refuses to admit his financial situation, but Amati has the good word straight from his bank. Raimondo folds, and says he only wanted to make a movie, but he ran out of money and fell into Tomaso’s clutches. He tells it all to Amati, who manages to catch Tomaso in the act of stealing stuff off the set later that night.

The next morning, JB finds Boyce chucking it all in. He was going to beg Jake Farber to get him a deal back in America but Jake would only do it if Boyce convinced Kate not to fire Jake. JB calls BS on the whole thing and tells him he’s a bigshot he can make this work with no favours from anybody. She then finds Gary moping around the set and gets him to unload – apparently he saw Monte tinkering with the car before the stunt, and he thinks Monte tried to kill him. Monte swears it’s not true but Amati appears with the news that Monte’s fingerprints are all over the car and could he have a word?

Monte swears he had nothing to do with anything, he just lifted the hood to make sure that everything was okay because it was his son in the driver’s seat. Amati thinks it was all about revenge on his ex-wife but Monte says not possible, he’s still in love with his ex-wife. Kate overhears this and begs JB for help.

Jess watches the tape of the crash with Boyce, crunches some numbers and realises that Webb was going 50 miles an hour, not 60. Back at the police station, Amati regales JB and Kate with the story of when he was an extra in Cleopatra with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and something about the word diamonds explains the whole thing to JB.

Back at the lot, Jake tries to get his new client Rex Toland off the film, but after Boyce tells him he’s solved his money problems he changes tack and tries to offer a new director. Boyce says the only problem he has is getting Kate back to work, but Jake tells him just to threaten to take her money away, she’s broke and she needs it. Meanwhile, Gary tells Adriana that JB has solved the case and the police will be coming to take the car away the following day. Rex lurks in the background eavesdropping until Lucy shoos him away.

With the trap set, JB waits for the killer to take the bait, and sure enough –

Not my first choice. Not my second choice. This is why JB Fletcher solves crimes and I eat cheese.

Something something car talk, Lucy killed Webb because Webb killed her father four years ago to take over as the head stuntman.

Bring on the cool change you guys. There are fires that need putting out.

Later gang!