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S12E19 – Evidence of Malice

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Back to the Cove again Fletcher fans where JB is suffering from her yearly bout of writer’s block, Deputy Andy is buying a house and local shady businessman Fred Berrigan insists he wasn’t drink driving, he was trying to dial his carphone. NOT BETTER BRO.

Despite the obvious bad blood between Deputy Andy and Fred, Andy tells Mort he’ll just drive Fred home so he doesn’t lose his license, because Andy is a Good Bloke, and is also buying a house off Fred. As they drive away, Mort hears a banging from a shed nearby, opens the door to investigate, and steps back as the corpse of Leverett Boggs slumps out.

The next daty Mort, Seth and JB stroll and chat about just how upsetting it is that Leverett has died, given that he was due to go to JB’s for dinner and a chess game that night. Mort tells them that the motive was obvious – his wallet and keys were missing.

“A mugging? In Cabot Cove?” Says JB.

OUTRAGEOUS

JB spots a piece of cord that might be a potential clue in the murder. Andy bobs up to announce he’s officially a homeowner (the very idea). They all congratulate him but Seth privately tells JB he wouldn’t buy a used house from Fred Berrigan.

Cut to Fred at work at the Down East Footwear Company, where he has to contend with the murder of his employee Leverett Boggs as well as some dodgy leather a salesman named Craig Haber is trying to sell him. Fred’s wife Meg is keen to get Craig on board but Fred’s not having a bar of it. Meanwhile, new hire Wendy Arnold has been promoted to Leverett’s job and is learning the ropes from colleague George Parkins. She has learned quickly, already scoring a dinner date with Craig and getting longtime employee Isaac Meecham fired.

Business Wendy is All Business.

Andy’s buzz as a Legitimate Home Owner wears right off when his builder friend informs him that the house is in dire need of some repair. Andy doesn’t understand how Fred didn’t know about it when he sold it but the builder tells Andy that the last renovation was largely cosmetic. But if Fred did know about it, and failed to disclose it, Fred would be liable for the repairs, which are going to cost.

“How much?” Asks Andy.

I’m here for my own amusement.

Over at House Fletcher JB is in a tizz with her writer’s block and the recent demise of her friend Leverett. Seth is in a tizz because JB is out of cream for his coffee and when she suggests milk as a healthier option Seth gets on his high horse about how Hannah Parkins down at the cafe has started making healthier versions of all his favourite foods and what was the point of living longer if you’re just going to die of boredom?

Seth distracts himself by finding a piece of paper with Leverett’s name on it, and JB remembers he wanted the contact information of her New York lawyer and accountant. And now she wonders why.

Back at the factory, Wendy lurks in the background as Isaac is fired by Fred for some dodgy paperwork. Seeing her opportunity, she makes a move on Fred to show off her savings she just made – George was nowhere and Fred and Meg were both busy. Fred is clearly liking the financial moves Wendy is throwing down but declines her suggestion of a drink. She wanders off and Meg pops over to see what that was about. “Nothing.” Says Fred.

Mmmkay.

Down at the aforementioned cafe owned by Hannah Parkins, mother of George, breaker of chains etc etc Deputy Andy’s fiance Patty is doing the bookings for Hannah. Andy is worried about how they’ll afford the repairs on the house and Patty feels bad that she convinced him to buy it. Andy shakes it off, says not to worry, he’ll have a chat to Fred and maybe he’ll do the honourable thing….and maybe Andy is an astronaut.

We all need to find someone who looks at us like Patty looks at Andy. Or how I look at banoffee pie.

George and Wendy wander in for lunch. George is peeved because he just copped a bollocking from Meg about not being around to sign some purchase orders when he was in his office the whole time. Wendy tells Hannah she knows she hasn’t been at the company long, but that some people are very demanding.

Hannah of the House Parkins, the First of Her Name, The Unfoolable, Queen of the Potpies, the Hotcakes and the First Mousse, Queen of Mournay, Khaleesi of the Great Apple Pie, Protector of the George, Lady Regent of the Seven Coves of Cabot, Breaker of Feuds, and Mother of Men Who Aren’t Good At Talking To Women.

Over at the Sheriff’s Office Mort tries to calm down Fred who is demanding the return of his car after the drink driving situation of the previous night. Andy rolls in after retrieving Fred’s car and produces a roll of cord that matches the cord they think killed Leverett Boggs. Mort decides to lock Fred up for the time being.

Meg comes down to the sheriff’s office to defend her husband. Mort appears and informs Mort that the rope burns on Fred’s hands could be from the cord used to kill Leverett. Meg calls shenanigans and says the rope burn is from the rigging on their sailboat. Andy surfaces with some more evidence – a letter from Leverett to Fred about how Leverett has uncovered some shady dealings within the company, and how they need to meet and discuss it before Meg finds out. Sounds like blackmail to Mort.

At Down Easter HQ that night Business Wendy is going over the company accounts when she notices a file missing from Leverett’s computer. Craig arrives to pick her up for dinner, and Business Wendy suggests she might be able to help solve his current difficulties with Fred Berrigan – for the right price. Craig thinks she’s talking about proof he killed Leverett, but Wendy says no, the sheriff’s deputy is clearly setting him up for that. She’s talking strictly business.

Andy and Patty take a walk by the water, and Andy tells Patty that Fred isn’t interested in paying for the damages in the house. Andy is worried Patty believes the things people are saying about him but Patty does not believe. Not for one second. I know a few people who could learn a lesson from Patty.

The next day Seth asks after JB’s writer’s block, but JB is too busy trying to work out a world in which Leverett Boggs is a blackmailer. Seth says if Everett isn’t blackmailer and the letter is fake, then Fred had no reason to kill him and plant self-incriminating evidence, and so someone must be setting Fred up.

“IT WASN’T ANDY.” Says Jessica.

“DID I SAY IT WAS?” Says Seth.

Mort appears to inform Seth that his professional opinion has been refuted by doctors in Boston and New York who say the rope burns on Fred’s hands are not from the cord used to kill Leverett.

Actual response though: “Really? Tscheeee.”

Back at the factory Business Wendy decides to kick things up a notch and tries to ingratiate herself with Meg Berrigan before asking George if he knows anything about a NORCOM file. George knows nothing. Wendy gets a phone call from Craig who wants an update on the NORCOM file. Wendy tells him through gritted teeth that she’s working on it.  Andy and Patty stop by Hannah’s cafe and run into Isaac who essentially congratulates Andy for doing something about it. Andy takes offence at the implication, and Isaac says cool it, he’s one of the few people in town who is on Andy’s side.

Over at the Sheriff’s office, Mort takes call number 100 demanding he does something about Andy. Andy returns from lunch and doesn’t want to hear about it. JB conducts an investigation of Leverett’s possessions and finds a post-it with the word NORCOM written on it. Andy delivers lunch to Fred in jail and they bicker again. Apparently, Andy’s had a grudge since grade school because Fred is richer, better looking and a better athlete.

Just no.

Mort later tells Andy that a)Freds’ been bailed, b) the prosecutor is probably going to drop the case and c) he needs to suspend Andy until this is all straightened out.

I mean he’s not Lucas from Haven, but he’s this show’s Lucas from Haven and that’s enough.

At Hannah’s cafe that night, Jess tells Seth she’s delighted with the new look low-fat menu.

My thoughts on Game of Thrones are <<redacted>>

Seth finds out the apple pie is low fat and so orders a second round (a man after my own heart) and Jess notices Craig talking to Business Wendy at the next table while George sits there looking sour. Craig is after that file, but Business Wendy says she’s still looking into it. Later as they leave, JB mentions that her cousin Teddy is from the same home town as Business Wendy but Business Wendy says she’s only met him once at a function.

After they leave Seth asks Jess what’s wrong – Jess says her cousin is a woman.

Business Wendy is in trou-ble…

That night Fred wanders back to the factory for unknown reasons. He gets clocked on the head and goes down dead. Next, Andy appears, checks his pulse, and calls it in.

Mort, JB and the cavalry arrive. Andy tells them that he followed Fred in the hopes of gaining more intel on his involvement in Leverett’s murder. He was maybe twenty feet behind him outside the office when he heard the noises and rushed inside to find Fred dead. Meg arrives to identify the body and Andy tells her how horrible he feels. Meg looks furious and bites back her words. Mort asks where she was at the time of the murder, and she says she was on the phone for about 45 minutes, right up until the deputy showed up at her house. JB snags her sleeve on a hinge.

George sees Business Wendy talking with Craig and clearly doesn’t listen to the part of the conversation where she was snooping on Craig’s behalf. He does, however, step in when Craig gets a bit handsy and warns him to stay away. Craig suggests he find out where his new lady love Business Wendy was at the time of the murder.

The next day George consults his mother for her advice and she freely tells him she thinks Business Wendy is dodgy as and George needs to return JB’s call. Patty drops off Hannah’s tax returns and a few of the locals start talking about how sad it is about Andy. Hannah suggests it would be nice if they all knew when to shut up. WORD.

George calls JB who tells him that Business Wendy is a lie, and she needs his help finding out what her background is as well as where the NORCOM file is. Later, Andy drops by JB’s for some counselling and tells her Fred not paying for the house repairs seemed very out of character for him as a Berrigan Always Pays His Debts. JB wonders why Wendy was so interested, and Seth suggests she ask her but JB doesn’t think she’ll get a straight answer.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Mort tells JB and Seth that Meg Berrigan was on the phone at the time of the murder. JB reveals her research has discovered that Business Wendy Arnold is actually Wendy Arnette, someone who flunked out of Harvard Business School for cheating. A deputy pops in to show Mort some evidence they found – receipts for the purchase of rope and gloves that were used to kill Leverett. They were found in the dumpster behind Andy’s apartment.

A short time later Mort finds Andy down the street trying to get information out of Business Wendy. He informs Andy they found the murder weapon – in the boot of his car. Andy is under arrest for murder.

JUSTICE FOR ANDY

Down at the sheriff’s office Patty, Andy, Mort and JB debate the situation and it’s only when Patty mentions the case hinges on lousy evidence that JB gets an idea. She and Mort pay a visit on Business Wendy who crumbles under the suggestion she snagged her scarf on the hinge in Fred’s office. She was there the night of the murder, trying the only computer she hadn’t checked for the NORCOM file. She only got as far as turning the computer on when she heard the door and bolted. She didn’t see Fred or Andy or anyone. She begs them not to tell Meg Berrigan about her lies and JB says that’s for Business Wendy to decide.

Back at House Fletcher Seth bangs on about how much he hates modern technology and that gives JB an idea about how the killer thought they’d get away with it.

Goddamn answer phones.

AHAHAHAHA this makes me laugh for reasons I cannot articulate at this time.

Meg was the mastermind all along – she set up an embezzling scheme and made it look like her husband was the one doing it, and then killed off all threats to it.

But most importantly, Andy has been vindicated and has received enough money to do up his house with Patty. And most importantly JB has solved her writer’s block so we can all rest easy.

Stay tuned for a very special episode next week. I haven’t watched it yet, but I already have Opinions.

Later gang!

S12E17 – Track of a Soldier

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JB is off to Wyoming for a bit of R&R this week. Fortunately, her friend Ellen Levering operates a lodge with her husband the ex-soldier Howard, and his son Pete. And a dog called Solider, presumably the leaver of the aforementioned tracks.

Jessica is not the only one staying at the lodge – she arrives with Marla Hastings (who is pretending to having a fling with Arthur Wainwright), Lloyd Nichols (who is having a fling with Marla Hastings),  Greta Bayer (who used to have a fling with Lloyd Nicholls), and Harley Foote, who hasn’t and isn’t having a fling with anyone but is Arthur Wainwright’s assistant.

You got that love rhombus sorted? OK.

As Jessica settles into her room, Ellen tells her that Howard is planning to run for Senate, but she’s less excited about it as she wanted to go travelling. Downstairs Harley Foote gets a phone call from his doctor telling him he is terminally ill. Greta, fresh from registering her displeasure at the lack of a safe at the hotel, finds him sitting stunned in a chair and suggests they go for a walk.

While Greta solves the lack of safe problem by hiding a big fat diamond in her minibar icecube tray, Marla calls Lloyd and tells him everything is under control. She tells Arthur she’s on the phone to her mother. Meanwhile, the Sheriff comes up to tell Pete that there’s been another complaint made about Soldier the dog, who is so far the only person in this episode I care about. Lloyd arrives and asks Juan the assistant about Howard. It seems he knows who Howard is, but he’s not telling Juan (who served with Howard) anything about it. When Howard arrives home from declaring his Senate candidacy Juan warns him about Lloyd.

Lloyd knocks on Greta’s door and forces himself into her room. A passing JB hears the commotion behind the door and knocks on the door. Greta answers and Jessica reminds her about happy hour. Lloyd informs her Greta’s had a change of plans, and JB tells him if he doesn’t let Greta go that instant he’ll be in more trouble than he knows how to deal with.

Very much current mood.

Down in the bar, Harley celebrates winning ten grand on a college basketball game and celebrates by taking Greta for a walk. Arthur wants to know if Harley called Arthur’s wife like he was supposed to, or skimmed the retirement accounts to bankroll a share trade like he was supposed to? Harley just walks off, because Harley’s getting his groove back.

Howard has only just arrived in time to see Jessica when Lloyd offers a drive-by sneak attack. Instead of explaining what that was about to Ellen, JB and Pete, Howard goes outside to confront Lloyd and get him away from the hotel. It transpires that Lloyd holds Howard responsible for the death of his brother. Juan comes upon them and breaks up the discussion. Howard tries to explain to Juan what happened but Juan doesn’t care, all he knows is that Lloyd is a troublemaker.

The next morning, while Greta goes shopping and JB hangs with Ellen, Lloyd sneaks into Greta’s room for a rummage, presumably for Greta’s big fat diamond. He’s forced into the closet when Juan’s daughter Luisa comes in to do housekeeping. She spots the diamond in the ice tray and quickly leaves the room, which is lucky as Lloyd had his gun out.

JB meets Soldier but is soon joined by Howard who tells Pete that the Sheriff’s called him about Soldier’s roaming ways and that he’ll be put down if he’s not brought under control. Later down in the bar Jess spots Lloyd and Marla having a cosy chat. Lloyd has just worked out where Greta hid the diamond but he can’t get back into her room now, and tells Marla to keep Greta away from her room that night.  They arrange to meet after the theft but Lloyd won’t give Marla her air tickets just yet.

Arthur confronts Harley about his lack of action on his instruction from the previous day. Harley tells him he saved the retirement funds 123 million dollars, but he bought the shares with Arthur’s money as requested. Also he should call his wife. Also Harley quits.

Harley’s going rogue

Jessica heads back to her room and finds Lloyd there looking to apologise for his behaviour but mostly asking Jessica to butt out. Jess wants to know what Lloyd has on Howard and Lloyd gives her just enough information to tell Ellen, who finds a newspaper clipping about the death of Lloyd’s brother. Howard decides to withdraw from the Senate election, much to the sadness of Pete and Ellen.

I’ll be happy if I ever hear the word election or vote again after this weekend if I’m honest.

That night Harley, Marla and Greta make plans to see a movie but Harley withdraws at the last minute after a Mysterious Phonecall. When Greta and Marla return with JB and Juan, they all agree the movie was terrible. Ellen tells JB she’s off to bed but JB decides she’s going to read for a while. Juan finds a drunk Howard and tries to cheer him up.

As the clock strikes one, JB wraps up her reading and hears someone go outside. Soldier goes out on patrol. Lloyd packs his car for his getaway but hears something in the bushes and thinking that it’s Marla he goes to investigate. Cut to JB listening to a dog howling. Cut to Pete standing over Lloyd’s dead body on the ground.

The next morning Sheriff Bullock is on the case, and it is quickly discovered that Greta’s diamond is missing. The sheriff is horrified to learn that Greta was keeping the diamond in an ice tray, and tells her to come down the station to file a report for her insurance. Jessica suddenly realises that she knows what the murder weapon is – an old knife that belonged to Howard, that temporarily went missing from a display.

Harley resurfaces with the news that his terminal diagnosis isn’t so terminal after all – in fact, he’s going to be completely fine. He thinks this will put Greta off, but far from it. Naw. Alas for the happy couple I’m too bitter about how Australia did at Eurovision to summon up anything other than that #spoilsport.

That night Sheriff Bullock arrests Pete for Lloyd’s murder – his prints are on the knife, there was blood on the knife and he refuses to tell them anything. The next morning Jessica checks on Soldier, who delivers her a clue in the form of a broken watchband, and then goes to sort out Pete who she correctly guesses thinks he is covering for his dad. Pete reluctantly tells her the truth – that he went looking for Soldier, found the body, found the knife and then panicked when he heard someone in the bushes.

Jess floats a theory by Sheriff Bullock that someone might have found the body earlier than the people who “discovered it”, and might have stolen the diamond.

THERE I SAID IT DON’T @ ME ALSO WTF WAS MADONNA ON/DOING THERE/ABOUT?

Anyway, Jess knows all the answers because of course she does, and orders Bullock to drive her to the hotel.

This is a late contender for best-timed pause for Uber Eats I’ve ever done.

Back at the hotel, JB makes a pitch to the thief to buy their jacket for two million dollars but she refuses…

A shock to literally no one.

Marla confesses to finding Lloyd’s dead body and stealing the diamond from it, but 100% didn’t kill him.

Oh dear.

GRIM GRIM GRIM.

Juan took matters into his own hands to protect his army buddy.

Eesh. In light of the tyre fire that is 2019, please accept the below image as your own personal liferaft.

Later gang

S12E16 – Something Foul In Flappieville

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Welcome to Flappieville Fletcherfans, where the newly arrived Inspector Lachère, who I think is a possum is charging a racoon with theft.

If only.

JB is watching the Flappieville puppet show with a keen eye, as Inspector Lachère is her creation, something she came up with for her grand nieces and nephews, and now Flappieville Toys want to take Inspector Lachère on the road. Think Hercule Poirot, with a tail.

Unfortunately, the delivery is a bit more Gerard Depardieu than Poirot, and JB is not here for it.

Someone’s gonna die for this.

JB is not the only person with notes.  Stevie, one of the kids in the audience (being played Angela Lansbury’s grandson), thinks Inspector Lachère sounds like Pound Dog, the main character in the Flappieville TV show. (Spoiler alert, he doesn’t). Robbie Dorrow, the designer of Flappieville toys, agrees with Stevie when his wife Mary brings Stevie over for like three seconds in a completely weird move. Also, Robbie thinks Mary is cheating on him, but you know, whatever.

Head puppeteer David Crossley locks Inspector Lachère up in a filing cabinet and hands the key to security chief Alvin Bucknell for safekeeping. David is delighted to be bringing Inspector Lachère to the world but is offended when Robbie suggests that it’s time to retire Pound Dog. They nearly come to blows before Mary steps in. Mary later explains to JB that she used to date David before she fell in love with Robbie, and it tore the friendship between the two apart. Also, they can’t have children.

Back at Flappieville HQ, puppeteer Kim Swofford is complaining loudly about the costume for her puppet Happy Bunny so that the costume designer can hear her. She also asks puppet designer Jason Cardino to take a look at the puppet controls before cheerfully rejecting his request for a date and walking off.  Costume designer Helena McKenna (aka Veronica Mars’s mother) warns him off her, but Jason would rather listen to his hormones. Another puppeteer, Gus Hayward offers to go over Jason’s contract so that he can sign it, but Jason tells him it’s all good. Later, Jason catches Alvin with Inspector Lachère and loses it.

Meanwhile, David has a meeting with the TV network about the Pound Dog Show.

I’m glad we fit in one last round of Breaking Bad She Wrote.

Parker Foreman has some bad news for David – Pound Dog is not getting renewed, it’s old and tired. David says amazing timing, he’s just come up with a new character, Inspector Lachère – he was going to fold him into the Pound Dog show gradually before spinning him off into his own show. Did he mention it was based on a JB Fletcher character, and JB happens to be in town?

START KNEELING (BITCH)

Parker sees dollar signs and agrees to the idea, but he wants to see samples. He also wants someone different to voice the Inspector and tells David to get Natty Holt. David agrees that someone like Natty would be great but Parker says no, he wants Natty.

Back at Flappieville Jason and Helena show JB the new sketches for Inspector Lachère’s new look and she is delighted. Helena goes to get the material for the costume to show JB and leaves JB flipping through sketches. Meanwhile, Darren is hard at work designing when Kim pops in for a flirt and to complain she’s not having any input into her character’s costume. Gus needs a word so Darren leaves her in his office and goes off with Gus – it turns out Natty Holt is Gus’s ex-wife and Darren needs his help convincing her to come on the show. He also has a separate job for Alvin – he needs him to follow someone.

That night, Jason conducts a secret trial and sentences Darren to one hundred years in the electric chair. Using puppets.

Really though, enough said.

Also, it turns out Darren bought Pound Dog off Gus and presumably for a very low price.

The next morning Jason and Darren unveil the new look Inspector Lachère and JB is delighted. Darren sends Jason off with the sketches to be delivered to Parker Foreman at the network, then makes a last minute change swapping the magnifying glass from his right hand to his left. He also decides to bump Jason’s profit share up to five per cent, and JB’s to thirty per cent.

Kim delivers the sketches over to Parker Foreman.

Not the only one who knocks, it turns out

Later that afternoon, Mary Dorow has lunch with her mystery man while Robbie watches them from behind a tree. Parker appears out of nowhere to congratulate Robbie on the imminent success of Inspector Lachère and laughs at the fact Robbie seems unaware the Inspector will be released in four weeks time.

Gus goes to see Natty and talks her into joining the show. Darren later confirms she’s on board in a walk-and-talk with Parker, who informs him it’s all going ahead – on the condition that he gets 50% of the merch profits wired to his private Cayman account. As he walks off, Darren produces a tape recorder from his pocket. Later, Mary Gus and JB discuss Darren’s latest batch of wheeling and dealing to get the Inspector Lachère show on the air. JB asks Gus for a favour.

Robbie calls Darren and tears him a new one – it turns out Robbie actually owns all the merchandising rights that Darren has been dishing out all over the place. Darren assures Natty that everything is fine, but she has her own demands – 30% merchandising for Jason and Gus, 10% for her and Gus must executive produce the Inspector Lachère show. Darren agrees because he’s not smart.

Robbie tells JB about Mary’s affair. Later, JB meets with Gus who has fetched her the merchandising percentages for Inspector Lachère.

Helpful camera shot is helpful.

Me in work meetings.

That night JB goes to Flappieville and finds Darren over the body of Alvin the security guard. Lieutenant Spevak is summoned to the scene and quickly discovers the filing cabinet has been jimmied open. Jessica suggests it was a rookie move and Spevak identifies her as the Mystery Maven, while he’s just a hick cop.

If the shoe fits sweetheart…

They quickly find the murder weapon (an iron) and also discover that there appears to be nothing missing from the filing cabinet. Darren and JB adjourn to the nearest bar for an emergency meeting, and JB tells him about his merch snafu. Darren didn’t realise how much he’d messed it up, and panics until JB suggests he goes to the other parties and explains what he’s done. JB thinks he should be fine – as long as that’s all he’s done. Darren doesn’t mention his deal with Parker.

Later that day the team meet in Darren’s office for a good luck phone call from Parker, who is too busy working on his putt in his office to attend the new focus group session for Inspector Lachère. But he’s very happy with all the changes, swapping the magnifying glass to the other hand etc etc. Parker hangs up as his assistant comes in with a special delivery – it turns out to be the tape of the conversation Parker had with Darren.

The focus group is a resounding success. Mary reintroduces Stevie to Robbie, and Stevie says Inspector Lachère is much better than that Pound Dog. Lieutenant Spevak arrives to arrest Darren for Alvin’s murder. Later, Kim meets Parker and outs herself as the sender of the tape.

Down at the police station, Darren tries to understand what’s happening to him while Helena and JB offer support. JB is convinced there must have been something else in the filing cabinet that was worth breaking in and killing for. Across town, Robbie confronts the man he’s seen with his wife, and it turns out he’s a social worker – Mary is hatching a plan to adopt Stevie but hadn’t discussed with Robbie yet. And so ends the stupidest plot thread we’ve seen for a while.

Back at Flappieville JB suddenly works out the whole deal, thanks to something she remembers seeing on a clipboard. She sets a trap for later that night and gets Kim to confess that she was the one who broke into the filing cabinet and stole the tape. But she’s not the one who killed Alvin.

He is, was, and will always be The Danger.

Apparently, Kim wasn’t the first person to try and blackmail Parker – Alvin got it into his head first and copped a flatiron to the head for the trouble.

And so it goes.

Later gang!

S12E16 – Murder Among Friends

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Welcome back to sunny Los Angeles Fletcherfans, where JB is working on a documentary series about mysteries. The producer of her show, Leo Vardian, has been dropping the ball a bit thanks to the runaway success of the show he co-produces with his wife Ricki. It’s a show about six friends who sit around all day in a coffee shop, entitled BUDS.

Coincidentally my face when the music faded in at the start of the episode.

Tensions are high on the set of BUDS. Despite the roaring success of the show, there’s a rumour going around that the network wants some people cut. JB’s mate in the above pic is staff writer Gene Gains, who took JB’s writing course and got such bad marks he immediately swapped to comedy instead.

Speaking of comedy…

WHAT EVEN IS THIS EPISODE

Leo (on the left) is being chased for a limo payment for one of the BUDS (Timothy) by his father Roy Flint, who also happens to be a cop. After bickering, Leo agrees to foot half the bill to make the conversation end.

Next on Leo’s agenda is his wife Ricky, who is on the phone to the network about cutting two of the BUDS. Ricky doesn’t want to do it, but the network is under new management and they’re looking to cut costs. Leo wants to know why Ricky is nicer to everyone else, and Ricky tells him what he’s dying to know – she was working late the previous night. Leo says it might not be hard to cut anyone, not all of the BUDS are funny, take Vince for instance. Ricky says Vince gets 27,000 fan letters a week and takes off to the set to explain some of her jokes to the director.

As she leaves, Leo’s associate Alex walks in. Leo tells him Ricky says she was working late the previous night and Alex says that’s a coincidence because so was he – and shows him the photos of Ricky and Vince making out in her office the night before. Meanwhile, Timothy tells Roy to back off, he’ll handle things his own way. Roy smiles and then after his son walks away does a dirt check on Leo.

After roaming the set for days hours minutes, Jess finally bumps into Leo who tells her everything will be taken care of for her show. His next target is BUD cast member Diane Emery, who has been offered a starring role in a Rob Reiner film – the bad news is it’s two months shooting in New Delhi straight away. Leo tells her no, she’s under contract for another four more years. But look on the bright side, the show has made her into a star, girls all over America are copying her hairstyle…

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

BUDS co-stars Carly and Vince have a quiet moment on set, and Carly warns Vince to get out of Ricky’s clutches. Ricky wanders past just as they are about to kiss and declares she has new lines for Vince to go over. She links arms with him and escorts him away.

JB has lunch with Timothy Flint, who of course she taught at Manhattan University. She congratulates him on the show’s success, saying “Who’d have thought a group of twenty-something young people sitting around all day long discussing their sexuality would turn out to be a top TV show?”

Actual line of dialogue.

Timothy says there’s more to the show than that, but can’t think of anything off the top of his head.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Timothy is convinced he’s about to be dumped from the show but Jess reassures him that he’s very talented. Carly wanders past to tell him they have a 6am call time thanks to Ricky deciding to dump the whole script and start from the beginning.

That night Ricky gets off the phone with the network, and has agreed to cut one of the BUDS. Leo wants to know if he gets a vote and she says nope, she decides who lives and dies around here. She will rewrite the script that night, and keep the last scene in her safe for now. She refuses to tell Leo who the bumped character will be, so he flings the photos Alex took of Ricky with Vince on the desk.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Ricky gives precisely no bothers about the whole thing, and Leo storms out in a rage. He runs into his pal Alex outside, and he orders Alex to make it go away.

The next day JB has a breakfast meeting with Ricky, in which Ricky scoffs some toast and demands her minions to deliver her new laptop by 5pm. She also would like to pitch a TV show starring Jess’s TV characters.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Jess tries to say no, but it doesn’t appear to be a word Ricky understands.

Over at the precinct, Leo’s pal Alex pops by to ask Roy Flint if he could pull Vince’s arrest record from when he was a kid, but Roy points out it’s sealed, and also he doesn’t want internal affairs on his case. Alex, it turns out, used to be a vice cop and Roy thinks he kept better company then. Alex leaves and Roy calls Ricky to find out who is being bumped off but Ricky’s not talking to him either.

Back on set, Ricky watches the readthrough of the latest version of the episode and isn’t happy with the performance. The director, Joy, tells Ricky they’re all worried they are about to lose their jobs but all Ricky says is that Joy might join them. Later in the morning, she tells Vince they need to can their extra-curricular activities for now.

Timothy finds JB on her set discussing female mystery writers and wants her advice – Roy is digging for dirt on Leo and Ricky to use in case Tim gets bumped off the show. Jessica thinks Tim knows exactly what to do and he agrees – he’ll go and see Ricky and warn her.

Gene confronts Leo on behalf of Carly about who is leaving the show but Leo tells Gene to get back to work. Diane calls her agent with the good news that someone is about to be bumped off, but is told that there’s a lawsuit pending if she tries to leave. She confronts Ricky with this but Ricky tells her that’s Leo’s department, not hers. Diane goes in search of Leo, who overheard her conversation with Ricky and wants to know what he’s supposed to say to her. Ricky just tells him to take the heat so she hates him instead of her for a change.

Carly confronts Ricky about potentially firing Vince, but Ricky sees her off. Carly thrusts Ricky’s Emmy at her and tells her that it doesn’t give her a license to be mean and storms off, just in time for Tim to wander in. Ricky is having trouble with her new laptop and he offers to assist.

Later that night, Jessica finds Leo slouched on the set mumbling about how much his marriage sucks. Jess suggests he talk to Ricky.

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Later that night, once she’s wrapped for the day, Jessica decides to return the treatment Ricky gave her to read for the potential new show. When she gets to Ricky’s office she finds Ricky dead on the floor, and her safe open.

The police arrive to investigate, in the shape of Lieutenant Roy Flint which seems terribly inappropriate. Jess asks if they’re assuming the Emmy was the murder weapon and Roy agrees. Jess then wonders if the murder wasn’t a robbery in the usual sense – if the safe was open, perhaps someone was in there looking for the scene detailing who gets bumped from the show.

One of Roy’s minions surfaces to let him know that they’ve gotten alibis for everyone except Tim, and Roy shouts that he was with Tim at the time of the murder. Jessica suggests it might be inappropriate for him to investigate but he ignores her. Leo arrives and Tim asks him why a copy of their prenup was on the desk at the time Ricky was killed. JB and the lab tech discover the missing script in the safe.

The next day the script is shared with the BUDS – Diane was the unlucky one about to be bumped off the show, but Leo says Gene will rewrite the script, and that no one is getting bumped. Diane is relieved – her part ended up being given to Meg Ryan anyway. Jess finds her later having a coffee outside, and goes to see how she’s doing. Diane is happy the show is continuing but sad about Ricky, who did a lot for her career. It turns out her character on the show is based on Ricky, including the glasses. Diane has perfect vision though, so her prop glasses don’t have a prescription in them.

Something Diane says triggers a memory and JB rushes off to see Gene, busily working on the new script. He admits he came into Ricky’s office the previous night to talk to her but found her dead and the safe open. He saw the real ending to the show and swapped it out to save Carly from being booted, but he swears he didn’t kill Ricky.

Roy Flint is not impressed…

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…but lets Gene go. He tells JB that Leo and Ricky just got life insurance policies that paid double for death by murder. While he seems fairly convinced Leo is the killer, Roy takes time to go find Tim and get his alibi. Tim tells him he went for a run but Roy says wrong, Tim was at Roy’s place the entire time.  Meanwhile, Alex finds Leo and says a) you’re welcome and b) I want a producing credit on the show.

That night JB is hanging out with Carly and Tim. Carly is freaking out that her prints are on the Emmy but she didn’t kill Ricky but it turns out she didn’t need to worry. Roy arrives with the news that it’s been discovered that one of the cast was being paid less than the others (Tim) and that there were only three sets of prints on the laptop – Ricky’s, the delivery guys and Tims.

With his son the prime suspect in the murder, Roy decides to take himself off the case. JB tells him she doesn’t think Tim did it but Roy says he has to look at the facts. JB asks him what he did when he went back to see Ricky the night of the murder – turns out Roy boy was trying to get an alibi for himself just as much as Tim. He says he tried to talk sense into Ricky but she wasn’t having a bar of it and so he left her office, but she was alive.

Filming the last day of her Mystery show, JB suddenly realises who the actual killer is and rushes off to trap them.

Her mother warned her there’d be days like these

This is what happens when someone tries to stop you from being in a Rob Reiner movie. That’s just science. Clap clap clap clap.

Later gang