Home

S12E24 – Death By Demographics

9 Comments

Mmm. Pointed episode title is pointed.

Back to San Francisco one last time Fletcherfans, where David Ogden Stiers is listening to the 1812 Overture and doing a very good impression of me listening to the 1812 Overture.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – once I’m dead, I want whatever can’t be donated or studied to be cremated, mixed with gunpowder and turned into fireworks that can be set off during a very loud playing of the 1812 Overture.

DOS is, in fact, Howard Deems, the host of a classical music radio show on KLOY, and Jessica’s friend. He’s also about to share airwaves with TT Baines, who has just joined the radio station to get the all-important youth audience. The man himself is just coming out of a bar with his PR guy Russ Connell, hyping himself up for his imminent takeover of San Francisco, when someone takes a potshot at him.

The next day Howard is closing out his segment ‘A Look At Books’ with special guest JB Fletcher when Howard gets a message from his producer Eddie Mapes that station boss Graham Forbes wants to see him. TT wanders in and demands to know where his CDs are, and Eddie grudgingly tells him they’ll be delivered that night. Howard tells JB that despite losing his prime time spot he can’t get out of his contract, and he can’t find another gig either.

Before Howard can go and see Head Boss Graham (who IMDB says is from CHiPs, he gets a visit from cat-allergic Lieutenant Evers (previously seen here) who would like a word about the potshot taken at TT the previous night. Meanwhile, Graham’s son Bud has just returned from holiday to learn that the radio station has done a hard turn on its target audience and he’s not happy about it. His father and Russ the PR guy assure him that it’s going to be great, so you know, nothing to worry about. Except for Russ the PR guy has been made co-vice-president along with Bud and will share programming duties with him so you know. There’s that. Graham’s lady friend Lauren wanders in to find out how Bud’s trip was but he’s not interested – he’s got a lot of catching up to do, it turns out.

Down in sales, Dave the Sales Guy is just discovering that fellow sales rep Colleen has poached another of his clients. He tries to complain to Russ, but Russ doesn’t want to hear about it, not even when Dave points out that Russ owes him. Mysterious.

Back with Howard, Lieutenant Evers is suggesting Howard would have the motivation to want TT Baines shot at – Jessica says that’s outrageous, and Evers asks her to let him do his job.

To be fair last week she thwarted an international incident.

Evers points out that Howard doesn’t really have an alibi, as he was off getting a sandwich at the time of the shooting. Jessica protests a bit more but Howard points out that they are just about to announce they’ve found his service pistol, recently fired from when he went to the firing range for his team training the previous evening. Turns out Howard is a crack shot and has won medals for his shooting.

Jess switches to the offensive – how dare Evers to suggest someone so talented at shooting mess up such an easy target?

Fun fact – I did not know at the start of this whole thing just how much of a Slytherin Queen JB Fletcher was but I LOVE IT.

Evers admits they can’t identify the gun the bullet was fired from and asks Howard not to leave town. Also, he and his wife are going to miss Howard’s opera broadcasts, but his daughter is psyched for TT. Jessica shoves Howard out the door to go get the car.

That night, Howard returns to the studio to find TT chucking his CD’s in the trash. TT tells him no more music by dead guys and Howard announces TT is a dolt, a cultural sinkhole and a troglodyte. Maybe he should run for president? Anyway, Russ and Lauren wander in, and Russ announces seeing the fight has given him a genius idea – TT and Howard should do the show together and argue.

People arguing for ratings? Wouldn’t happen today.

Howard wants no part of this and storms out of the studio, closely followed by Russ who is determined to make it work. TT and Lauren chill in the studio – it turns out they all went to high school together, that’s nice.

The next day, Russ finds company bookkeeper Annie Lawson sitting at a cafe on the phone, and stops for a word. He knows that Annie is covering up for Dave the Sales Guys dodgy expense claims but won’t tell anyone – if she pays him two grand a week. Annie wants to know where he thinks she can get that money from, and he tells her the same place she gets Dave’s expenses from.

Howard fills JB in on Russ’s genius idea and how he told Russ to stick it, but then Graham comes in with a reluctant ultimatum – do it or he won’t get paid for the rest of his contract. Howard storms off and Graham asks Jessica to talk sense into him – and not to judge Graham too harshly.

JUDGEMENT JESSICA JUDGES JOYFULLY

Cut to Russ returning home to pour himself a whiskey. Lauren appears and he kisses her and suggests they get in the jacuzzi. She suggests another drink instead. SHENANIGANS!

Apparently, Bud Forbes is the only sane person in town and has done a bit of digging on Russ, TT and Lauren. He and Russ have a stroll by the bay and Bud asks if it’s a coincidence that Lauren comes to town, falls in love with his father and suggests he bring Russ and TT to town, or that it’s a coincidence that she stopped by Chicago – where they were working – on her way to San Francisco. Russ tells Bud to not be so jealous that a hot young chick is banging his father. I mean that’s essentially what he said, I got distracted by a moron on Twitter.

As Howard signs off from his regular classical broadcast with the news he’ll be joining TT’s new show on Monday morning, Jessica demands the employee files of everyone at the station – she is determined to prove Howard didn’t shoot at TT. Meanwhile, Annie tells Dave the Sales Guy he’s been rumbled for his expense fiddling – turns out he was doing it to cover his kid’s medical expenses. He wants to pay it back but he’s broke and it’s 46 thousand dollars.

Dave confronts Russ but Russ tells him to bugger off, he’s in the middle of a fight with Lauren who has just announced she actually is in love with Graham and that she wants no more part in his scheme. Russ says there’s only going to be one villain in this story and it won’t be him – either she dumps Graham like she did with the owners in Chicago and Cincinnati or he tells Graham about the owners in Chicago and Cincinnati.

THE SHADE OF IT ALL.

Cut to the first broadcast of Howard and TT arguing…

Guys I’m not going to lie, this is a very weird way to end after 12 seasons.

…which seems to go over well with everyone. Cut to…

THIS IS SO UPSETTING

everyone celebrating and Jessica agreeing to go on the show the next time she’s in town. She offers to take Howard out for dinner to settle his nerves but he says he’ll take a raincheck and they’ll have breakfast before she flies back to Cabot Cove.

Later that night TT tries to talk Lauren out of staying with Graham, with no success, Jessica suggests that Colleen the sales lady might have been behind the shooting of TT for publicity reasons, with no success and someone stabs Russ with a fire poker, with great success.

As it just so happens, Russ was staying at the same hotel as JB so when she and Howard were getting ready to go to breakfast and saw the commotion they decided to pop by for a little look. Lieutenant Evers is fairly confident that it was an interrupted robbery, his wallet and credit cards are missing. Jess points out there’s a wad of cash sitting on the piano, and that the thief might have been trying to cover up the real motive. Evers thinks that’s an interesting idea, and wonders where Howard was at the time of the murder. Howard says he was home, staring at the ceiling and contemplating the rest of his life #RelatableContent

Over at the radio station, Graham is worried about how badly Lauren is taking the news, while Bud is considering the free publicity. Howard appears and announces that he can’t continue being TT Baines’s sidekick, saying “as the fox once said after making love to a porcupine, I’ve had as much as I can stand.”

Imagine if that was Angela Lansbury’s announcement she was leaving the show though.

Graham and Bud convince Howard to stay on, at least for a little while. JB runs into TT at the studio, who proceeds to give her his life story while insisting the show must go on.

I am really going to miss this.

JB corners Annie for a private word, while Lieutenant Evers confronts Colleen after JB lets him know about her penchant for publicity at her old job in Maine. She swears she didn’t kill Russ and didn’t know he’d issued a memo to have her fired. Bud overhears the conversation and lets her know he’s cancelled the memo – all she needs to do is cover for him and he’ll cover for her.

Jessica confronts Dave The Sales Guy – not about his dodgy expenses, but about the idea that Russ blackmailed him. Not for money, but for something else – like shooting at them while they were leaving a bar for publicity. Dave capitulates straight away, and Jess tells him to tell Lieutenant Evers so that Howard can at least be cleared of the shooting.

The show goes on, but as the broadcast finishes, Lieutenant Evers pops up to arrest Howard for the murder – apparently, a maid saw him leave the room at around 3am. The following day, JB and Evers are still arguing about Howard’s guilt and Evers offers to consider another angle. Jessica suggests the fake robbery might not have been to cover up the murder, but to hide incriminating evidence. She looks at the crime scene photos and works out that Russ’s class ring is missing.

Dave admits to his dodgy expenses to Graham and hands him a cheque for the missing money – Annie took out a second mortgage on her home so he could stay out of trouble, bless her. Graham says nonsense and hands him the money back as a long overdue bonus. Alls well that ends well. Except for Russ, who is still dead, but JB is on the case. She confronts Lauren about the missing ring, and how she managed to get the invoice for its original purchase which included the engraving Lauren put on there for Russ about being lovers forever. Lauren admits to their relationship, even to wanting to kill him, but she swears she didn’t do it.

This is apparently enough for JB who goes to confront the real killer:

One last person of death for the road.

TT bumped off his old friend because Russ had become unbearable – ruining Lauren’s life was the last straw apparently.

And so it goes. Howard gets his old show back, and advertising goes through the roof. According to Howard advertisers have realised that people like himself and Jessica are a valuable corner of the market. Subtle guys. Very subtle.

And that, my glorious fellow Fletcherfans, is that.

All I can say is thanks. Thanks for coming along on this crazy ride to find JB Fletcher’s Life Lessons. This blog has seen me through seven years including the best and worst days of my life, and I’m so happy to have had you all on board with me. Honestly, I would never have kept going with this if you hadn’t read it, and shared it, and commented on it. I’m rubbish at replying to comments, but I read every single one and it truly means the world.

I don’t know what’s next, but I’ll be floating around the interwebs for a while, so come say hi on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.

You guys are the best. Thank you.

Later gang!

Advertisements

S12E23 – Mrs Parkers Revenge

2 Comments

Welcome to Atlanta Fletcherfans, home of the BRI (Biological Research Institute, and absolutely not the Centre for Infectious Diseases why would you think that) where some Hard Core Science is happening.

Doctor James Lamont, head Science Guy, is going into the top secret part of the lab, the part that requires fancy outfits and passwords, to take a look at his pet project Project 14 which I can only assume is the zombie virus. He is joined in the lab by Security Chief Mark Reisner (aka Gregg Henry) who would like to know why Lamont has been dodging his requests for a security interview. Lamont is outraged but finally agrees to one to take place on Friday.

Later that day, Our Heroine is rolling into the Gambier Hotel for the weekend to judge the Georgia Amateur Mystery Writers Conference page 1 competition. She finally gets her suite key after her original suite is given to a cranky man who checks in ahead of her. Oh yes. Suites for days.

As it happens Lamont is in the hotel bar waiting to meet someone and WOULD YOU BELIEVE it’s the cranky man who took JB’s room ahead of her? It would appear he’s got his hooks into Lamont for something, he seems to know all about how Lamont’s wife left him, his lawyer won’t return his calls until he pays him, and the Atlanta Hawks lost something. Raul Jaffa (pronounced Jafar, because of course, it is) is there to purchase the Project 14 Zombie Virus from Lamont, but Lamont is worried that Mark Reisner knows too much. Jaffa tells him not to worry about it and gives him a hundred grand as a down payment on the virus. Meanwhile, a man in a suite listens to the whole conversation on his earpiece.

Meanwhile, Mark is catching up with his old pal from Manhattan University, Jessica Fletcher. His wife Karen Reisner is the president of the Georgia Amateur Mystery Writers Society and so they discuss the program for the conference – and the fact that the page ones Jessica has to judge have gone missing – before Mark gets a call summoning him back to work. Karen confides to JB that she’s worried the viruses at the BRI are making Mark tired and overworked and turning into a zombie.

Turns out the pages were sent to JB’s room, so mystery solved I guess.

Later that night, Lamont and Reisner sit in a car with FBI Agent Ed Crider. It would seem that Lamont had previously confided in Reisner about Jaffa’s offer and he brought in the feds to investigate. Crider tells Lamont to keep his meeting with Jaffa, and they’ll surveil the whole thing. After Lamont leaves Crider tries to boot Reisner from the investigation but Reisner refuses to be shut out.

Also later that night…

Rocking the polka dots like nobody’s business

…Jessica promises her publisher she’ll do an interview if she has time, and discovers she’s received the wrong manila envelope in her room – instead of mystery stories, she has photos and notes in French.

Down the hall, the FBI has set up surveillance of Jaffa in Jessica’s old room. Crider is taking charge of the whole situation but is pissed now that CIA agent Dennis Quinlan has wandered into proceedings. Apparently, there’s an international arms dealer and assassin by the name of Carl Van Ness in town looking to get his hands on the zombie virus, and he looks suspiciously like the man in the photos Jessica was looking at.

You wouldn’t believe it, but the man himself is already in Jaffa’s room kicking back and reading Jessica’s envelope of short stories. The phone rings and Van Ness inexplicably thinks that answering is a good idea. It’s JB looking for Jaffa, who enters the room just at that moment. Van Ness announces he’s a deliveryman and injects Jaffa with a syringe. He collapses, and Van Ness saunters off with Jaffa’s suitcase.

At that moment, the FBI surveillance cameras kick into life – just in time to see JB walking down the hall towards Jaffa’s room. Crider flips and chases after her, but arrives in time for JB to discover her envelope of short stories and Jaffa’s body. Crider tells her he’s the house detective, clearly, Jaffa died of a heart attack, he’ll take care of it from here. He asks Jessica what she’s doing there and she explains about the mix-up with the envelopes. He takes a look at the one in her hand but dismisses it has he can’t speak French. She translates it for him but he still doesn’t think there’s anything to be concerned about.

I’m going to miss that face.

Reisner and Quinlan wander into the room and beg JB to forget she was ever there. Put out, she agrees and leaves as another man comes in – National Security Agent and JB Fletcher Fanboy Nathan Mitchell (aka the Candyman). He basically tells them all they’re hopeless and hatches his own plan – they will swap out the virus for a knockoff and let Lamont keep his appointment with Jaffa that Van Ness is clearly planning to keep. A tracker in the vial will lead them to Van Ness’s secret lair and then they’ll nab everyone.

Seems like a solid plan to me.

The next day Van Ness plants a bug in JB’s room for reasons I do not understand frankly I don’t think he’s all that, evil genius-wise. Lamont is picked up by Crider, told there’ll be no surveillance following him, and driven to his meeting with Van Ness, while Reisner follows.

Van Ness and Lamont meet in an abandoned factory and Van Ness hands over more money in exchange for the virus later that day. As he leaves, Lamont makes a call and tells whoever is on the line that it’s all arranged, but that something needs to be done about Reisner. High up in the rafters, Reisner records the whole thing.

Back at the hotel, JB is about to head out when she spots Van Ness and so does what any sensible law-abiding citizen would do – follows him. She doesn’t get very far of course, as the Fed/CIA/NSA triumvirate have surveilled the entire hotel and Nathan Mitchell swoops in and diverts her to their surveillance room. He’s a big fan, but he just doesn’t understand what possessed her to trail Van Ness.

“A murder suspect? That question doesn’t deserve an answer. I was hoping to provide you with a location!” Says JB.

ALL HAIL.

Mark Reisner wanders in looking absent-minded and asks to meet Jessica for tea later while sneaking a key into her coat pocket. Mitchell begs JB to leave Atlanta but until she fulfils her obligations to the Georgia Amateur Mystery Writers Society she’s not going anywhere except back to her room to write her presentation speech.

As she walks out she crashes into Crider, who spills his takeaway coffee and wants an update. Quinlan announces they ran a check on every licence plate within a mile radius of Lamont’s meeting with Van Ness and wants to know why Reisner’s car came up. Reisner tells them his position is clear – he’s there to protect the zombie virus and if they try to arrest him on obstruction of justice he’ll go public and bring it all down on them.

Back in her suite, JB calls the local police station looking for Lieutenant Paul Bragg, a friend of Artie Gelbers, while Van Ness listens in on the whole thing. Hanging up, JB spots the flowers in her room and goes in for a closer look and finds the bug. Mark Reisner knocks on the door and she warns him to shush and they head out.

Mark begs her to leave Atlanta with Karen but Jessica’s not having a bar of it. She’s had her papers confused with an assassin’s, she’s been accused of seditious meddling by three federal agencies and her room’s been bugged. She wants in on whatever is going on, and she wants in now.

I’ve been looking forward to this episode and it hasn’t disappointed in the slightest.

Mark caves and explains the whole thing. JB promises to look after Karen, while Mark heads to Washington to tell the Attorney General what he knows. As he heads up the escalator JB finds his key in her pocket but he’s too far away to see her waving. Suddenly there are shots and Mark crashes down the escalator, dead.

Lieutenant Paul Bragg is summoned to the scene but quickly informs JB that whatever intrigues she knows about, he doesn’t need to know. It’s already being written up as a robbery gone wrong. Meanwhile, over at the BRI, Lamont takes a vial of zombie virus out of storage.

Back in her hotel room with Karen, JB remembers the key she found but has no idea where it’s for. She calls Lieutenant Bragg and asks where Mark got the parking ticket they found on his body, and he tells her it was for the midtown train station. While Lamont and Van Ness conclude their business, JB sends Karen to the train station to see what Mark left in the locker – a cassette tape and a note for JB explaining that Mrs Parker’s Revenge solved the problem. Karen doesn’t understand and JB doesn’t really either except that Mrs Parker was a character in one of her books. They listen to the taped recording of Lamont’s first meeting with Van Ness, and his subsequent mystery call, and are stumped until Jessica has a Second Thought about cell phones and calls Bragg to get him to trace the call. (Her first thought being, it’s a shame about the thunder on the tape I could have heard the phone buttons being pressed and worked out what the number was that way, oh the 90s it was a simpler time).

With the news that Van Ness is being tracked to the Middle East, the Spy Team decide to have a beverage to celebrate, despite the fact that Lamont has disappeared with two million dollars. JB runs into Lieutenant Bragg in the hotel lobby and learns that Lamont’s phone call on the tape came from a Starbucks two blocks from the hotel.

JB enlists Lieutenant Bragg as backup and goes to visit the Spy Team for a little chat.

Of course, it was

Turns out Crider and Jaffa were in cahoots and transporting the virus in Jaffa’s duck umbrella. But never mind that, because what happened next made me so deliriously happy that it can only be explained in screen caps.

SLY-THER-IN QUEEN.

Mrs Parker’s revenge, it turns out, came from one of JB’s novels in which a wife discovered her husband was planning to poison her and so subbed out the offending liquids. And then presumably killed her husband, we’ll never know.

And that, my dear Fletcherfans, is the story of how Jessica Fletcher single-handedly stopped the zombie apocalypse, received a job offer to work at the NSA and the CIA, and deliver the keynote presentation to the Georgia Amateur Mystery Writers Society.

Stay tuned next week for the *gulp* last ever episode of Murder, She Blogged.

Last. Ever.

Boy, I am not ready for this.

Later, Fletcherfans!

S12E22 – What You Don’t Know Can Kill You

1 Comment

And so we head back to the Cove one last time, Fletcherfans and it’s to see a dude called Johnny hanging out with a girl called Sherri (being played by Andrea from Walking Dead) and a baby called Baby probably while Anthony Michael Hall stabs a tree in rage. As Johnny leaves he and Anthony Michael Hall Les Franklin have a fight which only ends when Sherri’s father Tom Sampson comes home.

Speaking of coming home, the next morning JB returns to House Fletcher after some time away restoring world peace or some such thing when she discovers a random woman watering her houseplants. Instead of freaking out and calling the cops which I frankly would have done, JB wants to know who and why she’s in her house. As it happens, it’s Amy Hazlitt, Seth’s niece who is back in town and apparently engaged to Johnny from the first scene, who is also apparently JB’s landscape gardener and has just arrived to take Amy for a ride on his motorbike.

This is the last thing anyone wants to deal with when they’ve just gotten back from averting World War 3 which I assume is what’s happening.

Cut to one of the seventy cafes in Cabot Cove, where we find Les Franklin with his sidekicks Stu Yates and someone named Roger Yates’s Junior Son (?) and his sidepiece Mickie kicking back and harassing the waitress who it turns out is the chick from Cold Case, mind blown.

To be fair I saw precisely 0 episodes of Cold Case, but I did not recognise her at all

Les decides to pick up where he left off and wants Johnny to tell Amy about Sherri. Johnny suggests Les tell everyone in the cafe and then the fighting starts again. This fight is broken up by Mort and Deputy Andy who order the gang out and for Johnny to stay away from Les, which I’m pretty sure he’s all about.  Later Johnny tells Amy not to worry about it, Sherri is history from before Amy moved back to Cabot Cove.

This might be the flu tablets talking but all this drama is exhausting.

Seth and Jess stroll down the promenade talking about young love when Jess gets dragged into another conflict,  this time about plants. Stu Yates’s father Roger is outraged that Johnny stole his garden, and he thinks it’s only fair that Jessica is warned as it could happen to her. Rogers lawyer, Jeremy Woods, explains that Roger hired Johnny to landscape his garden but baulked at the price at the end so Johnny repossessed some plants.

My face, every time I log onto Twitter.

Later that night, Seth and Amy sample some of Jessica’s finest cuisine including her homemade horseradish.

The relationship between Seth and Jess has been one of my favourite things in the last seven years.

Johnny, Seth points out, is 47 minutes late for the finest meal Seth’s had since the last time Jessica came home from New York. Amy says it’s not like Johnny to be late. A short time later the phone rings and it’s Mort with bad news – Johnny was killed when he lost control of his motorbike.

The next day Sherri’s father Tom Sampson pulls the wreckage of Johnny’s bike up while Deputy Andy warns the new Deputy Olsen to get the paperwork done quickly, the Sheriff can be a bit of a bear about these things.

“I know.” Says Deputy Olsen. “He reminds me of my father.”

It’s like the last day of school but on TV.

It seems like a clear cut accident, the gang just aren’t sure where Johnny lost control of his bike. Tom says Sherri was up all night crying and Seth says Amy isn’t taking it at all well, she’s being irrational. I mean…her fiance just died?

Amy is in fact down at the Sheriff’s office berating Mort for not giving her the full story. She thinks Les killed Johnny but Mort explains that Les was in town playing cards at the time of Johnny’s crash. Amy doesn’t care – Les killed Johnny and she’s going to prove it.

Down at the cafe Stu and Roger Yates’s Junior Son are chilling over some tasty treats when Amy storms in demanding to know who Sherri is and if she’s the reason Johnny and Les fought the day before. Stu decides to respond by being a creep, Doreen tries to call the Sheriff but Roger Yates’s Junior Son steps in and tells her to mind her own business. It’s only when Les and Mickie arrive that Amy manages to get out of Stu’s grip and rushes out of the cafe. Mickie follows her and admits she’s not a fan of the bros either but what can you do. Amy wants to know who Sherri is and Mickie lets slip her surname before rushing off in tears.

Down by the docks, Roger and Stu Yates confront Jeremy Woods about how Roger’s plants that he didn’t pay for are now in Jessica’s garden. Jeremy tries to explain that Roger has no grounds but Roger is determined to get justice. Jeremy warns Stu that his father is unwell but Stu says he’s fine, and he’s right.

Back at home, Tom asks Sherri where she and the baby were the previous night, and Sherri tells him she took the baby for a walk after Johnny left. Meanwhile, Jess and Amy examine the crime scene. Amy is convinced it wasn’t an accident and JB can’t help but agree, but apart from some weird marks on a telegraph pole, there’s nothing to see. She borrows Amy’s cellphone to call Jeremy to get him to ask his friend at the phone company how recently the pole had been installed and how it was transported.  Jeremy’s on the case and will see JB at the cafe in an hour – except as he hangs up his phone the car craps out so presumably, he’s going to be a while.

JB shows Seth her new garden but it’s been completely destroyed, presumably by Roger Yates. Down at the cafe a while later Jeremy wanders in and orders a coffee from Doreen, who’s in the middle of making a new pot. When she comes back from the kitchen JB is just walking in – and points out that Jeremy is now dead, with a knife sticking out of his back.

Mort has no time for any of this. He has no time for Doreen’s excuse that she didn’t see Jeremy was dead because JB walked, he has no time for Amy insisting that Jeremy’s death and Johnny’s death were linked and he has no time for Deputy Olsen’s news that Roger Yates has gone off the deep end down at the waterfront.  Meanwhile, Amy goes to see Sherri and then freaks out when she decides that Johnny was the baby daddy.

Down at the waterfront, Roger is demonstrably having a mental breakdown while everyone stands around and watches because it was the 90s and we didn’t do mental illness back then. Les watches on and peels and orange while Stu tries to convince Andy not to arrest his father and tells Les he’s getting no help from Stu now on.

Such drama.

Amy reports back to JB on discovering that Johnny was previously with Sherri, but JB thinks it’s odd that Sherri was jealous Johnny was marrying Amy. Not angry, jealous. Mort calls JB to report that Johnny’s motorbike was working correctly at the time of the crash, leading him to suspect it was an accident, and that Jeremy called Tom Sampson and his friend at the phone company on the day of his death. JB gets the phone company man’s number, she’d like a word.

Down at the sheriff’s office, Stu makes a plea to bust his Dad out of jail, but Seth says he’s in the hospital for observation for another week. Andy pops in with the knife that killed Jeremy, and Stu recognises it as Les’s. He also tells the Sheriff that Les is obsessed with Sherri and is about to do something stupid.

Cut to Les breaking into Sherri’s house and demanding to see the baby.

Cut to JB getting a phone call from Jeremy’s friend at the phone company, while Amy points out the cable for her lamp is broken.

Cut back to Les begging to see the baby BECAUSE YOU GUYS HE’S THE FATHER SERIOUSLY WHAT DRAMA. Les bars the door so JB does some hostage negotiation while Amy calls the Sheriff. There’s noise and commotion and Sherri’s father arrives home in the middle of it all fbut it all comes it well in the end.

Except not really. There’s that double murder to resolve. And Amy isn’t the only one surprised to learn that Les is the baby daddy.

Well that was a grim twist

It would appear that Tom Sampson thought Johnny was the baby daddy and was furious he was marrying Amy so he killed him, and then Jeremy when he found out about it.

But let’s not dwell on that unexpected grimness. Let us instead remember that If It’s Thursday in Cabot Cove, It Must Be Beverley. And that time someone put barbitals in Mrs Fletcher’s Chowder. And Deputy Floyd. And the ladies down at the beauty parlour. And Amos Tupper. And Harry Pierce. And Mort thinking Cabot Cove would be a quiet change after the NYPD. And Seth when Jess bought him his train for Christmas.

So long, Cabot Cove. It’s been a pleasure.

Onward!

S12E21 – Race to Death

1 Comment

Back in the Cove for the second last time Fletcherfans, where JB has been elected Commodore of the fleet of the local sailing competition which apparently is a qualifier for the World Cup because of course it is.

It’s not smooth sailing, however. Boom tish. Captain of the Free Spirit, Ned Larkins, finds someone snooping around his boat and is injured in the exchange. Seth orders him into the hospital, and Mort and Andy investigate but don’t find many clues apart from a rivet in a dinghy the culprit used to get away. Larkins already knows who is behind it though – captain of the Buccaneer Kyle Kimball. Larkins’s first mate Steve Gantry explains that people are after the secret to the Free Spirit’s success but Ned is convinced it’s Kimball.

Jess finds Kimball kicking back in the bar watching highlights of that day’s sailing. He’s disappointed not to have the chance to beat Ned, but Gantry tells him he’ll still lose. Jess and her friend Admiral Les Spaulding ask Gantry if he’ll captain the boat and he says he’s not sure, but he’s been chief tactician for the last few years so maybe. Later, Jess apologises to the Admiral because she doesn’t know anything about sailing and the Admiral says the World Cup wanted someone with stature and cachet to be commodore of the race.

I recognised all of those words individually.

Jess spots Ned’s daughter Anne Larkin across the bar and goes to see her.

Now I’ve been thinking about this since the first time I watched this episode – WHAT THE HELL WAS THE PRETENDER ABOUT?

She and her son Tommy have been estranged from Ned since before Tommy was born, and she’s a bit anxious about going to see her father. She is however happy to see Steve Gantry, who assures her they will win the race for her father on Saturday. Jessica correctly guesses Anne doesn’t think he can do it.  JB thinks Anne should just take over instead but she’s not sure.

I swear to God the cat has fallen asleep with her head on my left hand so I’m typing this one-handed.

Steve Gentry has a covert meeting with Kyle Kimball, and it turns out he was the one taking photos of the Free Spirit. He hands the film over to Kimball, who hands him a wad of notes. Gentry wants a bonus for beaching Ned, but Kimball says he got lucky. He is interested to hear that Anne is in town, and wants to be kept posted.

Down at the dock, Anne goes looking for her father but runs into Kyle Kimball instead. Turns out a) Kyle is Tommy’s father, b)Kyle didn’t mention he was married when he started having a fling with Anne and c) Kyle has worked hard to ruin Anne’s life because Anne had the audacity to leave him, and NOONE LEAVES KYLE KIMBALL.

Spoiler alert I hate Kyle Kimball

Seriously though, what was The Pretender about? Like, Jarod was a kid who ran simulations which helped The Centre achieve…what? I mean I enjoyed the hell out of that show but…

ANYWAY.

Anne is saved by another of her father’s crew, Bill Richards who apparently played Kevin Costner’s father in Field of Dreams a movie I clearly don’t remember properly because I thought Ray Liotta played his father.

Kimball returns back to his lair, where there is more talk about sailing that I completely tuned out for. What I can gather is that a) Kyle doesn’t like his wife and won’t give her money to start a business and b) there’s a Dutch guy called Jon Vandervelt who is building his own yacht while consulting on Kimball’s tilt at the World Cup because apparently there are rules about who gets involved in building yachts oh god sailing isn’t this boring, I’ve seen Sydney to Hobart.

Anne finally finds her father at home having a grouch-off with Seth. Ned and Anne both skirt around their estrangement and instead focus on how to beat Kimball. Anne wants to skipper the yacht and wants to put the idea to the crew, so Ned tells her to go ahead. She gives a rousing speech to the crew, who want to know if she’s captained an all-male crew before (do they steer with their penises? I’m confused). Turns out she’s skippered both.  Kimball pops up to announce that a lady has never skippered a World Cup contender before.

I really hate this guy.

Determined to prove a point, Kimball announces that he’s going to go for sole custody of Tommy with his wife because Anne is always off sailing and leaving Tommy behind. I bet that’s news to Mrs Kimball. Kyle issues an ultimatum – Anne has to drop out of the race, return home and repair her lifestyle or she’ll lose Tommy.

OH MY GOD, WILL SOMEONE KILL THIS GUY ALREADY?

Cut to JB working on an outline for a new book, while Seth enquires after Adele’s health. Turns out she’s got a cold and has worked her way through all the musical comedies so now she’s on to Follow the Fleet featuring Fred Astaire and Ruby Keeler. Seth tells him he’s wrong, Fred Astaire never worked with Ruby Keeler, he’s thinking of Ginger Rogers.

At least they aren’t talking about sailing rules

Andy swings by with some evidence for Mort to look at, and Jessica spots the source of the random piece of metal Andy found – it’s a grommet out of Steve Gentry’s watch. Gentry gets locked up and Mort gives Ann the bad news that her tactician is under arrest. The good news is that Mort knows a very handy replacement – Andy used to sail with Anne back in the day and Anne is delighted to hear that Mort thinks Andy is very unwell and needs a lot of sea air to recover.

Jess pops round Kimball’s lair to inform him officially that Anne is taking over her father’s yacht for the race and Kimball swears he had no idea Gentry was crooked. Jon pops in to announce some change to the Buccaneer, just in time to see the fax Kimball receives from the US Patent office – patenting Jon’s design for his own yacht. Because Kyle Kimball is a ballbag.

Jess departs and Kimball watches footage of the Free Spirit’s sail that day. Jon doesn’t think he has anything to worry about but Kimball isn’t going to risk it so he calls someone on the phone to request the heavy artillery.

That night a cocktail party is thrown to kick off the sailing. Mort and Seth argue about whether Cyd Charisse or Debbie Reynolds was in Singin’ in the Rain (spoiler alert they both were but only Cyd Charisse was in an episode of Murder, She Wrote). A court clerk rolls in to serve Anne with papers for a custody hearing and Kimball wanders past to announce he’s heading to his office if she’d like a chat. As he leaves he runs into Steve Gentry, released due to lack of evidence, who wants fifty grand to not tell the World Cup committee about Kimballs interfering. Kimball tells him if he does, Kimball will have him arrested for assault.

At the Kimball lair, Anne tells Kyle he won’t get away with his dirty tactics. Cut to some time later, when Jon Vandervelt returns to the office for some reason, and he and a security guard find Kimball dead on the floor.

And not a tear was shed, thanks for reading!

Oh alright.

The sheriff and his men descend on the scene. Seth declares death by blunt force trauma and estimates Kyle’s only been dead about half an hour. The video playing on the TV cuts out. Robbery is ruled out, though Mort asks for a specialist to come open the safe, to be sure. The security guard produces the visitor log and they discover Anne was in the building at around the time of the murder. Mort goes to see Anne but she seems shocked to hear Kimball is dead – she’s not sad about it, but she didn’t kill him.

The next morning the Admiral is being ordered to postpone the race, but Jess talks him out of it. Over at the Kimball lair, the newly widowed Mrs Kimball arrives to ask Jon if he’d skipper the Buccaneer now that her husband has shuffled off involuntarily while Mort interviews Steve Gentry at the sheriff’s office but gets nowhere. Andy reveals the trophy they found in Kimball’s office wasn’t the murder weapon after all so Mort announces it’s time to get some search warrants.

PS I SOLVED THE WHERE IS ADELE METZGER MYSTERY

I’m pretty sure that’s Ron Masak’s actual wife?

I really do hit pause at some convenient times.

JB pops round Ned Larkin’s house to find Ned teaching his grandson how to put a ship in a bottle. Anne is about to head to the dock when Mort arrives to arrest her – they found Kimball’s file on Anne in Anne’s room, with Kimball’s blood on it. Ned claims he killed Kyle with the trophy, but they know he didn’t and so Anne is arrested.

Jessica follows Anne to the Sheriff’s office and has a quick chat. Anne swears the papers were left on the desk where Kyle threw them after taking them out of his safe. JB asks if Kyle closed the safe afterwards and Anne says no, it was still open when she left.

JB returns to the office, where Mort gets a phone call from Adele announcing she forgot to rewind the videotapes she borrowed from Cabot Cove video. Honestly, nothing makes me more nostalgic than the idea of a video rental store.

The concept of rewinding videos gives Jess an idea and she rushes over to the Kimball lair just in time to meet the safecracker. She gets the videotape out of the VCR and announces to Mrs Kimball that Anne will definitely be skippering Free Spirit.

While everyone tearfully reunites with each other at the sheriff’s office, Jessica returns to the Kimball lair to catch the killer.

Meh. I see his point.

Of all the douchebag things Kimball got up to, it was stealing Jon’s yacht design that got his head slammed in the safe door. But never mind that. Free Spirit won the race and now it’s San Diego, and then New Zealand.

Only three episodes to go…!

Later gang!

 

S12E20 – Southern Double-Cross

2 Comments

Once upon a time, there was a mythical faraway land called Australia.

I know, I didn’t believe it either, but then I remembered I live here with ALL THE DEADLY ANIMALS.

FACTS

MOAR FACTS

(But it’s funny when they do it to someone else)

Kookaburras will also apparently laugh when a man runs away from a 4WD drops his briefcase and gets shot. Inside the briefcase is an envelope with the name JESSICA FLETCHER ON IT. Can’t imagine that’s going to come up again.

Not only are all the animals plotting against us, but some foreign bigwigs have also decided to build a bauxite mine in Magill Valley, which will apparently put the town of Kookaburra Downs on the map. Worked out well for Mount Seldom Seen and the town of Nowhere Else in Tasmania. Oh yes. You go have fun googling that.

On the subject of Google, I’ve done a little bit of research and I’m here to answer some apparently burning questions the internet has about this made-up country.

  1.  No idea
  2. Currently, it’s because white people turned up and discovered New South Wales, which frankly isn’t a reason to do anything
  3. We have Hemsworths
  4. We have Hemsworths
  5. We are so bloody far away from anything
  6. Because of the global thirst for Hemsworths
  7.  GOOD BLOODY QUESTION
  8. Because we are a top country that invented wifi, black box recorders and Goon of Fortune and we should celebrate that but not on January 26
  9. Because we’re awesome but we can do so much better.
  10. Please see above (I had to google what this meant tbh).

Anyway, there’s a meeting at the Kookaburra Downs hotel to discuss the imminent arrival of the Bauxite mine. The town is about to take over ownership of the Magill Valley unless someone arrives to claim ownership. And thanks to an inexplicably cockney kid who has just run into the room, we all know that a Magill descendant has just arrived off the Brisbane bus.

Angie Lans is third cousin to one of our former prime ministers (I say one of, we have a rotating roster. I’m scheduled to be PM in six months for a week)

JB is checking in to Kookaburra Downs to find out if she is related to the aforementioned Magill Valley founder Eamon Magill. She asks if her lawyer Simon Cathcart has checked in yet, and hotel owner and mayor Tim Jarvis tells her he has, and also there’s a message from local librarian/historian John Molen for Jess to come see him when she is ready.

Fun fact about this episode – precisely zero filming was done in Australia. You know how I know this?

That’s right kids. We exported the bad beer and keep the good stuff. We’re not dumb.

That guy reluctantly drinking the bathwater is Mayor Tim Jarvis’s son Donald and he’s about to get accosted by Boyd Hendricks who would like the forty grand Donald owes him to be repaid. By Friday. Plus ten per cent.

Jess visits John Molen who has a stockpile of Facts about Eamon Magill. Local police sergeant Colin Baxter pops round to introduce himself to the famous author, and ordinarily, I’d be all WHY HE GOTTA BE BRITISH but Ioan Grufford is currently playing a forensic examiner in a TV show set in Queensland and as we all know normal rules do not apply to Queensland.

Oh yes, I do.

It also turns out that someone broke into the library and rearranged some financial paperwork but apparently nothing is missing. Unlike JB’s lawyer, but Baxter is sure Cathcart decided to stay in Woomera at the other end of Magill valley. (Technically speaking Woomera is at the other end of the country, but clearly the Encarta ’95 CD wasn’t working to fact check this)

JB tells John that Eamon Magill was her grandmother’s brother who left Ireland in 1893 and was never seen again. John tells her that he rolled into Australia about 1896 and bought up the whole valley – when he died, he left it to JB’s grandmother and then her relatives which until now they didn’t know existed. The trust that manages the valley is due to expire 100 years after Eamon’s death which EXTRAORDINARILY is in two days time. JB is keen to know more about her great-uncle, and John tells her he has a full transcript of the trial – Eamon was hung for bank robbery.

I myself have a multi-great Grandmother who was transported to Australia for theft and then got her sentence extended for being drunk in court. #notallheroeswearcapes

Meanwhile, Tim Jarvis has to let the mining bigwigs know that there’s about to be a claim made on the Magill valley. They aren’t pleased about it and inform Tim that if the mine doesn’t go ahead they want the money they gave him back.

Back at the hotel, JB’s having a quiet cup of tea when she’s joined by Melba Drummond and her son Roo. They are delighted to hear that a claim is being made on the Magill valley, and Melba offers JB a cigar.

Aren’t we all though.

They’re very excited about celebrating Eamon Magill Day in two days time – I mean yes he held up a bank but he was only trying to get back the money swindled by the government. Tale as old as time.  Melba tells JB that the town council will offer to buy the land off her so they can lease it to the mining company, but the sheep graziers would like to lease it from her. Tim Jarvis bobs up to tell her no sales talk in his establishment, and John Molen pops in to collect Jess for the drive out to Magill Valley.

Roo Drummond goes to visit the love of his life Linda Molen, who is training to be a vet while also avoiding Donald Jarvis who has invented their engagement.

Sidenote to talk about Roo Dummonds’ look:

On second thoughts lets not talk about this.

Out in Magill Valley, John shows JB the Sacred Rocks, an old meeting place for the indigenous people of the area now only used for the occasional barbecue.

“A shame,” says JB. “A culture that lasted 40,000 years nearly wiped out in two hundred.”

Just sayin’.

Anyway, they find the body of Simon Cathcart under a bush. Baxter rolls in to investigate and JB explains she was already going to be in Australia when Cathcart called her urgently. Baxter is inclined to think it was the sheep graziers, but JB says that doesn’t seem right – if the land became hers she would most likely lease it to them anyway, there’d be no reason for them to interfere. Baxter agrees and decides to investigate the mining side.

Back at the pub, JB runs into the mining bigwigs Rhonda Brock and Nicholas Derby who are keen to tell her how much money she could make by leasing the valley to them.

Jessica has no need for currency.

Rhonda and Nicholas aren’t impressed by JB’s greenie motivations, but it’s okay because apparently, Nicholas has some dirt on Tim Jarvis.

JB finds Roo and Melba outside and gets Roo to admit he’d been out at the sacred rocks to meet Simon Cathcart, but Roo swears he never showed. It also turns out Roo used his inheritance from his grandfather to pay to find a legitimate heir to the Magill valley, and Melba is furious as that money was meant to send Roo through college (lol, we say university but whatever guys it’s fine.)

At least Roo’s inheritance is helpful. My inheritance from my grandfather just marched across the keyboard again.

Rhonda Brock informs Tim Jarvis that she and Nicholas know he’s been skimming from the town treasury and that if he doesn’t deliver the valley for the mine everyone will find out. Tim confronts Donald, who admits he took the money to pay back his bookie Boyd Hendricks. Meanwhile, JB convinces Roo to tell Baxter what he knows. Baxter thinks it would be best for JB to leave town but she’s going nowhere until this is settled.

That night John Molen celebrates the news that Linda has gotten into vet school. A drunk Donald Jarvis starts a fight with Roo and is called off only when his father threatens him with a cricket bat.

I’m frankly impressed they found a cricket bat kicking around the set tbh

Outside Donald overhears Nicholas and Boyd and realises they’re using him to get to his Dad. He calls JB and asks her to meet him in the stables – he’s got Simon Cathcart’s briefcase and he wants to hand it over. Jess heads out to the stables where a shadowy figure hides with a gun. Baxter appears, turns on the light – and reveals the body of Donald Jarvis hanging from the ceiling.

Down at the police station, a tearful Tim Jarvis explains about Donald’s gambling problem and how they’d fought. That combined with Linda telling Donald to bugger off seems to make this a clear case of suicide. Tim Jarvis wonders what JB must think of Australia – Cathcart being shot in the back and now this. Baxter is ready to call case closed on the whole business but Jessica says Donald didn’t sound like a man about to kill himself on the phone the previous night.

Nicholas confronts Boyd, who says he still needs to get paid. Linda feels bad. JB and Melba have a quiet drink and JB asks town treasurer Melba about the town accounting. Melba finds the skimming and tells Baxter about it – he confronts Tim who explains that Donald had skimmed the money to pay back Boyd Hendricks. Baxter confirms that Donald was murdered. Tim resigns as mayor.

JB investigates the stables and finds a button from Roo’s jacket. Roo Drummond reappears after going bush for the night and Baxter arrests him for Donald’s murder. Tim Jarvis decides to go after Boyd Hendricks, drags him out of his car and hauls him back to Kookaburra Downs for some sweet sweet justice.

But JB has her own justice to serve, and Boyd Hendricks don’t enter into it.

SURPRISE wait no no it isn’t

Tim killed Simon and his son for all the reasons you’re probably thinking of. But for now, let us leave Kookaburra Downs as they celebrate a day everyone can get behind

Later gang!