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!

 

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