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S11E21 – Game, Set, Murder

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Back in the Big Apple and spying on a therapy session this week Fletcherfans. Pro tennis player and former Cabot Cove resident Louise Henderson is trying to unlock her memory so she can remember who killed her mother when she was a child. Unfortunately, she’s no closer to solving the mystery and her doctor sends her off to train for the US Open. (Plot point – he puts a recording of the session in his Wall of Cassettes)

JB is summoned by entertainment lawyer Portia Dekker – JB’s publisher is trying to put together a charity tournament and they need a top-seeded female player and since JB knows Louise Henderson… Apparently, Louise is keen to participate but her coach Wendy Maitlin doesn’t want a bar of it.

Louise is back at the hotel flicking through a magazine with her face on it when 90s Dreamboat Guy, whose name is apparently Jamie Carlson, suggests Thai for lunch or going to see a reggae band that night. Louise’s father Lane steps in, orders Louise to change into something appropriate before she meets JB and tells Jamie to keep walking, Louise has a tournament to win.

It was a time for ponytails.

Jessica explains to Portia that she and Wendy did not really gel when they met some years early, and Wendy promptly appears to grovel forgiveness from Jessica – at the time she’d just discovered she had to retire from tennis and she didn’t take it well. Wendy is mega apologetic but Louise needs to stay focused on the US Open and can’t compete in the tournament. Lane appears and orders Louise to memorise the responses he’s prepared for her interview and sends her off to practice. JB notices a cassette tape in his briefcase but thinks nothing of it.

Spoiler alert: Lane Henderson is a douchebag.

Jamie calls Louise in her hotel room to make sure she’s okay. One of Louise’s rivals, Francesca Garcia overhears the conversation and wants to know why Jamie never said such nice things to her when they were on in Paris the previous year. Jamie declines, he knows she’s got a thing going with Andrew Bascombe but she says that’s just business, not pleasure. Jamie suggests she focus on the business side as Andrew wanders over to take Francesca to lunch.

Lane’s next target is John McCarver, who works for a sporting goods company or something. Lane is angling to take over management of Francesca Garcia so that no matter who wins the US Open he will make a boatload with sponsorship from John’s company. John doesn’t want anything to do with it, so Lane tells him all about how he found out about John’s shady business practices. TL: DR he blackmails him.

You know what the trouble with this episode is? There is no Bryan Cranston in it.

Louise goes to training and is completely distracted, much like how I am currently googling when this weather will end (seriously, it’s like being in Thailand except it’s expensive and cocktails cost more). Wendy decides to call off training for the day but Lane magically appears and announces a) this is what happens when you hang out at all hours with boys and b) Louise’s court time will be doubled before the open.  Wendy tells him it’s no wonder Louise is in therapy which comes as news to Lane. He decides to fire Wendy like the douchecanoe that he is.

That night JB is packing for her imminent trip to London when she gets a call from Louise and she sounds miserable. Before JB can find out what’s wrong, Lane has taken the phone off Louise, told Jess she’ll get back to her and hangs up. He wants to talk about therapy but Louise wants to talk about getting Wendy back. Lane announces practice is at 10am and storms out. Louise tries to call her therapist but there’s no answer. Downstairs Lane bumps into Francesca and wants to know if she’s cut ties with Andrew Bascombe yet but she’s hesitant – he’s been good to her. Lane tells her there’s a 2 million dollar deal in it when she wins the Open. Francesca says if she wins, and Lane tells her she’s a sure thing, Wendy is out of the picture. They make out and wander off, while John McCarver ponders what this means.

Later that night, Louise dreams about the murder of her mother but doesn’t see the killers face while across town her therapist opens his door and asks “Can I help you?”

Apparently, the answer was no because the next morning when Louise pops round for an emergency sesh, she finds her doctor dead on the floor.  Lieutenant Estelle Garr is on the case and quickly rules it a robbery gone bad. She gently tells Louise to go home, she can sign her statement later.

Across town presumably later that day there is a cocktail party for some reason or another. John McCarver wants a word with Andrew while Portia finds Jessica pondering the possibilities.

Death caused by an MVP to the back of the head.

Portia is busy looking for new clients and Jess is saved by a phone call from Louise who wants to talk in person. JB says she’ll be home in 30 and bolts out of the party. John tells Andrew what he saw re: Francesca and how Lane’s moving in on Andrew’s turf, and also how he’s being blackmailed so he can’t help. Andrew thinks he probably should have a chat to Francesca.

Back at the hotel, Jamie is looking for Louise but she’s not answering. Lane wanders past and tells Jamie to stay out of Louise’s life but Jamie says he got a worrying phone call from her after the death of her therapist. Lane says she’ll be fine, now stay away or he’ll go to the tennis association about how Jamie bribed his way out of a drugs charge in Rome the previous year.

At JB’s Louise tells Jessica she was shaken up by the death of her therapist, but she will be fine and she will absolutely be playing in the charity tournament and Wendy will be her coach. She heads off to practice, and Wendy asks Jess what’s wrong. Jess isn’t sure, but she thinks Louise should be far more upset about the death of her coach than she is. In other news, Andrew confronts Francesca and it doesn’t go well – she tells him it’s over, Lane is taking over managing her career and it’s worth more than anything Andrew can put together. She leaves, and Andrew calls Lane with a mysterious business proposition that apparently will earn three times as much.

The charity tournament happens and naturally, Louise wins her first match. Jamie comes out to congratulate her and she tells him to win his match. She’s so wrapped up in the victory that she grabs his bag instead of hers. That night Jessica comes home to a disturbing message from Louise and rushes over to the hotel, where Lane is having a beverage with Andrew. Andrew excuses himself to take a phone call from Paris just as Jessica arrives on the floor. She hears gunshots quickly followed by the figure of a woman limping quickly down the hall to the stairs. Thinking it’s Wendy, Jess calls out but the woman bolts. JB enters the room the woman came out of and sees Lane dead on the floor. She frankly saunters over to the fire escape and hears the killer heading down the stairs. Meanwhile, Andrew has reappeared and confirms that Lane is dead.

Lieutenant Garr is on this case too and tells JB to cancel her trip to London for now. Andrew explains he was on the phone at the time of the murder. Louise was apparently with Jamie at the time of the murder. Wendy tells Jess she will take Louise home, and asks her to tell Portia Louise is out of the tournament but Louise tells her she will absolutely be competing and limps out of the room. After they leave, Garr asks JB if Louise has always been so cold and JB says no.

The next day Louise smashes her training session while Andrew and John toast their freedom from Lane’s tyranny whilst simultaneously protesting their innocence. Wendy limps after Louise and Jamie down to her car, when Garr rolls up asking Wendy to pop downtown for a chat. Later, Garr takes Jessica’s statement around to be signed and assures JB that Wendy isn’t under arrest – yet. JB is stunned that she’s not interviewing Andrew Bascombe, but the phone records and the person in Paris don’t lie – Andrew was on the phone at the time of the shooting. Jessica bids Garr farewell, and suddenly notices her cassette tape of notes for her research trip to London.

Jess goes to see Louise who is confused at the idea that her father knew about the therapy before he claims he did, but won’t go into why she called Jessica. Lieutenant Garr wanders past escorting Jamie to a police car – apparently, his prints were on one of the unfired bullets of the murder weapon so that seems as good a reason as any to charge him. He says he lied about being with Louise and she lied to protect him. Louise is distraught but Jamie tells her he’ll be back, they have some things right but not all of them. As they depart Louise swears he’s innocent and JB says she believes that, but they aren’t done talking.

Upstairs, Louise confesses – she recovered the memory of the night her mother was murdered and SURPRISE HER FATHER KILLED HER. Jess calls Lieutenant Garr with the news and she pops round to take statements. It turns out that the gun used to kill the doctor was in amongst Lane’s things. MOAR SURPRISE. Lieutenant Garr tells JB that fun fact, Lane’s gunshot wound wasn’t fatal but the whack he took to the back of the head was. They are scouring the hotel for the murder weapon as they speak, but Jessica already knows what it is. A quiet word to Louise reveals the second half of the truth and then Jess gets to work setting a trap.

So, here’s the thing:

Not surprise

Louise was the one who shot her father – she got Jamie to buy the gun, and she grabbed his bag instead of hers at the tennis match because his bag had the gun in it.

But of course, the bullet wasn’t fatal. But the MVP trophy to the back of the head was.

Because of course.

And that, dear Fletcherfans, wraps up Season 11 of Murder, She Blogged.

For now, the blog is going on a teeny tiny break, but will be back on maybe the 6th of January. But! On Saturday the 5th of January I will live-tweet the one remaining Murder She Wrote telemovie that I 100% had not forgotten about – Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man, so stay tuned to Twitter for that.

Only 24 episodes left! *starts belting out The Final Countdown*

S11E20 – Another Killing in Cork

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Tonight on Murder She Wrote is back! I don’t know why it left! Also, this episode was really dumb and I decided to have a shot everytime someone was drinking in this episode because my work Christmas party is tonight and I thought it would be a good idea.

In any case, JB is back in Ireland to catch up with old mate Tom Dempsey and his wife Kate, who are the new owners of a fishing lodge in Cork. Tom’s a bit stressed out fighting a mining company that wants to set up in the valley and after a meeting with mine employee Walter Ickes and Councilman Harold Early Tom tells them both to shove their offers to subsidise the lodge. Lodge employee Dennis McSorley is taking the side of the mine, telling Tom that it’s the future of Ireland which is nonsense because this is the future of Ireland:

Not even kidding I was in a glitter coma for a week after the 2011 Eurovision final it was glorious. Don’t hate, celebrate.

Anyway, Walter’s not happy with the discussion and thinks Tom needs to be dealt with, which worries Harold because he’s heard stories of a politician standing up to the mine in Colorado being killed/maimed/somethinged, but Walter tells him it was an accident don’t worry about it.

Tom goes to pick Jess up from the train station and fills her in on all the mine news. Apparently, the fishing lodge is under a bit of pressure which isn’t helping. They nearly hit a passing hobo strolling down the road, and I call shenanigans.

That’s a mask, I’m calling it now.

Back at the lodge, Dennis hits on one of the kitchen staff whose name I think might be Bridget while bignoteing how involved he is with the mine. Jessica gets settled into the lodge while Tom chats with someone called Seamus about the random hobo they saw strolling along the road – Tom is convinced he’s a mine spy.

Cut to dinner that night in the lodge dining room, and if you’re playing at home, take a drink (I’ve got Sailor Jerry’s and ginger ale, it’s officially summer now). There’s some talk about what fly is best to catch salmon and I immediately started watching Eurovision videos again because URGH.

(If you are unfamiliar with The Drinking Song by Jason Webley you should get acquainted)

The main instigator of this fish talk is Cyril Ruddy, while his wife Nellie just sits back and drinks (fair). There’s also Freddie Layton and his girlfriend Laura Maples. Freddy gets a phone call and wanders off leaving JB to chat with Edward Pryce who is in town not to fish but to look for a poinciana. Everyone staying at this lodge is boring, they are clearly struggling for guests.

Whatever Freddie’s phone call is about it’s not good news for him because there’s something in the USA Today about him. Meanwhile, Bridget’s friend Shana tells her off for not telling Dennis she’s pregnant. Back in the dining room, Edward decides to pop into town and Nellie decides to get a lift with him. JB spots the book Edward is holding and begs to borrow it after he’s done. Edward acts very oddly but promises to lend it to her after tomorrow.

Down at the pub – #DRINK – Walter and Harold conspire over darts, and not even kidding I just had to go look their names up again. Bridget and Shana, who have apparently knocked off work, wander in for a drink. Seamus and Dennis are there too, and Seamus wants to talk about how Dennis is all tied in with the mining crew but Seamus just blathers on about the future of Ireland again (see previous thoughts on this, which are still true). Edward and Nellie make plans to meet by the riverbank the next morning, while Freddie drinks quietly in the corner.

The next morning Jessica demolishes a breakfast while Cyril Ruddy heads off to fly fish with Tom’s prized fly which is apparently called the Black Mariah I’m not even kidding I’m boring myself writing this. Jess comes across Edward fiddling with a painting and he outs himself as a compulsive picture straightener. Sure, buddy. Tom takes Jess down to the legally-required-to-appear-and-naturally-haunted ruins, where they throw pennies in the well and make wishes.

In other news…

The distinct lack of people is a significant selling point. And it has its own waterfall!

Down by the river, Freddie decides he needs to make a phone call and bails on the fishing. Seamus tries to help Cyril catch a fish but Cyril knows exactly what he’s doing and isn’t taking orders from anyone, while the mystery hobo loiters behind a tree.

Further along the riverbank, Edward is setting up for his picnic with Nellie when he gets clobbered over the head with a rock. This fact appears to go unnoticed for a while, as later that night Tom orders a toast to celebrate Cyril catching the first big fish in a few weeks. (#DRINK). Kate finally asks where Edward and Freddie are, and Laura says Freddie had an errand in Cork and borrowed the car, and then Bridget pops up to say that Edward left a note on the kitchen noticeboard not to expect him for dinner. Jess says when she saw him heading off for his walk that morning he had a picnic enough for an army. This causes Cyril and Nellie to give each other a Look. And then I discovered Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 posted the baby monkey on the pig video and I kind of wandered off for a while.

Festivities concluded, Cyril and Nellie wander off. Cyril wants to know how the picnic went but Nellie tells him Edward never showed. They spot Jessica and Laura perusing the bookshelves and quickly walk off. Jessica asks Laura if she’s found anything good to read, and Laura says she’s not sure, it’s a treatise on the effects of something something on demasculinised female salmon.

“Well I thought that was a major operation,” says Jessica. “Do you suppose they sew a wee Irish vest and pants for the wee fishy?”

THAT IS AN ACTUAL QUOTE.

BACK THE TRUCK UP WALLY. What the hell even is this? Jessica is literally smarter than everyone she comes into contact with, why is she making weird jokes about transgender salmon? The writers are literally phoning it in at this point.

Anyway, back down the pub that night (#DRINK) the hobo has a quiet pint of Guinness while Walter and Harold bribe Dennis to spy on Tom. He takes the envelope full of cash and bolts. Walter nods in the hobo’s direction, who nods back.

Speaking of Tom, on his way home he has car trouble and ends up going into a ditch. He swears the car has only just been fixed, and it’s a blatant attempt on his life. Sergeant Terence Boyle (previously seen in A Killing In Cork), says he’ll look into it but that Tom needs to lay off slandering Harold all over the place.

Morning rolls around and Jess decides to take some snaps down at the ruin, which I swear to Beyonce looks like the ruin from The Wind Around The Tower episode. She runs into Laura who is a bit sad, she thought they’d come to Ireland so Freddie could propose. Jess suggests making a wish so Laura chucks a penny down the well.

Back at the lodge, Tom confronts Dennis about being caught up in the whole mine thing with Walter and Harold and Dennis storms off. Kate announces Edward still hasn’t turned up and has enlisted Sergeant Boyle to help locate him. Meanwhile, Laura shows JB her photos and Jess spots one from the day before where Edward is setting up for his picnic and the hobo is lurking in the trees.

A search of the riverbank finds the discarded picnic set and a bloodied rock, but no sign of Edward. It’s not till later that night, when Boyle is having a coffee and Shana is vaguely flirting with him, that JB has a thought.

I MEAN COME ON.

Ding ding ding. I’ve got nothing.

But in any rate, Edward’s body is down the well. They hoist him out as Jess explains there were three dings when she made her wish with Tom, but only two when she made her wish with Laura. Boyle takes charge and interviews everyone – Freddie asks him not to contact his company if he can avoid it. Harold turns up and he and Tom accuse each other of basically everything before Boyle tells them both to calm down.

Boyle runs into Jessica as he departs and asks her what she knows. Jess says Edward claimed to be an English teacher and an amateur botanist but he incorrectly attributed a famous Hamlet speech to Polonius and was on the hunt for a poinciana, a tree native to the tropics.

Down the pub (#DRINK) Nellie delivers some actual relationship advice to Laura and departs so that she and Freddie can have it out. Freddie admits that the reason he’s been so secretive is that someone has embezzled money from his company and he is being accused of it because he left the country. Laura doesn’t mind that, they’ll go back to America and sort it out. GOD THIS EPISODE IS BORING.

Laura and Freddie come home a bit pissed but soon sober up when they see Boyle. He has a few questions for Freddie down the police station, but he’s not under arrest. Word on the street is that a private investigator hired by the mining company hasn’t been heard of for a couple of days – possibly Freddie thought the PI was after him? After he leaves with the police, Jessica looks at Laura’s photos again and decides there’s something odd going on. Meanwhile, Dennis and Bridget are on a boat (because of course they are) – Bridget tells Dennis she’s pregnant and Dennis tells her about his side hustle with the mining company which Bridget very much doesn’t approve of.

Oh! This rum is finally starting to kick in! I think it’s too late for me to not be thunderously irritated by this episode though.

The next morning Jessica stumbles across Kate straightening a picture and has a Brainwave. Sure enough, Edward’s missing book is stashed behind the painting – it turns out to be an expense ledger of his movements since he left Colorado. Jess asks Tom to pass the ledger along to Boyle, it will help to clear Freddie.

Down the pub that night (#DRINK) Dennis decides to chuck Harold and Walter’s offer in their faces literally. He’s for Ireland, but not at the price they’re asking. SUCK IT MINING GUYS.

Jessica puts a call into a friend in London, regarding the Shropshire theatre company. Whatever he tells her is what she wants to hear, and she joins everyone in the dining room, but not before taking Edwards notice off the board. The Ruddy’s are about to depart, but they’ve time to chat about the murder. Tom announces Jess doesn’t think Freddie did it, but Jessica says she doesn’t know who it was. She thinks the evidence will be found at the ruins though. Behind a door, Seamus calls Walter down the pub (#DRINK) who tells him to do whatever he has to.

That night, Tom finds JB down at the ruins looking for something. She explains Edward had a fishing fly on him when he was found, she thinks it was transferred from the killer.

Sure enough…

Told you it was a woman in that mask. I’ve not watched Scooby Doo for nothing.

But of course, it wasn’t just Nellie.

But of course.

Edward, it turns out, was an Interpol agent on the hunt for the two assassins who killed the politician who went against the mine in Colorado, which should interest me way more than it does. Anyway, Seamus was calling the police, not Walter. Presumably, it was Nellie or Cyril (real name Edward Montgomery) who called Walter.

You know what, I don’t even care. This episode is done, JB is almighty, thank you next. (Topical reference FTW)

Cheers Fletcherfans!

S11E19 – School For Murder

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We’ve officially said goodbye to ‘Tonight on Murder She Wrote’ which is all very well and good but I’m still a bit sad about it.

Anyway, welcome to St Crispins School For White Kids, where a couple of kids called Mike Seresino and Sarah Tyler are stealing a bust of William Shakespeare because of course they are.

Ethan Embry is adorable, and now I need to watch Empire Records again.

While Sarah seemingly gets away, Mike gets busted by a teacher nicknamed The Creeper and dragged off to the office.

After the credits, we stumble into a meeting of the Prometheus Society, which is apparently a secret society run by more rich white kids, lead by a guy who is clearly a douche. I’ve watched this part about a dozen times because one of the extras looks like she’s going to continue chanting but closes her mouth when everyone else stops.

Stupid things that make me laugh #4709

Sarah is worried about Mike being busted by The Creeper but the Leader, Colin Forbes, tells her not to worry, the Prometheans protect their own, even those who are just pledging to join.

Cut to the only class I want to be in…

Excuse me while I just go shout “It’s not chowdurrrrr it’s CHOWDA!” at the cat.

Mike arrives at the class late and later tells Sarah and Colin that his disciplinary meeting has been pushed back to the afternoon. JB congratulates him on his essay and asks what’s wrong – he tells her it’s nothing a miracle won’t fix. The English class’s actual teacher, Harry Matthews explains that he’s pledging the Prometheus Club and it’s affecting his grades. It turns out Harry has his own situation, he’s applied for the headmaster position and will present to the board in a day.

While Mike and Sarah worry about the outcome of the meeting, Harry bumps into his ladyfriend Claire Vickers, who tells him someone else has dropped out of the race to be headmaster. Unfortunately, his main competition, Claire’s ex, James Ryerson is still in the race and has a few words to say on the topic.

Later that afternoon music teacher Irv Tripler alerts Harry to some papers he’s found in the printer – somehow James Ryerson has found Harry’s presentation to the board and made it his own, with a few choice additions. Harry thinks the culprit is obvious but Irv tells him he saw the Creeper creeping around, and Jess finds cigar ash in Harry’s drawer. Case closed, it was the Creeper.

Ryerson conducts a lecture on Sun Tzu, which Colin sleeps through. When Ryerson confronts him about it later, Colin tells him to chillax, it won’t matter if it’s Harry or him who is the new headmaster, his grandfather is best mates with school director Dr. Myles Purcell, so none of it matters. Ryerson tells Colin if he fails the next history exam Ryerson will look forward to having a chat with his grandfather all about it.

JB pays a visit on school director Purcel to plead Mike’s case, and bumps into Mort coming out of the office,

Purveyor of wildfire in Game of Thrones, which is suddenly making St Crispins way more interesting

Jess begs him not to expel Mike but his mind is made up. Mort is investigating a series of thefts on campus but Purcel has decided that Mike is the guilty one. He agrees to give Jessica a couple of days to get through to Mike.

Mike finds Sarah after his meeting with good news – he’s on lockdown, but he’s not expelled yet. Colin pops up to congratulate him and ask him to steal the history exam from Ryerson’s office. Mike tells him, no, and Sarah tells him to shove his secret society. Colin watches them walk off, looking pensive.

(That will be Nigel with the brie is one of my favourite lines from 10 Things I Hate About You)

Later, Harry confronts The Creeper about helping Ryerson steal his presentation but Avery denies everything. Mort steps in to calm it all down and is a bit pensive when they both walk away without explaining what the altercation was about.

This is also the face I just made when I discovered that next year 10 Things I Hate About You will be 20 years old Jesus Christ what is time

That night there is a staff and student social, which sounds like the most lit party ever in history. Harry confronts Ryerson about stealing his ideas, and Colin confronts Mike about not stealing the exam – if he doesn’t do it, a stolen laptop is going to appear in Mike’s things with his fingerprints on it. A group of guests convince Irv to play his classic hit from Ye Olde Times, and Jess is loving it until she spots Mike across the room – she wants a word. Sarah’s informed her that Colin is trying to get Mike to run another errand for him but Mike won’t discuss it and walks off. Later, after Colin trips him over Sarah offers to help and he tells her to leave him alone.

Later, Claire begs Ryerson to withdraw from consideration for the headmaster gig, but Ryerson will only agree to it if she starts sleeping with him again. Wouldn’t you know it, Harry walks by just in time to hear Claire agree to his demands.

Awkward.

What does this chick have beer flavoured nipples?

The next day tensions are high in the teacher’s lounge. Harry is refusing to answer his phone when Jess arrives, so she does it for him and lets him know Purcel wants to see him immediately. Ryerson asks if he needs to go to, but it’s just Harry. During class, an announcement over the PA reveals what the meeting was about – Purcel announces that Ryerson is going to be the next headmaster.

Guys, it’s been a long year, we all just need to survive as best we can.

Claire finds Harry down by his car drinking his feelings after being knocked back for his dream job (relatable). Claire assures him she never slept with Ryerson and that it will be okay, but Harry tells her Purcell voted for Ryerson and there’s not a huge demand for worn out old hasbeens at other schools. He drives away.

(Life lessons from the desk of Kat Stratford)

That night Mort drops around JB’s house to chat about all the stolen things from the school (including a laptop) and asks if JB has spoken to Mike yet, which she hasn’t. She’s been busy listening to a recording of Irv’s song ‘Love Is Like This’ which was a favourite of hers and Franks’s. (Helpful camera zoom on the album cover).

Over at St Crispin’s Sarah tries to talk Mike out of breaking in to steal the exam but he’s on a mission. The mission gets aborted, however, when they break in only to find Ryerson lying dead on the floor. They bolt, and a shadow passes over the body.

The next day Cabot Cove PD are all over it – apparently, Avery was the one who discovered the body. Irv wants to get in to retrieve something for work but that’s not happening until CSI Cove are done. Mort gets a phone call from Jessica – Harry has just turned up at her house. While he sobers up with cups of coffee, he tells Mort that he basically drank himself to sleep at about midnight and at some point grazed his knuckles. It doesn’t look great for old Harry.

Jess and Mort do a spot of investigating at the school and turn up a tiny metal object which Jessica identifies as being from a tiny bicycle, which Mort is perplexed about. Meanwhile, Colin gives the stolen laptop back to Mike, wiped clean of prints. Mike’s confused about this sudden bout of generosity, but apparently, a bunch of Ryerson’s papers went missing and so everyone’s passing history this term.

Sarah is summoned to the Sheriff’s office, where Jessica returns her broken bike charm. She admits to being in the office and says that she was there to steal the exam, but Mike steps in and says no, it was him, he broke in, all this is on him. Mort tells him one of his fingerprints was found but it’s the darndest thing the missing laptop got returned unharmed, Mort’s got bigger fish to fry now.

Back at St Crispin’s, Purcel is apologising to Harry about ever offering the job to Ryerson and hopes that Harry will accept the gig anyway. Harry is delighted to until Mort wanders in to inform them that Ryerson’s missing papers have just turned up, complete with blood smears, in Harry’s locker.

Down at the sheriff’s office, Mort is defending his theory to JB, who has suddenly become interested in police folder colours because apparently, Ryerson was hiding one the other day.  Jessica has another theory, that the killer was still in the room when Mike and Sarah broke in. Mort suddenly remembers that Mike and Sarah told him that Colin claimed to have seen them looking like scared rabbits on the night of the murder, and so orders a search warrant of Colin’s room, which reveals the exam paper and a blue police folder. Colin tells him he went in after seeing Mike and Sarah run away, grabbed the papers but dropped then when he saw the dead body. He took them again when he realised his prints were on them, but stashed most of them in Harry’s locker except the exam paper and a blue police folder…

…which turns out to be on Dr Myles Purcel, who got drunk and ran over a kid many years ago. Ryerson somehow found out about it and blackmailed Purcel into giving him the headmaster job. Mort assures him that the folder will go back into storage where it belongs, and sees him out. Mort is about to head back to the sheriff’s office to continue questioning Colin when JB suddenly has a thought.

(Also she’s worked out who the killer is)

Speaking of…

(Now, I know Shakespeare’s a dead white guy, but he knows his shit, so we can overlook that.)

The real Irv Tripler, it turns out, died sixteen years earlier and this guy has been getting around as him ever since. Ryerson found out (having seen the real one in concert) and blackmailed him into stealing Harry’s presentation. Once he was named headmaster he was going to cut the music department completely so Irv/Joey Mallo killed him with a platinum record.

And so it goes, Fletcherfans.

Later gang!

S11E18 – The Dream Team

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Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom called Cabot Cove, where life was simple and the fishing was good. The townsfolk were proud of their town and deeply suspicious of outsiders and were ruled over by a Kind and Magnanimous Queen who let the mayor think he was in charge and let the sheriff think he was in charge of law and order but she did it all like the Slytherin queen she is.

One day, rumours began to spread that some outsiders were coming to town to build an automobile plant. Others heard rumours of a cultural centre. The townsfolk were uppity and the queen didn’t know what to do.

Queens cannot simply stroll into town and purchase carrots without dispersing crowds

The town thinks JB is holding out on them. Why? Because it turns out she has a connection to one of the employees of the consortium who will be presenting their plans for Cabot Cove that evening.

A strong connection.

A family connection, if you will.

NO GRADY. NO WE DIDN’T

That’s right Fletcherfans, the worlds most incompetent nephew/accountant/human being is back to wreak havoc and eat sandwiches. Despite pleading from everyone, he won’t reveal what his new job is or what he’s in town for. His boss calls him at JB’s house to signal his arrival at Hill House, and Grady assures him that there have been no leaks, a fact backed up by Hill House Front Desk Guy Noah Farmer who is excited to hear what Everett Buffum, J. Peter Carmody and Toni Shaw have in store. Everett is having a minor crisis, his wife happens to be staying at Hill House and is not conceding her marriage is over. Also, Charles Napier is lurking in the background but I blew all my good Blues Brothers references on these episodes so take the Good Old Boys as implied okay?

Meanwhile, Seth has a bee in his bonnet about the imminent destruction of the Cabot Cove lighthouse which has fallen into disrepair. His attempts to get the council involved did not go well, so he’s trying a new approach.

100% with Seth on this, if I could live in a lighthouse I would.

Over at Hill House Grady is running around like a nervous puppy, while J Edgar Carmody or whatever the hell his name is orders Everett Buffum to get rid of his wife.

As the presentation kicks off downstairs and Seth gets tucked into a pint, Charles Napier breaks into Carmody’s room and nabs some papers, all the while avoiding the Sharp Gaze of Housekeeping. The presentation goes off without a hitch, and most of the town seems quite willing to accept a massive resortmarinacondotheatreplex. Grady asks Jess what she thought of the presentation and she calls it overwhelming. Everett’s wife Lorna drags Grady off for a word about getting back in Everett’s good books/complaining about gin quality, while Everett reestablishes his friendship with Jessica. Carmody tries to sweet talk the lot of them and says that Seth looks like a man who has some questions.

Carmody may regret this.

Carmody quickly eases himself away just as Grady resurfaces. Grady asks Seth if Carmody told him of the plans to save the lighthouse and Jessica tells him he never really got the chance. Later, a drunk Lorna Buffum pulls a gun out but Charles Napier quickly takes it off her saying he has his own reasons for needing Everett alive just now. Jessica watches it all go down and remains silent.

The next day, Charles Napier, whose character name it turns out is Denver Martin, rolls down to the Sheriff’s office to deliver Lorna’s gun to Mort. He apologises for not doing it sooner, he only got the message from the day clerk at the hotel, no one else knew his name. Mort asks what he’s doing in the Cove and Denver says just business. He leaves just as Deputy Andy escorts Lorna Buffum inside. She’s not being charged with anything at the behest of Everett, and Mort recommends she leave town immediately.

The next day Jess solves another mystery, this time without even having to stand up.

If this photo had a dead body in the background it would basically sum up this show.

Seth has considered the development from all angles and thinks that it will be a boon for the community. Jess is surprised to hear it and produces a petition against the development that Seth has apparently cosigned. Seth is outraged that his name has been used in this way and wonders where the petitioner got the idea – Jess thinks possibly from the previous night when Seth declared he’d fundraise for a naval bombardment of the new marina.

Jess gets a phone call from Donna, aka Mrs Grady, who tells her that she and Grady have just been turned down for a bank loan because the bank can’t find any evidence that the company Grady works for even exists.

The eternal question

Over at Hill House, Lorna thinks that the lack of charges being pressed against her is a sign she and Everett are getting back together but he tells her to get out of town, and she’s not seeing any of the money. Later, Everett and Carmody view some office space that Grady’s found for them. They like it, but the realtor isn’t terribly keen to do a deal with them until Carmody offers to make her their exclusive agent for the development. Noah Farmer comes in to try and purchase another of her listings but he can’t make her price. Grady is surprised to hear that the businesses they will be opening up won’t be the chain stores and high-end boutiques that were on the original plan, and Carmody tells him they’ve had a change of direction, they just haven’t filled him in yet.

Back at Hill House Lorna prepares to check out and confronts her husband’s mistress Toni Shaw. Toni tells her that Everett hasn’t been Lorna’s for years and Lorna declares she won’t rest until they are all in prison where they belong.

Yup. They’re scammers. Grady’s nailed it again.

Jessica, the voice of reason as usual, enlists Mort’s help investigating the company Columbus Ventures, but so far all they’ve dug up is that they have two other developments on the cards, one in Florida and one in Oregon – one is waiting for hurricane season to end so construction can begin, and the other is just waiting on a court case brought about by an environmental group. Everyone thinks it’s going to be fine, especially Grady.

Back at Hill House Denver Martin confronts Carmody – apparently, Denver’s mother was at the Florida presentation and died shortly after but not before giving Carmody 70K. Carmody admits to meeting Mrs Martin, but everything else is circumstantial and good luck going to the police with evidence stolen from his room. Denver stalks off just as Everett arrives, and gets into it with Carmody about Lorna’s threats to expose them.

That night a storm hits Cabot Cove, and while Grady stares out pensively at the rain, Lorna Buffum knocks back a martini before getting into her car.  (Cut to Lorna’s car going into the water).

The next day Lorna’s body and car are fished out of the water. Seth thinks it’s a safe bet she died by drowning, but judging from the bump on her head she might not have been conscious when she went into the water. Mort finds a bottle of gin in her handbag and says that it might have contributed, though the bottle is mostly full.  Oh damn, I could go a gin right about now. Apparently, Lorna had been in touch with Mort about a meeting but Mort wasn’t sure why. Deputy Andy shows them the other things they found in the car, gum, coins, a pen lid, a matchbook from a roadhouse out on the highway. Everett appears and says no he wasn’t with his wife the previous night.

Mort gets into the case and confirms with Noah at Hill House that Lorna checked out and knocked back a few martinis at Hill House before leaving at around 8:30.  Deputy Andy confirms there was nothing wrong with the car, so the bump on her head can’t have been from whiplash caused by a dodgy seatbelt. Mort gets a call from Adele who tells him that they’re saying on the radio that Columbus Ventures are backing out of the marina development, apparently Everett has lost the stomach for the deal after the death of his wife.

Over at HQ Grady is packing up his desk and bemoaning the fate of the project. Jess thinks it’s odd that Everett backed out due to community outrage, given that so many people were all for it. Noah comes in yammering to the real estate agent about Lorna’s death and wanting his deposit back from a sale but she’s not having it. Grady has an idea about the project and scurries off, and Jess notices that the site model labelled Cabot Cove is stuck over a site model label with Darwin Key Florida written on it.

Grady pitches his idea to Carmody and Shaw – they should sell shares in the development. They love it and tell him to get to work immediately. Shaw tells Carmody later that if they’d had Grady in Oregon they could have retired by now.

Denver Martin tells his story to Mort, who tells him not to leave town. Andy confirms the bump on Lorna’s head would have been enough to render her unconscious. They are stumped until Seth has a genius idea.

LOOK AT HIM DETECTING

Spoiler alert, it isn’t a clue.

Poor Seth #helping

The good news is that everyone loves Grady’s idea to sell the development as a timeshare (is that what’s happening? I’ve just found the Australian women’s cricket team on TV, my attention has wandered, also MEG LANNING FOR PM).

Jess is still worried about the whole situation, and has a quiet word to Denver Martin who tells her about the documents he found in Carmody’s room, including some stationery from an environmental group called Save The Oregon Forests.  This gives Jess an idea and she gets on the payphone.

Mort orders APBs on Everett, Toni Shaw and Carmody, and it is revealed they are all scammers with a long history. Grady feels terrible, he sensed something was wrong (no he didn’t) but didn’t investigate it (well that’s true). Seth wonders which one of them killed Lorna, and JB stares long and hard into a gin bottle until the answer comes to her (relatable content right there).

Jess recruits Grady to set the trap and he nails it completely. Not being sarcastic. Grady has been suspiciously together and likeable this episode, I don’t like it.

Long story short…

I would have actually died if it had been Grady I mean can you imagine

Noah the hotel guy was in debt trying to be a real estate tycoon and panicked when Lorna was going to expose them all. Another case closed!

And now, as the scammers are being arrested trying to flee the country, and Grady is collecting on a reward offered for aiding in their capture, it is time to say goodbye to Grady Fletcher: The Man, The Myth, The Legend. And while I could go back through Grady’s Greatest Fails, I feel that this video pretty much sums it all up.

Later gang!

S11E17 – Murder a la Mode

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Spoiler alert: this isn’t about pie. I genuinely thought this was going to be some sort of baking relating murder.

Another spoiler alert: I’m hungry.

We’re in Paris this week Fletcherfans, where a man holds a woman as she dies after a fire in a building, and JB is in town to promote her newest book but also to do a circuit of the runway shows, especially ones featuring her model friend Carrie Quin. Jessica calls her to let her know she’s arrived, and Carrie tells her she will see her later along with her new boyfriend Edmond Faragere – she’s in the middle of fittings for the show, and the No Capes lady from the Incredibles is pinning her aggressively.

In my defence, I’ve only seen Incredibles once, but it clearly left an impression.

The business manager of the fashion house Carrie is modelling for, Paul Vaughan, wanders in and tells Carrie and Denise that the dress is out, they can’t mass-produce it. Denise and Carrie both tell him Thea (head designer and wife of Paul) put it back in and Paul says he’ll see about that if he can ever find his wife. He calls her and at last gets through. Thea apologises, she’s been in the Louvre all afternoon and her phone was off. She’ll head back to the office now.

LOL, j/k, she’s banging Carrie’s boyfriend Edmund.

Ugh to both of them

Edmund wants Thea to leave Paul and go into business with him, but Thea isn’t agreeing to anything until she sees evidence of financing (smart). He gives her a ruby to seal the deal, and she says it’s all pretty and all but she wants paperwork.  She leaves and Edmund gets on the phone to someone to convert some things to cash for New York.

That night, JB and her publicist Dan Morgan head to a cocktail party and sign in just after the man from the fire at the start of the show. Jess bumps into old friend Claude Faragere who isn’t showing this year, and is facing competition from his stepson Edmund. They see Edmund talking to Carrie and Claude tells JB to warn Carrie, his stepson is bad news.

Thea and Paul arrive, bickering. Paul knows Thea wasn’t at the Louvre and wonders who it is this time. Thea storms off and Claude wanders over to ask Paul for a meeting, he has a business proposal for him and Thea. Paul wanders off and Edmund pops up to ask his grandfather why he was talking to Paul.

Carrie defends Edmund to JB and politely freezes out her ex-boyfriend Rick who is in town to take photos of JB free-ranging on the farshun. It is revealed that Denise had a fling with Edmund back in the day. Edmund rolls up to make everything awkward.

Get your life together Carrie

The guy from the fire takes this opportunity to pull a gun on Edmund (I mean, fair) so Jess throws her glass of champagne at him (NOOOOOOOOOOOO) and the man struggles with Edmund and then runs away. As he rushes, the gun goes off and he drops it.

The police are called and Jessica tells Inspector Marc Gautier that the man didn’t know how to tie a bow tie and didn’t really seem comfortable in the formal clothes he was wearing.

I know it wasn’t meant to be, but damn it sounded snobby

Edmund has no idea why the man wanted to kill him but agrees to come downtown and make a statement. Rick tells Edmund there’ll be a world of pain if he hurts Carrie and Edmund basically ignores him. Carrie tells Rick to leave her alone, he was the one who went to Milan for two months, let her be.

Jess heads back to her hotel room but finds the shooter, whose name is Huan Kim, there waiting for her. He’s freaking out, he never meant for any of this to happen he’s insane with grief. Jess urges him to go to the police, but he tells her he can’t and bails when a knock at the door signals the arrival of Jess’s galley copies.

The next day Claude has his meeting with Paul and Thea to suggest a merger, but Thea won’t agree to it – Edmund has offered her a much better deal and she plans to take it. Jess gets a visit from the inspector, who tells her they’ve identified the shooter, he was an employee at the sweatshop that burned down. Jess thinks she might know what this is about. Claude goes to try to buy his stepson off, but he won’t budge.

Jess rolls down to Paul and Thea’s fashion house, where they are rehearsing the catwalk and having Serious Discussions About Farshun.

My idea of farshun is wearing matching socks, I am thunderously unqualified to have an opinion about this.

Denise has a solution to the boring dress problem and Paul is delighted, it will sell thousands. Thea doesn’t give a rats though and walks off. Denise calls Edmund and tells him everything will go ahead as arranged. Carrie hands over the dress and Denise tells her she’ll call when it’s ready. Carrie has big plans for her afternoon off.

Thea and Edmund toast their imminent partnership and I start googling flights to Paris. Carrie arrives outside Edmund’s apartment just in time to see him kissing Thea as he puts her into a taxi. Edmund goes back inside, makes a quick phone call to his buyer, gets his bag of rubies and emeralds and goes down to his car where he is promptly shot dead.

Inspector Gautier is on the case and summons Claude, who admits he didn’t get on with his stepson but did not kill him. He was home alone at the time of the shooting. Gautier says he’s just looking for facts, not suspects. Or something. Man, I want to go to Paris. Monet’s Garden! Shakespeare and Company! ALL THE HAM AND CHEESE BAGUETTES OH GOD I’M HUNGRY!

Gautier visits Carrie at the fashion house and catches her lying about when she last saw Edmund, but she swears she didn’t kill him either. Gautier confiscates her passport and tells her not to leave Paris. Carrie goes straight to JB’s for tea and sympathy, which Jess provides in abundance. Carrie doesn’t know how she can continue with the show, but Jess tells her that for grief work is the best medicine (Life Lesson #76). 

Thea meets with Claude, to discuss his business proposal. He says he’s surprised she’s not in mourning but she tells him what was between her and Edmund was business. He tells her that he’s not going to consider the proposal unless it’s both her and Paul. Carrie heads down to the studio to try on the dress Denise has been working on and runs into Rick, who gives his condolences even though he hated Edmund. Carrie hints she thinks Rick did it but Rick swears not. While she’s changing Claude wanders in to offer Denise his condolences and to offer her a job, but Denise isn’t having a bar of it.

Jess is kicking back with her galleys when she gets a phone call from Huan, freaking out that the police think he killed Edmund. Jessica agrees to meet him on the condition that he turn himself in afterwards. Paul tells Thea he’s done with her, he’s joining Claude’s business and she can go straight to hell.

JB meets Huan at the burnt out sweatshop and admits that his wife was killed in the fire. He is planning to kill himself but wants Jessica to tell his story, about how they were locked in with no way to escape the fire. Inspector Gautier arrives with the news that the gun used to kill Edmund was the same gun that Huan had when he tried to kill Edmund. His best guess is that Huan killed Edmund and stole the jewels. Apparently, Edmund was smuggling people and jewels from Asia and into France and New York. Huan knows nothing about any of it and swears he didn’t kill Edmund, and JB believes him.

That night at the farshun show Jessica has a sudden realisation about where the jewels are and who killed Edmund.  (There’s a whole lot of farshun guys)

After the show, she confirms her suspicions were correct.

NO CAPES

Denise was Edmund’s sidekick in the jewel smuggling game and got sick of it so she killed him. She took the jewels and was going to sell them in New York and try to enjoy life again.

“But weren’t you happy Denise?” Asks Paul.

“I suppose I was,” Denise says.

Nailed another one

Until next week, which I suspect is going to be a big one…

Later gang!

S11E16 – Film Flam

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Welcome back to Hollywood Fletcherfans, where the magic happens and also murder because duh.

On a backlot at Monolith Pictures, a man called Daryl Harding is living on a disused soundstage. He hangs out on the couch drinking coffee when suddenly he hears noises.

Jim Caviezel is doing a sequel to The Passion of the Christ, but it’s not called 2 Jesus 2 Furious so frankly, it’s pointless.

He hides under a table while three men – Carson Robbins, Hank Duncan and some other dude come in to talk business, namely, they want to steal a print of a movie called ‘Cry of Destiny’ and pirate it before it’s in the cinemas. Oooh, topical. Carson is a producer on the film and doesn’t want to be a part of this business any more but Hank and the other guy tell him it’s too late.

Hank Duncan (being played by William O’Leary or as I know him, ‘hey it’s that guy!’ suddenly smells coffee and says the stage hasn’t been used in a month, that shouldn’t be. They fan out and search, but hear the studio door slam a short time later.

Meanwhile, Jess rolls on into town to meet with director Boyce Brown about adapting one of her books into a film but he’s busy trying to get Cry of Destiny done. She’s not the only one rolling up to the set though, Hank’s girlfriend Barbie Lippin is holding up the queue trying to get in, and Fritz Randall is trying to get to work.

YOU GUYS HARRY PIERCE HAS CLEARLY TURNED STATES EVIDENCE AND GONE INTO WITNESS PROTECTION IN HOLLYWOOD

There can be no other explanation.

Anyway, yes, JB is in town and isn’t fazed that Boyce Brown hasn’t had time to read her book. Through the wonders of exposition, we learn that Boyce’s daughter found the incomplete film made by the late director Austin Young right before he died of an accidental overdose 35 years ago. They are now filming the missing pieces at a cost of forty million and Austin Young’s assistant director Fritz Randall is helping them do it while writing a book about Austin Young.

Meanwhile, Boyce’s daughter Elaine is arguing with Fritz about shooting the scene that in the old script was the one Austin died before filming (me fail English that’s unpossible). They find Carson messing around with reels of Cry of Destiny and order him to leave them alone, no one is allowed to take the reels off set for any reason thanks to all the leaks that have been happening. Things get intense, but then Daryl Harding passes by and saves the day.

I should point out that Jim Caviezel has had a long and excellent career (HE WAS IN THE ROCK!), but every time I see him I shout Jesus because I am a strange and unusual plant.

Elaine is clearly on board to see more of the D-man, and tells him she tried to call him to invite him to the debut screening of Cry of Destiny but he was unlisted and the Screen Actors Guild hadn’t heard of him. He tells her he just moved and that SAG just got it wrong, but when Elaine turns to write down her number to give him he disappears.

DARYL IS JESUS A GHOST.

Spoiler alert, he isn’t though, he’s just nicked down the cafeteria for a bite to eat. He tells a friendly security guard that he left his badge in his jacket and bumps into Jessica and Boyce who are loading up on spare ribs. Carson Robbins appears with bad news – someone called Audrey Young has just surfaced claiming that she was adopted by Austin Young the year before he died and that everything, including the original copies of Cry of Destiny, belong to her. Boyce tells him he’ll need time to go over all these documents with the lawyers, but invites Audrey to the screening of Cry of Destiny. She tells him nope, and her lawyer hands over an injunction barring all screenings without Audrey’s consent.

Hank’s ladyfriend Bunny is waiting to audition and is telling former child star and current Do You Know Who I Am, Joan Kemp, all about it.

Joan doesn’t want to hear another word about your damn boyfriend Bunny.

While Darryl hides behind a copy of Variety, Hank turns up to wish Bunny good luck with her audition. He gets paged and can’t stay though, but has time to have a word to a security guard who tells him he was talking to a guy who said he was working on Set 25, even though there’s no construction over there. Hank wants names.

Boyce is having a bit of a time of it – New York is riding him about the budget, Elaine wants more money for some late shooting before the screening and Carson tells him that Audrey seems to be legit. The good news is Audrey has agreed to let them go ahead with the screening as planned. Audrey has other things on her mind – namely hanging out with Fritz and making out at his house (that used to be Austin’s house).

Weird.

The next day Hank and Carson plan to get the film copy off the set in two hours time, while Daryl explains to Elaine he’s not really in the guild, he couldn’t afford the dues. Elaine offers to help get him to work but he’s doing it on his own terms. He spots Hank and Carson and Hank spots him, but Daryl vanishes before they can approach.

Jess bumps into Boyce and gives him a copy of her book to read after the screening. Boyce tells her that between this business with Audrey and the piracy situation he’s starting to wonder if any of this is worth it.

A screengrab for our times. You’re welcome.

Jess reminds him of something he once told her: “People who don’t take risks protect themselves from the lows but they don’t get to experience the highs.” (Life Lesson #75) Boyce later takes some of his own advice when he has to tell Elaine that the studio bosses are withdrawing funds for the movie – he decides to hell with it, they’ll screen it anyway.

That night, Bunny springs Hank and his sidekick loading copies of the Cry of Destiny film into the back of a truck. Hank manages to get her to go away and orders the other guy to make sure that the negative gets onto the truck after the screening.

The gang all assemble for the screening and Jess has a chat to Joan Kemp former child star. It turns out Joan worked on the original Cry of Destiny movie – she wasn’t on set when it happened, but she remembers how awful it was and how things fell apart for everyone afterwards. Jess also bumps into her favourite LAPD detective Lieutenant Caceras, and Fritz, who is annoyed at how small his advance is for the tell-all book he’s writing about Austin Young. He offers to let JB see his collection of Youngerbelia and she agrees to pop round the next morning.

The screening is a raging success for everyone, except for that one guy who leaves early acting like he’s drunk out of his mind. Jess pops round to see Fritz the next morning and finds him dead on the floor. Gabe Caceras is on the case, and it is very quickly ruled a suicide. Jess isn’t having a bar of it though – no one saw Fritz after he left the film screening but given the success of the film and the fact he was working on a book – it just didn’t seem likely that Fritz would kill himself the same way Austin did. Also, there is one specific negative missing from the original sheet of Cry of Destiny.

*mentally checks out to consider a Murder She Wrote Game of Thrones cast because it’s Monday and why not)

Back at the lot, Daryl overhears Bunny chatting to Hank about his business dealings. Bunny might know some guys who’d be interested in what Hank’s selling if you know what I mean.

He knows when you’ve been bad or good, oh wait that’s Santa hold on.

Jessica meanwhile is doing a little sleuthing and finds Carson down the back of a couch. He’s mysteriously managed to find Fritz’s glasses which were missing at his house. Carson said he heard all this at the crime scene, but very quickly caves under pressure and admits to moving Fritz’s body, with Boyce’s permission. Fritz was the staggering drunk at the crime scene, Carson found him dead later on and then dragged his body out the side door and into his car.

The way she says WHAT? right here is frankly glorious.

Just then, Boyce gets a phone call from Elaine, who has been arrested for Fritz’s murder. Down at the precinct, Gabe is unapologetic about it, saying that Elaine admitted to having a tiff with Fritz. Not only that, they found sleeping pills on the floor under Fritz’s seat where the killer missed his glass. Jessica says it’s nonsense, Elaine was sitting with Jesus Daryl Harding but Gabe ain’t bothered.

Jess heads back to the lot where she runs into Joan Kemp, who’s just picked up some scenes in a movie. It’s going to be filmed in Studio 25, it will be just like going home. Jess immediately walks away, she’s got an idea.

Over at Studio 25, Jess tells the empty room that Elaine is in more trouble than he’ll be in if he doesn’t reveal himself. Daryl thinks that isn’t true, he knows about some illegal activity going on on the set and tells Jess all about Hank’s piracy.

Word up.

Hank, Carson, Bunni and That Other Guy to finalize their piracy arrangement when Gabe Carceras bursts in, presumably at the word of JB. It’s not good news though.

Plot twist! I wish I cared! (Hank is crushed)

Back at the precinct, Gabe’s not budging on Elaine being guilty. Some overdue parking tickets belonging to Audrey gives Jess an idea and she recruits Daryl to pick her up in his car. Meanwhile, Joan bumps into Boyce on set and there’s a weird conversation where Joan says Boyce was an assistant director to Austin Young but Boyce says he wasn’t.

At Fritz’s Jess and Daryl take a look at the contact sheet with the missing negative. Daryl finds a receipt for a film place where Fritz had apparently requested an enlargement of the missing negative. Jess tries to call the store but it’s closed. BUT WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, there’s a man at the door wanting to deliver the blown up image but Fritz has to sign for it.

Nailed it

Photo acquired, Jess knows exactly who the killer is.

This I did not see coming.

That photo proved Joan lied about where she was at the time of Austin Young’s death, i.e she killed him in a jealous rage because he didn’t love her, and then killed Fritz when he worked it out.

Chalk up another win to Team JB. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to contemplate the 2 Jesus 2 Furious trailer.

Later gang!

S11E15 – Twice Dead

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We’re back in NYC this week Fletcherfans, where science is happening!

YEAH SCIENCE

And technology is happening!

My Dad did something similar once, except it was our computer that we’d had about a week and he didn’t know what he was doing. The people we bought the computer off never worked out how he did it #DOSlife 

Supreme, cutting-edge technology is happening.

The 90s – where information was stored on drink coasters.

The man behind all this science and hacking is Dr Max Franklin, and he’s heading off on a jet plane and taking some lab samples with him. He leaves the offices of Biomec Industries late one night, closely followed by a man in a car, who loses him a short time later.

Cut to the next day, where Our Heroine is getting ready to slay the day when news comes on the television about a plane crash in Long Island Sound – there were no survivors and among the dead was Nobel winning biophysicist Dr Max Franklin. Now as it happens, and seriously what were the odds, Jessica is supposed to be heading down to Biomec later that day for a meeting. She calls her contact at the company, Liz White (who is being played by the same woman who played Mary Marsh in the pilot of The West Wing *shakes fist*), who tells her that she would rather Jess still come down, she needs a distraction.

Jess arrives at Biomec just in time to see the end of a press conference in which Liz gets handed an envelope and the CEO Dr Fredrick Grundberg tells the gathering everything is fine, as does the stockbroker overseeing the listing of Biomec, Richard Ellston, and someone called Priscilla Lake. Max was working on a cancer cure, and that work will continue. As the press depart Richard asks if everything really is fine, and Grundberg assures him that he wouldn’t tell Richard if it wasn’t.  Liz excuses herself for a moment, and as Jessica goes outside to wait she bumps into the man who had tried to follow Max the previous night.

Liz goes into Grundberg’s office where her colleagues Stuart Himes and David Randall are confronting Grundberg about his statements during the press conference. It turns out Max had some concerns about the drug L-214 not being ready to test on people, but Grundberg says there’s nothing to worry about and that he won’t let the drug go on the market unless it’s completely safe. After they leave, he grins at Priscilla.

Jessica is apparently there to help Liz write a book about science because why not and apparently the early reports from the publisher are good. Liz tells JB that she has to go clean out things from Max’s apartment and she’s dreading it but Jess tells her it won’t get any easier later. Liz and Max used to date, but apparently, she broke up with him but still always sought his approval like she needed to prove herself to him. David Randall wanders past and said Max was an idiot who never truly loved her and Jessica thinks that’s not entirely true.

Back in Grundberg’s office, there’s bad news – David has just discovered that the culture of L-214 in the fridge isn’t the cancer drug, Max must have switched the samples. To make matters worse, Max has wiped his computer and also the network of all reference to L-214. Grundberg tells Max to get to work, but Max doesn’t think he’s the right person to rebuild the research. Grundberg tells him to do it, or he’s out. After David leaves, Grundberg asks the smoking guy to go take a look at Max’s place to see if the missing culture is there.

Priscilla fills Richard in on all the shenanigans over martinis. Richard is furious that Grundberg is keeping him out of the loop, and tells Priscilla to keep him posted. Priscilla clearly has eyes on Grundberg’s job, and Richard is happy to back her.

The next day, Jessica is out taking care of business when she sees a taxi rear-end another taxi. She’s staggered when she sees the man in the back of the cab is Max Franklin.

Quality acting from the extras might I say.

She calls out to him but the cab drives away. Of course, she manages to memorise the cab number because she is the best.

Jess calls her old pal Lieutenant Artie Gelber, who tells her there might a reason Max had faked his death but asks someone to run the cab number for him. Artie has more pressing business to attend to – his high school is putting him on their wall of fame and he needs a portrait done, can Jess recommend a photographer?

A short time later thanks to some ace detecting by Officer Rizzoli, Jess finds Max’s destination – a hotel. She manages to bluff her way past the front desk but pauses when she sees The Smoking Guy come down the stairs and start loitering by the reception desk.

And then Jessica gets attacked by a zombie hand.

Not the first time this has happened in this show.

The decidedly not dead (or undead) Max Franklin tells JB that the smoking guy just tried to break into his hotel room, and also he and Jess probably need to talk.

Calls it like she sees it.

Back at House Fletcher, Max explains to JB that the smoking guy has been following him two weeks, and when he saw him following him out of Biomec he decided not to take the flight to Montauk that would later crash, so it turned out to be lucky really.

The smoking guy’s name turns out to be Walter Pell, and Jessica finds his detective agency ad in the yellow pages because the 90s. Max rips something out of the paper and apologises to JB but he needs to stay dead for a while longer. He just needs to get his journal from his house and then he will drop off the radar until he figures out what’s wrong with the vaccine. Jess offers to get it for him, which Max is hesitant to agree to but JB doesn’t give him a choice.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Liz and David are discussing Liz’s breakup with Max when Stuart pops up and orders David back to work. He doesn’t know what game Liz is playing but he’s just heard on the radio that they’ve pulled the bodies from the plane crash – the pilot, the co-pilot and 3 female passengers – and there’s a lot of frantic whispering going on in Grundberg’s office.

Speaking of, as a TV plays news about Max’s house being firebombed, Grundberg holds a war meeting with Walter Pell. Pell had been down there trying to find the missing culture and files, but the house was already ablaze and then JB showed up so he legged it. Grundberg is furious but Pell thinks he will find Max in the next couple of hours, and they will get everything back then. Pell finds it odd that Grundberg had cancelled all his appointments for the morning, but Grundberg informs him they cancelled on him, and he heard about the fire on the car radio since he asks.

Jess meets Max back at his hotel and delivers the journal, undamaged by the fire. Max isn’t ready to rejoin the world though, but swears to Jess he’s close. As they take their leave of each other Pell starts following Max.

That night, Jess fills Liz in about Max’s return from the dead, and Liz wonders where he is. Jess remembers the piece Max ripped from her newspaper and thinks that if they can work out what it was, it might be a clue. They track him down to an apartment, but when they go inside they find him dead on the floor.

Artie is on the case and quickly rules in a burglary gone wrong. He asks Liz how well she knew Max and she tells him they were close for a long time, and she still cared about him but he was all in on his work. They find a cigarette butt in the hallway of the apartment building and Jess casually mentions that there was a private eye who happened to smoke that particular brand of cigarettes. Artie is on his way to get his portrait done, but he’s interested.

Down at Biomec, Richard is just learning about all of this but Priscilla tells him the police think Max was in the crappy apartment for a romantic meeting, and Grundberg says it changes nothing. Richard asks if Pell had anything to do with it, and Grundberg is surprised to hear Richard knows who Pell is, but says no Pell had nothing to do with it.

Jess goes to have a chat with Walter Pell, who is not her biggest fan after a four-hour interrogation from the cops. Jess says he should know, he used to be a cop. Walter admits to this, and allows just enough time to admit he followed Max after his meeting with JB to the apartment downtown, Walter waited outside for a while, went in and found Max dead so he legged it. Jess has one last question – why was Grundberg having Pell follow Max?

Pell says that’s Grundberg’s business and Jess says thanks – she wasn’t sure who had hired Pell, but now she knows.

Game, set, match.

Jess goes down to the precinct, where Artie is gradually working through interviewing everyone at Biomec. Officer Rizzoli appears to inform them all that Max’s laptop has been found completely wiped. Artie concedes his junkie burglary theory isn’t holding up, and gets back to interviews. Liz suddenly remembers the envelope she received at the press conference and they rush back to Biomec to retrieve it.

Liz gets the envelope from her desk and pulls out an envelope containing that floppy disk from the beginning of the episode. On it is a whole bunch of numbers but also proof that Stuart fudged some data. Stuart, who is lurking in the shadows, appears to explain that he did it so that the drug would be on the market faster, any side effects would be years later and by then they could be cured. Artie wanders in and announces Stuart is under arrest for Max’s murder.

Jess isn’t convinced about any of it, and calls Artie the next day to tell him so but Artie is all over it. Stuart went all in on the Biomec share purchase and would have stood to lose millions if the drug didn’t proceed to trials. Jess wonders how Stuart would have found the apartment, but Artie says Jessica did and the PI did, and maybe Max called him. Jess suddenly remembers there was a cell phone in Max’s briefcase but Artie tells her that there wasn’t one recovered from the crime scene. Jess tells him to call the phone company and find out what his last calls were.

Down at Biomec Richard has just learned that the stock option isn’t proceeding, he’s out 20 million dollars and his reputation is in ruins. Fortunately for Biomec Priscilla had a suspicion something was wrong and so they sold their shares before the sale went live. Grundberg is all good.

Back at the precinct Artie tells Jess there was a call but it was to a pay phone. Meanwhile Stuart’s prints have been found at Max’s apartment (so have JB’s) and the DA thinks it’s a slam dunk. Artie has other things to worry about like picking the right photo for his award.

Actually spat tea at this

Jessica looks at the photo envelope and suddenly realises who killed Max. Later that night she lays a trap, and what do you know…

Expect nothing less from Mary Marsh

All of this happened because Max dumped Liz and she couldn’t handle the truth. Literally. That’s all this was.

Happy voting, Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

 

 

S11E14 – Murder in High C

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Ciao e Benvenuto in Italia Fletcherfans, Genoa to be exact, where an opera singer wanders the foggy streets in a blind panic while having chats with weirdos with high pitched voices and her friend kicks it at the definitely haunted theatre watching rehearsals.

DEMON AUDIENCE

Okay on second watching the guy is reading a newspaper. To be fair I can’t be bothered going to get my glasses.

In any case, JB watches on while Stella Knight rehearses and Maestro Drew Granger waves his baton about (not code). Fun fact – he used to be married to Linda Hamilton way back when thanks IMDB. Someone called Vicki Lawson appears to get Drew’s approval on the album artwork (he hates it) and Stella’s husband appears to offer his opinion on Stella no longer being the star of the show (he hates it, but not as much as Stella).

The star of the show, Andrea Beaumont, is late to rehearsal which sours Drew’s mood and he kicks JB out of the rehearsal. The reason for the lateness is revealed – she was the person wandering the fog having chats with weirdo strangers and being threatened. JB and Drew rush over to the hotel room where Andrea’s husband Jonas Cole watches over while a doctor checks her out. The doctor tells them she is fine but Drew wants to hire more security. Jonas informs him he can take care of his wife and tells Drew to leave. (Drew and Andrea were hot and heavy pre-marriage to Jonas and Drew isn’t coping in this brave new world).

Jonas is worried that it’s a repeat of a year earlier when a crazy fan stalked Andrea but he’s apparently in prison back in New York. JB suggests there is a second possibility – that the stalker is disguising their voice because they are known to Andrea.

I mean I wouldn’t have thought that was the standard reaction to the idea that someone you know is stalking you

Jessica decides to have a little investigation of her own and goes for a wander. She bumps into Inspector Piero Amato aka John Hamm’s Tall Italian Cousin who is also investigating the attack on Andrea.

This is freaking me out a little bit. Yes I meant signor, it’s too late to change it now, sorry Italy and Spain.

Piero knows nothing about opera but is a Jonas Cole fanboy (apparently Jonas is a bit of a daredevil rock climber). He knows about Andrea’s stalker in New York, but thinks this is nothing more than a stunt drummed up by Jonas Cole in order to sell opera tickets.

Jessica does not agree.

Jessica is immune to Italian Don Draper

The next day Drew rolls into the theatre and informs the company director Rudolfo Petrocelli that there’s nothing else for it, he needs to release Drew from his contract for the good of the production. Rudolfo wonders if it has anything to do with Drew being offered a sweet gig back in New York and Drew says how dare you and how did you know about that.

Fun fact Rudolfo is being played by Bob Hoskins in Super Mario Bros.

I WILL DEFEND SUPER MARIO BROS TIL THE END OF TIME DON’T @ ME

Rudolfo is in a bad mood after Drew’s little stunt and it doesn’t improve when the company accountant Carlo Rossoni comes to talk finances. Only when Carlo confirms that the company would get a substantial payout if Andrea pulls out of the show does Rudolfo feel better about life.

Back at the hotel, Andrea is getting ready to go to the theatre and Jonas is fondling his gun (not code) when there is a phone call – it’s the weird-voiced person again telling Andrea all about how they plan to kill her.

Piero summons them to his office, where he assures Jonas that his team will protect Andrea, saying that a policeman in Italy won’t get far if he can’t stop an opera singer from being hurt. He has the situation under control – he’s going to tap their phone, and a preliminary investigation has revealed no suspects.

Jessica informs them all that the stage door manager hasn’t noticed anyone lurking around.

He brought this on himself

Piero has more news – the crazy New York stalker guy is out of jail, but reporting to his parole officer and is not in Italy. Jonas wants to know where this leaves them and Piero says he is an an unsophisticated guy with no knowledge of opera…

No comment

…do Andrea and Jonas have any personal or professional enemies?

Probably, says Jonas. They’ll all be at our house tonight, says Andrea.

And so, later that night, everyone rolls up to Jonas and Andrea’s for a shindig. Rudolfo is outraged that he wasn’t recognised by the police at the front door, Stella and her husband apparently hate Andrea according to Andrea.

Detection on point.

While Rudolfo tries to discuss finances or lack thereof with Jonas, Drew gets Andrea alone and delivers a heartfelt speech that is only ruined by Jonas wandering in and giving him a golf clap. Jonas and Drew get heated before Drew throws himself out.

Oh how I can relate to this.

After the party is over and Jonas is trying to suck up, the phone rings with the mystery weirdo again. Jessica isn’t worried – the call is being traced, it’s going to be fine.

At the theatre the next day Stella’s husband Paul is begging Drew to give Stella more songs to sing but Drew isn’t interested in stroking Stella’s ego – she’s yesterday’s news. Drew then bumps into Carlo Rossoni who suggests he might have a way for Drew to get out of his contract (for the right price) but Drew isn’t interested in that either.

Andrea is there ready for her final costume fitting and rugged up due to some dodgy ac (which Stella offers to fix by swapping changerooms so she can get the star changeroom back). Vicki excuses herself for a moment to take a call – the lights go out, the weirdo’s voice is heard and there’s a hand with a knife before the lights flick back on. The stalker runs away and Vicki reappears to comfort Andrea.

Jessica has a chat to Piero about all the shenanigans and tells him she knows the American stalker guy has gone awol but Piero is all over that. Plus he has a suspect in mind – the call from the stalker that JB overheard came from a payphone two streets away from Rudolfo’s house.

Apparently, this guy was in Die Hard, which I will report back on when I do my annual Christmas watching of Die Hard. (DIE HARD IS #1 CHRISTMAS MOVIE DON’T @ ME)

Meanwhile, Vicky has just discovered that Rudolfo has been leaking information about Andrea and the stalker to the press, and is outraged about it. Rudolfo, on the other hand, has discovered who has been messing with Andrea and wants in on the whole thing. He arranges to meet the stalker later that night back at the theatre, and after some frankly terrible dialogue about how cold it is (they are obviously in Andrea’s dressing room) the stalker shoots Rudolfo dead.

The next day Jonas is on the warpath after seeing news articles about Andrea and storms off to find Rudolfo. Vicky arrives just in time to hear two gunshots. They all rush upstairs and find Jonas leaning over the body of Rudolfo, gun in hand. “It’s my gun!” Jonas says, confused, as the security guard draws his weapon and orders Jonas to drop it. “Jessica, I didn’t do this,” Jonas adds.

(At this point let the record show that an auction started next door and as I am fascinated by anyone who can afford real estate in Melbourne I immediately lost interest in everything else, and then I heard the asking price for said auction and immediately gave up on life. And then I started playing the Murder She Wrote theme really loudly because if you are moving near me you may as well be prepared).

Back in Genoa Piero thinks everyone needs to relax – Andrea isn’t in any more danger now that Rudolfo has shuffled off. JB wants to know if his voice matched the voice on the call recording but Piero isn’t sure yet. He explains to Jonas that if he comes clean he will word up the prosecutor but Jonas swears he didn’t do it. Piero sighs and arrests him for being obstinate.

Later, in the theatre, Drew dumps Vicki (apparently they were a thing) and also fires her as the PR rep. Jess drops by the theatre to pick up some of Andrea’s things and runs into Drew, who tells her he’s moving back to New York and he’ll keep in touch with Andrea. Apparently, his contract is void now Rudolfo has gone. Jess then comes across Caro and Paul Fuller arguing about who will pay for the audience to clap and cheer Stella now that she’s taking over Andrea’s role.

Jessica sneaks into Andrea’s room for a bit of sleuthing.

Auction update: no one bought. It was either the loud Murder She Wrote theme or the high cost of living in Melbourne. Or both.

A pen dent in the floor and a broken air conditioner later, and Jess gives Jonas the good news – there’s no way he could have killed Rudolfo, he’d been dead for hours! While Piero reinstates Andrea’s security detail, Jonas calls to give her the good news (after a wrong number false start). Andrea is delighted to hear he is free, goes and locks the door as instructed, and is devastated when the next phone call she gets is from the psycho killer.

Jonas and Andrea make plans to leave for New York, while Stella makes plans to reclaim her rightful dressing room. Piero assures Andrea that she will be well guarded but she doesn’t feel secure. Later that night Jonas gets a call from a furious Carlo who threatens to get an injunction forbidding them from leaving Genoa. Jessica shares a wad of paper she found in Andrea’s dressing room with Piero, and after a wrong number and a reference to mountains, Jessica works out how the killer did it.

EPIPHANY FACE

And luckily for Andrea, she’s worked it out just in time to stop the killer from getting to her.

As far as villainous plots go, this was pretty good.

Jonas hatched a plot to bump off Andrea and get her life insurance money and recruited Vicky as an accomplice. Rudolfo found out what Jonas was up to so he killed him and framed himself so that Jessica could prove he didn’t do it. Except then she proved he did. Suck it, Jonas.

Later gang!

S11E13 – Death ‘N Denial

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Salaam-Alaikum!  Welcome to Agrabah, city of mystery, of enchantment. AndthefinestmerchandisethissideoftheriverJordanonsaletoday! Come on down!

Guys I haven’t had a lot of sleep. Fair warning.

Jessica is rolling on into Cairo (something I’m very jealous about – I’ve never been to Egypt but I’ve spent most of my life living in denial about something, boom tish), theoretically to help coordinate the cultural exchange between the Cairo Museum and her museum in New York that she helped found/is overlord of. In actual fact, her travel is being used as a cover for Egyptologist Sally Otterburn to smuggle what turns out to be a real artefact back into Cairo at the request of Museum Director Sherif Faris. He’s not the only person interested in its arrival though – a man named Rudy Grimes bugs Sally’s conversation and then calls his employer Bradford Thorpe know that the artefact has turned up. Bradford quickly covers up his excitement when his wife Vanessa walks in and claims that someone has lined up a racehorse for him and it’s a bargain.

Speaking of racehorses there is a horse called Jon Snow AND a horse called Nights Watch running in the Caulfield Cup today, if they don’t come first and second I’m going to start a riot

Jess steps off the plane and immediately starts her charm offensive, greeting her driver with a “As-Salaam-Alaikum”

She’s charming in every language

 

I know this was funny in 1994, but enough.

Jess nails her Arabic so well that the driver starts speaking in Arabic and she asks Sally to explain she ain’t that good (she is though) but guys it’s okay, the driver (whose name is Naser Muhammad Hasan) used to be a cab driver in Manhattan.

I like this episode already.

Just as Jessica spots their luggage Frank Rick Rudy Grimes snatches a bag off Sally’s shoulder and legs it. Unfortunately for him, he grabbed Jessica’s bag, not Sally’s. While they wait for security Sally calls the museum to find out why Sherif wasn’t there to meet them at the airport but he carefully tells her there was an unexpected visit from the minister of culture. Sally explains what happened and says she will bring the statuette around straight away and he tells her no, he’ll call her later.

Inspector Omar Halim is summoned to take a report on the theft, and immediately refers to JB as PD James.

I wonder if PD James ever did versions of Dave Chapelle’s ‘I’m Rick James bitch!’ bit, but with her name. I choose to believe yes.

Omar has just flown in from Luxor and is curious about the theft. Sally explains the purpose of the trip and Omar is not thrilled about the “cultural exchange”, but promises to make sure the report of the theft does not get lost.

Frank Rick Rudy Grimes breaks the bad news to Bradford that he swiped the wrong bag from the airport. Bradford is furious but Rudy says he can still get it. Vanessa comes home and they quickly turn the conversation to racehorses. Vanessa is seeing through the bullshit though and tells Bradford he should find a less dodgy business partner.

Jess checks into the Hotel Osiris at Sally’s suggestion and heads to her room to make calls while Sally flirts away with the hotel owner Boyd Venton.  Naser asks JB for her help getting his American visa approved so that he can get back to his fiance. Meanwhile, Bradford has a meeting with his loan shark Trevor Han, who tells him if he doesn’t deliver the statue by tomorrow, he will foreclose Bradford’s wife. Unable to get hold of Sherif, Sally stashes the statuette in the closet.

Cut to panoramic footage of Egypt, which is all rather lovely of course. Bradford goes to meet his mistress Seven of Nine, who doesn’t seem to be that enthused with his gift of plane tickets to Rome. Frank Rick Rudy Grimes has another crack at the statue while Sally is in the shower. She busts him just as he’s leaving her hotel room but he gets away. Jessica is flummoxed that the same man who stole her bag would return, and Sally explains what was in the bag.

It has become clear to JB that she was used as an excuse to smuggle the real artefact into Cairo to replace the fake one (which apparently was in the museum to cover up the real one’s theft two years earlier). Also, JB is pissed.

This will not stand

Sherif arrives and immediately puts all the blame on Sally, but refuses to go to the police and threatens to pin the whole thing on Sally if they do. What a top bloke.

At a gala at the museum that night, Jessica wanders the exhibition and gets to Fletchsplain a bit of Egyptian history to Vanessa Thorpe, who it turns out was competing for the old department store that JB got turned into a museum. Jess and Sally are introduced to Trevor Han, who Jess later sees fighting with Bradford Thorpe.

Sidenote: the storylines may have been up and down this season but FARSHUN IS FOREVA

Outfit 10/10

Bradford gets a phone call from Rudy telling him the jig is up, and that he couldn’t find the statue. Bradford wants him to break into the museum to retrieve it if it’s true that Sherif has already got it, but Rudy says soz mate and hangs up. It turns out Vanessa has put him up to it and pays him 50K to not give the statuette to her husband.

Boyd Venton goes to see Rudy at home/break into his apartment, but Rudy pulls a gun on him first. Turns out they are both ex-CIA because of course they are. Boyd wants to know where the statuette is but Rudy tells him to jog on.

The next day Jess is down looking at mugshots to see if she can identify the bag thief.  She sees Rudy’s mug shot and pretends not to recognise him but Omar is not fooled. Meanwhile, Sally and Boyd rekindle whatever thing they had going on before she went back to New York and he explains the whole CIA thing.

Rudy meets Seven of Nine (or Maura if you want to get technical about it) and we discover that her relationship with Bradford was bankrolled by Rudy. Maura wants more money but Rudy isn’t having a bar of it. She storms out and he gets a phone call from someone wanting to meet him.

Apparently, the meeting is to take place at the Hotel Osiris, and so Rudy wanders into the lobby and over to the elevator. Naser the driver recognises him and sets off in pursuit. Upstairs, Jessica calls an elevator and is rather startled when one arrives with Rudy’s corpse in it. Inspector Omar is called to the scene and calls everyone on their bullshit (honestly, this is the first cop who has his business sorted in a while). Jessica, Sally and Sherif explain the situation and Omar decides the killer had to have shot Rudy as he went into the elevator, or came out on the third floor.

“Unless the elevator stopped on the second!” Jess says helpfully. Omar decides he wants to talk to Naser the driver again.

Over at House Thorpe Bradford discovers Vanessa has her bags packed. She’s not leaving him though, they are both leaving Cairo and she has a few rules going forward, particularly about young women called Maura and getting loans from loan sharks like Trevor Han.

Back at the Hotel Osiris Jess tells Naser that her friend is looking into his immigration case, and then get Sally to help test her theory that it was possible someone could have beaten the elevator to the second floor and shot Rudy. Boyd wanders past and confesses to Jessica that he did know Rudy – Boyd wasn’t CIA after all but used to work for Rudy back in the day doing shady stuff. Boyd went to see him because he figured if there was money involved so would Rudy be. Jess sees merit in this and thinks she knows where the money was coming from, but a visit to Vanessa and Bradford doesn’t provide much information. Or does it?

Jess heads down to Rudy’s local cafe haunt, where he would have his mail sent to. She tells Naser to tell the owner she’s Rudy’s mother – and ends up with a plate of Egyptian stew to eat, along with Rudy’s mail. According to the local custom, Jess can’t leave the table until the plate is clean.

Life Lesson #74: NEVER TURN DOWN AN EATING CHALLENGE

Following the clue she found at the cafe, Jess retrieves the bag with the statuette at the hotel, just as Omar appears. He takes it off her, confirms the statue is inside and promptly arrests Naser Hasan.

Jess doesn’t believe Naser is involved for a second, and a chance discovery of a missing cufflink at the police station gives her an idea about who the killer might be. She plants a trap and waits for it to spring shut.

Or something like that.

She’s no Salome Otterbourne.

It turns out the statuette wasn’t her main goal – she was so upset about Rudy holding Boyd’s past over him that she took matters into her own hands, bless her.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Naser got his green card and will soon be on his way to America, and as a result, Jessica will never have to wait for a cab again.

Worth it.

Later gang!

S11E12 – The Scent of Murder

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Welcome to South Carolina, aka the only Carolina I haven’t been to if you count my hungover stop in Charlotte Airport on my way to New Orleans, which you probably shouldn’t, to be honest.

Jess and Seth are road-tripping to Orlando (almost definitely to ride Space Mountain until Seth pukes) and making a stop in South Carolina (with some reluctance on Seth’s part) to see Seth’s cousin. South Carolina happens to be the home of Riverton plantation owner and gardener Buford Hazlitt, of the Curmudgeon Hazlitts. This particular Hazlitt is working on a hybrid magnolia, the scent of which is going to make you pass out on a fainting couch or something like that.  Unfortunately for Buford, that means certain nefarious types are trying to get their hands on his magnolias which requires shooting at them with shotguns. Buford’s assistant Kendall Ames is keen to harvest the tree and send the scent off to the perfumier so they can get to work on their other contracts, but Buford is drunk on success and sweet sweet magnolia goodness and thinks they can get more money.

(Buford is being played by the Headmaster from Gilmore Girls, which is making me very happy).

Meanwhile, the Riverton intruder reports back to the perfume designer Nina Larson, who tells him not to contact her again, she told him who to speak to if there were any problems. Nina’s boss, Edward Delaney, is furious with Nina already for all the money she’s spent on promos and packaging for the perfume, which will be called Forever Scarlett. (Whatever, everyone knows that the greatest perfume name that has ever existed is Troy Maclure’s perfume ‘Smellin’ of Troy).

Nina’s day does not get any better when Buford calls her, announces that he won’t deliver on the magnolia unless she promises not to use any artificial additives to the perfume. Edward is furious but Nina says she can fix it and takes herself off to Riverton to find the tree herself.

Back at Riverton, Buford’s ladyfriend Evelyn Colby is preparing for a dinner party when Sergeant John Lindley comes by to whinge because the date he thought he was having with her turned out to be entirely inside his own head, and refuses to take no for an answer when Evelyn points out they have been over for two years. It’s only when Buford arrives and tells him not to come back unless he has a warrant, that John departs.

Seth and Jess finally arrive at Riverton and give Kendall’s son Billy a lift up to the house. Inside, Buford takes great delight in taking pot shots at Seth while Jess gets down to business.

I understand the concept of a mint julep, but I think I’ll stick to a mojito.

Jess would very much like them to change the channel away from the bickering and childhood one-upmanship and Buford tells her he doesn’t mean anything by it and neither does Seth. Seth agrees, saying he couldn’t wait to get to Riverton, just ask Jess.

NOTHING CAN BEAT THAT FACE.

Julep-time is interrupted first by the arrival of Buford’s playwright step-daughter Margaret Barkley who is excited to meet Jessica but less excited to meet Evelyn. No sooner does Evelyn start telling JB about her most recent off-Broadway play than Buford’s lawyer Dan Wilkes appears to have a quiet word with his boss. Buford doesn’t care if Nina is threatening to sue for breach of contract, and orders Dan to go out and earn his money.

Dan pays a visit on Nina at her office, and there’s a whole lot of bourbon and flirting and it’s all frankly a bit gross, to be honest, so I started googling where I could get a mint julep in Melbourne.

Over in the Riverton greenhouse, Billy begs his father to let him drop out of school and come work for him, but Kendall has bigger ambitions for his son. Meanwhile, Margaret hits up her step-father for a loan – her much-touted off-Broadway show that she’d worked on for two years closed after 3 performances and she couldn’t pay the rent. Buford tells her she can stay at Riverton for as long as she likes but she’s not getting any money. He could forgive her coming after him in her play, but not her late mother.

That night Riverton hosts the Botanical Society Gala Dinner, and Evelyn has just enough time to check Buford’s will to see if she’s in it before rejoining the guests downstairs. Dan tells Kendall Ames that Nina would like to help him get funding for his work creating drought-resistant grains and suggests he discuss the details with Nina directly. Seth bumps into the local doctor, Dr Travis, who has seen better days but not better canapes.

Another Hazlitt cousin surfaces in the form of Rob Hazlitt, who has been doing some contracting work for Buford and has been sober for a year. Seth congratulates him, and Rob snarls that he doesn’t give a damn what Seth thinks, before storming off. Buford says never mind, they are the last of the Hazlitt line, they have to stick together.

Let’s not dwell on that time it was discovered Seth and his brother were all the Hazlitt’s that were left in the world.

That night, Buford is smothered by a ninja, while JB is woken by a loud bang. She goes to the window and sees Billy Ames head off into the night.

Won’t lie, haven’t stopped googling mint juleps. I think I’ve found a bar near my flat that serves them. Will report back.

The next morning Sergeant Lindley is called to the scene after Evelyn discovers Buford’s body. Jessica tried to call Dr Travis but couldn’t get through, fortunately, Seth is in the house and is quick to diagnose this a solid case of murder. Jessica has a quiet word with the Sergeant and informs him of the loud noise she heard the previous night, like someone had fallen trying to climb down the drain pipe, but doesn’t mention seeing Billy.

Nina Larsen, in a move that can only be described as impeccably timed, meets with Kendall and puts forward her pitch for his future after he gives her the magnolia tree. He tells her if she’d met him the previous day something might have come of it but he is too upset to make any decisions regarding his friend’s livelihood now. Meanwhile, Jessica and Seth confront Billy about what he was up to the previous night, and he tells them he got dropped home and his Dad was right behind him in his truck.

Back in her office, Nina has a meeting with Dan the Man, who tells her he still has some obligations to the Hazlitt estate but there will soon be no conflict of interest. Nina gives him a cheque and tells him it’s a thank you for the tour of the jazz clubs the previous night and for breakfast that morning. Ew ew ew. More importantly, she wants to know if Dan’s read the will and if Rob or Seth Hazlitt know anything about the tree. Dan thinks not, but knows Seth and Rob don’t really get on and that Rob has a Big Thing for Evelyn.

Speaking of, over at Riverton Rob is making plans to get the hell out of town but Evelyn begs him to stay, saying she’s going to need a friend before this is all over. Jessica and Seth find Sergeant Lindley out in the garden and confirms that someone definitely dropped out of a tree at the time Jessica heard the noise. Dan the Man pops up to announce the will is going to be read that night and Seth and JB should stick around for it.

Sidenote:

I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THEM

Out in the gardens the original magnolia hunter, whose name I think is Cory Davis, tries to recruit Billy into helping him locate the magnolia tree.

That night, the will is read. There’s money for the servants, half of all royalties of the Forever Scarlett magnolia for Kendall, five grand for Rob, a cutting of the 200 year old Queen Ann rose bush for JB…

As if JB wasn’t going to help herself on the way out I mean come on. 

…a lifetime pass to Riverton Gardens for Margaret (awkward), and last but not least to Seth and to Evelyn – joint custody of Riverton.

Reactions are mixed. Seth immediately wants to know if he has to accept it (awkward), while Margaret is furious and accuses Evelyn of worming her way into the will even though when she asked Buford to marry her he said no. Evelyn says that’s not true and Margaret says oh yes it is, Buford told her. She storms out with a pout.

Meanwhile, my inheritance is fast asleep in her bed which always makes me a little suspicious, usually she’s trying to make changes on the blog by now.

Seth is in a funk, and not even JB’s positivity can draw him out of it. Dan the Man runs into them on his way out and casually slides into the conversation that time is running out on the Forever Scarlett situation and he really thinks they should honour the contract and…

Never come between Seth and his rant.

Margaret heads to the police station to complain about life and Evelyn but also to suggest to Sergeant Lindley that she might be able to get her hands on the Forever Scarlett tree if he can help her get out from underneath Evelyn and Seth. John tells her he won’t break any laws, but they’ll talk.

Jess and Seth head over to the greenhouse, where they spot a fleeing Cory Davis. Inside, Nina is upgrading her offer to Kendall but quickly changes the topic to the murder when she sees Seth and Jessica. Nina is very keen to sit down with Seth and Evelyn to discuss things but Seth couldn’t be less interested.

THE SHADE OF IT ALL.

Nina sashays away, and Jess and Seth get to business. Kendall knows someone is keeping an eye on the greenhouse, from their description he thinks it might be Cory Davis, since he had already offered ten grand to Billy for his help in locating the tree. All Kendall knows is the minute he gives up the location of the tree he’s in trouble so, for now, he will keep his mouth shut thank you.

Jess and Seth return to the main house just in time to see John Lindley arrest Evelyn for Buford’s murder. He tells Jess her statement is ready for signature and departs.  Seth and Jess get ready to follow him down to the police station and run into Rob, who begs JB to help Evelyn.

Once she arrives, Jess is quick to correct her written statement, and she spots Cory Davis being shown into John Findlay’s office. Evelyn is brought up from the cells and Jessica confronts her about seeing her sneak out of Buford’s bedroom the night of the dinner (I may have been googling mint juleps at that bit). Evelyn tells JB she’d done it to see if Buford had changed his feelings about her after they’d had a quarrel about not announcing their engagement (which is apparently what Margaret overheard).

Jess has an idea and goes back to the greenhouse with Seth. Jessica thinks the greenhouse is much bigger on the outside than on the inside #NotATardis. They find the secret room with the magnolia tree in it, and also find some cuttings. Seth thinks the tree is very pretty, but Jess thinks she knows now how to trap the killer, and gets Billy’s help to do it.

Not a shock

Jess correctly suspected he was the one coordinating the surveillance on Buford to find the tree and killed Buford because reasons.

Mystery solved. And I solved the mystery of where to get a Mint Julep in Melbourne. Everyone’s a winner!

Later gang!

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