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S05E22 – Mirror Mirror On the Wall (Part Two)

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You guys! Remember that time Eudora ‘Chuckles’ McVeigh went all cray cray and blamed Our Heroine for her crap writing and her failed marriage and went up to Cabot Cove and drugged JB and gave her apples and stole her manuscript and then decided to solve the case of the dead PI while her husband had an affair with her agent and then Seth ate an apple and collapsed? Well now it’s time for some closure, and who doesn’t love a bit of closure.

While an anxious JB keeps vigil at Cabot Cove Hospital, Eudora lapping up the press attention after announcing she was going to help the Sheriff solve the case of the dead PI. She finds Lewis Bracken, her publisher, among the media scrum and he escorts her to a waiting taxi. Eudora is delighted with the attention that she’s generating for her new book.

Eudora's got a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock, if you know what I mean.

Eudora’s got a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock, if you know what I mean.

When Lewis reminds her that he’s still not going to publish her book, Eudora orders the taxi driver to pull over, and she storms out, saying that Lewis only came up to see Jessica. He denies it, and tells her that it’s only business anyway. That’s when Eudora drops the bombshell – she’s got a new book ready, it’s the best work she’s ever done.

Oh really.

Lewis asks her what it’s about but she’d rather not say just yet. Lewis is surprised by this, as Liza hadn’t said anything to him. Eudora tells him she hadn’t confided in anyone, but as soon as she checks into Hill House she will call Liza in New York and they can get to working on contract details. Lewis is confused – there’s no point calling Liza in the city, she’s at Hill House too – she was the one who called him about Eudora’s antics and so he flew up. Eudora is rather surprised by this news, but won’t elaborate.

Speaking of Hill House, Hank has just found his son Bobby who’d just come back from an adventure with a barmaid (ew), and tells him they’re leaving first thing in the morning. Bobby asks him if he’d sorted it out with Eudora and Hank says there’s nothing to sort – the marriage is over. Bobby doesn’t like the sound of that – what’s are they going to do, Eudora has all the money, but Hank says he survived for 20 years on his own before he met Eudora and there’s no “we”: Eudora doesn’t owe Hank anything and she sure as hell doesn’t owe Bobby anything. Cheer up Bobby, he says, you might actually like working.

While Eudora unpacks her things (side note, I’ve never unpacked my clothes in a hotel room in my life, is that weird?). she tells Liza there was no need for her to follow her to Cabot Cove – she doesn’t need a minder or a babysitter. Liza reminds her that the last time she saw Eudora she was making all kinds of crazy threats against JB.

Eudora is scandalized. She can’t believe Liza would think that. Liza says she was wrong, but asks Eudora to put herself in Liza’s place.

“Well that seems only fair, since for the last few months you’ve been putting yourself in mine.” Says Eudora.

Oh snap.

Oh snap.

Liza is flustered, but Eudora has more pressing concerns. She tells Liza if she wasn’t the best literary agent in New York Eudora would have clawed her eyes out weeks ago, and now she’s decided who she needs more – a literary agent or a husband.

Mmmmkay.

Back at the hospital JB gets a visit from Seth’s doctor – he’s going to be just fine. Yay! Jess asks him what it was, and the doctor tells her Seth was poisoned – they are soon interrupted by a nurse who comes in to tell them that Seth is asking for JB. JB walks in with tears in her eyes, and Seth tells her it’s nothing, just a touch of indigestion and blames his new diet. (People pass out from indigestion? Really Seth?). He’s horrified when JB informs him it was poison, but he guesses straight away what the culprit was – the apples on JB’s kitchen counter. JB and Mort retrieve the deadly apple from JB’s kitchen floor along with the rest and send them off to be analysed.

Crisis now seemingly averted, JB goes to see Eudora to have a little chat about the case of the stolen manuscript, which it just so happens Eudora is recording to tape and destroying her copy. She refuses to let Jessica open her suitcase where she’d hidden away the manuscript but before JB can get serious, Sheriff Metzger knocks on the door. The results are back, the apples were all poisoned.

Escorted to the cells, Eudora tells Jessica that she didn’t poison the apples, and that’s the truth. Jessica asks her if it’s the whole truth and Eudora finally admits to stealing the manuscript, desperate after Lewis told her to come up with something new and fresh. But she swears she had never seen the PI before and she had no idea why he was following her.

Out in the office Liza is begging to see Eudora, or at least a copy of Eudora’s new book but Mort informs her that a) Eudora wants to see JB but she doesn’t want to see Liza and b) Eudora stole the book from JB. She departs through the media pack outside the sheriff’s office just as Jessica emerges from the cells. Mort has a headache that he thinks will go away just as soon as he gets Eudora booked for the murder, then he can send her (and the media pack) off to Portland. The case is all wrapped up.

“Wrapped up? You mean you think she’s guilty?”

“Does Superman wear blue tights?” Says Mort.

Spoiler alert: he does. Henry Cavill wears Superman tights rather well, I have to say.

Spoiler alert: he does. I saw Man of Steel, and Henry Cavill wears Superman tights rather well, I have to say.

The Sheriff has a pretty good theory, it must be said. The syringe and rat poison used on the apples was found in JB’s trash, the motive was clear – cover up the theft of the manuscript, which is also why she killed the PI since he followed her when she went to copy the manuscript.

JB concedes this but then points out it doesn’t explain why Eudora was being followed by a PI to begin with. Mort will tell her exactly why Eudora was being followed…just as soon as he speaks to the PI’s partner in New York.  In the mean time, he begs her not to tell anyone about the apples, as it’s the sort of media hysteria that he’s just not in the mood for.

Meanwhile, over at the Hill House restaurant Liza is filling Hank in on the most recent developments when they get a surprise visit from Liza’s husband Victor, who turns up to get the room key. After he departs, Liza assures Hank that Victor doesn’t suspect anything. “Suspects? Liza, he knows.” Says Hank.

I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for Hank to be honest.

The next morning, Seth is feeling much better.

Seth mad! SETH SMASH!

Seth mad! SETH SMASH!

JB arrives just in time to hear Seth issue his demands for scrambled eggs and hot buttered toast and is delighted to see he’s feeling better.

NAWWWWWW

NAWWWWWW

Jess tells Seth it makes her feel so much better to hear him complain so much. Yesterday he was frail, frightened, humble, and she was terrified but today Seth his is grouchy irascible self and Jess feels much better.

**Actual quote.

**Actual quote.

To business. Seth wants to know if the apples test positive and Jess confirms it but tells him that only she, Eudora, Seth and Mort know that. Seth is convinced of Eudora’s guilt but Jess just isn’t sure. She promises to keep Seth in the loop and departs, just as the nurse returns with some scrambled eggs. Apparently the cook found some powdered eggs on the top shelf of the cupboard.

WHAT THE HELL ARE POWDERED EGGS??

JB’s next stop is the Sheriff’s office, where Mort has just got off the phone. JB asks to see the coroner’s report and his own report as something just doesn’t seem right. For one thing, they don’t know if the PI was following Eudora, he could have been following Hank Shipton.

Mort is furious, JB has stolen his thunder. The phone call he had was to the PI’s partner who said that a) Capeletti always carried heaps of money on him, which had clearly been stolen after he was killed and b) he’d been following Hank. He’s about to go talk to the person who hired him, Victor Casper. Liza’s husband.

DUN DUN DUN.

They find Victor having lunch down on the waterfront and plonk themselves down at his table. After some initial resistance, Victor tells them he hired the detective to prove his theory that Liza was having an affair with Hank, but when she proved a slippery suspect he told Capeletti to tail Hank instead. He didn’t know Capeletti had followed Hank to Cabot Cove until he heard the description of the dead man on the news at which time he consulted his attorney and came up to the Cove to find out what was happening. He had no intention of divorcing his wife, he tells them. Not until she’d sufficiently begged first.

What a knob.

What a knob.

After that charming encounter, Mort and JB take stock. Victor was in Atlantic City, probably being a dick. Liza was in the city, working late. And Hank and Bobby were at the Hill House. JB has a brainwave – if Capeletti went where Hank went, then Capeletti almost certainly went to the Hill House, meaning that his murder must have taken place there or somewhere near. Mort tells her he’ll get on it. They stop, noticing a brawl. When Mort steps in they discover it’s Bobby Shipton getting his butt kicked after refusing to pay up after a pool game. Mort and JB take him to the hospital, where he tells JB that he feels sorry for Eudora but that she’s clearly crazy. His father told him the night before that Eudora had tried to kill JB. Hank arrives to check on his son, and apologizes to Jess for Eudora’s behaviour. He’d tried to go in and see Eudora but she refused to see him.

Mort gets a phone call from Deputy Floyd, who has good news. They’ve found the murder site. Mort arrives to check it out, finds Capeletti’s glasses and tells Floyd to get on the horn to the forensics team, he wants them all over the site like graffiti on the Battery Park local.

j1

k2

Classic Floyd.

Classic Floyd.

Jess arrives at the Hill House and finds Hank and Liza walking back. They’d been at the murder site. Liza excuses herself and reminds Hank to take his insulin shot. Hank tells JB that they were determined to be together, even if it was not quite such a lavish lifestyle. JB figures Hank would get a decent settlement from Eudora but he tells her he signed a pre-nup: if he leaves Eudora he gets nothing, and might even owe Eudora money. He asks JB to tell Eudora he’s sorry for the way things turned out. He hadn’t seen her since she’d been arrested.

“Then you don’t know about the apples?” Jessica asks. She explains, but Hank is horrified. Jess thinks that she wasn’t the target, and it was more a case of someone wanting Eudora out of the way in prison. A sudden thought occurs to Jess. “Hank, where’s Bobby?”

A quick search of his room finds the gun holster belonging to Capeletti. Hank has an idea Bobby might have gone to get revenge on the dudes that beat him up, and when they arrive at the bar they find Bobby pointing Capeletti’s gun at anyone who moves.

Well that seems definitive.

Turns out Eudora wasn't the cray cray one they had to worry about.

Turns out Eudora wasn’t the cray cray one they had to worry about.

Yeah. Bobby was terrified at the thought of not having money and so went nuts. Well, more nuts probably.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Eudora is free to go, and Hank offers to drive her back to the inn. Jessica offers a handshake as she departs but Eudora just looks at her and leaves. Seth, newly released from hospital thinks she’s ungrateful, considering JB had just proved she wasn’t responsible. JB tells them it was a fluke – all she knew was that Bobby had poisoned the apples after he’d told her Hank had told him about the attempt on her life, which Hank couldn’t have known about because the only person who could have told him was Eudora. Or something. I got a bit distracted in this part.

Job done, Seth gives JB a lift home and tells her he’s going fishing the next morning if she’d care to join. Jess declines, saying she’s just worked out her new book and she needs to crack on. He tells her they will be leaving at 9ish if she changes her mind.

The next morning JB is fighting with her novel when she gets a knock on the door. It’s Eudora, with an apology. JB accepts, goes back to her book but has a change of heart. She hops on the Fletch-mobile and heads down to the docks, where Seth and Caleb are waiting. Seth tells her it was mechanical trouble, but Caleb tells her they waited, and the doc was mighty testy.

Jess unhooks the bowline, and off they sail. Shoutout to Zachary Brooks on Facebook who said this was originally intended to be the last episode of the series but they talked Angela around. It makes sense, this really felt like the end. But, there are still *gulp* seven more seasons of Murder She Wrote, which means seven more seasons of Murder, She Blogged.  Prepare yourselves.

And on that note,

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S05E21 – Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (Part One)

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Once upon a time, in a galaxy land far far away, there was an incredibly successful, award-winning mystery writer called Eudora McVeigh whom shall be known henceforth as Chuckles.

Classic Chuckles.

Classic Chuckles.

Poor Eudora isn’t having a good run just at the moment. Her husband is an idiot, her stepson is mooching off her and her publisher Lew Bracken has suggested she take a year off to er, recharge. Eudora refuses, and her agent Liza Caspar has an inkling why Lew is recommending some time off – word on the street is that Lew is about to sign JB Fletcher. Lew confesses that they are talking, but nothing is set in stone just yet. But JB’s last six books have been bestsellers and she’s about to get awarded Mystery Writer of the year, and Eudora…isn’t. Outraged, Eudora storms out, leaving Liza to demand answers. Lew tells her he doesn’t deal in subtlety – ever since Eudora married Hank Shipton her work has been mediocre. “Tell me something I don’t know.” Liza says.

Liza catches up to Eudora and tells her that there are plenty more publishers in the sea, but Eudora tells her Lew isn’t her problem. Her problem is she’s being “outflanked – out-written – by an English teacher from Maine.” Eudora’s writing career is in tatters, her marriage is hanging by a thread, and who does she have to thank for this? Dear, sweet, loveable Jessica Fletcher.

“You can’t blame her personally?” Says Liza.

“You’d be surprised what I can do, and will do, to get back on top.” Says Eudora and storms off into a taxi. At home later that night, Eudora picks a fight with her no-good husband Hank, and tells him his son Bobby has charged a VCR to her account – almost $400! (Ahahaha, the 80s). Hank takes off, leaving Eudora home alone with a JB Fletcher novel.

Meanwhile, in Cabot Cove, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and Our Heroine has just out-fished Seth Hazlitt. Surprisingly though,Seth isn’t that beat up about it, he’s just pleased that Jessica left her house. Jess tells him she’s been busy working on her book, and Seth tells her she’s always busy working on a book – in fact he wonders sometimes how she can tell them apart.

Shots fired.

Shots fired.

Back at Casa Fletcher JB demands to know what Seth meant by that remark, but he refuses to elaborate. He gets a temporary reprieve when the phone rings – Lew Bracken, saying he can be in Cabot Cove in 2 hours with contracts, but JB puts him off, saying she hasn’t made up her mind yet. Seth tries to make a hasty retreat but Jess isn’t letting him go until he explains himself.

Reluctantly he does. He reminds her about the hiking trip she backed out of to write an article, and the fishing trip to Rockford she turned down to have a meeting with her accountant. He thinks at their age they shouldn’t have to “rev the engine” as much as they used to.

“Are you saying I’m working too hard?” says Jess.

“I’m saying it seems that’s all you have time for.” Says Seth. “Have you even looked at your garden lately?” He knows that writing helped her get through the early days after Frank passed away, but Frank is a long time gone, and writing another bestseller isn’t going to bring Frank back, and if Frank were still here JB wouldn’t be spending half as much time chained to the typewriter, she’d be out smelling the salt air at sunrise.

SETH HAZLITT STOP MAKING JB CRY YOU BASTARD.

SETH HAZLITT STOP MAKING JB CRY YOU BASTARD.

And on that note, Seth departs. WHAT THE HELL SETH.

Later that afternoon, JB takes a subtle hint and gets out in the garden to attack the weeds when she receives a surprise visitor: Eudora McVeigh, and she hasn’t come empty handed.

So if Eudora is the Wicked Witch, and JB is Snow White, does this make Seth all seven dwarves?

So if Eudora is the Wicked Witch, and JB is Snow White, does this make Seth all seven dwarves?

Back in New York, Hank Shipton arrives home to find Eudora out and Bobby eating a sandwich. He passes and instead goes to take his insulin shot he forgot to have earlier. One can only assume this is important. That taken care of, Hank calls down to the front desk to find out where his wife is. The doorman has no idea, but knows that Eudora was asking for a map of Maine. Well that seems like a bit of a bloody giveaway doesn’t it?

Hank, concerned that Eudora is going to do something stupid, orders Bobby to bring the car around and they take off, closely followed by a man in glasses. SUSPICIOUS.

Meanwhile, Eudora and JB are finishing up dinner when Eudora decides she’d better get moving if she wants to find somewhere to stay for the night. She’s not going back to New York just yet, she tells JB, she wants to soak up some of this down east atmosphere, and since the Hill House is full she’s just going to have to find somewhere else.

Nonsense, says JB. You can stay here with me. Eudora is so grateful that she puts sleeping tablets in JB’s coffee, so that later she can break into Jess’s filing cabinet and read her new novel. Guys, I think Chuckles has a screw loose.

The next moring, JB wakes up feeling rough but finds Eudora in the kitchen cooking up breakfast. Jess goes to retrieve the morning paper and notices Eudora’s car has been moved. She asks Eudora about it but Eudora tells her she must be mistaken. They are interrupted by a ring at the doorbell – it’s Hank Shipton come to bring Eudora home. Chuckles orders him out. Before he leaves, he asks Jess if she’s okay – Eudora has been under a lot of pressure and has been acting a little crazy, but Jess tells him she’s fine, and Eudora’s fine. Hank tells her he and Bobby are staying at the Hill House, which surprises Jess. Apparently a practical joker rang and made phony bookings to book the place out, but when Hank and Bobby arrived there was plenty of room.

Jess and Eudora go on a walking tour of Cabot Cove. Eudora is unconvinced but Jess tells her the public library is good, the townspeople are friendly once they get to know you, and most of all the streets are safe.

Cue the arrival of Boy Scout Johnny, who has been sent by the scout leader to get the sheriff. They’ve found a dead body at the bottom of the cliffs. Jess and Eudora go to investigate – they have no idea who the dead person is, but we do. It’s the guy who followed Hank and Bobby out of New York.

DUN DUN DUN.

While the press have a field day taking photos of two famous mystery writers hanging out on a cliff, Sheriff Metzger and Seth deal with the newly retrieved body. Neither of them recognise him either, but Seth has worse news for Mort – the man was murdered somewhere else.

Mort drags JB away for a quiet word. He’s had enough. He’s been here a year, and this is his fifth murder – is Cabot Cove the death capital of Maine?

(Yes. Yes it is).

More to the point, they have no way of identifying the dead guy. On the contrary, says Eudora, popping up out of nowhere. Clearly the suit is an expensive one, and the watch is worth two grand, and that stain on his shirt is gun oil so he obviously carries his weapon in a shoulder holster.

e2

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

JB leaves Eudora to Marple Sheriff Metzger, and has a word with Seth. She’s thought about what he said and she does kind of agree with some…she supposes most of the things he said.

“You suppose right. Just because I’m an opinionated, self-righteous Yankee chauvinist doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” Says Seth.

THESE TWO THOUGH.

THESE TWO THOUGH.

Jess invites him around for dinner that night. She’ll make pot roast and he’ll bring around rhubarb pie.

Down in New York, Eudora’s agent Liza is still trying to find her client. Her husband Victor wanders in to ask her where she’d been the previous night, and she says out. She asks him the same question and he tells her he got home to find the house empty so went out to seek alternative companionship.

“Terrific. Was it a cash transaction?” Asks Liza. BURN.

Liza gets a phone call to turn on the TV. Eudora’s on the news – well a picture of her. In Maine. Hanging out with JB Fletcher. Liza takes off, leaving Victor alone to hear the description of the deceased. Not for nothing, I think he might know a little something something.

In the Cove, Eudora is getting ready to leave JB’s for a stint in the newly unbooked-up Hill House, and is carefully deflecting any questions about her car’s movements, what she put in JB’s coffee or what she’s got in her briefcase. Mort arrives just as she’s loading the car up, asking her if she’s leaving town. She tells him she’s planning to stay for a few days to solve – that is help solve – the murder. Mort appreciates that, being as they’ve just identified the victim as being a private detective from New York, who’s car had been abandoned up on the bluff with a piece of paper with Eudora’s name, address and phone number in it.

JB cares not for this development.

How very dare you.

How very dare you.

Mort escorts her down to the sheriff’s office to answer some questions. Eudora tells him that she’s sure that his position required rigid qualifications, but clearly intelligence isn’t one of them.

I think JB's had enough of your shit Eudora.

I think JB’s had enough of your shit Eudora.

Mort couldn’t care less. He wants to know just how she knew so much about a dead body she claims to never have seen before, and how long the PI had been working for Eudora. She tells him he wasn’t working for her.

“You know Sheriff, Ms Mcveigh didn’t spot any clues that weren’t fairly obvious.” Says JB sweetly.

“Well thank you Jessica. How sweet of you to make that observation.” Says Eudora.

YOU CAN'T OUT-FLETCHER FLETCHER.

YOU CAN’T OUT-FLETCHER FLETCHER.

Eudora informs the sheriff she can’t possibly be a suspect in the murder, since she was staying with JB at the time, and leaves. JB confronts her about the car, the sleeping pill and the copied manuscript but Eudora just screeches off in her car. Mort comes out to watch her depart and tells JB his theory – the murder, the body being dumped and the car being dumped happened at seperate locations. JB is sure he’ll solve the case, but for now she has shopping to do.

Over at Hill House, Liza has just arrived to see Eudora. Instead she finds Hank, and promptly makes out with him. Huh. That old chestnut. They agree that Eudora is out of control and Hank tries to call JB’s house to arrange to meet with her away from Eudora.

At Casa Fletcher, Seth has just let himself in but he phone stops ringing just as he picks it up. He takes JB’s pie dish, leaves a note and spots the apples sitting on the counter. He takes one and starts chowing down.

A short time later JB arrives home from the supermarket, and sees Seth’s car out the front. She goes inside, and finds Seth lying unresponsive on the floor.

Wait, Seth Hazlitt is Snow White?

See you next week Fletcherfans!

See you next week Fletcherfans!

 

S05E20 – Three Strikes, You’re Out

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Down in Arizona this week Fletcherfans, where JB is in Scotsdale but has made plans to meet up with her baseball-playing nephew Johnny Eaton in Tucson. When she calls over to his hotel he’s already checked out, so Jessica decides to head back to Boston until she spots the front page of the local paper. Excited, she asks the concierge if he’d seen it – her nephew is in the front page!

“Your nephew is Mike Warlop?” The concierge says excitedly.

“No, my nephew is Johnny Eaton.” Jessica explains.

The concierge  cares not. “Mike Warlop is the best hitter the Comets have had in 20 years and they trade him for these two nobodys.”

You wanna start again pal?

You wanna start again pal?

Across town, Johnny has just arrived at his new club with Charlie Holcomb, the other player in this trade deal, and their manager Al Sidell (who is being played by Paul Sorvino who was Lord Capulet back when Leo DiC was Romeo, man that is a good movie). Johnny is in a bit of a tizz, as he’s lost the glove he did a something something pitch in (sorry baseball fans, everything I know about baseball comes from watching Moneyball that one time and I didn’t really understand it then either.) Al gives them a big pep talk and tells them to play ball.

Inside, Charlie and Johnny meet the rest of the team with varying levels of warmth, and the team manager Harry Dial who is considerably more frosty. The hooting and catcalling erupts when sports journalist Loretta Lee enters the changeroom to announce she’s the new network anchor. Ugh. Dial is quick to throw her out of the change room saying “around here ERA means Earned Run Average not Equal Rights Amendment.” UGH. I’d like to say at least times have changed, but let’s face it they haven’t changed that much.

Outside, JB arrives just in time for the warmup. Johnny comes over for a quick hello but is blasted bu Dial and he jogs on. Al Sidell arives to sit with Jess and introduces her to two of the player wives, Roz Briggs (wife of Pete) and Nancy Murray, wife of Kel. They came down for spring training to make sure none of the groupies got too attached. The pratice game begins, and Johnny’s up to pitch. The first ball results in WP being flashed on the scoreboad which Al helpfuly explains means Wild Pitch. Or Wide Pitch. I started applying cricket rules to make sense of it but I’m not sure it worked. The second ball gets hit for six  out of the stadium, which judging by everyone’s faces is a Very Bad Thing.

Later that night, while Charlie, Al and Jess commiserate with Johnny, Dial is having a  grand old time with Kel and Nancy Murray and Loretta is having a quiet word with Comets owner Irving Randolph. Randolph has taken exception to the story Loretta did suggesting that the Comets were the losers in the Mike Warlop trade. In the powder room, JB runs into Loretta who asks her about Charlie’s background in preparation for an interview she’s going to do in the morning, but JB has nothing for her. Out in the bar, former Comet Mike Warlop is throwing back the scotches and propositioning Loretta who tells him in no uncertain terms to back off. Randolph tells him to get lost, Dial throws a glass of water and then a brawl breaks out. Charlie Holcomb comes to Loretta’s rescue and escorts her away.

UGH THIS IS ALL TOO FACTUAL.

Back in Loretta’s hotel room, Charlie is putting the moves on but Loretta has other things on her mind – like why the media guide says Charlie is 23 when she thinks he’s 25 or 26, and whether or not he’d ever played for a manager named Flip Phillips.

WHY MUST YOU TURN THIS INTO A HOTEL ROOM OF LIES CHARLIE?

WHY MUST YOU TURN THIS INTO A HOTEL ROOM OF LIES CHARLIE?

Charlie demolishes his soda and legs it out of there. Well that’s not suspicious at all.

The next morning JB is woken by the sounds of knocking. Outside, team travel secretary Avery Burns is trying to wake Loretta so she won’t miss the bus. A passing maid helpfully unlocks the door for him (not weird), and they find Loretta lying dead on the floor. Scottsdale PD arrive in the form of Lieutenant Caceras who asks JB if she heard or saw anything the previous night – JB says no, but she does know that Loretta was alive at 9pm the night before, as that was when she left the restaurant with Charlie Holcomb.

“Holcomb – one of those two rookie nobodies in the trade?”

This reminds me of that time Richmond traded Brad Ottens to Geelong except I'm using a lot less swear words.

This reminds me of that time Richmond traded Brad Ottens to Geelong except I’m using a lot less swear words.

JB notices that Loretta’s fancy necklace is missing, and Caceras lets her in on his working theory – since her money and credit cards are also missing, he thinks that Loretta surprised a burglar and died in the struggle. JB can’t fault that logic, but notices a small piece of glass on the floor. Caceras thinks it’s nothing but bags it anyway. He also orders his minion to shut off the TV that had been going all night. JB wonders about that little fact but says nothing.

Down at the ground, Carceras is trying to get the players onside by telling them how he used to be just like them until a knee injury forced his retirement from playing ball and started his career as a cop, blah blah blah that trade was terrible. He asks to see Charlie privately and grills him about what happened with Loretta after they left the restaurant. He denies even going into Loretta’s hotel room, but when Caceras throws down his matchbook, found in the hotel room, he relents and says he was in her room trying on the moves but didn’t get anywhere. He tells Carceras that he thinks Loretta was Randolph’s “private reserve”. Caceras tells him he should have stayed a Titan.

Johnny calls JB with an update on the case, and begs her to stay to help his friend Charlie out. Jess agrees, and he tells her that with her at the game he’s sure to play well.

Cut to the scores.

I recognise those things as words.

I recognise those things as words.

Let me just translate this into Briony-speak.

Ahh that’s better (Source)

Jess is joined in the stands by Al Sidell, who heard about the death of Loretta on the radio. He asks JB what the story is but she tells him they don’t know much yet. He says you never know when your time is up, and tells her how he had a car accident on the way back to his hotel the previous night – he wasn’t hurt but his wallet will be.

Johnny takes the field to bat – his first ball ends up being a PB, or a passed ball as Al explains to Jess, while cleaning his glasses. The second ball he smacks straight to a fielder, breaking the bat into pieces in the process. He marches glumly off the field, and is met by a furious Pete Briggs, who was the owner of the bat. After the game Al and Jess try to console Johnny but he’s not having a bar of it – he loses his glove, he pitches a home run ball to Mike Warlop, he shook Loretta’s hand and now she’s dead, he something something-ed, oh his arm is sore! Al asks him if he’s seen the trainer but he says no. JB tells him to get over himself shake it off – he’s worked too hard to fall victim to superstitions and curses.

JB heads down to police headquarters and tells Caceras that her nephew is feeling guilty.

“Yeah?” Says Careras. “I can understand how lousy he must feel killing the Comet’s pennant chances this season.”

I'm not going to lie, if it was football I would have the same reaction.

I’m not going to lie, if it was football I would have the same reaction.

JB requests to put baseball aside for the moment, and asks Caceras if he’s made any progress. He tells her that they lifted 2 sets of prints from glasses found in the room – Loretta’s and a second set as yet unidentified. He also tells her that the missing necklace hasn’t turned up, and that none of the credit cards were used between the time of death and his men reporting them missing. JB has a theory – she thinks that because the pay-per-view channel was on the TV, Loretta was home and received a knock on the door from someone she knew, let them in and they killed her. Caceras decides to find out what time the pay-per-view channel was used in Loretta’s room. JB tells him she noticed him take a piece of paper out of the hotel room, and he tells her it was a phone number for a bail bondsman. They checked it out and he’d received a call from Loretta but had no idea what it was in regards to.

Down in the hotel lobby bar Caceras asks Dial if any players missed curfew the night of the murder but Dial says he was in bed at 11pm. Pete Briggs says the same thing, backed up by his wife. A minion delivers a piece of paper to Caceras who promptly excuses himself and goes over to JB, sitting with Johnny, Charlie and Al. He tells her the second set of prints they found belong to a man called Freddie Masters, who skipped bail on an assault charge, lied about his age and changed his name to Charlie Holcomb.

Oh dear.

Charlie is arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to the cells, where JB visits him to try and get the story straight. He admits to being in Loretta’s room but left her when she started pumping him for information and drove off to a bar. He reluctantly tells JB he saw Pete Briggs there, which JB wonders about but has more pressing questions like just why Mike Wharlop was traded to begin with, as she was starting to think there was more going on with this trade than she first thought.

Down at the clubrooms JB interrogates the club masseuse who is being played by the guy who played Felix Leiter in Never Say Never Again *cue five minutes of me humming the Bond theme to myself*. He reassures her that all is in had and demonstrates the team’s state of the art medical facilities by showing her x-rays of Johnny and Mike Wharlop. They are interrupted by Dial, decked out in a towel, who tells JB that her being in the changerooms is bad for business. She notices the bruise on Dial’s arm and he tells her it’s from the brawl with Mike. She comments that he hits well for someone who had a dislocated shoulder the previous season.

“Look lady, if you’re so interested in male anatomy, I can give you a good look at mine. All of it.” Says Dial.

Sidenote: I once got a prank call from some guy asking if I wanted to play with his "12 inch cock". Without even pausing I said "Well surely if it's 12 inches then you can go f--k yourself", hung up the phone and did a victory lap of my house. It remains one of the greatest things I've ever done.

Sidenote: I once got a prank call from some guy asking if I wanted to play with his “12 inch cock”. Without even pausing I said “Well surely if it’s 12 inches then you can go f–k yourself”, hung up the phone and did a victory lap of my house. It remains one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.

At the stadium, Jess finds Al to bring him up to speed on what’s happening. Caceras confronted Pete who denied breaking curfew, making Charlie look guiltier than ever. She tells Al about the xrays and how she noticed that the only x-ray with a different colour lab code was the one with Mike Wharlop’s shoulder, so she called the lab and they told her they didn’t know anything about it. Her theory – Loretta found out that the team faked Mike’s x-rays to get him traded and Randolph had her killed.

Later that night Jess, Al and Caceras are going through the x-rays but can’t find Mike’s anywhere. Randolph himself storms in to see who left the lights on. They confront him but the truth is not what they think it is – Randolph had the x-rays destroyed, but the Titans, Wharlop’s new team, knew that they were fake. It turned out Mike’s month off with a dislocated shoulder was actually a month in rehab for alcoholism, and he covered it up publicly to protect Mike’s wife and kids. Well that’s kind of nice.

Caceras and JB are pondering their next move when Pete and Roz Briggs appear with their own confession – Pete did break curfew, but it’s not what they think it is – he went to see his specialist hypnotist to help him with his batting.

Mmmkay.

On the way back to the hotel, they pass the spot where Al had his car accident. Caceras’s minion makes a comment about glasses and JB has a thought.

I think this is going to get depressing

I think this is going to get depressing

After some quick science, the next morning JB and Caceras go to the ground to give Johnny back his missing baseball glove, and to confront the killer.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

It is what they think it is. Loretta found out about Charlie’s past as Freddy, confronted Al who fought her and she fell.

So on that depressing note…

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S05E19 – Double Exposure

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We’re off to Boston this week Fletcherfans, where JB has just been interrupted going about her business by a man slamming into her. She recognises him straight away as her old neighbour, John Winslow, but is confused when he pretends he doesn’t know her.

Well, I say confused.

HOW VERY DARE YOU

HOW VERY DARE YOU

Back in Cabot Cove, Jess looks at her old photos of John with his wife Maude. Nope, it was definitely him. She decides to call them up in Chicago to get an explanation, but instead gets Maude telling her her husband died of a heart attack two weeks earlier.

But that’s impossible, says Jess. She saw him on the street in Boston that morning!

Maude makes her apologies and hangs up the phone, saying to the man standing to her that she doesn’t think they’ll get away with it.

Speaking of –

Remember him?

Remember him?

Remember that creepy dude in season 1? I still think they should have done a whole storyline about Jessica doing battle against the creepy dude leeching off rich old women, but never mind.

In any case, Jessica is faced with a dilemma. And there’s only one person with the mad skillz to solve it.

YYYAAAAAYYYYYYY

YYYAAAAAYYYYYYY

Harry is delighted to have a case to work on, on account of being temporarily out of the business and his phone is disconnected and his office is for rent and he’s hustling pool most days. He takes Jess out to lunch to discuss the case.

10 points to everyone who knows what this is a reference to (I couldn't help myself)

10 points to everyone who knows what this is a reference to (I couldn’t help myself)

The way Harry sees it, either it was a guy who looked like John Wilson, just like Maude said happened, or it was John Wilson in which case what then? JB begs him to look into it anyway and Harry agrees, but warns her it will be strictly on the down-low on account of having lost his PI license after a run-in with vindictive cop Roy Quinlan. Jess tells Harry she saw John coming out of the bank, and Harry decides it will be the easiest 1 days work he’s ever had.

“Suppose I write you a cheque.” Jess says.

e2

“On second thoughts, how about cash?”

I LOVE THESE TWO

I LOVE THESE TWO

Hot on the scent, Harry pays a visit to the bank, conveniently the employer of his old flame Gladys. Gladys is not pleased to see him, but after hearing the story of “Millicent” the scorned wife of a man who looks exactly like John Winslow, she agrees to help Harry nail him for child support.

Harry reports to Jess and gives her the address where John has been hiding out under the name John Wilson. She goes down to see him, but once again he gives her the cold shoulder.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Harry thinks it’s case closed but JB isn’t so sure – she talked to the landlord and John Wilson only moved in 6 days ago, and paid cash to boot. Harry agrees that’s shady, but thinks it could be dangerous. JB doesn’t care – Maude and John were two of her and Frank’s oldest friends and if she can help them she will. She decides to go to Chicago to see Maude and try and find out the truth. She sends Harry off to nose around “in your own inimitable way”, but begs him to be discreet.

I don't think Harry's learned that word yet.

I don’t think Harry’s learned that word yet.

Harry wanders down to the precinct to see what information he can dig up. He finds his old buddy Howard Sternhagen in a less than helpful mood – it turns out Harry returned Howard’s golf clubs in less condition than when they were borrowed. Harry reminds Howard of all the favours he owes him and Howard agrees to run the names John Winslow and John Wilson through the system. He quickly changes the subject on the arrival of Lieutenant Roy Quinlan, who offers to arrest Harry for detecting without a license, and Harry offers to rearrange his face.

Meanwhile, Jess has arrived in Chicago and she’s on a mission. She goes straight to Maude’s and meets her brother Adam Paulson. They tell her about the night John died, but Jess isn’t buying it, especially when Adam tells her there was no autopsy and that John was cremated. She tries to get the truth out of them but is thrown out of the house for her trouble. As she leaves, a man in a car with a telephoto lens takes some happy snaps and then follows her taxi as she drives away. The taxi driver points this out to Jess and she tells him to drop her off at one of the big hotels, she doesn’t want to lose the guy in the car.

“Whatever turns you on lady.” Says the cab driver.

If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me, I would be retired to a beach in Bora Bora.

If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me, I would be retired to a beach in Bora Bora. If I had a dollar for every time I made it weird, I would own Bora Bora.

Jess goes into the hotel, and very loudly asks for the restrooms. She manages to lose him in the crowd and hides in a janitor’s closet until he gives up, two hours later. She tails him to the public phones, and eavesdrops on his phone call to a Nathan Swathmore, who tells him the problem is almost resolved, and to lose his number. Jess calls Harry with an update and gets him to go and check on John, while she makes plans to see this Nathan Swathmore.

Harry heads over to John’s apartment, but there’s no answer. He breaks in and finds the body of John Winslow next to an open window. Before he can do anything, Roy Quinlan and another cop appear. Roy is delighted to finally be nailing Harry for something and gets on the phone. Harry asks the other cop, Frank, what happened. Frank tells him they only just got there  themselves – a neighbour heard shots and called 911. Best he can figure, someone shot John from the fire escape, through the window.

Back in Chicago, Jess casually name-drops her way to a meeting with Swathmore who is delighted to meet her until she starts talking about John Winslow. He agrees that he is representing his former employer Danford Industries, but has had nothing to do with John Wilson.

“Wilson?” JB asks.

“I said Winslow.” Swathmore says, and throws her out.

JB returns to Boston to discover that Harry has been arrested. She heads down to the precinct to bail him out and runs into Quinlan, who tells her she’s the next suspect if Harry wriggles off the hook. Also the Feds want to talk to them.

Sometimes I press pause and go  to make a cup of tea at really odd times.

Some how this picture sums up this blog.

Some how this picture sums up this blog.

The hand in that picture belongs to FBI agent Guilfoyle, who tells them that John Winslow had been turned whistleblower against his former employer, but had dropped off the radar recently. He also confirms that Swathmore was representing Danford in the charges the FBI was bringing against them.

Jessica tells him about Swathmore’s slip-up when she spoke to him in Chicago, and adds that his secretary had told her Swathmore had just returned from a trip to Boston. Guilfoyle is interested, but says that there’s no way Swathmore would have killed anyone – he would have hired someone else and made sure to have an unimpeachable alibi for the time of the murder. As she goes to leave she spots Maude and Adam across the precinct. Later, over lunch they tell her how they orchestrated John’s disappearance in order to avoid a life of running, including claiming the body of a dead hobo in the hospital as John and getting it cremated.

Harry picks Jessica up and takes her back to his place to collect her suitcases. She agrees there’s nothing more she can do in this case and will head back to Cabot Cove first thing in the morning although I think for Jess it might be sooner.

That is a face of mild horror.

That is a face of mild horror.

There is a knock at the door and Howard Sternhagen comes marching declaring his friendship with Harry is over. Not only did Harry get him looking for Michael Wilson but then Quinlan comes in asking the same thing and now he’s dead and Howard is done. Harry sends him on his way and tells Jess he has to go – he has  a date with Gladys and her kids, as a thankyou for helping him out. Jess goes on her way, but as soon as she’s gone Harry pulls a tape recorder and a gun out of his closet.

I see where this is going.

Jess goes back to the precinct to give her details to Frank the detective, should he need them, and to tell him she feels terribly about getting Harry involved in all of this. Frank tells her not to worry, it was just bad luck that he and Quinlan were in the dinner down the street from the murder, and when Quinlan got back from visiting a ladyfriend, the call came through.

Guys, I get it.

Jess puts a call in to Harry where he’s supposed to be taking Gladys on the date, but there’s no sign of Harry. Harry is in an alley somewhere, doing a deal.

Enough now.

Way to drag out the obvious there guys.

Way to drag out the obvious there guys.

Chalk up another win to Team Fletcher-McGraw.

l2

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

 

S05E18 – Trevor Hudson’s Legacy

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There’s a-doin’s a-transpiring down in Montana this week Fletcherfans. JB and literary agent Dorothy Westerfield have arrived in Custer Creek to be at the dedication ceremony for a new postage stamp celebrating the life of author Trevor Hudson.

While Dorothy goes off match-hunting, JB awaits the arrival of their ride Bob Jarrett, who has been hired to turn the rough draft of Trevor Hudson’s last manuscript into a finished novel. When he arrives, he tells her that they won’t make it on time to the ceremony but Jess has bigger fish to fry – she demands to know what was so important that they couldn’t speak on the phone? Bob asks her if Dorothy is with her, and has said anything about the manuscript, but before he can elaborate, she reappears without matches.

Meanwhile, the ceremony is underway. Trevor Hudson’s grandson-in-law, Barney Drake (who is apparently the mayor in Sharknado 2 which reminds me I haven’t watched Sharknado 2 yet) conducts the ceremony and conveniently introduces the rest of Trevor’s offspring – his daughters Maria and Olivia, and his son Andrew who did the painting that the stamp is based on. One notable absentee is Barney’s wife and Trevor’s granddaugher Cat the movie star, who sends her regrets that she couldn’t attend the ceremony on account of auditioning to replace Jeremy Clarkson as host of Top Gear.

Fun fact: that actress was briefly married to the guy who was dating Olivia Newton John and faked his own death and is apparently working on a fishing boat in Mexico according to the internet rabbit hole I just fell down.

Fact: that actress was briefly married to the guy who was dating Olivia Newton John and faked his own death and is apparently working on a fishing boat in Mexico according to the internet rabbit hole I just fell down.

Cat’s pasttimes include speeding and picking up men left lying about on roads, much to the chagrin of her husband, who is a bit miffed that his wife missed out on some quality network coverage by skipping the ceremony. His mother-in-law Maria doesn’t care – what she’s more concerned with is the fact that Bob Jarrett has reneged on a deal that could bring them down. CRYPTIC.

Meanwhile JB is upstairs unpacking (God she’s amazing, I hate unpacking when I move house let alone go on holiday), and chats to Dorothy about the book Bob has edited. Dorothy tells her it’s amazing, touching and sensitive which surprises Jess as Trevor Hudson’s last book was referred to as having “the cutting edge of a diamond with none of the warmth”.

Dorothy excuses herself to continue Match Search ’89, while Jess is drawn outside by the sound of gunfire. She finds Olivia shooting clay pigeons with town sheriff Hank Masters. They haven’t seen Bob but Olivia tells Jess to ask Maria, who knows where everyone is at all times. Before she finds Maria Jess sees Bob waving at her from the doorway to the study – he has something to show her. The scandalous truth that is set to bring down House Hudson is that his posthumous novel that Bob was sent to edit was based on 10 pages of notes and some scribbled,  lines dictated to his daughter Maria. Basically, Bob wrote the whole thing and now has to decide whether or not to expose the whole business as a literary fraud.

JB is aghast, mostly at the idea that Bob thought she was in on it.

Fact: Jesicca Fletcher is a Jedi Knight.

Fact: Jesicca Fletcher is a Jedi Knight.

Jessica asks the obvious question, why didn’t he just walk away? Bob confesses he was seduced by the Trevor Hudson legend, and wanted desperately to be a part of it. Plus there was Cat.

“Surely Cat didn’t help you write the book.” Jess says.

“In her own way.” Bob says.

No really. Don't say. Please don't say.

No really. Don’t say. Please don’t say.

Cat herself has returned from her tour of the countryside. Her husband finds her in the shower and demands to know why she missed the ceremony. She gives him the brush off and he hits her but then tells her all about the movie deal he’s got for her – he just has to fly up to Cheyenne and seal the deal. Cat tells him to take his time and slams the door in his face.

As the sun goes down Jess counsels Bob on his next move, saying that not everyone will believe him, and they will argue that he is trying to further his career at the expense of a literary giant who can’t fight back.

“But that’s not true.” Says Bob.

“Well I know it’s not true, but when it comes to selling newspapers the truth is not always an issue.” Says Jess. (Life Lesson #58 right there.)

They are soon joined by Maria Hudson, who has questions about the galley proofs. Bob tells her that JB knows about the lack of manuscript but she shrugs it off, saying there were tonnes of notes she committed to memory when her father grew too ill to write. Jess asks her why she didn’t record anything and Maria says her father didn’t want tape recorders in the house (there is only one phone in the house, installed in the kitchen when Trevor got sick. I can’t remember if that’s important, but there it is).

Bob begs to differ, and leads them to Trevor’s office and pulls a tape recorder out of the desk drawer. Maria insists that it isn’t her fathers, so he presses play and asks Jess if she recognises Trevor’s voice. She does, naturally. Maria insists she didn’t know about it, but Bob thinks she’s just trying to ensure that the book will become a bestseller with her father’s name on it. She is outraged and tells him he’s not going to get away with stealing her father’s work and taking credit for it.

After dinner, the gang convene in the drawing room for tea and biscuits with the notable exception of Bob Jarratt. Maria has managed to get Dorothy on board the Bob Jarratt Hate Machine, but Jess thinks they should hear all sides of the story. That gets a frosty response from everyone, so Hank decides to toast the painting while Cat demands to know what they’re going to do if Bob goes public.

Guys, these people kind of suck.

YOU HAVE INVOKED THE WRATH OF FLETCHER, FOOLISH HUMANS.

YOU HAVE INVOKED THE WRATH OF FLETCHER, FOOLISH HUMANS.

Later that night, JB has retired to be to read this mysterious book of doom when a breeze kicks up. She goes to close the window and sees AN OMINOUS SHADOW creeping round the side of the house. Because that always bodes well. Downstairs, Cat is pantsless and pouring champagne for a gentleman caller who is very much not Barney.

BECAUSE YOU HIT YOUR WIFE BARNEY. NO CHAMPAGNE FOREVER.

BECAUSE YOU HIT YOUR WIFE BARNEY. NO CHAMPAGNE FOREVER.

Later a window breaks, startling Jess out of a nap (the book can’t be that good then). She gets out of bed to investigate and finds Bob lying dead in the study. Well that was a shock.

Sheriff Hank is on the scene with the doctor who proclaims that Bob died around 11:30pm. Noone saw or heard nothing, except for Olivia who heard a noise down by the barn where she was caring for a sick filly. She investigated but saw nothing and assumed it was a coyote. Hank decides it was a burglary gone wrong, since an award and an old gun are missing. JB opens the desk drawer and discovers the notes for the book are also missing. How convenient. Jess gets a private word with Hank and insists that it wasn’t a burglary, but Hank isn’t so sure – plus he’s on the Trevor Hudson Wrote Every Word Of The Book bandwagon so he’s not inclined to hear theories that suggest otherwise.

The next day Jess takes a stroll with Andrew who offers his condolences about Bob. In light of his death, Andrew has a confession to make – his father was so ill that in his last days he couldn’t have signed his own name, let alone written a novel. As he delivers this bombshell Barney pulls up in his car having just ‘returned from Cheyenne’. Cat is beside herself with worry about the thought of a killer roaming around and Barney takes her into the house.

Jess decides to investigate the study but is interrupted by Maria who is full of sorrow about Bob’s death but thinks that the book situation has been resolved. Jessica disagrees, saying that she’s more convinced than ever that Hank is looking in the wrong place for the killer.

“Once of us?” says Maria. “I hardly think so. Murder is a solution to a problem found only in cheap thrillers – like the ones you write.”

YOU IN TROUBLE NOW

YOU IN TROUBLE NOW

“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, a person is capable of anything if the motive is strong enough. Excuse me.” Jess says, drops the mic and departs.

Outside, Jess finds Olivia washing a car and asks her about the business between Bob and Cat, or as it shall be known henceforth, BOBCAT, as the ominous shadow and the noise down by the barn occurred at the same time. Olivia tells her she’s wrong, there was no BOBCAT action the previous night, Barney was home. She saw his car down by an outbuilding.They are then summoned by one of Hank’s minions to come into the house. Hank has made an arrest and wants confirmation that the suspect – Adam Perry – was the man Olivia saw.

Neither JB nor Olivia can confirm it, but Hank doesn’t mind. The missing trophy and gun were found in Perry’s truck, with blood on the butt of the gun. He’s confidant he has caught the killer. As Perry gets escorted into the sheriff’s car JB has followup questions, like where the notes are for the manuscript. Hank tells her Perry probably tossed them – but in the background Dorothy is quietly slipping back inside. SHENANIGANS!

Jess goes inside to find Dorothy and Maria. Maria is displeased that Jess is continuing to investigate the fraud and tells her to leave. Jess promises to pack her things as soon as she’s spoken to someone. Specifically, Barney.

Barney admits to not having been in Cheyenne, and to spying on his wife. He also admits that he knows that Perry was with Cat but refuses to testify to it in court. JB rushes off to find Cat but instead runs into Andrew who tells her Hank just called, and Adam Perry has confessed to the murder. Jess and Andrew rush to the sheriff’s office, Hank is forging a confession and Perry has just been informed he has a visitor. Cat tells Hank that Adam was with her until after the commotion, and so reluctantly Hank lets him go. As he leaves, Cat says to Hank “hurry up so he doesn’t get away.”

What’s that now?

Hank goes outside and fires at Adam, hitting him in the shoulder. Before he can fire again, Andrew and Jess pull up and Andrew pulls a shotgun out, because apparently everyone in this episode is packing except JB.

Well that seems definitive.

But holy crap Sheriff of Death is a genius name for a movie. Get to work, Hollywood.

But holy crap Sheriff of Death is a genius name for a movie. Get to work, Hollywood.

Hank recruited Cat to help him find a fall guy for the murder he committed to protect his buddy Trevor’s legacy and it all went wrong. Imagine that.

Until next time.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

 

 

S05E17 – The Sins of Castle Cove

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Happy Eurovision Fletcherfans. The final has happened but due to time differences and the fact that I get up at 5am for no song contest I still don’t know who won. (It must have been Sweden. I mean, did you see him? 12 points to anyone who can get me his phone number…I mean, the animations were amazing. Also, I did enjoy Israeli N*Sync this year, they were fun. Still can’t believe Moldova didn’t make it through though. And I hope Guy Sebastian did well, even if I think Tism should have been our entry just to confuse people even more).

But enough about that because we are back in Cabot Cove this week Fletcherfans, where the clients of everyone’s favourite beauty parlour is watching Top of the Morning Book Nook, a book review show featuring an up-and-coming writer from Cabot Cove named Sybil Reed. The interviewer points out Sybil isn’t the only writer to come out of Cabot Cove and Sybil agrees, saying that JB Fletcher was a massive influence on her work.

Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Thanks, Captain Obvious.

JB and Seth reminisce about the Life of Sybil – her mother running away, her father dying unexpectedly (murdered, probably, since it’s Cabot Cove but this is never confirmed), and Sybil living with her grandmother on Hedgehog Lane until her grandmother’s death when Sybil was 17. Seth announces he will go over to the bookstore and see if they have any copies of the book, to which JB says she would be grateful, not that she’s in a rush to read it or anything. LOL, J/K she needs it now, she’s so excited for her former pupil nawww.

The whole town is down at the bookshop, wanting to get their hands on the book. In the queue, the ladies from the beauty parlour all compare notes as to how they helped Sybil when her grandmother died, except Phyllis who points out that Sybil’s mother was the first girl to put gym socks down her bra in junior high and Ideal remembers slapping Sybil’s father’s face but for reasons long forgotten. Seth proceeds to the front of the queue by announcing his presence and bumps into the Sheriff, who is buying a copy of the book for his wife, banged up after dropping a person on her foot during her self-defence class. The bookshop owner, Ellis Hillgate greets Phyllis, Ideal and Eve but saves a special hello for Miriam who is not as excited.

Shot down.

Shot down.

Recovering, Ellis greets Seth as Doctor Valiant, to which Seth gets uppity saying “You know perfectly well my name is Hazlitt.”

“Not in my book.” Ellis dangles it in front of Seth’s face and he snatches it. Ellis informs him the book is $18.95, at which Seth is scandalized, saying he can remember a time when you could get a whole set of encyclopedias for $15 and still have change for a seafood dinner and a picture show.  He tells Ellis he will deduct the amount off his next doctor’s bill, to which Ellis says “Page 14.”

While eager patrons flip pages to the page in question, Seth beats a hasty retreat back to Jessica’s house, where she investigates the book and discovers that Castle Cove’s Doctor Valiant is a cross between a leprechaun and a curmudgeon.

Hipster JB is possibly my new favourite JB

Hipster JB is possibly my new favourite JB

Jess tells him to take a chill pill but Seth tells her he’s not the only resident in the book – a lot of people are going to get their noses bent out of shape and for the record JB might take special notice of the fictitious English teacher by the name of Mrs K C Feather – “that should stiffen your syllabus for quite some time.”

Not amused

Stiffen your syllabus? Really Seth?

Later that evening, JB’s syllabus has definitely stiffened.

Syllabus is code for tea right?

Syllabus is code for tea right?

JB gets a visit from Eve Simpson, who has apparently just had the worst experience of her life. She notices JB’s copy of the book and says she knows JB will be just as disgusted, appalled and horrified as she was that such filth was allowed to be printed.

Does anyone else really want to read this book?

Does anyone else really want to read this book?

JB is confused – Eve has always been all about free speech. She still is, but not in relation to the fictional Castle Cove man crazed real estate agent that goes after every husband in town that is clearly nothing but a slanderous lie. “Surely it isn’t based on you.” Says JB.

It isn’t. Except for the descriptions of the house, the office, the car “and the mole on my fanny which is on the wrong side!”

Eve clearly isn't from Australia, where that sentence means something else entirely.

Eve clearly isn’t from Australia, where that sentence means something else entirely.

JB tells Eve to calm down, but Eve says once JB has discovered KC Feather, then they will talk. Meanwhile across town, Noah Harwood has just arrived home from a hard day’s whatevering to find his neighbour sniggering on the nature strip and asking Noah if he’d read any good books lately. Noah tells his wife Miriam that he thinks George has too many worms in his bait can. Miriam, who has just hidden the book in the fridge to stop Noah finding it, panics when he goes to get a beer but dissuades him from reading the book by saying “you wouldn’t like it, a woman wrote it.”

Nicely done Miriam. The national treasure Noah smacks her on the butt and goes off to wait for his dinner. Later that night JB is dragged out of bed by a knock at the door – it’s Sybil, needing a place to crash while the chaos of the book tour settles down. JB tries to palm her off but Sybil makes herself at home in about 3o seconds. “It’s good to be home in Castle Cove,” she says.

Glad to see fame hasn't gone to Sybil's head.

Glad to see fame hasn’t gone to Sybil’s head.

Meanwhile across town, someone has just broken into the bookstore, taken all the copies of The Sins of Castle Cove and set them on fire. Everyone’s a critic.

The next morning JB finds Seth auditioning to be a part of Beyonce’s dance crew.

This is my favourite screencap of all time #nailed it

This is my favourite screencap of all time #nailed it

Seth asks JB what brings her out on such a fine morning and she tells him an unexpected house guest arrived, and the cupboard was bare. Seth asks her if it just might be a budding young novelist off the Portland bus – he heard about it at the diner that morning from the taxi driver. JB confirms it but admits that’s not the only reason why she’s out of the house early – she read the book. They find Ellis the bookstore owner out the front of his shop, outraged at the damage that had been done. Sheriff Metzger informs Seth and JB that a fisherman spotted the fire as he was coming in on the boat – someone torched all the copies of the book and left a cut out note saying stop selling the book or all will  burn. “Wonder why they don’t like this book?” Mort wonders.

She is just the best.

She is just the best.

Back at home JB get a phone call but it’s for Sybil – it’s her friend Corinne, who happens to be the manicurist at the beauty parlour. She gives Sybil an update on the fallout from her book – everyone is going nuts about it. She is called away by Loretta the owner, who has Eve waiting for a manicure. Loretta is unbothered by the book, but Miriam is worried. There’s a little plotline about an unfaithful wife and a scumbag husband that’s a little too close to home if you get my drift, but they tell her not to worry. As soon as she’s gone Eve confirms Miriam had a little fling with the butcher, but refuses to confirm she did too – all she will say is that the butcher’s mother is something else.

Across town,  said butcher has just received a visit from a very drunk Noah looking for his wife. He threatens a smackdown but Mulligan the butcher holds him off. JB intervenes before a very cross woman arrives ordering Noah home and lock up his wife and JB to back away from her pure and innocent boy (who’s probably 37). Later that night, Mort is called to a crime scene at Miriam and Noah’s house – Miriam has been murdered. Mort orders Deputy Floyd to get the state police in and to dust the house for prints, but Floyd says there’s no need – he knows who the kill is, it’s in the book.

Meanwhile JB is trying to have a heart to heart with Sybil when she gets a phone call from Seth, cancelling their antiquing day trip, on account of he’s been called in about the murder. Deputy Floyd arrives at the house to take JB down to the station, because Mort is stressed out. Books written about murders before they happen is just not the sort of business he signed up for. Jess points out it’s not entirely the same – in the book Miriam was killed by a lamp not a frying pan – but Mort doesn’t care. Floyd found Noah passed out drunk in his truck and brought him in to sober up but Mort is worried that once Noah is sober, Mort will be letting a killer go, since the book isn’t the greatest evidence. JB asks what other evidence he has and he tells her the only place that didn’t have Noah’s or Miriam’s fingerprints was on the frying pan – it had been wiped clean. Jess says that makes no sense – they would expect Noah’s prints on the frying pan it was pointless him wiping them off. Jess remembers the same thing happens in the Sins of Castle Cove, saying it made no sense in that either. Mort begs her to keep it quiet until he can sort the mess out.

Over in the beauty salon, Corinne is under instruction from Sybil to find out why Jessica went off in a cop car. Ugh, you guys Sybil is kind of the worst. The ladies put their heads together and work out something must have happened to Miriam, but get distracted when Corinne accidentally lets slip that Sybil is in town. Eve marches right over to JB’s house, where Mort is interrogating Sybil about how she knows what she knows. Eve storms in and says Miriam’s death was her fault, and that Miriam had been about to dump Tim the butcher but never got the chance.

Or did she? Mort and JB visit Tim at home, where he denies killing Miriam, but Floyd finds a black mask and a baseball bat in the basement. That’s enough for Mort, so despite JB’s scepticism he arrests Tim.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort gets Ellis to sign a complaint so he can hold Tim while they build a case. Tim’s mother arrives with fifty bucks to bail Tim out, but a little sleuthing on Jess’s part reveals the truth – Rose Mulligan was the book burner, in an effort to stop people finding out about her son and Miriam. “Who’d want to buy sausages from a man who played around with married women?” Asks Rose, sadly.

SO MANY ENTENDRES

SO MANY ENTENDRES

Mort is displeased that he now has to book a senior citizen on a bunch of felony charges but Jess thinks she can smooth it over with Ellis. Mort asks Floyd to get Noah out of the drunk tank but Floyd, in a remarkable display of initiative, has already let Noah go on account of having Tim under arrest and all.

Down at the bookstore Ellis is in a charitable mood, and agrees to drop the charges as long as Tim agrees to pay for the damage. Ellis is sad about Miriam though – according to him they used to drink herbal tea and discuss books when it was quiet in the store. Ironic, he thinks, that she was killed in the kitchen like in the book.

Later that night JB and Seth are having a catchup discussing the case, and while Sybil spouts off her theory about the real killer (Eve Simpson, obvs), Jessica suddenly realises she’s known all along.

Depressing plot twist anyone?

Depressing plot twist anyone?

Ah yes. Ellis was just desperate to be loved, and when Miriam wouldn’t love him, the frying pan happened. Man, that got dark quickly.

But now, I must away. The Eurovision final awaits!

Later gang!

Later gang!

S05E16 – Truck Stop

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JB is on the road this week Fletcherfans, and has holed up at a truck stop in California. The reasons for this will become clear (hopefully – I fell asleep watching this episode during the week so today will be an adventure for everyone).  Right now, someone called Walter Murray has just been shot and gone back to his hotel room to make a noir audiobook about his imminent demise. Which is what most people do, clearly.

A short time later, Sheriff Tugman appears, fondles the front wheel of Walter’s car and hollers for Walter to open up. This brings Jessica out of her slumber and she arrives to find out just what’s the deal. The sheriff tells her that Walter is a dangerous criminal.

“Dangerous? He’s a writer, you can reason with writers!” (Life Lesson #57).

JB convinces the sheriff not to crash in all guns blazing and just open the door, and find Walter’s body slumped in the chair. JB is perplexed as to why Walter chose to make a book-on-tape instead of seeking help, but nevertheless she and the sheriff settle in to listen to the audiobook.

Right off the bat, the motive for Walter’s murder becomes clear – he thinks he is living in a film noir movie, and narrates everything accordingly. In any case, the story begins with he and JB driving from Vegas to Los Angeles (despite JB’s request that they fly), and as they detour off the interstate he outlines the opening scene for the movie.

“A guy plants a smacker on a girl. She slaps him. He kisses her again, she likes it. But as their lips are suctioned together, she pulls a gun out of her purse. He grabs her hand. The gun goes off.”

I AM GOING TO MAKE AN OCTOPUS FILM NOIR CALLED THE BIG INK AND I WILL WIN ALL THE OSCARS AND MORTALS WILL KNEEL BEFORE MY GREATNESS

I AM GOING TO MAKE AN OCTOPUS FILM NOIR CALLED THE BIG INK AND I WILL WIN ALL THE OSCARS AND MORTALS WILL KNEEL BEFORE MY GREATNESS

Jessica points out that octopuses making out and pulling guns on each other is not a scene from her book and Walter tells her he’s there to adapt the essence of her book. I’m almost positive Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick had this exact conversation when making The Shining, a film that remains the scariest film ever conceived by humans (closely followed by The Babadook – anyone who makes Babadook noises near me for the next ever is going to feel my wrath).

Wait, I’m getting off track. Anyway, they pull up at a truck stop, and Walter decides he’s starving and goes into the diner. “There she was – a little the worse for wear but still a hot cup of coffee to a thirsty guy like me.”

I don't think JB is enjoying being in a film noir

I don’t think JB is enjoying being in a film noir

The cup of coffee in question is  Vera Gerakakis, waitress and co-owner of the diner along with her husband Peter, who is basically fed up with everything. Down the other end of the bar a random hobo is kicking back and wondering if Vera was from the south, she seems so familiar. A bike pulls up outside, on which rides Vera’s daughter and her boyfriend Desmond. Flora comes in to get some money out of the till, to which Peter offers to give her a swift kick in the backside and she takes off on the back of the bike again.

Walter watches her drive off into the sunset then realises he left his wallet in the car. On his return to the diner Sheriff Tugman is receiving his dinner order from Vera. “You sure know how to make a man happy baby,” says the Sheriff.

“From the appearance of your girth, one can only surmise that you must be ecstatic.” Says the hobo.

Tugman is not amused.

Tugman is not amused.

Tugman gets all up in the hobo’s grill when the hobo says Tugman had put on weight since the last time they met, and he goes to flee, but passes out. Vera thinks he must be hungry. “I was hungry too – a different kind of hungry,” narrates Walter.

Ugh, Walter needs to calm down.

Ugh, Walter needs to calm down.

Jess has a quiet word with Walter and demands they hit the road. Walter points out it will be dark soon but JB is done. Alas, when they get to the car, it is mysteriously not working. Roscoe the mechanic sticks his head in and offers to take a look at it.

The audiobook skips ahead to the return of Flora on the motorbike but JB calls timeout because she’s just remembered something. She was going to talk to Walter, having second thoughts about the octopus-centric nature of his script, when she spies Roscoe lurking outside Walter’s door. He tells her he’s out for a walk. JB asks him about the car, since she’d hoped he’d be able to fix it that night.

“So do I.” He muttered and wandered off.

When JB went in to see Walter, he was with Vera. Vera was crying and Walter looked distracted, like he’d been told something surprising. WHAT ON EARTH COULD IT POSSIBLY BE I WONDER.

Flora and her boyfriend Grange reappear on the bike. Pete goes nuts and slaps his daughter for being a tramp like her mother, Grange punches Pete a couple of times, everyone wins. Later that night, Walter was out narrating to himself when he heard banging from the garage. He checks it out and finds Pete smashing up his car. Pete goes after him with a tyre iron, drops it and goes for the wrench. Walter grabs the tire iron and clocks Pete with it, killing him. This is the worst game of Cluedo ever.

JB and Tugman continue the tape (although if you watch carefully, when Tugman presses play you can’t see the tape winding. Yes I know all about tapes).  “So there I was, a still on my hands, and a damned heavy one too,” says Walter.

I'M NOT LAUGHING SHUSH

I’M NOT LAUGHING SHUSH

Walter decides to make Pete’s death look like an accident, by lowering the car lift onto his body. “And it would have worked too, if that busybody Fletcher dame hadn’t stuck her nose in it…”

Damn straight.

Damn straight.

Tugman endorses this development.

Tugman endorses this development.

“…that lard-bottomed lawman would have bought the whole scheme.”

Poor Tugman.

Poor Tugman.

JB is on the case and straight away sees it’s murder. Tugman immediately jumps to conclusions and decides it’s Grange, Flora’s bikie boyfriend. This gives Walter an idea and when he sees Grange drop one of his bike gloves on his way in to get Flora, he pounces. He grabs the glove and leaves it in the garage, knowing that it won’t be hard to get Tugman to go back to search the garage again. Tugman plays his part and arrests Grange, while being beat up by Flora.

Later that night Flora goes to pay Walter a visit to apologise for suggesting Walter and Vera were getting it on, and to ask for a ride to LA. Walter refuses, saying she’s better off staying with her mother. Flora tells him her bags are packed, and if he won’t help her she’ll find another way. Vera comes rushing out of the next room to stop her – Flora tells her she hates her and isn’t going to get stuck in this crappy town like her mother.

After being harangued by JB Walter goes to find out how long til the car is fixed. He finds out that Roscoe and Pete were in the service together, and that Pete wasn’t too pleased that Roscoe liked Vera. Roscoe informs Walter that someone disconnected the fuel line on his car, which seems like someone wanted to stay in town and get something done. He also knows that gloves don’t just walk int garages – they need a hand. OH THE LOLZ.

Since it was clear Roscoe wanted Walter to pay him off and get out of town, Walter hatches a plan to solve all his problems. He decides to plant the murder weapon at Roscoes, kill him and make it look like self defence. Alas, it didn’t go according to plan, and Roscoe and Walter end up shooting each other.

And there, the audiobook ends. Tugman and JB confirm that Roscoe is dead, but JB is not convinced by Walter’s confession. She cannot understand why he didn’t come to her after he’d been shot. Tugman grudgingly agrees to get caliber and fingerprint tests, but as far as he’s concerned they’ve got his favourite kind of killer – a dead one.

JB investigates Walter’s room but the police have taken everything. Vera appears to tidy up, and she’s devastated that after all these years he’s gone. JB tells her she thinks it’s not a coincidence that she and Walter came to the trucksop. Flora turns up and is shocked to learn a) that Walter is dead and b) that he confessed to killing Pete and Roscoe. She goes off to find out from Tugman when he’s releasing Grange but he tells her that he already has and Grange has gotten the hell out of Dodge. The hobo reappears and says the sheriff would know all about it, and Tugman goes nuts again. JB asks him if he found the envelope Walter was consulting on their drive over but it’s nowhere to be found. Jessica is convinced Walter lied, but Tugman won’t have a bar of it – besides the gun shot residue on Walter’s hands confirms that at he killed Roscoe.

Jess finds the hobo (it turns out his name is Desmond) in the diner and asks him how he knows so much about Tugman. Before she can get a straight answer a man comes in and introduces himself as Terence Locke, life insurance. He asks for Vera who comes out of the kitchen and tells him it’s not a good time to be selling life insurance to her. He tells her he’s here to settle up Pete’s life insurance – $250,000, as per her phone call the previous day, an hour after Pete had been found dead.

JB shows him the crime scene and shows him the report of Pete’s injuries – they don’t match the way Walter said it went down on the tape. Terence agrees that it was murder, and that it would appear someone hit him from behind but with not enough force to kill him. Terence comes clean about a fact he’s been withholding – Vera isn’t the beneficiary of Pete’s policy, Flora is.

As they drive over to the hotel where Flora lives with her mother, JB explains that she’s almost certain that Flora is Walter’s daughter, not Pete’s, and she thinks she has a way to prove whether or not Flora killed Pete to stop him changing his life insurance policy away from her.

JB pays a visit to Flora, who is preparing to get the hell out, and passes on her condolences about the death of her father…and also the death of Pete. Flora tells her she only found out a half hour earlier from her mother. She asks JB how she’s getting back to LA and whether she can get a lift. JB says she’ll see what she can do. Meanwhile, Terence is giving Vera papers to sign. She’s surprised to learn that Flora is the beneficiary of the policy, but says she’s glad Pete thought of her. Terence (clearly under instruction from JB) tells Vera she made a mistake, that she forgot to destroy the letter she sent Walter. She tells him if he doesn’t leave she will call his company and threaten law suits until he is fired. She leaves, rushes back to her room to find the letter and burn it.

Well there it is.

Surprise!

Surprise!

Vera killed Pete, got Walter to cover it up and kill Roscoe. And in the end the insurance money wasn’t even hers. What I’m trying to say is that this episode absolutely needed more octopuses.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a movie to make.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a movie to make.

S05E15 – Alma Murder

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Apologies for the delay Fletcherfans. I’ve been struck down with illness this week, according to Wikipedia it used to be known as Devil’s Grippe so I’ve spent this week living in an episode of Scooby Doo.

JB is chilling at home this week Fletcherfans, dealing with some house troubles. Local handyman Hank Prewitt has just diagnosed dry rot and corroded plumbing – “course I’m only talking about the house you understand.”

The hell does he think he's talking to?

The hell does he think he’s talking to?

JB is not pleased with this news – there seems to be always something going on with the house. Hank asks her if she’d ever consider moving and she says she hadn’t until this year – the house is big and she’s never there and maybe it’s time.

THIS CANNOT BE!

Hank goes off to go about his Hank business, and JB gets a phone call from her sorority sister Emily Dwyers with some bad news -their favourite professor, Leon Walker has just been arrested for murder.

Of course he has.

Jess jumps on the first (tiny) plane to Green Falls, where she is met by another sorority sister (and Leon’s assistant), Margaret, who gives her a lift back to the house. On the way JB tells Margaret she can’t believe the murder charge against Leon and Margaret tells her that she didn’t know Rhonda Sykes – she’d drive anyone to murder. You know, she’s the kind of girl who gives tramps a bad name.

b2

Ah gossip. The only global currency.

Apparently this Rhonda Sykes was willing to do anything to get her degree, except study. Magaret drops JB at the police station and tells her to tell Leon they won’t let him down. Inside, Jess isn’t the only one demanding to see Professor Walker. A young man demands to see Leon and refuses to leave until he does, but when the cop shrugs and says “Suit yourself,” the young woman goes to leave. When the young man wants to stay she says “I don’t see we have a choice and I’m not going to stand here and fight about it.” Meekly, he follows her out.

JB tries her luck but the cop tells her that Leon specifically said no visitors. She asks him to let Leon know she’s here, since she’s flown all the way from Maine after all. He agrees to see her but tells her he’s sorry she came all this way for nothing. He killed Rhonda Sykes. Jess refuses to believe it but Leon says he was lonely after his wife Martha died, he took up with Rhonda but broke it off when he realised what a fool he was being. The previous night, Rhonda called him to say she would expose their affair unless he paid her a big sum of money. He told her he didn’t have the money, she flipped out and came at him with an ashtray so he conked her on the head with a candlestick.

“I see,” Says Jess. And what proof did she have that she was able to blackmail him?

Letters, says Leon. “But I burned them and rinsed them down the drain”.

Jessica finds the whole thing suspicious and says so. She doesn’t think Leon killed anyone, in self-defence or otherwise. Leon says that’s absurd, why would he make up such a thing. Jess says she doesn’t know, but she wishes she did.

JB goes to see the D.A but is informed by his secretary that he’s busy for the rest of the afternoon. She decides to wait and is stunned when her former boyfriend Paul Robbins walks in. He asks her what she’s doing there and she says same thing as him, presumably – talk to the DA about Leon’s case but she’s having trouble getting in. Paul smiles and tells his secretary to cancel his 2 o’clock appointment YOU GUYS PAUL IS THE DA.

Fun fact: it's really weird if you do a freeze frame laugh in real life, but still worth it.

Pro tip: it’s really weird if you do a freeze frame laugh in real life, but still worth it.

Paul tells her he has no choice but to prosecute – Rhonda was killed between ten and eleven the night before from a blow to the head that Leon says he delivered. Jess still won’t believe it and wonders if there is something the police might have overlooked that she and Leon might spot. Leon says it’s highly unorthodox and Jess bats her eyelashes and says “So were you once.”

Naturally Paul agrees so they go hunting for clues at Rhonda’s apartment. Jess is already suspicious – the apartment is full of expensive doodads (a double tape deck stereo oh my) and the wardrobe is full of fur coats and fancy gowns, something that just doesn’t seem possible for a student studying on a financial hardship scholarship. JB notices the drawer of the filing cabinet has been forced open and Paul tells her it was noted in the police report, and that only Rhonda’s prints were found on it. Inside they find a file of exam papers with D- on them, but not one from Leon’s class. Paul assumes Leon took it with him but JB points out they would have found it on him, and it didn’t make sense for Leon to destroy it. Paul promises to follow it up and drops Jess off at the sorority house with the promise of dinner that night.

Emily meets Jess and notices just how like old times it is, being dropped off by Paul Robbins. She doesn’t know if she can forgive Paul for what’s happening to Leon but Jess says it’s just his job. Emily also can’t understand how Leon ever knew Rhonda, who it turned out lived at the sorority house during her undergraduate degree, until the accident the previous spring. Rhonda had asked the fiancée of one of the other girls in the house to drive her home from the April Fools Dance, but there was an accident on the way home and while Rhonda escaped without a scratch, but the boy died. Rhonda, we find out through cunning use of flashbacks, was trying to milk the insurance company for as much as she could and tells the guy’s fiancée he died in her arms. What the hell Rhonda?! Emily takes this as the excuse she needs to kick Rhonda out of the house.

Jess asks Emily if Rhonda got a large settlement from the insurance company and Emily delightedly says no. She didn’t see Rhonda again until she happened to be in Boston one night and saw Rhonda in a restaurant, dressed up like a movie star. They are on their way inside when the guy from the police station pops up. His name is Steve Chambers, and is the son of one of Emily and Jess’s sorority sisters who ran off and eloped during college and came back with a baby. Jess, looking at a baby photo of Steve with his mother, says he looks just like his mother, although she never met his father. Steve says he didn’t either, apparently he died in Korea before Steve was born. His mother died in Steve’s junior year at Harrison College and his scholarship was going to be revoked if it weren’t for a certain professor we all know and love. Steve’s wife Karen – the girl from the police station – appears, it turns out she’s a sister as well. JB asks her if she knew Rhonda and she says not really, Rhonda didn’t get friendly with anyone who couldn’t help her with her grades.

That night JB goes to dinner with Paul. In between remembering ghosts of dinners past, Paul shows her what the police found on Leon the night they arrested him. Jess notices a small fragment of photo tucked in Leon’s wallet. It’s the same photo Steve showed Jess earlier that day – the picture of him as a baby. The next day Jess confronts Leon and he reluctantly comes clean – he had an affair with Kathy Hampton, she got preggers and went off to have Steve. He begged her to come back but she only did so on the condition that their affair was over and that Steve wasn’t to be told the truth. He begs Jess to keep his secret but Jess is more concerned with other things, like if Steve killed Rhonda. Leon flips out, saying he was the one who killed Rhonda and that he’ll swear to it in any court JB can name.

The next day JB is helping Karen fluff cushions and trying to sneakily find out if Rhonda was in one of Steve’s classes, but Karen comes right out and tells her yes. Ahahahahah I’ve finally worked out who Karen is, she was in that terrible soap opera Passions! Ahahahahaha. Anyway, JB notes that Rhonda, crap student that she was, got a B for Steve’s class and Karen tells her to draw her own conclusion. Emily appears with the promise of sugar cake later that afternoon but Karen declines and goes to air mattresses. Emily tells JB that Karen has been acting funny lately, and on Monday completely ignored Emily when they were both pulled up at the lights. JB thinks thats odd, since Karen had just said she and Steve hadn’t been out in weeks. A phone call from Paul brings bad news – he’s upping the charges against Leon to murder one, as it turns out Leon put the letter opener found in Rhonda’s hand there to make it look like self defence. JB is adamant that he’s covering for someone but Paul’s hands are tied.

Jess goes to see Steve, who is aghast to learn that Leon isn’t trying to defend himself. “Mrs Fletcher there’s something you should know,” he says. “Leon didn’t kill Rhonda, I did.”

Thank you captain obvious.

Thank you captain obvious.

JB takes him down to the police station where he tells them the tale. Karen had walked out on him when he turned down a highpaying advertising gig in New York. He was down, and Rhonda had been hitting on him all semester. and so…you see where this is going.  When Karen reappeared he tried to break it off but Rhonda told him she’d tell Karen if he stopped seeing her so he kept going until at last he went round there to sort it out. Rhonda told him to leave his wife and quit his job, she had a gold mine after the accident and that would pay for everything. He says no and tries to leave but she comes after him with a candlestick so he shoves her and she falls and hits her head. He took off, drove around for half an hour then called Leon who said he’d go and check on Rhonda, that he was sure she was only passed out. It wasn’t until the next day that he found out Leon had been arrested. He swears he never would have let Leon go to jail, he just didn’t have the balls nerve to come clean until now.

Paul tells Jess the charges against Leon will be dropped and reinstated on Steve. Jess still thinks there are puzzling things about the whole business, like why the body wasn’t where Steve said he left it. Jess spots Leon leaving the police station and runs after him but he’s furious. She tells him there are still some unanswered questions and asks him what time he got to Rhonda’s. He says about eleven, he left straight after getting the call from Steve and it took him fifteen minutes to get there. Jess figures Steve left Rhonda’s at about 10:15pm, which meant there were 45 minutes in which anything could have happened. And then there was the question of this secret goldmine Rhonda told Steve about.

Jess and Paul go back to Rhonda’s apartment, where Jess has a suspicion about Rhonda’s gold mine. A quick look behind one of the paintings reveals a photograph of a smashed up car, dated the day after the accident. Paul doesn’t get it, but JB says Rhonda and the dead guy were in a sports car, not a sedan, so it made no sense. Paul said he’d run the plate and JB takes off back to the sorority for tea and cake with Emily and Margaret. Pulling up outside the sorority house, however, JB catches sight of a familiar looking license plate – it’s Margaret’s car.

JB takes Margaret to a diner, where she comes clean. She was coming home from an alumni dinner, she was drunk she hit the sports car. Rhonda saw her and called her the next morning demanding compensation for her silence. But not money – Rhonda wanted good grades and letters of recommendation, not money.

I think Jess is over this episode as much as I am

I think Jess is over this episode as much as I am

JB thinks there’s something Margaret isn’t telling her. She wasn’t the one driving that night. Someone else was driving the car, and it was someone Rhonda recognised.

Jess goes back to Rhonda’s apartment and checks the last number dialled.

Confirmation sigh.

Confirmation sigh.

You guessed it. (I didn’t. I am stricken with the devil’s grippe after all)

Also EX-BOYFRIEND OF DEATH

Also EX-BOYFRIEND OF DEATH

Paul was the source of all Rhonda’s money. She called him because she wanted Paul prosecuted for hitting her, but instead Paul killed her.

And on that note I’m going back to sleep.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S05E14 – From Russia…With Blood

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Zdravstvuyte Fletcherfans – JB is on the road again, this time in Moscow as part of a cultural arts exchange where she is single handedly ending the Cold War and also wearing a hat while sitting on a statue with Sergei Chaloff aka Fox Mulder’s Dad.

DAT HAT

DAT HAT

That night, a lavish dinner is thrown to celebrate the success of the exchange and for general crapulence wallowing. Sidenote: LOOK!

Basically James Bond

Basically James Bond

While JB scoffs down Russian caviar (until she is informed by her new friend journalist Bert Firman that it’s actually from Iran), Duckie Cyril Grantham introduces Sergei to his friend Peggy Brooks who has recently decided she wants to be a literary agent and is on the hunt for some Russian talent. As the evening progresses Cultural Minister Melnikov toasts Sergei as he prepares to fly to London and on to America.

Ah Comrade Vodka, you fickle fickle friend.

Ah Comrade Vodka, you fickle fickle friend. (Sidenote, Melinkov is also Picard’s brother in an episode of Star Trek TNG, and probably other things)

After the toast, one of Melinkov’s minions signals to him and he goes out into the foyer, completely bypassing the security checkpoint because his friend Comrade Vodka told him it was okay. His minion informs him that Peggy Brooks had previously been kicked out of Russia for ‘irregularities’ in her import/export business and Melinkov demands the minion find out how Peggy imported herself onto the guest list before he exports said minion to Vladivostok. Meanwhile, Sergei is busy with his sightseeing plans in America until he catches sight of a waiter and he goes pale. He quickly recovers, although not before knocking Jess’s bag over and pointing out Mrs Gorbachev’s dress. He escorts Jess out onto the dance floor for a turn, but she still notices the mysterious waiter grabbing her purse and shouts for someone to stop him. He legs it out of the room, followed by Jess and a couple of guards, but ends up shot on the ground by the time Jess reaches him. The guards order her back to the party and her journalist friend escorts her back.

The Russian 5-0 arrive in the form of Chief Inspector Bernicker, who takes the matter in hand. He tells Cyril and Peggy they can leave when he is done, and asks JB to check her purse to make sure nothing is missing. JB’s inspection reveals that she has more in her purse than she started out with, namely a film cannister. Bernicker opens it and shows it to her – it’s a roll of microfilm. Man, remember microfilm? JB tells him she has no idea where it came from and he tells her that her stay in Russia has been extended. Down at his office Bernicker tells JB that since the other other person who can say with any certainty what happened is dead in a box, he is forced to question her. They are soon joined by KGB agent Alexandrov, who claims jurisdiction over the whole business as Sergei was a potential defector/troublemaker from way back. JB is permitted to go back to her hotel, leaving Alexandrov and Bernicker to view the microfilm – a manuscript written by the recently deceased Anton, a friend of Sergei’s, but it makes no sense. Spoiler: the funeral was actually at the start of the episode and the dead waiter was there too but I was so busy belting out James Bond theme music that I forgot to mention it.

The next day JB goes to the embassy for help getting a new passport and finds men sweeping the room for bugs and an under-secretary distinctly put out about not being invited to the dinner the night before. She discovers that she’s left her glasses at the reception and goes back to the hotel to track them down. While there, she bumps into Minister Melnikov who asks her how she’s getting on in her dealings with the militia, saying that he has not escaped their notice either – the KGB paid him a visit earlier that day to get files on the dead waiter. He puts a call in to Bernicker and Alexandrov, who are in the middle of questioning Sergei, and Bernicker tells Melnikov he believes JB to be an innocent bystander and that her passport will be returned. He’s in a better mood now that Sergei has confessed to putting the micofilm in the bag, but annoyed that Sergei swears he doesn’t know what is on the film.

Speaking of James Bond music though…

e2

f2

g2

And the winner for Best Textual Representation of the James Bond Theme goes to ME. ALWAYS ME. ME FOREVER.

And the winner for Best Textual Representation of the James Bond Theme goes to ME. ALWAYS ME. ME FOREVER.

While I’ve just proven that I might be a bigger lunatic genius than I previously thought, JB has just proven to herself (and also us) that the waiter wasn’t shot by the two guards but in fact shot by a third gunman, grassy knoll style. She calls Bernicker to tell her of her discovery and he is delighted, saying she’s just cleared up something that had been troubling him.

Hands up who only knows the Russian word for thank you from that episode of Sex and the City?

Hands up who only knows the Russian word for thank you from that episode of Sex and the City?

Back in his office Bernicker tells her that the autopsy report confirms her theory. Alexandrov informs her that Sergei has confessed to putting the microfilm in her purse and has been arrested. JB is determined to track him down but they won’t help and neither will the American embassy. Fortunately, she runs into Duckie Cyril in the lobby of her hotel and he volunteers to make some calls. He is the cultural attache after all, although he made me think of something else as you can see:

Ugh I just creeped myself out a bit

Ugh I just creeped myself out a bit

Cyril comes through and takes JB to see Sergei in his cell. He tells her that he did put the film in her bag, he recognised the waiter as a KGB agent from Anton’s funeral and tried to get his friend’s manuscript out. He also tells her that he has no alibi for the shooting – he followed her but got lost in the corridors.

Finding Cyril is the extent to which Cyril wants to help, so JB manages to enlist the assistance of Bert Firman who reluctantly agrees. They go to see Alexandrov who refuses to admit the dead waiter was KGB, and instead throws them out. JB smells a rat, and under the guise of forgetting her handbag returns to Alexandrov’s office to find Cyril nattering away in Russian. She tries to convince Alexandrov to take another look at the dead waiter’s files but he tells her that he hasn’t had a first look – victim is homicide area, not KGB.

A wild goose chase in the air, JB goes to see Bernicker who confirms Cyril is a double agent, working for both British and Russian secret service, but tells her he doesn’t have the files either, as employment records belong to KGB. JB has an inkling of an idea about who is behind all this but gets everyone together to look at Anton’s manuscript one last time. This time, they crack the code, and have all the information they need to nail the killer.

I'm so relieved it's not Duckie of Death

I’m so relieved it’s not Duckie of Death

It turns out that back in the War, Melnikov collaborated with the Nazis. Anton put it all in his manuscript, and Melnikov found out about it, and hired the waiter (who wasn’t KGB after all) to steal it.

With Sergei off the hook JB decides to return home, a a little micro gift from Bernicker in her pocket. Yeah justice!

Do svidan'ya Fletcherfans!

Do svidan’ya Fletcherfans!

S05E13 – Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble

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It is a dark and stormy night in Cabot Cove Fletcherfans, and Seth is out on a house-call to see Agnes Finney. When no one answers the door, however, Seth is set to pack it in for the night when he hears a voice across the yard. He turns and sees a girl dressed as a pilgrim kneeling at a stump (which is apparently called a witches stump) muttering a spell to curse her enemies. Seth attempts to sneak up on the girl but a careless branch snap gives him away and the girl runs off into the night, leaving behind a pentagram and some herbs in a jar.

Naturally there is only one person who can make sense of such events.

Where were they again?

Where were they again?

JB’s friend Harriet knows exactly what’s going on – it’s the ghost of Patience Tarhune, and goes off to inform the garden club immediately. It turns out that the day after tomorrow marks 300 years since Patience was executed for being a witch, and apparently the ghost of Patience has been seen out and about for weeks. Seth wants to argue the point but realises that would delay his dinner, and so shuts up.

The next day Jess comes across Sheriff Metzger, in a crochetty mood. The press have caught wind of Patience Tarhune and are looking for information. He shows Jess what he collected from the witches stump but Jess cannot detect any clues. She continues on to the Cabot Cove library to return some books and runs into librarian Mildred Tarhune, convenient descendant of Patience Tarhune. She’s been fielding calls all morning from people concerned her dead relative was staging a comeback. She tells Jess her fiance Adam has had enough, and thinks that they should go away travelling after the wedding, thanks to her late uncle leaving her an apple farm. The proceeds from that should pay for a nice honeymoon.

Suddenly they are joined by two men, Gordon Fairchild and Rick Rivers. And Fletcherfans, I was unprepared.

THAT. HAIR. IS. WHAT.

THAT. HAIR. IS. WHAT. (Also insert Planet of the Apes joke here)

Fun fact: I once had a boss who was mad obsessed with Bill Maher. She was terrifying beyond all reason. And so concludes everything I know about Bill Maher. Except that one time he pissed off Batfleck, and everyone knows you don’t piss off Batfleck.

Gordon Fairchild, it turns out has written a book on Patience Tarhune, with the assistance of Mildred, which is coming out on the anniversary of her death. As soon as he heard about the ghost of Patience Tarhune putting in an appearance he hotfooted it over to Cabot Cove with his media advisor Rick Rivers. He says all of this while completely blanking JB, who it seems is not on Fairchild’s radar.

Bad move, Fairchild.

Bad move, Fairchild.

While Fairchild blows his own trumpet, Rick apologises to JB for his behaviour, saying he’s crazed about the book’s release. Fairchild decides he wants to talk to Seth about what he saw at the witches stump and flounces out. Later, Rick is back at his hotel room trying to drum up media interest in the book when Gordon flounces in again, demanding to know when the media will be arriving. Rick promises Gordon he will be up to his neck in media by the next day, the anniversary itself. I think that’s what he said. I couldn’t hear him over his hair.

That night as a mysterious woman arrives in town, Jess,Seth, Mildred and Adam are preparing to go to the Garden Club dinner at the hall and are discussing the story of Patience Tarhune and complimenting the new blue hallway. Oh crap, I just realised Mildred is the mum from ET. Anyway, they are just about to leave when there is a knock at the door. Mildred answers – it’s a woman. Apparently it’s her sister Irene. She can hardly believe it and neither can Seth – Irene is also the ghost of Patience Tarhune.

*DUN DUN DUN*

They all sit down to talk. Apparently Irene was given to her mother’s sister to take care off, as Mildred and Irene’s mother was dying when she had the baby. She asks about a story she heard when she was a kid, about having a witch in the family, and Seth says “funny you should bring that up.” JB asks her what brought her back to Cabot Cove now at this particular time and she says she doesn’t really know how to explain it, she just felt she had to. MYSTERIOUS.

Despite the sudden arrival of a long lost sister, no one can miss the call of the Garden Club casserole dinner, and Seth and JB discuss the news with Reverend Fordyce, who is stunned that Patience Tarhune is possessing Irene. Seth tells him that’s not what he’s saying. A guy wandering past overhears their discussion and tells them she couldn’t have been the witch – he picked her up earlier that evening, and she told him she’d flown up from Arizona that morning. At home that night, Mildred catches Irene sleepwalking, a candle and a fistful of herbs in her hand. She tells Jess about it the next morning, but Jess her not to worry about it, people sleepwalk for lots of reasons.

“With a lighted candle and bunch of herbs used in satanic rites?” Mildred is sceptical.

Once when I was in Thailand on holiday my friend swears I was counting down in a foreign language in my sleep and when I stopped someone knocked on the door. MAYBE I'M A WITCH I AM GOING TO SMITE SOMEONE AND SEE

Once when I was in Thailand on holiday my friend swears I was counting down in a foreign language in my sleep and when I stopped someone knocked on the door. MAYBE I’M A WITCH I AM GOING TO SMITE SOMEONE AND SEE

Wait do witches even smite? They curse things…but I’m more of a smiter , so we’ll go with that.

Anyway.

The next day JB pops in to see the Sheriff, who is dealing with Gordon Fairchild. He reluctantly agrees to let Gordon look at the things recovered from the witches stump, and while he finds them Gordon apologises to JB for his rudeness the day before. He simply didn’t know she was Somebody.

“In Cabot Cove it’s quite permissible to be polite to nobodies.” Says JB and goes to wait for the Sheriff.

I must confess my knowledge of Planet of the Apes is minimal. My knowledge of Planet of the Apes: The Musical however is profound #youllnevermakeamonkeyoutofmeeee

I must confess my knowledge of Planet of the Apes is minimal. My knowledge of Planet of the Apes: The Musical however is profound #youllnevermakeamonkeyoutofme

Mort tells JB that he contacted the airlines like she suggested, and that Irene’s story checks out – Irene flew from Tucson to Boston.

“Or someone pretending to be Irene did.” JB said. Her suspicious radar is going off the charts.

Gordon reappears to thank Mort for letting him look at the evidence. He points out that one of the figures etched on the clay is Inebrius, the most evil of the demon spirits, usually summoned to bring death to relatives, especially siblings. Jess asks him if he really believes Mildred is in danger, and he says what he believes doesn’t matter.

I think I once had an inebrius cocktail in Thailand. I felt like death the next day :O

I think I once had an Inebrius cocktail in Thailand. I felt like death the next day :O

Deputy Floyd gets a phone call and tells the sheriff and JB there’s some sort of ceremony happening at the witch’s stump outside Agnes Finney’s house. When they arrive an exorcism is underway, being conducted by Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately for all concerned the exorcism is put off due to incessant talking, a woman taking a photo, and the fact that the reverend did not inform Everett Overman of the amount of spirits brought forth by Irene. JB steps in before she can be lynched. Jonas the taxi driver tells her that Irene has been having dreams about the town for years. Jess tells Irene privately she’d hate to see Mildred get hurt or disappointed.

Back at the hotel Gordon is  raging at Rick about the lack of book sales and the level of media coverage compared to the exorcism that wasn’t, but Rick tells him to calm down. He’s got a plan that will knock everyone’s socks off, including Gordon’s. He then gets a phone call from a mysterious caller, which he flips out about, saying “She’s backing out on us.”

Later that night, Jess’s sleuthing has turned up a clue – Agnes Finney has been in Pittsburgh for a week, and couldn’t have called Seth for a housecall. Jess thinks it was a lure to get him to see what he saw, but she’s not sure why. She gets a phone call herself, and learns that Patience’s ghost has been seen near the barn belonging to Simon Greeley. Seth and JB head over there just in time to see the “ghost” of Patience Tarhune run into the barn. Seconds later, it catches fire, but not before the ghost has time to belt out an appropriate musical number.

The thought of Bill Maher in pilgrim drag singing a Bangles song is going to get me through the winter months.

The thought of Bill Maher in witch drag singing a Bangles song is going to get me through the winter months.

After the fire is extinguished they set to looking for clues but don’t have any success. JB asks Mort if he’s checked the root cellar and he says “Check it? I don’t know what it is.”

“It’s a cellar where they keep roots.” Says Seth.

ha

Seth you are such a smart arse.

Seth you are such a smart arse.

They quickly locate the trapdoor, open it, and discover the body of Irene. Oh yeah, MURDER she wrote.

The coroner’s findings reveal that Irene was murdered between 11am and 3pm, meaning she couldn’t have been Patience’s ghost. JB thinks Irene was definitely the first ghost, but not the second. Seth tells them that blue paint was found on the body.

Over at the hotel Rick is preparing to leave town, not wanting to be found an accomplice to murder, but Gordon tells him if he leaves he won’t get a cent of the book’s profits. Rick tells Gordon that he’d better hope that no one finds out who Irene really is.

While Doctor Overman conducts an interview saying that the Tahune girls were either victims of a curse or practitioners of the dark arts themselves, JB goes to see Mildred, who says she called Irene at around 1:30 to tell her she was adding Irene’s name to the deed on the house. Irene was so moved by this that she cried.  Adam walks in, with the Sheriff wanting to know where Mildred was at the time of the murder. She says she was at the library from open to close, and Adam agrees, saying he was there most of the day doing rewiring.

JB finds Jonas the taxi driver down by the water, looking sad. He tells her that they’d planned to spend the whole day together, but that Irene had decided she was jetlagged from the flight and wanted to sleep. This seals it for JB who goes straight to Mort but he’s just found out Dr Overman is a fraudster from way back and is off to arrest him for the murder. JB tells him that there’s no way Irene is Mildred’s sister, because you can’t get jetlag travelling from Arizona to Boston to Portland like she did. (I dunno about this, I get sleepy flying 45 minutes from Melbourne to Launceston but that might just be me). She’s convinced Irene was in the employ of Rick Rivers and Gordon Fairchild, sent to drum up publicity for the book. They are interrupted by the arrival of R L Pearson, a lawyer representing the estate of Mildred’s uncle who has come to deliver Mildred’s inheritance.

“Oh yes, the apple farm.” Says JB.

“Correction, the former apple farm.” Says RL. It’s now an industrial park and a shopping mall with an estimated value of 5,227,000. Now THAT’s a honeymoon.

They all troop down to the library to deliver the news to Mildred. It turns out that her real sister and aunt died in a flu epidemic many years earlier. RL assumed she knew, he’d sent her a letter outlining what he’d found out. Back at the station Mort is trying to goodcop/badcop Rick Rivers with Deputy Floyd, but is getting nowhere until JB arrives with the news that Rick had purchased the barn from Simon Greerley the day of the fire. Worried he was being made the fall guy Rick tells them that Irene was really Annie Gorman, an out-of-work actress employed to help promote the book. When she backed out, after feeling guilty at what she was doing to Mildred, Rick took over the role but didn’t kill her. Mort is set to arrest Gordon, but JB has suddenly remembered something and goes back to the barn to check it out. Theory confirmed, she lures the killer into her trap and catches him that night, looking for the evidence she claims he left before the police find it.

You guys, I wanted so badly for it to be RIVERS OF DEATH or BILL MAHER OF DEATH but alas it was not to be

You guys, I wanted so badly for it to be RIVERS OF DEATH or BILL MAHER OF DEATH but alas it was not to be

In a depressing twist, Adam found out about Mildred’s upcoming inheritance and decided to marry her so he could get his hands on it. Not cool dude.

But lets not dwell. Let’s instead go forth from this place thinking about Bill Maher in drag singing the back catalogue of 80s girl bands.

Until next time.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

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