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S01E22 – Funeral at Fifty-Mile

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It’s the season finale this week Fletcherfans! JB is in Wyoming for a friends funeral. A minor scandal is caused when a man liked by noone – Carl Mestin – turns up with his Barbie doll wife, but noone thinks any more of it.

Back at the ranch there’s a storm a-brewin’ and tumbleweed a-tumblin. It’s okay though, because Our Heroine is getting stuck into the dandelion wine.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

The local sheriff who prefers to be called marshall comes over for a chat, and informs Jess that he read one of her books…it was “not up there with Mickey Spillane, but darn good for a woman”.

Jess accepts this compliment with good grace.

Jess manages to not punch the marshall in the face.

She notices that the marshall wears his holster tied down for a quick draw – he offers to demonstrate but she politely declines. (I am assuming that this is all code for penis).  She asks him if he’s had to draw his gun on anyone before, and he says no, but when the time comes, he’ll be ready for ’em to “make my day!”

WORD.

Meanwhile Mary Carver (daughter of the late lamented Jack), her uncle Tim and her father’s friend Sam are having a chat about the ranch. Tim announces that his brother was going to leave the ranch to him, which is news to Mary, but Sam points out that there is no will anyway so there isn’t anything anyone can do for the time being.

Incidentally, remember this guy. We’ll see him again in a season or two.

For now, he’s Sam Breen Attorney-At-Law. But we’ll see him again soon.

They are rudely interrupted by the arrival of Cowboy Ken and Barbie, who are waving a piece of paper around and announcing that Jack left the ranch to them. Needless to say this causes a bit of a ruckus, and Mary’s fiancee Art Merrick steps in to defend her honour. Peace restored, Mestin goes to get a drink and JB wanders over for a chat. Mestin tells her he thinks Jack left him everything because he saved Jack’s life in Korea.

Oh, says Jess. Then you must have known my husband, Tom Fletcher?

Sure, says Mestin. Good guy.

LIAR! LIAR! JB’s husband’s name was Frank, as we all know. I call shenanigans on the Cowboy Ken and Barbie show.

As the storm from the set of Dracula moves closer, the manly men of the ranch batten down the hatches, including Cowboy Ken who has just lost an arm wrestle to Cowboy Barbie. (Not code).

See, not code.

The storm clears and Art gets a lift back to the house from one of the ranchhands Jesus (who is listed in IMDB as Hay-Soos. Really?), after he got his truck bogged in the storm. Before he can sit down and have some soup though, Jesus comes running from the barn. Cowboy Ken is hanging from the rafters.

The sheriff is called, and he’s less than thrilled that they left the body hanging like that. Jess apologizes, saying she did that because she figured he’d want to see everything undisturbed. While the marshall stares at the body and ponders, Jess asks the Doc how many murders the marshall has investigated. Naturally, it’s none. Armed with this knowledge Jess manages to guide the sheriff into realising that it was no suicide, and that he had a blow to the head as well as being strung up.

That night, the sheriff sits everyone down for a little chat. Subtly prompted by JB, he demans to know where everyone was at the time of the murder. Tim Carver, Sam the lawyer, Bill the friend from the army, and the Doc all alibi each other. Mary was sleeping, Emma the maid was cleaning, Cowboy Barbie was having a nap in the RV and JB was in her room “getting rid of jetlag,” aka downing bottles of dandelion wine.

JB mulls on the fact that none of the women have an alibi, but the sheriff has moved on. He’s decided there can only be one answer – Art is the killer.

Jess makes her views obvious.

The sheriff goes to find Art trying to unbog his car, and arrests him. The next day, Sam goes in to try and get him released but the sheriff is drunk with power and says no. Not even the combined badgering by Sam and JB is enough to make him change his mind, and he storms off in a huff.

Art tells Jess and Mary that he overheard a conversation between the sheriff and the coroner – apparently Cowboy Ken did die from hanging, and the blow on the head came after which is the opposite of what the Doc said happened. Jess decides to pay him a visit at his surgery but he’s out. She does manage to find out from his receptionist that the Doc threw Cowboy Ken out of his office for snooping around in his files. MYSTERIOUS.

Later that afternoon the sheriff finally sees sense and releases Art. JB congratulates him on a rare moment of intelligence. He asks her who she think did it if not Art, and she enigmatically suggests that the sheriff challenge Cowgirl Barbie to an armwrestle. He does so, and gets his arse kicked, but he agrees with Jess that she was certainly strong enough to hang her husband. Cowgirl Barbie takes umbrage to this and declares that the sheriff and JB can “suck eggs”. Oooo-kay?

That night, Our Heroine wakes up to find a hangman’s noose outside her window. She’s positively delighted! She’s making someone nervous!

The next morning, the sheriff arrives at the ranch to arrest Cowgirl Barbie, much to Mary Carver’s delight. Unfortunately JB steps in again – it turns out Cowboy Ken and Cowgirl Barbie were never actually married, so she gets nothing out of the will. The sheriff agrees, and Cowgirl Barbie rides off into the sunset in her RV.

While Mary and Art go and retrieve his pickup from where he left it, JB goes for a little walk in the barn. She has a feeling she’s solved this case.

Of course she has.

Kinda obvious, huh?

It turns out that Cowboy Ken was an absolute creep who used to work on the ranch until he raped Mary’s mother…and so was Mary’s real father. Charming. Totes got what he had coming to him.

The men admit what they did, and tell Jess that they will go to the sheriff and come clean, as long as she doesn’t tell Mary the truth. She agrees, and they leave the barn.

There you have it, Fletcherfans! One season down, eleven more to go. Season 2 is on its way, so stay tuned for more Murder, She Blogged mayhem, hijinks and double entendres.

Until next time, dear reader.

S01E21 – Murder at the Oasis

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Apologies for the delay, Fletcherfans! It turns out the Murder, She Blogged typewriter is very much like Melbourne’s public transport system in that it freaks out when it gets hot.

This week Our Heroine is back on the road, this time catching up with an old school-friend who has tickets to her ex-husband’s tennis tournament. You know, that old story. I can’t imagine why he’s her ex though…

There’s a lot going on here…

Or maybe I can. In any case his name is Johnny Shannon, his kids hate him, and he has upset the local Mafia representative. I can’t imagine any of these being a problem…

It’s not all bad news though – he has his very own minion, who travels with him everywhere. An Amos to his Jessica, if you will.

For some reason, I’ve started humming ‘All The Single Ladies’.

Johnny and his jester-friend are on their way to meet JB and Peggy Shannon, who are reminiscing about their shared hatred of brussel sprouts while watching a John McEnroe wannabe spit the dummy out on the tennis court. Jess can’t help but notice that said dummy-spitting man is a bit of all right.

You know what I love about tennis? The double entendres.

They are soon joined by Johnny (the jester and the bodyguard/Hulk relegated to another table) and by Peggy’s daughter Terry, who doesn’t stick around long – she’s got a hot lunch date with He-Who-Thinks-He’s-John-Macenroe. It’s obvious she’s only doing it to spite her Dad, and has a great old time watching him get into a shoving match with El Dummy Spit. Only the convenient arrival of the local constable calms everyone down.

Later that night, Johnny’s jester comes down to his study to deliver a ‘glass of milk’ (actually, it looks like it is just milk…huh) but finds the door locked. While he bangs on the door, his son Mickey runs to find his sister – who is in her bedroom with El Dummy Spit. Nudge nudge wink wink say no more. Lou the friendly bodyguard/Hulk breaks the door down and they find Johnny more dead than ususal.

The next morning JB and Peggy go to comfort the recently bereaved. Except Terry, who’s gone to the tennis club to suggest that El Dummy Spit gets out of the country before the po-po start knocking on his door. At least I think that’s what she’s saying. I can’t hear her over her necklace.

Seriously though, what is that?

Back at the house, recently relocated from Chicago Lieutenant Barnes (previously only known as The Constable) informs Peggy, Mickey and JB that he’s on the case, since there is no homicide division. Mickey suggests that JB help him out, but JB humbly says that her occasionally exploits are grossly over-exaggerated. (Liar!). Lieutenant Barnes says he doesn’t mind though – JB has covered the subject of murder fairly well in her books, even if she isn’t always accurate.

For insulting her honour, JB considers punching him in the face.

He takes her down to the scene of the crime, where they quickly establish that there was no way someone could have snuck in via security. THE CALL KILLER CAME FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! They are interrupted by Buster-the-Jester, who tells them that Lou is out on the patio trying to kill Mickey as payback for Mickey killing his father. Lieutenant Barnes deftly handles the situation by shoving Lou into the pool.

According to IMDB, you will know Lieutenant Barnes from such things as 30 Rock and Grey Gardens.

The reason for the confusion, it seems, is that Lou saw Mickey going into the den and obviously 2 + 2 = 5. Mickey explains that while he did go into the den he came out of it again, and at no point did he shoot anybody. I believe him – he’s starting to remind me of Grady.

Peggy comes running up to inform everyone that Mickey didn’t do it and admits to sneaking El Dummy Spit in through the service entrance. This is enough for Lieutenant Barnes, who demands to know where El Dummy Spit is. Peggy admits to giving him money to get out of town, but Lieutenant Barnes doesn’t give up that easily.

Our Heroine asks Lou where he was when Johnny got shot. Apparently Johnny told him to get lost, which is code for having a girl over according to Buster. Lou says that this is impossible, since he didn’t have a name to call down to the security gate.

Ah, says JB. Which is short for, “But what if it was someone the guard knew by sight? Someone who might have been married to Johnny once upon a time?”

Back at the tennis club, Peggy admits to ‘paying her ex-husband a visit’, if you know what I mean. She swears she didn’t kill him, and her children didn’t either. Jess apparently accepts this and talk turns to Johnny’s enemies, of which apparently he had a few of. Like Milo Valentine, the friendly neighbourhood Mafia guy.

Hanging out in Lieutenant Barnes’s office, JB sketches out her mob hitman theory, and he agrees. He seems convinced that El Dummy Spit is a tennis player by day and a mob hitman by night. Which is a genius set-up for a television show, and you’re welcome TV land.

Back at the house, Terry overhears Buster on the phone trying to get in touch with said Mr Valentine. SUSS.  JB arrives in a taxi (and says to the taxi driver “Thank you for a lovely ride!”). She goes to visit Terry who tells her about overhearing Buster on the phone to Mr Valentine. JB notices a video tape missing from Johnny’s collection and Terry says it’s from the camera over the billiard table. Johnny used to film himself ‘playing’ so that he could ‘correct’ his mistakes. I bet he did.

Lieutenant Barnes arrives, and wants to know what JB’s doing there.

“Taking care of business,” she says sweetly.

Seriously though, she’s the best.

Turns out Lieutenant Barnes just wants Mickey’s statement. They’ve found El Dummy Spit making a break for Mexico.

Having his ass busted on the border, El Dummy Spit is hauled back for questioning. He insists that he didn’t kill Johnny Shannon, and that Terry did. JB quietly suggests he might want a lawyer, and the interview is over. Peggy, Mickey and Terry head home, accompanied by JB who has some unfinished business to take care of.

Out on the patio, JB grills Buster on his phone call with Milo Valentine and he admits to calling, but only to make sure there was no hit out on him. This is just like The Sopranos, probably. Buster explains to Jess that Milo got Johnny started in show business, but when he got famous Johnny resented being told what to do. One night, to clear the air, Johnny had Milo over for a friendly game of pool.

Aha! That explains the missing tape! SEE HOW IT ALL COMES TOGETHER. JB has it all figured out. The killer had two assignments – kill Johnny and steal the tape. More than that, she knows who the killer is.

I’m glad she knows, because I didn’t see this one coming.

Sigh. Can we trust no one in this crazy world?

I liked the Lieutenant of Death, right up until he pointed a gun at JB and said “You’ve won a prize – a trip to oblivion!” It turns out he’s a cop by day, mob hitman by night. The opposite of Batman, if you will.

Before things get too out of control Jess hollers and her posse come running.

There you have it, Fletcherfans. Another case neatly tied up by our heroine. Stay tuned for the season finale next week!

Until then, dear reader.

See you next week!

PS – I’ve made a Facebook page for Murder, She Blogged. Go and like it, and enjoy the random pictures that people send through!

S01E20 – Armed Response

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I can’t believe there’s only two more episodes left in season one. My how crime flies! (See what I did there?)

After putting Amos back in his place last week, JB is on the road again, this time to Texas, to testify on behalf of a fellow writer accused of plagiarism. Which is ironic, because 75% of the characters in this episode feel like they’re plagiarising every Texan stereotype ever invented.

Take for instance, this guy.

On his way to audition for Dallas. (Probably not true)

Milton Porter is the defence attorney in charge of the case, and meets JB at the airport. Before JB can get too overawed by Milton’s hat she is knocked to the ground by a herd of wilderbeast kid.

Anybody else think that’s a man?

Despite her less than elegant trip to the ground Our Heroine maintains her composure, even as Milton shuffles her off to the Samuel Garver Institute while salivating with glee over the lawsuit he’s going to file over the airport. What a top bloke.

At the institute JB is tended to by George Clooney Doctor Garver, who informs her that she’s fractured her leg and then leaves her to get plastered (heh heh heh) by his minion, Dr Ellison. He tells her to let him know if there’s any pain or swelling, and JB agrees, saying “Oh, I’m no hero.” SUCH MODESTY.

Now, meet my new favourite character (apart from JB obviously).

“Isn’t it great how they treat us here? Cigarettes, bourbon, sex…gone!”

Sadie Winthrop is who I want to be like when I get old. Actually screw that, I want to be like her now.

JB gets wheeled back to bed but not before running into Dr Garver’s other minion, Dr House Kenyon. Ugh, are you as bored as I am right now? Somebody better should code blue, or turn into a zombie or something. Anyway, Dr Ellison and Dr Kenyon hate each other, as encouraged by Dr Garver. You know, that old chestnut.

Meanwhile, Our Heroine takes care of business.

So far this has been the highlight of the episode.

Also taking care of business is Dr Sam, who is having a shindig at his house, where all his douchey friends come and hang and be douchey. It’s here we find two of the most completely redundant characters in the history of television having a fight about I don’t even care.  Here’s a screencap so you can share my pain:

For the record, his name is Billy Don, and if you want to imagine her voice, think Mimi from the Drew Carey show on helium and from Texas.

Remember that time Leslie Nielsen was on a boat? And that time Jerry Orbach was a private dick? Those were the good ol days…

Dr Garver excuses himself from Dumb and Dumber and answers the phone. It’s JB’s nurse, asking to run some tests on another patient, Barney Ogden. He flips his lid, and orders her to never contact him again. Seriously, am I victim in this episode? I’ve never been so bored.

Back at the hospital JB is on the hunt for big game a cup of tea, when she hears Elison and Kenyon having a brawl. Since she still doesn’t have a murder to solve, (HINT BLOODY HINT), JB settles in with her cup of tea to listen to the fight.

Haven’t seen this much excitement since that time JB scratched the inside of her cast with a comb

Back at Garver’s place there’s an alarm going off. FINALLY. The security guard goes to take a look and spots the nurse driving in the opposite direction. At the house he finds Dr Garver swimming with the fishes (in his koi pond). IT’S ABOUT BLOODY TIME.

The next morning JB and Sadie are tucking into some apple flapjacks. Sadie asks for coffee but is told that Dr Garver told Dr Kenyon that she was only getting carrot juice from here on in.

No wonder he ended up dead…just saying…

Word gets through that the Doctor has ceased to be, and Marge the head nurse goes running in tears, which is kind of how I feel about this episode to be honest.

JB goes back to her room where she finds a stripper policeman. The first time I watched this episode I swore it was the spitting image of Dave Hughes but I realise now that this was because it was 1am and I had just consumed half a block of Haighs Caramel Fudge.

Most definitely not Dave Hughes.

Lieutenant Hughes Jenkins needs help. He’s just been transferred from the bad side of the tracks and has no idea how to deal with these rich lunatics. Can JB give him a hand?

I think it’s the accent…

Any hopes that the arrival of the lieutenant would make this episode a little less boring are soon dashed when they go to the late Doc’s house and spend a stupid amount of time talking about alarms and the fact that the doc’s keys were outside. Not even the arrival of Batman himself is going to make this episode okay.

It’s not long before Ray has a suspect in mind – JB’s nurse Jennie. JB calls shenanigans on this and enlists Captain Litigation to get her out of the police station. Ray reveals that he’s found an answering machine tape in which he tells the Head Nurse to get rid of Jennie. JB says BIG FREAKING DEAL, DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM.

I”m paraphrasing a bit. This episode is giving me nothing.

JB decides to do a little reenacting CSI style, and gets Ray to fire blanks (heh heh heh). She concludes that there were two shots fired that night, one to kill the Doctor and one to mask the time of death. Ray concedes this point but arrests Jennie anyway after a Helpful Tip leads him to discover the murder weapon in her locker.
Our heroine immediately goes to visit Captain Lawsuit to get him to take on her case.

Milton being a little bit less handsy than usual.

Of course, when Dr Kenyon turns up and offers to pay for it he’s positively delighted at the thought.

JB goes back to the hospital to see her buds Sadie and Barney – those crazy kids – and while she watches them argue over gin she has a startling thought. 2+2 doesn’t equal 5!

Sigh. I’m not going to drag this out any longer.

Are you as underwhelmed as I am?

The doctors got sick of Garver trying to make them fight to the death (which frankly would have improved this episode no end), so they took action.

So there you have it. And if you’ve made it this far in the episode, I congratulate you. I’ve watched it twice now, and I maintain JB scratching her leg with a comb was the best bit of it. Let’s hope next week Amos is back with his comedy ‘policeman’ routine.

Y’all come back now, y’hear?

S01E19 – Murder Takes The Bus

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We’re back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans, and not a minute too soon. JB’s giving a speech at the Maine Sheriffs Association Dinner, and Amos is such a hurry to hear her speak eat til he explodes that when his car breaks down he doesn’t stop to dwell. It’s time for a roadtrip!

Yeah, it’s hard not to get excited about a bus trip with Amos Tupper, amirite?

Now just between you and me, I feel like this bus may be doomed. For one thing, there was some definite Psycho-related music playing when they departed Cabot Cove. For another, one of those old guys who sits on porches and predicts storms predicted a storm, and it turned up – even if it did look like it had just walked off the set of a Bela Lugosi movie.

Not to mention LOOK WHO’S ON THE BUS!

It’s just like the movie Speed in every way except reality.

True story: when Blanche from the Golden Girls first appeared I was so busy singing ‘Thank You For Being A Friend’ that I lost track of what was going on.

While Amos keeps everyone entertained with his impressions of the Fonz snoring, the bus pulls up outside a prison. Somebody is celebrating their release by catching the Bus Of Death, which is apparently now being followed by the Sportscar of Doom.

This can only end well.

Up ahead, the Cabot Cove equivalent of the SES pull them over to tell them that the storm has knocked the power out and that the road may not be open for much longer. The Sportscar of Doom doesn’t bother with such things as Helpful Information, however, and jets off into the night. The Bus of Death decides to take its chances.

I really want to go to Maine and catch buses everywhere now, which is of course what the writers of this episode intended.

Further along up the road the Sportscar of Death has inexplicably crashed in the torrential rain. The driver flags them down and gets on the Bus of Death. JB can’t help but notice the massive bulge in his pants…oh, it’s a gun.
The bus driver discovers he has bus trouble (no kidding?) and pulls over at the Kozy Korner Kitchen, which is horrifically offensive to my sense of spelling, and not as funny as Curl Up and Dye.

Inside, I finally realise why Blanche’s husband seems really familiar – he’s Major Frank Burns from M*A*S*H. Also, he’s a statistics professor and about as much fun as you’d imagine.

What we really need is a Golden Girls/ Murder, She Wrote spinoff. And by we, I mean I.

It turns out that all is not well in Golden Girls/M*A*S*Hland, and it’s only some sage advice from the Old Guy Predicting Storms (“Only a fool grows ulcers over something he can’t control,” – Life Lesson #33)

While Amos grumps about looking for the menu, Our Heroine notices the husband of Exorcist girl fighting with the recently-released mystery man on the bus but is soon distracted by Amos ordering apple pie with a slice of cheddar and some black coffee. (Me, I would have ordered apple pie with cream, ice-cream and custard, but I’m sure cheddar cheese is just as good).

The bus driver comes back inside to dry off, and JB goes back to the bus in search of her book. Instead, she finds the recently-released prisoner is now recently deceased.

Thank you very much, I’m here all week, Try the veal.

Jess immediately notifies the authorities (Amos), and he takes it pretty well considering his chances of winning the TV set from the Sheriffs dinner are fading. (Remember when TVs were called TV sets? Yeah, I’d forgotten that too). Clues at the crime scene are sketchy at best – his suitcase is missing but they find his wallet, which confirms he’d been a guest of the state up until that night – he’d been in for 15 years for armed robbery with two other men, one of whom died along with a bystander, and the other got away. Any further investigation is halted when Blanche gets on the bus, sees the dead body and swoons like a pro.

After a good strong cup of coffee Blanche dials down the hysterics, and with some gentle nudging from Our Heroine, Amos quizzes everyone on who they are, where they came from, and how much they like pie. Or something. At first Mr Exorcist denies speaking with the dead guy, Jess calls him out on it but he clams up. The driver of the Sportscar of Doom says he is a jewellery salesman, which is why he has the gun. The old coot and the sea-captain deny knowing anything about the dead man, and the bus driver (who in his spare time is the Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) says he was so busy trying to fix the bus he didn’t notice a thing.

The mystery! It deepens!

JB takes a leaf out of an old book and hits up the video games

And so the inspiration for ‘Video Games’ by Lana Del Ray was born. Probably.

No closer to finding the killer, Our Heroine and Amos go and take another look at the bus. Jess notices that the dampener switch is on, causing Amos to flip out with excitement and scurry off into the night. Nope, I don’t know why.  JB scurries in the other direction, and finds the late lamented’s suitcase out in the rain. The Exorcist Girl’s husband comes out and helps her bring the case inside, and comes clean on what he was fighting with the dead guy about – his father was the third partner who was killed the day of the robbery, and he wanted his father’s share of the money taken in the heist. But, when he realised what a pathetic loser the dead guy was, he just walked away. He shows Amos and JB a newspaper clipping that had all the information of the dead guy’s release. JB notices that the bystander killed in the crossfire of the robbery has the same surname as the bus driver.

Amos then informs Our Heroine that he knew who the killer was a half hour ago.

JB has been out of the Cove too long, Amos has forgotten who the boss is…

Amos announces he’s placing the culprit under citizen’s arrest – at first the suspect tries to deny it, but then he confesses!

I’m not comfortable living in a world where Amos solves cases before JB does.

He staged the bus break-down in order to avenge the death of his daughter who died during the robbery. Case closed.

And yet…JB announces the bad news. The dead guy wasn’t killed by the screwdriver. He was already dead. There was nowhere near enough blood for him to have been stabbed.

Amos magnanimously concedes defeat.

That’ll teach him to forget whose in charge around here.

Back to the drawing board, and still without a phone line (those poor souls. Whatever did we do before smartphones?) Ralph-the-cafe-owner suddenly remembers the CB radio out the back. Amos and the jewellery store guy go and check it out, while M*A*S*H guy, old coot and Husband of the Exorcist play a game of blackjack to pass the time. JB notices that the jewellery guy has left his suitcase of expensive things on the table. Can’t be too concerned about security then!

As usual JB is right. He’s not a jewellery salesman he’s an investigator sent by the bank’s insurance company to try to recover the missing moulah. JB accepts this, and after a bit of a think goes back to the bus to search for more clues. This time, without the added distraction of Blanche swooning all over the place, she manages to find the dead guy’s book and overcoat. She takes them back inside for a closer look, but the power finally goes out. Amos and Ralph get on the task of starting the backup generator.

Then a gun goes off. Natch. Someone has tried to shoot the investigator, but only got him in the arm. The CB radio wasn’t so lucky.

Amos conducts a search of the stranded passengers, but the gun is missing. Not only that, but the book is missing too! JB is nobody’s fool though, and retrieves the book from Blanche’s knitting bag – turns out Blanche knows how to spot a rare first edition. But why stop there? JB pulls a safety deposit key out of the book and asks  the Sea Captain if that was what he was looking for.

Ah of course. The sea-captain, who has said about five lines of dialogue in the whole episode, is the third partner, the one that got away. But he didn’t do it either.  Then Jess apologises to Amos – he was right the whole time.

Mr Bus Driver, it turns out, killed the dead guy twice but only admitted to the second one, knowing that the evidence would acquit him eventually.

Of course, he didn’t count on Our Heroine. Or the fact that Amos Tupper would get something right, albeit accidentally.

And on that bombshell…

Until next time, dear reader…

S01E18 – Footnote to Murder

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I’m sorry to say it Fletcherfans, but we’re still not back in the Cove – JB is in New York, accepting the US presidency the Nobel Prize, an award for crime writing. While I am desperately sad that the Cove doesn’t feature in this episode, it does start with a man roller skating in the rain, which gives me an excuse to show you this video:

Before she accepts her award, JB meets her friend Horace, a poet who looks like a cross between Rick Moranis and Neil Gaiman (just think about that one). Horace is hanging out in a diner bemoaning the lack of booze/cigarettes/women in his general vicinity, and writing crap poetry that includes the line “Cupid’s turgid rights neglected.”

Let the record show that Our Heroine gave this line the reaction it deserved.

This line was later used in Fifty Shades of Grey. Probably.

JB and Horace aren’t the only people in town for American Idol X Factor the literary awards. Hemsley Post (who in his spare time is the voice of King Triton in The Little Mermaid according to IMDB) is in town to host the awards/tempt people with his penis new book. This news is received with great interest by Tiffany the assistant award manager (who finds great penises literature ‘stimulating’) and with indifference from Hemsley’s ex-wife, who just says ‘SHOW ME THE MONEY’.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, a man with a carton of milk called Frank Lapinski is very interested to learn that Hemsley Post is in town to host the awards, and pays him a visit in the bathroom of the opening night reception. Someone’s not very pleased with Hemsley’s incessant talk of his penis new book.

Holy crap, they’re called the Gotham Book Awards! IF THERE IS NO BATMAN IN THIS EPISODE I’M DEMANDING A REFUND.

JB and Horace aren’t the only winners of the Gotham Book Awards, or the Batties as I’ve just decided they’re called. Also attending the awards are Adrian Winslow, who is in fact Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch.

I KNOW RIGHT!?

Completely irrelevant side note: apparently he was second choice for Mike Brady after Gene Hackman turned it down. Gene Hackman. Just consider that one for a minute.

On their way into the awards ceremony Our Heroine and Horace are accosted by Batman Debbie Delancey, a young lady desperate to show off her tits short story. Horace is more concerned with the application of his mouth to as much scotch as he can find, but Jessica being the Incredibly Magnanimous Human that she is offers to read it for her.

Inside the party Winslow/Brady is chatting to Lucinda Lark, who has written ‘Woman Unleashed’ which presumably is the 1985 equivalent of Fifty Shades of Grey. Meanwhile, Hemsley’s little friend Tiffany has just burned Our Heroine and Horace.

I’m pretty sure Tiffany knows not what she does, mainly because she’s a complete bimbo. JB should set her up with Grady.

Shaking off this outrage, JB grabs a drink and settles in to watch a bitch-fight between Hemsley and Winslow/Brady, while Horace works his turgid magic on the 50 Shades of Unleashed lady. If ever there was a match made in heaven…his tugidity is interrupted by Hemsley looking for someone to talk about his penis book to. Horace tells him he couldn’t finish his book due to the terrible grammar, and Hemsley thanks him for his constructive criticism by punching him in the face.

JB steps in to referee.

I’ll be honest, I’m starting to fall in love with Horace a little bit…

After a good scolding from Our Heroine the two brawlers go their separate ways.

The next morning, JB discovers she has Hemsley’s umbrella (nothing suss), and goes to return it. When she arrives at his hotel room she discovers a D.A called Comstock, a lieutenant called Meyers, and Horace’s sword umbrella shoved in Hemsley’s chest. This’ll take some explaining, methinks.

The DA seems more preoccupied with big-noting himself than actually solving the case so JB gives the lieutenant a hand in searching the room. By the way, does this lieutenant look familiar to you?

Recognise him yet? I’ll explain this pic in about two seasons time. Or you could just Google Ron Masak, if you can’t wait that long.

A search of the room brings up a key to a room not in this hotel and a lipstick smudge on the bed. Looks like Hemsley got to show his ‘book’ off after all…they also find a signed copy of Fifty Shades of Grey Woman Unleashed, and a pair of glasses. What they don’t find, however, is Helmsley’s manuscript. Curiouser and curiouser! Done with making phone calls to as many TV crews as he can think of, Comstalk-Codswallop throws Jess out of the room, but not before putting the mystery glasses in her handbag. He’s a bright one, that Codswallop.

Someone tips him off that the umbrella belongs to Horace and the key belongs to Tiffany aka She What Snubbed Our Heroine, and so the DA drags them in for questioning. Tiffany admits giving Hemsley the key so he’d come round and show her his penis manuscript, but says he never showed up. Horace admits that everything is a blur after he got to the hotel bar. I think everything is a blur for him all the time, to be honest.

D.A Codswallop decides he has heard enough and has Horace arrested for murder. Our Heroine takes umbrage a this and lets loose a tirade that I’m pretty sure was the inspiration for this speech last week. Nobody arrests JB’s drinking buddies and gets away with it! This means war, Codswallop! Luckily for Horace the presiding judge only has eyes for hos not bros, and he’s let off the hook, for now, anyway.

JB is on the hunt for the person who left the lipstick in Hemsley’s room and rules out Tiffany and the ex-wife. She runs into Horace in a revolving door, allowing a NEVERBEFORE SEEN REVOLVING DOOR JOKE, before she drags him back to DA Codswallop’s office to make sure he’s not a fugitive. Codswallop himself is interviewing the author of Fifty Shades of Grey Woman Unleashed, and enjoying it a little too much.

And where the bloody hell is Batman anyway?

Unfortunately for D.A Codswallop, Our Heroine interrupts any shenanigans he might have been planning with the safe return of a terrifyingly sober Horace. His hopes are further dashed when it turns out that Ms Unleashed spent the previous night in Horace’s bed. With Horace.

Wait, maybe Horace is Batman?

Horace safely off the hook, he informs Jess that he’s pretty sure he didn’t kill anyone and invites her out for a night of partying with the cast of Jersey Shore (might have made that bit up).

Jess has no time for jelly shots now.

Worst Batsignal ever. I’m starting to think these so-called Gotham awards are nothing but lies. DAMN LIES.

Jess leaves Horace to it, and pays a visit on Frank Lapinksi – he who had the milk carton and bailed up Helmsley in the bathroom. He deftly avoids her questions. Shifty much? JB discovers the second pair of glasses in her bag – too many mysteries to solve at once! Get the lady a scotch already! She alerts Codswallop to the general shiftiness of Frank, and getting the usual non-reaction, goes to see Brady/Winslow.

WAIT, MAYBE MIKE BRADY IS BATM-…no, that’s just silly.

Actually, I think I’m starting to fall in love with Brady/Winslow, he’s so bitchy and he sounds like Ian Holm! He puts his money on Alexis-the-ex, but JB isn’t convinced. After a brief roadblock in the form of Debbie Delancy, JB pays Tiffany another visit but despite her lie about where she was the night before, JB agrees that she didn’t do it.

Meanwhile in Brooklyn Codswallop pays Lapinski a visit, and Lapinksi Labolts out of Lawindow, before getting La-rrested anyway. It turns out Hemsley Post had claimed Lapinksi’s penis manuscript as his own, and Frank was understandably miffed. As they cuff him he admits that he was the one that did Hemsley in, and he’s proud of it, and he’d do it again! (Paraphrasing).

Of course, we reject all mysteries not solved by Our Heroine, and this is no exception. After finding THOSE glasses in her bag again, and seeing Horace model them for her, Jess has an inkling of an idea of who the killer might be. She gives Horace money for the cab and scarpers for the optometrist.

And by cab I mean batmobile. Oh who am I kidding, Batman’s not coming is he?

A quick trip to the optometrists, and it’s as JB feared. But not me, because I’d forgotten all about her.

Yep. Life Lesson #32 – only meeting someone for 30 seconds doesn’t mean they haven’t bumped somebody off.

Ugh. Really?

I MEAN COME ON. First you lure me in with promises of Batman, and now the chick who gives JB a short story to read just happens to be Frank Lapinsky’s brother? That’s what you’re going with?

Debbie D informs Jess that she’d had no intention of killing Helmsley, she’d just defended her womanhood after Hemsley got a bit too eager to show her his manuscript. And by manuscript I mean penis.

Well, that’s something I’d believe. But that’s brought us to the end of a Batman-free episode of Murder She Wrote. OH MY GOD, MAYBE AMOS IS BATMAN!!??

See you next week, Fletcherfans!

 

S01E17 – Sudden Death

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Our heroine still hasn’t made it back to the Cove, and I for one am having serious Amos withdrawals. How on Earth is the town coping in JB’s absence?

To be fair, JB isn’t doing too badly outside the Cove, even though she’s at the funeral of her great-uncle Cyrus

Catching the bus from Happy Vale Retirement Home to the Home of Eternal Rest = HILARIOUS METAPHOR

At which funeral she is accosted by her great-uncle’s attorney, Bosley Brad Lockwood.

Fact: for a long time I thought Bosley and Amos Tupper were the same person. In my defence, I was probably drunk. (I don’t know who I thought Howard Cunningham was)

It turns out the old boy has left JB some shares in a Mystery Company, and is eager to get her signature on some documents. Our Heroine is no slouch though, and refuses to sign. Why the hell would she? She’s just inherited shares in a football team!

A football team? You know, that’s very exciting Mr Lockwood. (pause). I think I’ll just take a look… – JESSICA FLETCHER

Sidenote: here’s what I know about American Football – nothing. And when I don’t know/understand/care about a sport I happen to be watching (which is usually rugby) I apply Australian Rules football rules to it in order to make sense of it/fake an interest. So, if in reading the rest of this post you think I may have missed some of the finer points of American Football, that will be the reason.

Anyway.

Jessica hurries to the stadium to checkout her latest arses assets, but is rudely interrupted by a giant helmet on wheels (not code):

If I had a dollar for every time I was nearly run down by a giant helmet on wheels…

The helmet-mobile is being driven by an 8-year-old deaf girl and someone who turns out to be the Kardashian step-father in real life, thereby answering something I’ve always wondered about – what exactly does a Kardashian do?

Kardashian-man apologises for nearly running Our Heroine over (and for inflicting his stepdaughters on us all (lol j/k no he didn’t) and they cruise off into the sunset in their Helmet-Car-of-Wonder. Meanwhile, JB interrupts an incredibly helpful scene where the owner of the team, Phil Kruger reminds himself who else works there by yelling at them loudly and including their job titles – Lockwood-the-lawyer, Patillo-the-coach, Dillon-the-equipment-manager/token-black-guy and Mason-the-defensive-captain/Ron-Swanson-lookalike.

Kruger is less than thrilled to see someone with a vagina walking into his office, but takes it all back when he discovers that Our Heroine holds the balance of power in the ownership stakes. Phil immediately throws everyone out and takes JB on a tour of the facilities, mostly so he can offer to buy her out. JB is flattered, but not interested. Undeterred, Kruger offers to pick JB up later that night and take her to the player party being thrown by local man-about-town Web McCord (not kidding. WEB MCCORD!)

Back at the hotel JB is accosted by Coach Patillo, who offers to buy her out. JB is delighted at having so many men throwing money at her, but she declines. Later, when Kruger picks her up he throws some more money at her, but JB holds out. She’s got no interest in business discussions, or keeping track of who’s going where right now – she’s at a party dammit!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single party in possession of a large amount of alcohol must be in want of Brendan Fevola.

Alas, Kruger is not having such a good time, what with being dead in the bathtub at the stadium. The local constabulary arrive to do their thang, and an early favourite for Most Likely Suspect is established – they think the Kardashian did it. (Impossible, as Kardashians don’t do anything).

JB is at the scene, flexing her owner muscle (although sadly not literally, because that would be amazing). The detective quickly changes his tune when he realises she’s the owner and agrees to everything that she says, but he’s still convinced that Zack Kardashian Dude, even more so after they find his watch in the bathtub. They pick him up, but he protests his innocence. He had his reasons for killing Kruger, but he’d rather keep them to himself, and more to the point he claims someone broke into his locker and stole his watch.  Meanwhile, Bosley is on the phone to Charlie Kruger’s almost-ex wife, telling her to get back into town and claim her money.

JB heads to training, and promptly starts a melee on the field with her presence, in which her probable new boyfriend the defensive captain is knocked out. Oops. Undeterred, she steps over him to find out from the coach what Zach’s no-cut contract meant. (Turns out it means that even though he’s injured, he still gets paid. Sweet deal huh?) Still on the trail, JB goes to see Dillion the equipment dude who is hanging out in the locker rooms. Soon after the team arrives, including JB’s new probable boyfriend, who is without pants and a little embarassed.

It takes a little while for JB to notice the unexpected penis, but she gets there.

Turns out he was pleased to see her.

JB quickly departs the locker room for the shooting gallery (can someone say METAPHOR?) where she finds the football commissioner, the investigating lieutenant and Web McCord shooting clay pigeons. They are all convinced of Zach Kardashian’s guilt, but JB isn’t giving up just yet. She goes back to the arena to hunt for clues – sneaking past the worlds worst security guard to do so – and breaks into a locker to prove a point. It all goes a bit wrong when she is locked in the sauna by a Mysterious Gloved Hand, but Mr Dillion the equipment dude comes to her rescue. Rather than be scared off, JB is delighted! She’s on the right track!

To celebrate, she heads to the track to catch up with her probable new boyfriend and Ron Swanson lookalike, and engages in a bit of light stretching, if you know what I mean.

*insert inappropriate joke here*

Still without a suspect, she goes to visit Zach Kardashian again, wearing her Serious Neckerchief.

Life Lesson #30 – To show you mean business, wear a neckerchief.

It turns out that their daughter, the deaf girl, is adopted and that someone suspiciously Kruger-sounding was making threatening anonymous phone calls, suggesting that the adoption wasn’t strictly legal and that he would report them to the authorities.

JB takes time out to call Amos and make sure she hasn’t left the back door open (not kidding), and is about to jump in the bath when she is rudely interrupted by the commissioner, who wants to suss out Jess’s chances of selling her stock to Web McCord. Jess politely throws him out, but not before she learns of the existence of Mrs Kruger, who Bosley was on the phone to earlier.

A hot bath and a good night’s sleep later, JB goes to pay Mrs Kruger a visit, not bothering to worry about things like permission. Life Lesson #31 – Open door = open invitation. Upstairs she discovers that the bathroom carpet is soaking wet (but doesn’t appear to be concerned that the bathroom is carpeted. These wacky rich men and their wackiness). While she mulls this over, a shadow ninja threatens to shoot her…

BEST SHADOW PUPPET EVER.

…but it turns out to be the devastated widow of Kruger, and by devastated I mean dollar signs for eyeballs. She very helpfully calls the police, and  the lieutenant pops in to give his two cents worth. It is agreed that Kruger was probably killed here, but who could have done it? Every single person in the world had a motive, so how could they prove it?

Stumped, Jess is hanging out in the locker-room before the big game (LIKE A BOSS), when she notices a cork board filled with photos from the party. She notices that a certain somebody has changed jackets halfway through the night – because the first one got soaking wet in a bathtub, perhaps?

Damn straight. One disguised phone call later and JB catches the killer with his hand down the drain.

I told you Kardashian’s don’t do anything.

The man with the terrible name had hatched a plot to gain total control of the football team, and get Zach Kardashian off the team in the process. And he would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for that meddling JB.
To celebrate, JB does a lap of the field in the helmet car – something I have now added to my list of things to do – and says goodbye in the traditional Cabot Cove manner.

Peace out dawg.

Until next time, dear reader.

S01E16 – Tough Guys Don’t Die

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Exciting news Fletcherfans! This week’s episode is a tribute to film noir, which is one of my favourite things in the world, so as fitting tribute I solemnly swear not to use the colloquial term for a detective anywhere in this post. Promise.

I am pleased to report that this week JB is back in the Cove at last, finally. She’s at home doing research on an old murder that she’s thinking of using as the plot for her new book. She engages the help of a private dick detective – Miles of Miles and McGrath Dick Detective Agency, who calls her to let her know he might have found something, but before he can act on it, someone turns up at his office and shoots him in the chest.

This represents a major bummer in JB’s plot outline, but it’s good news for a few people who have found themselves under investigation by Mr Miles, including a construction chief named Santini, and a fashion magazine editor named Priscilla.

JB is unaware of all of this of course. She’s at home, looking out of her window at a mystery man parked outside her house. She decides to spring a trap and rides off on the Fletchermobile (bike, to you and me). The mystery man makes his move and breaks into her house, but naturally Our Heroine has snuck back in to see what he’s up to.

But it’s not a mystery man.

Every time it cut to a new scene in this episode I made ‘doink doink’ noises to myself. Then I giggled. True story.

It turns Lenny is actually the McGrath in the aforementioned dick detective agency, and he is out to avenge his partner’s death. Wait on, isn’t this the plot of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Anyway, Lenny tells JB that his partner has been blown apart by a 44, and that he was bird-dogging three cases, including Jess’s. No, I don’t know what bird-dogging means either but it sounds rude.

Horrified to think that her case might have been responsible for Miles’s death, but mainly to get more info on this mystery clue he’d found, JB goes to see his widow. Meanwhile, Lenny takes over the surveillance on Santini  from his associate dick detective Ray Kravitz. Now THERE’S a shady dude if ever there was one. No wonder his wife thinks he’s “dipping in someone elses tub” (Lennie’s words). Santini eventually makes his move, and while the saxophone blares in the background Lennie plugs his bumper tails him through the mean streets and down a dark alley way, until some of Santini’s minions auditioning for the Village People object and beat the crap out of him.

Lennie wouldn’t have put up with this crap in Law and Order…

The next morning Lennie is in an understandably cranky mood, which is not helped by the arrival of his new partner, one JB Fletcher. So excited is he, that he humbly suggests that JB use her boundless energy to take up needlepoint or bridge. She explains to him that needlepoint and bridge are precisely the reasons whe she started writing – she was bored out of her mind.

“Well I’ve read your book,” says Lennie, “and I was bored out of my mind.”

Sorry, I had to…

Shrugging off Lennie’s slanderous insult against her honour, JB goes to the police station to see if she can lend her talents to solving the case. Instead she discovers that the police are quite content to let Lennie take care of this one.

Speaking of which, Lennie’s doing some dick detective work of his own – the kind that involves hats.

Lennie puts his thinking cap on… (Ergh, I annoyed myself with that one)

He pays a visit to Priscilla, Editor of the Magazine, but has to wait – she’s already seeing someone else. Someone Jessica shaped… After agreeing to write something for the magazine, Priscilla invites JB to a party the next night to celebrate the magazine’s anniversary. JB is delighted, but not as delighted as she is to see Lennie’s cunning use of hats…

Later that night, Lennie breaks into JB’s hotel.

I THINK WE ALL KNOW HOW THIS ENDS…

Despite his gruff exterior, Lennie is slowly warming to Our Heroine. He gruffly offers to let her see his files in the morning. AND BY FILES I THINK YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

LIKE A BOSS

Disappointingly, they go through the files the next day. It turns out noone knows who hired them to investigate Priscilla, or to what end. Jess suggests that Lennie gets the tape that records his partner’s murder analysed – it could be that he isn’t just gasping his last breath, he could be outing his killer. Lennie declares he’s not up for this scientific shineola (???) and says he’ll solve it his way. I think we both know who’s going to come out on top in this one guys. And by come out on top, I think you know what I mean.

Jess goes to party like it’s 1999 with her new bud Priscilla and in an AMAZING COINCIDENCE meets the judge involved in the trial she was researching for her book. He’s not as enthralled with Our Heroine as he should be and gives her the cold shoulder. Jess tries to suss out what Priscilla knows about the dick detective investigating her past, but Priscilla claims ignorance. Clearly, she’s lying.

The next morning she shares her dick detective work with Lennie. Priscilla hired Miles to look into her past, to see if he could find anything that could hurt her in a political campaign. They decide to split up and look for clues, a move straight out of the Scooby Doo Big Book of Detecting.

JB visits Miles’s widow again, who has helpfully found the clue he had mentioned before he died. JB jumps on a bus and heads to Sheffield, Vermont (population 879 for those playing along at home) to see if the murder twenty years ago is the reason why Miles has ended up an ex-dick ex detective. Turns out, no. Crossing that mystery off her list, JB heads back to tell Lennie what she’s discovered.

Before too long they’re on the road again – Lennie’s associate dick detective has just been shot at while staking out Santini the supposed wife cheater. The bullets match those they fished out of Miles and Lennie Loses It.

While Lennie pounds the streets in search of justice, JB goes back to the office to try and see what she’s been missing. Literally – she finds a page has been ripped out of Priscilla’s file, and instead of having a nice cup of coffee with Lennie’s secretary, she goes running off into the night. Priscilla reluctantly admits that she is being blackmailed – someone has found out that she had an abortion in her youth.

Armed with this new information JB goes to see her policeman friend, but they are rudely interrupted by Santini depositing a groggy Lennie on the steps.

JB doesn’t know what to think of this

It turns out Lennie got a bit overeager in his pursuit of Santini, but in the end it was to no avail – he wasn’t cheating on his wife, he was building a boat for his wife. Not code. That rules out their only other suspect, and despite Lennie’s superior dick detective skills, he’s stumped. Not Our Girl though. She’s on the case and she knows who the killer is…

Sorry, couldn’t help myself…

Dazzled by JB’s dick detective work, Lennie offers to drive Our Heroine back to Cabot Cove. And by drive her back, I think you know what I mean…

Cheers!

 

 

S01E15 – Paint Me A Murder

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Disclaimer:

I’m going to be honest here guys. I didn’t like this episode. Maybe it was the fact that Our Heroine only turned up ten minutes in, or maybe it was the extensive use of Killer Cam/fade outs/soap opera directing, but I just wasn’t a fan. As a result, this weeks blog may not accurately depict the events that take place in this episode. I’ve, erm, improved it a bit. My humble apologies…

Jess still hasn’t made it back to the Cove. I worry what Amos is doing in her absence…anyway, this week she’s been invited to stay on the island of her friend Carlos Diego Santana*, a famous painter who is turning 60 and inviting his son (drug addict), wife (trophy), his ex-wife (pianist), a random British policeman (random), an art gallery owner (lord),  a charity worker (Princess Diana), and Willard the playwright (Robert Goulet).

Side note: Everything I know about Robert Goulet can be seen in this video. Also, here’s a picture:

It’s the neckerchief that really seals the deal for me…

Side side note: the English policeman is being played by Ron Moody, who played Fagin in the movie of Oliver! I’m pleased to report in this episode he pickpocketed a tray of snacks at least twice.

The party weekend does not get off to the best start – everyone is fighting with everyone, the trophy is almost having an affair with the island’s resident sculptor, and someone accidentally-on-purpose shoves a stone vase off a rooftop, narrowly missing Diego while he roams the outdoors serenading the moon with his guitar.

Also, the zombie apocalypse breaks out. **

Into this maelstrom of murderousness (and away from the zombie menace***) flies Our Heroine, intent on seeing out the zombpocalypse on Diego’s island stronghold. Alas for JB, the zombie menace has somehow followed her, and Willard is overcome by zombies while fishing in the surf. ****

Willard is flown off to the mainland to avoid contaminating the other guests/receive treatment, escorted by Diego’s son Miguel, who seems rather eager to be on the mainland. I suspect he’s secretly a zombie-killing maniac, bent on avenging the death of his mother to the zombie hordes. I could be wrong though. After Jess settles in, Diego fills her in on his suspicions that someone is trying to bump him off, and not just the threat of the undead. He enlists her to investigate.

It’s not long before she’s hot on the trail of the zombies/killer. Up on the rooftop she finds cigarette butts, a matchbook and Inspector Clousseau Henry Kyle, who pumps her for information, if you know what I mean. They engage in a battle of detective wits, after which it emerges that the only person who could have pushed the stone vase off the roof is Willard the playwright. A call to the hospital establishes that Willard is expressing all the symptoms of a heart attack/mauling by the hungry horde, and that Diego’s son Miguel is MIA. Presumably killing swarms of the undead.

Diego doesn’t believe any of it, especially the zombies. He asks JB and Inspector Rex Henry to keep a lid on their suspicions, which Jess agrees to reluctantly.

Callin’ it like she sees it, yo.

Diego has more pressing matters, like showing off his crossbow (not code for penis, as it turns out). Apparently his son Miguel is a dab hand at the ol’ crossbow, probably from his many years hunting the undead on the mainland. While Diego strokes his crossbow, JB and Inspector Lynley Henry have a pow-wow: it turns out Willard has been buying up Diego’s paintings for the last few months, despite having absolutely no money. That’s a nifty trick.

Now, a brief moment as we bask in JB Fletcher’s audition for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

Seriously, I want this jacket. Internet, make this happen for me.

Later that night, we see (via the benefit of Killer Cam), a mysterious gloved hand go and retrieve the crossbow from its place on the wall. Clearly someone knows the zombies are coming, and is preparing their defense.

The next morning, Jess is out on her morning constitutional when she sees a boat pulled up at the beach. THE ZOMBIES HAVE GAINED NAVIGATORY TECHNOLOGY. THE END IS NIGH!!

Also, Diego gets shot and killed by a crossbow wielding bandit. Tough break. And to make matters worse, someone (zombie)  has smashed up the radio, preventing them from contacting the mainland. They are all alone, trapped on the island with at least one killer zombie on the loose. Sir John the gallery owner and the sculptor go off to find the missing crossbow, but JB has got more pressing concerns. Like the boat.

Jess and Henry go to check it out and find a mystery man trying to hightail it out of there. Henry and JB’s stunt double retrieve him from the water.

Life Lesson #29 – ALWAYS send others into the water instead of you.

But ye Gods! It’s not a mystery man, it’s Diego’s son Miguel! And he’s got a garbage bag full of Diego’s paintings! WHAT IS THIS? Diego explains that he needed to sell the paintings to raise money for his ongoing zombie genocide/give money to his junkie girlfriend******. Sir John doesn’t believe him.

Jess has other things on her mind. Like sand raking.

Deleted scene from The Walking Dead

Jess is convinced that Willard’s heart attack/zombie mauling was not as it seemed, and was drug induced, in an effort to throw suspicion off the fact he tried to toss a stone vase at Diego. The Inspector is not so sure, but before he can say so Sir John comes a-running. The resident island sculptor has, rather helpfully, legged it.

As the horde of the undead descends on the island******** Jess is woken by the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. Also, the back shed is on fire.

Jess hightails it to the scene, closely followed by everyone else. Henry discovers Diego’s wife Margo collapsed in the shed, and rescues her before the zombies can get their rotten hands on her. The same can not be said for Diego’s paintings, alas.

JB quizzes Margo on what happened.

Indeed.

They have narrowed the suspect field down considerably. Sir John is convinced that the local sculptor did it, but Margo tells them how the sculptor is actually a Hungarian dissident on the run from the Reds, and had nothing to do with it.

Seriously, I feel like I’m watching Passions or something now. In any case, JB’s got her eyes on the prize. Willard tried to kill Diego but failed, so he faked the zombie/heart attack and got out before his partner could dob him in. The same partner who did Diego in…

This image was not digitally altered in any way…*coughs*

And so ends the (practically) true story of how JB Fletcher solved the case and averted  total zombie-geddon.

See you next week, dead dear reader.

*Diego Santana is being played by Ceasar Romero, who was The Joker in the original Batman movie. I mention this because a) the original Batman movie is freaking amazing and you should watch it, and b) I know someone reading this will appreciate this fact. In fact, here’s a photo.

**Not true.

***See above footnote

****Actually it was a heart attack.

***** There is absolutely no evidence to suggest this isn’t true.

****** This is actually true.

******* Also, night.

S01E14 – My Johnny Lies Over The Ocean

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Alright Fletcherfans? This week starts off on a little bit of a downer, but hang in there because I’m going to make your day.

This week, Jess goes to the aid of her niece Pamela, in a sanotarium and recently widowed after her husband Johnny committed suicide. We also get to meet JB’s brother Marshall, who is a surgeon. (Fun fact – JB’s maiden name is McGill. You’ll thank me when this comes up in a pub trivia night). I am pleased to report neither Marshall nor Pamela are as lame as Grady.

Awwwwwwwww!

To take Pamela’s mind off her troubles, Jess books them on a cruise. What could possibly go wrong? Along with JB and her niece on the cruise are a husband and wife team and two crazy ladies in their forties, both of whom I will no doubt turn out to be like.

About five minutes into the cruise and Pam is in tears again over her husband – she tells Jess that she never knew her husband’s secrets; his money troubles or the fact that he was adopted. Ever the sensible one, Jess calms her down. Pam gives her Johnny’s suicide note to read but before she can do so, there’s a knock at the door.

(I know, this is all very serious. Stick with me kids okay?)

Right, so, knock at the door – it’s Ramone the steward bearing an outrageous Italian accent and a bottle of champagne. The accent is for Our Heroine, the champagne is for Pamela with a note from her dead husband wishing ‘Pepper’ bon voyage.

AWKWARD.

At dinner time, and the two forty-something ladies are bribing maitre d’s so that they can sit near an Oklahoma Cattle King (which I’m assuming is some sort of code for Sex God).

Every day that I don’t own that pink outfit is a day without sunshine.

While they hustle in on the cattle dude, Jess and Pam are about to have a quiet dinner, despite the interruption of the husband half of the husband and wife team I mentioned earlier.  Despatching them with aplomb (as opposed to a plum, which would have been amazingly awesome and a little weird), Jess eyes off the local hot nerd as potential fodder for her niece.

Life Lesson #26 – there is never a bad time to hook your niece up with a hot nerd.

Life Lesson #26, there is never a bad time to hook your niece up with a hot nerd. Pamela accuses her aunt of trying to fix her up, to which Jess is horribly affronted/distracted by the hot nerd.

I have no caption for this still. I mean, look at it.

Matchmaking to the side, JB ready to order some grub before Pam freaks out again. Someone has slipped an added dish onto the menu – her late husband’s favourite and a dish Pam invented.

MORE AWKWARD.

While Pam goes to lie down, the Fletch gets on the case and goes to see the bursar, to find out who sent the champagne. The bursar, who looks like she’s auditioning for The Love Boat, tells her that the champagne was ordered anonymously by someone on board the boat. JB takes a look at the note, and the handwriting is almost match Johnny’s suicide note. Could it be that a Murder She Wrote/X-Files crossover special isn’t just a figment of my imagination. Jess goes back to the cabin to make sure the champagne isn’t poisoned.

Life Lesson #27 – It’s important to be thorough.

Meanwhile, Pam is out on deck taking in the air, when she starts to hear the voice of her dead husband. She goes to investigate, and is pushed down the stairs. I hate it when ghosts do that. Superman comes to her rescue and takes her to the ships doctor for a checkup, and to be interrogated by the ship’s captain.

Interogated? Surely you can’t be serious?

I’m awarding myself a million points for this.

LESLIE NIELSEN IS RUNNING THIS MOFO! LESLIE! NIELSEN!

Alright, I’m calm. Even though all I want to do now is watch Airplane, and Dracula Dead and Loving It, and Naked Gun, I’ll continue.

Jess fills The Captain in on the shenanigans taking place on his ship. He is aghast, but JB has a plan. Because she only booked the cruise at the last minute, they can narrow down the list of suspects to people who booked after she did. BRILLIANT. The Captain fishes out his list, and discovers that narrows the field to just 12 suspects. Handy! Fortunately for everyone on board, Leslie Nielsen is much better at taking orders from Jess than every other person in the history of the show, and so he agrees to have one of his men keep a close eye on Pamela for the rest of the voyage.

And by keep a close eye, I think you know what I mean…

Insert Seamen joke here.

Pamela doesn’t greet this news with the excitement I would Jess hoped for. “Relax!” She tells her niece. “Enjoy him!”

JESSICA FLETCHER YOU ARE MY HERO.

Despite the constant temptations of Officer Morely and Superman, Jess has a case to solve. Smoothly leaving Pamela in the care of Superman, with Officer Morely tagging along behind, Jess goes to make some enquiries. It turns out that Johnny’s birth mother made contact right before he died, but they never met. She calls her brother and gets him on the trail.

Working on this theory, Jess has four suspects on board the ship – the two women I mentioned earlier, the wife in the husband-and-wife team, and the purser who is auditioning to be on the Love Boat. With a narrow suspect list, our heroine should be able to wrap this one up in no time, leaving me to go and You Tube clips from Airplane! right?

Well, maybe, if she hadn’t been accosted by Ramone the steward, who was very disappointed not to see JB at the dance the previous night. He begs her for a dance tonight, and offers to show Our Heroine his hoochie-cooch.

Is hoochie-cooch code for penis? Have your say in the comments…

Not to be distracted by Ramone and his hoochie-cooch, JB barrels on. Pamela is still doing laps of the boat with Superman, but their romantic stroll is cut short with a page for ‘Pepper’ to go to the bursar’s office coming over the loudspeaker. This is the final straw for Pam, who marches into the office and demands satisfaction an explanation. Instead, she receives a telex from Johnny, saying ’til death do us part’.

Her response I think is a fair one. She passes out. (I thought about it, actually. I’d forgotten telexes even existed. Yay 80s technology!)

Putting Pam safely in the hospital bay, JB and the Captain decide to play Good Cop/Bad Cop on the bursar to see if she’s Johnny’s birth mother. It all comes to nothing, as it turns out that she was trying to get on the cruise to get away from her boyfriend and his wife.

Ahem.

It wasn’t a total waste, actually. Ramon informs the Good Cop/Bad Cop that the secretaries (and my fashion heroes) are having lunch, but Doctor Reed, the fourth suspect is not in her room. As he leaves, he rubs his moustache at Jess. Is that his hoochie-cooch?

I think we all know what THAT means…

Drunk on his role as Bad Cop, The Captain is pumped to go and interrogate the two ladies having lunch, but after some ego stroking and downright flattery, JB manages to go alone. Alas, the secretaries are a bust too – they are only on the cruise after their boss threatened to take their leave away if they didn’t use some up. Now there’s a story I recognise…wait, where was I?

Right, so, with the secretaries striking out, Jess is left with Doctor Reed. After running into her husband George in the dining room, they go back to the cabin – only to find her full of booze and sleeping pills. Also full of death.

Case closed? I can go and watch Naked Gun right? Doctor Reed had all the incriminating evidence in her suitcase, and a phone call from Marshall confirms that she was Johnny’s birth mother.

Case not closed. Jess has her suspicions about this George fellow. And when she catches him in a lie, about his wife’s photographic ability, her suspicions are confirmed. This was no suicide. And with absolutely no help from The Captain, she’s got to go it alone.

Later that night, George gets a knock on the door…

Life Lesson #28 – When all else fails, get shitfaced.

Our Heroine, apparently after testing all the champagne on the boat for poison, goes and confronts George directly. (Seriously guys, I have tried to find this scene on YouTube, but it’s not there. Trust me when I tell you that this is THE MOST AMAZING THING IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION).

Jess tells George that in the morning she is going to give police proof that his wife wasn’t behind Pamela’s stalking. PHWOAR THIS IS GETTING EXCITING. She slams the door on him and staggers off into the night, George in pursuit. I’m not entirely sure his intentions are noble…

After chasing Our Heroine along the deck, George finally makes his move. But, in a move The Rock would be proud of, JB flips him over her head and stands on his chest. Out of nowhere Pam appears and takes some photos, closely followed by…Jess? But then who is in the Dick Tracey outfit?

Expect Henry Cavill to do something similar in Man of Steel next year…

Like the true boss that she is, JB FAKED drunk in order to obtain information (addendum to Life Lesson #27), then swapped with Superman to get the proof that she needed that George killed his wife.

YOU’VE BEEN FLETCHERED, MOFO.

Another case neatly tied up by Our Heroine. I can’t believe I wanted this episode wrapped up so I could go and watch Airplane!

Speaking of which…

Later, Fletcherfans!

S01E13 – Murder to a Jazz Beat

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Apologies for the mid-season break Fletcher-fans. I got a bit caught up hurling abuse at Channel 9’s coverage of the Olympics before my Asia holiday, but I did leave you a present to tide you over. It’s underneath this post, so if you missed it check it out – it’s pretty amazing.

The good news is, JB is on another roadtrip! This week she’s heading on down to New Orleans to do some promotion for her book/get wasted in Bourbon St. Due to some plane trouble she’s running late, and despite her taxi driver’s best attempts to get her to wag and go drinking/sightseeing, Jess insists on getting to the studio to see her friend Jonathan Hawley.

Unfortunately for Jess, she’s two days early. Her bud Jonathan is delighted and takes her out for lunch in the French Quarter, where he coincidentally has a meeting.

Never stand between a mystery writer and her whisky. Fact.

Jonathan is there to meet Ben Coleman, a big-time jazz musician about to hit it big in Vegas, along with his minion Eddie and his manager Aaron Kramer. Amidst all the introductions and the mutual backslapping, Ben’s backup band appear – they’ve just heard that they aren’t invited to Vegas, and they’re a little bit pissed off. Ben gives them the cold shoulder and leaves, followed soon after by his manager who CLEARLY is in love with Jess after five minutes. Which is fair enough.

Later that night, Jonathan and JB hit up the Bourbon Street Barn to see Ben Coleman and his band perform before they leave for Vegas. Backstage, Eddie is hanging out with Ben’s wife Callie commiserating about the Evil Bastard that is Ben Coleman, and the man himself is having a scream-off with his manager. Does anyone else get the feeling that some shit’s about to go down?

The show begins, and Our Heroine is having a toe-tapping good time (literally. I wish I knew how to make gifs, but take my word for it okay?). A jazz montage ensues, but it all goes terribly wrong when Ben drops dead mid-blow. Awkward. A doctor appears out of the audience and pronounces him dead, but JB isn’t so sure – she’s convinced it’s poison. Apparently so is Ben’s wife Callie, who sneaks Bens cup of water into her handbag. SUSPICIOUS.

The NOPD arrive and the lead detective immediately declares JB’s theory a publicity stunt.

When will these detectives learn? FOOLS.

The detective orders them to be at his office first thing the next morning, before flouncing out. He’s soon replaced by Jonathan’s news director, who is delighted to hear that his network has a celebrity death on tape. (Insert topical joke here). Jonathan is outraged and follows him back to the station to have it out with him, leaving Aaron to escort Jessica back to her hotel, via a bar. Smooth move right there.

The next morning sees the footage of Ben Coleman’s death splashed across the news. Detective Douchebag has Views regarding this, but it turns out he’s wrong. A very hungover Jonathan arrives at the police station to tell them that he was overruled, so he quit. The Detective apologises, and reveals that Jess was right – it was iocane powder poison.

Jessica accepts her victory with good grace

 

That out of the way, the conversation turns to HOW. Naturally they all suspect the missing cup of coffee, so they decided to check out the rest of the footage from the bar to see if they can spot the culprit. Instead, they see Callie drinking from Ben’s cup. Theory blown. To make matters worse, the news director comes in and demands to know what the hell they think they’re doing. Jess informs him that she is taking her theory to his competitor and he freaks out. Later, she tells the detective and Jonathan that she doesn’t actually have a theory, he was just annoying her. DON’T MESS WITH THE JESS.

Naturally, a lady must always keep her word, so Jess hits the streets of New Orleans to find the poisoner. First stop is Ben’s former bandmates, but they know nothing. Outside JB runs into the band manager Aaron – who as it turns out is crap at band managing but great at smuggling things back from South America. He swears that he didn’t kill Ben. JB seems to believe him, but the Detective is less inclined and turns up to arrest Aaron at the viewing of Ben’s body. Man, this episode is getting me down. Where’s Amos Tupper when you need him? The detective is convinced that Kramer poisoned Ben’s clarinet reed, but tests later revealed that the reed was completely clean.

At the television studio, Jess and Jonathan are preparing to tape their segment when the news director wanders in. While he and Jonathan argue (again), Jess stares intently at the commercial being recorded on the stage, for denture cleaner. Then inspiration hits, and she legs it to St Charles Cemetery. She’s worked out who the killer is – and I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this coming.

Well this is just depressing…

It turns out that Ben’s loyal minion Eddie found out that Ben was going to kill his wife and took action. And that’s it. Man, I am so bummed out now. I think we should all scroll down for a video life lesson from Angela Lansbury to make ourselves feel better.

See you next week, hopefully with a much happier murder.

Til then, dear reader.

 

 

 

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