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S06E22 – The Sicilian Encounter

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It’s the season six finale Fletcherfans! Who thought we’d ever get here? (I was starting to wonder)

It appears this week we have been house-sitting for JB while she’s been in NYC doing her boss author bit.

It's been a long week.

It’s been a long week.

As JB goes through her mail for the week, she finds a letter postmarked Paris. It would appear her old pal Michael Hegarty has gotten himself into a spot of bother. Again.

Bookend time!

Welcome to Sicily, home of many Italian cliches and in this particular instance soon-to-be-married Claudia Carboni and Peter Baines are enjoying a bit of lunch while Peter is anticipating his siesta quite a lot.

There is a reason he looks familiar. More on that later.

There is a reason he looks familiar. More on that later.

Claudia is having no part of it. Her late first husband’s family will have no shame brought upon it and have sent a chaperone to keep an eye on proceedings. Peter is less than thrilled, but he only has to wait one more week until the wedding and then they can be on their way. Peter is eager to learn more about Claudia’s late husband’s business but she tells him all she knows is that he dealt mostly in cash. Peter is also curious to learn how her first husband died.

“Suddenly.” Says Claudia.

Why yes I did write that in Scooby Doo's voice, and thank you for noticing!

Why yes I did write that in Scooby Doo’s voice, and thank you for noticing!

After lunch they stroll around the park and discuss the Completely Miraculous Coincidence that led to their meeting, which turns out to have happened when Peter begged to switch seats on a flight from Boston. While they stroll, they progress is followed by a man watching from a nearby apartment.

Peter is overcome again but Claudia reminds him that the wedding is only a week away and that until she’s legally married to him – in a church, with a priest – that she’s still technically a threat to the family and so they need to behave. Their chauffeur/chaperone honks for them to hurry up.

As they depart, the watching man makes a note in his notebook. The door behind him opens and an extra from The Sopranos walks in. The watching man tells the extra that he’s got the wrong TV show room, but the other man pulls a knife. It would appear he has exactly the right room.

A short time later everyone’s favourite not-quite-Bond arrives and asks an onlooker what happened. She tells Hegarty that an English tourist cut his throat shaving – and that noone saw nothin.

Hegarty phones home to tell them that the plan has gone belly-up and that his business associate “caught a cold”, but his boss tells him his mission is ago. A package needs to be delivered to London and Hegarty has to make sure that it does. At this point I couldn’t tell you what is or isn’t code, but Michael has a picture of Claudia Carboni so she is the package or has the package or likes a good package if you know what I mean.

His boss hangs up, leaving Michael unexpectedly listening to Downtown by Macklemore.

#you'rewelcome

Why did I decide on Downtown? Because my Mum keeps calling Downton Abbey Downtown Abbey and my mind is a dangerous and confusing place.

Back at the villa, Peter is getting fitted for a suit or six, much to Claudia’s surprise/mild irritation. After the tailor and the maid depart, Peter tries it on again but this time they are thwarted by the sudden entrance of the guy who killed Hegarty’s associate just before. Peter tries to cover up his leching by telling the man Claudia rolled her ankle.

I wish I could pull this face. Well I can. I wish that it worked though.

I wish I could pull this face. Well I can. I wish that it worked though.

Claudia asks him what he wants (it turns out his name is Mario, obviously), and it turns out that her priest has arrived from Boston.

This can only go well.

This can only go well.

Hegarty introduces himself as Monseigneur O’Shaunessy, and tells Claudia that he’s been sent to represent the Boston chuch on behalf of her priest back home, who has come down with a cold. Father O’Shaunessy, it turns out, knew Claudia’s late husband from way back and wonders if her future husband is from the same parish. She tells him no, he’s from England and calls for Peter to join them.

DRAMATIC HEGARTY IS DRAMATIC.

DRAMATIC HEGARTY IS DRAMATIC.

Now here’s the thing guys. Hegarty recognises Peter Baines, and says he knew a man named Harold Baines which turns out to have been Peter’s brother.

Harold Baines was the spy who killed back in episode one of this season.

THIS WHOLE SEASON JUST GOT BOOKENDED.

(My reaction, after working this out, can be seen here. In this gif the role of me will be played by Orson Welles).

But wait, there’s more news – Claudia’s brother-in-law Gino is flying in to attend the wedding. Claudia seems less than enthused about this, but when asked O’Shaunessy says he knows Gino Carboni, he is terrible at golf.

Brushing off this sudden shock of seeing his former friend’s brother, (who amazing looks EXACTLY LIKE HIS FRIEND), Hegarty announces that he promised Father Flynn that he would hear Claudia’s confession as soon as he arrived in Sicily, and whisks her out into the garden. As they walk, Hegarty makes discrete enquiries about Peter Baines, and her relationship with her dead husband’s family but she assures him she don’t know nothing about nothing (paraphrasing). She is looking forward to the week’s vacation in Switzerland she’s going on with Peter after the wedding.

Hegarty next visits Peter Baines, who is busy scoping himself out in his new suits. Petper is curious to know how Father O’Shaunessy knew Harold but “Father O’Shaunessy” can’t remember the exact details just now. Likewise, Father O’Shaunessy is eager to learn more about Peter, but it is soon apparent that Peter is a bit of a ladies man, and presumably not after The Package.

(God. This is starting to remind me of the time my friend Rachel and I watched all of R Kelly’s ‘ Trapped In The Closet’ in one sitting. We were (and still are) very confused about that Package too).

 

Anyway.

Gino arrives, and is greeted with the proper Italian kissing and so forth. Inside, Claudia is summoned to greet her soon-to-be-former brother-in-law but declares him to be a fake while Gino declares Claudia is not his brother’s late wife. The stalemate persists until Father O’Shaunessy appears and declares that he’s met Gino Carboni and that this man, while having a seemingly legit passport, is no Gino Carboni. A gaggle of Sopranos carry the supposed Carboni away, leaving Hegarty and Claudia to size each other up.

Well this seems odd.

Well this seems odd.

Later that night, Peter Baines is out having a cigarette on the terrace when he sees Gino Carboni being escorted off the premises whilst being stabbed by Carboni henchmen.

s2

k1 k2

This is my face when I realise it's Monday morning and I have to go to work

This seems like a fairly open and shut case, now that I think about it.

Peter rushes inside to tell Claudia the news. He’s frantic, but Claudia manages to calm him down.

EVERYTHING IS HASHTAGS

EVERYTHING IS HASHTAGS MY BRAIN HAS STOPPED

Claudia reassures her future husband that as soon as they’re married and have been to Switzerland to empty the safety deposit box they will never have to go back to Italy if they don’t feel like it.

Turns out the plants have ears. Or something.

I'll be honest, I just got home from my 3rd watching of Deadpool in a week, I don't know what life is anymore.

I’ll be honest, I just got home from my 3rd watching of Deadpool in a week, I don’t know what life is anymore.

On the other end of the bugline are the Carboni’s, who are most interested to learn that the safety deposit box is in Switzerland. Mario decides he will be the one to travel there, retrieve the boxes contents, eliminate Claudia and return to Sicily but his colleagues have been talking and they’re coming too.

Later, Mario finds Peter trying to calm himself with a fortifying brandy or twelve. He offers Peter a Cuban cigar and a cautionary tale about a man who ran away with Mario’s sister to Rome. “My poor sister.” Says Mario. “She becomes a widow before she’s even married.”

More brandy required.

More brandy required.

Down at the church the next day Claudia is getting a little fed up with her constant supervision by the Carboni family, but surprisingly Peter has gone cold on the idea. It’s only when O’Shaunessy offers to marry them on the spot that Peter brightens up. They go into the church, Hegarty improvises a vaguely accurate wedding ceremony and Peter seals the deal by kissing his bride. This rouses some suspicion with the chaperones looking on but Hegarty assures them that it’s practice. He tells Peter and Claudia to go and wait at the car, and once they go knocks out the two Sopranos extras and legs it, shouting a thankyou to the actual priest for letting him borrow the hall for a bit.

A chase ensues, with one of the goons hijacking a convertible and following Hegarty, Peter and Claudia to the local airfield. Thanks to some ace driving from Peter, who can also conveniently fly a plane, they escape the goons clutches and fly to Geneva.

This is all terribly factual. I do apologise.

On arrival at their hotel suite in Geneva, Peter promptly orders the hotel’s finest beluga caviar and champagne – “two glasses”, he adds.

His Holiness is not amused.

His Holiness is not amused.

Despite Peter’s attempts to say goodbye to Father O’Shaunessy, Hegarty parks himself on the couch. Claudia tells Peter to go and pick up some things from the hotel store. The door closes behind him and Claudia turns to Hegarty – “Alright Father – let’s talk turkey.”

It would appear that Hegarty’s priestly disguise wasn’t entirely cunning after all and Claudia has guessed that he is her MI6 contact. Hegarty agrees, saying that he would have revealed himself earlier but his associate had his throat cut which rather put a dampener on things. Hegarty is most curious to know why Claudia has acquired Peter but she says she is in love – and then confesses she just has him around for the muscle in case her former in-laws get uppity. Hegarty is also concerned about the in-laws – apparently they too have an interest in the package, which turns out to be a little black book of Mafia contacts that Claudia has pinched. Claudia tells him she doesn’t know what’s in the book and doesn’t want to know – she just wants the money, as agreed in their deal.

Peter returns and is less than excited to see Hegarty. When Claudia excuses herself to take a bath, he sees his opportunity to rush Hegarty out the door. He has no time for Hegarty’s priest bit, he himself has impersonated a priest before, but he doesn’t want Claudia to know that. Hegarty informs him that a)she already knows  and b)Hegarty is secret service, and until the transaction he and Claudia are conducting is concluded in the morning, Peter will be sleeping on the couch.

Peter is not excited.

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

Later that night Mario Carbone gets a phone call…from Claudia. She’s pretending to be a bank clerk confirming the time of Claudia’s appointment the next day.

PLOT TWIST YOU GUYS.

The next morning, Claudia wakes Peter from his almost-sleep on the couch to tell him…she is attracted to him. Weird. They commence making out horrifyingly energetically and only stop with the arrival of the recently-defrocked Michael Hegarty, who announces the car is waiting and the bank opens in half an hour. Peter informs them he is coming too, which Hegarty is against until Claudia announces she would prefer to have Peter there – she’s not sure she can trust Hegarty yet.

On the drive over Claudia notices that a car is following them but keeps that information to herself, while Peter ponders how much money he’s going to get his hands on. At the bank, Hegarty tells him to wait in reception while Claudia produces the key for the box. Inside the bank vault, the extent of the money is revealed, causing Claudia to do a fairly decent Sleepless in Seattle reenactment. In her excitment she drops some money on the ground, and while Hegarty graciously picks them up Claudia swaps the little black book in the box for one in her bag. WHAT THE HELL CLAUDIA?

As they leave the bank, the Carboni gang appear, guns drawn, demanding the book. But then some more people appear with guns and arrest the Carbonis. Hegarty rushes Claudia and Peter into the car and hightails it out of there. While Peter and Claudia are distracted, Hegarty sneaks the little black book out of Claudia’s handbag.

Back at the hotel the truth is revealed – Claudia is really Jennifer Page! Jennifer is working for the CIA! Jennifer is conveniently a dead ringer for the real Claudia Carboni!

Peter doesn’t take this news at all well. And neither does Jennifer when she discovers that Hegarty has swapped the black books back and has the real one. Hegarty leaves the two of them to sort out their feelings while he calls home to tell his boss the good news.

And that, Fletcherfans, is the end of Season 6. I AM OFFICIALLY HALF WAY. OH GOD I AM ONLY HALF WAY. This was such a good idea in 2012, but then the world was meant to be ending that year so I think I figured I’d be off the hook. God damn Mayan prophecies, always letting me down.

But I am curious – now that we’re half-way, what has been your favourite episode so far? I think mine might be “If It’s Thursday It Must Be Beverley” but it’s a tough call.

Let me know your thoughts, and stay tuned for season 7 next week!

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S06E21 – The Szechuan Dragon

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Happy Valentines Day Fletcherfans! Fun fact – St Valentine is also the patron saint of bee keepers, plague sufferers and epileptics so go down to your nearest apiary and hug an epileptic beekeeper today!

But before you do, let me tell you a tale. A tale of a  sea captain disembarking a ship in New York late one night. Out of the shadows a woman appears, ordering the captain to give something to her. He tells her he doesn’t have it. She says she knows he took it from the Cambodian five weeks earlier, and it’s hers. She pulls a gun. The sea captain whacks her with his shore bag and she is knocked unconscious. The sea captain picks up the gun, throws the bullets into the water and drops the gun back next to her. With a casual salute, he departs.

Back in her hotel room, the woman gets a knock at the door. That creepy guy from Titanic whose been in other things but is mainly the creepy dude from Titanic walks in, demanding the thing. She tells him she doesn’t have it, that the sea captain told her the Cambodian stole it from him five weeks earlier in Singapore. Which would be a lie, for those playing along at home. She also tells him that’s all she can remember.

“Except their next location.” Says the man. His bags are in his limo downstairs, where are they going?

“Maine.” Says the woman. “A place called Cabot Cove.”

Aha! Well, they have no chance pitted against the Dazzling Brilliance that is Our Heroine right guys?

I MEAN WHY

I MEAN WHY

It turns out that Grady and his rather pregnant wife Donna are in town to house-sit for JB while she’s in England to see her cousin Emma’s new show. Donna isn’t pregnant for another couple of months but Grady refuses to let her be out of the car. He asks Seth to take a look at her when he gets the chance, and as he hands over Jess’s keys Seth tells him he would be delighted. As Grady gets into the car, Seth tells Donna he can give her something to calm those nerves. Donna thanks him but tells him her nerves are fine.

“Not yours. His.” Says Seth.

BURN.

Grady and Donna arrive at House Fletcher and meet Jessica’s neighbour Connie Lewis, who has been watering the plants while Jess is away. While she gives Donna directions for tending the plants, her son Stanley roars up on his motorbike. Connie begs him not to park it where the whole world can see but he just waves and wanders off. Connie tells Donna and Grady that he’s hoping to buy a bigger faster bike but that she’s hoping the bank will reject his loan application. She leaves them to it, and while Donna tries to unpack and Grady decides his wife can’t possibly sleep upstairs (until she points out that’s where the bathroom is, right next to the guest room and MY GOD CALM DOWN GRADY) they are interrupted by a phone call. It’s Jess, checking in. Turns out Emma’s show is predicted to be a smash hit and the Royal Family will be in attendance. And it’s protocol for them to come backstage after the performance.

“You’re going to meet the Queen of England?!?” Says Grady.

GODDAMN RIGHT.

GODDAMN RIGHT.

Before she hangs up, she tells Grady that the phone number for Emma’s flat where she’s staying is next to the phone, and that there’s a blue envelope with a few hundred dollars in it for the plumber in the drawer in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, down in town, Carla Thyssen and Justin Hunnicut (the previously mentioned man and woman looking for the Thing) are sitting in their car awaiting the arrival of the sea captain off the bus from New York. When the bus arrives, and the sea captain isn’t on it, Justin is furious and thinks Carla has joined with The Cambodian to try and double cross him. She asks him why she would be there if that was the case, and anyway he was the one convinced he could work out who the sea captain was in town to see. Unbeknownst to the pair of them, the sea captain has arrived in town by hitching a ride on a truck and YOU GUYS HE HAS A WOODEN LEG THIS IS AMAZING.

100% PIRATE.

100% PIRATE.

Turns out the pirate is the brother of the mum in Happy Days. I think. I read this fact right before I had a nap so that might not actually be true.

Back at House Fletcher, Grady is trying to unpack but is distracted by Donna inadequately resting. (Another fun fact: having someone shout RELAX MORE at you does not help you relax.) When Donna tries to put an (empty) suitcase away Grady snatches it off her, almost smashing an ornament in the process. The ornament in question, a large ceramic dragon, is deemed hideous and relegated to the top shelf of the closet.

COULD THIS BE THE SZECHUAN DRAGON? Spoiler alert the answer is yes and now I want szechuan chicken.

COULD THIS BE THE SZECHUAN DRAGON? Spoiler alert the answer is yes and now I want szechuan chicken.

Grady goes off to do some grocery shopping and picks up some seafood down at the dock – coincidentally the same place that Stanley  Lewis works. As Grady leaves, a man turns to watch him leave – one can only assume he is The Cambodian.

Later that night, Donna is woken by noises downstairs. She wakes Grady up and finally manages to convince him that there’s someone in the house. She asks him if Jess might have a baseball bat in the house but Grady tells her she took it to London with her. (OK Grady.)

Without a baseball bat, Donna is forced to improvise.

BLOW WAVE OF DEATH.

BLOW WAVE OF DEATH.

Downstairs they find the source of all the commotion. It’s the pirate sea-captain, dead on the floor with a smashed lamp and a key next to him. Fortunately, Cabot Cove’s finest are on the case.

I would not watch that show. Or would I? (Nah, probs not)

I would not watch that show. Or would I? (Nah, probs not)

Grady is concerned that a) the broken lamp was Jess’s favourite and b)the whole sorry business is having a dreadful effect on Donna, but as usual Grady is wrong. Donna is having a lovely time reassembling a letter in a foreign language found in the sea-captain’s pocket and pouring coffee for the sheriff who has worked out a basic theory – it’s a burglary gone wrong so all they need to work out is who the dead guy is, who the dead guy’s partner is how any of them got a spare key to Hosue Fletcher, since according to Seth not even he has a key to Jessica’s house.

As they mull things over, the phone rings. It’s JB checking up on them all. Grady freaks but in a remarkably clever move tells his aunt that an old sea-captain looking dude “dropped in” but Jess doesn’t recognise the description. She tells Grady she’s sure he’ll pop in again if it’s important.

“No I don’t think so.” Says Grady.

Jess hangs up, leaving Seth to rant about how Jess never locks her doors when she’s home but as soon as she does, complete strangers turn up in her living room. We get it Seth, you want a key cut, calm your llama.

Over at the Hill House the next morning, Carla awakes to find Justin Hunnicut being A Creepy Dude.

Creepy Titanic dude is creepy.

Creepy Titanic dude is creepy.

He’s learned about the murder of the sea-captain on the radio, and tells Carla he popped by the previous night, but that Carla was out. He went down the beach looking for her but she wasn’t there either. Carla denies seeing the sea-captain or The Cambodian and what’s more she doesn’t have It.

“Not in this room.” Says Hunnicutt. ARGH SO CREEPY EW EW EW EW. He leaves, not before commenting on Carla’s taste in lingerie (EW EW EW EW). As the door closes, Carla picks up the phone and calls The Cambodian to ask where he went after their meeting. He tells her she has insulted him and asks if Hunnicut was responsible. Carla says to leave Justin to her.

Over at the Sheriff’s office Seth has just delivered his preliminary findings re: the sea-captain: death by whack on head with lamp by someone right handed. Mort is less than impressed with this news, as it doesn’t give him much more than he already had. Luckily Deputy Floyd is on the case – he has taken a look at the letter and recognised that it was in Greek, thanks to his days in the frat house at university. Both Seth and Mort are rather taken aback at this Floyd development.

HE IS SO PROUD OF HIMSELF

HE IS SO PROUD OF HIMSELF

Conveniently for everyone but mainly the audience, the shop-keeper where Grady bought his seafood happens to be Greek and he’s delighted to have a crack at translating the message, after a brief interruption from Stanley on his new motorbike with a delivery. Unfortunately for Mort, the letter appears to be nothing more than a holiday letter.

Over at House Fletcher Donna goes next door to borrow some shampoo from Connie when Grady gets a knock at the door. A phone repair guy has come to fix the phone. BUT IT’S NOT A PHONE REPAIR GUY IT’S THE CAMBODIAN! (Why doesn’t he get an actual name?)

While Grady babbles, The Cambodian stalks the house for the Th-can we all just agree it’s the damn dragon? Excellent. Anyway while he looks Grady says since The Cambodian has been in town for so long he must know his aunt Jess and read her books. The Cambodian agrees, says that JB is a fine woman and that her books are very instructive.

“Instructive?” Grady is horrified. “On how to kill people?”

The Cambodian neatly covers his mistake by going on a kung-fu rampage both glorious and destructive.

Now is it me or is Michael Horton grinning in this screencap? Because let's face it, holding a chair while the guy who designed fight sequences for Inception and Get Smart destroys it with his foot would make me grin too.

Now is it me or is Michael Horton grinning in this screencap? Because let’s face it, holding a chair while the guy who designed fight sequences for Inception and Get Smart destroys it with his foot would make me grin too.

Before the house gets reduced to toothpicks they hear sirens. The Cambodian leaves (sadly by opening the door and not by flying kick) and escapes. Seth and Floyd give chase but they return empty handed. Donna rushes in, saying she got worried when the phone repair guy didn’t have a van. Grady says he wishes he’d thought of that.

Later that afternoon, The Cambodian is on the beach (meditating? Thinking about cheese?) when he opens his eyes. Hunnicut is standing behind him. “Were you followed?” The Cambodian asks.

“No.” Says Hunnicutt. “Dear Carla doesn’t suspect a thing.”

Fast forward to the next day, when the plumber has come to check the plumbing and Seth has come to check pulses. Everything is working fine except Grady’s heart rate which is going at a million miles an hour. Once the plumber finishes, they discover that the envelope JB left them with the money has disappeared from the drawer. The killer!

Later that night, Donna is in bed looking at one of Jess’s photo albums when she makes a discovery – Jess’s Aunt Harriet is in a picture with the sea-captain! Grady gets on the phone to a sleepy JB who tells him that the man’s name was Herbert Malachi, an ex-boyfriend of her aunt who no-one had heard from in years. Jess gets suspicious when Grady starts innocently inquiring whether Jess owned any rare antiques or coins but tells her he broke the lamp. Happily for him the lamp was an old eyesore according to JB. Donna gets on the phone for a two second hello before Grady announces to JB they have to go.

I now present to you possibly The Best Screencap I’ve ever grabbed, that I feel sums up the JB/Grady relationship completely.

Also sums up my feelings about Mondays.

Also sums up my feelings about Mondays.

Grady can’t sleep though and goes down to get a glass of milk. Instead he rings Mort and tells him what Jess told Grady about the dead man’s identity. As Grady is about to go back upstairs, there’s a knock at the door. It’s Carla – her “car” has “broken down” and could she use his phone? As soon as she’s inside, the story gets better. Carla tells Grady that Captain Malachi was her father and her only family, that he died trying to retrieve his possession and would Grady help her?

Grady says of course. Well he tries to. Which is when Donna comes downstairs.

I feel like this might have happened before??

I feel like this might have happened before??

They hear a car scream to a halt outside. Carla thinks it’s Hunnicutt and begs them not to do business with him. She flees via the back door. Grady hides Donna behind a chair and arms himself with a poker but it’s only Mort and Floyd. Mort is interested in Carla’s story since he’s managed to discover that Herbert Malachi wasn’t a captain – just a disgraced former seaman who got busted smuggling art out of Burma. Moreover, the same World War 2 incident that cost him his leg also cost him his chance of making babies (Mort’s words, not mine).

Grady can’t believe he fell for Carla’s story.

Guys Donna is kind of awesome.

Guys Donna is kind of awesome.

Mort has decided the risk is too high, and appoints Floyd to stay at the house for the rest of the night, much to Floyd’s surprise.

The next morning, Donna wakes to find the house torn apart and Floyd tied to a chair with tape around his neck. Guys I think Jess really needs to reconsider her housesitters.

Mort takes Floyd to see Seth and get checked out but Seth pronounces him fine. The phone rings – it’s Jess. She’s worried about Grady and Donna but Seth assures her that they, the baby and her house are all fine. She asks him about Captain Malachi but Seth plays dumb on that point. It’s only when Jess starts telling him the story of her Aunt Helen, and the hideous dragon she left Jess in her will that Seth starts freaking out, tells Jess he has an emergency call and calls Mort. Mort, Floyd, Seth, Donna and Grady go to retrieve the dragon from the wardrobe but it’s gone.

Mort decides to get a second opinion on that letter he found. His hunch is correct – the letter isn’t about a cruise, it’s all about how much the dragon is worth. It would appear that Mort’s former translator, Nick, was less than accurate with his translating, and when they pick him up they find the dragon on him. Unfortunately though his alibi for the murder checks out, leaving them back at square one.  Seth has been to the library and has found out the long exciting history of the Szechuan Dragon, including the fact that it’s currently worth eight figures. The phone rings again – Jess in a panic. She can’t get hold of Grady, Donna or Seth. Mort tells her it’s fine, it’s just a murder. She demands information and Mort tells her he hopes she’s not at a pay phone.

Over at the coffee shop Donna is about to settle into an icecream sundae when she sees Carla sitting with the Cambodian and Justin Hunnicutt across the room. She marches over there and places the whole lot of them under citizens arrest, and when the Cambodian starts to grab her arm she screams the place down, sending a horde of teenage footballers to her aid.

Learnt that from her aunt. No question.

Down at the police station chaos erupts, but Mort shuts them all up. He returns to the phone and asks JB who he should arrest for the murder, but is surprised to hear the answer is none of them.

Life Lesson #59: When in doubt, phone a friend.

Stellaaaaaaaaaaa

Stellaaaaaaaaaaa

Oh Stanley. He who got rejected for a bank loan and got busted nicking JB’s plumbing money by a pirate. That old story.

But for now, I think it’s best we celebrate the fact that Our Heroine can solve cases via phone, and reflect on the fact that Grady is only in one more episode. Next week marks the end of season six, and the halfway point in Murder She Blogged, so to celebrate I think it’s time I tweeted another movie.

So! By the power vested in me, by me, I pronounce Murder She Blogged Epic Tweetathon Part The Third will take place on Monday, 14 March at 12pm Melbourne time. The film shall be Murder She Wrote: A Story To Die For.

Set your twitters to EPIC TWEET.

Until next time!

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E20 – Shear Madness

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Welcome to Fairville Texas Fletcherfans where the the sky is blue, the leaves are – green probably, and a bus has just arrived into town. Some people get off, including this guy:

Back to him in a sec

He arrives, he takes his suitcase, he tries to make a phone call. More later.

But frankly I’d like to talk about how this guy:

(This one is for the boys with the boomin systems)

YEP.

Grew up into this guy:

Frankly I don’t know how I can continue with this, but I will do my best.

While we all dwell in this new reality where Joseph Gordon Levitt was once in Murder She Wrote, Our Heroine is helping her cousin Ann Owens Arden prepare for her upcoming wedding to Bill Spenser, renowned bad boy turned good. Or so says Ann’s sister.

Sorry Doris. You aren't the best cameo in this episode.

Sorry Doris. You aren’t the best cameo in this episode.

While Ann gets coffee ready for the rehearsal dinner, Helen and Jess take her dress and things upstairs, laughing when Jess forgets to skip the squeaky step. You guys, I think this might come up again later. Jess remarks that nothing in the house has changed, and apparently apart from getting a new fridge, nothing has.

Helen tells JB that she will be moving out once the marriage happens, she refuses to share a house with Billy Spenser. Jess thinks he can’t be as bad as all that, some youthful scrapes but nothing serious. Helen tells her Billy was the wildest boy in town with never a dime to his name. Jess says that’s obviously changed now that he spent 15 years making his fortune in Alaska. Helen conceeds that Billy doesn’t have the gambling debts of Anne’s last fiance, but he’s bad news and wrong for Ann. DEAD WRONG.

PROPHETIC STATEMENT IS PROPHETIC PROBABLY.

Speaking of the devil, Billy arrives and is delighted to meet the famous cousin Jess. He’s just sorry that his future brother-in-law George is too unwell to attend the wedding. Jess is surprised to hear this, she thought Ann had said that George was getting better, but Ann quickly says overall the doctors are encouraged but he couldn’t attend. Billy says he knows depression can be tough, not that he’s ever had to deal with it.

THAT FACE IS GLORIOUS I MUST LEARN IT

THAT FACE IS GLORIOUS I MUST LEARN IT

The doorbell rings and Helen goes to see if it’s the Reverend in time for the rehearsal. Jess helps Ann with the coffee and wants to know just what is going on? How does Billy not know about George?

Ann tells her she hasn’t told Billy the whole story, because she doesn’t really understand what happened. George idolised her former fiancee Nathan. Jess agreed but thinks surely Billy won’t be worried about something that happened 15 years ago, and that surely he’s heard gossip. Ann tells her that if he has, he hasn’t said anything.

The rehearsal kicks off with Helen busting out her rendition of Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love But I Won’t Do That’.

h1

h2

Seems like a weird choice for a wedding though,

Seems like a weird choice for a wedding though.

Just as the rehearsal concludes, Ann gets a phone call. She tells them it’s Rosemary Taylor down at the paper, who is covering the wedding party that night and got confused about some of the details, although Ann seems more rattled than a call about details. Helen still thinks it’s weird that they are having the wedding reception before the actual wedding but Billy tells them he and Helen have a flight to catch and a cruise to make. The reverend tells them he’ll make it quick. As he leaves, Ann opens the door and finds George.

George is in fact auditioning for Children of the Corn: They're Ba-ack!

George is in fact auditioning for Children of the Corn: They’re Ba-ack!

Needless to say everyone is a little bit surprised to see George, which confuses him since the hospital told him that they would let his family know. George himself is a lot surprised when Billy introduces himself as Ann’s fiance. Billy tells Ann to show George her ring and for a second he is hypotised.

The Reverend quickly departs, telling them he will see them all tonight. Billy departs as well, telling Ann he has a little errand to run. Ann tells Helen to show George up to his room while she and JB fix him some food. Ann gets on the phone to the hospital who confirm George has been released but she can’t speak to his psychiatrist as he left that morning and hasn’t been seen since. Ann confesses to JB that she loves her brother, but that he scares her.

Meanwhile, it turns out Billy’s errand is to the newspaper to see Rosemary Taylor. He’s furious with her, saying he was there when she called Ann. “Oh, then you must have met George! I saw him get off the bus –

(This one is for the boys with the boomin systems)

I wasn’t sure if it was him or not

(This one is for the boys with the boomin systems)

so I made a few calls before I called Ann.”

Oh right, she’s talking about George.

Rosemary and Billy are soon joined by Rosemary’s daughter Meg who’s just found the newspaper her mother was looking for. Billy takes one look at Meg and departs, leaving them to look at the headline.

A newspaper. That thing that Buzzfeed isn't.

A newspaper. That thing that Buzzfeed isn’t.

Later that night the party is in full swing(ish) and Jess and George are having the time of their lives.

George remembers his great aunt’s punch recipe fondly, but still can’t remember the night he bumped off his sister’s husband. Problematic. They are blinded by a flash – Meg and Rosemary have arrived and Jess swears she’s met Meg before (but apparently not, according to Meg). Rosemary on the other hand is dying to know how George is post-hospital life. She’s knows how hard it must have been, she’s seen One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Amen

Amen

She asks him all about his therapy, and whether or not he had shock therapy, and he tells her no, she can check his records. This is music to her ears, she has big plans for an article about George. Or 2! Or 3! George starts to panic and tells them he needs air. Ann, Helen and Billy arrive just as he leaves and Ann demands to know what Rosemary said to George. She denies saying anything, but when Billy orders her to leave Meg sparks up, saying Billy has no right to speak to her mother like that. Rosemary shrugs it off, and they depart.

God this is exhausting.

Later, one of the caterers brings Billy a note she found left for him on the veranda. Jokes fly about a secret admirer but Billy informs them it’s just a business thing and heads for the cellar, where someone stabs him with some gardening shears because duh.

An hour later, as the final guests are departing, Ann is worried about Billy but has to contend with an excess of leftovers. She gets Jess to fish out the cheque and goes to show the caterers where the old fridge is in the cellar. Jess finds the cheque, along with a written telephone message saying George had been released and asking them to call Dr Carlsson. Helen finds JB with her hand in the till (so to speak) but when Jess asks her why she didn’t tell Ann about George’s release she says there wasn’t time. She herself didn’t speak to Dr Carlsson either, it was his secretary. All she knew was that Dr Carlsson was very upset that George had been released.

A scream from the basement – Ann’s just found Billy. When the police arrive Jess begs them to defer questioning until the next day, as Ann has been sedated. The Sheriff is fine with that, it’s an open and shut case – exactly like the one 15 years earlier. George was clearly guilty. Jess is suspicious – how can George recreate exactly a murder he doesn’t even remember committing? The Sheriff tells her the details were in the papers, it wouldn’t be hard.

Shouting erupts from upstairs and the Sheriff is summoned. The source of the commotion is Dr Carlsson who says George was one of his patients.

Actual quote. (Actually snort laughed).

Actual quote. (Actually snort laughed).

Doctor Carlsson informs them that George is basically a zero change of killing someone. He was against George’s release because he felt that George was on the brink of remembering the night Ann’s last fiance died, and to return home prematurely could jeopardise that. The Sheriff doesn’t care, and tells them he will post a man outside in case George comes home. Carlsson tells JB that George was beginning to remember one detail from the night of the murder – seeing something shiny. He tells Jess he will go get a room at the hotel and call her in the morning to see if he can be of assistance.

Meanwhile, on the veranda:

Children of the shrubbery

Children of the shrubbery

The next morning Helen and Jess try to take care of Ann but she’s determined to get things done. Helen offers to drive her to the mortuary to make arrangements for the funeral, and Jess volunteers to stay behind in case George turns up. Ann hears the squeaky floorboard go and rushes to get ready. Jess rushes down after Helen, herself stepping on the squeaky floorboard, but Helen is nowhere to be seen. As Jess hunts for Helen she notices the crime scene tape is all cut up on the door to the cellar. She goes to investigate and finds Meg taking pictures. Meg rushes out a side door, and JB returns to the front door to try and stop her before she gets away. Instead she finds Rosemary, who says she’s been knocking but no-one heard her. Rosemary is just after a quote from the family for the paper, she doesn’t want to intrude, she remembers how brutal the first crime scene was with blood all over the walls and the fridge and the whatnot. Jess enquires as to why Meg was down their taking pictures if she was so horrified, and Rosemary tells her she is wrong. Meg is at the fairground.

Later that night (my god this episode just keeps going), Jess gets a phone call from Helen – the storm is pretty bad and they are going to wait until it passes before driving home. Jess promises to check on the windows, and as she goes to the stairs she spots muddy footprints leading up – footprints that skip the squeaky step. She follows the trail upstairs and finds George, holding the bloodied pruning shears. Because SHEAR MADNESS GUYS GEDDIT.

George tells JB that he had returned to the house just in time to hear what he had done, and hid again, only coming out to pack his things. As he packed though he found the murder weapon. George catches sight of JB’s brooch and starts mumbling about seeing Ann’s jewellery in the basement as the Sheriff appears to disarm the situation. He agrees to let Dr Carlsson see George the next day.

Dr Carlsson hypnotises George to take him back to the night of Nathan the first fiancee’s murder. George finally remembers what happened – that he busted Nathan trying to steal Ann’s jewellery to pay off a gambling debt and when George tried to stop him Nathan went for the shears. Long story short, self defence!

The Sheriff is unmoved by this revelation – it doesn’t prove George didn’t kill Billy. Au contraire, Sheriff. JB thinks it proves exactly that, and what’s more she knows who did kill Billy – she just doesn’t quite know how to prove it yet. She and the sheriff go to the newspaper to ask Rosemary about her daughter’s whereabouts, but Rosemary refuses to believe that Meg had anything to do with it – she had no motive! No motive, says Jess, except that Billy Spenser was her father.

At the realisation that the truth is out about Meg’s paternity, and the fact that Meg put the shears in George’s desk, Rosemary finally comes clean.

You guys will never know how much I wanted to write Doris Roberts of DEATH but it just wasn't to be.

You guys will never know how much I wanted to write Doris Roberts of DEATH but it just wasn’t to be.

The sheriff apologises – to JB. He was convinced it was the daughter, but JB knew it – she knew it when Rosemary said the fridge had been covered in blood 15 years earlier when the fridge had only been moved down a month ago. Also, something something squeaky stairs and revenge for Billy leaving her pregnant.

Guys I’m not going to lie to you. The whole time I wrote this my brain was doing this. I need to lie down and reassess my life up until this point.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E19 – Always a Thief

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We're ba-ack!

We’re ba-ack!

Apologies for the break in transmission Fletcherfans but there was shenanigans a-plenty this summer, including the safe arrival of my nephew Harry  James Williamson as you can see by this incredibly Youtube recreation of our meeting.

On second thoughts, not so accurate. My brother doesn’t have that much hair. I am definitely a hornbill though. And my sister-in-law is basically Nala. And I’m almost certain my brother’s puppies bowed.

I should also mention, the blog appears to have accumulated some new followers so if you’ve just wandered onto this omnishambles of a blog I say welcome! And sorry! And I hope you enjoyed Breaking Bad because that comes up way more often than you think.

But never mind all of that, because we have business to attend to and by business I mean bookends. Our Heroine has just received a cassette tape letter from her old pal Dennis The Menace Stanton and while it was adequate, she can’t help but think of an earlier cassette he sent her about a case he’d worked on. Because as it turns out, Dennis The Menace has retired from being a cat burglar and is now a..er…consultant to insurance companies.

Would you like to hear the tale?

That question was purely rhetorical.

That question was purely rhetorical.

Imagine, if you will, a cafe in San Francisco called the Pepper Pot Cafe. Now imagine that the owner, a Mr Langston ‘Lanny’ Douglas has squandered his family fortune including the cafe.

Also, you probably aren’t imagining Lanny properly, so let me help you out a little:

SO GROSS.

SO GROSS.

Now imagine a mysterious stranger called Mahmoud Amini wanders in offering Lanny a lifeline – 10% of 2 million dollars. $200,000 grand easy money, as long as he convinces his mother to sell Amini a priceless Stuart Silver dollar that Lanny’s father bought not that long ago for a whopping five hundred grand.

(Bless the 80s. You can’t buy an apartment for that in Melbourne).

Lanny’s mother, Monica Douglas, is less impressed, mostly because she already has 2 million dollars and a great deal more besides. In fact, Andrea is furious that these foreigners insist on coming over and buying up her heritage. Her husband loved that coin and she won’t be parted from it.

 

**not code

 

Poor, poor Lanny.

 

Possibly not petunias. But definitely Pedro.

Possibly not petunias. But definitely Pedro.

More on Pedro later.

To make Lanny’s day just that little bit better, his wife Andrea saw the whole failed shambles and is toasting him with a 2pm whiskey.

 

*bah-boom tish*

*bah-boom tish*

Andrea’s got bad news for Lanny – she talked to her father about borrowing more money from him and while it amused him no end, the money ain’t coming. Lanny announces he won’t be home that night, he has to “work” in the city to which Andrea retorts that she knows how to play too. As Lanny departs Andrea realises someone has been eavesdropping.

Later that night, Lanny hatches his DIABOLICAL SCHEME.

Classic Lanny.

Classic Lanny.

Lanny sneaks into the study, opens the safe, steals all the jewelry inside, closes the safe, puts gelignite on the safe and blows up the safe closes the door to the patio, smashes the glass in the door for good measure and is promptly busted by Pedro the gardener, whom Lanny promptly stabs to death with a pitchfork.

Guys, Lanny is an arsehole. Who apparently has access to mild explosives. But apparently we shouldn’t dwell on that.

The next morning, the cavalry arrive in the form of Lieutenant Catalano (being played by Ken Swofford, because always). Catalano gets the low down from Mrs Douglas before noticing a familiar figure gazing at a painting in the next room.

Oh Dennis. I actually have missed you.

Oh Dennis. I actually have missed you.

Dennis informs Catalano that his bosses are the insurers of the magical silver dollar, and he’d like a word with Mrs Douglas if he might. Catalano can’t think of any objections so Dennis heads on in to see Mrs Douglas, now joined by her sister Grace Lambert (aka the woman overhearing arguments the previous day). Dennis gently interrogates them about the other occupants of the house, which Grace sees through in about 5 seconds. She asks him why he’s so interested in the fact that Lanny spent the night at a hotel in the city.

Why? Because Dennis smells a rat, that’s why and he says as much to his assistant back in the office. The timeline of the theft is all wrong. If Monica heard the bang and rushed straight downstairs as she claims, there would hardly be time for a thief to ransack the safe, smash the door, kill Pedro and flee the scene. And let’s not forget dear old Lanny’s been harassing his mother to sell the coin.  Dennis gets his assistant to track down the mysterious Mr Amini, while he pays a visit on Lanny.

On arriving at the Pepper Pot, Dennis nearly crashes into a hastily departing vehicle being driven by someone who isn’t Lanny. Dennis receives some resistance from Lanny’s associate on the desk, but after displaying the fact that HIS UMBRELLA HAS A SWORD IN IT (WTF?) Dennis convinces the man to stand aside, leaving the doorway clear. Inside, the office is empty but Dennis notices a small pool of blood, and a photo of Lanny and his wife posed in the office next to a ridiculously over-sized golf trophy, now missing. Dennis bids Lanny’s minion good day and returns to his office to fill Lieutenant Catalano in. Catalano is surprised to hear that Lanny Douglas is almost certainly deceased, and probably at the hand of the mysterious driver of the car. When pressed for more information, Dennis simply says “I’ve given you my pearls, don’t ask me to string them for you too”.

Almost definitely code.

Dennis’s next visit is to Mr Amini, who is Mr Affable until Dennis confronts him about the coin. He denies all knowledge of anything ever in the history of time, but after being informed the likely sentence for murder he comes clean. He did receive a coin from Lanny, paid for in 2 mill in cash, but it was a fake. Amini was outraged, but not as outraged as Lanny was when Amini got him on the phone. They had made plans to meet later that day to sort the matter out, so to hear Dennis’s theory that Lanny is now dead is worrying for Amini.

Later that night, the old guy in the car pulls up beside a ditch, pulls Lanny’s body out of the trunk of the car and throws him in it.

Conclusive.

The next day, Dennis’s expert confirms that the coin is a fake and demands her payment be dinner with Dennis that Friday. Dennis looks unhappy at the prospect.

Dennis is about to out-Hegarty Hegarty.

Dennis is about to out-Hegarty Hegarty.

Dennis’s boss is curious though. Who has the coin? Lanny? Dennis thinks not, and here’s another thing – where’s the 2 million dollars?

Dennis returns to the scene of all the crimes, and on the way in passes the mysterious car driver leaving the Douglas family driveway. Inside, Grace Lambert informs Dennis that Monica is too worried about her son to see him right now. It’s clear that Grace doesn’t like Dennis very much. (Possibly wise.) Dennis asks about the mysterious man in the car, and Grace tells him that that was Lanny’s father -in-law, Ray Bascomb.

THIS PLOT IS THICK FLETCHERFANS.

As Dennis departs he runs into Lieutenant Catalano, who tells him Lanny Douglas’s body has just been discovered. Back at the office Dennis is filled in by his assistant about the body, and that Lanny still had his wallet, cash and ring on him, so it probably wasn’t robbery. Except the silver dollar and the 2 mill are missing so it almost definitely was. Dennis tells his assistant to find out all she can about Grace Lambert while he pays a visit on Ray Bascomb.

Ray is hard at work overseeing a photoshoot involving a model and some pigeons but takes time to inform Dennis he was shocked by the news of his son-in-law’s death.

“Was that before or after you killed him?” Dennis inquires.

Bascomb doesn’t take very kindly to this, and refuses to say another word. Not when Dennis explains that he knows Ray went to see Lanny. Not when Dennis informs him that it’s impossible to remove all evidence of a dead body from a car. Not when Dennis tells him that the police are at the site where the body was dumped taking plaster casts of the car treads. Not even when Dennis takes that back, as the sirens grow louder, and he tells Ray he thinks they’ve finished.

At the police station, Ray tells Dennis and Catalano that he went to see his son-in-law to not give him money to his face, but that he didn’t kill him. Catalano gets called away, but Dennis isn’t done yet. He asks Ray if it’s true that he only went to see Lanny after a hysterical phone call his secretary remembers he got at work. Dennis thinks Andrea killed Lanny and got her father to cover it up but Ray ain’t talkin.

Dennis returns to House Douglas but is refused entry by a super-apologetic housekeeper who tells him Monica is out and Andrea is not to be seen by anyone. Dennis gallantly responds to this news by jumping into the nearest hedge.

I can relate. I have a sneaking suspicion I too have jumped into a hedge yelling FOR SPARTAAAAA at some point. #dejavu

I can relate. I have a sneaking suspicion I too have jumped into a hedge yelling FOR SPARTAAAAA at some point. #dejavu

Dennis might not have quite achieved high level ninja status but he has achieved boss level cat burglar status and so climbs the nearest drainpipe to see Andrea for himself. Inside, Andrea comes clean.

Well, Dennis said it was so, and lo so it was. Or something. Honestly, I'm still wondering whose bush I jumped into.

Well, Dennis said it was so, and lo so it was. Or something. Honestly, I’m still wondering whose bush I jumped into.

She went to see him and they fought. He told her he didn’t need her any more so she lashed out. She doesn’t want her father to go to prison for her crime, and asks Dennis to take her to the police station. Dennis agrees, but has one last question – does she remember seeing a brown briefcase in the office when she was there with Lanny?

Andrea does, but wants to know why that’s important. Dennis tells her it’s terribly important – the briefcase was gone by the time her father went round to move the body.

Oh yeah, that whole burglary business.

Back at the Pepperpot Cafe, Lanny’s minion (whose name, it turns out, is Joey Freeman) has just closed up for the night and is set to kick back in the freezer room with his briefcase full of money when Dennis sneaks up on him. Joey pulls a gun and warns Dennis not to come any closer, he knows about Dennis’s magical umbrella/sword. Dennis informs him is umbrella isn’t also a sword, aims the umbrella AND SHOOTS A TRANQUILIZER DART INTO JOEY’S NECK DENNIS STANTON WHAT EVEN ARE YOU??

Dennis delicately steps over a now comatose Joey, retrieves the money and departs. The next day, Dennis goes to explain the whole story to Monica Douglas who is naturally devastated by the whole situation. Dennis isn’t done though – he thinks he’s worked out why Grace doesn’t like him. He thinks he reminds her of someone she once loved – Jerome Woodward.

Monica is surprised – that was ten years ago, who told him about that? Dennis makes it his business to know who he’s dealing with. Monica says it was a difficult time in their lives, but Grace returns and says it wasn’t for her. It was, for awhile, a wonderful time. She offers to show the grounds to Dennis who cheerfully accepts.

As they stroll, the story comes out. The story about how Grace was wooed by a rogue who went after her money, and how he convinced her to swap the original Stuart silver dollar for a fake, and who ran off with it.

Dennis is outraged and promptly invites himself to lunch to cheer Grace up immediately.

And so ends the Case of the Silver Coin.

Keith Michell passed away just before Christmas so in honour of everyone’s favourite reformed cat burglar:

And if I jumped into your bush yelling FOR SPARTAAA then I apologise.

And if I jumped into your bush yelling FOR SPARTAAA then I apologise.

 

S06E18 – O’Malleys Luck

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DISCLAIMER: You may notice that the captions bear less relevance to Murder She Wrote than usual. In fact, this post is about 25% Murder She Wrote and 739% about me watching all of Jessica Jones in 4 days. If you haven’t watched Jessica Jones yet, come back later because spoilers sweetie.

Oh for God’s sake. 

You guys can we talk about how freaking amazing Jessica Jones was?

You guys can we talk about how freaking amazing Jessica Jones was? And how freaking CREEPY David Tennant was?

You guessed it guys, another bookend episode. This time, Jess has just received a (late) birthday card from her friend Lieutenant O’Malley who has a tale to tell her. Convenient.

This particular tale centres around a real estate magnate, Roland Trent, who is currently far too busy wheeling and dealing to worry about his upcoming tenth wedding anniversary, much to the annoyance of his wife Gretchen. At the same time O’Malley is dealing with his late partner’s daughters demotion from working at city hall to being a beat cop after she rather neatly rejected the advances of one of the deputy mayor’s aides, Paul Abbott.

Like in the first episode when Jessica had that flashback and Killgrave was licking her face I mean bloody hell I was unprepared.

Like in the first episode when Jessica had that flashback and Killgrave was licking her face I mean bloody hell I was unprepared.

While we’re on the subject of creepy dudes being creepy, Roland Trent is going ‘out to dinner’ with his ‘lawyer’ to discuss business, but Gretchen sees right through it. He tells her not to wait up. Ugh. Gretchen’s secretary, Alice, sees how distressed her boss is and suggests they go back to the office to finish the letters they were working on. It turns out dinner wasn’t entirely code, as in the beginning that’s all it is – Trent asking his lawyer David Kingston for a way out of his marriage and Kingston telling him that there isn’t one unless he’s prepared to give up half of everything he owns. They are soon joined by Trent’s new bit of fluff, Cindy and David departs, reminding his client that he has a meeting at 9:30 the next morning, making Trent realise he’d left his briefcase at the office.

Down at the precinct O’Malley is not pleased to hear about the snake Abbott’s advances towards his partner’s daughter, Frances Rawley, and decides to give her a promotion to being his partner. She is stoked, and wants to know what they will be working on. O’Malley tells her that things had been slow but he had a feeling that something was about to happen.

Like Roland Trent typing a fake suicide note and then throwing his dead wife off the balcony?

And when Hope killed her parents! Goddamn. And poor Ruben :*( But damn that show was so unsettling

But the whole thing about Killgrave literally being everywhere and stalking her from a distance DEAR GOD.

O’Malley and Frances are called to the scene, where they find Detective Grillo already chalking it up as as suicide, and takes the opportunity to hit on Frances while O’Malley notices that one bookend is cleaner than another. (Honestly though. Killed by a bookend in a bookend episode. JUST CALM DOWN MURDER SHE WROTE WRITERS ALRIGHT?)

Roland Trent appears from the private elevator (because you’re only really a success if you have more than one lift into your office) and wants to know why the police are investigating since it’s clear his wife committed suicide. O’Malley tells him his cleaning crew is no good – they only cleaned one bookend and left it wet on the wooden cupboard. O’Malley also can’t help but notice that Trent hasn’t asked to see the suicide note yet, and Trent tells him that it’s because he’s worried about what it might contain. O’Malley assures him there’s nothing to worry about and Trent takes a look AT THE NOTE HE WROTE. He asks for it to be returned to him once the investigation is over and goes downstairs to meet his lawyer who apparently just heard the news. In the car, Trent asks Kingston what he knows about O’Malley – Kingston tells him that O’Malley’s service record is the best in the department but that he does get into trouble occasionally. Trent hopes that this is one such occassion.

Sidenote, I’ve just realised that O’Malley is the original Commissioner Gordon. I thought I recognised his face.

And the way Killgrave tries to justify himself and says he acted impeccably WTF.

And the way Killgrave tries to justify himself and says he acted impeccably towards Jessica WTF. 

Back at the precinct, O’Malley and Rawley discuss the case with O’Malley’s boss Captain Cohen, who orders O’Malley to shut the investigation down, until he learns that the suicide was almost certainly murder.

The next day, Trent sees the DO NOT CROSS tape across his private elevator and shouts YOLO (part of this isn’t true). Unfortunately for him, O’Malley is upstairs and is rather surprised to see Trent at work, what with the likely homicide of his wife and all, since the hobo that lives in the alley downstairs never heard Gretchen scream. O’Malley escorts Trent from the office, saying he doesn’t want to make him late for his lunch appointment.

While O’Malley deals with the ‘grieving’ widow, Rawley goes to see Gretchen’s assistant Alice who actually is grieving. She tells Frances that Trent found them working the night  Gretchen died (Alice typing Gretchen’s dictated letters due to her terrible writing) and lost his mind at the thought his wife was trying to force him out. It was only when Alice assured him they would be gone within the hour that he calmed down enough to leave, although forgetting his briefcase again. Frances asks her if she thought Gretchen committed suicide and she says absolutely not, though she wouldn’t know anything about Trent’s extra-curricular activities. Frances reports back to O’Malley who doesn’t quite know what to make of it either. They are interrupted by Sergeant Grillo, who informs O’Malley that he’s wanted back at the precinct to confirm that Gretchen’s death was a suicide. This doesn’t quite go the way the captain plans, as O’Malley informs the gathered press that there is no evidence at this time that Gretchen Trent was murdered. The press pounce on that and O’Malley admits that Roland Trent is a suspect, causing the watching Trent to lose his mind at his television. After the press conference, the captain tells O’Malley his days as a cop are numbered.

After Trent gives a very cold and deliberate comment to a media pack loitering outside his office, in which he declares he has an alibi who will come forward and clear his name, Kingston accompanies Cindy the secretary/mistress to the police station the next day. Frances is surprised to see Kingston, as she recognises him from his frequent visits to Paul Abbott’s office. O’Malley excuses himself, saying he has a meeting he needs to barge into.

Cindy swears that Trent was with her from when he left his office after fighting with his wife, until learning of the suicide on the news later that night. O’Malley confirms that Cindy knowing Trent for several months means what he thinks it means, and remarks on the fact that noone else knew about her. Cindy tells him they kept it very quiet, and that she’d never even been to Trent’s office. After she and Kingston leave, O’Malley swears to the captain that he will do whatever it takes to save the department from embarrassment, which doesn’t delight the captain.

And comparing Killgrave's shitty upbringing with Jessica's childhood, and the nature of victimhood and JESUS WHEN HOPE DIES I MEAN WHAT THE HELL.

And comparing Killgrave’s shitty upbringing with Jessica’s childhood, and the nature of victimhood and JESUS WHEN HOPE DIES I MEAN WHAT THE HELL.

A court order procured, O’Malley and Frances head down to Paul Abbott’s office to get the tape conversations his secretary so helpfully told Frances about at the beginning of the episode. Roland Trent’s shady business practices revealed it becomes clear that Trent couldn’t leave his wife or let his wife leave him. Which was bad news for Cindy.

And the whole thing with Jessica's childhood house!

And the whole thing with Jessica’s childhood house!

I think though, that the below picture sums up this episode quite nicely:

But that last scene on the dock, with what Killgrave threatens to do to Trish. I watched that whole damn episode with my hand over my mouth.

But that last scene on the dock, with what Killgrave threatens to do to Trish. I watched that whole damn episode with my hand over my mouth.

I think we all learned a valuable lesson about me bingeing on TV shows. IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT ON ME AT ALL.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E17 – Murder (According to Maggie)

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THE BOSS IS TALKING

THE BOSS IS TALKING

That grin can only mean one thing – it’s storytime with JB. Again. (HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS FOR SO LONG!!!)

This week, Our Heroine would like to tell you about her favourite student, Mary Margaret McAuley, a talented writer who couldn’t get anything published until she started writing hardboiled detective fiction. Her newest job is as creator of the TV show Beat Cop, starring Bert Rogers as the aforementioned cop, assisted by the token blonde Dana Darren.

Margaret is hard at work on the next script when she gets a phone call from her assistant Vi – there’s trouble on set. Apparently Beat Cop doesn’t like the idea that he has to wait for forensics before proving who the killer is. After some fancy negotiating, Mary Mac gets Dana’s character to make the call, allowing Bert’s character the satisfaction of catching the killer using nothing but a hunch.

UGH.

On her way back to the office Mary Mac gets a visit from her agent, Leo Kaplan. She’s excited to see him and to find out what his other client thought about her script (about relationships and whatnot) but is less than enthused when she learns that he didn’t actually read the script, but he liked the summary his reader gave his secretary. Leo’s actual business on the set is to talk about the future of Beat Cop. The new big boss of the network, Keith Carmody isn’t a fan despite having told the head of the production company, Brian Thursdan, that he never watched the show. His second in command, Julie Pritzer, tries to calm Brian down after he storms out of the meeting but to little effect.  Meanwhile, Mary Mac goes to see the inspiration for the show (and potential crush) Lieutenant Vincent Palermo to tell him the news that Beat Cop might be off the air, but he doesn’t seem all that upset about it.

Later that night, Elizabeth has another crack at dissuading Carmody from cancelling Beat Cop but Keith tells her her job is to look pretty and take pointless meetings.

My how times haven't changed...

My how times haven’t changed…

As Julie leaves, Keith gets a phone call from Brian to discuss Beat Cop but he’s not interested – until Brian puts network owner Harriet De Vol on the phone. Clearly it works out because Mac gets a phone call from Brian saying the show is possibly saved – Keith has agreed to watch some episodes of the show and Mary Mac is charge of which ones, booking the screening room and watching the episodes with Keith. Brian would love to help but he has a development meeting.

The next morning, while Vi puts all the coffee in the coffee pot (VI 4 PM), and Mary Mac tries to sort out how to save the show, Bert Rogers storms in in a huff – he got a phone call from his agent at 6am that morning saying that the show was cancelled. Mary Mac tells him to calm down, and in any case, wasn’t he planning to quit anyway? Bert tells her she shouldn’t believe things just because he says them and tells her that if she doesn’t sort out Keith Carmody he will.

Speaking of. Keith, ensconced in a screening room, is on the phone to someone trying to work out how to remove Harriet De Vol from the equation when someone helpfully sticks a gun through the curtain and shoots him twice. Lieutenant Palermo is called in and learns from the projectionist that he didn’t hear the shots go off, on account of Beat Cop being on the screen. One of Palermo’s minions finds the gun and a hidden door.

While Palermo goes about his 5-0 business, Mary Mac takes care of Brian who has appeared at the studio in a panic – with Keith dead Julie will take over the network, he needs to get in touch with her double quick. Mary Mac tells him that Julie was the one who found Keith’s body and is in the commissary coming to terms.

Awesome, Brian probably says. Which way to the commissary?

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While Brian goes off to hurl sympathy at Julie, Mary Mac accompanies Palermo to the set of Beat Cop. Cast and crew are all surprised to learn that Keith was murdered, and didn’t die of boredom (I don’t think Beat Cop had bookend episiodes, so I can’t imagine why that would happen). Palermo checks alibis and the only person with a shonky one is Bert.

One of Palermo’s lackeys comes to tell him he’s learned something interesting from the prop guy, who in turn informs them that the prop box has been broken into and one of the guns is missing – Bert’s gun to be precise.

Palermo throws Bert in jail for the time being, leaving Mary Mac to tell the director to shoot around the fact that their leading man is now conspicuously unavailable, while at the same time fending off Leo Kaplan who has a convenient list of people (clients) who could replace Bert on the show. She gets a panicked phone call from Brian begging her to come meet with Julie at the network.

Julie, who has hit the ground running despite the terrible shock of finding Keith’s body, tells them that she’s not sure that Beat Cop can survive without Bert Rodgers, and in any case she has a plan for giving Dana Darren her own show as a brain surgeon at a top metropolitan hospital. Ugh. These were clearly the days when the go-to TV shows were cop or doc, before the days of reality TV when you get 37 variations of Australian Model Factor Idol Talent Home Renovation Chef Rescue Kitchen Block.

(I reject all forms of reality, but especially reality television).

After the meeting, Brian begs Mary Mac to help Palermo solve the case/get Bert out of jail, and promises to get the pilot of her romantic story Love in Naples off the ground. Mary Mac asks if Brian is yanking her chain, and Brian says trust me.

When does that ever fail to be a good idea?

When does that ever fail to be a good idea?

Mary Mac visits Bert in prison and gets him to stop crying long enough to swear he didn’t kill Keith. Palermo is unmoved by this fact, nor by Mary Mac’s theory that the only reason that Bert’s prints are on the gun is because the killer wore gloves. Palermo tells Mary to go back to her typewriter.

On set, Mary Mac finds Dana to ask her about the medical show, and to find out why she lied about her alibi. Dana tells her that while she was on the phone to a Broadway producer, a more accurate view would be she was on the phone to his answering machine. Then she was with Leo for 30 minutes after that, which isn’t what Leo says at all. The medical show, it turns out, is being put together by Leo’s agency – in other words Mary Mac’s agent was getting the star of her show a show of her own to replace Mary Mac’s show.

Good old Hollywood forever.

Mary gets the lowdown on the hidden door from the security guard, Burnsy, who also tells her a story from back in the day, when Andy Butler (who plays Beat Cop’s boss) was on a different show that ended up being cancelled by Keith Carmody.  That night, she and Brian update Harriet De Vol on the latest developments and she tells them that the show is cancelled without Bert Rodgers.

Back in her office, Mary Mac sends Vi home and stays to watch what the editor had cobbled together from the day’s shooting. Alas there is a continuity error, and a pencil appears and reappears in the pocket of Andy Butler. She calls the director, Al, to work out what time the footage was filmed. goes back to the studio and….oh come on now.

WHAT THE HELL

WHAT THE HELL

It would seem that Andy couldn’t deal with the idea of Keith cancelling another one of his shows. And apparently he would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t dropped a pencil, and if Mary Mac hadn’t noticed the pencil and decided that it was clearly the PENCIL OF A KILLER.

Worst. Episode. Ever. Now, if y’all will excuse me, to compensate for this, I am going to go binge-watch Jessica Jones until my eyes fall out of my head.

See you next week Fletcherfans!

See you next week Fletcherfans!

 

 

S06E16 – The Big Show of 1965

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Back to New York City this week Fletcherfans, where JB is in the offices of Reynolds and Company publishers being pitched a book idea by Scott Fielding, vice-president of marketing and development. He wants her to write a book about the murder of Richie Kane, a massive star in the 60s. JB remembers him well, but Scott tells her he was in nursery school the year Richie died, 1965.

FLETCH MAD.

FLETCH MAD.

JB is confused as to how she got involved in all of this, but it turns out Scott has a plan. The Haley sisters, who made their debut on the Barry Barnes show the night Richie Kane was murdered, and who quietly retired out of the spotlight in 1974, are coming back to do a Barry Barnes show reunion special. You know what that means – free publicity! And also, JB Fletcher’s name will be on the book, you know, whatevs. Jess is not interested but begrudgingly agrees to visit the studio where rehearsals for the reunion special are underway.

YOU GUYS BARRY BARNES IS DONALD O’CONNOR.

THOSE EYES. ERMAHGHERD THOSE EYES.

THOSE EYES. ERMAHGHERD THOSE EYES.

Barry’s having a bit of a tough time at the moment. The writers hired to work on the new special are more Saturday Night Live than Barry Barnes, and one of the Haley sisters, Lee Haley is about to rage quit after a dancer crashes into her during a rehearsal of one of their songs. Lee’s husband Artie Sommers, head writer for Barry Barnes, assures Barry that she’ll calm down but Barry orders a break anyway.

Jess chooses this moment to sneak in to the theatre to watch rehearsals. Barry sees her sitting in the darkened theatre and freaks out (which is fair enough, JB is a harbinger of death) but relaxes when JB introduces herself. Barry offers her tea while they wait for Artie to come back from consoling Lee, who is currently ordering his wife back to work, and doesn’t seem bothered when Lee points out that they are standing in the dressing room Richie Kane died in. Outside, Art runs into music director Ozzie Gerson who has a bone to pick about the way he’s being treated – just like his father was when his father was music director.

Back on stage, Barry serenades JB with piano playing and tea while he tells her the story of how Artie met Lee on the set of his show, 25 years earlier. Lee hated him on sight, but two weeks later they were married. True love. JB asks him about Richie Kane but all Barry can say is that everyone loved him except his killer. The police investigated everyone but the killer was never found.

Artie reappears and begs Barry to go calm Ozzie down, leaving JB to ask about why Barry was so startled to see a shadowy figure in the theatre but Art has no idea. He introduces Jess to the Haley sisters but they are called away to rehearsal, so Art offers to show Jess the scene of the crime. Despite it all, Jess isn’t sold on the idea of writing the book and tells Scott accordingly.

Later that night, Barry is alone in the theatre with the piano when Art comes to see if he wants to have dinner with him and Lee. They chat about Richie Kane for a bit then Barry spots a figure moving in the shadows – a veiled woman pointing him. Barry shouts, then collapses.

At her hotel JB receives a message and rushes down to the hospital, where she runs into Artie. She asks him what happened and he tells her that Barry suffered a severe shock.

“Well is he okay?” Asks JB.

If I ever end up in hospital, please assume that this is what it will look like

If I ever end up in hospital, please assume that this is what it will look like

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Barry throws everybody out and comes clean to JB. He saw the woman in black, the same woman he saw the night after Richie Kane’s murder, pointing at him like he was to blame for what happened. He wants JB to find the woman in black and get to the bottom of who killed Richie. Jess tries to beg off, saying he needs a proper detective and Barry gives her the phone number of the officer who investigated back in ’65 – Broadway Bulldog Kowalski.

Jess pays a visit on old Bulldog, who has kept all of the case notes regarding the murder but has just recently loaded all of the files onto his fancy new computer.

Sidenote: The best thing about rewatching The X-Files, apart from all the other best things, is the size of the monitors and the size of the mobile phones.

Sidenote: The best thing about rewatching The X-Files, apart from all the other best things, is the size of the monitors and the size of the mobile phones.

Bulldog tells her that at the time of the murder, Barry was on stage in front of 50 people rehearsing a sketch, which puzzles JB. Why would the woman in black be accusing Barry of the murder if there’s no way he did it? Bulldog assumes she’s just out to scare comedians and instead turns to the women involved in the story – the Haley sisters and Richie’s wife Sharon. According to Bulldog, she was at the theatre the night of the murder but left 20 minutes before the murder occurred, although Bulldog concedes she could have slipped back in. Jess asks him if he knows where she is now and Bulldog asks if she wants to meet her.

 

 

Sometimes making myself laugh is all that matters.

Sometimes making myself laugh is all that matters.

Bulldog and Jess find Sharon Kane about to go and pick up her grandson. Bulldog introduces JB and says she wants to know about the woman in black, since she’s made another reappearance. Sharon tells her she’s not the avenging angel type. She knows she can’t tell JB what to do, but she wishes JB would let Richie Kane remain a man his family can be proud of.

Nothing gets past Our Heroine.

Nothing gets past Our Heroine.

JB remarks on Sharon’s choice of words to Bulldog, who confirms what JB was beginning to suspect. Richie Kane wasn’t the cleancut family man everyone made him out to be. And he liked them young.

Ew.

Back at the studio the Haley Sisters are rehearsing another number while the show’s writers Sid Lyman and Joe Roth demand to know why their sketch has been cut from the show. Bulldog and Jess run into Artie while he’s being harrassed by Sid and Jo, but tells them to go and sit down out the front. The Haley sisters finish up, but Cathy is called back to change into another costume for a sketch. The next act, some plate spinners, come out to rehearse while Cathy goes back stage to try and get out of being in the sketch. There are screams from backstage, Bulldog goes to investigate and finds Art dead in a chair, after having a vase smashed over his head.

The police roll in, in the form of Lieutenant Mayerling, who appears to suspect everyone individually and collectively – the Haley sisters, Ozzie, the lot of them. He’s not pleased to see Bulldog at the crime scene, and even less pleased when Jess sweetly points out that the two writers Art had been arguing with hadn’t been seen since the murder. Sid and Joe are tracked down but swear they only found out about the murder after they’d left the theatre. While Mayerling goes off to interrogate them further, Barry asks Jess to calm Cathy Haley down.

Out in the park, Cathy tells Jess she just wants to get home to her kids. They heard about it on the news and are naturally devastated – he had no children of his own but he was a great uncle to his nieces and nephew, according to Cathy. Cathy is emotional and says she’s not like her sister Lee, who didn’t even break down when their parents died in 1964. JB asks her about Richie Kane and she tells her he was a creep.

Back in Bulldog’s kennel, JB gets him to pull up the photo of the Kane family he was showing her earlier. They identify the mother and father, and each of the Haley sisters, but then hit a snag. Cathy didn’t start having children until 1974, and if this picture was taken before their parents died, then who is the baby in the picture? After careful consideration of nappy and bottle holding, they suspect it might be Marge’s. As Bulldog said, Richie liked them young.

Ew.

Bulldog is onto it, and shows JB an admissions form from 1974, the year the Haley sisters retired, showing Marge being admitted into a psychiatric hospital.

(Just trust me on this one guys. I’m getting confused too).

When confronted with the photo, Marge admits that she had a baby with Richie Kane. They had been sneaking around even before they were on the Barry Barnes show – she was already pregnant by the time the show came around. When Richie found out he was going to have the sisters bumped from the show, Marge panicked, picked up the knife and stabbed him.

Seems definitive.

Seems definitive.

JB gently points out she’s leaving something out and Marge agrees. Art was there, and saw the whole thing. Lee appears and tells Jess that they will deny everything Marge says, and it will be them against JB.

“And me,” says Bulldog appearing from the next room. Lee refuses to listen, saying that she won’t let them put her sister on trial, but Bulldog seems to think it won’t come to that. He produces the admissions form from the psych hospital and says that it’s clear that Marge had a history of mental illness. When she was released in 1984, with the diagnosis ‘no further treatment required’ – now that’s another story. She could tell right from wrong. So there’s no getting away from Art’s murder.

Actually there is. She didn’t do that one.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

When Lee tried to put the show off, after seeing Marge suffering, Art threatened to expose Marge as the killer and so Lee lashed out.

Afterwards, when JB and Barry are debriefing, it’s revealed that Barry’s show has been cancelled. He’s looking to the future though, a future where TV isn’t just on the tube. The actors will be in the room with you.

j2

Now I know that Gene Kelly was a genius and could tapdance on rollerskates, but according to YouTube Donald O’Connor did it first but more than that, he did this:

Long live the king.

Later gang!

Later gang!

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