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S03E22 – Murder, She Spoke

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This week JB is somewhere in Tennessee, recording one of her stories to tape for a series of recorded books for the blind being put together by Greg Dalton, recently blinded in an accident, and his wife Nancy. In the studio next door, Stony Carmichael is recording with his band under the watchful eye of studio boss Randy Withworth and sound engineer Al Parker.

Randy isn’t having the best time of it. Stoney Carmichael is getting all up in his business when he discovers bootleg copies of his comeback album are being sold on the street, Randy’s wife is all uppity because she thinks he’s after her money, but he is finally buying out his co-owner Carl Angelin, and he’s just cancelled the run of books on tape, much to the annoyance of Greg and Nancy.

That was terrifyingly factual. I apologise. But all this happened. And then the lights went out. And when they came back up, Randy was face down on his desk, bleeding out (but not dead yet) after being stabbed. Lieutenant Faraday arrives on the scene and quickly establishes his investigative methods by telling Nancy Dalton not to worry her pretty little head about it, and telling JB “like they say in those bus commercials – why don’t you sit back, relax, and leave the driving to us?”

Target acquired.

Target acquired.

JB tries to tell the lieutenant about a clue, but he is more interested marvelling what a good hobby writing is for a woman. “You can cook up some supper, chat on the phone and then pop over to the old typewriter now and then for a few minutes.”

“Yes, when I’m not too busy beating the laundry against the rocks in the river.” JB says.

THIS GUY

THIS GUY

Lieutenant Farady tries the compliment insult method used by douchebags in bars the world over to this day. “I bet your books are just charming. But then, of course real murder is anything but charming. And solving it requires patience, strength…”

“Ah! Man’s work!” Says JB

Greg Dalton finally gets a word in and tells Lieutenant Faraday that he heard something that JB thinks could be important, if he’s interested.

“Well of course, sometimes ladies have real good hunches.” Says Lieutenant Faraday.

JB SMASH

JB SMASH

Greg tells the lieutenant he was getting water from the fountain when he heard someone run by him and something drop. Lieutenant Faraday is surprised to learn that Greg is blind. JB spots a dropped bottle of expensive nail polish on the floor and brings it to the lieutenant’s notice. He tells her he saw it too, and mutters “leave it to a woman to find nail polish.”

Me too JB. Me too.

Me too JB. Me too.

The lieutenant gets a phone call and tells them all that Randy was dead on arrival at the hospital. A minion tells him that they’ve found the murder weapon, shoved behind a vending machine just as Greg heard it.

The next morning, JB and Greg defend Sparta against the Persian invasion.

You can't tell from this angle, but Greg is also Walter Peck from Ghostbusters.

You can’t tell from this angle, but Greg is also Walter Peck from Ghostbusters.

Inside Greg gets a phone call from Carl, co-owner of Red River Recording Studios, cancelling the Mystery Books on Tape deal effective immediately. JB wonders at whether he has the power to do so, so they go round to his house for tea and biscuits. He tells them he’s in the process of acquiring the business, but JB saw a cheque and a contract on Randy’s desk the previous night. Carl tells them a lots changed since then.

Waiting for them when they arrive home is Lieutenant Faraday with a warrant. Nancy excuses herself to make coffee, but when JB goes to give her a hand she finds Nancy hiding her knives in the dryer. It turns out she recognised the murder weapon as being her missing knife, stolen after a work barbecue at their house a few days earlier, and was hiding the others to stop someone setting up Greg. JB tells her that the knife will also clear Greg and urges her to come clean.

Unfortunately JB forgot who she was dealing with. The fact that the knife belonged to Greg, plus his witness to the fight he had in the restaurant with Randy over the Books for the Blind series, plus the fact that Randy was the person who caused Greg to go blind equals a pretty solid case for Faraday. After all, he says, who more capable of operating in the dark than a blind man?

I think we've all wondered this at some point or another.

I think we’ve all wondered this at some point or another.

With Greg being held for questions and Nancy about to lose it, JB decides to take matters into her own hands. She tries to talk to Lieutenant Faraday, who has just requested that the studio be unsealed now that he has all his evidence, but he tells her to not be an irrational outsider, and that he didn’t want to see her again unless she was with a man arranging Greg’s bail.

“Lieutenant Faraday, believe it or not there are women who can arrange bail. And besides that, you’re the one behaving irrationally by failing to pursue all the leads in this case.”

JESS OUT.

FLETCHER OUT.

With the scene of the crime reopened, JB heads back to the studio to hunt for clues. Stony Carmichael turns up with his niece Sally Ann in his car, and sound engineer Al Parker roars up on his motorbike (without a helmet tsk tsk) to resume recording Stony’s new album. (Sidenote: the actor playing Stony sang Devil Went Down to Georgia.) (Side side note: I want a nickname like Stony).

JB asks Al if he heard anything while he was on the phone to Randy at the time he was stabbed, but he can’t think of anything and is eager to get back to work. JB’s next target is Earl, the sound engineer working on her Books for the Blind recording, whom she saw arguing with Randy that night. He tells her the power was always going off and on during recording, but it came on of its own volition. He also tells her that Randy accused him of selling bootlegged copies of Stony’s tapes which he took exception to.

Jess takes a look inside Randy’s office but is interrupted by Carl coming in with Randy’s wife Margaret, trying to reinstate the original deal her husband had with Carl. Carl goes off to get Jess’s book tape. JB notices Margaret wearing the same shade of nail polish as the one knocked on the floor of the office, and Margaret admits she was in the office that night but nothing more.  Tape in hand, JB is about to leave the studio when she sees Stony get into a fight with Carl, over some shenanigans with his niece. Apparently he wasn’t the only owner of the studio to have a crack either.

That night while Jess is listening to her tape reading, she has an idea. It looks like this:

This is how most thoughts appear in my head, to be fair.

This is how most thoughts appear in my head, to be fair.

Which leads to a cunning trap to catch the killer.

...fair enough?

…fair enough?

It turns out, Al not wearing a helmet was a clue – his visor was infrared, which meant he could scurry about in the dark stabbing Randy, after rigging his sound board with a switch to kill the lights. I guess he was the bootlegger?

And so concludes Season 3 of Murder She Wrote, aka the season I marathoned Breaking Bad with absolutely no side-effects. Stay tuned for the start of season 4 next week, and for more news on my new best idea ever, livetweeting a Murder, She Wrote movie.

But until then, dear reader

Later gang!

Later Fletcherfans!

S03E21 – The Days Dwindle Down

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Greetings and salutations Fletcherfans!

JB is California this week, staying in a fabulous hotel paid for by her publisher while she works on promotion for her new book, although her publisher is starting to think that her sideline solving mysteries is a bigger draw than her books (I can’t believe it took them that long).

A woman named Georgia Wilson overhears their conversation and later knocks on JB’s hotel room door begging for help. Her husband Sam has just come home from prison, where he’s spent the last 30 years in prison for a crime he supposedly didn’t commit. The crime…OF MURDER.

*DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN*

Because JB is the Supreme Goddess of Kindness, Benevolence and Being A Boss, she goes with Georgia to talk to Sam about his story. In a stunning coincidence, his story coincides with a movie he was in in 1949 called Strange Bargain, which allows for some helpful and surprisingly accurate flashback sequences.

As she hasn’t seen the movie, Sam tells Jess the story. Back in the day,  when he was a struggling actor assistant bookkeeper, he went to his boss Mr Jarvis for a raise. Instead, Jarvis fired him, saying that the firm couldn’t afford to keep him and he couldn’t afford to put more money into the firm – he had ten thousand dollars to his name.  That night, they met for a drink and Jarvis told Sam his scheme to fix his financial situation. He was going to kill himself but in such a way as to make it seem like murder, so that his family could receive his life insurance payout.

That night, Jarvis called Sam and told him he was going through with it, and sooner than he’d planned. Sam drove over there to talk him out of it but he was too late. So, like anyone would do, Sam took the gun and envelope with the money and hightailed it out of there, only just remembering to fire the gun into the house to make it seem like murder.

I think we can all guess where this is heading.

The next morning when Sam and Georgia go to pay their respects to Mrs Jarvis, Lieutenant Richard Webb tells Sam that they pulled three slugs out of the wall. Unfortunately for Sam his gaze goes straight to the wall in question, a fact noticed by Lieutenant Webb.

Speaking of…

WHO IS THAT?

WHO IS THAT?

In any case that look, coupled with Sam burning the letter from Mr Jarvis, meant that he was put away. Got all that?

(I kind of want to. To Google!)

(I kind of want to. To Google!)

Naturally, JB takes on the case because she is awesome. Sam and Georgia’s son Rod warns her that it’s a wild goose chase, but he has bigger problems. I’ll get to that later.

The next morning, after a raging night of reading through Rod’s case notes, JB kicks off her investigation with tacos and tequila for everyone a trip to the scene of the crime. Mr Jarvis’s son Sydney still lives in the house, and while he didn’t think Sam killed his father, he is suspicious of the new interest in the case. JB asks him about him telling Sam about seeing Mr Jarvis’s business partner Mr Hearne at his house that night, but all Sydney says is that there might have been other suspects but Sam was the one convicted.

Sidenote: Sydney is being played by Richard Beymer, and that sound you just heard was my mind exploding with the realisation that Tony from West Side Story and Benjamin Horne are the same person.

Seriously though, mind = blown.

Seriously though, mind = blown.

Sydney bows to JB’s persuasive powers of persuasion and agrees to let them “snoop” around the house. Jess asks him if she could speak to his mother, but he tells her that she passed away. Clearly noone told the postman, judging by the letter on the desk.

JB’s next port of call is the offices of Jarvis & Hearne, now run by Hearne’s granddaughter Dorothy. Dorothy tells her that the reason why her grandfather was at the house was to arrange for the transfer of Mr Jarvis’s share of the company to him. JB tells her that Mrs Jarvis told police that the sale happened after Mr Jarvis’s death but Dorothy tells her that isn’t true.

Next on JB’s hitlist is Thelma Vantay, Mr Jarvis’s former secretary. JB is eager to talk about the case but Thelma is more interested in other things. Like her ex-husband who never worked a day in his life but who had many other excellent qualities.

LIKE. A. BOSS.

THAT FACE. MY HERO.

When JB finally gets her onto the subject of Mr and Mrs Jarvis, Thelma is dismissive. Even though Edna Jarvis came home early from a weekend away to find her husband dead, Thelma is convinced she had nothing to do with his death – she simply didn’t have the guts. After JB drives off in her taxi-chariot Thelma gets on the phone to alert A Mystery Person that someone has an interest in their “problem”.

Anyway, remember when I said Sam and Georgia’s son Rod had bigger issues? Well his wife, it turns out, will make several future appearances on Murder She Wrote. As Grady’s wife.

Ugh. He's not even in this episode and he's annoying me.

Ugh. He’s not even in this episode and he’s annoying me.

Rod comes home to inform JB and his parents that Edna Jarvis is still alive, and JB decides to pay a call on her first thing in the morning.

That night, someone tries to shoot JB in the head but misses. The police roll in and pull a .38 bullet out of the chair, similar to the ones found in Mr Jarvis’s home. JB is convinced they came from the same gun but Rod’s boss is unconvinced. He agrees to compare them.

The next morning Georgia and JB pay a visit on Edna Jarvis, who has recovered nicely from being dead but is suffering from dementia. JB tries to question her about her husband but gets nowhere, and is soon interrupted by Sydney who angrily throws them out of the nursing home. JB asks him about Dorothy Hearne’s claims about the night of his father’s death but he tells her that Mr Hearne got control of the business way after Mr Jarvis’s death, and to question Dorothy about why she’s lying. JB informs him that Dorothy isn’t the only one misrepresenting the truth and storms off, taking his advice and going to see Dorothy who continues to denies her grandfather had anything to do with Mr Jarvis’s death.

Back at the hotel JB gets a mysterious call about the case, with orders to come alone. It turns out to be from the mysterious Lieutenant Webb who may seem familiar…

Am guessing he's going to be the first MASH cast member to not kill someone in this show.

Am guessing he’s going to be the first MASH cast member to not kill someone in this show.

He tells JB that he never really thought Sam killed his boss, and gives her the original police report, complete with ballistics report on the bullet retrieved from JB’s hotel room. Despite the fact that Sam threw the gun in the water off Santa Monica pier as per his instructions, it was used again 30 years later. JB asks him about Mr Jarvis’s insurance policy and he agrees that he found it suspicious but he couldn’t do anything more. He tells JB he considered the possibility that someone else knew about the life insurance policy and expected to get money out of it but the only other person they found who knew about it was Themla Vantay but despite Webb’s suspicions Thelma wasn’t having an affair with her boss.

Jess and Rod go to confront Thelma about what she knew about the death of her boss. She is reluctant to talk but when JB tells her the statute of limitations has expired on blackmail she comes clean. Thelma put two and two together about her boss’s death and the insurance policy and blackmailed his family to keep her mouth closed about it. Sydney eventually cut her off, and even when she called him a few days earlier to tell him about JB’s questions about the case he still refused to give her money, saying he was broke. “Can you believe the nerve of that guy?” Says Thelma.

Thelma's a teeny bit cray-cray

Thelma’s a teeny bit cray-cray

Rod is eager to go and tell his father that they can prove it was suicide but JB is unconvinced. There had to be a reason why someone fired her, and to cover up a 30 year old suicide just didn’t make sense. Rod points out that also seemed kind of dumb to use a 30 year old gun that can be traced back to the original case and this gives Jess a brainwave.

Eureka!

Eureka!

The trouble is, everyone assumed that Mr Jarvis killed himself or someone killed him. The truth was not quite so clearcut. The gun was retrieved from the water by Sydney, to remove fingerprints. Not from the handle, but from the barrel.

Wait. It's Murder She Wrote and noone has been murdered? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO

Wait. It’s Murder She Wrote and noone has been murdered? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO

Mr Jarvis had the perfect plan, but he didn’t count on his wife coming home and trying to stop him. She tried to take the gun off him, it went off, and that was that. Everything that happened since, including Sydney firing at Jess, was done to protect Edna.

But lets not focus on the depressing. I’m giving massive points to the Murder She Wrote writers for this episode, it was pretty clever the way they used the original movie as flashbacks. And never let us forget: OUR HEROINE IS A BOSS.

Stay tuned for the season 3 finale next week!

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

S03E20 – The Cemetery Vote

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JB is off to Comstock Idaho (which is what I would imagine the middle of nowhere is called) to visit her newly widowed friend Linda Stephens, wife of the late Mayor Jimmy Stephens who died in a car crash. Only Jimmy’s father Harry is convinced otherwise, and is determined to keep digging, against the wishes of Creepy Sheriff Orville Yates and Creepy Deputy Wayne Beeler.

Jess has also arrived in town just in time for the special election to elect a new mayor, on account of the last one dropping off the perch (so to speak). Jimmy’s friend David Carroll (previously seen in X-Men as Senator Kelly, that evil so-and-so) is running to replace Jimmy but is up against Creepy Yates, who has the support of the local illegal casino owner Gil Stokes and dodgy bar owner Kate Gunnerson.

This is all quite exciting! I’m liking this episode already. Possibly because of its Glorious Lack Of Grady (GLOG).

Anyway, JB is with Linda at City Hall to collect posters to stick up around town when Harry comes barrelling in to demand a court order ordering Sheriff Yates to turn over Jimmy’s car to Linda. Harry’s convinced there’s evidence proving the car was tampered with, but initial efforts to liberate the car from the pound resulted in Creepy Deputy Beeler putting Harry in a chokehold. David gets the order from the judge, but when they arrive at the pound the car has conveniently gone missing. SHENANIGANS!

Creepy Sheriff does not take kindly to JB suggesting that he doesn’t want to disobey a court order just before an election.

(Actual line: "You must be from out of town."

(Actual line: “You must be from out of town.”

(Actual line: "Well what's that got to do with anything?"

(Actual line: “Well what’s that got to do with anything?”

(Actual line: "Folks around here know better than to make threats against the Sheriff)

(Actual line: “Folks around here know better than to make threats against the Sheriff)”

Yeah. There’s never a bad time to quote Eddie Izzard. That’s science. Anyway, JB won’t stand for Creepy Sheriff trying to get all up in her business.

Actual line: "Where I come from, no one has to. The Sheriff upholds the law."

Actual line: “Where I come from, no one has to. The Sheriff upholds the law.”

Creepy Sheriff’s response: “I don’t believe I caught your name, m’aam.” GOD IT’S JUST LIKE SHOOTOUT AT OK CORRAL EXCEPT WITH WORDS AND NOT GUNS AND TO BE HONEST I’M NOT SURE IT’S ANYTHING LIKE IT BUT NO MATTER.

That night Linda and JB are getting ready for bed when they hear glass breaking downstairs. They go to investigate, shotgun at the ready, but it’s only Harry looking for proof of Creepy Orville & Co.’s shady dealings. Linda gets upset at Harry’s conspiracy theory and goes to make coffee but Jess is convinced that Harry’s on to something. Harry finds the ring his father made, that he gave to Jimmy, and takes it back. JB finds a piece of paper with a long string of numbers and letters in Jimmy’s wallet. Harry’s eyes light up, and without any explanation he copies out the note and tells JB to tell Linda he’s off to get evidence to give to Captain Ernest Lenko at the State Police. Jess warns him to be careful and Harry tells her not to worry, he’s not getting into any “car accidents”.

Cut to Harry’s dead body being thrown out of a moving car. Sigh.

Linda is asked by Creepy Sheriff Orville to identify Harry’s body, making JB furious. She asks him why someone else can’t do it but he says it’s procedure. JB harangues until he finally tells her how Harry died – a whack on the head before being thrown out of a car. Jess asks him if he thinks it’s a coincidence that Jimmy and Harry both died on lonely roads but Creepy Orville won’t have a bar of it. Dave Carroll comes barrelling into the office demanding to know why Linda is identifying the body when surely Creepy Orville could have just confirmed the ID with Harry’s license. He also demands Orville hand over Harry’s effects – his wallet, his keys and his ring but Orville tells them that not only did he not have those things on him, but that he didn’t have boots either.

Outraged at the lack of action, JB goes to see Captain Lenko to see if more can be done. In this scene (and to be fair, the rest of them too) Captain Lenko is played by Greg’s Dad from Dharma and Greg.

Doesn't look any different.

Doesn’t look any different.

JB rages at him about the crime wave in Comstock (which is saying something when someone from Cabot Cove is calling you out on it) but Blenko knows all about it. He tells her that they’ve attempted to raid the illegal casino many times but every time they get there the crooks have been tipped off, as Blenko is legally obliged to inform Orville of an intent to raid. It even happened two nights before Jimmy died, when Orville was out of town at a convention (I’m assuming it was Comicon.) Jess tells him Harry thought he’d found proof and shows him the piece of paper with the cipher on it but Blenko doesn’t recognise it.

Jess goes to see Linda, who is packing up Jimmy’s office and tries to convince her that Jimmy was murdered but she refuses to listen. David comes in and offers JB a lift to the library, but as they walk out JB tells him she’d like to see where Jimmy died first. Jimmy’s secretary, Cindy, takes special note of the news. Dave tells JB he’ll just go and tell his secretary to hold his calls and he’ll take her out. As they are driving down the road a truck comes up behind them and starts shunting into their car. David tries to shake them off but instead veers off the road and crashes into a ditch. The ambulance arrives, followed by Creepy Orville, who is sceptical about this tale of a Runaway Truck of Doom that was so mud splattered that neither JB nor David could get a glimpse of the driver or the license plate.

That night, recovering from her bruises, JB calls Blenko and asks him about the possibility that a passing hobo could have spotted Harry’s body and taken his shoes. Blenko agrees to look into it. She also tells him about her suspicions that someone in the mayor’s office is a mole – only David, Linda, JB and Cindy the secretary knew about her and David driving out to where Jimmy died. Blenko tells her to be careful.

The next morning, George McDaniels – another friend of Jimmy and Linda’s at City Hall – calls JB in to David’s office. David’s secretary tells them that Cindy, Jimmy’s secretary, is having an affair with Creepy Deputy Beeler. The mole has been caught!

JB confronts Cindy when she arrives at the office. She swears she never told Creepy Beeler about JB and David’s trip out to the crash site, but admits that she was telling him other things but she was only doing it because he was really mean when he was angry but she couldn’t leave him because she loved him and that he was going to ask his wife for a divorce as soon as she had the baby and…

Word.

Word.

JB asks her if she told Creepy Beeler about the raid on the casino when Creepy Orville was out of town but she tells Jess that she didn’t know anything about it. JB believes her, and so asks her about the slip of paper that Harry had been so excited about. Cindy tells her they are two legal references, and offers to find them for her. When she opens to the right page, a slip of paper falls out. Jess reads it and immediately goes to show Blenko. Wedged into the notes about a case of an elected official taking bribes for political support is a sworn statement from an electrician who was called to make emergency repairs at the casino – while Creepy Orville stood around in full view of all the gambling and shenanigans. The other legal reference referred to a case of election fraud where the official used the ‘cemetery vote’ – getting voter names from gravestones a la Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons to get him over the line. That case didn’t contain any bonus proof, however.

Blenko tells JB he has news for her too – they were right about a hobo stealing Harry’s shoes. They picked him up in the next town trying to buy booze with Harry’s credit card. He had Harry’s wallet, keys and ring. JB wonders at the fact that he only had one set of keys, when Harry left Linda’s with two sets, but it’s the word ‘key’ that sets JB to thinking. She tells Blenko to set up a raid, saying that this time she thinks he’ll find more than lawn furniture.

Trap set, JB goes back to City Hall and starts talking loudly about an imminent raid on the casino. The killer, like a sucker, goes straight to a phone to call ahead and warn them but the police are already there.

The game is up, Bucko.

Never trusted him. It's those thin lips.

Never trusted him. It’s those thin lips.

Turns out the law reference to electoral malfeasance originally contained proof that David dodged up the election. David killed him when Harry was at City Hall looking for proof, and swapped the papers in the law texts over, removing the one incriminating him. Unfortunately for David he accidentally incriminated himself when he asked for Harry’s ring back at the sheriff’s office after he died. Only Jess knew he was wearing the ring again.

Phew. I don’t know about you but that was a little exhausting. Two episodes left to go this season! Stay tuned Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E19 – No Accounting For Murder

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UGH.

The derp is strong in this one.

The derp is strong in this one.

Once again, Grady is failing at everything. He works as an accountant for a company called Paul Carlisle and Associates in a building which is supposedly haunted, and someone just stole his sandwich. In fact, when JB arrives to see her nephew, the security guard has him in a head lock after he mistakes Grady for the ghost the secretary claims is chasing her.

(Or the security guard just wanted to arrest Grady for being SO LAME)

(Or the security guard just wanted to arrest Grady for being SO LAME)

While the security guard goes to sort the actual ghost out, Grady’s boss Ralph Whitman takes JB to meet the big boss Paul Carlisle, who tells her that he can see where Grady gets his sharp intellect from…

WTF is right

WTF is right

…and that he’s been a big fan of JB’s for twenty years…

JB keeps her composure well

JB keeps her composure well

…and that he always says there’s nothing better than a good romance novel.

Man, this guy makes Grady look intelligent. I don't like it.

Man, this guy makes Grady look intelligent. I don’t like it.

Having been overwhelmed by Paul Carlisle’s stupidity graciousness, JB takes her leave, saying she and Grady have reservations for an early dinner. As Whitman shows them out he tells Carlisle that the Hammond account files are in his office, but Carlisle is going home and is all “Yolo, bro.” (Paraphrasing).

Whitman is waylaid in the foyer by Lester Grimshaw, IRS agent, so Whitman returns to his office leaving Grady and JB to go off to dinner. Grady whinges about how the ghost stole his lunch, which Jessica completely empathises with.

Classic Grady.

Classic Grady.

After dinner Grady goes back to the office. As he gets out of the cab a woman tries to get in but JB is unmoved.

This might actually be my favourite screenshot yet,

This might actually be my favourite screenshot yet

When Grady goes up to his office he sees his boss Ralph Whitman’s office light on and goes to investigate. El Whitman is in fact dead and on the wall someone has helpfully scrawled LEAVE ME ALONE OR I WILL KILL AGAIN in big red letters.

Needless to say, Grady isn’t coping with this new development. JB comes to check up on him and meets the investigating detective Lieutenant Hanratty, played by Jerry’s Dad in Seinfeld with an inexplicable Irish accent. JB takes charge straight away and tells him that the message on the wall is obviously a red herring, that the fact that Whitman was killed in his chair suggests that Whitman knew the killer. Handratty points out Whitman wasn’t alone in the office, that Grady was also in the building, to which Jess replies with “Yes, he told me he’d reported the crime…so obviously he didn’t kill him.”

“Well, it’s unlikely.” Says Hanratty.

“UNLIKELY!” Jess exclaims.

“Now now. Mrs Fletcher. Let’s not be giving ourselves a bellyache until after we’ve tasted the stew.” Says Hanratty.

Mmmkay.

Despite the death of his “close personal friend”, Carlisle and Associates is open for business the next day. Apparently off the hook, Grady is telling the secretary how he nearly lost his lunch seeing Whitman like that when Grimshaw calls Grady into his office to talk about a dodgy tax deal with Grady’s name on it. Grady asks Carlisle about it and Carlisle is surprised to learn that Grady doesn’t know anything about it.

Grady is in the middle of moaning to Jess about it all when there are raised voices outside his office. Mrs Whitman, the newly widowed wife of Ralph, is trying to get into her husband’s sealed office. JB comes out to investigate the hubbub and recognises Mrs Whitman as the woman who tried to commandeer her taxi the previous night. She tries to deny it but relents and agrees to go talk to Lieutenant Hanratty with JB. As they leave the office, Carlisle tells Grady the Hammond file he needs for the meeting is in his office. UGH FILES AND GRADY AND EW.

Mrs Whitman tells the Lieutenant and JB that she went to see her husband but he didn’t answer her knock. Hanratty asks her why it was so difficult to get in touch with her to tell her about her husbands death and she admits she spent the night *cough* in someone else’s apartment *cough*. The interview is interrupted when another policeman comes in to tell them that there’s been an incident at the office. The ghost has left another message and frightened the janitor.

This is turning into an episode of Scooby Doo. WAIT. Obviously in this scenario JB is Velma…is Grady a combination of Shaggy and Scooby? Or is he Scrappy Doo because he’s so damn annoying? This wants thinking about.

ANYWAY.

The janitor tells Lieutenant Hanratty that she can hear the ghosts in the walls. He tells her there’s no such thing as ghosts – banshees maybe and of course The Little People, but no ghosts. JB asks the janitor where she hears the spirits the most and the janitor directs her to the janitor’s closet. Upon closer inspection JB finds a secret door in the wall, leading into a passage. SERIOUSLY THIS IS SCOOBY DOO, SOMEONE GIVE GRADY A SCOOBY SNACK. JB goes in to investigate, and is followed by an Ominous Shadow that turns into Thing from Addams Family.

*clicks fingers*

*clicks fingers*

The disembodied hand is attached to a random hobo who has taken up residence in the walls of the building. He tells her that he had nothing to do with the killing and to please leave him alone while he plays the organ in the basement.

On a stroll through the park JB fills Henretty in and he decides that if the killer isn’t the ghost it must be Scrappy Doo Grady. JB won’t have a bar of it, and reminds him that Lana Whitman stood to gain a bit by her husband ceasing to be. Meanwhile, Whitman’s office is unsealed and Grady sets to finding the files about this mysterious Neptune Ventures he’s said to be involved with. He can’t find anything in the office (SO MUCH FAIL) but JB notices an appointment with a Marty Giles in Whitman’s planner with the notation NV next to it. NV = NEPTUNE VENTURES! I GET IT! (For some reason this reminds me of when I was a kid and my Mum was reading me a story about Barbie solving a mystery of the case of the missing wedding dress or something and Mum raged because the clues were ridiculous. Heh heh. My Mum is awesome).

JB decides to pay a visit to said Marty Giles, whom you may remember from this episode (or from the future).

k2

He will. Promise.

Marty isn’t inclined to be of assistance to JB, and even less so when he hears the name Neptune Ventures. JB then escorts Grady to see Grimshaw at the IRS office, where Grimshaw declares that Grady is the mastermind behind a scheme to defraud the government out of millions of tax dollars.

Seriously though...

Seriously though…

Despite Grimshaw’s exhaustive interrogative techniques, Scrappy Doo Grady insists he knows nothing about Neptune Ventures.

Meanwhile, back at the office Lana Whitman informs Paul Carlisle that she wants to sell off her late husbands share in the business so she can move to Spain with her lover ZOLTAN. Carlisle tries to give her the brush off but she tells him that if he doesn’t agree to her terms she’ll take him to court and force him to open his books.

JB and Grady return to the office just in time to catch Lieutenant Henretty, who promptly takes Grady in for questioning. He asks Grady about his trips to the Cayman Islands and his nefarious deeds for the company (LOL) but Grady continues to swear that he knows nothing. (I think we can all agree that this is true). JB asks Henretty if they can go through the files one more time to try and find more information about Neptune Ventures.

Before that though, JB goes to see Marty Giles and comes down on him with a world of pain. He cracks, and tells her that he was being blackmailed into investing in Neptune Ventures or else he would be ratted out to the IRS for some of his more shady business dealings.

That night, Grady and JB are going through the files and getting nowhere. Grady, being the interminable failure we all know gives up halfway through, goes to splash water on his face and gets distracted walking the secretary to her subway station, leaving JB to stumble on to the file on her own. The Hammond File. Remember that time everyone in the episode was talking about the Hammond file?

As she’s realised what she’s discovered, the killer helpfully walks in to explain how he cocked up.

Surprised? Nah, me neither.

Surprised? Nah, me neither.

Ah yes. That shifty Carlisle stuffed up when he admitted to Grady the day after the killing that the Hammond file was in his office, when the previous day it had been in Whitman’s office and should have remained there since he was at the office alone. EXCEPT FOR WHEN CARLISLE CAME BACK AND KILLED HIM AND STOLE THE FILE.

Just as Whitman is about to strangle JB with the lamp cord, the friendly neighbourhood hobo ghost bursts out of the wall, hogties Whitman and then disappears. I’m not gonna lie, I like his style.

And there you have it. Grady remains the most useless human being on Earth and JB lives to write another day courtesy of a hobo ghost with a heart of gold.

On that note…

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E18 – No Laughing Murder

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Make yourself comfortable, Fletcherfans. I have a story to tell.

Once upon a time there was a comedy duo by the name of Mack Howard and Murray Gruen. It’s the same old story, they took the world by storm, parted in anger and have hated each other ever since.

Fast forward 30 years and Mack Howard is a late night talk show host while Murray Gruen is struggling after buying an old lodge in the mountains. Someone is making boatloads of money from videos of their old routines, though each swears it isn’t him. Worse than that, their children Kip and Corrie have fallen in love, gotten engaged, and are throwing a party at Murray’s lodge to celebrate. Father of the groom Mack Howard doesn’t want a bar of it, but his wife Edie tells him that if he doesn’t go to the party he shouldn’t bother going back to the apartment either.

Fun fact: Steve Lawrence was in other things besides Blues Brothers.

Fun fact: Steve Lawrence was in other things besides Blues Brothers.

Meanwhile, father of the bride Murray Gruen is already at the lodge, self- diagnosing his medical issues with the 1980s version of WebMD, while his friend Norma wonders exactly why she’s there since he doesn’t seem to understand she’s in love with him.

Fun fact: 30 seconds after I realised Buddy Hackett voiced Scuttle in The Little Mermaid I was in the kitchen singing Part of Your World while the kettle boiled.

Buddy Hackett voiced Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. Commence loud rendition of Part Of Your World in 3-2-1…

Fortunately, JB drives up at that moment with the bride and groom to be. And honestly, I don’t know why Murray is relying on books to self- diagnose. His daughter is marrying a doctor.

DAT HAIR

DAT HAIR

OH MY.

Murray is delighted to see his late wife’s dear friend Jess.

Nawwwww

Nawwwww

Clooney is unmoved.

Nice sideeye from Corrie there. Top marks.

Nice side-eye from Corrie there. Top marks.

Dinner that night is a raging success, everyone forgives everyone for everything.

Though to be fair, who can concentrate when George Clooney's hair is RIGHT THERE.

Though to be fair, who can concentrate when George Clooney’s hair is RIGHT THERE.

As the insults between Mack and Murry escalate, Jess has a quiet word in the ear of Phil Rinker, former manager to both Mack and Murray, now manager to Mack, and he interrupts the bickering to give a toast. Mack is touched, and gives his own toast. In response, Murray stands up and smashes a glass in the fireplace.

Gotta admit, the guy has style.

The bickering starts again, with Mack and Murray accusing each other of cutting the other one out of the video sales, while their former business manager Farley Pressman tries to tell them that there is no money in the video sales, which sets Phil Rinker off as he’s convinced there is.  Buddy storms out, Mack storms out, and Farley offers JB a brandy.

The brandy break is cut short when they hear Murray screaming in his room. Everyone comes running to find Murray slumped over in the hall, howling in pain. Someone has stabbed him in the back.

YO, CLOONEY, PREP THE O.R OR WHATEVER.

In the bathroom retrieving medical supplies, JB notices the knife on the floor. Farley goes to pick it up but she tells him it’s best not to. Clooney returns to tell them that all the doors and windows are locked from the inside. While they wait for the doctor to arrive (since Clooney isn’t stepping up), JB asks Murray if he saw his attacker. He tells her not really, he just saw a shadow and then a flash of colour. JB asks him what colour the flash was, and after careful deliberation he says a deep red.

I'm not entirely sure what that means, but damn straight.

I’m not entirely sure what that means, but damn straight.

Mack is unhappy with being called a backstabber and flounces off to pack. JB talks him down, pointing out that Murray didn’t actually accuse him of stabbing him, and Mack relents. He tells JB that if Murray so much as hints that Mack shived him, he’ s outta there.

Corrie and Kip go for a walk to calm down, but Kip has other things on his mind.

Did I mention, Batman?

Did I mention, Batman?

Meanwhile, JB is inside dealing with the local constabulary in the form of Acting Chief Wylie B Ledbetter. Well, trying to.

o2n2

She gently explains to him that it seems very unlikely that a stranger would break into a house full of people to kill one of them, so the only conclusion to be made is that the culprit was someone on the inside. She also suggests he take statements to establish where everyone was at the time of the stabbing. He eventually gets there and establishes that Farley was in the den with JB, Edie was in the kitchen while Norma, Corie Kip and Mack were all in their rooms when Murray was stabbed.

p2

They realise that Phil is missing, and JB reports that his coat and overshoes are missing from his room. JB suggests that Wylie get someone to the train station to see if Phil is there, but Wylie tells her that he and the chief are the only two cops in town – but he’ll get his mother to take a look.

The next morning, JB goes hunting for sugar in the cabinet in the storeroom and finds Phil hanging from the ceiling instead. The note apologising to Murray for stabbing him convinces everyone that it’s suicide but Jess is unconvinced. The group gathers to watch Phil’s body get loaded into the ambulance, and are soon joined by Farley, who announces that he’s been all over the grounds and hasn’t seen Phil anywhere. He’s very surprised to learn that Phil was in a storeroom the whole time.

JB does some basic geometry and comes up with a startling fact – there was no way Phil could have killed himself. She goes to the police station to inform Wylie who doesn’t want to know about it but shows her the lab report of the knife used to stab Murray. It contains traces of white paint, which Wylie assumed happened when someone used the handle of the knife to scrape paint.

Idiots, idiots everywhere.

Idiots, idiots everywhere.

Armed with this new information, JB conducts an investigation of the bathroom

Game over.

No contest.

She also spots some chunks taken out of the bathroom door, and a a pile of white dust on the floor of Murray’s bedroom. Upon closer inspection JB finds a peephole carved into the wall, allowing Murray to see into Mack’s bedroom.

JB confronts Murray who breaks down and reveals the truth – he stabbed himself and set Mack up. He couldn’t bear the thought of Corrie spending time with his arch-enemy Mack. Seems legit.

That still leaves the small matter of who bumped off Phil, and for now Jessica is stumped. That night, while they are preparing dinner she asks Wylie if he learned anything from the lodge’s phone records. He tells her that the only call out on the night Phil died was to a video distribution company in New York. Edie and Norma worry that they have to spend another night with a killer in their midst, but Wylie tells them not to worry, he expects to solve the case before the end of the day.

...

Someone’s getting ahead of themselves

Fortunately for Wylie, JB has already solved the case. The killer has fallen neatly into her trap.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t Batman.

Yeah. Surprised I am not.

Yeah. Surprised I am not.

Farley, you see, had been the mysterious person getting all the money for the video sales. Farley had been embezzling money from Mack and Murray for thirty years. And when Phil cottoned on to him, he had to go.

But it’s not all bad news. Mack and Murray buried the hatchet, Corrie and Batman were more in love than ever, and Murray finally asks Norma to marry him.

And they all lived happily ever after. Probably.

The End.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S03E17 – Simon Says Colour Me Dead

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Happy New Year Fletcherfans! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and ate all the things!

We’re back in the Cove again this week, where Jess is a teeny bit miffed that her friends Simon and Eleanor Thane have been staying in Cabot Cove all summer and she’s barely heard a peep out of them. Eleanor is quick to correct this, and invites JB to a dinner party that same night.

JB’s next stop is the Sheriff’s Office, where Amos is sorting out a dispute between a local stuck-up cow called Martha and Irene and Tommy Rutlidge. The Cow has accused Tommy of stealing her son’s bike, which he didn’t, but never mind all that because look!

I don't even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD,

I don’t even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD.

JB decides to do a Good Deed and give Tommy Frank’s old bike. She takes it round and interrupts local handman and part were-wolf Cash Logan asking Irene if she needs any odd jobs doing around the house. He leaves, and JB offers the bike to Tommy. Irene tells her they can’t afford it, and they don’t accept charity but JB cleverly circumvents this by saying it’s payment if Tommy will come round and help her dig out the weeds in her garden.

Later that night, JB is having dinner with Simon, Eleanor, gallery owner Felix Casslaw, and fellow Cabot Cove summer residents Carol (previously bumped off here) and George Selby. Speaking of George…

Is there anyone who doesn't like Bewitched though, really?

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Bewitched though, really?

Despite pleas from everyone, Simon refuses to show them his newest painting. Irene appears with the roast, and Simon quickly changes the subject. Meanwhile Cash Logan is outside, watching the house and menacing some rope with a knife.

Midnight rolls around and the guests depart, including Irene a short time later. Tommy wakes to find her at the kitchen, scrubbing at a blood stain on her dress. She screams at him to go back to bed.

The next morning, Amos and his minions are called to the Thane residence. Eleanor is inconsolable and Simon is on the floor with a knife sticking out of his chest.

(Truly, you take your life into your own hands when you take your summer vacation in Cabot Cove)

It’s not long before they realise that Simon’s pulse isn’t the only thing that’s missing. Whatever top secret painting he was working on was gone too. Amos asks JB who else was at the dinner party and she tells him that George and Carol left before she did, and she got a lift home with Felix. Eleanor remembers that Irene was still cleaning in the kitchen when she went up to bed. One of Amos’s minion’s remembers seeing Irene on the street about one in the morning, but when they go to ask her about it she denies it, saying she left the Thane’s just after Eleanor went to bed. Amos spots some drawings of Irene and Tommy signed by Simon and demands to know where they came from. Irene tells them that he was going to throw them away, but when he saw her looking at them he signed them and gave them to her. It all seems legit until Amos’s minion finds Irene’s dress in the bin. Amos announces that it needs to go in for lab analysis (which for some reason is the funniest thing I’ve heard today) and orders Irene not to leave town.

Down at the station Amos’s minion has brought in Cash Logan, after he ran a stop sign and a search of his truck turned up the missing painting, slashed to ribbons. It’s enough to see it’s a picture of a naked lady, but the face is ripped up. JB asks Cash where he found it, and he claims he just saw it lying around, and figured if it was a Simon Thane painting it might still be valuable. How he came to know it was a Thane, since it wasn’t signed, remains a mystery as Amos interrupts to announce that the blood on Irene’s dress matches Simon’s and that he’s going to have to arrest her.

Better call Saul.

Irene swears she didn’t do it, but Amos is convinced that it’s a crime of passion. Observe:

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #)

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #52)

He is basing this theory on the fact that the painting was of a lady “in the all-together” (apparently that means naked?) and that there was likely some hanky-panky going on between Simon and the model.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

JB goes to see Carol and George to ask if George will take on Irene’s case. Carol is more convinced than ever that Cabot Cove needs to host a Simon Thane Exhibition but JB gently points out that it’s a stupid idea. George gives her a lift to her next stop, to see Eleanor who is doing better, and Felix, who is in Simon’s studio forging Simon’s signature on his finished paintings to ensure that Eleanor’s interests are looked after. Both are surprised when JB tells them she doesn’t think Irene is the killer. JB spots a lighter on the shelf and after Felix announces that it’s not his, pockets it to give to Eleanor.

That siren you can hear is the LOOK AT THIS THIS IS A CLUE alarm.

In the cells, Irene finally comes clean(ish) with her story – after Eleanor went to bed she went to see Simon to get paid, but she found him on the floor dead. The painting was already gone. The only other thing she remembers hearing is a car door slam. At home, Amos is showing Tommy the best way to dig up weeds, and pointing out JB has paint stains on her jacket, when a special delivery comes in for him. He’s done some *puts on sunglasses* digging of his own *yeahhhhhhh* and discovered that according to his birth certificate, Tommy’s mother died in childbirth. They confront Irene who tells them the truth – she was a friend of Tommy’s mother who told hospital staff she was her sister, and took the baby after she died.

JB tests out a theory with Cash Logan that he is Tommy’s father. He denies it, but in a not-denying sort of a way, if you know what I mean. Jess spots some paint on his jacket and he tells her he must have got it on him when he found the slashed painting. This gives Jess an idea about her own paint stains, and she pedalls on over to the Selby’s house. She checks out George’s car and finds wet paint. The suspect pool has been narrowed down to two.

While having tea with George and Carol, JB accidentally spills some on the couch. As she wipes it up, she “finds” a lighter between the cushions. George claims it as his, but when JB confronts him with the truth – that she found it in Simon’s studio, not the sofa – he tells her that he hadn’t seen the lighter in months. They used to have heaps lying around, back when Carol used to smoke too.

That’s when JB realises she got it wrong. (I did too, but in my defence I’ve had the theme from Bewitched stuck in my head for the last two hours)

....

(I don’t know why her facial expression is making me laugh. Lack of coffee probably)

OH MY GOD AMOS WAS ALMOST RIGHT. It was a crime of passion, but only because Carol was in love with Simon but Simon wasn’t in love with Carol, he just liked to paint her.

And on that worrying note

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S03E16 – Death Takes A Dive

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This is essentially me, every morning until I have coffee.

This is essentially me, every morning until I have coffee.

Well, I’ll tell you. Our Heroine is in a boxing gym in Boston, summoned by an old friend who said he was in trouble.

We sure did Harry!

We sure did!

Harry and his boxing pal Blaster (who used to be Al’s best friend on Married with Children) take Jess to watch Blaster eat everything on the menu, and Harry explains his predicament. Once upon a time, Harry was hired to find some mob guy’s daughter, and gets paid five grand up front. A week later, the daughter turns up at her father’s house with her new boyfriend, and so Mob Guy tells Harry he wants his five grand back. Unfortunately for Harry, he ain’t got it any more so he goes to see someone who owes him but finds him deader than usual. He also finds the guy’s lawyer, who hands him the only thing worth any money to the dead guy – a management contract for Blaster.

Seeing dollar signs, Harry takes Blaster down to his local boxing gym to see what can be done. Inside, the owner of the gym Cosmo Ponzini –

Oh, Ernest Borgnine. You were so much more than just that guy in BASEketball

Oh, Ernest Borgnine. You were so much more than just that guy in BASEketball

is having a bit of trouble with a local reporter Dave Robinson –

LeVar Burton's hair is winning Best Cameo of the Episode just at the moment

LeVar Burton’s hair is winning Best Cameo of the Episode just at the moment

who is digging up dirt on fight promoter Wade Talmadge, also known as Batman.

THIS EPISODE!

THIS EPISODE!

Harry offers Talmadge Blaster’s contract (for a low low price, naturally) and Batman Mayor Adam West Talmadge responds by having Harry and Blaster thrown out of the gym. Word quickly gets around that Harry is persona non grata, and after a very descriptive phone call from the mob guy looking for his money, Harry gets a knock on the door. It’s Talmadge and his trophy girlfriend with a contract to fight Shaun Shaleen in three weeks time.

Back at the pub, Jessica asks Harry how any of this has to do with her. Harry tells her being a boxing manager isn’t cheap (and neither is feeding a boxer by the looks of it) and asks her to invest in Blaster. To shut him up, JB gives him a cheque for five grand, to do with as he wished. While Harry goes off to make some calls, Blaster thanks her for the money but feels bad as she’s never going to see it again. JB tells him she has faith in him and Harry, and that she thinks he can win the fight but Blaster explains that that’s not how it works – he gets asked to fight to make the other boxers look good, but he’s never meant to win. He’s just getting as much money as he can so he can buy a dairy farm down in Tennessee. He’s almost got it paid for, just a couple more fights should do it.

That sounds ominously like a ‘three days til retirement speech’.  Anyway, good deed done JB goes back to Cabot Cove, where all is well until she gets a phone call from LaForge Dave Robinson asking why she’s listed as Blaster’s manager with the Massachusetts Boxing Commission.

She loves him, you can tell.

She loves him, you can tell.

She immediately gets on the phone to Harry but instead gets Lieutenant Casey (previously seen here) who tells her that Harry can’t come to the phone right now as he’s just been arrested for murdering Batman Talmadge.

JB gets on the first bus to Boston and rocks up to the police station demanding answers. Casey gives her fifteen minutes alone with Harry to let him explain himself. He apologises for the boxing commission thing, saying they wouldn’t let him put his name down, and after all it was her money.

This may be the best screencap I've got so far.

This may be the best screencap I’ve got so far.

According to Harry, he went down to the gym to talk to Talmadge, who was in the office with Ponzini and Shaleen, arguing loudly. Shaleen tells Talmadge that his manager, Dennis McConnell, had told him that all of his previous fights had been setups, and Shaleen wanted to make sure that he won the next fight on his own. Harry gets fed up with Talmadge’s girlfriend hitting on him and goes in to the office to interrupt the argument, declaring that Blaster won’t stage the fight. This is fine with Shaleen, but Talmadge tells Harry to do what he’s told. Ponzini adds his two cents and punches Harry in the face, Harry draws his gun, a scuffle breaks out and the gun goes off. Ponzini takes Harry’s gun off him and gives to Batman Talmadge, who reminds Harry he doesn’t care about threats or firearms. Ponzini and Shaleen escort him from the building.

That night, while Harry is reloading and devouring six pack number 2, there’s a knock at the door. It’s Talmadge’s girlfriend.

Actual quote. (I love a good double entendre in the morning)

Actual quote. (I love a good double entendre in the morning)

“Hey, when you’re rolling sevens you don’t ask to see the dice!” Says Harry.

JB is FIERCE in this episode!

JB is FIERCE in this episode!

The next morning, Harry threw Talmadge’s broad out and went to convince Blaster not to take the dive. When he came home, the 5-0 were waiting for him. They informed him that Talmadge had been found in his car, under a bridge just outside of town, shot in the head with a 38 like Harry’s gun.

Upstairs, JB tries to shoot down Lieutenant Casey’s proof that Harry killed Talmadge, but is stumped when he shows her the ballistics report that shows the bullets in Harry’s gun match the bullet found in Batman Talmadge. JB jumps in a taxi to head to Ponzini’s gym to look for clues but is waylaid by Dave Robinson and his photographer, Pam Collins (literally waylaid, Pam is driving the taxi).

Can’t really be mad though. I mean, look at him.

Seriously though, That hair is a work of architectural genius,

Seriously though, That hair is a work of architectural genius

Dave tells her about the story he’s planning to write exposing Talmadge for the douchebag that he was. He explains that Talmadge had a habit of building boxers up and then staging fights for them to lose – he did it with Ponzini fifteen years ago and he was planning to do it with Shaun Shaleen in the future. JB wonders how come Dave seems so bitter about Talmadge, but he changes the subject.

At Ponzini’s gym JB finds McConnell and Shaleen training, and sneakily (read: outright) asks them where they were at the time of Batman’s Talmadge’s death. McConnell tells her they were out doing roadwork at the time, but it’s an obvious lie. Ponzini appears out of his office to tell McConnell that the TV networks still want to carry the fight.  JB tries to ask Ponzini about his whereabouts, but he just points at the NO WOMEN ALLOWED sign and skulks off back to his office.

Next stop for Jess is the bar, where Blaster is having lunch with his trainer Doc Penrose (played by Fitz from West Wing, and I still haven’t gotten over what happened to him but anyway). Jess asks him to take over as manager of Blaster, since she doesn’t know anything about boxing and Harry is not around. He is hesitant, but after losing another horse race he decides to take her up on the offer.

That night Jess goes to see Harry to fill him in on her progress. Unfortunately, there isn’t much. Everyone seems to have an alibi for the time of Talmadge’s murder – Ponzini was at the gym, Doc Penrose was at the track, Talmadge’s girlfriend Lois went back to her apartment and McConnell and Shaleen were out training. Harry tells Jess that it might be wise to call off the fight but Jess won’t have a bar of it. She’s going to keep sleuthing, and since she’ll have Blaster with her most of the time what could possibly go wrong?

Back in her hotel room after an early morning run, JB is watching a sports report on Shaun Shaleen and his upbringing in the wilds of Minnesota where he was good at boxing and duckhunting. The report goes on to mention the fight, and that Blaster Boyle’s new manager isn’t a grizzled veteran of the fight wars but a sweet old lady…

Shows how much they know...

Shows how much they know…

…who doesn’t know a left jab from a right cross.

THEM'S FIGHTING WORDS!

THEM’S FIGHTING WORDS!

And that, my friends, is a cue for a TRAINING MONTAGE! We haven’t had a montage since the first episode! Oh, this show has everything!

Worn out from the montage, JB sits down with the Doc and Blaster about the murder of Talmadge, saying that she was convinced that he was murdered to stop the fight, but now she thinks she was wrong. Blaster says he’s not sorry Talmadge is dead, murder is bad but so is fight fixing. Doc tells JB that it wasn’t just Ponzini who was a victim of Talmadge’s greed – he can name a dozen people who fell foul of Talmadge, including the Scranton Scrapper, Lou Robbie who lost a fight he should have won and ended up practically a vegetable.

As it happens, someone else is from Scranton. Someone with a name that sounds like Robbie. Someone who didn’t like Talmadge very much at all.

Pam-the-photographer finds JB in the archives of the Evening Tribune, going through back issues for more information on Lou Robbie/Louis Robinson. They go for a walk out in the park, and Pam confirms that he is Dave’s father, but that Dave didn’t kill Talmadge – he was with her the night of the murder. JB accepts this, then inexplicably asks Pam about Talmadge’s clothes. Apparently when he was killed he was only wearing regular pants and a plain white shirt – not a tweed jacket or tie in sight. Pam tells her that it certainly is weird, Talmadge was a snob and liked to dress accordingly, he wouldn’t be caught dead in plain clothes. Boom tish.

This pun gives JB an idea, and she takes off with Blaster, much to the interest of Talmadge’s girlfriend who appears to be following them in a car. She calls her real boyfriend – McConnell, Shaleen’s trainer – and tells him what she’s seen but he’s not interested and tells her don’t call me I’ll call you.

Meanwhile JB has gone to Talmadge’s house, where she runs into Lieutenant Casey. Apparently he had the same sartorial idea, and tells her that a jacket and sweater belonging to Talmadge are indeed missing. While he doesn’t think this proves anything, JB is convinced the killer took the clothes to cover something up. While Casey searches Harry’s apartment for the missing clothes, JB speaks to the man himself and asks him again if he’s sure the gun was on him the whole time.

“Of course it was!” Says Harry. “Well, almost all the time. I mean I don’t sleep with it, especially on those occasions when I am entertaining a young lady.”

Good work Sergeant,

Good work Sergeant,

JB finally agrees with Harry that there’s no way Talmadge’s girlfriend could have swiped the gun. Lieutenant Casey arrives with good news for Harry – they’ve traced the call that lured Talmadge out to the bridge where he was shot. It came from the phone in Ponzini’s office at the gym. Casey is all set to bust Ponzini for all the things, but JB thinks a better idea would be to let her go in and snoop around. Noone takes her very seriously and she might hear something they wouldn’t say in front of a cop.

Seems solid.

At the gym, Ponzini is not forthcoming with information of any kind until JB subtly hints he’s under investigation. Then he lets loose with a torrent of names of people who were at the gym at the time of the call, including Doc Penrose (who was heading to the track) and McConnell and Shaleen (who were about to go out to do road work). All further questions are shot down when McConnell starts talking smack talk at JB, Blaster defends her honour and punches Shaleen in the face for being mouthy.

Down at the police station Shaleen tells them that he didn’t make any calls, but McConnell made a couple, presumably to a ladyfriend. Then he came back, cancelled road work and took off to see said lady friend, so Shaleen went back to his hotel room to watch TV. Harry and Casey don’t buy this story, but JB does. More than that, she knows who the lady is.

JB goes to visit Dave Robinson at the Tribune to get more information on Lois. He doesn’t see why Lois would kill Talmadge, since he was her meal ticket. It’s only as JB is leaving his office and hears the football commentator say shotgun that she realises who the killer is. (THANK GOD, BECAUSE I AM EXHAUSTED). JB goes to see Casey and gets Harry released, and asks him to make sure that everyone involved knows that Harry is released.

The thing is gang, Talmadge was killed with a bullet from Harry’s gun, but it wasn’t fired from a Harry’s gun. The bullet was retrieved from the cushion (where it lodged during the fight in the office twenty years ago when we were all young) and was subsequently fired from a shotgun, by someone who used to be a duck hunter back in the day…

Oh thank God, I thought this was never going to get resolved.

Oh thank God, I thought this was never going to get resolved.

So there you have it. Shaleen decided it was kill Talmadge or be killeed in the ring, and to be fair I can’t argue with that logic.

Anyway, I decided one of the screencaps deserved meme status, so I made one. If you would like to make your own, here’s the image. I used quickmeme.com to make this one…

Internet! Get to work! (And let me know if you do!)

And on that note,

z2

I need a lie down.

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