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S02E22 – If The Frame Fits

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This week JB is paying a visit to her friend Lloyd Marcus, a retired advertising executive who is desperate for Jess to read a murder mystery manuscript written by “a friend” who conveniently lives in Tibet. A LIKELY STORY. Fortunately, Jess is saved by the bell, and by bell I mean discovering that the town cat burglar has come and stolen a painting.  Jess is stumped, as the painting was in its frame when she went to retrieve her copy of The Mystery Novel Of Mystery, but a minute later it was gone and the window open.  Police Chief Wiggum Cooper is on the case though, and tells Jess that she wasn’t in any danger as the Cat Burglar never hurts anyone. Lloyd’s house man Forbes arrives home from his night off and is quickly under suspicion (presumably for having the job title house man) but JB is inclined to this he is innocent (presumably because she wouldn’t mind a house man, if you know what I mean)

(Side note: there is only one true Cat Burglar and it’s this guy)

 

The next day Lloyd takes JB down to the Club to show her off to his fancy rich friends, including Frank Tiller, the Mayor/insurer of the stolen paintings, and his wife Mildred. He introduces JB as the mystery writer, but Frank is busy worrying about the stolen paintings and Mildred just says “…You’re the mystery writer!”

I think it's going to be one of those days for Our Heroine

I think it’s going to be one of those days for Our Heroine

They are soon joined by Lloyd’s daughter Julia (who also happens to be the Mum from Alf, and seriously why isn’t Alf on TV no wonder society is doomed) who Lloyd refers to as a snob. In this instance, snob is code for Massive Bitch. Apparently the Lloydster doesn’t approve of Julia’s taste in husbands.

Julia takes Our Heroine on a tour “to see how the leisure class live”, whatever that means, and is soon introduced to Ellen Davis (who works at the club)  and Binky Holborn.

You may recognise him. I did, the minute he opened his mouth.

Q!

Q!

When I tell you that Binky Holborn is possibly the greatest thing to ever happen to television, you’d better believe it. It turns out he was the first victim of the Cedar Heights Cat Burglar, and is keen to thrown a dinner party to discuss his theories with JB. Lloyd isn’t keen, he wants to work on his ‘friends’ manuscript, Ellen has paperwork to do and Julia is being a bitch spending time with her husband.

This makes Binky a sad panda.

Poor Binky. Seriously though, the hell name is Binky?

Poor Binky. Seriously though, the hell name is Binky?

Later that night JB and Lloyd go  to dinner with Binky, leaving Julia at home with her husband, and Lloyd’s other daughter Sabrina home with a headache. After some excited prodding from Binky Lloyd returns home to get Jess’s forgotten copy of The Mystery Book of Mystery and returns for a night of Amateur Workshopping.

On the way home, Lloyd notices Julia’s front door has been left wide open. Inside, Julia is completely dead. (Unsurprised)

Chief Wiggum Cooper is on the case, under the subtle gaze and gentle encouragement of JB, who is the first to point out the broken clock on the mantlepiece,the cuts on Julia’s neck and a button with the letters DG on it clenched in Julia’s hand.

Case closed – it’s clear that Julia’s husband Donald Granger is the killer. HUSBAND OF DEATH!

Since there's still half an hour left in this episode I'm assuming a lengthy explanation will be forthcoming

Since there’s still half an hour left in this episode I’m assuming a lengthy explanation will be forthcoming

A quick inspection of his wardrobe reveals a blazer with a button missing. Ho-hum. He is charged the next morning, despite his insistence that he was at the Seafood Shanty with a female friend at the time of the murder. Julia’s sister Sabrina is convinced he didn’t do it. More ho-hum.

JB decides to do some sleuthing down at the club and runs into Mildred. She tells Our Heroine that Donald had a thing with Sabrina before he met Julia – they met at a ski resort “and you know what that means!”

Mildred fails at the concept of the double entendre.

Mildred fails at the concept of the double entendre.

Jess returns to the scene of the crime with Chief Wiggum Cooper who has bad news – Donald Granger’s alibi checks out. The staff at the Seafood Shanty remember seeing him there with a woman, but a brunette so it couldn’t have been Sabrina. JB is starting to think that the crime scene was staged. In the middle of explaining her theory JB has a brainwave and scurries off to see Lloyd who confesses to setting up Donald Granger for the murder. But he swears he didn’t kill her. Oh well, then it’s fine.

As Lloyd explains how he tried to set up Donald as the killer it soon becomes clear that the Cat Burglar had paid Julia’s house a visit. JB decides that unmasking the Cat Burglar will probably help catch the killer, and starts nosing around the Club looking for clues. She tells Ellen that Donald is no longer under suspicion, guessing (correctly) that she must have been his late night dinner companion. Jess finds  Binky outside failing at putting and asks him about the Cat Burglar’s other victims. Binky tells her that after his painting was taken the Tilley’s had a “perfectly maudlin” little thing taken off their hands. Oh Binky.  JB catches up with the Tilley’s again and discovers that it was widely known when the two victims were away from home, so really anyone could have stolen the paintings. HELPFUL.

JB goes to visit Ellen again and finds her hard at work.

(Definitely better than my old computer!)

(Definitely better than my old computer!)

Ellen finally admits to having an affair with Donald, and says her relationship with Binky is just a ruse. Lady, I don’t think your relationship with Binky is fooling anyone. JB asks if any of the Club members are having financial problems and Ellen says there are few but Binky isn’t one of them – since he still somehow has the money to jet off to the UK every three months or so.

Apparently, this is a clue. JB knows who the cat burglar is, but is he the killer too?

This brings the total number of awesome cat burglars to 2.

This brings the total number of awesome cat burglars to 2.

Binky is quite delighted to reveal himself as the cat burglar, but he couldn’t possibly have killed Julia, since he was having dinner with Jessica. It would appear they are back to square one again. But no! Because Jess has had another brainwave.

DAMMIT I WANT MY HALF AN HOUR BACK

DAMMIT I WANT MY HALF AN HOUR BACK

So, if I’ve got this right, Donald killed Julia and made it look like the Cat Burglar had done it, then Lloyd came in and made it look like Donald had done it, which then made it look like Lloyd had done it even though Donald had done it to begin with.

Ow my brain.

And so ends another season. But not to fear, Fletcherfans, because Season 3 is starting next week! And Season 3 contains lots of amazing things. LIKE A MAGNUM PI MURDER SHE WROTE CROSSOVER SPECIAL O YES YES O YAY.

Just think about that one, for a minute.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S02E21 – The Perfect Foil

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After last week’s shenanigans  and mayhem you’d think Our Heroine had earned a nice little vacation. Alas, it’s not to be, as Great Aunt Mildred is concerned about Cal Fletcher, JB’s husbands second cousin twice removed on his left side (or something) and would Jess please go down to New Orleans and check on him?

Never one to turn down family (otherwise we’d never see Grady) JB jumps on a plane and heads down to Nawlins.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) someone forgot to mention a little old party called Mardi Gras. And after a cock-up with her hotel reservation sees JB homeless for the night, she decides to pay an earlier than planned visit to Cal.

After knocking at the front door, Cal’s house looks promising.

a1a

a1b

Inside, the house is a-rockin, but with everyone in costume it’s going to make it awfully difficult to spot Cal Fletcher, on account of noone knowing what he looks like. Is he Napoleon? No.  Is he a pirate? Very much no, says the pirate, escorts the Genie of the Lamp into another room and closes the door. Is he Cardinal Richelieu? Apparently not, since the cardinal just smiles and wanders off,

A man without a costume called Gilbert informs Jess that her cousin is dressed as Cyrano de Bergerac but is hastened away by the Genie of the Lamp (I should point out that she’s more I Dream of Jeannie than Aladdin’s Genie, unfortunately). JB smacks into Lady Macbeth coming out of the room the pirate went into but she doesn’t know anything either. A little later she spots Cardinal Richelieu doing the same thing. She finally spots Cyrano in the crowd and rushes up to introduce herself but he completely blanks her, goes to the Pirate’s office and declares he’s going to kill him. The door closes and a swordfight breaks out.

I’m not gonna lie, the doorman has been the highlight of this episode so far. Anyway, a crowd gathers outside the office trying to get in to see the entertainment, but after hearing a thud JB is concerned. Gilbert appears, breaks down the door and finds the pirate (aka Johnny Blaze) dead on the floor, the world CAL written on the floor in blood. IS THIS JB’S MOST AWESOME RELATIVE EVER???

The police arrive and it’s obvious from the beginning that Lieutenant Cavette would loves JB to help him with his case, if you know what I mean. He asks her what she was doing at the party and she tells him that her cousin Cal Fletcher is the owner of the house. Except apparently it’s not a house, it’s a gambling den. While she watches the lieutenant search for clues, Gilbert sidles up to her and says that she needs to tell her cousin to get the hell out of town. Apparently his house is just across the alley. CONVENIENT.

JB goes to pay this mysterious cousin of hers a visit and finds him curled up asleep in bed. When she informs him of what’s happened he seems completely surprised.

Cal went on to direct many episodes of Home Improvement. His real name is Peter Bonerz. Why are you laughing?

Cal went on to direct many episodes of Home Improvement. His real name is Peter Bonerz. Why are you laughing?

He swears on his word as a gentleman that he didn’t know about the gamblinh and he didn’t kill Johnny Blaze.

The many faces of Calhoun Fletcher.

The many faces of Calhoun Fletcher.

The police show up and quickly find a Cyrano de Bergerac costume in Cal’s wardrobe, complete with key in pocket. Cavette orders Cal be arrested immediately. Clearly he is immune to Honest Face.

Down at the police station Cavette tells JB that Johnny Blaze was running an illegal gambling operation out of Cal’s house, and that his death was no great loss.  JB thinks that this must surely mean that there are more people than just Cal who would want Johnny Blaze dead. Cavette agrees, but points out that all the evidence implicates Cal. Plus there was that time Cal stood up in a card game and threatened to kill Johnny Blaze.

JB confronts Cal about this, and he kind of agrees that he threatened to kill Johnny Blaze, since he was cheating at  cards, but that’s it. He tells JB that he’s a naturalist…

d2

…he collects butterflies for museums.

Life Lesson #46 - Naturalist and nudist are two completely different things.

Life Lesson #46 – Naturalist and nudist are two completely different things.

Cal’s attorney Mitch Payne arrives to calm everyone down, and tells them that self defence is a perfectly legitimate plea. JB is outraged! But Cal wasn’t even there!

Later that night JB goes out to dinner with Lieutenant Cavette, He tries to bust some patented Cavette moves on Our Heroine but JB wants nothing to do with it. She wants more information on this shady lawyer dude. Cavette tells her that he was once in the employ of Johnny Blaze, and helped him beat a murder rap – supposedly he killed a young man over a card game but some witnesses were found to swear that Johnny Blaze wasn’t even there, 

The next morning JB pays Mr Payne a visit, and finds him consulting with Lady Macbeth from the party, also known as Rosaline Gardner, the wife of local congressman Brad Gardner. When asked, she tells JB that she must have her mistaken for somebody else. Down at the club, JB asks Gilbert and Jeannie (aka Kitty Manette) about Cal’s presence at the club the night of the murder. Kitty says he had been pretty drunk, so they got him out before Johnny Blaze could see him, but that he must have sneaked back in, JB asks about the congressman, and Kitty swears he wasn’t at the party but Gilbert thinks he saw his limo parked down the street. JB asks him if he mentioned this to Lieutenant Cavette and Gilbert tells her that he wouldn’t give him the right time of day. Turns out the guy  Johnny Blaze was accused of murdering was Cavette’s son. 

Awkward.

JB confronts Cal about his presence at the club on the night of the murder and he comes clean, but says that he left after Kitty came running up sobbing and saying “He knows!” JB asks him who else was playing cards the night Cal threatened to kill Blaze – Mitch the shady lawyer, Gilbert, Kitty and the Congressman were all there too, according to Cal. On a roll, JB confronts Cavette about the murder of his son. He tells her the story, but swears he wasn’t at the party that night. 

“Bullshit!” Says Jess (I’m paraphrasing slightly). “I saw you…Cardinal Richelieu”

(I’m starting to think everyone in the world wanted Johnny Blaze dead, including me. (For the record, I was a month off my third birthday when he was murdered, cop that for an alibi!)

Never mind all that though. Cavette tells JB to accept the fact that her cousin is guilty and JB mutters “I don’t know why you all keep saying that, he’s not my cousin, he’s Frank’s!” and then solves the case. BAM.

Remember that time Jeannie/Kitty said “HE KNOWS.” Turns out that wasn’t about Cal Fletcher at all, her boyfriend Johnny Blaze had discovered who she was cheating on him with.

Excuse me while I die of unsurprised.

Excuse me while I die of unsurprised.

And they all lived happily ever after. Well Gilbert went to jail, presumably, and Kitty was probably left broken hearted. But JB went home to Cabot Cove and Cal found a new tenant to take over the big house and turn it into a brothel. So mainly Cal wins, really.

Season 2 finale next week Fletcherfans, can you believe it? Only 10 more seasons to go! *whimpers*

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

 

 

S02E20 – Anyone For Menace?

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Guys, remember that time JB went to a tennis tournament and shenanigans ensued? Well, now she’s at another tennis tournament in Boston, and I don’t want to jump to conclusions or anything but Life Lesson #45 TENNIS IS THE MOST DANGEROUS SPORT THERE IS.

JB is in fact the honorary chairwoman of this tournament, a gig she presumably got thanks to a former student named Carol McDermott, whom you may recognise.

Please assume that every time I write Sarah Connor, I’m doing a really crap Arnie impression while I’m doing it,.

Sarah Connor Carol McDermott is running the tournament, and opens with an exhibition game against her boss Elliott Robinson where she falls over. True story. Everyone laughs, especially her Carol’s boyfriend Brian. Or Bryan. Or Walter.

Remember that time Andy Garcia was MSW? THIS IS BETTER THAN THAT.

YES THAT IS WHO YOU THINK IT IS.

!!!

BREAKING BAD  MURDER SHE WROTE CROSSOVER SPECIAL THERE I SAID IT. You’re welcome, television.

Anyway.

Sarah Connor Carol McDermott has no time to flirt with Brian/Bryan/Walter – she’s just heard that the number one draw in the women’s field is pulling out due to a ‘pulled muscle’ and to make matters worse her boss’s daughter is after her job as compensation for Sarah Connor Carol McDermott stealing her man. And then there’s the obligatory John McEnroe standin. This week’s model is called Donny Harrigan, and he’s having a lovely tantrum whilst being beaten by Brian/Bryan/Walter.

Seriously though, LOOK AT THOSE SHORTS

Sarah Connor Carol McDermott scolds him and orders him back on the court, much to the delight of everyone except his manager. He tells Sarah Connor Carol McDermott to wise up and Our Heroine to butt out.

I wouldn't if I were you

Later that night there is a shindig at the tennis club. All the gang is there, including the women’s number 1, Cissy Barnes.

I think the screaming in women’s tennis wouldn’t bother me quite as much if they were wearing outfits like this at the same time…

Despite the fact that she looks like Miss Havisham took a lot of acid and time travelled, Cissy informs Carol and her boss Elliott that despite all the money being thrown at her (in the form of tulle, apparently) she’s decided to drop out of the tournament, and to suck it. Elliott orders Carol to retrieve Cissy’s contract but she tells him it’s at home. Brian/Bryan/Walter gallantly offers to retrieve it, collects Carol’s car keys and heads out into the night.

And then explodes.

VENGEANCE.

The five-o roll up and start interviewing anyone who had a grudge against against Brian/Bryan/Walter, namely Donny the Dummy Spitter, and his manager Mitch. JB gently points out that this is stupid, as it was Carol’s car that was bombed, so it would seem safe to assume she was the target. Duh.

JB takes Carol home and decides to stay with her for the night, like the Benevolent Queen of Awesome that she is. She asks Carol if she should call her sister Barbara and Carol flips out, saying “Just because Barbara is back doesn’t mean I want to see her.” She goes to bed, as JB fields a call from a mystery woman who hangs up as soon as she realises JB isn’t Carol.

The next morning, Carol decides to go back to work. JB is still concerned about her wellbeing though, and asks Elliott whether she should call Barbara and tell her to come and stay.

“Barbara? She died in a plane crash.” Says Elliott.

JB asks Carol about the plane crash but Carol is confused, and tells JB that Barbara is well and truly alive, and she’d seen her just the other day. Confused, she goes to see her new pals Detectives Travis and Berger for advice. Detective Travis shows her the plane crash report and gives her the last known address for Barbara McDermott – the cemetery. BAM.

Meanwhile Detective Travis, on a hunch, goes to see Barbara and gets stabbed to death by a mystery person. And by mystery person I mean this guy.

***Definitely not true

JB comes home from the cemetery and finds Carol hysterical on the floor. She tells our heroine that T-1000 Barbara killed Travis. Is it me, or is it getting a little bit Norman Bates in this episode? She takes her to the hospital and goes to see Detective Berger, in mourning for the spin-off Berger and Travis TV show that’s now been nipped in the bud. He is starting to suspect Sarah Connor Carol McDermott of pretending to be “loony tunes” so that she can claim insanity defence. Not gonna lie, that seems like a good theory at this point.

Our Heroine, however, is convinced of Carol’s innocence. She checks in with the Tulle Queen Cissy about Barbara’s whereabouts, but she says she didn’t even know Carol had a sister. JB goes to see Elliott but instead meets his daughter Doris – the one out for Carol’s job. JB asks her about Barbara and Doris tells her about the time she went to pick up some papers and heard a screaming argument between Carol and Barbara. She saw Barbara’s red hair through the window, as she smashed the place up, but she didn’t see Carol.

“You have a vivid memory for something that happened three years ago.” Says Our Heroine.

“It was 3 months ago.” Says Doris. She knows about the plane crash, but she heard Carol call the woman Barbara, so it had to be her? OR WAS IT CAROL PRETENDING TO BE HER? *cue dramatic music*

JB bumps into Elliott, and asks him about Barbara. Again. He tells her that Barbara was a messed up girl who got into trouble and Carol bailed her out. And even when she got committed to a mental hospital Carol made the long round trip to see her every week.

If that sounds like a clue YOU’D BE RIGHT. JB pays the hospital a visit and meets Rosie, a girl who grew up in outer-space who is writing a book about her life (and just so happened to have entered all the patient files into the computer, which seems a little convenient/weird). There was no patient called Barbara McDermott at the hospital. JB asks her to double check, but she says there’s no need, she had to check it twice for a guy from Boston the day before. There was definitely no patient called Barbara McDermott – but there was one named Carol McDermott.

*MOAR DRAMATIC MUSIC!*

Back at the police station, JB tells Detective Berger about her discovery. He knows all about it, and introduces JB to the source of his newly gained information – Barbara McDermott.

*ALL THE DRAMATIC MUSICS!*
*ALL THE DRAMATIC MUSICS!*

The elusive Barbara tells the detective and JB a long, barely worth it story about how her life got flipped turned upside down she had a fight with her sister, picked up a hitch hiker, had her identity stolen (by said hitch hiker who met her end the next day in the plane crash), moved to Seattle, got sober,and came back to Boston to visit her sister who couldn’t believe she was alive. She confesses to calling her the night of Brian’s death – when JB answered the phone. Remember that time that happened? Barbara didn’t realise it was JB, she thought it was Carol being “spooky.”

Detective Berger gets a call and is informed that Carol McDermott has disappeared after receiving a phone call of her own at the hospital. They go to her house and find it completely trashed, a red wig on the floor and dynamite in the kitchen. I think we’ve all had one of those parties…anyway,  the detective is convinced that Carol’s other personality has won out. JB isn’t so sure, and heads back to the tennis club. Not to confront the killer, as it turns out. To confront…her father.

Has ten lines, is the killer. Go figure.

Turned out the Crazy Daughter of Death orchestrated the whole thing – and then Daddy dearest tried to cover it up by kidnapping Carol from the hospital and trying to fake her suicide. Which failed, luckily. Two deaths in one episode  is a lot for MSW.

But lets not dwell on that. I think we should focus on the positives. Like Bryan Cranston’s tennis gear. Or the rain I’m going to bring in season 3 (seriously guys, I got the new DVD this week, there’s going to be some GOLD).

Until next time, dear reader.

Later Fletcherfans!

S02E19 – Christopher Bundy…Died on a Sunday

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Our Heroine is not having a good time, Fletcherfans. She’s just found out that the magazine about to print her first short story has been bought out by Bundy Publications, publishers of renowned skin mags such as Playgal Magazine.

I think we can all agree only one person could be responsible for such a cock-up…

Oh good, an episode of Murder, She Wrote with Grady in it! SAID NOONE EVER

Oh good, an episode of Murder, She Wrote with Grady in it! SAID NOONE EVER

When Christopher Bundy refuses to take her calls about withdrawing her short story from the magazine, she orders Grady to drive her to his estate to have it out with him in person. Proving she’s a much more magnanimous person than I, she thanks Grady for driving her and hopes it hasn’t interfered with his plans. Apparently the plans were called Cynthia and she (SHOCKINGLY) dumped him.

Alas when they arrive at Fort Bundy the Bossman, Christopher isn’t there. (And at this point I would refer you to the title of this week’s episode). A terrible misunderstanding occurs when the Bundy Butler, Everett Jensen, refers to JB as Grady’s mother, but JB handles it deftly. Grady is naturally no help, as he’s just spotted a bimbo someone has carelessly left lying around.

ARGH GRADY WHY DO YOU SUCK SO MUCH?

ARGH GRADY WHY DO YOU SUCK SO MUCH?

Sadly Grady’s perusal of his new bosses assets is shortlived, and he is rudely interrupted by a helicopter flying said new boss in for the weekend. Christopher is a man in a hurry and fobs JB off with platitudes until she says “Mr Bundy, I’m Jessica Fletcher.”

DAMN STRAIGHT

d2

Sir Christopher of Bundy tells JB he will be with her as soon as he can, and sends his assistant/henchman Bert Yardley to take them on a tour of the house and meet the family – his sister Rachel and niece Vanessa are playing croquet, while his nephew Antonio films them. Of course, Grady manages to ruin this too…

Sigh

f2

And so ends the story of Grady's life...

And so ends the story of Grady’s life…

JB finally gets to meet with El Bundy in the library with the candlestick. He offers her a seat and then apologises for the blinding sun coming through the window so profusely one can only assume this will come up later. He professes innocence about the terms of her contract but offers to put her and Grady up for the night so that they can meet with the lawyers in the morning. Sunday morning, in fact. JB is reluctant but accepts. She enjoys a good family brawl as much as the next person and it’s clear that everyone in this family is a bit nuts. The Bundy leaves her to call her friends in privacy, but not before JB notices the security camera on the wall. He tells her they’re manned 24 hours a day but are film only, no sound, and promises there aren’t any in the bedrooms. Ho ho.

(Sidenote: Am working on a device that removes all knowledge of Kardashians from my consciousness. I call this device TEQUILA)

(Sidenote: Am working on a device that removes all knowledge of Kardashians from my consciousness. I call this device TEQUILA)

Grady is naturally delighted to have a whole night to try and hit on the resident bimbo, also known as Millie although as usual he is thwarted at every attempt – first at dinner with the unexpected arrival of his old boss Chester Harrison looking for Bundy blood and then later when Millie wanders off, mid-conversation. Jess gives up and goes to the library to find a little bed time reading and runs into Chester Harrison (who is played by Robert Stack, aka the former host of America’s Most Wanted). He tells her how Bundy got his paws on Harrison’s company, and that he’s about to accept his fate. Jess suggests they turn away from the security camera in case someone is lurking who can lip read, but there’s no need. The camera picks up audio and sound. THAT BUNDY IS A LYING BASTARD.

Jess tells Chester to fight Bundy at dawn with pistols and Chester gets all excited. “You’re right! What would Hemmingway do?” (Get blind drunk and punch someone?)

The next morning JB goes on her morning run (because woe betide anyone who stops Our Heroine from going on her run) and   finds Christopher and Vanessa playing tennis. JB tells them she had a dream where Grady suddenly moved to Vladivostok forever she was being chased by a security camera. Vanessa suggests she might like to take a look at the security room as inspiration for her next book.

Jess takes her up on her suggestion and meets Pete the security guy. From his bunker they watch the butler sneak off for a mid morning whiskey, Vanessa tear the library apart in search of a book before they hear gunshots. They rush to the hallway to see Christopher Bundy collapse from a gunshot wound and fall down the stairs. Because he’s dead. And it’s Sunday. And so the prophecy came true.

The gunshot brings everyone except Chester running and Bert is quick to take charge. He sends Pete and Everett out to check the fences and the grounds and orders everyone else into the sitting room. Alibis are flung around – Antonio was playing tennis with Millicent, Rachel was in the dining room and Vanessa claims to have been outside, although JB is quick to call her on this point and Vanessa changes her story to say that she was in the library when the shot was fired. UGH THIS IS THE WORST GAME OF CLUEDO EVER I BLAME GRADY.

Meanwhile, it appears Chester has legged it. Bert pronounces him guilty but is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the police. Unexpected, as no one called them. Detective Lieutenant Greco is on the case, and a sly nod to Everett solves the case of the Mysterious Call to the Police. ERMAGHERD THE BUTLER DID IT.  Grady attempts his own detective work and fails miserably, although Antonio accosts him in the hallway and asks Grady to show the company books to himself and to Rachel. He also shows his aunt a bowl of candy on the floor in the library as clue but JB gently tells him that she saw Vanessa knock it over while she was rummaging through the books in the library.

Truer words were never spoken.

Truer words were never spoken.

Chester reappears and begs for Jess’s help. Jess checks out the room he was sleeping in and thinks there was no way he could have known Bundy was on the stairs. Then Grady discovers another door, with the perfect view. I know, I refused to believe that Grady found something out either, but there you go.

I particularly like the part where you can't see stupid Grady's stupid face.

I particularly like the part where you can’t see stupid Grady’s stupid face.

Despite JB’s protestations that the butler had less of an alibi than Chester, Greco books him and takes him down to the precinct. Later, Grady and JB are talking over the case in the garden when they spot said butler photographing documents in the study. THE BUTLER STILL DID IT!

Nope. Because apparently the butler isn’t a butler, he is in fact an undercover agent of the IRS, investigating Christopher Bundy for shenanigans. Crossing one suspect off the list, JB sends Grady to check on Chester while she tests the strength of a few other alibis. Vanessa still swears she was outside right up until the moment her uncle was shot, and Antonio and Millie maintain they were playing tennis. (99% sure tennis is code for something else).

Rachel asks Bert to show JB into the library and orders Our Heroine off the property. Grady returns with Chester who despite being let off the hook wants to make a deal with Rachel to return to his magazine. As Our Heroine and Grady prepare to leave Jess realises she still has a Bundy book in her bag. When she returns it, she has a sparkling idea.

The killer stuffed up (no, it’s not Grady unfortunately. Remember that whole thing with the sun in the library?

Pity. She seemed to be the only relative who wasn't a complete arse.

Pity. She seemed to be the only relative who wasn’t a complete arse.

Through the cunning use of such modern technologies as a VCR, Vanessa managed to fool them all into thinking she was in the library when actually she was Wreaking Vengence for her father’s suicide caused by her bastard uncle. You know, the usual.

Another job well done for Team Fletcher. As Jensen and his team of crack IRS accountants move in to thwart Rachel Bundy’s plans to hide the money, Chester roars off into the sunset with Millie (???) and JB berates Grady for having a train wreck for a love life and a terrible choice in career moves.

All is well with the world.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S02E18 – If A Body Meet A Body

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Internet, do you ever have those days when all you want to do is finish writing something but you are CONSTANTLY INTERRUPTED?

Our Heroine is having one of those days although to be fair it starts off unavoidably when she attends the funeral of her friend Henry Vernon, who passed away while on holiday in Farnsdale with his wife Connie. It’s all terribly sad and morbid (and boring, thanks to the reverend conducting the ceremony) until Henry’s mistress Phyllis storms into the service, throwing sass about and accusing Connie of murdering her husband for the insurance money. More than that, when Amos steps up to try and restore order Phyllis shoves him out of the way and accidentally tips the coffin over, depositing the corpse on the floor. The corpse, as it turns out, isn’t Henry Vernon.

Back at the Vernon residence, Connie tells Our Heroine her husband died in the night after not feeling well on their weekend away. Amos boldly asks Connie about Phyllis and she says she knew about her husband’s affair, but that he’d broken it off. She also admits that her husband had his life insurance policy changed to make her the beneficiary when he decided to wind down the partnership with his business partner Ned.

In the car, Amos comments that if Phyllis hadn’t hulked out at the funeral, Connie might be collecting a $200,000 insurance policy about now. And come to think of it, who the hell was the body in the coffin? Amos tells Our Heroine that he has called the Farnsdale funeral parlour and they aren’t missing any bodies. Maybe this mysterious John Doe was murdered?

Well, you do live in the crime capital of the universe Amos. #duh

Well, you do live in the crime capital of the universe Amos. #duh

Amos spots that look and says “As much as I appreciate all the help you’ve given me now and again, everyone in town says you solve all my cases for me!…”

d2

“…so if you don’t mind, I’m going to crack this one alone.”

e2

 

All lols aside though, JB has a book to write and gets down to work. Just as she types “suddenly there  was a knock at the door” a horde of marauding penguins break into her house there is a knock at the door. It’s Phyllis, looking for wisdom, advice and to beg that JB looks into the Case of the Missing Stiff. JB assures her that Amos is all over it. Phyllis doesn’t appear convinced, but is certain that Connie killed her husband.

Meanwhile, Henry’s business partner Ned has his own problems to deal with. His daughter Christy is seeing a no-good hippie berry farmer named Stu, and to make matters worse two investors from his most recent project, a medical centre, have just informed him that they want out.

But never mind all that, because JB is back in front of her typewriter. At least, until the phone rings.

I think we've all been there, amirite?

I think we’ve all been there, amirite?

Amos has just confirmed that noone in Farnsdale knows anything about a missing dead body, and that he’s going to see Doc Hazzlitt to see if he’s worked out how the mystery man died. He’d offer to bring JB along but he’s pretty sure he has this case all figured out. Unfortunately for Amos, Seth tells him that the John Doe did in fact die of a heart attack.

He goes round to inform Connie (and JB, who has apparently given up on writing today) of the news, and JB subtly suggests that the whole thing could be resolved by someone (*cough*Amos*cough*) going up to Farnsdale to suss out whether they really have lost a dead body. Connie invites them back for dinner, saying she needs the company.

Meanwhile, in someone’s back shed, the reanimated corpse of George Vernon is watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians the late news.

BRAAAAAIIIIINNNNNSSSSS

BRAAAAAIIIIINNNNNSSSSS

It turns out he’s not actually a member of the walking dead, but never died in the first place. A LIKELY STORY. Zombie George gets a phone call, and tells the mysterious person on the line that it’s all out of hand, and that they need to talk.

Speaking of which, back at the House of Fletcher the phone is ringing again.

Why? Because I'm weird, that's why.

Why? Because I’m weird, that’s why.

It is in fact not Khan on the phone, but Ned Flanders Olson, Zombie George’s business associate, checking to see if JB would like to increase her investment in the medical centre. His great plan to lure her in by telling her Amos has invested his life savings in the scheme backfires and JB politely tells him to bugger off.

Later than night JB takes a break from being interrupted and goes to dinner at Connie’s house. Connie talks Amos into staying on for a bit to watch a John Wayne movie but JB is a woman on a mission and decides to walk home, not before spotting the van belonging to Christie’s boyfriend Stu veering all over the road. Amos manages to sleep through most of it, but wakes up at the end. Connie asks him if he’d stop by every now and again just for company.

The next morning JB is prepared for the next person who interrupts her writing:

JB is going to a reenactment of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. TOPICAL CAPTION FTW!

JB is going to a reenactment of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. TOPICAL CAPTION FTW!

That person is Amos, who is heading up to Farnsdale to see where this mysterious dead body has come from. JB shoos him away as the phone starts ringing again. This time it’s for Amos – he’s needed at Phyllis’s house. She’s just found the recently re-deceased body of Henry Vernon.

Not even JB can stay home for this. Phyllis tells them she’d been at work all night, came home and found the corpse, covered in purple stains and dirt. JB asks Seth how long he thinks Henry’s been dead, and he estimates around twelve hours. He’d been killed by a blunt instrument such as a lead pipe in the library by Colonel Mustard. “Or a poker?” JB asks, pokingly. Amos catches on and retrieves a poker from Phyllis’s fireplace.

Oh yeah. Still got it.

Oh yeah. Still got it.

So if Henry Vernon died twelve hours ago and not three days ago in Farnsdale, then Connie Vernon has some explaining to do! And explain she does – after they picked up a hitch-hiker who conveniently had a heart attack in the backseat, her husband hatched the plot to get the insurance money and nick off to San Francisco.

Before this news has time to sink in, Amos gets a call from Ned. He has some bad news – all of the money for the medical centre investment has gone. An angry mob quickly convenes at the church and starts baying for money, blood and more beer (probably not true). Amos pleads with Our Heroine for help but JB is a Woman With A Deadline. As she explains this to Amos, the doors slam and Disco Stu The Berry Man comes storming in to announce that his truck has been stolen.

JB suspects his van of being the Method of Transportation for getting Zombie George’s body to Phyllis’s house. They go back to look for more clues and Phyllis admits she wasn’t at work for the whole time. She got a message at work to say that Henry wanted to meet her up by the lake, but when she went there, he never showed.

Amos and JB go to Seth’s office to take another look at the body of John Doe, only to discover that his body has gone missing overnight. This nearly sends poor Amos over the edge, but he gets some good news when one of his deputies pops in to tell him they’ve found Stu’s van, over by Ned’s house. Sadly it’s burnt out – and they find a burned suitcase and a charred wad of hundred dollar bills inside. There goes the retirement fund!

While Amos freaks out about his money and Stu freaks out about his van, JB spots a freshly dug hole. Amos correctly identifies it as not being a gopher hole, and some digging reveals the body of John Doe. JB then notices Ben’s Cabin in the Woods (!!!) and suspects it might be where Zombie George has been hiding out.

Naturally, she assumes correctly. Back at the Sheriffs Office with Amos and Connie, and JB has a theory. She thinks Zombie George stole Stu’s van and the body of John Doe to cover up the evidence of his insurance scam, then whomever killed Zombie George stole Stu’s van and dumped the body at Phyllis’s house to frame her. They’ll be able to prove it, JB thinks, if they find the watch face missing from Zombie George’s watch.

Except the watch face wasn’t missing from Zombie George’s watch. But of course, the killer didn’t know that for sure.

And by killer, I think you know who I mean…

Life Lesson # : Women who come storming into funerals throwing wild accusations about aren't always wrong.

Life Lesson #44 – Women who come storming into funerals throwing wild accusations about aren’t always wrong.

There you have it Fletcherfans! The crazy lady was right, all along! There’s nothing left for me to say, but…

Have a good week, Fletcherfans!

Have a good week, Fletcherfans!

 

S02E17 – One Good Bid Deserves a Murder

4 Comments

High intrigue and shenanigans this week Fletcherfans! Our Heroine has been summoned to Boston at the request of her old friend Richard Bennett who needs her help. Somehow an auction house has gotten their mitts on his now deceased girlfriend Evangeline’s diary and are auctioning it off on Saturday. He gives her a cheque for a million dollars and a letter from Evangeline so she can authenticate the diary, begs her to destroy the diary once she has bought it,  and then jets off to Barcelona.

One does not simply walk into Mordor, win an auction for a salacious celebrity diary, however. There are a few people keen to stop the diary from going public, including Robert Rhine, a lawyer working on behalf of a ambassador/former love interest of Evangeline; Doctor Sylvia Dunn, Evangeline’s psychiatrist; and producer Sheila Saxon and director Saul Domino. Sheila has big plans to turn Evangeline’s diary into a movie but needs Saul’s help getting the money for it. 

Charged with her mission, JB rocks up to the Readford Auction House and is immediately accosted by its owner, William Readford (previously seen here). He’s disappointed that Richard won’t be attending his dog and pony show, but allows Jess to authenticate the diary. They are rudely interrupted by a guard frog-marching Dr Dunn into the room, after she tried to offer him five grand to steal the diary. The good doctor rants about how disgusting it is that Readford is making money from the the demise of Evangeline, but Readford reasonably points out that he is just the middle man, selling it on behalf of the owner. JB asks him just who that is, and he tells her that it’s “privileged information”.

I don't think this fool knows who he is talking to...

I don’t think this fool knows who he is talking to…

While she waits for the auction to start, JB checks out the other things up for auction. She notices an antique wardrobe but the security guard tells her it’s blue tagged, and not up for auction this week. Then she notices a chessboard which Readford offers to give her for free, but Jess won’t have it. Readford takes her money and departs, ripping the blue tag off the wardrobe as he leaves. DOES ANYONE ELSE THINK THE WARDROBE IS A CLUE?

As the auction kicks off, the wardrobe comes up and the auctioneer invites all interested to come and check it out. One opens the door to see if it’s a portal to Narnia, and the corpse of Richard Bennett flops out. I guess Barcelona didn’t work out.

The 5-0 arrive to take charge of the chaos and the Lieutenant asks JB what she knows. She explains that Richard gave her the cheque to bid on the diary, and the lieutenant notes with some suspicion that the cheque is made out not to Readford’s, but to JB Fletcher.

“Well obviously I was going to countersign it over to the auction house.” Says Our Heroine.

“Yeah, sure. Obviously.” Says the lieutenant.

JB takes no crap from nobody, y'dig?

JB takes no crap from nobody, y’dig?

Before JB can give the recalcitrant policeman whatfor, Readford appears. The diary has been stolen! The lieutenant asks him when the last time he saw it was and Readford tells him it was when Jessica was looking at it. They all give JB the Eye and she says “Ummm…”

The lieutenant decides that he has more questions and escorts Our Heroine downtown for a little chat. Fortunately for JB a knight in shining armour also happens to be at the police station. (Hint: It ain’t Grady).

It's Lennie! I mean Harry McGraw! (But really, it's Lennie!)

It’s Lennie! I mean Harry McGraw! (But really, it’s Lennie!)

Harry (whose black eye is the result of an allergy) gives the Lieutenant 30 seconds to release Jessica before he Completely Hulks Out. He relents and lets Jess go. As a thank you she takes Harry to the chemist to find something for that “allergy”. She decides to stick around to see if she can still get hold of the diary and Harry tells her that she’s going to need protecting, and that “he’s the kind of guy who can give it to her.”

(That's what he said, etc)

(That’s what he said, etc)

They go back to Jess’s hotel room (meow) but discover that someone beat them to it, and has torn the place apart in search of the diary. Harry asks her if anything is missing and she thinks no…but then she conveniently suddenly remembers that old Spanish chess sets like the one she bought for Seth sometimes had a secret compartment so that they could hide valuables away from the prying eyes of the Spanish Inquisition. SERIOUSLY, WHAT WERE THE ODDS?

Jess presses down on the kings squares and a drawer shoots out, revealing Evangeline’s diary.

Booyah! (I'm not even sorry)

Booyah! (I’m not even sorry)

Jess contemplates turning it over to the police, but decides to just have a little flick through, in case of suspects. Despite Harry’s best attempts to sneak a peek JB knocks him back and sends him off to order room service. Sadly not all the tea and sandwiches in the world is enough to keep JB awake. As she sleeps, Harry can’t help himself and grabs the diary.

The next morning JB reluctantly tells Harry what she’s learned so far in the diary – Evangeline had a torrid love life (apart from the ambassador)  and was less than complementary about Dr Dunn, Sal and Sheila, not to mention a mysterious person by the name of Al.  Jess decides to see Readford and take him (and the diary) to the police station. Harry has other ideas. He takes himself off to see the lawyer who was trying to get the diary for the ambassador, and offers to sell him a photocopy of the diary for a hundred grand. 

Jess goes to see Readford, but sadly finds him lying on the floor with a dagger sticking out of his chest. Even worse, the Lieutenant wanders in at that precise moment and finds JB standing over a dead body holding the diary. Oh my.

JB is once again taken downtown for questioning and asks the lieutenant why she would kill Readford. “Beats me Mrs Fletcher,” the lieutenant says, “but every time I find a dead body you seem to be in the neighbourhood”. 

Can’t deny he has a point. But, he admits that he doesn’t think JB is a serial killer and lets her go. Outside, Harry is waiting for her and she decides to pay a visit on Albert Cromwell, the guard Dr Dunn tried to bribe. 

This is an episode of Law and Order that should have happened...

This is an episode of Law and Order that should have happened…

Despite Harry’s subtle line of questioning (*cough*), Bert insists he knows nothing. Dr Dunne approached him with a bag full of twenties fresh from the bank but he said no. 

Harry departs for Secret Harry Business (a date), and JB retires to her hotel, where Dr Dunn is waiting for her. She’s heard there’s a copy of the diary for sale and she’s desperate. As she combs Jessica’s room looking for bugs she begs for the diary, accuses JB of being one of ‘Them’ and declares that no-one is bringing down her lifetime of hard work.

Someone's been getting into the meds...

Someone’s been getting into the meds…

Jess goes to see the Lieutenant for another look at the diary, and discovers that some pages are now missing. The lieutenant tells her the only other person with access to the diary is Judge Parker, who they figure must have removed the pages as a favour to the Ambassador.

Meanwhile, it turns out Harry is on a date with Sheila the producer (yeah I’d forgotten about her too), and is rather pleased about it.

If there are an infinite amount of universes, there is one where Jerry Orbach was in Saturday Night Live. Just think about that for a minute...

If there are an infinite amount of universes, there is one where Jerry Orbach was in Saturday Night Live. Just think about that for a minute…

Sheila tells Harry she’s thinking about making a movie based on his life…in return for the copy of Evangeline’s diary. Harry tells her to get bent (paraphrasing) and sneaks into JB’s hotel room to get the copy. Alas, JB is as usual five steps ahead of him. He tells her it was all part of his cunning plan to smoke the murderer out, but JB insists on harping on ab0ut the mickey he slipped her in her tea. JB decides to take the copied pages to the Lieutenant, with Harry’s reluctant approval but the plan goes awry when the ambassadors lawyer Robert Rhine kidnaps JB at gunpoint. Fortunately Harry returns from his ciggie-buying expedition in time to punch the lawyer in the face. Harry wants to deposit the lawyer on the lieutenant’s desk but JB is more concerned with his hand. “Oh come on Jessica, if I know anything I know how to punch somebody without bustin my hand!” grumbles Harry.

Cut to the next scene where Harry is getting his broken hand set. OH THE LOLZ. Harry seems to think the case is closed, but Jess isn’t so sure and goes to see Sal the director. Before she goes in, his secretary tells her that Richard came to see Sal on the day he died and had a shouting match, the reason for which is later revealed when Sal tells JB that he’s the one who had put the diary up for auction in a quest to drum up publicity. He had taken it from Evangeline’s room the night that she died. JB asks him about the mysterious Al, but he doesn’t know a thing. Naturally.

The lieutenant is less than enthused to learn that the diary belongs to Sal, and Harry has a dig at him for being so ungrateful. In return, the lieutenant rings the license board to have the investigators license of one Harlan McGraw revoked.

Jessica has an epiphany. 

EUREKA

EUREKA

And so the case of the Death of Richard Bennett and That Guy What Owned The Auctionhouse was solved.

Call me Al.

Call me Al.

Al(bert) Cromwell was Evangeline’s boyfriend before she got famous and didn’t take too kindly to the idea of her memory being exploited. When he went to steal it he was spotted by Richard Bennett who recognised him from his attempts to stalk Evangeline. So he knocked him off, and then Readford when he wouldn’t tell him where the diary was. To top it off, he also knocked off Evangeline, who was not enjoying her fame (according to Al).

Case closed, JB fulfills her promise to Richard and burns the diary along with Harry’s copy. Chalk another one up to the Greatest Crimefighting Duo Since Ever.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S02E16 – Murder in the Electric Cathedral

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JB is on the road again, this time to Oklahoma where she’s catching up with her old English teacher Carrie McKitterick. Unfortunately, all catching up is somewhat curtailed by a Wagner blaring car-horn, signalling the arrival of Carrie’s step-son Harvey and her step- grandson Sam.

(Seriously though. I think I need a car horn that blares out Ride of the Valkyries. I’d get to work in ten minutes with that).

Harvey and Sam are less than pleased with Carrie. It turns out she’s changed her will to leave her millions to televangelist Reverend Willie John Fargo.

There is a special circle of Hell reserved for people who interrupt Our Heroine.

There is a special circle of Hell reserved for people who interrupt Our Heroine.

Carrie throws them out of the house, but has a heart attack in the process. She’s admitted to hospital, and as she recovers in the ward makes JB swear that if anything should happen, to make sure they don’t change her will. Because that’s not tempting fate at all.

Carrie soon has a visit from Willie John, who says he’d been “labouring in the Lord’s vineyard” when he’d heard Carrie had been taken ill, and that he was needed immediately.

Seriously though, surely he doesn't need a vineyard? Can't he just wave his arms about and turn water into wine?

Seriously though, surely He doesn’t need a vineyard? Can’t He just wave His arms about and turn water into wine? Or is that where sacremental wine comes from? I HAVE QUESTIONS, DAMMIT

JB leaves Willie John and Carrie to pray for more wine and steps out. She runs into Willie John’s wife Sister Ruth (previously known as the charity worker who’s name I’ve forgotten in this episode), and shortly after by Harvey and Sam who (despite causing Carrie to be in the hospital) are hell bent on taking her home again. JB scolds them and they promise to get the DA to file charges of embezzlement against Willie John for convincing their (grand)mother to leave her millions to him.

After the hullabaloo, Carrie asks Our Heroine to call her granddaughter-in-law Alice to come and visit. The Doctor suggests Carrie could use some rest so JB steps out to use the payphone. As the phone rings out, she notices Nurse Sue Beth  (who’s real name is Barbi I swear I’m not making this up) come out of Carrie’s room and go down stairs.

Time passes. Then so does Carrie, sadly. As the doctors try and revive her JB asks Sam what happened but he doesn’t know and quickly takes off. JB notices a syringe on the floor and carefully picks it up with her handkerchief before she is thrown out of the room. She takes a whiff – cyanide.

Cue dramatic pause.

After the adbreak Alice arrives at the hospital along with DA Fred Whittaker. Harvey tells him to investigate Willie John immediately but Fred is hesitant. JB informs them that she believes Carrie was poisoned by cyanide and is backed up by her Doctor. Fred promises to speak to both Sam and Willie John.

Back at Carrie’s, Alice and JB find Sam brandishing a new copy of Carrie’s will that leaves everything to her family. JB is suspicious, especially as the signature on the letter from Carrie she just so happens to be carrying around in her handbag doesn’t match the signature on this mysterious new will.

SCREW THAT I WANT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THE LORD’S VINEYARD. Is it Oyster Bay? I bet it’s Oyster Bay, their sav blanc is hand pressed by angels. (Probably not true).

Anyway, Fred and JB go to confront Sam and he admits to typing the will and signing it with his grandmother’s hand (creepy!?). JB gently encourages Fred to lay murder charges against Sam  but Harvey won’t hear of it and tells Fred that he’ll see to it that Fred won’t even be dogcatcher next spring.

Down at the hospital JB is hot on the case of the Mysterious Syringe and where Nurse Sue Beth went when she left Carrie’s hospital room. It turns out the stairs lead down to the carpark, opposite the Church of the Electric Cathedral TV studio, so JB goes to look for the Lord’s Vineyard check it out. She runs into Willie John and tells him that she was just making sure that her friend wasn’t being taken advantage of. This sends Willie John into a preaching fit, and he tells her about all the good work the Church is doing.

Seriously, if you know the location of the Lord's Vineyard please get in touch.

Seriously, if you know the location of the Lord’s Vineyard please get in touch.

Willie John wanders off to do a bit more preaching and leaves Jess to have a tour of the studio with his wife Sister Ruth which concludes with their private apartment. Jess comments on how spectacular it is.

e2a e2b

Over tea and scones it turns out that Sister Ruth helps out on the Indian Reservation on Wednesdays (she used to be a nurse), Willie John just so happens to be diabetic, and he’s not telling JB where the Lord’s Vineyard is. Or where he was the night Carrie died.

JB goes to see Fred and tell him what she found out, but he ain’t buying. For one thing, JB seems to have more questions than answers, like why was Carrie killed with an insulin needle full of cyanide when insulin would have done the trick?

Fred: Are you a doctor or something?

JB: Writing murder mysteries almost qualifies me, believe me. (Life Lesson #43)

JB answers her own question – if insulin was used it wouldn’t have been detected and they would never have known there was a murder. Someone wanted the murder to be discovered!

The results of the fingerprint test on the syringe arrive while everyone’s at Carrie’s wake. The fingerprints belong to Willie John…

…but he’s not the killer. Apparently while the killer was killing he was in the chapel ‘ministering the needs’ of Nurse Sue Beth.

That's a burn right there

That’s a burn right there

But wait. If Willie John didn’t do it….who did? Fortunately the answer is as obvious as a smack in the head to Our Heroine.

Are you ready?

Did you guess?

Did you guess?

This time, money had nothing to do with it. Sister Ruth wanted out of the Willie John train, but it’s not so easy divorcing a Reverend. Much easier to have him locked up for murder.

Unfortunately, the Mystery of the Holy Vineyard will never be solved. And on that sad note…

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

PS – Tomorrow afternoon I’m going to see a little play called Driving Miss Daisy starring two up and coming actors named James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury. AIN’T NO THANG. (Seriously though, dying).

S02E15 – Powder Keg

3 Comments

Disclaimer: My attention wandered in this episode. You have been warned.

Roadtrippin again this week Fletcherfans, this time to Sweet Home Alabama where Our Heroine is kicking back with her pal Ames Caulfield after a hardcore week of partying at a writers conference. Sadly, it all goes a bit pear-shaped en route to Ames’s estate and they break down outside of Hoopville.

While the car gets fixed, JB and Ames adjourn to the hotel which (in an Amazingly Unforeseen and Unpredictable Coincidence) is owned by a former student (and obvious former flame) of Ames’s, Cassie Burns along with her son Matthew-the-musician who is surprisingly adult if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink etcetera.

Following up on the incredibly subtle suggestion that Matthew might be Ames’s son, Ames goes to watch Matthew play (and flirt with a perm called Linda) at the bar on the outskirts of town while the bar owner Frank Kelso shows off his new gun toy before the peace is Completely and Utterly Disturbed by zombies the arrival of Linda’s brother Ed and his  minions Andy and Billy who like booze and bullying. And eating brains, probably.

Fun fact: the middle zombie is Jackie Earle Haley and the one on the left is from CHiPS. You're welcome, people on their way to a trivia night.

Fun fact: the middle zombie is Jackie Earle Haley and the one on the left is from CHiPS. You’re welcome, people on their way to a trivia night.

On a semi-unrelated topic….

Just sayin...e1b

Sometimes I even scare myself…anyway, head zombie Ed decides he doesn’t like Matthew making loverboy-eyes at his sister and tells him accordingly. This amazingly leads to a massive brawl and Ed ordering Matthew to stay away from singing and his sister (in that order). The zombies take off in their zombiemobile car with Matthew in hot pursuit, telling Linda that he’s going to kill Ed even if he is her brother. Ames is left standing in the dust looking perplexed.

I can’t even begin to speculate what is going to happen next.

Back at the hotel JB is up late working (because that’s just how she rolls) when she hears Ames come in. As she looks pointedly at her watch, sirens blare outside. Because Ed the zombie is dead. Not undead, just dead. Dead Ed. OH THE SURPRISE.

The next morning, Ames quickly recruits JB to come to the aid of Matthew, who has been arrested for the murder of Zombie Ed. Down at the sheriff’s office, Ames tries all sorts of name-dropping tricks in an effort to see Matthew but the sheriff and Daniel Day-Lewis are unmoved.

...

That Daniel Day-Lewis is so good he can even play a painting.

IMDB has just informed me that the Sheriff of Hoopville is also Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mind. Blown. The Sheriff tells Our Heroine and Ames about the mountain of (circumstantial) evidence proving Matthew killed the zombie  Ed, but admits that he has doubts about Matthew’s guilt. He also says that despite this, Matthew is a lot safer inside the jail than out on the streets where the local townsfolk are baying for revenge. JB and Ames return to the hotel where the clerk tells Ames that Cassie wants to see him at home immediately. JB stops him to ask if he remembers seeing anything after the fight to prove that Matthew is innocent but Ames can’t remember a thing.

I'll be honest - I think JB solved this case about twenty minutes ago and she's just stringing everyone along.

I’ll be honest – I think JB solved this case about twenty minutes ago and she’s just stringing everyone along.

Outside the sheriff’s office the angry mob is taking time out of its schedule to get good and drunk. Bar owner Frank Kelso drops by with more booze and tells Andy that he’s sorry that Ed was a zombie murdered. Andy is having none of it though. Apparently everyone knew that Frank Kelso’s wife was having a thing with Ed before she went to “visit her mother” which is apparently code for “run off with the hardware salesman”. Frank hulks out but is silenced with a punch to the face.

JB goes to see the Sheriff to get the latest news and meets the Hoopville version of Doc Hazlitt, who is JB’s biggest fan even without having read any of her books. At last, someone with some sense. The doc tells JB that the body was definitely hacked at and moved post-mortem. The sheriff reluctantly lets JB look through Ed’s personal effects and is equally flummoxed by the presence of two cigarette lighters one of which bears the Cameron family crest. (The Murder She Wrote writers want to make that point clear. I feel this may come up later)

Outside, JB is accosted by Dead Ed’s sister who asks her to come and see her father to try to put a stop to this episode the insanity. Dead Ed’s Dad seems disinclined to do anything but chop wood and mutter about the sheriff, but eventually comes clean – Dead Ed moved out without a dime but somehow managed to rent a house, buy an expensive new car and generally carry on like he was a Kardashian. He suspects Dead Ed of being a drug dealer, but hasn’t proof.

Back in town the mob is getting restless with just drinking and making nooses. Sheriff Shredder tells Our Heroine that someone was spotted leaving Dead Ed’s place but they don’t know who. JB has it with people not telling her things and tries to force Cassie to admit that Matthew is Ames’s son. She blusters and storms off but Ames admits it. He also tells her that Billy Willetts (associate zombie to Dead Ed) held a knife to Frank Kelso the night of the brawl. Apparently this is news we can use.

After the sheriff orders JB off the case, on account of the angry mob of zombies massing outside the sheriff’s office. Thankfully, JB ignores him and pays a visit on Frank Kelso, who greets her with his gun.

Ermahgherd this episode just keeps going

Ermagherd this episode just keeps going

Frank wants to know why JB is snooping around. He tells her Billy held the knife on him to stop him from reaching for his ‘peacemaker’.

“Strictly speaking, a Peacemaker is a nickname for a Colt 45, used in frontier days. If I’m not mistaken, that’s a Webley Fosbury semi automatic revolver.” says Jess.

“Wellllll…..you sure do know your weaponry!” Says Frank. “You own one of them?”

“Oh no. No no no.” Jess replies.  “Of course I just ran across it in research. For several days I considered using one to shoot a Bulgarian scientist.”

...

 

Frank has no time to think of an appropriate response. He gets a call from the Sheriffs office. There’s trouble.

When in doubt, zombies.

When in doubt, zombies.

 

Faced with the imminent zombie menace the sheriff prepares to fight the hordes of undead to the end, but is saved when Dead Ed’s father appears and orders the angry zombie mob to disperse. To celebrate, Sheriff Shredder arrests Andy for  being a zombie. And a douchebag.

After emptying his pockets they discover Andy has a keyring with the Cameron crest on it. Hey guys! Remember that time with the lighter! See how it all comes together!?

The Sheriff asks Andy if he’d lost his lighter and Andy’s all “hell yeah, where’d you find it?”

“Off your friend’s dead body.” Says the sheriff.

BAM. (Giving myself points for this  one)

BAM.

Andy flips out. He gave the lighter to Dead Ed after they left Kelso’s the first time, since Dead Ed had left his behind. They went to play pool, got back into town at 12:45 then Dead Ed said he had to go to the bank.

And by bank…

I'll be honest, I didn't see this coming. Mainly because by this point I'd stopped looking.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this coming. Mainly because by this point I’d stopped looking.

Are you ready kids? So it turns out Frank Kelso was being blackmailed by Dead Ed because Dead Ed found out Frank killed his wife after she’d had an affair with Dead Ed. So, Frank killed Dead Ed. And then it was now.

Good lord. I need a nap. And a whiskey.

Until next time, dear reader.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

 

 

 

S02E14 – Keep the Home Fries Burning

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I don’t know about you Fletcherfans, but I could use a little ridiculousness after this week. Fortunately, Our Heroine is home in the Cove again, which means you know who.

You headin' my way?

You headin’ my way?

Amos is cheating on his regular diner (owned by Bo Dixon) with a new restaurant called the Joshua Peabody Inn, named after Cabot Cove’s answer to Jebediah Springfield.  In fact, most of the town is, including Doc Hazlitt, who is taking Jess to breakfast.

All is not well inside the Inn, however. The owner, Floyd is frazzled, the chef Alan Dupree is drunk and trying to get fired, and the patrons – including two feuding local politicians and some out-of-towners who have stopped in for a bite to eat – aren’t all that convinced that it’s the best place for them. I can’t imagine why though, with menu items like Eggs Benedict Arnold, or the Benjamin Frankenfurter (with beans), or the One if By Land, Two if By Sea Surf and Turf platter, or Life, Liberty and Prosciutto Happiness with Melon, how could you go wrong?

Amos plonks himself down with Seth and JB and promptly starts arguing with Seth about whether Joshua Peabody was a real person. Cornelia, the waitress, stops by their table with the jam and Seth says “At least you didn’t have to dress up like Betsy Ross at the old place!” to which Jessica says “Doctors who walk around in hip boots hardly qualify as fashion experts.”

(Can we just talk about the expression on JB's face right now?!)

Fletcher burn!

Meanwhile, Bo the spurned diner owner is also having breakfast, trying to see where all his customers (and his waitress) have gone. Amos spots jam on a neighbouring table, occupied by two ladies from out of town named Wilhelmina and Betty and snares it for his toast before Cornelia snaffles it up and places it briefly on the table of the two warring politicians before delivering it to a family table. One can only presume that this game of Musical Jam has some sort of nefarious point.

While Seth and Our Heroine argue over the bill, the father of the family that last had the jam comes rushing back into the restaurant. His son has fallen ill! Well colour me surprised, etc.

Seth goes running and finds the son rolling in agony on the ground. The two politicians come outside and one collapses. Then Amos hollers – Betty from the next table is on the ground, and not moving.

That’s it, I’m calling it now.

It was only a matter of time...

It was only a matter of time. That jam was a loose cannon.

Down at Cabot Cove General Hospital (which is what I assume the hospital is called), Seth is tending to his patients when Margo Perry from State Health (also known as Anne Francis from Forbidden Planet) arrives demanding information and bringing a whole lot of sass.

d2 e1

Margo The Feisty gets to work immediately, going through the Inn and making sure her minions collect a sample. It goes a little something like this:

Margo: Ham.

Minion: Check.

Amos: I had some of that.

Margo: Syrup.

Minion: Check.

Amos: (worried) I had some of that.

Margo: Marmalade.

Minion: Check.

Amos: (really worried) I had some of that too!

Our Heroine: (dryly) You had some of everything, Amos.

Paying scant disregard for Amos’s rising terror, JB discovers a preserves rack with the raspberry jam missing. She asks Floyd who was sitting at that table but he’s too busy trying to keep up with Hurricane Margo.  Jess gets Amos to drive her back to the hospital, where Seth insists on giving them a checkup. Before he can do so, Eric from The Bold and the Beautiful comes in looking for his wife Wilhelmina – the friend of the woman who died.  Seth tells him that his wife is going to be fine, but her friend Betty Fiddler didn’t make it. Eric promptly collapses in shock.

In the corridor, Jess tells Seth her theory – the food was poisoned by someone who removed it before the state health people arrived. They don’t notice Hurricane Margo come up behind them until she tells Seth to stop formulating pointless theories with the local “crisishound”, and start testing samples.

Oh Margo. You're going to regret that one.

Oh Margo. You’re going to regret that one.

Back at the Peabody, Jess resumes the hunt for Jam of Death, but it’s nowhere to be found. As she searches, she asks Floyd if he has any enemies, and he tells her about the Chef Who Can’t Cook, Dupree. Floyd imported him from France, assuming that a) he was French (he isn’t) and that he could cook like his family (he can’t).  The only way Dupree can get out of his contract is if Floyd fires him, which he won’t.

Seth calls and tells Jess he needs to tell her. He has a theory about what the problem is – atropine poisoning. He has an antidote for it, and if it works it will confirm Our Heroine’s theory that it wasn’t food poisoning, it was poisoned food. Theory confirmed, JB goes to see Cornelia the waitress, who was the last person to see the suspect jam. She tells JB that she left it on Bo Dixon’s table when the hubbub began.

Upon hearing this, Amos runs with it. But of course Bo is guilty! Not even JB pointing out that he had no chance to put the poison in the jam and collect the jar afterwards can convince him otherwise. Surely that just means Cornelia the waitress must have helped him! Why, some of that poison might have been meant for Amos! He did (unintentionally) take Bo’s customers to the Joshua Peabody Inn, because you know what they say “Where goes Amos Tupper, so goes Cabot Cove.”

“I must be moving in the wrong circles,” JB mutters to Seth. “I haven’t heard anyone say that.”

Another Fletcher-burn!

Another Fletcher-burn!

JB tells Amos about how Dupree is trying to get out of his contract at the Inn, but is interrupted by Mercer Hawthorne, the local politician who has now recovered from his bout of poisoning. He tells them that his dinner date and fellow politician Eb(enezer) McHenry is the poisoner, since Mercer has proof of Eb’s shady dealings.

That’s enough for Amos, who inexplicably throws both Bo and Eb in the cells, releases them and then picks up Dupree. He tells Amos and JB that he wasn’t the only person who had access to the kitchens. Bo turned up in there, and so did some random dude who wanted to take a look at the diner. Amos scoffs at this, but fortunately said mysterious stranger comes in to complain about the parking ticket he just got while he was in the hospital visiting his wife.

It’s Eric from Bold and the Beautiful again!

I feel a little bad that I knew who Eric Forrester was. But I was an English major, so I'm acquainted with most of the major soap opera stars from the early 00's

I feel a little bad that I knew who Eric Forrester was. But I was an English major, so I’m acquainted with most of the major soap opera stars from the early 00’s. Like Passions! Remember Passions?

Amos demands to know how Harrison Fraser III Eric Forrester could have been in the kitchen at the Joshua Peabody Inn that morning when he said he was in Portland when he heard the news about the food poisoning. JB ponders why he was so devastated about Betty’s death, but barely concerned about his wife’s illness, which leads her to wonder who he was looking at from the kitchen at the Inn that morning, and who he was trying to avoid. Eric flounces out without replying.

Later that night JB is hard at work on her next best-seller when she gets an unexpected visitor. Eric Forrester appears. He confesses to JB that he was having an affair with Betty, and that he followed them to stop Betty from telling his wife about their affair. He swears he didn’t poison anyone.

JB is stumped. She believes Eric, but she’s rapidly running out of suspects. She goes to see Bo Dixon, who is disinclined to provide any information to JB. Fortunately, a throwaway comment about leaving a tip on a credit card from Hurricane Margo, who is sweeping off home, sets Jess off. She knows who went on a poisonous rampage.

You may have guessed, too. It’s kind of obvious. Though at this point, I’d like to highlight how restrained I’ve been so far. Okay?

Thank you, and goodnight.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Thank you, Murder She Wrote writers, for allowing me the opportunity to utter the phrase Willie Of Death.

And on that highbrow note…

Later, gang!

Later, gang!

S02E13 – Trial By Error

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Story time, Fletcherfans! Pay attention because this week is kind of tricky.

Once upon a time, there was a man, a woman and a car accident. Yes, that old chestnut. Anyway, the man feels extremely guilty, since he was driving and only fractured his collarbone, and the woman is in a pretty bad way, but not so bad she can’t be loaded into the ambulance crying “WHY? WHY? WHY?”

Why indeed. Anyway, down at the hospital the husband (let’s call him Mark Lee Reynolds, since that’s his name) is out of his mind when the doctors tell him that his wife has a good chance of surviving, but may never walk again. Cloud goes up, cloud goes down. Receiving this news Mark does what any good husband would do – he heads to the nearest pub, gets blind drunk and goes home with some random brunette.

SHIFTY.

SHIFTY.

An associate of said brunette’s husband spots them leaving the bar and puts a call in. The husband grabs his jacket and hauls out into the night bellowing for vengeance. Because the husband is Batman. 

You got all that?

Months later, there’s a trial on. It turns out, Mr Jacket-wearing vengenance-seeker (or Cliff Anderson, for short) wound up dead, and the winner of husband of the year, Mark Lee Reynolds is on trial for his murder. I only mention this because a certain Boss of all Bosses just so happens to be jury forewoman…

Fiercest forewoman ever.

Fiercest forewoman ever.

That’s right, Fletcherfans! It’s 12 Angry Men, Cabot Cove style! To help set the mood for the jury deliberations I found this helpful website to help set the scene. (True story – that noise is also my message notification on my phone, except sometimes I forget and it goes off and I freak out a little bit/fall off the treadmill).

Alright. In the case of People vs Shady Husband, how do we find the jury?

Unsurprisingly, squabbling. Almost everyone on this star-studded jury thinks that Mark Lee Reynolds killed in self-defence. Only Thornton  thinks he is a)Henry Fonda and b)guilty. JB is undecided, and probably more concerned with how much time must pass before her next whiskey.

Apart from the women, whiskey is what was missing from 12 Angry Men.

Apart from the women, whiskey is what was missing from 12 Angry Men.

They discuss, through the cunning use of flashbacks, Reynolds’s testimony that he left the hospital that night “wanting to die.”

Certain members of the jury understand this concept, (a little too well if you ask me) but JB quickly reminds them of the cross-examination where the D.A wanted to know why Reynolds conveniently picked that bar to drink at, since it wasn’t the closest bar to the hospital or his house.

BECAUSE HE’S A SHADY DUDE, GEEZ.

Not everyone on the jury agrees with me though (schmucks), in fact certain female members of the jury tend to find him  quite dreamy. He’s so honest! Even when he tells them (through the cunning use of flashbacks) how he met that random brunette, and the random chain of events that lead to her almost-but-not-quite ex husband turning up on the doorstep and catching them out. (Cue cunning use of flashbacks within flashbacks and ow my brain). According to him, the ex turned up packing heat, they both reached for the gun, ex is now an ex-ex. They call the police, Reynolds gets carted away and gets his phone call, which he uses to call the hospital only to be told that his wife had passed away.

Sucks to be him, is what he’s trying to say.

While the rest of the jury argue with Thornton a bit more, we cunningly flashback to the testimony of Becky the Brunette, who explains that she was getting a divorce from her husband, despite her husband counter-suing for infidelity. HUH I BET.

The jury continues to argue while in flashback land, the hotel owner takes the stand for some laughs.

*insert amusing Gilligan's Island reference here*

*insert amusing Gilligan’s Island reference here*

Skipper announces to the court that Mark Lee Reynolds is a frequent visitor to his classy establishment, and that Becky the brunette had paid a visit too, way before the night of the shooting.

What does the jury think about this, oh they’re still arguing.

JB has a flashback to when she had whiskey

JB has a flashback to when she had whiskey

As things get heated, a couple of jurors call for calm, and to get back to the matter at hand. “Yeah,” says another. “This is man’s life we’re talking about, and most of us here are of a mind to let him keep it. It’s Mrs Fletcher and her minions who are anxious to see him hang.”

Everyone knows JB's minions are Amos and Seth, you crazy fool!

Everyone knows JB’s minions are Amos and Seth, you crazy fool!

The central point of this trial according to JB is the question of whether Becky the brunette and Mark Reynolds knew each other before the night her ex-husband was killed.  Fenton the hotel owner swears he’d seen them together before, the bartender that served them on the night of the murder wasn’t so sure.

If you believe Fenton, JB postulates, then you have to believe that they were setting themselves up to be seen, and since it was a regular haunt for her ex husband and his pals, you have to believe that they wanted to be seen in order to get the word out that Becky-the-brunette was stepping out on her old man. So to speak.

A few nods in the jury room now. Jess is on a roll. If Cliff-the-ex didn’t take a gun with him, where did he get it? The only prints on the gun were his and Reynolds.

Not everyone is convinced by this. Long term juror holdout Frank Lord dismisses it all out of hand, telling them they have rocks in their heads, and that maybe someone else should be foreman.

Heh heh heh. Made myself laugh that time.

Heh heh heh. Made myself laugh that time.

Back in flashback land, Becky Anderson’s neighbour is on the stand, testifying how he came home to find Cliff-the-ex’s car blocking the driveway, and his views of Cliff’s body being taken out of the house a couple of hours later, and then some more flashbackiness as the DA outlines how he thinks the murder went down – Mark and Becky arranged it so that Cliff would bust in, Mark whacks him over the head with a poker, stages it to look like Cliff had the gun, then gets Becky to call the police.

Seems legit to me, although at this point I can’t tell whether I’m having a flashback. Although, I would point out that the DA just said “I look at these two people (Mark and Becky) and I see pleasant, All-American attractiveness” which I’m assuming is lawyer-speak for trashy sluts, but I’m not too sure.

Back in whatever part of time we’re in, JB has more questions. Like, if Mark Reynolds really did fracture his collarbone in the car accident, how was he fighting Cliff for the gun?

Now, THERE’S A QUESTION.

Dazzled by this amazing feat of logic, the rest of the jurors want to hear more about these “questions” and JB is happy to oblige. Simply put, it’s this: if Mark Reynolds is telling the truth, and the whole thing – from Cliff barging in to Becky calling the police – was over in a moment, why did the neighbour point out that the body was removed a couple of hours later?

MYSTERIOUS. JB announces there can only be one conclusion, and therefore one verdict, which they then deliver to the court. Mark Reynolds is not guilty of the murder of Cliff Anderson.

Say what?

JB has a quiet word in the ear of the DA, who arranges to meet with Becky Anderson and her lawyer after the trial. Why?

Well I never.

Well I never.

So there you have it. It was Becky who whacked her husband over the head with the poker. But don’t worry, Mark Reynolds isn’t blameless in all of this. He helped her stage it so it looked like self defence – after he’d come home from the hospital, where he’d been killing his wife with a pillow.

Told you he was shifty.

Told you he was shifty.

And so ends this weeks episode of Law and Order Murder, She Blogged.  If you’ve made it this far, well done. I’m exhausted.

There’s only one cure for this, I think.

Heh heh heh. Made myself laugh that time.

See you next week, Fletcherfans!

ETA: It’s Murder She Blogged’s first birthday! Happy birthday to MSB, which continues to this day to be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.

 

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