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S03E02 – Death Stalks The Big Top (Part 2)

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So, to recap: Our Heroine went hunting leprechauns in Arkansas, found her dead brother-in-law working in a circus in Kansas and stays to clear him of the murder of Douchbag Hank Sutter. The rest of the circus gang have their own crap to deal with. Got it? Good!

JB goes to confront Neil about his so-called confession but he tells her to back off. He accidentally reveals a cut on his leg, which JB decides is where the blood on the alleged murder weapon (a juggling club) came from. She’s convinced that he’s covering up for someone and taking the fall.

Mayor Adam West Powers doesn’t care. He’s convinced he’s got the right man, his father in law the judge thinks he’s got the right man, and the people in town think he’s got the right man. He’s getting himself re-elected, and thinks JB should just go back to where she came from.

This mayor bloke is going to get a Cabot Cove smackdown before this episode is done, I can tell.

This mayor bloke is going to get a Cabot Cove smackdown before this episode is done, I can tell.

The Sheriff (who I’ve just learned was in the Train Job episode of Firefly as the Sheriff and now I have the theme from Inception stuck in my head) is more apologetic.  Jess goes back to the big top, where she finds the ringmaster Preston Bartholomew watching Hank Sutter’s widow Maylene rehearsing her horse vaulting routine.

And by watching…

Sweet dreams, Internet...

Sweet dreams, Internet…

Maylene tells Preston that she’s leaving the circus at the end of the season, to start a horse breeding farm. Preston tells her he’s thinking of doing the same thing – the Mysterious Accidents of Mystery have jinxed the circus, and he’s due a large wad of cash that he’s going to collect and ride off into the sunset on his moustache, probably.

JB “bumps” into Maylene outside the big top to offer her condolences and ask her if she thinks her husband could have been the one who caused all the ‘accidents’ that have cursed the big top. Maylene thinks anything is possible, but doesn’t think so. JB tells her her theory that Neil/Carl is taking the fall for someone, and asks if Maylene knows who that might be. Maylene’s got nothing.

Inside the big top Brad and Charlie are watching Katie rehearse. JB wanders in just in time to see Katie fall from the high wire into the safety net. She’s convinced someone is trying to kill her, and turns out she’s not wrong – someone had put a ball bearing inside her balance pole and had glued it just enough to keep it from moving until it was used in her act.

Katie is (understandably) raging, but both Brad and Edgar Carmody don’t want to get the police involved. Carmody seems to have a good idea about who’s behind the shenanigans and storms off. JB lingers to ask Brad about the cuts and grazes on his hands, but he tells her they were caused by working without gloves and storms off too.

After searching Neil/Carl’s trailer, JB finds a strip of photo-booth photos with Neil/Carl, Charlie and Charlie’s baseball bat. She finds Katie and Charlie to ask about the bat and Charlie tells her that Hank the Douchebag took it off him the night he died. JB goes straight to the jail to tell Neil/Carl that he’s protecting someone who doesn’t need protecting – Charlie couldn’t have killed Hank with the baseball bat. Neil/Carl finally comes clean and tells them what happened – he was out strolling the grounds and saw Hank lying on the ground, next to Charlie’s bat. He put two and two together, and decided to do A Good Deed.

Mayor Powers is having none of it, and orders Neil/Carl back to his cell.

JESS SMASH

JESS SMASH

JB spots a report on Brad Keneally on the sheriff’s desk. He’d spotted the same cuts and grazes that Jess had, and had checked into his past. Turns out all of his work history and references on his application to the circus were completely faked. As if he had something to hide. BAM.

JB goes back to her hotel to have a ponder and spots Mr Carmody leaving. JB asks the clerk if Mr Kingman is in his room, and if she can pay him a visit.

Now, disclaimer: Mr Kingman is in the first episode, for about three seconds. He owns another circus, and wants to buy Carmody out. How the hell JB knows about him is in fact beyond me. Seriously though, if you know what I’m talking about please let me know I’m confused.

Anyway.

Before JB can go pay a visit to Mr Kingman she’s accosted by Carol Brady Maria Morgana, who offers her assistance. JB calls her out on it, pointing out tbat she stood to benefit from the circus shutting down. They are soon interrupted by her daughter who has just found out that her mother paid Carmody a million dollars to fire his son. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.

But ain’t nobody got time for that, because it turns out Mr Kingman is lying dead on the floor of his hotel room. (Seriously though, what the hell?)  The coroner (who is the nephew of the mayor and also a vet) tells him that he’s been dead less than an hour. Both the Sheriff and JB try to tell the mayor about Carmody leaving the scene just before the body was found but he’s got a care factor of zero and tells JB that if she impedes his investigation one more second he’ll have her thrown in jail with her brother-in-law.

Actual quote: "I'm sorry Mayor but you have as much right to conduct a police investigation as Jack the Ripper". BAM

Actual quote: “I’m sorry Mayor but you have as much right to conduct a police investigation as Jack the Ripper”. BAM

After getting no support from the sheriff (who calls him a boob-brained pompous ass), the mayor storms off.

Heh heh

Heh heh

Back at the circus Edgar Carmody is celebrating his good fortune, until he is confronted by his son. After Ray convinces him that he wants to stay at the circus and so does his wife, Ray promises to send the cheque back to Maria. He tells Ray that he’s sure the accidents will stop, saving them money. “I’m sure they will,” says JB, bobbing up from god knows where. “Since Kingman is now dead.”Edgar proclaims his innocence. JB thinks he’s covering for someone (there seems to be a bit of that going around) and asks him about Brad Keneally.

Armed with more information JB goes to question Brad. Preston and Maylene stop her on the way to ask her if it was true that Kingman was strangled and that that was the end of the Accidents, and JB tells them Yes and Maybe not. Brad is packing up his gear and ignoring Katie’s protests when JB arrives to tell him that Hank Sutter wasn’t murdered by elephants or by fists.

Brad comes clean. He used to be a boxer and a drunk who had a nasty habit of combining the two. After a couple of run ins with the law Brad hit the road and ended up at Carmodys. After three years of lying low  he got into a fight with Sutter the night he died, but ran off when he heard someone coming. JB thinks whomever this mysterious person was is the killer/

Calling it a night, JB goes back to her hotel room and finds Maylene passed out on the floor. JB quickly joins her after being attacked with a chloroform soaked handkerchief. The mysterious intruder sets fire to the bed and takes off. Fortunately for everyone Neil/Carl chooses that exact moment to turn up, having been released from jail.

This brush with death has given JB an idea about the killer, but she has no way to prove it. She arranges to meet him at the big top to see if she can coerce it out of him, and only when the circus folk threaten to feed him to the lions that he admits to everything.

(Also Ringmaster of Death)

(Also Ringmaster of Death)

The Moustached one was in the employ of Kingman and tried to ruin the circus by causing all those Mysterious Accidents. Hank Sutter busted him mid-accident and so he killed him. Kingman refused to pay him for his work and so he killed him. Maylene and JB unwittingly caught him in a lie and so he tried to kill them, but failed.

Job done, JB goes back to Washington to report in to Monica and tell her the story. Grandfather and granddaughter are briefly reunited and they all live happily ever after. Except Constance, because anyone who is that much of a raging bitch will never be happy.

The. End.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E01 – Death Stalks The Big Top (Part 1)

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Season 3 gang! Who’d have thought I’d actually stick with this? How exciting.

JB is in Washington DC  for the wedding of her grandniece to Chandler Bing:

(How young does she look in this!?)

(How young does she look in this!?)

JB is delighted to see her grandniece Carol (on Frank’s side), but less so to see Carol’s mother Audrey, who is a bimbo, and grandmother Constance, who is a raging bitch. So when Carol tells JB she’s received a leprechaun statue from her dead grandfather JB is quite eager to get out of the house and roadtrip to Arkansas to see just where this leprechaun came from. And who wouldn’t?

Turns out, Neil Fletcher is now Carl Schumann and is alive and well and working as a clown in a travelling circus, which is a definite improvement to being married to Constance. He seems to be living the sweet life, hanging out with the high-wire act Katie McCallum and her son Charlie, and generally being awesome.  Alas, all is not well in the circus, however. Mysterious events of mystery keep happening, and the owner Edgar Carmody is trying to keep the show afloat, while his son Raymond is trying to stop his wife Daniella from talking him into moving to New York and working for her mother (who you may also recognise):

Meanwhile in the big top, Katie the High-wire Girl is feeling a bit romantically inclined towards the roustabout Brad, but chief teamster Hank Sutter is trying to get in on the action, with force if necessary. (His wife is not impressed). When I tell you that he is a Monsterous Douchebag I am understating this quite a lot. Also, you might recognise him too:

You're the Good Old Boys?

You’re the Good Old Boys? (We’re on a mission from God, etc)

Apart from Katie, Hank Sutter The Tossbag has also been getting his claws into the boss’s wife. So naturally, when JB pitches up in to town she has her hands full. Each person she shows Neil’s photo to recognises him but then clams up. Ain’t nobody seen nothin, and so on. Edgar Carmody finally tells her that there’s no one at the circus who looks like that and has Brad escort her off the lot.

(Is anyone else exhausted yet?)

The next morning, JB decides to continue her investigations with the cunning use of monkeys.

This is perfect

This is perfect

Unfortunately the jig is up once she loses the jacket and glasses (and the monkey), but before Edgar can throw her out again, news comes in via Katie McCullum that Hank Sutter has been injured. And by injured I mean trampled to death by elephants.

Aw, we’ll sure miss him, said no one ever.

The 5-0 roll in closely followed by Mayor Adam West Powers, who is quickly discovered to be a) a douchebag and b) an idiot. He quickly puts himself in charge of the investigation and declares he is shutting the circus down. When Edgar tells him that that’s illegal he says “You learn quickly – nothing I do in this town is illegal.”

He is unhappy to learn that Sutter’s death was not in fact an accident, when JB points out the elephants have no blood on their feet. It was murder. (Duh).

The Mayor decides to kick off his interrogations with Our Heroine, since she’s already shown him up once. He asks her what she was doing at the circus and she explains the Mystery of the Leprechaun. Fine, says the mayor, but how do I know you weren’t looking for Hank Sutter?

Because I just told you, says Our Heroine.

Of all the crazy fools Our Heroine has had to deal with, this one is the worst.

Of all the crazy fools Our Heroine has had to deal with, this one is the worst.

The Mayor lets loose but is cut short by a deputy bringing news that Carl Schumann has disappeared. JB tells them that Carl left the night before, before the murder, but this is actually a cunning ruse on the part of Edgar Carmody to get her to back off. The police go hunting and find Neil/Carl about to get the bus out of town.

(This is Jackie Cooper. He was Perry White in the Superman movies, but was also the youngest Best Actor Oscar nominee until Keisha Castle-Hughes. You're welcome, people going to a trivia night)

(This is Jackie Cooper. He was Perry White in the Superman movies, but was also the youngest ever Best Actor Oscar nominee until Keisha Castle-Hughes. You’re welcome, people going to a trivia night)

Once JB learns of Carl/Neil’s arrest she goes to see him in the jail. He comes clean about how he faked his death and is desperate to keep his new life a secret from his wife and daughter (fair enough too I might add). JB is more concerned with the whole murder business, but before they can talk further Mayor Moron arrives and throws her out.

Undeterred by Mayor Moron’s warning to stay out of police business, JB goes to check the circus for more clues and finds the chain securing one of the elephants has been partially cut through. She asks Katie about it but she doesn’t know anything about it. Jessica decides to search Neil/Carl’s trailer to see what the police missed, but instead find the police unearthing the murder weapon. Apparently Neil/Carl told them where it was and confessed to the whole thing.

And there it ends, Fletcherfans. Will the circus survive? Will JB clear her brother in law? Will Monica and Chandler ever have a baby?

Stay tuned!

See you next week!

See you next week!