S06E12 – Goodbye Charlie


We have apparently broken into JB’s house this week Fletcherfans, and found her hard at work on her newest book. Would you like to hear about it?

Are you ready boys and girls?

I feel a story coming on.

Once upon a time, in a magical faraway kingdom called Hollywood, there lived a private detective (naturally) called Frank Albertson. He wasn’t very good at his job but he was convinced that fortune was just around the corner.



After returning home from a failed attempt at catching a cheating husband, Frank finds his wife in their bedroom with a lawyer, Raymond Fleischer but the good news is it’s nothing suss – Raymond represents the estate of Elizabeth Flack, who has left all her worldly possessions to Frank’s uncle Charlie. Raymond is looking to find Charlie to tell him the good news but Frank and his wife Sunny haven’t seen him for over 2 years, when Frank finally got sick of old uncle Charlie eating his food, drinking his beer and stealing his shirts. The last they heard he was in Reno although the last Christmas card Sunny sent him came back ‘not known at this address’.

Raymond tells them it’s a shame – if the old guy has passed away then the fortune would go to Frank. And there are a lot of zero’s in fortune. Frank’s pupils turn into dollar signs and he asks Raymond how to go about proving Charlie is dead but Raymond tells them it takes 7 years for someone to be declared legally dead. He gives them his card and bids them good day.

While back out on his quest to catch his client’s husband cheating, Frank spots a story in the newspaper about an unidentified body found on some railway tracks outside of Huckabee, Nevada and constructs a Genius Plot. The body is too badly damaged to be properly identified, and one dead body is as good as another someone once said probably.

Sunny is horrified – poor Uncle Charlie!

(Frank explains that it’s not actually Uncle Charlie).

Sunny is on board and they set to work bombarding the coroner’s office in Huckabee, Nevada to work out the winning combination of identifying features that “Uncle Charlie” needs (and let’s not dwell on the fact that Huckabee is literally a 1 horse town but it has a coroner’s office). Through a cunning montage of elimination, they work out that John Doe is old, tubby, brown-eyed and doesn’t have a wooden leg. Sunny nails the guessing game, making Frank wonder if she’s got some sort of second sight happening but she says she’s just describing Uncle Charlie.

I don’t think she understands what’s happening you guys.



Frank and Grady Sunny drive to Huckabee to claim the remains of “Uncle Charlie” and meet the local Sheriff who according to IMDB is called Ed Ten Eyck which frankly sounds suspicious but then if you look closely…

I want a numerical middle name. Briony Forty Two Williamson. That rolls right off the tongue.

I want a numerical middle name. Briony Forty Two Williamson. That rolls right off the tongue.

The sheriff is mighty understanding, and tells them that John Doe died quick – was knocked clean out of his shoes, which they found beside the body, but weirdly no ID. Frank and Sunny take it in turns to tell a complicated story about Uncle Charlie’s life as a hobo, but as much as the Sheriff would love to help them bury their uncle and be on their way, there’s a catch – they aren’t the first people to lay claim to the body. In fact, they’re 3rd.

Cut to some noises that I never wanted to hear come out of Bill Maher, and then an explanation.

The classic lolsome innuendo.

The classic lolsome innuendo.

Frank decides his next move is to pay a visit to a guy whose name he saw written upside down on the Sheriff’s desk, whom he finds down at the local bar doing some lip sync battling.

That is 100% not as funny as I think it is.

This is 100% not as funny as I think it is.

Bart Mahoney, local lawyer and Rick Astley afficionado, is representing Marcia Mae Bailey whose father apparently lies in the morgue. Bart informs Frank that since the warning light was out, and old Roper Bailey was deaf, the railroad company as good as murdered him – and what jury is going to argue with a grieving child?

The bartender snorts at this. It would seem the grieving child might not be all that grieving.

Back at the hotel room, Frank is “resting” with Sunny (I would say get a room, but they did) when he gets a call from the Tenner, unhappy about his recent meeting with Bart Mahoney and requesting his presence down at the sheriff’s office. He’d like to introduce Frank to contestant number 2 in Who Wants To Be A Corpse Claimer – Tilly Bascombe, who is claiming the dead man is her husband Mort. They compare pictures just in case, but Mort isn’t Uncle Charlie. Tillie tells them that Mort liked to take long walks due to his insomnia, and it was entirely probable that the reason why they didn’t find any ID was because the velocity of the train whipped it out of his pockets.

Science bitch!

This gives Frank an idea, and he asks the Sheriff to recruit the local little league team to search around the tracks the next day. That night, he and Sunny go down to the railway line and throw some of Uncle Charlie’s belongings into the bushes.

The next day (JB tells us, madly searching for more whiskey) Frank wakes up feeling confident the belongings will be found. Because guys, you can’t just hide things in the desert. Someone will find them.

Unfortunately for Frank, his enthusiasm is shortlived. The local little league team is not too crash hot at finding things, leaving Frank to stew and Sunny to wonder why Tilly doesn’t sweat.

They are soon joined by Tilly’s cousin Jerry Wilber, who has some desert experience.



Jerry, it turns out, has been running Mort’s laundromat microchip company ever since Meth Mort disappeared. But honestly who cares because



The search for meth missing possessions continues, and they are soon joined by Bart Mahoney, complaining about an illegal search, the death of his client’s father etcetera etcetera. They are also joined by his client’s legs, and after a while, the rest of her.




While Bart banishes his client back to the car to contain her chest grief, the little league kids hit gold. It’s bad news for Tilly and Jerry, good news for Frank and Sunny – they’ve found Uncle Charlie’s possessions. The sheriff takes them back to his office for a closer look but begrudgingly admits he can’t find any reason not to turn over the body – even if he is clearly suspicious. He gives Frank and Sunny a form and tells them to go see the coroner, Jack Yamamoto. When they arrive they meet his assistant, Lon Ainsley, whose voice Sunny recognises from their constant calls to the coroners office, and who you might recognise from such episodes as these. (Side note – I wish they had put the actor, Robin Bach, in more episodes; he was hilarious. Unfortunately he passed away in 1991 but he he was one of the unexpectedly best bits I’ve discovered watching this show).

Lon ushers Frank and Sunny into Jack Yamoto’s office. While Frank fills out paperwork, Sunny reads Autopsy magazine (oh MSW writers, you’re so funny!) and Jack offers to get them a deal on a plot at the local cemetery. But when the last form is filled out, and Frank and Sunny are just leaving the office, Frank gets a tap on the shoulder. It’s the Big Ten. He’s just had a call from his counterpart in the next town – they’ve just arrested a hobo with a wallet, with close to 200 bucks in it. The wallet itself has plenty of ID in it – it belongs to Mort Bascomb. So what Big Ten wants to know, is just how Uncle Charlie’s belongings ended up all over the railway track?

Needless to say, Frank is under arrest. The sheriff throws him in the slammer with a friendly hobo who is busy stuffing his rather fancy looking shoes with newspaper, since they don’t fit him. This gives Frank an idea and he hollers for the judge.



The sheriff listens while Frank pitches his theory – if the shoes were knocked off John Doe, they wouldn’t be sitting next to him. Someone killed John Doe, realised John Doe wasn’t wearing shoes, tried to jam his own shoes onto the body, realised the shoes were too small and so waited for the train to do it’s business and left the shoes next to the body afterwards. Big Ten and Frank go to see Yamoto, who tests said theory and it’s confirmed. John Doe was murdered. Because, y’know, MURDER she wrote and all.

Frank, now apparently free, goes to see that bartender from the beginning of the episode to see what he can find out about Bart Mahoney and the grieving Marcia Mae. Turns out, Marcia Mae has been taking care of herself since she was 16, with Bart Mahoney footing the bills, including the grocery bill Marcia Mae racks up at the bartender’s other job, the grocery store. She buys chewing gum and soda for herself and Mexican beer and chewing tobacco for her father – and despite the fact that her father’s been missing for 5 days, guess what she bought in the grocery store just that day?

Frank and Sunny report their findings to the Sheriff, who agrees that Bart had no motive for killing John Doe. That leaves the Widow Bascombe, who comes into her husband’s fortune as provided by the company – “with her cousin Jerry the hunk in charge.” Sunny points out.

They decide to pay Tillie a visit and, well…

Well this has taken a turn.

Well this has taken a turn.

After a 5 second attempt at bluffing, Jerry falters and Tillie throws him under a bus. Jerry killed Mort and what’s more he buried him in the backyard.




Tillie convinced her (it turns out) second cousin Jerry to kill Mort so she could get his money. They only decided to get married after.

The Sheriff, conceeding defeat, lets Frank and Sunny claim the body on the proviso they get out of town double quick. They arrive home exhausted, but excited about their newfound wealth.

Until they hear someone in the bedroom. It’s Uncle Charlie, just popping in to pick up his things before heading to Vegas with his new girlfriend. You aren’t going to believe this, Charlie tells Frank and Sunny, but some old girlfriend left me a boatload of money!

But let’s face it. Noone cares.



See you next week Fletcherfans!






S05E13 – Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble


It is a dark and stormy night in Cabot Cove Fletcherfans, and Seth is out on a house-call to see Agnes Finney. When no one answers the door, however, Seth is set to pack it in for the night when he hears a voice across the yard. He turns and sees a girl dressed as a pilgrim kneeling at a stump (which is apparently called a witches stump) muttering a spell to curse her enemies. Seth attempts to sneak up on the girl but a careless branch snap gives him away and the girl runs off into the night, leaving behind a pentagram and some herbs in a jar.

Naturally there is only one person who can make sense of such events.

Where were they again?

Where were they again?

JB’s friend Harriet knows exactly what’s going on – it’s the ghost of Patience Tarhune, and goes off to inform the garden club immediately. It turns out that the day after tomorrow marks 300 years since Patience was executed for being a witch, and apparently the ghost of Patience has been seen out and about for weeks. Seth wants to argue the point but realises that would delay his dinner, and so shuts up.

The next day Jess comes across Sheriff Metzger, in a crochetty mood. The press have caught wind of Patience Tarhune and are looking for information. He shows Jess what he collected from the witches stump but Jess cannot detect any clues. She continues on to the Cabot Cove library to return some books and runs into librarian Mildred Tarhune, convenient descendant of Patience Tarhune. She’s been fielding calls all morning from people concerned her dead relative was staging a comeback. She tells Jess her fiance Adam has had enough, and thinks that they should go away travelling after the wedding, thanks to her late uncle leaving her an apple farm. The proceeds from that should pay for a nice honeymoon.

Suddenly they are joined by two men, Gordon Fairchild and Rick Rivers. And Fletcherfans, I was unprepared.


THAT. HAIR. IS. WHAT. (Also insert Planet of the Apes joke here)

Fun fact: I once had a boss who was mad obsessed with Bill Maher. She was terrifying beyond all reason. And so concludes everything I know about Bill Maher. Except that one time he pissed off Batfleck, and everyone knows you don’t piss off Batfleck.

Gordon Fairchild, it turns out has written a book on Patience Tarhune, with the assistance of Mildred, which is coming out on the anniversary of her death. As soon as he heard about the ghost of Patience Tarhune putting in an appearance he hotfooted it over to Cabot Cove with his media advisor Rick Rivers. He says all of this while completely blanking JB, who it seems is not on Fairchild’s radar.

Bad move, Fairchild.

Bad move, Fairchild.

While Fairchild blows his own trumpet, Rick apologises to JB for his behaviour, saying he’s crazed about the book’s release. Fairchild decides he wants to talk to Seth about what he saw at the witches stump and flounces out. Later, Rick is back at his hotel room trying to drum up media interest in the book when Gordon flounces in again, demanding to know when the media will be arriving. Rick promises Gordon he will be up to his neck in media by the next day, the anniversary itself. I think that’s what he said. I couldn’t hear him over his hair.

That night as a mysterious woman arrives in town, Jess,Seth, Mildred and Adam are preparing to go to the Garden Club dinner at the hall and are discussing the story of Patience Tarhune and complimenting the new blue hallway. Oh crap, I just realised Mildred is the mum from ET. Anyway, they are just about to leave when there is a knock at the door. Mildred answers – it’s a woman. Apparently it’s her sister Irene. She can hardly believe it and neither can Seth – Irene is also the ghost of Patience Tarhune.


They all sit down to talk. Apparently Irene was given to her mother’s sister to take care off, as Mildred and Irene’s mother was dying when she had the baby. She asks about a story she heard when she was a kid, about having a witch in the family, and Seth says “funny you should bring that up.” JB asks her what brought her back to Cabot Cove now at this particular time and she says she doesn’t really know how to explain it, she just felt she had to. MYSTERIOUS.

Despite the sudden arrival of a long lost sister, no one can miss the call of the Garden Club casserole dinner, and Seth and JB discuss the news with Reverend Fordyce, who is stunned that Patience Tarhune is possessing Irene. Seth tells him that’s not what he’s saying. A guy wandering past overhears their discussion and tells them she couldn’t have been the witch – he picked her up earlier that evening, and she told him she’d flown up from Arizona that morning. At home that night, Mildred catches Irene sleepwalking, a candle and a fistful of herbs in her hand. She tells Jess about it the next morning, but Jess her not to worry about it, people sleepwalk for lots of reasons.

“With a lighted candle and bunch of herbs used in satanic rites?” Mildred is sceptical.

Once when I was in Thailand on holiday my friend swears I was counting down in a foreign language in my sleep and when I stopped someone knocked on the door. MAYBE I'M A WITCH I AM GOING TO SMITE SOMEONE AND SEE

Once when I was in Thailand on holiday my friend swears I was counting down in a foreign language in my sleep and when I stopped someone knocked on the door. MAYBE I’M A WITCH I AM GOING TO SMITE SOMEONE AND SEE

Wait do witches even smite? They curse things…but I’m more of a smiter , so we’ll go with that.


The next day JB pops in to see the Sheriff, who is dealing with Gordon Fairchild. He reluctantly agrees to let Gordon look at the things recovered from the witches stump, and while he finds them Gordon apologises to JB for his rudeness the day before. He simply didn’t know she was Somebody.

“In Cabot Cove it’s quite permissible to be polite to nobodies.” Says JB and goes to wait for the Sheriff.

I must confess my knowledge of Planet of the Apes is minimal. My knowledge of Planet of the Apes: The Musical however is profound #youllnevermakeamonkeyoutofmeeee

I must confess my knowledge of Planet of the Apes is minimal. My knowledge of Planet of the Apes: The Musical however is profound #youllnevermakeamonkeyoutofme

Mort tells JB that he contacted the airlines like she suggested, and that Irene’s story checks out – Irene flew from Tucson to Boston.

“Or someone pretending to be Irene did.” JB said. Her suspicious radar is going off the charts.

Gordon reappears to thank Mort for letting him look at the evidence. He points out that one of the figures etched on the clay is Inebrius, the most evil of the demon spirits, usually summoned to bring death to relatives, especially siblings. Jess asks him if he really believes Mildred is in danger, and he says what he believes doesn’t matter.

I think I once had an inebrius cocktail in Thailand. I felt like death the next day :O

I think I once had an Inebrius cocktail in Thailand. I felt like death the next day :O

Deputy Floyd gets a phone call and tells the sheriff and JB there’s some sort of ceremony happening at the witch’s stump outside Agnes Finney’s house. When they arrive an exorcism is underway, being conducted by Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately for all concerned the exorcism is put off due to incessant talking, a woman taking a photo, and the fact that the reverend did not inform Everett Overman of the amount of spirits brought forth by Irene. JB steps in before she can be lynched. Jonas the taxi driver tells her that Irene has been having dreams about the town for years. Jess tells Irene privately she’d hate to see Mildred get hurt or disappointed.

Back at the hotel Gordon is  raging at Rick about the lack of book sales and the level of media coverage compared to the exorcism that wasn’t, but Rick tells him to calm down. He’s got a plan that will knock everyone’s socks off, including Gordon’s. He then gets a phone call from a mysterious caller, which he flips out about, saying “She’s backing out on us.”

Later that night, Jess’s sleuthing has turned up a clue – Agnes Finney has been in Pittsburgh for a week, and couldn’t have called Seth for a housecall. Jess thinks it was a lure to get him to see what he saw, but she’s not sure why. She gets a phone call herself, and learns that Patience’s ghost has been seen near the barn belonging to Simon Greeley. Seth and JB head over there just in time to see the “ghost” of Patience Tarhune run into the barn. Seconds later, it catches fire, but not before the ghost has time to belt out an appropriate musical number.

The thought of Bill Maher in pilgrim drag singing a Bangles song is going to get me through the winter months.

The thought of Bill Maher in witch drag singing a Bangles song is going to get me through the winter months.

After the fire is extinguished they set to looking for clues but don’t have any success. JB asks Mort if he’s checked the root cellar and he says “Check it? I don’t know what it is.”

“It’s a cellar where they keep roots.” Says Seth.


Seth you are such a smart arse.

Seth you are such a smart arse.

They quickly locate the trapdoor, open it, and discover the body of Irene. Oh yeah, MURDER she wrote.

The coroner’s findings reveal that Irene was murdered between 11am and 3pm, meaning she couldn’t have been Patience’s ghost. JB thinks Irene was definitely the first ghost, but not the second. Seth tells them that blue paint was found on the body.

Over at the hotel Rick is preparing to leave town, not wanting to be found an accomplice to murder, but Gordon tells him if he leaves he won’t get a cent of the book’s profits. Rick tells Gordon that he’d better hope that no one finds out who Irene really is.

While Doctor Overman conducts an interview saying that the Tahune girls were either victims of a curse or practitioners of the dark arts themselves, JB goes to see Mildred, who says she called Irene at around 1:30 to tell her she was adding Irene’s name to the deed on the house. Irene was so moved by this that she cried.  Adam walks in, with the Sheriff wanting to know where Mildred was at the time of the murder. She says she was at the library from open to close, and Adam agrees, saying he was there most of the day doing rewiring.

JB finds Jonas the taxi driver down by the water, looking sad. He tells her that they’d planned to spend the whole day together, but that Irene had decided she was jetlagged from the flight and wanted to sleep. This seals it for JB who goes straight to Mort but he’s just found out Dr Overman is a fraudster from way back and is off to arrest him for the murder. JB tells him that there’s no way Irene is Mildred’s sister, because you can’t get jetlag travelling from Arizona to Boston to Portland like she did. (I dunno about this, I get sleepy flying 45 minutes from Melbourne to Launceston but that might just be me). She’s convinced Irene was in the employ of Rick Rivers and Gordon Fairchild, sent to drum up publicity for the book. They are interrupted by the arrival of R L Pearson, a lawyer representing the estate of Mildred’s uncle who has come to deliver Mildred’s inheritance.

“Oh yes, the apple farm.” Says JB.

“Correction, the former apple farm.” Says RL. It’s now an industrial park and a shopping mall with an estimated value of 5,227,000. Now THAT’s a honeymoon.

They all troop down to the library to deliver the news to Mildred. It turns out that her real sister and aunt died in a flu epidemic many years earlier. RL assumed she knew, he’d sent her a letter outlining what he’d found out. Back at the station Mort is trying to goodcop/badcop Rick Rivers with Deputy Floyd, but is getting nowhere until JB arrives with the news that Rick had purchased the barn from Simon Greerley the day of the fire. Worried he was being made the fall guy Rick tells them that Irene was really Annie Gorman, an out-of-work actress employed to help promote the book. When she backed out, after feeling guilty at what she was doing to Mildred, Rick took over the role but didn’t kill her. Mort is set to arrest Gordon, but JB has suddenly remembered something and goes back to the barn to check it out. Theory confirmed, she lures the killer into her trap and catches him that night, looking for the evidence she claims he left before the police find it.

You guys, I wanted so badly for it to be RIVERS OF DEATH or BILL MAHER OF DEATH but alas it was not to be

You guys, I wanted so badly for it to be RIVERS OF DEATH or BILL MAHER OF DEATH but alas it was not to be

In a depressing twist, Adam found out about Mildred’s upcoming inheritance and decided to marry her so he could get his hands on it. Not cool dude.

But lets not dwell. Let’s instead go forth from this place thinking about Bill Maher in drag singing the back catalogue of 80s girl bands.

Until next time.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!