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S12E16 – Something Foul In Flappieville

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Welcome to Flappieville Fletcherfans, where the newly arrived Inspector Lachère, who I think is a possum is charging a racoon with theft.

If only.

JB is watching the Flappieville puppet show with a keen eye, as Inspector Lachère is her creation, something she came up with for her grand nieces and nephews, and now Flappieville Toys want to take Inspector Lachère on the road. Think Hercule Poirot, with a tail.

Unfortunately, the delivery is a bit more Gerard Depardieu than Poirot, and JB is not here for it.

Someone’s gonna die for this.

JB is not the only person with notes.  Stevie, one of the kids in the audience (being played Angela Lansbury’s grandson), thinks Inspector Lachère sounds like Pound Dog, the main character in the Flappieville TV show. (Spoiler alert, he doesn’t). Robbie Dorrow, the designer of Flappieville toys, agrees with Stevie when his wife Mary brings Stevie over for like three seconds in a completely weird move. Also, Robbie thinks Mary is cheating on him, but you know, whatever.

Head puppeteer David Crossley locks Inspector Lachère up in a filing cabinet and hands the key to security chief Alvin Bucknell for safekeeping. David is delighted to be bringing Inspector Lachère to the world but is offended when Robbie suggests that it’s time to retire Pound Dog. They nearly come to blows before Mary steps in. Mary later explains to JB that she used to date David before she fell in love with Robbie, and it tore the friendship between the two apart. Also, they can’t have children.

Back at Flappieville HQ, puppeteer Kim Swofford is complaining loudly about the costume for her puppet Happy Bunny so that the costume designer can hear her. She also asks puppet designer Jason Cardino to take a look at the puppet controls before cheerfully rejecting his request for a date and walking off.  Costume designer Helena McKenna (aka Veronica Mars’s mother) warns him off her, but Jason would rather listen to his hormones. Another puppeteer, Gus Hayward offers to go over Jason’s contract so that he can sign it, but Jason tells him it’s all good. Later, Jason catches Alvin with Inspector Lachère and loses it.

Meanwhile, David has a meeting with the TV network about the Pound Dog Show.

I’m glad we fit in one last round of Breaking Bad She Wrote.

Parker Foreman has some bad news for David – Pound Dog is not getting renewed, it’s old and tired. David says amazing timing, he’s just come up with a new character, Inspector Lachère – he was going to fold him into the Pound Dog show gradually before spinning him off into his own show. Did he mention it was based on a JB Fletcher character, and JB happens to be in town?

START KNEELING (BITCH)

Parker sees dollar signs and agrees to the idea, but he wants to see samples. He also wants someone different to voice the Inspector and tells David to get Natty Holt. David agrees that someone like Natty would be great but Parker says no, he wants Natty.

Back at Flappieville Jason and Helena show JB the new sketches for Inspector Lachère’s new look and she is delighted. Helena goes to get the material for the costume to show JB and leaves JB flipping through sketches. Meanwhile, Darren is hard at work designing when Kim pops in for a flirt and to complain she’s not having any input into her character’s costume. Gus needs a word so Darren leaves her in his office and goes off with Gus – it turns out Natty Holt is Gus’s ex-wife and Darren needs his help convincing her to come on the show. He also has a separate job for Alvin – he needs him to follow someone.

That night, Jason conducts a secret trial and sentences Darren to one hundred years in the electric chair. Using puppets.

Really though, enough said.

Also, it turns out Darren bought Pound Dog off Gus and presumably for a very low price.

The next morning Jason and Darren unveil the new look Inspector Lachère and JB is delighted. Darren sends Jason off with the sketches to be delivered to Parker Foreman at the network, then makes a last minute change swapping the magnifying glass from his right hand to his left. He also decides to bump Jason’s profit share up to five per cent, and JB’s to thirty per cent.

Kim delivers the sketches over to Parker Foreman.

Not the only one who knocks, it turns out

Later that afternoon, Mary Dorow has lunch with her mystery man while Robbie watches them from behind a tree. Parker appears out of nowhere to congratulate Robbie on the imminent success of Inspector Lachère and laughs at the fact Robbie seems unaware the Inspector will be released in four weeks time.

Gus goes to see Natty and talks her into joining the show. Darren later confirms she’s on board in a walk-and-talk with Parker, who informs him it’s all going ahead – on the condition that he gets 50% of the merch profits wired to his private Cayman account. As he walks off, Darren produces a tape recorder from his pocket. Later, Mary Gus and JB discuss Darren’s latest batch of wheeling and dealing to get the Inspector Lachère show on the air. JB asks Gus for a favour.

Robbie calls Darren and tears him a new one – it turns out Robbie actually owns all the merchandising rights that Darren has been dishing out all over the place. Darren assures Natty that everything is fine, but she has her own demands – 30% merchandising for Jason and Gus, 10% for her and Gus must executive produce the Inspector Lachère show. Darren agrees because he’s not smart.

Robbie tells JB about Mary’s affair. Later, JB meets with Gus who has fetched her the merchandising percentages for Inspector Lachère.

Helpful camera shot is helpful.

Me in work meetings.

That night JB goes to Flappieville and finds Darren over the body of Alvin the security guard. Lieutenant Spevak is summoned to the scene and quickly discovers the filing cabinet has been jimmied open. Jessica suggests it was a rookie move and Spevak identifies her as the Mystery Maven, while he’s just a hick cop.

If the shoe fits sweetheart…

They quickly find the murder weapon (an iron) and also discover that there appears to be nothing missing from the filing cabinet. Darren and JB adjourn to the nearest bar for an emergency meeting, and JB tells him about his merch snafu. Darren didn’t realise how much he’d messed it up, and panics until JB suggests he goes to the other parties and explains what he’s done. JB thinks he should be fine – as long as that’s all he’s done. Darren doesn’t mention his deal with Parker.

Later that day the team meet in Darren’s office for a good luck phone call from Parker, who is too busy working on his putt in his office to attend the new focus group session for Inspector Lachère. But he’s very happy with all the changes, swapping the magnifying glass to the other hand etc etc. Parker hangs up as his assistant comes in with a special delivery – it turns out to be the tape of the conversation Parker had with Darren.

The focus group is a resounding success. Mary reintroduces Stevie to Robbie, and Stevie says Inspector Lachère is much better than that Pound Dog. Lieutenant Spevak arrives to arrest Darren for Alvin’s murder. Later, Kim meets Parker and outs herself as the sender of the tape.

Down at the police station, Darren tries to understand what’s happening to him while Helena and JB offer support. JB is convinced there must have been something else in the filing cabinet that was worth breaking in and killing for. Across town, Robbie confronts the man he’s seen with his wife, and it turns out he’s a social worker – Mary is hatching a plan to adopt Stevie but hadn’t discussed with Robbie yet. And so ends the stupidest plot thread we’ve seen for a while.

Back at Flappieville JB suddenly works out the whole deal, thanks to something she remembers seeing on a clipboard. She sets a trap for later that night and gets Kim to confess that she was the one who broke into the filing cabinet and stole the tape. But she’s not the one who killed Alvin.

He is, was, and will always be The Danger.

Apparently, Kim wasn’t the first person to try and blackmail Parker – Alvin got it into his head first and copped a flatiron to the head for the trouble.

And so it goes.

Later gang!

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S06E12 – Goodbye Charlie

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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.

MAJESTIC MULLET IS MAJESTIC

MAJESTIC MULLET IS MAJESTIC

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.

Word.

Word.

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.

ALL HAIL THE KING. LONG LIVE THE KING.

LONG LIVE THE KING.

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

I CAN'T GO ON

I CAN’T GO ON

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.

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I CAN’T EVEN

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.

I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THIS DAMN PICTURE.

I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THIS DAMN PICTURE.

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.

YOU GUYS.

GODDAMN RIGHT.

GODDAMN RIGHT.

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.

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t2

See you next week Fletcherfans!