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S10E08 – Love and Hate in Cabot Cove

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Welcome to 2018 and welcome back to the Cove Fletcherfans!

Mort is burning the midnight oil down at the Sheriff’s office trying to solve the case of Why Can’t He Access His Files On His Computer.

Noone likes a smartarse, Andy.

Giving up on computers and the prospect of the 21st century in general, Mort goes to retrieve his paper files from the storage room and is shot at by a shadowy figure outside. A car screeches away as Andy comes running in gun drawn. Mort didn’t see the shooter but he has a good idea who it was.

Meanwhile, at the home of Sam Bennett Public Accountant (I would not watch that show), Sam has just returned home to his anxious wife Laura, who wants to know why celebrity client Jessica Fletcher keeps calling. She calls back just as Sam walks in the door but Sam makes faces like he’s not home. Laura tells him she will get dinner ready but he says not to bother, he has another client. After she leaves he grabs a bundle of money out of the safe and puts JB’s file inside.

Over at the new hotspot in town, Jess is treating Seth to dinner while puzzling over the fact that she’s just been swamped with late notices and missing payments that Sam Bennett is supposed to have handled. Seth tells her to calm down, they’ve known Sam for 25 years there’s nothing to worry about. Frank Fletcher was one of Sam’s first clients, it turns out, and Jess is struggling to work out what’s going on. Seth is a client of Sam’s too, but before Jess can find out if Seth knows anything Lou Karamides, the new owner of the hotspot, pops past their table to offer a bottle of champagne for Cabot Cove’s unofficial monarch and his gold cufflinks for the upcoming rummage sale fundraiser.

(Fun fact, Lou Karamides is being played by Richard Beymer so this is basically the Great Northern Hotel)

If it’s true that there are infinite universes in the multiverse, there is a universe where Angela Lansbury was in Twin Peaks and holy crap that makes me happy.

Lou is called away upstairs, where it turns out he has the Star Wars Cantina a hidden casino full of hapless punters including a rather jolly Sam Bennett (aka Wings Hauser from all those other episodes, you guys know). I can’t even begin to wonder where this plot line is going. Lou checks in on Sam’s winnings (none) and Sam asks for some more credit. Lou gives him a grand, because what the hell he’s going to lose it anyway.

(Spoiler alert – I’m not a fan of casinos. Crown Casino in Melbourne is a depressing windowless hellhole filled with loud pinging noises and zombies. And shitty nightclubs. But does have a very good Christmas decorations).

Back at the Sheriff’s office, Mort is putting a call in for a warrant to go on a raid after getting an anonymous tip (and shot at), while new deputy Ethan Loomis gets on the phone to his new girlfriend Candace Bennett aka Sam’s daughter. Apparently, Sam doesn’t like Ethan all that much but Ethan can’t imagine why. Mort gets off the phone and orders Ethan to wrap it up and get the raid gear. Andy does it instead, but Ethan gets off the phone, quickly dials another number and says “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” Andy appears with an armload of guns and Ethan quickly says he was talking to Candace.

If you guessed Ethan was alerting the Great Northern, then give yourself a gold star and an elephant stamp as my grandfather would say. Lou oversees the casino’s return to its regular job as a function room and sends all the gamblers down to the bar for a drink, including Sam who was apparently on to a good run. Sam heads downstairs and spots Jessica and Seth just as they spot him. He goes over and says hi, and Jessica tells him they need to talk. Sam tells her he has to get home but he’ll check his calendar for tomorrow and give her a call, and Seth tells him he’d like a word too.

In the background, Mort and co come barreling in demanding to go upstairs but one of Lou’s minions steps in to stall them. Lou appears, and tells them it’s fine, go on up, we’re just a humble restaurant etc. Upstairs, there is no evidence of any gamblification except a solitary chip lying on the ground. Lou asks Mort why he insists on wasting everyone’s time and Mort tells him to watch himself. Basically.

Over at the Cabot Cove Gazette, apparent new editor Irene Macinoy is finishing up for the night and listening to a classical concert from Berlin when her pouty son Chad bursts in, turns the radio off and demands to know if she’s finished. Irene tells him she saw Candace at the post office, she said to say hi. Irene thinks she misses Chad. Chad thinks Candace doesn’t care if he’s alive or dead and storms out.

#NotAllMen.

Over at House Bennett, Ethan and Candace are making out in the cop car when Sam comes outside to see what’s going on. He orders Candace back in the house, and tells Ethan there’s no way he’d allow Ethan to marry his daughter, especially after seeing Ethan in Lou Karamides’s office earlier in the week. Ethan says he will marry Candace, and Sam orders him off his property.

Laura is not impressed by any of it. YOU DESERVE BETTER LAURA.

It’s like that age-old thing about fathers welcoming their son’s hot girlfriends over for dinner, but greeting their daughter’s hot boyfriends at the door with a shotgun. I mean put it back in your pants, your daughter’s not an idiot. Sorry. That’s a rant for another day.

The next day Mort pops round to see JB. JB wants to talk about her accounting predicament but Mort has fan mail to discuss and a coffee craving that needs dealing with.

(Accurate representation of my feelings towards coffee)

Jess is horrified by Mort’s fan mail and the idea that someone shot at him. Mort tells her it was Lou Karamedis, the owner of the Timber Lane Inn (oh, not the Great Northern. Whatever).  Mort can’t prove Lou fired the gun but he certainly knows who did. Mort asks what JB’s predicament is, but she’s running late for an appointment, so Mort offers to drive her over. Unfortunately, Mort’s car is falling apart so Jess gets a lift with Seth while Mort gets his car towed. Seth happens to drive past – on his way to see Sam, who has some explaining to do, and offers to drive JB to the Gazette office so she can place the ad for the rummage sale.

As it happens, pouty mcPoutface Chad is back in his mother’s office yelling at her to give him a job delivering newspapers, but she tells him he’s far too successful to be doing that. He was such a success in Philidelphia (I WAS FIRED IN PHILIDELPHIA says Chad). Irene thinks he’s just a bit stressed, what he needs is a wife to take care of him.

(At this point I paused the show, beat my head against the desk five times, then resumed)

Irene agrees to get him the job, and offers to give him some money to tide him over. Chad storms out.

Seth leaves JB at the Gazette office, where she runs into Chad, who very politely tells her he loves her books. They chat about things for a bit, before Jess goes into the office, walking straight past Laura Bennett, who is looking worried. Which is fair, her husband is embezzling money and her daughter’s dating an idiot.

Irene takes JB’s ad and starts prepping it for print. Jess says she ran into Chad on the way in, and Irene tells her he’s doing great, he is working for a big company in Philly, and if it weren’t for the fact Cabot Cove was part of his territory she wouldn’t ever see him. Jess thinks the last time she saw him was when he got his football scholarship to college, and Irene says oh yes, he gave it up, no future in it.

I don’t think Irene is okay. Later, when Seth gives JB a lift home from the supermarket, he tells her that Chad got booted from college for drinking all the time, and returned back to the Cove to be near his high school girlfriend Candace Bennett. Because that’s healthy.

Later that afternoon Laura is waiting for Sam when he gets home. She plays Sam the message Jessica has left on the answering machine, in which she tells him her financials are a mess, he didn’t call her, she has to assume he’s avoiding her, and so on and so forth.

That night, Ethan meets Lou for the traditional Paying of the Bribes. Lou wants to know who is firing at Mort, and Ethan says if Lou’s going to tell him who to arrest, that will cost him extra. Lou doesn’t like that idea or ambitious people. Over at House Bennett, a drunk Chad turns up to force himself on Candace, and is escorted out by the cops after Sam barges in with a shotgun. The next day Sam demands Chad be locked up but Mort tells him Candace declined to press charges so Chad is free to go. Sam is furious, but when Mort gets on the phone to tell Ethan to go pick up his car Sam gives up and walks out. Ethan tells Mort he has an idea about Chad but he’ll tell Mort when he brings the car in.

Except nope, because someone just shot him while he was driving the car back.

Fast forward to the funeral where Sam is very condescendingly comforting his daughter, while Irene tells Chad now isn’t the right time to chat up Candace.

#TeamLaura

JB and Seth try to console Mort as best they can but he tells them to go, he’ll be fine. Secretly though he thinks he was supposed to be the target, the killer saw his car and fired.

Poor Mort is devo.

Jess and Seth go and have a look at the crime scene but there’s not much to discover. Seth waves at a passing car and Jessica realises there was no way that the killer mistook Ethan for Mort, Ethan was the intended target. Jess thinks this will reassure Mort, but he still thinks he was the target – what with all the hate mail he was getting after all. Lou Karamedis definitely hired a hitman if he didn’t do it himself. Jess tells him a hit man would be more professional, and Mort tells her everyone makes mistakes. Jess says sure, Mort doesn’t even know for sure that there is a gambling casino in the Timber Lane!

Ouch, that was a bit harsh.

Jess decides to take matters into her own hands and enlists Seth as a sidekick. They head down to the Timberlane that night and watch a steady stream of punters head up the stairs. Jess tells Seth to keep an eye out and follows one group up the stairs. They enter the banquet hall and Jess sweet talks her way past the guard. She bumps into Lou Karamedis who says all she had to do was ask, and offers her champagne in his office.

JB has no time for your bullshit Ben Thorne

While Seth continues on his chowder downstairs, Lou and JB drink to her new novel, which she explains is about a hapless small-town accountant that gets caught up in illicit gambling, a local deputy gets shot and the casino owner is suspected. Lou thinks the casino owner wouldn’t bother, it would be easier to just pack up and leave town rather than get caught up in local shenanigans. Jess casually mentions that the local deputy is being paid by the casino owner to tip him off to any raids. Lou gets more and more creepy til a phone call from Seth, in which Seth announces he has Mort on the other line and Jess needs to be back in the dining room in one minute.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Jess and Seth ask Andy about whether it was possible Ethan was on Lou’s payroll and he tells them about the weird phone call the night of the last raid. Mort wanders in with Sam and announces Sam is under arrest for the murder of Ethan. Mort tells them that Ethan remembered seeing Sam with a shotgun the night they arrested Chad, and when Mort went to investigate the gun looked like it could have been the one that killed Ethan, though he couldn’t be certain. Sam admits he hated Ethan but it wasn’t about him not having enough money to marry Candace, which is apparently what Ethan claimed. Sam admits to his gambling addiction and tells them about seeing Ethan at the casino with his free drink being happy as. Mort loses it but Andy tells him that Ethan was bent. Mort then loses it at Andy but Jess explains he only just worked it out.

Mort doesn’t care.  Sam was in the office when Mort told Ethan to pick up his car, he knew where to be to shoot Ethan. Jess tells him anyone with a police scanner could have heard it but Mort is not backing down. When Jess tells him Lou Karamedis has a police scanner he asks her if he has an over and under shotgun too?

This gives Jess an idea, and she tells Andy she needs to speak to Chad.

PLOT TWIST.

I really did not see this coming.

Ah yes. Irene’s classical music concerts were right next to the police band on the radio, so she heard where Ethan would be. Her husband had an old over-under shotgun, so she thought she’d eliminate Ethan’s rival for Candace. I told you Irene wasn’t okay.

Before we all get too depressed, let us leave with the good news that Sam is going to Gamblers Anonymous, Laura is taking care of him (after being the one calling the tips in to Mort) and the tie she donated to the rummage sale has been bought – as a present to Sam from Candace.

Hooray for the Cove!

Later gang!

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S10E03 – The Legacy of Borbey House

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Welcome back to the Cove Fletcherfans, where winter is coming, teens are making out in cemeteries and the dead are rising from the grave.

So you know, the usual.

The Boss Lady is getting some construction done on House Fletcher and is packing up things in boxes while the contractor Charles Wetherby makes himself look busy until he finds a note in his toolbox from his missing fiance Laurel. Jessica’s sympathy is shortlived after Charles gets a phone call from his other client Lawrence Baker and leaves, telling Jess he’ll be back in the morning.

Risky life move, buddy. 

Seth pops in just as Charles departs, eyes on Jessica’s peach pie. Jess tells him she gave it to Mort, it would have spoiled what with the lack of electricity and or plumbing in her house.

Seth is about to blow.

As you can see, Seth is apocalyptic. He’s just spent the whole morning dealing with a freaked out teenage girl who saw someone come out of a grave the night before, and now there’s no goddamn pie?

Later that night, local wallpaper peddler Molly Holt drops by Lawrence Baker’s house where she is shown inside by his butler Peter Jatich. She thinks she’s there to show samples but he’s got a whole three-course dinner planned.

I mean it. You get the hell out right now.

Despite Mollie’s protests Baker orders Jatich to start serving the first course. As he heads to the kitchen, he pauses to eavesdrop on the conversation he can hear through the vents.

Later that night, when Molly finally returns home, her father Philip tells her that her boyfriend Dave called to see where she was – apparently she’s broken three dates with him in the last month. Molly says she’s surprised he noticed. Her father tells her to give him a break and she says she has, for eighteen months now. Molly tells him which wallpapers Baker has chosen and Philip simply says that he’s glad he doesn’t have to pay her by the hour.

The next day Molly is around at JB’s to show samples, but she and JB are both distracted – Molly by Lawrence Baker, JB by the complete shermozzle that is renovating her house.

She is so done you guys. (I have no context for this, the only way I could afford to live in a house is if the zombie apocalypse destroys society. I’m not saying I hope it happens, but I wouldn’t mind renovating something)

JB calls time on the whole thing and returns some library books with Seth.

Let’s be honest, it’s also me at the bookshop. And that time I went to the second-hand book sale in Geelong and all the books were a dollar and I passed out.

JB meets visiting writer Dr Howard Sorensen (who was the guy popping out of the grave at the start of the episode, apparently he’s visiting from the netherworld) who explains he’s in town researching the history of the Borbey house. Which just so happens to be the house Lawrence Baker is renovating I mean really what were the odds.

Oh, you guys! Dr Sorenson is being played by the guy who was in charge of all the wildfire in Kings Landing in Game of Thrones. He passed away like a month ago.

Seth thinks the idea is hilarious. Apparently back in the day, the former residents of the Borbey house were killed by a vampire.

“Well despite what the medical establishment would have us believe, Doctor, there are a great many things in this world which defy rational explanation.” Says Dr Sorenson.

Huh. You’re not wrong there.

Jess hurries Seth out of the library before he completely hulks out. Outside they find Dave Perrin, brother of Charles Weatherby’s missing fiance, sticking up posters begging for information about his missing sister. Molly begs him to accept that she’s gone, but he won’t have a bar of it. He tells Seth that his car is fixed just as Mort rolls up in the Mort mobile and thanks JB for the peach pie. He asks how the renovations are going and Seth tells him not to mention the war. Mort’s reason for stopping though is to update Dave on a lead he tracked down about his sister. Apparently, the private investigator Dave hired mistook a 56-year-old short woman for his sister. Mort gently suggests that these leads are eating too much into the department’s sources.

Later that afternoon Mike drops Lawrence Baker’s car off at his house and demands payment. Jatich the butler refuses to let him in, but a sunglasses totin’ Baker says it’s fine. Molly’s told him about Mike, but apparently not that they are going to be engaged. Mike takes a swing at him and is thrown out of the house just as Molly arrives. Once the door closes, Baker takes off his glasses. Because obvs he’s a vampire.

Later that night, the kids from the cemetery are strolling along a path when the girls spot an arm sticking out of the ground and loses her mind. The next morning, Seth and Mort are called to the scene to discover it’s a mannequin arm. Apparently, that’s not cause for alarm BUT I BEG TO DIFFER THOSE THINGS ARE CREEPY AF.

Over at the Borbey house Lawrence Baker has decided a wall needs to come out. Charles tries to explain that it’s a load-bearing wall, and it will cost a lot of money to compensate for it. He quotes double his initial amount for the project, and Baker tells him to do it.

Charles jets over to House Fletcher to tell JB he can’t do her renovations anymore, Baker’s stepped up his demands and he still has to finish the rennos at the sheriff’s office but it’s okay because he’s got someone coming to take over the job who can start that afternoon don’t even worry about it.

Oh, how I know this feeling.

Over at the sheriff’s office, the renos are in fact full steam ahead, much to Mort’s chagrin. He gets a phone call and is about to head out the door when one of the old ducks wanders in to tell him that she saw Dr Sorenson digging up graves at the cemetery the previous night. Mort gets Deputy Andy on the case and rushes out the door – turns out his hot new lead is actually a potential sighting of Laurel, in a critical condition in hospital. He tells Dave who rushes over there. Mort then heads over to the cemetery where the grave of William Borbey has been opened and garlic shoved in.

Later that evening, JB is picking up some wallpaper from Philip and Molly when Old Mate Baker wanders in, wanting to purchase a house Philip has for sale. Philip tells him it isn’t for sale and that the shop is closed. Molly reappears from the back room and is delighted to see “Larry!”

Jess really doesn’t have time for this.

Philip throws “Larry” out of his store and orders him to stay away from his daughter. Molly is a bit peeved at his behaviour, but Philip tells her Lawrence Baker doesn’t exist according to the credit check he got his friend to do down at the bank. Jess finds that interesting, as Eve Simpson told her that Larry paid cash for the house.

What a concept.

Night falls, a storm hits. Dr Sorensen takes it upon himself to do a thorough investigation of Larry by sneaking into his house and taking note of the lack of mirrors and bottles of red liquid because you guys Larry is totes a vampire.  Meanwhile Mort shows off his new sheriff’s office to Seth and JB who are very impressed. Well, JB is, Seth thinks its a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The open for inspection is unfortunately cut short when Mort gets a phone call. There’s been a murder at the old Borbey place. The trio roll on over and find Larry dead on the ground, a stake through his heart.

Because, and I can’t remind you enough (and neither can the MSW writers) LARRY IS 100% TOTES OBVS A VAMPIRE.

Mort tries to hide his belief that Larry was a vampire, despite all evidence to the contrary. Seth tells him that Larry was whacked on the head before getting staked, which does nothing for Mort’s fears. Peter Jatich tells them that the side door was open, which was how the killer got in, and no he wasn’t that upset Larry was bumped off, he wasn’t wild about him.

The next day Dave is hard at work mechanicing when Mort calls to see how he went with the mystery woman. Turns out she wasn’t his sister either, and he didn’t get home til 3am so definitely didn’t stake the vampire. Molly swings by to say how sorry she is it wasn’t Laurel, and he tells her he’s sorry to hear about Larry. It’s awkward.

Down at the police station Dr Sorenson says he was in his hotel room all evening, and he never met Larry #fakenews. JB strolls in armed to the teeth with books and says that Larry was staked with the wrong kind of wood to be killed, it should have been ash, not fir. Jess thinks that someone was trying to make it look like a staking.

Charles pulls her aside and apologises again for the way he skipped out on her reno. JB says whatever. Dr Sorensen announces that the grave he dug up was William Borbey’s and it was empty. He thinks that in fact, Larry IS William Borbey and he’s not dead, only undead.

This episode is ridiculous.

Mort and JB go for a stroll along the water. Mort’s convinced this is some vampiric shenanigans, but Jess is sure there must be a logical explanation. They run into Dave who is showing photos of Laurel’s boat in case it jogs someone’s memory. It does for JB, but not in relation to Laurel. She asks Mort to call the planning board, they need to get over there immediately.

The planning board, it turns out, is being renovated as well and they can’t find the file JB is looking for – the building permit for the Borbey house. Deputy Andy pops up and tells them that Peter Jatich’s fingerprints match those of a known Stasi agent in East Germany.

Mort and Jess confront Peter, but he denies the whole thing. He tells them he heard Larry and Dr Sorenson arguing, but didn’t actually see Dr Sorensen kill Larry. Mort figures either Dr Sorenson is lying or Peter is, but either way they’ve nabbed a killer.

JB has found the inital tender bids for the renovation project and tells Mort she’s not so sure about that.

Of course not, says Mort. And are you going to tell me?

I think JB is just making her own fun at this point.

Instead, JB wanders into the sheriff’s office the next morning and announces to the world that Larry’s attorneys are finishing the renovation, and her contractor is starting the next morning.

Later that night…

I’m not even sure I care at this point.

For you see, Charles bumped off his beloved Laurel when she tried to dump him, and then hid her body in a wall at the Borbey house where he was doing some rennos at the time. Then when Larry wanted him to remove the wall, he killed him.

I mean what even was this episode. Where’d the vampire stuff come from? I’m so confused and hungry.

Let’s just end on the mental image of Mort’s face when he is shown a picture of William Borbey looking identical to Larry Baker and not dwell on whatever the hell this was.

Later gang

S09E22 – Love’s Deadly Desire

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With a title like that, you know there’s going to be DRAMAH OH SAH DRAMAH.

It’s a dark and stormy night (obviously) JB is back in the Cove (Huzzah!) where fellow author and occasional Cabot Cove visitor Sibella Stone is reading from her latest book while smugglers are smuggling because that is literally what coves are for (see also, every Famous Five book ever).

I think JB is just about done with everything.

Sibella’s husband Derek Hartman turns up late and full of apology to pick up his wife and her assistant, Marian King. Derek has just secured a hot new manuscript from some random housewife in Oklahoma. Sibella insists JB pop round for a cup of tea and to check out ye olde journals Sibella found in the house she’s renting.

After they leave, Jessica finds Sibella’s purse and runs out to return it, only to find Marian and Derek having a pash on at the car.

Inconspicuous A F.

The next day Seth is barrelling down the main street of Cabot Cove when he crashes into Colin Burnham and Valerie Hartman. Colin is a dick and Valerie isn’t that much better to be honest, which of course gets Seth’s back up (although he did just also drop his dry cleaning in a puddle).

Angry Seth is Angry.

Valerie tells Seth to get his dry-cleaning redone and to charge it to her step-mother Sibella’s account. As she and Colin cruise off, leaving Seth huffing to himself, someone called Munro watches them leave before being summoned back inside the cafe where he works by someone called Sue. Facts.

JB takes the Fletchmobile to the lighthouse where Sibella and her crew are staying (YOU GUYS HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I WANT TO STAY IN A LIGHTHOUSE) and runs into handyman (and wouldn’t you know it, local smuggler) Phil Coyle, who warns JB the step is broken and also Sibella should just leave the house is falling down around them.

Jess smiles politely and flees inside to return Sibella’s purse. Far from packing to leave Sibella has decided to stay until the end of the week to finish her book, and then take a well-earned three week holiday to Montego Bay with Derek. She suggests they take the journals she found outside to peruse.

Preach.

Their reading is interrupted by Valerie storming out, furious that the INS is threatening to deport Colin for crimes against hairstyles. Sibella has a friend in Washington but she has no intention of calling him, telling Valerie if she’s thinking of doing anything more serious with that Picadilly Prima Donna (lol) they will cut her money off. Valerie storms off again and Sibella reminds Jess that she is hosting a dinner on Thursday and Jess must come.

Thursday rolls around and Marian drops some more journals off for JB to read. She is also in the market for some writing advice, she only knows JB and Sibella and Sibella seems miserable. JB tells Marian that if she wants to become a writer she just should get out there and do it.

That night, while Marian and Derek steal more kisses while no one is looking, Colin asks Sibella for help with his visa problem, only for Sibella to tell him she will only help if Colin leaves Valerie alone. Colin says nothing doing, and Sibella tells him she didn’t realise he had a choice. Outside, Sibella runs into Phil the handyman, ‘working late’. He tells her his work is never done and she sashays away down to the beach, while that Munro bloke appears out of nowhere and loiters around. JB and a very reluctant Seth, heading to the party, spotlights flashing in the harbour. Jess thinks it’s some sort of signal but before she can work out what, they stop.

Sibella heads to the boathouse, for reasons unknown, and falls through a rotten floorboard into the water. Her foot gets trapped between two rocks, and her screams for help go unheard, while the water rises. Told you! Drama! Inside, Seth makes his views on being at the party abundantly clear, while Colin does what he does best and talks about Colin. Seth mutters to JB that it’s been 40 minutes and there’s no sign of their host, when Marian appears with a note she found upstairs saying ‘Boathouse 7pm’.  Jess says that was over an hour ago, and they rush to the boathouse to find the water up to Sibella’s neck. Derek dives in and pulls her foot free, and Seth heaves her out of the water with some rope which is a fair effort really.

Sibella takes to her bed to recover, telling them that she was down at the boathouse to get some more journals she’d found for Jess to look at. They ask her about the note, and she tells them she’d left it for herself the previous night to meet with Phil Coyle to discuss the renovations.

Party over, Marian pays the caterers and has a run-in with Colin, who threatens to tell Sibella about her little something something with Derek, to which she says be my guest (not the answer he was expecting). Meanwhile, JB and Seth are heading home, Seth furious that JB had left him alone with them. She tells him she went to investigate the boathouse and not only were there no journals down there, the floorboards Sibella had fallen through had been cut, not rotten. They narrowly avoid crashing into Phil Coyle as he jets off into the night in his truck.

Later that night, a cloaked figure stands on the deck, gets clocked around the head and falls down to the beach below. The body is discovered by Munro the Random Guy while he’s out on a morning stroll, and as he explains to Mort as soon as he saw the body he ran for a phone. He doesn’t know who it is, but he’s seen that writer woman wearing a cloak like that one.  Mort freaks out and asks if he means Jessica Fletcher, but Munro says no, he thinks her last name is stone. Deputy Andy rolls the body over and EGAD YOU GUYS it’s not Sibella, it’s Marian the assistant.

Mort goes up to the lighthouse to inform everyone what’s happened, and JB pops in a short time later. She mentions the lights to Mort and Sibella mentions she’s seen them too, when she’s been walking along the bluff before bed. Mort asks if Sibella owns a grey cloack, and when she says yes asks fi Marian had one similar but Sibella says she thinks not. She’s horrified when they explain to her that this probably means that she was the intended victim, not Marian.

Down at the cafe Sue wants to know why Munro was anywhere near the beach to discover the body, and just how he is connected to the family but he’s giving away nothing.

Back at the house, JB wants answers and Mort is trying to catch up. Sibella comes clean about the note, saying that she’s been receiving death threats in the mail over several weeks, and that one was the latest. She thinks they are from her real first husband, not the fictitious count she’s been putting about.

As Jess goes to leave she runs into Derek and passes on her condolences abour Marian. Derek says she knows how to cut to the chase.

Indeed

Derek tells her the affair was only about him being in denial about his age (#cliche) while he thinks it was more serious for Marian.

Down in town Munro is on the phone telling someone it wasn’t supposed to include murder, while Valerie begs her father to help stop Colin’s deportation, whilst at the same time wishing it had been Sibella who got whacked, not Marian. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Mort has taken it upon himself to arrest Phil Coyle, rather aggressively.

Coyle, it turns out, has been smuggling ivory from Canada which seems both elaborate and specific. Mort throws him under arrest and thinks its a matter of time before he adds murder to the list of charges.

Down at the cafe Mort brags about his recent victory to Seth, but is deflated when Jess pops in and tells him he’s probably wrong, definitely wrong when she sees some writing on the whiteboard.

This episode is a whole new level of ridiculous. Let me cut to the chase.

I MEAN COME ON NOW.

To cut an incredibly long story short, Sibella was nailing Munro and instead of divorcing Derek for cheating on her she decided to bump Marian off, and was going to bump off Derek but she got busted. Also JB worked it out because Munro was the writer of the notes and he spells mince MINZE and also Marian was the hot new author Derek signed and for the life of me I have no idea what’s going on, how did Mort know Phil was smuggling?

I don’t. I just don’t. So let us leave Season 9 with Seth dropping an allegedly funny line about Munro needing spelling lessons and go google lighthouses to stay at.

Later Fletcherfans!

S09E17 – The Big Kill

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Welcome back to the Cove Fletcherfans, where a giant storm has parked itself. Despite this, local fisherman Henry Riddett is heading out anyway. Mort warns him as he helps load Henry’s boat, but Henry says the fish like to shelter in his nets, it will all be okay. Meanwhile, some dude named Phil Shannon stands in a truck with a loaded gun in his pants (not a metaphor). As Mort drives off, some other dude named Brian Bentall appears, warning against violence. Phil tells him Henry is going to get them all arrested, and Brian tells Phil that Henry isn’t the person who worries him.

Guys, I’ll be honest, the first time I watched this episode I started alphabetizing my books so I don’t entirely know what’s happening. We’ll discover it all together.

The next morning, with the storm still in residence, JB is contending with a whole lot of leaks and has Seth and local handyman Russell on the case. (The story of my childhood, minus having Seth on the roof. Nothing worse than a leaky roof!) Russell is grateful for the work, having lost his job when the factory closed down and is about to launch into some gratitude poetry but JB ain’t got time for that.

Life Lesson #71 – When delivering gratitude poetry it is important to read the room.

The person under that umbrella is Eve Simpson, who has blown in to invite Jessica and Seth to a party being hosted by Martin Fraser – Eve’s new boyfriend and He Who Laid Off The Staff At The Factory. Russell and Eve greet each other frostily, but Eve is far too excited about the party to dwell on such trivia.

Seth appears from the roof, after doing his back, but wants no part of Martin’s get together. JB notices his discomfort and offers to make him an appointment for her chiropractor over at Bar Harbour but Seth wants no part of that either. He’s going home to take two aspirin and he’ll call himself in the morning.

I mean he SAYS he was fixing the roof…

Meanwhile, over at Pantechnics HQ, Martin Fraser (aka Chad Everett) is having a crisis meeting with Carl Ward (aka Gregg Henry) and Brian Bentall (aka that guy from before). I don’t entirely know what they’re talking about but long story short the company is in trouble and Brian and Martin have been smuggling weapons out of Cabot Cove to make ends meet. Seems legit.

Down at the docks, Henry the fisherman gets a visit from his daughter Sarah, who is furious he went out in the storm. In response, Henry gives her an envelope with a thousand dollars in it, money collected from poker games and fishing (but actually from gun running). After Sarah leaves, Henry puts a call in to Mort, asking to meet. Mort offers to drive over now but Henry sees Phil watching him and arranges to meet him later that night, on his boat.

Jess and Seth are out for a casual stroll when they come across a traffic jam – a Pantechnics boat is being hauled in by a truck and no one appears to be terribly happy about it. Seth and JB run into Eve and Martin, who receives a frosty greeting from Seth.

At Eve and Martin’s house, Martin’s secretary Helen pops in to ask for a cheque for the caterers. While Martin is off writing it, Eve and Helen glower at each other for reasons I can only guess at. Presumably, Helen and Martin had a thing? I have no idea. I think they cut a bit too much back story out of this episode.

Later that night, as a shadowy figure leaves the dock, Mort goes to meet Henry on his boat but finds the boat filled with carbon monoxide and Henry dead from a whack to the head. Over breakfast at House Fletcher the next morning, Seth declares Henry must have passed out from the fumes and whacked his head, which killed him. Mort thinks its still a little weird that all the drawers were open and that the log book was missing, and that there are elephant footprints on the dock, but JB is far too busy correcting student papers and going over revisions for her next book to care. Mort and Seth leave, bickering.

Me getting home from anywhere with more than two people in it #introvertlyfe

Carl Ward, who it turns out is some sort of financial investigator either working for or investigating Pantechnics, visits Phil Shannon at his garage to find out why Pantechnics have been paying him, but Phil is giving him nothing. After Ward leaves, Phil puts a call in to someone to complain about Ward, the drums full of weapons he has stashed in his garage now that Henry’s shuffled off, and life in general.

That night Eve’s party takes place, and in between people waffling about undersea exploration (which apparently is what Pantechnics is into now? Literally no idea what they are talking about), and Mort inviting Brian Bentall to his weekly poker game the next night, and Eve and Helen throwing side-eye at each other (still unexplained), Martin has a clandestine meeting with someone called Walter Kurtz who may or may not be the shadowy person on Henry’s boat. Kurtz and Martin have a whispered fight about Henry’s death and the need to stick to their arrangement when Eve drags Martin away to meet some people. Carl Ward, watches the whole thing.

I honestly have no idea who anyone is or what anyone is doing.

The next day, probably, Ward confronts Martin with the news that he knows what Martin has been up to. The good news is that Ward won’t dob Martin in – if Martin gives Ward 1% of all the money he gets from the sale of the weapons. If Martin says no, the long awaited loan will not come through, and the feds will be called.

That night, Ward goes snooping around the Pantechnics boat and gets a whack on the head for his efforts. Meanwhile, the poker night at Mort’s house is well underway and Mort is cleaning up, much to the disgust of Seth and Deputy Andy. Brian, on the other hand, is more concerned with checking his messages than worrying about Mort’s antics. Over at Martin’s house Martin is throwing himself a massive pity party while Eve tries to find out what’s wrong.

Down at the docks the next morning Brian is wandering around, trying to see if anyone has seen Ward, when he finds him for himself, dead in the bottom of the Pantechnics boat which is full of carbon monoxide. JB pops by a short time later to discuss how similar it is to Henry’s death with Seth and Mort, who are surprised she remembers anything they said.

It’s always good to be reminded.

Brian overhears them talking and asks Mort if Ward was murdered, and Mort says maybe. Jessica thinks it’s an odd way to kill someone, there are much easier ways to do it. Seth thinks it’s one for the record books, which gives Jess an idea and she scurries off.

Back at the sheriff’s office Martin and Helen tell Mort their alibis for the previous evening – Helen was at her mother’s and Martin was working til one in the morning which will probably surprise Eve when she finds out. They waffle on about the loan and Ward’s report back to his office that they should reject it which comes as a surprise to Martin, but I’m so confused I don’t even care.

Seth drops around the coroner’s reports for Jess to read while he sneakily grabs the business card for the chiropractor. Henry’s daughter Sarah pops round with the news that her father had apparently sent her his log books in the post. A quick scan of the log books and a call to the coastguard reveals that a big ship sat waiting for three hours the night of the storm, but that Henry’s boat couldn’t get out due to the storm. Jess asks Mort what he saw the night of the storm, and he tells her they were loading drums, he assumed of oil.

They track the truck number to Phil Shannon’s garage, who tells them he was often asked to pick up oil drums from Pantechnics to take them to Henry’s boat, but that he hasn’t seen them since the night of the storm. Mort gets him to open his truck but it’s empty. Jess notices some rope which matches some rope she saw on the Pantechnics boat, which makes no sense because she never went on the boat, but whatevs, of course she’s right. Martin appears on the dock and tries to deny it but Mort arrests him for All The Murders anyway.

At the Sheriff’s office, Martin tells Mort that it wasn’t him it was an international gun runner and all around bad guy. “What’s his name, Goldfinger?” Asks Mort.

Martin tells him about Kurtz, and Jessica rattles off a description, from when she saw him at Martin’s party. Mort says he’s got no alibi for the murders, but then Eve pops in to tell them that Martin was with her both nights. Apparently, he was lying to protect Eve’s reputation? I don’t think he understands who this works.

Over lunch, Mort, Seth and JB discuss the case. Jess can’t work out why the killer whacked Ward but then waited two hours to turn on the carbon monoxide. Seth loudly exclaims (for the benefit of some nearby gossipers) that Eve and Martin have a secret lovechild in Paris and moans that gossip gets around Cabot Cove faster than a phone call.

This gives Jess an idea and she drags Mort away from his lunch to prove it.

Seth’s back is all better FYI

A quick stop at Pantechnics for a word with Brian and Helen et voila:

Brian of death. Whatever.

Jessica has apparently worked out that Brian called a circuit board that he’d placed in the boat engine so he could remotely turn on the boat engine. Except since JB wasn’t at the poker game I have no bloody idea how she worked this out.

Seriously, I don’t know if it was the writing or the editing but I’m still confused. I need a nap.

Later gang

 

S09E11 – Final Curtain

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Fletcherfans if you’d just acquired the rights to a play and you wanted to stage a short run before taking it off-Broadway, where would you go?

Darn tootin’ you take it to Cabot Cove. Then Eve Simpson will get you a good deal on the local theatre that hasn’t been used for years and would you believe legendary actor David North used to tread the boards there before he moved to England?

Would you believe it guys, David North is back!

Also the brother of Richard Donat who was in Haven which was a great show.

And frankly, Eve isn’t coping.

Eve’s done. So very done.

Meanwhile, JB is hard at work trying to work out how a businessman will be killed foiling an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister. In this scene, the role of the businessman will be played by Mort Metzger, and the role of the Prime Minister will be played by Gatesy from Tripod*** a dummy.

This episode is in my top ten, you guys.

JB’s plans are interrupted by a phone call from Eve Simpson

“She’s making noises only a squirrel could understand.”

Eve finally manages to get out that David North is back in town. “NO!” Exclaims JB, excited. “Does Seth know?”

You tell me.

Guys Seth emoting is one of the weirdest things about this show and has happened exactly once before.

Seth is frankly losing his mind that his old pal David is back in town. David is delighted to see Seth too and invites him to come to dinner the next night after the auditions for the play. Seth says he can’t, he’s having dinner with Jessica. David says to bring her along, what actor doesn’t love a good mystery?

Indeed.

The next day auditions are underway for the supporting roles for the play. Under the watchful eye of director Kathryn Evans, producer Jerome Mueller, and David North, the hopefuls take the stage. First up is (surprise!) Eve Simpson and Lyman Taggart, a ring-in from Bangor. Eve nails it but Lyman is terrible, and when Kathryn gently tells him to leave the stage he loses it and starts abusing everyone. Jessica and Seth wander in to watch but Lyman eventually wears himself out and storms off the stage. David decides to take this as a sign and wanders over to be introduced to JB, who is delighted to meet him but not as much as he is to meet her.

Fun fact, Lyman is being played by the guy who played Jack in Profiler.

Over dinner, the cast and crew chat about the production – one man’s descent into madness, as portrayed by David North and some fancy new paint that only shows up under UV light (hashtag plot point). While everyone else gets up to dance, JB asks how it feels to be back on stage, and David says it’s wonderful. Seth can’t understand why he ever retired, and David tells him it wasn’t as much fun anymore. Also, he could never come back to Cabot Cove because he lost a dear friend, something Seth knows about clearly. David gets a shock when his old manager Eric Benderson appears – he heard David was back and just wanted to be sure that David had everything he needed.

Later in the night, dinner is winding down. Kathryn makes her departure, running into Lyman as she leaves. He storms in to tell David he drove 100 miles to see him, and that he used to think David was something special. All he wanted was a chance, but now he thinks someone should take David down a peg.

The next morning Seth pops around to JB’s for breakfast. He’s dying.

Oh, how I wish I didn’t know how he felt.

Seth is regretting all of his life choices, but specifically the ones that happened after he and David dropped Jess off the night before. According to Seth, David is coping with the day better than he is, but Seth is still concerned – he got the impression David was out for a good time even if it killed him. He is also concerned that his mouth feels like outdoor carpeting.

Guys, I don’t think Jessica has had a hangover in her life.

Far from hungover, David is at the theatre, examining with a little bit of horror the UV artwork that is meant to represent his descent into madness, while someone lurks in the shadows. Seth is also restored to life, thanks to JB’s cooking, and so offers to drive Jessica into town. Before they set off, Jess finds the scrapbook Seth made dedicated to his life-long friend (#bromantical). Jess notices a newspaper clipping not pasted in and Seth tells her it’s from a sadder time – this was the friend that David had lost, Vincent Chansing, who died in a car accident. (Fun fact, apart from the headline, the rest of the newspaper article is about the LA riots. Thanks, pause button!)

The phone rings – it’s Jerome Mueller, looking for Seth. There’s a problem at the theatre. Seth hurries down, dropping JB off in town in the process, and goes off to the theatre. Jess runs into Lyman again, who is super apologetic about his behaviour but really wants to work with David so if Jess could put in a good word maybe..? Jess tells him she can’t do it, and Lyman starts screaming got a light “CAN’T OR WON’T?”

Seth arrives at the theatre to find his friend barricaded in the dressing room. David is not in a good way, and he confesses to Seth that he’s scared. Of course, says Seth. Who wouldn’t be? But David is the best, he can nail his return to acting even with the time away. David thinks Seth is a very good friend, and he wishes they were talking about the same thing.

Job done, Seth leaves the theatre chatting to Eric Benderson, who tells him he appreciates Seth – there are people out there who wish David harm. JB arrives with Mort, who is desperate to meet his idol David North. Jess tells him to shush and they sneak in, followed by the parents of one of the other supporting cast members who commentate everything their son does.

Me when people talk/use their phones in the cinema. Don’t get me started on this.

Mort eventually loses his shit at the people behind him (to which I say well done sir) and bellows “DO YOU MIND?”

Up on stage, the actors fall silent. David comes down and asks him to repeat the line a couple of times, and announces that they have found the constable they need for the show.

BOOM! FORCED HAMILTON REFERENCE AT LAST! BOOM BOOM!

Later that night, David arrives at House Fletcher to take her to the cast party, as Seth got held up on Seth business. He apologises for being late, he had to go all the way across town to find a manual car, such is his hatred of automatic cars. While Jess shuts her computer down, she asks David if he’s feeling good about the play. He is – especially about the young actor from New York – he doesn’t get a lot of work so if this turns out to be his big break David will take a certain amount of pride. Jess knows the feeling, she has it whenever one of her students does well. “We repay the good things in our own lives by investing in someone elses.” She says. (Life Lesson #70)

Down at the theatre, Kathryn wants a word with Jerome. She’s pissed – she’s just found out that Eric Benderson has started demanding a 15% cut of the gross when the original plan was a three-way split between Kathryn, Jerome and David. Jerome tells her the play is nothing without David but not to worry, a lot can happen before the ink dries.

The party in full swing, Jess takes up residence next to the punch bowl. Mort is anxious not to make a fool of himself in the play, but Eve assures him he will be fine, he gets bumped off at the end of the first act. Jess spies Eric and Jerome arguing, but Eric later comes over to assure her that everything is fine, and to ask where David was. Jess points him out, but before Eric can go to him Lyman appears. Eric and another dude escort him out, Lyman shrieking.

Later, the party done, Seth is driving JB home when he realises he left his glasses at the theatre. Classic Seth. He tries to take JB home first but she says nonsense, they only just left the theatre, it will be quicker to turn around and go back now.

So they do, and wouldn’t you know it Eric Benderson is lying unconscious on the floor, covered in the UV paint. Hashtag plot point.

Eric is taken to hospital where Seth works on him but it’s no good. Mort tells JB that he did a bit of digging into Lyman’s life and learned he was in and out of institutions with a long line of crazy fan boy behaviour. The next day, despite Jessica’s theory that he’s staying at the Hill House (for reasons, don’t worry about it), they find him coming out of the Lighthouse Motel. Mort chases after him and Jess suddenly notices the room where Eric Benderson was staying is now on fire. JB reports it to the manager who goes at it with a fire extinguisher but the fire is too great. Also, gas.

Mort returns with Lyman in custody.

It sure did Mort.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Lyman swears he didn’t start the fire. At first, he says he was staying there but admits he only went there because he saw David North go in there and he wanted to apologise. Mort wonders if David saw who started the fire – JB wonders if it was David who started it. Or if someone started it because David was in Eric’s room.

They drive over to his house, but there’s no answer at the front door. Jess asks Mort if he can smell what she smells – gas. Mort breaks in and finds David unconscious on the bed, and carries him out, ordering Jessica to call for backup. They take him to Seth, who begrudgingly clears him to go home and rest. JB can tell something is wrong though, and after Mort leaves with David asks Seth what it is.

“Who says something is wrong?” Asks Seth.

ACTUAL QUOTE THIS EPISODE IS GLORIOUS

Seth can’t deny it. David told them that he’d been knocked unconscious but Seth examined him, there wasn’t a mark on him. Jess sadly thought that might be the case – all the doors and windows were locked from the inside at the house. Seth refuses to believe it but Jess has a point – David tried to commit suicide.

Deputy Andy pops in looking for Mort, but he’s just missed him – he’s taken David to the theatre, despite Mort being worried that Seth will kill him for taking David anywhere but home. Andy found a locked box under the bed – Jess takes a look and finds a fragment of a photo of a car. Seth can’t place it but Jess can. It’s the car that killed Vincent whatshisface, David’s friend. Jess compares it to the photo from the paper and it’s identical, except it was taken at night, not during the day. Jess asks Seth about the night of the accident, and Seth tells her that he got the call from Eric Benderson, who arrived at the accident after Seth and the sheriff. Vincent had been going to the airport to head home after breaking his arm.

“Which arm Seth?” Jessica asks.

“Right one,” Seth says. “Why?”

Jess knows why. And after recruiting Kathryn the director, she proves why.

Ah yes. The old covered in UV paint giveaway. Many have been brought undone by such….god I’m hungry.

This is what happens when your manager blackmails you after you leave the scene of an accident because you’re blind drunk and accidentally kill your best friend.

So, while Seth goes with David to the prison to make sure he’s okay, and Mort catches up on paperwork, let’s leave Our Heroine back at work on her book, and frankly doing an excellent impression of me writing this blog.

Later gang!

***If you get this reference take the rest of the month off.

S09E09 – A Christmas Secret

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A Christmas special! It’s Christmas in the Cove!

Even the cars are on point.

This particular establishment is the home of Mary and Alan Forsythe, who are throwing a little pre-Christmas shindig to welcome their daughter Elizabeth’s fiancee, Charlie McCumber to the Cove. And you know that when there’s a party…

Their entire relationship in a nutshell.

Jess says Charlie and Elizabeth make an attractive couple, and Seth says sure – they both have their health and they’re under thirty.

While Alan Forsythe pontificates on about his plans for Charlie coming in to the accounting company Alan has with Irving Lazarus, Seth fills JB in on the gossip – Irving’s son Bert is pissed that Charlie is being made vice-president when Bert is still the office manager. JB seems to remember Bert flunked math at school, which seems like a vital component of working at an accounting firm.

Alan continues on to talk about Amy Wainwright, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of.

Now there’s a show/person I haven’t thought about in quite some time

Apparently Amy works for Floyd Bigelow Male Gigolo, who runs the local hardware store. Alan wants to thank him too, but Floyds out back making out with Wanda Andrews (being played by Veronica Mars’s mother). Bert finds them and is told off for not knocking. They rejoin the party in time to see Charlie give Elizabeth a fancy emerald ring. Wanda wonders why she never gets a ring like that, Floyd tells her she doesn’t deserve one. Bert is put out that an army guy can afford such a ring, and Elizabeth used to wear his ring but Floyd points out that was high school and he should get over it.

While Seth and Mort investigate the lunch options, JB and Elizabeth have a quiet chat. Elizabeth thinks it’s all so sudden, but JB says maybe Charlie saw some things in the Gulf War that made him not want to wait. Charlie chats to his in-laws about his upbringing with his sister in foster homes. Mort interrupts to recruit Charlie for the Cabot Cove pistol club, and also to check if Charlie might want to join the Cabot Cove Carolers – Charlie says he’s a fair shot but no singer. (Side note look how Mort has gone all in on Cabot Cove since he moved there).

Charlie and Elizabeth finally get some alone time and Charlie gives Elizabeth his key at the hotel so they can see each other properly later. Nudge nudge. The party over, the guests all head outside, and Jess declares there’s going to be a white Christmas. Seth says bah humbug, snow is only good for traffic accidents and frozen extremities. (Couldn’t agree more, I have seen snow twice in my life and both times suspiciously).

Seth and JB leave Floyd and Charlie to compare their cars (as seen in the first pic) and walk down the street. Jess asks Seth why he has been so grinchy, and he tells her he’s been reminded of the Christmas when he was ten, and he was certain that his Pop had bought him a train set but it turned out to be socks and underwear for little Seth. With the way the world is these days, Seth says, Christmas seems like a hollow promise – we should not be looking for toys any more.

In the interests of full disclosure I must admit I am a little bit Seth-ish in my views on Christmas. I’m taking notes from JB in this episode.

Charlie and Floyd get into their respective cars, with Floyd promising to find Charlie a good deal on a car like the hire one he’s got right now. Charlie finds a present on the drivers seat, and unwraps it to discover a cassette of Willie Nelson – except when he plays it, a woman is threatening to expose his dirty secret unless he meets her at Sally’s Landing at ten o’clock that night. He stops the tape when Elizabeth gets into the car, but when she sees it and goes to play it he freaks out and distracts her by kissing her – solid misdirection. They agree to meet for dinner at 6:30 that night.

Later, JB wanders in to Floyd’s Hardware and finds both Amy and Floyd on the phone. When they both get off, Floyd tells Jessica he’s off to Portland but Amy will look after her. He leaves before Amy can finish saying that she will have the inventory report for him. Nothing says Christmas like an inventory report.

After an evening of canoodling, Charlie tells Elizabeth he has to go, but that he’ll pick her up in time for the Cabot Cove Toy Run the next evening. Elizabeth tells him she’ll be decorating all day, but Charlie says that’s fine, he’ll be studying for his CPA exam. He leaves Elizabeth and heads over to Sally’s Landing, where he discovers that Wanda was the mysterious voice on the tape. Instead of confronting her, he drives off.

It’s still not snowing, just FYI.

The next day everyone is hard at work decorating the community centre. Amy excuses herself, saying she has to go and watch the store until Floyd gets back from Portland. She passes Wanda, who wonders why she’s leaving so soon. Wanda gets her instructions from Elizabeth’s mother re: her assignment (balloons – she should in fact blow them up). Elizabeth explains to JB that Wanda has a reputation for going after any loose men left lying around, single married or other. As for Amy, she’s been in love with Floyd since forever but Floyd has no respect for women. (Well, he is Floyd Bigalow Male Gigolo. Called it.)

Elizabeth asks JB if she should be worried about Charlie with Wanda free-ranging around. Jess suggests she go and take Charlie to lunch and get it all out in the open and Elizabeth says she will, at about noon.

Over at the hardware store, Floyd has returned from Portland and gets a phone call. He tells Amy he’ll take it in the back, but Amy stays on the line to listen in.

I’m in Cabot Cove dreaming about who we used to be #2015reference

Back at the Community Centre, Jess sends Elizabeth off to have lunch with Charlie, and goes to get more red balloons.

TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE. #WhateverIMadeMyselfLaugh

Wanda says she’ll swap balloons for the lunch she left out in the main hall, but Jessica points in the locker and says “isn’t that your lunch there?”

Wanda slams the locker shut and says it’s business papers in there. She hands Jess some green balloons, and Jess points out she needs red ones, not green. Wanda says oops, she’s colourblind. Jess says no matter, and wanders off with some red balloons leaving Wander to ponder just who will bring her lunch.

Over at Hill House, Elizabeth goes into Charlie’s hotel room but finds it empty. She finds the blackmail tape and plays it. She also snoops in his diary and finds the name of the Lighthouse Motel and a time circled so she cruises on over there and sees Charlie go into one of the rooms with a woman. She drives off crying, and later that night refuses to go to the Christmas party, claiming illness. Her parents refuse to let Charlie off the hook though and so force him to tag along.

At the party, Seth moans about the lack of snow while Jess tells him to shush and look at all the toys, while Mort gets down with his bad self.

Remember that time Seth beatboxed? It’s not as good as that time but it’s pretty good.

I refer you to my previous point about beatboxing.

Cut to Elizabeth going back to the Lighthouse Motel, peering in the window and then running away again.

Back at the party, Seth is explaining to JB that they were dancing the samba, not the rhumba, when Mort pops up to say that the toy drive doubled what it did the previous year. Seth asks where Mrs Mort is, and Mort says she’s off delivering gift baskets to a church up the coast. Mort excuses himself followed by Seth – he has to get his Santa suit on. Jess explains to Charlie that if Seth calls out the number on his ticket then he will win a prize.

Bah humbug, says Seth. The previous year he won some sequined slippers and they weren’t even his colour.

As Elizabeth slinks into the back of the party, Charlie spots Wanda heading towards the back and follows her into the women’s locker room, narrowly missing Seth strutting his stuff.

For real, this is the highlight of Seth’s year.

As Seth heads out into the party there is a gunshot. In the women’s locker room Charlie bumps into who he assumes is Seth in his Santa suit and asks what the shot was, but Fake Seth just leaves quickly. Charlie finds Wanda slumped on the floor, just as Jessica arrives. Miraculously she’s still alive, and so Seth escorts her to the hospital in the ambulance. Deputy Andy finds the discarded Santa suit outside, and Jess points out the open locker to Mort, saying that Wanda had been very protective of whatever had been in the locker that morning, and it might mean something that it’s empty now.

The party now officially over, people start to make their way home. Charlie runs into Elizabeth, who tells him she went to the Lighthouse Motel and saw the woman, and he freaks out, saying that he’d wanted to tell her for ages. He’s interrupted by Bert Lazarus, who appears with a gun he found in the bushes outside. It’s army issue, and Charlie confirms that it’s his but that he has no idea how or why it isn’t in his hotel room. Mort asks him not to leave town and Charlie says he’s not leaving until this is straightened out.

The next morning, Seth pops by JB’s on the way home from the hospital for breakfast and information. Wanda survived the gunshot wound, but it’s still touch and go. A thumping at the door signals the arrival of Elizabeth, freaked out that Mort has arrested Charlie for Wanda’s murder, but is a relieved to hear it’s not murder yet. She tells Seth and JB about Wanda blackmailing Charlie, and how he went to see her at Sally’s Landing but couldn’t even face her to find out what she had on him. Seth wonders how then he found the courage to shoot her, but JB too is wondering what Wanda thinks she has on Charlie.

With a pointed look Jess gets Seth to leave, and Elizabeth tells her she’s worried about the ring Charlie bought her, she has no idea how he paid for it. She also tells Jess about the woman at the Lighthouse Motel, but Jess refuses to believe Charlie was going to marry Elizabeth and keep the woman on the side.

Jess pops down to the Sheriff’s Office for a chat with Mort, to ask if Wanda left the Cove at all the previous year, specifically to go California where Charlie was living. Mort says no, she was too busy especially when the mayor and the local businessmen went to Tokyo on a business trip. Floyd wanders into the office to continue the story – in fact, it was on his return from that trip that Floyd discovered that the pension fund was missing 400K, and since Wanda had been in charge of the books while they were away…

JB brings Seth up to speed over a cup of coffee, and they both agree that it seems unlikely Charlie could have done it. Jess wonders why Wanda was targeted – if it was the blackmail or something else. She also wonders who the intended blackmail victim really was, as the tape was pretty generic.

Taking matters into her own hands, Jess goes to the Lighthouse Motel to talk to the mysterious woman. She turns out to be Charlie’s sister Monica, but Monica isn’t staying at the hotel alone – she’s got Belinda with her. Charlie’s daughter.

I really didn’t. (But duh that it was Charlie’s sister though, I mean come on)

Over tea, Monica explains that Belinda (mother of Belinda the daughter) died in childbirth while Charlie was in the Gulf on active duty. When he came back he was destroyed so Monica looked after Belinda. Charlie couldn’t tell Elizabeth, he was too worried that Elizabeth would leave him.

Jess understands, but wonders why Wanda would blackmail him over something so trivial. It’s not until she sees Belinda playing with some red and green blocks that she figures it out and puts a call in to Floyd Bigalow, asking him to meet her at the community centre. And to bring Amy.

It turns out, Floyd was the one Wanda was trying to blackmail, because Floyd was the one who skimmed the money from the pension fund, but Wanda was colourblind and put her tape in the wrong car. It’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone.

But Floyd wasn’t the one who killed Wanda.

I guess soon someone’s going to be
*puts on sunglasses*
JUDGING AMY
#yeahhhhhhhhhh

With 2 bad guys behind bars and Wanda expected to make a full recovery, there’s absolutely no reason for Christmas to continue unabated. So Jess buys Seth a toy train for Christmas, Seth admits that helping to save Wanda’s life has given him a new perspective and Jess says “So Frank was right – Christmas should remind us about what could be, not what is.” (Life lesson #68)

And so the Carolers arrive and the snow falls. Merry Christmas in July Fletcherfans! You have six months to get your Christmas shopping done, get to work.

Later Fletcherfans!

S09E02 – Family Secrets

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Reader beware: I’ve been up since 5am watching the Eurovision final. There will be spoilers. Also I am in desperate need of coffee but my grocery delivery hasn’t arrived yet. Read on at your own peril.

JB is hard at work at the Cabot Cove library researching poisons/watching the Eurovision vote on her newfangled contraption people are calling a laptop.

I am happy Portugal won, it’s a lovely song. But Europe, we really need to talk.

Jess decides a lock-in at the library is in order, and so librarian Arnold Lumis leaves her to find which poison will do the trick in her next book. Soon after he leaves, Jessica notices a shadowy figure lurking in the shadows.

It’s JB’s former student, Randall Sloane, taking time out from being a reporter and back in town researching a book. JB is eager to hear more so they arrange to meet for breakfast the next morning. Randall is first to the diner, and takes the opportunity to arrange an afterwork meeting with Sally the waitress but she’s not interested.

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. The actress playing Sally just offered JB some coffee and my doorbell rang and now my groceries are here which means I get coffee oh GOD I’m so tired.

Randall tries again to arrange a meeting with Sally but she shoots him down like Europe did to my hopes of a Montenegran victory in Eurovision. JB is eager to hear more about the book and Randall tells her it’s about Margaret Babbington – the biggest scandal that ever happened in Cabot Cove. And let’s face it guys, there’s been some scandals. Jess tells him that story must have been done to death but Randall has an angle that’s going to tear a hole in Cabot Cove.

Except I was drinking lemon tea on account of destroying my voice trying to yodel rap a-la Romania (who should have gotten more points)

Later on, JB is kicking back in House Fletcher testing poisons out on Seth (not literally) when the Sheriff arrives looking stressed out. Some journalist is harassing him for access to the Margaret Babbington case files.

“Ah, Randall Sloane.” JB smiles.

“Yeah how did you know?” Says Mort.

Amos would be proud Seth.

Seth and JB explain the case to Mort. Back in ye olde times, specifically the 50s, Margaret Babbington, Owen Abbott, Emily Weymouth and George Latimer were out gallivanting around Cabot Cove when the two couples got separated, there was an accident with the gun and Owen ended up dead, while Margaret ended up in a sanitarium and died a short time later. Mort thinks that’s pretty open and shut, and wonders what Randall is getting at.

Across the road from the diner, Neal Latimer is watching Sally through a window, which isn’t creepy at all especially since they aren’t going out any more. Neal’s father George takes time out from business deals to wish that his son would date someone more appropriate like Janet Weymouth, but Neal says he was never a fan of frostbite.

(Meanwhile, Australia is having a meltdown about the streaker. 50% are furious that people keep calling him Australian when he was actually Ukranian, and 50% are furious that a Ukranian stole their idea. What a time to be alive).

Jess and Seth hit the docks for poison inspiration when they bump into Janet Weymouth herself. They ask after her mother and she tells them Emily rarely leaves the house or sees anyone. She was asking after JB though so Jess promises to pop round for a cup of tea. Pushing her luck, Janet reminds Jess about the community centre fundraiser happening that afternoon, and Jess says she’ll be there. Seth wants no bar of it, he’ll spend money and he doesn’t like spending money.

So I was really gunning for Moldova this year. This is how much of a nerd I am, I recognised them from the 2010 contest. And epic sax man deserves all the awards. But Portugal was adorable.

Janet goes to see her mother, who is the architect for the fundraiser, but she won’t be attending. Emily is on the phone trying to find out what Randall is up to but won’t tell her daughter why she cares so much.

Later at the fundraiser, while Seth moans about the cost, Neal corners Sally in the kitchen. He wants her to be patient but she’s done – it’s not about them any more as much as it’s about Neal and his father. Janet barrels along and is pleased to announce that the fundraiser is a success, and George Latimer is pleased to announce that they will name the centre after Emily Weymouth. Randall spots Sally and tries to talk to her but is pounced on by Janet Weymouth who wants to know what his book is about. He tells her Margaret Babbington and the room goes quiet. He excuses himself and goes after Sally but she’s already driving away. George Latimer, who overheard the whole conversation comes up to Randall and wonders what it would take for Randall to not write the book but Randall’s not backing off, not even for a thinly disguised threat.

That afternoon Seth drives JB up to see Emily Weymouth and wants a full report of the inside of the house – not many people get invited in. As Jessica goes up the stairs she sees George Latimer drive away. Inside, Jess and Emily chat over tea. Emily knows Jess was Randall’s teacher, maybe she could have a word to him about not writing the book? Jess says no chance, and maybe sitting down with Randall might do Emily some good?

Over at the library Randall is doing more research but stops when Arnold starts lurking around. Turns out they went to school together, and Arnold has literary aspirations too, but none of them have worked out.

Yes I know Australia isn’t part of Europe, but exactly how European is Israel and besides we are like the 4th biggest Eurovision audience so you know, we’re here now.

Jess pops in to the library to continue to research new ways to kill people and asks Randall how it’s all going. Randall tells her half the town won’t talk to him and the other half is furious that he’s even writing the book and Arnold is sad he can’t co-write the book (literally didn’t say that at all, but whatever). Jess tells him to keep going, but to be careful. Later that night, Randall gets a visit from Neal Latimer, wanting to smooth things over post fight between George and Randall, and also to suggest Randall should leave the book alone. Randall says nothing doing.

The next morning, Arnold arrives to open the library with Sally and finds Randall dead on the floor. That shock is up there with Cyprus and Greece giving each other 12 points.

Mort, Seth and JB arrive in that order (for a change), and JB gets to work. Arnold tells her he was there to open up the library and Sally was there early to meet with Randall as per his request. She assumes it was another pick-up attempt but Jessica thinks the library at that hour is a weird time to make romantic overtures. I don’t think Jess has seen some of the people who frequent the library. Shady. They find a key under Randall’s body but not his briefcase or his book notes.  Mort and Jess go up to the Hill House to test the key but it doesn’t fit Randall’s room. They hear glass break and so Mort kicks the door open to find Neal going through Randall’s things.

That afternoon Sally pops round to House Fletcher looking for help – the Sheriff is convinced Neal Latimer killed Randall but Sally can’t believe it. Jess asks her what Randall wanted to talk to her about, and Sally tells her it was mostly to do with her upbringing in the orphange – looking at old photos and paperwork, that sort of thing. Jess asks Sally to bring it all over so she can have a little look at it.

Released for now, Neal goes to see his father, who has a pretty good idea about why Neal was snooping. He tells his son the true story of Margaret Babbington – there was an argument, but the shotgun didn’t go off by accident. Margaret killed Owen deliberately.

Jess has come to this conclusion on her own, and wonders why Margaret reacted the way she did. Suddenly she has a thought and calls the sanitarium in Portland to ask about her cause of death. They call her back a short time later with confirmation  – Margaret died in childbirth.

Yeah you know where this is going. Just like Seth knows where that apple pie is going.

Oh man I’m hungry

Jess goes to see Margaret’s cousin, Emily Weymouth, who confirms that Margaret had a baby. She covered it up so that the child wouldn’t have to suffer the stigma of the mother’s crime. The night Randall died he came round to talk about it, she tried to buy him off but he wouldn’t accept the payment. She didn’t kill him.

Jess happens to believe her. Because she’s just worked out who the actual killer is.

So I was kind of hazy on why too.

Janet overheard a conversation between her mother and Randy where Randy refused to take a buyoff from Emily. She followed Randy to the library to talk him out of the book, if the true Babbington heir came forward they would be left without a cent. And it turns out that key belonged to her.

I need a nap. Lisbon 2018 you guys.

Later Fletcherfans.

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