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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.

S08E21 – Badge of Honour

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Welcome back to the Cove, Fletcherfans, where JB is busy minding her own business and baking cupcakes when Seth barrels into her house. Seth’s just discovered that his old army buddy Ben Oliver, who Seth thought was missing/dead in World War II, is very much alive and coming to Cabot Cove.

Erhmahgherd!

It isn’t possible for Seth to be more excited about this news, as evidenced by the way he greets Ben when he arrives in off the bus.

You know Seth is overcome with emotion when he goes the double hand shake

Alas for Seth, the excitement is short-lived. Ben interrupts Seth spruiking the features of his house and guest bedroom to inform him he won’t be staying with Seth.

After three days they start to stink (presumably also dead bodies)

Seth agrees and offers to drive him to a hotel but Ben just wants to have a seat first and clear his lungs after the long bus ride. He tells Seth he’s found a lovely town and Seth agrees, saying he’s been practicing medicine there for 37 years. Seth asks Ben what happened to him that day in the war (December 16 1944) and he says he woke up in a German field hospital then spent the rest of the war in a POW camp. After the war he was still in hospital for 2 years then spent the rest of his life wandering.

Seth asks Ben why he never got in touch.

“I wasn’t quite right. For a long long time. And after that it seemed like it was too late.” Says Ben. This episode has the feels already.

Jess has Ben, Seth and Mort over for dinner, and I think we should all just take a moment to bask in the glory of Mort’s manly man-ness.

Hey girl indeed.

Ben tells Mort he’s lived everywhere and done everything, and tells Jess he was married twice to the same woman but that it didn’t work out either time. Jess thinks Cabot Cove could use a man of many talents and Seth declares he can find Ben a job in 24 hours. Ben offers a toast – here’s to a lot of good men who died, and the best one of all who didn’t.

Seth hasn’t called Jessica WOMAN yet, he is not coping with all this.

Plot twist you guys! Ben isn’t the only newcomer to Cabot Cove. A bloke called Lawrence Jarvis is checking in to Ben’s hotel but tells the hotel owner not to tell his friend Ben he has arrived, he wants it to be a surprise.

That is an ominous grin you guys.

If there was any doubt as to his shiftiness, Jarvis then proceeds to break into Ben’s hotel room, (info he conveniently got from the front desk guy) and finds a gun under Ben’s mattress.

The next day is a beautiful morning in the Cove, and Seth’s wandered down to the country club to have a chat to Mason Porter about a) having his annual medical checkup and b) maybe getting Ben a job at his boat yard. Mason tells Seth it must be his lucky day, his mechanic just quit and he needs a guy. Everything’s working out great! Well, except for the fact that Mrs Porter and Mrs Dishman are glaring at each other a lot but never mind that because Mr Dishman is where it’s at yo.

FOR REAL THOUGH WHY DID NILES AND CC END UP TOGETHER I JUST DON’T KNOW

Time passes. And probably some more time, we’ll never know. Seth, Mort and JB are sitting down to presumably lunch and JB asks how Ben is going down at the boatyard. Seth says it’s all working out swimmingly and then tells them the story of how Ben saved his life during the war. Deputy Andy pops in to tell the Sheriff that the guy with the Detroit plates they’d seen lurking around is now down at the docks and he doesn’t know what it is but something seems off.

Mort heads down the docks and finds Jarvis sitting in his car watching someone. At first Jarvis tells Mort he’s just trying to work out the best road north but Mort doesn’t buy it and orders him out of the car. Jarvis tells Mort he has ID in his pocket and slowly pulls it out – turns out Jarvis is a private investigator tailing a criminal from Detroit.

“What criminal?” Mort asks.

“That one.” Says Jarvis and points – at Ben Oliver.

Mort’s day just got a whole lot more complicated

Later that evening…

(Not pictured – the bottle of wine and the roaring fire)

JB’s reading is interrupted by a knock at the door – it’s a devastated Seth with the news that Jarvis tailed Ben to Cabot Cove because Ben was a suspect in a jewellery story robbery. Ben worked for Jarvis’s company and was working security the day of the robbery, and despite being cleared by Detroit police, Jarvis is convinced Ben is guilty. Seth is shattered, he doesn’t know what to do – tell Ben and he might leave town forever, don’t tell Ben and betray the man who saved his life.

The next day Ben is hard at work on a boat when Niles Neal Dishman pops round the boatyard to buy a boat from Mason Porter. Neal has one condition though – it must be a cash transaction. Mason isn’t wild on the idea but he wants the sale more and so agrees to magic up some paperwork and have the boat ready by Saturday. They both see Ben on the boat listening and quickly end the conversation. Neal leaves, and Mason asks Ben to meet him in the office for a chat.

In the office, Mason has nothing but praise for Ben but think’s he’s overqualified for the job. Ben thinks this is the nicest firing he’s ever had, but Mason says Ben isn’t fired, he’s promoted to sales rep. Ben is delighted and can’t thank Mason enough. Mason calls his nephew Dave in to the office to tell him to find a new mechanic and once they have to start training Ben on sales. Dave would like a word with Mason on that topic so Ben excuses himself and goes back to work.

Dave tells Mason there’s no way he’s training Ben, unless Mason fumigates him and teaches him how to count to ten. UGH SHUT UP DAVE. Mason tells Dave that Ben has more brains in his kneecaps than Dave has in his whole body (accurate) and that if Dave ever questions his authority again, Mason will forget that Dave is his sister’s son (the word is nephew buddy) and will hack Dave’s little umbilical with a meat-axe.

I mean points for threatening but minus points for making sense.

Jess, troubled by Seth’s news, decides to to some preemptive sleuthing and heads down to the microfiche machine in the Cabot Cove library to read up on the jewellery store robbery. (MICROFICHE! Honestly, you young kids with your Wikipedias and your broadband internets, you have no idea how we struggled through the 90s). Jarvis pops out of a dark corner, and tells JB he’s concerned that Seth is too close to a wanted felon. Jess says she’s been reading up on the case and a) Ben is neither wanted or a felon and b) she’s just read about how Jarvis’s clients all dropped off after the robbery and that he had to file for bankruptcy. “Knowing human nature as I do,” says JB, “I wonder whether you’re blaming the wrong person for your failures”.

Jarvis suggests she add Ben’s medical records to her reading list, Jarvis will steal anything that isn’t nailed down and can’t hold a job. Jess suggests he doesn’t poison the waters in Cabot Cove, Cabot Covians ain’t got time for that.

Seth decides to tell Ben about Jarvis’s presence in Cabot Cove and Ben is furious – Jarvis hasn’t left him alone for a minute since the robbery. Seth tells him that the Detroit police have only said that the case is still open and that they haven’t got evidence either way of Ben’s involvement, but Ben is too steamed to do much.

That night, Mason is kicking back in his office with Mrs Dishman when he sees a shadowy figure lurking outside the window. When he rushes out to investigate he sees Ben walking down to the boat and demands to know what Ben’s doing there. Ben says he thought he left his jacket but it wasn’t there. Mason asks why he was looking in the window and Ben says he wasn’t – someone else was lurking around but took off when Ben showed up.

The next day, Dave Sanders rolls into the boatyard office and finds his uncle lying dead on the floor. Mort, Seth and JB are soon on the case. The cash Neale Dishman paid for the boat is missing from the safe, as is Mason’s wallet. JB finds it odd that someone bought a boat in cash but Dave says his uncle didn’t care about ethics, only about selling boats. And anyway it was obvious that Ben was the guilty party, he was in the office when Mason was counting the money – Mason was about to fire him so it stands to reason he’d take the money. JB spots an empty champagne glass and files it away for later.

Seth says BALONEY, Mason had just promoted Ben, but Dave tells Seth he’s dreaming and for the record Ben was nearly two hours late to work that morning. Dave swipes his security pass to let them into the boatyard, and goes back to work, as does Seth who doesn’t want to be any part of what’s about to happen.  Ben tells Mort and JB that he was at his hotel all night, except when he came to look for his jacket, he saw both Mason and the mysterious figure, and he didn’t kill anyone but it’s clear to him that they think he did.

Mason’s funeral comes and goes, the highlight of which is Mrs Dishman and Mrs Porter having a hissed conversation in the bushes – Mrs Porter can’t believe the nerve of Mrs Dishman that she’s even at the funeral but Mrs Dishman points out that they have one thing in common. Mrs Porter wonders just how soon she should tell Neil Dishman about what they have in common and Mrs Dishman storms off.

Neil asks his wife what the conversation was about and she tells him Mrs Porter asked her how soon she could date again.

“You don’t look good babe, how about a ride home?” Asks Neil. I AM SO NOT OKAY WITH NILES USING THE WORD BABE DEAR GOD I AM COPING WITH THIS EPISODE AS WELL AS SETH IS IE NOT REALLY.

Robin Dishman reminds her husband they took separate cars to the funeral and she would not be leaving her car there. She peels out of the car park past Mort, Seth and JB who are discussing Ben’s state of mind. Mort is looking forward to taking Robin’s license off her one day, but before they can go any further Deputy Andy pops up to report that they found Mason’s wallet and that nothing was missing but there were no helpful fingerprints either.

Seth finds Ben down at the docks saying goodbye to the water – Dave came back from Mason’s funeral and fired him. Seth says they’ll find him a new job but Ben says there’s no point, the town has made up it’s mind, and that he hadn’t heard Seth shouting his innocence in the town square. He asks Seth if Jarvis told him about his medical history and Seth says yes, but he’s only asking Ben about this now as a friend.

Says Ben:

OK then, I’ll give it to you in one quick swallow. You see, Corporal, when a mortar round hits close enough it not only explodes, it implodes at the very same time. This causes a vacuum, a force that sucks part of your being out through the top of your skull. For lack of a better word, let’s call it your soul. But what most people don’t know is souls are a hell of a lot more fragile than human flesh. Sometimes they just never seem to heal.

Meanwhile, in Jarvis’s hotel room:

#JerryOrbachForever

To be fair, this is not that dissimilar to how I binged The OA on my week off last week. But I was totes more elegant.

This is the scene when Ben barges in to accuse Jarvis of a) ruining Ben’s life and b) killing Mason and framing Ben. Jarvis says he might have done it for the money but he wouldn’t do it to frame Ben, Ben’s a ticking time bomb.

No kidding.

You can always tell when I’m starting to get hungry writing these, can’t you?

Mort arrives in the nick of time to break it up. A deputy walks in a short time later with some news – they’ve found a gun and wad of cash in Ben’s room.

JB is hanging out with Deputy Andy at the sheriff’s office examining Mason’s wallet when Robin Dishman storms in. She’s got a speeding ticket for doing 70 in a 25 zone and she’s pissed. She demands the officer who booked her be suspended immediately, she was leaving a funeral she was too upset to know how fast she was going. Andy shrugs and she furiously coughs up the 80 dollar fine, informing him that her husband will be furious about this. She barges out of the office just as Mort arrives with Ben.

Mort tells Andy to test the gun and counts the money found – it’s ten thousand dollars. Ben swears the money was planted, and the gun is his old army gun that hasn’t been fired in years. Jess asks Mort what they were even doing at the hotel and Mort tells them that they got a hot tip, Andy adding it was a man’s voice not a woman’s. Jess then asks Ben whether Jarvis followed him to the boat yard but Ben can’t be sure. Jess asks him if there’s anything else about that night he hasn’t told them, and he tells them about seeing Mason drinking champagne with his wife, the woman who just went barging out of the station. Jess thinks this is now much clearer.

Mort and JB head down to the boatyard. Jess has worked out why the wallet was missing – someone needed the security card to escape through the boatyard. They find a fisherman, Mr Wiggins, and Jess asks him if he saw anyone come by the night of the murder. He says he certainly did, but he couldn’t say who. He did hear glass breaking right after, and he’s convinced it was a man.

JB thinks this seals the deal and thanks him for his help leaving Mort more confused than ever.

10/10 beard work.

Ben arrives back at the hotel to discover Jarvis’s room is on fire. He breaks in and find Jarvis unconscious on the bed, so he hoists him down and drags him out of the room. Later, when Jarvis is recovering in hospital he tries to claim that he must have dropped a match in the bin but Jessica says no. He was knocked unconscious by the same man who killed Mason Cox.

And whaddya know here he comes now.

I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS

Apparently Niles objected to Mason banging his wife, and concocted this whole scheme to exact his revenge. And wouldn’t you know it, Jarvis saw the whole thing go down and decided to blackmail Niles about it, and frame Ben for it.

But luckily for Ben, JB was on the case. And lucky for Seth, as they watch Ben take the bus back to Detroit, he has some top-notch Fletcher cooking in his future.

OK I need to eat. Season 8 finale next week – only four seasons left!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S08E18 – Programmed For Murder

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We are back in the murder-iest Cove that ever Coved Fletcher fans, and the culprit is right up front this week.

The struggle is real.

Unrelated, but I rewatched Copycat last night (the one with Sigorney Weaver and Holly Hunter) and if you want some quality mid-90s technology you should definitely watch it. But I forgot how damn creepy it is, so also maybe don’t.

Anyway, JB is having a crisis, her computer ate 40 pages of her manuscript. Fortunately, Cabot Cove is the Silicon Valley of Maine (it turns out) and local programming tycoon Harriet Wooster is here to save the day. She’s feeling a little under the weather, and a little preoccupied with the fact that her marriage is in trouble and she’s in the process of selling her programming empire, but she’ll do her best to rescue JB’s missing pages.

SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER

Meanwhile at the head offices of Computanic in Boston, company President John Halsey is trying to boost confidence in his chief investor Rudy Ortega, who is having none of it. He tells Halsey to get it done or the people he represents will not be happy. He hands over a suitcase filled with presumably counterfeit Pokemon games or cash, we’ll never know, and departs. Halsey whips out a gun and ponders. (Fun fact, Halsey is being played by the guy who played Angie Lans’s son in the stage show of Driving Miss Daisy, remember that time I was in the same room as Angie Lans holy crap that was a time).

Back in the Cove and the state of the Boss’s manuscript isn’t the only crisis hitting the cove. A new doctor has moved in to the hospital and is solving cases all over the place, including The Case of Eve Simpsons Mysterious Allergy which turns out to be a reaction to the newspaper ink. Seth is unimpressed.

For those playing at home, the role of the new Doctor Beckwith will be played by everyone’s favourite double verb, Hunt Block.

Seth tries to bluff his way out of his mood when he runs into JB by going on a rant about her computer, but Jess tells him her computer has increased her output by 40% (clearly because Tumblr wasn’t a thing yet), and in any case is it possible that Seth’s bad mood isn’t about her computer?

Seth grudglingly admits he doesn’t like losing patients to this new upstart with his lab tests and fancy medicines which Seth thinks are nothing to his intuition and his ability to treat the whole patient.

“Happy now?” Seth asks JB.

Good grief if I’m chucking Limp Bizkit lyrics in this blog has gone terribly terribly wrong

Seth and Jess cruise on over to Harriet’s house – Jess to deliver a thankyou basket, Seth to do a housecall. Harriet’s husband Alan snags Seth as they arrive to talk about his wife’s health. Seth thinks she will be fine once the business has been sold and things calm down a bit, but after getting inside and checking her pulse, Seth asks Harriet to come in the following day for some tests. Harriet tells him she’s fine, she’s just stressed out about the business deal, she’ll come in next week. She starts to get worked up about being late for the meeting but Alan points out that her brother Doug hasn’t arrived – which he conveniently chooses that moment to, bringing his girlfriend Gretchen along with him. Harriet begs Alan to keep Gretchen occupied at the house while the business deal happens and he promises he will. Jess and Seth, sensing it’s all about to kick off, sneak out quietly.

Doug and Harriet meet Halsey at the Hill House and Doug lays it out – they aren’t selling for less than ten million. Halsey is horrified, the computer market just isn’t up to it, and software is struggling (lol) but Doug isn’t buying it. Harriet on the other hand looks like she’s about to pass out and collapses in agony. Doug calls an ambulance and they race over to the hospital but Doctor Beckwith emerges with some terrible news – Harriet has shuffled off her mortal coil and not only that, it would appear Seth was treating her for the wrong illness. Harriet had a bleeding ulcer.

While Gretchen brings everyone cups of water, Seth and Jonas Beckwith bicker about the cause of death until JB tells them all to shush. Seth is devastated and leaves, JB following. Doug Simmons is convinced Seth is a public menace and shouldn’t be practicing medicine.

Later that night, Allan is sitting in his darkened florists shop when Rudy pops by to tell him that he shared certain interests with Allan’s late wife, and that now he shared them with Allan. Long story short, take the deal or Rudy’s friends are going to be pissed.

The next day, Mort pops round to Doctor Beckwith’s office to get more information for his report, and ends up leaving with a prescription for his cough. Meanwhile, over at the Woosters residence Allan, Doug and Gretchen are talking about Harriet when Doug announces he has issued Halsey an ultimatum – 10 million or the deal is off. Allan is horrified Doug is thinking about money at a time like this but Doug is just trying to get things done. Allan just wants the deal done now, and they start to argue but Gretchen steps in and tells Allan Doug is just looking out for his best interests.

Over at the hospital, Doctor Beckwith finds Seth and says how very sorry he is, he knows Seth was a close friend of the deceased. Seth is disgusted – her name wasn’t The Deceased it was Harriet Wooster, she had a mole on her shoulder, she had an appendectomy when she was 14 and every year she drove to Boston to see the Celtics play the Lakers. Beckwith apologises, but wishes Seth would cut him some slack – they have different approaches to medicine but there’s no reason why the two can’t work together. Seth shouts OH HELL NO and storms out. (Paraphrasing).

Meanwhile, JB’s cardigan game is strong this episode.

Seriously though I want that cardigan.

JB has suspicions and is hoping to get the autopsy results from Mort, but he hasn’t got them yet and besides they know what happened. He knows how Jess feels about Seth, and he doesn’t think Seth did anything wrong either.

Deputy Andy Broom pops up to deliver Mort’s prescription from Doctor Beckwith.

DEPUTY ANDY IS ALWAYS ON DUTY.

Later, JB runs into Jonas Beckwith who tells her he’s very sorry about the deceased her friend. Jess thanks him and says she’s glad he’s decided to practice medicine in Cabot Cove, and not to mind Seth.

Speaking of, Seth pops by JB’s house later that afternoon with his brand new fishing reel. JB can’t help but notice it’s the one he showed her in the catalog that cost $375.

Seth is doing what I do in times of great emotional stress (except I buy books and not fishing equipment).

Seth’s decided to take a step back and be kind to himself, and maybe even retire. Jess calls him out and tells him there’s no evidence that he had anything to do with Harriet’s death. Seth says his new fishing reel has nothing to do with Harriet’s death but Jess says it does, she knows how his mind works.

The coroner calls, looking for Seth and delivers his verdict – Harriet died from a transfusion of the wrong blood type. Jess tells Seth that proves he wasn’t to blame but Seth begs to differ – if he’d been treating Harriet for stomach ulcers in the first place she wouldn’t have needed a transfusion and she’d still be alive.

Poor Seth.

Jess heads over to the hospital to speak to the nurse responsible for the transfusion, Laura Garrison, but she’s reticent to talk to JB – she knows how tight she is with Seth. Jess just tells her she wants the truth and Laura tells her all she knows is that she took Harriet’s blood a few weeks before, and got the blood ready for transfusion when she came in sick.

(The coffee, not the blood. Just so we’re clear). 

Over in downtown Cabot Cove, Halsey runs into Rudy who tells him without Harriet the company is less juicy (his words not mine), so he won’t offer a cent over 4 million dollars. Halsey is furious but Rudy tells him that’s all there is, and if there’s a problem he needs to deal with it efficiently.

The next day, Jess is formulating a theory and gets on the phone to Laura Garrison to ask if she ever saw Harriet’s face the day she came in sick. Harriet says no, she wasn’t in the emergency room that day and when she dropped the blood off Harriet’s face was obscured. JB asks Laura to describe Harriet from when she came in to donate, but Laura says she was so busy she can’t remember. She’d remember if she saw the face again somewhere but not otherwise.

Over at the Hill House Doug Simmons has been doing his own formulating, and asks Gretchen to seduce Halsey for information. Gretchen is horrified but Doug tells her to think of the money.

Jess heads down to the Sheriff’s office and faxes a photo of Harriet Wooster over to Laura, who calls back a short time later. JB has a quick word, gets off the phone and announces that Harriet’s death had nothing to do with negligence, she was murdered.

The best kind of jam.

Jess has correctly deduced that someone pretending to be Harriet Wooster donated blood that would prove to be fatal if she ever needed a transfusion. All she needs now is a doctor to think of a way that someone could bring on an illness that would require a transfusion – and two doctors could do it even faster.

SETH YOU ARE SUCH A CURMUDGEON.

Cabot Cove’s greatest medical gurus stop butting heads and put their minds together, and decide that certain poisons could induce the symptoms Harriet displayed. That’s all Jess needs to hear and she gets back on the phone to Laura Garrison.

Over at the Hill House, Gretchen is launching Operation Halsey, but it doesn’t go well. JB arrives just as the operation sinks without a trace, to ask Gretchen to give Doug a message – JB thinks Halsey murdered Harriet, they are just waiting on more tests.

Gretchen rushes straight out to deliver the message – but not to Doug.

Well alright then?

Allan, inexplicably, has been having an affair with Gretchen this whole time. JB noticed that Gretchen knew where to find the blood bank coffee cups when she handed out drinks when Harriet died, therefore proving she’d been the one to donate blood pretending to be Harriet.

WHAT? I mean this seems like a long-ass bow guys. I would never doubt the genius that is Our Heroine, but MSW writers, I’m giving you some hard side-eye right now.

Let us leave this episode with the knowledge that Jess has brokered peace between the warring doctors and remains the Queen of Cabot Cove.

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E12 – Witches Curse

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You guys, it’s been a while (and yes I did just sing that), but we’re back in the Cove at last. It’s a dark and stormy night, and a certain doctor is casting roles for the town’s newest theatrical production – a retelling of a classic tale where a woman called Rachel Abbott was burned to death for being a witch.

Seth is loving it.

Seth is loving it.

After commenting on one potential witch’s scream as “melting lead”, and gently telling Penelope that while Rachel’s role is bigger, he needs her to play the witch’s mother, Eve Simpson steps up to audition for the role of Rachel. (Fun fact, Eve and Penelope look about the same age, so Seth is clearly up to something).

Eve gives a command performance, but would prefer to update the script a little, make it more hers. “I can do a Blanche Dubois that will curl your hair.”

“Of that I have every confidence.” Says Seth.

This is reminding so much of the Streetcar Named Marge episode of The Simpsons.

This is reminding so much of the Streetcar Named Marge episode of The Simpsons.

Just then, there’s a loud clap of thunder, the doors burst open and Stevie Nicks wanders in.

(It's not Stevie. But let's pretend it is because I love her a lot)

(It’s not Stevie. But let’s pretend it is because I love her a lot)

The woman apologises for her dramatic entrance and introduces herself as Mariah Osborne, aka the chick that apparently shot JR that time. She tells them she’s new in town, she’s just rented the old Walker place (much to the shock of others, no-one has lived there for 20 years) and she’s wondering whether there are any roles still open she might audition for?

Seth can’t believe his luck. It’s like Rachel Abbott herself walked in. Stoked.

While she still has to audition, some of the cast view her audition as a foregone conclusion. Judge Willard Clinton will be conveniently play the role of the judge in the play (method acting), and the role of the prosecutor will be played by Nate Parsons, local insurance rep.

Mariah’s audition is a stunning success…

Could not puff up any more.

Could not puff up any more.

…so much so that when she shouts a line about the bells tolling to proclaim her innocence, the bells in the church go off. Everyone in the room shivers.

The next morning, Seth retells the story of the casting of Rachel Abbott but is less than enthused with the response from his audience.

Sweet, innocent Seth.

Sweet, innocent Seth.

Mort’s response is to ask Seth if he’s been hearing voices again, which Seth decides is sour grapes because he wouldn’t cast Mort in the play as the constable. Mort tells Seth if he hears the voices telling him to go off and save France he shouldn’t do it, Mort saw how that movie ended.

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

Seth tells JB the story of how Mariah floated in to town and rented the old Walker place, which JB finds puzzling – it must be full of dust, just like the court archives which is where she’s supposed to be right now. Seth drops her off and she settles in for some investigating, but overhears someone reading something familiar. She goes on the snoop and finds Mariah reading from the original transcripts. JB introduces herself and Mariah tells her she’s studying up for her role. Jess says the whole town is abuzz with her performance the previous night, and Mariah says it wasn’t her, it was Rachel Abbott. What’s more, she thinks Cabot Cove has a habit of ganging up on innocent people. She excuses herself, saying it was nice to meet JB.

JB doesn’t care right now.

#lifegoals

#lifegoals

Mariah’s next stop is to the Winthrop house, to return a shawl she borrowed from Lydia Winthrop the previous evening. She finds Lydia’s husband Charles at home, in a wheelchair thanks to a renovating accident, and offers to massage his leg when it gets cramped up.

Oh Robert Vaughn. Rest in peace.

Oh Robert Vaughn. Rest in peace.

Lydia Winthrop walks in at that moment, and notices her husband is having another of his muscle spasms. She and Lydia step out to give him some peace, and Mariah returns the shawl. Lydia tells her that her audition was quite extraordinary, and Mariah says she has always had a soft spot for the unjustly accused. Don’t we all, Lydia says but the phone rings. Mariah says she can find her own way out, but has a peek at Charles Winthrop before she leaves.

This'll be one of these alternative facts I hear so much about...

This’ll be one of these alternative facts I hear so much about….

She watches him put some papers in his safe, and then leaves.

Later that night Lydia hears the sound of breaking glass, and goes downstairs to investigate. She finds the safe wide open, and rose petals flung about everywhere – but as they report later to Mort, nothing appears to be missing. When Mort asks if they’d had any visitors, Lydia reminds her husband about the visit they got from Mariah Osborne the previous day.

But she absolutely isn’t trying to cause trouble though. No way.

That face!

That face! It turns out she was Mr Big’s mother in Sex and the City for like one episode. 

Mort thinks it’s odd that a thief would stop to scatter rose petals but not bother to steal anything, and Lydia is reminded of the speech Mariah has to give in the play about rose petals scattered in memory of blood spilled.

But seriously guys she’s not trying to cause trouble.

Mort takes Deputy Andy to go see Mariah at her new ramshackle home – Andy has it on good authority that Mariah is basically a witch but Mort tells him to calm down. Things do not improve when Mariah invites them inside and they spot a black cat and cauldron bubbling away with dry ice steam billowing out of it. Back at the sheriff’s office they fill in JB on the latest and despite JB telling Andy she saw Mariah buying cleaning products at the hardware store Andy is convinced she’s a witch. Mariah might claim she was home all night cleaning, but Penelope told Lisa Tuttle who told Sharon Goldsmith who told Andy’s wife that she saw Mariah out walking by herself dressed in black every midnight.  Clearly, a witch.

TEA-QUILA

TEA-QUILA

Undeterred by all the rumour-mongering in town, Mariah’s next stop is to see Nate the insurance agent (remember him) to ask about getting some fire insurance. It is an old house after all. Nate would be delighted to stop by and assess the property, and maybe afterwards they could get di-

“And a history of the place would be great.” Mariah continues. “Any old fire would have affected the structure of the property.”

Nate would love to help out there, but the company doesn’t like giving that information out, plus no one has lived there for 20 years so any files on the property would probably be in the shed behind his house but like he said, company policy. Mariah thanks him anyway and goes to leave – but finds Lydia Winthrop at the door. She was hoping to have a word with Nate about increasing her insurance after the break-in the other night.

Later, Jess bumps into Seth chivalrously  helping Mariah load paint into the back of her car. Seth can’t have his leading lady doing her back a week before opening night, and Jess says she’ll remember that the next time she’s shovelling snow. She asks Mariah what she’s up to, and Mariah says she wants to do it all up like the old photos. Jess asks which photos and Mariah says you know, photos of old Victorian houses.

Flagrant cover-up aside, JB cautions Mariah to store them somewhere safe, they are highly flammable.

Now what do you think we’re going to cut to?

Well I'll be damned.

Well I’ll be damned.

The fire in question is taking hold of – wait for it – Nate Parson’s shed. The next day the fire chief tells Mort that some sort of chemical was involved, and when Mort asks what was in the shed  Nate’s wife interrupts to say it doesn’t matter, it was definitely deliberate, she saw a pentagram on the door.

Mort really has no time for this witch business.

Mort really has no time for this witch business.

Penelope pops up again to remind everyone that Rebecca Abbott said she would return in storm and fire and death, and that Mariah Osborne arrived in town during a storm, and now there’s been a fire, so unless she’s very much mistaken, Mort’s problems are just the beginning.

That night, dress rehearsals are underway. Seth’s worried Mariah’s forgotten her script but she tells him not to worry, she’s memorised it. So well in fact, that when they rehearse the courtroom scene where Lydia’s character accuses Mariah’s character of bewitching her husband, she manages to insert a big speech about how Goody Butler is a small-minded bitter woman whose soul is as barren as-.

Lydia is outraged. Seth is outraged. That’s not in the script! Mariah tells them she read a transcript of another account of the trial and thought it would add to the character. Lydia storms out, and Seth declares a break. Willard Clinton (remember him?) wanders over for a chat, and they get a bit of a flirt on, much to the disgust of Penelope and Lydia. After rehearsal, Willard finds a note on his car from “Rachel” asking to meet the “magistrate” at 10pm. He returns at the appointed time, and starts looking for Mariah/Rachel. Rose petals fall down from the bell tower so he starts to climb. At the top, he sees a familiar looking shadow, right before it pushes him out the window to his death.

I wondered when we were getting to the murder part of this show.

JB wanders down to see whether Mort had it under control and finds him slightly panicked. He’s starting to worry that the town might have been right about Mariah. He shows JB the letter. Jess reminds him that Rachel Abbott and Mariah Osborne are two completely different people. Mort tells her she knows that, and he knows that but he wonders if Mariah knows that. They visit her at home and she tells them she swears she didn’t kill Willard. She gladly offers a handwriting sample and gets JB to retrieve a notebook for the task. JB starts poking around and finds a scrapbook with a newspaper article about the trial of Monica Walker, and a photo of Monica standing next to a boat.

JB is on the case you guys. She goes to the courthouse to find the court documents but is told all the files are missing. Curious, says JB. She’s also been to the Gazette office and all their records for 1967 are missing – could the trial have happened then. The court clerk tells her it did.

With all the usual sources gone, JB has one card left. After feeding Seth full of homecooked goodness, she pesters him for information about Monica Walker. He tells a sad tale – she was working as a secretary for Charles and Lydia Winthrop but then was convicted of stealing a diamond necklace. She went to prison for five years and then upon release sold the house and left town never to return.

JB decides a call on the Winthrop’s is in order. She finds Charles hard at work on a model boat, sad he can’t go sailing on his own boat until his leg heals. Lydia tells him she did warn him about the builders re-varnishing the stairs. They heard all about what happened to Willard from Nate Parsons, and there’s no doubt in their minds Mariah did it. They won’t feel safe until she’s been arrested and until then they are bumping up security and getting a new safe for Lydia’s jewellery. JB takes the opportunity to ask about the trouble Lydia had a few years earlier, and Lydia says Moncia Walker stole the necklace, she never did get it back why does JB ask?

YOU GUYS I MEAN REALLY.

YOU GUYS I MEAN REALLY.

JB leaves, but returns just in time to find Charles standing up at the fireplace. Passing no comment on his rapid recovery, JB instead asks if he remembers who the prosecutor was on the Monica Walker case. Charles nonchalantly tells Jess it was in fact Willard Clinton, right before he was appointed a judge. Jess thanks him and leaves.

Next, Jess heads over to investigate the crime scene, and is startled to find Nate Parsons doing the same thing. He tells her Willard Clinton was a client of his so he has to investigate the death. JB quickly concludes that there was no way that this was anything other than murder, and spots some long dark hairs caught in a nail. She grabs them to take to Mort, and as she leaves asks Nate if his company did the policy for the Winthrops. He confirms yes, for over 20 years.

JB drops the hairs off with Mort and is interrupted by Deputy Andy arriving to announce that the fingerprints on the Winthrop’s safe belong to Mary Lynn Walker. Everyone is taken aback, but JB obviously is unfazed. She knows why Mary Lynn has returned to Cabot Cove.

At Mariah/Mary Lynn’s house, Mariah comes clean about why she came back to town and admits to breaking into the safe to try and prove her mother was innocent. She didn’t kill Willard Clinton even if she had good reason – back in the day he offered to drop the case if Monica did certain favours for him. Mort doesn’t care and arrests her anyway.

Jess isn’t giving up though. A quick chat with the fire chief reveals that the source of the fire at Nate Parson’s house was a liquid commonly used in floor varnishing and paint removal. JB then stops by Nate Parson’s house to ask for records relating to the theft of Lydia Winthrop’s necklace, and to ask whether he had gone ahead with his planned renovations. He tells her they didn’t but they did get the floors done.

THIS EPISODE JUST KEEPS GOING.

Jess manages to find out via Seth that the hairs she found in the bell tower were from a wig, not from actual hair. This seals it for Jess but Mort is unconvinced. Only when JB manages to get the killer to confess that Mort believes it.

Let's be honest, this isn't a surprise.

Let’s be honest, this isn’t a surprise.

Guys this is what happens when you find out your husband is sneaking around with another woman, and you stage a theft to get her out of the picture, but the prosecutor who helps you stage it gets cold feet when he sees the woman’s daughter years later and so you have to kill him to shut him up really it’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone.

Ugh. It’s a hot and stormy afternoon in Melbourne and I need a nap.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E04 – Thicker Than Water

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Good news Fletcherfans! JB is heading back to Cabot Cove to make sure no one has been bumped off while she’s been in New York teaching/slaying/dominating, and has taken a little light reading with her.

Avoiding excess baggage fees like a boss

Avoiding excess baggage fees like a boss

While JB’s plowing through her book, a man with a bag comes to sit next to her. He’s a big fan and has a copy of one of her books he’d love for her to sign – the book that had been dedicated to Mort. Naturally JB is happy to oblige,  and asks the man, whose name is Wayne, what brings him to Maine. He tells her he is hoping to catch up with someone who used to be an old friend and with any luck will be again. As he goes back to his seat JB wishes him luck.

Back in the Cove, Mort and Seth are bickering because Seth has eight unpaid parking fines, and his excuse that a medical emergency trumps parking rules falls apart when Mort points out the fines are outside the bakery and the pool hall etcetera etcetera.  Seth makes out a cheque to Mort who then points out the cheque should be for $120, not $80. Seth tells him he’s giving himself a discount for paying them all at once.

Man. I wish I could pay 8 parking fines for $120, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't cover one fine now. It was a simpler time.

I wish I could pay 8 parking fines for $120, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t cover one fine now. It was a simpler time.

Seth departs in a haze of smug victory, but Mort soon gets a new visitor – the guy from the plane. Mort is less than excited to see him, and doesn’t seem on board with Wayne’s hopes to get a job and settle down in Cabot Cove. Wayne tells Mort he’s staying at the Lighthouse Inn, if he doesn’t see Mort before he has to checkout of the room he will go and never come back. He leaves and Jessica pops in just as Mort punches his desk.

I think Jess needs a holiday.

I think Jess needs a holiday.

Jess is just there to drop off a book for Adele. Mort tells her he’s fine but he’s super busy and not at all steamed about the guy who just left the office because he was 100% some guy just passing through town that’s all. Jess smiles and says they will talk later.

Later that night, while Adele’s voice orders Mort to bed, Mort gets nostalgic with some easy listening and some photo albums. Because Wayne is Mort’s brother you guys. I know, I didn’t see that coming either. *cough*

The next day, Wayne is anxiously waiting in his room at the hotel when at last there is a knock on the door. Mort comes in and tells Wayne he will give him one chance, but if he does anything to mess it up he’s out of the Cove on the first bus. Also if anyone asks Wayne is a friend of a friend of Mort’s. Mort takes him down to the docks where Commissioner Gordon Zach Franklin is having an argument with another bloke named Terry Montaigne who assures Mort that there’s nothing to see here and wanders away. Zach is looking for a deckhand and takes Wayne on, assuring Mort that he’ll be the first to hear if there is any trouble…which happens in about 30 seconds when Wayne meets Zach’s daughter Elaine. But Zach orders Wayne back to work and Elaine back to the office.

Meanwhile, Seth is helping JB pick out a lobster for dinner when he sees Mort coming towards them. He tells JB to get the biggest one, invites himself round for dinner and dashes away yelling something about being illegally parked. Mort comes over to apologise for his abruptness the previous day and Jess tells him not to worry about it. She also asks how his brother is enjoying Cabot Cove, which freaks Mort out but Jessica explains she put two and two together when she remembered Adele telling her about Mort’s wayward brother that he never talks about. Mort begs her not to tell anyone else who Wayne really is, because reasons.

Three weeks later, Wayne and Elaine are chatting on the docks. Things are going well, and Wayne is loving life. All of a sudden, another captain comes up to start a fight with Zach. Wayne steps in with his fists and his knife and sees the other captain off. Unfortunately for Wayne Zach notices his tattoo and disappears without a word. Wayne goes to see Mort but he still won’t give Wayne the time of day so instead he ends up having lunch with Jessica, and explaining that he was a trouble-maker when he was a kid, especially after their Dad died and Mort stepped up to take care of Wayne.

Mort, who just happens to be outside the cafe watching JB and his brother eating, is distracted when Seth wanders by to point out that the Sheriff is parked illegally and since Seth pointed out the infraction he will deduct it from his outstanding fines. Mort tells Seth he has 24 hours to pay the rest of the money or Seth’s going to jail.

Seth you're a doctor, stop being a tightarse.

Picture irrelevant.

Down at the docks, Elaine asks Wayne over for dinner that weekend, when her father is going to be out of town but before Wayne can say HELL YES Zach appears and orders Elaine back to work and Wayne to stay away from his daughter. He saw Wayne’s prison tattoo, and while he has no problems hiring an ex -con, there’s no way he’ll let one date his daughter. And if he has to, he’ll call Mort and tell him there’s money missing from the cashbox.

The next morning, Seth is around at Jessica’s having breakfast (nothing suss…or is there?) when Jess spies Mort coming up the driveway. Seth hightails it before Mort can bring up the fines again, but Mort has bigger issues on his mind – specifically warning Jessica to not get too attached to his trouble-making brother. Before JB can offer her opinion, the phone rings. Something has happened at the docks.

Wayne comes off the boat to tell Elaine, Mort and JB that Zach had disappeared off the boat overnight. Zach had told Wayne he’d take first watch and to go get some sleep at the front of the boat, and when Wayne woke up the galley was a mess and Zach had disappeared. Mort goes down below to confirm the story, and when he comes back up JB has found a trail of blood leading to a pile of rope, underneath which is Wayne’s knife covered in blood.

That’s enough for Mort, who takes Wayne down to the Sheriff’s office for questioning. Wayne thinks they were boarded in the night, but Mort ain’t buying it. Deputy Andy Broom appears with lab results (my word they get things done in Cabot Cove)

Sidenote: Andy is Abernathy in Westworld.

I have two favourite things about Westworld. One is the piano covers of songs. The other is Rodrigo Santoro. (I also support employment of All The Hemsworths but that's my top 2 things)

I have two favourite things about Westworld. One is the piano covers of songs. The other is Rodrigo Santoro. (I also support employment of All The Hemsworths but that’s my top 2 things)

Although the blood and tissue on the knife matches Zach, there are no fingerprints and as Wayne points out, no body and no motive. He storms out, and Mort tells Andy to follow him.

Back at House Fletcher JB is getting back to her light reading when Elaine pops by. She’s worried about Wayne, but also tells her about the fight between Wayne and her father. Also also, there’s two grand missing from the boat. Jess goes down to the sheriff’s office to alert Mort who is furious. Doubly so when he gets a phone call from Andy to let him know that Wayne has done a runner from his hotel room.

Down on the docks, Elaine is putting up a for sale sign on the boat when Terry Montaigne pops by to tell her that she can’t sell the boat, 90% of it is already his. Zach never made his payments and Terry let that slide, but now he’s getting his money one way or another. This all escalated very quickly.

JB finds a rather pensive Mort down on the docks. He finally tells her the reason for his soured relationship with Wayne – there was a night in New York where Mort was part of a sting operation, and one of the targets had escaped so Mort yelled out freeze. “Do you know what it’s like to look at your brother down the barrel of a 38?” Says Mort.

“How long can we look at each other, down the barrel of a gun?” Wayne probably didn’t say to his brother but who cares because I’ve already started singing.

You can’t just say ‘down the barrel’ and not expect me to drop a Farnham. (For those not down under and have never heard this song before, congratulations on missing the 2004 Australian election where it NEVER STOPPED BEING PLAYED (also at my friend Lauren’s 21st), but also the woman arguing in the video is Jackie Weaver. The dude is Derryn Hinch who is now a senator. I forgot they were in this video. I have amused myself. The end.)

In any case, Mort told Wayne to run. 3 weeks later he got busted being the getaway driver in a jewellery store robbery and as a result Mort quit his job in the NYPD.  Jessica tells him he can’t think of Wayne as his brother right now, he has to think of him as innocent until proven guilty. They go back to the boat to look for clues and JB is convinced that at the very least Wayne wasn’t a part of the fight, since he had no cuts or bruises on him. She wonders if someone else had been on the boat and Mort remembers Wayne telling him about the fight between Zach and the other sea captain. They decide to go and pay him a visit but redirect to Terry Montaigne’s house when a call comes in saying that Terry called in to tell them he knows who killed Zach. When they arrive, they see Wayne peeling out of the driveway in his car. Inside, Terry Montaigne is dead on the floor. Mort gets on the radio and puts out an APB on his brother, saying the charge is murder.

DRAMATIC AD BREAK PAUSE.

Wayne goes to see Elaine at the office to beg for her help. JB decides to go back to the boat to look for more clues and gets startled when Mort comes looking for her. He’s just learned that Elaine is about to come into a whole lot of money, but Jess has a theory that there might be a hiding place on the boat, and thanks to some blueprints left lying around, she finds it behind some bookshelves. Inside are some packages with serial numbers and a whole heap of bloody cloths.

Back at the office Elaine tells Wayne to get some sleep, but then hears noises. It’s JB and Mort, looking for the killer. Elaine tells them Wayne isn’t there but they tell her they’re looking for the real killer.

Now that I didn't expect. Mostly because I've been too busy singing to pay proper attention.

Now that I didn’t expect. Mostly because I’ve been too busy singing to pay proper attention.

Turns out, Zach was paying off his debt to Terry Montaigne by smuggling drugs for him, but when the debt was cleared and Terry demanded he continue, Zach came up with this cunning plan to end it all by faking his own death. And Zach’s not entirely pleased to have his plans rumbled. Wayne wakes up just in time and tries to take the gun off Zach, and it goes off.

But it’s all good! Wayne’s fine, there’s enough time for the pair of them to have a touching reunion in the hospital before Seth comes in to ruin the moment by declaring he will deduct Wayne’s medical bills from the fines he owes Mort. SETH YOU’RE A DOCTOR YOU ARE NOT BROKE JUST PAY THE DAMN FINES MY GOD.

 

Later gang!

Later gang!

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