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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!

S07E22 – The Skinny According to Nick Cullhane

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Fletcherfans, meet Nick Cullhane.

So much plaid.

So much plaid.

Nick Cullhane, it turns out, is not a used car salesman but is in fact a detective writer/beer spokesman. Or at least he was. He just got the boot from his boss Ogden Schmesser and his two henchmen Phil Mannix and Gordon Forbes. Fun fact, Ogden’s grandfather is Drew Carey according to this painting.

Trust me on this okay? It's 100% definitely him

Trust me on this okay? It’s 100% definitely him

Oggie, seen in this picture playing some sort of golf game on his Gameboy, is concerned that Nick is preparing to write some sort of expose about him, and Gordon informs Nick that they aren’t renewing his contract. Nick – who owes his bookmaker at least 100K – doesn’t take the news well and departs, just as Phil Mannix turns up. Phil waits for Nick to depart before revealing that he couldn’t find the manuscript in Nick’s place. Oggie assumes that’s the end of that and he can concentrate on living large but Gordon points out that life will not be so large if Oggie’s grandfather Drew Carey gets hold of the manuscript.

Out in the carpark Nick is about to head off when a local toughguy/boxer shuffles him into another car and escorts him to see his bookmaker and boxer manager, Vikki Palumbo, who isn’t not too pleased with him. Nick owes her 150K and she wants it today. Nick tells her he’s going to get a whopping big advance for his next book and he’ll give her the money then, he swears. Vikki gives him 24 hours, then after he leaves calls a friend in New York to find out just how good this new Nick Cullhane book is. The next day, Vikki and her boxer pal Richard arrive at Nick’s cabin just as Our Heroine is leaving a voicemail telling Nick how wonderful she found his new manuscript, and she’d like to know his secret. Inside the cabin is a mess and Nick is nowhere to be found.

Vikki has a solution. She has another client, a private detective, who owes her some money. She gives him two options, pay up or find the manuscript. She plays him the recording of the phone message on Nick’s machine and tells him to find the mysterious woman who has the manuscript.

I mean what were the odds?

I mean what were the odds?

Harry reluctantly agrees to take the job. Vikki tells him all he needs to do is track down the mystery woman, and go and get the manuscript. Vikki will tag along too, which Richard doesn’t approve of – he tells Harry if he likes his hands he should keep them to himself.

“Everything I do should be so easy!” Says Harry.

Sidenote, the dress is amazing and I'm pretty sure I had a skirt in that material.

Sidenote, the dress is amazing and I’m pretty sure I had a skirt in that material.

Up in the Cove, Sheriff Metzger and Deputy Floyd see Nick arrive on the bus, but Mort can’t work out where he knows the guy from.

“Boston!” Says Floyd.

“How do you know he’s from Boston?” Says Mort.

“Bus came from there.” Says Floyd.

Mort ain't got time for that

Mort ain’t got time for that

Meanwhile, Nick has just arrived at House Fletcher looking a little worried, but never mind that because BEHOLD THE SHINY BELT OF JUSTICE.

IF I COULD DRAW MY APPROVAL OF THIS BELT I WOULD

IF I COULD DRAW MY APPROVAL OF THIS BELT I WOULD

Nick has arrived to ask for the copy of the manuscript he sent her – whomever trashed his place trashed his computer and destroyed his copy of the manuscript. Jess tells him she doesn’t have it and he flips out until she explains that she gave it to Ben Devlin, the local newspaper man, for a second opinion. He’s away fishing in Canada though.

h2

Unauthorised touching of the Queen will not stand.

Unauthorised touching of the Queen will not stand.

Before JB can explain any further, there is a knock at the front door which sends a spooked Nick out the back door. A very confused JB opens the door to find Nick with Vikki.

Time for JB to put the kettle on, by which I mean get the whisky out.

Time for JB to put the kettle on, by which I mean get the whisky out.

Vikki is revealed to be Nick and Harry’s bookmaker, prompting Jessica to say “women are breaking new ground in new professions Miss Palumbo.”

I'll take it at this point.

I’ll take it at this point.

Back in Boston Oggie’s minions have learned that Vikki and Harry have gone to Cabot Cove, courtesy of Phil’s snooping around Richard’s desk. Gordon reminds them that whoever has read the manuscript and can walk and talk afterwards could pose a problem to them.

Later that night Jess gets a call from Nick, wanting to know if the people who were at her place that afternoon were guys by the names of Forbes or Mannix. Jess explains that it was Vikki, and Nick’s mood doesn’t improve. He tells JB if Gordon or Phil turn up at her house she should pretend she doesn’t know him.

Over at Ben Devlin’s house Harry and Vikki are casing the joint when they spot a figure coming out of a window. Harry goes to investigate and finds Nick, who punches him in the face and runs away before the approaching Sheriff can intervene. Vikki heads back to the hotel and apparently hooks up with Phil Mannix, who alerts his bosses that at least 2 people have read the very-much-in-existence manuscript, and tells Vikki to keep her mouth shut. As he leaves he spots Richard in the foyer of the hotel asking for Vikki’s room number.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort and Harry are firing potshots off at each other, and Jess has had about enough.

Preach it sister

Preach it sister

Jess tells Mort that the whole business is to do with Nick Cullhane, and that’s all she’s willing to say.  At the diner later, she feels bad that she didn’t tell Mort everything but Harry says they’re just doing their jobs. Jess tells Harry that the missing manuscript is the story of a wealthy playboy and his dodgy lawyer friend who fake a kidnapping attempt in order to get money out of a rich relative – a story that sounds eerily close to the story of Oggie’s kidnapping five years earlier. An expose on how Oggie and Gordon planned the whole thing would explain why Nick was so worried. Harry wonders if the manuscript might be in Ben’s office at the newspaper and Jess shrugs.

At home that night, Jess is getting ready for bed when she hears a knock at the door. She leaves the chain on and opens the door – it’s Gordon the dodgy lawyer looking for the manuscript. Jess tells him she doesn’t have it and tries to close the door but he sticks his hand in the way. Jess tells Gordon that if she calls out her neighbours will hear, and she knows that many of them have guns. (Obviously. It’s America. Even the guns have guns). Gordon tells her he’ll come back in the morning.

Harry decides to break into the newspaper office to see if he can find the manuscript but no sooner had he picked the lock on the front door someone punched him in the stomach and fled, leaving him doubled over, fumbling for what turns out to be a gun, with the body of Nick Culhane on the floor. Mort takes this opportunity to turn up, beaming. Back at the sheriff’s office JB and Harry are exchanging theories while an increasingly annoyed Mort demands more information. Finally he loses it completely and demands they tell him who Oggie is, what the manuscript is, and who got kidnapped.

The next day Oggie arrives in Cabot Cove demanding answers. Phil, who has had it up to here with Oggie’s mouthing off promptly quits his job as henchman, until Gordon gets Oggie to apologise. Over at the hotel, Vikki is mourning the loss of her 150K that Nick owes her, while Richard the boxer is demanding information on her relationship with Harry McGraw, Phil Mannix and every other man that she’s ever met, so she throws him out – straight into the arms of Mannix and Gordon, who demand to know where the manuscript is. Richard swears he can produce it for cash, but Mannix decides to beat the crap out of him instead.

Meanwhile, Mort goes to the aide of Jess with a punctured Fletchermobile, and on the way home discuss the case. The lack of gunshot residue proves that Harry didn’t kill Nick, and more than that, Mort found out that Vikki and Nick used to be a thing, so he’s picked her up and arranged for state troopers to arrest Richard when he turns up. Jess thinks this case is more complicated than that but Mort is convinced – and hasn’t ruled out Harry being involved at least a little bit.

Back at home, Jess received a package from the postman – Ben Devlin has sent down the manuscript. Before Jess can even look at it, Gordon the shady lawyer appears from a back room, demanding the manuscript. He moves towards her slowly.

Fortunately JB’s hero steps in.

The names McGraw. Harry McGraw.

The names McGraw. Harry McGraw.

Harry thinks they have their man, but JB isn’t sure and asks Gordon if he was the one who searched Nick’s place. He says it wasn’t him, it was Phil.

This gives Jess an idea. She sends Gordon to the hotel, where Oggie and Phil are getting ready to go back to Boston. Gordon is furious. He knows who blabbed all their secrets to Nick Culhane and it wasn’t the secretaries.

To be fair, he looks shady as.

To be fair, he looks shady as.

When Phil realises the game is up, and Oggie and Gordon know he told Nick everything, he pulls a gun. Fortunately, the Justice Bros step in.

JUSTICE BROS, DOING JUSTICE THINGS SOMETHING SOMETHING I'm not a jingle writer.

JUSTICE BROS, DOING JUSTICE THINGS SOMETHING SOMETHING I’m not a jingle writer.

And that, dear Fletcherfans, concludes season 7 of Murder She Blogged. This is the last time we see both Deputy Floyd and Harry McGraw.

Naw. We'll miss you Floyd!

Naw. We’ll miss you Floyd!

But it’s not all bad news. There’s still 4 more seasons of shenanigans to go. And this episode has what can only be the best freeze frame ending of all time.

WE KNOW ALL YOUR SECRETS AND WE ARE JUDGING YOU ACCORDINGLY.

WE KNOW ALL YOUR SECRETS AND WE ARE JUDGING YOU ACCORDINGLY.

S07E17 – The Prodigal Father

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Back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans, where JB has some new neighbours on Candlewood Lane – Bonnie and Dave Hastings and their daughter Sally. JB is having a tea party with Sally and a doll that is apparently the queen, and answering questions about grandfathers she might have that Sally doesn’t. Apparently Sally’s grandfather died before she was even born…

…cut to a grizzled old dude rolling into the carpark at the Lighthouse Motel. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE WRITERS.

The dude checks in to the hotel, paying cash upfront as demanded by the hotel clerk, who quickly snatches the guest register to check the name once the old dude has gone into his room. A short time later the dude calls the front desk, asking to be connected to a phone number, and I mean actually connected.

I don't understand what this is. This came out in 1991, even Tasmania had actual phones at this point and Tasmania didn't get a Hungry Jacks until 2001.

I don’t understand what this is. This came out in 1991, even Tasmania had actual phones at this point and Tasmania didn’t get a Hungry Jacks until 2001.

Unfortunately for the Dude, the phone rings out. Presumably because the mouse fell off the generator or some such.

The next day The Dude is having breakfast at the diner and sussing out some info from the waitress, like what happened to the old steakhouse, or if she knows a woman called Bonnie Jenks. The waitress tells him she married Dave Hastings, and he departs – not before getting the attention of Gil the short order cook who watches him go into the bank up the road. He puts a call in to bank president Elton Summers to let him know that a man who looked a lot like Ned Jenks just walked into his bank. Elton dismisses it out of hand, but goes to have a cheeky look anyway. The signature on the bank cheque the man cashed confirms it, The Dude is Ned Jenks.

Later on that morning, while Bonnie gets her husband Dave off to work (played by Larry Wilcox who has been in this show about eleven billion times) she sees The Dude, I mean Ned loitering in his car across the street. Later, she tells JB what happened – that the man came up to her and said he was her father, that he didn’t drown after crashing his car after robbing the bank and, you know, surprise!

That afternoon, Jess bumps into Mayor Sam Booth, and fills him in on the latest drama in Cabot Cove, to which Sam says “She might have some barnacles on her bottom but overall I’d say she’s sound.”

Classic Sam Booth.

Classic Sam Booth.

Turns out Sam is actually talking about a boat he’s thinking of buying. But ermahgherd, Sam adds, Ned Jinks was trouble from way back and remember how he used to hoon about on his blue motorbike, (red, says JB) and ran off with the homecoming queen (that was his daughter, Julie Jenks was Miss Cabot Cove 1962, says JB), and then the girl’s mother cut them off. JB wonders if that’s what lead Ned into robbing the bank. Sam thinks it’s good riddance Ned died, proving once and for all he wasn’t paying attention to Jess, and is horrified when JB tells him Ned is back.

While Sam considers the looming zombie apocalypse, across town Ned emerges from a store with a giant teddy bear. A man and a woman watch his progress – the woman isn’t at all sure if it’s Ned but the man is certain and accosts Ned as he gets into his car. “Remember me? I was in the bank that day. I’m the one you shot.” The man yells at Ned, who quickly drives off.

JB heads over to the Sheriff’s office to read through the old case file on the bank robbery – they never found Ned’s body or the missing 200 grand from the heist. The man Ned shot bursts into the sheriff’s office demanding Mort do something about Ned Jenks, but a warrant wasn’t issued because they thought Ned was dead and alas the statute of limitations has run out etcetera etcetera. Mort agrees that it stinks but there’s nothing he can do.

Back at the hotel that night Ned gets a phone call. Ned demands that the caller meet him, and he knows why. Noone connected them 20 years ago and they aren’t going to now, he adds.

Back at the diner the next morning, JB and the Sheriff are debating the case over breakfast. Mort’s wife Adele has decided that Ned didn’t even commit the robbery but JB thinks that’s a stretch – a lot of people recognised the man’s voice, including Gil the diner cook, who reminds them he was there that day working security. Gil himself has his own theory, that Ned took the money, hid it at his mother-in-law’s and has come back to town to claim it now that the woman’s dead. The fact that Ned and his mother-in-law hated each other was irrelevant.

Mort is done.

Mort is done.

Jess goes off to meet the Mayor, while Mort gets accosted by another local unhappy with Ned Jenks’s existence, Maxine Malloy, who informs the sheriff they will all remember how he handled this on election day.

Down at the docks Jess finds Sam hard at work scrubbing barnacles off bottoms (heh heh) and asks him what he remembers about the bank heist but it turns out he was out of town on a fishing trip. Helpfully Ned wanders past at that moment so Jess decides to confront him directly. He’s not entirely polite to her but apologises, asking for her help in putting in a good word with his daughter. He’d been in jail in Arizona which is why he hadn’t come forward sooner, and as for the money a thousand bucks a year for 20 years doesn’t really make it seem worth it.

Jess agrees to pass the message along to Bonnie, but her husband is less than thrilled with the idea, even less so when Ned is a dinner guest. While Bonnie and Ned look at old photos Dave sits in the corner and work/sulks before taking Sally upstairs for her nap. When he returns he is not happy to see his wife reconnecting with her father and demands a meeting in the kitchen to demand Ned be gone by the time Dave gets home from work. UGH I HATE WHEN THIS BLOG IS FACTUAL I’M SORRY GUYS.

Sidenote: my neighbour’s kid is learning the recorder. So far it’s been Mary Had A Little Lamb in the key of screaming. Why do schools do this? Give them a triangle! Or a stick with bottle caps on it! Or maracas. LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE.

/rant

Anyway, Dave goes back to work and is promptly fired by Herb for being related to the guy who shot him. I’m not kidding. Clearly the union rep wasn’t at work that day, so instead of going to his lawyer/the press/JB Dave goes to a bar, gets drunk, sees Ned chowing down on some pancakes at the diner, goes over and tries to punch him. Ned retaliates but before the fight can really kick off Gil pulls a gun and orders Ned out. Ned comes over and says “What are you going to do, shoot me?” He stares Gil down, until Gil drops the gun. “Couldn’t do it last time, can’t do it now,” says Ned, and leaves.

The next morning, while Dave recovers from the hangover/beating double, he orders his wife to tell her father to leave town, he’s tearing them apart. “But he’s my father!” Says Bonnie.

“But I’m your husband!” Says Dave.

Hello to my lovely friend Jess, who I hope appreciates this one.

Hello to my lovely friend and poppet Jess, who I hope appreciates this one.

Bonnie agrees to at least go and talk to her father, but when she arrives at the Lighthouse Motel she finds him dead on the floor, because this is Murder She Wrote not Statute of Limitations, She Wrote.

The sheriff, the coroner and JB are all summoned to the scene (Seth is apparently MIA/working on another TV show). Mort is convinced that it’s all connected to the bank robbery, but JB points out the “evidence” he found was printed a long time after the bank robbery. She asks George the manager if Ned had any visitors or calls and George tells her that he couldn’t be sure if he had visitors, he had one call but George didn’t recognise the face, but he did know that Ned made a whole heap of calls to the same number. Mort tries the number and is stunned when Adele answers – turns out it’s the laundromat in town. Mort convinces himself Herb is the guilty one and goes off to see how he can prove it. Unfortunately for Mort, Herb was playing bingo with Adele the night of the murder, so he’s back to square one.

Jessica on the other hand heads to the bank to transact some Fletcher business. There she runs into the bank president, Elton Summers, who is fishing for information regarding Bonnie and the murder. In his office Jess asks him about the day of the robbery and he tells her he was there, as was Gil, but the bank president a guy named Hankin was not and would later be fired as a result. Gil froze up during the robbery and became the town drunk but he sorted himself out. Elton was promoted after the robbery, so in a way it was in fact the luckiest thing that could have happened to him.

Sincere Jess is Sincere.

Sincere Jess is Sincere.

Jess pops over to the diner to refuel on coffee and has a chat to Gil about the night before, when he pulled the gun on Ned. He tells her it was exactly the same thing that happened in the bank 20 years earlier – he froze up and panicked, even though there weren’t any bullets in the gun. Jess is very interested in this fact and asks Gil who else knew the gun wasn’t loaded and Gil explains in infinite detail how Maxine Molloy knew because he was sweet on her but she loved Elton and she was devo when he dumped her after he got promoted to bank president and

I know that look so well, I wear it often.

I know that look so well, I wear it often.

Meanwhile, Mort has decided Dave is the guilty party and manages to track him down at his new job. Deputy Floyd (naw) notices a coil of wire in the back of Dave’s truck, the end of which matches a piece they found behind the hotel where Ned was murdered.

Back at the Sheriff’s office JB pops in to explain to the Sheriff exactly why he’s wrong but the Sheriff won’t be moved, even when Jess points out it’s impossible for Ned to have planned to talk to someone at the laundromat when it closes at 6pm and he wasn’t calling til 8pm. Mort shows Jessica the piece of paper with the number on it, the back of a 1971 receipt from a pharmacy and Jess quickly excuses herself. She heads over to see Bonnie to look at some old photos her father had given her and finds a folded up piece of paper that says “Hankin off Wednesdays, 10am best time.”

Jess takes the note and the photo over to see Maxine Malloy, former bank teller and current seller of old things to rich city people and asks her who she told about the empty gun. Maxine admits she probably told Elton since they were going out at the time. Jess mentions that Ned told her he only got 20 grand for the robbery and Maxine tells her that can’t possibly be right, there was over 200 grand that got taken.

After a quick trip to study some old phone books at the library, Jess calls the Sheriff. She knows who killed Ned but she needs a little help to prove it.

A short time later Dave is released from prison and goes straight to the killer to blackmail it out of him. When he pulls a gun, Mort bursts in.

Not the first time that sentence has been said I bet.

Not the first time that sentence has been said I bet.

Case closed, thanks to something about a pharmacy being closed and a wrong phone number. I couldn’t quite catch it over the recorder concerto going on out my window.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S07E13 – Moving Violation

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It’s a beautiful day in Cabot Cove Fletcherfans and Mayor Sam Booth is in election mode, making sure people are registering to vote.

“Why vote?” says townsperson Janet. “It only encourages them.”

Silly Janet. Everyone knows the reason to vote is to go to the sausage sizzle and cake stall afterwards #democracysausages #freedombrownies #myelectionswagwasgoodthisyear

Silly Janet. Everyone knows the reason to vote is to go to the sausage sizzle and cake stall afterwards #democracysausages #freedombrownies #myelectionswagwasgoodthisyear

Meanwhile, Sherriff Mort Metzger is out on patrol chatting on the two-way with Floyd and contemplating hitting the golf range when a fancy sports car goes hooning by. He leaps into action and pulls the car over a little way down the road. The car is being driven by Brad Hellman, who in real life is the Boss’s nephew or in other words

Nephew of Boss-lady. Just so we're clear.

Nephew of Boss-lady. Just so we’re clear.

Anyway, Brad the N.O.B has no time for Mort – he claims he forgot his license and when Mort spots a bottle of whisky and a wad of cash in the backseat Brad decides to offer Mort some ID in the form of some sweet cash dollars. Mort arrests him. Back at the Sheriff’s office JB is perusing some old case files for research for her new book when Mort arrives with the N.OB, who is spouting off about false arrest and yada yada yada and do you know who my father is?

The N.O.B’s father, it turns out, is Ambassador Chandler Hellman, and when JB calls up her old friend Haskell Drake (previously seen here and never seen again, bit odd really) he gives her the dirt – Hellman senior is a power hungry bloke whose wife is the newest model off the assembly line and the pair of them are trying to buy their way in, while the son narrowly avoided jail time a few years earlier when the N.O.B totalled his father’s car drink driving and killed a cop and his family, and severely injured a woman. Jess thinks she knows now why Mort is being particularly savage about this one.

Back in the Cove, the N.O.B’s lawyer, Jason Farrell, has arrived and is threatening Mort with All The Things. The N.O.B claims Mort didn’t advise him of his right to refuse a breathalyser test or at least that’s what they’ll say in court and to conclude they are going to destroy Mort.

Mort gives 0 bothers.

Mort gives 0 bothers.

Jess is summoned to Mayor Booth’s office. Sam is in a dilly of a pickle – he has been getting phone calls all over the place about the N.O.B and is about to fly off the handle. Jess hopes he will be standing by the Sheriff but they are soon interrupted by the N.O.B’s father and step-mother, Chandler and Meredith Hellman, who are horrified at the way their son has been treated.

Jess also gives 0 bothers

Jess also gives 0 bothers

Sam introduces JB to the Hellman’s and Mrs Hellman is quite excited to meet the famous JB Fletcher. Sam asks what he can do to help, and Chandler demands the removal of the corrupt sheriff. Jessica won’t stand for this but Mrs Hellman defuses the situation by pointing out they should go and talk to the Sheriff and Brad first.

Side note, Mrs Hellman’s outfit is impressive but I forgot/didn’t bother to get a proper screenshot.

You may recognise Mrs Hellman as the mum from Webster. Thanks IMDB!

You may recognise Mrs Hellman as the mum from Webster. Thanks IMDB!

At the sheriff’s office Chandler Hellman privately berates his son, who tells him it won’t look good in the Washington Post if the Ambassador’s son is in prison, while in the office Meredith Hellman tries to charm everyone by saying she hopes a youthful indiscretion won’t mean the end of N.O.B’s life.

“What about Frank Casey’s life?” Growls Mort.

Meredith pleads ignorance, and then Chandler reappears crying police brutality. They rush into the cells to find a (little bit) bloodied N.O.B. JB asks who did this to him and he points at Mort (after an excellent panning shot that you will have to trust me on because I still can’t work out how to make gifs from VLC)

Sam returns to his office and immediately falls apart.

Poor Sam. He's still cut about Janet's bitchy remark at the beginning of the episode.

Poor Sam. He’s still cut about Janet’s bitchy remark at the beginning of the episode.

Unlike Sam, JB isn’t going to take this lying down. Floyd told her that he saw Brad and there wasn’t a mark on him, and she suspects Chandler of being the punchy culprit. She goes off hunting information.

Back at the Sheriff’s office a bloke named Len has just arrived with N.O.B’s lunch and offers to take it in to the prisoner since Mort is so busy. N.O.B is less than delighted with the meatloaf and vegies, and less with the audience – he asks Len if he plans to stand there and watch him eat. Len departs without a word. Weird.

That night, JB is chilling out at House Fletcher when she gets a visit from Mrs Hellman, who is hoping to persuade Jessica to use her influence in the town to persuade the Sheriff to drop all charges. Because guys, her husband is a powerful man, have I mentioned this?

h2

JB has had enough of your crap Meredith.

JB has had enough of your crap Meredith.

Man I shouldn’t write this when I’m hungry.

That night, JB goes for a wander and finds Mort down by the water, tossing stones and looking glum. Jess tells him that she’s feeling depressed about how rich people get away with things (preach it sister) and Mort tells her he’s giving up, he’s going to resign in the morning. She asks him about Fred Casey and he tells her they worked together back in the day. He wasn’t there the night Casey and his family died but he saw how it got covered up. Jess begs Mort not to give up but he tells her N.O.B made bail an hour ago.

The next morning…

*starts making bass line noises*

Da dun dun dun, da da dun dun, da da dun dun dun, SO DARLIN DARLIN STAND

The aforementioned body, unsurprisingly, is N.O.B. Mort feels the pressure immediately, getting calls from Sam to sort it out, but before he can call Hellman’s Chandler and his attorney appear in the office, after getting a phone call from the coroner’s office. Chandler Hellman is now on a mission to see Mort done for the murder of his son.

Mort gets called into Sam’s office, where he gets more bad news. Lieutenant Avery Powell has been sent down from the capital to investigate charges of misconduct against Mort, as well as the potential murder charge. Mort is suspended until further notice, but Mort tells them to go to hell and quits. YOU GO MORT.

Mort goes to see JB for a little sympathy and finds her doing dishes and wearing that cardigan that I want.

For real though. I want that cardigan.

For real though. I want that cardigan.

JB doesn’t have time for Mort’s misery, they need to solve the mystery. One – why was N.O.B in Cabot Cove? Mort was under the impression N.O.B was just passing through but Mrs Hellman told JB she picked up some fresh clothes for Brad at the hotel so he can’t have been. Two – who owns the car, since it isn’t Brad’s? Mort has a name, Morgan Phillips, but will get his friends in New York to run it down. Meanwhile Jess tries to get more info out of Haskell, but the only thing he can think of is that a 911 call was made by a hysterical woman demanding an ambulance, but he doesn’t know more than that. Jess suspects that the woman might be Morgan, the owner of the car, but can’t be sure.

Jess next goes to see Avery Powell at the sheriff’s office but he doesn’t want a bar of her help. She does manage to see the gun and 3 spent cartridges they found near where the body was, and memorises the serial number. She tells Mort, who asks his friend in New York and sure enough the gun belongs to the same Morgan Phillips that owns the car. THE PLOT IS THICK WITH PLOT.

Jess heads to the Navarro Hotel, where she finds the Hellmans sitting down to lunch with a young woman – Morgan Phillips, N.O.B’s fiancee. Mrs Hellman is just heartbroken to think of Mort shooting N.O.B three times…JB is much more interested in Morgan though, and asks if she’s been in Cabot Cove long, but Meredith informs her that Morgan arrived that morning on the family jet. Jess wonders if she could have a word with Morgan but Chandler and Meredith declare they are late for a meeting and shoot off, Morgan giving JB a worried look as they go. DUN DUN.

Hot on the scent, Jess stops by reception to ask the desk manager how long Morgan had been staying in town and manages to wangle out of him that Morgan was with N.O.B before he was arrested. JB heads straight to the lieutenant to tell Lieutenant Avery and faced with the fact that JB is better at his job than he is, they summon Morgan to the sheriff’s office. Long story short, they came to Cabot Cove because the girl who was involved in N.O.B’s accident was blackmailing him and N.O.B had had enough, so he came to Cabot Cove to kill her. Morgan freaked out and hid her gun in N.O.B’s suitcase where he apparently didn’t find it.

Jess suspects that N.O.B wasn’t the only person who knew the identity of the blackmailer and so plants a note from the blackmailer in the Hellman family lawyer’s pigeonhole at the hotel. JB and Mort follow him to the home of Len Costner, aka he who delivered lunch way back. Mort says it fits, Len and his wife moved to Cabot Cove with their daughter Janet about four years ago. OH SNAP. I’ve watched this twice and I didn’t put it together that Janet at the start of this episode and Janet now are the same person good grief I’m hungry.

JB finds Janet in the park, and gets her theory confirmed. Janet only met N.O.B that night, he gave her a lift home but crashed the car, killing the Casey family. She got to a pay phone to call an ambulance and then her family who later decided to get money out of the Hellman’s when Janet’s injuries were greater than they first thought. At home, Mr and Mrs Costner (heh heh) admit to blackmail but tell Jess that they never even knew N.O.B was in town until he got arrested.

When Jess takes the information to Avery, he is unmoved. Jess manages to read the medical examiner’s report upside down and discovers that while there were 3 shots fired, only 2 hit N.O.B.

That solves it for JB and she lays a trap for the killer to wander into.

She loves that hat though.

She loves that hat though.

Fed up with her step-son’s antics, Meredith put an end to it, and him. And now I’m going to put an end to these hunger pains.

EAT ALL THE THINGS!

EAT ALL THE THINGS!

 

 

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