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S10E03 – The Legacy of Borbey House

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

So you know, the usual.

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

Risky life move, buddy. 

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

Seth is about to blow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huh. You’re not wrong there.

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, how I know this feeling.

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

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

Jess really doesn’t have time for this.

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

What a concept.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This episode is ridiculous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later that night…

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

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

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

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

Later gang

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S09E22 – Love’s Deadly Desire

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

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

I think JB is just about done with everything.

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

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

Inconspicuous A F.

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

Angry Seth is Angry.

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

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

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

Preach.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indeed

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

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

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

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

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

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

I MEAN COME ON NOW.

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

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

Later Fletcherfans!

S09E17 – The Big Kill

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

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

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

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

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

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

I mean he SAYS he was fixing the roof…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s always good to be reminded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seth’s back is all better FYI

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

Brian of death. Whatever.

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

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

Later gang

 

S09E11 – Final Curtain

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

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

Would you believe it guys, David North is back!

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

And frankly, Eve isn’t coping.

Eve’s done. So very done.

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

This episode is in my top ten, you guys.

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

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

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

You tell me.

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

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

Indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOOM! FORCED HAMILTON REFERENCE AT LAST! BOOM BOOM!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mort returns with Lyman in custody.

It sure did Mort.

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

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

“Who says something is wrong?” Asks Seth.

ACTUAL QUOTE THIS EPISODE IS GLORIOUS

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

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

“Which arm Seth?” Jessica asks.

“Right one,” Seth says. “Why?”

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

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

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

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

Later gang!

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

S09E09 – A Christmas Secret

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

Even the cars are on point.

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

Their entire relationship in a nutshell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s still not snowing, just FYI.

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE. #WhateverIMadeMyselfLaugh

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

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

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

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

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

I refer you to my previous point about beatboxing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Floyd wasn’t the one who killed Wanda.

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

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

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

Later Fletcherfans!

S09E02 – Family Secrets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ah, Randall Sloane.” JB smiles.

“Yeah how did you know?” Says Mort.

Amos would be proud Seth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh man I’m hungry

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

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

So I was kind of hazy on why too.

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

I need a nap. Lisbon 2018 you guys.

Later Fletcherfans.

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!

 

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