We’re in Florida this week Fletcherfans, but not for the Murder She Wrote Golden Girls Crossover Special that I demand someone travel back in time to make. JB is in town to go about her Fletcher-y business and is intrigued by a newspaper headline about the recently discovered skeleton of a private detective that went missing just after the Kennedy assassination in 1963.

JB isn’t the only one interested in this sudden skeletal arrival. In Chicago, private investigator and all-around wise guy Charlie Garrett (aka Trapper John from MASH) is delighted to hear the news – it turns out the dead guy, Bernie Callan, owed him some money and apparently now that Bernie’s corpse has turned up, Charlie can collect. Solid logic. Meanwhile, somewhere else in Florida, Santo Angelini is concerned that photographs the dead guy had might also resurface, while up in Colorado Bernie’s daughter Laura is packing her bags for Florida after hearing the news that her father has shown up.

Charlie heads on down to Florida to see police chief Herman Gillis to claim his money – it turns out that the body was found with 10 grand on it. Herman tells him they also found Charlie’s business card on the body so thanks for making his job easier, and that Charlie should start thinking about where he was at the end of 1963.

That moustache needs to be arrested immediately.

Meanwhile, JB is heading out of her hotel when she hears a woman shouting on the phone. It’s Laura Callan, a bit peeved that someone has broken into her hotel room and ransacked it. She sees JB sticky beaking and slams the door.

Over at Charlie’s less salubrious hotel, the same deal – Charlie wanders into his room to find an old guy in a cowboy hat going through his stuff. Instead of answering Charlie’s questions the man punches him in the face and legs it, leaving the hotel manager to call the police.

Later that day, Laura finds out who JB is and wants to apologise for slamming the door in her face. (Damn straight). JB tells her there’s nothing to apologise for, and asks her if anything was stolen. Laura says no, which surprises JB as she figured it had something to do with Laura’s father’s murder. Laura tells her that if her father was murdered it was just a random killing, there’s no way it could be anything more than that.

Laura and JB head down to see Herman to find out more about Bernie’s case, but Herman just wants to talk about how much he doesn’t like Jessica’s books.

Honestly, why do people do this? Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean I have to care about it!

Although he does go on to point out that hers are too real-t0-life, and he hates that. I can relate. As we all know I fully reject reality when it doesn’t suit my interests, which is most of the time, to be honest. Charlie Garrett wanders in under police escort, and Herman introduces him to Laura as one of her father’s associates, although not one she’s likely to get any truth out of.

Charlie, Laura and JB adjourn to a diner, where Laura asks Charlie about some photos that she has that belonged to her father – the only real thing she has left that was his, as his office/house burned down not long after he died. Charlie recognises the woman as the wife of some tycoon or another, and figures that Bernie had been hired to catch her out in an affair, but JB thinks it’s about something else. She shows Charlie another photo and they freak out. The photo is of Lee Harvey Oswald and another man.

Well this has taken a turn.

The gang stash the photos in the safe at Charlie’s hotel and go to call the FBI. Agent James Whitman meets them at the hotel and agrees to take a look at the photos but he’s dubious as to their authenticity (despite JB’s insistence) and has no comment on Charlie’s claims that the man with Oswald is renowned mobster Santo Angelini. He has even less comment when they walk into the hotel’s reception to find the poor manager lying on the floor with a whack to the head and the safe empty.

Down at Herman’s office, they explain the situation to Herman. Whitman is called away and tells Laura he hopes the police find out what happened to her father. JB insists that they all saw the photographs and Whitman says he’s sure they believe they did. JB is going all in on this conspiracy business. As Whitman leaves Dr Abner Farrow, professor of modern history, arrives at the request of Herman. Jess lays out her theory – Bernie was in Dallas taking photos of the cheating wife a couple of days before the assassination, and then after Kennedy is shot and Oswald’s face is everywhere he realises what he has.

Back at the hotel, Laura doesn’t understand why her father would have hung on to the photos and not turned them in, and Charlie tells her the ten grand they found on his body makes it pretty clear – he was going to blackmail someone with them. Laura refuses to believe it, but JB says it makes a lot of sense. Although, there’s always the chance that she’s wrong! (There isn’t). Charlie thinks that now the photos have gone, that’s the end of it.

Over at house Angelini, Santo is simultaneously burning photos and berating his minion for not finishing the job he didn’t finish in 1963. The minion assures Angelini that the negatives don’t exist or else someone would have tried to blackmail him by now, but Angelini isn’t afraid of blackmailers, he’s afraid of the FBI. He wants proof the negatives no longer exist.

Jess and Laura go to Agent Whitman’s office to demand answers and also the current whereabouts of Santo Angelini. He tells them the Warren Commission resolved the assassination ages ago, and if they want to dig it up then they can do it on their own time. JB yells at him about burglaries and responsibility and he caves, telling JB he’ll get back to her.

I call shenanigans. No way would Jessica Fletcher be a conspiracy nut. This just doesn’t make sense to me.

Back at the hotel JB spots a familiar looking man in a Stetson side-eying them – she thinks he’s been tailing them all day. She goes over to confront him (like a boss!) and demands to know who he is or she’ll call hotel security. He turns around and walks away, leaving Laura to wonder what that was all about. JB thinks the person who had the photos stolen isn’t satisfied and wants the negatives. They go upstairs, as Dr Farrow peers over a newspaper.

Upstairs Jess gets on the phone with Whitman, who tells her he’s tracked down Angelini. JB says never mind that, if those photos weren’t real why was her room broken into and ransacked? Also where is Santo Angelini? Meanwhile, Charlie pops in to say goodbye to Laura and to tell her he doesn’t need the money her father owed him anymore – he’s picked up a fancy new client and his financial woes are solved, so he’s heading back to Chicago.

That night, the Stetson wearing bloke meets his new friend in the car to talk about how much money they can get out of Angelini when his friend pulls a gun and shoots him.

Jess and Laura are having breakfast the next morning when news of Stetson’s death comes on. Jess finds the whole thing rather suspicious and calls Agent Whitman to get him to do a background check on this mysterious Frank Hemet.

Jess and Laura head down to Hermans office, where Charlie has already wandered in to confirm that Hemet was the guy who tossed his room but Herman’s not having a bar of it.

A fax comes in for JB:

Helpful labelling is helpful.

Frank Hemet, it turns out, moved to Florida from Dallas a couple of months prior to Kennedy being assassinated, after being booted off the police force for suspected ties to organised crime. Dr Farrow (inexplicably also there) thinks everyone is reading too much into it, but JB thinks they should find out if Hemet owned a .45 – they might solve Bernie’s murder after all.

At House Angelini, Santo is on the phone assuring someone that he is about to get his hands on the negatives and that if anything should happen to him, a trail of breadcrumbs is going to lead to whoever is on the other end of the phone. Whoever it was hangs up, just in time for Jessica to make her entrance. She tells him she just wanted to make sure that what she’d heard was true, that Santo was the person in the photo with Lee Harvey Oswald. Santo tells her that such a claim is dangerous and baseless on account of the photos being stolen, and Jessica agrees, telling him she also doesn’t have the negatives so he can stop tearing her hotel room apart. She’s not giving up though, and he tells her that if such a conspiracy exists, the people involved would not look kindly on her meddling.

Back at the hotel, JB gets an envelope left for her at the front desk, before running into Dr Farrow, who warns her to leave the Kennedy assassination alone – her reputation will be destroyed if she continues down this path. JB is touched by his concern, except doesn’t he have a book coming out that supports the Warren Commission findings, even though after the assassination a reporter by the name of D. A. Farrow had said he’d heard four shots, and isn’t Abner’s first name Desmond?

*doo doo doo doo DOO Dooooooo* #XFiles

Inside her room, she finds Charlie, who wants the envelope she’s just received. They’re the negatives, that Charlie had the whole time. He tells her he’d never looked at them until after Bernie died, and when he printed them he didn’t recognise anyone in them and so filed them away again until Bernie’s body turned up.

The phone rings – it’s Laura. She’s being held at gunpoint and begs Jessica to come alone to the docks and to bring the negatives. Charlie wonders how they knew Jess even had them and Jess quickly finds a bug hidden in the lamp.

Down at the docks, Santo’s minion has Laura tied up at gunpoint. Santo himself emerges from the shadows demanding the negatives but Jessica tells him she doesn’t have them. Santo gives the word to shoot Laura and Charlie appears, gun fixed on Santo. Laura elbows the minion in the chest and he throws her into the water. Charlie dives in to save her, and Jessica sighs as the negatives float away into the murky depths.

Back at Herman’s office, he tells them that the divers and Coast Guard couldn’t find a trace of the negatives, but the good news is Frank Hemet definitely killed Bernie Callan, and he’s sure that they’ll find some trace evidence that Angelini killed Hemet.

No, they won’t, says JB. Laura did it.

Well that escalated quickly.

Turns out that retransmitted plot point I mentioned earlier was retransmitted because Laura received the original, realised that Frank killed her father and so she killed him.

Herman is delighted – two murders neatly wrapped up. Charlie thinks that as soon as Angelini gets arrested they will be able to find out what really happened in Dallas.

Just then, Herman gets a phone call – you guys! Angelini was killed in a car accident not three minutes earlier, and they’re a bit worried that the brake lines were cut. Do you think that maybe it was deliberate…?

Ugh, whatever. Forget the Kennedy assassination, I want to find out who the hell DB Cooper was. Do you really think that many people could keep their mouth shut about a conspiracy to assassinate a president? Half the politicians in Australia don’t even know what country they are a citizen of.  Of course, I could also be a government plant, set about maintaining the status quo as set down by the Illuminati, the Lizard People and the space hamsters.

We’ll never know.

Later gang!