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S09E10 – The Sound of Murder

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Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB has branched out into writing classes, and is already dishing out some life lessons (Life Lesson #69 – “Believe me the most difficult part of writing is actually getting started!”)

As the class wraps up, one of the students, Holly Chase, informs JB that she has convinced her bosses at Rojam Records to let Jessica record her next audiobook there for free – she just needs to come in the evenings, and pop in the next day for a photoshoot with the Big Boss, Freddie Major (aka Vince Fontaine from Grease, and this episode)

The man himself, it just so happens, is across town ironing out the final terms of Rojam’s purchase by another company, led by a dude called Mitch Randall – mainly that band Mirabilis stays part of Rojam, but the A&R director goes on account of being mob connected. Freddy isn’t pleased about this but Mitch reminds him of the money. Outside a man in a van listens in, while on a completely unrelated note, Mitch Randall’s piece on the side Michelle has agreed to sign with Rojam, her voice is amazing, you’re gonna love her. And one more thing – Michelle says there’s some guy called Willie Piper who sounds amazing and Rojam should sign him immediately if not sooner.

So you know. There’s stakes.

Jessica arrives for her photo shoot the next day, but Freddie’s still in taking photos with Mirabilis.

There’s a lot going on there and I’m just talking about the hair.

Job done, the hair goes on its merry way and JB sits down at the piano with Freddie. She thanks him for the use of his studio and his sound engineer and he says “Sure! Hey you know anything about music Mrs Fletcher?”

HER FACE.

Freddie goes on to explain that Mirabilis have a new song coming out called Bulletproof but they’ve stuffed up the bass line and despite his pleas they won’t change it. Life is nothing but pain for Freddie.

Photo shoot over, it’s time for Jessica to go on with her day. Freddie invites her to the filming of the Bulletproof music video that Saturday, and they are joined by Richard Lefko (the Mob guy) and Charles George Drexler, the manager of Mirabilis. Coincidentally, both are in the new season of Twin Peaks.

I mean I want to talk about that last episode of Twin Peaks but it was…I mean I can….do you….it just….WHAT EVEN IS WORDS.

This is the water and this is the well you guys.

Freddie has a meeting with Richard and Charles, so Jess heads off for a tour of the building with Freddie’s right hand woman Julie. As they leave Jess bumps into a random executive and apologises, and Holly reminds Jessica that they have tickets to a Magnetech concert the next night. Julie is surprised to hear this, she doesn’t peg Jessica as a heavy metal fan.

I beg to differ.

Charles lays down the conditions for Mirabilis staying with Rojam, and reminds Freddie that he can’t afford to say no. Freddie vents his rage on Richard, who tells him to calm down and takes him to lunch. As they leave they hear Willie Piper playing – Freddie tells Richard they don’t have him signed, but that his producer is hanging out (hint hint) with Julie.

That night Jessica arrives at the studio to begin recording The Corpse Danced At Midnight, and hopes that it goes better than last time. The in-demand Willie Parker happens to be jamming out while his producer Paul gets ready to record JB, and is delighted to meet her, he loves her books. Jessica starts laying down some sick beats reading her story but the booth soon gets a visit from Freddie and Richard, and so when Jess wants to redo a scene, no one is paying attention. She presses the magic button and eavesdrops on Freddie’s frankly sinister pitch to Paul that Willie sign with Rojam Records. He says no, and Willie says where Paul goes he goes. Freddie tells him Julie’s job is on the line (which is news to Julie in the recording studio) but Paul won’t budge. The next day Freddie tries to weave his magic on Julie but she’s not going to help him get Willie and Paul to sign either, no matter what the threat.

Jessica and Holly go to the heavy metal concert, and it’s neither of their cups of tea.

I think this is more JB’s jam. Or possibly this.

Some more stuff happens while I googled heavy metal bands Jessica Fletcher would like, and then Richard and Charles meet in a car park to tell him that Freddie is selling the company, but that he’s also heard that Charles sold all his shares in Rojam, betting that the deal is going to go wrong.

Sidenote, if there was a Which Twin Peaks Character Are You Quiz I would totally be Dianne. Or the Log Lady. And I TOTALLY CALLED MICHAEL CERA PLAYING ANDY AND LUCY’S SON.

Fast forward to the film shoot and while Jessica Fletchsplains squibs to Holly Freddy makes one last pitch for Willie Piper. Willie turns him down and Freddy tells him that if he doesn’t play ball, Freddy will make it known that Willie did time for robbery. Because people gave a toss about that? Pfft. Freddy thinks it’s still 1962.

Holly gets a message for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. The random executive Jess bumped into is handing out business cards to all the blonde backup dancers, and Paul goes to investigate an amp. The shoot gets underway, and if I could work out how to gif this business to show in its full early 90s glory Fletcherfans I would. It’s a hell of a thing.

As the shoot continues, JB boogies in her seat but is concerned when a suspiciously real sounding gunshot goes off. Holly assures her it’s the gun beat and to just go with it. It’s just like watching Nine Inch Nails at the roadhouse, except I would rather watch Trent Reznor than whatever the hell this is any day of the week.

Charles Drexer pops up to see how JB is enjoying it all, another gunshot is heard, and the body of Freddy Major drops off a conveyor belt.

I’m so annoyed by this episode that I’m not even going to do a bit about Freddy not being bulletproof. TAKE THAT EPISODE FROM TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.

NYPD Lieutenant Bob Alan Terwilliger arrives and quickly rules that the killer lured Freddy backstage, shot him and dumped his body on the conveyor belt. Jess is sure she heard a gunshot come from the VIP lounge, but Terwilliger reminds her she also heard the gunshot come from behind the conveyor belt and to not get that look like he’s talking out his hat.

Hat is presumably code for arse.

Charles pops up again, to ask whether he can come by the next day to pick up the keyboard from the VIP lounge, Mirabilis need it for a thing in a couple of days. Richard also bobs up to ask Terwilliger whether he knows that Charles is the only person who benefits from Freddy being fired from life, after betting on the business deal going south. Terwilliger will look into it just as soon as he gets his bet with Jessica finalised – that his squashes will be bigger and tastier than her squashes by August.

Shit just got real.

Jess takes herself off to the VIP lounge, where she finds an upset Julie furious that the police are hounding Paul about leaving the set at the time of the murder. Jess starts fiddling around with the keyboard for reasons that I’m sure will be come important later.

Back at House Fletcher Jess feeds Holly and asks her who called for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. Holly says she can’t be sure, it was too loud. Jess is wondering about the sleazy blonde guy she keeps bumping into and Holly tells her the police told her it was a private detective lurking around. (I’ve watched this episode twice and not noticed him). Jess wonders what he might have been doing there, and Holly explains about the business deal Freddy was negotiating. Julie appears, looking devastated – Paul’s been arrested for murder, the murder weapon was found in his car. Jess asks her where Paul went at the time of the murder – apparently he went looking for Willie but couldn’t find him.

Jess decides to pay a visit to the private investigator, but he’s cleared out. His landlord Giorgi Pappavasilopoulos appears to tell her that he was evicted for lack of rent. Jess goes hunting in the basement and finds the file on Rojam Records in the trash. I can’t even explain how ridiculous this scene was.

JB learns that Richard Lefko was the one who hired the PI to bug Freddy, but she doesn’t believe he killed him. Terwilliger calls to find out what’s going on and offers to shout JB brunch at Tavern on the Green. On her way out Holly starts waffling on about piano music and Jess works out who the killer is.

Whatever makes this episode end faster.

So yeah! That’s T-Bag from Prison Break. #TheMoreYouKnow

So presumably Charles bumped off Freddy to ensure the deal went south and Charles made a lot of money? Meh, whatever.

Let’s just all picture JB at a metal concert, and continue on with our lives shall we?

Later gang!

 

 

S06E05 – Jack and Bill

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Disclaimer: This episode was ridiculous.  Believe me when I say any similarity between this recap and the actual episode is coincidental. 

It’s storytime again Fletcherfans!

Oy. I can't believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

Oy. I can’t believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

JB has just seen a dog run past, and that reminds her that she has to send her pal Bill Boyle a letter. Bill Boyle, for those of you playing along at home, was an NFL star until his knees gave out and then he became a private detective. An incredibly unsuccessful detective.

Apparently, that all changes when he meets Jack. But before he meets Jack, he gets a visit from a man named Johnny Wheeler, who is faking blind and beating up shady characters in mens bathrooms with a poodle.

Even I couldn't make this up. And I invented  Octopus Noir.

Even I couldn’t make this up. And I invented Octopus Noir.

While Johnny is doing whatever the hell that is, Bill Boyle is in his office getting the bad news from his accountant. He’s broke, a fact he is trying to keep secret from his real estate broker girlfriend Celia. He’s pretty despondent when he gets a knock at the door – it’s Johnny Wheeler, and his friend Jack.

Just what?

Just what?

I should also point out something about Johnny Wheeler:

Fun fact: Max Baer Jr couldn't get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying 'Never go full hillbilly.'

Truth based reporting: Max Baer Jr couldn’t get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying ‘Never go full hillbilly.’

Also for those playing along at home Bill Boyle was previously seen as Hank Shipton that time.

Johnny departs in a rush, thanking Bill for dog-sitting for a couple of hours while he runs an errand, a turn of events Bill did not really agree to. Time passes, and when Johnny doesn’t resurface Bill takes Jack on a stakeout where some “comedy hijinks” ensue, by which I mean there’s another dog and a pretty girl and some barking and what even is this episode.

Back at the office, Johnny still hasn’t turned up but the place has been ransacked. A woman claiming to be Johnny’s wife walks in to pick up the dog, who she calls Marmalade, and pulls a gun when Bill suggests calling his ex-brother-in-law cop. This makes Jack mad! JACK SMASH!

Also this happens:

I just don't even.

I just don’t even.

The lady sneaks into the elevator and makes her escape. Bill and Jack are set to follow when the other elevator opens to reveal Lou Brickman, the aforementioned brother-in-law, with the news that Johnny Wheeler is in the hospital with two bullets in his chest. Unfortunately by the time they get to the hospital he’s dead with three IV bags in his hand.

Later that night, Bill has dinner at Lou’s place. While Lou’s dog goes mental in the laundry room, Lou wants to know more about Johnny Wheeler. Bill tells him what he knows, and is surprised to learn that while Johnny did travel up from Puerto Rico, it was under an assumed name.

Returning home to the set of Melrose Place, Bill takes time out to chat up a hot tub full of stewardesses before going up to his apartment where he is attacked by a horde of ninjas/the Hitcher’s sidekicks from Mighty Boosh. They demand ‘it’ which they still haven’t found despite searching both of Johnny’s bags. They try and pooch-nap Jack, who objects and goes at them. Two end up off the balcony in the swimming pool, the other runs.

Wondering just what the deal is with Jack, Bill puts a call in to his brother-in-law and takes Jack to the police kennels to be x-rayed, but nothing turns up. Back at the office Bill is delighted to see his former secretary Mona is back, after getting fired from her ad agency job for telling a client what she thought of him. As she goes into a long story about her mother packing her bags and coming for a visit Bill has a brainwave: the ninjas said they searched both of Johnny’s bags, but Johnny was holding three IV bags in his had which clearly means there’s another bag at the checked bag counter!

DUH YOU GUYS.

Bill and Jack head down to the baggage claim, and skillfully evade the baggage clerk to retrieve the third bag. Inside, Bill finds a film roll (bless) and takes it in to Lou and Agent Browder, who summon a lip reading expert to decipher what the two men in the footage are saying. It turns out Johnny Wheeler was a super-spy, and he was killed for discovering that the man in the footage, a hitman, was being hired to go to the US to kill someone on the 25th at 7:30pm. Conveniently, the 25th is today.

While the gang are across town making their final plans and pushing ahead, despite not finding the film, Bill is home getting grief from the building manager about his lack of rent paying and sudden increase in dog. While he gets dinner ready for Jack, and gets himself ready for his date with Celia, Celia herself calls to say dinner with the client she’s buttering up is cancelled. Bill offers to bring Chinese food round instead, but hits a snag when he tries to leave – Jack begins barking like mad. Bill gives up and takes Jack to his buddy Cricket at the bar to dogsit for a couple of hours. At the bar he catches a news story about the president of a mysterious South American country attending a football game that night and recognises one of the reporters in the press pack as the woman who masqueraded as Johnny’s wife. He calls the police station looking for Lou Brickman but finds out he’s already at the stadium.

Bill barges through the security, tells Lou that the Prez is the target and the woman is disguised as a reporter. They crash into the room where the press conference is being held and arrest them all, but not before A GUY WITH A MASSIVE MULLET PULLS OUT A VIDEO CAMERA WITH A BAZOOKA IN IT.

Talk about burying the lead.

Talk about burying the lead.

Bad guys nailed, Agent Browder takes Bill and Jack to meet President Ruiz. Turns out President Ruiz is a massive football fan and fangirls out over meeting Bad Bill Boyle but Bill is distracted by Jack’s constant barking. At the last second, he looks at the clock, looks at the waiter, realises the waiter is desperately trying to UNCORK A CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE FULL OF EXPLOSIVES and spear tackles him across the bar, saving the day yet again.

Case closed, Bill is set to depart off into the night and tries to hand the dog back to the CIA, but Agent Browder has bad news – Jack is going to have to be put down if he doesn’t go to the correct home. Bill is outraged, so Agent Browder “reluctantly” lets Bill keep the dog.

So while we mull over the fact that this episode was basically the sequel of Turner and Hooch, and that THERE WAS A VIDEO CAMERA BAZOOKA AND I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP, let us also consider this very important point:

Like a boss.

Like a boss.

And on that note,

Later gang!

Later gang!

S02E03 – Murder in the Afternoon

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Happy New Year Fletcherfans! I hope you all had a marvellous Christmas and an appropriately ridiculous new year. If that saying about what you’re doing at midnight holding true for the year is accurate, I will be dancing Gangum Style with a bottle of wine in each hand while fireworks go off behind me. I’m not sure whether that’s a forecast for my year or an inevitable fact.

Ahem. Anyway.

Our Heroine is on a roadtrip again this week, catching up with her sister Agnes and her niece Nita, who has just got a role as a homicidal lunatic called The Avenger on a daytime soap opera called Young Bold Days of Our Beautiful Restless Hospital Our Secret Lives. This can only end well.

It turns out all is not well on the set. One character is refusing to die, another character wants to get killed off, one character called Julian seems to have issues facing the fact he isn’t really a doctor, one of the actresses is having an affair with one of the writers, who’s wife is the head writer and despised by everybody.

Fun fact. Her name is Joyce and she’s also Malory Archer and Lucille Bluth.

I didn't know Malory Archer and Lucille Bluth were the same person. Mind. Blown.

I didn’t know Malory Archer and Lucille Bluth were the same person. Mind. Blown.

Later than night Joyce is at home, plotting to kill off another character. Her husband Larry (having an affair with the actress from the show) starts making eyes at her but she gives him the cold shoulder. He tells her he’s off to the Friar’s Club, to which she replies “I may call you later. You’d better be there or else I may have to cut off your…inheritance.”

Allowance is code for penis.

Allowance is code for penis.

Joyce settles down to finish her work, but is interrupted by a bullet shot by a figure dressed as the Avenger from the show, who walks in while the theme from Pink Panther inexplicably plays in the background. No more Malory/Lucille/Joyce. The masked marauder steals Joyce’s script for the next day and hightails it out of there.

The next day, JB is packing up to head back to the Cove when she receives a visit from the police. There’s an arrest warrant out for Nita for the murder of Joyce/Lucille/Malory.

JB is clearly delighted by this turn of events.

JB takes exception to a man wearing a hat indoors.

JB takes exception to a man wearing a hat indoors.

He takes her downtown to see his boss Lieutenant Antonelli, who has just finished establishing that Joyce’s husband did not go to the Friar’s Club, but was so wasted  that he didn’t know where he was. Needless to say he is not in the best of moods, so when JB explains that it’s just not possible that Nita is the killer, he responds with “Mrs Fletcher, let me be frank. You’re writing ain’t my kind of reading.”

To which Our Heroine replies “Well lieutenant let me be even franker, anyone who is capable of imagining that my niece can commit murder is being grossly overpaid or taking up valuable space in this office.”

That'll teach him to sass her books.

That’ll teach him to sass her books.

Copping the oratory bitch slap with remarkable good grace, the lieutenant explains that the killer was seen leaving the apartment building at the time of the killing, which JB sensibly explains doesn’t mean it was Nita. Then the lieutenant drops a bomb – Joyce called her sidekick Gordon and told her that Nita had tried to kill her. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if she did do it, she’d still be more awesome than Brady, but JB storms out before she can tear the lieutenant a new one. She goes to see her sister to talk strategy, and receives a phone call from Nita who is hiding out at a hotel. Before Jess can go and collect her she is arrested by the police. That lieutenant didn’t take his scolding that well after all.

Nita admits to Jess that she went to see Joyce, after it became clear that Joyce was going to kill Nita’s character off, but didn’t go inside her building. Jess tells her to buck up and goes out on a mission to get more evidence. She runs into Bibi (banging Joyce’s husband) and another actor from the show downstairs, who politely ask about Nita and demand to know what has happened to the new script. JB brushes them off – she’s got nieces to protect.

JB goes to see the recently widowed Mr Joyce, aka Larry, and asks him why he lied about the time he left the house. He admits he was upstairs banging Bibi-the-actress, but denies killing his wife. Stay classy, Larry. Back at the studio, asks the new head writer Carol and new director Gordon if they knew what changes Joyce was planning to make to the show. Gordon admits he does, and arranges to meet with JB later that evening. Unfortunately for  Gordo, he gets lured back to the studio with a  recording of the actors bitching about him and shot in the shoulder for his trouble.

Antonelli immediately jumps to conclusions about who the shooter is, and tries to arrest Todd-the-actor-who-wanted-out, but receives a phone call that the gun that shot Joyce is the same one that shot Gordo, but isn’t the Avenger’s gun. Yeah, okay? JB decides to conduct a little experiment and gets the help of the new head writer to drop some new dialogue into the show. Aided by the teleprompter, Julian (actor who has trouble remembering he’s not really a doctor) confesses to killing Joyce.

Say it ain't so!

Say it ain’t so!

WHAT THE HELL?

Wait, no, no. The whole gun thing. Julian had the Avengers gun, the Avenger gun wasn’t the murder weapon.

Turns out it was the husband the whole time.

Ah yes. That old chestnut.

Ah yes. That old chestnut.

And there you have it gang! Another week goes past and JB doesn’t have any murderous relations! Huzzah! Let’s hope it continues next week.

Later, Fletcherfans!