S09E21 – The Survivor

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In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the mystery writers who investigate crime; and the everyone else, who do what they’re told. These are their stories.

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long. Surely not.

It’s the middle of a night and a gang of thieves, who are less of a gang and more of a small army, are making off with the contents of a warehouse down by the docks. A call comes into the head burglar and they leg it just before a convoy of NYPD arrive. The convoy, lead by Detective Sergeant Vince Lofton, are furious. Lofton announces that they are being shut down if they don’t catch the gang soon, and as it’s clear there’s a leak in the group, he is getting some outside help.

Lofton leaves his posse to meet another detective, who is supplying the new recruit. Captain Meyers, it turns out, is in Internal Affairs, and has a file all about Lofton’s new recruit, John Bondy.

*beats head against desk*

Lofton is convinced a cop is dirty, but Meyers isn’t so sure.

Over at House Fletcher, a misbehaving computer sees JB go into panic mode and call her friendly neighbourhood computer technician to beg her to stop Jess from murdering her computer. Paula the technician promises to be around on Friday.

Bondy, John Bondy, throws himself into his new undercover gig down at the docks and manages to get one of the thieves to promise the name of his contact on the NYPD, but not before Friday. Bondy reports back to Lofton, who surmises this means the thief is going to report in about the new guy at the dock, so when he introduces Bondy to the rest of the strike team, the dirty cop will know and prevent his meeting with the thief. I think. Bondy is worried he’s being made the bait but don’t worry you guys, Lofton’s a man with a plan. Bondy suddenly remembers he has a date on Friday, but Lofton tells him not to worry it will all be fine.

Friday rolls around and Paula pops in to work her magic on JB’s computer before heading out on her date. JB wants to hear more about her quest to find her birth family, but apart from some searches on some internet bulletin boards, Paula has heard nothing new. What a rich back-story. A call from downstairs signals the arrival of Paula’s date and YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE IT IT’S JOHN BONDY.

The hell name is John Bondy though.

Cut to a barbecue in the suburbs, where the entire strike team has a day off and is enjoying beers while the father-in-law of one of them, whose name may or may not be Jimbo,  handles the meat. John and Paula arrive and get introduced to everyone and GUYS YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS but Paula used to date one of the detectives, Sonny Greene. I mean what were the odds.

Later that night, Jess is chilling out waiting for the Fletch Signal to appear in the sky when she gets a phone call. There’s been an accident. She rushes down to the hospital to discover Paula unconscious, and Detective Sergeant Lofton explaining that the car hit a wall and exploded and all they could read from the things in her purse were Jessica’s name and number. They aren’t sure who the driver was on account of the flames.

Jessica tells them she doesn’t know much about Paula, she has no family but she was on a date with someone called John Bondy.

Guys I’m not sure Lofton is that great at his job

Paula starts to wake up and tells them that John’s dead. The doctor tells her it was instantaneous in the crash but she tells them he was dead before the crash, and more to the point she was never in John’s car. They left the barbecue so that John could meet someone for a business thing, and Paula was to wait for him in the diner but when he didn’t show she went looking for him and found him dead in the driver’s seat of his car. The last thing she remembers before passing out is BLOOD! ALL THE BLOOD.

Lofton wants her woken up for more questions but the doctor quite rightly tells him to get out. Jessica follows, wanting to know why he thinks it’s a murder, after all, why else would he be there? He tells her about Bondy John Bondy being a cop, and his new partner, and thinks he might have been targeted. Jessica asks him what happens if the killer finds out that Paula is still alive and he tells her he will put a detail on her.

While Lofton gets to work finding out what the bloody hell is going on, Jessica naps in the waiting room. She is woken by a passing nurse who informs her that Paula is awake and asking for her. In her room, Paula has remembered more about the party – namely that John didn’t know anyone there except for one guy who turned up later drunk. That guy was Lofton, and he started trying to pick a fight with Bondy, spilling ice cream all over Jimbo’s pants, sending him home to change them before he went to show a property to someone somewhere something something.

Paula catches sight of Lofton and starts freaking out, so the Doctor orders him out of the room. Jessica follows him out, wanting to know what the hell that was about, but Lofton says he hasn’t got time to worry about it and if Jessica still wants to help she should meet him at the car yard so they can go over John’s car together.

The next morning a forensic mechanic ( a job title I totally just made up but it’s probably a thing) discovers the accelerator pedal had been jammed down with a paperclip, thereby proving that MacGuyver was the killer, case closed. Jess still wants to know what Lofton’s scene at the barbecue was about, and Lofton reveals he is actually Internal Affairs and explains the sting down at the docks. He is feeling guilty as hell about Bondy John Bondy’s death, they both knew he was bait and Lofton couldn’t stop him from getting killed. So he’s going to get justice and noone is going to stop him.

Back at home JB gets a visit from Captain Meyers who begs her to leave the investigating to the police, but when the doctor at the hospital calls to tell JB that someone had just broken into Paula’s room and tried to kill her JB tells the cop to go jump and rushes down to see Paula. Lofton is also there, and decides to come clean to both of them about the extent of his and Bondy James Bondy’s investigation (SO MANY FLASHBACKS). To cut a long story short, Lofton’s plan was to tail whoever left the party after Bondy John Bondy but it all went pearshaped when Sonny left first but wasn’t heading to the pub where the meeting was supposed to take place, and by the time Lofton realised and hotfooted it over to the pub Bondy was already dead. Hence, guilt.

While Lofton cops a bollocking from Meyer about the entire business Doctor Call-Me-Ramon and Jessica get Paula settled back in her apartment but not long after the Doc leaves the strike team arrives, ostensibly  to check-in on Paula but mostly to suss out what she knows about the whole business.  She tells them she is Jon Snow about the whole thing***, and they ask her to give one of them a call if she hears anything. Sonny tells her he’s still on the same number. After they leave, Jess finds a pair of sunglasses and recognises them as belonging to one of the detectives, Alex Machio (son-in-law of Jimbo the barbecuer for those playing along at home) and decides to return them.

Over at the Machio’s Mrs Machio is confused when Jess drops off the sunglasses and then outraged when Jess wonders how an NYPD detective can afford $200 sunnies. When Jess explains she is a friend of Paula’s Jill explains they get a lot of financial help from her father, who just this minute is walking in the room with his grandson who drew a picture of his grandad’s car in art class.

I don’t want to alarm anyone but there appears to be some sort of sorcery involved with this car I’m suspicious.

Down at the docks Lofton is on the hunt for Bondy John Bondy’s contact and finally finds him. Vinnie doesn’t want to talk, but having a loaded gun pointed in his face soon jogs his memory.

JB delivers some icecream to Paula, who returns the favour by giving Jess a written account of everything she remembers, although none of it really make sense. It makes sense to JB though, who gets straight on the phone to Captain Meyers.  Meanwhile, Vinnie takes Lofton to Chinatown, and points out the car belonging to the cop. It’s a car. A big red car. Toot toot chugga chugga.

Lofton takes matters into his own hands and breaks into the warehouse, where he finds what he was looking for a guilty man.

Not touching that one.

Fortunately JB and Captain Meyers arrive just in time to stop Lofton for cocking up another investigation.

To be honest I would have been more impressed if Mrs Machio had done it but whatever.

Poor Alex. He’s just found out his father in law is a stolen goods kingpin, and a murderer, and Alex has accidentally been helping. #awkward.

But it’s not all bad news. Paula is off to meet her birth father, and Lofton promises not to get in the way, which is apparently the funniest thing anyone has said all week. Seriously, rich back story.

Later Fletcherfans!





***Yesterday there was a horse running in the Caulfield Cup called Jon Snow. I put a bet on it. It lost. You can take it from here.




S02E13 – Trial By Error


Story time, Fletcherfans! Pay attention because this week is kind of tricky.

Once upon a time, there was a man, a woman and a car accident. Yes, that old chestnut. Anyway, the man feels extremely guilty, since he was driving and only fractured his collarbone, and the woman is in a pretty bad way, but not so bad she can’t be loaded into the ambulance crying “WHY? WHY? WHY?”

Why indeed. Anyway, down at the hospital the husband (let’s call him Mark Lee Reynolds, since that’s his name) is out of his mind when the doctors tell him that his wife has a good chance of surviving, but may never walk again. Cloud goes up, cloud goes down. Receiving this news Mark does what any good husband would do – he heads to the nearest pub, gets blind drunk and goes home with some random brunette.



An associate of said brunette’s husband spots them leaving the bar and puts a call in. The husband grabs his jacket and hauls out into the night bellowing for vengeance. Because the husband is Batman. 

You got all that?

Months later, there’s a trial on. It turns out, Mr Jacket-wearing vengenance-seeker (or Cliff Anderson, for short) wound up dead, and the winner of husband of the year, Mark Lee Reynolds is on trial for his murder. I only mention this because a certain Boss of all Bosses just so happens to be jury forewoman…

Fiercest forewoman ever.

Fiercest forewoman ever.

That’s right, Fletcherfans! It’s 12 Angry Men, Cabot Cove style! To help set the mood for the jury deliberations I found this helpful website to help set the scene. (True story – that noise is also my message notification on my phone, except sometimes I forget and it goes off and I freak out a little bit/fall off the treadmill).

Alright. In the case of People vs Shady Husband, how do we find the jury?

Unsurprisingly, squabbling. Almost everyone on this star-studded jury thinks that Mark Lee Reynolds killed in self-defence. Only Thornton  thinks he is a)Henry Fonda and b)guilty. JB is undecided, and probably more concerned with how much time must pass before her next whiskey.

Apart from the women, whiskey is what was missing from 12 Angry Men.

Apart from the women, whiskey is what was missing from 12 Angry Men.

They discuss, through the cunning use of flashbacks, Reynolds’s testimony that he left the hospital that night “wanting to die.”

Certain members of the jury understand this concept, (a little too well if you ask me) but JB quickly reminds them of the cross-examination where the D.A wanted to know why Reynolds conveniently picked that bar to drink at, since it wasn’t the closest bar to the hospital or his house.


Not everyone on the jury agrees with me though (schmucks), in fact certain female members of the jury tend to find him  quite dreamy. He’s so honest! Even when he tells them (through the cunning use of flashbacks) how he met that random brunette, and the random chain of events that lead to her almost-but-not-quite ex husband turning up on the doorstep and catching them out. (Cue cunning use of flashbacks within flashbacks and ow my brain). According to him, the ex turned up packing heat, they both reached for the gun, ex is now an ex-ex. They call the police, Reynolds gets carted away and gets his phone call, which he uses to call the hospital only to be told that his wife had passed away.

Sucks to be him, is what he’s trying to say.

While the rest of the jury argue with Thornton a bit more, we cunningly flashback to the testimony of Becky the Brunette, who explains that she was getting a divorce from her husband, despite her husband counter-suing for infidelity. HUH I BET.

The jury continues to argue while in flashback land, the hotel owner takes the stand for some laughs.

*insert amusing Gilligan's Island reference here*

*insert amusing Gilligan’s Island reference here*

Skipper announces to the court that Mark Lee Reynolds is a frequent visitor to his classy establishment, and that Becky the brunette had paid a visit too, way before the night of the shooting.

What does the jury think about this, oh they’re still arguing.

JB has a flashback to when she had whiskey

JB has a flashback to when she had whiskey

As things get heated, a couple of jurors call for calm, and to get back to the matter at hand. “Yeah,” says another. “This is man’s life we’re talking about, and most of us here are of a mind to let him keep it. It’s Mrs Fletcher and her minions who are anxious to see him hang.”

Everyone knows JB's minions are Amos and Seth, you crazy fool!

Everyone knows JB’s minions are Amos and Seth, you crazy fool!

The central point of this trial according to JB is the question of whether Becky the brunette and Mark Reynolds knew each other before the night her ex-husband was killed.  Fenton the hotel owner swears he’d seen them together before, the bartender that served them on the night of the murder wasn’t so sure.

If you believe Fenton, JB postulates, then you have to believe that they were setting themselves up to be seen, and since it was a regular haunt for her ex husband and his pals, you have to believe that they wanted to be seen in order to get the word out that Becky-the-brunette was stepping out on her old man. So to speak.

A few nods in the jury room now. Jess is on a roll. If Cliff-the-ex didn’t take a gun with him, where did he get it? The only prints on the gun were his and Reynolds.

Not everyone is convinced by this. Long term juror holdout Frank Lord dismisses it all out of hand, telling them they have rocks in their heads, and that maybe someone else should be foreman.

Heh heh heh. Made myself laugh that time.

Heh heh heh. Made myself laugh that time.

Back in flashback land, Becky Anderson’s neighbour is on the stand, testifying how he came home to find Cliff-the-ex’s car blocking the driveway, and his views of Cliff’s body being taken out of the house a couple of hours later, and then some more flashbackiness as the DA outlines how he thinks the murder went down – Mark and Becky arranged it so that Cliff would bust in, Mark whacks him over the head with a poker, stages it to look like Cliff had the gun, then gets Becky to call the police.

Seems legit to me, although at this point I can’t tell whether I’m having a flashback. Although, I would point out that the DA just said “I look at these two people (Mark and Becky) and I see pleasant, All-American attractiveness” which I’m assuming is lawyer-speak for trashy sluts, but I’m not too sure.

Back in whatever part of time we’re in, JB has more questions. Like, if Mark Reynolds really did fracture his collarbone in the car accident, how was he fighting Cliff for the gun?


Dazzled by this amazing feat of logic, the rest of the jurors want to hear more about these “questions” and JB is happy to oblige. Simply put, it’s this: if Mark Reynolds is telling the truth, and the whole thing – from Cliff barging in to Becky calling the police – was over in a moment, why did the neighbour point out that the body was removed a couple of hours later?

MYSTERIOUS. JB announces there can only be one conclusion, and therefore one verdict, which they then deliver to the court. Mark Reynolds is not guilty of the murder of Cliff Anderson.

Say what?

JB has a quiet word in the ear of the DA, who arranges to meet with Becky Anderson and her lawyer after the trial. Why?

Well I never.

Well I never.

So there you have it. It was Becky who whacked her husband over the head with the poker. But don’t worry, Mark Reynolds isn’t blameless in all of this. He helped her stage it so it looked like self defence – after he’d come home from the hospital, where he’d been killing his wife with a pillow.

Told you he was shifty.

Told you he was shifty.

And so ends this weeks episode of Law and Order Murder, She Blogged.  If you’ve made it this far, well done. I’m exhausted.

There’s only one cure for this, I think.

Heh heh heh. Made myself laugh that time.

See you next week, Fletcherfans!

ETA: It’s Murder She Blogged’s first birthday! Happy birthday to MSB, which continues to this day to be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.