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S07E12 – Suspicion of Murder

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So this happened.

I can't help but feel responsible for this.

I can’t help but feel responsible for this.

JB is taking time out from her meth lab gardening to tell us a story about everyone’s favourite reformed cat burglar, who is out at a divorce party for his friend, former pro tennis player and Warwick Capper impersonator Ryan Donavan. Dennis is distracted when he sees his friend Christina Hellinger, flying solo without her husband Ben, and they begin to dance.

At the end of the night, Dennis drives Christina home like the chivalrous gentleman that he is, and Christina confesses that she has split up with her husband. She tells Dennis he couldn’t understand how it felt to try and make a marriage work and he informs her that he made his work for 24 years – until the cancer claimed his wife.

Dennis thinks it’s time he should be hitting the road but Christina has other plans for him. Nudge nudge wink wink.

The next day, Rhoda arrives back from her lunch break to find Dennis surprisingly hard at work. He announces he has to go interview an antique dealer but makes a quick call to Christina before he goes. There’s no answer at her house so he goes over there and convinces the doorman to check on her. The apartment is empty but Dennis spots a blinking light on the answering machine – a message from Ben’s son telling him that he fobbed them off but the tax people are coming back tomorrow.

Dennis calls into the office

Basically a shoe phone

Basically a shoe phone

…and Rhoda informs him that Christina has been looking for him. He finds her at a hotel outside town, looking the worse for wear. Christina says after their little something something the night before she went to tell Ben it was over and he mistook her for a punching bag.

Dennis offers to escort her to the police station, but as they leave the hotel he spots a car following a short distance behind.  Dennis gets on his batphone to call the closest police station, but the car behind comes up and runs them off the road, wrecking the Dennis-mobile.

MAD DENNIS IS MAD

MAD DENNIS IS MAD

Dennis and Christina go to see Dennis’s old pal Lieutenant Catalano who promises Christina he will look into it – then berates Dennis for mistaking him for a social worker once Christina leaves his office. Ever the gentleman, Dennis gets Christina settled in a hotel under an assumed name, and gives her strict instructions not to call anyone or leave the room for anything. That done, he heads home for a chat with his late wife’s photo before switching off the light and sitting in the dark, gun in hand.

The next morning Dennis gets a phone call from Catalano, who ended up being awake all night worrying that he’d be done for dereliction of duty should Dennis happen to be bumped off. He tells Dennis no trace of Ben was found at his home or at work. Dennis decided to take a gander for himself and heads out to the house where Ben has been staying. He finds the car responsible for smashing up the Dennismobile in the garage. With a little help from the umbrella of justice, Dennis picks the lock on the door and goes inside to take a look around. Apart from an abandoned glass of whisky, and the discovery that Ben has some sort of steamroom set up in his bathroom, Dennis comes away empty handed. He calls Christina to see how she’s getting on, and tells her his next move is to check Ben’s office.

Dennis finds Ben’s sons Joe and Danny in the office in a heated argument over Joe’s life failures. When they realise Dennis was the man who reported their father missing, Joe gets uppity but Danny throws him out of the office before informing Dennis that he saw his father the previous Sunday, he wasn’t missing and that he should basically just jog on.

Dennis’s next visit is to his friend Ryan, the host of the party that set off this whole business. He tells Dennis that Ben was a bit rough around the edges and was never really welcomed into the San Francisco social scene, which upset Christina who was desperate for the love. He and Christina had a fling the previous year but he ended it when she got too serious.

Listening to Ride of the Valkyries on the way home, a police car pulls Dennis over to inform him he is wanted for questioning for the murder of Ben Dellinger.

Really Dennis, how did you not see this coming?

Really Dennis, how did you not see this coming?

Naturally Catalano has no opinion about this at all.

Clearly no response to this development

No. Opinion.

While they await the San Rafael police who are taking Dennis in to be processed, Catalano outlines his triumphant victory – that a phone tip said Dennis had been seen hanging around Ben Dellinger’s house, and that when police went to investigate Ben’s body was found in the shower at 4pm that afternoon with an icepick through the heart and a whole lot of unidentified fingerprints around the house. Dennis agrees that the fingerprints are his, but swears he wouldn’t commit such a stupid and obvious murder.

Catalano disagrees.

Nor, Dennis adds, is he brave enough to stab someone front on with an icepick.

Catalano couldn’t make sense of that either, but he’ll live with it.

The San Rafael police arrive to escort Dennis back to their jurisdiction, but Dennis is already 10 steps ahead – he busts out of the handcuffs and escapes. He goes to see Christina, but AMAZINGLY she’s checked out of the hotel. The desk clerk informs him that she checked out earlier that evening, and why yes she did make a phone cal to San Rafael. Dennis tests out a theory and confirms the number Christina dialed was the San Rafael Police Department. Meanwhile, Christina is back at home and telling Catalano just how terrified she is now that her husband is dead and Dennis is on the run.

Dennis decides to pay an afterhours visit to Ben’s lawyers to see just what tax trouble he might be into, and is nearly busted by a silent alarm and two cops.

The next day Rhoda is in the office reading all about her boss’s escapades in the paper while listening to Robert lose his mind when Dennis calls in asking for a favour – he needs Rhoda to track down the other call that Christina must have made from the hotel. Dennis’s next call is to Catalano, who demands he turn himself in at once. Dennis suggests that instead Catalano find out whether the freezer in the garage was padlocked, and whether Ben’s organs showed signs of frozen tissue.

Rhoda picks Dennis up later that afternoon and delivers the news that Christina did make another phone call – to Joey Dellinger. Dennis decides it’s time to fill Catalano in and goes to the police station. Catalano concedes that it does appear that Ben Dellinger was kept in the freezer and then moved to the steam to thaw out and that he no longer considers Dennis a suspect.

He's so delighted!

He’s so delighted!

Dennis has it all figured out. Joey Dellinger got cut out of the will and so offered to help Christina in exchange for a chunk of inheritance, and Christina did it because she wanted to get back with Ryan – and was a bit put out when she discovered Ryan wasn’t so wild about the idea.

So, to conclude:

What a surprise. Wait, that's not the right word.

What a surprise. Wait, that’s not the right word.

But I think we really need to focus on the really important part of this episode:

 

Later gang

Later Fletcherfans!

 

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S07E08 – The Great Twain Robbery

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Let’s head back to San Francisco Fletcherfans, where our heroine is on a tour promoting her newest book about a gentleman thief. The readers love it, but one person has some complaints.

God I genuinely love Dennis Stanton a little bit.

God I genuinely love Dennis Stanton a little bit.

Dennis has a hell of a story to tell JB, she can tell because he’s flirting outrageously. He points to a book on the shelf – it’s a recently discovered and never previously published story by Mark Twain. Jess remembers it well – the manuscript was stolen, and there was an insurance policy and –

“Who’s story is this anyway?” Says Dennis.

Hashtag bookend.

Once upon a time a while ago, a man named Lawrence Erlich announced that a previously unpublished story of Mark Twain’s had been discovered and authenticated by renowed scholar Professor Chandler Fitzpatrick. The owner, Anna Louise Barlow has generously allowed it to be published for the first time, and Lawrence is simply there to help ensure Anna gets what she is owed.

Naturally there is only one place where such a treasure can be insured, as Dennis discovers when he waltzes into work. He is rather surprised to hear that the person applying for the policy is Lawrence Erlich, and decides to take a closer look at the manuscript by setting a fire in his rubbish bin and filching a page while no one is looking.

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

Dennis decides to head down to the Mark Twain convention where the manuscript is to be unveiled and runs into Lawrence, who it turns out is a master forger and second only to Dennis in the con game (according to Dennis). Lawrence assures him he was better but that he’s been legit for the last 10 years (and is amused to hear that Dennis is now working for an insurance company). Dennis doesn’t believe a word of it, but Lawrence says surely Dennis can appreciate a man turning his life around?

It's pretty great to be fair

It’s pretty great to be fair

Professor Fitzpatrick finds Dennis in the lobby, and informs him that if Dennis doesn’t stop with his insinuations that the manuscript is a fake then there will be consequences.

Undeterred, Dennis takes the filched pages to his friend Konstantin Stavros to get a second opinion regarding the authenticity. Constantin is unsure – recently discredited by Fitzpatrick he tells Dennis his opinion is worthless.

“Not to me,” says Dennis, and tells Constantin that the professor was the one who authenticated the book in the first place.

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

Back at the Twain convention Anne and Lawrence are watching people with magnifying glasses examining the book through the glass and Ann is worried. Lawrence shrugs it off and tells her he will see her later. Anne’s daughter Lindsey arrives from London, freshly broken up from her aging rock star boyfriend but coping okay now that a priceless manuscript has turned up in her family’s possession.

At home, Dennis is telling a photo of his late wife Elizabeth everything that’s happened, especially the tearing pages out of a priceless manuscript part. If he’s right, it won’t matter. If he’s wrong he’s sure he can find another job with his qualifications, although what that job might be he’s not sure. He clicks the TV on just in time to see a news report that a fire at the Fairmont Hotel has resulted in the destruction of the Mark Twain manuscript.

DENNIS SASS-TON

DENNIS SASS-TON

Dennis rolls on down to the hotel to suss things out and finds a cop who says the fire was started by an electrical fault. Dennis wonders if it could have been arson and the cop says he hopes so, he hasn’t had a good arson case in months. Lawrence pops up and swears he wasn’t involved – he was at a costume party and still has the giant fig leaf he wore to prove it. Dennis tells Lawrence he’s going to catch him and Lawrence smiles. He believes Dennis is going to try.

At the office, Dennis finds his boss Robert Butler having a breakdown, and casually asks what the reward might be if someone could prove that the manuscript was a fake. Robert blows his stack, but Dennis isn’t after money – he just wants his CD player that Robert confiscated returned to his office so he can blast Mozart at anyone who wanders past.

Dennis goes to check on Constantin’s progress uncovering the fraud and is frustrated. Constantin wonders why Dennis has a bee in his bonnet about Lawrence and what it has to do with Dennis’s late wife. Lawrence, it turns out, made a play for Elizabeth when she and Dennis were going through a rough patch. BOOOOOOOO. Constantin tells Dennis that for now at least, the paper is genuine, the ink is genuine, the writing appears genuine – but not to worry, a warning bell has gone off in Constantin’s mind and until he can work out what that bell is, he can’t be of any more use right now.

Next stop on Dennis’s list is Anne Louise Barlow, but he instead finds her daughter Lindsey at the door, who takes his coat and flirts her little head off. Dennis asks when her mother will be home, and is told she is at the publishers office with Lawrence getting the transcribed manuscript ready for a bidding war with the publishing companies. Ah, so there is a copy, Dennis notes. Lawrence has thought of everything. Lindsey asks Dennis if he’d like something to eat, or drink, or to have dinner with her that evening.

Can't stop won't stop

Can’t stop won’t stop

Anne arrives home and is not entirely pleased to see Dennis, but he assures her he’s just there to confirm that the company will pay out on the policy as long as there is absolutely no chance that the fire was started deliberately. Lindsay tells him she will see him at Otto’s Grotto for dinner at 8:30, but Anne declines Dennis’s invitation to join, saying she has somewhere to be.

That night, Dennis blows a kiss to the photo of his wife and heads out to dinner, unfortunately missing an excited phone message from Constantin, who has worked it out. As he hangs up the phone, a car pulls up outside and Constantin peers through the blinds, worried.  At the restaurant, Dennis is about to declare himself stood up when Lindsay and Anne both appear in the restaurant, Lindsay having convinced Anne to come, and Anne taking ages to get ready.

After a presumably successful dinner, Dennis goes home, hears the message from Constantin and heads around to his house only to find the place crawling with police led by Lieutenant Catalano who figured Dennis had to be involved with a rare book dealer being shot. Inside, Catalano tells Dennis that Constantin was shot at his desk but managed to crawl over to his bookshelf and retrieve a copy of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Catalano’s theory – it’s got something to do with *whispers* adultery. Dennis examines the book but finds nothing.

Back at his office, Rhoda fills Dennis in on large discoveries of old paper – the most recent of which occurred in London earlier that year, but doesn’t know how they will ever prove that the book is a forgery, or if/how it is connected to Constantin’s murder. Dennis decides the only thing he can do is say ‘The Scarlet Letter’ to himself over and over until inspiration hits.

Life Lesson #60  - Just keep repeating yourself until it makes sense.

Life Lesson #60 – Just keep repeating yourself until it makes sense.

Armed with inspiration and his umbrella (which has a lockpick in it, he has Macgyvered the hell out of his umbrella), Dennis returns to Constantin’s house. He sees a figure searching the shelves and turns on a light – it’s Lawrence. Dennis tells him he’s looking in the wrong section and Lawrence pulls out a gun. He swears he didn’t kill Constantin but figures it doesn’t matter now.

And then the truth comes out – Lawrence has always hated Dennis for marrying Elizabeth, and for being rejected by Elizabeth even when she and Dennis were having problems. Dennis smirks, Lawrence goes to pull the trigger and Dennis shoots him with a dart from his umbrella. YES. They struggle and Lawrence manages to get away.

Dennis calls in the cavalry and Lieutenant Catalano is delighted to think that he is finally putting Dennis under arrest. He’s unconvinced by Dennis’s story that he didn’t know the page was still missing until Lawrence turned up looking for it, or that Dennis has only just worked out where the missing page is thanks to the clue left by Constantin. (It was hidden in Gone With The Wind – the Scarlet Letter was actually the Scarlett letter and was to do with a case Constantin worked on something something moving on).

Dennis goes to see Professor Fitzpatrick and tells him everything he knows about Constantin’s research. Fitzpatrick tells him he can’t see anything dodgy about the page. Catalano arrives to tell Dennis they found Lawrence at the hotel and points out the window. Dennis peers out and sees Lawrence’s body on top of an air conditioning unit.

Cut to Dennis clearing out his office on account of being fired. Rhoda is heartbroken but Dennis tells her as soon as he finds another job he’ll send for her, he won’t be sent back to prison. While he’s waiting for the lift he takes a closer look at one of the books in his box – the pages have red binding on them.

Dennis goes back to Professor Fitzpatrick and tells him he knows all – that Lawrence bought the paper from the people in London and forged the book, that Fitzpatrick authenticated it so it would appear genuine. Dennis doesn’t care about that though, he wants the professor’s help to catch Constantin’s murderer, Anne Barlow, the reward for Fitzpatrick being avoiding having his name attached to the scandal. All he needs to do is go to Anne’s house and find the gun that was used to kill Constantin.

Fitzpatrick has lunch with the Barlows and tells them they need to steal the manuscript page back from Dennis. Anne is horrified, does he expect her to go over and seduce Dennis? God no, Fitzpatrick says, Lindsay should do it. Lindsay sighs and says she’ll take one for the team.

That night, Lindsay drives away from her mother’s house and someone breaks in. The gun is retrieved from the pocket of the killer…

Plot twist!

Plot twist!

The police swarm in and Fitzpatrick puts a gun to Dennis’s head.

OH DENNIS

OH DENNIS YOU MENACE

Fitzpatrick’s escape is foiled by a well executed thrust of the umbrella that sends he and Dennis tumbling down the stairs, but Dennis is pleased to report that rumours of his death are greatly exaggerated.

Newly reinstated back at the insurance company, Dennis sets off for a date with Anne Barlow, who agreed to withdraw her claim for the definitely faked manuscript.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

S06E18 – O’Malleys Luck

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DISCLAIMER: You may notice that the captions bear less relevance to Murder She Wrote than usual. In fact, this post is about 25% Murder She Wrote and 739% about me watching all of Jessica Jones in 4 days. If you haven’t watched Jessica Jones yet, come back later because spoilers sweetie.

Oh for God’s sake. 

You guys can we talk about how freaking amazing Jessica Jones was?

You guys can we talk about how freaking amazing Jessica Jones was? And how freaking CREEPY David Tennant was?

You guessed it guys, another bookend episode. This time, Jess has just received a (late) birthday card from her friend Lieutenant O’Malley who has a tale to tell her. Convenient.

This particular tale centres around a real estate magnate, Roland Trent, who is currently far too busy wheeling and dealing to worry about his upcoming tenth wedding anniversary, much to the annoyance of his wife Gretchen. At the same time O’Malley is dealing with his late partner’s daughters demotion from working at city hall to being a beat cop after she rather neatly rejected the advances of one of the deputy mayor’s aides, Paul Abbott.

Like in the first episode when Jessica had that flashback and Killgrave was licking her face I mean bloody hell I was unprepared.

Like in the first episode when Jessica had that flashback and Killgrave was licking her face I mean bloody hell I was unprepared.

While we’re on the subject of creepy dudes being creepy, Roland Trent is going ‘out to dinner’ with his ‘lawyer’ to discuss business, but Gretchen sees right through it. He tells her not to wait up. Ugh. Gretchen’s secretary, Alice, sees how distressed her boss is and suggests they go back to the office to finish the letters they were working on. It turns out dinner wasn’t entirely code, as in the beginning that’s all it is – Trent asking his lawyer David Kingston for a way out of his marriage and Kingston telling him that there isn’t one unless he’s prepared to give up half of everything he owns. They are soon joined by Trent’s new bit of fluff, Cindy and David departs, reminding his client that he has a meeting at 9:30 the next morning, making Trent realise he’d left his briefcase at the office.

Down at the precinct O’Malley is not pleased to hear about the snake Abbott’s advances towards his partner’s daughter, Frances Rawley, and decides to give her a promotion to being his partner. She is stoked, and wants to know what they will be working on. O’Malley tells her that things had been slow but he had a feeling that something was about to happen.

Like Roland Trent typing a fake suicide note and then throwing his dead wife off the balcony?

And when Hope killed her parents! Goddamn. And poor Ruben :*( But damn that show was so unsettling

But the whole thing about Killgrave literally being everywhere and stalking her from a distance DEAR GOD.

O’Malley and Frances are called to the scene, where they find Detective Grillo already chalking it up as as suicide, and takes the opportunity to hit on Frances while O’Malley notices that one bookend is cleaner than another. (Honestly though. Killed by a bookend in a bookend episode. JUST CALM DOWN MURDER SHE WROTE WRITERS ALRIGHT?)

Roland Trent appears from the private elevator (because you’re only really a success if you have more than one lift into your office) and wants to know why the police are investigating since it’s clear his wife committed suicide. O’Malley tells him his cleaning crew is no good – they only cleaned one bookend and left it wet on the wooden cupboard. O’Malley also can’t help but notice that Trent hasn’t asked to see the suicide note yet, and Trent tells him that it’s because he’s worried about what it might contain. O’Malley assures him there’s nothing to worry about and Trent takes a look AT THE NOTE HE WROTE. He asks for it to be returned to him once the investigation is over and goes downstairs to meet his lawyer who apparently just heard the news. In the car, Trent asks Kingston what he knows about O’Malley – Kingston tells him that O’Malley’s service record is the best in the department but that he does get into trouble occasionally. Trent hopes that this is one such occassion.

Sidenote, I’ve just realised that O’Malley is the original Commissioner Gordon. I thought I recognised his face.

And the way Killgrave tries to justify himself and says he acted impeccably WTF.

And the way Killgrave tries to justify himself and says he acted impeccably towards Jessica WTF. 

Back at the precinct, O’Malley and Rawley discuss the case with O’Malley’s boss Captain Cohen, who orders O’Malley to shut the investigation down, until he learns that the suicide was almost certainly murder.

The next day, Trent sees the DO NOT CROSS tape across his private elevator and shouts YOLO (part of this isn’t true). Unfortunately for him, O’Malley is upstairs and is rather surprised to see Trent at work, what with the likely homicide of his wife and all, since the hobo that lives in the alley downstairs never heard Gretchen scream. O’Malley escorts Trent from the office, saying he doesn’t want to make him late for his lunch appointment.

While O’Malley deals with the ‘grieving’ widow, Rawley goes to see Gretchen’s assistant Alice who actually is grieving. She tells Frances that Trent found them working the night  Gretchen died (Alice typing Gretchen’s dictated letters due to her terrible writing) and lost his mind at the thought his wife was trying to force him out. It was only when Alice assured him they would be gone within the hour that he calmed down enough to leave, although forgetting his briefcase again. Frances asks her if she thought Gretchen committed suicide and she says absolutely not, though she wouldn’t know anything about Trent’s extra-curricular activities. Frances reports back to O’Malley who doesn’t quite know what to make of it either. They are interrupted by Sergeant Grillo, who informs O’Malley that he’s wanted back at the precinct to confirm that Gretchen’s death was a suicide. This doesn’t quite go the way the captain plans, as O’Malley informs the gathered press that there is no evidence at this time that Gretchen Trent was murdered. The press pounce on that and O’Malley admits that Roland Trent is a suspect, causing the watching Trent to lose his mind at his television. After the press conference, the captain tells O’Malley his days as a cop are numbered.

After Trent gives a very cold and deliberate comment to a media pack loitering outside his office, in which he declares he has an alibi who will come forward and clear his name, Kingston accompanies Cindy the secretary/mistress to the police station the next day. Frances is surprised to see Kingston, as she recognises him from his frequent visits to Paul Abbott’s office. O’Malley excuses himself, saying he has a meeting he needs to barge into.

Cindy swears that Trent was with her from when he left his office after fighting with his wife, until learning of the suicide on the news later that night. O’Malley confirms that Cindy knowing Trent for several months means what he thinks it means, and remarks on the fact that noone else knew about her. Cindy tells him they kept it very quiet, and that she’d never even been to Trent’s office. After she and Kingston leave, O’Malley swears to the captain that he will do whatever it takes to save the department from embarrassment, which doesn’t delight the captain.

And comparing Killgrave's shitty upbringing with Jessica's childhood, and the nature of victimhood and JESUS WHEN HOPE DIES I MEAN WHAT THE HELL.

And comparing Killgrave’s shitty upbringing with Jessica’s childhood, and the nature of victimhood and JESUS WHEN HOPE DIES I MEAN WHAT THE HELL.

A court order procured, O’Malley and Frances head down to Paul Abbott’s office to get the tape conversations his secretary so helpfully told Frances about at the beginning of the episode. Roland Trent’s shady business practices revealed it becomes clear that Trent couldn’t leave his wife or let his wife leave him. Which was bad news for Cindy.

And the whole thing with Jessica's childhood house!

And the whole thing with Jessica’s childhood house!

I think though, that the below picture sums up this episode quite nicely:

But that last scene on the dock, with what Killgrave threatens to do to Trish. I watched that whole damn episode with my hand over my mouth.

But that last scene on the dock, with what Killgrave threatens to do to Trish. I watched that whole damn episode with my hand over my mouth.

I think we all learned a valuable lesson about me bingeing on TV shows. IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT ON ME AT ALL.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S06E17 – Murder (According to Maggie)

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THE BOSS IS TALKING

THE BOSS IS TALKING

That grin can only mean one thing – it’s storytime with JB. Again. (HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS FOR SO LONG!!!)

This week, Our Heroine would like to tell you about her favourite student, Mary Margaret McAuley, a talented writer who couldn’t get anything published until she started writing hardboiled detective fiction. Her newest job is as creator of the TV show Beat Cop, starring Bert Rogers as the aforementioned cop, assisted by the token blonde Dana Darren.

Margaret is hard at work on the next script when she gets a phone call from her assistant Vi – there’s trouble on set. Apparently Beat Cop doesn’t like the idea that he has to wait for forensics before proving who the killer is. After some fancy negotiating, Mary Mac gets Dana’s character to make the call, allowing Bert’s character the satisfaction of catching the killer using nothing but a hunch.

UGH.

On her way back to the office Mary Mac gets a visit from her agent, Leo Kaplan. She’s excited to see him and to find out what his other client thought about her script (about relationships and whatnot) but is less than enthused when she learns that he didn’t actually read the script, but he liked the summary his reader gave his secretary. Leo’s actual business on the set is to talk about the future of Beat Cop. The new big boss of the network, Keith Carmody isn’t a fan despite having told the head of the production company, Brian Thursdan, that he never watched the show. His second in command, Julie Pritzer, tries to calm Brian down after he storms out of the meeting but to little effect.  Meanwhile, Mary Mac goes to see the inspiration for the show (and potential crush) Lieutenant Vincent Palermo to tell him the news that Beat Cop might be off the air, but he doesn’t seem all that upset about it.

Later that night, Elizabeth has another crack at dissuading Carmody from cancelling Beat Cop but Keith tells her her job is to look pretty and take pointless meetings.

My how times haven't changed...

My how times haven’t changed…

As Julie leaves, Keith gets a phone call from Brian to discuss Beat Cop but he’s not interested – until Brian puts network owner Harriet De Vol on the phone. Clearly it works out because Mac gets a phone call from Brian saying the show is possibly saved – Keith has agreed to watch some episodes of the show and Mary Mac is charge of which ones, booking the screening room and watching the episodes with Keith. Brian would love to help but he has a development meeting.

The next morning, while Vi puts all the coffee in the coffee pot (VI 4 PM), and Mary Mac tries to sort out how to save the show, Bert Rogers storms in in a huff – he got a phone call from his agent at 6am that morning saying that the show was cancelled. Mary Mac tells him to calm down, and in any case, wasn’t he planning to quit anyway? Bert tells her she shouldn’t believe things just because he says them and tells her that if she doesn’t sort out Keith Carmody he will.

Speaking of. Keith, ensconced in a screening room, is on the phone to someone trying to work out how to remove Harriet De Vol from the equation when someone helpfully sticks a gun through the curtain and shoots him twice. Lieutenant Palermo is called in and learns from the projectionist that he didn’t hear the shots go off, on account of Beat Cop being on the screen. One of Palermo’s minions finds the gun and a hidden door.

While Palermo goes about his 5-0 business, Mary Mac takes care of Brian who has appeared at the studio in a panic – with Keith dead Julie will take over the network, he needs to get in touch with her double quick. Mary Mac tells him that Julie was the one who found Keith’s body and is in the commissary coming to terms.

Awesome, Brian probably says. Which way to the commissary?

d2

While Brian goes off to hurl sympathy at Julie, Mary Mac accompanies Palermo to the set of Beat Cop. Cast and crew are all surprised to learn that Keith was murdered, and didn’t die of boredom (I don’t think Beat Cop had bookend episiodes, so I can’t imagine why that would happen). Palermo checks alibis and the only person with a shonky one is Bert.

One of Palermo’s lackeys comes to tell him he’s learned something interesting from the prop guy, who in turn informs them that the prop box has been broken into and one of the guns is missing – Bert’s gun to be precise.

Palermo throws Bert in jail for the time being, leaving Mary Mac to tell the director to shoot around the fact that their leading man is now conspicuously unavailable, while at the same time fending off Leo Kaplan who has a convenient list of people (clients) who could replace Bert on the show. She gets a panicked phone call from Brian begging her to come meet with Julie at the network.

Julie, who has hit the ground running despite the terrible shock of finding Keith’s body, tells them that she’s not sure that Beat Cop can survive without Bert Rodgers, and in any case she has a plan for giving Dana Darren her own show as a brain surgeon at a top metropolitan hospital. Ugh. These were clearly the days when the go-to TV shows were cop or doc, before the days of reality TV when you get 37 variations of Australian Model Factor Idol Talent Home Renovation Chef Rescue Kitchen Block.

(I reject all forms of reality, but especially reality television).

After the meeting, Brian begs Mary Mac to help Palermo solve the case/get Bert out of jail, and promises to get the pilot of her romantic story Love in Naples off the ground. Mary Mac asks if Brian is yanking her chain, and Brian says trust me.

When does that ever fail to be a good idea?

When does that ever fail to be a good idea?

Mary Mac visits Bert in prison and gets him to stop crying long enough to swear he didn’t kill Keith. Palermo is unmoved by this fact, nor by Mary Mac’s theory that the only reason that Bert’s prints are on the gun is because the killer wore gloves. Palermo tells Mary to go back to her typewriter.

On set, Mary Mac finds Dana to ask her about the medical show, and to find out why she lied about her alibi. Dana tells her that while she was on the phone to a Broadway producer, a more accurate view would be she was on the phone to his answering machine. Then she was with Leo for 30 minutes after that, which isn’t what Leo says at all. The medical show, it turns out, is being put together by Leo’s agency – in other words Mary Mac’s agent was getting the star of her show a show of her own to replace Mary Mac’s show.

Good old Hollywood forever.

Mary gets the lowdown on the hidden door from the security guard, Burnsy, who also tells her a story from back in the day, when Andy Butler (who plays Beat Cop’s boss) was on a different show that ended up being cancelled by Keith Carmody.  That night, she and Brian update Harriet De Vol on the latest developments and she tells them that the show is cancelled without Bert Rodgers.

Back in her office, Mary Mac sends Vi home and stays to watch what the editor had cobbled together from the day’s shooting. Alas there is a continuity error, and a pencil appears and reappears in the pocket of Andy Butler. She calls the director, Al, to work out what time the footage was filmed. goes back to the studio and….oh come on now.

WHAT THE HELL

WHAT THE HELL

It would seem that Andy couldn’t deal with the idea of Keith cancelling another one of his shows. And apparently he would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t dropped a pencil, and if Mary Mac hadn’t noticed the pencil and decided that it was clearly the PENCIL OF A KILLER.

Worst. Episode. Ever. Now, if y’all will excuse me, to compensate for this, I am going to go binge-watch Jessica Jones until my eyes fall out of my head.

See you next week Fletcherfans!

See you next week Fletcherfans!