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And now, a word from our sponsor

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Sorry guys. Football has taken over my life. (Also, my Mum is visiting).

I’ll be back on October 8th. In the meantime, I highly recommend you click here.

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S04E02 – When Thieves Fall Out

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There’s something fishy going on in the Cove this week Fletcherfans. Coach Kevin Cauldwell is finally retiring as coach of the Cabot Cove High football team, and so to celebrate Our Heroine is throwing him a retirement party, and to celebrate that one time Cabot Cove High won the thing in 1966 (I’m not entirely sure what. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s Aussie Rules football and Sports That Aren’t Aussie Rules football. This is most definitely in the latter category).

Before I continue, I’d just like to subtly point out something that caught my attention:

(Not pictured: Dack Rambo)

(Not pictured: Dack Rambo)

Before JB can get to Coach’s retirement party there’s a knock at her door. A man named Andrew Durbin, has come to collect the keys to JB’s pal Lila’s house which he’s renting for a few weeks. Before he drops her at the party he asks her where the sheriff’s office is, he has some paperwork to give him. MYSTERIOUS.

Meanwhile, all is not well with the Great and Glorious Team of ’66.  Arnie Wakeman is in a wheelchair after a car accident, Dan Pulling is drunk all the time and has just been fired from the caryard fellow team member Bill Hampton (aka Dack Rambo) owns,  and Judge Perry Sillman has just had Amos Tupper and Andrew Durbin in his office with some paperwork. MYSTERIOUS PAPERWORK OF DEATH, probably.

Oh no, just parole papers. At the coach’s party Judge Sillman tells JB that it turns out that Andrew Durbin has just been released from prison after serving 20 years for murder. Shady. Coach isn’t really up for reliving past glories and the party dies down pretty quickly. As they leave, Bill Hampton finds a cutout of a newspaper article from the Cabot Cove Gazette, a story about a businessman that died and the hitchhiker accused of his murder. His wife asks him why he looks so upset and he says it’s nothing, just someone’s idea of a practical joke. He gets in the car and drives off, but not before noticing the red corvette parked across the street.

SUBTLE PLOT POINTS ARE SUBTLE.

That night, Bill and his wife are woken by a phone call and a jack-in-the-box.

Dack Rambo is cool in a crisis.

Dack Rambo is cool in a crisis.

As the newspaper cuttings rain down around them, the red corvette drives past at a crawl. Bill’s wife Alison wants to call Amos but Bill says no, he’ll handle it himself.

The next morning Alison takes things into her own hands and goes to see JB for guidance. She tells JB the whole story, including the subject of the newspaper articles – businessman dead, hundreds of bearer bonds missing. She begs JB to talk to Bill and naturally she agrees, but she wants to do some research first.

That night, when Bill is driving home from the car lot, he is run off the road by – SURPRISE! A red corvette with one headlight! The next morning, Alison finds JB coming out of the offices of the Cabot Cove Gazette and tells her that she heard Bill tell someone he was killed by a red corvette, and now he’s carrying a gun. Who does he think he is, Rambo? Oh wait…

When JB goes to see Bill at the showroom he’s a bit flustered. Andrew Durbin has been in complaining of car trouble – his little red corvette only has one headlight working. He tells Bill the story about he bought the car from a little old woman whose husband was killed twenty years ago. OKAY, WE GET IT, DURBIN IS THE HITCHHIKER, JESUS. Bill tells Andrew that he will take a look at his car at nine o’clock that night. JB asks him what the connection is between him and Durbin, and Bill tells her to leave. After she’s gone, Bill calls someone and tells them that Durbin has been around, and to meet him at the caryard before 9 o’clock so they can end it, gun style.

JB and Amos confront Durbin, who freely admits to being the hitchhiker who was in the car with the businessman the night he died, and was later convicted of his murder. He tells them his version of events – that a car ran them off the road, turned around to come back towards them, he went to get help but couldn’t find any and when he returned to the car the business man was dead and the police were pulling up. JB asks him how Bill Hampton figures into all of this and Durbin tells her that while he was in prison he subscribed to the paper to work out who he saw that night – the passenger, not the driver, was Bill Hampton, wearing a white dinner jacket as it was prom night. JB correctly guesses that Durbin still hasn’t found out who the driver was, which is why he is messing with Bill, in order to smoke the mystery man out.

Amos has had enough of this, and tells Durbin to leave town before he’s arrested. Durbin correctly points out he hasn’t done anything yet, he’s just out for justice.

Amos is breaking bad

Amos is breaking bad

That night, at the scheduled meeting time, Bill Hampton is greeted by his co-conspirator and the click of a gun safety. The next morning, Bill turns up dead, an apparent suicide to everyone except JB as the bullet wound was on Bill’s right side and Bill was lefthanded. JB points out that a stranger might not have known Bill was left handed…

Cut to Durbin being asked for an alibi, and OH THE SURPRISES, he has an airtight one. JB asks him if he will be leaving town now but he’s got unfinished business with the driver of the car. JB then goes to see the judge and his wife, who are consoling Alison and are equally convinced Bill didn’t kill himself. Jess tells them her murder theory and asks them if they remember anything about the night of the prom and they all agree that they went to a diner after prom and had a wonderful time. LIARS!

Down on the docks Coach Cauldwell spots Andrew Durbin and punches him in the face. Jess takes him back to her place to calm down and asks him what he remembers about prom – it turns out he left early for the same reason JB did, the flu. Coach is convinced that none of his boys could be killers, but Jess remembers one of the boys having the nickname Animal. That was Dan, the raging alcoholic who doesn’t have two cents to rub together, so an unlikely holder of stolen bearer bonds. JB then considers Arnie, suing Bill for selling him a dodgy car that landed him in a wheelchair, who became unexpectedly wealthy after high school.

JB pays Arnie a visit, who is outraged when Jess asks him where he got his money from after highschool. He throws her out of the house, even after she helpfully brought in a special delivery letter from his insurance agency.

I've used Stayin Alive lyrics three times in this blog now and I'm still not sorry.

I’ve used Stayin Alive lyrics three times in this blog now and I’m still not sorry.

Eagle-eyed JB spotted scuff marks on the newly polished floorboards (that’s convenient) and so set a cunning trap using her phone bill as bait. Busted, JB escorts Arnie to Amos’s office, where he admits to setting up the dodgy insurance scam because he’d run out of money, but the money he had after high school was an inheritance. JB asks him about the prom and Arnie tells them that Bill was blind drunk that night, and that Alison abandoned him on the dance floor part way through the night. She left at about eleven o’clock, despite Bill trying to get her to stay. Amos gets a phone call placing Dan the Drunk in a drunk tank a couple of towns over, ruling him out as a suspect.

Jess confronts Perry, his wife and Alison about their prom night lie, and Alison comes clean. Bill was trying to get her to go to a hotel with him but she refused. She left early, but Bill went back to the prom, saying he had a trophy to collect. And therein lies the clincher for JB. Because the person he collected the trophy from was supposed to already have left.

This has taken a turn for the depressing

This has taken a turn for the depressing

Coach lied about leaving the prom to cover up the truth – he was driving a very drunk Bill home, and while Bill was trying to get Coach to take him to the diner where his friends were the car began to swerve all over the road and they hit the corvette. When he saw the bearer bonds on the backseat of the car he snapped, killed the driver and took half the bonds, giving the other half to Bill. That way he could have the football camp he always wanted, but it never got off the ground.

Well. That was…miserable. Better luck next time Fletcherfans!

Until then.

See you next week gang!

See you next week gang!

S01E17 – Sudden Death

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Our heroine still hasn’t made it back to the Cove, and I for one am having serious Amos withdrawals. How on Earth is the town coping in JB’s absence?

To be fair, JB isn’t doing too badly outside the Cove, even though she’s at the funeral of her great-uncle Cyrus

Catching the bus from Happy Vale Retirement Home to the Home of Eternal Rest = HILARIOUS METAPHOR

At which funeral she is accosted by her great-uncle’s attorney, Bosley Brad Lockwood.

Fact: for a long time I thought Bosley and Amos Tupper were the same person. In my defence, I was probably drunk. (I don’t know who I thought Howard Cunningham was)

It turns out the old boy has left JB some shares in a Mystery Company, and is eager to get her signature on some documents. Our Heroine is no slouch though, and refuses to sign. Why the hell would she? She’s just inherited shares in a football team!

A football team? You know, that’s very exciting Mr Lockwood. (pause). I think I’ll just take a look… – JESSICA FLETCHER

Sidenote: here’s what I know about American Football – nothing. And when I don’t know/understand/care about a sport I happen to be watching (which is usually rugby) I apply Australian Rules football rules to it in order to make sense of it/fake an interest. So, if in reading the rest of this post you think I may have missed some of the finer points of American Football, that will be the reason.

Anyway.

Jessica hurries to the stadium to checkout her latest arses assets, but is rudely interrupted by a giant helmet on wheels (not code):

If I had a dollar for every time I was nearly run down by a giant helmet on wheels…

The helmet-mobile is being driven by an 8-year-old deaf girl and someone who turns out to be the Kardashian step-father in real life, thereby answering something I’ve always wondered about – what exactly does a Kardashian do?

Kardashian-man apologises for nearly running Our Heroine over (and for inflicting his stepdaughters on us all (lol j/k no he didn’t) and they cruise off into the sunset in their Helmet-Car-of-Wonder. Meanwhile, JB interrupts an incredibly helpful scene where the owner of the team, Phil Kruger reminds himself who else works there by yelling at them loudly and including their job titles – Lockwood-the-lawyer, Patillo-the-coach, Dillon-the-equipment-manager/token-black-guy and Mason-the-defensive-captain/Ron-Swanson-lookalike.

Kruger is less than thrilled to see someone with a vagina walking into his office, but takes it all back when he discovers that Our Heroine holds the balance of power in the ownership stakes. Phil immediately throws everyone out and takes JB on a tour of the facilities, mostly so he can offer to buy her out. JB is flattered, but not interested. Undeterred, Kruger offers to pick JB up later that night and take her to the player party being thrown by local man-about-town Web McCord (not kidding. WEB MCCORD!)

Back at the hotel JB is accosted by Coach Patillo, who offers to buy her out. JB is delighted at having so many men throwing money at her, but she declines. Later, when Kruger picks her up he throws some more money at her, but JB holds out. She’s got no interest in business discussions, or keeping track of who’s going where right now – she’s at a party dammit!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single party in possession of a large amount of alcohol must be in want of Brendan Fevola.

Alas, Kruger is not having such a good time, what with being dead in the bathtub at the stadium. The local constabulary arrive to do their thang, and an early favourite for Most Likely Suspect is established – they think the Kardashian did it. (Impossible, as Kardashians don’t do anything).

JB is at the scene, flexing her owner muscle (although sadly not literally, because that would be amazing). The detective quickly changes his tune when he realises she’s the owner and agrees to everything that she says, but he’s still convinced that Zack Kardashian Dude, even more so after they find his watch in the bathtub. They pick him up, but he protests his innocence. He had his reasons for killing Kruger, but he’d rather keep them to himself, and more to the point he claims someone broke into his locker and stole his watch.  Meanwhile, Bosley is on the phone to Charlie Kruger’s almost-ex wife, telling her to get back into town and claim her money.

JB heads to training, and promptly starts a melee on the field with her presence, in which her probable new boyfriend the defensive captain is knocked out. Oops. Undeterred, she steps over him to find out from the coach what Zach’s no-cut contract meant. (Turns out it means that even though he’s injured, he still gets paid. Sweet deal huh?) Still on the trail, JB goes to see Dillion the equipment dude who is hanging out in the locker rooms. Soon after the team arrives, including JB’s new probable boyfriend, who is without pants and a little embarassed.

It takes a little while for JB to notice the unexpected penis, but she gets there.

Turns out he was pleased to see her.

JB quickly departs the locker room for the shooting gallery (can someone say METAPHOR?) where she finds the football commissioner, the investigating lieutenant and Web McCord shooting clay pigeons. They are all convinced of Zach Kardashian’s guilt, but JB isn’t giving up just yet. She goes back to the arena to hunt for clues – sneaking past the worlds worst security guard to do so – and breaks into a locker to prove a point. It all goes a bit wrong when she is locked in the sauna by a Mysterious Gloved Hand, but Mr Dillion the equipment dude comes to her rescue. Rather than be scared off, JB is delighted! She’s on the right track!

To celebrate, she heads to the track to catch up with her probable new boyfriend and Ron Swanson lookalike, and engages in a bit of light stretching, if you know what I mean.

*insert inappropriate joke here*

Still without a suspect, she goes to visit Zach Kardashian again, wearing her Serious Neckerchief.

Life Lesson #30 – To show you mean business, wear a neckerchief.

It turns out that their daughter, the deaf girl, is adopted and that someone suspiciously Kruger-sounding was making threatening anonymous phone calls, suggesting that the adoption wasn’t strictly legal and that he would report them to the authorities.

JB takes time out to call Amos and make sure she hasn’t left the back door open (not kidding), and is about to jump in the bath when she is rudely interrupted by the commissioner, who wants to suss out Jess’s chances of selling her stock to Web McCord. Jess politely throws him out, but not before she learns of the existence of Mrs Kruger, who Bosley was on the phone to earlier.

A hot bath and a good night’s sleep later, JB goes to pay Mrs Kruger a visit, not bothering to worry about things like permission. Life Lesson #31 – Open door = open invitation. Upstairs she discovers that the bathroom carpet is soaking wet (but doesn’t appear to be concerned that the bathroom is carpeted. These wacky rich men and their wackiness). While she mulls this over, a shadow ninja threatens to shoot her…

BEST SHADOW PUPPET EVER.

…but it turns out to be the devastated widow of Kruger, and by devastated I mean dollar signs for eyeballs. She very helpfully calls the police, and  the lieutenant pops in to give his two cents worth. It is agreed that Kruger was probably killed here, but who could have done it? Every single person in the world had a motive, so how could they prove it?

Stumped, Jess is hanging out in the locker-room before the big game (LIKE A BOSS), when she notices a cork board filled with photos from the party. She notices that a certain somebody has changed jackets halfway through the night – because the first one got soaking wet in a bathtub, perhaps?

Damn straight. One disguised phone call later and JB catches the killer with his hand down the drain.

I told you Kardashian’s don’t do anything.

The man with the terrible name had hatched a plot to gain total control of the football team, and get Zach Kardashian off the team in the process. And he would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for that meddling JB.
To celebrate, JB does a lap of the field in the helmet car – something I have now added to my list of things to do – and says goodbye in the traditional Cabot Cove manner.

Peace out dawg.

Until next time, dear reader.