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S03E19 – No Accounting For Murder

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UGH.

The derp is strong in this one.

The derp is strong in this one.

Once again, Grady is failing at everything. He works as an accountant for a company called Paul Carlisle and Associates in a building which is supposedly haunted, and someone just stole his sandwich. In fact, when JB arrives to see her nephew, the security guard has him in a head lock after he mistakes Grady for the ghost the secretary claims is chasing her.

(Or the security guard just wanted to arrest Grady for being SO LAME)

(Or the security guard just wanted to arrest Grady for being SO LAME)

While the security guard goes to sort the actual ghost out, Grady’s boss Ralph Whitman takes JB to meet the big boss Paul Carlisle, who tells her that he can see where Grady gets his sharp intellect from…

WTF is right

WTF is right

…and that he’s been a big fan of JB’s for twenty years…

JB keeps her composure well

JB keeps her composure well

…and that he always says there’s nothing better than a good romance novel.

Man, this guy makes Grady look intelligent. I don't like it.

Man, this guy makes Grady look intelligent. I don’t like it.

Having been overwhelmed by Paul Carlisle’s stupidity graciousness, JB takes her leave, saying she and Grady have reservations for an early dinner. As Whitman shows them out he tells Carlisle that the Hammond account files are in his office, but Carlisle is going home and is all “Yolo, bro.” (Paraphrasing).

Whitman is waylaid in the foyer by Lester Grimshaw, IRS agent, so Whitman returns to his office leaving Grady and JB to go off to dinner. Grady whinges about how the ghost stole his lunch, which Jessica completely empathises with.

Classic Grady.

Classic Grady.

After dinner Grady goes back to the office. As he gets out of the cab a woman tries to get in but JB is unmoved.

This might actually be my favourite screenshot yet,

This might actually be my favourite screenshot yet

When Grady goes up to his office he sees his boss Ralph Whitman’s office light on and goes to investigate. El Whitman is in fact dead and on the wall someone has helpfully scrawled LEAVE ME ALONE OR I WILL KILL AGAIN in big red letters.

Needless to say, Grady isn’t coping with this new development. JB comes to check up on him and meets the investigating detective Lieutenant Hanratty, played by Jerry’s Dad in Seinfeld with an inexplicable Irish accent. JB takes charge straight away and tells him that the message on the wall is obviously a red herring, that the fact that Whitman was killed in his chair suggests that Whitman knew the killer. Handratty points out Whitman wasn’t alone in the office, that Grady was also in the building, to which Jess replies with “Yes, he told me he’d reported the crime…so obviously he didn’t kill him.”

“Well, it’s unlikely.” Says Hanratty.

“UNLIKELY!” Jess exclaims.

“Now now. Mrs Fletcher. Let’s not be giving ourselves a bellyache until after we’ve tasted the stew.” Says Hanratty.

Mmmkay.

Despite the death of his “close personal friend”, Carlisle and Associates is open for business the next day. Apparently off the hook, Grady is telling the secretary how he nearly lost his lunch seeing Whitman like that when Grimshaw calls Grady into his office to talk about a dodgy tax deal with Grady’s name on it. Grady asks Carlisle about it and Carlisle is surprised to learn that Grady doesn’t know anything about it.

Grady is in the middle of moaning to Jess about it all when there are raised voices outside his office. Mrs Whitman, the newly widowed wife of Ralph, is trying to get into her husband’s sealed office. JB comes out to investigate the hubbub and recognises Mrs Whitman as the woman who tried to commandeer her taxi the previous night. She tries to deny it but relents and agrees to go talk to Lieutenant Hanratty with JB. As they leave the office, Carlisle tells Grady the Hammond file he needs for the meeting is in his office. UGH FILES AND GRADY AND EW.

Mrs Whitman tells the Lieutenant and JB that she went to see her husband but he didn’t answer her knock. Hanratty asks her why it was so difficult to get in touch with her to tell her about her husbands death and she admits she spent the night *cough* in someone else’s apartment *cough*. The interview is interrupted when another policeman comes in to tell them that there’s been an incident at the office. The ghost has left another message and frightened the janitor.

This is turning into an episode of Scooby Doo. WAIT. Obviously in this scenario JB is Velma…is Grady a combination of Shaggy and Scooby? Or is he Scrappy Doo because he’s so damn annoying? This wants thinking about.

ANYWAY.

The janitor tells Lieutenant Hanratty that she can hear the ghosts in the walls. He tells her there’s no such thing as ghosts – banshees maybe and of course The Little People, but no ghosts. JB asks the janitor where she hears the spirits the most and the janitor directs her to the janitor’s closet. Upon closer inspection JB finds a secret door in the wall, leading into a passage. SERIOUSLY THIS IS SCOOBY DOO, SOMEONE GIVE GRADY A SCOOBY SNACK. JB goes in to investigate, and is followed by an Ominous Shadow that turns into Thing from Addams Family.

*clicks fingers*

*clicks fingers*

The disembodied hand is attached to a random hobo who has taken up residence in the walls of the building. He tells her that he had nothing to do with the killing and to please leave him alone while he plays the organ in the basement.

On a stroll through the park JB fills Henretty in and he decides that if the killer isn’t the ghost it must be Scrappy Doo Grady. JB won’t have a bar of it, and reminds him that Lana Whitman stood to gain a bit by her husband ceasing to be. Meanwhile, Whitman’s office is unsealed and Grady sets to finding the files about this mysterious Neptune Ventures he’s said to be involved with. He can’t find anything in the office (SO MUCH FAIL) but JB notices an appointment with a Marty Giles in Whitman’s planner with the notation NV next to it. NV = NEPTUNE VENTURES! I GET IT! (For some reason this reminds me of when I was a kid and my Mum was reading me a story about Barbie solving a mystery of the case of the missing wedding dress or something and Mum raged because the clues were ridiculous. Heh heh. My Mum is awesome).

JB decides to pay a visit to said Marty Giles, whom you may remember from this episode (or from the future).

k2

He will. Promise.

Marty isn’t inclined to be of assistance to JB, and even less so when he hears the name Neptune Ventures. JB then escorts Grady to see Grimshaw at the IRS office, where Grimshaw declares that Grady is the mastermind behind a scheme to defraud the government out of millions of tax dollars.

Seriously though...

Seriously though…

Despite Grimshaw’s exhaustive interrogative techniques, Scrappy Doo Grady insists he knows nothing about Neptune Ventures.

Meanwhile, back at the office Lana Whitman informs Paul Carlisle that she wants to sell off her late husbands share in the business so she can move to Spain with her lover ZOLTAN. Carlisle tries to give her the brush off but she tells him that if he doesn’t agree to her terms she’ll take him to court and force him to open his books.

JB and Grady return to the office just in time to catch Lieutenant Henretty, who promptly takes Grady in for questioning. He asks Grady about his trips to the Cayman Islands and his nefarious deeds for the company (LOL) but Grady continues to swear that he knows nothing. (I think we can all agree that this is true). JB asks Henretty if they can go through the files one more time to try and find more information about Neptune Ventures.

Before that though, JB goes to see Marty Giles and comes down on him with a world of pain. He cracks, and tells her that he was being blackmailed into investing in Neptune Ventures or else he would be ratted out to the IRS for some of his more shady business dealings.

That night, Grady and JB are going through the files and getting nowhere. Grady, being the interminable failure we all know gives up halfway through, goes to splash water on his face and gets distracted walking the secretary to her subway station, leaving JB to stumble on to the file on her own. The Hammond File. Remember that time everyone in the episode was talking about the Hammond file?

As she’s realised what she’s discovered, the killer helpfully walks in to explain how he cocked up.

Surprised? Nah, me neither.

Surprised? Nah, me neither.

Ah yes. That shifty Carlisle stuffed up when he admitted to Grady the day after the killing that the Hammond file was in his office, when the previous day it had been in Whitman’s office and should have remained there since he was at the office alone. EXCEPT FOR WHEN CARLISLE CAME BACK AND KILLED HIM AND STOLE THE FILE.

Just as Whitman is about to strangle JB with the lamp cord, the friendly neighbourhood hobo ghost bursts out of the wall, hogties Whitman and then disappears. I’m not gonna lie, I like his style.

And there you have it. Grady remains the most useless human being on Earth and JB lives to write another day courtesy of a hobo ghost with a heart of gold.

On that note…

Later gang!

Later gang!

S02E11 – Murder Digs Deep

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After last weeks depressing episode I’m quite keen for something a little more upbeat, how about you Fletcherfans?  How does JESSICA FLETCHER AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM sound? If you answered “Unlikely” then you’re mostly right and clearly have a firmer grip on reality than I do.

Our Heroine is New Mexico, volunteering on an archaeological dig with her purely platonic friend Doc Hazzlitt (seriously, does anyone actually believe that?) being overseen by Gideon Armstrong, or as he’s better known, this guy:

You might know Robert Vaughn from The Man From U.N.C.L.E or his recent work on Coronation Street. Or, you’re like me and you know him from BASEketball and now you’re saying “I hear your Mom is going out with Squeak” and giggling to yourself.

Jess is there to help out, and to research a book. Although I think she may be having second thoughts…

EW.

Seth and JB aren’t the only schmucks out digging up bones in the desert. There’s Karen Parkes and Steve Gamble, two postgrad interns looking for extra credit (we’ve all been there, amirite?), their supervisor Doctor Steve Garfield who thinks they’re digging for a lost city of gold, fame-seeker Doctor Aubrey Benton who thinks he can make the most money if they find the lost city of gold, Raymond Twocrows, the expert on Native American stereotypes tribes, and Gideon’s newest model wife Cynthia.

Later that night when they are all sitting around eating dinner they are rudely interrupted by a Native American standing on the hill above them, dancing and chanting. Karen informs JB that he appears at the same time every night, trying to scare them away from the dig, but by the time the guards get up to him he is gone. Forget Indiana Jones, this episode is a Great Dane away from becoming an episode of Scooby Doo.

The next morning Seth decides to get the jump on JB (heh heh) and does a little detecting of his own by asking Raymond what Anasasi means and where he was when the Ghostly Spectre of Doom. Raymond responds with “The Great Builders”  and with skulking off, which are both incorrect answers. JB has no time to scold Seth for stepping on her sleuthing territory, she’s just uncovered a – thing. Honestly, I’m not sure what it is, lets call it the Panflute of Destiny, based on the music when she finds it. Oh, it’s not a pan flute, its a prayer stick. Anyway, Doctor Garfield and Doctor Benton are beside themselves, Gideon is more concerned with how much he can make from it.

It’s a very subdued dinner that evening, despite JB showing everyone how to find things in the ground like a boss. The Ghostly Spectre of Doom appears right on time for his nightly performance, which a drunk Cynthia Armstrong takes exception to, and so decides to bring the curtains down on the whole thing by shooting at him. Much to everyone’s surprise, she actually hits and he falls out of view. They run to the scene and find the body of Raymond Twocrows. Awkward. Seth helpfully points out that Raymond wasn’t shot, but  presumably died after falling from the top of the hill.

Gideon calls an emergency dig meeting, to try and put aside any vicious nasty rumours about his wife killing Raymond accidentally or otherwise. To get them on-side he offers them all a share in any profits made from the treasure they dig up. SMOOTH MOVE GIDEON! When Doctor Benton goes to radio for the police, however, Gideon gently removes the plug. He doesn’t want reporters crawling over the site until they have something to show them that isn’t a corpse.

The following morning JB and Seth team up for a little sededuction which I will reenact with some helpful screenshots:

f2

g2

j2

h1

After that little reenactment (that amused me way more than it ought to), JB sends Seth off to look at the body again, since clearly he didn’t die from falling three feet, while Our Heroine has breakfast with Doctor Benton to suss out some information on Raymond. She has little luck – it turns out Gideon hired him, not Benton, who has an indecent proposal of his own – he would like JB to ghost write his memoirs.

Direct quote: “I’m speechless”

JB runs into Seth back at the dig, and he has news: Raymond didn’t die from falling , he died from drowning. Which, in a desert, makes him either very unlucky or an extra in an episode of CSI I remember.

Jess reacts well to this news:

You’re welcome!

Jess bets Seth that the police haven’t been called, and decide to drive into town themselves but are thwarted by Armstrong’s minions who tell them that Armstrong has ordered that no one is to leave the site.  When they go to confront him about it he brushes them off, but is surprised to hear that Raymond drowned and that the fall was staged. He tells them he was with Doctor Benton at the time, but is interrupted by Doctor Garfield rushing in to announce they’ve found more gold.

JB has a quiet word with Doctor Benton and he finally admits that he wasn’t with Armstrong. A search of Raymond’s belongings reveals books on Native Americans borrowed by Raymond DeMarco – “One of those Indians from Naples!’ says Seth – from the same university where Karen and Steve study and Doctor Garfield teaches. They also find Raymond’s boots covered in mud, giving Jess an idea. She hightails it out of the tent, followed by a very confused Seth, and heads out into the desert. While Seth pontificates on the existence of tumbleweeds, JB disappears. Seth finds a cave entrance and goes in, hesitantly calling Jess’s name. Suddenly he hears Native American chanting.

m2n2

o2

So…the Ghostly Spectre of Doom was really a tape player, eh? Not only have they found where Raymond was murdered, but they also find crates of Native American artefacts from the university. Say what? Don’t panic, Our Heroine is starting to figure it out…

Back at camp JB overhears Karen and Steve fighting. It turns out Karen was trying to get away from Armstrong at the same time his wife was taking potshots at the “ghost”. JB goes to see Armstrong and brings him to the dig site to prove her point. He’s been “flim-flammed”. (Life Lesson #41 – People aren’t conned, they’re flim-flammed). The artefacts were put there to be found, to jack up the price of the land that Armstrong was hoping to buy before anyone else could find out what he’d found.

But by who?

To be fair, the hair was a bit suspicious...

To be fair, the hair was a bit suspicious…

Turns out Cynthia killed Raymond after he threatened to expose her little plan to bleed her husband dry. Fortunately for her she had Doctor Garfield to help her drag the body up the cliff, dress up as the Ghoulish Ghost of Doom and then throw Raymond off the cliff. And they would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for them meddling kids.

And by meddling kids…

Later gang!

Later gang!