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S12E03 – The Secret of Gila Junction

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Welcome to Gila Junction Arizona Fletcherfans, where apparently nothing ever happens except that’s a total lie because there’s a Masked Bandit roaming the desert and he’s just held up a poker game.

Also that an extremely lying lie a) a car just got shot off the road and b) the Queen is in town for a visit.

*tumbleweed, low key country music etc etc*

After being brushed off by the local man-who-fell-down-a-hole-as-a-boy-and-was-never-the-same-again aka Tiny Kerns, Jess meets the Sheriff who is also the town gas station attendant and explains her friend Norma Shey was supposed to meet her but hasn’t shown up. Sheriff Spencer, who has no need for a surname, tells her Norma probably got distracted on the kiln, but let’s go give her a call. There’s no answer but soon another call comes in – someone has found Norma’s car out in the desert but there’s no one inside.  They head out into the desert to see what’s up, and JB explains she’s not worried. Norma was once a prisoner of the Vietcong for a day before escaping – she was an AP reporter and could get out of any tight spot.

Meanwhile, over at the general store, local douchebag, Whitey Deaver, returns home to berate his wife Marge for not having a clean shirt ready for him so she takes off to meet her secret boyfriend Pete Menteer. She’s mad at him because he wasn’t around last night but he was apparently winning big at a craps game. He tries to give her some of his winnings but she won’t take it and they start making out instead. Tiny spots them and runs away, and Marge is worried word will get back to Whitey. Pete tells her not to worry about it, Tiny listens to him. Marge is sick of Gila Junction and wants to bail on it all but Pete says soon. Marge threatens to go without him, but in the short term goes to see her dad Cal Harding, bartender at the Grand Hotel, to mope. He feels bad about it all, but he’s got money problems of his own.

Over at the reception, Native American George Creech is checking in, a government employee sent to survey the road north of town for some potential widening. Pete manages to work in several mostly racist jokes including “How! Long you going to be in town?”

Classic early 90s racism.

“As long as it takes,” says George., and then snarls “You got a problem with that Pilgrim?”

“Who does he think he is?” Pete mumbles to himself as George walks off. Tiny wanders in to show Pete a banknote he found while he was digging for long lost treasure (TRAYSURE!) in the desert. Pete tells him the banknote is too new to be from Tiny’s mythical thirty-year-old treasure horde he apparently found when he fell down a hole and takes the banknote for safekeeping. Douchebag. Upstairs, George Creech studies a map for a while, circles Gila Junction and then tucks a gun into his pocket. This road must be intense.

Out in the desert, Spencer and his fiance Dena Harding (Fisheries and Wildlife employee, sister of Marge, daughter of Cal, oh god I sound like my mother), investigate the car. Dena explains she drove past, saw the footprints but lost the tracks in the hills. Jessica spots a bullet hole in the car tyre but before she can say anything a car rolls up containing Norma. “Looks like you called it, Mrs Fletcher!” Spencer says.

The look on her face needs to be bottled immediately.

Norma hobbles out of the car and is super apologetic, she got distracted looking at the scenery and went straight into a ditch. Jessica tries to mention the bullet hole but Norma shushes her. Back at Norma’s, JB gets a tour of her pottery studio but is more interested in who is taking potshots at her friend. Norma is convinced that there are shady shenanigans happening at the old army base on the outskirts of town, locals being poisoned, long abandoned chemical warfare research etc but she can’t get a straight answer out of anybody. Jess tells her it sounds serious, and she’s happy to stick around a few days and help run errands and cook and things but Norma wants JB’s help on the research. JB says OH HELL NO, so Norma says fine, she’ll do it herself, and starts to limp over to her desk. UGH FINE I’LL HELP, says Jess.

Unrelated but Charlie Sheen is doing an ad for an Australian car repair chain and it is so stupid.

Out in the desert, George Creech finds a car hidden away in a shed with some red dust on it. He is pleased with this. I think the road widening thing might have been a lie, you guys.

That night the entire town adjourns to the Grand Hotel (a situation I can relate to). Dena Harding gets a letter with a promotion and a job offer up near Seattle. Norma tells Cal she’s put Jessica to work but also she’s not going to move in. Cal’s creditor wanders in to assess the place, having decided Cal’s never going to find the money to keep himself afloat. Whitey wanders past Pete flunk out of his pinball game and declares “That’s what happens when you cheat, buddy boy!”

Outside, George finds some familiar red dust on Pete’s motorbike, while over the general store Tiny explains the Entire History of his Traysure hunt to JB. Whitey orders him back to work and then chats to JB about his army days until she starts asking him about being stationed at Fort Rosalyn, the old army base outside of town. He very swiftly hands over her change and tells her to have a nice day.

She sees you when you’re sleeping, she knows when you’re awake…

Back at the hotel, Cal warns Pete to stay away from his daughter, to which Pete asks which one. George Creech wanders in and Pete says “We’ve got a thirsty Native American! Or maybe we can’t sell firewater to redskins?” WAY TO BE A DICK PETE. George gives him a look and asks Cal for change for the jukebox and a glass of merlot, which presumably was also meant to be funny?

Out in the hallway, Spencer is begging Dena to let him come with her to Seattle but he just needs to sell the gas station. Pete wanders past and congratulates her on her new job and Spencer death stares him into oblivion. Later, George gets on the phone and tells his boss that things are progressing and he should be able to terminate matters in the next couple of days. Yeah, I really don’t think he’s terminating the road.

Later that evening Pete meets Marge out in the desert and tells her he can’t see her that night, he’s got things to take care of. She thinks he’s taking up with Dena again but he swears he isn’t and drives off into the sunset. Cue another crane shot.

Norma is very pleased with JB’s sleuth work that Whitey was connected to the old base. Jess thinks there’s something about Tiny’s story worth investigating but Norma has no time for that and has drawn up a plan of attack for tomorrow. Jess begs off and heads to bed. Norma receives a fax, and takes off into the night, just as Jess comes back to ask to borrow a thing.

The next day Tiny continues the Great Treasure Hunt when at last, success!

SO MUCH TRAYSURE

Tiny finds a suitcase full of cash dollars and receives a whack on the head from Whitey for his trouble. But things don’t end up too great for Whitey either because THE FIRST RULE OF THERMODYNAMICS IS DON’T BRING A KNIFE TO A GUNFIGHT*

Make a noise and make it clear = gunshot. Look I made myself laugh and I’m not going to lie I needed it.

 

*This might not be true, I’m not a doctor.

Gas Station Spencer swaps hats and starts investigating, but Tiny can’t tell him much – he found the treasure, got whacked and woke up with George Creech standing over him. George explains to JB that he was heading up to his survey site when he saw the pickup trucks and wondered if they needed help. The doctor informs them that it was most likely Whitey was killed by his own knife after struggling with his attacker. Spencer asks him if he’ll do tests, DNA that sort of thing and the doctor witheringly says, of course, Spencer, it’s standard procedure.

Spencer is not dealing with the pressure of murder in town but JB tells him he’s doing fine and she should know. It turns out Tiny hasn’t found his traysure, the banknotes are too new, but Jess thinks they’re onto the loot of the Truckstop bandit. They find a balaclava underneath the suitcase – it has a name tag stitched into it, it’s Whiteys. Whitey is the Truckstop Bandit. As they realise this, Marge drives up wanting to know if Whitey’s okay.

Back at the hotel, George calls his boss – one of the victims of the Truckstop Bandit at the poker game, who was relieved of his pinkie ring. George tells him about the murder, and they argue. Downstairs Pete eavesdrops on the whole thing. Over at Norma’s JB decides to review the incoming fax log, while Norma visits Cal at the bar and wants to know where he was the previous night. He tells her he drove out into the desert, sad that his daughter would be moving away – he didn’t know Norma would be coming over. She tells him she was coming over to tell him what JB has just discovered via the wonders of fax – there’s no such employee as George Creech at the roads department.  DUN DUN. Jess noticed that pesky red dust on George’s pickup truck matches the colour of the clay Norma uses and Spencer tells her that can only come from one place, near the army base. He’s on it.

Over at the general store, Marge and Pete talk it out – Marge thinks Pete killed Whitey and wants her cut of the money, but Pete tells her she’s a great girl but no. They argue, Pete storms out, Marge is furious.

JB decides to investigate George’s room but is forced into the closet when he returns unexpectedly.

Cunning plan is cunning.

Except he spots her.

Missed it by that much.

Spencer arrives to save the day but there’s no need – George is a private detective on the hunt for the Truckstop Bandit so he can retrieve his client’s ring, among other things presumably. It turns out he’s already spotted the ring – on Marge’s ring finger.

Over at the general store Marge tells them she found the ring among Whitey’s things with a big wad of cash but she still can’t believe he’s the bandit. Cal thinks it’s ironic that after all the risks Whitey took he didn’t get away with it. Marge agrees, saying all he managed to get was a pinky ring. Jess spots a gun on the wall and thinks it might be the gun that fired the warning shot before Whitey was murdered. Spencer later catches Pete about to leave town with a saddlebag full of money, which he confiscates.

Norma wants to get back to the coverup at the army base, but Jess has bad news on that front too – the only scandal to occur at the base was a payroll robbery that remains unsolved. Jess thinks Tiny found the money, then the thieves moved it and he’s been looking for it ever since. Norma gives up, but her clay covered hands give Jess an idea and she gives George a ring. She thinks she knows who the real Truckstop Bandit is.

Sure enough, she heads down to the general store and gets a confession.

GODDAMNIT MARGE

I must admit my estimation of Marge has gone up with this news. Jess tells her that only the bandit could have known that the stolen ring was a pinkie ring, not a regular ring (long bow, but I’ll allow it).  Marge admits to everything but swears she didn’t kill Whitey. Jessica agrees when she opens the blind. She knows exactly who it was and it’s all thanks to a twisted cord and a twisted seatbelt.

Part time sheriff, full-time killer. Coming soon to a theatre near you, if you’re unlucky.

Spencer, hot on Whitey’s tail, followed him to the desert, killed Whitey when he attacked him, and then took the money in the hope he could leave town with Dena.

And with that, Jessica gets back on the bus but not before the driver asks her if he was right about nothing ever happening in Gila Junction.

Later gang!

S11E13 – Death ‘N Denial

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Salaam-Alaikum!  Welcome to Agrabah, city of mystery, of enchantment. AndthefinestmerchandisethissideoftheriverJordanonsaletoday! Come on down!

Guys I haven’t had a lot of sleep. Fair warning.

Jessica is rolling on into Cairo (something I’m very jealous about – I’ve never been to Egypt but I’ve spent most of my life living in denial about something, boom tish), theoretically to help coordinate the cultural exchange between the Cairo Museum and her museum in New York that she helped found/is overlord of. In actual fact, her travel is being used as a cover for Egyptologist Sally Otterburn to smuggle what turns out to be a real artefact back into Cairo at the request of Museum Director Sherif Faris. He’s not the only person interested in its arrival though – a man named Rudy Grimes bugs Sally’s conversation and then calls his employer Bradford Thorpe know that the artefact has turned up. Bradford quickly covers up his excitement when his wife Vanessa walks in and claims that someone has lined up a racehorse for him and it’s a bargain.

Speaking of racehorses there is a horse called Jon Snow AND a horse called Nights Watch running in the Caulfield Cup today, if they don’t come first and second I’m going to start a riot

Jess steps off the plane and immediately starts her charm offensive, greeting her driver with a “As-Salaam-Alaikum”

She’s charming in every language

 

I know this was funny in 1994, but enough.

Jess nails her Arabic so well that the driver starts speaking in Arabic and she asks Sally to explain she ain’t that good (she is though) but guys it’s okay, the driver (whose name is Naser Muhammad Hasan) used to be a cab driver in Manhattan.

I like this episode already.

Just as Jessica spots their luggage Frank Rick Rudy Grimes snatches a bag off Sally’s shoulder and legs it. Unfortunately for him, he grabbed Jessica’s bag, not Sally’s. While they wait for security Sally calls the museum to find out why Sherif wasn’t there to meet them at the airport but he carefully tells her there was an unexpected visit from the minister of culture. Sally explains what happened and says she will bring the statuette around straight away and he tells her no, he’ll call her later.

Inspector Omar Halim is summoned to take a report on the theft, and immediately refers to JB as PD James.

I wonder if PD James ever did versions of Dave Chapelle’s ‘I’m Rick James bitch!’ bit, but with her name. I choose to believe yes.

Omar has just flown in from Luxor and is curious about the theft. Sally explains the purpose of the trip and Omar is not thrilled about the “cultural exchange”, but promises to make sure the report of the theft does not get lost.

Frank Rick Rudy Grimes breaks the bad news to Bradford that he swiped the wrong bag from the airport. Bradford is furious but Rudy says he can still get it. Vanessa comes home and they quickly turn the conversation to racehorses. Vanessa is seeing through the bullshit though and tells Bradford he should find a less dodgy business partner.

Jess checks into the Hotel Osiris at Sally’s suggestion and heads to her room to make calls while Sally flirts away with the hotel owner Boyd Venton.  Naser asks JB for her help getting his American visa approved so that he can get back to his fiance. Meanwhile, Bradford has a meeting with his loan shark Trevor Han, who tells him if he doesn’t deliver the statue by tomorrow, he will foreclose Bradford’s wife. Unable to get hold of Sherif, Sally stashes the statuette in the closet.

Cut to panoramic footage of Egypt, which is all rather lovely of course. Bradford goes to meet his mistress Seven of Nine, who doesn’t seem to be that enthused with his gift of plane tickets to Rome. Frank Rick Rudy Grimes has another crack at the statue while Sally is in the shower. She busts him just as he’s leaving her hotel room but he gets away. Jessica is flummoxed that the same man who stole her bag would return, and Sally explains what was in the bag.

It has become clear to JB that she was used as an excuse to smuggle the real artefact into Cairo to replace the fake one (which apparently was in the museum to cover up the real one’s theft two years earlier). Also, JB is pissed.

This will not stand

Sherif arrives and immediately puts all the blame on Sally, but refuses to go to the police and threatens to pin the whole thing on Sally if they do. What a top bloke.

At a gala at the museum that night, Jessica wanders the exhibition and gets to Fletchsplain a bit of Egyptian history to Vanessa Thorpe, who it turns out was competing for the old department store that JB got turned into a museum. Jess and Sally are introduced to Trevor Han, who Jess later sees fighting with Bradford Thorpe.

Sidenote: the storylines may have been up and down this season but FARSHUN IS FOREVA

Outfit 10/10

Bradford gets a phone call from Rudy telling him the jig is up, and that he couldn’t find the statue. Bradford wants him to break into the museum to retrieve it if it’s true that Sherif has already got it, but Rudy says soz mate and hangs up. It turns out Vanessa has put him up to it and pays him 50K to not give the statuette to her husband.

Boyd Venton goes to see Rudy at home/break into his apartment, but Rudy pulls a gun on him first. Turns out they are both ex-CIA because of course they are. Boyd wants to know where the statuette is but Rudy tells him to jog on.

The next day Jess is down looking at mugshots to see if she can identify the bag thief.  She sees Rudy’s mug shot and pretends not to recognise him but Omar is not fooled. Meanwhile, Sally and Boyd rekindle whatever thing they had going on before she went back to New York and he explains the whole CIA thing.

Rudy meets Seven of Nine (or Maura if you want to get technical about it) and we discover that her relationship with Bradford was bankrolled by Rudy. Maura wants more money but Rudy isn’t having a bar of it. She storms out and he gets a phone call from someone wanting to meet him.

Apparently, the meeting is to take place at the Hotel Osiris, and so Rudy wanders into the lobby and over to the elevator. Naser the driver recognises him and sets off in pursuit. Upstairs, Jessica calls an elevator and is rather startled when one arrives with Rudy’s corpse in it. Inspector Omar is called to the scene and calls everyone on their bullshit (honestly, this is the first cop who has his business sorted in a while). Jessica, Sally and Sherif explain the situation and Omar decides the killer had to have shot Rudy as he went into the elevator, or came out on the third floor.

“Unless the elevator stopped on the second!” Jess says helpfully. Omar decides he wants to talk to Naser the driver again.

Over at House Thorpe Bradford discovers Vanessa has her bags packed. She’s not leaving him though, they are both leaving Cairo and she has a few rules going forward, particularly about young women called Maura and getting loans from loan sharks like Trevor Han.

Back at the Hotel Osiris Jess tells Naser that her friend is looking into his immigration case, and then get Sally to help test her theory that it was possible someone could have beaten the elevator to the second floor and shot Rudy. Boyd wanders past and confesses to Jessica that he did know Rudy – Boyd wasn’t CIA after all but used to work for Rudy back in the day doing shady stuff. Boyd went to see him because he figured if there was money involved so would Rudy be. Jess sees merit in this and thinks she knows where the money was coming from, but a visit to Vanessa and Bradford doesn’t provide much information. Or does it?

Jess heads down to Rudy’s local cafe haunt, where he would have his mail sent to. She tells Naser to tell the owner she’s Rudy’s mother – and ends up with a plate of Egyptian stew to eat, along with Rudy’s mail. According to the local custom, Jess can’t leave the table until the plate is clean.

Life Lesson #74: NEVER TURN DOWN AN EATING CHALLENGE

Following the clue she found at the cafe, Jess retrieves the bag with the statuette at the hotel, just as Omar appears. He takes it off her, confirms the statue is inside and promptly arrests Naser Hasan.

Jess doesn’t believe Naser is involved for a second, and a chance discovery of a missing cufflink at the police station gives her an idea about who the killer might be. She plants a trap and waits for it to spring shut.

Or something like that.

She’s no Salome Otterbourne.

It turns out the statuette wasn’t her main goal – she was so upset about Rudy holding Boyd’s past over him that she took matters into her own hands, bless her.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Naser got his green card and will soon be on his way to America, and as a result, Jessica will never have to wait for a cab again.

Worth it.

Later gang!

S11E06 – The Murder Channel

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Back in New York Fletcherfans, and sadly back in the frosty Melbourne winter, Cairns does winter properly and is 25 degrees basically every day and is terribly civilized.

Anyway, while some sort of bank robber named Roy Phipps gets lie detected by a cop, JB is hosting a meeting of the Museum nomination committee, where they are debating who suggest putting on the board. Gwen Noble wants to go after the money and calls for a vote but JB suggests a prominent female archaeologist.

Gwen does not like having her authority challenged.

It’s a sass-off. It’s a sass-off.

Business concluded, the committee breaks up. Gwen notices Jess’s bracelet is broken and tells her to bring it to the store to be fixed. She gets a page to call her plumber, who is revealed to be the aforementioned bank robber dude Roy Phipps and clearly up to something other than pipe cleaning. Meanwhile, Mike from Twin Peaks arrives to fix JB’s cable.

Over at Gwen’s store, head jeweller Augie Grumbacher explains his job to receptionist Darlene Farber while a singing telegram turns up to congratulate Barry Noble on winning Jeweller of the Year. (Sidenote, to this day the singing telegram remains my favourite part of Clue). While she busts her funky lyrics, the singing telegram also covertly takes photos of Barry’s safe. Gwen arrives just in time and gives her husband a kiss, much to the chagrin of Darlene Farber. It’s all happening at the store you guys.

The singing telegram, whose name it turns out is Kitty Colfax, goes to get her safe photos developed and bumps into old flame and recent parolee Leo Kositchek. Leo’s been looking for his old partner Roy who was meant to be holding money for him but apparently, the money wasn’t there, and there’s no work to be had either. Leo tells Kitty to drop by his new job (selling alarm systems #lol) and see him some time.

Coincidentally enough, Kitty’s mother Leah is also JB’s favourite supermarket worker.

True enough.

Kitty is borrowing her mother’s apartment to host an AA meeting – she’s been in AA for six months. Somehow I think part of this statement is not true. Kitty wanders off, Jessica pays for her goodies and as she leaves, bumps into Lieutenant Giordano who actually wants to talk to Leah about the last time she saw her daughter. Leah tells him not for a while, and to get his hands off her peaches. Not code.

Kitty goes into the apartment building to prepare for the meeting, eagerly observed by Leo. He follows her inside and breaks into a room where the cable TV links all are. He pops a videotape in to record and scarpers out – just as the building super, Mike from Twin Peaks arrives (his name in his is Rob McKenzie apparently) to steal some cable for his girlfriend Susan for her birthday.

YOU GUYS THIS IS ALL GOING DOWN IN JB’S BUILDING WHAT WERE THE ODDS OF THAT.

Rob goes to demonstrate his gift for Susan, who is worried he’s going to get busted, but can’t wait to watch some cable once her nursing exams finish. Rob flicks through the channels to demonstrate his gift:

Classic mid 90s technology plotline. #hackthemainframe

Down at Kitty’s, Roy arrives with a couple of six packs, all set to discuss the heist. Kitty tells him about bumping into Leo and wishes they could have included him in their plans. Roy loses it, slams his beer down on the table and tells her to forget Leo, she’s his girl now. Leo’s old news.

Leo, unaware of this fact, continues his stakeout of the apartment.

That night, everyone gathers in Susan’s apartment to celebrate her birthday. Rob shows off the cable to JB, and they spend some time watching the ‘heist’ movie that is apparently on TV.

It’s not very well directed, says JB.

#ThingsI’veSaidWatchingThisShow

Through a series of AMAZING EVENTS, JB manages not to spot Kitty on the live feed. Susan summons them all to dinner and the tv is switched off.

Later that night, Kitty and Roy hide the evidence of their meeting and wander off into the night. Their co-conspirators leave too – one crosses the road and is immediately run down by Leo in his car.

Down at the jewellery store the next day Jess takes her bracelet in to be fixed. Augie shows off what he’s been working on – a big fat diamond from Sierra Leone. Gwen takes a call from Zurich for Augie, but he tells whoever is on the phone that he’ll call them back. They go to see Barry but he comes bursting out of his office with Darlene, giggling like a schoolboy.

Jesus Barry.

Gwen tells JB she’ll catch up with her later to discuss museum things. Barry returns JB’s bracelet, nicely restored and she goes on her way. Gwen puts a call in to Roy and tells him they need to meet in an hour in the usual place.

Roy has a coffee with Leo, pays him back for the last job Leo took the fall for and offers him in on his new scheme now that his tech guy is in the hospital after a hit and run. Leo is interested, but won’t do it for less than 50-50 of Roy’s cut. Kitty goes to get her mum’s key for the apartment, saying she’s meeting with her sponsor. Leah confides in JB that she’s worried Kitty is drinking again. JB pops around to Susan’s for another look at this mysterious TV show but when they turn it on the room is empty. Susan tells JB that one of the actors was brought into ICU after a hit and run, and the guy who played the boss came to see him that morning.

JB thinks the whole thing is suss and goes to see Lieutenant Giordano who thinks she’s stark raving until she spots Roy Phips photo on his desk. Back in the cable room Leo finds the cable splitter sending the feed up to Susan’s apartment. JB calls Susan who tells her the show is still running and a new character has just been shot (spoiler alert, it’s Gwen Noble). Jess tells her it’s not a real show and that police are on their way. Just then, there’s a knock at the door. Susan assumes it’s the police and goes to answer it. It’s Leo, ordering her to come with him.

Rob is contrite that he was bootlegging the cable TV from downstairs (blessed were the days before torrenting) but confirms someone had tampered with the cable. He thinks the source is 3E, and Jessica has a pretty good idea who will answer the door in 3E.

I’m assuming she thinks it will be Kitty, but it’s Leah.

Side note:

I am notoriously bad at noticing this stuff, so well done me.

Leah has only just arrived and knows nothing. She and Jessica spot stains on the floor that look suspiciously blood-like but might be olive oil, but there’s no body. Rob finds the camera and Lieutenant Giordano tells him not to touch it. There’s no sign of Kitty or Susan.

That night, with Susan in the back of the car, Kitty and Roy head to the jewellery store, each thinking the other killed Gwen. Down at the Noble jewellery store, Barry and Augie are just packing up for the night when Jessica calls looking for Gwen. Barry figures she’s just stuck in traffic but is on her way. He departs with Darlene, Augie and the security guard head their separate ways.

As Barry’s car rolls out, Roy tells Leo to get to work. He hacks the alarm and they head inside with Roy’s sidekick Axel Dorsey. Meanwhile, Jessica calls the lieutenant for an update but there’s not much to tell – they’ve identified who’s involved but not where they are breaking in. Jess suddenly has an idea about that, and about the blood they found on the carpet.

Down at the jewellery store things are taking longer than anticipated. Kitty freaks out and releases Susan. Roy and Axel finally crack the safe open when the lights come on and they hear guns being cocked. Lieutenant Giordano thanks Jessica for noticing the jewellery store logo on the TV feed and arrests them all. Susan rushes in to tell JB that Kitty freed her but they were going to kill her.

The next day Lieutenant Giordano calls JB to tell her it’s neatly tied up but JB’s not so sure and heads to the precinct to explain why.

Turns out…

Surprise!

Augie the diamond cutter was in on on the robbery and decided to double cross them all. When Gwen found out (via that call he got at the store) she threatened to expose him so he killed her. Jess worked it out because Augie used olive oil on his machines, and he had it on his shoes when he killed Gwen apparently.

And so, Jess goes on into the day, still with broken cable. Shoutout to my fellow Australians – as the saying goes, another prime minister ousted, check your smoke detectors. Sigh.

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S05E06 – Wearing Of The Green

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Our Heroine is down in NYC this week Fletcherfans, at the store of Blackthorn and Sons, hoping to gain inspiration for her next book but instead getting the time-proven comedy routine of Laszlo and Stavros that involves smashing a fake diamond with a hammer and a lot of yelling.

Classic Laszlo

Classic Laszlo

Jess meets the company’s designer, Andrea Dean, but as yet has not met the son of Blackthorn, Hudson Blackthorn, who is tied up in a meeting with his store manager Diane Raymond and his head of security Leo Selkirk about the Queen of Tara Tiara and promises to meet her for dinner that night. It would seem all is not well in House Blackthorn, Diane is in love with Hudson and is worried that Andrea might be stepping on her turf. That old story.

Over dinner Hudson tells JB about his staff, but isn’t too eager to talk about himself. He’s relieved when JB tells him she wants to see the vaults but that Leo was hesitant to let her in without written permission. Hudson and Jess return to the store, Hudson shows off his state of the art 1980s technology but as they get to the vault, and meet the night guard Mr Wilson, the alarm goes off and there’s a loud bang, They rush to the front of the store and find the front door blown open, the Queen of Tara Tiara missing and an envelope full of cash in it’s place.

BOOM. HEIST TIME.

NYPD’s finest arrive in the form of Detectives Bess Stacey and Kathleen Chadwick (and the fact it’s taken til season 5 for there to be two female cops has not gone unnoticed). Chadwick confirms nothing else has been taken and Stacey struggles with fact that the missing item is called the Queen of Tara Tiara.

Fun fact: Detective Stacey on the left there is the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Fun fact: Detective Stacey on the left there is the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

JB has no time for this “you say tara I say tiara” routine and investigates the front door. She remarks that it’s odd that the door was blown out, like the explosion had occurred on the inside, not the outside, suggesting an inside job. Stacey and Chadwick go to interrogate the night guard Wilson who tells them he didn’t check every office and promptly collapses. This is all too much for Detective Stacey, who starts interrogating JB as to how long she’s been in town and just why she’s so interested in the vault.

To be fair, considering the body count she's racked up it's not unreasonable.

To be fair, considering the body count she’s racked up it’s not unreasonable.

JB is free to go – for now – and go she does. Hudson sends her back to the hotel but remains at the store. He’s soon joined by Diane and a pesky reporter by the name of Ken Parrish who has been lurking around the store trying to get more information about the Queen of Tara. Diane and Hudson adjourn inside where Hudson is horrified to learn that the tiara isn’t insured for its full worth. They’re joined by Leo Selkirk who fails at saying I told you so.

(Side note, the acting is pretty good in this episode).

The next morning JB is chowing down on some breakfast at the hotel cafe when Ken Parrish sits down at her table to pump her for information about the Tara Tiara. When she tells him she actually knows next to nothing about it he takes her around to the Siobhan O’Dea Theatre for a lesson in tiaras and recluses.

Are you ready kids? It’s story time.

In 1957 the screen sensation Siobhan O’Dea staged her final big show at the theatre that now bears her name in a show called The Fields of Tara, a play she comissioned herself since she believes she’s descended from the Ancient Kings of Tara. Which I assume means Ireland. At the closing night party she received the tiara as a gift from her then fiance, Winfield Sprock. Before he could become husband number 4, he choked to death on an oyster at the Empire Grill.

JB reacts to this news the same way I would.

Fact: Oysters Kilpatrick are an incredibly inefficient bacon delivery system.

Fact: Oysters Kilpatrick are an incredibly inefficient bacon delivery system.

After Winfield’s oyster-related demise, Siobhan’s career went into decline, and she sold the tiara to cover her mounting debts. She became a recluse and hasn’t been seen in public for 12 years.

JB thinks this is all well and good, but fails to understand how this has anything to do with her. And there’s the clincher – Ken can’t get in to see Siobhan, but he knows she’s a massive fan of JB, so if JB went to see Siobhan….

GODDAMN SHE'S FIERCE I WISH I WAS THAT FIERCE HOW DO I BE THAT FIERCE

GODDAMN SHE’S FIERCE I WISH I WAS THAT FIERCE HOW DO I BE THAT FIERCE

Not for nothing, but the actress who plays Siobhan O’Dea was pretty foxy in her time. Fun fact, she used to be married to Howard Hughes, and was a recluse for a time. I can only imagine how dinnertime was in that house.

Meanwhile all is not well in House Blackthorn and JB arrives at HQ just as Andrea Dean flounces out over a pay dispute. JB tells Hudson that she’s going back to Maine until everything calms down, but before she can take her leave there’s a phone call – Laszlo is missing and there’s no answer at his apartment.

Oh yeah, MURDER she wrote, not STOLEN she wrote.

Needless to say, Laszlo has in fact shuffled off his mortal coil and is now an ex-Laszlo. JB orders everyone out of the apartment but not before noticing a ceremonial knife holder on the wall (the contents of which now sticking out of Laszlo) and a picture of Laszlo with Siobhan O’Dea.

That plot sure thickened quickly.

JB goes down to the precinct to inform Stacey that she’s decided to go back to Maine, but Stacey is having her own crisis involving an out of work husband, a backed up sink, a son failing English and a partner that’s off seeing a shrink. “You ever have one of those days?” She asks JB.

I mean, there's GRADY for a start...

I mean, there’s GRADY for a start…

JB casually drops it into the conversation that Laszlo was found dead by herself, Hudson and Diane Raymond earlier that day. Stacey is a little sceptical that JB just happened to find Laszlo’s body but is interrupted by an anonymous caller telling her that she saw the killer – Ken Parrish. This lets JB off the hook, until her packing for Cabot Cove is interrupted by a lawyer from Parrish’s TV network. Ken Parrish is requesting her help to prove his innocence.

Never one to turn down a plea for help, JB goes to see Ken in prison. He tells her that yes he was at Laszlo’s apartment that night, noone saw him and he didn’t kill Laszlo.

It’s story time again.

Ken tells JB that he was sitting outside Siobhan’s apartment, trying to work out how to get in to see her when he spotted Laszlo going into the building carrying a brown paper bag that he swears contains the tiara. When Laszlo came out 10 minutes later without the brown paper bag Ken followed him home, parking illegally in the process. Ken went up to Laszlo’s apartment to talk to him but Laszlo wouldn’t let him in. Ken suspected someone else was in the apartment but he couldn’t say who.

Detective Stacey is less than impressed when JB tells her the story a short time later, but agrees that if JB goes into Siobhan’s apartment and finds something then she will investigate it.

JB pays Siobhan O’Dea, Havishaming it up in her apartment across the street from her theatre. JB spots the tiara amongst some mementos and Siobhan tells her Laszlo gave it to her as a present.

I'M READY FOR MY CLOSE UP MR DEMILLE man that's a good movie though I haven't watched that in ages

I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE UP MR DEMILLE man that’s a good movie though I haven’t watched that in ages

Back at the precinct Stacey is contemplating increasingly ridiculous theories about how the Queen of Tara stole the Queen of Tiara Taras when Chadwick gets a call. It turns out, the Queen of Tara Tiara is a Fake-ara. Ye Gods, I’m cracking up.

Hudson of House Blackthorn confirms the diagnosis but is perplexed – where’s the real one? Stacey accuses him of stashing it but he asks what would the point be, since the insurance didn’t cover the whole amount. JB decides that Laszlo made the copy and left the envelope full of cash to cover the cost of the gold and jewels he used to make the copy. That’s fine, says Hudson, but there’s no way Laszlo made the copy, he didn’t have the expertise.

Which can only mean one thing.

Shoutout to all the Walking Dead fans out there.

Shoutout to all the Walking Dead fans out there.

In her defence (?) it was an accident. She was trying to get the Tara Tiara Tara Tiara back from Laszlo and they fought and so on and so forth and if I never write the word Tara Tiara again I will be a very happy little hobbit.

Until next time

TARA TIARA TO YOU MY FRIENDS

TARA TIARA TO YOU MY FRIENDS