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S05E09 – Something Borrowed, Someone Blue

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You guys! WE’RE INVITED TO A WEDDING!

Weddings! I love weddings! Drinks all around! (Captain Jack Sparrow is my spirit guide)

Nothing says romance like Fishkill.

Oh wait a minute. Here’s the bride and groom:

I take it back I'm not coming I'm washing my hair

I take it back I’m not coming I’m washing my hair

Preparations are in full swing for the wedding of the millenium, and Jess has arrived to be the voice of sanity in all the chaos, and also to insist that Donna and Grady open her present right away.

All the better for taking a good hard look at yourself Grady

All the better for taking a good hard look at yourself Grady

JB’s gift to them is the mirror she got from her  mother on her wedding day. She tells them she thought they’d need something old, and it also brought great luck to Frank and her.

Dammit Grady!

Dammit Grady!

Donna is whisked away by her mother Maisie to prepare for the rehearsal. Grady reminds her that he might need to attend that too and Maisie agrees, but says she wishes she would stop seeing Wilfred down the end of the aisle. Wilfred, it turns out, is Donna’s childhood sweetheart and the man Donna’s parents still wish she would marry. Gotta admit, I kind of feel bad for Grady a bit.

A BIT.

Jess is joined by the housekeeper, Harriet, and it was bugging me for ages that I recognised her voice but IMDB solved the case.

Berta from Two and a Half Men, a show once loved by my Grandma #weird

Berta from Two and a Half Men, a show once loved by my Grandma #weird

Harriet scolds Jess for attempting to put her suitcase on the bed, and tells her there will be hell to pay if she doesn’t sharpen her pencils over the bin.

Later that night the family sits down to  the dinner table, joined by Donna’s Uncle Ben who is precisely the type of uncle you are imagining right now. He spends a good amount of time winking salaciously at Jessica, who asks him what he does for a living but the answer is quickly cut off by Donna’s father quizzing Grady on accounting practices. Thug life.

Ben excuses himself, saying he needs ice to cool down his hot blood, “you know what I mean Jessica?”

She is so badass.

She is so badass.

In the kitchen, Ben has a fondle of Harriet’s backside. Harriet reacts appropriately.

*insert Charlie Sheen joke here*

*insert Charlie Sheen joke here*

The doorbell rings and they are soon joined by Maisie’s brother Ziggy Stardust and his new wife Valerie. Some dramatic tension gets thrown about when it seems like Harriet and Valerie recognise each other but the moment passes and Jess shows them to their rooms on account of Harriet going off to abuse a soup tureen probably. Later that night, Jess is chillaxing with a book when she is interrupted first by Uncle Ben on the prowl (after her or Valerie, I think the phrase is ‘any port in a storm’), and then by Grady and Donna who aren’t coping with anything but specifically Donna’s parents.

The next morning, chaos sets in early. Harriet picks a fight with the wedding caterer, and Ben decides it would be a good idea to slap Jessica’s bum as she walks past to see Donna’s father in his office.

Isn't it great that now women aren't treated as objects oh wait...

Isn’t it great that nowadays women aren’t treated as objects oh wait…

Jess goes in to try and spruik her nephew’s fine qualities to Donna’s father, (may the force be with her on that) but Maisie interrupts them to announce that the caterer is threatening to walk out as Harriet won’t let him in the kitchen and now Harriet has disappeared. Jess volunteers to help Maisie look for her, but is unaware of the situation in the bushes just next to her.

Just so we're clear, Harriet is facedown in the  petunias.

Just so we’re clear, Harriet is facedown in the petunias.

While the Hunt for Red October Harriet continues, Ben attempts to coach Ziggy in marital harmony but is distracted by the arrival of the waitresses. Jess meets Cousin Clara, who is very keen to get hold of some food. Grady sneaks into Donna’s bedroom to tell her he’s not taking the job at her father’s firm, and that they definitely shouldn’t move in next door in the house the Mayberry’s bought them as a wedding present. Grady goes to confront Donna’s father, gets nowhere, and whinges to Jess that maybe Donna should be with Wilfred, since their wedding appears to be cursed. “Nonsense” says Jess. “What could possibly go wrong?”

Now I can’t really explain what happens next, but if you’ve seen it y0u know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t, there are sound effects involved that left me looking like this:

k2

In any case, the Chief of Police is called and makes the following discovery, not edited by me in any way.

l1 l2

Nailed it

Nailed it

I don’t even.

Slocum decides in 30 seconds that the culprit is a professional burglar, but his mind is blown when Jess gently explains to him that it would appear the wrapping paper from the present was placed in Harriet’s hand as an afterthought to cover up the motive of the crime. More importantly, the killer has to still be in the house as the guard told Jess earlier when she was looking for Harriet that no one had left the premises.

While the wedding guests are redirected to the open bar, Jess and Slocum begin the investigation. Jess shows Slocum where the meat thermometer was kept, and tells him that the killer can’t have been acquainted with the house since they didn’t know where the knives were kept and went for the handiest weapon. This probably means that the body was moved to buy time.

Slocum is on board so far.

Nailing it

Nailing it

Meanwhile, Donna and Grady’s attempts to talk to her father about their future are overshadowed by the arrival of Wilfred, the ex-boyfriend and shining light to the Mayberry parents.

Not so much any more.

*starts humming Born in the USA*

*starts humming Born in the USA*

Outside, Ben and Ziggy suddenly realise that neither of them have a cousin Clara. Jess goes in to investigate and discovers that Clara is in fact a wedding crasher.

Ugh you guys, lets cut to the chase because this episode is weird.

Mmmmkay

Mmmmkay

Turns out Valerie accidentally on purpose killed her ex husband, and Harriet was her maid, And honestly, whatever.

As Grady and Donna finally tie the knot, I think Jessica sums it up best.

I need to lie down.

I need to lie down.

S04E07 – If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Beverley

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This week Our Heroine is getting her hair done in a place that could accurately be described as my worst nightmare.

So. Much. Pink.

So. Much. Pink.

That delighted postman (previously seen as Lieutenant Casey in these two episodes) is George Tibbits, who delivers mail and New Hampshire lottery tickets which apparently pay out more than Maine ones. Jess confesses to having no luck gambling, but the other ladies are all up for it. If you know what I mean.

Hair did, JB goes off out into the world and runs into Seth, who is dropping his secretary off at the beauty parlour for her regular hair cut. Seth invites himself around to JB’s for dinner so he can cook a recipe he found in Frugal Cuisines of the World magazine. As they talk, they see Night Deputy Jonathan Martin pull up to collect his wife Audrey who immediately starts berating him for not letting her know he was out the front and for suggesting they go and get icecream. Seth comments that he wouldn’t wish the job of night deputy on his worst enemy…or the wife.

That night, Audrey pins her lottery ticket up on the corkboard, puts last week’s ticket in the losers box, abuses her husband for being a failure of life and bursts into tears when he gives her roses because Charlie Wilson used to give her gardenias and she should have married Charlie Wilson and she should have stayed in Boston. Pretty sure your husband agrees with you love.

Meanwhile over at Casa de JB, Seth is whipping up a culinary frenzy, despite Jessica’s scepticism and memories of the Chicken Veronique that resulted in a mild case of food poisoning. Just as Seth is putting the finishing touches on his masterpiece Amos turns up to return a book/case the joint for food. Under orders from JB Seth grudgingly allows Amos a spoonful. Amos loves it until he finds out calamari isn’t a fancy kind of chicken.

Poor Amos.

Poor Amos.

While Seth finishes off the last few touches, and puts the pie in the oven, JB gets a phone call from Flossy at the Sheriff’s office looking for Amos. No one can get a hold of Deputy Jonathan Martin, and shots have been heard from inside his house. Amos, Seth and JB go to investigate and find Audrey lying dead on the floor, gun in hand. While it appears to be suicide, JB can’t help thinking it doesn’t make sense – women don’t usually shoot themselves, they prefer pills. JB thinks it’s sad that there’s no cards or photos on the corkboard. Just an old shopping list and some receipts. Okay?

Jonathan arrives home to find them all there, and is surprisingly heartbroken. He confirms that they never locked the door, as Audrey thought Cabot Cove was so boring that nothing would ever happen, and that the gun she used was the spare he kept in the dresser upstairs. Amos begins to come round to the murder theory, and asks Jonathan where he’d been and why he didn’t answer his radio. He says that he went to rescue Eve Simpson’s cat that was stuck in a tree, and he turned the radio off so it wouldn’t startle the cat. Then he drove around, remembered the radio was off and turned it back on to hear the news. Amos tells him to take a few days off while they sort it out.

The next morning notes are compared at the beauty parlour. Ideal Malloy (not kidding, that’s her name) never considered killing herself when her husband left, Eve Simpson (owner of the wayward cat) thinks it’s a relief that at least she had her hair done before she did it, but the owner of the parlour, Loretta, has heard differently. She heard that Amos had taken Jonathan’s badge off him, which makes no sense to Ideal. What does Jonathan’s badge have anything to do with it? Amos cautiously wanders in on cue to ask them about Audrey’s behaviour the previous day but they all want to know if Amos thinks Jonathan really killed his wife (“with his badge?” Adds Ideal.) Amos doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself.

Amos does not have a way with the ladies.

Amos does not have a way with the ladies.

Seth isn’t having the best day either, when JB drops by to return his pot. His secretary Beverley has called in sick for the first time in twenty years, the phone won’t stop ringing with people looking for her, and “What really scorches my slippers is that I can’t find my copy of New Hampshire Weekly.” He was stuck on the crossword, but luckily Our Heroine is there to tell him the answer. She’s about to leave Seth to his rage when Amos wanders in looking shellshocked. He tells JB that Eve Simpson confirmed what the logbook said; that the only call the previous night was about her cat. “About all I could make sense of all that caterwauling’.” Says Amos. “Women.” He adds.

f2

“Present company excluded ma’am!” Amos hastens to add.

SHE IS THE DANGER.

SHE IS THE DANGER.

JB’s next stop is to see her travel agent and fellow beauty parlour patron Phyllis, who is also the town travel agent. While they’re chatting JB learns that Eve Simpson’s trip to the south of France might now be with someone, and that back in the day Audrey Martin was friends with Phyllis’s cousin. Both of these things are probably important.

The next day (according to Our Heroine’s wardrobe change), JB is at home hard at work on her next novel when she gets a knock at the door. It’s Jonathan Martin, looking for JB’s help to clear his name, as long as she’s not too busy working.

And then we receive a lesson in context.

Deputy Martin: I’ve got just the cure……That better?

Our Heroine:  Oh….Oh my Goodness…Yes…Ooh…Just wonderful…Oh….My husband used to do this for me all the time…

Deputy Martin: That so?

Our Heroine: Yes that’s the very spot right there…Oh he had the most wonderful hands…

Deputy Martin: How’s that feel?

Oh my.

Get your minds out of the gutter.

Fortunately Jess is saved by the arrival of the mailman George, who she drags into her house. George is a bit taken aback to see Jonathan, and even more so when JB shoves them both out on to  the street.

Jonathan’s hands have made JB suspicious and she goes to look at the logbook again, which says that he was at Eve Simpson’s for an hour, then Jonathan claimed that he was driving for an hour and a half after that. If he was telling the truth, says JB. Amos doesn’t believe it. “But he has to be telling the truth! How can it take two and a half hours to get a cat out of a tree?”

JB examines the log book a bit more closely and notices that Eve Simpson’s cat had a habit of needing to be rescued every Tuesday.  JB then tells Amos about Phyllis’s news that Eve was looking for a second plane ticket for her trip to France.

“Kind of makes you wonder if it was the cat Jonathan was attending to…or the canary.” Says Amos.

Ohhhh, CAT.

Ohhhh. CAT.

JB and Amos go to ask Eve about this mysterious second person she’s travelling with, but Eve informs them that it’s her own business. Instead they ask her about her “cat” that needs “rescuing” on a regular basis, to which Eve replies “Yes, she’s a very bad cat, and the deputy seems to have a way with her.”

I think Amos is about to pass out

I think Amos is about to pass out

They go to confront Jonathan who admits that he was with Eve at the time his wife died. He didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did. That old chestnut. Later, JB and Amos are walking past the beauty parlour when Loretta spots them and tells them she’s decided to tell the truth about something. JB tells her it’s okay, that they know about Jonathan and Eve Simpson.

Loretta is scandalised. What? That’s old news! She’s talking about Ideal Malloy!

Did she live up to her name though?

Did she live up to her name though?

A quick check of the logbook confirms that Ideal Malloy had a habit of seeing prowlers in her garden on Monday nights. And by prowlers in the garden I think you know what I mean. While Amos bellyaches about how his deputy isn’t going to get away with this, and that he asked Ideal Malloy to the pictures last Monday and she said she had to wash her hair, JB has made a discovery, which she shares with Amos.

Life Lesson #54: THERE ARE MORE THAN TWO DAYS IN THE WEEK.

Phyllis Grant the travel agent admits that her dog didn’t actually run away every Wednesday. Amos is scandalised that she would take up with a married man, but she tells him that’s what made it perfect. Ideal admits to being Mondays but has an alibi for the murder – she was with Loretta and Coreen at the cinema at the time of the murder.

As you would expect, Seth Hazlitt has some thoughts on these new developments. “I know he’s supposed to service the town at night, but don’t you think that’s going a bit far?”

Amos has other issues. “Why him? What’s he got that I – that’s so special?”

“Perhaps he should will his body to Harvard medical school, maybe they can find out!” Chortles Amos.

They spot George the mailman, and Seth asks him about his copy of New Hampshire weekly, but George has nothing for him. Maybe it was never loaded onto the truck? JB asks Seth if Beverley was going to be in the office, Amos and she had some questions for her. Because if it’s Thursday…GEDDIT?

Beverley is not one to hide behind innuendo and hyperbole.

m2

n2

Who says romance is dead? Amos and Seth adjourn to the nearest coffee pot for a strong cup to settle their nerves, leaving JB to interview Beverley, who tells them that Jonathan was planning to leave his wife and be with her. He never actually said so, but a woman knows these things. With no help on offer from Amos and Seth, JB then asks Beverley where she was the morning after the murder, since she was late to work. Beverley informs them that she was making a casserole for Jonathan, and if Seth wants to fire her for being late once in twenty years then he didn’t need Jessica to do his dirty work for him. She was going out into the world to have some fun!

THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER.

THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER.

“No wonder she seemed so relaxed on Friday mornings.” Says Seth.

Meanwhile at Jonathan’s house, Eve Simpson has just made a chilling discovery.

Oh yes. Jonathan has been having his casserole and eating it too.

Oh yes. Jonathan has been having his casserole and eating it too.

Needless to say, the atmosphere is a little subdued down at the beauty parlour when JB and Amos roll in. Amos can’t handle it and asks JB to take the lead while he goes to read magazines in the corner. JB asks Loretta if she knows whether any of Jonathan’s women had acted like they’d been dumped, but Loretta can’t think of anyone. Amos takes a break from his magazine to notice Coreen the assistant acting suspicious so he decides to pay her a visit later that night.

Would it amaze you to learn she’s not alone?

q2

r2

To paraphrase one of my favourite movies, does this guy have chocolate flavoured nipples?

Jonathan swears he’d never been to Coreen’s until that night, and that she’d asked him to come and fix her screen door, because everyone at the beauty parlour said how wonderful Jonathan was…at fixing things.

Amos asks her where she was the night of the murder and she tells him she was at the cinema with Ideal Malloy. “Ah yes,” says JB. “And Loretta.”

Nope. Loretta was visiting her sister in Augusta.

A clue! Remember that time someone was murdered? Uising every ounce of self control remaining, Amos asks Jonathan if  he’d ever had a little something something going on with Loretta.

Jonathan nods. “My one big mistake.” Turns out Loretta was after him to leave his wife and be with her, and was relentless.

Poor, poor Amos.

Poor, poor Amos.

But when they go to see Loretta, the murder of Audrey Martin isn’t her secret. Secret botox injections from a night doctor are.

Just when all hope seems lost, JB catches sight of the lottery tickets stuck to the mirror. Guys! Remember that time they bought lottery tickets from New Hampshire, and then Seth didn’t get his copy of the New Hampshire Weekly? IT WAS ALL CONNECTED.

Fair enough then.

Fair enough then.

All those booty calls and it all came down to George the postman recognising Audrey’s winning numbers in the New Hampshire Weekly and wanting to retire.

This episode though. I think I need a stiff drink and a lie down.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S02E15 – Powder Keg

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Disclaimer: My attention wandered in this episode. You have been warned.

Roadtrippin again this week Fletcherfans, this time to Sweet Home Alabama where Our Heroine is kicking back with her pal Ames Caulfield after a hardcore week of partying at a writers conference. Sadly, it all goes a bit pear-shaped en route to Ames’s estate and they break down outside of Hoopville.

While the car gets fixed, JB and Ames adjourn to the hotel which (in an Amazingly Unforeseen and Unpredictable Coincidence) is owned by a former student (and obvious former flame) of Ames’s, Cassie Burns along with her son Matthew-the-musician who is surprisingly adult if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink etcetera.

Following up on the incredibly subtle suggestion that Matthew might be Ames’s son, Ames goes to watch Matthew play (and flirt with a perm called Linda) at the bar on the outskirts of town while the bar owner Frank Kelso shows off his new gun toy before the peace is Completely and Utterly Disturbed by zombies the arrival of Linda’s brother Ed and his  minions Andy and Billy who like booze and bullying. And eating brains, probably.

Fun fact: the middle zombie is Jackie Earle Haley and the one on the left is from CHiPS. You're welcome, people on their way to a trivia night.

Fun fact: the middle zombie is Jackie Earle Haley and the one on the left is from CHiPS. You’re welcome, people on their way to a trivia night.

On a semi-unrelated topic….

Just sayin...e1b

Sometimes I even scare myself…anyway, head zombie Ed decides he doesn’t like Matthew making loverboy-eyes at his sister and tells him accordingly. This amazingly leads to a massive brawl and Ed ordering Matthew to stay away from singing and his sister (in that order). The zombies take off in their zombiemobile car with Matthew in hot pursuit, telling Linda that he’s going to kill Ed even if he is her brother. Ames is left standing in the dust looking perplexed.

I can’t even begin to speculate what is going to happen next.

Back at the hotel JB is up late working (because that’s just how she rolls) when she hears Ames come in. As she looks pointedly at her watch, sirens blare outside. Because Ed the zombie is dead. Not undead, just dead. Dead Ed. OH THE SURPRISE.

The next morning, Ames quickly recruits JB to come to the aid of Matthew, who has been arrested for the murder of Zombie Ed. Down at the sheriff’s office, Ames tries all sorts of name-dropping tricks in an effort to see Matthew but the sheriff and Daniel Day-Lewis are unmoved.

...

That Daniel Day-Lewis is so good he can even play a painting.

IMDB has just informed me that the Sheriff of Hoopville is also Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mind. Blown. The Sheriff tells Our Heroine and Ames about the mountain of (circumstantial) evidence proving Matthew killed the zombie  Ed, but admits that he has doubts about Matthew’s guilt. He also says that despite this, Matthew is a lot safer inside the jail than out on the streets where the local townsfolk are baying for revenge. JB and Ames return to the hotel where the clerk tells Ames that Cassie wants to see him at home immediately. JB stops him to ask if he remembers seeing anything after the fight to prove that Matthew is innocent but Ames can’t remember a thing.

I'll be honest - I think JB solved this case about twenty minutes ago and she's just stringing everyone along.

I’ll be honest – I think JB solved this case about twenty minutes ago and she’s just stringing everyone along.

Outside the sheriff’s office the angry mob is taking time out of its schedule to get good and drunk. Bar owner Frank Kelso drops by with more booze and tells Andy that he’s sorry that Ed was a zombie murdered. Andy is having none of it though. Apparently everyone knew that Frank Kelso’s wife was having a thing with Ed before she went to “visit her mother” which is apparently code for “run off with the hardware salesman”. Frank hulks out but is silenced with a punch to the face.

JB goes to see the Sheriff to get the latest news and meets the Hoopville version of Doc Hazlitt, who is JB’s biggest fan even without having read any of her books. At last, someone with some sense. The doc tells JB that the body was definitely hacked at and moved post-mortem. The sheriff reluctantly lets JB look through Ed’s personal effects and is equally flummoxed by the presence of two cigarette lighters one of which bears the Cameron family crest. (The Murder She Wrote writers want to make that point clear. I feel this may come up later)

Outside, JB is accosted by Dead Ed’s sister who asks her to come and see her father to try to put a stop to this episode the insanity. Dead Ed’s Dad seems disinclined to do anything but chop wood and mutter about the sheriff, but eventually comes clean – Dead Ed moved out without a dime but somehow managed to rent a house, buy an expensive new car and generally carry on like he was a Kardashian. He suspects Dead Ed of being a drug dealer, but hasn’t proof.

Back in town the mob is getting restless with just drinking and making nooses. Sheriff Shredder tells Our Heroine that someone was spotted leaving Dead Ed’s place but they don’t know who. JB has it with people not telling her things and tries to force Cassie to admit that Matthew is Ames’s son. She blusters and storms off but Ames admits it. He also tells her that Billy Willetts (associate zombie to Dead Ed) held a knife to Frank Kelso the night of the brawl. Apparently this is news we can use.

After the sheriff orders JB off the case, on account of the angry mob of zombies massing outside the sheriff’s office. Thankfully, JB ignores him and pays a visit on Frank Kelso, who greets her with his gun.

Ermahgherd this episode just keeps going

Ermagherd this episode just keeps going

Frank wants to know why JB is snooping around. He tells her Billy held the knife on him to stop him from reaching for his ‘peacemaker’.

“Strictly speaking, a Peacemaker is a nickname for a Colt 45, used in frontier days. If I’m not mistaken, that’s a Webley Fosbury semi automatic revolver.” says Jess.

“Wellllll…..you sure do know your weaponry!” Says Frank. “You own one of them?”

“Oh no. No no no.” Jess replies.  “Of course I just ran across it in research. For several days I considered using one to shoot a Bulgarian scientist.”

...

 

Frank has no time to think of an appropriate response. He gets a call from the Sheriffs office. There’s trouble.

When in doubt, zombies.

When in doubt, zombies.

 

Faced with the imminent zombie menace the sheriff prepares to fight the hordes of undead to the end, but is saved when Dead Ed’s father appears and orders the angry zombie mob to disperse. To celebrate, Sheriff Shredder arrests Andy for  being a zombie. And a douchebag.

After emptying his pockets they discover Andy has a keyring with the Cameron crest on it. Hey guys! Remember that time with the lighter! See how it all comes together!?

The Sheriff asks Andy if he’d lost his lighter and Andy’s all “hell yeah, where’d you find it?”

“Off your friend’s dead body.” Says the sheriff.

BAM. (Giving myself points for this  one)

BAM.

Andy flips out. He gave the lighter to Dead Ed after they left Kelso’s the first time, since Dead Ed had left his behind. They went to play pool, got back into town at 12:45 then Dead Ed said he had to go to the bank.

And by bank…

I'll be honest, I didn't see this coming. Mainly because by this point I'd stopped looking.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this coming. Mainly because by this point I’d stopped looking.

Are you ready kids? So it turns out Frank Kelso was being blackmailed by Dead Ed because Dead Ed found out Frank killed his wife after she’d had an affair with Dead Ed. So, Frank killed Dead Ed. And then it was now.

Good lord. I need a nap. And a whiskey.

Until next time, dear reader.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

 

 

 

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You want life lessons? I’ll give you life lessons…