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S06E12 – Goodbye Charlie

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We have apparently broken into JB’s house this week Fletcherfans, and found her hard at work on her newest book. Would you like to hear about it?

Are you ready boys and girls?

I feel a story coming on.

Once upon a time, in a magical faraway kingdom called Hollywood, there lived a private detective (naturally) called Frank Albertson. He wasn’t very good at his job but he was convinced that fortune was just around the corner.

MAJESTIC MULLET IS MAJESTIC

MAJESTIC MULLET IS MAJESTIC

After returning home from a failed attempt at catching a cheating husband, Frank finds his wife in their bedroom with a lawyer, Raymond Fleischer but the good news is it’s nothing suss – Raymond represents the estate of Elizabeth Flack, who has left all her worldly possessions to Frank’s uncle Charlie. Raymond is looking to find Charlie to tell him the good news but Frank and his wife Sunny haven’t seen him for over 2 years, when Frank finally got sick of old uncle Charlie eating his food, drinking his beer and stealing his shirts. The last they heard he was in Reno although the last Christmas card Sunny sent him came back ‘not known at this address’.

Raymond tells them it’s a shame – if the old guy has passed away then the fortune would go to Frank. And there are a lot of zero’s in fortune. Frank’s pupils turn into dollar signs and he asks Raymond how to go about proving Charlie is dead but Raymond tells them it takes 7 years for someone to be declared legally dead. He gives them his card and bids them good day.

While back out on his quest to catch his client’s husband cheating, Frank spots a story in the newspaper about an unidentified body found on some railway tracks outside of Huckabee, Nevada and constructs a Genius Plot. The body is too badly damaged to be properly identified, and one dead body is as good as another someone once said probably.

Sunny is horrified – poor Uncle Charlie!

(Frank explains that it’s not actually Uncle Charlie).

Sunny is on board and they set to work bombarding the coroner’s office in Huckabee, Nevada to work out the winning combination of identifying features that “Uncle Charlie” needs (and let’s not dwell on the fact that Huckabee is literally a 1 horse town but it has a coroner’s office). Through a cunning montage of elimination, they work out that John Doe is old, tubby, brown-eyed and doesn’t have a wooden leg. Sunny nails the guessing game, making Frank wonder if she’s got some sort of second sight happening but she says she’s just describing Uncle Charlie.

I don’t think she understands what’s happening you guys.

Word.

Word.

Frank and Grady Sunny drive to Huckabee to claim the remains of “Uncle Charlie” and meet the local Sheriff who according to IMDB is called Ed Ten Eyck which frankly sounds suspicious but then if you look closely…

I want a numerical middle name. Briony Forty Two Williamson. That rolls right off the tongue.

I want a numerical middle name. Briony Forty Two Williamson. That rolls right off the tongue.

The sheriff is mighty understanding, and tells them that John Doe died quick – was knocked clean out of his shoes, which they found beside the body, but weirdly no ID. Frank and Sunny take it in turns to tell a complicated story about Uncle Charlie’s life as a hobo, but as much as the Sheriff would love to help them bury their uncle and be on their way, there’s a catch – they aren’t the first people to lay claim to the body. In fact, they’re 3rd.

Cut to some noises that I never wanted to hear come out of Bill Maher, and then an explanation.

The classic lolsome innuendo.

The classic lolsome innuendo.

Frank decides his next move is to pay a visit to a guy whose name he saw written upside down on the Sheriff’s desk, whom he finds down at the local bar doing some lip sync battling.

That is 100% not as funny as I think it is.

This is 100% not as funny as I think it is.

Bart Mahoney, local lawyer and Rick Astley afficionado, is representing Marcia Mae Bailey whose father apparently lies in the morgue. Bart informs Frank that since the warning light was out, and old Roper Bailey was deaf, the railroad company as good as murdered him – and what jury is going to argue with a grieving child?

The bartender snorts at this. It would seem the grieving child might not be all that grieving.

Back at the hotel room, Frank is “resting” with Sunny (I would say get a room, but they did) when he gets a call from the Tenner, unhappy about his recent meeting with Bart Mahoney and requesting his presence down at the sheriff’s office. He’d like to introduce Frank to contestant number 2 in Who Wants To Be A Corpse Claimer – Tilly Bascombe, who is claiming the dead man is her husband Mort. They compare pictures just in case, but Mort isn’t Uncle Charlie. Tillie tells them that Mort liked to take long walks due to his insomnia, and it was entirely probable that the reason why they didn’t find any ID was because the velocity of the train whipped it out of his pockets.

Science bitch!

This gives Frank an idea, and he asks the Sheriff to recruit the local little league team to search around the tracks the next day. That night, he and Sunny go down to the railway line and throw some of Uncle Charlie’s belongings into the bushes.

The next day (JB tells us, madly searching for more whiskey) Frank wakes up feeling confident the belongings will be found. Because guys, you can’t just hide things in the desert. Someone will find them.

Unfortunately for Frank, his enthusiasm is shortlived. The local little league team is not too crash hot at finding things, leaving Frank to stew and Sunny to wonder why Tilly doesn’t sweat.

They are soon joined by Tilly’s cousin Jerry Wilber, who has some desert experience.

ALL HAIL THE KING. LONG LIVE THE KING.

LONG LIVE THE KING.

Jerry, it turns out, has been running Mort’s laundromat microchip company ever since Meth Mort disappeared. But honestly who cares because

I CAN'T GO ON

I CAN’T GO ON

The search for meth missing possessions continues, and they are soon joined by Bart Mahoney, complaining about an illegal search, the death of his client’s father etcetera etcetera. They are also joined by his client’s legs, and after a while, the rest of her.

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I CAN’T EVEN

While Bart banishes his client back to the car to contain her chest grief, the little league kids hit gold. It’s bad news for Tilly and Jerry, good news for Frank and Sunny – they’ve found Uncle Charlie’s possessions. The sheriff takes them back to his office for a closer look but begrudgingly admits he can’t find any reason not to turn over the body – even if he is clearly suspicious. He gives Frank and Sunny a form and tells them to go see the coroner, Jack Yamamoto. When they arrive they meet his assistant, Lon Ainsley, whose voice Sunny recognises from their constant calls to the coroners office, and who you might recognise from such episodes as these. (Side note – I wish they had put the actor, Robin Bach, in more episodes; he was hilarious. Unfortunately he passed away in 1991 but he he was one of the unexpectedly best bits I’ve discovered watching this show).

Lon ushers Frank and Sunny into Jack Yamoto’s office. While Frank fills out paperwork, Sunny reads Autopsy magazine (oh MSW writers, you’re so funny!) and Jack offers to get them a deal on a plot at the local cemetery. But when the last form is filled out, and Frank and Sunny are just leaving the office, Frank gets a tap on the shoulder. It’s the Big Ten. He’s just had a call from his counterpart in the next town – they’ve just arrested a hobo with a wallet, with close to 200 bucks in it. The wallet itself has plenty of ID in it – it belongs to Mort Bascomb. So what Big Ten wants to know, is just how Uncle Charlie’s belongings ended up all over the railway track?

Needless to say, Frank is under arrest. The sheriff throws him in the slammer with a friendly hobo who is busy stuffing his rather fancy looking shoes with newspaper, since they don’t fit him. This gives Frank an idea and he hollers for the judge.

I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THIS DAMN PICTURE.

I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THIS DAMN PICTURE.

The sheriff listens while Frank pitches his theory – if the shoes were knocked off John Doe, they wouldn’t be sitting next to him. Someone killed John Doe, realised John Doe wasn’t wearing shoes, tried to jam his own shoes onto the body, realised the shoes were too small and so waited for the train to do it’s business and left the shoes next to the body afterwards. Big Ten and Frank go to see Yamoto, who tests said theory and it’s confirmed. John Doe was murdered. Because, y’know, MURDER she wrote and all.

Frank, now apparently free, goes to see that bartender from the beginning of the episode to see what he can find out about Bart Mahoney and the grieving Marcia Mae. Turns out, Marcia Mae has been taking care of herself since she was 16, with Bart Mahoney footing the bills, including the grocery bill Marcia Mae racks up at the bartender’s other job, the grocery store. She buys chewing gum and soda for herself and Mexican beer and chewing tobacco for her father – and despite the fact that her father’s been missing for 5 days, guess what she bought in the grocery store just that day?

Frank and Sunny report their findings to the Sheriff, who agrees that Bart had no motive for killing John Doe. That leaves the Widow Bascombe, who comes into her husband’s fortune as provided by the company – “with her cousin Jerry the hunk in charge.” Sunny points out.

They decide to pay Tillie a visit and, well…

Well this has taken a turn.

Well this has taken a turn.

After a 5 second attempt at bluffing, Jerry falters and Tillie throws him under a bus. Jerry killed Mort and what’s more he buried him in the backyard.

YOU GUYS.

GODDAMN RIGHT.

GODDAMN RIGHT.

Tillie convinced her (it turns out) second cousin Jerry to kill Mort so she could get his money. They only decided to get married after.

The Sheriff, conceeding defeat, lets Frank and Sunny claim the body on the proviso they get out of town double quick. They arrive home exhausted, but excited about their newfound wealth.

Until they hear someone in the bedroom. It’s Uncle Charlie, just popping in to pick up his things before heading to Vegas with his new girlfriend. You aren’t going to believe this, Charlie tells Frank and Sunny, but some old girlfriend left me a boatload of money!

But let’s face it. Noone cares.

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See you next week Fletcherfans!

 

 

 

 

 

S04E12 – Who Put the Barbituals In Mrs Fletcher’s Chowder?

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You guys, Amos isn’t having a good day.

Don't mind if I do!!!

Don’t mind if I do!!!

Poor guy. His deputy up and quit, he’s got people trying to get him to come rescue their cats, Seth wants him to come and have lunch and now his sister Winnie has just turned up out of the blue announcing she’s left her husband and can she stay at his house? Amos is delighted to see her, but tells her that he’s too short-staffed to spend any time with her today.

“That’s okay.” Winnie sighs. “I’ll just go walk along the seacliffs, thinking about the bleakness of my life.”

Naturally, there’s only one person Amos can turn to in this time of crisis. And despite having a deadline to meet and being four chapters behind, Jessica is delighted to meet Winnie.

b2

While Winnie investigates the photos in JB’s living room, Amos begs Jess to keep Winnie company for the day. JB tries to explain about her deadline (again) but Winnie comes back talking about the photo of JB with Frank, and how Elmo hadn’t looked at her that way in years…

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Reasons why I love JB #7725 – She’s as uncomfortable with oversharing as I am.

JB offers to make tea, and Amos scarpers back to the Sheriff’s office for a moment’s piece that doesn’t arrive. Instead, there’s Marigold.

Quite possibly my new favourite not-JB character. You'll see...

Quite possibly my new favourite not-JB character. You’ll see… (She also played Dody in this episode)

Amos isn’t really interested – he’s looking for someone with law enforcement experience….but Marigold was a meter maid in Augusta and has her own uniform. Amos plays the danger card, but danger is no problem for Marigold. Amos understands, but what he’s really looking for is…

“A man?” Asks Marigold. “I’d be very disappointed Sheriff if you were biased.”

“Me? Biased?” The Sheriff is horrified. “Why, nothing could be further from the truth. I had a woman deputy until last year, good worker too. Broke my heart when she got in the family way. Of course, her husband was glad she was finally staying home where she belonged…”

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Marigold Feeney also played Kowalski in Die Hard 3. WHAT A BOSS!

“Could you start tomorrow?” Amos asks meekly.

“I can start today.” Marigold declares. MY HERO.

Meanwhile at Castle Fletcher, Winnie is telling JB all about her problems over a pot of tea, about how Elmo changed and became crazy, alternating between shoving people around and sitting in the corner weeping. She left so quickly that she forgot her ulcer medication. Now that’s a problem Jess can fix straight away – she knows just the person who can help…

Apparently I just decided Seth is Animal from the Muppets #youknowitmakessense

Apparently I just decided Seth is Animal from the Muppets #youknowitmakessense

JB smoothly deposits Winnie in Seth’s office for the afternoon and rushes off to finish her book. Winnie tells Seth she’s much obliged for his help, and that this is her first trip to Maine and so far she hasn’t seen anything.

“Well then you have a treat in store for you,” says Seth, sorting out her prescription for Calmitol, “You may not be aware of it, but Cabot Cove leads the nation in murder per capita sales of live bait!”

Seth you old charmer you.

Seth you old charmer you.

Later, Seth takes Winnie to a local restaurant, while a shady man in a car watches on. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.

Back at the Sheriff’s office Amos is showing Marigold the cells when he gets a phone call from Winnie saying not to worry, that she’s seeing all the sights and will have dinner out. Amos tells her to say hello to Mrs Fletcher (heh heh heh, silly Amos) and has just hung up the phone with Elmo, Winnie’s husband, comes storming into the Sheriff’s Office, brothers and sister in tow.  A scuffle breaks out, and only ends when Marigold walks out of the cells, calmly assesses the situation and pulls a gun on all of them.

SHE'S AMAZING

SHE’S AMAZING

Back at Amos’s house later that night. Amos’s in-laws have made themselves at home while waiting for Winnie to return and banished Amos to sleep on the sofa.  When Winnie and Amos pitch up later, giggling like schoolgirls, Amos is relieved and then horrified when he discovers that Winnie was with Seth, not JB.

“Relax!” Says Winnie. “We’ve had the best time at the hotel!”

Amos and the Terrible No Good Very Bad Day, a children's book by JB Fletcher.

Amos and the Terrible No Good Very Bad Day, a children’s book by JB Fletcher. (It was dinner, Amos!)

Elmo hears Winnie’s voice and starts a-hollerin, leaving Amos to slam the door in Seth’s face although a door isn’t enough to block the sound of Elmo and Winnie hurling abuse at each other. Winnie announces she’s getting a divorce and takes off, leaving Amos to try and stop Elmo and his brethren following after her. With nowhere else to go, she goes back to  Seth’s house and asks if she could stay there, and that she thinks Elmo was following her in the car. Seth checks it out but doesn’t see anything. Including, apparently, the shady dude in the car who has now migrated to the porch and is listening in on Seth and Winnie until he trips over a potplant and legs it before anyone can see him. While Winnie goes to make coffee, Seth runs to the phone in a panic to call Jessica, who pretends to be an answering machine with no success. Seth is in a flap about the gossip but JB has a deadline and not sleet nor snow nor a woman wanting to sleep at Seth’s house is going to keep her from it.

The next morning, while Marigold goes off on her motorcycle to nab some traffic violators LIKE A BOSS, Amos calls JB to check up on Winnie and is surprised to learn that he and Winnie are invited for breakfast.

As you can see, Amos takes the news well.

 

I might have editorialised a tad.

I might have editorialised a tad.

JB decides that as an apology for neglecting Winnie so shamefully (SHE’S ALL CLASS) she would like to put on a dinner party for everyone. Winnie tells her not to go to too much trouble, and Amos starts listing off all the dishes he’d like to see at said dinner party. JB thinks its the best way to relax everyone so that Winnie and Elmo can talk it all out.

As you can imagine, the dinner party is a raging success in that Elmo goes outside to fight with the shady bloke, Elmo’s sister Flo turns up her nose at everything while her husband Kenny orders his brother-in-law Harold to fix him a bourbone without letting Flo see.  By the time the chowder is served, Elmo is harassing Flo for another bourbon, Flo is harassing Kenny (who is drinking ginger ale according to Kenny) while Harold is examining the chowder with suspicion. By the time JB comes out of the kitchen with the lobsters they’re all passed out in their bowls except Flo, who is just screaming. Seth snaps to attention and orders Jess and Flo to help him get the others awake and outside, but when he gets to Elmo he tells JB to call an ambulance.

At the hospital Seth regretfully announces that there was nothing they could do. Flo is quick to point the finger at Winnie, and is backed up by Harold. Amos tells them all to shut up and about the mysterious shady character he saw Elmo fighting with right before he died. He’s gotten Marigold to put out an APB on the mystery person.

I don’t think Amos knows who he’s dealing with:

Yeah. I was talking about Breaking Bad yesterday and it all came flooding back, Also I've been playing the Breaking Bad quiz on Quizup and it's really not helping me move on with my life

Yeah. I was talking about Breaking Bad yesterday and it all came flooding back. Also I’ve been playing the Breaking Bad quiz on Quizup and it’s really not helping me move on with my life.

With the shady man behind bars (thanks to Marigold’s boss-like judo moves) Amos can finally get some answers, like who are you and what are you doing here?  It turns out that the shady dude is actually Ed Bellamy private eye, hired by Elmo to tail his wife who he was convinced was cheating on him. He hasn’t got any ID though, as he lost his wallet in his scuffle with Elmo in JB’s backyard, which is where Marigold found him. Amos tells him he’s staying put until Amos can verify his story.

The next morning, Seth is around at Jess’s to break the bad news – there were barbituates in the chowder. (Side note, if you’ve seen the episode of The Simpsons where Mayor Quimby’s nephew has a fight with the French cook about the proper pronunciation of chowder, please take note that the spell check in WordPress thinks I’m spelling chowder wrong…)

Seth asks JB how the barbituates might have gotten into the chowderrrrrr and as it so happens JB has an idea about that. She goes up to ask Winnie if she knows how it might have gotten into the chowder and Winnie tells her that it’s the same type of barbituate that Elmo took when he couldn’t sleep.  JB tells Amos about this when he pops round a short time later but Amos didn’t find any pills when he packed up Elmo’s things. While they all dry dishes and watch Marigold look for Bellamy’s wallet in JB’s flowerbeds, JB gets a phone call from the coroner for Amos – Elmo’s death was indeed death by barbituates. Seth thinks it doesn’t make sense,  as the killer chowder only killed Elmo, and put everyone else to sleep. Seth suddenly remembers the main ingredient in Winnie’s ulcer medication is the same barbituate that was used to kill Elmo, which sets Amos off in a rage until Winnie wanders in and asks for a new ulcer med prescription, as she dropped the old one on the floor and smashed it to pieces.

Marigold bobs up to inform them all that she’s found Bellamy’s wallet, and so confirms his story. Amos regretfully releases him, but not before they question him about Elmo. He tells them that Elmo was out of his gourd on pills most of the time, and that if he knew, Elmo’s family knew.

On that note, JB goes to see Elmo’s family and finds Harold packing up the car. He tells her that they knew that Elmo was addicted, but that they figured he’d kill himself on his own before too long. He’d always been addicted to something. He makes JB a cocktail which triggers a thought in JB’s brain. Must be a hell of a cocktail. Oh it’s not the cocktail, it’s the glass. Harold has no idea what she’s talking about, but Kenny does.

Not gonna lie, didn't see this one coming.

Not gonna lie, didn’t see this one coming.

Remember that time Kenny had a bourbon but then it was ginger ale? THAT’S BECAUSE THE BOURBON HAD BARBITUATES IN IT AND HE GAVE IT TO ELMO. So when they all ate the chowder, Elmo ate a double dose and snuffed it. Apparently he really wanted to get his hands on the family pharmacy business.

Kenny doesn’t take too kindly to being discovered, and is about to do away with JB and his brother when a knight in shining Marigold bursts in, gun drawn to save the day. With the case closed, Amos puts his sister on the bus back to Kentucky, fortuitously the same bus that PI Ed Bellamy happens to be travelling on. Amos is rather confused as to why she’s looking forward to the trip.

But never mind all that because I regret to announce that this episode was Marigold’s only episode of Murder, She Wrote. So, let us never forget that time Hurricane Marigold blew through Cabot Cove and made everything even more awesome, if only for a short while.

LONG LIVE MARIGOLD.

LONG LIVE MARIGOLD.

S03E17 – Simon Says Colour Me Dead

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Happy New Year Fletcherfans! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and ate all the things!

We’re back in the Cove again this week, where Jess is a teeny bit miffed that her friends Simon and Eleanor Thane have been staying in Cabot Cove all summer and she’s barely heard a peep out of them. Eleanor is quick to correct this, and invites JB to a dinner party that same night.

JB’s next stop is the Sheriff’s Office, where Amos is sorting out a dispute between a local stuck-up cow called Martha and Irene and Tommy Rutlidge. The Cow has accused Tommy of stealing her son’s bike, which he didn’t, but never mind all that because look!

I don't even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD,

I don’t even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD.

JB decides to do a Good Deed and give Tommy Frank’s old bike. She takes it round and interrupts local handman and part were-wolf Cash Logan asking Irene if she needs any odd jobs doing around the house. He leaves, and JB offers the bike to Tommy. Irene tells her they can’t afford it, and they don’t accept charity but JB cleverly circumvents this by saying it’s payment if Tommy will come round and help her dig out the weeds in her garden.

Later that night, JB is having dinner with Simon, Eleanor, gallery owner Felix Casslaw, and fellow Cabot Cove summer residents Carol (previously bumped off here) and George Selby. Speaking of George…

Is there anyone who doesn't like Bewitched though, really?

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Bewitched though, really?

Despite pleas from everyone, Simon refuses to show them his newest painting. Irene appears with the roast, and Simon quickly changes the subject. Meanwhile Cash Logan is outside, watching the house and menacing some rope with a knife.

Midnight rolls around and the guests depart, including Irene a short time later. Tommy wakes to find her at the kitchen, scrubbing at a blood stain on her dress. She screams at him to go back to bed.

The next morning, Amos and his minions are called to the Thane residence. Eleanor is inconsolable and Simon is on the floor with a knife sticking out of his chest.

(Truly, you take your life into your own hands when you take your summer vacation in Cabot Cove)

It’s not long before they realise that Simon’s pulse isn’t the only thing that’s missing. Whatever top secret painting he was working on was gone too. Amos asks JB who else was at the dinner party and she tells him that George and Carol left before she did, and she got a lift home with Felix. Eleanor remembers that Irene was still cleaning in the kitchen when she went up to bed. One of Amos’s minion’s remembers seeing Irene on the street about one in the morning, but when they go to ask her about it she denies it, saying she left the Thane’s just after Eleanor went to bed. Amos spots some drawings of Irene and Tommy signed by Simon and demands to know where they came from. Irene tells them that he was going to throw them away, but when he saw her looking at them he signed them and gave them to her. It all seems legit until Amos’s minion finds Irene’s dress in the bin. Amos announces that it needs to go in for lab analysis (which for some reason is the funniest thing I’ve heard today) and orders Irene not to leave town.

Down at the station Amos’s minion has brought in Cash Logan, after he ran a stop sign and a search of his truck turned up the missing painting, slashed to ribbons. It’s enough to see it’s a picture of a naked lady, but the face is ripped up. JB asks Cash where he found it, and he claims he just saw it lying around, and figured if it was a Simon Thane painting it might still be valuable. How he came to know it was a Thane, since it wasn’t signed, remains a mystery as Amos interrupts to announce that the blood on Irene’s dress matches Simon’s and that he’s going to have to arrest her.

Better call Saul.

Irene swears she didn’t do it, but Amos is convinced that it’s a crime of passion. Observe:

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #)

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #52)

He is basing this theory on the fact that the painting was of a lady “in the all-together” (apparently that means naked?) and that there was likely some hanky-panky going on between Simon and the model.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

JB goes to see Carol and George to ask if George will take on Irene’s case. Carol is more convinced than ever that Cabot Cove needs to host a Simon Thane Exhibition but JB gently points out that it’s a stupid idea. George gives her a lift to her next stop, to see Eleanor who is doing better, and Felix, who is in Simon’s studio forging Simon’s signature on his finished paintings to ensure that Eleanor’s interests are looked after. Both are surprised when JB tells them she doesn’t think Irene is the killer. JB spots a lighter on the shelf and after Felix announces that it’s not his, pockets it to give to Eleanor.

That siren you can hear is the LOOK AT THIS THIS IS A CLUE alarm.

In the cells, Irene finally comes clean(ish) with her story – after Eleanor went to bed she went to see Simon to get paid, but she found him on the floor dead. The painting was already gone. The only other thing she remembers hearing is a car door slam. At home, Amos is showing Tommy the best way to dig up weeds, and pointing out JB has paint stains on her jacket, when a special delivery comes in for him. He’s done some *puts on sunglasses* digging of his own *yeahhhhhhh* and discovered that according to his birth certificate, Tommy’s mother died in childbirth. They confront Irene who tells them the truth – she was a friend of Tommy’s mother who told hospital staff she was her sister, and took the baby after she died.

JB tests out a theory with Cash Logan that he is Tommy’s father. He denies it, but in a not-denying sort of a way, if you know what I mean. Jess spots some paint on his jacket and he tells her he must have got it on him when he found the slashed painting. This gives Jess an idea about her own paint stains, and she pedalls on over to the Selby’s house. She checks out George’s car and finds wet paint. The suspect pool has been narrowed down to two.

While having tea with George and Carol, JB accidentally spills some on the couch. As she wipes it up, she “finds” a lighter between the cushions. George claims it as his, but when JB confronts him with the truth – that she found it in Simon’s studio, not the sofa – he tells her that he hadn’t seen the lighter in months. They used to have heaps lying around, back when Carol used to smoke too.

That’s when JB realises she got it wrong. (I did too, but in my defence I’ve had the theme from Bewitched stuck in my head for the last two hours)

....

(I don’t know why her facial expression is making me laugh. Lack of coffee probably)

OH MY GOD AMOS WAS ALMOST RIGHT. It was a crime of passion, but only because Carol was in love with Simon but Simon wasn’t in love with Carol, he just liked to paint her.

And on that worrying note

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S03E14 – Murder in a Minor Key

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JB has had a rough day, Fletcherfans. She spent all day fighting with the power company, got home, and now has to spend all night telling us the story of her new book, Murder in a Minor Key. Even worse, she has to wear the “slippers” that World’s Worst Nephew Grady bought her:

Heeled slippers. Good work Grady. *facepalm*

Heeled slippers. Good work Grady. *facepalm*

But never mind all that because it’s storytime!

The place is a university in Southern California. Michael Prentiss is a budding film composer. His best friend is a soft spoken law student from the deep south named Chad Singer and a quirky young lady from New York named Jenny Coopersmith. (This is awesome, JB is practically writing this post for me. Booyah!) The gang are at their favourite campus bar, chilling out when the lady at the piano starts playing a song from a upcoming Broadway musical. Michael thinks it sounds familiar, and he’s got good reason: he wrote it. Outraged, he goes to see the only other person who has seen Michael’s music  – his professor, Tyler Stoneham.

After Mike crashes his orchestra rehearsal Stoneham agrees to meet him in his office, where he doesn’t deny stealing the music and submitting it under the fake name Alden Gilbert. He tells Michael to do his worst – noone will believe him and Stoneham will see to it that Michael never works in the industry ever again. To conclude, he’s a dick. Just as Michael informs the professor that if he has to, he’ll settle things himself, Professor Papasian comes in. (Fun fact, he’s being played by Rene Auberjonois, whose surname I simply cannot pronounce and so refer to as Rene Aubergine)

The next morning, Professor Dick is kicking back in his Dick Palace with his wife Christine, who has a bone to pick herself. Seems Professor Dick wasn’t in San Diego all these weekends like he said he was, and she’d like an explanation/the other woman’s name.

Professor Dick is amused.

Ugh

Ugh

He breaks the record for being a condescending arse, pats her on the head (HE ACTUALLY DOES THIS, UGH WHAT A DICK) and tells her she has nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, across town, Reagan Miller has just discovered courtesy of the newspaper that the Alden Gilbert she was working with was actually Professor Dick.

That night, a protest breaks out at the campus for reasons. (Like most campus protests in my experience). The Vice-Chancellor is not pleased and orders the unofficial leader of the protest, campus newspaper editor Danny Young, to shut it down. He doesn’t, for the record.

While the protest rages, Michael goes into the Music building to look for his copy of the music Dick stole. He hears Dick on the phone in his office so decides to wait in the instrument storage room and wait for the light on Dick’s extension to go out. Dick ends the call but tries another number almost immediately. It seems not to connect, so Michael sees his chance but as he opens the door he sees Professor Papasian lurch into Dick’s office. Seems Dick has pissed off another one and forgotten to include Papasian’s name on their music dictionary. DICK MOVE, WHAT A DICK etc.

Michael, waiting patiently in the storage room and watching the protest decides to make his move, and goes into Dick’s office to look for his music. Unfortunately he fails to spot Dick’s corpse lying on the floor. The security guard who comes in to check on the office doesn’t though, and promptly arrests Michael.

JB’s not going easy on this kid. His music’s been stolen and now he’s arrested for a murder he didn’t commit.

There's definitely whiskey in that tea.

There’s definitely whiskey in that tea.

Michael’s friend Chad goes to visit him in jail to get the full story. Michael convinces him of his innocence and so Chad, along with his girlfriend Jenny (previously seen in Grease as Marty Maraschino, you know, like the cherry) vow to clear their friend’s name.

Chad goes to see Danny the newspaper editor to get background info on everyone via old copies of the paper. He learns that Dick’s wife Christine used to be rather friendly with the Vice-Chancellor back in the day, and accordingly asks him about it. The Vice-Chancellor tells him they were friends only, and sternly hopes that Chad doesn’t feel the need to query him again.

Next on Chad’s hit list is Professor Papasian, the last person to see Professor Dick alive. He gives Chad the tour of the music department, explaining that the Dickphone would ring in his office and the instrument room. He feels badly about telling the police about Michael’s argument with Dick, but is scandalised when Chad brings up the Professor’s own fight with Dick the night he died.

That night Chad and Jenny compare notes. Jenny tells Chad that she has tracked down the producer of the play containing Michael’s stolen music, but that no one has seen him for a few days. Chad realises that Professor Dick and Alden Gilbert are the same person, and wonders who else knows. The next morning he goes to see the newly widowed Mrs Dick, Christine, who tells him about Dick’s trips to San Diego. She also tells him that she called her husband the night he died, during the commercial break of a show she was watching around 9:45pm, when he told her he was waiting for Professor Papasian and the galley of his book. As Chad takes his leave via the front door, the Vice-Chancellor appears from upstairs, wondering what Chad wanted. Christine almost thinks Chad was accusing her of murder.

I’m not sure what JB thinks of Chad’s detecting skills.

Although to be fair to Chad, JB wrote the book.

Although to be fair to Chad, JB wrote the book.

Meanwhile, back on campus, Professor Papasian is celebrating being promoted to the head of the faculty by eating an invisible carrot.

It's definitely not an aubergine.

It’s definitely not an aubergine.

His invisible carrot eating is interrupted by mysterious noises coming from Dick’s office. Upon closer investigation he finds Dick’s Broadway producer pal Max Hellinger looking for the songs Professor Dick owed him. He offers five grand to Professor Papasian to find them in 48 hours.

At home, Chad finds Jenny playing one of the songs and wondering who wrote the lyrics (clearly not Professor Dick). Chad remembers what Mrs Dick said about San Diego and asks Jenny to suss out all the calls made from Dick’s office to San Diego, in the hope that they can flush out the mystery lyricist.

Speaking of Mrs Dick, she’s just got home from banging the Vice-Chancellor and is completely unaware of Professor Papasian ransacking her late husband’s office looking for the missing music. Until he knocks something over, she shoots wildly with a gun and Papasian smashes through the window.

Chad gets a phone call from Danny the next morning, and has a fairly good guess as to who the man ransacking the house might have been. He confronts Papasian who admits to breaking in to look for the missing music. Chad tracks down Max the producer, who tells him that he didn’t see Dick the night he died, he only spoke to him on the phone around 9:30pm, when Dick said he was waiting for a phone call. They made breakfast plans but Dick never showed, on account of being dead.

Chad goes home and is surprised to find Jenny looking pleased with herself – she’d tracked down the missing lyricist, Reagan. She tells them that she was at the campus that night, but she couldn’t find Professor Dick’s office and then the police were all over the place by ten o’clock so she left. She takes her leave, saying she’s got get home to record a jingle she wrote for a commercial which gives Chad an idea.

Today the role of Chad’s idea will be played by my crappy drawing of a lightbulb.

Oh Chad.

Oh Chad.

JB is less enthused with Chad’s breakthrough.

MOAR WHISKEY.

MOAR WHISKEY.

JB has left a massive clue for us to solve this case. I’ll be honest, the first time I watched this I was so c0nfused that JB wasn’t solving it that I didn’t really pay attention to anything else. But, she did in fact leave a clue and thanks to a helpful recreation of the evening’s events Chad proves who the killer is.

But the Dick had it coming, so fair enough really.

But the Dick had it coming, so fair enough really.

Chad’s amazing recreation of events sufficiently proved that Mrs Dick didn’t call her husband, she stabbed him with a tuning fork.

Now, if you’ll excuse JB, she’s just had an idea for a sequel involving Chad, Jenny, a defrocked priest and a professional wrestler who walk into a bar…

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E11 – Night of the Headless Horseman

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JB is in Vermont this week Fletcherfans, summoned there by her orphaned protégé Dorian Gray Beecher, newly appointed poetry teacher English teacher at the local school and Grady-in-training. The extent of his Gradyness is made clear when JB learns that everyone in town is under the impression that she is in fact Dorian’s mother,

That is such a Grady move...

That is such a Grady move…

After a whole lot of dodging and weaving Dorian finally comes clean. He’s fallen in love with his boss’s daughter, (DAMMIT GRADY) but his boss is a Monumental Snob who refuses to associate with anyone who doesn’t have a forest of family trees. So when his beloved Sara told him to invite his mother for a visit, Dorian panicked and invited JB. “I had to have a mother, at least for the weekend,” says Dorian.

Seriously, Grady's apprentice.

Seriously, Grady’s apprentice.

JB’s facepalming is cut short when Dorian slams on the breaks to avoid his competitior for Sara’s heart, school riding instructor and local douchebag Nate Findley showboating on his horse. Nate enjoys being a dick, dressing up like the headless horseman and throwing flaming pumpkins at Dorian and may appear familiar to you…

...

Greg mad. Greg SMASH!

Dorian introduces JB to Sara (who is just as much a Grady as he is), the school administrator Charlotte Newcastle and Sara’s father, Edwin Dupont. “Aren’t you a little young to have a son Dorian’s age?” Says Edwin.

“Actually, becoming Dorian’s mother was one of the biggest surprises of my life.” Says JB.

(This is also how I get through my day job).

(This is also how I get through my day job).

JB is saved from any further embarassing questions by the arrival of Brian Blessed’s German cousin Dorn Von Stotter, school groomsman and father to the late poetry teacher, who has caught some of the schoolboys listening at the door. Charlotte attends to them, then later orders Nate to stay away from Sara or else. Nate is unfazed by this, saying “My daddy always taught me one good threat deserves another.”

Can this be true?

Seems legit (image source)

Seems legit (image source)

Later than night, JB is out to dinner to Dorian and trying to get him to sort his life out but people keep interrupting – they all want to meet Mrs Beacher.This particular face is pulled after the bimbo bartender wanders over for a hello.

DAMMIT DORIAN STOP BEING GRADY

DAMMIT DORIAN STOP BEING GRADY

“Oh she’s just like you described her,” she says. “Elegant as a duchess, soft as a kitten with eyes that smile with a child’s laughter.”

g2

“I’m not sure he remembers, Mrs Beacher, he was totally polluted at the time.” The bartender adds.

Life Lesson #44 - 'Polluted' is possibly the most adorable euphemism for drunk in history.

Life Lesson #50 – ‘Polluted’ is possibly the most adorable euphemism for drunk in history.

Dorian orders a double martini, which JB then changes to a single, saying “I don’t want you polluted with me.” BURN! They are soon joined by town dentist Doc Walker, who sidelines in asking people about their jewellery (sounds shady to me). Fortunately for JB further conversation is impossible after Nate Findlay arrives to tell Dorian to stay away from Sara, she’s private property, and “I know how to make a woman throb.”

Nope. I’m not okay with that sentence either. On behalf of decent human beings every Dorian punches Greg Brady in the face, proving he’s not a complete Grady just yet. A brawl breaks out and is only ended with the Sheriff comes in to hold Nate Findlay back.

JB tries to talk to Dorian but he tells her he’s too ashamed to talk, and that he’ll see her tomorrow. He walks over to Sara’s house but gets no response out of her, so continues on home. On the way he runs into a car load of Nate’s buddies from the pub, who gleefully throw a sabre at him and drive away. Soon after, the headless Brady horseman appears and charges at Dorian, who brandishes his sabre, takes aim, and then falls over and knocks himself out. He Gradyed that one.

The next morning, German Brian Blessed Dorn Van Strotter and Charlotte are alarmed to find Nate’s horse Gunshot still tacked up in the stables, with no sign of Nate. Dorian staggers in, demanding to see Nate but to no avail.

Meanwhile, JB is on her bike on the way to see Dorian but is held up by a police roadblock. The Sheriff leads JB, Charlotte and Dorian to his discovery: Nate Findlay will never become the HEAD of a corporation. He is HEADing in the wrong direction. He will never get aHEAD in life. To summarise: Greg Brady’s has had his head cut off. And yes, I am humming “Won’t Get Fooled Again” right now.

The Sheriff is convinced that Dorian is guilty, but JB runs logical rings around him in about thirty seconds. She points out how stupid it would be for Dorian to return to the scene of the crime, how stupid it is to cut someone’s head off (not wrong) and how stupid it is for Greg Brady to be wearing his boots on the wrong feet, and how stupid it is to think that Dorian would lie, Dorian doesn’t lie, and no she’s not saying that because she’s he’s mother because she’s not his mother!

Oops.

(I’m not gonna lie, I kind of do think Dorian is that stupid. But let’s just keep that between ourselves, okay?)

While Dorian mourns the fact that his future with Sara is in jeopardy and ignores the fact that he’s in jail for murder, JB goes to investigate Dorian’s news that Edwin Dupont nearly ran him over on his way home the previous night. Sara tries to cover for her father, and fails dismally. JB admits to her that she’s not really Dorian’s mother and Edwin appears, having just got off the phone with the sheriff. He registers his disapproval with her, Dorian and life in general but admits he was out driving to the school, having received an anonymous note that Charlotte was embezzling school funds. Because an anonymous note is always a reliable source.

JB goes up to the school, and after a failed interrogation with one of the students, JB decides to interrogate the horse, with difficulty,

But at least he's in a STABLE CONDITION! *drops mic*

But at least he’s in a STABLE CONDITION! *drops mic*

After the horse proves uncooperative, JB runs into German Brian Blessed Dorn Van Stotter who is equally uncooperative, He confirms he was not Nate Findlay’s biggest fan, but had no reason to kill him. He suggests JB goes and asks someone else.

JB takes him up on his suggestion and goes to see Charlotte, who notes that the visit must be due to the anonymous tip. She tells JB that there is a problem with the accounts, but that she only found out about it after Edwin Dupont rang her up to yell at her about it. Jess asks her if she thinks Nate Findlay is behind it, but Charlotte won’t be drawn into Nate’s death. JB takes a look at the note, and wonders at the terrible spelling – it might be a student, or it might be from someone who doesn’t speak the language well, and who (barely) looks like Brian Blessed.

Adjourning to the pub to consider her next move, JB finds a broken shell of a Dorian, miserable now that Sara won’t speak to him. Bobby the bartender tries to cheer him up and in doing so tells JB about how she saw Nate Findlay riding down the street in his horseman costume at 11:30 the night he died. Jess wonders where he went after he left the pub, but a howl from Dorian stops her in her tracks. It appears he’s done something to his tooth. How convenient, then, that there should be a dentist in this episode! While the Doc operates on Dorian’s face, JB asks him if he remembers anything about Nate Findlay that night, but he’s got nothing.

Dorn Van Stotter ain’t got nothing though. In fact, he has a bag. And he’s burying it, while one of the Children of the Corn students watches.

The next morning Charlotte tells JB that she’s discovered the embezzler – it’s Van Stotter. While Charlotte calls the Sheriff, JB pays the stables a visit, and comes across the Children of the Corn boys in their lair. They tell her that it was them who pulled the headless horseman stunt but only the flaming pumpkin incident. The second time was not them. One of the boys tells her about watching Van Stotter burying his sack in the dirt, and under the watchful eye of the Sheriff it gets retrieved. Alas, it’s not Gwenyth Paltrow’s Greg Brady’s head, but the missing school money. Van Stotter tells them that he stole the money in order to pay for a private detective to investigate his daughter’s death. He was convinced that there was a man with her the night the car went into the lake, but he wasn’t able to find out who.

JB knows, though. Because Van Stotter wasn’t the only person left broken hearted when the girl died. There was someone else.

Life Lesson #51 - ALWAYS SUSPECT THE DENTIST

Life Lesson #51 – ALWAYS SUSPECT THE DENTIST

To be fair to him, he only worked out Findlay killed his girlfriend the night Findlay died, when he saw a necklace he made for his girlfriend around the neck of the bartender, Bobby. Then, when he cracked a tooth brawling with Dorian, the Doc decided to take advantage of Nate’s need for dental work and killed him, removing his head to cover up his dental work.

But never mind all that, because I’ve just had AN AMAZING IDEA. Instead of bringing back Murder She Wrote, bring back the Brady Bunch but for the modern audience – Mike gets cancer, and so to keep the family together Alice resorts to cooking meth in an RV. We could call it BREAKING BRADY.

You’re welcome, television.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

S03E08 – Magnum on Ice

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Hey guys! Remember that time Our Heroine flew out to Hawaii to be with her friend who thought someone was trying to kill her but actually no one died because El Moustacho Magnum PI saved the day completely by accident by shooting the hitman in the back?

Turns out we may have been a bit hasty. But not as hasty as Magnum, since it turns out the hitman didn’t have a gun. Awkward.

The Hawaii 5-0 (heh heh heh) arrive and take Magnum into custody. The Chief is particularly delighted and informs Magnum that he’s in it up to his neck, despite Our Heroine’s attempts to explain to him that they all heard two shots fired, even if they only found evidence of one gun and one bullet.

While Magnum cools his heels in the cells, JB returns to the mansion to see Higgins. He is convinced he was the target and that the danger is passed, so is helping Pamela and Amy pack up so that they can move to a hotel down at the beach. JB is less convinced and goes to see Jason the party host for more information/movie re-enacting.

*pew pew*

*pew pew*

Through a stunning use of gun hands JB manages to find another bullet. Jason finally appears and JB asks him if Joan is around. He denies ever sleeping with her, and informs JB he’d never met the hitman Peter Mayfield either. It turns out Jason Bryan was throwing the party on behalf of someone else, and that mysterious someone else was the person who put Mayfield on the guest list.

Shell casing in hand, JB returns to the police station but Captain Browning won’t have a bar of it. Furthermore, JB’s request to see Magnum is denied on account of Browning being a grumpy bastard.

Our Heroine does not take this sitting down.

c2 d2

Magnum is delighted happy perplexed to see JB. She tells him about finding the shell casing and he grudgingly admits that was a stroke of good luck. She asks him if he can think of who might have been host of the party that Jason threw and he tells her Arthur Houston, head of PacLisle Industries seemed to know more than he was letting on but warns her it could be dangerous. He also reminds her about the small matter of getting Higgins to bail him out.

I don’t think Magnum is enjoying prison life very much,

It sucks to be Magnum right now.

It sucks to be Magnum right now.

Back at the hotel JB tells Higgins her discoveries and he informs her that a .45 gun has gone missing from one of Orson Welles’s Robin Masters’s gun cabinets. Pamela arrives to ask them if they’ve seen Amy, as she has a package to return to her. JB investigates it and determines it unlikely to be this ‘supposed’ cookbook for ‘Aunt Grace’ if that is her real name. Higgins unwraps it and reveals that THE BOOKS ARE NOW DIAMONDS.

(Yes I did write that in Old Spice Guy’s voice, thank you for noticing).

Amy wanders in and is rather annoyed that people have been going through her packages. JB goes to talk to her and she comes clean – she’s left her abusive husband and the diamonds are all she has to start over. Jess asks her about her trip to PacLisle and Amy tells her that she was there to deliver an envelope to Arthur Houston for Joan.

Speaking of the devil, Joan finds them to tell them that Amy has a visitor – her husband Victor. Amy bursts into tears and runs away, leaving JB to advise Victor to try again tomorrow, Joan to keep an eye on Amy and Higgins to take her to see Magnum.

In jail, Magnum is chucking a tantrum about the lack of bail money/help from Orson Welles Robin Masters but JB has bigger things on her mind, She’s sure Amy is not involved in the murders, despite Magnum’s suggestions. He thinks the whole thing is a plot out of one of JB’s novels, like the one Higgins sent him to read. He never finished it, but he knows it was the psychiatrist.

“Actually, it was the lawyer.” Says JB.

This guy is just not having a good day.

This guy is just not having a good day.

JB pays a visit to Joan’s room, where she’s busy chatting up the help. She tells her that she is selling the business left to her by her late husband to Arthur Houston. JB goes to see Arthur Houston for more information about the business deal but finds him dead on the floor next to Magnum’s cap. Browning informs JB that as Magnum made bail a couple of hours previously, he’s still on the hook for both murders.

Back at her hotel JB has big plans for a bath and a think, both of which are ruined by Magnum breaking into her room. She tells him about the death of Arthur Houston but he can’t think of anyone who can alibi him for the time of the murder. Later that night, JB notices Amy’s door has been forced and goes to investigate. Amy arrives back but before they can call security Victor climbs in through the window with a crowbar, demanding the jewellery.

Fortunately, Higgins is there to save the day with some Premium Ninja Moves.

WHAT IS HAPPENING???

WHAT IS HAPPENING???

Despite HIggins’s best moves, Victor gets away. While Amy prepares to check out of the hotel (having caused enough excitement for one day), JB asks Higgins how he got hold of Orson Welles Robin Masters to get bail sorted. He tells her that it wasn’t Masters who paid the bail, it was Joan.

Apparently, in more ways than one.

Surprise!

Surprise!

Joan helpfully explains to JB that it was a case of kill or be killed, and that setting up Magnum was just a business move, nothing personal. Fortunately, Magnum is out on the ledge and clearly appreciates the sentiment.

Idea: Moustache Ninjas! A crimefighting team that are invisible apart from their GIANT MOUSTACHES. Come on, I've got to fill the Breaking Bad void somehow, right?

Idea: Moustache Ninjas! A  deadly crime-fighting team, invisible apart from their GIANT MOUSTACHES. Come on, I’ve got to fill the Breaking Bad void somehow, right?

Alls well that ends well. The killer was caught, Amy was cleared of stealing jewellery, her husband was arrested for Being A Dick, JB is restored to being ALWAYS RIGHT and I managed to survive the emotional turmoil of the series finale of Breaking Bad.

Well, almost.

See you next week!

See you next week!