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S12E07 – Nan’s Ghost (Part 2)

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Ghosts! Traysure! Our Heroine stuck in a dungeon! Fletcherfans this second half has a lot to live up to so let’s get to it before I start googling pictures of Olivia Coleman holding her Oscar again.

After conducting a thorough search of the dungeon and finding only some writing scratched on a wall, Jess takes time out to maintain her energy.

Life Lesson #77 – Always carry caramels in your handbag for when a ghost has trapped you in an Irish dungeon.

Also, you can melt them down and pour it over brownies and then put more brownie batter on top and make caramel stuffed brownies and you’re welcome.

Meanwhile, over at Nan’s father’s store, Dr Sullivan has broken in to hunt through Nan’s things. He takes off when Jack hears him.

The next day Eileen and Rory are getting more and more concerned about the lack of Jessica in their lives. Rory’s rung around the hotels in Dublin but none are currently holding Jess. Eileen decides to try her publisher while Rory heads to the Guarda station. On his way out he bumps into Mrs Nader and Paul Lafferty, who are keen to get the hotel building situation happening quick. Apparently, Vincent’s murder doesn’t change anything.

After a rough night sleeping on a tomb, JB orders the rats to stay away from her breakfast (more caramel) and gets to work saving herself. She up-ends her handbag (contents of which include a tissue, a purse, a day planner, some sort of compact and a nail file), and gets to work prising a metal ring out of the rock using the nail file.

Down at the Guarda station, Rory bumps into Superintendent Joyce and Matthew Ryan, who tell him that Jessica definitely didn’t leave in a cab like Zuleika said she did, but she totes could have left on the bus. They’ve also found the weapon that killed Vincent Nader but Rory isn’t terribly bothered about all that. Afterwards, Joyce tells Matthew that his fling with Zuleika was no one’s business.

In the dungeon, JB gets the metal ring out of the stone and has a crack at throwing it through the window. She misses.

Rory heads back to the castle, where Eileen informs him that JB’s publisher didn’t even know she was in Ireland, much less have an appointment. Rory gets a phone call from his mystery informant about the money laundering and arranges to meet him the next day. He’s perplexed by the informant saying it’s getting too late but has bigger fish to fry. He sends Moira off to find Ian and he and Eileen start searching the grounds.

After three attempts, JB manages to smash the glass in the window. Unfortunately, no one hears her yelling but luckily for her Rory is on his game, spots the broken glass and realises she’s in the old wing. They rush to get her out, and Jess tells them she is convinced that Nan was murdered.

Arthur Joyce is unsurprisingly hesitant to cast aspersions on Zuleika and insists it might be possible JB was trapped by accident. JB isn’t having a bar of it, but Rory tells her to calm down Joyce is probably a good cop. A call comes from Jack Conroy to say that JB’s pottery has arrived, and so she heads over to collect it – taking with her the piece of treasure that Nan had given Moira.

Out in the gardens Ian is fighting with Deidre over the future of the castle when Matthew Ryan pops in to say that his sister is in labour and there are all sorts of problems and they can’t find the doctor Deidre is the only person who can save her. Back at the Guarda station, the recently widowed Mrs Nader tells Peter Franklin that her new BFF and Hans Gruber impersonator Paul Lafferty will get him the best attorney there is but there’s nothing more to say. Meanwhile, Lafferty has just discovered his foolproof financing plan was not so foolproof, and he’s not the only one who knows. Dr Sullivan will keep his mouth shut – for a price.

JB speaks to Jack Conroy about the night he found Nan’s body and he tells her he’d heard the rumours so he went for a walk in the woods that Sunday night and followed Nan’s ghost. He’s heard Sullivan’s stories of the Cromwell treasure selling at auction but he doesn’t want anything to do with any of it. JB relays this back to Rory, who thinks this might help with his money laundering investigation.

Later that night Dr Sullivan plays his card and offers to take the castle off Eileen after a 1-year lease but Eileen wants to see some paperwork, while Ian eavesdrops. JB gifts Nan’s painting to the castle. Rory gets off the phone and announces someone by the name of Rafaella Sabatini has been the one auctioning off the items and JB recalls Zuleika’s novel, in which David Hasselhoff and Mel Gibson cross swords over the busty heroine Rafaella.

Nope still not good. But Rory thinks she has a point and wants to have a word with Dr Sullivan – except he’s just slunk out into the storm. Ian notices this and follows him, demanding what Sullivan is plotting. By the time JB and Rory catch up, Sullivan is dead on the ground, a pitchfork sticking out of him. Rory hears someone moving about and goes after them, only to receive a whack to the head for his trouble. JB asks Dr Sullivan who did it and he says something like “choice…treasures…are there” before he shuffles off.

Superintendent Joyce takes statements but he’s mystified and sends them all to bed. JB is convinced the same killer killed all three people. Deidre returns home from a 20 hour delivery and has a victory pash with Officer Ryan. The next day Peter Franklin is released after Joyce gets some troubling results back. They head up to the castle and arrest Ian, who denies everything. Rory and Deidre discuss the situation down the pub, and Diedre is delighted with the idea that Rory would chuck his career away to save Ian and make Eileen happy but she doesn’t know where he was at the time of the murder.

JB takes Moira down to look at the Gaelic graffiti she found. She’s sure Nan wrote it before she died, and Moira tells her it is “chloisteáil mo ghlór” which translates to “hear my voice”. JB wonders whether she was referring to a recording or a tape, and this gives Moira an idea. Fun fact, Pog Mo Thoin allegedly means kiss my arse in Gaelic.

Rory has a chat with Ian who is as usual full of bluster but swears he didn’t kill anyone. A phone call comes for Rory from his money laundering spy asking to meet that night. Back at the castle, Moira finds a tape called ‘Hear My Voice’ which is Nan speaking in Gaelic about things and a Mr Buttons and dirty digits. Leonard the head chef casually eavesdrops.

It really is though.

JB calls Rory at the pub to tell him THE TRAYSURE IS REAL AND THERE’S A MURDERER CALLED MR BUTTONS AND OR DIRTY DIGITS but Rory hasn’t got time for that right now. JB finds Peter Franklin back from Dublin and he tells her he couldn’t find the guy who set him up – also he’d totally gotten it wrong the pub was in Grafton Street, not Harcourt Street.

As usual, JB is all over it.

Rory goes to meet his money laundering spy and finds him lying under a tree bleeding out – it’s Leonard the chef. Meanwhile, JB lays out a Daring Plan to catch the killer and find the treasure in one hit.

That old chestnut.

Because you guys. Dr Sullivan muttered “Arthur Joyce…treasures”, and Arthur knew where Peter had been set up before Peter did. Joyce wanted all the money for himself so he killed anyone who stood in his way.

Another job well done. And now Eileen is off on a dirty weekend with Rory, Zuleika is under arrest in Malaga in Spain and JB had an idea for a new story in which the only treasure will be the words she uses which she will find in her head.

I think JB was well into the whisky at this point. Which isn’t a bad idea, come to that.

Later Fletcherfans!

S12E06 – Nan’s Ghost (Part 1)

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Welcome to jolly old Ireland where a man is chasing a ghost through the woods and finds the remains of his daughter in the ruins of a castle. Grim.

In happier news, Jessica is back in Whisky Land to see her old pal Inspector Rory Lanahan and drive down to see his old flame Eileen (both of whom have been in the other Ireland episodes, but not together guys it’s all coming together). Rory’s decided he made a mistake 30 years ago and he’s going to marry her – I mean let’s just see what Eileen thinks about all this, she’s only been a widow two years everybody calm down.

As they leave, a man who had been eavesdropping on their conversation bumps into Jessica and apologises profusely. He also steals her wallet which is a bit rude.

Also on their way to the village is Vincent Nader and his wife Andrea. Vincent’s in town to do some sweet sweet business transacting and his local partner  Paul Lafferty is channelling Die Hard Alan Rickman…

I’m not wrong about this.

Jess and Rory arrive at Eileen’s castle just in time to see the local police conducting their investigation now that Nan Conroy’s body has been found. They all thought she’d taken off to Belfast with a boy but instead, she was trapped in the crypt and died. SO GRIM. Superintendent Arthur Joyce slyly congratulates Rory on his promotion and says it will be a relief to have someone in town who can show them all the latest procedures but Rory says not to worry he’s on his holiday. Eileen tells Jess her daughter Deidre will be back for dinner, and her son Ian is in the town buying new farm equipment.  This is a surprise for Rory, who thought Eileen was moving to Dublin and Eileen says it is eventually despite Ian trying to talk her out of it.

Down at the pub, Ian is having a chat with Officer Matthew Ryan who is very keen to see Ian’s sister Deidre but Ian tells him to lose the lovesick look first. Vincent arrives and is happy to talk up the job prospects of the new hotel but Ian is adamant his mother won’t sign the contract. Meanwhile, Rory pops down to the Garda station and it is revealed he’s not on holiday at all, he’s investigating a money laundering scheme.

That night there’s a storm and a shindig at the castle. Deidre tells Jessica about her plans to be a doctor before being dragged off by loverboy Matthew so JB has a cuppa with Moira the maid instead.

Tea with the queen.

Rory has a chat with Doctor John Sullivan, who is an expert in the Cromwell period (aren’t we all though really) and is getting on Rory’s nerves with his familiarity with Eileen. JB drags him away to tell him she can’t find her wallet. Meanwhile, Eileen’s new head chef Leonard turns out to be spying on Mrs Nader who is cheating on her husband. He asks Vincent for more money but Vince is having none of it and says if Leonard blabs Eileen will find out she’s hired an ex-con.

Jessica meets romance novelist and resident lush Zuleika Brown who tells JB about her latest work in progress in which David Hasselhoff and Mel Gibson cross swords over the busty heroine Rafaella.

This was also my response, except I spat my tea all over the keyboard first.

Jess is convinced she’s met Zuleika before, but Zuleika tells JB not to strain herself, she’ll live to regret it. Or maybe she won’t!

I think we’ve all met a Zuleika at a party before.

Rory gets a phone call from a mystery person saying he knows all about the money laundering situation and he’ll be in touch shortly. Eileen brings over a surprise guest to see JB – it’s the wallet pincher from the start of the episode, except he tells JB he found it after she left and wanted to return it while he was hitching to Tipperary which as we know is a long way. Later, JB tells Rory she doesn’t believe a word of what he said.

Later, Eileen shows JB to her room in the old wing and says not to worry, the noises are just Nan Conroy’s ghost. JB’s not having a bar of it but later in the night she goes investigating and bumps into Rory, who has heard the same noises.  They don’t find anything and Rory takes himself back to bed. Jessica is about to do the same when she sees a ghostly figure walk down the hallway and disappear.

The next day a service is held for Nan Conroy. Her father sends word to JB via Moira that he thinks Nan was murdered. Ian begs Sergeant Loverboy with some help holding up Nader’s hotel plans but Loverboy won’t be a party to it. Peter Franklin comes across Andrea Nader out in the garden and the mystery of who Andrea’s piece on the side is is solved. She tells him it’s over but she has a funny way of showing it. Apparently, Peter met some rando in a pub who offered him five grand to come do a job in Ballynook. Totes convenient. Inside, Ian has a fight with his mother in the kitchen about selling the castle to Vincent Nader.

Down the pub that night Rory sees Dr Sullivan badgering Jack Conroy and calls his station to get more info on Jack. Superintendent Joyce steps in to stop a young local harassing Zuleika and requests the honour of driving her back to the castle. The next day the Superintendent pops in to inform Ian that someone has stolen paperwork relating to the hotel and he wouldn’t know anything about that would he? Moira tells him Ian was with her the night before, which no one believes. Sergeant Loverboy quietly calls them both idiots as he walks after Joyce, and Ian swears he didn’t take the papers but he’d love to know who did.

JB and Eileen take a turn about the gardens and the churchyard and Eileen tells JB the story of Mary O’Hara who seduced an English guard, murdered him and then hid the Cromwell treasure. She haunts the gardens on Midsummers Eve, dontcha know. Jess thinks this is all much more serious than that and goes to see Jack Conroy but he takes back everything he said, it was the grief talking. JB spots a painting of Mary O’Hara’s grave that Nan painted and Jack gifts it to her.

At the castle that night Moira hunts for Ian while Deidre and Sergeant Loverboy have a tiff. Vincent Nader gets a phone call and goes outside, followed by Peter Franklin who is followed by Ian O’Bannon. Vince meets someone, who shoots him dead and is gone by the time Peter Franklin is on the scene.

Superintendent Joyce is on the case and is curious to know why Andrea slept apart from her husband the night before, but she says it was because she wasn’t feeling well. He informs her they found a letter that signalled Vincent’s intent to divorce her and mentions Peter’s name. Peter steps forward and Joyce tells him not to leave town.

Jess and Rory adjourn to a cafe and Rory finally admits he’s not on holiday, he’s investigating money laundering coming out of Ballynook. Jess thinks this is all tied up with Nan’s death but Rory just warns her to stay out of it. Neither of them notices Zuleika sitting behind them listening in.

Back at the castle, Moira confronts Ian about where he was at the time of the murder but gets nowhere. Joyce has a clandestine makeout session with Zuleika that we all could have done without frankly. Jess finds treasure in her bag, and Peter Franklin is arrested. Jessica arrives just in time to hear him tell Andrea to find the man who set him up, and Joyce explains that apparently Peter met some rando in a pub in Grafton street and it’s all gone on from there. Dr Sullivan spots the treasure in JB’s hand but sadly tells her it’s a fake. When JB returns to her room though she finds Moira lurking and she tells her it’s real, Nan found it and her father gave it to Moira. The Cromwell treasure is real.

Speaking of, Dr Sullivan goes to see Jack Conroy and apologise for getting up in his business at the pub, and to find out what he knows about the treasure, which is definitely real and someone is selling it up north for a mint. Jack stops Sullivan going through Nan’s things and throws him out.

Rory goes to see Peter – Peter explains the whole thing about he was meant to be in the garden at 8pm to receive a package but the man never showed and now he’s arrested for murder instead. Back at the castle, Zuleika says goodbye to JB, she’s hitting the road. Not a minute later JB gets a call from a friend in the States who confirms that Zuleika went to prison for her part playing a ghost in a confidence scam. Jess calls the garda house looking for Rory but Joyce tells her she just missed him. Eileen tells her Zuleika is upstairs so Jessica goes to confront her.

Walking through the old wing she hears crying and finds an unfamiliar door open. She steps through it and it is slammed shut behind her, leaving her trapped.

Later that afternoon Eileen and Rory go looking for Jess but Zuleika tells them Jess went to Cork to fly to Dublin for a meeting, anyway she must be off, pip pip.

And so we leave our heroine trapped in the same dungeon where Nan died, and the rats are coming out of the walls.

Stay tuned Fletcherfans!

DUN DUN DUN!

 

S11E20 – Another Killing in Cork

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Tonight on Murder She Wrote is back! I don’t know why it left! Also, this episode was really dumb and I decided to have a shot everytime someone was drinking in this episode because my work Christmas party is tonight and I thought it would be a good idea.

In any case, JB is back in Ireland to catch up with old mate Tom Dempsey and his wife Kate, who are the new owners of a fishing lodge in Cork. Tom’s a bit stressed out fighting a mining company that wants to set up in the valley and after a meeting with mine employee Walter Ickes and Councilman Harold Early Tom tells them both to shove their offers to subsidise the lodge. Lodge employee Dennis McSorley is taking the side of the mine, telling Tom that it’s the future of Ireland which is nonsense because this is the future of Ireland:

Not even kidding I was in a glitter coma for a week after the 2011 Eurovision final it was glorious. Don’t hate, celebrate.

Anyway, Walter’s not happy with the discussion and thinks Tom needs to be dealt with, which worries Harold because he’s heard stories of a politician standing up to the mine in Colorado being killed/maimed/somethinged, but Walter tells him it was an accident don’t worry about it.

Tom goes to pick Jess up from the train station and fills her in on all the mine news. Apparently, the fishing lodge is under a bit of pressure which isn’t helping. They nearly hit a passing hobo strolling down the road, and I call shenanigans.

That’s a mask, I’m calling it now.

Back at the lodge, Dennis hits on one of the kitchen staff whose name I think might be Bridget while bignoteing how involved he is with the mine. Jessica gets settled into the lodge while Tom chats with someone called Seamus about the random hobo they saw strolling along the road – Tom is convinced he’s a mine spy.

Cut to dinner that night in the lodge dining room, and if you’re playing at home, take a drink (I’ve got Sailor Jerry’s and ginger ale, it’s officially summer now). There’s some talk about what fly is best to catch salmon and I immediately started watching Eurovision videos again because URGH.

(If you are unfamiliar with The Drinking Song by Jason Webley you should get acquainted)

The main instigator of this fish talk is Cyril Ruddy, while his wife Nellie just sits back and drinks (fair). There’s also Freddie Layton and his girlfriend Laura Maples. Freddy gets a phone call and wanders off leaving JB to chat with Edward Pryce who is in town not to fish but to look for a poinciana. Everyone staying at this lodge is boring, they are clearly struggling for guests.

Whatever Freddie’s phone call is about it’s not good news for him because there’s something in the USA Today about him. Meanwhile, Bridget’s friend Shana tells her off for not telling Dennis she’s pregnant. Back in the dining room, Edward decides to pop into town and Nellie decides to get a lift with him. JB spots the book Edward is holding and begs to borrow it after he’s done. Edward acts very oddly but promises to lend it to her after tomorrow.

Down at the pub – #DRINK – Walter and Harold conspire over darts, and not even kidding I just had to go look their names up again. Bridget and Shana, who have apparently knocked off work, wander in for a drink. Seamus and Dennis are there too, and Seamus wants to talk about how Dennis is all tied in with the mining crew but Seamus just blathers on about the future of Ireland again (see previous thoughts on this, which are still true). Edward and Nellie make plans to meet by the riverbank the next morning, while Freddie drinks quietly in the corner.

The next morning Jessica demolishes a breakfast while Cyril Ruddy heads off to fly fish with Tom’s prized fly which is apparently called the Black Mariah I’m not even kidding I’m boring myself writing this. Jess comes across Edward fiddling with a painting and he outs himself as a compulsive picture straightener. Sure, buddy. Tom takes Jess down to the legally-required-to-appear-and-naturally-haunted ruins, where they throw pennies in the well and make wishes.

In other news…

The distinct lack of people is a significant selling point. And it has its own waterfall!

Down by the river, Freddie decides he needs to make a phone call and bails on the fishing. Seamus tries to help Cyril catch a fish but Cyril knows exactly what he’s doing and isn’t taking orders from anyone, while the mystery hobo loiters behind a tree.

Further along the riverbank, Edward is setting up for his picnic with Nellie when he gets clobbered over the head with a rock. This fact appears to go unnoticed for a while, as later that night Tom orders a toast to celebrate Cyril catching the first big fish in a few weeks. (#DRINK). Kate finally asks where Edward and Freddie are, and Laura says Freddie had an errand in Cork and borrowed the car, and then Bridget pops up to say that Edward left a note on the kitchen noticeboard not to expect him for dinner. Jess says when she saw him heading off for his walk that morning he had a picnic enough for an army. This causes Cyril and Nellie to give each other a Look. And then I discovered Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 posted the baby monkey on the pig video and I kind of wandered off for a while.

Festivities concluded, Cyril and Nellie wander off. Cyril wants to know how the picnic went but Nellie tells him Edward never showed. They spot Jessica and Laura perusing the bookshelves and quickly walk off. Jessica asks Laura if she’s found anything good to read, and Laura says she’s not sure, it’s a treatise on the effects of something something on demasculinised female salmon.

“Well I thought that was a major operation,” says Jessica. “Do you suppose they sew a wee Irish vest and pants for the wee fishy?”

THAT IS AN ACTUAL QUOTE.

BACK THE TRUCK UP WALLY. What the hell even is this? Jessica is literally smarter than everyone she comes into contact with, why is she making weird jokes about transgender salmon? The writers are literally phoning it in at this point.

Anyway, back down the pub that night (#DRINK) the hobo has a quiet pint of Guinness while Walter and Harold bribe Dennis to spy on Tom. He takes the envelope full of cash and bolts. Walter nods in the hobo’s direction, who nods back.

Speaking of Tom, on his way home he has car trouble and ends up going into a ditch. He swears the car has only just been fixed, and it’s a blatant attempt on his life. Sergeant Terence Boyle (previously seen in A Killing In Cork), says he’ll look into it but that Tom needs to lay off slandering Harold all over the place.

Morning rolls around and Jess decides to take some snaps down at the ruin, which I swear to Beyonce looks like the ruin from The Wind Around The Tower episode. She runs into Laura who is a bit sad, she thought they’d come to Ireland so Freddie could propose. Jess suggests making a wish so Laura chucks a penny down the well.

Back at the lodge, Tom confronts Dennis about being caught up in the whole mine thing with Walter and Harold and Dennis storms off. Kate announces Edward still hasn’t turned up and has enlisted Sergeant Boyle to help locate him. Meanwhile, Laura shows JB her photos and Jess spots one from the day before where Edward is setting up for his picnic and the hobo is lurking in the trees.

A search of the riverbank finds the discarded picnic set and a bloodied rock, but no sign of Edward. It’s not till later that night, when Boyle is having a coffee and Shana is vaguely flirting with him, that JB has a thought.

I MEAN COME ON.

Ding ding ding. I’ve got nothing.

But in any rate, Edward’s body is down the well. They hoist him out as Jess explains there were three dings when she made her wish with Tom, but only two when she made her wish with Laura. Boyle takes charge and interviews everyone – Freddie asks him not to contact his company if he can avoid it. Harold turns up and he and Tom accuse each other of basically everything before Boyle tells them both to calm down.

Boyle runs into Jessica as he departs and asks her what she knows. Jess says Edward claimed to be an English teacher and an amateur botanist but he incorrectly attributed a famous Hamlet speech to Polonius and was on the hunt for a poinciana, a tree native to the tropics.

Down the pub (#DRINK) Nellie delivers some actual relationship advice to Laura and departs so that she and Freddie can have it out. Freddie admits that the reason he’s been so secretive is that someone has embezzled money from his company and he is being accused of it because he left the country. Laura doesn’t mind that, they’ll go back to America and sort it out. GOD THIS EPISODE IS BORING.

Laura and Freddie come home a bit pissed but soon sober up when they see Boyle. He has a few questions for Freddie down the police station, but he’s not under arrest. Word on the street is that a private investigator hired by the mining company hasn’t been heard of for a couple of days – possibly Freddie thought the PI was after him? After he leaves with the police, Jessica looks at Laura’s photos again and decides there’s something odd going on. Meanwhile, Dennis and Bridget are on a boat (because of course they are) – Bridget tells Dennis she’s pregnant and Dennis tells her about his side hustle with the mining company which Bridget very much doesn’t approve of.

Oh! This rum is finally starting to kick in! I think it’s too late for me to not be thunderously irritated by this episode though.

The next morning Jessica stumbles across Kate straightening a picture and has a Brainwave. Sure enough, Edward’s missing book is stashed behind the painting – it turns out to be an expense ledger of his movements since he left Colorado. Jess asks Tom to pass the ledger along to Boyle, it will help to clear Freddie.

Down the pub that night (#DRINK) Dennis decides to chuck Harold and Walter’s offer in their faces literally. He’s for Ireland, but not at the price they’re asking. SUCK IT MINING GUYS.

Jessica puts a call into a friend in London, regarding the Shropshire theatre company. Whatever he tells her is what she wants to hear, and she joins everyone in the dining room, but not before taking Edwards notice off the board. The Ruddy’s are about to depart, but they’ve time to chat about the murder. Tom announces Jess doesn’t think Freddie did it, but Jessica says she doesn’t know who it was. She thinks the evidence will be found at the ruins though. Behind a door, Seamus calls Walter down the pub (#DRINK) who tells him to do whatever he has to.

That night, Tom finds JB down at the ruins looking for something. She explains Edward had a fishing fly on him when he was found, she thinks it was transferred from the killer.

Sure enough…

Told you it was a woman in that mask. I’ve not watched Scooby Doo for nothing.

But of course, it wasn’t just Nellie.

But of course.

Edward, it turns out, was an Interpol agent on the hunt for the two assassins who killed the politician who went against the mine in Colorado, which should interest me way more than it does. Anyway, Seamus was calling the police, not Walter. Presumably, it was Nellie or Cyril (real name Edward Montgomery) who called Walter.

You know what, I don’t even care. This episode is done, JB is almighty, thank you next. (Topical reference FTW)

Cheers Fletcherfans!

S10E07 – A Killing In Cork

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Our Heroine is back in leprechaun country and is receiving a concise history of everything that’s going on with her friend Fiona Griffith from local gossip Siobhan Kennedy – Fiona’s husband is dead, her son Sean is running the woollen mill (as seen by a frankly Wonka style opening montage except wool is not delicious and chocolate is), her other son Patrick buggered off to America a long time ago and her husband’s cousin Ambrose is trying to take over the business and move the factory to Sligo, a town I once passed through on a bus. Hashtag fun fact.

I think she might be rethinking this whole trip

Over at said factory, (in a part of Ireland where the accents range from Swedish to Indian), Sean is preparing for battle with factory manager type person Dennis Moylan. The evil Ambrose Griffith is on his way and is currently tailgating Siobhan and JB until they get out of his way.

Preach.

Said car arrives at the woollen mills, and Ambrose orders his wife to wait in the car with the driver.

(And also a person in her own right obviously, but hey fun fact!)

Back on the road, Siobhan stops to pick up local drunk poet Billy Mahaffy who informs JB that Robert Griffith was actually murdered. Siobhan dismisses this as total nonsense and drops Billy at the pub. Later, Fiona explains to JB that Billy drunkenly walked in front of a bus one night and spent a year in the hospital, and hasn’t been the same since.

Over tea, Fiona and JB catch up on all the gossip, such as how Robert got interested in stonemasoning before he died, and how he had finally started to let go of the business. It was a terrible Alannis Morrisette level irony that his interest in stone masonry led to his death when a piece of the church fell off and landed on him.

Down at the pub Ambrose, Mrs Griffith and the driver arrive to check in to their rooms. Ambrose exchanges LOOKS with a guy sitting a the bar with a pint and a book on birdwatching but quickly reveals himself to be a Fake Twitcher when Billy Mahaffy asks him about birds he’s seen.

JB gets a tour of the woollen mill from Sean who leaves her in Dennis’s company to pick out a blanket. Dennis is furious that Sean didn’t show Ambrose financial reports – he seems to be all for moving the factory for some reason. JB’s next stop is the church, where Father Timothy offers up the parish computer records if she can’t find any trace of her Macgill relatives in the graveyard.

I would have laughed SO hard if it was Grady.

The girl leaps up, announces the leprechaun is coming (she calls it something else but I’m tired and editorialising) and runs away. Later that night, after Jess and Father Timothy discuss what poisons are the best for murder, Fiona shows Jess a picture of the leprechaun in question, known for never taking his pipe out of his mouth, and explains that the girl is Una O’Reilly. The conversation is interrupted first by Sean and Ambrose blueing over the business, then by the sudden arrival of Patrick Griffith who pops in to announce he has a thought or two about Ambrose taking over the business. Ambrose tells him he has no say, his father disowned him, he has no shares in the business.

The next day Patrick gives Jessica a lift into town and explains that he left after getting sick of the way his father treated him. He went off to university, received mysterious money orders into his bank account every month from an unknown benefactor, and then once he heard Robert had died decided to come home. He apologises for his behaviour the previous night, saying he could have waited an hour before teeing off on Ambrose.

ALWAYS.

Down by the lake, Ambrose/Pete Sampras’s wife Emily starts making out with the chauffeur while Fake Twitcher Guy takes photos. Gee, I wonder how that’s going to end up. Over at the mills Ambrose, Patrick and Sean yell at each other for awhile, which ends with Ambrose announcing Robert Griffith agreed to the move and producing paperwork showing the board appointing him emperor of the woollen mills. Patrick and Sean storm out. Ambrose tells Dennis if he keeps his mouth shut and does his job he might have a future with the company.

Ambrose is on fire. After properly enraging his entire family, he next drops a stack of incriminating photos on Emily and tells her she’s done and there’s no alimony in her future. He skulks off and she goes straight to the phone – she needs to see whoever is on the other end of the line immediately.

There’s only one way to resolve all of this dramatic tension.

FIRST RULE OF RIVERDANCE FIGHT CLUB IS THAT YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT RIVERDANCE FIGHT CLUB UNLESS IT’S IN A BAD IRISH ACCENT.

While the Riverdancers fight to the death, Fiona wonders where Patrick has disappeared to and Emily arrives with Dennis Moylan. Ambrose gets a message from the friendly bartender and leaves under the eagle eye of his now-sacked chauffeur, and Siobhan waits in a dark wood, for Patrick as it turns out. Patrick ain’t got time to chat though and is off to do a thing. The chauffeur guy turns up there and watches Patrick and Siobhan wander off in different directions.

Father Timothy offers jetlagged JB a lift home while down at the church Ambrose is waiting for his mysterious note-writer to turn up. He gets freaked out when he sees Una O’Reilly singing at him through a window, then she runs away. He turns around and finds the bell rope swinging. He calls out, cops a garrotte around the neck and starts frantically pulling on the bell rope.

Back at the pub JB hears the church bells and asks if they always ring at ten o’clock. Father Timothy panics, as the church should be locked tight and there’s money in the safe so he grabs Jess and they jet over to the church to find Ambrose dead on the ground, the bell rope still swaying.

The next day the 5-0 roll in.

It’s the token Irish guy who isn’t Irish!

Sergeant Boyle, much to Jessica’s apparent irritation, seems to have the matter in hand. He is not terribly moved by Jessica’s knowledge that the death occurred at 10:04pm, or that she saw Ambrose receive a message from the bartender, or that the fact that the window was smashed suggests that the killer broke into the church and let Ambrose in. After he leaves, Jessica spots a shard of glass outside on the ground and some black ash that someone tried to sweep up. She asks Father Timothy if someone had swept in there that day but he thinks not. He gives her a list of people who have keys to the church and it’s basically everyone.

Speaking of everyone, they all gather at Fiona’s house to pay their respects to the newly widowed Mrs Griffith. Dennis is extra polite, and Billy Mahaffy wonders if that means the woollen mills are going to move to some land Dennis owns, and Dennis tells him to lay off the booze.

Down at the mill, Patrick is delighted to inform Sean that the directors have voted to keep Sean in charge and to move in whatever direction he sees fit. Sean is delighted but worried about Sergeant Boyle. He wants to know if Patrick killed Ambrose so Sean can help cover it up. Patrick is furious and storms out.

Jess is off picking flowers, seemingly not needed in this investigation.

If there was a murder, yo she’ll solve it…check out the hook while Doc Hazlitt revolves it (guys it’s five thirty in the morning I might have broken myself)

Dennis Moylan drops past to tell her that her brand new rug will be ready in the morning and departs. Siobhan rushes up to tell Jessica that Sergeant Boyle is convinced Patrick murdered Ambrose. She admits to JB she’d known Patrick for a while, he had come back to town for a day to meet someone and she had met him in the pub that night and they were casually hooking up. The night of the murder he was supposed to meet her but didn’t and he was always asking questions about the mill, but he totes didn’t kill Ambrose.

After some digging around in the parish records, Jess wanders the graveyard and finds Una communing with the fairies. Jess tries to find out more about the leprechaun but Una runs away. Jess heads back to Fiona’s just in time to see Patrick being hauled off in cuffs by Sergeant Boyle.

Jess takes Fiona for a walk to get the truth out of her. It turns out Patrick isn’t Robert’s son, he’s Billy Mahaffey’s. He went to Belfast and disappeared/got hit by a bus and so Fiona married Robert. He knew Patrick wasn’t his so he treated him badly. Fiona’s terrified Sergeant Boyle will find out and think Patrick killed both of them but JB thinks she’s on to something.

(Spoiler alert: I only just now realised this is basically the cast of the Celtic Riddle telemovie).

JB goes to see Patrick in jail, and he admits he came back to town to find out who’d been sending money orders. Billy told him he was his real father the day Robert died. He thought Billy had killed Ambrose Griffith and tried to make it look like a robbery. Sergeant Boyle pops in to call time on visiting hours and starts fiddling with a button. This seals the deal for Jessica and that night she lays a trap for the killer.

*May not actually be a leprechaun

Won’t lie, nailed this one about ten minutes in. Dennis wanted the factory moved to his land and killed anyone who said no, basically. There was a lost button, Jess had it all worked out, it was fine.

And that’s all she wrote, for a couple of weeks. Santa Claus is coming to town, you guys! But I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.

Merry Festivus Fletcherfans!

S09E04 – The Wind Around the Tower

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Welcome to suspiciously sunny Ireland Fletcherfans, where JB is researching for her new book. As it happens, recently retired NYPD detective Sean Culhane (aka the other Demon Barber of Fleet Street, seen previously here) has returned home to Ireland and is happy to chauffeur Our Heroine around, while bitching about the prevalence of Australian soap operas on TV. (Such blasphemy will not stand, although I must confess I’ve never really watched Home and Away but I did watch Neighbours for a time, until that ridiculous storyline with the bomb on the plane on their joyride to Tasmania, because frankly Tasmania did nothing to be dragged into that shambles).

I digress.

JB just wants to hang out with some typical Irish folk, and Sean knows just the place – his friend Neil Gillen heard he was back in the old country and has invited him for a visit, so they head to his village. While the hotel owner sees to their rooms JB and Sean stop for a bite of lunch, and Neil soon joins them for a pint and an invitation – forget staying at the pub, come stay at his his new castle-y big house he’s just bought. It has a library full of old books ready for JB to peruse.

Guys I won’t lie, I am well acquainted with Irish drinking customs. In fact, I have a degree in whisky-tasting from the Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland because I’m awesome.

JB knocks off the rest of her beer and remembers she has some film she wants developing so she cruises on over to the chemist across the street. After she leaves, Sean tells Neil he’s here, what does he need? Neil says he can’t say just yet, but he wants Neil just to look around, and see what’s up. They’ll talk later.

Over at the chemist JB meets the proprietor and long time fan Francis O’Reilly, who had heard JB had been coming. He’d be happy to get the film done for her, and asks her to sign a few of her books so that he can take them round the housebound villagers. Jessica is obviously happy to oblige.

I mean it’s long at the bag and slightly less long on top. Turbo mullet?

Jess and Sean arrive at the fancy-pants house and meet Neil’s assistant Claire Abbot, who is delighted to discover that the guests are so famous (well, one is anyway) and tells them to let her know if there’s anything she can do. Neil then introduces Jess and Sean to his new wife Anne and his cousin Liam (previously also seen here). Anne is delighted to meet them both, and particularly Jessica – she hadn’t known Jess was coming until the day before. Liam politely excuses himself from dinner, saying he has other plans.

At dinner everything goes swimmingly until they hear shrieking coming from outside. Neil assures them that it’s just the wind catching on the facade, but Ann says it might be the Crying Lady. Back in ye olde black and white times, a ship captain built the house for his wife as a wedding present, complete with tower so she could watch the ship come in, but one (dark and stormy) night, she was in the tower and saw her husband’s ship crash against the cliffs and sink. She threw herself off the tower and died, and to this day people say she can be heard roaming the grounds. And guys would it surprise you to learn that she is a harbinger of death?

(Jessica Fletcher is 100% not a harbinger of death though, obviously).

That night Sean is woken by the sound of dogs barking. He looks out his window to see a shadowy figure walking thr grounds with a torch. He rushes to the hallway and bumps into Jessica.

“I was just going for some hot milk.” He says.

“So was I.” Says JB.

This is the weirdest episode of Scooby Doo ever.

They head on out and follow the light to the tower, but when they go inside the figure is missing. They find a plaque that reads “For my beloved Sarah, safe passage through dangerous places.” Then a man appears with a machine gun. He introduces himself as Quint Sankey, caretaker, (I WOULD WATCH THAT SHOW) and orders them back to the house. Neil and Ann quickly sort it out, Quint takes his leave and everyone goes back to bed, while Claire Abbott lurks in the shadows.

The next morning, Jess is up early eating breakfast and raiding Neil’s library. She’s found a goldmine but she wants more info so she’s going to go into town and see what she can find out from the locals. She invites Sean along, but he tells her he’d rather stay and stroll the grounds to get a feel for the place. Jess says that’s what he says when he’s investigating a crime. Sean tries to cover it up and JB says she doesn’t mean to intrude, she is offering her help whenever he needs it.

In town JB picks up her photos and for extremely subtle plot point reasons also grabs a bottle of the newest fragrance Emerald Sunset. The shopkeeper tells her she’s the first one to buy it and would love to hear what she thinks. Jess then goes back to the pub to hear the story of a battle between five strong men, one woman, a tax collector, a horse, several cases of good Irish whisky, and crossing rights to a bridge.

SPOILER ALERT: The horse won.

I just realised that the person telling this story is inexplicably drinking a pint of milk. But anyway.

Jessica and the storyteller (a Mr Foudy) are joined by Neil’s neighbour Jason McNamara who suggests that Jess might be interested in the story of the Crying Lady. Foudy hasn’t got much more to add, just that in life no one ever saw the wife go in or out of the tower, and that Jason McNamara can’t think of a more deserving person to have to deal with a ghost than Neil Gillen. Foudy explains after Jason leaves that Neil bought up Jason’s land when his finances went sideways.

Back at the house, Sean basically learns the same thing from Quint Sankey, caretaker while inside Neil confronts Liam about some money that’s gone missing out of some Swiss bank accounts. The place that they are filming this episode is the house from Clue! I’ve just worked it out. Oh man I love that movie.

After dinner that night, Sean and Neil confur in the library. Sean has had about enough of these mysterious shenanigans and he’s not a big fan of hiding things from Jess. Neil comes out with it – he thinks someone is going to kill him in the next 48 hours. He explains about the missing money, but he thinks there’s something else going on and asks Sean to meet him back there at midnight – he’ll explain it all then.

Sean sits up until 11:45 but he’s too late. The house is woken to the sound of Anne screaming – Neil is in his study, eyes wide open, dead as a post. Sergeant Devon O’Malley is called to the scene, and quickly rules it natural causes on account of there being not a mark on him. At first he rules it a heart attack but JB is quick to point out the lack of blueish tinge to Neil’s lips.

Downstairs Sean has a quiet word with O’Malley about possibly getting a full autopsy done on the down-low, cop to cop. O’Malley says he’ll see what he can do.

And now, a quick word from our sponsors…

And now, back to the show.

Out on a stroll, Sean explains the whole thing to JB, who knew something was up, the whole thing seemed dodge as. She springs into action, sending Sean to find out more about Jason McNamara, while she heads back into town.

Sean finds Jason banging up some no trespassing signs on Neil’s land. Jason says he heard or saw nothing the night before, but that he suspects Anne Gillen will be in a mood to sell the land off cheaply. Sean finds this remarkable, being as Neil’s not been dead a day.

Down in the village Jess is chatting to Brian Mulrain, the publican, who thinks it’s obvious – the killer was the Crying Lady. No one had heard anything from her for 50 years until Neil bought the house and then it all kicked off. Jess thinks there’s something to this and heads on her way, bumping into Francis O’Reilly on the way out.

Back at the house Jess tells Sean they need to talk but are soon joined by Liam Gillen, who wants to offer his apologies that such a dreadful thing should happen during their stay. He’d been out of town on business and had only just returned, and was likely to have to leave again now that he would be running the business. He departs, leaving Jess and Sean more suspicious than ever. Jess tells Sean to go and call O’Malley to find out more about Liam Gillen while Jess goes upstairs to talk more with Anne.

Outside, Liam sends his girlfriend CLAIRE ABBOTT off to stay with her family for a few days while he irons this whole situation out. Anne Gillen watches the whole scene play out from her bedroom window before she gets a knock at the door – Jessica offering condolences in this trying time. Ann tells her she plans to sell the house, she feels uncomfortable staying. Jess says she understands that Liam will take over the business, which is news to Ann – that was the opposite of what Neil would have wanted. Jess asks if anyone would have wanted to hurt Neil and Ann gets upset, insisting that it was natural causes. Jess scurries into the bathroom for a tissue, noticing a bottle of Emerald Sunset on the counter as she does so.

Later that afternoon Sean gets the coroners report back – cause of death is fluid in the lungs, presumably pneumonia. Both Sean and Jessica find this highly odd, as Sean didn’t appear sick in the slightest, but Ann and Sergeant O’Malley appear with some evidence that Ann just found. It’s a video from Sean’s cam-corder showing (among other things) Neil turning on a lamp, Neil constantly relighting his cigar, and Neil passing out and dying. We see Ann coming in to turn off the lamp before discovering Neil’s body, going to the doorway slowly and screaming.

JB is about to do her best Nic Cage from Gone in 60 Seconds impression (#ThingsThatAreOnlyTrueInsideMyHead)

A quick jaunt to the chemist confirms that while noone else has bought a bottle of the perfume, there is indeed one extra missing from the stand. The sale assistant thinks O’Reilly must have bought it for one of his lady friends, as he is wont to do.

Sean is confused as to how this will help but Jessica tells him they will just have to see the Crying Lady for more information. They sneak into the tower before being rumbled by Quint Sankey, Caretaker. Unfortunately for Quint, JB makes her getaway down a helpfully lit secret passage. (Forget Scooby Doo this is some Famous Five business up in here). She discovers nitrogen tanks, some pipes that were arguably screaming, and eureka!

Jess returns to the study to lay a trap. Anne wanders in to see what she’s doing and Jess explains that she’s convinced Neil was murdered, and she’s looking for evidence. Jess turns the lamp on, and Ann declares she’s not waiting around all night trying to find something that isn’t there. When she discovers she’s locked in though she loses it, until Jess announces it’s alright, they disconnected the nitrogen tanks already.

If I had a dollar for every wife/husband of death I’d be a rich woman.

Ahh yes. Anne was having a little something something going on with Francis O’Reilly, mainly so she could get hold of some nitrogen, bump off Neil and get hold of his money. That old chestnut.

But never mind all of that. It just so happens to be my birthday today, and this week has been a terrible horrible no good very bad week, so my birthday gift to myself, and to all of you, is the entirety of Angela Lansbury’s health and fitness video.

Watch and learn, Fletcherfans. Watch, and learn.

 

Later gang.