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S06E22 – The Sicilian Encounter

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It’s the season six finale Fletcherfans! Who thought we’d ever get here? (I was starting to wonder)

It appears this week we have been house-sitting for JB while she’s been in NYC doing her boss author bit.

It's been a long week.

It’s been a long week.

As JB goes through her mail for the week, she finds a letter postmarked Paris. It would appear her old pal Michael Hegarty has gotten himself into a spot of bother. Again.

Bookend time!

Welcome to Sicily, home of many Italian cliches and in this particular instance soon-to-be-married Claudia Carboni and Peter Baines are enjoying a bit of lunch while Peter is anticipating his siesta quite a lot.

There is a reason he looks familiar. More on that later.

There is a reason he looks familiar. More on that later.

Claudia is having no part of it. Her late first husband’s family will have no shame brought upon it and have sent a chaperone to keep an eye on proceedings. Peter is less than thrilled, but he only has to wait one more week until the wedding and then they can be on their way. Peter is eager to learn more about Claudia’s late husband’s business but she tells him all she knows is that he dealt mostly in cash. Peter is also curious to learn how her first husband died.

“Suddenly.” Says Claudia.

Why yes I did write that in Scooby Doo's voice, and thank you for noticing!

Why yes I did write that in Scooby Doo’s voice, and thank you for noticing!

After lunch they stroll around the park and discuss the Completely Miraculous Coincidence that led to their meeting, which turns out to have happened when Peter begged to switch seats on a flight from Boston. While they stroll, they progress is followed by a man watching from a nearby apartment.

Peter is overcome again but Claudia reminds him that the wedding is only a week away and that until she’s legally married to him – in a church, with a priest – that she’s still technically a threat to the family and so they need to behave. Their chauffeur/chaperone honks for them to hurry up.

As they depart, the watching man makes a note in his notebook. The door behind him opens and an extra from The Sopranos walks in. The watching man tells the extra that he’s got the wrong TV show room, but the other man pulls a knife. It would appear he has exactly the right room.

A short time later everyone’s favourite not-quite-Bond arrives and asks an onlooker what happened. She tells Hegarty that an English tourist cut his throat shaving – and that noone saw nothin.

Hegarty phones home to tell them that the plan has gone belly-up and that his business associate “caught a cold”, but his boss tells him his mission is ago. A package needs to be delivered to London and Hegarty has to make sure that it does. At this point I couldn’t tell you what is or isn’t code, but Michael has a picture of Claudia Carboni so she is the package or has the package or likes a good package if you know what I mean.

His boss hangs up, leaving Michael unexpectedly listening to Downtown by Macklemore.

#you'rewelcome

Why did I decide on Downtown? Because my Mum keeps calling Downton Abbey Downtown Abbey and my mind is a dangerous and confusing place.

Back at the villa, Peter is getting fitted for a suit or six, much to Claudia’s surprise/mild irritation. After the tailor and the maid depart, Peter tries it on again but this time they are thwarted by the sudden entrance of the guy who killed Hegarty’s associate just before. Peter tries to cover up his leching by telling the man Claudia rolled her ankle.

I wish I could pull this face. Well I can. I wish that it worked though.

I wish I could pull this face. Well I can. I wish that it worked though.

Claudia asks him what he wants (it turns out his name is Mario, obviously), and it turns out that her priest has arrived from Boston.

This can only go well.

This can only go well.

Hegarty introduces himself as Monseigneur O’Shaunessy, and tells Claudia that he’s been sent to represent the Boston chuch on behalf of her priest back home, who has come down with a cold. Father O’Shaunessy, it turns out, knew Claudia’s late husband from way back and wonders if her future husband is from the same parish. She tells him no, he’s from England and calls for Peter to join them.

DRAMATIC HEGARTY IS DRAMATIC.

DRAMATIC HEGARTY IS DRAMATIC.

Now here’s the thing guys. Hegarty recognises Peter Baines, and says he knew a man named Harold Baines which turns out to have been Peter’s brother.

Harold Baines was the spy who killed back in episode one of this season.

THIS WHOLE SEASON JUST GOT BOOKENDED.

(My reaction, after working this out, can be seen here. In this gif the role of me will be played by Orson Welles).

But wait, there’s more news – Claudia’s brother-in-law Gino is flying in to attend the wedding. Claudia seems less than enthused about this, but when asked O’Shaunessy says he knows Gino Carboni, he is terrible at golf.

Brushing off this sudden shock of seeing his former friend’s brother, (who amazing looks EXACTLY LIKE HIS FRIEND), Hegarty announces that he promised Father Flynn that he would hear Claudia’s confession as soon as he arrived in Sicily, and whisks her out into the garden. As they walk, Hegarty makes discrete enquiries about Peter Baines, and her relationship with her dead husband’s family but she assures him she don’t know nothing about nothing (paraphrasing). She is looking forward to the week’s vacation in Switzerland she’s going on with Peter after the wedding.

Hegarty next visits Peter Baines, who is busy scoping himself out in his new suits. Petper is curious to know how Father O’Shaunessy knew Harold but “Father O’Shaunessy” can’t remember the exact details just now. Likewise, Father O’Shaunessy is eager to learn more about Peter, but it is soon apparent that Peter is a bit of a ladies man, and presumably not after The Package.

(God. This is starting to remind me of the time my friend Rachel and I watched all of R Kelly’s ‘ Trapped In The Closet’ in one sitting. We were (and still are) very confused about that Package too).

 

Anyway.

Gino arrives, and is greeted with the proper Italian kissing and so forth. Inside, Claudia is summoned to greet her soon-to-be-former brother-in-law but declares him to be a fake while Gino declares Claudia is not his brother’s late wife. The stalemate persists until Father O’Shaunessy appears and declares that he’s met Gino Carboni and that this man, while having a seemingly legit passport, is no Gino Carboni. A gaggle of Sopranos carry the supposed Carboni away, leaving Hegarty and Claudia to size each other up.

Well this seems odd.

Well this seems odd.

Later that night, Peter Baines is out having a cigarette on the terrace when he sees Gino Carboni being escorted off the premises whilst being stabbed by Carboni henchmen.

s2

k1 k2

This is my face when I realise it's Monday morning and I have to go to work

This seems like a fairly open and shut case, now that I think about it.

Peter rushes inside to tell Claudia the news. He’s frantic, but Claudia manages to calm him down.

EVERYTHING IS HASHTAGS

EVERYTHING IS HASHTAGS MY BRAIN HAS STOPPED

Claudia reassures her future husband that as soon as they’re married and have been to Switzerland to empty the safety deposit box they will never have to go back to Italy if they don’t feel like it.

Turns out the plants have ears. Or something.

I'll be honest, I just got home from my 3rd watching of Deadpool in a week, I don't know what life is anymore.

I’ll be honest, I just got home from my 3rd watching of Deadpool in a week, I don’t know what life is anymore.

On the other end of the bugline are the Carboni’s, who are most interested to learn that the safety deposit box is in Switzerland. Mario decides he will be the one to travel there, retrieve the boxes contents, eliminate Claudia and return to Sicily but his colleagues have been talking and they’re coming too.

Later, Mario finds Peter trying to calm himself with a fortifying brandy or twelve. He offers Peter a Cuban cigar and a cautionary tale about a man who ran away with Mario’s sister to Rome. “My poor sister.” Says Mario. “She becomes a widow before she’s even married.”

More brandy required.

More brandy required.

Down at the church the next day Claudia is getting a little fed up with her constant supervision by the Carboni family, but surprisingly Peter has gone cold on the idea. It’s only when O’Shaunessy offers to marry them on the spot that Peter brightens up. They go into the church, Hegarty improvises a vaguely accurate wedding ceremony and Peter seals the deal by kissing his bride. This rouses some suspicion with the chaperones looking on but Hegarty assures them that it’s practice. He tells Peter and Claudia to go and wait at the car, and once they go knocks out the two Sopranos extras and legs it, shouting a thankyou to the actual priest for letting him borrow the hall for a bit.

A chase ensues, with one of the goons hijacking a convertible and following Hegarty, Peter and Claudia to the local airfield. Thanks to some ace driving from Peter, who can also conveniently fly a plane, they escape the goons clutches and fly to Geneva.

This is all terribly factual. I do apologise.

On arrival at their hotel suite in Geneva, Peter promptly orders the hotel’s finest beluga caviar and champagne – “two glasses”, he adds.

His Holiness is not amused.

His Holiness is not amused.

Despite Peter’s attempts to say goodbye to Father O’Shaunessy, Hegarty parks himself on the couch. Claudia tells Peter to go and pick up some things from the hotel store. The door closes behind him and Claudia turns to Hegarty – “Alright Father – let’s talk turkey.”

It would appear that Hegarty’s priestly disguise wasn’t entirely cunning after all and Claudia has guessed that he is her MI6 contact. Hegarty agrees, saying that he would have revealed himself earlier but his associate had his throat cut which rather put a dampener on things. Hegarty is most curious to know why Claudia has acquired Peter but she says she is in love – and then confesses she just has him around for the muscle in case her former in-laws get uppity. Hegarty is also concerned about the in-laws – apparently they too have an interest in the package, which turns out to be a little black book of Mafia contacts that Claudia has pinched. Claudia tells him she doesn’t know what’s in the book and doesn’t want to know – she just wants the money, as agreed in their deal.

Peter returns and is less than excited to see Hegarty. When Claudia excuses herself to take a bath, he sees his opportunity to rush Hegarty out the door. He has no time for Hegarty’s priest bit, he himself has impersonated a priest before, but he doesn’t want Claudia to know that. Hegarty informs him that a)she already knows  and b)Hegarty is secret service, and until the transaction he and Claudia are conducting is concluded in the morning, Peter will be sleeping on the couch.

Peter is not excited.

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

Later that night Mario Carbone gets a phone call…from Claudia. She’s pretending to be a bank clerk confirming the time of Claudia’s appointment the next day.

PLOT TWIST YOU GUYS.

The next morning, Claudia wakes Peter from his almost-sleep on the couch to tell him…she is attracted to him. Weird. They commence making out horrifyingly energetically and only stop with the arrival of the recently-defrocked Michael Hegarty, who announces the car is waiting and the bank opens in half an hour. Peter informs them he is coming too, which Hegarty is against until Claudia announces she would prefer to have Peter there – she’s not sure she can trust Hegarty yet.

On the drive over Claudia notices that a car is following them but keeps that information to herself, while Peter ponders how much money he’s going to get his hands on. At the bank, Hegarty tells him to wait in reception while Claudia produces the key for the box. Inside the bank vault, the extent of the money is revealed, causing Claudia to do a fairly decent Sleepless in Seattle reenactment. In her excitment she drops some money on the ground, and while Hegarty graciously picks them up Claudia swaps the little black book in the box for one in her bag. WHAT THE HELL CLAUDIA?

As they leave the bank, the Carboni gang appear, guns drawn, demanding the book. But then some more people appear with guns and arrest the Carbonis. Hegarty rushes Claudia and Peter into the car and hightails it out of there. While Peter and Claudia are distracted, Hegarty sneaks the little black book out of Claudia’s handbag.

Back at the hotel the truth is revealed – Claudia is really Jennifer Page! Jennifer is working for the CIA! Jennifer is conveniently a dead ringer for the real Claudia Carboni!

Peter doesn’t take this news at all well. And neither does Jennifer when she discovers that Hegarty has swapped the black books back and has the real one. Hegarty leaves the two of them to sort out their feelings while he calls home to tell his boss the good news.

And that, Fletcherfans, is the end of Season 6. I AM OFFICIALLY HALF WAY. OH GOD I AM ONLY HALF WAY. This was such a good idea in 2012, but then the world was meant to be ending that year so I think I figured I’d be off the hook. God damn Mayan prophecies, always letting me down.

But I am curious – now that we’re half-way, what has been your favourite episode so far? I think mine might be “If It’s Thursday It Must Be Beverley” but it’s a tough call.

Let me know your thoughts, and stay tuned for season 7 next week!

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S06E01 – Appointment in Athens

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Salutations Fletcherfans! Sorry for that unexpected break in transmission, but unfortunately not even JB Fletcher herself can stop Gastropocalypse 2015, which has ended just in time for Wintergeddon to begin (if you’re in the northern hemisphere I AM SO JEALOUS RIGHT NOW I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU WINTER IS STUPID).

In any case, welcome to season 6! At the end of this season we will reach the halfway mark *gulp* so to celebrate I will livetweet another one of the movies. But more on that later, because GUESS WHO’S BACK?

Yes Michael, it's called a telephone

Yes Michael, it’s called a telephone

Everyone’s favourite Not Quite James Bond, Michael Hegarty is in Paris having a crisis. One of his best agents has been taken hostage in Athens, his pal back in England still hasn’t turned up any info about it, and Michael’s fake wife Pamela has backed out of the mission to rescue, citing appendicitis. His Athens cover blown – unless he can find a fake wife in time.

Funny story though, you’ll never believe who’s checking out downstairs.

I think she's on to you Hegarty.

I think she’s on to you Hegarty.

Whatever Hegarty is working on, JB doesn’t want to know about it – she’s in the middle of a world-wide book tour and is off to Cairo. No time for your shenanigans Hegarty.

The man at reception gets a phone call and tells Jess her flight has been delayed for at least 8 hours. Never mind! Says Michael. You’re coming with me to Athens! Just get a connecting flight etc etc. Jess is not at all keen on the idea – on account of the last time she spent any time with Michael she ended up in jail on a murder charge – but ends up on a flight to Athens anyway.

At Athens Airport, Michael escorts her to the check-in counter, where YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS there is no reservation in her name and the flight is fully booked. WHAT WERE THE ODDS OF THAT HAPPENING? When JB turns around, Michael has legged it and in his place is another English man who “recognises” JB from her book covers. Bane Harold Baines, JB’s white knight, offers to let her stay in his “company’s” 2 bedroom suite at the Hotel Grand Bretagne until she is able to get a flight to Cairo, on account of there being no other accommodation in Athens due to a trade convention. This is just a series of amazing conicidences you guys.

Down at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, the arrival of JB with her new buddy Harold has not gone unnoticed.

NOONE SAW NOTHING

NOONE SAW NOTHING

While The Mysterious Hat Man lurks in a potplant Bane Harold Baines escorts Jessica to reception and wanders off with her passport, because that’s absolutely not weird. He returns a short time later, while Jess is unpacking (WHY IS SHE UNPACKING IF SHE’S ONLY THERE ONE NIGHT THIS WHOLE UNPACKING IN HOTEL ROOMS IS DOING MY HEAD IN), and gives her her passport back. They are soon surprised by a special delivery for a Mrs Reardon. Jess tries to tell them there’s a mistake but Bane tips the bellhop and closes the door.

Something something penny dropping something.

Something something penny dropping something.

Bane comes clean and admits he’s MI6, that there was never a reservation made in her name to Cairo but that he didn’t lie about the lack of hotel rooms in Athens. He also has no idea where Michael is – some people were closing in on him at the airport when Bane went up to Jess and he hasn’t heard from him since. He begs Jess to go along with the charade and she agrees, mostly so she can kill Michael afterwards.

Meanwhile The Mystery Hat that is also known as Henryk Stuvesant has extricated himself from the shrubbery long enough to visit Mr Papadopolous to sell information regarding the current whereabouts of Mr and Mrs Reardon. Papadopoulous pays him half, and promises more money once Henryk learns more about their movements. Henryk then puts in a call to station chief Alec Scofield, to sell more information – that Mr and Mrs Reardon will be attending the home of Mr Papadopoulous that evening. Trafford agrees to payment in exchange for an invitation. He’s not best happy that Hegarty has gone rogue, and orders Bane to keep a close eye on Mr and Mrs Reardon.

Henryk is not done yet though – he pays a visit to “Mrs Reardon”, chilling out with a “cup of tea” in the hotel lobby. He tries to ascertain the time and location of the “transaction” but Mrs Reardon gives him nothing. When she turns the tables and starts asking for information about the other party involved in the transaction Henryk bails, unhappy Mrs Reardon does not trust him.

Stirred, not shaken.

Stirred, not shaken.

Jess returns to the suite to find a big bouquet of roses from Michael, and the man himself fussing with a bowtie and ordering her to hurry up and frock up, they have a party to get to. Jess is about to put her foot down when there’s a knock at the door.

It’s Pamela Reardon.

Michael Reardon’s wife.

Damn straight.

Damn straight.

After miraculously recovering from her appendicitis, which turned out to be gastritis/a failed audition, Pamela decides to sack out on the couch and rest. JB tells Michael he clearly doesn’t need her any more but he points out that Henryk and the hotel staff know her as Mrs Reardon, and it was too late now.

In the car on the way to the party, Michael explains how his colleague Laddie Fairchild (REALLY? THAT’S YOUR NAME? YOU ARE ALL TERRIBLE SPIES) was running a travel agency as a front for collecting intelligence on some gun runners or some such business and was kidnapped for ransom by some garden variety kidnappers who don’t know they’ve kidnapped a MI6 agent. He met then in Paris and managed to stall them by saying his wife was the sister of Laddie Fairchild (UGH WHAT IS THAT NAME) and has the money to pay. The kidnappers gave him til 1pm the next day to find the money.

Once at the party, Michael and JB run into Alec Scofield, who has come to take an interest in Michael’s harebrained scheme. His wife, however, is mainly there to judge Alec on his poor life choices, although I think she and Laddie had a little something something going on the side. Hegarty gets him to agree to play along just as Mr Papadopolous comes up to them and says “Mr Reardon I doubt I shall ever forgive you…for not telling me how lovely your wife was.”

That is my default expression when I'm at a party

That is my default expression when I’m at a party

Papadopolous drags JB off to quiz her about her life/make out with her hands but she is eventually saved by Michael who asks if the exchange will take place tomorrow. Papadopolous tells him he has not been in contact with the kidnappers, but now that he has satisfied himself in regards to Mr and Mrs Reardon, he will tell the kidnappers that Mr and Mrs Reardon will be at a certain telephone box at 12pm tomorrow.

On their way out they spot Bane and Hegarty has a go at him for revealing the plan to Scofield. He apologises but says he didn’t reveal JB and Michael would be at the party, but if he didn’t keep Scofield at least partially informed he might be suspected of being involved. He’s got a tap on Papadopolous’s phone but hasn’t heard anything from the kidnappers yet.

Meanwhile back at the hotel Pamela Drake is dead. The police suspect robbery gone bad but JB points out that since her jewellery was fake a jewel thief would have no reason to take it. Jess also tries to point out that she’s not Mrs Reardon but is surprised to see that her passport says otherwise. Down at the MI6 office, Henryk Stuyvesant is filling Alec Scofield in on the mysterious second Mrs Reardon (for a price, obviously).

In their new suite across the hall, (hotel can’t be that booked out then) Michael has returned from a supply run and is set to call the whole thing off but JB assures him she’ll be fine. He asks her about the cablegram that reception said was given to Mrs Reardon earlier than afternoon but Jess tells him she doesn’t know anything about it. Just when they work out Pamela must have taken it (come on guys!) they get a knock on the door. It’s Bane with news – the kidnappers have set the location point for the exchange at 1pm tomorrow.

The next morning they go to the bank to withdraw the million dollar ransom, and Michael comes clean – there is no money. He whips out a newspaper and tells Jess to start crumpling.

Next stop is the phone box, where they are to receive word of the location (which they already learned thanks to Bane’s wire taps). Hegarty gets on  the phone and freaks out – the kidnappers moved the exchange up half an hour and swapped it to the Roman Market. They floor it over there but the kidnappers or Laddie Fairchild are nowhere to be found. Instead, they find Dimiti Papadopoulos who has presumably heard about the other Mrs Reardon and now wants to see the contents of the briefcase. Just when Michael is trying to find out who killed Pamela, the Greek police arrive. Sergeant Petrakas, the investigator in charge of Pamela’s murder, has a friend who’d just been to a book shop…

Petrakas takes everyone down to the police station but noone is talking, and with insufficient evidence he is forced to let Michael and JB go. Hegarty is set to roll on Laddie Fairchild’s kidnappers, but has no proof in relation to Pamela’s killer. JB has a theory about that, and so while “Mr Reardon” pays a visit to Henryk Stuvysant asking for help in getting in contact with the kidnappers, and then follows Stuvysant (with the surprising help of Sergeant Petrakas) to the kidnappers, JB sets a trap of her own. A cablegram gets sent to Michael Reardon at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, which happens to be spotted by Bane.

And the thing about that is

Let the games begin. (This episode would have been greatly improved if Bane was actually in it).

Let the games begin. (This episode would have been greatly improved if Bane was actually in it).

It turns out Bane was in league with the kidnappers because Laddie was about to get promorted, and thanks to a wildly convenient lipstick smudge on Bane’s jacket at the party Bane’s fate is sealed. Apparently Hegarty was on Bane’s tail the whole time? I find this whole episode rather suspicious to be honest.

And on that note:

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

 

S05E01 – J.B as in Jail Bird

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Welcome to season five Fletcherfans! Only seven more seasons to go! This must be how it feels to run a marathon :S

JB is in San Francisco this week, and whatever plans she had planned have fallen apart very quickly thanks to an old friend.

This can only mean trouble.

This can only mean trouble.

JB bumped into him leaving the airport, and gentleman that he is he offered her a lift to her hotel, Unfortunately it’s all gone a bit wrong and he’s now on the trail of some Bulgarian dude who hightails it out of a hotel room window and down the fire escape. He tries to hijack the car containing JB but as she helpfully points out that she doesn’t have the keys and she doesn’t know how to drive, shots ring out and he collapses. Jess looks up just in time to see Hegarty scarper as the police cars make an unexpectedly quick arrival leaving Jess no time to do anything but pick up the book the dead Hungarian had in his pocket.

Damn it Hegarty!

Classic Hegarty

Classic Hegarty move

While JB gets hauled off to the cop shop Hegarty is back at base listening to his boss list all the things he is going to throw at Hegarty for stuffing up the mission.

Hegarty is a bit cranky and tells his boss that he didn’t shoot the guy, it was their arch nemesis the Cobra, a deadly assassin who has evaded capture for some time. Lancaster is vaguely appeased but is still furious that Hegarty got a civilian involved. She’ll talk to the police! She’ll talk to the press! She’ll compromise everything!

Hegarty assures his boss that he has JB covered. At least, temporarily.

Down at the police station JB is trying to persuade the detectives to let her go, but they aren’t having it. They want to know her real name and nationality. When she tells them her name is Jessica Fletcher from Cabot Cove Maine they tell her the REAL Jessica Fletcher reported her bag and luggage stolen from the airport. Sergeant Nash orders her to be booked as a Jane Doe. JB tells them she was supposed to be meeting her nephew Grady who is in town on business. He’ll vouch for her.

Oh dear.

Back at base, Lancaster, Hegarty and his colleague Roger Travis assess the situation. There’s an African politician coming to give a speech at Berkeley in a few days, to publicly shame his home country. The ruling party can’t bump the guy off at home but sources indicate that the Cobra has been hired for half a million bucks to assassinate him. Lancaster says the Americans don’t believe there’s a threat so they’re on their own. Hegarty is furious, saying that if it all goes wrong the Americans don’t have to worry about the clean-up in Africa, they do. Travis says they already have a mess to clean up thanks to Hegarty’s panicky trigger finger. They nearly come to blows before Lancaster threatens to get out his axe again. They calm down, but not before Travis warns Hegarty not to say any more.

BY THE POWER VESTED IN ME BY ME I DECLARE TODAY TO BE REX MANNING DAY

BY THE POWER VESTED IN ME BY ME I DECLARE TODAY TO BE REX MANNING DAY

Back at the precinct JB is in a holding cell bored out of her brains when Sergeant Nash arrives with Grady. He asks Grady if this woman is his aunt and he tells the sergeant he’s never seen this woman before in his life.

Really though, what did you think was going to happen? Grady barely knows who HE is

Really though, what did you think was going to happen? Grady barely knows who HE is

Outside, Nash tells Grady that the woman pretending to be his aunt iced a Commie in an alleyway. Grady is flabbergasted – that sweet old woman? Nash shrugs and tells Grady to get his aunt to call him when she gets a chance. In his office, Nash finds a detective from Miami going through a file on his desk. Detective Santiago tells him he recognised the MO of the Bulgarian’s murder as they had something similar in Miami six months earlier and a description of the killer matched JB.

Hegarty catches up to Grady outside the police station to confirm he didn’t identify his aunt. Grady is horrified that he helped keep his aunt in jail on a murder charge but Hegarty insists it’s for her safety and explains the situation with the assassination attempt. Grady insists that he help the case (oh for crying out loud) and Hegarty tells him to go back to his hotel room and call if anyone turns up asking for Jess.

Meanwhile, Santiago and Nash continue interrogating JB, and she’s rapidly losing patience. She tells them to do a nitrate test to prove that she didn’t fire a gun, but they point out she was wearing gloves. She snaps and tells them to test the gloves then,  and Santiago asks her how come she knows so much about nitrate tests. She tells him it’s her business to know – then seeing his reaction hastens to add she’s a mystery writer. She insists on her phone call to her attorney but Nash says her attorney is already here.

Oh look, now he’s Clark Kent.

Genius.

Cunningly disguised in glasses and a thick southern accent Hegarty explains the situation to JB and says it will only be for a few more days. JB is furious, but decides to make the best of a bad situation and asks for the book she had when she was arrested (that she lifted from the dead Bulgarian) so she could “finish reading”.

Meanwhile back at his hotel, Grady finds a mysterious blonde banging on the door looking for Jess. She says she’s Glenda Morrison, the one writing a piece about JB for the Chonicle and that JB needs to get in touch, pronto. Grady alerts Hegarty who isn’t particularly concerned until Grady reports that he rang the Chronicle and they’d never heard of a Glenda Morrison. While Grady searches for the phone number to show Hegarty, a car pulls up across the street, and Hegarty spots a gun barrel sticking out of the window. He tackles Grady to the ground as shots ring out and the car screeches off. Grady is hysterical and calms down only when Hegarty tells him the bullet was probably meant for him. Hegarty tells Grady to go back to his hotel, while he baits and casts another line.

Back at the precinct Nash has a visit from Kevin Styles from the State Department, looking for a copy of the file and checking in on the investigation. He tells them that they’re reporting it to the Bulgarians as a robbery turned homicide which Santiago thinks makes no sense as there was nothing found on the ‘Jane Doe’. The Jane Doe herself is still kicking back in her cell, investigating the book when she gets a visit from Rex Manning Travis, who tells her that they know she and Hegarty were in it together and that if she comes clean they can cut her a deal. JB decides to call the guard instead and Travis (with an inexplicable Australian accent) slinks off again. JB’s next door neighbour overhears the conversation and says “Gee honey, I had you figured for shoplifting or maybe kiting cheques but murder…Jessica, I knew you had class.”

Indeed

Indeed

Meanwhile, Grady and Hegarty lure Glenda Thompson back to the hotel to find out who she really is, and are a little disappointed to discover that all she lied about was working for the Chronicle. She’s working freelance and was planning to sell the article about JB to Rolling Stone. Hegarty checks in on JB who tells him about her visitor and he correctly guesses it was Travis.  She asks what happened to the payoff money and Hegarty tells her his theory that there was never any money, as half a mill would be too bulky. Instead it would be something less obvious like a cheque or an account number, and judging on what’s happened since, the Cobra hasn’t received whatever it was. JB has had enough of Hegarty’s shenanigans and demands to be released. Back to the cell she goes. and as she’s flicking through the book again she notices the postage stamp on the postcard that was being used as a bookmark. With a smile she asks her neighbour Veronica for writing materials. She’s going to write a letter.

Across town, Grady is taking the spying business a little too seriously.

You're an idiot Grady.

You’re an idiot Grady.

The subject of Grady’s clandestine viewing is Glenda Morrison, who is covertly following Detective Santiago for reasons noone has bothered to make clear so let’s not dwell on that. Santiago goes in to Grady’s room, Glenda follows him and Grady follows Glenda. Sensing them behind him, Santiago pulls his gun. He explains he was looking for…something? Seriously though, why is he even there? They don’t know they have Jess in custody, why are they searching the room? And why hasn’t Jess told someone to go buy her book to prove who she is?

Anyway.

JB has a viist from Kevin Styles, the guy from the State Department, arrives to check on JB who tells him that her identity is easily proven if he goes to the nearest bookstore…oh there you go. Thanks MSW writers. He asks her if he can get her anything, and notices the book on her bed. He decides after close examination that he’s read that one, and leaves, but promises to return and bail her out if he can confirm her identity. Nash soon appears to tell JB’s neighbour Veronica to get ready for court. After he departs, JB asks Veronica for a favour – can she call Grady from the courthouse and pass a message on?

Back at their top secret base, Travis tells Lancaster of his suspicions that Hegarty killed the Bulgarian. Fed up, Lancaster tells Travis to tell Hegarty he wants to speak to him but Travis tells him Hegarty has been AWOL for the last hour.

Kevin Styles returns to see JB but instead of bailing her out he demands the stamp. It turns out the stamp is worth 3 million dollars. It also turns out Kevin Styles doesn’t work for the State Department. He works for himself. In a way.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

The Cobra tells JB that he has Grady, and that if he doesn’t walk out of there with the stamp, Grady’s in trouble. JB tells him the stamp is in her shoe, and kicks it off for him. It lands at the edge of the cell, and as the Cobra bends down a hand holding a gun shoots through the bars and around his neck.

Wait, WHAT?

Wait, WHAT?

And there you have it. And I’ve watched this episode twice now and I’ve only just realised that the reason why JB asked for writing materials is because she wanted to swap out the expensive rare stamp for another one to lure the Cobra. At least, I think that’s what was happening. At this point I don’t even know.

So until next time…

Sometimes I hit pause at precisely the wrong time. This is not one of those times.

Sometimes I hit pause at precisely the wrong time. This is not one of those times.

 

 

S03E04 – One White Rose For Death

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High intrigue and shenanigans this week gang! JB has been invited to Washington to attend the farewell performance of East German violinist Greta Mueller and attend a swanky after-party with the Prime Minister of England. She’s met at the airport by Andrew Wyckham from her English publishing company, after her regular agent Geoffrey Phillips was called away at the last minute.

I knew he was Winston in The Mummy but I DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS DOCTOR BOMBAY FROM BEWITCHED OMG

I knew he was Winston in The Mummy but I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS DOCTOR BOMBAY FROM BEWITCHED OMG

JB is amazed to even be invited (pish tosh) but Wyckham tells her that Greta Mueller is one of her biggest fans and couldn’t return to the dark side without meeting her hero. Nawww. (She claims to have learnt English from reading JB’s books. Believe me when I tell you this is a Scandalous Lie)

Before they can get anywhere they are met outside the terminal by the head of Greta’s security detail, Colonel Gerhardt Brunner, who these days is deep undercover on Young and the Restless.

I'm a little bit alarmed at how good I am at spotting soap stars in TV shows.

I’m a little bit alarmed at how good I am at spotting soap stars in TV shows.

He tells them that Greta is most anxious to meet her heroine (fair enough) and asks that they go straight to the concert hall where she is rehearsing and arguing with her brother. Over lunch Wyckham regales them with tales of his adventures in Africa (including the time he flew an airplane with Brendan Fraser through a cursed sandstorm and died) before they are interrupted by a journalist requesting an interview.

Hang on a minute.

It's everyone's favourite Irish spy Michael Hegarty!  You know, from that time JB was pretending to be someone else?

It’s everyone’s favourite Irish spy Michael Hegarty! You know, from that time JB was pretending to be someone else?

Before JB can give the game away Hegarty introduces himself as Dennis McElvey, a reporter from the London Evening Sentinel. Greta seems irritated at the intrusion but her brother Franz seems quite excited to have an interview arranged and so tells Hegarty to come backstage at the concert the following day.

Later that evening Hegarty pops round JB’s hotel to enlighten her – he’s on a mission from God for the SIS but he still has plenty of time to catch up. She owes him a date, so he proposes dinner at a restaurant the following evening at which he hopes they “will both be on their worst behaviour”. Ew.

Ugh, it seems our heroine is not completely perfect after all.

Ugh, it seems our heroine is not completely perfect after all.

The next night at the concert hall there’s mystery and intrigue in the air. Hegarty meets with Franz Mueller who is quickly found out to be an East German intelligence source. Hegarty tells him that there’s a problem with Mueller’s information provider, a woman named Ilsa Steiner – she’s gone missing, and is suspected of going to the East German authorities to out Franz as a spy. Later, a call to SIS HQ contains news so bad that Hegarty’s colleague Jack Kendall goes racing down to the theatre to deliver it in person. Since mobile phones have yet to be invented.

At the interval JB and Wyckham are chatting merrily in the foyer when Hegarty appears, bleeding. He orders them to leave immediately and pulls a gun when Wyckham starts whingeing. With Brunner and his minions in hot pursuit, JB and Wyckham get into the limo – but not before Wyckham and the limo driver/SIS agent exchange a Look. SUBTLE PLOT POINT!

Hegarty tells Jack to drop JB and Wickham at a cab rank but Jack informs them that Brunner is still on their tail. Hegarty tells him to drive to the embassy and phones ahead to make sure the gates are open or he’s crashing through them. First Secretary Henry Claymore (who is inexplicably Australian but pretending not to be) is not particularly excited about this, and explains that there’s barely any staff at the embassy as most are off guarding the Prime Minister after an assassination attempt had been made in Australia the week before, HEY LEAVE US OUT OF THIS!  Claymore tells his wife (played by Jenny Agutter who I know from Spooks, The Avengers and that episode of Coupling with Patrick’s love cupboard). They come out to meet the car and are amazed when Hegarty produces Greta and Franz Mueller out of the boot of the limo. I’m pretty sure this is also how Julian Assange ended up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Hegarty takes charge and orders Claymore not to tell the Ambassador that the Muellers are in the building. Dr Lynch, who just so happens to be hanging out in the embassy, checks Hegarty’s bullet wound and informs him that he will be fine. Despite all of this, Hegarty won’t tell Jess what is going on. I always said that Hegarty was shifty.  JB goes for a stickybeak around the embassy and overhears Jack Kendall on the phone asking for information on Operation White Rose.

Hegarty finally comes clean after a stinging rebuke from JB and tells her the story of how Franz Mueller came to be a British informant. Until his source Ilsa Steiner is found, no one can leave the embassy. Just as he finishes his tale, Claymore appears with an update – the East German government has issued an arrest warrant for Franz Mueller. JB goes to tell Greta the news – and discovers the body of Jack Kendall lying on the ground clutching a white rose. OH THE SUBTLE PLOT POINTS DAZZLE ME WITH YOUR SUBTLETY!

Claymore regains control, orders everyone inside and gets on the phone to the guardhouse to search the grounds for intruders. Hegarty stands guard over the body and tells Jess that he was the one who recruited Jack to the service. He was perfect because he looked so much like a stuffy banker. The trick to being a spy, is to not look like a spy (Life Lesson #47). I don’t know how Hegarty thinks he doesn’t look like a spy, he’s one shady character.

Jess asks Hegarty about Operation White Rose.  White Rose, Hegarty informs JB, was an operation in Johannesburg nine years earlier in which a group of agents (including Jack Kendall) were sent to guard an anti-apartheid leader by the name of Benjamin Kombassa, who was assassinated in a public square. His killer was never apprehended. Before he can go on one of Claymore’s minions arrives to request they rejoin the group. Instead they harangue Claymore until he grants Hegarty access to the Code Room. He hopes that that will be sufficient for Ms Fletcher?

Hegarty would be still whinging if it weren't for JB. FACT.

Hegarty would be still whingeing if it weren’t for JB. FACT.

JB goes for a snoop around Doctor Ryan’s office and discovers that Jack Kendall was not only stabbed but poisoned as well, suggesting a) a professional hit and b) Jack Kendall was killed because he was recognised. Hegarty tells her  that Doctor Ryan was in Transvaal the same time as Benjamin Kombassa but since he was an anti-apartheid supporter it makes no sense that Kendall killed him. He also tells her that there is no file on Mrs Claymore. Meanwhile, Colonel Brunner gives the embassy a call and tells them that the Mueller’s parents have been taken into custody as a precaution against their treasonous son.

Leaving the group again, Our Heroine informs Hegarty that she has a fairly good idea what’s going on but needs some more information. She talks to the Claymores and hears a long-winded story about Mrs Claymore’s history that is boring and irrelevant but essentially JB realises that the Claymores and Doctor Ryan were not the killers of Benjamin Kombassa. But I think we all know who is, thanks to those SUBTLE PLOT POINTS.

Excuse me while I have heart attack and die of NOT SURPRISED

Excuse me while I have heart attack and die of NOT SURPRISED

It turns out our Mr Wyckham is a deadly assassin for hire, sent to America to kill the British Prime Minister, and used JB’s invitation to get in to the party. Unfortunately it all went a bit wrong for him with the whole East German defection business., but I guess you can’t plan for everything.

Job done, there’s still the matter of the East Germans to deal with. Greta decides to return to East Berlin and leave her brother in America, and Hegarty assures JB they will do all that they can for Greta in East Germany.

And by assures, I think you know what I mean.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S02E01 – Widow, Weep For Me

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Fletcherfans! We’re back! And not only are we back, but we’re in the Caribbean! PINA COLADAS FOR EVERYBODY!

In any case, there is a lady called Antoinette in need, and when in the pits of despair (past the bridge of eternal peril), there’s only one person to write to:

You’re welcome, fans of obscure and pointless TV trivia!

JB is naturally concerned, especially when Antoinette turns up murdered, so she immediately blows the Cove and heads for the sunny shores of Jamaica. She doesn’t want anyone to know she’s coming though, so she CUNNINGLY ASSUMES AN IDENTITY.

Life Lesson #34 – Turbans. Wear them.

Disguised as notorious recluse Margurite Canfield, JB manages to scold the valet, the receptionist and Myrna Montclaire  within 30 seconds. (Sample burn: when Myrna hopes that ‘Margurite’ will enjoy her stay, JB replies with “I’m sure I will Ms Montclaire, or it will be a short one.” then clicks at the luggage boy and flounces off) HOLY CRAP IT’S AMAZING.

But it’s not all turbans and sass. JB is here to find out who murdered her friend. She is soon paid a visit by Chief Inspector Claude Renssalaer, who frankly is the most stylish policeman I’ve seen anywhere ever.

This is what the next Doctor Who should look like. (But not for a while, because Matt Smith is great)

The Inspector is not best pleased to see her. Word around the hotel is that Antoinette was murdered by a jewel thief, but JB is convinced there’s more to it than that. The inspector disagrees, and tells her that she’s putting herself in terrible danger just by being at the hotel, wearing what she’s wearing. (I’m assuming he’s talking about the turban). JB wants to know who her friend was hanging out with, and the Inspector reluctantly gives her some names.

Later that night, JB hits up the casino and her entrance is duly noted by three different men. JB pays them no mind – she’s got her eyes on the roulette wheel. She makes friends with another woman flying solo, Alva Crane, before being interrupted by one of Antoinette’s friends – a drunk American school teacher named Veronica Harrold who is in the process of being picked up by a tall man named Sven. It’s the age-old story. Veronica is well pleased with herself though, and tells Jess and Alva to eat their hearts out.

Alva: “You know, I never much cared for taller men, but for him I could make an exception.”

Before JB can high-five her, one of the men who noticed her entrance comes over. His name is Michael Hegarty, and would Ms Canfield like to join him for a drink on the terrace?

Whether it’s his Irish accent, his smile, or the possibility of free booze I don’t know, but JB says HELL YEAH (paraphrasing). I don’t know, he seems a bit sleazy to me… Over pina coladas they suss each other out: Hegarty doesn’t believe in steady employment, ‘Margurite’ doesn’t believe in giving anything away, including the fact that they have an audience – someone has his eye on them.

Later, as they stroll in the moonlight, she quizzes Hegarty on the object of Veronica’s affections, Sven. Turns out Sven used to be a skiing gold medallist who now just flits about the world, hooking up with fancy ladies. Of course.

“But what’s this now.” says Hegarty. “You walking in the moonlight with the likes of me talking about a young stud fifteen years my junior?

“If I was interested in Sven Torvald,” says JB/Margurite, “Believe me, he would be here now instead of you. I know what I want Mr Hegarty…and I get it”

JB is ON FIRE in this episode!

Hegarty goes in for the big moves – a nighttime trip to some waterfalls just down the road, but the moment is ruined by a guy snatching JB’s purse and legging it down the path. Hegarty gives chase but is thwarted by the guy from the bar, who turns out to be Sheldon Greenburg Hotel Detective. He claims to have been following Margurite/JB because he suspected something like this might happen. A LIKELY STORY. Alas, there is to be no waterfall related hijinks tonight.

The next morning JB asks her pal the Inspector if Sheldon has reported the theft of her purse – and he hadn’t. DODGY. JB can’t dwell on this right now, she’s on a mission to find out what the deal is with Veronica-the-School-Teacher who just so happens to be jogging past the phone box. Over iced teas “no lemon or chemicals – good for the blood, very invigorating” (Life Lesson #35), JB discovers that Veronica won her holiday in a contest she doesn’t even remember entering, and that Antoinette (remember how JB had come out here to investigate her murder? Yeah, I’d forgotten too) had singled her out on the first day to make her feel welcome.  Before long Sven appears, and whisks Veronica away to go sailing. Presumably that’s code.

Meanwhile, the hotel manager Eric Brahm (another of Antoinette’s fans) is having a meeting with Michael Hegarty. He’s discovered that Michael Hegarty isn’t who he says he is, and is concerned – mainly because he owes the casino ten grand. Michael Hegarty informs him that who he is and what he does is immaterial, and here, have a cheque for 25 Gs. Amazing how much better Eric feels now.

In the foyer, JB has just spotted Sheldon The House Detective chatting with the man who stole her purse. SHENANIGANS! Sheldon admits to getting someone to snatch her purse so he could get a look at her passport. He was a bit suspicious that Margurite Canfield looked a lot like the photo of JB Fletcher on the back of his book.

BUSTED.

He knows why she’s here – either to dig up information for her next book, or to “make Shelly Greenburg look bad.”

To this, JB lets loose.

“Mr Greenburg. Sheldon. Believe me I did not come here to embarrass anyone. I’m quite sure left to your own devices you’d get to the bottom of this! Anyone can see that you’re a bright, perceptive man, I mean a fascinating personality. Why, I can even see you inspiring a character in my next book!”

Sheldon is delighted, and offers his assistance.

ALL HAIL THE QUEEN.

To celebrate her newfound awesomeness, JB rings up the inspector for a meeting. She doesn’t want to be seen, though, so he suggests the lookout at Turtle Bay. When she goes to get a taxi however, Michael Hegarty pulls up in his Bugatti Veyron Ford and offers her a lift. As they cruise off into the sunset, another car follows. CUE SURVEILLANCE MUSIC.

As they speed past the turn-off for Turtle Bay, JB smells a rat and demands to be let out of the car. Michael Hegarty points out that they’re being followed, and with some deft driving he loses their tail. It’s time for some mutual interrogation.

Hegarty admits to knowing Antoinette, and in fact knows more about Antoinette than most people, i.e that she was married twice, not once. JB points out that the marriage to Leon Spinks was not common knowledge, and Hegarty counters that not only is it not common knowledge but his name is even less well-known. Then he plays his trump card – he’s met Margurite Canfield, and YOU”RE NOT MARGURITE CANFIELD WHO THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU?

JB is saved by her turban the arrival of a policeman – the Inspector wants her at once.There’s been another murder. It seems her cover has been well and truly blown. (And by cover I actually mean cover).

Sad to say that JB’s new pal Alva Crane has been done in, and her jewels stolen. The inspector is convinced that this proves his theory that they are dealing with a professional jewel thief, but Our Heroine is convinced that he’s wrong. She claims that Alva’s jewellery that she was wearing in the casino was all fake. They go to visit Sheldon and take a peek in Alva’s safe deposit box, but there’s no jewellery there. Sheldon has his own theory – he claims his boss Eric Brahm has been trying to get some money together PLUS he liked flirting with all the ladies. The inspector politely reminds him that it’s a police matter, and Sheldon says screw that, I’m hotel security, I’m a player.

This is how I imagine Paul Blart Mall Cop must start.

ANYWAY. JB decides to test out Sheldon’s theory and asks Eric if Alva had any financial troubles but it turns out she was rolling in it. She goes back to her hotel room but is rudely interrupted by Michael Hegarty going through her mail. She threatens to call the Inspector and he comes clean. Michael Hegarty used to work for British intelligence but now he works freelance – including for Antoinette’s father. It turns out Antoinette had a baby to her first husband, but was forced to give it up. A baby girl…who grew up and won a contest she didn’t remember entering, courtesy of the grandfather she didn’t know she had.

JB has a brainwave. She thinks Antoinette and Sven Torvald had a little something something going on, and if he found out Veronica was her daughter then he might start working hard for the money. They rush to the marina just in time to meet Veronica and Sven – turns out sailing wasn’t code, they actually went sailing. Sailing, and getting engaged. Michael Hegarty informs him that they know he had a fling with Antoinette, and that the wedding is just going to have to wait. Sven reacts sensibly by jumping in the water.

Down at the police station Sven admits that Antoinette had told him he had a daughter, but he didn’t know it was Veronica until they all met again on the island. So, he seized the opportunity, but he claims he didn’t kill her. Whatevs, man.

Unfortunately, Sven is proven right. JB digs out his passport and realises that he wasn’t on the island when the first attempted jewel theft happened. Sheldon is convinced that Eric Brahm is the thief, but it turns out he has an alibi – he was getting bizay with Myrna St Clare.

That only leaves one person. And JB has just worked out who it is…

Crap cop gone bad.

Someone wasn’t happy storing jewellery in his office. He wanted it for himself, but was COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY THWARTED.

There you have it gang. Veronica jets off to meet her grandfather (and her inheritance), and Michael Hegarty promises JB that she’ll be seeing him again. Something tells me he’s right. (And by something I mean IMDB).

But until then…

See you next week Fletcherfans!