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S12E14 – Murder in Tempo

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Welcome back to Cabot Cove Fletcherfans, where Seth is putting on a Benefit Concert Extravaganza to save Maine Woods. Not Cabot Cove woods. He’s going statewide and has enlisted the help of band In Tempo led by Tommy Vaughan – a band so beige Richie Benaud once tried to wear them as a jacket. (You’re welcome, people who are laughing at that).

Of course, there’s trouble in paradise. Seth is struggling to get everything done, Tommy Vaughan is losing his voice, band manager Wylie Trey is creeping and local businessman Jim Maddox is hoping the whole thing will flop so he can build a global hyper mega mart or whatever. Coincidentally his son is in Tommy Vaughan’s band. Life is a circle.

Anyway, Jim rolls in to ask Seth for payment for something.

Seth has no time for anyone.

Seth storms off and Jim tries to defend himself, saying some people prefer jobs to trees. Jess tells him he can build a factory anywhere, these trees have been here since the last ice age and will hopefully be here till the next one.

2019 IN ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION

Seth goes to deliver some paperwork to band manager Wylie Trey by getting his attention via the old jacket tug.

I mean really though, why?

The band gets shut down by an electrical short circuit, that Dan the local electrician apologises for. On top of all of this, some bozo with a shotgun decides to take potshots at Tommy Vaughan but misses. Chaos breaks out and Seth gets knocked off the stage.

Jess escorts Seth to the hospital and then back to her house where she gets a call from Rachel Weldon at Palmer’s Music Store, sponsors of the Extravaganza. JB gets caught in the middle of Seth rumbling about unpaid bills and Rachel fangirling over Tommy Vaughan.

In other news, there is a Bryan Cranston/Cher mutual appreciation thing going on on Twitter that is making me VERY HAPPY.

Jessica suggests Seth postpone the concert until he’s recovered from his injuries but Seth will not surrender. He thinks he should definitely not worry about the rain insurance for the concert though, Mrs Carter’s lumbago hasn’t played up yet and Mrs Carter’s lumbago is as dependable as the Rock of  Gibraltar. Mort pops in to check on Seth before heading out to investigate if the shooting was a hunting accident. Jess suggests he check with Tommy Vaughan, as she seems to remember he had trouble with a stalker the previous year.

Over at Hill House, Tommy and Udella are both threatening to leave In Tempo and Wylie has to do some slick talking to get them both to calm down. It turns out In Tempo have made the transition from being a good heavy rock band to be a great modern pop band (agree to disagree there sunshine) but their label is sick of the fighting and if they don’t get assurances that In Tempo is a band about a married couple being in love then they will revoke the contract. Tommy tells Wylie to leave the music to him and gazes at a bottle of gin. Wylie warns him not to or he’ll end up in rehab again.

I choose to believe this is an alternate ending to A Star is Born.

Tommy is summoned to the Sheriff’s office to spill the beans on his stalker in Denver but Tommy just says it was some weirdo with a badge of his guitar. Mort thinks differently, and Tommy cracks it. Mort tells him that his number one job is to keep him alive until after the concert.

After skulking out of the Sheriff’s office Tommy wanders down to Palmer’s music store to see his local fling Rachel. Jim Maddox’s son (and fellow In Tempo member) Blue Maddox is there too. Blue Maddox sounds like the name of a celebrity child. Maybe one of Brangelina’s army or a Gwenyth/Chris Martin production.  In any case, Blue went to school with Rachel and is clearly still in love with her and wants Tommy to stay away from her but she’s mad because he nicked off after school finished because old mate Jim wanted Blue to study engineering and not be in a band. You know. The classic tale.

Downstairs, Wylie runs into Jim Maddox who offers a thought – what if Tommy got an offer that would send the band out of town before the concert. Meanwhile, Seth wanders out of the bank after taking out a mortgage on his house to pay for the concert bless him.

That night, JB kicks off the festivities with a little speechifying as Cabot Coves Celebrity Resident who only lives there like ten per cent of the time, while Seth takes his medicine.

Seth’s self-care is amazing and I’m here for it. (But seriously, probably don’t do this. I am a cautionary tale you guys. Take tequila responsibly).

And because I can…

I mean…

While the crowd rise to their feet and the revolution begins, the shooter from the woods sets up outside but can’t get a clear shot and is forced to run when Deputy Andy does a security check. Jean the librarian (and possibly genuinely my favourite resident of Cabot Cove just because of the backstory) invites Tommy to come to check out her exhibition about the woods at the library.

Later, Tommy and Rachel go for a romantic stroll around the carpark, and Wylie and Jim Maddox go for a romantic sit in the car to talk business. Wylie tells Jim Tommy could be persuaded to go and have the surgery he needs on his vocal cords – all for the low low price of a million bucks for Tommy and a hundred grand for Wylie. In cash. That would leave Seth unable to pay, and Jim free to take the woods for himself.

Back at House Fletcher Seth is flabberghasted when he learns JB is staying until after the concert, and JB tells him she’s flabberghasted he remortgaged his house. Seth says he’s got a plan, and Jess says that’s fine, she’s here to help him get it done.

The next day, while I rejoice

Everything about this makes me so happy.

…In Tempo get back to rehearsing.

Told you.

Also side note, the drummer is my favourite person in this episode.

THIS GUY MAKES ME VERY HAPPY FOR REASONS I CANNOT EXPLAIN.

Over at the House of Fletcher, Hal Palmer has fixed JB’s stereo for her and orders Seth not to experiment with it which of course he promptly does as soon as Hal leaves, and a blast of metal crashes out of the stereo.

“Sounds like Ted Nugent.” Says Mort.

“Nah, more Metallica,” Says JB.

“Whatever happened to Guy Lombardo?” Asks Seth.

JB loves Metallica, this is canon.

That night, Wylie lays out the offer for Tommy – six hundred grand from Jim Maddox will pay for his surgery and get him back on his feet with his creditors. Tommy calls Palmer’s – Hal answers, but puts Rachel on. Tommy wants to talk, and they agree to meet at the concert site. As a tasty storm moves in to provide an appropriate atmosphere, Tommy explains to Rachel why he needs to pull out, and she’s devastated. JB and Seth work the books – Jess asks after Mrs Carter’s lumbago and Seth says she felt not a twinge…and he might get that rain insurance for Saturday. Tommy goes back to Hill House and tells Wylie he’s not quitting.

A new day dawns and the rain passes. Deputy Andy tells Mort they found a badge in the shape of Tommy’s guitar up in the woods. They rush down to the concert site to tell Tommy…but get there just as he is electrocuted and drops dead. Grim.

While Mort assists Jessica with her investigation and gets Dan the Electrician to open up the back of the amp Tommy was connected to, one of the band members tells Tommy’s wife Udella that she’ll be better off without him.

That is cold dude.

Dan the Electrical guy confirms that the amp was tampered with and Mort orders it off for testing. Seth bemoans the murder and violence – he never thought anything like this would happen when he started arranging the concert. Nothing like this ever happens in Cabot Cove except for the fifty other times its happened. Meanwhile Dan the Electrical Guy goes off for a quiet word at Hill House with Jim Maddox – he wants his payment now that the concert isn’t going ahead.

Jess goes looking for Rachel at Palmer’s. Hal tells her he hasn’t seen Rachel but he’s worried about her and has been since she met with Tommy at the square the previous night. JB ends up finding Rachel at the Sheriff’s office, where she tells them about her meeting with Tommy the night before, and how Tommy had been going to take Wylie’s offer but changed his mind. Jess tells Rachel they’re going ahead with the concert, but Mort says this is going to be difficult now the band are packing up and leaving.

While Jim confronts Wylie and demands his money for bribing Tommy out of the show back, JB goes to see the rest of In Tempo to talk them out of leaving. She manages to do so just as Mort arrives to arrest Blue, after finding solder in his room that looks like the solder that was used to tamper with the amp. Fortunately, Udella cutting the thread on a friendship bracelet she was making has given JB an idea and she takes off.

While Mort has Blue and Wylie in the cells for safe keeping, JB pops around Palmer’s music store and has a quiet word to Hal Palmer.

Because –

This is a depressing development. (Also, Ern Lively!)

Hal fell in love with Rachel after his wife died (which is SUPREMELY AWKWARD because I thought they were father and daughter for most of the episode) and killed Tommy because he was going to take Rachel away from him.

Grim.

Speaking of which, I have one last Murder She Wrote movie to live-tweet. So I’m going to do that, this Friday at 10am. Follow the hashtag #thelastfreeman on Twitter for that – so far all I know about the movie is that it’s heavily to do with slavery and the guy who plays one of the main characters is now in jail for life for murdering his wife.

I promise if it all gets a bit grim I’ll start some Game of Thrones theories. Like imagine if Angela Lansbury had played Lady Olenna.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

(And on Friday!)

 

S11E16 – Film Flam

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Welcome back to Hollywood Fletcherfans, where the magic happens and also murder because duh.

On a backlot at Monolith Pictures, a man called Daryl Harding is living on a disused soundstage. He hangs out on the couch drinking coffee when suddenly he hears noises.

Jim Caviezel is doing a sequel to The Passion of the Christ, but it’s not called 2 Jesus 2 Furious so frankly, it’s pointless.

He hides under a table while three men – Carson Robbins, Hank Duncan and some other dude come in to talk business, namely, they want to steal a print of a movie called ‘Cry of Destiny’ and pirate it before it’s in the cinemas. Oooh, topical. Carson is a producer on the film and doesn’t want to be a part of this business any more but Hank and the other guy tell him it’s too late.

Hank Duncan (being played by William O’Leary or as I know him, ‘hey it’s that guy!’ suddenly smells coffee and says the stage hasn’t been used in a month, that shouldn’t be. They fan out and search, but hear the studio door slam a short time later.

Meanwhile, Jess rolls on into town to meet with director Boyce Brown about adapting one of her books into a film but he’s busy trying to get Cry of Destiny done. She’s not the only one rolling up to the set though, Hank’s girlfriend Barbie Lippin is holding up the queue trying to get in, and Fritz Randall is trying to get to work.

YOU GUYS HARRY PIERCE HAS CLEARLY TURNED STATES EVIDENCE AND GONE INTO WITNESS PROTECTION IN HOLLYWOOD

There can be no other explanation.

Anyway, yes, JB is in town and isn’t fazed that Boyce Brown hasn’t had time to read her book. Through the wonders of exposition, we learn that Boyce’s daughter found the incomplete film made by the late director Austin Young right before he died of an accidental overdose 35 years ago. They are now filming the missing pieces at a cost of forty million and Austin Young’s assistant director Fritz Randall is helping them do it while writing a book about Austin Young.

Meanwhile, Boyce’s daughter Elaine is arguing with Fritz about shooting the scene that in the old script was the one Austin died before filming (me fail English that’s unpossible). They find Carson messing around with reels of Cry of Destiny and order him to leave them alone, no one is allowed to take the reels off set for any reason thanks to all the leaks that have been happening. Things get intense, but then Daryl Harding passes by and saves the day.

I should point out that Jim Caviezel has had a long and excellent career (HE WAS IN THE ROCK!), but every time I see him I shout Jesus because I am a strange and unusual plant.

Elaine is clearly on board to see more of the D-man, and tells him she tried to call him to invite him to the debut screening of Cry of Destiny but he was unlisted and the Screen Actors Guild hadn’t heard of him. He tells her he just moved and that SAG just got it wrong, but when Elaine turns to write down her number to give him he disappears.

DARYL IS JESUS A GHOST.

Spoiler alert, he isn’t though, he’s just nicked down the cafeteria for a bite to eat. He tells a friendly security guard that he left his badge in his jacket and bumps into Jessica and Boyce who are loading up on spare ribs. Carson Robbins appears with bad news – someone called Audrey Young has just surfaced claiming that she was adopted by Austin Young the year before he died and that everything, including the original copies of Cry of Destiny, belong to her. Boyce tells him he’ll need time to go over all these documents with the lawyers, but invites Audrey to the screening of Cry of Destiny. She tells him nope, and her lawyer hands over an injunction barring all screenings without Audrey’s consent.

Hank’s ladyfriend Bunny is waiting to audition and is telling former child star and current Do You Know Who I Am, Joan Kemp, all about it.

Joan doesn’t want to hear another word about your damn boyfriend Bunny.

While Darryl hides behind a copy of Variety, Hank turns up to wish Bunny good luck with her audition. He gets paged and can’t stay though, but has time to have a word to a security guard who tells him he was talking to a guy who said he was working on Set 25, even though there’s no construction over there. Hank wants names.

Boyce is having a bit of a time of it – New York is riding him about the budget, Elaine wants more money for some late shooting before the screening and Carson tells him that Audrey seems to be legit. The good news is Audrey has agreed to let them go ahead with the screening as planned. Audrey has other things on her mind – namely hanging out with Fritz and making out at his house (that used to be Austin’s house).

Weird.

The next day Hank and Carson plan to get the film copy off the set in two hours time, while Daryl explains to Elaine he’s not really in the guild, he couldn’t afford the dues. Elaine offers to help get him to work but he’s doing it on his own terms. He spots Hank and Carson and Hank spots him, but Daryl vanishes before they can approach.

Jess bumps into Boyce and gives him a copy of her book to read after the screening. Boyce tells her that between this business with Audrey and the piracy situation he’s starting to wonder if any of this is worth it.

A screengrab for our times. You’re welcome.

Jess reminds him of something he once told her: “People who don’t take risks protect themselves from the lows but they don’t get to experience the highs.” (Life Lesson #75) Boyce later takes some of his own advice when he has to tell Elaine that the studio bosses are withdrawing funds for the movie – he decides to hell with it, they’ll screen it anyway.

That night, Bunny springs Hank and his sidekick loading copies of the Cry of Destiny film into the back of a truck. Hank manages to get her to go away and orders the other guy to make sure that the negative gets onto the truck after the screening.

The gang all assemble for the screening and Jess has a chat to Joan Kemp former child star. It turns out Joan worked on the original Cry of Destiny movie – she wasn’t on set when it happened, but she remembers how awful it was and how things fell apart for everyone afterwards. Jess also bumps into her favourite LAPD detective Lieutenant Caceras, and Fritz, who is annoyed at how small his advance is for the tell-all book he’s writing about Austin Young. He offers to let JB see his collection of Youngerbelia and she agrees to pop round the next morning.

The screening is a raging success for everyone, except for that one guy who leaves early acting like he’s drunk out of his mind. Jess pops round to see Fritz the next morning and finds him dead on the floor. Gabe Caceras is on the case, and it is very quickly ruled a suicide. Jess isn’t having a bar of it though – no one saw Fritz after he left the film screening but given the success of the film and the fact he was working on a book – it just didn’t seem likely that Fritz would kill himself the same way Austin did. Also, there is one specific negative missing from the original sheet of Cry of Destiny.

*mentally checks out to consider a Murder She Wrote Game of Thrones cast because it’s Monday and why not)

Back at the lot, Daryl overhears Bunny chatting to Hank about his business dealings. Bunny might know some guys who’d be interested in what Hank’s selling if you know what I mean.

He knows when you’ve been bad or good, oh wait that’s Santa hold on.

Jessica meanwhile is doing a little sleuthing and finds Carson down the back of a couch. He’s mysteriously managed to find Fritz’s glasses which were missing at his house. Carson said he heard all this at the crime scene, but very quickly caves under pressure and admits to moving Fritz’s body, with Boyce’s permission. Fritz was the staggering drunk at the crime scene, Carson found him dead later on and then dragged his body out the side door and into his car.

The way she says WHAT? right here is frankly glorious.

Just then, Boyce gets a phone call from Elaine, who has been arrested for Fritz’s murder. Down at the precinct, Gabe is unapologetic about it, saying that Elaine admitted to having a tiff with Fritz. Not only that, they found sleeping pills on the floor under Fritz’s seat where the killer missed his glass. Jessica says it’s nonsense, Elaine was sitting with Jesus Daryl Harding but Gabe ain’t bothered.

Jess heads back to the lot where she runs into Joan Kemp, who’s just picked up some scenes in a movie. It’s going to be filmed in Studio 25, it will be just like going home. Jess immediately walks away, she’s got an idea.

Over at Studio 25, Jess tells the empty room that Elaine is in more trouble than he’ll be in if he doesn’t reveal himself. Daryl thinks that isn’t true, he knows about some illegal activity going on on the set and tells Jess all about Hank’s piracy.

Word up.

Hank, Carson, Bunni and That Other Guy to finalize their piracy arrangement when Gabe Carceras bursts in, presumably at the word of JB. It’s not good news though.

Plot twist! I wish I cared! (Hank is crushed)

Back at the precinct, Gabe’s not budging on Elaine being guilty. Some overdue parking tickets belonging to Audrey gives Jess an idea and she recruits Daryl to pick her up in his car. Meanwhile, Joan bumps into Boyce on set and there’s a weird conversation where Joan says Boyce was an assistant director to Austin Young but Boyce says he wasn’t.

At Fritz’s Jess and Daryl take a look at the contact sheet with the missing negative. Daryl finds a receipt for a film place where Fritz had apparently requested an enlargement of the missing negative. Jess tries to call the store but it’s closed. BUT WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, there’s a man at the door wanting to deliver the blown up image but Fritz has to sign for it.

Nailed it

Photo acquired, Jess knows exactly who the killer is.

This I did not see coming.

That photo proved Joan lied about where she was at the time of Austin Young’s death, i.e she killed him in a jealous rage because he didn’t love her, and then killed Fritz when he worked it out.

Chalk up another win to Team JB. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to contemplate the 2 Jesus 2 Furious trailer.

Later gang!

S11E06 – The Murder Channel

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

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

Gwen does not like having her authority challenged.

It’s a sass-off. It’s a sass-off.

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

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

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

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

True enough.

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

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

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

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

Classic mid 90s technology plotline. #hackthemainframe

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

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

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

It’s not very well directed, says JB.

#ThingsI’veSaidWatchingThisShow

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

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

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

Jesus Barry.

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

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

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

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

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

Side note:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turns out…

Surprise!

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

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

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S11E05 – Dear Deadly

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Welcome back to San Francisco Fletcherfans, where JB has popped in to discuss the serialization of one of her books in the local paper with editor and inexplicable Australian Harry Mordecai. Harry Mordecai is being played by John Rhys Davies who is very much not Australian but is doing a pretty good job of pretending to be one.

It is teetering on cockney but overall very well played. 8 Rupert Murdoch’s out of 10

Paper editor, John Galloway, has decided to resign in the face of Harry’s constant meddling but has been convinced to stay a month. Harry is sorry to tell Jessica he has to move his meeting with her until the next day, but he has lots of ideas for editing her story – making the victim a sexy career woman in the space industry instead of an old man, and she dies in a jacuzzi instead.

(Trust me, don’t say this to an Australian if you ever want them to make sense again. Also, sorry to all the people who asked me if Australians spoke English when I was backpacking. They do, and what I was speaking to you was a combination of throat noises and Indonesian)

There’s plenty of other shenanigans transpiring at the paper. Journalist Alexis Hill is up for a prize, finance reporter Max Charles is into some shady dealings and Loretta, the paper’s gossip columnist is swamped with mail, including a death threat from a creepy looking guy we see at the start of the episode. The mail boy Troy also delivers an old copy of the paper Loretta was looking for – specifically an article about the death of a homeless activist. Loretta is being played by Eileen Brennan and there is a 100% chance I’m going to smash through writing this so I can watch Clue this afternoon. Loretta gets a call from security – there’s a homeless lady called Nell who would like a word. Loretta asks him to send her up. Alexis, who is in the middle of thanking her colleague Emma Kemp for voting for her for the prize, is puzzled to see Nell in the newsroom as Nell was one of the sources for her story about homeless people. Nell isn’t there for her though, she wants to chat to Loretta. Nell saw something that belonged to the dead homeless guy but it’s missing. Loretta tells her to keep looking.  Later, while Harry decides to offer his opinion to Alexis about her article, Loretta has a quiet word to Max Charles about his obvious shady tactics in his articles – she knows he’s making a fortune writing pieces that cause stocks to tank and she warns him to be very careful.

Jessica wanders into Loretta’s office for lunch but instead of ordering in they go eat in the park, where Nell pops up again to tell Loretta she still hasn’t found what she’s looking for. Everyone else adjourns to the local bar where Troy the mail guy tries to pick up Emma and Harry has an idea to throw Alexis a party to celebrate her imminent prize win. Later, Loretta informs Harry that if John leaves she’ll quit too. As night falls, the staff make their way out of the lobby when creepy old mate from the start of the episode shoots Loretta and hightails it out of there.

Phew. There’s a lot going on you guys.

Loretta is fine, just a bullet graze on her arm and a broken hearing aid, and checks herself out of the hospital the next morning. She returns to work, where she has a phone message from Nell saying she’s at the usual place. Loretta calls her back and assures Nell she’s fine and to keep looking for the thing. John wanders in and tells her she shouldn’t be at work. He arranges to have her stay at a hotel room and promises to have her hearing aid delivered as soon as it’s fixed. Meanwhile, Jessica refuses to make the editorial changes Harry requests.

SHE IS THE ONE WHO KNOCKS

Harry is impressed with Jessica and says they’ll do it her way. Jess celebrates by bumping into the detective investigating Loretta’s shooting but he has no news. Harry and Alexis put their heads together and come up with a suitably hysterical story about the shooting. Later, John sends Troy over to pick up Loretta’s hearing aid and drop it at the hotel.

Jess and John head to the pub for lunch. Alexis wanders past, having just filed her story about Loretta. John asks her if Loretta’s hearing aid worked okay and Alexis tells him Loretta seemed to be fine. She goes over to tell Harry about her story, as a call comes in from Lieutenant Evans to say they’ve arrested the shooter – they tried to get hold of Loretta but the line was busy. John and JB are in the neighbourhood and say they will go tell her the good news – making sure to tell Harry and Alexis as they walk past their table.

Unfortunately, when they get to the hotel they find Loretta dead on the floor. The police arrive a short time later and quickly discover that Loretta’s real name is Claire Hogan and that she took over the Loretta column when the original retired. They also find the words John Kill Me etched into the glass of the coffee table, which is news to John but enough for Lieutenant Evans. Jessica isn’t so convinced and demonstrates it would have been impossible for Loretta/Claire to have written on the desk with her ring, but Evans is done.

Down at the newspaper office Alexis is grateful for Max’s congratulations about her Loretta story, but also she knows that he was up to no good with his stock reporting and that she’ll keep her mouth shut if he suggests to Harry that she’d make a great acting editor. Jessica does a bit of sleuthing and works out Max’s side hustle and confronts him at the bar where he’s interviewing a martini. He confesses to the scam, swears he didn’t kill Loretta/Claire but he did go to the suite, as he has a key, but bailed when he saw her dead at about 5pm.

Jess learns that John has been charged with murder and heads straight to the police station, where she outs John as the real writer of Loretta Lee’s column – he took over when the previous writer left, and Loretta/Claire agreed to be the public Loretta. Evans is stumped, but a chance sentence about the time gives Jess an idea. She rushes back to the newsroom where she gets Troy to confess to lying about what time he dropped the hearing aid off – he took himself off to watch All The Presidents Men for the afternoon before picking up and dropping off the hearing aid.

Jess then goes to see Nell the homeless woman, who gives Jessica the thing she was looking for on behalf of Loretta. Back at the newsroom, Harry announces he’s sold the paper and brought a satellite news network, and Jess confronts the killer.

I’ve got nothing.

Nell, it turns out, had discovered that Alexis stole her friend who died’s journal and was publishing it as her story. Nell told Loretta, who confronted Alexis and received a water jug to the head for her trouble.

This was a good episode, you guys. I am a raging nerd for movies and TV shows set in newspapers and I always will be, despite what certain world leaders say. Anyway, I’m off for a couple of weeks to lie on a beach in Queensland with no social media and help Mum turn a Significant Birthday But I Can’t Tell You Which Or She Will Come After Me.

Later gang!

S11E04 – Death in Hawaii

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Aloha Fletcherfans!

JB is in Hawaii for some much-needed R&R after an exhausting book tour. Of course, that’s not going to happen – there’s an election on and wouldn’t you know it, Jess’s friend Rebecca’s grandson Jeff Kincaid is running for senator against his brother Danny’s boss, Randall Thompson who, as it turns out is being photographed kissing a woman who isn’t his wife. Kissing is a strong word for it though.

Man, I wish I was in Hawaii right now, it’s freezing.

Never let it be said that I’m above a lei joke.

Jess bumps into Rebecca’s son Matt (who happens to own the hotel) when she checks in and gets a sweet sweet upgrade to the penthouse. They don’t have long to chat before a call comes in for JB, someone wanting her on their talk show. JB politely declines, and Matt swears he didn’t tell anyone she was coming.

Over at the campaign office, the tape of Randall Thompson has arrived, much to the delight of campaign financier Brett Reynolds and horror of Danny. Campaign manager Liz Dougherty suggests they wait and see what the afternoon poll results are before they decide. Danny says he’s offered his opinion, and that if they use the tape he is gone. Danny pays a visit to his fiance, Sharon Matsumoto, to get his dive gauge back so he can go diving, but she hasn’t finished testing it – apparently, it got tampered with, someone is out to get Danny. Sharon’s phone rings and Danny tells her he’ll see her later.

JB is about to head out and about when another request for an interview arrives, as does Liz Dougherty. She confesses she was the one who alerted the media when she knew JB was coming in the thought it might lead to more votes, but swears she will stop.

Over at his office, Danny meets with his boss Randall, who gives him photos of Brett Reynolds meeting with renowned money launderer Martin Osborn. Danny says he still doesn’t have enough to charge either of them and Randall flips his lid, accusing Danny of dragging his feet to make sure Jeff continues to receive funds from Brett. Danny tells Randall that far from it, he, in fact, has a man undercover in Brett’s office to get the final proof they need.

The man himself, Joe Yoshanaga, has impressed Brett Reynolds with his recent work, to the point where he has been promoted to another branch over on Hilo. Joe, stalling, says he’d like another day and a half an hour meeting with Reynolds to straighten out one more account before he goes. Brett decides that’s fine and Joe departs just as Martin Osborn wanders in.

Sorry guys this is all terribly fact-based and accurate. I’m full of a cold (plus the stupid chronic fatigue). Also, GC is asleep after a long night patrolling my windowsill against a brushtail possum she saw loitering outside about four nights ago and I’m trying to get this done before she starts exercising editorial control.

ANYWAY. Martin Osborn is not in Hong Kong as Reynolds thought, and instead would like to know how the election he purchased is coming. (Clearly, Osborn is short for Osbornovich, I mean what?) Reynolds tells him everything is under control, but the biggest threat to Jeff Kincaid losing the election is Danny. He’s the problem they need to take care of.

But who cares, because LUAU TIME.

While the hula is being hula-ed and the drums are being drummed, Kincaid matriarch Rebecca Kincaid speaks to a gaggle of reporters with her grandson Jeff.

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE.

Liz takes Jeff off for a quiet word and suggests it might be the perfect time to announce their engagement but Jeff won’t have a bar of it. Jeff runs into Brett, who suggests he just gives him more money, and then Danny, who narrates the hula dance to the point where I stopped listening because the hukilau was way more interesting.

The poll gets released and Jeff has dropped another point. It is decided to release the tape and Danny refuses to have any part of it. Brett Reynolds accuses him of siding with his boss, there’s a scuffle, but it breaks up quickly.  That night, Danny meets with Joe who tells him his plan to get the incriminating file from Brett Reynolds’s computer. He just needs to send it via modem to a secure line, and Danny has just the computer in mind.

The next day JB lusts after the orchids that head gardener Ben Kamaka is transporting to the botanical gardens before heading up to the old sugar mill. As he leaves, Ben warns Danny to be careful, and JB’s ears prick up. Rebecca explains that someone is trying to kill Danny, as much as he wants to laugh it off. Danny declares it’s time for a swim and heads down to the beach while JB continues her in-depth investigation of Rebecca’s garden.

Danny deposits his things on the beach and starts swimming out. He’s soon joined by a figure in a dinghy who starts throwing chum into the water. (Side note, I genuinely think there was an opportunity for Danny to try and climb into the boat and attack his attacker, but that might be the cold and flu drugs talking). The boat departs, and fins start to appear in the water around Danny.

Cut to Jeff and Liz standing on the cliff looking worried. It would appear Danny has not returned from the swim and the coast guard are out in force looking for him. Liz asks if she should put out a statement, but Jeff thinks it might be weird coming right after the release of the video. Liz tells him she hasn’t released it yet, what with what’s happened. Jeff loses it and thinks this will cost him the election. Cold, bro.

Unaware of all the drama, Joe Yoshanaga sneaks into Brett Reynolds’ office and transmits the incriminating file to what turns out to be Danny’s computer at the old sugar mill. Meanwhile, Reynolds is at the campaign office on the phone to someone bragging about a recording he’s acquired of a conversation Danny Kincaid had at his office. Jess decides to do a little detecting down at Danny’s office but is thrown out pretty quickly by Randall Thompson.

The Thompson video goes to air, and JB watches on along with Sharon at the police station. Lab report comes back on Danny’s shirt and shoes but there are no clues. Jess wonders about Danny’s phone she saw he had on him but it’s missing. This gives Jess an idea, and they head over to the sugar mill. Jess and Sharon storm in to find a figure holding a gun, standing over the body of poor Ben the gardener. Sharon draws her gun and orders the figure to turn around – it’s Danny. He just got there too, found the gun outside and picked it up without thinking before coming inside and finding Ben’s body. Sharon is pissed. Jessica notices the destroyed computer and a missing floppy disk. Naww.

Back at the house, Danny explains the last few hours – how he narrowly avoided becoming shark food, swam back to shore and grabbed his bike and headed up to the sugar mill to retrieve the file Joe sent him. He can’t identify the boat driver, apart from they had a silver stripe on one shoulder. Down at the campaign office, Jeff is relieved to hear Danny is okay but devastated about Ben. Brett says it was probably vagrants but good news, he’s up by four points!

Yay politics. /sarcasm

Side note, JB is rocking the fuschia in this episode.

FAHSHUN DARLINK FAHSHUN

JB goes to Danny’s office for a spot of sleuthing and finds a bug in a pot plant. You know what I mean. Randall Thompson bursts in demanding answers and JB suggests the woman in the video is not his lover but his daughter that he brought over from Vietnam along with her ailing mother. Randall confirms this is indeed the case and confesses he never told his wife or children because reasons.

Down at the police station, there are no updates on the bug or the wetsuits with silver stripes but a hot tip has placed Matt Kincaid’s car in the area of the sugar mill at the time of the murder, and a search has found red dust and a floppy disk full of evidence incriminating Brett Reynolds. Matt swears he was at the hotel at the time and had no reason to kill Ben. Sharon suggests he doesn’t leave Honolulu.

A wake is held for Ben while his ashes are scattered at sea. Sharon tells JB they finally found the boat, but can’t track it to an owner. They did find a tube of antibiotics next to it. Jess gazes at a guitar case and works the whole thing out.

Nothing good comes from politics, I’m telling you now.

Yeah, she did the whole thing to make sure that Jeff would win the election. Reynolds used her to make sure he got his way too. Ben was wrong place wrong time.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m just going to google flights to Hawaii and take all the cold and flu drugs. K bye.

Later gang!

S11E03 – To Kill A Legend

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Some dude is being bumped off in a burning antiques shop/factory in London, but never mind that because it’s Joshua Peabody Day in Cabot Cove.

The Fletchmobile is out, you know it’s serious.

For reasons known only to themselves, a documentary film crew have decided to make a film about Joshua Peabody, and they’ve brought out the big guns

It’s a crack cast of filmmakers to be sure

As Cabot Cove’s most famous and always correct resident, JB is narrating the documentary and delivering it flawlessly. The director, Richard Hawkes (aka Jeffrey Nordling) wants to include a music box as part of a transition sequence, but it’s not working. Jessica suggests the Godfreys antique shop in town as a place that could get it fixed.

Thomas Godfrey gets to work on repairing the music box while his wife Nancy (aka April O’Neil from the original Ninja Turtles) tells Seth that his costume 100% absolutely was shrunk after a flood and that’s why it doesn’t fit properly. She also tells JB that her drawers have arrived – JB is delighted but notices with her keen powers of observation that the handles don’t match. Nancy apologises profusely and swears she will get that fixed post haste.

Thomas declares he’s found the reason for the faulty music box – it’s a piece of paper jammed in the mechanism. Jess unfolds the page and discovers it’s a letter to Joshua Peabody (who died in Cabot Cove possibly) from George Washington accusing him of treason and ordering him to stand trial.

Seth is unsurprised and says the way the world is going these days it doesn’t surprise him that another hero has been shot down in flames.

Never dedicate a day to your heroes. Except for Tom Hanks. There should be a Tom Hanks Day.

Armed with this Startling Revelation, Jessica goes to see the last descendants of Joshua Peabody, Edith Peabody and her daughter Louise. Louise doesn’t seem too shaken either, but Edith is having none of it.

Edith is not going to stand for this outrage.

Edith insists the letter is a hoax and must be destroyed, but Jessica insists that either way it needs to be examined at the university lab.

Edith is becoming my favourite person in this episode

Over at the Godfrey’s antique store, it’s clear that there’s trouble in paradise – Thomas is pissed at Nancy for stuffing up their best client’s order when they are so close to losing everything, and Nancy is pissed that Thomas blew what money they had on advertising for Joshua Peabody Day. Nancy storms off, just as a creepy British dude (who watched the burning building in London, spoilers) wanders in to ask about Dutch colonial pieces of which the Godfrey’s have none.

Dutch colonial pieces is almost definitely code for meth.

Early results are in on the incriminating letter, and Dr Roy Blakely informs Jess, Mort and Seth that at the moment the document looks real but tests will confirm it. Mort worries about what this will do to local tourism, but Jess finds it odd that the letter was even kept, considering the home team won the Battle of Cabot Cove, where Joshua Peabody died.  Word of the letter has reached the film crew office too, and while the producer Frederick Chiltern Bob Kendall and the director of photography Amelia Farnum are adamant the documentary needs to be about the discovery, Richard Hawkes is not interested until the letter is proven real or fake and ends the discussion by taking Louise Peabody out to dinner.

Back at the Sheriff’s office, Edith has turned up demanding to know why no one has been arrested for planting the letter. Mort tells her there’s no evidence of a break-in at Peabody House.

Edith is going rogue in 3…2…1…

 

The news doesn’t get any better for Edith, as JB and Seth wander in to inform them that according to the lab the paper and ink are a match for two hundred years old. They can’t prove it’s a fake, even if it’s a good one. Edith blames Jessica entirely for everything ever.

The next morning Edith yells at everyone while removing a noose and a traitor sign from the statue of Joshua Peabody. Tourism might be down in the Cove but every journalist within radius has turned up to talk about the letter. Louise wants to talk to Nancy Godfrey about the uniforms but Nancy declares she will speak to Richard Hawke herself and would prefer Nancy didn’t get in the way.

Apparently, he was in an episode of Press Gang, which is a sign from the universe I need to rewatch Press Gang for the eleven billionth time.

The reenactment begins and goes off without a hitch, except for a rearing horse nearly trampling Scott the sound guy, and Richard having a tantrum and calling a wrap on the day when the soldiers start lecturing him on musket assembly. That night, a smug Bob Kendall tells Richard he’s out and Amelia will direct the documentary.

The next day Jessica receives a Massive Plot Point from Scott the sound guy to do with how they record sound for the documentary.

(Me being mansplained).

Later, Edith pops around House Fletcher to apologise for blaming Jess for everything, but immediately takes it all back when Mort shows up to announce that the paper used in the letter was also 200 years old. That night, CBG watches Edith come out of the production office and disappear into the shadows.

Back at house Fletcher Mort and Seth have dropped in for a cup of coffee and to complain about the new director, when Seth suddenly gives JB an idea about the letter and Mort gets a phone call from Deputy Andy. The production office is on fire and Amelia Farnum is dead. Scott the sound guy is the only member of the production crew on the scene, and he hasn’t seen Louise, Bob or Richard for a while. He mentions to Mort that there’s a missing prop gun, which might well be the thing used to clock Amelia over the head.

The next day CBG bumps into Richard Hawkes and tells him he’s worked out the whole deal – how a small-time director is about to make it big with a historical detective story when he’s bumped from the project, only to be reinstated when the new director turns up dead. Meanwhile, the Godfreys deliver JB’s drawers to her and she gets a phone call from the Prof down at the lab.

Over at the production office, Richard is announcing that the focus of the documentary is going to change to the Washington Letter when JB rolls in to announce the letter is a very clever forgery. Everyone is stunned, Bob is quick to blame the whole thing on Richard but Mort says they just don’t know enough yet. Mort gets a call from Andy who has tracked down CBG and is bringing him to the sheriff’s office. The CBG turns out to be an infamous forger according to Interpol, and Mort would like to hear what he’s doing in town.  CBG turns out to be the actual author of the fake letter, hired by a guy in London called Alexander Sandsby (the aforementioned dude who got bumped off at the beginning). When he saw Alexander had been murdered, CBG thought there might be some money in it for him so did some digging and ended up in Cabot Cove. He still doesn’t know who hired Sandsby, but does know who he saw the night of the murder – Edith Peabody. Edith later confirms she went to see Amelia to beg her not to use the letter but didn’t get anywhere and left in a huff. Deputy Andy finds the missing gun in her car and Mort has no choice but to hold her on suspicion.

Mort and Seth seem to be content that Edith is guilty, but the end of a roll of paper towel gives Jess an idea, and they go back to the production office for a look. Scott confirms there’s some missing audio that he can’t find anywhere.

A short sting operation later and all is revealed…

That is not cowabunga.

It’s the same old story. Nancy fell in love with Richard somewhere, they started having a Thing, they hatched the plot together, their conversation about it got recorded, Amelia found out and so it goes.

Later Fletcherfans

S10E20 – A Murderous Muse

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It’s just another night on West 64th Street. A busker is busting out some funky clarinet moves while up in the penthouse a girl is busting out some classical on the piano. The jam session is cut short by Tommy Wisseau Byron Tokofsky slamming the lid down and ordering the girl, Leslie Walden back to bed. She is recording in the morning.

PS OMG Leslie Walden is being played by Jenny Lewis ARGH WHAT IS HAPPENING.

A few levels down from the penthouse, JB is just chillin casual-like as depicted by the cardigan casually draped over her shoulders.

Casual perfection, frankly

She is loving the clarinet performance happening outside, but Richie the super tells her that not everyone is so appreciative, and Byron Tokofsky has put in numerous complaints. Jess is trying to get Leslie to perform at a benefit she is organising however it’s all going to come down to whether Byron is in the mood.

The next day Leslie hits the recording studio, while a crowd of people (including JB obvs) watch on. Byron is unhappy because Byron is always unhappy. Specifically, he thinks Leslie fluffed the recording, and her manager, Owen McLaglen has done a lousy job with the promo artwork for the album cover and whatnot. Seriously, I haven’t seen The Room but Byron is basically old man Tommy Wisseau in my head.

Nailed it, probably.

JB pops into the booth to see the head of Leslie’s label, Steven Hoyt, who is ranting and raving about Byron’s crazy control freak ways. Jess quietly points out that it’s a little unusual for the head of the label to also be sound engineering and producing the album. But, if it gets Leslie’s album perfect it will be worth it.

Jess knows what’s up.

Jess goes to try and wrangle a commitment to the museum benefit out of Byron but he’s not having a bar of it. Jess is persistent but is cut off when the clarinet player turns up. “Hello angel,” he says to Leslie. He goes to grab Leslie’s hand but Byron swats his hand away. Leslie announces she will share a cab back to the apartment with JB and rushes out. Byron sticks around to smack talk the man, who turns out to be Leslie’s father Frank. In the booth, Steven eavesdrops furiously.

Back at Casa de Fletcher Jess introduces Leslie to her neighbour Solly Prinze, another musician who is helping JB learn a bit of piano for a book she’s prepping. Solly says he’s shared an elevator with Leslie many times and asks her out to dinner. She says maybe, and bids Jessica goodnight. Jess reconfirms her lesson with Solly the next day.

Up in the penthouse, Byron is making plans with his butler, whose name is Bok and the less that’s said about that the better frankly. Byron orders Leslie to join him in a toast, and casually busts some moves on her – Leslie is turning 18 soon and will no longer be his ward, so we all know what that means. Leslie hightails it to her bedroom, while a woman, Vanessa Cross, moves in on Byron to bust some moves of her own. He tells her she has an apartment and a generous allowance, what else does she want? Meanwhile, Leslie puts in a quick call to Owen looking for support but he can’t get the dollar signs out of his eyes.

Sidenote, I just finished reading Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates and it was amazing and got all my feminist rage riled up. Again. But you know. #notallmen.

There’s a party on, and while Byron stalks the crowd looking for Leslie, Jessica has been bailed up by some dude who wants to mansplain her writing to her.

Me, basically always.

Meanwhile, on his search for Leslie, Byron fires Owen because he’s Byron then tries to get into the credenza to get a program for a little old duck but has no luck. You better believe that’s going to come up again later.

Leslie, it turns out, has gone to see Solly play with his jazz band. After his set, they bond over samosas and their love of music and frankly, it’s adorable. Later that night, Leslie falls asleep listening to Solly’s CD and Byron storms in, yelling at her for embarrassing him in front of his guests. He tells her he’s going to make a woman of her and they will be married in Munich in September.

This guy can’t die soon enough, to be honest.

Frank Walden inexplicably sees the whole thing go down and goes to drink his sorrows away in the neighbourhood bar. Vanessa finds him there and tells him about the marriage plot. She wants to marry Byron, (you need help lady), and she wants to help Frank stop the whole thing.

The next morning Leslie meets with her father, who apologises for the drugs and the alcohol and wants to make things right. Leslie isn’t having a bar of it and tells her father she never wants to see him again.

Jessica is having her lesson with Solly (“C sharp is the same as D flat? There’s something very suspicious about that!”) when there’s a knock at the door – it’s a tearful Leslie looking for some patented JB sympathy. Solly excuses himself, but not before reminding Leslie he owes her dinner. Leslie apologises to JB for the stuff around with the museum benefit, and JB says not to worry – but that’s not why Leslie is there. Leslie explains her father wants her back in his life and she doesn’t know what to do.

Across town, Owen summons Steven to a quick meeting to inform him that another record company has offered more money for Leslie’s contract and Byron is set to sign, despite his agreement with Steven’s label. Steven freaks but Owen says not to worry, he has a good relationship with Leslie, he’ll straighten it out. He somehow forgets to mention that Byron fired him the previous night.

Later that night, Jessica goes to see Byron to try and get Leslie at the benefit, and also to deliver a package that was left for him downstairs, some sheet music as it turns out. Byron says the benefit isn’t happening, and to butt out of his business. As Jessica leaves, she hears Byron start to play the music and winces as he hits a bung note.

And by a bung note I mean he dead now. And there was such mourning.

The next day JB gives a statement to Lieutenant DiMartini, but it doesn’t help. Byron’s been shot but they don’t know more than that. DiMartini has been told that Leslie’s father gave her a bunch of compositions before he left, which Byron then appropriated but JB doesn’t know anything about that. She does know that Leslie’s missing and messed up. Before she leaves, JB gives Vanessa her condolences. Downstairs Solly finds Leslie slumped in the hallway weeping, and brings her inside.

That night Owen and Steven meet. Neither of them has heard from Leslie and they are starting to grow suspicious of each other. Steven thinks it’s a tad suspicious that Owen was out of a job and is suddenly running things, and thinks it’s all suss. Owen says he’s sending the papers over tomorrow, sign or don’t sign.

Jess arrives home from the supermarket, flicks on the TV and sees DiMartini announcing that Frank Walden has been arrested for Byron’s murder. Solly appears at her door, confesses that Leslie has been with him most of the day but is now missing. Jess tells him to go home and she’ll let him know if she hears anything…then literally hears piano music coming from the penthouse. Leslie tells Jess that she doesn’t remember much, she just rode the subway for a bit and then walked. She’s surprised her father did it, but she’s not interested in hearing from anyone else. Jess promises she will take Leslie to see her father in the morning.

While Leslie and Frank have a tearful reunion, JB discusses the case with DiMartini. DiMartini is less than convinced about Frank’s guilt, but he can’t see another suspect. Jessica thinks it’s ridiculous that Frank’s fingerprints were all over the rooftop opposite the penthouse but not on the gun. She’s starting to wonder about that mysterious sheet music that Byron received and asks DiMartini for a copy.

Back at House Fletcher, JB, Leslie and Solly play the sheet music and are confused when there’s a bung note in it.

Wait he was shot by a wineglass?

Jessica has an epiphany, throws Solly and Leslie out, and calls DiMartini.

It’s Fletchertime

Anyway, long story short…

Because sure

But also

Because of course.

These two bright sparks teamed up to eliminate a common enemy, i.e Byron (it turns out Vanessa was set to inherit a whole bunch). So Steven built a magical contraption into the credenza that opened the door and fired a gun whenever the bung note was played.

For those who are interested, scroll down to see a cat ranking of this episode (I so nearly got through it while she was asleep honestly it’s like having a baby in the apartment)

Later gang!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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S10E18 -The Trouble With Seth

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A long time ago in a galaxy called Boston in the 1970s, Julian Crane a man witnesses a murder. This will become relevant later.

Meanwhile, in 90s Cabot Cove, Jessica is updating her computer much to Seth’s chagrin – he has no time for cd wotsits and mega whatevers. (Now imagine Seth finding out what a Kardashian is. You’re welcome.) In the cafe, Ivy Crane a woman sits taking notes and drinking coffee while Fake Tommy Lee Jones wanders over for a chat.

Oh Passions. What a batshit crazy show you were.

Fake TLJ asks the coffee guy for a light.

LOOK AT HIM

Timmy Jimmy, as he is known for the purposes of this episode, notices an old newspaper article with Julian Crane’s face on it but he’s referred to as Stanley Barton. Not TLJ (or for fact based purposes, Leo) tells Ivy Crane Julia that she’s not doing anything without him, she needs him to ID Stanley. He orders her to keep in touch and tells her where he’s staying.

Down at the computer store JB is getting her gaming rig set up probably while the proprietor Julian Crane Evan Rafferty/Stanley Barton is a bit stressed out. Someone is doing a credit check on him looking for information, and Evan/Stanley recognises the name. It’s enough to get him all cross and yelly at his employees Neil Kraus and Connie Anderson. Seth asks Evan/Stanley if they are still on for their fishing trip in the morning and he tells Seth he’s not sure and storms into his office. Connie tells JB her new computer will be ready at the end of the day and JB hopes that Evan’s mood improves. As JB and Seth leave, Julia arrives for her meeting with Evan.

Over at the coffee shop, Jimmy pours coffee for his mother, who it turns out is marrying Evan/Stanley in less than a month. She is worried about his mood. Jimmy doesn’t mention the newspaper article and just tells her he doesn’t want her to do anything she doesn’t want to do for his sake. She laughs and tells him not to flatter himself.

Later that day Seth gives Mort a check-up and pronounces him fitter than a 1955 dollar. That’s pretty fit you guys. Mort asks Seth if he’s seen the prowler everyone’s been talking about and Seth thinks he has and gives a description that 100% does not match any of the other descriptions Mort’s had. Mort shrugs, tells Seth to give him a call if he sees the prowler again and goes on his merry way. Seth’s next patient wanders in – it’s Leo who apparently has a sore throat.

Back at Cabot Cove Digital, Julia’s meeting with Evan/Stanley has been delayed while he has a fight with his son Will who wants to buy a fishing boat and not go into the high stakes world of computer sales. Julia sees an opportunity and makes eyes at Will as he storms out. Her meeting with Evan/Stanley doesn’t go well either – he sees through her disguises as a property developer wanting to buy his house and tells her it’s not for sale.

Lunchtime rolls around and Neal and Connie spot Leo loitering around the computer shop, while JB sings to her typewriter.

The love is strong

Mort finishes his coffee and departs to chase the prowler, last seen hanging out outside Cabot Cove Digital, while at another of Cabot Cove’s eleven million cafes Will and Julia have coffee. Apparently, Julia has offered to bankroll Will’s foray into the world of high stakes fishing, all Will has to do is give her more info on his Dad’s life before they moved to Cabot Cove. Will doesn’t know much, he was 4 at the time and his Dad worked on a pipeline somewhere for 12 months.

Over at house Fletcher that night Mort is back to help JB set up her new computer when Jess gets a weird message on her answering machine from Seth. She’s worried, Mort’s worried and then they discover that Seth’s phone is off the hook. They jet on over to Seth’s office and find evidence of a struggle, some blood and drag marks but no Seth and no Seth’s car.

The next morning Mort updates JB on the case, and it’s all bad news. There’s no trace of Seth or his car, and the blood they found matches his blood type. Jess doesn’t understand why there’s not been a ransom demand. Meanwhile, Julia’s still on a quest to find out more info on Evan/Stanley, this time from the soon to be Mrs Evan/Stanley, but gets shot down when her questions tend to focus on his past and not Will’s loan application. Later, Julia finds Will and tells him her company are happy to do business with him, she just has a few more questions. Will offers homemade linguini at his place for dinner, he’ll answer everything then.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Deputy Andy is doing a composite sketch on the computer for JB to look at because that’s how that works now. Jessica makes some alterations because she’s always right in everything, and voila – the prowler is Leo aka Fake TLJ. They head over to the Lighthouse Inn where he’s been staying but there’s no sign of him. They do however run into Jimmy, who has heard about Seth’s mysterious disappearance. Jess asks him if he’s seen Leo, but he tells her no and rides off. Jess knows he’s lying but has no idea why. (Jimmy goes to find Evan/Stanley, now sporting a black eye and demands an explanation. Evan tells him he might be going away for a long time, and to stay out of it.)

Julia tries her luck calling JB to get information about Evan/Stanley, but JB has no time for that. Mort pops around to tell her what he’s learned about Leo (just got out of jail for second-degree murder, shady character) when Andy calls Mort with some bad news – some hikers just found a body in the woods. They go to investigate and find a body on the ground, and a rustling in the trees…

Classic Seth

The dead body, for those playing along at home, is Leo the professional, whom Seth recognises as the man who came to see him with a sore throat. “Must have been worse than I thought.” Says Seth.

Nothing like everyone thinking you’re dead to bring out the humour

Over at Cabot Cove Digital, Evan/Stanley is making plans for his imminent departure and tells Connie the business is hers. His fiance pops in wanting to know what’s going on, and he tells her his past has caught up with him. Jess helps Seth clean up his office and notices someone has been going through the patient files.  That night, Will makes some linguini for Julia, who finds the proof she needs that Evan and Stanley are the same person. She promises Will they’ll sort the loan out and disappears into the night.

Just as JB and Mort finally catch up to what’s going on, and Will finds a notebook left by Julia, Julia is at Evan/Stanley’s office with a gun to his head. Evan/Stanley was the guy in the car the night of that murder back in 1974, and Julia’s father was one of the two guys involved in the shooting. Evan/Stanley was indicted for the murder when the other two claimed it was all his idea, and so he bailed before he could go to trial. Julia’s on the hunt for revenge, but Mort and Andy arrive to save the day.

Basically this is the origin story of Julian and Ivy Crane and you can’t prove it isn’t.

Anyway, Evan/Stanley explains his life story, but swears he didn’t kill Leo, he only followed him to find out what it would take for him to back off. Mort tells Jess they found evidence linking Jimmy to the woods, but he tells them he was out there with a lady.

Honestly, her face this whole bit is just glorious

Anyway, long story short…

Because sure, why not.

She did it for love guys. And at long, LONG last, GC the cat has fallen asleep and has stopped yowling at me to let her out. Honestly, it’s like having a toddler in the house. It’s taken me five hours to write this. I’m delirious! I need sleep!

Nap time!

S10E11 – Northern Explosion

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Welcome to Canada, where JB is currently on the most inexplicable cross-country quest to get to a wedding in Vancouver.

Now I might just be a small-time country lawyer (I’m not), but it seems to me that getting from Cabot Cove to Vancouver would be a small matter of flying from Boston. Even if it’s just to Toronto to change planes. Or Chicago.

Apparently not though.

This is what happens when you let Phyllis Grant book your travel. #DeepCut

Inside Fletcher Force One JB is hard at work on her novel, while a random dude insists on talking to her. At length. About how he never did work out computers, but he’s a very smart man.

Spoiler alert: it isn’t Donald Trump

It turns out they are on their way to Dominion, which Google says is a real place in Nova Scotia, and is, in fact, the complete opposite direction to Vancouver. This flight better have been cheap.

When the pilot announces they will be hitting turbulence all the way to Dominion, Mr Chatterbox tells JB that Dominion has been having trouble with some local Indians who are trying to stop a mine from going ahead. This interests the other passenger on the plane, who is a member of the local tribe and wonders whether Mr Chatterbox might benefit from reading what’s underneath the headlines.

JB enjoys that little truth bomb immensely and says so via the magic of her laptop.

Remember when computers were a novelty and weren’t trying to take over our lives?

Down on ground level, things are getting heated between the miners and the local First Nation people. (Also someone nicked some dynamite at the start of this episode, this comes up later). Mine boss Rick Shipley and his sidekick Brian Wade aren’t having a bar of it, while the First Nation people are being led by local hot head George Quill. It’s only when George’s grandfather Joe steps in that the First Nation people back down and let the mine convoy through. The local constabulary rolls in in the form of Sgt Hilda Dupont, but the situation has calmed down. She can’t wait for George’s lawyer to get to town to sort it all out once and for all, and George says maybe, maybe not.

Jess rolls into town with her pilot promising to get her airborne first thing the next morning to make her connection at Dawson Forks. As she walks into the hotel Rick Shipley pulls up to ask the pilot (whose name is, of course, Buzz Berkeley) if there is anything for him. Buzz scowls and hands him a parcel before storming off. Apparently, Rick has started using Buzz’s competition after years of using Buzz or some such situation.

While the lawyer (whose name I should point out is Peter Henderson) is on the phone with his office, Mr Chatterbox is checking in and chatting with the receptionist Marie Comouche while some helpful clues just hang out on the counter.

Won’t lie, the first time I watched this episode I paid 0 attention to any of this, I was probably googling flights from Maine to Vancouver.

Before he departs, Mr Chatterbox, who it turns out is actually called Mr Macpherson and I’ve just realised is Deep Throat from The X Files and now my mind is blown, orders Jess to accept his dinner invitation but heroically Peter steps in to tell him that Jess already has dinner plans with him.

“Just trying to be friendly is all,” grumbles Mr Macpherson. UGH.

I think we’ve all been there though.

Peter asks Jess to dinner for real, but first drops by the mine to slap an injunction on Rick Shipley, preventing any activity on the mine for 7 days until the case gets heard in court. Rick asks him about the missing dynamite but it’s the first Peter has heard about it, and if Peter finds out Rick has been spreading gossip without proof there will be a lawsuit heading his way. Rick asks Peter if he really is helping the local community, after all, he had to move away to get a good job.

Jess takes herself down to the general store for some film and runs into Joe Quill for some of that Native Person Mysticism that this show freaking loves. George is also there hanging out and drawing. Martin storms in wanting to know more about the dynamite, and to beg Joe to keep everyone in line until after the hearing. Joe says welcome back, and George pops up to tell Peter the whole thing is pointless, the law doesn’t care about them and that he should just go back to Toronto. He storms outside and gets into a punchup with Rick and Brian which only ends when JB wanders out to see if there are any murders that need solving.

Later that afternoon Peter goes out for a stroll and runs into Hilda Dupont, who can’t believe Peter is back or how good he looks. They adjourn inside for a cup of coffee to reminisce and flirt outrageously. Down at the general store, Shipley and Joe Quill yell at each other a bit about the future of the town before Shipley returns to the mine. Oddly enough he has a meeting with Hamish Macpherson, who has a tale to tell of a bank robber who went missing after a heist in Ottawa in which a cop was killed and half a million bucks got pinched. There’s a reward out for the missing robber but Macpherson thinks there’s more money in blackmailing the missing thief, as he wasn’t able to spend the money he stole and the bank robber would probably be very interest in keeping his identity quiet.

Surprise! Hamish Macpherson is a newly retired cop and Shipley is a bank robber.

Shipley arranges to meet Macpherson at his place at 10pm that night, Shipley even gives his car to McPherson when he starts muttering about needing transportation for a meeting that late. Macpherson also tells Shipley that if something should happen to him, his wife has all the information too and if something should happen to her, then provisions have been made.

At dinner that night, Peter and Jess chat about the case, and how Peter is struggling in the city. Apparently, Joe Quill raised him after his mother died on account of his real father is an alcoholic. Being back has kicked up all sorts of things for him. (Meanwhile JB’s plane still hasn’t been fixed and the wedding is at 4pm the next day)

Later that night, Macpherson comes to see Shipley and is blown up after a shadowy figure carelessly on purpose leaves some dynamite under a bridge.

Gilda arrives on the scene and takes charge. Shipley tells her that Macpherson was a mining tool salesman that he had arranged to meet, but he’d gone to check on the equipment at the mine first. He is adamant the explosion was meant for him on account of he leant his truck out of the kindness of his heart, and more than that it was defs George Quill behind it all.

The next day Jess gets the bad news that the plane still isn’t ready, which gives her plenty of time to answer Hilda’s questions about Macpherson, not that JB knows much. She does mention the briefcase, but that has yet to be found. Hilda tells her that it turns out Macpherson was a retired cop, so lord knows what he was doing in Dominion.

Hilda goes to see Peter and Joe, who are wrapping up a tribal council meeting, and asks them where George is, she has questions. Back at the hotel Jess gets the good news that the plane is fixed when a phone call comes in from Hilda requesting her attendance at the police station.

Imagine a TV show where a psychic travel agent purposefully redirects her cop client to solve murders instead of go on holidays. Yeah. Get to work television.

Jess tells Hilda what she knows about the fight between George Quill and Shipley and Brian Wade, which Hilda says matches what they told her. She has no choice but to hold George on suspicion of murdering Hamish Macpherson, killed because George thought it was Shipley. Jess thinks that none of it makes sense, and also where is Hamish’s briefcase? Hilda tells her not to worry about it, she’ll drive Jess to the plane. Jess wonders if they could just pop round the crime scene on the way…

A trip to the crime scene yields nothing more than a fleck of yellow enamel, but a call comes in from one of Hilda’s colleagues to inform her that they have found the missing dynamite stolen from the start of the episode, buried under George’s cabin. And there are three sticks missing.

George tells them that they must have been missing to begin with, he didn’t count the dynamite when he stole it, he just stole it to stop the mine from going ahead. When Hilda tries to get in touch with Shipley to confirm, Brian tells her he can’t return her call on account of he’s just turned up dead.

On a completely unrelated topic, I once had a conversation with my friend Owen about which Hogwarts House Jessica Fletcher would be in, and guys she is 100% Slytherin. She is missing a wedding to make sure everyone knows that a murder doesn’t get solved unless she solves it. BOSS MODE.

(Also I’m 100% Ravenclaw, just in case any of you were wondering).

Hilda, Peter and JB head to Shipley’s office where it appears he has packed a bag before killing himself. Buzz phones in to see if Shipley is still catching the plane to Dawson Forks, making them all suspect that Shipley did not in fact kill himself. Jess thinks they need to find out more about Hamish Macpherson, and quickly.

While Jessica and Peter chat to Joe in the general store, Hilda goes to work and soon finds out that Shipley was the bank robber and that’s why Hamish Macpherson was in town. She tells them she’s stumped, which makes Jess realise who the killer is and I’m sorry guys I’ve watched this twice and I still don’t get it.

If you worked this out then get to work building a warp drive because you are clearly a genius.

So that is Marie the hotel receptionist, who was married to the cop who was killed in the bank robbery. Presumably she killed Macpherson because she thought he was Shipley, and then she killed Shipley because he was Shipley. Jess worked it all out because of a conversation she overheard Marie having about blowing up tree stumps.

I don’t even know. Anyway, I just discovered there’s a teaser trailer for the Han Solo movie, guys I gotta go.

Later gang!

 

S10E09 – Murder at a Discount

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Back in the Big Apple again, where JB is finishing up some JB business before heading to Maui for a well-deserved vacation. Alas, it is not meant to be, and Jess gets served papers as she is leaving her publishers office. Dave Novaro, local discount store legend, is suing for All The Things. He thinks JB’s newest book is basically a retelling of his first wife’s murder, a murder he was tried for and acquitted.

Spoiler alert: someone does.

Dave’s feeling stressed and he’s taking it out on his school friends /colleagues Neil Fraser and Lillian Conway, while wife number 2 Iris Novaro can’t show her face in the nail salon anymore without people talking about the murder. THE SCANDAL. She tells Dave she’s going to see a divorce lawyer, but Dave talks her down. She says the delay is only temporary but it’s enough for Dave. Iris leaves the store, gets into a truck and starts making out with a hot roofer named Randy (not kidding) who wants to know why she hasn’t told Dave about him yet. Iris hopes Randy isn’t just trying to get at her money.

Jessica and her publisher head straight to their lawyers to suss out what to do.

Sometimes you just have to ask the question.

Her lawyer, Aaron Woodman, tells them that Novaro is after ten million dollars.

Sidenote: fully coordinated outfit with the curtains.

With a deposition scheduled for the morning, Hawaii is off the table for the time being so instead Jess turns to proving her book is not based on the murder of Dave’s first wife. The research team at the publishers send over everything they can find on the murder and JB gets up to speed while watching Dave on TV going ballistic. Wouldn’t you know it, the original detective on the case is Artie Gelber.

Jess gets a visit from Dave’s former father in law, who is convinced Dave killed his daughter. He is surprised to hear that JB’s book isn’t based on the case, as all the main details match, but offers to do whatever he can to help Jessica’s case if it will cause Dave to squirm. His wife died not long after Janet, so he’s kind of got an axe to grind.

JB’s next stop is to visit Artie to see the original case file, and he doesn’t have good news either. Apart from some minor details, like the murder weapon and how the killer broke in using the garage opener instead of breaking in through a window, her book is almost exactly the same as the case. JB tells him she was in Cabot Cove when she wrote the book, she had not even heard of the case. Artie finds that hard to believe, but he has bigger problems that he needs help with – specifically, getting JB to write an ad for his car that he is trying to sell.

Such a Szbornak move.

The next morning Aaron takes Jess to the offices of Dave’s attorney, who just so happens to be his daughter and also Juliana Margulies.

She’s pretty great really.

Dave loses it when he sees Jessica and tells her she’s going to pay for what she’s done to his life.

So innocent.

Jessica asks him if he’s even read the book and he says of course he hasn’t. Jess suggests he give it a crack, it might help him realise the book isn’t about him.

Deposing all the things, Rachel Novaro tells JB that the value of the stamps in her book is equal to the value of her mother’s necklace that was stolen. JB spots a photo of the said necklace around the neck of the said woman. Guys full disclosure I’m writing this at 6:00am because I’m going to the tennis today so this episode might make less sense than usual.

Jess goes out to lunch for a debrief with her publisher Ted Hartley, where they are confronted by Iris Novarro, who tells Jessica she was Dave’s assistant at the time of the murder but they weren’t fooling around and she hopes Dave takes JB to the cleaners. Ted asks the maitre d to escort Iris out of the restaurant and wonders if JB has considered an out of court settlement – thanks to all the publicity the book is flying off the shelves so with all the extra money they could afford the hit. Jess refuses, it’s a matter of principle naturally. Alas for Ted Rachel Novaro has also thought about this and serves Aaron with a notice preventing all sales and publicity of the book.

Meanwhile, Dave finds Iris (who has apparently moved out of their house) in another restaurant and begs her to come home. He gives her a teddy bear she forgot to take with her and reminds her of their secret signal during the trial that meant I love you. Huh, so much for not having a fling at the time of the murder. Across town, Rachel’s grandfather is struggling with the idea that she is defending her mother’s killer, aka her Dad.

Night happens. While Randy the Randy sits in his truck outside Dave’s store and watches hobos walk past, Neil tells Dave they need to find ways to save money and Lillian reminds him of when they were in high school and Dave asked her to the prom and she thought the would get married.

The struggle is real.

Dave throws everyone out and continues reading. Something in the book strikes him and he calls JB to tell her he thinks he will drop the lawsuit, but something in the book has made him realise who the killer is. Jess doesn’t want to hear it but eventually agrees and gives him her address. Dave says he’ll be there in 20 minutes. On his way out the door, he meets Hilda the Hobo and gives her ten bucks.

Time passes and when Dave doesn’t show up Jess calls the store but gets an engaged signal. She calls the operator who tells her there’s no one on the line. Jess calls Artie, worried that something has happened. Artie agrees to meet her at the store – he’s in a good mood after selling his car to Detective Henderson. They all cruise down to the store and find it unlocked, Dave’s body lying dead on the floor. Neil and Lillian both arrive later expressing their shock. Rachel also turns up but when JB expresses her condolences Rachel tells her it changes nothing about the lawsuit.

The next morning JB calls Artie for an update and learns that Dave’s fingerprints show he was up to the top of page 247 when he died, and also that Detective Henderson loves the new car. This is news to Detective Henderson, who has just walked in with the car door handle in his hand.

Jess goes to see Rachel Navarro and explains to her that Dave was up to the section of her book in which the killer sent his secretary off on a long list of errands in which time he would drive over to his wife’s house, kill her and return to work. Something about that set an alarm off in Dave’s head but Rachel has no idea why and she has a lot of work to do. JB spots what looks like the missing necklace in Rachel’s drawer but Rachel tells her it’s a copy Dave had made one time when he had to pawn the original. He gave her the copy of it when he got the original back.

I see, says Jess and then has an epiphany about garage doors. She calls Artie who agrees to pull the old case file but then gets called away by Detective Henderson (who is still not terribly pleased with the car) to the forensics lab.

Across town, Iris Novaro comes home from the supermarket to find Randy loading their stuff into a truck, all set to move into Dave’s house. Randy isn’t terribly happy to hear that Iris signed a prenup and Rachel gets the lot. Iris walks away.

Jess goes down to the precinct to look at the file, but Artie hadn’t gotten around to pulling it on account of he’s just arrested Rachel’s grandfather for the murder. Jess isn’t buying it for a minute though and insists on seeing the case file anyway.

A short sting operation at Dave’s funeral later…

Let’s be honest, not a shock.

It’s the classic story of a mistress bumping off the competition, and then bumping off the husband when he works it out five years later.

So while Artie is paying to get Detective Henderson’s car fixed, and Rachel Novarro and Aaron Woodman decide to go into business together, I’ll leave you with a deleted scene from The Shining.

Later gang!

 

 

 

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