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S12E16 – Murder Among Friends

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Welcome back to sunny Los Angeles Fletcherfans, where JB is working on a documentary series about mysteries. The producer of her show, Leo Vardian, has been dropping the ball a bit thanks to the runaway success of the show he co-produces with his wife Ricki. It’s a show about six friends who sit around all day in a coffee shop, entitled BUDS.

Coincidentally my face when the music faded in at the start of the episode.

Tensions are high on the set of BUDS. Despite the roaring success of the show, there’s a rumour going around that the network wants some people cut. JB’s mate in the above pic is staff writer Gene Gains, who took JB’s writing course and got such bad marks he immediately swapped to comedy instead.

Speaking of comedy…

WHAT EVEN IS THIS EPISODE

Leo (on the left) is being chased for a limo payment for one of the BUDS (Timothy) by his father Roy Flint, who also happens to be a cop. After bickering, Leo agrees to foot half the bill to make the conversation end.

Next on Leo’s agenda is his wife Ricky, who is on the phone to the network about cutting two of the BUDS. Ricky doesn’t want to do it, but the network is under new management and they’re looking to cut costs. Leo wants to know why Ricky is nicer to everyone else, and Ricky tells him what he’s dying to know – she was working late the previous night. Leo says it might not be hard to cut anyone, not all of the BUDS are funny, take Vince for instance. Ricky says Vince gets 27,000 fan letters a week and takes off to the set to explain some of her jokes to the director.

As she leaves, Leo’s associate Alex walks in. Leo tells him Ricky says she was working late the previous night and Alex says that’s a coincidence because so was he – and shows him the photos of Ricky and Vince making out in her office the night before. Meanwhile, Timothy tells Roy to back off, he’ll handle things his own way. Roy smiles and then after his son walks away does a dirt check on Leo.

After roaming the set for days hours minutes, Jess finally bumps into Leo who tells her everything will be taken care of for her show. His next target is BUD cast member Diane Emery, who has been offered a starring role in a Rob Reiner film – the bad news is it’s two months shooting in New Delhi straight away. Leo tells her no, she’s under contract for another four more years. But look on the bright side, the show has made her into a star, girls all over America are copying her hairstyle…

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

BUDS co-stars Carly and Vince have a quiet moment on set, and Carly warns Vince to get out of Ricky’s clutches. Ricky wanders past just as they are about to kiss and declares she has new lines for Vince to go over. She links arms with him and escorts him away.

JB has lunch with Timothy Flint, who of course she taught at Manhattan University. She congratulates him on the show’s success, saying “Who’d have thought a group of twenty-something young people sitting around all day long discussing their sexuality would turn out to be a top TV show?”

Actual line of dialogue.

Timothy says there’s more to the show than that, but can’t think of anything off the top of his head.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Timothy is convinced he’s about to be dumped from the show but Jess reassures him that he’s very talented. Carly wanders past to tell him they have a 6am call time thanks to Ricky deciding to dump the whole script and start from the beginning.

That night Ricky gets off the phone with the network, and has agreed to cut one of the BUDS. Leo wants to know if he gets a vote and she says nope, she decides who lives and dies around here. She will rewrite the script that night, and keep the last scene in her safe for now. She refuses to tell Leo who the bumped character will be, so he flings the photos Alex took of Ricky with Vince on the desk.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Ricky gives precisely no bothers about the whole thing, and Leo storms out in a rage. He runs into his pal Alex outside, and he orders Alex to make it go away.

The next day JB has a breakfast meeting with Ricky, in which Ricky scoffs some toast and demands her minions to deliver her new laptop by 5pm. She also would like to pitch a TV show starring Jess’s TV characters.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Jess tries to say no, but it doesn’t appear to be a word Ricky understands.

Over at the precinct, Leo’s pal Alex pops by to ask Roy Flint if he could pull Vince’s arrest record from when he was a kid, but Roy points out it’s sealed, and also he doesn’t want internal affairs on his case. Alex, it turns out, used to be a vice cop and Roy thinks he kept better company then. Alex leaves and Roy calls Ricky to find out who is being bumped off but Ricky’s not talking to him either.

Back on set, Ricky watches the readthrough of the latest version of the episode and isn’t happy with the performance. The director, Joy, tells Ricky they’re all worried they are about to lose their jobs but all Ricky says is that Joy might join them. Later in the morning, she tells Vince they need to can their extra-curricular activities for now.

Timothy finds JB on her set discussing female mystery writers and wants her advice – Roy is digging for dirt on Leo and Ricky to use in case Tim gets bumped off the show. Jessica thinks Tim knows exactly what to do and he agrees – he’ll go and see Ricky and warn her.

Gene confronts Leo on behalf of Carly about who is leaving the show but Leo tells Gene to get back to work. Diane calls her agent with the good news that someone is about to be bumped off, but is told that there’s a lawsuit pending if she tries to leave. She confronts Ricky with this but Ricky tells her that’s Leo’s department, not hers. Diane goes in search of Leo, who overheard her conversation with Ricky and wants to know what he’s supposed to say to her. Ricky just tells him to take the heat so she hates him instead of her for a change.

Carly confronts Ricky about potentially firing Vince, but Ricky sees her off. Carly thrusts Ricky’s Emmy at her and tells her that it doesn’t give her a license to be mean and storms off, just in time for Tim to wander in. Ricky is having trouble with her new laptop and he offers to assist.

Later that night, Jessica finds Leo slouched on the set mumbling about how much his marriage sucks. Jess suggests he talk to Ricky.

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

Later that night, once she’s wrapped for the day, Jessica decides to return the treatment Ricky gave her to read for the potential new show. When she gets to Ricky’s office she finds Ricky dead on the floor, and her safe open.

The police arrive to investigate, in the shape of Lieutenant Roy Flint which seems terribly inappropriate. Jess asks if they’re assuming the Emmy was the murder weapon and Roy agrees. Jess then wonders if the murder wasn’t a robbery in the usual sense – if the safe was open, perhaps someone was in there looking for the scene detailing who gets bumped from the show.

One of Roy’s minions surfaces to let him know that they’ve gotten alibis for everyone except Tim, and Roy shouts that he was with Tim at the time of the murder. Jessica suggests it might be inappropriate for him to investigate but he ignores her. Leo arrives and Tim asks him why a copy of their prenup was on the desk at the time Ricky was killed. JB and the lab tech discover the missing script in the safe.

The next day the script is shared with the BUDS – Diane was the unlucky one about to be bumped off the show, but Leo says Gene will rewrite the script, and that no one is getting bumped. Diane is relieved – her part ended up being given to Meg Ryan anyway. Jess finds her later having a coffee outside, and goes to see how she’s doing. Diane is happy the show is continuing but sad about Ricky, who did a lot for her career. It turns out her character on the show is based on Ricky, including the glasses. Diane has perfect vision though, so her prop glasses don’t have a prescription in them.

Something Diane says triggers a memory and JB rushes off to see Gene, busily working on the new script. He admits he came into Ricky’s office the previous night to talk to her but found her dead and the safe open. He saw the real ending to the show and swapped it out to save Carly from being booted, but he swears he didn’t kill Ricky.

Roy Flint is not impressed…

CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

…but lets Gene go. He tells JB that Leo and Ricky just got life insurance policies that paid double for death by murder. While he seems fairly convinced Leo is the killer, Roy takes time to go find Tim and get his alibi. Tim tells him he went for a run but Roy says wrong, Tim was at Roy’s place the entire time.  Meanwhile, Alex finds Leo and says a) you’re welcome and b) I want a producing credit on the show.

That night JB is hanging out with Carly and Tim. Carly is freaking out that her prints are on the Emmy but she didn’t kill Ricky but it turns out she didn’t need to worry. Roy arrives with the news that it’s been discovered that one of the cast was being paid less than the others (Tim) and that there were only three sets of prints on the laptop – Ricky’s, the delivery guys and Tims.

With his son the prime suspect in the murder, Roy decides to take himself off the case. JB tells him she doesn’t think Tim did it but Roy says he has to look at the facts. JB asks him what he did when he went back to see Ricky the night of the murder – turns out Roy boy was trying to get an alibi for himself just as much as Tim. He says he tried to talk sense into Ricky but she wasn’t having a bar of it and so he left her office, but she was alive.

Filming the last day of her Mystery show, JB suddenly realises who the actual killer is and rushes off to trap them.

Her mother warned her there’d be days like these

This is what happens when someone tries to stop you from being in a Rob Reiner movie. That’s just science. Clap clap clap clap.

Later gang

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S11E01 – A Nest of Vipers

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Welcome to the second last season of Murder She Wrote oh god.

Welcome to Season 11 Fletcherfans and more specifically welcome to the jungle.

Richmond are doing very well, thank you for asking. #YellowAndBackToBack #Hopefully

And by jungle I mean the Los Angeles Animal Park, home of the greatest game of all – shadowy figures ratting out their employers to reporters.

Is this the first time I’ve made this joke? No. Will it be the last? No.

The shadowy figure is keen to take down park director Norman Gilford and wants to enlist the moustachioed Jimmy Russell into the fight. Apparently, Gilford is corrupt up the wazoo and there is a petition to have him removed. Russell returns a key to the figure and says this better be real.

More importantly than all that, Our Heroine is in town researching for her new book in which someone gets bumped off and the killer tries to make it look like an animal did it. She’s getting a lift from Kelly Michaels, golf cart driver and park operations assistant manager according to IMDB (there are like eleven million people in this episode and I’m s-to-the-leepy so bear with me on this one guys ok?) Kelly is pulled over by another angry moustache, this time it’s City Councilman Joe Gandolph who isn’t happy about something in the paper that apparently Norman  said. Kelly shrugs and floors it – she promised Norman she’d take JB straight to see him.

They arrive at the park HQ as Norman’s assistant Bea Huffington eavesdrops on Norman’s interview/argument with Jimmy Russell about corruption in the park and Joe Gandolph’s investigation of it. Norman throws him out of his office and immediately apologises to JB for all this unsightly yelling. JB tries to explain she’s on a tight deadline but he won’t have a bar of it, he orders Bea to get coffee and he wants to hear all about Jessica’s book.

Down at the vet clinic, Jessica bumps into veterinarian Dr Ray Stinson and animal caretaker Ted Fraley gossiping about Norman and his latest attempts to not pay for things (this is set after the 1994 earthquake and there’s a whole thing about trying to rebuild). Bea tells Ray that he’s wanted in the boss’s office but Ray has an elephant situation happening (don’t we all) and promises Jess he’ll see her later. Ted has some ideas for Jess’s book but also some ideas about asking Bea out, but she tells him she has to cancel on their date, something came up.

All living creatures adore her.

Meanwhile, Ray meets Norman and Kelly and is told in no uncertain terms (by Norman) have nothing to do with the petition or anything involving Norman’s departure. Ray tells him he has no interest in Norman’s job but that he should be more concerned about Mark Attwater and the Earthspeak mob who want the park to close. Kelly thinks that’s not true but Norman thinks she’s biased on account of she’s having a thing with Mark.

Jess continues her tour of the animal kingdom.

It’s a fierce-off

Ted then introduces her to a black mamba who might feature in JB’s book as a murder suspect.

SHAKESPEARE SNAKE IS BACK YOU GUYS OR AS HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED ALL ALONG, SNAKESPEARE

Someone calls out to Ted, who leaves JB reciting sonnets with Snakespeare. It’s Mark Attwater, who wants his money in 24 hours or else past transgressions will become public knowledge.

That night Norman watches a news story with Gandolph calling for his departure and makes plans to meet someone the next day. Kelly gets met at the office by Mark who escorts her out for the night but not before making snide remarks at Dr Ray who seems to have a thing for Kelly maybe? I don’t really know, this episode has a love octagon in it.

If I had to choose between people talking about their love lives and a snake quoting Shakespeare, I mean…

Later that night JB is invited to a party at TV reporter Joyce Hacker’s house. Joyce explains she’s passionate about zoology, doubly so as her late husband liked to thinking hunting endangered species was doing the world a favour. Ugh. Mark declares he’d like to offer an unpopular opinion (a white man offering an unpopular opinion? I don’t believe it) but Joyce shoots that down and asks Ray for a quiet word. She wants him to take over the park management and she will take over the park board. Ray tells her he doesn’t want it but he’s flattered and disappears. Joyce is soon joined by Mark and in the 3 seconds before they start making out it is established that she has arranged for Mark to be working for the Earthspeak crew. Downstairs Kelly spots them making out and runs out of the house crying past JB.

(Things I think at weddings)

The next day Bea is showing JB the leopards when Ted pops up looking to impart more Black Mamba wisdom. Jess says she’ll come see him later and he leaves, but not before sulking at Bea about her not going to the movies with him the night before. (Bea went to the party thing with Ray. As friends. Just FYI)

I think I have it straight now. Ted loves Bea. Bea loves Ray. Ray loves Kelly. Kelly is engaged to Mark Atwater. Mark Atwater is making out with Joyce.

Mortals. What can you do?

Kelly runs into Mark who tells her it’s not what she thinks it is. Gee Gaslight was a good movie. Across the park, Norman begs Gandolph into finding someone else to take the fall for the park’s demise and offers 150K to sweeten the pot. Gandolph tells him he’ll think about it and wanders off, past Bea who heard the whole thing. Later, Norman meets mark and offers him money to throw Joyce under the bus and disavow the whole campaign.

I WANT TO HEAR MORE FROM SNAKESPEARE.

That night…

#Bossmode

Mark Atwater comes in looking for Kelly but JB hasn’t seen her all day. Mark assumes Kelly told Jessica about what happened the previous night and Jessica tells him she didn’t need to be told, she was there. Mark gets a phone call and departs but not before telling JB she doesn’t have all the facts.

Cut to Jimmy Russell slinking around in the vet room and bumping into Snakespeare…

Snakespeare’s got nothing but love

Also Mark Atwater is slowing dying and clutching his neck but whatever.

The next day Lieutenant Gabriel Caceras wanders in to take charge of the investigation while a bear cub gets ready for the Grammys.

There are literally too many bear puns for me to make right now.

Caceras takes down JB’s and Jimmy’s statements but it’s case closed, the black mamba did it. Jess finds it a curious set of circumstances that led to Mark being in the same place as a loose black mamba but Carceras won’t buy into it. Ray wanders past and asks where the esteemed Norman Gilford is while this crisis is happening.

Jess and Ray go for a drive and run into Joyce and Gandolph. Gandolph wants to shut the park down but they beg him for more time. Joyce thinks the whole situation with the snake and the shady lady would make wonderful fodder for a book and Jess quite agrees. She shoots off in the golf cart with Ray while Gandolph tells Joyce about Norman’s big fat bribe.

Jessica continues her research into deadly snakes and proves that Snakespeare was not the murderer, obviously. Joyce confronts Norman about the bribe and gives him the option to fess up or flee.

Back at the animal hospital…

I don’t actually know what that animal is

Jess discovers that there is black mamba poison missing from the fridge. Caceras and Bea wander in and announce Ted’s been arrested for the murder after his prints were found at Atwaters’ ransacked house. It turns out Ted was being blackmailed by Mark and after he heard Mark was dead he tried to get the proof back. Jess believes him, and after a eureka moment gets Caceras to find out who owns the vacant land next to the park. Caceras calls her later that night and tells her that it’s owned by the CH foundantion but he doesn’t know more than that.

A sign on the wall gives Jessica another eureka moment and she goes to confront Bea Huffington who confesses to being the source of Jimmy Russell’s info. Russell wasn’t the only recipient of Bea’s info, and JB gets her to call the other person and set up a meeting.

To conclude…

I mean why not.

Joyce’s husband owned the land, Joyce wanted the park’s land, Gandolph was in on it and Atwater tried to blackmail her.

But never mind all that. My chronic fatigue might have come back, but a bunch of lions killed some rhino poachers in South Africa and in the omnishambles that is life on Earth in 2018 let’s just take the wins where we find them.

#SnakespeareLives

 

 

 

S09E15 – The Petrified Florist

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Guys, this episode sucked. And for the main reason why just scroll down to the end. Otherwise, you could just watch this video of a puffin going about its puffin business. Puffins are my favourite animal. Seriously, go google puffins doing things, it will be much more entertaining and probably relevant to this episode, to be honest.

Welcome back to La La Land Fletcherfans, where JB is visiting her old pal Frances Hunt, editor in chief of A-List, a gossip magazine that seems to think Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone once had a thing lets not dwell on that. All is not well on the A-List on account of a rival magazine keeps out-scooping them and Frances’s business partner Junie Cobb is livid.

As Frances and JB head out into the smoggy LA afternoon, JB bumps into Lieutenant Gabriel Caceras, who JB apparently helped out on a case a while ago (strictly speaking that is true). He tells JB to call him but she’s far too busy this trip, she promises she’ll see him next time.

The next day, one of Frances’s writers, George Erwin, drops off some pages for Frances to look at, and the maid confuses him with the wine delivery guy. Frances invites him to the dinner she’s hosting for Jessica that night. That is literally what happens. So, y’know, there’s that.

That night the party kicks off. Junie is keen to meet celebrity plastic surgeon Dr Johnny Windhurst, not that her husband minds. They sit down to dinner and complain about the competition. Florist Billy Kyle delivers a table bouquet late. JB falls asleep at the table and wakes when Betty the maid drops a glass. She takes herself off to bed, because jetlag.

The next morning, JB is out and about when she wanders past Billy Kyle’s store and bumps into the lieutenant.

This episode sucks you guys.

Billy Kyle, who was stabbed to death not petrified, has been dead for some time. The Lieutenant finds some thousand dollar bills in the till which rules out robbery. What even is this?

JB and the lieutenant wander down to A List to interview the other party guests who all alibi up because why not. Over dinner that night, Frances grills JB for more information, but JB says the Lieutenant is still looking for the killer – the clerk who quit on Billy the day he died was on a flight to Seattle at the time of the murder. Frances excuses herself to take a phone call and Jess finds Billy’s organizer on the floor. Frances gets off the phone and Jessica tells her she needs to stop dealing in gossip and start writing her novels again.

THIS EPISODE IS GIVING ME NOTHING. NOTHING. I JUST…NO.

Here’s JB walking down a street hunting clues.

I like that jacket. The jacket is so far the only thing I’ve cared about in this whole episode.

A clue comes in via flip-phone – George the writer’s prints were on the envelope with the definitely fake thousand dollar bills in it. George confesses that he delivers payments on behalf of Frances. And then I continued not really caring because this episode is just pointless.

Caceras heads over to Frances’s house to interrupt her canoodling with Doctor Windhurst to ask that she explain herself down at the precinct. Frances admits to visiting Billy at the store the night he died. At this point I started calculating Richmond’s chances in the finals and then thought about cheese.

WHY? WHY IS THINGS?

This is a picture of JB talking to Mrs Dubcek from 3rd Rock From The Sun because she is apparently a nurse at a clinic where some sort of famous footballer is hiding out from the media for reasons I genuinely don’t care about. Apparently, JB suspects him of murdering Billy Kyle because Billy found out the footballer was faking an injury to get his contract paid out. Fortunately for the football player, he was nailing a nurse at the time of the murder.

And then I googled puffins again. Seriously, guys, puffins are the best.

This is pretty much me watching this episode, to be honest.

Although I quite like flamboyant cuttlefish because they are appropriately named. And I like cassowaries because they are basically dinosaurs and could kill you if they felt like it and I think that’s appropriate for Australia because basically everything in this country is out to get you.

Oy. I just googled the actress that plays Junie in this episode – she was the original Hot Lips in the MASH movie and has had a considerable amount of work done.

Anyway, some more stuff happens and JB has an epiphany and long story short

Yeah. Alright.

So Junie killed the florist guy because she was having an affair with Dr Whatsisface and he found out about it and was blackmailing her so she killed him but you guys.

IT.

WAS.

A.

DREAM.

This whole episode was JB dreaming at the dinner table. And I’m mad. I HATE EPISODES WHEN IT WAS A DREAM THE WHOLE TIME. This is exactly like the time Macgyver got knocked out and woke up in King Arthur’s court and I’m not even making that up, that actually happened. Dream episodes are nonsense and I hate them with a fiery passion.

So yeah, this episode put me in a bad mood. This episode, and the Nazis wandering about Virginia, and the Australian government refusing to do its job about legalizing same sex marriage, and the bajillion other things going wrong at the moment.

So I’m going to google more puffins doing things because frankly, puffins have their shit together way more than humans do right now.

Later gang.

S06E17 – Murder (According to Maggie)

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THE BOSS IS TALKING

THE BOSS IS TALKING

That grin can only mean one thing – it’s storytime with JB. Again. (HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS FOR SO LONG!!!)

This week, Our Heroine would like to tell you about her favourite student, Mary Margaret McAuley, a talented writer who couldn’t get anything published until she started writing hardboiled detective fiction. Her newest job is as creator of the TV show Beat Cop, starring Bert Rogers as the aforementioned cop, assisted by the token blonde Dana Darren.

Margaret is hard at work on the next script when she gets a phone call from her assistant Vi – there’s trouble on set. Apparently Beat Cop doesn’t like the idea that he has to wait for forensics before proving who the killer is. After some fancy negotiating, Mary Mac gets Dana’s character to make the call, allowing Bert’s character the satisfaction of catching the killer using nothing but a hunch.

UGH.

On her way back to the office Mary Mac gets a visit from her agent, Leo Kaplan. She’s excited to see him and to find out what his other client thought about her script (about relationships and whatnot) but is less than enthused when she learns that he didn’t actually read the script, but he liked the summary his reader gave his secretary. Leo’s actual business on the set is to talk about the future of Beat Cop. The new big boss of the network, Keith Carmody isn’t a fan despite having told the head of the production company, Brian Thursdan, that he never watched the show. His second in command, Julie Pritzer, tries to calm Brian down after he storms out of the meeting but to little effect.  Meanwhile, Mary Mac goes to see the inspiration for the show (and potential crush) Lieutenant Vincent Palermo to tell him the news that Beat Cop might be off the air, but he doesn’t seem all that upset about it.

Later that night, Elizabeth has another crack at dissuading Carmody from cancelling Beat Cop but Keith tells her her job is to look pretty and take pointless meetings.

My how times haven't changed...

My how times haven’t changed…

As Julie leaves, Keith gets a phone call from Brian to discuss Beat Cop but he’s not interested – until Brian puts network owner Harriet De Vol on the phone. Clearly it works out because Mac gets a phone call from Brian saying the show is possibly saved – Keith has agreed to watch some episodes of the show and Mary Mac is charge of which ones, booking the screening room and watching the episodes with Keith. Brian would love to help but he has a development meeting.

The next morning, while Vi puts all the coffee in the coffee pot (VI 4 PM), and Mary Mac tries to sort out how to save the show, Bert Rogers storms in in a huff – he got a phone call from his agent at 6am that morning saying that the show was cancelled. Mary Mac tells him to calm down, and in any case, wasn’t he planning to quit anyway? Bert tells her she shouldn’t believe things just because he says them and tells her that if she doesn’t sort out Keith Carmody he will.

Speaking of. Keith, ensconced in a screening room, is on the phone to someone trying to work out how to remove Harriet De Vol from the equation when someone helpfully sticks a gun through the curtain and shoots him twice. Lieutenant Palermo is called in and learns from the projectionist that he didn’t hear the shots go off, on account of Beat Cop being on the screen. One of Palermo’s minions finds the gun and a hidden door.

While Palermo goes about his 5-0 business, Mary Mac takes care of Brian who has appeared at the studio in a panic – with Keith dead Julie will take over the network, he needs to get in touch with her double quick. Mary Mac tells him that Julie was the one who found Keith’s body and is in the commissary coming to terms.

Awesome, Brian probably says. Which way to the commissary?

d2

While Brian goes off to hurl sympathy at Julie, Mary Mac accompanies Palermo to the set of Beat Cop. Cast and crew are all surprised to learn that Keith was murdered, and didn’t die of boredom (I don’t think Beat Cop had bookend episiodes, so I can’t imagine why that would happen). Palermo checks alibis and the only person with a shonky one is Bert.

One of Palermo’s lackeys comes to tell him he’s learned something interesting from the prop guy, who in turn informs them that the prop box has been broken into and one of the guns is missing – Bert’s gun to be precise.

Palermo throws Bert in jail for the time being, leaving Mary Mac to tell the director to shoot around the fact that their leading man is now conspicuously unavailable, while at the same time fending off Leo Kaplan who has a convenient list of people (clients) who could replace Bert on the show. She gets a panicked phone call from Brian begging her to come meet with Julie at the network.

Julie, who has hit the ground running despite the terrible shock of finding Keith’s body, tells them that she’s not sure that Beat Cop can survive without Bert Rodgers, and in any case she has a plan for giving Dana Darren her own show as a brain surgeon at a top metropolitan hospital. Ugh. These were clearly the days when the go-to TV shows were cop or doc, before the days of reality TV when you get 37 variations of Australian Model Factor Idol Talent Home Renovation Chef Rescue Kitchen Block.

(I reject all forms of reality, but especially reality television).

After the meeting, Brian begs Mary Mac to help Palermo solve the case/get Bert out of jail, and promises to get the pilot of her romantic story Love in Naples off the ground. Mary Mac asks if Brian is yanking her chain, and Brian says trust me.

When does that ever fail to be a good idea?

When does that ever fail to be a good idea?

Mary Mac visits Bert in prison and gets him to stop crying long enough to swear he didn’t kill Keith. Palermo is unmoved by this fact, nor by Mary Mac’s theory that the only reason that Bert’s prints are on the gun is because the killer wore gloves. Palermo tells Mary to go back to her typewriter.

On set, Mary Mac finds Dana to ask her about the medical show, and to find out why she lied about her alibi. Dana tells her that while she was on the phone to a Broadway producer, a more accurate view would be she was on the phone to his answering machine. Then she was with Leo for 30 minutes after that, which isn’t what Leo says at all. The medical show, it turns out, is being put together by Leo’s agency – in other words Mary Mac’s agent was getting the star of her show a show of her own to replace Mary Mac’s show.

Good old Hollywood forever.

Mary gets the lowdown on the hidden door from the security guard, Burnsy, who also tells her a story from back in the day, when Andy Butler (who plays Beat Cop’s boss) was on a different show that ended up being cancelled by Keith Carmody.  That night, she and Brian update Harriet De Vol on the latest developments and she tells them that the show is cancelled without Bert Rodgers.

Back in her office, Mary Mac sends Vi home and stays to watch what the editor had cobbled together from the day’s shooting. Alas there is a continuity error, and a pencil appears and reappears in the pocket of Andy Butler. She calls the director, Al, to work out what time the footage was filmed. goes back to the studio and….oh come on now.

WHAT THE HELL

WHAT THE HELL

It would seem that Andy couldn’t deal with the idea of Keith cancelling another one of his shows. And apparently he would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t dropped a pencil, and if Mary Mac hadn’t noticed the pencil and decided that it was clearly the PENCIL OF A KILLER.

Worst. Episode. Ever. Now, if y’all will excuse me, to compensate for this, I am going to go binge-watch Jessica Jones until my eyes fall out of my head.

See you next week Fletcherfans!

See you next week Fletcherfans!

 

 

S06E15 – Fixer-Upper

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Welcome to sunny Los Angeles Fletcherfans, where Victoria Griffin, local real estate agent and niece to Our Heroine, is hard at work trying to sell the home of Deborah Tarkington. She almost does it too, until Deborah finds out the person with the generous bid is her ex-husband Alec Burton. She throws the deliverer of the bid, Arnold Hastings (aka the man with the golden name, Dack Rambo) out of the house and forbids Vicky to sell the house to him or any one else connected to Alec. To make matters worse Deborah’s son Kevin thinks it’s a good time to do the creepy lech thing and come onto Vicky.

D-rama. Fortunately, there is someone who can put an end to this madness.

LIKE A BOSS.

LIKE A BOSS.

Vicky meets her aunt for lunch to tell her about just how difficult it all is – Vicky’s husband Howard is back on the audition trail after being killed off his old job on a TV show and she’s trying to sell the Tarkington house for 4.9 million.

-our million dollars!

-our million dollars! (Heh heh)

Vicky has no time to eat though – her pager goes off (naw, pagers!) and away she goes again, leaving JB to prepare for an afternoon of meetings with booksellers.

Meanwhile across town Alec Burton is more than a little displeased with Arnold’s inability to seal the deal, and tells Arnold’s wife Claire to get it done. Claire tells him there’s nothing to worry about since there’s been no deal done yet, and pops some diet pills recommended to her by Deborah Tarkington.

Couldn't possibly be relevant, I don't know why I'm mentioning it #subtle

Couldn’t possibly be relevant, I don’t know why I’m mentioning it #subtle

Back at work and Vicky’s run of bad luck continues when a prospective buyer calls her to tell her he’s decided to go and live on a boat instead. Her boss, Didi Blair, tells her it’s ridiculous to have an open house on the last day of an exclusive arrangement, half the people there were brokers telling their clients to wait a day. Vicky tells her about the offer from Alec Burton and doesn’t understand why Deborah turned it down so flatly.

Didi fills her in. It’s the same old story: boy meets girl, girl is daughter of Hollywood studio boss, boy gets cast in picture, movie becomes a blockbuster, boy gets too famous for girl and dumps her. That old chestnut.  A call comes in for Vicky – it’s Seymour Densch (runner up to Dack Rambo for best name), #1 car dealer in Orange County. He was at the open house, he liked what he saw and if Vicky could knock off a million from the asking price then she had herself a deal. He even promises to pay the binders cheque in cash. Vicky agrees to take the offer to Deborah Tarkington and arranges to meet him at 11pm that night, which isn’t at all weird.

Everything’s coming up Vicky.

Later that night, before seeing Howard perform in a play,  Jess is at dinner with Howard waiting for Vicky to arrive and listening to him moan about how he doesn’t like the insecurity of Vicky’s real estate career.

 

Sassy JB is sassy.

Sassy JB is sassy.

They are soon joined by Vicky, but only for a moment.

We've all been there amirite

We’ve all been there amirite

Vicky makes her apologies but she has to type up the agreement so that the sale of the Tarkington residence can go through. Howard is less than excited considering how much money his wife is about to make, but he valiantly puts his hurt feelings aside. JB is still keen to go to the play which cheers Howard up – he tells her it’s an allegory.

Not gonna lie, I've been here too :O

Not gonna lie, I’ve been here too :O

Later that night JB and Howard return home from the play, having mostly avoided the catestrophic special effects failure that didn’t so much “regenerate the corn” on stage so much as it soaked the first three rows of the audience. Jess notices that the light is blinking on the answering machine – it’s a message from Deborah Tarkington declaring Seymour Densch to be a phoney. Clearly Vicky didn’t get the message and went over to the house anyway. Howard has had about enough and decides to go over there and drag Vicky away. Jess announces she’s coming too – “I wouldn’t want to miss what may turn out to be the best play of the night!”

Heh heh heh.

Over at the Frankenstein Tarkington place, Vicky has just found Deborah lying dead on the floor, a pile of those mysterious pills next to her. Told you it was a plot point. Vicky hears a noise and grabs the fire poker as a weapon, bnt it’s only JB and Howard, closely followed 2 cops who would be later joined by some Serious Hair.

No seriously, wat?

No seriously, what even is that? (He went on to Dean Winchester in that episode when Dean got old, and I mean just what?)

The serious hair questions Vicky, while minions gather evidence. The verdict appears to be that Deborah overdosed on pills and whiskey, and whacked her head when she fell. Jessica wonders about this, as there is a half empty bottle of scotch and another opened bottle of scotch with another glass which makes no sense. The hair (aka Detective Lieutenant Redick but who cares, he’s The Serious Hair) tells her that drunks don’t often makes sense. Fair call that.

After a good night’s sleep JB finds Vicky up early the next morning trying to deal with the bills. Ugh, bills. Jess feels for her niece and offers to help but Vicky says no, saying Howard’s ego can barely handle the fact that Vicky is earning the money.

GET A GRIP HOWARD.

A phone call comes in from The Hair requesting Vicky come down to the station to answer a few questions. The Hair has found out about the phone call from Deborah declaring the buyer to be a phoney (although how he found out is a mystery for another time) and tells Vicky it’s obvious she went round and killed Deborah as vengeance. Vicky swears she never heard the message, and therefore had no motive to kill her. The Hair also suspects Howard, despite the fact that he was on stage at the time of the murder.

Meanwhile, Vicky’s boss Didi is paying a visit on Arnold Hastings, Alec Burton’s broker to talk turkey. With Vicky on suspicion of murder the exclusive listing is up for grabs, and since Didi has an in with Kevin Tarkington she has dibs – dibs she could share with Arnold since he has a very interested Alec Burton wanting to buy. She asks him if he wants to check with his wife first but Arnold is on board.

JB, on the other hand, is getting down to the business of clearing Vicky and so goes back to House Tarkington to investigate. She is met by the maid, who wasn’t there the night before but says was in charge of refilling Deborah’s amphetamine prescription – and in fact was supposed to refill it the day before but forgot until that morning. She hated her boss, but without her she was out of a job thanks to her son who chooses that moment to appear. JB grills him on where he was the night before but he was away up the coast. Jess is surprised to learn that he is showing the house one day after his mother’s death but he wants a beach house in Malibu and so there it is. He grows suspicious and demands to know why Jess is there, but she tells him she was looking for her glasses which she has now found (spoiler – she never lost them to begin with. Genius).

Outside she finds Vicky setting up for the open house. She’s been unable to find the buyer Seymour Densch to corroborate her story, but she’s out for now. At that moment The Hair pulls up. The autopsy results are in on Deborah Tarkington (that was quick). No pills in her system but plenty of scotch and a whack on the head that they believe was delivered by the fireplace poker and guess whose prints are on the poker?

Down at the police station Howard is going nuts until JB very cleverly sends him on a mission to find Vicky a lawyer. The Hair is convinced that Vicky is guilty despite the rather odd fact that her prints were on the murder weapon but she remembered to wipe them off the scotch bottle. They are soon joined by the enigmatic Seymour Densch who drops in to tell them that he was actually acting as a front man for Alec Burton who was bankrolling the deal. He was to give the money to the broker Arnold Hastings who would give the money to Seymour to conclude the transaction. The only reason Seymour signed up was to meet Deborah Tarkington.

Back at Casa Tarkington Vicky is taking down the for sale sign when Kevin appears to tell her to leave it up as he thinks she knows how to move some prime….real estate (ew ew ew ew) and also to ask her to have dinner with him that night. When she tells him she busy seeing Howard in his play, he tells her he thought she was serious about selling the house.

At home, Vicky tells JB what happened and JB wonders whether Vicky misunderstood his intention.

h2

i2

Bless your optimism though JB.

Howard then returns home after running an errand for Jess to the tax assessors office to follow up on a hunch she has.

After the standard Howard and Vicky greeting:

j2

k2

…Howard fills them in. It turns out that all the houses surrounding Deborah Tarkington’s residence have all recently been bought by Alec Burton. It would appear that someone is planning a McMansion. Ugh.

When confronted with this news, Alec Burton denies nothing. He used intermediaries to buy all the houses so that the owners wouldn’t jack the prices up, and then purchased the properties outright from the intermediaries. Having said that, he’s never heard of Seymour Dentsch. When asked about his alibi Burton tells them he was at a party, hanging out (definitely code) in the servants quarters with the lady of the house while her husband was downstairs entertaining the guests. Fortunately Alec had taken some of Claire Hastings’s red and yellow diet pills so he could stay awake.

This gives JB an idea and the next day  she visits the office of Arnold Hastings, appropriately dressed for someone looking to buy a house in Beverly Hills.

Shine bright like a diamond.

Shine bright like a diamond.

Jess declares she’s simply enchanted by the Tarkington estate and wants it. Arnold is on board, but his wife is suspicious given that JB is the aunt of the prime suspect in the murder. Bored, Jess departs telling them that she will pay 10% over the asking price, as long as the deal won’t conflict with any arrangement they have with Alec Burton, but it would appears the Hastings have already forgotten Alec Burton.

They go straight to see Kevin Tarkington and give him the good news – they want to put in a bid for 3.9 million for themselves. They love the house and they want it.

This is news to JB, who wanders in, saying that she’d just offered a bid of over 5 million. It would appear these real estate agents are a bit shonky and were busted by Deborah Tarkington. One more so than the other.

Yeah, not surprised.

Yeah, not surprised.

Unhappy with dealing with all these rich people and having no money herself, and about to be busted for fraud, Claire Hastings took matters (and the fire poker) into her own hands.

But for now, with Vicky finally selling a house and Howard getting an acting job as a talking pineapple, I bid you farewell.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S06E10 – Class Act

5 Comments

Once upon a time, in a magical faraway land called Los Angeles, there was a hobo named Leo Gunderson. Leo was wandering along a beach late one night, looking for somewhere to sleep when he heard a scream on the other side of the sand dunes. When he rushed to see what the matter was, a dark figure slammed into him and pushed him down. After he dusts himself off he goes to investigate and finds the body of a woman lying in the dunes just as the police arrive.

That’s right Fletcherfans. It’s story time with JB again.

A few months after Leo’s arrest the detective in charge of the case, JB’s pal Jake Ballinger is staggered to learn that Leo confessed, when it was obvious that he didn’t do it. His boss tells him the case is closed and when Jake threatens to go over his head the lieutenant says it wouldn’t make a difference – the case is done and Jake’s been reassigned to the teaching position at Freemont University. It would appear someone wants Jake out of the police department rather badly.

Is it me or does this guy look like someone tried to morph Dustin Hoffman and Leslie Nielsen together?

Is it me or does this guy look like someone tried to morph Dustin Hoffman and Leslie Nielsen together?

On Jake’s first day of class it’s already apparent that the course he’s to be teaching is widely recognised as the bludge class, and there are people throwing paper airplanes around to prove it. Paper airplanes? At a university? I mean, turning up to class after just getting home from the pub, sure. Getting to class late because you thought something was about to happen in Passions, absolutely. But paper planes? Honestly, fictional students. Lift your game.

In a move that will be filed under “Things That Would Never Happen On TV today”, Jake quiets the rabble by firing his gun into the air before informing them that there’s a new sheriff in town. He gives them 24 hours to decide whether they want to continue with the course and lets them go. That night  when Jake is chillaxing at home with his daughter Janie, he declares with absolute certainty that there will be no-one at the class tomorrow but his mood darkens when he gets a phone call from the hospital – the mother of Leo Gundarson was just hit by a car and is asking for him. He goes to see her and she tells him Leo only confessed because they told him he would get the death penalty if he didn’t. She begs Jake to keep investigating.

The next morning Jake visits an old friend in the forensics lab to suss out the evidence gathered after the murder, specifically a tyre tread cast, but his friend tells him the case is closed and sealed and there’s nothing he can do about it. Upstairs, his boss reminds him that he’s a teacher now, and that while it’s a crappy deal, Jake is six years away from his pension and to ride it out.

At the university, Jake’s gunshow has had the expected affect:

The guy in the front there grew up to be George Clooney's production partner, and won an Oscar for Argo. #FactBasedReporting #ItFeelsWeirdToBeDoingIt

The guy in the front there grew up to be George Clooney’s production partner, and won an Oscar for Argo. #FactBasedReporting #ItFeelsWeirdToBeDoingItThough

Bernie Berndlestein is nothing compared to Elizabeth Mills sitting behind him though, especially when Jake feels the need to comment on the presence of someone of Elizabeth’s…maturity.

The face of every actress when they're told they're too old to play a part (and my face when someone says I'm really funny for a girl)

The face of every actress when they’re told they’re too old to play a part (and my face when someone says I’m really funny for a girl)

Elizabeth, taking the course to get a promotion at the insurance company where she works as a claims investigator, enquires as to what textbook they will be using, but Jake’s decided it’s going to be more of a practical course.

Cut to the beach where the murder took place. While Elizabeth deals with sand in her heels, Bernie explains to Jake that he’s actually taking the course in order to become a PI.

heh heh heh

heh heh heh

Jake tells them the story of Leo’s arrest for the murder of Janet Carr, and says there’s nothing against a current case being turned into a class project. Is this basically the first season of How to Get Away With Murder? (I only just started watching the first season, Viola Davis is fierce as hell).

While Jake goes back to the university to demand such things as An Office and A Secretary, Elizabeth jumps into the case and begins calling around to find out if the dead woman had an insurance policy. She strikes gold and heads out to the home of the beneficiary of the policy, Jeremy Summerfield. Mrs Summerfield is friendly until Elizabeth asks for Jeremy – Jeremy, it turns out, is the new son of Mr and Mrs Summerfield. Mrs Summerfield takes her son back into the house, but Elizabeth is able to dig up some dirt from the neighbours and calls Jake. Janet Carr is actually Jeanette Cardini, and was the birth mother of Jeremy Summerfield. The nuns at the home for wayward girls where Janet stayed for a time is not willing to divulge any information, but does tell them that Janet made a call to Sacramento the night before she gave birth. Elizabeth, hot on the scent, calls the number pretending to be a wrong number and finds out that the phone belongs to State Senator Andrew Grainger.

Wait, this is more Scandal than How to Get Away With Murder. DRAHMAH.

After stopping in to meet his new secretary and move a bookcase (Why?) Jake heads right on over to the offices of Andrew Grainger. Grainger is more than delighted to meet Jake until the name Janet Carr comes up, at which point he hits the panic button in his desk, summoning his aide Colin Hale. They clam up about any knowledge of the girl, but Jake spots a photo of Grainger’s son on the desk and puts two and two together. Grainger and Hale warn him off the case but Jake’s not having a bar of that. He bids them good day and leaves. Grainger tells Hale to make sure that the record is sealed, neither he nor his son had anything to do with it and he won’t have his son’s future marred by this.

What a lovely bloke. Urgh.

Jake summons Elizabeth to his favourite diner and fills her in on what he’s learned and tells her to try and suss out this Son of Grainger. That night however, while Jake deals with the concept of his daughter moving in with a guy, Elizabeth drops by to report on what she’s learned.  Douglas Grainger was definitely having a thing with Janet Carr, there was a hint of blackmail but then the bad news – both Graingers were in Hawaii at a golf tournament the night Janet died.

context shmontext

context shmontext

Apparently, this nails it for Jake who decides to perform the solution as Richard the Third.

“Dispute not with her, she is a lunatic”: every one of my report cards ever.

While Moira the secretary doesn’t care for Shakespeare’s language, Jake is proving a point – whether he was implicitly told to or not, he thinks Colin Hale killed Janet Carr to make his boss happy. He has a theory of how to prove it, by getting hold of the car Hale hired the night of the murder.

I AM THE ONE WHO POURS

I AM THE ONE WHO POURS

And the cast is a match. The theory is confirmed, Fletcherfans.

I want to see more crimes solved by Shakespearian performance now that I think about it

I want to see more crimes solved by Shakespearian performance now that I think about it

Murder She Blogged is actually taking a week off, but shall return for more wildly inaccurate recaps in two weeks.

But for now, Fletcherfans

BRB, Fletcherfans!

BRB, Fletcherfans!

S06E05 – Jack and Bill

6 Comments

Disclaimer: This episode was ridiculous.  Believe me when I say any similarity between this recap and the actual episode is coincidental. 

It’s storytime again Fletcherfans!

Oy. I can't believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

Oy. I can’t believe they persisted with this plan for a whole season.

JB has just seen a dog run past, and that reminds her that she has to send her pal Bill Boyle a letter. Bill Boyle, for those of you playing along at home, was an NFL star until his knees gave out and then he became a private detective. An incredibly unsuccessful detective.

Apparently, that all changes when he meets Jack. But before he meets Jack, he gets a visit from a man named Johnny Wheeler, who is faking blind and beating up shady characters in mens bathrooms with a poodle.

Even I couldn't make this up. And I invented  Octopus Noir.

Even I couldn’t make this up. And I invented Octopus Noir.

While Johnny is doing whatever the hell that is, Bill Boyle is in his office getting the bad news from his accountant. He’s broke, a fact he is trying to keep secret from his real estate broker girlfriend Celia. He’s pretty despondent when he gets a knock at the door – it’s Johnny Wheeler, and his friend Jack.

Just what?

Just what?

I should also point out something about Johnny Wheeler:

Fun fact: Max Baer Jr couldn't get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying 'Never go full hillbilly.'

Truth based reporting: Max Baer Jr couldn’t get work for 3 years after Beverly Hillbillies ended, proving that well-known saying ‘Never go full hillbilly.’

Also for those playing along at home Bill Boyle was previously seen as Hank Shipton that time.

Johnny departs in a rush, thanking Bill for dog-sitting for a couple of hours while he runs an errand, a turn of events Bill did not really agree to. Time passes, and when Johnny doesn’t resurface Bill takes Jack on a stakeout where some “comedy hijinks” ensue, by which I mean there’s another dog and a pretty girl and some barking and what even is this episode.

Back at the office, Johnny still hasn’t turned up but the place has been ransacked. A woman claiming to be Johnny’s wife walks in to pick up the dog, who she calls Marmalade, and pulls a gun when Bill suggests calling his ex-brother-in-law cop. This makes Jack mad! JACK SMASH!

Also this happens:

I just don't even.

I just don’t even.

The lady sneaks into the elevator and makes her escape. Bill and Jack are set to follow when the other elevator opens to reveal Lou Brickman, the aforementioned brother-in-law, with the news that Johnny Wheeler is in the hospital with two bullets in his chest. Unfortunately by the time they get to the hospital he’s dead with three IV bags in his hand.

Later that night, Bill has dinner at Lou’s place. While Lou’s dog goes mental in the laundry room, Lou wants to know more about Johnny Wheeler. Bill tells him what he knows, and is surprised to learn that while Johnny did travel up from Puerto Rico, it was under an assumed name.

Returning home to the set of Melrose Place, Bill takes time out to chat up a hot tub full of stewardesses before going up to his apartment where he is attacked by a horde of ninjas/the Hitcher’s sidekicks from Mighty Boosh. They demand ‘it’ which they still haven’t found despite searching both of Johnny’s bags. They try and pooch-nap Jack, who objects and goes at them. Two end up off the balcony in the swimming pool, the other runs.

Wondering just what the deal is with Jack, Bill puts a call in to his brother-in-law and takes Jack to the police kennels to be x-rayed, but nothing turns up. Back at the office Bill is delighted to see his former secretary Mona is back, after getting fired from her ad agency job for telling a client what she thought of him. As she goes into a long story about her mother packing her bags and coming for a visit Bill has a brainwave: the ninjas said they searched both of Johnny’s bags, but Johnny was holding three IV bags in his had which clearly means there’s another bag at the checked bag counter!

DUH YOU GUYS.

Bill and Jack head down to the baggage claim, and skillfully evade the baggage clerk to retrieve the third bag. Inside, Bill finds a film roll (bless) and takes it in to Lou and Agent Browder, who summon a lip reading expert to decipher what the two men in the footage are saying. It turns out Johnny Wheeler was a super-spy, and he was killed for discovering that the man in the footage, a hitman, was being hired to go to the US to kill someone on the 25th at 7:30pm. Conveniently, the 25th is today.

While the gang are across town making their final plans and pushing ahead, despite not finding the film, Bill is home getting grief from the building manager about his lack of rent paying and sudden increase in dog. While he gets dinner ready for Jack, and gets himself ready for his date with Celia, Celia herself calls to say dinner with the client she’s buttering up is cancelled. Bill offers to bring Chinese food round instead, but hits a snag when he tries to leave – Jack begins barking like mad. Bill gives up and takes Jack to his buddy Cricket at the bar to dogsit for a couple of hours. At the bar he catches a news story about the president of a mysterious South American country attending a football game that night and recognises one of the reporters in the press pack as the woman who masqueraded as Johnny’s wife. He calls the police station looking for Lou Brickman but finds out he’s already at the stadium.

Bill barges through the security, tells Lou that the Prez is the target and the woman is disguised as a reporter. They crash into the room where the press conference is being held and arrest them all, but not before A GUY WITH A MASSIVE MULLET PULLS OUT A VIDEO CAMERA WITH A BAZOOKA IN IT.

Talk about burying the lead.

Talk about burying the lead.

Bad guys nailed, Agent Browder takes Bill and Jack to meet President Ruiz. Turns out President Ruiz is a massive football fan and fangirls out over meeting Bad Bill Boyle but Bill is distracted by Jack’s constant barking. At the last second, he looks at the clock, looks at the waiter, realises the waiter is desperately trying to UNCORK A CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE FULL OF EXPLOSIVES and spear tackles him across the bar, saving the day yet again.

Case closed, Bill is set to depart off into the night and tries to hand the dog back to the CIA, but Agent Browder has bad news – Jack is going to have to be put down if he doesn’t go to the correct home. Bill is outraged, so Agent Browder “reluctantly” lets Bill keep the dog.

So while we mull over the fact that this episode was basically the sequel of Turner and Hooch, and that THERE WAS A VIDEO CAMERA BAZOOKA AND I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP, let us also consider this very important point:

Like a boss.

Like a boss.

And on that note,

Later gang!

Later gang!

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