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S10E14 – Deadly Assets

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Happy Eurovision Fletcherfans. I was going to do my usual post-Eurovision analysis but Twitter has left such a bad taste in my mouth that honestly I’m just not going to bother.

In the non-EU country of Cabot Cove, someone is breaking into a safe down at the Lomax sheet metal factory oh God I’m already bored. The thief nicks off with a suitcase full of sweet cash dollar before Deputy Andy arrives.

Yeah, he is.

Meanwhile, JB and Mort are plotting a surprise birthday dinner party for Seth and are trying to coordinate gift-buying plans so that they don’t double up, bless them. It would appear that Seth has a similar attitude towards his birthday that I do to mine (except I completely forgot mine was even happening). The birthday boy himself wanders in to see what’s going on, but Jess informs him she’s chatting to Mort about storm windows and finalising dinner party plans. Mort gets a call from Andy and heads down to the crime scene, while Seth tells Jess he thinks it’s ridiculous for Jess to be throwing a dinner party with all that she has on – there’s no reason for it, it’s not like there’s an anniversary coming up. Or a birthday.

Jess is not buying into Seth’s nonsense.

Down at the crime scene the owner of Lomax Sheet Metal, Sanford Lomax, is telling Mort that only about $300 dollars were taken which is about $50,000 short of being true. He also says the knife that was used was his. Mort gives the knife to Andy to dust for prints and tells Sanford he’s sorry this happened. Andy feels terrible, if he’d been able to get there sooner he could have caught the guy.

“Maybe next time.” Says Sanford in a ringing endorsement for Cabot Cove crime levels.

As Mort and Andy depart, Sanford gets a call from the mafia wanting to know where their money is. He tells them there’s been a tiny hiccup, but not to worry the kid who took the money will be terrified and he’ll sort it out. The mafia will have their money in the morning. Mafia guy gets off the phone and tells his goon they have a problem.

He’s no Harry McGraw but he’s okay.

That is, of course, Charlie Garratt, last seen here and currently just chillin’ between cases. His phone rings and it’s Sanford wanting him to come up and investigate a case of industrial espionage. Charlie’s not interested until he gets promised his usual fee plus 50%.

Back in the Cove Jess is shopping for Seth’s birthday present down at Celia’s Antique Store where Celia’s daughter Libby sells paintings as well as works for the Cabot Cove Hall of Records, and her brother Harvey works for Sanford Lomax. Celia meanwhile is PISSED AS HELL with Jessica for sending a late thank you note four years ago.

My face during this whole scene.

Down at the docks Sanford goes to confront the thief, Walter Perry, who it turns out just so happens to be engaged to Libby Terhune I mean what were the odds. Sanford demands his money back but Walter tells him he knows nothing about it and besides there was only $300 missing, what’s the big deal?

Down at the soon to be relocated Hall of Records office, Libby is packing things into boxes when Walter drops in to tell her what he did. She tells him to go to the cops but he says he can’t – clearly whatever Sanford is into is illegal and Walter is now a witness of sorts to that so basically, they’re in big trouble. Before Libby can continue Jess pops up to ask for her trust deed. Libby walks with her to the front desk where she’s stashed it for her. Harvey turns up to grab more office supplies to take back to Celia and offers to give Libby a lift. Walter stashes the backpack (with 900K in it) in one of the filing cabinets and leaves the office.

Charlie Garrett watches Walter get into his car and drive away, and also watches the mafia goon Oscar Gandile follow him. He goes to follow too, but crashes into Seth who needless to say has some strong opinions.

Seth’s about to go nuclear.

It’s only when Jessica recognises Charlie that he’s off the hook. He pops round to House Fletcher for a cup of tea and to get the goss from JB about Walter. Jess tells him he had a rough start (orphaned, raised by his grandmother who died recently). Charlie thinks JB isn’t telling him everything and Jess isn’t saying anything until Charlie tells her who he is working for.

Should have put a few more As in there, but Eurovision has really soured my mood.

Starting to smell a rat, Charlie pays Sanford a visit who swears it’s 100% not about mafia work, he nabbed classified documents from some friends at the defence department and that’s what Walter stole and he needs them back. Charlie stashes a bug under Sanford’s desk and tells him he saw the Mafia guy also following Walter.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Jess is begging Mort to have a chat with Walter, she’s concerned for him. Seth is starting to get suspicious about Mort and JB’s scheming and plotting and suspects birthday involvement.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media at the best of times but today is firmly on the negative side

Andy tells Mort that Walter’s place has been broken into and trashed as has his boat (it turns out). Mort visits him on the boat but Walter swears he has no idea why and he swears he had nothing to do with the break-in at Sanford’s. Mort tells him to think hard about it and leaves him on the boat, casually being surveilled by Oscar and Charlie.

Mort’s next visit is to Libby Trehune but she gives him nothing. Celia wants to know what’s going on and reminds Libby about some other dude she could marry but she storms out, leaving Harvey to calm Celia down.

Sidebar: this outfit.

I mean a tie matching a waistcoat…you do you, Celia.

Meanwhile, Mort fills JB in on what he’s discovered. Jess says she’ll swear in court that Walter’s fish knife was missing and that she’s sure it’s the one that was used in the break-in. Mort wonders why Sanford said it was his, and Jessica tells him she’s starting to wonder about this Sanford Lomax, and that possibly Mort’s mate in the Chicago PD that told him all about Charlie and his misdemeanours could fill him in.

Later that night Charlie observes Walter breaking into the Cabot Cove Hall of Records before being clocked on the head by Oscar Gandile. Inside, Walter has just discovered his backpack full of money is missing when he hears someone come into the outer office. There are noises and Oscar Gandile falls to the floor, quite dead.

The next morning Seth is grumping around at JB’s while she’s trying to get hold of Charlie Garrett when the man himself wanders in with jelly doughnuts. Before he can explain himself Mort calls looking for Seth – they’ve just found a dead body down at the hall of records but they can’t identify him. Charlie takes that as his cue to leave.

After examining the body Seth tells Mort the mystery man died between 1 and 5pm. Mort is rather keen to speak to Charlie Garrett and gets Andy to put out an APB on him. Libby tells JB that she knows nothing about anything and flees before Jessica can question her further.

Jess decides to pop round to see Sanford Lomax who tells her he knows nothing about nothing, and if Walter knows something he’d better come forward or else some people that Sanford knows nothing about will do something drastic

All JB wants to do is have some quiet time in the Cove and throw a goddamn dinner party, is that so much to ask?

Sanford tells Jess if she tells the Sheriff anything he’ll deny the conversation ever happened. Jess has already spotted Charlie’s bug under the desk and so couldn’t really care less about that. Charlie is, of course, listening to the whole conversation and thinks JB is a gutsy lady.

Jess goes to see Celia but Libby’s not there either. Mort also drops by looking for her – it turns out Walter’s prints are the only ones on the murder weapon.

Walter and Celia are going to make a break for it, but Walter doesn’t want to leave without the money and he figures the only person who could have it is Sanford Lomax. He busts in on Sanford and the mafia guys duking it out about the money but before it can kick off Mort and Andy burst in and arrest everyone just to be on the safe side. Charlie, still listening, wonders where the hell the money is.

Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort is pissed he has to let Sanford and the mobsters go, but Walter is giving him nothing. Jess gently suggests the Witness Protection Program, and Walter finally explains everything – he didn’t kill Oscar, he was in the next room. And the money is still missing.

Jess returns home to discover Charlie chilling in her lounge room. He swears he doesn’t know who the killer is or where the money is. It’s only when Charlie starts slicing an apple that Jess works it out.

Apple cutting is a lot like paper cutting, it turns out.

Because of course

These are the things that happen when you steal mob money. I’m still trying to get my head around Celia being pissed about a late thank you note. WHY WAS THAT EVEN IN THE SHOW I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Later gang!

 

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S10E13 – Portrait of Death

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It’s a cold and dreary day in New York, probably and Jess has just popped into an art gallery to do a spot of shopping when she bumps into former Cabot Cove resident and current lottery winner Kim Mitchell aka Loretta Swit.

The *other* Queen of Cabot Cove

Kim immediately invites Jessica to lunch with herself and her stepbrother Mark but JB has to pop by the copy place first, her printer is on the fritz.

Over lunch, JB chats to Kim, Mark, and Mark’s gold-digging girlfriend Teddy Grace (who the hell calls their child Teddy?). Mark has been living off Kim’s money for a while but wants to try and go to college, but Teddy is in it for the cash dollar. When Mark tells Kim he’s thinking of getting his own place, Teddy chimes in with how they found a delightful little place that only wanted $50K up front. Mark gives her a look and says he was planning to rent.

It’s fruit salad, it’s fine.

Kim reveals that she’s found it difficult to trust anyone of the romantic male variety since she got cashed up, but that she’s met a delightful stockbroker named Bert Lown who refuses to take her on as a client. She’s very much in love.

Doomed. #Cynic

Kim goes home to get back to work on her newest sculpture which Bert calls a triumph. He’s had no luck finding Mark a job but he’ll keep looking. Meanwhile, Kim is also heavily involved in a charity art auction to benefit a school and has roped Jess into donating. Jess calls the gallery to let the owner, Philip Jovet know what she will be donating but he doesn’t seem terribly excited.

JB has no time for ingratitude.

Back at Kim’s fancy digs, Kim, Mark, Teddy and Bert are all toasting to the success of the auction with the school principal, Dr Swope. Philip Jovet pops around with a painting for Kim (a gift, after she accused him of ripping her off on another deal), and suggests they speak the following week about Kim exhibiting at his gallery. Mark thinks Philip is a scam artist and Bert has his own reservations. Teddy is just gobbling canapes like it’s a wedding.

Except I will be installed near the entrance so I can swoop on the canapes as they arrive.

The next day JB drops the painting off at the gallery to a frankly tepid response from Philip. Another art collector, Sondra Arthur, donates a painting she bought from Philip 5 years earlier and jokes to JB that this way she can call it a tax write-off.

Kim’s…I don’t know, maid? Frances brings a sculpture to donate to the auction. Side note, she looks so much like Catherine O’Hara that I no longer know what is real.

Wait, is it even Catherine O’Hara I’m thinking of?

That night, the auction to benefit the kids of the Willow Gardens School gets underway with a presentation from Doctor Swoop and a thank you to Kim Mitchell for her already generous donation. JB’s lobster still life is up first, and despite Philip’s snobbery sells for $1000.

And in my case, everything means canape acquisition

Dr Swoop busts a move on Sondra while the next piece, Kim Mitchell’s sculpture, is snapped up by Bert for $500. Confusion reigns when the next piece is not the painting Sondra Arthur donated. Philip says they’ll sort it out later and smoothly moves on to the next piece, which Teddy drunkenly bids $2500 on, saying Kim can pay for it. Philip spots her in the crowd and quickly declares the painting sold.

Champagne in one hand, canape in the other…the only difference is she’s at an auction and I’m on eBay randomly buying shoe racks (this is a true story)

After the auction concludes, Mark tries to get Teddy to leave but Philip spots him and insists on payment. Mark insists Philip get his hands off Mark, and to stay away from his sister.

A scuffle ensues.

But I have no interest in other peoples money. I barely have an interest in my own, which is partially the problem.

Mark is escorted out by security, followed by Teddy (but not before she loads up on more canapes. Teddy’s got canape game and I respect it). Bert, Jess and Dr Swoop reassure Kim, and Bert says he’ll pay for Teddy’s gaffe.

After the gallery closes, Philip tells Dr Swoop that they raised $220K. Dr Swoop calculates the gallery commission to be 10% but Philip informs him it’s now 50% – he’s made some phone calls, but he hasn’t made one to the police. Yet.

Back at House Mitchell, Teddy is set to watch the basketball but Mark decides to go out and get the late papers to get a jump on the job applications. Teddy chucks a tantrum and tells Mark not to expect her there when he gets back.  Frances arrives home just as the pair of them storm out. Meanwhile. Philip reassures Sondra over the phone about the loss of her painting and says the police will be in touch. He’s about to call it a night when he gets another call, and while he’s expecting it to be someone called Reynolds, this time it’s JB. She left a manuscript in his cloakroom.

Philip tells her they found it and just asking when JB can come and pick it up when someone comes up behind him and stabs him to death with Kim Mitchell’s sculpture. Something something deadly art….nope, I’ve got nothing.

The next day, JB is summoned to the gallery by Artie Gelber who declares JB to be his leading ear-witness.

Nice one Stan.

Artie is convinced the murder was a robbery gone wrong, but Jess doesn’t think so – there’s plenty of expensive portable art kicking around and none of that was taken. Lieutenant Henderson pops up to tell them that there were no signs of forced entry, but that there was a painting taken earlier in the day. Artie can make head nor tail of it, and to make matters worse he was pickpocketed coming in. To make them even worse, Henderson thinks they won the lottery but of course the ticket is in Artie’s wallet.

Across town, Dr Swoop continues his moves on Sondra Arthur, while Kim Mitchell struggles to make sense of it all. Artie arrives to ask Jess why she never told him about Mark tussling with Philip. She apologises but didn’t think it was relevant. Bert tells Artie there must have been a long list of people wanting to whack Philip, he had the reputation of a pickpocket.

Poor Artie

Mark has an excuse for why his fingerprints are on the murder weapon but no alibi for the time of the murder. When he’s caught out in a lie about having dinner with Teddy, he tells them he went to see Philip to get Bert’s cheque back but that Philip wasn’t having it. Mark got angry and left. Artie asks him if he killed Philip and Mark just walks away.

Down at the precinct Teddy apologises for fouling up Mark’s alibi but gets annoyed when Kim wants to know where she was at the time of the murder. “Did you just fall out of a tree?” Squawks Teddy.

My favourite type

JB notices Bert’s name in a copy of the Wall Street Journal that Teddy had. Kim figures Bert was giving her stock tips, which he later confirms. Over at the precinct, Artie is copping a bollocking from his wife who was just dragged by store security at Bloomingdales for using a credit card Artie thought was in his wallet and cancelled.

Over at Kim’s JB is about to say goodbye when Artie and Mark turn up. The good news is Mark’s off the hook, they found witnesses to him leaving the gallery. The bad news is that they’ve just discovered Philip spent a holiday in Bar Harbour with someone with the initials KM.

Busted.

Bert frowns and says it changes nothing, they were together all evening eating dinner at Grand Central Station. Kim admits to going to the gallery to try and sort things out but the gallery was locked. Artie shrugs and says he knows she was given a key by Philip after their holiday.

Back down at the precinct, Henderson wants an update on his lottery ticket but JB wants an update on the missing painting. Artie has nothing on both. JB wonders if the Reynolds that was noted on Philips planner and mentioned on the phone wasn’t an artist agent but a law agent. Artie thinks it’s worth investigating and calls the FBI who confirm Reynolds is in their fugitive division (side note, there’s only one Reynolds in the FBI?)

Unfortunately, he doesn’t know why Philip called him, he just received a message that Philip wanted to talk.  Artis is now officially more confused than ever. JB still thinks there’s something up with the missing painting and goes to see Sondra who tells her she bought it on Philip’s recommendation for $50K but that it was only worth five grand now. She would get her money back through insurance, so she’s not upset to lose the painting but she is upset not to have contributed to the auction so she’s mailing a cheque to the school. She shows JB the newsletter they gave out at the auction and JB realises Dr Swoop might not be all he says he is. A quick call to Willow Gardens School confirms it – Dr Swoop is a goddamn liar.

Jess wanders over to the offices of Bert Lown and Associates and is surprised to see the name being taken off the door. The super tells her the offices are just short-term rentals, and the office is so small the associates must have been working on margins. Get it? Because stockbrokers?

One does not simply Horatio Kane.

JB calls Artie and fills him in and he says he’s on it – but first, he just needs to go deal with the pickpocket who just waltzed into the lottery office to claim his millions. He arrives at the hotel Lown and the fake Doctor are staying at just as they are walking out the door with their money. But JB doesn’t think they killed Philip, and a stray comment from Artie jogs her memory…

I don’t know what I mean anymore. I need coffee.

Frances, it turns out, is the subject of the missing painting, and is also a convicted felon on the run for murder, and bumped off Philip because he recognised her.

And in the end, Kim’s got a one-woman show in San Francisco to put together, Mark has dumped Teddy for a college degree, and – after discovering Artie’s wallet down the back of his chair –  Artie and Henderson are not millionaires after all.

All is right with the world again.

Later gang!

S09E13 – Dead Eye

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We’re in Florida this week Fletcherfans, but not for the Murder She Wrote Golden Girls Crossover Special that I demand someone travel back in time to make. JB is in town to go about her Fletcher-y business and is intrigued by a newspaper headline about the recently discovered skeleton of a private detective that went missing just after the Kennedy assassination in 1963.

JB isn’t the only one interested in this sudden skeletal arrival. In Chicago, private investigator and all-around wise guy Charlie Garrett (aka Trapper John from MASH) is delighted to hear the news – it turns out the dead guy, Bernie Callan, owed him some money and apparently now that Bernie’s corpse has turned up, Charlie can collect. Solid logic. Meanwhile, somewhere else in Florida, Santo Angelini is concerned that photographs the dead guy had might also resurface, while up in Colorado Bernie’s daughter Laura is packing her bags for Florida after hearing the news that her father has shown up.

Charlie heads on down to Florida to see police chief Herman Gillis to claim his money – it turns out that the body was found with 10 grand on it. Herman tells him they also found Charlie’s business card on the body so thanks for making his job easier, and that Charlie should start thinking about where he was at the end of 1963.

That moustache needs to be arrested immediately.

Meanwhile, JB is heading out of her hotel when she hears a woman shouting on the phone. It’s Laura Callan, a bit peeved that someone has broken into her hotel room and ransacked it. She sees JB sticky beaking and slams the door.

Over at Charlie’s less salubrious hotel, the same deal – Charlie wanders into his room to find an old guy in a cowboy hat going through his stuff. Instead of answering Charlie’s questions the man punches him in the face and legs it, leaving the hotel manager to call the police.

Later that day, Laura finds out who JB is and wants to apologise for slamming the door in her face. (Damn straight). JB tells her there’s nothing to apologise for, and asks her if anything was stolen. Laura says no, which surprises JB as she figured it had something to do with Laura’s father’s murder. Laura tells her that if her father was murdered it was just a random killing, there’s no way it could be anything more than that.

Laura and JB head down to see Herman to find out more about Bernie’s case, but Herman just wants to talk about how much he doesn’t like Jessica’s books.

Honestly, why do people do this? Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean I have to care about it!

Although he does go on to point out that hers are too real-t0-life, and he hates that. I can relate. As we all know I fully reject reality when it doesn’t suit my interests, which is most of the time, to be honest. Charlie Garrett wanders in under police escort, and Herman introduces him to Laura as one of her father’s associates, although not one she’s likely to get any truth out of.

Charlie, Laura and JB adjourn to a diner, where Laura asks Charlie about some photos that she has that belonged to her father – the only real thing she has left that was his, as his office/house burned down not long after he died. Charlie recognises the woman as the wife of some tycoon or another, and figures that Bernie had been hired to catch her out in an affair, but JB thinks it’s about something else. She shows Charlie another photo and they freak out. The photo is of Lee Harvey Oswald and another man.

Well this has taken a turn.

The gang stash the photos in the safe at Charlie’s hotel and go to call the FBI. Agent James Whitman meets them at the hotel and agrees to take a look at the photos but he’s dubious as to their authenticity (despite JB’s insistence) and has no comment on Charlie’s claims that the man with Oswald is renowned mobster Santo Angelini. He has even less comment when they walk into the hotel’s reception to find the poor manager lying on the floor with a whack to the head and the safe empty.

Down at Herman’s office, they explain the situation to Herman. Whitman is called away and tells Laura he hopes the police find out what happened to her father. JB insists that they all saw the photographs and Whitman says he’s sure they believe they did. JB is going all in on this conspiracy business. As Whitman leaves Dr Abner Farrow, professor of modern history, arrives at the request of Herman. Jess lays out her theory – Bernie was in Dallas taking photos of the cheating wife a couple of days before the assassination, and then after Kennedy is shot and Oswald’s face is everywhere he realises what he has.

Back at the hotel, Laura doesn’t understand why her father would have hung on to the photos and not turned them in, and Charlie tells her the ten grand they found on his body makes it pretty clear – he was going to blackmail someone with them. Laura refuses to believe it, but JB says it makes a lot of sense. Although, there’s always the chance that she’s wrong! (There isn’t). Charlie thinks that now the photos have gone, that’s the end of it.

Over at house Angelini, Santo is simultaneously burning photos and berating his minion for not finishing the job he didn’t finish in 1963. The minion assures Angelini that the negatives don’t exist or else someone would have tried to blackmail him by now, but Angelini isn’t afraid of blackmailers, he’s afraid of the FBI. He wants proof the negatives no longer exist.

Jess and Laura go to Agent Whitman’s office to demand answers and also the current whereabouts of Santo Angelini. He tells them the Warren Commission resolved the assassination ages ago, and if they want to dig it up then they can do it on their own time. JB yells at him about burglaries and responsibility and he caves, telling JB he’ll get back to her.

I call shenanigans. No way would Jessica Fletcher be a conspiracy nut. This just doesn’t make sense to me.

Back at the hotel JB spots a familiar looking man in a Stetson side-eying them – she thinks he’s been tailing them all day. She goes over to confront him (like a boss!) and demands to know who he is or she’ll call hotel security. He turns around and walks away, leaving Laura to wonder what that was all about. JB thinks the person who had the photos stolen isn’t satisfied and wants the negatives. They go upstairs, as Dr Farrow peers over a newspaper.

Upstairs Jess gets on the phone with Whitman, who tells her he’s tracked down Angelini. JB says never mind that, if those photos weren’t real why was her room broken into and ransacked? Also where is Santo Angelini? Meanwhile, Charlie pops in to say goodbye to Laura and to tell her he doesn’t need the money her father owed him anymore – he’s picked up a fancy new client and his financial woes are solved, so he’s heading back to Chicago.

That night, the Stetson wearing bloke meets his new friend in the car to talk about how much money they can get out of Angelini when his friend pulls a gun and shoots him.

Jess and Laura are having breakfast the next morning when news of Stetson’s death comes on. Jess finds the whole thing rather suspicious and calls Agent Whitman to get him to do a background check on this mysterious Frank Hemet.

Jess and Laura head down to Hermans office, where Charlie has already wandered in to confirm that Hemet was the guy who tossed his room but Herman’s not having a bar of it.

A fax comes in for JB:

Helpful labelling is helpful.

Frank Hemet, it turns out, moved to Florida from Dallas a couple of months prior to Kennedy being assassinated, after being booted off the police force for suspected ties to organised crime. Dr Farrow (inexplicably also there) thinks everyone is reading too much into it, but JB thinks they should find out if Hemet owned a .45 – they might solve Bernie’s murder after all.

At House Angelini, Santo is on the phone assuring someone that he is about to get his hands on the negatives and that if anything should happen to him, a trail of breadcrumbs is going to lead to whoever is on the other end of the phone. Whoever it was hangs up, just in time for Jessica to make her entrance. She tells him she just wanted to make sure that what she’d heard was true, that Santo was the person in the photo with Lee Harvey Oswald. Santo tells her that such a claim is dangerous and baseless on account of the photos being stolen, and Jessica agrees, telling him she also doesn’t have the negatives so he can stop tearing her hotel room apart. She’s not giving up though, and he tells her that if such a conspiracy exists, the people involved would not look kindly on her meddling.

Back at the hotel, JB gets an envelope left for her at the front desk, before running into Dr Farrow, who warns her to leave the Kennedy assassination alone – her reputation will be destroyed if she continues down this path. JB is touched by his concern, except doesn’t he have a book coming out that supports the Warren Commission findings, even though after the assassination a reporter by the name of D. A. Farrow had said he’d heard four shots, and isn’t Abner’s first name Desmond?

*doo doo doo doo DOO Dooooooo* #XFiles

Inside her room, she finds Charlie, who wants the envelope she’s just received. They’re the negatives, that Charlie had the whole time. He tells her he’d never looked at them until after Bernie died, and when he printed them he didn’t recognise anyone in them and so filed them away again until Bernie’s body turned up.

The phone rings – it’s Laura. She’s being held at gunpoint and begs Jessica to come alone to the docks and to bring the negatives. Charlie wonders how they knew Jess even had them and Jess quickly finds a bug hidden in the lamp.

Down at the docks, Santo’s minion has Laura tied up at gunpoint. Santo himself emerges from the shadows demanding the negatives but Jessica tells him she doesn’t have them. Santo gives the word to shoot Laura and Charlie appears, gun fixed on Santo. Laura elbows the minion in the chest and he throws her into the water. Charlie dives in to save her, and Jessica sighs as the negatives float away into the murky depths.

Back at Herman’s office, he tells them that the divers and Coast Guard couldn’t find a trace of the negatives, but the good news is Frank Hemet definitely killed Bernie Callan, and he’s sure that they’ll find some trace evidence that Angelini killed Hemet.

No, they won’t, says JB. Laura did it.

Well that escalated quickly.

Turns out that retransmitted plot point I mentioned earlier was retransmitted because Laura received the original, realised that Frank killed her father and so she killed him.

Herman is delighted – two murders neatly wrapped up. Charlie thinks that as soon as Angelini gets arrested they will be able to find out what really happened in Dallas.

Just then, Herman gets a phone call – you guys! Angelini was killed in a car accident not three minutes earlier, and they’re a bit worried that the brake lines were cut. Do you think that maybe it was deliberate…?

Ugh, whatever. Forget the Kennedy assassination, I want to find out who the hell DB Cooper was. Do you really think that many people could keep their mouth shut about a conspiracy to assassinate a president? Half the politicians in Australia don’t even know what country they are a citizen of.  Of course, I could also be a government plant, set about maintaining the status quo as set down by the Illuminati, the Lizard People and the space hamsters.

We’ll never know.

Later gang!

 

S07E05 – The Family Jewels

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Salutations and Happy Easter Fletcherfans! I hope the Easter Bunny was kind and left you eggs, unlike the sore throat (s)he left me. Although to be fair I think I acquired this throat screaming at my football team on Friday night. So yeah, don’t feel too bad for me, I brought this on myself.

But never mind all that, because we are back in New York again Fletcherfans, where JB is in town to attend a political fundraiser for BJ Hunnicutt Drew Borden, and making a pit stop at Beaumont Jewellers to get her watch repaired. While she’s there, she sees a wealthy woman, accompanied by her chauffeur, look at a bunch of necklaces and then pinches a diamond and ruby necklace when the shop assistant’s back is turned.  She doesn’t escape Our Heroine’s notice though, but when JB reports the theft to the shop assistant, Charles Lockner, he tells her that there was no diamond and ruby necklace, and that there is no other stock missing either. Seems definitive, since he hasn’t actually checked.

The jewel thief, Sheila Finley, is driven home by her chauffeur, who she then drags into the back seat for some quality time, if you know what I mean. Her delayed departure from the car does not go unnoticed by her husband, Porter Finley, or one of the maids.

But never mind all that, because BEHOLD YOUR HEROINE IN ALL HER GLORY

Lamé for everybody!

Lamé for everybody!

As they leave the hotel and head to the fundraise, JB tells Drew the story of the stolen necklace that wasn’t.

That look is a liitle Crazy Nicholas Cage, if I'm honest.

That look is a liitle Crazy Nicholas Cage, if I’m honest.

A reaction only topped by Jessica on hearing the names of their hosts for the evening – Mr & Mrs Finley Porter The Third.

For real, I got nothing

For real, I got nothing

At the party, while JB is glad-handed by Porter Finley The Third, the family chauffeur – Rocco Pastolino – is out in the garage smoothing things over with the previously mentioned maid, Margaret Gable. It would appear they are blowing this cake stand in a few days and heading off to somewhere with palm trees, so Rocco begs Margaret to be patient until then.

Inside, JB is staggered when she’s introduced to Sheila, aka Mrs Porter Finley, aka the chick what stole that necklace that time. She tells Drew, but he’s believing her even less now – Sheila is worth about 40 million dollars on her own.

After introductions all round, Sheila leaves her husband and Drew with D.L Beaumont (proprietor of Beaumont’s Jewellers) and escorts JB on a tour of the room, complimenting people on earrings that are apparently one of a kind before excusing herself to disappear with Rocco.

Time out. JB’s earrings are insane.

I mean look at them!!!

You can’t really tell from this picture but they are HUGE 

Sheila reappears to give a short “Give Drew All Your Money So He Can be DA” speech, but is concerned when her husband quietly gets Drew and Jessica out of the room. She finds them again in the garage, looking at the body of Rocco. While they wait for the police, JB takes Sheila upstairs to compose herself, and spots a pin just like one her mother used to have that JB lost a while ago. Sheila tries to give it to her, but JB refuses. She also tells Sheila that if the police ask, she will have to say that she saw Sheila go off with Rocco just before he was murdered.

Downstairs, the lieutenant in charge, Lieutenant Stuyvesant, is fangirling over Drew. He stops long enough to ask Sheila about her disappearing act with Rocco and she tells him they were in the pantry, there was a problem with party supplies (almost definitely code). Stuyvesant is happy with this and defers all questions until such time as he’s thought of them. He wrangles a lunch date with Drew to discuss a possible transfer to the city, away from the boredom and to be where the action is. JB tells him Mort Metzger moved to Cabot Cove for precisely that reason. Ha.

The next day, Jess returns to Beaumont Jewellers to get her watch and to follow up about the stolen necklace. Charles Lockner passes her over to DL Beaumont himself, who assures JB that the necklace wasn’t stolen and he should know, he designed it.

Jess reports back to Drew with DL’s weird statement about the necklace not being stolen, and he tells her some news of his own – he’s found an old police report detailing how Sheila Kowalski (her maiden name) was booked for grand theft in Palm Beach for stealing a necklace. JB worries that the Finley’s might be in trouble but has a plane to catch. As she’s set to leave her hotel room, she finds the clip she admired in her handbag, just as breaking news comes on the TV – Sheila has been arrested for murder.

Jessica goes to the Finley estate to return the pin, and is begged to stay by Porter until Sheila returns. Jessica tells him what she knows about the necklace and Porter produces a receipt – the necklace was bought and paid for the previous day. Jess suspects there is more to the story and Porter comes clean. Porter has an arrangement with Beaumont’s Jewellers wherein they send the bill each time Sheila pinches something from the store, but he doesn’t think it has anything to do with the murder. Jess isn’t sure, but wonders why Sheila was arrested in the first place. Porter tells her the police think she was jealous that Rocco was planning to skip town with Margaret Gable, but Porter refuses to believe Sheila did it.

Sheila appears at that moment, temporarily released. She confesses all to JB on a stroll around the grounds – how she and Rocco dated at school, but then her father struck it rich and packed her off to finishing school in Switzerland and it was just impossible to stay in touch, the money just got in the way. So Sheila married Porter whom she loves and would never leave, but was lacking in the drive department, sex and otherwise. The otherwise part didn’t bother her so much but…

*starts singing Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves*

*starts singing Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves*

Sheila swears she didn’t know about Rocco planning to skip out with Margaret until the police told her, but even then she would have taken a tyre iron to Margaret, not Rocco. Jessica tells Sheila she needs to come clean about her stealing and Sheila shrugs. It’s a left over from when she was a kid filching candy bars, and that no one gets hurt.

Except Mr Pastalino, says JB. Ouch.

Jess checks in with Stuyverson, who is checking out the car and wondering whether he should follow up on his request for a transfer. He finds a bow that had fallen behind the wheel of the car, and Jess recognises it as coming off Sheila’s. shoe.

While Stuyverson drums up the courage to ask about it, Jessica does ask about it. Sheila tells her she went to confront Rocco in the garage about why he’d been so cold towards her the last few days, and he got angry and shoved her against the car. But he was still alive when she left. She begs Jessica to stay the night, and JB agrees.

JB takes it on herself to have a chat with Margaret the maid, who tells her she and Rocco were running away to Rio Di Janeiro, and were going to buy a little house. JB asks where the money was coming from and Margaret tells her Rocco had some saved and was expecting more – some sort of investment plan he had, with regular payments.

SUSPICIOUS.

Later that night, a masked figure breaks into the house and chloroforms Sheila. Job done, he accidentally steps on the cat’s tail, knocking over a lamp and waking up Porter and JB. While they knock on the door the thief breaks into Sheila’s jewellery box but leaves empty handed when Porter manages to unlock the bedroom door. Stuyverson is called but is of no help. Fortunately for everyone, JB spots an earring on the ground similar to the one Sheila had been admiring at the party the other night (and honestly, I didn’t pay attention the first time. Who knew the earring would be important??)

JB takes the jewellery to another jeweller who identifies all the pieces as fakes, except the diamond and ruby necklace she pinched in front of JB. Jess has a funny feeling she knows what’s going on now and hatches a plot using Margaret Gable as bait.

Wait, what?

Wait, what?

It would appear that Charlie-boy had a scam going with Rocco where he would steal Sheila’s jewellery and give it to Charlie, who would give it to his uncle in Boston. His uncle would make an exact replica, which would find its way back to Sheila’s jewellery box while the real one was sold. When  Rocco got greedy and asked for money, he received a tyre iron to the head from Charles instead.

Boom. Case closed. Now I’m going back to bed to drink more whisky tea.

Until next time, Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

Later gang!

S05E02 – A Little Night Work

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Back in NYC Fletcherfans, where Our Heroine is attending a political fundraiser on the invitation of Theo Wexler, who is introducing her to all the attending bigwigs as her new literary agent.

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Classic Klinger

Classic Klinger

Turns out that’s a bit of an overstatement – what’s actually happening is that her agent retired and he’s taken over the business, and is desperate to keep her at the agency (and isn’t doing a great job of it so far).

Among the other guests at the party are Axel Weingard and his wife Marta, who don’t seem to be enjoying each other’s company, Miles Hatcher, a real estate broker, and this guy.

THIS GUY. I'll get to him later.

Dennis Stanton. I’ll get to him later.

Meanwhile I don’t think JB is having such a great night.

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

JB is saved by the Andy the waiter from South Carolina, who brings coffee and lots of admiration.  Turns out Andy is a budding writer himself, and if she had a second, he could really use her advice. Alas his boss spots him chatting and he scurries off again just as JB gets a visit from the mysterious Dennis Stanton requesting the pleasure of the next dance.  JB accepts, but not before confirming that he’s not another literary agent.

“Not at all. My motives are highly personal and only moderately selfish.” Says Dennis.

Uh oh.

After a brief but dominating waltz…

At least these people know when to get out of the way

At least these people know when to get out of the way

…JB retires for the evening, but her night ain’t over yet.

g1

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WHAT THE HELL.

WHAT THE HELL. (Although it turns out the actor who plays Dennis Stanton is Australian, so it actually makes more sense now)

“Hello again Jessica, I was in the neighbourhood so I thought I’d sort of drop in.” Says Dennis. He thanks her from saving him from no end of embarrassment and departs – only to return a second later saying “on the other hand, there’s no sense in rushing off, care to offer me a nightcap?”

JB demands an explanation but Dennis says he has to be discrete and would JB do him a favour and tell anyone who knocks at the door that he’d been in her room for the last half an hour?

You don't just come in off the balcony expecting booze and alibis Dennis. (Unless you're me. Then I expect those things)

You don’t just come in off the balcony expecting booze and alibis Dennis. (Unless you’re me. Then I expect those things)

“Then you’d rather see me shredded like a cabbage by an irate husband?” Says Dennis.

Huh. I see how this is.

Dennis decides the coast is clear and bids JB good night, saying that meeting her was a delight he will cherish forever.

Jess NO

Jess NO

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What is this episode?

What is this episode?

As JB dwells on this, Dennis the Menace departs the hotel, carefully avoiding the crowd out the front and the swarm of police cars that just arrived. SHADY STANTON.

The next morning JB gets a visit from Andy the waiter who bribed his way up with her breakfast so he could continue the conversation they were having the previous evening. Unfortunately for Andy Jess has just noticed an article in the paper about a jewellery theft that happened the previous evening. Someone stole Marta Weingard’s necklace between 12 and 12:30am – the same time Dennis the Menace was acting all shady in Jess’s room. Apparently Mrs Weingard was very upset – but noone knows what Axel thinks about it all, as he’s disappeared. Jess asks Andy if it’s possible that the Weingard penthouse could be above her hotel room, and it turns out that it is. JB has an inkling she knows who the burglad is, and departs, telling Andy she’ll talk to him later about his book.

Downstairs JB finds Lieutenant Alffano studying the newly discovered body of Axel Weingard, who had been dumped in a maid’s laundry basket and taken down to the basement. Alffano listens to JB’s description of Dennis Stanton the previous evening while across town Theo Wexler is telling Miles Hatcher that he’s not investing in his condo development, as he heard Axel Weingard was about to pull out of the project. Miles concedes he’s having a problem with Axel but points out that Theo hates Axel just as much as Miles does. Their meeting ends with the arrival of JB, who is set to tell Theo that she’s going to find another agent. Theo begs her to stay, saying they’re in a bit of  a mess financially, and Weingard’s publishing company dropped four of Theo’s clients for no reason. JB informs Theo that Weingard has ceased to be, and Theo gets on the phone to his broker immediately to dump his stock in Axel’s company.

Leaving Theo’s office (and presumably on the hunt for a new agent), JB bumps in to Dennis the Menace loitering outside. He remembered she had an appointment at Theo’s office and to show there were no hard feelings about her sicking the police on to him he’s decided to take her to lunch at a Burmese restaurant. JB is not swayed and demands answers, like what’s this she hears about an alibi for the theft/murder? Dennis tells her that as far as the police know he was playing gin rummy with councilman Wellington Kendall until the wee hours, and yes that was techincally a lie but the lady he was visiting was married.

“Don’t you mean was?” Says JB.

“What an opinion you must have of me.” Says Dennis, scandalised. He’s already moved on to bigger and better ideas though, like having JB for dinner that night. She tells him she’s going back to Boston on the 5pm flight, but that next time she’s in town they’ll have a date.

Back in her hotel room JB is packing up ready to go when she gets another unexpected visitor on her balcony – this time it’s Shannon McBride, special claims investigator for Sasquahana Fire and Casualty insurance company. Her company holds the paper on the missing necklace, and she has some questions for JB after learning that Dennis Stanton was in her room the previous evening. JB confirms that he was but says she’s having trouble getting people to believe her. Shannon does, saying  that Councilman Wellington Kendall is Dennis’s brother in law, and that he’s been alibiing Dennis for years. She can’t prove it, but she thinks Dennis the Menace is a cat burglar, and tells JB to tell Dennis there’s a hundred grand reward for the return of the necklace, and fifty for JB if she talks Dennis into returning it.

As Shannon deprats JB gets a call from Lieutenant Alffano. They’ve arrested a suspect – but it’s Andy the waiter and he’s not asking for a lawyer he’s asking for JB.

Naturally.

It turns out Andy sent his book to Axel’s publishing company the previous year, and while they didn’t publish it they did rip it off and put out a similar book. JB is perplexed as Andy explains the plot and wonders how he can be so angry Weingard stole his idea when Andy stole it from Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Andy tells her he didn’t steal it, he adapted it, and it was his idea first.

JB has some followup questions for Lieutenant Alffano, namely how did the thief get the necklace off the neck of Marta Weingard. Alffano explains that she took it off following a fight with her husband and threw it at her husband before going off to get some air/sober up. JB tells him it makes absolutely no sense that Andy would steal the necklace if he wanted revenge for the book situation. She’s convinced Dennis is involved, and has an idea for proving it. She calls him and says her plans have changed, and he is delighted to hear she’ll be coming for dinner. Off the phone, Lieutenant Alffano is impressed with her nerve, but JB has more important things on her mind like getting her hands on the case report.

That night, Alffano drives her to Stanton’s apartment and gives her a transmitter so they can listen in on their conversation. JB asks him about a couple of points in the case report, namely a red carnation petal with a drop of blood on it, which wasn’t the victims, and the scratches on the victims hand. Alffano confirms they think the carnation belonged to the killer but that they aren’t sure what caused the scratches on Axel’s hand.

Upstairs, Dennis asks what caused JB’s change of plans and she tells him she has a message for him from Shannon McBride. He correctly assumes it’s about the reward and tells JB that Shannon has been after him for years, convinced of his guilt. JB charms him into playing a ‘what if’ and the truth comes out – Dennis is a cat burglar, but only steals high end items from people who can afford it, and are insured with Sasquahana Fire and Casualty – the company that wouldn’t pay his late wife’s medical bills and left him in debt a quarter of a million dollars in debt. He exacted revenge by stealing items insured by the company – he made his money back years ago, now he’s just sticking it to the man. But he didn’t kill Axel Weingard, and he regrets to tell her that he didn’t even steal the necklace. When he went up to steal it he heard Axel Weingard arguing with someone and retreated to the bedroom. He went back for a second look after about 20 minutes and found the room (and the safe) empty. The arrival of Mrs Weingard saw him retreat to the balcony and drop in on JB.

JB asks him if he didn’t go into the lounge room like he claims then how did a red petal get in there as it says in the police report. Dennis asks her if she’s in the habit of reading police reports, finds the transmitter and legs it off the fire escape before the NYPD burst through the door.

Back at the precinct Shannon McBride is convinced of his guilt and tells them her report will be the same way. JB convinces Lieutenant Alffano that Andy is innocent and Alffano releases him. Later, he calls her to tell her that Dennis is almost certainly guilty, and that he’s just called his brother in law to say he’s leaving town but that once he’s sold the merchandise he’ll send him a piece of the action.

JB and a red carnation say differently.

Foiled by a red carnation

Foiled by a red carnation

Miles admits to everything, strangling Axel when he refused to stay a partner in the business deal, dumping the body and stealing the necklace in order to make it look like a robbery.

And what of Dennis? Thanks to some slick lawyering, a suspended sentence and some probation. But his thieving days are over. So he says. I think this isn’t the last we’re going to hear of Dennis the Menace.

And on that note

 

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S03E21 – The Days Dwindle Down

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Greetings and salutations Fletcherfans!

JB is California this week, staying in a fabulous hotel paid for by her publisher while she works on promotion for her new book, although her publisher is starting to think that her sideline solving mysteries is a bigger draw than her books (I can’t believe it took them that long).

A woman named Georgia Wilson overhears their conversation and later knocks on JB’s hotel room door begging for help. Her husband Sam has just come home from prison, where he’s spent the last 30 years in prison for a crime he supposedly didn’t commit. The crime…OF MURDER.

*DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN*

Because JB is the Supreme Goddess of Kindness, Benevolence and Being A Boss, she goes with Georgia to talk to Sam about his story. In a stunning coincidence, his story coincides with a movie he was in in 1949 called Strange Bargain, which allows for some helpful and surprisingly accurate flashback sequences.

As she hasn’t seen the movie, Sam tells Jess the story. Back in the day,  when he was a struggling actor assistant bookkeeper, he went to his boss Mr Jarvis for a raise. Instead, Jarvis fired him, saying that the firm couldn’t afford to keep him and he couldn’t afford to put more money into the firm – he had ten thousand dollars to his name.  That night, they met for a drink and Jarvis told Sam his scheme to fix his financial situation. He was going to kill himself but in such a way as to make it seem like murder, so that his family could receive his life insurance payout.

That night, Jarvis called Sam and told him he was going through with it, and sooner than he’d planned. Sam drove over there to talk him out of it but he was too late. So, like anyone would do, Sam took the gun and envelope with the money and hightailed it out of there, only just remembering to fire the gun into the house to make it seem like murder.

I think we can all guess where this is heading.

The next morning when Sam and Georgia go to pay their respects to Mrs Jarvis, Lieutenant Richard Webb tells Sam that they pulled three slugs out of the wall. Unfortunately for Sam his gaze goes straight to the wall in question, a fact noticed by Lieutenant Webb.

Speaking of…

WHO IS THAT?

WHO IS THAT?

In any case that look, coupled with Sam burning the letter from Mr Jarvis, meant that he was put away. Got all that?

(I kind of want to. To Google!)

(I kind of want to. To Google!)

Naturally, JB takes on the case because she is awesome. Sam and Georgia’s son Rod warns her that it’s a wild goose chase, but he has bigger problems. I’ll get to that later.

The next morning, after a raging night of reading through Rod’s case notes, JB kicks off her investigation with tacos and tequila for everyone a trip to the scene of the crime. Mr Jarvis’s son Sydney still lives in the house, and while he didn’t think Sam killed his father, he is suspicious of the new interest in the case. JB asks him about him telling Sam about seeing Mr Jarvis’s business partner Mr Hearne at his house that night, but all Sydney says is that there might have been other suspects but Sam was the one convicted.

Sidenote: Sydney is being played by Richard Beymer, and that sound you just heard was my mind exploding with the realisation that Tony from West Side Story and Benjamin Horne are the same person.

Seriously though, mind = blown.

Seriously though, mind = blown.

Sydney bows to JB’s persuasive powers of persuasion and agrees to let them “snoop” around the house. Jess asks him if she could speak to his mother, but he tells her that she passed away. Clearly noone told the postman, judging by the letter on the desk.

JB’s next port of call is the offices of Jarvis & Hearne, now run by Hearne’s granddaughter Dorothy. Dorothy tells her that the reason why her grandfather was at the house was to arrange for the transfer of Mr Jarvis’s share of the company to him. JB tells her that Mrs Jarvis told police that the sale happened after Mr Jarvis’s death but Dorothy tells her that isn’t true.

Next on JB’s hitlist is Thelma Vantay, Mr Jarvis’s former secretary. JB is eager to talk about the case but Thelma is more interested in other things. Like her ex-husband who never worked a day in his life but who had many other excellent qualities.

LIKE. A. BOSS.

THAT FACE. MY HERO.

When JB finally gets her onto the subject of Mr and Mrs Jarvis, Thelma is dismissive. Even though Edna Jarvis came home early from a weekend away to find her husband dead, Thelma is convinced she had nothing to do with his death – she simply didn’t have the guts. After JB drives off in her taxi-chariot Thelma gets on the phone to alert A Mystery Person that someone has an interest in their “problem”.

Anyway, remember when I said Sam and Georgia’s son Rod had bigger issues? Well his wife, it turns out, will make several future appearances on Murder She Wrote. As Grady’s wife.

Ugh. He's not even in this episode and he's annoying me.

Ugh. He’s not even in this episode and he’s annoying me.

Rod comes home to inform JB and his parents that Edna Jarvis is still alive, and JB decides to pay a call on her first thing in the morning.

That night, someone tries to shoot JB in the head but misses. The police roll in and pull a .38 bullet out of the chair, similar to the ones found in Mr Jarvis’s home. JB is convinced they came from the same gun but Rod’s boss is unconvinced. He agrees to compare them.

The next morning Georgia and JB pay a visit on Edna Jarvis, who has recovered nicely from being dead but is suffering from dementia. JB tries to question her about her husband but gets nowhere, and is soon interrupted by Sydney who angrily throws them out of the nursing home. JB asks him about Dorothy Hearne’s claims about the night of his father’s death but he tells her that Mr Hearne got control of the business way after Mr Jarvis’s death, and to question Dorothy about why she’s lying. JB informs him that Dorothy isn’t the only one misrepresenting the truth and storms off, taking his advice and going to see Dorothy who continues to denies her grandfather had anything to do with Mr Jarvis’s death.

Back at the hotel JB gets a mysterious call about the case, with orders to come alone. It turns out to be from the mysterious Lieutenant Webb who may seem familiar…

Am guessing he's going to be the first MASH cast member to not kill someone in this show.

Am guessing he’s going to be the first MASH cast member to not kill someone in this show.

He tells JB that he never really thought Sam killed his boss, and gives her the original police report, complete with ballistics report on the bullet retrieved from JB’s hotel room. Despite the fact that Sam threw the gun in the water off Santa Monica pier as per his instructions, it was used again 30 years later. JB asks him about Mr Jarvis’s insurance policy and he agrees that he found it suspicious but he couldn’t do anything more. He tells JB he considered the possibility that someone else knew about the life insurance policy and expected to get money out of it but the only other person they found who knew about it was Themla Vantay but despite Webb’s suspicions Thelma wasn’t having an affair with her boss.

Jess and Rod go to confront Thelma about what she knew about the death of her boss. She is reluctant to talk but when JB tells her the statute of limitations has expired on blackmail she comes clean. Thelma put two and two together about her boss’s death and the insurance policy and blackmailed his family to keep her mouth closed about it. Sydney eventually cut her off, and even when she called him a few days earlier to tell him about JB’s questions about the case he still refused to give her money, saying he was broke. “Can you believe the nerve of that guy?” Says Thelma.

Thelma's a teeny bit cray-cray

Thelma’s a teeny bit cray-cray

Rod is eager to go and tell his father that they can prove it was suicide but JB is unconvinced. There had to be a reason why someone fired her, and to cover up a 30 year old suicide just didn’t make sense. Rod points out that also seemed kind of dumb to use a 30 year old gun that can be traced back to the original case and this gives Jess a brainwave.

Eureka!

Eureka!

The trouble is, everyone assumed that Mr Jarvis killed himself or someone killed him. The truth was not quite so clearcut. The gun was retrieved from the water by Sydney, to remove fingerprints. Not from the handle, but from the barrel.

Wait. It's Murder She Wrote and noone has been murdered? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO

Wait. It’s Murder She Wrote and noone has been murdered? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO

Mr Jarvis had the perfect plan, but he didn’t count on his wife coming home and trying to stop him. She tried to take the gun off him, it went off, and that was that. Everything that happened since, including Sydney firing at Jess, was done to protect Edna.

But lets not focus on the depressing. I’m giving massive points to the Murder She Wrote writers for this episode, it was pretty clever the way they used the original movie as flashbacks. And never let us forget: OUR HEROINE IS A BOSS.

Stay tuned for the season 3 finale next week!

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

 

S03E05 – Corned Beef and Carnage

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Fletcherfans! Remember these guys?

What do you even call that style?

Last time we saw Vicky and Kernickie they were in LA being stiffed by Martin Landau. Now they’re in New York, where Kernickie is a struggling actor and Vicky is working for a high-falutin’ advertising agency with Charles Winchester from MASH that looks nothing like Mad Men and is clearly a front for a meth lab. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve watched 3.5 seasons of Breaking Bad in two weeks.

Vicky is a teeny bit stressed out. Her boss Larry Kincaid is trying to pimp her out to Grover Bart (proprietor of Corned Beef Castle and previously seen as a foreman here), whose signature he is eager to get. He insists that Vicky blow off her lunch with her aunt and Howard. Howard is not terribly impressed with this news, but JB doesn’t mind a bit. Unfortunately it gets worse over lunch, and the sleazy baron of the corned beef empire gets all Indecent Proposal-ish.

Back at the office Larry K is being harassed by his brother Myron who is concerned about the lack of money, and Charles Winchester Aubrey Thornton who is concerned about the fact that he wasn’t invited to the Corned Beef Castles presentation. After he tells Vicky that she’s having dinner with Grover Bart and he’d better come in the next morning with a big smile on his face or else, she quits. GO VICKY!

Kincaid’s mood improves with the arrival of his 4 o’clock appointment, a rival ad exceutive.

There's some 80s power dressing right there...

That’s some 80s power dressing right there…

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Of course, Christine Clifford isn’t just there to demonstrate the power of a pastel suit – she’s on a mission to steal the Corned Beef Castle account away from the Kincaids and hand it to her boss, in exchange for All The Things. She cleverly “forgets her purse” and returns to retrieve it and a folder of potential pitches that Vicky has put together for the campaign.

After returning home to find a load of bills and an answering machine message with another audition rejection for Kernickie, Vicky decides to go back to the office to suck up to Kincaid, so that she might get her job back. But alas, when she walks in to the office, Larry K is suffering a terminal case of being dead, bashed to death with his own award.

Lieutenant Spoletti is called to the scene, takes one look at the murder weapon, and says “For excellence in the field of advertising: Larry Kincaid. Well, like they say – this one had his name on it.”

We won't get fooled again! Won't get fooled again! (Sorry)

We won’t get fooled again! Won’t get fooled again! (Sorry)

Spoletti proceeds to interrogate Vicky but is soon interrupted by Kernickie 9who is concerned for his wife) and JB (who has just spotted a corned beef sandwich that’s been left unsupervised on Kincaid’s desk)

*not pictured: sandwich

*not pictured: sandwich

JB subtly hints to Spoletti that the presence of the corned beef sandwich might establish time of death. They ask the security guard (previously seen as the Coach in this episode)  for a list of people who visited the office after hours, and apart from a visit from Grover Bart and an interior designer named Mary Jo, there is no record of anyone coming to the building, let alone delivering a sandwich.

MYSTERIOUS SANDWICH IS MYSTERIOUS.

The next morning Vicky is clearing out her things when she gets a visit from Aubrey and Myron. They tell her they looked over her ideas for the Corned Beef Castle account and they want her to stay. Yay Vicky! She goes to celebrate her good fortune with JB, but is soon interrupted by Christine Clifford with a job offer and Spoletti with an arrest warrant.

Is anyone else feeling a bit dejavu-y?

Is anyone else feeling a bit deja vu-y?

Down at the precinct JB and Spoletti have a raging argument (largely about sandwiches), and Spoletti gives her 24 hours to prove her point that the time of death was much earlier than he thinks. Not wasting time, she goes straight to the Kincaid office to ask Myron and Aubrey about the interior designer but they know nothing about it, saying that the office had only been redecorated a year before, JB also asks about the sercurity guard, who had apparently been fired. Aubrey says that was him,  that since he let the boss get killed he probably needed to be replaced. That’s logic I guess.

After a brief stop at a Corned Beef Castle opening to ask Grover Bart about his after hours visit to Larry Kincaid (he knew nothing, especially about any proposals of the indecent variety), JB then goes to see the newly unemployed security guard to ask about the interior designer. He tells her that that he didn’t think that she was an employee, she was tall, blonde, and kinda liked him.

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JB confirms that the mystery interior designer is in fact Mary Clifford, and to celebrate goes home for lunch where Kernickie is full of beans – he has an audition for a TV commercial…organised by Mary Clifford. HOW CONVENIENT. JB tags along, smelling a pastel wearing rat, and she’s right – Kernickie only gets to be the face of Slumberland Funeral Homes (!?!?)  when Vicky joins the agency and brings the Corned Beef Castles account with her. BASTARDS.

Jess pipes up, and asks Christine about her second visit to Larry Kincaid, disguised as an interior decorator. She tries to bluff her way out of it but admits to stealing the file earlier in the day and replacing it before Larry K knew it was missing. She swears up and down that Larry was already dead when she returned the file. On JB’s advice she goes to the police station and tells Spoletti the same information. Spoletti is disinclined to believe her.

Spoletti: Why is it I always figure gorgeous blondes are lying to me?

JB: Adolescent trauma, lieutenant.

Christine Clifford’s boss, Leland Biddle, arrives to check on his employee. He tells JB and Spoletti that they are no longer interested in the Corned Beef Castle account  after he learned that the Barts were filing for bankruptcy. JB asks him if he knew about that before Kincaid was killed and he gets uppity, but he has an alibi – he was dining with Aubrey the night of the murder, although conveniently at the restaurant at the foot of the Kincaid office building but he swears that he never left the restaurant.

Jess goes home to tell Vicky and Kernickie about it, but they’re a little busy right now.

Ugh, JB I know how you feel...

Ugh, JB I know how you feel…

JB decides against the floor show, and goes hunting for the origin of the Mysterious Corned Beef Sandwich Of Mystery. She finally tracks it down to a deli near the Kincaid offfice, but the owner tells her that the order was cancelled the night of the murder.

Spoletti orders the security guard in for questioning, but he can’t figure it out either. JB asks him what the delivery man was wearing – gloves, a beanie, a moustache, and sunglasses, according to the guard. JB correctly points out that it would be weird for a delivery man to be wearing sunglasses at night.

But it wouldn’t be weird, if he was trying to disguise himself so that the security guard wouldn’t recognise him .

Not for nothing, but that's two for two MASH actors that have gone on to kill people on Murder, She Wrote. Think I'll be keeping an eye on them...

Not for nothing, but that’s two for two MASH actors that have gone on to kill people on Murder, She Wrote. Worth keeping an eye on *ominous music*

Poor Charles. All he and his bowtie wanted to do was work in advertising, but since Kincaid was such a dick he just couldn’t get ahead, So, through the cunning use of disguises

CUNNING.

CUNNING.

And he would’ve gotten away with it, if it hadn’t been for the Mysterious Sandwich of Mystery – and JB Fletcher, of course. But the sandwich helped. God I’m so hungry now.

...

Can’t talk, eating.

 

ETA: Thanks to Kell for pointing out that it’s CHARLES Winchester, not Frank. The moral here kids, is don’t write things when all you can think about is the buttermilk pancakes you’re going to eat when you’ve finished.

For the record, they were tasty as and I regret nothing. (Thanks Kell!)