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S12E14 – Murder in Tempo

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

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

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

Seth has no time for anyone.

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

2019 IN ONE FACIAL EXPRESSION

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

I mean really though, why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And because I can…

I mean…

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

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

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

The next day, while I rejoice

Everything about this makes me so happy.

…In Tempo get back to rehearsing.

Told you.

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

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

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

“Sounds like Ted Nugent.” Says Mort.

“Nah, more Metallica,” Says JB.

“Whatever happened to Guy Lombardo?” Asks Seth.

JB loves Metallica, this is canon.

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

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

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

That is cold dude.

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

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

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

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

Because –

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

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

Grim.

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

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

YOU’RE WELCOME.

(And on Friday!)

 

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S12E13 – Death Goes Double Platinum

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, where JB is branching out her entrepreneurial skills to include music producing and can we all just take a moment to celebrate the fact that I know how to spell entrepreneurial first crack?

Jess wanders into the rehearsals of Ortega, the band led by blind pianist Desi Ortega who knows Jessica’s arrived by the smell of her exotic perfume.

You know how she rolls

Ortega is a band on the rise – their first single Philomena just cracked the top 100 of something, and JB has managed to get them access to the school’s sound lab to mix their album, which engineer Sam Desoto is very excited about.

Desi’s hugely pregnant wife Amy drops by to pick him up and take him home, but they are stopped by a Hired Goon by the name of Culligan who informs Desi that Max Daniels would like a word. Amy tries to usher them away but Desi says it’s alright and goes with Culligan.

It would seem Max Daniels has gone from whatever shady shenanigans he got up to back in the day to owning carparks and now he wants to get back into the music business by signing Desi Ortega. Desi tells him nope, he’s signed with Alex Lebron, who is launching his own label Moontide. Record stores are begging for copies of his single and Max says that can change. Max hands him a contract, Desi scrunches it up and hurls it with incredible accuracy into the face of Max’s minion Tomas Aguilar. Desi demands to be taken home and Culligan complies after a nod from Max. As they depart, Max asks Tomas if he’s still friends with Ortega’s bass player (and current student of JB) Luiz Decalde but apparently, that ship has sailed – as has the relationship Tomas had with Luiz’s sister Patricia.

The next time Luiz sees JB he tells her that record stores have backed right off their single, and they’re going to have to pay to have it placed in the store. Jess thinks she knows someone who can help because of course she does, and says she’ll be in touch. Meanwhile, Tomas confronts Patricia on her way to work and tells her he can help Alex’s career all she has to do is leave him, and so on and so forth.

Later Jess invites her friend Wilson Sloane to come to listen to the band rehearse at the bar of Luiz and Patricia’s mother Iza and convinces him that Ortega is the hot new sound he’s been looking for. He signed Luiz’s father back in the day, so he knows what he’s talking about. Wilson wanders off just as Max and Tomas arrive to see if Desi’s changed his mind about his offer (or if Patricia has changed hers). Amy arrives to take Desi home and they’re nearly flattened by a car speeding out of the car park. DO YOU KNOW WHO IT COULD BE I CERTAINLY DON’T.

The next day Amy begs JB to talk sense into Desi but he’s not giving in to Max now that people have finally started listening to his music. Meanwhile, Max thinks the only way to get Desi onside is to whack Alex, which wouldn’t hurt Tomas’s chances with Patricia either. Did I mention Patricia and Alex are together? I’ve taken about a kilogram of cold and flu tablets, so anything’s possible today.

Over at Manhattan University Jessica has asked her old pal Lieutenant Abbe Esposito to come present to her crime writing class about how you shouldn’t get bogged down in forensics when writing your novel, but also to give JB the good word about Max Daniels and Tomas Aguilar. What makes her the authority about what makes a good detective novel we’ll never know, but she does know that Max Daniels is under investigation for racketeering and so on. While the good news is Tomas Aguilar has no criminal record, the bad news is that word on the street suggests Daniels is bringing in a hitman for a special job.

Alex finds Desi at Izas’ bar playing darts (this episode is very strong on the LOOK AT WHAT THIS PERSON WITH NO SIGHT CAN ACCOMPLISH except it is kind of making me feel like Desi has mystical powers and it’s a bit weird) and offers to withdraw to keep Max happy but Desi wants nothing to do with Max. Amy and Alex were the two people who stood with him through his years of lounge bar gigs, and he’s not about to give up on that.

Alex gets a phone call from a mystery man wanting to talk business – it turns out to be Max’s hitman setting up the hit. After he gets off the phone he tells Max if he calls it off it will still cost him but Max says there’s no way it’s being called off.  Alex explains he has a meeting to Desi but he’ll be back for the show.

This episode is 50% Time to Die and 50% Sound of Murder which equals 100% I’ve seen this before.

Three hours til showtime Patricia gets a call at the bar from Tomas – it’s clearly a warning about the hit and she takes off to meet him. Wilson Sloane drops in early to have a chat to Iza about how deeply Max has his claws into Ortega, but she tells him there’s no way, Luiz is his father’s son.

Patricia arrives at Tomas’s house and begs him to call it off, which he does – slowly and poutingly.

He’s so broody he might lay an egg. Wait, is that what I mean? Do I know what I mean? Of course not.

As Tomas and Patricia start making out, cut to a woman stabbing a block of ice with an icepick which is absolutely not foreshadowing at all.

Back at the bar, Max and Culligan roll in and despite Yza trying to block their entrance they take their seat in the front to watch Ortega. Patricia arrives a short time after and tells Alex she had to do something, that was why she was late. Tomas arrives just after her and joins Max at the table, but not before squaring off with Alex.

(Jessica apologises to Wilson for all the drama. “Don’t worry,” says Wilson. “You should have seen the party for the last Aerosmith album”)

Do I wish I’d thought of this while JB was actually holding a gun? Yes.  Am I still amused? Yes.

Tomas sits down with Max and Culligan but Max is pissed that he called off the hit on Alex and tells Tomas he’s a dead man. The lights go out for some kick ass quality smoke machine work and by the time Sam Desoto brings the lights back up Tomas is dead on a table with an icepick sticking out of his back.

Lieutenant Esposito is on the case and is flabbergasted to learn that the killer managed to find his way to Tomas in the dark, stabbed him, and then bolted all within ten seconds. Jess tells her there’s an icepick missing that she should be on the lookout for and bids her good luck.

After everyone leaves Ysa confronts Luiz and Patricia to find out what was going on between Alex and Tomas but they don’t know anything and to be honest neither do I because now I’ve got Janie’s Got A Gun stuck in my head. Whatever happens, Patricia confesses to Tomas’s Indent Proposalling and tells her brother that she was in his apartment that night. He goes over to hide the evidence but is busted by Lieutenant Esposito and arrested for conspiracy.

Sidebar – David Fincher directed the video clip for Janie’s Got A Gun. And Miss Scarlet from Clue played Janie’s mother. And Stephen Tyler opened a shelter for abused women called Janie’s House after meeting so many victims of abuse while he was in rehab.

Never underestimate my ability to get distracted.

Alex meets with Max and rejects his overtures of a job. but not before learning of how there was a hit on him and how Patricia called it off. Lieutenant Esposito drops JB’s statement around for her to sign, where she conveniently finds Patricia and arrests her since Luiz has been released.  Patricia asks JB to go console her mother, and she of course does. Patricia hits the roof but there’s nothing can be done right now. Desi is insulted that no one thinks he killed Tomas Aguilar, so JB asks him if he heard/smelled/touched/tasted anything suspicious that night. He takes himself back and remembers a noise like velcro being pulled apart. Amy bobs up to announce that JB’s doorman is on the phone, Alex is at JB’s apartment looking for her.

Jess returns to her apartment, tells Alex to go see Patricia, and calls Lieutenant Esposito to arrange it. In the middle of all that, she rips a post-it note off her wall and has an epiphany.

With Esposito’s help, JB wanders down to Yza’s bar and confronts the killer.

Because duh

Velcro ripping = phosphorescent tape being ripped. Sam Desoto was in love with Patricia and hated what he said about Patricia so he killed him. You know. The usual.

But the show must go on. And so Amy goes into labour, and JB pulls the below face, and Briony starts falling down a rock and roll hall of fame rabbit hole on youtube.

Later gang!