There’s big trouble in Mother England this week, Fletcherfans. Our Heroine’s cousin, Emma Macgill, is a) an aging caberet actress b) in danger and c) very familiar in the looks department.
Now I’m not sure if it’s the fur muffler, the dress, or the singing, but someone is out to get Ms Emma Macgill. It’s clearly noone in the audience though, since they’re all too busy singing along,
Methinks the grief may be coming from everyone else in the theatre like Archie, the guy who inherited half the theatre from his father and now wants to sell up, or his conniving wife Violet, or Kitty, the daughter of Oliver Trumble the opening act who is both a comedian who was last funny in 1937 and also bumping uglies with the star of the show. (If you’ve been playing along since Season 1, you’ll remember that an unfunny comedian is always the most likely suspect).
Meanwhile in Cabot Cove, JB gets a phone call informing her of her cousin’s tragic demise from Emma’s lawyer Ernest Fielding, who I’ve just realised was the Right Hand Of Death last season, and so clearly has form. JB quickly hops the concord for Heathrow, but is accosted on the street by Danny Briggs, a man who wants to buy Emma’s musical and enjoys doing crap impressions of Michael Caine.
(Sidenote: after googling Ernest Fielding I fell down an IMDB rabbit hole and ended up here. I COMPLETELY FORGOT THIS SHOW EXISTED, NOW EXCUSE ME WHILE I YOUTUBE).
Ahem. So, failed Michael Caine wants to get his Cockney hands on the music hall that Jess inherited about thirty seconds ago, (seems familiar right?), but Jess politely tells him to jog on, and meets up with the aforementioned Ernest Fielding. He escorts JB to his car and politely but firmly insists she get in the back.
Turns out it isn’t the reanimated flesh eating corpse of Our Heroine’s cousin (boo), it turns out Emma faked her own death. Through some devilishly clever cutaway shots, Emma, JB and Ernest
Hemingway Fielding try to nut out who exactly has it in for Emma. While drinking tea, since they are in London after all. Our Heroine is less than excited to learn that her cousin has set her up as a potential victim so she can discover who is trying to bump Emma off.
Having had quite enough of her cousin’s
rampant drug use bright ideas, JB decides to pay a visit on her old friend Inspector Kyle, who you may remember from such episodes as this one. Unfortunately he’s off on holidays so Jess enlists the help of Inspector Crimmins.
The next day, JB turns up at Emma’s ‘funeral’ in much the same way that Clint Eastwood walks into a bar. She has a bit of a poke around in Emma’s dressing room but is busted by her maid, Bridget. JB quizzes Bridget about Emma’s ‘accidents’ before she ‘died’ in a ‘car accident’ but Bridget doesn’t know terribly much. JB runs into Oliver and his daughter Kitty but they’re off on a secret Shakespearian mission. Or something.
Has anyone else noticed the distinct lack of murders in this episode of Murder She Wrote? Just saying.
Later that night, JB and Inspector
Spacetime Crimmins are having a quiet shandy when JB decides they need to go and search Emma’s flat for clues. It turns out to be a brilliant idea – they arrive just in time to see Bridget-the-maid, wearing Emma’s leopard print coat, get mown down by a car. SO THERE IS A MURDER, OKAY RELAX EVERYONE.
Inspector Crimmins calls time out on the whole Emma-faked-her-death thing and orders Emma and Ernest to go down to Scotland Yard. Word gets out that Emma is less dead than originally thought, and Archie (co-owner of the theatre) turns up to suss out just how undead Emma is, and if this new undead Emma might want to sell the theatre. Emma refuses to leave the flat and so JB and Inspector Crimmins go to see her to find out just exactly why her maid was breaking into her flat and stealing her leopard print coat. Our Heroine cuts right to the chase – noone would have been trying to run anyone down if they thought Emma was still dead (as opposed to her current undead status). JB smells a rat. A dirty, undead rat.
Emma comes clean and admits leaving a message for Oliver, letting him know that she was in fact undead. JB and Inspector Crimmins go to pay him a visit but he’s not at home. Crimmins suggests taking a listen to the ‘answering device’ and discover that he’s still on his Shakespearian mission, by which I mean audition. The message from the director of the play is on the machine, after the message from Emma advising her undeadness. JB goes to see his audition, the highlight of which is the part where he loses his mind and starts Shakespearian insulting everyone in sight. (Though he doesn’t drop the ‘You Painted Maypole!’ which has always been my favourite).
The director doesn’t take too kindly to this turn of events:
…leaving JB and Kitty to console poor Oliver. He brightens up when JB tells him she’s still alive, but he’s not impressed to hear that he’s the last to know. This suprises JB, who points out Emma called him and left a message. Oliver tells her he hasn’t been home, he’s been too busy begging for an audition. Unfortunately, Inspector Crimmins has other ideas and drags him off to Scotland Yard under arrest.
JB does not entirely agree with this view of the whole shebang, and goes off to see Emma, but Danny Briggs gets there first. Fortunately, Emma is nothing like Grady.
A peculiar thing happens. The bump on Danny’s head has knocked some sense into Our Heroine, and she’s worked out who the killer is…
There you have it guys. Kitty tried to bump Emma off 4 times and managed a 0% success rate. Well done, Kitty.
And on that rather depressing note…