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S12E15 – The Dark Side of the Door

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Thanks to everyone who tweeted along with me during The Last Free Man, aka the episode Jessica solves the mystery of racism. Not gonna lie, that one was grim. (I did bolt off to watch Avengers Endgame when I realised that school holidays were over and guys, it was good).

And now, to business. After this, there are only nine episodes left. Single digits. It is, in fact, the final countdown.

Down on the docks of New York harbour…

(It isn’t that one, but damn the thought made me happy for a minute)

…a woman named Nora Delano is blackmailing a writer by the name of Dirk Mattheson for a quarter of the advance for his next book. He tells her he’ll think about it and walks off. She goes to walk away but gets shot instead.

Earlier that day, high in the tower of Hartley Publishing, JB receives line edits from her new copyeditor, Erin Garman. The newly promoted and nervous Erin spots a continuity error with the make of gun in the book, and JB is quick to tell her that it’s a leftover from a previous draft, but well done for spotting it.

I love it. She doesn’t just say thanks, she has to explain why the error is in there. SHE’S THE ABSOLUTE BOSS QUEEN

JB tells her that her meteoric rise within the publisher is proof her trust in Erin is well founded, and Erin is just grateful not to be working with the new signing Dirk Mattheson, who is apparently a bit temperamental.

The man himself is having a lunch meeting with his agent Charles NoLastName and Hartley editor Laura Kerwin (previously seen here lord what a long time ago) and only wants to hear when he’s getting his money. Charles sends him on his way so he can have a private word with Laura about signing her to his agency as an agent.

Back at Hartley HQ Laura gives Erin Dirk’s manuscript to read. Erin gets a phone call from her mother wanting to know if she bought the apartment she was looking at but Erin decided it was too expensive. Erin’s mother Terry tells her that’s exactly why her grandfather left her the trust fund, but Erin changes the subject and tells her mother she can’t come to dinner, she has to make notes for a new book. Terry tells her that’s fine, she’ll just whizz on out to the Hamptons with Erin’s stepfather Mike (played by the aforementioned John Oliver, now known as Gerry Bean apparently) to check on the progress of the health club they’re building.

Off the phone, Mike shows Terry the new plans for the club and Terry is horrified. It turns out she’s paying for the new health club with Erin’s trust fund and needs to put the money back before Erin finds out. Terry tells Mike she could be prosecuted, but Mike says there’s no way Erin will send her mother to jail. Club employee Sonny wanders past to see why they were looking for him and Terry excuses herself. Mike tells Sonny he’s noticed some discrepancies with his bookkeeping and Sonny tells him he’s been lax but he’ll get on it. Sonny is angling for the manager job at the new club but Mike tells him they’re interviewing other people.

That night Erin sets to reading Dirk’s manuscript and completely freaks out when she discovers the story is clearly based on her kidnapping as a child. Panicked, she calls the detective who investigated her case originally but Lieutenant Phil Corelli has his hands full right now and isn’t terribly interested – he’s just been called to investigate a murder down by the docks.

The next day JB is summoned to Erin’s office to help calm her down, along with Erin’s boyfriend Drew Finley. Jessica is stunned to hear the news and doesn’t quite know what to make of it but Erin tells her she’s sure, despite all the times in the past she was sure too. Jess believes her and accompanies her down to see Lieutenant Correlli, who tells her that even if Dirk was involved, the statute of limitations has expired on her kidnapping and there’s nothing he could do.

Corelli’s sidekick Detective Rogers drops by to deliver the photos of the Jane Doe they found at the docks. Erin snatches them and tells Correlli that the woman was the one who kidnapped her all those years before. Correlli doesn’t want to believe it but JB points out the photo is a match to the police sketch from the kidnapping.

Cut to Dirk having happy hour with Laura behind Charles’s back.

Cut to the health club, where Erin chats to Sonny since her mother is late back from the Hamptons. Terry turns up at the last minute and is stunned to hear that the kidnapper is dead. She wants to know what Dirk says about it all but Erin doesn’t know if the police have spoken to him yet. Terry suggests Erin and Drew take off to the Bahamas for a week, all expenses paid, but Erin tells her no. She’ll be fine. She has a job to do…and takes a gun out of a filing cabinet on the way out.

That night Detective Rogers bumps into Drew outside Hartley Publishing and wants to confirm Erin’s alibi for the night of the murder. Erin arrives a short time later and Rogers excuses himself. Drew wants to go out for dinner but Erin tells him she’s tired and wants to stay home, which is code for going around to Dirk’s place and pulling a gun on him. Corelli has a suspicion this might have been Erin’s plan and he’s not far behind her. Since the gun is empty there’s not much he can do so he orders Erin escorted from the scene so he can have a quiet chat with Dirk about just how the dead woman had his hotel phone number in her possession. Dirk explains that he met Nora in a bar when they were both drunk and she told him the story of the kidnapping. He ran with it as a work of fiction and then met her at the docks when she wanted a cut of his money. He had no reason to kill her, he tells Corelli, because he’d already decided to pay her. Egos are expensive.

Jess pops around the health club to fill in Terry and Mike on Erin’s shenanigans and to deliver a copy of Dirk’s manuscript for Terry to read. Terry asks JB if there are any other clues as to Nora’s accomplice in the kidnapping but JB says not really – just that it was a man with enough inside knowledge to know how to pull it off. In the book, it says the kidnapper tampered with Terry’s car and that’s why she wasn’t there to pick Erin up but Terry tells JB the police looked into it and couldn’t find any evidence the car had been tampered with. JB thinks it’s possible Dirk was involved with the kidnapping, but that writing a book about it seems like a very odd thing to do.

While Charles and Laura go into damage control about Dirk’s new book (and Laura tells Charles he might need to have a word with his client), Erin returns to work. Drew is waiting for her in her office but Erin’s got more important things to do, like internet search where Dirk has been the last ten years. Laura confronts Dirk about all his shady dealings and he tells her that a) he had nothing to do with the kidnapping, b) yes he was going to screw over his agent but he won’t and c) the reason why he wanted a longterm deal with Hartley was because of her. Laura tells him if they’d had this conversation three days earlier, they’d be speaking in his bed. Lucky for her, they aren’t.

JB has a go at getting access to Dirk’s source material but she gets nowhere, only learning that Dirk made a guess that the kidnapper’s hideout was in the West Village. Over at the health club, Mike tells Sonny they’re going with someone else to manage the club in the Hamptons.

That night Terry confronts Dirk but she gets even more nothing than JB. At the precinct, JB agrees to help Lieutenant Corelli get his five-year-old son into art school, and exchanges theories on what Nora did with the ransom money given that she lived in a trailer park when she died. Corelli gets a hot tip that Dirk making it rain at the time of the kidnapping and decides to go over for another chat – only to find him dead on the floor with Drew hovering over the body. Drew swears he only just arrived but Corelli arrests him anyway. Jess finds a suicide note in the typewriter, in which Dirk confesses to everything.

Corelli thinks this is a clear cut case of either Drew killed Dirk or Dirk killed Dirk, but JB isn’t so sure. All of Dirk’s recorded interviews with Nora have disappeared – Corelli thinks Dirk destroyed them to save his reputation but Jess argues why would he do that if he was killing himself anyway. The whole thing is dodgy.

The next day a gunshot residue test proves Drew is innocent and Dirk killed himself, but Jess still wants to know where the tapes are. Corelli is more interested in knowing if JB’s friend has written a glowing endorsement of his son’s fingerpainting for the art school and JB tells him as soon as she’s heard she’ll let him know. (I like to think she puts these favours off until she can’t put them off any more). Erin is relieved that Drew isn’t a killer, but JB is stuck on those tapes. Where are they? Why did Dirk have them in the first place if he was a kidnapper? Are the tapes nothing more than Dirk taping the top 40 off the radio, rushing to hit pause so he doesn’t record an ad break (and by Dirk I mean me).

Jess tracks down the kidnapper’s lair with the help of Drew, who works for the City of New York. They find Erin’s secret stash of jacks and dried carrots she didn’t want to eat. A cracked painting on the floor gives Jess an idea. Over at the club, Sonny tells Mike he has all the proof that he and Terry have been embezzling out of Erin’s trust fund but is happy to be made a third owner of the Hamptons health club.  Terry and Erin have an argument in Erin’s office that seems to be about whether Erin blames her mother for the kidnapping?

Jess and Lieutenant Corelli go back to Dirk’s hotel room and dig around in the pot plant to discover a second bullet. Corelli gets a phone call and tells Jess they finally found the maid who was working Dirk’s floor when he was killed. She says she saw Erin at the hotel room the day Dirk was killed.

Sidenote, JB has her own sheriff’s badge.

LICENSE TO JUDGE

Erin admits to being at the hotel but swears she didn’t get past the front door. Drew followed her there and talked her into going home. When Drew went into the hotel room and found Dirk dead he assumed Erin did it. Detective Rogers informs them that Dirk had a big win on the horses at the time of the kidnapping, eliminating his involvement. A picture of a rabbit eating a carrot gives JB all the answers she needs.

After Erin leaves the precinct with her mother and Drew (and Terry calls the house to arrange dinner and a white tablecloth), JB sets her trap and waits.

Well, this took a dark turn.

Terry and Mike, dating at the time of the kidnapping, arranged the kidnapping to get the ransom to open the health club and then killed everyone who threatened to expose the plot. Which is all a bit grim, but I must admit this episode was a good one.

Later gang!

 

 

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!

S12E11 – Unwilling Witness

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, and there are crisis talks in the boardroom of Logan Investments. Guys, you’re not going to believe this, but apparently, they’ve been actively doing some shady stuff in finance land.

A dodgy trader? How very quaint. Such things would never happen now.

#nailedit

The CEO of the company is Paige Corbin (aka Frank Burns from MASH) and he is trying to stay calm but the chairman of the board Mason Logan cheerfully informs them they’re on the deck of the Titanic and there’s a large iceberg coming. Mason’s son Nick pops in to inform them that they’re going to be raided in five minutes and Mason suggests they start shredding and take the rest of the day off.

The elevator doors open and the office is swamped by agents led by federal prosecutor Annette Rayburn. She hands the warrant to vice-president Tiffany Beckman and demands to see Mason Logan. Tiffany informs her that Mason is not in today, perhaps she can come back tomorrow. Undeterred, Annette wants Tiffany to tell Paige Corbin that the axe is falling on his head.

Word of the raid hits the TV, and specifically the TV of Our Heroine who is Very Concerned by the news, especially that the president of Logan Investments, Doug Freemont has avoided testifying in front of a grand jury and has nicked off to Argentina. She calls Logan Investments wanting answers but instead gets a cigar stroking (not code) SEC agent who tells her to call her lawyer and get ready to sue the pants off this bunch of crooks.

But thanks for the advice Rando,

Back at the raid news photographer Ted Duffy has finagled his way inside and is snapping away when Annette busts him and orders a passing cop to throw him out. Ted leaves, but not before snapping photos of vice president Reed Harding sneaking into an office and removing a floppy disk labelled Hong Kong. He emerges from the office, and Tiffany asks him if he’s got the disk. He tells her it’s going to make them rich, “-are you in babe?”

“All the way. And don’t call me babe.” Says Tiffany.

Annette finds Paige Corbin and hands him a subpoena to appear before the grand jury. Paige is shocked to hear that president Doug Fremont has taken off to South America, according to Mason Logan’s advice according to his wife. Paige says he’s been friends with Mason for 30 years and Annette tells him he’s banking on their friendship keeping him silent.

JB summons her lawyer Lou to get a damage report and the news is grim. Fortunately, she wasn’t that invested, it was just a few shares she’d bought for her grandniece’s birthday after she gave a pep talk about how investing drives the economy (remembering of course that this was the 90s before we switched to an economy based on memes). Lou the lawyer tells her he’ll try and recover the money she lost, but JB wants to know what she will tell that little girl.

(I’m sure that girl grew up fine, she’s probably an Instagram influencer or a Mommy Blogger or something)

That night Paige gets cracking on a whiskey-based solution to his problems, and has a fight with his daughter Maria who is only back at his house to collect some more of her clothes but never mind that because ARGH

All this episode needs now is an Alison Janney cameo and I’ll probably explode.

Paige and Maria fight, and he tells her to give her the key to his apartment. She leaves, furious and Paige commends himself for making sure she’s not involved in what’s about to happen. Later, he drunkenly visits Mason to demand answers but Mason tells him Annette is trying to convince him to testify against Mason as a way to build up to arresting Mason.

After Paige leaves, Mason calls his son Nick and tells him that job he needed has now become a necessity, he’ll be at the townhouse. Nick says he’ll take care of it and hangs up. He apologises to his date, he has an errand to run. His date tells him to come by later, she’ll be awake. Guys his date is Maria.

Nick heads to Paige’s apartment and starts banging on the door for a chat. Paige starts panicking and loads his suitcase with files before finding a phone number in his Rolodex.  It rings and rings before someone finally picks up – it’s JB, returned from a grocery store run. Apparently, that’s not who Paige wanted to talk to so he hangs up just as Nick bursts through the front door.

The next day, Annette’s boss John Wicks informs her that Paige has gone missing and that the powers that be want to shut her investigation down, but Annette’s not bothered.  Meanwhile, JB is down at a precinct signing books for local police when she runs into her old friend Lieutenant Shawn Riley, who is delighted to see her but has to run, he’s investigating the disappearance of Paige Corbin. JB signs another book for a man named Bill Morgan who is looking for forgiveness – for the subpoena he’s about to serve her to appear in front of Annette’s grand jury.

Jess is mystified and so is Lou the Lawyer – who wouldn’t you know it, used to date Annette in law school and was about to propose when she dumped him. He says he’ll try and get more information out of her.  Meanwhile, Maria confronts Nick about the errand he had to run the night before, and all he will tell her is that it’s better she doesn’t know.

Lou finds Annette on her way to work and while she seems happy to see him, she’s giving him nothing about JB’s subpoena. Apparently, she’s being summoned for the same reason Lou got dumped – because Annette wanted it to happen.

Time passes, and…

The day shouting doink doink at courtroom scenes stops being funny is not a day I want to experience.

Annette demands to know why Paige Corbin called JB that night but JB says she has never met Paige Corbin, there’s no reason for him to call her. Annette pulls out a phone log and gets Jessica to confirm that the number is hers.

“Let the record show that the phone number is area code 212-124-7199.” Announces Annette.

JB is getting a lot of Christmas party invites this year.

Annette ploughs on, producing a partial list of Logan Investment customers. Jessica says she has government bonds too, but she’s never met the president of the United States.

MOVING ON.

Jessica scores points by telling everyone the phone was ringing when she got home from the grocery store, but the caller hung up the minute she answered, and this is reflected in the phone log. Annette, however, is undeterred and suggests that the short call was a signal between Paige and JB to signal something was about to happen. She orders JB to tell her one more time why Paige called her, and Jessica tells her that she doesn’t know how many other ways to tell her that she doesn’t know why. Annette finds her in contempt of court and sends her off for a hearing.

If you’ve ever worked in a call centre, you will have found that entire exchange relatable.

Tiffany and Reed read about the disappearance of Paige in the paper and wonder how it will affect their success with the grand jury but Reed decides that it’s going to push the value of the Hong Kong disk right up. Ted Duffy the photographer appears and shows them the photo he took of Reed nabbing the disk. He tells them the photos are a souvenir, the negatives are on sale for ten grand. Reed says he’ll give Duffy fifty grand if he finds Paige Corbin before everyone else. Duffy decides fifty is better than ten and starts tailing Nick Logan.

Lou springs Jessica from her contempt hearing on a technicality, and Jess decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands – she’ll dodge the next subpoena while trying to figure out why Paige called her. She enlists the help of Lieutenant Riley and heads over to Paige’s house to look for clues. While JB starts examining Paige’s Rolodex, there’s a knock at the door. Riley goes to answer it and finds Annette Reyburn, who’d been advised by Riley’s office that he’d had a call from JB. He says yes, they met for coffee but that’s it, he doesn’t know where she is right now and he’s in the middle of trying to find Paige Corbin. Annette asks for a phone call if JB gets in touch and departs.

JB appreciates Riley fudging the facts and more to the point has worked out why Paige called her – an incredibly convoluted 90s situation involving a Rolodex flipping over without someone dialling a landline noticing. They dial the number Paige meant to dial, but it turns out to be an answering service. Another flip through the Rolodex gives them the address of a storage facility in Queens – Jess thinks it’s odd that Soho Storage is filed under L – unless Soho Storage was filed under L for Logan.

Riley and JB head on up to the storage unit, and find Paige Corbin murdered. Nick Mason appears just after they find the body but swears he had nothing to do with any of it – he went and collected Paige from his townhouse, yes, but nothing more than that. Annette wants to know if JB’s been in touch, but Riley says no (JB is long gone at this point).

Maria, devastated at her father’s murder, confronts Mason who tells her he had nothing to do with any of it and is as devastated as she is. JB barges in demanding answers and she’s not leaving until she gets them.

“I went into some old newspaper files on Internet this afternoon,” says JB. (On internet! I’m dying). Anyway, she read about another time Mason was under investigation by the SEC but it was dropped when the lead investigator died in a mysterious car crash twenty years earlier. Mason doesn’t know anything about that, and the interview is cut short when Mason’s secretary buzzes to let them know the SEC are here with warrants. JB hides behind the door while Bill Morgan serves Mason with a bench warrant, but Mason tells him he’s terribly sorry he’s about to go into hospital for spine surgery. Bill asks Maria and Mason if they’d happened to see JB but they tell him no.

Ted is summoned to a meeting with Reed and Tiffany. When he gets there though it’s just Tiffany and she wants to deal – 100 grand if Ted steals the Hong Kong disk from Reed. Ted is tempted but with the death of Paige Corbin, he’s not feeling disposed to getting involved in her scam. Reed joins them soon after and they toast to having a better week.

John Wicks tells Annette that her investigation has been terminated, but she begs him to give her 24 hours to tie it all up. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Riley has done a bit of digging into the death of the SEC agent back in the day and learned there was a witness to the hit and run – the agent’s ten-year-old daughter, who later provided a sketch of the driver to authorities. Fun fact, it looks a lot like Paige Corbin.

Riley doesn’t see how any of this relates to the murder of Annette Rayburn’s star witness and just saying those words leads JB to promptly solve the case. A phone call, a trip to the crime scene and JB  is done. She sidles up to Bill Morgan and accepts her subpoena, for as her mother used to say:

Word from JB’s mother.

The grand jury resumes with Annette going after JB again. JB offers to prove the phone call from Paige was an accident and asks to address the jury directly but Annette hits the roof. Her boss wanders in with Lieutenant Riley and tells her it’s a hearing, she should hear what JB has to say.

But she kind of doesn’t need to really.

Not surprised, if I’m honest.

Annette Reyburn’s real name is Carla Holland – the daughter of the dead SEC agent. She recognised Paige Corbin as the driver of the hit and run that killed her father, and the rest is murder. (She left her earring at the crime scene, it turns out)

Culprit arrested, Riley is escorting her out of the courthouse when Reed Harding appears with the Hong Kong disk, wanting to cut a deal. Annette asks Riley to arrest him too.

Case closed. I’m off next week but I’ll be back the week after!

Later gang!

 

 

 

S12E09 – Deadly Bidding

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Once upon a time in New York two years ago, Kenneth Rundle (played uncredited by Edd Byrnes aka Vince Fontaine from Grease) stole a Degas painting from a museum and took it round to struggling painter Angus Neville’s house.

I apologise in advance for this week’s post.

Angus assured Kenneth that he can disguise the Degas without damaging it, and showed him the painting that will go over the top of the Degas – an original work entitled Arrangement in Grey And Red.

Once upon a time in New York one month ago, Kenneth Rundle gets roughed up by a couple of toughs in a car park, looking for the Degas. Rundle has a heart attack and dies.

FACT! BASED! REPORTING! NOTHING BUT FACTS!

Once upon a time in New York right now (but more specifically 1995), JB has her Museum Board hat on and is on the phone to gallery owner Felix Wesker about an Arthur Conan Doyle manuscript he is selling. JB wants another look at the manuscript as Felix has screwed them before (unintentionally according to Felix) but Felix has already sent it to the auction house so if JB wants to look at it she’ll have to go there.

Do not mess with JB in murder mode or museum mode.

The museum’s assistant curator, Reggie Evers, is hoping that Felix has had a look at her boyfriend’s photography portfolio but he tells her he’ll get to it in a couple of days.

Felix gets off the phone and is confronted by Angus Neville, who wants to know why his painting is lit so badly and also can he borrow fifty thousand dollars so he can buy his painting back. Felix tells him absolutely not happening.

Angus isn’t the only one interested in buying Arrangement in Grey and Red. A dude by the name of Milt Solomon represents a private collector who doesn’t want it known he is interested in Angus’s painting so he is engaging the services of a representative to bid on their behalf.

This is Charlie’s last episode, you guys.

Charlie doesn’t know art or auctions, but he knows an inside scoop and he wants to know why Milt’s client is so interested. Milt tells him he wants to buy it, hang it on the wall and look at it, and all Charlie needs to do is not bid one cent over 100K.

Over at the auction house, auction chief Giles Havelock oversees final arrangements for the auction, while his assistant Diana Barrow tells Pete Dunning (Reggie’s boyfriend and assistant at the auction house) to tell the caterers that if she sees one more canape with cheese sauce or mayonnaise they are fired. Reggie tells Giles that JB is just finishing up her examination of the Conan Doyle manuscript and she has questions.

Diana goes to meet her boyfriend for a quick walk and guys wouldn’t you know it, it’s Milt Solomon. Somehow they know what’s really going on underneath Arrangement in Grey and Red and they want it for themselves. Diana’s furious that Milt only gave 100K to Charlie to bid, but she decides any other serious bidder will be someone who knows the true value of the painting and the only person she can think of is Angus, who can’t afford it.

Jess can’t find fault with the manuscript, but she just can’t shake the feeling that it’s a fake. Giles understands, he doesn’t trust anything either especially anything Felix sells. But it doesn’t sell for much, it’s had a couple of owners so it doesn’t seem worth faking. Meanwhile, Reggie and Pete have a fight about Reggie showing Pete’s photographs to Felix.

Speaking of which, Felix decides to take another look at Arrangement in Grey and Red but doesn’t explain why to Diana. He is interested in what she knows about the seller, Serena Rundle, and Diana tells him not much, just that she seems to be liquidating her late husband’s estate.

Back at home, Angus is having no luck trying to find someone to bankroll his efforts to buy back his painting when he gets a visit from the two goons who scared Kenneth Rundle to death. Angus thinks they are looking to buy one of his paintings but Mr Mezznou tells him if Angus bids on Arrangement in Grey and Red, or gets anyone to do so for him, Mezznou and his associate will kill everyone involved.

Auction night rolls around and while Charlie tries to make sense of such a circus, Felix tells Angus he’s worked out why Angus is so interested in buying his painting back. Angus persuades him to buy it and they’ll split the profits – Angus suggests 60/40 but Felix only agrees when he drops it to 90/10.

JB loiters in the corner throwing back bubbles and chatting to Peter. She confirms to Felix that despite her misgivings the museum will bid on the manuscript. Felix wanders off and Peter tells her he has to get some artworks out for the auction, but he’ll definitely look into the previous owners of the manuscript for her. He produces the code for the door on a piece of paper and gets inside while across the room Angus watches on. The newly widowed Mrs Rundle is cornered by Mezznou and his associate who are keen to find out more about where her late husband acquired the painting but Giles steps in and shoos them away. Reggie and Peter chat in his office, and Angus steals the code for the door out of Peter’s pocket.

The auction kicks off, while JB reviews the information Peter got for her in regards to the previous owners. The last three times the manuscript came up for auction it was through Felix Wesker, and the buyer had a T next to their name. This can only be valuable intel. Just as the manuscript comes up for auction, JB bumps into Charlie.

Guys if I could explain this I would.

JB has no time for Charlie just now though, she has a manuscript to bid on. That shady cat Felix decides to throw a spanner in the works by bidding to jack the price up (just like buying a house in Melbourne, probably) but taps out when Jessica reaches the limit the museum gave her.

Jess sits back to celebrate as the next item is brought up for auction – Arrangement in Grey and Red. Bidding kicks off at thirty grand and eventually turns into a bidding war between Charlie, Felix and Mezznou.  Charlie taps out at a hundred grand as instructed, but then accidentally bids four hundred grand on it waving at Jessica and wins it anyway.

Ah the classic accidental bid at auction scenario.

After the dust settles, Diana puts a panicked call into Milt who tells her he can’t get more money and she tells him she can’t either. Giles walks in so she hangs up the phone. Giles is happy with the evening’s result, though apparently a couple of Angus Neville fans aren’t too happy – they were on the phone bidding when Diana put them on hold and then they were disconnected. They were less mad when they heard how much the painting went for.

Over dinner, JB explains to Charlie just how screwed he is when a waiter appears to tell Charlie there’s a call on the house phone. Charlie’s surprised, as no one could know where he was but the waiter assures him the caller asked for Charlie by name. Charlie wanders off to see who’s on the phone – but it’s Mezznou and his pal, and they’re not happy that Charlie didn’t listen to the warning Angus received. Charlie tells them to back off, and they start laying into him. It’s only when Jessica appears and threatens to call the police that Mezznou and pal depart.

Jessica and Charlie adjourn to JB’s apartment for a nightcap but Charlie’s got a big day trying to find some cash and so takes off. Back at the auction house Angus breaks in and steals the painting. He takes it home, but no sooner does he get home there’s a knock on the door. Angus recognises whomever it is and opens it. He says “Look, if this is about my painting,” and is stabbed to death by the guy at the door.

The next day the police are all over it, led by Sergeant Unger who is stoked that JB was at the auction as it means one less person he needs to track down. (As we all know, JB is friends with every cop in New York. Clues are thin on the ground – there’s a piece of paper with what they think is a phone number on it (which JB recognizes as the security code for the auction house), a frame that has had the painting cut out of it, and the news that there was a theft from the auction house the previous night – Arrangement in Red and Grey has gone AWOL. Jessica mentions that that is the painting Charlie bought, and Unger is surprised to learn JB is acquainted with such a loser as Charlie Garrett.

Down at the auction house, Reggie tells Peter about the security code being found but he’s as puzzled as she is. He couldn’t track down any of the former owners of the Conan Doyle manuscript, but he did manage to find out that all the winners were phone bids. Upstairs, Giles is on the phone reassuring patrons about their security. He’s printed out a list of recent art thefts for JB as requested.

Milt and Diana’s relationship appears to not be surviving the disappointment of not acquiring Arrangement in Grey and Red, while Felix is sorry that Charlie’s painting has gone missing but he is too busy to care. Charlie tells him he thinks he knows where the painting is but Felix doesn’t care – he has a gallery full of Angus’s painting and now that he’s dead the value has quadrupled. Lieutenant Unger arrives and would like a word with Charlie immediately.

JB and Peter manage to discover that all the previous owners of the Doyle manuscript were dead when they bought them (awkward) and they stumble onto Kenneth Rundle’s obituary which happens to mention that he was a life-long bachelor, something that would be a surprise presumably to his widow.

Back down at the auction house, Unger has a word with Peter who has no idea how the security code ended up with Angus. It is very clear that Unger thinks that Peter is involved but simply tells Peter not to leave town.

Over lunch, JB explains to Charlie exactly what he’s gotten himself into – she has worked out what Arrangement in Red and Grey really was, and that Kenneth’s wife is a lie. Charlie is more interested in what the painting is worth.

I mean I could explain this, but honestly, some things are better left unexplained tbh

Jessica thinks it’s time they went to the police but she wants to know for certain Charlie knew nothing of any of it – and just as she asks this Mezznou and his friend wander over to their table, as Felix told them that Charlie knows where the painting is and it would be terrible if they all ended up dead from not sharing that information. Taking matters into her own hands, Jess spills a bowl of soup and they make a dash for it – only to run into Rundle’s widow, who is actually an FBI agent with questions, and Sergeant Unger, who has questions of his own.

It turns out the FBI was onto Kenneth Rundle for a long time, and they suspected there was more to Arrangement in Red and Grey than met the eye, so they decided to keep the painting on offer to see who else knew. The agent has plenty of questions for Charlie but Unger gets in first so she sashays away. Unfortunately for Unger Charlie’s alibi checks out – the waitress at the diner Charlie loitered at that night said it was like time stood still, six cups of coffee for a twenty cent tip.

I don’t know what that means either, but Jess does and she sets a trap to prove it.

And of course…

Let’s be honest, this wasn’t a complete surprise.

Giles was late to the ‘Oh that’s a Degas’ party, but he got there, and was going to bail out the auction house with it. Also the Conan Doyle manuscript was totally fake, which they worked out from a passing news bulletin on the television. Nice work MSW writers.

And so we say good-bye to another regular. Peace out Charlie Garrett, the not-quite Harry Macgraw.

Onwards and upwards, Fletcherfans.

 

 

 

S12E01 – Nailed

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Fletcherfans! Welcome to 2019 and welcome to the last season of Murder She Wrote. Who’dve thunk it? Certainly not me, I can barely commit to a hairdresser, but here we are.

SPEAKING OF HAIRDRESSERS! We are back in the Newest of Yorks, where there are cops driving and people abseiling off buildings and running around with bloody knives. You know, the usual. JB is getting her hair and her nails did simultaneously at Antoinette’s on Fifth Avenue, and being treated like the Queen she is. Her hairdresser Jimmy has to rush off to a TV demonstration on Nancy Rayburn’s TV show, leaving the manicurist Diane to deliver the news to JB – Diane and Jimmy are engaged which is all terribly exciting.

My celebratory drink of choice for weddings, engagements, births, making it to the weekend…

Lieutenant Sam Kriley inexplicably wanders into the salon to get a guest list from JB – apparently, all the abseiling and knives and cops was a result of JB’s friend Agnes returning home early from a museum board meeting and surprising a burglar. Kriley is convinced that it’s the work of the same burglar targeting high-end apartments all over Manhattan and that Agnes was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but she will recover.

Jessica bumps into fellow board member Kathy Stafford is also at the salon (clearly they get a group discount) and is a) relieved that Agnes will recover and b) will have the meeting minutes faxed over tomorrow. Jess then runs into fellow mystery writer Steve Burke, who is working in the salon as research for his novel, which JB is loving apparently.

Over at Nancy Rayburn’s TV show, Jimmy runs into Ralph Stafford, who I assume is Kathy’s husband. Jimmy and Ralph are planning to go into business but Jimmy’s getting cold feet and Ralph’s not having a bar of it. Also, Nancy is totally having a fling with Ralph and is ignoring her producer Madelyn Sweetzer’s warnings about how shady he is, even while he’s on the phone being yelled at by business partners.

Back at the salon…

BEHOLD ITS INFINITE MAJESTY

…JB still hasn’t left yet but is giving a big bag of books to the salon owner, the aforementioned Antoinette. Side note, I binged that Marie Kondo show on Netflix and I learned that a) compared to most people I don’t own any clothes at all, and b) KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY BOOKS MARIE. In my defence, I drunkenly counted how many books I owned last year and guys it wasn’t great. But I got rid of like twenty! And bought about forty, look it’s the circle of life whatever it’s fine don’t worry about it.

Anyway, the bag of books is a donation for a school raffle and Antoinette is stoked about it. She’s less stoked about the persistent rumours that Jimmy is leaving her salon, and JB says there’s no proof it’s happening. Antoinette’s still worried though, Jimmy has VIP clients all over the place and if he goes so do they.

Phoebe the receptionist goes on break, leaving Steve to cover the phones and fetch nail polish colours for nail technicians. Nancy swans in for her appointment with Jimmy. She bumps into Kathy Stafford, who tells her that she’s had several discussions with her husband and she’s made it clear that she won’t put up with his fooling around. Nancy says “That’s the hellraiser I knew in college!”

#awkward.

Kathy meets Ralph for lunch at the Cafe Metropole, and he helpfully doesn’t notice her new hairdo. The head waiter at the cafe sends his best wishes to Agnes for a speedy recovery – then gets a phone call from someone in which he says it wasn’t his fault Agnes came home early, they’re just lucky she didn’t see his face. Meanwhile, Ralph gets a prized silver dollar off Kathy to use as collateral to get Jimmy’s hair salon off the ground.

Jess wanders down to the precinct to give Kriley a helpful tip – at least three of the burglary victims were clients at Antoinette’s, there was a good chance that someone there was in on the whole thing. Kriley says thanks, he’s off to chat to Agnes and will drop JB off on the way. Meanwhile, Ralph meets a shady guy off a bus who has made a counterfeit of the silver dollar. He tells Ralph a true collector will spot the fake immediately, and to forget his name.

That night at closing time, Phoebe the receptionist puts Steve in charge of straightening everything up. He checks on Antoinette, who tells him she’ll close up, but needs him to drop a pair of glasses belonging to Nancy Rayburn around to her apartment. Diane warns Jimmy about leaving Antoinette to get involved in Ralph’s shady shenanigans and says he hits on her every time he’s in the salon, to which Jimmy says “Can I blame him?”

ZZZZT. WRONG ANSWER, TRY AGAIN DUMBASS. Antoinette overhears everything and watches them go, gulping what I assume is bourbon. In the car park, Phoebe runs into Ralph who wants her help finding out who is talking Jimmy out of signing the contract. He offers Phoebe (who used to date Jimmy back in the day) the manager role at Jimmy’s salon, and she says she doesn’t know much but she knows someone who might.

Across town, Ralph drops in on Nancy and gives her the silver dollar (code, but also not code) as collateral for a cheque for 400K that she’s giving him. They make out in the doorway for a while before he leaves, not noticing his wife hiding in the corridor crying. Brutal.

Even later that night, Steve drops around Nancy’s place to deliver the glasses and interrupts the burglar stealing the silver dollar. He gets whacked on the head, and the burglar legs it.

The next morning Jessica rolls into the precinct office, the recipient of Steve’s one phone call – the NYPD found him on the floor next to an empty silver dollar box and arrested him for burglary. Old mate is not having a good day. Jess vouches for him and tells Kriley that half of Manhattan new Nancy wasn’t going to be home the previous night. Curiously, there is no mention of the silver dollar in the list of stolen things. Funny that.

Ralph the Creep is at Antoinette’s getting his nails done when he finds out about the burglary and calls Nancy. She tells him she didn’t report the silver dollar being stolen so that Kathy wouldn’t find out about it, but since it’s insured no problem right? Also, she needs new collateral or her 400K back.

Ralph decides to change course and has a little word with Diane about how he thinks she will convince Jimmy to sign the contract. Across town, old mate head waiter has just discovered the coin is a fake, while Jimmy delivers the bad news to Antoinette. He’s off to start his own salon with Ralph.

Ralphy boy is summoned to a meeting with the head waiter, whose name is apparently Billy, who wants 50K or he will tell Kathy and Nancy all about Ralph’s double cross. Ralph laughs and says now that he knows who the Uptown Burglar is he’ll be off to the police thank you very much. Unbeknownst to the pair of them, Nancy’s producer Madelyn Sweetzer is sitting at the next table and hears the whole thing. Good lord this episode is exhausting.

Down at the TV station, Madelyn delivers the news to Nancy, who is stunned – even more so when Madelyn informs her that the show has been cancelled and will finish at the end of the month. Kathy appears to confront her but Madelyn says she’ll meet her at a bar around the corner.

Later that night there’s a party to farewell Jimmy from Antoinette’s salon, but no one really seems that celebratory apart from Wreck-it Ralph. Jimmy and Diane seem nervous, JB is sad, and Kathy Stafford is morose. Antoinette makes an appearance, but storms off after Ralph tells her they could have been partners but these days he likes to have younger, prettier faces around him.

Ralph later went on to become president. I mean, wait, what?

Antoinette bumps into Jess and they commiserate – she misplaces her bag but it turns up on the bar. Steve arrives late, after borrowing a suit from his brother. Ralph gets a note from Jimmy asking to meet him at Antoinette’s after the party. Phoebe arrives just as JB is leaving, and wants to hear about Steve’s book progress.

Cut to Antoinette’s salon, where Jimmy walks into a room and Ralph is dead in a chair, a pair of scissors sticking out of his back. Good riddance.

The next day, Kriley is all over the crime scene – Jimmy doesn’t appear to admit to being in the salon the night before but does admit the scissors are his. Apparently, it was Steve who found the body when he came in to open up. The silver dollar was left on the bench, ruling out a burglary. Steve is getting into the detecting business with Jess and swears there’s something missing from the station where Ralph died.

Outside, Diane confesses to Jimmy that Ralph had the dirt on her – specifically how she made a living when she was kicked out of home aged 16. Jimmy tells her he doesn’t care about that, he likes her now. Better answer Jimmy. Down at the Cafe Metropole Billy gets a call from his partner saying that Ralph’s death meant they were off the hook, but Billy is worried about the silver dollar boxes. Turns out he should be more worried about police taps, Kriley has heard the whole thing. He can’t place the voice on the other end of the call, but Jessica can.

They head down to Antoinette’s and despite her protests of innocence, Phoebe is arrested. Antoinette is also taken downtown when it’s discovered her prints are on the scissors. Jessica thinks this is a weak case, but Kriley is convinced.

Preach it sister.

Kriley is convinced he’s got it all sorted but Jess has other ideas. She recruits Steve to help her set the trap et voila!

This I did not see coming.

Instead of being mad that Ralph treated them both terribly, they teamed up and murdered him. Fair play really. Something to do with non-matching nail polish that I missed because I started googling my family tree.

Anyway. Onwards!

Later gang!

 

S11E21 – Game, Set, Murder

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Back in the Big Apple and spying on a therapy session this week Fletcherfans. Pro tennis player and former Cabot Cove resident Louise Henderson is trying to unlock her memory so she can remember who killed her mother when she was a child. Unfortunately, she’s no closer to solving the mystery and her doctor sends her off to train for the US Open. (Plot point – he puts a recording of the session in his Wall of Cassettes)

JB is summoned by entertainment lawyer Portia Dekker – JB’s publisher is trying to put together a charity tournament and they need a top-seeded female player and since JB knows Louise Henderson… Apparently, Louise is keen to participate but her coach Wendy Maitlin doesn’t want a bar of it.

Louise is back at the hotel flicking through a magazine with her face on it when 90s Dreamboat Guy, whose name is apparently Jamie Carlson, suggests Thai for lunch or going to see a reggae band that night. Louise’s father Lane steps in, orders Louise to change into something appropriate before she meets JB and tells Jamie to keep walking, Louise has a tournament to win.

It was a time for ponytails.

Jessica explains to Portia that she and Wendy did not really gel when they met some years early, and Wendy promptly appears to grovel forgiveness from Jessica – at the time she’d just discovered she had to retire from tennis and she didn’t take it well. Wendy is mega apologetic but Louise needs to stay focused on the US Open and can’t compete in the tournament. Lane appears and orders Louise to memorise the responses he’s prepared for her interview and sends her off to practice. JB notices a cassette tape in his briefcase but thinks nothing of it.

Spoiler alert: Lane Henderson is a douchebag.

Jamie calls Louise in her hotel room to make sure she’s okay. One of Louise’s rivals, Francesca Garcia overhears the conversation and wants to know why Jamie never said such nice things to her when they were on in Paris the previous year. Jamie declines, he knows she’s got a thing going with Andrew Bascombe but she says that’s just business, not pleasure. Jamie suggests she focus on the business side as Andrew wanders over to take Francesca to lunch.

Lane’s next target is John McCarver, who works for a sporting goods company or something. Lane is angling to take over management of Francesca Garcia so that no matter who wins the US Open he will make a boatload with sponsorship from John’s company. John doesn’t want anything to do with it, so Lane tells him all about how he found out about John’s shady business practices. TL: DR he blackmails him.

You know what the trouble with this episode is? There is no Bryan Cranston in it.

Louise goes to training and is completely distracted, much like how I am currently googling when this weather will end (seriously, it’s like being in Thailand except it’s expensive and cocktails cost more). Wendy decides to call off training for the day but Lane magically appears and announces a) this is what happens when you hang out at all hours with boys and b) Louise’s court time will be doubled before the open.  Wendy tells him it’s no wonder Louise is in therapy which comes as news to Lane. He decides to fire Wendy like the douchecanoe that he is.

That night JB is packing for her imminent trip to London when she gets a call from Louise and she sounds miserable. Before JB can find out what’s wrong, Lane has taken the phone off Louise, told Jess she’ll get back to her and hangs up. He wants to talk about therapy but Louise wants to talk about getting Wendy back. Lane announces practice is at 10am and storms out. Louise tries to call her therapist but there’s no answer. Downstairs Lane bumps into Francesca and wants to know if she’s cut ties with Andrew Bascombe yet but she’s hesitant – he’s been good to her. Lane tells her there’s a 2 million dollar deal in it when she wins the Open. Francesca says if she wins, and Lane tells her she’s a sure thing, Wendy is out of the picture. They make out and wander off, while John McCarver ponders what this means.

Later that night, Louise dreams about the murder of her mother but doesn’t see the killers face while across town her therapist opens his door and asks “Can I help you?”

Apparently, the answer was no because the next morning when Louise pops round for an emergency sesh, she finds her doctor dead on the floor.  Lieutenant Estelle Garr is on the case and quickly rules it a robbery gone bad. She gently tells Louise to go home, she can sign her statement later.

Across town presumably later that day there is a cocktail party for some reason or another. John McCarver wants a word with Andrew while Portia finds Jessica pondering the possibilities.

Death caused by an MVP to the back of the head.

Portia is busy looking for new clients and Jess is saved by a phone call from Louise who wants to talk in person. JB says she’ll be home in 30 and bolts out of the party. John tells Andrew what he saw re: Francesca and how Lane’s moving in on Andrew’s turf, and also how he’s being blackmailed so he can’t help. Andrew thinks he probably should have a chat to Francesca.

Back at the hotel, Jamie is looking for Louise but she’s not answering. Lane wanders past and tells Jamie to stay out of Louise’s life but Jamie says he got a worrying phone call from her after the death of her therapist. Lane says she’ll be fine, now stay away or he’ll go to the tennis association about how Jamie bribed his way out of a drugs charge in Rome the previous year.

At JB’s Louise tells Jessica she was shaken up by the death of her therapist, but she will be fine and she will absolutely be playing in the charity tournament and Wendy will be her coach. She heads off to practice, and Wendy asks Jess what’s wrong. Jess isn’t sure, but she thinks Louise should be far more upset about the death of her coach than she is. In other news, Andrew confronts Francesca and it doesn’t go well – she tells him it’s over, Lane is taking over managing her career and it’s worth more than anything Andrew can put together. She leaves, and Andrew calls Lane with a mysterious business proposition that apparently will earn three times as much.

The charity tournament happens and naturally, Louise wins her first match. Jamie comes out to congratulate her and she tells him to win his match. She’s so wrapped up in the victory that she grabs his bag instead of hers. That night Jessica comes home to a disturbing message from Louise and rushes over to the hotel, where Lane is having a beverage with Andrew. Andrew excuses himself to take a phone call from Paris just as Jessica arrives on the floor. She hears gunshots quickly followed by the figure of a woman limping quickly down the hall to the stairs. Thinking it’s Wendy, Jess calls out but the woman bolts. JB enters the room the woman came out of and sees Lane dead on the floor. She frankly saunters over to the fire escape and hears the killer heading down the stairs. Meanwhile, Andrew has reappeared and confirms that Lane is dead.

Lieutenant Garr is on this case too and tells JB to cancel her trip to London for now. Andrew explains he was on the phone at the time of the murder. Louise was apparently with Jamie at the time of the murder. Wendy tells Jess she will take Louise home, and asks her to tell Portia Louise is out of the tournament but Louise tells her she will absolutely be competing and limps out of the room. After they leave, Garr asks JB if Louise has always been so cold and JB says no.

The next day Louise smashes her training session while Andrew and John toast their freedom from Lane’s tyranny whilst simultaneously protesting their innocence. Wendy limps after Louise and Jamie down to her car, when Garr rolls up asking Wendy to pop downtown for a chat. Later, Garr takes Jessica’s statement around to be signed and assures JB that Wendy isn’t under arrest – yet. JB is stunned that she’s not interviewing Andrew Bascombe, but the phone records and the person in Paris don’t lie – Andrew was on the phone at the time of the shooting. Jessica bids Garr farewell, and suddenly notices her cassette tape of notes for her research trip to London.

Jess goes to see Louise who is confused at the idea that her father knew about the therapy before he claims he did, but won’t go into why she called Jessica. Lieutenant Garr wanders past escorting Jamie to a police car – apparently, his prints were on one of the unfired bullets of the murder weapon so that seems as good a reason as any to charge him. He says he lied about being with Louise and she lied to protect him. Louise is distraught but Jamie tells her he’ll be back, they have some things right but not all of them. As they depart Louise swears he’s innocent and JB says she believes that, but they aren’t done talking.

Upstairs, Louise confesses – she recovered the memory of the night her mother was murdered and SURPRISE HER FATHER KILLED HER. Jess calls Lieutenant Garr with the news and she pops round to take statements. It turns out that the gun used to kill the doctor was in amongst Lane’s things. MOAR SURPRISE. Lieutenant Garr tells JB that fun fact, Lane’s gunshot wound wasn’t fatal but the whack he took to the back of the head was. They are scouring the hotel for the murder weapon as they speak, but Jessica already knows what it is. A quiet word to Louise reveals the second half of the truth and then Jess gets to work setting a trap.

So, here’s the thing:

Not surprise

Louise was the one who shot her father – she got Jamie to buy the gun, and she grabbed his bag instead of hers at the tennis match because his bag had the gun in it.

But of course, the bullet wasn’t fatal. But the MVP trophy to the back of the head was.

Because of course.

And that, dear Fletcherfans, wraps up Season 11 of Murder, She Blogged.

For now, the blog is going on a teeny tiny break, but will be back on maybe the 6th of January. But! On Saturday the 5th of January I will live-tweet the one remaining Murder She Wrote telemovie that I 100% had not forgotten about – Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man, so stay tuned to Twitter for that.

Only 24 episodes left! *starts belting out The Final Countdown*

S11E15 – Twice Dead

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We’re back in NYC this week Fletcherfans, where science is happening!

YEAH SCIENCE

And technology is happening!

My Dad did something similar once, except it was our computer that we’d had about a week and he didn’t know what he was doing. The people we bought the computer off never worked out how he did it #DOSlife 

Supreme, cutting-edge technology is happening.

The 90s – where information was stored on drink coasters.

The man behind all this science and hacking is Dr Max Franklin, and he’s heading off on a jet plane and taking some lab samples with him. He leaves the offices of Biomec Industries late one night, closely followed by a man in a car, who loses him a short time later.

Cut to the next day, where Our Heroine is getting ready to slay the day when news comes on the television about a plane crash in Long Island Sound – there were no survivors and among the dead was Nobel winning biophysicist Dr Max Franklin. Now as it happens, and seriously what were the odds, Jessica is supposed to be heading down to Biomec later that day for a meeting. She calls her contact at the company, Liz White (who is being played by the same woman who played Mary Marsh in the pilot of The West Wing *shakes fist*), who tells her that she would rather Jess still come down, she needs a distraction.

Jess arrives at Biomec just in time to see the end of a press conference in which Liz gets handed an envelope and the CEO Dr Fredrick Grundberg tells the gathering everything is fine, as does the stockbroker overseeing the listing of Biomec, Richard Ellston, and someone called Priscilla Lake. Max was working on a cancer cure, and that work will continue. As the press depart Richard asks if everything really is fine, and Grundberg assures him that he wouldn’t tell Richard if it wasn’t.  Liz excuses herself for a moment, and as Jessica goes outside to wait she bumps into the man who had tried to follow Max the previous night.

Liz goes into Grundberg’s office where her colleagues Stuart Himes and David Randall are confronting Grundberg about his statements during the press conference. It turns out Max had some concerns about the drug L-214 not being ready to test on people, but Grundberg says there’s nothing to worry about and that he won’t let the drug go on the market unless it’s completely safe. After they leave, he grins at Priscilla.

Jessica is apparently there to help Liz write a book about science because why not and apparently the early reports from the publisher are good. Liz tells JB that she has to go clean out things from Max’s apartment and she’s dreading it but Jess tells her it won’t get any easier later. Liz and Max used to date, but apparently, she broke up with him but still always sought his approval like she needed to prove herself to him. David Randall wanders past and said Max was an idiot who never truly loved her and Jessica thinks that’s not entirely true.

Back in Grundberg’s office, there’s bad news – David has just discovered that the culture of L-214 in the fridge isn’t the cancer drug, Max must have switched the samples. To make matters worse, Max has wiped his computer and also the network of all reference to L-214. Grundberg tells Max to get to work, but Max doesn’t think he’s the right person to rebuild the research. Grundberg tells him to do it, or he’s out. After David leaves, Grundberg asks the smoking guy to go take a look at Max’s place to see if the missing culture is there.

Priscilla fills Richard in on all the shenanigans over martinis. Richard is furious that Grundberg is keeping him out of the loop, and tells Priscilla to keep him posted. Priscilla clearly has eyes on Grundberg’s job, and Richard is happy to back her.

The next day, Jessica is out taking care of business when she sees a taxi rear-end another taxi. She’s staggered when she sees the man in the back of the cab is Max Franklin.

Quality acting from the extras might I say.

She calls out to him but the cab drives away. Of course, she manages to memorise the cab number because she is the best.

Jess calls her old pal Lieutenant Artie Gelber, who tells her there might a reason Max had faked his death but asks someone to run the cab number for him. Artie has more pressing business to attend to – his high school is putting him on their wall of fame and he needs a portrait done, can Jess recommend a photographer?

A short time later thanks to some ace detecting by Officer Rizzoli, Jess finds Max’s destination – a hotel. She manages to bluff her way past the front desk but pauses when she sees The Smoking Guy come down the stairs and start loitering by the reception desk.

And then Jessica gets attacked by a zombie hand.

Not the first time this has happened in this show.

The decidedly not dead (or undead) Max Franklin tells JB that the smoking guy just tried to break into his hotel room, and also he and Jess probably need to talk.

Calls it like she sees it.

Back at House Fletcher, Max explains to JB that the smoking guy has been following him two weeks, and when he saw him following him out of Biomec he decided not to take the flight to Montauk that would later crash, so it turned out to be lucky really.

The smoking guy’s name turns out to be Walter Pell, and Jessica finds his detective agency ad in the yellow pages because the 90s. Max rips something out of the paper and apologises to JB but he needs to stay dead for a while longer. He just needs to get his journal from his house and then he will drop off the radar until he figures out what’s wrong with the vaccine. Jess offers to get it for him, which Max is hesitant to agree to but JB doesn’t give him a choice.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, Liz and David are discussing Liz’s breakup with Max when Stuart pops up and orders David back to work. He doesn’t know what game Liz is playing but he’s just heard on the radio that they’ve pulled the bodies from the plane crash – the pilot, the co-pilot and 3 female passengers – and there’s a lot of frantic whispering going on in Grundberg’s office.

Speaking of, as a TV plays news about Max’s house being firebombed, Grundberg holds a war meeting with Walter Pell. Pell had been down there trying to find the missing culture and files, but the house was already ablaze and then JB showed up so he legged it. Grundberg is furious but Pell thinks he will find Max in the next couple of hours, and they will get everything back then. Pell finds it odd that Grundberg had cancelled all his appointments for the morning, but Grundberg informs him they cancelled on him, and he heard about the fire on the car radio since he asks.

Jess meets Max back at his hotel and delivers the journal, undamaged by the fire. Max isn’t ready to rejoin the world though, but swears to Jess he’s close. As they take their leave of each other Pell starts following Max.

That night, Jess fills Liz in about Max’s return from the dead, and Liz wonders where he is. Jess remembers the piece Max ripped from her newspaper and thinks that if they can work out what it was, it might be a clue. They track him down to an apartment, but when they go inside they find him dead on the floor.

Artie is on the case and quickly rules in a burglary gone wrong. He asks Liz how well she knew Max and she tells him they were close for a long time, and she still cared about him but he was all in on his work. They find a cigarette butt in the hallway of the apartment building and Jess casually mentions that there was a private eye who happened to smoke that particular brand of cigarettes. Artie is on his way to get his portrait done, but he’s interested.

Down at Biomec, Richard is just learning about all of this but Priscilla tells him the police think Max was in the crappy apartment for a romantic meeting, and Grundberg says it changes nothing. Richard asks if Pell had anything to do with it, and Grundberg is surprised to hear Richard knows who Pell is, but says no Pell had nothing to do with it.

Jess goes to have a chat with Walter Pell, who is not her biggest fan after a four-hour interrogation from the cops. Jess says he should know, he used to be a cop. Walter admits to this, and allows just enough time to admit he followed Max after his meeting with JB to the apartment downtown, Walter waited outside for a while, went in and found Max dead so he legged it. Jess has one last question – why was Grundberg having Pell follow Max?

Pell says that’s Grundberg’s business and Jess says thanks – she wasn’t sure who had hired Pell, but now she knows.

Game, set, match.

Jess goes down to the precinct, where Artie is gradually working through interviewing everyone at Biomec. Officer Rizzoli appears to inform them all that Max’s laptop has been found completely wiped. Artie concedes his junkie burglary theory isn’t holding up, and gets back to interviews. Liz suddenly remembers the envelope she received at the press conference and they rush back to Biomec to retrieve it.

Liz gets the envelope from her desk and pulls out an envelope containing that floppy disk from the beginning of the episode. On it is a whole bunch of numbers but also proof that Stuart fudged some data. Stuart, who is lurking in the shadows, appears to explain that he did it so that the drug would be on the market faster, any side effects would be years later and by then they could be cured. Artie wanders in and announces Stuart is under arrest for Max’s murder.

Jess isn’t convinced about any of it, and calls Artie the next day to tell him so but Artie is all over it. Stuart went all in on the Biomec share purchase and would have stood to lose millions if the drug didn’t proceed to trials. Jess wonders how Stuart would have found the apartment, but Artie says Jessica did and the PI did, and maybe Max called him. Jess suddenly remembers there was a cell phone in Max’s briefcase but Artie tells her that there wasn’t one recovered from the crime scene. Jess tells him to call the phone company and find out what his last calls were.

Down at Biomec Richard has just learned that the stock option isn’t proceeding, he’s out 20 million dollars and his reputation is in ruins. Fortunately for Biomec Priscilla had a suspicion something was wrong and so they sold their shares before the sale went live. Grundberg is all good.

Back at the precinct Artie tells Jess there was a call but it was to a pay phone. Meanwhile Stuart’s prints have been found at Max’s apartment (so have JB’s) and the DA thinks it’s a slam dunk. Artie has other things to worry about like picking the right photo for his award.

Actually spat tea at this

Jessica looks at the photo envelope and suddenly realises who killed Max. Later that night she lays a trap, and what do you know…

Expect nothing less from Mary Marsh

All of this happened because Max dumped Liz and she couldn’t handle the truth. Literally. That’s all this was.

Happy voting, Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

 

 

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