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S09E19 – Lone Witness

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So I know everything in the world is pretty much going to hell right now (and I hope that if you’re in the path of those hurricanes in America that you stay safe!) but here’s the thing.

Remember that time I tried to write about an episode but Richmond was playing and it all went terribly wrong?  Well, Friday night it all went terribly right and now Richmond is one game away from the Grand Final which is like the Superbowl but is less glamorous but very drunker. There is also a theory around town that Richmond winning the grand final will signal the final apocalypse, which I know would be bad but technically a Richmond grand final is the only thing left on my bucket list so I mean really…

(I kid. I don’t want the world to end. There are far too many tasty foods to be eaten).

What I mean is, the blog may or may not be sporadic the next couple of weeks while I have a complete emotional breakdown re: football. As it is I have no voice and not much hearing. But for now, onwards!

This week is kicking off in AmesterDAYUM (shout out to all the fans of Belinda Blinked), where a flight attendant is delivering diamonds to a cheerful old guy, before cutting to the Big Apple where JB has somewhat optimistically given her kitchen over to her old friend from Cabot Cove, Susan Wells, who is planning to pitch a cookbook to Jessica’s publisher through a festive dinner party.  Ingredients are in fact currently being delivered by the world’s greatest delivery boy.

I MEAN JUST LOOK AT HIM.

I adore Neil Patrick Harris. I’m just going to come right out and say it. His Halloween family photos are amazing, I’m still devastated I missed out on tickets for Hedwig when I was in NYC, and this whole thing remains one of my favourite uses of Internet ever. Also, Dr Horrible.

Anyway, Tommy Patrick Harris Remsen drops off some more groceries for Susan and a new story for JB to read before charming both of them and heading off. Back at the grocery store he runs into the flight attendant, whose name is apparently Monica, and gets to work charming her before his boss Ben pops in to tell him he forgot the bay leaves for Jessica’s order, but now there are other things and to stop flirting with the customers.  Tommy rushes off, leaving Ben to explain to Monica that she needs to pay her grocery tab or he’s going to have to cut her off.

Monica heads home to her apartment, where her landlord/bookie Vic is delighted to see her, mainly because it would appear he owes him money too. She tries to get him to take a bet for her but he refuses until she pays what she owes. Inside her apartment, she finds her neighbour Sandy watering her plants and babbling about how crazy Monica’s social life is. Monica begs for some quiet and Sandy cracks it and storms off, leaving Monica to call her boss and let them know about the money diamonds situation.

While Tommy is getting chewed out by his swim-coach Dad for spending too much time writing stories and chasing girls and not enough time doing laps, Monica gives the money she got from Amerstdam to her boss Fred Turner, and tells him she wants out, but he’s not having a bar of it. He tells her she can quit when he tells her she can quit and leaves. He puts a call in to his boss and confirms that Monica has been skimming money.

Back at House Fletcher the banquet preparation is going…well it’s going.  Susan loses her mind at the idea of no chanterelle mushrooms (blerch, mushrooms are the tool of Satan), and so to placate her JB calls old mate Joe at the grocery. He tells Tommy to take some around to JB’s AFTER he gets a cheque from Monica, who managed to skip out of the store with a six pack and a smile, nice one Tommy.

Tommy cruises on over to Monica’s building inexplicably goes into the laundry room and finds Monica dead with Fred standing over her. A shot is fired and Tommy wisely legs it out of there and goes to tell Jessica what happened, losing his hat in the process. She calls the police and they meet them at Monica’s building where it turns out, there is no body to be found. And by no body, I..you know what I mean. Lieutenant Warren is inclined to think that the only crime that’s happened is lying to a police officer, but JB isn’t so sure, so they cruise on up to Monica’s apartment to see if she’s there. Instead, they find Vic fixing a tap and swearing Monica only stepped out about ten minutes earlier.

Just because.

The lieutenant and his sidekick Detective Flowers scold Tommy for wasting their time and Tommy rushes off. Warren admits to Flowers that Tommy might have seen something, and to keep trying to call Monica. Also, that other precinct was totally right about Jessica Fletcher.

Tommy heads home, not seeing Fred Turner standing on the corner. Fred sees him though and starts to follow. Back at Monica’s apartment, Vic is on the hunt for Monica but Sandy tells him she hasn’t seen her, also she’s making brisket, Vic’s favourite, is he still coming around? Vic says he’ll let her know. Over at House Fletcher, Susan thinks Tommy made the whole thing up to cover up dropping the box of groceries, but Jess is more interested in inviting more people to dinner.

Tommy’s Dad decides to issue a 50 lap penalty for lying to the police and seems surprised when Tommy runs off. Tommy sees Fred again and hightails it out of there, leaving a very confused Tommy’s Dad looking at Fred and wondering just what the hell is going on.

That night, Susan is having a meltdown about the sugar for the creme brulee when Jessica discovers an important clue in the sugar bag.

Guys, Susan is a hot mess right now. She needs a valium and a lie down.

Jess alerts the authorities immediately, but they remain unconcerned, despite Flowers not being able to get hold of Monica. Warren also tells JB that Tommy has gone AWOL.

Jessica goes to see Tommy’s father, who initially doesn’t want to to talk to the lady who is messing with his son’s swimming career, but is worried when he hears about the bullet and tells her about Tommy running away from Fred. Jess heads back over to Monica’s apartment where Sandy is in no way appearing to be a creepy neighbour, she’s totally fine. She just loves to talk about what an exciting life Monica leads.

Now imagine Sandy and Susan just kicking back with a cup of tea. Imagine that conversation. Now relish the fact that you aren’t a part of it.

Inside Monica’s apartment is a mess. Sandy is starting to worry that all is not well with her shiny neighbour. Jess finds an over watered plant and a betting slip from Vic, so she goes to chat with him about it.

Also Vic admits that he hadn’t seen Monica when he said he had, he was looking for money in her apartment. Vic takes her down to the storage room where they find Monica’s bag and a one way ticket to Geneva.  Vic is furious but Jess is worried that there might be someone else who is furious.

Down at the precinct Warren accepts JB’s news about the bag and reports that Monica’s body has turned up in the Hudson, strangled to death. He was two theories about the murder – either Tommy did it when Monica rebuffed his advances (*coughs* Gone Girl *coughs*) or there was a second person in the room when Tommy walked in and they were the person who shot at Tommy. Jess thinks the second option is far more likely, and Warren is inclined to agree. Noone wants to think of an All American kid, peering out from under his baseball cap with those big blue eyes as being capable of murder.

Alright calm down Warren.

Back at home, Jess decides to read Tommy’s new short story, which Susan helpfully spoils by revealing the ending.

#NotAllSusans

Susan’s given JB an idea about where Tommy might be hiding, so she calls Lieutenant Warren and Tommy’s Dad and they head over to the school. Tommy’s Dad lets JB in to the school, where they find the pool room door clearly broken into. A chivalrous Tommy’s Dad (I could look it up but I don’t want to) insists he go in first, JB following close behind. There’s a body in the pool but it’s not Tommy, it’s Fred. Lieutenant Warren orders Flowers to get forensics on the case, and then follows Tommy’s Dad and JB up into the storage room.

And of course, guess who?

Barney Stinson. I barely got to see much of HIMYM but I loved what I did see.

While Tommy reunites with his father, Warren wanders off and returns balancing a gun on a pen. Tommy swears he’s never seen it before, but according to Warren it’s been recently fired so for now Tommy is going into protective custody because either Fred’s killer/accomplice is still out there, or…

Accurate.

Down at the precinct through, Warren changes his mind. All the forensics and ballistics and callisthenics all point towards Tommy as being the killer of both Fred and Monica. Tommy’s dad is shattered, but JB isn’t having a bar of it. Warren assures him this is all hard on him too.

Back at House Fletcher JB is helping with the final preparations for the dinner party, to whit helping put some salmon mousse on a plate.

Whatever Susan, my Mum’s is better (we have it every Christmas)

Suddenly the overflowing sink gives her an idea, and she arranges to meet Lieutenant Warren over at Monica’s house. She explains she worked out why Monica’s place had been broken into, and what they were looking for. She pulls out a bag of diamonds from the pot plant. And by they she means Fred Turner and his partner.

#notallcops

Not only did JB figure it out, but she had a little help from Detective Flowers too. Turns out, it was all about the money.

But never mind that because

SUSAN! STOP!

I have no voice and I can barely hear. It’s going to be a fun September!

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S09E16 – Threshold of Fear

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In the Big Apple again Fletcherfans, where the good residents have issued the Fletcher-signal.

I mean they might possibly get murdered less, but the world would be far less interesting.

This time it’s the doorman Richie who is in need. He’s worried about one of the other residents, Alice Morgan, who hasn’t left her apartment in five years and now refuses to open her door.

Never one to let a Fletchsignal go unanswered, Jess accompanies Richie upstairs, where she eventually gets Alice to let her into her apartment.

I’ll think of something for this, leave it with me.

Alice is having a bit of a time – she’s started having dreams about the night her mother was murdered, and it’s all gone a bit wrong now that the person she dreamt killed her mother has turned up on TV spruiking his architectural amazingness.

Turns out he was in the Death on the Nile episode of Poirot I watched the other week too. Adjust your social medias accordingly.

Alice flips out, saying that in her dream Jordan Barnett (see above) kills her mother and then someone turns into an owl or something. Fortunately for everyone Alice’s doctor, Ellen Holden (aka Margot Kidder, aka Lois Lane) arrives and quickly boots JB out of the apartment.

Over at Jordan Barnett’s Emporium of Wonderment, Jordan is congratulating himself on another job well done when his assistant Laura shows him the list of enquiries the TV station got after his appearance on their show. He sees Alice’s name and rushes out. While he waits for his valet to collect his car, a dude named Ben harasses him about how Jordan stole his ideas for something but Jordan just puts his foot down and leaves in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile, at Dr Holden’s clinic, Ellen is stopped at the door by Alice’s brother Peter (aka the boss lady’s nephew), who demands she convince Alice to agree to sell the family brownstone.

Jessica, who can’t let a situation go unsnooped for the better of mankind, goes to see her friend Lieutenant Artie Gelber (aka Stan Szbornak from the Golden Girls). Artie is happy to let her go through his files, but she doesn’t find much – Alice’s mother was murdered five years ago, three months after her husband left her, and Jordan Barnett hadn’t been in New York for five years.

That night, Alice gets a knock at the door.

Well, that’s not half terrifying.

Alice calls down to Richie who summons the Avengers Jessica and Alice’s neighbour Henry. As the elevator doors open Jordan legs it. Richie chases him while Jessica tells Alice it’s all alright now, she can open the door. Dr Holden is summoned, and she pumps a whole lot of drugs into Alice before throwing Henry and JB out, insisting that Alice needs to be left alone, she’s just too fragile.

Jess and Artie pop round Jordan’s office the next day to see what’s up. Jordan insists he went there because the name matched someone he used to date, but it wasn’t the person he thought it was and so he legged it when she freaked out and a horde of angry neighbours descended upon him. Fair enough, says Artie, and leaves him to a pissed off Laura, who has been fielding messages from Dr Holden.

Jess invites Alice’s brother Peter (actually her stepbrother, but whatever) around to find out why his father bailed, but more specifically whether Jordan Barnett had anything to do with Alice or Peter or Alice’s mother. Peter isn’t giving out info for free though – he wants JB to convince Alice to sell the house, and Dr Holden hasn’t come through. Jessica says she’ll see what she can do, and Peter tells her that he thinks his father was going to hire Jordan to renovate the house.

Speaking of, Jordan is busy working late with Dr Holden, who is insisting that Laura gets her marching orders, or Alice might start to believe that her dreams are real. Later, when he’s waiting for a cab, someone helpfully comes up and stabs in the chest, leading to one of the most energetic death scenes of this whole show. Trust me, it’s pretty great.

Artie Gelber rolls down to investigate and spots a necklace on the ground. He orders his sidekick Detective Grady (if ever there was an oxymoron) to pick it up and take it to forensics, Gelber’s back is killing him. Later, they interview Ben the guy who yelled at Jordan, who swears he didn’t kill him he was just pissed that Jordan screwed him when he left town suddenly five years ago.

Over brunch, Artie and JB discuss the situation. Jess has a theory – Jordan found Alice’s mothers body back in the day, and that he was killed because he worked out who the actual killer was. Meanwhile, Peter bashes on Alice’s door, demanding she sign the papers to sell the house so they can get back to being the brother and sister they always were. Alice tells them they were never really brother and sister and begs him to go away. Henry pops his head out as Peter leaves and goes to check on Alice. They have a lovely awkward cup of tea and listen to Chopin before Henry shuffles out backwards. (Watch this episode, there’s some awesome weird stuff going on and I like it).

Down at the precinct, Artie gets a call that his daughter is going into labour and tells Grady the case is his, and not to screw it up.

 

 

I think we’ve all heard that before.

Jess stops by Alice and Peter’s old house to summon a ghost or do a seance or some such business. She finds a paperweight with an owl on it, thereby solving the mysterious case of the owl. (#TheOwlsAreNotWhatTheySeem #TwinPeaks #TeachMeHowToDougie). Peter appears and asks her what she’s doing there, she tells him she just wanted to see the place, Alice gave her a key. She says Alice told her Peter was away at school the night her mother died and he says he was. He also says he has no idea where his father is or why he left, but thanks JB for going in to bat for him with Alice.

#LadyOlennaForever

Jessica arrives home at her apartment building to discover that Detective Grady has taken it upon himself to arrest Alice for the murder of Jordan Barnett, because agoraphobia shmagoraphobia.

Grady by name, Grady by nature.

Grady apologises for bollocksing up the investigation but does point out that the locket they found at the murder scene belonged to Alice. Both Jessica and Artie wonder who had access to Alice’s apartment who might have taken the locket. Henry excuses himself and goes back to his apartment.

Later that night, Alice knocks on JB’s door. Ironically, getting arrested has shown her she has nothing to fear in the big bad world, and she’d like Jessica to accompany her to the old brownstone to confront her memories. When they arrive, Alice talks JB through her mother’s murder but freaks out at the thought of the hawk that I thought was owl, whatever I’m not a doctor.

Jessica thinks she knows who killed Alice’s mother, and it wasn’t Jordan Barnett, but a squeaky floorboard upstairs tells JB they need to get back to Alice’s apartment.

Because, you guys…

It was only a matter of time…

He killed them! He killed them all! Because Barnett had an affair with Alice’s mother, and there was no one left to defend his father’s honour except Peter. Oh, it wasn’t a paperweight, it was a bike helmet and that’s what Alice saw. Ohhhhhh I’m really not good at this.

But it’s okay you guys. Peter got arrested, Dr Holden got suspended for being a crap psychiatrist and Henry and Alice are taking JB to the philharmonic or a Metallica gig I forget which. Whatever, the sun’s out.

Later gang!

S09E12 – Double Jeopardy

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, where JB is issuing homework to her crime-writing class, while a basketball game goes on in the gym next door being led by Father Michael, aka Chakotay from Star Trek Voyager.

Pointing man represents me every time there’s a celebrity within 1o paces (if he’s pointing at food).

He is *puts on sunglasses* A LITTLE PRIEST. #nailedit

Father Michael thinks Jessica should have a priest in her next book, but Jess thinks the holy father might have more divine mysteries to solve. Then they start listing priest detective mysteries, and I wandered off to see what was happening at Comic-Con (I am only watching Justice League for sassy Jeremy Irons, there I said it). Father Michael thinks people need to see priests as down for solving secular mysteries, and not the dusty old stereotypes of the clergy.

(Not for nothing but I started watching The Keepers yesterday and just between you and me dusty old stereotypes are the least of the clergy’s problems).

Jess tells Father Michael that no one would believe that a doctor of philosophy that built up a successful business would become a parish priest. Father Michael tells her the story doesn’t have to be about him.  He notices the Galvan brothers talking in a corner and asks them what’s up – they tell him that the jury has reached a verdict. He promises he will be there.

Turns out the jury was reaching a verdict as to whether Frank Fernandez (previously seen here) was guilty of the murder of Roberto Galvan, Jose and Tony’s father. Turns out, due to a lack of body and some circumstantial evidence, he is found not guilty. His son Raymond declares that there was no body because there was no murder, and Tony swears he will rip Frank’s face off. His mother Maria scolds him and he takes off, followed by Jose. Frank tells Maria that it’s all over, he doesn’t have to deal with her fantasies anymore. Maria says they both know the truth and storms off. Father Michael and Frank glare at each other for a moment before he too storms off.

A couple of weeks later JB is returning homework to her class, who happens to include Jose Galvan. He’s unhappy to get a C on his most recent assignment, but JB says she knows how hard it is to write when your mind is on something else. She asks him if the story is based on his brother, and he says it is – since the verdict Tony has been getting angrier and angrier every day.  Class begins and today it’s about research. The class ask JB how she does it and she shows them her murder research book, filled with articles and reference notes. She tells them they can check it out at the library.

After class JB chats with Jose and his wife Ruth. Jose has decided to apply for the police academy, much to Ruth and Maria’s worry. A car pulls up at the kerb and Raymond Fernandez picks up one of the girls from the class while issuing a warning to Jose to stay out of his family’s business.

Sidenote: THIS JACKET.

IT LOOKS SO WARM I AM SO JEALOUS MY SHAMPOO SOLIDIFIED MY APARTMENT IS THAT COLD I HATE YOU WINTER.

As Raymond drives off, Lieutenant Davis pulls up to issue a similar warning to Jose and his brother, but Jose tells him that if the police did their jobs there’d be nothing to worry about. He and Ruth leave, and Davis admits to JB that Jose has a point. The case should have never gone to trial, there just wasn’t enough evidence but now Frank Fernandez has gotten away with murder.

At church, Father Michael congratulate the Galvan’s on not going after Fernandez and announces he is going to run for Roberto’s seat on the council. Maria is delighted, but Tony tells Father Michael he’d better get used to looking over his shoulder.

Meanwhile, OH GOD THE NEW KINGSMAN TRAILER LOOKS AMAZING SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

That night, Frank and Raymond Fernandez are celebrating the end of their legal troubles with a game of pool and debating the consequences of Father Michael’s election tilt. Raymond thinks Father Michael should have known better what with what happened to Roberto, and that Father Michael is going to need more than a crucifix to help him in the real world. Frank tells his son to watch his tone.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Father Michael goes to visit JB for a pep talk but they are soon interrupted by Frank Fernandez, who wants to encourage Father Michael not to run for council.

100% didn’t hear a thing.

After Fernandez leaves, Jessica asks Father Michael just what their beef is, and he tells her it’s nothing. Oh, except Fernandez is his father.

DUN DUN.

Father Michael explains that he found out when he was 10 – when his mother was dying – and that she told him to stay away from Frank, he’s bad news. Which turned out not to be a problem as Frank never acknowledged Michael or tried to contact him. Jess thinks he came with more than threats on his mind, she thought he seemed concerned and regretful, but Father Michael’s like nah whatevs.

JB pops around to Maria Galvan’s plant store to pick up some bromeliads and have a cup of tea. Ruth and Jose are both working there – apparently Ruth went on a trip to the Carribean and came back with all sorts of new plants for the store which seems like questionable quarantine laws to me. (Australia’s laws are intense, and the laws between Tasmania and everywhere else doubly so).

Over at House Fernandez Frank discovers that Raymond is dealing crack and confronts him. Raymond tells him to calm down, he’s in the crack house business whether he likes it or not. Frank threatens to call the police but Raymond tells him he won’t, and he’s right.

That night JB gets a phone call from Lieutenant Davis – Roberto Galvan’s body has surfaced, literally.

“Are there any signs he was murdered?” Asks JB.

Seems definitive

Ponderous JB is ponderous.

The next morning Davis drops the news off to the Galvans and the boys are predictably pissed that Frank has seemingly gotten away with it. Davis warns them that he will come after them if they try anything on with Frank. Maria is quietly devastated, she thinks it’s all her fault that she pushed the DA into trying the case too early, but JB tells her that even if they’d waited there’s no guarantee Frank would have been convicted.

While Ruth confronts Jose about his lack of emoting re: his father, Raymond sidles up to an underworld pal of his and asks him if he’d mind coming to pay a visit on the Galvan brothers. They announce their arrival by smashing the glass on the front door of Maria’s shop, but the boys have already legged it. They stop on the fire escape so that Jose can give Tony his jacket, he decides to go back to check on his mother. Raymond and his henchdude, not finding the boys, tell Maria to tell them to stay gone, to which she replies if Raymond hurts her boys she will kill him herself.

Guys this episode is so longgggggggg.

Father Michael hears of what went down and goes to confront his father, to the point where Raymond pulls a gun on him. Frank assures Michael that there will be no more violence, and after Michael leaves gives Raymond a bollocking. Raymond starts whingeing about family honour and blah blah blah and Frank correctly wonders where a drug dealer gets off talking about honour. He orders Raymond to call off his henchdudes and later rings Father Michael to request a meeting at the church. Raymond overhears this and Frank tells him he wants Raymond out of the house and out of his life.

Frank arrives at the empty church, goes into the confessional and is sprayed by a shadowy figure wearing a St Julian’s jacket not dissimilar to Jose’s. The killer runs out of the church, spotted by Ruth, while Frank collapses in Father Michael’s arms which would have been totes poignant except they killed the music just to hear Michael say “Amen” before a big musical flourish and frankly the whole thing made me snort. (If you’ve seen the episode you’ll probably know what I mean. Very soap operaish)

Wow JB’s got 15 minutes to find the killer, she’d better get to work.

Seeing the Fletch Signal in the sky, Jess heads down to the church to console Father Michael, while Lieutenant Davis gets his detecting on. He spots a stain in the confessional which Father Michael says wasn’t there when he last used it, leading Davis (and JB) to suspect Frank might have been murdered. (Father Michael got called away at the last minute which is why he wasn’t there apparently, I was watching the Ready Player One trailer tbh).

Jess runs into Tony in the hallway getting a gun out of his locker but he won’t give it to her. He looks alarmed when she tells him that Frank is dead, and then jogs away, still wearing his brother’s jacket. The St Julian’s one. I feel like this is important.

The next day Davis tells JB that they’ve got a lock on the stain in the confessional – it contains a couple of poisons made from plants found in Jamaica. He asks JB if this ever came up in her class, and she tells him yes, and mentions the reference book she talked about. Davis tells her that the plants can both be found in the Galvan’s store, but Jess thinks that’s not proof of anything. Davis thanks her for the info and tootles off. Later that night, Jess overhears a confrontation between Father Michael and Raymond, when Raymond tries to donate 25K to the church ‘in memory of his father’ but Father Michael refuses to accept it.

Oh my god this episode just keeps going. 10 minutes Fletcher, get on to it.

Maria Galvan goes to see Davis at the precinct, only to be told that the only person to check JB’s recommended book on poisons out of the library was Jose. Maria quickly admits to the murder, but when she can’t correctly identify the poisons that were used he sends her home again. She fills JB in on what’s happened, but something doesn’t seem right and she heads down to the library. She asks the librarian who shows her the borrow sheet, for when the student doesn’t have their library card. The book in question has just been returned, and so Jess asks if she can borrow it.

DAMN STRAIGHT

Jessica is summoned to the church, where Father Michael has convinced Ruth to tell Jessica what she saw the night of the murder. She tells them about seeing Jose running away, she knew it was him because of his jacket. Later, Tony resurfaces and swears he never took the jacket off.

Long, LONG story short…

THIS IS THE LONGEST EPISODE IN HISTORY OR AT LEAST SINCE THE LAST TIME I SAID THAT.

Oh thank god. Obvious suspect is obvious, everyone goes on with their lives and I google pictures of Bat-fleck looking bored at Comic-Con because it might give me special powers, you can’t prove that it won’t.

Get ye to the nearest library Fletcherfans!

Later gang!

 

 

 

S09E10 – The Sound of Murder

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Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB has branched out into writing classes, and is already dishing out some life lessons (Life Lesson #69 – “Believe me the most difficult part of writing is actually getting started!”)

As the class wraps up, one of the students, Holly Chase, informs JB that she has convinced her bosses at Rojam Records to let Jessica record her next audiobook there for free – she just needs to come in the evenings, and pop in the next day for a photoshoot with the Big Boss, Freddie Major (aka Vince Fontaine from Grease, and this episode)

The man himself, it just so happens, is across town ironing out the final terms of Rojam’s purchase by another company, led by a dude called Mitch Randall – mainly that band Mirabilis stays part of Rojam, but the A&R director goes on account of being mob connected. Freddy isn’t pleased about this but Mitch reminds him of the money. Outside a man in a van listens in, while on a completely unrelated note, Mitch Randall’s piece on the side Michelle has agreed to sign with Rojam, her voice is amazing, you’re gonna love her. And one more thing – Michelle says there’s some guy called Willie Piper who sounds amazing and Rojam should sign him immediately if not sooner.

So you know. There’s stakes.

Jessica arrives for her photo shoot the next day, but Freddie’s still in taking photos with Mirabilis.

There’s a lot going on there and I’m just talking about the hair.

Job done, the hair goes on its merry way and JB sits down at the piano with Freddie. She thanks him for the use of his studio and his sound engineer and he says “Sure! Hey you know anything about music Mrs Fletcher?”

HER FACE.

Freddie goes on to explain that Mirabilis have a new song coming out called Bulletproof but they’ve stuffed up the bass line and despite his pleas they won’t change it. Life is nothing but pain for Freddie.

Photo shoot over, it’s time for Jessica to go on with her day. Freddie invites her to the filming of the Bulletproof music video that Saturday, and they are joined by Richard Lefko (the Mob guy) and Charles George Drexler, the manager of Mirabilis. Coincidentally, both are in the new season of Twin Peaks.

I mean I want to talk about that last episode of Twin Peaks but it was…I mean I can….do you….it just….WHAT EVEN IS WORDS.

This is the water and this is the well you guys.

Freddie has a meeting with Richard and Charles, so Jess heads off for a tour of the building with Freddie’s right hand woman Julie. As they leave Jess bumps into a random executive and apologises, and Holly reminds Jessica that they have tickets to a Magnetech concert the next night. Julie is surprised to hear this, she doesn’t peg Jessica as a heavy metal fan.

I beg to differ.

Charles lays down the conditions for Mirabilis staying with Rojam, and reminds Freddie that he can’t afford to say no. Freddie vents his rage on Richard, who tells him to calm down and takes him to lunch. As they leave they hear Willie Piper playing – Freddie tells Richard they don’t have him signed, but that his producer is hanging out (hint hint) with Julie.

That night Jessica arrives at the studio to begin recording The Corpse Danced At Midnight, and hopes that it goes better than last time. The in-demand Willie Parker happens to be jamming out while his producer Paul gets ready to record JB, and is delighted to meet her, he loves her books. Jessica starts laying down some sick beats reading her story but the booth soon gets a visit from Freddie and Richard, and so when Jess wants to redo a scene, no one is paying attention. She presses the magic button and eavesdrops on Freddie’s frankly sinister pitch to Paul that Willie sign with Rojam Records. He says no, and Willie says where Paul goes he goes. Freddie tells him Julie’s job is on the line (which is news to Julie in the recording studio) but Paul won’t budge. The next day Freddie tries to weave his magic on Julie but she’s not going to help him get Willie and Paul to sign either, no matter what the threat.

Jessica and Holly go to the heavy metal concert, and it’s neither of their cups of tea.

I think this is more JB’s jam. Or possibly this.

Some more stuff happens while I googled heavy metal bands Jessica Fletcher would like, and then Richard and Charles meet in a car park to tell him that Freddie is selling the company, but that he’s also heard that Charles sold all his shares in Rojam, betting that the deal is going to go wrong.

Sidenote, if there was a Which Twin Peaks Character Are You Quiz I would totally be Dianne. Or the Log Lady. And I TOTALLY CALLED MICHAEL CERA PLAYING ANDY AND LUCY’S SON.

Fast forward to the film shoot and while Jessica Fletchsplains squibs to Holly Freddy makes one last pitch for Willie Piper. Willie turns him down and Freddy tells him that if he doesn’t play ball, Freddy will make it known that Willie did time for robbery. Because people gave a toss about that? Pfft. Freddy thinks it’s still 1962.

Holly gets a message for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. The random executive Jess bumped into is handing out business cards to all the blonde backup dancers, and Paul goes to investigate an amp. The shoot gets underway, and if I could work out how to gif this business to show in its full early 90s glory Fletcherfans I would. It’s a hell of a thing.

As the shoot continues, JB boogies in her seat but is concerned when a suspiciously real sounding gunshot goes off. Holly assures her it’s the gun beat and to just go with it. It’s just like watching Nine Inch Nails at the roadhouse, except I would rather watch Trent Reznor than whatever the hell this is any day of the week.

Charles Drexer pops up to see how JB is enjoying it all, another gunshot is heard, and the body of Freddy Major drops off a conveyor belt.

I’m so annoyed by this episode that I’m not even going to do a bit about Freddy not being bulletproof. TAKE THAT EPISODE FROM TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.

NYPD Lieutenant Bob Alan Terwilliger arrives and quickly rules that the killer lured Freddy backstage, shot him and dumped his body on the conveyor belt. Jess is sure she heard a gunshot come from the VIP lounge, but Terwilliger reminds her she also heard the gunshot come from behind the conveyor belt and to not get that look like he’s talking out his hat.

Hat is presumably code for arse.

Charles pops up again, to ask whether he can come by the next day to pick up the keyboard from the VIP lounge, Mirabilis need it for a thing in a couple of days. Richard also bobs up to ask Terwilliger whether he knows that Charles is the only person who benefits from Freddy being fired from life, after betting on the business deal going south. Terwilliger will look into it just as soon as he gets his bet with Jessica finalised – that his squashes will be bigger and tastier than her squashes by August.

Shit just got real.

Jess takes herself off to the VIP lounge, where she finds an upset Julie furious that the police are hounding Paul about leaving the set at the time of the murder. Jess starts fiddling around with the keyboard for reasons that I’m sure will be come important later.

Back at House Fletcher Jess feeds Holly and asks her who called for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. Holly says she can’t be sure, it was too loud. Jess is wondering about the sleazy blonde guy she keeps bumping into and Holly tells her the police told her it was a private detective lurking around. (I’ve watched this episode twice and not noticed him). Jess wonders what he might have been doing there, and Holly explains about the business deal Freddy was negotiating. Julie appears, looking devastated – Paul’s been arrested for murder, the murder weapon was found in his car. Jess asks her where Paul went at the time of the murder – apparently he went looking for Willie but couldn’t find him.

Jess decides to pay a visit to the private investigator, but he’s cleared out. His landlord Giorgi Pappavasilopoulos appears to tell her that he was evicted for lack of rent. Jess goes hunting in the basement and finds the file on Rojam Records in the trash. I can’t even explain how ridiculous this scene was.

JB learns that Richard Lefko was the one who hired the PI to bug Freddy, but she doesn’t believe he killed him. Terwilliger calls to find out what’s going on and offers to shout JB brunch at Tavern on the Green. On her way out Holly starts waffling on about piano music and Jess works out who the killer is.

Whatever makes this episode end faster.

So yeah! That’s T-Bag from Prison Break. #TheMoreYouKnow

So presumably Charles bumped off Freddy to ensure the deal went south and Charles made a lot of money? Meh, whatever.

Let’s just all picture JB at a metal concert, and continue on with our lives shall we?

Later gang!

 

 

S09E08 – The Classic Murder

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Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, where our Heroine is going out to dinner with her editor Sally Wilson and Sally’s father Buck. Buck is a squillionaire who has just bought a steakhouse chain and is contemplating buying the publishing company where Sally works (much to Sally’s horror).

JB remembers the steakhouse and is excited to go, but is rather taken aback by Buck’s changes.

I had a similar experience the first time I went to Outback Steakhouse, followed by an uncontrollable bout of giggling.

JB is soon introduced to Sally’s uncle Geroge and aunt Janine, and her father Buck who is exactly how you’d expect.

Unless you were thinking about Uncle Buck, which is reasonable because that movie was awesome.

Buck asks his brother in law if he remembered to ship his Cadillac out to the car show in Pasadena and George says he sure did but can they have a word? Apparently Buck’s company is about to be investigated for corporate shenanigans and George is worried but Buck says he has nothing to hide. He leaves George to get hand fed by a waitress/cowgirl (much to Janine’s disapproval) and takes Jess to meet the restaurant’s gimmick star, the psychic Marika Valenti. Apparently she and Jess have a lot in common, Marika uses her abilities to solve crimes too.

I think Jessica begs to disagree on this point.

Buck decides he’s a bit weary and tells Jess and his daughter that he’s going to get the driver to take him home to Westchester. Sally and JB decide to get a propery dinner somewhere less insane, but bump into Sally’s brother BJ who is trying to find his father. He rushes off after Buck, and Jess and Sally make their escape.

Back at House Buck, Buck is making a nightcap for two when the housekeeper, Mrs Oates wanders in. He’s surprised to see her, thinking she would be visiting a friend in Poughkeepsie but she tells him her friend got sick. She’s surprised to see him, as she thought that he was staying in the city but he tells her he changed his mind, he was tired. She offers to bring his nightcap and snack upstairs for him but he insists on doing it himself. After she leaves he finishes pouring the second glass of whisky (considerably less than the other one, stingy bastard) and goes upstairs.

Later that night George and Janine arrive back at House Buck and all is clearly well.

Such romance.

Janine is still rather peeved about her husband’s efforts with the waitress, and George is just miffed in general. She tells him to keep his voice down but he says they are the only ones here, Buck’s getting busy in town.

The next morning Mrs Oates goes to check on Buck but he’s nowhere to be found. Janine pops in and is concerned to see the state of Buck’s bathroom, more so when she finds a cigarette butt with lipstick on it. SCANDALOUS.

Back in the city, Jess and Sally are working on edits for Sally’s next book when BJ calls looking for Sally. He tells her Buck has gone missing, so JB and Sally jet on out to Westchester to see what’s up. Mrs Oates lets them in, saying BJ is out back with his friend and local cop Tom Jarrow interviewing Buck’s driver Carl Graham. Unfortunately for BJ and Tom Carl knows nothing and saw nothing, and when he opens the garage for them there’s not a car missing.

Spoiler alert, Tom is a bit of an early 90s dreamboat.

Sah dreamy.

BJ wants a word with George about business, and they excuse themselves. Tom tells JB and Sally that they couldn’t get much out of Carl, but that he swears that Buck came home alone. Janine appears and says that there was definitely evidence Buck was with a woman last night, and Sally wonders if it was the waitress from the restaurant. Tom says he’ll look into it and leaves.

BJ and George have a heated debate when George finds out BJ has been sniffing around the company accounts but BJ tells him it was serious – they are about to be investigated and there’s 150 million dollars missing, and now Buck is missing too.

A knock at the door is answered by Janine and Jessica – it’s Marika, who had a terrible premonition that something had happened to Buck. She understands now why Buck wanted her to meet JB, he knew they would have to work together to solve his disappearance.

No time.

Marika gets to psychic work, leaving JB to explain what she’s doing to Janine. She latches on to a photo and declares that Buck is dead, just as Jessica finds a bloody sheet under the bed. Janine screams.

Marika decides to hold some sort of psychic conclave (in the lanai, so presumably the Golden Girls are coming too) and sends JB to gather the troops. She finds Mrs Oates in the kitchen with Carl the chauffeur. Mrs Oates is excited to witness Marika at work, but Carl refuses and storms out.

In the lanai (turns out lanai means porch, guys I’m learning all the time), Marika tells the story of Buck’s demise in suspicious detail, including mention of a witness. She asks Jess if that’s enough for her to solve the case and Jess asks her if that’s all she knows.

Jess is leaving this one to the psychic

Marika then says Buck’s body was thrown in a well. Sally loses it and says she’s had enough of this nonsense and storms out. BJ has a theory of what Marika is talking about and takes Rob into Buck’s study to show him a picture of Buck’s first oil well. Rob points out it’s in Oklahoma and that the private jet isn’t missing, but he thinks BJ thinks Buck isn’t dead. BJ says yes but won’t go into why.

JB has a quiet chat with Marika after the performance, to ask her about her previous experience solving cases with her mind powers. Marika says it was with Scotland Yard but doesn’t go into details. She announces she has a headache and goes outside.

You guys I really think JB doesn’t like Marika.

As Marika departs Sally comes in to apologise for running out. Jess tells her she nearly went with her, and asks her if there are any old maps of the property. Sally says there are, but she checked and there are no old wells on the property. Jess gets a magnifying glass and finds something interesting on the map. She tells Sally to call Tom, they’ll meet him there in the morning.

The next day, Tom tells Sally that the waitress from the restaurant went home to her husband after her shift, she wasn’t having an affair with Buck. Jess finds what she was looking for and gets Tom to lift the cement. They find Marika’s body at the bottom of the pit, dead from a gunshot.

Jess takes about five minutes to formulate a theory. She’s convinced that Marika was the woman in the house the night Buck disappeared, and she thinks Carl knew it. They pay him a visit in his apartment next to the garage and find him packing his bags, about to leg it. He admits Marika was in the car when he drove Buck up the night he disappeared and he was meant to drive her back to town the next morning but that she asked him to drop her at a motel instead. Tom orders Carl be read his rights and taken to the police station and Jess excuses herself to go and make a phone call. Outside, she runs into Sally and BJ arguing. Sally is outraged at BJ’s theory that Buck didn’t die, he ran off with the missing 150 million.

Later that afternoon Tom pops in to check on Sally, but Mrs Oates tells him Sally isn’t feeling well. This turns out to be under orders from Sally who doesn’t want to see anyone. An emotional Mrs Oates runs into George, who is concerned about her. Mrs Oates is just devastated by the whole business, including the idea that BJ has about Buck running off with money. George tells her not to worry, he’s sure Buck will walk in the door any minute.

JB gets on the phone with her friend Inspector Mores Scotland Yard, who tells her Marika Valenti was a blackmailer who pretended to be a psychic to get dirt on her victims. JB is delighted to hear it. She runs into Sally again but Sally is determined to leave the house and go back to New York. Jess won’t have a bar of it, and instead wants to hear about BJ and Tom’s old hiding places. They go back to the garage and find Buck’s body in the back seat of one of his cars.

I mean they can’t have done much of a search to begin with *cough cough*

Tom thinks finding Buck’s body in the garage seals the case against Carl, but Jess isn’t so sure – Carl didn’t have a motive, there’s no evidence he knew about the missing money and even if he did they never found a trace of it. She suddenly remembers Buck’s plan to ship his car to a car show in Pasadena and gets Tom to track down the shipping company. When he calls them it turns out the car has changed destination and is now going to be shipped to Rio Di Janeiro.

Later that afternoon George gets a phone call from the shipping company, saying there’s been a delay – the car needs to be searched by customs before it goes down south. That night, the killer breaks into the shipping company to retrieve his money…

George seems to be the only person surprised by this.

It’s the classic tale – man gets busted embezzling money, kills man to stop from being discovered, kills fraud psychic blackmailer to stop from being discovered/blackmailed.

Case closed! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Doctor Who to watch.

Later gang!

S09E05 – The Dead File

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In a big win for continuity, JB has (literally) just got back to her NYC castle from her European trip. Sid, the doorman who isn’t Ahmed carries Our Heroine’s bags into her apartment, but doesn’t want to hear about the trip so much as he wants to tell her how much he and his wife are enjoying the comic strip JB is appearing in.

“What’s this about a comic strip?” Says JB.

“That’s right, you’ve been away!” Says Sid LITERALLY CARRYING HER SUITCASE THROUGH THE DOOR. He shows her that day’s strip, in which Jessica Fox accuses a rat of stealing fish powder from the police station.

Holiday time is over.

Fun fact – Sid was in one of my favourite episodes of The West Wing, Life on Mars. Update your social media accounts accordingly.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, cartoonist Stan Hatter (aka Harvey Fierstein who I know from Independence Day) is hard at work drawing and dodging phone calls from his ex-wives while his assistant Teddy Graves just hangs out, noting that the man who has been loitering across the street from Stan’s office is back at it. The aforementioned man, Jerry Bozell, puts a call in to the man who hired him, Dayton Whiting, to report in on the complete lack of dirt available on Stan Hatter. Dayton, who also happens to be a cartoonist (and we all know the complicated vendettas that cartoonists hold), tells him if he can’t find something make it up. Jerry threatens to quit but Dayton mollifies him with the promise of money on Monday.

JB returns from a successful trip to the supermarket when she is accosted by Lieutenant Peter DiMartini, the aforementioned fish-powder-filching rat from the comic strip. He wants to know why JB has been slandering his name in the press.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy this pic made me.

Jess tells him she has no idea about any of it, but remembers a drug bust a few years earlier where drugs were taken from the evidence locker  – and DiMartini was the main suspect. She tells him to talk to Stan Hatter, she knows nothing. As he leaves, JB asks him if he did steal the drugs but he just walks out. Jess puts in a call to her lawyer, but his secretary tells her he’s already on his way over.

At the headquarters of Empire Feature Syndicate, Dayton is begging for an advance on his royalties from editor Paige Kindle (amazing name), who is disinclined to help as Dayton’s royalties are dropping. They are interrupted by a visit from Stan Hatter, incensed that a counterfeit cartoon has been published under his name. He threatens to walk away from the whole deal until Paige threatens to sue Stan for All Of The Things. He storms out, and Paige wonders whether Teddy could take over the cartoon. Dayton would be happy to help, after all Stan stole the idea from him.

Meanwhile, in yet another part of town, shady financier (aren’t they all though) Roger Melton takes time out from his shady business dealings to read that day’s cartoon – about a shady financier duck that Jessica Fox is accusing of corruption. Roger is incensed and gets straight on the phone to Paige Kindle.

Back at House Fletcher, JB’s defence lawyer Russell Yorke arrives with more bad news – he’s aware of the cartoon and has been contacted by Roger Melton’s lawyers who plan to sue JB, Stan Hatter and Empire Feature Syndicate for All Of The Things. JB is stunned, but Russell says even if she can prove there’s no case to answer the legal fees will rack right up.

Honestly guys, I’m just here to amuse myself, the fact that you all enjoy it is just icing on a delicious delicious cake.

Jess takes matters into her own hands and goes to see Stan Hatter, who is hard at work trying to make deadline on his next cartoon and blaring opera for all to hear. Stan sends Teddy to stop the knocking but JB bursts in demanding answers. Stan assures her he had nothing to do with the DiMartini cartoon, and is horrified when JB pulls the Roger Melton cartoon out of her bag. He had nothing to do with that one either. He shows her the real cartoon, with some horses and a cow with multiple personality disorder.

I’d like to think we are all being punked right now, it’s so much nicer than the alternative.

Stan promises he will get Jessica off the hook – he’ll talk to his lawyers and if need be he’ll write her out of the cartoon. He loves JB, he never meant to complicate her life. NAWWWW.

Back at home, Jess gets another visit from Lieutenant DiMartini. This time he’s received an old-school cutout word blackmail letter demanding 250 thousand dollars to stop the publication of the cartoon that proves he stole the fish powder/drugs. Jess can’t figure out why he has come to her about it until he peels one of the newspaper words back – the newspaper of choice for the blackmailer was the Cabot Cove Gazette, specifically last Tuesday’s paper.

All this and jetlag too, there is nothing she can’t do! #craprhymeSunday

Jess goes back to see Stan, but he swears he had nothing to do with the blackmail either. He tries to show her how the cartoon that was printed differs from the ones he draws but he’s not buying it. Ben Watanabe, the guy who does the lettering on the cartoons swears it’s not his work either. They are interrupted by Paige Kindle who is also furious with JB’s attempts to blackmail.

Paige, Stan and JB pay a visit on Roger Melton who has reached a level of outrage that could only be described as incandescent. Jess has no time for it and tells him to sit down.

Yes I paraphrased the quote. I AM A REBEL.

Jess says assuming that Stan is telling the truth, who else might be behind it? Stan rattles off a long list of names including his five ex-wives, the people he’s skewered in the cartoons, and Dayton Whiting.

Later that night, Ben Watanabe lets himself in to Stan’s office to start work on the newest cartoon when he hears a noise. He goes to investigate, and gets clocked on the head.

The next morning Jessica goes to see Dayton Whiting, who wants to give Jessica some friendly advice – sue Stan Hatter for all he’s worth, that will put an end to her problems. Jerry Bozell appears demanding money, but is shuffled off by Dayton who promises to give him money that afternoon. Jessica refuses to believe that Stan would let his creations be tarnished by something so unsavoury. A fellow cartoonist wanders past and asks if they’d heard about what happened to Ben.

Jess heads down to Stan’s offices where the police, led by Sergeant Martha Redstone, have ruled the case a suicide pending any other evidence. Jess talks her way into the office, and Redstone asks her just what her connection to all this is, bearing in mind she has heard about Jessica’s obsession with death.

(Not entirely inaccurate though let’s be honest)

Jessica points out that the statue on the table has a crack in it, which she doesn’t think was there the previous day. DiMartini pops in after hearing about it on the radio and Redstone starts demanding answers. Jess and Stan dismiss the idea that Ben was the fake cartoonist, killed to stop his cartoons, since the potential murder weapon was already in the office and not brought with the killer. Redstone wonders if the whole thing was staged to look un-premeditated by someone with knowledge, like a disgraced cop. She orders them all not to leave town and departs.

Across town, Dayton Whiting is having a meeting with Roger Melton, to offer his support and services during this difficult time. Dayton tells Roger that he has been conducting an investigation into Stan Hatter, and the investigation is about to pay off big time, and so –

“How much?” Says Roger.

Dayton smiles. “Ten thousand dollars, but it’s”

Roger orders his secretary to cut a cheque for ten grand but tells Dayton he expects results. Dayton goes straight to Jerry’s office and hands over three grand. Jerry asks about the extra week in advance but Dayton shoots him down, saying he doesn’t need Jerry any more.

Down at the precinct DiMartini confronts Redstone about her suspicions about him – she’s faced the wrath of internal affairs before, she should know how it feels. She relents, and tells him to report back on Jessica’s activities…and when they catch the murderer it’s her collar. (Because, it turns out Jess was totes right about the statue being the murder weapon).

DiMartini calls Jessica to let her know about the murder weapon. She’s at the offices of Empire Feature Syndicate trying to work out what the blackmail victims have in common. Paige Kindle wanders in and says they all have the same sleazy secrets in common – which gives Jessica an idea. She and DiMartini pay a visit to Jerry Bozell, who is in the middle of packing to leave town. He tells them that yes he used to have a “Dead File’ of gossip he couldn’t get printed, but that it was stolen. He’s leaving town before someone else works out that he was the source of the slander.

Jess and DiMartini go to see Dayton Whiting again, who denies any knowledge of Jerry’s activities, saying he was paying Jerry for publicity. Unfortunately for Dayton Jerry was recording the whole thing, and so he admits to looking for dirt on Stan but that he was otherwise occupied with a lady friend on the night of the murder. DiMartini thinks they are back to square one, but Jess has the vague inkling of a plan. They go back to Stan’s office and Jess hunts under a pot-plant to find an artists glove. They put it in for testing and report in to Redstone, who isn’t buying it. Ben Watanabe went to a variety of studios to do lettering and no one knew his schedule except Ben. Jess says that’s true but that Ben got a call from one of the artists to say he wasn’t needed that night – leading Jess to think the killer was familiar with Ben’s schedule. Redstone tells them the lab report came back and the blood they found was Ben’s. Jess says that’s fine, and leaves a message for Stan.

Not so much for Stan, more for the killer.

I can’t even tell if I saw this coming to be honest.

Teddy-boy was hired by Dayton to create counterfeit cartoons with the gossip in them, and when Ben came into the office off-schedule, he freaked and clocked him with the statue. He threw Ben off the balcony to make it look like suicide.

Case closed. On another note, sending all the love in the world to the UK today. Don’t let those hate-filled bastards win.

Later gang.

S09E03 – The Mole

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Guys, I tell you what – I’m loving the next level high tech computer hacking that has been going on in Murder She Wrote recently.

Fun fact I learned from watching QI – nostalgia was once considered a medical disease that was cured by leeches, bullying and all sorts of top level medical skills. I’d be in so much trouble if that was still a thing.

More on Ms Hackity Hack, who has just narrowly avoided capture with her floppy disk file about someone called Max Hagen  later.

JB is out to dinner with her old journalist friend, and when I heard his name I thought I was hearing things.

WHAT IS HAPPENING WHAT WHAT WHAT

Jess’s sidekick in this episode has the same name as me. Putting aside the fact that this is the first time I’ve seen my name attached to a dude, and the spelling looks like it’s been dreamed up by someone at Starbucks, ERMAHGHERD. Guys, this is a big deal. Up until now the only Briony I’ve seen in fiction is the whiny little cow from Atonement, and I effing hated that book (I haven’t seen the movie on account of I REALLY HATED THAT BOOK.)

But there you go guys – if you’ve seen this episode you now know how to pronounce my name, which puts you ahead of most call centre operators, baristas and people I work with. Happy early birthday to me!

Anyway, Jess is chatting to me Brynie about his career as a journalist as inspiration for her new book, while he contends with a managing editor who has issues with his new column and the terrible line it (Brynie points out the line is by F Scott Fitzgerald and the editor looks panicked).

Jess cacks herself laughing as the editor departs and says “I’m sorry Briony Brynie, I know it isn’t funny to you.”

(My response to Angela Lansbury saying my name:

I AM DEAD.
I wonder if I can make this my text message notification or something.

me Brynie rages on about the quality of journalism these days, (oh God, it really is me) and points at the TV as an example – a young reporter is interviewing the coach of the New York Eagles basketball team and is avoiding all the difficult questions like what’s up with his penchant for nose candy and gambling, and just what does he have on his boss, team owner/philanthropist Max Hagen. He rages on a bit more and then says to Jess “Are you sure you want to use me?”

“Briony Brynie, you’re it, and that’s final. Nobody can do what you do, nobody.” Says JB.

I CAN’T GO ON THIS IS THE GREATEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED.

me Brynie tells JB he won’t be able to meet her now that he has to make these idiot changes as requested by his idiot editor,  but Jess tells him it’s fine – she has a million things to do before she flies to San Francisco so she will just meet him for a late lunch.

On the other side of town, the aforementioned Max Hagen is busy making himself look good by distributing checks and menacing his employees. The coach of the Eagles basketball team pops round just as another of Hagen’s henchmen swears he has a line on “her” and Hagen says he hopes so. Hagen flicks on the TV to watch the interview of the coach, and grins when the reporter declares the world things that Hagen is too nice a guy to fire the coach.

“At least you know that isn’t true” Hagen tells the coach.

Whatever dude, Angela Lansbury said nobody can do what I do.

The next day Jess is queuing in her hotel lobby awaiting her plane tickets (was that a thing? I barely remember paper tickets, what a time the 90s were) when a very harried desk clerk accidentally puts JB’s ticket in the folder for Liz Foster. Spoiler alert, Liz Foster is Ms Hackity Hack.

JB doesn’t realise the mistake and blissfully goes on her way, while the desk clerk quickly realises her mistake and starts bellowing for Ms Foster. This attracts the attention of a couple of goons, who follow Jess outside, pull a gun on her and muscle her into a car. Despite JB hollering for help, noone does a damn thing – including Liz Foster, who watches it all go down from the other side of the road.

The goons take JB to a deserted warehouse where Max Hagen is just as surprised to see JB as she is to see him.

She’s waiting Max…

Max tries to smooth things over by saying it was a joke on a friend that went terribly wrong, and he’s so sorry. His friends clearly grabbed the wrong woman.

Called it like she saw it.

Max has more explanations where that one came from but JB gets while the getting is good and jumps in the nearest taxi. One of Hagen’s minions offers to bump JB off but Hagen says that might not be the smartest idea, and calls his PR lady instead.

Meanwhile JB goes straight to the NYPD and gets absolutely nowhere thanks to Lieutenant Artie Gelber.

Well it’s no wonder.

JB is furious and threatens to go to his superior Dorothy, but Art tells her he’s eleven days from retirement (WHO SAYS THAT HAVE YOU NEVER WATCHED A TV SHOW BEFORE) and is she sure she wasn’t nabbed by someone who had at least racked up some parking tickets or something?

Art and JB choof on over to Max’s place, where he is delighted to meet JB – for the very first time apparently. He swears he’s never met JB before and is horrified to think someone who looks like him is going around snatching women off the street. It couldn’t possibly have been him, he only just returned from Boston, which air traffic control, his pilot and associated lackeys will of course swear to.

Seems legit, says Art.

Darn right she is. Guys do we need to talk about just how great The Golden Girls is? Nah, I figured we’d all agree on that.

Art drops her back at her apartment with the fervent hope that if JB has any more accusations to fling, she flings them in any direction but his. Jess says he can count on that – and is immediately accosted by some feds.

(Me, everytime I wake up and read the news headlines)

The feds are minions of Louis Paloma, who is investigating Max Hagen. When Jess is brought to his office he is very eager to find out why Hagen’s men abducted Jess and is annoyed when Jess is demanding answers from him. He tells her he knows it was a case of mistaken identity and if she works out why it happened to give him a call.

Back at home JB gets a visit from Max’s publicist Sara Lloyd who has exciting news – as compensation for the trauma of being kidnapped by fake Max Hagen, the 100% real Max Hagen would like to donate money to Jessica’s favourite charity – 25 thousand!

Insufficient zeroes, sunshine.

Jessica tells her nothing doing (obviously) and wonders if Sara knows why Hagen is being investigated. Sara is sure it’s all a mistake and leaves just as I Brynie arrives with good news – he’s wrangled an invitation for them to go to the New York Eagles party Max is hosting that night.

While JB gets ready I Brynie tries to put the Hagen/Paloma puzzle together. It’s only when JB reaches into her handbag and finds her plane ticket with Liz Foster’s on it that she puts it all together. She calls the Grand Palace Hotel, where she picked up her ticket, but there is noone staying there in the name of Liz Foster. Jess and me Brynie agree that this is worth looking into and so head on over to the hotel. When they arrive it’s crawling with Art and his minions and a body being carted away in a body bag.

Art is too busy to talk to JB now but stops when she and me Brynie tell him the Jane Doe body they found in the elevator is actually Liz Foster. He still doesn’t believe there is any connection to JB getting nabbed until they tell him about Louis Paloma’s investigation and suggest they should probably get together for a chat. They leave Art to it and move on to Max’s party. He is horrified to learn of someone’s murder, and says the name Liz Foster rings a very faint bell and asks his assistant to look into it.

JB and me Brynie bail on the party and go to see Louis Palermo who refuses to admit that he is investigating Max, but concedes the dead woman is in fact Liz Foster. me Brynie has a theory that Louis is going after Max in order to drum up support for an election run, but Palermo isn’t buying it, and refuses to agree with Jess’s theory that Liz was working for Louis Palermo. me Brynie offers to sit on the story as long as they get the full exclusive once it’s all over.

Guys for real, this is a really complicated episode. And I don’t think it’s because I cheer loudly every time Angela Lansbury says Brynie.

But it might be.

Louis, me Brynie and JB adjourn to the nearest bar to get up to speed. Turns out Louis has a mole in Max’s organisation, who recruited Liz Foster to get the dirt on Max. Louis was supposed to meet her that morning at the UN but she didn’t show. After Louis heard about JB’s kidnapping he managed to get in touch with Liz again, they met in Central Park and swapped 200 grand for disks containing all the goss on Max. Unfortunately for Louis, the info on the disks was completely irrelevant and Liz ended up dead.

You got all that?

#ImWithHer

Louis departs, but he’s gotten JB thinking. What if Liz wasn’t killed by one of Max’s goons? What if, in fact, she was killed by someone else who knew that she had the disks and the cash and helped themselves?

(Me watching the voting at Eurovision last week)

Over at Casa de Max, the Man himself is assuring Sara that he had nothing to do with any of it, he couldn’t possibly have, does he have the face of someone who could do that etc etc. Mollified, Sara leaves and some other minions come in to assure Max that the police can’t tie him to the murder but that they haven’t found the missing disks. Max goes bananas and wants the disks and the leak found.

Jess goes to see Art Gelber, who has recovered Liz’s suitcase from a dumpster. In it is a wig and a suit jacket but not the matching skirt. Jess appears to think this is important and rushes off. Meanwhile, me Brynie meets Sara the PR lady for a drink to see what she knows, but the answer is not much. She’s starting to freak out about everything and me Brynie assures her he will look out for her – if he gets the exclusive story.

Bahaha go me.

JB heads to the Grand Palace hotel, where she finds the missing skirt in the unclaimed dry cleaning, complete with room number. She goes up to the room, convinced that that is where Liz was killed. Inside, her attention is drawn to a broken curtain runner when the door opens and Art Gelber appears, holding the missing piece in his hands, freshly found by one of his associates. They test it and it’s a match. Housekeeping has already been through, but Art calls the forensic team anyway to see if they can find anything.

Later that afternoon Jess is pacing her apartment like she’s watching Richmond play football. me Brynie tells her to relax, but she’s worried the killer is going to get away. Art finally calls in to tell her they got nothing, but JB is already way ahead – the killer doesn’t know they didn’t find anything. It’s time to flush the mole out.

JB has a quiet word with Louis Palermo that the police have found some forensic evidence that will identify the killer and sits back to wait. Sure enough, the mole returns to try and set fire to the hotel room that could identify him. Which is ironic, because I’d forgotten he existed.

I didn’t even know this character had a name to be honest.

That is Fred Chandler, lackey #1 in Max’s organisation, and also the mole. He took the money and the disks to make his exit from being a mole much easier.

Who cares. Angela Lansbury said nobody can do what I do, and I’m going to have a nap to celebrate. Nobody naps like I do, I take the best naps. Oh God, I sound like Donald Trump, I take it all back.

Oooh icecream! Now there’s a thought.

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