Home

S10E20 – A Murderous Muse

2 Comments

It’s just another night on West 64th Street. A busker is busting out some funky clarinet moves while up in the penthouse a girl is busting out some classical on the piano. The jam session is cut short by Tommy Wisseau Byron Tokofsky slamming the lid down and ordering the girl, Leslie Walden back to bed. She is recording in the morning.

PS OMG Leslie Walden is being played by Jenny Lewis ARGH WHAT IS HAPPENING.

A few levels down from the penthouse, JB is just chillin casual-like as depicted by the cardigan casually draped over her shoulders.

Casual perfection, frankly

She is loving the clarinet performance happening outside, but Richie the super tells her that not everyone is so appreciative, and Byron Tokofsky has put in numerous complaints. Jess is trying to get Leslie to perform at a benefit she is organising however it’s all going to come down to whether Byron is in the mood.

The next day Leslie hits the recording studio, while a crowd of people (including JB obvs) watch on. Byron is unhappy because Byron is always unhappy. Specifically, he thinks Leslie fluffed the recording, and her manager, Owen McLaglen has done a lousy job with the promo artwork for the album cover and whatnot. Seriously, I haven’t seen The Room but Byron is basically old man Tommy Wisseau in my head.

Nailed it, probably.

JB pops into the booth to see the head of Leslie’s label, Steven Hoyt, who is ranting and raving about Byron’s crazy control freak ways. Jess quietly points out that it’s a little unusual for the head of the label to also be sound engineering and producing the album. But, if it gets Leslie’s album perfect it will be worth it.

Jess knows what’s up.

Jess goes to try and wrangle a commitment to the museum benefit out of Byron but he’s not having a bar of it. Jess is persistent but is cut off when the clarinet player turns up. “Hello angel,” he says to Leslie. He goes to grab Leslie’s hand but Byron swats his hand away. Leslie announces she will share a cab back to the apartment with JB and rushes out. Byron sticks around to smack talk the man, who turns out to be Leslie’s father Frank. In the booth, Steven eavesdrops furiously.

Back at Casa de Fletcher Jess introduces Leslie to her neighbour Solly Prinze, another musician who is helping JB learn a bit of piano for a book she’s prepping. Solly says he’s shared an elevator with Leslie many times and asks her out to dinner. She says maybe, and bids Jessica goodnight. Jess reconfirms her lesson with Solly the next day.

Up in the penthouse, Byron is making plans with his butler, whose name is Bok and the less that’s said about that the better frankly. Byron orders Leslie to join him in a toast, and casually busts some moves on her – Leslie is turning 18 soon and will no longer be his ward, so we all know what that means. Leslie hightails it to her bedroom, while a woman, Vanessa Cross, moves in on Byron to bust some moves of her own. He tells her she has an apartment and a generous allowance, what else does she want? Meanwhile, Leslie puts in a quick call to Owen looking for support but he can’t get the dollar signs out of his eyes.

Sidenote, I just finished reading Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates and it was amazing and got all my feminist rage riled up. Again. But you know. #notallmen.

There’s a party on, and while Byron stalks the crowd looking for Leslie, Jessica has been bailed up by some dude who wants to mansplain her writing to her.

Me, basically always.

Meanwhile, on his search for Leslie, Byron fires Owen because he’s Byron then tries to get into the credenza to get a program for a little old duck but has no luck. You better believe that’s going to come up again later.

Leslie, it turns out, has gone to see Solly play with his jazz band. After his set, they bond over samosas and their love of music and frankly, it’s adorable. Later that night, Leslie falls asleep listening to Solly’s CD and Byron storms in, yelling at her for embarrassing him in front of his guests. He tells her he’s going to make a woman of her and they will be married in Munich in September.

This guy can’t die soon enough, to be honest.

Frank Walden inexplicably sees the whole thing go down and goes to drink his sorrows away in the neighbourhood bar. Vanessa finds him there and tells him about the marriage plot. She wants to marry Byron, (you need help lady), and she wants to help Frank stop the whole thing.

The next morning Leslie meets with her father, who apologises for the drugs and the alcohol and wants to make things right. Leslie isn’t having a bar of it and tells her father she never wants to see him again.

Jessica is having her lesson with Solly (“C sharp is the same as D flat? There’s something very suspicious about that!”) when there’s a knock at the door – it’s a tearful Leslie looking for some patented JB sympathy. Solly excuses himself, but not before reminding Leslie he owes her dinner. Leslie apologises to JB for the stuff around with the museum benefit, and JB says not to worry – but that’s not why Leslie is there. Leslie explains her father wants her back in his life and she doesn’t know what to do.

Across town, Owen summons Steven to a quick meeting to inform him that another record company has offered more money for Leslie’s contract and Byron is set to sign, despite his agreement with Steven’s label. Steven freaks but Owen says not to worry, he has a good relationship with Leslie, he’ll straighten it out. He somehow forgets to mention that Byron fired him the previous night.

Later that night, Jessica goes to see Byron to try and get Leslie at the benefit, and also to deliver a package that was left for him downstairs, some sheet music as it turns out. Byron says the benefit isn’t happening, and to butt out of his business. As Jessica leaves, she hears Byron start to play the music and winces as he hits a bung note.

And by a bung note I mean he dead now. And there was such mourning.

The next day JB gives a statement to Lieutenant DiMartini, but it doesn’t help. Byron’s been shot but they don’t know more than that. DiMartini has been told that Leslie’s father gave her a bunch of compositions before he left, which Byron then appropriated but JB doesn’t know anything about that. She does know that Leslie’s missing and messed up. Before she leaves, JB gives Vanessa her condolences. Downstairs Solly finds Leslie slumped in the hallway weeping, and brings her inside.

That night Owen and Steven meet. Neither of them has heard from Leslie and they are starting to grow suspicious of each other. Steven thinks it’s a tad suspicious that Owen was out of a job and is suddenly running things, and thinks it’s all suss. Owen says he’s sending the papers over tomorrow, sign or don’t sign.

Jess arrives home from the supermarket, flicks on the TV and sees DiMartini announcing that Frank Walden has been arrested for Byron’s murder. Solly appears at her door, confesses that Leslie has been with him most of the day but is now missing. Jess tells him to go home and she’ll let him know if she hears anything…then literally hears piano music coming from the penthouse. Leslie tells Jess that she doesn’t remember much, she just rode the subway for a bit and then walked. She’s surprised her father did it, but she’s not interested in hearing from anyone else. Jess promises she will take Leslie to see her father in the morning.

While Leslie and Frank have a tearful reunion, JB discusses the case with DiMartini. DiMartini is less than convinced about Frank’s guilt, but he can’t see another suspect. Jessica thinks it’s ridiculous that Frank’s fingerprints were all over the rooftop opposite the penthouse but not on the gun. She’s starting to wonder about that mysterious sheet music that Byron received and asks DiMartini for a copy.

Back at House Fletcher, JB, Leslie and Solly play the sheet music and are confused when there’s a bung note in it.

Wait he was shot by a wineglass?

Jessica has an epiphany, throws Solly and Leslie out, and calls DiMartini.

It’s Fletchertime

Anyway, long story short…

Because sure

But also

Because of course.

These two bright sparks teamed up to eliminate a common enemy, i.e Byron (it turns out Vanessa was set to inherit a whole bunch). So Steven built a magical contraption into the credenza that opened the door and fired a gun whenever the bung note was played.

For those who are interested, scroll down to see a cat ranking of this episode (I so nearly got through it while she was asleep honestly it’s like having a baby in the apartment)

Later gang!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777

Advertisements

S10E17 – The Dying Game

10 Comments

Once upon a time in a faraway land called Larkins Department Store, a man hides in a pot plant to escape the watchful eyes of a security guard. The guard safely on his way, the man does what we all did in the 90s – steal a floppy disk and some dot-matrix printouts before using a landline to call your boss and tell them that the Larkin Pension fund is missing about five million dollars.

Come on guys you know we were all doing that in the 90s. That and Pogs.

The man promises the guy on the other end of the line that he’ll find out who’s been pinching the money and hangs up. He hears a noise and quickly goes to the elevator however it doesn’t reach him in time and someone leaves an axe in his back. And by axe, I mean a hatchet that looks like it came from a toy shop.

(Frankly, he deserves to die, you take the goddamn stairs like a normal thief FML).

Before the killer flaps off into the night, they hit redial on the phone in the office and ask the person on the other end of the line who is speaking. Spoiler alert the killer is a woman but apparently isn’t…well I’ll get to that.

The next day, as the employees come to terms with the loss of Chief Accountant Henry Wilson (the recently axed man found in the elevator), owner of the store Floyd Larkin (aka Peter Donat, aka Mulders Dad) is in crisis talks with Clint Halliwell and Thornton Brewer from Amalgamated Holdings. Clint and Thornton have secretly outbid their competitors, the Museum of Cultural History to take over the Larkin building and Floyd is having a crisis of conscience. He promised the building to the museum but he’s signed the paperwork. Clint, in particular, gives no bothers about the whole thing and tells Floyd to get over it, he has bigger problems than letting down a friend, aka someone’s been pinching from the pension plan. As they leave the office with personnel manager Maud Gillis (aka Captain Janeway) Clint tells Thornton he got a weird phone call the previous night asking who he was.

Captain Janeway has a really unique voice though, wouldn’t you agree? We’ll get to that.

Meanwhile, Floyd’s friend is in the elevator and has just found out about the recent murder.

It must be exhausting, frankly.

That guy, Bill Maguire, promises to have lunch with JB later, but must now away to a meeting with Maude. JB lets Floyd’s secretary know she is here (fun fact, the secretary is being played by Angie Lans’s niece), and goes off to wait. She first bumps into Larkin employee and student of the Fletcher Writing System Shirin Hourani, who tells her she will have to drop out of the course now that she’s about to lose her job. The lawyer for the Cultural History Museum Meredith Peckham tells her that all Larkin employees will have the chance to train to work at the museum and Shirin is very excited to hear.

Jess runs into another old friend, Lieutenant Alan Terwilliger (previously seen here) and immediately asks him how his beets are doing. Man, that’s a long throwback. I’d forgotten all about this guy who is not in another episode after this one. There’s no time to get into a beetdown though (you’re welcome), Floyd is ready to see JB now.

(Meanwhile, Bill Maguire has a big argument with Maude about a fifteen grand loan that is now due. Something about wedding costs and his house not being mortgaged. It was about this time I started thinking about pancakes)

Jessica is outraged to hear that Floyd is going back on his word about the museum buying the Larkin building. Floyd doesn’t have a whole lot to say for himself but Clint Hallowell, who shall be henceforth known as Douchebag McGinty (not my first choice of name, but less sweary) announces that Floyd made the right move and gets five million out of the deal. Thornton Whatsisface says Larkin employees who measure up will get to become part of Amalgamated as well. Meredith tells them that a verbal agreement is binding and there is such a thing as *insert whatever law term she was talking about here* and storms out. Douchebag McGinty tells Floyd to accept the deal by close of business or the whole thing goes down and he and Thornton wander off. Floyd asks JB if he’s lost a friend and JB says no, but she’s very disappointed and she owes it to the museum to fight him to the end. He tells her she’s invited to the closing down party on Friday night but she says given the circumstances she won’t attend.

Jess pops down to see Bill, but he’s so busy taking inventory he can’t attend. He introduces her to fellow Larkin employee Ernie Fishman (who on his IMDB page lists himself as quite a good pinball machine repairman, you can all update your social media accounts accordingly). Ernie is a) saving up to open a bridal boutique on Madison Avenue (sure buddy) and b) is dating Sherin.

So for those playing at home, I am about 9 minutes into this episode and there have been 12 characters including one JB said hello to as she walked into the reception area. I’m already exhausted.  Meanwhile, Floyd overhears Douchebag McGinty and Thornton Whatsiface discuss their financial woes, and how Douchbag plans to borrow money from the Larkin pension plan to cover it until November.

Later that night…

This was basically me last night, except I was watching the football and had a cat instead of a telephone #whereshefitsshesits

…JB gets a call from Ernie to tell her that Bill Maguire for Henry Wilson’s murder. JB tells him not to worry, she’ll get into it first thing in the morning.

Jess goes to see Sideshow Alan Terwilliger (you’re welcome, people who get that reference) who is adamant Bill killed Henry and put a virus on the store network to wipe any trace of his debt to Floyd Larkin. Jess isn’t buying it, not even when he tells her that the security guard saw Bill leave the store a short time after the murder.

Down at Larkins, Tina Poulos (who said hello to JB at the elevator and I think possibly told Terwilliger about the virus) is yelling at Floyd about how he’s letting Amalgamated win, and did the Bahamas mean nothing and so on and so forth. I’m not entirely sure what her job is at Larkins but she’s very opinionated.

Back at the precinct Bill tells JB that he was there the night Henry died – he’d been following Henry for a few nights, suspicious that Henry knew something was up. His suspicions were confirmed when he saw him meeting Douchbag Macginty the night before the murder, but when Henry didn’t appear downstairs for Bill to tail he just went home. Ernie was with him at closing, and so JB decides to go have a chat with him.

Back at Larkins, Douchbag McGinty arrives just as Shirin is leaving for the day. She politely excuses herself but Douchbag says that’s no way to treat a man whose sent her roses every day for a week, and that he doesn’t give up that easily.

An arrogant jackass that won’t take no for an answer? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

He corners her for another crack and she tells him no. He tells her her mouth says no but her eyes say “what have I got to lose?”

Hashtag mace face

Meanwhile Maude is called into Thornton’s office for a chat. She thinks chat is code for sexy times, but he wants to remind her that she has an excellent opportunity with Amalgamated, and that she needs to remember that Chairman Douchebag Macginty likes women to be submissive.

NAILED IT

Maude tells him to man up and stop cleaning up after him, but immediately apologises and they get to the making out. Later, Maude finds Shirin in her office wanting to make a complaint about Douchbag McGinty. She doesn’t want to file a lawsuit, she needs her job. Maude tells her she’ll be head of makeup with a 30% raise – if she dates Douchbag, find out who he meets, where he goes, and reports back to Maude. Put out, don’t put out, she doesn’t care. Shirin can take the deal or an unemployment cheque when Maude tells the new overlords about Shirin’s record for shoplifting as a teenager. Shirin tells her that Floyd forgave that but Maude tells her there’s no record of that in the file.

Our Heroine and Meredith are out regrouping after losing a legal challenge when Douchbag McGinty pops up.

Fun fact: the collective name for a group of men in suits blocking your path is in fact a Conglomerate of Douchebags. #themoreyouknow

He just wants to commiserate with them – his team had bigger guns.

THIS EPISODE IS MAKING ME SO ANGRY WHERE’S THE GODDAMN KEYTAR

Douchbag McGinty wanders off with Shirin on his arm and Meredith and JB vow to go down fighting. On that, JB pops round to the store to see Ernie and find out more about the hatchet that was used to kill Henry. He tells her it wasn’t missing during stocktake, so someone must have come down and taken it after hours and only Bill and the bosses (Floyd, Tina Poulos and Maude etc) have keys to get in.

Back at home, Jessica calls Sideshow Al to tell him her theory that Henry was a mole for Amalgamated, but he ain’t got time – he’s gotten an invite to the closing down party and he wants to do some snooping. It’s not Jess’s first choice but she wouldn’t mind another go at Floyd so she tells Al she’ll see him there.

That night over a dance Sideshow Al reluctantly conceeds JB’s theory is valid, and says he’s having a familiar feeling that she knows something he doesn’t.

Something something worst ties at Larkins…

Their conversation is cut short by Terwilliger’s pager going off. Later, JB is kicking back with a beverage with the inexplicable Tina Poulos who is bemoaning the fate of the store despite having no real idea what she does there. Ernie tells Jess Al’s gone back to the precinct and resumes waiting for Shirin. He doesn’t have to wait long, she arrives in a blast of fanfare on the arm of Douchbag McGinty looking miserable. While DM swans about congratulating himself she rushes over to apologise to Ernie. Douchbag himself bobs up to ask Ernie what he’s so mad about, he never had a shot at Shirin. Ernie responds by going to punching him in the face. DM ducks, and proceeds to beat the crap out of poor old Ernie. Jess corners Floyd for one last try at a postponement, but he’s given up.

DM gets a call and wanders off, closely followed by Ernie, but not before DM takes the time to tell Maude that she’s riding a dead horse or hasn’t Thornton told her yet? No, I don’t know either. DM goes downstairs, drunkenly smashes a couple of mannequins and then someone dressed as a deer hunter shoots him with a crossbow – unfortuantely not in his nuts.

The next day Sideshow Al rocks up to investigate the murder and discovers that someone has also broken into the personnel office and trashed the files. JB is summoned and Al tells her the murder happened at roughly 10:35 according to DM’s smashed watch. A minion appears with the deerstalker outfit and that triggers something in JB’s memory but she can’t quite remember it. Al gives her a lift home and they have a lovely voiceover conversation about fingerprints in an effort to speed things along under budget.

Later, Jess gets a call from Sideshow Al who tells her that Ernie’s prints were on the crossbow and the personnel office and he’d like a word. Jess tells him she’ll let him know when she sees Ernie, hangs up and discovers Ernie and Shirin were in her kitchen this whole time drinking tea I mean what were the odds?

Shirin explains how Floyd and DM had an argument the night of the party, and Ernie tells Jess he trashed the office after he heard what Maude had threatened Shirin with. He also did follow DM down to the basement, but legged it when he saw the body. JB asks him to think hard but he can’t remember anything else except how weird it was that someone had stripped the deerstalker outfit off the mannequin.

This gives JB an idea and she hightails it back to Larkins. She bids Maude a goodnight, runs into Tina and tells her she’s just looking for something she’s forgotten and would Tina like to help her down in the basement? Tina says no, it’s all a bit creepy and goodnight. A quick call to Sideshow Al and Jess heads down to the basement where she finds what she was looking for – the mosquito net mask of the deerstalker hat, and the killer.

WTF WHY WHAT NO.

But also

WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING

You guys I do not understand. I get that Floyd was the one who embezzled the money. I do. And obviously he killed Douchbag McGinty. But who killed Henry? And the person who called the phone was 100% Kate Mulgrew. I AM SO CONFUSED.

Two months later Shirin is pregnant and about to become a docent, Ernie has opened his shop and all is well except for a random freeze frame about spelling Abraham/Ibrahim.

I am so confused. Guys, explain this to me.

Later gang!

S10E16 – Time To Die

2 Comments

Welcome to the mean streets of New York Fletcherfans, where kids are graffitiing the streets and corrupt businessmen are racing pigeons to get their thrills.

Today’s example (out of the many thousands of similar pigeon-graffiti situations happening daily in 90s New York) sees Chris Garcia tagging away on buildings and then arguing with his creepy stepfather Frank Garcia (aka Chakotay from Voyager and this episode of MSW). Frank has a go at his stepson for not being man enough (#toxicmasculinityistoxic) but is called away when it’s revealed that local tagger ‘Choey’ (or Joey, or Shuey, I mean we’ll never know) is targeting Frank’s buildings to spray, and is also Chris. Frank thinks Chris needs to get a job, but Chris has decided to go back to school. To learn creative writing.

Alright, that came out wrong.

JB is delighted to welcome Chris to her class and looks forward to reading his short story. His friend and fellow student Alida Alvarez is stoked Chris is joining the class and super stoked about that week’s assignment – to write about five members of a family who have just discovered that a sixth member has just cheated them out of a fortune. “Can we include a crime?” Asks Alida.

The hell question is that though?

After class, Alida asks if Chris wants to grab a coffee, but Manny Castillo pops up to declare they have band practice and that she needs to go. Alida tells Chris they’ll catch up later. “Much later.” Says Manny.

Later that night there’s an anti-graffiti rally at the Koffee Kafe (owned by the Kardashians), where Alida and Manny’s band ‘Full Moon’ are performing. JB is in attendance with her friend Detective Sergeant Vince Lofton and they are Rocking Out.

Gettin down with the youngins 

And then Manny is unleashed.

You guys Manny is like the coolest.

Chris is also in the audience with his mother and Frank. Maria tells Chris to invite Alida to dinner, but Chris tells her she’s too busy. She says it doesn’t matter but Frank tells her to drop it.

Vince invites JB to dance to the next song, and explains that Alida’s father was his rabbi at the precinct when he first joined. When Alida’s father died Vince wanted to become Alida’s big brother, and Jessica tells him that Alida has mentioned it in her stories – that she feels pressured by this new-found big brother who wants her to go to college.

They are interrupted by Manny doing some crowd work, then inviting Principal Barbara Fisher to the stage. She just wants to mainly thank Frank Garcia for purchasing some infrared cameras that will help catch these damn punks tagging up the joint. Frank acknowledges the applause with a wave, but Jessica notices Vince isn’t clapping.

Barbara then invites cafe owner Mario Fernandez to the stage, where he announces Full Moon will have a two-week gig at the cafe. Manny announces they accept the job, but tells Mario he will need to get a better sound system if they are going to rock the house. And by they I mean he. And by house I mean Keytar.

After the set, Alida gets hit on by Frank in front of Maria and Chris. Chris asks his mother how she puts up with it, and she says ‘He is my husband.” Chris quite rightly storms out. Get it together Maria, geez.

At the buffet, Frank runs into Vince, who tells him to stay away from Alida. Frank tells him she can take care of herself, and Vince tells him if he keeps hitting on her, she won’t need to. Also, there’s good pie.

Later, Jess shares a cab home with Barbara Fisher, who it turns out went to college with JB. She gets dropped off first, and then is hit by a car as she’s crossing the street. The car zooms off but not before JB and a shadowy graffiti painter see the driver is Frank Garcia, and he’s not alone.

Spoiler alert the painter is Chris Garcia.

Down at the precinct Vince is stoked to think he’s finally going to be able to nail Frank Garcia, but there’s a hitch – one of his colleagues has just popped in to say that Frank is saying that his car was stolen and that he was at work with two colleagues at the time of the hit and run. JB is outraged but there’s nothing they can do unless they identify the passenger in the car or get a corroborative witness.

The next day Frank is up on the roof looking at birds (not code), in preparation for a pigeon race he’s having with Mario Fernandez. Chris asks him if he’s heard anything about his car, and Frank has not, nor is he worried. They argue again before Maria appears with breakfast. Chris says he hasn’t got time and jets off.

Back at House Fletcher Alida has popped round for a cup of tea and discovers that JB has submitted one of her short stories to her publisher for a future anthology and it has been accepted. Nothing is bringing Alida down now, except possibly talk of the hit and run. Jess is heading down to amend her statement and offers Alida a ride but she swiftly declines.

At the precinct, Vince returns Frank’s effects to him and also mentions he’s not so sure Frank’s alibi is so reliable. Frank isn’t buying it. He runs into JB as he leaves and tells her no hard feelings, people say things they don’t believe all the time.

FEAR THE FLETCHER

Frank wanders off and Jess signs her amended statement. Vince shows her what they found in the car, and Jess notices a tube of lipstick. Vince tells her they are way ahead of her, it’s not Maria Garcia’s.

Down at Pigeon Racing HQ, which is apparently a thing, a bloke named Joe Mancuso is setting the clocks and getting things ready for Frank and Mario’s race the next day. Frank offers to increase the prizemoney to 10K which Mario accepts. He also offers to buy a couple of birds (again, not code) from Joe, but Joe essentially tells him to bugger off, he’s keeping the birds and giving their offspring to Chris.

Welcome to the cut throat world of pigeon racing.

The next day a huge mural depicting Frank Garcia as the driver involved in the hit and run is discovered on a wall, signed by Choey, Joey or Toey (aka Chris). Jessica notices something and takes one of the polaroids  with her as she rushes away to her office, where she compares the tag to Chris’s story. It’s a match people. Meanwhile over at the Montauk Pigeon Racing Club a pair of pigeons gets released and Mario calls Ben to tell him the time of release.

That night, at the Koffee Kafe

I mean come on.

Manny thanks Mario for the new sound system and asks how the race went. Mario tells him he thinks he won, but hasn’t heard from Frank yet. Barbara’s daughter Tammy tells JB that Barbara is out of the woods and is going to be fine, and that she’s off to the hospital now. Jessica notices that the tube of lipstick Alida is using matches the one found in Frank’s car and after some gentle but devastating questioning, Alida admits she was in the car but that Frank said if she mentioned anything to any one he’d kill her.

Alida and Jess pop round to tell Vince everything before heading over to Chris’s place to talk to him and arrest Frank. Chris admits to painting the graffiti, they go up onto the roof and find Frank’s body. The calvary roll in to investigate but there’s not a lot of clues. The pigeon clock stopped about 6:07pm, and couldn’t be tampered with. Vince tells his colleague to book Chris on graffiti violations and hold him for questioning.

After getting a stern talking to from Vince, Alida meets Tammy and Manny for coffee. Tammy stays long enough to say how glad she is that Frank’s dead before departing to the hospital to see her mother. Manny gives an envelope to Alida, it turns out to be what apparently passes for a publishing contract in this world. Manny asks her if this means she is quitting the band, and she says of course not.

“Go ahead, quit the band. You’re not that hot anyways” says Manny.

Manny is lying through his beautiful 90s hair.

Later, Vince calls JB to tell her they are probably going to book Chris for the murder, much to JB’s frustration. Maria goes to see Jessica at the school to talk to her but is interrupted by Mario Fernandez wanting to give her the 10K that Frank apparently won fair and square in the pigeon race, but Maria tells him she doesn’t want it and to give it to the church. She finally admits to JB that she didn’t get home until 6:45.

Vince is interested to hear this, and that Chris isn’t changing his story. He shows them footage of Chris climbing down from the fire escape shortly after Frank was shot, and Chris announces he wants to confess. After a harrowing adbreak, Jess correctly calls shenanigans on the whole thing and tells Chris there’s no way his mother killed Frank, he doesn’t need to cover for her. Relieved, he tells her the truth – he found Frank dead, scarpered down the fire escape and went for a walk before going home. JB believes him but she needs more proof. Chris asks her to call Joe Mancuso to get him to take care of the pigeons while he’s locked up, so she goes to see him and gets an idea about how the whole thing went down.

I’ll be honest, I have no idea if any of this is even remotely accurate, I’ve been playing air keytar for the last three hours.

Sure he did it.

Something something he owed Frank Garcia money because Frank was a loan shark, something something multiple pigeons shot him in the head something something.

Who cares. I think we know who the real killer is in this episode.

HORNS UP FOR THE ALMIGHTY MANNY

S10E15 – Murder on the Thirtieth Floor

4 Comments

Back to NYC this week Fletcherfans, where JB is meeting with her editor Edward Graham to discuss final changes on her new book. Edward, it turns out, has a bit going on at home – he’s being haunted by his dead wife. That old story. Also, he has a niece he didn’t know about, the daughter of a half-brother who died of a long lingering illness, but only just discovered after she wrote him a letter when his wife died.

Jess is nervous when his assistant tells her Edward made all of his notes the previous day but Edward announces he loves everything she did with the first round of changes and that he wouldn’t change another thing. To prove his point he throws a softball at Jessica’s head.

Sidenote, that colour is amazing

And with that, the meeting is over almost before it even begins and JB heads off to the library for a bit before meeting Carrie Benton that afternoon.

Carrie Benton, the newly promoted head of children’s books is chowing down on doughnuts with Steve DiNapoli when Edward storms in. Steve tells him it’s not what it looks like, he’s not trying to fatten up Edward’s girlfriend. Carrie thinks it’s hilarious but Edward informs them he’s seen funnier losers on Starsearch.

It’s raining zingers

Steve politely excuses himself and heads to the park to practice before the company softball game. Carrie wants to know why Edward is behaving this way and he freaks out and says he’d better go speak to his therapist about it then obviously.

Edward goes to visit his psychiatrist on the set of The Mask and doesn’t really get very far.

The psychiatrist is being played by Dennis Boutsikaris, a guy who has been in every TV show in the last ever.

Back at the office Jessica is grateful and horrified at the fact-checking Carrie did for her new book, but all Carrie wants to do is talk about Edwards late wife.  Jess explains that she introduced the two and wonders why Carrie is interested. Carrie explains to Jess that she and Edward are dating but that Edward has never taken her to the house in Connecticut. Jess explains that Edward stayed with his wife in the house until she died and never took any time off afterwards.

They are soon joined by company controller Leonard Ambler, who is looking for Edward. Carrie explains that he moved his regular late afternoon doctor’s appointment to be earlier because of the softball game and speaking of which she needs to get ready for that and would Jessica like to come down and watch.

Me when people ask if I watch the Bachelor

As Jess is getting ready to leave she runs into Edward’s niece Laurie, who asks Jess if she’s noticed anything different about Edward. Jess decides maybe today is a good day to die watch softball and joins them in LA’s approximate equivalent of Central Park.

While the game happens, Laurie explains to Jess that her uncle has been hearing the voice of his late wife Beth. Then some more softball happens.

This is me when my Mum informed me that I played softball for a year in high school. I have no memory of this (presumably because of my years of competitive drinking) but can only assume I was terrible because I can’t throw, catch, run or hit a ball. How this even came to happen I have no idea.

Steve Napoli gets caught at third base or something, Edward screams abuse at the ref and then fires  Steve for agreeing with the ref.

Things go from bad to worse. JB is summoned to Edwards office the next day where he informs her the new book is terrible and he is suspending publication until she can make it better.

I know this feeling well too.

Jess calmly leaves the office, while Edward hurls her manuscript at the wall.

Meanwhile in Carrie’s office Steve has dropped by before collecting his things and complain, which is probably valid. Leonard wanders in to say that termination papers haven’t been filed, but if Edward doesn’t want him around there’s not much to be done. Edward has more clout with the CEO Ted Hartley than anyone he knows.

Obviously Leonard has no idea what he’s talking about because Ted Hartley has heard about Jess and Edward’s exchange and has gone straight to her apartment to beg her not to leave. Not for nothing but Jess has a bit of a time with her publishers either dying or being arrested for murder. He is horrified when he hears the reason for Jess leaving and can’t understand it, he loves Jessica’s new book. Jess tells him she thinks Edward might be manic depressive, and Ted tells her Edward is seeing a shrink he’s never heard of.

Everything about this is screaming 1993, I like it.

Later than night Edward is at his desk writing an apology letter to JB. He was right the first time. (Damn straight). Exhausted, he falls asleep at his desk only to be woken by a phone call from his dead wife begging him to commit suicide. He gets up from his desk and walks to the elevator, ignoring the security guard who tells him that Ted and everyone else on the top floor has gone home for the day.

Edward goes up to the roof and stands on the edge, looking confused. A shadowy figure emerges and shoves him over the edge.

Everyone is summoned to the office the next day where Lieutenant Nick Acosta (previously seen here as Acosta, here as someone else and as headless Kawalsky in Stargate) informs them of the sad news and to see what they know of the sorry tale. Jess explains her run-in with him the previous day, and Carrie tells them that Edward had called her to make dinner plans, but when she arrived at the restaurant the maitre’d told her that Edward called to say he’d be late. He’d arranged to have her favourite flowers and wine waiting for her. Jess thinks that this doesn’t seem like the behaviour of a man about to end his life but Lieutenant Acosta says the security guard saw him go up to the roof alone. He lets everyone leave but asks JB to stay – they found Edward’s note addressed to her. Jess tells him it’s just a memo but Acosta warns her to stay out of the case anyway.

Back at home JB meets with Edward’s lawyer Henry Filbert, who comes round to discuss JB’s duties as executor. The insurance company will take care of the life insurance policy, JB just has to notify the beneficiaries. Apart from a sister in Pittsburgh everyone else is in NYC and JB decides to tell them in person what they were left in the will.

First up is the long lost niece Laurie, who is sad. It happened so quick, it was like losing her father all over again, she tells Jess. Edward left her his stereo and CD collection, and she seems pleased.

Next is Dr Santana, the psychiatrist who is delighted when JB hands him his bequest – a pocket watch. Jessica is interested in what Edward was seeing Santana for, but the doc ain’t talking, suffice to say he wasn’t concerned about Edward telling him he was hearing the voice of his late wife. Jess notices the piles of herbs and the blender, and Santana offers a sample but she declines. She asks him how Edward came to be a patient of his and he says he was referred by someone else at the publishing office, Stephen DiNapoli.

Jess is intrigued and goes to tell Stephen of his inheritance – all of Edwards books. He’s amazed, and has no idea where he’s going to put them all (amen to that my friend). Jess asks him about the referral and he tells her that he was seeing Dr Santana to quit smoking – it was all weird herbs and post hypnotic suggestion and he quit smoking just so he could stop going. Carrie walks in to show off her newest project and JB tells her what she’s inherited from Edward – the house in Connecticut.

And you get a house! And you get a house! And you get a house!

Up at the fancy house Jess is on the hunt for clues. She finds Laurie’s letter to Edward and declares it to be sweet. The power goes out, but they continue on to the kitchen where Jessica finds the herbs she was looking for. She starts to gather samples to give to Lieutenant Acosta when they hear footsteps upstairs. Jess tells Carrie to call 911 but the phone is dead. A shadowy figure comes down the stairs, hears Carrie and Jessica and takes off back up them. He goes out onto the balcony, climbs down and then gets into a car. Jess and Carrie hear the tyres spin and relax. Carrie is done and wants to see her new house on a sunny afternoon but JB wants to know what was so interesting upstairs. They go into Edwards bedroom, follow a wood putty trail of breadcrumbs to a hole drilled in the bedhead and a piece of copper wire down the back of the mattress.

The phone rings – it’s Lieutenant Acosta looking for JB. She tells him what they’ve found and that she’s almost certain they have Dr Santana dead to rights. Acosta tells her that’s an interesting choice of words – Santana has just turned up dead, bludgeoned to death in his apartment.

#phrasing

A suspicious JB heads over to Santana’s office where she meets Mel the super/janitor/whoever he is. A bit of fast talking about paint colours and her ten cup coffee pot gets her into Santana’s office, where she calls Nick Acosta. Lucky for her he’s already there and has come to the same conclusion she has – the Doc was drugging Edward and causing his mania. They have no idea who killed Santana though, so JB takes a look at Santana’s computer files and sees a familiar name. Acosta, flicking through a book, says at least they both went quick and Jessica informs him that they now have everything they need to catch the killer and his sidekicks.

Knew it. Always be suspicious of sweet people. (Just kidding, that’s terrible advice)

Laurie, it turns out was not Edward’s niece but an actress hired to pretend to be Edward’s dead wife. She tells them she had nothing to do with any murders, which JB kind of agrees with, her partner saw to that side.

Plot twist! Did not see this coming, I’ll be honest.

The three of them came together when Leonard saw how much Edward’s insurance policy was worth, and so a plan was born.

Speaking of inheritances though, during the two months of shenanigans and no blog my grandfather passed away (he would have been 96 this week), and my inheritance from him…well…

Everyone’s a critic…

 

Later gang!

S10E13 – Portrait of Death

Leave a comment

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

The *other* Queen of Cabot Cove

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

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

It’s fruit salad, it’s fine.

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

Doomed. #Cynic

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

JB has no time for ingratitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And in my case, everything means canape acquisition

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

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

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

A scuffle ensues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice one Stan.

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

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

Poor Artie

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

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

My favourite type

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

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

Busted.

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

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

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

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

One does not simply Horatio Kane.

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

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

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

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

All is right with the world again.

Later gang!

S10E12 – The Proof is in the Pudding

3 Comments

Hi guys!

In the immortal words of Samwise Gamgee, Well I’m Back. And to be honest, I feel like I’ve just gotten back from Mordor. The last two and a half months have been a bit of a time, but it passed and I’m back and it’s like two weeks until Eurovision. It will be okay guys.

To business!

JB is in New York, where she’s appearing on Chef Bernardo Bonelli’s cooking show. Would it surprise you to know that Bernardo is a bit temperamental? (Side note, Gordon Ramsay had a cooking show a while back where he explained how to do basic things and he was so calm and now I can make crispy skinned salmon like nobody’s business).

To be fair, Bernardo has a bit on his plate, boom tish. His soon-to-be-opened restaurant has just been vandalised again, but despite his nephew Philip’s pleas to go to the police and ask for protection, Bernardo won’t have a bar of it. This is what happens when you borrow money from a loan shark, he’ll find another way to deal with Paul Avoncino.

Meanwhile, a nervous JB is getting a tour of the set from station manager Alex Weaver. He promises her that if her screen presence is half as good as her writing, they are in for a great show. His wife, TV food critic Diane pops in to reassure Jess that Bernardo is a total softy really and that she should be flattered: in her experience station managers don’t have time to read or do anything that isn’t related to work.

Ouch.

JB Fletcher: deftly avoiding getting involved in marital problems since 1982.

On set, Bernardo scolds his assistant Manuel Ramirez for putting dried cilantro in the dish. Why is coriander cilantro in America? Answer by shouting out the nearest window, I’ll hear it eventually.

Manuel stomps backstage and runs into Lorna Thompson, who I think might be a producer on the show but honestly who knows. She tells him not to let Bernardo get to him, and he kisses her hand. Naww. Coriander brings people together you guys. I’ll defend it to the death.

The taping gets underway, with today’s special dish Sole with Pine Nuts and Raisins. Hard pass, I hate raisins. As the taping concludes, Bernardo announces his next day’s guest will be JB Fletcher, who will prove that cooking does not have to be murder.

As someone who almost certainly just ate some expired feta, that is fundamentally not true.

After the show, Lorna introduces JB to Bernardo who asks her what she thought of the dish. JB tells him she thought it looked tasty and was particularly interested to see he didn’t plump up the raisins in boiling water first, she assumes that is his personal preference.

Bernardo summons Manuel and berates him for the lack of raisin plumpness.

*puts on sunglasses, bellows yeahhhhh, scares the cat*

Bernardo then tells JB to take care when she’s on the show tomorrow, just as he would on a show she was hosting, and storms off. He runs into his niece-in-law Jeannine who tells him the insurance aren’t going to cover the most recent damage to his restaurant unless they go to the police. He tells her they will find the money some how. Jeannine leaves and Diane wanders in to bust some moves on Bernardo. He’s not having a bar of it, not even when Diane threatens to give his restaurant a bad review on her TV show.

Later, Bernardo is standing around in the street contemplating the marvels of coriander when one of Paul Avoncino’s goons appears, telling Bernardo that Paul wants a word. The word is that Paul is happy to make all of Bernardo’s worries disappear, as long as Bernardo signs over half the restaurant to him. Bernardo tells him nothing doing and storms off.

Paul isn’t done, however, and manages to bump into Lorna and JB on the street. Lorna, it turns out, has invested the inheritance she received from her grandmother into Bernardo’s restaurant, and Bernardo would like her help making Bernardo see sense. Lorna tells him she’d rather go bankrupt. Jessica, who was on the fence about doing Bernardo’s show after his tantrum, tells Lorna she won’t let her down.

Bernardo meets Lora, Philip and Jeannine at the restaurant to come up with a plan of attack. The bank won’t give them more money, so Philip decides Jeannine can be assistant, he’ll do front of house and they will borrow what they need to from the studio. Bernardo chucks another tantrum because of course he does.

The next day, JB rolls into the studio to tape her episode of the show. Bernardo is on best behaviour as he talks her through what they will do. Meanwhile, Manual is backstage preparing the dish that will be shown to the viewers and carefully sprinkles something into the pot.

Technically Buono Appertito but I forgot what language to google.

Naturally the show is a success, full of jokes about cyanide like all good cooking shows. While Bernardo closes the show out, Jess ponders the mouthful of risotto. Something doesn’t taste right.

Dramatic cut to adbreak, after which the mystery is solved – Manuel put turmeric in the risotto, it’s much cheaper than saffron and tastes basically the same. (Life Lesson #73) Jess thinks it’s a good idea (but not a great one – she’s fine with Manual messing with other recipes but not hers, because YOU DO NOT MESS WITH PERFECTION). Bernardo grumpily agrees.

Backstage, Jess and Alex watch a taping of Dining With Dianne in which Dianne destroys a cafe. Oh blessed where the times when restaurant reviews were on TV and not every second instagram post. Alex is delighted to hear Jess enjoyed herself and is in the middle of pitching a book talk show when Dianne appears demanding that he speak to the crew about her terrible lighting. Alex excuses himself and Dianne congratulates JB on her episode, saying that Lorna has earned her payrise, Bernardo is a pushover for a pretty face.

Back away not today

Back on set, Bernardo berates Manuel for the Great Spice Swap and fires him. Lorna pops up to tell Bernardo that she’s tried everything, including asking for a raise, but she can’t find any more money for the restaurant. Bernardo tells her not to worry about it.

JB returns home to her apartment to find 14 messages on her answering machine and the phone ringing. Everyone in Cabot Cove wants to hear about Chef Bernardo. And by everyone I mean the ladies.

Bernardo goes to see Alex to ask for more money. Alex is surprised Bernardo didn’t get Dianne to ask him for it, and Bernardo tells him there is nothing going on with him and Dianne except in Dianne’s head, and apparently Alex’s. Bernardo thinks Alex is looking for an excuse to say no to the money but Alex tells him he doesn’t need an excuse. Fresh out of options, Bernardo has no choice but to sign over half the restaurant to Paul Avoncino, who tells him his name is still on the door but to keep his eyes and ears shut. Bernardo declares that until he is carried out of the restaurant in a body bag, he will be the one giving the orders. As he storms off, Paul tells one of his minions that they won’t be needing Bernardo’s services much longer.

Subtle.

That night Bornelli’s Ristorante has its grand opening and Manual pops in to wish Lorna luck and to say goodbye. Without a job he has to return to El Salvador. Lorna says she’ll try and talk to Bernardo but he says it’s too late and not to worry. The man himself is wreaking havoc in the kitchen, yelling at anyone who crosses his path, including Philip who ordered the 1988 champagne instead of the 1986. JESUS PHILIP YOU HAD ONE JOB TO DO.  Lorna explains to JB who the last minute financial backer is. Dianne walks up to Bernardo and plants a giant wet one on him while Alex watches on. Those two need therapy.

After the launch winds down, Bernardo kicks back in the kitchen with some paperwork when he is stabbed to death. WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN SUCH A DEEPLY UPSETTING EVENT oh wait.

Jessica rolls in to the precinct to give a statement and bumps into Philip and Jeanine, who tell her that the restaurant will reopen as soon as the police have finished, and that they have recommended Manuel to Paul Avoncino as the new head chef. JB is called up to the detective’s office, but Paul Avoncino and his lawyer appear and try to jump the queue. The sergeant is inclined to let them until a speech from JB moves Paul to insist she go first. Inside, Jess tells Detective McKenzie what she knows, and McKenzie tells her that Lorna is in custody under suspicion of killing Bernardo – her fingerprints were on the knife.

Jess asks to speak to Lorna, who tells her she found Bernardo and pulled the knife out. The police weren’t interested in her reasons, especially after they learned she had an insurance policy that meant if Bernardo’s business failed she’d get her money back twice over.

JB fills Philip and Jeanine in, but is interrupted by the arrival of Paul Avoncino. Philip and Jeanine want to buy him out, which is hilarious because he was just coming over to offer to buy them out. And also to tell them a chef from one of this other restaurants is flying out from Miami. Jess decides to do some sleuthing of her own and talks her way into the crime scene. She manages to deduce that Bornelli was killed with a boning knife before Detective McKenzie arrives and orders her out.

Later that night, Avoncino pulls up to the restaurant and orders his minion to check to make sure it’s clear. While he’s gone, someone walks up to the car window and shoots Avoncino dead. Millions wept.

A few days later, JB is in the studio picking up her fan mail after her appearance on Bernardo’s show when she runs into Detective McKenzie, who is looking for Manuel. A gun has been found in his locker, recently fired. Alex says Manuel was also recently fired (boom tish), and he has no idea where he is.

But it doesn’t matter, because later that afternoon JB sees a commercial and solves the case. Look this episode wasn’t great you guys.

I have absolutely no opinion about this.

Apparently, Jeanine had an allergy to coriander something something killed her uncle, but if you’re watching this episode JB drops a Horatio Kane level pun so enjoy that.

I mean this episode wasn’t great but it’s so good to be back. Thank you for all your messages and emails, it really meant a lot. You guys are the best.

Later Fletcherfans!

S10E09 – Murder at a Discount

2 Comments

Back in the Big Apple again, where JB is finishing up some JB business before heading to Maui for a well-deserved vacation. Alas, it is not meant to be, and Jess gets served papers as she is leaving her publishers office. Dave Novaro, local discount store legend, is suing for All The Things. He thinks JB’s newest book is basically a retelling of his first wife’s murder, a murder he was tried for and acquitted.

Spoiler alert: someone does.

Dave’s feeling stressed and he’s taking it out on his school friends /colleagues Neil Fraser and Lillian Conway, while wife number 2 Iris Novaro can’t show her face in the nail salon anymore without people talking about the murder. THE SCANDAL. She tells Dave she’s going to see a divorce lawyer, but Dave talks her down. She says the delay is only temporary but it’s enough for Dave. Iris leaves the store, gets into a truck and starts making out with a hot roofer named Randy (not kidding) who wants to know why she hasn’t told Dave about him yet. Iris hopes Randy isn’t just trying to get at her money.

Jessica and her publisher head straight to their lawyers to suss out what to do.

Sometimes you just have to ask the question.

Her lawyer, Aaron Woodman, tells them that Novaro is after ten million dollars.

Sidenote: fully coordinated outfit with the curtains.

With a deposition scheduled for the morning, Hawaii is off the table for the time being so instead Jess turns to proving her book is not based on the murder of Dave’s first wife. The research team at the publishers send over everything they can find on the murder and JB gets up to speed while watching Dave on TV going ballistic. Wouldn’t you know it, the original detective on the case is Artie Gelber.

Jess gets a visit from Dave’s former father in law, who is convinced Dave killed his daughter. He is surprised to hear that JB’s book isn’t based on the case, as all the main details match, but offers to do whatever he can to help Jessica’s case if it will cause Dave to squirm. His wife died not long after Janet, so he’s kind of got an axe to grind.

JB’s next stop is to visit Artie to see the original case file, and he doesn’t have good news either. Apart from some minor details, like the murder weapon and how the killer broke in using the garage opener instead of breaking in through a window, her book is almost exactly the same as the case. JB tells him she was in Cabot Cove when she wrote the book, she had not even heard of the case. Artie finds that hard to believe, but he has bigger problems that he needs help with – specifically, getting JB to write an ad for his car that he is trying to sell.

Such a Szbornak move.

The next morning Aaron takes Jess to the offices of Dave’s attorney, who just so happens to be his daughter and also Juliana Margulies.

She’s pretty great really.

Dave loses it when he sees Jessica and tells her she’s going to pay for what she’s done to his life.

So innocent.

Jessica asks him if he’s even read the book and he says of course he hasn’t. Jess suggests he give it a crack, it might help him realise the book isn’t about him.

Deposing all the things, Rachel Novaro tells JB that the value of the stamps in her book is equal to the value of her mother’s necklace that was stolen. JB spots a photo of the said necklace around the neck of the said woman. Guys full disclosure I’m writing this at 6:00am because I’m going to the tennis today so this episode might make less sense than usual.

Jess goes out to lunch for a debrief with her publisher Ted Hartley, where they are confronted by Iris Novarro, who tells Jessica she was Dave’s assistant at the time of the murder but they weren’t fooling around and she hopes Dave takes JB to the cleaners. Ted asks the maitre d to escort Iris out of the restaurant and wonders if JB has considered an out of court settlement – thanks to all the publicity the book is flying off the shelves so with all the extra money they could afford the hit. Jess refuses, it’s a matter of principle naturally. Alas for Ted Rachel Novaro has also thought about this and serves Aaron with a notice preventing all sales and publicity of the book.

Meanwhile, Dave finds Iris (who has apparently moved out of their house) in another restaurant and begs her to come home. He gives her a teddy bear she forgot to take with her and reminds her of their secret signal during the trial that meant I love you. Huh, so much for not having a fling at the time of the murder. Across town, Rachel’s grandfather is struggling with the idea that she is defending her mother’s killer, aka her Dad.

Night happens. While Randy the Randy sits in his truck outside Dave’s store and watches hobos walk past, Neil tells Dave they need to find ways to save money and Lillian reminds him of when they were in high school and Dave asked her to the prom and she thought the would get married.

The struggle is real.

Dave throws everyone out and continues reading. Something in the book strikes him and he calls JB to tell her he thinks he will drop the lawsuit, but something in the book has made him realise who the killer is. Jess doesn’t want to hear it but eventually agrees and gives him her address. Dave says he’ll be there in 20 minutes. On his way out the door, he meets Hilda the Hobo and gives her ten bucks.

Time passes and when Dave doesn’t show up Jess calls the store but gets an engaged signal. She calls the operator who tells her there’s no one on the line. Jess calls Artie, worried that something has happened. Artie agrees to meet her at the store – he’s in a good mood after selling his car to Detective Henderson. They all cruise down to the store and find it unlocked, Dave’s body lying dead on the floor. Neil and Lillian both arrive later expressing their shock. Rachel also turns up but when JB expresses her condolences Rachel tells her it changes nothing about the lawsuit.

The next morning JB calls Artie for an update and learns that Dave’s fingerprints show he was up to the top of page 247 when he died, and also that Detective Henderson loves the new car. This is news to Detective Henderson, who has just walked in with the car door handle in his hand.

Jess goes to see Rachel Navarro and explains to her that Dave was up to the section of her book in which the killer sent his secretary off on a long list of errands in which time he would drive over to his wife’s house, kill her and return to work. Something about that set an alarm off in Dave’s head but Rachel has no idea why and she has a lot of work to do. JB spots what looks like the missing necklace in Rachel’s drawer but Rachel tells her it’s a copy Dave had made one time when he had to pawn the original. He gave her the copy of it when he got the original back.

I see, says Jess and then has an epiphany about garage doors. She calls Artie who agrees to pull the old case file but then gets called away by Detective Henderson (who is still not terribly pleased with the car) to the forensics lab.

Across town, Iris Novaro comes home from the supermarket to find Randy loading their stuff into a truck, all set to move into Dave’s house. Randy isn’t terribly happy to hear that Iris signed a prenup and Rachel gets the lot. Iris walks away.

Jess goes down to the precinct to look at the file, but Artie hadn’t gotten around to pulling it on account of he’s just arrested Rachel’s grandfather for the murder. Jess isn’t buying it for a minute though and insists on seeing the case file anyway.

A short sting operation at Dave’s funeral later…

Let’s be honest, not a shock.

It’s the classic story of a mistress bumping off the competition, and then bumping off the husband when he works it out five years later.

So while Artie is paying to get Detective Henderson’s car fixed, and Rachel Novarro and Aaron Woodman decide to go into business together, I’ll leave you with a deleted scene from The Shining.

Later gang!

 

 

 

Older Entries