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S08E17 – To The Last Will I Grapple With Thee

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Fun fact – the title of this episode is basically what I shouted at Richmond’s first game last Thursday night.***

***Demonstrably not true.

Back to school in the NYC Fletcherfans, and while JB is in the middle of schoolin’ some kids on the crime things (I don’t know), a cake is being snuck into the classroom by a fellow teacher, the extremely Irish Sean Culhane.

You guys! It’s Our Heroine’s birthday!

Sidebar: I can’t tell what time of year this is. Judging by the primo 90s fashions on display in this episode I want to say autumn but it could be spring. If you know the answer to this burning question, let me know in the comments.

After class Sean pops by JB’s office to say thank you for all the kindness shown to him in his first few months of teaching – in the beginning he thought he’d rather be chasing crooks in the streets of Dublin rather than facing a classroom full of students but he’s all over it now thanks to JB. As a thank you, he decides to take JB out to dinner that night to a little Irish place he knows.

As they leave the building, they run into a zombie.

I mean he’s a happy zombie, but he’s still a zombie

Sean guides JB past the zombie, who is rather talkative for someone who is undead, and gets into the lift. The zombie promises he’ll see Sean later.

That night, Sean and Jess pitch up to the Finians Chase pub to indulge in every Irish tradition known to Californian TV producers.

I’ll be honest – this was basically my experience when I was in Ireland. Except I had about six guinesses and was wearing a traffic cone on my head because that is how I rolled in 2006.

Jess can’t believe she didn’t know about this place – Sean tells her he comes here all the time, jokingly backed up by the owner Patrick MacNair (Lacey from Cagney and Lacey for those playing along at home) who says they’ve had more than a few complaints. Sean jokes that they were complaining about the watered down beer.

It’s her party and she’ll drink if she wants to.

Sean explains that the banter goes way back – he and Patrick were friends in Ireland, Patrick lost his pub over there so Sean helped him come to America to start again. Jess asks him how he came to be in New York, and he tells her he came out on a police exchange to learn American police-y things, but he liked it so much he retired and stayed in America.

Jess and Sean are soon joined by Sean’s daughter Kathleen, who tells JB her father talks about her all the time.

Naturally.

Kathleen has just popped in to let her father know that she’s off to dinner with some friends and she’ll see him at home. She’d tried to call but couldn’t get hold of him.

“Did you know where to find me?” Says Sean.

“Yes.” Says Kathleen.

“Then what would be the point of calling?” Says Sean.

Touche. Kathleen leaves, the food arrives and JB tucks in.

Later in the evening, Patrick is not pleased to see the arrival of the zombie (whose name is apparently Michael O’Connor) with his zombie nephew Ian. Michael tells him he had nothing to do with the business in Dublin, he’s just here for a pint with his nephew and he’s not leaving until he gets one.

Except he’s not just here for a pint, he’s here to conduct some business with a bloke named Finn Dawley.

That is a mullet that means business.

As Sean and JB are leaving, Michael the Zombie spots them and stops them at the door, mostly to talk about how he sold everything he owned, put it in a joint account with his nephew etc etc. Sean tells him to get the first boat back to Ireland, Michael tells JB to be careful, women have a tendency to get hurt around Sean. And probably Michael too, since he is CLEARLY a zombie why are we pretending he isn’t?

In the car on the way home, Sean explains the origin story of Michael – they hated each other as kids, they hate each other as adults, Sean arrested Michael for scamming pensioners, Sean married the woman Michael was in love with, Michael blamed Sean for her death, same old story. He warns Jess Michael is trouble and if he ever bothers her to let him know immediately.

At school the next day, Sean is teaching away when Michael Zombie appears at the back of the class. He releases his students early and demands to know what Michael wants. He says he just wants Sean to know he’s thinking of him, and will be every day for the rest of his life. Sean threatens to call security but Michael produces a visitors pass which Sean promptly swats to the floor before storming out.

Later that evening, Sean goes on the hunt for scones at the pub but Patrick suggests it might be better if he come back later, what with the zombie infestation he’s currently dealing with. Michael calls Sean over to have a chat about Kathleen and Sean warns Michael to stay away from his daughter or he’ll kill him. Michael seems positively delighted by this news.

The next morning, Sean is at work when he gets a visit from one of New York’s finest wanting to have a chat about Michael O’Connor. Sean assumes his arch nemesis has finally stuffed up but no such luck – it turns out Michael popped in that morning to make a complaint against Sean, for threatening to kill him. Sean is furious but there’s nothing to be done. Jess finds him in his classroom a short time later and orders him to come around for dinner that night. Meanwhile, Zombie Michael is across town at the house they are renovating, beating up his nephew – it turns out that Finn bloke they met with is a loan shark Ian owes money to, and despite Michael’s insistence that he will handle it, Ian had taken money out of their account to pay Finn. Michael declares he will handle things from here on out.

At the pub that night, Kathleen is kicking back with a beer and listening to some old country tunes when Ian decides to try and rekindle a romance they apparently once had. Kathleen tells him to jog on but Ian perseveres, until Patrick appears with a baseball bat and suggests Ian go and take in the night air.

I assume this is a standard baseball term, I know precisely nothing about baseball (and I’m alright with that to be honest)

Ian decides to go for a walk, but runs into Finn and his minions bellowing for their money. Ian says he thought his uncle talked to Finn about this and Finn says he talked to Michael and now he’s talking to Ian – whoever stands between Finn and things Finn wants is going to get in trouble.

Across town, Sean and JB are finishing up their dinner and Sean is feeling much better about life. Jess thinks he sounds like a man who has made up his mind about things and Sean says he is – but he has to dash, things to do even at this late hour.

Cut to something completely unrelated…

Can’t be dead though, his heads not off. I know how this works.

Lieutenant Jacoby is called to the scene and quickly rules it a murder. Ian O’Connor, inexplicably at the scene, has a very definitive answer to Jacoby’s question about who might want to kill Michael O’Zombie.

At the precinct, Sean swears he had nothing to do with the murder, even if he’d threatened to kill Michael the day before and went to run errands at several closed stores at the time of the murder and he had the exact same weapon as the one used to kill Michael and his fingerprints were found at the scene.

Awkward.

At the pub, Patrick, JB and Kathleen are having an emergency drinking session to discuss the situation. They agree Sean can’t be guilty, but aren’t sure who else could be. Patrick thinks maybe Finn Dawley is involved (awkward, since Finn is behind a pole eavesdropping) while Kathleen thinks Ian has something to do with it but Patrick thinks Ian is too much of a dumbarse. JB suggests she and Kathleen get to the precinct, and asks Patrick to phone home to find out what he can about why Michael left Ireland.

Later, Jess heads back to her apartment building to find Ahmed not at his post but Finn waiting for her. He suggests she butt out of things she doesn’t understand. He had nothing to do with the murder, but did she happen to know Kathleen and Ian used to date back in Ireland until Kathleen found out who Ian was? But to conclude, stay out of it.

Down at the precinct, JB and Jacoby argue about Sean’s involvement, and Jacoby caves and shares the results of the autopsy – he was shot (duh) and there was traces of gun shot residue on his hands from where he obviously put his hands up to shield himself from his attacker. JB thinks there is another explanation but they are interrupted by the arrival of a video tape – from Michael O’Connor. He has filmed himself saying he fears for his life, and if anything should happen to him, it was because of Sean Culhane.

Sean is arrested and brought down to the precinct. JB tries to tell him about the gun shot residue but Jacoby shuts it down. Later, they go back to his office to argue some more and review the tape. Jess notices some smudges on the wall at the crime scene that weren’t there when the video was taped. Combined with Michael’s occasional struggle to get words out gives her an idea. She tells Jacoby to meet her at the crime scene that night. He refuses but she knows he’ll be there.

doodahhhhh doodahhhhh

JB heads over to the pub, to ask Patrick what he learned from the peeps back home about Michael. He tells her Michael sold everything and put it in the joint account (which they knew) and that he’d done it quickly – he would have got more money if he’d waited but he’d been in a hurry. Also, everyone had been asking about his health, his doctor had been trying to get a hold of him. Jess asks him to get the doctor on the phone.

Later that night, Jess and Jacoby meet at the house. Jess has a theory. And of course, it’s the correct one. Ian arrives just in time to hear about it.

This is very heavily borrowed from a Sherlock Holmes story I do believe.

When is a murder not a murder? When you’re dying of brain tumours and all you want to do is revenge yourself on the man who married the woman you love so you stage your suicide to look like a murder.

Wrong choice really. Should have taken a leaf out of this lady’s book.

Case closed, JB is back to work and with a new student in her class – Lieutenant Jacoby. Apparently his boss thinks he could use the extra credit.

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E16 – Ever After

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Once upon a time there was a soap opera called Happily Ever After, in which all the usual soap opera-y things happened, but mainly a dude waking up from a coma after a billion years (or three. I mean, whatever.)

Captain Janeway really pulls out the big hair this episode, just FYI.

Captain Janeway really pulls out the big hair this episode, just FYI.

Unfortunately for the man in the coma, former child actor Devon ‘Don’t Call me Sonny’ Lane, his newly conscious role doesn’t come with more screen time – his character is going back to Philadelphia to his wife and kids and it’s all happening off screen – in short, he’s fired.

Amazingly enough though, Joanna Rollins – star of Ever After – happens to live in the same apartment building as our heroine.   Seriously though, what were the odds of that?

Our Heroine, it turns out, has just returned from Washington DC (no doubt solving some sort of international crisis because that’s how she rolls), and is collecting her mail from everyone’s favourite doorman Ahmed, when Joanna discovers she has accidentally picked up some of JB’s mail. Jess recognises her from the show, she doesn’t get to watch it often and she’s dying to know what happens next. Joanna invites Jess in for some tea, but Jess declines, saying she needs to get inside to check her messages. At that moment Devon Lane appears, baying about how he needs to talk to Joanna. Jess is excited to meet the former child star, but Devon doesn’t quite feel the same way.

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I mean, really.

I mean, really.

Jessica quickly excuses herself, leaving Joanna and Sonny the Douche to duke it out in the hallway – it would appear Sonny and Joanna have had an on-again off-again thing that a) Sonny blames for his getting fired and b) Joanna thinks is very much over. JB listens to the blue while she puts the kettle on, but a banging on the door gets her back into the action – Joanna is freaked out, and tells Jess to lock the door before Sonny can get in. Jess puts the chain on and Sonny starts bashing the door but stops after a patented Jessica Fletcher scolding. He promises he’ll be back, but leaves.

Job done, thinks JB, as she turns to Joanna, but Joanna is busy watching herself on TV.

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This might be my autobiography, now that I think about it.

This might be my autobiography, now that I think about it.

Out on Long Island, a man named Walter Bowman is on an exercise bike also watching Joanna’s performance with some interest – apparently he is planning to marry her. His personal trainer Bo agrees she is a stunning looking woman. They are soon joined by Walter’s daughter Marci and her boyfriend Teddy.

Yes that is Marcia Cross. That is also Barry, the guy who stands Rachel up in the first episode of Friends. (Bad Barry is also a newspaper headline I will tell you about another time)

Yes that is Marcia Cross. That is also Barry, the guy who stands Rachel up in the first episode of Friends. (Bad Barry is also a newspaper headline I will tell you about another time)

Teddy has a business proposal for Walter – ROLLERCOASTERS! ROLLERCOASTERS EVERYWHERE! MOAR ROLLERCOASTERS – but makes the mistake of switching the television off so Walter has his undivided attention.

The number 1 old white guy rule.

The number 1 old white guy rule.

Marci(a) is furious that her father would rather watch dreadful television than listen to her boyfriend’s (dreadful) business plan, and doubly so when her father informs her that he is marrying Joanna. Apparently he kept it quiet until his divorce from Marci(a)’s mother went through, but now that’s over and done with the bells can ring.

(Cut to the soon to be ex Mrs Bowman finding out about the wedding in the newspaper and blowing a gasket)

But you can’t stop true love Fletcherfans, and especially not true love at the registery office surrounded by paparazzi and film cameras.

Such romance, I am overcome.

Such romance, I am overcome.

The ceremony begins, but is interrupted by the arrival of everyone’s least favourite former child star Sonny Lane, who demands that Joanna not go through with it.

Across town, JB is watching it all go down from her desk.

 

Clearly needs popcorn.

Clearly needs popcorn.

(Sidebar: My desk is clearly not living up to the standard thrown down by our Heroine:)

This might be the neatest my desk has ever been tbh

This might be the neatest my desk has ever been tbh

I would however point out that while JB has flowers on her desk, I have a TARDIS and a Lego Ghostmobile, so I think I am following her teachings mostly kind of, whatever I have a TARDIS.

Sonny rages on, but Joanna declares that she loves Walter. Sonny goes nuts and security escort him out.

I thnk JB and I are having similar weeks *screams silently into the void*

I thnk JB and I are having similar weeks *screams silently into the void*

The next day, Our Favourite Doorman is reading all about the chaos at the wedding ceremony when Sonny Lane walks through the lobby. Ahmed, bless him, tells Sonny he’s under strict orders not to let him into the apartment and anyway Joanna is out. Sonny tells him he’s not here to see Joanna he’s here to get something that belongs to him – a painting. Ahmed says sorry but there’s nothing he can do, but is distracted by a painter trying to use the guest elevator instead of the service elevator. By the time he sorts that crisis out Sonny has disappeared.

Upstairs, JB is hard at work on her next book when she gets a knock at the door – an art appraiser by the name of Irwin Fisk has arrived to appraise a painting of Joanna’s and was told Jess had a key to let him in. Jess finds the key and goes to let Fisk into the apartment – apparently Joanna is selling a Von Hockhauser, and he is a fan of the artist’s work, especially the large nudes with the plump bottoms.

I don't even know where to begin with this.

I don’t even know where to begin with this.

Joanna and Walter arrive just in the nick of time, and they all go into the apartment together to discover the aforementioned big butt-ed nude slashed to hell. Joanna is convinced it’s Devon, he gave her the painting, and Walter is inclined to agree. (Irwin Fisk takes himself home to mourn not getting his hands on a plump nude).

Walter calls the police, and a friendly local sergeant comes down to take statements. He clearly finds the whole thing baffling, from Ahmed’s tales of spurned lovers and painters sneaking into lifts, and men with keys slashing up paintings that they own anyway. He tells Joanna that there’s not a lot he can do, despite the threats he made on TV. If he makes good on a threat, then he can do something.

But we’ll be dead, says Joanna.

I hope it don’t happen. Says the friendly local sergeant.

Feeling less than impressed, Joanna and Walter head out to Long Island, where Joanna is about to meet the ex for the first time. While she freshens up, Marci(a) and Miriam greet Walter. Marci(a) departs in tears when Walter claims Teddy has been stealing the silverware, and Walter orders Miriam out when she informs him she wasn’t sleeping with his chauffeur, she was too busy sleeping with his personal trainer, Bo.

SAH DRAMA ERMAHGHERD

SAH DRAMA ERMAHGHERD

Which reminds me

Joanna is amazed to think that her precious little Walty-Walty ever shared a bed with such a heinous creature and proceeds to make out with him, until Bo arrives, having been summoned by Walter, who is unimpressed that his beloved personal trainer was nailing his wife. Bo is booted, with pay.

The next evening, JB and Joanna are hanging out drinking tea. Joanna is bemoaning her thoroughly un-glamourous lifestyle but JB says if she’s learned anything it’s that success comes from within, not out there in the world (Life Lesson #66).

Joanna realises she’s late to call Walter and uses the phone in JB’s room. He tells her it’s the chef’s night off and he’s going to have some low sodium soup after his workout so Joanna invites JB out for some “divinely authentic” Chinese food which JB can’t resist. Unfortunately for Walter (but fortunately for the premise of this TV show), when he goes to the closet after his workout he is met with a shotgun blast to the chest.

Long Island Police roll in, in the form of Sheriff Beals and Deputy Ginger Billis. Ginger is quite pleased with herself when she finds the murder weapon stashed under the bed, and announces that she followed the rules of discovery and it totes doesn’t have fingerprints on it. You go Ginger. You do you.

We all need more Ginger in our lives.

We all need more Ginger in our lives.

Joanna and JB arrive, storming the press throng and making it into the house. While Joanna delicately wipes a tear from her eye Jessica quickly takes control of the investigation, noting dents in the butt of the shotgun which Ginger (and therefore the sheriff) think happened when the gun got tossed under the bed. JB is not so sure, and asks to take a look at the crime scene.

How could you say no to that face though

How could you say no to that face though

Ginger takes JB through the crime scene, and tells her that Walter wasn’t shot in the back, he copped both barrels to the chest. The best they can figure out is that the killer hid in the closet and waited for Walter, except it was a closet full of women’s clothes so it doesn’t make sense.

“Unless the killer was waiting for a woman.” Says JB.

To be fair I read a fan theory that said that Sean Connery's character in The Rock was really James Bond and this was my exact face.

To be fair I read a fan theory that said that Sean Connery’s character in The Rock was really James Bond and this was my exact face.

*saving for R U OK Day later this year*

*saving for R U OK Day later this year*

Downstairs, the Sheriff is getting a precise explanation of just why Joanna thinks Sonny is the killer when the ME calls in a time of death – some time between 6 and 8 o’clock. JB arrives just in time to remember that Joanna called her husband about 6:45, and so most likely Walter was killed about 7:05pm.

Joanna spots Sonny lurking on the balcony and starts shrieking. Ginger goes out and drags him in for questioning – but he has a rock solid alibi. He was in the casting office reading for a part at the time of the murder, verified by the casting director who begs Ginger to arrest Sonny for being a psycho.

What a charmer

What a charmer

I really don't.

I really don’t.

The next morning Jess comes down to breakfast where Marci(a) is eating and Teddy is trying to pitch his rollercoaster idea. He tries it on JB but she’d rather talk about where they were the night before. They were off eating oysters in the Hamptons, which might be code for something I have no idea. Joanna appears, to declare she can’t take it any more she’s going to the studio to film more Happily Ever After and tells Marci(a) she’ll be staying in the town house and not to take anything out of the house until the will gets read. As Joanna and JB are getting ready to leave, a car screeches up the driveway, only just missing them thanks to JB’s quick thinking. It’s Sonny, wondering if there’s a chance for him and Joanna now that Walter has shuffled off.

Timing, bro.

JB returns to her apartment where Ahmed tells her Miriam Bowman has been waiting for Joanna for a while. Miriam tells JB she feels awful about what happened, if she hadn’t told Walter about Bo then he wouldn’t have been alone in the house and she just wants to apologise to Joanna. JB wants to talk to Bo though, and Miriam points her in the direction of his gym. It’s soon apparent that Bo knows nothing, about the murder or life.

(I'm just here to amuse myself guys)

(I’m just here to amuse myself guys)

JB’s last stop is to the previously mentioned casting agent, Dorothy Fremont, who is in the middle of casting prostitutes for a TV show that is almost definitely Law and Order. She tells JB that Sonny turned up a day late claiming he hadn’t been told the audition had been changed and raged all over the place until security got called. Jessica stares at a lamp and has an epiphany.

I can't begin to tell you how much I wanted it to be Marci(a) of Death

I can’t begin to tell you how much I wanted it to be Marci(a) of Death

Everyone’s favourite over-actor, along with everyone’s least favourite former child star, combined to kill Walter. Except it was mostly Joanna. Because I still don’t really know.

Before I go, three things – I just discovered that my email forwarding thing wasn’t working so if you’ve sent an email to twister.in.the.sun@gmail.com I’ve only just found it (and sent a very late reply) so my bad but thank you guys so much for telling me how much you’re enjoying the blog!

Thing the second – You may have noticed a donate button pop up on the side of the blog. Think of it as a tip jar – the posts will still be coming and make less sense than ever, but if one particularly tickles your fancy I’d love it if you could hit the donate button. It would mean a lot.

Thing part 3 – I’m going offline for a couple of weeks to attend to some things, least of which is a wedding (huzzah) but never fear I shall return.

So until next time, dear reader.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S08E09 – The Committee

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Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB is signing ALL THE BOOKS for her adoring fans. That comes to an end however, when Jess’s old friend Winston Devermore appears to take her to dinner.

And I think we should just all pause and reflect on her outfit for a minute.

I MEAN COME ON.

I MEAN COME ON.

Winston has an ulterior motive for inviting JB to dinner though. He wants her to come speak at the Avernus Club, a men-only club for rich white dudes, in the hopes that it might persuade members to finally allow women into the club. Would she be interested?

THIS IS WHAT SHE'S BEEN TRAINING FOR HER WHOLE LIFE

THIS IS WHAT SHE’S BEEN TRAINING FOR HER WHOLE LIFE

Meanwhile, somewhere else in New York, fellow Club member Lawrence Cayle is pissing off people left and right, including but not limited to Gerald Innsmouth, who he has screwed out of a business deal. When he complains to Lawrence, he says hashtag get over it, it’s just business etc etc, but his assistant/brother Theo quietly tells Gerald that he’s not the only Avernus Club member mad at Lawrence.

JB’s reading is naturally a success, thanks largely in part to her outfit:

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HER FASHION GAME THIS EPISODE IS JUST MAGNIFICENT.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HER FASHION GAME THIS EPISODE IS JUST MAGNIFICENT.

Winston brings some of his friends to come and greet the Queen herself, including Avernus Club president Philip Arkham, and new member Edward Dunsany (vineyard owner) who says that a guest speaker from the distaff gender was well overdue.

Distaff, while sounding like a nasty infection requiring antibiotics, is actually a noun that means "of or relating to women". It also means the stool used to sit on when spinning wool, or women's work. Blergh.

Distaff, while sounding like a nasty infection requiring antibiotics, is actually a noun that means “of or relating to women”. It also means the stool used to sit on when spinning wool, or women’s work. Blergh.

Philip tells her she made more sense than Hemmingway and departs, as does Dunsany when he sees Lawrence Cayle making a move on his wife. He busts up the little flirt fest and tells his wife to get her coat and Cayle to stay away from her. Cayle tells him to tell that to his wife, she’s a good year and he can’t keep her locked in his wine cellar forever. YES YOU COMPARED HIS WIFE TO A BOTTLE OF WINE CONGRATULATIONS.

As Jess and Winston are getting ready to leave, a young man delivers an envelope to Winston. Inside is a key and a note that says midnight. Later, when Winston returns to the house he finds the rest of the gang – Arkham, Dunsany, Harcourt, Gerald Innsmouth – all there. Arkham says they were wondering where he was and Winston tells him he got held up, but that he wants no part of this. This, it turns out, is the matter of what to do with Lawrence Cayle. Gerald rants about how much it’s cost him now that Gerald has squeezed him out of his business deal, but Arkham tells him to calm down. He’s not the only one Cayle has pissed off, they need to decide what the consequences will be. Another club member, Harcourt Fenton, asks why they need to sanction him at all, why can’t they just kick him out, but Arkham says they never know when they might need him, although Edward’s report about Cayle and his wife is at best inappropriate (which Edward thinks is lowballing it a bit).

Let's get to drinking!

Let’s get to drinking!

Arkham orders that a vote be cast to decide if Cayle should be sanctioned and summons Philip’s assistant Lisa Sutton in to collect the votes – a black marble means sanction, a white marble means no sanction. The votes are in – Cayle is being voted off the island. Harcourt says he’s had enough of this and leaves.

Arkham isn’t done though – a new vote must happen, to decide who enforces the will of the committee. Whomever catches the snitch selects the gold marble will be in charge of doling out punishment. Lisa trots around the table with a bag, and each member grabs a marble out of the bag. “The selection has been made.” Intones Akham. “Now let’s never speak of this again.”

The next night, Jess is out to dinner with Winston when the Cayle’s pop in. While Winston and Lawrence have a heated discussion in the corner, Lawrence’s brother Theo tries to distract JB, who is having none of it but is unable to find out what the deal is. The following day, at a shooting party, Lawrence confronts Arkham about the secret meeting but Arkham tells him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That night at a party, Jess meets a bedraggled Lisa Sutton, caught out in the rain, while Lawrence Cayle gets an envelope with a key and a note that says midnight. Jess and Winston are on the way out when Winston asks the valet where Theo Cayle is – he’s not sure but he thinks he just left as his car is gone.

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That awkward moment when you realise the shadowy figure isn't there to hug you.

That awkward moment when you realise the shadowy figure isn’t there to hug you.

Jess comes in the next morning as soon as she hears but Winston doesn’t know much. He introduces JB to the investigating officer, Lieutenant Tartarus, who tells her she won’t get much of a story – Cayle was shot with a shotgun, they’ll just test the club members for gun shot residue and see who the guilty party is. Jess points out there was a trap shooting competition there yesterday so everyone will test positive. Tatartus is not pleased. He departs, and Jess asks Winston why he wanted her there so urgently, and a minion appears to let them know the rest of the committee is in the drawing room.

“Let me get this straight,” Jess says. “You all voted to sanction Lawrence Cayle 4-1, someone was chosen to be the enforcer and now he’s dead?

This is exactly the sort of shenanigans that will happen when you let rich old white men form clubs.

This is exactly the sort of shenanigans that will happen when you let rich old white men form clubs.

Arkham asks her to try and solve who killed Cayle so that they’re off the hook, or if it was one of them, that they can get out in front of it before the police find out. JB agrees, thinking it’s a little odd that she’s being hired by the group that almost certainly has a killer as a member. Dunsany doesn’t see the funny side and leaves. Harcourt says to Jess she’s got her work cut out for her.

This is not an unfamiliar state of being for JB.

This is not an unfamiliar state of being for JB.

JB wastes no time and so she and Winston head over to House Cayle, arriving just as Harcourt Fenton is departing. Jess tells Winson she thinks she should talk to Theo Cayle alone, and so he leaves her there. Before he drives off, he calls Harcourt asking to meet him that afternoon at 4pm.

Inside, Theo tells Jess he has no idea who killed his brother – they were always a great team. Jess doesn’t want to take up too much of his time, but Theo offers to drive her back to town. As he adjusts the car seat, she asks him why Harcourt had been to see him but he says he was just offering condolences.

Across town, Lieutenant Tatartus informs Arkham that he has found out about the vote, and that the Club is set to inherit a whole wad of money from Cayle’s will. Arkham’s response is to hand the phone over – the commissioner is on the phone.

Later, Winson and Harcourt are in Harcourt’s car when Harcourt realises he has no brakes – and the car goes off into a ravine. Winston survives, but Harcourt doesn’t make it. JB goes to see him in the hospital and he tells her they were on their way to see Philip to tell him they needed to come clean to the police. Winston is pretty out of it and starts saying he didn’t even want to sanction Lawrence, he was the only one who voted not to. 1 white marble, 4 black…

The doctor says the sedatives are kicking in and asks them all to go outside. A nurse pops up to tell him that someone has broken into Winston’s locker and stolen his clothes, and that another locker that had contained Harcourt’s things had been broken into but nothing taken, as Harcourt’s belongings had already been sent to the morgue. JB thinks they’d better have a look at them so they head on down to the coroners office. Amongst his things they find a black marble. Tartarus doesn’t see the significance but Our Heroine does and they have a taxi company to find.

Later that day, midnight notes are sent to the Committee and they assemble in the boardroom. Lisa Sutton and Theo Cayle are also in attendance. Jess explains her discovery – two people voted white, Winston and Harcourt. The only solution is that someone pre-rigged the vote, and that someone was Lisa.

But, Fletcherfans, she’s not the killer! It turns out someone paid her ten thousand dollars to rig the vote, and there’s no way Lisa’s going down without taking them down with her…

Spoiler alert: My friend's cat makes this face almost constantly.

Spoiler alert: My friend’s cat makes this face almost constantly.

Ah yes. Everyone was sick of Lawrence’s behaviour, but someone had to put up with it a little longer than everyone else.

Case closed! And with Winston out of hospital he wants to thank Jess the only way he knows how.

With dinner.

In Scotland.

Tonight.

See you soon Fletcherfans!

See you soon Fletcherfans!

S08E05 – Lines of Excellence

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First, a spoiler: lines of excellence is not a reference to cocaine no matter how much I tried to make it be. Trust me, I tried.

JB is hard at work on her typewriter in her New York bunker this week Fletcherfans when DISASTER STRIKES. Her L key breaks off her typewriter, which wouldn’t be so bad if her characters weren’t named Lola and Larry Lamont.

Fun fact: the exact same thing happened to me with my old laptop, except it was the M key which as you may guess gets used a bit when you’re writing wildly inaccurate reviews of episodes of Murder She Wrote.

JB hasn’t got time to worry about a broken typewriter now though, she’s got a class to teach on how to pick a guilty person over an innocent person in interrogation. The first student guesses the guilty one would be pacing the room, agitated but JB says no. The second student, Michael Rossari (aka Salvatore Abruzzi from this time), suggests the guilty person would fall asleep due to coming down off the adrenaline and stress, which Jess says is exactly right. Just as the class is about to end, JB’s boss Dr Auerbach pops in to have a word with Michael. While Jessica issues homework for the next class, she notices the discussion becomes quite heated before Michael storms off. Jessica quizzes Auerbach later and he informs her that Michael will no longer be taking her class after it was discovered that Michael had hacked the university mainframe and faked his results in order to get in.

YOU GUYS I LIKE WHERE THIS IS GOING.

Jessica heads to her office to call administration to find out more infp on Michael Rossari. While she’s on hold, she notices an envelope on her desk with JESSICA FLETCHER written on it. Challenge accepted, she opens the envelope to find a bunch of short stories written by Michael. Getting his address from the admin office, she goes round to his place to return his books and ask him why he did it. He confesses that he’s a writer and a fan, and he wanted to learn more from her about how she does what she does.

Shout out to anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year by the way. 50K or bust!

Shout out to anyone doing NaNoWriMo this year by the way. 50K or bust!

JB tells him she wished he’d come to her sooner. He’s a bright student, a hard worker and a talented writer. She’s willing to help Michael get back into the class on one condition – he helps her find a word processor to replace her old typewriter. A WORD PROCESSOR.

Michael knows just the guys and takes her around to the offices of the Serious Cybernetics Corporation (SCC) (SHOUTOUT TO THE SIRIUS CYBERNETICS CORPORATION NICE WORK WRITERS), where Linda Truitt and and Alan Miller give her the grand tour. Not only do they teach people how to use computers, they design both hardware and software (space games mostly) and do commercial scanning for viruses (I’M DYING THIS IS WHAT THE 90S WERE ALL ABOUT).

Michael pops up to tell them that the man in charge of teaching computing to their select clientele of writers, lawyers and so on is in the workroom. As they go in, a student, Henry Waverly, comes out looking less than impressed.

Inside…

WE HAD ONE OF THOSE COMPUTERS. Dad broke it within about a week of getting it, but we had Kings Quest and Space Quest and you young people of today have no idea the struggles I went through

WE HAD ONE OF THOSE COMPUTERS. Dad broke it within about a week of getting it, but we had Kings Quest and Space Quest and you young people of today have no idea the struggles I went through

The man fixing the keyboard is Derek St James, who teaches the hardware side of things, while Alan teaches software. As part of the course, the company builds a computer for the student and sets it up in their home so they are all set to hack the interwebs. Alan leaves Jess with Derek, who starts to quiz her on what she wants for her computer.

“How much RAM, how much ROM, VGA, SVGA, 386, 486, 33 25 megahertz…if you do a lot of research you may want to get a CD-ROM or a worm optical system…do you have any offhand preferences? Asks Derek.

This is almost the exact conversation I had with Rob, who built my new computer. And what the hell is a worm optical drive?

This is also the exact conversation I had with Rob, who built my new computer. And what the hell is a worm optical system?

Oh I just googled the worm thing, it’s like a CD burner. I’m going to stop feeling so smug now.

Anyway, while JB chats to Derek and makes absolutely zero jokes about floppy disks, Alan and Linda take time out in Alan’s office to “discuss their latest game collabration” (partially true) but also get a bit handsy, which is brought to a skidding halt when Alan’s wife rings up to say hi.

The next day, Derek drops JB’s new computer around and sets it all up, including the connection to the phone line. Now she can send and receive information to any other linked up computer in the country.

If you haven't seen Kung Fury yet you 100% need to stop reading this blog right now and go and watch it. You're welcome.

If you haven’t seen Kung Fury yet, you 100% need to stop reading this blog right now and go and watch it. You’re welcome.

While JB wrangles her computer, Michael is at the office of the SSC tinkering with a computer when he sees Henry Waverley march into Alan’s office and tell him he won’t stand for it, he won’t be giving him a penny, and either it ends or Alan ends. Alan seems rather perplexed about the whole situation to be honest.

The next day, JB tries to make good on her offer to get Michael back into her class but Auerbach is having none of it. He wonders if Michael mentioned to her that he has a police record?

Cut to Michael receiving a whole bunch of computer parts from a shady character who pulls a knife and reminds Michael his last payment was late. Ah yes. The shady guy who brings in the 386s. 90s New York was the danger you guys.

That afternoon, JB is sitting down to her first computing class and having her mind blown by it all. “So if I finish a chapter of my book in Cabot Cove, I can send it from my computer through the phone lines to my agent’s computer in New York?”

“Exactly.” Says Derek.

THE REVOLUTION IS NOW. (Wait until JB discovers cat videos on Youtube)

THE FUTURE IS NOW. (Wait until JB discovers cat videos on Youtube)

But never mind that, Jessica is just about to cross paths with the GREATEST SERIAL KILLER ON THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET.

This whole blog has been leading up to this moment...

This whole blog has been leading up to this moment…

While Alan gets Michael to set up another computer for Jessica (and dust the old one for fingerprints trolololol), the class adjourns for a tea break and Jessica gets to chatting with a fellow classmate who tells her he’s been through the course three times and still can’t get the hang of it. “Maybe I’m too old.” He muses.

The Queen has no time for self-pity.

The Queen has no time for self-pity.

The man, Jason O’Connell, thinks maybe he’s just having a bad day – he just found out he’s been underbid on a contract by four thousand dollars, for the second time in a month. Jessica notices that Henry Waverley is back in Alan’s office and things are getting heated but Derek wanders past to announce that break time is over and it’s time to get back to work.

Later that night, Michael is closing up the office for night but JB is still hard at work hacking mainframes and patrolling the interwebs. She promises to finish up and Michael goes to finish closing up. He runs into Linda Truitt who is fuming – she’d just found the game she’d been working on with Alan on the shelves and without her name on it. She rants and leaves, and Jessica is unable to keep from eavesdropping. Michael is sure that it’s nothing, and offers to give JB a lift home.

As they drive, Jess tells Michael that she spoke to Dr Auerbach and he mentioned something about a police record. Michael tells her it was for boosting hubcaps, stealing comic books etc etc. He’s hardly a national security threat, but he understands if he can’t rejoin the class. Jessica tells him she hasn’t given up hope yet. Michael says his mother has ordered him to invite Jessica round for lunch the next day and will kill him if she says no.

The next day, Mr and Mrs Michael’s Parents are delighted to have Jessica over, but are puzzled by this whole writing endeavour. Michael’s father in particular thinks it’s a scam. Stephen King, sure. Jessica Fletcher, sure. But Michael? He ain’t the type. He gets into trouble too much.

“So who is the type, Norman Mailer?” Michael retorts.

“Don’t answer back. And who’s this Norman guy, he one of these friends getting you in trouble? Says Michael’s father.

A knock at the door is the final word in the argument. It’s one of their neighbours, rather fancily dressed for a trip to the laundry. She just popped into say hi…but recognises JB in an instant. Michael’s mother swears she only mentioned it in passing, but the woman wonders if JB could sign a copy of her book…and a few of her friends?

“Sure, but I’m not sure this is the right ti-” says JB.

 

 

INCOMING

k2

INCOMING PARTY WOMEN ACTIVATE CLOAKING DEVICE

It becomes all too much for Michael, who adjourns to the kitchen. JB comes in to check on him and he goes into rant mode about how he wants to get out of the neighbourhood and make something of himself but he’s worried he isn’t good enough.

JB starts singing that song from Sister Act II tells him to follow his passion and everything else will follow. Fame and success is just smoke and mirrors.

The next day Derek arrives at SSC HQ to find the class milling around outside the classroom door. He tells them he left a message with Alan that he was going to be late, and that they should have started without him. Jason guesses that Alan didn’t get the message.

Inside the classroom, they find the body of Alan on the floor. “It appears you’re wrong Mr O’Connell” says JB. “Looks like he got someones message.”

I will never get tired of this.

I will never get tired of this.

NYPD’s finest double act roll in, in the form of Lieutenant Cynthia Deveraux (cousin of Blanche almost definitely) and Lieutenant Timothy Chance. Chance is delighted to meet JB, he’s a big fan. JB tells him her theory that Alan was strangled by a computer cable, and also mentions the discussion she’d heard between Linda and Michael the other night. Derek tells them Linda had quit and gone to work at a competing company. JB says Michael can back up her story but it seems he’s not here just now. Derek says Alan told him he was going to fire Michael but he didn’t know why.

“Are you sure the business is doing okay?” Says Deveraux. “You seem to be losing a lot of staff.”

“In more ways than one,” Chance chimes in.

Never step on another person's YEAAHHH. That's just etiquette.

Never step on another person’s YEAAHHH. That’s just etiquette.

Michael, it turns out, is at home reading when he gets a knock on the door – it’s the Shady 386 guy, and he is looking for payment.

Later that afternoon, JB is on the phone to Cabot Cove, issuing strict orders to be called the minute someone’s baby is born, when she gets a knock on the door. It’s Michael’s mother wondering if JB had heard from Michael. Jessica says no, but she’s sure he has nothing to do with the dead body at the SSC. Michael’s mother says if that’s true then why is he running?

The lieutenants head over to Linda’s new office to ask some questions but she tells them she had nothing to do with Alan’s murder, and she’s not talking to them unless they arrest her which means a Miranda in which case they only thing they will be getting is the name address and phone number of her attorney.

“You been watching too many of those TV crime shows.” Says Chance.

Nothing but lol.

Nothing but lols with the lieutenants.

Back at the Fletcher Bunker, JB is tinkering with her computer when Michael calls her to ask that she tell the police to look into Henry Waverley, and explains about the fight he overheard. She says she’ll do what she can but she’d rather discuss it in person. Michael agrees to meet and gives her directions, which she types onto the computer due to lack of pen.

Over at the SSC that night, the lieutenants have been summoned by Derek who has made an Alarming Discovery – the computers that the company gets Michael to purchase are made of stolen parts. Chance thinks this cracks the case, but Deveraux, who’s just had a page from the office, says JB thinks they should look into Henry Waverley.

The next morning JB meets Michael at the park, but they soon hear sirens heading towards them. Michael tries to leg it but is caught. JB swears she didn’t tell anyone she was meeting him, but Michael says she was the only one who knew he was coming.

Ouch.

Jessica goes to the precinct but Michael doesn’t want to see her. She does however see his parents, who are devastated. At the moment Michael is only being charged with receiving stolen goods, but he swears he thought the computer parts were just fakes with brand names stuck on, and he swears he didn’t kill Alan. Jessica thinks it’s time to get to the bottom of it all and asks Lieutenant Deveraux where the info came from. She says it was an anonymous tip, but she doesn’t know how the tipster knew where the meeting was happening.

Later that afternoon JB gets a phone call from Susan Cabot Cove – someone had a baby boy. Jessica is delighted but a bit miffed she wasn’t the first phone call. Susan tells her they tried to call at four in the morning but the line was engaged.

Seriously Susan, what the hell?

Seriously Susan, what the hell?

JB just can’t understand it. How could her phone line be busy when she was in bed asleep?

She gazes at her computer. The phone line! Internets! Lines of Excellence! (Whomp there it is)

After calling the phone company to find out what numbers have been dialled in the last 24 hours, JB goes to find the Lieutenants who are on their way to have lunch. JB offers to shout them a sandwich if they take her to reinterview Henry Waverley, and heaven forbid the lieutenants ever knock back a free lunch.

When they find Waverley at his office, he is fairly tight-lipped about the whole thing, but when JB shows him the phone number her line had been dialling he comes clean – he was being blackmailed after someone found out about his affair. He thought it was Alan, but when he confronted him Alan knew nothing about it.

And that, my friend, is because Alan was in charge of hardware, not software. And thanks to some clever acting on Jason O’Connell’s part, they manage to trap the killer.

The first of many, no doubt.

The first of many, no doubt.

And because JB cares, she launches into an indepth explanation about how computers work and how Derek managed to get all the information he needed to blackmail people.

And, because Jessica is a firm believer in not tying up loose ends, she pops round to Mrs and Mrs Michael’s Parents house to see a newly released Michael and to let him know that while Auerbach won’t let him take the class, there’s no reason he can’t audit the class for free.

Cue the entrance of the party women.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

 

S08E03 – Unauthorized Obituary

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At a fancy shindig in New York this week, Fletcherfans, where Our Heroine is being begged by some bloke named Griswold to become JB’s agent.

Ain't got time for this, there's drinking to be done.

Ain’t got time for this, there’s drinking to be done.

Attention is diverted when Jane Dawson, author of the scandalous tell-all biography of Senator Edward Crawford, wanders into the room and is swamped by fans.

Now I know why I spent this episode thinking God that looks like Jessica Walter. I'm on the ball. *coughs*

Now I know why I spent this episode thinking God that looks like Jessica Walter. I’m on the ball. *coughs*

Griswold rushes over to greet Jane but she sashays past him to meet JB. She’d heard Jessica had moved to New York, it was a smart move, that’s where the action happens. New Hampshire’s loss is NYC’s gain!

“I’m just here temporarily.” Says JB. “And it’s Maine.”

Like that was even possible.

Like that was even possible.

Jane barrells on. She wants to have lunch with JB, she hasn’t got time to talk now but she hears JB is friends with Arthur Brent. With that she departs, leaving JB’s companion to ask “Who’s Arthur Brent?”

The next day (probably), Jane is hard at work on her next target/arguing with her lawyers on the phone when her assistant comes in with good news – they bribed someone at a sanitarium and managed to get the target’s medical records. Jane sends her off to try and find someone who hated the target and get more dirt but then Jane’s sister Beth comes in. She’s worried because she heard Jane fighting with her husband the previous evening, but Jane tells her not to worry about Steve – unless he lays a finger on Beth in which case she should tell Jane and she will rip his liver out. Beth says that’s unlikely, she doesn’t even like Steve and she doesn’t know why Beth married him. Beth tells her it’s simple enough – he’s tall, looks good in a tuxedo and is great in bed.

I do love Jessica Walter, I’m not going to lie.

Jane tells Beth she had a little fight with Steve, he went off to the Hamptons to cool off, but no big deal. She sends her off with some money to go buy something nice and then demands to know from her assistant why JB hasn’t returned her call yet.

Later, JB is waiting for her publisher to arrive for their lunch date when Jane sits herself down, saying she moved her publisher back an hour so they could talk. She cuts to the chase – Jessica is friends with Arthur Dent and his wife Ellen Lombard, and Jane wants to know why Ellen doesn’t make movies any more, what happened with her nervous breakdown/suicide attempt and whether it’s true that Ellen is now addicted to booze, tranquilizers and whatever else is kicking around.

JB tells Jane that she doesn’t gossip about her friends, especially not to people who will twist the facts to titillate her readers, and if she proceeds with the book Jess hopes Jane is ready for a lawsuit.

(Sweetheart is the name of the tape recorder, obviously)

(Sweetheart is the name of the tape recorder, obviously)

Jane informs her she’s never lost a lawsuit but decides to appeal to Jessica’s practical side – JB being linked to the book will sell more copies, which will generate publicity for her. If she doesn’t, well some of the dirt thrown at Ellen could stick to Jessica.

Jessica requests that Jane leaves while Jess is still in control of her temper.

She's going to Hulk out in 3...2...1...

Fletcher smash in 3…2…1…

Jess calls Arthur to tell him about the impending shit-storm that is rumbling. Arthur is devastated, Ellen is still in a fragile state after her suicide attempt and he will not let her come to harm. Jess feels awful that she hasn’t seen them that much in the last couple of years but Arthur tells her that Ellen won’t see anyone, not even Jess. She had a stroke a year ago and she doesn’t want anyone to see her in her current state.

Later that night, Jane’s husband Steve picks Beth up from class so she can help him convince Jane they should stay together. As they sit in the car out the front of the house, they notice someone go inside. Steve shrugs it off but Beth is worried and they go in after him. They go inside but there’s no sign of Jane. Suddenly the lights go out and a figure rushes past them on the way out – it’s Arthur Brent. They go upstairs and find Jane dead in the bathtub with the television.

You never see that any more. There’s never the toaster in the bath, or the hair dryer in the bath. Ah, the olden days.

The next morning, JB goes down to pick up her newspaper from Ahmed the doorman, who is all of us in this picture.

HE IS SO HAPPY TO SEE HER AHMED YOU ARE THE BEST.

HE IS SO HAPPY TO SEE HER AHMED YOU ARE THE BEST.

JB tells him she’s not happy with the local supermarket and wonders if he can suggest another one, but then gets distracted by the headline about Jane Dawson’s murder. She goes upstairs and calls Ellen but Ellen tells her Arthur has gone out and he was up late all night the previous night reading to Ellen. She tells JB that they will catch up again soon, when Ellen is feeling a bit better.

Jessica heads over to Jane’s house where she meets Lieutenant Gerard, who is also delighted to see her – so much so that he invites her to come up to view the crime scene. JB notices a phone message left by Jane’s assistant Kristy at 9:45, as she goes up the stairs. Presumably relevant. Upstairs, Gerard explains that all the clocks stopped when the place shorted at 11:03pm, when the television went into the tub. He resumes his interview of Jane’s sister Beth, who explains that the man (Arthur Brent, and you guys have no idea how much I keep wanting to write Arthur Dent) rushed down the stairs. She describes him and JB says it could be almost anyone oh is that time I must dash. Gerard asks her to pop by the precinct later, he still has something he wants to talk to her about.

JB goes to see Arthur, who fills her in on his side of the story. He was at the house at Jane’s request, but when he arrived at 11pm there was no answer. The door was unlocked so he went in – he heard the hot tub going so he figured she hadn’t heard him knock but when he went upstairs to check she was already dead. He was about to call the police when he heard Steve and Beth downstairs so he fled. Jessica tells him he needs to talk to the police, and that the lead detective seems very friendly but she isn’t sure why.

Jessica finds Gerard interviewing Jane’s assistant Kristy, who says she left Jane’s house at about 8 o’clock, which sounds fishy to JB on account of that phone message from earlier. Apparently Jane was in the habit of watching the news and returning phone calls from the hot tub which is a level of multi-tasking I frankly do not want. She excuses herself, and after she’s gone Jessica tells Gerard about the phone message. He’s not bothered though, because there’s something he wants to show Jessica….his manuscript.

I feel like this has happened before...

I feel like this has happened before…

Gerard’s offer to split the profits 50-50 is thankfully interrupted by Arthur’s arrival to admit to being the mysterious person in the house. Gerard is delighted – JB lives up to her reputation and gets the killer to surrender!

While Kristy goes to the publisher to try and get a book deal for the Ellen Lombard book now that Jane isn’t around to finish it, Jess and Gerard are chowing down on hotdogs and debating the murder. Gerard is convinced that it’s all over now that Arthur has come in, and is going back to Jane’s hosue to try and find more clues to prove it. He invites JB to tag along, that way they can discuss his book.

At the house, Gerard launches into a long explanation of how televisions can kill, until Jessica interrupts to say she’s seen it before. (Damn right she has). Kristy appears with a folder full of papers under her arm and a half-arsed excuse about clearing out her desk but Jessica has no time for these shenanigans and suggests to the lieutenant that nothing should be taken from the crime scene until it’s been checked. Kristy sighs and hands it over before leaving. Jessica shamelessly volunteers to read them for the lieutenant and he’s grateful – hopefully Arthur Brent’s motive might be in there somewhere.

Jane’s husband Steve pipes up and says Arthur has a hell of a motive considering his wife was the target of Jane’s next book. Gerard asks JB if she knew about this and she stalls him long enough for the phone to ring. She flees before she has to answer the question.

That suit is pretty amazing just by the way.

That suit is pretty amazing just by the way.

Jess goes home to investigate the papers and finds the birth certificate of Elizabeth Prewett, along with a baby photo and a lock of hair. She’s interrupted by a phone call from Gerard saying that he’s tracked down the mysterious phone message – it was Jane’s lawyer who had called and he’s coming in for a chat.

At first Jane’s lawyer is reluctant to disclose what the call was about, but eventually reveals that Jane was planning to divorce her husband Steve and wanted to confirm the details of their pre-nuptial agreement. He says she called him back at about 10 o’clock but that she had another call coming in and said she would get back to him the next day.

Jess excuses herself and goes to see Beth at the funeral home, who confirms what JB suspected – Jane wasn’t Beth’s sister, she was her mother. Beth tells her the whole story of how Jane had her at fifteen, danced in a club in New Orleans, fought her way to the top etc etc etc. She thought it possible that Kristy was blackmailing Jane about Beth’s identity, but didn’t know anything about Jane’s plans for divorce. She just regrets that she sat talking to Steve in the car for so long, and then going in and the lights going out. JB asks her if all the lights went out, and she says they did.

JB convinces Ellen and Arthur to pop round for tea and a chat and to confirm with Arthur a couple of things. He tells her the lights were definitely on when he got there, and the TV wasn’t plugged in. This is all JB needs and she goes to call Gerrard to meet her at Jane’s house.  Steve lets them in and leaves them to it. Gerard launches into a detailed explanation of how circuit breakers work.

JB don't need no man explaining ANYTHING

JB don’t need no man explaining ANYTHING

JB tells him that there’s no way the TV going into the tub would have shorted the whole house, and she believes Arthur when he says the lights were on and the TV unplugged when he got there. She thinks Jane had been dead for an hour before she was found, and what’s more she thinks she knows who killed her.

Tale as old as time....*coughs*

Tale as old as time….*coughs*

Steve arrived back early from the Hamptons, just in time to eavesdrop on Jane’s conversations, and had an adverse reaction to the news he was on his way out as number 1 toyboy.

Job done, Jessica neatly ties up loose ends by setting fire to Jane’s file on Ellen Lombard and telling Lieutenant Gerard to give Kristy the assistant a call – she’s looking for a project.

Shout out to the electrical workers who came and fixed the power to my building when the transformer blew, and to Melbourne weather for refusing to believe it’s nearly summer by hailing, snowing, blowing up transformer boxes with wind and generally making a general fool of itself. Classic Melbourne.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S08E02 – Night Fears

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JB is back to school Fletcherfans! It’s her first day teaching Criminology at Manhattan University, which seems entirely legitimate and the sort of thing that doesn’t sound farfetched at all.

Arriving early on her first day, Our Heroine gets a tour from the department head Dr Auerbach, and meets her fellow colleagues including this guy who you might remember from season 2:

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Wallace Evans offers most insincerely to be of all the assistance he can give to the new fascinating experiment. Turns out he used to teach the class that JB is going to be teaching and isn’t too thrilled with the new arrangement. As Auerbach escorts JB to her classroom he explains that Wallace was hoping to be made department head but that didn’t work out either. Also there’s been lots of muggings on campus so don’t stay late but I’m sure you’ll do great oh I’d better run.

(I think JB doesn't know what she's in for tbh)

(I think JB doesn’t know what she’s in for tbh)

Her first class begins and all seems to be going well. She even drops in a Hamlet quote to demonstrate a point (I love it. I had an anthropology lecturer who used to do the same thing with Monty Python clips it was awesome). This doesn’t sit well will all of the class though, NYPD Officer Morelli in particular who starts muttering away to his neighbour.

Morelli is going to regret this.

Morelli is going to regret this.

When JB asks if she can do anything for him, he says well that’s the point isn’t it? You’re a writer, I’m an NYPD detective, what can I hope to learn from you?

JB pauses, goes back to her lectern. “Well…perhaps as much as I’ve already learned from you. That for instance you had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning. Then stopped by the precinct’s target range to get in some practice.  You’ve recently given up smoking, you were born in the midwest and you’ve been married only a few months.”

e2

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

After class, JB heads to the cafeteria where she is accosted by one of her students, Luke Phillips.

I think we know where this is going

I think we know where this is going

It turns out Luke is actually a mechanic who just wanted to meet his idol JB, and when JB points out he should consider dropping the class and taking another he loses his mind. He’s read all her books twice, she owes him. If it wasn’t for people like him she’d still be in Cabot Cove baking brownies.

Sitting down to lunch Jess is soon joined by another student, Kevin Bryce. He’s another NYPD cop, but he was happy to see JB take Morelli down a peg or two. As they chat, Kevin reveals that he’s studying for the sergeants test again, but that he’s already failed it three times. Because Our Heroine is benevolent and wise, she offers to coach him through the test and he’s delighted. Damn right he is.

That afternoon, JB is wandering around campus when she hears sirens. She (along with half the school) go running and finds one of her students, Roslyn, being loaded into an ambulance – the latest victim of the campus mugger. JB goes to see her in hospital but Roslyn doesn’t remember much. She just knows she’s too scared to go back to school. JB tells her there are counsellors who can help her get past this, and of course if there’s anything she can do…

There is, says Roslyn. Could she catch this guy?

 

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

JB tells her that she’s only new to the university, and that the police might not appreciate her involvement in the case but she’s sure the police will have it all sorted soon. She tells Roslyn to concentrate on getting well, and that the class will still be there when she gets back  – but Roslyn says she doesn’t think she can come back, what with this monster still on campus and all.

Time passes (presumably). JB is back in class teaching away when Wings Wallace pops in to listen to her class, bemoan the fact that JB won’t let him help, and suggest that the muggings on campus could be used as a workshop for the class to track down the guilty party.

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings Wallace tells JB that he too has read all of her books and finds them interesting – 5 people in a house, 2 get murdered, and then the killer is caught. Much like Cabot Cove – home to 3 suspects, 2 dogs and a duck.

(No seriously, who wouldn't?)

(No seriously, who wouldn’t?)

Wallace thinks he can solve the case, what about JB? Jess is horrified at the suggestion of a wager but Wallace says its an academic exercise that will benefit the students. JB suggests they take it outside, where she informs Wallace (again) that the idea of a bet to see who can solve the case the fastest is inapprorbut Wallace figured JB would jump at the chance to prove herself.

“Well I’ve found that people who think they have something to prove never succeed in doing so. ” Says JB.  (Life Lesson #63. Ooh that’s a good one).

Down at the precinct Wallace hits up Kevin for all the files on the muggings so that he can “build a profile of the suspect”. (I should point out that earlier in the episode Doctor Auerbach tells JB that Wallace was sacked off the NYPD after two years for being heavy-handed so this whole building a profile thing sounds like something he saw on an episode of LA Law or something). Kevin tells him he won’t help him take down JB, not even when Wallace threatens to fail him out of his forensics class. YOU GO KEVIN.

Wallace pops by JB’s classroom with an advanced copy of the student newspaper proclaiming the race between Wallace and JB to solve the campus muggings. JB is horrified, but Wallace thinks she should be happy – it’s publicity and that’s why she was hired – enrolments were down, money was drying up so Doctor Auerbach had a crazy idea to boost enrollments by bringing in a celebrity.

Devastated, JB goes to see Auerbach who, like every middle aged white dude, begs her to see it from his perspective. The school was desperate.  He asks her if she would have taken the job if he was upfront with her and she says absolutely not. She informs Auerbach that she will stay until a suitable replacement can be found and then she’s out. Auerbach asks her if they could just discuss it and JB says “I believe we just did.”

BOOM.

Later that night, JB is leaving the university when sirens start blaring and people start running towards the sound. JB follows and runs into Kevin, in work mode. He says the mugger has struck again, but this time it went too far and the victim died. JB asks him for everything he’s got on the case. She’s in.

Cut to JB’s New York bunker, where Jess is taking a break from helping Kevin study for his test by going over the murder. He tells her that the knife was found but also two blood types so they’re thinking the victim managed to defend himself and cause some damage to his attacker. JB wonders if the attacker ended up in hospital and Kevin says they’re checking, but that the only weird thing is that another student was hospitalised across town for a gunshot would but he can’t see how the two events might be connected.

Down at the precinct Kevin gets pulled up by his boss for providing information to JB (which frankly is a valid point as much as I love Our Heroine) and orders him to back off. Meanwhile over on campus JB has stumbled onto a message left by the killer – I am the sword of justice, death sings to me, alpha and omega.

Get a better slogan, murderous mugger guy

Points for effort, 0 points for originality.

JB recognises the reference and goes hunting in the library for the source material but before she can find the book, Luke the crazy fan pops up to tell her he’s no longer her #1 fan.

Down at the precinct, Wallace and the captain are contemplating how to proceed.

The eternal question.

The eternal question.

The captain is worried, but Wallace is all over it. It’s definitely either disgruntled former student or employee, or it’s a crazed psychopath drifter. Wallace is convinced it’s the latter, and thinks if no murder occurs in the next 72 hours then he will be proven right. The captain hopes so, but Kevin overhears and approaches Wallace. He thinks it’s too early to have a definite idea on who it is, but Wallace is unstoppable. Plus he got a letter from the killer so he’s totes a threat.

Wallace isn’t the only penpal of the mugger, JB’s got a letter too. She goes to show it to Kevin after class but he tells her he’s under strict orders to stay out of it and stop helping JB. Undeterred, JB heads to the library to try and track down the book she thinks the mugger is quoting from. The librarian conveniently wanders away from her desk so JB can see the screen – the book was borrowed by Wallace Evans.  As JB leaves the campus for the night, someone takes a potshot at her and drives away. As the hordes come running, JB spots the Greek characters for alpha and omega on the ground.

The next day JB takes a cab out to Kevin’s place. Kevin’s not home but his mum is – they get to chatting and it’s revealed that Kevin’s father (who was a cop) got done for corruption just because everyone else in his squad was. Mrs Kevin’s Mum doesn’t want him to be a cop. Kevin arrives home and asks Jessica to a) leave and b) drop the investigation. JB says she’ll leave but she won’t drop it – someone took a potshot at her, this time it’s personal.

Kevin goes to work and tells his boss he can’t stand by any more, he’s going to help JB. The captain tells him he’s on his own, and department policy means he can’t take any documents out of the precinct. Fortunately Kevin has a way around that, as he explains to JB later. He just ordered copies from the coroner’s office and picked them up before they entered the precinct. YOU GO KEVIN.

As they go through the reports, JB notices that no skin tissue was found on the serrated knife belonging to the mugger, only blood. Furthermore, there were no fingerprints on the knife, which makes no sense if the murdered guy used it to fight his attacker. JB sees it all now. They go to find the student who was shot across town, and after some grilling get him to admit he was the mugger.

Which basically leaves only one suspect. Which I thought was obvious about 10 minutes ago, but what do I know.

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Determined to restore his fragile ego,  Wallace sets out to catch the mugger. Except when he does he decides the easiest option is to shoot him, except when he shoots the bullet goes straight through the mugger and kills the mugging victim. You stuffed that up Wallace old man. And so, to cover up his boo-boo, Wallace created the idea of a crazy hobo transient as the killer. Except JB knew better.

JB ALWAYS KNOWS BETTER.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S08E01 – Bite The Big Apple

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Welcome to Season 8 Fletcherfans! And new opening credits! Because there’s change in the air in Cabot Cove! So many exclamation marks!

JB arrives home from a trip to the supermarket to find half of Cabot Cove in her lounge room singing “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow”

And don't you forget it

And don’t you forget it

The reason for the fiesta is that JB is moving part-time to New York City, to teach a criminology course at Manhattan University and wander around the schools in the area. Sounds legit to me.  Seth (who is back, hooray) is not pleased with the idea that Jess is renting an apartment but Jess says that she’s sick of living in hotels and she can’t just keep landing in on Grady all the time.

“Why not?” Says Seth. “He lands on you whenever it suits him!”

It's been awhile since Grady's even made an appearance. I'm suspicious.

It’s been awhile since Grady’s even made an appearance. I’m suspicious.

While Eve Simpson ponders the amount of attractive men JB will find in New York, one of Jessica’s neighbours, who I have never seen before this episode, asks about her new apartment. Jess tells him it’s small but cosy, and in an area where she feels completely safe.

Cut to police sirens, because duh.

At JB’s new bunker in NYC the former tenants – Mike Freeloaderlander and his secretary/thing on the side Sharon are in the process of moving out. Well, Mike is. Sharon has just found out she’s moving out and she’s not too happy about it either. Before she can complain the painters arrive ready to touch the place up for Our Heroine’s arrival the next day. Mike and Sharon leave, with a promise from Mike that the movers will be along to pick up the stuff and to just paint around it.

Downstairs, Mike offers Sharon twenty bucks for a cab but she tells him he’ll need it more than she will. Mike spots a car parked across the street from the building and runs back inside. Sharon decides to go hang out in a bookstore for awhile which is the first sensible thing she’s said or done all episode. Mike rushes back upstairs, orders the painters to take a coffee break (after being there roughly five minutes), pinches a screwdriver and then disappears into a back room.

Back in the Cove, Seth is registering his many objections to JB moving to New York, to which JB asks him the last time he went to NYC. Seth reminds her of the time he got kidnapped by the mob to save their dying father. “That was Boston.” Says JB.

“What’s the difference?” Says Seth.

JB promises to behave, but Seth has been reading statistics on women who are attacked and it’s horrifying. Bless you Seth. There are a lot of people on Twitter who apparently haven’t managed to work that out yet.

Meanwhile, in JB’s new building’s car park…

He is no more. He has ceased to be. Etc etc. There's really no bad time to quote Monty Python.

He is no more. He has ceased to be. Etc etc. There’s really no bad time to quote Monty Python.

When JB arrives in NYC the next day, her new doorman has some news about the former tenant of her apartment.

***Actual quote,

***Actual quote.

Undeterred by the seriousness of this murderous update, JB heads upstairs to unpack, and gets a visit from the two detectives investigating the case, Jack Boyle (previously seen as cop in about 100 episodes of MSW, by which I mean three) and Kawalsky from Stargate SG1 (insert not a time to lose your head joke here). They have arrived to collect what’s left of Mike Freelander’s personal effects/fanboy over JB’s arrival in the city. Boyle tells her that the kitchen drawers are sticking, and to get onto it right away.

Such service.

Later that day JB gets a visit from Mike Freelander’s wife, who has come to collect Mike’s things, but JB explains that the police already took them and that she should probably go home – it’s clear Mrs Freelander isn’t playing with a full deck of cards. She departs, but not before mentioning how ironic it is that the person who gave Mike so much pleasure is the same person who fired the shots that killed him. JB returns to the task at hand and turns the shower on, but when the shower rod comes crashing down she finds some rolled up invoices for Freelander and Freelander Import/Export inside the rod.

Because she is a top citizen, she goes to report her find to Boyle and Acosta/Kawalsky, and finds them at the aforementioned import/export company having a chat with Mike’s brother Harry and his son Scott. Scott appears to be not that upset over the death of his uncle, as apparently he stole Scott’s promotion but they are all interested to see the invoices that JB found in her shower rod (“You looked there?” Boyle says, aghast and impressed). Each invoice has a piece of jewellery listed that isn’t on the original invoices that Sharon is ordered to retrieve and bring out from the office. Scott tees off on Sharon and Mike being in it together, so JB and the detectives discretely withdraw. While Boyle tries to hail JB a cab he warns her about the perils of being a private detective in New York, but she assures him she has no interest in getting involved.

e2

f2

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.

Inside F&F Importers, Harry scolds his son for airing the family dirty laundry in public, and that Scott didn’t get the promotion because he was a “pygmy”, at which point Scott informs his father Sharon has resigned, and where’s the gun Harry has for protection, it isn’t in his drawer.

Meanwhile, at the New York House Fletcher, JB arrives home to find the door open and the apartment torn apart.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Seems a safe bet.

Seems a safe bet.

Speak of the devil…

Naw Seth!

Naw Seth!

Sidenote: Here now are the three stages of being friends with Seth Hazlitt/dealing with problems, according to me.

k1

k2

Here endeth the lesson.

Here endeth the lesson.

Boyle and Acosta arrive on the scene to take a statement regarding the robbery. JB tells them nothing is missing and that she thinks it was related to the other matter.

“What other matter?” Says Seth.

“The murder. The last tenant was shot down in the carpark.” Says Boyle.

I have missed Seth's tantrums.

I have missed Seth’s tantrums.

Later that night, after Seth has helped JB clean up, she asks him whether he’s made reservations at any hotel. He tells her nope, he’s staying right there on the couch and he won’t take no for an answer. The next morning, Seth catches JB trying to sneak out to go sleuthing, but she refuses to have him hold her prisoner and takes off before he can get dressed.

He's a lumberjack and he's okay, he sleeps all night and he works all day.

He’s a lumberjack and he’s okay, he sleeps all night and he works all day.

Seth spots JB’s glasses on the mantle and goes to give them to her but the elevator doors are already closed. While he stands in the hallway in his pyjamas , JB’s neighbour across the hall peers out (who I’ve just realised is Seinfeld’s Mum argh that was killing me I knew I recognised her), sees Seth the lumberjack and slams her door shut with such a ferocity that the door to JB’s apartment slams shut in agreement, locking Seth out.

Pfft. This exact thing happened to me. Except the door slammed shut because the petrol station down the street exploded and I had to sit on the porch in my pyjamas waiting for my housemate while every news crew in Melbourne came to have a look. Not even kidding. There were helicopters. Seth, you got off lightly.

Downstairs, JB gets the good word from Ahmed the doorman and finds out about Mike’s sudden reentry into the building after seeing the car across the street, while Sharon went into the bookstore and either is still there or went out the back way.

Jess returns to the apartment, and Seth sneaks in behind her using his mad skillz.

Classic Seth.

Classic Seth.

But JB has no time to chat – she gets a phone call from Sharon requesting they meet. At the restaurant, Sharon tells JB a vaguely confusing story about how Harry Freelander’s wife went missing, and then he started after Sharon but she hooked up with Mike, and something something go ask Harry whose is the last signature on the invoices.

Back at the apartment Seth decides to make himself useful and fix the miscellaneous broken things around the apartment when he sees Seinfeld’s Mum’s door open again. He pops his head in and asks her if she knows anything about the murder but she informs him that she doesn’t talk to strangers and slams the door in his face (good thing he has keys this time). He shouts out he’ll be across the hall if she changes her mind – his name is Dr Seth Hazlitt.

This reminds me of the time Jon Stewart was on The Nanny.

This for whatever reason reminds me of the time Jon Stewart was on The Nanny.

Back across town, JB decides to take Sharon’s advice and goes to see Harry Freelander. She sees him disappear into the back of the shop and goes round to the delivery entrance to get in. Once inside, she hears shots before a dark figure slams into her as they leg it out of the store. Jess goes in for a closer look and finds the body of Harry on the floor.

Boyle and Acosta are called to the scene and Boyle is pissed that JB has been disobeying his suggestion to stay out of the case. She tells him that since she got broken into she didn’t have a choice and decides she’s going back to her apartment, where she discovers she’s lost her key. Fortunately Seth is in a good mood and so lets her in without comment. He tells her about his interrogation of Seinfeld’s Mum, and that Mike Freelander came upstairs during General Hospital and threw the painters out, and the police arrived during Marcus Welby MD. Please don’t ask me what any of those words mean.

Seth returns to his task of declogging the drain and finds the offending blockage – a 25 carat diamond. JB calls Acosta to alert him to the find, and apparently learns something very interesting, so interesting in fact that she can’t be bothered mentioning it right now.

And because I’ve just decided I’m going to make quesadillas for lunch, and that this has taken me ages to write because I a)can’t get off Twitter and b)have had to rescue pants blown off the clothes line three times now, I’m going to fast forward a little bit.

I did not see this coming.

I did not see this coming.

JB sets up the sting with Acosta to trap Boyle. It would appear that Boyle was sick of having no money and wanted in on the Freelander scam, but when Mike Freelander tried to keep the diamond for himself Boyle shot him.

So there you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think my underpants just got blown into the neighbours tree.

On reflection, maybe hanging my washing out when there's 100km winds outside wasn't the best idea.

On reflection, maybe hanging my washing out when there’s 100km winds outside wasn’t the best idea.

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