Happy New Year Fletcherfans! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and ate all the things!
We’re back in the Cove again this week, where Jess is a teeny bit miffed that her friends Simon and Eleanor Thane have been staying in Cabot Cove all summer and she’s barely heard a peep out of them. Eleanor is quick to correct this, and invites JB to a dinner party that same night.
JB’s next stop is the Sheriff’s Office, where Amos is sorting out a dispute between a local stuck-up cow called Martha and Irene and Tommy Rutlidge. The Cow has accused Tommy of stealing her son’s bike, which he didn’t, but never mind all that because look!
JB decides to do a Good Deed and give Tommy Frank’s old bike. She takes it round and interrupts local handman and part were-wolf Cash Logan asking Irene if she needs any odd jobs doing around the house. He leaves, and JB offers the bike to Tommy. Irene tells her they can’t afford it, and they don’t accept charity but JB cleverly circumvents this by saying it’s payment if Tommy will come round and help her dig out the weeds in her garden.
Later that night, JB is having dinner with Simon, Eleanor, gallery owner Felix Casslaw, and fellow Cabot Cove summer residents Carol (previously bumped off here) and George Selby. Speaking of George…
Despite pleas from everyone, Simon refuses to show them his newest painting. Irene appears with the roast, and Simon quickly changes the subject. Meanwhile Cash Logan is outside, watching the house and menacing some rope with a knife.
Midnight rolls around and the guests depart, including Irene a short time later. Tommy wakes to find her at the kitchen, scrubbing at a blood stain on her dress. She screams at him to go back to bed.
The next morning, Amos and his minions are called to the Thane residence. Eleanor is inconsolable and Simon is on the floor with a knife sticking out of his chest.
(Truly, you take your life into your own hands when you take your summer vacation in Cabot Cove)
It’s not long before they realise that Simon’s pulse isn’t the only thing that’s missing. Whatever top secret painting he was working on was gone too. Amos asks JB who else was at the dinner party and she tells him that George and Carol left before she did, and she got a lift home with Felix. Eleanor remembers that Irene was still cleaning in the kitchen when she went up to bed. One of Amos’s minion’s remembers seeing Irene on the street about one in the morning, but when they go to ask her about it she denies it, saying she left the Thane’s just after Eleanor went to bed. Amos spots some drawings of Irene and Tommy signed by Simon and demands to know where they came from. Irene tells them that he was going to throw them away, but when he saw her looking at them he signed them and gave them to her. It all seems legit until Amos’s minion finds Irene’s dress in the bin. Amos announces that it needs to go in for lab analysis (which for some reason is the funniest thing I’ve heard today) and orders Irene not to leave town.
Down at the station Amos’s minion has brought in Cash Logan, after he ran a stop sign and a search of his truck turned up the missing painting, slashed to ribbons. It’s enough to see it’s a picture of a naked lady, but the face is ripped up. JB asks Cash where he found it, and he claims he just saw it lying around, and figured if it was a Simon Thane painting it might still be valuable. How he came to know it was a Thane, since it wasn’t signed, remains a mystery as Amos interrupts to announce that the blood on Irene’s dress matches Simon’s and that he’s going to have to arrest her.
Better call Saul.
Irene swears she didn’t do it, but Amos is convinced that it’s a crime of passion. Observe:
He is basing this theory on the fact that the painting was of a lady “in the all-together” (apparently that means naked?) and that there was likely some hanky-panky going on between Simon and the model.
JB goes to see Carol and George to ask if George will take on Irene’s case. Carol is more convinced than ever that Cabot Cove needs to host a Simon Thane Exhibition but JB gently points out that it’s a stupid idea. George gives her a lift to her next stop, to see Eleanor who is doing better, and Felix, who is in Simon’s studio forging Simon’s signature on his finished paintings to ensure that Eleanor’s interests are looked after. Both are surprised when JB tells them she doesn’t think Irene is the killer. JB spots a lighter on the shelf and after Felix announces that it’s not his, pockets it to give to Eleanor.
That siren you can hear is the LOOK AT THIS THIS IS A CLUE alarm.
In the cells, Irene finally comes clean(ish) with her story – after Eleanor went to bed she went to see Simon to get paid, but she found him on the floor dead. The painting was already gone. The only other thing she remembers hearing is a car door slam. At home, Amos is showing Tommy the best way to dig up weeds, and pointing out JB has paint stains on her jacket, when a special delivery comes in for him. He’s done some *puts on sunglasses* digging of his own *yeahhhhhhh* and discovered that according to his birth certificate, Tommy’s mother died in childbirth. They confront Irene who tells them the truth – she was a friend of Tommy’s mother who told hospital staff she was her sister, and took the baby after she died.
JB tests out a theory with Cash Logan that he is Tommy’s father. He denies it, but in a not-denying sort of a way, if you know what I mean. Jess spots some paint on his jacket and he tells her he must have got it on him when he found the slashed painting. This gives Jess an idea about her own paint stains, and she pedalls on over to the Selby’s house. She checks out George’s car and finds wet paint. The suspect pool has been narrowed down to two.
While having tea with George and Carol, JB accidentally spills some on the couch. As she wipes it up, she “finds” a lighter between the cushions. George claims it as his, but when JB confronts him with the truth – that she found it in Simon’s studio, not the sofa – he tells her that he hadn’t seen the lighter in months. They used to have heaps lying around, back when Carol used to smoke too.
That’s when JB realises she got it wrong. (I did too, but in my defence I’ve had the theme from Bewitched stuck in my head for the last two hours)
OH MY GOD AMOS WAS ALMOST RIGHT. It was a crime of passion, but only because Carol was in love with Simon but Simon wasn’t in love with Carol, he just liked to paint her.
And on that worrying note