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S03E17 – Simon Says Colour Me Dead

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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!

I don't even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD,

I don’t even have to try anymore. EVERYTHING IS BREAKING BAD.

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…

Is there anyone who doesn't like Bewitched though, really?

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Bewitched though, really?

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:

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #)

(You better believe this is Life Lesson #52)

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.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

Amos is a life drawing model from way back, obviously.

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)

....

(I don’t know why her facial expression is making me laugh. Lack of coffee probably)

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

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

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S01E15 – Paint Me A Murder

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Disclaimer:

I’m going to be honest here guys. I didn’t like this episode. Maybe it was the fact that Our Heroine only turned up ten minutes in, or maybe it was the extensive use of Killer Cam/fade outs/soap opera directing, but I just wasn’t a fan. As a result, this weeks blog may not accurately depict the events that take place in this episode. I’ve, erm, improved it a bit. My humble apologies…

Jess still hasn’t made it back to the Cove. I worry what Amos is doing in her absence…anyway, this week she’s been invited to stay on the island of her friend Carlos Diego Santana*, a famous painter who is turning 60 and inviting his son (drug addict), wife (trophy), his ex-wife (pianist), a random British policeman (random), an art gallery owner (lord),  a charity worker (Princess Diana), and Willard the playwright (Robert Goulet).

Side note: Everything I know about Robert Goulet can be seen in this video. Also, here’s a picture:

It’s the neckerchief that really seals the deal for me…

Side side note: the English policeman is being played by Ron Moody, who played Fagin in the movie of Oliver! I’m pleased to report in this episode he pickpocketed a tray of snacks at least twice.

The party weekend does not get off to the best start – everyone is fighting with everyone, the trophy is almost having an affair with the island’s resident sculptor, and someone accidentally-on-purpose shoves a stone vase off a rooftop, narrowly missing Diego while he roams the outdoors serenading the moon with his guitar.

Also, the zombie apocalypse breaks out. **

Into this maelstrom of murderousness (and away from the zombie menace***) flies Our Heroine, intent on seeing out the zombpocalypse on Diego’s island stronghold. Alas for JB, the zombie menace has somehow followed her, and Willard is overcome by zombies while fishing in the surf. ****

Willard is flown off to the mainland to avoid contaminating the other guests/receive treatment, escorted by Diego’s son Miguel, who seems rather eager to be on the mainland. I suspect he’s secretly a zombie-killing maniac, bent on avenging the death of his mother to the zombie hordes. I could be wrong though. After Jess settles in, Diego fills her in on his suspicions that someone is trying to bump him off, and not just the threat of the undead. He enlists her to investigate.

It’s not long before she’s hot on the trail of the zombies/killer. Up on the rooftop she finds cigarette butts, a matchbook and Inspector Clousseau Henry Kyle, who pumps her for information, if you know what I mean. They engage in a battle of detective wits, after which it emerges that the only person who could have pushed the stone vase off the roof is Willard the playwright. A call to the hospital establishes that Willard is expressing all the symptoms of a heart attack/mauling by the hungry horde, and that Diego’s son Miguel is MIA. Presumably killing swarms of the undead.

Diego doesn’t believe any of it, especially the zombies. He asks JB and Inspector Rex Henry to keep a lid on their suspicions, which Jess agrees to reluctantly.

Callin’ it like she sees it, yo.

Diego has more pressing matters, like showing off his crossbow (not code for penis, as it turns out). Apparently his son Miguel is a dab hand at the ol’ crossbow, probably from his many years hunting the undead on the mainland. While Diego strokes his crossbow, JB and Inspector Lynley Henry have a pow-wow: it turns out Willard has been buying up Diego’s paintings for the last few months, despite having absolutely no money. That’s a nifty trick.

Now, a brief moment as we bask in JB Fletcher’s audition for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

Seriously, I want this jacket. Internet, make this happen for me.

Later that night, we see (via the benefit of Killer Cam), a mysterious gloved hand go and retrieve the crossbow from its place on the wall. Clearly someone knows the zombies are coming, and is preparing their defense.

The next morning, Jess is out on her morning constitutional when she sees a boat pulled up at the beach. THE ZOMBIES HAVE GAINED NAVIGATORY TECHNOLOGY. THE END IS NIGH!!

Also, Diego gets shot and killed by a crossbow wielding bandit. Tough break. And to make matters worse, someone (zombie)  has smashed up the radio, preventing them from contacting the mainland. They are all alone, trapped on the island with at least one killer zombie on the loose. Sir John the gallery owner and the sculptor go off to find the missing crossbow, but JB has got more pressing concerns. Like the boat.

Jess and Henry go to check it out and find a mystery man trying to hightail it out of there. Henry and JB’s stunt double retrieve him from the water.

Life Lesson #29 – ALWAYS send others into the water instead of you.

But ye Gods! It’s not a mystery man, it’s Diego’s son Miguel! And he’s got a garbage bag full of Diego’s paintings! WHAT IS THIS? Diego explains that he needed to sell the paintings to raise money for his ongoing zombie genocide/give money to his junkie girlfriend******. Sir John doesn’t believe him.

Jess has other things on her mind. Like sand raking.

Deleted scene from The Walking Dead

Jess is convinced that Willard’s heart attack/zombie mauling was not as it seemed, and was drug induced, in an effort to throw suspicion off the fact he tried to toss a stone vase at Diego. The Inspector is not so sure, but before he can say so Sir John comes a-running. The resident island sculptor has, rather helpfully, legged it.

As the horde of the undead descends on the island******** Jess is woken by the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. Also, the back shed is on fire.

Jess hightails it to the scene, closely followed by everyone else. Henry discovers Diego’s wife Margo collapsed in the shed, and rescues her before the zombies can get their rotten hands on her. The same can not be said for Diego’s paintings, alas.

JB quizzes Margo on what happened.

Indeed.

They have narrowed the suspect field down considerably. Sir John is convinced that the local sculptor did it, but Margo tells them how the sculptor is actually a Hungarian dissident on the run from the Reds, and had nothing to do with it.

Seriously, I feel like I’m watching Passions or something now. In any case, JB’s got her eyes on the prize. Willard tried to kill Diego but failed, so he faked the zombie/heart attack and got out before his partner could dob him in. The same partner who did Diego in…

This image was not digitally altered in any way…*coughs*

And so ends the (practically) true story of how JB Fletcher solved the case and averted  total zombie-geddon.

See you next week, dead dear reader.

*Diego Santana is being played by Ceasar Romero, who was The Joker in the original Batman movie. I mention this because a) the original Batman movie is freaking amazing and you should watch it, and b) I know someone reading this will appreciate this fact. In fact, here’s a photo.

**Not true.

***See above footnote

****Actually it was a heart attack.

***** There is absolutely no evidence to suggest this isn’t true.

****** This is actually true.

******* Also, night.