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S11E17 – Murder a la Mode

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Spoiler alert: this isn’t about pie. I genuinely thought this was going to be some sort of baking relating murder.

Another spoiler alert: I’m hungry.

We’re in Paris this week Fletcherfans, where a man holds a woman as she dies after a fire in a building, and JB is in town to promote her newest book but also to do a circuit of the runway shows, especially ones featuring her model friend Carrie Quin. Jessica calls her to let her know she’s arrived, and Carrie tells her she will see her later along with her new boyfriend Edmond Faragere – she’s in the middle of fittings for the show, and the No Capes lady from the Incredibles is pinning her aggressively.

In my defence, I’ve only seen Incredibles once, but it clearly left an impression.

The business manager of the fashion house Carrie is modelling for, Paul Vaughan, wanders in and tells Carrie and Denise that the dress is out, they can’t mass-produce it. Denise and Carrie both tell him Thea (head designer and wife of Paul) put it back in and Paul says he’ll see about that if he can ever find his wife. He calls her and at last gets through. Thea apologises, she’s been in the Louvre all afternoon and her phone was off. She’ll head back to the office now.

LOL, j/k, she’s banging Carrie’s boyfriend Edmund.

Ugh to both of them

Edmund wants Thea to leave Paul and go into business with him, but Thea isn’t agreeing to anything until she sees evidence of financing (smart). He gives her a ruby to seal the deal, and she says it’s all pretty and all but she wants paperwork.  She leaves and Edmund gets on the phone to someone to convert some things to cash for New York.

That night, JB and her publicist Dan Morgan head to a cocktail party and sign in just after the man from the fire at the start of the show. Jess bumps into old friend Claude Faragere who isn’t showing this year, and is facing competition from his stepson Edmund. They see Edmund talking to Carrie and Claude tells JB to warn Carrie, his stepson is bad news.

Thea and Paul arrive, bickering. Paul knows Thea wasn’t at the Louvre and wonders who it is this time. Thea storms off and Claude wanders over to ask Paul for a meeting, he has a business proposal for him and Thea. Paul wanders off and Edmund pops up to ask his grandfather why he was talking to Paul.

Carrie defends Edmund to JB and politely freezes out her ex-boyfriend Rick who is in town to take photos of JB free-ranging on the farshun. It is revealed that Denise had a fling with Edmund back in the day. Edmund rolls up to make everything awkward.

Get your life together Carrie

The guy from the fire takes this opportunity to pull a gun on Edmund (I mean, fair) so Jess throws her glass of champagne at him (NOOOOOOOOOOOO) and the man struggles with Edmund and then runs away. As he rushes, the gun goes off and he drops it.

The police are called and Jessica tells Inspector Marc Gautier that the man didn’t know how to tie a bow tie and didn’t really seem comfortable in the formal clothes he was wearing.

I know it wasn’t meant to be, but damn it sounded snobby

Edmund has no idea why the man wanted to kill him but agrees to come downtown and make a statement. Rick tells Edmund there’ll be a world of pain if he hurts Carrie and Edmund basically ignores him. Carrie tells Rick to leave her alone, he was the one who went to Milan for two months, let her be.

Jess heads back to her hotel room but finds the shooter, whose name is Huan Kim, there waiting for her. He’s freaking out, he never meant for any of this to happen he’s insane with grief. Jess urges him to go to the police, but he tells her he can’t and bails when a knock at the door signals the arrival of Jess’s galley copies.

The next day Claude has his meeting with Paul and Thea to suggest a merger, but Thea won’t agree to it – Edmund has offered her a much better deal and she plans to take it. Jess gets a visit from the inspector, who tells her they’ve identified the shooter, he was an employee at the sweatshop that burned down. Jess thinks she might know what this is about. Claude goes to try to buy his stepson off, but he won’t budge.

Jess rolls down to Paul and Thea’s fashion house, where they are rehearsing the catwalk and having Serious Discussions About Farshun.

My idea of farshun is wearing matching socks, I am thunderously unqualified to have an opinion about this.

Denise has a solution to the boring dress problem and Paul is delighted, it will sell thousands. Thea doesn’t give a rats though and walks off. Denise calls Edmund and tells him everything will go ahead as arranged. Carrie hands over the dress and Denise tells her she’ll call when it’s ready. Carrie has big plans for her afternoon off.

Thea and Edmund toast their imminent partnership and I start googling flights to Paris. Carrie arrives outside Edmund’s apartment just in time to see him kissing Thea as he puts her into a taxi. Edmund goes back inside, makes a quick phone call to his buyer, gets his bag of rubies and emeralds and goes down to his car where he is promptly shot dead.

Inspector Gautier is on the case and summons Claude, who admits he didn’t get on with his stepson but did not kill him. He was home alone at the time of the shooting. Gautier says he’s just looking for facts, not suspects. Or something. Man, I want to go to Paris. Monet’s Garden! Shakespeare and Company! ALL THE HAM AND CHEESE BAGUETTES OH GOD I’M HUNGRY!

Gautier visits Carrie at the fashion house and catches her lying about when she last saw Edmund, but she swears she didn’t kill him either. Gautier confiscates her passport and tells her not to leave Paris. Carrie goes straight to JB’s for tea and sympathy, which Jess provides in abundance. Carrie doesn’t know how she can continue with the show, but Jess tells her that for grief work is the best medicine (Life Lesson #76). 

Thea meets with Claude, to discuss his business proposal. He says he’s surprised she’s not in mourning but she tells him what was between her and Edmund was business. He tells her that he’s not going to consider the proposal unless it’s both her and Paul. Carrie heads down to the studio to try on the dress Denise has been working on and runs into Rick, who gives his condolences even though he hated Edmund. Carrie hints she thinks Rick did it but Rick swears not. While she’s changing Claude wanders in to offer Denise his condolences and to offer her a job, but Denise isn’t having a bar of it.

Jess is kicking back with her galleys when she gets a phone call from Huan, freaking out that the police think he killed Edmund. Jessica agrees to meet him on the condition that he turn himself in afterwards. Paul tells Thea he’s done with her, he’s joining Claude’s business and she can go straight to hell.

JB meets Huan at the burnt out sweatshop and admits that his wife was killed in the fire. He is planning to kill himself but wants Jessica to tell his story, about how they were locked in with no way to escape the fire. Inspector Gautier arrives with the news that the gun used to kill Edmund was the same gun that Huan had when he tried to kill Edmund. His best guess is that Huan killed Edmund and stole the jewels. Apparently, Edmund was smuggling people and jewels from Asia and into France and New York. Huan knows nothing about any of it and swears he didn’t kill Edmund, and JB believes him.

That night at the farshun show Jessica has a sudden realisation about where the jewels are and who killed Edmund.  (There’s a whole lot of farshun guys)

After the show, she confirms her suspicions were correct.

NO CAPES

Denise was Edmund’s sidekick in the jewel smuggling game and got sick of it so she killed him. She took the jewels and was going to sell them in New York and try to enjoy life again.

“But weren’t you happy Denise?” Asks Paul.

“I suppose I was,” Denise says.

Nailed another one

Until next week, which I suspect is going to be a big one…

Later gang!

S04E01 – A Fashionable Way to Die

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Welcome to season 4 Fletcherfans! JB is kicking off this season with a roadtrip to Paris to visit her old friend Eva who is about to launch her fashion line. Naturally all is not well in the city of love. Eva’s business partner Maxim has issued her an ultimatum – either she signs over 50% of the business to him, or he won’t give her an extension on her loan, or give her the money to pay for the star of the show Lu Watters. Also, be a dear and put his mistress’s daughter in the show?

But never mind all that.

She's got the moves like Jagger, probably.

She’s got the moves like Jagger, probably.

Eva takes JB to the rehearsal, where she meets the star of the show Lu Watters, who seems far too nice to be a supermodel. Maxim also pops his head in, with his mistress Valerie. He begs her to leave as his wife is coming in from the country for the show, but she just laughs. She wishes her daughter Kim good luck for the show, and asks her to keep an eye on Maxim with Eva, because apparently it’s fine for Maxim to cheat on his wife with her, but damned if he’s going to cheat on her with someone else.

That night JB is seated next to Maxim’s wife Claudia. Maxim tells them he will watch the show from backstage, but is called away by a telephone call just as the montage begins. The show goes off almost flawlessly, except for one minor hiccup when Lu appears in the wrong dress – blue sequins instead of white sequins, for those playing along at home.

Backstage after the show, with champagne corks flying everywhere, JB congratulates Eva but Eva is devastated. She tells JB about the partnership agreement, but JB scoffs saying any good lawyer could poke holes in that. They go up to his hotel room to confront him but find him with two more bullet holes in his chest than is generally considered to be healthy. Excuse me while I don’t feel bad.

The French 5-0 roll up in the form of Inspector Clousseau Panassic who takes a break from fangirling over JB to establish that Maxim went up to his room at 9:30 and was shot at 9:50, according to a maid who saw a woman wearing a big hat and a grey checked white jacket run down the hall shortly after. This sets off an alarm bell in J’s head. Clousseau Panassic also finds two plane tickets to the Italian Riviera departing next week, and I’m not entirely sure but I think he just asked JB if she’d like to go there with him.

Let's face it, Harry McGraw isn't taking JB on any international trips. More like IHOP, AMIRITE?

Let’s face it, Harry McGraw isn’t taking JB to Italy. Little Italy, maybe.

One of Clousseau Panassic’s minions appears with something he found in Maxim’s jacket pocket.  Clousseau Panassic is horrified and agrees that it is not for sensitive lady’s eyes. So, porn. Clousseau Panassic interviews the models from the show who all swear that they saw Eva backstage for the whole show, and that she couldn’t possibly have killed Maxim.

That night, while trying to get Eva on the phone, JB spots Claudia Soury go back in to the room where her husband died to collect her stole. Before she leaves she bends down and picks something up off the floor, out of sight of the policeman escorting her, and puts it in her pocket. Jess goes to confront her about it and Claudia tells her that she picked it up thinking that it belonged to Maxim’s mistress Valerie. She wanted to protect her daughters from scandal. JB asks her about the plane tickets to Italy but she knows nothing about it, saying that the other ticket was clearly meant for Valerie. JB looks at the coat buton and recognises the white with grey check that the maid spoke of earlier. The coat belonged to Eva.

The next morning JB pays a call on Valerie, who is packing up her room at the nightclub where she sang. Her engagement there is over, but Maxim had managed to book her to sing at a fancy hotel that Saturday. Inspector Clousseau Panassic is there asking where she was at the time of the murder, and she tells him she was backstage resting between performances. Another nightclub worker, Albert, says that’s not right – her show started late and she was on stage til just after 10pm. Dodged a bullet there sweetheart.  Clousseau Panassic’s minion appears with good news and bad news: the good news is they found the murder weapon. The bad news is that another hotel maid has come forward saying that she heard a gunshot a bit after 10pm.

At Eva’s store, Eva is bouncing off the walls, helping clients and swearing to write Lu Watters her cheque, as it turns out Lu is a bit strapped for cash just at the moment. JB comes in and tells Eva she needs a word, immediately and not at six o’clock at Harry’s American Bar. She tells her about the maid seeing a woman wearing Eva’s jacket leaving Maxim’s floor, and Claudia finding the button in her room. Inspector Clousseau Panassic appears with said button, just as Eva realises her jacket is in fact missing a button.

Back at the hotel JB spots the maid who saw Eva’s jacket, and asks her about the other maid who heard a shot after ten o’clock. Fortunately the other maid is with her and tells her that she knows what she heard but that the police aren’t interested, and more to the point, who stole the two towels from Maxim’s room?

The next morning JB  goes to Eva’s store to ponder the Great Dress Mixup of Two Nights Ago with Eva’s assistant Peter. JB wonders if it was possible for Lu to go up to Maxim’s room, shoot him, come back down and change dresses in ten minutes. Peter says it’s certainly possible but why?

JB goes to share her theory with Inspector Clousseau Panassic who is fascinated, and has decided she is Watson to his Sherlock Holmes.

For those who wondered if I could work Benedict Cumberbatch into an epsiode of Murder She Wrote, WONDER NO MORE. #IAmHopeless

For those who wondered if I could work Benedict Cumberbatch into an epsiode of Murder She Wrote, WONDER NO MORE. #IAmHopeless 

Inspector Clousseau Panassic is surprisingly fine with throwing away his original plan and investigating Lu Watters, throwing his hands up in the air and saying “Come Watson! The game is afoot!”

(Caption unavailable: the owner of this blog has fallen down a Benedict Cumberbatch YouTube rabbit hole)

(Caption unavailable: the owner of this blog has fallen down a Benedict Cumberbatch YouTube rabbit hole)

The Inspector and JB confront Lu, who breaks down and admits that it was her in the dirty photographs. Maxim was blackmailing her, and so to put an end to it, she shot him.

Blah blah, Remember that time Benedict Cumberbatch was on Sesame Street? Honestly, I would pay to listen to him read the phone book.

Remember that time Benedict Cumberbatch was on Sesame Street? Honestly, I would pay to listen to him read the phone book.

Lu thinks she would have gotten away with it if she hadn’t panicked when she realised that Maxim’s wife was in the bathroom.

But hold on – Claudia was in the audience with JB. Jess asks her how she knew someone else was there and Lu tells her she saw a purse. “Was it red?” Asks JB. It was indeed.

Inspector Clousseau Panassic cares not for purses or colours. He orders Lu be placed under arrest and sidles up to JB looking for praise.

“You’ve done it again, Inspector.” Says JB.

g2

 

“I think you have once again arrested the wrong woman.”

Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn't have screwed this up.

Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn’t have screwed this up.

Because, you see, there is the small matter of the plane tickets to Italy. He wasn’t taking his wife, and he wasn’t taking his mistress since she was singing at a fancy hotel in Paris. So who was he taking?

Who indeed. Remember when I said Valerie was fine with Maxim cheating on his wife, but not with her? It turns out it wasn’t Eva she should have been worrying about. It turns out Maxim was shagging her daughter. And you better believe that had consequences…

Yeah, not surprised either, I'm getting better at this.

Yeah, not surprised either, I’m getting better at this. Although I didn’t pick the daughter bit.

So, when Lu bolted after shooting Maxim she didn’t realise she had only wounded him. Maxim called Valerie to come and help him, but when she arrived and saw the purse her daughter was supposed to be modelling in the show she put two and two together and went bang.

And there you have it. We conclude this week’s episode with Inspector Clousseau Panassic listing his virtues as a gentleman – then advising JB she owes him 100 francs for the bill.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!