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S09E18 – Dead to Rights

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JB’s back in the Cove Fletcherfans, but only long enough to finish the edits on her next book, with the occasional help of a personal assistant by the name of Dana Ballard. It turns out Dana is a fairly terrible research assistant, and only a marginally better liar but the good news is that she’s off to make her fortune in the stock market and is no longer JB’s problem.

A question I ask myself frequently.

While Jessica prepares for her book tour, Dana scoots on down to Portland to interview to be a stock market person. Her potential boss, Ethan Stevens, hasn’t yet checked her references but will get right on it. He’s been a bit busy with the Train of Destiny.

Why is it there? Where does it go? These are the mysteries of our time.

Dana mentions she has another one to add – she has just finished up working as a personal assistant to a mystery novelist up in Cabot Cove and Ethan Stevens freaks out and says he’ll get right onto it. Dana quickly tells him that Jessica only takes calls after three, and he completely understands. Such self-discipline!  Dana tells him he has no idea – Jessica gets up at five every morning, walks three miles along the same route and then has four cups of coffee before sitting down to her computer.

Ethan Stevens is already in love with JB and he hasn’t even met her yet

Fun fact – the name Ethan Stevens gets mentioned so much in this episode that if you were so inclined you could have a shot for every time someone said it. From here on out, every time I say Ethan Stevens will be every time someone says it in the show. Shots of tequila are totally optional.

Back in Cabot Cove, Jessica is about to head out the door when her editor pops round to drop off revisions for JB’s next book – she’s worried about how many simple research mistakes are in it and wonders if Jess is feeling alright. An exasperated Jess tells her she’ll fix them all on the road and rushes out the door. Meanwhile, Dana Ballard returns to her hotel room in Portland, rings JB’s answering machine and replaces the message with one of her own. A short time later Ethan Stevens calls to leave a message asking Jessica to call him regarding a reference for Dana.

(Fun fact, the message Dana records and the message Ethan hears are different. Hashtag continuity).

Ethan gets off the phone to cop a scolding from his wife Missy, who is concerned that they are about to get busted for something, but who has also made reservations for Portland’s hottest new restaurant Atlantis.

The following afternoon, Dana plays back the recording from Ethan Stevens and calls Ethan Stevens’ office pretending to be JB, while simultaneously throwing back some Chardonnay because why the hell not. She gives herself a sterling reference to Ethan, who is delighted, and more so when “JB” asks him to look her up if he is ever in Cabot Cove.  His good mood evaporates when he gets off the phone and his associate Baker Lawrence tells him the jig is up, he’s going down for insider trading, and if he makes a full confession he will only have to serve less than a year, and then Baker will conveniently buy him out. Ethan refuses, but Baker tells him he has 48 hours to come clean or else he’ll go to the SEC on his own and tell them he’s literally just discovered what Ethan has been up to.

Jess arrives in Portland and has her first stop on her book tour – a dinner with local critic Thomas Gideon at Atlantis restaurant. And you guys, you’d never believe who else is there!

Ethan Stevens goes up to JB and introduces himself with excitement.

Another question I ask myself frequently.

Ethan thanks her for the reference for Dana, introduces her to his wife and Baker, and then decamps for his table leaving Jessica feeling a bit lost. Thomas cheerfully explains that Ethan Stevens is one of the foremost stockbrokers in the city (as evidenced by the whispered argument he is currently having at the table with Baker and another man).

Dana starts her first day on the job and gets a lot of assistance from one of Ethan’s brokers, Todd Merlin. Ethan meanwhile is on the phone to someone saying he has sixteen million problems, which is more problems than Jay Z. See, I know what’s going on.

Dana goes into her office to find JB waiting for her, demanding an explanation. Dana swears she has no idea about any of it ever, but JB isn’t having it. Before she can press the issue Dana gets called into a meeting so Jessica departs, with Dana’s promise that she’ll have Ethan get back to Jessica as soon as possible. After Jessica leaves Dana gets on the phone and tells someone that they too have a problem, but only one, which is less than Jay Z. #Maths

That night, as Dana is getting ready to leave, Missy Stevens pops by to warn her to stay away from Ethan. It would appear that Missy isn’t buying Dana’s game for a minute. She seems to be on the money because later that night Dana is snooping around Ethan Steven’s office when the man himself walks in, greets her, and is promptly shot.

Let’s just get this out of the way now. Dana didn’t kill him.

Jess arrives at the office the next morning to talk to Ethan but finds Portland 5-0 all over the scene led by Lieutenant Rodrino, who is mostly concerned with how fancy the desk is. Baker Lawrence pops by to tell them that it appears nothing was stolen, and that the desk is made from jasmine wood. Jess heads back to her hotel to get the hell out of town when she gets a knock on the door from local attorney Vincent Polaski, who has been assigned to represent Dana Ballard, who has been arrested for the murder of Ethan Stevens. The police found a gun in a storm drain not far from the building, and hair and blood they found on the desk is a match to Dana. Despite Dana’s casual relationship to the truth, Vincent believes she didn’t do it and is here to beg JB for her help. She’s in no mood to offer any assistance until Vincent asks her how she would feel if Dana was innocent and went to prison for a crime she didn’t commit all because JB was too eager to get her train to Boston.

JB swears it’s because there are some loose ends, but you know…

Down at the courthouse, Dana denies everything from re-recording JB’s answering machine to being in the office the night of the murder, and so Vincent and JB leave her to it. Outside, Rodino tells them that Dana also lied about college and so there’s probably no limit to the number of lies she told. They are summoned to Deputy Prosecutor Bruce Hastings’s office where he is willing to offer a deal for Dana to avoid trial but Vincent isn’t having a bar of it. JB wants to know why Dana was under the desk and Hastings tells her it was to search for Ethan Stevens’s security pass. That leads to JB’s next question, which is how Dana could have known to search for the pass, but Hastings says whatever, she’s a liar, who cares.

After they leave Hastings’s office, Jessica correctly deduces that Vincent is in love with Dana, and cops a soliloquy about Vincent’s love life in response.

I bet she regrets that particular deduction right about now.

JB shuts him up by wondering if Dana had taken that particular job as requested by someone else, i.e she had a partner in crime. Vincent runs with this, and thinks that maybe said partner got Ethan Stevens’s last assistant fired so that Dana could step in. Jess asks him if there might be a way to look at the employment records for Stevens & Lawrence on the down low, and he says yes – if she doesn’t mind bending the rules. While he gets on the phone to organise it, Jess spots the guy who had the fight at Atlantis with Ethan wandering the halls.

Vincent’s plan is solid gold you guys. When you need help, ask your hacker grandmother.

For real, why isn’t there a TV show about a group of geriatric hackers who are trying to stop the creeping invasion of privacy by mega global corpogovernments. Maggie Smith is their leader or I’m not signing off. Call me, Hollywood.

Guys have I told you my idea for a reboot of Charlies Angels where Angela Lansbury is Charlie and Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are the angels and Patrick Stewart is Bosley and when they aren’t solving crimes they are passing judgement on how crap everyone else is?

I KNOW. IT’S GENIUS.

Wanda the hacker informs JB that Ethan’s former assistant left voluntarily without a forwarding address but that there is another employee at the company who came from the same town as Dana – Todd Merlin. Jess heads down to the office to confront him, and he finally admits to setting the last assistant up to get fired so that Dana could get the job. When Jess and Vincent ask Dana about it, she tells them that Todd had found out about her pathological lying situation and told her to do what he said or he’d tell her father. All she knew about the murder is that they went there to steal some bonds, Ethan Stevens found her in his office, she got a whack on the head and when she woke up Todd was gone and Ethan Stevens was dead.

Now that they are at something resembling the truth, it now falls to Vincent and JB to find out who the real killer is. Jess thinks someone else was in the room with Dana but she doesn’t remember seeing anything. Out in the hall, Jess and Vincent run into Hastings and Lieutenant Rodino, the former still determined to charge Dana with murder. Jess announces she thinks she can prove that there was someone else in the room – the real killer of Ethan Stevens.

Back at the House of Hacking, Wanda announces she received a fax from an old friend in Washington, who had seen the name Ethan Stevens and Portland and sent it through to Wanda. JB reads it and declares that the SEC were investigating Ethan Stevens for insider trading. She thinks it’s time they took another look at Ethan’s office.

A close inspection of the desk in Ethan’s office reveals no bumps from Dana’s head, and then Jessica realises something and long story short

To be fair I really thought the wife did it.

Surprise! The murder weapon was from a case Bruce tried! The missing millions have turned up in his accounts! Jess worked it all out because of a man bag that was there, but then it wasn’t, and Ethan Stevens didn’t carry one.

Bruce Hastings admits that the mystery man from the dinner/courthouse hallway was the inside man who helped arrange the insider trading for Bruce and Ethan Stevens.

Final Ethan Stevens count: 27. Approximately. To be honest I kind of lost count. If you did have a shot for every Ethan Stevens, then I salute you, also please go and have a big glass of water.

Later gang!

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S09E17 – The Big Kill

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Welcome back to the Cove Fletcherfans, where a giant storm has parked itself. Despite this, local fisherman Henry Riddett is heading out anyway. Mort warns him as he helps load Henry’s boat, but Henry says the fish like to shelter in his nets, it will all be okay. Meanwhile, some dude named Phil Shannon stands in a truck with a loaded gun in his pants (not a metaphor). As Mort drives off, some other dude named Brian Bentall appears, warning against violence. Phil tells him Henry is going to get them all arrested, and Brian tells Phil that Henry isn’t the person who worries him.

Guys, I’ll be honest, the first time I watched this episode I started alphabetizing my books so I don’t entirely know what’s happening. We’ll discover it all together.

The next morning, with the storm still in residence, JB is contending with a whole lot of leaks and has Seth and local handyman Russell on the case. (The story of my childhood, minus having Seth on the roof. Nothing worse than a leaky roof!) Russell is grateful for the work, having lost his job when the factory closed down and is about to launch into some gratitude poetry but JB ain’t got time for that.

Life Lesson #71 – When delivering gratitude poetry it is important to read the room.

The person under that umbrella is Eve Simpson, who has blown in to invite Jessica and Seth to a party being hosted by Martin Fraser – Eve’s new boyfriend and He Who Laid Off The Staff At The Factory. Russell and Eve greet each other frostily, but Eve is far too excited about the party to dwell on such trivia.

Seth appears from the roof, after doing his back, but wants no part of Martin’s get together. JB notices his discomfort and offers to make him an appointment for her chiropractor over at Bar Harbour but Seth wants no part of that either. He’s going home to take two aspirin and he’ll call himself in the morning.

I mean he SAYS he was fixing the roof…

Meanwhile, over at Pantechnics HQ, Martin Fraser (aka Chad Everett) is having a crisis meeting with Carl Ward (aka Gregg Henry) and Brian Bentall (aka that guy from before). I don’t entirely know what they’re talking about but long story short the company is in trouble and Brian and Martin have been smuggling weapons out of Cabot Cove to make ends meet. Seems legit.

Down at the docks, Henry the fisherman gets a visit from his daughter Sarah, who is furious he went out in the storm. In response, Henry gives her an envelope with a thousand dollars in it, money collected from poker games and fishing (but actually from gun running). After Sarah leaves, Henry puts a call in to Mort, asking to meet. Mort offers to drive over now but Henry sees Phil watching him and arranges to meet him later that night, on his boat.

Jess and Seth are out for a casual stroll when they come across a traffic jam – a Pantechnics boat is being hauled in by a truck and no one appears to be terribly happy about it. Seth and JB run into Eve and Martin, who receives a frosty greeting from Seth.

At Eve and Martin’s house, Martin’s secretary Helen pops in to ask for a cheque for the caterers. While Martin is off writing it, Eve and Helen glower at each other for reasons I can only guess at. Presumably, Helen and Martin had a thing? I have no idea. I think they cut a bit too much back story out of this episode.

Later that night, as a shadowy figure leaves the dock, Mort goes to meet Henry on his boat but finds the boat filled with carbon monoxide and Henry dead from a whack to the head. Over breakfast at House Fletcher the next morning, Seth declares Henry must have passed out from the fumes and whacked his head, which killed him. Mort thinks its still a little weird that all the drawers were open and that the log book was missing, and that there are elephant footprints on the dock, but JB is far too busy correcting student papers and going over revisions for her next book to care. Mort and Seth leave, bickering.

Me getting home from anywhere with more than two people in it #introvertlyfe

Carl Ward, who it turns out is some sort of financial investigator either working for or investigating Pantechnics, visits Phil Shannon at his garage to find out why Pantechnics have been paying him, but Phil is giving him nothing. After Ward leaves, Phil puts a call in to someone to complain about Ward, the drums full of weapons he has stashed in his garage now that Henry’s shuffled off, and life in general.

That night Eve’s party takes place, and in between people waffling about undersea exploration (which apparently is what Pantechnics is into now? Literally no idea what they are talking about), and Mort inviting Brian Bentall to his weekly poker game the next night, and Eve and Helen throwing side-eye at each other (still unexplained), Martin has a clandestine meeting with someone called Walter Kurtz who may or may not be the shadowy person on Henry’s boat. Kurtz and Martin have a whispered fight about Henry’s death and the need to stick to their arrangement when Eve drags Martin away to meet some people. Carl Ward, watches the whole thing.

I honestly have no idea who anyone is or what anyone is doing.

The next day, probably, Ward confronts Martin with the news that he knows what Martin has been up to. The good news is that Ward won’t dob Martin in – if Martin gives Ward 1% of all the money he gets from the sale of the weapons. If Martin says no, the long awaited loan will not come through, and the feds will be called.

That night, Ward goes snooping around the Pantechnics boat and gets a whack on the head for his efforts. Meanwhile, the poker night at Mort’s house is well underway and Mort is cleaning up, much to the disgust of Seth and Deputy Andy. Brian, on the other hand, is more concerned with checking his messages than worrying about Mort’s antics. Over at Martin’s house Martin is throwing himself a massive pity party while Eve tries to find out what’s wrong.

Down at the docks the next morning Brian is wandering around, trying to see if anyone has seen Ward, when he finds him for himself, dead in the bottom of the Pantechnics boat which is full of carbon monoxide. JB pops by a short time later to discuss how similar it is to Henry’s death with Seth and Mort, who are surprised she remembers anything they said.

It’s always good to be reminded.

Brian overhears them talking and asks Mort if Ward was murdered, and Mort says maybe. Jessica thinks it’s an odd way to kill someone, there are much easier ways to do it. Seth thinks it’s one for the record books, which gives Jess an idea and she scurries off.

Back at the sheriff’s office Martin and Helen tell Mort their alibis for the previous evening – Helen was at her mother’s and Martin was working til one in the morning which will probably surprise Eve when she finds out. They waffle on about the loan and Ward’s report back to his office that they should reject it which comes as a surprise to Martin, but I’m so confused I don’t even care.

Seth drops around the coroner’s reports for Jess to read while he sneakily grabs the business card for the chiropractor. Henry’s daughter Sarah pops round with the news that her father had apparently sent her his log books in the post. A quick scan of the log books and a call to the coastguard reveals that a big ship sat waiting for three hours the night of the storm, but that Henry’s boat couldn’t get out due to the storm. Jess asks Mort what he saw the night of the storm, and he tells her they were loading drums, he assumed of oil.

They track the truck number to Phil Shannon’s garage, who tells them he was often asked to pick up oil drums from Pantechnics to take them to Henry’s boat, but that he hasn’t seen them since the night of the storm. Mort gets him to open his truck but it’s empty. Jess notices some rope which matches some rope she saw on the Pantechnics boat, which makes no sense because she never went on the boat, but whatevs, of course she’s right. Martin appears on the dock and tries to deny it but Mort arrests him for All The Murders anyway.

At the Sheriff’s office, Martin tells Mort that it wasn’t him it was an international gun runner and all around bad guy. “What’s his name, Goldfinger?” Asks Mort.

Martin tells him about Kurtz, and Jessica rattles off a description, from when she saw him at Martin’s party. Mort says he’s got no alibi for the murders, but then Eve pops in to tell them that Martin was with her both nights. Apparently, he was lying to protect Eve’s reputation? I don’t think he understands who this works.

Over lunch, Mort, Seth and JB discuss the case. Jess can’t work out why the killer whacked Ward but then waited two hours to turn on the carbon monoxide. Seth loudly exclaims (for the benefit of some nearby gossipers) that Eve and Martin have a secret lovechild in Paris and moans that gossip gets around Cabot Cove faster than a phone call.

This gives Jess an idea and she drags Mort away from his lunch to prove it.

Seth’s back is all better FYI

A quick stop at Pantechnics for a word with Brian and Helen et voila:

Brian of death. Whatever.

Jessica has apparently worked out that Brian called a circuit board that he’d placed in the boat engine so he could remotely turn on the boat engine. Except since JB wasn’t at the poker game I have no bloody idea how she worked this out.

Seriously, I don’t know if it was the writing or the editing but I’m still confused. I need a nap.

Later gang

 

S09E16 – Threshold of Fear

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In the Big Apple again Fletcherfans, where the good residents have issued the Fletcher-signal.

I mean they might possibly get murdered less, but the world would be far less interesting.

This time it’s the doorman Richie who is in need. He’s worried about one of the other residents, Alice Morgan, who hasn’t left her apartment in five years and now refuses to open her door.

Never one to let a Fletchsignal go unanswered, Jess accompanies Richie upstairs, where she eventually gets Alice to let her into her apartment.

I’ll think of something for this, leave it with me.

Alice is having a bit of a time – she’s started having dreams about the night her mother was murdered, and it’s all gone a bit wrong now that the person she dreamt killed her mother has turned up on TV spruiking his architectural amazingness.

Turns out he was in the Death on the Nile episode of Poirot I watched the other week too. Adjust your social medias accordingly.

Alice flips out, saying that in her dream Jordan Barnett (see above) kills her mother and then someone turns into an owl or something. Fortunately for everyone Alice’s doctor, Ellen Holden (aka Margot Kidder, aka Lois Lane) arrives and quickly boots JB out of the apartment.

Over at Jordan Barnett’s Emporium of Wonderment, Jordan is congratulating himself on another job well done when his assistant Laura shows him the list of enquiries the TV station got after his appearance on their show. He sees Alice’s name and rushes out. While he waits for his valet to collect his car, a dude named Ben harasses him about how Jordan stole his ideas for something but Jordan just puts his foot down and leaves in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile, at Dr Holden’s clinic, Ellen is stopped at the door by Alice’s brother Peter (aka the boss lady’s nephew), who demands she convince Alice to agree to sell the family brownstone.

Jessica, who can’t let a situation go unsnooped for the better of mankind, goes to see her friend Lieutenant Artie Gelber (aka Stan Szbornak from the Golden Girls). Artie is happy to let her go through his files, but she doesn’t find much – Alice’s mother was murdered five years ago, three months after her husband left her, and Jordan Barnett hadn’t been in New York for five years.

That night, Alice gets a knock at the door.

Well, that’s not half terrifying.

Alice calls down to Richie who summons the Avengers Jessica and Alice’s neighbour Henry. As the elevator doors open Jordan legs it. Richie chases him while Jessica tells Alice it’s all alright now, she can open the door. Dr Holden is summoned, and she pumps a whole lot of drugs into Alice before throwing Henry and JB out, insisting that Alice needs to be left alone, she’s just too fragile.

Jess and Artie pop round Jordan’s office the next day to see what’s up. Jordan insists he went there because the name matched someone he used to date, but it wasn’t the person he thought it was and so he legged it when she freaked out and a horde of angry neighbours descended upon him. Fair enough, says Artie, and leaves him to a pissed off Laura, who has been fielding messages from Dr Holden.

Jess invites Alice’s brother Peter (actually her stepbrother, but whatever) around to find out why his father bailed, but more specifically whether Jordan Barnett had anything to do with Alice or Peter or Alice’s mother. Peter isn’t giving out info for free though – he wants JB to convince Alice to sell the house, and Dr Holden hasn’t come through. Jessica says she’ll see what she can do, and Peter tells her that he thinks his father was going to hire Jordan to renovate the house.

Speaking of, Jordan is busy working late with Dr Holden, who is insisting that Laura gets her marching orders, or Alice might start to believe that her dreams are real. Later, when he’s waiting for a cab, someone helpfully comes up and stabs in the chest, leading to one of the most energetic death scenes of this whole show. Trust me, it’s pretty great.

Artie Gelber rolls down to investigate and spots a necklace on the ground. He orders his sidekick Detective Grady (if ever there was an oxymoron) to pick it up and take it to forensics, Gelber’s back is killing him. Later, they interview Ben the guy who yelled at Jordan, who swears he didn’t kill him he was just pissed that Jordan screwed him when he left town suddenly five years ago.

Over brunch, Artie and JB discuss the situation. Jess has a theory – Jordan found Alice’s mothers body back in the day, and that he was killed because he worked out who the actual killer was. Meanwhile, Peter bashes on Alice’s door, demanding she sign the papers to sell the house so they can get back to being the brother and sister they always were. Alice tells them they were never really brother and sister and begs him to go away. Henry pops his head out as Peter leaves and goes to check on Alice. They have a lovely awkward cup of tea and listen to Chopin before Henry shuffles out backwards. (Watch this episode, there’s some awesome weird stuff going on and I like it).

Down at the precinct, Artie gets a call that his daughter is going into labour and tells Grady the case is his, and not to screw it up.

 

 

I think we’ve all heard that before.

Jess stops by Alice and Peter’s old house to summon a ghost or do a seance or some such business. She finds a paperweight with an owl on it, thereby solving the mysterious case of the owl. (#TheOwlsAreNotWhatTheySeem #TwinPeaks #TeachMeHowToDougie). Peter appears and asks her what she’s doing there, she tells him she just wanted to see the place, Alice gave her a key. She says Alice told her Peter was away at school the night her mother died and he says he was. He also says he has no idea where his father is or why he left, but thanks JB for going in to bat for him with Alice.

#LadyOlennaForever

Jessica arrives home at her apartment building to discover that Detective Grady has taken it upon himself to arrest Alice for the murder of Jordan Barnett, because agoraphobia shmagoraphobia.

Grady by name, Grady by nature.

Grady apologises for bollocksing up the investigation but does point out that the locket they found at the murder scene belonged to Alice. Both Jessica and Artie wonder who had access to Alice’s apartment who might have taken the locket. Henry excuses himself and goes back to his apartment.

Later that night, Alice knocks on JB’s door. Ironically, getting arrested has shown her she has nothing to fear in the big bad world, and she’d like Jessica to accompany her to the old brownstone to confront her memories. When they arrive, Alice talks JB through her mother’s murder but freaks out at the thought of the hawk that I thought was owl, whatever I’m not a doctor.

Jessica thinks she knows who killed Alice’s mother, and it wasn’t Jordan Barnett, but a squeaky floorboard upstairs tells JB they need to get back to Alice’s apartment.

Because, you guys…

It was only a matter of time…

He killed them! He killed them all! Because Barnett had an affair with Alice’s mother, and there was no one left to defend his father’s honour except Peter. Oh, it wasn’t a paperweight, it was a bike helmet and that’s what Alice saw. Ohhhhhh I’m really not good at this.

But it’s okay you guys. Peter got arrested, Dr Holden got suspended for being a crap psychiatrist and Henry and Alice are taking JB to the philharmonic or a Metallica gig I forget which. Whatever, the sun’s out.

Later gang!

S09E10 – The Sound of Murder

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Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB has branched out into writing classes, and is already dishing out some life lessons (Life Lesson #69 – “Believe me the most difficult part of writing is actually getting started!”)

As the class wraps up, one of the students, Holly Chase, informs JB that she has convinced her bosses at Rojam Records to let Jessica record her next audiobook there for free – she just needs to come in the evenings, and pop in the next day for a photoshoot with the Big Boss, Freddie Major (aka Vince Fontaine from Grease, and this episode)

The man himself, it just so happens, is across town ironing out the final terms of Rojam’s purchase by another company, led by a dude called Mitch Randall – mainly that band Mirabilis stays part of Rojam, but the A&R director goes on account of being mob connected. Freddy isn’t pleased about this but Mitch reminds him of the money. Outside a man in a van listens in, while on a completely unrelated note, Mitch Randall’s piece on the side Michelle has agreed to sign with Rojam, her voice is amazing, you’re gonna love her. And one more thing – Michelle says there’s some guy called Willie Piper who sounds amazing and Rojam should sign him immediately if not sooner.

So you know. There’s stakes.

Jessica arrives for her photo shoot the next day, but Freddie’s still in taking photos with Mirabilis.

There’s a lot going on there and I’m just talking about the hair.

Job done, the hair goes on its merry way and JB sits down at the piano with Freddie. She thanks him for the use of his studio and his sound engineer and he says “Sure! Hey you know anything about music Mrs Fletcher?”

HER FACE.

Freddie goes on to explain that Mirabilis have a new song coming out called Bulletproof but they’ve stuffed up the bass line and despite his pleas they won’t change it. Life is nothing but pain for Freddie.

Photo shoot over, it’s time for Jessica to go on with her day. Freddie invites her to the filming of the Bulletproof music video that Saturday, and they are joined by Richard Lefko (the Mob guy) and Charles George Drexler, the manager of Mirabilis. Coincidentally, both are in the new season of Twin Peaks.

I mean I want to talk about that last episode of Twin Peaks but it was…I mean I can….do you….it just….WHAT EVEN IS WORDS.

This is the water and this is the well you guys.

Freddie has a meeting with Richard and Charles, so Jess heads off for a tour of the building with Freddie’s right hand woman Julie. As they leave Jess bumps into a random executive and apologises, and Holly reminds Jessica that they have tickets to a Magnetech concert the next night. Julie is surprised to hear this, she doesn’t peg Jessica as a heavy metal fan.

I beg to differ.

Charles lays down the conditions for Mirabilis staying with Rojam, and reminds Freddie that he can’t afford to say no. Freddie vents his rage on Richard, who tells him to calm down and takes him to lunch. As they leave they hear Willie Piper playing – Freddie tells Richard they don’t have him signed, but that his producer is hanging out (hint hint) with Julie.

That night Jessica arrives at the studio to begin recording The Corpse Danced At Midnight, and hopes that it goes better than last time. The in-demand Willie Parker happens to be jamming out while his producer Paul gets ready to record JB, and is delighted to meet her, he loves her books. Jessica starts laying down some sick beats reading her story but the booth soon gets a visit from Freddie and Richard, and so when Jess wants to redo a scene, no one is paying attention. She presses the magic button and eavesdrops on Freddie’s frankly sinister pitch to Paul that Willie sign with Rojam Records. He says no, and Willie says where Paul goes he goes. Freddie tells him Julie’s job is on the line (which is news to Julie in the recording studio) but Paul won’t budge. The next day Freddie tries to weave his magic on Julie but she’s not going to help him get Willie and Paul to sign either, no matter what the threat.

Jessica and Holly go to the heavy metal concert, and it’s neither of their cups of tea.

I think this is more JB’s jam. Or possibly this.

Some more stuff happens while I googled heavy metal bands Jessica Fletcher would like, and then Richard and Charles meet in a car park to tell him that Freddie is selling the company, but that he’s also heard that Charles sold all his shares in Rojam, betting that the deal is going to go wrong.

Sidenote, if there was a Which Twin Peaks Character Are You Quiz I would totally be Dianne. Or the Log Lady. And I TOTALLY CALLED MICHAEL CERA PLAYING ANDY AND LUCY’S SON.

Fast forward to the film shoot and while Jessica Fletchsplains squibs to Holly Freddy makes one last pitch for Willie Piper. Willie turns him down and Freddy tells him that if he doesn’t play ball, Freddy will make it known that Willie did time for robbery. Because people gave a toss about that? Pfft. Freddy thinks it’s still 1962.

Holly gets a message for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. The random executive Jess bumped into is handing out business cards to all the blonde backup dancers, and Paul goes to investigate an amp. The shoot gets underway, and if I could work out how to gif this business to show in its full early 90s glory Fletcherfans I would. It’s a hell of a thing.

As the shoot continues, JB boogies in her seat but is concerned when a suspiciously real sounding gunshot goes off. Holly assures her it’s the gun beat and to just go with it. It’s just like watching Nine Inch Nails at the roadhouse, except I would rather watch Trent Reznor than whatever the hell this is any day of the week.

Charles Drexer pops up to see how JB is enjoying it all, another gunshot is heard, and the body of Freddy Major drops off a conveyor belt.

I’m so annoyed by this episode that I’m not even going to do a bit about Freddy not being bulletproof. TAKE THAT EPISODE FROM TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.

NYPD Lieutenant Bob Alan Terwilliger arrives and quickly rules that the killer lured Freddy backstage, shot him and dumped his body on the conveyor belt. Jess is sure she heard a gunshot come from the VIP lounge, but Terwilliger reminds her she also heard the gunshot come from behind the conveyor belt and to not get that look like he’s talking out his hat.

Hat is presumably code for arse.

Charles pops up again, to ask whether he can come by the next day to pick up the keyboard from the VIP lounge, Mirabilis need it for a thing in a couple of days. Richard also bobs up to ask Terwilliger whether he knows that Charles is the only person who benefits from Freddy being fired from life, after betting on the business deal going south. Terwilliger will look into it just as soon as he gets his bet with Jessica finalised – that his squashes will be bigger and tastier than her squashes by August.

Shit just got real.

Jess takes herself off to the VIP lounge, where she finds an upset Julie furious that the police are hounding Paul about leaving the set at the time of the murder. Jess starts fiddling around with the keyboard for reasons that I’m sure will be come important later.

Back at House Fletcher Jess feeds Holly and asks her who called for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. Holly says she can’t be sure, it was too loud. Jess is wondering about the sleazy blonde guy she keeps bumping into and Holly tells her the police told her it was a private detective lurking around. (I’ve watched this episode twice and not noticed him). Jess wonders what he might have been doing there, and Holly explains about the business deal Freddy was negotiating. Julie appears, looking devastated – Paul’s been arrested for murder, the murder weapon was found in his car. Jess asks her where Paul went at the time of the murder – apparently he went looking for Willie but couldn’t find him.

Jess decides to pay a visit to the private investigator, but he’s cleared out. His landlord Giorgi Pappavasilopoulos appears to tell her that he was evicted for lack of rent. Jess goes hunting in the basement and finds the file on Rojam Records in the trash. I can’t even explain how ridiculous this scene was.

JB learns that Richard Lefko was the one who hired the PI to bug Freddy, but she doesn’t believe he killed him. Terwilliger calls to find out what’s going on and offers to shout JB brunch at Tavern on the Green. On her way out Holly starts waffling on about piano music and Jess works out who the killer is.

Whatever makes this episode end faster.

So yeah! That’s T-Bag from Prison Break. #TheMoreYouKnow

So presumably Charles bumped off Freddy to ensure the deal went south and Charles made a lot of money? Meh, whatever.

Let’s just all picture JB at a metal concert, and continue on with our lives shall we?

Later gang!

 

 

S09E09 – A Christmas Secret

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A Christmas special! It’s Christmas in the Cove!

Even the cars are on point.

This particular establishment is the home of Mary and Alan Forsythe, who are throwing a little pre-Christmas shindig to welcome their daughter Elizabeth’s fiancee, Charlie McCumber to the Cove. And you know that when there’s a party…

Their entire relationship in a nutshell.

Jess says Charlie and Elizabeth make an attractive couple, and Seth says sure – they both have their health and they’re under thirty.

While Alan Forsythe pontificates on about his plans for Charlie coming in to the accounting company Alan has with Irving Lazarus, Seth fills JB in on the gossip – Irving’s son Bert is pissed that Charlie is being made vice-president when Bert is still the office manager. JB seems to remember Bert flunked math at school, which seems like a vital component of working at an accounting firm.

Alan continues on to talk about Amy Wainwright, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of.

Now there’s a show/person I haven’t thought about in quite some time

Apparently Amy works for Floyd Bigelow Male Gigolo, who runs the local hardware store. Alan wants to thank him too, but Floyds out back making out with Wanda Andrews (being played by Veronica Mars’s mother). Bert finds them and is told off for not knocking. They rejoin the party in time to see Charlie give Elizabeth a fancy emerald ring. Wanda wonders why she never gets a ring like that, Floyd tells her she doesn’t deserve one. Bert is put out that an army guy can afford such a ring, and Elizabeth used to wear his ring but Floyd points out that was high school and he should get over it.

While Seth and Mort investigate the lunch options, JB and Elizabeth have a quiet chat. Elizabeth thinks it’s all so sudden, but JB says maybe Charlie saw some things in the Gulf War that made him not want to wait. Charlie chats to his in-laws about his upbringing with his sister in foster homes. Mort interrupts to recruit Charlie for the Cabot Cove pistol club, and also to check if Charlie might want to join the Cabot Cove Carolers – Charlie says he’s a fair shot but no singer. (Side note look how Mort has gone all in on Cabot Cove since he moved there).

Charlie and Elizabeth finally get some alone time and Charlie gives Elizabeth his key at the hotel so they can see each other properly later. Nudge nudge. The party over, the guests all head outside, and Jess declares there’s going to be a white Christmas. Seth says bah humbug, snow is only good for traffic accidents and frozen extremities. (Couldn’t agree more, I have seen snow twice in my life and both times suspiciously).

Seth and JB leave Floyd and Charlie to compare their cars (as seen in the first pic) and walk down the street. Jess asks Seth why he has been so grinchy, and he tells her he’s been reminded of the Christmas when he was ten, and he was certain that his Pop had bought him a train set but it turned out to be socks and underwear for little Seth. With the way the world is these days, Seth says, Christmas seems like a hollow promise – we should not be looking for toys any more.

In the interests of full disclosure I must admit I am a little bit Seth-ish in my views on Christmas. I’m taking notes from JB in this episode.

Charlie and Floyd get into their respective cars, with Floyd promising to find Charlie a good deal on a car like the hire one he’s got right now. Charlie finds a present on the drivers seat, and unwraps it to discover a cassette of Willie Nelson – except when he plays it, a woman is threatening to expose his dirty secret unless he meets her at Sally’s Landing at ten o’clock that night. He stops the tape when Elizabeth gets into the car, but when she sees it and goes to play it he freaks out and distracts her by kissing her – solid misdirection. They agree to meet for dinner at 6:30 that night.

Later, JB wanders in to Floyd’s Hardware and finds both Amy and Floyd on the phone. When they both get off, Floyd tells Jessica he’s off to Portland but Amy will look after her. He leaves before Amy can finish saying that she will have the inventory report for him. Nothing says Christmas like an inventory report.

After an evening of canoodling, Charlie tells Elizabeth he has to go, but that he’ll pick her up in time for the Cabot Cove Toy Run the next evening. Elizabeth tells him she’ll be decorating all day, but Charlie says that’s fine, he’ll be studying for his CPA exam. He leaves Elizabeth and heads over to Sally’s Landing, where he discovers that Wanda was the mysterious voice on the tape. Instead of confronting her, he drives off.

It’s still not snowing, just FYI.

The next day everyone is hard at work decorating the community centre. Amy excuses herself, saying she has to go and watch the store until Floyd gets back from Portland. She passes Wanda, who wonders why she’s leaving so soon. Wanda gets her instructions from Elizabeth’s mother re: her assignment (balloons – she should in fact blow them up). Elizabeth explains to JB that Wanda has a reputation for going after any loose men left lying around, single married or other. As for Amy, she’s been in love with Floyd since forever but Floyd has no respect for women. (Well, he is Floyd Bigalow Male Gigolo. Called it.)

Elizabeth asks JB if she should be worried about Charlie with Wanda free-ranging around. Jess suggests she go and take Charlie to lunch and get it all out in the open and Elizabeth says she will, at about noon.

Over at the hardware store, Floyd has returned from Portland and gets a phone call. He tells Amy he’ll take it in the back, but Amy stays on the line to listen in.

I’m in Cabot Cove dreaming about who we used to be #2015reference

Back at the Community Centre, Jess sends Elizabeth off to have lunch with Charlie, and goes to get more red balloons.

TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE. #WhateverIMadeMyselfLaugh

Wanda says she’ll swap balloons for the lunch she left out in the main hall, but Jessica points in the locker and says “isn’t that your lunch there?”

Wanda slams the locker shut and says it’s business papers in there. She hands Jess some green balloons, and Jess points out she needs red ones, not green. Wanda says oops, she’s colourblind. Jess says no matter, and wanders off with some red balloons leaving Wander to ponder just who will bring her lunch.

Over at Hill House, Elizabeth goes into Charlie’s hotel room but finds it empty. She finds the blackmail tape and plays it. She also snoops in his diary and finds the name of the Lighthouse Motel and a time circled so she cruises on over there and sees Charlie go into one of the rooms with a woman. She drives off crying, and later that night refuses to go to the Christmas party, claiming illness. Her parents refuse to let Charlie off the hook though and so force him to tag along.

At the party, Seth moans about the lack of snow while Jess tells him to shush and look at all the toys, while Mort gets down with his bad self.

Remember that time Seth beatboxed? It’s not as good as that time but it’s pretty good.

I refer you to my previous point about beatboxing.

Cut to Elizabeth going back to the Lighthouse Motel, peering in the window and then running away again.

Back at the party, Seth is explaining to JB that they were dancing the samba, not the rhumba, when Mort pops up to say that the toy drive doubled what it did the previous year. Seth asks where Mrs Mort is, and Mort says she’s off delivering gift baskets to a church up the coast. Mort excuses himself followed by Seth – he has to get his Santa suit on. Jess explains to Charlie that if Seth calls out the number on his ticket then he will win a prize.

Bah humbug, says Seth. The previous year he won some sequined slippers and they weren’t even his colour.

As Elizabeth slinks into the back of the party, Charlie spots Wanda heading towards the back and follows her into the women’s locker room, narrowly missing Seth strutting his stuff.

For real, this is the highlight of Seth’s year.

As Seth heads out into the party there is a gunshot. In the women’s locker room Charlie bumps into who he assumes is Seth in his Santa suit and asks what the shot was, but Fake Seth just leaves quickly. Charlie finds Wanda slumped on the floor, just as Jessica arrives. Miraculously she’s still alive, and so Seth escorts her to the hospital in the ambulance. Deputy Andy finds the discarded Santa suit outside, and Jess points out the open locker to Mort, saying that Wanda had been very protective of whatever had been in the locker that morning, and it might mean something that it’s empty now.

The party now officially over, people start to make their way home. Charlie runs into Elizabeth, who tells him she went to the Lighthouse Motel and saw the woman, and he freaks out, saying that he’d wanted to tell her for ages. He’s interrupted by Bert Lazarus, who appears with a gun he found in the bushes outside. It’s army issue, and Charlie confirms that it’s his but that he has no idea how or why it isn’t in his hotel room. Mort asks him not to leave town and Charlie says he’s not leaving until this is straightened out.

The next morning, Seth pops by JB’s on the way home from the hospital for breakfast and information. Wanda survived the gunshot wound, but it’s still touch and go. A thumping at the door signals the arrival of Elizabeth, freaked out that Mort has arrested Charlie for Wanda’s murder, but is a relieved to hear it’s not murder yet. She tells Seth and JB about Wanda blackmailing Charlie, and how he went to see her at Sally’s Landing but couldn’t even face her to find out what she had on him. Seth wonders how then he found the courage to shoot her, but JB too is wondering what Wanda thinks she has on Charlie.

With a pointed look Jess gets Seth to leave, and Elizabeth tells her she’s worried about the ring Charlie bought her, she has no idea how he paid for it. She also tells Jess about the woman at the Lighthouse Motel, but Jess refuses to believe Charlie was going to marry Elizabeth and keep the woman on the side.

Jess pops down to the Sheriff’s Office for a chat with Mort, to ask if Wanda left the Cove at all the previous year, specifically to go California where Charlie was living. Mort says no, she was too busy especially when the mayor and the local businessmen went to Tokyo on a business trip. Floyd wanders into the office to continue the story – in fact, it was on his return from that trip that Floyd discovered that the pension fund was missing 400K, and since Wanda had been in charge of the books while they were away…

JB brings Seth up to speed over a cup of coffee, and they both agree that it seems unlikely Charlie could have done it. Jess wonders why Wanda was targeted – if it was the blackmail or something else. She also wonders who the intended blackmail victim really was, as the tape was pretty generic.

Taking matters into her own hands, Jess goes to the Lighthouse Motel to talk to the mysterious woman. She turns out to be Charlie’s sister Monica, but Monica isn’t staying at the hotel alone – she’s got Belinda with her. Charlie’s daughter.

I really didn’t. (But duh that it was Charlie’s sister though, I mean come on)

Over tea, Monica explains that Belinda (mother of Belinda the daughter) died in childbirth while Charlie was in the Gulf on active duty. When he came back he was destroyed so Monica looked after Belinda. Charlie couldn’t tell Elizabeth, he was too worried that Elizabeth would leave him.

Jess understands, but wonders why Wanda would blackmail him over something so trivial. It’s not until she sees Belinda playing with some red and green blocks that she figures it out and puts a call in to Floyd Bigalow, asking him to meet her at the community centre. And to bring Amy.

It turns out, Floyd was the one Wanda was trying to blackmail, because Floyd was the one who skimmed the money from the pension fund, but Wanda was colourblind and put her tape in the wrong car. It’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone.

But Floyd wasn’t the one who killed Wanda.

I guess soon someone’s going to be
*puts on sunglasses*
JUDGING AMY
#yeahhhhhhhhhh

With 2 bad guys behind bars and Wanda expected to make a full recovery, there’s absolutely no reason for Christmas to continue unabated. So Jess buys Seth a toy train for Christmas, Seth admits that helping to save Wanda’s life has given him a new perspective and Jess says “So Frank was right – Christmas should remind us about what could be, not what is.” (Life lesson #68)

And so the Carolers arrive and the snow falls. Merry Christmas in July Fletcherfans! You have six months to get your Christmas shopping done, get to work.

Later Fletcherfans!

S09E06 – Night of the Coyote

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Fletcherfans, remember that time Murder, She Wrote did that Native American episode and it was horrific? The good news is this episode is MUCH better than that episode, and it mostly contains Native Americans messing with dumb white people, which is a little hit and miss. I’m still an ignorant fool when it comes to Native American culture and depictions thereof, so let me know what you think about it.

BECAUSE WE’RE IN NEW MEXICO BITCH!

Guys I really think I should binge Breaking Bad again.

But even if I hadn’t yelled that at you, Jessica’s outfit at the start of this episode would be a Useful Guide.

I endorse that jacket completely TBH.

Jess is in Chaco Springs visiting her artist friend Susan Lindsay, who has taken her to see the main street reenactment of That Time What Cutter McGee Robbed A Bank And Got Caught By Navajo Indians. Once the show is over, Susan introduces JB to the brains behind the rebooted ghost town, Max Teller. He tells them to check out the museum before being called away by his secretary, who reminds him he has a meeting with a dude by the name of Ben Judson. Judson, it turns out, wants to buy the town of Silverville from Max but Max isn’t selling.

Jess and Susan adjourn to the Susan’s house in Chaco Springs, where Susan is showing off her work and JB is getting into the margaritas.

MARGARITAS FOR EVERYBODY

While Susan runs to check on her lasagne JB chats to another writer, Charles Strickland, who is in town researching the silver strike, but he assures Jessica that it’s no best seller. Max wanders past and says he hopes it will be so the tourists come running, and goes off in search of dinner. Jess tells Charles that she noticed Cutter McGee never lost his sea-faring ways, his sextant and things were kept immaculately. Charles tells her that he used them to navigate the desert – he also recommends JB doesn’t get Max started on the lost treasure of Cutter McGee.

JB has stopped listening.

Me, usually drinking tequila. Or coffee. Or pretty much anything really.

Later that night, Susan and JB are cleaning up after the party and Susan asks JB what she thinks of “him”. JB assumes she means Max, on account of the way Susan’s eyes never left him. Susan is embarrassed to think she was that obvious – she had sworn she wouldn’t get involved with another man after her divorce.

“Love’s sneaky like that. It blindsides you, just when you don’t want it and you think you don’t need it!” Says JB. (Life Lesson #67 right there)

Is she talking about Frank? Is she talking about someone else? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS.

The next morning Max heads in to work and finds his old pal Tony kicking back with his feet up. Tony just wants to buy Max some breakfast and also demand his share of the contents of an off-shore bank account – Max knows which one. Max doesn’t want anything to do with Tony but Tony thinks he just needs some more time, something he knows all about. He tells Max not to bother with the cops, he’s clean now. Max on the other hand…people might be interested to know how he got the money to buy Silverville…

Meanwhile, JB is out in the desert looking for Heisenberg’s money communing with nature and lamenting the loss of her favourite pen. Jess decides to go for a wander while Susan paints, and has a chat with some coyotes before being startled by the sudden appearance of a Native American man sitting on a rock.  He tells her the echoes make it confusing up there, and that if you hear it at night you will understand why the shamans believe that the spirit of Coyote brings evil into the world. He introduces himself as Sam Keeyani, and warns her the track gets pretty dangerous up ahead with loose rocks and whatnot. Also there’s skinwalkers/witches, which he totally doesn’t believe in but you do think you see weird things in the shadows. Jess peers up the mountain and when she looks back, Sam is gone – in his place, her missing pen.

Back in Silverville, Max calls in Earl – one of the stuntmen/workers in Silverville – for a meeting. Turns out Earl has been shorting Max on his hay deliveries, and so Max fires him. Earl tells him the job stinks, he’ll just take his money and be gone, but Max says he doesn’t owe Earl a dime.

Earl wigs out.

Fun fact – I saw Point Break for the first time last week and it was excellent except I had Patrick Swayze’s haircut in 2007 I am not good at fashion.

Later that night, while Max wraps up his work day, someone sneaks into Silverville and burns down the museum. The next morning, Jess and Susan come to see if Max is alright, and Sheriff Sam Keeyani rolls in to take charge of the scene.

I legit have no idea why Susan is pulling that face but it amuses me greatly.

While appropriately mystical music plays, the Sheriff picks up a handful of dirt and watches it blow away before breathing in deeply. He asks Max if he has any enemies and Max tells him about firing Earl the previous night. Sam says it wasn’t Earl, does he have any others? Max says it was definitely Earl, but Sam says he’ll look into it but he needs a full list of enemies. Max departs for his office, closely followed by Susan. Sam offers Jess a ride back to Chaco Springs, and the promise of the best cup of coffee in town. At Max’s office, Susan tries to offer her help and money restoring the museum but Max is shutting her down and out, saying there’s more money in Cutter McGee than just a story for tourists. She gives up and tells him to keep his secrets to himself she’s not interested any more, and storms out.

Over a damn good cup of joe (OMG Twin Peaks though), Jess calls out Sam’s performance outside the museum, and he admits to smelling for gasoline and working out which way the wind was blowing. He also admits that someone handed in JB’s pen and he figured there’d only be one person in town with a fancy pen like that. Sam tells her he does it to lure suspects into a false sense of security.  Jess wonders how he’s so sure that Earl didn’t do it, and he tells her that the tracks he found show that someone wearing sneakers was the culprit, and Earl wears boots. Sam gets distracted by the arrival of local babe Alice Chee, who Sam is quite keen to know better if you know what I mean. Charles Strickland pops in with a list of items that were out on display at the museum, but he says there were boxes in the back he never got round to. Sam says he’ll check it out and goes back into his office. Charles offers to give Jess the Charles Strickland Historical Drive back to Susan’s house and she gratefully accepts.

Sam goes to see Earl at his ranch, who didn’t know Sam knew about it, or that the whole town was talking about it. Sam says he’ll have to read him his rights, but Earl says all he did was punch a guy at the bar. Turns out he was there all night, has witnesses and definitely didn’t burn down the museum.

The next morning Max’s secretary arrives for work and finds Max dead on the floor shot in the chest. Sam goes to inform Susan of Max’s murder, but she doesn’t seem terribly affected, telling Sam that they’d only been out a few times, she had no idea what he’d been up to the previous evening and she has work to do. Jess follows her to her studio, and she says she had wanted to kill Max the previous night, after the fight. She’d been back to see him to apologise, later that night but had found him and Betty together. She left before they saw her but she was too upset to talk to Jess about it the previous night.

Jess tells Sam about what she’s found out, and the two of them go to see Betty. She tries to bluster her way out of it, but cracks and admits she stayed and had some drinks with Max, she listened to how he was about to get rich, they got down to business (nudge nudge wink wink) and she left around 8:30 when Max said he was meeting someone. She didn’t know who it was, but she tells them about Ben Judson’s offer to buy Silverville earlier that week. Maybe that had something to do with it.

A deputy pops up to tell Sam that a man has been picked up driving Max’s car – it’s Tony Sable, Max’s sketchy friend from California. At the sheriff’s office he tells them that he and Max once had a mail order business going – Tony got greedy and so Max turned states evidence against him. Tony got four years, Max conveniently forgot to mention the offshore bank account where most of the money ended up, and when Tony got out of prison the money was gone.  He hadn’t seen Max since the previous afternoon – Max told him he had some money coming, and he would buy him off.

Jess notes that this is the third person Max told about his imminent windfall. Sam figures this is proof he was about to sell Silverville, but Jess thinks differently.  Max told Susan it was to do with Cutter McGee, maybe he had a line on the treasure? She decide to investigate at the library but before she goes, Sam asks her if it’s possible to meet someone in a dream – his uncle Ashie swears he has met Jessica many times in dreams. Jess says she doesn’t remember the name but there’s no way she’s turning that invitation down.

At the library she discovers that copies of the Silverville Gazette are missing from right around the time of Cutter McGee’s robbery, but the librarian tells her Charles Strickland already reported it. The only information left from that time are some misc bills of sale, a postcard and an old worthless bond from a company that went out of business in 1905. Disappointed, Jess is about to leave when she bumps into Charles Strickland. When he hears she’s wanting to find out more info on Cutter McGee he reaches into his briefcase to pull out a book on celestial navigation, inside which is the only known photo of Cutter McGee. Jess asks Charles if anyone knows how much Cutter stole, but Charles says he’s heard everything from gold bullion to bags of silver dollars. Whatever it is, he thinks it’s worth millions now.

Sam goes to visit Ben Jurnow, who wants to apologise for campaigning against having Sam as mayor. Times have changed, and we have to change with them, says Ben, and comes out with it – when his great grandfather moved west, he was attacked twice by Indians.

“I guess we have something in common,” says Sam. “Being as my great grandmother was murdered by a bunch of boozed up white settlers.”

No comment.

Jurnow tells Sam the sheriff’s department has never been so well run, how can he help? Sam asks about Ben’s offer on Silverville, and Ben says yes – he wanted water rights for his herd, Sam would have gotten the money and the bank (which he happens to be president of) would have avoided a foreclosure. He had no reason to kill Max though. He tells Sam that the bank has frozen Sam’s assets, bank accounts and a safety deposit box and Sam tells him he will send a deputy around for the box.

Later that night Sam takes Jess to see his uncle Ashie, who wants to repay Jess’s kindness in his dreams. Jess asks him (through Sam) if he knows the story of Cutter McGee and long story short, Cutter McGee hid out for a couple of days, but when he came out for water the Navajo found him and took his horse. McGee was killed by his own people a short time later.

Jess asks him if there’s anything she can do for him, and he says hell yeah sign this copy of your book.

I mean, at least they have managed to cast actual Native American’s this time (although I think the guy who played Sam is Canadian. Still, closer than Sri Lanka)

Back at Susan’s Jess finds Susan gazing into the fireplace, mourning Max. Jess tells her that with all the things she’s gotten to do since she’s become famous, she just wishes that Frank had been there to share it with her. Still, she’s made a lot of lovely friends along the way.

NAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

At the Sheriff’s office the next day Sam shows Jess the autopsy report – traces of sand in the bullet wound and Max’s hair seem to suggest that Max was killed somewhere else and moved to his office. Sam also shows Jess the contents of the safety deposit box – Cutter McGee’s diary. Jess wonders at it not being on display, but then wonders if Max had held it back because he thought it contained directions to the treasure.  Some random numbers on the first page of the diary give Jess an idea about where the treasure is hidden, and where Max was killed. A map at the library gives them the general area, but it’s big. Jess remembers that Uncle Ashie said that his relatives were looking for rabbitbrush when they found Cutter McGee and Sam says there’s only one place that grows – Coyote Canyon, aka the place Jess was the first time she met Sam. THE CIRCLE OF LIFE YOU GUYS. They find traces of blood and so Sam calls in a forensic team. He points out a cave up the hill that the Anasazi used to bury their dead in, and Jess thinks she has a pretty good idea of how to catch the killer.

Back at the police station Sam returns the now empty safe deposit box to Ben Jurnow, while Jess calls Charles Strickland with her discovery. She offers to meet him at the canyon so they can find the treasure together.

Later that afternoon, Jess is wandering through the cave when Charles Strickland arrives. Jess is disappointed. She was waiting for Max’s killer. She shows Charles Cutter’s chest and he throws it open – it’s full of bonds for a certain company that went bust in 1905.

“Yup,” says JB. “You killed him for some worthless paper”

 

I have no opinion about this.

He didn’t mean to shoot Max, he swears – Max was pissed that Charles was going after Max’s treasure so when Max followed him to the canyon and confronted him Charles shot first and asked questions later.

Case closed!

Drink up Fletcherfans!

S09E04 – The Wind Around the Tower

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Welcome to suspiciously sunny Ireland Fletcherfans, where JB is researching for her new book. As it happens, recently retired NYPD detective Sean Culhane (aka the other Demon Barber of Fleet Street, seen previously here) has returned home to Ireland and is happy to chauffeur Our Heroine around, while bitching about the prevalence of Australian soap operas on TV. (Such blasphemy will not stand, although I must confess I’ve never really watched Home and Away but I did watch Neighbours for a time, until that ridiculous storyline with the bomb on the plane on their joyride to Tasmania, because frankly Tasmania did nothing to be dragged into that shambles).

I digress.

JB just wants to hang out with some typical Irish folk, and Sean knows just the place – his friend Neil Gillen heard he was back in the old country and has invited him for a visit, so they head to his village. While the hotel owner sees to their rooms JB and Sean stop for a bite of lunch, and Neil soon joins them for a pint and an invitation – forget staying at the pub, come stay at his his new castle-y big house he’s just bought. It has a library full of old books ready for JB to peruse.

Guys I won’t lie, I am well acquainted with Irish drinking customs. In fact, I have a degree in whisky-tasting from the Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland because I’m awesome.

JB knocks off the rest of her beer and remembers she has some film she wants developing so she cruises on over to the chemist across the street. After she leaves, Sean tells Neil he’s here, what does he need? Neil says he can’t say just yet, but he wants Neil just to look around, and see what’s up. They’ll talk later.

Over at the chemist JB meets the proprietor and long time fan Francis O’Reilly, who had heard JB had been coming. He’d be happy to get the film done for her, and asks her to sign a few of her books so that he can take them round the housebound villagers. Jessica is obviously happy to oblige.

I mean it’s long at the bag and slightly less long on top. Turbo mullet?

Jess and Sean arrive at the fancy-pants house and meet Neil’s assistant Claire Abbot, who is delighted to discover that the guests are so famous (well, one is anyway) and tells them to let her know if there’s anything she can do. Neil then introduces Jess and Sean to his new wife Anne and his cousin Liam (previously also seen here). Anne is delighted to meet them both, and particularly Jessica – she hadn’t known Jess was coming until the day before. Liam politely excuses himself from dinner, saying he has other plans.

At dinner everything goes swimmingly until they hear shrieking coming from outside. Neil assures them that it’s just the wind catching on the facade, but Ann says it might be the Crying Lady. Back in ye olde black and white times, a ship captain built the house for his wife as a wedding present, complete with tower so she could watch the ship come in, but one (dark and stormy) night, she was in the tower and saw her husband’s ship crash against the cliffs and sink. She threw herself off the tower and died, and to this day people say she can be heard roaming the grounds. And guys would it surprise you to learn that she is a harbinger of death?

(Jessica Fletcher is 100% not a harbinger of death though, obviously).

That night Sean is woken by the sound of dogs barking. He looks out his window to see a shadowy figure walking thr grounds with a torch. He rushes to the hallway and bumps into Jessica.

“I was just going for some hot milk.” He says.

“So was I.” Says JB.

This is the weirdest episode of Scooby Doo ever.

They head on out and follow the light to the tower, but when they go inside the figure is missing. They find a plaque that reads “For my beloved Sarah, safe passage through dangerous places.” Then a man appears with a machine gun. He introduces himself as Quint Sankey, caretaker, (I WOULD WATCH THAT SHOW) and orders them back to the house. Neil and Ann quickly sort it out, Quint takes his leave and everyone goes back to bed, while Claire Abbott lurks in the shadows.

The next morning, Jess is up early eating breakfast and raiding Neil’s library. She’s found a goldmine but she wants more info so she’s going to go into town and see what she can find out from the locals. She invites Sean along, but he tells her he’d rather stay and stroll the grounds to get a feel for the place. Jess says that’s what he says when he’s investigating a crime. Sean tries to cover it up and JB says she doesn’t mean to intrude, she is offering her help whenever he needs it.

In town JB picks up her photos and for extremely subtle plot point reasons also grabs a bottle of the newest fragrance Emerald Sunset. The shopkeeper tells her she’s the first one to buy it and would love to hear what she thinks. Jess then goes back to the pub to hear the story of a battle between five strong men, one woman, a tax collector, a horse, several cases of good Irish whisky, and crossing rights to a bridge.

SPOILER ALERT: The horse won.

I just realised that the person telling this story is inexplicably drinking a pint of milk. But anyway.

Jessica and the storyteller (a Mr Foudy) are joined by Neil’s neighbour Jason McNamara who suggests that Jess might be interested in the story of the Crying Lady. Foudy hasn’t got much more to add, just that in life no one ever saw the wife go in or out of the tower, and that Jason McNamara can’t think of a more deserving person to have to deal with a ghost than Neil Gillen. Foudy explains after Jason leaves that Neil bought up Jason’s land when his finances went sideways.

Back at the house, Sean basically learns the same thing from Quint Sankey, caretaker while inside Neil confronts Liam about some money that’s gone missing out of some Swiss bank accounts. The place that they are filming this episode is the house from Clue! I’ve just worked it out. Oh man I love that movie.

After dinner that night, Sean and Neil confur in the library. Sean has had about enough of these mysterious shenanigans and he’s not a big fan of hiding things from Jess. Neil comes out with it – he thinks someone is going to kill him in the next 48 hours. He explains about the missing money, but he thinks there’s something else going on and asks Sean to meet him back there at midnight – he’ll explain it all then.

Sean sits up until 11:45 but he’s too late. The house is woken to the sound of Anne screaming – Neil is in his study, eyes wide open, dead as a post. Sergeant Devon O’Malley is called to the scene, and quickly rules it natural causes on account of there being not a mark on him. At first he rules it a heart attack but JB is quick to point out the lack of blueish tinge to Neil’s lips.

Downstairs Sean has a quiet word with O’Malley about possibly getting a full autopsy done on the down-low, cop to cop. O’Malley says he’ll see what he can do.

And now, a quick word from our sponsors…

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Out on a stroll, Sean explains the whole thing to JB, who knew something was up, the whole thing seemed dodge as. She springs into action, sending Sean to find out more about Jason McNamara, while she heads back into town.

Sean finds Jason banging up some no trespassing signs on Neil’s land. Jason says he heard or saw nothing the night before, but that he suspects Anne Gillen will be in a mood to sell the land off cheaply. Sean finds this remarkable, being as Neil’s not been dead a day.

Down in the village Jess is chatting to Brian Mulrain, the publican, who thinks it’s obvious – the killer was the Crying Lady. No one had heard anything from her for 50 years until Neil bought the house and then it all kicked off. Jess thinks there’s something to this and heads on her way, bumping into Francis O’Reilly on the way out.

Back at the house Jess tells Sean they need to talk but are soon joined by Liam Gillen, who wants to offer his apologies that such a dreadful thing should happen during their stay. He’d been out of town on business and had only just returned, and was likely to have to leave again now that he would be running the business. He departs, leaving Jess and Sean more suspicious than ever. Jess tells Sean to go and call O’Malley to find out more about Liam Gillen while Jess goes upstairs to talk more with Anne.

Outside, Liam sends his girlfriend CLAIRE ABBOTT off to stay with her family for a few days while he irons this whole situation out. Anne Gillen watches the whole scene play out from her bedroom window before she gets a knock at the door – Jessica offering condolences in this trying time. Ann tells her she plans to sell the house, she feels uncomfortable staying. Jess says she understands that Liam will take over the business, which is news to Ann – that was the opposite of what Neil would have wanted. Jess asks if anyone would have wanted to hurt Neil and Ann gets upset, insisting that it was natural causes. Jess scurries into the bathroom for a tissue, noticing a bottle of Emerald Sunset on the counter as she does so.

Later that afternoon Sean gets the coroners report back – cause of death is fluid in the lungs, presumably pneumonia. Both Sean and Jessica find this highly odd, as Sean didn’t appear sick in the slightest, but Ann and Sergeant O’Malley appear with some evidence that Ann just found. It’s a video from Sean’s cam-corder showing (among other things) Neil turning on a lamp, Neil constantly relighting his cigar, and Neil passing out and dying. We see Ann coming in to turn off the lamp before discovering Neil’s body, going to the doorway slowly and screaming.

JB is about to do her best Nic Cage from Gone in 60 Seconds impression (#ThingsThatAreOnlyTrueInsideMyHead)

A quick jaunt to the chemist confirms that while noone else has bought a bottle of the perfume, there is indeed one extra missing from the stand. The sale assistant thinks O’Reilly must have bought it for one of his lady friends, as he is wont to do.

Sean is confused as to how this will help but Jessica tells him they will just have to see the Crying Lady for more information. They sneak into the tower before being rumbled by Quint Sankey, Caretaker. Unfortunately for Quint, JB makes her getaway down a helpfully lit secret passage. (Forget Scooby Doo this is some Famous Five business up in here). She discovers nitrogen tanks, some pipes that were arguably screaming, and eureka!

Jess returns to the study to lay a trap. Anne wanders in to see what she’s doing and Jess explains that she’s convinced Neil was murdered, and she’s looking for evidence. Jess turns the lamp on, and Ann declares she’s not waiting around all night trying to find something that isn’t there. When she discovers she’s locked in though she loses it, until Jess announces it’s alright, they disconnected the nitrogen tanks already.

If I had a dollar for every wife/husband of death I’d be a rich woman.

Ahh yes. Anne was having a little something something going on with Francis O’Reilly, mainly so she could get hold of some nitrogen, bump off Neil and get hold of his money. That old chestnut.

But never mind all of that. It just so happens to be my birthday today, and this week has been a terrible horrible no good very bad week, so my birthday gift to myself, and to all of you, is the entirety of Angela Lansbury’s health and fitness video.

Watch and learn, Fletcherfans. Watch, and learn.

 

Later gang.

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