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S08E18 – Programmed For Murder

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We are back in the murder-iest Cove that ever Coved Fletcher fans, and the culprit is right up front this week.

The struggle is real.

Unrelated, but I rewatched Copycat last night (the one with Sigorney Weaver and Holly Hunter) and if you want some quality mid-90s technology you should definitely watch it. But I forgot how damn creepy it is, so also maybe don’t.

Anyway, JB is having a crisis, her computer ate 40 pages of her manuscript. Fortunately, Cabot Cove is the Silicon Valley of Maine (it turns out) and local programming tycoon Harriet Wooster is here to save the day. She’s feeling a little under the weather, and a little preoccupied with the fact that her marriage is in trouble and she’s in the process of selling her programming empire, but she’ll do her best to rescue JB’s missing pages.

SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER

Meanwhile at the head offices of Computanic in Boston, company President John Halsey is trying to boost confidence in his chief investor Rudy Ortega, who is having none of it. He tells Halsey to get it done or the people he represents will not be happy. He hands over a suitcase filled with presumably counterfeit Pokemon games or cash, we’ll never know, and departs. Halsey whips out a gun and ponders. (Fun fact, Halsey is being played by the guy who played Angie Lans’s son in the stage show of Driving Miss Daisy, remember that time I was in the same room as Angie Lans holy crap that was a time).

Back in the Cove and the state of the Boss’s manuscript isn’t the only crisis hitting the cove. A new doctor has moved in to the hospital and is solving cases all over the place, including The Case of Eve Simpsons Mysterious Allergy which turns out to be a reaction to the newspaper ink. Seth is unimpressed.

For those playing at home, the role of the new Doctor Beckwith will be played by everyone’s favourite double verb, Hunt Block.

Seth tries to bluff his way out of his mood when he runs into JB by going on a rant about her computer, but Jess tells him her computer has increased her output by 40% (clearly because Tumblr wasn’t a thing yet), and in any case is it possible that Seth’s bad mood isn’t about her computer?

Seth grudglingly admits he doesn’t like losing patients to this new upstart with his lab tests and fancy medicines which Seth thinks are nothing to his intuition and his ability to treat the whole patient.

“Happy now?” Seth asks JB.

Good grief if I’m chucking Limp Bizkit lyrics in this blog has gone terribly terribly wrong

Seth and Jess cruise on over to Harriet’s house – Jess to deliver a thankyou basket, Seth to do a housecall. Harriet’s husband Alan snags Seth as they arrive to talk about his wife’s health. Seth thinks she will be fine once the business has been sold and things calm down a bit, but after getting inside and checking her pulse, Seth asks Harriet to come in the following day for some tests. Harriet tells him she’s fine, she’s just stressed out about the business deal, she’ll come in next week. She starts to get worked up about being late for the meeting but Alan points out that her brother Doug hasn’t arrived – which he conveniently chooses that moment to, bringing his girlfriend Gretchen along with him. Harriet begs Alan to keep Gretchen occupied at the house while the business deal happens and he promises he will. Jess and Seth, sensing it’s all about to kick off, sneak out quietly.

Doug and Harriet meet Halsey at the Hill House and Doug lays it out – they aren’t selling for less than ten million. Halsey is horrified, the computer market just isn’t up to it, and software is struggling (lol) but Doug isn’t buying it. Harriet on the other hand looks like she’s about to pass out and collapses in agony. Doug calls an ambulance and they race over to the hospital but Doctor Beckwith emerges with some terrible news – Harriet has shuffled off her mortal coil and not only that, it would appear Seth was treating her for the wrong illness. Harriet had a bleeding ulcer.

While Gretchen brings everyone cups of water, Seth and Jonas Beckwith bicker about the cause of death until JB tells them all to shush. Seth is devastated and leaves, JB following. Doug Simmons is convinced Seth is a public menace and shouldn’t be practicing medicine.

Later that night, Allan is sitting in his darkened florists shop when Rudy pops by to tell him that he shared certain interests with Allan’s late wife, and that now he shared them with Allan. Long story short, take the deal or Rudy’s friends are going to be pissed.

The next day, Mort pops round to Doctor Beckwith’s office to get more information for his report, and ends up leaving with a prescription for his cough. Meanwhile, over at the Woosters residence Allan, Doug and Gretchen are talking about Harriet when Doug announces he has issued Halsey an ultimatum – 10 million or the deal is off. Allan is horrified Doug is thinking about money at a time like this but Doug is just trying to get things done. Allan just wants the deal done now, and they start to argue but Gretchen steps in and tells Allan Doug is just looking out for his best interests.

Over at the hospital, Doctor Beckwith finds Seth and says how very sorry he is, he knows Seth was a close friend of the deceased. Seth is disgusted – her name wasn’t The Deceased it was Harriet Wooster, she had a mole on her shoulder, she had an appendectomy when she was 14 and every year she drove to Boston to see the Celtics play the Lakers. Beckwith apologises, but wishes Seth would cut him some slack – they have different approaches to medicine but there’s no reason why the two can’t work together. Seth shouts OH HELL NO and storms out. (Paraphrasing).

Meanwhile, JB’s cardigan game is strong this episode.

Seriously though I want that cardigan.

JB has suspicions and is hoping to get the autopsy results from Mort, but he hasn’t got them yet and besides they know what happened. He knows how Jess feels about Seth, and he doesn’t think Seth did anything wrong either.

Deputy Andy Broom pops up to deliver Mort’s prescription from Doctor Beckwith.

DEPUTY ANDY IS ALWAYS ON DUTY.

Later, JB runs into Jonas Beckwith who tells her he’s very sorry about the deceased her friend. Jess thanks him and says she’s glad he’s decided to practice medicine in Cabot Cove, and not to mind Seth.

Speaking of, Seth pops by JB’s house later that afternoon with his brand new fishing reel. JB can’t help but notice it’s the one he showed her in the catalog that cost $375.

Seth is doing what I do in times of great emotional stress (except I buy books and not fishing equipment).

Seth’s decided to take a step back and be kind to himself, and maybe even retire. Jess calls him out and tells him there’s no evidence that he had anything to do with Harriet’s death. Seth says his new fishing reel has nothing to do with Harriet’s death but Jess says it does, she knows how his mind works.

The coroner calls, looking for Seth and delivers his verdict – Harriet died from a transfusion of the wrong blood type. Jess tells Seth that proves he wasn’t to blame but Seth begs to differ – if he’d been treating Harriet for stomach ulcers in the first place she wouldn’t have needed a transfusion and she’d still be alive.

Poor Seth.

Jess heads over to the hospital to speak to the nurse responsible for the transfusion, Laura Garrison, but she’s reticent to talk to JB – she knows how tight she is with Seth. Jess just tells her she wants the truth and Laura tells her all she knows is that she took Harriet’s blood a few weeks before, and got the blood ready for transfusion when she came in sick.

(The coffee, not the blood. Just so we’re clear). 

Over in downtown Cabot Cove, Halsey runs into Rudy who tells him without Harriet the company is less juicy (his words not mine), so he won’t offer a cent over 4 million dollars. Halsey is furious but Rudy tells him that’s all there is, and if there’s a problem he needs to deal with it efficiently.

The next day, Jess is formulating a theory and gets on the phone to Laura Garrison to ask if she ever saw Harriet’s face the day she came in sick. Harriet says no, she wasn’t in the emergency room that day and when she dropped the blood off Harriet’s face was obscured. JB asks Laura to describe Harriet from when she came in to donate, but Laura says she was so busy she can’t remember. She’d remember if she saw the face again somewhere but not otherwise.

Over at the Hill House Doug Simmons has been doing his own formulating, and asks Gretchen to seduce Halsey for information. Gretchen is horrified but Doug tells her to think of the money.

Jess heads down to the Sheriff’s office and faxes a photo of Harriet Wooster over to Laura, who calls back a short time later. JB has a quick word, gets off the phone and announces that Harriet’s death had nothing to do with negligence, she was murdered.

The best kind of jam.

Jess has correctly deduced that someone pretending to be Harriet Wooster donated blood that would prove to be fatal if she ever needed a transfusion. All she needs now is a doctor to think of a way that someone could bring on an illness that would require a transfusion – and two doctors could do it even faster.

SETH YOU ARE SUCH A CURMUDGEON.

Cabot Cove’s greatest medical gurus stop butting heads and put their minds together, and decide that certain poisons could induce the symptoms Harriet displayed. That’s all Jess needs to hear and she gets back on the phone to Laura Garrison.

Over at the Hill House, Gretchen is launching Operation Halsey, but it doesn’t go well. JB arrives just as the operation sinks without a trace, to ask Gretchen to give Doug a message – JB thinks Halsey murdered Harriet, they are just waiting on more tests.

Gretchen rushes straight out to deliver the message – but not to Doug.

Well alright then?

Allan, inexplicably, has been having an affair with Gretchen this whole time. JB noticed that Gretchen knew where to find the blood bank coffee cups when she handed out drinks when Harriet died, therefore proving she’d been the one to donate blood pretending to be Harriet.

WHAT? I mean this seems like a long-ass bow guys. I would never doubt the genius that is Our Heroine, but MSW writers, I’m giving you some hard side-eye right now.

Let us leave this episode with the knowledge that Jess has brokered peace between the warring doctors and remains the Queen of Cabot Cove.

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E16 – Ever After

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I mean, really.

I mean, really.

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

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

c1

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

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

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

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

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

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

The number 1 old white guy rule.

The number 1 old white guy rule.

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

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

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

Such romance, I am overcome.

Such romance, I am overcome.

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

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

 

Clearly needs popcorn.

Clearly needs popcorn.

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

This might be the neatest my desk has ever been tbh

This might be the neatest my desk has ever been tbh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But we’ll be dead, says Joanna.

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

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

SAH DRAMA ERMAHGHERD

SAH DRAMA ERMAHGHERD

Which reminds me

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

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

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

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

We all need more Ginger in our lives.

We all need more Ginger in our lives.

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

How could you say no to that face though

How could you say no to that face though

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

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

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

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

*saving for R U OK Day later this year*

*saving for R U OK Day later this year*

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

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

What a charmer

What a charmer

I really don't.

I really don’t.

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

Timing, bro.

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

(I'm just here to amuse myself guys)

(I’m just here to amuse myself guys)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So until next time, dear reader.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

S08E14 – The Monte Carlo Murders

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So I’m sure you’ve heard by now that The Boss is going to be in the new Mary Poppins movie with Lin-Manuel Miranda and you probably anticipated my thoughts on this but here they are anyway.

Seriously though. And Dick Van Dyke is going to be in it, I mean good god how I am I supposed to wait until next Christmas I already have to wait for Stranger Things and Westworld and Game of Thrones.

THE WAITING GAME SUCKS GUYS.

Speaking of things, we’re in Monte Carlo this week Fletcher fans! The episode kicks off with a cat-burglar (alas, not our favourite cat burglar) abseiling down the side of a building and breaking into a room where a woman is fast asleep. It’s not as entirely weird as it sounds, she is expecting him, but he’s not best pleased with her. Apparently she’s been flirting with someone called Earl Harper and he’s not having it. She tells him that she’s doing it for him – Earl Harper’s wife has a big fat diamond that someone with a certain set of skills (cue Liam Neeson impression) might want to snatch up. The cat burglar isn’t sold on the concept, saying he’s done time in a French jail before, but she promises it will be easy. He tells her he’ll do it, but if she sleeps with Earl Harper he will kill them both.

Our Heroine is herself in Monte Carlo, catching up with her old school chum Annie Floret, the owner of The Claudine Hotel. JB is eager for a tour and Annie is happy to oblige – she has a whole lot of fun planned for JB, including a reception that evening for the Prince of Monaco’s birthday, but first a tour of the Claudine. Annie introduces JB to the hotel’s piano player who has another job, you may be able to guess it from my subtle captioning.

Also previously seen in this episode.

Also previously seen in this episode.

The piano/burglar tells JB he takes requests and will be happy to play her favourites. She tells him she’ll get back to him.

Next on the tour is a visit to the kitchen, home of the head chef Chef Robertwho distrusts all Americans as potential spies for McDonalds. Not even JB nearly passing out from delight at a taste of his wares will change his mind.

My Dad once decided he had an alter ego called Jean-Claude, who was a world famous chef. I'm pretty sure this is who he imagined. (It was really frustrating, I'd ring home and he'd answer the phone pretending to speak French except since he couldn't actually speak French it was basically a lot of oui oui and giggling)

My Dad once decided he had an alter ego called Jean-Claude, who was the world’s famous chef. I’m pretty sure this is who he imagined. (It was a nightmare, I’d ring home and he’d answer the phone pretending to speak French except since he couldn’t actually speak French it was basically a lot of oui oui and giggling, he thought it was hilarious. He had another alter ego called Tanaka who was a sumo wrestler, don’t ask.)

JB has no time for this though, there is something in the sauce and she can’t tell what it is.

Screw a murder, JB's got ingredients to sniff out.

Screw a murder, JB’s got ingredients to sniff out.

They take a break for tea, and newest staff member Armand cops an earful from Annie for taking too long. JB asks if anything is wrong, and Annie tells her she’s fine, it’s just hard to get good help these days and it’s a lot harder since her husband Andre died. Annie also tells JB that she’ll be in the suite opposite Earl Fisher (quelle surprise) – JB recognises the name, he’s under investigation for insider trading.

Annie excuses herself to go do hotel things, and Jess decides to head out and do some antique shopping. A thoroughly unscrupulous salesman tries to con her but she is saved by the local policeman, Inspector Morel.

Guys I freakin loved the Pretender. And I freakin love Patrick Bachau.  Today is a good day.

Guys I freakin loved the Pretender. And I freakin love Patrick Bachau. Today is a good day.

Inspector Morel, a dear friend of Annie’s, offers to escort JB back to the hotel. As they walk, she asks him why Annie appears to be under so much pressure. Morel tells her that five years earlier, Annie and Andre borrowed money to keep the hotel going, and the man they borrowed the money from demanded a huge balloon payment – a payment due in three days. Guys will it surprise you to learn that the man who loaned the money – the man who is taking over the hotel next Monday – is Earl Harper?

I KNOW RIGHT?

Inside the hotel, we see Armande putting a bug on a telephone. As he leaves the hotel room, JB is entering hers across the hall. Conclusion – Armande is bugging Earl Harper’s phone. GUYS I AM NAILING THIS DETECTIVE BUSINESS.

As they get ready for the Prince’s birthday bash, Richie (Annie’s son) begs her to just let Earl Harper take the hotel so she can go on with her life. As they talk, there’s a knock on the door – it’s the man himself, here for his meeting with Annie. Richie leaves in disgust and Annie begs Earl  for more time but he’s not interested. As he goes to leave, he sees Peter Templeton’s girlfriend from the beginning of the episode stroll past in a red dress and tells Annie it’s a shame she’s not a younger woman, they might have worked something out.

Can't help but feel like I know where this is going...

Can’t help but feel like I know where this is going…

That night, JB and Inspector Morel dance up a storm at the reception. When JB decides it’s time for a break they head for the nearest table but bump into a man named Albert Devere, a creepy looking dude who wants to dance with JB. Apparently he’s her biggest fan. Fortunately Morel is there to help guide JB back to the table where Richie Floret is chilling out – Annie decided it was too late but Richie thinks it’s because of Earl Harper, currently dancing up a storm with Peter Templeton’s girlfriend while his wife is hanging out at the bar with his bodyguard Henry and flashing her big fat diamond necklace around.

Richie excuses himself to go take photos of the Prince’s arrival and Morel returns just in time to see Earl Harper have a deep conversation with Scott Larkins. Morel explains that Larkins owns a fleet of ships that Harper would dearly love to get his hands on.

Guys, sometimes I'm just here to amuse myself and this screenshot is one of those times.

Guys, sometimes I’m just here to amuse myself and this screenshot is one of those times.

The next day JB is caught in the lobby by Albert Devere again, but luckily Inspector Morel arrive just in time to extricate her and take her out galavanting around Monaco for the day. Meanwhile Richie and Earl Harper nearly come to blows, by which I mean Richie nearly stabs him with some scissors, but Earl decides to pocket the scissors and be on his merry way. Annie, who sees the whole thing, looks horrified.

Later that afternoon there is a fancy garden party for reasons I have apparently missed. Richie takes his camera and snaps pics of Earl’s bodyguard handing something sneakily to Scott Larkin and Mrs Harper looking angry at the sight of Earl making out with Peter Templeton’s girlfriend Barbara. Pepter himself isn’t pleased with the sight and goes after Barbara to tell her that she and the job are over. She says she’s fine with them being over, but she’ll do the job herself if she has to.

Larkin and Harper go into a room to have a little chat. Larkin asks him how he thinks he can just go around ruining lives and Harper tells him it’s a game, sport. UGH JUST KILL HIM ALREADY WHAT A DOUCHECANOE. Harper accuses Larkin of having a spy in his company and swears he will find him and string him up by his toes. They punch on and Harper leaves Larkin bloodied on the ground.

Meanwhile, JB is hot on the case.

Toughest case of her career I should think.

i2

Scolded by Robert, JB goes to see what Richie is up to and finds him developing photos from the party (fun fact, it was Scott Larkin’s party there you go). Apart from the photo of Larkin paying off Earl’s bodyguard, JB also spots a photo of Armande the waiter carrying an armload of audio equipment. She’s got no time to worry about that now though, she’s there to make sure Richie isn’t planning on doing anything stupid. He swears he won’t, he doesn’t want to stress his mother out more.

That night while more fireworks explode over Monte Carlo, Albert Devere tries to break into JB’s room but finds the door locked. Hearing someone coming, he departs. Mrs Harper and Henry the bodyguard wander down the hall, all over each other. Mrs Harper sends him back to his room, goes into her room and starts screaming. Shockingly,  Earl Harper is dead. Hearing the noise JB and Annie come rushing in. Annie tells JB to take Mrs Harper into the bedroom and tells the staff to get back to work. She asks Armande what he’s doing on the 3rd floor anyway and he tells her someone ordered alcohol. She asks him to find Richie but he tells her Richie left at around nine that evening and hasn’t returned.

Morel takes up the investigation and asks Mrs Harper what she’d been up to that evening. She’d been disco dancing with a certain bodyguard to “protect” her but it was unnecessary since she wasn’t wearing the Alexandra stone that night…she rushes to check the safe but the necklace is gone.

JB runs into Inspector Morel the next morning, but he’s confident he’ll have the case wrapped up by lunchtime. He knew all about Barbara and Peter Templeton. Barbara was seen leaving Earls room and since she has a reputation for luring married men into compromising situations, it seems pretty likely she and or Peter are involved.

Jess isn’t sure though and goes to see Annie. She tells Annie she knows what she did – opening a window and the safe while JB took Mrs Harper into the bedroom. Annie confesses to that, saying she was worried that Richie had done it and so made it look like a robbery to throw everyone off the scent.

Outside the hotel Jess runs into Barbara, who begs her to help get Peter off the hook. She swears he didn’t kill Earl and neither did she. She did meet Earl in his room, but it was to tell him to leave her alone. He accused her of spying for Larkin, as she’d been present when he’d made some business calls earlier that day and information had gotten out, so she left his room. She also tells JB the reason why Peter wasn’t seen at his piano the previous night was because he’d received a faked note from her asking to meet him. JB tells her she’ll do what she can to help, but she did see a photo of Barbara and Peter looking decidedly out of love from Scott Larkin’s party so there’s that.

Jess sneaks into Harper’s hotel room on a hunch and finds the bug that Armande had planted there. Remembering the photo of Armande with his hands full of audio gear she goes to see him and finds him lying on the floor, dying. She asks him who did this and he tells her something in French.

Morel has a new theory in light of recent events, including the discovery of the diamond necklace (sans diamond) in Armande’s room. It turns out Armande was a private detective, hired by Scott Larkin to spy on his business competitor. Morel thinks Armande got greedy, grabbed the stone and so Larkin killed him. He asks JB about Armande’s dying words and she repeats them to him. He tells her it means “in the fish”, and that Armande was probably delirious.

JB runs into Scott Larkin who tells her Richie’s been cleared, and Scott has loaned Annie the money to make the final payment on the hotel, so they are inside celebrating now that it’s over. JB says it’s not over yet and heads inside, where she runs into Superfan again, this time holding the book ready for Jess to sign. JB notices the title in French is Le Poison Dans Mon Coeur, and asks Albert the Superfan what the difference is between fish and poison. (It’s poisson vs poison, for those playing along at home).

It’s in the poison? JB has an idea and much to Chef Robert’s annoyance goes hunting around his kitchen for the rat poison. Inside, she finds a cassette tape that records the death of Earl Harper. The killer has had the same idea, but gets there just too late…

Noooooooooooooooooo

Noooooooooooooooooo

Oh Fletchefans. The things we do when we’re in love with a widowed hotel owner about to lose her beloved hotel to a raging douchecanoe. And by things I mean double murders.

JB of course worked it out ages ago, because she thought he was a better cop than how he was investigating the case. I think that’s how. To be honest I’ve been googling episode summaries of The Pretender this whole time so if this doesn’t make sense a) sorry and b) has any of this ever made sense ever?

My Dad once decided he had an alter ego called Jean-Claude, who was a world famous chef. I'm pretty sure this is who he imagined. (It was really frustrating, I'd ring home and he'd answer the phone pretending to speak French except since he couldn't actually speak French it was basically a lot of oui oui and giggling)

You said it Jean Claude.

And on that note, I’m going to retire to my couch for a long congested nap. Guys, summer colds are the worst. Don’t get them. Let us leave this week feeling as happy as JB with a jar of Chef Robert’s mystery sauce.

Later Fletcherfans

Later Fletcherfans

 

S08E12 – Witches Curse

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You guys, it’s been a while (and yes I did just sing that), but we’re back in the Cove at last. It’s a dark and stormy night, and a certain doctor is casting roles for the town’s newest theatrical production – a retelling of a classic tale where a woman called Rachel Abbott was burned to death for being a witch.

Seth is loving it.

Seth is loving it.

After commenting on one potential witch’s scream as “melting lead”, and gently telling Penelope that while Rachel’s role is bigger, he needs her to play the witch’s mother, Eve Simpson steps up to audition for the role of Rachel. (Fun fact, Eve and Penelope look about the same age, so Seth is clearly up to something).

Eve gives a command performance, but would prefer to update the script a little, make it more hers. “I can do a Blanche Dubois that will curl your hair.”

“Of that I have every confidence.” Says Seth.

This is reminding so much of the Streetcar Named Marge episode of The Simpsons.

This is reminding so much of the Streetcar Named Marge episode of The Simpsons.

Just then, there’s a loud clap of thunder, the doors burst open and Stevie Nicks wanders in.

(It's not Stevie. But let's pretend it is because I love her a lot)

(It’s not Stevie. But let’s pretend it is because I love her a lot)

The woman apologises for her dramatic entrance and introduces herself as Mariah Osborne, aka the chick that apparently shot JR that time. She tells them she’s new in town, she’s just rented the old Walker place (much to the shock of others, no-one has lived there for 20 years) and she’s wondering whether there are any roles still open she might audition for?

Seth can’t believe his luck. It’s like Rachel Abbott herself walked in. Stoked.

While she still has to audition, some of the cast view her audition as a foregone conclusion. Judge Willard Clinton will be conveniently play the role of the judge in the play (method acting), and the role of the prosecutor will be played by Nate Parsons, local insurance rep.

Mariah’s audition is a stunning success…

Could not puff up any more.

Could not puff up any more.

…so much so that when she shouts a line about the bells tolling to proclaim her innocence, the bells in the church go off. Everyone in the room shivers.

The next morning, Seth retells the story of the casting of Rachel Abbott but is less than enthused with the response from his audience.

Sweet, innocent Seth.

Sweet, innocent Seth.

Mort’s response is to ask Seth if he’s been hearing voices again, which Seth decides is sour grapes because he wouldn’t cast Mort in the play as the constable. Mort tells Seth if he hears the voices telling him to go off and save France he shouldn’t do it, Mort saw how that movie ended.

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

Seth tells JB the story of how Mariah floated in to town and rented the old Walker place, which JB finds puzzling – it must be full of dust, just like the court archives which is where she’s supposed to be right now. Seth drops her off and she settles in for some investigating, but overhears someone reading something familiar. She goes on the snoop and finds Mariah reading from the original transcripts. JB introduces herself and Mariah tells her she’s studying up for her role. Jess says the whole town is abuzz with her performance the previous night, and Mariah says it wasn’t her, it was Rachel Abbott. What’s more, she thinks Cabot Cove has a habit of ganging up on innocent people. She excuses herself, saying it was nice to meet JB.

JB doesn’t care right now.

#lifegoals

#lifegoals

Mariah’s next stop is to the Winthrop house, to return a shawl she borrowed from Lydia Winthrop the previous evening. She finds Lydia’s husband Charles at home, in a wheelchair thanks to a renovating accident, and offers to massage his leg when it gets cramped up.

Oh Robert Vaughn. Rest in peace.

Oh Robert Vaughn. Rest in peace.

Lydia Winthrop walks in at that moment, and notices her husband is having another of his muscle spasms. She and Lydia step out to give him some peace, and Mariah returns the shawl. Lydia tells her that her audition was quite extraordinary, and Mariah says she has always had a soft spot for the unjustly accused. Don’t we all, Lydia says but the phone rings. Mariah says she can find her own way out, but has a peek at Charles Winthrop before she leaves.

This'll be one of these alternative facts I hear so much about...

This’ll be one of these alternative facts I hear so much about….

She watches him put some papers in his safe, and then leaves.

Later that night Lydia hears the sound of breaking glass, and goes downstairs to investigate. She finds the safe wide open, and rose petals flung about everywhere – but as they report later to Mort, nothing appears to be missing. When Mort asks if they’d had any visitors, Lydia reminds her husband about the visit they got from Mariah Osborne the previous day.

But she absolutely isn’t trying to cause trouble though. No way.

That face!

That face! It turns out she was Mr Big’s mother in Sex and the City for like one episode. 

Mort thinks it’s odd that a thief would stop to scatter rose petals but not bother to steal anything, and Lydia is reminded of the speech Mariah has to give in the play about rose petals scattered in memory of blood spilled.

But seriously guys she’s not trying to cause trouble.

Mort takes Deputy Andy to go see Mariah at her new ramshackle home – Andy has it on good authority that Mariah is basically a witch but Mort tells him to calm down. Things do not improve when Mariah invites them inside and they spot a black cat and cauldron bubbling away with dry ice steam billowing out of it. Back at the sheriff’s office they fill in JB on the latest and despite JB telling Andy she saw Mariah buying cleaning products at the hardware store Andy is convinced she’s a witch. Mariah might claim she was home all night cleaning, but Penelope told Lisa Tuttle who told Sharon Goldsmith who told Andy’s wife that she saw Mariah out walking by herself dressed in black every midnight.  Clearly, a witch.

TEA-QUILA

TEA-QUILA

Undeterred by all the rumour-mongering in town, Mariah’s next stop is to see Nate the insurance agent (remember him) to ask about getting some fire insurance. It is an old house after all. Nate would be delighted to stop by and assess the property, and maybe afterwards they could get di-

“And a history of the place would be great.” Mariah continues. “Any old fire would have affected the structure of the property.”

Nate would love to help out there, but the company doesn’t like giving that information out, plus no one has lived there for 20 years so any files on the property would probably be in the shed behind his house but like he said, company policy. Mariah thanks him anyway and goes to leave – but finds Lydia Winthrop at the door. She was hoping to have a word with Nate about increasing her insurance after the break-in the other night.

Later, Jess bumps into Seth chivalrously  helping Mariah load paint into the back of her car. Seth can’t have his leading lady doing her back a week before opening night, and Jess says she’ll remember that the next time she’s shovelling snow. She asks Mariah what she’s up to, and Mariah says she wants to do it all up like the old photos. Jess asks which photos and Mariah says you know, photos of old Victorian houses.

Flagrant cover-up aside, JB cautions Mariah to store them somewhere safe, they are highly flammable.

Now what do you think we’re going to cut to?

Well I'll be damned.

Well I’ll be damned.

The fire in question is taking hold of – wait for it – Nate Parson’s shed. The next day the fire chief tells Mort that some sort of chemical was involved, and when Mort asks what was in the shed  Nate’s wife interrupts to say it doesn’t matter, it was definitely deliberate, she saw a pentagram on the door.

Mort really has no time for this witch business.

Mort really has no time for this witch business.

Penelope pops up again to remind everyone that Rebecca Abbott said she would return in storm and fire and death, and that Mariah Osborne arrived in town during a storm, and now there’s been a fire, so unless she’s very much mistaken, Mort’s problems are just the beginning.

That night, dress rehearsals are underway. Seth’s worried Mariah’s forgotten her script but she tells him not to worry, she’s memorised it. So well in fact, that when they rehearse the courtroom scene where Lydia’s character accuses Mariah’s character of bewitching her husband, she manages to insert a big speech about how Goody Butler is a small-minded bitter woman whose soul is as barren as-.

Lydia is outraged. Seth is outraged. That’s not in the script! Mariah tells them she read a transcript of another account of the trial and thought it would add to the character. Lydia storms out, and Seth declares a break. Willard Clinton (remember him?) wanders over for a chat, and they get a bit of a flirt on, much to the disgust of Penelope and Lydia. After rehearsal, Willard finds a note on his car from “Rachel” asking to meet the “magistrate” at 10pm. He returns at the appointed time, and starts looking for Mariah/Rachel. Rose petals fall down from the bell tower so he starts to climb. At the top, he sees a familiar looking shadow, right before it pushes him out the window to his death.

I wondered when we were getting to the murder part of this show.

JB wanders down to see whether Mort had it under control and finds him slightly panicked. He’s starting to worry that the town might have been right about Mariah. He shows JB the letter. Jess reminds him that Rachel Abbott and Mariah Osborne are two completely different people. Mort tells her she knows that, and he knows that but he wonders if Mariah knows that. They visit her at home and she tells them she swears she didn’t kill Willard. She gladly offers a handwriting sample and gets JB to retrieve a notebook for the task. JB starts poking around and finds a scrapbook with a newspaper article about the trial of Monica Walker, and a photo of Monica standing next to a boat.

JB is on the case you guys. She goes to the courthouse to find the court documents but is told all the files are missing. Curious, says JB. She’s also been to the Gazette office and all their records for 1967 are missing – could the trial have happened then. The court clerk tells her it did.

With all the usual sources gone, JB has one card left. After feeding Seth full of homecooked goodness, she pesters him for information about Monica Walker. He tells a sad tale – she was working as a secretary for Charles and Lydia Winthrop but then was convicted of stealing a diamond necklace. She went to prison for five years and then upon release sold the house and left town never to return.

JB decides a call on the Winthrop’s is in order. She finds Charles hard at work on a model boat, sad he can’t go sailing on his own boat until his leg heals. Lydia tells him she did warn him about the builders re-varnishing the stairs. They heard all about what happened to Willard from Nate Parsons, and there’s no doubt in their minds Mariah did it. They won’t feel safe until she’s been arrested and until then they are bumping up security and getting a new safe for Lydia’s jewellery. JB takes the opportunity to ask about the trouble Lydia had a few years earlier, and Lydia says Moncia Walker stole the necklace, she never did get it back why does JB ask?

YOU GUYS I MEAN REALLY.

YOU GUYS I MEAN REALLY.

JB leaves, but returns just in time to find Charles standing up at the fireplace. Passing no comment on his rapid recovery, JB instead asks if he remembers who the prosecutor was on the Monica Walker case. Charles nonchalantly tells Jess it was in fact Willard Clinton, right before he was appointed a judge. Jess thanks him and leaves.

Next, Jess heads over to investigate the crime scene, and is startled to find Nate Parsons doing the same thing. He tells her Willard Clinton was a client of his so he has to investigate the death. JB quickly concludes that there was no way that this was anything other than murder, and spots some long dark hairs caught in a nail. She grabs them to take to Mort, and as she leaves asks Nate if his company did the policy for the Winthrops. He confirms yes, for over 20 years.

JB drops the hairs off with Mort and is interrupted by Deputy Andy arriving to announce that the fingerprints on the Winthrop’s safe belong to Mary Lynn Walker. Everyone is taken aback, but JB obviously is unfazed. She knows why Mary Lynn has returned to Cabot Cove.

At Mariah/Mary Lynn’s house, Mariah comes clean about why she came back to town and admits to breaking into the safe to try and prove her mother was innocent. She didn’t kill Willard Clinton even if she had good reason – back in the day he offered to drop the case if Monica did certain favours for him. Mort doesn’t care and arrests her anyway.

Jess isn’t giving up though. A quick chat with the fire chief reveals that the source of the fire at Nate Parson’s house was a liquid commonly used in floor varnishing and paint removal. JB then stops by Nate Parson’s house to ask for records relating to the theft of Lydia Winthrop’s necklace, and to ask whether he had gone ahead with his planned renovations. He tells her they didn’t but they did get the floors done.

THIS EPISODE JUST KEEPS GOING.

Jess manages to find out via Seth that the hairs she found in the bell tower were from a wig, not from actual hair. This seals it for Jess but Mort is unconvinced. Only when JB manages to get the killer to confess that Mort believes it.

Let's be honest, this isn't a surprise.

Let’s be honest, this isn’t a surprise.

Guys this is what happens when you find out your husband is sneaking around with another woman, and you stage a theft to get her out of the picture, but the prosecutor who helps you stage it gets cold feet when he sees the woman’s daughter years later and so you have to kill him to shut him up really it’s the sort of thing that could happen to anyone.

Ugh. It’s a hot and stormy afternoon in Melbourne and I need a nap.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E07 – Terminal Connection

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…and so Our Heroine returned to Earth after successfully solving the murder of the captain on the space station and there was much rejoicing.

USS Cabot Cove is about to land.

USS Cabot Cove is about to land.

I kid. That isn’t a space shuttle, or a weird looking sky frog sent to destroy Earth, it is in fact a private jet belonging to Clark Blanchard, who has picked Jess up in LA to take her back to Santa Barbara to help he and his wife, children’s book author Ginny, celebrate their five year anniversary.

They arrive just in time for a polo match, and while Clark struts around on his horse being all manly JB and Ginny chow down on some picnic snacks and chat to Ginny’s son Scott, who when asked why he isn’t out playing polo with his step father declares that competing with Clark Blanchard is like having a deathwish. Wrong show to be making that declaration boy-o.

Clark drops by to wallow in his own crapulence, and request that his vice-president of operations, Greg Franklin, fill in for an injured player on the opposing team, an idea Greg doesn’t look too thrilled with. His wife Alison joins Jess and Ginny, and tells them that being vice president means doing whatever Clark says. Jess says she thinks it’s very noble for Greg to fill in for an injured opposing player and Alison says polo is a gentleman’s game -at least on the surface.

...

We read you loud and clear Alison.

The polo game kicks off and Greg ends up on the ground thanks to some Clark Blanchard mad dog skills. Ugh.

Later that night…

Or as it became known around here, "that thing we couldn't see because of all the damn clouds why isn't it summer already?"

Or as it became known around here, “that thing we couldn’t see because of all the damn clouds why isn’t it summer already?”

…the anniversary party is in full swing. Clark gives Ginny a swanky bracelet and an apology – he has to go back to LA the next day for a business meeting. Jess urges Ginny’s son Scott to dance with all da single ladies, and promptly gets hit on by local policeman Paul Stratton. Jess tells him it’s not the first time she’s been picked up by a policeman (ZING) and he demands more information, over dinner, or breakfast or a something. Meanwhile Clark is informing Dane Kenderson that he has just taken over their company, and is about to make a move on Alison (and says something about fillies liking to be ridden hard EW EW EW EW EW) before her husband Greg wanders in to ask for a dance.

Later that night, JB is kicking back and rubbing her feet when she hears loud voices. Ginny comes rushing in, her dressing gown ripped and her lip bleeding. Jess is horrified, and asks if Clark did this to her, and Ginny says it’s okay, he was drunk and she probably deserved it.

Fun fact: Sean Connery did this interview where he said that sometimes hitting  a woman is justified. So screw you Connery, you are now my least favourite Bond.

Fun fact: Sean Connery did an interview where he said that sometimes hitting a woman is justified. So screw you Connery, you are now my least favourite Bond. (You can find it on Youtube but I’m not going to link to it, because of course the comments section makes me want to set something on fire)

Ginny asks Jess to forget the whole thing, but Jess tells her that’s not going to happen.

The next day, over breakfast, Ginny tells Jess the story of her relationship with Clark, and how he hits her when he’s had too much to drink but that he always feels so bad afterwards. She can’t help feeling that she’s done something wrong.

“It’s not your fault Ginny. It’s a sickness. It’s Clark’s sickness. Your only fault is in allowing it to continue. I’m not going to try and tell you what to do, because I’m not an expert on wife battery and there are people who are trained in these matters, but I’m going to tell you something very plainly. There are only two things you can do – seek professional advice or leave the relationship.”

SHE IS THE BEST.

SHE IS THE BEST.

That evening Ginny and JB have dinner and run into Greg and Alison Franklin. JB thinks everyone has dinner early in Santa Barbara but Greg says he’s had a phone call from Clark and he has to get a flight up to San Francisco. Alison asks Ginny to tell Clark to stop working Greg so hard, but Ginny says Clark doesn’t listen to her on business matters. Later that night, when JB is getting ready for bed, she sees Ginny drive in and come running up the stairs.

The next morning, Scott is at Clark’s beach house(?) (for some reason), and finds the door open, blood everywhere, including on a handbag, and the body of Clark Blanchard sitting in the car. Down at the police station Lieutenant Stratton takes charge of the investigation and calls Scott and Ginny in. He tells them the handbag they found was Ginnys and asks her what happened, since Clark was supposed to be in Los Angeles. Ginny tells them she went round to the beach house to get a book she wanted to read, Clark was there and she only stayed a few minutes. She must have left the purse behind then.

JB takes herself down to the crime scene, and Stratton runs her through it – from what they can tell, someone came up from the beach, whacked Clark with the fireplace poker and left his body in the car. Meanwhile, Ginny tells company lawyer Margo Saunders what she couldn’t tell Lieutenant Stratton – that Clark had been drinking, and that when she arrived he accused her of following him and then hit her when she said she would call the police. Margo says that isn’t enough, they will have a better shot if they plead self-defence (Clark deserved it anyway). Lieutenant Stratton arrives and arrests Ginny on suspicion of murder.  Across town, Dane Kenderson pops into Alison’s house to tell her that unless Greg supports his bid to get control of the Blanchard company, he will tell Greg about Alison’s affair with Clark.

The more I think about this more confused I am. And I’m not even kidding, two famous people have died since I started writing this post. 2016 is out for blood.

JB is determined to proof Ginny didn’t kill Clark and goes down to the precinct to talk to Lieutenant Stratton about it, but he won’t listen unless she agrees to lunch with him at the polo club. Jesus, calm down dude. Jess asks him if he knew about Clark hitting Ginny and he says he didn’t know until Margo told him, and it will definitely help her defense although it would help more if she’d made a complaint against him. The trouble is the evidence suggests that Ginny left Clark to die without calling for help.

Jessica’s next stop is Ginny and Scott. Scott believes Ginny will get off, and when Jess tells him she doesn’t think Ginny killed Clark he is quick to name a whole list of people who hated Clark, including Dane Kenderson. Ginny is apologising for everything, but when Jessica tries to ask her if Ginny is covering for someone else, Margo apperates and orders Ginny not to say another word – in case Jess gets called to testify.

In light of Scott’s theory, Jess goes to see Dane Kenderson, who she finds sneakily rummaging through files in the Blanchard office.

And for once it isn't Grady.

And for once it isn’t Grady.

Kenderson tells her that yes he is in a better position now that Clark is dead, but that he was on the phone to Toyko all night the night of the murder, and that frankly if they want to investigate someone they should look into Greg Franklin in case he found out that Clark was banging his wife (paraphrasing). Jessica says that she thought Greg was in San Francisco, but Dane says that’s not what he heard.

Jess reports her findings to Stratton, but he tells her Margo is down at the DA’s office organising Ginny’s plea deal, so it doesn’t really matter whether Greg Franklin has a motive or Dane Kenderson was really on the phone. Scott Blanchard bursts in and announces that he killed Clark and to let his mother go.

JB and Stratton don’t believe him, and head back to the beach house to look for more clues. JB is beginning to develop a theory regarding what happened – it seems that someone might have come to the beach house after Ginny left, there was a struggle, Clark got hit with a poker, and then the killer took Clark to his car, but Clark died. A quick hit of the redial button on the beachhouse phone confirms JB”s theory.

That old tale.

That old tale.

So it was a case of self defence after all. It was just the mistress, not the wife.

And so Our Heroine returned to Cabot Cove after successfully solving the murder of the pond scum who got drunk and beat women and there was much rejoicing.

Later Fletcherfans

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E06 – Judge Not

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Welcome to New Orleans (one of my most favourite places in all the world), where JB has jetted in for the funeral of Jazz musician John Coop, the husband of JB’s old friend Melinda Coop. After the service and and the second line (New Orleans funerals and Irish wakes are how people should be remembered – with dancing and drinking), the mourners adjourn to the wake portion of the festivities for MOAR MUSIC and MOAR DRINKING at the home of John and Melinda Coop. Melinda tries to introduce JB to her son, John Jr, but he is not in the mood, saying that his father wasn’t a saint. Instead, Melinda introduces her to her mother-in-law, Emma Coop who hurls sass at Our Heroine before issuing an omen – there’s a storm coming.

(With all the celebrity deaths in 2016, I'm not even kidding I'm holding my breath until December 31)

I’m looking forward to having a funeral for 2016 to be honest.

Another mourner, Andy Henley aka Walter Peck from Ghostbusters, offers his condolences to Coop Jr, saying that Coop Sr was proud to know his son was a respected police officer, but Coop Jr says he doesn’t think his father had any respect for police officers – or attorneys for that matter. Melinda explains to JB that Senior and Junior clashed all their lives, and that when Coop Jr was 19 he ran off to the marines before joining the police force.

JB and Melinda catch up with Coop’s bass player Jack Lee Johnson, who tells JB he has a club now, full of old John Coop memorabillia. Melinda says she’s got a whole heap of stuff she’d like to give him to create a bit of a memorial, and Andy Henley wanders past to offer his help, while telling JB he’s a great admirer of her work. As he departs, Melinda explains that he was always called the Judges boy, but now he’s a prosecutor and practically a judge himself.

And then the non-metaphorical storm hits. Because Emma knows, you guys. Emma knows.

Cut to an old white dude drinking a cocktail and watching the television.

It's 7:45am and now I want a mojito I AM TOO SUGGESTIBLE GODDAMN IT TV

It’s 7:45am and now I want a mojito I AM TOO SUGGESTIBLE GODDAMN IT TV

Later that night, Emma, Melinda, JB, and someone else drive over to Jack Lee’s club to see his memorabilia stash but find the place trashed and Jack Lee dead on the floor. The NOPD are called, and conveniently it’s Coop Junior who takes the case. JB thinks Jack hasn’t been dead for very long, and most most likely strangled. Coop shows her a mark on Jack’s neck, which his partner thinks is from a rope with a knot in it being used to strangle him but both JB and Junior think the shape is too perfect for a knot.

“This family has been living on borrowed time for twenty years, and now the Devil will have his due.” Announces Emma.

DOOOOOOOOOM and so forth.

DOOOOOOOOOM and so forth.

Later that week, Melinda and JB are at the soon-to-be-opened Museum of Rhythm and Blues when Melinda gets a phone call from a shady character saying she has something that belongs to him, and he wants it back. He hangs up before Jessica can scold him, and Melinda tells her that she’s been getting lots of calls at home as well. Someone wants something but she has no idea what they are talking about.

JB asks Melinda what Emma’s warning was about, and Melinda guesses she was talking about Luna Santee – a jazz singer who recorded once with Coop Senior and was murdered, twenty years earlier. Before she can go on they hear a noise – the lights go out and one of those automatic pianos kicks in. A shadowy figure quietly departs.

DUN DUN.

The next day JB is down at the precinct giving her statement and wanders past Junior’s desk to ask why he hasn’t been returning her calls. Junior tells her he’s busy and that she should just go home and leave them in peace. She’s no longer needed here.

JB takes no crap from no body, especially not cops with daddy issues.

JB takes no crap from no body, especially not cops with daddy issues.

JB informs Junior that Melinda can tell her when she is no longer needed and she will make her own travel arrangements. Outside the precinct she bumps into Andy Henley, who tells her it’s much too dangerous to walk at a New York pace in a Southern town, they’re all much more languid. He requests to escort her on a tour of his New Orleans.

JB looks like she's going to be sick...

JB looks like she’s going to be sick…

Despite that reaction, JB agrees to meet Andrew Henley for a twilight trip around the city, and so departs in a horse and carriage because that is how Our Heroine rolls.

Meanwhile, Junior gets a phone call from the same mysterious voice as his mother. Instead of hanging up, he agrees to leave what the caller wants at the cemetery the next night. The caller warns Junior not to look back when he walks away.

Over coffee and beignets, JB asks Andrew Henley about Luna Santee. He tells her he didn’t know her that well, just saw her sing with Coop Senior’s band a couple of times but then she was strangled to death (he also calls her a beautiful woman of colour, and don’t even start me on how awkward that was). He changes the subject to his recent weight loss, and then offers to show JB his family home/plantation, which features, as it happens, a secret room.

g2

NO ANDY. JUST NO.

NO ANDY. JUST NO.

Andy shows JB a secret room with a bed and a large self portrait of Andy’s father, aka Old White Man Drinking Cocktail. JB notices Andy is wearing his father’s ring, Andy tells her he gave it to him when Andy passed the bar. He offers to show Jess more paintings but Jess insists on getting back to Melinda, because too much of Andy is too much.

On the way hone, JB asks the Coop’s driver Gene what he remembers about Luna Santee, but all he will say is that she was a witch. Meanwhile, Coop Junior goes to meet the mysterious phone caller. He leaves an envelope in the door of one of the tombs as instructed and lies in wait. When a man comes to the tomb and finds the envelope empty, Coop yells freeze. Shots are exchanged, and the shadowy figure runs away.

Meanwhile, JB gets back to her hotel to discover she’s been burgled. The next day a lieutenant arrives to take her statement and to tell JB about Coop Junior’s shooting adventure the night before. They are soon joined by the Henley’s, who are horrified about JB’s treatment in New Orleans. JB takes the opportunity to ask Henley Senior about the case, and he says all he can remember is that Coop Senior was the only suspect, since Luna was Coop Senior’s mistress, but he wondered whether Coop Junior might have had something to do with it. In the end, Coop Senior had an unshakeable alibi, Coop Junior turned out to be an exemplary police officer. Henley Senior suggests coffee and beignets. “Come!” Says Henley Junior. “The Henley’s will calm all your fears and slay all your dragons.”

WAT.

Coop Junior is conducting his own investigation. He asks Gene where he was the night of Jack’s death and Gene tells him he was driving Jessica back to her hotel. Coop Junior tells him he knows  Gene’s mother’s maiden name was Santee, but then Emma appears wanting to know why Junior is asking about the witch. It becomes clear that Coop is convinced that his father killed Luna, but Emma says Senior’s heart got broke, Junior walked out, people died, and it was all because of the witch. Junior goes in to ask questions, but his mother said he should have asked his father when he was alive. Long (and I do mean long) story short, Junior walked in on Senior with Luna the day before Luna died, but Melinda swears that Senior was with her the night that Luna died.

Down at the precinct Junior’s lieutenant wants to know what went on at the cemetery but Junior simply says he will reveal all in a couple of days. The lieutenant tells him he is suspended pending an investigation and Coop Junior departs in a storm of flung paperwork.

Coop decides to go to the club to look for clues, and after hearing weird noises, finds JB doing the same thing.

Dammit I should have something for this

Dammit I should have something for this

Junior finally reveals that he inherited a recording and a letter from his father, that seemed to indicate that his father knew what happened to Luna but it’s in code. Junior and Jessica listen to the song, and discover a reference to Easy Street, where Senior had an apartment, which was also where Luna was killed. Inside, they find a painting of Luna. Jess recognises the room Luna’s in as the secret room at the Henley plantation. They realise that the painting was hidden away as an insurance policy all these years just as the killer arrives.

Surprise! Not Old White Man of Death!

Surprise! Not Old White Man of Death!

JB knew it all along – there was no way Andy could have seen Luna smile unless he’d met her personally, she never sang live with Coop and the band, only recorded. Andy, who knew his father was devastated when Luna dumped him for Coop Senior, took matters into his own hands, and then killed Jack Lee when he was trying to find the painting.

And there it is Fletcherfans. Let us leave JB partying on in Bourbon Street, with the rest of the gang. And if anyone wants to pay for me to visit New Orleans I wouldn’t object. I suspect it looks a lot different to when I was there in 2006.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E05 – Lines of Excellence

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

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

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

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

YOU GUYS I LIKE WHERE THIS IS GOING.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Exactly.” Says Derek.

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

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

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

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

This whole blog has been leading up to this moment…

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

The Queen has no time for self-pity.

The Queen has no time for self-pity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

INCOMING

k2

INCOMING PARTY WOMEN ACTIVATE CLOAKING DEVICE

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

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

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

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

I will never get tired of this.

I will never get tired of this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing but lol.

Nothing but lols with the lieutenants.

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

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

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

Ouch.

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

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

Seriously Susan, what the hell?

Seriously Susan, what the hell?

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

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

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

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

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

The first of many, no doubt.

The first of many, no doubt.

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

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

Cue the entrance of the party women.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

 

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