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S11E19 – School For Murder

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We’ve officially said goodbye to ‘Tonight on Murder She Wrote’ which is all very well and good but I’m still a bit sad about it.

Anyway, welcome to St Crispins School For White Kids, where a couple of kids called Mike Seresino and Sarah Tyler are stealing a bust of William Shakespeare because of course they are.

Ethan Embry is adorable, and now I need to watch Empire Records again.

While Sarah seemingly gets away, Mike gets busted by a teacher nicknamed The Creeper and dragged off to the office.

After the credits, we stumble into a meeting of the Prometheus Society, which is apparently a secret society run by more rich white kids, lead by a guy who is clearly a douche. I’ve watched this part about a dozen times because one of the extras looks like she’s going to continue chanting but closes her mouth when everyone else stops.

Stupid things that make me laugh #4709

Sarah is worried about Mike being busted by The Creeper but the Leader, Colin Forbes, tells her not to worry, the Prometheans protect their own, even those who are just pledging to join.

Cut to the only class I want to be in…

Excuse me while I just go shout “It’s not chowdurrrrr it’s CHOWDA!” at the cat.

Mike arrives at the class late and later tells Sarah and Colin that his disciplinary meeting has been pushed back to the afternoon. JB congratulates him on his essay and asks what’s wrong – he tells her it’s nothing a miracle won’t fix. The English class’s actual teacher, Harry Matthews explains that he’s pledging the Prometheus Club and it’s affecting his grades. It turns out Harry has his own situation, he’s applied for the headmaster position and will present to the board in a day.

While Mike and Sarah worry about the outcome of the meeting, Harry bumps into his ladyfriend Claire Vickers, who tells him someone else has dropped out of the race to be headmaster. Unfortunately, his main competition, Claire’s ex, James Ryerson is still in the race and has a few words to say on the topic.

Later that afternoon music teacher Irv Tripler alerts Harry to some papers he’s found in the printer – somehow James Ryerson has found Harry’s presentation to the board and made it his own, with a few choice additions. Harry thinks the culprit is obvious but Irv tells him he saw the Creeper creeping around, and Jess finds cigar ash in Harry’s drawer. Case closed, it was the Creeper.

Ryerson conducts a lecture on Sun Tzu, which Colin sleeps through. When Ryerson confronts him about it later, Colin tells him to chillax, it won’t matter if it’s Harry or him who is the new headmaster, his grandfather is best mates with school director Dr. Myles Purcell, so none of it matters. Ryerson tells Colin if he fails the next history exam Ryerson will look forward to having a chat with his grandfather all about it.

JB pays a visit on school director Purcel to plead Mike’s case, and bumps into Mort coming out of the office,

Purveyor of wildfire in Game of Thrones, which is suddenly making St Crispins way more interesting

Jess begs him not to expel Mike but his mind is made up. Mort is investigating a series of thefts on campus but Purcel has decided that Mike is the guilty one. He agrees to give Jessica a couple of days to get through to Mike.

Mike finds Sarah after his meeting with good news – he’s on lockdown, but he’s not expelled yet. Colin pops up to congratulate him and ask him to steal the history exam from Ryerson’s office. Mike tells him, no, and Sarah tells him to shove his secret society. Colin watches them walk off, looking pensive.

(That will be Nigel with the brie is one of my favourite lines from 10 Things I Hate About You)

Later, Harry confronts The Creeper about helping Ryerson steal his presentation but Avery denies everything. Mort steps in to calm it all down and is a bit pensive when they both walk away without explaining what the altercation was about.

This is also the face I just made when I discovered that next year 10 Things I Hate About You will be 20 years old Jesus Christ what is time

That night there is a staff and student social, which sounds like the most lit party ever in history. Harry confronts Ryerson about stealing his ideas, and Colin confronts Mike about not stealing the exam – if he doesn’t do it, a stolen laptop is going to appear in Mike’s things with his fingerprints on it. A group of guests convince Irv to play his classic hit from Ye Olde Times, and Jess is loving it until she spots Mike across the room – she wants a word. Sarah’s informed her that Colin is trying to get Mike to run another errand for him but Mike won’t discuss it and walks off. Later, after Colin trips him over Sarah offers to help and he tells her to leave him alone.

Later, Claire begs Ryerson to withdraw from consideration for the headmaster gig, but Ryerson will only agree to it if she starts sleeping with him again. Wouldn’t you know it, Harry walks by just in time to hear Claire agree to his demands.

Awkward.

What does this chick have beer flavoured nipples?

The next day tensions are high in the teacher’s lounge. Harry is refusing to answer his phone when Jess arrives, so she does it for him and lets him know Purcel wants to see him immediately. Ryerson asks if he needs to go to, but it’s just Harry. During class, an announcement over the PA reveals what the meeting was about – Purcel announces that Ryerson is going to be the next headmaster.

Guys, it’s been a long year, we all just need to survive as best we can.

Claire finds Harry down by his car drinking his feelings after being knocked back for his dream job (relatable). Claire assures him she never slept with Ryerson and that it will be okay, but Harry tells her Purcell voted for Ryerson and there’s not a huge demand for worn out old hasbeens at other schools. He drives away.

(Life lessons from the desk of Kat Stratford)

That night Mort drops around JB’s house to chat about all the stolen things from the school (including a laptop) and asks if JB has spoken to Mike yet, which she hasn’t. She’s been busy listening to a recording of Irv’s song ‘Love Is Like This’ which was a favourite of hers and Franks’s. (Helpful camera zoom on the album cover).

Over at St Crispin’s Sarah tries to talk Mike out of breaking in to steal the exam but he’s on a mission. The mission gets aborted, however, when they break in only to find Ryerson lying dead on the floor. They bolt, and a shadow passes over the body.

The next day Cabot Cove PD are all over it – apparently, Avery was the one who discovered the body. Irv wants to get in to retrieve something for work but that’s not happening until CSI Cove are done. Mort gets a phone call from Jessica – Harry has just turned up at her house. While he sobers up with cups of coffee, he tells Mort that he basically drank himself to sleep at about midnight and at some point grazed his knuckles. It doesn’t look great for old Harry.

Jess and Mort do a spot of investigating at the school and turn up a tiny metal object which Jessica identifies as being from a tiny bicycle, which Mort is perplexed about. Meanwhile, Colin gives the stolen laptop back to Mike, wiped clean of prints. Mike’s confused about this sudden bout of generosity, but apparently, a bunch of Ryerson’s papers went missing and so everyone’s passing history this term.

Sarah is summoned to the Sheriff’s office, where Jessica returns her broken bike charm. She admits to being in the office and says that she was there to steal the exam, but Mike steps in and says no, it was him, he broke in, all this is on him. Mort tells him one of his fingerprints was found but it’s the darndest thing the missing laptop got returned unharmed, Mort’s got bigger fish to fry now.

Back at St Crispin’s, Purcel is apologising to Harry about ever offering the job to Ryerson and hopes that Harry will accept the gig anyway. Harry is delighted to until Mort wanders in to inform them that Ryerson’s missing papers have just turned up, complete with blood smears, in Harry’s locker.

Down at the sheriff’s office, Mort is defending his theory to JB, who has suddenly become interested in police folder colours because apparently, Ryerson was hiding one the other day.  Jessica has another theory, that the killer was still in the room when Mike and Sarah broke in. Mort suddenly remembers that Mike and Sarah told him that Colin claimed to have seen them looking like scared rabbits on the night of the murder, and so orders a search warrant of Colin’s room, which reveals the exam paper and a blue police folder. Colin tells him he went in after seeing Mike and Sarah run away, grabbed the papers but dropped then when he saw the dead body. He took them again when he realised his prints were on them, but stashed most of them in Harry’s locker except the exam paper and a blue police folder…

…which turns out to be on Dr Myles Purcel, who got drunk and ran over a kid many years ago. Ryerson somehow found out about it and blackmailed Purcel into giving him the headmaster job. Mort assures him that the folder will go back into storage where it belongs, and sees him out. Mort is about to head back to the sheriff’s office to continue questioning Colin when JB suddenly has a thought.

(Also she’s worked out who the killer is)

Speaking of…

(Now, I know Shakespeare’s a dead white guy, but he knows his shit, so we can overlook that.)

The real Irv Tripler, it turns out, died sixteen years earlier and this guy has been getting around as him ever since. Ryerson found out (having seen the real one in concert) and blackmailed him into stealing Harry’s presentation. Once he was named headmaster he was going to cut the music department completely so Irv/Joey Mallo killed him with a platinum record.

And so it goes, Fletcherfans.

Later gang!

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S08E09 – The Committee

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Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB is signing ALL THE BOOKS for her adoring fans. That comes to an end however, when Jess’s old friend Winston Devermore appears to take her to dinner.

And I think we should just all pause and reflect on her outfit for a minute.

I MEAN COME ON.

I MEAN COME ON.

Winston has an ulterior motive for inviting JB to dinner though. He wants her to come speak at the Avernus Club, a men-only club for rich white dudes, in the hopes that it might persuade members to finally allow women into the club. Would she be interested?

THIS IS WHAT SHE'S BEEN TRAINING FOR HER WHOLE LIFE

THIS IS WHAT SHE’S BEEN TRAINING FOR HER WHOLE LIFE

Meanwhile, somewhere else in New York, fellow Club member Lawrence Cayle is pissing off people left and right, including but not limited to Gerald Innsmouth, who he has screwed out of a business deal. When he complains to Lawrence, he says hashtag get over it, it’s just business etc etc, but his assistant/brother Theo quietly tells Gerald that he’s not the only Avernus Club member mad at Lawrence.

JB’s reading is naturally a success, thanks largely in part to her outfit:

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HER FASHION GAME THIS EPISODE IS JUST MAGNIFICENT.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HER FASHION GAME THIS EPISODE IS JUST MAGNIFICENT.

Winston brings some of his friends to come and greet the Queen herself, including Avernus Club president Philip Arkham, and new member Edward Dunsany (vineyard owner) who says that a guest speaker from the distaff gender was well overdue.

Distaff, while sounding like a nasty infection requiring antibiotics, is actually a noun that means "of or relating to women". It also means the stool used to sit on when spinning wool, or women's work. Blergh.

Distaff, while sounding like a nasty infection requiring antibiotics, is actually a noun that means “of or relating to women”. It also means the stool used to sit on when spinning wool, or women’s work. Blergh.

Philip tells her she made more sense than Hemmingway and departs, as does Dunsany when he sees Lawrence Cayle making a move on his wife. He busts up the little flirt fest and tells his wife to get her coat and Cayle to stay away from her. Cayle tells him to tell that to his wife, she’s a good year and he can’t keep her locked in his wine cellar forever. YES YOU COMPARED HIS WIFE TO A BOTTLE OF WINE CONGRATULATIONS.

As Jess and Winston are getting ready to leave, a young man delivers an envelope to Winston. Inside is a key and a note that says midnight. Later, when Winston returns to the house he finds the rest of the gang – Arkham, Dunsany, Harcourt, Gerald Innsmouth – all there. Arkham says they were wondering where he was and Winston tells him he got held up, but that he wants no part of this. This, it turns out, is the matter of what to do with Lawrence Cayle. Gerald rants about how much it’s cost him now that Gerald has squeezed him out of his business deal, but Arkham tells him to calm down. He’s not the only one Cayle has pissed off, they need to decide what the consequences will be. Another club member, Harcourt Fenton, asks why they need to sanction him at all, why can’t they just kick him out, but Arkham says they never know when they might need him, although Edward’s report about Cayle and his wife is at best inappropriate (which Edward thinks is lowballing it a bit).

Let's get to drinking!

Let’s get to drinking!

Arkham orders that a vote be cast to decide if Cayle should be sanctioned and summons Philip’s assistant Lisa Sutton in to collect the votes – a black marble means sanction, a white marble means no sanction. The votes are in – Cayle is being voted off the island. Harcourt says he’s had enough of this and leaves.

Arkham isn’t done though – a new vote must happen, to decide who enforces the will of the committee. Whomever catches the snitch selects the gold marble will be in charge of doling out punishment. Lisa trots around the table with a bag, and each member grabs a marble out of the bag. “The selection has been made.” Intones Akham. “Now let’s never speak of this again.”

The next night, Jess is out to dinner with Winston when the Cayle’s pop in. While Winston and Lawrence have a heated discussion in the corner, Lawrence’s brother Theo tries to distract JB, who is having none of it but is unable to find out what the deal is. The following day, at a shooting party, Lawrence confronts Arkham about the secret meeting but Arkham tells him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That night at a party, Jess meets a bedraggled Lisa Sutton, caught out in the rain, while Lawrence Cayle gets an envelope with a key and a note that says midnight. Jess and Winston are on the way out when Winston asks the valet where Theo Cayle is – he’s not sure but he thinks he just left as his car is gone.

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That awkward moment when you realise the shadowy figure isn't there to hug you.

That awkward moment when you realise the shadowy figure isn’t there to hug you.

Jess comes in the next morning as soon as she hears but Winston doesn’t know much. He introduces JB to the investigating officer, Lieutenant Tartarus, who tells her she won’t get much of a story – Cayle was shot with a shotgun, they’ll just test the club members for gun shot residue and see who the guilty party is. Jess points out there was a trap shooting competition there yesterday so everyone will test positive. Tatartus is not pleased. He departs, and Jess asks Winston why he wanted her there so urgently, and a minion appears to let them know the rest of the committee is in the drawing room.

“Let me get this straight,” Jess says. “You all voted to sanction Lawrence Cayle 4-1, someone was chosen to be the enforcer and now he’s dead?

This is exactly the sort of shenanigans that will happen when you let rich old white men form clubs.

This is exactly the sort of shenanigans that will happen when you let rich old white men form clubs.

Arkham asks her to try and solve who killed Cayle so that they’re off the hook, or if it was one of them, that they can get out in front of it before the police find out. JB agrees, thinking it’s a little odd that she’s being hired by the group that almost certainly has a killer as a member. Dunsany doesn’t see the funny side and leaves. Harcourt says to Jess she’s got her work cut out for her.

This is not an unfamiliar state of being for JB.

This is not an unfamiliar state of being for JB.

JB wastes no time and so she and Winston head over to House Cayle, arriving just as Harcourt Fenton is departing. Jess tells Winson she thinks she should talk to Theo Cayle alone, and so he leaves her there. Before he drives off, he calls Harcourt asking to meet him that afternoon at 4pm.

Inside, Theo tells Jess he has no idea who killed his brother – they were always a great team. Jess doesn’t want to take up too much of his time, but Theo offers to drive her back to town. As he adjusts the car seat, she asks him why Harcourt had been to see him but he says he was just offering condolences.

Across town, Lieutenant Tatartus informs Arkham that he has found out about the vote, and that the Club is set to inherit a whole wad of money from Cayle’s will. Arkham’s response is to hand the phone over – the commissioner is on the phone.

Later, Winson and Harcourt are in Harcourt’s car when Harcourt realises he has no brakes – and the car goes off into a ravine. Winston survives, but Harcourt doesn’t make it. JB goes to see him in the hospital and he tells her they were on their way to see Philip to tell him they needed to come clean to the police. Winston is pretty out of it and starts saying he didn’t even want to sanction Lawrence, he was the only one who voted not to. 1 white marble, 4 black…

The doctor says the sedatives are kicking in and asks them all to go outside. A nurse pops up to tell him that someone has broken into Winston’s locker and stolen his clothes, and that another locker that had contained Harcourt’s things had been broken into but nothing taken, as Harcourt’s belongings had already been sent to the morgue. JB thinks they’d better have a look at them so they head on down to the coroners office. Amongst his things they find a black marble. Tartarus doesn’t see the significance but Our Heroine does and they have a taxi company to find.

Later that day, midnight notes are sent to the Committee and they assemble in the boardroom. Lisa Sutton and Theo Cayle are also in attendance. Jess explains her discovery – two people voted white, Winston and Harcourt. The only solution is that someone pre-rigged the vote, and that someone was Lisa.

But, Fletcherfans, she’s not the killer! It turns out someone paid her ten thousand dollars to rig the vote, and there’s no way Lisa’s going down without taking them down with her…

Spoiler alert: My friend's cat makes this face almost constantly.

Spoiler alert: My friend’s cat makes this face almost constantly.

Ah yes. Everyone was sick of Lawrence’s behaviour, but someone had to put up with it a little longer than everyone else.

Case closed! And with Winston out of hospital he wants to thank Jess the only way he knows how.

With dinner.

In Scotland.

Tonight.

See you soon Fletcherfans!

See you soon Fletcherfans!