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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!

 

S08E02 – Night Fears

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JB is back to school Fletcherfans! It’s her first day teaching Criminology at Manhattan University, which seems entirely legitimate and the sort of thing that doesn’t sound farfetched at all.

Arriving early on her first day, Our Heroine gets a tour from the department head Dr Auerbach, and meets her fellow colleagues including this guy who you might remember from season 2:

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Wallace Evans offers most insincerely to be of all the assistance he can give to the new fascinating experiment. Turns out he used to teach the class that JB is going to be teaching and isn’t too thrilled with the new arrangement. As Auerbach escorts JB to her classroom he explains that Wallace was hoping to be made department head but that didn’t work out either. Also there’s been lots of muggings on campus so don’t stay late but I’m sure you’ll do great oh I’d better run.

(I think JB doesn't know what she's in for tbh)

(I think JB doesn’t know what she’s in for tbh)

Her first class begins and all seems to be going well. She even drops in a Hamlet quote to demonstrate a point (I love it. I had an anthropology lecturer who used to do the same thing with Monty Python clips it was awesome). This doesn’t sit well will all of the class though, NYPD Officer Morelli in particular who starts muttering away to his neighbour.

Morelli is going to regret this.

Morelli is going to regret this.

When JB asks if she can do anything for him, he says well that’s the point isn’t it? You’re a writer, I’m an NYPD detective, what can I hope to learn from you?

JB pauses, goes back to her lectern. “Well…perhaps as much as I’ve already learned from you. That for instance you had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning. Then stopped by the precinct’s target range to get in some practice.  You’ve recently given up smoking, you were born in the midwest and you’ve been married only a few months.”

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*mic drop*

*mic drop*

After class, JB heads to the cafeteria where she is accosted by one of her students, Luke Phillips.

I think we know where this is going

I think we know where this is going

It turns out Luke is actually a mechanic who just wanted to meet his idol JB, and when JB points out he should consider dropping the class and taking another he loses his mind. He’s read all her books twice, she owes him. If it wasn’t for people like him she’d still be in Cabot Cove baking brownies.

Sitting down to lunch Jess is soon joined by another student, Kevin Bryce. He’s another NYPD cop, but he was happy to see JB take Morelli down a peg or two. As they chat, Kevin reveals that he’s studying for the sergeants test again, but that he’s already failed it three times. Because Our Heroine is benevolent and wise, she offers to coach him through the test and he’s delighted. Damn right he is.

That afternoon, JB is wandering around campus when she hears sirens. She (along with half the school) go running and finds one of her students, Roslyn, being loaded into an ambulance – the latest victim of the campus mugger. JB goes to see her in hospital but Roslyn doesn’t remember much. She just knows she’s too scared to go back to school. JB tells her there are counsellors who can help her get past this, and of course if there’s anything she can do…

There is, says Roslyn. Could she catch this guy?

 

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

JB tells her that she’s only new to the university, and that the police might not appreciate her involvement in the case but she’s sure the police will have it all sorted soon. She tells Roslyn to concentrate on getting well, and that the class will still be there when she gets back  – but Roslyn says she doesn’t think she can come back, what with this monster still on campus and all.

Time passes (presumably). JB is back in class teaching away when Wings Wallace pops in to listen to her class, bemoan the fact that JB won’t let him help, and suggest that the muggings on campus could be used as a workshop for the class to track down the guilty party.

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings Wallace tells JB that he too has read all of her books and finds them interesting – 5 people in a house, 2 get murdered, and then the killer is caught. Much like Cabot Cove – home to 3 suspects, 2 dogs and a duck.

(No seriously, who wouldn't?)

(No seriously, who wouldn’t?)

Wallace thinks he can solve the case, what about JB? Jess is horrified at the suggestion of a wager but Wallace says its an academic exercise that will benefit the students. JB suggests they take it outside, where she informs Wallace (again) that the idea of a bet to see who can solve the case the fastest is inapprorbut Wallace figured JB would jump at the chance to prove herself.

“Well I’ve found that people who think they have something to prove never succeed in doing so. ” Says JB.  (Life Lesson #63. Ooh that’s a good one).

Down at the precinct Wallace hits up Kevin for all the files on the muggings so that he can “build a profile of the suspect”. (I should point out that earlier in the episode Doctor Auerbach tells JB that Wallace was sacked off the NYPD after two years for being heavy-handed so this whole building a profile thing sounds like something he saw on an episode of LA Law or something). Kevin tells him he won’t help him take down JB, not even when Wallace threatens to fail him out of his forensics class. YOU GO KEVIN.

Wallace pops by JB’s classroom with an advanced copy of the student newspaper proclaiming the race between Wallace and JB to solve the campus muggings. JB is horrified, but Wallace thinks she should be happy – it’s publicity and that’s why she was hired – enrolments were down, money was drying up so Doctor Auerbach had a crazy idea to boost enrollments by bringing in a celebrity.

Devastated, JB goes to see Auerbach who, like every middle aged white dude, begs her to see it from his perspective. The school was desperate.  He asks her if she would have taken the job if he was upfront with her and she says absolutely not. She informs Auerbach that she will stay until a suitable replacement can be found and then she’s out. Auerbach asks her if they could just discuss it and JB says “I believe we just did.”

BOOM.

Later that night, JB is leaving the university when sirens start blaring and people start running towards the sound. JB follows and runs into Kevin, in work mode. He says the mugger has struck again, but this time it went too far and the victim died. JB asks him for everything he’s got on the case. She’s in.

Cut to JB’s New York bunker, where Jess is taking a break from helping Kevin study for his test by going over the murder. He tells her that the knife was found but also two blood types so they’re thinking the victim managed to defend himself and cause some damage to his attacker. JB wonders if the attacker ended up in hospital and Kevin says they’re checking, but that the only weird thing is that another student was hospitalised across town for a gunshot would but he can’t see how the two events might be connected.

Down at the precinct Kevin gets pulled up by his boss for providing information to JB (which frankly is a valid point as much as I love Our Heroine) and orders him to back off. Meanwhile over on campus JB has stumbled onto a message left by the killer – I am the sword of justice, death sings to me, alpha and omega.

Get a better slogan, murderous mugger guy

Points for effort, 0 points for originality.

JB recognises the reference and goes hunting in the library for the source material but before she can find the book, Luke the crazy fan pops up to tell her he’s no longer her #1 fan.

Down at the precinct, Wallace and the captain are contemplating how to proceed.

The eternal question.

The eternal question.

The captain is worried, but Wallace is all over it. It’s definitely either disgruntled former student or employee, or it’s a crazed psychopath drifter. Wallace is convinced it’s the latter, and thinks if no murder occurs in the next 72 hours then he will be proven right. The captain hopes so, but Kevin overhears and approaches Wallace. He thinks it’s too early to have a definite idea on who it is, but Wallace is unstoppable. Plus he got a letter from the killer so he’s totes a threat.

Wallace isn’t the only penpal of the mugger, JB’s got a letter too. She goes to show it to Kevin after class but he tells her he’s under strict orders to stay out of it and stop helping JB. Undeterred, JB heads to the library to try and track down the book she thinks the mugger is quoting from. The librarian conveniently wanders away from her desk so JB can see the screen – the book was borrowed by Wallace Evans.  As JB leaves the campus for the night, someone takes a potshot at her and drives away. As the hordes come running, JB spots the Greek characters for alpha and omega on the ground.

The next day JB takes a cab out to Kevin’s place. Kevin’s not home but his mum is – they get to chatting and it’s revealed that Kevin’s father (who was a cop) got done for corruption just because everyone else in his squad was. Mrs Kevin’s Mum doesn’t want him to be a cop. Kevin arrives home and asks Jessica to a) leave and b) drop the investigation. JB says she’ll leave but she won’t drop it – someone took a potshot at her, this time it’s personal.

Kevin goes to work and tells his boss he can’t stand by any more, he’s going to help JB. The captain tells him he’s on his own, and department policy means he can’t take any documents out of the precinct. Fortunately Kevin has a way around that, as he explains to JB later. He just ordered copies from the coroner’s office and picked them up before they entered the precinct. YOU GO KEVIN.

As they go through the reports, JB notices that no skin tissue was found on the serrated knife belonging to the mugger, only blood. Furthermore, there were no fingerprints on the knife, which makes no sense if the murdered guy used it to fight his attacker. JB sees it all now. They go to find the student who was shot across town, and after some grilling get him to admit he was the mugger.

Which basically leaves only one suspect. Which I thought was obvious about 10 minutes ago, but what do I know.

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Determined to restore his fragile ego,  Wallace sets out to catch the mugger. Except when he does he decides the easiest option is to shoot him, except when he shoots the bullet goes straight through the mugger and kills the mugging victim. You stuffed that up Wallace old man. And so, to cover up his boo-boo, Wallace created the idea of a crazy hobo transient as the killer. Except JB knew better.

JB ALWAYS KNOWS BETTER.

Later gang!

Later gang!