Welcome to Rome Fletcherfans, where a movie set in the deserts of Texas is being shot for tax reasons probably. The director, Monte Hayes, is a slave driver, his ex-wife is the lead star and his son is a stuntman in training, but the person sent in to clean up the script is pretty rad.

Jessica saves the day again.

While Monte rages around the place, the producer Boyce Brown convinces Jessica it’s all going to be fine, except he has money problems and someone keeps stealing things. He ducks off to have a quiet word to the leading man Rex Toland about his garlic breath in the love scene.

Monte’s son and wannabe stuntman Gary Hayes gets his flirt on with one of the production assistants Adriana Bonelli before Rex steps in, confidence doubled now that he’s got breath spray. In her trailer, Gary’s mother Kate Danbury chats with her agent Jake Farber about getting Monte off the movie, before she is summoned to the set.  Boyce meets with a familiar face about the recent spate of thefts on set.

Last seen here, still as dashing as ever.

Inspector Amati is investigating the thefts but is also very confused that the movie is based on a JB Fletcher book set in Chicago, but is being filmed in Italy to look like Texas. Tax reasons m’dude. Boyce gets a call from script editor Lucy Hendrix to let him know that the movie backer has just arrived – pasta tycoon (and Adriana’s father) Raimondo Bonelli. He assures Boyce that their financial troubles will be over by Thursday,

The rehearsal with Kate Danbury, Rex and Monte descends into a shouting match and Gary feels bad about it but Jessica assures him none of it is his fault. Later, Monte tells his son that basically he wanted a wife and got an actress, and Kate wanted a husband and got a director and that’s why it all went wrong. He also asks if Gary knows anything about the thefts, on account of that trouble he got into at school but Gary is outraged even at the thought.

Raimondo gets a phone call from a shady character by the name of Tomaso Cirullio, who is very unhappy that he was unable to get on set after-hours the previous night. Raimondo assures him it was an accident, the security was meant to be turned off. Tomaso tells him he will try again tonight but Raimondo says no, there’s a construction crew, it will have to be tomorrow. He hangs up and drives away. Jessica watches all this go down and notices a business card fall from Raimondo’s pocket. Tomaso Cirullio seems to be a loan shark.

Monte, Gary and stunt gaffer Webb Prentiss go over a stunt for the next day’s shoot, involving a car chase. Webb says it will look flashy but it will be safe, so Monte suggests Gary does it. Webb is surprised but agrees as long as it’s alright with Monte. Gary takes off to celebrate and Webb offers to film it with the second unit so Monte can focus on other things, but Monte informs him there is no second unit, he will direct every foot of this film. Webb tells him that isn’t what Boyce promised him and Monte tells him to take it up with Boyce then.

That night, someone takes to something with a blowtorch. MYSTERIOUS.

In the morning, Jess meets with Boyce who is stressed out of his gourd and wants JB to talk to Kate about stopping her crusade to get Monte fired. JB tells him Kate said she would if he apologised. Boyce throws his hands up and moves on to stressing about the thefts, which makes Jess think of a certain loan shark she’s just become aware of.

Over on a sound stage Gary lures his parents into a room and begs them just to talk for 30 seconds, and it nearly works. JB bumps into Tomaso Cirullio skulking around the set and pretends to be Raimond’s secretary Dominique, complete with Outrageous Italian Accent.

I did think at one point she was South African, but I’ve got heat insanity again so who knows.

Jake Farber wanders into Kate’s dressing room to tell her the good news – Monte’s leaving the film. Kate fires him immediately, which seems a bit weird but it turns out Jake has been pitching Boyce replacements for Monte – and for Kate – already. Lucy comes in to tell her that Gary is doing the car stunt and Kate flips and heads straight to the set to tear Monte a new one. Gary is adamant he’s going to do it, despite Webb’s discovery that someone did a shoddy weld job on part of the stunt. Raimondo takes off. Jessica notices a container of breath spray on the ground.

Five star rating all day.

Raimondo gets on his car phone and tells Tomaso he’s received his message via the damaged stunt rig. He’s just relieved no one got hurt but Tomaso says someone still might. Raimondo promises the security system will be turned off that night.

Jess confronts Rex with the breath spray, and he tells her he was just wandering past the rig the previous night. He did see someone, but it didn’t and doesn’t make any sense since the person messing with the rig was Webb Prentiss himself.

JB rushes over to stop the stunt but it’s too late – the cars come round the corner, one goes up off the ramp but crashes into the car it was meant to clear. Everyone rushes over to check, but Gary wasn’t in the car – it was Webb.

The set shuts down. Monte tells anyone who’ll listen that this is a first for him, and Lucy Hendricks tells him to stop talking. Monte cracks the sads until JB reminds him that Lucy and Webb were a thing. Gary wanders past but isn’t interested in talking to his father either. Inspector Amati would like to know why JB thought it necessary to try and stop the stunt and she explains how she learned that Webb was the one who sabotaged the rig. Later, Amati chats to Boyce and Kate and they tell him it was Boyce’s decision to swap Gary for Webb. Amati thinks they still need to consider the possibility of murder, and given the late driver swap, they need to consider that Gary was the target. Gary himself is outside having a crisis while Adriana tells him he needs to come forward with what he saw.

JB and Amati have a chat down at the garage where the car is being examined. JB says Webb claimed all the driver needed to do was maintain a speed of 60 miles an hour and the stunt would work perfectly – but what if he only thought he was going at 60? Amati tells his men to check the speedo, and then gets a message from another colleague. Jessica’s hunch about Raimondo Bonelli has paid off.

Raimondo refuses to admit his financial situation, but Amati has the good word straight from his bank. Raimondo folds, and says he only wanted to make a movie, but he ran out of money and fell into Tomaso’s clutches. He tells it all to Amati, who manages to catch Tomaso in the act of stealing stuff off the set later that night.

The next morning, JB finds Boyce chucking it all in. He was going to beg Jake Farber to get him a deal back in America but Jake would only do it if Boyce convinced Kate not to fire Jake. JB calls BS on the whole thing and tells him he’s a bigshot he can make this work with no favours from anybody. She then finds Gary moping around the set and gets him to unload – apparently he saw Monte tinkering with the car before the stunt, and he thinks Monte tried to kill him. Monte swears it’s not true but Amati appears with the news that Monte’s fingerprints are all over the car and could he have a word?

Monte swears he had nothing to do with anything, he just lifted the hood to make sure that everything was okay because it was his son in the driver’s seat. Amati thinks it was all about revenge on his ex-wife but Monte says not possible, he’s still in love with his ex-wife. Kate overhears this and begs JB for help.

Jess watches the tape of the crash with Boyce, crunches some numbers and realises that Webb was going 50 miles an hour, not 60. Back at the police station, Amati regales JB and Kate with the story of when he was an extra in Cleopatra with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and something about the word diamonds explains the whole thing to JB.

Back at the lot, Jake tries to get his new client Rex Toland off the film, but after Boyce tells him he’s solved his money problems he changes tack and tries to offer a new director. Boyce says the only problem he has is getting Kate back to work, but Jake tells him just to threaten to take her money away, she’s broke and she needs it. Meanwhile, Gary tells Adriana that JB has solved the case and the police will be coming to take the car away the following day. Rex lurks in the background eavesdropping until Lucy shoos him away.

With the trap set, JB waits for the killer to take the bait, and sure enough –

Not my first choice. Not my second choice. This is why JB Fletcher solves crimes and I eat cheese.

Something something car talk, Lucy killed Webb because Webb killed her father four years ago to take over as the head stuntman.

Bring on the cool change you guys. There are fires that need putting out.

Later gang!

 

 

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