Home

S08E15 – Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief

4 Comments

This week Fletcherfans Our Heroine has gone to London (Home of Dangermouse) to have meetings with her publishers, get some shopping done at Harrods (naturally) and have lunch with her old friend John Thurston, who works at the embassy. Never mind all that though because he is just about to introduce her to someone called Nigel Atkins but the actor’s name. You guys.

He has been in many things (including Robin Hood Men In Tights, a movie I adore) but he's about to play Doctor Frankenstein according to IMDB so let's just rejoice at that.

He has been in many things (including Robin Hood Men In Tights!) but he’s about to play Doctor Frankenstein according to IMDB and I couldn’t be more pleased about it.

Nigel Atkins, who works at the Home Office, is delighted to meet JB but is clearly running late for something and excuses himself. This suits John just fine – he has two tickets to the new Stephen Sondheim musical, would Jessica be interested?

I mean what sort of question is that really.

I mean what sort of question is that really.

While John and  JB have lunch, across town a man and woman are saying goodbye to each other. He seems annoyed at her constant shopping, she seems annoyed at his constant working. As she leaves him, a man in a bowler hat emerges from an alleyway and begins following the woman, while the man looks on smugly.

I only mention this guys because a short time later, back at the hotel, JB collects her shopping and her room key from the front desk and heads to the elevator and WHAT WERE THE ODDS THE MYSTERY LADY AND THE BOWLER HAT GET IN TOO AND GET OFF AT THE SAME FLOOR I MEAN REALLY WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING.

JB and the mystery woman go into their separate rooms (next door to each other, really the coincidences are just astonishing) but before Jessica can even put her shopping down there is a scream from next door. She rushes to the hallway and sees the mystery woman, who then turns tail and flees. Jess goes to investigate, obviously, and to her surprise finds Clement von Franckenstein  dead on the couch. She looks up to see the bathroom door gently closing.

(Sidenote: John Oliver's hashtag #JessicaFletcherIsASerialKiller made my Monday night.

(Sidenote: John Oliver’s hashtag #JessicaFletcherIsASerialKiller made my Monday night.

Jess dashes back to her room to phone the police, forgetting all about her shopping in the process. The police arrive and take Jess back to the hotel room – but the body is gone.

The case of the invisible corpse.

The case of the invisible corpse.

Inspector Stillwell and his sidekick are not impressed by Jessica’s insistence that there was a dead body, and less impressed by Jess’s ability to describe him, and not at all by the fact that she met him in the hotel lobby. “Should be careful of strange men in lobbies, even in the best hotels.” Stillwell’s sidekick says.

FLETCHER HULK HAS NO TIME FOR THIS.

FLETCHER HULK HAS NO TIME FOR THIS.

 

Thanks to the police and their lack of assistance, Jess decides to take care of business herself. She calls John but he’s not back in the office, so she goes downstairs to ask Albert at the front desk for the name of the “publishing agent” she met who was staying in the room next to hers. Albert remembers the man but is puzzled when he checks the book and discovers there’s no-one meant to be staying in that room.

Jess has already moved on though, she’s just spotted the Bowler Hat going through the lobby and so she follows him out through the kitchens to the back of the hotel. She walks past the service elevator and spots one of her shopping bags and a familiar looking shoe poking out of the garbage. Jess calls for help but there is no answer. She grabs the dead man’s wallet and goes to call Stillwell again. Stillwell’s posse arrive and find Jess’s other shopping bag but wouldn’t you know it the body’s gone again.

Stillwell politely asks Jessica if she’s taking medication.

Jess is about five seconds from beating him with her handbag.

Jess is about five seconds from beating him with her handbag.

Stillwell promises to return the wallet to the owner, and before Jess can go nuclear Albert appears to tell the police there’s been a nasty incident out the front of the hotel. Everyone heads out to the front where a small crowd has gathered – a man has just jumped from one of the windows according to these two witnesses.

g2

 

 

 

 

...

#helping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jess’s reaction is amazing.

Noone has ever been more delighted to see a dead body.

Noone has ever been more delighted to see a dead body.

John Thurston meets JB at Scotland Yard to try and make Stillwell see sense but Stillwell has become rather agreeable. Apparently it’s all been straightened out – Nigel Atkins lost his wallet in a bathroom at Heathrow and is delighted to get it back as he was due to board a flight to Australia. The man who committed suicide was a Mr Brown from Birmingham, and it was definitely suicide move along nothing to see here.

In the taxi later, JB laments how frustrating it is not to be believed, and John says he believes her…

j2

…”but the police seem so sure!”

I think JB has had about enough of this

I think JB has had about enough of this

Jess gets back to the hotel to find the Bowler Hat at the front desk asking about Nigel Atkins. Albert gives him nothing but JB tells him she’d like a word and he says likewise. Over tea in the dining room the Bowler Hat reveals himself as Archie Potter P.I – he’s looking for Nigel, if JB has any knowledge of where he is, could she get in touch?

#awkward

#awkward

Jess is called away by a telephone call – it’s John with a curious invitation to a Home Office shindig, but he has only been invited if JB comes too… Outside the hotel, Archie is off going about his PI business when he runs into local toughguy Mickey Dawks demanding to know what Archie knows about Nigel Atkins, and who Archie was talking to at the hotel.

At the party that night JB is introduced to Julian Fontaine, Home Office who is delighted to meet JB, but not as delighted as I was when I realised who it was.

Trevor Eve, the guy from Waking The Dead. Remember when long hair was a thing? #classic90s

Trevor Eve, the guy from Waking The Dead. Remember when long hair was a thing? #classic90s

Fontaine is surprised to learn that JB had met a colleague of his that very morning, and quickly excuses himself. He returns after a moment with two people – Edward and Penelope Caldwell, aka the couple who were really awkward at the beginning of this episode, and the woman who went rushing out of the hotel room. JB says to Penelope she’s sure they’ve met before – just that day in fact, at her hotel – but Penelope says she must be mistaken and rushes her husband over to meet someone else.

Fontaine asks John to excuse himself and JB, he wants to show Jess some first editions, but JB doesn’t want first editions she wants answers – why was she invited to the party, was it to see if she’d recognise Penelope Caldwell? Fontaine did work with Nigel Atkins didn’t he?

Fontaine suddenly remembers how he knew JB was in town – Nigel told him that morning on the way to the airport before his flight to Australia. JB isn’t barely paying attention, she’s just spotted something…

Look familiar? Scroll up a bit....I KNOW! Well played MSW.

Look familiar? Scroll up a bit….I KNOW! Well played MSW.

Also that bow is A++++

Also that bow is A++++

Fontaine is still giving her nothing about Atkins, so she tells him the police might like to know that the people who witnessed Atkins’  ‘suicide’ are also working at his party, to which Fontaine scowls and says that would be a very bad idea. Nigel Atkins is dead.

She's not giving up on this.

She’s not giving up on this.

Back at her hotel room that night, JB is kicking off her shoes when she gets a knock on the door – it’s local tough guy Mickey Daws, wanting to know what Jessica knows about the location of Nigel Atkins. It turns out Mickey is a moneylender, and Nigel owes him ten thousand dollars.

JB tells him that the police told her that Nigel had gone to Australia.

*backpedals aggressively*

*backpedals aggressively*

Mickey suddenly decides he didn’t need the ten grand back anyway and departs.

The next day, Jess goes back to see Inspector Stillwell and lays it all out for him – she knows about the affair and the money. He promises there is no coverup and he will look into all of her allegations most carefully. Jess says she hopes so, otherwise she’s going to visit her friend on Fleet Street and this little yarn will be on the cover of every paper in town.

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

After she leaves, Stillwell gets on the phone to Fontaine, who himself gets on the phone to another man in a suit. He tells the man Jessica is threatening to go to the public, does the man authorise the radical solution?

The man says he’ll get back to him on that.

DRAMA.

JB, clearly the only person doing anything about this murder, decides to visit Nigel Atkin’s apartment to see what she can find. The door is locked, but she overhears a delightful exchange between the landlord and his neighbour Daisy Collins about Daisy’s back-rent, which she has just decided to pay with a bonus, she’s moving to Mayfair.

...

THAT FACE THOUGH

The landlord disappears in a huff, and Daisy comes round to find JB loitering in the corridor. Daisy doesn’t seem to surprised, and says Nigel’s not usually back until six. She opens his door and goes in to feed his cat.

 

100% would wear this now.

100% would wear this now.

On the pretense of looking for a letter she’d sent Nigel, JB gets chatting to Daisy and learns that she feeds Nigel’s cat sometimes but the poor thing is going to the pound the next day, as she’s moving out. JB comments on the dress and Daisy tells her it’s new from Selfridges.

As JB leaves she bumps into Fontaine, who offers to give her a lift back to her hotel. JB soon realises that’s not where they are driving to but Fontaine only smiles and starts blaring Ride of the Valkyries. Her constant demands for a explanation/telephone go ignored, and it’s only when JB is shown into a room of an old manor house that answers are forthcoming. Jess is introduced to the man Fontaine had spoken to on the telephone, who tells her that after extensive enquiries about Jessica, they have decided to tell her the problem with Nigel Atkins.

“He was some sort of agent – a spy?” Asks JB.

“I see your deductive abilities live up to your reputation.” Says the man.

DUH.

DUH.

Anyway, long story short Nigel Atkins was a double spy for England and China and there’s a dicey diplomatic situation involving the handover of Hong Kong back to China (remember when that was a thing) but guys. HOW DID THEY NOT KNOW WHO JESSICA WAS, MICHAEL HEGARTY HAS BEEN GETTING HER INTO TROUBLE FOR AGES I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

It is revealed that Fontaine arrived at Atkins’ hotel room after the murder and before Penelope Caldwell, but was unable to do anything of about it on account of JB turning up. They staged the suicide and it almost worked apart from JB’s constant questioning.

On the way back to London Jess tells Fontaine about the loan shark and how Nigel had promised to repay him the next day. No money was found on him, so they interview Mickey again. He swears he didn’t kill Nigel, and that Nigel had told him the night before he died that he would have the money for him that day. They tell him he’s off the hook for the time being. Jess wonders if Penelope Caldwell’s husband knew about her affair with Nigel and Fontaine tells her he didn’t even know until he saw her in the hotel room after the murder. Jess tells them about the private investigator, and they look uncomfortably like they knew nothing about that. Fontaine handles it by going to see Archie and giving him a bit of an incentive to go on holiday.

Cut to Penelope Caldwell stress drinking vodka while her husband tells her all about how Nigel Atkins went to Australia on short notice.

JB and Fontaine are sitting in the park watching pigeons going about their business…

This screencap is for my brother, he knows why. (You're welcome)

This screencap is for my brother, he knows why. (You’re welcome)

Jess suddenly remembers Nigel’s attache case (go on, scroll right up – I KNOW! I nailed it today!) but Fontaine says it wasn’t in Nigel’s apartment when they searched it. Except when JB went to see it, it was there (seriously, go and scroll up again I AM A GOD OF SCREENCAPPING HELLFIRE).

Now how can that be?

The same reason a certain cat was about to be impounded.

Yeah, called it.

Yeah, called it.

What happens when a girl hears about ten thousand dollars and knows just what to do with it. Naturally JB worked it all out and convinced Inspector Stillwell to let Mickey Dawks go in wearing a tape recorder to record Daisy’s confession. But they don’t arrest her just yet – apparently the world needs to think that Nigel Atkins is still alive for a little while yet.

Case closed!

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S08E10 – The List of Yuri Lementov

4 Comments

Happy New Year Fletcherfans! I hope you had a lovely time over the festive season and ate/drank/slept a lot, as was appropriate.

Wouldn’t you know it – we’re in Washington DC this week! (#timing.) Soviet trade delegate/spy Yuri Lementov is retiring and heading back to Russia, and feeling a bit bummed out out about it, but has been invited to a trade reception that evening as a last hurrah. Jess is in town to catch up with a friend, Congressman Arthur Prouty, who wants to show her a book he’s written about fly fishing (not quite Dreams From My Father, really) in exchange for an advance copy of her new book. He’s forgotten to bring it though, and instead tells Jess to come to a certain trade reception that’s being held in her hotel that evening. Their discussion is cut short by the sudden arrival of Constantin Kesmek, furious at an article in the paper announcing something that means that his missile shipment can’t leave New York harbour. Arthur’s chief-of-staff, Harry Neville, arrives to tell Constantin he has an urgent phone call from Charles Standish, who is freaking out about the missile deal going south but Constantin tells him that if he starts taking risks now, Charles will lose the deposit on his horse farm, and his woman in Georgetown.

Constantin’s next call is to the aforementioned Yuri Lementov, to advise him he has the “materials” he requested and that he will meet him tonight. Yuri tells him that there might be a problem, but Constantin just says they will be inconsequential in comparison to the problems he will have if he violates the arrangement. Yuri hangs up, and retrieves a piece of paper written in code, looking worried.

Such spy shenanigans can only mean one thing.

Which is coincidentally how I sing the James Bond theme music.

Which is coincidentally how I sing the James Bond theme music.

Michael isn’t best pleased with Yuri’s retirement plan, but Yuri tells him his apartment in Kiev is tiny, and his pension even tinier. He has no money from his years of spying and so is doing this one last thing before he gets out of the game for good. Yuri is offering his merchandise to Michael, on account of their long history as Cold War foes, and that time Michael saved his life. (Merchandise is clearly code for something but I don’t know what). Michael tells him that he’s having trouble getting those twits at Whitehall (tee-hee) to play along, and he needs 24 hours, but Yuri says he’s closing the deal that night and getting on a plane at 8 o’clock the next morning. Michael threatens to shoot him, and says if the merchandise is damaged in any way, he’ll kill him and Yuri simply tells him death is probably better than his apartment in Kiev.

The reception kicks off that evening, with Arthur giving Jess a copy of his book and with Constantin having a run-in with Charles, who isn’t terribly pleased with the news that Constantin had a bust-up with Arthur that morning. He tells Constantin if he goes through with the Yuri Lementov deal, he can find himself a new lawyer. Meanwhile, Harry is hitting on a woman called Bonnie, who is giving him nothing so he accuses her of having an old man fetish.

“And thank God she does,” says her date, Sir Michael Preston.

c2

**Actual quote. Hegarty burn!

**Actual quote. Hegarty burn!

And then…

d1  d2

You can't prove Michael Hegarty's inner voice ISN'T Scooby Doo.

You can’t prove Michael Hegarty’s inner voice ISN’T Scooby Doo.

Just as Michael spots JB, Constantin spots Yuri and signals that he wants a word. At the last second, Yuri slips his coded message into Arthur’s fly-fishing book and quickly excuses himself. Michael bounds over, Bonnie in tow, and quickly introduces himself to JB as Sir Michael Preston before she can out him.

Poor Jess, she was just here to get a book (and drink the bar tab, presumably)

Poor Jess, she was just here to get a book (and drink the bar tab, presumably)

Michael promises he will explain later, but Jess says this isn’t going to be like San Francisco or Athens. Michael scurries off to block Constantin from reaching Yuri, leaving Jess standing alone.

Some things are too perfect to draw on.

Some things are too perfect to draw on. 

Arthur wonders what it was all about, and Jess says “You have no idea how much I don’t want to know.”

After the reception, Arthur walks JB back to her room and promises to pick her up at 7:30am for breakfast. He’s still struggling to remember where he’s seen Michael before, but Jess tells him on the few times she’s met Michael he’s been rather secretive on the subject of what he does for a living. Hashtag not a lie.

Jess goes into her hotel room to find Michael relaxing on the couch, assuming that Jess is hanging out with Arthur to cure a bout of insomnia. Jess tells him there is nothing romantic about her relationship with Arthur, which doesn’t mean he’s not very attractive, literate, charming, principled…”

“And boring” Declares Hegarty.

To be fair though, literate? That's a low bar. I hope she means "can spend a whole weekend on the couch reading and not talking" because that sounds amazing.

To be fair though, literate? That’s a low bar. I hope she means “can spend a whole weekend on the couch reading and not talking” because that sounds amazing.

i2

Phallic statue is phallic.

Phallic statue is phallic.

Michael assures her there’s nothing going on between him and Bonnie, she was just his ticket into the reception but JB doesn’t care. She wants answers. NOW.

Michael answers with a question – “Where’s the book?”

The book, is of course still downstairs, where a helpful waiter has just returned it to Arthur, under the watchful eye of Charles and Constantin.  Arthur in turn takes it up to Jessica, but when he sees Michael leaving her hotel room he hides in a potplant until he departs. After Michael goes down in the lift, Arthur knocks on her door and hands her the book, saying that her relationship with “Michael Preston” was none of his business, but he wanted to make sure she was alright.

“Fine thanks bye!” Says Jess, snatching the book and slamming the door. She pulls the coded paper out and looks at it.

In the early hours of the morning, Yuri breaks into her hotel room, looking for the book. He spots a bunch of copies of JB’s new book, but then gets clocked on the head by a masked man who snatches a copy of JB’s book and legs it out of the room. JB awakens at the kerfuffle and comes rushing in to find Yuri lying dead on the floor. The police arrive with the sun, and Lieutenant Blaisdell, slightly crazed member of Washington DC Police,  who wants to take everyone in for questioning but realises noone will talk to him. Jessica is about to tell him about the piece of paper when Hegarty shows up, trying to ask her where the book is. Blaisdell is about to lose his mind and when Hegarty won’t answer his questions Blaisdell demands he be arrested. In response, Hegarty punches him in the stomach and jumps out the window.

Man this episode is DELIVERING on JB reactions and I love it.

Man this episode is DELIVERING on JB reactions and I love it.

Blaisdell loses his mind and orders JB to the police station, where she still refuses to name Hegarty, even when lab results show her and his fingerprints were on the phallic statue murder weapon. It’s only when Sergei Onyegin from the embassy arrives to demand justice for his countryman, murdered by a British agent, that Jessica reveals Hegarty’s name. She also points out Yuri was KGB, to which Sergei says “Yuri Lementov was no longer KGB, not that he was saying he ever was.”

Blaisdell evidently gives up on JB and lets her and Arthur leave. Harry Neville picks them up from the police station and takes Jess back to her hotel, where he compliments her on her new book. They spot Bonnie getting into a car and driving away. Arthur offers Jess his spare room but she’s happy to stay at the hotel, and rest up.

Alas JB isn’t quite done yet – inside the hotel she is accosted by Charles Standish (Benjamin Horne from Twin Peaks and OMG YOU GUYS DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW EXCITED I AM FOR NEW TWIN PEAKS FOR REAL I CAN’T EVEN) who offers to buy Yuri’s list from her. She asks him if he killed Yuri and he says no, to which she asks him how he knows the killer didn’t take the list. He tells her the marketplace suggests no one has come forward with an offer yet.

“And how much are you willing to pay for this list?” Asks JB.

Charles tells her she’s clearly equally as good at business as she is at writing but JB don’t care.

All I want is for someone to steal a painting in one episode so I shout BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONET #lifegoals

All I want is for someone to steal a painting in one episode so I shout BITCH BETTER HAVE MY MONET #lifegoals

JB tells him she’ll think about it, and departs. Charles spots Constantin across the lobby, hiding in a potplant.

Upstairs, Michael is waiting. Her room has clearly been searched and he is worried about the list but JB assures him it’s safe. Michael also wants to tell her that she needs to beware of Arthur – “on the surface he’s all tea party etiquette, but dull enough to put a shark to sleep, and underneath he’s oilier than Saddam Hussein’s hair”.

Crying. What were the odds of this happening today of all days. Thank you universe.

Crying. What were the odds of this happening today of all days. Thank you universe.

Michael asks her for the list again, but JB puts her foot down. She swore she wasn’t going to get dragged into his shenanigans again, but this time it would be different. She wanted the truth.  He comes clean – the list is 5 MI6 operatives who are in deep cover in Libya that they can’t get to to warn. Yuri came across the list and saw it as a retirement plan. According to Yuri there was only one copy of the list but there was no way to be certain. There was a mission underway to get the operatives out of Libya but they need to protect the list until that could happen.

Blaisdell bursts in to arrest Hegarty for All The Things. He considers arresting JB for harbouring a fugitive but she tells him he has the wrong guy, the  killer was the one who searched the rooms and not for nothing but Bonnie and Charles Standish were both in the hotel right before she came upstairs. Hegarty is taken away in handcuffs, but Blaisdell relents and orders a fingerprint team to come check her room. Back at the precinct it is revealed Bonnie’s fingerprints were all over the room, but Blaisdell chalks it up to Bonnie being Hegarty’s date at the reception. Jess tells him she can prove who the real killer is, but he just tells her to have a nice day.

Undeterred, Jess sets her trap in action. She calls Arthur to confirm a couple of details, arranges for a delivery to go to his office at the end of the day, and then waits for the killer to knock on her door.

Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

After Jess verified that Harry couldn’t have read Arthur’s copy of her new book, she knew Harry had taken an advance copy of her book from her room. Turns out Harry had been taping Arthur’s conversations and selling the information to the highest bidder.

Before I go, here’s a message not from the Queen, but from a Princess. Today of all days, I think it’s worth remembering. I don’t know who made it, but it’s perfect.

c2ooxfxuuae_fbi-1

(This was JB's reaction to Hegarty finding out Bonnie was a US spy. This episode was what the doctor ordered).

(This was JB’s reaction to Hegarty finding out Bonnie was a US spy. This episode was what the doctor ordered).

S06E22 – The Sicilian Encounter

5 Comments

It’s the season six finale Fletcherfans! Who thought we’d ever get here? (I was starting to wonder)

It appears this week we have been house-sitting for JB while she’s been in NYC doing her boss author bit.

It's been a long week.

It’s been a long week.

As JB goes through her mail for the week, she finds a letter postmarked Paris. It would appear her old pal Michael Hegarty has gotten himself into a spot of bother. Again.

Bookend time!

Welcome to Sicily, home of many Italian cliches and in this particular instance soon-to-be-married Claudia Carboni and Peter Baines are enjoying a bit of lunch while Peter is anticipating his siesta quite a lot.

There is a reason he looks familiar. More on that later.

There is a reason he looks familiar. More on that later.

Claudia is having no part of it. Her late first husband’s family will have no shame brought upon it and have sent a chaperone to keep an eye on proceedings. Peter is less than thrilled, but he only has to wait one more week until the wedding and then they can be on their way. Peter is eager to learn more about Claudia’s late husband’s business but she tells him all she knows is that he dealt mostly in cash. Peter is also curious to learn how her first husband died.

“Suddenly.” Says Claudia.

Why yes I did write that in Scooby Doo's voice, and thank you for noticing!

Why yes I did write that in Scooby Doo’s voice, and thank you for noticing!

After lunch they stroll around the park and discuss the Completely Miraculous Coincidence that led to their meeting, which turns out to have happened when Peter begged to switch seats on a flight from Boston. While they stroll, they progress is followed by a man watching from a nearby apartment.

Peter is overcome again but Claudia reminds him that the wedding is only a week away and that until she’s legally married to him – in a church, with a priest – that she’s still technically a threat to the family and so they need to behave. Their chauffeur/chaperone honks for them to hurry up.

As they depart, the watching man makes a note in his notebook. The door behind him opens and an extra from The Sopranos walks in. The watching man tells the extra that he’s got the wrong TV show room, but the other man pulls a knife. It would appear he has exactly the right room.

A short time later everyone’s favourite not-quite-Bond arrives and asks an onlooker what happened. She tells Hegarty that an English tourist cut his throat shaving – and that noone saw nothin.

Hegarty phones home to tell them that the plan has gone belly-up and that his business associate “caught a cold”, but his boss tells him his mission is ago. A package needs to be delivered to London and Hegarty has to make sure that it does. At this point I couldn’t tell you what is or isn’t code, but Michael has a picture of Claudia Carboni so she is the package or has the package or likes a good package if you know what I mean.

His boss hangs up, leaving Michael unexpectedly listening to Downtown by Macklemore.

#you'rewelcome

Why did I decide on Downtown? Because my Mum keeps calling Downton Abbey Downtown Abbey and my mind is a dangerous and confusing place.

Back at the villa, Peter is getting fitted for a suit or six, much to Claudia’s surprise/mild irritation. After the tailor and the maid depart, Peter tries it on again but this time they are thwarted by the sudden entrance of the guy who killed Hegarty’s associate just before. Peter tries to cover up his leching by telling the man Claudia rolled her ankle.

I wish I could pull this face. Well I can. I wish that it worked though.

I wish I could pull this face. Well I can. I wish that it worked though.

Claudia asks him what he wants (it turns out his name is Mario, obviously), and it turns out that her priest has arrived from Boston.

This can only go well.

This can only go well.

Hegarty introduces himself as Monseigneur O’Shaunessy, and tells Claudia that he’s been sent to represent the Boston chuch on behalf of her priest back home, who has come down with a cold. Father O’Shaunessy, it turns out, knew Claudia’s late husband from way back and wonders if her future husband is from the same parish. She tells him no, he’s from England and calls for Peter to join them.

DRAMATIC HEGARTY IS DRAMATIC.

DRAMATIC HEGARTY IS DRAMATIC.

Now here’s the thing guys. Hegarty recognises Peter Baines, and says he knew a man named Harold Baines which turns out to have been Peter’s brother.

Harold Baines was the spy who killed back in episode one of this season.

THIS WHOLE SEASON JUST GOT BOOKENDED.

(My reaction, after working this out, can be seen here. In this gif the role of me will be played by Orson Welles).

But wait, there’s more news – Claudia’s brother-in-law Gino is flying in to attend the wedding. Claudia seems less than enthused about this, but when asked O’Shaunessy says he knows Gino Carboni, he is terrible at golf.

Brushing off this sudden shock of seeing his former friend’s brother, (who amazing looks EXACTLY LIKE HIS FRIEND), Hegarty announces that he promised Father Flynn that he would hear Claudia’s confession as soon as he arrived in Sicily, and whisks her out into the garden. As they walk, Hegarty makes discrete enquiries about Peter Baines, and her relationship with her dead husband’s family but she assures him she don’t know nothing about nothing (paraphrasing). She is looking forward to the week’s vacation in Switzerland she’s going on with Peter after the wedding.

Hegarty next visits Peter Baines, who is busy scoping himself out in his new suits. Petper is curious to know how Father O’Shaunessy knew Harold but “Father O’Shaunessy” can’t remember the exact details just now. Likewise, Father O’Shaunessy is eager to learn more about Peter, but it is soon apparent that Peter is a bit of a ladies man, and presumably not after The Package.

(God. This is starting to remind me of the time my friend Rachel and I watched all of R Kelly’s ‘ Trapped In The Closet’ in one sitting. We were (and still are) very confused about that Package too).

 

Anyway.

Gino arrives, and is greeted with the proper Italian kissing and so forth. Inside, Claudia is summoned to greet her soon-to-be-former brother-in-law but declares him to be a fake while Gino declares Claudia is not his brother’s late wife. The stalemate persists until Father O’Shaunessy appears and declares that he’s met Gino Carboni and that this man, while having a seemingly legit passport, is no Gino Carboni. A gaggle of Sopranos carry the supposed Carboni away, leaving Hegarty and Claudia to size each other up.

Well this seems odd.

Well this seems odd.

Later that night, Peter Baines is out having a cigarette on the terrace when he sees Gino Carboni being escorted off the premises whilst being stabbed by Carboni henchmen.

s2

k1 k2

This is my face when I realise it's Monday morning and I have to go to work

This seems like a fairly open and shut case, now that I think about it.

Peter rushes inside to tell Claudia the news. He’s frantic, but Claudia manages to calm him down.

EVERYTHING IS HASHTAGS

EVERYTHING IS HASHTAGS MY BRAIN HAS STOPPED

Claudia reassures her future husband that as soon as they’re married and have been to Switzerland to empty the safety deposit box they will never have to go back to Italy if they don’t feel like it.

Turns out the plants have ears. Or something.

I'll be honest, I just got home from my 3rd watching of Deadpool in a week, I don't know what life is anymore.

I’ll be honest, I just got home from my 3rd watching of Deadpool in a week, I don’t know what life is anymore.

On the other end of the bugline are the Carboni’s, who are most interested to learn that the safety deposit box is in Switzerland. Mario decides he will be the one to travel there, retrieve the boxes contents, eliminate Claudia and return to Sicily but his colleagues have been talking and they’re coming too.

Later, Mario finds Peter trying to calm himself with a fortifying brandy or twelve. He offers Peter a Cuban cigar and a cautionary tale about a man who ran away with Mario’s sister to Rome. “My poor sister.” Says Mario. “She becomes a widow before she’s even married.”

More brandy required.

More brandy required.

Down at the church the next day Claudia is getting a little fed up with her constant supervision by the Carboni family, but surprisingly Peter has gone cold on the idea. It’s only when O’Shaunessy offers to marry them on the spot that Peter brightens up. They go into the church, Hegarty improvises a vaguely accurate wedding ceremony and Peter seals the deal by kissing his bride. This rouses some suspicion with the chaperones looking on but Hegarty assures them that it’s practice. He tells Peter and Claudia to go and wait at the car, and once they go knocks out the two Sopranos extras and legs it, shouting a thankyou to the actual priest for letting him borrow the hall for a bit.

A chase ensues, with one of the goons hijacking a convertible and following Hegarty, Peter and Claudia to the local airfield. Thanks to some ace driving from Peter, who can also conveniently fly a plane, they escape the goons clutches and fly to Geneva.

This is all terribly factual. I do apologise.

On arrival at their hotel suite in Geneva, Peter promptly orders the hotel’s finest beluga caviar and champagne – “two glasses”, he adds.

His Holiness is not amused.

His Holiness is not amused.

Despite Peter’s attempts to say goodbye to Father O’Shaunessy, Hegarty parks himself on the couch. Claudia tells Peter to go and pick up some things from the hotel store. The door closes behind him and Claudia turns to Hegarty – “Alright Father – let’s talk turkey.”

It would appear that Hegarty’s priestly disguise wasn’t entirely cunning after all and Claudia has guessed that he is her MI6 contact. Hegarty agrees, saying that he would have revealed himself earlier but his associate had his throat cut which rather put a dampener on things. Hegarty is most curious to know why Claudia has acquired Peter but she says she is in love – and then confesses she just has him around for the muscle in case her former in-laws get uppity. Hegarty is also concerned about the in-laws – apparently they too have an interest in the package, which turns out to be a little black book of Mafia contacts that Claudia has pinched. Claudia tells him she doesn’t know what’s in the book and doesn’t want to know – she just wants the money, as agreed in their deal.

Peter returns and is less than excited to see Hegarty. When Claudia excuses herself to take a bath, he sees his opportunity to rush Hegarty out the door. He has no time for Hegarty’s priest bit, he himself has impersonated a priest before, but he doesn’t want Claudia to know that. Hegarty informs him that a)she already knows  and b)Hegarty is secret service, and until the transaction he and Claudia are conducting is concluded in the morning, Peter will be sleeping on the couch.

Peter is not excited.

Heh heh heh

Heh heh heh

Later that night Mario Carbone gets a phone call…from Claudia. She’s pretending to be a bank clerk confirming the time of Claudia’s appointment the next day.

PLOT TWIST YOU GUYS.

The next morning, Claudia wakes Peter from his almost-sleep on the couch to tell him…she is attracted to him. Weird. They commence making out horrifyingly energetically and only stop with the arrival of the recently-defrocked Michael Hegarty, who announces the car is waiting and the bank opens in half an hour. Peter informs them he is coming too, which Hegarty is against until Claudia announces she would prefer to have Peter there – she’s not sure she can trust Hegarty yet.

On the drive over Claudia notices that a car is following them but keeps that information to herself, while Peter ponders how much money he’s going to get his hands on. At the bank, Hegarty tells him to wait in reception while Claudia produces the key for the box. Inside the bank vault, the extent of the money is revealed, causing Claudia to do a fairly decent Sleepless in Seattle reenactment. In her excitment she drops some money on the ground, and while Hegarty graciously picks them up Claudia swaps the little black book in the box for one in her bag. WHAT THE HELL CLAUDIA?

As they leave the bank, the Carboni gang appear, guns drawn, demanding the book. But then some more people appear with guns and arrest the Carbonis. Hegarty rushes Claudia and Peter into the car and hightails it out of there. While Peter and Claudia are distracted, Hegarty sneaks the little black book out of Claudia’s handbag.

Back at the hotel the truth is revealed – Claudia is really Jennifer Page! Jennifer is working for the CIA! Jennifer is conveniently a dead ringer for the real Claudia Carboni!

Peter doesn’t take this news at all well. And neither does Jennifer when she discovers that Hegarty has swapped the black books back and has the real one. Hegarty leaves the two of them to sort out their feelings while he calls home to tell his boss the good news.

And that, Fletcherfans, is the end of Season 6. I AM OFFICIALLY HALF WAY. OH GOD I AM ONLY HALF WAY. This was such a good idea in 2012, but then the world was meant to be ending that year so I think I figured I’d be off the hook. God damn Mayan prophecies, always letting me down.

But I am curious – now that we’re half-way, what has been your favourite episode so far? I think mine might be “If It’s Thursday It Must Be Beverley” but it’s a tough call.

Let me know your thoughts, and stay tuned for season 7 next week!

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S06E01 – Appointment in Athens

3 Comments

Salutations Fletcherfans! Sorry for that unexpected break in transmission, but unfortunately not even JB Fletcher herself can stop Gastropocalypse 2015, which has ended just in time for Wintergeddon to begin (if you’re in the northern hemisphere I AM SO JEALOUS RIGHT NOW I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU WINTER IS STUPID).

In any case, welcome to season 6! At the end of this season we will reach the halfway mark *gulp* so to celebrate I will livetweet another one of the movies. But more on that later, because GUESS WHO’S BACK?

Yes Michael, it's called a telephone

Yes Michael, it’s called a telephone

Everyone’s favourite Not Quite James Bond, Michael Hegarty is in Paris having a crisis. One of his best agents has been taken hostage in Athens, his pal back in England still hasn’t turned up any info about it, and Michael’s fake wife Pamela has backed out of the mission to rescue, citing appendicitis. His Athens cover blown – unless he can find a fake wife in time.

Funny story though, you’ll never believe who’s checking out downstairs.

I think she's on to you Hegarty.

I think she’s on to you Hegarty.

Whatever Hegarty is working on, JB doesn’t want to know about it – she’s in the middle of a world-wide book tour and is off to Cairo. No time for your shenanigans Hegarty.

The man at reception gets a phone call and tells Jess her flight has been delayed for at least 8 hours. Never mind! Says Michael. You’re coming with me to Athens! Just get a connecting flight etc etc. Jess is not at all keen on the idea – on account of the last time she spent any time with Michael she ended up in jail on a murder charge – but ends up on a flight to Athens anyway.

At Athens Airport, Michael escorts her to the check-in counter, where YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS there is no reservation in her name and the flight is fully booked. WHAT WERE THE ODDS OF THAT HAPPENING? When JB turns around, Michael has legged it and in his place is another English man who “recognises” JB from her book covers. Bane Harold Baines, JB’s white knight, offers to let her stay in his “company’s” 2 bedroom suite at the Hotel Grand Bretagne until she is able to get a flight to Cairo, on account of there being no other accommodation in Athens due to a trade convention. This is just a series of amazing conicidences you guys.

Down at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, the arrival of JB with her new buddy Harold has not gone unnoticed.

NOONE SAW NOTHING

NOONE SAW NOTHING

While The Mysterious Hat Man lurks in a potplant Bane Harold Baines escorts Jessica to reception and wanders off with her passport, because that’s absolutely not weird. He returns a short time later, while Jess is unpacking (WHY IS SHE UNPACKING IF SHE’S ONLY THERE ONE NIGHT THIS WHOLE UNPACKING IN HOTEL ROOMS IS DOING MY HEAD IN), and gives her her passport back. They are soon surprised by a special delivery for a Mrs Reardon. Jess tries to tell them there’s a mistake but Bane tips the bellhop and closes the door.

Something something penny dropping something.

Something something penny dropping something.

Bane comes clean and admits he’s MI6, that there was never a reservation made in her name to Cairo but that he didn’t lie about the lack of hotel rooms in Athens. He also has no idea where Michael is – some people were closing in on him at the airport when Bane went up to Jess and he hasn’t heard from him since. He begs Jess to go along with the charade and she agrees, mostly so she can kill Michael afterwards.

Meanwhile The Mystery Hat that is also known as Henryk Stuvesant has extricated himself from the shrubbery long enough to visit Mr Papadopolous to sell information regarding the current whereabouts of Mr and Mrs Reardon. Papadopoulous pays him half, and promises more money once Henryk learns more about their movements. Henryk then puts in a call to station chief Alec Scofield, to sell more information – that Mr and Mrs Reardon will be attending the home of Mr Papadopoulous that evening. Trafford agrees to payment in exchange for an invitation. He’s not best happy that Hegarty has gone rogue, and orders Bane to keep a close eye on Mr and Mrs Reardon.

Henryk is not done yet though – he pays a visit to “Mrs Reardon”, chilling out with a “cup of tea” in the hotel lobby. He tries to ascertain the time and location of the “transaction” but Mrs Reardon gives him nothing. When she turns the tables and starts asking for information about the other party involved in the transaction Henryk bails, unhappy Mrs Reardon does not trust him.

Stirred, not shaken.

Stirred, not shaken.

Jess returns to the suite to find a big bouquet of roses from Michael, and the man himself fussing with a bowtie and ordering her to hurry up and frock up, they have a party to get to. Jess is about to put her foot down when there’s a knock at the door.

It’s Pamela Reardon.

Michael Reardon’s wife.

Damn straight.

Damn straight.

After miraculously recovering from her appendicitis, which turned out to be gastritis/a failed audition, Pamela decides to sack out on the couch and rest. JB tells Michael he clearly doesn’t need her any more but he points out that Henryk and the hotel staff know her as Mrs Reardon, and it was too late now.

In the car on the way to the party, Michael explains how his colleague Laddie Fairchild (REALLY? THAT’S YOUR NAME? YOU ARE ALL TERRIBLE SPIES) was running a travel agency as a front for collecting intelligence on some gun runners or some such business and was kidnapped for ransom by some garden variety kidnappers who don’t know they’ve kidnapped a MI6 agent. He met then in Paris and managed to stall them by saying his wife was the sister of Laddie Fairchild (UGH WHAT IS THAT NAME) and has the money to pay. The kidnappers gave him til 1pm the next day to find the money.

Once at the party, Michael and JB run into Alec Scofield, who has come to take an interest in Michael’s harebrained scheme. His wife, however, is mainly there to judge Alec on his poor life choices, although I think she and Laddie had a little something something going on the side. Hegarty gets him to agree to play along just as Mr Papadopolous comes up to them and says “Mr Reardon I doubt I shall ever forgive you…for not telling me how lovely your wife was.”

That is my default expression when I'm at a party

That is my default expression when I’m at a party

Papadopolous drags JB off to quiz her about her life/make out with her hands but she is eventually saved by Michael who asks if the exchange will take place tomorrow. Papadopolous tells him he has not been in contact with the kidnappers, but now that he has satisfied himself in regards to Mr and Mrs Reardon, he will tell the kidnappers that Mr and Mrs Reardon will be at a certain telephone box at 12pm tomorrow.

On their way out they spot Bane and Hegarty has a go at him for revealing the plan to Scofield. He apologises but says he didn’t reveal JB and Michael would be at the party, but if he didn’t keep Scofield at least partially informed he might be suspected of being involved. He’s got a tap on Papadopolous’s phone but hasn’t heard anything from the kidnappers yet.

Meanwhile back at the hotel Pamela Drake is dead. The police suspect robbery gone bad but JB points out that since her jewellery was fake a jewel thief would have no reason to take it. Jess also tries to point out that she’s not Mrs Reardon but is surprised to see that her passport says otherwise. Down at the MI6 office, Henryk Stuyvesant is filling Alec Scofield in on the mysterious second Mrs Reardon (for a price, obviously).

In their new suite across the hall, (hotel can’t be that booked out then) Michael has returned from a supply run and is set to call the whole thing off but JB assures him she’ll be fine. He asks her about the cablegram that reception said was given to Mrs Reardon earlier than afternoon but Jess tells him she doesn’t know anything about it. Just when they work out Pamela must have taken it (come on guys!) they get a knock on the door. It’s Bane with news – the kidnappers have set the location point for the exchange at 1pm tomorrow.

The next morning they go to the bank to withdraw the million dollar ransom, and Michael comes clean – there is no money. He whips out a newspaper and tells Jess to start crumpling.

Next stop is the phone box, where they are to receive word of the location (which they already learned thanks to Bane’s wire taps). Hegarty gets on  the phone and freaks out – the kidnappers moved the exchange up half an hour and swapped it to the Roman Market. They floor it over there but the kidnappers or Laddie Fairchild are nowhere to be found. Instead, they find Dimiti Papadopoulos who has presumably heard about the other Mrs Reardon and now wants to see the contents of the briefcase. Just when Michael is trying to find out who killed Pamela, the Greek police arrive. Sergeant Petrakas, the investigator in charge of Pamela’s murder, has a friend who’d just been to a book shop…

Petrakas takes everyone down to the police station but noone is talking, and with insufficient evidence he is forced to let Michael and JB go. Hegarty is set to roll on Laddie Fairchild’s kidnappers, but has no proof in relation to Pamela’s killer. JB has a theory about that, and so while “Mr Reardon” pays a visit to Henryk Stuvysant asking for help in getting in contact with the kidnappers, and then follows Stuvysant (with the surprising help of Sergeant Petrakas) to the kidnappers, JB sets a trap of her own. A cablegram gets sent to Michael Reardon at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, which happens to be spotted by Bane.

And the thing about that is

Let the games begin. (This episode would have been greatly improved if Bane was actually in it).

Let the games begin. (This episode would have been greatly improved if Bane was actually in it).

It turns out Bane was in league with the kidnappers because Laddie was about to get promorted, and thanks to a wildly convenient lipstick smudge on Bane’s jacket at the party Bane’s fate is sealed. Apparently Hegarty was on Bane’s tail the whole time? I find this whole episode rather suspicious to be honest.

And on that note:

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

 

 

S05E14 – From Russia…With Blood

2 Comments

Zdravstvuyte Fletcherfans – JB is on the road again, this time in Moscow as part of a cultural arts exchange where she is single handedly ending the Cold War and also wearing a hat while sitting on a statue with Sergei Chaloff aka Fox Mulder’s Dad.

DAT HAT

DAT HAT

That night, a lavish dinner is thrown to celebrate the success of the exchange and for general crapulence wallowing. Sidenote: LOOK!

Basically James Bond

Basically James Bond

While JB scoffs down Russian caviar (until she is informed by her new friend journalist Bert Firman that it’s actually from Iran), Duckie Cyril Grantham introduces Sergei to his friend Peggy Brooks who has recently decided she wants to be a literary agent and is on the hunt for some Russian talent. As the evening progresses Cultural Minister Melnikov toasts Sergei as he prepares to fly to London and on to America.

Ah Comrade Vodka, you fickle fickle friend.

Ah Comrade Vodka, you fickle fickle friend. (Sidenote, Melinkov is also Picard’s brother in an episode of Star Trek TNG, and probably other things)

After the toast, one of Melinkov’s minions signals to him and he goes out into the foyer, completely bypassing the security checkpoint because his friend Comrade Vodka told him it was okay. His minion informs him that Peggy Brooks had previously been kicked out of Russia for ‘irregularities’ in her import/export business and Melinkov demands the minion find out how Peggy imported herself onto the guest list before he exports said minion to Vladivostok. Meanwhile, Sergei is busy with his sightseeing plans in America until he catches sight of a waiter and he goes pale. He quickly recovers, although not before knocking Jess’s bag over and pointing out Mrs Gorbachev’s dress. He escorts Jess out onto the dance floor for a turn, but she still notices the mysterious waiter grabbing her purse and shouts for someone to stop him. He legs it out of the room, followed by Jess and a couple of guards, but ends up shot on the ground by the time Jess reaches him. The guards order her back to the party and her journalist friend escorts her back.

The Russian 5-0 arrive in the form of Chief Inspector Bernicker, who takes the matter in hand. He tells Cyril and Peggy they can leave when he is done, and asks JB to check her purse to make sure nothing is missing. JB’s inspection reveals that she has more in her purse than she started out with, namely a film cannister. Bernicker opens it and shows it to her – it’s a roll of microfilm. Man, remember microfilm? JB tells him she has no idea where it came from and he tells her that her stay in Russia has been extended. Down at his office Bernicker tells JB that since the other other person who can say with any certainty what happened is dead in a box, he is forced to question her. They are soon joined by KGB agent Alexandrov, who claims jurisdiction over the whole business as Sergei was a potential defector/troublemaker from way back. JB is permitted to go back to her hotel, leaving Alexandrov and Bernicker to view the microfilm – a manuscript written by the recently deceased Anton, a friend of Sergei’s, but it makes no sense. Spoiler: the funeral was actually at the start of the episode and the dead waiter was there too but I was so busy belting out James Bond theme music that I forgot to mention it.

The next day JB goes to the embassy for help getting a new passport and finds men sweeping the room for bugs and an under-secretary distinctly put out about not being invited to the dinner the night before. She discovers that she’s left her glasses at the reception and goes back to the hotel to track them down. While there, she bumps into Minister Melnikov who asks her how she’s getting on in her dealings with the militia, saying that he has not escaped their notice either – the KGB paid him a visit earlier that day to get files on the dead waiter. He puts a call in to Bernicker and Alexandrov, who are in the middle of questioning Sergei, and Bernicker tells Melnikov he believes JB to be an innocent bystander and that her passport will be returned. He’s in a better mood now that Sergei has confessed to putting the micofilm in the bag, but annoyed that Sergei swears he doesn’t know what is on the film.

Speaking of James Bond music though…

e2

f2

g2

And the winner for Best Textual Representation of the James Bond Theme goes to ME. ALWAYS ME. ME FOREVER.

And the winner for Best Textual Representation of the James Bond Theme goes to ME. ALWAYS ME. ME FOREVER.

While I’ve just proven that I might be a bigger lunatic genius than I previously thought, JB has just proven to herself (and also us) that the waiter wasn’t shot by the two guards but in fact shot by a third gunman, grassy knoll style. She calls Bernicker to tell her of her discovery and he is delighted, saying she’s just cleared up something that had been troubling him.

Hands up who only knows the Russian word for thank you from that episode of Sex and the City?

Hands up who only knows the Russian word for thank you from that episode of Sex and the City?

Back in his office Bernicker tells her that the autopsy report confirms her theory. Alexandrov informs her that Sergei has confessed to putting the microfilm in her purse and has been arrested. JB is determined to track him down but they won’t help and neither will the American embassy. Fortunately, she runs into Duckie Cyril in the lobby of her hotel and he volunteers to make some calls. He is the cultural attache after all, although he made me think of something else as you can see:

Ugh I just creeped myself out a bit

Ugh I just creeped myself out a bit

Cyril comes through and takes JB to see Sergei in his cell. He tells her that he did put the film in her bag, he recognised the waiter as a KGB agent from Anton’s funeral and tried to get his friend’s manuscript out. He also tells her that he has no alibi for the shooting – he followed her but got lost in the corridors.

Finding Cyril is the extent to which Cyril wants to help, so JB manages to enlist the assistance of Bert Firman who reluctantly agrees. They go to see Alexandrov who refuses to admit the dead waiter was KGB, and instead throws them out. JB smells a rat, and under the guise of forgetting her handbag returns to Alexandrov’s office to find Cyril nattering away in Russian. She tries to convince Alexandrov to take another look at the dead waiter’s files but he tells her that he hasn’t had a first look – victim is homicide area, not KGB.

A wild goose chase in the air, JB goes to see Bernicker who confirms Cyril is a double agent, working for both British and Russian secret service, but tells her he doesn’t have the files either, as employment records belong to KGB. JB has an inkling of an idea about who is behind all this but gets everyone together to look at Anton’s manuscript one last time. This time, they crack the code, and have all the information they need to nail the killer.

I'm so relieved it's not Duckie of Death

I’m so relieved it’s not Duckie of Death

It turns out that back in the War, Melnikov collaborated with the Nazis. Anton put it all in his manuscript, and Melnikov found out about it, and hired the waiter (who wasn’t KGB after all) to steal it.

With Sergei off the hook JB decides to return home, a a little micro gift from Bernicker in her pocket. Yeah justice!

Do svidan'ya Fletcherfans!

Do svidan’ya Fletcherfans!

S04E16 – Murder Through the Looking Glass

3 Comments

I’m just going to come right out and say it. This wasn’t the Alice in Wonderland Murder She Wrote episode I thought it was going to be, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Once upon a time, there were two men. One night, they both got out of a car on a bridge. One man said to the other man, “Turn around and face me,” and pulled a gun on him.

“To satisfy my curiosity,” says the other man, “Who ordered the hit?”

“What good will that do you?” Says the first man, and fires.

And so concludes this week’s episode of Murder She Wrote. Thank you and good night!

I kid. But in all seriousness the assassin looks like Dick Smith and it’s freaking me out a bit.

Meanwhile, in the city of Hartford Connecticut, Our Heroine is being made a Jedi Commander of the New England Booksellers Association, probably. Job done, one of her new friends offers to whisk her away from all the crazy fans to a late night diner just down the road. Jess is delighted but unfortunately the coffee is delayed by the arrival of a car carrying Dick Smith crashing onto the sidewalk outside the Hartford hotel. The dying man tells JB and her new friend that he can’t breathe, and asks for a priest. Fortunately one happens to drive past so Jess signals for him to come over. Dick Smith can’t wait though, and tells JB that he killed a man tonight – Carl Cosgrove of Farmington.

a2

The good news is, JB now has her next novel in the bag

By the time the priest gets through the traffic the man is dead. 2 dead bodies in under 5 minutes, that’s got to be a new record!

The next day JB goes to  see the detective in charge of the investigation, Sergeant Cooper, who is busy trying to work out why his wife left him. Cooper is greatly amused by JB’s surprisingly in depth analysis of the John Doe’s career as a hit man, but grudgingly agrees to call Farmington to see if a Carl Cosgrove is missing presumed shot off a bridge.  JB listens in on the extension as Mrs Cosgrove answers the phone and informs them that her husband is asleep upstairs, and not floating around in a river.

JB smells a rat, and takes a taxi up to Farmington to see for herself. While she speaks to the security guard at the gate, a group of men watch her through the security camera and debate letting her in. When the guard calls in, they decide a woman that persistent could be trouble and so let her in to save time.

God damn right.

Jess is met at the front door by Mrs Cosgrove, who tells JB she’s unsurprised to see her. Considering her husband is in bed upstairs recovering from an asthma attack, she seems very upset to hear about the death of Carl Cosgrove. She takes Jess up to see for herself that Mr Cosgrove is lying in bed, an oxygen mask over his face. JB tells him she’s sorry to hear about his asthma attack, and gives the giant mirror a significant look. Behind the mirror, the three men from earlier discuss whether she is buying the situation. The oldest, Jackson (who you might remember from such episodes as Footnote to Murder and that time he was Mike Brady) thinks it’s fine but the other two, Pierce and Van Buren don’t think she’s buying it for a minute.

After JB and Mrs Cosgrove leave, Mr Cosgrove stands up and shouts at the mirror that he doesn’t like role playing. Jackson tells Mr Delgado (apparently that’s his real name) it’s for security purposes. Delgado demands to speak to a superior and Van Buren mutters take a number. Jaclson tells him that Adams has gone to Washington to prepare security before Delgado’s appearance before the Committtee.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel JB has a message from Father Patrick Francis, the priest who was too late to the car accident. She goes to see what he wants and he asks her what the dying man said in his confession. JB is a little surprised to hear this but tells him anyway. Father Francis asks her if the dead man said who hired him but JB is getting suspicious, more so when he calls the other priest in the church by the wrong name when he comes to tell JB she has a phone call. On the line is Sergeant Cooper, who tells her they just found the body of (a) Carl Cosgrove floating in the Connecticut river.

All this talk of Connecticut makes me think of the Babysitters Club. Man, that would have been a great crossover. Claudia could have made earrings for JB and JB could have told Kristy to calm down. Missed opportunity.

Down at the precinct Cooper is still trying to get hold of his wife, with no success. He tells JB that Carl Cosgrove is in the morgue, and she informs him that he’s also in a bed in Farmington taking the news of his death rather well considering he’d been killed by a hitman.

Word

When will they learn?

Cooper wants to know how JB knows the dead man in the car was a professional killer and JB tells him she learned in church. Something very strange is going on here, she tells him. Cooper shows her a photo of the body that they pulled from the river and JB confirms it’s not the same man she saw in the bed. Cooper decides it’s time for a housecall and they zoom up to Farmington.

Inside, Van Buren tries to stall them but Delgado’s assistant pulls a gun and it all goes a bit wrong until Jackson steps in. He informs them that they are in a DSS safehouse which has now been compromised thanks to their arrival. Van Buren and Jackson are both cagey about their activities at the safe house but Mrs Cosgrove breaks after seeing a photo of the dead Cosgrove. He turns out to be their colleague Adams, who according to Van Buren went out to meet a guy in a deserted parking lot on his own and never came back. Jackson says he had no idea about that. Jackson confirms that the dead man is the unit boss.

Back at her hotel JB has had about enough of spies, which is unfortunate as one has broken into her hotel room and gotten stuck into her mini bar.

I'd be pulling that face too. NEVER TOUCH ANOTHER PERSON'S MINI BAR.

I’d be pulling that face too. NEVER TOUCH ANOTHER PERSON’S MINI BAR.

Father Patrick Francis (seen lurking in the background above) not only is a mini-bar raider, but isn’t a priest. He’s in the DSS Internal Affairs, and now that JB has penetrated his cover she’s going to have to trust him.

“Why should I trust you?” Asks JB.

“Because I work for the government.” Says Francis.

Sidenote: I have been rewatching The X-Files and I forgot how amazing it was. You know why? BECAUSE VINCE GILLIGAN WORKED ON IT #conspiraciesbitch

Sidenote: I have been rewatching The X-Files and I forgot how amazing it was. You know why? BECAUSE VINCE GILLIGAN WORKED ON IT #conspiraciesbitch

JB agrees to listen to the Tale of Francis, but only where there are people around, i.e the dog park. They sit down, and Francis tells Jess that the previous week Adams called Internal Affairs to tell them he thought there was a traitor at the safe house but it could be anyone – Jackson, Van Buren, Pearce, Mrs Cosgrove, the “houseguest” and rebel leader Delgado or his bodyguard Sanchez. The previous day, Adams called Francis and told him he’d been contacted by an informant who had information revealing the identity of the traitor. Adams arranged to meet him at Trinity College that night, and told Francis that he hadn’t told anyone at the safe house about it. Francis was suspicious, so followed Adams to the meeting and told Adams to put a tracker on the car. Francis followed them using the tracker but lost them at the bridge. He lost the signal but then saw the informants car so followed it back to town, only to see him crash into JB’s hotel.

That’s all well and good, but what does he want from JB? To spy on the safe house of course! She can use her mystery writer acumen to pick up on things.

“Ah, so you’ve read up on me too.” says JB

“Does that bother you? Well, when this is over tell me what you  want and I’ll pluck it out of your file.” Says Francis

That's the second time her "file" has come up this episode and both times she's been anxious. My theory: she's in S.H.I.E.L.D

That’s the second time her “file” has come up this episode and both times she’s been anxious. My theory: she’s in S.H.I.E.L.D

Unfortunately for Francis JB ain’t nobody’s snitch and says no. That night back at the hotel JB gets a call from a Mr Secretary and her no becomes a yes.

In the car the next day Francis tells Jessica to be herself, and gives her a present – a lipstick. But it’s no ordinary lipstick. It’s a bazooka flame thrower nuclear warhead tracking beacon – just twist and Francis will come running with the cavalry. On that note, he gets out of the car and leaves JB to be dropped at the safehouse. Van Buren and Mrs Cosgrove are less than enthusiastic to see her on the security camera but Jackson left word for her to be allowed in.

Jessica tells Jackson she wants to write a book about the safehouse but before she can get too much further (and before Jackson can chuck a tantrum) Sergeant Cooper arrives full with the news that he’d just discovered Adams had a criminal history longer than his arm. Meanwhile upstairs Pearce has just woken up to discover Sanchez shaking the lifeless body of Delgado. Pearce runs down to inform Jackson and they all go to see for themselves, leaving Jess to turn the beeper on (after accidentally picking up the wrong lipstick first trolololol).

Francis and Cooper are satisfied that Pearce woke just in time to see Sanchez murder Delgado but JB isn’t sure. There was no way for Sanchez to know that Pearce was asleep behind the two-way mirror, and in any case how does it link back to the death of Adams? It’s not until JB is talking to Mrs Cosgrove that she suddenly works it out. Because Adams didn’t tell anyone about his secret meeting the night he died.

But someone knew.

I must admit I picked this one early on, although Mike Brady was drinking tea like an evil-doer so I wasn't sure

I must admit I picked this one early on, although Mike Brady was drinking tea like an evil-doer so I wasn’t sure

Ah yes, the old “assassinate a guy for money but get my boss out of the way in order to do it” routine. Classic Van Buren.

Let us end this week on one of the better freeze-frame endings the show has had for awhile – the face JB pulls after having to explain to Sergeant Cooper that he’s just hung up on his wife.

So until next time

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E04 – One White Rose For Death

2 Comments

High intrigue and shenanigans this week gang! JB has been invited to Washington to attend the farewell performance of East German violinist Greta Mueller and attend a swanky after-party with the Prime Minister of England. She’s met at the airport by Andrew Wyckham from her English publishing company, after her regular agent Geoffrey Phillips was called away at the last minute.

I knew he was Winston in The Mummy but I DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS DOCTOR BOMBAY FROM BEWITCHED OMG

I knew he was Winston in The Mummy but I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS DOCTOR BOMBAY FROM BEWITCHED OMG

JB is amazed to even be invited (pish tosh) but Wyckham tells her that Greta Mueller is one of her biggest fans and couldn’t return to the dark side without meeting her hero. Nawww. (She claims to have learnt English from reading JB’s books. Believe me when I tell you this is a Scandalous Lie)

Before they can get anywhere they are met outside the terminal by the head of Greta’s security detail, Colonel Gerhardt Brunner, who these days is deep undercover on Young and the Restless.

I'm a little bit alarmed at how good I am at spotting soap stars in TV shows.

I’m a little bit alarmed at how good I am at spotting soap stars in TV shows.

He tells them that Greta is most anxious to meet her heroine (fair enough) and asks that they go straight to the concert hall where she is rehearsing and arguing with her brother. Over lunch Wyckham regales them with tales of his adventures in Africa (including the time he flew an airplane with Brendan Fraser through a cursed sandstorm and died) before they are interrupted by a journalist requesting an interview.

Hang on a minute.

It's everyone's favourite Irish spy Michael Hegarty!  You know, from that time JB was pretending to be someone else?

It’s everyone’s favourite Irish spy Michael Hegarty! You know, from that time JB was pretending to be someone else?

Before JB can give the game away Hegarty introduces himself as Dennis McElvey, a reporter from the London Evening Sentinel. Greta seems irritated at the intrusion but her brother Franz seems quite excited to have an interview arranged and so tells Hegarty to come backstage at the concert the following day.

Later that evening Hegarty pops round JB’s hotel to enlighten her – he’s on a mission from God for the SIS but he still has plenty of time to catch up. She owes him a date, so he proposes dinner at a restaurant the following evening at which he hopes they “will both be on their worst behaviour”. Ew.

Ugh, it seems our heroine is not completely perfect after all.

Ugh, it seems our heroine is not completely perfect after all.

The next night at the concert hall there’s mystery and intrigue in the air. Hegarty meets with Franz Mueller who is quickly found out to be an East German intelligence source. Hegarty tells him that there’s a problem with Mueller’s information provider, a woman named Ilsa Steiner – she’s gone missing, and is suspected of going to the East German authorities to out Franz as a spy. Later, a call to SIS HQ contains news so bad that Hegarty’s colleague Jack Kendall goes racing down to the theatre to deliver it in person. Since mobile phones have yet to be invented.

At the interval JB and Wyckham are chatting merrily in the foyer when Hegarty appears, bleeding. He orders them to leave immediately and pulls a gun when Wyckham starts whingeing. With Brunner and his minions in hot pursuit, JB and Wyckham get into the limo – but not before Wyckham and the limo driver/SIS agent exchange a Look. SUBTLE PLOT POINT!

Hegarty tells Jack to drop JB and Wickham at a cab rank but Jack informs them that Brunner is still on their tail. Hegarty tells him to drive to the embassy and phones ahead to make sure the gates are open or he’s crashing through them. First Secretary Henry Claymore (who is inexplicably Australian but pretending not to be) is not particularly excited about this, and explains that there’s barely any staff at the embassy as most are off guarding the Prime Minister after an assassination attempt had been made in Australia the week before, HEY LEAVE US OUT OF THIS!  Claymore tells his wife (played by Jenny Agutter who I know from Spooks, The Avengers and that episode of Coupling with Patrick’s love cupboard). They come out to meet the car and are amazed when Hegarty produces Greta and Franz Mueller out of the boot of the limo. I’m pretty sure this is also how Julian Assange ended up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Hegarty takes charge and orders Claymore not to tell the Ambassador that the Muellers are in the building. Dr Lynch, who just so happens to be hanging out in the embassy, checks Hegarty’s bullet wound and informs him that he will be fine. Despite all of this, Hegarty won’t tell Jess what is going on. I always said that Hegarty was shifty.  JB goes for a stickybeak around the embassy and overhears Jack Kendall on the phone asking for information on Operation White Rose.

Hegarty finally comes clean after a stinging rebuke from JB and tells her the story of how Franz Mueller came to be a British informant. Until his source Ilsa Steiner is found, no one can leave the embassy. Just as he finishes his tale, Claymore appears with an update – the East German government has issued an arrest warrant for Franz Mueller. JB goes to tell Greta the news – and discovers the body of Jack Kendall lying on the ground clutching a white rose. OH THE SUBTLE PLOT POINTS DAZZLE ME WITH YOUR SUBTLETY!

Claymore regains control, orders everyone inside and gets on the phone to the guardhouse to search the grounds for intruders. Hegarty stands guard over the body and tells Jess that he was the one who recruited Jack to the service. He was perfect because he looked so much like a stuffy banker. The trick to being a spy, is to not look like a spy (Life Lesson #47). I don’t know how Hegarty thinks he doesn’t look like a spy, he’s one shady character.

Jess asks Hegarty about Operation White Rose.  White Rose, Hegarty informs JB, was an operation in Johannesburg nine years earlier in which a group of agents (including Jack Kendall) were sent to guard an anti-apartheid leader by the name of Benjamin Kombassa, who was assassinated in a public square. His killer was never apprehended. Before he can go on one of Claymore’s minions arrives to request they rejoin the group. Instead they harangue Claymore until he grants Hegarty access to the Code Room. He hopes that that will be sufficient for Ms Fletcher?

Hegarty would be still whinging if it weren't for JB. FACT.

Hegarty would be still whingeing if it weren’t for JB. FACT.

JB goes for a snoop around Doctor Ryan’s office and discovers that Jack Kendall was not only stabbed but poisoned as well, suggesting a) a professional hit and b) Jack Kendall was killed because he was recognised. Hegarty tells her  that Doctor Ryan was in Transvaal the same time as Benjamin Kombassa but since he was an anti-apartheid supporter it makes no sense that Kendall killed him. He also tells her that there is no file on Mrs Claymore. Meanwhile, Colonel Brunner gives the embassy a call and tells them that the Mueller’s parents have been taken into custody as a precaution against their treasonous son.

Leaving the group again, Our Heroine informs Hegarty that she has a fairly good idea what’s going on but needs some more information. She talks to the Claymores and hears a long-winded story about Mrs Claymore’s history that is boring and irrelevant but essentially JB realises that the Claymores and Doctor Ryan were not the killers of Benjamin Kombassa. But I think we all know who is, thanks to those SUBTLE PLOT POINTS.

Excuse me while I have heart attack and die of NOT SURPRISED

Excuse me while I have heart attack and die of NOT SURPRISED

It turns out our Mr Wyckham is a deadly assassin for hire, sent to America to kill the British Prime Minister, and used JB’s invitation to get in to the party. Unfortunately it all went a bit wrong for him with the whole East German defection business., but I guess you can’t plan for everything.

Job done, there’s still the matter of the East Germans to deal with. Greta decides to return to East Berlin and leave her brother in America, and Hegarty assures JB they will do all that they can for Greta in East Germany.

And by assures, I think you know what I mean.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!