S09E10 – The Sound of Murder


Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB has branched out into writing classes, and is already dishing out some life lessons (Life Lesson #69 – “Believe me the most difficult part of writing is actually getting started!”)

As the class wraps up, one of the students, Holly Chase, informs JB that she has convinced her bosses at Rojam Records to let Jessica record her next audiobook there for free – she just needs to come in the evenings, and pop in the next day for a photoshoot with the Big Boss, Freddie Major (aka Vince Fontaine from Grease, and this episode)

The man himself, it just so happens, is across town ironing out the final terms of Rojam’s purchase by another company, led by a dude called Mitch Randall – mainly that band Mirabilis stays part of Rojam, but the A&R director goes on account of being mob connected. Freddy isn’t pleased about this but Mitch reminds him of the money. Outside a man in a van listens in, while on a completely unrelated note, Mitch Randall’s piece on the side Michelle has agreed to sign with Rojam, her voice is amazing, you’re gonna love her. And one more thing – Michelle says there’s some guy called Willie Piper who sounds amazing and Rojam should sign him immediately if not sooner.

So you know. There’s stakes.

Jessica arrives for her photo shoot the next day, but Freddie’s still in taking photos with Mirabilis.

There’s a lot going on there and I’m just talking about the hair.

Job done, the hair goes on its merry way and JB sits down at the piano with Freddie. She thanks him for the use of his studio and his sound engineer and he says “Sure! Hey you know anything about music Mrs Fletcher?”


Freddie goes on to explain that Mirabilis have a new song coming out called Bulletproof but they’ve stuffed up the bass line and despite his pleas they won’t change it. Life is nothing but pain for Freddie.

Photo shoot over, it’s time for Jessica to go on with her day. Freddie invites her to the filming of the Bulletproof music video that Saturday, and they are joined by Richard Lefko (the Mob guy) and Charles George Drexler, the manager of Mirabilis. Coincidentally, both are in the new season of Twin Peaks.

I mean I want to talk about that last episode of Twin Peaks but it was…I mean I can….do you….it just….WHAT EVEN IS WORDS.

This is the water and this is the well you guys.

Freddie has a meeting with Richard and Charles, so Jess heads off for a tour of the building with Freddie’s right hand woman Julie. As they leave Jess bumps into a random executive and apologises, and Holly reminds Jessica that they have tickets to a Magnetech concert the next night. Julie is surprised to hear this, she doesn’t peg Jessica as a heavy metal fan.

I beg to differ.

Charles lays down the conditions for Mirabilis staying with Rojam, and reminds Freddie that he can’t afford to say no. Freddie vents his rage on Richard, who tells him to calm down and takes him to lunch. As they leave they hear Willie Piper playing – Freddie tells Richard they don’t have him signed, but that his producer is hanging out (hint hint) with Julie.

That night Jessica arrives at the studio to begin recording The Corpse Danced At Midnight, and hopes that it goes better than last time. The in-demand Willie Parker happens to be jamming out while his producer Paul gets ready to record JB, and is delighted to meet her, he loves her books. Jessica starts laying down some sick beats reading her story but the booth soon gets a visit from Freddie and Richard, and so when Jess wants to redo a scene, no one is paying attention. She presses the magic button and eavesdrops on Freddie’s frankly sinister pitch to Paul that Willie sign with Rojam Records. He says no, and Willie says where Paul goes he goes. Freddie tells him Julie’s job is on the line (which is news to Julie in the recording studio) but Paul won’t budge. The next day Freddie tries to weave his magic on Julie but she’s not going to help him get Willie and Paul to sign either, no matter what the threat.

Jessica and Holly go to the heavy metal concert, and it’s neither of their cups of tea.

I think this is more JB’s jam. Or possibly this.

Some more stuff happens while I googled heavy metal bands Jessica Fletcher would like, and then Richard and Charles meet in a car park to tell him that Freddie is selling the company, but that he’s also heard that Charles sold all his shares in Rojam, betting that the deal is going to go wrong.

Sidenote, if there was a Which Twin Peaks Character Are You Quiz I would totally be Dianne. Or the Log Lady. And I TOTALLY CALLED MICHAEL CERA PLAYING ANDY AND LUCY’S SON.

Fast forward to the film shoot and while Jessica Fletchsplains squibs to Holly Freddy makes one last pitch for Willie Piper. Willie turns him down and Freddy tells him that if he doesn’t play ball, Freddy will make it known that Willie did time for robbery. Because people gave a toss about that? Pfft. Freddy thinks it’s still 1962.

Holly gets a message for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. The random executive Jess bumped into is handing out business cards to all the blonde backup dancers, and Paul goes to investigate an amp. The shoot gets underway, and if I could work out how to gif this business to show in its full early 90s glory Fletcherfans I would. It’s a hell of a thing.

As the shoot continues, JB boogies in her seat but is concerned when a suspiciously real sounding gunshot goes off. Holly assures her it’s the gun beat and to just go with it. It’s just like watching Nine Inch Nails at the roadhouse, except I would rather watch Trent Reznor than whatever the hell this is any day of the week.

Charles Drexer pops up to see how JB is enjoying it all, another gunshot is heard, and the body of Freddy Major drops off a conveyor belt.

I’m so annoyed by this episode that I’m not even going to do a bit about Freddy not being bulletproof. TAKE THAT EPISODE FROM TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.

NYPD Lieutenant Bob Alan Terwilliger arrives and quickly rules that the killer lured Freddy backstage, shot him and dumped his body on the conveyor belt. Jess is sure she heard a gunshot come from the VIP lounge, but Terwilliger reminds her she also heard the gunshot come from behind the conveyor belt and to not get that look like he’s talking out his hat.

Hat is presumably code for arse.

Charles pops up again, to ask whether he can come by the next day to pick up the keyboard from the VIP lounge, Mirabilis need it for a thing in a couple of days. Richard also bobs up to ask Terwilliger whether he knows that Charles is the only person who benefits from Freddy being fired from life, after betting on the business deal going south. Terwilliger will look into it just as soon as he gets his bet with Jessica finalised – that his squashes will be bigger and tastier than her squashes by August.

Shit just got real.

Jess takes herself off to the VIP lounge, where she finds an upset Julie furious that the police are hounding Paul about leaving the set at the time of the murder. Jess starts fiddling around with the keyboard for reasons that I’m sure will be come important later.

Back at House Fletcher Jess feeds Holly and asks her who called for Freddy to go to the VIP lounge. Holly says she can’t be sure, it was too loud. Jess is wondering about the sleazy blonde guy she keeps bumping into and Holly tells her the police told her it was a private detective lurking around. (I’ve watched this episode twice and not noticed him). Jess wonders what he might have been doing there, and Holly explains about the business deal Freddy was negotiating. Julie appears, looking devastated – Paul’s been arrested for murder, the murder weapon was found in his car. Jess asks her where Paul went at the time of the murder – apparently he went looking for Willie but couldn’t find him.

Jess decides to pay a visit to the private investigator, but he’s cleared out. His landlord Giorgi Pappavasilopoulos appears to tell her that he was evicted for lack of rent. Jess goes hunting in the basement and finds the file on Rojam Records in the trash. I can’t even explain how ridiculous this scene was.

JB learns that Richard Lefko was the one who hired the PI to bug Freddy, but she doesn’t believe he killed him. Terwilliger calls to find out what’s going on and offers to shout JB brunch at Tavern on the Green. On her way out Holly starts waffling on about piano music and Jess works out who the killer is.

Whatever makes this episode end faster.

So yeah! That’s T-Bag from Prison Break. #TheMoreYouKnow

So presumably Charles bumped off Freddy to ensure the deal went south and Charles made a lot of money? Meh, whatever.

Let’s just all picture JB at a metal concert, and continue on with our lives shall we?

Later gang!



S01E20 – Armed Response

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I can’t believe there’s only two more episodes left in season one. My how crime flies! (See what I did there?)

After putting Amos back in his place last week, JB is on the road again, this time to Texas, to testify on behalf of a fellow writer accused of plagiarism. Which is ironic, because 75% of the characters in this episode feel like they’re plagiarising every Texan stereotype ever invented.

Take for instance, this guy.

On his way to audition for Dallas. (Probably not true)

Milton Porter is the defence attorney in charge of the case, and meets JB at the airport. Before JB can get too overawed by Milton’s hat she is knocked to the ground by a herd of wilderbeast kid.

Anybody else think that’s a man?

Despite her less than elegant trip to the ground Our Heroine maintains her composure, even as Milton shuffles her off to the Samuel Garver Institute while salivating with glee over the lawsuit he’s going to file over the airport. What a top bloke.

At the institute JB is tended to by George Clooney Doctor Garver, who informs her that she’s fractured her leg and then leaves her to get plastered (heh heh heh) by his minion, Dr Ellison. He tells her to let him know if there’s any pain or swelling, and JB agrees, saying “Oh, I’m no hero.” SUCH MODESTY.

Now, meet my new favourite character (apart from JB obviously).

“Isn’t it great how they treat us here? Cigarettes, bourbon, sex…gone!”

Sadie Winthrop is who I want to be like when I get old. Actually screw that, I want to be like her now.

JB gets wheeled back to bed but not before running into Dr Garver’s other minion, Dr House Kenyon. Ugh, are you as bored as I am right now? Somebody better should code blue, or turn into a zombie or something. Anyway, Dr Ellison and Dr Kenyon hate each other, as encouraged by Dr Garver. You know, that old chestnut.

Meanwhile, Our Heroine takes care of business.

So far this has been the highlight of the episode.

Also taking care of business is Dr Sam, who is having a shindig at his house, where all his douchey friends come and hang and be douchey. It’s here we find two of the most completely redundant characters in the history of television having a fight about I don’t even care.  Here’s a screencap so you can share my pain:

For the record, his name is Billy Don, and if you want to imagine her voice, think Mimi from the Drew Carey show on helium and from Texas.

Remember that time Leslie Nielsen was on a boat? And that time Jerry Orbach was a private dick? Those were the good ol days…

Dr Garver excuses himself from Dumb and Dumber and answers the phone. It’s JB’s nurse, asking to run some tests on another patient, Barney Ogden. He flips his lid, and orders her to never contact him again. Seriously, am I victim in this episode? I’ve never been so bored.

Back at the hospital JB is on the hunt for big game a cup of tea, when she hears Elison and Kenyon having a brawl. Since she still doesn’t have a murder to solve, (HINT BLOODY HINT), JB settles in with her cup of tea to listen to the fight.

Haven’t seen this much excitement since that time JB scratched the inside of her cast with a comb

Back at Garver’s place there’s an alarm going off. FINALLY. The security guard goes to take a look and spots the nurse driving in the opposite direction. At the house he finds Dr Garver swimming with the fishes (in his koi pond). IT’S ABOUT BLOODY TIME.

The next morning JB and Sadie are tucking into some apple flapjacks. Sadie asks for coffee but is told that Dr Garver told Dr Kenyon that she was only getting carrot juice from here on in.

No wonder he ended up dead…just saying…

Word gets through that the Doctor has ceased to be, and Marge the head nurse goes running in tears, which is kind of how I feel about this episode to be honest.

JB goes back to her room where she finds a stripper policeman. The first time I watched this episode I swore it was the spitting image of Dave Hughes but I realise now that this was because it was 1am and I had just consumed half a block of Haighs Caramel Fudge.

Most definitely not Dave Hughes.

Lieutenant Hughes Jenkins needs help. He’s just been transferred from the bad side of the tracks and has no idea how to deal with these rich lunatics. Can JB give him a hand?

I think it’s the accent…

Any hopes that the arrival of the lieutenant would make this episode a little less boring are soon dashed when they go to the late Doc’s house and spend a stupid amount of time talking about alarms and the fact that the doc’s keys were outside. Not even the arrival of Batman himself is going to make this episode okay.

It’s not long before Ray has a suspect in mind – JB’s nurse Jennie. JB calls shenanigans on this and enlists Captain Litigation to get her out of the police station. Ray reveals that he’s found an answering machine tape in which he tells the Head Nurse to get rid of Jennie. JB says BIG FREAKING DEAL, DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM.

I”m paraphrasing a bit. This episode is giving me nothing.

JB decides to do a little reenacting CSI style, and gets Ray to fire blanks (heh heh heh). She concludes that there were two shots fired that night, one to kill the Doctor and one to mask the time of death. Ray concedes this point but arrests Jennie anyway after a Helpful Tip leads him to discover the murder weapon in her locker.
Our heroine immediately goes to visit Captain Lawsuit to get him to take on her case.

Milton being a little bit less handsy than usual.

Of course, when Dr Kenyon turns up and offers to pay for it he’s positively delighted at the thought.

JB goes back to the hospital to see her buds Sadie and Barney – those crazy kids – and while she watches them argue over gin she has a startling thought. 2+2 doesn’t equal 5!

Sigh. I’m not going to drag this out any longer.

Are you as underwhelmed as I am?

The doctors got sick of Garver trying to make them fight to the death (which frankly would have improved this episode no end), so they took action.

So there you have it. And if you’ve made it this far in the episode, I congratulate you. I’ve watched it twice now, and I maintain JB scratching her leg with a comb was the best bit of it. Let’s hope next week Amos is back with his comedy ‘policeman’ routine.

Y’all come back now, y’hear?