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S12E07 – Nan’s Ghost (Part 2)

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Ghosts! Traysure! Our Heroine stuck in a dungeon! Fletcherfans this second half has a lot to live up to so let’s get to it before I start googling pictures of Olivia Coleman holding her Oscar again.

After conducting a thorough search of the dungeon and finding only some writing scratched on a wall, Jess takes time out to maintain her energy.

Life Lesson #77 – Always carry caramels in your handbag for when a ghost has trapped you in an Irish dungeon.

Also, you can melt them down and pour it over brownies and then put more brownie batter on top and make caramel stuffed brownies and you’re welcome.

Meanwhile, over at Nan’s father’s store, Dr Sullivan has broken in to hunt through Nan’s things. He takes off when Jack hears him.

The next day Eileen and Rory are getting more and more concerned about the lack of Jessica in their lives. Rory’s rung around the hotels in Dublin but none are currently holding Jess. Eileen decides to try her publisher while Rory heads to the Guarda station. On his way out he bumps into Mrs Nader and Paul Lafferty, who are keen to get the hotel building situation happening quick. Apparently, Vincent’s murder doesn’t change anything.

After a rough night sleeping on a tomb, JB orders the rats to stay away from her breakfast (more caramel) and gets to work saving herself. She up-ends her handbag (contents of which include a tissue, a purse, a day planner, some sort of compact and a nail file), and gets to work prising a metal ring out of the rock using the nail file.

Down at the Guarda station, Rory bumps into Superintendent Joyce and Matthew Ryan, who tell him that Jessica definitely didn’t leave in a cab like Zuleika said she did, but she totes could have left on the bus. They’ve also found the weapon that killed Vincent Nader but Rory isn’t terribly bothered about all that. Afterwards, Joyce tells Matthew that his fling with Zuleika was no one’s business.

In the dungeon, JB gets the metal ring out of the stone and has a crack at throwing it through the window. She misses.

Rory heads back to the castle, where Eileen informs him that JB’s publisher didn’t even know she was in Ireland, much less have an appointment. Rory gets a phone call from his mystery informant about the money laundering and arranges to meet him the next day. He’s perplexed by the informant saying it’s getting too late but has bigger fish to fry. He sends Moira off to find Ian and he and Eileen start searching the grounds.

After three attempts, JB manages to smash the glass in the window. Unfortunately, no one hears her yelling but luckily for her Rory is on his game, spots the broken glass and realises she’s in the old wing. They rush to get her out, and Jess tells them she is convinced that Nan was murdered.

Arthur Joyce is unsurprisingly hesitant to cast aspersions on Zuleika and insists it might be possible JB was trapped by accident. JB isn’t having a bar of it, but Rory tells her to calm down Joyce is probably a good cop. A call comes from Jack Conroy to say that JB’s pottery has arrived, and so she heads over to collect it – taking with her the piece of treasure that Nan had given Moira.

Out in the gardens Ian is fighting with Deidre over the future of the castle when Matthew Ryan pops in to say that his sister is in labour and there are all sorts of problems and they can’t find the doctor Deidre is the only person who can save her. Back at the Guarda station, the recently widowed Mrs Nader tells Peter Franklin that her new BFF and Hans Gruber impersonator Paul Lafferty will get him the best attorney there is but there’s nothing more to say. Meanwhile, Lafferty has just discovered his foolproof financing plan was not so foolproof, and he’s not the only one who knows. Dr Sullivan will keep his mouth shut – for a price.

JB speaks to Jack Conroy about the night he found Nan’s body and he tells her he’d heard the rumours so he went for a walk in the woods that Sunday night and followed Nan’s ghost. He’s heard Sullivan’s stories of the Cromwell treasure selling at auction but he doesn’t want anything to do with any of it. JB relays this back to Rory, who thinks this might help with his money laundering investigation.

Later that night Dr Sullivan plays his card and offers to take the castle off Eileen after a 1-year lease but Eileen wants to see some paperwork, while Ian eavesdrops. JB gifts Nan’s painting to the castle. Rory gets off the phone and announces someone by the name of Rafaella Sabatini has been the one auctioning off the items and JB recalls Zuleika’s novel, in which David Hasselhoff and Mel Gibson cross swords over the busty heroine Rafaella.

Nope still not good. But Rory thinks she has a point and wants to have a word with Dr Sullivan – except he’s just slunk out into the storm. Ian notices this and follows him, demanding what Sullivan is plotting. By the time JB and Rory catch up, Sullivan is dead on the ground, a pitchfork sticking out of him. Rory hears someone moving about and goes after them, only to receive a whack to the head for his trouble. JB asks Dr Sullivan who did it and he says something like “choice…treasures…are there” before he shuffles off.

Superintendent Joyce takes statements but he’s mystified and sends them all to bed. JB is convinced the same killer killed all three people. Deidre returns home from a 20 hour delivery and has a victory pash with Officer Ryan. The next day Peter Franklin is released after Joyce gets some troubling results back. They head up to the castle and arrest Ian, who denies everything. Rory and Deidre discuss the situation down the pub, and Diedre is delighted with the idea that Rory would chuck his career away to save Ian and make Eileen happy but she doesn’t know where he was at the time of the murder.

JB takes Moira down to look at the Gaelic graffiti she found. She’s sure Nan wrote it before she died, and Moira tells her it is “chloisteáil mo ghlór” which translates to “hear my voice”. JB wonders whether she was referring to a recording or a tape, and this gives Moira an idea. Fun fact, Pog Mo Thoin allegedly means kiss my arse in Gaelic.

Rory has a chat with Ian who is as usual full of bluster but swears he didn’t kill anyone. A phone call comes for Rory from his money laundering spy asking to meet that night. Back at the castle, Moira finds a tape called ‘Hear My Voice’ which is Nan speaking in Gaelic about things and a Mr Buttons and dirty digits. Leonard the head chef casually eavesdrops.

It really is though.

JB calls Rory at the pub to tell him THE TRAYSURE IS REAL AND THERE’S A MURDERER CALLED MR BUTTONS AND OR DIRTY DIGITS but Rory hasn’t got time for that right now. JB finds Peter Franklin back from Dublin and he tells her he couldn’t find the guy who set him up – also he’d totally gotten it wrong the pub was in Grafton Street, not Harcourt Street.

As usual, JB is all over it.

Rory goes to meet his money laundering spy and finds him lying under a tree bleeding out – it’s Leonard the chef. Meanwhile, JB lays out a Daring Plan to catch the killer and find the treasure in one hit.

That old chestnut.

Because you guys. Dr Sullivan muttered “Arthur Joyce…treasures”, and Arthur knew where Peter had been set up before Peter did. Joyce wanted all the money for himself so he killed anyone who stood in his way.

Another job well done. And now Eileen is off on a dirty weekend with Rory, Zuleika is under arrest in Malaga in Spain and JB had an idea for a new story in which the only treasure will be the words she uses which she will find in her head.

I think JB was well into the whisky at this point. Which isn’t a bad idea, come to that.

Later Fletcherfans!

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S12E06 – Nan’s Ghost (Part 1)

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Welcome to jolly old Ireland where a man is chasing a ghost through the woods and finds the remains of his daughter in the ruins of a castle. Grim.

In happier news, Jessica is back in Whisky Land to see her old pal Inspector Rory Lanahan and drive down to see his old flame Eileen (both of whom have been in the other Ireland episodes, but not together guys it’s all coming together). Rory’s decided he made a mistake 30 years ago and he’s going to marry her – I mean let’s just see what Eileen thinks about all this, she’s only been a widow two years everybody calm down.

As they leave, a man who had been eavesdropping on their conversation bumps into Jessica and apologises profusely. He also steals her wallet which is a bit rude.

Also on their way to the village is Vincent Nader and his wife Andrea. Vincent’s in town to do some sweet sweet business transacting and his local partner  Paul Lafferty is channelling Die Hard Alan Rickman…

I’m not wrong about this.

Jess and Rory arrive at Eileen’s castle just in time to see the local police conducting their investigation now that Nan Conroy’s body has been found. They all thought she’d taken off to Belfast with a boy but instead, she was trapped in the crypt and died. SO GRIM. Superintendent Arthur Joyce slyly congratulates Rory on his promotion and says it will be a relief to have someone in town who can show them all the latest procedures but Rory says not to worry he’s on his holiday. Eileen tells Jess her daughter Deidre will be back for dinner, and her son Ian is in the town buying new farm equipment.  This is a surprise for Rory, who thought Eileen was moving to Dublin and Eileen says it is eventually despite Ian trying to talk her out of it.

Down at the pub, Ian is having a chat with Officer Matthew Ryan who is very keen to see Ian’s sister Deidre but Ian tells him to lose the lovesick look first. Vincent arrives and is happy to talk up the job prospects of the new hotel but Ian is adamant his mother won’t sign the contract. Meanwhile, Rory pops down to the Garda station and it is revealed he’s not on holiday at all, he’s investigating a money laundering scheme.

That night there’s a storm and a shindig at the castle. Deidre tells Jessica about her plans to be a doctor before being dragged off by loverboy Matthew so JB has a cuppa with Moira the maid instead.

Tea with the queen.

Rory has a chat with Doctor John Sullivan, who is an expert in the Cromwell period (aren’t we all though really) and is getting on Rory’s nerves with his familiarity with Eileen. JB drags him away to tell him she can’t find her wallet. Meanwhile, Eileen’s new head chef Leonard turns out to be spying on Mrs Nader who is cheating on her husband. He asks Vincent for more money but Vince is having none of it and says if Leonard blabs Eileen will find out she’s hired an ex-con.

Jessica meets romance novelist and resident lush Zuleika Brown who tells JB about her latest work in progress in which David Hasselhoff and Mel Gibson cross swords over the busty heroine Rafaella.

This was also my response, except I spat my tea all over the keyboard first.

Jess is convinced she’s met Zuleika before, but Zuleika tells JB not to strain herself, she’ll live to regret it. Or maybe she won’t!

I think we’ve all met a Zuleika at a party before.

Rory gets a phone call from a mystery person saying he knows all about the money laundering situation and he’ll be in touch shortly. Eileen brings over a surprise guest to see JB – it’s the wallet pincher from the start of the episode, except he tells JB he found it after she left and wanted to return it while he was hitching to Tipperary which as we know is a long way. Later, JB tells Rory she doesn’t believe a word of what he said.

Later, Eileen shows JB to her room in the old wing and says not to worry, the noises are just Nan Conroy’s ghost. JB’s not having a bar of it but later in the night she goes investigating and bumps into Rory, who has heard the same noises.  They don’t find anything and Rory takes himself back to bed. Jessica is about to do the same when she sees a ghostly figure walk down the hallway and disappear.

The next day a service is held for Nan Conroy. Her father sends word to JB via Moira that he thinks Nan was murdered. Ian begs Sergeant Loverboy with some help holding up Nader’s hotel plans but Loverboy won’t be a party to it. Peter Franklin comes across Andrea Nader out in the garden and the mystery of who Andrea’s piece on the side is is solved. She tells him it’s over but she has a funny way of showing it. Apparently, Peter met some rando in a pub who offered him five grand to come do a job in Ballynook. Totes convenient. Inside, Ian has a fight with his mother in the kitchen about selling the castle to Vincent Nader.

Down the pub that night Rory sees Dr Sullivan badgering Jack Conroy and calls his station to get more info on Jack. Superintendent Joyce steps in to stop a young local harassing Zuleika and requests the honour of driving her back to the castle. The next day the Superintendent pops in to inform Ian that someone has stolen paperwork relating to the hotel and he wouldn’t know anything about that would he? Moira tells him Ian was with her the night before, which no one believes. Sergeant Loverboy quietly calls them both idiots as he walks after Joyce, and Ian swears he didn’t take the papers but he’d love to know who did.

JB and Eileen take a turn about the gardens and the churchyard and Eileen tells JB the story of Mary O’Hara who seduced an English guard, murdered him and then hid the Cromwell treasure. She haunts the gardens on Midsummers Eve, dontcha know. Jess thinks this is all much more serious than that and goes to see Jack Conroy but he takes back everything he said, it was the grief talking. JB spots a painting of Mary O’Hara’s grave that Nan painted and Jack gifts it to her.

At the castle that night Moira hunts for Ian while Deidre and Sergeant Loverboy have a tiff. Vincent Nader gets a phone call and goes outside, followed by Peter Franklin who is followed by Ian O’Bannon. Vince meets someone, who shoots him dead and is gone by the time Peter Franklin is on the scene.

Superintendent Joyce is on the case and is curious to know why Andrea slept apart from her husband the night before, but she says it was because she wasn’t feeling well. He informs her they found a letter that signalled Vincent’s intent to divorce her and mentions Peter’s name. Peter steps forward and Joyce tells him not to leave town.

Jess and Rory adjourn to a cafe and Rory finally admits he’s not on holiday, he’s investigating money laundering coming out of Ballynook. Jess thinks this is all tied up with Nan’s death but Rory just warns her to stay out of it. Neither of them notices Zuleika sitting behind them listening in.

Back at the castle, Moira confronts Ian about where he was at the time of the murder but gets nowhere. Joyce has a clandestine makeout session with Zuleika that we all could have done without frankly. Jess finds treasure in her bag, and Peter Franklin is arrested. Jessica arrives just in time to hear him tell Andrea to find the man who set him up, and Joyce explains that apparently Peter met some rando in a pub in Grafton street and it’s all gone on from there. Dr Sullivan spots the treasure in JB’s hand but sadly tells her it’s a fake. When JB returns to her room though she finds Moira lurking and she tells her it’s real, Nan found it and her father gave it to Moira. The Cromwell treasure is real.

Speaking of, Dr Sullivan goes to see Jack Conroy and apologise for getting up in his business at the pub, and to find out what he knows about the treasure, which is definitely real and someone is selling it up north for a mint. Jack stops Sullivan going through Nan’s things and throws him out.

Rory goes to see Peter – Peter explains the whole thing about he was meant to be in the garden at 8pm to receive a package but the man never showed and now he’s arrested for murder instead. Back at the castle, Zuleika says goodbye to JB, she’s hitting the road. Not a minute later JB gets a call from a friend in the States who confirms that Zuleika went to prison for her part playing a ghost in a confidence scam. Jess calls the garda house looking for Rory but Joyce tells her she just missed him. Eileen tells her Zuleika is upstairs so Jessica goes to confront her.

Walking through the old wing she hears crying and finds an unfamiliar door open. She steps through it and it is slammed shut behind her, leaving her trapped.

Later that afternoon Eileen and Rory go looking for Jess but Zuleika tells them Jess went to Cork to fly to Dublin for a meeting, anyway she must be off, pip pip.

And so we leave our heroine trapped in the same dungeon where Nan died, and the rats are coming out of the walls.

Stay tuned Fletcherfans!

DUN DUN DUN!

 

S12E03 – The Secret of Gila Junction

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Welcome to Gila Junction Arizona Fletcherfans, where apparently nothing ever happens except that’s a total lie because there’s a Masked Bandit roaming the desert and he’s just held up a poker game.

Also that an extremely lying lie a) a car just got shot off the road and b) the Queen is in town for a visit.

*tumbleweed, low key country music etc etc*

After being brushed off by the local man-who-fell-down-a-hole-as-a-boy-and-was-never-the-same-again aka Tiny Kerns, Jess meets the Sheriff who is also the town gas station attendant and explains her friend Norma Shey was supposed to meet her but hasn’t shown up. Sheriff Spencer, who has no need for a surname, tells her Norma probably got distracted on the kiln, but let’s go give her a call. There’s no answer but soon another call comes in – someone has found Norma’s car out in the desert but there’s no one inside.  They head out into the desert to see what’s up, and JB explains she’s not worried. Norma was once a prisoner of the Vietcong for a day before escaping – she was an AP reporter and could get out of any tight spot.

Meanwhile, over at the general store, local douchebag, Whitey Deaver, returns home to berate his wife Marge for not having a clean shirt ready for him so she takes off to meet her secret boyfriend Pete Menteer. She’s mad at him because he wasn’t around last night but he was apparently winning big at a craps game. He tries to give her some of his winnings but she won’t take it and they start making out instead. Tiny spots them and runs away, and Marge is worried word will get back to Whitey. Pete tells her not to worry about it, Tiny listens to him. Marge is sick of Gila Junction and wants to bail on it all but Pete says soon. Marge threatens to go without him, but in the short term goes to see her dad Cal Harding, bartender at the Grand Hotel, to mope. He feels bad about it all, but he’s got money problems of his own.

Over at the reception, Native American George Creech is checking in, a government employee sent to survey the road north of town for some potential widening. Pete manages to work in several mostly racist jokes including “How! Long you going to be in town?”

Classic early 90s racism.

“As long as it takes,” says George., and then snarls “You got a problem with that Pilgrim?”

“Who does he think he is?” Pete mumbles to himself as George walks off. Tiny wanders in to show Pete a banknote he found while he was digging for long lost treasure (TRAYSURE!) in the desert. Pete tells him the banknote is too new to be from Tiny’s mythical thirty-year-old treasure horde he apparently found when he fell down a hole and takes the banknote for safekeeping. Douchebag. Upstairs, George Creech studies a map for a while, circles Gila Junction and then tucks a gun into his pocket. This road must be intense.

Out in the desert, Spencer and his fiance Dena Harding (Fisheries and Wildlife employee, sister of Marge, daughter of Cal, oh god I sound like my mother), investigate the car. Dena explains she drove past, saw the footprints but lost the tracks in the hills. Jessica spots a bullet hole in the car tyre but before she can say anything a car rolls up containing Norma. “Looks like you called it, Mrs Fletcher!” Spencer says.

The look on her face needs to be bottled immediately.

Norma hobbles out of the car and is super apologetic, she got distracted looking at the scenery and went straight into a ditch. Jessica tries to mention the bullet hole but Norma shushes her. Back at Norma’s, JB gets a tour of her pottery studio but is more interested in who is taking potshots at her friend. Norma is convinced that there are shady shenanigans happening at the old army base on the outskirts of town, locals being poisoned, long abandoned chemical warfare research etc but she can’t get a straight answer out of anybody. Jess tells her it sounds serious, and she’s happy to stick around a few days and help run errands and cook and things but Norma wants JB’s help on the research. JB says OH HELL NO, so Norma says fine, she’ll do it herself, and starts to limp over to her desk. UGH FINE I’LL HELP, says Jess.

Unrelated but Charlie Sheen is doing an ad for an Australian car repair chain and it is so stupid.

Out in the desert, George Creech finds a car hidden away in a shed with some red dust on it. He is pleased with this. I think the road widening thing might have been a lie, you guys.

That night the entire town adjourns to the Grand Hotel (a situation I can relate to). Dena Harding gets a letter with a promotion and a job offer up near Seattle. Norma tells Cal she’s put Jessica to work but also she’s not going to move in. Cal’s creditor wanders in to assess the place, having decided Cal’s never going to find the money to keep himself afloat. Whitey wanders past Pete flunk out of his pinball game and declares “That’s what happens when you cheat, buddy boy!”

Outside, George finds some familiar red dust on Pete’s motorbike, while over the general store Tiny explains the Entire History of his Traysure hunt to JB. Whitey orders him back to work and then chats to JB about his army days until she starts asking him about being stationed at Fort Rosalyn, the old army base outside of town. He very swiftly hands over her change and tells her to have a nice day.

She sees you when you’re sleeping, she knows when you’re awake…

Back at the hotel, Cal warns Pete to stay away from his daughter, to which Pete asks which one. George Creech wanders in and Pete says “We’ve got a thirsty Native American! Or maybe we can’t sell firewater to redskins?” WAY TO BE A DICK PETE. George gives him a look and asks Cal for change for the jukebox and a glass of merlot, which presumably was also meant to be funny?

Out in the hallway, Spencer is begging Dena to let him come with her to Seattle but he just needs to sell the gas station. Pete wanders past and congratulates her on her new job and Spencer death stares him into oblivion. Later, George gets on the phone and tells his boss that things are progressing and he should be able to terminate matters in the next couple of days. Yeah, I really don’t think he’s terminating the road.

Later that evening Pete meets Marge out in the desert and tells her he can’t see her that night, he’s got things to take care of. She thinks he’s taking up with Dena again but he swears he isn’t and drives off into the sunset. Cue another crane shot.

Norma is very pleased with JB’s sleuth work that Whitey was connected to the old base. Jess thinks there’s something about Tiny’s story worth investigating but Norma has no time for that and has drawn up a plan of attack for tomorrow. Jess begs off and heads to bed. Norma receives a fax, and takes off into the night, just as Jess comes back to ask to borrow a thing.

The next day Tiny continues the Great Treasure Hunt when at last, success!

SO MUCH TRAYSURE

Tiny finds a suitcase full of cash dollars and receives a whack on the head from Whitey for his trouble. But things don’t end up too great for Whitey either because THE FIRST RULE OF THERMODYNAMICS IS DON’T BRING A KNIFE TO A GUNFIGHT*

Make a noise and make it clear = gunshot. Look I made myself laugh and I’m not going to lie I needed it.

 

*This might not be true, I’m not a doctor.

Gas Station Spencer swaps hats and starts investigating, but Tiny can’t tell him much – he found the treasure, got whacked and woke up with George Creech standing over him. George explains to JB that he was heading up to his survey site when he saw the pickup trucks and wondered if they needed help. The doctor informs them that it was most likely Whitey was killed by his own knife after struggling with his attacker. Spencer asks him if he’ll do tests, DNA that sort of thing and the doctor witheringly says, of course, Spencer, it’s standard procedure.

Spencer is not dealing with the pressure of murder in town but JB tells him he’s doing fine and she should know. It turns out Tiny hasn’t found his traysure, the banknotes are too new, but Jess thinks they’re onto the loot of the Truckstop bandit. They find a balaclava underneath the suitcase – it has a name tag stitched into it, it’s Whiteys. Whitey is the Truckstop Bandit. As they realise this, Marge drives up wanting to know if Whitey’s okay.

Back at the hotel, George calls his boss – one of the victims of the Truckstop Bandit at the poker game, who was relieved of his pinkie ring. George tells him about the murder, and they argue. Downstairs Pete eavesdrops on the whole thing. Over at Norma’s JB decides to review the incoming fax log, while Norma visits Cal at the bar and wants to know where he was the previous night. He tells her he drove out into the desert, sad that his daughter would be moving away – he didn’t know Norma would be coming over. She tells him she was coming over to tell him what JB has just discovered via the wonders of fax – there’s no such employee as George Creech at the roads department.  DUN DUN. Jess noticed that pesky red dust on George’s pickup truck matches the colour of the clay Norma uses and Spencer tells her that can only come from one place, near the army base. He’s on it.

Over at the general store, Marge and Pete talk it out – Marge thinks Pete killed Whitey and wants her cut of the money, but Pete tells her she’s a great girl but no. They argue, Pete storms out, Marge is furious.

JB decides to investigate George’s room but is forced into the closet when he returns unexpectedly.

Cunning plan is cunning.

Except he spots her.

Missed it by that much.

Spencer arrives to save the day but there’s no need – George is a private detective on the hunt for the Truckstop Bandit so he can retrieve his client’s ring, among other things presumably. It turns out he’s already spotted the ring – on Marge’s ring finger.

Over at the general store Marge tells them she found the ring among Whitey’s things with a big wad of cash but she still can’t believe he’s the bandit. Cal thinks it’s ironic that after all the risks Whitey took he didn’t get away with it. Marge agrees, saying all he managed to get was a pinky ring. Jess spots a gun on the wall and thinks it might be the gun that fired the warning shot before Whitey was murdered. Spencer later catches Pete about to leave town with a saddlebag full of money, which he confiscates.

Norma wants to get back to the coverup at the army base, but Jess has bad news on that front too – the only scandal to occur at the base was a payroll robbery that remains unsolved. Jess thinks Tiny found the money, then the thieves moved it and he’s been looking for it ever since. Norma gives up, but her clay covered hands give Jess an idea and she gives George a ring. She thinks she knows who the real Truckstop Bandit is.

Sure enough, she heads down to the general store and gets a confession.

GODDAMNIT MARGE

I must admit my estimation of Marge has gone up with this news. Jess tells her that only the bandit could have known that the stolen ring was a pinkie ring, not a regular ring (long bow, but I’ll allow it).  Marge admits to everything but swears she didn’t kill Whitey. Jessica agrees when she opens the blind. She knows exactly who it was and it’s all thanks to a twisted cord and a twisted seatbelt.

Part time sheriff, full-time killer. Coming soon to a theatre near you, if you’re unlucky.

Spencer, hot on Whitey’s tail, followed him to the desert, killed Whitey when he attacked him, and then took the money in the hope he could leave town with Dena.

And with that, Jessica gets back on the bus but not before the driver asks her if he was right about nothing ever happening in Gila Junction.

Later gang!