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S10E08 – Love and Hate in Cabot Cove

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Welcome to 2018 and welcome back to the Cove Fletcherfans!

Mort is burning the midnight oil down at the Sheriff’s office trying to solve the case of Why Can’t He Access His Files On His Computer.

Noone likes a smartarse, Andy.

Giving up on computers and the prospect of the 21st century in general, Mort goes to retrieve his paper files from the storage room and is shot at by a shadowy figure outside. A car screeches away as Andy comes running in gun drawn. Mort didn’t see the shooter but he has a good idea who it was.

Meanwhile, at the home of Sam Bennett Public Accountant (I would not watch that show), Sam has just returned home to his anxious wife Laura, who wants to know why celebrity client Jessica Fletcher keeps calling. She calls back just as Sam walks in the door but Sam makes faces like he’s not home. Laura tells him she will get dinner ready but he says not to bother, he has another client. After she leaves he grabs a bundle of money out of the safe and puts JB’s file inside.

Over at the new hotspot in town, Jess is treating Seth to dinner while puzzling over the fact that she’s just been swamped with late notices and missing payments that Sam Bennett is supposed to have handled. Seth tells her to calm down, they’ve known Sam for 25 years there’s nothing to worry about. Frank Fletcher was one of Sam’s first clients, it turns out, and Jess is struggling to work out what’s going on. Seth is a client of Sam’s too, but before Jess can find out if Seth knows anything Lou Karamides, the new owner of the hotspot, pops past their table to offer a bottle of champagne for Cabot Cove’s unofficial monarch and his gold cufflinks for the upcoming rummage sale fundraiser.

(Fun fact, Lou Karamides is being played by Richard Beymer so this is basically the Great Northern Hotel)

If it’s true that there are infinite universes in the multiverse, there is a universe where Angela Lansbury was in Twin Peaks and holy crap that makes me happy.

Lou is called away upstairs, where it turns out he has the Star Wars Cantina a hidden casino full of hapless punters including a rather jolly Sam Bennett (aka Wings Hauser from all those other episodes, you guys know). I can’t even begin to wonder where this plot line is going. Lou checks in on Sam’s winnings (none) and Sam asks for some more credit. Lou gives him a grand, because what the hell he’s going to lose it anyway.

(Spoiler alert – I’m not a fan of casinos. Crown Casino in Melbourne is a depressing windowless hellhole filled with loud pinging noises and zombies. And shitty nightclubs. But does have a very good Christmas decorations).

Back at the Sheriff’s office, Mort is putting a call in for a warrant to go on a raid after getting an anonymous tip (and shot at), while new deputy Ethan Loomis gets on the phone to his new girlfriend Candace Bennett aka Sam’s daughter. Apparently, Sam doesn’t like Ethan all that much but Ethan can’t imagine why. Mort gets off the phone and orders Ethan to wrap it up and get the raid gear. Andy does it instead, but Ethan gets off the phone, quickly dials another number and says “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” Andy appears with an armload of guns and Ethan quickly says he was talking to Candace.

If you guessed Ethan was alerting the Great Northern, then give yourself a gold star and an elephant stamp as my grandfather would say. Lou oversees the casino’s return to its regular job as a function room and sends all the gamblers down to the bar for a drink, including Sam who was apparently on to a good run. Sam heads downstairs and spots Jessica and Seth just as they spot him. He goes over and says hi, and Jessica tells him they need to talk. Sam tells her he has to get home but he’ll check his calendar for tomorrow and give her a call, and Seth tells him he’d like a word too.

In the background, Mort and co come barreling in demanding to go upstairs but one of Lou’s minions steps in to stall them. Lou appears, and tells them it’s fine, go on up, we’re just a humble restaurant etc. Upstairs, there is no evidence of any gamblification except a solitary chip lying on the ground. Lou asks Mort why he insists on wasting everyone’s time and Mort tells him to watch himself. Basically.

Over at the Cabot Cove Gazette, apparent new editor Irene Macinoy is finishing up for the night and listening to a classical concert from Berlin when her pouty son Chad bursts in, turns the radio off and demands to know if she’s finished. Irene tells him she saw Candace at the post office, she said to say hi. Irene thinks she misses Chad. Chad thinks Candace doesn’t care if he’s alive or dead and storms out.

#NotAllMen.

Over at House Bennett, Ethan and Candace are making out in the cop car when Sam comes outside to see what’s going on. He orders Candace back in the house, and tells Ethan there’s no way he’d allow Ethan to marry his daughter, especially after seeing Ethan in Lou Karamides’s office earlier in the week. Ethan says he will marry Candace, and Sam orders him off his property.

Laura is not impressed by any of it. YOU DESERVE BETTER LAURA.

It’s like that age-old thing about fathers welcoming their son’s hot girlfriends over for dinner, but greeting their daughter’s hot boyfriends at the door with a shotgun. I mean put it back in your pants, your daughter’s not an idiot. Sorry. That’s a rant for another day.

The next day Mort pops round to see JB. JB wants to talk about her accounting predicament but Mort has fan mail to discuss and a coffee craving that needs dealing with.

(Accurate representation of my feelings towards coffee)

Jess is horrified by Mort’s fan mail and the idea that someone shot at him. Mort tells her it was Lou Karamedis, the owner of the Timber Lane Inn (oh, not the Great Northern. Whatever).  Mort can’t prove Lou fired the gun but he certainly knows who did. Mort asks what JB’s predicament is, but she’s running late for an appointment, so Mort offers to drive her over. Unfortunately, Mort’s car is falling apart so Jess gets a lift with Seth while Mort gets his car towed. Seth happens to drive past – on his way to see Sam, who has some explaining to do, and offers to drive JB to the Gazette office so she can place the ad for the rummage sale.

As it happens, pouty mcPoutface Chad is back in his mother’s office yelling at her to give him a job delivering newspapers, but she tells him he’s far too successful to be doing that. He was such a success in Philidelphia (I WAS FIRED IN PHILIDELPHIA says Chad). Irene thinks he’s just a bit stressed, what he needs is a wife to take care of him.

(At this point I paused the show, beat my head against the desk five times, then resumed)

Irene agrees to get him the job, and offers to give him some money to tide him over. Chad storms out.

Seth leaves JB at the Gazette office, where she runs into Chad, who very politely tells her he loves her books. They chat about things for a bit, before Jess goes into the office, walking straight past Laura Bennett, who is looking worried. Which is fair, her husband is embezzling money and her daughter’s dating an idiot.

Irene takes JB’s ad and starts prepping it for print. Jess says she ran into Chad on the way in, and Irene tells her he’s doing great, he is working for a big company in Philly, and if it weren’t for the fact Cabot Cove was part of his territory she wouldn’t ever see him. Jess thinks the last time she saw him was when he got his football scholarship to college, and Irene says oh yes, he gave it up, no future in it.

I don’t think Irene is okay. Later, when Seth gives JB a lift home from the supermarket, he tells her that Chad got booted from college for drinking all the time, and returned back to the Cove to be near his high school girlfriend Candace Bennett. Because that’s healthy.

Later that afternoon Laura is waiting for Sam when he gets home. She plays Sam the message Jessica has left on the answering machine, in which she tells him her financials are a mess, he didn’t call her, she has to assume he’s avoiding her, and so on and so forth.

That night, Ethan meets Lou for the traditional Paying of the Bribes. Lou wants to know who is firing at Mort, and Ethan says if Lou’s going to tell him who to arrest, that will cost him extra. Lou doesn’t like that idea or ambitious people. Over at House Bennett, a drunk Chad turns up to force himself on Candace, and is escorted out by the cops after Sam barges in with a shotgun. The next day Sam demands Chad be locked up but Mort tells him Candace declined to press charges so Chad is free to go. Sam is furious, but when Mort gets on the phone to tell Ethan to go pick up his car Sam gives up and walks out. Ethan tells Mort he has an idea about Chad but he’ll tell Mort when he brings the car in.

Except nope, because someone just shot him while he was driving the car back.

Fast forward to the funeral where Sam is very condescendingly comforting his daughter, while Irene tells Chad now isn’t the right time to chat up Candace.

#TeamLaura

JB and Seth try to console Mort as best they can but he tells them to go, he’ll be fine. Secretly though he thinks he was supposed to be the target, the killer saw his car and fired.

Poor Mort is devo.

Jess and Seth go and have a look at the crime scene but there’s not much to discover. Seth waves at a passing car and Jessica realises there was no way that the killer mistook Ethan for Mort, Ethan was the intended target. Jess thinks this will reassure Mort, but he still thinks he was the target – what with all the hate mail he was getting after all. Lou Karamedis definitely hired a hitman if he didn’t do it himself. Jess tells him a hit man would be more professional, and Mort tells her everyone makes mistakes. Jess says sure, Mort doesn’t even know for sure that there is a gambling casino in the Timber Lane!

Ouch, that was a bit harsh.

Jess decides to take matters into her own hands and enlists Seth as a sidekick. They head down to the Timberlane that night and watch a steady stream of punters head up the stairs. Jess tells Seth to keep an eye out and follows one group up the stairs. They enter the banquet hall and Jess sweet talks her way past the guard. She bumps into Lou Karamedis who says all she had to do was ask, and offers her champagne in his office.

JB has no time for your bullshit Ben Thorne

While Seth continues on his chowder downstairs, Lou and JB drink to her new novel, which she explains is about a hapless small-town accountant that gets caught up in illicit gambling, a local deputy gets shot and the casino owner is suspected. Lou thinks the casino owner wouldn’t bother, it would be easier to just pack up and leave town rather than get caught up in local shenanigans. Jess casually mentions that the local deputy is being paid by the casino owner to tip him off to any raids. Lou gets more and more creepy til a phone call from Seth, in which Seth announces he has Mort on the other line and Jess needs to be back in the dining room in one minute.

Down at the Sheriff’s office, Jess and Seth ask Andy about whether it was possible Ethan was on Lou’s payroll and he tells them about the weird phone call the night of the last raid. Mort wanders in with Sam and announces Sam is under arrest for the murder of Ethan. Mort tells them that Ethan remembered seeing Sam with a shotgun the night they arrested Chad, and when Mort went to investigate the gun looked like it could have been the one that killed Ethan, though he couldn’t be certain. Sam admits he hated Ethan but it wasn’t about him not having enough money to marry Candace, which is apparently what Ethan claimed. Sam admits to his gambling addiction and tells them about seeing Ethan at the casino with his free drink being happy as. Mort loses it but Andy tells him that Ethan was bent. Mort then loses it at Andy but Jess explains he only just worked it out.

Mort doesn’t care.  Sam was in the office when Mort told Ethan to pick up his car, he knew where to be to shoot Ethan. Jess tells him anyone with a police scanner could have heard it but Mort is not backing down. When Jess tells him Lou Karamedis has a police scanner he asks her if he has an over and under shotgun too?

This gives Jess an idea, and she tells Andy she needs to speak to Chad.

PLOT TWIST.

I really did not see this coming.

Ah yes. Irene’s classical music concerts were right next to the police band on the radio, so she heard where Ethan would be. Her husband had an old over-under shotgun, so she thought she’d eliminate Ethan’s rival for Candace. I told you Irene wasn’t okay.

Before we all get too depressed, let us leave with the good news that Sam is going to Gamblers Anonymous, Laura is taking care of him (after being the one calling the tips in to Mort) and the tie she donated to the rummage sale has been bought – as a present to Sam from Candace.

Hooray for the Cove!

Later gang!

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S09E10 – The Sound of Murder

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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?”

HER FACE.

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!