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S03E11 – Night of the Headless Horseman

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JB is in Vermont this week Fletcherfans, summoned there by her orphaned protégé Dorian Gray Beecher, newly appointed poetry teacher English teacher at the local school and Grady-in-training. The extent of his Gradyness is made clear when JB learns that everyone in town is under the impression that she is in fact Dorian’s mother,

That is such a Grady move...

That is such a Grady move…

After a whole lot of dodging and weaving Dorian finally comes clean. He’s fallen in love with his boss’s daughter, (DAMMIT GRADY) but his boss is a Monumental Snob who refuses to associate with anyone who doesn’t have a forest of family trees. So when his beloved Sara told him to invite his mother for a visit, Dorian panicked and invited JB. “I had to have a mother, at least for the weekend,” says Dorian.

Seriously, Grady's apprentice.

Seriously, Grady’s apprentice.

JB’s facepalming is cut short when Dorian slams on the breaks to avoid his competitior for Sara’s heart, school riding instructor and local douchebag Nate Findley showboating on his horse. Nate enjoys being a dick, dressing up like the headless horseman and throwing flaming pumpkins at Dorian and may appear familiar to you…

...

Greg mad. Greg SMASH!

Dorian introduces JB to Sara (who is just as much a Grady as he is), the school administrator Charlotte Newcastle and Sara’s father, Edwin Dupont. “Aren’t you a little young to have a son Dorian’s age?” Says Edwin.

“Actually, becoming Dorian’s mother was one of the biggest surprises of my life.” Says JB.

(This is also how I get through my day job).

(This is also how I get through my day job).

JB is saved from any further embarassing questions by the arrival of Brian Blessed’s German cousin Dorn Von Stotter, school groomsman and father to the late poetry teacher, who has caught some of the schoolboys listening at the door. Charlotte attends to them, then later orders Nate to stay away from Sara or else. Nate is unfazed by this, saying “My daddy always taught me one good threat deserves another.”

Can this be true?

Seems legit (image source)

Seems legit (image source)

Later than night, JB is out to dinner to Dorian and trying to get him to sort his life out but people keep interrupting – they all want to meet Mrs Beacher.This particular face is pulled after the bimbo bartender wanders over for a hello.

DAMMIT DORIAN STOP BEING GRADY

DAMMIT DORIAN STOP BEING GRADY

“Oh she’s just like you described her,” she says. “Elegant as a duchess, soft as a kitten with eyes that smile with a child’s laughter.”

g2

“I’m not sure he remembers, Mrs Beacher, he was totally polluted at the time.” The bartender adds.

Life Lesson #44 - 'Polluted' is possibly the most adorable euphemism for drunk in history.

Life Lesson #50 – ‘Polluted’ is possibly the most adorable euphemism for drunk in history.

Dorian orders a double martini, which JB then changes to a single, saying “I don’t want you polluted with me.” BURN! They are soon joined by town dentist Doc Walker, who sidelines in asking people about their jewellery (sounds shady to me). Fortunately for JB further conversation is impossible after Nate Findlay arrives to tell Dorian to stay away from Sara, she’s private property, and “I know how to make a woman throb.”

Nope. I’m not okay with that sentence either. On behalf of decent human beings every Dorian punches Greg Brady in the face, proving he’s not a complete Grady just yet. A brawl breaks out and is only ended with the Sheriff comes in to hold Nate Findlay back.

JB tries to talk to Dorian but he tells her he’s too ashamed to talk, and that he’ll see her tomorrow. He walks over to Sara’s house but gets no response out of her, so continues on home. On the way he runs into a car load of Nate’s buddies from the pub, who gleefully throw a sabre at him and drive away. Soon after, the headless Brady horseman appears and charges at Dorian, who brandishes his sabre, takes aim, and then falls over and knocks himself out. He Gradyed that one.

The next morning, German Brian Blessed Dorn Van Strotter and Charlotte are alarmed to find Nate’s horse Gunshot still tacked up in the stables, with no sign of Nate. Dorian staggers in, demanding to see Nate but to no avail.

Meanwhile, JB is on her bike on the way to see Dorian but is held up by a police roadblock. The Sheriff leads JB, Charlotte and Dorian to his discovery: Nate Findlay will never become the HEAD of a corporation. He is HEADing in the wrong direction. He will never get aHEAD in life. To summarise: Greg Brady’s has had his head cut off. And yes, I am humming “Won’t Get Fooled Again” right now.

The Sheriff is convinced that Dorian is guilty, but JB runs logical rings around him in about thirty seconds. She points out how stupid it would be for Dorian to return to the scene of the crime, how stupid it is to cut someone’s head off (not wrong) and how stupid it is for Greg Brady to be wearing his boots on the wrong feet, and how stupid it is to think that Dorian would lie, Dorian doesn’t lie, and no she’s not saying that because she’s he’s mother because she’s not his mother!

Oops.

(I’m not gonna lie, I kind of do think Dorian is that stupid. But let’s just keep that between ourselves, okay?)

While Dorian mourns the fact that his future with Sara is in jeopardy and ignores the fact that he’s in jail for murder, JB goes to investigate Dorian’s news that Edwin Dupont nearly ran him over on his way home the previous night. Sara tries to cover for her father, and fails dismally. JB admits to her that she’s not really Dorian’s mother and Edwin appears, having just got off the phone with the sheriff. He registers his disapproval with her, Dorian and life in general but admits he was out driving to the school, having received an anonymous note that Charlotte was embezzling school funds. Because an anonymous note is always a reliable source.

JB goes up to the school, and after a failed interrogation with one of the students, JB decides to interrogate the horse, with difficulty,

But at least he's in a STABLE CONDITION! *drops mic*

But at least he’s in a STABLE CONDITION! *drops mic*

After the horse proves uncooperative, JB runs into German Brian Blessed Dorn Van Stotter who is equally uncooperative, He confirms he was not Nate Findlay’s biggest fan, but had no reason to kill him. He suggests JB goes and asks someone else.

JB takes him up on his suggestion and goes to see Charlotte, who notes that the visit must be due to the anonymous tip. She tells JB that there is a problem with the accounts, but that she only found out about it after Edwin Dupont rang her up to yell at her about it. Jess asks her if she thinks Nate Findlay is behind it, but Charlotte won’t be drawn into Nate’s death. JB takes a look at the note, and wonders at the terrible spelling – it might be a student, or it might be from someone who doesn’t speak the language well, and who (barely) looks like Brian Blessed.

Adjourning to the pub to consider her next move, JB finds a broken shell of a Dorian, miserable now that Sara won’t speak to him. Bobby the bartender tries to cheer him up and in doing so tells JB about how she saw Nate Findlay riding down the street in his horseman costume at 11:30 the night he died. Jess wonders where he went after he left the pub, but a howl from Dorian stops her in her tracks. It appears he’s done something to his tooth. How convenient, then, that there should be a dentist in this episode! While the Doc operates on Dorian’s face, JB asks him if he remembers anything about Nate Findlay that night, but he’s got nothing.

Dorn Van Stotter ain’t got nothing though. In fact, he has a bag. And he’s burying it, while one of the Children of the Corn students watches.

The next morning Charlotte tells JB that she’s discovered the embezzler – it’s Van Stotter. While Charlotte calls the Sheriff, JB pays the stables a visit, and comes across the Children of the Corn boys in their lair. They tell her that it was them who pulled the headless horseman stunt but only the flaming pumpkin incident. The second time was not them. One of the boys tells her about watching Van Stotter burying his sack in the dirt, and under the watchful eye of the Sheriff it gets retrieved. Alas, it’s not Gwenyth Paltrow’s Greg Brady’s head, but the missing school money. Van Stotter tells them that he stole the money in order to pay for a private detective to investigate his daughter’s death. He was convinced that there was a man with her the night the car went into the lake, but he wasn’t able to find out who.

JB knows, though. Because Van Stotter wasn’t the only person left broken hearted when the girl died. There was someone else.

Life Lesson #51 - ALWAYS SUSPECT THE DENTIST

Life Lesson #51 – ALWAYS SUSPECT THE DENTIST

To be fair to him, he only worked out Findlay killed his girlfriend the night Findlay died, when he saw a necklace he made for his girlfriend around the neck of the bartender, Bobby. Then, when he cracked a tooth brawling with Dorian, the Doc decided to take advantage of Nate’s need for dental work and killed him, removing his head to cover up his dental work.

But never mind all that, because I’ve just had AN AMAZING IDEA. Instead of bringing back Murder She Wrote, bring back the Brady Bunch but for the modern audience – Mike gets cancer, and so to keep the family together Alice resorts to cooking meth in an RV. We could call it BREAKING BRADY.

You’re welcome, television.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

S02E04 – School for Scandal

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This week we find our heroine in Vermont, where her old pals Beryl and Henry have invited her to come and give the commencement  speech at Crenshaw College, and accept an Honorary Degree in Being A Boss. Naturally Jess is all over that, and is even more excited when she finds out the English Head Dr Jocelyn Laird is throwing a party in her honour. And by throwing a party I mean making eyes at her subordinates.

Remember that time she tried to stop her granddaughter hanging out with Johnny Depp in Cry Baby...in fact remember Johnny Depp in Cry Baby? Yeah.

Remember that time she tried to stop her granddaughter hanging out with Johnny Depp in Cry Baby…in fact remember Johnny Depp in Cry Baby? Yeah.

Dr Joss has bigger problems than her eyesight though. Loverboy up there, who might be named Ron but I’m sticking with Loverboy, is a bit peeved that Dr Joss promoted the other man, Alger, instead of him. Dr Joss is pissed at him for reading her daughter Daphne’s tawdry tales of sexy-times to his students, apparently making her a mockery. Then, to make matters worse, Dr Joss’s daughter turns up with her latest hunk of man meat. This is going to be one hell of a party.

Sidenote: Dr Alger is being played by Roddy McDowell, who I get confused with Malcolm McDowell. He’s not from a Clockwork Orange, but is in fact from both Planet of the Apes and Fright Night, in which he played Peter Vincent the magician that would later be played by David Tennant.

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.

And for the fact that I worked David Tennant into a Murder, She Wrote episode makes me the winner of EVERYTHING EVER. I’m taking tomorrow off.

Wait, I’m off topic again. Right, the party. Dr Joss has Stuff On Her Plate, but Daphne promises that the embarrassment will be kept down to a bare minimum, and not to worry. Once the party starts though, and Jessica is armed with a glass of punch, it all seems to go wrong. Alger and Todd are circling each other about the promotion, and Daphne and Nick the Boy-Toy are determined to liven up the party with a bit of skinny dipping and some champagne.

Daphne tells JB that she loves her books (well, obviously) and JB returns the favour saying that Daphne has a talent for imagery. Daphne then declares Picasso to be so hot right now, to which JB has the appropriate reaction.

JB enjoys knowing she's the smartest person in the conversation.

JB enjoys knowing she’s the smartest person in the conversation.

Nick the Toy Boy decides to make a little mischief, cracks on to Loverboy’s wife (wait, what?) before punching Loverboy in the face and departing for the guesthouse with Daphne. Daphne has one final display of her assets before she leaves.

Keeping the embarrassment down to a bare minimum. BARE. MINIMUM. Get it?

I guess you could say she kept the embarrassment down to a… bare minimum.  Yeahhhhh! We won’t get fooled again! (Sorry)

The next morning, JB is out on her morning run and finds Nick the Boy Toy slightly more deceased than usual. The police are called and JB quickly assumes the lead in the investigation, mainly due to the chief’s proud declaration that he’d never investigated a homicide before. Of course not. Jess explains to the chief how Nick the Dead Boy Toy definitely didn’t fall out of a window, but was left there by the killer(s). Dazzled by logic and evidence, the chief insists that Jessica assist him while he investigates the case. Jess demurely insists that she doesn’t want to interfere, (LIE), but the chief insists.

First on Starsky and Hutch’s their list is Daphne, sadly now wearing clothes. She tells them she didn’t see or hear anything, on account of the sleeping pills she took. When she gets tired of the Chief asking questions she volunteers to recreate at least one event from last night, and the chief bolts. Jess goes to see Dr Joss on her own, to pay her respects and see if she can unearth any goss on the Boy Toy, with little success.

Back at Beryl and Henry’s Alger is gossiping with Beryl about the drama – apparently he missed the whole thing when he had to leave early to see his ill mother. The Chief turns up to tell Jess what he’s learned so far – the time of death – and find out more info about the Great Punch-on that occurred between Nick and Loverboy. Beryl reveals that she saw Loverboy heading towards Dr Joss’s house after the party which piques Jess’s (and therefore the Chief’s) interest. The chief gets a phone call tip saying that Daphne Clover is the killer, and gets over to Daphne’s house to find some evidence. Fuelled with his own investigative genius, the Chief quickly locates the murder weapon (a candlestick, which must make Daphne Miss Scarlet, and Dr Joss Mrs Peacock) and a blackmail letter and promptly arrests Daphne. JB is sceptical, and goes to alert Dr Joss to the situation.

At the police station, JB gets fed up with the police interrogation and starts bomb-dropping. It was impossible for Daphne to have taken the candlestick from the main house back to the guest house without being seen, since all she had on was a fur coat and a big smile. The chief concedes this, but is still clinging to the proof of the blackmail note. JB (rightly) points out that it would be stupid for Nick the Boy Toy to be sending blackmail notes to someone he sleeps with, and the Chief reluctantly agrees to release Daphne for now.

After an incredibly amusing “Who’s on first” style routine with the baggage man at the train station, JB runs into Loverboy’s wife, who offers her a lift back into town. JB asks her how she knew Nick the Boy Toy, and she reveals that Nick came onto her at her house. She denies loverboy killing the boy toy, but admits she can’t prove he stayed home in bed.

JB goes back to see Dr Joss and through some subtle ninja-style detecting realises that a) she didn’t write the note but b) Joss wrote the books for which her daughter has become famous. Joss admits as much, and then admits to killing Nick. Jess takes her down to the police station to confess, but in a STUNNING TWIST her daughter Daphne admits to the killing. JB decides to leave the case in the capable hands of the Chief and goes to prepare for her speech.

While Jessica prepares for her speech, she Henry and Beryl learn of the resignation of Alger – it turns out that Dr Joss had decided to promote Loverboy over him after all (and by promote I think you know what I mean), so he decided to resign.

Apparently that’s not all he did.

I thought his 'going to see mother' excuse was a little bit Norman Bates

I thought his ‘going to see mother’ excuse was a little bit Norman Bates

Let’s work this out backwards. Nick the Boy Toy is lying dead on the floor. Dr Joss calls Loverboy and asks him to help her move the body, assuming that her daughter had done it. But ACTUALLY, Alger saw the Boy Toy go into Dr Joss’s room and lost his mind. He decided to frame Daphne as punishment for the smutty books she wrote that upset her mother. MORE FOOL HIM.

Cased closed, bitch. (There’s an alternate universe in which this is Jessica Fletcher’s catchphrase. I’m convinced of it).

Until next time, dear reader.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!