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S08E10 – The List of Yuri Lementov

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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.

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**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.

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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.

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(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).

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S03E04 – One White Rose For Death

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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!

S03E02 – Death Stalks The Big Top (Part 2)

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So, to recap: Our Heroine went hunting leprechauns in Arkansas, found her dead brother-in-law working in a circus in Kansas and stays to clear him of the murder of Douchbag Hank Sutter. The rest of the circus gang have their own crap to deal with. Got it? Good!

JB goes to confront Neil about his so-called confession but he tells her to back off. He accidentally reveals a cut on his leg, which JB decides is where the blood on the alleged murder weapon (a juggling club) came from. She’s convinced that he’s covering up for someone and taking the fall.

Mayor Adam West Powers doesn’t care. He’s convinced he’s got the right man, his father in law the judge thinks he’s got the right man, and the people in town think he’s got the right man. He’s getting himself re-elected, and thinks JB should just go back to where she came from.

This mayor bloke is going to get a Cabot Cove smackdown before this episode is done, I can tell.

This mayor bloke is going to get a Cabot Cove smackdown before this episode is done, I can tell.

The Sheriff (who I’ve just learned was in the Train Job episode of Firefly as the Sheriff and now I have the theme from Inception stuck in my head) is more apologetic.  Jess goes back to the big top, where she finds the ringmaster Preston Bartholomew watching Hank Sutter’s widow Maylene rehearsing her horse vaulting routine.

And by watching…

Sweet dreams, Internet...

Sweet dreams, Internet…

Maylene tells Preston that she’s leaving the circus at the end of the season, to start a horse breeding farm. Preston tells her he’s thinking of doing the same thing – the Mysterious Accidents of Mystery have jinxed the circus, and he’s due a large wad of cash that he’s going to collect and ride off into the sunset on his moustache, probably.

JB “bumps” into Maylene outside the big top to offer her condolences and ask her if she thinks her husband could have been the one who caused all the ‘accidents’ that have cursed the big top. Maylene thinks anything is possible, but doesn’t think so. JB tells her her theory that Neil/Carl is taking the fall for someone, and asks if Maylene knows who that might be. Maylene’s got nothing.

Inside the big top Brad and Charlie are watching Katie rehearse. JB wanders in just in time to see Katie fall from the high wire into the safety net. She’s convinced someone is trying to kill her, and turns out she’s not wrong – someone had put a ball bearing inside her balance pole and had glued it just enough to keep it from moving until it was used in her act.

Katie is (understandably) raging, but both Brad and Edgar Carmody don’t want to get the police involved. Carmody seems to have a good idea about who’s behind the shenanigans and storms off. JB lingers to ask Brad about the cuts and grazes on his hands, but he tells her they were caused by working without gloves and storms off too.

After searching Neil/Carl’s trailer, JB finds a strip of photo-booth photos with Neil/Carl, Charlie and Charlie’s baseball bat. She finds Katie and Charlie to ask about the bat and Charlie tells her that Hank the Douchebag took it off him the night he died. JB goes straight to the jail to tell Neil/Carl that he’s protecting someone who doesn’t need protecting – Charlie couldn’t have killed Hank with the baseball bat. Neil/Carl finally comes clean and tells them what happened – he was out strolling the grounds and saw Hank lying on the ground, next to Charlie’s bat. He put two and two together, and decided to do A Good Deed.

Mayor Powers is having none of it, and orders Neil/Carl back to his cell.

JESS SMASH

JESS SMASH

JB spots a report on Brad Keneally on the sheriff’s desk. He’d spotted the same cuts and grazes that Jess had, and had checked into his past. Turns out all of his work history and references on his application to the circus were completely faked. As if he had something to hide. BAM.

JB goes back to her hotel to have a ponder and spots Mr Carmody leaving. JB asks the clerk if Mr Kingman is in his room, and if she can pay him a visit.

Now, disclaimer: Mr Kingman is in the first episode, for about three seconds. He owns another circus, and wants to buy Carmody out. How the hell JB knows about him is in fact beyond me. Seriously though, if you know what I’m talking about please let me know I’m confused.

Anyway.

Before JB can go pay a visit to Mr Kingman she’s accosted by Carol Brady Maria Morgana, who offers her assistance. JB calls her out on it, pointing out tbat she stood to benefit from the circus shutting down. They are soon interrupted by her daughter who has just found out that her mother paid Carmody a million dollars to fire his son. DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.

But ain’t nobody got time for that, because it turns out Mr Kingman is lying dead on the floor of his hotel room. (Seriously though, what the hell?)  The coroner (who is the nephew of the mayor and also a vet) tells him that he’s been dead less than an hour. Both the Sheriff and JB try to tell the mayor about Carmody leaving the scene just before the body was found but he’s got a care factor of zero and tells JB that if she impedes his investigation one more second he’ll have her thrown in jail with her brother-in-law.

Actual quote: "I'm sorry Mayor but you have as much right to conduct a police investigation as Jack the Ripper". BAM

Actual quote: “I’m sorry Mayor but you have as much right to conduct a police investigation as Jack the Ripper”. BAM

After getting no support from the sheriff (who calls him a boob-brained pompous ass), the mayor storms off.

Heh heh

Heh heh

Back at the circus Edgar Carmody is celebrating his good fortune, until he is confronted by his son. After Ray convinces him that he wants to stay at the circus and so does his wife, Ray promises to send the cheque back to Maria. He tells Ray that he’s sure the accidents will stop, saving them money. “I’m sure they will,” says JB, bobbing up from god knows where. “Since Kingman is now dead.”Edgar proclaims his innocence. JB thinks he’s covering for someone (there seems to be a bit of that going around) and asks him about Brad Keneally.

Armed with more information JB goes to question Brad. Preston and Maylene stop her on the way to ask her if it was true that Kingman was strangled and that that was the end of the Accidents, and JB tells them Yes and Maybe not. Brad is packing up his gear and ignoring Katie’s protests when JB arrives to tell him that Hank Sutter wasn’t murdered by elephants or by fists.

Brad comes clean. He used to be a boxer and a drunk who had a nasty habit of combining the two. After a couple of run ins with the law Brad hit the road and ended up at Carmodys. After three years of lying low  he got into a fight with Sutter the night he died, but ran off when he heard someone coming. JB thinks whomever this mysterious person was is the killer/

Calling it a night, JB goes back to her hotel room and finds Maylene passed out on the floor. JB quickly joins her after being attacked with a chloroform soaked handkerchief. The mysterious intruder sets fire to the bed and takes off. Fortunately for everyone Neil/Carl chooses that exact moment to turn up, having been released from jail.

This brush with death has given JB an idea about the killer, but she has no way to prove it. She arranges to meet him at the big top to see if she can coerce it out of him, and only when the circus folk threaten to feed him to the lions that he admits to everything.

(Also Ringmaster of Death)

(Also Ringmaster of Death)

The Moustached one was in the employ of Kingman and tried to ruin the circus by causing all those Mysterious Accidents. Hank Sutter busted him mid-accident and so he killed him. Kingman refused to pay him for his work and so he killed him. Maylene and JB unwittingly caught him in a lie and so he tried to kill them, but failed.

Job done, JB goes back to Washington to report in to Monica and tell her the story. Grandfather and granddaughter are briefly reunited and they all live happily ever after. Except Constance, because anyone who is that much of a raging bitch will never be happy.

The. End.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E01 – Death Stalks The Big Top (Part 1)

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Season 3 gang! Who’d have thought I’d actually stick with this? How exciting.

JB is in Washington DC  for the wedding of her grandniece to Chandler Bing:

(How young does she look in this!?)

(How young does she look in this!?)

JB is delighted to see her grandniece Carol (on Frank’s side), but less so to see Carol’s mother Audrey, who is a bimbo, and grandmother Constance, who is a raging bitch. So when Carol tells JB she’s received a leprechaun statue from her dead grandfather JB is quite eager to get out of the house and roadtrip to Arkansas to see just where this leprechaun came from. And who wouldn’t?

Turns out, Neil Fletcher is now Carl Schumann and is alive and well and working as a clown in a travelling circus, which is a definite improvement to being married to Constance. He seems to be living the sweet life, hanging out with the high-wire act Katie McCallum and her son Charlie, and generally being awesome.  Alas, all is not well in the circus, however. Mysterious events of mystery keep happening, and the owner Edgar Carmody is trying to keep the show afloat, while his son Raymond is trying to stop his wife Daniella from talking him into moving to New York and working for her mother (who you may also recognise):

Meanwhile in the big top, Katie the High-wire Girl is feeling a bit romantically inclined towards the roustabout Brad, but chief teamster Hank Sutter is trying to get in on the action, with force if necessary. (His wife is not impressed). When I tell you that he is a Monsterous Douchebag I am understating this quite a lot. Also, you might recognise him too:

You're the Good Old Boys?

You’re the Good Old Boys? (We’re on a mission from God, etc)

Apart from Katie, Hank Sutter The Tossbag has also been getting his claws into the boss’s wife. So naturally, when JB pitches up in to town she has her hands full. Each person she shows Neil’s photo to recognises him but then clams up. Ain’t nobody seen nothin, and so on. Edgar Carmody finally tells her that there’s no one at the circus who looks like that and has Brad escort her off the lot.

(Is anyone else exhausted yet?)

The next morning, JB decides to continue her investigations with the cunning use of monkeys.

This is perfect

This is perfect

Unfortunately the jig is up once she loses the jacket and glasses (and the monkey), but before Edgar can throw her out again, news comes in via Katie McCullum that Hank Sutter has been injured. And by injured I mean trampled to death by elephants.

Aw, we’ll sure miss him, said no one ever.

The 5-0 roll in closely followed by Mayor Adam West Powers, who is quickly discovered to be a) a douchebag and b) an idiot. He quickly puts himself in charge of the investigation and declares he is shutting the circus down. When Edgar tells him that that’s illegal he says “You learn quickly – nothing I do in this town is illegal.”

He is unhappy to learn that Sutter’s death was not in fact an accident, when JB points out the elephants have no blood on their feet. It was murder. (Duh).

The Mayor decides to kick off his interrogations with Our Heroine, since she’s already shown him up once. He asks her what she was doing at the circus and she explains the Mystery of the Leprechaun. Fine, says the mayor, but how do I know you weren’t looking for Hank Sutter?

Because I just told you, says Our Heroine.

Of all the crazy fools Our Heroine has had to deal with, this one is the worst.

Of all the crazy fools Our Heroine has had to deal with, this one is the worst.

The Mayor lets loose but is cut short by a deputy bringing news that Carl Schumann has disappeared. JB tells them that Carl left the night before, before the murder, but this is actually a cunning ruse on the part of Edgar Carmody to get her to back off. The police go hunting and find Neil/Carl about to get the bus out of town.

(This is Jackie Cooper. He was Perry White in the Superman movies, but was also the youngest Best Actor Oscar nominee until Keisha Castle-Hughes. You're welcome, people going to a trivia night)

(This is Jackie Cooper. He was Perry White in the Superman movies, but was also the youngest ever Best Actor Oscar nominee until Keisha Castle-Hughes. You’re welcome, people going to a trivia night)

Once JB learns of Carl/Neil’s arrest she goes to see him in the jail. He comes clean about how he faked his death and is desperate to keep his new life a secret from his wife and daughter (fair enough too I might add). JB is more concerned with the whole murder business, but before they can talk further Mayor Moron arrives and throws her out.

Undeterred by Mayor Moron’s warning to stay out of police business, JB goes to check the circus for more clues and finds the chain securing one of the elephants has been partially cut through. She asks Katie about it but she doesn’t know anything about it. Jessica decides to search Neil/Carl’s trailer to see what the police missed, but instead find the police unearthing the murder weapon. Apparently Neil/Carl told them where it was and confessed to the whole thing.

And there it ends, Fletcherfans. Will the circus survive? Will JB clear her brother in law? Will Monica and Chandler ever have a baby?

Stay tuned!

See you next week!

See you next week!

S01E11 – Capitol Offence

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I tell you what gang, I’m pretty excited about this episode. Hold on to your bicycles guys!

After the local congressman for Cabot Cove (and the rest of Maine too, probably) turns up dead with a heart attack, the politicians are flummoxed. Who can they get to be acting congresswoman until the vote is sorted out in six weeks time?

When there’s someone dead in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call?

Mrs Fletcher Goes to Washington

And with a blast of patriotic pipe music, our JB is off to Washington, so beginning possibly the greatest television mash-up I’ve ever invented…

YOU’RE WELCOME.

JB is met at the station by CJ Joe-the-media-advisor, who is sassy (like CJ!) and likes to wear driving gloves (like CJ, probably). At first Joe treats his new boss with epic amounts of condescension, but Our Heroine puts him firmly back in his place. He introduces her to Congressman Dan Keppner, a friend of her predecessor, as well as her assistant Donna Dianna, who promptly tries to resign but Jess isn’t having a bar of it.

Before she can even sit down Gary Parmell, a lobbyist, waltzes into the room with a big bouquet of roses to welcome her to the neighbourhood/get her vote/get in her pants. Dianna very gently gets Jess out of an awkward situation, and Jess decides she’s going to need a “fast education,” which I’m guessing is code for a double Jameson’s on the rocks, but is actually a nice cup of tea.

Jess checks into her hotel and settles into bed with her “fast education” (not a euphemism, stop sniggering), but is interrupted by a phone call from Congressman Keppner. He wants to meet her to talk about his pal Wendell’s heart attack, but Jess is plumb tuckered out, and begs off until the morning. He hangs up and runs into a girl named Marta, who tells him she was also there the night Wendell had his heart attack, and that she helped him move the body.

The plot! It is thick!

After a good night’s rest, Jess is up and ready to filibuster the hell out of something. (I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what a filibuster is, but I like to say it, and I’m sure it’s possible to filibuster the hell out of something if you properly commit, and anyway…) As she leaves the hotel, a mysterious stranger follows her. SUSPICIOUS…but no, it turns out he’s just the local fuzz.

The role of Det. Lt. Avery Mendelsohn will be played by Toby Ziegler, who will be played by Herschel Bernardi

Sidenote: here’s a completely irrelevant quote from Herschel:

There are five stages to an actor’s career: who is Herschel Bernardi? get me Herschel Bernardi; get me a Herschel Bernardi type; get me a young Herschel Bernardi; and who is Herschel Bernardi?

But I digress. The Det-Lieu  wants JB’s help – it turns out that the death of the former congressman for Cabot Cove (and the rest of Maine, probably) wasn’t as straight forward as they all thought. The autopsy shows that someone moved the body, and since his stomach hurts it means that “there’s a fox loose in the china shop” (Life Lesson #24, brought to you by Confucius).

Jess is naturally taken aback by this news…

I know how she feels…

…and while she (and we all) ponder exactly who let the fox into the china shop in the first place, her new friend Congressmne Keppner has turned up passed out in the gutter and being felt up by a random hobo. Ahh, Victoria Park station, what memories we’ve had…anyway, while the congressman attempts to retrieve his wallet from the aforementioned hobo, he stumbles into a police car. Which is convenient for them, because he’s wanted for questioning for the murder of Marta Craig.

Unaware of this juicy new development, JB is kicking it in her office, reading up on a proposed cannery that developers want to build about a mile from Cabot Cove. (I’m pretty sure all of Maine is a mile from Cabot Cove, but that’s neither here nor there). Jess is all over that, but she has more pressing issues, like her predecessor getting into bed dead. She asks Donna Diana what her thoughts are, and Diana reveals the late Wendell had been invited to a party with Gary Parmell, who JB refers to as the “unctuous gentlemen with the roses”. There’s no time to dwell on that though, JB is late to a committee meeting, and after being briefly waylaid by another lobbyist named THOR DANZIGER (NOT MAKING THIS UP), JB settles in for some hardcore governing.

On a break from all that law making and speechifying, (or as I like to call it, half-time), Jess goes back to her office. CJ Joe is trying to talk Jess into having lunch with Kaye Sheppard, the local gossip columnist, which Jess doesn’t want a bar of. In her office, Avery is troubled. Keppner is under arrest, but his stomach hurts and to make matters worse his feet do to, and that means that something isn’t kosher. At the police station Keppner reveals all – that Wendell had a heart attack and that they panicked and moved the body. Marta took photos in order to blackmail him but he didn’t kill her Mrs Fletcher you’ve got to believe me! etc etc.

Avery takes her down to the morgue to look at the body.

And with that, the congressman was proven innocent. Any questions?

Avery is well pleased with this, understandably, and tells Jess she should have been a cop.

“I am a cop,” she replies. “When I’m at the typewriter.”

As I said, LIKE A BOSS. Back at the Jess Wing, JB is trying to get the skinny on the congressmen, Marta Craig, Gary Parmell, and Ray Dixon, the boss of the company who wants in on Cabot Cove. She sends CJ Joe out for information. Meanwhile, Dianna has gone home to see her boyfriend THOR DANZINGER. To be honest, I’m not sure that has anything to do with anything, but I just wanted to say his name again. It turns out he was being blackmailed by Marta too and has been helpfully sent the photos to prove it, along with a note ordering him to stay away from Mrs Fletcher.

Unlikely. The lady in question has gone off to have lunch with Kaye Sheppard after all.

Face it, that’s a Bond villan right there… the lady in the hat could be too, I guess.

The divine Ms K has information about Marta Craig, but she ain’t just giving it up for nobody, not even JB Fletcher. After a bit of wheeling and dealing, she comes clean – she saw Marta coming out of the Watergate building, looking upset and being chased by Ray Dixon. JB has a vague whiff of a scent, and she’s hot on it.

The scent takes her to Donna Diana’s home, where she and THOR DANZIGER come clean on their relationship, as well as their former friendship with Marta. Joe the press agent tells her all the goss he can garner on Marta. The scent is now a full-blown olfactory tirade. JB has worked out the killer’s identity, and now it’s all she can do to trap him and vote on the cannery bill at the same time.

First thing’s first. JB rocks the vote like a boss. Words can’t do her speech justice, so here’s a video recreation.

Oh remember when Mel Gibson wasn’t an anti-Semitic lunatic? I’d forgotten too. Anyway, one victory down, one to go. Jess goes to check on the trap she laid for Marta’s killer and happily, the killer took the bait.

Life Lesson #25 – Never trust a man who wears driving gloves.

To celebrate, Avery invites JB out for lox and cream cheese, something Jess has barely heard of but is intrigued by, natch.

And so another chapter closes on Murder, She Blogged. See you next week, Fletcherfans!