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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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S08E02 – Night Fears

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JB is back to school Fletcherfans! It’s her first day teaching Criminology at Manhattan University, which seems entirely legitimate and the sort of thing that doesn’t sound farfetched at all.

Arriving early on her first day, Our Heroine gets a tour from the department head Dr Auerbach, and meets her fellow colleagues including this guy who you might remember from season 2:

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Hauser, ladies and gentleman. Time to recycle all my jokes from this episode.

Wings Wallace Evans offers most insincerely to be of all the assistance he can give to the new fascinating experiment. Turns out he used to teach the class that JB is going to be teaching and isn’t too thrilled with the new arrangement. As Auerbach escorts JB to her classroom he explains that Wallace was hoping to be made department head but that didn’t work out either. Also there’s been lots of muggings on campus so don’t stay late but I’m sure you’ll do great oh I’d better run.

(I think JB doesn't know what she's in for tbh)

(I think JB doesn’t know what she’s in for tbh)

Her first class begins and all seems to be going well. She even drops in a Hamlet quote to demonstrate a point (I love it. I had an anthropology lecturer who used to do the same thing with Monty Python clips it was awesome). This doesn’t sit well will all of the class though, NYPD Officer Morelli in particular who starts muttering away to his neighbour.

Morelli is going to regret this.

Morelli is going to regret this.

When JB asks if she can do anything for him, he says well that’s the point isn’t it? You’re a writer, I’m an NYPD detective, what can I hope to learn from you?

JB pauses, goes back to her lectern. “Well…perhaps as much as I’ve already learned from you. That for instance you had bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning. Then stopped by the precinct’s target range to get in some practice.  You’ve recently given up smoking, you were born in the midwest and you’ve been married only a few months.”

e2

*mic drop*

*mic drop*

After class, JB heads to the cafeteria where she is accosted by one of her students, Luke Phillips.

I think we know where this is going

I think we know where this is going

It turns out Luke is actually a mechanic who just wanted to meet his idol JB, and when JB points out he should consider dropping the class and taking another he loses his mind. He’s read all her books twice, she owes him. If it wasn’t for people like him she’d still be in Cabot Cove baking brownies.

Sitting down to lunch Jess is soon joined by another student, Kevin Bryce. He’s another NYPD cop, but he was happy to see JB take Morelli down a peg or two. As they chat, Kevin reveals that he’s studying for the sergeants test again, but that he’s already failed it three times. Because Our Heroine is benevolent and wise, she offers to coach him through the test and he’s delighted. Damn right he is.

That afternoon, JB is wandering around campus when she hears sirens. She (along with half the school) go running and finds one of her students, Roslyn, being loaded into an ambulance – the latest victim of the campus mugger. JB goes to see her in hospital but Roslyn doesn’t remember much. She just knows she’s too scared to go back to school. JB tells her there are counsellors who can help her get past this, and of course if there’s anything she can do…

There is, says Roslyn. Could she catch this guy?

 

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

The only acceptable response to a rhetorical question.

JB tells her that she’s only new to the university, and that the police might not appreciate her involvement in the case but she’s sure the police will have it all sorted soon. She tells Roslyn to concentrate on getting well, and that the class will still be there when she gets back  – but Roslyn says she doesn’t think she can come back, what with this monster still on campus and all.

Time passes (presumably). JB is back in class teaching away when Wings Wallace pops in to listen to her class, bemoan the fact that JB won’t let him help, and suggest that the muggings on campus could be used as a workshop for the class to track down the guilty party.

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings has lost the plot you guys

Wings Wallace tells JB that he too has read all of her books and finds them interesting – 5 people in a house, 2 get murdered, and then the killer is caught. Much like Cabot Cove – home to 3 suspects, 2 dogs and a duck.

(No seriously, who wouldn't?)

(No seriously, who wouldn’t?)

Wallace thinks he can solve the case, what about JB? Jess is horrified at the suggestion of a wager but Wallace says its an academic exercise that will benefit the students. JB suggests they take it outside, where she informs Wallace (again) that the idea of a bet to see who can solve the case the fastest is inapprorbut Wallace figured JB would jump at the chance to prove herself.

“Well I’ve found that people who think they have something to prove never succeed in doing so. ” Says JB.  (Life Lesson #63. Ooh that’s a good one).

Down at the precinct Wallace hits up Kevin for all the files on the muggings so that he can “build a profile of the suspect”. (I should point out that earlier in the episode Doctor Auerbach tells JB that Wallace was sacked off the NYPD after two years for being heavy-handed so this whole building a profile thing sounds like something he saw on an episode of LA Law or something). Kevin tells him he won’t help him take down JB, not even when Wallace threatens to fail him out of his forensics class. YOU GO KEVIN.

Wallace pops by JB’s classroom with an advanced copy of the student newspaper proclaiming the race between Wallace and JB to solve the campus muggings. JB is horrified, but Wallace thinks she should be happy – it’s publicity and that’s why she was hired – enrolments were down, money was drying up so Doctor Auerbach had a crazy idea to boost enrollments by bringing in a celebrity.

Devastated, JB goes to see Auerbach who, like every middle aged white dude, begs her to see it from his perspective. The school was desperate.  He asks her if she would have taken the job if he was upfront with her and she says absolutely not. She informs Auerbach that she will stay until a suitable replacement can be found and then she’s out. Auerbach asks her if they could just discuss it and JB says “I believe we just did.”

BOOM.

Later that night, JB is leaving the university when sirens start blaring and people start running towards the sound. JB follows and runs into Kevin, in work mode. He says the mugger has struck again, but this time it went too far and the victim died. JB asks him for everything he’s got on the case. She’s in.

Cut to JB’s New York bunker, where Jess is taking a break from helping Kevin study for his test by going over the murder. He tells her that the knife was found but also two blood types so they’re thinking the victim managed to defend himself and cause some damage to his attacker. JB wonders if the attacker ended up in hospital and Kevin says they’re checking, but that the only weird thing is that another student was hospitalised across town for a gunshot would but he can’t see how the two events might be connected.

Down at the precinct Kevin gets pulled up by his boss for providing information to JB (which frankly is a valid point as much as I love Our Heroine) and orders him to back off. Meanwhile over on campus JB has stumbled onto a message left by the killer – I am the sword of justice, death sings to me, alpha and omega.

Get a better slogan, murderous mugger guy

Points for effort, 0 points for originality.

JB recognises the reference and goes hunting in the library for the source material but before she can find the book, Luke the crazy fan pops up to tell her he’s no longer her #1 fan.

Down at the precinct, Wallace and the captain are contemplating how to proceed.

The eternal question.

The eternal question.

The captain is worried, but Wallace is all over it. It’s definitely either disgruntled former student or employee, or it’s a crazed psychopath drifter. Wallace is convinced it’s the latter, and thinks if no murder occurs in the next 72 hours then he will be proven right. The captain hopes so, but Kevin overhears and approaches Wallace. He thinks it’s too early to have a definite idea on who it is, but Wallace is unstoppable. Plus he got a letter from the killer so he’s totes a threat.

Wallace isn’t the only penpal of the mugger, JB’s got a letter too. She goes to show it to Kevin after class but he tells her he’s under strict orders to stay out of it and stop helping JB. Undeterred, JB heads to the library to try and track down the book she thinks the mugger is quoting from. The librarian conveniently wanders away from her desk so JB can see the screen – the book was borrowed by Wallace Evans.  As JB leaves the campus for the night, someone takes a potshot at her and drives away. As the hordes come running, JB spots the Greek characters for alpha and omega on the ground.

The next day JB takes a cab out to Kevin’s place. Kevin’s not home but his mum is – they get to chatting and it’s revealed that Kevin’s father (who was a cop) got done for corruption just because everyone else in his squad was. Mrs Kevin’s Mum doesn’t want him to be a cop. Kevin arrives home and asks Jessica to a) leave and b) drop the investigation. JB says she’ll leave but she won’t drop it – someone took a potshot at her, this time it’s personal.

Kevin goes to work and tells his boss he can’t stand by any more, he’s going to help JB. The captain tells him he’s on his own, and department policy means he can’t take any documents out of the precinct. Fortunately Kevin has a way around that, as he explains to JB later. He just ordered copies from the coroner’s office and picked them up before they entered the precinct. YOU GO KEVIN.

As they go through the reports, JB notices that no skin tissue was found on the serrated knife belonging to the mugger, only blood. Furthermore, there were no fingerprints on the knife, which makes no sense if the murdered guy used it to fight his attacker. JB sees it all now. They go to find the student who was shot across town, and after some grilling get him to admit he was the mugger.

Which basically leaves only one suspect. Which I thought was obvious about 10 minutes ago, but what do I know.

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Is this the first time someone has been a killer twice on Murder She Wrote? WINGS IS A SERIAL KILLER

Determined to restore his fragile ego,  Wallace sets out to catch the mugger. Except when he does he decides the easiest option is to shoot him, except when he shoots the bullet goes straight through the mugger and kills the mugging victim. You stuffed that up Wallace old man. And so, to cover up his boo-boo, Wallace created the idea of a crazy hobo transient as the killer. Except JB knew better.

JB ALWAYS KNOWS BETTER.

Later gang!

Later gang!

 

S02E06 – Reflections of the Mind

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Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, there was a lady name Francesca Lodge.

Francesca in her glory days, along with Someone Very Familiar, a random dude that I don't really care about and the name WINGS HAUSER. WINGS. HAUSER.

Francesca in her glory days, along with Someone Very Familiar, a random dude that I don’t really care about and the name WINGS HAUSER. WINGS. HAUSER.

IMDB just told me WINGS HAUSER was in the Young and the Restless. I am an ignoramus.

Anywho, Francesca had a husband. He bought her a Jewellery Box Of Doom. He died (unrelated, presumably). Francesca nailed up her bedroom and moved into the one next door. Then Francesca got married again.

And that is the entire history of Francesca Lodge up until she comes screaming out of the closet (literally, not sexually) and attacks her husband Scott with a knife. Awkward. Naturally, there’s only one person you can call when your wife is having a Homicidal Moment. Well, two if you count 911.

JB arrives to sort this mess out, and is most concerned to find her friend on the psychiatric ward. Because really, she only NEARLY stabbed her husband with some scissors, it’s not like she actually did it. Francesca tells JB that she’s just feeling a bit tired, but Cheryl points out that she was so tired she called the sheriff and nearly stabbed her husband. I know it’s early to be calling this, but it’s clearly the work of a Demonic Music Box enslaving its owner to its will. OBVIOUS.

All conversation ends when Francesca’s shrink arrives. The role of Dr March will be played by the Devil.

Believe me when I tell you this is an improvement

Believe me when I tell you this is an improvement

The Devil Dr March smites everyone within a five mile radius promises to get Francesca home. JB is bemused by his bedside manner (see above pic) but it turns out he’s one of the best, and even treated Cheryl when she ran away with a rock group to get as much sex drugs and rock’n’roll into her as possible.

Back at home, JB and Francesca are catching up over a pot of beer cider tea, and Francesca asks after her friend. She worries about JB being alone in the big empty house. Jess is more worried about the tea.

Nothing but complete focus on the matter at hand...

Nothing but complete focus on the matter at hand…

JB notices the Jewellery Box of Doom – it turns out she helped Francesca’s ex husband Ross pick it out. (Life Lesson #36 – no one is perfect). Francesca quickly puts it away, lest any Doom escape from the music box and cause her to go on another homicidal rampage.

Margaret, the housekeeper, arrives to see Jess to her room and tells JB that Francesca hasn’t been playing with a full deck of cards for some time. Meanwhile downstairs, Scott and his secretary are signing documents. AND BY SIGNING DOCUMENTS I THINK YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. They aren’t being very discreet about it, there’s a WINGS at the window.

Wings's playing someone called Carl. I think. But let's face it, who cares? WINGS IS AT WORK.

WINGS is playing someone called Carl. I think. But let’s face it, who cares? WINGS IS AT WORK.

Cheryl is in the lounge room with the dog, being chatted up by The Devil Dr March, when they are soon joined by the whole gang. Scott decides to have a martini for the road, before he gets on his plane to Chicago. Jessica declines (SOMETHING IS WRONG), but the others all accept. Cheryl (clearly rattled by her run-in with the Devil) spills hers all over the floor but goes back for another.

Suitably liquored up for his flight, Scott departs, leaving JB and Francesca to gossip while Cheryl goes about her Cheryl business. Unfortunately everything goes to hell when Francesca receives a phone call from her dead first husband telling Francesca he’d see her tonight. I hate it when that happens. JB scolds the caller, while Francesca faints and  Scott drives off a cliff.

Sheriff Bodine comes to deliver the bad news about Scott’s accident but JB ain’t nobody’s fool – she can tell it’s murder. She tells the sheriff that only that morning Scott had told her that his brake lines had been cut a couple of weeks ago, and he suspected Francesca. (WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY SUSPECT THE DEMONIC JEWELLERY BOX OF DOOM?) The sheriff duly takes note.

Upstairs, Francesca is woken up by the Demonic Jewellery Box of Doom, notices that her canary has died and runs out of the room screaming. JB and Cheryl escort her to JB’s room to calm her down, which works for about a minute until Margaret returns with the bird-cage. The bird is fine! It’s not an ex-parrot canary! Judging by Francesca’s overreaction to the current status of her canary, JB wisely decides to tell her about Scott’s untimely demise.

Later that evening the sheriff drops in to inform them that it definitely was no accident – Scott was full of tranquillizers, which historically makes driving a tad difficult. Francesca admits to taking tranquillizers, and The Devil  Dr March loudly proclaims they are prescribed by him. Unfortunately when they examine the bottle it’s empty. Francesca has another meltdown and the sheriff leaves, promising he’ll be back after he’s analysed the drugs. And by analysed, I mean taken. (Not true).

Our Heroine puts Francesca to bed, and sits with her to make sure she doesn’t have one of those Homicidal Rampages. All being quiet on the Francesca front, JB heads for bed but is soon woken again when Francesca has another mini fit, this time because the reanimated corpse of her dead husband has just arrived in her bedroom.

I KNEW THERE WOULD BE REAL ZOMBIES IN THIS SHOW EVENTUALLY. NAILED IT!

I KNEW THERE WOULD BE REAL ZOMBIES IN THIS SHOW EVENTUALLY. 

JB patiently explains to Francesca that it’s not the zombie apocalypse (I’M NOT SO SURE). The next morning, JB is out sleuthing in the garden when she runs into WINGS, who is planting some mysterious plant-like things in the ground. Also, petunias. WINGS has no time to chat with Our Heroine and gives her the cold shoulder, but not before lending her his ladder so she can have a look at Francesca’s old bedroom from the outside. It’s just as nailed outside too. As JB descends from her lofty perch, Cheryl’s dog digs up a clue – a dead canary.

CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER.

JB is in the lounge closely examining the bottle of gin Scott had used to make the martinis when Scott’s secretary arrives. She has barely enough time to retrieve her love letters from Scott’s desk before the Sheriff turns up too. Francesca has another run in with the Demonic Jewellery Box of Doom, but is rescued by JB.

The Sheriff demands to know if Francesca knew about Scott’s affair with his secretary. Francesca says NO WAY MAN, but the sheriff isn’t so sure. Francesca collapses, saying she could have done it, she just doesn’t remember. The Devil Doctor March orders Francesca back to the hospital. Jessica pleads with the sheriff to keep an open mind, and he tells her he’s open to all theories, should she have one.

As it so happens, she does. And it involves WINGS breaking down the sealed bedroom door. Unfortunately, the great big box that says CLUES on it isn’t there, and Jess is stumped. Cheryl goes to see her mother in the hospital and leaves JB alone for some sleuthing. She quickly discovers a secret door that leads from the bathroom…

NARNIA!

*cue dramatic music*

…into Francesca’s old bedroom, where she also finds a convenient hiding place full of nifty clues, like the tape that was used to frighten Francesca, a birdcage, and a random vinyl album of a man called Carson Todd. Hmm *strokes metaphorical beard*

The night grows conveniently dark and stormy, and Cheryl arrives home. The phone lines are down/cut and Francesca is having a fit about it. Cheryl’s dog appears with Scott’s hat in his mouth, and they find his pipe on the floor of Francesca’s room. IT’S THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!

Downstairs, The Devil Doctor March arrives but is dragged away by a gloved hand (that is presumably attached to someone, but as it’s the zombie apocalypse who knows). Upstairs Cheryl is beside herself. Scott must have worked out what she was doing and faked his death!

“What were you doing Cheryl?” asks Our Heroine.

“TRYING TO KILL SCOTT!” Screams Cheryl.

“SHUT UP!” her accomplice bursts out of the wardrobe.

I guess WINGS was just gonna *puts on sunglasses* live and let die. YEAHHHHH.

I guess WINGS was just gonna *puts on sunglasses* live and let die. YEAHHHHH. (I’m so sorry)

WINGS (assisted by Cheryl but who cares) wanted his filthy paws on Francesca’s money, since Cheryl’s was held in trust until she turned 35, and so tried to get Francesca committed for being all crazy-like. “That’s fine,” JB says. “But why did you leave Scott’s pipe and the hat?”

“Lady, I don’t know what you’re on about.” WINGS mutters.

“IT’S THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!” Cheryl probably would have screamed, if she’d thought of it. JB turns the light off and a figure appears at the window. WINGS and Cheryl lose their collective shit, but as the figure comes crashing through the window the truth is revealed. It’s Sheriff Bodine. It was all part of JB’s CUNNING PLAN.

 

I was wrong to doubt Our Heroine. It wasn’t the zombie apocalypse and it wasn’t the Demonic Jewellery Box of Doom. Or was it?

No, it wasn’t.

The Devil  Doctor March demands an explanation. He was only there because Francesca was having kittens in the hospital, and was a bit startled to be dragged away from the house. Turns out the gloved hand belonged to a deputy. NEATLY TIED UP, MSW WRITERS.

Until next time, dear reader.

Until next time, dear reader.