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S08E17 – To The Last Will I Grapple With Thee

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Fun fact – the title of this episode is basically what I shouted at Richmond’s first game last Thursday night.***

***Demonstrably not true.

Back to school in the NYC Fletcherfans, and while JB is in the middle of schoolin’ some kids on the crime things (I don’t know), a cake is being snuck into the classroom by a fellow teacher, the extremely Irish Sean Culhane.

You guys! It’s Our Heroine’s birthday!

Sidebar: I can’t tell what time of year this is. Judging by the primo 90s fashions on display in this episode I want to say autumn but it could be spring. If you know the answer to this burning question, let me know in the comments.

After class Sean pops by JB’s office to say thank you for all the kindness shown to him in his first few months of teaching – in the beginning he thought he’d rather be chasing crooks in the streets of Dublin rather than facing a classroom full of students but he’s all over it now thanks to JB. As a thank you, he decides to take JB out to dinner that night to a little Irish place he knows.

As they leave the building, they run into a zombie.

I mean he’s a happy zombie, but he’s still a zombie

Sean guides JB past the zombie, who is rather talkative for someone who is undead, and gets into the lift. The zombie promises he’ll see Sean later.

That night, Sean and Jess pitch up to the Finians Chase pub to indulge in every Irish tradition known to Californian TV producers.

I’ll be honest – this was basically my experience when I was in Ireland. Except I had about six guinesses and was wearing a traffic cone on my head because that is how I rolled in 2006.

Jess can’t believe she didn’t know about this place – Sean tells her he comes here all the time, jokingly backed up by the owner Patrick MacNair (Lacey from Cagney and Lacey for those playing along at home) who says they’ve had more than a few complaints. Sean jokes that they were complaining about the watered down beer.

It’s her party and she’ll drink if she wants to.

Sean explains that the banter goes way back – he and Patrick were friends in Ireland, Patrick lost his pub over there so Sean helped him come to America to start again. Jess asks him how he came to be in New York, and he tells her he came out on a police exchange to learn American police-y things, but he liked it so much he retired and stayed in America.

Jess and Sean are soon joined by Sean’s daughter Kathleen, who tells JB her father talks about her all the time.

Naturally.

Kathleen has just popped in to let her father know that she’s off to dinner with some friends and she’ll see him at home. She’d tried to call but couldn’t get hold of him.

“Did you know where to find me?” Says Sean.

“Yes.” Says Kathleen.

“Then what would be the point of calling?” Says Sean.

Touche. Kathleen leaves, the food arrives and JB tucks in.

Later in the evening, Patrick is not pleased to see the arrival of the zombie (whose name is apparently Michael O’Connor) with his zombie nephew Ian. Michael tells him he had nothing to do with the business in Dublin, he’s just here for a pint with his nephew and he’s not leaving until he gets one.

Except he’s not just here for a pint, he’s here to conduct some business with a bloke named Finn Dawley.

That is a mullet that means business.

As Sean and JB are leaving, Michael the Zombie spots them and stops them at the door, mostly to talk about how he sold everything he owned, put it in a joint account with his nephew etc etc. Sean tells him to get the first boat back to Ireland, Michael tells JB to be careful, women have a tendency to get hurt around Sean. And probably Michael too, since he is CLEARLY a zombie why are we pretending he isn’t?

In the car on the way home, Sean explains the origin story of Michael – they hated each other as kids, they hate each other as adults, Sean arrested Michael for scamming pensioners, Sean married the woman Michael was in love with, Michael blamed Sean for her death, same old story. He warns Jess Michael is trouble and if he ever bothers her to let him know immediately.

At school the next day, Sean is teaching away when Michael Zombie appears at the back of the class. He releases his students early and demands to know what Michael wants. He says he just wants Sean to know he’s thinking of him, and will be every day for the rest of his life. Sean threatens to call security but Michael produces a visitors pass which Sean promptly swats to the floor before storming out.

Later that evening, Sean goes on the hunt for scones at the pub but Patrick suggests it might be better if he come back later, what with the zombie infestation he’s currently dealing with. Michael calls Sean over to have a chat about Kathleen and Sean warns Michael to stay away from his daughter or he’ll kill him. Michael seems positively delighted by this news.

The next morning, Sean is at work when he gets a visit from one of New York’s finest wanting to have a chat about Michael O’Connor. Sean assumes his arch nemesis has finally stuffed up but no such luck – it turns out Michael popped in that morning to make a complaint against Sean, for threatening to kill him. Sean is furious but there’s nothing to be done. Jess finds him in his classroom a short time later and orders him to come around for dinner that night. Meanwhile, Zombie Michael is across town at the house they are renovating, beating up his nephew – it turns out that Finn bloke they met with is a loan shark Ian owes money to, and despite Michael’s insistence that he will handle it, Ian had taken money out of their account to pay Finn. Michael declares he will handle things from here on out.

At the pub that night, Kathleen is kicking back with a beer and listening to some old country tunes when Ian decides to try and rekindle a romance they apparently once had. Kathleen tells him to jog on but Ian perseveres, until Patrick appears with a baseball bat and suggests Ian go and take in the night air.

I assume this is a standard baseball term, I know precisely nothing about baseball (and I’m alright with that to be honest)

Ian decides to go for a walk, but runs into Finn and his minions bellowing for their money. Ian says he thought his uncle talked to Finn about this and Finn says he talked to Michael and now he’s talking to Ian – whoever stands between Finn and things Finn wants is going to get in trouble.

Across town, Sean and JB are finishing up their dinner and Sean is feeling much better about life. Jess thinks he sounds like a man who has made up his mind about things and Sean says he is – but he has to dash, things to do even at this late hour.

Cut to something completely unrelated…

Can’t be dead though, his heads not off. I know how this works.

Lieutenant Jacoby is called to the scene and quickly rules it a murder. Ian O’Connor, inexplicably at the scene, has a very definitive answer to Jacoby’s question about who might want to kill Michael O’Zombie.

At the precinct, Sean swears he had nothing to do with the murder, even if he’d threatened to kill Michael the day before and went to run errands at several closed stores at the time of the murder and he had the exact same weapon as the one used to kill Michael and his fingerprints were found at the scene.

Awkward.

At the pub, Patrick, JB and Kathleen are having an emergency drinking session to discuss the situation. They agree Sean can’t be guilty, but aren’t sure who else could be. Patrick thinks maybe Finn Dawley is involved (awkward, since Finn is behind a pole eavesdropping) while Kathleen thinks Ian has something to do with it but Patrick thinks Ian is too much of a dumbarse. JB suggests she and Kathleen get to the precinct, and asks Patrick to phone home to find out what he can about why Michael left Ireland.

Later, Jess heads back to her apartment building to find Ahmed not at his post but Finn waiting for her. He suggests she butt out of things she doesn’t understand. He had nothing to do with the murder, but did she happen to know Kathleen and Ian used to date back in Ireland until Kathleen found out who Ian was? But to conclude, stay out of it.

Down at the precinct, JB and Jacoby argue about Sean’s involvement, and Jacoby caves and shares the results of the autopsy – he was shot (duh) and there was traces of gun shot residue on his hands from where he obviously put his hands up to shield himself from his attacker. JB thinks there is another explanation but they are interrupted by the arrival of a video tape – from Michael O’Connor. He has filmed himself saying he fears for his life, and if anything should happen to him, it was because of Sean Culhane.

Sean is arrested and brought down to the precinct. JB tries to tell him about the gun shot residue but Jacoby shuts it down. Later, they go back to his office to argue some more and review the tape. Jess notices some smudges on the wall at the crime scene that weren’t there when the video was taped. Combined with Michael’s occasional struggle to get words out gives her an idea. She tells Jacoby to meet her at the crime scene that night. He refuses but she knows he’ll be there.

doodahhhhh doodahhhhh

JB heads over to the pub, to ask Patrick what he learned from the peeps back home about Michael. He tells her Michael sold everything and put it in the joint account (which they knew) and that he’d done it quickly – he would have got more money if he’d waited but he’d been in a hurry. Also, everyone had been asking about his health, his doctor had been trying to get a hold of him. Jess asks him to get the doctor on the phone.

Later that night, Jess and Jacoby meet at the house. Jess has a theory. And of course, it’s the correct one. Ian arrives just in time to hear about it.

This is very heavily borrowed from a Sherlock Holmes story I do believe.

When is a murder not a murder? When you’re dying of brain tumours and all you want to do is revenge yourself on the man who married the woman you love so you stage your suicide to look like a murder.

Wrong choice really. Should have taken a leaf out of this lady’s book.

Case closed, JB is back to work and with a new student in her class – Lieutenant Jacoby. Apparently his boss thinks he could use the extra credit.

Later Fletcherfans!

S06E09 – Test of Wills

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Welcome to a MYSTERIOUS ISLAND Fletcherfans, where Jess is being ferried to by helicopter at the request of Henry Reynard, who has also requested the attendance of his family for an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. Henry’s son Jason and his wife Valerie, Henry’s daughter Alice, her daughter Kimberly and Kimberly’s fiancee Preston, and his old pal Doctor Hubbard Dabney have already arrived at the island, leaving Jess to make a fashionable entrance.

As far as Henry’s family are concerned, they’re all there so that Henry can cast judgement on his granddaughter’s choice of husband, while Jess has been lured in with the promise of a large charitable donation. When she presses Henry for more information, he comes clean – he brought her there because someone is trying to kill him and he was JB to find out who it is.

I think we've all made that face at some time or another

I think we’ve all made that face at some time or another

Henry shows JB the evidence of various attempts on his life and begs JB to investigate, but Jess wants no part of it. Henry tells her it’s fine, he knows the guilty one is someone in his family and they’re all there for the weekend (how convenient) and anyway here’s this cheque for a million dollars made out to Jessica Fletcher what do you mean you won’t do it?

Jessica tells him she’s not a trained investigator (modest) and that he should go to the authorities. Henry is outraged that she won’t accept his money but she tells him she doesn’t care about that. He puts the cheque back in the drawer, along with document with the helpfully large heading LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT and a gun. He suspects Jessica might change her mind after meeting his family.

Upstairs, Jessica is unpacking when she gets a knock at the door – it’s Henry’s granddaughter Kimberly who was very excited to find out JB Fletcher was coming for the weekend.  She’s not much of a talker (she says), who doesn’t have a lot to say (according to her mother) but finds it a lot easier to…write how she feels.

This also happens to people when word gets out you have a degree in publishing, even when said people now work at a travel agency because it's basically impossible to get a job in publishing *coughs*

This also happens to people when word gets out you have a degree in publishing, even when said people now work at a travel agency because it’s basically impossible to get a job in publishing *coughs*

Later that night, and wouldn’t you know it, a massive storm hits the island. I mean honestly, what were the odds of that happening? Henry gathers everyone in the billiard room and announces that he’s redrafted his will.

e2 e3 e4

I mean he tried...

I mean he tried…

Side note: I am going to work a 2001: A Space Odyssey reference into this episode even if it kills me.

Just to make a will announcement even more dramatic, the lights go out. They all scatter to look for flashlights and candles,and Henry tells JB to stay with Kimberly while he sorts out the fuse. A moment later Jess notices the thunder sounding more gunshot-ty than usual and goes to the hall.

Preston is on the ground, dead, and it’s obvious what killed him.

Convenient flashlight is convenient.

Convenient flashlight is convenient.

Reactions to the death by smug of Henry Reynard stretch from devastation (Kimberly) to thirst (Jason). While the family go and drink/ cry, Jessica quickly deduces that Henry was murdered and that they need to send to the mainland for help pronto. Unfortunately, the phones are out, as the creepy butler informs them. The body is taken upstairs,  and as the lights come back on Jess asks Dr Dabney if he knew anything about the other attempts on Henry’s life but he says that the Curious Incident of The Pills That Weren’t wasn’t life-theatening.

Downstairs, the grieving family led by Jason have broken into the locked drawer and have discovered the will, with the million dollar cheque made out to Our Heroine…

Oh d-d-dear

Oh d-d-dear

…and the news that the revised will means that everything in Henry’s estate now belongs to Jessica Beatrice Fletcher to keep, donate, or bequeath to Henry’s worthless heirs as she sees fit.

Dat face though

Dat face though

Jessica informs them that she had no idea about the contents of the will, and in fact she doesn’t want the money. She’s more concerned that Henry was murdered. The Doc tells them he will go and get the police from the mainland as soon as the storm clears but that in the meantime they should all get some rest. As the family all troop out, an eagle-eyed Jess spots Kimberly’s fiance Preston slipping a note to her aunt Valerie.

Not suspicious at all.

That night, while Val and Jason bicker about Preston, and Jason reveals that Preston isn’t the blue-blooded aristocrat he claims to be, JB is restless. She gets a knock on her bedroom door – it’s Alice, sniffing around JB’s plans now that she’s a squillionaire (or the 80s equivalent of). Jessica informs her she will be consulting her own attorney on the matter and points out that Alice, Jason and Valerie seemed to have much more of a motive than she. Alice tries cover her tracks by saying that she was with Kimberly at the time of the murder, but Jess points out that she was with Kimberly, not Alice.

Alice storms off. As Jess goes to close the door, she notices a light on in Henry’s room, where the body was left. She tries the door but it’s locked and the light goes off after she jiggles the handle.

The next morning…

**Original lyrics to Sexyback by Justin Timberlake.

**Original lyrics to Sexyback by Justin Timberlake.

…Jess notices a bullet hole in the ceiling. She bumps into the Doc out in the grounds who has bad news about getting a boat to the mainland (it has been disabled) and tells him about the light. He says it was him, paying his last respects to his friend. The conversation is interrupted by a blood-curdling scream from the pool house – the maid has just found Preston Howard dead, the gun from Henry’s drawer next to him.

Word gets out that Preston has shuffled off his mortal coil, and while Alice rushes to tell her daughter the news, Valerie bullies Jason into telling people they were together all night to avoid suspicion. Jess comes back inside and goes to check on Kimberly but is fobbed off by Alice who tells her she has given her daughter a sedative. Jess is about to leave when she hears raised voices coming from the next room. She knocks on the door and…well…

Zombie episodes are up 700% this season.

Zombie episodes are up 700% this season.

The reanimated corpse decidedly undead Henry Reynard invites Jessica in, as the Doc excuses himself to go and get the phones working again. It turns out this was all part of Henry’s cunning scheme to find out how his family would react to his death, to the point where he had a security system set up so he could watch the drama unfold. He tells Jess he’s disappointed she’s not more greedy.

The police chopper on in and are not terribly impressed with Henry’s little charade, but are interested in the news that Preston wasn’t all he claimed to be and that Henry knew it, and even more that an earring belonging to Valerie was just found in Preston’s pocket. JB tells the police about the little shady note passing situation and they decide to take it up with her.

They find Val and Jason having a liquid brunch in the billiard room. Val tells them she lost the earring in the dark after the lights went out and that Preston offered to go look for it when she realised it was gone. Val, naturally, was in her room with her husband the entire evening and the fact that I haven’t worked in an OPEN THE POD BAY DOORS VAL bit into this episode is deeply annoying. In any case, Alice appears to confirm she knew about the Preston situation from Jason the previous evening, and had told Kimberly to protect her. When Kimberly appears, however, she’s leaning more on the never forgiving anyone side. Especially her grandfather, who she declares killed Preston.

Sheriff Brademus is inclined to agree with Kimberly and is all set to do some gunpowder tests but JB points out that Henry did fire a gun – into the ceiling to stage his death. Same for the Doc, who had gloves in his room smelling of gunpowder – he was off shooting clay pigeons. It all seems like a dilly of a pickle until Jess helpfully reminds everyone of the video tapes Henry recorded to see everyone’s reactions to his “death”.

A close examination of the video tapes sees everyone in the family coming and going – special note is made of Preston going downstairs  followed a short time later by Valerie, who helpfully checks her reflection in the mirror to show both earrings – and only one when she returns alone later, as helpfully pointed out by Kimberly who wanders in to watch the footage with them. Brademus thinks that seals the deal and doesn’t pay much attention to the next clip of the butler rifling through Henry’s desk looking for – something? Not the gun presumably since it’s there.

They confront Valerie about the note from Preston and the case of the mysterious earring and she comes clean – Preston was blackmailing her to keep quiet. This closes the case for Jessica.

DAMNIT WHY COULDN'T IT HAVE BEEN JASON I NEED A 2001 REFERENCE IN HERE THIS BLOG IS FALLING APART

DAMNIT WHY COULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN JASON I NEED A 2001 REFERENCE IN HERE THIS BLOG IS FALLING APART

In her defence, it was one of those gun wrestling accidental situations. Her grandfather tries to impose himself on the situation, but Kimberly wanted none of it. She’s going with the police and Jessica, and she didn’t want a bar of him.

Henry gives JB her cheque, which she desperately wants to throw back in his face but instead keeps to give to the children’s hospital. OUR HEROINE IS A BENEVOLENT GODDESS.

And there we leave Kimberly and JB jetting off into the sunset, leaving Henry with his piles of money. And your intrepid writer still trying to fit a 2001 reference in here.

Thus spake Fletcher.

Dun....dun....dun.....DA-DUNNNNN.....)

Dun….dun….dun…..DA-DUNNNNN…..

S02E18 – If A Body Meet A Body

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Internet, do you ever have those days when all you want to do is finish writing something but you are CONSTANTLY INTERRUPTED?

Our Heroine is having one of those days although to be fair it starts off unavoidably when she attends the funeral of her friend Henry Vernon, who passed away while on holiday in Farnsdale with his wife Connie. It’s all terribly sad and morbid (and boring, thanks to the reverend conducting the ceremony) until Henry’s mistress Phyllis storms into the service, throwing sass about and accusing Connie of murdering her husband for the insurance money. More than that, when Amos steps up to try and restore order Phyllis shoves him out of the way and accidentally tips the coffin over, depositing the corpse on the floor. The corpse, as it turns out, isn’t Henry Vernon.

Back at the Vernon residence, Connie tells Our Heroine her husband died in the night after not feeling well on their weekend away. Amos boldly asks Connie about Phyllis and she says she knew about her husband’s affair, but that he’d broken it off. She also admits that her husband had his life insurance policy changed to make her the beneficiary when he decided to wind down the partnership with his business partner Ned.

In the car, Amos comments that if Phyllis hadn’t hulked out at the funeral, Connie might be collecting a $200,000 insurance policy about now. And come to think of it, who the hell was the body in the coffin? Amos tells Our Heroine that he has called the Farnsdale funeral parlour and they aren’t missing any bodies. Maybe this mysterious John Doe was murdered?

Well, you do live in the crime capital of the universe Amos. #duh

Well, you do live in the crime capital of the universe Amos. #duh

Amos spots that look and says “As much as I appreciate all the help you’ve given me now and again, everyone in town says you solve all my cases for me!…”

d2

“…so if you don’t mind, I’m going to crack this one alone.”

e2

 

All lols aside though, JB has a book to write and gets down to work. Just as she types “suddenly there  was a knock at the door” a horde of marauding penguins break into her house there is a knock at the door. It’s Phyllis, looking for wisdom, advice and to beg that JB looks into the Case of the Missing Stiff. JB assures her that Amos is all over it. Phyllis doesn’t appear convinced, but is certain that Connie killed her husband.

Meanwhile, Henry’s business partner Ned has his own problems to deal with. His daughter Christy is seeing a no-good hippie berry farmer named Stu, and to make matters worse two investors from his most recent project, a medical centre, have just informed him that they want out.

But never mind all that, because JB is back in front of her typewriter. At least, until the phone rings.

I think we've all been there, amirite?

I think we’ve all been there, amirite?

Amos has just confirmed that noone in Farnsdale knows anything about a missing dead body, and that he’s going to see Doc Hazzlitt to see if he’s worked out how the mystery man died. He’d offer to bring JB along but he’s pretty sure he has this case all figured out. Unfortunately for Amos, Seth tells him that the John Doe did in fact die of a heart attack.

He goes round to inform Connie (and JB, who has apparently given up on writing today) of the news, and JB subtly suggests that the whole thing could be resolved by someone (*cough*Amos*cough*) going up to Farnsdale to suss out whether they really have lost a dead body. Connie invites them back for dinner, saying she needs the company.

Meanwhile, in someone’s back shed, the reanimated corpse of George Vernon is watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians the late news.

BRAAAAAIIIIINNNNNSSSSS

BRAAAAAIIIIINNNNNSSSSS

It turns out he’s not actually a member of the walking dead, but never died in the first place. A LIKELY STORY. Zombie George gets a phone call, and tells the mysterious person on the line that it’s all out of hand, and that they need to talk.

Speaking of which, back at the House of Fletcher the phone is ringing again.

Why? Because I'm weird, that's why.

Why? Because I’m weird, that’s why.

It is in fact not Khan on the phone, but Ned Flanders Olson, Zombie George’s business associate, checking to see if JB would like to increase her investment in the medical centre. His great plan to lure her in by telling her Amos has invested his life savings in the scheme backfires and JB politely tells him to bugger off.

Later than night JB takes a break from being interrupted and goes to dinner at Connie’s house. Connie talks Amos into staying on for a bit to watch a John Wayne movie but JB is a woman on a mission and decides to walk home, not before spotting the van belonging to Christie’s boyfriend Stu veering all over the road. Amos manages to sleep through most of it, but wakes up at the end. Connie asks him if he’d stop by every now and again just for company.

The next morning JB is prepared for the next person who interrupts her writing:

JB is going to a reenactment of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. TOPICAL CAPTION FTW!

JB is going to a reenactment of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. TOPICAL CAPTION FTW!

That person is Amos, who is heading up to Farnsdale to see where this mysterious dead body has come from. JB shoos him away as the phone starts ringing again. This time it’s for Amos – he’s needed at Phyllis’s house. She’s just found the recently re-deceased body of Henry Vernon.

Not even JB can stay home for this. Phyllis tells them she’d been at work all night, came home and found the corpse, covered in purple stains and dirt. JB asks Seth how long he thinks Henry’s been dead, and he estimates around twelve hours. He’d been killed by a blunt instrument such as a lead pipe in the library by Colonel Mustard. “Or a poker?” JB asks, pokingly. Amos catches on and retrieves a poker from Phyllis’s fireplace.

Oh yeah. Still got it.

Oh yeah. Still got it.

So if Henry Vernon died twelve hours ago and not three days ago in Farnsdale, then Connie Vernon has some explaining to do! And explain she does – after they picked up a hitch-hiker who conveniently had a heart attack in the backseat, her husband hatched the plot to get the insurance money and nick off to San Francisco.

Before this news has time to sink in, Amos gets a call from Ned. He has some bad news – all of the money for the medical centre investment has gone. An angry mob quickly convenes at the church and starts baying for money, blood and more beer (probably not true). Amos pleads with Our Heroine for help but JB is a Woman With A Deadline. As she explains this to Amos, the doors slam and Disco Stu The Berry Man comes storming in to announce that his truck has been stolen.

JB suspects his van of being the Method of Transportation for getting Zombie George’s body to Phyllis’s house. They go back to look for more clues and Phyllis admits she wasn’t at work for the whole time. She got a message at work to say that Henry wanted to meet her up by the lake, but when she went there, he never showed.

Amos and JB go to Seth’s office to take another look at the body of John Doe, only to discover that his body has gone missing overnight. This nearly sends poor Amos over the edge, but he gets some good news when one of his deputies pops in to tell him they’ve found Stu’s van, over by Ned’s house. Sadly it’s burnt out – and they find a burned suitcase and a charred wad of hundred dollar bills inside. There goes the retirement fund!

While Amos freaks out about his money and Stu freaks out about his van, JB spots a freshly dug hole. Amos correctly identifies it as not being a gopher hole, and some digging reveals the body of John Doe. JB then notices Ben’s Cabin in the Woods (!!!) and suspects it might be where Zombie George has been hiding out.

Naturally, she assumes correctly. Back at the Sheriffs Office with Amos and Connie, and JB has a theory. She thinks Zombie George stole Stu’s van and the body of John Doe to cover up the evidence of his insurance scam, then whomever killed Zombie George stole Stu’s van and dumped the body at Phyllis’s house to frame her. They’ll be able to prove it, JB thinks, if they find the watch face missing from Zombie George’s watch.

Except the watch face wasn’t missing from Zombie George’s watch. But of course, the killer didn’t know that for sure.

And by killer, I think you know who I mean…

Life Lesson # : Women who come storming into funerals throwing wild accusations about aren't always wrong.

Life Lesson #44 – Women who come storming into funerals throwing wild accusations about aren’t always wrong.

There you have it Fletcherfans! The crazy lady was right, all along! There’s nothing left for me to say, but…

Have a good week, Fletcherfans!

Have a good week, Fletcherfans!

 

S02E15 – Powder Keg

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Disclaimer: My attention wandered in this episode. You have been warned.

Roadtrippin again this week Fletcherfans, this time to Sweet Home Alabama where Our Heroine is kicking back with her pal Ames Caulfield after a hardcore week of partying at a writers conference. Sadly, it all goes a bit pear-shaped en route to Ames’s estate and they break down outside of Hoopville.

While the car gets fixed, JB and Ames adjourn to the hotel which (in an Amazingly Unforeseen and Unpredictable Coincidence) is owned by a former student (and obvious former flame) of Ames’s, Cassie Burns along with her son Matthew-the-musician who is surprisingly adult if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink etcetera.

Following up on the incredibly subtle suggestion that Matthew might be Ames’s son, Ames goes to watch Matthew play (and flirt with a perm called Linda) at the bar on the outskirts of town while the bar owner Frank Kelso shows off his new gun toy before the peace is Completely and Utterly Disturbed by zombies the arrival of Linda’s brother Ed and his  minions Andy and Billy who like booze and bullying. And eating brains, probably.

Fun fact: the middle zombie is Jackie Earle Haley and the one on the left is from CHiPS. You're welcome, people on their way to a trivia night.

Fun fact: the middle zombie is Jackie Earle Haley and the one on the left is from CHiPS. You’re welcome, people on their way to a trivia night.

On a semi-unrelated topic….

Just sayin...e1b

Sometimes I even scare myself…anyway, head zombie Ed decides he doesn’t like Matthew making loverboy-eyes at his sister and tells him accordingly. This amazingly leads to a massive brawl and Ed ordering Matthew to stay away from singing and his sister (in that order). The zombies take off in their zombiemobile car with Matthew in hot pursuit, telling Linda that he’s going to kill Ed even if he is her brother. Ames is left standing in the dust looking perplexed.

I can’t even begin to speculate what is going to happen next.

Back at the hotel JB is up late working (because that’s just how she rolls) when she hears Ames come in. As she looks pointedly at her watch, sirens blare outside. Because Ed the zombie is dead. Not undead, just dead. Dead Ed. OH THE SURPRISE.

The next morning, Ames quickly recruits JB to come to the aid of Matthew, who has been arrested for the murder of Zombie Ed. Down at the sheriff’s office, Ames tries all sorts of name-dropping tricks in an effort to see Matthew but the sheriff and Daniel Day-Lewis are unmoved.

...

That Daniel Day-Lewis is so good he can even play a painting.

IMDB has just informed me that the Sheriff of Hoopville is also Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mind. Blown. The Sheriff tells Our Heroine and Ames about the mountain of (circumstantial) evidence proving Matthew killed the zombie  Ed, but admits that he has doubts about Matthew’s guilt. He also says that despite this, Matthew is a lot safer inside the jail than out on the streets where the local townsfolk are baying for revenge. JB and Ames return to the hotel where the clerk tells Ames that Cassie wants to see him at home immediately. JB stops him to ask if he remembers seeing anything after the fight to prove that Matthew is innocent but Ames can’t remember a thing.

I'll be honest - I think JB solved this case about twenty minutes ago and she's just stringing everyone along.

I’ll be honest – I think JB solved this case about twenty minutes ago and she’s just stringing everyone along.

Outside the sheriff’s office the angry mob is taking time out of its schedule to get good and drunk. Bar owner Frank Kelso drops by with more booze and tells Andy that he’s sorry that Ed was a zombie murdered. Andy is having none of it though. Apparently everyone knew that Frank Kelso’s wife was having a thing with Ed before she went to “visit her mother” which is apparently code for “run off with the hardware salesman”. Frank hulks out but is silenced with a punch to the face.

JB goes to see the Sheriff to get the latest news and meets the Hoopville version of Doc Hazlitt, who is JB’s biggest fan even without having read any of her books. At last, someone with some sense. The doc tells JB that the body was definitely hacked at and moved post-mortem. The sheriff reluctantly lets JB look through Ed’s personal effects and is equally flummoxed by the presence of two cigarette lighters one of which bears the Cameron family crest. (The Murder She Wrote writers want to make that point clear. I feel this may come up later)

Outside, JB is accosted by Dead Ed’s sister who asks her to come and see her father to try to put a stop to this episode the insanity. Dead Ed’s Dad seems disinclined to do anything but chop wood and mutter about the sheriff, but eventually comes clean – Dead Ed moved out without a dime but somehow managed to rent a house, buy an expensive new car and generally carry on like he was a Kardashian. He suspects Dead Ed of being a drug dealer, but hasn’t proof.

Back in town the mob is getting restless with just drinking and making nooses. Sheriff Shredder tells Our Heroine that someone was spotted leaving Dead Ed’s place but they don’t know who. JB has it with people not telling her things and tries to force Cassie to admit that Matthew is Ames’s son. She blusters and storms off but Ames admits it. He also tells her that Billy Willetts (associate zombie to Dead Ed) held a knife to Frank Kelso the night of the brawl. Apparently this is news we can use.

After the sheriff orders JB off the case, on account of the angry mob of zombies massing outside the sheriff’s office. Thankfully, JB ignores him and pays a visit on Frank Kelso, who greets her with his gun.

Ermahgherd this episode just keeps going

Ermagherd this episode just keeps going

Frank wants to know why JB is snooping around. He tells her Billy held the knife on him to stop him from reaching for his ‘peacemaker’.

“Strictly speaking, a Peacemaker is a nickname for a Colt 45, used in frontier days. If I’m not mistaken, that’s a Webley Fosbury semi automatic revolver.” says Jess.

“Wellllll…..you sure do know your weaponry!” Says Frank. “You own one of them?”

“Oh no. No no no.” Jess replies.  “Of course I just ran across it in research. For several days I considered using one to shoot a Bulgarian scientist.”

...

 

Frank has no time to think of an appropriate response. He gets a call from the Sheriffs office. There’s trouble.

When in doubt, zombies.

When in doubt, zombies.

 

Faced with the imminent zombie menace the sheriff prepares to fight the hordes of undead to the end, but is saved when Dead Ed’s father appears and orders the angry zombie mob to disperse. To celebrate, Sheriff Shredder arrests Andy for  being a zombie. And a douchebag.

After emptying his pockets they discover Andy has a keyring with the Cameron crest on it. Hey guys! Remember that time with the lighter! See how it all comes together!?

The Sheriff asks Andy if he’d lost his lighter and Andy’s all “hell yeah, where’d you find it?”

“Off your friend’s dead body.” Says the sheriff.

BAM. (Giving myself points for this  one)

BAM.

Andy flips out. He gave the lighter to Dead Ed after they left Kelso’s the first time, since Dead Ed had left his behind. They went to play pool, got back into town at 12:45 then Dead Ed said he had to go to the bank.

And by bank…

I'll be honest, I didn't see this coming. Mainly because by this point I'd stopped looking.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this coming. Mainly because by this point I’d stopped looking.

Are you ready kids? So it turns out Frank Kelso was being blackmailed by Dead Ed because Dead Ed found out Frank killed his wife after she’d had an affair with Dead Ed. So, Frank killed Dead Ed. And then it was now.

Good lord. I need a nap. And a whiskey.

Until next time, dear reader.

Later, Fletcherfans!

Later, Fletcherfans!

 

 

 

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.

 

S02E05 – Sing a Song of Murder

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There’s big trouble in Mother England this week, Fletcherfans. Our Heroine’s cousin, Emma Macgill, is a) an aging caberet actress b) in danger and c) very familiar in the looks department.

CUNNING USE OF WIGS

Remember that time with the turban? THIS IS WAY MORE EPIC THAN THAT.

Now I’m not sure if it’s the fur muffler, the dress, or the singing, but someone is out to get Ms Emma Macgill. It’s clearly noone in the audience though, since they’re all too busy singing along,

This is exactly what going to see Muse at the Big Day Out in 2010 was like. #nottrue

This is exactly what going to see Muse at the Big Day Out in 2010 was like. #nottrue

Methinks the grief may be coming from everyone else in the theatre like Archie, the guy who inherited half the theatre from his father and now wants to sell up, or his conniving wife Violet, or Kitty, the daughter of Oliver Trumble the opening act who is both a comedian who was last funny in 1937 and also bumping uglies with the star of the show.  (If you’ve been playing along since Season 1, you’ll remember that an unfunny comedian is always the most likely suspect).

Meanwhile in Cabot Cove, JB gets a phone call informing her of her cousin’s tragic demise from Emma’s lawyer Ernest Fielding, who I’ve just realised was the Right Hand Of Death last season, and so clearly has form. JB quickly hops the concord for Heathrow, but is accosted on the street by Danny Briggs, a man who wants to buy Emma’s musical and enjoys doing crap impressions of Michael Caine.

(Sidenote: after googling Ernest Fielding I fell down an IMDB rabbit hole and ended up here. I COMPLETELY FORGOT THIS SHOW EXISTED, NOW EXCUSE ME WHILE I YOUTUBE).

Ahem. So, failed Michael Caine wants to get his Cockney hands on the music hall that Jess inherited about thirty seconds ago, (seems familiar right?), but Jess politely tells him to jog on, and meets up with the aforementioned Ernest Fielding. He escorts JB to his car and politely but firmly insists she get in the back.

ZOMBIES! MOAR ZOMBIES! (I might be having a Walking Dead withdrawal problem, shut up alright?)

ZOMBIES! MOAR ZOMBIES! (I might be having a Walking Dead withdrawal problem, shut up alright?)

Turns out it isn’t the reanimated flesh eating corpse of Our Heroine’s cousin (boo), it turns out Emma faked her own death. Through some devilishly clever cutaway shots, Emma, JB and Ernest Hemingway Fielding try to nut out who exactly has it in for Emma. While drinking tea, since they are in London after all. Our Heroine is less than excited to learn that her cousin has set her up as a potential victim so she can discover who is trying to bump Emma off.

This picture deserves a better caption than this.

This picture deserves a better caption than this.

Having had quite enough of her cousin’s rampant drug use bright ideas, JB decides to pay a visit on her old friend Inspector Kyle, who you may remember from such episodes as this one. Unfortunately he’s off on holidays so Jess enlists the help of Inspector Crimmins.

The next day, JB turns up at Emma’s ‘funeral’ in much the same way that Clint Eastwood walks into a bar. She has a bit of a poke around in Emma’s dressing room but is busted by her maid, Bridget. JB quizzes Bridget about Emma’s ‘accidents’ before she ‘died’ in a ‘car accident’ but Bridget doesn’t know terribly much. JB runs into Oliver and his daughter Kitty but they’re off on a secret Shakespearian mission. Or something.

Has anyone else noticed the distinct lack of murders in this episode of Murder She Wrote? Just saying.

Later that night, JB and Inspector Spacetime Crimmins are having a quiet shandy when JB decides they need to go and search Emma’s flat for clues. It turns out to be a brilliant idea – they arrive just in time to see Bridget-the-maid, wearing Emma’s leopard print coat, get mown down by a car. SO THERE IS A MURDER, OKAY RELAX EVERYONE.

Inspector Crimmins calls time out on the whole Emma-faked-her-death thing and orders Emma and Ernest to go down to Scotland Yard. Word gets out that Emma is less dead than originally thought, and Archie (co-owner of the theatre) turns up to suss out just how undead Emma is, and if this new undead Emma might want to sell the theatre. Emma refuses to leave the flat and so JB and Inspector Crimmins go to see her to find out just exactly why her maid was breaking into her flat and stealing her leopard print coat. Our Heroine cuts right to the chase – noone would have been trying to run anyone down if they thought Emma was still dead (as opposed to her current undead status). JB smells a rat. A dirty, undead rat.

Emma comes clean and admits leaving a message for Oliver, letting him know that she was in fact undead. JB and Inspector Crimmins go to pay him a visit but he’s not at home. Crimmins suggests taking a listen to the ‘answering device’ and discover that he’s still on his Shakespearian mission, by which I mean audition. The message from the director of the play is on the machine, after the message from Emma advising her undeadness. JB goes to see his audition, the highlight of which is the part where he loses his mind and starts Shakespearian insulting everyone in sight. (Though he doesn’t drop the ‘You Painted Maypole!’ which has always been my favourite).

The director doesn’t take too kindly to this turn of events:

You're welcome, fellow Shakespearian nerds.

You’re welcome, fellow Shakespearian nerds.

…leaving JB and Kitty to console poor Oliver. He brightens up when JB tells him she’s still alive, but he’s not impressed to hear that he’s the last to know. This suprises JB, who points out Emma called him and left a message. Oliver tells her he hasn’t been home, he’s been too busy begging for an audition. Unfortunately, Inspector Crimmins has other ideas and drags him off to Scotland Yard under arrest.

JB does not entirely agree with this view of the whole shebang, and goes off to see Emma, but Danny Briggs gets there first. Fortunately, Emma is nothing like Grady.

SMASHING VASES LIKE A BOSS.

Emma Mad! Emma SMASH!

A peculiar thing happens. The bump on Danny’s head has knocked some sense into Our Heroine, and she’s worked out who the killer is…

I thought there was a little 'Evil Stepmother' thing going on with her...

I thought there was a little ‘Evil Stepmother’ thing going on with her…

There you have it guys. Kitty tried to bump Emma off 4 times and managed a 0% success rate. Well done, Kitty.

And on that rather depressing note…

Until next time...

Until next time…

S01E15 – Paint Me A Murder

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Disclaimer:

I’m going to be honest here guys. I didn’t like this episode. Maybe it was the fact that Our Heroine only turned up ten minutes in, or maybe it was the extensive use of Killer Cam/fade outs/soap opera directing, but I just wasn’t a fan. As a result, this weeks blog may not accurately depict the events that take place in this episode. I’ve, erm, improved it a bit. My humble apologies…

Jess still hasn’t made it back to the Cove. I worry what Amos is doing in her absence…anyway, this week she’s been invited to stay on the island of her friend Carlos Diego Santana*, a famous painter who is turning 60 and inviting his son (drug addict), wife (trophy), his ex-wife (pianist), a random British policeman (random), an art gallery owner (lord),  a charity worker (Princess Diana), and Willard the playwright (Robert Goulet).

Side note: Everything I know about Robert Goulet can be seen in this video. Also, here’s a picture:

It’s the neckerchief that really seals the deal for me…

Side side note: the English policeman is being played by Ron Moody, who played Fagin in the movie of Oliver! I’m pleased to report in this episode he pickpocketed a tray of snacks at least twice.

The party weekend does not get off to the best start – everyone is fighting with everyone, the trophy is almost having an affair with the island’s resident sculptor, and someone accidentally-on-purpose shoves a stone vase off a rooftop, narrowly missing Diego while he roams the outdoors serenading the moon with his guitar.

Also, the zombie apocalypse breaks out. **

Into this maelstrom of murderousness (and away from the zombie menace***) flies Our Heroine, intent on seeing out the zombpocalypse on Diego’s island stronghold. Alas for JB, the zombie menace has somehow followed her, and Willard is overcome by zombies while fishing in the surf. ****

Willard is flown off to the mainland to avoid contaminating the other guests/receive treatment, escorted by Diego’s son Miguel, who seems rather eager to be on the mainland. I suspect he’s secretly a zombie-killing maniac, bent on avenging the death of his mother to the zombie hordes. I could be wrong though. After Jess settles in, Diego fills her in on his suspicions that someone is trying to bump him off, and not just the threat of the undead. He enlists her to investigate.

It’s not long before she’s hot on the trail of the zombies/killer. Up on the rooftop she finds cigarette butts, a matchbook and Inspector Clousseau Henry Kyle, who pumps her for information, if you know what I mean. They engage in a battle of detective wits, after which it emerges that the only person who could have pushed the stone vase off the roof is Willard the playwright. A call to the hospital establishes that Willard is expressing all the symptoms of a heart attack/mauling by the hungry horde, and that Diego’s son Miguel is MIA. Presumably killing swarms of the undead.

Diego doesn’t believe any of it, especially the zombies. He asks JB and Inspector Rex Henry to keep a lid on their suspicions, which Jess agrees to reluctantly.

Callin’ it like she sees it, yo.

Diego has more pressing matters, like showing off his crossbow (not code for penis, as it turns out). Apparently his son Miguel is a dab hand at the ol’ crossbow, probably from his many years hunting the undead on the mainland. While Diego strokes his crossbow, JB and Inspector Lynley Henry have a pow-wow: it turns out Willard has been buying up Diego’s paintings for the last few months, despite having absolutely no money. That’s a nifty trick.

Now, a brief moment as we bask in JB Fletcher’s audition for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:

Seriously, I want this jacket. Internet, make this happen for me.

Later that night, we see (via the benefit of Killer Cam), a mysterious gloved hand go and retrieve the crossbow from its place on the wall. Clearly someone knows the zombies are coming, and is preparing their defense.

The next morning, Jess is out on her morning constitutional when she sees a boat pulled up at the beach. THE ZOMBIES HAVE GAINED NAVIGATORY TECHNOLOGY. THE END IS NIGH!!

Also, Diego gets shot and killed by a crossbow wielding bandit. Tough break. And to make matters worse, someone (zombie)  has smashed up the radio, preventing them from contacting the mainland. They are all alone, trapped on the island with at least one killer zombie on the loose. Sir John the gallery owner and the sculptor go off to find the missing crossbow, but JB has got more pressing concerns. Like the boat.

Jess and Henry go to check it out and find a mystery man trying to hightail it out of there. Henry and JB’s stunt double retrieve him from the water.

Life Lesson #29 – ALWAYS send others into the water instead of you.

But ye Gods! It’s not a mystery man, it’s Diego’s son Miguel! And he’s got a garbage bag full of Diego’s paintings! WHAT IS THIS? Diego explains that he needed to sell the paintings to raise money for his ongoing zombie genocide/give money to his junkie girlfriend******. Sir John doesn’t believe him.

Jess has other things on her mind. Like sand raking.

Deleted scene from The Walking Dead

Jess is convinced that Willard’s heart attack/zombie mauling was not as it seemed, and was drug induced, in an effort to throw suspicion off the fact he tried to toss a stone vase at Diego. The Inspector is not so sure, but before he can say so Sir John comes a-running. The resident island sculptor has, rather helpfully, legged it.

As the horde of the undead descends on the island******** Jess is woken by the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. Also, the back shed is on fire.

Jess hightails it to the scene, closely followed by everyone else. Henry discovers Diego’s wife Margo collapsed in the shed, and rescues her before the zombies can get their rotten hands on her. The same can not be said for Diego’s paintings, alas.

JB quizzes Margo on what happened.

Indeed.

They have narrowed the suspect field down considerably. Sir John is convinced that the local sculptor did it, but Margo tells them how the sculptor is actually a Hungarian dissident on the run from the Reds, and had nothing to do with it.

Seriously, I feel like I’m watching Passions or something now. In any case, JB’s got her eyes on the prize. Willard tried to kill Diego but failed, so he faked the zombie/heart attack and got out before his partner could dob him in. The same partner who did Diego in…

This image was not digitally altered in any way…*coughs*

And so ends the (practically) true story of how JB Fletcher solved the case and averted  total zombie-geddon.

See you next week, dead dear reader.

*Diego Santana is being played by Ceasar Romero, who was The Joker in the original Batman movie. I mention this because a) the original Batman movie is freaking amazing and you should watch it, and b) I know someone reading this will appreciate this fact. In fact, here’s a photo.

**Not true.

***See above footnote

****Actually it was a heart attack.

***** There is absolutely no evidence to suggest this isn’t true.

****** This is actually true.

******* Also, night.