This series of Death in Paradise kinda went by in a fog for me. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and there were echoes of what I love about Death in Paradise, but I did get extremely frustrated with the majority of it. The formula started to grate on me, I was annoyed by the fact that Mooney was made to abide by the formula, and the formula not made to abide to Mooney. A lot of it felt like a missed opportunity for me, not that it mattered. Apparently (as usual) Death in Paradise has gone from strength to strength, in the ratings at least.
Of course, it all changed last week, when we got an absolute belter of an episode and I was all over it! For the finale, we’ve got the same director, and some of my goodwill is definitely carried over. It’s not a bad episode, but it’s not to the level of last week’s.
So, for the last time this year, let’s start Putting the D in the P! (I’m very proud of the title for this one and want to remind you it is mine)
Series 7 Episode 8 – Locked-Room History
The team are jamming out at a music concert by Leon and the Rangers! It’s reggae music
(which I can’t stand) and the show goes well. But the Commsih interrupts calling Mooney with some BIG NEWS BIG NEWS. The band relax backstage, Billy Springer, Leon Laroche, Maya Oprey, Kai Springer and Delmar Brown, Delmar doing his post-gig ritual of playing really obnoxiously loud music. But when son Kai, tries to get in dad Billy’s dressing room, it’s locked!
Mooney and the Commish meet and the Commish says that he just got a message from Billy saying that he had new info on the case of his wife, Jasmine Springer’s murder, from years back. Mooney busts down Billy’s door and finds him dead, with a gun in his hand, the door locked from the inside. Looks like a suicide alright! SMASH CUT TO TITLES!
Mooney inspects the scene, finding a fork on the floor (yes that’s right, we’ve got the last WEIRD CLUE of the series!) That seems to be it really. Talking with the other members of the band, Billy seemed distracted by something. Probs the info he was going to tell the Commish! Also, there’s an explanation for the fork – Billy used one to change the key on his guitar instead of a capo (if some of that is wrong, kindly don’t tell me – I don’t know a chuff about music)
The Commish fills the team in on the death of Jasmine Walker. She was found dead by a cliff. It was made to look like a robbery gone wrong. But obv it wasn’t a robbery gone wrong. Elsewhere, Dwayne’s dad is around I guess. I really didn’t understand why this sub-plot was in this episode particularly. It just kinda feels like they didn’t have enough investigation to fill 57 minutes so they were just like ‘what if Dwayne’s dad moved in with Mooney?? Huh?? Huhh??” Also back at the station, Mooney sees that Billy’s guitar is missing one string. Which is going to be infinitely more important than the Dad shit.
Back to the investigation and it seems that not all is well in the band. What’s more, it looks like it may have been caused by Jasmine Walker, when she called halt to a European tour. Delmar in particular lost a lot of money on that tour. And Delmar admits to Mooney that everything wrong in his life is due to Jasmine. Which means he’s the prime suspect!
Which means he definitely didn’t do it!
Dwayne and JP search Billy’s place and JP finds a photo album filled with pics of Maya. Talking to Maya, Mooney and Florence find Maya was in love with Billy, but Billy didn’t feel the same. And when he met Jasmine, Maya was forced to watch the budding romance. Seems like a MOTIVE!!
Florence finds that Billy had a lease for a shack by the beach, and she goes to see what’s happening! Turns out the shack’s full of Jasmine’s stuff and what’s more someone’s already broken in. Florence gives chase but they’re gone before she can even start running. But there is something interesting in the shack – old studio recordings of the band from back in the day. Dwayne and JP take the recordings to a studio and find a conversation between takes – an argument between Jasmine and Leon Laroche.
Mooney thinks that they were having an affair and Laroche confirms it. The argument on the tape was about Jasmine wanting to tell Billy something. But then soon after she ended up dead. But Laroche says that he didn’t kill her.
Back at Mooney’s shack, Dwayne finds that his dad has shacked up with Mooney. He says that Mooney shouldn’t worry, he’ll disappear in no time, just like he did with Dwayne when Dwayne was a kid. And sure enough, next time Mooney goes home, Dwayne’s dad is gone. And for some reason, this inspires his
stroke epiphany. He goes back to look at Billy’s guitar, finding a note concealed inside – the new evidence Billy had on Jasmine’s death.
The gig at Saint-Marie inspired a trip down memory lane for Billy so he went to the shack and found the incriminating note in Jasmine’s stuff. And it tells Mooney exactly who killed Billy as well as Jasmine. Round the suspects together one last time! And SON OF A MOZZARELLA STICK it was Laroche!!!!
Laroche shot Billy – the loud music from Delmar’s room meaning the shot wasn’t heard. Leon locked the room, then bust in the door, breaking the lock. He put the key in the door, and used the fork and the missing guitar string to block the door so it appeared locked. But why? Well that argument Mooney and the team heard? It wasn’t about Jasmine wanting to tell Billy about the affair, it was about Jasmine wanting to tell Billy that their son, Kai, was actually fathered by Laroche! So Laroche left Jasmine a note to meet him at the cliff and murdered her! Then Billy found the note so he murdered him too!! TAKE HIM AWAY!!
With the case all wrapped up, and the Commish even almost smiling, it seems that all is well for another year on the good isle Saint Marie! Dwayne reconciles with his father, everyone else is also there, and that’s about it. Alls well that ends well, you know except for the families of Diane Smith, Bobby Rodriguez, Frank O’Toole, Fabienne Jordan, Daisy Anderson, Daniel Friend, Eugene Jones, Jasmine Walker and Billy Walker. They’re going to get pushed to some dark places in their unassailable grief for their loved one. A spectre who they can never see again. They’ll never hear their voices, they’ll never feel their touch and in time, they might even forget what they look like. The world will carry on, the worst part being that it will function exactly the same. AH WELL FUCK IT, LET’S HAVE A BEER!
It’s been a ride, hasn’t it? See you next year!
‘They didn’t have vanilla so you just get a bog standard latte,’ Jones said, plopping a takeaway cup on the desk in front of her.
Anderson grimaced, took a swig of coffee, and changed her face to a look of revulsion. ‘Fucking North Fern coffee takes like arse. Our shadowy mysterious benefactor can afford all this fancy equipment, but can’t pay someone to make a good cup of Joe.’
Jones laughed. She said this exact thing about three times a week. He actually didn’t mind North Fern coffee, though he couldn’t deny it had the slight tang of a hospital waiting room. ‘Any good news?’ he said, nodding his head to the scene through the one-way window.’
Anderson turned to her computer, and got what she wanted in a few taps, ‘He’s just posted a blog for Series 7 Episode 8. Scanning it for information. And…nothing. No mention of the charity shop initiative at all. And no information about where he buried his wife. His mind won’t survive another loop, and we’re not getting anywhere. We were making more progress before all this charity shop shit.’
‘They’ve delivered another initiative,’ Jones said, collapsing in his swivel chair and chucking a floppy disk over to Anderson.
Anderson caught it with one hand and looked at it. ‘You’ve got to be kidding. ‘The Circus Initiative’. We’re gonna have a series arc about this idiot being in the circus now. C’mon the charity shop thing ran out of steam after episode four. And how’s that going to get us closer to finding out where he buried her.’
‘You know the drill,’ Jones said reclining in his chair, ‘we occupy his mind with something trivial, such as completely overanalysing the deep-as-a-puddle television show Death in Paradise, hoping that he slips up and offers up information, but he needs to think he’s really existing so he has to have a job.’
‘Don’t talk up to me like that, Jones,’ Anderson snapped. ‘I’m still your boss.’
Jones laughed, ‘Hey what do you think’s in the coffin? Michael said that Jameson hinted at the water cooler that Southern said that maybe it’s Nazi Gold!’
‘Don’t believe everything you hear, Jones. There’s something of interest on his dead wife’s person that the higher ups want, that’s the long and short of it.’
‘They must really want it,’ Jones said, ‘Going through all this.’
Anderson straightened up and then jumped up, her chair being propelled back. Jones jumped up too, just at the surprise of it. ‘What is it?’ Jones said.
Anderson peered through the window and Jones came to meet her. ‘Look at the reviewer.’ she said. They looked through the window into the small room. The walls were lined with metal and in the centre of the room, a bearded malnourished man sat hooked up to a machine, wires coming out of his head. That wasn’t what had startled Anderson though.
‘His eyes are open,’ Jones whispered. The reviewer’s eyes were indeed open and they were staring right through the window at them. ‘He’s looking at us.’
‘Don’t be stupid,’ Anderson said, ripping her eyes from the man and going over to a red phone on the desk. ‘That’s one-way glass, he couldn’t see us even if he wasn’t semi-conscious.’ Anderson picked up the phone.
‘What are you doing?’ Jones said, seeing her.
Anderson already had the phone halfway to her ear. ‘I’m calling the higher-ups. This loop is done. Load in the Circus Initiative, God help us. We’re running out of time.’
‘How long do you think we have, exactly? To find out where this arsehole buried his wife and get all the nazi gold? Or…whatever might be in the coffin?’
Anderson thought for a moment. ‘I’d say we have until the 4th of January 2019 (depending on Episode air-dates)’
‘Shit,’ Jones said.
Jones and Anderson got to work, just as everyone along the corridors was working too. Just as everyone in the North Fern sector got to work, everyone in the building. All of Area 51 got to work.