Putting the D in the P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 7)

Putting the D in the P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 7)

Well, blow me down! If you hadn’t guessed from my general air of disdain throughout this entire series, I was pretty much done with Death in Paradise. I was all ready to come out at the end of the series, and put in my prediction that it would be cancelled – which was kinda a statement fuelled by anger, as DiP still gets ratings out the wazoo (8 million for Episode One). That’s a lot of peepers glued to the screen. I can’t even get 10 people to view my YouTube channel where I review cemeteries. You want to earn an extra star on my review for your cemetery, you make sure to have facilities (dead people don’t have to poop, but I do something about cemeteries makes me want to poop)

Then we got episode 7, and it’s possibly the best episode of Death in Paradise I’ve seen. Now I’ve gotta weight that statement with some clarification – it’s the best episode of Death in Paradise I’ve seen, a series that has a lower mark of quality than any other show out there. It’s a great episode, but that doesn’t mean there’s still some problems. But let’s not focus on the negative (first time I’ve ever said that in this blog) the murder mystery is (at least at the outset) entertaining, every member of the investigation team gets their moment in the spotlight (yes, this is one of the episodes where it isn’t just Jack Mooney and three servants) and the direction in particular is fantastic. This was directed excellently by Sarah Walker, who actually put thought into stuff like shot composition, use of colour and screen real estate. Basically it felt like this episode actually had a director, and it wasn’t just cobbled together by the actors and the producers.

Episode 7 was so good I’m gonna find it hard to tear it apart in this post. But I’m afraid I’m bound by my station. So let’s start Putting the D in the P! (You know the deal by now, I make up my own title yada yada yada)!

Series 7 Episode 7 – Open and Shut

An old man with a beard notices some kind of kerfuffle going on up at his neighbour’s house so he calls the police. Dwayne and JP rock up and do some actual police work! Beard’s neighbour has been murdered and the perp is still in the house! Dwayne busts the door down and JP gives chase. He slams into the perp and recognises him as an old school bully of his, Cordell Thomas. Unfortunately the recollection (much like Mooney’s mini-strokes epiphanies) stuns JP and Cordell gets away. But it doesn’t matter much. JP knows exactly who did it. Case closed. That one was easy! Oh…wait…there’s another fifty two minutes in this episode….SHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTT. SMASH CUT TO TITLES!

Florence rocks up and sees that Mooney has gone night fishing (you know, cos he’s always talking about how he likes night fishing). He’s caught a fish too but there’s no time to put it anywhere. There’s a murder to get to! Dwayne explains that it looks like a robbery gone tits up, because Cordell dropped a backpack full of jewellery when JP slammed him. The victim is Eugene Jones, who seemed to have a tussle with Cordell, and got hit by an ornament and then famously died. Mooney sees that Eugene is clutching a peanut! (which is a very weird weird clue indeed, specially as Eugene don’t have no nuts!)

Mooney and Florence go back to the station to find Cordell Thomas there waiting for them! He knows he’s in the shit so thought he’d turn himself in to save everyone some trouble. Put the kettle on, it’s all over. And faster than usual. Wait, theres forty nine minutes left. FFFFFUUUUCCCKKK. Cordell explains he’s been working for Eugene for yonks, making deliveries. He saw all the jewels, which Cordell knew were already stolen. Cordell wanted the jewels for himself, so was gonna burgle Eugene. And Cordell bopped him on the head with the ornament. Seems open and shut, but Mooney’s still hung up on that damn peanut.

Dwayne and JP go to tell Eugene’s sis that she has one less person to buy Christmas presents for this year, and she’s obviously upset (she hasn’t thought of the savings yet!) but she ain’t surprised it looks like Cordell killed him. Also, it’s Dwayne’s birthday I guess. JP isn’t very happy that Mooney is being very anal about the peanut. JP thinks it should be case closed, because he knows what an arsehole Cordell is. Mooney thinks Cordell didn’t do it and Cordell is covering for someone.

Dwayne and JP go to the Thomas place and meet a cleaner (who’s totes obviously gonna be important) while Mooney and Florence go looking into the stolen jewels. The cleaner, Marie, thinks Cordell’s a decent bloke (maybe he’s changed since JP knew him at school). The jewels belonged to a Charlie Blake, a local mucky Brit whose in crime up to his tits. Charlie seems happy that his jewels have been found, but Mooney thinks it’s a hell of a motive. Maybe Charlie found out Eugene had the jewels and killed him until he was dead. Charlie has no alibi.

Dwayne’s looking forward to a birthday dinner with Darlene, while JP goes and has some character development with Cordell. Cordell claims to have never known Charlie. But it might not matter – Cordell’s fingerprints are on the ornament, and the time of death lines up. Florence gets a key to a lockup Eugene rented. Eugene and his sis were seen to be having an argument there last night and some paperwork Mooney finds means the argument was probably about Eugene selling the cafe Eugene’s sis runs. What a MOTIVE!! And she don’t have no alibi either!

It’s very important to have an alibi. I have plenty of alibis down at my local charity shop where now I’m £££££££££££$$$$$$$%%%%%%%%&&&&&*******LISTEN TO ME NOW PLEASE. WE DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME. I AM NOT HIM. I AM NOT HIM. I WORK AT NORTH FERN. TELL OUR SUPERIORS THAT THE CHARITY SHOP INITIATIVE HAS FAILED. SUBJECT HAS NOT RECALLED THE INFORMATION WE DESIRED. THE LOOP WILL BE RESET BUT HE WON’T LAST ANOTHER FULL CYCLE. I REPEAT, THE CHARITY SHOP INITIATIVE HAS FAILED******^^^^$$$$$$$£££££ If you want one of those hot items, you email me at IWannaPlayHooperWithJP@aol.net. If you want…wait what was I talking about? Oh yeah, I’m gonna start working at a charity shop as part of my community service (because they couldn’t find where I buried my wife) The potential for about a series’s worth of misadventure is rife, so I’ll have my first check-in next week!

Anyway, back to the episode, there’s nothing to link Cordell to either of the other two suspects, so why would Cordell cover for them? There’s talk of a phone Cordell used and then subsequently dumped (a burner). Florence has an EPIPHANY! Cordell had a takeaway coffee when he got to the station to turn himself in, so maybe the phone was dumped near there. And turns out she’s right, after some garbage dipping, they come up with a phone! Dwayne goes to his birthday dinner, and gets the wrath of Darlene when she finds out his colleagues are still working. Dwayne gets back to work, his dinner on hold, while JP interviews the neighbour again (Mr Beard – Samuel Palmer). He’s a nice beard, and definitely didn’t do it. JP gets an EPIPHANY too. It’s going round. Cordell has changed – he met a girl!

Cordell’s phone shows one last call just before he turned himself in. And you bet it’s to that lass! The cleaner, Marie! But Marie is at the station when they get back. Cordell was covering for Marie, because he luuuuvvvvs her and she’s pregnant. Marie went to see Eugene to deliver 10,000 smackers from a previous job and to say that she wasn’t going to sell the jewels either because Charlie Blake was onto her, and accidentally killed Eugene. Then Cordell covered it up by bopping the already dead Eugene on the head with the ornament. There we go! Case closed. And a bit earlier than…wait there’s still 12 minutes left in the… SHHHITTFFFFUCCCCKKK. I mean there is the problem of the missing 10k so fair doesss.

But it’s okay cos Mooney has an EPIPHANY of his own. And after he’s changed his pants (he got some Epiphany goo in there) they round up the suspects for an Inception-style crime within a crime within a crime. The murderer is Samuel Palmer! And Samuel has scarpered, while Mooney was adhering to the formula. You see Marie thought she had killed Eugene, but she hadn’t. Samuel went in the house, found a jar of peanuts with the 10k, and was there when Eugene woke dazed. Samuel had to kill him. Then Cordell comes to take the blame, not knowing that the scene he finds is not Marie’s doing, but Samuel’s. MIND BLOWN.

TAKE HIM AWAY! Oh wait, Samuel has fucked off so I guess we’ve got a killer on the loose. Oh well, Mooney and Florence have barbecued fish for tea, JP and Cordell reconcile and have a beer together. And Dwayne finally gets his birthday dinner. But it’s interrupted by a cliffhanger that makes no sense! Dwayne’s dad comes in and that’s a…good way to end this…someone thought. Isn’t Dwayne at Darlene’s? How does Dwayne’s dad know where Darlene lives. Ah, fuck it, who cares.

Up Next: This fucking thing ends and I get my life back!

 

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Putting the D in the P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 5)

Putting the D in the P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 5)

It’s time for another hot Death in Paradise and so far, ain’t Season 7 kinda been a drag? It’s actually really depressing to me. It just feels there is a lot of fatigue around the very obvious formula of the series, and although it’s always been like this (for 7 bloody seasons) I’ve never really felt it as hard as I do now. I don’t know about ratings and stuff like that (that would take research) but I wouldn’t be surprised if there has been some kind of decline. Which is kinda sad, because I think Ardol O’Hanlon had the potential to be the most interesting character the series had ever had and in my opinion (because if you haven’t figured yet, this entire series is opinion) he has been totally misused.

It’s basically like Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who. He could have been my favourite doctor but the stories and events that unfolded were (not objectively terrible but) fundamentally mis-managed. That’s exactly what’s happening with DI Mooney.

It’s not just Death in Paradise, I also think that this season of Silent Witness had been one of the worst in recent memory. Just like DiPSW had an extremely interesting end of the last series, and the start of the new series has entirely failed to capitalise on it at all (if you watch SW I’m referring to Nikki being buried alive in Mexico and Jack’s incredible helplessness in being unable to save her) Yes there’s echoes of interesting stuff, but it seems like it wants to wrap it up straight away. Hey, wait a sec, just like Mooney’s daughter fucking off straight away.

Because I’m getting very bored of both, it’s entirely possible it’s just me. And I’m just foreseeing the comments that I might be getting tired of Death in Paradise because I over-analyse every episode, yeah that’s valid. That being said, don’t comment that. But the fact remains I’m coming to these things with a fucking sigh, whereas last series (where I wrote exactly the same accompanying articles) I was coming to them with a smile.

Oh well, at least Inside No. 9 is fucking fantastic still.

Let’s go! Number 5! Make my own titles up (you know the deal by now!)! It’s time to start Putting the D in the P!

 

Series 7 Episode 5 – A Charitable Cause

Hey! Saint Marie! And its Day of the Dead! All the members of the team are joining in the celebrations, and having a grand old time! Elsewhere however things aren’t so peachy. Finn Anderson has just seen his wife Daisy Anderson off. She’s on her way to a Charity Auction at the Yacht Club, an auction in which regular guest stars, the Commish, and Katherine, are in attendance. Finn’s too cool for school though, and instead makes his way to the Day of the Dead festival getting a drink at one of the bars. Soon though Finn receives a terrible answering phone message of Daisy talking to someone who seems to be murdering her. He finds Mooney and Co. and gets them on the case! SMASH CUT TO TITLES!

Mooney and Co. listen to the voicemail and hot tail it over to the Yacht Club. No one there saw Daisy there, but Daisy’s cars parked out front. The Commish offers his services and soon finds Daisy’s body by a cliff looking out to sea. It’s obvious she’s been stabbaroo’d and there’s nothing much else interesting going on here. Apart from the WEIRD CLUE OF THE WEEK TM – a yellow butterfly that the Commish says should be in hibernation this time of year.

No one of the arbitrary list of suspects, Hugh Davenport (the head of the club), Charlotte Hamilton (the treasurer) and Finn Anderson (hubby) can’t think of any reason anyone would want to kill Daisy, who was the head of the charity commission at the Club and was well liked. After a fruitless conversation, JP searches Daisy’s car and finds an expensive bracelet shoved into the back of the glovebox. Weird!

Mooney wonders about Finn. He jumped to the conclusion that the voicemail message meant murder very quickly, even though the voicemail only had Daisy begging with a person who supposedly had a knife. That wouldn’t automatically mean she’s dead. Mooney wonders why Finn would think that straight off. Finn has no motive so far, he’s a game designer who sold his game for 7 million dollars, so money isn’t an issue. But Finn does seem to have a spot of blood on his shirt (in an abnormal scene that shows the audience something that the team don’t)

Harry the CGI lizard is sick – he’s not moving, he’s been turned into a model of a frog (which is cheaper budget-wise) Yeah he’s not moving at all, not even drinking water. He’s definitely SICK! SICK? SICK! Just like the deals down at my local charity shop. I got so good at selling the kiddy’s toys, and the ceramics, and the DVDs, now they’ve put me in charge of the whole store! So now I can sell whatever I like! I think you’re gonna really like some of the stuff I sell now. You want a partially chewed Findus lasagne? Come on down to my second-hand food section! You want petrol? We got tons of fucking gasoline in our car go-go section! You want a garage door? We got a great selection in our Things That Are Used To Keep Things In section! You want any of these hot products, you just email me at PaintMeLikeOneOfYourJPHoopers@aol.net. But be quick, these hot products are gonna go fast fast fast!!

That expensive bracelet that was in Daisy’s glovebox? Adam Warner gave it to her. Adam Warner is the Club surf instructor, and also a total beefcake. He was having an affair with Daisy, but when he gave her the bracelet, she was like ‘this gettin too real for men’ and fucks off. Adam really liked her so would never kill her. OR WOULD HE?????……No he’s not the murderer.

Time to throw some shade at Hugh Davenport, who through some CCTV, was shown to be attempting to blackmail Daisy because he found out about Daisy’s affair. It looks like he may want some sexy sexy sex favours. You heard the phrase Fight Fire With Fire? Well, Davenport wants to Fight Affair with Affair. He’s a scumbag, but he would never kill Daisy, right?

Back to Finn, who seems to be guilty as sin. Finn and Daisy were going through a rough patch. Daisy told Finn about the affair. And what’s more Daisy told Finn she wanted a divorce! And they argue about it.

At Katherine’s bar, Mooney asks Katherine about the auction. She said no one inside including Davenport, Charlotte Hamilton, and Beefcake Airways left the auction when Daisy was supposedly killed. So they all have alibis. She also tells Mooney that Daisy was at the bar a few days ago with some official looking papers and looking troubled. She was looking for a charity called Project Saint Marie, a charity that turns out to be a way to siphon money from the club. And the one responsible for the siphoning? Charlotte Hamilton!

Charlotte wanted money, lots and lots o’ money, and she thought no one would notice. But when Daisy as the new head of Charity stuck her nose in, Catherine got found out! Seems like a hell of a motive, ey?

Dwayne is still with his new girlfriend, Darlene, but she’s looking after her niece, Elise, and Dwayne thinks that kids are shit and hates spending time with her. But in a scene that actually has a nice amount of emotional depth, Dwayne is forced to tell Elise a bedtime story, and slowly realises that he enjoys looking after her. Elise is having nightmares and Dwayne tells her to draw the monsters she’s seeing.

The next morning, Darlene shows Dwayne what Elise drew – it’s a crude but obvious picture of Finn with a knife threatening Daisy. Elise actually saw what happened and that’s why she’s having nightmares. So Finn was at the Festival of the Dead with a knife, going to stab Daisy. But how did Finn get Daisy’s body from the centre of town to the yacht club without anyone seeing?

Mooney gets a phonecall from the vets (oh yeah, he took Harry to the vets I guess) to hear that Harry’s on the mend!! He was near death, but he still soldiered on. And that triggers the EPIPHANY!! (And some pretty good funny faces from Mooney) He knows the who and the what and the why.

At the final reveal, Mooney reveals all! And HOLEY MOLEY it was Charlotte and Finn. Finn went to kill Daisy in the centre of town but bottled it at the last moment. Daisy got hold of the knife and ran…to Charlotte’s place. Charlotte seized the opportunity to silence Daisy about the charity stuff by killing her, but first recorded a voice memo of Daisy pleading with her.

Charlotte got some tarpaulin and wrapped Daisy up, and made her way over to Finn’s. She blackmailed Finn (for that GREEN doe!!) and took Daisy’s car to dump the body by the yacht club. In the tarpaulin, a butterfly who had crawled under it to die and ended up sticking to Daisy’s flowers on her dress. Finn played his part, Charlotte calling him with the voice memo and Finn letting it go to voicemail. Charlotte and Finn now have alibis…except that they don’t cos Mooney sussed them out by having a stroke epiphany. TAKE THEM AWAY!

Well it seems that everything has worked out for the best apart from the dead nice kind young woman and Harry has returned home. The vets have cured his model-itis, and he’s back to being good ol’ CGI again. Supers. The episode ends with Mooney declaring he’s starting to feel at home on Saint Marie! Very nice.

This episode was fine. There were actually some neat moments, and was it just me or was the music out of control in this episode? In a wacky way that I can kinda get behind. The stuff with Dwayne was actually a neat sub-plot, with some genuine depth, and it was nice to see a sub-plot feed into the main narrative for a change. Overall, not great, but not bad.

UP NEXT: A murder occurs on Saint-Marie.

Putting the D in the P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 4)

Putting the D in the P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 4)

Wow, we’re nearly halfway through the 2018 season of Death in Paradise. And let me tell you, it has been popping off. There’s been floods, university applications, bananas in exhaust pipes, a racist lizard, an Irish fetish, and Florence sprained her leg by jumping in the sea (I still don’t get how that…you know what, never mind). It seems loads has happened by virtue of absolutely nothing happening. It says a lot that I write 1500 words on these fucking things every week (I may be the world’s biggest connoisseur of DiP) but even I had to look back to see what the fuck episode 1 and 2 was actually about.

I think we’ve only had one ‘good’ episode so far, being last weeks. The humour worked, the mystery was actually kinda interesting, and the characters were top noootch. Basically, it was Death in Paradise with someone actually in the driver’s seat. Too often, it feels like there’s no one there, and the good coach DiP is coasting, just counting on it’s inherent charm and its established formula.

The biggest mis-step so far this series, which I think is actually a cardinal sin, is completely throwing out the USPs (Unique Selling Points) of DI Jack Mooney. Going into this series, he had a daughter, he had some unresolved grief with a dead wife, and he had some actually viable detective skills. And now Siobhan’s gone, the wife is only inferred (if you really wanna look into it) and the detective skills have amounted to using fruits to stop criminals (we’ve had a banana and a watermelon so far)

The fact Siobhan left is probably the worst. A new dynamic thrown out. If you look at the last episode of last series (where Mooney was tentative in asking Siobhan if she wanted to stay on the island) to the first of this (where Siobhan is tentative in asking Mooney to leave the island) it really fucking stinks. The wider story is fucked, and it just feels like a patchwork quilt, where nothing is carried over and everything is different. So we’ve thrown out the Mooney/Siobhan dynamic for…what?…some goofy Odd Couple sub-plot with Mooney and Dwayne? Really? Really? Really? REALLY?

It’s not like I’ve hated this series so far, but I just want some cohesion, and I ultimately think Death in Paradise can be better than this. Anyways, let’s sew another patch on the quilt with today’s offering. (Once again, I make my own titles because these things don’t have one) It’s time to start Putting the D in the P!!!

 

Series 7 Episode 4 – Hallelujah Hallelujah

We start on a beach (because always) and a healing pastor is getting ready for his congregation. Coming to the show (?) is Fabienne Jordan, a woman whose sight is failing her because of a brain tumour, who is travelling with her nephew, Dashel. The show is going great, Pastor Steadman King is healing people out the wazoo, by having them drink water from a cup and blessing them on their foreheads. Time comes, and it’s Fabienne’s time in the spotlight. She gets up, goes to drink from the cup and collapse s. DEAD. SMASH CUT TO TITLES!

At the station, the Commish is enhancing the Saint Marie police force with a dog to sniff shit out. The Commish wants to try a dog out and if he gets used, they’ll get their own. So yeah obviously the dog is going to get used. (When I said I wanted some change in Death in Paradise, I didn’t mean just shove a dog in there) Anyhoo, the team get called to the scene of the murder, and instantly Mooney notices Fabienne’s burnt lips. It seems almost certain that she was poisoned! And the poison must have been in the water and when the cup is tested, it’s found to have nicotine poison all up in its bidness!

While JP and Dwayne (and the fucking dog) search the entire congregation for any traces of some kind of poison receptacle, Mooney and Florence interview Paster King. Turns out, his return to Saint-Marie was fairly recent. He was a big-shot Pastor in America but felt that a homecoming was in order. What’s more, the Pastor already knew Fabienne, in fact they grew up together.

Dwayne is already blowing off his new lady (and not in a good way) It’s not good to blow stuff off, especially a court ordered job. I don’t blow off my court ordered job. Just take the ceramics down at my local charity shop. I got so good at selling the ceramics, I got promoted again. Now I’m working in the children’s toys section and I gotta shift some mother-flipping merch. You want a Tickle-Me-Elmo that’s left arm is damaged so now when you turn it on and the arm vibrates it looks like he’s masturbating? I’ll give you a good deal on it. You want a DI Jack Mooney cuddly toy? I made it myself at Build-A-Bear. You want a Sylvanian Families Set where all the the bears are beheaded. You want any of these great deals, you just email me at JPCanHooperMeAnyDay@aol.net. Electronic-Mail me quick cos these are gonna go fast fast fast.

Mooney does a bit of snooping in Fabienne’s bag and finds her shack keys. He goes to her shack, finds some sweets in unique wrapping (in a manner that will almost definitely come up again), and a diary with a pic of her, Steadman and some guy called Wallace, but they’re all growed up in the pic, which means the man of God is also a man of pies. Porkie Pies! Steadman and Fabienne were engaged to be married, but when Steadman moved to America, with Wallace no less, he blew off the engagement, and Fabienne never got over it. What’s more, it looks like the Pastor’s return to Saint Marie doesn’t seem quite as heaven sent, rather he was fleeing America after some kind of scandal.

Well, let’s not put all our eggs in Steadman’s basket, and let’s get derailed by some red herrings. I like herrings, especially red ones. The food colouring really adds some more flavour to the already sumptuous flavour of the herrings. Anyway, Fabienne changed her will so everything’s going to her nephew, Dashel. And turns out Dashel was haemorrhaging money like I’m haemorrhaging haemorrhoids. But Dashel denies killing his aunt because he didn’t

Hey, this episode’s pretty one sided, because we’re back to the pastor. Mooney finds that he and Fabienne grew up in a little village on the other side of the island, but when they hop skip over there, they find the village in a state of disrepair. It’s about to get redeveloped, and the security guard is lonely. The only visitors being Mooney, Florence…oh and Steadman the day before. Wait wha? Steadmanwent back to his old place, maybe to pick something up? Mooney applies for a warrant to search Steadman’s residence, and after some C plot shenanigans that aren’t really worth getting into (although I would like to point out that I wrote in my notes ‘Mooney’s meatballs, handled by Florence’) he gets it. So Mooney in primo ALPHA male mode rides up to Steadman’s place and turns it upside down.

There, he talks to Steadman’s wife, Amelia, who actually doesn’t turn out to be his wife at all. They wear wedding rings but they have separate bedrooms, because Steadman has other leanings. To put it bluntly, Steadman is as gay as a Saturday matinee of Mamma Mia! And he left the States because someone from his congregation saw the man of God with a man of man. I’m talking dicks! The search on Steadman’s abode WRAPS up (I’ve been counting my breaths since I was four, and begging each one to be my last) with Florence finding a sweet WRAPPER. One of the same sweet wrappers that Mooney saw at Fabienne’s house. So Fabienne was at Steadman’s place before the show on the beach? Mighty suspicious. And what’s more, JP finds a plastic bottle of nicotine poison in Steadman’s bin! THE BARBARIAN!!! (That was plastic, it should have gone in the recycling). Mooney arrests the good Pastor.

Back at the station, Dwayne finds that a Wallace Miller (cos that’s Wallace’s surname apparently) never actually went to the States with Steadman, even though Steadman told Fabienne he did? What’s more, Wallace seemed to vanish completely, even from Saint Marie records. Maybe he was killed!! Mooney orders a search of Steadman’s old place on the other side of the island, thinking that Steadman killed Wallace (maybe cos he found out he was gay) and buried him somewhere near his old place. Finding out the place was getting ripped up and built on, and the body would be discovered Steadman came back to Saint Marie, where Fabienne confronted him, and he had to kill her too? Maybes? The dog (Huh? Huh? The dog, right?) finds a body, but the results from the lab say it’s not Wallace. Mooney is at a loss. The one thing he can’t understand is why Fabienne would willing go to Pastor Steadman knowing he was a killer?? And then EPIPHANY!

Let’s get everyone together for the final blowout, and it’s obviously all to do with the Pastor so the other two suspects might as well not be there. But HOLY CHEESY CHESS PIECES!! Fabienne killed herself. She was carrying a capsule of poison in her bag, and had it in her mouth before she took a sip from the cup. Obviously the poison left it’s mark on the cup making it look like it was the cup that was the murder weapon.

But why? Ready for another mindfuck? Because Steadman King is actually Wallace Miller. All those moons ago, Wallace killed Steadman in a lust-filled rage and assumed his identity. Wallace buried Steadman by the old place, and had to come back to move the body. But Fabienne got wind of the fake Steadman. Her eyesight was failing, but she could still tell ‘Steadman’ was Wallace Miller. She confronted him and he told her no one would believe he wasn’t really Steadman. So she planted a bottle of nicotine poison in his bin and decided to frame him for her murder instead.

Dude, that just wrinkled my brain. So Wallace Miller killed Steadman King and then Fabienne died because of that. I think that all adds up to a healthy dose of TAKE HIM AWAY!!!

Well, alls well that ends well…apart from the stuff that obviously doesn’t ends well. Turns out the dog was only contracted for one episode so he’s fucking off now. Dwayne is making amends with his missus because he was ignoring her all episode, and Mooney has a record player now, cos that’s important I guess.

While this definitely wasn’t the most offensive episode ever, it also wasn’t particularly memorable. The sub-plots were incredibly superfluous, and the mystery was very weighted on one side. Two of the three suspects were not explored really at all. While a more focused investigation was kinda interesting, because Steadman/Wallace’s motivations were more fleshed out, it was still just par for the course. Oh well, there’s always next week I guess.

 

Up next: A person who is living becomes a person who is dead.

 

 

 

 

Putting the D in the P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 3)

Putting the D in the P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 3)

Ah, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’s snow on the ground, a chill in the air, but you don’t have to leave the house because you have not just one but two great crime shows to watch on BBC One. Does anyone else think of Death in Paradise and Silent Witness as estranged siblings – Death in Paradise is the younger, more foolhardy one, and Silent Witness is the older, more serious one. It’s pretty much only because they’re on at the same time, but it’s almost impossible not to think of the two as linked, at least if you watch both.

Back when I was a blogger in the short pants, I vaguely considered doing a blog series on Silent Witness, just like I do for Death in Paradise. But then the next episode I watched was about sexual violence, and I was like NOPE. Silent Witness is so much more serious than DiP for sure (at least serious enough to not lend itself to my poop and fart joke commentary) but it is also inherently ridiculous in it’s own way.

If you don’t watch Silent Witness, it follows pathology team Nikki, Thomas, Clarrisa and Jack as they get assigned to various cases with various police teams. The cool thing (and sometimes the lame thing, if the story is a dud) is that the story is a two parter, told over two hours. It’s still easy to list off a couple of goofy beats that always get hit though – the pathologists take pictures of a body and notice a clue because they took the pictures of the body, Nikki gets emotionally invested in the case (like a pathologist wouldn’t), the pathologists get unrealistically involved in the case, Jack re-enacts the murder and finds a clue, there is a chase (usually on foot). This can be expanded to a series overall too. There is usually one episode about immigration, there is one episode when one of the pathologists are focused on more than the others, one episode will clearly be the standout amongst the rest, and be where all the budget has gone.

Point being, you can break these things down, just like I do with Death in Paradise. I only do it with Death in Paradise because it’s lighthearted enough to be able to take it . That and I think exposing it for the clockwork carcass of story that it is, somehow makes it more enjoyable.

So let’s see what we’re up against today, shall we? It looks like this one’s about a writer, so that should be fun (writers writing about writers always goes well). And I don’t want to spoil it, but I think I saw something about a banana in an exhaust pipe. (Once again, no official title so I make my own). Let’s start Putting the D in the P!!

Series 7 Episode 3 – The Final Act

We start at the house of a famous thriller writer, Frank O’Toole, who’s throwing a party to celebrate 40 years since his first book was published. It’s a fancy shindig, there’s his wife Valerie, his research assistant Gilly, and he even got Simon Callow to turn up (who apparently hasn’t been in one of these fucking things yet). No, but seriously Callow is his agent, Larry. They all seem to be having a grand old time, until Frank finds they’re out of champagne (and you can’t have a fancy party without champagne) so Frank goes into town to get some more.

The night is going well, and everyone seems pretty pissed, Gilly most of all. The party is a success, and everyone hits the hay. Frank wakes up early in the morning for a swim. He leaves his wife a note, his clothes on a rock and he walks into the sea. Two hours later, everyone else wakes up and there’s a commotion down on the beach. Fisherman are gathered around a body that has been washed up and, would you know it??, it’s Frankie-boy with a fish knife sticking out of his heart. Jeez Louise! SMASH CUT TO TITLES!

At Mooney’s shack, Dwayne gets a rude awakening (because they’re living together now remember, because Mooney inadvertently caused Dwayne’s shack to flood remember, because Mooney woke Dwayne up early in the morning to go to the station remember, and Dwayne left the bath running remember…it was a whole thing) Anyways Dwayne and Mooney get called to the scene of the murder. Mooney confirms that the knife in the heart was probs how Frank died. He learns how Frank went into town to buy champers, but there’s shit tons in the house? Meaning maybe he didn’t go into town to buy champagne? Mooney gives all the suspects a business card, but his last name is mis-spelled. It says Money and not Mooney! (Believe it or not, this is actually super important.)

Dwayne and JP search the house, and it’s time for a DWAYNE AND JP WACKY SUB-PLOT!! TM. Well, kinda anyway. We learn that it’s the festival of love on the island and Dwayne is desperately looking for a date! Anyways, enough about that, JP finds a fax machine and prints off the last fax received. (I’m told fax machines were once used to communicate using paper, I dunno – nuts, right?)

Mooney and Florence interview Gilly (after hearing she got super-smashed last night) and we find out that Gilly went outside after bidding good night to sober up by the beach. There, she heard Frank and Larry arguing about something. The fax JP found should explain that! You see, Frank was about to sign with a new agent! Time to talk to Callow! Now, you may have noticed, this episode is thundering along. I’m not really glossing over much, it’s just super fast. Which is kinda why this episode works so well. There’s no guff. At least, not much.

Anyhoo, Larry says that Frank was definitely past his peak (like me) and Larry couldn’t even find a publisher for Frank’s last novel. He didn’t know that Frank was going to sign with a new agent but he’s not exactly surprised either. Mooney points out that given Frank’s death, the books are going to enjoy some new popularity, and Larry will get his 10%. Meaning we got a super MOTIVE!! But wait, there’s more, JP finds out that the O’Toole’s weren’t exactly rich (like me), in fact far from it. That means the wife Valerie also has a super MOTIVE!!

Dwayne and JP find tire tracks by Frank’s place – tracks that look like a scooter. But no one in the house owns a scooter. And there hasn’t been any deliveries there for a while. So who’s scooting about, hmm? And Mooney and Florence find that Frank’s real name is Frank Toole, not Frank O’Toole. He added the O to sound more Irish, which is something Mooney can really get behind.

I know we’re popping around a lot here, but this thing really moved. Just like the DVDs in my local charity shop where I’m doing community service (because they can’t prove I did it) In fact, I sold so many DVDs, I got promoted to ceramics. Does anybody want a complete set of China Beatles, but Paul’s head has come off. Does anybody want an urn, still being used? Does anyone want a complete set of promotional plates, promoting Charles and Camilla’s wedding, with only a few unidentified food stains? If you want any of these hot items, just email me at JPsBetterWhenWet@aol.net. These things are gonna go quick, (just like me with JP) so make sure you get your emails in.

Back to the episode, and Florence sets up a video chat with Gilly’s fiancee, who left loads of messages on her FB social media page asking where the fuck she’d gone. Well, the jilted fiancee, Dean Shanks (what a name), sheds some light on what’s going down. Gilly abandoned him to swan off to Saint Marie, on like an ‘internship’ with Frank. Gilly’s obsessed with the guy, but she’s not such a hot writer herself (I mean she is hot, just not as hot as Frank). She’s been rejected by 15 publishers so far. And of course, it transpires that Frank and Gilly were having an affair (because duh) and they were even planning to go off to Prague together. But wait, that means wife Valerie could have another super MOTIVE right. Well it looks like she knew about the affair, and it was ever she who suggested the trip to Prague to make Frank become sick of his new mistress. Apparently Gilly’s been getting on Frank and Valerie’s nerves.

Elsewhere, the toxicology results come back, and Frank had paint and varnish under his fingernails. Paint and varnish that would line up with him being on a boat. Mooney sends Dwayne and JP to look for a boat and they find an unmarked one, with some blood on it! The boat belongs to an Otis Falconer, but there’s no record of an Otis Falconer on Saint Marie! Goddammit!

Time for a B plot check-in! As Dwayne gets himself a date for the Festival of Love, he asks if Mooney can give him some space at the shack. However Mooney doesn’t really get the memo, and he inadvertently crashes Dwayne’s date. The woman seems to take a shine to Mooney’s Irish accent, and it seems like Dwayne has been usurped (you like the word usurped? I’ve been trying to expand my voclabulery now I’m doing these bloggers)

Back to the Otis saga, and it seems someone fitting Otis’ description rented a scooter. What’s more, Katherine knows where the guy is staying. Florence, JP and Dwayne go to arrest Otis, while Mooney waits outside eating a banana (you know what’s coming right? Right? RIGHT?) Anyways, Otis does a runner and tries to escape on his scooter. BUT Mooney has stuck a banana in his exhaust pipe!! (this is so dumb I can actually kinda get behind it) But Otis turns out not to be Otis at all, and is in fact Dean Shanks! He was outside the house that night, but don’t know nothing about no boat or no Otis Falconer.

The investigation turns to finding Otis, and there’s a place rented by an Otis on a neighbouring island. The team go visit and find an empty house, with only a laptop that has two contacts – the boat guy, and the house guy. What the fuck is going on? No one knows, except Mooney starts having a seizure epiphany. He knows who killed Frankie boy, and it all has to do with the letter O.

Gathering all the suspects together, Mooney explains what’s going down. You see Otis Falconer never really existed. Otis was Frank. Frank’s real name – Frank Toole – is an anagram of Otis Falconer. Frank was planning to fake his own death, using the boat and the beach house, to get the insurance money. And Valerie knew all about it! They had a super plan together to cash out, and leave everything behind.

Including Gilly. Cos HOT BUFFET LUNCHEONS, it was Gilly who killed Frank, totes for realz. She got wind of the desertion plot and realised that Frank didn’t like her. The trip to Prague was just a smokescreen, and Gilly was going to be left all alone, with her shit novel. Seeing that Gilly never takes rejection well, she went ahead of Frank on his swim and knifed him on the boat, before cleaning up and acting like nothing ever happened. Yeah, okay, that checks out. TAKE HER AWAY!

Ah well, there’s another episode done. And the team relax at the bar, enjoying the last of the Festival of Love. Dwayne isn’t happy though. Mooney’s gone off with his girl. But BROS BEFORE HOES (the farming instrument) because Mooney tells the woman to give Dwayne another chance. So she does. Alls well that ends well. Well apart from…you know the murder and shit.

This episode was a return to form. The last two have been umm, err, sub-par in my opinion. But this episode was tightly plotted, had humour that actually worked (I even laughed a few times) and was overall a pretty decent hour of TV. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing here that’ll blow your nips off, but it’s fun. A nice bit of throwaway fun. Which is exactly what DiP should be. Hopefully next week’s will continue the upward trajectory of this series. See you next week!

NEXT WEEK – Someone gets murdered.

Putting the D in the P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 2)

Putting the D in the P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 2)

It’s the second episode of the season and it seems very obvious that things are business as usual on Saint Marie. Remember last season when Humph and the guys went to London for a two-parter. That was awesome, huh? I wrote last week about how it was good that Death in Paradise didn’t change. However, that was before I watched the opener (I write these preludes beforehand, so maybe today’s episodes gonna be awesome!!) and I just kinda was not impressed by it.

I dunno what I was expecting – we’d already had two episodes with Ardol O’Hanlon’s Jack Mooney last season, and apart from some different kind of investigating, it was the same ol’ Death in Paradise. The very same D was being put in (or even thrust into, if you will) the very same P. Last time, I compared Death in Paradise to your grandma’s pot pie, and how you’d be annoyed if she changed the recipe. But, could grandma at least put some fucking salt and pepper on it!

I am a big fan of Death in Paradise – in fact, I was voted the biggest Death in Paradise fan in the world at the award ceremony held at the Travelodge in Milton Keynes. I was awarded a trophy and a glass of juice, after the consumption of which, I woke up at a McDonalds in Florence in nothing but my Death in Paradise branded underwear (Kris Marshall was on the pee flap and you don’t want to know where Ben Miller was). Anyway I got a little off topic – the point is that even a big fan like me is starting to get a little fatigued of grandma’s pot pie. I don’t want her to change the recipe, but I do want some spice.

The writing is the main (and kinda only) thing I think needs some (to a lot of) work. There’s a reason you get loads of fuckers on Twitter thinking they’re funny every new series saying some variation of ‘You’d think people would stop going to Saint-Marie because someone gets murdered every week.’ Yeah, swell tweets guys. No one’s ever thought of that one before.

But hey, it’s a valid thought. Maybe I’m rambling, maybe I’m making sense, maybe James Franco is innocent. But it would be nice to see Death in Paradise lean into the comedy of it’s premise a little more. It’s already incredibly light hearted, and the concept of murder is thrown around like a bean bag at a hippie convention. Last series, I said that Death in Paradise was a daytime TV show placed in a primetime slot. And I’m still behind that statement. Daytime shows can remain the same all they want, but primetime shows…they have to remain relevant, evolve.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just talking out my arse. Let’s have a look and see what we’ve got coming up this week. (As usual, these things don’t have titles, so I just make one up) For the second time this year, let’s get cracking with Putting the D in the P!

Series 7 Episode 2 – House Rules

We’re back on Saint-Marie (because where else would we be?) and it looks like we’re hotting up for a big poker game. There’s chips, cards, and an audience just waiting to see four of the top poler players in the world duke it out for 3 million flippin’ dollars. Organiser Les Doyle (played by Mark Benton, who apparently hasn’t been in one of these fucking things yet…) is buzzing around making sure everything is ready and nothing will interrupt the hottest poker battle EVAR! Dealer Adelaide Scott is ready, the audience is ready so it’s time to get the players.

Number 1 seed Bobby Rodriguez had just made a kale smoothie to chug during the game. Along with a big cigar, I hear those are sublime. Number 2 seed Ray Campbell is a little chavy dipshit. Professor Eugene Sutton is there, and to round out the party is Melanie Devaux (who happens to be Bobby’s wife, which I guess…is fine. Would that be allowed? Seems like poker game would be a perfect time for some collusion.)

Anyways the poker game seems to be going hunky dory, until Bobby starts spluttering and foaming at the mouth (which I’m told isn’t normal during poker) Anyhoo, he flippin’ dies! Someone’s poisoned him! I guess this poker game really was……..HIGH STAKES…..(life is pain) Just smash cut to titles already!

Elsewhere, Florence is out of action. Her leg is in a cast due to her…falling in the sea last episode…(I dunno, just go with it.) Mooney gives her his world famous Mooney Meatballs! (I dunno, just go with it…again) to cheer her up. Florence tries them and thinks they’re awesome. FLORENCE LIKES MOONEY”S MEATB – (No, I’m better than that) Anyways with Florence indisposed, it looks like Dwayne is going to have to step up and be the acting detective! Which should be fine…

Mooney, Dwayne and JP are called to the poker game, where all shit is breaking loose. Turns out, killing a guy isn’t actually a valid strategy in poker. Mooney looks at the body and notices that Rodriguez’s fingers are tinged a funny colour. Mooney doesn’t know shit about poker, but luckily Dwayne seems to be a bit of an expert! Poker Master rules says that the match has to be rescheduled within two weeks – so the 3 mil is still up for grabs, but there’s one less challenger. That’s one fuck of a motive.

Let’s just rattle off some stuff because I haven’t got all day. I need to go and do my Community Service at the charity shop. Manager says I need to sell more DVDs at the charity shop. You want a Lee Evans standup special? You want a DVD with one Call the Midwife Christmas special on. You want Lost Season 1 Part 2 (you don’t need to know what happens in Part 1, trust me). You want any of these DVDs, email me at IWantJPsHoopers@aol.net. Don’t be a stranger, these things are gonna sell fast, fast, fast. Anyway, Dwayne searches Bobby’s bag and finds a pair of sunglasses in a sock. Weird. Mooney learns there was an online blogger in the audience doing a blow-by-blow account of the game. Lame. And when the forensics comes back, it turns out the poison was not in the drink or the cigar, it was on the Ace of Spades! Intriguing. Because how could the killer know the Ace of Spades would end up in Bobby’s hand? Mooney’s on the case however – he soon finds that there’s two Ace of Spadses in play. The murder weapon was an extra slipped in to the deck.

What’s more – there’s a lead! Turns out the chav, Ray Campbell, is actually a super chav. He’s had previous for assault, is super in debt, and had a grudge with Rodriguez, obviously cos of the seeding. The motives are stacking up against ol’ Ray. Next, we find Bobby had been sending threatening emails to Prof. Sutton, when Bobby found out Sutton cheats! He marks the cards with UV and wears special sunglasses (the sunglasses Dwayne found) to see the UV. But let’s not stop there, Adelaide, the dealer, is revealed to be Bobby’s biological daughter! Hot cheese, everyone’s starting to look guilty.

The only one who doesn’t really is Melanie which obviously means she did it. Mooney catches up with her to see if she knew that Adelaide was Bobby’s daughter. She says yes, but Bobby wanted to do a DNA test to make sure.

In a plot point that might just be the most random I have ever seen in DiP (I’ve literally written in my notes ‘random as fuck), the Commish crashes the station to remind Mooney he is giving a lecture to some nurses, about being a London detective, tonight. (Did you not want to establish this at the start of the episode? You know so when it comes up again, it makes sense.) Mooney is too busy with the case however, so Dwayne takes his place. Dwayne is jazzed to meet a bunch of ‘feverish’ nurses, but when he gets there, it’s a room full of old peeps. You see, it’s funny because Dwayne thinks the nurses all going to be young and hot. But they’re old. It’s funny because they’re old. It’s 2018.

Mooney goes to pick up Dwayne the next morning and Dwayne comes out in a towel saying he’s just run a bath. (I literally thought this was going to turn into the fact that Dwayne fucked one of the old nurses anyway but no, he’s actually running a bath). At the station, JP has found out that Rodriguez would take a cab ride to a community centre on the other side of the island frequently. Turns out he was going to AA, mainly because of something that happened in last year’s finals. Turns out, he got super pissed and copped off with some waitress and Melanie saw them together. Ol’ Bobster swore off the drink to save his marriage.

Mooney recreates the poker game at the station, with the team playing the parts of the suspects. That’s when Mooney gets his weekly EPIPHANY!!! He knows who did what and when and where and how, and HOT CHESS, let’s get all the suspects together! You see, Mooney deduced poker is not a game of cards, it’s a game of people that is played with cards (that line is pretty fucking good. I’m not shit-talking but I wouldn’t be surprised if that line came from somewhere else). Anyway, someone’s been telling porkies, and it’s time to settle dis!!

All the suspects are gathered and Mooney…REVEALS HIS HAND…(the only thing I hate more than the world is myself) And HAM CHECKERS!!!!! It’s only the bloomin’ wife, Melanie. You see, she lied when she said Bobby had told her about his daughter, Adelaide. She had no idea, so when she saw Adelaide and Bobby going into a hotel together, she thought he was fucking about again! So she murdered him – but here’s the rub – the poison wasn’t on the Ace of Spades, only the residue. The poison was in fact on the tip of Bob-a-lob’s cigar. So the poison got ingested and any leavings got evaporated! Melanie is distraught that she killed her totes-faithful husband, but you know she did kill him. So TAKE HER AWAY!

Ah, another case wrapped up. But what’s this, Dwayne left the bath running at his place and now it’s super flooded! Looks like he’s going to have to stay with Mooney! There’s no way this can’t go fantastically, right? The team gather at the shack, and play a game of poker which Mooney (despite never having played before) is super good at. Well he is a detective…HAHAHAHA Happy ever after… you know apart from that guy who got killed in the poker game…what was his name again…who remembers…HAHAHA

See you next week, fuckers!!

Next week: A story that starts with a murder and ends with a murder being solved.

Putting the D in the P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 1)

Putting the D in the P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 1)

Death in Paradise is a television show that doesn’t know what ‘dark’ is. Everything is fun, everything is light and everything is, very literally, bright as f**k. The real world is a lot darker than it was this time last year – terrorism is rife, lines are being drawn around people, a Youtube guy literally showed a hanging dead body on camera for his pre-teen audience and he thought it was fine, and for some reason Dale Winton in a blonde wig is President of the United States. Maybe just what we need is some Death in Paradise right now

Last season on Death in Paradise, something actually happened. That’s a bit dismissive (of course things always happen, but equilibrium is often restored every episode) but this was something actually actually happening. We swapped bumbling British detective Kris Marshall for slightly differently bumbling British man Ardol O’Hanlon. He’s super different. He has different hair. He has a different face. He has a different accent. Need I say more? This change is actually enough to make Death in Paradise feel fresh again.

Ardol O’Hanlon is now the fish-out-of-water detective running the office in fictional Carribean island Saint-Marie. He is joined by fellow officers (and locals) Florence, Dwayne and JP. Together, they face a weekly murder investigation with an odd murder, usually about four suspects, an odd clue, and a startling epiphany. They don’t mess with the formula much. And that’s what makes it endearing. It’s like a family pot pie made by your grandmother. She always follows the same recipe, and it always comes out exactly the same. But if you think that pot pie is f**king delicious, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you’d get mad if she did change the recipe.

So we start Series 7. O’Hanlon’s Jack Mooney has settled into his job at Saint-Marie (having two episodes last series to relax into it) and his quirks have been established. Compared to Kris Marshall’s clumsy klutz, Humphrey Goodman, Mooney actually has more refined detecting skills. He’s careful with his words, he knows the way to manipulate a witness, and he’s overall more confident. He’s still a clumsy klutz, but there you go.

So, without further ado, let’s start this crazy ride a-new with episode one! (These things don’t have names, so I make my own up.) Let’s start Putting the 2018 D in the P!

 

Series 7 Episode 1 – Over the Edge

We start back on Saint-Marie (and ain’t it good to be back??). At the Marston Hotel, it looks like a wedding is getting organised. The Marston family (yeah, they own the hotel) are all preparing for the wedding rehearsal. Daddy Philip Marston (played by Denis Lawson, who apparently hasn’t been in one of these f**king things yet) is getting married to Diane Smith, which means the three Marston kids (Stephen, Karen and Pearl) are getting a new mummy. They seem fine with it though.

Stephen, Pearl and Diane are up in their rooms getting ready for the rehearsal, while Karen is down on the lawn instructing all the guests on what’s going to happen in the rehearsal. Everything seems cool. Nice and cool. In Diane’s room, Diane has started painting her nails…when she sees a disturbing newspaper article with a picture of her on her laptop. Next thing you know, Philip gets a disturbing text from Diane that seems like a suicide note. Philip rushes upstairs to find Diane’s room locked. Diane shouts something and then there is a kerfuffle and a scream. Philip breaks down the door and runs to the balcony. Pearl and Stephen, startled by the scream, are not far behind. Over the balcony is a sorry sight. Diane is lying on the ground. Looks like she jumped.

I bet she didn’t jump, you guys. Because we’re about to slam-cut into titles! YEAH!

Now we’ve got the murder in the bag, let’s catch up with our favourite murder investigation team! Dwayne, JP and Florence seem to be on some kind of undercover sting in the marketplace, while Jack is talking with Katherine about the perfect recipe for melon curry. He so kooky. Well, Dwayne or JP or Florence f**k up because the criminal starts running off. And he runs right past Jack, who throws a melon at him and then handcuffs him. He wasn’t being kooky at all! He was working and…no wait, he was still being kooky. Anyways, it’s a job well done! And Jack makes sure he gets the melon back to make that sweet sweet melon curry. Yum-sers!

The Commissioner calls the team to the Marston hotel to mop up the spillage. Obviously, the consensus is Diane jumped. There is nothing to suggest otherwise and the Commish (seeing that Philip Marston is a very wealthy person on the island, and is also Denis Lawson) wants the case wrapped up quickly. Unfortunately Jack’s Spider Sense starts tingling, and he thinks that maybe this case is more than meets the eye. He goes to inspect Diane’s body, and sees that she has only painted one nail. An odd thing (you know, that ODD CLUE I was talking about? Yep, we’re pretty much ticking all the boxes with this one.)

And here’s a beat I forgot to mention! That’s right my peeps, it’s time for a DWAYNE AND JP WACKY SUB-PLOT TM! Dwayne is acting skittish at the hotel as he and JP go talk to the guests. He keeps looking around and hiding. That’s because Dwayne had a bad relationship with one of the maids at the hotel. He hides in a bush. It transpires Dwayne was dating a whole family of females at once and they found out. It’s a whole thing. It’s not really important.

At the initial interview of the suspects, Jack and Florence learn of the suicide text that Diane sent to Philip as well as the article Diane saw just before her death. Apparently Diane abandoned a child when she was young and the UK press have got wind of it. Up in Diane’s room, Jack sees that her door was indeed chained shut (a chained room mystery, if you will) and Diane left the lid off her nail varnish bottle. According to Florence, this is a big no-no. The nail varnish gets gloopy when the top is off. The rest of the room is immaculately clean, which makes Jack think that Diane would have remembered to screw the lid shut. So it was murder, I guess…just because of that. Jack talks to the Commish and tells him that he thinks it’s murder. The Commish thinks he’s whack and really doesn’t want a fuss. Needless, Jack carries on.

Back at Jack’s shack, Jack learns about the B plot. His daughter, Siobhan, is going off to university back in Britain…the day after tomorrow. (This had to have been a bummer for Grace Stone (who plays Siobhan). She seemed genuinely excited to be a part of DiP and now she’s out. Maybe it was her decision. I don’t know.) Anyways, looks like Jack’s gonna be lonely in the shack with only Harry the lizard for company! (And seriously, was Harry the lizard CGI in this episode? Has the real Harry the lizard actually perished? How long do lizards live? How much do you think it would cost to CGI a lizard? I’m rambling.)

Back to the case, and we’re just going to rattle off some truth nuggets. Stephen Marston (the son) withdrew a large amount of money from the family account recently and delivered it a random house in the hills. After some snooping by JP, it seems the house belongs to Julie Francois, a maid at the Marston hotel. Stephen kinda harassed her Spacey-style and he bribed her silence. But Diane found out about it!

Open and shut? Of course not. Because Pearl (the daughter) was heard having a screaming fight with Diane, when Diane told her she’d have to buck up and get a job. So there’s two motives. Let’s make it a hat trick! Karen (the daughter comma other) drew up a pre-nup before Philip and Diane’s wedding, but Diane refused to sign it. Yessh, it’s like a motive menagerie. But there’s still no evidence that Diane didn’t just kill herself. Philip Marston visits the station and implores Jack to close the case. The family need to mourn the suicide.

Anyway, f**k all that noise, because it’s Siobhan’s last night on the island. And it’s time for a good ol’ Caribbean beach party, full of booze, sand and limbo. Florence starts to grow concerned that Jack’s going to be super alone (especially when his only company is a CGI lizard) but Jack shakes it off. Jack does the limbo and cracks his back. It’s not really relevant…like at all.

Jack carries on the murder case, like the rugged alpha male he is, even after the Commish tells him to close the case. But as trails run cold, and even the team seem unconvinced, Jack has to come to terms with the fact that maybe he’s wrong. And with him saying goodbye to Siobhan earlier, he decides that maybe it was suicide. He packs up and falls asleep on his shack floor.

When he wakes up, the shack is a mess. He starts tidying up, and reflects that it’s almost like Siobhan was never there in the first place. And then…EPIPHANY! EPIPHANY! EPIPHANY! Jack starts going cray-cray! He knows who murdered…uh…Diane. Yeah!

Jack and Florence gather all the suspects together – Philip, Stephen, Pearl and… Wait, Karen makes a run for it. And Florence chases after her. And catches her…but not before they fall in the sea and Florence gets injured. It’s kinda pointless…except for the fact that Florence gets injured, meaning she’ll be out of action for episode 2, meaning Dwayne is going to be the second detective…which could be fun I guess.

Anyways, all the suspects are present, and Jack reveals who really killed Diane Smith! You guess it? The who’s not very interesting, but the how’s actually pretty cool. Anyway HOLY F**KBALLS, it was the three kids conspiring together!!!! See, they all wanted Diane gone, and they definitely didn’t want her to be their new mummy. So they killed her! Back to the scene and Diane is in her room, looking at the laptop and painting one nail. There’s a knock on the door. It’s Pearl. She tells Diane to go to Stephen’s room. Stephen, in charge of the hotel rooms, picked a room right above Diane’s. So Diane is now in Stephen’s room, and Pearl is in Diane’s. Pearl latches the door, uses Diane phone to send the suicide text to Philip, and acts as Diane when Philip comes up to the door. Meanwhile, Karen is distracting all the guests with her boring-ass speech, leaving Stephen to throw Diane off his balcony with no one watching. Pearl hides in Diane’s bathroom, when Philip busts in and joins him on the balcony.

It’s actually not a bad plan, but what these meddling kids didn’t figure into the plan was the awesome mind of DI Jack Mooney! All the kids are arrested, and Denis Lawson is left with three incarcerated kids, one dead fiancee (and let’s be honest, probably a fired agent) but who gives a f**k about him. It’s time for some sweet sweet melon curry at Jack’s shack. The whole team go round to keep Jack company, and Jack realises that he may have a new family now.

Happy Ever After…you know apart from Denis Lawson.

Overall, I found this one to be rather bland. For an opener, it wasn’t very…opening. I guess the Siobhan Uni plot might carry on (and hopefully we’ll see Siobhan come back at some point) but mostly it was just business as usual. The whole murder mystery was fine, and I found the reveal to be actually rather clever. But it was all just…fine. Hopefully, Series 7 has more exciting episodes on the horizon. Needless, it’s good to have Death in Paradise back! And I’m gonna be here for every last one.

Next week: In a startling turn of events, someone is murdered.

 

Putting the D in the P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 7)

Putting the D in the P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 7)

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Hello and welcome to ‘Putting the D in the P’, my weekly look at the latest episode of Death in ParadiseDeath in Paradise is one of my favourite shows on television, and when casting your eyes down to the article below, just remember that my light-hearted ribbing is coming from a place of love.

Death in Paradise is one of the most confident shows on television. Not only does it outwardly revel in how silly it is, it inwardly takes itself rather seriously. It is also a show which knows if you’re going to watch it, and stops pandering to those who don’t give a shit. In a world where many television programmes bid for your attention, Death in Paradise is comfortable just existing.

That can be seen in it’s advertising (or lack thereof). Think back to when you last saw an advert for Death in Paradise. It was probably the start of the current season, right? Adverts are needed then to get the fans coming back, and is the only time it bids to attract new fans, at least at primetime.

I expect that there are a few adverts for Death in Paradise during the daytime schedule…because let’s face it (and this isn’t a bad thing) Death in Paradise is a daytime show on at primetime. Unfortunately I can’t verify that as the doctor said if I watched anymore Homes Under The Hammer my heart would explode. I just get so excited when they value the houses is all. And that estate agent music. Durr du du du du du duu duur.

Wait, what were we talking about?? Anyway, this week showed the inaugural outing of DI Jack Mooney (Ardol O’Hanlon) who is our new awkward Brit in the sun. It was nice to see that things felt decidedly different with Mooney bringing his unique investigative style to Saint Marie. It was both a breath of fresh air…and a little clunky and awkward. There were a fair few awkward silences. It was weird. I mean, if they were going for Mooney awkwardly adjusting they kinda nailed it. But that doesn’t negate the fact it felt awkward to adjust.

Anyway, let’s take the training wheels off this Irish man and start Putting the D in the P! (My titles are better than the ones on Wikipedia. So there.)

Series 6 Episode 7 – The Cold Call

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Cups of tea. Love a good cup of tea. And so do the team – well, at least Florence, Dwayne and JP. Unless they’re just teacups, and that’s rum in them. Ah well… anyway, this rude American guy comes in and interrupts their rum break. He’s got some information about a seven year old case – the murder of some lass called Julie Matlock. Apparently the woman they pinned the crime on, Nicole Hunter, didn’t do it. And he has proof because Nicole and him were Humph-ing all night long. Shit.

ROLL TITLES.

At the shack, Mooney’s doing some re-decorating which Humph probably wouldn’t appreciate. Like literally throwing out all of Humph’s furniture. Little extreme for a holiday but we all know Humph isn’t coming back any time soon, so I guess it’s fine. Harry the lizard doesn’t seem to mind, but that’s because he’s an extreme racist and British people all look the same to him. Anyway, Florence calls by because she wants some help with the case of Julie Matlock.

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So Mooney goes to the station to talk to Rude American man, who’s called Tyler I guess. He explains the night when Julie Matlock got murdered, a night when St Ursula’s Festival was in full swing with dancing and balloons and various other festival thingimys. Nadine was indeed with him the whole night. We can verify that because there’s flashbacks so it’s totes true. Turns out Tyler’s marriage ended, and Tyler came back to look for Nadine knowing it was festival time once again. Unfortunately, Nadine died in prison of pneumonia. Talk about a….COLD…..case. (We are all just bacteria infesting this planet)

Well, looks like we’re gonna have to re-open this case. Fuzzy flashbacks don’t lie, you guys. It’s the first rule of police school. Dwayne remembers the case well. Julie Matlock was editor of The Saint-Marie Times. Nadine Hunter was a photographer for the paper. Nadine and Julie didn’t get along well – Julie suspended Nadine for being off-her-tits drunk most of the time. Julie was shot while on the phone, alone in the newspaper office. She was on the phone to her daughter and in mid-sentence when she got shot. Her body was never found, and Nadine’s car was fished out of the bay the next day. In the glove compartment of the car was a gun and a bloody scarf.

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In the police files, there is a recording of the murder. Julie Matlock does indeed get fucked up. So it looks like we have a case. The team go to the newspaper office to have a little look see. Obviously, seeing as it was seven years ago, there’s no real evidence here. On the night of the murder, Julie Matlock had sent everyone else in the office home. Mooney does some weird kind of investigating thing which is half puppet show, half interpretive dance. It tells him nothing, because of course it doesn’t.

Whoever killed Julie needed a key to get in so it’s probably one of the other people from the office. Seems like they used a lift to get the body downstairs and then got out the fire exit. Simple, right? There’s only four (Godammit. Four, again. It’s always bloody four.) people it could possibly be (apart from Nadine) Grace Matlock, Julie’s daughter, journalists Tony Garrett and Kai Johnson, or Brian from My Parents Are Aliens, who here is called Ian Matlock, Julie’s husband I guess. But the snag is that Nadine Hunter was the only one who had no alibi. (Wow. That Tyler guy basically killed her.)

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Group interview time! Grace Matlock explains how Julie threw everyone out after Nadine stormed in the office totally tanked. Nadine screamed to Julie that they weren’t finished and then pissed off. Seems Julie wanted some alone time after that. Nadine may have been so messed up because some guy broke her heart. That old chesnut. On the night of the murder, Grace and Kai were at their house, Tony was at a bar seeing as it was festival night, and Brian from My Parents Are Aliens was at his beach house 40 minutes away.

Mooney wants a closer listen to the phonecall, because he thinks there’s something else in the recording. JP gets on it, enlisting his cousin who’s a sick ol’school DJ. The Commish comes to the station to greet Mooney. It’s super awkward. JP brings back a speaker to listen to the call, but it’s not enough. Looks like they might have to get technical on that one.

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In Nadine Hunter’s possessions, Mooney finds a lock of hair in a poly bag. It’s about as weird as it sounds. But seeing as there’s absolutely no way at all in any universe to test a lock of hair to see who it belongs to (like maybe get hairs from each suspect and test them against the lock of hair), I guess that doesn’t mean much.

Mooney calls it a day, which means he has exactly the same work ethic as Humph. Hey, sometimes you need some time to have a SUB-PLOT! At Catherine’s bar, we get reminded that Catherine is running for Mayor. Remember, from way back in episode two I think. Anyway, I’m sure that’ll come up again…maybe next week. Mooney and his daughter, Siobhan have a touching family moment sans a wife/mother because she’s fucking dead. Mooney and Siobhan miss her very much. I know how they feel. My ex-wife was buried alive. I tried to save her but I was too late. Mainly because I forgot where I buried her. Hey, turns out a lot of Delemare Forest looks the same. You live and learn I guess.

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Anyway, back to the case! Mooney’s made up a timeline of events. It looks detailed and super boring. Mooney seems to talk to himself when he’s thinking which all the others find super weird. Time for some quickfire clues. Florence is going through Julie’s diary and finds a 5 digit number – 19871. Interesting. JP finds a resignation letter from Tony Garrett in Julie Matlock’s inbox. Curious. Dwayne finds Brian from My Parents Are Aliens’s been spending money in a lingerie shop – not somewhere you would shop for your wife. Wow! Looks like Ian was having an affair AND got a big payout from his wife’s death. Which one do we even follow up first? If you want to follow up the 5 digit number press 1 now. If you want to look into Tony Garrett’s resignation press 2. If you want to go shopping for lingerie press 3. Oh wait…

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At Ian Matlock’s beach house, Mooney gives the old Good Cop Irish Cop routine. Ian admits to having an affair blaming a mid-life crisis. His mistress was a travel rep, who would pop in from time to time. Julie never found out though. At the newspaper archives, JP and Dwayne are looking into Tony Garrett’s articles. Not much happens really, except a SUB-PLOT where Dwayne is going to reconnect with an old flame.

 

Mooney and Florence go to talk to Tony Garrett about some articles he wrote. He wrote about a school called Calder Hill where a teacher was diddling one of the kids. I’m not going to go into it much, as SPOILER ALERT it isn’t relevant in the slightest. But Julie kinda forced Tony to resign, so maybe he killed her. Even though I kinda already told you that he didn’t. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because both Tony and Brian from My Parents Are Aliens have rock solid alibis.

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Looks like JP’s sick DJ of a cousin has isolated the sound on the phonecall. Mooney decides to go over the case again so none of us forget. He does this while putting sugar in his tea. He puts in like nine spoonfuls which is a concoction I like to call diabetes special drink. JP gets back just before Mooney has to take his insulin and the gang listen to the tape. It’s a weird fucking sound that no one can really pin down.

Seems like maybe we should give up. But a taxi driver gave a statement that Julie was down at the harbour the morning she was murdered. So Mooney decides they should go down and have a look. While there, he and Florence find a safety deposit box place. That five-digit number? The code to a safety deposit box! Mooney cracks it open and finds…some incriminating photos of Kai Johnson, up to his old criminal ways, taken by a private detective.

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Mooney and Florence pay a visit to Kai, who isn’t particularly surprised that Julie hired a private detective to tail him. That would be a doozy of a motive, to keep this info from Grace, his sweetheart, his bae, his underwear buddy. But Kai’s having none of it. He says that Julie even tried to pay him off to get him to fuck off. He told Grace about it and she was furious.

Turns out though that Grace already knew about the pictures too. But she didn’t care. You see her and Kai are having a baby and she looks to be about 18 months pregnant. With a baby on the line, who cares about some shady drug dealing. Well, the police… She told Kai to stop whatever it was he was doing and told her mother to go do one.

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So what did we learn? Nothing really. Waste of fucking time.

 

It’s St Ursula’s Festival time! And let me tell you, Saint-Marie is going fucking nuts. We’ve got bright colours, silly costumes, and everyone is absolutely tanked. Mooney and Siobhan kick back with the team while Dwayne goes to meet his old sweetheart. But it turns out he got the names of two of his old girlfriends mixed up, and, of course, he picked the clingy annoying one. Oh Dwayne…

St Ursula’s Day parties into St Ursula’s Night and Mooney even gets some dancing in. Siobhan tries to tell him something but he can’t hear. The music is way too loud. And that’s what triggers the revelation.  Mooney figures it all out, all while doing some sick dance moves. He calls the team together and they finally get that DNA test on the lock of hair.

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Time for the big reveal! And everyone gathers at the newspaper office. The Commish even comes, to make sure Mooney handles the reveal with the right amount of ridiculousness. It’s key to the job, you see. But the Commish has nothing to fear. Because HOLY MONTY MCSHITKINS it was Brian from My Parents Are Aliens (or Ian I guess). Ian shot his wife…but not in the office. He shot her at the beach house. You see, Mooney was so obsessed with what he could hear on the tape, he didn’t realise what he couldn’t hear. St. Ursula’s Day party music, which would have been deafening in teh office.

Ian was sick of his wife and saw a way to get rid of Nadine Hunter as well who was his mistress. Yes, not the travel rep who pops in and out but Nadine Hunter, who was obsessed with Ian (it was his lock of hair) Ian invited his wife to the beach house, told her to blow off Grace by telling her she was still at the office, then he shot her. Then he drove Nadine’s car into the sea, with the gun and bloody scarf and buried Julie in the concrete of the beach house. You see, that sound that was on the tape? A cement mixer.

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Hot damn! Take him away.

So that was the story of Mooney’s first case. And something’s telling me it won’t be the last because Ardol O’Hanlon is contractually obliged. Overall, it was pretty good. The final revelation actually made a lot of sense. And O’Hanlon seems to play the role of Mooney with the right measure of humour and sincerity. I’m interested to see how his character will develop along with how the team will accept him further.

But we’ve only got one episode left this season. Have I really done seven of these? So let’s go out with a doozy, shall we?….Hopefully

UP NEXT: Voting! Catherine! Murder! Polls! Finales!

See you next week!


If you or someone you know suffers from Homes Under the Hammer addiction call the BBC Action Line on 08000 566 065 for support and advice. Just know that you don’t have to be alone through this trying time. There are thousands, if not millions, of people who are addicted to the high of house valuation.