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.

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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.

Putting The D In The P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 3)

Putting The D In The P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 3)

Programme Name: Death in Paradise - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 6) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Florence (JOSEPHINE JOBERT), Humphrey (KRIS MARSHALL), Dwayne (DANNY JOHN-JULES), JP (TOBI BAKARE) - (C) Red Planet Pictures - Photographer: Denis Guyenon

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.

Putting The D In The P is about taking an indepth look at the story of an episode of one of the most popular crime shows on television to try and delve into why it is so popular. Also it’s fun.

There’s probably something to be said that Death in Paradise is always aired in January and Feburary, the heart of the British winter. It’s not incredibly warm outside…in fact you might say it’s fucking freezing, and we’ve already been plagued with flooding and snow. Therefore, it’s just nice to turn the television on and see a show with a bright colour pallet for a change. Maybe there’s some kind of holiday porn about it.

Look at Kris Marshall…he’s having a grand old time…he’s not freezing his tits off in High Wycombe. He’s not drowning in Cumbria. He’s on a beach. And there’s sun. It’s almost as if Death in Paradise lives in a universe of it’s own. Saint-Marie exists out of time. In a place where Winter doesn’t exist. In a place where Brexit and Trump don’t exist.

Basically Saint-Marie is the island from Lost. But with less polar bears and more murders.

And maybe that’s the appeal. When you tune into Death in Paradise, you know exactly what you’re gonna get. Sun. Sea. And a murder which will be sufficiently wrapped up in 57 minutes. It’s not going to blow your mind. It’s not there to change your perception of murder mysteries. It’s just incredibly safe.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Anyway, this week we got a pretty good one. So let’s start Putting The D in the P, for Episode 3. (Again, no title for the episode, so I make my own.)

Series 6 Episode 3: The Detective in Love

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For a nice change of pace, this episode doesn’t start with some randomers – one of whom gets offed. No, we start off with Humph himself travelling to an island getaway with his island girlfriend Martha. They both seem pretty excited about it, and why wouldn’t they be? Sun, sea, and romance on an island paradise. You know, different to their usual sun, sea and romance on Saint-Marie. Oh well, at least Humph won’t have to deal with any murders while he’s there.

Oh. Oh dear. Oh deary me. At their inaugural dinner, promising to be followed by a night of unbridled steamy Humph-ing, Humph and Martha see some commotion on the staircase going up to the rooms. Humph has clear line of sight of the staircase, and a man he had seen earlier in the day is staggering around looking drunk. Humph disregards it as the man disappears upstairs.

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Not a minute later, Humph hears a scream. He runs upstairs to find the man collapsed. And get this?? The man is dead as disco – with a knife wound to the gut.

Looks like all the Humph-ing’ll have to wait. ROLL TITLES!

Humph acts quickly. He sees the man’s been super stabbed. Two people are in the room with him, finding the body. Ernestine Grey, the resident chef, and Elliott Taylor, one of the owners of the hotel and the deceased’s brother and they’re almost definitely fucking each other. Elliott doesn’t seem that bothered by his brother Charlie’s death, but I think that speaks more to the actor’s range than the actual story.

Humph sees the room’s a mess, and the window has been broken. A robbery, perhaps? Charlie’s watch and wallet have been taken. There was no other access to the room other than the staircase which Humph had line of sight on all the time between Charlie going upstairs and Charlie getting murdered. I guess, for Charlie, that staircase was a real……….STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (sometimes I stand directly under a shower for hours just to convince myself I’m not crying)

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At the jetty, Humph can’t see any boats. The killer is still on the island, I guess. He sends everyone to bed while he and Martha inspect the ground outside Charlie’s window. It isn’t trampled on at all, and all the flowers are undisturbed. The room was staged like a robbery gone wrong. But the case of the staircase means it was impossible for anyone in the hotel to have killed Charlie, unless it was Ernestine, who found the body. Humph knows all that because he is the witness at the foot of the stairs.

Humph inspects the crime scene again. He finds the sandwich he saw Charlie carrying to his room, spots of blood next to a wall, and a really fucking stinky pack of cigarettes. These cigarettes are like super out of date, meaning they’re probably like a massive clue.

The next morn, Humph tries to sneak out of his bedroom without waking Martha up, but he trips on a bag and wakes her up anyway. It is both as funny and as unfunny as this description suggests. Anyways, Martha’s gonna head back to the mainland, as there’s truly no hope of any sexual activity anymore. A dead man is not an aphrodisiac – at least not for most people.

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Subtract a Martha, and all the wordless extras who were dismissed from the case because PLOT, add a Florence, Dwayne and JP, and we’re really starting to get somewhere. There’s like three minutes of Humph just recapping stuff, which might be welcome if we weren’t only 11 minutes into the fucking show and even the least of all people tend to have memories that can hold 12 minutes of ridiculous telly at a time.

When we’re all caught up, Humph and Florence go to interview people while Dwayne and JP go to search the hotel. Humph remembers he saw Charlie carrying a red folder before the dinner in the evening so he tells them to be on the lookout for that.

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Everyone was alone in the 10 minutes between Charlie going upstairs and Charlie being brutally murdered. There’s Elliott Taylor and his wife Linda Taylor, the cook Ernestine Grey, Samuel Palmer the barman, and receptionist Irie Johnson. No one has an alibi and somehow got up to Charlie’s room without going up the stairs. Charlie owned a share in the hotel, but had been gone 20 years. He used to run it, but got bored and left. He hardly ever came back, and they don’t know why he came back this time. The other two dudes had never met Charlie before.

Ernestine is interviewed and is quickly dismissed. She seems to have an affection for the Taylors, and she’s worked in their employ for years (the brothers Charlie and Elliott own the hotel). She’s also the most likely suspect, which means, in Death in Paradise terms, is that there’s no flippin’ way she did it.

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In the kitchen, JP and Dwayne have a SUB-PLOT while searching for the murder weapon. JP seems a little off his game. It turns out him and the missus are having a tiff. Yeah, JP got married last series, remember? No? Don’t worry, it’s not that important. Anyway, Dwayne gives him some advice which seems a little curt. JP should just get her some flowers and apologise. JP says he doesn’t want to be that kind of couple. Oh, they also find the murder weapon in the dishwasher I guess.

Back in the MAIN PLOT, Ernestine said that Charlie and Irie had had a bit of a tiff as well, so Humph goes to ask Irie about it. He’s only been duplicating guest’s credit cards and stealing money from them. Actually not a bad crime for a receptionist. Poor old Humph might’ve got duplicated too, if it wasn’t for those meddlin’…him. Anyways, Charlie found out. Pretty good reason to kill the SOB I think. Still we’re not even halfway through the episode, so it probably wasn’t this guy. He’s not a murderer, he’s just a cock.

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Charlie Taylor seemed to be a nice guy, and as Dwayne hacks looks into his laptop, he finds correspondence from a local solicitor. Seems like the solicitor wanted Charlie to return to Saint-Marie to convince his brother to…something. Also Charlie Taylor had a flight back booked for the morning after he was killed.

The team call it a day, Humph goes to eat lobster with Martha and JP goes back home to face the music. Dwayne tries to convince him to apologise again but Florence is on JP’s side. Well, looks like Dwayne was right for once, because the next morning he finds JP sleeping at the station. It’s a nice subversion of the standard Dwayne-gives-bad-advice plotline that’s been used too many times. Brownie points here. Also, JP in his altogethers makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

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Humph and Florence get back to the island, and it’s time to tread some serious water. There’s always one of these an episode. A lead that goes absolutely fucking nowhere. Well, turns out we get two in this episode. Florence finds an old picture of Charlie Taylor with Samuel Palmer. But Samuel Palmer said he’d never met Charlie before?? SAY WHA–?

Samuel Palmer the shitbag liar reveals that he pretended not to know Charlie because as youths they both set fire to a community centre, but Samuel took the wrap for both of them, going to prison for five years. So that’s right, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for:

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THE DEATH IN PARADISE ‘CRIMES THAT ARE TOTALLY DISREGARDED FOR SAKE OF PLOT’ LIST brought to you by SILENT WITNESS, the ‘pathologists going way out of line’ show.

  1. Identity Theft (E1)
  2. Illegal Substance Abuse (E1)
  3. Sexual Harrassment (E2)
  4. Credit Card Fraud (E3)
  5. Arson (E3)
  6. Perverting the Course of Justice (E3)

And that was THE DEATH IN PARADISE ‘CTATDFSOP’ LIST.

Anyways, it’s not relevant and it’s completely swept aside.

Dwayne finds out from the solicitor that the hotel is haemorrhaging money out the arse. The file in the folder Humph saw Charlie carrying was the paperwork to liquidate the hotel. The folder is found to be empty but JP finds the papers, signed, shoved to the bottom of the bin in Elliot’s office.

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Seems Elliot and Linda didn’t want to let go of the hotel. But they say they didn’t kill him. Elliot merely snuck into the room after Charlie was murdered and stole back the signed papers. It doesn’t seem very likely, but we get a flashback of it so I guess it must be true. He’s not a murderer, he’s just a massive cock. Seems like that sentiments going around.

So we don’t seem to be any closer to actually finding out who murdered Charlie. It’s time for some of that good ol’ Humphrey brainpower. As he starts recapping (FUCKING AGAIN) the case, Dwayne has a splinter in his hand. And of course, this leads to him having his big revelation! He knows who killed Chazza, and he knows how. But this time he doesn’t want to get everyone together for a big reveal. He wants to do it one-on-one this time (you know, like an actual fucking policeman would do). Humph and Florence wait in the killer’s room and in comes…HOLY TIT ‘N’ BOLLOCKS!! it was Linda Taylor!!!!

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Humph explains how Dwayne’s splinter got him to the answer. An injury sustained in one place can be carried to another. Therefore, Charlie was stabbed in the kitchen and then walked up to his room. (It’s a bit of a flimsy thing, but we’ll go with it I guess) So Linda stabbed him, but why? And why would Charlie try to cover up the injury as he went up the stairs and then stage his own crime scene to look like a robbery?

Easy. Love. Charlie and Linda were in love. The reason Charlie left all those years ago was because he couldn’t bear to his brother together with the one he loved. Linda stabbed him by mistake during an argument, where she wished to leave the island with him. Charlie wouldn’t allow it. And somehow he got stabbed. He took a sandwich, made his way up the stairs and fucked up the crime scene.

The last detail? That out of date pack of cigarettes. See, Charlie needed a place to stash his wallet and his watch, and the bloody rag he had used to try and stop the bleeding. He hid them in a childhood nook in his room, where the pack of cigarettes used to be. Boom! Case Closed!!

Take he…Oh, yeah, let her tell her husband or something. I don’t give a shit. Take her away!

Back on Saint-Marie, JP decides to finally take Dwayne’s advice and say sorry to his wife. Humph and Florence reflect that the case was really all about love. Pulling in to Humph’s driveway, Humph tells Florence that he’s fallen in love with Martha. But Martha’s leaving soon. And he has no idea what to do next.

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I guess Humphrey Goodman really did turn out to be the THE DETECTIVE IN LOVE.

Overall, this episode was okay. Early on, it seemed like it might be a story with just Humphrey from the core team. That would have been a hell of a lot cooler than what we got, but it might’ve been hard to justify. The theme of love tying the main plot and the sub-plots together was a nice touch and the idea of the dead man trying to cover up his own murder was interesting, even if it could have been executed better.

Up Next: Humphrey investigates a murder…because that’s his job. The others are there too…because that’s their jobs.

See you next week!

 

Putting The D In The P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 2)

Putting The D In The P: Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 2)

Programme Name: Death in Paradise - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 6) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Florence (JOSEPHINE JOBERT), Humphrey (KRIS MARSHALL), Dwayne (DANNY JOHN-JULES), JP (TOBI BAKARE) - (C) Red Planet Pictures - Photographer: Denis Guyenon

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.

Putting The D In The P is about taking an indepth look at the story of an episode of one of the most popular crime shows on television. Indeed, 8 million people tuned in to watch the premiere of series 6 of the inherently ridiculous Death in Paradise. Also indeed, it seemed like the inaugural outing of ‘Putting The D In The P’ (the last post on the blog) reached a few more thousand people than I expected.

Thus I incurred the wrath of some hardcore DP fans who thought I was merely making fun of something they loved (a love which I share). But no, this series of articles is not about taking the piss at Death in Paradise, it’s about looking a bit deeper into what elements make up Death in Paradise and attempting to puzzle out why and how it is so popular. And for one final time (to reiterate once more) I think the popularity is well and truly deserved. It’s a show that knows exactly what it is, and flaunts it proudly. If we happen to have some fun along the way, so be it. Hell, it’s a mantra that the show itself has.

So here we go, it’s episode 2 time. It’s time to start Putting The D In The P. And what a doozy this one is. (Again, these things don’t have titles, so I’m making one up)

Series 6 Episode 2: The Shadow of the Flame Tree

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It’s time for a party! And you know it’s a pretentious party when there’s random art exhibits everywhere. Hey, look, here’s an archway! Guess what, it leads fucking nowhere. This must be one of those terrible literary festivals, where someone who’s written something practically masturbates in public. Don’t worry though, the masturbation is figurative. At least I hope so.

A young PHD student who lives in England, but came over to write her thesis, called Esther Monroe is trying to keep a happy face as she organises pamphlets to be signed. An absolute bitch tells her to hurry up. They’re almost clearly fucking each other. And the novelist being celebrated, Sylvie Baptiste, asks Esther whether she’s considered her offer. This couldn’t be more of a clue if a dog called Blue was pissing on it.

Esther just tries to carry on, a bit rattled. The literary festival gets underway aproper, with a reading from Sylvie Baptiste’s famous novel The Flame Tree, a novel which is set on Saint Marie. Sylvie sits down with a crowd, including Professor Anna Wolf (Esther’s mentor) and Dr Oliver Wolf (her hubby). Giving the talk is Sylvie’s PA, Patricia Lawrence, who starts reading a passage from The Flame Tree. Esther sneaks off, to a cliff.

The very cliff the protagonist of The Flame Tree throws herself off. As the talk continues, Esther takes a little tumble…obv. Geez, a literature student dying…I guess that means she didn’t have….the WRITE stuff….I cry myself to sleep every night.

Cue the titles I guess. Thar’s bin a merrrdeer.

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At the station, Humphrey’s happy. Probably because he got his end away last episode, with the lovely Martha. She’s even moving in to Humph’s love shack for the rest of her stay on the island and Humph needs some help cleaning. Yep, that’s the level of SUB-PLOT we’re dealing with this episode. But it doesn’t matter because the actual murder mystery is pretty good. In fact, it’s so good I regret not being harder on last week’s episode.

Anyways, Humph and Florence go down to the beach to investigate the crime scene. Esther’s totally dead. And the smashed watch on her wrist reads 1.25. Sounds like a time of death to me. Florence recognises Esther – they went to school together. It gets a bit sad for a moment.

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On the famous cliff, Humph looks through Esther’s bag. A laptop lead but no laptop. An expensive fountain pen. Purse. Diary. All the usual stuff…and then a suicide note, typed, and then signed. But signed in biro – not the same pen as the one in the bag. Humph laments that he’s the only one who’s not read The Flame Tree. Florence has read it. JP has read it. And Dwayne has SUPER TOTALLY OBVIOUSLY SUPER read it too, you guys.

Even though there were like a hundred people at the festival, only four seem important to the plot. None of the silent extras would have killed Esther surely, so they’re just waved away pretty quickly. Left behind are Sylvie Baptiste, Patricia Lawrence, Anna Wolf and Oliver Wolf. They all seem suitably distressed, except Sylvie who just looks fucking bored. Esther left the festival at 1.15. Every suspect has an alibi because they were all there.

Esther was working on her thesis while she was on the island so didn’t socialise much. Her thesis was on The Flame Tree. Esther helped Patricia set up the festival, but apart from that, no one saw much of her. Although Esther did interview Sylvie a few days before.

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Humph thinks Esther’s definitely been offed. The suicide note is a big clue and there’s also the fact of a missing laptop that Dwayne and JP couldn’t find anywhere. There’s a bungalow on the grounds, that JP and Dwayne go to search. A mysterious woman appears to be living there, who’s not taking any of Dwayne’s shit. She slams the door in his face.

In a waste of time clue line, it seems like Dr Oliver Wolf has been sexually harrassing Esther. But Oliver didn’t kill Esther to shut her up. His wife, Anna, already knew. Similarly, Anna didn’t kill Esther out of some kind of revenge – she knows her marriage is dead. Looks like we’re barking up the wrong tree – a tree that took 5 minutes and 12 seconds to bark up.

The owner of that bungalow is Sylvie Baptiste – so who is the mysterious lodger? Humph wraps it up for the night. He wants to start reading The Flame Tree, and pick the others’ brains about it. I mean they’ve all read it. Florence has read it. JP has read it. And Dwayne has SUPER TOTALLY OBVIOUSLY SUPER TOTALLY read it.

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At the bar, a twist is revealed. You know how Dwayne had SUPER TOTALLY read The Flame Tree? Well get this! He was only flippin lying. Also Florence is still investigating. She feels a little sentimental I guess. She gets a call from Esther’s parents. It seemed like Esther had uncovered some kind of secret whilst on the island, a secret she was putting into her thesis. In a bar Esther had visited, Florence found a photograph of Sylvie Baptiste. But not just her. Lizzie Baptiste too. Sylvie’s sister. Dur Dur Durrr.

It seems that Lizzie is the woman staying in Sylvie’s bungalow, and she may have also actually written The Flame Tree. Esther had been studying all of Sylvie’s novels for her thesis, concluding that The Flame Tree was so different…it was almost like it was written by a different person entirely.

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Lizzie’s seen better days. She has some mental issues, and she can’t remember writing The Flame Tree. Thus Sylvie has almost committed the perfect deception. But Esther found out, finding a poem that was written by Lizzie at the Honore library.

Sylvie gets interviewed, and still has a face like a slapped arse. She’s such a fucking bitch. But Humph isn’t buying any of her shit. Dwayne and JP search Sylvie’s house and find Esther’s missing laptop in Sylvie’s room. Patricia stole it, under Sylvie’s orders, and it’s all getting rather exciting isn’t it?? When Esther interviewed Sylvie, she told her what she found. Seems like Sylvie is our woman. She has the biggest motive.

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Unless…Humph wonders if Patricia might kill for her boss. Patricia waves this away quickly – she has little love for Sylvie, a woman who constantly bosses her around and orders her to write up her terrible short story ideas. Honestly, they do sound fucking terrible. Well, you’ve gotta pursue every avenue in an investigation I guess. Back to Sylvie…

Humph calls it a day again. Florence says she’s going to finish up some investigating. But Humph won’t hear of it. Florence has to help him clean his shack, his love shack baby. Again this is the SUB-PLOT.

It seemed Esther wanted to meet Lizzie on the cliff where the most important part of The Flame Tree was set – to hopefully spark her memory. It seems like it might actually be Lizzie. Although there’s no real motive, she’s the only one without an alibi. Unless…

Dwayne comes in, and he’s reading The Flame Tree. Or more accurately, he’s listening to it as an audiobook. Humph does his special investigating Sherlock thing, and he’s got the case all wrapped up.

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It’s time for the final reveal, so let’s gather all the suspects up. Humph does like a touch of the dramatic and HOLY SHIITAKE COCKROOMS it was Patricia!! Patricia knew Esther had found out about the real author of The Flame Tree, and although she had no love for Sylvie herself, Patricia wanted to maintain her sunny lifestyle. Patricia used the festival as a foil for her plan. As she started to speak, she dodged out of the way of a Powerpoint presentation, getting out of the view of the others. She switched a recording of her voice on, so it would appear she was still there.

Esther thought she was meeting Lizzie on the cliff  but actually she was meeting Patricia. And Patricia was feeling a bit shove-y. Patricia put the suicide note in Esther’s bag, written on some of the paper Esther had touched while setting up the festival. Patricia was adept at forging Sylvie’s signature at book signings, so it wasn’t too hard for her to forge Esther’s.

Take her away! Looks like Patricia was the one in the THE SHADOW OF THE FLAME TREE.

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Overall, this was a great episode. Every clue felt earned, and everything was presented to the audience. It wasn’t a mad leap in logic like last week’s episode and Humph’s final eureka moment (listening to the audio book) made total sense and tied nicely into Dwayne’s little C-PLOT. If there is any criticism at all, it’s that the characters of Oliver and Anna Wolf had little to do.

There’s also a nice through-line appearing (that I didn’t mention) as a new Mayor has to be elected (because, you know, the previous mayor was arrested last episode).

Humph comforts Florence, inviting her over for a meal. I don’t know if it’s totally fact, but I felt a little something. You know, in that weird knot of muscles and arteries in my chest. My balls heart. I felt a little stir of romance between them. Humph and Florence, I mean really?? I might be totally off base here.

Oh well, Humph’s going for some Shepherd’s Pie. So it’s time for me to fuck off.

UP NEXT: Someone murders someone. It is sunny. Whiteboards are written on.

See you next week!

 

The Top 5 Books I Read in 2016

The Top 5 Books I Read in 2016

Ah the holidays. A wonderful time of year, filled with fun, festivities and as many arbitrary and pointless lists as your brain can handle. As dumb as Top 10 lists actually are, there’s something to them, something that even I can’t escape. It’s like those stupid clickbait articles, where you have to click on the link to see which celebrities had a sex change and you don’t know why you’re doing it, but in that moment – that one pre-click moment – you realise that your entire life has been leading up to this point and all you want from now on is indeed to know which celebrities got a sex change. It’s a primal guttural urge. And even though you know, that website’s probably gonna give you malware you have to do it.

Of course Top 10 lists are good for reflection, but every time I read one, I feel it’s probably best experienced by the person who wrote it. This is precisely because they are good for reflection. As the writer, the structured list helps you to organise your thoughts – create your own time capsule of the year – one that you can come back to forever…or at least until Google gets drunk on power and burns the internet down.

So yeah, that’s my long-winded way of saying I’m probably writing this for myself more than you. And I hope that by establishing that upfront, this whole thing is going to feel slightly less masturbatory. But for anyone who does want to wrench their eyes through this list, I guess I better try and make it entertaining. So we’re going to lay down some ground rules here. Because nothing is more entertaining than rules.

This is the Top 5 books I read in 2016. That’s because I actually didn’t read that many books that came out in 2016. I mean, that truly would be a pointless list. Secondly, we’re only going to give an author one slot. Mainly because I don’t want this list to be dominated by Sarah Lotz (although that is a list I could truly get behind). And finally, original review scores are going to be thrown out the window. There’s a few review scores I look back on that I gave, but don’t ring true to how I feel now. Also, if I was just going to list the top 5 from my review scores I wouldn’t have to think about it. It’s just numbers at that point.

Alright, I think we’re ready. So with no further ado, here are the top 5 books I read in 2016:

 

Honourable Mentions: Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin (for being a hyped-up novel that actually kinda lived up to the hype), Skios by Michael Frayn (for being an entertaining farce novel) and Animal Farm by George Orwell (of course this would win best book really, but that would be unfair.)

 

5. In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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In a Dark Dark Wood took me by surprise towards the start of this year. In many ways it’s an unremarkable story. A hen party weekend in the middle of a wood goes south when the groom-to-be gets murdered. It’s a classic whodunit but it’s told really well. Ware crafts a great debut using familiar tropes of the genre to tell a solid story.

It’s old-school. A confined location. A limited set of suspects. It has echoes of a Christie novel. The protagonist, Nora, is flawed and convincing – the novel’s greatest strength, as the outsider who gets invited to her old friend’s hen party weekend. The novel explores themes of darkness, not just in the wood that surrounds the house, but in the characters themselves.

It’s not going to blow you away, but In a Dark Dark Wood is a really solid novel. It’s a shame Ware’s second novel The Woman in Cabin 10 burned up a lot of the goodwill I had for her.

 

4. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

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The Kind Worth Killing is about a guy called Ted and a plot to kill his cheating wife. At an airport bar, he meets the mysterious Lily, who agrees to help him. One of the beautiful things about this book is how simply it starts, and how quickly it manages to ramp up.

Another big part of The Kind Worth Killing is something I wasn’t able to mention in my review. And I don’t really want to mention it here either. See, The Kind Worth Killing is more three interconnected novellas, than a novel as a whole. Ted’s plight is only Part One. Two thirds of the novel are fantastic, and although the final part seems to get ahead of itself and trip over it’s own feet, it doesn’t affect my overall enjoyment.

The Kind Worth Killing is worth reading….

 

 

…Yougedit?

 

 

3. Slade House by David Mitchell

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So I ended up not reviewing Slade House, mainly because I read it while doing Christmas hours at work. By the time I got a day off to review it, it seemed like the moment had passed. I tend to write a review the second I finish a book so it’s fresh. That was why Slade House fell off.

But that doesn’t mean Slade House isn’t great. A horror novel by David Mitchell, Slade House is about an old quaint manor house that cannot possibly exist. Accessible only through a small door in a dark alley, Slade House sits on land that was built over decades ago. Anyone who sets foot on the grounds of the manor is doomed to be the meals of two powerful entities, Norah and Jonah, a brother and sister who have found the secret of immortality.

Slade House reignited my interest in horror fiction, providing a set of vignettes about the various victims to fall prey of Norah and Jonah’s facades. It’s not perfect in any way, but I found it to be a enthralling and captivating read.

And it’s real spooky.

 

2. The Burning Air by Erin Kelly

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The Burning Air was the first book I read this year. And it was almost the best. The Burning Air is a brutal revenge story centered around one family and their secrets. It’s beautifully written, packing in an insane amount of content in a way other authors rarely manage. There’s something almost An Inspector Calls-ish about the unfurling of the mystery, which sees the reader spending years with the characters. By the end, they almost feel like your own family. Which makes the final act all the more tense.

The Burning Air is a standard length novel, but it’s so rich and detailed that it feels a lot longer (in a really good way though). And the title actually makes sense after you’ve read it.

Simply put, The Burning Air is phenomenal.

 

1. Day Four by Sarah Lotz

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Hot damn, Sarah Lotz is an amazing writer. Her high-concept, multi-layered novels had me giddy with excitement when I found them in the middle of the year. Her debut, The Three, was a world-encompassing science fiction thriller about creepy children that inexplicably survived separate plane crashes. It was fantastic, but Lotz’s follow-up Day Four just edged it.

In Day Four, the passengers on a cruise ship start to come down with a mysterious illness. Through the eyes of five protagonists, we see the horror unfold as the ship’s engines fail and the situation goes from bad to worse. Toying with sci-fi horror elements, Day Four can be deeply unsettling.

The best part? Day Four exists in the same universe as The Three, and the story manages to tie itself in with the events of it’s predecessor.  It seems that Lotz is laying the groundwork for something big. Even bigger than the end of Day Four which is pretty mind-blowing in it’s own right.

Sarah Lotz’s writing and storytelling excited me in a way nothing else did in 2016. It speaks to me as a reader and as a writer. Ratchet everything up to 11 straight away for maximum entertainment and fun. The Three and Day Four are massively entertaining and it’s easy to tell that Lotz is having a great time writing it.

Day Four is, without question, my favourite book of 2016.

 

And there we have it. But the festivities aren’t over. Tomorrow, I will be braving the garbage fire and looking at the 5 worst books I read in 2016 and oh boy, is it a doozy!