Putting the D in the P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 8)

Putting the D in the P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 7 Episode 8)

This series of Death in Paradise kinda went by in a fog for me. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and there were echoes of what I love about Death in Paradise, but I did get extremely frustrated with the majority of it. The formula started to grate on me, I was annoyed by the fact that Mooney was made to abide by the formula, and the formula not made to abide to Mooney. A lot of it felt like a missed opportunity for me, not that it mattered. Apparently (as usual) Death in Paradise has gone from strength to strength, in the ratings at least.

Of course, it all changed last week, when we got an absolute belter of an episode and I was all over it! For the finale, we’ve got the same director, and some of my goodwill is definitely carried over. It’s not a bad episode, but it’s not to the level of last week’s.

So, for the last time this year, let’s start Putting the D in the P! (I’m very proud of the title for this one and want to remind you it is mine)

Series 7 Episode 8 – Locked-Room History

The team are jamming out at a music concert by Leon and the Rangers! It’s reggae music (which I can’t stand) and the show goes well. But the Commsih interrupts calling Mooney with some BIG NEWS BIG NEWS. The band relax backstage, Billy Springer, Leon Laroche, Maya Oprey, Kai Springer and Delmar Brown, Delmar doing his post-gig ritual of playing really obnoxiously loud music. But when son Kai, tries to get in dad Billy’s dressing room, it’s locked!

Mooney and the Commish meet and the Commish says that he just got a message from Billy saying that he had new info on the case of his wife, Jasmine Springer’s murder, from years back. Mooney busts down Billy’s door and finds him dead, with a gun in his hand, the door locked from the inside. Looks like a suicide alright! SMASH CUT TO TITLES!

Mooney inspects the scene, finding a fork on the floor (yes that’s right, we’ve got the last WEIRD CLUE of the series!) That seems to be it really. Talking with the other members of the band, Billy seemed distracted by something. Probs the info he was going to tell the Commish! Also, there’s an explanation for the fork – Billy used one to change the key on his guitar instead of a capo (if some of that is wrong, kindly don’t tell me – I don’t know a chuff about music)

The Commish fills the team in on the death of Jasmine Walker. She was found dead by a cliff. It was made to look like a robbery gone wrong. But obv it wasn’t a robbery gone wrong. Elsewhere, Dwayne’s dad is around I guess. I really didn’t understand why this sub-plot was in this episode particularly. It just kinda feels like they didn’t have enough investigation to fill 57 minutes so they were just like ‘what if Dwayne’s dad moved in with Mooney?? Huh?? Huhh??” Also back at the station, Mooney sees that Billy’s guitar is missing one string. Which is going to be infinitely more important than the Dad shit.

Back to the investigation and it seems that not all is well in the band. What’s more, it looks like it may have been caused by Jasmine Walker, when she called halt to a European tour. Delmar in particular lost a lot of money on that tour. And Delmar admits to Mooney that everything wrong in his life is due to Jasmine. Which means he’s the prime suspect! Which means he definitely didn’t do it! 

Dwayne and JP search Billy’s place and JP finds a photo album filled with pics of Maya. Talking to Maya, Mooney and Florence find Maya was in love with Billy, but Billy didn’t feel the same. And when he met Jasmine, Maya was forced to watch the budding romance. Seems like a MOTIVE!!

Florence finds that Billy had a lease for a shack by the beach, and she goes to see what’s happening! Turns out the shack’s full of Jasmine’s stuff and what’s more someone’s already broken in. Florence gives chase but they’re gone before she can even start running. But there is something interesting in the shack – old studio recordings of the band from back in the day. Dwayne and JP take the recordings to a studio and find a conversation between takes – an argument between Jasmine and Leon Laroche.

Mooney thinks that they were having an affair and Laroche confirms it. The argument on the tape was about Jasmine wanting to tell Billy something. But then soon after she ended up dead. But Laroche says that he didn’t kill her.

Back at Mooney’s shack, Dwayne finds that his dad has shacked up with Mooney. He says that Mooney shouldn’t worry, he’ll disappear in no time, just like he did with Dwayne when Dwayne was a kid. And sure enough, next time Mooney goes home, Dwayne’s dad is gone. And for some reason, this inspires his stroke epiphany. He goes back to look at Billy’s guitar, finding a note concealed inside – the new evidence Billy had on Jasmine’s death.

The gig at Saint-Marie inspired a trip down memory lane for Billy so he went to the shack and found the incriminating note in Jasmine’s stuff. And it tells Mooney exactly who killed Billy as well as Jasmine. Round the suspects together one last time! And SON OF A MOZZARELLA STICK it was Laroche!!!!

Laroche shot Billy – the loud music from Delmar’s room meaning the shot wasn’t heard. Leon locked the room, then bust in the door, breaking the lock. He put the key in the door, and used the fork and the missing guitar string to block the door so it appeared locked. But why? Well that argument Mooney and the team heard? It wasn’t about Jasmine wanting to tell Billy about the affair, it was about Jasmine wanting to tell Billy that their son, Kai, was actually fathered by Laroche! So Laroche left Jasmine a note to meet him at the cliff and murdered her! Then Billy found the note so he murdered him too!! TAKE HIM AWAY!!

With the case all wrapped up, and the Commish even almost smiling, it seems that all is well for another year on the good isle Saint Marie! Dwayne reconciles with his father, everyone else is also there, and that’s about it. Alls well that ends well, you know except for the families of Diane Smith, Bobby Rodriguez, Frank O’Toole, Fabienne Jordan, Daisy Anderson, Daniel Friend, Eugene Jones, Jasmine Walker and Billy Walker. They’re going to get pushed to some dark places in their unassailable grief for their loved one. A spectre who they can never see again. They’ll never hear their voices, they’ll never feel their touch and in time, they might even forget what they look like. The world will carry on, the worst part being that it will function exactly the same. AH WELL FUCK IT, LET’S HAVE A BEER!

It’s been a ride, hasn’t it? See you next year!

 

&&&&&&&%%%%%%%$£$$$$$$$££££££££££@@@@&&&***********((((())))^^^%$££££££££@@@@@@@!!!!!!((()))))) NORTH_FERN_LOGS@@@@@@@@@@^^^^^^^^^^^^^***************(((((((((()))))))))%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

‘They didn’t have vanilla so you just get a bog standard latte,’ Jones said, plopping a takeaway cup on the desk in front of her.

Anderson grimaced, took a swig of coffee, and changed her face to a look of revulsion. ‘Fucking North Fern coffee takes like arse. Our shadowy mysterious benefactor can afford all this fancy equipment, but can’t pay someone to make a good cup of Joe.’

Jones laughed. She said this exact thing about three times a week. He actually didn’t mind North Fern coffee, though he couldn’t deny it had the slight tang of a hospital waiting room. ‘Any good news?’ he said, nodding his head to the scene through the one-way window.’

Anderson turned to her computer, and got what she wanted in a few taps, ‘He’s just posted a blog for Series 7 Episode 8. Scanning it for information. And…nothing. No mention of the charity shop initiative at all. And no information about where he buried his wife. His mind won’t survive another loop, and we’re not getting anywhere. We were making more progress before all this charity shop shit.’

‘They’ve delivered another initiative,’ Jones said, collapsing in his swivel chair and chucking a floppy disk over to Anderson.

Anderson caught it with one hand and looked at it. ‘You’ve got to be kidding. ‘The Circus Initiative’. We’re gonna have a series arc about this idiot being in the circus now. C’mon the charity shop thing ran out of steam after episode four. And how’s that going to get us closer to finding out where he buried her.’

‘You know the drill,’ Jones said reclining in his chair, ‘we occupy his mind with something trivial, such as completely overanalysing the deep-as-a-puddle television show Death in Paradise, hoping that he slips up and offers up information, but he needs to think he’s really existing so he has to have a job.’

‘Don’t talk up to me like that, Jones,’ Anderson snapped. ‘I’m still your boss.’

Jones laughed, ‘Hey what do you think’s in the coffin? Michael said that Jameson hinted at the water cooler that Southern said that maybe it’s Nazi Gold!’

‘Don’t believe everything you hear, Jones. There’s something of interest on his dead wife’s person that the higher ups want, that’s the long and short of it.’

‘They must really want it,’ Jones said, ‘Going through all this.’

Anderson straightened up and then jumped up, her chair being propelled back. Jones jumped up too, just at the surprise of it. ‘What is it?’ Jones said.

Anderson peered through the window and Jones came to meet her. ‘Look at the reviewer.’ she said. They looked through the window into the small room. The walls were lined with metal and in the centre of the room, a bearded malnourished man sat hooked up to a machine, wires coming out of his head. That wasn’t what had startled Anderson though.

‘His eyes are open,’ Jones whispered. The reviewer’s eyes were indeed open and they were staring right through the window at them. ‘He’s looking at us.’

‘Don’t be stupid,’ Anderson said, ripping her eyes from the man and going over to a red phone on the desk. ‘That’s one-way glass, he couldn’t see us even if he wasn’t semi-conscious.’ Anderson picked up the phone.

‘What are you doing?’ Jones said, seeing her.

Anderson already had the phone halfway to her ear. ‘I’m calling the higher-ups. This loop is done. Load in the Circus Initiative, God help us. We’re running out of time.’

‘How long do you think we have, exactly? To find out where this arsehole buried his wife and get all the nazi gold? Or…whatever might be in the coffin?’

Anderson thought for a moment. ‘I’d say we have until the 4th of January 2019 (depending on Episode air-dates)’

‘Shit,’ Jones said.

Jones and Anderson got to work, just as everyone along the corridors was working too. Just as everyone in the North Fern sector got to work, everyone in the building. All of Area 51 got to work.

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

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

Yo! It’s episode six of series seven, and hot cheese, it keeps on going! Just inside info here, the preambles are probably the hardest thing to write in this series of articles, because I have literally nothing to play off. And this series of Death in Paradise really hasn’t given me much to go on. It should have been an (at least) semi-exciting series with a new detective, but literally all I can say about it, is that it is continuing.

It continues to exist.

So yeah, preamble done. (And nailed, if I do say so myself)

It’s time to be Putting the D in the P, to the power of 706! (Own title blah blah)! Let’s go!

Series 7 Episode 6 – Death and Relaxation

Hey! We’re doing some relaxing this episode, at at a relaxation retreat! There’s pottery, therapy, meditation, robes, green tea and most importantly a gong! Some guys are going out onto the grass for a meditation session – Cressida Friend is conducting (?) the sesh and Gabe Lee, Eva Ingram, and William Byrn are ready to chillax! (The kids tell me that that’s chilling a nd relaxing at the same time.) But Daniel Friend, the owner of this fine relaxatorium, is too cool for school – he’s off for a swim! When the meditation’s over, Cressida and Gabe go for some walkies and find Daniel collapsed! Gabs (my laptop keeps auto-correcting Gabe to Gabs, so I’m gonna roll with it) rushes over and confirms Daniel’s dead!!! SMASH CUT TO TITLES!!

Back, somewhere else on the island, Mooney is to give a speech for the Commish who’s about to get an award for like Commish of the Year or something. Trouble is, Mooney doesn’t know diddly-squat about the Commish. Seems like no one does – he’s an enigma! (I just summed up the multiple scenes of that entire sub-plot in two sentences, so…)

Anyways, Mooney can’t sit around for ever, we’ve got a murder to solve! At the retreat, Mooney and the team get to grips with the case. The retreat seems to be all relaxxy – they’re not even allowed to use mobile phones, and definitely not the Tweeters. It looks like Daniel has been strangled with one of the belts from the retreat uniforms. What’s more, there’s one belt missing from the laundry! The only other interesting thing is that under Daniel’s body, there’s a key – that seems to be for some kind of lockbox!

In the hunt for stuff to pad out this episode, JP and Dwayne start to read the literature of the retreat. What’s that I hear? Sounds like it’s time for another DWAYNE AND JP WACKY SUB-PLOT TM. JP thinks all you need to get what you want, is to visualise it. Positive thinking and all that, you know. You gotta remain positive, see. Like I did when I was working at my charity shop. But now I don’t work there, because I run the whole thing! That’s right, I was so good at managing my local charity shop, they put me in charge of the whole company! I’ve fired all the staff of everywhere, so I’m looking for some new staff. You wanna be the manager of the Hull shop? Hull was voted the worst city in the UK for five years running, so you wouldn’t have to put in much effort. You wanna run the Oxford shop? Oxford’s all brainy and stuff, so you might get loads of books. You wanna go run the Isle of Man shop? My assistant tells me people actually live there! You wanna run any of these shops, all you have to do is email me at TwoJPHoopersAndImJustWatching@aol.net. These shops are gonna go fast, so do the emails, and send those emails to me NOW!!

Anyhoo, the search turns up no belt, but it does turn up some notes in Daniel’s room. But the notes aren’t his. They’re William Bryn’s. See, William Bryn was looking to write an expose on Daniel, because, I dunno, relaxation doesn’t exist or something. Anyways, Daniel found out and I guess that’s a motive.

Let’s turn our attention to Gabe. Looks like Gabe had taken an extended sabbatical after some douchey boyfriend drove his twin sister to suicide. Gabe was doing some confrontation therapy with Daniel – which is like relaxation therapy but with more punching and loud noises. Gabe went off to a bar in a strop, and promised to kill Daniel. So I guess it wasn’t him (because that’s too obvious) Now onto Cressida (if you think reading this is rather dry, imagine watching it). Looks like Daniel was a little rough. And by a little I mean he broke one of Cressida’s ribs in a fight! That sounds like another motive!

Back at the station, the Commish’s speech is going terribly and who wants to sit around and write a speech when there’s a murder to solve! Especially because it looks like Daniel Friend only came into existence 3 years ago. Which means he had another identity before! Before he was Michael Bennett! And we know that, because Dwayne and JP visualise finding the lockbox and they do (yes this is really primetime on BBC One)

So Daniel/Michael actually wasn’t on the way for a swim, he was on the way to retrieve the lockbox. Because he was fucking off. Someone had rumbled him, and that someone waaaaasssssss…Eva Ingram! Who used to run a business with Michael Bennett, and got short changed by him! Eva was at the retreat to get her money back, but Michael had other ideas and went to skedaddle. That seems like a motive too, I guess.

So this rather thin investigation is all ready to be wrapped up. Mooney has nothing for the Commish awards and he is forced to make up a speech as he goes along. Make…up…as…he…goes…along. As Mooney sits down after the speech, he has a seizure orgasm EPIPHANY!

Rounding the suspects up, Mooney knows who killed Danny-boy forward slash Michael. And JIMINY CRACKERS it was Gabe!!!! So that boyfriend who fucked Gabe’s sister around, which led her to suicide? That was Michael Bennett! So Gabe came to Saint Marie, to dish out some justice. He knew Daniel forward slash Michael’s schedule so put a strong sedative in his tea just before he was due to go swimming. Trouble was, Daniel wasn’t going swimming, he was going to get his box to scarper! So Gabe and Cressida found Daniel collapsed and Gabe had to improvise, killing him when he was alone with Dan, with his belt. Jeez Louise! Okay, TAKE HIM AWAY!!!

Equilibrium is restored, and there’s not much to wrap up. Dwayne and JP finally realise that all the visualisation stuff is bullshit and the Commish liked Mooney’s impromptu speech! Happy days!

Overall, this is just going to be another episode that will be forgotten. Nothing of note really happened. And at this point, I’m starting to think that that is the way the show runner likes it. I’ve noticed a distinct lack of Robert Thorogood writing credits this series, and I don’t want to admit it, but there’s been a real decline because of it. We’ve got two episodes left, and I hope the last one at least is penned by Robert. Let’s end Series 7 in a surprising way – with a good episode.

UP NEXT – Someone dies, there are four (maybe five) suspects – all of which have a motive, there’s a weird clue, there’s an epiphany, and there’s a wrap-up.

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 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 8)

Putting the D in the P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 8)

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.

So let’s get one thing out of the way – I know this recap is super late, but it’s the last one so I thought I would do something special. So I had to raise all the money for all these backing dancers, the snow machine, the smoke machine, the strobe lighting and the George Clooney impersonator. I got so out of control I forgot that there was absolutely no audio/visual component to these recaps. So I guess I’ll just sit here with all these guys doing their thing, and try and write this thing. It’s very loud here. Actually the smoke makes it hard for me to even see the screen. I feel a bit light-headed actually. Where’s my heart medicine? 

Anyway, this is indeed the last episode of Season 6 of Death in Paradise and what a season it’s been. There’s been some really good episodes, a few duds, and a big upheaval as Humph thought with his penis and left the island for some hardcore Humph-ing with Martha, leaving us with Ardol O’Hanlon’s DI Jack Mooney. Mooney is a fundamentally different kind of character to Humph. He has his own awkward style of investigating which can sometimes be mistaken for a general awkwardness. He has a daughter and he has some fresh trauma, having lost his wife just a month ago.

We haven’t really seen enough of Mooney to judge him with any kind of fairness. I think O’Hanlon plays him almost too well at some points (accentuating the weirdness), leaving the audience to wonder whether he or Mooney are playing up. I like him though, and as we’ve discovered through this series, it’s only my opinion that actually matters. The magic talking deer told me that when I smoked that PCP. the seeds of repetition were broken with Mooney…finally. And this series can now evolve into something else.

So for the last time lets start Putting the D in the P! (The episode title of wikipedia for this one is ‘Murder in the Polls’. I mean it’s not wrong but it lacks a certain creativity. So I’ve got my own.)

Series 6 Episode 8 – The Red Rosette

Ah voting time is here again, and what a wonderful time it is. I mean, no wrong conclusion has ever been reached by the outcome of a public vote. Not one. And that’s a goddamn fact! Dwayne knows what I’m talking about. He’s even going to stand outside the community centre voting station all day to make sure no hoodlums come to mess up the sanctity of crudely marking a box with an x while resisting the urge to draw a penis.

Edwina (a woman with a severe case of resting-bitch-face) is waiting outside the community centre too. She’s even arrived before the vicar and his wife and she doesn’t seem too happy about it. Mind, she could probably shit gold and she still wouldn’t crack a smile. Anyway, the three of them go in to set up the voting.

There’s two tables in the voting station (one for each constituency) and Edwina’s on one, while Old Vicar and his wife are on the other. There’s also a fair few booths which are all ready with pens and curtains and voting stuff. But something seems to be gravely amiss. Edwina’s fan isn’t working. The bastard!

Outside, the candidates arrive. You’ve got Peter Baxter, a straight laced dude who probably has some kind of shady past but is friendly enough. You have Catherine (of of Catherine’s Bar fame), she’s there I guess. And you’ve got Victor Pearce who’s a massive C-word (that’s right, he’s a massive C…onservative) Looks like he’s about to run away with the election because he had the money for a flashy marketing campaign. And what…would you really elect someone who didn’t have billboards and those stupid Party Election Broadcast things they stick on the front of Eastenders (which is ironic because they end up being even less believable)?

Well the candidates are all going to cast their votes now, which I’m sure won’t be predictable in the least. Edwina’s gone to get a new fucking fan, and the Mayor’s lass decides to go help her. This whole thing is so trival that it’s relative unimportance probably means it’s the most important clue of all. Anyways, the candidates are casting their votes. And poor old Victor picked the booth without a pen. Ol’ Vic (car not tor) travels over to hand him a pen then goes back to his desk. Again, notimportant so probably super important – the Death in Paradise way.

Anyways, it isn’t long until Catherine notices something gravely amiss. The cubicle next to her, where the delightful Victor is residing, seems to be leaking blood – which I’m told isn’t normal. Catherine raises the alarm as Victor comes out of his booth with a knife in his back – which I’m also told is not normal. I don’t know how voting works, okay.

Someone straight up murdered him. Guess that’s what you get for being a cun…try music loving man (One day the Earth will cease to be. And it’ll be all our fault. We are parasites feeding on the planet). Roll the fucking titles!!!!

Somewhere that’s not where we just were, the Commish and Mooney are having a classy meeting. You know it’s a classy meeting because they have lemonade. Anyway, it turns out the British police force are not really flexible when it comes to the premise of a serialised crime show. They want Mooney to commit to at least three more seasons on Saint Marie. Mooney turned down Broadchurch to be in this shit, so he’s going to have to think about it for at least 52 minutes. You see, there’s a small matter of a murder to tend to.

At the community centre, the team gathers around the corpse of Victor Pearce. Seems like the cause of death is the massive fuck-off knife sticking out of his back. But he was alone in his voting booth. How the hell could someone stab him and then get away while Victor was voting? Mooney does some C.S.I/Dexter/Sherlock bullshit but doesn’t really get anywhere…seeing as he’s not Sherlock or Dexter or Mr C.S.I. The ‘witnesses’ (people who were in the general vicinity) don’t know nothing about nothing. In fact the only lass who could have stuck the knife in the prick is Catherine (of of of Catherine’s Bar fame), who was in the booth next door.

What’s more Dwayne was outside all the time, so the killer has to be one of the people in the community centre. The 6 suspects…wait, wait a goddamn second, SIX suspects?? Halle-fucking-lujah! It’s not four for once. are as follows: Catherine (obvs), Peter Baxter, Edwina Bitchface, Vicar man (Matthew Dawson), Vicar wife woman (Judith Dawson), and Kemar Pierce (the victim’s son, who was also there I guess).

In a decidedly un-police type way, Mooney and Florence decide to totally disregard Catherine from the investigation due to personal reasons. Mooney rips up Catherine’s picture and thus the only potentially interesting aspect of this story goes in the bin. If you haven’t already guessed, I think this episode is just fucking awful. I even tried to disregard it from my mind for personal reasons…but that’s not a real thing.

Let me propose a Saint-Marie shaking season finale. Catherine kills Victor. It’s as plain as day. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Not willing to accept it, the team fight through it and investigate everyone else. But it all keeps coming back to Catherine. Mooney eventually has to come to the conclusion that Catherine did it. Because she did. Florence, Dwayne and JP have to come to terms with the fact that their friend murdered someone. And Mooney is now the guy who sent down a once much loved member of the community and the whole island knows it.

It may not be perfect, and I agree making Catherine into a villain would be a difficult concept to wrap up all in one episode, but it’s a little better than the bland Ryvita of an episode we got. Not to mention it would bring up a lot of great moments for Series 7.

Anyways, back to reality, and someone seems to have leaked information to the press meaning Catherine is already outed as the killer. Even though she’s totally not. Elsewhere, Mooney has a talk with Siobhan about renewing their contracts with the BBC. Siobhan says she’ll have a think about it.

At the station, it seems that Victor left all his money and his businesses to his son, Kemar. Sounds like a big motive to me. It also seems Victor went to the same school as ol’ sourface Edwina. It also seems that when Victor became Mayor he was going to shut down the orphanage run by Matthew and Judith Dawson.  So many leads… Let’s do the orphos first I guess (that’s the cool new way to say orphans I just made up. Spread it around)

Looks like the orphanage was indeed in danger of being shut down. But it wasn’t a very good orphanage anyway. They only had three kids there. And Matthew and Judith seem awfully attached to the little fuckers. So that’s a big ‘maybe’ on the brutal murdering then.

Back at the station Dwayne and JP are having a little SUB-PLOT. Turns out Dwayne wasn’t going to vote for Catherine because Catherine would have shut down his favourite place to get cheap rum! Well, JP is appalled. The power of friendship should trump cheap rum anyday of the week. Mooney and Florence come back from the kid farm to hear how bank statements showed that Kemar Pearce’s spending was getting out of control. So maybe he offed his dad to get that sweet sweet cheddar!

No he didn’t. Kemar explains his dad threw money at him as a substitute for actually spending time with him. He got accustomed to a certain lifestyle. But he didn’t kill him, he says. So that went fucking nowhere. Mooney’s no closer to figuring out the who or the how of this one. You can tell he’s stumped because he totally recaps everything that’s happened so far…because I guess this episode ran a little short… Mooney calls it off for the day and everyone goes to Catherine’s bar. That’s kinda stupid isn’t it. I mean, she’s a prime suspect in a murder case and you’re gonna all go and… You know what. I don’t give a shit anymore.

The next day, JP finds something odd in Victor Pearce’s diary. There’s an appointment in there, for a hotel rendezvous. There’s no reference to this meeting anywhere else. JP and Dwayne go to have a looksee at the hotel. And what they find will blow your fucking mind.

It’s just Peter Baxter having an affair and Victor got pics to blackmail him. I fear I may have hyped that up a little too much.

Florence has found out that not only were Edwina Face-like-she-just-smelt-a-fart-on-the-Tube and Victor at school together, they were also high-school sweethearts! Victor called it off when he became too busy with work. Yeah, Victor, we’ve all used that one before. I told my ex-wife I was too busy at work (unfortunately the work was digging her grave). Turns out Victor was Edwina’s first love and her last. There’s been no other flame for Edwina’s candle, no other butter for her bread, no other bubbles for her bath. Eww.

Well, Mooney and Florence rock up to Edwina’s place to ask her about the relationship. Turns out Victor changed afterwards, became cold and vindictive and a c…onservatory enthusiast. He didn’t even acknowledge Edwina’s existence anymore. Edwina’s one true love had changed. Sounds very much like Edwina killed the SOB…but as Edwina adds she is a Christian. So I guess that rules her out.

Well there’s only one person left, so we better dish the dirt on him too. Mooney and Florence confront Peter Baxter about the affair and the fact that Victor knew about it. A very strong motive it is too. Apparently, Victor threatened to go to the papers with the pictures of Peter (avec floozy) unless Peter stood down. Peter trumped Victor’s threat with a threat of his own. Peter found out that Victor has an illegitimate daughter – a little bastardette – somewhere on the island.  Fight fire with fire and all that. What the fuck does that phrase actually mean? Fight fire with fire. You just get more fire. Your fire mixed in with their fire. Unless you want fire. How does your fire win exactly? What are the rules?… Where’s my heart medicine? Oh, and Peter Baxter leaked the story about Catherine being prime suspect, I guess.

Dwayne decides to give Peter Baxter a taste of his own medicine. He’s going to leak the photos of him avec floozy to the press! Yes, that’s correct. Police officer Meyers is going to take a piece of evidence and leak it to the press. What the fuck is this – House of Cards? Please…tell me. I don’t even know anymore.

Somehow even more incredulously, Mooney decides to recap everything once again. And it’s starting to become apparent that this episode actually doesn’t have much content in. Like, at all. Of course his recap is pointless, and revelations are not had. So Mooney and Florence go off to a church service for people who aren’t dead like Victor Pearce (who’s dunzo).

While there, Mooney spots Judith Dawson with the kids whose actual parents are dead. This lead him to get a massive revelation. He knows who did dun the murder and he also knows who why what dun it. They both leave the service…which is actually a little really rude. Mooney sends Florence to the kid farm to find something while he…stops the church service?? which is significantly ruder.

On his way to do the devil’s work (I mean stop the church service not masturbation) he bumps into Siobhan who’s just hanging out I guess. She has decided to do another series (hopefully negotiating that she’s in it a hell of a lot more). Mooney doesn’t really give a shit at this present time because he’s gotta catch a killa, yo!

Final reveal time and this one’s a doozy. Because HOLY DEATH IN PARADISE we have a murdering twozie today! It was Edwina face-like-she-just-stepped-on-a-piece-of-Lego-every-second-of-her-existence and it was Judith Dawson. The two people that…it obviously was. I mean everyone else was in their booths, Vicar was at the desk…we saw this happen so it could have only been the other two. Anyway, turns out Edwina was the mother of Victor’s love child and that child is…Judith Dawson.

Judith set up the voting booths the night before the vote, making sure there was no pen in Victor’s booth. She also made sure Edwina’s fan didn’t work so Edwina would have to get up. When Edwina could not find the fan, Judith went to help. But here’s the thing, it was never about the fan. Edwina was never looking for a fan. So there was probably a fan just knocking about and she was telling porkies, because the fan was never an issue. Very sneaky, murderers. Anyway, when Vicar went to give Victor a pen, they had a brief window when Vicar was going back to his desk to sneak out and stab Victor in the back. And then sneak away again.

Motives are probably apparent. You know, he was a shitty guy and a shitty dad. Take them away!!!

Well, all murders wrapped up for another series. The people of Saint Marie are safe for another ten months. But rest assured, waiting in the shadows is a murderer with a very fleshed out motive and three other suspects with similarly fleshed out motives but are harmless but will come under relative suspicion, ready to leap out and murder you. You were warned.

With the bow placed firmly on the case, everyone kicks back at Catherine’s bar. Mooney announces that he and Siobhan are now series regulars and Catherine announces she’s the mayor because Peter was fucked up by that affair thing in the papers and Victor was fucked up by a kitchen knife. So happy endings all round I guess. You know apart from the families of Stephen Langham, Esther Monroe, Charlie Taylor, Jerome Martin, Tom Lewis, Frank Henderson, Julie Matlock, Nicole Hunter or Victor Pearce.

Because they’ve all been murdered. There’s funerals to plan, not to mention the crippling depression that comes from a family member being needlessly taken from the world. Some of them will turn to alcohol, drugs. Some of them will be consumed by an anger they cannot control. Some of them will go to a very dark place where it seems like life might not be worth living at all. And all they want is to see their loved ones’ faces once more. But they never ever can.

Ah well, fuck em. CHEERS!

 

UP NEXT: Later on in the year, I’ll be partaking in a very special Putting the D in the P as I read the Death in Paradise novel ‘A Meditation on Murder’.

Until then…I dunno. Re-read these things I guess. I don’t give a shit.


Hey guys, real Chris here, just want to say a massive thanks to anyone who actually read all these things. When I decided to do this eight (plus) weeks ago, I didn’t actually think I would cover every single episode. But here we are…over 10,000 words later. Christ.

Sorry this one was so late. I’ve been prepping my first crime novel for London Book Fair, busy time for authors and agents. Maybe this even means that Robert Thorogood can make his own blog ripping the shit out of my beloved child-book soon.

Keep thrusting that D into that P, guys…. Eww.

Here’s to Season 7!