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!


 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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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.

So usually I plan out these preambles to the article before I watch the latest episode, and you know, this week I had a pretty good one about advertising. Unfortunately/Fortunately that’ll have to wait till next week as this Death in Paradise provided us with a shake-up that’s only been seen once before.

Kris Marshall is out, and Ardol O’ Hanlon is in. DI Jack Mooney is our new fish out of water on Saint-Marie. While I’ll look more into the (ludicrous) way that happened in the recap, it has to be noted that this is probably a good move. While I think we’ll all have a soft spot for Humph, his methods are rather…well…repetitive. Mooney seems like really unique in comparison. In Part One, we saw him playing good cop to get information out of the suspects, while turning on a dime to remind them who’s boss.

I hope they actually follow through with Mooney and I hope the show actually evolves as a result. Imagine next week, when Mooney finally works it all out and finds out who the killer is, and Florence goes ‘Shall I gather all the suspects together?’ and Mooney goes ‘What? No! Why the fuck would we do that? Let’s just go arrest the killer.’ That would be awesome. It wouldn’t just be hilarious and slightly self-mocking, it would prove the strengths of the show. Characters shouldn’t be slaves to the format. The format should be slave to the characters.

While we won’t know that until next week, we got a slightly muddled Part Two this week. As I feared, the first half of Part One (which took place entirely on Saint-Marie) was almost entirely redundant. Indeed, three of the four original suspects didn’t even appear. While it maybe would have been a little weird (and rather difficult) to loop back to Saint-Marie at the end, it would have felt a little more satisfying.

Instead we get a real feel for what Death in Paradise in London really is (so I guess it’s just Death) and it’s…well it’s just Death in Paradise in London. The same show with the Unique Selling Point wholly ripped out. So, it’s not too hard to imagine how happy I was to return to Saint-Marie at the end, even if we were absent one bumbling Englishman.

Anyway’s all this will be coming up in this week’s Putting the D in the P, so let’s just get to it shall we? (Right, so this is my title. The episodes officially don’t have titles, but for some reason on Wikipedia they do. And they’re shit anyway. Apparently, this one’s called Man Overboard. Well, yeah it’s to do with a boat. But the man was on the boat. Not overboard… Also, the first episode was apparently called Erupting in Murder. Which is the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. I know The Seismic Conundrum wasn’t much better, but at least it made fucking sense. Am I rambling? The doctor told me not to get this worked up about television anymore. Where’s my heart medicine? Let’s just get the show on the road, shall we?)

Series 6 Episode 6: International Waters (Part Two) or The Two Wolves

See, it’s not hard. You don’t have to call a builder anymore, because I’m the one who’s fucking nailing it.

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Ah flashbacks. Don’t you love a good flashback? Well here we have a flashback. But don’t worry if you get time-sick. It’s only like 3 hours earlier. And something’s telling me, it might be important. I mean, there’s no way it could not be relevant right? Anyway this flashback shows our four wbanking friends preparing for a big business deal. You remember these guys from Part One? There’s Frank Henderson, the stern one, Steve Thomas, the one with unfortunate hair, Martin West, the jolly one and Dominic Green, the Disney villain one. Frankie sends them all off to do specific jobs to prepare for the suit’s arrival.

Frankie’s job is to go back to his office and blow his brains out, which I guess helps somehow. (Look, I don’t understand banking, okay.) The cleaner tries to bust down the door when she sees the mess but it’s locked. so Steve Thomas busts it open with a fire extinguisher, macho style. This is when Humph, Florence and Mooney show up. And looks like we’re all caught up!

Frank’s as dead as my ex-wife  disco pants.

Roll dem titles, please!

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Looks like we’ve got a classic locked room mystery on our hands, as the door was locked and the key was in Frank’s pocket. Along with the key is a single cufflink, suggesting the cufflink found on the boat belonged to ol’ Frankie boy. So Frank killed Tom Lewis and then killed himself. Simple. But then Frank’s phone rings and it’s a restaurant in Knightsbridge. Turns out Frank tried to book a table for tonight.

So I guess he wasn’t so killed himself after all.

Time for the group questioning again, but obviously we’re down one man. The remaining three wankers don’t have an alibi for when Frankie was killed. What’s more, the big business deal they were preparing for can’t go through now Frank’s dead. Bummer. Humph lays down the fucking law, when he says the two murders must be linked, meaning Tom and Frank’s murderers are one and the same. Dwayne has to strip the three of them and test their clothes for gunshot residue. (I guess Dwayne’s looking for…the NAKED truth… From the moment we’re born, our bodies begin to die.)

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JP and the Commish find a lockbox on guy-dude’s boat and girl dude tells them where the key is. She also starts shitting herself when she finds out they’ve found the secret compartment and shit tons of bootleg rum. JP opens the box to find the evidence he needs.

Back in London, if Mooney understood all the financial mumbo jumbo properly, it turns out that the big property deal on the cards was to solve a cash flow problem. The dude with the deal Mike Wilson would only deal with Frankie boy, so there’s no way it can happen now. Why would someone kill him before it went through? Florence finds that Frank Henderson was heavily influential in getting Steve Thomas a job. So Steve knew Frank outside of the job…but hasn’t told Humph or Mooney. What a fucking bastard. That’s very deceitful.

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Steve Thomas and Steve Thomas’ hair get grilled by the ULTRA COMBO!!! of Humph and Mooney (playing a game of fumbling cop and off-puttingly eccentric cop). Apparently him and Frankie go waaaaaaaay back to when he was 14. Frank was the family driver or something…I dunno, I kinda stopped listening. That hair is putting me off. Wait I’m back in the room cos Steve just dropped himself right in it. He said Frank was missing the cuffllink, which he was, but Humph and Mooney hadn’t told anyone. What an idiot. Steve tries to damage control but he’s worse at that than he is at dying his hair. Looks like Steve Thomas is our killer.

Back at the station, Dwayne has a little bit of SUB-PLOT when he searches Nelson Myers’ name on the criminal database thingy. Apparently, ol’ Nelly has done a spot of breaking and entering in his time. Also, I’ve got to call bullshit out on myself for one second. So Dwayne’s Aunty Lillibeth and Nelson Myers is her brother. Also, Dwayne MYERS. How the hell did I not realise that last week?? Nelson is Dwayne’s father. Duh! Oh and Florence finds out Frank has been paying a shrink I guess.

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Humph and Mooney are staking out Steve Thomas’ pad and have some bro time. Mooney reveals he lost his wife last year, so it’s just him and his daughter alone now. The topic moves on to Humph’s love life, and the Martha thing. Mooney says something that’s actually profound. A tale of two wolves battling inside every one of us. One being hate, anger, stuff like that and the other being truth, love, hope. The one who wins is the one you feed. This scene is fucking great! I’m not…I know I’ve cultivated a natural sarcasm in these recaps…but I actually mean this. The scene is fantastic. Mooney persuades Humph to go see Martha because he wants his job because he believes in love.

So Humph goes to see Martha, but Martha says they can never be together because each of them belong in different places. No more Humph-ing. Not now. Not ever. Bummer.

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Back on the island, JP has finished searching the lockbox he found on the boat. No clues. But something rattles in the box when he picks it up. There’s a false bottom and under that is an SD card. And on that SD card…the mother-lode!

Back at the London station, Humph is putting on a brave face and just carrying on as usual. Dwayne finds out that Martin West and Dominic Green have been doing some dirty deals, betting on the stocks of the other guy’s company going down. But if the big business deal that was rudely interrupted had gone through the stocks would have gone up… Seems like a good reason for murder. Seems like a good red herring. What’s more Martin West’s fingerprints are on the gun! It’s a red herring you guys. Just a red herring.

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Let’s see what these dipshits have to say for themselves. Turns out it was Martin West’s gun that Frankie boy used to shoot himself – that’s why his fingerprints were on it. Dominic Green seems exasperated that the POLICE would find this stuff out. You know, like simple fingerprinting and background checks. He has a face like a stunned arse when Humph and Florence tell them about their little insider trading. But they turn the tables when they say that Steve Thomas has been the one seeing the psychiatrist and Frankie was paying for it! What’s all this about then?

Mooney’s been sitting in a car for like 16 hours (where did he pee?) and Steve Thomas hasn’t moved. But when Humph gets in the car, they spot Steve in like a minute. I would be fucking pissed if I was Mooney. All fucking night? And as soon as Humph gets back in the car, Steve’s there. Almost like some otherworldly creator made this a plot point. Maybe Mooney doesn’t exist. Maybe he’s an actor called Ardol O’Hanlon. And maybe he’s just following a script. If that’s true, how can we know we’re not characters? And the people playing us are just following a script? What if we’re all played by actors, just in one big movie? So what happens when the movie ends?… Where’s my heart medicine?

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Anyway, it looks like Steve Thomas was going to do a runner. Dwayne goes through his things back at the station. Even his phone. But he hasn’t called anyone of any significance apart from his mom. Steve’s talking out his arse. He had to have killed Frankie, right? But there was no gunshot residue on his hands or clothes. So it can’t have been him. What’s more, there was no residue on the others either. Say wha??

Humph wants to talk to the cleaner again, to see if she has any extra information. He’s sure Steve did it, but how did he pull the trigger if there was no gunshot residue on his hand, and how did he get out of a locked room? But wait a second…the cleaner (Katherine Baxter)’s phone number that she gave the police doesn’t exist. What’s more, there’s no Katherine Baxter working at CityMet bank. Son of a bitch.

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JP and the Commish send over a photo they found on the SD card (because it’s nice for them to feel useful) It’s Tom Lewis with his wife…and his two sons. But in the story Frankie boy told way back in Part One, Tom Lewis only had one son. What’s more, this new other son has really really really terrible hair.

Humph and Mooney collectively loose their shit as they have the revelations together. It’s surprisingly erotic. They know what’s what, and they’re going to set a trap for Frankie Boy’s killer by sending a text on Steve’s phone. Now all they have to do is wait.

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Time for the big finale. So let’s gather all the suspects for one final Humph-ing (I haven’t been Humph-ed in four years three months and two days) and HOLY SHITSTACKS Steve Thomas killed the guy dude. You see, it turns out Steve Thomas is in fact boydude! Seeing Tom Lewis on Saint-Marie and seeing that he didn’t recognise him got him really pissed off. So he killed Tommy and hid in the crawlspace before he made his escape.

And TITS MCCHRISTIE Katherine Baxter is Steve’s mum and she killed Frank Henderson. Katherine Baxter fibbed when she said the door to his office was locked. She shot Frank because he realised what Steve had done and was going to tell everyone. Steve and Katherine then faked that the door was locked, engaging the lock after the door was opened. For the final touch, Steve nicked one of Frank’s cufflinks.

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Jeez! Take them away I guess.

As the team celebrate a job well done, JP gets an exemplary rating on his apprasial from ol’ Commish. Dwayne goes to see his dad Nelson Myers and gets some closure there. And perhaps most importantly, Humph makes a big decision.

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He goes to see Martha because he now knows he would swap the Caribbean for her any day of the week. He makes a big romantic speech in the middle of Martha’s restaurant and she accepts. I haven’t been this happy/sad since I buried my ex-wife alive. And Humph has a plan for his job out in Saint-Marie.

It’s only bloomin’ Mooney. Him and his daughter are now out in the Caribbean because visas don’t exist I guess. The Commish says that they have, in essence, swapped Humph for Mooney. Like an ‘exchange program’. You know what, whatever. I guess….Fine. The episode ends with Mooney and the team toasting to new ludicrous and barely believable adventures.

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Overall, this was a fine episode. It wasn’t fantastic. But it wasn’t bad either. Humph’s exit felt rather rushed, and I would have liked to see him say goodbye to everyone especially Florence. But overall, the change to Mooney seems like it’s going to be a good one. I really like Mooney’s character. He has a dash of sadness about him, having lost his wife, while he takes a fundamentally different approach to cracking a case.

Again, I really hope they capitalise on that and don’t just turn Mooney into an Irish Humph.

(Although I do hope Mooney shares Humph’s love of whiteboards. Love a good whiteboard. #GetYourWhiteboardOn)

UP NEXT: All change! Ties and short sleeve shirts! Festivals! Cold Cases! Perverts!

See you next week!

Putting The D in the P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 4)

Putting The D in the P: Last Night(ish) on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 4)

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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.

This episode of Death in Paradise felt radically different from other episodes of the show. In fact, I can’t remember it ever doing something like this before. Because in this episode, the murder mystery was not the main plot. Usually the actual investigation is the main plotline, and we get some character story through a sub-plot. But this episode flipped that on it’s head. The story of Humph coming to terms with Martha’s imminent departure from Saint-Marie was very much centre-stage, and the whodunit was confined to something that amounts to a bare few scenes.

This makes the murder mystery noticeably weaker than anything that has come before. Of the four suspects, only two were really interviewed, and the conclusion (spoilers) is pretty dumb. We’ll take a closer look as we delve into it deeper. So please come on a journey with me, for the fourth time. Let’s put some D in the P!

(I make up episode titles because they don’t have any)

Series 6 Episode 4: The Damsel and the Death Bowler

Cricket! Cricket! Love a bit of island cricket. Totally not boring cricket. The Commissioner likes a bit of cricket. In fact, he loves cricket so much, he’s the flippin’ umpire of this here cricket game we are presented with. I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong here.

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So the team win or lose or whatever it is they do in cricket (they wicket?), and they decide to celebrate/commiserate at the club. Sans the commissioner, all the others get tanked because they love cricket.

Thing is, the president of the club, Jerry, got a little more thirsty so he goes to get some more beers. Unfortunately, he never comes back. They assume he just passed out because he loves cricket so much, but team captain Gus Coleman eventually goes to look for him. He finds him out at the wicket, dead, from a shot to the heart!

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Looks like this mystery is going to be a real………..STICKY WICKET………..(sometimes I imagine a universe where I was never born and it’s exactly the same as this one)

Roll those darn titles!

At the station, Humph and Florence are just hanging out. Humph is playing around with a Rubik’s cube which totally isn’t going to be the way he works out who killed the cricket man. It’s rather clear that Humph is trying to forget about his predicament with Martha, the girl he has been Humph-ing while she’s been on the island. At the end of the last episode, Humph realised he had fallen in love with her. So that’s a thing.

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Soon they’re off to the crime scene though, and all the sexual tension between Humph and Florence is gone as the Commissioner informs them of the sad death of Jerome Martin. Looks like he was shot from close by, as Florence finds the shell casing. Humph also finds Jerome’s wallet full of cash, so this wasn’t a robbery. Yeah, no shit.

Only four people were still at the club when Jerome’s body was found…because you know, that’s the number of suspects all these things have, and while Dwayne and JP search the office, Humph and Florence go to meet them. By the truck, they find Gus Coleman, who needed to come and get some air. Humph is taking none of that shit though – he has to go back and join the others. We need a group interview scene, goddamit!

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Humph finds that the cricket game the previous day was a benefit game to raise money for Torey Martin’s treatment. Torey Martin (Jerome’s son) was a promising young cricket prodigy? player? wicket? person before he got into a car accident five months ago, which fucked up his spinal cord. Now, he’s in a wheelchair. With electro-stimulation, he might be able to walk again. But that costs some serious cheddar.

Elsewhere, we have Sabrina Martin, Jerome’s wife and Archie Browne, treasurer of the club, along with Gus (who needed to get some air even though everyone was outside already). JP and Dwayne find a box of bullets in the office safe, one missing. Guess what? A match for the casing of course. Humph asks the suspects about the bullets (see how much quicker this is going than in other episodes???) The bullets were for the gun Gus bought after a break-in. The gun should be in the safe…but of course it’s not. It’s missing. The only four that had the combination for the safe, are the four suspects. (Which actually is a good reason all the other guys at the party could be eliminated. I would give the episode points for this if everyone else from the party hadn’t already been discounted for no reason.)

Everyone was in the bar for the whole night, before Jerome was found, which means two things. One: none of them could have killed Jerome and Two: they must’ve peeed in jars or something. The suspects have been at the club ever since the murder took place, ergo the murder weapon still must be there somewhere. Dwayne and JP are on the case. Florence finds a camera on the bar, which looks like it filmed the party. (Keeping up? This one’s a fast one.)

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Humph feels Gus is holding back, which is probably a good shout, but Dwayne and JP search him and there’s no gun. Dwayne and JP search for the gun, but Dwayne seems a little distracted. It’s not really important.

Humph and Florence review the footage of the party from the camera and it looks like Torey and Jerome had a little tiff. Torey says that his father kept apologising for the crash. Jerome blamed himself because the MOT on the car was out of date. (We know he’s telling the truth, because there’s a flashback. So I guess…yeah.) But Torey says there was nothing wrong with the car; he was just driving too fast.

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Dwayne and JP get back to the station. No gun. While Humph is recapping for the audience, he sees someone messing with the police jeep. He books it outside and opens the bonnet to find nothing really wrong with the jeep. JP looks around and someone at the market did see someone fucking with the jeep. Humph finds a small ripped piece of blue fabric on the engine.

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Humph is still uuming and ahhhing about telling Martha he loves her. He doesn’t want to ruin the rest of the time they have left. At the bar, JP finds out why Dwayne was a little off his game before. Katherine tells him that Dwayne’s father used to take him to the cricket a lot. It’s not a big deal.

The next morning, Dwayne finds out that Jerome was withdrawing huge amounts of cash every week (which you might remember was a key plot point for The Seismic Conundrum investigation as well. It’s a Death in Paradise staple.) Also Jerome had life insurance. Sabrina Martin doesn’t know nothing about no life insurance, but she does know Jerome was paying off some debts with his large withdrawals. Of course, that’s a load of shit and Humph knows it.

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Dwayne and JP are going through Jerome’s email and find an unsent draft that’d pretty fucking juicy. It was to Archer Browne and hinted at some sort of blackmail. Obviously, Archer doesn’t know nothing about nothing. He says that Jerome offered to help him pay off his gambling debts (totally voluntarily). Obviously, this is a load of shit. (So much shit this episode.) Florence finds out that Archer’s garage carried out the assessment on Torey’s car. And Humph thinks that Archer was blackmailing him because of that. Archer continues to talk out his arse for a bit. Humph is having none of it, and notes that Archer’s jumpsuit is a very particular shade of blue.

You see, Humph has a new idea. The one place that isn’t searched at a crime scene? The police vehicle. Humph thinks Archer hid the gun in the jeep, then came to retrieve it. Seems like we have our man.

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At this point, the investigation is paused while the A-Plot really kicks in to gear. Not much happens in a while so I’ll just bust through it. At Martha’s leaving drinks, Humph finally confesses his love for her. Unfortunately, Martha is tanked and falls asleep before she hears it. Dwayne and JP are staking out Archer’s place. They fight and make up. It’s not a big deal. But Archer is seen chucking a gun in the sea. JP gets it out.

In the morning, Humph realises that Martha didn’t hear his confession when she was super tanked. He tries to tell her again, but Florence interrupts them because Florence secretly loves Humph because they’ve found the flippin’ gun. Humph promises to Martha that he’ll be back in time to take her to the airport. Which of course, he won’t. Because he’s like God spilled a person Humph.

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At the station, Humph has his big revelation sequence a little earlier than usual. You see, Dwayne says the way he solves Rubik’s cubes is to take them apart and put them back together. A dot that I cannot manage to connect to the proceeding solution. They go to gather everyone together as usual, but Humph asks Dwayne to find Gus’s coat. Cos that’s important I guess.

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The big finish. Like ten minutes before the end. (This was such a weird episode) Just a quick side-note – (look above) I love how they just dumped Torey out of his wheelchair. That looks like the most unnatural place to seat a paraplegic ever.

Anyway back to the thing. And HOLY FUCKKNOCKERS!!!! it was….no wait this one’s a little difficult. So first off Jerome killed himself, wracked with guilt over the fact that he caused Torey’s crash. But he didn’t. But Archer was blackmailing him telling him that he did. And Gus found that out, so when he found Jerome had killed himself, he tried to make Archer look like the murderer.

Gus moved the gun casing, put the gun in the jeep (remember when he was ‘getting some air’? Yeah fuck off Gus.), retrieved the gun making it look like Archer and then planted the gun in Archer’s office. Archer found the gun, freaked and dumped it in the ocean (as you would, I guess).

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But get this, none of that actually matters. Archer’s still gonna get charged with manslaughter, blackmail and perverting the course of justice. So there was absolutely no reason for Gus to try and frame him. If anything, Gus is the real villain because he wasted the police’s time. And get this, Gus didn’t get arrested.

So it’s time for THE DEATH IN PARADISE ‘CRIMES THAT ARE TOTALLY DISREGARDED FOR SAKE OF PLOT’ LIST brought to you by SHERLOCK, the ‘Well Series 1 – 3 were good. They can never take that away from us.’ 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)
  7. A BIG ONE – Perverting the Course of Justice (E4)

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

Anyway, take Archer away I guess.

Oh yeah, Humph totally didn’t get back in time to take Martha to the airport. She’s gone and she’s left a note – a note that pretty much shows that Martha felt the same way as Humph. It’s time for a good ol’ airport chase scene, but this one actually has them chasing after the plane.

It’s actually pretty cool.

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Anyways, Martha doesn’t see Humph and Dwayne chasing after them, and to be honest even if she did, I don’t think she could’ve stopped the plane. So Humph is alone again. Or is he….? I’m not talking about Florence but Florence though. I’m talking about the possibility of him going to London, which is possible. I guess.

This episode was so weird. The actual investigation felt so rushed, and the final reveal wasn’t satisfying in the slightest. Gus’s actions made this investigation (in the most literal sense) a waste of time. The Humph/Martha stuff was fine, and the Dwayne/JP stuff was fun as usual, but it just felt like a mix-up of ideas.

I guess this case really was THE DAMSEL AND THE DEATH BOWLER wait that doesn’t really make sense

Oh well, something big’s on the horizon. Something London. neither does that

UP NEXT: There is a murder. But this one is international motherfuckers.
See you next week!

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!

 

Putting The D In The P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 1)

Putting The D In The P – Last Night on Death in Paradise (Series 6 Episode 1)

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 pure love.

Death in Paradise is a cozy crime show about an English inspector solving crimes on a tropical island whilst also falling over a lot. It is also simultaneously the best and worst show I have ever seen. I absolutely adore it. I love it. I really really do. The mere fact that I am so joyful to hear when it’s coming back on can’t be overstated, but also whenever I watch it, I constantly have to ask myself why none of the cast look even slightly baffled by how ridiculous everything is.

When I attended a talk by Robert Thorogood, the series creator, last year, I went with a single burning question that I was determined to ask. The question was ‘Do you know? Do you really get it? You understand it’s weird, right?’ I was convinced I was going to ask this, but throughout the body of the talk, I got my answer. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t get that what he’s making is utter narrative rubbish, and as I reflected on this, I guessed it was a good thing. Because you really have to be all in on something to make it fantastic.

And don’t get me wrong, I think Death in Paradise is a fantastic show. Purely because everyone is all in. The murders are dumb, the investigation is dumb. the sub-plots are dumb, the acting is dumb. It’s so bloody brilliant.

Even if you’re the stereotypical ‘fan’ of Death in Paradise, it’s probably hard to pin down standout episodes. Thorogood said that the writing team strictly adhere to a template when writing an episode. For example, four pages in, the murder occurs…eight pages in, the team arrive to inspect the crime scene…fifteen pages in, a suspect is established…twenty pages in, a new clue is found that turns the investigation on it’s head and so on. A very rigid framework that is pretty obvious if you watch even two episodes in a row. That makes everything rather samey, and episodes are often marked (at least in my mind) by which British actor they’ve roped in to guest star in the episode. Who can forget the exciting ‘The One With Tara Fitzgerald’, or the epic ‘The One With Keith Allen’…or even the brutally shocking ‘The One With Neville Longbottom’!

Actually the only real standout episode to me is where Ben Miller swaps with Kris Marshall. Ben Miller’s detective character gets murdered, and Kris Marshall’s detective character has to investigate it (basically the Death in Paradise version of regeneration).

So, this is a way to delve a little deeper into Death in ParadiseWe’re going to take a closer look at the stories of the episode and break them down a little bit to try and find how this television show is so bloody amazing. And to reiterate, I do think it is bloody amazing. It’s one of my favourite shows. So if sometimes these recaps/breakdowns get a little mean, know it comes from a place of love.

So here we go. Whether you’re a hardcore DiP fan, or you just like crime stories, I hope you’ll join me for what I like to call: Putting The D In The P: Last Night on Death in Paradise.

(Also these episodes don’t have titles, so I’m gonna make them up)

Series 6 Episode 1 – The Seismic Conundrum

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As we start our episode, two members of the Saint-Marie volcano institute are hiking up the Saint-Marie volcano – which is interesting seeing as there has never been a volcano on Saint-Marie before. I guess it just appeared since last series.

These two little volcano buffs are Stephen Langham (the dude) and Victoria Baker (the dudette) and they’re almost definitely fucking each other and they’re off to check on the seismometer halfway up the volcano. It’s been giving some dodgy readings but they can’t find anything wrong with it.

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Back at the institute, Megan Colley (a young intern at the institute) and Daniel Langham (the brother of Stephen) are doing volcano work about the volcano (you know, volcanoey things). Daniel can’t fucking believe nothing’s up with the seismometer, seeing as it’s gone tits up for three nights now. Stephen says that if it’s an animal fucking with the equipment, it’s probably nocturnal so he’s going back up in the dark.

The next morning, and Stephen’s not back from the volcano, even though the peeps at the institute have an important meeting with Saint-Marie’s mayor, Mayor Richards. The peeps are slightly distressed with Stephen’s absence, so decide to go out in the helicopter to look for him.

Obviously, he’s collapsed on the volcano and he’s deader than disco.

At Detective Humphrey Goodman’s island shack, DS Florence Cassell arrives to tell him about the death. Humph is outside standing in the sea holding a laptop up. This is the only place he gets wi-fi and he’s talking to his girlfriend on Skype. Her name is Martha and she’s coming to Saint-Marie for a booty call that promises to be equal parts awkward and unattractive. Florence gives Humph the stock oh-you-fucking-English-tosser look before telling him about the murder.

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At the crime scene, the team, Humph, Florence, Officer Dwayne Meyers and Officer JP Hooper inspect the body. Humph seems perplexed by one detail – why didn’t Stephen bring a torch with him when he trekked up the volcano in the pitch black? Why indeed?

Humph goes to meet the witnesses who are, as always at this point, sitting together but not really sitting together (see below). They’re doing their own thing, showing their own signs of grief. (N.B. this shows an essential part of Death in Paradise. This isn’t a show where you’re meant to be able to guess the murderer. There’s going to be some insane leaps in logic coming, and it starts with each suspect being isolated, because at some point they’re all going to be in the frame but for super different reasons.)

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Humph learns everyone’s names. Victoria Baker starts crying in the middle on her introduction. It’s really unconvincing, but I think that’s more the acting than a clue. Daniel Langham has a touch of the flu and he’s also the resident volcanologist (which means in the science world he’s……..HOT….stuff. I’m so alone). Megan Colley looks bored as shit and there’s not much going on with her. From this group interview, Humph learns one important thing. Due to the records of a key card lock on the institute door, it can be ascertained no one left or entered the institute between Stephen leaving in the night and Victoria greeting the Mayor the next morning. Apparently, the swipe system is in case of an eruption, which makes no real sense as if there was an eruption on Saint-Marie, the whole island would be fucked. Also, the guys must sleep at the institute (it’s never really addressed).

While at the institute, Humph sees that there are torches right by the door. Stephen would have walked right past on his way out, so why didn’t he just grab a torch? Humph has a real hard-on for this clue…it’s almost as if it’s important. (Actually in Death in Paradise terms, this can go one of two ways. If Humph is obsessing over a clue, it could mean absolutely nothing or absolutely everything.)

In Stephen’s office, Humph learns more about the Saint-Marie volcano, even though from a map it seems to take up about 15% of the land mass of Saint-Marie, a place he has lived for a number of years now. And it never once came up in that time. Humph looks at some chemicals in a test tube – phenolphthalein to be exact. It rings a bell from his GCSEs – it’s used to test acidity.

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Strap yourself in because things are about to get REAL. Stephen Langham died of heart failure, according to the postmortem. And Megan Colley, the intern, isn’t on the island according to the passport authority. Say wha???

Humph and Florence go to see ‘Megan Colley’ who reveals herself to be Eva Burn…or Abre Brown, I didn’t quite catch it (seriously I’ve played it back like ten times) Emer Byrne (should’ve just waited two seconds when Humph looks at her passport). She used her best friend’s degree to apply for a job at the institute, seeing as Emer herself failed her degree. Even though the real Megan Colley is still out there somewhere. So this girl is committing identity fraud just to study at some institute. Like she’s a real fucking bitch. Not to mention a terrible friend. This is a BIG FUCKING DEAL. But spoiler alert, in terms of our investigation, it means JACK SHIT. This is never mentioned again (so maybe you’re asking yourself, why the fuck is it in the episode?? To which the answer is, Welcome to Death in Paradise.)

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There are three similar revelations about the other suspects that I’ll just bang out right now. They’re also things that Humph gets told directly, like he does hardly any actual investigating in this episode, it’s all interviews and phone calls. Daniel Langham has a drug habit (not flu, the cheeky bastard) which Stephen was helping to finance. Victoria was sleeping with Stephen, and Stephen allowed her sole credit of a paper. Mayor Richards had a few heated arguments with Stephen about land owned by the institute, although the Mayor insists he likes Stephen. They all do and don’t have motives to kill Stephen, basically how every DiP investigation plays out.

Let’s take some time off from the investigation to check in with the SUB-PLOTS. Humph goes to pick up Martha from the airport, but gets the time wrong! Hilarity ensues, as though both miss each other. Humph and Martha have a candlelit dinner at Humph’s shack, but they get interrupted by Harry the lizard! (Fun side-note, at the Robert Thorogood talk I went to, there was a woman in the audience who only seemed to care about Harry the lizard. She kept asking Robert about him, making sure he was okay.)

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In a decidedly B-SUB-PLOT, Dwayne tries to impress an attractive photographer by talking shit about the Commissioner of the Saint-Marie police. The next morning, it’s all over the papers and Dwayne spends the next day trying to stop the Commissioner reading the paper. It doesn’t really go anywhere, but it’s quite amusing, mostly based on the strength of the actors and the fun they’re having in the scenes.

Back to the murder, and during a session at the office where Humph tries to puzzle out the mystery, he hits on something. He uses separate whiteboards to illustrate where Stephen and the others were on the night of the murder. Stephen was on the mountain so he gets one whiteboard. The others were in the institute so they get another whiteboard. JP says that they should get a separate one for the Mayor, seeing as he wasn’t in either of those places. Without a third whiteboard, Humph has to stick the Mayor’s picture on a computer, in a place where he can’t see the others. This makes something click in his head (something that I am still not entirely sure of…or how for that matter.)

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Humph tells JP to re-search the area around the institute to look for a mobile phone. He wants to gather everyone together to reveal the murderer.

Here’s another key part of Death in Paradise. The grand reveal. A key staple of the Golden Age. The detective gathers everyone together to reveal the culprit. It’s fun, and a little stupid, but it can also be done really well. A grand reveal scene is, obviously, only as good as it’s grand reveal, so these scenes in DiP vary in quality. This one is rather limp.

I sometimes wonder when they tell the actors who the murderer is, because it is literally impossible to tell. Even ten seconds before the penny drops, the murderer seems to be genuinely denying it. Here is no exception. I guess I better explain this shitpot.

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So this grand reveal takes place outside with all four suspects present. They’ve all brought chairs outside with them… guess they don’t like grass stains. Humph starts to talk…and holy dickballs, it was all of them!!! All of them killed Stephen Langham. And it was all about the absence of that torch. They all staged Stephen Langham’s death on the side of the volcano – he actually died in his room and they moved him. But they forgot that in their story, he would have needed a torch to see his way up the volcano.

The seismic irregularities had been manufactured by the instituters, using a mobile phone to upset the readings, a mobile phone JP finds in the tttttrrrraassssshhhh. Victoria removed the phone from the seismometer when they had gone up in the afternoon.

Now Stephen’s heart attack was brought on by hypoxia – a lack of air. The instituters brought on Stephen’s heart failure by posioning him with bold and unabriged CO2 in his room. It mixed with the phenolphthalein we saw earlier (you know, a few years back) creating a colourless solution and giving a clue as to what happened. With the body taken on a stretcher to the volcano, Daniel swipes Stephen’s card through the swipe system. Daniel and Emer waited outside the institute for when Victoria opened the door for the Mayor and got in just before the Mayor arrived.

Why did they all do it? Money. The Mayor wanted to buy the land on the beach to build a hotel, but Stephen wouldn’t budge so he had to go. The deadline on the hotel planning permission was the day after Stephen’s death. The Mayor was at the institute to get the contract signed, and wanted to make sure he was going to get it, so had a man (or dudette) on the inside. Victoria convinced the others to go along with her, wearing Daniel down and blackmailing Emer.

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This mystery is way too disjointed and passive to make much sense. Almost every revelation comes from JP or Dwayne telling Humph something. Humph doesn’t actually figure much out, until the end where he makes a connection that I still can’t puzzle out. How did Humph know that it was all of them? I get thinking that it was Victoria, with the Mayor’s help, but why the other two?

Also, as always, there are a number of things glossed over.

  • A big deal was made out of the swipe system and CCTV at the door. How did they get the body out without it being on the CCTV? In a flashback, it is shown they use the front door to take the body out. Similarly why were Daniel and Emer not picked up going back in?
  • Why would Emer not go to Stephen when Victoria started to blackmail her? Emer said that Stephen knew – so surely Stephen would have been able to help. It was clear Emer cared for Stephen, so why would she turn on him, without even trying to get his help first?
  • During the investigation, it’s found out Stephen is fuelling Daniel’s drug habit to the tune of $400 a week. But Stephen only has ‘a few thousand’ in his bank account. Where was Stephen getting the money?
  • Why did Victoria and Daniel look so shocked in the helicopter when they found Stephen’s body? Maybe to trick the helicopter pilot, but when they landed, why did they carry on the charade? They were alone – why bother to pretend?
  • Where was the helicopter pilot and why wasn’t he at least interviewed once?
  • What was the point of the whole seismometer scam – the mobile phone messing up the seismometer readings. The only reason for it was for a reason to get Stephen back up the mountain – but someone usually went up at night anyway (Daniel says something about a night shift). When it’s revealed that Stephen died in his room, the only reason for the scam was to get Stephen to go to his room to prepare. Would there not have been an easier way to get Stephen to go to his room for a bit?? Why not piss him off so he goes to his room, why not just wait till he goes to his room, why not have Victoria tell Stephen to go wait in his room where she will join him later and make sweet sweet scientific love?
  • Also…won’t someone PLEASE THINK OF THE SCIENCE!

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Oh well. With the team relaxing at the beachside bar after a win, Humph and Martha share a kiss – which is as unappealing and unattractive as advertised.

Humph needs another drink. And so do I…

Overall, this wasn’t a terrible episode. The actual murder mystery lacked any real excitement, with revelations not feeling earned, and too much big stuff being forgotten about. But the sub-plot with Dwayne and the Commissioner was fun and although it might not be very stimulating to watch, it’s nice to see Humph getting some sweet sweet sciencey loving.

I think we can all agree this was a very very THE SEISMIC CONUNDRUM

 

UP NEXT: A murder takes place on Saint-Marie and Humph investigates it.

 

See you next week.