Here we have the obligatory pilot episode, and really, after seeing this baby it’s no wonder they promptly ordered 12 seasons. There’s peppier theme music, if that’s even humanly possible, along with biking AND jogging AND house painting and every other busy body activity you can possibly conceive of. And yes, we meet Grady.
Grady is an accountant in NYC, and judging from his apartment, let’s just say Cumo would have been interested in those balance sheets. Anywho, Grady is Jess’s long suffering nephew, he appears in countless epis and you either love him or you refuse to review any episodes which feature him. Ahem. Grady calls his aunt to give her the good news, he gave her manuscript to a big wig in NYC and she’s now a famous writer. Yes, it’s really that easy (Kitten take note). So she’s off to NYC for a world wind tour. The tour doesn’t go so well, and it’s hard to watch our small town girl take insults from NYC stereotypes. So to cheer her up, her publisher, Preston Giles, invites her to his estate for the weekend. A costume party ensues, bad jokes are exchanged, and Jess comes dressed as the good fairy from Wizard of Oz. I was never a fan, so don’t ask me her name. Starts with a “G” I think. So GUESS who get’s murdered? Yes, a fella dressed as Sherlock Holmes. What an ingenious mind you have my dear Watson.
Ashley Vickers— Had a torrid affair (or as one character phrased it “practicing indoor Olympics”) with Caleb McCallum, aka Sherlock Holmes. He took up with another young chicky and Ashley didn’t likey. Didn’t likey enough to MURDER? Well, we just don’t know. Not yet.
Preston Giles— Dapper, grey haired, expertly dressed publisher. Irresistible to any woman over 50! On second thought… no, definitely 50. Jess really likes him, which makes him a REALLY good suspect since everyone Jess tries to fall in love with ends up being the killer. Her late husband Frank’s vengeance!?!
Louise Mcallum— Wife of Sherlock (why confuse you with REAL names?) and resident drunk. Was driving from the party erratically, dressed as that timeless sorority Halloween classic, the flapper. She was fed up with Sherlocks’ affairs, did she end his life after a good puke and a glass of Gatorade?
Peter Brill— NYC playwright. Dressed, ironically I’m sure, as Mozart on the night of the party. It’s pretty clear he’s broke, so how is it he put on an off Broadway show? Yeah, I’m stretching on this one. Soooo what.
“Squeallllll like a pigggggg!” Oh my, Ned Beatty, it’s hard to ID you without those tighty whiteys. MSW is a much better place for you Ned, stay here.
Right off the bat, there is a truly stunning perm/mullet. I even paused and studied it. Yeah, I really have nothing more to say. Also, before Jess heads to NYC she endures a Cabot Cove makeover, complete with “barber pole” (her word) long sleeved, red and white diagonal striped evening dress (!). There’s also smoking indoors, an activity we all know results in death, destruction, mayhem and Godzilla.
So the guy found dead in the Sherlock garb wasn’t the one wearing the costume that night. The intended victim is a seafood magnate named Caleb Mcallum. So the poor schlub that got killed was a private detective. So of course, Grady himself arrested, like he does in nearly EVERY episode. Things start moving fast after that, Jess decides to search Ashley’s office, overheads a suspicions conversation, trails Ashley, then gets mugged in NYC where she gets rescued by a kindly fan. NYC looks like a PRETTY scary place in the 80’s. Switchblades, the whole bit.
The next day, Jess bravely returns to the scene of her mugging, and OH look, a NYC theatre where a Peter Brill is trying to get his play off the ground. Turns out Ashley was going to meet Peter that night, they were in cahoots so Ashley could cook up some jealousy with Caleb. Which, let me tell you, always works. So that’s a dead end. Or maybe a dead…. Boat! Ok, that didn’t work. But Caleb is found dead on his boat, wrapped up in the sail. This time the cops are focused on Louise, and we all know whomever the bumbling cops arrest is never the real murderer. So now at this point you basically know who the killer is… But let’s pretend you're silly, and you don’t.
So now they have Louise in the slammer, Jess prepares to take off, but not after… she makes out with Preston! OMG! Just kidding, they just kiss. Our girl has fallen hard, and even though it’s, “moving too fast for a widow”, Preston is willing to wait. Snort. But Jess can't leave, something’s just not right. She goes back (all the way back) to the scene of the crime to uncover… a creepy looking Preston telling her everyone is long gone for the night. Gulp. But she can’t help herself; she lays out her cold, hard evidence. Preston finally confesses, acknowledging that he killed the private eye after he threatened blackmail (our dapper Preston is a runaway convict). Apparently, he offed Caleb to divert suspicion. So JUST when we think Preston going to drown our Jess in the pool, the episode ends. Like I said, order me 12 more seasons, thankyouverymuch.