Sunday, March 14, 2010

Season 1: We're Off to Kill the Wizard!

Here we meet another niece of Jess’s, Ms. Donovan, who we never see again in all 12 seasons. And that’s really OK, because Ms. Donovan is Boooooring. With a capital B.


Jess is visiting Ms. Boringpants Niece when Michael Gardener lures her from Boringpant’s front lawn to a theme park in Chicago (stay with me, this epi suspends belief in numerous ways). It seems his employer, Horatio Baldwin, operates various theme parks throughout the country. The theme park is a cheesier take on Medieval Times. I spotted a codpiece. Horatio wants to create a “JB Fletcher Murder and Mayhem” theme park, and tries to sell the idea to Jess. “Violence pays” he tells her, “Disgraceful!” she parries back. Then he tries to lock her in his office using a remote locking device. Yeah, not the way to win JB over. He finally lets her out, and later that night becomes victim number 3… in the office chair death count!


Carlson— Hmmm, no first name. Or a first name, and a lazy blogger who doesn’t want to rewind. Carlson was in line to be Vice President before Horatio kicked the inevitable MSW office-chair bucket. Did he throw a murderous hissy when Horatio denied him the position?

Mills Highlander— “Temper-headed Swede” (!) who has an angry confrontation with Horatio regarding safety violations. Apparently, Mr. Highlander’s name is on all the permits, hence the temper-headed Swede remark. I took offense, nah!

Laurie Baskum Horatio’s Secretary, and suspect numero uno! For no real reason that I can see, other than she confesses… Did she snap like a pencil after taking one too many insults from Horatio?!


Famous Actors

James Coco plays Horatio, who has this written about him on his wiki page, “As an overweight and prematurely balding adult, he found himself relegated to character roles.” I mean ouch. Isn’t that somewhere along the lines of, “think, don’t say.” There’s also a Christy Brinkleyesque actor who I can’t place, but I’ve seen in numerous baby stealing/adulterous affair gone wrong/my-husband-wants-me-dead Lifetime movies.

80's Baby

Jess shows up 10 minutes before her airplane flight.


That about closes this section out.

The End?

Horatio died via a blow to the head, but it’s a mystery how anyone could have murdered a man in a locked room. Jess can't figure it out, so she takes a jog. Things don’t get interesting (minus the jog) until Horatio’s bereaved widow kidnaps Jess at the airport and convinces her to solve the crime. She agrees, and returns to her niece’s house to find… Laurie! Laurie confesses that she was the last person to see Horatio alive. Apparently, she was being blackmailed, for what we never find out. I’m thinking with that female tie and collar up-to-here, it had something to do with S&M swinger parties. That’s my guess anyways. So she confesses to being, “mad enough to kill” Horatio, but of course she didn’t. So let’s move on.

Jess believes the key lies in Horatio's office, and finds a little hiding space in Horatio’s desk. A convenient place to hide your blackmailing documents? The files turn up, along with some scandalous secrets about Horatio’s employees. I would have loved to hear them all, but Jess is classy like that.

Oh, and someone else dies. It is (or was, rather) Horatio’s business manager, the person in charge of finding out secrets for Horatio. This apparently doesn’t frazzle Jess much, because she’s back in Horatio’s office sleuthing about the phone system the next morning. Apparently, what she finds is significant, because she wants Carlson to come on down and meet her in the amusement park.

Carlson turns up; confident he found the last piece of blackmail Horatio had on him. Before he turns to leave, Jess corners him. Turns out Carlson killed Horatio after he reneged on his claim to make him a Vice President. Through the illusion of “call forwarding,” he was able to convince the cops that no one was in the room at the time. I’m really not making this up, you might have to watch this one just so I can say, “I told you so.” So he pulls a gun on JB (counter alert!), thinking, “what’s one more murder.” Well, its Jess’s reflection he shoots. And behind him is the real Jess, along with the cops. I’m afraid YOUR time is up, Carlson.


Kitten said...

Ouch indeed on that Wikipedia page!! Tell us what you really think, why doncha?

I soooo remember this episode. One of the more ridiculous plots in all 12 seasons, and that's saying a lot. A JB Fletcher theme park? If she's famous enough for that scheme to turn a profit, then why does she need to work at all anymore???

Elsie said...

I want to band together some James Coco fans and edit that off the wiki page, for reals.

This is quite a classic "office chair death" MSW. Complete with remote locking devices!!!