Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Season 2: Jessica Behind Bars

As they say on "Castle", there are only two types of people who sit around thinking about how to kill people. Psychopaths and mystery writers. With a title like "Jessica Behind Bars", don't you immediately think: "Finally. FINALLY somebody put two and two together and Fletcher has been locked up for good. Everyone in Cabot Cove can rest easy tonight! Heck, the entire eastern seaboard can tuck themselves into bed and sleep like babies! Is there any corner of the globe that been left untouched by J.B. Fletcher's collateral damage??? Seriously, this woman can't go on a vacation, or a convention, or a relative's wedding, or a rodeo, or a simple family dinner or a prison without a dead body turning up." Okay...just me?


But alas, the plot is much more mundane than that. Jessica is at the women's prison to substitute teach a creative writing class. Someone sounds the riot alarm, the jailhouse doc is discovered dead of a hefty morphine injection and Mrs. Fletcher is taken hostage by some very angry, very mullet-y, very shotgun-toting middle-aged ladies. With the National Guard about to intervene at any moment, Jessica agrees to investigate the murder.


Warden Elizabeth Gates - wants to run for senate, instituted many reforms during her brief stint as warden and so stressed by it all that she was suffering from fainting spells. Now that's a lady who's in need of some work/life balance!

Mary Stamm - resident prison underdog and budding writer, she was unjustly imprisoned for killing her wife-beating hubby. Mary was at the scene of Dr. Matthews' murder AND had a stolen key on her from the prescription cabinet. Looks mighty suspicious!

Kathryn - the apparent leader of the prison riot. Likes: pumping shotguns repeatedly, and "shootin' our way outta here!" Patience is a virtue, Kathryn. Dislikes: prison food and wardens. She is first to jump all over Warden Gates as suspect numero uno in Dr. Matthews' murder. Perhaps she is so anxious to convict the warden just to cover up her own murderous guilt!

Bertha - next in line in the prison rioting hierarchy. (Isn't there's always a Bertha in prison movies?) My fave quote: "If we had any brains, none of us would be in here in the first place." She seems pretty rational, but that doesn't mean she isn't a murderer!

Amanda Debs - 20 year deputy warden. Motivation to kill Dr. Matthews seems rather murky.

Mrs. Mims - grocery delivery person and potential suspect when the lab wasn't able to identify a second set of prints on the morphine vial. But whoops...she became the second murder victim - getting knifed after the power is cut. Boo!

Miss Springer - prison cook and accomplice with Mrs. Mims in a food smuggling scandal. Was Dr. Matthews going to rat them out?

80's Baby!

It was all about the hairstyles. Mulletude! Bad perms! Thank God Jessica was released before anyone gave her a clown perm. Whew.

Famous Actors

Eve Plumb of Brady Bunch fame played "Tug", a prisoner with a mohawk-like mullet. Niiice. Also featured Adrienne Barbeau as Kathryn. She was in quite a few late 70's/early 80's action and horror movies. (Must have been how she learned to pump guns so vigorously!) The good ol' warden was Vera Miles, famous for a role in "Psycho" and a ton of other major motion pictures. I know that the prison cook was also quite famous. She played Moses's mom in classic Charlton Heston version of "The Ten Commandments", but I don't feel like looking up her name right now. 

The End

After some thought, Jessica figured out that the second set of fingerprints on the morphine vial actually belonged to Dr. Matthews herself. The state's records were forged with false prints, and that's why they couldn't be readily identified. Right when Mrs. Fletcher steels herself to confront the killer, Kathryn and her rioting crew reach their breaking point and Jessica is held at gunpoint. (Counter alert!) Calming them down (for the hundredth time) in her traditional soothing way, the truth is finally uncovered that Dr. Matthews committed suicide because she nearing exposure for diluting and siphoning the prison drugs for profit.

And who was the ringleader behind all of this prison corruption? Harmless-looking, demure cardigan-wearing Amanda Debs! She knifed Mrs. Mims to cover her tracks, after getting Kathryn to cut the power. Oooh, the rioters were none too pleased with Kathryn after that! Still, under Mrs. Fletcher's calming influence, everyone peaceably returned to their places immediately in what is probably the world's least secure prison facility for 40 and 50-something women. End scene.


Elsie said...

I think I owe you my first born for reviewing this one. At least you made it seem hilarious, and not only cringe-inducing. Clown mullets for all!

Kitten said...

Better a clown mullet than a prison tattoo!