Archive | March 2019

Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries–Season 1, Episode 2 (Dead Beat)

Now that the premise and characters of the show have been established, the real fun can begin.

The episode revolves around the murders of Duane Gordon, a popular singer, and Gidget, a back-up singer. The murders were unique in that they were both electrocuted as an electrical cord attached to a surfboard in a pool malfunctioned, which lead to Duane and Gidget falling into the pool and to their deaths. Their deaths were also on air as their performance was part of a television show.

Peregrine quickly rushes to the scene as she not only watched the show but her ex-boyfriend, Eric, was seen on air as he did the wiring of the surfboard. When she investigates, she finds the wiring was faulty but Eric swears the cord wasn’t faulty when he did the wiring.

Eric is for the most part the main suspect, especially after it’s revealed that he sold Duane his car, Duane’s cheque bounced and the car turned out to be stolen, a fact that Eric was unaware of. He’s also considered a main suspect when Peregrine finds salt in his toolbox.

Other suspects emerge in the form of the television show’s host, Billy Carson, who gave everyone a hard time, but he is quickly ruled out. Edwina Maddox, the television station owner, is also viewed as a suspect, but she is ruled out as it’s revealed she’s paying the Italian-Australian mafia money to hide her late husband’s homosexuality. Carlo Liotti, Duane’s manager, looks like a great suspect when it’s revealed he was obsessed with Gidget, and is part of the Italian-Australian mafia. Carlo looks even more suspicious when he is seen talking with Sparrow and later has his henchmen try to kill Eric and later Peregrine at her home.

To find more answers, Violetta joins the investigation to audition for the show, to gain backstage access without suspicion. After a rocky start and a make-over, she nails her audition and gets on the show. When she discovers Julie’s scissors have some of the electrical cord on them, she realises Julie (the make up artist) was the murderer.

When Peregrine finds Julie with scissors to Violetta’s throat and trying to push her off the roof of the television station building, Julie reveals that Duane was her twin, they were born in Italy and she was devastated that he was rejecting their heritage and her by changing his appearance and with his plans to leave the show. After all of the twists and turns, I enjoyed the reveal of Julie as Duane’s murderer as she was the least likely suspect and killed him for heartbreaking reasons.

Whilst all of this is going on, we are given an insight into Violetta’s past as she reveals she was engaged to Carlo and she ended it when she found out about his mafia connections. It’s also revealed that she is a good singer and when Carlo compliments her on her audition, she thanks him and asks him to stop sending her flowers, which he agrees to. She and Samuel, who have had obvious chemistry finally kiss. I appreciated that while Violetta got a make over and the audience sees how beautiful she is, that she went back to being herself with her hair tied back and glasses on. It reverses the “pretty girl once she takes her glasses off” cliche.

The episode ends with Eric leaving to start a new life and Steed going on a drive with Peregrine. I wonder if their chemistry will be explored now that Eric has left.

Overall this was a solid episode with a riveting mystery, an unlikely perpetrator, and an element of fun with the television show.

 

Stray Observations:

-There were a couple of A Place to Call Home alumni present in this episode–Heather Mitchell (Edwina in this episode, Prudence Swanson in A Place to Call Home) and Dominic Allburn (Billy Carson in this episode, Harry Polson in A Place to Call Home).

-Heather Mitchell appeared in Season 2, Episode 5 of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries as Madame Fleuri.

 

Best one liners:

  • “You might as well stand closer if you’re going to eavesdrop!” (Steed to Peregrine when he goes to question Eric)
  • “A Phryne stand-in!” (Edwina describing Peregrine to Birdie)
  • “I’m an unofficial cop with a greater range of skills!” (Peregrine describing herself as a P.I. to the television studio’s security guard)
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Charmed (Reboot)–Season 1, Episode 16 (Memento Mori)

After the twist of Charity being revealed as Marisol’s killer, the episode focused on this revelation being played out, and due to this, there was no battle of the week.

The episode kicks off with Charity waking up a confused Macy from an apparent deep sleep, encouraging her to join the sisters and Harry for breakfast. It’s revealed that Macy has no memory of seeing Elder Bari, finding out that Charity killed Marisol and then Charity subsequently killing Elder Bari. The sisters and Harry notice her forgetfulness, confusion and what appear to be three bruises on her arm.

Mel and Maggie then reveal to Macy that Fiona is alive. Macy wants to tell Harry and Charity, but Mel and Maggie urge her not to and she agrees not to tell them. Later on, the memories start to come back to Macy and when walking around the attic, discovers that she inflicted the burns on herself and realises something is wrong but doesn’t quite figure out what in time as Charity catches her and wipes her memory again.

This time, Macy comes to again in her bedroom surrounded by Harry, Charity and the sisters. Macy starts to think her demonic nature is having an affect on her and comes up with the idea to talk to Dr Julia. Charity also asks Harry to track down Elder Bari, in the process putting the idea in his head that Macy was obsessed with her. Harry goes to Elder Bari’s office and finds in her diary that she wanted to follow up with Macy about the test results, meanwhile as Macy sleeps, more memories come through to her, specifically about Bari throwing the needle into her head.

Macy again explores the attic and finds Elder Bari’s dead body in the trunk and calls for Harry, telling him she thinks she killed her. Macy asks if there’s a way to contain her, Charity suggests binding her powers, which Harry is completely against as it would mean there would be no Power of Three. When Macy tells Mel and Maggie about this idea, they are also against it. Mel and Maggie then seek advice from Dr Julia.

Dr Julia scoffs at Charity’s idea that Macy’s bruises, which Harry has now healed, are a form of self-harm as demons are generally too selfish to consider doing so. When Dr Julia says they look like burns from candles, it hits Mel that Charity is up to something. Meanwhile, Macy is back in the attic as the memories are again coming back to her stronger than ever, this time finding the needle under a couch and performing the memory booster on herself, which causes her to remember everything. Again Charity catches her in the act but this time, forces her down to the Vortex Viribus.

Charity is using the Vortex Viribus to recharge her powers and Macy calls for help, only for Charity to tell her she’s disconnected Harry from her and the sisters, so he won’t come to help them. Charity admits to her that killing Marisol was a mistake and that her plans to wipe Macy’s memories and bind her powers were to prevent her from having to kill Macy, but since those didn’t work, she’s going to have to. In a desperate attempt to stop her, Macy tells her Fiona is still alive, although Charity doesn’t believe her.

Meanwhile Mel and Maggie are searching the house for Macy and call for Harry with no success. Harry then appears to them, revealing he hasn’t heard their calls and they tell him Charity’s compass isn’t working, but he reveals it’s not her compass, it’s a surveillance device. It is this moment that makes them realise what’s going on and where Macy is.

They come to Macy’s rescue, with Mel and Maggie battling Charity in hand-to-hand combat after she hits Harry with her magical binding whip. The sisters eventually use the runes in the vortex against Charity and end up binding her powers. Afterwards, Harry asks Charity why she killed Marisol and the other Elders. She says she thought she was acting in the best interests of the greater good, which is a similar justification Gideon gave Leo when he tried to turn Wyatt evil in the original series. Fiona emerges, fully recovered, and while Charity is happy to see her, Fiona is not, remarking that Charity is not destined for greatness, she is, tells her to enjoy Tartarus, and leaves.

The episode ends with Charity being escorted in magical cuffs to Tartarus, with her escorts being killed in front of her by Alastair. Alastair then encourages her to leave with him and she does. I’m looking forward to seeing where this new partnership goes, especially as no-one is aware of it and Charity is powerless.

Meanwhile, Parker is infected with a demonic virus by Lucy, who is still under Alastair’s control. Where this will lead remains to be seen, as Parker and the sisters are unaware that Lucy is being controlled and Maggie promises Parker to find another way to free him from Alastair’s control.

The episode also ends with Marisol boosting her Evil Sight to show Mel and Maggie exactly how their mother died. Marisol was casting an unbinding spell, which alerts Charity and she tells Marisol that she has been spying on her due to her ties with the S’Arcana. It is then Marisol reveals that Macy had died and was resurrected by a necromancer. Charity then panics over the thought of the Charmed ones being tainted by black magic, but Marisol persists in her unbinding spell and Charity throws her out of the window. Charity disappeared just as Mel and Maggie came home. This reveal naturally upsets the sisters, however they take comfort in her bravery in her final moments.

Overall this was a solid episode as it provided closure on Marisol’s death and new subplots were introduced with Alastair rescuing Charity and Parker being infected with a demonic virus. I’m looking forward to seeing what direction the show goes in now with the closure on Marisol’s death and these potential new subplots.

 

Charmed (Reboot)–Season 1, Episode 15 (Switches & Stones)

Well, the Charmed writers are certainly masters of twists, that’s for sure.

The A story and the battle of the week focused on Medusa and Macy’s ability to see the demonic attacks in her dreams. While Harry initially thought that Macy may have received the power of premonition, which Marisol possessed, he eventually concludes that the demonic part of her indicates another demon is responsible. It turns out Medusa is responsible and Charity wants to kills her against Macy’s wishes, as Macy finds herself relating to Medusa. The sisters eventually discover that a sorority pledge, Daphne, inadvertently summoned her to take revenge on the people who slut shamed her as Medusa experienced similar suffering. When Macy realises that Medusa only turns people into stone when they look away from her, as people looked away from her when she was suffering, Macy apologises to her for what she went through, looking her in the eye. Medusa releases everyone and vanishes from the mortal realm.

Overall I found this A story to be underwhelming as throughout the episode, I found trouble distinguishing whether it was the A story to begin with. I felt more attention was given to the B story, which I’ll get to, not to mention the stakes weren’t all that high.

The B story was fun to watch but wasn’t all that original as the original Charmed series explored the concept of switching bodies and powers multiple times over its run. Maggie and Parker ask Harry and Charity for assistance in regards to the chamber they inadvertently found at the end of the previous episode. The chamber turns out to be a Vortex Viribus, a place of intense magical power. Maggie touches the wall of the chamber and touches Mel to read her thoughts during an argument, which leads to them switching bodies and powers. As they don’t know how to switch back, they have to live each other’s lives as normally as possible in the meantime—Mel has to attend sorority events on Maggie’s behalf, which leads to her finding Medusa and Daphne, while Maggie takes the opportunity to spy on Jada and discovers Fiona is alive, shortly after Mel does and she eventually comes around to Jada as Mel’s girlfriend.

The B story provided a decent amount of humour, especially with their dress sense, and Jada’s and Parker’s reactions to the swap, even though the former was unaware. However as I said, it was unoriginal and slightly cliche.

On another note, Macy informs the Elders about her resurrection via demon blood. One of the Elders, Elder Bari, reveals her face to Macy and offers to help. She uses needle proficiency, basically magical acupuncture, to examine Macy and informs her she has a rare gift, the Evil sight, which allows her to see through the eyes of evil. Elder Bari uses a stronger needle to throw into Macy’s forehead for her to see who killed Marisol. This leads to the extraordinary reveal that Charity killed her and seems to regret it, however when Macy reveals this to Elder Bari, Charity kills Elder Bari from behind in the same way.

Due to Charity’s views towards Medusa and admitting to Macy that she is starting to see the concept of good and evil differently, the reveal of her as Marisol’s killer was partly unsurprising, but I was still mostly shocked.

Overall this episode was mostly a hit-and-miss with an underwhelming A story and a humorous but still cliche B story. However it did redeem itself with the twist at the end, I’m looking forward to seeing how this is played out in future episodes.

 

Charmed (Reboot)–Season 1, Episode 14 (Touched by a Demon)

I felt this episode was cheesy and a hit-and-miss in comparison to the previous three episodes.

The episode picks up from where the end of the previous one left off, with Mel trying to heal Jada’s wounds inflicted by the witch hunters. Jada thinks Niko was helping the witch hunters, but Mel insists Niko wouldn’t do that, which leads to her informing Jada that the sisters cast the history rewriting spell on Niko. Jada tells her that this wasn’t necessary, she could have used an Arcadian Smoke Screen, which would have protected Niko without having to sever ties, if she didn’t listen to the Elders.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Parker decide to take their relationship to the next level, however when they try to do so, a beam of light shoots out from Maggie, which throws Parker across the room. Maggie brings it up with Macy, who suggests that as their powers are tied to their emotions, it may have happened due to her trust issues with Parker. The episode’s focuses switches to Macy, when Maggie realises that Macy has burnt her hand on the stove without realising. When Harry heals her, he believes her pain receptors are dulling, which is a demonic characteristic, carrying on the darkness subplot. Harry suggests discussing this with Charity but Mel is against the idea, meanwhile Macy can’t handle the drama and goes to the attic to “escape”.

“Escaping” means binge watching one of her favourite 90s TV shows, Heavens Vice, about two angels fighting off vampires, the devil and other creatures. She watches this after massaging her forehead with one of Marisol’s essential oils labelled, Escape. Macy ends up accidentally knocking over the vial of Escape oil, which spills on the modem, which leads to a portal opening and the main characters, Gideon and Levi coming through, and it all gets crazier and cheesier from here.

Next a vampire comes through the portal and goes after Macy, Gideon and Levi. Gideon and Levi try to kill the vampire the way it’s been scripted in the show but Macy has to guide them through it by her memory of the episode. After this, Macy briefly battles another demon from the show and afterwards shows Gideon and Levi episodes from the show to prove to them it’s scripted and not real. While Gideon and Levi seem to accept the reality Macy’s shown them and content with going back through the portal, Gideon tricks Macy and throws her through it with Harry coming in after them. Gideon and Levi are in the real world, whilst Harry and Macy are in the TV show.

Further problems for Harry and Macy arise when they realise they are in the series finale, so when the data stream ends, they won’t exist anymore. Harry and Macy are then taken by the devil and end up in a cage in hell, meanwhile Mel and Maggie find Gideon and Levi and take them back to the manor. Thanks to Mel and Maggie brewing another Escape oil, the portal opens and Harry and Macy jump back through after managing to kill the devil, and Gideon and Levi walk through back to the show.

Overall I found this A story to be cheesy and ridiculous.

Meanwhile, Mel and Jada manage to track down and stop the witch hunters, in the process Jada shows an alternative way Mel can use her time powers–she can picture how something would look or appear based on a certain period of time. Firstly, Mel imagines the ring deteriorating and breaking down over weeks and even centuries, and then she pictures what the Escape oil would look like in two weeks when completed. I felt this was an interesting way to expand Mel’s powers and I hope I see more of it in future episodes.

On a smaller note, Maggie and Parker eventually resolve their issues when Maggie is honest with him about her fears and she asks him how he’s feeling. They finally have sex and in the middle of it, Parker’s own powers go haywire and they end up dropping down to a dark abyss. The episode ends with a mysterious woman with a mysterious mark on her head wakes up and claims “it’s time.”

As I mentioned earlier, I felt this episode was cheesy and a hit-and-miss, especially the A story. The B and C stories were actually stronger points.

 

Charmed (Reboot)–Season 1, Episode 13 (Manic Pixie Nightmare)

This episode kicks off with a man live streaming a date with his girlfriend, who seems to be demonic, and encourages him to jump off a building and into a river. It cuts to Parker informing Maggie of the man’s death, asking her to look into it as it seems to be of a demonic nature, and Harry conceding Parker may be right about it.

The sisters investigate the man’s death, as well as a car accident of Noah, who viewed and took screenshots of the live stream. While at first, Harry thought a hobgoblin might be behind it, they later discover Chloe, a pixie in human form is the culprit. However Harry states this is odd as pixies are usually kind and benevolent creatures. Harry and the sisters try to get to the bottom of the issue using a “Pixionary”, which presents the sisters with whimsy with every page turn, including but not limited to: butterflies flying out of the pages, fireworks, making Harry sing, and even a 3D miniature version of a pixie trap, which comes in handy later.

Maggie ends up discovering that the pixie is targeting students in a specific film class at the college, Parker included. Maggie manages to save Parker from Chloe’s influence. While the sisters manage to trap Chloe, she manages to hypnotise Harry and uses him to escape the trap with the Book of Shadows, to the person who stole her heart. The sisters realise a pixie’s heart is external and in the form of an acorn, which was seen around another student, Zack’s, neck in the form of a necklace which Mel dismissed as tasteless man jewellery. Zack has been using Chloe to dispose of his classmates so he can improve his film career. After a back-and-forth chase between Maggie, Parker and Harry, as well as Chloe and Macy, Maggie manages to use her telepathy to snap Harry out of the hypnotism and Mel manages to get Chloe’s heart from Zack and return it to her.

Chloe feels awful about killing the students, however the sisters reassure her it wasn’t her fault and suggest she consult with the other pixies to find a way to hide their hearts so this doesn’t happen again. Afterwards Mel casts a S’Arcana hex on Zack which compels him to turn himself in, this shocks Maggie and Macy as hexes are illegal.

Overall I found that the A story was solid and that the whimsical elements provided great comedic moments, which was a nice change from the usual darker elements that the series is known for.

On smaller notes, Jada informs Mel that Niko called her and that her adopted parents want to reunite with her. She invites Mel to come along, which shows progression in their relationship, however at the end of the episode, witch hunters ambush them and attack Jada with bows and arrows. Why Jada is being hunted is yet to be revealed. Also, Galvin suggests going to Mama Ross for help in regards to Macy’s darkness. Mama Ross invokes Galvin’s grandmother’s spirit who reveals the ibi is in Macy and sends Galvin to the astral plane and she tells him he must learn how to perform an extreme cleansing ritual to get it out of her. Similarly to the Jada subplot, what the ritual is and what it means for everyone remains to be seen.

Also, Maggie forgives Parker and gets back together with him and Galvin tells Macy he loves her, showing progression in the other sisters’ love lives.

 

Stray Observations:

-I don’t understand why Harry didn’t use his own protection potion to protect himself from Chloe’s pixie influence.

 

Best one liners:

  • “A vegan sausage doesn’t have any business calling itself a sausage.” (Harry to Maggie)
  • “You’re staring at him like you’re on a hunger strike and he’s a big bag of cheese puffs.” (Macy to Maggie on her feelings towards Parker)
  • “Drop the scones ladies we have a trap to set!” (Harry to the sisters in regards to setting a pixie trap)
  • “If the trap doesn’t get her, the sugar coma will.” (Mel to the sisters and Harry in regards to the excessive sugar required to trap a pixie)

 

Charmed (Reboot)–Season 1, Episode 12 (You’re Dead to Me)

This episode kicks off with a flashback to 28 years ago when Macy died as a baby with Marisol and Macy’s father, Dexter, begging a necromancer to revive her. The necromancer informs them that resurrection incurs a cosmic debt and Marisol’s and Dexter’s will be living together as a family for two years and then separating. I found this to be an odd debt, but as they were clearly in love and kept in touch for years, I could see how it could be viewed as a punishment or a way to repay a cosmic debt. It is also revealed that Marisol broke the necromancer out of Tartarus in exchange for reviving Macy.

In the present day, Maggie, Harry and Mel are discussing the revelation that Macy was resurrected when she enters the kitchen and later storms out as she doesn’t want to deal with it. Harry then comes to see her and tries to offer her advice as he can relate due to his finding out about his mortal life. After he leaves it’s revealed that Macy has found the same book Marisol used to summon the necromancer. Macy eventually reveals to her sisters that she wants to summon the necromancer to get answers on her resurrection and how it’s connected to the darkness inside her.

When Macy summons the necromancer, she appears more alive (no pun intended) than her previous appearance and it’s revealed she is living her life as, Maggie describes her “Nancy with a K, a gorge cashier at Handy Dandy Snacks in Ferndale”. Macy and the necromancer bond, especially as Macy unwittingly broke the concealment spell the necromancer cast on herself to hide from Cyd, a witch targeting her. According to Knansie, Cyd asked her to resurrect a demon she fell for, she refused and Cyd told the Elders Knansie was resurrecting demons and the Elders banished her to Tartarus. Knansie explains that the Elders despise necromancers, necromancers age slowly, and that half the people in Tartarus shouldn’t be there, her views on the Elders also align with Jada’s view of them, which puts the question into the viewers’ heads of whether they can really be trusted.

Cyd eventually finds Knansie and attacks her and the sisters at the house, Macy manages to subdue Cyd by throwing her out of a window, and at Knansie’s advice, binds her with the Chains of Antioch. Just after calling them for help, Harry accidentally transports Mel to Manchester, which I’ll get to. Although Knansie and Macy bind Cyd, she manages to escape and hold Maggie hostage in the bathroom at a party she is attending. In the ensuing battle, where Macy is encouraged to use her power to hold Cyd hostage by stopping blood flow to her heart, but is snapped out of it by Parker and Maggie, it is revealed that Knansie is lying and Cyd is after her as she asked her to resurrect her lover, but he ended up turning into a demon as Knansie uses demon blood to resurrect people in exchange for eternal youth. Knansie tries to get away but Parker subdues her and tricks her into breaking the demonic pact by attacking him, which leads to her rapidly ageing and turn into ashes.

Overall I found this A story to be solid as you’re unsure who to believe and while the reveal of Knansie being evil wasn’t all that surprising, it was done well and made sense in the end. Whether Macy taps into her dark nature in the future or if demons will try to use it to their advantage, remains to be seen but it provides potential for future subplots.

Meanwhile on a smaller note, Mel has been cyberstalking Niko, eventually meeting up in a cafe they use to go to, to talk. Whilst Mel is dealing with it and telling Harry about it, he accidentally transports her to Manchester when Macy calls for help. It is then he is forced to reveal to Mel that due to being distracted by his memories of his son in Tartarus, his powers have been wonky, which is why he transported them to Manchester. He also tells her that his loyalty is divided between his magical and mortal self, because of this Mel talks Harry into finding him. They manage to go to a church that Harry feels a sense of familiarity towards and find his details, including his mortal name and the fact that he was married, in the christening records which also reveal his son’s name is Carter.

They eventually find Carter and discover he is a happy older gentleman with grandchildren. Mel encourages Harry to speak to him, under the guise of being a cousin six times removed, however Harry is content with the fact that Carter is happy and that he is a great-grandfather and realises that while Carter doesn’t need him, the sisters do and resumes his duties as their Whitelighter. Although when he transports himself and Mel back to the manor, he does breakdown in Mel’s arms. I felt this resolved the subplot of Harry’s past, not to mention it provided great character development between him and Mel, as Mel admits that she doesn’t want to lose him and he felt safe to confide in her and ultimately break down in front of her.

A smaller subplot revolved around Maggie and Parker awkwardly interacting at a traffic light party on campus. Lucy invites her and after a rocky start, they somewhat reconcile as they don’t get back together but Parker helps with Maggie’s and later Macy’s rescue.

The episode ends with Macy making a deal with Julia to help her get rid of Parker’s demon half, if she helps her get rid of her own darkness. It also ends with the reveal that Lucy is being controlled by Alastair into getting Parker and Maggie back together as part of a yet-to-be-revealed master plan of his.

Overall I felt that this was one of the series’ strongest episodes as the A story provides answers to the questions of why Marisol gave Macy up and why she never knew about her sisters, and what the darkness is inside her. This episode also resolves Harry’s issues and completes his backstory, and the Parker and Maggie subplot is slowly moving forward again.

 

Stray Observations:

-Harry tells Mel he died in 1957, which contradicts him telling them in an earlier episode that he died in 1920.

-Harry’s mortal name was James Westwell, he was married to a woman named Clara, and they had a son, Carter.

-The Elders gave Harry a new name when they resurrected him.

 

Reference to the original series:

  • The Necromancer—in the original series, the necromancer appeared in the Season 5 episode, Necromancing the Stone, and was a vanquished demon whose soul lingered in the afterlife and fed on the souls of magical beings to temporarily return to life. In this series, necromancers are magical beings with the ability to resurrect the dead.

 

Best one liners:

  • “I’m not here to lecture you or give you a rousing pep talk, although it is my speciality.” (Harry to Macy)
  • “Necromancing doesn’t exactly pay the bills” (Knansie to Macy when Maggie reveals she knows the former as a cashier)
  • “Those in power who repeat lies long enough, people start to believe them, just turn on the news.” (Knansie to Macy on the Elders)

Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries–Pilot (Just Murdered)

When I wrote my blog post on the TV Week‘s Previews issue, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, the titular character, Peregrine, was described as “kinetic and bored at the same time…she can’t hold down a job, but also doesn’t know what she wants to do or who she wants to be, in Melbourne’s St Kilda during the swinging ’60s. But then she suddenly inherits a fortune from an aunt she never knew, and follows her footsteps into the Adventuresses’ Club.”

I feel that the pilot established Peregrine and the premise of the show beautifully.

The pilot kicked off at the Adventuresses’ Club’s headquarters, where it’s revealed Phryne has disappeared during a flight somewhere over Papua New Guinea and all that was left was her famous gold gun. The Club members are now trying to find an heir to her estate. The pilot then cuts to Peregrine (Geraldine Hakewill) working as a hairdresser in a coastal town, shortly before she gets fired, where it’s revealed her mother, Annabelle Fisher, has died. She finds the letter from the Club about her inheritance and heads off to find out about it.

The pilot then refocuses on a bridal show, where the murder victim of the episode is revealed in spectacular fashion, a woman named Barbie, who is found dead on top of the bridal show wedding centrepiece in her bridal gear.

Meanwhile, Peregrine has arrived in Melbourne and goes to the Adventuresses’ Club but isn’t allowed in, so in Fisher style, she climbs the roof and crashes the meeting. It is then it’s revealed that Phryne and Annabelle are half-sisters, with Phryne’s father only telling her about Annabelle on his death bed, and Phryne tried her best to find her. Peregrine is then given the keys to Phryne’s car and house, which of course is different to those in the original series.

The episode cuts back to the case where we meet Chief Inspector Sparrow (Greg Stone), who already has a vendetta against Peregrine as Phryne had dirt on him, and Detective James Steed (Joel Jackson) at the crime scene, with the designer of the bridal gowns, Florence Astor (Libby Tanner) provides details about Barbie.

Later, Peregrine checks out her new digs and discovers a man, Sparrow breaking in, stealing Volume 20 of Phryne’s notebooks. When she enquires about the notebooks at the Adventuresses’ Club, they inform her that it could be notes on police raids at Madam Lyon where incriminating photos of policemen were taken. It is not long after this that Birdie (Catherine McClements) puts Peregrine through a series of tests when she declares that she wants to fill the vacant spot in the Club left by Phryne. Of course she passes the tests and becomes a member.

However where Peregrine really tries to fill Phryne’s shoes is investigating Barbie’s murder, which she manages to do mostly by going undercover as an employee at Blair’s Department Store. It is there she finds out Barbie tried to the pill but fell pregnant anyway. Throughout her investigation, Florence Astor, a member of the Adventuresses’ Club, is the main suspect, after Steed finds Astor’s salon has been unattended for months and Barbie wrote her a letter wanting her money back. However this all changes when Florence is found dead in the basement of the department store.

After a few twists and turns, including Peregrine witnessing Sparrow taking a bribe from Terence Blair, Sparrow chasing Peregrine, Peregrine blackmailing Sparrow, and Barbie turning out to be Terence’s mistress, Colin Blair is revealed to be Barbie’s killer.

The episode ends with Peregrine’s boyfriend, Eric (James Mason) suddenly arriving at Peregrine’s house, just as she and Steed are about to kiss, and the Adventuresses’ Club discover that Phryne’s Isis figurine contains evidence of Sparrow’s wrongdoing at Madam Lyon.

Overall, I found the pilot did its job of establishing the premise and its characters, connecting this spin off to the original that inspired it, and a riveting murder mystery. The only downside for me was the episode’s length, nearly the length of a movie. I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the series.

 

Stray Observations:

-While the fates of Phryne and her father are disclosed, the fates of Jack Robinson, Dot, Hugh Collins, Mr Butler, Cec, Burt, Mac, Aunt Prudence and Jane aren’t revealed. While it would have been expecting too much to see these characters and their actors make an appearance, I don’t think it’s expecting too much to have at least found out where they are now.