This episode revolved around cooking, food, and Samuel’s past.
The episode kicks off at a cooking school where the owner and head chef, Graham, is giving his mostly Asian chefs a hard time and his wife, Shirley, giving the ladies tips on providing finger food for entertaining. It then cuts to Peregrine finding she is low on food, Steed and Sparrow eating their lunch at the station, Samuel taking a herb to eat from Violetta’s plant, and Birdie dipping pretzels in her martini. It then cuts back to the cooking school with the staff, including Samuel’s former sister-in-law, Lucy, finding Graham dead on the school’s kitchen floor with a meat cleaver in his back.
Lucy goes to see Samuel and Birdie, and meets Peregrine, telling her she was also friends with Phryne. When they are all discussing the case, Birdie comes up with the idea of Peregrine to take cooking classes at the school to be both undercover and invisible to everyone else. Well she’s not invisible to everyone, Sparrow catches her and threatens her, she returns with her own threat of making the evidence of him at Madame Lyon’s public.
While Peregrine is there, she finds out that Shirley wants the school shut due to Graham’s death, Mr Woo’s cleaver is missing and the chefs think Rita is lazy but Graham mistreated her. Mr Woo is cleared when it’s revealed he had a job interview at a Dim Sim factory. Peregrine also befriends Chong Lee, a chef there, offering Phryne’s Chinese books to him and discovers he went to university. It is through this discovery that she makes a bigger one, Lucy was smuggling Chinese men into Australia under the guise of the cooking school, who were being pursued by the Chinese government, Chong Lee was a journalist against the revolution and had to flee. Chong was also being blackmailed as someone found out about this.
After Sparrow informs Constable Connor and Steed that the “unusual cookie” they found on Graham’s body is a fortune cookie with a message, they find the message reads ‘fleeting love is the most precious’. Samuel recognises it as Lucy’s handwriting and she admits that she made the cookie and wrote the note. She also admits that her and Graham had a one night stand and he wanted more but she didn’t. However Shirley has been told the opposite and her alibi—a tryst with the Mayor at the golf club checks out. Shirley reveals to Steed and Fisher that Graham had a bag of cash on him.
Later Shirley finds a Bomb Alaska supposedly made by Lucy with an accompanying note waiting for her, however it’s revealed there is a literal bomb inside. Just as Peregrine comes in to the kitchen, the bomb explodes, killing Shirley and injuring Peregrine. Afterwards Steed and Peregrine visit the farm Chong said he was at the time of Graham’s murder and find Chong arguing with the owner, Mrs Zhang. It is there they discover that Mrs Zhang is supplying opium, is part of a drug ring and Rita is one of her customers, which explains Rita’s behaviour. When Peregrine tells the Adventuresses’ Club this information, Rita comes clean to everyone, including Samuel, revealing that she was driving the car the day of the accident and she has been using opium to cope with her survivor’s guilt.
Meanwhile after Rita is almost drowned, and Sparrow is attacked with a meat tenderiser and the cash is stolen (as Sparrow was attempting to take it), the murderer is revealed to be the cooking school’s accountant, Bruce Taylor. In a later scene, Taylor and Sparrow are seen talking to each other and Sparrow tells Steed that Taylor is naming him as a dirty cop. To clear Steed’s name, Peregrine agrees to give Sparrow the negatives of the photographs of him at Madame Lyon’s in exchange for him calling Taylor’s bluff, which he does. Steed tells Peregrine that Sparrow has charged Taylor with the murders and agrees to support him if Taylor still names him as a corrupt cop.
The episode ends with Steed and Peregrine stopping short of admitting their feelings for each other as they are interrupted by Samuel, Violetta and Birdie, who have come over to celebrate with food. Nevertheless, Steed does tell Peregrine he appreciates her.
Overall this was a solid episode on it’s own, as well as a solid season finale as it has throwbacks to the pilot, and nearly everything is tied up nicely with enough openings for subplots for the next season, if there is one. I certainly hope there is a next season.
-Samuel and Daphne were married in February 1958.
-It has been two years since Daphne’s death in 1962, making the present year in 1964.
-Constable Connor and Steed trying to figure out what the fortune cookie was, as well as Peregrine believing it was baking accident, and Sparrow informing Connor and Steed what a fortune cookie is, was hilarious and a good insight into Australian’s ignorance of American culture in the 1960s.
-Peregrine was partially able to piece together that Chong wasn’t a real chef by the fact that he didn’t make any negative comments on her awful cheese straws.
-Jane Allsop appeared in the original series as Delores, a patient in an asylum in the episode Death & Hysteria.