My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 4 (Can’t Stand the Heat)

This episode explores the competitive nature of cooking schools.

The episode kicks off with Alexa giving unsolicited cologne wearing advice to a deaf man (of course not knowing that he was deaf) while in line to get a ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. It then cuts to Alexa inside one of the Wheel’s cabins with Kieran where he gives her the case of the week.

Ivan Zhang, a top student at a cooking school was found dead on the classroom floor, killed by blunt force head trauma. The kitchen staff found his body at 8am, the time of death was estimated between 4am and 5am, and there was oil on the floor. The dish he was cooking didn’t require oil. One person of interest was fellow student, Yi Ling, who was also staying back late and has a temper, she was expelled from high school for assaulting a teacher.

Alexa has Madison enrol her in the cooking school and she goes to her storage locker to retrieve Gary’s cooking equipment, while she is there, she finds his cologne bottle, the same cologne the deaf man was wearing.

When Alexa arrives at the school under the guise of being a transfer student, she sees how aggressive the head chef, Brenda Levine, is, as well as how competitive the students are. When Alexa cuts her finger while chopping, she asks Brenda for a band-aid, and Brenda offers to help her, revealing a softer side to her. Alexa finds out that Brenda’s alibi for the time of the murder was her date with Diego Mann, an ex AFL player.

Alexa later discovers that Yi and Ivan got into a fight three weeks before his death. She also finds out from his mother that Ivan use to work in Queensland, collected recipes and reviews and was in a local soccer team. She also tells Alexa that his classmates were his friends, but also his enemies due to its competitive nature.

Alexa sends Madison to interview Ivan’s soccer team, and she asks one of the guys, Simon, questions and is clearly interested in him. Simon tells her Ivan missed training and a semi-final game and cancelled on hanging out with him a few times. Alexa later discovers that Ivan was meeting Brenda late at night and she gave him a pristine set of knives. Brenda admits she tutored him and gave him the knives as she wanted him to improve, and she likes doing things for people she gets along with. Alexa also concludes that the murder weapon was a frozen chicken.

Although Alexa thinks that Brenda plagiarised recipes, she eventually finds out through Ivan’s scrapbook that she didn’t, and also discovers that Brenda was once a chef in Townsville and her real name is Elaine Summer. Her restaurant in Townsville closed as she served week-old bearnaise sauce, which resulted in a customer dying of food poisoning. When Alexa cooks the same meal as Ivan did and it doesn’t turn out exactly like Ivan’s or the picture, she solves the case.

Alexa confronts Brenda, telling the viewers that Ivan recognised Brenda as Elaine, who he worked for in Townsville and confronted her. He blackmailed her to help him with his cooking, but he kept asking for more. She knew he was staying back late to perfect one of her recipes, she waited until Yi left, and surprised him by hitting him over the head with the frozen chicken. She then defrosted more chickens, smeared oil on the ground and cooked the recipe to make it look like Ivan had been up all night. She heated up the room to fool a pathologist into making an inaccurate estimate of his time of death. However the school’s electricity usage spiked from 10pm, however her mistake was making the room too hot, which lead to the meal being overcooked. Brenda admits to her that Ivan wanted to be her partner but he wasn’t good enough and he wouldn’t let her forget about her one mistake. The police arrest her.

Overall I felt this was a solid episode. The murder mystery was intriguing, and I was surprised the murder weapon ended up being a frozen chicken, something I’ve never seen before in a crime show. I also enjoyed the running gag of Alexa losing her phone, having to replace it, then having to replace the replacement when Brenda breaks it. I also enjoyed Madison’s interactions with Simon, although I felt for her when she disappointed to hear that Simon is engaged. I’m sure she’ll eventually see George is interested in her soon. I was also excited to see more insight into Gary’s character when Alexa reveals how much cooking equipment he owned.


Stray Observations:

-Alexa calls George “Georgeous”.

-Gary clearly loved cooking.

-Madison’s father is a cook.

-One of the police officers was kind enough to open a door for Madison while she was eating a bowl of noodles while walking.

-Madison has dated AFL players.


Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Food wankers at each other’s throats…irresistible.” (Alexa to Kieran on accepting the case of the week)
  • “Just enrol me smartarse!” (Alexa to Madison on the cooking school)
  • “Did he teach you to be a smartarse?” “No, I picked that up more recently.” (Alexa-Madison when the latter talks about her father)
  • “I tracked down Ivan’s soccer team, their shorts are just as tight as the AFL guys.” (Madison on the phone to Alexa)
  • “I like that blue, it’s matches your shirt.” (Kieran to Alexa on her band-aids)
  • “You cut them, you eat them, no wastage!” (George to Alexa on the cucumbers she cut at his cafe)
  • “Coffee or cucumbers this morning?” (George to Alexa)
  • “For someone who’s always late, you’re an incredibly impatient person!” (Madison to Alexa)
  • “People are never as interesting as their dating profiles, or as good looking as their pictures.” (Madison)
  • “I know you did that, sabotage is for dead shits.” (Brenda to Yi on the latter burning Alexa’s garlic)


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