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My Life Is Murder—Season 1 Finale (Mirror Mirror)

This episode, the season one finale, explores the world of cosmetic surgery.

The episode kicks off with Alexa and Kieran meeting up, with Alexa criticising Kieran’s choice of wedding anniversary gift—a decorative plate—by breaking it on the ground. He gives her the case of the week—-Matilda Phillips, a doctor working at the Cavanagh Clinic, a cosmetic surgery clinic, who had a micro-needling procedure done before leaving work and was found dead by her husband the next morning when he returned from travelling interstate. The autopsy report showed a cocktail of drugs in her system, including botox and the cause of death was anaphlyaxis.

Alexa goes to see Matilda’s husband, who reveals he loved how Matilda looked before she starting getting cosmetic surgery done herself and that he doesn’t sleep in their bedroom anymore. He believes that the owners of the clinic brainwashed her into thinking she needed to have work done.

Alexa goes to the Cavanagh Clinic to speak to the owners, Levi and Imogen. She goes to see Levi, under the guise of having a mole check and also to satisfy her curiosity of what work she apparently needs done. When she starts to ask him questions, he gets suspicious and holds back, and she reveals who she is. She then speaks to him and Imogen privately, who explain the micro-needling procedure and the new drug Matilda was trialling to her. The more she pries, the more Levi resists and she is asked to leave. Imogen goes to see Alexa in the street and tells her to ignore him and asks whatever questions she wants.

Madison finds a malpractice suit that has been filed against the Cavanagh Clinic by a man who was subjected to a botched procedure, to get rid of acne scars by the Clinic’s receptionist. He reveals that Matilda came over to apologise to him. Madison and Alexa then come up with the theory that Matilda was going to blow the whistle on the lawsuit and it gave Levi motive to kill her. Madison later finds out Matilda received text messages from someone who bought a phone near the Clinic.

Alexa goes to see Levi again to ask him whether he was having an affair with Matilda, he denies it until she calls the mobile phone number. He admits he was having an affair with the Clinic’s receptionist, Ainsley, and was with her when Matilda was killed. Alexa then goes to Levi and Imogen’s home to ask more questions, with Levi clearly scared Alexa’s going to tell her about his affair, only for Imogen to reveal to Alexa in private that she already knows about it.

Later, Alexa questions why Matilda would take a sleeping pill to make herself drowsy before injecting herself with Tomilax. Her questioning this theory leads to her finding out who killed Matilda.

Alexa goes to the Juliette Rose Foundation auction to see Imogen. When Imogen spots her, she immediately goes to see Alexa. Alexa reveals to the viewers that Imogen laced the numbing cream for the micro-needling procedure with barbituates, she then let herself into Matilda’s home with the key Matilda gave Levi, and injected her with the Tomilax, because Matilda and Levi were planning on opening their own clinic. Alexa then reveals that Imogen’s mistake was leaving behind a rose petal of a Juliette Rose that only grows in France, that only she ordered in for the Foundation.

The episode ends with Alexa trying to open a bottle of special wine, only for the cork to break in half in the process. She gets a text about her birthday dinner and goes there, just as everyone is about to leave.

Overall this episode didn’t really feel different to any of the others, in the sense that the finale didn’t feel like a finale. Another Australian crime show I’ve reviewed, Harrow, had a major season-long story arc, whereas My Life Is Murder didn’t, instead focusing on self-contained stories with every episode. That being said, I felt it worked well for this series, especially as it compensated with solid relationships between the characters: Alexa and Kieran were believable as old colleagues and friends, whereas Madison and George were Alexa’s believable and hilarious sidekicks and friends. I also felt that the cases of the week contrasted perfectly with comedic moments, such as the dynamic between Alexa and George, as well as Alexa’s relationship with the stray cat who has clearly made itself at home with her.

I personally don’t feel that this show is over and I certainly hope this isn’t all we’ve seen of it. I’ve enjoyed watching and reviewing this season and I hope there’s another one (or rather many more).

 

 

Stray Observations:

-Alexa’s birthday was a theme throughout the episode, with her celebrating it in the final moments.

-Madison suggests that Alexa incorporate herself and be called “Murder of Crowes Pty Ltd”.

-Dawn colour coded the apartment complex’s bins to prevent arguments between tenants.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “You don’t want to start your divorce off on the wrong foot.” (Alexa to Kieran when she smashes Kieran’s anniversary gift to Pippa)
  • “Look, his bark is far worse than his bite.” “Maybe you should walk him more often.” (Imogen-Alexa on Levi)
  • “Is this phone for affairs in general or just Tilly?” (Alexa to Levi)
  • “Mads, have you got time to do something for me?” “Wow!” “What?” “Well, you’re actually asking.” “Well I’m trying to be polite.” “It’s good that you’re trying new things.” (Alexa-Madison going back and forth over the phone)

 

My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 9 (Fake Empire)

This episode has Alexa trying to prove that clairvoyants and psychics are frauds!

The episode kicks off with Alexa telling off a psychology student, Finn, who stops her in the street to ask her to do a survey for an assignment. She then goes to meet Kieran at the aquarium to be assigned her next case. The victim is Steven Harborne, 31, a nurse, who was stabbed in an apparent break and enter gone wrong in his home the previous year. He was found by his fiancee, Justine Harris, and the neighbours heard her screams. Alexa has been assigned the case as a clairvoyant, Chloe Angel, got in touch with the police informing them of details that were never made public.

Alexa meets Chloe, where it’s revealed her day job is a Council gardener, and the ticket sales for her psychic show aren’t selling. Despite Alexa’s scepticism, which she doesn’t hide, Chloe tells her that Steven has been talking to her about the day of his death, which included getting the engagement ring resized, and keeps repeating the word ‘epiphany’. Chloe also says that Steven will only talk to Jasmine.

Jasmine and Alexa meet up with her, with Alexa warning Jasmine not to give too much info away or get too emotional—but she does anyway. The session ends in anger with Chloe telling Jasmine that Steven is apologising repeatedly for falling for someone else. After the session, Jasmine tells Alexa that Chloe is lying, and reveals that Steven use to take photos of her naked when they had sex. Madison later reveals that the tech guys went through Steven’s computer and found photos of Jasmine that were taken at the apartment, however there were also recent photos taken while Jasmine was at work and with a woman with a flower tattoo.

Alexa goes to see Chloe at work to find out whether she has a tattoo and she doesn’t. This didn’t surprise me as I felt it would be too easy. A TV crew arrives to interview Chloe. Later Alexa goes to Jasmine’s apartment, where she’s having a “break-up” party with her friends, which include her workmates, Adam and Abby, to move on from Steven. Just as Alexa asks Jasmine outright whether she killed Steven, Chloe’s TV interview airs where she claims to be working for the police.

When Madison and Alexa re-watch Chloe’s interview, they realise she was being fed specific information for a purpose and now she has gone national television and revealed it, she has made herself a target for the killer. The episode then cuts to a hooded figure bumping into Chloe, shortly after that Chloe struggles to breathe and then collapses, just as Alexa comes to see her and calls an ambulance.

At the hospital, Chloe reveals that someone contacted her with details about Steven and his death, and paid her $500 to go public. Chloe then tells her that when the figure bumped into her, she felt a pain in her thigh. Alexa looks at her pants and finds a needle hole in them. Meanwhile, Madison has found the tattoo artist, Lena, and sets up a dating profile to meet with her and find out more about it.

Alexa goes to the hospital and speaks with Abby, who has the tattoo and is unsurprisingly revealed to be Steven’s mistress. Abby tells Alexa tells her that Stephen wasn’t the marrying type and Jasmine would have to be blind not to know this. The episode cuts to Alexa walking down the street to see Finn asking Madison questions, having taken Alexa’s harsh feedback at the begging of the episode on board. One of Finn’s questions gives Alexa the idea that Chloe was injected with epinephrine, a substance that is naturally made in the body, but would lead to the symptoms Chloe experienced.

Alexa goes to the hospital to talk with Adam, who she clearly believes is a suspect, to spook him. She then asks Chloe for help in catching the killer, as she knows who it is.

Alexa, George, Madison, Kieran, Jasmine and Adam go to Chloe’s show, which is now sold out. Chloe channels a few spirits, include George’s grandfather, before getting to Steven. Chloe says Steven is saying that Jasmine is his killer. Jasmine asks Adam to defend her, Chloe provides details about Steven’s murder, including the fact that his death was made to look like a robbery, than Alexa continues by informing Adam about his history with Jasmine and feelings for her. Adam tries to leave but is stopped and arrested.

The episode ends with Alexa questioning Chloe about her knowledge of the inscription on Gary’s watch. Chloe tells her that as she is a detective, she should figure it out for herself.

Overall this was a good but not great episode as the perp became obvious, and the psychic and affair elements were cliche. However I enjoyed that Chloe and Alexa shared the duties of revealing how the murder happened to the viewers.

 

Stray Observations:

-According to Madison, her mum’s cousin’s stepmum is psychic and spent last Christmas reading people’s coffee cups, telling their fortune.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Well liked, even though he was a Collingwood fan.” (Kieran to Alexa on the murder victim)
  • “No grinning, because you haven’t won.” (Alexa to Kieran on her taking the case)
  • “Never get hung up on expectations, they do more harm than good.” (Chloe to Alexa)
  • “Fine? Crikey that’s what every girl dreams of.” (Alexa to Jasmine when Alexa asks Jasmine about her sex life with Steven)
  • “I hope your camera has a bullshit filter!” (Alexa to the TV crew who arrive to interview Chloe)
  • “It’s the smugness, she’s like a TV game show host or a vegan!” (Alexa to Kieran on Chloe)
  • “All men are bastards.” “Present company excluded.” “Oh no, no, no, that’s me. Absolute bastard.” (Abby then Jasmine to Adam, then Adam)
  • “Kill me now! Except that wouldn’t help because she’d be blabbing to my ashes.” (Alexa to Madison on Chloe)
  • “Where’s your white horse?” “This isn’t a date!” (Alexa to George, then Madison answers her question)

 

My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 8 (Remains to Be Seen)

The episode kicks off with drama with Alexa experiencing chest pain on her morning run.

She goes to see her doctor and he diagnoses her with atrial fibrillation and treats it by shocking her heart back into rhythm.

The episode then cuts to Alexa going to meet Kieran, almost back to her old self, to get her next case—Patrick Mandel, whose body was found in an occupied grave and has been dead for five months. He was a gambler who owed money to a lot of people and ironically owned a financial advice business.

Alexa goes to see Patrick’s girlfriend, Katrina Logan, who owns a funeral planning business. She claims she had no idea that Patrick was a gambler. Alexa also finds out Katrina has a daughter, Gaby. Alexa develops a theory that Patrick’s body was put in the funeral home fridge for three days before being buried in the grave, and Madison then informs her that Katrina lied. She found footage of Katrina standing next to Patrick at a casino ATM a year-and-a-half ago.

Alexa and Madison find out from Katrina that she did give him money. They also speak with the company’s grave digger, Tye, who is seemingly flirting with Madison. Alexa says that a grave digging machine would have made too much noise and that the grave must have been dug by hand. She also finds out that the day that the grave was used, Tye came into work and then went home sick.

Madison discovers that Tye made a large payment to a head scarf company, and Alexa remembers that Gaby wears head scarves, and puts two and two together. Alexa then sneaks into the ashes room of the funeral home and finds a piece of ceramic in the ashes of another man, Richard Rourke.

Alexa then confronts Gaby and tells the viewers of how Patrick Mandel died. Patrick snuck into the funeral home to steal any valuables he could find and sell. He thought no-one would be there, but Gaby was. Gaby thought Patrick was stealing from her mother, she hit him over the head with something heavy. She got Tye to help her dispose of his body and possessions, which included putting his antique teapot in Richard Rourke’s casket. She is then arrested in front of Katrina.

Throughout the episode, the nature and location of the crime scene, as well as her medical episode, make Alexa question her mortality, her funeral plans and ultimately, her decision to hold onto Gary’s ashes. The case ultimately led to Alexa making her funeral plans and releasing Gary’s ashes at the site where he died, which led to a great comedic moment—the wind blowing Gary’s ashes back in her face. I felt that these moments were well and accurately portrayed, and explored a different side to Alexa’s character, and it was the first time that a case was shown affecting Alexa so personally.

Overall this was a solid episode with a compelling case of the week, and more insight into Alexa’s character.

 

Stray Observations:

-Alexa runs by the area where her husband, Sergeant Gary Quinn, was killed while on duty. She even touches the sign erected when the area was dedicated to him.

-Gary was born in 1965 and died in 2017, making him either 51 or 52 when he died (depending on whether he died before or after his birthday).

-Madison believes Alexa likes unfinished business and likes working on the murder cases to let herself think that she’s moving on with her life.

-Madison’s family has a columbarium for every family member to be stored in.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Are you frowning, it’s hard to tell with you sometimes.” (Alexa to her doctor)
  • “Where does a dead guy go for three days?” “Not Bali.” (Alexa-Kieran on Patrick’s dead body)
  • “Are you some sort of rent-a-sleuth?” (Gaby to Alexa)
  • “Maybe someone played Weekend at Bernie’s with him?” (Alexa to Madison on Patrick’s dead body)
  • “Don’t stare at the cat! It’s a sign of aggression!” (Alexa to Madison)
  • “He had a resurrection just looking at you!” “You’re going to hell!” (Alexa-Madison on Tye flirting with Madison at the cemetery)
  • “I will touch with my eyes.” (Alexa to Kieran in the evidence room)
  • “Don’t believe anything Kieran says, he’s a grade A catastrophiser.” (Alexa to George)
  • “Kieran, even if I die when I’m running, make sure I don’t end up on a slab in my smelly shoes and sweats.” “You’ve got to look your best before getting burned.” (Alexa-Kieran)

 

 

My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 7 (Old School)

This episode has Alexa’s past catching up with her when she has to investigate a murder case at her old high school.

The episode kicks off with a video of a teenage Alexa and Miranda Lee drinking, and Alexa stealing a teacher’s car and crashing it into a tree.

The episode then brings us back to the present day with Kieran discussing the case of Imelda Beecroft, Alexa’s old English teacher-turned headmistress. She died a year ago after she stood on a boat rack to take down a poster, which gave away and led to her falling and being crushed by the boats as the rack fell on top of her. She finds out from Kieran that Miranda Lee, who is now the Deputy Headmistress found Imelda, and now has Imelda’s job.

While Miranda is showing Alexa around the school, she discovers that a code has to be entered to access the boat shed. Miranda tells her that teachers and the rowing students have access, and when practice is. Miranda then introduces her to three schoolgirls who are running the student protest.

Later, Alexa kicks Miranda out of her own office to look at Beecroft’s files, and finds her own file. She also discovers that Miranda keeps a black book on troublesome students and their indiscretions, and uses them to blackmail the students. When Miranda gives Alexa the book, she finds out that model student, Gemma Shaw, whom Alexa has taken a shine to, grew pot in the school’s roof and was selling it. When she asks Miranda about her schedule, and she tells her Beecroft stayed unusually late, she realises and tells Miranda that the murderer was targeting her and not Beecroft.

Miranda and Alexa take a breather from the investigation to pay their respect at Beecroft’s grave, watch the video tape of them acting up, as shown as the beginning of the episode, and smoke a joint that Miranda confiscated from Gemma.

The episode then moves forward to the year 12 muck up day, where the students are going wild. Gemma tells Alexa when Beecroft died that she was in her extension maths class. When Alexa comes across a student’s prank, she realises that the murderer was trying to lure Beecroft to the boat shed with the posters as a trail. She then looks at the photos of Gemma’s pot factory and asks Madison to go to the hardware store, while she lies down in the shed.

Alexa confronts Gemma about her plan to lure Miranda, only to see from the window in her extension maths classroom that Beecroft was taking the bait. She followed her down to the boat shed and found it was too late, but she still carried on with her plan to recover the posters. Alexa tells her, her mistake was not hiding the wrench she used to loosen the bolts on the boat shed’s shelves. Miranda comes to the boat shed just as Gemma is trying to throw her under the bus, but Gemma breaks down and Miranda comforts her.

Overall I felt this was a solid episode, especially with further exploration into Alexa’s past, this time focusing on her personal instead of her professional past. I also enjoyed the minor subplot of George dating around. However I felt Gemma was a lot too obvious a perp as she constantly inserted herself in the case.

 

Stray Observations:

-The date on the video and of Alexa’s car crash at school was 1 May 1985.

-The song at the beginning of the episode, “Counting the Beat” by The Swingers, was also used in Episode 3 by Alexa to aggravate her neighbour, Dawn.

 

 

My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 6 (Another Bloody Podcast)

This episode hits the trifecta of life events with the birth of a baby, an outrageous moment at a wedding reception and of course, death in the case of the week.

The episode kicks off with Alexa struggling to sleep and dealing with her insomnia by making bread, gaming and eventually listening to an anonymous podcast on an unsolved murder case. Kieran gives her the details of the case—Zac Morgan, he was his brother’s best man when his boyfriend showed up drunk and uninvited at the wedding reception, outing Zac to his whole family. Zac’s neighbour heard them arguing, and eventually found Zac dead, due to blunt force trauma on his head, with a red mark on his forehead.

Alexa asks Madison to track the podcaster. She then goes to speak with Zac’s brother, Sam, at the café. Sam begged him to come out to their family and thinks that his boyfriend, Tony Riles, killed him. While Alexa is in the process of tracking down the podcaster, she also finds that Tony went on a dating site and was talking to a man named Andre, which makes it look like Tony was cheating on Zac. Alexa goes to see Tony, and he denies killing him and says that they loved each other, and Zac proposed.

While Alexa goes to see her doctor to get sleeping pills for her insomnia, another episode of the podcast is uploaded and she listens to it, and realises the podcaster was at the wedding. She then goes to see Sam’s wife, Cara, who’s pregnant. Cara shows Alexa the footage of the wedding reception, which shows Sam’s cousin, Gilbert, force Tony out of there.  Meanwhile Madison discovers that Andre doesn’t exist and Tony was catfished.

Alexa listens to the podcast again and realises who the podcaster is, and asks Madison about voice recognition software. Alexa goes back to see Cara and tells her she knows she is the podcaster, as she was the only person who would have known exactly how many people were there, which included two late additions. Cara was able to manipulate her voice electronically as she is a software engineer, she also tells Alexa that Sam was catfishing Tony, in an effort to prove to Zac that Tony wasn’t good for him.

Later when Alexa goes to see Cara again, her waters break and she takes her to the hospital. While Alexa is with her, Madison texts her and reveals Sam’s wedding ring had the same logo in Zac’s head wound, and that Sam melted the lost wedding rings down. When Sam arrives after his son is born, Alexa tells him she knows he killed Zac. He asks her not to talk about it now and Alexa waits for him outside Cara’s room.

After having a moment with Cara and their son, Sam comes out, and Alexa reveals to the viewers that Sam went to Zac’s house to get the rings. Sam told Zac about what he did to Tony, but instead of being happy about it, Zac was furious and punched Sam. Sam returned the punch, which led to Zac hitting his head on the pavement. Sam saw Zac was badly hurt, but then thought he was fine when Zac got up and walked away, not knowing that Zac collapsed and died moments after he walked away. Sam breaks down and the police arrest him.

The episode ends with Alexa once again dealing with her insomnia by gaming.

Overall this was a solid episode, especially as it was the first case of the week that was an accidental death/manslaughter and not murder. I also enjoyed the running gag of Alexa’s insomnia and Madison’s cakes.

It will be interesting to see if there will be any more accidental deaths in the remaining episodes.

 

Stray Observations:

Love Child alumni Ryan Corr and Andy Ryan appeared in this episode.

-When Alexa called Madison, despite her trying to lie, Alexa figured out straight away Madison was at the beach instead of work.

-Kieran’s children, Mike and Dom, appear on screen for the first time. It’s also revealed that Kieran’s wife’s name is Pippa and they are clearly struggling with their marriage as Kieran is in the middle of a phone session with a marriage counsellor when Alexa calls, Madison notices Kieran isn’t wearing his wedding ring anymore, and they have separated.

-Madison was eating delicious cakes that she loved so much that she sent some to Alexa, who also ended up loving them.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Can you get us there alive?” “Yeah, I use to do pursuits!” (Cara-Alexa when Cara’s waters break and Alexa is about to drive her to the hospital)

 

My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 5 (Feet of Clay)

This episode explores PR, social media and image.

The episode kicks off with Alexa stepping in front of bus for an unknown reason and then goes back a few days. Alexa is trying to do yoga in the park and is horrified to see Kieran watching her in amusement. Kieran gives her the case of the week—Christina Cortez, 22 years old, assistant at a PR company, hit by a drunk driver a year ago. Although the drunk driver, Joanne Argus, swears Christina was pushed in front of her car before she ran over her, and Christina also received an anonymous Snapchat message minutes before her death that was traced back to her work.

Alexa goes to the murder site where she finds a tribute to Christina and her mother laying flowers there. Alexa talks to Mrs. Cortez and points out that Christina had mud on her shoes and wasn’t holding her keys in her hand as a weapon when she was outside, indicating she was meeting someone she knew.

Alexa goes to Christina’s work to talk to her boss, Morgana Finch. She first talks to Zoe, who started working for Morgana after she left school and was at reception when Christina started working there, and now she works directly for Morgana. Alexa then chats to Morgana who is a little dismissive and clearly rattled by Alexa’s questions. Zoe than takes Alexa to Christina’s work locker and gives her, her possessions. According to Zoe, Christina and Morgana didn’t get along and Christina’s emotions were up-and-down.

Alexa explores a theory that Christina was having an affair with Morgana’s now ex-husband, Jackson Netto, as their marriage broke down shortly after Christina died. After Alexa goes to see him to ask questions, she goes to see Morgana and discovers that Jackson called her and told her about Alexa. Morgana “asks nicely” for Alexa to leave things alone.

Later Madison calls Alexa, telling her that she managed to hack into Morgana’s and Christina’s calendars and found that they shared a pattern of appointments over a two month period with an unnamed client. Alexa releases that Morgana was undergoing IVF treatments and Christina was donating her eggs to her. Alexa then thinks that Christina may have changed her mind, she also finds that Jackson’s car, which is the same as Joanne’s, had been repaired shortly after Christina died.

Alexa then goes to see Joanne Argus, who is now making and serving food to the less fortunate. Alexa asks her questions about that night and her statement, however she says she doesn’t remember.  Madison then finds that Christina was reimbursed for a medical appointment and Alexa finds a religious charm baring the patron of cancer patients on it, and realises Christina found out she had cancer before she died.

The episode then takes us back to the moment where Alexa stands in front of the bus, she moves out of the way and looks at her watch. She asks Madison to look into the bus routes of that area, and Madison reveals that the bus was late that night as there was traffic congestion due to a footy game. Alexa then goes to see Morgana at the fertility clinic and apologises to her. Morgana breaks down due to all the hormones she’s taking and Alexa tells her that she knows she didn’t kill her, and didn’t mean to set the chain of events into motion but she’s going to help and needs her phone.

Alexa uses Morgana’s phone to impersonate her and send a message to Zoe. Zoe meets with her and Alexa explains to the viewers that Zoe lured Christina into the street with the Snapchat message and they fought. Zoe was jealous of Christina and wanted her job and planned to push her in front of the bus, however as the bus was late, she had to improvise and pushed her in front of Joanne’s car. Alexa also brings up that Christina’s shoes were caked with the mud they were standing on, which would mean Zoe’s would be too. Zoe leaves and rushes back to her work locker to get her shoes but can’t find them. Alexa meets her back there to tell her the police already have her shoes. Alexa also tells her it was a waste as Christina had quit and had she waited a few more days, the job would have been hers anyway.

Meanwhile throughout the episode, Alexa’s stray cat has been hiding under the couch for reasons that don’t end up being specified, which made a great running gag. The episode ends with Alexa anonymously donating bread to Joanne’s food drive and the cat coming out of hiding when it smells Alexa’s and Kieran’s fish and chips dinner.

Overall this was a solid episode with a compelling case of the week and a good running gag. In terms of whom the murderer turned out to be, I felt Zoe was an obvious candidate, but not the most obvious.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “In the future all people are going to want are 15 minutes of privacy.” (Alexa to Madison)
  • “He’s in hiding, he’s offended by my offer of Home Brand tuna. He’s protesting.” (Alexa to Madison on the cat hiding under the couch)
  • “Bless you.” “Get a dog!” (Alexa-Madison when Madison sneezes due to her cat allergy)
  • “Journo are you?” “More like a professional sticky beak.” (Jackson-Alexa)

 

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)

 

My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 3 (Lividity in Lycra)

This episode has Alexa investigating CEOs who love to ride around town on their bikes.

The episode starts with Roger Simms (Don Hany) is receiving the award of MBM Entrepreneur of the Year at the Palais Theatre and dedicates the award to his colleague, Hugh Miller. The episode then moves forward two weeks later where Alexa goes to George’s café to deliver her sourdough bread, only to find out from George that it’s not selling. On her way she sees a group of cyclists at the café, she encounters one of them, Dan, when he returns slices of her toasted bread, claiming not to like it even though he didn’t try it. They have a flirtatious argument, giving her his business card as he walks out.

Kieran then drops by the café as Alexa forgot to meet him and gives her the case of the week. Hugh Miller was found dead on the side of the road while cycling with his colleagues, which include his boss, Roger. He had a heart attack, which lead to blunt force trauma on the back of his head.

Alexa goes to Roger’s bar to talk to him and asks to join his cycling group. When she goes cycling with them, she notices flowers at the murder site and starts chatting to one of the guys, Iman Abarh. Roger bought his new property from Iman’s company.

While they are out, talking about Lycra and other bike attire, Roger takes Alexa to his new property, which he apparently bought for the garden. It is there he reveals that he investigated Alexa. She later questions why he would buy a property for its garden only to rip out the flowers. Kieran then tells her that Roger called the DPP to ask why Alexa was snooping around, and that Iman is missing.

Alexa later visits the cycling site again to find a water bottle in a tree. Once she sees it, Alexa asks Madison to call Roger at 10am the next morning to tell him that the toxicology report showed traces of Monk’s Hood in his system and ask how he could have come into contact with it. We then see Roger trying to find the bottle only for Alexa to confront him, revealing to the viewer that he and Iman were trying to profit from the property sale and Hugh figured it out. He then put Monks Hood in the water bottle and gave it to Hugh so he would have a heart attack, and then smashed his head on the rock to finish the job. Alexa then asks him if he was looking for the water bottle, which she’s holding her in hand, and tells him that she bets him a new pair of cycling socks (which are apparently $60) that Monk’s Hood will be found on the inside and his fingerprints on the outside. He is then arrested for Hugh’s murder and Alexa reveals Iman is on a plane to Malaysia.

The episode ends with Dan coming over to see his Alexa with his Lycra.

Overall I found the case of the week to be a little predictable, however it redeemed itself by having Alexa and Madison use unique methods to investigate, such as the use of the cycling app. The episode also had some great comedic moments, such as the relationship between Alexa and George, her interactions with her lawyer neighbour, Dawn, and Madison attending Alexa’s strata meeting on her behalf. I’m hoping to see more moments like this throughout the series.

 

Stray Observations:

-Kieran has two children aged 6 and 8.

-Madison knew Alexa’s husband, Gary.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “I see you’re serving yourself now?” “You weren’t here what I supposed to do?” “Wait…I was only gone 30 seconds.” (George-Alexa-George on Alexa serving herself in the café)
  • “Don’t bullshit a bullshitter!” (Kieran to Alexa)
  • “We’re going to have to establish some boundaries.” “You’re an insomniac, normal rules don’t apply.” (Alexa-Madison)
  • “Am I the queen of data or what?” (Madison to Alexa)
  • “You need to stop being so defensive about your bread!” “Not defensive, perfectionist.” “Uh, obsessive actually.” (George-Alexa going back and forth)

 

My Life Is Murder—Season 1, Episode 2 (The Locked Room)

Now that the pilot has established the premise and characters of the show, the fun can really begin. This episode not only has a case of the week but also has the series start delving into Alexa’s past as a cop.

The episode kicks off five years earlier, with Alexa undercover at a bar. Alexa makes a deal with Nikki Malone (Danielle Cormack), which involves Alexa getting a briefcase filled with cocaine, only for the police to bust in. Alexa tries to maintain her cover, only for Nikki’s henchman to slash her in the shoulder with a knife. Kieran tends to her, while Alexa watches Nikki get arrested.

The episode cuts to the present day with Alexa having a check-up and her doctor’s shock at her shoulder x-ray showing a part of the knife lodged in her shoulder. Her doctor recommends that she have it removed, as well as being more active and eating healthier, however Alexa refuses to have the knife bit removed as it’s her “good luck charm”.

She then goes to see Kieran and he gives her the option of three murder cases to investigate: the first is an outlaw bikie that has been dismembered and put in Ziplock bags, the second are the remains of an unidentified woman left in bushland for months after being shot in the head, and the third is a man, Alan Gillespie, shot dead in a motel room locked from the inside, and the DNA of a red-headed woman by his body. Alexa chooses the third case and takes Madison to the hotel room with her to investigate.

The first theory that Alexa and Madison think of is that Alan was having an affair. When Alexa talks to his wife, Carmel, she dismisses Alexa’s accusation and even shows her an unusual painting that a homeless man gave Alan, which he referred to as “The Spirit”. Later, when Alexa and Madison are back at the former’s apartment investigating Alan’s finances, Alexa finds payments he made to Nikki Malone and it’s in this moment she realises her past has come back to somewhat haunt her.

Alexa goes to see Nikki at her new club and catch up. It’s revealed that Nikki went clean after her husband died and she is an investor in Seraphim Manufacturing where Alan worked. It’s cleared that Nikki has grown a little but hasn’t completed changed. When her daughter, Cass, walks in and takes off her hat to reveal her red hair, Nikki is clearly trying to signal her to leave.

Later when Cass is on her way to a rehearsal, Alexa tries to ask her questions. Alexa is clearly giving scripted answers and not being truthful. After Cass leaves, Alexa breaks into her car to steal her lip gloss to see if her DNA matches the DNA found at the crime scene. It doesn’t, which blows Alexa’s theory of Cass having an affair with Alan.

Throughout the episode, Cass tells Nikki about her interaction with Alexa and asks her questions about Alan and her past, which reveals that Nikki is simultaneously not living completely clean but neither proves Nikki’s guilt of the murder. Also, Alexa buys a chain lock and install it on her door to try and figure out how the hotel room was locked from the inside, and locks herself outside in the process. When she gets back inside, she watches a promotional video on Seraphim Manufacturing and discovers a red-headed female employee in the video who is wearing the same hairclip as the red-headed woman found in the bushes that Kieran told her about.

The employee is revealed to be Rachel Isaacs, who quit after Alan’s death. When Madison manages to hack their email accounts, she finds that Rachel and Alan were talking in code, which leads to Alexa finding a USB in The Spirit painting. The USB contains files revealing the airbags in Seraphim cars were dodgy. On her way back, Nikki’s security guard, Anton, tries to run over Alexa at Nikki’s request.

Alexa goes for one last inspection of the motel room and the wallpaper catches her eye and she asks the manager to see the adjacent room. The room has wallpaper on the same side, she notices something and licks it. She looks down and finds an object, however what she’s found—both on the wallpaper and the floor is not revealed to the viewer.

Alexa returns to Nikki’s house to confront her. Alexa tells the viewer by confronting Nikki that she killed Alan over the botched investment by shooting him through the adjoining hotel room wall and put plugs in the wall to hide the holes, however she had to put toothpaste over the wall in the room she was in to cover up the plug as the colours of both didn’t match. Her mistake was leaving the guitar pic she used to put the toothpaste on behind in the room, which had her DNA on it, and she is arrested in front of Cass.

The episode ends with Alexa back at her doctors, with her blood pressure improved and still refusing to remove the knife bit in her shoulder.

Overall this was a solid episode as there were many twists and turns. For one thing, I was wrong on many fronts. I at first thought Cass was having an affair with Alan or he raped her, but they fact had nothing to do with each other. I then thought the hotel manager may have been responsible, but he wasn’t and was quite helpful. I didn’t initially think Nikki was guilty as she was too obvious a suspect, however how she committed the murder was very unique, which I enjoyed. I also enjoyed the character development with Alexa and hope to eventually see more of it.

 

Stray Observations:

-Madison’s weekend plans involved orienteering and going to an Ed Sheeran concert.

-Alexa has no qualms taking the milk out of the cat’s bowl and using it for her own cereal when she’s run out of milk.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “Paleo-caffeine diet, it’s what the cavemen lived on when they discovered coffee.” (Alexa to her doctor on her eating habits)
  • “It’s like playing Twister after having too many wines.” (Madison to Alexa on playing dead)
  • “Ed Sheeran looks like someone’s grandfather!” (Alexa to Madison)
  • “He’s like Jamie Oliver with sleeve tattoos!” (Alexa describing Ed Sheeran to Kieran)
  • “Please go back to caffeine, for all of our sakes.” (George to Alexa on her mood and her choice of green smoothie)

 

My Life Is Murder—Pilot (The Boyfriend Experience)

The job of the pilot is to establish a show’s premise and characters. I feel this pilot did a fantastic job.

The episode kicks off with Alexa Crowe (Lucy Lawless) on the phone to an escort, while looking at his website, and asking him to help her fix her bread maker.

The episode goes back one day earlier.

After her first attempt to fix her German-made bread maker accompanied by a stray cat that keeps coming into her home, Alexa meets up with Detective Inspector Kieran Hussey (Bernard Curry) for coffee. He gives her the case file of Jennifer Chi, a woman who fell from an apartment building in Parklands. While there’s no evidence of foul play, Kieran asks her to look into it, especially as the apartment belonged to a male escort, Dylan Giroux. Alexa initially refuses, as she has retired, but is drawn in by Jennifer’s love of Crowded House, which they apparently have in common.

Kieran has Alexa work with data analyst, Madison (Ebony Vagulans), a young woman with bold outfits, an obsession with finding a Schmilford vacuum cleaner, and admiration for Alexa. The episode goes back to the phone call Alexa was on at the beginning of the episode.

Alexa ends up meeting Dylan and finds out how he became an escort, and later goes to his apartment building. She tries to pry without drawing too much suspicion and leaves, noticing the security camera pointed above Dylan’s door. Alexa goes downstairs and meets Robert, the building manager, who is reluctant to let Alexa see the security footage, when she asks him about it under the guise of wanting to buy an apartment in the building.

Alexa finds out that Robert is, in her words, “a convicted sex pest”, and she also believes that Dylan is from Perth not Melbourne. Kieran later tells her that Jennifer gave Dylan $40,000. He asks Alexa about Dylan, and she lies to him, although Kieran knows better, as he stays outside of Alexa’s flat in his car and sees Dylan arrive.

Alexa asks Dylan about the money and he tells her that he ended up becoming friends with Jennifer and that she gave him the money so he could start his own agency, in which she would be a silent partner. Alexa later finds out from Madison that the money and what it was for was legitimate. After Alexa gets off the phone to Madison, she finds Dylan in her bedroom, having made herself comfortable and notices one of her drawers open. Dylan admits to going through her drawers and knows she is a former cop, something he already suspected when she asked him about Jennifer, however he tells her he is up for a good time with her. She asks him to leave.

Later Alexa finds out from Madison that there are no past records of Dylan Giroux. Alexa then asks her to pretend to be her girlfriend, so they can view an available apartment to find out exactly how good the security is. When she asks Robert about the malfunctioning light on the balcony, Alexa realises that Robert isn’t Jennifer’s murderer due to his obvious fear of heights that stopped him from going out to the balcony. Alexa goes to the parking lot and discovers that the security cameras are clearly there for show and makes a deal with Robert to put in working cameras.

She then breaks into Dylan’s apartment and in the process finds out he was from Perth and finds out his real name is David Gazzara and his girlfriend in Perth, Nadia Tate, was killed the same way as Jennifer, and he was the only witness. While she is investigating, Madison is trying to go a charity event Dylan is meant to be at, only to be refused entry and she tells Alexa that Dylan didn’t show up. She hears the door open and Dylan walks in to see her. Unlike most scenes written like this, Alexa doesn’t try to hide from him, in fact she confronts him.

She confronts him about Nadia, about him pledging Jennifer’s money to Lillian Kolarov instead of investing it like he promised, and about killing Jennifer. Although he tries to deny it, he attacks Alexa, puts a knife to her throat and takes her down to the parking lot. Although he gets caught as the parking lot now has working cameras.

Overall I felt that this was a solid pilot, perfectly balancing the murder mystery with comedic moments. In terms of what kind of crime or murder mystery show it is, I found Alexa’s methods, especially her confrontation of Dylan/David to be reminiscent of Columbo. Australian crime and murder mystery shows are generally not as action-packed or gory as American shows, they are generally more of a slow burn and pieces of the puzzles are revealed over a long period of time. This show does stay away from the gore, but the Columbo-based elements are a breath of fresh air.

I’m looking forward to reviewing the rest of the season.

 

Stray Observations:

-The reason why Madison was looking specifically for a Schmilford vacuum is revealed at the end of the episode. She and her grandfather use to wash his car together, using a Schmilford to vacuum the inside.

 

Best one liners and interactions:

  • “She liked margaritas, Crowded House and watching Roger Federer.” (Kieran to Alexa on Jennifer)
  • “To the living we owe respect, to the dead we owe the truth.” (Kieran to Jennifer)
  • “It’s the Rolls Royce of portable vacuum cleaners.” (Madison to Alexa on the Schmilford vacuum cleaner)
  • “Allergic to compliments.” (Alexa to Dylan when he is describing her qualities)
  • “If you ever call me ‘poochie’ again, I quit!” (Madison to Alexa when they are pretending to be a couple in front of Robert)