If you would like to read my review of last episodes, click here.
Synopsis: Josh and his team continue to find themselves at literal dead ends in their casework until they unearth game changing evidence with the help of Jesse Ray Beaumont. Meanwhile, in court, Carol Anne tries to finish the case before she has the baby. (1) As Jesse Ray Beaumont’s trial begins, the team struggles to keep him under control while they discover more of Lavinia’s secrets. Now that the baby is born and awaiting the DA election results, Carol Anne discovers who is the baby’s father. (2) (Rotten Tomatoes)
Writer: Jeff Astrof (1&2)
Director: Jeffrey Blitz (1&2)
Running Time: 44mins (2x22mins)
Airs: Thursdays at 9:00 pm on CTV (Canada)/NBC (United States)
“A Big Break” starts off with Josh recapping how Lavinia’s passport was forged because Mickey Moose didn’t see his breath and therefore there was no Saturday that month on the day she supposedly left for Barcelona. The town of East Peck sounds fun right? Carol Anne Keane has been given the go ahead to continue in the case so long as she doesn’t overexert herself. At the courtroom, Carol struggles to get around, but submits some photo evidence that suggests Jesse Ray used his rope belt to strangle Chet. Thankfully, Josh isn’t too worried as he has his star witness Forge Clooney. The only problem is that when Anne and Dwayne go to pick him up, Forge is frozen in his ice-cream freezer.
At the office, Dwayne suggests a freezer locked from the outside is obviously suicide while Anne startles Josh with her latest condition. Dwayne receives a text which causes him to fall into hysteria. He turns on the TV to learn that Mickey Moose was found dead. The town has a state funeral for Mickey Moose filled with a procession, speech and a song from Lavinia. That is after she explains in excruciating detail who she killed Forge Clooney (Jim Shield).
With the day of mourning, Carol uses it to receive acupuncture to try to make it through the case. The team tries to come up with some new way to free Jesse Ray, but are distracted by Mickey Moose’s body being brought to the taxidermist’s office. Jesse Ray talks about Chet’s affinity for pain and tattoos and that if anyone knows anything it’s Reverend Tats the tattoo artist in town.
Reverend Tats (Bill Pozzobon) will only talk to customers so Dwayne gets his initials DNR tattooed on him so that EMS can identify him. Tats shows them a picture of an usual number tattoo that Chet received that just so happens to show he had the rope marks around his neck while still alive proving that was not the cause of death. As they receive this news, Lavinia arrives, quickly sees them and runs away.
Josh questions how Lavinia has known their every move prompting Dwayne to realize that they have a mole. Dwayne starts to question everyone in the room, including the camera crew, but after turning the lights out his tie clip starts flashing showing that he was the mole. Dwayne decides to make it up to the team by trying to figure out what could have caused the marks on Chet’s neck. His first theory: autoerotic asphyxiation and he plans to test out the theory firsthand. What is this show?
Carol questions the medical examiner, Bucky Senior Sr, who speaks in the unintelligible Peck dialect, about if the rope marks were consistent with strangulation. Jesse Ray suggests the tattoo Chet got may be GPS coordinates. An ecstatic Josh peers over Lavinia in court before glancing at Nina who takes the look as a boyfriend look and decides it’s time to go all in. Because who doesn’t want a man who irons. As Carol tries to continue her questioning, her voice deepens and her water breaks, but she refuses to leave. Josh forces her out of the courtroom making Nina question her previous decision.
At the vet clinic, Josh and Carol await the birth of the baby while Dwayne discovers that the coordinates are for Lavinia’s hedge maze. Lavinia sits down with Nina at the courthouse to give her side of the story. Dwayne and Anne arrive at the coordinates and start digging, praying it isn’t another Reed. The episode ends as they open a metal box filled with large gold bars.
“Barcelona” starts off with Josh discussing the discovery of the gold and trying to use it as Lavinia’s motive for killing her brother. Anne and Dwayne start to panic about the case and all the murders including the recent death of Reverend Tats. Lavinia, deemed the most trustworthy person in East Peck, pins the murder on Jesse Ray. Suddenly she arrives at the office, despite the newscast being “alive” to retrieve the box of gold. She wants whatever else was in the box and after a stare down with Josh she leaves on her trusty Reed.
Carol introduces us to the newest Keane, her daughter Princess Anne Keane. Nina comes to Josh and explains she wants to leave because now four people and a moose have died surrounding this case and she doesn’t want to be next. Nina and Josh have an awkward exchange about his one love: she calls it the town, but he assumes she meant Carol. They visit Jesse Ray who reveals that there was another suspect who was arrested before him. At the police station, Josh and Dwayne retrieve the redacted file, which Dwayne is able to unredact by removing it from a plastic sleeve that had lines drawn over it.
They bring in Andy “Handy Wojo” Wojohinski for questioning as his hair was found at the crime scene, but he reveals that he donated some of his hair to none other than Lavinia Peck-Foster. Josh brings the news to Carol saying that Atticus avoided it because he was endorsed by the Pecks for DA, but Carol distracts Josh by handing him Princess. Dwayne swears to protect Andy if he agrees to testify and proves that East Peck is safe by revealing a man in witness protection wanted by the mob lives in town.
During the defense’s day in court, Dwayne is unable to bring in Andy as he used the information Dwayne gave him to give up the man in witness protection for mob money. Judge Kamiltow decides Josh only has one more day for his case or this trial is done. Carol Anne Keane pulls Josh aside to tell him that the paternity test came back and that Mayor Hiss is the father. Anne and Dwayne discover that the box had a false bottom with a stack of letters from Trig.
At the courtroom, Josh calls Lavinia to the stand and coerces her to testify in front of her fans. He reveals that she went to Barcelona to try to find her long lost son. He gives her the letters and she explains in detail how she could have killed Chet. However, Josh says it was not her, but says Trig did it and brings him into the court to arrest him. A heartbroken Lavinia admits she killed her brother and all those people to save her son, but Judge Kamiltow tells her that’s still a crime. Lavinia thanks her fans and bursts out into song in front of the courtroom before being arrested and taken away.
Josh is ecstatic for his win and so is the town; they even give him the combination to the city again. He visits Lavinia at the prison who questions if that was really Trig and Josh reveals in excruciating detail his plan to use a fake Trig to coerce Lavinia into pleading guilty to save her son. Dwayne introduces us to the fake Trig, his brother-cousin Wayne Shelby. Before Josh leaves, Lavinia warms him that the Pecks were the last line of defense for the witches and that they will return.
That evening is a historic night for East Peck as women have won the right to be flag boys and the DA election results come in with Carol Anne Keane winning with 24%. They plan to celebrate as Josh and Carol continue their flirtatious banter and head out the door. The office receives a phone call about their next case: the East Peck Three who were imprisoned during the Witch Trials of 1994. The episode ends as the guards check on Lavinia’s cell, but she’s gone missing as it’s revealed that her butler helped her escape to Barcelona in disguise.
New Conditions for Anne:
- Jumping Frenchmen of Maine – causes you to jump high when startled
- Localized spontaneous human combustion – triggered by Rum
- Hyperacusis – dog-level hearing when she has an ear infection
- Saint Vitus’ dance – involuntarily raise hand
- Alice in Wonderland Syndrome – size distortions that make things appear larger/smaller
- Blepharospasm – Abnormal contraction of eyelid muscles
- Dysmemia – Anxiety that causes an inability to correctly use hand gestures
These were a great set of episodes to end the season. The story continued on its unpredictable path with enough intrigue and thrills in the murder mystery that complimented the insane, hilarious antics of the town’s history and characters. The characters and by extension the cast continued to impress as the story ended on a satisfying conclusion. The cliffhanger plays directly into the show’s world building which accents the uniqueness of this sitcom and how anything can happen in the town of East Peck.
A Big Break: 9/10
What did you think of these episodes? Did you predict the end to this murder mystery? Let me know in the comments below!