T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh
teylaminh

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Grand Jonathan Creek Watchathon - "The House of Monkeys"

I have been looking forward to this one for AGES. :D Predictable fangirl is predictable.

Series 1, Episode 5 - "The House of Monkeys"

Elliot Strange, reknowned scientist, dies in mysterious circumstances in his locked, solid-as-a-rock study, impaled with a sword. This grisly discovery is made by his wife Ingrid (played to perfection by Annette Crosbie, who is basically a legend), who just so happens to be a family friend of Jonathan's...

Oh hey, it's a locked-room murder again. :D

At the beginning of this episode we are treated to Jonathan being, well, treated - his semi-regular check-up by Dr Ingrid Strange, a wholly embarassing affair given she knows his mother. Ingrid is gleefully aware of his embarassment, and thus awesome. We learn that Jonathan's mother is called Sally (blink and you miss it, though) and that she is still in contact with both Ingrid and Jonathan quite regularly, and that Jonathan has apparently been keeping his parents updated as to events in his life. More to the point, they know about Maddy, although in what capacity is unclear. Given the propensity of people around Jonathan feeling like they have the right to interfere, it's entirely plausible he might only have mentioned her as a new friend/colleage/acquaintance, only for his mother to fill in the gaps - and subsequently ask Ingrid to do some detective work of her own.

Ingrid suggests that it's been a long time since Jonathan came to see them all - indeed, he asks how the "baby gorilla" is, namely the now fully-grown Samson. That in itself makes me wonder if Jordan Strange was a childhood 'friend' of Jonathan's - inasmuch as they would have been forced to be nice to each other whilst the adults were visiting. ;)

Later, Jonathan is over at Maddy's - we never find out why. He's run up four flights of stairs and is wearing a heart monitor, which will become important later. The best part of this scene for me is this: Maddy keeps her Malteasers in the freezer. Better than that, she has a dedicated Malteaser drawer. Utter genius. This provides for a very amusing juxtaposition...



You know, I'm not even sure they still sell them in bags that size. Sad times.

Oh yeah, I'm also keeping an eye on Maddy's fridge magnets as they change from episode to episode: this week they read "The Trev Murder". Heh.

Jonathan attempts to rectify his near-insult by suggesting they go for a walk. Maddy doesn't look especially keen on that idea but goes along anyway. Then Jonathan power-walks up a hill, picks her lock and lets himself in. :D (I told you she wouldn't be impressed with that skill for long...) Then he gets the phonecall from Ingrid regarding Elliot's murder, effectively forcing him to go and visit her. I wonder if Ingrid asked Maddy along as well, or if she caught wind of the potential mystery and invited herself? Ingrid's motives for inviting him are, of course, two-fold, so it wouldn't surprise me if she did invite Maddy herself...

Next, Jonathan and Maddy scout out the study for clues - just the usual. We observe a conversation between Maddy and Ingrid where the latter starts to set things in motion, playing not-so-subtle mind games on both of them. (It's unfortunate we never get to see the same conversation with Jonathan, as I imagine he might need a LOT more persuasion - in fact, I bet he doesn't fall for it in the slightest but plays along for the sake of argument.) One has to wonder just how long Ingrid has spent studying mating rituals in "higher primates", or if she really thinks they can be applied so easily to human beings with conscious actions. I always say canon shippers are awesome, and you have to give her credit really - if there was nothing to work on in the first place, nothing would have happened. She obviously sees the potential even if they don't. ;)

Jonathan encounters Jordan Strange whilst waiting for Samson to finish in the loo. Jordan is hilarious. He feels the need to assert his authority in the house (because, you know, he spends all his time hanging around with monkeys) by offering up insane theories. His only point of reference for human behaviour is scary films - they are his behavioural keys. He knows he can't compare intellectually with Jonathan (which again supports that idea that they knew each other as children; I imagine Jonathan wouldn't have time for him then either) but feels he has to at least try and communicate on an equal level, even if his theories are complete rubbish.

Quite obviously, I picspammed the next bit to death. :D Suffice it to say this is one of my favourite scenes EVER, not least because it's the shippiest it ever gets (seriously, this is the second and also last time we ever see them kiss - CLEARLY NOT ENOUGH) but also because it's amazing and funny and SO FRUSTRATING. Plus it only gets better the more you watch it, as with everything else in this show.


(Foreshadowing FTW.)


The humour in this scene comes from Maddy batting out theory after theory, Jonathan trying to disagree and her constantly interrupting him. Because yeah, it's utter bollocks and they both know it, and she's just buying for time. It's a familiar ritual (for want of a better word), and I do wonder how long she lay awake in her own room just coming up with those ridiculous theories before going to find him.

At this point I'll just let the caps speak for themselves. :D



Oh, Jonathan, what were you thinking? :(

And of course, she kicks him out of his own bed, which is awesome. Although not for Jonathan, as it transpires.

Thus far, both times, it's been Maddy who makes the first move - whether getting rid of stalkerish blind dates or otherwise. That speaks volumes, to me, about Jonathan's tentative approach to things. He knows Ingrid is interfering and he allows himself to fall for her meddling and mind games, perhaps because it's easier than waiting for nature to run its course - he still has no idea where he stands with Maddy, which is entirely reasonable considering what happened the episode before (with Sheena and the lack of clarity). Letting Ingrid force them together is easier than trying to work out what his next move will be.

I still have no explanation for the heart monitor, though. Possibly, he's just the world's biggest coward...

Anyway, after that, of course, Jonathan falls down the stairs after being chased by a crazed Samson - Maddy immediately comes running to find him and her concern is obvious. (Cue episode tag!) In the next scene when they're in the study, she seems to have softened considerably. These next caps are from one of my other favourite moments from the episode, as he notices the footprints on the bookshelf and she climbs up to have a look.



It's more closeness than they've had before, which in a way is understandable considering what nearly happened - but in that same vein, it's kind of weird because you'd expect there to be awkwardness. She's feeling suitably contrite about kicking him out of his own room, at least. A bit later on, as she's going upstairs to snoop around in Cathy's room, she does something similar again, gently moving Jonathan out of the way (I tried to cap it but it's one of those moments which doesn't work as stills). He asks her where she's going with a slight hint of confusion, which sort of implies they've spent all morning together and she's been overly clingy. Yes, I think I would be too.

A bit later on, after the Big Reveal (I like this one, it's very devious - and terrifying) she calls him a "cocky sod", which is actually quite a lovely moment. There is sarcasm to her tone but also affection. Perhaps Ingrid achieved more than she thought. :)



The last scene is the weirdest series closer EVER, but also brilliant. Maddy is so unsubtle sometimes it hurts, and just when you're wondering how Jonathan can be so confused all the time, she immediately blows up again. Jonathan really does want to communicate with her but she doesn't make it easy...


"Can we start again?"


Bless him, he tries so hard.

I'm really not sure what to think about the next bit - I do theorise in the companion fic to the tags that there's more to it than meets the eye, that he just gets distracted by the clock and wasn't intending to check her heartrate at all, but I think I might be reading too much into it. (No, really?) It is interesting in one respect, though.



Maddy is quite touchy-feely a lot of the time, whereas Jonathan really isn't - that's one of the key things about their interaction which has always stood out to me. He never wants to overstep the mark, whether out of social ineptitude, misreading situations or outright nervousness. So what happens next is such a massive step forward. Maddy is just as aware of the rarity of it, so she's completely off her guard when he decides to be mean instead. :P



Let's just call that revenge for the other night and draw a line under it, shall we? ;)

This episode makes me wish the fandom were bigger and had more writers. I would kill for an alternative ending to this episode - or That Scene, of course - but I'm not brave enough and there aren't enough writers out there. Alas.

PS: Ingrid, I want to know about subliminal bonding rituals!!

Next week we start on series 2 with "Danse Macabre", and at some point during that week I need to collect some series 2 screencaps, because frankly these write-ups take long enough as it is. :) (I really wanted to make an icon for this episode but I'm not suitably inspired. Maybe later...)

Click here for "Danse Macabre"...
Tags: fandom: jonathan creek, ponderings, reviews: television, shippiness
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