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

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Grand Jonathan Creek Watchathon - "The Problem at Gallows Gate" (Part 1)

Have been somewhat busy this weekend so only got around to watching this one this morning - hopefully this recap will not be as insanely long as the last episode, for the most part because the action is dragged out over two episodes - and also because much of the decent J/M stuff is in part 2.

You may be pleased to note (or possibly not?) that I only have six screencaps for this episode - but I've made up for that in part two. :P

Series 2, episode 4 - "The Problem at Gallows Gate"

This episode is something of a slow burn due to the fact that the mystery - another "hermetically sealed thingummy", to use Maddy's wording - is slowly unravelled over the course of two episodes. It opens at a very swanky birthday party for someone called Duncan Procter, who lives in a ridiculously oversized "bachelor pad" which we assume he inherited from his parents (who are both buried in the family plot in the back garden - a bit Addams-esque), and has very posh friends who get away with having names like Neville and Dahlia.

Said party is being attended by two friends - Fecility Vale and Claire Sallinger. Felicity is a cartoonist and has drawn a caricature of Duncan, which he claims to love presumably in an attempt to prove how much he likes her, even though it's not exactly flattering. It all comes to nothing, however, as Felicity is later found in bed with Neville, much to the dismay of Duncan, who immediately throws himself off the second floor balcony.

Elsewhere in the universe, Adam is "on the road" at an old people's home, impressing the residents and their families with close-up magic; Jonathan is with him presumably so he doesn't mess it up, once again proving my theory that Adam is actually a rubbish magician. Whilst Adam is on a charm offensive with the little old ladies, Jonathan gives Maddy a ring to (I'm not kidding) ask her on a date. Or rather to clarify that she did in fact receive his message about it, which he left with "some bloke" who answered her phone. The bloke turns out to have been a very accommodating burglar who was turning over Maddy's house at the time.

Two things to mention at this point. One, Adam has four tickets to a jazz concert by famed, blind jazz trumpeter, Hewie Harper. Two of those tickets are for Adam and his current long-term girlfriend, Petra (played by Amanda Holden). The other two are for Jonathan and whoever he wants to bring along in the capacity of a date, which obviously is going to be Maddy. Perhaps it's a little attempt at match-making from Adam; he could just have easily have procured three tickets rather than four. Two, despite ringing up Maddy's and the phone being answered by a man, Jonathan perseveres nonetheless rather than just immediately giving up.

Jonathan is appropriately contrite about Maddy's place being burgled, and she agrees to meet him at the concert, despite the fact she doesn't even like jazz. This is only the first example in this episode of Maddy tagging along to things she isn't particularly interested in, just to spend time with Jonathan. :)

Meanwhile, one of the elderly residents wants to show Adam a "little trick" he's been rehearsing all day - in typical Renwick fashion, it transpires to be a complex escapology routine involving being chained inside a straight jacket, upside down, over a blazing fire.

Adam subsequently lets Jonathan in on a secret, namely that Hewie Harper is actually no longer blind. Jonathan's mind is appropriately boggled. The reason for buying the tickets is because Adam is hoping for Hewie to appear on their next TV special.

Back at Adam's, it transpires Petra is feeling under the weather. Jonathan turns amateur doctor and begins diagnosing her with scarlet fever, tonsilitis, mumps... then Adam tells her not to listen because he's a hypochondriac. Which is actually a relief because I always manage to forget that scene and am convinced that the fandom just assumes Jonathan is a hypochondriac without it ever being stated. (Though frankly, I don't think it needed to be stated. :P) We also get to see Adam's pet tiger again. :D

Petra reveals that Adam's sister, Kitty, has arrived from Dumfries. Wherein we learn that Adam's real name is Chester and he is more than likely not actually American, which explains the terrible accent. (The worst thing? Stuart Milligan is actually American.) Kitty declares Petra too unwell to leave the house, which conveniently means she will have to accompany Adam to the concert.

After the concert Adam introduces Hewie to Maddy and Kitty (cue a disbelieving / borderline jealous expression from Jonathan as Hewie [who is, we remember, not blind] feels his way around Maddy) and they all head off for Indian food, which is fine by Kitty as long as it's not Chinese, which gives her the burps. :D Later on, Jonathan and Maddy disembark from a cab, discussing the fact that Hewie isn't blind. Maddy seems more concerned about the fact he was trying to feel up a waitress than anything else. It transpires they're both going back to hers.

The front door is not locked; Jonathan notes Maddy's "interesting security system", thus:

The grammar of that really bugs me; I like to think it bugs Jonathan, too.

Before even turning on the lights, Maddy immediately sets up the sofabed for Jonathan, who is less than impressed by her lack of subtlety. Despite the apparent progress earlier, it seems they're still not quite on the same page in this relationship. I presume they're both inherently worried about putting a foot wrong, but Maddy's approach is still a little heavy-handed. She reasons that she assumed he'd be tired; then he turns on the light and surveys the chaos left in the wake of the burglary with a shell-shocked expression. (Maddy, amusingly, notes it's taken her all day to "straighten up" - I'm guessing she has the same problem I do when trying to tidy up of uncovering previously-forgotten books / magazines / scribblings and becoming distracted by reading them...)

She admits that having Jonathan around is a relief even though he'd be useless if anyone did break in again - which is a bit ironic considering her comments much later, in part two - and wants him to stay over for a few nights. He does agree - which is lovely, in a "being a good friend" sort of way - but tells her that tomorrow isn't going to be possible because of his badger watch.

Herein lies the reason badgers are the fandom's official animal. :P And why this two-parter is still referred to by me and Eni as "the Badger Episode".

Maddy mocks Jonathan's badger watch despite being curious about it; he invites her along but then acknowledges that it requires her to be quiet for an extended period of time, wherein Maddy typically puts words into his mouth - though in fairness he doesn't actually correct her. ;)

Meanwhile, Felicity returns home to find Neville's new Japanese girlfriend (Kiko) at her house, who has seemingly come with the dual purposes of a peace offering and to gloat. Felicity then cuts off half her hair with a pair of scissors.

Hewie takes a visit to Adam's house and feels his way around Petra - Adam is decidedly less subtle than Jonathan in his reaction, which is a bit rich considering his usual approach to women - and then runs in on Kitty trying to get an all-over tan on Adam's sunbed (at which point he probably wishes he was still blind). Jonathan is demonstrating, via scale model, the illusion Adam will be performing - Hewie sitting in a jaguar and disappearing. I am always a little disappointed when Jonathan's apparently amazing illusions are just... standard, literal smoke and mirrors. I think I build his talents up in my head to be much more impressive...

Anyway, Kitty's plans for the evening (to visit her cousin) get cancelled so Adam orders Jonathan to take her with him on the badger watch. Maddy opts to tag along as well (presumably also because she's the only one with a car), though Kitty seems to understand the proceedings somewhat more (Maddy brings a camera with a flash).

Halfway through the badger watch Maddy nods off. I can't help but wonder how this excursion might have turned out if Kitty wasn't there, really - they're huddled in a cold shelter all night, after all... Anyway, Kitty needs the loo so Jonathan whispers some instructions and she heads off, whereupon she witnesses Felicity being strangled through the kitchen window. Kitty runs back to the badger shelter and makes an almighty racket, so obviously Jonathan and Maddy go off to investigate...

Maddy, on the scent of a story, is all for investigating things; Jonathan just wants to get back to his badgers, apparently. There's a lovely moment when Maddy asks if Jonathan can pick the lock on the front door using a hairpin, assuming he carries his lock-picking stuff around with him wherever he goes (a nice callback to "Jack in the Box"). When that fails she merely breaks the window instead. Jonathan refuses to go inside with her (very wise), at least until he hears her screaming and runs in to rescue her, despite not having a clue what he's going to do to help.

Kitty: What are you going to do?!
Jonathan: [halfway through the window] God only knows.

Inside the cottage, Maddy has made the rather grisly discovery of Felicity, dead in the bathtub - still warm, and with finger marks on her neck. Given what we learned last episode - about Maddy being the one to find her own mother's body post-suicide - I think they really missed a trick here. Her reaction is about as we'd expect - her surprised shriek brings Jonathan running, but after that she adopts an immediately professional facade, despite being squicked by the discovery. I just think it would have been nice to have some acknowledgement of the previous episode - maybe Jonathan asking if she was okay, in that knowing way that he has sometimes... but as ever, I expect too much of a show that has no concept of its own canon.

I'm just going to pretend that's what's happening in these caps...

They do a bit of poking around and discover a pipe (as in the kind one would smoke) beneath the basin, a few perfectly decent stockings thrown in the waste basket, and both the front and back doors firmly locked from the inside. Maddy expects Jonathan to figure it out within about three seconds, of course, but he's actually stumped.

Maddy calls the police from the cottage, who turn up a few minutes later, resulting in her having to explain herself about the broken window. (You would think she'd know better by now...)

The episode ends, not with a reveal, but a cliffhanger: Kitty positively identifies Felicity's killer as the late-lamented Duncan Procter...

So, yeah. This one is very light on 'caps simply because Jonathan and Maddy don't have that much interaction - there were other scenes of them together but I had real difficulty in trying to get decent pics. Fear not, however - the next episode has one of my favourite opening sequences EVER, plus a little glimpse at what cohabiting life would be like for them, and it's awesome. :D
Tags: fandom: jonathan creek, reviews: television
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