Pieces for this week’s a murder – a jazz club, a man who is down on his luck but expecting a pay day – a pay day which apparently involves exposing some other guy who isn’t his biggest fan as some kind of nefarious “business man”.
Or, in other words, this guy walks around with a great big “hey, murder me” sign over his head. In his car a guy with a garrotte is happy to oblige.
Cut to Abe and Henry with Henry complaining about the music you “young people” listen to today and moaning about Abe’s love of jazz. A murder saves Henry from the trauma of 20th century music.
Turns out our down-and-out guy’s car was set on fire after the garrotting. Henry arrives to tell them he was murdered before burned (while Hanson and Jo snark)
Time for a gruesome autopsy and melodramatic voice over as is Forever’s wont. They find that he’s been garrotted with a piano wire and Jo has the victim’s ID – Isaiah. The accelerant used to burn him was cellulose – old film stock. Lucas babbles as Lucas does
They interview his sister, Ella, who alludes to her brother’s money troubles and him being a jazz musician and that he had spoken to their father who Isaiah claimed had given him something that would turn his luck around. So it’s off to see their dad, Pepper Evans, a skilled jazz musician playing saxophone in a train station.
Pepper tells them he gave Isaiah his old recordings (possible cellulose source). He also tells them the club Isaiah probably went to, before returning to busking.
Back to Abe and Henry only because they’re hilarious and Henry playing the grumpy dad to Abe is really well done (especially the dramatic “I failed as a father!” to his son’s taste in music). Abe has one of Pepper Evan’s records.
This calls for a flashback to Henry trying to teach Abe as a child how to play classical music (which he found boring then) and a musician neighbour needing medical attention after hurting his hand – (though his “argument with his old lady” suggests he hurt his hand hitting his wife); he introduces Abe to Jazz.
To the present and the club Isaiah visited where Henry grabs the case Pepper gave Isaiah as well as finding the guitar the murder weapon came from. So time to interrogate the bar tender, Rudy.
In the interrogation room Rudy reveals that Isaiah used to say a jazz legend called Lionel Hubbard stole the sing 6AM from his dad; Lt Reece points out to Henry how vital and legendary that song was. Time of death also clears Rudy. Lt Reece also knows a suspect – Al Rainey who owns a company that has the rights to 6AM – and is known for fleecing musicians (including Reece’s own nephew).
Poor Lucas babbles and is duly ignored.
Off to see Al, (the guy Isaiah argued with in the club) who, naturally, denies killing Isaiah or stealing 6AM. We get a musical interlude and a musical flashback and Henry notices that Al has some burned hair on his arm suggesting he was near a fire.
So time to examine the car and of course Henry is better than the actual arson team and finds a cufflink from the killer. So they bring in Al Rainey and interview him – before his lawyer arrives because ethics don’t apply to Reece and Jo. The lawyer arrives and Reece intends to hold Al for 72 hours for funsies.
So there’s a search and digging through Al’s company’s records which of course Henry is involved in because this pathologist is involved in everything. A brief flashback gives Henry insight for the search that lets him find a hidden reel. Except when they play it they can’t hear anything
Jo interviews Pepper again and he confirms he did write 6AM and was then written out of it but the company – but while there he sees the cufflink they found – he’s visibly disturbed but pretends it’s not important.
To repair the antique tape, Henry relies on Abe’s experience with antiques (do these people have no evidence handling protocols at all?!) Anyway it works and proves that Pepper wrote the song but Jo realises that Pepper saw something in the cufflinks they didn’t. Using the nickname they just heard on the recording they realise the cufflink belonged to Lionel Hubbard, the man wrongly attributed with having written 6AM. Or, rather, his son since he’s dead (as identified by Jazz expert Reece) – Bud who was playing in Al’s studio.
They hurry to where Bud is playing and Henry talks Pepper out of murdering him. Bud is arrested and, conveniently (because the case against him is really shoddy) he confesses. Al is arrested for burning the body. Jo uses the song to bring about a reconciliation between Pepper and his daughter
And Abe teaches Henry how to play jazz.
This episode is the first time we finally have a hole in Henry’s knowledge and I appreciate that. It’s easy to play the “he’s lived for a long time so he knows everything” but everyone who has ever tried to teach a parent or grandparent how to use a smart phone knows how very very very wrong that can be. Henry is long lived – which means old – and as old as Henry is that means even relatively old music and trends to us can seem “new fangled” to him and, unless he makes the effort to pay attention and show an interest, become great mysteries to him. In turn that gives everyone else the chance to actually know something he doesn’t
I also really like Henry and Abe together
I am leery of the flashback of the musician with the injured hand – now the injury could have been caused by many means but I think the nature of it and the circumstances needed more clarity than we had.