Once again I stand corrected as to what “Miss Fisher’s” needs to do to have a successful episode. This one has a case very tied to Essie Davis’s past—victim Heather Bolton was one of Davis’s teachers, prime suspect Deborah Kennedy is a mentor—has lots of guest stars (Phryne Fellow Philippe Sung is back, bringing arraigned marriage fiancée Haiha Le with him), gives Ashleigh Cummings a big subplot, and even has time to directly follow-up on the last episode, where Nathan Page… took unexpected actions to protect Davis.
And they’re still working out the repercussions, with Davis trying to throw Page off guard and Page refusing to play with Davis’s intimations. They’re so good together this episode. So good.
Also really good is Davis’s developing “relationship” with Sung, who’s discovered his grandmother, Amanda Ma (who previously threatened Davis), doesn’t like his appropriate Chinese wife-to-be Le any better, forcing Sung to reexamine his future.
Meanwhile, Cummings and Davis discover there’s a lot more to Le than Sung or Ma realize.
The mystery is about women’s magazine editor Bolton ending up dead and everyone in the office— plus all the various men about town who hate a women’s magazine-suspects. Kennedy would’ve gotten control of the magazine, Anna McGahan would’ve gotten ahead as a reporter, Roz Hammond and soul male employee Peter Stefanou have no obvious motives, but Hammond’s keeping secrets from her husband, handyman Jim Russell, and Stefanou’s a Lothario so who knows.
Cummings isn’t just gal palling with Le, she’s also coming into her own helping the magazine get out its next issue—Davis’s investigation almost takes a back seat to her concern for her friend, Kennedy, and just keeping a women’s magazine (made by women) coming out. Thanks to that character development subplot, Cummings also gets a very cute scene with Hugo Johnstone-Burt.
While the mystery solution itself isn’t great (and is a little familiar thinking about it in hindsight), but the episode’s outstanding. And the mystery setting does allow Davis to get all the suspects together for the end reveal, which is a lot of fun. If the show’s done it before, I don’t think they made such a big deal out of it. Here, it’s the full suspects gathered trope.
It’s so much fun.