Quillsville Cold Case: Something About Loose Ava
|"Something About Loose Ava"|
|Queen of the Willis episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
|Directed by||Jacqui Fountaine|
|Written by||Ava Zinn|
|Featured music||see article|
|Original air date||January 8, 2021|
"Quillsville Cold Case: Something About Loose Ava" is an upcoming ninth season two-hour episode of Queen of the Willis slated to air on January 8, 2021. The episode deals with the psychological trauma caused at Quillsville, Indiana's Crystal Gayle Elementary School's coach, Joanna Ferguson, is accused of having a sexual relation with 10 year old Frank Willis (now 48 year old Ava Willis), one of Ferguson's school pupils in 1982. The title is a pun on the 1984 ABC made for TV movie Something About Amelia, of which in a scene it was revealed Harry Willis, Ava's father, recorded the movie with a WRTV-archived newscast with Clyde Lee and Howard Caldwell are also shown and also revealed Harry and Ava had "the talk" 25 years before in 1984 and revealed in "Revenge of the Male Anchors 2" Ava and Deanna had the same talk in 2009.
In the spring of 1982, nine-year-old third grader Frank Willis (now Ava) becomes an object of Crystal Gayle Elementary School third grade teacher 31-year-old Joanna Ferguson, who is about to retire from Crystal Gayle Elementary after 49 years. They take a suddent interst in each other and begin sending each other nothes and snail mail, despite Joanna having a family of her own. Only problem is that after 38 years, Ava's paternal grandfather, Carter; Melissa Rose, Melissa's parents, Jill (now Bill) and Daniel Rose and other suspected at first that Joanna and Frank had a inappropriate relationship.
In the present day, Ava's half-sister, Mandy, gets suspended from Bart Peterson Middle School and Brynn from Vivica A. Fox Elementary School after Mandy and Brynn got caught performing a handjob to a male student in gym class and flashing their breasts, respectively. Ava assures the principals, Tracey Gold and Debby Knox, it will never happen again. Yet, Mandy reveals she learned it from watching porn from Pamhouser and Karly Jameson.
At the Quillsville Metropolitan Police Department, it is learned from fellow QMPD detectives Dirk Porter (Alisan's father) and Cassandra Sellars (Christiana Sellars' mother), as well as from Debby Knox is that Joanna had trouble in the past with not only Ava in 1982, but also Vinny Kaufman in 1978, Fred Bono in 1986, Amber Jarmon in 1991, Larissa Oliver in 1995 and Mandy in the present day. Joanna denies all allegations when Sgt. Lilly Rush confronts her about the rumors. Kendra Kendall reveals that one night in 1982, Ava and Melissa (then Frank and Braden) spent the night at Joanna's home for a boy-girl sleepover after Joanna convinced the mothers, including Ava's mother (Peggy) and Melissa's mother (Jill, now Bill). That night, Ava is lured by Joanna and sleeps with Ava, which upsets her too much (something Ava only admitted to Melissa and Carter in 1982, and only recently told her father after all this time and confirmed in "For the Love of Heather").
Melissa was worried about their friendship with Ava thinking Ava and Joanna's relationship is not a healthy one. Cassandra Sellars reported the relationship with Quillsville Independent School Superintendent Clyde Lee, who then dismissess the allegations because he thought Cassandra was telling falsehoods due to jealousy about Ava. Ava was constantly being pursued by Joanna, who then takes Ava into a janitor's closet, of which Ava disliked, panicked and finds a way out of the situation as quickly as possible. Ava runs to the boys restroom where she reveals to Lilly that she thought she had "cooties". Ava eventually spends more time with Christiana and Alisan, whom repectively conceieve Breeanna and Dylan eventually.
One night at FeatherStock 1982, Ava accompanies Christiana and Alisan, of whom the latter begins to kiss and perform a threesome with the former and Ava, infuriating Joanna. After humiliating Christiana and Alisan, Joanna attempts to drag Ava away from Christiana, who is black, and Alisan, who is a year younger than Ava, Peggy and Harry unsuccessfully intervene. Ava then attempts to end the alleged affair with Joanna and reveals that Ava is more comfortable in the manner with things are moving with Alisan rather than Joanna, but Joanna is unable to win Ava back. Carter is informed by Harry about what happened at FeatherStock, but Peggy tells Harry that Joanna told her taht she was acting in Ava's best interest because Christiana is black and according to Joanna has a bad reputation.
Ava then informs Carter, whom still believes Ava after all this time that Ava had in fact did have an affair with Joanna, though she felt more in love with Christiana than Alisan and Joanna after Carter intercepted a 1982 love letter Joanna wrote to Ava (found in the third floor attic by Brynn, Angie, and Heather along with a voided check of $20,000, DVD copies of For the Love of Nancy, Something About Amelia with WRTV newscast from January 9, 1984 with Clyde Lee and Howard Caldwell, and a long-lost note from Christiana mailed to Harry & Peggy, among others).
On a Boy Scouts camping trip, Peggy catches Joanna molesting Ava and beats Joanna up mercilessly. Ava then admits the inappropriate relationshiph between a 10 year old male student and a 31 year old female teacher, stating that she was in love with Joanna, but recently slept with Christiana and Alisan. Things would become complicated as despite the inappropriate relationship being reported by Carter and Melissa to Debby Knox at Crystal Gayle Elementary as well as Superintendent Lee, Ava now admits 38 years later that she was molested by Joanna and no one believed Ava the first time because: (1) Ava was a nine year old boy in 1982; (2) Joanna was also the girls volleyball and basketball coach at Quillsville Central High School (now Babyface High School) and Joanna would have been suspended before an important basketball game between Pike Township and Quillsville Central; (3) Joanna is the older sister of Former Quillsville Mayor Kelso; and (4) Joanna Ferguson and Peggy Willis were colleagues at the Quillsville School district.
After Ava ended the affair with Joanna as well as Alisan, Ava began a relationship with Christiana. One night, while on a double date chaperoned by Carter and Harry, Ava and Christiana take things to the next level, as Ava impregonated Christiana as well as Alisan.
In the end, Joanna Ferguson is finally arrested after being confronted about the molestation allegations and is executed by lethal injection. Had she not recieved the death penalty due to Quillsville's ban on sex offenders, Joanna would have spent 20 years in prison and register as a sex offender. Ava decides to transfer from Crystal Gayle Elementary School to Chuck Marlow (now Vivica A. Fox) Elementary for the fourth grade year in the fall of 1983 as does Melissa, Kendra, Tiffani, Pamhouser, and Karly in lieu of Harry and Peggy suing the school after several students act hostile towards Peggy, who then beats one of the vandals, identified as Eric Ferguson (also Joanna's son) and Peggy was not charged with his death after Harry feared Albert would endure the same trouble Ava, Harry, and Peggy had to endure in 1982.
This episode was written by series creator Ava Zinn and directed by Jacqui Fountaine. Zinn previously wrote 18 episodes: "Ava and Angie Willis: Celebrating 20 Years", "Tom and Deanna Tragic Adventures", "Cable TV Fascism", "Revenge of the Male Anchors 2", "Sexist Father", "Amanda and Elisa Do Indiana", "Death Picks Peggy", "Nightmare Vacation", "Ten Years To Life", "The Rape of Heather Willis", "It's a Camp Trap!", "Revenge of the Male Anchors 5", "Quillsville Wasteland", co-wrote the pilot, "Ava's Laptop", "Revenge of the Male Anchors" and "Ava Gets Dianed" with Holly Everman, and co-wrote "Revenge of the Male Anchors 4" with Eboni Hill.
This is the third "Quillsville Cold Case" episodes distinguishes "double casting" in which the characters and witnesses would flash back and forth in the scene representing them as they looked at the time of the crime and in the present day. This was done with different actors as children, much younger selves, and before one's gender transition if the year in question was well in the past.
In addition to the regular cast, guest stars Yeardley Smith voiced the child versions of Alisan Porter and Lilly Rush, Tress MacNielle voiced the child version of then-Karly Ryder, Jr. (now Karly Jameson), Pamela Aldon voiced the child version of Avril Lavinge, Traci Davidson voiced the child version of Christiana Sellars, Hillary Runecraft voiced the child versions of then-Stephanie Dawson (now Stephanie Rose), Nicole Pence, and pre-gender transition of Bill Rose, Frank Davidson voiced the child versions of Eric Halvorson and Eric Ferguson in addition to the present day Daniel Rose and Officer Dailey, Dan Castellaneta voiced a younger Harold Nash and the child versions of Vinny and Josh Kaufman (1982), Kathryn Morris reprised her role as the present day Sgt. Lilly Rush, Avril Lavinge as herself in the present day, longtime Indianapolis news anchorwoman Debby Knox voices Principal Knox, |Melvin Runecraft voiced Lt. Nick Jeffries, David Caruso reprises his role as Ava's father Harry Willis, Finola Hughes reprises her role as Ava's stepmother Finola Willis, Arianna Huffington voicing Ava's aunt Sharon Willis, Mindy Coolranch voicing Ava's Aunt Janice Parkington, Julie Kavner voicing Joanna Ferguson, Marla McClinton voicing the present day Christiana Sellars, Eric Halvorson voicing the present day Principal Eric Halvorson, Hannah Wilson voicing the present day Larissa Oliver and the young Cassandra Sellars, Breeanna Sorensen voicing Ava's daughterBreeanna and the younger Alisan's mother Dorthy Porter, Eboni Hill vooicing the present-day Christinana's mother Cassandra Sellars, Luka Runecraft reprising his role in the present day Melissa's mother Bill Rose and Miles Kendall, retired Indianapolis news anchorman Clyde Lee played himself in-live action archive footage and in animated form, Nicole Pence as the present day Mayor Nicole Pence, Christina Applegate playing Quillsville Police Detective Chris Koldike, the late Indianapolis anchorman Howard Caldwell playing himself in archive footage, former Indianapolis television personality Tracey Horth playing herself in archive footage, comedianne Elizabeth Banks voicing herself and the thought of Heather's son Arthur, Tracey Gold playing Crystal Gayle Elemetary Principal Tracey Gold, Akim Anastopoulo voicing Judge Akim Anastopoulo, former Indinapolis anchorwomen Diane Willis voicing herself, longtime Indianapolis news anchorman Bob Donaldson voices Angie's fictionalised biological father, Bob Donaldson, Skye Winslow as herself, Laura Donaldson as Angie's fictionalised half-sister, Laura, and Indianapolis news anchorwomen Andrea Moorehead, Anne Marie Tiernon, Fanchon Stinger play themselves. Karly Jameson reprises her Hoosier Anchorwoman roles of Jackie Kendall and Kayla the Snake, Maribel Mort voiced Jacqui Hendensen and reprises her Hoosier Anchorwoman! role Allison Kendall, and series creator Ava Zinn reprises her Amanda & Elisa roles of Amanda Dawson, Elisa Donovan, Dana Carson, and Hoosier Anchorwoman! characters Kendra Kendall and Joyce the Cow.
At the end of the episode, when Joanna Ferguson was exposed and confronted the confession would be in the scene depicting the 1982 molestation of Ava Willis. The scene shows the details with exceptions having to do with the utter heinousness of the underlying motive of the crime, in this episode Ava (clad in a ponytail, black tank and black pants previously seen in Aeverine Kills Rags and the former also seen in Ava's Makeover). The police was shown arresting the Joanna Ferguson and walking her into custody. Joanna Ferguson and other characters in the epsiode were seen as flashing back to their younger selves (from 1982) and as now. The spirits of Thelma Willis (Ava's paternal grandmother) and Peggy Willis is seen by Ava Willis and accompanied by the playing of a song meant to symbolize the period in which the molestation took place. That particular song was "Just a Job to Do" by Genesis (making it the second time that song was played along with "Revenge of the Male Anchors 5").
|1.||"You Can't Hurry Love" (Used in the intro)||Phil Collins||2:56|
|2.||"Nasty Girl" (Used in the closing credits on broadcast versions)||Vanity 6||4:10|
|3.||"Blue Eyes"||Elton John||3:27|
|4.||"Cat People (Putting Out Fire)"||David Bowie||4:08|
|5.||"The Other Woman"||Ray Parker, Jr.||4:06|
|6.||"Don't You Want Me"||Human League||3:57|
|7.||"Hurts So Good"||John Mellencamp||3:39|
|8.||"Dirty Laundry" (Performed by Avril Lavinge, Alisan Porter and Karly Jameson)||Don Henley||5:36|
|9.||"Heat of the Moment" (Performed by Avril Lavinge, Alisan Porter and Karly Jameson)||Asia||3:50|
|10.||"Waiting for a Girl Like You" (Performed by Karly Jameson in the closing credits on the DVD/YouTube version)||Foreigner||4:35|
|11.||"Think I'm in Love"||Eddie Money||3:11|
|12.||"Turn Your Love Around"||George Benson||3:50|
|13.||"Hot in the City"||Billy Idol||3:38|
|14.||"Hard to Say I'm Sorry"||Chicago||3:42|
|16.||"Man Eater"||Daryl Hall & John Oates||4:31|
|17.||"Just a Job to Do" (Used when Joanna was confronted)||Genesis||4:47|
|18.||"Pac-Man Fever" (Used in the finale)||Buckner & Garcia||3:43|
A television critic gave the episode a C+ when screening the episode, saying "Quillsville Cold Case: Something About Loose Ava" has just enough time to run through the basic beats of the story, doing the most superficial possible version of a serious episode of Queen of the Willis cripples the show’s strengths." The critic also wrote, "while other shows, even the procedurals with grisly murders, are playing around in the new year, Queen of the Willis went for the Quillsville Cold Case episode about child sexual abuse that wrote off any chance that comedy-drama could save it if things took a wrong turn." The critic went on to criticize it for its tone, noting "An episode like this only works if the bits of comedy surrounding the serious plot create contrast to the darker main story, but the scenes where Ava Willis humps Joanna Ferguson as revenge with Melissa Rose pulling a "Brandi Chastain" (refrencing the infamous Vote for the Girls with Ava Zinn & Alexandra Moffitt moments series creator Ava Zinn also hosts) and Alisan Porter, Avril Lavigne, and Karly Jameson singing "Dirty Laundry" and "Heat of the Moment" were "the funniest of the episode."
The critic praised David Caruso and Finola Hughes' respective portrayal of Ava's father Harry and stepmother Finola, however, stating "Caruso and Highes got some laughs out of just how deep Ava Willis’ admission went, finding every possible excuse to blame herself. It made Ava Zinn endearing and easily likeable as the main characters of Ava, Tabby, Shushu, Heather, Kendra, and Pamhouser, every bit the opposite from Caruso and Hughes' respective roles as Lieutenant Horatio Caine on CSI: Miami and Anna Devane General Hospital." He ended his review by noting, "Queen of the Willis managed to find the right blend with Josh Kaufman episodes, or in the aching sadness of Ava and Angie's marriage, but as has been said ad infinitum, Queen of the Willis has mastered that combination."
Another TV critic gave the episode a more positive review, writing, ""Quillsville Cold Case: Someting About Loose Ava", judging by only the title, could have been a Lifetime movie in the Ava Zinn fashion, a remake of the 1984 ABC-TV movie Something About Amelia or anything else than a typical episode of the show, but it was pretty much a good episode of Queen of the Willis." The critic continued, "it's pretty much an episode where someone on the Queen of the Willis writing staff watched enough episodes of Cold Case that found a way to get out a bunch of pent-up misogyny and anger." The critic gave the episode a grade of nine out of ten.
Reaction to the episode by news media organizations was average and caused controversy, criticizing the episode for its portrayal of child sexual abuse. Kelly Ling of ABC 10 Milwaukee said of the episode, "Like some many other people screening the episode with our GM, I was just shocked and not surprised by what I saw on Queen of the Willis second Cold Case episode," and continued, "It was really just two depressing hours of television." In the same interview, Ling asked her former WXWI colleague Kylie Dwyar (now anchoring at CBS 41 in Fort Wayne, Indiana) about the storyline, to which Dwyar responded, "The main theme of the show was about this poor trans woman who was too dumb almost 40 years ago to report the allegations. And child sexual abuse is far more complicated than that. We're watching someone rationalize a child sexual abuse victim and this is the kind of thought process that actually goes on in real life. It’s not satire anymore."
WXWI/WZWI Vice President and General Manager also complained that the episode may have gone way too far, and compared it to "The Rape of Heather Willis" and "Revenge of the Male Anchors 5" episodes that produced criticism, noting, "The show has dipped into sensitive material before, and as Vice President/GM of ABC 10 and Z-24 it is in the best interest of Milwaukee to air late Saturday/early Sunday at Midnight like many other stations carrying the show. Officials with CASA also strongly criticized the episode for its storyline involving Ava Willis and Joanna Ferguson: "Personally, I'm way beyond being offended by the show — I've long been numbed to shock-value offensiveness — and had stopped watching after season 5. But being a sucker for a January-themed episodes and what I saw was plain awful." The official ended her review of the episode by stating that the show was "Definitely the scariest episodes we've ever seen."
Stations refuse to air
Ten stations carrying Queen of the Willis refused to carry the episode due to viewer complaints: NoSirGifts-owned ABC affiliates WXWI in Milwaukee; WCOL in Columbus, Ohio; WAKT in Knoxville, Tennessee; WFXM in Memphis, Tennessee; KSTX/KLRX in San Antonio/Laredo, Texas; WZVA in Hampton Roads, Virginia; CBS O&O's in Green Bay, Las Vegas, and San Diego.
After WZVA, refused to air the episode, Fox affiliate WNNV aired the episode at 4:00 a.m. on January 9, 2021 before that station's Saturday morning newscast. However, WNNV/WZVA recieved a number of threats, which required the duopoly to hire extra security. WNNV/WZVA then announced Queen of the Willis will not being renewed nor will it carry its spin-off, The Souzas.
CBS Television Distribution and Queen of the Willis series creator, Ava Zinn, had said that she would personally consider moving Queen of the Willis and/or The Souzas to another market station as a last resort if existing affiliates did not offer a reasonable resolution. Aeverine Zinn Digital Meida Group and CBS responded to Zinn's threat with announcing that Queen of the Willis and/or The Souzas by dropping one or both shows from NoSirGifts-owned stations in five markets, with two of the replacement stations moving Queen of the Willis from an ABC affiliate to a CW affiliate airing The Souzas . In Wisconsin, two markets saw Queen of the Willis and/or The Souzas go from a Saturday late night airing to Saturday prime-time: in Milwaukee, Queen of the Willis moved from NoSirGifts-owned duopoly ABC/independent station WXWI/WZWI to United Broadcasting-owned CW affiliate WBWM-FTV (channel 42), while in Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Queen of the Willis and The Souzas moved from NoSirGifts-owned Duluth NBC/independent station WXDS (channel 10)/KAFZ (channel 33) to a CW-affiliiated subchannel of Anderson Broadcasting-owned CBS affiliate KDMN-FTV (channel 49). Queen of the Willis also moved from NoSirGifts-owned ABC/Fox duopoly WAKT/WXKT to Anderson Broadcasting-owned CW affiliate WNOX (channel 15, which swiched network affilliations with WXKT in 2015) and ABC O&O's in Seattle and Pittsburgh dropped Queen of the Willis to its respectve NoSirGifts-owned NBC affiliates in those markets KWSH (channel 4) and WPTL (channel 21).
With these moves, WBWM in Milwaukee, KDMN-FDT2 in Duluth and WNOX in Knoxville will begin airing Queen of the Willis Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/7:00 p.m. Central while WPTL in Pittsburgh will air Queen of the Willis after Saturday Night Live at 1:00 am and KWSH in Seattle airing Queen of the Willis after the conclusion of NBC primetime at 8:00 pm Pacific time (KWSH and KZCO air NBC primetime as it airs in the Eastern time zone).
- "Review: "Quillsville Cold Case: Something About Loose Ava"".
- "'Queen of the Willis' Recap: "Quillsville Cold Case: Something About Loose Ava"".
- "Funny Or Awful? Queen of the Willis' Child Sexual Abuse Episode Raises Questions Of Taste And Appropriateness". WXWI-FTV.
- "ABC 10 to pre-empt contoversial 'Queen of the Willis' Child Sexual Abuse Episode after CASA screened episode".