Quillsville Cold Case: Bail Mail Scam
|"Quillsville Cold Case: Bail Mail Scam"|
|Queen of the Willis episode|
|Episode no.||Season 13|
|Directed by||Season Atkins|
|Featured music||(see article)|
|Original air date||August 30, 2024|
"Quillsville Cold Case: Bail Mail Scam" is the third episode of the thirteenth season of the American animated television series Queen of the Willis. It originally aired in broadcast syndication in the United States on August 30, 2024 as a two-hour movie. In the episode, Tiffani's mother Crystal Donovan asks Lilly to reopen the case of her friend, Martha Carthy who was 15 when she was murdered in 1968, the year she and her friends saw the film Planet of the Apes. They learn several people, mostly her friends blamed Martha for a car accident that had left the boy she loved in a wheelchair for life. The case brings up some difficult memories for Lt. Jeffries as it reminds him of the hit and run that killed his wife that same year.
Everyone jumps in the theatre. It is April 6, 1968 and a group of friends has just seen the science fiction film Planet of the Apes. With the movie over Crystal ask her friends Vernon, Celeste and Donna to wait up: it’s not cool to ditch the wheelchair boy (identified as Vernon). Martha suggests grabbing a soda, but Celeste says no, she’s got to work tomorrow. Just then Vernon’s father shows up to drive her home. It is all awkwardness as the three friends watch Vernon get helped into the car. Celeste quietly tells Martha that the only reason she came was because Vernon asked her to. Vernon waves goodbye to Martha standing alone outside of the theatre.
Inside the dark movie theatre, Martha’s body is slumped against a wall with stab wounds in her chest. A detective files away Marhta’s case file in the vault. April '68.
In the present day at the station Captain Brad Hunter is asking Officer Jarrett Dailey if he wants to join in on the regular poker games. Officer Dailey is hesitant about the game, since Hunter tends to get a little "heated up" when things don’t go his way. He asks Officers Ramona Battishill and Elaine Reed if they wants to play cards. They both accept, only to have Hunter roll his eyes and walk away.
Sgt. Lily is talking to Martha's friends Harry Willis, Bill Rose, Crystal Donovan and Donna Martin. The police think that Martha was killed in a murder inspired by the movie Planet of the Apes. She’s moving, and when she was boxing up Martha's things she came across a letter from Martha to Harry, written on the day Martha died. "You say you want to marry me...but you don’t know that means." Harry confesses to Finola that it was the only time he had an extramarital affair and Peggy was unfazed.
Harry tells Lily that 6 months before Martha death he, Martha, Crystal, Bill (then Jill) and Vernon were in a terrible accident. Martha was driving too fast...Harry, Crystal, Bill, and Martha were lucky, but Vernon was paralyzed and people blamed Martha. Crystal thinks that Martha died because somebody found out Harry was cheating on Peggy: the man they arrested for Martha's murder never felt right to her. All Crystal wants is to leave her spirit with some peace.
That’s where good Karma comes from, acts of kindness. Since Lily doesn’t go in for that kind of thing, will she go in to find the truth?
Lily, Capt. Hunter and Lt. Jeffries are down in the vault. All signs pointed to Eddie Hoot, the man that dressed up as the killer from Planet from the Apes. He had stabbed a girl the night before, and Martha was found in the same area less than 24 hours later. There were fibres from Eddie Hoot’s trunk that matched the ones on the girl, but no fibres were found on Martha. They’re not going to get much help from Hoot: he killed himself a week before his trial. Lt. Jeffries is convinced that Marhta died because of the car accident, but for now Captain Hunter wants them to stick to the proposal as Lt. Jeffries leaves the vault, distraught.
Lily and Officer Dailey visit Vernon and his wife. After the accident, his friends couldn’t forgive Martha for what she did. Celeste rode her the hardest since Martha was Vernon's girlfriend before the accident. Vernon insists that it was an accident, and Celeste saw it all go down.
In a flashback to 1968, The four friends are walking along the street until they arrive at their rides: Celeste’s motorcycle and Martha's car. Vernon remarks that it’s a little too cold to be on a motorcycle; he’d prefer to ride with Martha. Celeste teases Vernon about choosing Martha ”beater” over her bike. Donna isn’t too cold and goes with Celeste. In the car, Vernon urges Martha to show Celeste what her car can do. Martha turns a sharp corner and easily outruns Celeste. She is so preoccupied with looking in the rear-view mirror that she doesn’t see a truck back out of a driveway until it is too late. She brakes and swerves, but it is no use: the car flips upside down and comes to a smoking halt. All Vernon remembers are flashes: of Celeste, of the firemen, of the Jaws of Life.
In the present day, Vernon confesses that he was just looking to get Celeste all riled up and remind her that he still had ”options”. He was the one that egged Martha on. Celeste threatened Martha a few times, told her to stay away from him or else she’d regret it. Martha had this fantasy that everything would go back to the way it was and Celeste would be her best gal pal again. Vernon thinks it’s possible that Martha would have tried to reach out to Celeste for support, which would have been a really bad move.
Officers Reed and Battishill visit Celeste at her office. Celeste tells them that it was bad enough what Martha did to Vernon, but then she wouldn’t take responsibility for it. First the car flipped too easily and then the brakes were bad. Martha said she was going to sue, but nothing ever came from that. She didn’t know that Harry was having an extramarital affair with Martha the day she died. After the movie she went with Donna, Harry, Crystal, and Bill to get some beers and crashed at her place. After the accident Harry's feelings changed: he didn’t see Vernon as girlfriend material and decided to go back to Peggy.
Flashback Harry, Bill, Crystal, Celeste and Donna show up at hospital only to see Martha leaving Vernon’s room. Martha tells Celeste that she’s got to forgive her sometime, but Celeste tells Martha that she’s nothing to her anymore. Donna and Celeste enter Vernon’s room and try to make him feel better, even though he’s not in the mood today. From a corner, Bonnie pipes up and tells the four friends to stop talking about that kind of stuff. With no other choice, the four leave. Flashback to Present Craig tells the two detectives that the guy in the hospital room was the fireman, the one who pulled Vernon out of the car and saved his life. At first Celeste thought she was just basking in the glow of being a hero, but in the end he fell for her and the two got married. Vernon’s wife is Bonnie, the nurse.
Back at the station, the team is talking about the new leads. Bonnie was a big hero since she and a firefighter pulled Vernon out the car, but according to Celeste, Bonnie was a real possessive type. Martha was also looking into a possible faulty car, but Lt. Jeffries scoffs and denounces Martha as a "fucking maniac". When Officer Dailey points out that Martha was driving only 55 miles, Lt. Jeffries snaps at him. Captain Hunter breaks up the tension and takes Officer Dailey for some coffee. Lt. Jeffries tells Officer Dailey that Lt. Jeffries wife was killed on the day Robert Kennedy was assassinated in a hit and run.
Lt. Jeffries and Officer Battishill visit Crystal Donovan (with Ava, Mandy, Harry, Finola, Tabby, Shushu, and Heather also present), who offers them some coffee and Ava says how grateful Crystal is that they’re looking into this case as well as Harry stating that he misses Crystal's daughter, Tiffani. Crystal mentions that a few days before Martha died, she talked to Martha about the "faulty" car, and Martha surprised Martha's mother Jane Carthy and Crystal herself.
Flashing back to 1968, Jane enters Martha's room. Jane tells Martha to stop torturing herself, but she can’t. If the accident wasn’t her entire fault, then maybe people wouldn’t hate her so much, and Vernon might look at her differently. All she wants is that one second back so she can hit the brakes sooner and move around the truck.
Jane tells Martha to forgive herself and try to move forward. Martha assures Jane that she is moving forward and shows her a book about firemen and their vehicles and equipment.
back in the present day, Crystal thought "there was no God Damn way" martha wanted to become a fireman and save people, just like the fireman who saved Vernon. Unfortunately, Martha was killed a few days later.
Down at the station, Lily and Officer Dailey are questioning Bonnie about the piece of important info she left out. She swears she never really knew Martha, or anybody else from that group. She didn’t know about Harry's extramarital affiar then, but she wouldn’t have been too worried even if she did. Vernon had told her that the only reason he didn’t reject Martha was because he thought that she was the only one who would ever want him. Vernon had invited her to the movies on the night that Martha was murdered, but Bonnie stayed home because she had an early shift the next day. She wasn’t so sure it was the Hoot guy that killed her, because something happened a few weeks before Martha died.
Flashing back to 1968, Bonnie is in Vernon’s empty room. His father and Rozlyn (his sister) walk in and ask about Vernon. His therapist said a friend took her for a walk. Rozlyn is optimistic that Vernon could walk again, if he keeps working at it. Just then Vernon is wheeled into the room by Martha, who only succeeds in wheeling the chair right into the corner of the table. Vernon’s father snaps and yells at Martha to get out by saying "fuck off, you son of a bitch". But Martha tells her that he’s only making things worse, acting as if Vernon has died.
Back in the present day, Bonnie knows she shouldn’t have said anything. His father had lost his wife early and Vernon and his sister was all she had, of course she was messed up. Bonnie never knew his father as a violent guy, but him and his father stopped talking to each other as soon as he moved out. Just then Vernon shows up. He got here as fast as he could, after hearing the messages on the machine. Bonnie didn’t kill Martha, and he can prove it. Vernon pulls out a knife out of her knapsack. He found it hidden in his father’s hall closet the day after Martha was murdered.
Lt. Jeffries interrogates Vernon's father, George. Someone had tried to wipe the knife clean but there was some residue left that looked like blood. He said he had cut himself with the knife while making a salad. He put it aside; he was going to take it in to get sharpened. Lt. Jeffries knows what happened at the hospital, and doesn’t blame him. He knows that all George wanted was to keep Vernon safe. He replies that he was pretty angry at Martha, but in the end he forgave her. That’s a lie to Lt. Jeffries’ ears: people don’t forget something like this.
Flashing back to 1968, on a dark and rainy night a police cruisers are parked beside a car... and a body bag. Lt. Jeffries (then Officer Jeffries) pulls up and tells a young officer who he is. The policeman tells him that the name on the i.d. was Elizabeth Jeffries, leading Lt. Jeffries to spot the body bag. She got killed going to change a tire... the trucker must have not seen her get out of the car. But it just wasn’t right...Elizabeth would wait for that... Lt. Jeffries grieves over the fact that he should have been with her. In shock, he wanders over to and knees beside the body bag.
Back in the present, George asks Lt. Jeffries if they ever found that trucker. He informs George and interrupts Lt, Jeffries as he doesn't believe Lt. Jeffries would have seen some poor guy driving a night shift home to his family, too scared to stop and face what he had done. Lt. Jeffries probably would have seen right off what it took him a long time to see in Martha: that it was just an accident. On a bad night, it could have been either one of them driving. Lt. Jeffries points out the fact that somebody obviously did not forgive Martha. If the results come back that there was blood on that knife, there is only one other person who could have killed her.
Officer Dailey interrogates Rozlyn who admits that the knife was part of her costume. She threw it there as soon as she heard about the murder, she didn’t want her father to see it in the trash and flip out. When she went to go and put it into a dumpster, the knife was gone. She didn’t dare ask anybody else about it. Officer Dailey doesn’t know what that house was like after the accident: Rozlyn was just trying to disappear, not upset anybody, ever. He hated the world after the accident because Vernon always looked out for her. And then Martha was psycho enough to ask him to marry her.
Back to 1968, Rozlyn comes home on her bike to find Vernon talking to Martha as Harry, Bill, and Crystal leave. She knows he’s got her letter, and this isn’t exactly giving her more time. Vernon knows Martha is doing this just out of guilt. But Martha gets down on one knee. She’s loved him since the 9th grade, and that’s not going to change. She knows that she’s a geek and he deserves better but maybe this is right, the two of them. Unable to bear it any longer, Rozlyn asks Martha what she’s doing. Martha leaves after Rozlyn threatens to wake up her dad. Martha leaves and Rozlyn sees Celeste sitting outside on her bike.
In the present day, Rozlyn tells Officer Dailey that Celeste was always there on her bike back then. She would just sit on her bike and watch the house, night after night.
Sgt, Rush, Captain Hunter and Pamhouser are in Captain Hunter’s office talking about the case. Rozlyn was telling the truth: the blood stains on the knife were really corn starch. Martha's clothing also came back, and there were traces of elk skin. The most common use for elk skin is motorcycle gloves. And Celeste had a motorcycle.
Celeste tells Lily and Officer Reed that they don’t understand, she just wanted to talk to Vernon and beg him to forgive her. At the crash, she could have helped Vernon but she froze.
Flashing back to 1968, the car flips over and comes skidding to a halt, the engine starting to burn. Dazed, Martha starts to crawl out of the car. Celeste runs over to the passenger side, hearing Vernon complain about his legs hurting. He moves his legs to try and kick off his seatbelt, but she is stuck. Harry, Bill, Crystal, and Donna runs over and manages to pull a bleeding Martha out of the car and helps her to the side of the road. Bonnie and the rest of the firemen and EMTs come onto the scene. She tries opening the door but it is jammed. Bonnie grabs the Jaws of Life from her partner and goes to pry open the door. Throughout the whole ordeal Vernon is screaming out Celeste’s name, but all she can do is stand back and watch.
Flashing to the present day, Celeste knows that she was a pathetic bitch and she blamed Martha for all of it, but she didn’t kill her. Night after night she would hang around Vernon's house, trying to get up the nerve to apologize, but she never did. Lt. Rush asks Celeste if she’s sure she heard Vernon say his leg hurt and see him trying to kick off the seatbelt and she assures Lt. Rush. Celeste tells Officer Reed that Martha wasn’t studying to be a fireman.
Lily and Officer Dailey visit Bonnie and Vernon. They tell him that his father didn’t kill Martha... but Bonnie knew that. They tell vernon that the knife didn’t kill Martha, it was part of Rozlyn’s costume. Lily and Officer Dailey tell Bonnie that they talked to her old partner, the one who covered for her way back when. According to her partner, it was a ”terrible mistake, made by an eager. Real talented Rookie.” Martha read up on it and figured it out. Bonnie was trying to save Vernon, but she moved too fast. The last push knocked him forward and that’s what broke his spine. Residue on Martha’s body was elk skin. The only other use for that besides motorcycle gloves are fireman’s gloves. Bonnie insists that Martha came to him.
Flashback to 1968, Bonnie is at home watching the news of the Planet of the Apes killer when there is a knock at the door. It is Martha and she’s figured it out. After the accident Vernon was crying out that his legs hurt. She knows all about the Jaws of Life and how Bonnie messed up. Martha also noticed that Bonnie was nice to her right off the bat, like she didn’t blame her at all. She knows Bonnie is just with Vernon out of guilt. Bonnie is a fraud, and Martha is going to tell everyone to make Martha know what it feels like to have everyone hate her for one stupid mistake. In a fit of rate, Bonnie grabs the knife and stabs Martha 47 times. As she starts to panic Bonnie hears the Apes killer story still being broadcasted on the TV.
Flashing back to the present day, Officer Dailey and Lilly escort Bonnie into a squad car. Lt. Jeffries and Capt. Hunter show up with George and Rozlyn at Crystal Donovan. Jeffries and Hunter get out of the car and go to give Vernon a hug. Lt. Jeffries has a flashback at being with his wife that night and pulling her aside a second before a truck comes hurtling past. Celeste is working late in her office thinking about Martha and Vernon. Officer Dailey files away Martha’s closed case file before joining Officers Reed and Battishill in poker. Lily, Ava, Angie, Mandy, Brynn, Tabby, Shuhsu, Heather, Harry and Finola are helping Crystal Donovan pack away the last of her boxes. Crystal gives Lily a hug and drives off. As Lily watches Crystal Donovan drive away, she sees another car coming down the street. It is Martha and Vernon. A truck pulls out of the driveway and Martha brakes and swerves just in time, missing the truck. The two smile at each other as martha drives down the street, followed by Celeste’s bike.
Production and development
Two of the songs in this episode were also featured on Kathryn Morris' previous show Cold Case: "Hooked on a Feeling", by B. J. Thomas was used in the third season Cold Case episode "Debut" and "Pale Blue Eyes", by The Velvet Underground was used in the sixth season Cold Case episode "The Brush Man".
|1.||"Hooked on a Feeling" (Used in the intro)||B. J. Thomas||2:47|
|2.||"Girl Watcher"||The O'Kaysions||2:36|
|3.||"River Deep Mountain High"||Tina Turner||4:04|
|4.||"Son of a Preacher Man"||Dusty Springfield||2:29|
|6.||"What a Wonderful World"||Louis Armstrong||2:19|
|7.||"La La Means I Love You"||The Delfonics||3:20|
|8.||"Get Out of My Life, Woman"||Lee Dorsey||2:26|
|9.||"Pale Blue Eyes" (Song used in the finale)||The Velvet Underground||5:39|
|10.||"I Put A Spell On You"||Screamin' Jay Hawkins||2:24|
|11.||"Ain't No Way" (Bonus track. Performed by Sasha Allen)||Aretha Franklin||4:12|
|12.||"Girls Can't Do What the Guys Do" (Bonus track.)||Betty Wright||2:07|
|13.||"You're All I Need to Get By" (Bonus track.)||Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell||2:38|
|14.||"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" (Bonus track.)||Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell||2:12|
|15.||"You Send Me" (Bonus track. Performed by Nicolette Larson)||Sam Cooke||3:56|