Wednesday, April 13, 2011


While doing the blog post about the Missing Link connection between 'The Mentalist' and 'Columbo', I re-watched the 'Columbo' episode "Murder By The Book" again, perhaps the first time since it first aired back in 1971!

And it gave me an idea for another connection, this time for a Theory of Relateeveety with off-beat one-season series from HBO a few years ago.....

As I watched "Murder By The Book", it occurred to me that there was a flaw in Ken Franklin's motive for killing his former writing partner Jim Ferris. Franklin's plan was to live off what he would already be getting for being one half of the writing "team" on the Mrs. Melville series of books, claiming that the trauma of Jim's murder would force him to retire from the profession entirely and never write again. He killed Jim because he didn't want it to become known that Jim was the one with the talent once Jim started writing on his own and that anything Ken wrote would display none of the style seen in their mystery novels.
But Jim Ferris' wife Joanna already knew that secret, and she let Lt. Columbo know about it. Ken wasn't probably too concerned with the Lieutenant knowing - he could always claim that it was sour grapes on Joanna's part. But the longer Joanna stayed alive, the longer that "rumor" would be out there, as she would find options in getting the word spread that Jim was the only one writing the mysteries for most of the franchise's run.

So it's a good thing that Lt. Columbo collared Franklin when he did, because it might have come to the point where the writer would have been forced to kill Joanna Ferris as well (probably making it look like an accident in order to avoid suspicion.)

And within the "reality"* of Toobworld, it may have been a very good thing indeed, because it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that - even though she didn't know about it during the course of the episode - Joanna was pregnant with Jim's child......

For this theory of relateeveety, I'm making the claim that she gave birth to a boy, whom she named James, Jr. after his late father. But as he grew up, without the influence of a father to guide him, James Ferris Jr. squandered his opportunities, backed by whatever he inherited of his father's talent and fortune, to make something noteworthy of himself. He rebelled against his mother's wishes, and even spurned his legacy by taking on the nickname of "Jake" rather than being known as "James" or "Jimmy" like his father.

And here's what we know about Jake Ferris in the main Toobworld:

Jake Ferris is Linc's business partner in Stinkweed. He first appears in "His Visit: Day Six".

One of Linc's closest pals, and number one guy at Stinkweed, Jake's brought the company's board to meet Linc in Imperial Beach. Hoping to get things back on track, he's wholly unprepared for Linc's assertion that something miraculous transpired with Shaun Yost. With millions of dollars at stake, indulging what he perceives as Linc's mid-life crisis hardly tops Jake's priorities, yet something in him is beginning to second-guess his own pragmatic perception of the world.

That comes courtesy of the 'John From Cincinnati' Wiki.

So that's my claim - that Jim and Joanna Ferris had a son, born after the death of his father, who grew up to work as a surfing promoter and was known to the world as Jake Ferris.

"Murder By The Book" took place in 1971, and if Joanna was pregnant then she certainly wasn't showing during the episode. Therefore, her child would have been born in 1972, making him two years older than an actor by the name of Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who bears a striking resemblance to Jake......


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