It is a season not to be trusted, my friends. It can dress up sadness as nostalgia, tackiness as whimsy and grey-green slush as "Christmas snow"... but it didn't seem like all the holiday spirit in the world was going to do the little man in the red suit and even redder puddle of his own blood much good, now was it?
It has been remarked more than once that there's always a calm just before the storm. Certified meteorological phenomenon or old wives saw, it was still true as often as it wasn't. And if that storm was destined to wash away Marilou Arden, it looked like it just might take a certain pair of gumshoes with her.
When a snoop-and-peep that paid turned into a murder case that almost certainly didn't, it meant one thing: Jack suddenly got interested. For the Girl Detective, it's just one more reason to strangle the big lug... but even a clock that's stopped is right twice a day... isn't it?
A certain hack writer who shall remain Shakespeare is of the opinion that the quality of mercy is not strained. He obviously doesn't ride the bus past the stylish world headquarters of Justice and Dixon all that often, 'cause around here both the quality and quantity of mercy are strained beyond any reasonable breaking point, and old friends are no exception.
They say a man meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it. Which means that whatever you do, and whatever the result might be, your fortune cookie can smile at you and say "see? I told you so." For some folks that road may lead to a destiny of great importance or heroic meaning. For others, it might lead to a face-down posture in a puddle somewhere. I suppose no one can tell. Except the cookie, and it ain't talkin'.