The Envious Court (2019)
Keep your throwing arm straight, racket arm loose.
Then show me.
Game and set!
So, what do you think? I think I should be at home revising.
Oh, well done, you - finally taking an examination seriously.
Shame it's too late for the important ones.
This is important, Mum.
If I pass this, I'll be a fully-qualified PI.
Well, what I really meant was, what do you think of Runningbrook?
As social secretary, I can get you a discounted membership.
I don't even play tennis.
Well, you can learn. It's an investment for your future.
And Runningbrook is positively overflowing with eligible bachelors.
Well, you'd think after your last attempt at matrimony, you'd appreciate some help!
Ooh. Speaking of romance...
Use your forearm. He's a bit old for me, Mum.
Still on for lunch?
I can't wait.
Frederick, this is my daughter, Luella. Hello.
Your mother's worked wonders since taking over as social secretary.
Well, as we say in Runningbrook, I'm happy to serve.
Sorry to bother you, Mr Greenwood. It's about the bottom field.
Ah, as I said, Adam, it's closed for the members.
It shouldn't be an issue.
Right you are.
Frosty but kindly.
Very much part of the Runningbrook furniture.
I must introduce you to my granddaughter later.
Celia is one of our rising stars.
Remind me, Luella, what is it you do?
Oh, I'm a P... A.
She works in a firm of accountants. Private investigators, actually and I'm a partner.
Well, in that case... perhaps we could have a word in private?
I didn't want to upset you but I suppose you have a right to know.
My life is in danger.
Freddy, is this one of your little jokes?
I believe someone intends to murder me.
Oh, what makes you think that?
Yeah, no, yeah, that... that would do that.
"You are gathering evidence on an employee suspected of participating in a half-marathon whilst on sick leave.
What's the objective of your investigation?"
To find out if he did it?
To earn money to pay the bills.
Ignore him. A for effort, but not one of the options.
"A, preventing litigation.
B, assisting disciplinary action.
C, locating person or property.
D, blackmailing for financial gain."
Can you read them again?
I thought you had one of those identikit memories.
And it doesn't work when I'm stressed.
No, it's no good.
Every time I close my eyes, all I can see is my mum and that man!
She didn't even tell me she was dating.
I'm gonna fail, aren't I?
Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Perhaps it'd help if you read the answers aloud to yourself.
That's what I do when I'm learning my lines.
And here's me thinking you had an imaginary friend.
Is it true you've refused to help my Frederick?
The owner of Runningbrook, with whom I happen to be romantically involved has received death threats and he wants you to investigate but Luella said no.
What, you're turning work down?
Yes. Because, A, it's probably just some disgruntled employee and, B, I have an exam tomorrow.
Mum, if you're worried, go to the police.
A club like Runningbrook demands discretion.
Frederick can't have the police interrogating his members!
Er, how much is he offering?
Double your usual fee.
What have I always told you?
There's no substitute for learning on the job.
Hold the fort.
Like Michael Caine in Zulu.
Can't wait for our big match tomorrow.
If you fancy a morning... warm-up session?
Catch you later.
Thank you for coming. Our pleasure.
Now, let's get you signed in.
Celia, this is Lu Shakespeare and Frank Hathaway.
They're here for a trial membership.
Welcome to Runningbrook.
Could you both sign this form, please?
My granddaughter helps out around the club - reception, health suite...
I sometimes get her to weed the courts.
Mother made him promise not to spoil me.
Celia might be a future Wimbledon Champion but it's important to keep grounded.
Couldn't agree more.
Here's your welcome gift.
Perry The Stag is our mascot.
Your mum's idea.
Thought it might give Runningbrook a friendlier feel.
I think it's working wonders.
Apart from the death threats.
Well, I'm sure you'll smash that problem back over the net in no time.
Now, would you come this way?
So, Mr Greenwood... why would somebody want you dead?
Why, it's a little awkward...
Just tell them the truth, Frederick. The previous owner was fiddling the books.
Frederick was treasurer and he alerted the authorities.
Doing the right thing isn't always popular.
So where's the previous owner now? In jail.
But his daughter's our coach.
What, you gave her a job? Yeah, I felt sorry for her.
She shouldn't be held responsible for her father's sins.
Sounds like our first suspect.
Actually, you have three.
Adam, you met this morning.
The others are Orlan Rowlands... men's captain and Rose Lin.
Right, why these three?
Each employee has a unique key-code to access the staff-only areas and those three were the only ones to enter the offices from when I left yesterday until I arrived today and found my photograph... vandalised.
Right, so, Rose Lin, she's the daughter of the previous owner?
That's right. I've booked Frank in for a lesson with her later.
What? What, you want me to play tennis?
Well, it is a tennis club. I thought it might allay any suspicion.
Just so you know, the club enforces a strict all-whites policy.
You what? Oh, no, I'm not having that!
I mean, I know Stratford's not the most ethnically diverse place but it...
She's talking about the tennis kit, isn't she?
The... Like John McEnroe wears. Yeah.
Ah, you must be Frank. Rose Lin.
Let's have a few rallies to warm up and I can see what we're working with.
You're the boss.
Just, erm... just getting me eye in, just...
Orlan, isn't it?
Hi! Can I...?
Uh, yeah. Oh, thanks.
I'm Luella Shakespeare. Hi.
I'm thinking of becoming a member here.
You're men's captain, aren't you?
Maybe I could ask you a few questions about the club?
So, would you say that this was a very friendly club?
Cos if I'm honest, I'm really joining for the social element.
Trust me, it's a great place to meet people.
Right, well, I hoped it would be, um...
So, Mr Greenwood, he seems nice. Is he?
He's certainly popular with the older ladies. Yeah, I had noticed that.
Why d'you ask?
Oh, no, no reason. I don't know.
You need to hit through the ball.
So... how long you been here?
Since I was a kid. My dad used to own the place.
Never tempted to move on?
I did. Went on the pro-tour for a while but got injured and, well... you go on these big tournaments all around the world and it's like being on a stage, people watching everything you do.
I hated it. So I ended up back here.
Has it changed much?
You know, since, er... Mr... Oh!
Mr Greenwood took over?
Well, there's more money around, and where there's money, there are...
Your words, not mine.
D'you, erm... Oh!
Do you get on with him, Mr Greenwood?
Don't stop your follow-through.
Mum! You alright?
I'm sorry, it's... just such a shock.
We came back from lunch and...
It's our mascot costume.
We bought it for Family Day.
What sort of a sick mind wants to kill Perry The Stag?
"One hundred grand in cash or you're next."
Well, Rose Lin's got the clearest motive.
Surely she blames Frederick for putting her dad in jail.
Except she was on court with me at the time the club mascot was brutally murdered.
Or found brutally murdered.
Which leaves Orlan Rowlands, men's captain.
What do we know about him?
Mr Rowlands is currently embroiled in a court-case with his older brother.
Orlan wants his brother to sell the family business so they can split the inheritance.
Ah, well, judging by his swanky car as well, he's obviously living above his means.
Maybe he's hoping for a payday?
Oh, and Mum said that Rose and Orlan are an item.
That's hardly motive for stag-icide, though, is it?
100K is a motive for anything.
But if it's not him, that leaves Adam Oldknow the head groundsman and general dogsbody.
Imagine if he actually had a dog's body...
Right, so, he's a long-term employee, he's got a clean disciplinary record.
His wife is in a care home, though. I mean, that's financial motive, isn't it?
So what you're saying is that it could be any of them?
You're the ex-policeman, what d'you think? Do you think the threat's real?
It's hard to say.
But if I was Frederick Greenwood, I'd be checking down the back of the sofa to see if I had a spare 100 grand.
Talk of the Devil.
"I need to see you. Don't tell Genevieve."
See? See! I knew he was up to something.
Leave the money in locker 15 in the men's changing room before The Battle of the Sexes.
No police or you die.
What's the Battle of The Sexes?
It's an annual event.
The top-ranked ladies player goes up against the men's captain in an exhibition match.
It's tomorrow at noon.
So, while everybody's watching the match...
The problem is, I don't have the money.
But you own the club? It must be worth a fortune.
Which is why I borrowed a fortune to buy it.
It's mortgaged up to the hilt.
Sunk every last penny into this place.
Oh, please, don't tell your mother I wouldn't want to worry her.
Or break the illusion that you're some sort of wealthy bachelor, hm?
So I wanted to impress her. Can you blame me?
At least I'm wise enough to know I'm a fool.
OK, you really should go to the police with this.
You heard him.
Police sniffing around, I'm toast.
No, I have another idea.
We make a fake drop. You set up surveillance.
We catch the blackmailer in the act.
Then we go to the police.
You realise that doesn't always work?
I don't see any alternative.
In case they peek inside. It won't fool them for long.
Where are the cameras?
One on the locker opposite, one in the smoke detector.
We'll be in the car watching.
And I've put a tracking device in the bag, just in case.
Sure you wanna do this?
I need to know who's behind this.
Ready for the big match?
Don't worry, I'll take it easy on her.
Make a game of it.
Don't be too confident... she's getting better by the day.
We'll take our seats. Good luck.
Hey, Sleeping Beauty. Hello.
Thought you were supposed to be keeping an eye on the locker?
The locker, yes, no.
I was up half the night revising and then the other half baking.
I read this blog, said that baking is good for calming the nerves.
Well, the match hasn't started yet, so no harm done I suppose.
Erm... what time's your exam?
How are you feeling about it? Oh, I just don't know anymore.
Look, whatever happens, you are a great PI.
Like Columbo, or Marple.
Or the French one.
Terrible cook, though. Awful.
How're they getting on? Orlan's a set and a break up.
I could play left-handed?
If that'll make you feel better when you lose, be my guest.
Fault. Second serve.
30 all. Is he alright?
You need a time-out?
Just giving you a chance.
Not a sausage.
I bet you don't know half this stuff.
OK. "When planning a surveillance operation you research the social media profiles of your subjects.
What is this method of information gathering called?"
Who cares? I just get Sebastian to do it.
He spends half his life on social media anyway might as well get some use out of it.
You see, 90% of this job is instinct and that's something you can't test in an exam.
My instincts are telling me that nobody's coming to this locker room.
Do you think the blackmailer knows we're watching?
Is he alright? Give him some space.
He collapsed. It looked like a heart attack.
Anyone call an ambulance? Didn't look like a heart attack...
Celia's doing it. She went off to try to find a signal.
Well, he just fell over, Mable!
You look like Homer Simpson.
I've heard you called a lot of things but never that.
Look at his hand, Frank.
Is he alright? Hard to tell...
Don't touch that!
Who's that? What's he doing?
It wasn't a heart attack.
He was poisoned.
Why would they want to poison... The money!
Is he a doctor? Bit too scruffy to be a doctor if you ask me.
Where are they off to now?
Now the price is 200,000.
Any news from the hospital?
Orlan's still in resus. It's not looking good.
Bring that with us.
How did you know it was aconite?
He said I looked like Homer Simpson.
Aconite poisoning can cause visual distortion.
Makes things look yellow.
Plus not many poisons are absorbed through the skin.
I'll look into it, see how someone could have got their hands on it.
Also I need to take a look at that camera footage.
Yeah, might be a small problem with that.
Whoever put the note in the locker must've known we were watching.
They turned the lights out. You can't see a thing.
Perfect. What about Frederick Greenwood?
Can you arrange any kind of protective custody for him?
Budgets are tight and it's not like he's testifying against a mob boss.
The best way to protect him is find whoever's responsible.
Well, that's what we'll do then.
I meant the police.
Come on, he's paying us to be here. Let us help.
But you find something and I'm the first to know, agreed?
Don't make me regret this, Frank.
Er... Is this a bad time?
No. Sorry. Just trying to calm myself down.
My idea. All this stress isn't good for his heart.
And since it belongs to your mother, she's determined to take good care of it.
What did the police say? They're testing the racket for aconite poisoning.
Yeah, look, about that 200,000...
Well, looks like I have no choice.
I'll go to the bank, see what they can do.
I'm sure if you tell them that someone's threatening to kill you...
What did you say?
It's complicated. They want money and...
Look, we think that Orlan was poisoned.
I thought it was a heart attack!
Don't worry, my love. Nothing's going to happen to me.
You don't know that!
It's my fault, I should have told her from the start.
Hot in here, isn't it? I'll, er...
Surprised to see you here.
I've known Orlan a long time.
Yeah. Of course.
He's still unconscious.
Can I see him? We're not allowed in.
One builder's, one Earl Grey.
So glad my RADA training is not going to waste.
Assuming Orlan didn't poison himself, that leaves two suspects Adam and Rose.
And aconite is a flower!
Yeah, so's a rose.
You do realise she's called Rose, don't ya?
And by any other name would smell as sweet.
No, no, I mean one of those is a gardener.
Oh! Now that makes sense.
Yeah, and also I've checked out the care home that Adam's wife is in.
Forty-five thousand a year. He can't be earning that as a groundsman.
Well, if he's growing it himself, he'll have to process the plant.
Extract the poison, and concentrate it...
We need to have a nose around. Sebastian?
Hold the fort, I've got it.
No... I've got something else in mind.
Corin Silvius, environmental health officer.
We've had reports there might be a danger to the public from plants growing on this site.
Don't be daft! Just a few geraniums and the like is all.
Then you won't mind me taking a look?
Nothing harmful 'ere, 'cept the weed-killer.
And I make sure that's locked away when I'm finished using it.
What's that smell?
I can't smell nothing.
Are you... burning something?
Just as I suspected.
Aconitum napellus, if I'm not mistaken.
I can't let you do that.
I need this job.
Let's take a deep breath, shall we?
Soon as I found it growing in the bottom field, I told Mr Greenwood asked 'im what do to. He said not to worry, none of the members go down there anyway.
Then I heard the police earlier talking about aconite.
Oh, are you saying you didn't put the aconite on Orlan Rowlands' racket?
Why would I?
I got nothing against the lad.
But if I lose this job...
As an environmental health officer, my priority is to make sure nobody else gets hurt.
So why don't you calm the fork down?
We'll take a full statement from Mr Oldknow but considering his occupation possession of the plants is not enough to charge him with.
Anyone could've got hold of them.
He might be a couple of cabbages short of a patch but he didn't come across as the poisoning type.
If the poison came from Runningbrook then at the very least it suggests the culprit either works here or is a member.
So what not?
I'm still going through the witness reports trying to work out who had access to Orlan's racket.
If he wakes up, I'll go to the hospital, see what he remembers.
Whoever did this still needed to be able to recognise the plant.
And know how to use it.
Yeah, so, if it wasn't the gardener...
I'm so stupid! I wouldn't go that far.
Sebastian, you said that Adam told Frederick about the aconite?
That's what he said.
How did I not see this before?
You've lost me now.
There is no blackmailer.
Frederick set the whole thing up!
And why would he do that?
He did it so that...
We've had the instructions.
I'm to leave the money under the umpire's chair on the show court by midnight.
No surveillance, no police.
Er... how are you gonna do that?
You said you haven't got the cash.
I've decided to lend it to him.
After everything you said to me about Clive.
He was a con-man! Frederick's life is in danger.
Yeah, according to him, Mum.
Can't you see this has been his plan all along?
To blackmail himself?
No, to trick you out of the money.
He knew about the aconite. He knew about the hidden cameras.
I mean, he had access to his own office obviously so he could plant all the threats, and he told us, Mum he told you he's up to his eyes in debt!
Then why hire private investigators?
So that it looked like he was taking things seriously without involving the police.
You can prove this, can you?
Not yet, no. Well there you go.
I'm sorry, Luella, but jealousy does not become you.
You think I'm jealous?
That I have found a decent, handsome man that thinks the world of me?
I know it's frustrating for you stuck doing filing for that slob...
Oh, how many times, Mum?
I am not doing the filing! I am a private investigator...
Oh, wake up, Luella.
He only lets you call yourself a partner because you gave him all your money.
You're not even qualified!
Well, no, not yet, but I will be when I... what time is it?
Nearly half four. Look, Mum.
You give that creep all your money. I don't care. I don't want it.
But don't come crying to me when it turns out he's been taking you for a ride.
And, if you'll excuse me, I've got an exam to do!
Where you off to? My exam.
What about your mother's money? I don't care anymore.
Let her throw it all away.
D'you want me to come with you? No.
Bit of moral support?
Do me a favour though, Frank, call Marlowe and tell her I think Frederick's responsible.
Before it's too late.
Look, we don't actually have any proof that he...
Fine, fine! You don't believe me either?
Lu? No, it's fine.
This is a lot of money. Are you sure about this?
I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.
And of course I will make sure you get every penny back.
I know you will.
Don't mind me.
Oh, sorry, you don't want to see your old grandad snogging.
Or hear him use the word "snogging."
They're keeping him sedated, giving his body a chance to recover.
All being well, they should bring him round in the morning.
Sorry to disturb. I thought we could discuss plans for the drop.
If you're still not gonna get the police involved I could get some more cameras... Oh, I-I don't think so.
Come again? After all that's happened to poor Orlan I think we should just do as we're told.
Look, we can be discreet... My mind is made up.
Grandad, shouldn't you at least... I don't want anyone else to get hurt.
Now, I'm going to the hospital. Orlan shouldn't be by himself.
Well, I'll come with you. No, no.
Somebody's got to look after all that money.
It's like being back at school, isn't it?
Sorry! Thought I was gonna be sick then.
Would you like to come on through? Yes! Yes.
It's not like it's the first time you've been kicked off a case.
I know, but something's niggling me.
I might have a look at those background checks again see if I've missed something.
I'd love to stay and help but I've got a hot date with Eugene O'Neill.
I wonder how Lu's getting on?
The state she was in when she left, who knows?
Hm. See you later.
What are you doing?
Er, just checking the security log for the night the picture got vandalised.
Just trying to help.
This key-code here. Do you know if that's your grandfather's?
You'd have to ask him. Actually, he just called.
Reckons he left his watch in the sauna.
Oh, shall I take a look?
You sure? I don't mind.
No, it's fine.
Can I just say... thanks?
For what you're doing. My grandma was an amazing woman.
Got to the third round at Roland-Garros, but... ever since she died, Grandad...
What I'm saying is, he deserves to be happy.
Sorry. I've got to go!
Lu, it's me.
I'm beginning to think you're right.
Another staff key-code appears on the log for the night the picture was vandalised.
And that's Frederick's first wife's birthday.
I remember him telling me she was born on Coronation Day.
Look, call me back when you get this.
Open the door!
Let me out!
Oh, no bloody signal...
How did the exam go?
It doesn't matter. I think Orlan's in danger.
Rational Choice Theory.
A criminal commits a crime when the benefits outweigh the risk.
Well, poisoning Orlan, it was too high-risk to be just a distraction.
I think he must've wanted him dead.
Frederick's gone to the hospital.
I'll call Marlowe, then I'll jump in a cab and meet you there.
No, I'm going to Runningbrook.
Well, for all we know, Frederick's already killed Orlan and he's on his way back. I don't want him getting away with the money.
Mr Hathaway, what are you doing here?
Orlan Rowland, Bay Four.
Lu was right. It was you.
You poisoned Orlan.
And what, you think I've come to finish him off?
Yeah, that's exactly what I think.
I wasn't even allowed near the room. Ask the police officers.
So what's happened to him then? I don't know.
I heard them say something about tachycardia.
Lu's mum might believe your lies but I don't.
I am not lying. Look...
I'm going to ask Genevieve to marry me.
After what she's done for me. That doesn't prove anything.
Why would I poison Orlan?
Because he... found out what you were up to, threatened to spill the beans unless you cut him in?
This is preposterous!
It's not a good time. I've picked up a message from my Mum.
She must've called while I was in the exam. Are you with Frederick?
Ask him if his key-code matches his first wife's birthday.
If so, it proves that I was right.
I gotta go.
Does your key-code match your first wife's birthday?
But I asked her to pull up the list of names...
I never dreamt... You're saying that code belongs to someone else?
Frank, I got your message. What's happened?
I'll tell you on the way.
Hello. This is, uh...
Fancy a drink?
I'm... Don't worry, I didn't pay for it.
The least they owe me.
So you celebrating, are you?
Could say that.
This is my last day at Runningbottom.
Oh, well, congratulations.
So why's that? You... came into some money, did you?
But seeing poor Orlan lying there, I thought...
Do I really want to spend any more of my life surrounded by people I hate?
Yeah, no, no, I can...
Yeah, so who would that be? Mr Greenwood?
And his brat of a granddaughter.
She won't make it as a pro. All she cares about is money.
Is that so?
Adam told me, when she was supposed to be working with him she'd sit in the shed playing on her phone.
She told him if he complained to Mr Greenwood she'd claim he'd tried to touch her up!
No! That's terrible. That's... you...
She worked with Adam?
Did you not hear me? She didn't do any work at all!
Stealing my inheritance, are we?
Adam told you about the aconite, didn't he?
He does love to ramble on.
You see this?
You shouldn't have. Really.
It's monkshood. Aconite.
See this around, don't touch it.
Handling these plants can make you very sick. Kill you, even. You got it?
Yeah. I got it.
What, so you thought you'd scare your grandfather into giving you all of this money? Why not?
It's not like I'll have an inheritance of my own if he marries that floozy.
Only I'm allowed to call my mum names.
I know how this plays. This place is worth a fortune.
They get hitched, he dies, suddenly I'm out of the will.
It's not like he cares about me anyway just wants a famous tennis player for a granddaughter to bring in more members.
Right. And Orlan deserved poisoning, did he?
Cos he, what, he chose Rose over you?
That's just gossip.
She's more of a Navratilova kinda girl.
Orlan chose me, alright?
Told me he was going to come with me when I joined the tour.
Only it turns out he chose pretty much every other girl that joined the club.
I even caught him playing mixed doubles with a beautician and a couple from Clifford Chambers. He had it coming.
You know I can't let you leave with that, right?
That's up to you.
You can keep me here... or you can save your mother.
Sorry, what're you talking about?
She found the original security log, not my edited version.
I couldn't let Grandad discover it was me who got all artistic with that hideous portrait.
What have you done?
I thought she might enjoy a relaxing sauna.
You'd better hurry. She must be a well-stewed prune by now.
Mum! Mum, wake up!
Look, I know we've had our differences, but don't you die on me now!
Mum, don't die on me now!
Where am I?
I think I'm having one of my hot flushes...
Yeah, just a bit!
Uniform are still a couple of minutes away.
Is there any other way out? Only on foot.
You wait here in case she doubles back.
Adam! Open the gate!
Sorry, Miss Greenwood, I... don't seem to have the right key.
Why the racket? She tried to kill my mother!
Oh, I see.
Thank you present, then, eh?
Give it up, Celia. There is nowhere for you to run.
Now stand back!
You think a few furry balls is gonna stop us?
Velocity, 80 miles per hour. 85 miles per hour.
90 miles per hour.
95 miles per hour.
Pincer movement! What?
You go that way, I'll go this way.
She can't get us both!
I am placing you under a citizen's arrest!
Yeah. Game, set and match.
Nice shot, by the way. You really should join the tennis club.
You looked like Billie-Jean King.
Yeah, it was really good.
So, Celia's confessed to everything, claiming temporary insanity.
On what grounds?
The strain of elite-level sport.
The CPS are gonna rip it to shreds.
The good news is, Orlan Rowlands is gonna make a speedy recovery.
Well, I'll drink to that.
Even if he is a slimy puddle of bull's pizzle.
Uh, why don't you join us?
Oh, no, thanks, um, I've got a mountain of paperwork...
No, come on!
Will? Vodka, lime and soda please.
Ooh, you remembered.
Oh, hello, Mum! How're you feeling now?
Oh, much better, thank you.
Get a chair. No, I'm not stopping.
I just wanted to say thank you again and to tell you that Frederick and I have split up.
Oh! Oh. That... well. Ah, that is a real shame.
Deep down, I wasn't really looking for a husband just a bit of company really.
And it's awfully awkward dating someone whose relatives have tried to kill you.
Oh, it's the exam board.
No, don't get excited. I've asked for a re-sit.
Well, that doesn't make sense.
I mean, I just... I ticked random boxes.
Well, they're saying they can't give me another re-sit because...
That's not fair! Why not?
Because I got enough marks to pass.
I passed. I passed!
Oh, my Bard!
That's amazing! I never doubted it.
Yes, you did! I can't believe I actually...
I'm very proud of you!
S... sorry, what did you say?
I'm very proud of you.
Actually, I think I will stay for that drink, after all.
Just one moment.
What just happened?
I've no idea.
I, erm... I got you these.
I know we're already partners but now you're official and everything, I thought, erm...
Co-Director - Shakespeare and Hathaway, Private Investigators."
You can have that!
Does this mean he can't tell you what to do anymore?
I wouldn't go that far.
Oh, here we go!
Ah... Thank you.
I'd like to propose a toast.
To Shakespeare and Hathaway, fully-qualified private investigators!
Shakespeare and Hathaway! Cheers!
Shaky and Hathy!