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Baker Street Wiki

The Case of the Crooked Comic is the third episode of the third season of The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, which originally aired on 28 September 1998.


Molly and Stink are accused of stealing exam questions. Stink gets kicked out of the Academy and sets out to start a new life as stand-up comedian. And behind both of those facts stands Wy ... a.k.a. Molly?

But why? Neither she nor Stink needed the exam questions. When Shirley comes too close, Molly stops at nothing to get her out of the way.

Full plot[]

The episode opens with a nighttime shot of Sussex under a full moon, ala 'Maestro's Ghost'. As the camera closes in on one of the windows, we can hear the sounds of someone rifling through a filing cabinet. As the door opens, we see Ms Strattman turning on the light and as the room illuminates Stink is exposed, with a stocking on his head, as the culprit.

Shirley's theme plays. Opening credits roll.

We pick up the action the following morning with Stink sitting in Ms Strattman's office being lectured over his behaviour. Before informing him of the decision of the Teacher's and Student Advisory Council meeting held earlier that morning, she asks if he has anything to say. He relies 'Don't you think you're overreacting.".

Outside in the reception area Bo and Shirley enter, discussing Stink's escapade. From their discussion, we learn that Stink was supposably stealing a maths exam at the time. Their discussion is interrupted though by Mrs Fish' reaction to a hard drive crash. As Stink leaves Ms Strattman's office, Bo and Shirley ask him what happened. 'They expelled me' he replies with a smirk, clearly not bothered by the decision. We learn later that this was because he believed Molly would have him re-instated quickly; a misdirected thought.

Later, at the local cybercafe, the 'Quazar Cafe' Stink is onstage in the middle of a comedic routine about the trials and tribulations of school life. Alicia, who is a waitress at the cafe, brings and order over to Shirley and Bo at their table. Giving Shirley hers, she announces 'Here you go, peanut butter and blue cheese'. Shirley's rather interesting culinary tastebuds were to become a feature of the third season. As she begins her sandwich Shirley muses to Bo as to why Stink, who comedy up till now had a disnticively practical joke nature is 'suddenly mimicking Seinfeld'. Alicia and Bo do not seem bothered by his comedic change, noting that he has found something he's good at and that they should all be happy for him; Alicia pointing out that 'there is more to life than Sussex Academy.' This pearl of wisdom reminds her to tell Shirley to remember their date at the Mall - a complete makeover. When Alicia leaves Shirley explains to Bo that it was the 'path of least resistance'. Returning her attention to Stink on stage, she continues to reflect on his new style of comedy. 'It doesn't make any sense ..... unless ..... "

The following morning at Sussex Shirley notices Molly and Ms Strattman talking in the hallway. Ducking behind a wall to eavesdrop, she overhears that Molly is a candidate for the United Nations Youth Internship Program. 'Students like you make up for all the rest Molly' gushes Ms Strattman.

As Molly heads up the staircase Shirley confronts and accuses her of being responsible for Stink's stand-up routine; guessing that it was written by Molly under her internet alter-ego 'Wy' as a trade for stealing the math's exams. When Molly informs her that she got perfect scores on her previous three math's exams Shirley realises she is stumped, and lamely challenges Molly to 'Leave Stink alone'. Molly has the final word though leaning close and whispering 'Have you been eating blue cheese.'

That afternoon at the Quazar Cafe Shirley enters Stink's dressing room, where he is putting the final touches to his routine. Without beating around the bush Shirley tells him she knows his routine was written by Wy in return for a favour. When she tries to tell him the real identity of Wy, Stink stops her, signalling that he knows that Molly is Wy. 'She's treacherous, selfish, a meglomaniac' says Shirley. 'She's not like other people' replies Stink. When Stink rejects an offer to convince Ms Strattman that it was Molly who was responsible, Shirley realises that it is because of Stink's infatuation with the villianess.

Later, when discussing this with Bo, Shirley notes that it is more than just Stink's usual infatuation, which means that Molly must be encouraging him. When Bo asks why she'd do that Shirley explains to him that 'Wy' is actually Molly, recalling that it was 'Wy' that destroyed his cousin's music career ('Broken Oath'). Livid by this new information, Bo is determined to confront Molly but Shirley reminds him that this time it is about Stink, not Zack, and that they need to convince him that Molly will discard him the same way she did with Zack.

The next morning at Sussex, Stink is preparing to leave, packing up his belongings in a waiting taxi. Shirley, Bo and Alicia are helping him. Stink does not seem very concerned by his imminent departure, joking with them that 'Sussex has not heard the last of Stink Paterson'. When Shirley asks why Stink pulls her aside and explains that he has Molly and Ms Strattman in the palm of his hand, before heading inside one last time.

Having overheard the conversation, Bo asks Shirley how Stink can be so sure that Molly will be able to get him back in to Sussex. Shirley expalins that Molly is on the TSAC board, and promptly remembers that there is someone she needs to see inside, and heads up the steps, stopping to pick a bunch of flowers from the garden.

In the Office Administration area, Shirley is arranging the flowers as Mrs Fish walks in. After buttering up Mrs Fish with the flowers, Shirley asks her how the computer is, eventually finding out that the meeting of the TSAC committee had voted unanimously to expel Stink.

Out in the Sussex corridor Shirley tells Bo that Molly voted to expel Stink and that she has no intention of having him reinstated. Agreeing to keep it to themselves for the time being, they are unaware that nearby Molly has overheard their conversation.

That afternoon at the Quazar Cafe, Stink is again in the middle of another very popular routine. At it's conclusion, he leaves the stage and is approached by a talent agent, Hal Edwards, who mentions his interest in his act, and asks if he has any broader material besides 'this school stuff'. Bluffing, Stink says that he does, and immediately after Hal has moved on, he hastens over the one of the tables where Molly is sitting. Molly is cautious of being seen with Stink in public, but nonetheless agrees to write further material if he 'fixes' Shirley, as Molly believes she is getting too close. Stink is reticent but succumbs when Molly takes his hand in hers and says coyly that she is doing this 'for the both of us'.

That night, Shirley is working away in her attic composing a letter to Ms Strattman detailing Molly's involvement in Stink being expelled. As she is reviewing her letter her computer beeps, signalling a new email. Checking it, she is excited to see that it concerns information about her mother - apparently she is alive and well. Double checking the address, she notes that it is apparently from the Red Cross in Rwanda. The email asks her to not tell anyone else, to alert no authorities and that she is to come to Rwanda.

During science class the following day, Shirley is busily working on a fake ID / passport while Bo is doing a science experiment. Confirming with Shirley the next stage of the experiment, Shirley, too engrossed in her task, mumbles a yes, and Bo continues. The experiment bubbles over the lip of the beaker, snapping Shirley's attention back to science. When Shirley scolds him for putting the hydrochloric acid in first, Bo replies that ' You told me to. What's wrong with you ?'

Knowing that she can't tell him as the email expressly said she could not tell anyone Shirley merely says aplogetically that 'I wish I could tell you'.

That afternoon at the Quazar Cafe, Bo noticing Alicia sitting at one of the tables and heads over. Alicia is fairly despondant, noting that she should have known better than to waster her day off on Shirley. Today was the day they were going to the Mall. Bo notes that that is most unike Shirley to miss an appointment, but Alicia's attention is drawn away by the arrival of Stink. She asks him if he's seen Shirley bu he hastily replies 'No' and heads out towards the back of the cafe. Bo follows and confronts him, wanting to know what is going on.

Meanwhile, Shirley has arrived at Redington airport, readying to board a military aircraft to Rwanda. She approaches one of the Officers, who is screening boarders. After a short conversation, Shirley is caught out as an attempted stowaway and ordered to leave. Doing so, she notices a forklift loading crates on to the plane. Quickly scouting, she jumps in one.

A few seconds later Bo also arrives at the airport and approaches the same Officer near the plane, asking about Shirley. He tells Bo that he 'sent her back', but Bo, seeing the crates being loaded into the cargo hold tells the Officer that 'you don't know her like I do.'

As Bo and Shirley are walking away Bo explains that Stink told him where Shirley was. Shirley is confused as to how Stink would know until Bo expalins that Molly made Stink send the email after showing him how to route it through Rwanda. Shirley can only utter that 'I hate her.... She's capable of evil I can't even imagine. How do you fight something you can't imagine ?' Lamenting that she is not strong enough to take on Molly, Shirley is nonetheless buoyed by Bo's response that she 'is tho only one who can. You're a Holmes'.

Back at the Quazar Cafe, Stink is midway through a lifeless routine on stage, rehashing old jokes after Molly pulled his new material due to his betrayal by telling Bo about the email. Realising the routine is getting no response he tells the audience he is going to take a break. A heckler in the crowd responds 'Yeah, give us a break'.

In his dressing room Stink is sitting dejectedly at his dressing table as Shirley and Bo enter. Stink is apologetic to Shirley, but Shirley cuts him off, telling him that 'The only person who wins playing Molly's games is Molly.' Stink refuses to believe it is Molly's fault though, chastising himself for letting her talk him into it. Bo is amazed, telling him to 'wake up'. Shirley explains to him that Molly had no intention of getting him back into Sussex as she voted to expel him.

Stink then explains that she had him steal the exam papers as a smokescreen in case he got caught. His assignment was to exchange a FedEx envelope for one in Mrs Fish's desk, but that he did not know who it was for.

Noting that Fed Ex has an online tracking system, they head out to one of the computers in the cafe area. Looking up the order on screen, they find that the envelope was picked up at Sussex on Tuesday. Just at that moment their internet connection drops. Looking around, they see Molly getting up from one of the other terminals and leave, throwing them a look as she goes.

Realising she has been outdone, Shirley ponders another avenue. Rushing back to Sussex they catch Mrs Fish in the Admin area and ask her if anyone else had used her computer this week. Mrs Fish relies that no-one had since Monday when Dr Visram needed it for an hour or two before his flight to New York. Suddenly realising what Molly was up to she turns to Bo and says that 'The United Nations is in New York'. 'The Youth Internship Program' replies Bo.

After finding out that her computer is still in the repair shop, they hurry there to find the repairwoman just about to reprogram the hard drive. Shirley asks her if it is possible to still retrieve information from the drive after a crash. She replies that is.

Later at the Sussex dorm, Molly is returning from the showers. As she enters and sits at her dresser, she notices in the mirror Shirley siting in the corner on a chair holding a sheet of paper.

Shirley confronts her with letter she is holding, reading 'I have rarely met a sociopath so adept at feigning normalcy. But make no mistake, Miss Hardy is extremely dangerous'. Shirley informs Molly that she did some checking and discovered that Dr Mohindra Visram is a leading psycholgist and does a lot of work for the United Nations. She continues that 'Dr Visram came to Sussex to do a psychologial assessment of you for the Internship program. The UN wouldn't have been too pleased with this, would they ? That's why you had stink exchange it for a substitute. One that you wrote. Then you crashed Mrs Fish's computer to erase all trace of the real evaluation.'

Molly, realising she has been caught, challenges Shirley to atate what she wants. Shirley replies that she wants her to persuade Ms Strattman to allow Stink back into Sussex, and withdraw her application to the UN. 'I should hate you for what you did to me. But when I think how empty you are, how incapable of true friendship, all I feel for you is pity. I pity you more than anyone I've ever known.' Molly simple replies that she should 'Be prepared to pay'.

Later, at the Quazar Cafe, Stink is stressing that Hal, the talent scout is expecting new material. Molly of course, has continued to cut him off. Shirley tells him not to worry because she has written some new jokes for him. After reading one, Stink tells her that he thinks it is about time he started leaning more on himself.

Out on stage, Stink launches into his routine, which goes down great with the audience. The camera pans out as he continues to entertain the audience.

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