Without Magic for a Spell

At Bell, Book and Candle, Sam stops in to visit with Cassie. While they talk, a customer comes in looking for something to treat her heartburn. Cassie first suggests ginger lozenges but the woman is allergic to ginger. A puzzled look comes over Cassie’s face and she is unable to come up with any alternatives. Sam immediately responds and offers a few simple remedies but he can’t help but notice that Cassie is not her usual self. Later in the day Martha and Stephanie, in desperate need of advice, simultaneously arrive at Bell, Book and Candle, only to find Cassie closing up shop. As she walks out of her store Cassie tells them she’s not sure when she’ll be open again and, while she wishes she could help, she can’t. Cassie hurries away, leaving Martha and Stephanie helpless.

Out at the Botanical Gardens, Derek continues his investigation into the damaged Middleton Merriwick. As he examines the plant, George walks up and tells Derek that he needs to start with motive. “That’s what Columbo always did.” Derek doesn’t know the reference but he suspects that the motive is personal gain. He’s sure the shears used to cut the plant are the key to the mystery, but he needs to find them first. Later, Sam discovers Cassie in the gardens, keeping watch over the Merriwick. Cassie tells Sam the Merriwick is still struggling, “Unsure if she’s ever going to stand as tall as she once did, and be what she used to be.” Sam recognizes that Cassie’s comments are a reflection not just of the plant, but of her own unexplained feelings.

Across town at the Bistro, Stephanie sits Ben down to talk about an upcoming project. Ben had learned that two of his former clients are looking to buy and restore the old Middleton Movie Theatre. The clients were hoping that Ben would join them and invest money in the project, but Ben doesn’t have access to the money he’d need to make the investment. Abigail had suggested Stephanie just give Ben the money but that idea made both Stephanie and Ben uncomfortable. However, after taking some time to think about the idea, Stephanie has come up with a solution. Instead of putting up money, Stephanie suggests Ben put his work up as sweat equity. The two investors have already seen Ben’s work and the value of his labor is at least equal to the monetary value of an investment. Satisfied with the idea, Ben agrees to talk with the other two investors.