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Recap / I Love Lucy S 1 E 4 Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Tryingto Murder Her

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A murder mystery novel, an ominous card reading from Ethel, and a number of coincidences (a set of names, a half-overheard phone call, and a gun in the drawer) convince Lucy that Ricky wants to do away with her and plans to do it soon. The confused Ricky tries to find some way to calm his hysterical wife and matters comically descend into chaos.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Ace of Spades: Ethel has learned to tell fortunes with playing cards. She has Lucy draw two cards, only to become stricken with fright when she sees them. When Lucy demands to know what they mean, Ethel explains that the Queen of Hearts represents her and the Ace of Spades is death. This fuels Lucy's mistaken belief throughout the episode that Ricky is attempting to kill her.
  • "Bang!" Flag Gun: Ricky plans to use a fake gun in one of his acts in the Tropicana and leaves it in a desk drawer at the apartment. The already paranoid Lucy finds it and mistakes it for a real gun.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: After Lucy's tarot reading turns up the ace of spades close to her own card, a number of coincidences pile up convincing her that Ricky wants to kill her.
  • Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo: Ricky tries to slip Lucy a sedative to calm her down, but Lucy thinks he's trying to poison and kill her, which leads to...
    Lucy: I switched glasses!
    Ricky: I know you did. I switched them back.
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  • Properly Paranoid: When Ricky tells Fred that Lucy thinks he wants to kill her, Fred tells him that's not unusual; every wife eventually gets the idea her husband has murder on his mind. However, Fred says, she's usually right.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Fred gives Ricky (who as far as either of them know is simply freaking out for no reason) a dose of sleeping powder to slip in Lucy's drink. Lucy thinks it's poison when she sees Ricky pouring it in her drink. Sharp-eyed viewers will notice it's Ricky who gets the drink that had the powder poured in it, but it's still Lucy who suffers the effects.
  • Weirder Than Usual: When Fred happens in on Ricky trying to call Lucy out of their bedroom, Ricky tells Fred that Lucy has been acting insane. Fred asks if he means insane by her own standards or those of normal people.