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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 1 E 11 Broadway Malady

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Grady calls Jessica from New York, tempting her into a visit with the offer of meeting former film star Rita Bristol, who has taken a part in a Broadway production. But no sooner has Jessica arrived than Rita's daughter Patti, the star of the musical, ends up in the hospital due to a strange mugging. It's up to Jessica to find who wanted to dim Patti's star.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

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  • The Alcoholic: Apparently Rita struggled with drinking problems at some point in her life. She breaks open a bottle after her daughter is left hospitalized and comatose because of the shooting.
  • Cain and Abel: Barry had an out-of-work actor stage a "mugging" on his sister out of jealousy at how much he felt their mother emphasized her and her accomplishments over him. This may have been all in his head, given that Rita sounds shocked at her son's statement about feeling that she didn't love him as much as Patti.
  • Fair Weather Friend: Rita comments about how losing one's fame tells a person a lot about their friends.
  • Faking the Dead: Jessica fakes Rita Bristol's death to get the murderer to give himself away.
  • Never Suicide: Jessica discovers Rita, apparently drunk, lying on the floor next to the oven. However, she correctly deduces that Rita didn't try to kill herself; rather, the killer wanted the murder to look like suicide.
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  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Rita's glory days as a film star were apparently back in the days of black and white films. The play is an opportunity for her to re-enter the world of show biz, though she seems more interested in making sure it's a good entrance for her daughter Patti.
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