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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 2 E 11 Murder Digs Deep

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While doing research for a book, Jessica comes out to an archaeological dig in New Mexico, a potential site for the lost golden city of Coronado. However, she finds more troubling issues than the desert sun. When local Indian guide Raymond Two Crows is found dead at the top of a cliff, almost everyone concedes it was an accident and the head of the diggings, Gideon Armstrong, determines not to let the story leak out before he's found what he's looking for.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Attempted Rape: Karen tells Jessica that Mr. Armstrong called her into his trailer on a pretense and had backed her into a corner before the warning shots Cynthia fired gave her an escape route.
  • Did Not Die That Way: After looking at the body, Ray's initial cause of death is damage from the fall he took. However, Jessica demonstrates that the fall would probably not have been far enough to kill him, and Dr. Hazlitt, on a second examination of the body, finds evidence that he drowned instead.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Cynthia planned the nightly "show" so that her husband would believe the land had something valuable in it. She hoped that he would buy it quickly without informing anyone about the uncovered artifacts out of fear the owner would raise the price or refuse to sell. Only afterwards, when he had lost a large sum of money, would he discover the gold artifacts had been planted.
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  • Reverse Psychology: Cynthia and Raymond had planned the nightly appearance of a Native American figure chanting a curse to convince her husband that someone didn't want him to find something and to harden his resolve. Jessica explicitly refers to it as "reverse psychology."
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: There's some sharp words between a pair of graduate students on the dig, Karen and Steve. However, Jessica suspects they may be attracted to one another and the episode closes with Steve asking Karen to go on a trip with him, and her words being interrupted by kissing sounds.
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