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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 2 E 12 Murder By Appointment Only

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While in New York on business, Jessica runs into an old student, Elizabeth Gordon, who has become the fiancée of Lila Lee cosmetics tycoon Norman Amberson. Strangely, Elizabeth seems distracted and unwilling to discuss her life. When she turns up dead in her room, the apparent victim of a robbery, Jessica resolves to bring her student's killer to justice.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

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  • Alliterative Name: The face of the company is called Lila Lee.
  • The Bride with a Past: Elizabeth used to be a prostitute before meeting Norman. He knows about her past, and, while it bothered him, he only killed her after finding evidence that she had seen (in some way) a former client again.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lipstick Lila Lee made a fuss about during the opening photo shoot and handed to her brother turns out to be the shade that was used to vandalize Elizabeth's painting.
  • Faking and Entering: Norman let himself into Elizabeth's apartment to look for evidence that she had seen a former lover. When she came in, he killed her in a rage and messed up the apartment to make it look like the tragic result of a robbery.
  • Gold Digger: Lila Lee accuses Elizabeth of wanting to marry her brother for his money.
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  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Lila Lee, a fashion spokeswoman, favors lavender.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Jessica finds out after visiting Elizabeth's old employment center that her former student was a prostitute. Her madam, Ms. Keeler, tells Jessica that none of her girls came from the streets.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Lila Lee seems to think Ms. Vandavere, her brother's secretary, is trying to win him over romantically, and she does remove her glasses and style her hair in a less businesslike way after Elizabeth's death. However, Mr. Amberson is still in a daze and doesn't seem to notice any potential flirtation.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: Played with; Norman knew about Elizabeth's past, and, while he was unhappy thinking about all the men she'd been with, he had made up his mind to make the relationship work because he loved her. Then he finds out that she saw one of her old clients, from whom she had promised to stay away, and he goes ballistic.
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  • Smash the Symbol: When he finds out Elizabeth saw (in some capacity) an old client who she had promised not to see, Mr. Amberson intends to slash up her portrait with his pocket knife. He can't find it, so he uses the lipstick in his pocket.
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