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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 2 E 20 Menace Anyone

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Jessica attends a tennis tournament, but quickly learns someone has a highly skewed sense of fair play when the boyfriend of one of her old students, Carol, dies in a car bombing. Certain someone wanted to kill the young woman, Jessica pokes around the tennis club and the secrets in her student's past. Then murder strikes again, this time in Carol's home. Can Jessica successfully match wits with the killer to protect the innocent?

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Dr. Psych Patient: Jessica meets a girl at the hospital, and, assuming she's one of the staff, asks her about Barbara. When she begins talking about originally being from space, it becomes clear Jessica made a mistake.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: According to Jessica, Carol was voted "Most Likely to Succeed". She further learns Carol was Promoted to Parent when her and Barbara's mother and father died and tried her best to raise her sister well. Barbara admits that she made it difficult for her, getting into every kind of trouble there was.
  • Hostile Hitchhiker: Barbara picked up a teenage female hitchhiker to talk to after Carol threw her out of the house. Said hitchhiker threatened her with a switchblade and stole everything from her.
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  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Carol tells Jessica something Brian told her about a crooked ex-manager. Soon afterwards, she tells her she shouldn't have said it, as her boyfriend had told it to her privately and asks her to keep it to herself. Jessica immediately mentions the high noise level in the bleachers.
  • It's All My Fault: While Carol's therapist never spoke to her after Barbara's "death", he suspects she would have blamed herself for throwing her wild sister out of the house.
  • The Killer in Me: Subverted; Jessica learns that Carol was treated at a mental hospital and Doris tells her she heard Carol and Barbara arguing but didn't see Carol. The officer on the case assumes Carol snapped and developed a split personality based on her sister, which has been responsible for all the mayhem. It's actually a Red Herring.
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  • Life Saving Misfortune: Barbara had her money and her ID stolen by a hitchhiker, who boarded an airplane at her expense. The plane crashed thanks to weather-based electrical troubles, killing everyone aboard.
  • Murder by Mistake: Brian dies when he takes Carol's car to get some papers from her house. Jessica points out to the investigating officer near the beginning that the killer probably wanted Carol and it won't do him any good to look into people who hated Brian. (He admits he thought of that and just wanted to rattle Brian's dishonest ex-manager.) In fact, the killer was Brian's old girlfriend who hated Carol for stealing him.
  • Sore Loser: Donny Harrigan makes his first appearance yelling at a referee for calling against him.
  • Would Rather Suffer: When Carol tries to make friends after their fight, Cissy says she'd rather be near a virus.

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