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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 2 E 8 Dead Heat

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Jessica stops by the racetrack on her way to San Francisco to cheer on her niece Tracy, a jockey-in-training. Unexpectedly, Tracy receives a massive piece of good luck when Jack Bowen, the owner of Anchors Ahoy, chooses her as a last-minute replacement for his sick jockey. However, the sweet taste of victory quickly turns sour when she's accused first of conspiracy to fix the race and then of involvement in the death of Anchors' owner.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Clear Their Name: Tracy falls under suspicion of being involved in the events somehow, and it doesn't help matters that a container of the chloral hydrate used to drug Mr. Gallegos turns up in her locker. Luckily, her aunt keeps poking around and raising questions with the authorities until she uncovers the real culprit.
  • Got Me Doing It: At the end, the Carpenters finally agree on a horse, using typically nonsensical reasons. Tracy and Jessica have a laugh about the superstitiousness of horse bettors, and then Jessica begins to point something out. Then she stops herself and says she's developing the same habit.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: After Jessica confronts Vicky, Carlos calls her "Querida"note  in a questioning tone.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Mr. Carpenter dismisses his wife's superstitious way of choosing a horse to bet on and says he wishes she'd learn to do it scientifically, like him...and then reels off an explanation for why he has chosen a particular horse that is no less nonsensical than Mrs. Carpenter's.
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  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Mr. Gunn, the veterinarian, tries to kill Jessica by unleashing an unfriendly stallion on her, hoping that the police won't find anything suspicious about a snoop getting flattened by a horse.
  • Spotting the Thread: Jessica figures out the culprit when she remembers that Vicky came back with a ticket for Frost Boy, who was struck from the race at the last minute. With how long the lines were and how soon the cancellation was announced, Vicky couldn't have gotten a betting ticket on Frost Boy unless she had done it earlier.
  • Violently Protective Wife: Literally, in this case. Jessica figures out that Vicky Gallegos murdered Jack Bowen. When confronted with the evidence, Vicky tells Jessica that Bowen had smuggled her husband in after he accidentally injured another jockey with an illegal move because he needed cash. Jack told Carlos he would let immigration have him if he didn't do as he said, and Vicky determined to protect her husband no matter what she had to do.
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