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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 3 E 12 Crossed Up

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Confined to bed rest, Jessica soon tires of the monotony. However, a case of crossed phone lines soon enlivens her recuperation. When Jessica overhears a murder plot, she determinedly tries first to protect the victim and then to avenge him, hampered by her own condition and the skepticism of her proxies. Can Jessica crack the case when simply moving cracks her back, and can she protect herself if the killer comes knocking?

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Blackmail Backfire: When it turns out Abel Gorcey had died three hours before his "victim", Jessica is puzzled. However, she eventually figures out that he was killed after trying blackmail.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • At the beginning of the episode, Dr. Hazlitt gives Jessica a beeper that she can use to call him in case she needs help when Grady isn't there. Jessica holds it up while chatting with Dr. Hazlitt, Sheriff Tupper, and Grady after the murderer is caught, implying she used it to prevent being killed for knowing too much.
    • Through the investigation, Jessica figures out that Gordon Rogers was the raspy voice she overheard and that this raspiness resulted from being allergic to his wife's cat. She puts these clues together to realize Dody must have sat in on the call to Gorcey and probably committed the murder.
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  • Cut Phone Lines: Just before going in to kill Jessica, Dody snips her phone lines.
  • Forgets to Eat: During the investigation, Sheriff Tupper forgets lunch. Jessica gives him her tuna pot pie.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • When Jessica sends Grady to fetch Sheriff Tupper, the sheriff passes her story off as cabin fever and tells Grady he'll get her settled down. Cut to Jessica's room, where she tells him she's perfectly calm.
    • After hearing Jessica's account, Sheriff Tupper confidently tells her that no one will be murdered in Cabot Cove that night. Cut to the Rogers estate and two gunshots ringing out.
  • Idiot Ball: While Sheriff Tupper is usually portrayed as less intelligent than Jessica, he ordinarily respects her detective work. Here he first passes off her report of the call she overheard as cabin fever and continues to ignore her objections in favor of his current theory for most of the investigation.
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  • Inheritance Murder: Mr. Rogers had quarreled extensively with his family. The morning he was found dead, he had intended to meet with his lawyer to cut all of them except his granddaughter Leslie out of the will. Dody Rogers, his daughter-in-law, shot him before he could disinherit her and her husband.
  • Plot Allergy: Jessica originally can't figure out which of the relatives put out the hit, because none of them have raspy voices. However, then the family appears on TV. Gordon Rogers is holding his wife's new Persian cat, to which he's allergic. The allergies roughen his voice, creating the raspiness Jessica heard.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Leslie lost her parents as a nine-year-old. Her grandfather Jebediah took her in and raised her as his own. Going by Leslie's description and reactions, they were very close.
  • Rear Window Witness: A variation; Jessica gets her lines crossed with another caller's and overhears a murder being plotted between a man and a hired assassin. She initially tries to stop the murder from happening and busies herself with the investigation after the killing happens anyway.
  • Running Gag: Grady keeps making tuna recipes ad nauseam, to Jessica's dismay. (Admittedly, he has a reason. Given the hurricane looming, non-canned meats might become inedible if the fridge or stove becomes inoperable.) After she solves the mystery, he finally brings her something else: pizza.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Leslie Cameron describes herself growing up as a freckle-faced kid with braces. In the present day, she feels more confident in her own attractiveness. Grady also thinks she's pretty.
  • Shipper on Deck: Jessica tries to pair up Grady and Leslie after sparks fly during their meeting. At the end, she orders Grady to return to Boston on the evening train. Then she casually mentions Leslie booked the same train.
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