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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 3 E 14 The Bottom Line Is Murder

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Jessica arrives in Denver, both to appear on a talk show and to visit an old friend, Dr. Jayne Honig. However, she quickly finds herself more absorbed in action than in talk or visiting when local tv star Kenneth Chambers, a consumer advocate of questionable honesty, meets his end by bullet and Mr. Honig becomes the primary suspect.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Lynette Bryant brings in the information on a story and gets shut down. The tape of the episode later turns up in Mr. Chambers' safe, along with bribery money to kill the story before it reached its audience.
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    • One of the workers, trying to fix Chambers' broken VCR, accidentally spills coffee on him and the chair. This gives Jessica proof when she notices something odd about the way the body was facing when discovered and the fact that the coffee stain wasn't on the chair where Chambers was found. It implies he was killed elsewhere.
    • Lt. Flannigan dumps out a cigar ash when he comes into Chambers' office to investigate. The cigar ash turns out to have been left by the murderer, after the accused had already left.
  • Collector of the Strange: Bert Tanaka, the cleaning man, keeps a decades-spanning collection of trash thrown away by celebrities who have visited the studio. He excitedly shows it off to Jessica.
  • Implied Death Threat: Mr. Rinaldi, a toy seller, pays Mr. Chambers a visit about the episode he's planning to run on his teddy bears. He rips the head off one and says that will be Chambers if he runs the story.
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  • Karma Houdini: Jessica catches Chambers' killer, but The New Bottom Line will probably continue without him, smearing business owners with trumped-up charges about their merchandise.
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: A third-person variation; Lt. Flannigan says that honesty was Chambers' middle name. Jessica begs to differ. However, even after he turns up evidence of bribery, he still insists on Chambers' innocence.
  • Murder by Mistake: The killer turns out to have shot the victim by mistake; the person he was really trying to kill was the husband of the woman with whom he was obsessively in love, in whose office he killed the victim.
  • Quote Mine: At one point, The Bottom Line intends to run a show on a bulletproof vest, claiming it's unsafe. They cut a clip of an expert saying it's bulky but effective down into something that says it doesn't do its job.
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