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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 3 E 21 Murder She Spoke

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Jessica has been booked in a studio to record her mystery books as part of a series for the blind. Mid-recording, a blackout hits the studio, and when the lights come back on, someone discovers Randy Whitman, the owner-to-be, dying of a stab wound to the back. Naturally, Jessica tries to help the investigating officer, Lt. Faraday — despite his belief that it's not "woman's work" — and her interest in the investigation cranks up when Faraday fixes on Greg Dalton, the producer with whom Jessica has been working and with whom she has developed a friendship. Can Jessica shed light on the mystery laboring under such difficult circumstances?

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: At the end, Lt. Faraday thanks Jessica for helping him clear up the mystery and says never in the future will he...undervalue female intuition.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Nancy Dalton tells Jessica they've been having blackouts too often recently. Upon further investigation, Jessica also discovers that they always happen during recording sessions for Books for the Blind and Stoney Carmichael. It turns out one of the staff caused the blackouts by flipping the master switch he rigged on his keyboard. He blacked out the studio several times before the murder as "dress rehearsals" and had the blackout during Stoney's recording session (and when Greg took his pills) to frame Greg and provide himself with an alibi.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: Jessica is stunned when she hears her voice on the recording.
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  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Implied. Greg Dalton seems determined to do everything for himself. At the police station, Nancy chastises her husband for no longer being open with her or allowing her to do things for him since losing his sight. Greg takes this to heart. Later, when he's been released on bail, he asks her to make the coffee, because she always had more of a talent for it than he did even before he lost his vision.
  • Eureka Moment: Jessica realizes the murderer's identity and how the killing was committed when Lt. Faraday calls her at the Daltons' house and mistakes her voice on the recording for her speaking voice.
  • Frame-Up: Lt. Faraday decides Greg Dalton, the producer of the "books for the blind" series, must have killed the victim because he could move in the dark (given that he can't see anyhow), he had been standing near the master switch, and he had reason to hate the victim. Jessica tries to get him to investigate other leads, to no avail.
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  • Hide the Evidence: Nancy excuses herself to make coffee when Lt. Faraday arrives at her house with a search warrant. When Jessica follows her, she finds her trying to hide silverware which matches the style of the murder knife in the dryer. Jessica chastises her and reminds her that it will look much worse when Faraday finds the evidence after she hid it as opposed to if she had come clean with it in the beginning.
  • Hiding the Handicap: Greg Dalton always wears sunglasses and acts as though he never lost his sight, to the point where it's treated as a reveal when he tells Faraday why he can't tell him anything visual.
  • Police are Useless: Faraday ignores Jessica's attempts to offer him leads, insists on arresting the primary suspect without following up on other possibilities, and is so condescendingly misogynistic that it doesn't occur to him that a woman could have committed a murder (though in this case it was a man that killed the Asshole Victim).
  • The Runaway: Cindy Carmichael, Stoney's niece, briefly mentions that she ran away from home to join the music business. However, her uncle hasn't helped her much. Jessica suggests that he's trying to protect her, which seems accurate given Stoney's later argument with Mr. Aglin. Cindy seems determined not to listen.
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