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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 3 E 2 Unfinished Business

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Lt. Kale, an honored policeman who has returned after two previous retirements, vows to close one last case before he settles down — the death of his friend Lowell Dixon in Juniper Lake. Unfortunately, Dr. Hazlitt turns out to have some connections to the case, and shortly after hearing this, he goes missing. When Jessica talks Sheriff Tupper into going to check on him, she finds herself taking on a ten-year-old murder case and the fresh one created when an unknown assailant kills a young stranger in a local cabin.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Clear My Name: Dr. Hazlitt falls under suspicion, given that he was one of the suspects in the original murder case and that he was up near Juniper Lake when the new murder occurred. Naturally, Jessica believes he couldn't do such a thing and sets out to find the real killer.
  • Detective Mole: The killer turns out to be Lt. Kale, who killed Lowell Dixon because he was about to dismiss him for some favors he did for the wrong people and Mr. Roberts because he was blackmailing him.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Law enforcement called Dixon's death accidental drowning.
  • Murder by Mistake: Subverted; originally, Jessica believes whoever killed Mr. Roberts mistook him for Lt. Kale in the darkness. However, then she demonstrates that the lamp in the cabin had been on at the time, meaning Roberts was the real target. Lt. Kale set it up to look like Roberts had been killed by someone trying to murder him.
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  • Retirony: A variation; Lt. Kale has reached what the city intends to be his last retirement, but he decides he's going to re-open one more case before he goes on the retirement trip they planned for him. He doesn't die. However, given that Jessica figures out he committed the murders, he presumably never got to retire comfortably either.
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