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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 3 E 5 Dead Mans Gold

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When a former boyfriend, David Everett, turns up in Cabot Cove on a salvage expedition for long-lost gold, Jessica finds that more lies beneath the surface than simply sunken treasure. Early on, one of the divers he employs suffers a near-fatal equipment malfunction, and that night another dies in an apparent hit-and-run accident. Jessica will need to fight past her own old feelings to make sure she figures out the truth in this mystery.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Brainless Beauty: The perception of Susan among the other treasure hunters seems to be this, with remarks about her spending all her time doing up her makeup and Alexandra outright dismissing her as an airhead. In fact even Susan seems to believe this about herself, claiming that '[her] looks are all I have'.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Sheriff Tupper tells Coby about Alexandra's death, he laments that he left her and told the hotel staff not to let any phone calls through that night. Jessica uses this to prove that Alexandra must have called Susan, as she was the only one at the hotel she could have reached.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Susan alleges that the other divers mocking her as an airheaded outsider to the group spurred her to kill Alexandra and frame Coby. To make things worse, her husband's stunned reaction implies that even those supposed slights might be exaggerated or outright imagined.
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  • Gold Fever: The night after Bill's "accident", Alexandra goes into a drunken rant about how they shouldn't have signed the agreement because it will encourage them to kill each other out of greed.
  • Implied Death Threat: The loan shark's hired muscle throws out a string of these, such as telling David that his suit looks nice enough for a funeral and that the boss has been having nightmares of him lying bloody in an alley.
  • Lovable Rogue: David is a charming scoundrel who at least dabbles in scams, gets involved with shady characters and skips town to avoid trouble. It is however eventually made clear that he is far from a murderer.
  • Murder by Mistake: Downplayed; Susan sabotaged the air valve to make it look like someone was attempting to kill her husband, but it worked out worse than she planned when his diving partner comes up before him. She urges them to check on him, and Bill receives medical attention just in time.
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  • New Old Flame: Jessica and David were apparently attracted to one another some time back, before Jessica was married to Frank. However, he left town to seek his fortune and she hasn't seen him in 35 years.
  • Old Flame Fizzle: Ultimately, nothing comes of Jessica and David's "relationship", despite what they felt for one another some time ago and signs they might still be attracted to each other.
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