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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 4 E 14 Curse Of The Daanav

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Dr. Hazlitt and Jessica arrive to visit his estranged brother Richard shortly before the specter of a curse falls over the estate. Richard insists that his bride Alice wear a ruby necklace at a party — a ruby stolen from an Indian temple. Before the evening ends, she nearly falls victim to what Jessica considers an attempt on her life, and her husband dies hours later. Can Jessica see through the smoke-screen of the curse to find the real killer?

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Brick Joke: In the beginning, Dr. Hazlitt tries to put off seeing his brother because Jessica still has to meet a real estate agent before he leaves for a family get-together in Moscow, Idaho. When Jessica shows her ID cards to Lt. Ames to convince him she's not an agent, the doctor reminds her of the appointment.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Mr. Davies, Alice's father, murdered Richard to free her of him and leave her with the inheritance. Throughout most of the episode, the viewer would suspect almost anyone else.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Lt. Ames, meeting Jessica and hearing her deductions, assumes she must be a federal agent of some kind. Despite her efforts, Jessica can never dissuade him from the belief. In fact, he often takes her efforts to explain as brushing him off because he doesn't "need to know", or some other spy thing.
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  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Seth initially doesn't want to accept the invitation and only goes because of Jessica's pushing. He finally reconciles with his brother the evening that Richard is murdered. Afterwards, Seth feels awful that they didn't have more time or that he didn't make a move sooner.
  • The Gadfly: Just when Lt. Ames finally looks like he might listen to Jessica's statement that she has nothing to do with any secret agency, Seth breaks in and reminds her she needs to see an agent before he leaves for Moscow.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Two statements trip up the killer. When Alice tells Jessica that her father told her the ruby had been found in Mr. Singh's glove, Jessica realizes the killer's identity, because that information hadn't been released. During the summation, Jessica allows the lieutenant to proceed as though Alice were under suspicion for some time. Then her father blurts that Alice smokes English cigarettes, not Turkish. As Jessica points out, few people would have known the cigarette found at the crime scene had Turkish tobacco.
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  • The One That Got Away: The episode reveals that as young men, Seth and his brother had been in love with the same woman, Molly, who favored Richard. Not sure how to break the news to Seth, the couple eloped. Seth left town and later got Happily Married to a woman called Ruth. The whole matter still strained things between the brothers, but they finally make peace — just in time for Richard to be murdered.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Downplayed; the killer put Alice in a dangerous position first to cast suspicion upon the embassy man who had brought up the ruby's curse when her husband was murdered later. Upon finding out, Alice expresses horror that her father nearly killed her just to deflect suspicion.
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