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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 4 E 19 Just Another Fish Story

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Grady calls Jessica up to New York with long-awaited, very welcome news: he has become engaged to a young accountant, Donna Mayberry. Unfortunately, matters get complicated by the couples' nerves and yet another murder, a man in the restaurant where Donna works. As Lt. Rupp won't allow the happy couple to leave without giving him all the information he feels he needs, Jessica will have to sniff out the truth in this fishy case.


This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Abilene Paradox: Grady and Donna both have false ideas as to what the other wants after they're married. Donna hates being an accountant and would prefer to give up her career to raise a family, but she thinks Grady won't like it, because he's been so gung-ho about her being a career woman. Grady confesses to Jessica that he'd actually rather have a wife who's a homemaker, but he hasn't told Donna because he doesn't want to hold her back.
  • Accidental Murder: Donna killed Chaz in self-defense. He had tried to cut her in on his crooked business dealings, and, when she refused, he became violent. Frightened, Donna tried to escape. However, she eventually hit him with a frozen yellowfin after he chased her into the freezer and tried to attack her again. She never intended to hurt him and only hid the truth from the police because she thought they wouldn't believe her.
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  • Birds of a Feather: Grady and Donna are both good-natured but awkward people who deeply want to please members of their family; they agree on how to plan out the wedding and even both like accounting (though the last one turns out to be false). They even stutter the same way on the word "married".
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Grady finally confesses to Donna that her father fired him once, she brushes it off as no problem, saying he fires everyone (even her once) and probably won't even remember.
  • Eat the Evidence: Jessica gets alarmed when Tom denies having put the yellowfin out to thaw last night. Looking in the kitchen, she confirms her thoughts — the fish's fins were the murder weapon.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Donna's parents want to throw her and Grady an engagement party before they leave for business overseas. This gets threatened by Lt. Rupp roping them into the investigation. Grady feels more relieved than upset, because he got fired by Mr. Mayberry once and isn't eager to face his future father-in-law.
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  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-Universe, Jessica notes that Alice's accent seems put on for show.
  • Shrinking Violet: Donna has a very shy and even insecure personality. Her feelings easily get hurt and she's very susceptible to accusations (even accidental ones) that she's done something wrong.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: Donna wants to make her father happy, which by her account is difficult, due to his high expectations. She even got into accounting because of her father, even though she hates it.

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