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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 4 E 22 The Body Politic

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Jessica comes to the aid of an old friend, up-and-coming politician Kathleen Lane. However, she soon gets a good look at the nasty side of politics when local newsman Edmund Hall accuses Kathleen of cheating with her campaign manager and she subsequently falls under suspicion of his murder. Jessica takes up the job of defending her friend and soon finds a story fully scandalous enough for any political tabloid.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Bad to the Last Drop: When Lt. offers Jessica some coffee, he admits it doesn't look all that good. As the scene ends, he takes a sip of it and grimaces, confirming his suspicions.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Verging on Downer Ending. Kathleen has been cleared of suspicion for Bud's murder, but she's lost a friend, her political career, and her husband in one blow.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Mr. Lane proudly announces that his wife has closed the gap between her and her rival to seven points, the same numbers on the (mistaken) note slipped under Kathleen's door. He turns out to have been inside.
    • Edmund Hall brings up a past financial incident involving Mr. Lane while interviewing Kathleen for Face the Issues. The increased visibility about his indiscretions turns out to be Mr. Lane's motive for sinking his wife's campaign and killing her campaign manager.
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  • Dramatic Irony: Kathleen gives the last part of her statement about her return to being simply Mrs. Lane, the wife to an absolutely wonderful man, shortly after Jessica gets him to confess.
  • He Knows Too Much: A preemptive version. Mr. Lane knew Bud would begin to put two and two together once the photos hit the news. He faked his suicide to keep him quiet.
  • Hollywood Hype Machine: Kathleen points out the hypocrisy of the media, noting that they built her up as the brave underdog while she was still trailing in the polls, but once she started to catch her opponent, they instead began looking for dirt to tear her down.
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