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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 6 E 20 Shear Madness

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Jessica arrives in Texas when her cousin Ann requests her presence as bridesmaid. However, before the marriage bells can ring in the start of a new life for the happy couple, the groom's life winds up violently cut short, apparently at the hands of cousin George, who spent years of his life in a mental hospital after being convicted for the death of Ann's previous fiance. However, Jessica always found something suspicious about the case, and she steps in to protect George before the circumstantial evidence can railroad him into lifelong commitment.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Best Friends-in-Law: George laments that he doesn't know why he killed Nathan Rollins, Ann's previous fiance, and he seems to lack a motive for most of the episode, given that George adored Nathan and was almost as excited about the match as Ann. This serves as a big clue that he didn't kill him (at least on purpose).
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: George almost stabs himself with the murder weapon when the sheriff corners him, saying that if he gets captured after this incident, the hospital will never release him again. Jessica manages to talk him down with the promise that he'll get to see Dr. Carlson and hopefully get to the bottom of this.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Early on, Ann remarks that nothing about the house except the refrigerator added to the cellar differs from the time her husband lived there. Jessica brings it up to prove that Rosemary Taylor had been in the cellar since the first murder, because she mentioned the refrigerator that hadn't been in there before.
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  • Creepy Basement: Two murders take place in the cellar of Ann's house.
  • Gold Digger: Under hypnosis, George recalls seeing Ann's previous fiance, Nathan Rollins, stealing her jewelry, and recalls his realization that he only wanted to marry Ann to pay off his gambling debts.
  • He Knows Too Much: The first murder occurred when George caught Ann's previous fiance, Nathan, with her diamonds in his hand and realized he wanted to marry her for her money. Nathan, not wanting George to get away to tell Ann, tried to stab him with the clipping shears and got stabbed himself in the struggle.
  • Insane Equals Violent: George got declared insane and sent to a mental hospital after apparently murdering Ann's first groom, and when Bill Sanders dies under similar circumstances, he once again becomes the primary suspect. However, George turns out to be neither insane nor violent.
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  • Mama Bear: Jessica goads Rosemary into confessing by acting as though the police suspect her daughter.
  • Promoted to Parent: Ann and Helen raised George for a considerable part of his life.
  • Woman Scorned: Rosemary Taylor turns out to have murdered Bill Sanders. Apparently, she and Bill had been involved in early life and her daughter Meg actually came about from the relationship. When Rosemary attempted to bring this up and Bill called the romance a "mistake", she reacted violently.
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