Murder, She Wrote: Old Habits Die Hard   Rewatch 
May 12, 2015 11:56 AM - Season 4, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Jessica visits the Immaculate Heart Convent to celebrate the dedication service for the chapel's new electric organ, and to spend time with her friend the Mother Superior, Reverend Mother Claire, who was (and still is) something of a wild spirit. While JB is there, an elderly nun with a serious illness died of an overdose, apparently having committed suicide. Jessica isn't so sure, despite the police report that convinces Bishop Shea. Toss in a hob-nobbing politician who is up for re-election and his outgoing wife, the return of a troublesome former ward, a private investigator on his last big case, and a new sister and her suspicious, pushy, jilted lover, and there are more than enough possible motives for murder.
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total)
 
Returning actors: When Ray asked for Jessica's last name ("I would be much obliged, Miss- "), I thought "of course you recognize her, you shady former vet and small town troublemaker!"
posted by filthy light thief at 12:12 PM on May 12, 2015


I loved this one: big juicy secret is always a fabulous motive in a setting such as this.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:55 AM on May 14, 2015


I had a lot of thoughts about this episode:
  • The title was punny, which kind of made me groan, but also amused me.
  • Suspicious boyfriend: This is all your fault! All of you! Even the gardener! I have plans for Sarah and I'm a man, whose role is to plan for the future of his woman!
  • Apparently even Reverend Mother Claire puts fertilizer before prayer, when it comes to her gardening abilities.
  • JB: Ooh, you're dedicating an electronic church organ? I'm there!
  • Jess has a strange notion of peace and quiet, given all the shouting and school bells at the convent.
  • Ray Carter: I'm thinking of packing up my shingle and boxing up my cliches, and heading out the old fishing hole.
  • What a nice tea set, ornate furniture and lavish artwork, especially for an austere convent like this.
  • Bishop Shea: Case closed, latin stuff (Requiem aeternum pacem: rest (in) eternal peace). Oh hey, the organ works!
  • Mary-Margaret, Margaret-Marie and (the other one) should get their own spin-off show, at least for a few episodes. They could call it Mary-Margaret, Margaret-Marie and Me!
  • Aha, the underground railroad! Of course, the convent was connected.
  • Nancy Bates chose the wrong time to come back (and wear black gloves while skulking around in the forgotten basement
  • Amy is the worst at not crying
  • Sister Emily never had tax troubles, or a constipated tiger, or she'd know that the Gospel is not as helpful as she thinks (so jokes the atheist)
  • Bishop Shea: if it wasn't suicide or old lady madness, there is one final possibility: God's wrath.
  • JB: Sarah, well, I think it's very important that we all try to be as honest with each other as possible. Sarah: Honest, what does that mean?
  • Hey taxi dude, that is not a parking spot. That's a curb cut for ADA access.
  • Oh Jessica, employing the old 'drop my purse to get a look in his shirt' trick.
  • Prison: more helpful than the convent
    Now you catch me here like this, it doesn't look very good for me, does it? And did you kill her? No! Look, I admit that I hated her for sending me to prison. But I got a lot of help there. Probably saved my life. I tried writing her to tell her that. But because of all the hate mail I'd sent in the past, I just kept getting the letters back unopened. So I figured the minute I'm sprung, I'll come straight here to see her, only I wind up getting the door slammed in my face. That's when I knew if I wanted to see her again, I'd have to use the tunnel.
  • Jessica, talking about knowledge of the re-opened Underground Railroad tunnels: "You know, a kind of matter of honor among the wards. Unfortunately, I'm afraid it's become a matter of murder."
  • Which brings us to JB's next book title: Matter of honor, matter of murder
  • Jessica, damning Nancy with some faint praise (or being super judgy about ex-cons): "You could have killed me, and you didn't. And that's saying something." You know, being a former con and all.
  • Murder, She Wrote: back again with StalkerVision! (the creepy view of peering through bookshelves and hearing the voyeur's own breath).
  • Now in the new Murder, She Wrote edition of Clue! Mrs Simpson, in the habit, with the needle
  • Mrs. Simpson, I'll miss you. You're one of the most dramatic characters on this show in a while.
  • When Mrs. Simpson ranted about being a foster kid, "finally wind(ing) up here in this crummy convent," I thought this is surely the nicest crummy convent ever.
  • "It was such a lovely service. Oh, Sister Emily would have been pleased." No, Sister Emily would have been pleased to still be alive.
  • And we end with JB, the sly ego stroker, making Bishop Shea feel important for his minimal role, after an episode of obstructions.

posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 AM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


When Mrs. Simpson ranted about being a foster kid, "finally wind(ing) up here in this crummy convent," I thought this is surely the nicest crummy convent ever.

I don't think the "grunge" scene was happening yet, so she had no proper comparison....
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 12:22 PM on May 14, 2015


Jessica, damning Nancy with some faint praise (or being super judgy about ex-cons): "You could have killed me, and you didn't. And that's saying something." You know, being a former con and all.

Ha! I saw that! By Jessica's logic, in the future, I will remember to completely trust all people who haven't actually killed me.

- Eileen Brennan was a treasure! I could watch her in anything and I was delighted to discover she will pop up in a future episode. I especially adored her in full makeup and dark shadows and wearing a nun's habit.
- Funny to have a show set in Louisiana and have no Louisiana accents whatsoever.

I think I missed part of the background conversation between Jessica and Mother Claire. Did they grow up together?
posted by mochapickle at 9:13 PM on May 16, 2015


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