Murder, She Wrote: School for Scandal   Rewatch 
November 11, 2014 2:56 PM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Jessica is honored to have been invited to Crenshaw College to receive an honorary degree and give the commencement address. The head of the English department is her old friend Dr. Jocelyn Laird. A reception at Jocelyn's home in interrupted when her daughter Daphne Clover, the rich and successful writer of trashy romance novels, arrives unannounced with her boyfriend Nick Fulton. They are loud and rude leaving Jocelyn thoroughly embarrassed. Jocelyn is having other problems as well. She needs to appoint a new Deputy Head for the English department and must choose between Alger Kenyon and Ron Mercer, one of whom will be deeply disappointed with her choice. When Nick Fulton is found dead, Daphne is the immediate suspect, though Jocelyn eventually confesses. Jessica thinks they're both innocent and seeks out the true killer.
posted by filthy light thief (6 comments total)
I have not been keeping up on this show rewatch like I wish I had, but I have to weigh in quickly on this one because I love the setting so much. It is exactly like I imagined a college department to be as a youth, and, with the exception of murder, honestly, not that far off from my experience.

One of the main characteristics to identify the difference between a good episode of Murder, She Wrote and a great one* is that you remember the characters and setting even separate from the murder plot and Jessica's outfits and/or awesomeness . The characters in this one stick with me for some reason.

* "Good" and "great" are the only options, naturally.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:19 PM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really liked this one, too.

And FTL, I've unplugged my tv for the month (deadlines!) but I'll be plugging back in in December to pick up the rewatch!
posted by mochapickle at 9:47 PM on November 11, 2014

Faster Than Light? I meant FLT! :D
posted by mochapickle at 6:22 AM on November 12, 2014

Per Wikipedia, FLT can refer to:

Fairlight (group), a warez release group
Federación Libre de Trabajadores (Free Federation of Workers), union federation in Puerto Rico
Fédération Luxembourgeoise de Tennis (Luxembourg Tennis Federation), the governing body for tennis in Luxembourg
Finger Lakes Trail, system of hiking trails in upstate New York
FLT, IATA airport code for Flat, Alaska
flt., abbreviation for the wind instrument technique of flutter-tonguing
FLT1, FMS-related tyrosine kinase 1, a protein
Abbreviation for forklift truck commonly used in recruitment listings
Front de Libération du Tchad or Liberation Front of Chad

I'm going to assume you meant the Luxembourg Tennis Federation, but I'm not very confident about that. :-)

(Second guess would be the flutter tongue thing.)
posted by Naberius at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

(I'm partial to the Fairlight reference, being an old iRC w@r3z lurker)

Regarding keeping up with these episodes, I'm glad to hear some folks are still interested. To be honest, I get behind in watching, so I've posted a few episodes based on reading reviews and my vague memories of the episode. I have lots of comments on the prior episodes, which I'll be posting today, in case anyone else happens to care that there are zero comments on six episodes in a row.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:32 PM on November 15, 2014

My random thoughts on this episode:
  • Did Prof. Ron Mercer really read from a lurid romance novel to segue into Joyce? And it's a bad enough book that the young men in his class all said it was trash, so clearly he misjudged his audience (unless he was that desperate for the class to react).
  • And this brings in the second young lady who writes popular, trashy romance/light porn novels, though the first was no fraud
  • How is it that books are easier to write than commencement speeches? JB confuses me sometimes.
  • Is Ron even wearing a shirt under his sweater with the sleeves rolled up? The relationship between him and Dr. Jocelyn Laird is most confusing - is it lust, love, or something else?
  • Do English professors often speak in literary quotes, and do writers really call vivid descriptions "word-paintings"?
  • I was glad to see that the questionably placed vase on a small table (sitting in front of the main entry) didn't last 12 minutes in the episode.
  • I love that Jessica continues to jog, and uses bicycles to get places quickly, even asking to borrow one in a pinch.
  • Another bumbling police officer, this time it's Chief Griffin, who is currently enrolled in a criminology course, and has never dealt with an actual murder. This time, he wants Jessica to coach him through things, and she does.
  • I feel like this episode was written by Jocelyn, because what young lady in the 1980s would pronounce her reason for being with someone in one word: stud? (To which I'd add two more: domestic abuse, which Daphne's mother watched idly, to my discomfort.)
  • Murder? At our prestigious campus? Never. Over at the state university, perhaps, but not here. (What weird classism.)
  • And it continues, with the comment "Anybody who'd write scuzzy books the way she does doesn't have the same moral code the rest of us do."
  • Technology alert: word processor!
  • Why write pulp romance novels when you could ghost-write for your sexually confident daughter?
  • Nothing like a murder to bring estranged family members together, to lie for each-other.
  • And then Jessica throws open the closets to let all the skeletons dance together!
  • "She- She promised me the job. Making love to her was- That wasn't my idea." Wait, who said anything about making love? And that's a terrible excuse! "Well, I am a dude, and as a dude, I'll take whatever is offered to me, know what I mean? Nudge nudge, wink wink." "Oh, in that case, husband of mine, all is forgiven." Is that what he was expecting?
  • "Jocelyn didn't love me. Giving that job to Mercer proved that. So, you see, uh, I had to resign." (Really, it had nothing to do with bashing a man's skull in, simply because he touched the lady you fancied?)

posted by filthy light thief at 12:42 PM on November 25, 2014

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