Murder, She Wrote: If a Body Meet a Body   Rewatch 
January 7, 2015 8:00 AM - Season 2, Episode 18 - Subscribe

When Cabot Cove's widely respected financial advisor, Henry Vernon, dies suddenly, several residents of Cabot Cove note how quickly his widow Connie arranges for his funeral service and cremation. Henry's mistress disrupts the funeral service and accuses Connie of killing him. In the subsequent tussle, the coffin is knocked over and out tumbles the body of a complete stranger. When Henry's partner subsequently advises everyone - including Jessica and Sheriff Amos Tupper - that the money they've invested is missing, Jessica thinks there's something far more complex going on.
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total)
This episode requires a lot of attention because there are so many mysteries to solve (which body? who was dead? where's the money? who's got the money?) but despite that it had a lot of trouble keeping that attention.

The solution was interesting enough and none of it really felt like a cheat but I think it was just all paced weirdly.

I do like it when Jessica feels the pressure of being a working author as she does in this episode, especially because it damages my secret theory that once she got successful she became a "brand" author like James Patterson.

I'd rather explain how she wrote 30 books in 12 years with her Yankee work ethic.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:21 PM on January 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh, Frederic from Pirates of Penzance, selling blueberries!

The weird pacing might have been subterfuge, maybe? Finding the bodies (and bodies going missing) in an unexpected order helped make the solution a bit more surprising.

Carrie Snodgress has a simply wonderful voice.

Henry Vernon's business partner was confusing to me. He knew the money was missing and kept hedging, but wouldn't he have gone after Vernon's widow instead of just hanging out looking guilty?
posted by mochapickle at 2:09 PM on January 7, 2015

mochapickle, I think you're right about the reason for the pacing, and I commented on it but should have definitely phrased it in such a way that didn't imply that (a) it was a bad thing or (b) my attention not being kept was probably entirely my fault.

I think I go into Murder, She Wrote looking for a very specific show and if it goes away from that at all, I'm not ready for it. It's very much a "comfort food" thing. That's not fair, definitely to people who even attempted to remotely change the formula of a network television show in 1986.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:37 AM on January 9, 2015

It really was weird pacing! I prefer the more straightforward ones, too.

This one was everywhere: the blueberries, the van, the business partner's daughter (who had nothing to do with anything), the business partner hedging and stalling when he should have gone to the police right away after finding the accounts were empty, Henry Vernon's wife flirting with Amos (weird, weird, weird), the funeral home in the neighboring town that could have explained a lot with a single phone call on Day 1, the amorous undertaker, the investor couple with the cabin in the woods, the timing reveal of the bodies disappearing/reappearing. It was just too many red herrings to really satisfy.

There's a New Orleans episode coming up that feels a little manipulative re: the pacing for me, too.
posted by mochapickle at 12:29 PM on January 9, 2015

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