Murder, She Wrote: Unfinished Business   Rewatch 
January 27, 2015 7:23 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Re-re-retired Lt. Barney Kale decides to use his new-found freedom as a private citizen and re-examine his last unsolved case, in which Lowel Dixon "accidentally" drowned ten years ago at Juniper Lake in the midst of a property development scandal. Cabot Cove's Dr. Seth Hazlit is pulled in the new investigation as a former investor in the development, which draws Jessica into the case. When a young man with no apparent connection to Dixon is killed in a cabin by the lake, it seems like a simple case of mistaken identities, but nothing is ever that simple when Jess is around.
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total)
Doesn't the officer know that all you get with a murder re-enactment is another murder?
posted by Monochrome at 10:33 AM on January 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, of all the ridiculous things! I had to watch this one twice: The first time, the ending made me frantic with apoplexy because the murderer was so stupid. The second time, just now, I am still apoplectic but in a much more resigned way.

Why on earth would the killer insist on calling attention to a murder he literally got away with, scot-free, no problemo, easy peasy, ten years ago? Why would he bring his former business associates all the way out to Juniper Lake and directly into close proximity to his blackmailer? Why would he decide that it was opportune to murder the blackmailer when there was no one else with plausible motive?

Other things!
1. Hayley Mills!
2. Commissioner Gordon!
3. Joanie! (Which really they should have played up the Cunningham Connection a lot more...)
4. Disheveled Seth!
4a. Has Seth always called Jessica "Woman"?
5. I adore Jessica's smart blue outfit from this episode and would like to wear that in every color.
posted by mochapickle at 9:43 PM on January 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

I didn't remember this one based on the description but reading mochapickle's response I remember it too well. Let yourself get away with murder.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:09 AM on February 2, 2015

I KNOW WHY HE DID IT! Remember the young couple in the beginning? Gary Roberts said he was going to catch a fish, but he didn't have any fishing gear. He was the cell mate with Joe Cabrini, a guy who worked at the lake when Berney Kale was tromping around, and it's never clear in the episode, but I'm guessing that Cabrini had something on Kale, but was waiting until he was released to blackmail Kale. Except Cabrini died in jail, but not before telling Roberts about Kale. So Roberts got out of jail, called up Kale and told him to meet at the lake, where there might still be something to tie Kale to the death of Dixon. Roberts doesn't tell his wife to keep her safe or whatnot, so his death at the lake is a mystery until Jessica digs up his connection to Cabrini, who was connected back to the lake.

Because of the new blackmail attempt, Kale came back to put the case behind him for good, by framing one of the people who was involved back in the day, and killing Roberts at the same time. Two birds with one stone and all that.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:58 AM on February 5, 2015

But but but!

Okay, so he seemed like he was on relatively good terms with Hayley, right? I mean, he knew her well enough to have her new phone number. And Kale was this exemplary officer and well liked, so wouldn't it just be his word against some random ex-con, who was bunkmates with Cabrini (who was bad news and therefore an unreliable source)?

I'm sure Roberts was there to blackmail Kale, but it seems like Kale has an easy out: He could easily say Dixon drowned and Cabrini's story was just idle prison talk. Unless there was some sort of evidence remaining, but it never came up. It just feels like there wasn't enough to nail Kale. (Nale Kail?)

PS, the fashion: why don't they sell calf-length pencil skirts anymore? They could be my personal uniform.
posted by mochapickle at 4:03 PM on February 5, 2015

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