Early in the fourth seakid of Murder, She Wrote is the episode Witness For the Defense. It’s a courtroom drama, which is rare for the series. The activity takes location greatly external of the courtroom, it’s true, but that likewise tends to be true of courtroom dramas. Interestingly, it takes location in Canada where the court device is pleasingly British.


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Jessica, by the way, is the eponymous witness for the defense. She’s been dubbed up to Canada to be a witness in the murder trial of a frifinish of hers. The scene opens via Jessica being shown into the regulation office of Oliver Quayle. She meets, however, not Mr. Quayle however his assistant, Barnaby Friar.

You are watching: Murder she wrote witness for the defense


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Barnaby is an affable, likeable fellow who, it transforms out, is a lot of the reason that civilization will deal with Oliver Quayle at all. That plus his impressive document at winning murder trials. Which brings us to the topic of why Jessica is there: she was asked to come as a witness in the trial of the Crvery own vs. James Harlan. Barnaby says letting the good male carry out the explanation. This, by the way, is the great man:


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If you can imagine it, his speech is also even more pompous than he looks. He’s also exceptionally busy; his tailor is fitting him for a brand-new suit while he’s on the telephone. (The call was around a friend that wanted to borrow his jet for a few weeks.)

Instead of telling Jessica what the trial is all about, he has actually her narprice the occasions of the fateful night that Jim’s wife passed away. Jessica, for as soon as, complies rather of demanding answers. I intend exposition is even more important than Jessica’s principles.

It was about six months back, and also Jim was about to publish his second novel, and also he had actually invited her up to look at the galleys…

As a side note, it’s curious how many type of authors ask Jessica to read their book, regardmuch less of what genre they’re composing in. I mean her having been a high school English teacher comes in handy, right here. Why they all invite Jessica over quite than sending her the manumanuscript I don’t know; it appears like an inefficient use of time. The authors perform should obtain Jessica out of Cabot Cove somejust how, though, and (I suppose) this is as good an excusage as any. Even so, I can’t assist but wonder how Jessica is on such close terms via people almost everywhere the human being regarding review their manuscripts and give them advice on their life’s work. Her myriad of nieces is even more plausible.

Jessica defines by saying that she had actually presented him encouragement on his initially book and also they had actually become close. This reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s comments on saying that life started on earth bereason aliens planted it here: it’s just kicking the deserve to down the road. If memory serves, his analogy was that it’s no answer to wright here did the gorganize in the cemetery come from to say that it came from a bordering cemetery. She was asked to offer him advice on his second book because she had actually offered him advice on his initially book doesn’t really answer anypoint.

Still, I can be sympathetic to the problem of just how you speak to your amateur detective in. It’s not basic, and also the writers of Murder, She Wrote had to perform it 2 hundred and sixty 4 times. With that many kind of times of calling Jessica in, they can’t all be winners.

Here’s Jim worriedly asking what she thought of the book:


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(If you recognize him, that’s because Christopher Allport, the actor playing Jim, had actually previously played Donald Granger in If The Frame Fits.)

After Jessica talks about exactly how wonderful his book is, a automobile pulls up exterior. Jim goes to the home window and announces that Patricia is ago. Patricia is his wife, and also in the photo listed below is the one in blue. As she and a friend called Monica Blane walk out of her expensive sports car…


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She nods her head in acknowledgement, then goes into the house. How Jessica knew either about the winking or the nodding I have no idea, because Jessica was toward the earlier of the room via a curtain on the window and couldn’t probably have actually checked out either. (She’s in the exact same location in the room you can watch in the picture of Jim asking her just how she chosen the book.)

There’s some schmoozing and Jim and Patricia seem genuinely affectionate. Tright here are a few crucial points, though:

Monica has to leave on a 7:40pm flightPatricia has a lovely brooch that is a gift from her husband on their initially anniversary anda family heirimpend that belonged to his grandmom.Patricia booked an appointment to have actually her hair done at 6pm so she asks Jim to run Monica to the airport for her.Jim agrees and talks around protecting against for some drinks via Monica on the means to the airport in a extremely suggestive manner.

When this clue session is over, Jessica then skips the narration to that evening, when they gathered for dinner at precisely 8:30pm in the Harlan town home in the city. Jim’s mother, Judith, will let nopoint interfere via her program.


After a little bit of chatter in which Judith seems to suggest that Jim’s book isn’t any kind of great, a servant comes in and tells her that tright here was a fire at the nation residence.

Jessica then retransforms to the existing and also tells Mr. Quayle that Jim was devaproclaimed when he learned that Patricia passed away in that fire. Mr. Quayle then goes on around what a great witness Jessica will certainly make, with her nationwide standing and Cabot Cove Maine down-residence background. He asks if she has actually a straw hat with violets in it and says that Barnaby will get her one to complete the look. Jessica indignantly protests that she will certainly not play a nation bumpkin for him or for anyone else when he’s interrupted by a phone call from his ex-wife.

I discover it challenging to take Jessica’s indignation seriously. She is not so scrupulously hoswarm that she never before lies throughout her investigations. In Night of the Headmuch less Horseman she pretended to be Dorian Beecher’s mother. Mr. Quayle isn’t even asking her to lie—he’s simply asking her to dress in a way that will certainly be particularly sympathetic to the jury. This isn’t the sort of point that anyone should be indignant around, let alone a woguy who will certainly lie and also wear costumes throughout an investigation and also that is never bothered adultery to say nothing of fornication.

As Quayle’s phone speak to with his ex-wife—which, oddly, contained an amount of affection which might have actually been excessive had actually it been his wife—concludes, Barnaby reminds him of his following appointment and he leaves a flustered Jessica without answers. The following scene goes to the Harlans’ tvery own house at night wbelow Jessica asks Jim why he’s been charged for murder. He defines that the authorities believe that the fire was arboy. His mom then comes down and also he goes as much as bed. Throughout the conversation with Judith, it comes out that Judith thought that Patricia was a poor woguy. “Jim was such a serious, studious boy, that he really had no endure via that type of perboy.”

In the following scene we go to the courtroom wbelow the prosecutor for the crown (Miss Pirage, pronounced “peer-ahj”) asks a witness what he concluded after his laboratory investigations. I can’t tell what her accent is expected to be; she pronounces laboratory “lah-bohr-a-tory” as the posh English perform, but this is in Canada. Quebec, also, which renders it stselection that the trial is carried out in English, and even more stvariety that the judge, learned counsel, and so on all have quasi-English accents rather than French accents. C’est la vie, I expect.


In his laboratory investigations, he discovered that a gas line in the hot water heater in the basement was dislinked, enabling gregarding escape. A gas jet in the oven had actually been left on upstairs, bring about a gas explosion. I’d have believed that all this would certainly have actually been less complicated to recognize in a crime-scene examination than a laboratory investigation, but perhaps in Canada they have actually much better lighting in their laboratories and also no flashlights. It’s been a lengthy time considering that I’ve been to Canada. I don’t remember what it’s choose up there.

Mr. Quayle cross-examines in a pompous style that’s pretty funny. He starts by clarifying whether it’s Miss Pirage or Mrs. Pirage, and also describes that he prefers to be precise and would hate to start by offering her a husband she does not have actually. She quips ago that if she decides she wants a husband also, she’ll remember his generous market. The actors pull it off, and also it does come across as funny.

Mr Quayle then begins his cross-examination; he incredibly theatrically elicits from the witness that all he uncovered was an open up valve on the range which is the limits of his knowledge, and is merely surmising that it was left on and also was the cause of the fire.

The next witness is the gardener, that testifies that on the day she died he heard Patricia and Jim yelling at each various other. She wanted a divorce. Jim’s answer to this repursuit was, “before I provide you a divorce I’ll watch you dead.”

Mr. Quayle’s cross-examination is fundamental character assassination; he brings up that the gardener passed a course in auto-repair from a penitentiary school, and also was fired for theft. He concludes, from the way that the gardener shouts that it was a lie, that he was going to ask if the (the gardener) bears the Harlan family members ill-will certainly, but the question is no longer necessary.

The following witness is a physician who testifies that autopsy was very difficult bereason the fire had almost totally destroyed the stays. They can just determine the body from the jewelry on it—a engagement ring and engraved wedding band also. She does elicit from him—he’s at risk to tangents—that what was left of the victim’s skull had actually a large fracture in the frontal lobe, and also there’s no question about it, the victim died from the blow to the head.


We carry out not watch Quayle’s cross-examicountry. Instead we go ago to Mr. Quayle’s office wright here Jessica, Judith and also Jim are sitting on a couch while Barnaby is pouring them tea and also Mr. Quayle is asking Barnaby for a list of doctors they’ve supplied in the past. What they’re all doing right here, I’ve no idea; I can’t watch why Jessica and the Harlans would go ago to their barrister’s office. Anymeans, Jessica goes right into Mr Quayle’s office as he’s doing research and also indevelops him that it appears to her that Patricia was dead before the fire started. Mr. Quayle asks if she has actually some medical specialization and she replies that it’s simply a matter of widespread sense—it have to have taken some time for the gregarding have actually gotten up to the top floor and if she were alive she would certainly have smelled it.

Quayle replies that it’s up to the crown to prove that she didn’t die in the fire. Jessica answers that it’s not a issue of proof, it’s a issue of logic. I think this is supposed to come off as dishoswarm Quayle vs. honest Jessica, yet she simply seems a bit thick-headed to not realize that in a murder defense, ambiguity is on the side of justice if the defendant is innocent.

Quayle is interrupted by his secretary, that tells him that his ex is on the line. This transforms out to be one more ex-wife, who he addresses in terms equally affectionate as he addressed his previous ex-wife.

Jessica walks back right into the waiting room and talks to Jim. She tells him that if Patricia did die prior to the fire, he may must create his whereabouts. He reminds her that he took Monica to the airport. How that’s intended to help, I’m not certain. Her flight was at 7:40pm and also even earlier then you didn’t drop someone off at 7:39 for a 7:40 flight. Unmuch less these points are much apart he would certainly have actually had plenty of time to gain back, murder Patricia, and also arrive on time for dinner. Jessica decides that it’s exceptionally necessary to track Monica Blane down. She goes and also asks Mr. Quayle if he’s tried to track her down and also he tells her that he has actually decided that her (Jessica’s) testimony will not be crucial, Barnaby will reimburse her for prices, and also he wishes her a pleasant pilgrimage ago to Maine. (Judith slipped into Quayle’s office before this; it appears feasible that she can have had actually something to carry out through it.)

Jessica and also Jim then go for a walk previous a Mounty to talk over the situation.


Jessica then asks Jim around the gardener’s testimony. He claims that Patricia had actually been going via most money and refprovided to account for it. They both gained upset and shelp things that they didn’t expect, but he didn’t thrconsumed Patricia and never would have actually hurt her. Jessica states that the question is, then, why the gardener was lying.

Jessica then takes a cab to the gardener’s shack wbelow he’s working on a vintage automobile.


Jessica prehas a tendency to be a country bumpkin that is hoping to acquire a story into the Cabot Cove Gazette. I intend she won’t pretfinish to be a country bumpkin for Mr. Quayle or anyone else; she’ll just pretfinish to be a nation bumpkin for herself. I believe that in modern parlance that kind of selfishness is meant to be freedom, or integrity, or somepoint. Be that as it might, it’s things favor this that make it incredibly hard to take Jessica’s indignation seriously. And be that as it may, she does manage to pump the gardener for a little information. It turns out that he observed Patricia lying on the floor (presumably dead) via a window before the fire. He didn’t say anypoint about it bereason he doesn’t get associated with the police and also he would deny what he told her if anyone else asked around it.

For some factor we now acquire earlier to the cross-examicountry of the crown’s medical witness by Mr. Quayle. He asks whether the skull might have been cruburned by a falling beam throughout the fire, or if in truth it is not most probable that the skull was crushed in that fashion. The medical examiner admits that it is possible.

The crvery own next calls Nathan Klebber, whoever before he is.


He transforms out to be the owner and also operator of the Blue Sky Motel on Aviation Boulevard close to “the airport”. I discover that last bit imprecision amutilizing bereason it provides sense for television but is out of character. If the learned counsel is going to the trouble of specifying the Blue Sky Motel and also the street it’s on, it would be natural to specify its distance from the airport and additionally which airport. I haven’t checked yet it seems likely that tright here is more than one airport in Canada. That’s the sort of information that screenwriters often leave out, in part bereason it’s (almost) particular you won’t obtain sued by a genuine perkid or service if you don’t actually name them. It’s a little odd not to make up a fake name for it, though.

The learned counsel for the crown asks if on May 14 “of last year” whether he rented a room to an attrenergetic blond woman in her beforehand thirties. He replies that he did; he punched “the card” at 6:53pm. He then leans forward and in his slsimplest voice says that with everyone travelling he occasionally rents by the hour. She provided the name “Monica Blane” on the registration card. She came into the office alone but tbelow was a man through him, and also he observed the guy. He then identifies Jim Harlan.

This is a stselection rotate of occasions for a number of factors. The one that stands out the majority of in my mind is that the sleazy motel owner provides a remarkably confident identification for a male he observed out his office window and in a vehicle, somewhere about a year ago.

Actually, this time framework is itself a difficulty bereason as soon as Jessica gives her narration to Mr. Quayle in the beginning of the episode she states that the occasions she narrated took area “around 6 months ago”. Six months from May 1fourth would be in November of the exact same year. Even if one extended eight months to be “around 6 months” that would certainly only place the episode in early on January. As I’ve formerly noted, I’m not an expert on Canada. That sassist, it is my distinct impression that Canada, in January, tends to be cold. It’s not really the kind of place that a perchild would occupational on a auto outdoors via rolled up sleeves. Moreover, the exterior scenes we’ve checked out so much all showed the lush greens of late spring or summer. Jessica’s flashbacks, likewise, showed lush greens—the gardener was external trimming bushes—so I don’t watch any kind of method for this trial to be less than around a year ago, despite Jessica’s placing it only six months ago.

So just how practical is the identification provided by one of the sleaziest witnesses ever to sit in the witness box of a guy he saw a year ago, with his office home window, sitting inside a car? In addition, as soon as tbelow was absolutely no reason for the motel owner to have attached any definition to the event?

To be fair on that last point, it’s likely that the police, during their investigation, would certainly have actually questioned him days or weeks after the event. Presumably he would certainly have actually identified Jim from a photograph then and also his testimony in court a year later on is simply referencing his earlier identification. They don’t show that, yet it’s more reasonable and also plausible via what they’ve shelp. Even so, though, that identification would certainly have been under the really terrible scenarios I described over. I likewise need to question why a motel owner who leas by the hour would even look at his guests sufficient to notification them. When you resolve the general public they tfinish to come to be a blur. Perhaps Jim stood out bereason Monica was so pretty and also he was curious who was with her? That’s not absurd, however it would certainly have been nice to develop.

However before that goes, Mr. Quayle does not tear the motel owner to shreds however instead asks to cross-examine at a later on time, which the judge grants. The crvery own then calls Jessica Fletcher to the stand!

Some extremely dramatic music plays. Mr. Quayle looks surprised then looks at Jessica as if she’s betrayed Jim. She looks around as if he could have been looking at someone else.


Or probably she was just looking away in shame.

The sum total of what she’s asked is all she would have actually testified had actually Mr. Quayle called her—that Jim and Monica left the country house simply before 6 o’clock and dropped her off at the Harlan tvery own residence just after 6:30. He then left via Monica and also the next she observed Jim was at 8:30 for dinner. The learned counsel for the crvery own drastically asks if Jessica has actually no knowledge of Jim’s whereabouts in between 6:30 and 8:30 and Jessica confusedly claims that’s correct.

The learned counsel for the crvery own then states that these 2 hours were plenty of time for the defendant to go ago to the country residence, murder his wife, then gain ago to the city for dinner.

Perhaps so, but if it takes over half an hour to gain from the nation residence to the city residence, as the learned counsel for the crvery own just established, what on earth is her theory of the crime provided that she was the one who called the witness to testify Jim was checking into a by-the-hour motel with Monica Blane at 6:53pm? I mean that the airport could be right beside the nation residence, yet unmuch less that’s the instance and we’re further to expect that Jim and Monica didn’t actually perform anything in the hotel room they rented, the learned counsel for the crown simply establimelted Jim’s alibi.

Instead of thanking the Queen’s Counsel for proving the innocence of his client, Mr. Quayle automatically cross-examines Jessica and engperiods in among the the majority of entertaining courtroom character-assassinations I’ve ever viewed.

He starts by asking if she has ever provided the alias “J.B. Fletcher,” and also as soon as she claims that it’s the name she uses on her publications, he asks, “So, you admit that you are a writer?” When she admits this, he asks, “And it remained in the guise of a writer that you wheedled your means right into the confidence of the Harlan family?” A moment later on he asks, “Do you deny that the plot for your following book was stolen from an unpublished manumanuscript by James Harlan?” Quayle replies to her denial that it’s a issue that they will certainly leave to the civil courts to decide. He then asks if she remembers being committed to the State of Maine Institute for the Criminally Insane in 1985.

The learned counsel for the crown objects and the judge sustains the objection, but Jessica answers anyway—she wasn’t committed, she gotten in the institution voluntarily. Mr Quayle asks if it was under the treatment of Dr. Sidney Buckman, a specialist in the area of criminal psychosis (whatever before that is). Jessica states yes, she was researching a book. Mr. Quayle then commends it as a perfect subterfuge. Jessica replies that the book was called Sanitarium of Death and also was dedicated to Dr. Buckmale. Mr. Quayle surmises out of gratitude for the treatment which she obtained.

He proceeds to ask whether Jessica’s neice, Victoria Griffin, was arrested for murder last year. Jessica states yes. (This is referring to the 3rd seachild episode Corn Beef & Carnage.) He also asks whether one more neice, Tracy Magill, was likewise arrested for murder. (This is referring to the second season episode Dead Heat.) And that her nephew, Grady Fletcher, was arrested for murder not as soon as yet twice? (I forobtain which episodes this would certainly be and tbelow are also many type of with Grady to spend the moment refreshing my memory of the pnumerous them all, unfortunately.) He concludes that “it appears that among New England’s the majority of respected families is a reproduction ground for homicidal lunatics!”

Part of what I love around this character assassination is just how completely pointless it is. Quayle had actually no interemainder in discrediting and enhancing Jessica’s testimony—she provided Jim an alibi approximately 6:30pm and also placed him at the townhome at 8:30pm, which was much better than he was doing without her. Additionally, this testimony remained in no means various than what he had actually formerly said was a little yet crucial role for her to play in obtaining Jim off of the charge. In any occasion, it’s not prefer the jury is going to not believe Jessica about being dropped off at the townhome at 6:30pm because she originates from a household that’s commonly arrested for murder. About the only possible reason that Mr. Quayle had for perdeveloping this pointmuch less character assassicountry was to keep in exercise.

It was most fun to view an episode of Murder, She Wrote that actually acknowledges previous episodes, though. Additional, the actor playing Mr. Quayle (Patrick McGoohan), plays him very over-the-height. It’s simply delightful.

Quayle claims that he has actually no additionally concerns and also Jessica, bewildered and also appalled, gets up. The learned counsel for the crown buries her head in her hand as if somepoint poor simply occurred for her instance.


As I listed, I think that somepoint negative did just take place for her instance, however it was what the last two witnesses which she dubbed testified to. Quayle did her a favor in discrmodifying Jessica, if indeed we are to assume that he prospered in that. No one seems to alert this, however, so we relocate to the next scene in some sort of cafeteria, wbelow Jessica, sits down via the Queen’s Counsel at her invitation.


The QC condoles with her, saying that it feels choose being mugged. Jessica asks whether she really believes that Jim Harlan murdered his wife, and also Miss Pirage (the QC) claims that she inoften tends to prove that Jim Harlan conspired with Monica Blane to kill Patricia.

Next off we watch Jessica and also Jim driving in a car. Jessica asks Jim for the reality, and also he agrees to tell her. He and also Patricia tried to keep up appearances however their marital relationship was sinking fast. Patricia went with money like Jessica wouldn’t think. Even on the day she died she took out twenty thousand also dollars in cash. (It was never discovered.)

Jessica asks around Monica Blane and also the motel. Jim admits that it’s true. He left at 8pm. Monica took a taxi to gain to her flight. Given that her trip was at 7:40pm, that taxi have to have actually pushed awful fast for her to make it on time. Jim went directly earlier to the tvery own home to it make it there for dinner. Jim says that he’s embarrassed by it, however Jessica points out that at least Monica Blane can give Jim an alibi. If she could be found.

That evening while Jessica is acquiring ready for bed, Judith knocks on her hotel room door and also asks if she have the right to come in. She apologizes for the vicious method that Mr. Quayle assaulted her. After some conversation, it comes up that Judith discovered out that Patricia had actually invested a year in jail for embezzling funds from a previous employer and that she had actually been nothing even more than a common Las Vegas showgirl as soon as Jim had actually met her. Jessica surmises that Monica Blane was not an old schoolmate of Patricia’s yet in truth had actually met her in prichild, and also was blackmailing Patricia. Judith had paid Monica an excellent deal of money to disshow up through an intermediary—a exclusive investigator.

The next day Jessica goes to Mr. Quayle’s office and talks to Barnaby wright here she gets him to display her a copy of the police report. It’s gained a photo of the jewelry that Patricia’s body was figured out with. Jessica asks where the diamond brooch is that Monica was wearing, and Barnaby tells her that tbelow was no point out of a brooch.

Just then a exclusive investigator walks in and announces that he’s tbelow to watch Mr. Quayle via information about the area of Monica Blane in exreadjust for “5 large”.


Due to the fact that Mr. Quayle isn’t approximately, Jessica goes to satisfy the private investigator rather. Then Mr. Quayle mirrors up. It doesn’t issue a lot because either means they gain the area of Monica Blane.

The next day in court, prior to Mr. Quayle deserve to call Monica Blane the Queen’s Counsel does rather. Monica testifies that she did spend time with Jim at the motel, however then she took a taxi to the airport because she had a 7:40 flight. When asked if it’s true that Jim did not drive her, she said that no, he shelp that he had actually to go to the nation house to straighten some points out via his wife. Jim stands up and shouts that this is a lie and also Mr. Quayle tells him to sit dvery own.

At this allude I don’t think that the timing functions out no issue who you believe. The motel owner testifies that they booked the room at 6:53pm. Even earlier in 1987, arriving 47 minutes prior to an international flight was cutting it close. But she didn’t teleport to the airport, she invested time with Jim and also then dubbed a cab. Given the time it would require to call a cab, for a cab to arrive, then to drive Monica to the airport, it’s not very plausible that she spent any time with Jim and still made her flight.

More relevantly to the instance, if we assume that the couple only invested ten minutes together… coupling, then Jim has an alibi until 7:03pm. Because it takes well over fifty percent an hour to get from the country home to the tvery own residence, wright here Jessica put him at 8:30, this provides him less than an hour to go from the motel by the airport to the nation residence to kill his wife and also arselection the gas. I intend that this relies on where the airport is, yet my impression was that the tvery own house was on the means to the airport, which would certainly make the timing exceptionally close and also pretty implausible. Outright difficult if the couple was together for twenty minutes and also the airport was at least ten minutes further ameans from the country residence than the tvery own home was.

No one bothers to think around this, though. The following scene is at Mr. Quayle’s office, where Jessica and the Harlans are seated, talking. Jessica provides the suggestion that if Monica was blackmailing Patricia, probably she was trying to incriminate Jim in order to distract from her very own crimes. This possibility really must have actually arisen to Jessica once she was spfinishing so much initiative to try to situate Monica to assist Jim.

Mr Quayle arrives, yells at Jessica, then needs the Harlans come with him into his office. Mr. Quayle’s secretary comes in in search of an earing, which Jessica finds for her. She remarks that it’s not worth a lot but has a lot of sentipsychological worth to her. Jessica then realizes that murdered Patricia.


The difficulty is just how to prove it. Jessica talks to Barnaby and defines her concept. The gardener had actually told her that he went back to the residence lengthy after everyone had left. Perhaps he eliminated Patricia and also stole the brooch. It would certainly be stupid to offer the brooch so quickly after the fatality, so if he took it he more than likely still has it surprise somewbelow. Barnaby interrupts Mr. Quayle’s conference with the Harlans to propose this principle (Jessica assumed Mr. Quayle would certainly be more receptive if it came from Barnaby), and also Mr. Quayle thinks he may be on to something. He instructs Barnaby to telephone a judge to obtain a search warrant. I guess in Canada exclusive citizens have the right to obtain search warrants? What a stvariety nation.

Anymethod, the following thing we check out is a shadowy figure in an elaborate vehicle driving as much as the gardener’s shack (wright here Jessica had actually interperceived him).


Oddly, for Murder, She Wrote, they didn’t disguise the figure extremely well, and in reality in the very next scene they display us that it’s Judith, wearing sunglasses and gloves but additionally distinctive jewelry and also via her inexplicable hair on complete display.


This strikes me as being around a 3% disguise. I suppose that tbelow was no real suggest in trying to organize out the suspense of that the murderer was considering that the options were:

JimJudithMonica BlaneThe Gardener

Option 1 isn’t impossible, yet it’s very unmost likely considering that Jim is a friend of Jessica’s and also additionally a writer. I don’t think that they’re ever the murderer. Also, I can’t remember Murder, She Wrote ever before pulling a bluff by having actually Jessica functioning to clear the murderer the entirety episode while the dumb police officer turned out to be ideal.

Option 3 would be extremely tough to think, even offered the sloppy method that this episode plays via time. Jim alibis Monica till some time after 7pm and at a motel near the airport. Wherever before specifically the airport is, it’s plainly not in walking distance of the nation residence, so Monica would certainly have actually had actually to take a cab or rent a vehicle to obtain tright here, both of which would have actually been idiotic. Plus, Patricia was Monica’s cash cow. The blackmailer doesn’t kill the victim for the same factor that youngsters are told the story of the goose that laid the gold eggs.

Option 4 is unlikely, too, considering that the gardener had actually no motive to kill Patricia and also didn’t usage the time-delay given by the gas leak to attempt to create an alibi for himself. It’s not outbest difficult. If Jessica was wrong about the blackmail, the gardener could have checked out the twenty thousand also dollars in cash and also tried to steal it, killing Patricia in the procedure. The just problem, there, is that he would have actually had actually no way to understand that anyone was trying to find the brooch so he couldn’t be caught moving it to a much better hiding location and we might hardly suppose him to sneak right into his very own shack to plant the brooch on himself to throw suspicion onto himself.

That simply leaves Judith. Due to the fact that we don’t have any kind of options, I guess that tbelow was no suggest in pretfinishing that we did.

As a small suggest, I wonder just how Judith knew or intended that the gardener would be away from his shack. It would certainly be exceptionally awkward for him to have uncovered her tbelow. She does speak to to him several times to make certain he’s not tright here, however I can’t imagine what she would have actually done had actually he been tbelow.

Be that as it might, Judith is captured planting the brooch…


…by Jessica and the Queen’s Counsel, Miss Pirage. Normally, I’d say that this was a stvariety alternative for an authority figure considering that prosecutors never go on searches for evidence bereason if anypoint happens during the search, they will be unable to prosecute the instance bereason they are now a witness in the instance. Who else might execute it, though? There is no police detective in the instance and it’s too late to carry one in. Jim wouldn’t be a great choice and also Mr. Quayle or Barnaby would be worse options. The gardener would technically be a opportunity, but I recognize I wouldn’t want to rely on his testimony. It’s sort of curious that he’s not there, though, considering that without his permission Jessica and also Miss Pirage are trespassing. Perhaps that’s not illegal in Canada?

Judith asks Jessica how she knew, and Jessica says that she had to ask herself who would certainly take an antique brooch and leave a five karat diamond. The answer is someone to whom it was a family members heirimpend. Judith states that her mommy was extremely fond of it, and it was a gift from her father.

Judith decides to confess to whatever. Patricia’s appointment was not with her hairdresser (what a shock!) however with Judith. She was going to confront Patricia via everything that the exclusive investigator had actually discovered out about her background. She available Patricia many money to quietly divorce Jim, without scandal. Patricia was not only greedy yet abusive; she hit Judith. Judith got hold of whatever was nearby—the poker in the fireplace—and also struck her dvery own. She’s the one that disconnected the gas. She calculated that she had sufficient time to get to the tvery own home before the fire consumed Patricia’s body. She couldn’t bear to see her mother’s brooch damaged so she rerelocated it from the body.

I find it curious that the brooch was the only thing of sentimental value in the whole nation home. It was fortunate, I guess, that all of Judith’s sentimental attachments were stored in the town house.

Miss Pirage leads Judith ameans as if she has some sort of authority to arremainder her, and prior to leaving the shack Judith transforms to Jessica and states, “I hope you realize that I never before would have let Jim be convicted for something I had done.” Jessica nods.

The closing scene is of Jessica and Barnaby talking. Barnaby claims that their ploy functioned, so I guess he remained in on it. Jessica replies that she wishes Mr. Quayle appreciates what Barnaby did for him, and also Barnaby mirrors off his new title.


Jessica comments that it has actually a “great, solid sound.” Mr Quayle walks in and Jessica says goodbye to him. He corrects her that it’s not goodbye, yet au revoir. He’ll view her again a few months for the trial. He’s going to protect Judith. “Even the guilty deserve their day in court. I’m going to obtain her off. I constantly get them off.” Jessica says that it’s a trial she would rather skip, and also Mr. Quayle says that she can’t. He’s going to speak to her as a witness.

The episode ends on Jessica’s look of horror.


There are a couple of things which are not small points that this episode leaves unanswered. Why did the gardener testify that Patricia asked for a divorce and also that Jim replied that he’d kill her first? I intend we’re supposed to assume that he lied around it to try to hurt the Harlans in revenge for having been fired, yet this would certainly have been nice to develop. It’s additionally a rather starray motive. Aget, we have to assume that this is based on testimony he gave the police in the days or weeks after the crime; without discovering that the fire was started purposely, it would be a rather odd lie to tell. On the other hand also, if he was informing the reality about having viewed Patricia’s body prior to the fire, maybe he believed that Jim really did perform it and also was trying to aid the police get him. Which would certainly be out of character, considering that he doesn’t favor to talk to the police. Come to think of it, why did he corun with the police sufficient to lie about the fight yet not enough to tell the fact around having viewed the body on the floor prior to the fire? I don’t view any type of method that this provides sense.

Anvarious other question that is left unanswered is what actually taken place through Jim Harlan and Monica Blane? I don’t watch any way that she actually made her 7:40pm flight, however if she didn’t, what happened to her? Why did she attempt to incriminate Jim in the death of Patricia if she wasn’t involved? It doesn’t help her to make an foe of Mr. Quayle (also if she doesn’t understand him by reputation). Having simply testified that they invested time together then she took a cab to the airport would certainly have actually been her safest bet.

Another weird allude is exactly how on earth the 2 ended up obtaining a room together. They were, so much as we have the right to tell, badepend in each other’s agency before driving Jessica to the tvery own house and also in Jessica’s agency from then till about twenty minutes before they acquired a motel room alongside the airport. I realize that some human being relocate quickly but this rivals exactly how fast Pepe le Pew falls in love. Perhaps Monica Blane, via her criminal background, could be this impulsive. Jim Harlan, the studious and also sensitive heart, would certainly hardly be likely to jump into bed with Monica twenty minutes into what appears to be his initially private conversation through her. Especially because he wanted his marriage to occupational out.

Anvarious other question that’s entirely unanswered is what existed between Patricia and the gardener? If Monica Blane was blackmailing Patricia and also Patricia was paying, that would certainly mean that Patricia wanted to continue to be in her marital relationship. Why would she cheat through the gardener if she wanted to reprimary married to Jim? Was she also cheating via the gardener? The just real evidence we have actually is the gardener winking at her and also her nodding back—all of which taken place in Jessica’s reinforming and which Jessica couldn’t have actually well-known.

Also, on the presumption that Patricia was paying Monica blackmail money, why was she? The points that Judith’s private investigator found out about were that Patricia had actually invested a year in prikid for embezzling money and that she was a las vegas showgirl when Jim met her. Presumably Jim already kbrand-new she was a showgirl once he met her, so what injury was tright here in her past coming out. It would be embarrassing to have served prison time for a crime, but why would certainly she wreck her marriage over maintaining this secret?

These questions aside, I was really shocked as soon as the completely unidentifiable corpse turned out to be that it was assumed to be on the basis of jewelry and also not the person who has actually been lacking ever given that then. I had actually assumed that the corpse was actually that of Monica Blane till she was situated. That the mystery was not so complicated was a kind of twist, but not the great type. Nothing was made of it; namong the personalities were misled by it. Nopoint was spanned up by it. It nearly seems prefer it was just an accident that this was possible till it wasn’t anymore.

The uncomposed preeminence of mysteries is that it just counts as a twist if the story transforms out to be more clever than it appears.

Overall, this is an extremely curious episode. As a mystery, it isn’t incredibly good. It’s overly easy. Absent out Jessica’s interference, the learned counsel for the crvery own had probably verified Jim’s innocence herself. Failing that, the murderer would certainly have actually revealed herself had the person Jessica was trying to save been convicted. Many of the ends were loose ends; very little bit was made to fit. On the various other hand also, as an episode of a TV show, it was exceptionally entertaining. The courtroom scenes were enjoyable, specifically Oliver Quayle’s over-the-peak pomposity. It was especially fun to see a nod toward the ridiculousness of every one of the episodes when put together. The sustaining personalities were additionally fun, other than for Judith who was sort of grating however she turned out to be the murderer so that was OK.

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All things thought about, Witness For the Defense is an excellent leskid in just how solid characters can bring a weak story. It’s much better to have actually strong characters in a strong story, of course, but solid characters are, plainly, worth an awful lot.