Murder, She Wrote

Season 2 Episode 21

The Perfect Foil

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 13, 1986 on CBS
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Episode Summary

The Perfect Foil
At the request of aunt Mildred, Jessica agrees to stop by New Orleans to check on cousin Cal while on her way to Houston. No sooner does Jessica get to New Orleans then she is tossed into a Mardi Gras party where the host ends up dead, and Cal is accused of the crime. While attempting to clear Cal's name and reputation, Jessica delves into the world of cheating poker players, cheating girlfriends and vengefilled police officers while trying to convince a local lieutenant that Cal is not capable of murder.moreless

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  • Jessica goes to extremes to acquire some Mardi Gras beads.

    At the behest of another relative, Jessica dutifully travels to New Orleans to check on a distant cousin who hasn't kept in his usual close contact with the family. Through a series of events she arrives just in time (of course) and at just the right place, for another murder.

    Fortunately, although the murder happened at a Mardi Gras party in which nearly everyone was wearing an elaborate mask and costume, Jessica is able to recollect every minute detail from the evening and piece it together with other subtle observations to deduce who the real murderer is, among all the motivated parties who were gathered.

    This episode had all the key ingredients of a great whodunnit: mobsters, politicans, police, paired up with lying, illicit gambling, and betrayal. Combine that with Jessica's steel-trap mind and you have another great installment.moreless
Peter Bonerz

Peter Bonerz

Calhoun Fletcher

Guest Star

Robert Forster

Robert Forster

Gil Gaston

Guest Star

David Hedison

David Hedison

Mitch Paine

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This episode marks the introduction of Cal Fletcher, Jessica's second cousin once removed through her marriage to Frank.

    • It seems highly unlikely that someone as conscientious as J. B. Fletcher would make plans to stay in New Orleans the very last night of Mardi Gras (which led to her not having a place to stay upon her arrival) simply for the sake of a vaguely concerned relative. If her cousin, Cal, had not been in contact with the family for three months, one more day should not have mattered.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Lt. Edmond Cavette: Jessica, you are a warm and beautiful woman! You are also stubborn, mule-headed and impossible!

    • (Introducing herself to Cal.)
      Jessica Fletcher: I'm Jessica, your cousin from Maine. Well, sort of. My husband Frank's uncle was your father's cousin, or was it nephew, I'm not quite sure.

    • Aunt Mildred: I'm very worried about Cal.
      Jessica Fletcher: Cal?
      Aunt Mildred: Second cousin once removed on Frank's side, Jane and Edward's son. The one who lives in New Orleans and collects butterflies.
      Jessica: I don't think I know him.

  • NOTES (0)