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While many PM episodes are often hard to follow, this one really eludes me. I could not for the life of me see what the motive of the two killers was since it was made very clear that the son was written out of the will, and his cohort also had nothing to gain from the death of the owner. It was an entertaining episode, but I saw no motive at all for the killers. Submitted by dickieC, Apr 24, 2013.
To me, this is one of the better plotted shows. Max not only wrote his son out of the will, but planned to leave his money to charity. Beth, seeing Max falling for Pat, contacts Gordon. They figure if they can get Pat to marry Max he would undoubtedly leave his money to her instead. Once Max dies, Gordon can swoop in, marry Pat and get the money after all. The fortune teller bit is just a little show biz. Unfortunately, after marrying Pat, Max refuses to die, and the embittered Buckley's plot to convince Max that Pat is unfaithful is a little too successful - Max might well divorce Pat before she can inherit, and Beth and Gordon's plan falls apart. Hence the poisoning which, if Max had died suddenly as hoped, would probably have been unsuspected. (And here we have our biggest plot hole; I can't see how either Gordon or Beth would have had the knowledge, means, and opportunity to change the digitalis).
Luckily for Gordon and Beth, Pat is accused of the murder. If convicted, she could not inherit and the estate quite likely would go to Gordon. The big questions; just what does Beth get out of all this? Did they plan for Pat to have an "accident"? Or would Beth be happy with a big payoff? Also, I can't help thinking the truth of Gordon's identity would lead to a lot of uncomfortable questions.
In a real rarity, we have scenes filmed in a real hotel lobby, not a set. Still, that ubiquitous stairway set makes yet another appearance. DOD 03/25/19
This may be a reflection of William Bast's unfamiliarity with the PM oeuvre. Although he had written for several shows, and would go on to scribe many more, this was is first foray into PM cases. (Incidentally, he was also James Dean's "boyfriend" at the time of Dean's death.) cgraul 5.6.14
I don't know if the episode actually made the points or not, but thinking back on it, I feel like the killers killed Max and framed Pat, knowing that Pat couldn't inherit Max's estate if convicted which would throw the will into probate. That's not really such an uncommon motive in murder mysteries. Submitted by DyNama, 2014.05.09.
I think it's inferred the son is unaware of the disinheritance, since much is made of the fact that he was in Brazil and had no contact for several years. Indeed, the provision of "leaving him a dollar" is to preclude him contesting the will if/when he should learn of its provisions. Submitted by Notcom, 060316.
What I find disturbing is Max' change of behavior: he becomes controlling and paranoid. He told her while courting that he knew she wasn't in love with him, and that was okay, but he didn't want her love, he wanted her obedience. Pat may not have known of this side of Max but the killers counted on it and fanned the flames. We were not told, however, why he thought she wanted to murder him--we don't know how much time elapsed but surely they were still in the honeymoon stage. Submitted by DyNama, 2014.05.09.
+ As Perry gets the doctor to testify to, digitalis in large doses can cause delusions. When Pat says she's never seen him act the crazy way he's acting, we can assume it's the poison at work. Submitted by JazzBaby, 6/20/2019.
Although post-trial get-togethers are de rigueur for the office staff - sometimes Burger and/or Tragg even show up - it isn't often that the defendant will join in for a full dinner...but why shouldn't Pat come along ??? Other than the fact that her best friend and her "Prince Charming" conspired to murder her husband (the latter's father) and she'll be stuck with a hefty legal bill, what's not to celebrate ??? Pondered by Notcom, 060316.