In comparison to the usual knives, fireplace pokers and guns left in the glovebox, this episode features a most unique murder weapon. See for yourself. Submitted by Bill-W2XOY on 08/15/2013.
Semantics: The victim was poisoned. The item was not necessarily a weapon, but a unique way to deliver the prussic acid. Submitted by H. Mason 10/29/14
Hard to believe the item (we have avoided mentioning above) was not removed by the person responsible for Flavia's death. Submitted by H. Mason 10/30/14
It caught my attention when the medical examiner looked down at the fully clothed Flavia lying on the floor and said, “No postmortem lividity.” Postmortem lividity is the pooling of blood in the lower or dependent parts of the body, blood caused to settle by gravity, and in a person who died supine it would be visible from the back and sides (the victim’s clothes having been removed). Not sure how he was able to tell by looking at her face! Submitted by Dan K, 6 January 2019.
So in addition to guns in the glove box, folks in Los Angeles drive around with cyanide in the trunk! DOD 09/18/20
I believe this episode makes Robert Ellenstein the only actor to have played a medical examiner and a victim (Howling Dog). DOD 10/21/22
One of the episodes where Perry has a "rush job" for Paul. Submitted by HamBurger 8/9/2014
In this episode we learn of ante-nuptial, as opposed to the more common post nuptial agreements. DOD 09/05/19
Clairvoyance: Early on when Henry De Garmo is trying desperately to reach Flavia, he says, "I don't care of the lines to Los Angeles ARE busy; try wireless or something!" . Too bad texting wasn't around, huh (sure, he meant radio...) :-D Submitted by Arisia, 03/02/18 G Notice, too, he pronounces Angeles with a hard ‘g’. DOD 09/05/19
Venue: given the (initial) lack of certainty as to whether/not this was actually murder, this case would seem to have been an excellent one to have either taken place at a coroner's inquest, or simply investigated ex curia ( a la TCO a Place Called Midnight). Granted, there are many other shows where there is an absurd lack of evidence against Perry's client, and that lack doesn't prevent prosecution, but this is one of the few - maybe only - ones where the deficiency is so clearly pointed out in the proceedings. And of course it also would have been convenient to skip the courtroom since show was lacking a permanent DA at the time. Submitted by Notcom, 103115
This episode contains one of the most absurd scenes in any show, especially a PM episode: After Flavia collapses, Charles goes to her, she states she is poisoned, and he dumps her head back on the floor and rushes around, grabbing the bottle, running to the water fountain, back to the office ... all while his wife is lying on the ground dying. Does he call the police? Yell for help? Nope, just this ridiculous jumping around while she lies alone on the floor. cgraul 11.11.16
+ Actually it was NOT absurd at all. Have you ever heard one of the definitions of 'mixed emotions'? It's "watching your mother-in-law drive over the cliff in your brand new Mercedes". Charles was paralyzed by a number of mixed emotions. First, he wanted a divorce but, she wouldn't give him one; second, he had just found out that Flavia literally owned EVERYTHING. Third, Hope gave him that bottle of champagne, and if it DID contain poison, he wanted to protect her. Fourth, her dying would be the perfect solution to every single problem in his life. So, he was LITERALLY frozen and unable to act (clearly or otherwise) due to the mixed emotions flooding his brain. This happens very often in real life too. How many times have you thought, "Gee, I should have done (or said) such-and-such!" Submitted by Arisia, 03/02/18
++ I have to go with 'cgraul' on this one: altho all of 'Arisia's points are correct, and it would make sense that they would come into play if Charles had found a body, Flavia was still alive; wouldn't, instinctively, all of your efforts go toward helping someone in distress ?? Even if your sub-conscious kicked in, and emotions counterbalanced each other, wouldn't the result be a kind of paralysis...resulting in you doing...nothing ??
That having been said, in actually viewing the scene, it didn't seem absurd. Perhaps it happened too quickly, or we're just used to the absurd here. Notcom, 021622.
To me, John Conte strongly resembles Richard Conte who starred in more than 100 films in the 1930s-70s, although I can find no reference to any family ties between the two. jfh 23Aug2018.
Early in the episode when George calls Hope at her home, it appears that Hope's TV is actually a box fan with antennae stuck on it :) jfh 04Oct2021
+ It actually is a TV. It’s got the controls on top and a bulge in the back for the CRT. Kilo 2/4/2022.
On the DVD closing credits we see a bottle of Colgates Florient Floral Air Deodorant, Kills Offensive Odor. Submitted by Kilo 5/23/2018.
Even by the standards of the time, this episode seemed patriarchal to an extreme. There were numerous snide remarks about the weakness and unreliability of women, even from Perry. Creepy George Halliday threatens with a smirk to put his would-be girlfriend "over his knee" and later speaks in court about "retreating from the field," as though it was only due to his gallantry that he didn't have his way with her. At least Judge Ankrum called him on that. In an episode with a comparatively rare woman character who is a savvy business owner that gets her way despite her husband's wishes, it is almost as if the writers resented portraying a capable woman whose life didn't revolve around a man. So they had her killed. Submitted by Vladimir Estragon 12/4/20.
Why didn't Perry ask Tragg, when Tragg was on the stand, whether the bottle had been found to contain cyanide? Or indeed ask the deputy DA before the case went to trial? If the poison was delivered via the broach, there would presumably have been none in the bottle and therefore no case against Charles. So I'm puzzled about that. Further, since cyanide is so quick acting, if it had been in the cup, Flavia (who took a sip in Charles' office) would have had no time to go out and start putting the cape on before succumbing. Submitted by Clothears 28/2/2020.
+ It's "brooch". A broach is an industrial tool used to machine internal and external surfaces, such as holes, keyways, and teeth of internal gears. They are pronounced the same, however. OLEF641 1/30/21
+ The ME said ingesting cyanide would cause foaming at the mouth. Flavia did not exhibit that - probably would be too lurid for the show, though that would have been quite the scene! Rick P 10/4/21
More chauvinism In the opening scene Flavia declares she has no brains for business, so she relies on her husband. Further, in PM's office, PM and PD jokingly claim that Della as a woman is inconsistent. However, it is Della that notices that the final outfit is out of place with the others, and therefore suspicious of what ends up being the damning evidence. Rick P 10/4/21
Risky Business Does it bother anybody else that when Perry asks Hope to put on the dress as part of his demonstration to the court, he knows the brooch is infused with cyanide, and he knows the dress is designed in such a manner that the model has to put the brooch in her mouth to put it on. He stops Hope at the last second from doing that with a warning shout, but what if her reflexes were slow? Pretty risky, Perry, pretty risky.