: 5 out of 5
: Fun mysteries, Jessica herself
“So You Admit That You Are a Writer.” “Well, I’ve Never Felt the Need to Deny
It. At Least Not So Far.”
This has been a strange season in the world, and that is
being reflected on TV.
would be filled with new episodes of my TV shows as they build up to May sweeps
and season finales.
Instead, it was very
quiet with very little on since most shows had to end their production
schedules early and networks were spreading out new episodes.
So what did I do?
I decided to jump into season 4 of Murder, She Wrote
to fill the TV gap instead of waiting until mid-May like I
It was a welcome escape.
If you have somehow missed this 1980’s classic, it follows
Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).
While trying to get over her grief of losing her husband, she decided to
write a mystery.
It became a best seller,
and her second career was born.
she also finds herself involved in real life murders, wherever she goes.
Fortunately, she is able to notice the little
things and solve the cases, clearing her friends and family in the process.
Over the course of the twenty-two episodes that make up this
season, Jessica finds murder at a fashion show in Paris, she gets a lesson in
TV writing when the plot of one is her books is stolen for an episode of a TV
show, Jessica’s cousin Emma (also Angela Lansbury) finds herself solving a
murder after reconnecting with an old flame, Jessica must clear her niece and
nephew-in-law of murder that could spell trouble for their marriage, a visit
with a playwright friend in Georgia leads to murder, and a visit to meet her nephew
Grady’s fiancée (Michael Horton and Michael’s real life wife Debbie Zipp) ends
in murder at a restaurant.
Of course, fans of the show live for the episodes set in
Jessica’s hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine.
It’s there that we get the closest things we have to recurring
characters in the form of Sherriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) and Dr. Seth
Hazlitt (William Windom).
We get five
cases set in Cabot Cove this year.
hitchhiker dredges up an old murder case.
When the deputy’s wife is murder one night, all kinds of secrets in town
come to light.
The annual Founder’s Day
celebration is interrupted when a Native American shows up claiming to own the
land where the town has been built.
sister arrives for an unannounced visit, and her in-laws are right behind
Finally, the death (by natural
causes!) of a citizen sparks rumors of a treasure possibly connected to
Seth gets an extra
episode as he and Jessica travel to DC and reconnect with his brother along the
I’ve been keeping track of the Cabot Cove episodes as I
rewatch the show, and this year was not kind to my stats.
Of the 86 murders that Jessica has solved
over the course of four seasons, we now have fifteen and a half that took place
in Cabot Cove.
That’s five new ones this
Making things worse, four of them
involved residents of town, and only one involved people from out of town.
That brings those totals to nine murder
involving residents and six and a half involved people from out of town.
The numbers were pretty even until this year.
On the other hand, Cabot Cove started to be fleshed out this
For the first time, we see the
This is also the first
season we meet realtor Eve Simpson (Julie Adams).
While it wasn’t acknowledged this season,
this would be the final season with Tom Bosley as Amos Tupper since he’d go on
to star in his own TV mystery show – the Father Dowling Mysteries
In case you couldn’t tell by how I’ve rambled on about it, I
love this show.
The mysteries are always
Yes, it is often obvious when
they are showing us the clues, but I still don’t always remember what those
Although I did find a
string of episodes where I did remember things as I was watching them.
I wouldn’t remember an episode as I got
started, but we’d hit a certain scene, and I’d know exactly how the rest of the
plot was going to play out, including the important clue that had just
Since it’s been years since I
watched these episodes, that amazed me.
And it’s fun just to watch Jessica in action.
Angela Lansbury is excellent here.
She can make Jessica be as sweet and innocent
as could be or tough, depending on what the situation calls for.
She does it without missing a beat.
And the character is always sharp.
People dismiss her at their own peril, which
It’s also fun to see who will
pop up as guest stars in any given episode.
This season, we get Robert Reed, Janet Leigh, Dean Jones, Dean
Stockwell, Frank Gorshin, and Shirley Jones.
Those are at least the names that meant something to me.
The twenty-two episodes of this season are collected on DVD
on five discs in their native full frame picture and stereo sound.
This isn’t a show that will challenge your
system at all, but it is a TV show from the 80’s, so this is just how it
The only extra is a
bonus episode from season five.
sure why this particular one was included, and it seems rather silly now since
all seasons of the show are available on DVD.
Whether I remember the plot of an episode or not, it is
always a pleasure to be in Jessica’s presence, so I enjoyed every minute of
season 4 of Murder, She Wrote
This is a light, fun mystery show that will keep you entertained for