While in the hospital with a fractured leg, Jessica investigates the murder of a doctor.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Barney Ogden
Melanie Barker
Stephen Elliott ...
Dr. Samuel 'Sam' Garver
Billy Don Baker
Sam Groom ...
Dr. Wes Kenyon
Lt. Ray Jenkins
Dr. Ellison
Nurse Jennie Wells
Milton Porter
Nurse Marge Horton
Sadie Winthrope
Lucille Meredith ...
Mrs. Brindle
Paul Tuerpe ...
First Guard
Fred D. Scott ...


Texan millionaire Milton Porter welcome at the airport Jessica, who will testify on behalf of his client Endicot, who is falsely accused of plagiarism, but she abhors his eagerness to (counter)sue people for a fortune. When playing children cause her to fall and strain her ankle, he drives her to a private luxury hospital where she is fitted a cask by Dr. Ellison, who is in openly nasty competition with Dr. Wes Kenyon for the succession of their chief, Dr. Samuel 'Sam' Garver. That night, Sam drowns in his own vestibule fish-pool, there are traces of forceful entry. Inexperienced city police lieutenant Ray Jenkins asks Jessica to help solve the case. Nurse Jennie Wells was seen sneaking out of hospital and near Sam's house, then the wrong gun is found in her locker... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

31 March 1985 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character of Jessica's litigious lawyer bears a striking resemblance to flamboyant Texas litigator Richard "Racehorse" Haynes. See more »


Lt. Jenkins mentions a neighbor watching the 11 O'Clock News. Texas, where this episode takes place, is on Central Time, so the news would have been on at 10 O'Clock. See more »

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User Reviews

When Jessica's Tumble Generates a Domino Effect
5 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Marking one of her final television performances, Classic star and U.S.O. entertainer Martha Raye joins the legendary Eddie Bracken, and several other famous stars, as Susan Oliver, Kay Lenz, Stephen Elliott, Kevin McCarthy, Bo Hopkins, Sam Groom and Martin Kove, in this episode featuring Jessica's first series visit into the State of Texas.

Shrewd Attorney Milton Porter (Kevin McCarthy), defending a client against plagiarism, and filing a counter-suit regarding copyright infringement, solicits expert witness Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), whom he welcomes to the Dallas Airport.

But as Jessica and Milton cross the exterior sidewalk, en route to the Porter limousine, playful children collide with a baggage handler, who trips into Jessica, causing her to fall onto the sidewalk, spraining her ankle in the process.

Milton transports Jessica to an expensive private hospital, operated by (and named after) Doctor Samuel 'Sam' Garver (Stephen Elliott), a precise physician with a tyrannical approach to organizing his operation, firm with his staff, but kind to Head Nurse Marge Horton (Susan Oliver), who arranges for Jessica's processing. (Miss Oliver had recently portrayed Doctor Laura Horton on a daytime serial, which may account for the name of her character here.)

Rivals for a promotion to a position at Samuel Garver Hospital, a dilemma which would leave the loser unemployed, Doctor Wes Kenyon (Sam Groom) and Doctor Ellison (Martin Kove) exhibit their finer qualities around the hospital yet their more cynical attributes toward each other. Ellison fits Jessica with her cast, with the able assistance of Attending Nurse Jennie Wells (Kay Lenz), who subsequently guides Jessica into her room for an overnight visit.

"Doctor Sam," as Garver prefers to be addressed by his patients, tosses a lavish dinner party at his nearby residence this evening, inviting Wes Kenyon to this, with the idea of inviting Ellison to brunch this coming Sunday, in order to prevent the appearance of displaying partiality.

Bickering couple Billy Don Baker (James Gammon) and Melanie Barker (Victoria Carroll) also attend Doctor Sam's reception, when Melanie reminds him of her scheduled check-up at the hospital in the morning. (She must have to be admitted because Melanie appears in the lobby in her robe toward episode's end, when she's still fighting with Billy Don.)

Widower of nine years, Barney Ogden (Eddie Bracken), and cheerful widow Sadie Winthrope (Martha Raye) spend their days at Samuel Garver Hospital, they also exchanging a few barbs with each other and the nurses, as well as with Jessica, who encounters Barney in the lounge this evening, as he watches an 11:00 newscast in solitude.

Doctor Wes Kenyon returns from the dinner party by now, he encountering Doctor Ellison in the lobby, they launching into another debate, in the presence of Nurse Marge Horton and Jessica, while Nurse Jennie Wells slips into the shadows, despondently, for Doctor Sam will not listen to her constructive ideas regarding patient care.

When two security guards receive a signal, warning of a potential break-in, one spots Nurse Jennie Wells in the vicinity of the scene of the crime, at which a body is discovered in a heated indoor fountain.

Lieutenant Ray Jenkins (Bo Hopkins) appears in Jessica's hospital room the next morning, he politely requesting her assistance in investigating the murder, for which he finds himself at a loss for understanding several clues.

Jessica agrees and suggests that they begin with a search of the crime scene, before she questions the neighbor, Mrs. Brindle (Lucille Meredith), and he arrests Nurse Jennie Wells, whom Jessica believes innocent and solicits the counsel of Milton Porter.

During her stay, Jessica often encounters Sadie and Barney, who each requests her company, but Jessica equally as often exits abruptly when Sadie and Barney's conversations spark realizations toward tying together evidence in this case, for which she and Lieutenant Jenkins engineer a showdown involving "Armed Response."

The cast is rounded out by Lavelle Roby as Nurse, Denise Cheshire as Candy Striper, Fred D. Scott as Henry the Chauffeur, Paul Tuerpe as Security Guard #1, and Gerald York as Security Guard #2.

This episode marks the first of two "MSW" guest roles each for Susan Oliver, Bo Hopkins and Fred D. Scott, and the first of three "MSW's" each for Kevin McCarthy and Gerald York.

Martha Raye, acting since 1936, Eddie Bracken, acting since 1940, Stephen Elliott, acting since 1949, Susan Oliver, acting since 1956, and Fred D. Scott, acting since 1972, have unfortunately since passed.

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