Murder, She Wrote: Season 8, Episode 21

Badge of Honor (10 May 1992)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Jessica intervenes when Seth's long-lost Army buddy is accused of murder.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dave Sanders
Neal Dishman
Mason Porter
Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Robin Dishman
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ...
Ben Oliver
Pamela Susan Shoop ...
Dorothy Porter
Tom Nibley ...
Driver (as John C. Tuell)


Seth is thrilled that Ben Oliver, an old Army buddy long thought dead, is alive and coming to Cabot Cove. Then PI Lawrence Jarvis turns up, claiming that Ben robbed a jewelry store. Ben does so well at the mechanic job Seth got for him that owner Mason Porter promotes him to boat salesman, to which his nephew objects. Jarvis tells Jessica he will catch Ben, no matter what it takes. When Mason Porter is found dead with $60,000 missing from his company safe, and $10,000 is found in Ben's room, it is up to Jessica to clear him by finding the real killer. Written by mama.sylvia

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Plot Keywords:

ritual | fire | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

10 May 1992 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of very few episodes written and directed by the same person. See more »


Ben Oliver: [explaining his stay in the VA hospital and his later nomadic behavior] OK then, I'll give it to you in one quick swallow. You see, Corporal, when a mortar round hits close enough it not only explodes, it implodes at the very same time. This causes a vacuum, a force that sucks part of your being out through the top of your skull. For lack of a better word, let's call it your soul. But what most people don't know is souls are a hell of a lot more fragile than human flesh. Sometimes they just ...
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References Kojak: None So Blind (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

"Down by the Old Mill Cove, Where They Last See Loot"
23 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) eagerly anticipates the arrival of his old Army buddy Ben Oliver (Gerald S. O'Loughlin), who risked his life in Korea nearly 40 years earlier, by rescuing his company from a shell blast, which resulted in Ben's lifelong disability to concentrate beyond a relatively short attention span.

Since those days, Seth has married Ruth and settled into a comfortable private medical practice in Portland, Maine, before relocating to Cabot Cove as a widower, and continuing his patient care. So, now Seth explains to Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) from a bench at the outdoor bus depot that it's his turn to help Ben, who hasn't corresponded for more than thirty years, until he announces his reunion plans.

Ben Oliver appears solemn and meek, a quiet, pensive, humble soul with no where to turn after a jewelry shoppe at which he has recently been employed has been robbed, and Ben has been falsely suspected of organizing the heist. As a result, Private Detective Lawrence Jarvis (Robert Lansing) ensues Ben wherever he goes, with the intention of proving Ben's guilt, which means that Lawrence follows the bus into Cabot Cove, to trail Ben from his automobile.

At the local country club, Seth introduces Ben to Mason Porter (Cliff De Young), Dorothy Porter (Pamela Susan Shoop) and Neal Dishman (Daniel Davis), as they complete a round of golf.

Neal Dishman plans to purchase a sailboat from Mason Porter, who operates a boating company, while his wife, Dorothy, is given very little to do here except to agree with Mason's decision to hire Ben as a mechanic, a position which he handles commendably and responsibly even though prowlers roam the docks late at night, and locals begin to wonder about Ben's state of mental health if, indeed, he turns out to be the prowler.

Neil's daughter, Robin Dishman (Gail O'Grady), and Mason and Dorothy's nephew, Dave Sanders (Tony Becker), get along on certain matters, but while Dave seeks a future with Robin, he generally handles finances irresponsibly, and depends upon his Uncle Mason for advances on his salary as a boat salesman, a factor upon which Mason reprimands Dave, who now seeks new methods of obtaining cash.

But Mason is satisfied with Ben's performance, to the delight of Seth and Jessica, and rewards him with a promotion to the sales department, to Dave's dismay, as he objects to sharing access with Ben to the office and finances.

After Neal decides upon a boat which Ben has prepared for sale, Neal pays Mason a large amount of cash to transfer its title into his name. Late that evening, when Dave sneaks back into the boating office in the hopes of burglarizing the safe to square away his problems with Robin, Dave hears a lurker on the docks, and shines his flashlight toward the safe, which has been opened and emptied, with a body lying to the side.

Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) and his capable Deputy Andy Broom (Louis Herthum) investigate the murder, with the assistance of Jessica, who defends Ben's innocence as Seth begins to waver, because Ben does not defend himself for want of a plausible alibi, as he cannot recall the details of the evening very readily, including how a large sum of cash has ended up in his hotel room, evidence which may tarnish Ben's "Badge of Honor."

The cast is rounded out by Douglas Rowe as Proprietor, Tom Nibley as Clerk, Charles C. Stevenson Jr. as Minister, John Tuell as Driver, and Arlee Reed as Deputy.

This episode represents the first of two "MSW" appearances for Charles C. Stevenson Jr., the second of two for Robert Lansing, the third of three each for Pamela Susan Shoop and Cliff De Young, and the third of four "MSW" guest roles for Gerald S. O'Loughlin. Robert Lansing, acting since 1956, has since passed.

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