|Index||3 reviews in total|
This episode marks the swan song performance of Classic actress Laraine
Day, a star of film and television for nearly forty years.
Problems centering around the "accident"-plagued Carmody Family Circus follow Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) back to Ozark Inn, in Pullman City, Arkansas, at which she spots Edgar Carmody's (Martin Balsam) speeding from its parking lot, followed by a conversation with Maria Morgana (Florence Henderson), which is interrupted by the sudden confrontation of her daughter, Daniella Morgana Carmody (Barbara Stock), which, in turn, is interrupted by the screams of an upstairs maid, who has now discovered another body.
Upon her return to the circus grounds, Jessica encounters Maylene Sutter (Lee Purcell) and Preston Bartholomew (Alex Cord), along her way to question Edgar and Raymond Carmody (Mark Shera), as well as Katie McCallum (Pamela Susan Shoop), Charlie McCallum (Joey Cramer) and Brad Kaneally (Greg Evigan), each of whom converses politely with Mrs. Fletcher.
Jessica then convinces Sheriff Lynn Childs (Gregg Henry), to the ongoing dismay of Mayor Powers (Ronny Cox), that the two murders are undoubtedly connected, and, therefore, Neil Fletcher (Jackie Cooper) couldn't be culpable because of his incarceration.
Neil is, therefore, released, before arriving at Ozark Inn to visit with his sister-in-law, and discovering smoke and flame emitting from Jessica's room, inside which she and Maylene have been Chloroformed, and lying unconsciously, as victims of attempted murder, as "Death continues to Stalk the Big Top" and Ozark Inn.
Standing outside again, in the parking lot, Jessica strings together a series of clues to decide who has killed two and attempted to continue the spree, and the reason why, without knowing quite how to prove her theory. Jessica opts for a showdown with her prime suspect, who, once again, decides to stage a freak "accident" to silence her.
Upon wrapping the case which began when the Leprechaun figurine was unwrapped (Remember?), Jessica is free to return in the nick of time to Washington, DC, for the wedding of great niece Carol Bannister (Courteney Cox) to Clay (who remains unseen. No actor is credited for the role of Carol's fiancé). Carol's Grandmother Constance Fletcher (Laraine Day) and Mother Audrey Bannister (Susan Brown) continue to insist upon the fulfillment of their ideas over those of the bride and groom, and they express disappointment over Jessica's abandoning the family in favor of "her publisher" over these important few days.
Carol dismisses her busybody relatives because this time Jessica is not the busybody, as she sneaks Grandfather Neil Fletcher back into Carol's life on her important day, creating a tender scene enshrouded in secrecy from the family.
But Howard Bannister (Dennis Howard), who administers the family's financial operations, must also be told during a pleasant scene with Jessica in the gardens moments before his daughter's wedding.
Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and
relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the
evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of
tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you
want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good
mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.
Like the previous episode, the first of the two part season 3 premiere "Death Stalks the Big Top", the second part is every bit as riveting, with even more going on, more revelations, a very tense scene involving a fire, a cleverly done denouement that is not what one expects at all and a lot of fun, conflict and atmosphere. Some may say it's overblown and question its need for being in two parts, like what was said for Part 1 the numerous twists and that there's a lot happening the two parts were necessary, the episode would have felt rushed otherwise. Again personal opinion.
Production values are high in quality as to be expected, with slick photography and a great circus setting that has so much colour and fun but also an equal amount of character tension under the surface. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.
The writing is tight, thought-provoking and typically amiable and the characters and chemistry are good fun. The story is very engaging and suitably twisty, with everything that was introduced in the first part and what happens in the second tied up neatly but never too patly.
Can't say enough good about Angela Lansbury, she is always dependable and there is a reason as to why Jessica Fletcher is one of her best-remembered roles. Once again she is supported by classy guest support turns.
In conclusion, a fine continuation of a great season premiere. 10/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With the local Mayor putting pressure on the Sheriff to bring charges
against Frank, Jessica delves deeper into the goings on of the circus
community. She discovers that someone is sabotaging the Circus, and
that Frank was protecting young boy Charlie. Next on the killer's list
is Harry kingman, and soon after the killer attempts the double murder
of Maylene and Jessica.
I particularly enjoyed this episode, it built on the success of the opening story and premise, and built on it. So much going on, the story and characters enjoying the greater run time. I wish there had been more episodes done in this format.
Lansbury is once again excellent, the moment where she unmasks the killer is brilliant, one of the finest conclusions in any episode. Tiger included!!
A particularly strong cast, Preston Bartholomew is fabulous (I seriously love that accent!) Jackie Cooper and Laraine Day are also very worthy of a mention, two hugely experienced performers.
A great episode. 9/10
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