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Rushing Delivery for Russian Defectors
WeatherViolet from United States
10 January 2010
And now we're up to the first "Murder, She Wrote" episode centering
around the theme of espionage and international intrigue, this produced
during the age of Russia's Soviet rule, when would-be defectors sought
asylum outside the Iron Curtain Bloc nations.
When Leo Peterson (Hurd Hatfield) invites old friend Jessica Fletcher
(Angela Lansbury) to a Boston performance of a Russian ballet, she
travels into Massachusetts, without knowing the resulting number of
visitors who would accompany her or follow her back into Maine.
Nagy (Adam Gregor) greets Leo and Jessica at the theatre, handing them
programs, Jessica's from the top, and Leo's from the bottom, his
containing a secret message, which causes him to excuse himself from
the seating area long enough to meet Skip Fleming (James Carroll
Jordan) backstage, and to unlock a window leading onto the fire escape,
before returning to accompany Jessica for the performance, or at least
part of it....
Alexander Masurov (George De La Pena) serves as male ballet dancer,
with six ballerina's at his side, including the brunette Natalia
Masurov (Vicki Kriegler) and the blonde Irina Katsa (Kerry Armstrong),
in symmetrical formation.
Velma Rodecker (Jessica Nelson), an anti-Communist protester, sneaks
through the open window and onto center stage, to interrupt the program
with her boisterous political message, when a near riot erupts, and Leo
ushers Jessica from the theatre and into an awaiting limousine in the
parking area, this chauffeured by Alexander Masurov, with Natalia
Masurov at his side, they disguised as servants, thus whisking Jessica
and Leo from Boston, to allude Soviet authorities.
Major Anatole Karzof (William Conrad), a KGB agent, arrives at the
theatre to investigate the defection, along with Sergeant Kevin Hogan
(Read Morgan), and soon FBI Agent O'Farrell (Dane Clark) and FBI Agent
Dewey Johnson (Patrick Thomas), by which time a body is discovered in
the dressing room.
So, now how to protect the defectors when murder compounds their
difficulties? The ever-resourceful Jessica must first figure how to
shelter Leo, Alexander and Natalia from spies and authorities alike,
and then to try to solve the murder from her long-distance vantage
point of Cabot Cove.
Jessica finds it best to confide in Captain Ethan Cragg (Claude Akins),
to help to blend Alexander and his thick Russian accent into their New
England community, and so Ethan finds Alexander an assistantship
position with fellow fisherman Palmer Eddington (Paul Rudd), and even
the sharp and observant Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) is initially
unable to determine that Alexander is anything but a new Cabot Cove
But soon Cabot Cove and, particularly, Jessica's residence, becomes
humming with visitors, in search of Alexander and Natalia. When Serge
Berensky (Anthony De Longis) enters under the guise of a telephone
repairman, Jessica politely directs him toward the telephone which she
secretly deems most optimal to plant the bugging device, which he
ultimately uses to transmit signals to a sailboat in the harbor,
complete with radio equipment to communicate with the KGB agents.
When Major Anatole Karzof arrives to give the Fletcher residence the
once-over, Jessica complies, as Leo and the others remain in sanctuary.
And after watching a Boston television news report, with Steve Arvin as
TV Reporter, featuring the ballet scene, Jessica suddenly realizes
whodunit, as "Death Takes a Curtain Call." This episode marks the most
recent acting roles to date each by Vicki Kriegler and Steve Arvin, the
first of two "MSW" performances for Dane Clark, the first of three
guest starring roles for Hurd Hatfield, the first of four appearances
for James Carroll Jordan, and fourth and final "MSW" appearance of
Claude Akins in his roles as Cabot Cove fisherman, Captain Ethan Cragg.
Claude Akins, acting since 1953, Dane Clark, acting since 1940, William
Conrad, acting since 1958, and Hurd Hatfield, acting since, 1944, have
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