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"Murder, She Wrote" Game, Set, Murder (1995)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Singles Tennis Plus Double-Crossing Equals Triple Homicide

8/10
Author: WeatherViolet from United States
12 May 2010

Philip John Taylor pens this script featuring five female and five male guest stars, and centering upon a troubled tennis champion and her over-bearing widowed father, who controls every aspect of her life except "Game, Set, Murder."

Much wheeling and dealing goes on behind the scenes in New York City as tennis stars prepare for the upcoming Davis Cup U.S. Tennis Championship, with Louise Henderson (J.C. Brandy) and Francesca Garcia (Marta Martin) in contention for the female competition, and Louise's steady, Jamie Carlson (Jonathan Scarfe) practicing for the male competition.

Wendy Maitlin (Alyson Reed) has injured her left leg since her last tournament and, therefore, enters coaching, to direct Louise toward a potential championship.

But Louise has other problems than honing her tennis skills, such as reliving nightmares of her mother's murder by knife-point, when Louise was a child and witnessed the stabbing. And so, Louise undergoes Psycho-Therapy under the care of Doctor Trebaro (Philip Abbott), who tells her that if she is able to visualize the perpetrator of her mother's homicide, then she will become free of her nightmares.

Lane Henderson (Leon Russom), Louise's domineering father, naturally has no use for Jamie Carlson, as nobody is good enough for his daughter. But he also has little use for Wendy, as nobody is good enough to coach his daughter, nor Doctor Trebaro, once Lane finds out about him, because nobody is good enough to psychoanalyze his daughter.

Lane secretly courts Francesca Garcia, who has been playing him up against Andrew Bascombe (Barry Newman), who has been hoping for a future with Francesca, while dealing with John McCarver (Bobby Hosea) for corporate sponsorship endorsements from Louise and/or Francesca.

Lane, of course, has no use for Andrew nor John, nor Portia Dekker (Joyce Hyser), an aspiring attorney, who socializes with tennis circuit members in order to drum up some potential legal business.

Portia welcomes Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) to the arena, in the hopes of soliciting Louise Henderson to perform in Hartley Publishing Celebrity Tennis Tournament, as Ted Hartley has recently left for Japan, and Jessica has plans to leave for London within days.

Lane objects to Louise's participation in the charity tournament because she must train for the U.S. Open, but then there's young love for Jessica to consider, with Louise forbidden to see Jamie, plus Louise's recurring nightmares, before Louise stumbles across a body one night, the victim of a shooting.

NYPD Lieutenant Estelle Garr (Iona Morris) investigates the second murder, which Jessica is convinced relates to the first murder; after all, Louise had been sent to stay with her grandmother in Cabot Cove after the loss of her mother, and so Jessica has become her dear old friend.

Additional wheeling and dealing transpires in the aftermath of Hartley Publishing Celebrity Tennis Tournament, which contains a large gathering of extras as spectators, but soon afterward, Jessica stumbles across the third body, the victim of a gunshot plus a bludgeoning by a trophy.

Lieutenant Estelle Garr once again begins rounding up suspects, while Jessica begins to solve one murder at a time, before gathering a collection of five suspects at the scene of the third homicide involving "Game, Set, Murder."

The cast is rounded out by uncredited performers in speaking or screaming roles, such as Baby Louise, waiters and attendees at Bascombe's cocktail party, including one tall gentleman filmed below the neck. Anthony Pullen Shaw's direction also makes good use of slow-motion filming techniques, sparingly.

This episode represents the second of two "MSW" guest roles for Bobby Hosea, and the third of three each for Philip Abbott and Barry Newman.

Philip Abbott, acting on television and in film since 1952, has unfortunately since passed.

Iona now becomes the third member of the Morris family to appear on "MSW" -- with Iona Morris (#11.21), the daughter of Greg Morris (#1.5) and sister of of Phil Morris (#10.5). Not related would be Anita Morris (#5.11), Aubrey Morris (#2.22), Garrett Morris (#1.12), Howard Morris (#5.9), nor Kathryn Morris (#12.22).

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