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Who Is Ready for a Fall?
WeatherViolet from United States
13 October 2009
On the evening of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' (ATAS)
Emmy Awards in 1989, presenters read the names of six nominees for the
category of "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series." "...And Jean
Simmons for playing the role of Eudora McVeigh in 'Mirror, Mirror on
the Wall: Part 1.'"
Although another actress for a role in a different program was awarded
the honor that year, Jean Simmons became the only guest star (female or
male) to be nominated for an Emmy Award for a role in any of the 264
episodes (265 hours) of "Murder, She Wrote."
"Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall" begins in New York City with troubles
mounting for the Shipton family. While Hank Shipton (Ken Howard) is
experiencing financial and domestic difficulties, his irresponsible
young adult son, Bobby Shipton (Daniel McDonald) squanders large
amounts of cash in pool halls and race tracks, often getting into
trouble, and depending upon his father to bail him out with pool
sharks, as Jonathan (Richard Erdman) and Willie (Ken Gerson).
Meanwhile, Publisher Lew Bracken (Richard Anderson), in the presence of
Literary Agent Liza Caspar (Shelley Fabares), admonishes Mystery
Novelist Eudora McVeigh Shipton (Jean Simmons) that her recent work has
not been up to par in spite of the fact that her titles have headed
best seller lists for the past 22 years. When Liza speculates that Lew
Bracken has offered to publish current best seller Jessica Fletcher
(Angela Lansbury), Eudora storms from his office, vowing to maintain
her proper place as the world's foremost female Mystery author of the
past two decades.
Back in Cabot Cove, Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) prescribes
rest and relaxation for the overworked Jessica, who has been
maintaining an exhausting pace at writing and traveling for several
years. When she hears from Lew Bracken, she informs him that she has
not reached a decision to publish with his company.
Liza and Hank express concern for the determined Eudora, as well as for
each other behind closed doors. When Hank discovers Eudora missing from
their apartment that evening, he stumbles across a J.B. Fletcher Novel
and a Maine road-map, leading him to load his automobile with Bobby and
an overnight bag, without realizing that a private investigator named
Capeletti trails the Shipton vehicle.
Eudora arrives at Jessica's doorstep bearing the gift of a basket of
beautiful red apples. Jessica warmly receives her old acquaintance, who
slips her a sedative that evening, and searches for Jessica's latest
manuscript to copy in an attempt to plagiarize for the sake of a
"comeback." Hank, too, shows up at Jessica's doorstep the next morning,
unsuccessfully urging Eudora to return to NYC with him, before
suggesting that Jessica be careful around Eudora's high-strung state of
But while Eudora accompanies Jessica upon a walking tour of Cabot Cove,
an excited Cub Scout informs them that his troop has discovered a body
upon the rocks below. The child rushes to alert a bewildered Sheriff
Mort Metzger (Ron Masak), who arrives with Deputy Floyd (Will Nye), as
a local photographer, Gadge (William Bryant), informs Eudora that the
Sheriffs rely upon Jessica to solve Cabot Cove murders. Eudora suddenly
plans to offer her assistance to the authorities, to attempt to solve
the murder on Jessica's own turf.
In the presence of her husband, suspicious Victor Caspar (David
Hedison), Liza turns on the television, as Reporter (Dick Wieand)
broadcasts the report of the crime scene with two famous Mystery
authors on hand to uncover clues. She immediately leaves for Cabot
Cove, with Victor's trailing her, and Lew Bracken's flying in on his
private jet, to be swamped with reports around the Sheriff's office.
Meanwhile, Jessica suspects that Eudora has "borrowed" her manuscript,
but decides to consider Seth's advice to slow down a bit, by inviting
him to dinner that evening, for which he volunteers to bake rhubarb
pie. When he shows at the Fletcher residence to borrow a pie baking
dish, he misses a call from Hank to alert Jessica to be cautious of
Eudora, and then samples one of her apples, before collapsing to the
This episode marks one of the last appearances of William Bryant, who
has appeared in many film and television productions since 1950. Daniel
McDonald has also since passed.
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