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"She's Leaving on a Staircase; Don't know When She'll Be Back Again.", 11 March 2010
Author: WeatherViolet from United States
Jessica's fourth "MSW" visit into Ireland marks her third journey into
County Cork, at which she is welcomed to vacation at Ballynook Castle,
near which mysterious apparitions have been witnessed, of a young
wailing female in flowing white shroud, who appears from castle into
forest especially upon storming evenings.
Shopkeeper Jack Conroy (John Saint Ryan) ensues the apparition one night, under the impression that his 18-year-old daughter, Nan, who has been missing for a year, runs before him, as lightning illuminates his wooded path into an ancient crypt, at which he discovers her remains.
Inspector Rory Lanahan (Rod Taylor), on a working vacation under the assignment of tracing a money laundering scheme, welcomes Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) into County Cork, where at an outdoor café, she collides with Peter Franklin (Raphael Sbarge), who manages to lift her wallet, in order to gain entrance into Ballynook Castle, to return this, under an ulterior motive for a clandestine tryst with a married woman.
Eileen O'Bannon (Fionnula Flanagan) continues to operate Ballynook Castle, after losing her late husband, Patrick, while daughter Deirdre O'Bannon (Edita Brychta) studies Medicine, and son Ian O'Bannon (Ross Kettle) disagrees with his mother to sell the property and farmland, as Eileen plans to relocate to Dublin.
Officer Matthew Ryan (Mark Lindsay Chapman) expresses a continuing romantic interest in Deirdre, who informs Matthew of her harboring no intentions of remaining in this area near Cork, and so Dierdre battles Matthew, while Eileen continues to argue with Ian toward the focus of the O'Bannon family's future arrangements.
Vincent Nader (Peter Jason) and wife, Andrea Nader (Leslie Bevis), arrive at Ballynook after making a shady deal through their Real Estate Attorney, Paul Lafferty (James Warwick), to purchase the property, in order to convert the Castle into a hotel.
Moira (Felicia Lansbury) and Leonard (Thomas Kopache) serve on Ballynook Castle's domestic staff, she a life-long friend of the now-late Nan Conroy, he as a paid informant of Vincent Nader, to spy upon Andrea and her young devotee, Peter Franklin, as Vincent busies himself with financial deals.
Superintendent Arthur Joyce (John Karlen), of the village Garda Station (Police Guard), arrives at the Castle for the reception to honor the passing of Nan Conroy. Arthur Joyce supervises Matthew Ryan, who aspires to the position of Sergeant, and also has close dealings with Inspector Rory Lanahan, who socializes with Jessica and her dear old friend Eileen O'Bannon.
Zulika Brown (Wendy Schaal), an eccentric artsy type, also vacations at Ballynook, and snubs Jessica, who inquires about her writing Romances. Zulika also harbors a hidden agenda as she eavesdrops around Conroy's Whatnot Shoppe, as Jessica shops for pottery wares.
Doctor John Sullivan (Christopher Neame) visits from Dublin, as an authority of the legend of Mary Cromwell and the Cromwell treasure, which is believed to have been stashed centuries earlier, perhaps inside Ballynook Castle dungeon, a factor also believed to contribute to Nan Conroy's demise.
But, as Jessica attempts to piece together evidence to prove whether or not Nan has been murdered, another body is discovered in the castle yards, the victim of a gunshot wound, for which Peter Franklin is arrested.
Jessica, however, believes Peter's innocence, but now she harbors the notion that the two crimes are somehow related, especially after Rory receives a series of mysterious telephone calls, which he will not discuss, and after Jessica witnesses the apparition inside the castle corridor.
The next morning, as some guests begin to check out of the castle inn, reporter Jonathan Fisk (James Bartz) telephones Jessica from Cork or, perhaps, Dublin, to provide her with information bearing upon her inquiries.
But when Jessica hears the wailing of Nan outside the castle dungeon, she becomes sequestered from civilization, when a perpetrator locks her into the isolated dungeon, to face a probable similar fate as "Nan's Ghost."
This episode represents the first television credit by Roger Ferreira (in his role as Ambulance Attendant), as well as the first of two "MSW" appearances each for Peter Jason, Thomas Kopache, John Saint Ryan, Wendy Schaal and James Warwick, the second of three each for Leslie Bevis, Edita Brychta, Ross Kettle, Christopher Neame, Raphael Sbarge and Rod Taylor, the third of three for James Bartz, the third of four each for Fionnula Flanagan and John Karlen, and the fourth of five "MSW's" each for Felicia Lansbury and Mark Lindsay Chapman.
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