Murder, She Wrote: Season 3, Episode 17

Simon Says, Color Me Dead (1 Mar. 1987)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.4
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Irene Rutledge can't afford a bike for her son Tommy, and Jessica lets him earn her husband's old bike by working in her garden. Artist Simon Thane says he has been working on a special ... See full summary »

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Title: Simon Says, Color Me Dead (01 Mar 1987)

Simon Says, Color Me Dead (01 Mar 1987) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Eleanor Thane
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Foster Brooks ...
Simon Thane
Ann Dusenberry ...
Carol Selby
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Irene Rutledge
Steve Inwood ...
Cash Logan
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George Selby
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Chris Hebert ...
Tommy Rutledge
Phillip Clark ...
Deputy Collins
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Martha Sommers (as Daryl Lynn Wood)
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Storyline

Irene Rutledge can't afford a bike for her son Tommy, and Jessica lets him earn her husband's old bike by working in her garden. Artist Simon Thane says he has been working on a special canvas all summer, but hasn't let anyone see it. When Simon is found dead and the mysterious painting has disappeared, Amos arrests Irene for murder. But Jessica is convinced that Irene is innocent. Written by mama.sylvia

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1 March 1987 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Per the title, Simon Says is a children's game for three or more players where one is "it" and tells the others what to do when asked with a phrase beginning with "Simon says". See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Amos Tupper: What am I going to do about the fact that Irene Rutledge has no legal claim to Tommy?
Jessica Fletcher: Amos, if I were you, I would develop amnesia.
Sheriff Amos Tupper: Save a lot of paperwork, too.
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Painting a Masterpiece for Slash Rate Prices
16 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks one of the last appearances of Foster Brooks, as well as one of Leonard Frey's last roles. Dick Sargent would work in a dozen additional roles (11 acting, one as self) over the next six years.

An economic caste system divides Cabot Cove, as the "Have-Nots" and affluent "Cove-ers" become all the more polarized in the wake of murder.

Single parent Irene Rutledge (Tess Harper) and only child Tommy Rutledge (Chris Hebert) are ridiculed from the start at the Sheriff's office by the mother of a child who misplaced the bicycle which Tommy returns after discovering it left to the elements outside the park. Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) dismisses the case as a "Lost and Found" deed.

Ex-convict Cash Logan (Steve Inwood) had served his prison time after conviction for a barroom brawl stabbing of the insulter of the lady he loved; she had passed away during his incarceration.

Although his presence frightens Irene, she and Cash labor to try to make ends meet, by taking on odd jobs, she hiring out as a cook and maid, he rummaging to salvage discarded furniture, and collecting pop cans.

And so, to the residence of renowned artist Simon Thane (Foster Brooks) walks Irene, to serve in domestic capacity, while Simon's devoted wife, Eleanor Thane (Diane Baker) travels back and forth to their primary residence.

At a "casual/elegant" dinner party hosted by the Thanes at their Cabot Cove retreat, Irene serves guests the Thanes and four invited guests: Boston attorney George Selby (Dick Sargent), Cove-loving wife Carol Selby (Ann Dusenberry) art appraiser Felix Casslaw (Leonard Frey), and Jessica Fletcher.

Deputy Collins (Phillip Clark, in the second of his two appearances in the role) observes Irene's exiting the Thane premises at 1:09 AM that night, before Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) arrives early the next morning to cite "between midnight and two AM" as the time of death for a body discovered inside Simon's studio, with his much lauded painting in process missing from its easel, as "Simon Says, Color Me Dead."

An investigate which ensues uncovers a series of secrets among wealthy and impoverished residents alike.


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