Murder, She Wrote: Season 7, Episode 17

The Prodigal Father (10 Mar. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.5
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The presumed dead perpetrator of a 20-year-old bank robbery resurfaces, then is murdered.

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(as Anthony Shaw)

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(created by), (created by), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Bonnie Jenks Hastings
Don Galloway ...
Elton Summers
...
Herb Walsh
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Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Kathleen Nolan ...
Maxine Malloy
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...
Gil Blocker
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Ned Jenks
...
George
...
Dave Hastings
Will Nye ...
Mark Roberts ...
Dr. Lyle Rush
Robin Gordon ...
Linda
Mindy Ann Martin ...
Sally Hastings
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Storyline

Ned Jenks, who was presumed dead since a bank-robbery 20 years ago, returns to Cabot Cove, where his now adult daughter Bonnie lives with Dave Hastings. Plenty of villagers lost savings or their job in the robbery, some threaten Ned. After he is strangled, Mort arrest Dave, as the killer used wire stolen from his car. Jessica however discovers the whole truth about the robbery and sets a trap. Written by KGF Vissers

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strangulation


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10 March 1991 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Drawing Blanks on a Cold Case Bank Robbery
18 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks Richard Paul's seventh and final appearance as Cabot Cove Mayor Sam Booth. Richard Paul, Don Galloway, Robert Lansing and Mark Roberts have since passed.

"The Prodigal Father" spins from the Biblical parable "The Prodigal Son," in which a wealthy landowner welcomes his wayward son back into the fold while those around him question his reasoning to dishonor his responsible son, who has obeyed the father, laboring beside him, and not squandering his inheritance.

And now Bonnie Jenks Hastings (Claudia Christian) must make a similar decision, to accept her "Prodigal Father," Ned Jenks (Donnelly Rhodes), who has been long presumed dead, into the lives of her pre-teen daughter, Sally Hastings (Mindy Ann Martin), who adores her "Prodigal Grandfather," and Bonnie's husband, Dave Hastings (Larry Wilcox), who objects on various levels to the notion that Bonnie embrace the ex-convict Ned.

Twenty years earlier, Ned Jenks participated in a Cabot Cove bank robbery, before deserting his wife, who has since perished, and their young daughter, Bonnie.

As a result of Ned's return, Dave Hastings becomes persecuted by the community, and dismissed from his position as a dock worker by employer Herb Walsh (Robert Lansing).

When Bonnie turns to old friend and neighbor Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) for advice and guidance, while reviewing the photograph album which Ned has presented, Jessica attempts to recreate the bank robbery scenario of twenty years past, by questioning those who were directly affected by the robbery and the murder of a bank official at the time.

Elton Summers (Don Galloway) had held a position at the bank but wasn't on duty that particular Wednesday morning when Ned and his cohort instigated the armed robbery. Elton had been promoted to his current managerial position as a result of the vacancy.

Gil Blocker (Andrew Prine) had served as bank security guard at the time of the robbery. He had been assigned a pistol with blank cartridges, which could not match any shoot-out by perpetrators. Since the time, he has been employed at a Cabot Cove diner, along with Waitress Linda (Robin Gordon).

Maxine Malloy (Kathleen Nolan) had served as a bank teller in those days. She had been interested in Elton, who married another, while Gil had secretly admired her and remained single. Since then, Maxine has opened her Antiques business and often displays her wares in flea-market style in the open concourse before her Cabot Cove shoppe.

After much tension amid the Hastings household, Bonnie makes her decision against Dave's expressed wishes, and Jessica is more than willing to stand beside her dear friend and former student. But after they speak with George the Desk Clerk (Abe Vigoda) at the Lighthouse Motel, a body is discovered in a front room before its open window.

Doctor Lyle Rush (Mark Roberts) substitutes for Seth Hazlitt, as William Windom takes a Sabatical leave from "MSW" Cabot Cove episodes for a period during Season Seven. Jessica assists Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) and Deputy Floyd (Will Nye) in investigating this new murder, which affects the lives of their fellow several Cabot Cove citizens, but enlisting "Prodigal Husband" Dave Hastings to trap the perpetrator into confession.

Rounding out the episode cast are Sarah Simmons as the Woman and Gary Hollis as the Man, potential customers at Maxine's Antique Shoppe.


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