Murder, She Wrote: Season 8, Episode 12

The Witch's Curse (12 Jan. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.9
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Cabot Cove suspects a woman playing a witch in a community play is the real thing.

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Title: The Witch's Curse (12 Jan 1992)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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David Ackroyd ...
Nate Parsons
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Mariah Osborn
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Penelope Hope Daniels
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Judge Willard Clinton
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Lydia Winthrop
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Charles Winthrop
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Joe Hill (as Lee DeBroux)
Carole Androsky ...
Anabell
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Linda Porter ...
Linda Frasier ...
Arlissa Davenport
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Storyline

While doctor Hazlett is looking for the lead in an amateur play about a falsely accused witch's burning, Mariah Osborn arrives. Some people believe she's an actual witch, and she gets blamed for every crime or weirdness from then on. As that includes when Circuit Court judge Willard Clinton was pushed from the bell tower and also the blame for a fire at insurance officer Nate Parsons's Cabot Cove home. Jessica digs into both crimes' hidden past and connects it all with a jewel theft years ago from Charles and Lydia Winthrop. Written by KGF Vissers

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12 January 1992 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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References The Addams Family (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Pink Rose Petals for a Blacklisted Lady"
21 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks the most recent acting credit to date for Kerry Brennan, and the only acting credit thus far for Linda Frasier.

Rehearsals are underway at Cabot Cove Town Hall for a Play centering upon Rachel Abbott, as Doctor Seth Hazlett (William Windom) directs locals attired in Puritan garments.

Superior Insurance Agent Nate Parsons (David Ackroyd) plays the role of a prosecuting attorney. Judge Willard Clinton (Ed Nelson) plays the magistrate. Lydia Winthrop (Marian Seldes) plays the accuser of Rachel Abbott. Penelope Hope Daniels (Marian Mercer) plays the mother of Rachel Abbott.

But no actress reading the role of Rachel measures up to her attempts; Eve Simpson (Julie Adams) auditions, to meet the same panning from the rest of the cast and crew.

Enter Mariah Osborn (Mary Crosby) in her flowing dark hair and garments whisking in the wind, to audition in superior performance, to find all of Cabot Cove raving about her suitability for the role, as well as for the eerie old Walker house, which she has rented through Eve Simpson's agency.

The next morning, Seth reports details of the rehearsal to Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) and Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak), who, naturally, exchanges a few barbs with Seth, as the ladies of Cabot Cove begin to gossip about Mariah Osborn and the men whose attention she seems to capture rather easily.

Charles Winthrop (Robert Vaughn) receives Mariah, who returns his wife's shawl to their residence while he recuperates from a broken leg, suffered from a fall while Lydia has the staircase refinished. Lydia, of course, returns to face Mariah and Charles, and to arrive at a hasty conclusion. That night, a burglary occurs at the Winthrop residence, with rose petals left behind, to symbolize Rachel Abbott.

Mariah then visits Nate Parsons' Insurance office, with Lydia Winthrop, again, on hand to capture them in a whisper, and to express a similar conclusion as she had reached when she spotted Mariah with Charles. That night, a fire breaks out at Nate's storage shed, with a pentagram drawn onto its door, the flames destroying inactive insurance files and records.

The next night at rehearsals, Lydia Winthrop and Penelope Hope Daniels observe Mariah and Judge Willard Clinton's exchanging smiles and pleasantries, causing more tongues to whisper around Cabot Cove, with trouble following Mariah wherever she may go.

But after someone leaves a note upon an automobile windshield, signed by Rachel, a victim returns to Town Hall, to climb into its bell tower, and to be shoved through its window to hit the lower roof and fall to the ground, pointing fingers toward Mariah for murder, leaving Jessica alone to champion her innocence.

Louis Herthum is credited in this episode in the role of Deputy "Dave Anderson," whereas his usual role in the Cabot Cove episodes of Seasons Eight through Twelve is that of Deputy Andy Broom. In fact, there are five references to his character as "Andy" in "The Witch's Curse." But there is also one reference by Andy about his unseen "wife." In future episodes, Andy is presented as single, until "Evidence of Malice," in Season Twelve, when a fiancée plays into the story.

The cast is rounded out by Nate's wife, Anabelle Parsons (Carole Androsky); Beth (Kerry Brennan) and Arlissa Davenport (Linda Frasier) at the Town Hall rehearsals; Courthouse Library Clerk (Linda Porter), who assists Jessica with research; and Fireman Joe Hill (Lee de Broux), who assists Jessica on the trail of a flammable compound to which they refer as "Vivathorem Urethane."


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