IMDb > "Murder, She Wrote" Thicker Than Water (1991)

"Murder, She Wrote" Thicker Than Water (1991)

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Peter S. Fischer (created by) and
Richard Levinson (created by) ...
View company contact information for Thicker Than Water on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
6 October 1991 (Season 8, Episode 4)
Sheriff Metzger assumes his younger brother, the black sheep of the family, is guilty as charged, of murder. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Brother vs. Brother, Fisherman vs. Fisherman, and Other Altercations See more (1 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher

Bruce Abbott ... Wayne Metzger / Stearns

Luke Askew ... Terry Montagne

Pat Hingle ... Zach Franklin

Ted Markland ... Capt. Ned Keller

Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger

Marjorie Monaghan ... Elaine Franklin

William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt

Louis Herthum ... Deputy Andy Broom

Kenny Davis ... Fishman
Carol Gustafson ... Waitress

Episode Crew
Directed by
Anthony Pullen Shaw  (as Anthony Shaw)
Writing credits
Peter S. Fischer (created by) and
Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

Lawrence G. DiTillio (written by) (as Lawrence DiTillio)

Produced by
Mark A. Burley .... supervising producer
Walton Dornisch .... co-producer
Al Kraus .... coordinating producer
David Moessinger .... executive producer
J. Michael Straczynski .... co-producer
Robert E. Swanson .... supervising producer
Original Music by
Jeff Sturges 
Cinematography by
Peter Salim (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ellen Ring Jacobson 
Production Design by
Hub Braden 
Art Direction by
James H. Ellingwood 
Set Decoration by
Fred S. Winston 
Production Management
Al Kraus .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Brad Michaelson .... second assistant director (as Brad I. Michaelson)
Robert M. Williams Jr. .... first assistant director
Art Department
John P. Bruce .... set designer (uncredited)
John Hathaway .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Robert 'Bob' Jillson .... set designer (uncredited)
Deland 'Dee' Lyttle .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Steve Purdy .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Doug Vlaming .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles R. Beith Jr. .... sound editor
Don Sharpless .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Johnny Borgese .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Mary Albee .... stunt coordinator
Bob Herron .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Lon Massey III .... chief lighting technician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Ron Stephenson .... casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Karen Bellamy .... costume supervisor
Dallas D. Dornan .... costume supervisor (as Dallas Dornan)
Debi Orrico .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Wayne Hampton .... colorist
Location Management
Pete Juliano .... location manager (uncredited)
Jim McClafferty .... location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
John Addison .... composer: theme
Laurie Higgins Tobias .... music editor
Transportation Department
Robert 'Bob' Routhieaux .... driver: production designer (uncredited)
Other crew
Desi Scarpone .... production assistant (uncredited)

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Peter S. Fischer  creator
Richard Levinson  creator
William Link  creator

Produced by
Kevin Corcoran .... assistant producer
Makeup Department
Teresa M. Austin .... key makeup artist
Rita Bellissimo .... hair stylist (as Rita Bellissimo Bordonaro)
Lori Benson .... makeup artist
Dino Ganziano .... hair stylist
Ronald W. Smith .... hair stylist
Gerald Solomon .... hair stylist
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair department head
Ann Wadlington .... hair stylist
Vera Yurtchuk .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Stephen Swofford .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Louis G. Friedman .... assistant director
Elena Santaballa .... dga trainee
Michael-McCloud Thompson .... dga trainee
Art Department
Tom Margozewitz .... assistant property master
Sebastian Milito .... construction coordinator
Ted Wilson .... carpenter
Sound Department
James L. Aicholtz .... sound mixer
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Beau Biggart .... adr mixer
Barney Cabral .... adr editor
Joe Campana .... assistant sound editor
Richard Coleman .... sound recordist
Mark Kamps .... assistant sound editor
Susan Kurtz .... sound effects editor (1992-1994)
Richard LeGrand Jr. .... sound editor
Anthony Milch .... sound editor (as Tony Milch)
Linda Moss .... sound editor
Cindy Rabideau .... supervising sound editor (1993-1996)
Peter Reale .... re-recording mixer
Dean St. John .... adr mixer (various episodes)
Clancy T. Troutman .... sound editor
Special Effects by
George Zamora .... special effects coordinator
Stephen Burnette .... stunts (as Steven Burnett)
Debbie Evans .... stunts
Larry Holt .... stunt performer
Terry James .... stunts
Steve Kelso .... stunts
Gene LeBell .... stunts
Khristian Lupo .... stunts
Buck McDancer .... stunt coordinator
Sherry Peterson .... stunts
Jimmy N. Roberts .... stunts
Michael M. Vendrell .... stunts
Greg Walker .... stunts
Dick Warlock .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Ben Beaird .... key grip
Owen Marsh .... camera operator (1987)
Stan McClain .... aerial camera operator
Keith H. Moore .... assistant camera
Serge Poupis .... first assistant camera
Matt Ramirez .... first assistant camera
Matt Ramirez .... photographer: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sandra Henderson .... head stylist
Editorial Department
Ken Latka .... film transfer colorist
Ralph A. Riccoboni .... assistant editor (1994-1996)
Music Department
Tim Boyle .... score mixer
Joshua Winget .... music editor (final season)
Other crew
Bundy Chanock .... set medic (1994)
Fred Fein .... stand-in
Betty Green .... title designer
Carolyn Hayes .... production auditor
Beth Humphreys .... legal supervisor
Mary Kara .... technical consultant (1995-1996)
Keith McNulty .... cue cards
Rod Ripley .... assistant to producers
Art Scholl .... pilot (1985)
Susan Vercelli .... production coordinator
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc .... aerial coordinator
Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

60 min | 47 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
UK:PG (video rating) (2008)

Did You Know?

While Mort's wife Adele is never actually seen in the series, she can be heard in this episode telling him to come to bed.See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Brother vs. Brother, Fisherman vs. Fisherman, and Other Altercations, 8 January 2010
Author: WeatherViolet from United States

Well, for those of us attempting to keep track of the number of "MSW" episodes featuring a widowed father possessive of his only daughter, and teenage boys who must become "the man of the house" to support their widowed mother, the number of feuding families, the number of diner restaurants in Cabot Cove, the number of Adele Metzger sightings, the names of Louis Herthum's characters, the number of missing bodies, and an overall body count, then we're in for quite a challenge this time around.

On a flight of a small airplane from New York City to Portland, Maine, a young adult male passenger approaches Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) from across the aisle to request her autograph upon a page in one of her books, which he carries, under her "Dedicated to Sheriff Mort Metzger" tribute.

Jessica and "Wayne Stern" (Bruce Abbott) exchange pleasantries although he remains guarded and evasive about answering her questions about his purpose for traveling to Cabot Cove other than his expressing a decision to forge a new life.

Wayne had been incarcerated for a felony conviction back in New York City and has now served his time, so Cabot Cove might prove as ideal a community as any to begin with a fresh start, to which Jessica heartedly agrees and wishes him the best.

In Cabot Cove, fisherman Zach Franklin (Pat Hingle) faces several problems of his own. He and his business partner, Terry Montagne (Luke Askew), retain a mortgage on the fishing boat which they've purchased from Captain Ned Keller (Ted Markland) and can't seem to meet payments. Terry also conducts a feud with Zach's daughter over ownership of the vessel.

Elaine Franklin (Marjorie Monaghan) dedicates her all to assisting her widowed father, Zach, as his fishing partner, while he controls her life because nobody's good enough for his daughter. Elaine isn't afforded a beautiful wardrobe, as she spends most of her time aboard the small craft, but she adds nice touches to her appearance with a French braid and the natural makeup look, and has a pleasant tenor tone to her voice, as though she has really spent a great deal of time sailing the bay around Cabot Cove.

Upon her return from the Portland airport, Jessica arrives in Cabot Cove to check in at the sheriff's station, at which she discovers Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) initiating an altercation with the newly-arriving Wayne "Stern." After Mort orders Wayne to leave town, Mort accompanies Jessica outdoors, she pondering his uncharacteristic short fuse before a visitor, and asks Mort if Wayne might, in reality, be his brother.

Mort is marveled that Jessica has figured this out in short order, and he explains his history with baby brother Wayne Metzger. Mort and Wayne's father passed when Mort was a teenager, and Mort had to take on odd jobs to support the family, which led him to a career in law enforcement, while Wayne fell in with the wrong crowd, which led to criminal charges after Wayne's company held up a storekeeper during an incident which cost Mort's police partner his life.

Jessica believes Wayne's determination to prove his valor and honor toward his brother, and so Mort decides to give Wayne one last chance provided that he doesn't cause another murder spree, by introducing Wayne to Zach and Elaine Franklin, causing Zach to dislike him immediately for eyeing his cherished daughter, but taking Wayne on as a boat hand after Elaine says her feelings toward him are professional.

Wayne witnesses an altercation between Zach and Terry Montagne aboard the vessel in dock and soon discovers a blood-stained carving knife amid a twine of rope, causing Mort to believe that Wayne has done it again even though the body hasn't been discovered.

After consulting with Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom), Jessica convinces Mort to question other suspects, and together they ride around Cabot Cove, before they discover the body of a second victim. Mort is furious with himself for trusting Wayne and giving him an extra chance to prove himself, and so he has his Deputy (Louis Herthum) to lock up his brother.

That evening, while Mort reminisces over a photograph album in his living room, Adele Metzger (uncredited actress) projects the time of day from upstairs, asking if Mort plans to stay awake for very long, to which he answers that this won't take much longer. (This marks the closest point during the series for the audience to witness the existence of Adele Metzger, who is often discussed as long-winded and capable of handling herself, as an ex-Marine.)

But with Elaine's encouragement, Jessica considers the possibility that Wayne might not have committed either murder, so Mort releases him, while the investigators scrutinize the boat for hidden secrets, which leads to yet another dangerous altercation on deck, causing a heroic gesture by one brother to risk his life to try to save the other, for all of that bleeding is "Thicker Than Water."

The cast is rounded out by Kenny Davis as Fishman and Carol Gustafson as Waitress, in one of Cabot Cove's many, many diners. (Background music seems to increase in volume this season, thus distracting from the dialogue and message, and it's particularly noticeable this time around.)

This episode marks Louis Herthum's third "MSW" appearance, and his first in a five-season, 23-episode, run as Cabot Cove Deputy although he has yet to be named "Andy Broom," which comes along later in the season, after his next appearance with yet a different character name.

This also represents the second of two "MSW" appearances by Luke Askew, the first of three for Bruce Abbott, and the third of three "MSW" guest roles for Kenny Davis, and also for Pat Hingle, who has since passed, after acting in film and on television since 1954.

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