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"Murder, She Wrote" Twice Dead (1995)

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"For the Way of Hate Has Just Too Much Woe, And the Day May Come When They'll Tell You So"

5/10
Author: WeatherViolet from United States
14 April 2010

This episode marks the most recent appearance to date by actor and author Bradford Dillman, star of stage, screen and television, who makes his first appearance in 1955, and performs for the next 40 years, including his eight "MSW" appearances, to become the actor portraying the most different characters upon this series. (Happy Birthday today, Bradford, and many happy returns.)

Nobel Prize-winning Physiologist Doctor Max Franklin (Bruce Weitz) has been developing L-214 Vaccine, a potential pharmaceutical breakthrough treatment, at Biomec Technologies, in New York City.

But after Max removes his L-214 culture and journal from Biomec Technologies one night, he is trailed by Private Investigator Walter Pell (Richard Portnow), but manages to elude surveillance.

The next morning, television news coverage reports upon an airplane disaster occurring in Jamaica Bay, near Long Island, which claims the lives of everyone on board. Doctor Max Franklin has been reported upon its passengers' list, and is, therefore, presumed to have perished.

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), following the news coverage, telephones Liz White (Annie Corley) at Biomec Technologies to convey her sympathies and to suggest that they postpone their afternoon appointment to review chapters of the manuscript which Liz has submitted to Hartley Publishers. Liz invites Jessica to share in the grief, as Biomec Technologies plans a press conference to announce its plans for the future of L-214.

Biomec CEO, Doctor Fredrick Grundberg (William Morgan Sheppard), conducts the press conference with Executive Manager Priscilla Lake (Shannon Tweed) and Independent Stockbroker Richard Ellston (Bradford Dillman) at his side.

Fredrick Grundberg assures stockholders that all has not been lost in L-214's development, for his research team may be able to salvage Max Franklin's research.

Stuart Himes (Sam Anderson) and David Randall (Robert Curtis Brown) also serve on the Biomec research team, along with Liz White, who receives an envelope from Max with Jessica at her side during the news conference.

One day later, as Jessica attempts to cross a busy street, she recognizes Max as a passenger in taxicab 1Z76, and so she contacts NYPD Lieutenant Artie Gelber (Herb Edelman), who asks Officer Rizzoli (Lisa Long) to track the driver's recent fares. Lieutenant Artie Gelber usually conducts a sub-plot with his investigations, and this time he seeks a flattering photographer to produce his portrait for publicity in conjunction with a forthcoming police award ceremony, and he asks Jessica for suggestions. She suggests Gorman Photography Studio.

When Jessica traces Max to a hotel room, she volunteers to retrieve his journal from his apartment, as he would not be safe after faking his own death in order to evade murder. But someone evidently attempts murder, by rigging a fire bomb at Max's apartment, which Tommy the Cat accidentally triggers, to demolish his residence. Tommy the Cat's fate hangs in the balance.

Now that additional reports are broadcast to convey that Max has been killed again, accusations rise to full force around Biomec Technologies, as executives, investors and research scientists scheme to cover their losses.

But when Jessica receives another tip, she and Liz enter a room in a neighborhood of bedraggled tenements and stumble across a body bludgeoned by an ashtray.

Jessica once again teams with NYPD Lieutenant Artie Gelber, as she is being followed, but cleverly manages to ask leading questions as to who has hired the former police P.I. and who stands to gain by the discovery of L-214, before she sets a trap to reveal the perpetrator and a motive to attempt to claim the life of a victim "Twice Dead."

The cast is rounded out by Kathleen Sullivan as T.V. Reporter, Mario Machado as Reporter, Wren T. Brown as Desk Clerk, and Jim Bockelman as Mailroom Person.

This also represents the most recent appearance to date by Kathleen Sullivan, as well as the second of two "MSW" appearances each for Lisa Long, Wren T. Brown and Richard Portnow, the second of three each for Jim Bockelman and Robert Curtis Brown, the third of three for Mario Machado, the third of four for Sam Anderson, the eighth of eight for Bradford Dillman, and the tenth of ten for Herb Edelman (including his seven as NYPD Lieutenant Artie Gelber).

Herb Edelman, acting on television and in film since 1964, has unfortunately since passed.

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