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When Will They Ever Learn Not to Watch Television While Bathing?
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7 February 2010
While film fans may well have learned the lesson by now to lock the
doors before showering, television continues to teach a seemingly
unheeded message to lock the doors when watching a broadcast while
This episode marks a third occasion on "MSW" alone (and this also
occurs upon other detective series) in which a victim admits guests
while bathing, only to have one of them to happen to toss the active
television set into the tub to electrocute the bather.
At a charity auction in New York City, Griswald (Robert Frank Telfer)
and Roger (Ron Recasner) mingle with celebrity author Jessica Fletcher
(Angela Lansbury), they discussing her plans, when expose writer Jane
Dawson (Jessica Walter) enters, to ignore everyone except Jessica
because Jane wants a favor.
Jane Dawson has recently penned a scathing unauthorized biography of
Senator Edward Crawford, which would derail his any plans for seeking a
nomination to the White House because of his now-publicized misconduct,
thanks entirely to Jane and her Research Assistant, Kristy Parrish
(Andrea Thompson), who behaves nearly as cruel and manipulative as her
employer, Jane, and wheels and deals with her Publisher, Mr. Stearns
(Edward Penn), while Kristy claims ownership of her research.
And now Jane Dawson intends to reveal sordid details about the secret
life of the now-reclusive Hollywood Actress Ellen Lombard (Barbara
Bain), who along with her devoted husband, Arthur Brent (Bradford
Dillman), are very dear close friends with Jessica, and occasional
vacationers at Cabot Cove.
But Ellen Lombard has shielded herself from her adoring friends and
public alike, in the aftermath of a stress-induced breakdown, which has
led to a suicide attempt two years back, and a debilitating stroke one
year back, which has impaired her ability to walk, causing Arthur Brent
great determination to prevent a harsh word to be written about Ellen.
Beth Dawson (Cathy Podewell) remains about the only individual in
Jane's life to consider Jane anything but a vulturous viper. Beth is
raised as Jane's sister, who has accompanied her to NYC after her
humble birth in Tupelo, Mississippi, when Jane was fifteen, and both
outcast by her parents.
Steve Lockner (Sam Behrens) stands behind wife, Jane, who turns around
and intends to divorce him with no renumeration, under the mandates
created by their pre-nuptial agreement, this held by Jane's attorney,
Barry McAdams (Edward Bell).
After Jessica stands up to Jane to insist that she'll never hear one
negative word about Ellen Lombard from any of Ellen's friends or
associates, Jane asserts that she could twist their responses about
Ellen, including Jessica's very words. After all, Jane has enough power
in this town to usurp another's lunch appointment with Jessica, and so
she intends to do anything which she well pleases at the expense of
anyone who stands in her way.
When Jessica relates to Arthur Brent her negative experience
surrounding Jane's threats to slander Ellen's good name, the protective
Arthur insists upon meeting Jane that night, while Steve Lockner and
Beth Dawson watch from Steve's automobile, after Steve transports Beth
back from her evening class at a local college but fail to identify
After a power outage, a body is discovered in the upstairs bath, and
the very friendly NYPD Lieutenant Henry Girard (David Spielberg)
arrives the next morning to investigate, yielding to the visiting
Jessica's willingness to assist with the case, but not to co-author his
tentative manuscript compiling information about department case-work.
And so, Jessica sorts through a case involving three other writers, one
accommodating, two hostile, plus messy divorce charges, secret pasts,
and a devoted husband's concern about his loving wife's "Unauthorized
The cast is rounded out by Andrew Brye as Ahmed the Doorman, and Mark
Phelan as Policeman.
This episode marks the second of two "MSW" appearances each for Barbara
Bain, Sam Behrens, David Spielberg, Edward Penn and Mark Phelan, the
second of four for Andrew Brye in his role as Ahmed Shankar, the third
of four for Jessica Walter, and the fifth of eight "MSW" guest roles
for Bradford Dillman.
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