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9/10
"And the Class of '67 Has Its Schemes"
WeatherViolet20 August 2009
On the night of Cabot Cove High School's senior dance in 1967, an award was presented to star players of its 1966 football team by proud Coach Kevin Cauldwell (Kenneth McMillan). Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), who had taught Freshman English to the graduating class, during the 1963-64 academic year, could not attend festivities because of a bout with influenza.

Alcohol had been served in the gymnasium that evening, causing at least one of the pupils to over-imbibe. En route from the festivities, his designated driver sped around a curve on a rural bend outside of Cabot Cove, causing the driver of a red compact automobile to swerve onto a rock, severely injuring himself.

Andrew Durbin (John Glover), a college freshman hitchhiker whom he was transporting, ran for assistance to a local farm house, at which its residence did not hear his plea because of the volume of their television set. Upon his return, Andrew found that the driver had succumbed to injuries, while a stack of negotiable bonds was missing from his briefcase, and, of course, law enforcement official on hand to arrest him for murder, falsely.

Twenty years later, when Andrew Durbin is paroled from prison, he returns to Cabot Cove to purchase the red compact automobile from the victim's widow, who had stored it inside a garage. He rents the residence of a lady who leaves her keys with Jessica, and he shows his release papers to Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) and, subsequently, Judge Perry Sillman (John Bennett Perry), an alumnus of the Class of 1967.

Andrew consults Amos and Jessica with facts regarding his false arrest. He had subscribed to the Cabot Cove Gazette while in prison, and has amassed a scrapbook of clippings relevant to the case.

When they question his motive for returning, Andrew maintains that it is not for revenge, but for justice. "And, unless I'm mistaken, neither one of you would want to see a murder go unsolved." Jessica is initially reluctant to question Coach Kevin Cauldwell her former colleague and friend of her late husband, as well as their former pupils.

In addition to Perry Sillman, three others were star football players that season: Bill Hampton (Dack Rambo), Arnie Wakeman (Michael Lembeck) and Dan Pulling (Mark Voland). Two female classmates, the wife of Perry, Tara Sillman (Caitlin O'Heaney), and the wife of Bill, Alison Hampton (Shelley Smith) were also on hand at the dance that fateful evening.

As Jessica studies Andrew's scrapbook, while a series of unexplained events sweeps Cabot Cove, she begins to suspect that each of the seven has something to hide, as accounts by Kevin, Perry, Bill, Arnie, Tara and Alison do not match their behavior especially after a drunken Dan is fired from his position at an automobile dealership, while others had landed upon windfalls of money along the way.

As is the case in several of these cold case investigations, a fresh new murder is committed to silence a witness who would have led to the initial culprit, causing Jessica to conclude this episode upon a less than merry note.
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5/10
When Cabot Cove won the state championship
bkoganbing9 October 2017
Twenty years earlier Cabot Cove won a state football championship under Coach Kenneth McMillan No doubt Jessica Fletcher taught these kids English. McMillan's star players have all taken different paths, some have had great success, some have not. But there's a terrible secret that's been closely guarded with the arrival of John Glover. There was a murder committed and Glover spent 20 years in prison for it. He wants the truth and he's come to Cabot Cove to get it.

If the ends of justice weren't served in the homicide that Glover served time for, there's a fresh one for Sheriff Amos Tupper to solve when Dack Rambo one of the star players who had a car dealership was shot to death and a clumsy attempt to make it look like suicide.

Not the best of the Murder She Wrote series and it involves mainly with the character of Rambo's accomplice. Rambo indeed was part of the murder 20 years back, but knowing who Rambo's accomplice was it made no sense in terms of character and motivation.

The episode closes with a somber Jessica Fletcher. You won't see that in too many of the Murder She Wrote stories.
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8/10
Vigilantism and murder
TheLittleSongbird18 August 2017
Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

"When Thieves Fall Out" is something of a slightly strange episode, but also an interesting and very good one. A couple of things come over as wrong-headed, especially Jessica's scolding of Andrew, regardless of his vigilante motivations, and then her being sympathetic with characters that do not deserve it at all. The script is mostly fine, but at times is a little too polite, a little more focus could have been put on the justice.

Production values, however, are slick and stylish as ever with 'Murder She Wrote'. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

Writing is thought-provoking, light-hearted and amiable and the story has some well executed twists and turns and is never dull. Andrew Durbin is an interesting character, and while it is out of character for her at this point in the series Jessica is at her most noble which mostly works apart from a couple of wrongheaded parts.

The always dependable Angela Lansbury is terrific, Jessica Fletcher is one of her most remembered roles for very good reason. John Glover is excellent as Durbin, believable in his want for justice and want for innocence. The rest of the supporting cast are nowhere near in the same league but are still competent.

In conclusion, not everything works but very nicely done on the whole. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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