Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
7.8/10
149
2 user

Trials and Tribulations 

Jessica is accused of false testimony and bribery in the death of an escaping murderer.

Director:

Vincent McEveety

Writers:

Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Michael Beck ... Justin Fields
Molly Cheek ... Anne Stephenson
Stephen Furst ... Sgt. Paulsen
Carrie Hamilton ... Geraldine Stone
George Hearn ... Elliott Von Stuben
Kim Hunter ... Beatrice Vitello
George Maharis ... Charlie Emmet Cosmo, Esq.
Ben Masters ... Ray Dandridge
Molly McClure ... Process Server
Darlene Kardon Darlene Kardon ... Mrs. Torgeson
Ron Troncatty Ron Troncatty ... Driver (as Ron Tron)
Richard Hoyt-Miller Richard Hoyt-Miller ... Waiter #1
Jerry Tullos Jerry Tullos ... Waiter #2
Gerry Okuneff Gerry Okuneff ... Eddie Stone
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Storyline

Jessica is sued by Geraldine Stone for the death of her father, Eddie, during a failed prison escape. He was condemned thanks to her sleuthing and the testimony of Angelo Vitello who is now seriously ill . Instead of settling for a cash payment out of court as her insurance lawyer, Ray Dandridge, recommended, Jessica finds out Geraldine's lover, pastry chef Justin Fields, needs money to start his own business. Yet even her fan, NYPD Detective Sergeant Paulsen, must treat her as prime suspect when Angelo is murdered by a lethal injection, but she takes charge of finding the real killer. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Guard: You drive careful, now.
Driver: Yeah, right.
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User Reviews

 
Something of a trial
10 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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.

"Trials and Tribulations" is a very disappointing start to Season 7. The seventh season actually does have some good to great episodes, but also a few average or less ones. While not quite among the worst 'Murder She Wrote' episodes, "Trials and Tribulations" is to me down there with the lesser episodes of Season 7, some things work, most others don't.

Its best asset is some of the acting. Angela Lansbury (a great actress whose material was variable throughout 'Murder She Wrote', but she always delivered. good material or not) can't be faulted, regardless of how people feel about the way Jessica's written here. George Maharis is effectively sleazy, but the star here is Kim Hunter. The consummate brilliance of her performance is in a completely different league to everybody else and can be particularly noted in her climactic scenes (one of the show's best ever acted endings and an ending in general that deserved a far better episode).

Production values are slick and stylish. The music is neither over-bearing while still having presence, and the theme tune is irresistible. Occasionally the writing is amiable and thoughtful.

Unfortunately, the story in "Trials and Tribulations" is a disappointment. It never comes to life or has any urgency, there is no sense of anything being at stake with the outcome of Jessica's situation being predictable from the outset (the whole suing angle is just far too flimsy). A lot of it doesn't make sense, while the mystery doesn't engage and other 'Murder She Wrote' episodes hold together far better and are easier to follow. Jessica's attitude here is a turn off as well, instead of the usual sympathetic, nurturing, standing-for-what's-right and charming Jessica here she comes over as being at her most arrogant and stubborn and it is a very unpleasant side to her.

Mostly, or more like a vast majority of the time, the light-heartedness and cosiness is lost, with a lot of the writing taking itself too seriously and being very dull. Few of the supporting characters are interesting, apart from Hunter's, and the acting on the most part is not much to write home about.

Overall, something of a disappointing trial. To be seen for particularly Hunter and the ending, but for a good mystery, a story that actually engages and makes sense and Jessica being in character it's best to look elsewhere. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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