Monday, August 28, 2023

Murder Monday 9-2: 'Family Secrets" takes me back to Cabot Cove

Reminder: Murder Monday may (and often will) contain spoilers for the episode discussed.

We return to Cabot Cove for the second episode this season, which makes me happy, but it's not a strong outing. The mystery elements are a little weak, and the characters are silly. I enjoy seeing Seth again, though, and Sheriff Mort Metzger has a few amusing moments of SWAGGER. 

One thing I like about it is that we get multiple looks at a neglected corner of Cabot Cove: The liberry! Jessica is doing research on poisons (for her writing, natch--research for her novels) when she runs into a former student. Randy is now a journalist in the big city (Portland, and I don't mean in Oregon) and is digging through records because he has a bead on huge secrets in the town's legendary story of Mad Maggie, who went to a looney bin after a shooting accident in which she killed her husband. What a scandal! He plans to write a book about it.
Randy goes to the local diner and makes a really awkward attempt to talk to a waitress there. He doesn't ask her, but he says he NEEDS to talk to her, so she is put off. Meanwhile, a local Pillar of the Community (someone who was there at the scene of the Mad Maggie incident; hmm) and his son are working on a real estate deal in their office, and the son peers out his window at the waitress as she walks away. We also meet Token Oldie Emily, who knew Mad Maggie; and her daughter Janet, and the two of them are organizing a fundraising lunch for a local Community Center.
Suffice to say Randy is killed in the library, and one of those who find the body is...ARNOLD! Yes, a librarian character, Arnold, someone nerdy in a great cliched way but harmless. Or is he? Randy had reported that Arnold was miffed he wouldn't let him co-write the book. That makes no sense—just one of the silly story elements here, like the fact that Randy is killed by a blow to the head by a paperweight that he always carries with him. You know, the lucky paperweight you absolutely have to have with you when you are on the road looking at real estate records in the library. Be a shame if one of those notorious library gusts came through and blew away some vital records.
I want to see more Arnold. I want to see more of the library, which looks like an inviting place apart from the murders. It leaves me wanting more!
The supporting cast is not distinguished, but Caroline Williams returns a mere 2 episodes after being in the Season 8 finale. Not so odd in real life, but watching these the way we are not taking several months off between seasons, it stands out. Creepy Arnold is the standout here, plus going back to Cabot Cove, but it's not a strong installment.

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