Monday, January 8, 2024

Murder Monday: History is made in Season 10

I am guilty of derilection of duty in not reporting on Murder, She Wrote each Monday, but I have to jump in to mention this piece of history. I watch an episode with my wife (virtually) each Monday, and though we have jumped ahead for seasonal episodes, like for Halloween, I don't look ahead at specific installments to scope them out. Therefore, each week I am surprised when I see the cast at the beginning.

Imagine my joy, then when I see the name a genius in the opening credits for Season 10, Episode 2, "For Whom the Ball Tolls." It's not just a genius, but THE Genius--the O.G. himself, the man for whom the Batty is now named, the first-ever Genius Award recipient, Robert Pine!

Pine is the good-hearted, responsible brother of sleazy building developer Kevin Kilner. He is generally a nice guy, displays conscience, and even seems to have a budding relationship with a younger woman. Too bad for him that--Well, just watch the episode.

One Genius is enough to elevate an MSW, but what if I told you TWO Geniuses appear in this one? Returning as NYPD Lt. Gelber is the great Herb Edelman (himself worthy of Genius consideration in the right circumstance, and his right-hand man, Detective Henderson, is played by Leonard Lightfoot!

That's right, the Season 2 Genius winner, honored for his work in Silver Spoons, is in the episode as well. Now, this was a real shock to me. I almost didn't recognize him in his first scene, not because he looked much different, but because of the ignorance of the show's producers. Bruce Lansbury, I hope this doesn't fall on you, but how in the world can you have Leonard Lightfoot in your cast and relegate him to the end credits? I was stunned, but I got over it and just enjoyed his presence in the show.

This instant classic is worth seeing, but then a few episodes later, "The Phantom Killer" reunites us with Gelber AND Henderson. This time, Lightfoot's character even gets to show a little personality (He is super efficient) and some more dialogue. Yes, it appears he is a recurring character! It's enough to make me look forward to the New York episodes though I still love Cabot Cove the best.

I do favor an approach of having Edelman and Lightfoot constants when Jess is in New York except under special circumstances, but I am not looking ahead to see how often this happens!

(Note: Lightfoot's appearance on Murder was mentioned in a previous "Pick Your Pine" game at the end of this season 2 episode, well before I started watching the series each week)

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