This review contains spoilers.
'Missing Melody' is the first and only TV script (co)written by Roger E. Mosley, and maybe it is little surprise that the story revolves around T.C.
This episode introduces T.C.'s two children, Bryant and Melody, as well as his ex-wife Tina. It does stick out a bit that T.C. having a family was never previously mentioned in the series – why were they never mentioned before? We also get little explanation as to why T.C. and Tina split up, other than one line from Tina about T.C.'s "nightmares and moods", seemingly caused by post-traumatic stress from T.C.'s time in Vietnam.
Either way, Bryant (played by Shavar Ross, who played the much recurring Dudley in long-running sitcom 'Diff'rent Strokes', which had ended a few months before this ep) returns in several subsequent season seven and eight episodes; Tina and Melody also make a return appearance in the series finale, 'Resolutions'.
Also making a brief appearance in this story is Alfonso Ribeiro as Kenny, who had previously appeared at the start of the season in the feature-length / two-part 'L.A.'. In its last couple of seasons, MPI started to add much more continuity with recurring characters and such.
Anyway, the story itself... I find it quite a hard one to rate. It is hardly one of the best, but at the same time has some good moments. The characters do seem to have a run of bad luck in the series – I mean, something as innocent as T.C.'s children visiting, and one of them gets abducted, leading to a whole new adventure! But I suppose we need these occurrences else there would be very few stories to make up the series!
There is a good red herring about three quarters of the way through – how many of us thought that Tina's new partner was the culprit, only to be proven wrong?! This one really caught me out.
I'd probably sum this one up as 'middle of the road', as it is neither outstandingly good nor bad; it doesn't stand out from the season, but at the same time I can think of a number of far worse episodes from the show's run.
Its main flaw is that it feels rather dragged out, with the story stretched to fill the episode's run time. And although I would have loved to have seen the show continue for a few more seasons, I have to say that with an episode such as this, it does at times feel like the show had started to run its course.