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Matlock retires from law after bungling up a case and forgetting his client's name. He heads out of town to do some fishing, but after a hitchhiker he gave a lift to dies mysteriously, he sticks around to investigate the case.
Matlock reluctantly agrees to defend millionaire Ellis Blake when he's accused of murdering his daughter's fiancé, Jeffrey Holden, an enterprising golf caddy who supplemented his living by blackmailing the men he caddied for. At the same time, Matlock is dealing with a brand new deputy district attorney, Lauren Richmond, who just seems too sweet to be real.moreless
Billy Finley is constantly the butt of his co-workers jokes, and is fired after he makes a fool out of himself on two different stories, one with Matlock, the other with politician Joe Bivins. Shortly after, the body of another fired co-worker, Doug Levitt, is found, and Billy is the first suspect. Matlock agrees to defend Billy, who then makes another scene as he confronts Diane Becker at the office, accusing her of being behind the second prank, which ended up getting him fired. What Matlock doesn't realize is that Levitt faked his own death, and he and Becker were involved in a scheme to make a lot of money by airing incorrect news regarding a report by the zoning commission. While Conrad keeps an eye on their third partner, Nelson Adelson, Matlock is also trying to get out of a ticket for failure to stop at a stop sign.moreless
The real murderer winds up being murdered himself, which doesn't help Matlock's client much...not only that, but there's a real estate scam looming in the wings that also affects the case.
While dining with Julie, a chance meeting with a woman causes Matlock to relate the story of his investigation, many years earlier, of a widow that Matlock's father Charlie believes may have been involved with the death of his friend - her husband.
After a bump on the head, Matlock has a nightmare where he is trapped in the Old West, and needs to save Conrad from an angry lynch mob when he is accused of murder. His is frequently distracted by Michelle, a beautiful saloon girl, and Julie, the vengeance-seeking sister of the dead man.moreless
Matlock goes back to his hometown for a family reunion, but things turn sticky when a good friend of his nephew's son dies, and his rival is charged with murder. Not only that, but the whole town seems to hate Matlock, as many of them believe he thinks he's better than them because he's a big city lawyer.moreless
Conrad asks Matlock to defend Anne Johnson when she's charged with the murder of her cheating ex-boyfriend Dwayne Meeks. It's not long before Matlock realises that Anne's son Jimmy is the key to the whole mystery.
Serial killer Jeffrey Speidel strangles his victims. When Matlock gets involved in the case, Speidel makes a point of turning Matlock into his next target...his goal is to ruin Matlock publicly before killing him.
Matlock successfully defends his cousin on charges of murder, but when it's all said and done, he still can't stand the woman.
After much persuasion, Matlock agrees to help his disagreeable cousin locate her erstwhile husband, using a doctored photograph to help find him.
When a marriage counselor is murdered, the suspects include not only his fellow co-workers, but also the couples he was treating...apparently part of his treatment involved seducing the female half of the couples.
Michelle helps an insurance investigator prove that a man killed his wealthy wife to collect on the insurance money.
Matlock has every intention of preserving lawyer/client confidentiality, but when a group of mobsters kidnap Michelle to extort information from Matlock, he has to weigh his professional ethics against her life.
When the local mayor is assassinated, Matlock's daughter Leanne comes to town to prove the case. The case takes a different turn when a judge is accused of murdering a local man's wife, and Matlock and Leanne have to work out the problems in their relationship to clear Eller of murder.moreless
When the producer of the popular It's About Time gameshow is murdered, Matlock defends the aging host at the request of a friend of Conrad's, while Michelle goes undercover as a contestant.
Teenager Danny Hayes is on trial for the murder of his father. Danny honestly believed that his father was about to kill his mother as he threatened to, but the testimony of his father's best friend threatens Danny's chances at freedom.
Matlock defends a wealthy widow charged with the murder of her husband, while Michelle helps to defend a father accused of murdering the drug dealer who got his child hooked...a dealer who just happened to be a cop.