Season 4 Episode 1

The Hunting Party

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Sep 19, 1989 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Matlock returns a favor for an old general and goes to Manteo, NC to defend Spencer Hamilton, charged with murdering the man who "accidentally" killed Spencer's brother on a hunting trip. What Matlock finds threatens everyone's future, including his own.

    One of the best of the series, this episode has quality writing and acting. The story is engaging as Matlock is hired to defend Spencer Hamilton, whose brother Frank was killed while on a hunting trip with three other men. When the man who shot Frank, Ryan Bartell, is later killed himself, Spencer is charged as the obvious suspect. Fortunately, this episode doesn't suffer from the problems of some later episodes. The script is crisp, and the twists that surface are believable. The clues uncovered by Matlock are significant, as he uncovers a trail of cash and illegal activity. Especially intriquing is the role of a local lawyer portrayed by Fred Dalton Thompson, the future U.S. senator and head D.A. on the Law & Order. Thompson is clearly still honing his acting chops in this appearance, but he does the best he can with what he's given. Clarence Gilyard, Jr. makes his first appearance as Conrad McMasters, and it's interesting for those of us who didn't watch the series in its original run to see how Conrad and Matlock first teamed up. Overall, one of the best episodes of the series, made all the better because it was shot on location in Manteo, NC.