Season 3 Episode 4

Yours, Very Deadly

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Oct 28, 1986 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • “Love letters in the sand”: a romance of the post comes to a halt, and the jilted party takes matters into their own hands.

    We begin the day with an unusual way of saying hello from Miss Dipesto to new clerk Herbert Viola. In some states it’s considered assault. Maddie is, let’s say, irked. David thinks it’s a punch line.

    Hayes calls the secretary into her office. She soon learns it was Agnes’ fault. A stern lecture follows.

    Lack of control in matters of the heart is a theme the Blue Moon loyalists have come to know well.

    Client Gail Woodley comes to tell the detectives that she had started getting letters from a secret admirer—and to her own surprise she wrote back. This went on until the letters began to carry a sense of expectation—the paramour wanted to move the feelings into reality. Gail’s husband, apparently unaware of the subterfuge, wants to get closer, with an anniversary trip. But the letters get more intense, suggesting that Gail leave her husband, and perhaps even worse. Mrs. Woodley asks the gumshoes to find her pen pal and tell him to stop.

    They stake out a post office box until the mystery man is found. He leaves by bus. Maddie is a little befuddled, having expected the man to be someone who could outdo Gail’s husband in terms of wealth and flair. However, the man turns out to be one Pete Macy, on his own in a small apartment.

    David hammers on the door. No response. He tries again. At last he takes matters into his own feet, and busts the door open.

    There was a very good reason Mr. Macy didn’t answer. He can’t hear.

    Embarrassed to have been hassling a deaf man, the detectives have to pause for a minute. Maddie, through gestures and talking at a speed better suited for lip-reading, manages to repeat their message. “It’s just a game,” she tells him. “She doesn’t love you. She never did. She thought it was…fun.” And that has to break his heart. Secret plans or not.

    (Notice the sharp look from David in the middle of her speech. He’s at first angry, then choked up—thinking how horrible this must be for Macy. Perhaps wondering about someone else who has an inability to reveal their true feelings and is afraid to be dismissed as ‘just fun’? At the end of the conversation, he even cuts in to end Maddie’s verbal flailing with, “We understand.” And he offers Macy some cash to pay for the door. Our man is a lot more than he appears at first glance.)

    Back to the office, where it seems Agnes forgot the lesson of before, and Bert may need an oxygen tank. Maddie’s warning is far more curt this time.

    Soon after, she charges into David’s office full of vim and vigor. She throws in a couple of his words and gestures. David stares at her and wonders what happened.


    The order is reversed, and there could be a hole in the universe. To save their sanity, David ushers Maddie back outside to try again in more sensible circumstances.

    (They pass a hysterical vignette of Herbert now having to fend Agnes off with a chair.)

    Maddie comes up with the bright idea of having Mrs. Woodley keep writing to Macy. David thinks she has well and truly taken leave of her senses. Of course, he’d think that anyway, but this is even worse than usual.

    For once, Maddie comes up with the bizarre idea that propels the case, while David is left on the sidelines to wonder if his boss is being too risky. It’s usually David who wants to help a client Maddie considers too dangerous. This case is all about reversal of polarities, and the strange effects they have on people. The magnets are going to be turned over a few more times before all this is through.

    They head to the Woodley house, only to find it crawling with police officers. Something truly awful happened.

    David bluffs his way into the house on the pretense that they are insurance agents. (For now, he has to preserve their cover.)

    The worst is true: Gail was found bludgeoned to death.

    Her husband, stunned, sits in the living room and rambles on about how bad he feels that he wasn’t able to stop the attack. Somehow, somebody got in and attacked his wife while he was out.

    “He hit her,” the man says. “They think he hit her…with the phone.”

    Wait a minute. The cop behind them said something about ‘a blunt instrument’ being used in the attack. But he hadn’t said what kind. Who else would know that?

    This is not, however, for them to talk about at the moment. They listen to Mr. Woodley barreling on with his story. He believes it was a break-in, and for now, that’s all they have to go on.

    Maddie thinks Macy killed Gail. David doesn’t, but they rush back to Macy’s place.

    They find a note—yes, that kind—telling the world Macy killed Gail and then himself to bring them together beyond this life.

    Looks like a shut-and-shut case. Nothing left to do but pay their respects.

    David doesn’t show up when expected at the office. (I’m shocked!) And neither did someone else.

    Namely, one particular temporary accountant.

    Agnes, in tears, confides to Ms. Hayes that Herbert has left after the barrage of her affections. The other employees make fun of her. Even though her approach had been crude, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Agnes (although Ms. Hayes nearly manages). Maddie heads to her office.

    Where Mr. Viola has found a unique hiding place.

    She chides the lad for his brief foray into cowardice and asks why he didn’t just request a transfer from his employment agency. Bert says he’s unsure about certain people, but likes the job overall.

    Maddie gets a call, from a most unusual source: David, who for once has beaten his boss at the game of working harder. He’s at the post office, still looking for something.

    Just before Maddie leaves, she turns to tell Mr. Viola what she thinks of his problem with Agnes. Then she stops.

    That is one of the most topsy-turvy moments in an episode all about them. Having Maddie hold back on her words is like sunbathing in Alaska in the winter. It just doesn’t happen.

    But weird this day is and weird it goes on.

    Maddie is off to the post office, to see what David has up his sleeve.

    Bert, bless his heart, ventures out of the shelter of Ms. Hayes’ office. He hovers outside the door, as he is afraid of Agnes, yet knows he can’t avoid her forever.

    Agnes already senses his presence. Literally.

    She hugs him again, but this time her embrace is distinctly rebuffed. She gets the picture, and retreats, devastated, to her desk.

    Back to the post office, where David is wondering why, if Macy were the real killer, he would be able to get home from the crime scene unnoticed. Macy can’t drive and takes the bus everywhere. How would no one have seen him in public? And if he were going to kill himself, why wouldn’t he do it near the body of his supposed love? Most murder-suicides would have felt a connection to their partner, especially this one, so by rights he would have done both deeds at the Woodley house. He did not. Macy was not responsible for either death. Someone else had to be.

    David had called Ken Woodley to trump up a reason for a meeting. They wait for him to arrive.

    When he does, they have words for him. As Ken for them.

    Seems Ken was pretending to be the writer at first, to spice up his waning marriage. It worked too well. Gail thought she had a real lover, and kept the letters ‘secret’ from her husband. Then she wrote back.

    Now terrified of the rift between reality and fiction, Ken became desperate. He roped in Macy to continue the writing. (“He always used to be just hanging around,” Ken says, in a heartbreaking moment.) Too bad Macy grew to believe Gail really loved him.

    For future reference: do not let a suspected criminal walk *right in front of you*. He’s not going to wait while you call the cops.

    An insane chase begins, one of the funniest in the series. The stamper, everybody running pell-mell, Maddie tumbling into the canvas cart-—as Moonlighting chase scenes always do, it lifts the mood after the downer theme of the case.

    Back to the Blue Moon office at last. Everyone heads off to lunch. Everyone, that is, except a dejected Agnes, who wishes she could still be chasing Bert, but knows that would only bring more trouble. Any more outbursts and one or both of them could be staring at pink slips.

    In a lovely, bittersweet scene, Agnes decides to head out anyway, walking into the back of the lunch crowd. Who include among their numbers, yes, him.

    Bert presses the Down tab at the elevator. He waits, able to see Agnes but not wanting to talk to her (or maybe unable). The camera draws back to let us see the full view, with the two on either side of the gap, equidistant from the one thing that is finally going to bring them together-—that elevator car.

    Fate has good things in mind for these two.

    Agnes and Bert wait for the next elevator. Ever the Italian gentleman, even though Bert has been offended and hurt, he hushes up in front of Agnes and nods shyly, that’s all. Dipesto doesn’t say a word either.

    In Maddie’s office, she is going through some letters. As is David, at his end of the hall.

    A thought suddenly strikes Maddie and she picks up a pen, to start a ‘mysterious’ letter of her own.

    “Dear fella…”

    For once, David’s one-track mind is running the same train as hers.

    “Hello, stranger…” his letter begins.

    But of course, neither of them can quite get to pure honesty. The letters go in the trash. They walk out and say goodbye for the day, nobody the wiser.

    Back with the other two, the elevator finally arrives.

    Embarrassed, afraid and on the verge of tears, Agnes moves right by the door and stares straight ahead. She gets out. The door closes behind her.

    And Bert presses “door open,” just to watch her walk away.

    All is not lost. It’s not found yet, either, but it may be worth looking for.