Continuing the trend of Jessica-lite episodes in Season 6, we have "Class Act." It boasts a starring turn from Barry Newman (who had previously turned up as a cop in Season 5's "Snow White, Blood Red") as a hard-nosed cop who is relegated to teaching a criminology course when he steps on the wrong toes.
I really liked the Ballinger character. He was tough and didn't take crap lying down, but the scenes with his daughter at home (his old-fashioned ideas about love and marriage) and his analogy of the case to "Richard III" were nice touches. Usually, the cops on "Murder, She Wrote" were purely tough guys or eggheads, with no middle ground. Jake Ballinger feels like a real person, and it's a shame we never heard from him or his class of sleuths again over the course of the series.
The only weak point is the Mrs. Mills character. She's a little too crass and flashy, and her taking offense at nearly everything Ballinger says or does gets old really fast.