Murder, She Wrote

Season 8 Episode 2

Night Fears

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 22, 1991 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Night Fears
Former policeman Wallace Evans, now a professor, challenges Jessica to a race to solve a series of muggings on campus, and the muggings soon escalate to murder.

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  • Crime spree on campus, and a challenge to Jessica.

    After an uneven episode which established Jessica's move to New York, the show bounces back with "Night Fears." While it, like the season premiere, is not a typical "Murder, She Wrote" episode, it does benefit from a stronger plot and a very good performance from Angela Lansbury.

    The decision to get Jessica into a classroom was a smart choice, as Ms. Lansbury does very well with the monologue-style lectures for her criminology class. She also gets some strong scenes when she learns that she was hired merely for her celebrity status, and she must wrestle with whether or not to continue.

    Once again, the mystery takes a backseat to the character development and story, but unlike "Bite the Big Apple," the story here is very strong. The idea of Jessica being challenged to solve a crime is a good one, and Wings Hauser is excellent as her academic rival.

    The only weak point is the disgruntled fan in Jessica's class. Not only is he a bad actor (even by this show's lax standard) but he's so obvious a red herring he can be ignored immediately. All he does is slow down the advance of the story.moreless
Roxie Roker

Roxie Roker

Jennifer Bryce

Guest Star

Wings Hauser

Wings Hauser

Wallace Evans

Guest Star

Bobby Hosea

Bobby Hosea

Kevin Bryce

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Wallace Evans: I thought you would appreciate the opportunity to prove yourself.
      Jessica Fletcher: Well, I've found that those who feel they have something to prove never succeed in doing so.

    • Wallace Evans: I must confess that I, too, have read all your books, and I find them very interesting, but only up to a point. You see, to me, each case you seem to limit yourself. You start off with a murder in a house with five people, then soon after two people are killed, and it doesn't take that much to figure out who did it, does it? And, you know it's the same with small town Cabot Cove. I mean, what? Population three suspects, two dogs, and a duck.

    • Luke Phillips: So that's how it goes, isn't it? You make some money, you become a big shot, and all of a sudden, you forget who got you where you're at. Well, here's a flash for you, Mrs. Fletcher, if it wasn't for readers like me, you'd be back in Cabot Cove, baking brownies.

  • NOTES (2)