Jessica is in New York City taking the opportunity to visit Grady. The initial plan of having her stay in Grady’s apartment is thwarted by a cockroach infestation in his building, so they instead stay at the swanky Montaigne Hotel, owned by an older woman that Grady’s old college pal had married.
Just the facts ma’am:
Spoilers are in white font, so highlight the text below to reveal the answers.
- The victim was… a woman from Grady’s past!
- killed by… the hotel manager!
- in… her hotel room!
- with… a shove into furniture and a pillow over her face!
- because… he wanted a piece of the blackmail money she was getting from the husband of his employer!
- vital clues: maids coming in to turn down the bed leave chocolates and a carnation.
Since it’s a Grady-centric episode, we of course get Michael Horton reprising his role as Jessica’s favourite nephew Grady. Horton made a total of 12 appearances on the show; this is his 7th.
“The most exciting thing that happened was when I put the flowers in the martini pitcher.”
Monte Markham (left) plays police inspector Donald Matheney; and Robert Desiderio (right) plays hotel manager Mark Havlin. This episode marks the second of a total four appearances on the show for both actors.
- John Callahan (right) plays Grady’s college buddy, Garret “Gary” Harper. This is Callahan’s first of two appearances on the show. Callahan is also a prolific soap opera actor, appearing in hundreds of episodes of Santa Barbara, All My Children, and Days of Our Lives.
- Jennifer Holmes (left) plays Grady’s college crush, Sandra “Sandy” Clemons. This is her second and final appearance on the show. Her first appearance was in “Murder in a Minor Key“.
Macon McCalman does a fantastic job playing Hotel Detective Fritz Rice. This is his first of a total of two appearances on the show.
There were also a number of actors who received credit on the show, but didn’t actually have speaking parts. Some of these actors had made multiple appearances on the show, and while normally I’d take screenshots and post them here, I couldn’t figure out who they were supposed to be. These are:
- Steve Tschudy as “Sommelier” in his first of two appearances on MSW.
- Judy Kerr as “Wife” in her first of two appearances on MSW.
- Kenny Davis as “Husband” in his first of three appearances on MSW.
- Tony Ballen as “Workman” in his third and final appearance on MSW. This is also his last ever on screen appearance anywhere.
I feel like there may have been extra scenes shot that didn’t make the final cut. (Among other credits in the episode, there is one for someone listed as “aquarium lady” when no aquariums appear in the episode.)
Big names & Honourable mentions:
Of course the biggest star of this episode is Janet Leigh who plays the hotel owner.
An honourable mention goes to Charlotte Rae, who plays Gary’s mother Nettie Harper. Rae had a major role as Edna Garrett on The Facts of Life.
This episode also marks the last on-screen appearance ever for Juli Reding (as Juli Reding Hutner) as Mrs Townsend. Reding had a few minor roles playing sexy bombshells in the 50s and 60s. Reding’s appearance was another one of those roles that didn’t have a speaking part.
Since this episode deals with people from Grady’s past, we learn quite a bit about Grady’s life. For instance, through this episode, we know that he went to Purdue for his university education. Because he says he knew his friend Gary for 10 or 11 years, and that they had both visited Cabot Cove during the summer holidays 8 years ago, that puts Grady’s age at approximately 29 or 30.
Another thing to note about the episode is that, while it was meant to take place in New York, the scenes in the hotel lobby and exterior shots were filmed in the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
But probably the best thing about this episode is when Jessica chews out Grady for being… well, Grady.
Grady: “I really appreciate all the trouble you went to, Aunt Jess.”
Jessica: “Good. Then maybe in gratitude you can tell me why you did something so– so–“
Jessica: “Good word.”
Grady: “A friend was in trouble. I helped him out.”
Jessica: “And if he’d asked you to rob a bank, I suppose you’d have helped him out with that too?”
Grady: “Of course not. But he said his wife would get jealous. He wanted to spare her feelings.”