Just as I had done when I reached the end of Season 3, Season 4, and Season 5, I wanted to put together a recap of Season 6 trivia now that I’ve reached the end of this season in my episode summaries.
Murder, She Wrote is known for certain recurring themes/motifs/imagery, and one of the things I was most curious about when I embarked on this project to document each episode is: just how frequently these themes/motifs/imagery recur.
People & Places
Number of “dear old friends” = 2
In previous seasons, Jessica is frequently paying visits to old friends she hasn’t seen in a while, and whom she usually doesn’t see again for the rest of the series. This season, however, she only specifically visited a few:
Instead of visiting her friends, Jessica is more likely to be on a book tour (ep.1), attend an investors’ meeting (ep.4), or have a meeting with her stockbroker (ep.14).
Number of nieces/nephews/cousins etc. = 5
We actually learn quite a bit about the older members of Jessica’s extended family towards the end of this season.
- we see her niece Victoria and her husband Howard for the third time (in ep.15)
- we meet three of her cousins (in ep.20)
- and we see Grady and Donna again (in ep.21)
[You can now click here to see Jessica Fletcher’s complete family tree.]
Number of Cabot Cove deaths = 5
Five episodes took place in Cabot Cove this season: ep.2, ep.6, ep.11, ep.13, ep.21. Most of the Cabot Cove murders this season appear to involve locals. The only exception to this is episode 21 in which the victim was a visitor, and episode 11 in which both the victim and killer were visitors (or at least non-permanent residents).
J. B. Fletcher, Globetrotter
Although Jessica Fletcher doesn’t appear in very many episodes this season, the episodes that she does appear in take her to more exotic locales. This season takes her from Athens (ep.1), to Palm Springs (ep.4), to Jamaica (ep.7), to San Francisco (ep.8), to a remote island most likely in Michigan (ep.9), to New York City (ep.14), to Los Angeles (ep.15 and 16), to the fictional town of Fairville Texas (ep.20)—and even sees her phoning in a case while visiting cousin Emma in London (ep.21).
The “bookend” episodes:
Season 6 is famous (or rather, infamous) among Murder, She Wrote fans as being the season with all the “bookend” episodes—episodes in which Jessica Fletcher simply introduces the story but doesn’t actually take part in it. Instead, these episode feature often brand new protagonists that network producers hoped could get their own spin-off series.
There are a whopping 9 “bookened” episodes in this season, none of which really resonated with audiences.
- 3. The Grand Old Lady
- 5. Jack and Bill
- 10. Class Act
- 12. Goodbye Charlie
- 17. Murder–According to Maggie
- 18. O’Malley’s Luck
- 19. Always a Thief (with Dennis Stanton)
- 21. The Szechuan Dragon (in which Jessica solves the case by phone)
- 22. The Sicilian Encounter (with Michael Hagarty)
It is interesting to note that the first and last episode of this season featured Michael Hagarty—the first episode in collaboration with Jessica, and the last episode on his own. However, it was the episode featuring Dennis Stanton on his own which ended up being chosen as the subject of subsequent “bookend” episodes in Season 7.