Murder, She Wrote 8.18 “Programmed For Murder”

Jessica is spending time in her Cabot Cove home catching up on her writing duties when she hits a snag with her computer. She invites the only computer programmer in town to help her troubleshoot the problem, and becomes concerned when she observes her illness. When the computer programmer dies, some point the finger of blame on Dr. Seth Hazlitt for mistreating her condition.

Just the facts:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim It was Harriet Wooster, the local computer programmer!
Click to reveal the killer It was Allan Wooster (Harriet’s husband) working with Gretchen Price (Harriet’s brother’s girlfriend) as his accomplice!
Click to reveal the weapon Harriet ended up in the hospital due to a bleeding ulcer that was the result of being gradually poisoned using a herbicide. The actual death happened as a result of a blood transfusion she received while undergoing surgery. The blood she received was incompatible with her own blood type because someone else had donated blood in her name!
Click to reveal the location It’s hard to pinpoint a single location (since there were several things that lead to her death), but she ultimately died in hospital during an operation!
Click to reveal the motive The victim’s husband was “tired of playing second banana” to her programming business. When he was introduced to the wife’s brother’s girlfriend, they fell in love and came up with this plan so they could be together!

Cast of characters:

As this is a Cabot Cove episode, we see several Cabot Cove regulars:

  • William Windom plays Dr. Seth Hazlitt.
  • Ron Masak plays Sheriff Mort Metzger.
  • Louis Herthum plays Deputy Andy Broom.
  • Julie Adams plays local real estate agent Eve Simpson. This is Adams’ eighth of 10 total appearances on the show; she previously appeared in “The Witch’s Curse“.

Much of the plot revolves around a local computer programmer:

  • Judith Chapman plays Harriet Simmons Wooster, who is planning to sell her computer programming company “Alphadot”. This is Chapman’s third and final appearance on MSW; she previously appeared in “The Bottom Line is Murder” and “See You in Court Baby“.
  • Boyd Gaines plays John Halsey, the president of Computanic Inc. — the company wishing to buy Alphadot.
  • Tony Fields plays Rudy Ortega, a silent investor in Computanic Inc.

The cast of characters also includes Harriet’s family members, who are somehow personally invested in the sale of her company:

  • Will Lyman plays Allan Wooster, Harriet’s husband and the owner of a local nursery.
  • Alex Hyde-White plays Doug Simmons, Harriet’s brother. This is Hyde-White’s second and final appearance on MSW; he previously appeared in “The Skinny According to Nick Cullhane“.
  • Judith Hoag plays Gretchen Price, Doug’s girlfriend. This is Hoag’s first of two total appearances on MSW.

Another plot in the episode involves local medical personnel:

  • Hunt Block plays Dr. Jonas Beckwith, a new Cabot Cove doctor. This is Block’s third and final appearance on MSW; he previously appeared in “Seal of the Confessional” and “Murder, Plain and Simple“.
  • Stacy Ray plays Laura Garrison, a registered nurse who was in charge of the local blood drive.
  • Amy Moessinger plays a Nurse at the medical centre. Moessinger is the daughter of executive producer David Moessinger.

Final thoughts and other trivia:

There’s not much more of note about this episode except that, as a Cabot Cove episode, we get a glimpse of some Cabot Cove locations. Specifically, I liked the nice sign above the “Cabot Cove Community Centre” (located on the Universal Studios Lot). Additionally, I found it interesting to see the sign on the medical center read “Harbor Peninsula County” and was disappointed to learn that there is no such county in Maine, as I was hoping that this would provide a clue regarding where in Maine the town is meant to be located.

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