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Best Murder She Wrote Episodes: Ranked By Fans

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Best Murder She Wrote Episodes

“Murder, She Wrote” is a captivating mystery series that aired between 1984 and 1996, featuring the talented Angela Lansbury as the protagonist, Jessica Fletcher. The show, which spans 12 seasons, follows the adventures of a mystery writer who seemingly has a knack for stumbling upon real-life crime scenes. From the quiet, picturesque town of Cabot Cove to the most scenic destinations around the world, Jessica Fletcher uses her wit and intuition to solve complex mysteries, uncover hidden secrets, and bring criminals to justice.

scene from murder she wrote episode

Throughout the series, viewers are treated to an array of compelling storylines, intricate whodunit puzzles, and memorable guest performances. Some episodes, however, have garnered more praise than others, standing out for their over-the-top plots, captivating mysteries, and unforgettable moments. In this article, we will delve into the best episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” and uncover what makes them so captivating, including the recurring themes and the remarkable performances of Angela Lansbury and the show’s guest stars.

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Key Takeaways

  • “Murder, She Wrote” is a long-running mystery series, with Angela Lansbury solving crimes as Jessica Fletcher
  • Among the show’s many episodes, some stand out for their compelling storylines and memorable performances
  • Besides its entertainment value, the series also showcases the enduring talents of Angela Lansbury and the depth of her character, Jessica Fletcher.

The Protagonist

typewriter from top murder she wrote episode

As a fan of “Murder, She Wrote,” I know that the show’s charm lies heavily in its protagonist, Jessica Fletcher. Played by the talented Angela Lansbury, Jessica comes across as a knowledgeable, confident, and clear-headed individual. She’s an accomplished writer with a passion for solving mysteries that just can’t be contained to the pages of her books.

In the television series, Jessica is a widowed English teacher from the town of Cabot Cove. She stumbles into the world of professional crime-solving after her first novel, “The Corpse Danced at Midnight,” unexpectedly becomes a bestseller. This success sets the stage for Jessica’s thrilling adventures over 12 seasons, as she remains both an esteemed author and amateur detective.

Angela Lansbury truly brings Jessica Fletcher to life, imbuing her with the neutral and level-headed demeanor that fans admire. Her knack for making each encounter feel genuine and grounded makes it easy for viewers to become invested in each episode’s unfolding mystery. Undoubtedly, Lansbury’s masterful portrayal plays a significant role in why “Murder, She Wrote” still enjoys enduring popularity.

Audiences follow Jessica Fletcher’s journey as she helps to solve crimes both in her hometown of Cabot Cove and various other locales. Her vast knowledge, coupled with her keen eye for detail, makes Jessica an unstoppable force in catching the guilty party. As a result, episodes that involve Jessica often stand out as some of the best in the series.

12 Top Ranked Episodes of Murder She Wrote

Top Episodes of Murder She Wrote
1Season 1, Episode 21: “Funeral at Fifty-Mile”
2Season 2, Episode 18: “If a Body Meet a Body”
3Season 3, Episode 12: “The Corpse Flew First Class”
4Season 4, Episode 7: “Indian Giver”
5Season 5, Episode 22: “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Part 2”
6Season 6, Episode 9: “Shear Madness”
7Season 7, Episode 13: “Murder in F Sharp”
8Season 8, Episode 11: “Thursday’s Child”
9Season 9, Episode 9: “A Christmas Secret”
10Season 10, Episode 7: “A Killing in Cork”
11Season 11, Episode 16: “Film Flam”
12Season 12, Episode 13: “Murder Among Friends”

As a fan of “Murder, She Wrote,” I have always appreciated the variety of plots and compelling mysteries the show offers. I would like to share some of the top-ranked episodes that are worth watching.

“Murder Takes the Bus” is a thrilling episode where Jessica takes a bus trip on a stormy night. When one of the passengers is murdered, Jessica investigates the crime, leading to a tense whodunit scenario involving both the passengers and bus driver.

Murder she wrote mystery scene

“Jessica Behind Bars” is another engaging episode that finds our protagonist volunteering at a women’s prison. When the suspicious death of a prison guard occurs, I found myself deeply involved in the mystery that unfolds, as Jessica tries to uncover the murderer while navigating the harsh environment.

In “The Sins of Castle Cove,” I was captivated by the intricate storyline set in Jessica’s hometown. When a gossip columnist is found dead, a number of town residents become suspects. The complex relationships between characters and the sinister motives behind the murder make this episode a must-watch.

One of my all-time favorites is the two-part episode “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.” It features a showdown between Jessica and a rival mystery author, creating an intense and gripping story. The psychological aspects of the characters’ interactions are fascinating, as they engage in a battle of wits to solve a murder case.

Lastly, “Keep the Home Fries Burning” is a delightful episode where Jessica and her old friend investigate a poisoning case at a family-owned diner. The small-town charm coupled with clever twists in the plot make this episode an enjoyable watch.

Overall, these episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” stand out as exemplary, displaying skillful writing that keeps viewers engaged and entertained.

Underlying Themes

Fans notepad from the episode

As a fan of “Murder, She Wrote,” I believe the show tackles a variety of underlying themes throughout its best episodes. The primary theme, of course, is mystery. Each episode follows Jessica Fletcher’s investigations, skillfully employing misdirection and suspense to reveal the true culprit. In addition, the show delves into topics such as crime, death, and corruption, sometimes even touching on supernatural elements.

In episodes like “Death Takes a Curtain Call” (Season 1, Episode 10), the show explores the crime component of mystery solving. Jessica navigates the world of espionage and Cold War politics, disentangling dangerous plots and relationships. Other episodes highlight the darker aspects of human greed and ambition, leading to volatile motives and criminal actions.

Death is a constant presence on “Murder, She Wrote.” The show never shies away from revealing the unpleasant realities of death, often using it as a catalyst for the plot. Jessica confronts mourning while seeking justice for the deceased, humanizing her character and making her relatable to viewers.

The show occasionally dabbles in supernatural themes as well. In some episodes, eerie elements like ghosts and curses are used to heighten tension and intrigue. Though Jessica remains a steadfast believer in logic and reason, these supernatural episodes allow her to explore the unexplainable and confront her own skepticism.

Lastly, corruption is a theme that ties together many of the show’s narratives. In a number of episodes, prominent community members—including law enforcement—are revealed to be involved in criminal activity. Jessica often confronts these corrupt individuals, using her intelligence and persistence to expose their misdeeds and bring them to justice.

Throughout the numerous episodes of “Murder, She Wrote,” the show masterfully blends these underlying themes to create engaging, insightful stories. As a fan, I appreciate the show’s ability to tackle real-world issues with nuance, all the while maintaining its signature sense of mystery and suspense.

Casting and Performances

Murder she wrote mic

Angela Lansbury’s portrayal of Jessica Fletcher, the crime-solving mystery novelist from Cabot Cove, truly made the show memorable. Her exceptional acting skills and charisma brought life to the character and helped the series maintain a dedicated fan base for twelve seasons. As Jessica Fletcher, Lansbury successfully showcased both her investigative intellect and charm, making her one of the most beloved amateur detectives in television history.

Throughout the series, Murder, She Wrote also featured an impressive lineup of guest stars and recurring characters. One notable guest appearance was by Linda Blair, known for her role in The Exorcist. Blair delivered a strong performance, adding excitement and suspense to the episode she starred in. Her talent for playing dark and mysterious characters made her a perfect fit for the show’s genre and mood.

Another standout guest star was Rue McClanahan, best known for her role as Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls. In her episode on Murder, She Wrote, McClanahan demonstrated her versatility as an actress, expertly portraying a character that was significantly different from her usual comedic roles. Her performance added a unique flavor to the series and showcased her wide range of acting abilities.

Michael Constantine made an impactful appearance on the show as well. He skillfully took on the role of a Cabot Cove resident, providing an intriguing and engaging story that contributed immensely to the episode’s quality. His chemistry with Lansbury and the other cast members elevated the overall narrative, making it an essential episode for fans of the series.

Finally, Adrienne Barbeau’s guest role on Murder, She Wrote is another fantastic example of the show’s stellar casting. Barbeau’s portrayal of a suspicious character enhanced the episode’s plot, and her interactions with Lansbury’s Jessica Fletcher only added to the story’s intrigue.

In conclusion, the exceptional casting and outstanding performances delivered by Angela Lansbury and the numerous guest stars in Murder, She Wrote played a crucial role in making the show beloved by fans around the world. The diverse range of talented actors and actresses undoubtedly contributed to the show’s success and helped solidify its legacy as a timeless classic.

Influence and Legacy

Murder, She Wrote loyal fan base typewriter

During its run, Murder, She Wrote garnered numerous accolades, including Golden Globe awards and Emmy nominations. This attests to the show’s quality and mastery in storytelling.

I have observed that the show’s impact extends beyond the awards it garnered. For example, “Death Takes a Curtain Call” (Season 2, Episode 10) delved into Cold War territory, providing a political backdrop and an added layer of complexity to the already thrilling mystery series. Such innovative storytelling has undoubtedly influenced future crime dramas that would emerge on television.

My appreciation for the show extends to the memorable performances and collaborations it showcased. Murder, She Wrote featured an array of guest stars, which further contributed to its influence in the television industry. Appearing on the show became such an honor that many actors and actresses sought to be part of the experience.

Moreover, Murder, She Wrote‘s lengthy run on CBS, from 1984 to 1996, is a testament to its popularity and impact. The network ensured the show would continue to provide viewers with engaging mysteries and delightful plot twists. As a result, fans tuned in weekly to follow the adventures of Angela Lansbury’s iconic character, J.B. Fletcher.

Furthermore, Murder, She Wrote has developed a loyal fan base that persists even after the show’s conclusion. Online discussions and reviews keep the show alive today, with fans dissecting and ranking the best episodes. This enduring interest highlights the show’s staying power and its ability to captivate new generations of viewers.

The Setting

"Murder, She Wrote" episode costal town scene

As someone who has watched all of the “Murder, She Wrote” episodes, I can confidently say that the show offers a rich variety of settings that contribute to the appeal and intrigue of the series.

Cabot Cove, a small picturesque coastal town in Maine, is the primary setting for many episodes. It is where Jessica Fletcher, the show’s protagonist, resides. Cabot Cove is often considered one of the most famous fictional towns of its time period, and its charm and peaceful atmosphere become somewhat ironic given the number of murders that seem to take place there.

Occasionally, the show takes us beyond Cabot Cove, to other destinations within the United States. Boston, for instance, is a city that Jessica frequently visits, sometimes attending conferences or giving lectures there. In these episodes, the bustling city life contrasts starkly with the sleepy Cabot Cove, offering viewers variety in the visuals and settings.

As if exploring various parts of the U.S. is not enough, Jessica Fletcher’s adventures often lead her abroad, notably including encounters in London. The iconic city becomes a fitting backdrop for some memorable episodes, with its rich history, beautiful architecture, and evolving modern landscape.

While not as commonly featured, Castle Cove is another noteworthy location. It is a fictional coastal village in Maine that bears a strong resemblance to Cabot Cove, perhaps as an homage to the primary setting. This similarity sparks curiosity among viewers and offers a fresh change of scenery, without straying too far from the show’s comfort zone.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the versatility and richness of settings in “Murder, She Wrote.” From the idyllic Cabot Cove and enchanting Castle Cove to the bustling metropolises of Boston and London, the settings add depth to the show’s narrative and create a more engaging experience for viewers like myself.


Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ about MSW episodes

What are the top episodes from each season?

In my opinion, some of the top episodes from each season include:

  • Season 3, Episode 12: “The Corpse Flew First Class”
  • Season 5, Episode 22: “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: Part 2”
  • Season 5: “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Part 1 and 2”

My favorite episode:

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Which guest stars had standout performances?

Throughout the series, there were numerous guest stars that had standout performances. It’s hard to name them all, but some of my favorites are the ones who brought unforgettable and interesting characters to life.

Are there any particularly cozy episodes to watch?

Murder, She Wrote is known for its cozy, small-town atmosphere, especially in the episodes set in Cabot Cove. I highly recommend watching those episodes, as they evoke a sense of familiarity and warmth, combined with intriguing mystery and suspense.

What are some of the weirdest episodes?

The show often ventured into bizarre or odd storylines, which only added to its charm. Some examples include episodes featuring strange characters, unique settings, or unexpected twists. Keep an eye out for these hidden gems as you dive into the series.

Where can I stream the series?

As of now, you can watch Murder, She Wrote on the Peacock streaming platform. Be sure to check for any changes in availability or new streaming options in the future.

What memorable moments does the final episode have?

The final episode of Murder, She Wrote brings the audience a satisfying conclusion while staying true to the essence of the show. It highlights Jessica Fletcher’s keen sleuthing skills and showcases her ability to unravel complicated mysteries. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say that the finale is definitely worth watching to wrap up this beloved series.

Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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