Moonlighting (1986) – The Man Who Cried Wife, and Symphony in Knocked Flat

Kerry Ehrin pens this week’s first episode, The Man Who Cried Wife, which aired on 30 September, 1986.

When James Bower (Stephen Godwin) kills his cheating wife, Melissa (Patricia Duff) in a moment of rage, he buries her in the forest, in an unmarked grave. But when he starts receiving phone calls from her he is driven to the edge of madness and fear.

So he turns to David (Bruce Willis), Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and the Blue Moon Detective Agency to help, he wants them to find her. Things in his story don’t add up, and he eventually cops to what he’s done, and Maddie wants to drop the case (surprise!) and David wants to keep working on it.

The episode provides some nice tension between Maddie and David as she wants nothing to do with Bower. David makes the argument that it was the result of an act of passion, something Maddie can’t justify, until David provokes her and shows that an act of passion can lead to regret.

As they investigate the supposed murder, an actual death occurs, and perhaps Bower isn’t the guilty party at all. What if it’s someone no one suspects until the last few minutes of the episode, though it still wraps up in plenty of time for a fun little epilogue scene with David and Maddie.

All the talk of spontaneity in this episode teases us for a moment, as the pair engage in a kiss, that ends up only being a possibility of the spontaneity they could have, if they only seized it.

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Symphony in Knocked Flat was written by Dale Gelineau and Pauline Miller, and first aired on 21 October, 1986.

What should have been a nice night for Maddie and David as he tries to show her what a date should be about, turns into the pair being involved in an assassination plot all precipitated by the purchase of a pair of scalped tickets to a symphony.

The episode starts with another cold open featuring David, Maddie, and… The Temptations.

But the guest cast doesn’t stop there, it also includes Don King, and one of my favorite character actors Xander Berkley. And I laughed out loud when I saw Steve James as a boxer (something David takes over for to Rocky’s theme and fights a Drago looking Russian)… only because the only thing I know him from is the terrible American Ninja movies.

But no matter how they define it, and how much he screws it up, Maddie and David started out the evening as a date. An actual date between the two of them. So the sexual and romantic tension got upped a notch with this episode.

The case work continues next week when David Addison and Maddie Hayes investigate more cases for the Blue Moon Detective Agency.

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