Moonlighting (1987) – Sam & Dave, and Maddie’s Turn to Cry

David (Bruce Willis) is having problems with Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and the relationship she has begun with Sam (Mark Harmon) and it’s just going to cause him to spin out of control, drunkenly, even as he tries to be civil and friendly.

Sam & Dave was writte by Charles H. Eglee and Roger Director from a story by Karen Hall, Ron Osborn and Jeff Reno. It first aired on 10 February, 1987, and of course this whole arc would have a lasting impact on the show.

There’s a cold open featuring journalist and television critic, Jeff Jarvis who, like others at the time, complained about the lack of new episodes, and the countless reruns. And since last week was a new episode, which no one probably watched because it was a rereun, he plays catchup for the audience, and then we dive into the heartache of this episode.

And of course, their case of the week is a bit of a reflection of the problems in their personal lives as they are hired by a woman who thinks her boyfriend is in love with his wife.

Of course there’s the whole Bert (Curtis Armstrong) and DiPesto (Allyce Beasley) romantic arc to deal with as well.

The arguments between Maddie and David as he tries to deal with this feelings for her now that she’s found someone resonate with reality. There’s a bite to them with harshness that rings true, and hurts, no matter which character you identify with.

And the dinner scene with the trio is tough to watch as I’m sure a number of people can relate, and David becomes increasingly drunk. It’s embarassing for all parties, and Sam is actually a pretty good guy, despite the fact that he’s come between Maddie and David.

Events continue to unfurl next episode as does the case they are working on…


Maddie’s Turn To Cry was written by the same groups of folk with their roles reversed, and the episode first screened on 3 March, 1987 – over a month later. Man, audiences must have been furious.

The situation between the trio continues to cause problems and the case they’re working on goes sideways when the wife commits suicide… or does she?

Maddie begins to realize that she shares David’s feelings, and may be in love with him. She is drawn between the two of them, and it is wrecking all of their lives.

This week opens with a cold open featuring ‘person on the street’ interviews about whether or not they saw Moonlighting last week. But it would have been a rerun. So they give us the catchup, a fun way to introduce everything, and set up the continuing storyline in this episode.

We also finally get a look inside David’s apartment. It’s big and spacious (how can he afford it?) and it completely empty. Of course, this lets the importnat moment between them play out without interruption, almost theatrical as we the pair confront their feelings and finally some lip-locking.

Watch for Gary Cole in a guest starring role!

Next week, we come to the conclusion of Season Three of Moonlighting, and look everybody, the engines are firing… Blue Moon Detective Agency is about to jump the shark before the end of the next two episodes.


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