Moonlighting (1987) – Take a Left at the Altar, and Tale in Two Cities

Karen Hall pens this episode in the seemingly never-ending drama between David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) now that they’ve slept together.

Take a Left at the Altar debuted on 13 October, 1987, and sees David and the Blue Moon Detective Agency taking a case that involves a missing groom on the day of his wedding, all while David is desperate to hear from Maddie, who is still staying (hiding) at her parents (Eva Marie Saint and Robert Webber).

There a couple of cool nods in this film, music from North by Northwest (which featured Saint) is used in the episode, and Amanda Plummer guests as does Terry O’Quinn, and Plummer appeared in Pulp Fiction which also featured Willis.

The case brought to them by O’Quinn’s character gives Willis and Curtis Armstrong’s Bert to have some fun together (they’re a good pairing) and we get a glimpse at the continuing relationship between Bert and Agnes (Allyce Beasley).

But as the pair investigate they come across some troubling revelations that could shake up Jackie (Plummer) and her brother, Bryant (O’Quinn), leading to a troubling conclusion and murder. It all plays out while the new beepers that Bert has gotten David are watched in the desperate hope that Maddie calls.

While the case is simple, but fun, because of the character pairing, the whole waiting for Maddie and David to share a scene together is getting ridiculous. It’s bad enough that they slept together, ruining that tension, but then to take away any interactions between the characters (which is the reason everyone tunes in) that was probably enough to start driving viewers away, and the inevitable descent in ratings.


Tale in Two Cities was written by Roger Director and Charles H. Eglee and aired on 3 November, 1987.

While Maddie’s father tries to figure out what is going on with his daughter, Bert is having problems with MacGillicudy (Jack Blessing) who has designs of his own on Agnes.

This revelation hits Bert pretty hard, and he’s having a tough time dealing with it, and is desperate to keep Agnes. David ends up taking him out to a bar to help console and bolster him.

As her parents try to get inside Maddie’s problem, it slowly drives her away, and finally she may decide to head back to L.A., and honestly, it’s about time, because they took this separation of characters for far too long, and you can only watch David in a self-destructive behaviour for so long.

As the episode closes, Maddie calls Agnes and drops a bomb on her, while Agnes realises that MacGillicudy is up to no good, she’s oblivious to the moves he’s making on her, but it’s driving Bert crazy.

Cleavant Derricks makes a welcome appearance as an accountant going over Blue Moon’s numbers as it’s tax time.

More cases next week, and maybe the pair will get back on track with the banter and relationship (which, honestly, was better when it wasn’t consummated). But, hey, let’s get the main characters back onscreen together please.

Moonlighting continues next Wednesday.



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