Murder, She Wrote: Murder Takes the Bus   Rewatch 
October 18, 2014 3:15 PM - Season 1, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Jessica and sheriff Amos Tupper are headed to the Maine Sheriffs' Association by bus, when they run into a serious storm could delay their arrival, if it doesn't strand them somewhere. Two passengers join along the route, first at a prison, then when a car gets stuck on the side of the road. The bus driver stops a third time, when an engine issue halts their progress, and the passengers get off the bus and into a diner. When Jessica goes back on the bus to look for a book, she finds one of the late arrivals dead in his seat, stabbed with a screw-driver from the toolbox on the bus. Who knew the man would be on the bus, and wanted him dead? Can Jess and Amos solve the case, when they're out of the sheriff's territory and their fellow travelers may not want to cooperate?

The local bus is being driven by Ben Gibbons, not the usual driver of this route. In the restaurant, we find that a few people are connected in various ways to the Danvers Trust Company robbery from 15 years ago, when one of the three robbers was killed, along with an 16 year old girl who was a bystander at the event.
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is weird because I did not do this rewatch, but seeing this description triggered a memory of my being a small child and sneaking downstairs for water or something when my parents were watching this, and getting a glimpse of the TV with the dead guy in his bus seat and it made me scared of buses and dead guys and Angela Lansbury and sneaking downstairs for anything ever for a a few years.
posted by sweetkid at 4:20 PM on October 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

This was the most sinister episode so far, complete with spooky music, a dark and story night, and being stuck with a killer. I can see how a little person could be traumatized by seeing the guy stabbed in the shoulder, er, neck.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:31 PM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just watched this one, and I was actually really impressed with the amount of restraint it showed and the good Bernard Hermann-esque music (seriously, the score for this episode is essentially a Psycho knockoff).

I've always been a sucker for the lonely, single location suspense story. As I'm watching these I'm also noticing that despite what could have been a lot of terrible, dated acting you actually get some pretty effective character work. The guy who runs the diner was suitably odd, and the ex-Marine guy (who I think was on "Platoon" when I was a kid) was pretty good as well. I find myself looking for this type of episode a lot.

As an aside, I really like the "eeriness" of episodes like this, and frankly of a lot of serial dramas in the eighties. "Moonlighting" could always be counted on for eerie, creepy episodes with supernatural overtones and perfectly rational third act explanations. What ever happened to that?
posted by littlerobothead at 7:01 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

lonely, single location suspense story

Yes! I watched this episode of MSW and then the Twilight Zone episode "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?".
posted by Monochrome at 5:19 PM on November 25, 2014

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