An electric guitar as a murder weapon? And in Cabot Cove, no less? Say it ain't so, Jessica!
Dr. Seth Hazlitt is organizing a fundraiser to save the Cabot Cove woods, mortgaging his own house to pay for expenses related to a benefit show starring Tommy Vaughn and In Tempo. Let's just say that this "rock" band is about as hard-core as Michael Bolton circa 1988. "Essence of love, that flows from me to youuuuuu..."
Tommy Vaughn is a recovering "bad boy" rocker with a curly mullet and a horribly off-key voice. Apparently he needs surgery to fix his vocals (really?). Anyway, he has a long history of sordid love affairs and a lurky stalker known to wear a replica guitar pin. While practicing their songs for the benefit concert, Tommy's guitar starts sparking and he falls to the stage floor---dead by electrocution.
The wet stage turned Tommy into "a live wire", according to Dr. Hazlitt. Oh really? My husband snorted at this point and immediately assured me that the show's explanation of how Tommy was electrocuted is absolutely impossible. Honestly, if wet stages and bad wiring were so dangerous, wouldn't we have seen a rash of dead hair band rockers in the late 80's? Could they have been more flammable with all that hair spray, spandex and glitter?
Rachel Weldon--works in the Cabot Cove music store and flirts with Tommy Vaughn regularly while beginning an affair together.
Hal Palmer--owner of the music store and local electronics repairman. He fixes Jessica's "hi-fi" and is the only character that actually attempts to maintain a New England accent throughout the episode besides Doc Hazlitt.
Udella Vaughn--wife of Tommy, but in name only. She's looking to strike out on her own in the adult contemporary field. Did she decide to make herself a widow instead of a divorcee?
Jim Maddox--owner of Maddox Electronics, he's trying to buy the Cabot Cove woods and destroy it for commercial purposes. He's willing to shell out big bucks to ensure that the benefit concert is a huge flop. But is he motivated enough to take matters into his own hands?
Wylie Trey--In Tempo's manager and all-around skeevy guy, being paid by Jim Maddox to keep Tommy from playing the benefit concert, no matter what.
Blue Maddox--In Tempo band member, he used to date Rachel Weldon and still holds a torch for her. He tries to warn Rachel away from getting too involved with Tommy Vaughn. Is he jealous enough to give him the axe, so to speak?
Whip Hubley--or as I know him: "Slider" from "Top Gun," plays an In Tempo band member. I can't remember his character's name in this episode...it's a long fall from "Top Gun", my friend. And Jim Maddox is played by Josh Taylor, the dad from "Hogan Family", who is also an occasional soap opera actor--I think "Days of our Lives".
Since it's Season 12, we're talking more like early 90's baby. But we still have mullets and assorted 90's fashions to make fun off. Mostly shoulder pads and oversized, shapeless coats.
Jessica pops up at the music store and confronts Hal Palmer regarding his obsession with Rachel. Hal admits that he's in love with Rachel and would do anything to keep her away from Tommy. So he dressed up as Tommy's stalker and tried to shoot him a few times. When that didn't work, he re-wired Tommy's amplifier. Hal's big mistake? Using the same wire as the kind he used on Jessica's hi-fi. Confronted with this "damning evidence", Hal pulls a gun on Jessica, but Sheriff Metzger and his deputies arrive instantly to defuse the situation.
Let me just add here that last night I saw Ron Masak (Sheriff Metzger) in the Mystery Science Theater movie, "Laserblast"...he played a small town sheriff. Go figure.
So the benefit concert is a big hit and the woods are saved. Dr. Hazlitt is featured on the front page of the newspaper and we end with a big laugh over the photo.