“Yes, of course! That’s it!” There is perhaps no sweeter moment in television, or truly in all of existence, than that inevitable scene in every episode of Murder, She Wrote during which Angela Lansbury’s inquisitive mystery writer Jessica Fletcher gets a sudden flash of inspiration and dashes off to solve yet another homicide. Editor extraordinaire Isaac Royffe (whose CV includes Yoko Ono’s celeb-studded “Bad Dancer” video) has assembled enough of these scenes for an hour-long YouTube retrospective entitled “The Many Epiphanies Of Jessica Fletcher.” Herein are contained dozens of scenes in which seemingly inconsequential details and unwitting offhand remarks by secondary characters (“Say that again!”) cause Ms. Lansbury to bolt upright as her eyes widen in sudden astonishment. How foolish of her! Why didn’t it occur to her before?
Strung together and removed from their original contexts, these moments make Angela Lansbury’s familiar character seem singularly strange. Jessica Fletcher is forever having these sudden moments of clarity, and she’s prone to making cryptic statements and hastily excusing herself from social situations. One unexpected revelation from “The Many Epiphanies” is that, of all the regulars and semi-regulars on Murder, She Wrote, it is the late William Windom who undoubtedly inspired the most epiphanies. Apparently, Jessica Fletcher could always think more clearly when in his curmudgeonly, bow-tie-wearing presence. Guest star watchers, meanwhile, will want to keep an eye out for Dean Stockwell, James Noble, Jon Polito, Barbara Babcock, Henry Gibson, Wayne Rogers, Charles Napier, Wayne Rogers, Jerry Orbach, and David Ogden Stiers.