Spenser: For Hire – When Silence Speaks

by Alan Rapp on October 29, 2020

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Spenser: For Hire – When Silence Speaks
  • IMDb: link

Spenser: For Hire - When Silence Speaks television review

Throwback Thursday takes us back to the mean streets of Boston and the travails of a smart ass private detective. After breaking up a diamond heist, Spenser (Robert Urich) is hired by an advice columnist (Phyllis Frelich) who hopes Spenser can find a man she has never met and whose real name she doesn’t know. While writing under the pseudonym of an older man, Spenser’s client is an attractive deaf writer who started a correspondence with a man who has suddenly gone missing after taking the writer’s advice, leaving his fiancé (Caitlin O’Heaney), and refusing to help in some kind of nefarious scheme.

Identifying the missing man’s identity doesn’t initially lead to any answers as he has disappeared from work and turns up as the prime suspect in the murder of a co-worker (although the only witness to the crime is the fiancé). The case is interrupted several times over the course of the episode by attempts on Spenser’s life, both at the gym and on the street, by those put out his work foiling the diamond heist. In an unexpected team-up that brings the two antagonist together, the diamond fence and the person responsible for the murder of the missing man’s co-worker team-up to attempt to take Spenser down.

The episode provides some backstory for Susan (Barbara Stock) giving her a personal connection to the case and revealing a bit about her past. Hawk (Avery Brooks) appears mainly to help Spenser deal with the attempts on his life. The missing man’s jilted fiancé proves to be the key to unraveling the mystery and discovering how the missing man’s work on lasers plays in to murder. The episode is notable with a rather sweet epilogue, in contrast to several scenes leading up to it, that does seem a bit tacked on (Spenser never finds the missing man on-screen) making one wonder if the episode’s original ending was changed at some point during filming.

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