Spenser: For HireEdit
an Episode Guide
by Scott Klobas
Aired from: Sep 1985 to: May 1988 66 episodes
- Robert Urich as Spenser
- Avery Brooks as Hawk
- Barbara Stock as Susan Silverman [seasons 1 & 3 only]
- Ron McLarty as Sgt. Frank Belson
- Richard Jaeckel as Lt. Martin Quirk [episodes 1 - 48]
- Carolyn McCormick as Rita Fiori [season 2 only]
Spenser: For Hire is based on a series of novels by Robert B. Parker, starring his fictional hero Spenser (no last name given). Spenser is a former Boston cop who retired and started his own PI business. Spenser often has help from his erstwhile friend Hawk and Boston PD detective Frank Belson.
Spenser's girlfriend Susan Silverman left during the series' second season because as she explained, she loved Spenser too much to accept the deadly situations he gets into. Series producers introduced Rita Fiori, a new D.A. who initially clashed with Spenser, but soon grew close to him.
Spenser was filmed in the Boston area, lending it an authenticity absent in far too many LA based programs. The Spenser casting directors did an excellent job, packing the episodes with future movie and television stars like Samuel L. Jackson, Patricia Richardson, Laura San Giacomo, Rob Morrow, J.T. Walsh, Giancarlo Esposito, Charles Kimbrough...and on and on.
First season, 1985-1986Edit
"Promised Land "Edit
Two hour series pilot Guest stars: Dorothy Gallagher, Wendy Marlowe, Peter Kavner,John Bedford-Lloyd, Venus Irving-Prescott, Will LeBow, Bill McDonald, Forest Hamilton, Ron Brice, John Torrenuera, Victoria Howard, Billy Winn, Billy Winn, Richard Grusin Spenser is hired to find the runaway wife of a wealthy businessman. Broadcast: 20 Sep 1985 Writer: John Wilder Director: Lee H. Katzin
Based on the book by Robert B. Parker.
"No Room at the Inn"Edit
Guest stars: Deborah Rush [Megan Farrell], Lisa Banes [Angela Zemeckis], Stephen Keep [Tom Shanley], Anthony Heald, Ronn Carroll, Michael Currie, John Capodice [Joe the Cabbie], Jacques Sandulescu, Victor Argo, Robert Milli, Joseph Pilato Spenser is hired by the police department to protect a witness who may not be who she claims. The Fire Department gives Spenser an old station to show their gratitude for the help he gave them in a fire. Broadcast: 27 Sep 1985 Writer: John Wilder Director: John Wilder
Guest stars: George Grizzard [Frank Silverman], Patricia Clarkson [Elizabeth Haller], Sam Robards, Joe Seneca [Joe Adams], Angela Bassett [Joe's Daughter], W.H. Macy [D.A.], Barton Heyman A pair of young thrill-killers target Spenser, accidentally shooting a bystander. Susan's ex-husband visits. Broadcast: 04 Oct 1985 Writer: Daniel Freudenberger Director: Richard Colla
"Children of a Tempest Storm"Edit
Guest stars: Chuck Connors [King Powers], Noah Moazez, Judith Tannen, Roger Serbagi, Lauren Tom [Tommy's Girlfriend], Baxter Harris, Gregg Baker, Cristine Rose, Larry Victor, Bill McCutcheon Spenser kills a would-be thief in the course of thwarting a robbery. He and Susan take in the man's two children while investigating his past. Susan discovers she's pregnant. Broadcast: 11 Oct 1985 Writer: Robert Hamilton Director: William Wiard
Guest stars: Jay O. Sanders [Father Crawford], Elizabeth Franz [Mrs. O'Rourke], Eddie Jones [Michael O'Rourke], Erica Gimpel [Shelley], Jonathan Moore, David O'Brien, James Eckhouse [Jordan], Marsha Bagwell Spenser investigates the apparent suicide of a young nun, and stumbles onto a corrupt landlord. Broadcast: 18 Oct 1985 Writer: Robert Hamilton Director: Harvey Hart
"Discord in A Minor"Edit
Guest stars: Patricia Elliott [Cathy Lowington], Neill Barry [Jimmy Braz], Barbara Garrick [Edie James], Paul Shenar [Matthew Lowington], Raymond Serra [Joe Broz], Jay Thomas [Tony Broz], Anne Marie Bobby [Elaine Hebner] Spenser is fired from a bodyguard job after his young charge is kidnapped. Spenser suspects the girl he was to protect arranged the 'kidnapping' to escape her father, a famous conductor, who may have been molesting his daughter. Broadcast: 25 Oct 1985 Writer: Janet Kapsin Story by: David Abramowitz Director: Harvey Hart
"The Killer Within"Edit
Guest stars: Nancy Paul [Donna/Diane], David Allen Brooks, Jon De Vries, Richard Borg, Kim Chan, William Cain, Gregg Edelman Spenser is hired to protect a woman's identical twin sister from assassins, only to discover his employer suffers from a split personality. Broadcast: 12 Nov 1985 Writer: Robert Malcolm Young Director: Don Chaffey
Guest stars: Mark Keyloun, Alice Haining [Kay Redfield], Ron Frazier, Will Lyman, Alfred Drake [Roman St. George], Gail Grate, James Arone, Susan Botti, John Savoia, Daniel Van Bargen Al Spenser stumbles onto a ring of thieves while investigating a relic stolen from a museum. Broadcast: 19 Nov 1985 Writer: Jerry Ziegman Director: William Wiard
Guest stars: Mark Keylove, AliceHaining, Ron Frazier, Will Lyman, Alfred Drake [Roman St. George], Gail Grave, James Arone, Susan Botti, John Savoia The wife of a kidnapped oil tycoon hires Spenser to deliver $1 million in ransom money to a ring of terrorists while police have the drop-off area surrounded. Broadcast: 26 Nov 1985 Writer: Jerry Ziegman Director: William Wiard
Guest stars: Paul Dooley [Bryce Taylor], Earl Hindman [Sgt. Clayton], Dick LaTessa, Kasi Lemmons, Robert Tessier, D.B. Sweeney, Martha Bradlee, Ann Brennan, Dawn Davis, Evelyn Moore, W. Clapham Murray Spenser investigates a crooked vice cop involved in the mugging of one of Susan's friends. Broadcast: 03 Dec 1985 Writer: Richard Collins Director: Virgil Vogel
Guest stars: Shirley Knight [Katie Quirk], Richard Jenkins, Bruce Mac Vittie, James Douglas, James Handy [Joe], Jay Blitzman, Jess Cain, Walter Covell, James Huston, Edward Mason, Paul O'Brien Marital infidelity and suspected involvement in a gambling ring lead to Lt. Quirk's suspension. Belson is shot during a raid. Spenser works to clear Quirk's name and catch Belson's would-be killer. Broadcast: 17 Dec 1985 Writer: Bruce Murkoff Director: Richard Colla
"Death By Design"Edit
Guest stars: Burke Moses [Tony Ristelli], Robin Groves, Leon Russom, Hansford Rowe, Chuck Patterson, Marilyn Redfield Spenser walks into a death trap when a beautiful university scientist who makes so-called 'designer drugs' hires him to track down her gigolo boyfriend and recover $50,000. Broadcast: 07 Jan 1986 Writer: Bruce Murkoff Director: Virgil Vogel
"A Day's Wages"Edit
Guest stars: Raymond Serin, Francis McDormand, Eric King, Edward Binns [John Brady], Tina Andrews, Mike Starr, Nick Christopher, Cory Scott DuFault Spenser and Hawk blame themselves for failing to protect their respective clients from the clutches of the underworld, and vow to settle the score with a big-time racketeer and his henchmen. Broadcast: 14 Jan 1986 Writer: Robert McKee Director: Richard Colla
"A Madness Most Discreet"Edit
Guest stars: Robert Hogan, Maria Holvoe [Anna Maria Kova], Stefan Schnabe, Ron Parady, Walter Gotell [Max Claus] Spenser is dazzled by the beauty and grace of a former Bolshoi ballerina who appeals for his help and tempts him with her love. Broadcast: 21 Jan 1986 Writer: Robert Hamilton Director: Ray Austin
"Brother to Dragons"Edit
Guest stars: Stephen McHattie [Corbett], Timothy Carhart [Jim Gowan], Michael Zaslow [Dr. Leighton], Patrice Colihan [Betty Thymes], Ellen Holly [Amanda Leighton] Spenser goes undercover at a private high school to investigate heroin use on campus, but discovers something far more serious. Broadcast: 04 Feb 1986 Writers: Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa Director: Sutton Roley
"When Silence Speaks"Edit
Guest stars: Phyllis French [Joan Cugell], Caitlin O'Heaney, Mathieu Carriere, Philip Kraus Spenser is retained to locate a missing scientist who'd just discovered a major breakthrough in laser techniques by a deaf newspaper columnist with whom the scientist had been corresponding. Broadcast: 11 Feb 1986 Writer: Robert Hamilton Director: Ray Austin
NOTE: According to a TV Guide article, the role of Joan was not written with a deaf woman in mind. Kudos to the producers for awarding the role on merit rather than a disability.
"In a Safe Place"Edit
Guest stars: Nancy Marchand [Emily Garden], Ray Baker, Jaime Sanchez, Joe Silver, Jimmy Smits [Hector Valdes], Victoria Racino, Jeffrey DeMunn, Gerald A. Cooney Spenser and Susan look for a Mexican labor organizer who has suspiciously disappeared. ('On the Waterfront' redux.) Broadcast: 14 Feb 1986 Writer: William Robert Yates Director: Virgil Vogel
"Angel of Desolation"Edit
Guest stars: Shelly Burch [Deidre Carlisle], James Patrick Gillis, Jack Coulter, Eriq La Salle [Jeffrey Miller], Stuart Burney, John Carpenter, Leighton Taylor Young [Alicia Carlisle], Lella Danette, David Berti,B.J. Cotton While working for a wealthy woman, Spenser is caught up in a deadly murder mystery complete with an illicit love story. Broadcast: 04 Mar 1986 Writer: Robert Hamilton Director: Ray Austin
"She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not"Edit
Guest stars: Gail Strickland [Mildred Frances], Greg Mullavey, Jess Osuna, Ruth Cox, Mike Nussbaum Sgt. Belson falls in love with a white supremacist. Broadcast: 11 Mar 1986 Writer: Daniel Freudenberger Director: Virgil Vogel
"At the River's Edge"Edit
Guest stars: John Davidson [Rev. Bobby Freemont], Karen Carlson, Paul Sparer, Carrie Kei Heim [Marcella Harrington], Laurie Wilson [Chrissy Pierce] Spenser is hired by a 12-year-old to investigate the murder of her older sister. The brutal slaying of an ex-convict, and the machinations of a popular preacher with political ambitions factor into the investigation. Broadcast: 25 Mar 86 Writer: Robert Hamilton Director: David M. Whorf
Guest stars: Brad Dourif [Maxie Lyons], Christie Houser [Jill Weller], Trey Wilson, Adam Philipson, Barbara Blossom, Herb Mandell, Daniel Van Bargen [Mr. Hurley] A teenage girl's agitated condition following a rape gets her into deeper trouble when she's kidnapped by an ex-con bent on shooting Spenser. Broadcast: 01 Apr 1986 Writer: Bruce Murkoff Director: None Credited
"Hell Hath No Fury"Edit
Guest stars: Linda Thorson [Karen Cooper], Lucinda Jenney, Paul Austin, Mary-Joan Negro. Stephen Joyce, Paul Butler, Thomas J. Urich, Gary Klar. David Fonteno, Paul Dunn, Karol Kosta, Frank T. Wells Spenser investigates corruption behind the collapse of an apartment building, and a reporter who helped convict the wrong man. Broadcast: 08 Apr 1986 Writer: Daniel Freudenberger Director: Virgil Vogel
Second season 1986-1987Edit
"An Eye For an Eye"Edit
Guest stars: Charles Kimbrough [Louis Groton], Marg Helgenberger [Nancy Kettering], Carole Shelley [Irene], Kent Broadhurst [Michael Brimson], Joshua Mostel [Leonard], Dan Lauria [Harry], William Wise [Stan] New D.A. Rita Fiori tries to prosecute Spenser for blackmail. Broadcast: 27 Sep 1986 Writer: Stephen Hattman Director: William Wiard
Guest stars: Ed O'Neill [Buddy Almeida], Margaret Whitton [Ellen Calone], Neill Barry [Tony Calone], Louis Zorich [Manuel Almeida], Helen Stenberg [Velma Almeida], James Baffico [Murray Peltzer], Adrian Sparks [Dom], Nesbitt Blaisdell [Sam Valette] A small fishing family hires Spenser to investigate the death of their father. Spenser suspects a rival fishing family, the Almeidas. Broadcast: 04 Oct 1986 Writer: Juanita Bartlett Story by: Joe Smoke Director: William Wiard
Guest stars: Tom Atkins [Hatch], Page Hannah [Laura Findley], Douglas Wert [Benny Haskell], Joe Lambie [Theodore Wilkes], Alan North [Chief Hollis Cushing], Bernie McInerney [Sam Findley], Pamela Burrell [Jessie Findley], Samuel L. Jackson [Leroy Clancy], Jesse Doran [Joey Thorpe], Jude Ciccorlella [Gus Sloan], Richard Snee [Assistant D.A. Kennedy], Marjorie Oneill=Butler [Harriet], Jay Blitzman [Arnold Becker] While Spenser and Hawk are in a small town to view a boxing match, Hawk is arrested, ostensibly for carrying a concealed weapon, but Spenser suspects racism may be involved. Broadcast: 18 Oct 1986 Writer: Daniel Freudenberger Director: Virgil Vogel
Guest stars: John Cullum [Frank Bennett], Susan Hess [Michelle Gilbert], Norman Snow [Peter Devane], Clarise Taylor [Miss Emma], Janice Rule [Mrs. Bennett], Spiro Malas [George Cannon], James Baffico [Murray Peltzer] A mobster's pregnant teenage girlfriend tries to keep her unborn son from his father. Broadcast: 25 Oct 1986 Writer: David Abramowitz Director: Virgil Vogel
"And Give Up Show Biz?"Edit
Guest stars: Paul Sparer [Ernest Galway], Patrick Breen [Bobby Olak], Gerry Bamman [Laurence Denning], Paul Herman [Morgan Evans], Michael Albert Mantel [Tommy Gross], Robert Silver [Manny] Spenser protects a man suffering from amnesia. Broadcast: 01 Nov 1986 Writer: Robert Bielak Director: William Wiard
"The Long Hunt"Edit
Guest stars: Drew Snyder [Paul Martine], J. Kenneth Campbell [Deputy Hagen], Don Reilly [Don Martine], Michael Currie [Sheriff Bayer], Robert Swan [Virgil Crebbs] A young criminal's father attacks a bus transporting convicts to the state prison. Broadcast: 08 Nov 1986 Writer: David Bennett Carren Director: Virgil Vogel
"Home is the Hero" Guest stars: Tim Guinee [Kevin Moran], John Spencer [Joe Moran], Gregory Salata [Frank Scanlon], Leon Russom [Brad Stiles], Lauren Holly [Emily Brown], Frankie Scasso [Mario], Peter Maloney [Red Donnelly] Rita hires Spenser to investigate a troubled teenager, yet another 'Spenser helps a misguided youth' episode. Broadcast: 22 Nov 1986 Writer: Shel Willens Director: William Wiard
"One if by Land, Two if by Sea"Edit
Guest stars: Donal Donnelly [Mr. Martin], Stephen Joyce [Michael Kelly], Margaret Hilton [Mrs. Martin], Suzy Hunt [Catherine Kelly], Robert Gerringer [Paul Johnson], Dee Hoty [Sarah Brown], Casey King [Beauregard], Peter Boyden [The Maitre'D], James Kiberd [Lewis Johnson] A friend of Spenser's is shot and killed while portraying Paul Revere during a Revolutionary War re-enactment. Broadcast: 29 Nov 1986 Writer: William Robert Yates Director: Virgil Vogel
Guest stars: Kim Hauser [Chrissy Cabot], Kevin Conroy [Gallagher], Pat Richardson [Sarah Cabot], James Hurdle [Lucas Cabot], Nicholas Lepros [The Chaplain], Clayton Prince [Willy], Fern Dorsey [Jennifer] A girl who apparently has the unique ability to 'see' through both space and time, enlists Spenser's help to solve a rash of arsons. Broadcast: 13 Dec 1986 Writer: Gerry Day Director: Cliff Bole
"The Hopes and Fears"Edit
Guest stars: George DiCenzo [Dan Chandler], Nancy Travis [Maggie Elis], Jack Gwaltney [Charlie Horn], Seth Green [Andy Chandler], John Bell [Tim Sullivan]. David S. Chandler [Hal McGraw], Lynne Thigpen [Mrs. Jarvis], Stephen J. Brackley [Hank], William Parry [Tom Sullivan], Cordis Heard [Jane Chandler], Gilbert Lewis [Mr. Andre], David Kieserman ["Pop" Donelli] With the help of Hawk, a disgusted Spenser is determined to get rid of thugs who are terrorizing his Boston neighborhood. Broadcast: 20 Dec 1986 Writer: Michael Petryni Director: Harry Harris
Guest stars: Badja Djola [Tyrone Blackwell], David O'Brien [Tom Flaherty] Hawk is the main suspect when Lt. Quirk is shot, due to a recent fracas between the two. Spenser suspects a new man in town, trying to take Hawk down to make a name for himself. Broadcast: 10 Jan 1987 Writer: Daniel Freudenberger Director: Cliff Bole
Guest stars: Spalding Gray [Edward Niles], James Murtaugh [Morton Fuller], Pamela Payton-Wright [Karen Fuller], Olivia Virgil Harper [Linda Verrain], Marita Geraghty [Elizabeth Canning Anthony], Jon Korkes [Birney Jessman], Paul Calderon [Lunza], Stephen Burleigh [Father O'Conner], Spaulding Gray [Edward Niles], Patricia Elliott [Vera Canning] A wealthy man is murdererd and, surprise, an innocent man is arrested. If you've seen one Spenser, you've seen them all. Broadcast: 17 Jan 1987 Writer: Robert Malcolm Young Story by: Rudolph Berecht Director: Winrich Kolbe
"Murder and Acquisitions"Edit
Guest stars: E. Katherine Kerr [Cynthia Bodman], J.T. Walsh [Andrew Lawford], Danielle von Zerneck [Lisa Bodman], Jamey Sheridan [Todd Wallace], Rob Morrow [Danny], John Madden Towey [Bruce Huber] Spenser investigates the apparent suicide of a philandering financier about to turn state's evidence to bring down insider trading. Rita has problems of her own when an old boyfriend shows up. Belson hires Spenser to find his missing wallet containing a winning lottery ticket. Broadcast: 24 Jan 1987 Writer: Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon Director: Harry Harris
Guest stars: Blanche Baker [Carolyn Tomlinson], Larry Fishburne [David Mukende], Dick Latessa [George Kendrick], Christine Farrell [Brenda Reston], Ruby Dee [ Eleanor Simpson] Spenser and Rita go after a corrupt African. Broadcast: 07 Feb 1987 Writer: Cynthia Darnell Director: Cliff Bole
Guest stars: Melissa Leo [Mary Hamilton], Jimmie Ray Weeks [Billy Joe Hamilton], Earl Hindman [Max Ordella], Patricia Charbonneau [Linda Shannon], David Leary [Jackie Coyle], , John Christopher Jones [Fred Taylor], Randall Edwards [Betsy] A girl comes to Boston looking for her estranged father. Spenser decides to help her. Broadcast: 14 Feb 1987 Writer: David Bennet Carren Story by: Norma Safford Vela Director: Winrich Kolbe
"Trial and Error"Edit
Guest stars: Trey Wilson [Terry Vogel], Barton Heyman [Don Clemens], Jack Coulter [Arnie Wexler], David Patrick Kelly [Ned Lloyd], Alice Haining [Linda Arpel], Kathryn Rossetter [Darlene Burton], David Cryer [the Defense Attorney], Charles Blackwell [the Judge] A pimp is wrongfully arrested for the murder of one of his girls. Spenser agonizes between pursuing the real murderer or letting the pimp take the rap. Broadcast: 21 Feb 1987 Writer: Robert Bielak & Nelson Costello Story by: Nelson Costello Director: David M. Whorf
"One For My Daughter"Edit
Guest stars: Larry Riley [Bo Braxton], Pam Potillo [Jessie Braxton], David Straitharn [Doggie Thorpe], Rocco Sisto [Sonny Stroud], Margaret Avery [Callie Braxton] Spenser and Hawk protect a man who owes money to men of dubious ethics. When their client, Bo Braxton tries to blackmail his creditors, he and his alcoholic teenage daughter go on the run. Broadcast: 07 Mar 1987 Writer: Robert B. Parker Story by: Joan H. Parker Director: Winrich Kolbe
"My Brother's Keeper"Edit
Guest stars: Michael Countryman [Nick Griffin], Fran Brill [Joan Cahill], Jordan Clarke [Brad Griffin], Isao Sato [Long Van Lihn], Special guest star Mako [Tommy Nguyen], Beatrice Winde [Delia Johnson], Tom Matsusaka [Phan] Spenser becomes embroiled in the seamy Vietnamese organized crime racket after a Vietnamese crime boss uses Spenser to track down a former soldier. Broadcast: 14 Mar 1987 Writer: Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon Director: Michael Vejar
NOTE: Actor Jordan Clarke played a character, Gordon Ganza, named after the writers of this episode in ep #18 of The Cosby Mysteries.
"The Road Back"Edit
Guest stars: Kip Niven [Dan Mahaffey], David Margulies [Karl Shore], Tony Shalhoub [Dr. Hambrecht], Special guest star Heather Menzies [Miss Westmore], Frank Whaley [Evicted Boy] Spenser loses all feeling in his right arm after he's shot while guarding a politician. Broadcast: 21 Mar 1987 Writer: Stephen Hattman Director: Winrich Kolbe
"If You Knew Sammy"Edit
Guest stars: Sal Viscuso [Sammy Backlin], John Seitz [Duke Fallon], Bill Cobbs [Larry Sills], W.H. Macy [Effrem], Kate Burton [Randy], Andrew Clark [Hugo], Pedro Sanchez [gang leader] NRA poster-boy Sammy Backlin breezes into town for a book signing, unwittingly involving Spenser in a shoot out. Spenser agrees to protect Sammy from gangland thugs. Broadcast: 04 Apr 1987 Writer: Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin Director: Bruce Bilson
NOTE: Sammy Backlin shows up again in ep #59. Character name Duke Fallon turns up in Diagnosis Murder ep #96, which is written by the same duo that wrote this episode.
"The Man Who Wasn't There"Edit
Guest stars: Tom Urich [Thomas Oliver], Paul Guilfoyle [Ross Bates], Jay Patterson [Al Sheen], Peggy Smithhart [Lissa Thomas], John Rothman [Stanley Michaels], Richard Backus [John Thomas], Reg E. Cathey [Shepard], David Pierce [O'Neill], Steve Ahern [Camp Officer] Rita and her old college friends are reunited when a fictional person they created 20 years ago is found dead in his apartment. Broadcast: 02 May 1987 Writer: Michael Petryni Director: Charles Picerni
NOTE: David Pierce later went by the name David Hyde Pierce and spun his character from "Cheers" into the long running TV show "Frazier".
"The Song of Orpheus"Edit
Guest stars: John Pankow [Billy Hanratty], George Loros [Jake Williams], David O'Brien [Tom Flaherty], Leonard Jackson [Jock], John Hutton [Bendix], Roger Serbagi [Dunleavy], Andrew Davis [Sonny Lucowitck], Olek Krupa [ Latta] A prison inmate with a grudge against Hawk hires outside muscle to rub him out. Broadcast: 09 May 1987 Writer: Daniel Freudenberger Director: Winrich Kolbe
3rd Season 1987-1988Edit
Guest stars: William Hickey [Gus Harley], George Martin [Emmett Cavanaugh], Timothy Carhart [Georgie Harley], Jamey Sheridan [Nick Cavanaugh], David Patrick Kelly [Kevin Harley], Harry S. Murphy [Lee Kazek], Jimmy Nicherson [Ollie] Spenser tries to settle a feud between a mobster and a judge. Susan returns from California. Broadcast: 27 Sep 1987 Writer: Robert B. Parker Story by: Joan H. Parker Director: Winrich Kolbe
"My Enemy, My Friend"Edit
Guest stars: Kadeem Hardison [Bobby Waters], Daryl Roach [Greg Bronson], Samuel L. Jackson [Ned], John Finn [Monroe], Cleavant Derricks [Mac Dickerson], Tim de Zarn [Harris], Daniel Beer [Jack], David Youse [Larry] A streetwise young kid gets involved over his head in the underworld. Spenser and Hawk try to protect him from would-be killers. Broadcast: 04 Oct 1987 Writer: Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon Director: Virgil Vogel
Note: Cleavant Derricks went on to play the part of Rembrandt Brown in "Sliders", a show that lasted for five seasons.
"The Heart of the Matter"Edit
Guest stars: Kenneth Welsh [Lt. Nicholas Webster], William Converse-Roberts [Clay Rogers], Gary McCleery [Sean Winston], Special guest star Shirley Knight [Katie Quirk], Tanya Berezin [Dt. Dartman], Richard Gant [George] Lt. Quirk faces his mortality when he suffers a heart attack. Spenser and Hawk protect him from revenge-minded villains as he recovers. Broadcast: 11 Oct 1987 Writer: Norma Safford Vela Director: Winrich Kolbe
"On the Night He Was Betrayed"Edit
Guest stars: James Rebhorn [Father Hoyt], Jack Gwaltney [Champ], Giancarlo Esposito [Ramos], Thomas Kopache [Grady], Laura San Giacomo [Sharon Gibbs], Sean Kemery [Young Spenser], David Seaman [Charlie Moon], Mary Fogarty [Harriet] Spenser helps an old friend, an alcoholic priest who tries to help homeless teenagers, when he gets involved over his head. Broadcast: 01 Nov 1987 Writer: Michael Fisher Director: David M. Whorf
Guest stars: Trini Alvarado [Laurie Kincaid], Cherry Jones [Tracy Kincaid], Ron Ryan [Harry Slade], John Bedford Lloyd [Keith Kincaid], Special guest star Kenneth Welsh [Lt. Webster Bloom], John Elijah Bauman [The Man] Spenser becomes obsessed with an apparently suicidal woman after a chance encounter on the street. Broadcast: 08 Nov 1987 Writer: William Rabkin & Lee Goldberg Director: David M. Whorf
NOTE: According to co-writer Goldberg, the Kincaid family were all named after characters from the show The Partridge Family. Actor Kenneth Welsh also appeared in ep #48, both times playing Belson's boss, but with a different character name.
Guest stars: Peter Michael Goetz [Peter Dorian], Hansford Rowe [Prof. Peters], Ellen Foley [Ruth], Arnie Mazer [Stan], David Schramm [Carl], Leslie Lyles [Dr. Blackmon] Spenser is arrested when he intervenes in a fight. Susan enlists Hawk's aid after she's harassed by her college counselor, who contracts a hit man to silence her claims of sexual harassment. Broadcast: 15 Nov 1987 Writer: Stephen Hattman Director: Winrich Kolbe
NOTE: This episode was originally scheduled to air on 25 Oct 87 but was pre-empted for Game 7 of the World Series.
Guest stars: Robert Swan [Mike Kaminski], Ron Frazier [George Huntley], Mary-Joan Negro [Etta Kaminski], George Ede [Alfred Devon Sr.], Richard Backus [Alfred Devon Jr.], David Groh [Tony Romano], Richie Devaney [Mike Jr.], Danielle Harris [Tara] Spenser runs into an old friend while visiting a recreation of a Puritan village. Spenser does everything in his power to exonerate said friend when he's accused of a brutal slaying. As he uncovers more and more, Spenser begins to think it might be hard to clear the name of a guilty man. Broadcast: 29 Nov 1987 Writer: Walter Brough Director: Richard Colla
Guest stars: David Margulies [Lou De Franco], Michael Lombard [Lucas Cantrell], Rutanya Alda [Estelle], Marita Geraghty [Janet], Steve Drury [Thad Wilcox], Martha Gehman [Louanne], Debra Jo Rupp [Helen] Spenser's fishing trip is interrupted when he has to protect a young man who's not allowed to marry the girl he loves. Broadcast: 06 Dec 1987 Writer: Tom Chehak Director: Bruce Bilson
Guest stars: Gerry Bamman [William Reed], Norman Matlock [Lt. Grayson], Helen Carey [Mrs. Fontana], Gary Morgan [Albert], Peter Smith [Jimmy], Jason Kristofer [Harry], Michael Santoro [Cabbie], Jack R. Marks [Eddie] A sniper takes some shots at Spenser and Susan, and a young boy ends up dead in the crossfire. Spenser sets out to determine why such a tragedy happened and track down the shooter. Broadcast: 20 Dec 1987 Writer: William Robert Yates Director: Richard Colla
"Skeletons in the Closet"Edit
Guest stars: Boyd Gaines [Alfie Gates], Judith Hoag [Eileen Kingsley], Elain Graham [Jess], Special guest star E.G. Marshall [Judge Jason Kingsley], Liz Whitcraft [Annie] Spenser and Hawk find themselves on opposite sides of the same case. Spenser is hired to retrieve a stolen journal containing information damaging to a judge's career. Hawk is hired by the thief to extort money from the judge. Broadcast: 03 Jan 1988 Writer: Don Nardo & Peter Jones & Robert B. Verduccio Director: Winrich Kolbe
Guest stars: John Shepard [Mickey], Richard Brooks [Robert], Andrew Davis [Sal], MacIntyre Dixon [Higgins], Leonard Jackson [Larry], Nadine Hart [Marsha], Joe Aufiery [Officer Fielding], George Guidall [Capt. Samuels] Susan and an injured Hawk are trapped inside a post office when a disgruntled postal worker (clearly the scriptwriter was ahead of his time) takes hostages. Spenser works from the outside to free the hostages. Broadcast: 10 Jan 1988 Writer: Andrew Sipes Director: Bill Duke
Guest stars: Frederick Neumann [Arthur Reynold], Peter Crombie [Solomon Trench], Kent Broadhurst [Brian Melchior], David Cryer [Barney], Josh Carroll [Donald Watson], Khalif Bobatoon [Larry], Evanly Shin [Mugger #1], David Herman [Mugger #2] Spenser protects an old friend, Arthur, after he's assaulted and robbed. In the course of his investigation, Spenser comes across disturbing information connecting Arthur with racketeering. Broadcast: 16 Jan 1988 Writer: Jerome Coopersmith Director: Winrich Kolbe
"To the End of the Line"Edit
Guest stars: Charles Kimbrough [Roger Thornwood], Fred J. Scollay [Fred Mullens], Andrew Bloch [Ned Cleary], Robin Bartlett [Mrs. Drake], Ron Canada [Stapleton], Cady McClain [Laurie], Keith Bogart [Brian] When Frank's niece dies of a drug overdose, Spenser and Frank go after the men responsible. Broadcast: 23 Jan 1988 Writer: Nelson Costello Director: Harry Harris
"Play it Again, Sammy"Edit
Guest stars: Sal Viscuso [Sammy Backlin], W.H. Macy [Efrem Connors], Jean DeBaer [Dorothy Winsome], Edmond Genest [Burl Dodds], Kate Burton [Randy Lofficier], James Boffico [Nash Bodine], John Bell [Max Winsome] Sammy Backlin calls Spenser for protection when he's being hunted by a 'vicious horde of bloodthirsty assassins'. Broadcast: 30 Jan 1988 Writer: Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin Director: Bruce Bilson
"The Big Fight"Edit
Guest stars: Cliff Gorman [Joey], Austin Pendleton [The Professor], John C. McGinley [K.C.], Anne De Salvo [Mildred], James Shanta [Mike Walsh] One of Spenser's old trainers lures Spenser to a deserted warehouse where Spenser is supposed to be killed, to get out from under a gambling debt. Spenser survives, then turns around and protects his trainer from the goons now after him. Broadcast: 06 Feb 1988 Writer: Jonathan Day Director: Winrich Kolbe
Guest stars: Philip Bosco [David McVane], Dylan Baker [Sam Reynolds], Harry Groener [George Lynnwood], Stephen Keep Mills [Ted Watson], Jack Davidson [Judge Sorenson], Susan Wilder [Annie Bucklin], George Loros [Jimmy Culver], Margaret Whitton [Janet Cole], Steven M. Gagnon [Brian Lord] Spenser protects a theater owner from gangsters, but begins to suspect she's not as innocent as she appears. Broadcast: 05 Mar 1988 Writer: John Jay Osborn Jr. Director: David M. Whorf
Guest stars: Louis Zorich [Jack Delroy], Eddie Jones [J.D. Hayes], Michael Mantell [William Wright], Samuel E. Wright [Dave Watkins], Graham Beckel [Sully], Ching Valdes-Aron [Dr. Pearson], Ivar Brogger [Harold], Sarah Michelle Gellar [Emily] Spenser suspects insurance fraud when a building blows up. Susan has a possibly cancerous mass removed. Broadcast: 12 Mar 1988 Writer: Norma Safford Vela Director: Winrich Kolbe
Guest stars: Pauline Flanagan [Mrs. Durrant], Jordan Marder [R.C. Camden], Susan Pellegrino [Mrs. Friar], Judith Bancroft [Mrs. Charlie Branch], George Gerdes [Ed], John Juback [Donovan], Special guest star Bobby Orr [Himself], Angela Logan [Woman in Car] Spenser protects a child artist after the child witnesses a mob execution while painting in the forest. Broadcast: 19 Mar 1988 Writer: Ronald D. Brown Director: Winrich Kolbe
Note: NHL great Bobby Orr appears as himself.
Guest stars: Andrea Thompson [Martha Prince], David Leary [Willard Prince], Omar Shapli [Professor Freed], Cheryl Yvonne Jones [Alicia], Katherine Waters [Officer Roseland], Brian Howe [Cab Driver] Spenser investigates the death of a friend apparently involved with white supremacists. Hawk is rendered blind by an explosion. Broadcast: 26 Mar 1988 Writer: Tom Chehak Director: David M. Whorf
Guest stars: Victor Love [Darnell Lewis], John Seitz [Capt. Warren Sears], Andie MacDowell [Maggie], Will Lyman [Lt. Grant], James Eckhouse [Lt. Commander Carl Westmore], Ving Rhaimes [Henry Brown], Tom Brennan [Capt. Kiparski], William Youmans [Stefan Smolen], Peter MacKenzie [Lt. Travis Williams], Susan Gibney [Molly Sears], Special guest star Steve Inwood [Tom McAllister], Tom Urich [Judge], Robinson Frank Adu [Ralph Lewis], Jane Fleiss [Jeannette] Spenser assists a lawyer in proving the innocence of his client, a Navy seaman accused of murdering the captain's daughter. The only witness is a missing Polish sailor. Broadcast: 30 Apr 1988 Writer: William Robert Yates & Steven Hattman Director: Harvey Hart
Note: Spenser is pretty much a guest star in this episode, which was more or less a pilot for a possible Steve Inwood series.
Guest stars: Barbara Garrick [Valentine], Lois Smith [Elsie], Caroline Lagerfelt [Governess], Alan Vint [LeClerc], Special guest star Celest Holm [Rose], Sean Kemery [Young Spenser], Robbie Neigeborn [Charlie Moon] Spenser investigates an old child kidnapping case when he tries to track down a teenage girl's biological parents. Broadcast: 07 May 1988 Writer: Michael Fisher Director: David M. Whorf
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