Episode eight, season eleven of Murphy Brown, “The Coma and the Oxford Comma,” takes on a slightly lighter tone than recent episodes despite the fact that one of the main subjects is a married couple whose husband may have tried to murder his beautiful, successful wife. Evidently all it takes on television today to constitute something “light” is to not talk about politics under any circumstances – which is a challenge for Murphy Brown but one that was faced and conquered with a sweet episode about a murder.
Early in the episode we learn that Corky’s childhood friend Holly has been in a coma for ten years after a falling accident involving a flight of stairs and no witnesses but her estranged husband. Long before the era of the true crime podcast, Murphy could smell a rat and spent time and energy voicing her belief that Holly’s husband Charles was an attempted murdered. Despite Murphy’s instincts, Charles was acquitted and Holly slept on . . . .until now!
When Corky tells the others that Holly has awaken and can’t remember anything about the night of her fall the FYI crew moves on the story. Miles wants coverage since he knows true crime drives ratings and Murphy wants to prove that Corky’s instincts are wrong about her old friend Charles. Frank puts on a doctor disguise and stakes out her room in order to prevent FYI getting scooped like they had before.
When Holly tells Murphy and others that she remembers falling down the stairs after tripping over the cat, Murphy begins to believe she might have lost her edge while Corky argues that she has always had one. On a live episode of Murphy in the Morning, Corky interviews Holly (Brook Shields!) live with her husband to put an end to the long-running story of attempted murder. Holly reveals to the nation that – well. I can’t tell you! You have to watch and see.
Other enticing aspects of the episode include Avery’s new WOLF network television ad in which he is comically sexualized and all the fun that is made of him after. Murphy and Corky have a heartfelt exchange about good and trust in the world, and we are reminded that fairy tales often have a little violence in them in the end.
This episode was light on politics and heavy on the witty stage producer with funny one-liners who is becoming the hero of the show in my eyes. While the episode felt a little detached from the rest of the season, my mom says that it was a character building episode and so that must be right because I dare you to tell me my Mom is wrong. See you next week!