Moonlighting: Season 5 (1988 - 1989)


Season 5
Moonlighting

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100%

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Critic Ratings: 6

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User Ratings: 2

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Episodes

Air date: Dec 6, 1988

Its first episode delayed by a lengthy writers' strike, the fifth and final season of Moonlighting begins with one of the series' most famous--and controversial--installments. Star Bruce Willis shows up wearing bonnet and diapers in the role of "Baby Hayes", the as-yet-unborn offspring of David Addison (also Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd). From his vantage point in Heaven, Baby Hayes is given the low-down on his future parents by friendly angel Jerome (Joseph Maher). Alas, the episode ends with a heartbreaker for David and Maddie, but at least Baby Hayes can take comfort in the possibility that he'll eventually be added to the cast of another series like Growing Pains or The Cosby Show). This episode's curious blend of comedy and pathos is counterpointed by an opening scene in which the cast and crew promises that they'll deliver a full 22 episodes this season, come Hell or high water. (But they don't).

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Air date: Dec 13, 1988

Still grieving over her miscarriage, Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) buries herself in her work, while David (Bruce Willis) ponders the option of leaving town. Among Maddie's many cases involves Joan Spring (Cristina Raines-Crowe), who is worried that she will lose her husband to his ex-wife. Once again, what starts off innocuously enough as a case of domestic discord quickly deepens into a murder investigation--two murders, in fact. This one ends with a perilous balloon chase (yes, a balloon chase!) high above the Mohave desert.

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Air date: Dec 20, 1988

The Blue Moon's latest client is Nora Cooper (Karen Landry), who is looking for the husband to whom she was married for only five days--and who has been missing for ten years. Searching for the absent hubby, David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) enter the rarefied world of poolrooms, sharks and hustlers. And as a bonus, the episode offers another "tumble-on" unbilled role for C. Thomas Howell.

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Air date: Jan 10, 1989

His face ruined by plastic surgeon Dr. Simon Brill (Nicholas Pryor), wealthy recluse Leslie Hunzinger (Andrew Robinson) wants to sue Brill for malpractice, and hires David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) to gather the necessary investigation. Their investigation leads the detectives down a long and winding trail of broken hearts and vengeful females. In fact, things get so complicated that at one point, the comment is made that Moonlighting probably won't be able to get 22 episodes in the can this season after all!

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Air date: Jan 17, 1989

In an episode reminiscent of the Tracy Hepburn film Adam's Rib, the Blue Moon office finds itself sharply divided along gender lines (to the musical accompaniment of "Dueling Banjos" as the result of a sexual harassment case. The problem: Is Robin Fuller (Jayne Atkinson) justified in shooting a gun at the boss who has been harassing her, or does this action make Robin a harasser herself? Catch the quickie joke about Bert Viola's beard (most of the viewers didn't) -- and revel in the closing scenes, featuring a series of bloopers culled from previous episodes.

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Air date: Feb 7, 1989

Colleen Dewhurst guest stars as Betty Russell, a famous divorce lawyer better known as "The Barracuda." Exhibiting a hitherto well-hidden conscience, Russell hires Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) to reunite Lydia and Nathan Kraft (Jane Hallaren, Lawrence Pressman), whose union Betty may have wrongly rent asunder. A special gift and an unanticipated murder both figure into the story, as does a discussion wherein the two stars ponder the possibility of staging a nude scene to improve Moonlighting's ever-sagging ratings!

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Air date: Feb 14, 1989

A strange man who had come to Blue Moon hoping to hire a bodyguard abruptly drops dead in the office. Subsequently, David (Bruce Willis) and Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) find themselves "babysitting" their would-be client's corpse. The plot may be wrapped around a missing lottery ticket and a strange tattoo--and then again, maybe it isn't, who knows? The episode's title refers to a lengthy dream sequences in which Maggie finds herself in the Afterlife with some suspiciously familiar-looking ghosts and goblins.

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Air date: Apr 2, 1989

After a two-month hiatus, Moonlighting returned for its final volley of episodes in a brand-new Sunday night timeslot (so new that theme-song performer Al Jarreau was allegedly unaware that the series had moved, forcing the cast to perform the opening-credit vocals!) This episode finds David's troublesome brother Richard (Charles Rocket) hiring Blue Moon to find his fiancée Carla McCabe's (Rita Wilson) ex-business partner Benny Largo (Michael Speero), who has apparently absconded with all of Carla's dough. As a bonus, we hear plenty of references to the mysterious "Anselmo Case"--so many that the cast gets sick of hearing them, and says so!

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Air date: Apr 9, 1989

A dying burglar hires Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) to investigate a heist committed 25 years ago. No, the old man doesn't want to clear his name; instead, he wants to prove to the cops that he has committed the "perfect crime." Maddie wants no part of this, but David is intrigued. And besides, it will get their minds off the much-talked-about "Anselmo Case" (remember?)

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Air date: Apr 16, 1989

In this first episode of a two-part story arc, Virginia Madsen guest stars as Maddie's married cousin Annie Charnock. When David (Bruce Willis) goes to great length to help Annie with her problems, Maddie assumes that it is because David is in love--not with Annie, but with Maddie! This episode was cowritten by longtime David Letterman associate Merrill Markoe), and features a very significant cameo appearance in the elevator scene.

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Moonlighting: Season 5 Photos

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Critic Reviews for Moonlighting Season 5

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (6)

The other 12 episodes don't all measure up, but examples of dazzling creativity abound straight through to the head-spinningly metafictional grand finale (featuring Dr. Timothy Leary as himself).

Oct 19, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

They were the Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant of their time, a pairing made all the more delicious by rumours that they fought off-set as well as on it.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

While the series had plenty of behind-the-scenes strife... it consistently entertained, pioneered the dramedy genre that is so popular today, and regularly broke the fourth wall in innovative ways.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Moonlighting is and was stunningly modern, hilarious and energetic in a still breathtaking way, meta before meta was standard, a social media series before there was social media.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Moonlighting is the sort of television show that gave a reason to write about television.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Besides the whirlwind of great one-liners, there are the superb running jokes, from the eternally unsolved Anselmo case to ditzy receptionist Agnes answering the phone in rhyming couplets.

Oct 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Moonlighting: Season 5

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