Barnaby grudgingly begins to suspect that an arson investigator that he has trusted for years is involved in setting fires and then ruling them as accidental in order to get a cut of the insurance money.
J.R. flies to Maui to visit a friend and is quickly arrested for stabbing a man to death. A crime he didn't commit. Barnaby and Betty fly out to help him and discover his friend's family is involved in marijuana harvesting.
J.R. gets into deeper trouble when he escapes from jail, gets blamed for the shooting death of his friend, and then gets seriously injured in a booby-trapped marijuana field. Barnaby risks his own life in order to save him.
Betty is stalked by a deranged little man who is also a reporter. He dresses up as a woman and terrorizes her, then quickly loses his disguise so he can come in and be her hero. Concerned for Betty, Barnaby and J.R. get involved.
After spending a year in a sanitarium Barnaby's niece is suspected of shooting and killing the family lawyer during a blackout episode. Barnaby suspects someone is giving her powerful hypnotic drugs to manipulate her behavior.
J.R's ex-girlfriend asks him to try to convince her sister to get her act together and get away from the drug scene. At the same time a rock star's manager thinks her sister may have witnessed a murder committed by his star at a party.
While attending a sporting event Barnaby thinks he's spotted a man who robbed over $500,000 in gold from the gold exchange nearly 10 years ago. He's also believed to have died in a plane crash over the ocean while making off with the loot.
A friend and fellow Community College instructor of Betty's is raped. Much to her dismay, Betty feels that her friend has wrongly identified her attacker and she refuses to reconsider. Barnaby and J.R. help to find the real rapist.
A counselor at a Fresh Start program for kids with drug problems dies in an accident after allegedly getting high on drugs. J.R. goes undercover as his replacement to find out who has been smuggling those drugs into their school.
An ex-cop and friend of Barnaby looks to even the score when his son is killed by a gang leader. Barnaby gets involved and learns that the gang is actually being used as muscle by a crooked businessman who wants the ex-cop out of the way.
A friend of Betty's supposedly dies while going for a walk, but she uncovers evidence that he may have been murdered. The wife of her late friend hires her to further investigate and she soon believes embezzlement may be the motive.
J.R.'s friend is wrongly accused of assaulting a man who later dies. Making matters worse, he ran from the scene of the crime making him look guilty. J.R. does every thing he possibly can to help his friend clear himself.
Barnaby is conned into helping another private investigator find a missing girl. But he's not honest with Barnaby about all that is involved with her disappearance or that he's tried to extort money from the people that are looking for her.
A young up and coming singer hires Barnaby to find her manager after he disappears with money that she paid him to have a potential hit song produced and recorded. Together they discover the seamier side of the music business.
Betty meets a man on a cruise that she's interested in, but when she returns she discovers a murdered man in his motel room who's carrying his identification in his wallet. Barnaby gets involved to unravel the mystery behind the man.
The prime suspect in the beating death of a nightclub owner is a stand-up comic who was fired the night of the murder. J.R. investigates on behalf of the comedian, who professes his innocence-and he also happens to be his good friend.
A hooker who saw a prominent judge pick-up a young girl in North Hollywood the night she died has blackmail in mind. Barnaby tries to clear the girls name because it looked like she was a working girl, and she wasn't.
A promiscuous teacher at a school deep in the mountains is stabbed to death with a pair of scissors. Betty, an old friend of the victim, goes up to investigate. The victim was so disliked because of her ways that Betty reaches a stone wall. Betty realizes that the dead teacher was mentoring an autistic young girl, who never speaks. Evidence from the dead teacher's final walk leads Betty to believe the girl was with her and witnessed the murder. The unseen killer knows it too, and is a crazed maniac who chases the girl out into traffic. Betty calls Barnaby and J.R. for...
A writer for a publishing company is killed after he uncovers evidence that implicates the niece of the owners in criminal activities. Barnaby and J.R. investigate after they learn their names were used to dupe the writer before he died.
In this pilot for a possible spinoff (and a possible exit for Lee Meriweather as Betty Jones, who was thinking about leaving the show if it was picked up for a ninth season due to her commitments to her fiance'), Kenneth Mars chews scenery like it's candy as the head of a father-son private-eye organization. The loopy father and sensible son suspect Betty in the murders of two of her cousins. When they realize she didn't do it, they go after the real bad guys and offer Betty a job as their partner. The producers did not know at the time of filming (and, in fact, until...