Here is the full list of differences from “Trilogy” as-aired in the two-hour slot and the syndicated edit which has been released on DVD and HD, which I will refer to as “Part 3”:
Obviously, Part 3 opens with a recap, which the two-parter didn’t need. (I guess they couldn’t cut enough out to make room for the Ziggy intro, though, because it’s missing that.) Part 3 ends the leap-in tease on the traditional “Oh boy”, followed by the credits. Then cuts back in on Sam’s “I have a bad feeling about this.” The two hour version (awkwardly) inserts a shot of Sam instead of the “Oh boy”, but the scene continues with no break for commercials. My intent, if I did it, was to retain “Trilogy Part 3” as a stand-alone episode, and keep the “Oh boy” (I wouldn’t know how to get the credits out cleanly, so better to just embrace it), but to add Ziggy’s intro and maybe trim back the recap because it’s too repetitious and has info that is not important in this episode.
Extra lines (about five seconds) from Marie the servant and Al, before lawyer’s wife is super-racist:
Al: “[The guy Sam has leapt into] never took Abigail’s case.”
Marie: “If he would just hear me out–”
Al: "I’ll give ya two to one Miss Ice-Ass there was the reason."
Wife: “I have told you a million times,” etc.
Extra voiceover intro (about fifteen seconds) before the “police tape” shot, at the beginning of Act Two.
Shots of Sam driving through town, to the crime scene
Sam: "Al was right, I was still in love with Abigail. And as each memory of her found its way back into my mind, it brought with it a history of death, from Leta to Bart and finally to Violet. Little Violet Aider had waited…"
When Sammie Joe leaves with Marie, the door closing shot right before the commercial break is vertically flipped. Based on the direction that the door opens earlier in the scene, the two hour version is oriented correctly while the Part 3 version is wrong.
Extra half-scene: Entire prosecutor’s opening speech is cut from the “Part 3” edit. (Establishing shot remains) The scene is three minutes long, so I’m not gonna transcribe it all, he lays out his whole circumstantial case – basically, exactly how Sam describes it in his opening speech immediately afterward – Sam has objections, the judge explains that you can’t object during opening remarks, the prosecutor says that he’s going to seek the death penalty and everybody gasps and Marie shouts “Noooooo!”
Judge’s line “Would you care to address the jury?” is delivered off-screen over the establishing shot in the Part 3 version, is shown onscreen in the two hour version; from there, the scene continues the same in both.
The ending of the first courtroom scene, when Sam has some sort of heart trouble, is also a bit longer. Extra dialogue, but it’s incidental. Max Wright gets a little more screentime. (Sam might mutter something like “I’ll send out your letters,” which, if that’s what he is saying, is reinforcing a plotpoint for later… but not very well because the line is way too low and mumbled.) About twenty seconds or so.
Extra lines in the scene with Abigail’s mother Laura Fuller in the institution (about twenty seconds):
Al: You know Sam, I might be wrong, but I’ve just got a hunch if you get her into the courtroom and put her on the stand, where she can see Abigail and everybody, it’ll all just come out. And even if Denton Waters disqualifies the testimony, at least the jury will hear the testimony.
(as Al talks, Laura is seen retrieving the locket and bringing it over to Sam [in the “Part 3” cut, she just kinda has it all of a sudden, you can’t unsee the jump cut after you watch this])
Laura Fuller: It wasn’t Abigail’s fault, Clayton. You knew that.
Extra flashback during the last trial scene: (about thirty seconds)
Sam: “And then…” (Laura can’t say more, so he continues for her) "Laura went to the only person she could trust, her husband. And told him what happened…
(black and white flashback, showing Clayton sliding a board over the well in the rain)
Sam (continuing in voice over) "That night in the dark, in the rain, Clayton Fuller decided to keep Laura’s secret. Without looking back, he sealed Violet in the well."
(Back to courtoom/color) Prosecutor “You expect the court to believe that Violet’s death was an accident?”
Yes, the show built a three-part episode around a single mystery and then omitted the complete solution from the cut they distribute
Different insert shot:
When Sam is looking at the phone company bill, the insert which inspires his “Eureka” moment is different.
- two hour version: closer shot where you can’t read the return address on the envelope, and the bill itself has been put back in folded the wrong way because it has been opened, so it doesn’t show Abigail’s name, just some dates and times (and the shot is too short to really convey any information, I had to pause it and look back to explain any of this).
- Part 3 version: slightly wider so that you can see “Louisiana Telephone Company” as the return address, and Abigail’s name and address showing in the envelope window. But the envelope has clearly never been opened.
I think this insert shot was replaced because the insert in the original doesn’t really work for the audience, but it makes Sam’s sudden realization about who killed Leta a bit more “complete shot in the dark by intuition”. The earlier version where the envelope has been opened (Sam is paying Abigail’s bills for her), combined with dialogue in this episode about Sam having a photographic memory, makes it a bit of a narrative leap for the audience to make but it makes sense if you think about it way too much. [I imagine that in a “perfect” version, the envelope would be opened but the telephone company logo would be visible.]
Different ending leap-in:
- two hour has the doctor soap opera (I think it’s a rerun of “Moments to Live”)
- part 3 has the bank robbery (the next new episode, “Promised Land”).
Also, fun fact, according to the commercials, the two part “Trilogy” aired sometime within a week prior to the first appearance of Jerry Orbach on “Law and Order”.