Fear Itself – Chance (01/10/09)

fichance09First shot: man shaves in front of mirror. Second shot: man wakes up from nightmare and looks into a mirror. Gee, I wonder where this is going?

Chance Miller immediately comes off as a sad sack, even after waking up next to a woman who is far out of his league.  So, he’s probably happy in the sack.  After another mirror shot, Jackie reminds him that the rent is three months behind.  He says not to worry — no, he didn’t do anything crazy like get a job; but he has a “sure thing”.

He pulls an antique vase out from under the bed and takes it to Markham’s Antiques.  As Markham is examining the vase — I’ll be darned — there happens to be a mirror nearby. Chance looks at it and he fades out of the reflection.  OK, I guess this somehow instigates what is to come; or is the first symptom.  But why did the frame of the mirror also go out of focus in the shot?

Markham examines the vase but offers only a fraction of what Chance expected.  He is kind of whiny and pleads for the rest of the cash.  Just as he is walking out, he takes a swing at Markham.  In the ensuing fight, Chance gets lucky and Markham is accidentally killed by hitting his head on a table.

Looking around the shop, he encounters himself — another person who looks just like him. He doesn’t seem very shocked by this event.  The other him rolls his eyes at this loser version of himself and walks away.  Maybe if we had followed that guy, it would have been a better episode.

fichance30As in TZ60’s Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room and TZ80’s Shatterday [1] the other-him is less twitchy and more confident.  Also, he smokes, so we know he’s cool.  Too bad the series did not continue on Showtime so he could drop F-Bombs every third sentence. Then we’d know for sure he was cool.

Chance asks him to stick around, but Chance2 leaves him to clean up the crime scene. He goes for the cash in Markham’s wallet, but moves fearfully as if Markham had not been knocked unconscious and then further beat in the noggin with a silver-tipped cane. He screws around so long that the smoke from Chance2’s cigarette sets off the alarm. Strange that Markham’s cigarettes did not set it off in all the years he worked there, though.

The security company calls, but Chance doesn’t know the password.  Rather than leave, he makes a half-assed attempt to clean up and hide the body.  A few moments later, a guard from Primus Security shows up.[2]  Twitchy tries to wing a response, but that goes about as well as you might expect.  The admirably skeptical guard insists on entering to do an inspection.  This is all believable, but the scene is incredibly drawn out.

fichance99Finally the guard spots feet under the desk, but toes-up which is unusual.  Twitchy then kills him — I really didn’t think he had it in him, so that was a surprise.  He hears noises and finds Chance2 pouring them a couple of drinks — doubles, I imagine.  See, because they’re . . .

Chance2 helpfully suggests Twitchy wipe the place down for fingerprints, and maybe see if there is more swell loot lying around. He even helps toss Markham’s body in a dumpster behind the store, which is the last place the cops would look.

The 2 Chances then begin cleaning the office, still not wearing gloves.  Chance2 explains to Twitchy how this whole vase deal was a hustle to begin with, and that he is a sucker.  Chance2 picks up a couple of severed fingers and says, “You don’t want to leave these guys laying around.”  So where did they come from?  Markham hit his head, then was beat with a cane.  The guard was run through with a sword.

Twitchy stuffs them in his pocket just before Mrs. Markham walks in looking for her husband.  Chance2 tells Twitchy that he has got to finish this — he can’t go home to his out-of-his-league girl and tell him he screwed up again.  Twitchy refuses and runs home, leaving Chance2 to kill Mrs. Markham in the shower — another instance where Showtime might have saved the episode.

fichance41Then I have no idea what happens. Twitchy replays in his mind the events from having that morning, to the deal with Markham.  In this iteration, though, the deal went through as he expected and he pocketed $45,000 — literally, as he is ecstatic to unexpectedly find $45,000 in his pocket.  Jackie pops the cork on some champagne. When she enters the bedroom, Twitchy is proudly holding out the stacks of bills in his hands.  When she looks at his hands, however, all she sees are 12 fingers, 2 of them being cold, dead and severed.

Chance2 breaks their door down and Jackie is shocked to see both of them.  Chance2 then kills her.  The cops show up and haul Twitchy off in a squad car.  He looks in the rear view mirror; naturally.  Objects may appear crazier . . . . yada, yada.  The end.


  • [1] Really, TZ60’s and TZ80’s — that’s what we’re calling them?
  • [2] Based on his hat.  Maybe he was just a fan of Primus.  BTW, their drummer just had his 2nd heart attack in 2 years.
  • Co-Written by Rick Dahl, brother of the director.  He is the Ivan Raimi of noir — of his 3 writing credits on IMDb, two were directed by his brother.  Maybe the 3rd one was directed by a step-brother.  To be fair though, Red Rock West was pretty darn good as I recall.
  • Rated dead last of the series in the increasingly credible IMDb ratings.
  • Sadly no opportunity to work in a Community Chest reference.
  • IMDb and YouTube.

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