Fear Itself – In Sickness and in Health (06/26/08)

fiinsickness0103bThe opening shots of this episode made me think of Trading Places — the orchestral score, the static shots of landmarks and objets d’art.  Sure enough, the episode was directed by John Landis.  After being hooked immediately by this, the camera settle on two insanely cute little kids.  In a scene almost never seen in movies, they are just cute, having fun and running around screaming like kids — not smarter than the adults, not sexualized, not robotic quipsters.

The adults are both occupied and pre-occupied preparing for the wedding of Samantha and Carlos that day.  Carlos is running late, but as the lovely Samantha is waiting around in her slip, I’m in no hurry for him to show up.  She is given a letter which she hopes contains money.  It contains an item not even on her registry — a note reading “The person you are marrying is a serial killer.”

She feels better after going to the groom’s dressing room and not being killed.  She does, however, ask that the “death do us part” section be removed from the vows.  No, seriously she does.

fiinsickness0107She asks her bridesmaid to point out the woman — described as tall with a red scarf on her head —  who gave her the note.  They actually see the woman outside the church, but she gets in a cab before they can catch her.  Samantha and Carlos get hitched without a hitch.  Well, until a guy starts hacking up phlegm during the always-suspenseful “if anyone objects” section.  False alarm, but well played!

After the ceremony, Samantha goes back to the dressing room to get into something a little more comfortable.  Her bridesmaids badger her about what was in the note.  After all, she has not known Carlos very long and they are worried.  Samantha shows her appreciation by throwing them out and slamming the door in their faces.

fiinsickness0108She regrets that when she starts hearing strange noises.  She ventures out in the hall which is now dark thanks to a gloved hand turning off the lights.  She runs into the preacher and he tells her that he had performed the wedding of Carlos parents.  It was memorable for reasons he won’t divulge.

At the after-party, Carlos’ uncle tells the story of Carlos’ parents.  His parents disappeared when he was 16, but we again get no details.  Samantha finally confronts Carlos and he does kind of act like an asshole.  He storms off and Samantha finds him in the church.  Turns out he thinks the note was just ratting him out about a dinner he had with another woman.  There is, however, another revelation that is well worth sticking around for.


I hate it when people hide behind Jesus.

I am kind of baffled by the beating this episode takes in the IMDb reviews.  OK, a few of the herrings are a little too red.  And, to be honest, there is about 5-10 minutes that just don’t need to be there.  However, the performances are great, and Landis’ direction makes this into something special.


  • Written by Victor Salva which puts a creepy spin on the opening scene with the kids.
  • Both Maggie Lawson (Samantha) and James Roday (Carlos) were regulars on Psych.

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