Night Gallery – The Hand of Borgus Weems (S2E1)

The real  George Maharis is driving through the city when he loses control of his hand.  He bursts through some construction barricades and nearly runs down a pedestrian.  So the hand also apparently controls the feet since he did not stop.  Also the arm, since the hand itself doesn’t really have much leverage to steer a car.

He goes to a surgeon and requests that the doctor amputate his hand.  The doctor sees nothing wrong with the hand. Thanks to several inter-cut shots, we see the hand contorting.  Also being bathed in a strange psychedelic pulsing light which you might think would catch the doctor’s eye.

Maharis grabs the doctor’s prescription pad and scribbles a Latin phrase that neither recognize.  And the handwriting is awful — maybe it has been the pads’ fault all these years.  He says the hand has attempted murder three times and he is afraid it will eventually be successful.  When the doctor refuses to cut off his hand, he grabs a heavy bust in the office and slams it down onto his hand.

That show of commitment seems to change the doctor’s mind and he goes through with the amputation.  Actually, we are supposed to believe that the damage done to the hand made amputation “mandatory”, but in the operating room, it seems pink and rosy and functional and unbruised.

ngborgusweems03He tells the story of almost running over the pedestrian again to a psychiatrist, complete with the same footage being replayed.

Also how, while making a phone call, he involuntarily called a strange number and identified himself as Borgus Weems, a name he had never heard before.  Actually, I don’t think anyone has ever heard that name before.  So in addition to the foot and the shoulder, the hand also controls the mouth.  When the man he called tracks him down, the hand tries to stab him with a letter opener.

Then he recounts how the murder tried to kill his fiancee.  So in addition to the hand, the shoulder, the foot and the mouth, it also controls his legs which carried him to her apartment. He pulls the gun on her, and struggles to lower it.  He manages to drop the gun and at that moment decides that the hand has got to go.

The surgeon decides to bring in another consultant, this one a detective.  He recalls that a man named Borgus Weems previously rented Maharis’s apartment.  He also dabbled in the black arts, naturally.  Turns out someone had lopped off Weem’s hand at the wrist. His sister, now Maharis’s squeeze, and the other men he tried to kill were both complicit in his maiming and murder.

The doctor sees Maharis getting agitated so he writes him a prescription.  Now the doctor’s hand is possessed and he writes that same Latin phrase again.  Luckily the detective not only speaks Latin, but recognizes it as a quote from Virgil, “Arise my avenger, out of my bones.”  The doctor stares in disbelief at his hand.

ngborgusweems04

No, this isn’t the wind. The Detective’s hair was like this in every shot.   Make-up!!!

An OK story — far from original, but I never deduct points for that — but it is weakened by its goofy structure.  At times I had to orient myself between past and present based on whether Maharis had one or two hands.

Post-Post:

  • Borgus: The concept that a global human consciousness will form, manifested as the nexus of all written knowledge on Earth and the inter-connectivity of that information through computer networks — Urban Dictionary.
  • Parson Weems fabricated the anecdote about George Washington’s honesty vis-à-vis the cherry tree.  Oh, the irony.
  • Twilight Zone Legacy:  Patricia Donahue and William Mims were in one episode each.
  • Two lame short segments not deserving a post (even by me!) starred Leslie Nielsen, Joseph Campanella, and Sue “Lolita” Lyons.
  • Hulu sucks.

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