The episode starts poorly with an excruciatingly awful song, but recovers quickly with the introduction of the dependable Frank Whaley. He is sitting in a bar and jangles the ice cubes in his empty glass at the bartender. Being a very young Curtis Manning from 24, Frank’s lucky he didn’t get his ass kicked.
While daydreaming — as you do — about killing his boss, Rebecca De Mornay sends over a drink. She comes over and asks what he was thinking about. He wisely keeps his boss-killing fantasy to himself. But maybe not so wisely decides to go upstairs to the Christmas Party where is boss is. Rebecca says she knows people up in the office and will go with him.
As the elevator doors open on the office party, he pulls a pistol from his waistband and kills three people before being shot in the stomach by a security guard. Not John McClane, but a rent-a-cop — oh the ignominy! He turns to look at Rebecca and she fades into thin air.
After the credits, he rushes outside in an out-of-place bizarrely-lit shot. Things improve immediately as the freakish lighting is not sustained, plus he carjacks some mulleted yuppie scum. He thoughtfully calls into the office to see if anyone was killed.
Running low on fuel, he coasts to the side of the road as the radio broadcasts information on him. As it gets dark, he walks to a small restaurant. He goes into the bathroom to examine his wound and wrap it in paper towels whilst thanking God they don’t use hand-blowers.
Maybe God hears him, because he shows up in Frank’s booth; or at least someone who seems to know a lot about Frank, his wound, the waitress, and bean-and-bacon soup. He also knows that if Frank leaves tonight, he will be killed. He gives Frank a magic handshake which not only perfectly heals his bullet wound, but mends and cleans his bloody white shirt. Oh, and picks up the check — hail to the king, baby!
The — let’s call him an angel — angel points out how Frank’s financial misdealings have hurt others and makes Frank see that he is just a pathetic, lonely crook. As Frank goes back to the bathroom, the angel stuffs some napkins under his shirt. Either he is stealing them, or has empathically acquired Frank’s wound.
Frank now regrets shooting those people, but the angel says they weren’t really people, just “things” manufactured for the party. The angel’s people intervened and planted these bogus humans at the party just before Frank opened fire. Frank has killed no one.
The angel switches bodies with Frank just as the police come in and arrest him. Frank watches the other Frank being hauled out. Looking in a mirror, he sees the angel’s face instead of his own. He walks out a new man — literally.
Presumably the angel’s body that he just acquired does not still have the bullet wound the angel absorbed from Frank — that would have been a bitch. Cue that same excruciating music again.
- Not sure this is a conversion so much as an enlightenment or redemption or atonement or just plain 2nd chance.
- About these manufactured “people.” So the county now has their hands on these mandroids that were just witnessed walking and talking hours before? That can’t turn out well. And maybe that security guard isn’t so hot after all, letting these strangers roam the office. For angels (or possibly aliens), these two leave a lot of loose ends.
- Rebecca really seemed to be egging Frank on to do the deed. Not very angelic even if there was redemption planned.
- This is Rebecca De Mornay’s only directing credit, but no problems except for that brief 2 second LSD shot outside the office building. For an under-appreciated early-career RDM flick, watch Runaway Train. To see how amazingly she is ageing, watch Mother’s Day.
- Cigarette-Smoking Man is here, but mostly in the background.