Holy crap, the behind the scenes carnage on this one is approaching Alfred Hitchcock Presents levels. Of the four lead, or at least best-known, actors: Teri Garr has multiple sclerosis and Michael J. Fox has Parkinson’s. At least they are alive — Bruno Kirby died at 57 of complications from Leukemia. I hope Bruce McGill is getting regular physicals.
We join the lovely Teri Garr as she is mixing up an unbelievable amount of tuna, taken from a cabinet stuffed with cans of tuna. I assume the joke is that they can’t afford anything but tuna, but it never really pays off as a reasonable viewer will assume there is a cat lady reference coming. But no, nothing.
Bruce McGill comes home, having been fired from his pizza-delivery job. God bless anyone who works and doesn’t sit around collecting a check, but if you’re 40 and delivering pizzas, that’s a red flag even if you don’t get fired.
A call from the insurance company about a past due bill inspires McGill to fake his own death for the insurance money. He calls his brother Kirby who is conveniently a coroner.
They stage a scene where McGill is the victim of a robbery. To make it convincing, Garr clubs him in the head repeatedly with a fireplace poker. He eggs her on by admitting he is also a poker — of her best friend.
Kirby pronounces him dead for the cops. At the funeral, Kirby starts humping Garr on top of the casket. She accidentally kicks a lever that begins a conveyor belt into the cremation chamber as McGill is inside reading travel brochures for Rio. Frankly, with a little work, this could have been a fine ending for the episode.
After a few months, McGill wises up and returns to the US. Garr and Kirby are now married and pretend not to know him.
There is a ludicrous trial where McGill is found guilty of murdering himself. Garr and Bruno live happily ever after on his insurance money.
The trial could have worked, but the script just wasn’t tight enough. However, the casting and performances make this one a winner.
- This episode was directed by Michael J. Fox. There is a tasteless joke to be made about him handling the camera, but the last thing I want on this blog is something tasteless. Or a joke.
- Writer Scott Alexander has some high profile credits: 1408, Ed Wood, Man on the Moon, The People vs. Larry Flynt.
- Worst security ever. I’m not a locksmith, but shouldn’t there be a slot for the chain on the door?