Main cast: Jeannie Noth (Anne Coats), Jullie Chung (Cheri), John Knox (Captain Tony Dunbar), Tim Mathes (Jim Steinart), Terri Munch (Cynthia), and Rip Torn (Narrator)
Director: Joe Wiecha
Anne Coats has never flown in the last fourteen months, ever since her husband and daughter were killed in the plane crash of which she was the sole survivor. When this episode opens, she is determined to take a flight to Florida on the anniversary of the tragic accident of Flight 720 – she wants to finally finish the trip and find closure. “I will get on the plane and sleep like a baby,” she assures her friend at the airport. Only, once the plane takes off, she finds herself haunted by the ghosts of the passengers on that ill-fated flight – including her husband and daughter. There’s no escape… is there?
Now, Last Flight Out is not an easy episode to watch, mostly because there is really no good reason for Anne Coats to get on that plane when she’s clearly ill-prepared to cope mentally with being on a plane again. It’s hard to sympathize with her when she clearly brings all the pain and misery on herself. Worse, the actress playing her is overacting to a ludicrous degree, to the point that when Anne is supposed to be having a mental breakdown, I grit my teeth at the very grating manner in which the actress is screaming and shrieking.
Still, the story itself is actually pretty good. Once the reasons for Anne’s survivor’s guilt are revealed, she becomes a far more tragic character, and the events leading to the ending are heartbreaking because there is nothing anyone can do for her. One can argue that, perhaps, deep down inside, Anne wants these things to happen to her so that she can be at peace finally. While the episode isn’t easy to watch because of the overacting, the ending resonates on a bitter note that leaves me feeling vaguely disquieted and saddened for a little while after the episode has ended.
All in all, a solid episode that hits the gut where it hurts at unexpected moments. I would have loved this one more were not for Jeannie Noth doing her best to make me want to switch the channel.