Main cast: Farley Granger (Dr Roebuck), Peggy Cass (Nadine Turman), and Lou Jacobi (Harvey Turman)
Director: Armand Mastroianni
There is an interesting premise in Pain Killer, but the fun part only begins ten or so minutes before the episode ends. Mind you, this is the third episode so far that offer its own interpretation of the Devil, so I can only wonder whether this show is running out of gas quickly. It would be understandable if this series had been about the devil ruining people’s lives, but so far it seems to be… a campy show for kids or something?
Harvey Turman is married to a cartoon-like nagging, shrewish wife Nadine who shows little regard about his well-being. The bulk of this episode sees her mistreating him and showing little concern that he is experiencing odd back pain that leaves him temporarily unable to move. It is when he finally comes across Dr Roebuck that he is given a possible treatment option that can finally rid him of his pain. Dr Roebuck explains that Nadine is the cause of Harvey’s pain – literally, with her existence alone – so the only way Harvey can regain his normal life back is to be rid of her for good. No, not divorce – by killing her.
What I have described above is basically the general synopsis offered everywhere for this episode, and Dr Roebuck’s “cure” comes up way after half of the episode is done. Just like most of the previous episode so far, this one wastes too much time showing me how the protagonist stumbles and hobbles before reaching the twist of the episode. The twist here is a pretty good one, but everything up to that point has been a boring slog of overacting and scenery chewing without much effective humor to cone out of the mess.
Somewhat ironically, skip Pain Killer to avoid the pain.