Main cast: Shelley Hack (Janet McKay), Chelsea Field (Simone Bardou), Jonathan Banks (William), Marshall Teague (Jeremy McKay), Corey Feldman (Todd), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Martin von Haselberg
Oh, bless this episode. Thank god for The Assassin, a solid episode that would have stood out in any season, especially so in this so-far pretty dire one. From the hilarious bookend sequences featuring the Crypt Keeper and William Sadler’s Grim Reaper (straight out of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, no less) to the actual episode itself, this one is a fun ride from start to finish.
Janet McKay is, from all appearances, the perfect housewife. She knows and keeps to every detail, from dinner dates to housework minutiae, to the point that her husband Jeremy is always amazed by her. She makes perfect meals and keeps the house in disgustingly pristine magazine-spread condition. But one fine day, after her husband has gone to work, her well-planned schedule is made awry when three armed covert agents specializing in getting rid of people the government doesn’t like show up and start waving guns at her. According to their leader Simone, Jeremy is actually a former assassin Ronald Walt who quit the agency and went MIA, and now that they have located him, they are going to make him MIA for good. Oh, and they will have to kill Janet too, because they have a no-witness policy. Sorry!
Poor Janet – how is she going to get out of this one? Unfortunately for those three, hell has no fury like a housewife dealing with boorish uninvited guests that don’t know how and when to use coasters…
It is pretty evident early on what the twist is – it is Janet, not Jeremy, who is Ronnie; Ronnie didn’t just change his appearance like his old colleagues assumed, he changed his sex too – but I am not complaining because this episode is a grown-up version of Home Alone with even more offbeat humor and zany deaths. Corey Feldman nearly steals the entire show as the jovial assassin with an interest in interior decorating and a fetish for women using the StairMaster, while Shelly Hack is great as the unlikely heroine. The death scenes are appropriately quirky as this episode is played up for laughs, and while the twist and the ending can be seen coming, they are still the perfect finish to a hilarious and unapologetically absurd episode.
The Assassin just slays me, and thank god for that – I need this after the last few ho-hum episodes!