Main cast: Kate Vernon (Lucy Chadwick), John Stamos (Johnny Canaparo), Robert Picardo (Frank Bobo), Frank Stallone (Tony Rogers), Johnny Williams (Willard Boogieman), Eileen Brennan (Ruth Sanderson), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Peter Iliff
Spoilers are present in this review, as it is impossible to discuss Till Death Do We Part without hiding half the review under spoiler bars. If you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now!
The Crypt Keeper segment in this episode is especially cute. As a sports caster, he delivers plenty of puns and the show people even include diagrams – the whole segment is just too quaint for words. Having said that, Till Death Do We Part is a curiously sedate season-closer. Still, the entire fifth season has been a snooze and the last few episodes were below average – to put it nicely – and with this episode being better than those, at least the show can claim to end the season on a high note. Even if under other circumstances, “high” would have been “middling.”
Lucy Chadwick is in trouble. She hooks up with Johnny Canaparo, who happens to be the kept boy of Ruth Sanderson, the neighborhood mob boss who makes it a habit of having all of Johnny’s previous girlfriends killed in her furious jealousy. Now that they have been found out by Ruth, she has Lucy taken to the woods and stripped to her undies, after which she orders Johnny to shoot Lucy. Is poor Lucy ever going to get out of this mess alive?
The episode zigzags between flashback scenes and the present, where poor Lucy seems to be a dead woman walking, and the flashback scenes reveal that she and Johnny have been plotting all this while to steal the content of the safe in the night club in which she works – the club belongs to Ruth, and Johnny manages it while Lucy is one of the waitresses – and then run away together.
So much for love, in the end. Johnny immediately sells out Lucy once Ruth is on him. Sure, the episode goes on to have him turn on Ruth and together, he and Lucy carry out what they have planned, but in the end, all this drama is only in her head. Johnny shoots her dead… but not before the show cops out and reveals to me that, in her daydream just before her death, Lucy has never loved him too, and she plans to kill him once he opens the safe and takes the loot all for her own. This twist robs the episode of any emotional impact – it would have cut the heart if Lucy really loved Johnny and died because she was just another one in his ongoing efforts to rebel against Ruth.
Still, Frank Stallone and Robert Picardo play colorful mob goons that are both entertaining and menacing at the same time, and for folks who like looking at the ladies, Kate Vernon spends quite some time in this episode in her white bra and panties. As I’ve said, this is a watchable, if average and forgettable, episode, but given how dire the last few episodes had been, at least the fifth season closes with a semblance of… well, something louder than a whimper.