Two for the Show (1993)

Posted by Mrs Giggles on January 28, 2018 in 3 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Tales from the Crypt

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Two for the Show (1993)
Two for the Show (1993)

Main cast: David Paymer (Andy Conway), Vincent Spano (Officer Fine), Traci Lords (Emma Conway), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Kevin Hooks

Two for the Show is another episode in which the monsters are wholly human. Are spooks out of fashion, or do humans make more compelling villains and monsters? Well, if this episode is anything to go by, it’s probably because David Paymer, playing a very David Paymer-ish character here, can bring on the chuckles, and this series is as much about the chuckles as it is the spooky.

Andy Conway is a self-absorbed workaholic bore who loves talking non-stop about himself and how awesome he is at his work, completely oblivious to the expression of sheer loathing on his wife Emma’s face even when he is just across her at the dinner table. He constantly talks over her and critiques her behavior, insisting that she makes herself up to scratch to make him look more impressive to his colleagues and clients, so he is taken aback when she tells him over dinner that she wants a divorce.

And he is caught unawares mostly because he just babbles on and on over her initial announcement that she is leaving him. Emma announces that she is having an affair all this while, it is glorious, she is in love, and she is hence leaving Andy with her lover. Bye!

Of course, he doesn’t take the news well, mostly because divorce will make him look like a schmuck, as he puts it, in front of his colleagues. So he tries to strangle her and, in the ensuing struggle, stabs her to death.

Officer Fine – and yes, Vincent Spano is so fine, oh indeed – is soon on the case, and interestingly enough, he takes a personal interest on the murder. Hmm, why is this?

Actually, it’s easy to guess why, and no, it’s not what you think. It’s not hard to guess, and the episode even spells it out clearly as it progresses. Emma was having an affair with Fine’s wife, and Fine knows of this. Like Andy, he killed his own wife when she tried to leave him. When he realizes that Andy has killed Emma, he sees the perfect opportunity to frame Andy for Fine’s own murder of his wife. Hence, when Andy cuts up Emma’s body into pieces, keeps them in his luggage case, and tries to throw the case out of a train, Fine has switched that case with his own. Yes, Fine has also hacked up his own wife into pieces. His wife’s body parts are found with Andy, that man gets arrested, and Fine gets away scot free.

At any rate, Andy tries hilariously to hide his wife’s death from Fine, even as Fine tries to trip him up, and their cat and mouse game makes up the bulk of this well-acted episode. David Paymer is amusing as an amoral man who is nonetheless a bit out of his depths, no matter how hard he tries to cover his tracks, while Vincent Spano is appropriately hot and menacing as the cop who is not exactly clean himself. The whole thing is well directed and there is good tension and chemistry between the two men. However, the plot can be iffy, though, and falls apart when one thinks even a little about it – it relies a bit too much on Fine being either psychic or omnipotent to be able to pull off his scheme.

So, anyway, watch this one to be entertained, but try not to think too hard about the whole thing.

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