Director: Mary Lambert
Writers: Battle Davis, Randolph Davis, and A. Whitney Brown
Cast: John Kassir, M. Emmet Walsh, Audra Lindley, and Martin Garner
Composer: Nicholas Pike
Air Date: 6/28/1989
Upon retiring from his job, a grumpy old man named Jonas (M. Emmet Walsh) finds out that his wife Anita (Audra Lindley) cares more about collecting neighborhood strays than about meeting the needs of her husband. Sensing the tension between Jonas and Anita, the annoying but good-natured Roy (Martin Garner) suggests that Jonas communicate his frustrations to Anita; however, Jonas already has a more sadistic plan in mind.
By emphasizing themes of animal cruelty, “Collection Completed” may offend even the most jaded of horror fans. That being said, Tales from the Crypt enthusiasts will appreciate the performances of Audra Lindley and M. Emmet Walsh, whose incessant grumbling lends credence to the premise of an elderly couple growing apart over time.
As indicated above, “Collection Completed” succeeds as a black comedy piece in spite of its disturbing subject matter. With their excellent chemistry as a bitter but amusing husband-and-wife pair, Walsh and Lindley will prevent audiences from focusing on the more gruesome elements contained in the finale. Likewise, Martin Garner portrayed Jonas and Anita’s oblivious neighbor Roy in a most entertaining fashion, even though his limited screen time will leave viewers wishing for more.
The implied cruelty toward animals may upset those who would prefer that torture and death be inflicted upon humans alone. Likewise, astute viewers will manage to predict the twist ending well in advance, though Jonas’ fate should satisfy animal lovers nonetheless.
In spite of its campy execution (again, no pun intended), “Collection Completed” offers a resonating moral lesson on how failure to communicate boundaries and expectations in relationships can lead to spousal turmoil. Instead of whining and resorting to foul language whenever his wife did something to upset him, Jonas could have taken Roy’s suggestion and conveyed his frustrations to Anita in a calm and level-headed manner. Similarly, Anita would have been wise to express her appreciation of Jonas and his many of years of hard work, especially when her obsession with animals began to detract from the quality of Jonas’ home life.
A humorous episode, “Collection Completed” benefits from a small but talented cast. Though not the best that season one has to offer, this episode will appeal to Tales from the Crypt fans for reasons outlined earlier.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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