Director: Kevin Hooks
Writers: A L Katz and Gilbert Adler
Cast: David Paymer, Vincent Spano, Traci Lords, John Kassir, Wesley Thompson, Steve Kravitz, and Willie Gault
Composer: Nicholas Pike
Air Date: 10/20/1993
In a fit of rage, Andy Conway (David Paymer) brutally murders his adulterous wife Emma (Traci Lords), packs her body in a large suitcase, and books a train ride to Chicago. Suspicious, Officer Fine (Vincent Spano)—a policeman with marital issues of his own—relentlessly pursues Andy in the hopes of gathering evidence against him.
By forgoing black comedy elements in favor of a straightforward murder mystery scenario, “Two for the Show” may appeal to fans of the psychological thriller genre. The twist ending featured in this episode should, however, receive criticism for its flawed execution (no pun intended).
Making effective use of the villain protagonist trope, “Two for the Show” encourages the audience to root for and relate to Andy in spite of his homicidal behavior. Particularly suspenseful are the interactions between Andy and Officer Fine, who, by stalking and harassing the main character, causes the viewer to feel empathy for a cold, unremorseful killer—a testament to the storytelling abilities of A L Katz and Gilbert Adler.
Attempting to conceal Emma’s body, Andy cuts up his wife in a bathtub before stuffing her parts into a suitcase. Though potentially gruesome, the dismembering scene is marred by the cheesy, fake-looking props used to represent Emma’s severed head and limbs.
(Spoilers beyond this point)
In the final scene, Andy (having inadvertently swapped the tags on his suitcase with those of a stranger) is accused of killing Officer Fine’s wife and hiding her body in the train—a problematic conclusion given that Fine, whose intention all along was to frame another man for a murder that he himself committed, had no opportunity to locate Andy’s tags and place them on his own luggage container.
For showcasing strong performances in a highly intense narrative, “Two for the Show” should be commended by those who enjoy horror movie settings of a subtle, non-supernatural variety. Certain Tales from the Crypt enthusiasts may nevertheless care to avoid this episode, which fails to complement its compelling subject matter with realistic gore effects and a darkly satirical tone.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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