Welcome, welcome, welcome back to another edition of Rising from the Crypt. I’ve taken a slight sabbatical, but I have returned with a doozy of an episode. (and I never say doozy).
I apologize for the delay my gravediggers and undertakers, but we are back this month, and better than ever (maybe?)
Tales from the Crypt
Season 2 Episode 5 “Three’s a Crowd”
Directed by David Burton Morris
Starring: Gavan O’Herlihy, Ruth de Sosa, and Paul Lieber
Originally aired: May 1st 1990
Sourced from: Shock SuspsenStories #11
Gavan O’Herlihy and Ruth de Sosa play Richard and Della, a couple in a failing marriage. Della (who I swear had three or more character name changes throughout the episode, but is billed as Della so we’ll go with that) has recently been getting cozy with Richard’s best friend, and best man at their wedding, Alan (played by Paul Lieber). Richard slowly grows more paranoid, and the fact that he can’t give Della a child, compounds his misery.
For their anniversary, Paul, who has become wealthy since the time of the Richard/Della wedding, offers to let them stay at his spacious cabin while he stays in the guest house. The three go sailing for the day, and Richard remains at the rear of the boat stewing, as Della and Paul talk and have fun towards the front of the boat, occasionally looking back at Richard. It’s at this point, I think the truth is that Paul’s gay, and Richard’s fears are unfounded.
We learn that Paul and Della used to date before she ended up with Richard, adding to Richard’s questions of her faithfulness. Richard and Della get into another argument over Paul buying things for Della since Richard can’t afford anything after losing his job. Richard flat out says that maybe Della should have stayed with Paul since he can buy anything she wants, and can probably give her a kid.
Now knowing that Paul isn’t gay, I was able to figure out the rest of the episode. While sleeping in the cabin, Richard wakes up to find Della and Paul talking by the fire. He doesn’t interrupt them, but lets Della think he’s sleeping when she returns to bed later in the night. The following morning, Richard wakes up to find he’s alone in the bed, only to learn shortly after that Della and Paul went shopping together in town. Richard’s plan is to drink himself into a stupor, and I for one support this plan.
When the two return, Richard confronts them, only for his arguments to be dismissed because he’s drunk. Doesn’t mean he’s wrong! Leaving him to sober up, Della and Paul go to the guest cabin. Instead of sobering up, Richard drinks more, clearly making the situation better.
Later in the night, Paul returns to the main cabin to try and get Richard to go with him, saying that Della has a surprise for him. Paranoia taking full control of his alcohol soaked mind, Richard instead threatens Paul with a crossbow. Thinking he’s joking, Paul jokes with him, while still trying to get him to leave the cabin. However, Richard shoots him through the chest, pinning him to the wall.
After some time, Della comes to see what’s taking the two so long, happily oblivious to what’s occurred. Richard approaches her wearing a fancy white jacket that Paul purchased for Della earlier in the episode. When he steps into the light, she can see that there’s blood splattered on it. She asks where Paul is, and Richard shows her that he’s hanging high on the wall like a hunter’s trophy.
She tries to hide from him in the master bedroom of the cabin, but he chases her, forcing her to jump through the window, crashing to the cold ground beneath. Della survives, however Richard is there to strangle her with a length of wire, killing her dead.
Deciding to see what the surprise Della and Paul had planned for him, Richard drags her by the wire to the guest cabin, and stumbles into a surprise party, meant to announce that Della was pregnant and he was finally going to be a father. The gathered crowd, takes a comically long time to notice the dead body he’s dragged into the house with him. The episode ends with him horrified at the realization at what he’s done to his wife, best friend, and unborn child.
On to the rating…
This is not by any stretch a cinematic master piece, however I absolutely loved this episode. Gavan O’Herlihy’s acting and facial expressions are exactly what a Tales from the Crypt episode needs. He alone makes this a worthwhile watch. The scene of him dancing in his wife’s jacket, is pure gold, even meme-worthy damn it.
Della is as forgettable as her name was. I think it was meant to be Stella, but IMDB screwed up, and cared so little, they never bothered to correct. And that’s about as much attention as the character deserves. Paul, while he did a fine enough job, was nothing more than a plot point to keep the story progressing. His butler/gardener on the other hand, was a competent player in the story of Della and Richard.
Speaking of the story, there wasn’t much to it, but there didn’t have to be. It was all about one’s man jealousy driving him to the unthinkable, and the effects it has on those around him. Honestly, if you take out the murders in the end, this could be considered a masterclass on the effects of depression and alcohol abuse, but that is way too deep of a concept for Rising from the Crypt, that I’ll instead leave you with a gif of Richard dancing around in the bloody jacket.
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