A smooth-talking English professor facing death row prefers to stick to his philosophy than to get a stay of execution.
Brian Keith plays cool-as-a-cucumber Herb Morrison, an English professor convicted of killing one of his female students. While the other inmates on death row talk of being granted stays and of their affection for "Pops" Lafferty, one of the death row guards, Morrison is cynical about the system, aloof towards the other inmates, and hateful of Pops, whom he sees as a sadist. The convicted professor insists that it is better to take what he has coming than to let the state "play games" with him. After he refuses his attorney's attempts to help him, he has one more trick up his sleeve, which is played out on poor old Pops Lafferty. Unfortunately for Morrison, the system gets the last laugh.
This episode ranks high for Brian Keith's scintillating acting and an overall decent build-up of suspense. It loses points for having to listen to another stuffy academic moralize about truth, justice, and the American way (all subjects which higher education in general has trouble understanding, as truth is relative, justice is only for criminals, and the American way is something to be scorned). It gets an added boost of points for the twist at the end, which while predictable, was just desserts.