Fear Itself

Season 1 Episode 3

Family Man

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Jun 19, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
121 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Family Man
A near-death experience causes a likeable family man to switch bodies with an incarcerated serial killer.

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  • AWFULL, AWFULL, AWFUL, Just plain Awful

    This was the WORST CONCEPT EVER, The good guy losing twice. Just terrible. It was so bad it left me angry, violently angry. The whole episode I was expecting them to switch and have a good ending, but now in the end Daddy is the killer. What was the point of this episode, to take a Good person, Church going, family man and completely screw up his life. I am not a person who gets freaked out easily, in fact I LOVE sick, uncomfortable things. But this just struck me as just plain wrong on so many levels. The previous episodes were very good, I hope this is not just going to turn into a shock and aw, lets see how far we can push the envelope.

    As I said, I did not like this episode one bit, It did not have a good flow, I was trying to figure things out. I would have NEVER expected that Kind of ending.moreless
  • Brilliant episode.

    Now I know the whole 'switching bodies' concept has been done many times before.

    Fear Itself really goes above all other shows when it comes to the supernatural. This episode wasn't any different.

    I couldn't imagine switching bodies with another person and watch as they pretend to be you while you're stuck in jail.

    And the ending of the episode!

    Just wow.

    To go through what he went through only to have that happen in the end it utterly heart wrenching.

    Overall, I really love this episode.

    I hope to see many more episodes like this in the future.

    Ones that really mess with my head and what not.moreless
  • The best "Fear Itself" episode. Good story, great acting. What are you willing to do to protect your loved ones? You may miss the series, but not this episode.

    With "Family Man" this unpretentious horror anthology has proved the point of it's catch line (which was quoted from F.D.Roosevelt), "You have nothing to fear but fear itself".

    The episode was, clearly, purely about FEAR. Not specific fear, not the scare, jump of the couch and scream kind of fear, not like fear of the dark, or monsters in the closet, but the fear feeling itself, the unbearable torment, and what it can make us do. Everyone has his own worst nightmare, and in that line of thinking we can say fear is very subjective and personal. That's why some people laugh out loud watching ghost movies, while others are scared to death of it. Well, common sense says the vast majority of the population would agree that losing their family is a horrible idea (except if you're a psycho), which, finally, brings us to the Family Man plot:

    So...we are introduced to Dennis Mahoney and his happy family. He suffers an accident and while in the hospital, where he unwillignly switches body with an infamous serial killer. Take that, and after both are fully recovered, Dennis Mahoney is sent to jail, while the assassin returns home safely, period. I believe everyone who watches a horror show promptly anticipates a certain kind of ending, so i'll quit spoiling from now on. For good, i'll just say that, whatever it is that happens as the story unfolds and whetever the ending is, it indeed succeeds in making the viewer feel in the flesh all the torment and the anguish going through the protagonist's mind. It's disturbing, it tickles you in and annoying way. Colin Ferguson ("Eureka") plays the main character, Dennis Mahoney, and his acting is magistral and majorly responsible for this episode's high achievement's.moreless
  • great episode!

    This episode is basically about a churchgoing father and husband who gets into a serious car accident one day. Unfortunately, a serial killer is in the same hospital he is in, and some how they switch bodies and survive. This episode then focuses on the father (stuck in the serial killer's body) trying to switch places. [SPOILER!] the father pretends to lead police to the other bodies he's buried (in exchange for life in prison) but manages to escape and runs to his house. He confronts the serial killer and they fight. One of the police/sheriff followed the father (still in the SK's body) and shoots and kills him. When the father comes to, he is back in his own body only to have police tell him his family is dead.

    This episode is much like "The Twilight Zone" show from the 1960s, up until the last second.moreless
  • Thank You Daniel Knauf for pulling this show out of it's slump!

    This was going to be it... One more crappy episode and I was done with this show... But thanks to Daniel Knauf's great script and Colin Ferguson's great acting this show has been saved in my opinion.

    I thought this episode was a fresh take on the body swapping plot, but mostly I thought that what this episode accomplished that the first two did not was creating characters that we cared about!

    Anyone who says you can't tell a complete story in an hour should watch this episode...

    I thought that Clifton Collins Jr. was excellent... I was really rooting for him and Colin Ferguson, poor guy, I felt so bad for him... These are the things that take a story from good to great.

    I'm hoping that this starts a trend for the series and am looking forward to John Landis' episode next weekmoreless
Nicole Leduc

Nicole Leduc

Courtney Mahoney

Guest Star

Gig Morton

Gig Morton

Sean Mahoney

Guest Star

Michael St. John Smith

Michael St. John Smith

Sheriff Weller

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: When Dennis Mahoney's daughter says she is going to color a picture for her dad, she is coloring with a pink marker. The next second, the pink disappears from the coloring book, the marker is nowhere to be seen and she is coloring with green.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (1)


    • Episode Title: "Family Man"

      Referencing The Family Man (2000), where the lead man wakes up one day as a different person, albeit with the same name, and gets a glimpse of what his life would have been like if he'd married his childhood sweetheart.

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