Tales from the Darkside

Season 4 Episode 10

Payment Overdue

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 14, 1988 on
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes

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Episode Summary

Payment Overdue
Michael, a heartless collection agent, finds out that Jeanette doesn't quite understand the rules of going into debt, and has some unpleasant problems as a result.

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  • A cruel collection agent gets her comeuppance from the guardian angel of a woman who couldn't pay her debt.

    I thought this was a fairly decent episode. It was nothing exception, but it was an interesting little story with a nice, if somewhat predictable ending. Collection agencies are one of those things in society that have a dubious reputation, and rightfully so. Some have competent agents working the phone lines, but others are comprised of bullies who hide behind false threats and scare tactics. This episode revolves around one of those. Jeanette is the worst kind of collection agent there is. She makes threats that are unsubstantiated, is indifferent to the reasons people for being late, and generally bullies those who have the misfortune of getting a call from her. She greatly enjoys her job, even telling a little girl her mother will go jail if she doesn't pay up. Unfortunately, her callous attitude about the job soon has grave consequences for both her and the person she had threatened. Jeanette is an interesting character in that she isn't all bad. She's not blatantly evil, but she is callous and indifferent towards the very real problems that plague many people. It's ironic, considering she claims to have had some hard struggles herself. More than anything, it is her arrogance and her narrow-minded world view that damns her. Rather than look at people as individuals, she lumps everyone into two distinct groups in her mind, and spares no sympathy for anyone. Everyone she hounds deserve what they get. Worse, she refuses to change. Michael gives her several opportunities to show some compassion, yet she throws away every one of them. Had she only accepted that she was wrong, she might have been spared the fate that befalls her. Instead she proves that she will not change until she is shown the error of her ways, in a very painful manner. And shown she is. By the end of the episode, the roles have been reversed. Jeanette is now the one stuck in a miserable life with numerous problems. Surprisingly, she gets a call from a collection agent named Jeanette, which implies that someone else has taken her place at home. Although we feel some sympathy for her, we can't deny that she deserves at least part of what has happened, if not all of it. For his part, Michael is remorseful, and assures her that he will be watching over her. This episode isn't scary at all. The "fear", if it can be called that, comes from seeing that what goes around sometimes does come around. It's not a classic episode, but it is a slightly better than average effort from a season that is considered subpar by many TftD fans.moreless
  • A woman is punished for another persons death after the person couldn't pay what they owed.

    This episode is all about Karma, you do bad things and bad things happen. The angel of the woman who couldn't pay answeres the poor woman's prayers and avenges her death. Like I said, the moral of the story is not to be so snobish and you have to believe people. The woman who is punished was just doing her job, so I don't know if she really deserved what she got. That is what is wrong with the series, people are doing what they are paid to do and they get in trouble for it. I agree, the main character was being mean, but I'm sure there are real people who fake things to get out of paying.moreless

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