Tales from the Darkside

Season 2 Episode 22

The Unhappy Medium

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 18, 1986 on
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Unhappy Medium
The family of a dead preacher show up for a reading of the will but discovers he left them nothing specific. Rather, he warns them on his video-taped will that he will send them a sign.

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  • Powerful Message

    This, like most episodes of Tales from the Darkside, has a powerful message about the consequences of greed.
  • The kin of a deceased televangelist assemble to receive his last will and testament, only to learn that the room stands between heaven and hell, with the deceased preacher engaging in some demonic possession.moreless

    The acting and overall storyline is average, with the sole highlight being the demonic possession. The basic storyline is not horrible, it just does not seem to make much sense. The televangelist decides to take over the body of his niece, to taunt his kin and suggest that he might use this body to carry on his work. Is he in heaven or hell or somewhere in between? For some reason, the devil is chasing after the dead man, wherever he may be, and thus the kin eventually decide to hand him over to the devil by stepping into hell...leaving the greedy sister of the deceased behind.

    Yet, just when it would seem that the sister has gotten what she wanted (being the last surviving heir), the two people who had walked into hell suddenly fade back into the room and walk out as if nothing happened.

    Thus the episode ends, implying that the preacher is in hell and about to force his sister to come and join him. While, two 'good' people were apparently able to walk in and out of hell, before going to...um...heaven or back home.

    While the acting is solid, the writing just makes things needlessly confusing. More should have been said about why the dead preacher was, in life, evil, and how do people walk straight into hell, come back as if it were nothing.

    Had the writing been better, this could have been a great episode.moreless
  • A dead man possesses a girl to talk to his family still alive

    This is just an average episode that has small parts of interest, mainly because of them thinking that they are in a normal room, only to realize that one door goes to heaven and the other goes to hell. If that isn’t weird enough, a dead relative keeps possessing a girl and tells those in the room that the devil is after him, so the family decides to send him back to Hell the next time he possesses the girl. Yes, that is the basic idea of the story. It is a happy ending, I suppose, when the greedy gets punished, but the story is so shallow that you won’t even care.moreless

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