Tales From the Darkside 202: Lifebomb

In addition to a captivating title, this episode moves quickly into a dynamite premise, as a high powered businessman (Billy Macy! No, not that Billy Macy, this is the mid-80s).

We know he's stressed out because the first thing he does after entering his office is take a sip of milk and then an antacid! How, I wonder, will his already-stressful life be 'blown up'?

He runs a mining concern, and is constantly on the go, talking to captains of industry and trying to get senators on the line - his secretary tells him some sort of insurance man is in the office, but he's too busy to listen! It's only when he realizes that the man may be involved in settling some lawsuit over the company's malfeasance in Wyoming that he agrees to meet with the man from the Vita-Eterna corporation. Wow, if there was ever an ominous sign, right?

The salesman enters with a pitch that's simply too good to be true - he's selling the ultimate in life insurance products! Beyond insurance, he's offering protection, and not in a mob sort of way, either! Apparently he feels that the product he's selling can absolutely protect Bill from an untimely death - but how?

By sealing him up in a bulletproof, shock-proof, essentially death-proof cocoon at the first sign of trouble! Physical protection isn't the only service this product offers, however. The 'Lifebomb' ensures that you're breathing, injects any drugs you need, and automatically radios for medical assistance! If it all sounds too good to be true, just wait until you hear the price - nothing! It's just something his insurance company wants him to wear to protect their investment in him. Bill finds the price a little too low to be believable, and sends the salesman on his way, leaving the Lifebomb contracts on his desk, untouched.

That night Bill is working late, trying to figure out the best way to make his Wyoming mine disaster problem go away. There are ten casualties - the settlement calls for 30 million dollars to be spread between them, but Bill's having none of this. He believes that since the workers chose to be miners and the fact that their insurance policies already paid off, he shouldn't have to fork over any more money just because some 'lawsuit' might decide that the company is guilty of 'contributory negligence'.

Long after everyone else has gone to bed Bill heads home, and lets his impatient wife know that he's not staying - just changing his outfit! Damn, he really is a workaholic, isn't he? If only he had some sort of a Lifebomb to help save him from his inevitable heart attack! Then Bill heads back to the office, where he's using a dictaphone to record his memo about his decision to refuse the settlement - he gets so worked up that his heart finally gives out on him-

And then... I don't know. Yeah, turns out my copy of this episode cuts out halfway through, so I have no idea what happens in the last ten minutes. I'll try to track it down, so I can finish this review later, but for right now, I'll just hazard a guess...

Bill barely survives the heart attack and buys the lifebomb, but then he winds up trapped inside it in a place the paramedics can't get to him, leaving him essentially buried alive, like the miners his company murdered!

Okay, that's probably not the actual ending, but I'll fill you in on it when and if I'm able to secure a full copy of the episode.

Also, I get the naming of the 'Lifebomb' (Like a life jacket, only it's a bomb!) - but still think it's terrible branding. Maybe the full version of the episode also addresses this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The ending basically the man cant never die the life bomb is with him forever. If he does opt to cancel the life bomb he loses life insurance and house his family will have nothing. The ending shows the old man in bed crying saying just to let him die but he cant due to the life bomb is there forever.