By Cory Robinson
The sixth episode in the series stars Gregory Hines as Falsworth, a nightclub mentalist whose gimmick is “all in the hands” as he goes from table to table touching random patrons while blindfolded in order to read their minds. The thing is though, is that Falsworth’s act isn’t a gimmick and he can actually read minds but of course nobody ever believes that his gift is real, so he usually ends up being a loner due to always knowing the truth about everybody since all he needs to do is touch that person or an article of clothing to find out their deepest darkest secrets.
After going through his third divorce, Falsworth gets a new gig at a nightclub and when he goes through his whole routine, he ends up touching the hands of a mass murder nicknamed “the keyboard killer” as he strangles all of his victims with piano keys. The keyboard killer (who the audience can’t see) has run into the nightclub after killing two victims and tries to lay low from the local police who are about to close in on him but manages to escape without his identity being revealed. After Falworth touches the killer’s hands, he immediately panics and runs to his dressing room begging his manager to call the police because he knows that the keyboard killer is in the audience. When Falsworth goes back onto the stage after removing his blindfold, the killer has already left thus he can’t give the police a good description on what he looks like other than he has read the killer’s thoughts.
Falsworth ends up getting a call from a Detective Trent Tinker (Richard Masur)who agrees to come down to the nightclub (although reluctantly) to talk to Falsworth about his lead on the keyboard killer. After about an hour, Tinker comes to the nightclub to help Falsworth solve the mystery of the keyboard killer which he does by using his skill to touch items that the killer used thus giving them clues leading up to the killer’s house.
I’m not going to spoil the ending this time as it is a great episode that every fan of the show needs to watch if they haven’t seen it before with a pretty good twist even though you might see it coming if you pay close enough attention. The script was written by Mick Garris who is best known through his many collaborations with Stephen King and he doesn’t disappoint this time by writing a very creepy and very disturbing script that is spent a good amount of time through the eyes of a killer. The directing by Peter Hyams (2010, Timecop, Running Scared, End of Days) is fantastic here as he puts in a very dark mood that adds to a very creepy atmosphere from beginning to end, and even though there are a few horror-themed episodes of Amazing Stories, this one probably succeeded the most at being both entertaining and being the scariest one of the bunch. The acting by Gregory Hines and Richard Masur is fantastic as well and I have to give a lot of props to Masur as I basically know him as the goofy dad in the Mr. Boogedy Disney TV movies in the 80s, so it’s nice to see him go from a comedic role in which he is always over the top, to a complete stone faced serious character in this episode.
Overall, I recommend this episode tremendously as it still holds up today as a great piece of television that still can muster some chills. Mick Garris even won an Edgar Award for best episode in a television series for this episode and he rightfully deserves it for his work here. The ending to this episode is still my favorite due to understanding everything that is going on while not giving a full conclusion on what’s going to happen to Falsworth when the credits roll. This episode still gives me great joy to watch so I am going to give this episode a 10/10 due to great dynamic between the cast, the writer, and the director all working together perfectly to create probably the best episode of the series in my opinion. If you haven’t watched the episode before or haven’t seen it in a while, do yourself a favor and watch it, you won’t be disappointed.
You can watch the episode on the NBC site or follow the link here: http://www.nbc.com/amazing-stories/video/the-amazing-falsworth/2909097
Join me next week as I take a look at the episode Fine Tuning which follows a bunch of small aliens trying to kidnap old television stars.