Tales from the Dark Side episode 4: “The Odds”

Tommy Vale (Danny Aiello) never skips a chance to bet. So when a dead man comes back — Bill Lacey (Tom Noonan) — and wagers that Tommy will be dead in 24 hours, he takes that bet. And then we wait.

This episode feels almost like a stage play with Aiello’s quiet dignity even in the face of his corrupt life and the fact that he’s never been taken advantage of when betting up against a man who he thinks is Lacey’s son but who could very well be a ghost.

Director James Steven Sadwith is probably best known for the Sinatra and Elvis miniseries that he directed. He co-wrote this with Carole Lucia Satrina, who also wrote three of the Cannon Movie Tales, Red Riding HoodPuss In Boots and Beauty and the Beast.

The joy of this episode is seeing Aiello and Noonan act opposite one another. This is one of the rare episodes of this show with some restraint in the storytelling instead of a monster of the week and that makes this quite an enjoyable twenty plus minutes.

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