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*This is a full episode review. A spoiler warning is in effect.*
Hello Boils and Ghouls, and welcome to today's tale. Now, I know there are some ladies out there who wouldn't mind having the finer things that life has to offer: having the most fashionable clothing, looking beautiful every day of the week, having some extra pocket money, and having a handsome man on your arm (or whichever gender one would prefer).
But, how far would one go to achieve all that?
In this episode, our main heroine, 21-year-old Sylvia Vane - played by Lea Thompson, (Back to the Future 1 and 2, Howard the Duck) is a lady of the evening, whose looks are what help her get through her job. Checking her reflection every chance she gets. It almost seems like she is living a Cinderella lifestyle. Living on the lower part of the social ladder, and wanting to move up to the top.
The opening scenes of the episode go through mostly expository dialog as exchanged between Sylvia and a fellow worker friend. Pretty much the gist of what I wrote above. Sylvia is soon harassed by a pimp, trying to get Sylvia to work for him. Not one to take any shit from anyone, Sylvia lures him into an empty alley and robs him of his jewelry, eventually killing him as he tries to get the gun away from her.
She takes her loot to a pawn shop the next day to make some quick cash, but the broker - played by Britt Leach (Weird Science. Silent Night, Deadly Night). He won't take her jewelry, but there is something he is willing to buy: Sylvia's beauty. Even though she thinks it's too good to be true, she goes along with it, having a plaster mold of her face done, and getting $10,000 in return. But like any pawn deal, she only has 4 months to buy back her items.
Sylvia then goes on a super 80's, Pretty Woman, style montage which, honestly is pretty great. But, if you were to come in on this scene, you'd think you'd be watching a RomCom rather than a horror anthology show. The next few minutes show Sylvia bagging the rich boyfriend; named Ronny Price, (because, why not?) and shows the passage of time, and shows Sylvia start to get wrinkles on her skin, and soon finds out her looks are deteriorating rapidly.
Understandably, she freaks out. I mean, I would too if I woke up one morning and I looked like a 100-year-old witch. She goes back to the pawnbroker, but he won't sell her beauty essence back because she is a day late on her sell backdate and is said to pay an extra $100,000.
She bags up all the jewelry and money she can find in her house, shooting her sugar daddy in the process, making it seem like a robbery to keep him from telling the cops.
Once she returns, the broker reveals that he has been using her's and other young women's beauty in a voodoo ritual to keep his deceased wife looking young forever (talk about a guy who didn't take it well).
Sadly, even after going through all that trouble to get her looks back, Sylvia realizes she can't since the police are looking for her after finding her prints on the gun she left behind by mistake. And since they only have the "before" photo of her, she knows she will be free from the chair if she stays the way she is. All she has left, is the plaster bust of her face as it once was, which ends up dropping and breaking on the pavement. It's almost like the writer of this episode is just slapping you over the head with the symbolism.
This is a good episode that showcases the ironic twists that this show was pretty known for, and the kind of endings that I personally love. There is one episode in season 2 that does this very nicely, that I honestly didn't really see coming when I first watched it when I was a kid. I'll get to that one soon!