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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Hands of Mrs. Mallory
Plot:
Shortly after the death of her husband, Mrs. Mallory loses control of both her hands mysteriously. She meets a woman in Central Park who seems to have lost her legs in a similar manner and decides to consult her doctor. The consequences are beyond her expectations.
Episode:
0135
Air Dates:
First Run - August 19, 1974
Repeat - October 18, 1974
Writer:
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Rating:
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7 Responses to Episode 0135


It's like there's a cluster of episodes around here where the theme is psychedelics or psychedelic therapy. Funny I had never noticed this before finding this website. I love how the episodes are ordered and cross referenced here. It makes it easier to pick out such things, a lot easier.

Mrs. Mallory inexplicably loses the use of her hands following the death of her husband. After meeting a woman in Central Park who has lost the use of her legs, Mrs. Mallory tries the woman's doctor. The results are surprising.

(Interesting, strangely relevant to today story twist) Mrs. Mallory is a wealthy New Yorker with a pair of paralyzed hands. She's sometimes abrupt and curt (i.e. at one point in the story to a bicyclist who runs into an acquaintance of hers) but not heartless (talking to a child who is fascinated by her hands. The RMT always used grown women to play children on their episodes, didn't they?). The "acquaintance" I refer to is a woman who says she's living with her brother from Ohio, and is paralyzed from an auto accident. She says she's found a "Dr. Griff" who has a special treatment...essentially, he's a faith healer. Her brother is constantly berating her for even thinking about going with his treatment, but finally acquiesces. Unsure about Dr. Griff's validity (especially after consulting with her own trusted physician) Mrs. Mallory visits his office to speak with him and admits she's somewhat unsure of his methods. Then, who should walk in but her acquaintance...she's cured. (?) Mrs. Mallory has a whole new outlook on Dr. Griff's methods and wants him to treat her now but there's one problem...he's being paid a lot of money by a "Muslim leader" in Africa to take his services there for the next year...

An interesting tale with a twist at the end I found hard to predict until very late in the episode. Mrs. Mallory suffers from a paralysis of the hands onset shortly after her husband’s death. Doctors are unable to find a cure and tell her it may be psychosomatic, a diagnosis she finds distasteful and insulting. She meets another woman suffering from similar conditions who is seeking help from a Dr. Grif who uses psychedelic drugs and the powers of suggestion and, when the woman is seen later cured of her affliction, she seeks the out the doctor and his miracle cure. The word GRIFTER means, “money made dishonestly. A confidence game.” Could it be that Dr. Grif’s name is no coincidence? A surprise ending gives this episode a strong conclusion.

In fact, I saw this ending coming a mile away (for once). Confidence games are rather common. Considering the nature of Ida Mallory's disability, there should have been a few more characters in this one. Someone has to drive her; someone has to feed her. Sitting in the park alone wouldn't be wise and would barely be feasible. Crime drama, no supernatural elements.

This was an easy episode to listen to. The story just seemed to flow. Harry Slessor did a nice job writing the script. Also, I frequently criticize Mystery Theater for miscasting older actors for youner parts. Celeste Holm, an actress of my grandparents generation, was appropriately cast as Mrs. Mallory. 4 stars.

Not a bad episode about nothing supernatural. I don't understand how someone who hasn't been able to use their hands in 5 years all of the sudden can rip up photographs (not plain paper, but harder to rip photographs), but I guess that is beside the point at the end of the episode. So, it sounds like she would get her money back (if she wanted it) while the grifters likely go to jail. Perhaps she would try to help them out since they helped her, who knows?

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