Welcome back to my “Tales from the Darkside” Marathon! Stories about becoming invisible date back years and years. Whether it’s depicted via a timeless classic like “The Invisible Man” or an often fantasized about superpower, invisibility has its pros and cons. But today’s tale is about a man who is about to experience a different kind of invisibility. This is “Slippage.”
Richard Hall is a graphic artist whose never seems to get a break in life. His boss never seems to pay him much mind, and his coworker, Chris, got a call to join a prestigious graphic art company that Richard was hoping to work for. He doesn’t even get an invite to a high school reunion. When his wife, Elaine, doesn’t recall adding his name to their car registration, Richard begins to feel like everyone’s brushing him aside on purpose. After his own mother doesn’t even recognize him, Richard eventually discovers that he’s ceasing to exist. Will Richard become permanently invisible to the world, or will he be saved before its too late?
I wasn’t a fan of this one. While I liked the concept and the exploration of feeling invisible in real life, I felt like this story was setting out to punish a man who didn’t seem like he deserved it. There’s a moment where Richard talks about wishing he’d connected with people more, including his mother, and you can kinda see why this is happening to him. But that little epiphany comes much later and there aren’t all that many indications of it beforehand. The dialogue also felt unnatural to me at times. It even blatantly shoehorns words and phrases in to fit the invisibility theme, such as Richard “slipping” or the company that he’s designing graphics for being called “Thin Air Vacuums.”
I also thought some of the characters came off a bit unlikable, at least towards the end. Richard (played by David Patrick Kelly) was portrayed well and you could understand his situation. But his complaints against people forgetting him constantly got a little annoying. Chris also had pretty good acting and came across as likable, but he seemed to push Richard out of the spotlight as the main character even before the ending. Elaine was easily my least favorite of the protagonists. Her acting seemed a bit breathy, and she and Chris have this attraction to each other that rubbed me the wrong way. She also had one single line of dialogue during the ending that just made her come off callous to me.
I’m not even sure if this episode had a twist, barring maybe the very last shot and even that’s debatable. I expected the ending to play out a bit differently too, but the essential part of it was something I saw coming. The remaining part of it just seemed a tad mean-spirited to me, but I suppose part of that was because the episode wants you to root for Richard the whole way. At least, that’s the impression I got.
I feel let down by “Slippage.” It had a good premise, but the execution was too rough for me to fully enjoy it. The acting was mostly fine, but the dialogue just didn’t flow smoothly in some spots. The ending was disappointing and the twist was practically non-existent (no pun intended). I sincerely wish I had more positive things to say about this one, but it just fell too short for me.