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The Last Plan


A pair of young quarrelsome and paranoid neighbors enlists the aid of an eccentric old woman to act as mediator. She hires a professional hit man to watch over them and informs them that if one kills the other, they will both die.



Air Dates

  • First Run - December 2, 1982
  • (No Repeat) - January 1, 1970





51     15

21 Responses to Episode 1398

The story was way too implausible to really get into. 2 stars.

Davy Joe

Excellent allegory of the arms race and Mutual Assured Destruction. EE's commentary on the era brings the series to a chilling (near)end.


Was impressed to learn that EE both authored and starred in this story. I found her voice portrayal to be especially quirky and intriguing, and truly helped to fill in any of the slight weaknesses the plot may have had.


Excellent allegorical fable. Elspeth Eric was a brilliant writer, and I am consistently amazed that people fail to recognize that.

Leaman Crews

I agree with Beenolas' review. There are weaknesses within The Last Plan that are more than made up for by Elspeth Eric's intriguing story and an unique and unusual style of narration. I especially like stories where much is expected of the listener and elements are not explicitly explained. Performances by the Old Woman and the Hit Man are memorable. Somehow the Hit Man is even endearing, reminding me of the wayward, but ultimately redeemed criminal art dealer in The Final Vow. A solid episode. 4 stars out of 5. JUROR #4


In my personal opinion, this was one of the most bizarre, interesting, well written pieces of sheer genius I have ever heard. The dialogue along with Ms Eric's voice (and writing) make this a classic. There was a spooky line that was a nod to Kitty Genovese: "I don't want to get involved." At least that was how I interpreted it. Poison, a gun, a knife, a hired killer, an eccentric woman, a cat all help to make this one bizarre and enchanting.


I'm completely convinced that Elspeth Eric hated people in general. She had talent, but she also had a truly jaundiced eye about humanity.


At firs the story was driving me crazy, I couldnt stand the fighting and bickering. The story turned out to be one of the better ones that I've heard in a while.


Just listened to "The Last Plan" for the 1st time...I love her writing. Her storeis are perfect for the radio...I feel she really had a grasp and understanding for the power of the medium.


I loved the "woman" portrayed by Elspeth Eric in The Last Plan.


I am not sure whether Elspeth Eric hated people. I think she was interested in people and what made them tick. I think she was a wannabe psychologist, and she would have loved to be in that profession. Unfortunately, her ideas about human psychology are often strange, or based on Freud. (I am not a fan of the latter, btw.) But I DO have the feeling she hated cats. Whenever a cat appears in one of her stories, it seems like they are depicted as evil, horrible creatures. In my experience, cats couldn't be further away from her interpretations of them. On the other hand, I think she loved dogs. Her dog stories usually paint dogs in a favorable light, as well as depicting human relationships with dogs. As for this episode, it was too weird to follow, lol! I have no idea what was going on, and I lost interest easily, so I kept getting distracted. Not one of her best, imo.


I agree. Allegory is fine, but a mystery/drama for CBSRMT should hold your interest. This did not do that for me. I do think Elspeth could spin a good yarn, but as many episodes as she wrote, it is to be expected that some would not be exceptional.


OMG, One of the best! There was even a slight nod to Kitty Genovese. This was good and bizarre. I loved the dialogue, the creepy woman, and the weirdness. This one was genius level!


I thought this penultimate episode of Mystery theater was just an example of an author who had some good stories previously turn into a hack writer. This sounded like the writer just threw some plots together at the last minute to come up with another episode in her contract. "Hey what about a shallow one dimensional couple at each other's throats and an older woman whose relationship I didn't catch hires a hit man not to kill them but to keep them killing each other?" You can just picture Eric furiously typing this in one day. Some people say this is an allegory for the arms race, then, who is the hit man country, and which country represents the older lady whom both countries turn to advice? One thing that I am not sure was intentional, is that in good plots an element that was introduced in the beginning which people tend to forget as the story unfolds then makes a surprise return at the end. Well known is the black and white farm scene of Kansas in the movie Wizard of Oz that returns in the final minutes. In this episode was the pointless cat making the annoying cat yowls in the soundtrack. The only reason this was included was to flash back to some of the very first season episodes where they had annoying cat sounds when they couldn't even use real cats but had the female actresses make the horrible cat yowls! My opinion, terrible hack writing for this series to end by reminding me of the cats.


Sharon Tate and Kitty Genovese- I am an Elspeth Eric fan. I am also a true crime fan. I have listened to some of her stories and I hear what I interpret as a nod to Tate and Genovese. Does anyone else hear it? I may be reaching on Tate, but I clearly hear it with Genovese. In A Magical Place, the line is, "Everything can't be sweetness and light, you know. Not everybody comes back from the grave saying how happy they are to be dead. They can't all be happy. Some of them must be furious. Not all dead people like being dead, you know.... the ones who died unjustly, those who died young, those who were murdered, They must be full of hate and violence." The first person who comes to mind is Sharon Tate: sweetness and light, young, unjustly, murdered, violence. Does anyone else imagine her? In The Last Plan, there is much talk about murder, a knife, and "I didn't want to get involved." This clearly conjures up images of the Genovese murder.


I've heard others speculate whether another interesting RMT episode "Woman from Hell" (which I don't think was penned by Eric) contained a character who was like a Roman Polanski.


These people get their ideas from somewhere. Also, A Magical Place had a scene where they were creepy crawled and something had been smeared with a knife. It was so much like the Tate Labianca murders.


The women who associated with the Polanski-type character (which was played between demonic and comedic brilliantly by the late Mandel Kramer) didn't end up well, either. That being said, the Tate Labianca murders were horrible, brutal.


I will have to listen to that episode. Yes, I am drawn to dark topics. I was very much drawn to the Manson murders at one time. I was living in Los Angeles in 1969. Today it is much different. Middle to older age has softened me,.


I had to listen to this episode three times today as I kept missing pieces - which did not make the story complete for me. The third time worked. What helped is Tammy Grimes' prologue about Eros and Thanatos. So, I looked up both on the internet and found this comment, which now makes sense for me of this episode. "While Eros and Thanatos have polar opposite characteristics from one another, they both have equally powerful influences on the instinct of human behavior. A person will fall into the category of life instinct or death instinct based on the decisions and energy they put into the world." Obviously, everyone had a Thanatos-like instinct, even the cat. But if everyone got what they deserved in the end, then what happened to the cat? Did it live or was it killed? Curiously I would like to know.


Listened to it again. Still enjoyable.


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