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The Second Chance Lady


A door-to-door cosmetics sales lady unwittingly stumbles into the lair of a hold-up guy. She outwits them to stay alive.



Air Dates

  • First Run - April 28, 1977
  • Repeat - September 11, 1977





119     16

9 Responses to Episode 0642

A door-to-door makeup saleslady unwittingly stumbles into the lair of a hold-up guy. She outwits them to stay alive.

Jimbeam Jr.

This is, IMO, a mixed-up, bizarre mess...but in a strange way for this particular episode, maybe that why it's worth a listen. Kind of like "The bloody legend", it's fun to see if you can figure out what was really going on after a few listens. It begins by pairing two fine RMT actresses, Marian Seldes and Teri Keane. Seldes plays the "second chance lady", who works for the "Second chance" company (I believe that's what it was called. I think it was a makeup manufacturer...I never quite was for sure.) Keane plays a former cheerleading captain and beautiful girl (in high school) who now is at the social strata that some describe as rhyming with "might clash". She's apparently shacking up with a hood of some kind who, along with his pals, has just killed some night watchman in a robbery gone somewhat awry but where they've still made out with the money. Seldes seems to know all about Keane's childhood. She starts out saying how Keane's character can have a "second chance", seeming to say that what's inside is what counts for her. Later, she seems to know all about the lead criminal's childhood as well. With a kindly message and with the ability to know these people's pasts, that means she's some kind of angel, or someone sent from above, right? Well, you listen to this one and decide...

Jimmy Williams

***SPOILER ALERT*** Do not read before listening. Having just played the episode I would say it's not the most effective RMT but it is in no way unclear. The hoods are particularly foolish and the cosmetics saleslady has the mind of a profiler. She's able to read them,manipulate them and ultimately turn them against one another. After they shoot it out,she absconds with the stolen money,seizing her second chance.

Dale haskell

This is one of those stories by Sam Dann which make me wonder if he and Elspeth Eric met sometimes for lunch dates, lol! :D It is the kind of story and plot that she would come up with, so sometimes I wonder where he got some of his ideas. The dialogue, the psych problems and allegorical symbolism, (about 'second chances" and things of that nature), all seem to indicate an Elspeth Eric flavor. Was this kind of writing just popular at the time? Or did Sam Dann just want to write like her sometimes? it's clear he had his own style, but sometimes it feels like he was trying to change his style into something different from what he would normally write.


Marian Seldes and Teri Keane have sexy voices.


I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. Sam Dann wrote many great crime drama stories, such as #0125-THE ONLY BLOOD and #0921-THE GREY SLAPPER, but this one was a little off-beat. I liked the storyline where a saleswoman is trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the personality of her and the other characters weren’t satisfactory. Our main character was optimistic, yet oblivious, like she was pushing her products onto others and not taking any consideration on her customer’s true needs. As for the male characters, they were manipulators and domestic abusers and I’m glad they didn’t survive in the end (SPOILER ALERT). But the leading lady did and got her own “second chance.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with a quote from Publilius Syrus and a proverb, focusing the episode’s topic on Speech vs. Silence. In ACT-1, meet our leading lady: a door-to-door saleswoman named Sarah-Ruth Arban. In ACT-2, question what goes on behind closed doors of houses, particularly this one that’s about to be filled with drama. Afterwards, more drama comes along when 2 more characters are added into the picture. In ACT-3, the characters decide our main character’s fate. In the end, after the drama is over, Sarah-Ruth Arban gets hers “second chance,” but not in the World of Cosmetics. In his Epilogue, a school of thought about working hard to be wealthy but never get to enjoy it when we get older. More than that, E.G. Marshall states that CBSRMT’s task is to tell the truth to show the human condition. I don’t think Himan Brown would’ve agreed to that; since he had his own determinations for the radio series. Also, I’d like to point out that E.G. Marshall made an error when naming the cast. He mentions Larry Haines in this episode, but it was clear that he wasn’t in it at all. It was actually Mandel Kramer that played a villain. Why E.G. Marshall slip that up? Perhaps we’ll never know. Sound effects of the doorbell, birds chirping, doors, footsteps, the slap (at the 17:10 mark), gun shots, and classical music at the fancy restaurant were good. The music was nice, a lot of dramatic tunes in the final Act, but not a lot in the first 2. Now onto our cast: Marian Seldes (as Sarah-Ruth Arban), Teri Keane (as Milly Smith), Mandel Kramer (as Ralph and the Waiter), and William Griffis (as Radio News Reporter and JoJo). These 4 have done great performances in other episodes, but as I said before, the characters that they played weren’t satisfactory. One was a pusher of her product, one had low self-confidence, one was an abuser, and one was a manipulator. All in all, it’s still a mystery tale that people should check out. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


Interesting how different people have varied reviews of the same episode, which I found excellent and quite playful. Sarah Ruth Arban is the stereotypic door-to-door saleslady hawking her wares, which was an alternative at the time. From the perspective of marketers back then, she is not selling cosmetics, but "hope" as can be inferred from E. G. Marshall's reference to "illusions" and Sarah Ruth's introductory story of the three stone masons. Later in Act 1, she comes right out and says just that! Through her uptight responses, Millicent reveals herself as a wavering, lonely and ambivalent sole who is brought back to life by a stranger willing to give her a little devoted attention. Once beautiful, she has lost her way by living on the edge of the law, hobnobbing with self-serving criminals who care very little for her as a person. She sees herself as stupid, and one who gave up the potential to become a movie star because of her choice of Ralph - the do-nothing, abusive partner who drug her down to his level. If there is anyone in need of a strong dose of hope, it is her. Sarah Ruth shows herself as a confident and savvy saleslady both in presenting her products as well as in her taking charge of the narrative and manipulation of the murderous crooks she encounters. The episode concludes with an interesting twist, with Sarah Ruth playing the role of a wealthy, capable and confident woman of the world. A truly delightful episode from beginning to end.

Jae Lauren

I really enjoyed this episode. Good character development and interesting story with a twist at the end that I didn't expect. Good acting, pretty good sound quality. Thank you for providing RMT episodes on line.

Kathy D

I rate this episode as Above Average. Sarah Ruth was a strange sort of salesperson. It was fun hearing how she kept outwitting the criminals, and the ending was surprising.


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