Season 5

Episode 516: “The Man Upstairs”

Episode 516: “The Man Upstairs”
Original Air Date:February 21, 1999
Written by::Glenn Berenbeim
Directed by:Peter H. Hunt
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Gus Michael Jeter
Mac Frank Ashmore

Gus Zimmerman, an insurance salesman, arrives in Las Vegas to call on his largest account, the Paradise Grand Casino. Tess tells Monica that behind Gus’ smile is a desperate man. Monica meets Gus at the bar where he explains that he is there to call on the casino manager, Mac, and earn the commission that will pay for his wife, Esther’s care in a nursing home. As he guzzles ginger ale, Gus explains that neither he nor Esther drink or gamble. When Gus learns that Mac is no longer the general manager and the new management is not willing to see him, he orders another drink, this time with vodka.

Gus goes to the cashier, withdraws a five-thousand dollar credit limit and loses it all on one roll of roulette. When Gus pleads with the croupier, “I’ll sign anything,” the phone mysteriously rings and the new manager is ready to see him. Gus enters the office to find the new manager’s name is Monique and she looks exactly like Monica. It becomes apparent that Monique is evil as she toys with Gus, reminding him of Esther’s problems and letting him win a game of poker for the entire five-thousand dollars which he just lost. Confident after his rigged victory, Gus agrees to gamble again: a signed insurance policy for his soul, something he doesn’t believe in, anyway. He loses. Dejected, Gus finds Monica at the bar and explains the situation. Monica, concerned about Gus’ huge loss, plots to beat Monique at a game of poker. Tess scolds her for entertaining the thought. Gus goes to Monique who suggests that he “have an accident,” thereby helping his wife who is the beneficiary of his insurance policy.

Gus continues to drink more and rejects Monica when she tries to convince him not to listen to Monique. Monica takes Gus back to the chapel where he and Esther were married. Gus remembers how Tess was the witness of their vows and Monica reveals that they are both angels, sent by God, to help him fight for his soul. Gus, however, only becomes more depressed, feeling that his soul is gone forever, and he climbs to the top of the casino intending to kill himself. Monique encourages him, showing him a copy of the same “soul contract” signed by Esther.

Monica pleads with Gus to ask God for His help. Gus then begins to shine a flashlight, singing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” and begs God to help him. Powerless against Gus’ reliance on God, Monique disappears. Gus returns to find that Mac had only been late for their meeting. Mac signs the insurance contract, Esther’s care is guaranteed and Gus breathes a sigh of relief as he realizes how close he came to losing his soul.

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