$4.95 A Minute

THE OTHERS. "$4.95 A Minute". Episode 1.11. James plays Troy Maheim/Simeon Nye a phone psychic.

This series portrays the struggles of a group of young psychics called The Others who are mentored by an older more experienced psychic named Elmer. In this episode, James Morrison plays an unsuccessful comedian named Troy Manheim, who's resorted to acting as a phone psychic to try to pay his bills. Patently fraudulent, "Simeon Nye" picks up clues from his callers, riffles a deck of cards into the receiver, and then states "predictions". As the episode opens, strange things begin to happen. Troy sees violent visions about his callers, which later come true. One client ("Nick Chapue") runs headlong into Troy's car, and is paralyzed, while another is badly cut in his shower. Troy's apartment manager, after evicting Troy for overdue rent, is cleaning out Troy's stuff, when Troy's television bursts into flames, badly burning the manager.

Meanwhile, two of The Others, Joe, a doctor treating Simeon's clients at the hospital, and Sitori, hearing about Simeon from some of her clients, determine to find and stop Simeon Nye. Sitori tracks down Troy, and confronts him. He gets attention with a message from her dead father, and she takes him home. While arguing about their methods, Troy defends his fakery with an impassioned speech.

"I had tools when I was a phone psychic. I didn't make things up. I didn't need to be a 'sensitive'. The caller guided me, not some goofy psychic tool. When I picked up the phone, I had a head start. I knew the call was either gonna be about love or money. And, whichever the two subjects, what they were really looking for was an edge on making life go the way they wanted. Right? Isn't that why people come to you? Don't look at me like that!

"Has life gone the way you wanted? No! That's why you have some stranger that you don't even like in your house, so you can talk to your dead father and fix what didn't go the way you wanted. Right? These people who called me, they weren't lookin' for much, they were just wishing life would go the way they wanted."

Sitori responds by giving him a reading. She hears his favorite music, "A Summer Place", and sees a drunken man trying to find his penis. Troy pulls out his tape of "A Summer Place", and starts to play it. He explains that all he ever wanted was to do his comedy routine, but he couldn't get work, and his wife had left, taking all his money. He begins to mime a drunken man, a man who can't find his money, can't find the hat on his head, or his penis when he needs to relieve himself. Just as Sitori is starting to laugh, Troy collapses on the floor, crying, and asking why life couldn't go the way he wanted.

Dr. Joe walks in at this point, full of righteous indignation. Before he can say too much, several trinkets in the room spontaneously explode. Sitori believes that Troy has "unknowingly called up an angry spirit." She and Joe take Troy to Elmer for an exorcism.

Elmer believes that the real Simeon Nye, a famous psychic from the 1920's, has heard people calling Simeon a fraud, and is using Troy as a "portal" to defend his reputation. After a theatrical sťance where Troy tells Simeon to "leave him alone", Sitori is desolate. She believes that Troy was the only medium who could reach her father. Troy tells her that he sees a frog, Kermit the frog, but she gently rebuffs him. Now that Simeon has been exorcised, how can she know whether Troy's impressions are legitimate messages from the other side? Softly, the music of "A Summer Place" fills the air. Troy smiles.

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