Twilight Zone Tuesday – King Nine Will Not Return

King Nine Will Not Return

Capt. James Embry – Robert Cummings
Blake – Richard Lupino
Narrator – Rod Serling
Psychiatrist – Gene Lyons
Doctor – Paul Lambert
Nurse – Jenna McMahon


Welcome to season two of the Twilight Zone! I’m geekily excited about it because seasons two and three have a lot of great episodes and I can’t wait to share them and talk about them with you guys.


SERLING:
This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine. B-25 medium bomber, 12th Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed. Not to return on this day, or any other day.

Scattered out from the plane is debris and ammo, leading up to a man lying in the desert sand. He shakes himself awake and looks at the wreckage.

As Capt. Embry sweats and rubs his face we get an internal monologue. He remembers the plane getting hit, falling behind and bellying in. He remembers his crew and goes to look in the plane. They don’t seem to be there and he wonders where they have gone. Did they bail out? Did he order them to bail out? No. He didn’t. They all went down in the plane together. He begins to name them. He, himself is Captain James Embry. Blake the co-pilot, Kransky the radio operator and waist gunner, Jimenez, navigator. Connors was the tail gunner and Kline the upper turret gunner. He tries to think if there’s anyone he missed. I feel bad for those guys. With the size of that plane (if it’s accurate) it had to have been cramped as hell in there.

He climbs up on to the top of the plane and hops into the cockpit. On the side the name Pilot Capt. James Embry is stenciled. There’s also a large picture of a ‘King’ playing card, the King of Hearts. There are also three swastikas (representing three enemy planes shot down) and around 28 bombs, representing either 28 bombs dropped or (more likely) 28 successful runs. Embry fiddles with his pilot glasses and his pilot hat for a minute. Amazingly they’re still in the cockpit.

He calls for Blake and Jimenez. Which is a little weird. He;s still in the lane so unless they’re hiding in the instrument panel or under the tiny little seat I don’t think they’re in there, He crawls up into the tiny upper area, calling for the rest of them. Again, it should be pretty clear that they’re not in there. He’d be better off looking outside. He calls a few more times then begins discussing the situation with himself, trying to piece it together.

He repeats that they bellied in and assumes he must have been thrown from the plane and may have been out cold for hours. It strikes him again that the rest of the crew is nowhere to be found. I will say the actor does a fair job with his facial expressions during the voice-overs. He doesn’t overdo them.

He realizes that they didn’t jump out because their chutes are all there. He says that they aren’t dead but if they walked away why didn’t they take him? At the very least I would think that they would have pulled him into the shade. He calls for them all, still inside the plane. Dude! They’re not in there!

As he calls their names a radio statics into life. He listens for a moment but hears nothing but static. He calls a Mayday from the King Nine to Firefly. Presumably base or another bomber in the area. There is no response, though. Just more static. He starts to get up quickly but calms himself. At least he’s being smart and staying in the plane, out of the sun. He tells himself not to go off half-cocked (that sounds painful). There must be reasons. They’re gone, he’s alone but there must be a logical reason behind it, behind everything. He just has to keep cool and think about it rationally. His main thought is for his crew. He’s the leader, it’s his responsibility to keep them safe and alive as far as it is in his power. He’s got to get them out of it. Well, seems like that’s accomplished at least. They are not there, thus, they are out of it. I may be poking fun a bit but I do believe that is the sign of a good leader. The desire to treat those under you well. And if you’re successful, they will do the same for you. Unless they’re out and out asses. Then nothing can help that, unfortunately.

As Embry is thinking his leader thoughts he hears a ‘thump’ that sounds like it came from outside. Embry calls for Blake again and rushes outside only to find the source of the noise is a piece of the plane banging against the outer shell. He wanders about a bit until he finds his pilot cap. Thus equipped he starts to wander again but spots a canteen lying in the sand. Embry picks it up and reads the name on it – Kline.

Embry starts yelling/laughing at/for Kline. I honestly don’t know if he’s pleased or crazy. He tells Kline that he’s a stupid jerk for dropping his canteen. Then he calls Kline a “Bronx Cowboy” and tells him that he’s in the desert, he’s going to need water. I think I’ve decided on that he’s going a wee bit crazy. He goes on to say he still has to babysit them and it’s “strictly not funny” what they’re doing. He collapses on the sand and gives a manly little sniffle.

He goes to take a drink from the canteen but sees something that distracts him enough to where he lets the water pour all down his face. Grrrrr. We get to see what he’s looking at. It’s a guy sitting in the cockpit giving a weird-ass laugh and fully decked out in coat and hat and everything. Embry yells, “Blaaake!” so I’m guessing the guy is Blake. Embry staggers toward the plane. Blake still looks like a laughing bobble-head then disappears. Embry yells at him to come back, he feels responsible.

A little while later Embry is calling MayDay again, trying to contact Firefly. He starts to wonder to himself if this isn’t just some hallucination. He might be lying in the desert with a cracked skull and dying. He goes into a happier train of thought by thinking that this also might be a dream and he’ll wake up back at base. Then he starts wondering if he got insanely drunk and is maybe in actuality sitting in a bar with a pretty girl. Unless he drank absinthe I think I’ll dismiss this last theory.

He gets a bit giddy but sobers up quickly. He tells himself that he saw Blake sitting there and that was no hallucination. Hmm. In theory, if he is hallucinating, why wouldn’t the disappearing guy also be a hallucination. He says he saw Blake siting there and no one can tell him different. Well, that is true. Since no one is there then nobody can absolutely say  that he didn’t see Blake. He grabs his pilot glasses because now he’s in charge, dammit!

Which he proves by ambling over to a grassy knoll and yelling at his crew that isn’t there. He keeps saying that he’s responsible and they’re being jerks by being missing. As he plays King of the Mountain by himself he hears a soft clanking noise coming from another grassy knoll. There’s nothing there but a cross with Kline’s name on it. It looks cobbled together and says he died of injuries sustained in the crash. Above, Embry hears a noise and looks up to see modern jets fly overhead. He tells himself that they’re jets but then he’s confused. It’s 1943, how does he know what jets are?

He thinks that there’s no way of knowing but he does. He knows all about jet aircraft. Embry yells at the planes. Asking where are they going? What are they even doing there? He runs back to the plane asking Blake and Connors if they know aboutjet airplanes. I actually think he’s lost it now. He’s talking to them like they’re there. Embry tells the that they’ve got to get out of there but they can’t walk out. Nossir, no way they’re doing that. They’ll have to fly. Okey dokey, Embry. Good luck with that. He tries doing something with the front of the plane. I’m not sure if he’s trying to spin the prop or lift it. Either way, it’s not working. Then Embry starts to laugh hysterically at it and calls the plane an illusion.

He goes back and forth between hysterics and seriousness for a while. He thinks he’s either dead or knocked out somewhere. Or he’s back ina ward somewhere on base. Or he doesn’t exist either. Well, I will say this for him. he certainly covers every possible theory. He tells his crew to break silence, that they can even yell at him. Or (and this would be freaking creepy) they can “all spring out of the sand like jumping jacks and stand there laughing at him.” Oh. Kay. I think Capt. Embry has left the building.

He calls Kline’s name and sees his crew, standing there and laughing at him. Then they disappear. Jerks. Embry falls on his knees, begging to know what’s going on. Now I almost feel bad for making fun of him. Almost.

Anyways, we get a close up of his hand digging at the sand, which fades to a hand, clutching sheets. A medical doctor is telling a psychiatrist that the guy in the bed is James Embry, aged 41. He was walking by a newsstand and went into shock. They have a look-see at the headline that sent him almost catatonic. The headline reads “World War II Bomber Found Intact in Desert: B-25 Mitchell Lies 17 Years in Desert, No Clue as to the Fate of the Crew”. They give a rundown of Embry’s military record. Which is what it said earlier but also adds that there was some indication of psychological problems but that he was discharged before they could figure it out. Well, nice of them to follow up on the vet with psychological issues.

the psychiatrist says that the plane found was Embry’s plane. wait, didn’t the headline say that there was no clue as to the fate of the crew? The medical doc agrees that it was Embry’s plae and Embry’s crew. It took off for what was suposed to be a routine flight. Oh, ok. Embry had called in sick that day and someone else flew the mission for him. so, following this I’m guessing that not knowing the fate of his crew was slowly driving Embry nuts. Which, to tell the truth, it would drive me crazy, too.

Embry wakes up and the doctor tells him where he is and that he’ll be ok. Embry is perfectly calm now and says he had a crazy dream. Embry says he went back to the desert. The doctor tries to stop him but the psychiatrist wants to hear about the dream. Embry tells them all about it. He says that it’s his fault, he should have been on the plane. He says he chickened out. The psychiatrist tells him that there’s no way that Embry could have known what would happen. The psychiatrist reassures Embry that now that it’s out in the open and not bottled up inside anymore. Embry says a crazy part of his dream was that he saw jets. This seems to bother the psychiatrist but if it was a dream I’m not sure why. Embry says it was crazy. 1943 in the African desert and there wee jets. Just as if he had gone back there today. Embry wants to know if that could be. Did he really go back? The psychiatrist assures him that if Embry went back it was only in his mind. The psychiatrist tells the doctor that Embry will be all right now. As they talk the nurse brings over Embry’s clothing. Tthe doctor tells her to just set them on the desk. As she does, Embry’s shoes tip over, spilling sand out of them. She calls their attention to it wondering what it could be. I know it’s supposed to call our attention to the sand but…really?! You don’t know what freaking sand looks like woman?! The psychiatrist comes over to grab a handful and let it run through his hand, which fades into an image of the sand falling on the nose of a plane. I will grant you that it’s a pretty cool shot and quite pretty but…but…but it came out of a guy’s shoe! And, if it did really happen, a sweaty shoe!

SERLING:
Enigma buried in the sand. A question mark with broken wings that lies in silent grace as a marker in a desert shrine. Odd how the real consorts with the shadows, how the present fuses with the past. How does it happen? The question is on file in the silent desert. And the answer? The answer is waiting for us in the Twilight Zone.


Even though I poked a bit of fun at the episode I do really like it. I like the sand kicked in the face of the overly smug psychiatrist. And it’s a good exploration of the survivor’s guilt people can suffer. Sometimes without even consciously realizing it. There’s also the throwaway line about Embry being discharged from the service with no follow-up, even though they suspected psychiatric issues.


Thanks for joining us this week and come back next week for another episode of Twilight Zone: The Man in the Bottle

Twilight Zone Tuesday – The Mighty Casey

The Mighty Casey

Mouth McGarry – Jack Warden
Dr. Stillman – Abraham Sofaer
Casey – Robert Sorrels
Beasely – Alan Dexter
Monk – Don Kelly
Team Doctor – Jonathan Hole
Commissioner – Rusty Lane


Ah, Casey at Bat. A lovely little ro-bit story. There are no Trigger Warnings except sarcasm and disinterest. It’s not a favorite.

SERLING:
What you’re looking at is a ghost once alive but now deceased. Once upon a time it was a baseball stadium that housed a major-league baseball club known as the Hoboken Zephyrs. Now it houses nothing but memories and a wind that stirs in the high grass. of what was once an outfield. A wind that bears a faint, ghostly resemblance to the roar of a crowd that once sat here. We’re back in time now, when the Hoboken Zephyrs were still a part of the National League and this mausoleum of memories was an honest-to-Pete stadium. But since this is strictly a story of make-believe, it has to start this way.
Once upon a time, in Hoboken New Jersey, it was tryout day. And though he’s not yet on the field you’re about to meet a most unusual fellow. A left-handed pitcher named Casey.

This has been one of the longest Serling intro so far, I believe. If he thought baseball was dying then, he should see it nowadays. Anywho, as he’s talking we see a series of scenes of the deserted stadium that switches to it’s active past, betokened by a sign reading “Hoboken Zephyrs Try-outs Today”. I think the Zephyrs is an odd name for a baseball team. There are various men practicing. It doesn’t really look like a full team’s worth to me. they’re doing their jumping jacks out of sync and the pitcher id limping. Although I don’t see why that should matter. As far as I know, pitchers don’t run. But what do I know? I don’t do baseball. If anyone out there knows, feel free to correct me.

The manager doesn’t look too thrilled with this season’s batch of recruits. The coach walks over to the dugout to talk with a gentleman in a suit (the manager, perhaps?). He sarcastically comments that it’s a good looking bunch of boys. The suit wants to know what the coach expects when he puts up a sign for tryouts for a team that’s 31 games down. The coach snarks back that these are the boys the suit lines up. The coach asks the suit that as general manager can’t he get some better recruits? The GM snarks back that the coach wouldn’t know what to do with them because he’s 20 games out of fourth place. I don’t like to choose sides but it does seem like a good coach should be able to make at least passable players out of bad ones.

The GM goes on to say that the only thing that distinguishes their team is that their coach has the biggest mouth in two leagues. The GM also points out none too gently that if the Zephyrs win one game they have to call it a streak and Coach Mouth McGarry had better remember that come contract time. They watch the pitcher with the stiff leg. Mr. Mouth says he pitched one inning and only allowed six runs. Mouth snarkily says that makes him their most valuable player. Wow. Aren’t you nice. Making fun of a pitcher who’s still out there trying to pitch. Jerk.

The phone rings in the dugout and the GM answers it, “Dugout, yeah.” Um, there’s only one phone there. If it got called, chances are that the other party probably knows they’re calling the dugout. The GM asks Coach Mouth if he wants to look at a pitcher. Coach Mouth says he’s so desperate that he’d even consider the GM for pitcher. The GM says sure to whoever’s on the phone. After the GM hangs up he tells Coach Mouth that the new pitcher is a lefty. Coach Mouth doesn’t really care. As long as he has more than one arm and less than four he’ll look at him. Um, a person can pitch with one arm, you ass. And wouldn’t four arms possibly make him a better pitcher?

Coach Mouth yells at Monk in the catcher’s position that they’re going to look at a new pitcher so give Fletcher a rest for a bit and catch to the new guy for a bit. Couldn’t he just let Fletcher know himself? The GM wants to know if Coach Mouth has the line-up for the night. Mouth says he’ll let him know, he’s working on it. He tells the guy leading the jumping jacks to quit before the guy on the end passes out. Maybe if they did them more often his players might be in better shape. Yeah, I’m thinking Coach Mouth isn’t a very good coach. Mouth goes to get a drink of water when he hears a voice call his name. He turns around and looks startled.

Coach Mouth turns around to see a little man in glasses. Coach Mouth wants to know what the gag is. Because, Cthulhu knows, that a small guy in glasses can’t possibly play baseball. The GM walks off and Coach Mouth yells after him that it’s a crappy joke (paraphrasing a bit). The man introduces himself as Dr. Stillman and says that he’s not the pitcher. Although he has thrown a few balls in his time, before the war. Coach Mouth still decides to be a raging bag of penises and asks what war? Insinuating that Dr. Stillman is ancient, when he only looks maybe five or ten years older than the coach. A tall blond guy walks up and Dr. Stillman introduces him as Casey, the tryout pitcher. Someone hits a foul ball and Casey watches it until it bounces off his head. Coach Mouth  makes an “Ouch!” face but it doesn’t seem to bother Casey all that much.

Dr. Stillman introduces Casey and The Mouth. Although apparently I’ve  been wrong, Mouth is apparently the Manager, not the Coach. So who in the heck is the Coach? Or are they the same thing? Either way, I’m still calling him Coach Mouth. Casey shakes Mouth’s hand. Dr. Stillwell has to correct him on which hand to use. Apparently Casey has a strong grip as Coach Mouth grimaces. Dr. Stillwell seems to be taking a bit of pleasure in Coach Mouth’s discomfort. Finally he tells Casey to let go of Coach Mouth’s hand.

Coach Mouth says the guy out on the field with the big mitt and he’s the catcher. He tells Casey to go out and throw a few balls to him. Which strikes (heh heh, get it? Strikes? I’m sorry.) me as odd. If Casey is there to try out as a pitcher it seems reasonable that he would already know the rules of the game. Unless Coach Mouth is making assumptions again and figures that because the guy is big and strong he must have a toddler brain. Casey politely tells “Mr. McGarry” thank you and starts to head off. Dr. Stillwell reminds Casey to put on his hat.

Coach Mouth seems entranced by Casey and walks by a guy still doing jumping jacks. Coach Mouth tells him to “knock it off, he sees him.” They watch Casey wind up for a pitch. Coach Mouth asks Dr. Stillwell if he’s Casey’s father. The doctor says oh, no. Casey doesn’t have a father.He’s Casey’s creator. That catches Coach Mouth’s attention for a second but then goes back to watching Casey. And how freaking long is Casey taking to wind up? Coach Mouth asks how old Casey is. Dr. Stillwell says that’s hard to answer. Casey has only been in existence for three weeks but he has the mind and body of a twenty-two year old. Dr. Stillwell says he created and built Casey and shows Coach Mouth the blueprints. Coach Mouth clearly doesn’t believe him and talks to the sky, asking why He’s always picking on him.

Casey throws his fast ball and it leaves the glove and ball smoking. Then he throws his curve. We don’t get to see it but it’s apparently very curvy judging by the way the Coach and Dr.’s heads are moving. The coach starts wiping his face down with a towel that he pulled from nowhere. He tells the doctor to wait there and goes to stand behind the catcher. He has Casey throw him a fast one and a slow one. Monk is super-excited, telling Coach Mouth that Casey’s the best pitcher that he’s caught in a long time and oh my god did you see him! Coach Mouth says yeah, he saw him and stuffs his face-sweaty towel in Monk’s mask. Ew. He tells Monk to go take a shower. Well, yeah. You just shoved a sweaty towel in his face. I’d go shower, too.

Coach Mouth tries to play it cool by saying that Casey’s rough but they’ll give him a try. Dr. Stillwell  tells Coach Mouth that Casey’s a robot. Coach Mouth tells Dr. Stillwell to never say that. They’ll just keep it in the family. Never mention the word “r-o-b-b-o-t-t”. Coach calls Casey over and tells him that he’s rough but they’ll work it out. Coach is such a nice guy that he tells Casey he wants to help young ballplayers then gives Casey a friendly tap on the shoulder that hurts his hand. He tells Casey to go ahead and change is clothes. Casey just stares at Coach so Coach asks the doctor if Casey wears clothes. The doctor says of course. He tells Casey to hit the showers (is that a good idea, if he’s a robot?). Casey just stares and blinks at him. The coach suggests the doctor check him out. The doctor agrees and Casey and Dr. Stillwell leave the field. Coach Mouth watches them and looks very excited.

Coach runs to the dugout phone and calls the GM, telling him to draw up a contract right away. Coach is still rubbing his hand from his handshake with Casey. He tells the GM to hurry down there with a contract, he wants the GM to shake hands with their new ace pitcher. Then he hangs up and has a little daydream about their pennant flying high.

At the game everyone’s excited. Monk asks Casey if he’s got the signals down and Coach Mouth tells Casey not to be nervous. Casey doesn’t know what nervous means so the Coach explains. Uh, wouldn’t it be better to just leave him alone? Why try to make him nervous? Dr. Stillwell asks what team they’re playing. Coach tells him it’s the Giants and he’d love to beat them. He’d love to beat any team for that matter.

Coach wants to know what’s in it for the doctor. Dr. Stillwell says that it’s purely scientific. He sees Casey as superhuman and wants to prove it. Um, ok? He’s not human at all but whatever. He goes on to say that he once built a home economist who was a wonderful cook. The poor doctor gained 48 pounds before he dismantled her. And I’m officially disgusted. He figured with Casey’s speed and stamina that he’d be a great pitcher so he wants to have it proven in a field of competition. The coach doesn’t seem to be paying much attention even though he’s the one who asked. As an acid test the doctor wants Casey to pitch in the worst team around. The Zephyrs. This offends Coach Mouth a bit and he tells the doctor he’s got a lot of class. I wouldn’t be talking if I were you. You’re the same guy who was making fun of an injured player (who presumably got the axe when you signed Casey) and shoved a sweaty towel in a guy’s face. You don’t get to be the arbiter of class.

We get a nice montage of how awesome Casey is making the team and how much they’re winning. In one of the games though, Casey gets conked on the head by a ball. For some reason the team doctor is checking Casey out, not his creator. The team doctor tells them that there’s no concussion and no fracture. Of course not, he’s a freaking robot! Coach is happy that Casey is fine because if not there goes the winning and the pennant. The GM throws in that it would also be the end of Coach’s career, which bums him out.

The team doctor says he always wondered how Casey could throw the ball so fast. He’s checking Casey’s pulse and trails off when he doesn’t find one. He checks out Casey’s heart with the stethoscope but still doesn’t find one. Then he stethoscopes Casey’s stomach and tells him to cough. Casey does and it sounds a little mechanical. The Coach comes over and wants to know what’s wrong. The team doctor says nothing, really, , just Casey doesn’t have a heartbeat and doesn’t seem to be alive. Beaseley wants to know what Mouth is trying to pull. Mouth protests and Dr. Stillwell tells the team doctor that they need to talk.

Dr. Stillwell tells the team doctor that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for Casey not having a heart. He doesn’t have a heart, he’s a robot. The team doctor says he’ll have to notify the  Baseball Commissioner. The GM looks worried and the coach looks bummed. Aw, there goes his pennant. I think the doctor’s right. Having a robot is cheating. The coach tells Casey to move over. Then he grabs a random pill from the table and washes it down with what looks like brandy or something.

The Commissioner is reading from the rule book. Article Whatever, Blah Blah Blah Paragraph: “A baseball team shall consist of nine men.” Men. End of story. Casey’s banned. The GM tries to argue with him, saying that for all intents and purposes Casey is a man. He tells Casey to talk to the man and tell him about himself. Casey wants to know what he should say. The Coach also throws in that Casey is smarter than most of the “mutton-heads” on his team. The Commissioner insists that Casey isn’t human. The GM says he’s got arms and legs and a face and he talks. What more does the Commissioner want. The Commissioner says that Casey doesn’t have a heart. How can he be human if he doesn’t have a heart. Coach points out that Beasely doesn’t have a heart but he owns 40% of the club.

Dr. Stillwell has been largely quiet until now but he pops up and says, since the lack of heart seems to be the problem, what if they gave him a heart? Dr. Stillwell says that he can operate and give Casey a heart. The Commissioner asks Casey if he wants to play. Coach Mouth answers for him and says of course he does! And shakes Casey’s arm around a bit. Casey just looks at him like, “Don’t touch me.”

The Commissioner asks the doctor if he would classify Casey as human if he had a heart. What is he? The freaking Tin Man? The doctor says yes and the Commissioner says that with a heart he will let Casey play. Isn’t that still a little unfair? He is still a robot with super-human skills. The Commissioner says that the other clubs are going to scream blue murder. I don’t blame them. They’re cheating. In fact, if I were the Commissioner, I would discount all of their previous games. But that’s just me. Beaseley and the coach are thrilled because the Tin Man will get a heart and the coach is still holding Casey’s arm. Casey looks like he could really care less.

Everyone’s waiting in the locker room, suited up for the game. Beaseley is trying to ring Dr. Stillman’s house but he’s not getting an answer. The coach gives the team the line-up because they’ve got to start with or without Casey. Then, oh my god, he gives them the “Do it for Casey!” speech. Cheese overload. Monk starts to sniffle and hold a handkerchief to his eyes. I’m honestly confused. Now I have to wonder if the writers were having a little poke at ‘sports’ movies with this speech. It just seems so snarky.

In the middle of his very moving “ghost in the dugout” speech, Casey and the doctor walk in. Coach Mouth doesn’t even notice. He says hi to Casey and goes on with his “win one for Casey” speech. Casey smiles at him. When Coach Mouth finally realizes that Casey’s there he asks how about it? Casey smiles and opens his suit jacket so Coach Mouth can hear.

Casey’s very happy and he’s very cute when he smiles. He says he feels “like togetherness”. Coach Mouth tells the guys to go and get out there. He hands Casey his suit and tells him to go suit up, number 7. Coach Mouth looks weird and repeats “togetherness”.

Out on the field, Casey winds up for a pitch and the batter hits a home run. It doesn’t seem to bother Casey any but Coach Mouth and Beaseley look upset. Apparently having a heart has ruined his pitching arm. For some reason. The Giants keep getting hit after hit off of Casey and Casey looks very pleased by it. I’m just going to take a guess that with his new heart he doesn’t want to make the other team feel bad. The Giants are 14 up at the end of the first.

After the game Coach Mouth wants an explanation. Aaand I was right. Casey just couldn’t hurt the other team’s feelings. Casey has compassion. That’s what happens when you give someone a heart that hasn’t been around long enough to understand competitiveness, ego or drive. Casey apologizes to Coach Mouth and says he couldn’t hurt the careers of the other guys. What about your own team? It just seems a bit uneven. You’d think if Casey were really concerned about everyone he’d have made it a tie between the teams.

Dr. Stillman has suggested that Casey go into social work because he wants to help people. Then he says goodbye and leaves. Coach Mouth feels very sorry for himself. Dr. Stillman slides Casey’s blueprint to him and says a memento might cheer him up. Coach Mouth picks them up and starts to look them over. Then he starts to laugh. He catches up with the doctor as he’s walking across the field. It’s actually a pretty cool overhead shot. But, unfairly, we don’t get to see what he was laughing about.

SERLING:
Once upon a time there was a major league baseball team called the Hoboken Zephyrs, who, during the last year of their existence, wound up in last place and shortly thereafter wound up in oblivion. There’s a rumour, unsubstantiated of course, that a manager named McGarry took them to the west coast and wound up with several pennants and a couple of world championships. This team had a pitching staff that made history. Of course, none of them smiled very much, but it happens to be a fact that they pitched like nothing human. And if you’re interested as to where these gentlemen came from, you might check under “B” for baseball in the Twilight Zone.


Well, it makes me wonder how easy they were to make if an ass like Coach Mouth was able to make a team of them. I also realized that Coach Mouth also played Corry on the Twilight Zone episode ‘The Lonely’. He was a jerk on that one, also. The next episode is a good one with a very meta twist to it.


Thanks for joining us and come back for next week’s episode: A World of His Own

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Mr. Bevis

Mr. Bevis


James B.W. Bevis – Orson Bean
J. Hardy Hempstead – Henry Jones
Mr. Peckinpaugh – Charles Lane
Margaret – Florence McMichael

Narrator: Rod Serling


I will warn you now, the snark will probably be strong in this one so if it’s one of your favorite episodes you may want to avert your eyes now.

Trigger Warnings: A quite racist clock on Mr. Bevis’ desk that he seems quite fond of.


Twilight Zone has a new intro. It opens with a close-up of an eye, with a lot of mascara. The pupil fades into a sun and a black bar slowly creeps into the scene. The title screen comes up, fades into stars and pans down into the episode. So it’s a bit shorter, that’s good. As it plays Rod Serling narrates:

“You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, The Twilight Zone.”


As it pans down we hear organ grinder music. Kids are playing in the street together. They all gather around the organ grinder and the monkey. In the apartment above there’s a guy sipping a cup of coffee or tea. His house is cluttered with various toys and whatnot. I really like the Viking-looking ship and the shark jaws. It’s so cluttered that he has to step over things to get ready for work. He takes his coat down from a gazelle skull, which is pretty freaking awesome looking.

SERLING:
In the parlance of the 20th century this is an oddball. His name is James B.W. Bevis and his tastes lean toward stuffed animals, zither music, professional football, Charles Dickens, moose heads, carnivals, dogs, children, and young ladies. Mr. Bevis is accident-prone, a little vague, a little discomboomerated with a life that possesses all the security of a floating crap game. But this can be said of our Mr. Bevis – without him, without his warmth, without his kindness, the world would be a considerably poorer place. Albeit a little saner.

Kind of makes you wonder if he collects children and young ladies. Mr. Bevis heads out the door but then darts back in to leave his teacup on the sofa cushion. With the cup still half full. Which is disgusting. As he goes downstairs he literally runs into a third of the things he’s fond of. first he runs into a puppy, then a young lady who tells him good morning, and a boy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he walked outside and into a carnival.

Mr. Bevis is eyeballing the banister and the young boy tells him to go for it. Bevis slides down it backwards, shooting off the end (and incurring a pretty wicked looking hit to the goods). He tumbles out of the door and down the front steps of the building. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you slide down a banister facing forward. And if there’s any kind of finial or decoration at the end I recommend the gentlemen not try it at all unless you’re wearing a cup. The boy covers his eyes but Mr. Bevis is grinning and perfectly fine.

He lands at the feet of a thin, little woman who does not look happy with him. She stares him down until he runs away to throw the football for the kids. Dang, it was football, not a carnival. A fruit vendor passing by tosses him an apple and says hi to Mr. Bevis. We get it. Mr. Bevis is beloved by the whole neighborhood.

SERLING:
James B.W. Bevis is a fixture in his own private, optimistic, hopeful little world. A world which has ceased being surprised by him.

Bevis stops to wipe a bit of dirt off of his fender. As he goes to get into his car he sees a ticket under his windshield wiper. He gives a very exaggerated “Aw, darn it” face then whistles with his fingers. I could never do that. All of the neighborhood kids come running to help Bevis get his car off to a running start. He waves goodbye cheerfully as he leaves them in a cloud of exhaust. Bye, kids! Thanks for starting my car, have some black lung! I will give it credit for being a very diverse neighborhood at least. That’s a bit surprising for the time period.

SERLING:
James B.W Bevis, on whom Dame Fortune will shortly turn her back but not before she gives him a paste in the mouth. Mr. James B.W. Bevis, just one block away from the Twilight Zone.

We get an overview of a typing pool. Most of the desks are neat and tidy except for, you guessed it, Mr. Bevis’. Theres a bottle, a vase with flowers, a picture, a bull and a stuffed squirrel. There’s some other junk, too. There’s a banner of a smiling guy and the camera pans down to show the same guy but very unsmiling now. The boss tells one of the other workers to tell the gentleman that when he finally reports to work the boss wants to see him. He shakes his head again at the desk and goes back to his office. The acting in Twilight Zone is usually pretty decent but this episode smells strongly of ham.

Bevis comes in and, whaddya know? Everyone loves him here, too. The lady in the desk behind his tells him that Mr. Peckinpaugh wants to see him. Bevis goes to the boss’ office and all of the typing stops as they stare for a minute. They all lean forward to eavesdrop better. The boss tells Bevis that his book-keeping sucks, his desk is messy and Bevis keeps bringing phonograph records to work. Ironically he’s telling Bevis that his ‘eccentricities’ are distracting the office as they’re showing this lovely bit of kitsch.

Bevis also hires carolers to come in and serenade the office during it’s busiest hours. I think we’re supposed to find these traits charming but frankly, they would annoy me too. And having a dead squirrel on your desk is just gross. Apparently everyone knows he’s fired because as soon as Bevis comes out, some guy brings Bevis a box to clear his desk. He shakes his head at Bevis. Enough with the head shaking!

Margaret comes to commiserate and Bevis says it’s the sixth job he’s had this year. She offers to help him pack. Bevis picks up a wooden ship and says he was carving it for one of the kids. So, what? You have to stop because you got fired? It seems like he’d have more time to finish it. Bevis says the only job he’s held for more than six months was during the war, when he was in the Navy.

Bevis lugs out his box of stuff. It’s so big that it’s hard to see over. He tries to grab for the door handle of his car but it’s not there. A shiny new car accidentally caught bumpers with Bevis’ car and when it takes off it drags Bevis’ car to the middle of the intersection. Where it causes chaos. Fortunately the only car that’s flipped over or harmed is Bevis’. A cop strolls over and asks if the car belongs to Bevis. Bevis says it’s his and the cop asks if the car does that often. Bevis says it’s the first time as far as he knows. The cop gives him a head shake. One more shake of the head and I’m out of here. Bevis says he’ll call for a tow truck and then asks the cop if he wants to buy the car, it’s a ’24 Rickenbacker. What follows is kind of bizarre. The cop says he’s got his eye on a ’27 but wants to wait for the newer models. I feel like it’s just a joke that I’m not getting.

Bevis finally gets home with his big box of crap. On the way in he sees a box of other crap from his apartment. On his way up he passes his landlady carrying more of his stuff. She tells him that he’s been evicted. He’s six weeks behind in his rent. To be honest, I’ve never rented so I don’t know if this is reasonable or unreasonable. I think it’s supposed to make us feel bad for Real Life crushing this poor dreamer but I don’t.

After the eviction Bevis heads to the local bar. Maybe you should throw some of that whiskey money towards rent, there, Bevis. He sees a guy waving at him in the mirror behind the bar. The man gestures to Bevis to join him at his table. Bevis shrugs a “Why the hell not” and turns around to join him. But when he turns he sees that the table is empty. Startled, Bevis whips to the mirror The man is still there and gestures again for Bevis to join him. Bevis calls over the bartender and asks him what was in the drink. The bartender tells Bevis that he put everything in there but atomic energy. Bevis wants to know if that’s why he can see the other man in the mirror but not at the booth (I’m looking at the man in the mirror-yow!) The bartender asks Bevis who he sees. Bevis would be an excellent reviewer because he corrects the bartender’s grammar and tells him “Whom, objective case”. The man in the mirror agrees.

Bevis goes over to the table and start looking around it and under it. Bevis sits down with his drink on the table and the man pops into view saying, “We meet at last, Mr. Bevis.” Bevis says great, who the hell are you. The stranger corrects him and tells him that it’s “whom”. He introduces himself as J. Hardy Hempstead, Guardian Angel. We get a close-up of Bevis’ overly exaggerated confused face and it fades to black.

As the bartender walks up Bevis waves at the empty side of the table and introduces Hempstead. The bartender picks up the empty shot glass, sniffs it and says, “And a Happy Thanksgiving to you”. Man, they say some weird stuff in this one. Hempstead pops back into the booth after the bartender leaves. He lays it out for Bevis. Way back when an ancestor of Bevis’ performed a great act of courage and so was rewarded with a guardian angel for each of the descendants – currently it’s Mr. Bevis’ turn. He says that many Bevis’, under their care were famous explorers, members of the British Parliament, and Gunner Louis. Who was the first Marine to land at Nicaragua. Apparently that’s “Uncle Louie!”. Bevis says he’s going to close his eyes and when he opens them he wants Hempstead to be gone.

Hempstead says he’s not a delusion. He’s there to help Bevis with assistance by small, minor miracles. So where the hell were you when he was getting fired? A chandelier starts to very slowly descend over Bevis’ head. Hempstead snaps his fingers and it goes back to where it belongs. Then he says “Watched over. Get the picture?” Hempstead points out that Bevis had an uncomfortable time of it lately, getting fired from his job, yadda yadda. Bevis says that Mr. Peckinpaugh doesn’t like zither music. I don’t think I’ve ever heard zither music so I can’t say if it’s any good or not. Hempstead says they’ll go back to that morning and make it a little better. Bevis gets excited and says they can do that? Hempstead says of course, they’ll make some changes of course.

The first thing Hempstead changes are Bevis’ clothes from a loud checker pattern into a nice black suit. Bevis doesn’t like it, he says he looks like an undertaker. Hempstead walks through the door and for some reason Bevis thinks he can. Of course he runs into the door. Sooo funny.

Re-starting the day. Bevis goes downstairs and tries to pet the puppy but it growls at him. He says hello to the same young lady as earlier but she’s very cold to him. Bevis goes to slide down the banister but Hempstead says nu-uh. The land-lady is really nice to him, however. He tries to play football with the kids but they ignore him. He says hi to the fruit vendor and asks what about his apple. Tony tells him to bug off. He looks for his Rickenbacker but now he’s got a fancy new car. But Bevis liked his Rickenbacker. Dang it, he likes giving the neighborhood kids a face full of exhaust. Hempstead says that to have his new life Bevis has to give up his eccentricities. Although inviting the carolers to work did get Bevis some approval from “The Organizatiion’. Apparently God is the mafia.

They go to his work and Bevis says someone has cleared off his desk. Hempstead tells him no such thing and says “you’ll see” and teleports away. Bevis says hello to everyone but they ignore him. He asks Margaret where all of his stuff is but she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Mr. Peckinpaugh comes out beaming at Bevis and says that Bevis has just gotten a raise to ten dollars a week and that his work has been superb. Uhh, is that a good idea? To announce raises like that?

Bevis freaks out and runs away. Bevis doesn’t want a raise. He wants to go home and play football with the neighborhood kids. Hempstead says that’s not going to happen. Bevis leaves in the elevator. Hempstead asks Bevis to level with him and tell him what it is that Bevis really wants. Hempstead doesn’t ‘get’ Bevis. He’s used to Bevis’s with big dreams. He’s used to Big Bevis’ (heh heh). Bevis say he doesn’t want to seem ungrateful but he wants his old like. He goes into a long monologue about how his dreams are worth more than $10.00 a week.

So, Bevis goes back to his own life, fired, eviction and all. Little things start changing like a police officer going to give him a ticket for parking in front of the hydrant and the hydrant moves in front of another car. And that’s it. He makes plans to get another job and apartment and finish the model ship and I am so done with this episode. I’ll let Serling take it from here.

SERLING:
Mr. James B.W. Bevis, who believes in a magic all his own. The magic of a child’s smile, the magic of liking and being liked. The strange and wondrous mysticism that is the simple act of living. Mr. James B.W. Bevis, specie of 20th century male who has his own private and special Twilight Zone.


Ugh, this episode is so annoying. So, apparently, you can’t be a good person with a little bit of money and being responsible. Thank Cthulhu that the next episode is The After-Hours, which is an excellent episode.

Join us for next week’s episode: The After-Hours

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Passage for Trumpet

Passage for Trumpet

Joey Crown – Jack Klugman
Gabriel – John Anderson
Baron – Frank Wolff
Nan – Mary Webster
Truck Driver – James Flavin
Pawnshop Man – Ned Glass


Trigger Warnings: Thoughts of suicide, attempted (and partly successful) suicide.

A passage for self-pity might be a better title for this episode. Prepare for heavy snark incoming. I’m not in a humour to tolerate stupidity this Tuesday.

We hear the ubiquitous jazz music (what else did you expect with an episode entitled ‘Passage for Trumpet’?) It looks like we’re in a back alley with old signs and I really hope some old statues. Either that or there’s a ballerina frozen in place in the alley.

SERLING:
Joey Crown. Musician with an odd, intense face. Whose life is a quest for impossible things. Like flowers in concrete, or like trying to pluck a note of music out of the air and put it under a glass to treasure.

The music stops and Joey Crown grabs his trumpet out of it’s case and looks very nervously anxious. Some well-dressed people come out and look with uncomfortable disdain at Joey. The man who had been playing comes out soon after them to have a smoke in the alley. Joey squares his shoulders and seems to gather his courage to talk to the dapper man. The man, whose name is Baron, seems very glad to see Joey and shakes his hand vigorously. Joey says he brought along his baby (his horn and I long to make a rubbing your brass joke here but I’ll restrain myself) and wants to know if Baron needs a horn for the night. Baron looks a bit uncomfortable and tells Joey that he doesn’t need a horn that night. The last time Joey played for him the alcohol got in the way. Joey replies, “Psssh! Booze! Don’t remember what it tastes like! He’s way up on the wagon now!”

Baron doesn’t look like he believes him. Joey gets affronted and says he’s not an old coot. He acknowledges what booze does to him. But he’s not an old man and he and his trumpet have a lot of years left in them. Baron softens a bit. Joey flings an arm about Baron’s shoulders. He assures Baron that he wouldn’t throw his talent away on a bum habit. Joey rattles on, trying to convince Baron, telling him that when he plays he can make people cry. Which might sound weird but listening to certain music can affect me the same way. Except jazz. It’s one of the few musical genres I have no interest in. I don’t mean to slight those that do like it, everyone has their own taste.

Anyways, back to the story. Alas, as Baron sits down on a nearby crate Joey snatches up his case and a bottle of whiskey, Golden Delight, falls out and shatters on the ground. Baron looks disappointed and Joey looks ashamed. Baron says, “Don’t do it.” I’m not sure what he means, exactly. Don’t lie? Don’t go onstage? don’t be ashamed? Baron slips some money into Joey’s pocket, telling him it’s for when he had a magic horn. Harry James, Max Kaminski and Butterfield. Taking a quick tip-toe through the internet I find that these are actual, well-known jazz musicians. Baron tells Joey that he had a little of all their talent rolled into one. Joey traded it for some booze and got the crummy end of the stick. Baron wants to know why? What happened to him?

Joey says it’s because “he’s sad, because he’s nothing, because he lives and dies in a crummy one-roomer with dirty walls and cracked pipes.” So? Some people have it a lot worse. Clean your walls, fix your pipes. Sheesh.  He doesn’t have a girl, he’ll never be anybody. Since he’s decently good looking I’m thinking his attitude is probably what keeps the ladies away. He goes on to say that the horn is half of him. He can’t even talk to people because the horn is half his language. But when he’s drunk, oh boy, he doesn’t see the crummy apartment and doesn’t see the hours going by because then he’s Gabriel with the horn. Baron is exceedingly patient throughout this speech. Joey puts his trumpet to his lips. I think the actor screws up but I don’t play the trumpet so I’m not really sure. At first he puts the whole mouthpiece in his mouth, then takes it out. I only played the flute (for one year and very, very badly, sadly my dreams of being the next Ian Anderson were crushed). So i thought maybe it’s something players do to wet the mouthpiece.

Anyways, Joey goes on to say that when he’s drinking he’s Gabriel with his golden horn. When he puts the trumpet to his lips, it comes out jewels, a symphony, the smell of fresh flowers in the summer. Beauty. I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for his neighbors. But only when he’s drunk. Joey wanders off and Baron looks like he feels very sorry for him. He doesn’t wander very far, in fact, I can’t see that he’d really be even out of sight of Baron. Joey throws a bit of a fit and chucks his case down, settling himself down in the scaffolding. Then he calls himself a plain, nothing, nobody. He decides to let out his misery in a melancholy trumpet riff. As little as jazz thrills me (although I do like the trumpet in some songs, Johnny Cash’s ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ has some excellent horns in it) I do get the reason behind his doing so. As the great philosopher Jem says, music is magic. And weirdly, when I’m bummed or annoyed, depressing music actually cheers me up. Either that or metal. Whichever.

As Rod talks, Joey continues to play. It does look like he’s actually playing. So maybe I was wrong earlier.

SERLING:
Joey Crown. Musician with an odd, intense face. Who, in a moment, will try to leave the Earth and discover the middle ground. The place we call…the Twilight Zone.

Joey wanders into a pawn shop and sets his trumpet down on the counter. The pawn shop guy greets him by name and Joey calls him Nate so I’m guessing that this isn’t the first time Joey’s pawned something. Joey says that this time he’s selling the trumpet. Nate offers him eight and a half for it. Joey starts to argue but says fine. Eight and a half. Nate says he’d give more but he has enough instruments there to provide two sousa bands and he needs another trumpet like he needs his taxes raised. Which, if Joey weren’t so caught up in his own misery, should make him think that he’s not the only one with unfulfilled dreams of music. Joey takes out the trumpet to touch it a bit more before he sells it. Why bother selling it? He obviously loves it, he’s not getting much money for it so he might as well keep it. He does the mouth thing on it again so now I’m guessing it is actually something trumpet players do. Any of you guys know?

Joey took his newfound wealth to a bar. He bows to a lady walking by but when she doesn’t pay him any attention he changes it to a hand gesture that’s not quite a flip-off but close. Joey walks over to the pawn shop, which looks like it’s right next door to the bar, so Joey didn’t go far. He watches as Nate puts his trumpet in the window with a price tag of $25.00. A far cry from the eight bucks he paid for it. Joey taps on the window to let Nate know that he sees him. Nate has the good grace to look embarrassed and shrugs and tells Joey that he won’t get that price for it that quickly. Nate says he’s got an overhead that he has to meet and that guys like Joey wouldn’t understand that. They don’t have anyone to be responsible for. Which is generally how pawn shops work so you’d think that Joey would know that. Joey agrees with himself that he has no responsibilities, no nothing.

As he stumbles from the window he leans against a post for a minute, chewing on his nail. Weirdly the light looks as though it’s turned from night to day. He watches a truck hauling down the road and at the last minute throws himself in front of it. Great. Traumatize the driver because you want out. Don’t worry, I’m not going off too much here but that’s a pretty crappy thing to do, since now the driver will feel guilty about hitting him.

Joey bounces off the hood and back onto the sidewalk. There’s a very nice shot of Joey’s face reflected in the pawn shop window. It’s night again and Joey wakes up and gets up. There’s only one person around and that’s a police officer, talking on an emergency telephone. When he gets off the phone Joey talks to the officer and tell him that he’s not a real drunk, just ask the officer who’s normally there, Officer Flaherty. The officer is making notes in a notebook and doesn’t appear to hear him.

Joey walks off, asking a passer-by for a light but the passer-by ignores him. Hmm, wonder what’s going on? A guy is combing his hair in the reflection of a window and Joey asks him for a light. The Comber ignores him, too. He asks the ticket cashier at a theater if the movies are any good. He sounds like he’s getting a bit frustrated now. He says he’s “not a masher” but he knows the girl that usually works there. a girl named Gracie. Can someone tell me what “masher” or “mashing” means? I also came across it in Robert W. Chambers’ ‘The Yellow Sign’, in which a young lady says that she “made a mash”. The only thing I could think of was a flirter or flirtation?

He keeps talking to the lady. It sounds like he’s trying to convince other people (and himself) that it was an ‘accident’ not attempted suicide. She continues to ignore him. He tells her that she could at least be courteous. He yells at her to look at him. It’s finally dawning on him that it might have actually been successful rather than an attempt. Although I always had an issue with the phrase “successful suicide”.

He looks at the window the Comber was looking into but does not see a reflection. So he’s either dead or he’s a vampire. He starts getting a little worried and falls back on the favored Twilight Zone fallback of “someone’s pulling a gag”. I truly believe you could make a drinking game out of how many times that phrase is used. He tries talking to the girl again and then back to the window/mirror. He sees a man reflected behind him and runs over to him. Joey again asks for a light and is relieved when the guy pulls out a matchbook. Joey thinks that he’s finally heard but the joke’s on him. The guy lights his own cigarette and walks on. I always said that would be hell. Cigarettes a-plenty but nothing to light them with.

Joey’s cigarette falls from his mouth as the truth finally sinks in that he’s dead. He yells to some people coming out of the theater that the truck worked after all. As a woman comes up to purchase a ticket he tells her that he’s haunting her – Boogee booggee (really, that’s exactly what he does). I’m not sure if he’s freaking out about being dead or enjoying it. He says that at last in his short life he was successful at something.

He walks back into the bar and asks the bartender if Charlie’s off. Then he yells if anyone hears or sees him. He’s looking a bit bored with his newfound ghosthood. He says he used to come in there a lot but he doesn’t know any of them and they surely wouldn’t have noticed him. It does strike me odd that everyone’s different. Shouldn’t they be the same people? And if they’re afterlife people shouldn’t they see him? Even though he’s a ghost and nobody sees or hears him, he’s able to pick up the bottle of Golden Delight whiskey and pour himself a drink. Without the bartender noticing a floating bottle right in front of his face. I don’t know why but I feel like there’s something to the name of the whiskey, Golden Delight, that makes me think it’s not a random name but for the life of me I can’t pin down what it could be referencing.

The bartender is so studiously looking away from Joey that it looks a bit unnatural. I’d think that he’d glance in his direction once by accident, even if he doesn’t see him. And I don’t know what the bartender is doing behind the bar but the hand motions look…odd.

Joey says Charlie was a really nice guy and would sometimes give him a drink on the house. He also went out and got an old Tommy Dorsey record from way back, when Joey was playing with him. On that same record was a long passage of Joey playing the trumpet, solo. Charlie ordered it just for him and put it on the jukebox. Charlie does seem like a very nice guy. After cuddling the jukebox a bit more, Joey wanders back to the club from earlier.

As he’s checking out a blonde who apparently went outside to take two puffs of a cigarette and go back in, he hears some soulful horn music from somewhere nearby. It draws Joey like a magnet and he soon finds the player. He watches, enraptured as the player (who’s half in shadow) plays. When he stops, Joey begs him to continue, it’s so beautiful. The player says thank you. Joey gets all excited because the Mysterious Trumpet Player heard him. Joey asks him if he’s a ghost, too, and the player laughs and says “not really”.

I know it’s not, nor is it supposed to be, but damn. The Mysterious Trumpet Player looks like Abraham Lincoln. Joey says he is, he stepped in front of a rather large truck that morning so he’s not fit for “The House”. It doesn’t seem to trouble him much. Abe Lincoln asks Joey, by name, if he’d like to blow on his trumpet for a bit. I…will say nothing here. Either way, is that normal because I know how wet mouthpieces get (this is killing me) and it seems a little icky to me to share a mouthpiece. Joey catches that the man called him by name. The Player replies that yes, he knows Joey, has known him for quite some time. Joey says they’ve never been introduced. The Player says that’s true but he does know him, Joey plays a pretty good trumpet. He says he should know, he’s a pretty good expert on trumpets. Joey says The Player is no slouch. He tells him to go ahead. Joey plays a bit (I notice he doesn’t stick it in his mouth, though). The Mysterious Player watches with pleasure.

Joey wants to know how The Mysterious Player knows him. He’s not a ghost, and not dead. The man replies no, he’s not dead. And neither is Joey. This strikes Joey and he doesn’t look particularly pleased about it. The player says nope, by no means. Joey wants to know why the other people didn’t see him. The Mysterious Player says that they are ghosts. They just don’t know it. Sometimes they have to work it that way to make it easier. They let them go on in a life that they’re familiar with.

Joey says he stepped off the curb and the player says yes, he did. Joey’s in a kind of limbo. Neither here nor there. The Mysterious Player asks which Joey prefers? Joey mulls over the question. He says he always felt that he was getting dealt from the bottom but then says that maybe he just forgot how much there was for him. And maybe he forgot about how much he loved playing the trumpet and going to Charlie’s and talking to people and movies. He says he never won a beauty contest but he had friends. Good friends. as evidenced by Baron, earlier. And, really, I do think he’s rather good looking. Maybe not dazzling eye candy but handsome. Twilight Zone must think so, too. This guy shows up on a lot of them.

Joey says somewhere along the line he forgot about all of the good things. Just forgot. I think a lot of people do, myself included. The Mysterious Player says that Joey has a choice. Joey looks excited at this. He says if he really has a choice then he wants to go back. The Mysterious Player says, ok, you go back, then. He tells him no more stepping off of curbs. Impressing upon him that this is his choice and will be the only chance. Sometimes life is sweet and sometimes it’s sour and goes down hard. Since I like sour stuff I think I’d compare it more to a rock being shoved down your throat and being kicked in the gut while you’re down. But hey, that’s just me.

Mysterious Player tells Joey that he’s got a good talent. To make music, to move people. To make them want to laugh, to cry, to tap their feet, dance. It’s an exceptional talent. I’ve got to agree with him. Any art form is a true talent and shouldn’t be slighted. Drawing, painting, music, computer graphics, all of them. He takes back his trumpet and tells Joey not to waste his talent. He says he’ll see Joey around and walks off.

Joey yells after him to “Wait! I didn’t get your name!” The man with the trumpet yells back that his name is Gabe, short for Gabriel.

Joey runs after him and ends up in front of the pawn shop. He hears tires screeching and a scream and turns to look. Suddenly he’s on the sidewalk, with the man from the truck leaning over him. The guy says he’s sorry, he didn’t see him, Joey just stepped right out in front of him. Joey’s lucky he only got grazed a bit. Joey says it’s ok, no harm done. The truck driver says he hasn’t had an accident in fourteen years and he’d be much obliged if Joey didn’t call any ambulance or insurance companies or anything. He thanks Joey for being a pal and shoves some money in his hand. Well, since Joey deliberately stepped in front of the truck it is the least he could do.

Joey looks at the money in his hand and runs into the pawn shop to reclaim his property. Later he’s playing on the rooftop of an apartment building, presumably the one with his crummy room with the dirty walls. A lady appears out of nowhere and compliments Joey’s playing. Joey tells her that he gave it up this morning but now he’s taking it back. She tells him that she just moved in. Joey tells him her name and she surprises him by asking him to play some more. He says he’ll play whatever she wants for as long as she wants him to. He tells her it’s a pretty nice city. The lady asks if maybe he can show her around. Methinks Joey’s gonna get a girlfriend. Maybe he’ll clean his walls if he’s got a lady friend. He starts telling her all about the cool things he can show her. We leave with him excitedly talking to the lady and pretty assured that things will be looking up for Joey.

SERLING:
Joey Crown, who makes music and who discovered something about life. That it can be rich and rewarding and full of beauty, just like the music he played. If a person would only pause to look and to listen…Joey Crown, who got his clue in the Twilight Zone.


Another Serling lesson about slowing down and smelling the roses. At least it’s not an escaping to the past episode. Not to sound annoying but this episode does have a pint. Life’s just a tad too short to be too ‘cool’ to not enjoy stuff.


Join us next week for yet another life lesson in being happy with what you are and/or have: Mr. Bevis

Twilight Zone Tuesday – The Chaser

The Chaser

Professor A. Daemon – John McIntire
Leila – Patricia Barrymore
Roger Shackleforth – George Grizzard
Homburg – J. Pat O’Malley


I will warn you right now, this is a fairly skeevy episode. Just about anything to do with love potions is, really. Anyways, off we go.

There’s a line forming to use something rare and hardly ever seen anymore…a payphone. A semi-young man is tying up the line listening to a busy signal. A man rushes into the diner, asking for the telephone. He sees the line but his is a really important call so he bypasses it with a hand wave.The lady at the head of the line gives him a look that sends him to the back of the line. Even though he’s only been there a moment and has no idea what’s going on he calls it ‘madness’ to wait for the phone. For all he knows the guy on the phone just got there. The man on the phone hangs up and begins dialing again. This sends the newcomer from a snit into a perfect tizzy. It’s simply outrageous that he’s making another call! The lady at the end says it’s the man’s fifth call. He doesn’t even talk. Just dials and hangs up. Then she says, “Maybe he’s got a dialect!” Uhh, ok?

SERLING:
Mr. Roger Shackleforth. Age, youthful 20’s. Occupation? Being in love. Not just in love but madly, passionately, illogically, miserably, all-consumingly in love with a young woman named Leila who has a vague recollection of his face and even less than a passing interest. In a moment you’ll see a switch because Mr. Roger Shackleforth, a young gentleman so much in love, will take a short but very meaningful journey into the Twilight Zone.

The newcomer is in a dreadful hurry and buys the young lady’s place in line for a buck. The same with the man before her. He tries to buy the lady’s top of the line but she’s not so cheap. She wants two dollars for her place in line because why should first place be the same as third? She has a point. She gets her two dollars so now the only thing between him and the precious phone is Shackleforth, still listening to the dial tone.

Finally the young woman, whom I can only assume is Leila, picks up the phone. She’s attractive and really dressed up for lounging about in bed. She was clearly hoping for someone more interesting because when Shackleforth announces himself she loses all interest. He asks if he can come over and she says no. She looks a mess and can’t see anyone. Well, we know she’s lying but Shackleforth blows that off and says he must see her. Furiously, fiercely must see her. Dude. Take a cold shower. She says it’s impossible and when he says he loves her she tells him to stop this. He’s acting like a baby. I agree. He’s one restraining order away from stalking her. Although I’m not sure if they even had those back then. I will once again ask you, dear readers, to enlighten my ignorance.

He begs again to see her and then begs her to say something, anything. She says she’ll say something: “Why doesn’t he go and take a flying jump at the moon?” and hangs up. As soon as it’s clear that Shackleforth has hung up the newcomer shoves his way into the booth and deftly squeezes Shackleforth out. Shackleforth is still clutching the phone. He insists that he’s got to call leila back. She hung up on him so he has to make sure that she isn’t sore. Take. A. Hint. The newcomer tells Shackleforth that he heard it all through the door and his problem can’t be solved on the phone. Then he hands Shackleforth a card and tells him to go and see that man. If Shackleforth goes to see the man on the card, all his problems will be solved before the day is over.

Shackleforth looks at the card. He must have taken the man’s advice because the next time we see Shackleforth he’s in front of a rather large looking house. The name on the door reads: Professor A. Daemon. I’m sure this will end well. He rings the doorbell and the door swings open on it’s own. It reveals a dark room with wooden panel doors. The slide open of their own accord as well, revealing a large, library-looking room. An older gentleman is puttering around inside.

The older gentleman seems a bit crotchety and tells Shackleforth to stop lurking. Shackleforth says he wasn’t lurking, he just didn’t know if…Professor Daemon tells him that’s a common problem. ‘Not knowing if’. Daemon tells Shackleforth to sit down on a nearby pile of books. And I’ve got to say. The books he sits on are freaking huge. Daemon asks if Shackleforth has come for glove cleaner. Shackleforth says he didn’t come for that. Daemon dismisses him and Shackleforth says (for the third time) “As a matter of fact”. Daemon snaps at him to get to the point.

Shackleforth says he’s not sure why he came. That a man gave him a card but he’s not sure why he’s there. Shackleforth starts to set the scene but Daemon breaks in and says that Shackleforth wants what he has. Shackleforth protests that he doesn’t even know what Daemon has. Daemon says he has *ahem* : “Ointments, salves, powders, sovereign remedies, nectars, lotus blossoms, toxins, tonics, anti-toxins, decoctions, concoctions and potions”. And they all come guaranteed. Daemon goes back to flipping through his book and Shackleforth gets up to leave, saying he doesn’t need any of those things. Daemon says that he must, he’s here after all. Shackleforth says he doesn’t need any medicines because he’s not sick. Daemon says Shackleforth certainly seems ill, he looks feverish.

 

Shackleforth claps a hand to his head, just to check, I guess. He says it’s nothing, really. Daemon says he hasn’t got ‘nothing’, ‘something’ is what he supplies and you can get ‘anything’ here. Daemon finally smiles, asking if Shackleforth is ambitious and wants money, fame and the world at his feet. Shackleforth says no, that’s not what he wants at all. Daemon catches Shackleforth by the shoulder and guesses power, what Shackleforth wants is power. Shackleforth says no, all he wants is Leila. If he can have Leila he can do everything else for himself. Which seems a little backward to me. Leila looks entirely like a woman who would be impressed by wealth, fame and power. Or, hey! Here’s an idea! If you have all of those things you might find another woman whom you want and who would actually (willingly) love you back.

This seems to disgust Daemon and he says he should have known. He’s offering Shackleforth everything but all he wants is Leila. Shackleforth lays it out for Daemon. It’s pretty simple. Shackleforth loves Leila but she doesn’t love him. And there’s nothing Daemon can do to make it any different. Daemon says that’s the simplest thing of all. A mere trick of his science. He looks disappointed that Shackleforth doesn’t want something more complicated. Daemon tells Shackleforth that he can make a potion that will make Leila love him and him alone.

This catches Shackleforth’s attention. He asks Daemon if he can really do this. Daemon says he can make a potion that will make Leila want to spend every minute with him. When she’s not by his side, she’ll be gazing lovingly at him. She won’t even eat until he does. She’ll do anything that Shackleforth asks her to. She’ll worship him, weep at his touch and beg for his kisses. Sounds like we’re wandering into Christian Grey territory here. Instead of a contract it’s a potion. Ick. The potion will even make her forgive him if, in time, he should be unfaithful. Daemon wraps it up by saying that Shackleforth would get the same unconditional love from a Cocker Spaniel. Unless you’re into bestiality there is one major difference. But it’s a difference that’s just as icky if a potion is used on her against her will.

 

 

Shackleforth says, yes! That’s exactly what he wants! Shocker. Daemon mocks him, saying if it’s not his Leila’s love then it’s his Dorothy’s love or Gwen’s. He asks Shackleforth again if he wouldn’t be interested in the “glove cleaner” as he calls it. He also calls it the “Eradicator”, among many other names. Shackleforth looks confused and says he doesn’t want any glove cleaner. I’m assuming that the ‘Eradicator’ or ‘glove cleaner’ is actually a love eradicator. When paired with glove, well, the phrase ‘love glove’ comes to mind and now I want to bleach my brain, a bit.

Daemon tries urging the Eradicator again but since Shackleforth is as thick as a brick he doesn’t really get what Daemon is saying so he tells Daemon that he’s not making any sense. Daemon retorts that sense is all he makes and that’s why he’s so lonely. He says the Eradicator is swift, sure and leaves no trace. Daemon says that perhaps Shackleforth can’t afford it, it is $1,000 a bottle but the love potion is only a buck. Ok, so a terrible potion that is basically a drug is only a buck, while the cure for an unwanted infatuation is $1,000. Makes sense. And Daemon wonders why people choose the love potion? Daemon says it’s over-priced at that.

Shackleforth has a bit of scruple to ask if the potion will hurt Leila. Daemon says the only one likely to get hurt is Shackleforth himself but Shackleforth probably won’t believe that. Probably not because I don’t buy it. I’d think the person being drugged out of their free will to love is the most hurt in that situation. The Professor tosses him the bottle and Shackleforth forks over his dollar. Daemon says it will give Shackleforth everything he thinks he wants. Daemon tells him to put it in anything to drink and it’s effects are instantaneous. Shackleforth says he doesn’t really believe it but he’s willing to try anything. Shackleforth says that if it works he’ll be “the happiest man in the world.” Daemon says the words with him, rolling his eyes as though he’s heard it all before. Which he probably has.

Shackleforth apparently hurried over to Leila’s because now we’re at her apartment. The doorbell is ringing. Something tells me she was waiting for a different gentleman. She hurries to the door, primping her hair and wearing some sort of diaphanous, flowy negligee that looks a bit like a curtain. She opens the door but as soon as she sees it’s Shackleforth she tries to shut the door but he sticks his head in it. I think I would have shut the door anyway, it’s rude to force yourself through the door. He gives her an insanely large bouquet of flowers which she takes grudgingly. Then she asks him to leave again. He says he couldn’t have lasted the night without seeing her. He smooshes his face against the door and tells her that she doesn’t know what it’s like to love someone so passionately. Uh, how do you know? Just because she doesn’t love you then she must never have been in love? Besides Mr. Shackleforth, you’re not in love, you’re in lust and obsession which is a far cry from love.

He tells Leila that he’s brought champagne. Just enough for two glasses. So you brought her open champagne? Gross, it’s going to be flat. Either that or it’s a tiny little bottle.He begs her to give him five minutes and have one glass of champagne with him. She tells him that he’s being a stupid, silly clod. He tells her he loves her again and kisses the door. Get a freaking life! Whether it’s the champagne that tempts her or she feels sorry for him, she eventually relents and lets him in for one drink.

He follows her in very closely. She tells him to back off, she’s got to change out of her curtain and into a proper dress. He’s so thrilled that he says it’s like millennium. Okey dokey. Maybe he’s been listening to Prince’s ‘1999’ or something. Well, it is a tiny little bottle. That’s weird. I honestly didn’t know they had those back then. He opens it up and puts the GHB, I mean love potion, into Leila’s glass. She says let’s get this over  with. He watches her drink down her glass. Not sure if the champagne is that good or if she’s just trying to get rid of him. My guess is the latter since right after he drinks it she checks her watch and tells him that his time’s up. He doesn’t drink anything but just stares at her while she does. Oh, no. You’re not a stalkery creeper, not at all.

She thanks him for the champagne and flowers and tells him goodbye. He follows her and just keeps staring at her. Finally she asks what he’s staring at. He says it might be his last look so he wants to make sure it’s a good one. She says fine, you’ve had it, now leave. Then he asks for a kiss. She refuses. One thing you can’t really blame her for is that she doesn’t lead him on for gifts and stuff. She probably could if she wanted to. She tells him pretty bluntly that she does not love him, she doesn’t want him there and she doesn’t even particularly want him there or like him at the moment.

He walks away, all dejected looking. Again she takes pity on him and gives him a slight kiss on the lips. She says that’s the best she can do and it took all of her strength. He goes to leave but she tells him to wait, perhaps she’s being cruel and that she doesn’t mean to be. I’m guessing the potion is starting to work. He says he knows and starts to leave again. She tells him to wait again, and then asks if she can make the kiss a little nicer. Then she plants a lip-lock on him. She looks confused and asks what’s happening. She drops her shoulder wrap and Shackleforth says (ugh), “What a difference, baby! Come here!” and they lip-lock again. Gag.

It’s a while later, probably about a year. Shackleforth is reading a paper. As he lowers it we see that Leila is crouched at his feet, gazing at him adoringly. He tells her that she should sit on a chair. She says of course, she’s very sorry it bothers him. She just loves to kneel at her feet. He tells her to go kneel on a chair. she says ok and hops up. She asks which chair and he says any, it doesn’t matter. She offers to take his shoes off and get his slippers. He says no, they make his feet hot. And shoes don’t?  She tells him that if his feet are hot then she could soak her hands in ice water and caress them. I think I’m going to throw up. She offers him his pipe but he says it’s not broke in yet so she offers to break it in for him by smoking it all day for him.

There’s more but I think I’d honestly be sick detailing it all. Point is, she literally won’t leave him alone and he’s getting tired of it. He tries to read again and she starts tickling his chin with her fuzzy shoe. He hops up and says he’s got to go out. By himself. She wants to know if he wants her to go with but he says no, no, no. He says he might be late and gives her his jacket to cuddle with.

In an unsurprising turn of events, he’s headed back to Professor Daemon’s house. He rings and waits impatiently for the doors to open. Daemon says he rather thought that he’d be seeing Shackleforth again. Shackleforth tries to act casual and says he thought Daemon would like to know how everything turned out. And boy does that potion work! Shackleforth wants to know how Daemon’s been and what he thinks about their situation in China. Daemon looks like he could care less either way. Daemon pulls out the ‘glove cleaner’ again and repeats his sales pitch from before: “No taste, no smell, no way to detect it’s presence and it’s sure to work”. That is what Shackleforth came for, correct?

Shackleforth says gosh no! He just stopped by to tell Daemon how hunky-dory everything is. Daemon rubs it in that he was right about her loving Shackleforth all the way. Shackleforth finally breaks down and admits that it’s too much love. Isn’t there any way to tone it down or transfer it to something else a bit? Daemon says nope, you wanted her, she’s yours. Daemon tells him that the glove cleaner is the only way. Shackleforth says he can’t use that. Shackleforth says that Daemon doesn’t know what it’s like and he says of course he does. Why does he think he created the glove cleaner in the first place? Shackleforth tries to haggle the price down a bit, saying that $1,000 is his entire savings. Shackleforth breaks down and grabs the bottle from Daemon. Then he pulls a check, already made out from his pocket.

Daemon warns him about one thing. That when Shackleforth uses it, he must use it immediately and he must use it all. Shackleforth asks if it will spoil and Daemon says no. But if Shackleforth hesitates then he won’t use it at all. Daemon watches him leave. He comments to himself that it’s always the same way. First the stimulant, then the chaser.

Shackleforth comes home and she is literally cuddling with his coat and petting it. She, of course, is overjoyed when he walks in the door. He’s brought her another ridiculously large bouquet of flowers and tells her they ought to celebrate. Ok, they’ve been married for six months. She’s delighted, (of course) and says it’s just like the first time only this time he doesn’t have to beg to stay. he goes to get glasses. What a dick. He gives her the potion, then acts like she’s smothering him. How do you think she felt the nine billion times you called and wouldn’t leave her alone? She prattles on a bit about how much she loves him and he dumps the love glove cleaner in her glass eagerly. He’s perched on the back of the couch but she pulls him down to sit next to her and calls him her “Lover Marshmallow”.

She says she has news for her bunny rabbit and holds up a baby bootie. he freaks out and drops the glasses, along with the Eradicator. She says that’s all right, they don’t need champagne. He starts muttering to himself that he never could have gone through with it, anyways. She says it’s only the beginning and they’ll be like this for the rest of their lives. He looks terrified. Then he passes out.

SERLING:
Mr. Roger Shackleforth, who has discovered at this late date that love can be as sticky as a vat of molasses, as unpalatable as a hunk of spoiled yeast, and as all-consuming as a six-alarm fire in a bamboo and canvas tent. Case history of a lover boy who should never have imagined the Twilight Zone.


Love potions and wishes always creep me out. And it’s weird to me that in some stuff they’re used so casually. I can think of examples from Harry Potter to Supernatural.


Join us again next week for another episode of the Twilight Zone: Passage for Trumpet. And I’ll warn you right now, it might be a bit snark heavy.

Twilight Zone Tuesday – A Stop at Willoughby

A Stop at Willoughby


Gart Wiliams – James Daly
Mr. Misrell – Howard Smith
Janie Williams – Patricia Donahue
Helen – Mavis Neal Palmer
1960 Conductor – Jason Wingreen
1888 Conductor – James Maloney


Trigger Warnings: Suicidal thoughts, actions. Heavy snark.

Ah, a boardroom. Looks like fun. Looks like someone’s fidgety and tapping a pencil. At least he’s being considerate and tapping it on his knuckles so he doesn’t bother anyone. The Big Boss Man Smoking the Cigar is glaring at him disapprovingly. Tappy gets up to use the phone and wants Jake Ross’ secretary. Looking for Jake Ross, who is still out to lunch. Cigar Smoking Man wants Mulder! I mean, Jake Ross.

Tappy Guy wants Joni (the secretary) to get Jake. He’s out to lunch. And if he’s been gone since 12:00 then that’s a really long lunch. Tappy guy tells her to get Jake there now and after he hangs up he grabs his stomach with a wince of pain. Normally I’d suspect poisoning but since this isn’t that kind of episode I’m guessing that it’s an ulcer. Mr. Misrell (CSM) asks where Nervous Guy’s underling is with the three million dollar automobile account client. I’m not really sure what their business is, yet. Advertising? Insurance? Car dealership? Nervous Guy says it’s probably a big lunch rush but Mr. Misrell calls him an idiot and says the guy is probably chugging down martinis. He told Nervous that his underling was way too young to put on an account that large.

At this point there’s a knock at the door and a secretary hands in an envelope to Williams (Nervous Guy). He reads it to himself and does not look happy about it. Williams tells Mr. Misrell that it’s from Jake Ross. Misrell wants to know if Williams wants to share with the class. I’m guessing Williams probably really doesn’t but he does. Quite simply, Jake Ross is resigning and moving to another firm and taking his automobile client with him. Ok, I don’t know big business but is that legal to do? If Mr. Misrell is the boss there I can’t say it’s really surprising but it’s a dick move to Mr. Williams. Whom, if I’m understanding right, gave Jake the account in the first place.

Mr. Misrell is none too happy about this development. He won’t even let Mr. Williams sit down while he yells at him. He pretty much says that it’s all Williams’ fault. Even though Williams is just as surprised as Mr. Misrell and has clearly been screwed over by Jake. Misrell asks Williams what he’s going to do now that his pet project has flown away. Mr. Misrell is now doubting Williams’ taste in men. Whatever their business is, it’s a “Push, push push business! Push and drive!”

Misrell then humiliates Williams a bit more and repeats the whole push thing a lot more. Williams actually tells him to shut up and runs out. Outside the door, he grabs his stomach again. He looks up to see all of the secretaries looking at him. He goes across the floor to his own office. His secretary tells him that there are messages on his desk and fresh coffee. Then asks him if he wants anything. He says he wants a “sharp razor ad a chart of the human anatomy”. Not sure if he’s homicidal or suicidal. Either way, calm down dude! There are other jobs in the world. Although, I confess, I’d probably be feeling a tad homicidal to the guy who snagged my big account. He goes into his office and turns off the light. Isn’t that a little backward? He sits down at his desk and there’s a framed photo of a lovely, stylish woman. I’m guessing she’s Mrs, Williams. And with the way she’s dressed she’s not going to be happy at the loss of income if he’s fired for insulting his boss. But that’s unfair. We haven’t met her yet.

SERLING:
This is Gart Williams, age 38. A man protected by a suit of armour all held together by one bolt. Just a moment ago someone removed the bolt, and Mr. Williams’ protection fell away from him and left him a naked target. He’s been cannonaded this afternoon by all the enemies of his life. His insecurity has shelled him, his sensitivity has straddled him with humiliation, his deep-rooted disquiet about his own worth has zeroed in on him, landed on target and blown him apart. Mr. Gart Williams, ad agency exec, who, in just a moment, will move into the Twilight Zone in a desperate search for survival.

I will admit that at first I kept spelling his name Garth. Gart is a little weird. Mr. Williams is on a train heading home, the fake snow whipping around the dark night. The conductor, who has seen Williams enought to ask “how do you do tonight?” Williams replies that he’s in the pink. I’m assuming he’s being either sarcastic or bitter. My money’s on bitter. The conductor comments that it seems to get colder every year. Williams replies “That’s the way of the world. The rich get richer and the days get shorter.” Um, ok? Are the rich literally stealing the sunlight? My, Williams is in a metaphorical mood tonight. Gart leans back, still tense. That’s…quite the feat. I’ve never really seen someone relax-tensely. In his mind he keeps hearing Mr. Misrell saying “Push, push, push!” The man does have an unpleasant voice. Williams freaks out and snaps, “That’s enough!” startling a few passengers. Gart curls up with his briefcase and shuts the window on the evil snow.

He dozes off. Bright light awakens him. He notices right away that the light fixtures are different, older. The other passengers are gone and Gart is alone on the train. He raises the window shutter (which are now blinds instead of a pull-down shade) the sunshine streams in and the first thing Gart sees is a large sign proclaiming the town to be “Willoughby”. He sees a typical idyllic past scene. A gentleman and lady are sitting on a bench by a tree. The tree looks a tad thin to provide much shade but whatever. He also sees a couple of kids that look like they escaped from Tom Sawyer. There’s also a man riding a Penny Farthing. Which looks like this:

I had no clue what a Penny-Farthing was. To be completely honest, I had no idea what one was. If you don’t mind a little personal digression, I was playing a hide and find game about Jack the Ripper and it asked us to find a Penny-Farthing. We had to look it up. I can see why it was named that but at the time I thought it was some kind of coin. I’m honestly admirable of anyone who can ride one of those. They look quite uncomfortable. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that’s why bloomers became popular.

Anyways, Williams is stunned and looking bewildered. He also sees a coach for the bus depot. The friendly driver waves at him. A conductor announces that they have arrived at Willoughby. Williams asks what’s going on, where’s Willoughby? The conductor says that right outside is Willoughby. Williams says that there’s no stop on the line called Willoughby. And it’s summer outside! The conductor agrees and says that it’s mid-July. Williams argues that it’s November. Williams asks again where Willoughhby is. The conductor says that’s Willoughby, mid-July, 1888. Wait a minute…1888 was when Jack the Ripper was active. I think I’d make sure that Willoughby wasn’t in England (you never know, it is the Twilight Zone). And wasn’t Williams just asking for a razor and a chart of human anatomy? Holy Cthulhu! I know who Jack the Ripper is!

Um, anyways, The conductor gives the whole spiel. A nice, quiet town where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure. Why does this remind me of Gremlins II? Clamp’s Corner’s…where life slows down to a walk, Sorry, I keep getting distracted. The conductor wanders off, ringing the disembarking bell for Willoughby. Gart is the only one on the train. He starts to step onto the platform but is jolted awake from the past and back onto the train. Williams peeks out of the window to see if Willoughby is still there. It’s not. Just snow. The conductor asks him if he’s had a nice sleep. Williams agrees and also says he had an idiotic dream. Williams asks the conductor if there’s a Willoughby but the conductor says not on this line and walks away. Williams shakes his head a bit and then gets up to depart.

Williams is finally home and pouring himself a large drink. I can’t blame the guy but I don’t think it will do his ulcer any good. The lady from the picture comes down the stairs. She poses for a second and then snippily asks what he plans to do that evening. She asks if he’s going to get sloshed and sing “all-colored songs”. Um, is she referring to the Blues? If so it’s a pretty bigoted way to do it. And with Serling’s well-known hatred of blind prejudice we can tell right away that this is a specimen known as the “disagreeable, nagging wife”. A certain woman who pops up often in fifties/sixties programs. To do the Twilight Zone justice, though, it is a character that pops up very little. Most often it’s the husband who’s the jerk.

She knows all about his little spaz attack at work. Bob called his wife who then called Helen. I’m sure if it had been today it would have been live streamed by Bob with an, “OMG! Gart’s flipping out!” Hit like and share.

Moving on, Gart comments a bit bitterly that all the guys at work were very solicitous about him. Except that what he really means is that their compassion toward him is only because they’re relieved it’s not their heads on the block. She just wants to know one thing: Did he lose his job or not?

Oddly, he did not. Misrell called Gart before Gart left the office. Gart then goes off on a very sarcastic monologue about Misrell and his great, human generosity in letting Gart remain in his employ. He also adds that Misrell does not want to lose him because then a lot of clients would probably follow Gart and leave Misrell’s firm. Um, if Gart’s that good, Misrell, you might not want to be such a jackass.

Janie pours herself a drink, very calm now that her paycheck is secure and wants to know if there’s more. Gart tells her that’s it and then plops on the arm of a couch. He’s tired. Then I think you might find the sofa itself more comfortable than perching on the edge of it. He tells her that he’s sick and tired.

Janie tells him that he’s come to the right ward. They specialize in people that are sick. Because she’s sick and tired too, of a husband who’s favorite past-time is to wallow in self pity every time the competition gets too tough. Gart replies that some people aren’t meant for it. Or for big, pretentious houses they can’t afford and communities they don’t feel comfortable in. Or big country clubs that are more of a status symbol than club.

He says that, although he’s never been asked, he’d prefer a job where he can just be himself. A job where he doesn’t have to play pretend and act the part of an executive. A job where he doesn’t have to imagine himself “the bright young man who’s on his way up” because that’s not him. I don’t want to be unkind but yeah, Gart isn’t exactly a ‘young’ man on his way up. Unless young in the advertising world is late forties.

Janie, through this entire speech, has been turned away basically “Not listening, la la la la”. Gart says he’s a not very young, not very old, very uncompetitive, rather dull, quite uninspired, average type of a guy. With a wife who has an appetite. She wants to know where he’d be if it weren’t for her ‘appetite’. He knows where he’d like to be. Now he’s perched on one of the sunken living room steps. Dude, you have furniture! Quit perching like a gargoyle! He says he’d like to be in a place called Willoughby, the town of his dreams.

He says it was summer and warm and kids were barefoot with a fishing pole. It looked so pretty to him, like a Currier & Ives painting. There were bicycles and the almighty band stands. I honestly think you could play a drinking game with the number of times someone fondly wishes for a band stand. He says it was very serene and must be the way people lived a hundred years ago. I could probably go on all day about the fallacy of the ‘serenity’ of living a hundred years ago but I won’t.

He says it was a crazy dream and she agrees. On her way up the stairs she tells him to let her know when he wakes up. He begs her to wait a minute. She tells him he was born too late and he could be satisfied with a lazy summer afternoon and horse-drawn wagons. And band stands, don’t forget the band stands! So it’s her own fault for marrying a guy who’s big dream is to be Huckleberry Finn. She leaves Gart sitting on the living room steps and he starts talking to himself about how much he wants Willoughby, a place where a man can live his life full measure.

Gart’s back on the train, in the evil, evil snow. He hears a voice call “Willoughby” and looks outside but it’s still snowing. It’s the conductor, talking to Gart. The 1960 conductor. He tells Gart that he looked for Willoughby on every old timetable he could find but there’s no such place as far as he could see. That’s very nice of him. Gart tells him thank you and that it was probably just a dream. Gart closes the shade and leans back to nod off, trying to summon Willoughby again.

It works! The 1888 conductor is announcing Willoughby. I think he’s supposed to look elderly and gentle but he kind of looks like he could be Satan, to me. Gart raises his shade to look out at Willoughby. Now there’s a flower vendor and a band is playing in the band stand. The glorious, glorious band stand. He goes to disembark but the train starts moving. Although not very fast, really. I think he could hop off pretty easily. Gart calls for the conductor but the conductor is almost to the next car and doesn’t hear him. Wait a minute. Doesn’t the conductor…conduct the train? Or is it the engineer that actually drives it? I’m very confused.

The 1960 conductor turns around, hearing Gart call out in his sleep. He asks Gart if he’s ok and Gart says yes, fine, thank you. He vows that next time he’s going to get off at Willoughby.

The next shot shows a miserable Gart in his office. Misrell is going on about a new show and entertainer and, of course, push push push. I thought they were an ad agency not  talent agency? Oh, well. Whatever. Gart has a conference call going on but before speaker phones so he’s just got the handset laying on his desk. It does seem like they’re talking about a new show. Again, I thought this was an ad agency. It’s kind of like Rod forgot what business Gart was in halfway through the show. Either that or he’s being sneaky and comparing it to the ‘push push push’ of show business. Williams keeps saying, “I understand” and chugging down antacids. Gart says he’ll do what he can but Misrell tells him to do more than he can.Point is, it’s a busy, annoying day at the office. Gart’s phone is ringing off the hook with problems. There’s also a Bradbury name-drop that I missed before. He’s got two telephones talking to him ad his secretary is telling him that the boss wants to see him. Williams runs away into the bathroom and sees little floating Misrell heads in the mirror, yelling at him. Williams smashes the mirror. I’m guessing he’s done for the day.

He calls his wife and tells her he’s coming home. He can’t take another day of it and wants to know if she’ll help him. Her kind and compassionate response? She hangs up on him.

Gart rides the train home. And he does not look happy. The conductor wishes him a good evening but Gart doesn’t respond. Gart pulls the shade to doze off and summon Willoughby again. It works. He’s in Willoughby again. And the glorious, magical, mystical band stand. You’d better get off now, Gart, because they take off fast in Willoughby. Gart leaves his briefcase behind and goes to disembark. It’s like ‘Cheers’. Everyone knows his name. Gart starts being pulled in by the beguiling band stand. Happily, the conductor checks his watch against the grandfather clock at the station.

There’s a very nice fade from the pendulum to a swinging light. Two men are looking at a crumpled body. The man with the light asks the conductor what happened. The conductor looks stunned and a little sick. He tells the man with the light that Gart yelled out something about “Willoughby” and just jumped off the train. The doctor says Gart must have died instantly. The guy with the light shakes his head and says, “Poor fella.” They load Gart into the back of an ambulance that the funeral home sent. The back of the door closes and it reads “Willoughby & Sons Funeral Home”.

SERLING:
Maybe it’s wishful thinking nestled in the hidden part of a man’s mind. Or maybe it’s the last stop in the vast design of things. Or, perhaps for a man like Gart Williams who climbed in a world that went by too fast, it’s a place round the bend where he could jump off. Willoughby? Whatever it is, it comes with sunlight and serenity and is a part of the Twilight Zone.


Wow, for such a boring episode this was pretty long. Fortunately next week’s episode is The Chaser which is a bit more disturbing in essence but will be a lot more fun to talk about.

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Nightmare As A Child

Nightmare As A Child

 


Season One – Episode 29: Nightmare As A Child

Helen Foley – Janice Rule
Markie – Terry Burnham
Peter Selden – Shepperd Strudwick
Narrator – Rod Serling


A very lovely lady is coming home from what looks like a long day at work. As she unlocks her apartment, however, she notices a little girl sitting on the stairs, staring at her.

Helen says hello to the little girl and asks if she’s new to the building or just visiting someone there. The little girl doesn’t answer. Miss Foley rambles on a bit, telling the little girl that she’s a schoolteacher. The little girl finally talks and tells Helen that she knows Helen is a teacher. She also goes one further on the creepy little kid scale and tells Helen that she knows all about her. And she is a bit creepy. Helen doesn’t think so though and invites her in for a cup of hot chocolate. She always makes a cup of hot chocolate when she comes home from work. The little girl says, “I know, but you don’t like marshmallows, do you?” Helen tells Creepy Little Girl that she’s right and Creepy Little Girl says that she doesn’t like them either.

They go into Miss Foley’s apartment, which is very nice looking, except that it looks like no one has stepped foot in the place. Ever. No, that’s not part of the show, just my commentary on their set design. Helen asks the Creepy Little Girl if they should tell her mother that she’s there so she won’t be worried. The little girl primly says that it won’t be necessary. I’ve noticed in shows with Creepy Little Kids that they always speak very formally and it’s basically a tell-tale sign that something’s off about them. I kind of wonder why that is? Maybe because kids sound very unnatural when speaking very formally?

SERLING:
Month of November, hot chocolate and a small cameo of a child’s face, imperfect only in it’s solemnity. And these are the improbable ingredients to a human emotion. An emotion, say, like fear. But in a moment this woman, Helen Foley, will realize fear. She will understand what are the properties of terror. A little girl will lead her by the hand and walk with her…into a nightmare.

I love you Rod but damn, I really want to correct your grammar sometimes. Oh well, on with the show. Helen brings Creepy Little Girl a cup of hot chocolate. Helen hopes it isn’t too rich but the little girl says it’s fine. Then she adds that she’s glad it isn’t too hot. She doesn’t very much like hot things. Helen says she understands and the little girl says of course you do, you got burnt once yourself. She even points out where the scar is. Then she asks Helen if she remembers. Helen snaps, “Of course!” and looks a little confused. Creepy Little Girl asks Helen how she got it. Helen then looks a little embarrassed ad says she actually doesn’t remember. Helen says something happened to her at a certain age but she doesn’t remember what it was and that there’s a lot of things she doesn’t remember from around then. Little Creepy Girl says she knows that. She knows all about you, remember Helen?  Helen says she remembers and finally looks like the kid is freaky, too. So this fgirl is either Helen (younger) or the world’s smallest stalker.

Creepy Little Girl asks if random people on the street look familiar at all to her. Helen says yes, sometimes. Why is she letting this freaky little girl interrogate her? I have to admit, though, the acting in this is phenomenal. There’s bee n a slow transition from adult to child in Helen and from child to adult in Creepy Little Girl. Helen very much looks like a child getting questioned by an adult. Her body language is perfect.

Ok, done fangirling. Creepy Little Girl asks if anyone Helen passed today looked familiar. Helen says, no. Creepy Little Girl looks amused and says, “Really?” Helen tells her that it’s not polite to contradict people. Helen, meet internet. You’re going to love it here. The Creepy Little Girl tells Helen that there was a man in a car that Helen saw. He looked familiar. Helen wanders to the window and remembers. Creepy Little Girl tells Helen there’s a reason she recognized him. Creepy Little Girl tells Helen there’s a reason he looked familiar and why he scares Helen and her. Now why would the Creepy Little Girl be afraid of him, hmm.

Helen finally asks the little girl’s name and wants to know where she came from. The little girl says she lives around there and she has a nickname. She tells Helen that her name is Markie but it’s not her real name. She yells at Helen, “Markie! Did you hear me?” Helen snaps back that yes, she heard. Helen tells her that it’s a nice name. Markie wants to know if that’s all Helen has to say about it. Helen wants to know what more Markie wants her to say. Markie says she just thought…And then she straightens up and asks if Helen’s warm. Helen says yes, it does feel a bit warm. Markie says that she feels perfectly comfortable.

Something loud clangs in the hallway and Markie freaks out. She yells that someone’s coming and runs to Helen. Helen tells her they aren’t the only people on that floor to calm her down. Markie says that whoever is coming through the lobby is coming to Helen’s apartment. Helen tries to convince her but Markie is totally freaking out and says she’ll come back later.

It looks like Markie was right because shortly after there’s a knock at the door and a man’s voice asking for Miss Helen Foley. Miss Foley asks who’s there and the man introduces himself as Peter Selden, an old friend of her mother’s. When Helen opens the door Creepy Peter stands there for a minute and then asks if Helen remembers him. She says he looks familiar but can’t really place him. Helen asks if he was…and he finishes for her. Yes, he was in front of the school, stopped at a red light. He thought she looked at him oddly. So, because she looked at you a little strange you tacked her down to her house. Yeah, that’s not creepy or stalkerish at all.

Tell me that’s not a creepy face. He walks in with a “Do you mind?” but he’s already in the door and halfway across the living room before he gives her a chance to answer. And apparently she’s too polite to boot his butt back out the door. There are times when the “impolite” thing to do is the safer thing to do, Helen. Peter says it’s been almost twenty years so he wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t remember him. Peter Selden says he worked for her mother. Helen’s polite smile fades a bit at that. He asks her again if she remembers him. Peter Selden,, ring any bells? He says that after the “tragedy” he’d heard that Helen was ill for a while. He wants to know if she ever remembered anything about that night. I’m assuming that the “tragedy” has something to do with her mother.

He seems way too interested in whether or not Helen remembers him or not . And if she remembers what happened. He tells her that she was in the room when “it” happened. She doesn’t know what he’s talking about at all and he looks very surprised by this. She says after “it” happened she had a shock and when she recovered she went to live with an aunt in Chicago. Selden says he was passing through on business, someone pointed her out and he thought he’d stop and say hi. Ok, so someone randomly pointed her out and you thought you’d say hi after twenty years? Riiiiight. Selden says he worked for her mother for almost a year, then he smiles his very creepy smile and says it’s been good to see her all grown up and just as beautiful as when she was a little girl. And then says he had a crush on her. Ew.

 

Selden says he lived in the same apartment building and heard her screaming that night. He was the one to find her mother. They finally get to what the tragedy is. Helen’s mother was murdered and they never caught the killer. Helen was in the room when it happened and witnessed the whole thing but blocked it all out. I know that’s a plot device used in movies a lot but I’m curious as to whether it’s actually possible to block something that completely. Helen says that as far as she knows the killer never was caught but she doesn’t know for sure. and Helen just starts spilling everything she does remember. She was asleep and heard her mother scream and then this…person. She doesn’t question at all why this guy would randomly show up and start ta;king about her mother’s murder? Okey dokey.

Then she pops back into hostess mode and asks Selden if he’s staying in town. He reminds her that he’s only passing through. She picks up Markie’s cup of cocoa and then asks Selden if he would like a cup of coffee or coca. Looking down she sees that Markie’s cup is still full, even after the multiple times it’s shown her taking a drink. Selden sees her staring at the cup and wants to know what’s wrong. Helen could swear Markie finished her cup and then starts to talk about Markie, calling her a “strange, little thing.”Selden asks who she’s talking about. SElden says he’d better be going. Yeah, because she’s the weird one.

As Helen walks Selden to the door she says she’ll have to learn that trick from Markie. To sit and sip but not actually drink anything. The name Markie gets Selden’s attention. Helen says the girl said her name was Markie and wouldn’t tell Helen her real name. Selden tells Helen that her nickname used to be Markie. Dun, dun, dunnn!

After this not-so-startling revelation, Helen hears a child’s voice singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Selden obviously doesn’t hear it. Helen’s looking a little distracted so he asks her what wrong. She says nothing, it’s just a weird coincidence that she met this little girl named Markie and that was her nickname as well. She is starting to remember more now. She remembers being called Markie. He tells her that, in time, he’s sure she’ll get her entire memory back. He does not sound happy about that prospect.

 

Helen says that Markie is full of talents and Selden asks what she means. She’s surprised that he can’t hear her. After Markie stops singing Selden says he has a picture of Helen that her mother gave him. He pulls it out  and hands it to her. To nobody’s surprise, it looks just like Markie.

Then Selden tops his already high Creeper Status by saying that Helen was an exceptionally beautiful child ad she looks so much like her mother, especially now. She’s freaked out by the picture looking so much like her. I think I’d be more concerned with the guy carrying my childhood photograph for twenty years. I’m funny like that.

After Selden leaves Helen is lying down on the couch. It’s been a rough day for her. I hope he’s left anyways. Who knows, he’s probably lurking in her sofa cushions. The screen gets all wavery so I’m guessing we’re heading into Flashback Territory. Through Helen’s mind (quite literally) we see and hear her mother arguing with a man about something. She says if he doesn’t tell them then she will. He tells her they could both get into trouble but she doesn’t care. They start struggling and she slaps him. He shakes her around a bit and she runs into Markie’s room to get away. Good job. Lead the crazy guy right to your kid’s room. Then he hits her over the head with…I’m not sure. A vase maybe? It’s hard to tell. When she sees her mother get hit Flashback Child Helen screams. The man starts toward her with the vase raised but gets interrupted by people chattering in the hall, drawn by Helen’s screams.

Helen hears Markie singing again and goes to see where she is. She’s sitting on the steps again. Markie wants to know if the man left yet. Helen nods and says he left a while ago. She tells Markie that it’s late and Markie should go home, it’s past her bedtime. The little girl tells Helen that her mother won’t be worried. She doesn’t have a mother anymore. She sounds way too cheerful about it. Markie asks if Helen remembers about Markie and the nasty burn she got as a child. Helen grabs Markie’s arm and reveals a scar just like the one Helen has. I swear this kid makes killer faces. The look she gives Helen in this scene is priceless. She’s looking at her like, “Now do you get it?”

Helen starts freaking out on the girl asking who she is, where she came from, what she wants and she wants to know now! Markie, very patiently, looks Helen in the eye and asks if she has no clue at all. “And you were doing so well, Helen.” Markie says Helen was starting to remember things. It’s a little repetitive but i is kind of a cool back and forth. It’s like Helen is struggling with her consciousness personified to try and remember what Adult Helen clearly wants to forget.

Markie is getting frustrated and sassily goes and gets the photograph and says, “Familiar?” The little girl can do sass well. Helen says it’s supposed to be her but it’s not. It’s of Markie. Markie is getting very irritated now and starts saying, “Don’t you get it? I’m you, dumbass!” I may paraphrasing a bit. She certainly has that tone. The kid is really laying into her now, describing the night the murder took place. She says Helen screamed so loud. And stops. wen Helen turns to look at her she gasps. Selden is standing in her doorway. Told you. He was probably behind the curtains.

Like any good villain he wants to tell her all about his villainous deeds. He was in the bedroom and killed her mother. He says that he was embezzling and her mother wouldn’t cover for him and to top it all off, she was going to tell! It was her fault, really. We get the details, again, of what happened. She tries to make a run for it but he stops her. Then tells her that he’s been keeping tabs on her. Whoa. Shocker. Like any good stalker he knows what she’s been doing over the years. He’s been keeping tabs because he knew she’d start to remember someday. Um, ok?

He makes a grab for her but misses and she runs out the door. he teleports to the right of the stairs and grabs her. They thrash around a bit and then selden goes tumbling down the stairs.

Cops are around the body, taking pictures and speaking with the downstairs neighbors. A detective walks up to Helen’s door just as a doctor is coming out of it. The detective asks if she’ll be all right. The doctor kindly gave her a sedative and asks the detective if he has everything he needs. the detective says sure, everything is all tied up. The doctor says she was “fortunate and if she had been less fortunate she would have been a homicide victim.” They share a few deep thoughts about the child she’s been telling them about like “Weird, really weird” and “the human imagination is often weird”. i have to agree with the second statement.

Helen looks much happier. In the distance we can hear a little girl’s voice gleefully singing “Twinkle, Twinkle”. Helen looks outside but it’s a little brunette girl now. Helen says hello and tells the girl she has a lovely smile and to never lose it.

SERLING:
Miss Helen Foley, who has lived in night and who will wake up to morning. Miss Helen Foley, who took a dark spot from the tapestry of her life and rubbed it clean. Then stepped back a few paces and got a good look at the Twilight Zone.


That was a bit of a long one! As much as I riff on it here it’s actually one of my favorite episodes. Sometimes I just can’t help it because as much as I love it, there are a lot of parts that don’t make sense. Selden was so worried about her remembering that for twenty years he stalked her. Why wait twenty years? Because it’s not fair to murder her before she remembers? Plus, he’s mostly the one who keeps reminding her of everything so it’s his own fault she recognizes him. I also think we’re in the same apartment building as ‘The Big, Tall Wish”.


Join us again next week as I snark my way through next week’s episode: A Stop at Willoughby”

Twilight Zone Tuesday – The Big Tall Wish

The Big Tall Wish


The Big Tall Wish

Bolie Jackson – Ivan Dixon
Henry Temple – Steven Perry
Frances Temple – Kim Hamilton
Joe Mizell – Walter Burke
Thomas – Henry Scott
Joey Consiglio – Charles Horvath


We open on a flyer for a boxing match at the St. Nicholas Arena between Bolie Jackson and Consiglio. Main Event! And there’s a dude leaning on some apartment stairs with a newspaper over his face. The boxer named Bolie Jackson is making a comeback that night. A boxer, whom I can only assume is Bolie Jackson, is practicing in front of a mirror.

Rod Serling:
In this corner of the universe, a prize-fighter named Bolie Jackson. 183 pounds and an hour and a half away from a comeback at St. Nick’s arena. Mr. Bolie jackson who, by the standards of his profession, is an aging, over the hill relic of what was. And who now sees the reflection of a man who’s left too many pieces of his youth in too many stadiums for too many years, before too many screaming people. Mr. Bolie Jackson, who might do well to look for some gentle magic in the hard-surfaced glass that stares back at him.

Bolie Jackson is looking a little the worse for wear. A little boy sits behind him on the bed, watching Bolie. They start goofing around, pretending to spar. It’s actually really cute. The kid gives Bolie a nice pep talk. Bolie asks if he’s going to be watching and the kid says that Bolie will be able to hear him cheering all the way to St. Nick’s. Bolie tells Henry that a fighter doesn’t need a scrapbook. His whole history is written on his face. What he’s done and where he’s fought. Then he starts listing all of his scars and when and where he got them and who gave them to him.

Bolie seems to be enjoying his trip down memory lane but Henry doesn’t seem to be enjoying it that much. Bolie calls himself a tired old man and says his bus left years ago. He says he’s short of breath with one eye almost gone. heavy arms and legs like rubber but still trying to catch the bust to glory and fame. Doesn’t really seem worth it to me. I’ve never been a huge fan of boxing so pardon me if there’s any boxing fans out there. I might get snippy about it from time to time. Anyways, when Bolie finishes up Henry hops down and snaps his fingers. Then he tells Bolie that he’s going to catch that tiger tonight. Henry’s going to make a wish. A big, tall wish. Bolie’s his good and close friend and Henry’s going to make a wish so that Bolie will win and not get hurt at all.

Bolie gives Henry a hug and goes downstairs. At the bottom of the stairs a lady, Frances, is watching him. Bolie tells Frances that she’s got quite a boy in Henry. Bolie tells her that Henry talks like a little, old man and that Henry got really intense when he said that Bolie was his “good, close friend”. Frances tells Bolie that he’s very good to Henry. Bolie takes Henry to ball games and a lot of other things. He sounds like a good guy. Frances doesn’t want Bolie to get hurt and to take care of himself. Bolie says he’ll try. It’s a little hard to promise something like that in a sport where the main even is watching two men trying to beat the crap out of each other. Henry comes down and gets all intense again and repeats that he’s going to make a wish.

 

Frances tells Bolie that Henry worships him. Bolie says he’s “nothing but a scared old man who doesn’t know anything except how to bleed.” But he’s very obliged to Henry for his wish. Frances says that Henry spends all of his time wishing. she starts to tell Bolie something but trails off. Bolie wants to know what she was going to say. Frances says that she needed fifteen dollars for the rent. Henry said he was going to make his “big tall wish”  (the biggest wish of all, he doesn’t waste it on just anything) and then a woman she had worked for sent her a check she was owed for some work done. A check for fifteen dollars exactly.

Bolie looks very sad and talks to the mailboxes about little boys with heads full of dreams. But what happens when they find out that there’s no magic. “When does someone shove their face into the sidewalk and say, ‘Hey little boy, it’s concrete.’ ?” Damn. That got dark. Bolie’s in his own little depressed world for a moment. Frances tells Bolie good luck and Bolie says sure and that he’ll see Henry later. Leaving the apartment building he passes the guy with the newspaper on his face. Maybe he’s just reeeaally near-sighted. As Bolie passes him he pops up and tells bolie good luck, too. Everyone in the neighborhood wishes him luck as he walks down the street and says they’ll be watching. Henry watches from an upstairs window ledge and waves to Bolie.

Bolie’s getting taped up for his big fight. Bolie’s manager lurks in the corner, smoking a cigar. After the trainer tapes Bolie up the manager walks over and blows a big puff of cigar smoke right in Bolie’s face. That’s just rude. Bolie tells him to put it out. The Smoking Man tells Bolie that since Bolie hired him for the night it’s a package deal. His cigar goes where he does so get used to it. Talk about your phallic symbols. Bolie says he doesn’t care and tells the Smoking Douche to put it out. He finally does and the Smoking Man calls Bolie a yapping old man. That the older they get, the louder they talk. And the more they want, the less chance of getting it. Why does everyone keep calling Bolie old? He doesn’t look that old to me. Maybe they mean in boxing years. Bolie asks himself how he ended up with this ass for the night. The jerk says that he’s a bargain because he’s an expert on has-beens. Bolie says he’s seen this dude’s boys. Basically punching bags who can stay in the ring to get knocked around long enough to earn their pay and then patched up for the next round. The Leech agrees and says that since Bolie has about had it then maybe he’ll sign him up in a month or two. He tries to sell Bolie on this being a good idea. That he should get in the stable why he has a chance. Why are they called stables? It seems very…demeaning. Bolie says he thought the smell of B.S. came with the cigar. Then to make it clear he tells The Leech (whose name is Thomas but I prefer Leech) that he stinks. There’s a knock on the door, letting Bolie know he’s got ten minutes. The Leech says Bolie will be ready and wanders off, probably to play with his cigar.

 

Bolie wants to know what to watch out for with his opponent. Bolie’s only seen the guy fight once and that was a few years ago. The Leech tells Bolie that he’s never seen Consiglio fight at all. Bolie calls b.s. on this, saying that The Leech has seen Consiglio fight at least six or seven times this year. Bolie figures out what’s going on. He grabs The Leech by his lapels and accuses him of betting on Consiglio. Wow. I’m thinking The Leech is too good of a name for him. I’ve decided to change his name to Double D. You can use your imagination on what the second ‘D’ stands for. I don’t know exactly what a boxing manager does but I would think checking out the competition would be at least one thing that they do. So there’s some shady stuff going on here.

 

Bolie threatens to lay D.D. out right then and there and D.D. says he’ll have Bolie up on charges for assault. The trainer is trying to break it up but not before Bolie lands a punch on the cement wall. Way to go. Somehow I don’t think that a broken hand will help you in your match much. While some sad harmonica plays the trainer chews Bolie out saying how’s he going in the ring with four busted knuckles. And, wouldn’t you know, a guy pops his head in right then and tells Bolie it’s time to get in the ring and tosses him his gloves. The trainer asks Bolie what he’s going to do. Bolie says there’s nothing to do except go on. Bolie thinks about Henry and that he’s given him two strikes on his magic. I get the second one, the broken knuckles, but what was the first? Bolie being ‘too old’ or the sleazy twenty buck manager? The trainer says, “Booze?” and I’m not sure if he’s asking Bolie if he wants booze or if he’s already had booze. I dunno. Of course Bolie says that there’s no such thing as magic. Great. You just killed a fairy. Happy now, Bolie? They put his robe on him and they head out.

There’s a shot of the eager crowd. People are cheering, landing punches on their hands. A lady is compulsively clutching the arm of her companion, rubbing their hands together in anticipation and shoveling popcorn in their faces. A woman also bizarrely has her hands up in front of her face like she’s blocking her face from…I have no idea. If she’s so freaked out by being there, why is she there? Another woman is hiding her face (again, why?) and a man is wringing the hell out of a newspaper. I’m going to take a wild guess and say he’s got a bit of money on the fight.

 

Bolie seems to be getting pummeled in the ring by Consiglio. For the fifties it’s quite brutal looking. Of course, that could just be me. In my opinion it is a brutal sport. No offense to any boxing fans out there. Bolie Jackson goes down and the scene suddenly flips from Bolie looking up at the ref to Henry at home. Henry is repeating Bolie’s name over and over.

As the ref is counting Bolie out it flips again to Henry muttering to himself with his eyes closed. Everything freezes for a minute while Bolie is still down and being counted out. The only movement is Henry. Doing his big tall wish.  Suddenly things start moving again but it’s not Bolie on the mat being counted out but Consiglio! Henry’s big tall wish must have worked. Bolie looks confused for a second but then they’re holding his arm up, declaring him the victor. Bolie grins happily and leaves the ring through the ropes.

Back in the dressing room Bolie is fully dressed and looking very confused again. The trainer comes in and Bolie says that they must have been wrong about his knuckles being broken. The trainer doesn’t seem to know what Bolie’s talking about. Bolie says that it sure felt broken but they tell him he beat Consiglio with it so it must not have been broken after all. Bolie says when Consiglio knocked him down but, again, Joe doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Bolie says he doesn’t even remember getting back up. Joe says they must have been watching two completely different fights because as far as he knows Bolie never went down. Bolie’s very confused and asks again if Joe’s sure he didn’t go down. Joe tells him to read about it in the papers and that he’s proud of Bolie. Then he says good night and leaves.

Bolie still looks bewildered after Joe leaves. On his way back home everyone is congratulating him and telling him he was great. Bolie’s very happy. Once inside the apartment building he goes up to the roof where Henry is feeding some bunnies. Bolie asks Henry if he looked ok and Henry says that Bolie looked like a champ, like a real tiger. Henry says that old boy must have hit him so hard it knocked all of the hurt right out of him because he feels great. But he thinks he must have been punchy because he didn’t remember some of it. Bolie tells Henry that he remembers laying there looking up at the ref and the lights but then says it must have been a dream or something. Henry walks sadly over to his bunnies and Bolie wants to know what’s wrong. Bolie insists that he never was off his feet and never went down. Henry just stands there looking sad and shaking his head a little. Bolie grabs Henry and asks if he was on his back and on his way out?

Henry nods his head, still looking sad. Bolie says nobody remembers it but nobody else does. Well, Henry does. Bolie says (again) that he was on his back and being counted out. Henry says that he made his big wish then. That he wished that Bolie had never been knocked out. He closed his eyes and wished real hard for it. A big tall wish. Henry tells Bolie that it was magic and that Bolie needed it then. While Henry is talking about the magic, Bolie calls him a crazy kid and that there’s no such thing as magic. He tells Henry that he’s too old to believe in ‘nutsy’ ideas like magic and fairy tales. Because eight yeas old is way too old to have an imagination, I guess. Henry tells Bolie that if he wishes hard enough and believes hard enough that it will happen. Bolie believes that someone has to knock those ideas out and it’s time for Henry to hit the sidewalk of life. Metaphorically, fortunately.

Bolie tells Henry that he’s been wishing all of his life and he doesn’t have anything to show for it but a face full of scars and a head that aches from all of the hurt and the memories that go with it. Bolie asks Henry if he’s trying to tell him that Henry ‘magicked’ him out of a knockout and back on his feet. When Henry nods yes, Bolie calls him a ‘little kook’ and how did he get mixed up with a crazy little boy that still believes in magic. Dude! He’s a little boy! I’d say maybe eight or so, ten at the very most but I think that’s stretching it. Why don’t you kick a puppy, too, while you’re at it, Bolie?

Henry pretty much just keeps telling Bolie that if Bolie doesn’t believe then the magic won’t work. Bolie says that it was all him and that he had that fight in is pocket from the start. Yeaah, when was that, exactly? When you stupidly broke your hand on a wall? When the other boxer was pulverizing your face? Bolie says that it was all him. Slugging and punching and winning. Winning!

I kind of get why he’d want to believe it was all him but, speaking for myself, I’d take magic anywhere I could find it and tell the little boy thank you. Bolie tells Henry again that there isn’t any magic but god he wishes there was. Well, if you wish it that badly you can’t believe the kid for two seconds instead of crushing him?

They go back and forth with “You’ve gotta believe”, “I can’t believe” for a while. Dude, just take your win and be happy. Damn. The light from the streetlamp fades into the light from the arena. Consiglio is still on the mat and everything is still frozen. After a quick shot of the popcorn eater everything goes back to normal time and now it’s Bolie on the mat. Guess you should have believed Henry, Bolie.

His team helps him up and out of the ring. As he’s walking back home from the match the whole neighborhood is looking at him like he just killed all of their puppies. The guy who was formerly wearing the newspaper tells Bolie that he should have “stood in bed” and asks why he didn’t use his right hand. If you’re such an expert why don’t you do it Newspaper Man? I also have to ask. Was “stood in bed” a perfectly acceptable way of saying “stayed in bed” at one time or is that a Serling-only phrase? Because it sounds weird and he uses it a couple of other times.

Anyways, Bolie goes into the building and knocks on Frances’ door. Frances looks kind of sad when she sees how beat up Bolie looks. Have I mentioned how pretty this woman is? Because if you didn’t notice from the pictures above, she is. Very.

Frances tells Bolie that Henry is in bed but Bolie asks to see him anyways. She tells him that Henry’s probably waiting for him. On his way to Henry’s room Frances tells Bolie she’s sorry he lost.

Bolie tells Henry that he threw a punch before he should have and hit a wall. He went into the ring with half of his artillery gone. Henry tells Bolie that he still looked like a tiger and that he’s still really proud of him. Bolie gives Henry a kiss on the head and goes to leave but Henry says his name. Bolie tells him that he’ll take Henry to a hockey game or something tomorrow. Henry says ok but calls Bolie back again.

Henry says he’s not going to make any more wishes. he’s too old for magic, right? Bolie says that’s right. Way to go Bolie. But he does say that maybe there are wishes and magic but that maybe not enough people believe in them. Then he says goodnight and leaves the room.

SERLING:
Mr. Bolie Jackson, 183 pounds. Who left a second chance lying in a heap on a rosin-spattered canvas at St. Nick’s Arena. Mr. Bolie Jackson, who shares the most common ailment of all men the strange and perverse disinclination to believe in a miracle. The kind of miracle to come from the mind of a little boy. Perhaps only to be found in the Twilight Zone.


This is the first of a few boxing episodes on the Twilight Zone. Perhaps he drew on his own knowledge of how the sport worked and the people were. To me it’s a bit schmaltzy but not too bad.


Join us again next week for a great episode: A Nice Place to Visit

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Execution

Execution

 

Professor Manion – Russell Johnson
Joe Caswell – Albert Salmi
Paul Johnson – Than Wyenn
Old Man – George Mitchell
Minister – Jon Lormer
Faye Roop – Judge
Bartender – Richard Carlan

 

Trigger Warning (highlight to see) : A cowboy lynching and a strangling

We pan down to see some manly cowboy men riding down to a tree. They have a guy on a horse and he has a rope around his neck. I’m guessing things aren’t going too well for him. I guess it’s true that bad guys wear black because he is dressed all in black from head to toe. As Serling is talking Mr. Joe Caswell looks a bit amused at the proceedings.

SERLING:
Commonplace if somewhat grim, unsocial event known as a necktie party. The guest of dishonour – a cowboy named Joe Caswell. Just a moment away from a rope, a short dance several feet off the ground and then the dark eternity of all evil men. Mr. Joe Caswell who, when the good lord passed out a conscience, a heart of feeling for fellow men, must have been out for a beer and missed out. Mr. Joe Caswell in the last quiet moment of a violent life.

The minister comes down to read Mr. Caswell his last rites but Joe says to forget it. He’s not interested in his mortal soul at that moment but his mortal neck. Joe yells to a man still seated on his horse that it will be his pleasure to see it stretched a bit. Joe wants to get it over with quickly. The Judge offers to let him say his last words as is his right. His last words are pretty much “The kid I put a hole in had more mouth than brains and he’d call him out again.”

The older gentleman interjects that Caswell shot his son in the back, not exactly fair play. He also mentions that he’d like Joe’s execution to take a while. He wants to see him kick and suffer. Joe promises not to let him down and then asks again if they can get it over with already.The judge calls Caswell an evil man and a disease and it will be a public service to hang him. Then tells the other two helpers (deputies perhaps?) to get on with it.

They give the horse a smack on the butt and the deed is done. However, as Joe is hanging his shadow slowly disappears from the ground and when it shows the noose again, it’s empty. The witnesses are stunned.

Caswell slowly awakens to find that he’s been teleported to Gilligan’s Island! Well, not really, but it is The Professor from Gilligan’s Island and since he seems to be some sort of scientist here I’m just going to keep calling him The Professor.

The Professor tells Caswell not to be afraid, he’ll explain what has happened in a moment. Caswell, very hoarsely (which is a nice touch), asks where he is. The Professor tells him he’s a long way from home. The Professor tells Caswell that he’s in New York City, at least eighty years from when Caswell originally was. Caswell, naturally, wants to know how he got there so The Professor shows him his Time Travel Machine. Which looks something like this:

The Professor reassures Joe that he wouldn’t understand the principles behind how it works. The Professor tells Joe that he doesn’t really care who he was but he has a most distinguished future ahead of him. I’m guessing The Professor plans on exhibiting his real, live cowboy along with his Time Travel Machine. Maybe I’m being a little cynical (blame YouTube and Photoshop) but unless The Professor could actually produce more then I would think that he built a shiny, diamond-shaped box and hired a guy who acts like a cowboy.

Anyways, carrying on, The Professor tells Joe that he’s the first person in the history of the world and The Professor will teach him all about the future (well, present, I guess) and wants Carswell to tell him all about his world of the past. Joe kind of passes out again  and rubs his neck. The Professor takes this opportunity to check Joe’s neck (all the while Joe making owie faces) and sees the rope burn.From what I can tell the rope burn is up too high to give an instant neck snap that would give an instantaneous death. It looks placed just high enough to give Joe the kind of death the murdered boy’s father wanted. It’s actually a good make-up job and shows an attention to detail. In most movies, tv, etc. they put the rope burn straight across which I don’t think would happen if that person were hanging. I may be wrong but in my opinion it’s at least trying to be authentic.

Professor Manion’s Recording:
At 8:15 the subject appeared desperately tired so I put him to bed. After two hours I’ve discovered the following. His name is Joseph Caswell. He tells me he was a trail boss on a cattle ranch in the territory of Montana. His last moment of recollection was November 14, 1880. He says he was riding herd when he suddenly blacked out. He awoke to find himself on the cot of my laboratory. He felt no sensations and only in the last few moments did he seem to have any grasp of what has occurred.

The Professor turns off his recorder and sits brooding to himself for a bit. He looks a bit perturbed so he lights a smoke and goes back to recording.

Professor Manion’s Recording:
There’s one disturbing point. There are the marks of a rop etched deeply into his neck. He has no explanation for this. I have one other observation, hardly scientific, but I don’t like his looks. I don’t like the eyes, the face or the expression. I get a feeling of disquiet. I…I get the feeling that I’ve taken a 19th century primitive and placed him in a 20th century jungle. And heaven help whoever gets in his way.

The recording ends as The Professor hears the door open and Joe enters the room. Caswell wanders through the lab, checking things out as he goes. Finally he makes his way to The Professor. He stares at The Professor’s cigarette until The Professor offers him one. The Professor lights it with a lighter which startles Joe for a minute then says this, “Fire right out of the air”. Ok, I think that’s taking it a tad too far. It might be an unusual device for Joe to see but they did have matches. I kind of doubt he’d go all caveman on seeing a Zippo.

Joe’s already tired of hanging out at the lab and wants to see the new world he’s landed in. He wants to see the buildings and carriages without horses. The Professor opens the curtains, the dangerous kind with the dangly ropes, and Joe sees the present for the first time. Joe gets a little freaked out by all the cars and neon and noise. You should see it now buddy. Although it kind of makes me chuckle that The Professor’s laboratory is on what looks like the 6th floor. Usually they’re in basements or castes and whatnot.

The Professor says that some things don’t change, however, like the concept of right and wrong. Joe says he knows about right and wrong. A Sheriff in Dodge City tried to beat it into him with a wet rope. Ouch. Although I notice he says he knows about them but doesn’t say he knows the difference. Nitpicky or do you think it’s a purposeful writing decision?

While Caswell is still holding his neck The Professor wants to know if Joe knows about justice. Joe asks why should he? The Professor says that justice came at the end of a rope for Caswell, didn’t it? The Professor asks Caswell if he got to him just in time, before his neck snapped. Probably 6 or 8 feet above the ground. Caswell rightly points out that “when you’re dangling at the end of a rope it doesn’t really matter whether it’s 8 feet or a hundred”. Same drop, same ending. The Professor wants to know if Caswell killed someone. Caswell says, yeah, a whole bunch. He stopped counting after twenty.

After this confession he lets Caswell walk right up to him and then tells Caswell that he’ll have to send him back. I see The Professor living a long and healthy life. Not. Caswell wants to know what he means by back. The Professor answers back to where Caswell came from, to that exact moment if he can. Caswell says he already died and went to hell and now he’s back. The Professor wants to know what about the twenty men he killed? They died with no discomfort at all? Caswell just shrugs him off. Something tells me that philosophical argument is not Joe’s strong suit.

He says that The Professor can talk comfortably about justice when he’s in a nice warm room with a full belly and just a few yards from a soft bed. Caswell says they don’t mean much when another man’s bread or jacket is what keeps you alive. As much as I hate to admit it, he does have a slight point. However, did he try asking them to share? Or try working for a bit of money? His clothes don’t look too rough and the fact that he back shot someone doesn’t speak too strongly for his character. Any kind of back attack is a bit cowardly unless it’s an absolute necessity. Again, though, he makes another slightly good point when he suggests The Professor hop in his time machine and go back to where he came from. He might see things a bit differently.

Caswell freaks out and starts tussling with The Professor, knocking him over the desk. The Professor tries to get to something in his drawer but Caswell beans him in the head with a lamp. Then he takes the gun out of the drawer that The Professor was trying to reach for. The recorder starts playing, repeating the last part of what The Professor had recorded and it freaks Caswell out.

Caswell runs out onto the streey and somehow stumbles into the exact same neon jungle from ‘The Four of Us Are Dying’ (first picture). As Caswell pushes his way through the crowd I even see the same club advertising a ‘water show’. And I still want to know what it means. Wet t-shirt contest?

He looks a bit discombobulated and runs out into the street (don’t they all?) He runs into a telephone booth. Weirdly, the telephone is ringing. Looks like the lady who just left stiffed them for a quarter for the call. He fumbles it off the hook and drops it, freaking out at the voice coming out of the phone. The doors have shut, though, and he crashes through the glass trying to get out.

He then pulls out a kerchief to wipe at a scratch from the glass. He crashes into a bar from the street, bumping into a couple of city slickers. The jukebox scares him so he attacks it. The bartender just watches while Caswell goes a few rounds with the jukebox. He even stands there watching when Caswell takes a chair to it. Then he just makes a “Why I oughta!” face. Caswell stumbles to the bar, holding his ears and complaining about all the noise. The bartender tells Caswell that if he doesn’t pay for it then he’ll have to himself. Well, I’m sure the perfectly nice man who just smashed your jukebox will be happy to pay for it.

The bartender tells Caswell that he doesn’t want any trouble so if Caswell has any he’d better take it outside. In response, Caswell takes out his trouble and plops it on the counter. A gun, you guys, get it out of the gutter will ya! Caswell says he wants “one of those” and nods to the whiskey bottles. Even though the gun is on the counter and Caswell isn’t holding it, the bartender obliges him and pours him the bottle instead of calling the police. Caswell wants to  know why the thing won’t shut up and wants to know where the music comes from. The bartender tells him it’s just a jukebox and asks where Caswell has been, a star? Caswell says he just needs some sleep. The horseless carriages are also making him a bit disoriented. The bartender suggests to Caswell that he go home and have a sleep. He even gives him a couple of bottles of whiskey to leave with. Very obliging of the bartender. Caswell doesn’t look, though, he’s staring at a box on the wall. A TV. Caswell thinks it’s a window and the bartender chuckles and offers to giver him a demonstration. The bartender turns it on to show him.

And there just happens to be a cowboy show on! What are the odds? The cowboy on the screen is also walking straight at the camera on the screen and talking to the camera which is weird because that’s a big no-no in television and movies unless they’re intentionally breaking the fourth wall. Caswell thinks the tiny little tv man is talking to him, challenging him to a showdown. Caswell accepts and shoots the tiny tv man. The bartender makes another “Why I oughta!” face and tells him, “You’ll have to pay for that!” I’m sure it will work just as well this time as it did with the jukebox. Caswell looks befuddled (again) and runs out when the bartender starts yelling for the police. So the bartender has a tv in the bar but no phone? By all rights Mr. Joe Caswell shouldn’t even know what the police are. He runs back out into the urban jungle, dodging cars.

Finally he takes a shot at a cab. I honestly can’t tell if he’s hit the driver or if the driver just ducked. As a general clamor arises, he takes a tumble into some dirt. By now he’s looking sweaty and very, very tired. He eventually makes his way back to The Professor’s laboratory. He begs The Professor for help. I guess he doesn’t grasp the idea that he killed the dude so it may not be the best time to ask for help. As he’s begging for help a light is suddenly switched on. In the doorway stands a man with a gun. Caswell puts his hands up (what happened to his gun?) and the intruder says he thought the place was empty. He tells the “cowboy” to take it easy. Really, though, he doesn’t look like a cowboy exactly. His clothes aren’t that peculiar, really. Caswell asks what the intruder wants. The intruder says he wants whatever’s around for the taking.

Mr. Intruder sees the body of The Professor and thinks that Caswell got there before him and saved him the trouble of killing The Professor. He talks to himself a bit, rummaging through the desk. He asks Caswelll if he’s looked for a safe and Caswell just stares at him. Mr. Intruder leans a bit closer to ask again and Caswell tries to grab the gun. They fight a bit and at first Caswell is holding his own but then Mr. Intruder gets the upper hand even though Caswell is supposed to be a roughand-tumble cowboy who’s a bit bigger than Mr. Intruder. Of course, it didn’t sound as though he fought fair so maybe he is at a disadvantage. Mr. Intruder pushes him toward a window and almost knocks Caswell through. Mr. intruder grabs the dangerously dangling blind cords and strangles Caswell to death, delivering the justice that was delayed a bit but couldn’t escape. Mr. Intruder starts ransacking the office, looking for money or…something. What exactly does he expect to find of value in a Professor’s laboratory? Test tubes? He sees the big flashing lights on the wall and, just like most people, can’t resist fiddling with a few of them. The wall thing lights up and he stops fiddling. The large machine catches his eye and he steps inside.

As it starts to glow he bangs on the walls, wanting out.

Back In The Old West:
The shadow of the rope is still in silhouette on the ground but now it’s filled in with the shadow of a man. The men of the necktie party rush over to cut him down but they soon realize  that the man on the end of the end of the rope is not Joe Caswell. They don’t know who the man is and are baffled by his clothing. The deputies take off and the other three are wondering if they hung an innocent man. They hope not.

SERLING:
This is November, 1880. The aftermath of a necktie party. The victim’s name, Paul Johnson. A minor league criminal and the taker of another human life. No comment on his death, save this: Justice can span years Retribution is not subject to a calendar. Tonight’s case in point in the Twilight Zone.


Karma’s a bitch and the story drips with irony. Not really one of the best since most of the people don’t act like normal people would in those situations. If you were The Professor would you tell a murderer to his face that you’re sending him back to be hung? Or would you trry to trick him into the box? Also, wouldn’t the bartender call the police (on the telephone, not just yelling for them) instead of bribing the crazy man with more alcohol to get him to leave?


Join us again next week for another Twilight Zone Tuesday episode: The Big Tall Wish (prepare yourself, the snark is coming).

Twilight Zone Tuesday – Long Live Walter Jameson

Long Live Walter Jameson

Professor Walter Jameson/Tom Bowen/Major Hugh Skelton – Kevin McCarthy
Professor Sam Kittridge – Edgar Stahli
Susanna Kittridge – Dodie Heath
Laurette Bowen – Estelle Winwood

Trigger Warnings (highlight to see) : Suicidal thoughts, almost completes tries it


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