Twilight Zone Tuesday – Prime Mover

Prime Mover

Ace Larson – Dane Clark
Jimbo Cobb – Buddy Ebsen
Kitty Cavanaugh – Christine White
Big Phil Nolan – Nesdon Booth
Sheila – Jane Burgess
Narrator – Rod Serling

We see the Happy Daze Cafe from the outside. A few people can be seen through the glass front. Even though it’s a diner, I feel like the Happy Daze Cafe should refer to a bar. Well, they do have cold beer, ham & eggs & french fries for eighty four cents, burgers for thirty cents and hamburger steak for sixty five cents. Man, with our paychecks now we’d be, if not millionaires, incredibly well off. A trucker is sitting at the counter and a young, dark-haired lady is pouring him some coffee. Another man looks up when the fourth man starts talking. Ace pops into the scene cajoling his sweetheart. He says he’s her lover boy and they’ve been through thick and thin together and he’s been real good to ‘her’. He says he fed her, took care of her so it’s time to start paying off. Just when you’re getting creeped out and disgusted it is revealed that the gal he’s sweet-talking is a slot machine. He puts his quarter in and closes his eyes when he pulls the handle. The counter lady (Kitty) rolls her eyes as the bars come up as a loss. He pulls out another quarter saying this time it better pay up or it’s out of there. He quickly says he’s just kidding. Wouldn’t want to hurt its feelings now, would we? I think that he and Franklin would get along great. Another coin, another loss. He asks Kitty for another quarter. The trucker at the counter tells Ace he ought to slow down, he’ll blow a gasket.

Ace offers to flip the man for the burger. The trucker tells Ace he must like getting kicked around. Ace tells him to never mind what he likes. Are they on? The trucker agrees and Ace demands a quarter from Kitty again. She starts to say something but he just demands the quarter in a snippy voice. He thinks that he can’t lose forever. Yeah, just keep thinking that dude. Ace does the flip and guess who wins? The trucker says thanks! It must be a lucky quarter and he snags it from Ace. Which seems a little jerkish but Ace did bet double or nothing. The guy plugs it into the machine and hits the jackpot. And, to be fair, the guy gives Ace his quarter back and tells him thanks without rubbing it in. Ace gets pissed at the machine and kicks it. Jimbo says that Ace’s luck will change sometime. Ace replies that yeah, he’ll probably get electrocuted next time.

While Ace is grumping around, Kitty is putting on her coat and heading for the door. He asks where she’s going. She’s going home to bed, does he have a problem with that? He chills out and says no an he wouldn’t be surprised if she quit. She says that she’s not going to…he owes her three months salary. Umm, I think I’d still quit and get my pay. However, methinks she has another reason for sticking around. As Kitty leaves, Jimbo asks Ace when he and Kitty are going to get married. Ace says what can they get married on? Jimbo says that he has a little saved up and they could use that but Ace thinks that a little is not enough to get married on. Why not? You don’t need to spend a gajillion dollars on a wedding. He says a girl like Kitty deserves the best and the best doesn’t come cheap.

As they’re talking they hear a screech of tires outside. They look in time to see a car roll over across the street and crash into a big electrical thing, throwing up sparks. They run out to help but the electricity is making the car untouchable. Ace says there’s people inside and wants Jimbo to help. Well of course there’s people inside! The car didn’t drive itself. Jimbo doesn’t move but gets a really weird look on his face. At first he looks like he’s concentrating really hard. Then he looks constipated. The car moves by itself and rolls off of the electricity. Ace looks surprised and Jimbo looks tired.

A portrait of a man who thinks and thereby gets things done. Mr. Jimbo Cobb might be called a Prime Mover. A talent which has to be seen to be believed. In just a moment he’ll show his friends, and you, how he keeps both feet on the ground and his head in the Twilight Zone.

Jimbo’s laying on a bed, rubbing his head. Ace comes into the room and says that the people in the car are going to be ok, just a few broken bones. Then he asks Jimbo how he did it. Jimbo tries to play dumb but Ace wants to know. Jimbo tells him to leave it alone and Ace gets pissy and tells him to keep his secrets, he doesn’t care. Jimbo relents and says he’ll tell him. Jimbo says he can’t explain it very well but it’s a power. He can move things around by thinking about it. Ace is a bit dumbfounded so Jimbo says that he knows it sounds dumb but he can. He doesn’t know how or why but he can. Ace asks how long he’s been able to do it. Jimbo says that for a long time he thought that it was something everyone could do. Ace wants to know why he hasn’t seen him do it before. Jimbo says it used to get him in trouble at school  and stuff so he gave it up. It also started to give him very bad headaches, like the one he’s got now.

Ace is all excited and wants to know if Jimbo can do it again, like now? Apparently Jimbo rubbing his head and neck and saying he gets headaches. Ace don’t care though and he pulls Jimbo off the bed and asks him to do something with it.  So Jimbo lifts it and Ace is amazed. He asks Jimbo if he could move something a little smaller, like a quarter? Jimbo says sure, the smaller the easier. Ace asks Jimbo to flip it to heads and Jimbo does. This gives Art an idea and he has Jimbo roll some dice. Ace is super psyched and he calls Jimbo a big dummy. They’re busting their humps in the diner every day when they could e getting rich. Jimbo wants to know how. Ace doesn’t answer him but calls Kitty and tells her to get ready for a trip, don’t pack, just get ready.

And boom, we’re in Vegas. On a side note my grandpa used to go to Vegas every year in the spring. The Golden Nugget and Stardust were his favorites. He also brought back a hat one time…imagine my surprise later when I found out it was a strip club…

Ace, Jimbo and Kitty are all at the roulette table. Ace bets a hundred and Kitty freaks out, saying that’s all they have. Ace tells her not to worry. The ball goes and Jimbo makes it land on the right number. He spreads out the winnings and Kitty again tells him to chill out out he again tells her that it’s ok. Jimbo once again helps. They hit casino after casino, raking in the dough using Jimbo’s power. Apparently they didn’t let Kitty in on it because she’s worried that Ace’s luck will change and he’ll go bust. He says they’ve got a system and not to worry. Jimbo breaks in to say that he’s got to take a break, his head’s killing him. At first Ace wants to keep going but then he realizes that maybe they shouldn’t push Jimbo’s talent too much. He cashes their chips out. As he is a cigar/cigarette girl comes over. Ace scoops up a handful of cigars and throws her a hundred. She says she can’t cash a bill that big but he says keep it. Kitty looks a little disgusted and Jimbo looks tired. Apparently they’ll just hand you cash in boxes when you cash out large sums. Is this accurate? That can’t be safe. Ace yanks Jim off the couch and they head up to their room.

It’s a very large room. Jimbo just wants to sleep, he’s very tired but Ace wants to go out and party. Kitty says that she’ll see them tomorrow. Ace gives Jimbo a head massage and has Kitty get him some aspirin. Jimbo says that he can’t do it anymore, that it isn’t right because it’s cheating. Ace says fine, they’ll quit. Jimbo asks if he means it and Ace says sure. After one more time. Jimbo says fine, one more time. He takes an aspirin and he lays down to rest his head. Ace grabs Kitty and says they’re going to go out and have some fun. Kitty wants him to stop though, she’s worried that the luck will run out and why can’t he be happy with all of the money that he’s made? Ace says that it’s not enough and by tomorrow he’ll have enough money to buy the state. Aceville, USA. Kitty She’s having none of it. She says she’s going home and look her up when he’s done playing Ceaser. Ace wants to know wht her problem is. Jimbo says that he’s been ignoring her all night. Ace says he’s been busy. Jimbo says a man should never be that busy and Kitty’s worth more than any money and urges Ace to go after her.

He catches up to Kitty but she hasn’t changed her mind. If he’s going to gamble the next day then she’s out of there. She leaves and Ace looks bummed for about two seconds. The cigar/cigarette girl asks if anything’s wrong with a pouty little expression. He asks her name and she says it’s Sheila. He asks how she’d like to come work for him? She rolls her eyes and says doing what? he wants her to help him spend some money. She doesn’t believe him but he hands her a grand and says it’s a down payment. She takes it and asks when he wants her to start. He says right now and she whips off her box of goodies. Her boss comes over and wants to know if there’s a problem. Ace says no, he’s buying the girl for the night, oh, sorry “hiring” her for the night and hands the boss a wad of bills. Ace asks the manager who the biggest whale in town is. No limits. The guy thinks for a minute then says Mr. Phil Nolan. Ace wants Phil to call him at the hotel and bring plenty of money. Ace goes back to his cigarette homey and she says she’s ready to go but she wants to get dressed first. Ace says ok but not too much. Ew.

The next morning the phone rings. Jimbo floats it over to the bed and answers it. It’s Mr. Nolan for Ace. He tells Mr. Nolan that he’s got two hundred grand and wants a game. You’re lucky Mr. Nolan doesn’t just show up with a shotgun and take your money. Jimbo is a bit leery. He asks if Mr. Nolan is from Chicago and asks if he’s a gangster. ace says yeah but so what? They have a code of honour. Uh huh.  Every single one of them. While Ace cleans up Jimbo asks him about Kitty but Ace just shrugs him off. Jimbo looks a bit worried.

Mr. Nolan shows up with some other guys and ask to see the money. Ace orders breakfast while he’s counting it and asks if Nolan’s boys want something. They don’t eat. Ever. They start off with ten grand. Ace starts to roll but Nolan suggests they use his dice. i think either way is unfair. They should call the casino for some dice that are more likely to be untainted. Ace says fine, they’ll use Nolan’s dice. They roll, Jimbo helps. The usual. Ace is pretty stupid. He should lose occasionally, it would look less suspicious. Nolan does get suspicious and grabs the dice to double check that they’re his. Nolan tells Ace to remember that people only cheat on him once.

After the threatening Sheila comes bouncing in, asking if Ace is ready to go to Lake Meade. the toughs ask who the dame is and Ace says she’s his lucky charm, his shweetheart. They have a snuggle. Jimbo looks very upset. To hurry things up Ace decides to bet it all. Jimbo tries to get his attention but Ace ignores him and asks for the other box of money. Nolan seems hesitant but says that Ace is covered. Ace says he wants an eleven and eyeballs jimbo meaningfully. Jimbo tries to get his attention but Ace ignores him. Ace is all happy but he’s a little premature. He hasn’t looked at the dice which are decidedly not on eleven. Nolan’s thrilled, though. His guys scoop Ace out of the way to scoop up the money. Ace looks stunned.

After the other guys leave Jimbo says that he’s sorry but he tried to tell him. Jimbo says that a fuse must have blown or the power went out because he just couldn’t do it. Ace should have quit while he was ahead. Jimbo asks if Ace is mad at him. Sheila wants to know if they’re still going to Lae Meade. Ace just says that Jimbo blew a fuse. She gets huffy and leaves with a glare for Jimbo. Ace snaps out of it and starts laughing at the blew a fuse. Jimbo, looking a bit relieved, joins in. To give him credit, Ace does not yell at Jimbo or blame him. Which was unexpected. usually they turn into dicks.

Back at the diner some guys are removing the slot machine. They ask Ace if he’s sure he wants to get rid of it and he says, yeah, who needs it? Ace is in a good mood and not as grouchy as he was in the beginning of the episode. After its gone ace starts to ask Kitty something about pooling their money after…will she marry him? Jimbo’s broom falls, startling them. Kitty looks a bit shocked and asks Jimbo if he’s got a quarter. She tells ace to call it. She flips it and he calls ‘Heads’. She peeks at the quarter and then tells Ace, yes, she will marry him. Did you really doubt it? Jimbo goes to grab his broom but remembers that it’s on the floor. He uses his mind powers to pick it up. I don’t blame him. He probably saved Ace’s ass from a dirt nap, eventually.

Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, the talent becomes a curse. Jimbo Cobb knew that right from the beginning. But before Ace Larson learned that simple truth he had to take a trip through the Twilight Zone.

This one is a bit, eh to me. Well, next week’s episode is good and creepy, anyways.

Join us next week for Twilight Zone Tuesday’s episode – Long Distance Call

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