Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Twilight Zone Season 1 Episode 6 The Escape Clause Review

The Twilight Zone Explores Immortality 
What if you could be immortal? Would you go for it? That’s the question posed with the sixth episode of the first season of The Twilight Zone. In this case, “The Escape Clause” is the title, and it stars David Wayne, Thomas Gomez, and several others. It was first aired in 1959, and it really does showcase an interesting premise. One that we have explored in horror literature and movies for quite some time. Often, it’s the werewolf or the vampire that lives forever, but what if you didn’t have to be either?

Walter Bedeker is always thinking he is sick; he thinks he’s dying. But out of the blue comes a rogue. The devil shows up and tells him that he can in fact make sure that he lives forever. There is of course an escape clause, and Bedeker can choose to die when he’d like. Simple enough, right?

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What would you do? I don’t know what I would do, it’d be insane. Bedeker in this case uses his immortality to try and collect on a lot of money. He throws himself into insane situations, and collects money from accidents. After he gets bored of all of this, he ends up losing his wife to a fall off a roof. He admits he murdered her, hoping to go the electric chair and surviving, but nope. He gets life in prison and that’s where he asks for the escape.

And that’s that. It’s not a huge twist, but one that got me thinking yet again. This is a morality tale at heart, and one that asks what you would do with immortality? I don’t know what I would do. I can’t imagine living forever, unless I had a bit of money. I guess that’s the big deal here. Money. One has to live, right? And forever? What a cost! Oh well. This is just an example of how great Serling’s mind was. There is only one Rod Serling, and this morality play showcases that. I loved it.

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