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Archive for July 20th, 2020

 

by Sam Juliano

In the New York-New Jersey area things continue to move in the right direction, though in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and elsewhere it couldn’t be any worse.  The heat has moved in a punishing way making things wholly uncomfortable and the summer of 2020 a time that will live in infamy.  Wishing all the best to our friends who are urged to take no risks.

I have decided to post some of my Facebook Twilight Zone reviews from my ongoing Top 78 that today reached Number 31 in reverse numerical order.

Top 78 Twilight Zone Episodes

Episode 34 “One for the Angels” (presented in reverse numerical order) Season 1

Mr. Death, that erstwhile reminder that life on Earth is and always has been a temporary proposition, has made multiple appearances on The Twilight Zone. One time he materialized as a matinee idol in an elderly woman’s tenement, another as a haunting visage who always popped up at the side of highways, and finally as a suit-wearing clerical type who was willing to compromise and one whose earthly presence was was as a messenger for a higher ruling body which oversaw induction in the two final destinations so aptly framed by John Milton. In only the second episode of The Twilight Zone to air back in the autumn of 1959, Mr. Death pays a visit to a lowly aging pitchman with some engaging quirks, whose overriding pleasure in his life is to help and intermingle with the neighborhood children.

Lou Bookman, in his mid-60s, isn’t remotely ill, as he conveys to his seemingly innocuous mercenary, but his time has come, giving some spiritually-attuned credence to the idea that everyone’s time of departure is preordained, and once firmed up can never be altered. Bookman admits he has made little difference during his life, though by that point the audience can see he does indeed have a vital function, one not kept in celestial record books, but appreciated by those lucky to receive his magnanimous gestures and attention. Initially Bookman is in denial and tries to elude the ghostly representative by leaving the room and re-locating to different areas in the building but Mr. Death is always there, gently admonishing Bookman for tactics that are doomed to failure. The persistent, charismatic Bookman eventually convinces his mildly abrasive stalker to to delay his imminent departure until he makes one last sales pitch, “one for the angels.” Mr. Death agrees but when he asks when this pitch may be orchestrated Bookman pulls a technicality, saying he is retiring. Mr. Death concedes he has been scammed, but informs Bookman that someone else must take his place in this fateful equation. (more…)

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