The Twilight Zone 1.6 – Escape Clause

In pretty sharp contrast to the most recent episode of The Avengers that we watched, which featured an element that your typical secret agent show had never seen before, here’s an episode of The Twilight Zone with a twist that I can’t imagine any adult in 1959 finding at all surprising. I picked this one for its guest appearance by David Wayne as a bored hypochondriac, but the real fun is seeing an actor called Thomas Gomez, who plays the Devil, under the name “Mr. Cadwallader,” with a mischievous sense of fun with all the dialogue that he’s been given.

Again, we had to pause to explain the narrative a little bit. Newly immortal, David Wayne’s character becomes a thrill-seeker arranging accidents and then collecting thousands in insurance money. Sometimes, we watch the story unfold with a little smile before remembering that there’s a six year-old in the audience. “So… this probably doesn’t make any sense at all to you, does it?” Still, he understood enough to see what a mess Wayne had got himself into with the devil, and facepalmed admirably when the inevitable problem came crashing down, which is delicious for younger viewers if obvious to their parents. The sentence the court passes on this immortal character for the crime of murdering his wife is, of course, life imprisonment.

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