The Twilight Zone 4.9 – Printer’s Devil

Wow, our son didn’t like tonight’s episode of The Twilight Zone at all. Not a bit. I think he was most aggravated by this season’s version of the devil, played by Burgess Meredith, driving a car very, very fast down an old two-lane to bring his passenger to a grisly end. He shouted “He needs to slow down,” which I thought was a charming bit of concern. He does get invested in teevee enough to worry about the protagonists, and at the same time, he doesn’t like worrying.

I thought Charles Beaumont’s story was wickedly funny in places. Robert Sterling plays the beleaguered editor of a dying small-town newspaper and asks Meredith’s “Mr. Smith” whether he’s a creditor. Almost under his breath, the devil hastily replies “Not yet, anyhow.” I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. There’s a sense that this particular kind of evil just can’t be allowed to win when the mortal isn’t actually wicked, just desperate, and so it comes to a cute, but not really satisfying conclusion. That’s a shame, because in between the black comedy and a downright electric scene between Sterling and Meredith debating whether to sign over the human’s soul, this really did please me, but in the end, there wasn’t a twist, just a good winning over evil wrapup when the story was calling for something a shade more malevolent.

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