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The Twilight Zone Season 1 Episode 2: ‘One for the Angels’ Review

twilight-zone-one-for-the-angels Written by: Matt Molgaard Original Air Date: October 9th, 1959 Director: Robert Parrish Writer: Rod Serling The Story: Jovial pitchman, Lou Bookman is living and working as he would any other day of the week, flexing his smile and selling his goods. But things go sideways when a mysterious stranger, Mr. Death shows up and informs the pitchman that he’s scheduled to die at midnight. But Lou isn’t prepared to part ways with the breathing just yet. After some discussion Lou and Death come to an agreement: Make one final pitch, The Pitch, one for the angels, so to speak, successfully and borrow a few extra minutes on earth. But as Lou drags issues out, Death adjusts the rules of the game. Lou wants to cheat death? Then the children of the neighborhood – whom he cares for dearly – will die before his eyes. It’s time to make that pitch, and make it a good one.

Thoughts: The moral inflictions of this narrative are genius. Both emotionally taxing and mentally challenging, this is a tale to really wrap your head around. It’s the kind of piece that pulls at the heart strings and keeps the wheels upstairs moving. Fueled by the exchanges shared between performers Ed Wynn and Murray Hamilton, One for the Angels is proof that sometimes flash has no place in a story. Sometimes an awesome story is just an awesome story.

It’s a joy watching a very young Murray Hamilton work his craft. He’s still nearly a baby – this was long before the man’s days as the naïve Mayor Larry Vaughn – but he’s got a presence about him that is certainly uncanny. When Murray’s in front of the camera, the audience pays attention. This episode of The Twilight Zone is no different.

While this story needs no flair thanks to the chemistry between Wynn and Hamilton, the set pieces actually feel quite full and elaborate. During The Twilight Zone’s run we witnessed many episodes that showcased bare sets with next to zero props. This episode however is rich with props, large and small, and the attention to detail is really something to behold.

Verdict: An obvious winner, this was just the thing to keep momentum growing for Rod Serling. Episode one was a lonely display, episode two was loaded with intimate exchanges and a wide variety of emotions to contemplate. Strong acting only increase the enjoyment value, although it must be noted that the finale is somewhat predictable.

Rating: B+

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About The Overseer (1917 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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