|The Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Alan Crosland, Jr.|
|Written by||Earl Hamner, Jr.|
|Original air date||December 27, 1963|
Bunny Blake is a movie star. Her hometown fan club sends her a enchanted ring, in which she sees the faces of her friends and family from the small town in which she grew up. They implore her to come back home.
Though she has been hired to make a movie in Rome, Bunny returns to her hometown, Howardville, where she spends quality time with her sister, Hildy and Bud, her nephew. The annual town picnic is on that day. She tries to get the event postponed, but to no avail; at the last minute, she arranges a one-woman show at the high school auditorium. All the while she hears thunder outside and sees crystal ball-like images in the ring of a jetliner encountering severe weather. It starts to rain.
Hildy accuses Bunny of "showing off" by announcing her one-woman show so suddenly, forcing the town to choose between seeing her or attending the traditional picnic. After insisting that she and her son Bud are going to the picnic, Hildy has a change of heart (due, presumably, to the strong bond she shares with her sister), and agrees to attend Bunny's show instead.
As Bunny, her sister and nephew are about to leave for the performance, Bunny finally sees herself in the ring on the doomed jetliner. Bunny, who realizes that her mission is completed, thanks her slightly bewildered sister as a goodbye of sorts. A breaking news flash comes on over the radio, and while Bunny's sister and nephew are listening to the first reports of the crash, Bunny says a final goodbye, which the others do not hear, goes outside in the rain, and disappears.
Just then, a police officer calls the house to inform Hildy that Bunny is among the deceased passengers on the plane. Hildy does not believe the officer, since Bunny was right there in the house, but the radio news anchor confirms that Bunny was indeed on the plane, while also stating that several townspeople saw her that day as well. The anchorman notes that since all the townspeople were in the auditorium waiting to see Bunny's concert, their lives were saved, since they would have been at the picnic, on the grounds of which the jetliner crashed.
Bunny was only in town in Howardville in spirit through the magic of the ring, while her real body was on the plane. "Until the mystery is unraveled," the newscaster adds, "Only one thing is certain: Bunny Blake is dead." The final scene shows Hildy finding Bunny's magic ring, which had fallen to the floor; it is now chipped and charred, presumably because of the fiery plane crash.
The episode ends with Rod Serling's narration: We are all travelers. The trip starts in a place called birth—and ends in that lonely town called death. And that's the end of the journey, unless you happen to exist for a few hours, like Bunny Blake, in the misty regions of the Twilight Zone.
- Maggie McNamara as Barbara "Bunny" Blake
- Mary Munday as Hildy Powell
- David Macklin as Bud Powell
- Betty Lou Gerson as Cici
- Vic Perrin as State Trooper (Jim)
- George Mitchell as Dr. Floyd
- Bing Russell as Ben Braden
- Hank Patterson as Mr. Gentry
- Bill Hickman as Pilot
- DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
- Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0
- Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)