Sunrise (The Twilight Zone)

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"Sunrise"
The Twilight Zone (2nd revival) episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 43
Directed by Tim Matheson
Teleplay by Frederick Rappaport
Story by Katrina Cabrera Ortega
Production code 137
Original air date May 21, 2003 (2003-05-21)
Guest actors

Jonathan Jackson as Marty
Sarah Carter as Amber
Michael Peña as Noah
Lauren Lee Smith as Eve
Tyler Labine as Wesley

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Homecoming"
Next →
"Burned"
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"Sunrise" is the forty-third episode of the science fiction television series 2002 revival of The Twilight Zone. The episode was first broadcast on May 21, 2003, on UPN.

Opening narration[edit]

Five close friends looking for a last good time before graduating college and going their separate ways. But their light-hearted search is about to take a dark turn. For the cave they're exploring isn't an ordinary cave: it's a passageway leading directly into the Twilight Zone.

Plot[edit]

Five college friends, Marty, Amber, Noah, Eve and Amber's boyfriend Wesley, trek into the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in New Mexico for a GPS Internet treasure hunt. While digging in a cave they find a stone box which seemingly has nothing to do with the box of CDs that they were supposed to find. They open it and Marty, a student in ancient cultures, realizes the box is Aztec. Inside they find a pot filled with liquid blood. As Amber prepares to take video of it, she spills the blood on the ground. They look up to realize that the sunlight streaming into the cave is disappearing. They go outside and discover that the sun has disappeared at 11 a.m.

The friends listen to the radio in horror as newscasters describe how the sun has disappeared and temperatures are dropping across the world. Marty has been studying the box and explains that they are responsible. The Aztecs performed an ancient ritual to maintain the sun. When the blood was spilled, the sun disappeared. Without the sun, all life on Earth will freeze to death. However, Marty notes that the pictographs reveal only one way to bring the sun back: a human sacrifice. He has found a knife in the box. The other four think Marty is insane and Eve encourages them to go out and find wood for a fire. However, once they are gone, she admits to Marty that she is not as confident as she made out.

Over the next thirteen hours, the global death toll rises while the friends huddle in their cave around a fire. Amber thinks she is the one responsible since she spilled the blood. The night passes but the sun still has not appeared. Wesley refuses to participate and the others debate how to pick the sacrificial victim. Amber wonders how they can possibly live with themselves after killing one of their own. Despite that, she agrees to participate and convinces Wesley to join them. Noah grabs a knife and threatens each of them, asking how they can do it. However, he collapses from the cold and they realize there is no more time left.

They prepare four long twigs and one short and draw lots, the men first. Each one draws a long twig and finally only Amber and Eve are left. Amber draws and gets the short twig. She tries to delay things, asking for more time to write a final note for her mother, but Noah hits her over the head with a rock and then holds her down while Marty takes the knife. Wesley refuses to participate or stop them and watches in horror as Eve and Noah restrain Amber as Marty stabs and kills her.

Later, Marty places the refilled pot in the box and reburies it where they found it. Wesley is sitting over Amber's body and blaming himself. As soon as the box is back in place, the sun appears once more. They go outside and turn on the radio and the newscaster says that scientists have determined that a rare stellar cloud temporarily blocked the sun. As the mortified Eve and Noah realize that they may have brutally murdered Amber for nothing, a completely unfazed Marty insists that, even it was just a coincidence, they did not do anything wrong, then demands that they make a pact and never tell anyone, to which other three reluctantly agree.

Closing narration[edit]

The sun has returned and the grateful world is warm again. But for these four survivors, a bitter chill remains. Haunted by uncertainty they can find no peace of mind, no escape from the shadows of doubt, no light to guide them out of the murky depths of the Twilight Zone.

External links[edit]