The Mind of Simon Foster

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"The Mind of Simon Foster"
The New Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 58
Directed by Douglas Jackson
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Original air date February 18, 1989
Guest actors

Bruce Weitz : Simon Foster
Geza Kovacs : Pawnbroker
Ilse von Glatz : Counselor

Episode chronology
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"Room 2426"
Next →
"Cat and Mouse"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

The Mind of Simon Foster is the fifty-eighth episode (the twenty-third episode of the third season (1988–89)) of the television series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration[edit]

The year is nineteen hundred and ninety nine. Within the box, evidence that some things do not change with the passage of time; its contents, the collected debris of a shattered life, now valuable only for the dimes and nickels they can solicit from a third party. A familiar process and a familiar long walk that is about to lead into the unfamiliar terrain...of the Twilight Zone.

Plot[edit]

In the near future, a man named Simon Foster comes home to find a message from the unemployment agency: no more unemployment money for him. He then decides to pawn what little valuables he has. Simon enters a pawn shop and attempts to pawn his belongings, but the broker offers very little for what he has. The broker asks if he might have something else to offer. Simon looks puzzled but is intrigued. The broker says that perhaps there is something else Simon has that he might want. He questions Simon about what he knows about "memory-dipping", renting people's memories, copied memories.

A champion skier can copy his memory of his best race and one can feel what he felt, the exhilaration, the snow under the skis, etc. But copied memories aren't quite as intense as real ones, like watching a video that's been dubbed too many times. Now, for a select elite few, the demand for actual memories cut from a person's mind is enticing. The unfortunate side effect is the person actually loses those memories, but he is reimbursed financially well. Simon is hesitant and decides to think about it. After a threat to be evicted, Simon goes back to the pawn shop and lets the broker take his high school graduation. Simon gets enough to pay his rent but discovers he needs even more, as his landlord threatens to evict him anyway if he doesn't pay him next month in advance. Later Simon is looking at a picture of his graduation he closes his eyes and is disturbed that he can no longer remember it at all. Simon soon runs out of money so he goes back to the pawn shop. This time he gives up his fifth birthday. Soon, Simon gives up his first steps, his first time at the circus, and numerous others.

The unemployment agency eventually gives him a call to inform him they have a job for him, but they just need to ask a few questions. He soon learns that much of his college years have been taken and he can't remember what he needs to get the job. He returns to the pawn shop and before he realizes, he gives up the first time he made love. After the procedure, Simon demands his life back. He pulls the broker's gun on him and demands to have a life, any life. The broker tries to comply but he says it won't be easy. Simon has another appointment with the unemployment agency. When he is questioned about his typing experience, the counselor wonders how a man graduated from a women's college at the time. Simon goes on to tell about his experiences, which seem to contradict each other.

Closing narration[edit]

Exit: Simon Foster; a patchwork collection of lost dreams held together by the stolen memories of strangers. A man who discovered that we truly are the sum of our parts. Mr. Simon Foster, a very special resident... of the Twilight Zone.

See also[edit]