Upgrade (The Twilight Zone)

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"Upgrade"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 14
Directed by Joe Chappelle
Written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Production code 113
Original air date October 30, 2002 (2002-10-30)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Harsh Mistress"
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"To Protect and Serve"
List of The Twilight Zone episodes

"Upgrade" is the fourteenth episode of the science fiction television series 2002 revival of The Twilight Zone. The episode was first broadcast on October 30, 2002, on UPN.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Annie, her husband, two unruly teenage children and untrained dog move into a large house with plans to start their lives again. As they unpack, she hangs a large portrait of the family in the living room.

On seeing their dog urinating on the floor, Annie expresses her wish for the "perfect" family. Her husband comforts her and Annie calms down, until she notices a strange poodle in the house. When she wonders where their own dog went, her husband is confused and tells her that the poodle is their dog. Only Annie appears aware of the change.

The next day, Annie's son has changed, from sloppy and annoying to respectful, well-behaved and better looking. Again, Annie is the only one who notices the change, and she becomes convinced that the new son is a stranger. She tries to find her true son, but in the process falls down the steps and suffers a mild concussion. Shortly after, her teenage daughter has changed from sullen and drab to sweet and pretty. Finally, her husband changes into a younger, handsomer man. None of the family notices these changes and they believe that Annie is crazy when she tries to bring the changes to their attention.

Annie notices that the family portrait also changes, reflecting the changes in the family. She becomes frightened when she overhears the family discussing her "delusions" and possible need of medical attention. Annie tries to escape from the house, but each time she finds herself in a strange darkness that leads her to a different part of the house. Finally, Annie finds to her horror that her own part of the portrait has changed. She suddenly turns into a younger, better looking woman who has no memory of her former self. When her husband finds her, she tells him that she feels lucky to have such a wonderful family.

At this point, it is revealed that the entire series of events that have taken place were nothing more than the events of a computer game that a young girl was playing — a game in which the player must "upgrade" a family. The girl saves the game and leaves for dinner.

After Forest Whitaker gives the closing, a "save and quit" icon appears and it is revealed that he too is a part of a computer game. The screen goes blank as the game is shut off.

Closing narration[edit]

External links[edit]