|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 an enchanted ring, in which she sees the the face of her sister from the small town in which she grew up. They implore her to come home.
Though she has been hired to make a movie in Rome, Bunny takes a plane from Los Angeles and arrives at her hometown, Howardsville, Virginia. Despite Bunny's fame, she tells her manager that her loyalty is still to her town since they all chipped in to help her go to Hollywood. She surprises her sister, Hildy, and Bud, her nephew, by this impromptu visit. After seeing a vision of an old friend, the town doctor, Bunny seems weak and the same doctor is called upon. He is also the annual founder's day picnic chairman/organizer, which happens to be on this very day. Bunny, rather brashly, requests that he postpone the entire event, but he declines.
Refusing to take a rest like what the doctor and her sister insist, Bunny asks Bud to accompany her to go to her old school to meet the keeper, who she asks to leave the school gates open. She then goes to the local TV station for an impromptu interview with another old friend who is now a TV host. In the interview, she arranges for a one-woman show in the high school gymnasium, convincing everyone to go to her show instead of the picnic. Both of these men appeared in visions in her crystal-ball-like ring, asking her to save them. She also sees images of a jetliner and its passengers, including her manager. All the while, she hears thunder outside and it starts to rain. Hildy accuses Bunny of "showing off" for announcing her one-woman show so suddenly, forcing the town to choose between seeing her or attending the annual founder's day picnic. Bunny insists the she loves the town and its people and she owes them something, using her show as a way of thanking them. After Hildy first insists that she and her son Bud are going to the picnic, Hildy has a change of heart and agrees to attend Bunny's show instead.
As Bunny, her sister, and nephew are about to leave for the performance, they hear sirens and rush to look out the living-room window. Bunny finally sees herself in the ring, on the 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, an older police officer calls the house to inform Hildy that Bunny is among the deceased passengers on the plane. Hildy does not believe the officer, as Bunny was there moments before, but the radio news anchor confirms that Bunny was indeed on the plane, while stating that several townspeople claimed to have seen her that day. The anchorman notes that many of the townspeople were in the auditorium waiting to see Bunny's concert, thus their lives were saved, since they would have been at the picnic, on the grounds of which the jetliner crashed. "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; now chipped and charred.
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)