The Trance (The Twilight Zone)
|The New Twilight Zone episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3|
|Directed by||Randy Bradshaw|
|Written by||Jeff Stuart |
J. Michael Straczynski
|Original air date||November 26, 1988|
|“||Lights. A crowd. The proper atmosphere. And the common coin of desperate belief. Commodities necessary to the life and times of Leonard Randall, who may or may not be someone else as well.||”|
A man named Leonard comes into a crowded room, sits down, and begins to react as if in a trance. After a moment he stands and claims to be Delos – an ancient being who is there to answer questions with his "enlightened" expertise. One by one, people ask him questions. As Delos begins to get tired Leonard re-assumes his body and his "friend" Don enters to say that Leonard needs rest.
"Delos", in fact, is an invention of Leonard and Don (actually his business manager). As they discuss their upcoming schedule, Leonard suddenly speaks in an ethereal voice but doesn't realize what has happened. In a pre-interview for a television talk show, Leonard speaks in the voice again claiming television takes advantage of the weak-minded. Don and the producer are shocked to hear this voice from Leonard. As Don and Leonard discover, this new voice is not under Leonard's control. Don even suggests going to a psychiatrist.
At the psychiatrist's office, Leonard channels the voice again and tells the psychiatrist that his wife's death was not his fault. Although what the voice says must be true, the psychiatrist is frightened and scares Leonard away. As Leonard is about to go on live television to make Delos a star, Leonard channels the voice and apologizes for his previous deceit, and says paying someone for a glimpse into their soul is foolish. He continues by telling the live audience that people would pay anything to a scent of magic. Thus, the masquerade is ended.
After the truth is told, Leonard and Don are confronted with the reality. Leonard honestly doesn't understand what happened but Don decides to leave him regardless. Suddenly, the voice speaks to Leonard directly: it tells him that since Leonard asked to be able to speak the wisdom of universe he should accept it and that it should only take about twenty or thirty years.
|“||Critical reviews received and reluctantly acknowledged by Mr. Leonard Randall. A case study in showmanship who found himself upstaged, in the final act...by the Twilight Zone.||”|