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 comes into a crowded room, sits down, and begins to react as if in a trance. He stands and claims to be Delos, a long-lived being who is there to answer questions. One by one, people ask questions for his "enlightened" expertise. As Delos begins to "tire", Leonard comes back to his own body. His "friend" or business manager, as appearances go, comes in to say that Leonard is tired and needful of rest.
As discovered in the private room, Leonard and his business manager are all in it for the take—"Delos" doesn't exist at all. But Leonard suddenly does speak in an ethereal voice, unbeknownst to him. Then, in a pre-interview with a television talk show, Leonard begins speaking in the voice again, saying that television takes advantage of the weak-minded. Leonard's business manager, Don, and the producer are shocked to hear this truth-telling voice coming out of Leonard. As Don and Leonard himself discover, although Delos is a contrived thing, this new voice is not under Leonard's control. The manager even suggests going to a psychiatrist.
At the psychiatrist, 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 by it and scares Leonard off. As Leonard then is about to go on live television to make him and "Delos" a star, Leonard channels the voice and apologizes for Leonard's "Delos" impersonation and that paying someone for a glimpse into their own soul is foolish. He goes on to tell that people would pay anything to a scent of magic. 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 high and dry. Suddenly, the voice speaks to Leonard directly: it says 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.||”|