What Are Friends For?

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"What Are Friends For?"
The New Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 26a
Directed by Gus Trikonis
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Original air date October 4, 1986
Guest appearance(s)

Tom Skerritt: Alex
Fred Savage: Jeff
Lukas Haas: Mike

Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Saucer of Loneliness"
Next →
"Aqua Vita"
List of The Twilight Zone (1985 TV series) episodes

"What Are Friends For?" is the first segment of the twenty-sixth episode (the second episode of the second season (1986–87)) of the television series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Alex Mattingly and his young son Jeff move to a remote cabin in the woods following Alex's divorce from Jeff's mother. Jeff is lonely and unhappy because he has no one of his age for companionship.

Jeff awakens in the middle of the night and sees a boy playing in the woods. The boy disappears before Jeff can speak to him. One day Jeff meets the boy, Mike, and makes a new friend. They have fun exploring the woods and playing together. Mike is upset by the idea that Jeff may have told someone about him. Mike convinces Jeff to follow him into a makeshift fort in the woods. The fort collapses on Jeff, but Mike disappears. Alex finds and rescues Jeff.

Some time later, Alex discovers Mike out in the woods. Alex realizes that Mike was his imaginary friend in childhood. Mike says that he has been waiting for a long time for Alex to come back and play with him. Realizing that Mike isn't imaginary and is not normal, Alex instructs Mike to not play with Jeff any more.

During a cook-out, Jeff gets into a fight with other children. He runs to find Mike in the woods. Mike tells Jeff that he does not want to be his friend any more. Alex finds Jeff and tells him about the value of real friends. Mike, realizing he is no longer needed, transforms into a being of light. Alex asks Mike who he really is. Mike says he is a being who has lived there since the Earth was created. Alex and Mike reminisce about their friendship, and then say goodbye. Alex returns to the cook-out and is glad to see his son making new friends with other children.

Closing narration[edit]

External links[edit]