Successful businessman Paul Radin invites three people from his past to join him in the underground bunker he's built under his commercial office building. All three have had major influence on him though not the kind that made him what he is today. His former military commander had him court-martialed; his former teacher ridiculed and humiliated him in class after she caught him cheating; and his church Minister who ruined his reputation after he drove a girl to suicide. All he wants from them is one thing: a brief apology. The impact of what they've done is far greater than it appears. Written by
Mr. Paul Radin, a dealer in fantasy, who sits in the rubble of his own making and imagines that he's the last man on Earth, doomed to a perdition of unutterable loneliness because a practical joke has turned into a nightmare. Mr. Paul Radin, pallbearer at a funeral that he manufactured himself in the Twilight Zone.
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Like this installment or not, it is a Wiseman showcase. As an addled millionaire, he gets to run a gamut of emotions replete with stark close-ups. Good thing the acting is strong since the talky story depends more on character than suspense. Seems Wiseman's millionaire can't get over humiliations of his earlier life, whether he deserved those reprimands or not. So now, he's constructed an elaborate scheme to humiliate three of those perpetrators, which he locks into an underground bomb shelter with himself. There, he confronts the three with making a radical choice among their personal values. The three are a quiet clergyman (ClarK), a no-nonsense Teacher (Squire), and a commanding colonel (Bardette). So, what values will these three pillars of society sacrifice in return for simple self-preservation.
Though the premise contains seeds of suspense, these are not played up. Rather the storyline develops with character interest climaxing in a double dose of TZ irony. Also, I get the impression Serling may be making a comment on society by using the four professions as symbols for something larger. In my little book, the 30-minutes amounts to a middling series entry, more a matter of taste than most.
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