Friday, November 1, 2019

Review of The Twilight Zone, Episode Two, "I Love to Pitch! Ah Ha Ha Ha!"

This episode called "One For the Angels" and written by Rod Serling isn't about being so lonely you go mad. Sure, it's only the second episode so it seems like writing about loneliness isn't a trend. But it will be! I'm absolutely positive about that!

In this episode, a dumb salesman is outwitted by Death so badly that he thinks he pulled one over on Death. But since he still dies at the end, I'm pretty sure Death schooled the shit out of Ed Wynn. See, this guy finds out he's about to die because Death tells him he's going to. Why does Death tell him? It doesn't make any sense, right? Because of course the salesman is going to rage against whatever it is that guy's dad is supposed to rage against when he finds out he's dying. I guess death!

Ed Wynn complains and tries to find a way out and Death tells him how somebody can get an extension on their life. Again, why?! Why start all this trouble in motion when Death could easily have just killed the guy at midnight and been done with it. That, I think, is where the heart of the story lies. Death knows what he's doing the entire time. Death is being kind. Death is giving this guy a chance to embrace his demise and to leave the world feeling like a hero. I imagine Death does this with as many people as he can because why not make the job about making people feel good? Especially when most of the time, Death is probably just coming up to a car accident and pulling the scared shitless soul out of the wreck and sending them off to Heaven or Hell.

Death allows Ed Wynn to live as long as he needs to make the greatest sales pitch he's ever made. That's the deal for the extension. But when Ed Wynn finds out that this extension comes at the expense of one of the neighborhood kids he loves, he tries to renege on the deal and die in her place. Death mentions early on that he knows how much Ed Wynn loves the kids. See, he's already foreshadowing his plan. Death doesn't let Wynn renege so Ed Wynn has to pitch some shitty ties to Death in order to make Death forget about killing the little girl. If he misses his appointment, the girl will have to live. And of course, Death tells this to Ed Wynn. Because how else would Ed Wynn know what to do so that Death can ultimately make him feel like a hero when he dies? Death puts on a good act, pretending to be so interested in Wynn's terrible tie sales pitch, that he spends fifteen minutes buying shitty ties from Ed Wynn. Eventually the clock strikes midnight and Death stands up horrified and shocked. "You made me miss my appointment to murder that girl! Aw, shucks!" he says totally unconvincingly. And so Death has to take the hero, Ed Wynn, too high from the greatest sales pitch he's ever made to rage against the dying of himself. What a stupid bastard.

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