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Recap: The Twilight Zone S 1 E 28 A Nice Place To Visit
Rod Serling:"Portrait of a man at work, the only work he's ever done, the only work he knows. His name is Henry Francis Valentine, but he calls himself Rocky because that's the way his life has been: rocky and perilous and uphill at a dead run all the way. He's tired now, tired of running or wanting, of waiting for the breaks that come to others but never to him, never to Rocky Valentine. A scared, angry little man. He thinks it's all over now, but he's wrong. For Rocky Valentine, It's just the beginning."

We open on Rocky Valentine in the middle of his "job," robbing a store. He stops when he hears a police siren and starts to make a break for it. He turns into an alley and opens fire on the "dirty screws" that are in pursuit while trying to climb a fence. He's hit several times in the back and falls to the ground. He comes to, seemingly alive and well, with a fat man in a white suit standing over him, calling his name. He wonders how "fats," who informs Rocky that he can call him Pip, knows his name. Pip simply states that it's his job to know. He also knows several facts about Rocky's life, including his childhood. Pip makes the situation plain: it's his job to see to Rocky's comfort and give him anything he could want. All of this for nothing in return, at all. Rocky is disbelieving but after a demonstration of that his bullets will do "Fats" no harm, he works it all out: he died in that alley and now here he is getting anything he can ask for from a kind old man in a white suit, he must be in Heaven! This realization, combined with "a dame that never quits" and a million bucks in loose change on a whim, he changes his tune.

We cut to Rocky living it up in a casino. He's hot tonight and rolling in the dough, winning round after round. He lives the highlife, with "fats" giving him anything on demand. It's all wonderful, except for one thing: he can't quite figure out how a crook like him managed to get through the pearly gates. He asks "Fats" if they have a hall of records around this place, which they do. So they go there, "it's always open" and pull of his file. With such wonderful notes as "Age of 6, slaughtered small dog," Rocky wonders if there's been some misunderstanding. Pip assures him, there's been no mistake. He's right where he's supposed to be. And Rocky brushed it off, if it don't bother The Big Man then it don't bother him none.

We cut back to the casino. Rocky is winning again. He always wins. It's the same back at his fancy pad, the dames are getting dull and he wins a game of pool on the first stroke. He summons "Fats" and explains his boredom. "Fats" makes a suggestion, perhaps he would be happier if he went back to his old ways. This gets Rocky excited, finally some action, some risk. But "Fats" would have it "exactly as he requested" and that's no good. There's no point. It's not the same, artificial risk. He'd "know" and it's eating him up. He goes into a frenzy. This place, Heaven, isn't for him. He wants to be sent to the Other Place. "Fats" breaks into a laugh and delivers the Wham Line that this episode is famous for: Other place? Why Mr. Valentine, you've been in it the whole time. This is Hell!

Rod Serling: "A scared, angry little man who never got a break. Now he has everything he's ever wanted and he's going to have to live with it for eternity, in The Twilight Zone."

This episode provides examples of:

  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: It may be boring but it does beat a lake of fire.
  • Dead to Begin With: Rocky Valentine.
  • Fat Bastard: Pip, who Valentine even nicknames "Fats", is actually a demon who is amused my Valentine going mad with boredom.
  • Faux Affably Evil: "Fats" turns out to be a demon who is only being courteous and obedient to screw with Valentine by making him live with boredom for all eternity. He drops the affable facade at the very end when he breaks out laughing after delivering the Wham Line.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Valentine should have asked Pip what his line is.
  • Ironic Hell: Valentine was a thief who always wanted more and more while he lived, now he doesn't have to work for anything and now he's stuck with the boredom forever.
  • It's All About Me: Valentine is clearly very self-absorbed.
  • Karmic Twist Ending: See This Isn't Heaven below.
  • Kick the Dog: Valentine killed a dog who bite him while he was only six years old.
  • Man in White: Pip.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction
  • This Isn't Heaven: The famous twist ending, provides the pagequote for that trope.
  • Villain Protagonist: Valentine is a self absorbed, violent, and quick to anger thief who shows little remorse for harming other people. He does become slightly nicer after thinking he's in heaven though.
  • Wham Line:
    Valentine: "I don't belong in Heaven, see? I want to go to the other place."
    Pip: "Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea you were in Heaven, Mr. Valentine? This is the other place!!"
The Twilight Zone S 1 E 25 People Are Alike All OverRecap/The Twilight ZoneThe Twilight Zone S 2 E 37 King Nine Will Not Return

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