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Heartwarming / The Twilight Zone (1985)

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  • "Shatterday":
    • The premise turns out to be a man's Alternate self deciding to take charge and make amends for the past mistakes. While the main Peter J. Novans thinks the other Peter is trying to subsume him, it turns out his alter ego is benevolent and trying to avoid an unhappy existence where he dies alone from pneumonia. In the end, Peter accepts his fate graciously while other Peter pays his respects before leaving.
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    • The way other Peter apologized to a previous lover that Peter had abandoned, especially when he talked about their future together. In the same vein, other Peter invites Peter's mother to stay with him and promises to make the most of the time they have left together as mother and son.
  • "Wordplay": Donnie makes it to the hospital just in time for his pneumonia to be stabilized and treated. Bill is relieved and thanks God for Donnie's life. At supper, even though things haven't returned to normal, Bill tells Kathy he likes the dinner. Despite the language barrier, they both understand each other. Later, he humbly enters Donnie's room and uses the boy's picture book to teach himself to speak the new language.
  • "Wong's Lost and Found Emporium" has a surprising amount of this.
  • "Red Snow" gives us Valentina, a local who tells a little girl not to wander off. It gives this feel of the Siberian town being a closely-knit community. The reveal that Valentina is a vampire shows that her being nice to the girl was her Establishing Character Moment as a genuinely decent person. It's later cemented when she spares Ilyanov, even after Titov is attacked and eaten by wolves.
  • "Devil's Alphabet" has Cornelius defend his dead brethren when the rest of his fraternity brothers (least of all Grant) makes jokes about it.
    • Later, Cornelius visits them one last time, promising that he will visit them every year for the rest of his life and even after that. Bear in mind, he didn't know this would be the last time (thanks in part to the escape clause). He was promising this before-hand in case it didn't work, so they would have the slight comfort he would be there for them.
  • In "Extra Innings," Ed Hammer is a down and out former baseball player intrigued when young fan Paula shows him a card with Monte Hanks, an early 1910s baseball player who played two seasons. The card turns into a portal to 1910 where Ed is now fully healed and plays as Monte. He takes Paula with him to another trip to the past with Paula seeing Ed happier than he's ever been. When Ed takes another trip, Paula finds his wife burning up all his baseball memorabilia, tired of this life and relating how she sees Ed will never be happy in a life without the sport he loves. Realizing she's right, Paula tears up the card, thus stranding Ed in the past. When Paula looks at the torn card, she sees the back now covered with yearly stats showing "Hank" played into the 1920s and became the batting champion of his time. She laughs as she realizes that Ed managed to live out the dreams in the past that were denied him in the present.
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  • "A Saucer of Loneliness" just goes to show that somewhere out there, you can find someone meant for you, maybe even someone who shares your loneliness.
  • The ending to "Song of a Younger World": "They're together now, running free, in a place where you [...] no one can hurt them."
  • "Dream Me a Life" has Roger befriending Loraine the next morning after freeing her husband's spirit. And subsequently, she emerges from her coma and apologizes for 'burning' him. The two happily begin a relationship together.
  • "Memories" gives us Marie McNeal, a generally kind woman who embodies human compassion, especially in her profession as a past-life therapist. At one point in the episode, she meets a miserable woman who is deliberately trying to die, since in this alternate universe, reincarnation exists. Marie protests to this, telling her that it's in the present one should be happy. She convinces her that maybe, they can support each other.
  • "Hellgramite Method" may seem like a far cry, but the main character's son loves his alcoholic father unconditionally. In fact, it's love for his family that motivates our hero to go sober, especially when his life depends on it.
  • "The Call" is a beautiful love story in itself.
  • In "The Trance", the mysterious spirit possesses Leonard during a psychiatrist appointment and points out how the psychiatrist is one of the few decent people he's encountered. What's more, simply by knowing, the wise spirit points out to the psychiatrist that although it's okay to feel grief for his late wife, she also prefers he didn't speed up the reunion by destroying himself with his smoking habit. Naturally, the psychiatrist furiously kicks Leonard out of his office thinking he's conning him. Still, there's implications that his advice does influence the psychiatrist to stop smoking.
    • Just the nature of the mysterious spirit that keeps possessing Leonard. Aside from sabotaging the latter's stint as a televangelist, the spirit is wise, benevolent, and morally sound. In the end, it reveals that whether or not Leonard was "worthy", it decided to mentor him in the wisdom of the Universe.
  • "Acts of Terror" has one tender moment where Louise's sister still keeps in touch with her, after all these years they've been apart.
    • Around the climax, Louise tames the Doberman, who acts gentle and sweet around her.
  • "20/20 Vision" has Warren give a loan to a poor farmer, in spite that the bank is targeting to foreclose his farm. He's making sure the farmer won't lose his farm to the bank's greed.
  • "Appointment on Route 17":
    • The ending. Jamie vicariously keeps his promises by living on in Bennett: (A) that he wouldn't marry Mary Jo until he got a decent job and (B) that he would always be with Mary Jo.
    • The context of why Bennett didn't tell Mary Jo he was the recipient of Jamie's heart: he wanted her to love him on her own terms.
  • "Cat and Mouse" has a small one where Andrea accepts Carl's date, showing that she's matured as a confident woman who wants to date a real person.
    • Even more so? Carl had been asking out Andrea even before Guillaume came into her life, back when she looked (for lack of better words) mousy. This speaks volumes that, even if he's not as romantic and charismatic as Guillaume, Carl's affection towards Andrea is more unconditional.
  • "The Paladin of the Lost Hour", an episode written by Harlan Ellison. A man burdened by a debt he feels he can never repay (Glynn Turman) meets and befriends an older man (Danny Kaye) who is getting ready to pass on - and not just from life, but the custodianship of a watch that holds the last hour of the world's existence, an hour that can never be allowed to strike. One minute of that hour is granted to the first man, who gets to finally meet and thank the unknown Marine who saved him from an ambush in The Vietnam War, at the cost of his own life... and be thanked in turn, as the Marine never knew he was there and thought he'd died in vain. He relates all of this to his friend, who dies peacefully and leaves him as the new guardian of the watch.
  • The end of "To See the Invisible Man". The episode takes place in a dystopia where being cold and nasty to people results in the punishment of "invisibility"—the criminal is marked with a brand on the forehead, which means that everyone is forbidden, on pain of arrest, from interacting with him or her. A man receives the treatment, and while at first he has fun by stealing things and spying on beautiful women, he quickly goes mad from the isolation and begs someone, anyone, to acknowledge him. At one point, he sees a pretty red-headed woman who also has an invisibility brand on her forehead, walking by, and chases after her, screaming for help and pleading for her to speak to him; she walks away without a word. After the year is up, the man has reformed, and is a better person for it...until the day when he sees the red-headed woman, still marked with the invisibility brand, on the street. She pursues him, reminding him that he knows what it's like, but he ignores her...only to stop, embrace her, and say "I can see you! You are not invisible!" The episode ends with robots surrounding the man to take him into custody; the narrator comments that the program worked too well for the main character, and that he faced the punishment with pride the second time around.
  • In "The Star", a priest grieves over an alien civilization that was destroyed by a supernova (which the light would have reached Earth, and be seen as the "Star of Bethlehem"). He cries out to God, questioning why the aliens had to die when there were other stars with lifeless planets to chose from. This is the note the original short story ended on. The episode, however, keeps going: the priest's friendly rival, an astrophysicist, found a poem in the aliens' archive, which says they have lived a very long, peaceful life and saw the beauty of the universe. They knew they were going to die, but they were okay with it and accepted their fate. "Whatever destiny was theirs, they fulfilled it. Their time had come, and in their passing, they passed their light on to another world. A balance was struck, and perhaps one day, whenever we've fulfilled whatever destiny we have, maybe we too will light the way for another world." This comforts the priest and renews his faith.
  • In "Quarantine", a man named Matthew Forman cryogenically frozen during the early 21st Century due to a terminal illness is revived 300 years later by Perfect Pacifist People with Psychic Powers living in an Arcadia based on an agrarian lifestyle supplemented by Organic Technology. They need his help, supposedly to reactivate orbital particle beam cannons from his time to deflect in incoming asteroid. Questioning their motives, he discovers that they are an After the End society, a mere 200,000 people descended from survivors of World War III. The "asteroid" is actually a U.S. spacecraft loaded with elite politicians and military personnel that fled Earth just as the war began in a bid to survive by using a relativistic orbit that would take advantage of Time Dilation to return them to Earth once the aftereffects of the war had passed. They would then take over whatever was left of humanity, and had the weapons to do it. No longer capable of fighting a war to defend themselves, the people decided to revive Matthew and get him to use the weapons of that era to destroy the incoming spacecraft in a case of Utopia Justifies the Means. He is horrified, but too late to stop them. The people all feel a collective guilt, but know they did what they had to do to prevent the "disease" of war from returning to Earth. In the end, they help Matthew learn to use Astral Projection to follow his original dream of traveling to the stars, leading to a rare optimistic ending to an episode:
    Narrator: In his mind, he starts to hear a song, a song of alien thoughts speaking without voice, welcoming him. Matthew Forman, once a sleeper standing outside time, has found his place at last. A voyager touching the farthest shores...of the Twilight Zone.
  • "Dead Run". A trucker has taken up the job of ferrying the damned to Hell, only to learn, much to his distaste, that the standards of Hell have greatly loosened - a lot of people are going to Hell for such "crimes" as using drugs or being gay. The trucker's solution? Keep the job, but halfway down the road, open the trailer and let out anyone who didn't deserve it. The last shot is the freed souls on the road to Heaven as the trucker drives off. (The episode won the show an award from GLAAD.)
  • "Private Channel". Keith is a teen on board a plane who discovers his walkman allows him to read minds. With it, he finds that a man named Williams has strapped a bomb to his chest and is preparing to blow up the plane as a twisted form of revenge after the loss of his wife and child. Keith manages to stop him by putting the walkman's headphones over his ears, allowing him to hear the thoughts of the other passengers. This causes him to realize just how many lives he will destroy and he surrenders to the authorities.
  • "The World Next Door" ends with the protagonist Barney and his alternate-universe double happily switching places and taking up each other's lives. Also the moment where one version of Milton is told about the swapping, and comments that as long as he's Barney's best friend, then he would also be happy in either.
  • The episode "Aqua Vita" has a journalist with a loving photographer boyfriend celebrating her 40th birthday with apprehension, fearing that she will be let go from her position and he boyfriend will leave her due to her age. One of her beautiful, younger co-workers gives her a free sample of a special type of water that helps her retain her looks. However, it comes at a high cost: the water, which the journalist buys for herself, ages your looks down a few years only to the accelerate them more, and drinking the water will eventually kill you. Also, the "young" co-worker is even older that her and has been drinking the water so long, it completely ravaged her looks to any degree beyond a regular elderly woman. Realizing what she has become and looking much older than her 40 years, she urges her boyfriend to leave her, saying how much of a joke it would be for him to stay with her while he's still looking young. His solution? He drinks the water, too. The last scene is of the two of them sitting on a park bench, both elderly-looking and happy with each other and their decision.
  • "The Road Less Traveled". Jeff, a man living a happy life with his family, feels guilty over dodging the draft for Vietnam. He begins having visions about the war as if he'd been there himself. He also begins finding marks along the floor and his wife and daughter describe seeing a man in a wheelchair roaming around the house. The man turns about to be a version of him from an Alternate Timeline where he did go to the war and ended up losing the use of his legs. Alt!Jeff isn't there for revenge or to take Jeff's life away, but just to see what his life could have been like if he hadn't gone. The two Jeffs then share their memories so they can both fully appreciate what the other went through, finally letting go of their mutual guilt.
  • "Children's Zoo". A little girl with angry, vile parents who ignore her and think only of themselves, gets a free pass to the Children's Zoo. After her parents are taken to a special waiting room the little girl gets to see the exhibits: other parents. It is quickly revealed that children with bad parents can come to the zoo and find a new family. What makes it even better is that these aren't magically created parents... the exhibits are parents left behind by their own children and, after a time, some of them learn their lesson. The last couple the little girl meets reveal their son left them years ago and they've learned their lesson and have changed for the better. Not only does the little girl get a second chance... but the parents who squandered their first chance at being parents get a second try too. This means that even the little girl's vile parents could also change and get a happy ending.
  • "A Message from Charity". All the interactions between Peter, a boy from modern times, and Charity, a Puritan girl from the 1600s. Unlikely friends turned Star-Crossed Lovers. Especially the final scene, where Peter discovers a rock with "P.W. + C.P." engraved on it.
  • The self-sacrificial, good nature of the characters in "Welcome to Winfield".
  • "Stranger in Possum Meadows". A naive boy befriends a stranger who turns out to be an alien who is scouting Earth for his race and is collecting things for study. At the end, the alien has stolen several objects and abducted and frozen several animals and the boy. He prepares to return to his home planet, but finds his friendship with the boy touched him, so he decides to let the boy go and return him to his mother before leaving.
  • "Time and Teresa Golowitz". Bluestone originally went back in time to a high school party, to hook up with a girl he had a crush on. Upon arriving, he decides not to because it would be wrong. The Prince reminds him how one girl, Teresa, wound up — she committed suicide, after returning home from the party. Bluestone has a conversation with her, performs with her (they are applauded by the party), and they agree to meet the next day to begin working together. Upon returning to the present, he finds out that he and Teresa have (in the new timeline) been the best of friends since that night and have had a long and successful professional relationship.
    • Not only did he not try to have sex with the other girl, but he helped her convince her boyfriend not to pressure her into moving faster in their relationship than she was comfortable with.
    • It is revealed that the outcome of the trip was the Prince's plan all along — he knew, and planned, that Bluestone would abandon his original goal in order to save a talented singer from taking her own life at sixteen years old.
  • The ending of "Shelter Skelter". After all the survivalist's misanthropic rants, it turns out that the outside world is not only alive, it's further away from war than ever.
  • "But Can She Type?" revolves around a put-upon, smart secretary being sent to a dimension where secretaries are superstars.
    Narrator: What do you get the woman who has everything, but respect? Ask Karen Billings, recipient of a very unusual and definitely non-returnable present. Because this year, for Christmas, Karen Billings received... the Twilight Zone.
  • "The Trunk" features a lonely, kind-hearted hotel proprietor who uses the titular magic shipping trunk to wish for possessions in a bid to be liked by others, only to find himself surrounded by false friends who are just using him. Although he comes to be magically trapped inside the trunk, the episode ends happily as the trunk grants a recently-dumped young woman's wish for a decent guy to share her life with: when she opens the lid, out comes the protagonist.


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