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Recap / The Twilight Zone 1985 S 1 E 10 The Shadow Man The Uncle Devil Show Opening Day

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The Shadow Man

The Shadow Man, who regularly attacks people, takes shelter under a boy's bed and promises not to hurt him.

The Uncle Devil Show

A boy is taught magic tricks by a strange TV show.

Opening Day

A woman and her lover plot to murder her husband during a duck hunt.

This episode contains the following tropes:

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    The Shadow Man 
  • Affectionate Nickname: Danny Hayes' friend Peter frequently refers to him as "Sherlock."
  • Dutch Angle: Several are used when Eric confronts Danny Hayes in MacGyver Park and when the Shadow Man attacks Danny shortly afterwards.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Eric enjoys bullying Danny Hayes and has every intention of beating him to a pulp after Danny challenges him to a fight in MacGyver Park. However, when he sees the Shadow Man, who has already put several people in hospital, he tells Danny to run before he runs away himself.
  • False Friend: Danny Hayes knows that the Shadow Man will never hurt him as the person under whose bed he sleeps. His apparent bravery in going over to Lianna Ames' house at night earns him many false friends, including Lianna and various popular students who used to either ignore him or make fun of him. In the process, Danny ignores Peter, his one true friend, and takes no action to prevent the Shadow Man from hurting anyone else.
  • Gang of Bullies: Several boys, led by Eric, ambush Danny Hayes on his way home. They frighten him by wearing monster costumes and carrying plastic chainsaw toys as he has the reputation of being the biggest chicken in Willow Creek.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Danny Hayes does nothing to stop the Shadow Man from attacking innocent people as he is reveling in the popularity that his supposed bravery has earned him. When he challenges Eric to a fight in MacGyver Park, he is attacked by the Shadow Man from under someone else's bed.
  • Living Shadow: The titular entity is a living shadow that lives under Danny Hayes' bed. It has no features of any kind and resembles the silhouette of a man in a hat and trenchcoat.
  • Love Triangle: Danny Hayes has a crush on Lianna Ames, the most popular girl at Willow Creek Junior High School. However, she is dating Eric, a member of the swim team who frequently bullies Danny.
  • Only Friend: Peter is Danny Hayes' only friend. The other students at Willow Creek Junior High School bully him or ignore him, at least until they learn of his apparent bravery in going out after dark when the Shadow Man is on the prowl.
  • There Are No Adults: There are no adults except for brief appearances by the school librarian and Danny Hayes' mother.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: The murderous titular entity takes up residence under Danny Hayes' bed and offers him immunity to his/its attacks. Only it turns out there's more than one of them... Maybe...
  • Would Hurt a Child: The titular entity attacks several of Danny Hayes' classmates at Willow Creek Junior High School, including Mark, Wendy and Chip Murphy. In the final scene, Danny is himself attacked by a Shadow Man who lives under someone else's bed.

    The Uncle Devil Show 
  • An Aesop: Parents should take responsibility in raising their kids rather than expecting television to do it for them, especially seeing as some shows may teach kids awful messages
  • Binary Suns: Joey creates a fantasy world with two suns by following Uncle Devil's instructions on the Tim Ferret and Friends video. When his mother tells him to come inside before the sun goes down, he asks her which one.
  • Bottle Episode: This episode takes place entirely in Joey's living room and kitchen.
  • Extra Eyes: Joey uses the magic that he learns from the Tim Ferret and Friends video to give his pet poodle Ben four eyes.
  • Functional Magic: The title character teaches Joey how to perform actual magic through the Tim Ferret and Friends video. Joey is able to make cockroaches come out of a vase (though he meant for flowers to appear), give his poodle Ben four eyes, give his oblivious parents the heads of a lizard and a wolf, create a fantasy world and turn his toy dinosaur Binky into a real Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Hypocrite: Joey's parents insult the parenting of their neighbor's while they barely lift a finger to teach their son good morals and instead expect the TV to do it for them
  • Parental Obliviousness: Joey's parents are entirely oblivious to him using the spells that he has learned from his Tim Ferret and Friends video to change the world around him, including giving them the heads of a lizard and a wolf.
  • Unnamed Parent: Joey's parents are not named.

     Opening Day 
  • Awful Wedded Life: Heavily implied in the beginning. While Sally and Joe seem happily married on the surface, the speech pattern between them implies that their relationship is rocky and abrasive, at best.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Alternate Carl thinks that Sally and Alternate Joe are having an affair behind his back and plan to kill him. When Alternate Carl finds himself drowning in the lake, he doesn't accept Alternate Joe's attempt to save him, afraid he'll kill him. Between Sally's disbelief and Alternate Joe's heartfelt statement to the police, it's safe to say Alternate Carl's theory couldn't be further from the truth.
  • Hunting "Accident": Joe Farrell reluctantly goes along with his lover Sally Wilkerson's plan to kill her husband Carl by making it look as he was killed while duck hunting. After Carl is killed, the police believe that it was simply an accident. Joe returns to what used to be the Wilkerson house to find that it is the previous day and that he is now Sally's husband. When Carl takes him on the same hunting trip, Joe becomes concerned that he is going to be killed and falls into the water. He refuses Carl's attempts to help him and dies.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Joe Farrell arranges for Carl Wilkerson to die in a Hunting "Accident" so that he and Carl's wife Sally can be together. He then finds that he and Carl have changed places and fears that Carl now plans to kill him in the same way. When they go duck hunting, Joe falls into the water and dies after refusing Carl's genuine efforts to save him.
  • Love Triangle: Sally Wilkerson, who is married to Carl, is having an affair with their golf instructor Joe Farrell. During a duck hunt, she has Joe arrange for Carl to be killed in a Hunting "Accident" so that the two of them can be together. When Joe does so, he finds that he and Carl have swapped places. He is now Sally's husband while Carl is her lover, whom he thinks is trying to kill him.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: A variation. After Joe Farrell kills his love rival Carl Wilkerson in a Hunting "Accident", Carl's image in a photograph of him and his wife Sally is replaced by one of Joe as he has become her husband. The next day, Joe himself drowns as he thinks that Carl is trying to kill him. The photo then reverts to its original state.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the alternate universe, Carl quickly becomes just as Joe previously was, cold and ruthless and heartless. On top of that, he becomes jealous and paranoid that Sally is having an affair with the alternate Joe.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: As opposed to his previous self, Joe is reincarnated as alternate Carl's golf instructor. He's friendly and honest and compassionate, to the point that it's beyond his comprehension why his drowning "friend" wouldn't take his hand.
  • Tranquil Fury: During the party at the beginning of the story, Sally and Joe have an argument about whether or not to go to their traditional springtime vacation spot. But since they're having this argument in front of guests, Sally and Joe can only afford to fight with each other in pleasant and agreeable voice tones, in order to save face.
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