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Recap / The Twilight Zone 1985 S 1 E 12 Her Pilgrim Soul I Of Newton

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Her Pilgrim Soul

Two scientists encounter a hologram of a woman who is sentient.

I of Newton

A professor (Sherman Hemsley) attempting to solve a difficult math problem finds himself matching wits with a demon (Ron Glass).

  • Adaptation Deviation: The original short story has the demon telling Sam he can defy impossible mathematical theorems, so Sam can't ask him to Divide by Zero.
  • Big "NO!": The demon is none too pleased when Sam gives him the one command an omniscient and omnipotent being can't do.
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  • Bowdlerized: In the short story, the demon is summoned by Sam blurting "Oh, goddammit!" instead of saying he'd sell his soul.
  • Cool Shades: The demon sports a nice pair. Sam tosses them in the trash.
  • Exact Words:
    • When the demon says Sam can ask three questions, Sam says, "Really?", the demon takes that as his first question.
    • The task Sam gives the demon at the end, which said demon is unable to do? "Get lost."
  • Literal-Minded: Sam insists that saying he'd sell his soul was just an idiom; the demon scoffs that it was a genuine request to him. It bites the demon in the ass when Sam tells him to get lost.note 
  • Logic Bomb: Not a smart idea for a demon to try to outsmart a mathematician.
  • Morton's Fork: Sam complains that summoning the demon damns him no matter what.
    Demon: Of course it's not fair! We're evil! Look it up!
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  • Oh, Crap!: The second the demon appears after Sam offhandedly offered his soul in exchange for solving his math problem, Sam tries to leave the room.
    Sam: Did I say "soul"? Sorry. Slip of the tongue.
  • Running Gag: The demon's red t-shirt changes its text during the episode.
    HELL IS A SUMMER FESTIVAL
    HELL IS A CITY MUCH LIKE NEWARK
    OVER 2,000,000,000 SERVED
    GEHENNA MORE THAN A PLACE A WAY OF LIFE
    LET'S DO DAMNATION
  • Society Marches On: Fermat's Theorem was solved in 1993, eight years after the episode was aired.
  • Wham Line: "Get lost."
  • Villain Respect: The demon sends a few compliments the professor's way when he shows what he considers notable intelligence, though none without a sting, like being pretty clever for a creature with the relative IQ of a flatworm or getting an idea about where he thinks his soul might go. The one that sounds the most sincere and the least backhanded may be early on, early when the professor firmly requests that he go back to whatever "Stygian depths" he came from.
    Demon: "Stygian depths". I like that! You mention Dante to most people these days, and they ask you how you liked Gremlins. You got class.
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