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Recap / The Twilight Zone 1985 S 1 E 7 Teachers Aide Paladin Of The Lost Hour

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Teacher's Aide

A teacher (Adrienne Barbeau) at a school full of gang members and delinquents is possessed by a gargoyle and gains enhanced strength and aggression.

Paladin of the Lost Hour

A Vietnam vet (Glynn Turman) befriends a mysterious man (Danny Kaye) who carries a pocket watch that contains the Lost Hour.

This episode contains the following tropes:

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     Teacher's Aide 
  • Apathetic Teacher: Miss Peters is the only teacher at her tough Inner City School who cares about the students and treats them with respect. Other teachers consider them to be animals and degenerates.
  • Badass Teacher: Miss Peters is possessed by the spirit of the gargoyle that sits on the roof of the tough Inner City School where she teaches English. She goes from being a dedicated teacher whom the students don't respect to one who responds to any act of insubordination with violence. Miss Peters begins to worry that there is something seriously wrong with her because she can't control this behavior. When a gang member named Wizard plans to attack her, she senses the approaching assault and is able to defeat him. Miss Peter is about to kill him when she sees her reflection and realizes that she has now become a gargoyle herself. She is disgusted by her use of violence as she is not that kind of person. Lightning strikes the gargoyle and she returns to normal. Grateful to Miss Peters for not finishing him off when she had the chance, Wizard thanks her from the bottom of his heart and helps her up.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: When the teacher tells Wizard she fought her possession because she didn't want to see her student get hurt, Wizard shows genuine appreciation for it. It's strongly implied he becomes a better person for it too.
  • Bullying the Dragon: You'd think after witnessing Miss Peters act uncharacteristically monstrous and cruel, he'd at least be a bit nicer. Nope! The following morning, he plays loud music in class, invoking the gargoyle possessing Miss Peters to throw him out of the classroom and growl he doesn't come back.The rest of the class meekly fall into line afterwards.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Miss Peters' dog Muffin barks at her after she is possessed by the spirit of a gargoyle because he can sense that there is something very wrong with her.
  • Gangbangers: The Inner City School where Miss Peters teaches English has at least two gangs, one of which is the Furies, who frequently get into knife fights with each other at the slightest provocation.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Though the teacher never intended to become these students' punisher, she first-hand experiences the downside of becoming the kind of person delinquents are afraid of.
  • Inner City School: Miss Peters teaches English at an extremely tough inner city school where none of the students make even the slightest bit of effort and knife fights between rival gangs are common.
  • Spider-Sense: Miss Peters can sense that Wizard plans to attack her after she is possessed by the spirit of a gargoyle.
  • Super Strength: Miss Peters develops super strength after she is possessed by the spirit of a gargoyle. After a gang member named Trojan tells her that he comes to school to see her legs, she lifts him up by his trousers and throws him against the wall. Later, she catches another student hitting and kicking his locker and shoves him up against it, telling him that he should respect the school as it is older than his grandmother. When another gang member named Wizard turns on his boom box at full volume during class, she tears it apart with her bare hands and physically throws him out of class when he tries to attack her. The rest of the students are much more attentive after that.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Wizard becomes more polite and kinder towards the end.

    Paladin of the Lost Hour 
  • Affectionate Nickname: Billy Kinetta refers to Gaspar as "Dad" before he learns his name. He continues to call him that as a sign of affection after they get to know each other.
  • Chromosome Casting: This episode doe not feature any speaking roles for women.
  • Colorblind Casting: A variation. Gaspar is played by the white Danny Kaye while Billy Kinetta is played by the black Glynn Turman. In the short story by Harlan Ellison, it is mentioned that one of the two men is white and the other is black but does not specify which one so it could have been Gaspar who was black and Billy who was white.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The entire universe will be engulfed in darkness if Gaspar's watch strikes 12 o'clock.
  • Gangbangers: Two members of a youth gang mug Gaspar while he is visiting his wife Minna's grave but Billy Kinetta manages to fight them off before Gaspar is badly hurt.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: There is a more than thirty year age gap between Gaspar and Billy Kinetta but they quickly become very close friends.
  • Legacy Character: Gaspar tells Billy Kinetta that when Pope Gregory XIII adopted the Gregorian calendar and advanced time by eleven days in 1582, he miscalculated by one hour. The lost hour slipped free and bounced through eternity. Gaspar is the latest paladin of the lost hour in a line going back 400 years. If he dies without passing on his watch, the entire universe will be engulfed in darkness. In order to prevent this from happening, Gaspar passes on the watch to Billy, whom he has come to trust implicitly in the time that they have known each other.
  • Meaningful Name: Lampshaded. Gaspar tells Billy Kinetta that he shares his name with one of The Three Wise Men, the magi who saw the Star of Bethlehem and visited the newborn Jesus. He adds that Gaspar means master of the treasure, keeper of the secrets, paladin of the palace. Gaspar later explains that he is the latest in a long line of guardians of the lost hour going back to Pope Gregory XIII's adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582.
  • No Name Given: The Marine who was killed saving Billy Kinetta from a Viet Cong ambush during The Vietnam War is never named.
  • Passing the Torch: This episode features a dying elderly man named Gaspar passing on the titular object (a pocket watch containing the lost hour of the world) to a new bearer, Billy Kinetta.
  • Secret Test of Character: Gaspar offers Billy Kinetta the opportunity to become the new paladin of the lost hour. After he does so, he asks Billy to use the watch to give him one minute with his beloved late wife Minna before he dies. Billy refuses as he believes that it would be wrong. Gaspar then reveals that this was the last test and that he is now completely sure that Billy is the right person to guard the watch. As a reward, Gaspar gives Billy one minute to talk to the Marine who died saving his life during The Vietnam War.
  • Survivor Guilt: The Vietnam Vet Billy Kinetta suffers from severe survivor's guilt as his life was saved by a Marine whom he had never previously met when his rifle was ambushed by the Viet Cong in Da Nang. The Marine was killed in the process. When Gaspar allows him to use one minute from the lost hour to speak with the Marine, Billy learns that the Marine had not even known that he was there. Billy thanks him for saving his life but the Marine tells him that he is the one who is grateful as he now knows that his death had meaning.
  • Take That!: Gaspar tells Billy Kinetta that he does not want to see a film with Karen Black, Sandy Dennis or Meryl Streep as they are always crying and their noses are always red. However, he later says that he is willing to make an exception for Streep.
  • The Vietnam Vet: Billy Kinetta is a Vietnam vet who is haunted by the fact that a Marine whom he didn't even know died saving his life while he was hiding from the Viet Cong during an ambush in Da Nang.
  • World War III: Gaspar tells Billy Kinetta that he knows for certain that the feared nuclear holocaust will never come.
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