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1 review, 6 user ratings

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Twilight Zone, Episode 1.21: Mirror Image
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by Chris Parry

"Not as spooky as it could have been, but fun nonetheless."
3 stars

"Millicent Barnes, age twenty-five, young woman waiting for a bus on a rainy November night. Not a very imaginative type is Miss Barnes, not given to undue anxiety or fears, or for that matter even the most temporal flights of fancy. Like most young career women, she has a generic classification as a, quote, girl with a head on her shoulders, end of quote. All of which is mentioned now because in just a moment the head on Miss Barnes's shoulders will be put to a test. Circumstances will assault her sense of reality and a chain of nightmares will put her sanity on a block. Millicent Barnes, who in one minute will wonder is she's going mad."

You're sitting in a bus station late at night, all alone but for the baggage clerk, and the bus is half an hour late in the pouring rain outside. You ask the baggage clerk when the bus is due... "you keep asking me that! It'll be here when it gets here! Quit asking me every ten minutes!"

Odd, you haven't asked him anything... even odder that your bag is suddenly sitting behind him when you left it back at your seat. Odder still that he claims you checked your bag in half an hour ago. "That couldn't be," you claim, "my bag is right there behind me at my... why, it's gone."

Very much like the earlier epsiode of the show, The Hitchhiker, at lest in premise if not spookiness, Vera Miles plays a woman who slowly begins to realize that somewhere in this bus station there's another version of herself. Meeting the cleaning woman in the bathroom does nothing to allay her fears, especially when she sees the other woman in the bathroom reflection. Can she convince a stranger that she's being stalked by herself or will she end up in the looney bin?

Directed by Twilight Zone regular John Brahm, Mirror Image comes across far more like a stageplay than many other episodes. Taking place alomst entirely within the four walls of the bus station, Brahm uses more than a little slight of hand to keep his characters guessing. Though, at times the story seems to be looking for something to really freak us out, it never succeeds with the audience as well as it does with the lead.

Vera Miles, who would go on to appear in Psycho and Psycho II, as well as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, looks good but fails to really deliver a convincing hysterical female. Unlike Inger Stevens' performance in The Hitchhiker, Miles doesn't seem to be entirely convinced she's in danger, more annoyed that she's being messed with. That lack of real peril, combined with a less than believable storyline, is what makes this episode a little light in the loafers.

Martin Milner makes for an able co-star, as the stranger who tries to help out a damsel in distress, and he would go on to make a lot of TV and feature film appearances (Valley of the Dolls, Swiss Family Robinson, the original 13 Ghosts), but he too looks at times baffled by a story that doesn't offer nearly enough meat.

Certainly good television, but in Twilight Zone terms, Mirror Image is very much middle of the road.

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originally posted: 10/06/02 06:06:56
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This episode of Twilight Zone has been reviewed as part of an ongoing retro TV series. For more in the Twilight Zone Episodes series, click here.

User Comments

10/21/12 bert cerilo it's a good movie - fantastic 5 stars
5/22/07 action movie fan imaginitive story with good twist ending 4 stars
1/17/07 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
9/27/06 Steven Wynn This is a sort of "Henry James" like episode. Is she crazy or what? 4 stars
7/28/06 David Cohen Again, not one of the nest TZ's, but a suitably creepy and enjoyable episode 4 stars
6/18/04 Jackie eastridge okay but not as good as the one hanging a soldier 3 stars
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  26-Feb-1960 (G)

Directed by
  John Brahm

Written by
  Rod Serling

  Vera Miles
  Martin Milner
  Joseph Hamilton

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