From time to time you need to review the journey of your life to take the right decision. Here, life got to be reviewed in the right moment, otherwise a wrong turn could be chosen. Charlene 'Charlie' Benton was visited by her older self (and her younger selves as well), to take a right decision in the right moment so she could be more mature.
This reviewing (or re-viewing !) made her discover that she was dealing with her lover the unfair way her father was dealing with her. And losing her husband could lead to losing herself (the imaginative flash-forward about her as dead). Therefore she has to give her love the compassion that she used to be deprived of.
So simply her conscience pushed her in this nightmare-like to find out that her past was part of the problem she was having. And the "way" to end this problem is by realizing that (notice that the storm ended at this moment in specific), then changing the lane according to the new concluded truth.
Metaphorically, it's a nice tale about not losing yourself by angry decisions, and getting ahead without ignoring the past. And as pure drama it is magic; a qualm similar to a trail where the lead is rightly guided to knowing that she was the wrongdoer, not the wronged yet in one clever visionary style.
There are solid dialog, a directing that loves the story, and a captivating performance. But nothing is like the story and its brilliance. I loved how her older self ultimately symbolized not only her conscience but her desire to live; so somehow reviewing your past to fairly judge equals meriting life. See. Here conscience means life.
I'll never forget the last line "Look at the mirror after 30 years to know who I am". OH MY GOD, how many times this phrase hunted me ?! I know, countless times during 21 years from the first viewing in 1988 till the second one in 2009. It is the climax of this episode's mystery, fantasy and smart analysis.
At first you might think that it's another (Alfred Hitchcock Presents) or just an entertaining fantasy time. Actually, it got the best of both, with so deep character for 20 minutes of TV. In a word : Psychoanalysis hasn't been better or more amusing ! If I've learned something from it, during 2 decades of my life, then it is: you must get to know yourself first to know your road. And such a classic way to say that too.
It is one of the best stories, if not the best.