Jackie Rhoades is a 34 year-old small-time hood who lives in a cheap $4 a night hotel room. He's waiting to hear about his next job but when George shows up telling him that his next job is murder - of a bar owner who doesn't want to pay off his gangster bosses- Jackie begins to have a conversation with his alter ego who appears to him in a mirror. The alter-ego takes him to task for the choices he made in his life - choices that led to crime, prison and broken relationships. He also offers Jacjie an alternative. Written by
The main character's reflection in a mirror has come to life and much of the episode is a confrontation between the character and his reflection - although they made an effort to reverse the image (the reflection wears his watch on the opposite hand and he bites his fingernails with the opposite hand) they forgot to reverse the buttons on his shirt. See more »
Exit Mr. John Rhoades, formerly a reflection in a mirror, a fragment of someone else's conscience, a wishful thinker made out of glass, but now made out of flesh and on his way to join the company of men. Mr. John Rhoades, with one foot through the door and one foot out - of The Twilight Zone.
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The deeply human and psychological emphasis of TZ is highlighted in this claustrophobic episode. The most interesting aspect is that the man in question is a loser and a criminally bad guy but it's far from obvious whether he will come to a bad end or not. Jackie Rhoades (Joe Mantell) is a man wrestling with his worst enemy-himself of course. Confronted by his own reflection, Jackie has to face the other, better self that has been suppressed by time, by others, and by denial. Joe Mantell gives a good performance, delivering Rod Serling's almost one-actor dualogue expertly. At the grisly crossroad of being coerced into the 'job' of committing murder for a mobster ,Jackie is tormented by a less tainted self.
Rod Serling appears this time in shot above the room outlining it as a hellish, stifling spot. I hope you get to see this before 'Last Night Of A Jockey' as 'Nervous Man' is much better in the same vein.
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