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The Twilight Zone S3 Ep31 The Trade-Ins

The Twilight Zone is an American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, and/or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist. A popular and critical success, it introduced many Americans to common science fiction and fantasy tropes.

"The Trade-Ins" is episode 96 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

Opening narration

Mr. and Mrs. John Holt, aging people who slowly and with trembling fingers turn the last pages of a book of life and hope against logic and the preordained that some magic printing press will add to this book another limited edition. But these two senior citizens happen to live in a time of the future where nothing is impossible, even the trading of old bodies for new. Mr. and Mrs. John Holt, in their twilight years, who are about to find that there happens to be a zone with the same name.


An elderly couple, John and Marie Holt, visit a medical center specializing in a new technology: trading aged bodies in for younger models. The center representative, Mr. Vance, tells them that 98% of couples have been happy with the quality of the swap, but the company offers a guarantee that if they change their mind afterwards within one week, the swap procedure can be reversed. The swap costs $5,000 per body. John and Marie have only $5,000, and government regulations prohibit extension of credit for the procedure. Since John's health problems and constant physical pain make a body swap particularly imperative for him, Marie suggests that he alone do it, but John refuses to go through with the procedure unless they can do it together.

John attempts to earn the rest of the money in a high-stakes poker game. He loses most of his $5,000 over several hands. In a final hand, he must put the remaining amount on the table in order to call against Faraday, the only other player who has not folded on that hand. By coincidence, the total pot for the hand is $5,000. Faraday inquires why John is taking such a risk. John explains his situation and reveals a hand of three kings. Moved by sympathy, Faraday lays his winning hand (three aces) face down on the table and says John is the hand's winner, thus allowing him to leave with the same amount he started with. John admits to Faraday that he cannot endure his physical pain any longer and is going to have the procedure, then use his youthful body to earn the money for Marie to follow.

After John is transferred to a new body, and tells Marie how wonderful their new life will be. Marie breaks down in tears, unable to relate to a husband so much younger than her. John opts for the return clause, willing to cope with his pain in order for them to be together. His "old" body restored, Mr. and Mrs. Holt depart towards an uncertain future–but their love for each other is "younger" than ever.

Closing narration

From Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet: "Love gives not but itself and takes not from itself, love possesses not nor would it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love." Not a lesson, just a reminder, from all the sentimentalists in the Twilight Zone.

Posted by George Freund on June 14, 2022 at 8:56 PM 44 Views