Night Gallery – The Other Way Out (11/19/72)

Brad Meredith (Ross Martin) returns to the office after a cruise with the missus.  Maybe it is a forgotten 70’s custom, but he is welcomed back to the office with a huge vase of roses.  I just returned after a few days off and didn’t get shit.

His oddly hot secretary (could have been Kitty’s mother on Arrested Development) is catching him up on mail and hands him a strange hand-written note suggesting that he might find something of interest on Page 5 of the March 14th newspaper.  He is startled to see an article titled “Go-Go Dancer Mysteriously Slain”.  23 year old Marilou Doubleday, a dancer at a local topless bar has been found dead.

ngotherway03At the golf club, he finds that another letter has surreptitiously been slipped into his coat pocket.  This one instructs him that full instructions can be found in his glove compartment.  The valet gets his Caddy . . . or did the caddy get his valet?  No, the valet gets his Caddy.  Sure enough, in the glove compartment, there is more information.  And isn’t it about time we found a new name for the glove compartment / glove box?  Is anyone still storing their Dick Dastardly goggles and gloves in these things?  Of course, maybe the goofy concept of measuring the engine by the number of horses it equals should be the first step into the 21st century.

Someone has left a picture of the topless girl — sadly only a head-shot — and a map.  He is instructed to bring the money at 11 pm or “tardiness will produce lamentable results.”  Who wrote this thing, William F. Buckley?  Stating the amount of money might have been helpful, but maybe it’s like an interview — never limit yourself by saying how much you can earn in a year.

ngotherway04Also, the map is utterly useless.  He is presumably starting from San Bernardino, then is to veer off to the right onto an unnamed road.  That road shows an X at the 7-mile mark for no discernible reason.  Then the maps says “To Hesperia 11 Mi.”  It then shows the unnamed road meandering to a T junction labelled Hesperia.  On the other hand, it is easy to refold and takes up little room in the glove compartment (means nothing to the GPS generation, I know).

That night, he heads out to Hisperia (in blatant disregard for Hesperia as mentioned in the letter).  He stops at a sign that says Hisperia 11 Mi. — just as was indicated on the map — to check his briefcase, cash, and gun.  After resuming, he swerves to avoid a fallen telephone pole and runs aground, requiring him to hoof it the rest of the way.

ngotherway06He finds a house with the lights on. Getting no answer at the door, he lets himself him; as you do.  He is startled by Burl Ives who tells him the phone is out — hey, foreshadowing! — and he can’t loan out the car without consulting Sonny who is at the movies.

He is shocked when Ives locks him in a room.  Even more so when he sees several pictures with the faces cut out.  The head-shot he found in his glove compartment perfectly fits one of them.  Ives re-enters with a shotgun and says that was his grand-daughter, Sonny’s sister in the picture.

ngotherway05Meredith attempts to escape, but Ives’ wild dogs keep him in the house.  He managed to shoot several of them, but only has one bullet left.  And Ive’s ominously reminds him that Sonny is on the way.  He does, however, taunt Meredith that there is the titular “one way out.”

There are two twists.  Neither are original, but both are always fun tropes, so no hard feelings.  Pretty good episode marred only by the absolute-zero performance of Sonny. He could have been hammy, campy, horrific, comedic, almost anything.  Sadly he was an absolute nothing.  Still, he played a certain part and left Meredith wimpering in horror, so ya gotta respect that.

Post-Post:

  • Twilight Zone Legacy:  Ross Martin was in 2 episodes.
  • $10,000 in 1972 dollars would be $57,000 in 2015.

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