Ray Bradbury Theater – The Lonely One (S6E1)

rbtlonelyone04Lavinia and Francine are walking to the movies despite the fact that there is a serial killer called The Lonely One on the loose; presumably because he killed all his friends.

They take a short-cut through the woods and find a dead body who happens to be a friend of theirs

Lavinia decides they should continue to the show and not let a little thing like the murder of their friend Elizabeth spoil their girl’s night out.  This obliviousness would have made me suspect her immediately.  They pick up their remaining living friend Helen, tell her nothing, and continue to the theater.

They make it to the theater, but Francine freaks out when someone touches her shoulder. After some milkshakes, they decide to go home, first dropping off Francine. For some reason they start singing the most cringe-inducing version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat since Star Trek V.

After a ways, Lavinia and Helen part ways to their respective houses.  Lavina takes the same shortcut through the woods where she and Francine spotted the body.  This time she hears someone whistling Row yada yada Boat.  Despite putting up a brave front for the whole episode, she gets scared and hides.  The whistler descends the stairs.

rbtlonelyone05But it’s just Officer Kennedy who had shown up when the body was found. And if there’s anyone you want escorting you safely home at night, it’s a Kennedy.

When Kennedy suddenly disappears (hey just like after Chappaquiddick!), she takes off running.  She finally makes it home and frantically unlocks the door.  She calls Francine and tells her that she’s fine and they will have a picnic tomorrow.

Then she notices through the window an empty glass that she had poured lemonade into earlier.  And sees the shadow of a man in her house.

Just nothing here.  No story.  It could have been an exercise in style, but was not. Although brief moments (very brief) reminded me of Halloween, its suspense was not replicated.

Even the setting is not nailed down — the cop’s uniform looks modern, but they still show cartoons before movies.  The phone looks modern, but the women hang out in a malt shop with an adult soda jerk.  Stylistically, this ambiguity could have worked, but no effort was made to exploit it.


  • Joanna Cassidy is considered an old maid at 47.
  • Sheila McCarthy (Francine) was the female TV reporter in Die Hard II.
  • Joanna Cassidy is better known from Blade Runner.  But sadly less known from the great, largely forgotten, Buffalo Bill.  And fortunately for her, not at all known for Live! From Death Row!
  • Based on the short story The Whole Town’s Sleeping.

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