The Twilight Zone

Season 2 Episode 16

A Penny For Your Thoughts

Aired Unknown Feb 03, 1961 on CBS

Episode Recap

Bank clerk Hector B. Poole is on his way to work when he stops to buy a newspaper. He tosses a quarter into the coin box and it lands exactly on edge. Hector goes on his way but starts to at first hear what he thinks are people talking out loud voicing their innermost thoughts. Distracted, he is almost hit by a car. The driver comes over and apologizes to him… but Hector realizes is thinking that Hector is an idiot. He asks the man what he's saying and the man says he didn't say anything, while still thinking Hector is an idiot.

Hector arrives late at work and goes to talk to his boss, Mr. Bagby. Bagby is on the phone with his secret mistress, planning a weekend getaway. Hector comes in to apologize for being late and "hears" Bagby thinking about his weekend. When he asks Bagby about it, the bank manager gets nervous and accepts Hector's apology. Outside, Hector realizes that he can hear what people are thinking. As he tests his abilities, he hears his coworker Miss Turner thinking how tired Hector looks. Bagby brings over a concrete company owner, Mr. Sykes, to have Hector process his new loan. As Hector does the paperwork, he hears Sykes thinking about how he plans to use the loan to gamble on the horses to get himself out of debt. Hector goes to Bagby but when Sykes denies saying anything about gambling, Hector realizes he can't claim he has telepathy.

While Bagby resolves the situation with Sykes, the shy Miss Turner thinks that Hector should assert himself more. He talks to her and thanks her, while their co-worker Brand comes over and starts thinking about Miss Turner in bed. Hector dumps a glass of water on him and Brand is forced to back down until later, while Miss Turner is impressed. As Hector goes back to work, he hears elderly long-time employee Mr. Smithers thinking about how he plans to go into the vault at 4:30, steal the money, put it in his briefcase, and leave for Bermuda.

Concerned, Hector talks to Miss Turner and tries to explain what he knows and how he found out. As he echoes what she's thinking, she starts to wonder, and tells him to go to Bagby. Hector goes to his boss who, paranoid, figures that Hector overheard Smithers. Bagby confronts Smithers at 4:30 and searches his briefcase. He only finds lunch and a pair of socks. Angry, Bagby fires Hector when he can't explain how he learned about Smithers' plans. After Bagby leaves, Smithers shyly asks Hector how he knew his plans. The old employee shyly admits that he thinks the same thing every day, but is too much of a coward to ever go through with it.

Hector packs his things and hears Miss Turner thinking sympathetically about him. He says what she's thinking and responds to it, and says he doesn't want telepathy after learning how people rarely think and do the same thing. Bagby comes back to admit that Sykes was arrested for gambling. He offers Hector his job back and Miss Turner "thinks" at Hector that he should hold out for the promotion he deserves. Hector follows her mental advice and asks for the position. When Bagby balks, Hector hints that he'd hate to interfere with Bagby's weekend getaway with his mistress. Bagby caves and Hector asks for one last thing: a bank-sponsored trip to Bermuda for Mr. Smithers.

Hector offers to walk Miss Turner home and she wonders what took him so long. As they walk down the street, they come to the newsstand where Hector tossed the coin on edge. The newsboy has kept it up all day. When Hector buys an evening newspaper, he knocks over the coin and is happy to discover that he's lost the telepathy... and won the girl.

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