The Twilight Zone

Season 2 Episode 6

The Eye of the Beholder

Aired Unknown Nov 11, 1960 on CBS

Episode Recap

Janet Tyler is in a darkened hospital room, her face heavily bandaged. She asks the nurse, obscured by shadow, what the weather is like and when they will remove the bandages. The nurse assures her that they'll do what they can, and that she's seen worse than what has happened to Janet's face. Janet remembers when another child screamed upon seeing her face. Once outside, the nurse reports to Dr. Bernardi and reports on Janet, Patient 307. She and another nurse both admit that Janet is hideously disfigured and can't understand why she still wants to live.

Dr. Bernardi checks on Janet later and notes that she's been there before, but she is at the maximum eleven attempts allowed. She asks to be allowed outside but the State doesn't allow it. Dr. Bernardi says that if the last treatment fails, she will be allowed to go to a ghetto with other freaks, but she angrily lashes out, demanding to know what the State is and why they're allowed to make such rules. She staggers to the window, screaming and begging for the bandages to be removed, and Dr. Bernardi orders the removal to begin.

As he waits for the process to begin, Bernardi commiserates with Janet's nurse, noting that he believes Janet is truly a beautiful person no matter what her face looks like. He wonders what right the State has to declare someone beautiful or ugly, and the nurse warns him against questioning their leaders. He admits that he'll be better once the bandages are removed and he knows one way or another.

Dr. Bernardi and the staff remove the bandages and as they get to the last layer, he says that even if the treatment fails, she can still live with others of her kind. She wonders if she would be allowed to die, but Bernardi notes that the state only allows it in rare instances.

They remove the last layer of bandages and Janet is revealed as… a beautiful human female. The staff turns on the lights to reveal they all have pig-like faces. Janet runs out into the hall in fear, past a State broadcast on complete conformity. She runs into a room and finds herself face-to-face with a horrifying site: a handsome human male, Walter Smith. Bernardi arrives and explains that Walter will be taking Janet to the village where others of her kind live. He tells her that she will be loved, and that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."