The Twilight Zone

Season 3 Episode 19

The Hunt

Aired Unknown Jan 26, 1962 on CBS

Episode Recap

An old couple, Hyder and Rachel, live in a cabin and argue affectionately. Hyder insists on having his dog Rip in the house since it saved his life. Rachel reluctantly lets Rip in and the couple have supper. Rachel talks about how they've been married for 50 years and Hyder thanks her for it. Hyder plans to go coon hunting with Rip, but Rachel says she saw several bad omens and doesn't want him to go out that night. Hyder insists on going out that night and he and Rip soon tree a coon. It escapes and heads on a branch over a nearby creek. Rip jumps in after it and doesn't come up, and Hyder jumps in to rescue his dog.

Hyder wakes up the next morning by the side of the creek and heads home with Rip. As he passes the Miller brothers, he sees they're digging a grave on his land and discussing how it'll be lonesome without Hyder around. Hyder calls out to them but they don't see or hear him. He tells them to leave but they finish the hole and put a box with a dead dog in it. Hyder asks them how the dog died but they still ignore him. He figures they're not talking out of grief and heads for home. He finds Rachel dressed in her best dress and she ignores him. Reverend Wood comes in and offers his condolences about Hyder's death: it's been a month since Hyder died. The Miller brothers come to collect Hyder's coffin and Hyder insists that it's just a dream and everything will go back to normal. He can't believe he's in the coffin and follows them to the graveyard, but gets lost and comes across a fence he's never seen. He and Rip follow it and come to a gate.

The Gatekeeper comes out and writes down Hyder's information, then asks how he died. Hyder is skeptical at first but the Gatekeeper has him think back and Hyder finally accepts that he's dead. Rip starts to bark at the gate and Hyder wonders what's on the other side. The Gatekeeper explains that Heaven lies on the other side. Hyder wonders why he doesn't hear music and the Gatekeeper assures him he'll hear heavenly choirs once he enters. Hyder starts to enter but the Gatekeeper informs him that people are only allowed in people heaven and Rip has to go to dog heaven. Hyder refuses to go without his dog, even after the Gatekeeper offers to slip Rip through the gate later. He warns that if Hyder continues down the road, Rip might get into his heaven but Hyder won't. He offers to hold the dog and let Hyder look around inside and see if it's too his satisfaction, but Rip barks at him and Hyder refuses when he learns there's no coon hunting allowed in Heaven either. Hyder starts down the road despite the Gatekeeper's warning that the road continues on to Eternity.

After a while, Hyder sits down and wonders if he can go into Heaven and talk to the judge to convince them to let Rip in. A young man, a Messenger, comes to find them and explains he's there to take them to Heaven. Hyder explains what happened and the Messenger says that the gate leads to Hell: Heaven's down the road a piece. Hell doesn't allow dogs in because they can smell the brimstone. He escorts Hyder down the road to a simple opening in the fence and assures him that there's plenty of coon hunting in Heaven. As Hyder goes in, he asks if Rachel will have any problems and the Messenger assures him that she'll be fine, and coming along soon. Hyder and Rip go into Heaven... together.