The Twilight Zone

Season 3 Episode 31

The Trade-Ins

Aired Unknown Apr 20, 1962 on CBS

Episode Recap

John and Marie Holt, a couple in their 70s, visit the New Life Corporation and meet with Mr. Vance, a salesman. Vance asks about their medical history and John admits that he lives in constant pain. Vance explains that New Life deals in rebirth, building new artificial bodies with a lifespan of over a century and then transfer their customers' personalities into the bodies. John notes that all he has is his wife, and Vance shows them a display case with two perfect bodies, male and female. He explains to an eager John that he can live without pain for the first time in decades. He shows them other bodies and is then called away. The Holts talk about their situation and John wonders if his wife can stand him for another century. She says she can stand him for ten centuries if necessary. Vance returns and assures them that they can get the transplant any time, and the company even offers a one-week trial period. Finally the Holts ask about the cost and Vance informs them it's $5,000 each. The couple only have $5,000 total and Vance has to tell them that government regulations prevent credit. Marie insists that John get the transformation but he notes that he would be no good without each other. Vance has to let them go and John can only look back at the healthy new bodies in disappointment.

Later, John goes to visit a bar where the owner, Farraday, runs a private poker game. He lets John join and put up his $5,000. The players make their bets and finally it comes down to John and Farraday, with John playing through the pain. Farraday asks what he needs the money for and John unflinchingly explains his circumstances and how he's not worth anything to anybody. Farraday raises and John covers the bet. There's $5,000 n the pot and Farraday warns he has three of a kind. John shows his hand, three kings. Farraday looks at his hand, with three aces, and folds. He tells John to leave with his $5,000 and the old man thanks him while saying Marie will understand that he can't live with his pain.

John and Marie go back to New Life where Marie insists that her husband go through with the rebirth. Vance leads John away as Marie urges him on. The attendants come to take the body that John has chosen while Marie waits. A few hours later, the surgeons inform Marie that the operation was a success and show her John's old body, which they'll keep for a week. John then comes into the room in his new body, promising that now they can do all the things that they wanted to do, and now they can live. However, Marie recoils in horror and John backs away in shock. Vance asks him to leave to sign some papers and John goes with him. An hour later John returns... in his old body. He says that he'll live with the pain as long as they can grow old together. The happy couple leave: together.