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"Twenty Two" is the seventeeth episode of the second season of The Twilight Zone, and was first broadcast in February of 1961. It starred Barbara Nichols as psychiatric patient Liz Powell, and Jonathan Harris as her psychiatrist. Like several other episodes in season 2, it was shot on video tape, and the grainy look of the footage does give it a more sinister feel.

Liz Powell is an exotic dancer who has ended up in a hospital after a nervous breakdown. She has a recurring nightmare of waking up in the middle of the night and following a nurse to the basement, where she finds she is in front of the morgue, where the nurse smiles at her and says "There is room for one more, honey". Her psychiatrist predictably believes that the nightmare is just a symptom of her anxiety. But we, as viewers, suspect otherwise, and in the episode's twist ending, we learn that her dream was, indeed, a premonition.

As I mentioned when reviewing Mirror Image, Nightmare as a Child and The After Hours, the Twilight Zone episodes that center around a female character are often the scariest, and have the most psychological suspense. This episode certainly followed that pattern. It is also interesting that this episode passes the Bechdel Test, with its interaction between Liz Powell and the mysterious nurse in the morgue, but that it does it in a minimal way: there are only three one-line "conversations" between them, but despite this briefness, the entire plot of the episode hinges on them. There is also an undercurrent in this episode of sexual menace to Powell: as an exotic dancer, most of the men around her make advances on her, including her own psychiatrist. Whether this is intentionally conflated with the fear of death, or is just an incidental effect of the odd sexual mores of the time, is an interesting question. It is even more interesting because the character who symbolizes menace is a female character. While I can't quite figure out what all this adds up to, I can say this episode is both intriguing, and frightening.

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