The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 31 – The Trade-Ins

John and Marie Holt are an elderly couple and John has a medical condition that causes extreme and chronic pain.  In this future, medical science has advanced to the point that replacement bodies are commercially available for the price of $5,000.  The couple are interviewed by the salesman and he walks them through the displays of attractive young bodies that are available.  And he explains their satisfaction guarantee.  Within the first week if the patient changes his mind his old body is returned.

But when the Holts explain that they only have $5,000 the salesman apologetically informs them that government regulations forbid anything but a cash in advance payment.  Marie tells John to have the procedure done for him first and she will wait.  But John refuses saying that it will be all or none.  The Holts leave greatly disappointed.

John finds a shady high stakes poker game and goes into it with his $5,000.  He loses most of his money and in the last hand he can play the dealer asks him why he is risking his money in a game he obviously has no skill at.  He tells him his story.  Feeling pity for John he lets him win back his $5,000 and leave with what he started.

Suffering badly from his condition John relents and agrees to have his procedure first and earn the money afterward for Marie’s new body.  When John returns after his operation he is elated by his health and youth and exults to Marie about all the things they will do.  Every week an anniversary and every night a honeymoon.  And at first Marie shares his joy but then when she embraces him and realizes how old she will be compared to this youth she is shocked and filled with despair.

But John sees the look in her eyes and immediately goes back to the medical facility and has the procedure reversed.  He tells Marie if the price of being with her is pain then so be it.  John and Marie leave the building together with their love intact and their understanding of life deepened.

Joseph Schildkraut plays John and he is a favorite of mine for the comical villain he played in “The Shop Around the Corner.”  This Serling written story is a terribly sentimental drama.  Rod has shamelessly tugged on our heart strings with this story.  But I must confess I enjoyed it anyway.  B+.