The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 3 Episode 36 – Cavender Is Coming

This is a minor effort.  In fact, it’s kind of a reprise of another guardian angel episode called Mr. Bevis that featured Orson Bean as a daydreaming goofball that all the kids on the block palled around with.

Harmon Cavender (played by the immediately recognizable character actor Jesse White) is an angel who hasn’t earned his wings.  In fact, if he botches his next assignment he will probably be demoted (whatever that means).  He is assigned to help Agnes Grep (played Carol Burnett).  Grep is the clumsy kind young woman that all the kids in the rooming house come to for cookies and other treats.  Everyone likes her and she likes them.  But she can’t hold onto a job and so is always broke.  We meet her as she is losing a job as a ticket taker at a fancy movie theater.

Cavender’s job is to make her happy.  He shows up on the bus she is riding and tries to convince her of his angelic identity by means of small miracles.  He turns the bus into a horse drawn carriage and then a convertible.  He decides to make Agnes rich and famous.  He fills her bank account with cash moves her into Sutton Place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and throws her a party filled up with the crème de la crème of posh New York Society.  Agnes is confused and ultimately bored and exhausted.  But when she tries to return to her rooming house apartment no one knows her and her apartment is occupied by someone else.  Cavender has cancelled out her old identity.  Now Agnes is sad and she begs Cavender to let her go back to her old life.  Reluctantly he agrees.  Now Agnes is deliriously happy but Cavender is in despair.  He has failed to change Agnes’ life and is sure to be demoted.

And sure enough, his heavenly superior officer is sadly disappointed in Cavender’s failure and is about to demote him when he looks down and sees how happy Agnes is.  And since Cavender’s job was to make her happy, then by definition he had succeeded.  Cavender’s boss praises him and says that Cavender will get more cases like Agnes.  As Cavender heads off he clandestinely smokes a forbidden cigar in Heaven.

This is one of those overly sentimental episodes that tugs on the heart strings.  But it’s also a comedy and it also has a good cast and the location is old New York of which I am a native and for the demise of which I mourn.  I’ll say I’m a sap for liking this episode but I do.  B.

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Ed Brault
Ed Brault
2 years ago

A good one. I loved Jesse White from his work with Stan Freeberg on his radio show and the outrageous Chun-King commercials. He was perfect in the role of Cavender, as was young Carol Burnett as Agnes. One of my favorite episodes.

Tyler, the Portly Politico

I never realized Carol Burnett was on TWZ. Very cool!