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Looking Into “The Mirror”

When Peter Falk died, I wrote a quick “RIP” post to note the passing of a beloved and memorable actor. I also said that I would soon review his one Twilight Zone, “The Mirror.” Well, the occasion of its 50th anniversary seems an apt time to do that.

Quick recap: The story centers around a Fidel Castro-like character named Ramos Clemente. Having deposed his country’s previous rulers, he’s all set to enjoy the fruits of power – only to discover, by means of a special looking glass, that he’s surrounded by friends who are only too willing to depose him to gain his vaunted position at the top.

TZ the mirror

Despite Falk’s presence, “The Mirror” tends to get so-so reviews. Even fans who like it put it in the middle of the pack. True, there’s much to like, such as Falk’s muscular performance and Serling’s legendary ability to turn a phrase. But it’s stagey, with the action taking place in one room. Plus, as Serling expert Tony Albarella has noted, it’s hardly plausible that Clemente’s allies would turn on him that quickly (though he notes that Serling’s original script calls for a month-long timeframe, which would make more sense.) It lacks the subtlety of some of Serling’s earlier episodes. Read the rest of this entry