Musings in the Dark: My Twilight Zone Tribute: S2E25


My Twilight Zone Tribute: S2E25

"The Silence"

Colonel Archie Taylor is an asshole with a gentleman’s club membership who is irritated by the ongoing chatter of another member, Jamie Tennyson.  Colonel Taylor is so frustrated by Tennyson’s constant jabbering that he proposes a wager.  If Tennyson can go one year without talking, the Colonel will give him $500,000 (which is $4,374,280.94 in 2021 money).  If Tennyson accepts the wager, he has to move into a small, glass-walled apartment replete with speakers so that he can be monitored by the members of the club.  His only means of communication would be note-writing.

Tennyson, a would-be hustler who was trying to hit up club members to invest in one of his crackpot ideas, is a man with a wife who loves nice things.  While he is offended at the Colonel’s wager, the reality is that his wife is a spendthrift and he needs the money to pay off her debts.  So Tennyson tells the Colonel that he will do it if the Colonel deposits a check in a bank in his name.  The Colonel is offended by this because he has an honorable reputation and excellent credit.  Tennyson says, “My courage against your credit,” and accepts the wager.

Tennyson shows up the next night (how they managed to build the apartment to specifications within 24 hours is a mystery to me) sporting an ascot and the wager begins. Colonel Taylor assumes that Tennyson will not be able to make it past a few weeks but gets nervous when Tennyson goes months without speaking.  He starts taunting Tennyson with rumors about his wife cheating and then starts offering amounts of money to get Tennyson to give up.  He offers him a grand ($8,748.56), then five grand ($43,742.81), and then six grand ($52,491.37) but Tennyson does not give up.  He is clearly bothered by the Colonel’s rumors about his wife but refuses to call off the bet.  The other members of the club learn of the Colonel’s chicanery and his reputation is ruined.

Finally, the year ends.  Tennyson enters the parlor and walks up to the Colonel and holds out his hand.  He doesn’t speak.  The Colonel is very embarrassed and has to own up to the fact that he is broke and has been for several years.  He gives Tennyson props for winning the bet and announces his resignation.  The other club members encourage Tennyson to speak; he’s free to talk and Tennyson scribbles a note.  The note acknowledges that Tennyson knew he wouldn’t be able to keep silent for a year, and so he had the nerves to his vocal cords severed a year ago.  He starts to cry and removes the ascot from around his neck to reveal the scars from his surgery (though how he was able to do that so quickly is never explained).

When I saw the end of the episode, I got mad at Tennyson.  Ain’t no fucking way would I have owned up to having surgery.  Somebody at that club would have had to run me my cash.  But that’s the nature of The Twilight Zone.


  1. I never watched this one either, but I have heard of it. Some you win and some you really lose.

  2. Dude should have never revealed that he had his vocal cords severed. I was so annoyed with him.


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