The Twilight Zone (2002) Episode Scripts

N/A - Placebo Effect

Morning, Bianna.
Good morning, Dr.
Coburn.
Looks like a busy day.
Thank you.
No, You can't make me! I hate you! Let me go! It's just one shot.
I don't want a shot! I want the flu! Kerry! Hello.
You look like a pretty healthy little girl.
And fashionable, too.
I love your shoes.
And look at these nails.
Ooh.
Oh, my goodness.
Oh, my.
It's just gorgeous.
What color is that? Primrose.
Oh, it's beautiful.
Hey, You tricked me! Because it's my job to keep you from getting the flu.
So we don't have to do this for a whole 'nother year.
Don't know how you keep your cool.
Must be that hundred grand in student loans I'm still paying off.
Who's my next appointment? Mr.
Chelsler, room two.
Dr.
Coburn? Mr.
Raditch? Mr.
Raditch, wait! Excuse me, sir.
Can I help you? R-N.
No, you cannot help me.
I need Dr.
Coburn immediately.
Dr.
Coburn is busy with another appointment.
This is an emergency! Listen, mister, if you don't go back in the waiting room we're gonna have a rea/ emergency.
Rhonda, why don't we switch.
Harry, Rhonda is new here, so at least try to be polite.
Politeness is artificial good humor.
Thomas Jefferson.
I'll be in room three.
Time is of the essence.
Whoa.
Who's Mr.
Personality? Harry Raditch.
Proud member of the Disease of the Month Club.
Hypochondriac? Textbook.
He had TB as a child.
I guess he just got used to all the attention.
How do you treat him? Well, Harry's never manifested any symptoms so I just give him a placebo.
He has a remarkable recovery rate.
So, Harry, what seems to be the problem today? I'm hoping you'll tell me it's all in my mind.
That's a big step for you, Harry.
Why don't you tell me your symptoms.
Words don't do them justice.
You seem to have ruptured a blood vessel in your sclera.
Have you had any trauma to the eye? Unfortunately, my eye is only the tip of the iceberg.
Harry, what are you doing? Look at that.
Aaaah.
That's another symptom.
I don't think that's gonna clot.
I think I could bleed to death.
OK.
OK.
We're gonna get this bleeding under control and in the meantime, I'm gonna run some tests.
Ok, but wait.
You haven't even seen the worst of it.
Have you ever seen anything like it? That is what I was afraid of.
Dr.
Leslie Coburn has always treated Harry with a placebo an imaginary cure for his imaginary illnesses.
But what will this young doctor do when her patient contracts a real disease? A disease found only in the Twilight Zone.
You're traveling to another dimension.
A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind.
A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are only that of the imagination.
You're entering Very strange.
This makes no sense.
First I thought it was a blood disorder, maybe ITP.
Platelet count? That's the thing.
His platelet count is high but prothrombin time and PTT are both low.
He shouldn't have a clotting problem.
Patient history? Well, actually, it's Harry Raditch.
Leslie, what do we know about hypochondriacs? This time he's exhibiting symptoms.
Treat the mind, not the body.
I know, but aside from the blood anomaly he's got some very unusual skin masses.
Biopsy hasn't revealed anything, but Probably just a psychosomatic manifestation.
My advice, refer him to a psychiatrist.
Leslie's gonna take my patients while I'm at the A.
M.
A.
Luncheon today.
But isn't it possible he may have actually contracted something real? It's possible, but it's not probable.
Tell you what, makes you feel any better run some more tests.
How is he? I gave him the Desmopressin like you said but his bleeding hasn't stopped, and his temperature's up to 101.
But honestly it's his attitude that's gonna get him killed.
Planning on staying a while, Harry? With what little time I have left I'd rather not be mocked.
You know I wouldn't do that.
Listen, we gotta get that cut sealed up.
You'll be glad to know that my initial tests didn't turn up anything.
Of course not.
This is turning out exactly as I feared.
Have you traveled out of the country recently? I'd like to travel to some exotic locale.
Budapest Mozambique Zanzibar but I was always afraid of picking up some rare disease.
You know what the sad fact is? I rarely leave my house anymore.
Mrs.
Mendolsohn, my housekeeper she even does all my shopping for me.
Oh, no.
Oh, no.
Mrs.
Mendolsohn.
What if I've given her the disease? What if she's spreading it? Oh, good God! The bubonic plague started like this! Harry, please calm down.
We don't know that this is a virus.
This could be nothing more than an allergic reaction.
I just need to run a few more tests.
You gonna be OK? Doctor, there's something you should know.
Your optimism it's contagious.
Mr.
Wilson's in at 3:00, not 4:00.
I need you to fax this to the CDC.
You think he's got something real? He better or my credibility with Dr.
Marks will be shot.
So this fruitcake, he's a book dealer? I can just imagine what kind of books he sells.
What did I say? Wake up, Harry.
Harry, Wake up.
You said you don't travel but you still must get books from all over the world by mail.
You're getting warmer but you're still light-years away.
What are you not telling me, Harry? Come on, Harry.
I'm out on a limb here.
Talk to me.
I'll tell you but you're not gonna believe it.
The answer to all this /s a book.
Just not the way you think.
M/ss/on to Zebu/on? I don't get it.
My virus it's not from this earth.
Your virus is from planet Zebulon? No, it's from the book.
The story.
Read the back cover.
This is ridiculous.
Please just read it.
"The mission to Zebulon takes a disastrous turn "when crew members contract a hostile virus "whose first-stage symptoms "include uncontrollable bleeding "and a strange pattern of black skin protrusions.
" "Their only hope is to find an antidote "something that will reverse the process "before the virus starts purging all the blood "from the bodies of its victims.
" This is a fictional virus, Harry.
I said you wouldn't believe it.
What I can't believe is that I actually took you seriously this time.
He claims that his virus came from this stupid book.
I'm calling County psych ward.
I'm having him transferred.
I've wasted enough time on this.
Doctor! Help me! Code blue! Everybody stay back! This could be contagious! Her name's Elise Mendolsohn.
Mendolsohn? That's Harry's housekeeper.
She's dead.
Just like in the book.
That's impossible.
How do you spread a fictional disease? The question is how do you cure a fictional disease? Tape it off 100 yards back! You got it.
This area is quarantined.
This area is quarantined.
Get me bio-kits out of the truck.
How long do we have to stay in here? Until we know if you're contagious.
But I need to get home to my family.
Yes, Dr.
Marks.
They determined that the virus is not airborne.
It's a contact virus but they can't classify it any further.
Origin's unknown.
Anyone else manifested symptoms? No.
Thankfully, just me.
I'm on my way.
You didn't tell him about the book.
How could I? He'd think I was losing it.
That's strange.
His condition hasn't advanced since he came in.
We're thinking if we can figure out why he's only a carrier maybe we can crack this thing.
Can I talk to him? Make it quick.
We need to start monitoring you, too, Doctor.
They told me about Mrs.
Mendolsohn.
Harry, I need some answers, and I don't have much time.
Oh, no.
No, not you, too.
Why didn't you tell me about the book from the beginning? I didn't want you thinking I was some sort of crazy hypochondriac.
You're the last person in the world I would want to hurt.
You know, you're the only doctor that ever showed me any respect.
Look what it got you.
Feeling sorry for ourselves is not going to solve anything.
Tell me everything, Harry.
From the start, how it happened.
I don't know how to explain it.
Try.
I was reading the book last night.
And the story, it was so haunting, so vivid that I I couldn't get it out of my head.
I wish I'd never woke up this morning.
Sorry, Dr.
Coburn but I need to run some tests on you now.
Leslie please forgive me.
I don't want to die like that housekeeper.
OK, OK, OK.
Rhonda, listen to me.
I am going to do everything I can to beat this but I'm going to need your help, OK? How did they beat it in that book? They didn't.
So we're gonna die because some lousy writer couldn't come up with a happy ending? Wait a minute.
That might be it.
Harry convinced himself that he had the virus in that book just like he's convinced himself he's had a dozen other diseases only this time, he made it real.
If you say so.
His imagination brought the virus to life.
So so maybe all we have to do is use his imagination to create a cure.
Now you've lost me.
It's the placebo effect.
An imaginary illness calls for an imaginary cure.
We're dying, Leslie.
We need a rea/ cure! What do we know about meteors? What? They're not of this earth.
You're not making any sense.
It makes perfect sense.
We are going to rewrite the ending to this story.
A happy ending.
Hello? Dr.
Marks? This is Leslie.
Leslie.
Where are you? Out front.
Any new developments? Rhonda's manifesting, too.
But l I think I know how to beat this virus.
What can I do? Harry, did you read about the meteor shower last night? Yes.
Well, something incredible happened.
A meteor actually hit Earth early this morning.
Impossible.
We would have felt it.
It hit North Dakota.
They felt it all the way to Arizona.
The devastation.
Thankfully, it hit a rural area.
A single meteor was responsible for killing off the dinosaurs.
Obviously, this one wasn't that big.
No, no, no, no.
I've read a lot of books on this subject.
Several scientists actually believe that a meteor strike in today's climate would bring on an ice age in a matter of hours.
It's a disaster.
It's a total disaster.
That is where you're wrong, Harry.
It is not a disaster.
It's a miracle.
I don't understand.
The CDC found residue at the meteor strike site that they believe contains a rare element one that may be virucidal.
Are you talking about a cure? But what if it won't work? What if it makes me worse? I'm not going to lie to you, Harry.
That is a possibility.
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.
Harry, you are the key to this thing.
If you don't test this vaccine everyone in this building might die.
I need you to trust me.
Just do it fast before I lose my nerve.
Hang in there, Rhonda.
You're going to be just fine.
Mama! Mama! Leslie.
Something's happened.
Oh, thank God.
Wait.
Leslie what if I have a relapse? What if new symptoms arise? You're going to be fine, Harry.
Well, what about that meteor strike? Forget about it, Harry.
Forget about it.
I wish I could.
Whatever you did, Doctor, it worked.
Good job.
I want to call Dr.
Marks and tell him about the placebo.
Saline with purple food coloring.
Now I've seen everything.
Thank God.
That's strange.
No answer.
The meteor strike.
Harry made it come true.
Dr.
Leslie Coburn had a brilliant idea using an imaginary cure for an imaginary illness.
But like the virus itself Harry took her cure to heart, and he made it real.
What have I done? A testament to the amazing powers of the mind in the Twilight Zone.
It's a disaster.
A total disaster.