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"The Bewitchin' Pool" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
"A swimming pool not unlike any other pool, a structure built of tile and cement and money, a backyard toy for the affluent, wet entertainment for the well-to-do. But to Jeb and Sport Sharewood, this pool holds mysteries not dreamed of by the building contractor, not guaranteed in any sales brochure. For this pool has a secret exit that leads to a never-neverland, a place designed for junior citizens who need a long voyage away from reality, into the bottomless regions of the Twilight Zone."
Introduction to a perfect setting: Colonial mansion, spacious grounds, heated swimming pool. All the luxuries money can buy. Introduction to two children: brother and sister, names Jeb and Sport. Healthy, happy, normal youngsters. Introduction to a mother: Gloria Sherwood by name, glamorous by nature. Introduction to a father: Gil Sherwood, handsome, prosperous, the picture of success. A man who has achieved every man's ambition. Beautiful children, beautiful home, beautiful wife. Idyllic? Obviously. But don't look too carefully, don't peek behind the facade. The idyll may have feet of clay.
"Sport Sharewood and her brother Jeb live in a large, expensive house, but their mother is cold, insensitive, self-centered and yelled at her children for everything they did; their father is kinder, but he is a distant and preoccupied businessman.
While sitting beside their pool, a young boy in a Huckleberry Finn straw hat pops up from the deep end of their pool and invites them to follow him. The children follow him by diving underwater only to come back up in a lake bordering a rustic, simple homestead. All around them are children swimming, fishing, and playing. In contrast to their lavish home of neglect and insults, they are welcomed and loved from the moment they arrive at this children's paradise. There is only one adult there named "Aunt T", a sweet and kind elderly woman who loves children; she explains she has many children there who came from parents who didn't deserve them.
When Sport and Jeb decide to go home, for fear that their parents will be worried, they learn that their parents have decided to divorce and hadn't even missed them while they were gone. When the parents tell the children the news, they give them the choice of either living with their mother or their father and berate them for not deciding quickly enough. The children have an epiphany that their parents do not genuinely love them and never will. Their mother blames the kids for having her and her husband being together much too long. Ignoring their parents' shouts, Sport and Jeb race back to the pool, dive in, disappear and escape back to Aunt T. Back on the pool's surface, the parents anger turns to worry when they realize their children have been underwater for too long; the father jumps in, but can't find them as they both shout their children's names in despair.
In the end the children are happily living with Aunt T whose love is unconditional. Sport hears the increasingly distant voices of her parents, but ignores them.
"A brief epilogue for concerned parents. Of course, there isn't any such place as the gingerbread house of Aunt T, and we grownups know there's no door at the bottom of a swimming pool that leads to a secret place. But who can say how real the fantasy world of lonely children can become? For Jeb and Sport Sharewood, the need for love turned fantasy into reality. They found a secret place in the Twilight Zone."
Notes and Annotations
- This was the final episode of the original series to air. "Come Wander With Me", however, was the last one taped.
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
- Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series
- The episode is often thought of as one of the weakest in the original series.