The seventh challenge starts in front of a church in the Dutch town of Sleepy Hollow. According to Laird, the town predates the American Revolution by over 100 years, and it is here that the famous horseman waits with the next clue.
Julius Moomer (Jack Weston, also in the excellent The Monsters are Due on Maple Street from Season 1) is in a bind. He is a writer, but he can't write. Sure, he can grind out zombie stories with the best of them, but they aren't very good. So he uses some black magic to conjure up William Shakespeare to help him out, and what do you know? It works.
A bit strange, really, as it's tough to imagine Shakespeare translating well to any 20th century medium, even after being edited by Moomer. But it's fiction. In the end, of course, it doesn't work out because Moomer wants all the glory for himself and Shakespeare doesn't think that is right. It's not that he does, mind you, he just doesn't like what Moomer is doing to his works of art. So he leaves.
Paul Driscoll has invented a time machine and convinced himself he can rid the world of the things that make it such a horrible place. He visits Hiroshima, then Berlin, then the Lusitania, but he cannot change the events of any of them. Finally he decides to settle down in a small town in Indana where he will be away from everything.
The only problem is that the very next day is the day that the president comes to visit and gets shot, and he will die a few months later from an infection he picked up when shot. Then he finds out a fire will break out and school children will die, but if he saves them he will change the world. He tries to not give in, but he eventually tries to help, and in so doing actually sets in motion the events that start the fire and does the damage. Perhaps time is not so fragile as we would believe. But that does not mean we can handle the events of time.
Paul returns to his time, convinced that we are not meant to live outside our own time, and convinced to try and make it better through his knowledge that he has gained. This would have been an excellent episode if he had returned to find that some small thing he did rippled through the years to upset his world even though the larger events didn't do anything. That would have made it excellent. As it is, it was just good.
This episode is another that perhaps isn't told as well as it could be, but isn't bad once you get to the end. We see a young singer, Floyd Burney, who is looking for his next song, when he wanders into a shop run by an older gentleman. Apparently Floyd was told that this is where he can find inspiration, and here he has come looking for it. Unfortunately for Floyd, the other man doesn't seem to anxious to help him. But after picking up a guitar and leaving some money to pay for it, Floyd takes off, for he has heard some notes that he thinks might just do the trick. What he fails to notice is the gravestone that he passes that has his name on it.
In this odd telling, a condemned man is apparently dreaming, but he knows he is dreaming. The odd part is that he realizes that he is dreaming about his own execution. He feels he is dreaming, and waking up night after night, but cannot realize why he keeps waking up and cannot escape. The reason, of course, is that he is about to be judged guilty of his crimes, which is when he will actually be sentenced to death. Perhaps an interesting tale, but the way it is told makes it a bit difficult to follow.
Candy Maker. Our first stop is Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where all sorts of sweet treats are made at Wertz Candy. First, some caramel corn, then some peanut butter balls and on and on it goes. What I don't get was the corn syrup. We've all seen corn syrup in a bottle. Their corn syrup wasn't, well, syrupy. It was more like a taffy substance. I'm sure it was good and all. I'm just not sure it was named appropriately.
A man in a diner is obsessed with gambling. He plays the one-armed bandit they have (which is perhaps a bit odd in itself), he flips a patron for his dinner (and loses), and after he loses, the man takes the quarter to the slot machine and wins the quarters from it. When the man finds his friend (Buddy Ebsen) has telekentic powers as they help save someone from a car crash, he figures it's time to visit Las Vegas.
So they head to the tables and make the dice turn up the way they need to, they make the roulette wheel land just right, they hit everything like they want. The only problem is that the effort causes considerable headache from the effort, not to mention a lot of moral compromise, and so the next day when the man wants to challenge a big gambler in some dice rolling, his friend loses his power just when he needs it the most.
They head back to the diner and everything turns out at the end - but as with most things in this series, it turns out that the power wasn't lost, just forgotten at an opportune moment.
An army lieutenant can see death on the faces of his fellow soldiers before they actually die, something that causes him considerable distress. He expresses his concern to his commanding officer (Dick York, also in A Penny for Your Thoughts from Season 2), who doesn't quite know whether to believe him or not.
He starts to believe when they go to a hospital and it happens again, then when he is told of his own impending doom just before they go into another battle, so he leaves his own possessions - some pictures and a wedding ring - behind, just in case. As it turns out, the soldier can predict the death of people, so it was a good idea.
The juicy twist comes at the end, where the soldier is shipped of for some rest, but before he goes he looks in the mirror and sees his own face, which naturally has "the look", so he knows he won't make it for the promised rest. The talk then is to be safe on the ride, and to avoid the land mines, so you know what's in store, but it's a good ending nonetheless.
Three astronauts return from a flight into outer space, only to find that one of them has disappeared entirely. When they returned they were all there, but then one gradually disappeared. First he couldn't see himself in the mirror, then his parents didn't recognize him on the phone, then he simply vanished. Then when he was gone, one of this cohorts didn't recognize him.
Now the second member of the crew seems to be disappearing as well, and the third member doesn't believe him, thinks that he is undergoing some form of trauma. The first crew member's thoughts that perhaps they shouldn't have come back at all, that maybe someone - or something - let them slip through its grasp is coming true, and now they are vanishing from reality. Slowly each of the members is erased from existence, and even the experimental plane is simply gone.
When a fighter pilot lands in 1959, it shouldn't be a big deal. The only problem is he took off that morning and it was 1917! After some questioning, they find out that he ran from combat, because his partner was surrounded by seven enemy planes. As it happens, the partner is coming for an inspection of the base that very afternoon. The pilot is the only one who seems to have any sense, for he realizes that he is probably the only one who has a chance to save the other man.
He asks to be released, but no one believes he could do what he says, so he fights his way out, then flies back to 1917, where he defeats three of those planes, which allows his partner to escape the battle and make his appointment with the inspection in 1959. Unfortunately the pilot didn't make it. An interesting tale.
A young woman driving across the country has a blow-out, which she gets fixed by a nice young man. But as she does, she starts to see a strange hitch-hiker, who begins to haunt her journey. Strangely, no one else can see him, yet she cannot seem to escape him. Though she is driving, he beats her to each and every town. She just can't seem to escape.
Finally, as she is about to lose her sanity, she phones her mother. There, she speaks to someone who tells her that her mother has had a breakdown. Apparently it happened a few days before, when she learned of her daughter's fatal wreck - when the tire blew out.
At that point, the woman climbs back in her car, and lowers the visor, where she sees the hitch-hiker in the back seat, and he says "Going my way?". Pretty spooky, really.