Front Runner

Episode 21, originally broadcast on June 9, 1959

The episode begins in a hospital.

The guy's name is Ronnie Watson and he's talking to a newspaper reporter. The sick guy is a jockey. He says he's been looking for someone who would believe him. He says he once had a jockey friend named Sam Berry when he was twenty years old.

The girl is Maria, a girl he liked, and the other guy is Sam in the flashback. Sam tells Ronnie that the race the next night will be his last race. He also reveals that he's going to get married, and that the woman is the one that Ronnie likes.

The race the next day has the two men riding against each other. Ronnie cheats by grabbing the guy's saddle cloth, throwing his horse off stride. After the race some of the race officials talk about whether or not a fowl was committed.

The judges choose to believe Ronnie and Sam hits him. Ronnie ends up becoming a top jockey. Ronnie has chosen to retire from racing.

At the race the next day Ronnie sees Sam is riding one of the horses. Sam's horse pushes into Ronnie's and keeps him from winning the race. When they show him the film of the race, though, there is no Sam and his horse bumping into him.

He finds out that Sam was killed in a horse race the previous day in South America. The newspaper reporter says he believes him and then he leaves.

There's a problem in this episode with what isn't explained, and it doesn't relate to the mystery about Sam. Ronnie is in the hospital dying; from what? Why? Is this supposed to be years after he was a jockey, or only recently afterward? He looks the same age as when he was riding horses.

I had expected that he had been in a racing accident or something, but there is no explanation at all for what he's doing in the hospital other than that he is dying of something at some time in his life. The lack of explanation for that bothered me throughout the episode, taking attention away from the paranormal event.

I kept expecting his being in the hospital had something to do with the event, but it was totally unrelated. In my opinion the entire hospital part should have been left out and some other way found to tell the story of what possibly happened to him.

The way it stands, it's a confusing and disappointing episode.

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