|Episode no. Season 1
Written by Rod Serling
Original air date February 26, 1960
|Directed by John Brahm|
Production code 173-3623
"Mirror Image" is episode 21 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on February 26, 1960 on CBS.
A young woman named Millicent Barnes is waiting in a bus depot in Ithaca, New York, for a bus to Cortland, en route to a new job. Looking at a wall clock she notices the bus is late. She walks up to the ticket counter to ask the ticket agent when the bus will arrive, and he gruffly replies that this is her third time there. Millicent denies this. While speaking with the ticket agent, she notices a bag just like hers in the luggage pile behind her. She mentions this to the ticket agent, who says it is her bag. She doesn't believe this until she notices her bag is not beside the bench anymore. She goes into the restroom to wash her hands and the cleaning lady there insists this is her second time there. Again, Millicent denies this. Upon leaving the restroom, she glances in the mirror and sees, in addition to her reflection, an exact copy of herself sitting on the bench outside.
A few moments later she meets a young man from Binghamton named Paul Grinstead, who is waiting for the same bus. Millicent tells Paul about encountering her double. Paul, attempting to calm Millicent, says it is either a joke or a misunderstanding caused by a look-alike. When the bus arrives and the two of them prepare to board, Millicent looks in the window and sees the copy of herself, already seated on the bus. In shock, she runs back into the depot and faints.
Millicent lies unconscious on a bench inside the depot while Paul and the cleaning lady attend to her. Paul agrees to wait for the 7:00 bus. While they wait, Millicent, now coming to, insists the strange events are caused by an evil double from a parallel world - a nearby, yet distant alternate plane of existence that comes into convergence with this world by powerful forces, or unnatural, unknown events. When this happens, the impostors enter this realm. Millicent's doppelgänger can survive in this world only by eliminating and replacing her. Paul says the explanation is "a little metaphysical" for him, and believes that Millicent's sanity is beginning to unravel. Paul tells Millicent he'll call a friend in Tully who has a car and may be able to drive them to Syracuse. In actuality, he calls the police.
After Millicent is taken away by two policemen, Paul begins to settle himself. After drinking from a water fountain, Paul notices that his valise is missing. Looking up towards the doors, Paul notices another man running out the door of the bus depot. Pursuing this individual down the street, Paul discovers that he is chasing his own copy, whose face shows excited delight. His copy disappears as Paul calls out "Where are you?" while looking around in confusion and shock.