"Cavender is Coming" is the 36th episode of "The Twilight Zone", first broadcast in May of 1962. It starred Carol Burnett (still relatively new to television) as Agnes Grep, a clumsy and perpetually underemployed young woman, and Jesse White (most famous for his later role as the Maytag repairman) as Harmon Cavender, her guardian angel.

Agnes Grep is happy enough with her life, although she is constantly beleaguered by unemployment, late bills, and a hectic life. She has been assigned an equally clumsy guardian angel who decides to make her life "perfect", by taking her out of the tenements and placing her into the high life. As could be guessed, Grep and Cavender are about to learn a valuable lesson about where true happiness lies. This conclusion isn't too unexpected, especially since the exact same plot was used in the first season's Mr. Bevis. What sets this episode apart is the comedic performance of Carol Burnett, who makes her role come alive.

This episode also works very well with the episodes around it, although it might not be immediately apparent how several stories disparate in setting and genre are similar. But this story, along with The Trade-Ins, The Gift, Young Man's Fancy and I Sing The Body Electric all revolve around the same concept: people are presented with a gift or a change, and they must decide whether to accept it or not. In this episode, the change is rightfully rejected, much as it is in The Trade-Ins, which contradicts the rejection of a gift that should have been accepted in The Gift and Young Man's Fancy, and the acceptance of a truly benevolent gift in I Sing The Body Electric. Further back in the season, we had the famous episode To Serve Man, which was about an accepted gift that should have been rejected. The concept is explored from all four angles, to the point where it seems like Rod Serling sat down with a piece of graph paper and plotted this out. Although it perhaps just flows naturally from the theme of the program: the Twilight Zone is about being in-between, and the hesitant attitude to change comes naturally from this position. It also seems to fit in very well with the year it was made, 1962, perhaps the United States' last innocent year. And so what I find intriguing about this episode is that what seems to be a corny little break from the serious themes of the show is actually quite conceptually involved---even if what we mostly notice is Carol Burnett falling on her ass.

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