"The Fever" is the 17th episode of The Twilight Zone and was first broadcast in January of 1960. It starred Everett Sloane as Franklin Gibbs, a man who, with his wife, has won a trip to Las Vegas, despite his personal dislike of gambling.
Within the first minute of the show, we are introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs and told that one of them is going to become inflamed with "The Fever" for gambling, and when Mr. Gibbs loudly denounces gambling, it is pretty clear which one it is going to be. Through a chance event, Mr. Gibbs plays a slot machine, and then continues to play. And play. And play. The middle ten minutes of this episode are a depressingly and boringly realistic depiction of compulsive gambling. But since this is a Twilight Zone episode, the point has to be underscored through the supernatural: it turns out the slot machine is sentient, and when Gibbs tries to stop playing him, it chases him. Its as silly as it sounds, if not sillier.
When I started this project of watching and writing about The Twilight Zone, I didn't think I would continue it as I have. I just knew of the series and its "twist endings" through occasional viewings or through pop culture osmosis. I have found, however, that it is a great show and even 50 years later it still surprising and involving. And then there are episodes like this. With all due respect to the talented people behind the show, this episode is the first really bad Twilight Zone episode I have seen. The plot is silly and boring, the characters are unrealistic, and the moral (though useful), is heavy handed, even by Twilight Zone standards. But as this episode teaches us, we can't always expect to win.