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How Much Do You Love Your Kid? - Recap

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Donna Sidchek is at breakfast as her husband Ted is preparing to leave on a trip. Donna brings up that their son needs dental work but Ted insists that he’ll get the job and they’ll talk about it the next day. As Ted leaves, he says goodbye to his son Wylie. Husband and wife put Wylie on the school bus and Ted leaves for the airport. Later, Donna is getting a facial massage when the school calls to let her know that Wylie never arrived at school.

Donna goes to the police station to file a missing person report. Nick Dark and his cameraman come up and tell her that she’s been chosen as a contestant in a reality TV show, “How Much Do You Love Your Kid?” He tells Donna that she has 60 minutes to find her son. They’ll provide her with clues and if she wins, she’ll receive $500,000. He doesn’t describe what happens if she fails. He takes her to a monitor and runs footage of a hooded man wearing a ski mask abducting her son. The police refuse to arrest Nick, explaining that the show is licensed and their permits are in order. The desk sergeant gives her the first clue and with some prodding from Nick, she figures out where she has to go next. The TV show provides her with a van, complete with show logo, and as they head out Donna calls Ted to tell him what’s going on. Ted tries to tell her that he’s coming but the connection breaks up.

Donna gets to a park and starts asking people if they’ve seen Wylie. Nick tells her that someone there has a clue and figures out that the hot dog seller knows something. He hands over the next clue, concerning Lord of the Rings, and Donna connects it to a nearby stable. As she goes there, Donna demands to know what happens if she doesn’t find Wylie in time. Nick tries to sympathize and interviews her, but Donna is more concerned with finding her son. She finds a stable hand who gives her the third clue. Donna gets increasingly angry and hears Wylie outside. She runs to the window and sees the hooded man from the video taking her son away in a car.

Donna takes the wheel of the van and goes after Wylie’s abductor. The man drives the car through a parking lot and down into a ditch below. The abductor limps away and Donna runs down to the car. The police and EMTs arrive and refuse to do anything, insisting that it’s just a TV show. Wylie is injured and Nick insists that the boy wasn’t supposed to be injured. He tells her that she can walk away with the $500,000, or she can go after Wylie’s kidnapper. The show will provide her with clues and pay her a million dollars if she “wins.” Nick hands her a gun and insists she prove how much she loves her kid. Even Wylie tells her to go get the man. Donna takes the gun and gets back in the van, only to discover the keys are gone. She uses the gun on one of the camera crew, forcing him to tell her where the kidnapper is. She takes his car keys and goes to the address.

Donna goes to the address and spots the abductor limping down the street. He runs through the backyards and enters a house: Donna’s. She tackles him and the kidnapper removes his mask to reveal that he’s the kidnapper. He explains that he needed the money and that Wylie is okay except for a few minor injuries. Furious, Donna shoots him in the chest and he collapses. Nick and his crew come in to congratulate her on winning a million dollars… and the best defense money can buy.

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Warning: The Twilight Zone season 1 episode 33 guide may contain spoilers
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