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The Lonely One - Recap

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In a small town, Lavinia Nebbs is sitting on her porch pouring a glass of lemonade when her friend Francine comes over late to meet with her. Lavinia locks up the house while Francine wonders if she gets alone living by herself. Her friend insists she doesn't and sets down her glass of lemonade without drinking it. The two women leave for a movie and pass by two elderly neighbor ladies, Miss Roberts and Miss Fern, who insist they wouldn't go out while the Lonely One is out and about. Lavinia, unimpressed, continues with Francine. As they walk, they discuss the Lonely One and Francine wonders if they should go. They pass by a bridge over the woods and Lavinia insists on taking the shortcut through the ravine to the theater. She convinces a reluctant Francine to go with her, saying the Lonely One won't be out until nighttime.

As they walk, Lavinia talks about the Boogieman, and how he used to walk up the stairs in the house. Francine mentions how the Lonely One has strangled women over the last several months. As they pass through the trees, they find the corpse of their friend Elizabeth.

The police arrive to take away the body and Officer Kennedy tells Lavinia and Francine to go straight home. Lavinia insists on picking up their friend Helen and go to the show so they can forget what happened. As they walk out of the ravine, they see some boys gawking at the murder scene and Francine yells at them to go.

The two women go to their friend Helen's house. They explain that someone found Elizabeth's corpse but don't tell her they were the ones. When Helen wonders if she should go inside and lock the door, Lavinia tells her to do it if she must, but they're going to the movies. Helen gives in and accompanies them down the street to the theater. A man follows them from the opposite side of the street. As they walk, Lavinia insists that the Lonely One only strikes once a month so they should be safe. Suddenly a local man, Frank Dillon, leaps out to scare them. He apologizes when he upsets Francine, and the women continue as Lavinia continues to avoid telling Helen that they found the body.

The women stop at the drugstore near the theater to get some candy. As the druggist gets their order, he notes that a man asked after Lavinia earlier in the day. He asked the druggist where he lived and the druggist mentioned the street she lives on. Outside, they wonder if the man who asked about Lavinia is the Lonely One. Lavinia admits that it might be exciting if it were, and refuses to take a taxi. Francine gets a description of the man, who wore a black suit and had a pale face. Lavinia insists that she isn't that attractive but Francine says she's the prettiest woman in town now that Elizabeth is dead, and she could have been married years ago if she just relaxed. Lavinia says they should leave if they want, but she's going to the theater and walking home afterward.

Before the movie begins, the manager informs them they'll be cutting out the shorts so everyone can be out by 10:45, and asks everyone to go straight home afterward. They watch the thriller movie and Francine notices a pale man in a black suit sit behind them. When he brushes her, she screams that he's the Lonely One and runs out.

Afterward, the three friends get sodas at the drugstore and Francine admits she overreacted. It turns out the man was the theater manager's brother. Lavinia figures the Lonely One is a million miles away. The druggist closes the store and Lavinia chuckles. They walk down the street and Francine suggests that they walk Lavinia home because she's the pretty one. When Lavinia points out that Francine would have to then walk home on her own, Francine suggests they all stay at Lavinia’s. The women begin singing but then stop as they hear a creaking noise. A man is sitting on his porch swing, smoking and watching them.

The women arrive at Francine's home and she asks them to stay. Lavinia turns down her offer and says she'll call as soon as she gets home. She insists that she'll live forever. Francine hugs her and goes inside, Helen and Lavinia continue until they come to the ravine. As Lavinia smiles and goes, Helen asks why she's been acting so odd. Lavinia insists that she's having fun, and Helen wonders if there are people who want to die. She wishes Lavinia good night and goes on.

Lavinia walks down into the ravine and hears a man whistling the song from earlier. She continues on and the whistling continues behind her. Lavinia hides in the bushes and sees a man approaching her. It's Officer Kennedy, who sees her and offers to walk her across the ravine. Angry, Lavinia says she'll continue on her own and wonders if he might be the Lonely One. Kennedy tells her to go and says he'll wait there to make sure she gets across safely. She walks away but then turns back, only to discover that he's disappeared.

Lavinia continues across the ravine, counting off the steps and remembering the story of the Boogieman walking up the stairs to his victim's door. Suddenly something moves in the bushes, knocking a branch into her face. Lavinia panics and runs through the woods, and then trips and finds herself in Elizabeth's tape outline. She gets up and continues until she finally stops, exhausted. She hears someone moving behind her and continues, finally crawling up out of the ravine and running up the street to her house. She gets the door unlocked, gets inside, and locks and chains it behind her.

Sobbing, Lavinia finally manages to catch her breath and goes to the phone to call Francine. She tells her friend she made it home safely and that the ravine is perfectly safe. Once she finishes, she looks out and notices her glass of lemonade... now empty. She turns as the Lonely One gets up from the chair where he's been waiting for her and approaches...

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Warning: The Ray Bradbury Theater season 6 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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