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» » Twilight Zone Shades of Guilt (2002–2003)

Short summary

A black man begs Matt McGreevy for a ride in his car since he is being pursued by someone, but Matt refuses and drives on, and sees him being attacked by a gang behind him. That night, Matt suffers several wounds he can't explain to his wife, and the next morning appears to have gained a tan overnight and learns that the man, a college professor named John Woodrell, was beaten to death in a hate-crime. His family and friends point out he didn't know who the man was or why he was running, but Matt, defensive about not being racist, still regrets not helping him since he knows why he didn't stop. It may be too late, though, since his skin continues to darken until he's mistaken for a mixed, then an African-American, man, then he looks exactly like the victim...

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Agalen
    This episode is about a man who refused to help someone based on the colour of his skin. Well, that's what it is supposed to be about. What it actually does is place someone (who is white) in a situation where a crazy seeming person (who is black) comes running breathless and screaming, banging against the window, even demanding he be allowed to get into the car. Naturally, the car owner drives off (totally startled and afraid) thinking they were about to be carjacked. Skin colour has nothing to do with this.

    The episode then moves on to the car owner being turned into a black man and experiencing racism first hand.

    This in itself would have made a great episode, the problem I have is that what originally happened WASN'T RACIST! For me, this led to the episode being based on a false premise and destroyed its credibility.
  • comment
    • Author: allegro
    This premise has been used before, even by the Twilight Zone. The issue of race is new here, but the person cursed by his actions goes back to the man who ran the little boy over with his car. A young man won't open his door to a desperate black man who is being pursued by skinheads. He is badly beaten and only asks to get in the car. The man drives away. The next day he begins to change, his skin getting darker and showing signs of being African-American. What can he do? There's something a bit weak about this episode--maybe it's too shallow in its thinking.
  • comment
    • Author: Altad
    ***SPOILERS*** Waiting for a green light in this high crime neighborhood Matt McGreevey's, Vince Ventresca, car looks as if its about to be carjacked when a desperate looking black man bangs on its windows trying to get in. Claiming that he's being chased by a group of what turned out to be white racist out to do him in Matt just rolls down the windows and steps on the gas leaving the poor man to his fate: Beaten to death with chains and tire irons on the street.

    It's later the next day that Matt sees in the paper that the person he left behind, in thinking he was up to no good, was a highly respected black professor John Woodrell, Hill Harper, who authored a number of books on race relations. Before he knows it Matt's skin start to take on a dark shade of color as well as his features that morphs him into the man that he left behind in die in the street John Woodrell!

    ***SPOILERS*** Matt coming home from work has his shocked wife Hilary-Barbara Tyson-in thinking he's a home invader throw him out of the house and calls the police leaving him with no place to stay. He's now determined to find Wopodrell's family and tell them what happened to him and how sorry he is in letting him get murdered when he had a chance to save his life. At first shocked to see him, in that she attended his funeral just the day before, Woodrell's wife Clare, Mari Morrow, thinks that the now homeless and friendless Matt is some kind of a nut trying to capitalize of her husbands death, in finding a place to stay, and slams the door in his face. It's then driving into the night that Matt gets a second chance and this time he doesn't blow it like he did before. But it took him being in the dead man John Woodhall's shoes or skin and seeing what he went through that turned him, and the car he was driving, around.
  • comment
    • Author: Karg
    I belive that tge message of avoiding prejudices in( this example racial) is very important and I agree with the other reviews, but the execution is off. While it seems to be a time loop which would be stupid because noone would age and they would be reliving the same day so it might not be. That implies that on the first day John Woodrell dies and our protagonist makes the wrong choice. The next day he turns into him wich is fine but the other Mckinney came out of nowhere. Did he just appear out of thin air? Did someone else turn into him? Why does he change his mind if it's actually the same person? Do the nazis hang out there every day? So mamy questions and no answers...so sadly despite the good message I didn't enjoy it. P.s Forrest Whittaker is kinda not a host and F the greenscreen they used
  • comment
    • Author: Fenrikasa
    I'll try and write this review as delicately and sensitively as I know how to. As I read the summary of this episode, it tells me that this is a simple case of if a good person chooses not to do something good, or in this case help someone in trouble, then pretty soon that person's inaction is going to come back and bite him in the butt. Such is the case for Matt McGreevy, whose refusal to help John Woodrell, for whatever reason he may have had, forced him to have that inaction come back and hit with a vengeance. That should explain the name of the title of this review, about walking in another person's shoes. McGreevy started getting a taste of what the victim was feeling when he developed the same injuries that killed Woodrell, and then he began to start looking like the victim. I guess he finally realizes where and how his prejudice and apathy would take him--to his final reward. Perhaps we can all learn from watching something like this, since we all live in the real world where things like this actually happen every day. Especially right now with what's happening with shooting deaths of unarmed people all over the U.S. We need to work harder to strengthen our empathy and our compassion, and try not to follow the old adage of "life imitating art", or vice versa. That's how World Wars are started, and who needs 'em?
  • Episode cast overview:
    Forest Whitaker Forest Whitaker - Himself - Host
    Hill Harper Hill Harper - John Woodrell
    Vincent Ventresca Vincent Ventresca - Matt McGreevey
    Mari Morrow Mari Morrow - Clare Woodrell
    Barbara Tyson Barbara Tyson - Hilary McGreevey
    Blu Mankuma Blu Mankuma - Thomas Sumner
    Camyar Chai Camyar Chai - Dr. Lisker (as Cam Chai)
    J.B. Bivens J.B. Bivens - Hank
    Michael Shanks Michael Shanks - Donnie
    Corrie Clark Corrie Clark - Robin
    David Hurtubise David Hurtubise - Desk Clerk (as Dave Hurtubise)
    Colin Corrigan Colin Corrigan - Skinhead
    Frederick Pleasure II Frederick Pleasure II - Man
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