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The Last Car
is an episode of Tales from the Darkside.

PlotEdit

It's the middle of the night, and a college student named Stacy is heading home for Thanksgiving is waiting for a train. It's the last train of the night, and she's waiting by the sign indicating where the last car is going to stop. 

The train finally arrives and Stacy climbs aboard. There she finds three creepy passengers, including an old lady, an exhausted businessman, and a kid who won't stop shooting his capguns at people. Stacy is puzzled by how empty the last car is, given how packed the rest were. The old lady claims that the last car sways more than the others like a cradle. Things get even more odd when the old lady is confused by the 'strange, numbered bracelet' that Stacy is wearing. By which she means - the watch. Trying to ignore the eerieness of the old lady, Stacy shifts seats and tries to take a nap - but she's disturbed by the cowboy kid, who runs up and down the aisle, announcing that they're coming up on a tunnel - which is when everything goes to hell.

As they pull through the tunnel everyone in the car cowers in fear, the lights go out, and Stacy is menaced by her own ghostly reflection, which ominously shuts the blind over the window. After they go through the tunnel, Stacy gets up to take a breather in the next car, but the door won't work. Stacy is told that doors won't open while the train is moving - which is clearly a lie, since she arrived in the car just minutes ago. A sign suddenly appears on the door that wasn't there before. Also, Stacy's watch no longer works, and the obnoxious kid has changed costumes impossibly quick. It's getting pretty bad for Stacy - no one will Just where he got the new outfit is somehow not a point of concern for her. She's too distracted trying to find out what time it is. No one answers, and even the mention of 'time' sends the kid into a conniption fit. The increasingly alienating atmosphere starts getting to Stacy, who tries to get some air out the back door. She finds the wind far too strong outside, however, and heads back to her seat, hoping to get a little sleep.

Stacy naps and time passes - or does it? The old lady still doesn't understand the concept of 'time', and warns her that there's another tunnel coming. The problem with that? This train goes up and down the east coast, and there aren't any tunnels on that route! So, we can infer that she is either in limbo or hell but it is never specified exactly when and how she's supposed to have died.

Another tunnel arrives, and things start to freak out once more. It's a little more serious this time, though - in addition to the flashing lights and shaking, an argument over playing cards escalates into murder when the kid grabs his toy gun and fills the old man with lead. Stacy is terrified and the boy starts shooting at her next. She dodges the bullets, which tear through her seat.

The tunnel ends and everything goes back to normal. The old man's alive (although still bloody) and coed returns to her bullet-riddled seat, somewhat shell-shocked. Sometime later Stacy has fallen asleep, but she winds up being shocked back to consciousness by the kid, who's now a football player. Stacy feels like she's been on the train for days, but the old lady dodges all of her questions about why it's pitch black outside, as if they've been traveling through the world's longest tunnel. Their conversation isn't going anywhere, so it's something of a relief when the conductor finally arrives to take everyone's ticket.

He's a little surprised to a see a new person in the last car, and asks for her ticket. Stacy claims not to have one, demanding to be thrown off the train. The conductor scoffs at the idea, and refuses to let her change to a different car on the train. She tries to rush through the door when he's leaving, but they hit a tunnel just then, and the train shakes so violently that her attempt is stymied. Also, the conductor turns into a skeleton the second he's on the other side of the door. So maybe getting through wouldn't be the best plan. Spinning around, she finds that the whole car is now populated by desiccated, long-dead skeletons, with cobwebs and dusts decorating every part of them.

Stacy closes her eyes until the tunnel ends. She collapses in a seat, completely exhausted. The old lady offers her a shawl so that she'll be warm. It's a nice gesture, Stacy finally seems to accept her lot as one of the train's denizens. However, after the next tunnel, Stacy seems to have been dead and rotting all along. 

ReactionEdit

  • It is usually regarded as one of the most disturbing episodes. 
  • The part where Stacy looks out the window only to see her reflection shut the blind is often thought of as one of the most disturbing moments in the series. 
  • The Last Car is usually thought of as a representation of Hell.
  • Another theory is that everyone on the Last Car is dead but in denial, in the end Stacey chooses to join the delusion rather than accept reality.

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